Cover: Waterfalls by TLC feat. Tamlyn Tomita, Lynn Chen, & Phil Yu!

Fun DIY cover of the (now) classic TLC tune.

Conceived by musician Jane Liu, It features a bunch of her friends, rad indie Asian American creative types including Angry Asian Man Phil Yu (an old pal of mine), actors Lynn Chen and Tamlyn Tomita, musician Goh Nakamura and others.

Lui raised money for the video through a mini Kickstarter campaign (I didn’t know you could do mini Kickstarter campaigns!) basically made the thing in a day. It’s been getting some nice play from places like Huffington Post and Jezebel.

A big yeehah for delightful creative projects featuring talented people of color.

A ‘mix-tape’ from my toddler to the new baby on our block

Mixtape

Remixed Gontaruk’s image through Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Okay, what I made is not technically a mix-tape, but in that tradition, it is a music compilation on CD. And technically I made the mix, but it’s inspired by Lilli’s current favorites. And technically the new baby on the block isn’t here yet, but he’s due very, very soon. Which is why we attended the baby shower today and why we were inspired to share some tunes.

Here’s the mix:

You might notice that some of these songs are from the same album. Our toddler, like many I’m sure, is adamant about listening to her favorites over and over again. As I was putting this mix CD together I noticed that King Kong Kitchie, Lilli’s number one favorite song, has 91 plays. And I think that’s just on one device.

Lilli is actually quite the budding musician herself. We just gave her a ukelele which has really brought out her inner ham. Her favorite songs to cover right now are Everybody Sing by a local musician who calls himself Tallulah’s Daddy when he does children’s shows and This Pretty Planet by Tom Chapin, which is one she learned at her Montessori program.

We expose her to new songs as we can, but getting new music hasn’t been a priority for us until now. So, please do share your favorites, especially kiddie-friendly but not necessarily kiddie-specific songs.

Artmaking family-style

A family that plays together stays together, right? Check out the fabulous talents of these fine family acts.

DMK
This awesome video is making the rounds on my Facebook feed again and it’s so worth sharing. DMK is a Depeche Mode cover band. DMK members are Dicken Schrader and his adorable kids Milah and Korben (also members of the ‘cool name’ club). Here’s their creative cover of Depeche’s ‘Everything Counts’ played on awesome DIY musical instruments:

Queenie Liao and son Wengenn
Though little Wengenn is asleep in the fabulous photos, his dreaming body serves as inspiration for imaginative mama Queenie Liao. Check out her whole series of photos called ‘Wengenn in Wonderland’ here. I think they look best in their still photo form, but she also did make a video complete with Ken Burns effect and lullaby music:

Adam McKay and daughter Pearl
This one is close to Matt and my comedy nerd hearts. (Can you do a ‘cover’ of comedy skits? Because Lilli would bring a special something in this role.) Written and directed by daddy Adam, Pearl co-stars with Will Ferrell in this cautionary (and laugh-out-loud-hilarous) tale, ‘The Landlord:’

The art of the music video: OK Go

I’m generally a fan of many art disciplines from theater to visual art to film. But, as a art buff with a limited budget and never enough time, I’ve sort of placed music lower on my priority list for things I spend time on. In other words, I’ve not bought any new music in probably 10 years and I rarely go to see live music.

I’m no connoisseur of music, as I’ve already stated, but I like OK Go’s music. Even more, I do fully appreciate their music videos. For a fun behind-the-scenes, Nerdist (fun podcast for tech and comedy nerds) did a nice podcast with the OK Go guys here.

They’ve just released their newest video – freakin’ gorgeous stop motion toast animation for their song Last Leaf. Check it out:


Last Leaf

OK Go | Myspace Music Videos

Other favorites…

That awesome Rube Goldberg machine one, for This Too Shall Pass:

And then there’s that other This Too Shall Pass, the original I believe, featuring the University of Notre Dame’s marching band:

Finally, one of the earlier amazing videos, Here it Goes Again:

Friday’s A to Z

Building on yesterday’s post, here are some things I ♥ right now:


A – APA Compass. We did a show this morning. We’ll have archives up in the next couple of days.
B – Boots.
C – Community. One of my favorite TV shows right now with one of my favorite characters on TV right now Abed. One of the best episodes of TV ever is Modern Warfare from Season 1, Episode 23, directed by Justin Lin.
D – Danny’s Auto on Halsey and 60th.
E – Energy.
F – Farmers Market. Only 2 more weeks!
G – Gabriel’s Bakery’s herb cheese bagels.
H – Harry Potter. I know, I’m a late bloomer.
I – Improv Theater. Shameless promo: We’re doing a show next week Small Space, Big Stories.
J – Jackets.
K – Kissing hubby.
L – The Library.
M – Milani Nail Lacquer “Cappucino” – described “Light Coffee with Gold Shimmer”
N – The Great Northwest.
O – Owls.
P – Piano. I feel very blessed to have one of my very own. I recently learned how to play “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Here Comes the Sun” on YouTube. Amazing.
Q – Maggie Q, star of Nikita. I watched the show as homework for our APA Compass radio discussion about APAs on TV, and now am fully sucked in.
R – Rest.
S – Slings and Arrows. More on this next week.
T – Time Traveler’s Wife.
U – Upper Horsetail and Triple Falls at the Columbia River Gorge.
V – Vodka Martini. A little dirty.
W – White Tea. Specifically Vanilla Apricot White Tea by Tazo.
X – Extracurriculars. (Close enough to X!) My life is all extracurricular it seems right now.
Y – Soft Yolks. I had my eggs over easy this morning and it was yum.
Z – Portland Zombie Walk.

