Once on This Island, now playing at the Circle in the Square Theatre (W. 50th), is an utter delight. Your heart will swell and weep and swell again before the night’s over. The musical, set on a Caribbean island, follows Ti Moune, a young girl who’s fallen in love with someone from the other side of the island. Kept apart by class and culture, Ti Moune is guided by the gods on a remarkable journey. […] Continue »
If you hadn’t heard recently, there was a Supreme Court decision involving the Asian American band called The Slants, that was settled in their favor: “Members of the Asian-American rock band The Slants have the right to call themselves by a disparaging name, the Supreme Court says, in a ruling that could have broad impact on how the First Amendment is applied in other trademark cases. The Slants’ frontman, Simon Tam, filed a lawsuit after the U.S. […] Continue »
One of the (few) benefits of having teenagers is getting a glimpse of what youth culture is like these days. Given that I myself am decades removed from that time period, I like to compare what I see and hear from them to how it was when I was young. Since my kids and I all grew up in communities full of Asian Americans (unlike John), I have some perspective on how Asian American youth […] Continue »
Haruki Murakami’s latest book, Absolutely on Music: Conversations is a deep dive into the world of classical music with his friend, famed classical music conductor Seiji Ozawa. As the title implies, rather than a traditional prose book, this one is a quite literally a compilation and transcript of their conversations. The two men dive deep into Ozawa’s discography and storied career as a conductor of numerous prominent orchestras. Murakami, a long-time fan of both classical music […] Continue »
#IFEELALIVE is a national awareness campaign launched on the Love and Discovery blog in support of Suicide Prevention Month in September. Suicide was the 8th leading cause of death for Asian-Americans, whereas it was the 11th leading cause of death for all racial groups combined. This video is aimed at educating and helping Asian American Pacific Islanders with mental health issues. The following people contributed to this PSA: Megan Lee, Jason Chu, Elizabeth Sung James […] Continue »
Voices of Our Vote is a new compliation album featuring “32 politically empowering tracks by an eclectic mix of Asian American musicians.” Presented by activist group 18MillionRising in partnership with Kollaboration, Traktivist, Tuesday Night Project, and Mishthi, the collection of diverse tunes aims to inspire Asian Americans to vote in the upcoming elections. The album’s release coincides with the #MyAAPIVote campaign, “encouraging AAPIs using forward thinking digital tactics and culture-shifting online tools to get people […] Continue »
The term “Asian American” talks about the interaction of two sets of ideas, customs, and traditions, Asian and American. To me, one of the most fascinating instances of this are when two ordinarily distinct notions of Asian and American get mashed up together into something unique, like spam musubi or Korean Taco trucks. Food isn’t the only area where happens – KQED published this story about how an Indian American musician blends Chicago style Blues […] Continue »
Currently starring in Broadway Bounty Hunter at Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires, Scott Watanabe has had a long career as an actor, including roles in Allegiance and The Phantom of the Opera. In the tradition of 8Asians, we asked him eight questions and he offers some sage advice for those who aspire to the stage. Tell us a little about yourself, e.g. What’s your background? How did you get into acting? I was born in 1959 in […] Continue »
Of a number of musical instruments/styles in the United States one can say that are truly Asian American – instruments and/or genres whose structure and playing style are heavily influenced by Americans of Asian descent – probably the most well-known is the ukulele. We have talked about Jake Shimabukuro, who has pushed the limits of the ukulele. Honoka Katayama and Azita Ganjali, 2013 MVP winners of the Ukulele International Challenge, push the bounds of ukulele […] Continue »
Alexander Chee’s long-awaited second novel, The Queen of the Night, is luscious and captivating and please read it. Perhaps I am biased, and I will tell you why in a minute, but this is the rare book I considered not finishing before publishing this review (fear not traditionalists, I did read the whole thing). Chee’s writing is lyrical and beautiful and poetic, without feeling obtuse. It alone makes this a worthwhile read. The central character and narrator, who […] Continue »
During this year’s Grammys, Google debuted a new Android commercial called “Monotune”: “A piano has 88 keys. Each one is different. But what if they were all the same? To find out, we took apart a piano and reengineered it so that it only plays one note: Middle C. Be together. #NotTheSame” Ji-Yong Kim is the pianist in the commercial: “The commercial features Ji playing two pianos, one of which has been tuned entirely to […] Continue »
One of the things I’ve enjoyed over the years while living in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1999 is the the annual Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) Film Festival, better known as CAAMFest, “Celebrating Asian American Film, Music and Food.” This year’s festival is taking place this March 10 – 20, 2016 in San Francisco & Oakland. I’ve seen terrific movies over the years, highlights which have included Bend It Like Beckham, LINSANITY […] Continue »
Kiwi: *WHOOSH!* You didn't get it the first several times and you certainly won't get it the next 20 times, but I'll say it again: culture... – Are Asians the Smartest Race?
Lucius Clarus: You spread more squid ink and never address the obvious fact in the room -- different races clearly have different abilities and temperaments. You avoided... – Are Asians the Smartest Race?
Kiwi: *WHOOSH!* By this point, my point is in another multiverse. Japan and the Asian tiger economies are preferable to Eastern Europe by all measures. But... – Are Asians the Smartest Race?
Sad Clown: So what? The Mongols kicked Europe's ass. So what? "Beside the point"? What is even your point? Europeans are smarter than Chinese because they beat... – Are Asians the Smartest Race?
Lucius Clarus: Beside the point. The outcome was as if they never created gunpowder weapons. The Euros kicked their arses. – Are Asians the Smartest Race?
Lucius Clarus: Lol. If you say so. Your talking points are weak and pathetic. At its worst, Eastern Europe was preferable to India, Bangladesh, China or pretty... – Are Asians the Smartest Race?