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BACKSTAGE WITH MARIAN
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Story outtakes, celebrity confessions and the latest pop culture news in the Bay Area

About Me
I'm a pop music writer for the San Jose Mercury News. I cover pop, hip hop, punk, rock, dance, and ethnic - well, basically everything you can dance to.

My Articles

MY PICKS
CD: Common:"Be"
Music Video Eminem: featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
Trailer: The Year of the Yao
TV: Harvey Birdman
Videogame: Fable

MERCURY REVIEWS
Art: The New Art of India
Bar: Boswell's
Book: Jill Scott
Club: Forum
DVD: Kinsey
Movie: Cinderella Man
Music: Sleater-Kinney
Restaurant: The Melting Pot
Theater:The Mambo Kings

SICK SITE
Earth and Sun Kiss

MY PLAYLIST

1. R. Kelly: "Trapped In The Closet"

2. Weezer: "Hold Me"

3. Bright Eyes: "First Day Of My Life"

4. Ringside: "Miss You" and "Criminal"

ENTERTAINMENT RESOURCES
  • Billboard Charts
  • Encyclopedia
  • iticket.com
  • Moviefone
  • Music Dictionary
  • MTV
  • Pollstar
  • tickets.com
  • Urban Dictionary
  • ticketmaster.com
  • VH1

  • BLOGROLL
  • Adisa Banjoko : San Jose's Bishop of Hip hop
  • Angry Asian Man: Asian American media watchdog
  • Berkeley Blogs
  • Black Electorate : Inside Cultural, Economic and Political industries
  • BLT's Parry
  • Crayone: the trials and tribulations of a graffiti artist
  • Dan Gillmor : Grassroots Journalism
  • Dat Phan : Last Comic Standing season 1 winner
  • East Bay Livin' : Ellen Lee's EB hunt
  • Davey D: Hip Hop Daily News
  • Fortt: black american gen x journalist musician multicultural christian technophile
  • Jeff Chang: fellow Asian hip hop writer
  • Joe Grimm : Ask the Recruiter
  • In Passing : Random Street Conversations
  • Pacific Standard: Bay Area hip-hop
  • Pop And Politics
  • Pop Licks : O-Dub, a cultural critic
  • Scape: San Jose graffiti artist
  • SiliconBeat: News about tech money and innovation
  • Tuesday, November 09, 2004

    Halo 2, King of Fighters and Grand Theft Auto test-spins

    Although I'm not one for violence, it's a great stress reliever-- virtually.

    The other night, I tested out yet another "Street Fighter"-wannabe, the newest "King of Fighters." Now this game has been around for a decade, but I wasn't thrilled with the characters or story line. They weren't fighting for honor, family or face, but driven by a Joker-like boss in what seemed to be a fight for fun. Later after some research, I learned it was a turf war among gangs. (Here are some cheat codes and a free Street Fighter online game.)

    The characters, both male and female are barely dressed, and as virtually enhanced as they could be. After talking it over with Mike Antonucci, the Merc's video game reviewer, we decided that if we wanted a slut version of "Street Fighter," we might as well play "Soul Calibur" - at least there's a story line. (Coincidentally, talking about "Soul Calibur" was how I gained William Hung's trust for a more in-depth interview. We debated the worthiness of my favorite character Kilik, over his, Astaroth.)

    Mike's latest review is on "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas." And here's a link to cheat codes from a reader.

    Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for "Halo 2." It's expected to sell $100 million the first day (today). Over the weekend, MTV aired a behind-the-scenes look - here's a link. Stay tuned for Dean Takahashi's review on Saturday.

    But if you're not fragging virtual enemies tonight, ch-check it out:

    WHAT: Stroke 9 record release event, acoustic performance and autograph session
    WHERE: Tower Records 121: Columbus & Bay, 2525 Jones St., San Francisco
    WHEN: 6:30 p.m. tonight, Nov. 9th
    TIX: All ages and free
    WHY: Support a local band: The Bay Area band sang the hit single "Little Black Backpack," "Rip It Off" for "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," and songs for "Scrubs."

    And...

    WHAT: The Faint, Beep Beep, TV on the Radio
    WHERE: The Grand At the Regency Center, 1290 Sutter Street, San Francisco
    WHEN: 8 p.m. tonight, Nov. 9th
    TIX: $18; (408) 998-8497, (415) 421-8497 or ticketmaster.com
    WHY: indie punk and indie rock

    1 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Marian,

    Thanks for the great information and links from your site. As a Bay Area native who is currently out of town, it's still nice to be able to still get a beat on what's going on at home, be it in San Francisco, San Jose, or whereever in Northern California. Keep it up!

    Out of towner

    12:25 AM  

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    Photo of Marian Liu by Stephanie Grace Lim, Mercury News
    You can e-mail me at mliu@mercurynews.com.