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Party On With Hyphen This Weekend!

May 5th, 2011 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

OH MY GAW, Y’ALL! HYPHEN IS COMING DOWN TO LALA!

That’s right. Our favorite Bay Area mag is having a party in LA’s Chinatown on Saturday. And you know when Asians party, they PARTY. Get out your drinking goggles!!

If you live in the lovely City of Angels, come stalk special guests Jane Lui and Beau Sia with us. And if you don’t live here, umm…  just buy a plane ticket and rage with yer peeps.

Also slated to be there: Dawen, Sam Kang, Skim, A’Misa Chiu, Yumi Sukigawa, hot DJs, prizes, and my much-better-looking doppelganger, Hyphen publisher Lisa Lee!

So come one, come all, just come! Oh, and it’s 21+ (Sorry, kids. Borrow your sister’s ID!).

[Hyphen: Our Bittersweet Issue Teaser Party in L.A.]

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Thanks, Lisa and Sandy!

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Best Coast

November 10th, 2010 | 3 comments | Posted by Diana


I have overplayed Best Coast’s debut full-length from Mexican Summer, “Crazy For You,” to the point of nausea, since August of this year. I blast it in the car, listen to it in the bedroom, sing what words I can remember during my morning shower, let it seep through the speakers when I’m blogging about other bands. You might think I’m obsessed, but I would argue that it’s not about me. Something in the girly, silly, lazy, bratty, surfy, stony, gritty indie tuneage adheres to the brain and you kinda can’t shake it. It’s hard to imagine that anybody could.

In short, Best Coast is crack. And my stereo is the pipe.

There’s something about “Crazy For You” that takes me to a different place, outside of the eastside LA hood that I happen share with the band, a place somewhere in my memory: It’s the late nineties, I’m wearing a Cub tee and bright red lipstick, leaning against a beat-up mid-century office chair (the fruit of a good dumpster dive) on the floor of an artfully dingy Bay area dining room, inhaling the pervasive house aroma (a mix of Nag Champa, wheatgrass, clove cigarettes, dusty vinyl, rum and crappy Canadian weed) of my host’s charmingly shitty abode. The house is filled with friends that only seem to wear various shades of hemp. We’re ranking all the bands on Lookout! Records. I’m listing rockass chick bass players I wish I could be. We all just bought a bunch of used first-edition CDs at Amoeba. I don’t own a cell phone. Nothing in this moment is ironic. Nobody has ever used the word “hipster” to describe someone or something occurring after 1970.

It’s a fantastic escape. I feel light, like I did then–when a drive to SF, lap around Haight-Ashbury and $5 rock show was all a person needed to feel alive.  But always, the album ends and I realize that I’m looking at my laptop, writing about famous assholes and dirty Continue reading ROCK OF ASIAN: Best Coast

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Pre-Order Far East Movement’s ‘Free Wired’

October 6th, 2010 | 11 comments | Posted by Diana

Los Angeles saw its hottest day on record last Monday, which was a sweltering 113 (or more) degrees, and threw Angelenos into a boiled-over frenzy–cars broke down, traffic patterns frenzied, tempers were high but energy low, the population went totally stir crazy. It was a united meltdown, chaotic yet laconic, awful for many but also kind of amazing.

With so many landscapes, cultures, alternate routes, neighborhoods and communities, it’s rare for a place as big and disconnected as L.A. to experience a shared moment like that–but on this occasion, everyone seemed to come out on the other side of 113° bearing the same post-brush-with-death orgasmic flush, and breathing a sigh of relief. Today, it’s raining for the third day straight, with grey clouds hovering over the latitudinal 10 freeway, but most of us are still remembering and tasting the maddened sweat from that burning day.

