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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, February 09, 2005

    Martin Luther in Oakland, Jeff Chang in San Jose and Ashlee Simpson questions anyone?

    HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!! (GUNG HAY FAT CHOY)

    Check out my story today about funky soul singer Martin Luther.

    He was great to talk to, and one of the few artists I've spoken to that was savvy about both the artistic and the business side of making music. He told me that he loves Thai food and he was heading to London for a trip, so I recommended a great chain (Patara) that has a restaurant there.

    By, the way, I'm planning to interview Ashlee Simpson tomorrow - so does anyone have questions you want me to ask her?

    And, last night I was among those invited to celebrate Jeff Chang's book release at a party in San Francisco. His track record is very impressive:

    His current book, "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation," was sold out one hour into the party. He's also helped found hip-hop indie label Quannum Projects, and has also been the Senior Editor of Politics at Russell Simmons' 360hiphop.com and founding editor of ColorLines Magazine.)

    Many of the usual suspects were there - cultural critic Oliver Wang, Lyrical Swords author Adisa Banjoko, and Youth Radio's Nishat Kurwa - local hip-hop heads and writers.

    Jeff was smart to partner up with a local SF designer, Michael Stern, who sold some cleverly designed shirts based on the book. For example one has the letters of "hip hop" drawn using fists and handcuffs. Here's his site, ch-check it out: 0rigin.com/

    To top it off, Jeff decided to thank his wife for helping support him this far. What a way to head into Valentine's weekend.

    For those who want to ch-check his book out, he has a reading tomorrow in San Jose's MACLA. So, if you're not too busy grubbin' on Chinese food, ch-check it out!

    WHAT: Reading with Jeff Chang "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation"
    WHERE: Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, Castellano Playhouse, 510 S. First St., San Jose; (408) 998-2783
    WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday
    TIX: Free
    WHY: Get your book signed!

    Also, tonight in the city:
    WHAT: Riddims Couture
    WHERE: Soluna, 272 McAllister St. @ Larkin, SF
    WHEN: 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
    TIX: 21+; free
    WHY: Every Wednesday, this party showcases women in reggae and hip-hop.

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