How many deep-rooted Asian stereotypes can you cram into a five-minute music video? Dozens if you’re the American boy band Day Above Ground, the Los Angelenos who galvanized the Asian American community on Tuesday afternoon after blogger and cultural critic Angry Asian Man blasted the video for their song “Asian Girlz” in a scathing post.
While we’d love to offer a frame-by-frame analysis of everything questionable about the most racist music video we’ve ever seen, doing so would give us ebola. Our shortlist, however, includes:
The feel-good show Voice of China, which admittedly can be over-the-top and schmaltzy, has produced another made-for-TV moment. The most buzzed-about performance from last week is by Zhang Xin from Chongqing. Check out his rendition of Alicia Keys's Fallin', followed by the judges' reactions when they find out that the singer hitting those high notes is a 26-year-old man.
The hottest ticket in town will be the one to see Dr. Dre and LeBron James at Spark this Saturday. How do you get tickets? No idea. They're probably not going to be publicly available. (Maybe. Who knows.) But there are giveaways and such on the table, beginning with the one advertised by That's Beijing, who's got itself quite the bona fide expat-mag scoop...
The talk of the day has been Mark Griffith and Andrew Dougherty's brilliant music video Beijing State of Mind, a tribute to this city of ours, set to the beat of Jay-Z's famous homage to New York. The Brooklyn native's Empire State of Mind has, of course, inspired countless spin-offs, about Chinese cities other than Beijing, too.
Drop what you're doing and watch this, Beijingers. Mark Griffith, a photographer and videographer who used to live in Beijing, has just released the fruit of 15 months of work, "Beijing State of Mind," set to Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind. The project was the brainchild of Andrew Dougherty, an expat who'd lived off and on here for five years. Rapping alongside Princess Fortier (in the role of Alicia Keys), the duo take us on a trip from the Forbidden City to the hutongs to the Great Wall to The Place, and so many other places in between that make our Beijing experience what it is.
Ai Weiwei has managed to upset and alienate many groups during his reign as China’s national gadfly, particularly within the past five years, a period in which the 55-year-old's public profile has swelled to supernova proportions. A respondent brought up the "Ai Weiwei Effect" in last month’s roundup of critical reactions to Ai Weiwei and Zuoxiao Zuzhou’s song “Dumbass,” and on the eve of the release of The Divine Comedy -- the six-song album on which Dumbass appears -- it's worth asking again: how do we perform aesthetic analysis of the outspoken artist-cum-activist's work when our perceptions are so colored by sentiment?
Ai Weiwei Studios has just released the music video to a second single, Laoma Tihua, which you can watch above. It's off Ai's forthcoming album, The Divine Comedy (music by Zuoxiao Zuzhou), which will be released on Saturday morning.
This is first-class: on a plane stuck on the Beijing airport tarmac for three hours yesterday, a quartet of musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestras took out their instruments, gathered in the aisle, and serenaded passengers. The music starts at the 1:11 mark in the above.
You may have already heard, but after several false starts -- years of teasing -- Metallica is finally, actually coming to China. As the band announced yesterday on its website:
It is so rare for us to be able to say that we are visiting a country for the very first time, so this is an extra special announcement for us. After over 31 years of traveling to almost all corners of the world for so many amazing, wild and thrilling adventures, we will finally be heading to China!! We’ll be hitting the stage in Shanghai at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on August 13.