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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, December 22, 2004

    A Very Shady Christmas

    So, I've already wished y'all a Crunk Christmas, now, its time for a very Shady Christmas with none other than Mr. Slim Shady himself.

    Pre- and post-Christmas, Eminem will be hosting a hip-hop show on Sirius Satellite Radio, on Shade 45, commercial-free, uncensored, fresh hip-hop radio channel.

    The broadcast schedule is below.

    Please have a very, very happy holidaze. I'll be rocking out in Asia for two weeks, so as they say in Hong Kong, Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun (Merry Christmas)! I'll be back Jan. 10, but maybe I'll log in while I'm there on the east side.

    DECEMBER 24

    2-6 pm ET - Shady National Convention (rebroadcast)
    6-8 pm ET - A Very Shady Christmas, hosted by Eminem
    8-10 pm ET - The Aphiliates
    10pm-Midnight ET - Cipha Sounds' More Fire Mix

    DECEMBER 25

    12-2 am ET - A Very Shady Christmas, hosted by Eminem (rebroadcast)
    2-8 am ET - Shady Christmas Rappin'
    8am-Noon ET - DJ Mars
    12-2 pm ET - DJ A. Vee
    2-4 pm ET - A Very Shady Christmas, hosted by Eminem (rebroadcast)
    4-8 pm ET - Whoo Kid & G Unit Radio Christmas Special
    8 pm-Midnight ET - DJ Green Lantern's Christmas Invasion

    DECEMBER 26

    12-2 am ET - A Very Shady Christmas, hosted by Eminem (rebroadcast)
    Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    Usher and Naomi split up, plus naughty Lindsay Lohan

    In the news, Naomi Campbell dumped Usher, reportedly saying his entourage was too controlling, expecting her to show up for pictures with him at every awards ceremony. They apparently had a tiff after she failed to show up at the Billboard Awards with him. I guess the model wanted to be more than eye candy.

    In other news, Lindsay Lohan may be topping the charts at No. 4, according to Soundscan, but that popularity isn't doing anything for her little brother. Last weekend her 8-year-old brother Cody went backstage and asked for pop-punk band Good Charlotte's autograph. Singer Joel Madden wouldn't give it unless Lindsay publicly apologized to Hilary. This made her little brother cry and exclaim that pop punk band Simple Plan was much better, reports MTV on their site.

    Also in a vote for "Naughtiest People of 2004" by Heavy.com Lindsay Lohan (41%) was voted worse than Osama Bin Ladin (26%). After Lohan was caught lip-syncing on "Good Morning America" earlier this month, she fared even worse than celebrity starlet Paris Hilton (25%). Michael Jackson got 22% and Scott Peterson got 12%.

    In other Lohan news, the rising star said she wouldn't pose naked for Playboy -- see, she isn't that naughty ... at least not yet.


    Monday, December 20, 2004

    Crunk Christmas

    This holiday season season get crunked (or as we Yay Area folks say, hyphee)

    On Friday (8am, 12 Noon, 5pm, and 8pm) and Saturday (12am, 7am, 12pm, 3pm, 8pm, and 10pm), check out Music Choice's program, Crunk Christmas. It'll feature an hour long music show hosted by DTP's I-20 with such crunk classics as Lil' Jon & the East Side Boyz, Ludacris, Trick Daddy, and Bone Crusher.

    Or if you'd rather have a toned down evening:

    WHAT: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    WHERE: HP Pavilion, 525 W Santa Clara, San Jose
    WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight, 12/21
    TIX: $ $30.50 - $50.50; ticketmaster.com

    Chuy Gomez and Christmas gift guide

    I just got back from sunny OC where residents wear scarves only to be fashionable -- along with their tanks and shorts. It was 80 degrees there - today in San Jose, it's 44 degrees.

    Last Thursday, I caught an emerging artist showcase (keep checking this blog, I'll reveal who I'm talking about later - she's my breakout artist of 2005).

    At the showcase, I ran into KMEL's Chuy Gomez. The longtime DJ is a good friend and a wonderful person to hug. He's also very personable - if you see him volunteering at a canned food drive or Dj-ing at a club, go say hi - he'll warm up to you.

