Category Archives: Chinese

Brenda Xu Unplugged

bannerbrendxu1a.jpg

From singer/songwriter Brenda Xu, this is a video that was shot for a promotional piece for the San Diego Asian Film Festival music event, Blowfish: Unplugged.

From her site:

Taking piano lessons from her mother at age 10 was almost enough to scare her off music forever. But San Diego’s Brenda Xu said that within a few years she’d rekindled her love for the music.

Today, the UC San Diego grad is devoting her energy and time to her budding career as a singer-songwriter.

The native of Harbin, China (next to Russia’s southern border), Xu came to the United States at age 5 to live with her grandmother in the L.A. area. At 10, her mother was able to join the family here —- and it was then she decided that Brenda should learn the piano.

But Xu said the lessons didn’t go very well.

To learn more about Brenda Xu and pick up her CD check out her MySpace page.  

Star Rising: Telly Leung and Rent

tellyleung2a.jpg

It seems that not only are Asian-American males getting more play in television and movies these days, but also on Broadway too. Case in point is Telly Leung, a 27 year old actor who is playing the role of Angel in the hit musical Rent.

Some of the national shows that Telly has played in (including Rent):

RENT (Angel / Steve and Others)
WICKED – Chicago Shiz Co. (Boq)
PACIFIC OVERTURES (Boy, Oberserver, Sailor)
FLOWER DRUM SONG (Ensemble, Ta u/s

At the same time Telly is also working on a full length feature album for release on MoppTopp records. To learn more about Telly Leung visit his site.

Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian two of the stories to watch for in the NBA this season

yaoyi.jpg

As the official start of the NBA season approaches, ESPN and their analysts are predicting all the stories, the drama, the teams, and the players to watch out for – and two of them are Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian.

John Hollinger – ESPN’s resident stats man and forecaster – is predicting Yao Ming will have the best Player Efficiency Rating (PER) in the league this year above players like Dwane Wade, Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant. For those of you that don’t follow basketball too much (or the stats) – that just means Yao is predicted to be one of the best players in the league this year.

Pretty cool.

Yi Jianlian, while not as impressive, is still being mentioned in the top 10 of first year players who may be in the running for the Rookie Of The Year award (although mostly due to more guaranteed playing time than anything else). Whether or not he’ll wither from the cold weather in Milwaukee versus LA where he was training for six months, and garnering a base of rabid female fans, might end up being more of the story.

Take that: Jackie Chan finally disses the Rush Hour films

jcsweet.jpg

 You knew it was coming

According to Associated Press reports Jackie Chan is speaking out AGAINST the Rush Hour films:

Chan said when he made the first installment of the “Rush Hour” series in 1998 he only wanted to test the U.S. market and didn’t have high hopes.

“When we finished filming, I felt very disappointed because it was a movie I didn’t appreciate and I did not like the action scenes involved. I felt the style of action was too Americanized and I didn’t understand the American humor,” Chan said in a blog entry on his Web site seen Sunday.

The actor said he made the sequel because he was offered an “irresistible” amount of money to do it and made the recently released third installment to satisfy fans of the series.

Chan said “Rush Hour 3” was no different from the first two installments for him.

“Nothing particularly exciting stood out that made this movie special for me … I spent four months making this film and I still don’t fully understand the humor,” he said, adding the comedic scenes may be lost on Asian audiences.

While it would have been nice to see this comment earlier – better late than never on this one. Read some more news down at cinemablend.com and contactmusic.com.

Move over Criss Angel, meet Andrew Ngo

ngo.jpg

18, Asian – and the best damn stage magician in San Francisco.

So maybe he has a few more years until he starts competing directly with Criss Angel – but his future is looking bright:

Ngo, the youngest performer there at age 18, won not only the title of 2007’s “Best Stage Magician of San Francisco,” but also the People’s Choice Award, voted on by the 500 members of the audience. For the past four years, no one has won both simultaneously.

