Go With It
On her latest record, L.A. DJ and beatmaker Jennifer Lee, a.k.a. TOKiMONSTA, urges us to do just that. It’s a strategy that’s worked for her so far.
by EUGENE YI
On an unseasonably warm, early spring night in Brooklyn, a fight broke out before the TOKiMONSTA show—one of those elaborate displays of competitive temerity that took 20 minutes to, finally, ignite. It started with a photographer trying to sneak in a bottle of wine, leading to the predictable pas de deux, and ending with a bottle of water being thrown from a passing car at the bouncer. There is no rage like bouncer rage, and as I watched him dash to his car, rev his engine and sear skid marks onto the pavement, I wondered aloud how any show could possibly follow what had just happened.
“No, you can’t go. TOKiMONSTA is sooo good,” said a blonde-bobbed woman behind me, dressed in what could be described as post-hipster understated Americana. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was mere coincidence that a female fan would happen to be doing the exhorting outside a performance by TOKiMONSTA, née Jennifer Lee, from Torrance, Calif., an Asian female DJ/music producer in the largely non-Asian, decidedly male world of L.A.’s beat scene, and electronic dance music at large.
This, of course, raises the usual questions that have framed the majority of the press coverage about TOKiMONSTA. It’s all about the music, and race and gender shouldn’t matter, except, of course, when they do. No one wants to be just a Korean American musician, or just a female musician. But in the reams of coverage she’s garnered over the years, the most common questions have been about the toki (it’s the Korean word for rabbit), and “how does it feel to be a female,” she said during a recent phone interview. There was a hint of weariness when answering the old questions about gender and race—which is completely understandable. Continue Reading »
North Korea says Korean-American sentenced to labor had smuggled in anti-Pyongyang literature
North Korea delivered its most in-depth account yet of the case against a Korean-American sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor, accusing him late Thursday of smuggling in inflammatory literature and trying to establish a base for anti-Pyongyang activities at a border city hotel.
Still, the long list of allegations included no statement from Kenneth Bae, other than claims that he confessed and didn’t want an attorney present during his sentencing last week for what Pyongyang called hostile acts against the state.
Since the sentencing came during a period of tentative diplomatic moves following weeks of high tension and North Korean threats of nuclear and missile strikes on Washington and Seoul, outside analysts have said Pyongyang may be using Bae as bait to win diplomatic concessions in the standoff over its nuclear weapons program. North Korea repeated its denial of such speculation in the new statement, but the pattern has occurred repeatedly.
Disgraced spokesman leaves blemish on Park’s U.S. visit
President Park Geun-hye’s first official visit to the United States ended in one of the worst ways possible Friday with her spokesman being fired amid allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman during the trip.
The allegations sparked public outrage in South Korea and dealt a serious blow to Park just as she was beginning to regain public confidence through her handling of tensions with North Korea and what appeared to be a successful five-day visit to the U.S.
“(He) completely poured cold water over the accomplishments of the U.S. visit,” said one presidential official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It’s causing an extreme burden to state affairs.”
Dennis Rodman says heading back to N.Korea
AFP via Google News
Basketball hall-of-famer Dennis Rodman said he plans a second trip to North Korea to try to use his budding friendship with leader Kim Jong-Un to free a jailed American, in an interview aired Friday.
The flamboyant basketball legend, approached by celebrity news website TMZ as he walked on a Los Angeles street Thursday, said he would return to North Korea on August 1 on a mission to release jailed tour organizer Kenneth Bae.
“I’ll be back over there. I’m going to try to get the guy out,” the heavily tattooed Rodman said in between waving to well-wishers.
Woman pleads guilty to hitting and killing teen
AP via San Francisco Chronicle
An associate professor at the University of Montana has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge filed after her car veered onto a sidewalk and struck and killed an 18-year-old Missoula man.
Yoon Hee Cho, 38, pleaded guilty Thursday in Municipal Court to careless driving resulting in death and to driving on a sidewalk.