    Also, the clock is ticking, so if you're still braving the malls (like I am), here are some gift ideas:

  • Pop and Hip Hop



  • Television

    Also, here are our top ten's:

  • Pop and Hip Hop






  • Wednesday, December 15, 2004

    This weekend: Lateef, Vienna Teng and Punk Rock Karoake

    The Handsome Boy Modeling School show has been postponed from Friday, Jan. 7th to a new date, Saturday, April 2nd. Tickets for the January show will be honored and refunds are available where purchased

    NEW INFO ON SHOW
    WHEN: 9 p.m. April 2nd
    WHERE: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco
    TIX: $20; ticketmaster.com

    In his phone interview, Dan the Automator had clued me on this postponement saying: "The Handome Boy Modeling School had some pretty high profile poeple, so we can only bring some of the people in for the show, like 3 or 4. The show will be a pretty fun experience. It's still being put together. It was originally rolling out in January, but will be pushed back a little bit."

    Also, I'm out the next few days, so here's some events to look forward to this coming weekend.

    Ch-check it out:

    TONIGHT, WEDS 12/15

    WHAT: Quannum Showcase - Lateef the Truth Speaker with back-up on turntables with be DJ D-Sharp and Mike Relm
    WHERE: Milk, 1840 Haight St. (415) 387-6455
    WHEN: 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, 12/15
    TIX: Free before 10 p.m., $10 after
    WHY: Lateef is lyrically smart and versatile.

    WHAT: Denise Perrier
    WHERE: Bix Supper Club, 56 Gold St., SF
    WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, 12/15
    TIX: no cover; (415)433-6300
    WHY: Beautiful jazz vocals

    THURSDAY, 12/16

    WHAT: The Blues Guitar Extravaganza
    WHERE: Little Fox, 2209 Broadway, Redwood City
    WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday 12/16
    TIX: $12 adv./$14 door; (650) 369-4119; foxdream.com
    WHY: Dance your blues away with Rene Solis, "Mighty" Mike Shermer, John Wedemeyer, Laura Chavez

    WHAT: Vienna Teng
    WHERE: The Independent, 628 Divisadero St., San Francisco
    WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday 12/16
    TIX: $13 adv./$15 door; ticketweb.com
    WHY: Vienna Teng merges Sarah McLachlan and Chopin. Since leaving her engineering job at Cisco, the Stanford graduate has gone on to perform on the David Letterman show and a sold-out tour across the states.

    FRIDAY, 12/17

    WHAT: Punk Rock Karaoke
    WHERE: Blank Club, 44 S. Almaden Avenue, downtown San Jose
    WHEN: 9 p.m. Friday, 12/17
    TIX: $10; ticketweb.com
    WHY: Featuring - Eric Melvin (NOFX), Greg Hetson (Bad Religion), Derek O'Brien (Adolescents) and Steve Soto (Adolescents / Manic Hispanic).

    WHAT: School Escape
    WHERE: Suite ONE8ONE, 181 Eddy Street, SF
    WHEN: 9 p.m. Friday, 12/17
    TIX: 21+; $10 if you RVSP to RSVP@RhythmEthics.com
    WHY: Celebrate the end of the school year with house music played by: DJ Ecko, DJ Bruce Parker, DJ Slick D, DJ Mei Lwun

    SATURDAY, 12/18

    WHAT: The Pete Escovedo Orchestra
    WHERE: (Pete Escovedo's Latin & Jazz Nightclub), 400 South First Street, San Jose; (408) 947-7500
    WHEN: 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 12/18
    TIX: $15
    WHY: Pete Escovedo is the king of Latin Jazz.
    Tuesday, December 14, 2004

    MTV's Sway from Oakland plus Ashlee Simpson in San Jose

    I spoke with MTV's Sway the other day over the phone.

    He was a really fun and sweet sounding guy.

    First thing he asks is where I hail from and what street. Then he says, "You see, I know what's going on. I'm local." (He's also a part of KMEL's Sway & Tech, originally from Oakland.)

    And for those concert-goers, two just came up. Both go on sale 10 a.m. this Sunday, Dec. 19th.

    WHAT: Ashlee Simpson
    WHERE: Events Center at San Jose State, Student Union, Inc., One Washington Square, San Jose
    WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22
    TIX: $29.50 - $39.50; ticketmaster.com
    WHY: Check if she's really singing.

    WHAT: Scissor Sisters
    WHERE: The Warfield, 982 Market Street, San Francisco
    WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30
    TIX: $25; ticketmaster.com
    WHY: They've had a lot of buzz lately.
    Monday, December 13, 2004

    Backstage at Not So Silent Night

    Not so Silent Night was awesome.

    Check out pictures on LIVE 105 Music Director Aaron Axelsen's site.

