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

Mantronix

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 did make their way onto Amoeba’s current, scaled back website — although they’re somewhat buried and often don’t credit the authors. A lot … Continue reading Mantronix

Man Parrish

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 did make their way onto Amoeba's current, scaled back website -- although they're somewhat buried and often don't credit the authors. A lot … Continue reading Man Parrish

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

Happy Day of the Doors, Los Angeles

I love the Doors. I think I really got into them when I was fourteen. Around that time I developed a love for pretty much any rock band with lots of keyboards (eg ? & the Mysterians, The Animals, The Seeds, and The Zombies -- and a few years later, Inspiral Carpets and The Charlatans). … Continue reading Happy Day of the Doors, Los Angeles

Yao Su Rong (姚蘇蓉)

Yao Su Rong ("姚蘇蓉") is a Taiwanese singer and actress born on this day, 5 December, in 1946. Today she's still best-known for her 1969 hit recording of "今天不回家" ("Today I Won't Come Home"), the title track of a film of the same name. Her career was cut short at its peak by Kuomintang (KMT) … Continue reading Yao Su Rong (姚蘇蓉)

After the Go-Betweens — the Solo Albums of Grant McClennan and Robert Forster

On 25 March, music critic Ken Tucker reviewed the new solo album by Robert Forster on the NPR program, Fresh Air. In the review, Tucker said, "Along with his fellow songwriter Grant McLellan, Forster led the Go-Betweens starting in the 1990s." In one sentence, the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic managed to get a couple of things completely … Continue reading After the Go-Betweens — the Solo Albums of Grant McClennan and Robert Forster

Thiên Hương (aka “Tiny Yong”)

Thiên Hương -- better known as "Tiny Yong" is a French singer associated with the yé-yé scene of the 1950s and '60s. She was born Tôn Nữ Thị Thiên Hương on 8 February 1944 in Phnom Penh -- the capital of Cambodia since 1865 but then part of French-Indochina. Her father was a doctor and … Continue reading Thiên Hương (aka “Tiny Yong”)