Print of Note - Books, Periodicals, etc.
Negus, Keith. (1996). Popular Music in Theory. Wesleyan University Press.
Sharma, Sanjay, Hutnyk, John, & Sharma, Ashwani. (Eds.). (1996). Dis-Orienting Rhythms; the politics of the new Asian dance music. London: Zed Books.
from the Table of Contents...
- Sounds Oriental: The (Im)possibility of Theorizing Asian Musical Cultures (Ashwani Sharma)
- Noisy Asians or 'Asian Noise'? (Sanjay Sharma)
- Asian Kool? Bhangra and Beyond (Rupa Huq)
- Remixing Identities: 'Off' the Turntable (Shirin Housee & Mukhtar Dar)
- Psyche and Soul: a view from the 'South' (Koushik Banerjea and Partha Banerjea)
- Re-Sounding (Anti)Racism, or Concordant Politics? Revolutionary Antecedents (Virinder S. Kalra, John Hutnyk, and Sanjay Sharma)
- Repetitive Beatings or Criminal Justice? (John Hutnyk)
- Versioning Terror: Jallianwala Bagh and the Jungle (Koushik Banerjea and Jatinder Barn)
- New Paths for South Asian Identity and Musical Creativity (Raminder Kaur and Virinder S. Kalra)
Heine, S.J. & Lehman, D.R. (1997). Culture, dissonance, and self-affirmation. Personality and social psychology bulletin. Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 389-400.
Asian Music, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 27-49.
"Japanese Erotic Folksong: from shunka to karaoke" (J.M. & L.E. Maring)
Barrow, S. & Dalton, P. (1997). Reggae; The Rough Guide London: Penguin.
On record producer, Leslie Kong (p.99):
"Active since the early 1960s, Leslie Kong reached his peak with early reggae. He was one of several Chinese Jamaicans to make a serious contribution to the music's development, and one of the first producers to make inroads into the international pop market. Operating from an ice cream parlour / restaurant and record shop that he and his brothers owned..., Kong was always the consummate professional in his approach to recording, insisting on a 'clean' sound and bouncy commercial rhythms -- which is perhaps why he has tended to be underrated by self-conscious 'roots' fans, who too often confuse shoddy production values with authenticity."
In the Far Eastern Economic Review, June 19, 1997:
"Don't Rock On; Clean-cut band keeps hitting ban on its tour" (S. Jayasankaran)
Malaysian pop band, KRU, has concerts banned in home country...My favorite quote is by a state official and Islamic opposition party member, "Entertainment for the Westerners is a way of releasing lust." (You betcha!)
"Lend Him Your Ear; Singaporean impresario aims to put local musicians on the world stage" (Murray Hiebert)
Profile of record producer, Jimmy Wee. Besides promoting local musicians as the head of Springroll Creative Entertainment Agency, he's moving into film, tv, and print... In the article there's a quote by a Singaporean dj and pop music columnist on the decline of rock, when it was linked by the government to drug abuse, "It was nearly killed off in the 1970s because of a government crackdown on drugs...Later there was fear of decadent American culture. Clubs with bands were closed down and radio stations trimmed down rock. The whole period from 1969 to 1989 was like the dark ages of rock." (Sounds totally gothic.)
Asiaweek, July 11, 1997 reported:
"Everyone's Just Mad About KRU"
The KRUman Mega Tour '97 in Malaysia was allowed to proceed, after the group agreed to drop offending text and tobacco ads. KRU also agreed to tone down their hip-hop act by dropping any provocative dance moves.
Several state governments had refused to issue permits for the 15 stop tour. They were overruled by the acting prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, after the aforementioned agreement was reached. (One of Ibrahim's daughters is reportedly a fan of rap.)