    It was one of those concerts I came into smiling and left with not only with a bigger smile but an extra skip in my step.

    Everything fell in line.

    The music was on. The sound system was good and the singles sounded the way it did on the radio. Bands charmed, excited and rocked the audience. Fans were friendly and didn't push or shove, just bounced on the floor as if they were on a mattress. Also, the ushers were cool, letting you roam from seat to seat and even on the DJ's second stage.

    The line-up included: Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Interpol, Muse, and Taking Back Sunday.

    With the exception of my missing Taking Back Sunday, who came on at the beginning of the concert at 7 p.m., I was happy. I wish Interpol had switched spots with Taking Back Sunday, because I like Taking Back Sunday so much more. (Here's a quiz on what Taking Back Sunday song are you.)

    I was wondering how Franz Ferdinand would sound in such a big arena. But both performances, at San Jose's Blank Club and this time at the Bill Graham Civic Center Friday night, they played to the crowd. I like how they do this skittish dance where they awkwardly kick their legs while they jam.

    I also became a fan of headliner Modest Mouse. I didn't know too much about them before the show, except that they had a cool name. They cooled down the audience and played beautiful melodic rock odes. I'm definitely planning to go to their concert in February in Berkeley.

    I also went backstage - behind the second stage and up one floor to their dressing rooms. It looked like a dorm floor. Each door was marked with a band's name.

    There were members of Modest Mouse hanging out in the hallway talking to friends. A member of The Killers was outside their room talking up two girls. Plus, we saw Interpol's bassist Carlos D. stoically walk from the bathroom and straight into his room. The bathrooms were all co-ed on that floor, and in one stall, there were two co-eds.

    Right by the second stage, I met Lyrics Born, a East Bay emcee I've interviewed over the phone and shook his hand. Then later after Dan the Automator's last set, I met him too. I had a hard time understanding him at first, so he had to repeat his question about going to the aftershow three times to me to my embarrassment.

    Also, ch-check out my list of 5 top concerts on Dec. 27 in the Merc.
    Friday, December 10, 2004

    Dan the Automator at Not So Silent Night

    Tonight, ch-check out Live 105's Not So Silent Night. (line-up here)

    It's sold out, but here's a link to craigslist for tickets. It's one of those concerts I wouldn't miss, because they always have a strong line-up.

    Also, check out Monday's blog for a look backstage at the concert.

    Not So Silent Night leaned toward more indie rock this year, to neo-retro-rock groups like The Killers and Franz Ferdinand. Also featured is one of my current favorite DJ's spinning, Dan the Automator.

    The other day I interviewed the producer/DJ, whose real name is Dan Nakamura. He's a native of the Bay - attended Lowell High School and San Francisco State. For a man of such talent (produced Gorillaz and Handsome Boy Modeling School, he was very open and even hesitant to talk up his success.

    For tonight, he says that he'll play in between the acts in "weird small 15 minute joints" with "music they haven't heard yet."

    I plan on writing something about him soon. And for all those who can't get a ticket to the show, there's a great line-up at the afterparty.

    WHAT: Not So Silent Night Afterparty
    WHERE: Club 6, 60 Sixth (between Market & Mission), San Francisco
    WHEN: 9 p.m. - 4 a.m. tonight 12/10
    TIX: $10; popscene-sf.com
    WHY: Many of the acts from the concert (like The Killers , Franz Ferdinand and Dan the Automator ) are scheduled to be there, along with the godfather of hip-hop Afrika Bambaataa.

    Also this weekend, ch-check it out:

    SATURDAY

    WHAT: The Hives
    WHERE: The Warfield, 982 Market Street, San Francisco
    WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday 12/11
    TIX: $20; ticketmaster.com
    WHY: More neo-retro rock to whet your appetite

    ALL WEEKEND

    WHAT: Jamie Kennedy
    WHERE: San Jose Improv, 62 S. Second Street, San Jose
    WHEN: Tonight through Sunday, 12/10-12
    TIX: $18-22
    WHY: He's the new man behind The Mask.

    SUNDAY

    WHAT:
    Wale Oyejide
    WHERE: The Agenda Lounge, 399 South First St., San Jose
    WHEN: 10 p.m. Sunday, 12/12
    TIX: $5 at door
    WHY: Nigerian hip-hop infused with Afro-beats and neo-soul.