The plea agreement calls for Cho to spend 30 days on house arrest and pay $5,000 into the Chance Geery Memorial Fund in lieu of a fine.
Cho was charged in the death of Geery, who was struck on April 1 as he was walking and holding hands with his girlfriend.
Palisades Park man linked to ID and credit card fraud ring to be deported to South Korea
Bergen County Record (N.J.)
A Palisades Park man involved in a massive identity theft and credit card fraud ring was transferred Thursday to immigration officials for deportation to South Korea after a federal judge determined that the 31 months he has already spent in jail would satisfy his sentence.
Osung Kwon, 37, pleaded guilty in 2012 to using a social security card and counterfeit driver’s license he obtained through a borough-based black market enterprise to defraud banks and credit card companies of almost $400,000. He has been in prison since he was arrested in September, 2010.
Speaking through a translator, Kwon, who was wearing shackles and a green prison jumpsuit, apologized to U.S. District Judge Katharine Hayden and pleaded for a lenient sentence.
Witnesses tried to save 4-year-old after he was struck by Jeep
First he heard a thud. Then screams. Then Jim Sugent saw a 4-year-old boy lying in the middle of Stevenson Avenue in Alexandria.
Police say the child, who was identified Friday as Jacob Choi, had run into oncoming traffic May 4 and was struck and killed by the driver of a 2010 Jeep Commander. The driver, who is 84, has not been identified by police. He has not been charged in the accident, which remains under investigation, police said.
Jacob’s mother, whose name and address were not released, ran into traffic after her son and also sustained injuries, but they were not serious, police said.
Star Trek’s John Cho a boldly going actor worth shouting about
“I get called Harold the most,” Cho says. “I think maybe Harold & Kumar fans don’t know my name and Star Trek fans do know my name … Harold fans are vocal!”
And of course there’s Star Trek, now two films into the franchise with Star Trek Into Darknessset to boldly go to theatres galaxywide on May 17. Cho plays Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu in the prequel reboot series, the promotion of which has brought him to Toronto. (His introduction at a Monday night screening of Into Darkness included reference to him as “the MILF guy.”)
This makes three hit franchises that Cho has been active in so far, and he’s just entered his 40s. He’s also busy with TV series, most notably the sci-fi drama FlashForward and the recent sitcom Go On, and his early career in the 1990s included much stage work, as a member of East West Players, an Asian-American theatre company in L.A.
Tokimonsta Live at KCRW on Morning Becomes Eclectic 05.09.13
LA native Tokimonsta has a unique take on electronic dance music and is notably the first female to join the groundbreaking Brainfeeder crew, led by Flying Lotus. We’re treated to one of her energetic live performances on Morning Becomes Eclectic at 11:15am.
Choo staying calm in contract year
When new Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo arrived in Cincinnati at the start of the regular season, a book was waiting for him at Great American Ballpark. The text was written in Korean, Choo’s native language. A fan had sent it, he said.
It wasn’t a baseball book. It was about the games we play between our ears. Choo read about keeping a narrow focus, about thinking “simple things,” about accepting that he can’t please everyone.
“When you stop, you see everything,” Choo told me recently, in the cramped visitors’ clubhouse at Wrigley Field. “I really want to explain it to you, but it’s hard to say. I’ve already read it three times.”
Mets could go after Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo in offseason
New York Daily News
Almost anything would be an upgrade for the Mets, considering that the state of their outfield is as bad as predicted — even if reserve Mike Baxter has a knack for the big moment, as he showed again Thursday night.
Who’s better: Henderson or Aldo?
ESPN Insider (subscription req’d)
Lightweight champion Benson Henderson and featherweight champ Jose Aldo are two of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts.
In their most recent fights, Aldo dispatched Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision in February at UFC 156, and Henderson beat Gilbert Melendez in a split-decision victory in April during UFC on Fox 7.
