9.30.2011

2011 d.c. apa film festival, october 6-15


Heads up, D.C. films lovers. Be sure to make plans to check out the 12th Annual DC APA Film Festival, a showcase of all the great stuff happening right now in Asian American cinema. Dance flicks, romantic comedies, dramas, shorts, documentaries... there's something for everybody! It's happening October 6-15 at venues around Washington D.C. Here's the festival trailer:

save the date: whiaapi bullying prevention summit

Save the date. The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders recently announced the WHIAAPI Bullying Prevention Summit, an event designed to highlight and address the prevalence of bullying and harassment faced by young AAPIs in our schools and communities. It's happening Saturday, October 29 in New York City. Here's the announcement:

next on glee: "the asian f"


Here's a preview for the next episode of Glee, which is entitled "Asian F." It appears to be a Mike Chang (and/or Tina Cohen-Chang)-focused episode. And as previously reported, it guest stars Tamlyn Tomita and Keong Sim as Mike's parents. The "Asian F," as we good little Asians all know, refers to an A-minus. Gasp! Take a look:

"bling ring" burglar pleads no contest

Remember Rachel Lee, one of the alleged masterminds behind the so-called "bling ring"? She and her accomplices were accused of targeting wealthy celebrities, breaking into their homes and making off with millions in luxury goods and accessories.

Last week, Lee appeared in court and pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree residential burglary in the 2009 break-in of reality star Audrina Patridge's house. She is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison as part of a plea bargain: 'Bling ring' member pleads no contest in celebrity burglary

angry reader of the week: sunil malhotra


You know what time it is. It's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is actor Sunil Malhotra.

gary locke challenges sentiments of race, nationalism and ancestry as ambassador to china


Checking in with Gary Locke... so how has the Ambassador been doing since he took up his new post in China? Here's an interesting Associated Press article on the challenges, reactions and perceptions with being the very first Chinese American ambassador to China: Admired and reviled, Chinese-American ambassador challenges China's views on ethnicity.

love will never do without chu/chui


If you're not suffering from flashmob proposal overload, here's one more, posted to YouTube almost a month ago. Jimmy asks Aileen to marry him, with some help from Janet Jackson: Love Will Never Do Without ChuChui.

This one's technically not a flashmob -- it occurs on what looks like a closed-off San Francisco neighborhood street -- but it does involve elaborate surprise choreography that ends with a proposal. Take a look:

burlee and abel vang named finalists in academy's nicholl screenwriting fellowship

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced their finalists for the prestigious annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. The scripts will now be read the judged by the Academy's Nichol Committee and could be awarded a $30,000 fellowship.

A couple of people have pointed out to me that this year's finalists include brothers Burlee and Abel Vang of Fresno, California, for their screenplay The Tiger's Child -- selected from a record 6,730 scripts submitted for the competition. This is a pretty big deal! Here's the full list of finalists:

9.29.2011

aspire's "our dreams can't wait" conference, october 1


This is short notice, but if you're in the Bay Area this weekend... ASPIRE (Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education), the first Asian Pacific Islander undocumented student group in the U.S. of its kind, is hosting its first conference Our DREAMs Can't Wait.

This conference is intended for API undocumented youth and allies to come together and discuss how to support each other and lift immigration as a significant issue in our community. It's happening Saturday, October 1 at UC Berkeley Student Learning Center. Here are some more details:

asian pacific community fund scholarship

Students! Because the cost of going to college isn't getting any cheaper, and come on, all students could use a little more cash...

The Asian Pacific Community Fund is a network of 29 community organizations focused on transforming the lives of Asian and Pacific Islanders throughout Los Angeles County. And they're offering $20,000 in scholarships this year for students attending a 4-year accredited college. Here are some more details:

innocence blood teaser trailer


I recently came across the teaser trailer for the upcoming feature film Innocence Blood by directors Sun W. Kim and D.J. Holloway. It's an indie suspense thriller about a man pushed to the limit when his son is kidnapped. The film stars Jun Seung Kim, C.S. Lee, Alexandra Chun, Justin Chon and Doug Jones. Take a look:

new mortal kombat movie reboot officially in the works

Mortal Kombaaaaat! [Cue 1990s techno music.] A live-action reboot of the classic fighting video game is headed back to the big screen. New Line has hired Kevin Tancharoen, who directed the 10-episode Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series: 'Mortal Kombat' Video Game Headed Back to the Big Screen.