In the Fall '96 Musicworks No. 66 - Aspects of Improvisation,
- composer Sarah Peebles on collaborations on outdoor sound installations in Japan
- anthropology-trained composer, Tim Hodgkinson, on interpreting Siberian and Tuvan shamanism in light of Western musical thought
- interview of koto virtuoso, Kazue Sawai
Tower Record's monthly, PULSE! :
June 97... Noted the April 21 death of Cantonese opera singer, Tang-Wing Cheung (a.k.a. Sun Ma-Chai). He was 81 and had died of bronchitis... It's curious to find that listed in PULSE!, since they seldom mention Asian musicians. I asked for more information from an acquaintance who sings with a Cantonese opera group in NYC. The word I got (2nd or 3rd hand) was that Tang-Wing Cheung was a famous Cantonese opera singer in Hong Kong and Canton. He was one of the few people to have permission from the Queen to use opium. (?! Was she recognizing that the relationship between performers and dope knows no cultural boundaries?) He was honored with a MBE (Member of the British Empire?). He also did a lot of charitable work and donated money to the needy.
July 97... There's a blurb about the husband and wife leaders of the Khac Chi Ensemble. Ho Khac Chi and Hoang Ngoc Bich are dedicated to Vietnamese traditional music of all sorts, from highland folk music to Chinese-flavored opera songs.
Grand Royal Magazine Issue 4:
- gaijin's guide to slurping ramen in L.A.
- Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori on soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
- record player fad in Japan
- scratching tips from the Invisibl Skratch Piklz
- Wu-Tang Clan in Hong Kong - a gweilo fan's report
- conversation between Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and a Shaolin sifu on the Shaolin martial arts and hip hop
- reports on Thorazine-organized scum music shows in Osaka and Tokyo
- description of the group, Daimyo Gyoretsu
- bio of Damo Suzuki (who was in Germany in the 70s and joined the group, Can)...also review of a show he did in Tokyo (1997?).
- review of a performance in Atlanta by the group, Guitar Wolf
- write-up of destructive show at the Subterranean bar (Tokyo?)
- top 10 Japanese junk releases
- scum contacts list
on one of the shows in Osaka: "[The group] Ground Super played with fire and gasoline and didn't burn the club down. They did, however, throw dead fish into the crowd." (Performance art? Pfiesteria hysteria?)
in Tokyo: "Special guest Punku Boi, a five foot dust casualty (who's been called 'the Japanese G.G. Allin') stripped naked and pranced around stage like an obnoxious hobo. Someone tried to stick a microphone up his ass." (Hey festival organizers! Here's an act that would liven up your next annual Asian Heritage Festival! Couldn't you just imagine him dancing the TINIKLING that way? -- with that strategically appended mike!)
Wire, Aug. 97, No. 162
- description of the life and recordings of guitarist, Masaki Batoh, a leader in the Tokyo psychedelic rock scene (Edwin Pouncey)
- survey of Indonesian pop and contemporary music groups in Jakarta. For example, on the style called Keroncong (pronounced Krong Chong): "Keroncong is a type of rap called pantun, developed in the early years of the century by Eurasian street gangs...You can hear elements of Portuguese fado music, and Cuban influences... From being a relatively wild street music, Kerongcong floated up the social scale. In the 1930s, it was the chosen music of rebels fighting Dutch imperialism. Once the rebels took power, however, it became the music of choice for conservative nationalist types, eminently respectable, suitable even for society weddings. Nowadays, it is furniture Muzak in plush hotels. Perhaps rap will suffer the same fate in 80 years' time." (Peter Culshaw)
- career profile of pop and ambient musician Haruomi 'Harry' Hosono (cofounder of Yellow Magic Orchestra, the satirical Japanese techno pop group of the late 70's / early 80's) (Clive Bell)
- essay on the eclecticism of Japanese film music from the 50's to the 90's and it's consistently reconfigurational style: "The Japanese were - and still are - sucking in the infosphere of the West and extruding it into unimaginable forms, constructs and mechanisms." (Philip Brophy)
In the New York Times (4 August 97), Financial section:
"Advertising: Selling a Korean-Language Musical to America" (Glenn Collins)
Discusses the advertising and marketing of a musical from South Korea, The Last Empress, which was performed at Lincoln Center in Manhattan on Aug. 15-24. The publicity budget was only $150K, and efforts were mostly aimed at the 500K Koreans in the tri-state (NY, NJ, CT) area. The musical is centered on a historical figure, Queen Myungsung, "known as Queen Min, a commoner who rose to wield such influence over her husband, King Kojong, that she is credited with opening Korea's port to foreign powers."... A Korean American advertising person commented, "The subject of the empress raises strong emotions in Koreans and would be a very good marketing tool in itself. And in their love of music, Koreans are very much like Italians -- they are passionate about it." (That's a new one. I've heard of Koreans being compared to the Irish, but never Italians.)
