Tag Archives: music

KCON-Gdragon missy elliot

G-Dragon, SPICA Join All-Star KCON 2014 Lineup

by JAMES S. KIM

Big Bang’s G-Dragon and girl group SPICA are the latest names to join the lineup for this year’s KCON, the largest Hallyu fan convention in America, happening on August 9 and 10 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Billboard.com reported that the singer/rapper will headline the first of the two concerts at the festival, which also features fan meet-and-greets and panels.

G-Dragon, who performed with Missy Elliott at last year’s event, will join SPICA (U.S. debut), Girls’ Generation, IU, CNBLUE, Teen Top, B1A4, BTS, VIXX and Jung Joon-young on the stage. South Korean TV and movie stars Lee Seung-gi, Lee Seo-ji and Yoo In-na are also set to appear at the festival.

KCON-flyer

KCON expanded to a two-night festival last year, and this year’s event will feature two concerts as well. South Korean music chart program M Countdown will also be filming the performances, which might mean longer sets from the performers.

Tickets go on sale today, and more ticketing options will be available later. You can purchase them at KCONUSA.com.

Top photo: G-Dragon performed with Missy Elliott at last year’s KCON.

SISTAR

KoreAm’s Ultimate K-pop Summer Playlist

by JAMES S. KIM and STEVE HAN

Tomorrow marks the beginning of summer, and to celebrate, we’ve put together a jam-packed playlist of the best summer-themed K-pop songs ever.

The first wave of hits is a mix of old and new, celebrating a few of our favorite things: the ocean, sand and sunblock.

Whether or not you live near the beach, these songs will take you there.

Cool – “Woman of Beach”’

“It’s summertime!” We jump right in with a blast to the past from Cool.

SISTAR – “Loving U”

SISTAR in Hawaii? Yes, please.

Big Bang – “Sunset Glow”

Beach party with Big Bang? Of course!

Jinusean – “How Deep Is Your Love”

How deep is my love? As deep as the big, blue sea … and as cheesy as late ’90s fashion.

Fly to the Sky – “Sea of Love”

Anyone ready to bust out the karaoke machine yet?

Dynamic Duo – “Summer Time”

The latest single off their new album, which released this past week!

DJ DOC – “Summer Story”

Another summer classic.

UP – “Sea”

UP was a short-lived group, but they did churn out some great tunes, including this one.

Clon – “꿍따리샤바라” (Kung Ddari Sha Bah Rah)

Are you somehow feeling down? Then turn this song up! There’s no proper translation for this song’s title, but the closest might be “hakuna matata.”

IU feat. Clon - “꿍따리샤바라” (Kung Ddari Sha Bah Rah)

IU brings a much more mellow feel to her remake, which also features the original artists.

Jessica (Girls Generation) & Park Myung-soo – “Cold Noodles”

We know how the Spurs won the NBA championship this year. Korean naengmyun is the perfect dish to beat the heat!

MC Mong – “Ice Cream”

Ice cream is a no-brainer. But love can be like ice cream, too. We won’t delve any further.

Yoon Jong-shin – “Pat Bing Soo” (Red Bean Shaved Ice)

The original song about our favorite summer dessert item.

Akdong Musician – “Red Bean Shaved Ice”

These two can sing about cutting down a tree and we’d still listen.

IU & FIESTAR – “Sea of Moonlight”

What if IU were part of a girl group? This is what it may look like, but it’s a short-lived vision as the other girls leave her behind on an island. Seriously, this is what happens in the video. Apparently, they didn’t want to take her on.

Busker Busker – “Yeosu Night Sea”

If you’re walking along a beach a night, perhaps with someone you care about, this is the song for you. Let lead vocalist Jang Beom-jun’s soothing voice wash over you like the crashing waves.

1TYM – “Hot”

Of course, if cooling off isn’t your thing and you always keep it hot, 1TYM understands. (Bonus: Can you spot the future Big Bang members?)

UPDATE: We don’t know how we overlooked these.

