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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
  • Wednesday, November 17, 2004

    Ratchet & Clank plus Avril in San Jose

    I've been playing the latest Ratchet & Clank, and it's been surprisingly a LOT of fun.

    This third time around the name of the game is quite fitting (Up Your Arsenal) with the fox-like creature and robot duo fighting with 60-some weapons. My favorite is a ray that changes enemies into ducks (the last version changed them into chickens).

    Britney Spears also makes a robotic cameo in this game with a legion of dancers who try to take you down. Every time she hits you, she exclaims, "Oops I did it again."

    While I'm on videogames, the 2nd annual Spike TV's Video Game Awards just came out with the channel's categories and nominees. The awards will be broadcast Dec. 14th at 9 p.m., live from LA. Snoop Dogg, an avid gamer, will host and perform. Also be performing will be The Doors (with Snoop), Sum 41 and Ludacris.

    (Speaking of Sum 41, I interviewed frontman Deryck Whibley's supposed girlfriend for today's paper)

    You can log onto spiketv.com to vote on this year's nominees. I would personally support Katamari Damacy for most addictive game and best soundtrack.

    The games with the most nominations (5):

    "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas"
    game of the year
    best performance by a human male (Samuel L. Jackson)
    best action game
    best soundtrack
    designer of the year

    "Halo 2"
    game of the year
    best first person action
    best soundtrack
    designer of the year
    best graphics

    "Half-Life 2"
    game of the year
    best first person action
    best PC game
    best graphics
    best new technology

    For tonight, ch-check it out.

    WHAT: Simple Plan
    WHERE: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco
    WHEN: 7 p.m. tonight, 11/17
    TIX: $17; (408) 998-8497, (415) 421-8497 or ticketmaster.com
    WHY: They're wonderfully good at expressing teenage angst.

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