Kite Operations Launches New Album Festival at CD Release Party This Saturday

New-York-based noise rock quartet Kite Operations will be performing at their CD "Festival" Release Party this Saturday. The bill features a number of K.O.'s friends and compatriots from San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and Virginia (yours truly will be performing with her duo Grapefruit Experiment. Their new disc Festival - noise charged with emotional depth and beauty - is put out by Actually Records.

They describe the sound of Festival as the following: "Filled with visceral noise spirituals, ‘Festival’ is a joyous exaltation for the no-wave set; an exhilarating testament to the band’s ability to infuse dissonant experimentation with the emotionally incisive."

Grapefruit Experiment http://grapefruitexperiment.wordpress.com/ (VA)
Faello Nor http://www.myspace.com/faellonor (Boston)
XYZR_KX http://www.xyzrkx.com/ (Chicago)
Jienan Yuan http://www.jienanyuan.com/ (Chicago)
The Gold Medalists http://thegoldmedalists.com/ (SF)
Jack Tung http://www.jacktungmusic.com/ (SF)
Kite Operations http://www.kiteoperations.com/

and DJ sets by Zach Lipkins http://www.myspace.com/zachlipkins

Doors at 6:00 PM
Admission $8, 21+ (Please bring ID)

Bar Matchless
557 Manhattan Ave.
(On the corner of Driggs ave. and Manhattan Ave.)
Brooklyn, NY 11222-3919

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/#/event.php?eid=125361251491&index=1


Beats from the East Radio and Podcast

I just got an email about Montreal-based Beats from the East radio program and podcast series. Great resource for lovers of urban music from Asian American, Asia-based, and other Asian overseas community! Below is the description he provided:


Beats from the East is a music show playing weekly at Concordia University's radio station CJLO 1690AM in Montreal, Quebec. Focuses on urban styles of music (hip hop, R&B, etc.) from overseas Asian communities (mainly American & Canadian) and the occasional non-English Asian act.

Listen live online

Listen/download archived mp3s


Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam Released and Premiered

The documentary, shot by filmmaker Omar Majeed, follows the story of Michael Muhammad Knight, the author of the novel The Taqwacores, and a number of musicians and bands that came together around Knight's punk Islamic concept of Taqwacore: The Kominas, Omar Waqar, the Secret Trial Five, and Al Thawra.

I've been dying to see this film ever since I found out about it earlier this year. This film was received with extreme enthusiam during its premiere in Montreal, according to Omar W.

More about the documentary.


A New Taiwanese American Music Concept? My Nakashi Band Dzian!

HoChie Tsai of TaiwaneseAmerican.org posted about my new band Dzian! (贊!, "super-cool!" in Taiwanese) yesterday. It's exciting to see that Dzian! is now recognized by the Taiwanese American community.

This band emerged from s few strands of inspiration. One is the discovery of the tremendous amount of exhilarating surf and garage music from in the non-UK-and-US parts of the world in 1960s-70s (pre-cassette age). Many bloggers and music lovers have digitized these old LPs and posted them as free downloads. In particular, we have been drawn to the excellent posts by Radiodiffusion.

The other strand of inspiration comes from my personal quest for Nakashi, a Taiwanese burlesque-like performance practice circa 1960s-1980s employed for social functions (weddings, new years parties, company parties, temple celebration, strip tease...). Over time Nakashi morphed into a semi-participatory karaoke format. Because it was always a local practice, not much of it has been documented. There are a few representations in Taiwanese films (mostly about rural life driven by nostalgia). Other than, I'm reconstructing this fascinating performance practice in part as an ethnomusiologist by talking to friends and family from Taiwan and internet research, in part as a musician who's driven by the energy and performative efficacy of this practice. And I'm recreating a performance based on some of my childhood memories of Nakashi at company parties that my parents took me to.

The band Dzian! is my pet project right now. A few musician friends, most of whom I met through improvised experimental music, came together to play these great tunes. Our formation as a band solidified at the typhoon relief benefit show that I organized for last week. My intention was to recreate Nakashi performance in Virginia (perhaps the first maybe?) and to enliven Taiwanese local culture to an audience mixed between Taiwanese American students from UVa, local restaurant owners, friends, family, and the local music and Taiwanese-food lovers. With our friends The Nakashi Dancers, Dzian! played a selection selection of your favorite 1960s surf and garage rock songs from Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and US.

Here's a 60s Taiwanese pop song "Mama Give Me A Guitar" originally by Cai Mi Mi and the Five Petals, here sung by my mom Sonia Hsu and yours truly:

Here is a Taiwanese "A Go-Go" pop song "I Love You A Go-Go" originally by Wu Jin Lan, here sung by yours truly:

Dzian! is Charlottesville/Virginia’s new, one and only Nakashi band. Following the tradition of Nakashi, we have now made ourselves available for fundraiser events, weddings, holiday parties, birthdays, graduations, frat parties, TV commercials, NASA launching ceremonies, etc.

"Moon Over Ruined Castle" 荒城の月 - a Japanese pop classic arranged and performed by Dzian! [I heard and learned this song mostly from my Ah-Ma (grandma) my parents' karaoke parties:

A Khmer folk pop medley consisting of "Blue Basket" and "Look at the Owl" [from the Cambodian Cassette Archive]:

Here's a great video recap of the entire event by David Eklund:

Dzian! (贊!) - Please say our name with your thumbs up!!


"Nakashi" Typhoon Relief Benefit Was A Success!

"Nakashi" Typhoon Relief Benefit @ The Bridge PAI, 10/30/09 was a huge success! We raised over $900. All the proceeds from the event will go toward the Typhoon Morakot Relief Funds at the Children Welfare League Foundation in Taiwan. Thanks to University of Virginia's TSA, Cafe 88, The Bridge PAI, and all the talented artists, musicians, and dancers - including Peter Chen, TSA Dancers, Dzian!, Nakashi Dancers, Loren Ludwig, Erik Deluca, Jesse Dukes -who made this event possible. It was BEAUTIFUL!

video courtesy of David Eklund.

pictures by Sonia Hsu