Although the two fight in different weight classes, Aldo has hinted at a jump in competition. Should Aldo beat top contender Anthony Pettis at UFC 163 in August, there’s a real chance these two champs could soon meet in the Octagon.
Mom’s Cooking Comes Between a Husband and Wife
The New York Times
Sometime KoreAm contributor Sung J. Woo writes a Mother’s Day piece for the New York Times.
My mother and I don’t fight often nowadays, because I’m 41 and she’s 72 and we lead separate lives. I see her once every two weeks. She makes me lunch, we shop at Costco, she makes me dinner, then she sends me off with grocery bags full of her cooking.
We’ve been on this schedule for the last eight years, since my father passed away. But on this evening, near the end of my visit to her senior apartment, I could tell we were going to argue.
“Just take it,” she said.
“It’s just one more.” There was an edge to her voice. “Why are you being difficult?”
Have American Parents Got It All Backwards?
This is a guest column by Korean American professor, Christine Gross-Loh, author of Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us.
The parent I used to be and the parent I am now both have the same goal: to raise self-reliant, self-assured, successful children. But 12 years of parenting, over five years of living on and off in Japan, two years of research, investigative trips to Europe and Asia and dozens of interviews with psychologists, child development experts, sociologists, educators, administrators and parents in Japan, Korea, China, Finland, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Brazil and elsewhere have taught me that though parents around the world have the same goals, American parents like me (despite our very best intentions) have gotten it all backwards.
We need to let 3-year-olds climb trees and 5-year-olds use knives.
South Korea and U.S. on missile watch as North hails Kim dynasty
South Korea and the United States were on high alert for a North Korean missile test-launch on Thursday, as the isolated state celebrated the rule of the Kim dynasty and appeared to tone down rhetoric of impending war.
Despite recent threats to attack U.S. bases and the South, North Korea started to welcome a stream of visitors for Monday’s celebrations marking the birthday of its founder Kim Il-sung.
N. Korea shifts missile locations ahead of imminent launch: sources
As South Korea and the United States brace for a possible missile launch by North Korea, the communist nation appears to be moving several missiles repeatedly on its east coast in an apparent attempt to interfere with intelligence monitoring, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.
According to intelligence analysis, the North has moved two Musudan intermediate missiles, which had been concealed in a shed in the eastern port city of Wonsan, in and out of the facility. Four or five wheeled vehicles, suspected to be so-called transporter erector launchers (TEL), were also spotted being moved around in South Hamgyeong Province.
“There are signs the North could fire off Musudan missiles any time soon,” an intelligence source said, asking for anonymity. “But the North has been repeatedly moving its missiles in and out of a shed, which needs close monitoring.”
South Korea Moves to Defuse Tensions With the North
New York Times
South Korea appeared to ease its stance on North Korea on Thursday by calling for dialogue to help defuse tensions, as its president moved to calm foreign investors whose confidence the North has tried to shake with increasingly belligerent maneuvers.
“We hope the North Korean authorities come out to the dialogue table,” Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae, South Korea’s point man on the North, said in a nationally televised statement that deplored the North’s recent decision to suspend the operation of an industrial park the two Koreas have run together for eight years in the North Korean town of Kaesong. “We strongly urge North Korea not to stoke the crisis on the Korean Peninsula any further.”
In the Shadow of North Korean Threats, South Korea Shrugs
Nobody does bluster better than Pyongyang. In the past few weeks the country’s hardworking propagandists declared a “state of war” with South Korea, announced plans to restart a plutonium-producing reactor and threatened the U.S. with nuclear Armageddon. A North Korean spokesman found the time to decry the “venomous swish” of the South Korean President’s skirt. And dictator Kim Jong Un reportedly urged frontline troops to “break the waists of the crazy enemies, totally cut their windpipes and thus clearly show them what a real war is like.”
D207 Gets First Asian American Board Member
Patch.com (Glenview, Ill.)