What's cool is that this whole revival started when Tancharoen and writer Oren Uziel created an unauthorized eight-minute short, Mortal Kombat: Rebirth.. Warner Bros. initially tried to shut it down, but demand was so great, it eventually led to the web series, which led to this movie deal:

what I'm listening to: as serenity approaches by descry


Been rocking this album for the better part of a month... Check out As Serenity Approaches, the recent released album from Los Angeles beat maker/ producer/turntablist Descry. Solid hip hop. It's albums like that get me excited about taking chances on new music, again and again. Here's a handy Bandcamp widget with a preview of the album:

turn your dial to amn radio

I want to give a little shout out to AMN Radio, the first* English language, Asian American radio programming in the United States. Broadcasting every Saturday night at 11:00pm on 1650 AM (Radio Seoul) in Los Angeles, they're trying to carve out a unique voice for Asian Americans on the airwaves.

Programming includes The CL Show, hosted by Christina Lee (the "CL" in the equation) and Eddie Kim, who interview interesting folks from around the community. More recently, AMN Radio launched the DTF (Dysfunctional Tenacious Family) Show with Walter Hong and Paul PK Kim, which aims for more edgy dude-talk humor.

charlie sheen gots nothing on this


Okay, this is perhaps seven months too late, because this shirt ideally should have come out at the height of Charlie Sheen's mad spiral, when every media outlet was playing and re-playing his rant and his bold declaration of "Winning!" became the catchphrase on everyone's lips. That said, this "Nguyening" shirt from South East Beast is too awesome not to share.

restaurant sued for adding "automatic" tip for south asian customers

In New York, a restaurant chain has been slapped with a discrimination lawsuit by two South Asian patrons who say they were illegally charged a fee on top of their bill because they are South Asian: Customers file suit against Baluchi's Indian restaurant for 'tip discrimination' practices.

Abe Shah, who is of Pakistani descent, and Hema Virani, who is Indian, say that Baluchi's Indian restaurant in Forest Hill, Queens padded their check with an "automatic" 18 percent gratuity reserved for Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi customers, because South Asians "never tip":

9.28.2011

surrogate valentine opens friday in new york


This one's for all my people in New York... David Boyle's indie comedy Surrogate Valentine, starring our musician pal Goh Nakamura, gets a theatrical release starting this Friday, September 30, and plays through October 6 at the ReRun in Brooklyn. Here's the trailer:

uploaded documentary needs interns


Uploaded: The Asian American Movement is an upcoming documentary that explores the visibility of Asian Americans in pop culture since the inception of new media such as YouTube.

The filmmakers are preparing for principal photography to start in November, and are currently looking for marketing, production and development interns to help out. Here's some more information:

new music: the uncool mixtape by grand master chu


Jason Chu aka Beijing-based rapper/poet Grand Master Chu recently launched a new music project, The Uncool, an exteded mixtape of hip hip, pop/R&B and spoken word poetry tracks, all offering thoughtful explorations of hope, healing and brokenness. Here are two music videos for the project:

beware the entrepreneur who poses with cuddly animals

Several people have pointed me to this profile of former Newsweek intern and entrepreneur Jerry Guo, who's built a career out of a delicate mix of getting questionable free stuff and stealing tech startup ideas: How Newsweek's Most Notorious Fellow Got Caught Conning Silicon Alley.

Among other shady dealings, Guo apparently posed as a freelance journalist for The Atlantic Monthly in order to learn about Ignighter, a group dating service. He never delivered an article, but a couple of months later he did launch a suspiciously similar startup company, Grouper:

flashmob proposal at downtown disney


Looks like a lot of people really enjoyed that flashmob proposal at UCLA. For those of you who just can't get enough these dancetastic moments, here's another flash mob proposal that went down over the weekend at Downtown Disney, where a smooth-movin' dude named Jamin asked his girlfriend Valerie to marry him -- with dance! Take a look:

new far east movement album coming early next year


For fans who have worn out their copy of Free Wired, rest assured that plans are in full effect for Far East Movement to release their sophomore album with Cherry Tree early next year: Far East Movement Peg Early 2012 for Second Album.

