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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, April 13, 2005

    Gomez in San Jose and Deborah Gibson in San Francisco

    Yesterday I spoke with Tom Gray of the British band Gomez.

    He was a pleasure to talk to, and even if he weren't in music I would want to be his friend.

    Gray, the vocalist/keyboardist/bassist/guitarist, describes Gomez as "eclectic" music. It's kind of bluesy rock. And what's nice is that they make a point not to compromise themselves as artists.

    The band got together as friends looking for fun, and they haven't changed that.

    "If you can't have fun, what's the point? God help us if even the people in rock n' roll are miserable, the world might as well destroy itself right now," he said, over the phone from Atlanta by Emory University.

    He went on this long spiel about how the music industry has become way too conservative, how instead of artists freely expressing themselves now, the managers locate audiences with certain tastes and cater to them. Gray would rather make music good enough to find an audience.

    "You know we approach music, piece by piece," says Gray, 28. "The most interesting thing about our record, is almost everybody likes three different songs."

    Actually their name plays into it their eclecticism.

    "Gomez keeps us grounded," says Gray. "Why would an English band have a Spanish name? It skews people's view of us. It's helpful. It never lets people pin us down."

    Gomez was actually a friend of the band's, an Indian-Portuguese guy Gray describes as having a "streak of white hair" that would "fall asleep at all times of the day."

    One of their earlier gigs was in a residential area, and Gomez (the guy) "wasn't particularly great at finding places, so we wrote his name with big letters on the venue, so he'd know where to go."

    Other people coming to hear them naturally thought the band's name was Gomez, so it stuck.

    More on them later, but for info on their concert in San Jose, click here.

    As for today, ch-check it out:

    The Art of Win Ng
    WHERE: Chinese Historical Society of America, 965 Clay Street, San
    Francisco
    WHEN: Opening reception tonight 4/13 @ 6:30 p.m.; exhibit runs through July 24th
    TIX: free; www.chsa.org
    WHY: After WWII, Win Ng was one of the artists that created a new tradition of American pottery.

    And...

    Deborah Gibson
    WHERE: Tower Records 119 Market St., 2280 Market St., San Francisco
    WHEN: 5 p.m. tonight 4/13
    TIX: Free; (415) 621-0588
    WHY: 80s Pop queen Deborah Gibson (formerly known as Debbie) has just released an album called "Naked." She'll be at Tower signing autographs.

    Later tonight, she'll be performing
    WHERE: Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market St., SF
    WHEN: 9:30 p.m. tonight 4/13
    TIX: 21+; $30; cafedunord.com

    2 Comments:

    Blogger tappedfull said...

    Interesting blog, I'll check back.

    http://www.ptsu.biz/index.php?ref=tappedfull

    4:24 PM  
    Blogger Rambling Rose Cottage said...

    Very interesting! Thank you!

    4:30 PM  

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