    Thursday, December 09, 2004

    Hip-hop reigns the Grammy nominations

    At last year's Grammy awards, OutKast ruled. This year Kanye West looks like he'll be starting his Grammy empire - showing that hip-hop has not only moved in, it has made the music industry its home.

    Hip-hop has long taken over pop music, making people wonder, is hip-hop the new pop?

    I think the future of music goes along with Jay-Z and Linkin Park's wonderful mash-up ("MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents Jay-Z/Linkin Park: Collision Course"). The future may be a fusion of what we like, with no lines or labels.

    According to Nielsen SoundScan, the Jay-Z/Linkin Park CD/DVD has already sold 368,000 copies in the week that ended Dec. 5, displacing U2's latest album, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (sold 288,000). It resides at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 while U2's album is No. 2.

    Tonight, ch-check out some hip-hop and think about its future.

    WHAT:
    Ozomatli plus Crown City Rockers
    WHERE: Catalyst Nightclub, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
    WHEN:
    8:30 p.m. tonight 12/9
    TIX:
    $21 advance, $24 at the door; catalystclub.com
    WHY: Two live hip-hop collectives that will make you believe in hip-hop again. Ozomatli reflects Southern Cali with its jazz, funk, urban-hip-hop and Latin salsa stylings. And, Crown City Rockers also step it up with their boom-bap-ness.

    WHAT: Afrika Bambaataa
    WHERE: Zoe Nightclub, 417 S. First St., San Jose
    WHEN: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. tonight 12/3
    TIX: Free; check zoenightclub.com
    WHY: He is the godfather of hip-hop and his concert is a history lesson in the art.

    Wednesday, December 08, 2004

    Sophia Stewart Matrix settlement and Unwritten Law off tour

    It's not been played out in the news, but the lady they call the "Mother of The Matrix" has been supposedly given her due. This news comes in time for the release of "The Ultimate Matrix Collection" on DVD.

    Salt Lake City resident Sophia Stewart sued and won damages for "The Matrix I, II, III" and "The Terminator," because the court ruled the movies were based on her manuscripts.

    She had submitted her work, "Third Eye," in response to an ad placed by the Wachowski brothers, who directed the Matrix movies, asking for sci-fi scripts to create a comic book.

    Reportedly investigators found roughly 30 minutes of the original film had been cut to avoid copyright infringement.

    For more information:

  • http://www.slccglobelink.com/global_user_elements/printpage.cfm?storyid=785067
  • http://www.daghettotymz.com/matrix/pirates/thepirates.html
  • http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=58221

  • Ongoing discussion here:
  • http://www.matrixmania.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8172
  • http://www.killermovies.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-315546

    And, for Unwritten Law fans, the punk outfit has canceled its tour due to a family emergency.

    The San Diego group was on touring to promote its latest album, "Here's To The Mourning," set for release in early February, when bassist Pat Kim heard his father was sick. Earlier this week, Kim's father was admitted to Kaiser Hospital for a serious, undisclosed ailment.

    They're planning to reschedule concert dates early next year.


  • Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    Grammy predictions


    The top nominees are:
  • R&B crooners Alicia Keys and Usher. 8
  • Ray Charles, 7
  • Pop-punk Green Day, 6

  • Among the popular categories, nominees were: (click on the links to hear them)

    Record of the Year:
    "Let's Get It Started," The Black Eyed Peas
    "Here We Go Again," Ray Charles and Norah Jones
    "American Idiot," Green Day
    "Heaven," Los Lonely Boys
    "Yeah!" Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris
    --> My thots: This is a hard one because I like The Black Eyed Peas, Norah Jones, Green Day and Usher a LOT. If this show follows the overall trend from past shows, Usher will win, but Green Day expressed what a lot of Californians feel about the election.

    Album of the Year:
    "Genius Loves Company," Ray Charles and Various Artists
    "American Idiot," Green Day
    "The Diary of Alicia Keys," Alicia Keys
    "Confessions," Usher
    "The College Dropout," Kanye West
    --> My thots: Again this may come down to Green Day and Usher.

    Song of the Year:
    "Daughters," John Mayer (John Mayer)
    "If I Ain't Got You," Alicia Keys (Alicia Keys)
    "Jesus Walks," C. Smith and Kanye West (Kanye West)
    "Live Like You Were Dying," Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman (Tim McGraw)
    "The Reason," Daniel Estrin and Douglas Robb (Hoobastank).
    --> My thots: My favorites would have to be Kanye and Hoobastank. Hoobastank was a favorite among girls this year for their wailing emotion.