Listening to the major label debut of LA darlings Far East Movement, Free Wired (Interscope), I can’t help but think about one word: heat. The album, which will be released on October 12, is scorching, like a Korean BBQ grill or Sichuan peppercorns or a day so igneous in Los Angeles that it’s worth writing about. It’s hot on the charts–”Like A G6,” the record’s first single, has already claimed the #1 spot on iTunes and #6 rank of the Billboard Top 10 (BTW, note to ‘Billboard’ writer Michael Menachem: the four members of FEM are not all KoreanAm!). It’s hot in your mouth (try whispering along to Continue reading ROCK OF ASIAN: Pre-Order Far East Movement’s ‘Free Wired’

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DISGRASIAN’s Summer Reading: We All Scream For Ice Cream

August 24th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Diana

We’ll be away from our desks the month of August, carrying on with the non-bloggy aspects of our lives, watching mindless movie blockbusters, and indulging in summery drinks made with generous pours of bourbon. During this month, we’ll be linking each day to a different website that we ♥. Hopefully you’ll discover something delightful and new while we’re gone. If not, you are a serious Captain Crankypants and are probably in dire need of a summery drink made with a generous pour of bourbon.

‘Til September, lovelies.





Summer shmummer. Guys, it’s too fucking hot in Los Angeles right now to do anything. Too hot to walk, too hot to think, too hot to blog, too hot to be nice. It is literally too hot for me to like anybody else’s site enough to send you there, so I’m breaking the DISGRASIAN vacasian rules.

Instead, I am sharing a video of a Japanese robot serving ice cream. It’s the only thing that can make me smile at this particular moment because I am COOKING INSIDE MY OWN SKIN. GOD HELP LOS ANGELES.





[YouTube: Yaskawa-kun Robot Sells Ice Cream In Japan]

Thanks, G Scott and Doug!


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Asians And Journalism Go Together Like Ramma Lamma Lamma Ka Dinga Da Dinga Dong [We're Headed To The #AAJA Convention]

August 2nd, 2010 | 7 comments | Posted by Diana

Angelenos! Where U at?

The Asian American Journalists Association will host its 21st Annual AAJA National Convention at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles from August 4 to 7. We will have the pleasure of speaking on two panels on Thursday, August 5 as part of the “Diversifying Your Coverage” series with some of our favorite and most esteemed colleagues. Please join us if you can!

Information below for Thursday, August 5 @ The Renaissance Hotel:

“Diversity in the New Media”
11:15AM TO 12:15PM, Los Feliz, 3rd Floor
PRESENTERS: Gil Asakawa (Medianews Group Interactive), Phil Yu (Angry Asian Man), Jocelyn Wang (8Asians), Jen Wang and Diana Nguyen (DISGRASIAN)
The Internet offers a mixed bag of voices, but the success of ethnic outlets is still developing. Experts and experimenters alike gather to talk tips, hurdles and highlights of how to make diversity in new media work for you and your readers.

“A Hyphenated World”
2:30PM TO 3:30PM, Los Feliz, 3rd Floor
PRESENTERS: Jeff Yang (SF Chronicle), Bernice Yeung (Hyphen Magazine), Cynthia Wang (People Magazine), Oliver Wang (CSULB), Kai Ma (KoreAm), Jen Wang and Diana Nguyen (DISGRASIAN)
Journalists, every day, are challenged to report on a diverse and multicultural world. This panel discussion shines a light on some of the stereotypes most prevalent in media today — with a focus on Asian-Americans in Hollywood – and offers insight into covering the subtleties of a world rich in nuances and culture.

Continue reading Asians And Journalism Go Together Like Ramma Lamma Lamma Ka Dinga Da Dinga Dong [We're Headed To The #AAJA Convention]

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! The Hump

March 12th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Diana

Last night, I had a dream that I was sitting at a sushi bar, watching the chef work with his knife before me. He sliced two slim pieces of soft, red flesh and placed them gently on balls of warm sushi rice. He leaned over the bar and laid the two sushi pieces on the wooden platform in my reach, an inch away from a small pat of wasabi and wet pile of dusty-pink pickled ginger.

