Together, Michelle and Catzie are a dynamic duo of Philly-based Asian American female spoken word poets. Through their voices, Catzie and Michelle hope to provide an awareness that is not often heard. Exploring topics from fetishes to cultural appropriation to ethnic pride, Yellow Rage challenges mainstream misconceptions of Asianness.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Who Needs Cable, When There's Youtube?
I always used to say this when I discovered YouTube awhile back, that shit is amazing. If there's anything worth seeing it will make its way to YouTube. Not only is it the new center of personal video blogging and sharing, as well as re-airing moments that Tivo customers would normally be paying for to do, but Youtubers have also found a way to broadcast old tv episodes, clips of outdated movies and even old school music videos. The very first one that I found was this one, a favorite among poets...
You'll also have to be weary that becuase Youtube is also a user controlled site, some videos may not actually be what they are titled. For the most part this looks legit as a real video, though it does seem kinda ironic if the revolution will not be televised, how come the video for it did?
If any indications of how the new year should look is jumpstarted by what happens in the first month, then it's lookin good for the '007. Hopefully everyone has adjusted updating this year to their date books. This blog will include activity sheet of about 3 weeks, so here goes:
I got a new tattoo - it's an elephant behind my ear. It's a symbol of my heritage - Laos - because the old name for it was Land of A Million Elephants. You can kinda see it in this picture of me "modeling" my friend Has's handmade feather earrings. I bothered her so much to custom-make mine, she even named them after me. Oh yeah I got promoted to Fashion Editor at Dork Mag - yay for me, boo to my old clothes. Out they go. Now if only you could barter your unwanted crap for the stuff you really like at the vintage shops.
My dear sweet friend Sok, quit her job as a lawyer a few months back to do something more enjoyable than talking to another lawyer, calling it "a conference" and then billing that to a client for $250 an hour. She tried cooking as a job but decided she'd rather cook for fun and friends than for money.
She still likes to experiment with baking, so she's been whipping up batches of all kinds of cookies and cakes with different layer fillings and toppings to taste. I told Sok she should sell her products under the name "Betty Sokker", I think it would work.
This is here is a newly baked chocolate cake, with artistically hand-drawn topping design.
Mmmmmm, just look at it those creamy gooey swirls. For the first time, I've reached a chocolate cake before our other Anwar, a chocolate-feen, has devoured all but a dieter's serving slice. I gave myself two healthy helpings, before rethinking throwing away my old "fat" clothes.
This past weekend I went to see Cool Calm Pete, the biggest and realest crush I have ever had on another person as an adult, in a show put on by his label, Embedded Records at the Mercury Lounge in NYC. I think the fact that I'm a writer who has had to interview him is the only thing that keeps me from being a real stalker. All I'm saying is don't let me find Pete all alone in a room... I'm just saying. Anyway, I met up with Elisa aka El Gambina, the other Korean rapper I adore. Except she’s a girl, and we both love boys, boys, boys. Funny, when we got there and realized there were only females in the room. It was strange to see but a good thing for a hip hop show.
Later, Elisa’s friend Francisco met up with us and too and supposedly he was another Cool Calm Pete fanatic. I don't know if I can believe that, we didnt see him anywhere near the front vying for Pete's attention.
This is Loer Velocity. He is also on Embedded Records and opened the whole show. He came to see me when we had the Sulu show back in November. Check him out, he’s got a raspy rapper’s voice, and his beats are mostly jazzy - the kind of music you cool out to. I think he was also the only one to sit on a stool for his song. Now that’s calm. Some people just got it.
Here’s a clip of Pete rapping to Windsprints, one of the fastest songs he’s done on his album. If you’ve not heard Cool Calm Pete’s album Lost yet, you are missing a lot in life. I don’t know how often he performs, but Pete’s a rare gem. And I’m not saying this because I want to physically touch him for more than 5 seconds, but he really is that good. He's in my top 5, dead or alive.
One of my converted Pete fans is Phil, aka DJ Phillee Blunt. He met me there and took this picture of me looking real dumb while Pete was on stage, so I didn't post it up. It was the only time I wasn’t looking at Pete. I kinda regret it. In addition to playing my favorite songs whenever I’m around, Phil also takes pictures for me and drives me around. He swears he’s being used, but whenever I ask him about why he bought a mini-van instead of a little car, he’s insistent that it’s mostly to move around equipment. Sure Phil.