Deux – “In The Summer”

Shinhwa – “Eusha Eusha”

Uhm Jung-hwa – “Festival”

What other gems are we still missing?

Awkwafina

‘Bad Rap’ Documentary Asks: Where Are The Asian American Rappers?

by JAMES S. KIM

Ever since hip-hop took off in the South Bronx in the 1970s, rappers around the world have embraced the music and culture, with many carving out their own identities and establishing themselves as mainstream stars.

But what about Asian American rappers? Though several have stomped onto the scene, from pioneers such as the Mountain Brothers, Jin and Lyrics Born, to stars of today including Far East Movement and Jay Park, these aren’t the names that we immediately associate with hip-hop in mainstream American culture.

Why not? Is it a lack of support? Their appearance? Not having that breakout hit? Filmmakers Salima Koroma (director/producer) and Jaeki Cho (producer) are looking to explore that question with Bad Rap, a new documentary about the Asian American presence in hip hop.

 

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Dumbfoundead

Bad Rap focuses on the perspectives of four Asian American rappers: Dumbfoundead, Awkwafina, Rekstizzy and Lyricks. Each has their own story, style and attitude, but they all share the same goal: to make it big. Yet they all encounter challenges in a culture that still expects them to fit the model minority stereotype.

With insight and appearances from Far East Movement, Jay Park, Jin, Traphik, Decipher, Kero One, The Fung Bros, Ted Chung and Oliver Wang, Bad Rap looks to shed light on the Asian American hip-hop culture and highlight the up-and-coming stars.

Salima Jaeki

Salima Koroma (left) and Jaeki Cho

As of now, Koroma and Cho are looking to add on their 40-minute film, and they are asking for support via Indiegogo. All proceeds will go towards adding more content to complete a 70-minute feature, as well as finalizing the film for its eventual premiere.

The idea for Bad Rap began with a “mutual obsession” with hip-hop. Koroma first reached out to Cho, who had written a piece on K-pop star G-Dragon when she was searching for a subject to cover for her thesis at Columbia University. Cho’s journey with hip-hop began with listening to Drunken Tiger when he was 10 years old, and that led to a career in music journalism.

Check out the trailer below, and follow the project on their Indiegogo page, as well as on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Traphik

Traphik (Timothy DeLaGhetto)

Jin

Jin

Jay Park

Jay Park

FEM

Far East Movement

Images via Bad Rap Film Indiegogo Page

RRN Tour Sched

Run River North Announces Upcoming Tour Dates: California, Texas, NYC, Minnesota & More

Hey music fans, did you miss your chance to see indie rock group Run River North live during the first leg of their tour? Fear not, the band will back at it this summer, kicking off the month of June with four dates in California.

The band will be all over the country throughout the rest of June, July and the beginning of August, playing in Portland, Chicago, Nashville, New York City, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City, to name a few. You can see the full list of tour dates on their website and follow them on their Facebook page.

RRN SF

Read KoreAm‘s March cover story on Run River North here.

Images via Facebook

seoul-sausage

First-ever K-town Night Market Features L.A. Food Trucks, Live Entertainment

Seoul Sausage Company, founded by (from left) Chris Oh and brothers Ted and Yong Kim, is serving as the official food truck curator for the inaugural K-town Night Market.

by RUTH KIM

“Hi, my name is [insert your name here], and I’m a food truck addict.”

Admit it, we all get a little excited when one of these nomadic gastronomical mobiles parks itself around the corner and offers gourmet foods at a reasonable price. But what happens when the best of these trucks all gather together in a glorious, mouthwatering union?

The K-town Night Market is what happens. Taking place at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Los Angeles this Friday and Saturday, April 18-19, this inaugural event will feature some of the best food truck fare this city has to offer, headlined by Seoul Sausage Company, the Season 3 winners of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.

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“We’re trying to bring that old night market to L.A., you know?” said Danny Park, one of the founders of the K-town Night Market. “We want to celebrate the diversity of Koreatown, but also celebrate Korean culture, too.”