“This is whale,” he said, looking me in the eye. “No soy sauce.”

Taken aback, I said, “No. Thank you, no whale please.”

“Whale,” he said, now stern. “You eat it. Chef’s special Omakase.” He tightened the grip on his Shun knife.

“No. I can’t. I can’t,” I whimpered, overwhelmed suddenly by fear.

“EAT IT,” he said. And suddenly we were no longer at a sushi bar but in a cavernous black room, with him pinning me against a chair while shoving large, bloody pieces of whale meat into my mouth. “EEEEEEAT IIIIIT!”

The nightmare, of course, stemmed from a week of reading about the recent bust of Santa Monica sushi resto The Hump, an eatery known for serving exotic sushi. The place was busted after two undercover females with a lipstick camera ordered the $600 Omakase menu and requested whale, then were awarded eight pieces. They pocketed samples of the meat and later had them analyzed, identifying the meat as that from the endangered sei whale.

LAT describes the resulting charge:

Named in the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, were Typhoon Restaurant Inc., owner of the Hump, and chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto, 45, of Culver City.

Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! The Hump

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Kollaboration 10 Ticket Giveaway!

March 3rd, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

Another Kollaboration extravaganza is upon us!

We’re soooo looking forward to the competition (frankly, we’re happy enough just watching the video of the contestants’ group cover of Chris Brown’s “Forever” over and over again), which will take place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles this Saturday, March 6.

(Okay, maybe we just want to stalk our cougar crush, the ever-adorable YouTube star KevJumba, who is among the judges at the event.)

Get this! As media sponsors of Kollaboration 10, we’re giving away 4 pairs of tickets to readers! Here are the contest deets:

* Intern Jasmine will be judging the event.
* To enter, write a haiku on the subject: “Why Intern Jasmine Is Amazian.”
* Email your entry to info@disgrasian.com.
* Jasmine will pick winners by Friday at 3pm PST.

Here is my entry:

She taught me to tweet
We eat the same comfort food
Pinay pride for life

What’s yours? Good luck and party on!

[Kollaboration: Empowerment Through Entertainment]

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Guess It’s Settled: Miley Was Just Smiling With Her Eyes, Really Really Hard

November 20th, 2009 | 13 comments | Posted by Diana

It was announced today that Lucie Kim’s $4 million dollar lawsuit against Miley Cyrus–which we knew in our hearts she would never win–was thrown out by Los Angeles judge Robert Sohigian today.

Fierce. Fierce!

Fierce. Fierce!



Sohigian “was not convinced Cyrus had violated a state law protecting citizens from discrimination by businesses,” and tossed the case without so much as a stern talking-to about social responsibility, the significance of buck-teef and slit eyes, or a verbal list of things that toothy, chubby-faced Disney troll-models should not do…especially in front of cameras.

So it’s likely that what Cyrus will take away from this experience is a big, fat PHEW! And a cheerful reminder that when you’re famous, you can do really stupid, shitty, racist crap and never, ever be sorry for it.

[AFP: Judge Dismisses Miley Cyrus 'slant eyes' suit]

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Thanks, Jasmine and Kelly!

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Lynn Chen: The Hotness, the Interview [VIDEO]

September 14th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Wouldn’t you know it–just days after declaring our lust for White On Rice actress Lynn Chen’s mug, one of us (Diana) bumped into her ever-so-casually while fruit shopping at The Farmers Market!

We sat down for an exclusive, intimate interview about a range of topics, like how she got motivated for her Rice role and how she keeps that face so fucking infuriatingly perfect. Who the hell is that pretty? It’s infuriating. And no, this is not jealousy talking. Shut up. Shut up!

Enjoy!

Now go see the movie!

[IMDB: White on Rice (2009)]
[DISGRASIAN™: BABEWATCH - The Ladies of White on Rice]

xo, Lynn!