“A” image is by me.
“Z” image found on Wikimedia Commons: Route sign for Missouri Supplemental Route Z. Based on Image:MO-supp-K.svg by User:PHenry.

Check out

I ♥ Multnomah County Library.

Did you know, not only do we in Portland have the highest circulation in the nation for libraries our size, but we also have the highest collection turnover rate, too. And yes, we passed the library ballot measure this past week. Apparently I’m not the only one who loves the library… More on our voracious library culture from the Oregonian a few months back here.

Currently checked out
:

Books
1491 : new revelations of the Americas before Columbus by Charles C. Mann (actually, hub’s reading this one)
The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century by Studs Terkel
The Lemon Tree: an Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan
Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader: The Yellow Wallpaper and other fiction by Charlotte Perkins
Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
Seed to Harvest by Octavia E. Butler

DVDs
Extras: The Complete First Season
Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series
Slings and Arrows: Season 3
Weeds: Season 5

CDs
West Side Story: Original Broadway Cast Recording
Saltbreakers by Laura Veirs
It’s Blitz! by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
La Foret by Xiu Xiu
Centuries Before Love and War by Stars of Track and Field
Inland Territory by Vienna Teng
New Moon by Elliot Smith

Seth’s Quake

Here’s a short story I wrote a few years ago. I had developed this exercise inspired by some work Matt and I were doing at the time. “Oppstacles” we called them – opportunity-obstacles. I created four buckets to inspire some flash fiction – 1) Word/Object, 2) Place, 3) Relationship/Character, and 4) Song (lyrics). For this particular piece, my randomly chosen items from these oppstacle buckets were: quake, parking lot, obsessed, Bizarre Love Triangle.

Seth’s Quake
Seth was sick and tired of being the “bad” brother. Sure, Osi was righteous and all that, but geez can a brother get a break? Osi has a beautiful wife and a son, and what about Seth? Nothing. Torrents. Terror. Destruction. Again, he’s lonely sitting here at the Costco parking lot for the 100th day in a row. Why? To see if Isis will appear again. She doesn’t show herself often, but Seth knows that Isis can hardly resist the wholesale quantities like a crate of fresh strawberries or that 24 pack of toilet paper. Seth has loved his brother’s wife since third grade when her voice cut through the torrent of anger and humiliation he endured as Osi yet again found victory at the school spelling bee. Isis told Seth, “You spell fine, but your real talent is to move the earth with your heart.” And from that point on, Seth did just that. His first natural disaster was a landslide in Peru. 18,000 died. Another kicker was the monsoons in Thailand. 10,000 died. Seth felt great power and shame. Osi, meanwhile brought food to drought stricken Ethiopia. He clothed poor in China. He built houses for homeless in Guatemala. Seth and Osi were like two sides of the same coin. One couldn’t exist without the other. It’s just that Seth’s side got such a bad rap. How can being so good at something be so bad? Finally, in the 23rd hour of the 100th day of waiting, lovely Isis appeared with her perpetual baby boy in a sling. Seth slowly rose up from his waiting spot in parking space 301. Each movement from Seth snowballed into a thundering rumble and shaking of the ground, as he reached forth to his unrequited. Before he could reach her to tell her of his undying love, she fell through the cracks of the broken ground slowly floating, like a feather in the wind. She waved as she always did, the broken record of missed connection between one who loves and one who is loved.

Day 8 NaBloPoMo done. Quarter of the way there.

sweet shamelessness

Time for some shameless promotion.

First me…

Here’s some recent audio work I’ve done at KBOO Community Radio. I’ve been part of the APA Compass Collective for the last couple of years. I also recently started a new pilot show with S.W. Conser called Behind the Screen focusing on local filmmakers and festivals.

I also write for the Asian Reporter. Here are a few of my recent opinion pieces:

Now to brag about my friends’ projects…

  • My friend Sarah Liane Foster is a brilliant clown. Check out her new solo show The Last Show You’ll Ever See playing later this month at Curious Comedy Theater in NE Portland.
  • I know a bunch of folks involved with the live soap opera Soap St. Theater including creator/director/writer Eric Martin Reid, musician Ralph Huntley (of Live Wire! and Super Project Lab fame) and actors Adrienne Flagg (also Creative Director at IFCC and founder/artistic director of Portland Theatre Brigade), Jennifer Lanier (also a Portland Theatre Brigade teacher) and Sean McGrath (another LiveWire! cast member).
  • My friend Risa Morimoto’s documentary is airing nationally on PBS‘s Independent Lens this week for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The film is called Wings of Defeat, which reveals the true stories of World War II Kamikaze pilots. Check your local PBS listings for exact times.
  • A bunch of friends and colleagues organize and are taking part in the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival going on right now. It’s their 25th Anniversary! Congrats folks!
  • Levi Ethan Cecil is a musician I know (and also a dj on KBOO – his show is Midnight Mixtape) who’s doing something very grassroots to try and get his CD released. Check out his website to learn more.

Okay, that’s it for now. I’m sure there will be more later!

Day 3 of NaBloPoMo done.