Katy Perry, Reggae-Style

Listened to 98.5 regularly while cruising the Maui highways. Their local stations always tip us off to the best mixes. And they’ve somehow managed to make me like Katy Perry! Unheard of.

Look At Me Now

She makes the song sound good.

Thumbs up for Rockabilly Busta Rhymes-rappin’ haole sista! This is what I call having fun.

By the Grace of Hip Hop

This is…oh my…I’m so…<speechless>

It reminds me of Paul Dateh, the hip-hop violinist, Jabbawockeez dancing to Singing in the Rain and Hoc from Quest Crew performing modern dance on America’s Got Talent. I am utterly inspired by the integration of two or more things that aren’t normally thought of being put together and making them work. True innovation, I say. Love it.

Source: Angry Asian Man

Waka Waka

Note to self: this song is an awesome pick-me-up. Like candy for your earholes.

*Sigh* I’d love to dance like Shakira some day.

Mood Mix

Listen to this…

…while peeping this:

Quickly and quietly the divide is widening /Between those in society surviving an economy nosediving/ And those that find their lives /In abject poverty./ A collage of impropriety./ Morally, culturally, spiritually, economically,/ Yes, undeniably the dichotomy is widening./ Nightly worldwide folks colliding violently./ Fighting over pride and historical rivalries./ Information spread virally/ Like a cyber link…/ Internet piracy/ Violating my privacy/ Always spying on me/ Playing virtual hide n seek/ My life on their microfiche/ The amount of foreclosed properties/ Rivaling those with occupancies./ Addicts spiraling out of control…/ To put it mildly/ They’re struggling with sobriety./ Government policies tolerating dishonesty./ And allowing its companies to hold/ Dynasties and monopolies./ What does it all mean?/ C’mon, people, talk to me!/ It’s like a time release capsule/ In the belly of a wild beast/ …Slowly digesting./ Meanwhile my son flutters in the comfort/ Of his mother’s stomach./ He knows nothing of the…world that’s coming./ Even on a planet…millions are suffering…/He will overcome it with love/ And overwhelming abundance./ So little brother keep shining./ Little sis keep smiling, keep striving,/ Keep climbing, keep trying,/ Keep rising./ Likewise I’ll keep writin’, keep rhyming,/ Keep stylin’, keep grinding,/ Keep minding my creativity/ Keep redefining our imagery/ Because now on every level/ More than ever/ We need variety.

Lyrics Born, The Divide is Widening, Variety Show Season Pho

Sometimes I just get in a mood.

My Funny Brown Pinay

Ahhhhhh. Such a relief to finally be able to go on vacation! I actually have time to just sit and do nothing which is quickly becoming a favorite pastime of mine: sitting in flannel pajamas, sippin’ on some green tea and vegging out on my laptop. Bliiiissss.

Coming from a Filipino family where performance is a time-honored tradition (come to any major Filipino celebration whether it’s a wedding or a cotillion and you will be inundated with contemporary and traditional music and dance numbers), my holidays were all about singing and dancing. I would’ve been more enthused about it if I weren’t still recuperating from the trek between LA and the Bay Area, hence my desire to veg out and do nothing.

But I’ve been looking for an excuse to post this video on Charmaine Clamor, an acclaimed Filipina jazz songstress and one of the founding members of JazzPhil-USA. I’m always on the lookout for influential individuals in the Filipino community, especially those who have something important to say about what it’s like to be Filipino. My Funny Brown Pinay, Clamor’s rendition of jazz classic My Funny Valentine, is a personal and historical account of how Clamor struggled with her flat nose and brown skin, an experience that is not unfamiliar to many Filipino brothers and sisters.

Thankfully, the trend of wanting to appear more White is fading (no pun intended). I remember when I was younger pinching my nose to see how it would look like if I had a straighter, Whiter nose. To be honest, I still kind of fret about my flat nose (only recently I began using nasal strips for snoring and was somewhat insulted when the strips didn’t fit comfortably over the bridge of my nose). The bathroom at my grandma’s house in Hawaii had small stockpiles of Eskinol, the papaya facial cleanser mentioned in Clamor’s song, that my family would use to lighten their skin (here’s an interesting debate about whitening products here),  and my cousins would avoid staying in the sun for long periods of time. But since then, I noticed that we’ve all come to embrace our skin color, and are actually proud the darker we become. I personally don’t try to be lighter or darker, but I notice that I do get a little annoyed when family members poke fun because I look lighter.