Jin Lee, who serves on Des Plaines’ economic development commission and participates in many Asian organizations, came here from Seoul, Korea, at 13. He expects to be a voice for the district’s diverse residents.
Her release party last night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg emphasized the latter of those. Live, she preferred an aggressively sharp-snared, heavily layered style of trap music that reminded me of nothing so much as Girl Talk, with a keener understanding of bass. In one especially peppy section, over the course of one minute she sped up and looped the strings to “Forgot About Dre,” smashed in a memorably hefty kick/snare (“Fix Up Look Sharp,” or something like it) and the synth line from Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message,” then cut it all and threw on “The Percolator” with looped vocals from Azealia Banks’ “212.” It was generic, mainstream party music and the crowd loved it—their positive reception proof that sticking to the classics was an astute decision.
Production On TBS’ ‘Sullivan & Son’ Shut Down After Star Steve Byrne Suffers Injury
Steve Byrne, star of TBS’ comedy series Sullivan & Son, has suffered an injury to his face. That has led to a six-week shutdown of the show, which had been in production on its second season. TBS and producer Warner Horizon could not be reached for comment, but according to sources, Byrne had his jaw broken “by an irate cabbie” and will have it wired shut for six weeks. Production on Sullivan & Son will resume in June, with the show still expected to make the the delivery date for a summer premiere.
Watch Benson Henderson train with NFL star Larry Fitzgerald
UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson met up with fellow Arizonian Larry Fitzgerald, the All-Pro receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. Henderson, who will fight Gilbert Melendez at UFC on Fox 7 on April 20, worked out with Fitzgerald, and had the football player winded by the end of their session.
Changing traditions: Some Southern food is starting to taste a bit more of the North
AP via Washington Post
In Louisville, Ky., a Korean-American from Brooklyn marries sorghum and local lamb — and bourbon! — with Asian flavors. In Georgia, Canadian Hugh Acheson showcases the Mediterranean potential of Southern staples such as ramps, morels and veal sweetbreads. And in Carrboro, N.C., Matt Neal — whose dad Bill Neal helped revive Southern cooking in the 1980s — channels his love for New York City in buttermilk biscuits topped with pastrami.
North Korea Moves Missile to Coast, but Limited Threat Seen
New York Times
South Korea’s defense chief said on Thursday that North Korea had moved to its east coast a missile with a “considerable” range, but that it was not capable of reaching the United States. The disclosure came as the Communist North’s military warned that it was ready to strike American military forces with “cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means.”
North Korea has been issuing a blistering series of similar threats in recent weeks, citing as targets the American military installations in the Pacific islands of Hawaii and Guam, as well as the United States mainland. In its latest threat on Thursday, it did not name targets but said it was authorized to “take powerful, practical military counteractions” against the threats from B-2 bombers from the United States, B-52 bombers from Guam and F-22 Stealth jet fighters from United States bases in Japan that have recently run missions over the Korean Peninsula during joint military exercises with South Korea.
As N. Korean threats intensify, first signs of jitters in the South
This bustling South Korean capital has been defined for decades as a place of traffic jams and luxury shopping malls, long days of work and longer nights of sipping rice liquor. Residents rarely behaved as though their routines could be upended in minutes by the Kim regime to the north and its 10,000 artillery pieces.
But after years of largely ignoring threats from North Korea, some residents say they are becoming a bit jittery, with the ascension of an unpredictable young leader in Pyongyang and levels of fury not seen since the early 1990s.
Calls in South Korea for Envoy to North
Wall Street Journal
As North Korea’s barrage of war-like threats shows no sign of easing, some South Korean policy makers are cautiously suggesting that their government move more actively to bring the tension to a peaceful end, with some calling for Seoul to send a representative to the North.