As the night market’s official food truck curator, Seoul Sausage, led by Korean Americans Chris Oh and Yong and Ted Kim, has lined up an impressive and eclectic list of food truck participants, including the seasons 1 and 2 winners of The Great Food Truck Race: Grill ’Em All and The Lime Truck, respectively. They will be joined by Jogasaki, Bowled and Beautiful, East L.A. Tacos, India Jones, White Rabbit Truck, Belly Bombz, Fluff Ice, Coolhaus and Carb&Nation. Food vendors Ramen Burger and Korean American Brian Huskey’s Table 13 (Huskey was featured on Bravo’s Top Chef) will also offer their culinary fare.

Appealing to more than just the sense of taste, the event organizers are also working together with Kollaboration and ElektroPR to present a variety of K-pop workshops and live music. Organizers said that the two-day event will be split to showcase more of the Korean performers on Friday, while Saturday’s stage will feature multicultural artists. The performance line-up includes Korean American rappers Parker (Dumbfoundead) and DANakadDAN, YouTube star Lydia Paek, hip-hop artist Scoop Deville and Detroit-born K-pop singer Chad Future, among others. There will also be merchandisevendors featuring L.A. clothing brands, art exhibits and a carnival area for guests of all ages.

Friday’s market begins at 4 p.m. and ends at midnight; Saturday’s market runs from 2 p.m. to midnight. For more information, visit ktownnightmarket.com or facebook.com/ktownnightmarket. The Robert F. Kennedy campus is located at 701 S. Catalina St., Los Angeles, CA 90005.

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Uh-ee

Korean Network Bans Crayon Pop Song for Japanese Word

Crayon Pop in a music video for the group’s single, “Uh-ee.” Image via Chrome Entertainment

When it comes to Korean music, it doesn’t get any more traditional than “trot.” But as girl group Crayon Pop found out, it can take just one word to get a song banned from broadcast.

Last Thursday, South Korean network KBS confirmed it had banned “Uh-ee,” Crayon Pop’s latest single, for the use of a Japanese word, “ppikka,” which means “shiny” in Japanese.

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There is nothing inappropriate about the word, except for that it is Japanese in origin, according to the executives at KBS, which is well-known for being a conservative network.

“KBS notified us that ‘ppikka‘ is a vestige of Japanese imperialism and needs to be refined,” said Lee Sung-soo, an official at Chrome Entertainment. All other Korean television networks, however, approved the song.

The chorus of the catchy electro-pop song begins with “ppikka” and “bbunjjuk,” which is the Korean equivalent to “shiny,” as the girls sing about making sure they live their lives to the fullest, with shiny things. There is no reference to anything Japanese, and “ppikka bbunjjuk” is a commonly used term to describe something shiny—or someone who likes shiny things.

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According to Chrome Entertainment, the company has since changed the word to “bbunjjuk” and the band has re-recorded the song for KBS. Because Korea was under Japanese occupation between 1910 and 1945, the South Korean government used to have a policy of banning imports of Japanese culture, but no longer has such a policy. KBS, however, has a track record of banning songs and videos that it deems inappropriate, as it did last year with Psy’s “Gentleman” music video, which depicts the singer kicking a traffic cone.

colbert-300x168

Friday’s Link Attack: CancelColbert Campaign; Girls’ Generation Interview; Yuna Kim’s Record Broken

Park unveils proposals to N. Korea to lay groundwork for unification
GlobalPost

South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday unveiled a package of proposals calling for bolstering exchanges with North Korea as first steps toward building trust between the two sides to lay the groundwork for unification.

Park made the announcement during a speech at the Dresden University of Technology in the former East German city of Dresden. The address was watched closely and televised live amid expectations that she would unveil a new vision for unification of the divided Korean Peninsula.