The group has been hard at work on new material and promises a "heavy trunk bass sound for the dance floor." I barely know what that means, but it apparently sounds good in an old school car, and they actually bought a 1989 Cadillac limo to test it out: Far East Movement Has a New Ride.

taiwanese baseball fan gets the death stare


Saw this over at Disgrasian and it totally made my day... Watch as this guy does what any red-blooded baseball fan would do and dives for a foul ball hit his way. The only problem: he forgets he's got his kid sitting in his lap when he makes the lunge. But that's not the funny part. Watch for his wife's reaction:

president obama gives props to teen microloan nonprofit founder will kim

President Obama delivered his third annual Back-to-School Speech today at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington D.C.

In his address, he praised the work of 17-year-old Will Kim, a high school student from Fremont, California who founded a microloan nonprofit to help student entrepreneurs: Obama praises Fremont student during speech.

Happy Day Microfunds is a nonprofit organization that selects entrepreneurs from low-income schools and provides them with startup loans of $100 to $1,000, along with support for marketing and website. Here's the quote from the President's speech:

9.27.2011

isa festival los angeles 2011


The phenomenally successful International Secret Agents concert series returns to Southern California this weekend, and this time they've taken it to the next level with the ISA Festival, a full-blown outdoor concert/music festival with a 14-act lineup, vendors, food trucks and a crapload of other stuff.

Far East Movement! Jay Park! Wong Fu Productions! And a whole lot more. It's happening Saturday, October 1 at Harry Bridges Memorial Park next to the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach. Here's the trailer to get you excited:

be the change 2011, october 1


Do you want to be the change in your community? This Saturday, October 1, join fellow youth, students, professionals, activists, and agents for Be the Change 2011, a national day of service coordinated by South Asian Americans Leading Together, held on campuses and in cities across the country.

The event is based on Mahatma Gandhi's inspirational quote, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world," and provides opportunities for South Asians and allies to give back to their communities. Here are many of the locations hosting Be the Change this year:

music video: "be with you" (rock mix) by aziatix


Still catching up on a stack of videos sitting in my inbox... I just watched the music video for the rock version of "Be With You" by rising R&B/pop group Aziatix, aka Eddie Shin, Flowsik and Nicky Lee. These guys can't be stopped! Another great track with a little bit of a twist on their sound this time around. Check it out:

woman walking across the country because she "felt like it"

Whoa. This is a wild story about Catherine Li, a 24-year-old woman who has been on a seven-month, 3,000-mile journey across the country -- on foot -- from Daly City, California to New York City: Cross-country quest on foot leads traveler through Bucks.

Pushing along her belongings in a shopping cart, she's basically survived on her humble savings account and the kindness of strangers she's met on the road, town-to-town, city-to-city. The biggest question, of course, is why? What the heck is she doing?

caam's new podcast: "of place and home"


Our friends at the Center for Asian American Media recently launched Of Place and Home, a new podcast series exploring stories of place and home through the lends of Asians in the United States and around the world. Each episode brings to light the unique way our diverse communities interpret and inhabit place, identity, and creativity.

The inaugural episode features Tim Chang, a seasoned venture capitalist, accomplished musician and bassist for the Punjabi-funk band Black Mahal. For more information, and to listen to the podcast, go to the CAAM website here. Or download it from CAAM's iTunes page here.

police release sketch of asian victim in gilgo beach murders

Some follow up on this case in New York... Authorities in Suffolk Couty continue to investigate ten bodies found dumped along a stretch of a remote beach highway: Remains Found On Beach Tied To 1996 Homicide.

DNA testing has determined that some of the victims are related, but the bodies could have actually been left by several killers. One of the victims was previously determined to be a young Asian man. Last week, authorities released a sketch of two of unidentified victims:

a guy, a girl, a flashmob and a proposal


Nam loves Trang. Nam wants to marry Trang. So Nam proposes to Trang... with the help of a flash mob, some choreography and Paul Anka's rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."

Check out this video shot over the weekend at UCLA, where the couple first met, and where he brought her back for a big surprise, courtesy of Flash Mob America:

coming soon to a theater near you: evil asian invaders!