That poses an even more interesting question: what is the motivation for embracing our darker skin tone? Is it actually embracing our cultural identity or is it a desire to separate ourselves from the majority race? I bring up the latter because education of Filipino history has increased since my generation, which uncovers the history of western imperialism in the Philippines. And I don’t know about other Filipinos, but I remember that enraged me like no other! Parts of it sparked my interest in my dissertation study (the psychological experiences of Filipino mail-order brides in the United States), thus propelling me along my own, tumultuous cultural identity development.

Anyway, I plan to meet Charmaine Clamor one day to 1) thank her for releasing this anthem of Filipino beauty and to 2) write an issue on her for my future publication. It will become a reality.

Runaway, Kanye, Runaway

“Let’s have a toast for the douchebags,
Let’s have a toast for the assholes,
Let’s have a toast for the scumbags,
Every one of them that I know
Let’s have a toast to the jerkoffs
That’ll never take work off
Baby, I got a plan
Run away fast as you can.”

Once again, Kanye demonstrates his lyrical genius in the chorus-line for Runaway, his new single off of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy *insert sarcastic tone* I still can’t understand how people give him accolades for such horrible lyrics and an even worse-sounding flow! He sounds like a whiney five-year-old. It’s just further evidence proving that producers should just stay producers. Kanye’s just doing too much. He’s currently promoting Dark Twisted Fantasy, which consists of numerous internet media clips and interviews showcasing how much of a douche he is. After famously posing as Jesus on a 2006 cover of Rolling Stone, he was quoted, “You want me to be great, but you don’t ever want me to say I’m great?” That’s right, Kanye. No one wants to hear an egotistical manic talk about how people should worship him. Unfortunately, it’s one of the quickest ways to boost sales and Kanye is a media whore.

The 30-minute movie short accompanying his first single has generated quite a buzz, though. And I couldn’t help but give in and watch the thing. Especially since he cited Thriller, Purple Rain and The Wall as major influences. I was like, let’s see what this guy comes up with that is as major as Thriller.

Thoughts? A couple cinematic things stood out to me. One, the dialogue was so sad. Almost as bad as Kanye’s lack of rhyming skills, which, in hindsight, is very appropriate. The transition between scenes/songs was kinda choppy so scenes didn’t feel as though they ran together smoothly. Maybe that was his purpose…? The phoenix and her costume were gorgeous; however, the special effects used to make her look as though she was flying looked fake and borderline cliché.

Former Victoria’s Secret model, Selita Ebanks, is no stranger to wearing wings. I love whoever did her phoenix costume, particularly the talons and her eye make-up; her eyes were framed by feathered lashes.

Seeing as chains (and come to think of it, feathers) are super trendy in jewelry and accessories the past few seasons, Ebanks was fit to be a queen in her gold headdress.

The phoenix’s first rageful blast into the sky.

A bird’s-eye view of the phoenix flying as fast as she can away from Kanye.

Obviously, I have biased views about Kanye. Although I can acknowledge that his beats are enjoyable (for the most part), I am quick to be turned off by an egotistical, arrogant bastard, which Kanye is. Jezebel provides an interesting and thorough analysis of the Runaway film, namely that Kanye is struggling with the world’s love-hate attitude toward him. Simply put, Kanye sees himself as this exotic, otherworldly creature of greatness (the phoenix) that everyone is in awe of. However, after throwing his greatness around, Kanye experiences the world as unaccepting of him, hence the gossip folks at the dinner table. It’s during that scene that Kanye literally turns his back on the negative conversation and, in a track showcasing a blend of classical music, ballerinas and un-classy vernacular (see above lyrics), Kanye, in a burst of frustration, tells everyone to fuck off.

It’s sad that Kanye is such an ass. The album is actually quite good. KFK and I would’ve bought it if he didn’t rap on it, so we downloaded a couple instrumental tracks. Strictly on principle, we won’t buy his music because of how much we dislike his personality. A part of me tries to give him the benefit of the doubt. Another possible analysis of the Runaway film is that Kanye is actually remorseful about some of his more outlandish and harmful behavior (ie., putting Taylor Swift on blast, putting Bush on blast, although I kind of agree with him on some level). For example, the scene where the phoenix is leaving the planet may symbolize Kanye’s realization that, although his music receives much acclaim, his bullshit attitude will eventually catch up to him. Then I saw his recent interview on the Today Show with Matt Lauer, and that theory went flying out the window like a phoenix skyrocketing into space.

*Sigh* Same bullshit, same Kanye.

Previous Older Entries