“As part of pre-emptive diplomacy, we should consider sending a special envoy to North Korea,” Chung Woo-taik, one of six members of the Supreme Council of the ruling New Frontier Party, said Thursday in an interview. “We need to deal with them sternly should there be any provocation, but at the same time, we need to open various channels including an envoy to find out what their true intentions are.”
Family a Priority for Immigration Reform Advocates
Immigration reform advocates are pushing Congress to be inclusive of immigrants’ families when drafting immigration reform.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) kicked off a month-long photography contest Tuesday to highlight the role of family in immigrant communities. The contest “We Are America, America Is Home” seeks to create a visual narrative of all types of families who call the United States home.
Participants are encouraged to submit photos online by April 30, 2013. Photos will be shared with members of Congress and used to promote NAKASEC’s family campaign, according to NAKASEC staff.
‘The Walking Dead’ actor, K-College grad Steven Yeun talks strippers, basketball and Michigan on Conan O’Brien
Yeun now lives in Atlanta, Ga., where the NCAA college basketball Final Four will be held this weekend. The University of Michigan is one of four teams left in the tournament, which is broadcast by CBS and its sister stations, including TBS, home of Conan O’Brien’s show.
Yeun seems to have a natural chemistry with the talk show host. He appeared last year and poked fun at himself for his lack of facial hair. During his latest spot on the show, he donned something similar to a mustache.
Among the highlights of his stint on Conan O’Brien, Yeun cited the Clermont Lounge, a strip club, as one of his favorite places in Atlanta. He also talked about basketball. O’Brien asked if he was excited about the Wolverines. Yeun said yes but added, “Personally, I root for Michigan State with basketball.”
Psy’s “Gentleman” [music video] to star Yoo Jae Suk, Noh Hong Chul, HaHa, and Brown Eyed Girls’ Ga In?
Remember Psy‘s epic performance during ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve‘ with Yoo Jae Suk, Noh Hong Chul, and HaHa? Well if you enjoyed the trio performing alongside Psy, you’ll be glad to hear that they’ll be featured in Psy’s “Gentleman” MV!
Yoo Jae Suk and Noh Hong Chul already made cameos in the video for “Gangnam Style“, but now HaHa will join them to add to the fun in the highly anticipated music video!
The trio have been confirmed by YG Entertainment themselves through a press release, so we can expect them for sure. In addition, it’s rumored that the female singer who will join Psy this time around is none other than Brown Eyed Girls‘ Ga In, who also has a solo comeback of her own coming up.
Tokimonsta Leaves the Nest
But [Jennifer] Lee’s career is proceeding apace. Half Shadows is her second full-length LP and first on dance-music label Ultra, whose roster includes David Guetta, Deadmau5 and Calvin Harris. These are, perhaps, strange bedfellows for an elite member of L.A.’s electronic underground; indeed, she initially rebuffed offers from the EDM mega-label. She eventually relented, however, when Ultra “convinced me that they cared.”
“Nothing is overbearing,” she says of the deal. “They’re not trying to put scantily clad girls all over my album.”
This major-label release brings Tokimonsta to audiences far beyond the Low End scene. At least, she hopes it does. “Everyone wants to go beyond the beat scene,” Lee says. “If they don’t say it publicly, they’re thinking it.”
Reds to keep Choo as permanent center fielder
As the Reds adjust to an outfield without injured left fielder Ryan Ludwick, there was no thought from manager Dusty Baker in moving Shin-Soo Choo over from center field.
Choo, who was acquired in an offseason trade from the Indians, was primarily a corner outfielder throughout his career. Ludwick’s replacement in left field, Chris Heisey, has extensive experience in center field.
Orange Fanatics: Chris Kang is the biggest SU fan living in South Korea
I may be a typical 30-year-old Korean man who works at a Korean corporate company in Seoul, but I promise I am the biggest Syracuse University supporter in Korea, maybe in whole Asia.