Remember that Red Dawn remake? After collecting dust on the shelf for what now feels like a couple of years, it's been picked up by independent studio FilmDistrict and will supposedly hit theaters sometime next year: 'Red Dawn' remake to come out next year from FilmDistrict.

The original Cold War-era Red Dawn told the story of a scrappy group of small-town teens who pick up arms as resistant fighters when Soviet forces invade the United States. In this new version, the evil invaders are Chinese. At least, they were Chinese in the script, and during production...

9.26.2011

amy hill's lost and found, life as I (k)new it, october 1-2


If you're in Los Angeles, JANM invites you to LOST AND FOUND, Life as I (K)NEW It, a one-person show written and performed by Amy Hill. She explores how her life has evolved since her daughter became a part of her family. It's happening this weekend, October 1 and 2 at the Japanese American National Museum. Here's a teaser of the show:

call for papers: asian american policy review

Policy people! The Asian American Policy Review at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government is currently accepting submissions for its 22nd edition, to be published next spring.

Founded in 1989, AAPR is the first non-partisan academic journal in the country dedicated to analyzing public policy issues facing the AAPI community.

They're looking for papers that explore the social, economic and political factors impacting the AAPI community, and the role of AAPI individuals and communities in analyzing, shaping and implementing public policy. Here are some more details:

music video: "take me on" by new heights featuring clara c.


Here's the brand new music video for "Take Me On" by Seattle-based rock band New Heights, featuring Clara C., off of their freshly dropped album Something to Believe In. Now, you know I'm a fan of Clara's, and I've seen her in a lot of videos... but I've never seen her quite like this. Check it out:

d.c. death ruled a homicide

Earlier this month in Washington D.C., 35-year-old aeronautical engineer Gaurav Gopalan was found dead in Columbia Heights. At the time, authorities didn't know who he was, and he remained unidentified for several days. And with no significant visible trauma, police didn't even know whether he was a victim of a crime.

But last week, the D.C. Office of the Medical Examiner ruled Gopalan's death a homicide, saying he died from a "sub-arachnoid hemorrhage" -- bleeding in the brain -- "due to blunt-impact head trauma": Death of man found in Columbia Heights ruled a homicide.

His murder is unsettling enough, but here's the part that's got people really worried. While little information has been released on the case, it's been reported that Gopalan was found dead dressed in women's clothing. After a series of attacks on members of the transgender community this summer, D.C.'s LGBT is understandably on edge:

dramafever and sdaff present digifest 2011


Hey, Asian film fans... I'm counting down the days until the 12th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival, running October 20-28. In the meantime, you can catch some great Asian and Asian American films online -- for free! -- as part of DramaFever's Digifest 2011, presented in conjunction with SDAFF. Here's the full list of films:

president obama meets with the congressional asian pacific american caucus


On Friday, as scheduled, President Obama met with members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus to discuss a variety of critical issues confronting the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities: Readout of the President's Meeting with Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

video: "no question" by bao phi


Wow. How about some poetry to kickstart your morning? This badass video, produced by Ash Hsie, is an animated piece interpreting Bao Phi's poem "No Question," for a DVD collection that accompanies the latest edition of the Asian American Literary Review commemorating the tenth anniversary of September 11. You must take a look:

berkeley college republicans' racist bake sale


Getting bombarded with emails about this... Have you heard about the bake sale at UC Berkeley? Oh, this isn't just any bake sale. This is a bake sale where customers will be charged different prices based on their race, gender and ethnicity: Racially heated posting sparks UC Berkeley outrage.

The Berkeley College Republicans are holding an "Increase Diversity Bake Sale" on Tuesday to protest SB 185, a bill to let the University of California and the California State University consider ethnicity in student admissions. They'll be holding the protest at the same time and location as a phone bank session in support of the bill.

According to the Facebook event posting, pastries will be sold to white men for $2.00, Asian men for $1.50, Latino men for $1.00, black men for 75 cents and Native American men for 25 cents. And all women will get 25 cents off those prices. Yeah. Real classy, Berkeley College Republicans.

