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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

CD: Common:"Be"
Music Video Eminem: featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
Trailer: The Year of the Yao
TV: Harvey Birdman
Videogame: Fable

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

Earth and Sun Kiss


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"

  • Billboard Charts
  • Encyclopedia
  • Moviefone
  • Music Dictionary
  • MTV
  • Pollstar
  • Urban Dictionary
  • VH1

  • 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, April 14, 2005

    un-scary Marilyn Manson on the phone

    Lately, I've been speaking on a lot of campuses about what I do. Common questions students have are: How was it speaking to Marilyn Manson? And how can you keep your own morals values intact as a journalist? (She was referring to tabloid journalism.)

    I was freaked out about interviewing Marilyn Manson, because his persona seemed so evil, but he really wasn't so scary over the phone.

    If you've seen the documentary "Bowling for Columbine" - which I didn't see until way later --you'll find an intellectual man in Manson. He's smart and one of those rock critics (many of us are closet rock star wannabes) who figured out how to be a rock star.

    He was also sick that day and so stuffed up his public relations didn't let me to record the interview (I think because he didn't sound menacing at all and that messed with his persona).

    At the end of the interview I said I hoped he would feel better, and he said, thanks for taking pity on him. Imagine that? I took pity on Marilyn Manson.

    And on the second question: It's more about balancing your values with getting the job done as journalist. It may seem like journalists are morally empty, if you base it on popular tabloid journalism. But I hope that mainstream journalists keep strong values in everything they do. I find that the more human you are, the better you can relate better to the people you are interviewing. It may be one story and one assignment to a journalist, but it usually means a lot more to the interviewee. They often open themselves up to me, so I try to honor that.

    Tonight, ch-check it out:

    Old School Thursdays
    WHERE: Enter through Back Bar, 418 S. Market St., downtown San Jose
    WHEN: tonight 4/14
    TIX:no cover
    WHY: It'll be the grand opening of Rock Tavern nights.


    The Crystal Method
    WHERE: Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St. (@ Mint), SF
    WHEN: 10 p.m. tonight 4/14
    TIX: 21+; $20 (glow sticks are not allowed); (They will be giving a free show at Virgin Megastore, 2 Stockton St., San Francisco, at 7 p.m.)
    WHY:One of the greatest dance duos


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    Photo of Marian Liu by Stephanie Grace Lim, Mercury News
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