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LOG - 11

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20 April 2002 - "Positive Resistance", produced by DC Asians for Peace & Justice was a leftist talent show of sorts during this weekend of protest in DC against the Bush Administration's policies of detaining Middle Eastern and South Asian men, the Israeli retaliations against the Palestinians, the World Bank & IMF policies, and probably a host of other issues (Sorry, can't keep up with them all)... best performer - a queer, hapa woman not on the bill, Avelynn Mitra.

24 April - try to tune in the local Chinese radio show on the Salt Lake City community station, KRCL. It aint easy, cause I'm riding on a bus through the mountains near Park City, and the station keeps fading in and out on my Walkman radio. (Actually, I'm tuning to to a different frequency than what I would back in Salt Lake...)

25 April - At the end of the day, I go over to Gallivan Ctr., behind the hotel, and see the local taiko group, Raijin, perform. They've been around since 1996.
Afterwards, I try to tune in the local Vietnamese show on KRCL.

26 April - I'm in Salt Lake City for the Asian American Studies Conference. I played hooky from it, today and attended a live radio program at the University of Utah. There's a Science & Literature symposium going on for a couple days, with several guest speakers. These speakers were guests on the NPR show, "Science Friday." The host, Ira Flato, was in NY, but that didn't really seem to cause major problems such as huge gaps of silence or overlapping dialogue, between him and the guests (Rodney Brooks, director of the AI lab at MIT; Anne Foerst, theologian at St. Bonaventure U; and Richard Powers, novelist and English prof. at U of Ill.)

27 April - At the Duke Press table, I buy the one book on display that I can readily understand, Blue Nippon; authenticating jazz in Japan. (Most of the Duke Press books I see are fairly theoretical.) It's written by E. Taylor Atkins and was published last year.
Tonight I attended a long choral concert in the Tabernacle. (When in Rome...) The sonics of the place were pretty nice, but the performers were not quite up to taking advantage of it. The choruses were both high school and college students, although some grey- and white-haired folks were also mixed in (ringers?). All the music had been arranged or composed by an Englishman named John Rutter. The conductor told the audience that Rutter's stuff seemed to be more popular here in the States, than in England. I wonder if it's because his stuff is kinda lightweight. (Maybe you could call it "Easy-listening choral")

4 May - After the screening of "Charlotte Sometimes" at the Maryland Film Festival (Charles Theater in Baltimore) I went up to one of the actors, Michael Idemoto. I mentioned to him that he was depicted on one of the pages of my website. (Click on Fun Fotos.) He knew what I was talking about, 'cause he'd come across it in his web surfing. "Oh, you're the one!" he exclaimed. I'd made up a humorous caption for a picture I'd taken of him and his cousin, Giant Robot editor Eric Nakamoto, when they'd come out east a couple years ago to Johns Hopkins Univ. to screen their film, "Sunsets." (I'm glad Michael had a sense of humor and could take some ribbing.)
I predict that once "Charlotte Sometimes" gets distributed or broadcast, Michael's profile will rise rapidly. The film (actually digital video, but supposedly being transfered to 35mm) is about relationships between several characters, all Asian (and one hapa), who seem to be in their late 20's to early 30's. And the relationships and plot develop, although it's not always clear (especially towards the end) why things may have evolved the way they did. Nonetheless, it is because of the relative novelty of seeing Asian actors playing central roles in a serious picture that the shortcomings seem less significant.

5 May - After changing the oil in my car, I headed into town to catch a show at the Red Room. Wanted to see a trio of improvisers from Germany. Struck up a conversation, afterwards, with the "leader", Dietrich Eichmann. Turns out he's a composer as well as an improv pianist. He sold me a CD of his music put out on his own label (oaksmus). The title is Entre Deux Guerres. It's a "Konzert für Soloklavier und vierzehn Musiker."
  Anyhow, I think I liked the German group, The Straight Trio, better than the 2nd group (consisting of John Hughes (bass), John Dierker (reeds), Jeff Arnal (drums), and Jonathan Vincent (accordion). Perhaps it's because the latter had a familiar sound, whereas the former didn't. The Straight Trio consisted of Lars Scherzberg (alto sax), Astrid Wiens (bass), and Dietrich Eichmann (piano). Scherzberg's sax was never very loud, which worked well for the trio, but was lost in the cacaphony of the combined groups at the end of the show. Eichmann's chops or technique was wasted on the decrepit player piano that inhabited the Red Room. I wondered how he would sound playing a "real" piano like a concert grand.

12 May - I read a book called, Necessity is... the early years of Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention by Billy James (saf publishing, 2000). I can't help but admit that my sense of humor was influenced, at one time, by the absurdity of some of their material (especially the album, Uncle Meat).

25 May - On one of the local NPR stations, I listened to a repeat of the April 15, 2000 show of Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion." It was a broadcast of their annual "Towns Under Two Thousand" contest, the one one won by Leilani Clark (from Wellborn, FL). She was all of 11 or 12 at the time, but sounded like she almost in her thirties! What a voice! What singing!
  I'd heard this show before, so I was prepared to listen more carefully. Clark didn't sound quite as sensational the 2nd time around, but only slightly less so. Her win gave her national fame, and boosted her "singing ministry". She and her family are devout Christians, and she sings a lot of gospel songs with her brother and father.
  The reason I mention her, is that I suspect she is hapa. Take a look at her website and tell me what you think.

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