- profile of Chinese American composer, Bright Sheng - "...he's presented his passionate fusion of western classical and Asian musical idioms at festivals around the country."
- review of Terry Lin's album, Feels Like the First Time (Motown) - "...while it's frightening to think of a guy who's 6'2" as still growing, that is exactly the case with this album."
- profile of Pilipina American singer, Jocelyn Enriquez - "For Jocelyn, it was especially rewarding that it was Bay Area Filipinos who applauded her first performances, Filipino producers and composers who helped her put a style and album together, Filipino deejays who introduced her pumping dance tracks to clubs and airwaves from the West Coast to the East Coast."
- review of the album Women in Technology by the one-man band, White Town (a.k.a. Jysti Mishra) - "He can't even be seen on his own video or album cover. Is it because he's Asian?"
[Mucho gracias to Lillian Hsu for the clipping.]
[Thanks to Eddie Uyekawa for the clipping.]
Girlfriends magazine, Sept. 97
In an article on "kiki" pop, there's a profile of Canada's Sook-Yin Lee (musician, performance artist, tv personality):
"As a pioneer in the music industry for almost 10 years, Lee has seen a number of bands come and go. She remains a champion of indie labels, convinced that major labels often equal artistic compromise."
Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine, Vol.42, No.2, Fall 97, pp.34-41.
"Huun-Huur-Tu: Hooked on Polyphonics" (Joel Segel)
Giant Robot, No. 9
Forbes, 20 Oct 97, p.184
Time Warner stock may be up, but, worldwide, the record division (Warner Music) has been faltering the past few years. In an article on Warner Music, Robt. La Franco writes that all six top domestic executives left in '94 and '95 as a result of power struggles. Overseas, the story was similar:
"At least ten senior and midlevel executives have left Warner's Asian operation since mid-1994, including the heads of the Southeast Asian and Japanese offices. This turmoil has hurt the development of a strong roster of local talent. Others, like Chinese pop icon Andy Lau, now sing for competing labels. That's a big flaw in markets where local talent makes up as much as 75% of music sales." (There's no explanation why the Warner execs in Asia left. The article raises more questions than it answers.)
L.A. Times, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 1997 (Eliz. Lazarowitz)
"His techno-pop is big in Japan, but will it play here? -- Music: even critics agree that Tetsuya Komuro's grasp of Japan's hit-making machinery is unmatched; but now the star maker is casting a worldwide net."
New York Times (23 November 97), Arts section, p.42:
"New Seekers in Jazz Look To the East" (Adam Shatz)
Discusses the Asian American jazz scene, in particular: Fred Ho, Jon Jang, Jason Hwang, and Vijay Iyer. Others mentioned include: Miya Masaoka, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Glenn Horiuchi, and Jeff Song. "As the Asian-American [sic] jazz scene blossoms, it could well become as hard to ignore as today's Asian-American literary renaissance." (It would've been nice if there'd been mention of someone in Chicago, like Tatsu Aoki or Steve Hashimoto.)
Music & the Arts, Vol. 2, No. 2, p. 48
"Pacific Rim Shots: The Rise of Asian-American Jazz" (Dan Ouellette)
Comprehensively summarizes the current Asian American jazz scene. In comparison to the New York Times article mentioned above, it contains a bit more analysis and historical background. Multi-ethnic drummer Anthony Brown (African American, Native American, and Japanese) is quoted as saying the following about Asian-influenced jazz:
"In jazz, the point of reference for a long time was the chord changes. Later Miles Davis developed a modal approach to the music, which made it freer. But everything is still based on metrical time. Asian music is based on breath length. You spin ideas off different tones. So each performer in an ensemble will play the melody in their own way. Someone leads and everyone else echoes."