“Now more than ever, South and North Korea must broaden their exchange and cooperation,” Park said in the address. “What we need is not one-off or promotional events, but the kind of interaction and cooperation that enables ordinary South Koreans and North Koreans to recover a sense of common identity as they help each other out.”

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South Korea sends back stray North Korean fishing boat
Reuters

South Korea on Friday sent back a North Koreanfishing boat that had drifted across a disputed maritime border off the west coast, the defense ministry said, defusing tensions in an area which has been the scene of deadly clashes in recent years.

South Korea’s military had seized the boat after it ignored warnings to retreat, but later confirmed the vessel had experienced engine failure and the three crewmen had no wish to defect to the South, a ministry official said.

The incident came as the North faced renewed pressure from the international community after it fired two mid-range missiles on Wednesday just as the leaders of the South, Japanand the United States pledged to curb its arms ambitions.

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South Korea Returns Bodies of Hundreds of Chinese Soldiers
New York Times

South Korea on Friday repatriated the remains of 437 Chinese soldiers killed during the Korean War six decades ago, making a gesture symbolic of warming ties between the two nations.

China sent a flood of soldiers to help its Communist ally North Korea, which invaded South Korea in June 1950. Its intervention saved the North, whose forces had been pushed back toward the country’s northern corner by American-led United Nations forces later that year. The three-year war ended in a cease-fire, leaving the divided Korean Peninsula technically in a state of war.

Over the years, when South Korea discovered the remains of hundreds of Communist soldiers in old battle sites, it kept them tucked away in a little-known temporary burial ground north of Seoul, until recently known as “the enemy cemetery.”

Energy Panel Approves Contentious Nominee Rhea Suh
Wall Street Journal

Newly minted Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu(D., La.) pushed through a controversial Interior Department nominee Thursday over the united opposition of Republicans.

The committee voted along party lines, 12-10, to approve the nominee, Rhea Suh, to be assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Interior Department. Ms. Suh now advances to the full Senate where she needs 51 votes for confirmation. It was the first nomination meeting presided over by Ms. Landrieu.

“I am sorry we are starting this new era of the Committee on such a troubling note,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) told her usual ally Ms. Landrieu. “I expect that we will be able to work together on many issues that come before us—but this particular nomination is simply not one of them.”

Stephen Colbert vs. the Hashtag Activists
Slate

So: On Wednesday night Stephen Colbert made sport of Washington football team owner Dan Snyder and his plan to undercut criticism of the team name by founding an organization for the uplift of “original Americans.” Colbert ran though all the reasons why this was funny, then called back to a skit from one of the show’s first episodes, way back from the fall of 2005—a joke about the host being caught on a “live feed” playing a racist Asian stereotype (Ching Chong Ding Dong, from Guanduong), then not understanding why it was racist. Colbert would make amends with his new “Ching Chong Ding Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” He’d played versions of the game since then, dressing up in a sombrero for “Hispanic heritage month.” It’s one of the Colbert character’s oldest gags—he “doesn’t see color,” so he can’t ever be blamed if he accidentally does something horribly racist.

Most of a day later, the official Twitter account of The Colbert Report tweeted a short version of the joke: “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” Bad move. This attracted the ire of a 23-year-old freelance writer and hashtag activist named Suey Park, who gained prominence last year with the #NotYourAsianSidekick micromovement.

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Anti-Colbert activist, HuffPost Live host grapple over racism, satire
Washington Post

Josh Zepps is a host on HuffPost Live. He presides over many interesting and civil conversations with guests on a wide variety of topics. Generally they end in a civil manner.

Not so much today, because of the issue: On the other end of the video link was Suey Park, the Korean-American Twitter hashtag activist who drew recognition from her campaign #NotYourAsianSidekick.
This week, she roared again, this time in response to a tweet that came from the account of Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert show:
“I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever”

Like most things that emerge from the Colbert universe, that (as the context of the joke made clear) was satire — satire intended to skewer Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who recently launched the Original Americans Foundation at a time when the name of his squad is under fire for being racist.