    New Artist:
    Los Lonely Boys
    Maroon 5
    Joss Stone
    Kanye West
    Gretchen Wilson
    --> My thots: Maroon 5 (although they've been slowly climbing up and are not really "new.") or Joss Stone.

    Female Pop Vocal Performance:
    "Oceania," Bjork
    "The First Cut Is the Deepest," Sheryl Crow
    "Sunrise," Norah Jones
    "What You Waiting For?" Gwen Stefani
    "You Had Me," Joss Stone
    --> My thots: Gwen Stefani, but Sheryl Crows always stuck in people's minds.

    Male Pop Vocal Performance:
    "Let's Misbehave," Elvis Costello
    "You Raise Me Up," Josh Groban
    "Daughters," John Mayer
    "Cinnamon Girl," Prince
    "Love's Divine," Seal
    --> My thots: Prince for his wonderful comeback year.

    Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal:
    "My Immortal," Evanescence
    "The Reason," Hoobastank
    "Heaven," Los Lonely Boys
    "She Will Be Loved," Maroon 5
    "It's My Life," No Doubt
    --> My thots: Maroon 5 and No Doubt will duke this out.

    Rap Solo Performance:
    "On Fire," Lloyd Banks
    "Just Lose It," Eminem
    "99 Problems," Jay-Z
    "Overnight Celebrity," Twista
    "Through the Wire," Kanye West
    --> My thots: Jay-Z -- his "retirement" completes his notoriety. I also wonder why Eminem's other song, "Mosh" didn't get nominated when it's a better single than "Just Lose It."

    Rap Performance by a Duo or Group:
    "Ch-Check It Out," Beastie Boys
    "Let's Get It Started," The Black Eyed Peas
    "Don't Say Nuthin'," The Roots
    "Drop It Like It's Hot," Snoop Dogg and Pharrell
    "Lean Back," Terror Squad
    --> My thots: My current favorite is Snoop and Pharrell's song, but I love how Beastie Boys came back.

    Rap/Sung Collaboration:
    "Why," Jadakiss featuring Anthony Hamilton
    "Dip It Low," Christina Milian featuring Fabolous
    "Slow Jamz," Twista featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx
    "Yeah!" Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris
    "All Falls Down," Kanye West and Syleena Johnson
    --> My thots: If Usher doesn't win any other awards, he may just get this one. Although, Jadakiss' single was a socially conscious breath of fresh air.

    Rap Song:
    "Drop It Like It's Hot," Calvin Broadus, Chad Hugo, S. Thomas and Pharrell Williams (Snoop Dogg)
    "Hey Mama," Will Adams and Anthony Henry (The Black Eyed Peas)
    "Jesus Walks," C. Smith and Kanye West (Kanye West)
    "Let's Get It Started," Will Adams, Mike Fratantuno, Jaime Gomez, George Pajon, Jr., Allan Pineda and Terence Yoshiaki (The Black Eyed Peas)
    "99 Problems," Shawn Carter and Rick Rubin (Jay-Z)
    --> My thots: This is a hard one, because they're all good, but out of all them, I would say, "Jesus Walks." Kanye West made it cool to believe.

    Rap Album:
    "To the 5 Boroughs," Beastie Boys
    "The Black Album," Jay-Z
    "The DEFinition," LL Cool J
    "Suit," Nelly
    "The College Dropout," Kanye West.
    --> My thots: The Beastie Boys, but I like Nelly's collaboration with Tim McGraw

    Comment on your favs! Or vote on if the Grammys stlil matter.

    Monday, December 06, 2004

    Talking about MF Doom on KALX

    Ch-check out Mark and my story today on Christmas music.

    Isn't it awful that Cal isn't going to the Rose Bowl? I'm still lamenting about it.

    Anyways, this past Sunday I was at UC Berkeley on their radio station, 90.7 FM (KALX) with well-known Bay Area hip-hop historian Billy Jam and fellow hip-hop writer Eric Arnold from the East Bay Express.

    Having gone to UC Berkeley, it was an honor to be a part of their soundwaves.

    We talked about the Bay Area hip-hop scene, being female in hip-hop and how music journalism is progressing. We also raved about our current favorite album, MF Doom's "Mm...Food." - how his concept album as a hip-hop comic superhero not only worked, but was among the best of the year. On top of that, it made us laugh.

    The station had a homey feel - with stickers from all the past bands that have come in and a history of awards as best college radio station. My favorite wall hanging was an old New Kids on the Block party plate - made me think of how I idolized them in sixth grade and Jordan Knight's stint on "The Surreal Life."

