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

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

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)

The Music of Mr. Rogers

INTRODUCTION I started researching this piece a while ago. I've been a fan of Mr. Rogers's music since I was a young child. It turned out to be surprisingly difficult to write because just as the depth of Mr. Rogers's television program wasn't always appreciated, the brilliance of his music has largely been overlooked. You … Continue reading The Music of Mr. Rogers

Introduction to the Music of 王若琳/Joanna Wang for the Use of the English-Speaking World

JOANNA WANG Joanna Wang is one of my favorite contemporary songwriters, although that, in and of itself, was not enough to compel me to write this biography/discography/ timeline. For one, most of what I've been able to gather about Wang has been written in Chinese, whereas I think that the appeal of her music should extend … Continue reading Introduction to the Music of 王若琳/Joanna Wang for the Use of the English-Speaking World

Introduction to the Music of 라이너스의 담요/Linus’ Blanket & 연진/Yeongene for the Use of the English-Speaking World

I only discovered the music of Korean band-cum-solo project, Linus’ Blanket, a couple of years ago, through singer (and now sole member) Yeongene’s collaboration with BMX Bandits, of whom I’ve long been a fan. Sadly, BMX Bandits are barely known in the US -- and the same is true of Linus’ Blanket. However, whereas at least … Continue reading Introduction to the Music of 라이너스의 담요/Linus’ Blanket & 연진/Yeongene for the Use of the English-Speaking World

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Asian-American Musicians of Los Angeles

A comprehensive playlist of the music of Los Angeles would have to include film scores, cool jazz, surf bands, frat rock, folk-rock, Sunset Strip psychedelia, Chicano soul, country rock, hardcore punk, Paisley Underground, hair metal, gangsta rap, and G-funk. Lists of performers and bands associated with Los Angeles invariably include plenty rock groups, soul singers, and rappers -- nearly all … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Asian-American Musicians of Los Angeles

Alles gute zum geburtstag Schaffel – The musical repercussions of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”

The following entry originally appeared on the Amoeblog This year marks the 25th anniversary of the infamous Depeche Mode Riots, in which half a dozen people were treated for minor injuries. Another Depeche Mode milestone is upon us as on 29 August 1989 the band released their 23rd single, "Personal Jesus" and basically invented the "schaffel" … Continue reading Alles gute zum geburtstag Schaffel – The musical repercussions of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”

A Look Back at the Depeche Mode Riots

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots (or Watts Rebellion, depending on your point of view). In that riot, 3,438 Anglenos were arrested, 1,032 were injured, and 34 died. This year (but not today) is also the 25th anniversary of another, less serious uprising, the Depeche Mode Riots, in which five to seven … Continue reading A Look Back at the Depeche Mode Riots