The satire wasn’t working for Park, who launched #CancelColbert, not to mention a massive discussion about how we mix race and humor, and whether we should at all.

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Texas executes man who killed food delivery woman with bat
Reuters

Texas executed convicted murderer Anthony Doyle on Thursday as it kept the pace of executions steady while other states have had to postpone capital punishments because they cannot obtain drugs used in lethal injections.

Doyle, 29, was convicted of beating food delivery woman Hyun Cho, a South Korean native, to death in 2003 with a baseball bat, putting her body in a trash can and stealing her car.

Doyle was pronounced dead at 6:49 p.m. CDT (2349 GMT) at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville after receiving a lethal injection. He did not make a last statement, a Department of Criminal Justice spokesman said.

Knife Threat Failed to Halt Korea’s First Female Bank CEO 
Bloomberg

Facing a desperate, knife-brandishing customer, Kwon Seon Joo knew the value of staying cool under pressure more than two decades before being picked to become the first woman to head a South Korean bank.

In 1992, the now 57-year-old chief executive officer of the country’s fourth-largest lender byassets, Industrial Bank of Korea, was deputy manager of trade finance at a branch in an upscale district of Seoul. Kwon said she agreed to meet a customer presenting forged shipping documents who was demanding a loan because he risked financial ruin after exporting artificial flowers that had been rejected by the recipient. When she refused, he lifted his trouser leg to reveal something tucked in his sock: a knife.

“I was shocked at first, but deep down I was confident that I could resolve the situation with conversation,” Kwon said in an interview at IBK’s headquarters in Seoul last month. She spoke calmly with the man for more than an hour before he walked out with his demands unmet and no one harmed, she said.

Help For Working Women, But Will More Storks Come?
Wall Street Journal

South Korea’s announced more incentives for working women to help boost female employment and improve low birth rates, but it’s unclear if the policies will overcome cultural norms in the workplace.

President Park Geun-hye’s been trying to keep her campaign promise of lifting the total employment rate to 70% by 2017 from 65% currently.

A key to this is getting women to stay in the work force after they start families and have children and on Monday, the Labor Ministry announced that women in their first 12 weeks and the last four weeks of pregnancy may work two hours less, fully paid, starting September.

K-POP PHENOMENON GIRLS’ GENERATION WANT TO MAKE INSECURE MEN FEEL BETTER
Vice

We all know Psy. You’ve probably heard G-Dragon and CL before—on a Diplo or Skrillex beat at the least—and some hundred thousand Lady GaGa fans are about to meet Crayon Pop in stadiums across Middle America and Canada this summer. But there’s no K-pop phenomenon bigger than Girls’ Generation. They remain Korea’s all-time best-selling girl group, their YouTube prowess has trouncedthat of even some of the brightest Western stars, and their tour attendance is astounding. If Korean music is something that’s been brought to your attention sometime in the past half decade, there’s a good chance that had something to do with “Gee,” the undisputed classic of K-pop (watch it above).

After an uncharacteristically long break since their last release—all of two months—and almost a straight year of Japanese records and tours, Girls’ Generation returned late last month with the Mr.Mr. mini-album. We broke bread with all nine (very polite) girls to talk new music, bolstering the flagging confidence of insecure boys, and Korea’s super intense trainee pop regime. Apparently of the 10,000 K-Pop wannabes, only one becomes a star. Steep odds for sure.

2NE1: Crush
Pitchfork

Instead of following a tried-and-true formula of slowly rolling out individual songs and their characteristically flashy videos, the all-female Korean pop supergroup 2NE1 went the opposite direction with their new album, Crush. Announced in January—no advance snippets were available—and released digitally in February, 2NE1 dropped two singles simultaneously (the uptempo pair “Come Back Home” and “Gotta Be You”). Though both unsurpisingly lit up the Korean charts, the excitement—as well as an appearance in a January episode of ABC’s The Bachelor—buoyed an entrance into Billboard 200, where 2NE1 sold more copies in the first week than any Korean outfit in history. The only semi-micro-plotted movement in the whole campaign happened when YG Entertainment bumped the digital release three days—meaning that they broke the record in four days, instead of a full seven—so it would come out on the February 27 birthday of CL, 2NE1’s ascendant star. Hold that thought.

