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ROCK OF ASIAN: Onra

February 23rd, 2011 | 5 comments | Posted by Diana

Reasons why French beatmaker Onra is my obsession:

  • SPEX (obvs)
  • Hot-ass variety beats
  • Lickable likeable French accent
  • Chinoiseries (rel. 2007), the widely-lauded, smooth-souled, crackly, interpretation of 30 old Chinese and Vietnamese vinyl albums he lugged home to Paris from a trip to Vietnam
  • Dead sexy, head to toe. Even his fingers are sexy. I want to [blank] them.
  • Latest full-length: Long Distance (rel. 2010), which can best be described fun, funky, funky, funky, flirty, fresh
  • Forthcoming Chinoiseries Pt. 2
  • Occasional beard
  • merveilleuse vie paresseuse
  • Given name: Arnaud (say it aloud, reverse it; you’ve got his stage name)
  • Half-Vietnamese, half-French, he is the human equivalent of my two favorite comestibles: cà phê sữa đá and bánh mì
  • Love of cigarettes, basketball, vinyl rekkids, computers, joints
  • Inclination and ability to sample and build albums with respect to the source material’s societal context, while avoiding the pitfalls of politicizing his tuneage. Always, the music remains deeply, easily individual. Howdoyoosay, “Onra tracks are like a travel diary, joining the artist in a lighthearted pursuit for cultural and personal identity?”

[MySpace: Onra]

Source
Thanks, Alex!

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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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