Music

Gangnam Style video upends crossover success myths

Anthropologists and linguists no doubt are having a field day trying to chronicle and dissect how, in the early autumn of 2012, “Gangnam Style” became an American idiomatic expression. It stands for something along the lines of a brash, flamboyant way of doing things, clownishness, or an act of in-your-face spoofing that is both original […]

Moving to the international rhythm of Jin Akanishi

Jin Akanishi, well known in Japan as a former member of boy band KAT-TUN and as a solo artist, set foot in America in 2010 for the “Yellow Gold 3010 Tour.” He returns this month for a five-city tour across the United States following the success of his singles, “Test Drive” and “Sun Burns Down.” […]

An ‘instrument’ with soul: Joyo Velarde to perform at ‘Sansei Live’

Since its inception in 1971, Kimochi Inc. has maintained its commitment to serving the Japanese American community’s seniors. In the spirit of community, the San Francisco Japantown-based nonprofit will hold “Sansei Live!” — its annual fundraiser — on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Carnelian By The Bay, 1 Ferry Plaza, in San Francisco. The Nichi Bei […]

The B’z leave The Fillmore abuzz

Friday, July 22 was a typical chilly San Francisco summer evening, but The Fillmore heated up quickly with more than 1,000 fans eager to see the Japanese rock band B’z. This was their second gig on their North American tour, “B’z LIVE-GYM 2011 -long time no see-.” This two-man band, one of the biggest rock […]

‘Bridging the Gap’: In Conversation with Sansei Musician/Producer/Songwriter Michael Sasaki & Nisei Educator/Writer/Performer George Yoshida

Part 1: Michael Sasaki I’m sitting in the frigid cold of an air that has been conditioned to make the arms on your hair stand on end. While awaiting the arrival of my two interviewees, I am in familiar territory. The Peet’s Coffee & Tea location in which I find myself, employed me not but […]

Taking the world by storm, B’z ready to rock

Japan’s best-selling band is back to perform at The Fillmore. The legendary two-man rock band B’z will rock out in San Francisco on Friday, July 22, the second of three venues on their North American tour, “B’z LIVE-GYM 2011 -long time no see-.” B’z will perform in Vancouver on Wednesday, July 20 and in Los […]

Fun With Marketing: Children’s Films in Japan

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Chinese consumer power is going to mean for images of Asian people in Hollywood films — (even if offending Asian Americans doesn’t effect a studio’s bottom line enough for it to be an issue, offending Chinese viewers, or the Chinese government, has real monetary consequences). I’ll probably write […]

A sampling of Bay Area cultural classes

Traditional Japanese Music and Dance Odori (Dance) Ensohza Minyoshu at Crissy Field Center, Presidio, SF Schedule: Sun. (twice a month), 5-7 p.m. Cost: Sessions are free. Students must make a commitment to joining the performance group, which entails costume costs and other occasional fees for training with master teachers. Contact: info@enzohza.org. Training in Japanese folk dance […]

2 more ways to help Japan

We’re almost a month out from the devastating events in Japan and I still feel a little weird talking about something as lightweight as food. But you probably don’t come to this blog for Japan relief updates, so this week I’m compromising with this quick post on two more opportunities to help, and a full-length […]

YONSEI RAPPERS ON A HIP-HOP JOURNEY: ScoJourners claim their history and connect across borders through rap

It’s not easy being independent these days. All the harder if you are a group of hip-hop artists committed to musical integrity in an era of the corporatized, cookie-cutter music. Even tougher when you are Asian Americans, meaning you don’t exactly fit the mold of the generic rapper. But galvanized by a love for the […]

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