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LOG - 37

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12 September 2009 - High Zero Festival, Baltimore, MD -- Miya Masaoka solos, and later plays with Kenta Nagai and others (Both Masaoka and Nagai live in the NYC area.)

[more pics to come]

17 Sept - Elson Trinidad reports on his website about his experience, several days ago, of singing with Stevie Wonder

27 Sept - Casino Demon and Hedgehog, DC Chinatown

Casino Demon, rockabilly from Beijing... 2nd photo shows attempt by American tour manager, Michael LoJudice, to get soundman to crank up the vocals. The soundman was resisting, for some reason.

[more pics to come]

Oct 1 - at the party following the DC APA Film Festival opener, a dj played a cut from an LP called Cambodian Psych-Out. It was the late Ros Srei Sothear singing Shocking Blue's "Venus".

(BTW, one of the guys who put out the record is Jack Moore, who has a record shop in Baltimore. He also plays in an intermittently performing group called the Mopar Mtn. Daredevils (Go to March 14 entry to see some pics).)

Oct 10 - saw a documentary film on the life of actor/singer/comedian Jack Soo (Goro Suzuki), which highlighted his slow, romantic version of "For once in my life". According to Wikipedia, the song was also recorded by others like Jean DuShon, The Temptations, and Tony Bennett. It became a hit for Stevie Wonder.

Oct 15 - News... (catching up with some relevant news over the past 2 weeks):
 - about 2 weeks ago, Bay area radio producer and community activist, Gina Hotta died of a heart attack. She collapsed at a union meeting at UC Berkeley, which had been called to discuss the next steps following a September 24 walkout by thousands of UC students, faculty and staff. (Must've been quite a contentious meeting!)
 - last weekend, BettySoo (pics of her at Log 34, April 5 entry), a Korean American singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas, was one of the winners of the 2009 Mountain Stage Newsong contest in Charleston, West Virginia. That'll give her a bit of a boost when she heads over to Europe in a few days to test the Americana folk music circuit.
 - yesterday, Penn Masala, the Hindi men's acapella group from UPenn, performed at the White House. They sang prior to the signing ceremony reestablishing the Asian American & Pacific Islander White House Initiative and the lighting of the White House diya (ceremonial lamp to celebrate Diwali).

21 Oct 09 - Meg & Dia, Recher Theatre, Towson, MD

[more pics to follow]...

29 Oct - Jon Irabagon (sax) and Mike Pride (drums), Baltimore, MD... had a friendly conversation with both guys after the performance

While both live in the NYC area, Irabagon originally hails from Chicago and Pride from Maine. The former won the '08 Thelonious Monk Int'l Jazz contest, which was for sax that year (the specialty varies each year) and held in L.A. (This year's contest was for bass and held in D.C.)

30 Oct - the heiz (from Yokohama, Japan) and Young Jaguars, Sidebar, Baltimore, MD
[more pics to follow] ...

11 Nov - Chinese Community Center, Madison Heights, Michigan... performances at a lunch following the Chinese American vets plaque dedication, Chinese Community Center, Madison Heights, Michigan

(Things would've been more lively, if the accordionist had played some polka, zydeco, or conjunto music. But of course, that's not exactly the right ethnic music for a Chinese American event... Any sugggestions?)

15 Nov - Afghan Star, Detroit Film Theatre, DIA, Detroit, MI - saw this documentary about the first (?) nationally televised pop singer idol contest in Afghanistan. Even though the film is awkwardly made, it gives you a glimpse of what urban society is like in Afghanistan. It touches on regional and ethnic differences, but doesn't explain much about the pop music that the contestants are singing. At least you get some sense of an emerging pop culture in that developing country. You can find out more at (Reminds me that I oughta look for a "bootleg" cassette of Afghan music that I bought, years ago, in an Afghani store in northern Virginia.)

12 Dec - BettySoo opening for John Smith, house concert, Rockville, MD - BS is from Austin, TX and JS is from Wisconsin.
I was able to chat with her afterwards a little bit... During her recent European tour, she said in some places, people were more concerned about what it was like in Texas, rather than her being of Korean descent. Whereas, during some later gigs in New York, she felt the opposite was the case.
[more pics to come]

18 Dec - Marie' Digby, Saint Rocke club, Hermosa Beach, CA... the show was actually last night, but I waited about an hour in line to meet Marie'. I was pretty tired, by the time I got my turn to talk to her. (Having arrived in California 1-and-a-half days ago, I am still on East Coast time.)... random comments (which I'll probably reorganize, later): solid show by Digby in her inimitable passionate style, with some good crowd response... including an attempt at backup vocals by some women standing behind me and a Japanese guy who knew the lyrics to her songs and sang some of the words back to her as she held his hand. (Some guy she'd never met before, but turned out to be working for her dad! (What's going on, here?))... oddly, no encore (she waited for sustained applause, but much of the crowd seemed ready to leave, although the fan line was a long wait. (!) - Go figure... This was the final show of an interesting 2-week tour, she said. She experienced a lotta varied weather, met interesting people, and saw different parts of the country (citing Nebraska and Idaho)...
[more pics to come]

Steve Narahara, Un-urban Cafe, Santa Monica, CA... what a contrast from last night to tonight... from the sublime to the...mundane. It was open mic night at the Unurban, with featured musician and host, Steve Narahara. (Click here and scroll down for bio.) He performed first and handled all the logistics for the event (sign-up sheet, sound, and staging). You can see his multi-instrumental talent in the following pics:
I managed to last through part of the 4th act and then decided that the lack of musical stimulation (following Narahara) was rendering me comatose - so I split.

23 Dec - IZ, Kevin Ko, VuDoo Soul, Lydia Paek, AJ Rafael, and Far*East Movement; Hacienda Ctr., Hacienda Heights, CA... The main music styles of the night were r&b and rap. This was a fundraiser for UC Davis autism research and heart surgery aid in China produced by 4CthePower (along with Far*East Movement). The venue was at an empty store near the 4CthePower office. It seemed that most of the audience were high schoolers.

Kevin Ko is a journeyman rapper who had a lotta folks in the audience cheering him on. (They must've been fellow students from Wilson h.s. in Hacienda Heights.) Their appreciation was warranted because he came off well (good flow, good rhytmic body movement and gestures, some nice content, and strong voice). Providing musical contrast to his rapping was a strong, soulful singer named Mare.

IZ rapped forcefully while his video played in the background.

VuDoo Soul wasn't as well known to the audience, but probably showed the most musical prowess, performing new material he's hoping to record. He also had the highest academic achieving group of the night - he and his beatboxer are MIT grads, and the bass player is a PhD student at Harvard. The beatboxer told me that he's doing research in molecular biology. It makes you wonder what kind of qualifications Vu demands of his rhythm section. (Talk about "ruining the curve"!)
AJ Rafael (who's also going to school in Boston (Berklee)) accompanied Lydia Paek's stylish warblings on a keyboard, and followed that with his solo set on keyboard and then, guitar. Both did medleys of covers, with Rafael adding some original songs to his set.
Most dynamic were rappers Far*East Movement, which shouldn't have been surprising as they'd just finished a 35-city tour (with labelmates LMFAO, Paradiso Girls, and Space Cowboy).

[more to say and pics forthcoming]

send comments to: aaradio88 {at}


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