Print of Note #9


Subject Citation Contents
Phuz "Phuz Tones; Local Filipino-American band takes its lush sounds on the road with Sadé" by Aaron Howard, Houston Press, 30 August 2001. This profile of the Houston band starts off with a scene where 3 members are sitting drinking coffee at a mall food court and are approached by a 20-something Chinese American couple. The male addresses the vocalist, Dea, and compliments the group on their music.

Like Sadé, Dea dazzles people. She is a combination of the exotic, the assertive, the intelligent and the reserved. It's easy to focus on Dea, with her model's body and delicate, jazzy vocal shops. But Phuz is a group, not Dea's backup band, and what's more, it exemplifies a new postmodern rock aesthetic. Most obviously, the band is nonwhite. Four of the five band members are Filipino.

Musically, Phuz performs a cool-school jazz / European-style ambient funk music that wouldn't sound out of place in a Paris bistro or a Berlin cafe. When you hear Phuz, the images of the Far East that you might expect simply do not come to mind. Nevertheless, Asian-American bands -- no matter what they play -- are viewed as oddities. Houston clubs are often reluctant to book minorities other than Latins and African-Americans. So Phuz sets out to create venues and niches for itself. The group spent the month of August touring the South and Midwest, opening for Sadé.

"You look at us, and we're Asians," says bassist {Edwin] Casapao. "And we play European-type music in Houston. The fact that an Asian band plays this type of music breaks all the stereotypes."

Vijay Iyer "Microstructures of Feel" by Derk Richardson, SF Bay Guardian, 29 Jan 2002.
Wang Lee-hom "Groomed for the top" by Vivienne Chow, totallyhk.com (Southern China Morning Post), 1 February 2002.
Barry Cost "Slow beat to China" by Neil Western, totallyhk.com (SCMP), 4 February 2002.
Sheng, Zhong Liang (a.k.a. Bright Sheng) "Light Fantastic" by Desiree Au totallyhk.com, 8 February 2002.
Sardono Kusumo "An Indonesian rebel's new opera", by Jane Perlez, NY Times, 4 March 2002.
the Peanuts, The Spiders, The Tigers, Pink Lady, Onyanko Club, Speed "Group Sounds and Japanese Pop" by Glenn Sadin, in Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth; The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, from Banana Splits to Britney Spears, edited by Kim Cooper & David Smay.(2001). Los Angeles: Feral House. (pp.177-180) "...the biggest success story of the '70s was a singing and dancing duo named Pink Lady, who had an impressive series of nine #1 singels between 1976 and 1979. The two schoolgirls, Mitsuyo Nemoto and Keiko Masuda, began their career after passing the audition to appear on the amateur talent TV show, Star Tanjo! (Birth of a Star!)...
  During their reign at the top, Pink Lady were contracted as 'image talents' or pitchwomen for an incredible 11 consumer products, ranging from children's magazines to ice cream to shampoo, all of which had significant sales increases directly related to the use of Pink Lady's image. During their peak in 1978, they attempted to crack the American market, performing in Las Vegas and recording their first English-language single in America. While their opportunities abroad increased, their hit records in Japan began to decline, partially due to some ill-advised career decisions. They returned to America in 1980, where they starred in a TV series on NBC, Pink Lady and Jeff (with comic Jeff Altman), recorded an LP entirely in English for the American market, and had a single, 'Kiss in the Dark,' reach #37 on the Billboard chart. However, the show was canceled after several weeks and Pink Lady returned to Japan, where they struggled for another year or so before breaking up in 1981."


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