My father is a public administration professor here, and I first got to see SU basketball when I was in second grade of elementary school when my father took my family to Syracuse University as an exchange professor. We lived in Syracuse from late 1989 to 1992 and I attended the public elementary school in that area.
My father took me to the Carrier Dome for the first time in 1990, and I was just fascinated by what I witnessed. I was an 8-year-old who didn’t know much about basketball at that time, but after I saw Dave Johnson make a reverse dunk I was deeply tied with Orange basketball forever. I just fell in love with the style of the team and the atmosphere of the Dome at such a young age.
The Masters: John Huh talks about his first time
John Huh recently talked to me about his first trip to the Masters. Huh qualified by finishing in the top 30 of the 2012 PGA Tour money list (28th).
Kyle Porter: What are you most excited about in playing your first Masters?
John Huh: The thing I’m most excited about is … playing the Masters, you know? Playing one of the most historical golf tournaments and courses.
Porter: Have you played the course before?
Huh: No. I had a chance to go out there the week of the Arnold Palmer, but I didn’t.
Porter: Why did you choose not to go?
Huh: I was kind of burned out playing golf, so I was trying to take it slow.
Here’s the Cover of L.A. Son, Roy Choi’s Upcoming Book
Hot off the Eaterwire, here’s the cover for Los Angeles chef Roy Choi’s upcoming book, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food. The book, which was co-written by Tien Nguyen and Natasha Phan with photos by Bobby Fisher, will be the second publication from Anthony Bourdain’s line of books for Ecco. (The first is Daniel Vaughn’s Prophets of Smoked Meat, out in May.)
South Korea Says It Misidentified Source of Cyberattack
New York Times
The South Korean government said on Friday that it was mistaken when it identified an Internet address in China as the source of synchronized cyberattacks that paralyzed the computer networks of banks and broadcasters.
The Korea Communications Commission, a government agency, said the Internet address actually belonged to a computer at NongHyup, one of the three banks affected by the hacking on Wednesday. It was mistaken earlier, it said, because the address, used only for the bank’s internal network, was identical to a public Internet Protocol address in China.
Such an I.P. address is useful for tracing the location of an Internet-connected computer, though experts say that that computer could be controlled by hackers operating elsewhere.
Apply international law to cyber-warfare? Good luck
FIRST North Korea complained about a cyber-attack from “hostile forces”. The main sign was that the state’s news agency went briefly offline last week. Some thought it might be a mere power cut. Then it was the South’s turn—on a bigger scale. On March 20th two big banks and three broadcasters were crippled. Screens went blank; on some, skulls popped up. ATM machines froze.
Both episodes highlight the ambiguity of cyber-warfare. Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula, so either side might well attack the other. But a purported attack could also be used to justify posturing—or retaliation. Attribution (detecting a cyber-attacker’s fingerprints) is hard and can be impossible. A defence-ministry spokesman in Seoul said it would be “premature” to blame the North. One attack seemed to be by a hacker group calling itself “Whois”. Investigations will take months.
North Korea’s threats: Five things to know
Video propaganda showing the White House and Congress being blown up. Talk of hitting U.S. bases in the Pacific. The reunciation of a 60-year-old armistice that has kept the tenuous peace on the Korean Peninsula.
It seems barely a day passes without another North Korean threat, and coming after the December launch of a long-range rocket and a third nuclear test in February, the florid declarations from Pyongyang have gotten the attention of the United States and its allies.
So why now, and how nervous should you be? Here are five things to consider.
South Korea defense chief pick quits in new humiliation for Park
South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s nominee for defense chief withdrew his candidacy on Friday, the latest humiliation for her month-old administration as the country faces daily threats of nuclear annihilation from the North.
The blunders with appointments began with the withdrawal of her first choice as prime minister over charges of inappropriate real estate deals even before she took office on February 25.
Park, South Korea’s first woman leader, was also without a finance minister until Friday, when she finally filled the post and two other cabinet seats. Her choice for vice justice minister resigned on Thursday amid a sex scandal.
