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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
  • Thursday, February 24, 2005

    Was Ashlee Simpson okay in San Jose and Vegas clubbing

    Tuesday night, I didn't get a chance to check out Ashlee Simpson (and wasn't sure I wanted to) but I heard two very opposing reviews. One praised Simpson to the point of forgiving her SNL faux paus and the other saw students burning her poster and leading a booing team. Anybody else want to chime in?

    In Vegas, I didn't gamble too much, but I did eat a lot and go clubbing.

    Here's a rundown of the clubs I went to - from worst to best:

    RISQUE, PARIS ($20) - Very very lame. Basically we should have known from the line outside that they let in just about everybody. The music was also very uneven and the DJ kept straying from hip-hop to '80s pop music.

    RUM JUNGLE, MANDALAY BAY ($20) - The restaurant converts to a club at 10:30 p.m. We had dinner there and loved the red/black environment and high class. Plus, their bathroom ceiling was lined with lights like Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean ride. But when we came back for the club, it got very cheesy. They basically tore out the chairs and tables for patrons to dance on the cement floor. And, girls fluorescent body suits danced in cages on swung around on trapezes. The music was disappointingly more house than hip-hop.

    LIGHT, BELLAGIO ($30) - This had to be one of the best clubs I've ever been to. The DJ weaved in mainstream hip-hop with old skool. The venue was spacious with leather lined booths and plenty of places to dance on the wood flooring. Plus, the vibe was young but not too high strung. Everyone was stylishly dressed versus the sliminess of Risque. It was a perfect way to end the night.

    As for tonight, ch-check it out:

    WHAT: MASSIVE SELECTOR & CO
    WHERE: Kingman's Lucky Lounge, 3332 Grand Ave., Oakland
    WHEN: 9 p.m. to 2 am. tonight 2/24
    TIX: free
    WHY: house, soul and reggae

    And...

    WHAT: Quannum Mc's Showcase
    WHERE: DNA Lounge, 375 11th St. (@ Harrison), SF
    WHEN: 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. tonight 2/24
    TIX: 21+; $20; buy tickets
    WHY: A night featuring Quannum MC's like Lyrics Born and Lateef the True Speaker

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