9.25.2011

read these blogs


Yao Ming Calls for a Shark Fin Ban in China: Yao Ming has participated in a public service announcement in support of WildAid's shark campaign drawing attention to the increasing demand for shark fin soup and the devastating effect this demand is having on global shark populations.

The Spin on Your World: Bao Phi's latest column for the Star Tribune has an eye on the hit-and-run death of Anousone "Ped" Phanthavong, and how/if race and class will impact public perception, media coverage and the way this case plays out in the judicial system.

So Proud To Be A Modern Family!! Comedian/actress Amy Anderson writes about being mom to Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who just made her debut as the new "Lily" on the ABC comedy Modern Family.

9.23.2011

kollaboration new york, september 29


The Kollaboration movement will not stop. Next stop: Kollaboration New York, where the best and brightest of up-and-coming Asian American talent are coming together to compete and show their stuff. The show will be hosted by none other than our friend Dumbfoundead, who will also be performing.

It's happening Thursday, September 29 at Irving Plaza. Here's a promo video featuring all the competitors performing a slick, hot-ass cover of Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger":

volunteer opportunity: fight housing discrimination


My good friend at the Housing Rights Center in Los Angeles tells me that they are in dire need of Asian volunteers -- especially Koreans -- to test rental properties (like secret shoppers) and assist with the investigation of housing discrimination complaints. Here's some more information:

music video: "colima road" by fung bros. feat. aileen xu


Been catching up on all the stacks of videos sitting in my mailbox... I got a big kick out of this music video for "Colima Road" by the Fung Bros. and Aileen Xu, their fun little ode to a very special culinary and cultural thoroughfare of ethnoburban east San Gabriel Valley. Check it out:

baby avy needs your vote

Got this passed along to me and I was compelled to share... Here's a chance to help out a family and spread the word for a good cause.

Leon Cheng's baby daughter Avy is hearing and vision-impaired and diagnosed with cerebral palsy, after suffering an in-utero stroke.

Right now, Leon is participating in the Upromise contest to win $10,000 for his daughter's medical expenses, and he's asking for your vote:

angry reader of the week: hyun kim


All right, everybody. It is time again to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Hyun Kim.

three arrested in bungled beer "heist"


Asians behaving badly... dumbass beer heist edition! I use "heist" in the loosest sense. If you think the mugshots above are funny, wait until you hear what these fools did: Three arrested in bungled beer heist in Covina.

In Covina, California, these geniuses are accused of stealing a 30-pack of beer from a market. But when the thieves tried to get away, they crashed a car and hit an employee who chased after them. One of them tried to run off... through a car wash. And another guy got caught because he left his ID behind.

Andy Huynh, Nicholas Kalscheuer and Nicholas Fiumetto were arrested on charges of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest:

yellow face in the new sherlock holmes movie?


Uhhhh, what the... From the looks of these photos of Robert Downey Jr. taken on the set of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, it appears that at some point in the movie, Sherlock is weirdly disguised as a Chinese guy.

I know. He's supposed to be the world's greatest detective, and he's on the case! And it's a gag. ...But seriously? They're going to go there with the yellowface thing? RDJ looks downright grotesque. Not feeling this.

president obama nominates judge jacqueline nguyen to 9th circuit court of appeals

This week, President Obama nominated Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. If confirmed by the Senate, Nguyen would be the first Vietnamese American judge to serve on a federal appellate court: Obama taps L.A. federal judge Nguyen for 9th Circuit.

As we all know, the President's prior choice for the 9th Circuit, then-law professor Goodwin Liu, did not go over so well with Republican lawmakers who successfully blocked his nomination before he withdrew last May. Let's hope Judge Nguyen fares better.

Here's the White House's press release, with more information on Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen: President Obama Nominates Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen to Serve on the United States Court of Appeals.

9.22.2011

cpaf's 33rd anniversary garden party, september 30


If you're in Southern California, the Center for the Asian Pacific Family invites you to Voices For Change, their 33rd Anniversary Garden Party.

Co-hosted the by Michelle Krusiec and Teddy Zee, the evening will feature food, performances, awards presentations and more, all celebrating the "Voice for Change" in our community who speak out against domestic violence.

It's happening Friday, September 30 at the Historic Gilmore Adobe in Los Angeles. Here are some more details about the evening:

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