Young Fina: slanty-eyed dreama This is the summer of Awkwafina. The New York rapper’s new movie Ocean’s 8 is a hit, and her next film Crazy Rich Asians is expected to blow up in August. With all the “Who’s Awkwafina?” buzz I’ve been hearing in film reviews, I didn’t notice until the other day that she released a new EP right when Ocean’s 8 hit the screen. This is what she says on her website. To whom it […] Continue »
Elemental by Taimane independent, 2018 What’s your label? Taimane Gardner’s new album dropped last week. Elemental is a mostly instrumental blending of many styles, as one would expect from this ukulele virtuoso. Her FB bio says, Taimane translates to “diamond” from Samoan and perfectly reflects the different facets of her nature. Whether delicately finger-picking through Bach or radically ripping through Led Zeppelin, Taimane has the ability to morph genres – from classical to rock to flamenco […] Continue »
Noise Floor by Spock’s Beard 2018, InsideOut Music It’s always good to see your face my friend I guess I’ll get the 8A angle out of the way first and say that Spock’s Beard is a four-person progressive rock band from California with a Japanese keyboard player named Ryo Okumoto. Spock’s Beard released its thirteenth studio album on May 25, the same day Meiko dropped her beautiful covers album. It’s the first of the band’s […] Continue »
Playing Favorites (2018) by Meiko Chesky Records Everything I do depends on you Yes, I know I just reviewed a Meiko single six weeks ago. I didn’t know back then that Meiko’s album would be out this early in the summer. But I am neither complaining nor apologizing, because people: this album is really good. Meiko says: I’m really proud of how it came out. It’s an album full of cover songs that I grew […] Continue »
Rise to glory In 1985, right in hair metal’s best years, Loudness released its first album on an American label, it’s fifth album overall. Until then, the band from Osaka was really known only in Japan. I was sixteen, fascinated by the genre, and frustrated by my awareness of artists I had no way of checking out. There were all these bands in metal mags and in the bins at Tower Records, but there was […] Continue »
I think about you so so so so much I forget to eat “California psychedelic surf rock with lyrics sung in Khmer? Sure! Why not?” I downloaded Dengue Fever’s third full-length album, Venus on Earth, and by the end of the first spin, I was repeating aloud, “Where has this been all my life?” Once upon a time eMusic was the online digital music store unlike the others. Because it didn’t have deals with the major […] Continue »
State Change EP (2018) by Priska You’ve got something to say Priska’s new EP dropped Tuesday. Here’s what she said on FB: “I’m so excited and proud to share this project with you all. I wrote the majority of this album during a very pivotal time in my life where I went through a series of changes that transformed how I approached life. I was genuinely afraid of embarking on this project, I wasn’t sure if […] Continue »
CAAMFEST 36 One of the things that I appreciate about the San Francisco Bay Area after I moved here is the rich cultural activities in the area, and that includes the annual Asian American film festival known as CAAMFEST (known prior to 2013 as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) – quite a mouthful). The festival is organized by the Center of Asian American Media (CAAM), which is based in San Francisco. This […] Continue »
Our history can complete Luke McQueen’s website says he was adopted from South Korea at the age of five to Longmont, Colorado. Around the age of ten, he won a local talent competition with an original composition. Throughout grade school and college, music remained a hobby. At the University of Colorado, McQueen studied the safe path of engineering. However, it was also at the university where he accepted the opportunity to be a vocalist in […] Continue »
Gingee released her new EP Island Blooms last month, right at the spring equinox. Coco Water According to her Facebook bio, Gingee (Marjorie Light) is a DJ, producer and vocalist from Los Angeles. DJing and producing since 2003, she is known for her unique take on electronic music, which blends elements of global bass, world music, and hip hop. Her work is a reflection of the sounds and cultures she has been exposed to growing up […] Continue »
Someone’s waiting there for me; I know it Meiko released “Back in the Game” March 16. “I wrote this song as a ‘going-out anthem’ for the broken-hearted,” she writes on her website. You know: brush your knees off, get back in there and kick some ass!” I don’t really care if you believe it It’s been a while since I last checked in with Meiko (she pronounces it “Meeko”) and I regretted my being out […] Continue »
I used to stand inside the gates Priska premiered her new single and accompanying music video last Thursday, following its launch party and performance the previous Saturday. I became aware of her when I reviewed Voices of Our Vote a year and a half ago. I wrote that among the 32 artists in the anthology, her “Don’t Go Quietly” was “my favorite vocal on the compilation, and my favorite lyrics, too … Think Sarah McLachlan after […] Continue »
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