Ngo’s confident persona and sharp, quick moves wowed the audience at Noe Valley’s James Lick Middle School when he made two 15-inch umbrellas appear out of one. Clutching his trophy, Ngo stepped off the stage grinning from ear to ear. “It’s a dream come true,” said Ngo, a San Francisco native of Chinese and Vietnamese descent. “I’ve worked so hard for this. Everything’s fuzzy right now.”

Mid-Autumn Festival & the super sized mooncake


Image from CCTV’s coverage

Today is the official day of the Mid-Autumn Festival – or Moon Festival – or Lantern Festival – or Children’s Festival. Much like the Thanksgiving holiday with its roots deep in agriculture, it has become a time more for family and giving thanks for those around you, and while different types of celebrations happen in different parts of the world, one of the main staples is the mooncake filled with anything and everything.

But a 13 ton mooncake?

Citizens in a dozen of Chinese cities had opportunities to taste super moon cakes while the Mid-Autumn Festival approaching. In Lanzhou, capital of northwest China’s Gansu Province, hundreds of people ate up a 40-kilogram moon cake within one hour on Wednesday. It took the chefs nearly six hours to make the cake, which is 2.8 meters in diameter.

One month ago, a super large moon cake weighing nearly 13 tons, was made in Shenyang, capital of northeast China’s Liaoning Province. Referred to as the “No. 1 of Chinese Moon Cakes,” this cake is 8.15 meters in diameter and 20 centimeters in height, and has a coating weighing one ton, and filling weighing 12 tons.

It took ten chefs more than 10 hours to make the king cake.

More Festival News

CCTV 2007 Festival Coverage

Mid-Autumn Festival kicks off today in China. People across the country are preparing to celebrate in many different ways. In Fuzhou, east China, the Mid-Autumn Festival means building towers of tiles. People do this so their lives and fortunes will grow just as high. Overseas Chinese and those living in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are heading to their hometown, Fujian, to spend the festival with their families. The local airport witnessed a 40 percent surge of passengers

Mid-Autumn for disadvantaged and blind children

In the festival called “The festive night of full moon” organized for the eighth year, the children had a fun day participating in the lantern and banquet decorating and karaoke contests, as well as watching lion dances, and music and circus performances. On this occasion, State President Nguyen Minh Triet and other leaders of the city’s government joined the children to celebrate the festival.

Giving gifts down, barbecues up during festival, poll shows

The gift giving culture among office workers is on the decline, but the practice of having barbecues during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday is rising unabated, the results of an online survey released yesterday showed.

F4, Vicky Zhao, Golf and Mike, Seoul’s Asian Music Festival and The Chuseok Holiday


F4, Vicky Zhao, and Golf & Mike

From the Korean Times:

Top stars from around Asia are kicking off the Chuseok holiday with exciting pop performances at the 4th Asia Song Festival, Saturday evening.

Thousands of fans are expected to flock to the Sangam World Cup Stadium to see Taiwan’s F4 and A-mei, China’s Vicky Zhao, Hong Kong’s Gigi Leung, Japan’s Kuraki Mai, Thailand’s Golf & Mike, Philippines’ Barbie Almalbis, Vietnam’s Lam Truong, and Indonesia’s Peter Pan. Korean pop stars TVXQ, Lee Hyo-ri, Super Junior and SG Wannabe will also perform.

With 13 performers from nine countries, this is the largest Asia Song Festival since it started in 2004.

The Chuseok Holiday


Image from Tour2Korea.com

Read more about Chuseok from Tour2Korea.com:

This year Chuseok comes early on September 25, 2007, one of Korea’s major holidays. According to the solar calendar, the official Chuseok holiday is from September 24 to 26. However, because this year’s Chuseok is right after the weekend, the holidays will be from September 22 to 26 for 5 days. Chuseok offers a great opportunity for foreign visitors to tour Korea’s cities and enjoy Korea’s culture without the usual bustle. But first, let’s begin by understanding what Chuseok is.

Chuseok (Hangawi)

As one of the three major holidays, which include Seollal and Dano, Chuseok is also known as “Hangawi,” which means the very middle of August, or August 15 according to the lunar calendar. As an agrarian society throughout history, Hangawi was the day in which Koreans thanked the ancestors for the year’s harvest and shared their abundance with family and friends.