    The last time I was on the radio was a guest appearance on Live 105 last year. I was so much more nervous then, and blathered out some shout-outs with some nervous giggling. Then, I shared my favs of the time: Le Tigre and Les Nubians.

    On Sunday afternoon, my television production debut came on Pacific Fusion, an Asian American magazine show on KRON Sundays at 12:30 p.m. The story was about A-Yue, the Taiwanese rebel rocker I wrote about this past October.

    For television, I had to think in terms of merging visuals and audio together to create a whole package. Check out next month, when I'll start to make my voice debut, and later maybe in person guest appearances.

    As for the radio, check out 90.7 FM - KALX on Jan. 9th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. We'll be doing a year round-up and 2005 look ahead in music.
    Friday, December 03, 2004

    Peanut Butter Wolf Soled Out in San Francisco

    I had lunch with San Jose DJ, producer and label-owner Peanut Butter Wolf at the Valley Fair Shopping Center. We shared a Peking duck pizza as he lamented that while Source magazine doesn't take notice to his music, the New Yorker wrote a long piece about one of his artists, "Madvillain."

    PBW is an artist who has deejayed for former President Bill Clinton and at a party with such guests as P. Diddy. He's also performed with Mos Def and is a phenom in Japan and Europe. (Hear his music.)

    Ch-check out his record stylings tonight in San Francisco:

    WHAT: Soled Out San Francisco
    WHERE: Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St. @ Mint, San Francisco
    WHEN: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. tonight 12/3
    TIX: $15 at the door
    WHY: Check out the latest shoes from Converse, Reebok, Puma and Vans will be showcased while DJ's like Peanut Butter Wolf and Apollo strut their stuff.
    Thursday, December 02, 2004

    "Little Shop of Horrors" and Suge Knight's police investigation

    Yesterday, I checked out the musical "Little Shop of Horrors" at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco, as a chaperone for my high school's (Mission San Jose High School in Fremont) journalism class field trip.

    It was the weirdest musical I've ever seen. Every few moments I would think, "What tha?"

    But, if you caught the cult film, then you know the wacky plot about a florist who lures in customers with a strange new plant. The plant then takes on a life of its own, calling the shots.

    The plant in the musical, which cost $10 million, was neat to watch, but at times, it wouldn't open its mouth when words were coming out. Other times, it looked like it was mumbling. The students were also disappointed the plant didn't reach out as far as it did in the television commercials.

    The singing was fun, with the main character, Seymour played by Anthony Rapp from "Rent." Another fun moment came when his adoptive father, Mr. Mushnik the shopkeeper, jiggled a la Beyonce; and when the plant Audrey II danced along with Seymour.

    In other news, Suge Knight has been involved in a police investigation on the violence at the Vibe Awards, which started with Dr. Dre (Suge Knight's bitter rival) getting attacked, developed into an all-out brawl and involved a stabbing.
    Wednesday, December 01, 2004

    Handsome Boy Modeling School

    I've been listening to San Francisco native Dan the Automator's new Handsome Boy Modeling School album - it's hot.

    It captures you, makes you giggle, and gets your groove on --good for those with short attention spans.

    Plus, it features a great line-up with De La Soul, Del the Funky Homosapien, Qbert, Grand Wizard Theodore, Mike Shinoda and Jazzy Jay.

    Track 9 is a wonderful example of pure aural satisfaction - the song flows from socially conscious rap -- exclaiming that there "seems like there's too much Pac, we don't need it" -- to Shinoda's nu-metal to scratching.

    For those that fear hip-hop is a dying mass media art, you have to listen to his album. And check out the Handsome Boy Modeling School concert on Jan. 7th at 9 p.m. at The Fillmore. Tickets are $20 admission, available on Ticketmaster soon.

    For tonight, ch-check it out:

    WHAT: Unwritten Law
    WHERE: Slim's, 333 11th Street, San Francisco
    WHEN: 8 p.m. tonight 12/1
    TIX: $11; tickets.com
    WHY: fun punk

    WHAT: Skratchpad
    WHERE: sublounge, 628 20th st @ 3rd st., San Francisco
    WHEN: 9 p.m. - 2 a.m. tonight 12/1
    TIX: free before 11 p.m., afterwards $5, Info/Guestlist: onthe_one@Yahoo.com
    WHY: Bring your beats and jam.




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