Long Island Holocaust Memorial to Honor ‘Comfort Women’
A permanent exhibition about women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army and the country’s atrocities during World War II is to open in the U.S.
The Korean American Public Affairs Committee on Wednesday said it has reached an agreement with the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Nassau County in Long Island to set up a special exhibition on the so-called “comfort women.”
The representation of the issue at the respected center will help bring it into clearer focus for many Americans.
New Findings on the 2012 Asian American Vote in NY: 86% Voted for Obama and 67% Support Immigration Reform
86% of Asian Americans polled in New York voted for President Obama and two-thirds support immigration reform, according to the results of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) exit poll in New York, released today. AALDEF conducted a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 4,089 Asian American voters in New York in the November 2012 elections, the largest survey of its kind.
Meet Jeremy Scott’s Muse: K-Pop Star CL
ELLE: What’s your relationship like with Jeremy Scott?
CL: He’s my best friend. He’s like my big brother. He looks out for me. We met each other when he saw the “Fire” video [2NE1’s first single] and flew all the way to Korea to see me. It was actually for a photo shoot for Adidas. He didn’t have to come but he did. You know when you meet someone and you can connect, that click, we had that.
ELLE: You have an empowering song called “Ugly,” about not feeling beautiful. Where did that stem from?
CL: It kinda came from me. I was talking to him in the studio. And no one here understands, but they do back in Korea. You know how Koreans are more strict and people from around the world think that being different is wrong. I don’t understand, you’re unique. I love being myself and love people that are themselves and just, you know, “I’m doing me” type of people. I have respect for those people and love for those people but some people don’t understand that. So for me, I’m seen in public so I’m attacked a lot. I was feeling down one day and talking to him. I was like, “You know, maybe I am ugly to those people.” So we talked on and on and he wrote that song.
TOKiMONSTA releasing new album, playing shows, remixed Justin Timberlake (dates & streams)
TOKiMONSTA began picking up more speed as an artist on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, and she’s now signed with big-time EDM label Ultra (Deadmau5, Kaskade, Bloody Beetroots), who will release her new album, Half Shadows, on April 2. From the sound of the album’s two singles, “Go With It” (featuring MNDR) and “The Force” (featuring Kool Keith), she’s not changing her sound to fit in with her labelmates (luckily). Instead, she shows us what the LA beat scene sounds like mixed with dream pop on the MNDR collab, and on the one with Kool Keith, she creates an updated vision of the futurism that Keith was doing with Dan the Automator in his Dr. Octagon days.
TOKiMONSTA is playing a few live dates too, including a record release show for Half Shadows with “very special guests” in NYC on April 9 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for that show go on sale today (3/21) at noon. All dates are listed below.
Kristen Kish Promoted to Chef de Cuisine at Menton
Fresh off her Top Chef win, Kristen Kish has been promoted to chef de cuisine of Menton, Boston’s only Relais & Châteaux property.
The announcement, made today by Barbara Lynch Gruppo, said Kish will officially take the reins beginning June 3, 2013. Kish has been chef de cuisine at Stir.
“As the chef at Stir, Kristen demonstrated her creativity and talents each evening with a new menu,” said Barbara Lynch in a statement. “Watching her – along with the rest of the country – ultimately win Top Chef reinforced what I already knew: She is an exceptionally gifted chef with amazing heart, integrity, and an incredible understanding of what it takes to create beautiful and delicious dishes.”
Roy Choi’s Sunny Spot Brunch Returns Next Week
It’s only appropriate to have brunch at Sunny Spot when it’s actually sunny, so now that the winter fog is lifting, Roy Choi is bringing back weekend brunch for that bright Caribbean-themed patio on March 30. The menu has a few new dishes, like diablo shrimp and grits, the hangover plate (eggs, beans, rice and plantains) and two-fisted burger, but the banana French toast, the amazing Cuban torta and Sunfire Salad all make a comeback, plus $10 endless Jerk Bloody Marys, mimosas and cava.
