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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
  • Tuesday, May 31, 2005

    John Cho in San Francisco and Sheryl Crow across cultures

    This weekend, I ate a LOT and relaxed.

    But with last week's busyness, I didn't get a chance to talk about how I listened to John Cho speak in San Francisco.

    One thing he said really struck me. As a second-generation immigrant whose parents came from Korea, he described his parents as "cowboys," who came to the US for a better life, who came knowing nothing, not even the language of this future home. (Here's a link to more from his talk.)

    And yet these rebels couldn't understand when their own children wanted to be rebels in paving their own frontiers that weren't as safe (jobs that weren't the doctor, engineer, or lawyer). This was an irony I never thought about.

    This is an irony I go through every day.

    As a fellow second-generation Asian American, I've struggled against a lot of expectations my parents tried to force on my life. Believe me, pop music critic, isn't one of the things immigrant parents can easily brag about.

    So, in my first year as a critic, I took my mom to a concert, to Sheryl Crow - a performer who wasn't too loud, or too offensive. Before the show, I went through all the different genres on the radio - this is hip-hop, this is rock, this is country, and this is Sheryl Crow, so she could recognize the difference. Then I explained to her what a typical night would be like - what she could expect.

    At the concert, my mom got into it and started pointing out potential people I could interview. She even got down with the music -- well, sort of.

    And the only thing she wasn't really down with was Crow's outfit: some low-riding tight leather pants. My mom immediately forbade me from ever wearing pants like that.

    I ended up writing the concert review about the uniqueness of the night, about bridging cultures and generations. (Here is a link to that story.) And the ironic thing is that Crow's public relations person at the time was someone like me, a second-generation Asian American who brought her mom to concerts in order for the mom to better understand what her daughter did for a living.

    The pr person and I bonded over that.

    Ever since that concert, I've continued bringing my parents to concerts, just so they understand me and my passion. Because of this, I've gone to some concerts I usually would never go to, like Yanni.

    2 Comments:

    Blogger Kat said...

    Damn Tiggster, I dunno if I could have suffered through the Yanni concert, but I think it's really cool how you are able to connect with your folks on that level. Mucho props for that. Hey, we still have to try to connect somehow. I hope all is well!

    12:05 AM  
    Blogger christmas-card-clearance-oRp said...

    this rocks! i�ve been waiting/looking for something like this - Thank You!-------- christmas costumes

    8:51 PM  

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