NAAAP Today Vol. 8, No. 6, p. 14
"The SEAM-ier side of Asian America" (Andrew Chang)
Reports on a October 97 chat with the Korean American members of the group, Seam -- frontman/leader Sooyoung Park and bassist William Shin. "Ask Asian American musicians Yo-Yo Ma, Terry Lin or even Yoko Ono if they've ever had a fan jump on stage and start stripping off her clothes, and they'll likely say no. But it happened to Seam, a Chicago-based Asian American alternative rock band on their last tour." (That seems the slightest bit incongruous given the fact that most of Seam's fans, as Shin said several paragraphs later, were college-age white males.)
Both Park and Shin grew up with the "standard piano lessons." Some time later, Parks' younger siblings had their's curtailed. "Once his parents realized that piano lessons had turned their potential doctor or lawyer into a rock star, it was 'no more piano lessons' for any younger Parks!"
Asianweek, 11 Dec 97, p. 8 (Bert Eljera)
Profile of Noel Lee, an engineer and frustrated musician, who founded the Monster Cable company. Monster Cable has annual sales of over $50 million, employs 500 people (70% Asian), and is located in South San Francisco. The company makes hi-end audio cables, speakers, and sound systems. The Chinese American, San Francisco-born Lee
"...said that to be successful in business, Asian Americans must think beyond the confines of their communities and look at the big picture."
L.A. Weekly, 5-11 Dec 97, p. 49
"A Lot of Night Music: Heaven's Gate" (Alan Rich)
..reviews of 2 modern classical music concerts in Southern California.
The reviewer praised pianist Gloria Cheng-Cochran's recital in Pasadena, saying that her "performance soared -- I can't resist -- gloriously." She played pieces by John Adams, Andrew Waggoner, Bill Kraft, Wendy Carlos, and Chinary Ung (of Cambodian ancestry).
The other concert was by the Boston Musica Viva at the L.A. County museum. Pieces included Joan Huang's Yellow Land and Evan Ziporyn's Dreams of a Dominant Culture. The former dated from 1991 and was reviewed as a "lovely pastel piece" that "mingled Chinese harmonies and a fine sensitivity to Western chamber-music textures." The latter was described as "moderately beguiling, a latter-day essay on Claude Debussy's possible state of mind upon first discovering the sounds of Indonesian gamelans in Paris in 1889."
USA Today 15 Jan 98, Life Section, p. 2
"News and Views; On the Town" (Jeannie Williams)
Reports on the opening of an exhibit at NYU of 30 years of Rolling Stone magazine covers and memorabilia. Sean Lennon and his mom, Yoko Ono, were there. Magazine founder, Jann Wenner, showed some notes from John Lennon written 22 years ago. They were about an interview that Wenner had been trying to set up. Lennon had "apologized for not getting back to Wenner, but 'we are just in babyland right now,' after Sean had been born to John and Yoko..."
Couples making the scene included "a very cozy Michael Douglas and ABC's Elizabeth Vargas, who displayed her navel below a short black shift. Dan Akroyd arrived with wife Donna Dixon, who is pregnant with twins..." (Note that I didn't highlight any of the names as you'd typically find in gossip columns. This site tries to maintain certain standards of decorum.) "Sean was with girlfriend Yuka..." (That's Yuka Honda of the musical duo, Cibo Matto. -- Say! Wasn't she married to some other guy? And isn't she a bit old for Sean? Maybe she's into younger men. Maybe she's into polyandry. Who knows? Who cares? Whatever the case... YOU GO GRRRL!) Sean told the society reporter that he was working on an album for Yuka's group and on his own record (due in the spring). His current faves included Atari Teenage Riot, Ben Lee, Radiohead, Beck, and two Japanese bands. The Japanese groups were the Boredoms and Buffalo Daughter. ("They blow my mind! They have a great bass player," he said of the latter.)