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Woods

August 26th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


As you may or may not know, Los Angeles is burning right now. An uncontrolled blaze is tragic and terrible–but sometimes for Angelenos, the L.A. fire seems like an almost necessary purge of all things impure (and oh, there are many), wiping the slate clean for another magical incarnation.

Perhaps it is this routine that turns fire times into days of anomalous calm, our millions of city dwellers just waiting and watching as thick rolls of gray smoke cloud the sunshine over our strip malls, reminding us that we don’t have as much control over tomorrow as we think we do. And perhaps our dirty deeds will just burn up and blow away.

Fascinatingly enough, it is not the hills of the metropolis engulfed in flame at the moment, but the Angeles National Forest (Non-cellphone-tower trees in our midst. For those of you who don’t believe, trust. It exists). Seems almost appropriate, then, that the album we can’t stop spinning is the latest from Woods, called Songs of Shame.


The Woods are based in Brooklyn, but one of the most infectious tracks on the album is an expectant heartbeat-instrumental called “Echo Lake” (a tribute, we hope, to the common name of a strange urban oasis on our city’s east side, not our neighbor in the Sierras), which could easily be the soundtrack to the day’s fire-calm. The rest of the album is a messy, raw compilation of psychedelic lullabies made distinct by both irregular composition and layered teeny vocal tracks–so small, lilting, and ethereal that they remind me of Miyazaki’s Kodama.


But let’s be real here. Um, hello, the album is called Songs of Shame. Isn’t a record, in its own way, simply a vehicle to purge thoughts and emotions (and arguably in this case, guilt/shame)? If it’s possible for an LP to be custom-made for DISGRASIAN, this would be it.

So why don’t you listen here. Then buy here.

And for those of you whose city is burning, temper your calm with Woods *live*: tonight at the Troubadour or tomorrow night at Echo Curio.

[MySpace: Woods]
[Amazon: Woods - 'Songs of Shame']

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Thanks, Maris!

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Nosaj Thing

May 20th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


L.A. beatmaster Nosaj Thing (real name: Jason Chung) was profiled last week by Flavorwire‘s Tomas Palermo, who celebrated the young Angeleno as chief among Southern California’s hot bunch of experimental beatmakers (or, more lovingly, “MIDI warriors”).

In this dense Q&A (prepare to take an ego hit if you hear about 35 artist names dropped that you don’t know), Chung emerges as a charming, ambitious electronic producer–a self-confessed web geek whose inspiration comes equally from Chopin and Daedelus, that composed much of his latest and greatest on a laptop while in air transit (an approach we’re happily familiar with).

We’ve tasted his newest tracks, and trust us, they’re delicious–lulling yet alive, dangerously smooth and complex. Now we’re dying to buy his new release, Drift, which drops digitally next week (a week earlier than the CD/LP)–so might we suggest buying the mp3 version if you’re a web geek, too?

[Flavorwire: Exclusive - Nosaj Thing Rides LA’s Post-Dilla Glitch-Hop Wave]

Thanks, Josh!

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Maggie Kim

April 29th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Paris-based Maggie Kim is absolutely stunning to look at, but don’t let that distract you from her many illustrious musical gifts. Kim’s voice drips with desire–a smoky, alluring blend of PJ Harvey, Chrissie Hynde, and something all her own–she adds a knowing, bluesy, quirky, New York-y tenor to lyrics like, “Baby please, come back to me” and “Why don’t you know… I could be yours?” All of this, of course, made the more interesting by an eclectic mix of punk riffs, gentle pop beats, r&b bass lines.

Kim’s newest, an album sweetly entitled, “Love Like Everyone” (which features the production genius of Chris Fudurich and Brent Arnold, as well as an instrumental cameo by Mike Watt) is due for a May release, and she’s in the States to spread the word. If you’re in SF, NYC, or LA for her mini-tour dates this month, and you don’t show your face, you’re a gigantic asshole and we promise you’ll regret it.

Find out more at her official site.

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Merci, Maggie!

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