This last Sunday was the Youth Poetry Slam at Fusion Ti in Edison. The coordinator who put it all together and made it all happen was Ashley, pictured here in the middle. She also works at Fusion-Ti making all kinds of bubble tea, and every now and then she'll get up on the mic. She really did put on a great show, go 'head girl!
This big guy looking straight into the camera is Big Mike, the other host. Can you believe he is a 3rd grade teacher? The other guy in the background you may recognize as Jay Legaspi, also from the Sulu show.
He came by to show support and bless the stage with more of his acoustic crooning, complete with high notes. I wish I had a motion clip, but Phil had the camera this time.
Here’s a glimpse of the crowd at Fusion-Ti. Yes, it really was a packed house. Not to toot our own horn, but toooooooooooot!!! Oh yeah, that loop you see in the right corner is not a teacup handle, but in fact my camera string. Nice one Phil.
We also met up with our friend Harry (on the right), whom I haven’t seen in two years since hanging out with him in Hawaii where he’s originally from, and his partner in poetry, Mark. Together they make up Two Warriors, and they came down to dedicate their performance to us because they said we inspired them. Awwwwwwww. I love when your own peers make you feel super special. I think there may be a two-on-two, Yellow Rage vs Two Warriors thing happening sometime in the near future. Stay tuned.
Here are some more youths who’ve performed as well. I forgot their names (Third Time Around?) but they were well rehearsed musicians and because they were pseudo-rockstars they were on their I-wear-my-sunglasses-at-night steez. That's the only time you're allowed to do that. There were more performers too, but I haven't adjusted to my new camera yet so the rest of the pictures didn't come out so well. Feliza, Timothy, Dom, Cory, Reggie in the back, and everyone else we can't name because age wont permit, we didn't forget about you!
And here's us. In Edison, they really love their Christmas tree. For real.
I look like an amputee here. Phil, where’s my arm? Michelle still had water in her ears from this morning's shower. Either that or she's imagining life on the beach listening to seashells.
Yeah I’m wearing shorts. Apparently global warming has confused my ability to configure climate-adequate clothing. Whatever, I was comfortable.
Michelle also brought her daughter Myong, pictured here in the middle, who has seen all of the beginnings of the formation of Yellow Rage. Sometimes when we bring her, the show coordinators are concerned with the profanity, but Myong was basically raised around Yellow Rage poetry so she knows how the use her curse words, or as Michelle sometimes says, “cuss” words.
Since we were so close to Rutgers campus, my friend Niki (the Greek-Italian goddess) thought we should get food from the infamous Grease Trucks. At first I thought she said Greek Truck, like souvlakis and kebabs and stuff. But when she asked me if I wanted chicken fingers, french fries and mozzarella on my sandwhich, and I was confused as to how this could be authentically called Greek. Then she correctly me, and Jay later told me that despite being really good, if I eat one of those I might actually choke on some grease on the way home. Although it was a new year and I told myself I’d eat right, you know me - I love trying the local staple food of any region, grease or no grease.
On Saturday, our wonderful friend Adriel Luis from the Bay, will be here performing his great poetry at Villanova. I don't have any info becuase he hasnt sent them to me, ahem! I saw him when he came to town a month ago with his group Ill-Literacy, but the colored people we are, missed his entire show. Not to skip any advantages being on the east coast, Adriel, Dahlak and Nico managed to perform at another show the next day for a youth slam, and basically killed it. Good thing, they weren’t competing, it wouldn’t have been fair to the other guys. You should’ve seen their faces after Ill-Literacy went on. Shook like crooks.
This weekend Michelle is also celebrating the birthday of her son Victor. This picture is not Michelle's son, but some random thing I saw while wasting time on the net. I don't think Michelle will let me post up pictures of her son for the world wide web to see, not that I have any, but I don't blame her. So in the meantime, look at this picture and count your blessings that you're still alive for another year and please teach your kids about cigarettes or else Baby Smokes will happen. And about two weeks after today, Michelle will be celebrating her own birthday. If you see Michelle, you can give her two birthdays wishes (but don’t ask her how old she is). Have fun, guys.