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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
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  • Pacific Standard: Bay Area hip-hop
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  • Pop Licks : O-Dub, a cultural critic
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  • SiliconBeat: News about tech money and innovation
  • 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.

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