Tickets for the Free LA K-Pop Festival Available Online this Saturday
Soompi

With the LA K-Pop Festival a little more than two weeks away, it has been revealed that tickets will be distributed through Ticketmaster this Saturday at 10am PST on a first come, first serve basis (limit: 2 per person). While the concert is free, a small service fee for Ticketmaster is added.

Physical Ticket Distribution will occur on Saturday March 29 at 10:00am PST at the HwaGae Traditional Market (940 S. Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006) on a first come first serve basis, with up to 5,000 tickets being distributed that day (limit: 2 per person).

Hosted by KBS America and the Los Angeles Korean Association, the event is set for April 12 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The event will start with a day long festival at 10am, followed by a concert at 5:30pm.

Veteran Choo adjusting to left field at Globe Life Park
Dallas Morning News

Shin-Soo Choo on Thursday started a crash course in the art of playing left field at Globe Life Park.

Choo, entering his first season with the Rangers, tried to familiarize himself with the nuances of his new position during an afternoon workout. He also started in left field in the park for the first time in nearly eight years during the exhibition game against Quintana Roo of the Mexican League.

Choo played center field with Cincinnati last season and has fewer career starts in left

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field (60) than the other outfield spots. Choo can apply his experience as a right fielder in that balls will hook and slice toward the left-field line.

“It’s something I’ll have to get used to,” Choo said. “The more I play out there, the more comfortable I’ll be.”

Japan’s Mao Asada breaks Yuna Kim’s world record in women’s short
Fox Sports

Mao Asada of Japan set a world record on Thursday to finish first in the short program at the World Figure Skating Championships.

Skating to Chopin’s Nocturne, Asada hit her trademark triple axel at the start of her routine and completed all her remaining jumps to finish with 78.66 points, surpassing the previous record of 78.50 set by Yuna Kim at the Vancouver Olympics.

“As the last competition of this season, I am happy to skate the best short program,” said Asada, a two-time world champion. “My mission here is to perform both programs perfect so already half is done and tomorrow I want to focus on showing everything I have practiced.”

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cpop

Crayon Pop to Open for Lady Gaga for US Tour

Quirky girl group Crayon Pop, which burst onto the scene last year with their weirdly infectious hit, “Bar Bar Bar,” will be the opening act for pop superstar diva Lady Gaga this summer in the United States.

Gaga announced the news via Twitter, saying the winsome quintet will be joining her “Artrave: The Artpop Ball” tour from June 26 to July 22, which includes dates in Boston, Chicago, Houston and ends with two concerts in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.

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The group unexpectedly became popular after a long period of grassroots marketing and do-it-yourself public performances. Their initial fan base was middle-aged men.

This all changed, however, after the video of their single, “Bar Bar Bar” — in which the girls wore nerdy helmets and colorful tracksuits with choreography described by some as bizarre — went viral.

 

Lady Gaga’s tour starts on May 4 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Below are the venues currently scheduledfor the June 26 to July 22 leg:

June 26: Milwaukee, WI (Summerfest at Marcus Amphitheater)
June 28: Atlantic City, NJ (Boardwalk Hall)
June 30: Boston, MA (TD Garden)
July 2: Montreal, QC (Bell Centre)
July 7: Buffalo, NY (First Niagara Center)
July 9: Toronto, ON (Air Canada Centre)
July 11: Chicago, IL (United Center)
July 14: San Antonio, TX (AT&T Center)
July 16: Houston, TX (Toyota Center)
July 17: Dallas, TX (American Airlines)
July 19: Las Vegas, NV (MGM Grand Garden)
July 21: Los Angeles, CA (Staples Center)
July 22: Los Angeles, CA (Staples Center)

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