Ji Kang of Samar on What He Learned After Restaurant Ownership and Eating Live Octopus
The first thing you probably should know about chef Ji Kang is that once he ate squiggling octopus tentacles in Korea. That’s hard-core dedication to local cuisine, even though he swears he’ll never try it again.
Kang, who is the executive chef at Samar, began his culinary career before he even knew it. His grandmother owned a hostel in Korea where she cooked from scratch and was a gracious host to travelers from around the world. Kang was exposed to these traits early life and since has learned just how valuable they are to him now.
Tackling Asian stereotypes in film and TV
Southern California Public Radio
When you think of the most famous Asian characters in film and TV, what might jump to mind are characters like criminal mastermind Fu Manchu; the prostitute who says, “Me so horny,” in Full Metal Jacket; or perpetual foreigner Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles.
Not to mention archetypes like the brainiac, or the kung fu master, or the dragon lady.
But these stereotypes that don’t accurately reflect the 14.6 million Asian-Americans in this country.
This Saturday, these images are getting tossed out of the rickshaw they rode in on: the first summit on Asian-American stereotypes takes place at the Japanese American National Museum in LA.
American audiences: I want my international TV
TV viewers’ appetites are going global as streaming technology broadens their options.
A host of start-up sites like DramaFever.com and Viki.com are tracking down licenses abroad to provide legal means of watching subtitled shows.
From India’s Bollywood and Korean dramas to Japanese anime and Nigerian movies, more obscure foreign titles are legally accessible — often for free with a few clicks. The start-ups that stream them began with the aim of reaching a niche audience — say, first-generation U.S. residents who miss their home-country TV offerings — but soon found that quality content organically finds its way to a broader swath of viewers.
For example, about 85% of viewers for DramaFever, which specializes in scripted serial prime-time dramas from South Korea, are non-Asians.
Younger car buyers shifting to South Korean, American car brands
Los Angeles Times
Detroit’s automakers are doing better selling to young buyers, but South Korean car companies are making the biggest inroads in that segment, primarily at the expense of the Japanese.
That’s the finding of a study of auto registrations by auto research firms R.L. Polk & Co. and Edmunds.com.
The U.S. automakers are doing better in the age 25-to-34 segment by offering “small, fuel-efficient and affordable cars that really appeal to a young set of buyers,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmunds.com.
But she noted that domestic automakers are “chiseling away at the Japanese grip” while Hyundai and Kia, the South Korean brands, “are taking big hacks.”
Shin-Soo Choo could return to lineup on Saturday
Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo said he could be back in the Reds lineup as soon as Saturday. Choo, who hasn’t played in a week because of back spasms, underwent a full workout on Thursday without any problems and if he repeats that success on Friday, he expects to be back for Saturday’s exhibition with the Rangers.
“Yesterday I did the full schedule, batting practice, shagging, running, everything. I felt great, no problems,” Choo said Friday morning. “Today I’ll do it again and if I feel good, I think I’ll play tomorrow. I think.”
Choo was hitting .400/.444/.560 in 11 games before waking up on March 16 with back spasms, an injury he hadn’t experienced before. The Reds admittedly used extreme caution with the 30-year-old.
The Getty explores the mystery of Rubens’ Korean man
Southern California Public Radio
To most of us, there’s nothing mysterious about the Peter Paul Rubens drawing “Man in Korean Costume.” It looks like the title says it should look. A Korean-looking man wearing some sort of voluminous Oriental robe.
But if you know your history, you’d say, “Wait a minute! Korea was incredibly isolated in 1617, when Rubens sketched it. How did he know what a Korean man looked like!?”
This is the mystery explored in Looking East: Rubens’s Encounter with Asia, at the Getty Center through June 9th, the Getty’s first Korean-themed exhibit, and its first collaboration with LA’s Korean-American community.