The Stylers

INTRODUCTIONFor fans of a particular era of Chinese-language pop-rock, in particular the excellent Singaporean pop-rock of the 1960s and '70s, there's one name one finds written on records by many of the era's greatest artists -- The Stylers. They backed many of the Singapore's leading lights including Lena Lim, Lisa Wong, and Yao Su Rong. … Continue reading The Stylers

The Most Popular Spotify Playlists

Although I have my issues with Spotify -- namely, it's run by two billionaires who enrich themselves off both musician's recordings and ads that feel like extortion -- I use it a lot. It has to be said, it's a pretty great product for consumers if not at all especially helpful for creators -- especially … Continue reading The Most Popular Spotify Playlists

Daphne Oram

Daphne Oram was a pioneering English composer of electronic music and musique concrète and inventor of early synthesizers. Oram was an eccentric, too, interested not just in experimental music but in esoteric knowledge, time travel, plant intelligence, and mysticism. She was a member of the Research Into Lost Knowledge Organisation and student of New Age … Continue reading Daphne Oram

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Q&A with filmmaker Elizabeth Ai about her latest project, NEW WAVE

If you're American and you recognize names like "Bad Boys Blue," "C.C. Catch," "Sandra," or "Modern Talking," there's a good chance that you, or someone close to you, is Vietnamese. For the uninitiated non-Viet Americans, those are the names of three German (and one German-Dutch) pop bands whose songs have been compiled, covered, and claimed … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Q&A with filmmaker Elizabeth Ai about her latest project, NEW WAVE

The Triffids

NOTE: Around 2009, I wrote a bunch of music biographies for Amoeba Music, which was then planning an ambitious project which ultimately never came to fruition. Some of the biographies I wrote about my favorite musical acts did eventually make their way onto Amoeba’s current, scaled back website — although they’re somewhat buried and often … Continue reading The Triffids

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Teresa Teng (鄧麗君)

Teresa Teng (鄧麗君) was a Taiwanese singer and Asian superstar who officially sold 22 million albums -- and an estimated 50-75 million bootlegs) during her tragically short life. Despite her death at the age of 42, her career traversed four decades. With her covers of Japanese songs in Chinese (including Cantonese, Hokkein, and Mandarin), she … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Teresa Teng (鄧麗君)

The Ultimate Directory of All-Female Bands

INTRODUCTION Back when I worked at Amoeba Music, I wrote posts about all-female bands from the 1910s-1950s, all-female bands of the 1960s, and all-female bands of the 1970s. This year, for Women's History Month, I had what I thought was the bright idea to combine them into one piece and update them. Then the COVID-19 pandemic … Continue reading The Ultimate Directory of All-Female Bands