Rap Pages, Feb 98, Vol. 7, No. 2, p. 68
"Hip Hop in Japan" (Jay Babcock)
Far Eastern Economic Review 12 Feb 98 p. 70
profile of Hanoi-born, Montreal-based pianist Dang Thai Son
Urb, Jan/Feb 98
A magazine, Feb/Mar 98
Down Beat, March 98, Vol. 65, No. 3, p. 28
"Goin' Global; Jazz musicians who seek 'world music' connections must learn to balance cross-cultural differences" (Aaron Cohen)
profile of Vietnamese American trumpeter Cuong Vu
Option Mar / Apr 98, p. 33
profile of the Japanese band, Mad Capsule Market's
Asiaweek 6 March 98, pp. 33-61.
"The Trend Makers" (ed.s Alexandra Seno & Peter Morgan)
25 Asian personalities profiled include these musical ones:
Washington Post 30 Mar 98 p. C01
Hip-Hopping to a Hindi Beat; Bhangra dance showcase joins cultures, generations (Sarah Kaufman)
Report on the 5th annual Bhangra Blowout sponsored by George Washington U (in D.C.) with 12 collegiate groups coming from cities as far away as Austin to Boston. This competition in bhangra dancing features a variety of choreography and music ranging from the traditional to hybrid performances containing elements of reggae, hip hop, and techno. (Perhaps this gives a new meaning to the terms "B-Boys" and "B-Girls".)
Chang, Kevin O'Brien and Chen, Wayne. (1998). Reggae Routes; the story of Jamaican music. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
on Byron Lee and the Dragonaires (p.210):
"Byron Lee has been involved in all aspects of Jamaican music from its earliest days, as a band leader, promoter, producer, and studio owner. Though few deny his importance, many belittle him for turning the music into pap for uptown consumption. (American pop music critic Robert Christgau derisively called him 'The Lawrence Welk of Reggae'.) In his defence he has this to say: 'Nobody uptown knew what the music [ska] was all about, they couldn't relate to it. It can be said that we were responsible for moving the music from West Kingston into the upper- and middle-classes who could afford to buy records and support the music. Then radio picked up the music and it became the order of the day.'
Lee is partly resented because he is of Chinese descent in a mostly black land and grew rich from a music he did nothing to help create while the true originators ended up poor. He can't help his race, he says. Isn't it enough that he was Jamaican-born and bred? And is it his fault that he was a good businessman and others weren't? Many artists claim that as a producer he never gave proper credits or paid correct royalties. But except for a few notable exceptions like Duke Reid, Sonia Pottinger and Leslie Kong, they say that of most Jamaican producers."
Pulse! May 98
Asiaweek, 8 May 98
"The lure of Asia is simple. While domestic acts still dominate sales in the region, English-language material has built up a market worth about $450 million a year... Asia grooves to a different beat from Britain and the U.S. For instance, angst-ridden American singers Alanis Morissette and Jewel notched up sales of over 20 million and 6 million respectively for their Jagged Little Pill and Pieces of You albums. But in Asia, Morissette sold under 500,000 and Jewel about 200,000. What much of Asia wants is less in-your-face reality and more dance music and ballads. And that means success for such groups as Aqua, three meticulously packaged Danes and a Norwegian whose "Barbie Girl" sold two million copies in Asia..."
Another example is another Danish group, Michael Learns to Rock. They "enjoy a large and ever-expanding following in Asia thanks to [their] sappy love songs... Joanne Bailey, regional vice president of marketing for EMI, says: 'A few years ago, they practically went direct from Copenhagen to Indonesia. We also put them on Singapore and Malaysian radio stations They were an instant hit. They're superstars in Asia. But we're not even thinking of pushing them in the U.S."
Apparently, the recently released Chinese dissident, Wang Dan, is a big fan of pop icon, Michael Jackson. Wang told a Hong Kong newspaper that he often listened to the moonwalker's music on a battered old player in prison. Jackson also seems to be well-connected in South Korea, as well. He was a special guest at the inauguration of president Kim Dae Jung. (Has Michael given any thought to cultivating an East Asian look, perhaps more plastic surgery -- for his eyes? Just a thought.)
Washington Post, 29 June 98
Little-Stick Diplomacy; Clinton, Jiang Find Harmony (Paul Blustein)
continued on Print of Note - II
Ululate your comments and questions to email@example.com
[Mucho gracias to Lillian Hsu for the clipping.]
[Thanks to Eddie Uyekawa for the clipping.]
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