If you're looking for a little something different to tickle your eardrums, WOK AND ROLL just might satisfy your craving. Wok and Roll is a CD compilation featuring 14 Asian bands from around the globe.
Produced by Itchy Korean Records in Houston, Texas, Wok and Roll features some of the hottest new emo, screamo, punk, and metal sounds from places like Japan, Singapore, New York, California, and Hong Kong.
A listen to a few of the featured bands on Wok and Roll's MySpace and it's clear that these bands offer a no-holds-back guitar thrash sound like no other. While Asians seem to be underestimated in the emo/punk/metal genre, not to mention mainstream music as a whole, there's no doubt that those numbers are growing and that albums like Wok and Roll are a great place to showcase some of that talent.
Check out a list of all the bands featured in Wok and Roll (below the cut)!
With a mother from the Phillipines, a father from England, a grandfather from India, and a grandmother from Guatemala, Ben Chibber is no stranger to different cultures. Being raised in Vancouver, one of the "best skateboard cities in the world", Ben isn't a stranger to the skater culture either.
Located in the heart of Vancouver, B.C., MONKE SKATEBOARDS has been making quality products since the summer of 1998 when founder, Ben Chibber, launched the company. This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the highly successful company which produces some of the sickest graphics and quality decks for skateboarders around the globe.
In addition to spreading their product around the world through successful tours in Japan, Monke Skateboards products have also been shown worldwide in movies like MVP2: Most Vertical Primate
For decks, wheels, hardware, accessories, or even Monke apparel, be sure to visit Monke Skateboards
Cartoons do matter. They're embedded with all sorts of complex concepts candy-coated in easy-to-absorb and fun-to-watch animation. How identity is weaved into animated characters can have a huge impact on young children. Surprisingly, this highly-rated American preschool series isn't a reflection of the U.S. "melting pot" at all.
The clever and culturally accurate inclusion of select Mandarin terminology has always been one of the key takeaways for Nickelodeon's NI HAO, KAI-LAN. The animation property, created by Karen Chau, tracks not only the 5-year-old Kai-lan's explorative activities, but the cartoon also uses interactive problem-solving skills, incorporating Chinese language terms/phrases, building viewer knowledge and interest in a multi-cultural environment.
Airing every weekday at 11:00am (ET/PT), Ni Hao, Kai-lan is one of the highest-rated programs on Nick Jr., placing second behind longstanding powerhouse Dora the Explorer.
Ms. Chao said she wanted Kai-lan “to be a Chinese-American role model, to be independent, to have a voice, to take the initiative and to not always have to follow others.” Ms. Harrington, the executive producer, said she hoped the series would have a special resonance for the estimated 60,000 girls in the United States who have been adopted from Chinese orphanages. (New York Times)Posted by Alden | July 29, 2008 | Comments (1)
This week's Fresh Face, CAROL BUI, rises out of Washington, D.C., with her unapologetic, post-punk, guitar thrashing and assertive vocals.
Carol Bui also released a follow-up album on 54 Degrees 40' or Fight! records in 2007 called Everyone Wore White. The album features very melodic vocals over dissonant guitars, rhythmically complex drums, and surprisingly, cello. Take a listen to "The Year After" and "Rockville" for a sample of Bui's dark, if not completely bleak, lyrics. And while her vocals can't help but be a touch sweet in "Modern Dance," you cannot deny the ferociousness at which she spits out her words.
If you're not lucky enough to catch Carol Bui live, take a listen to her (below the cut)!Posted by Michelle D. | July 28, 2008 | Comments (0)
Not surprised at all...yet it turns out the Danish are the ones to get there first -- dammit! Pervy bastards.
A group of co-ed students at the IT University of Copenhagen have developed a new game for Nintendo Wii: DARK ROOM SEX GAME (aka. Wii Sex), an award-winning multiplayer, erotic rhythm graphics-free game. It only features, ahem, vocal audio sex noises and haptic (touch communication) cues -- no visuals because:
Our idea was that a sex game would in fact be even more erotic if one stripped away all visuals and forced players to use their imaginations. Our hope was to use a combination of humor and embarrassment to make players uncomfortable, yet strangely satisfied. One could view the game as a commentary on the dull fixation on visuals in the spheres of sex and also videogames. Or, you can just view it as a cool party game.
Dark Room Game is played with Nintendo Wii controllers (because, as the students state: "When we realized the phallic and rumbling possibilities of the Wii-mote controller, we felt oddly compelled to finish the game."), and basically two players shake Wii controllers to find a mutual rhythm of pre-recorded sex sounds with the goal of speeding up gradually until, uh, climax.
What's even more hilarious? These kids even came up with a 4-player "orgy" mode, where players swap partners randomly and compete to see who reaches orgasm the fastest. Damn, who knew that those Danes had it in them?
Bright, minimalist accessories are the perfect match to summer's light and breezy aesthetic, and Australian brand MOGIL does it right.
Mogil designer Gil Cowen began creating luxury leather accessories eight years ago on a $1,000 budget. He was able to create a small, 10-piece collection of leather bags and belts, which slowly grew to include shoes, boots, and overnight travel accessories. Mogil can now be found in stores in Canada, the U.K., New Zealand, and Asia, as well as online markets.
Mogil is known for its unique design of blended skin finishes, detailed construction, and unique buckle applications. Check out the Monopoly Mini Clutch Glam Rock. Its contrasting bright colors and textures are showstopping, and its size is perfect for pairing with summer dresses and skirts. Come winter, simply throw it into your oversize tote as an accessories pouch with a punch!
With clutches ranging in price from $89-$148, Mogil gives you one-of-a-kind designer bags without the jaw-dropping price tag. Grab yourself a Mogil clutch HERE.Posted by Michelle D. | July 24, 2008 | Comments (0)
Love Peking Duck or roast pig? Best not visit the UK then, since the government began BANNING THE OVENS USED TO MAKE PEKING DUCK.
The reason? The ovens are imported from China, and therefore don't have the EU's CE (Conformite Europeenne) stamp of approval on carbon monoxide emissions. Officials worry that there's a potential for injury from the ovens, despite there being no record of any incidents involving the ovens whatsoever. Chinese chefs are furious, including celebrity chef Ken Hom, who stated to the Daily Mail: "It's absurd. What do the Europeans know about making Chinese duck?" Indeed Ken, indeed.
Many in the community are crying discrimination, especially since in 2006 the Westminster Council confiscated countless tabletop burners from Korean restaurants under the guise of safety concerns. In fact, there doesn't seem to be much public support for the ban at all -- and will there be a Peking Duck Uprising in the history books?
What's next, a ban on the deep fryers used for fish and chips?! Perhaps a ban on stoves altogether...after all there is an unknown potential danger for overdone, tasteless cooking. -- Oh wait, the English do that already.
The ancient festival of TIRGAN has been mostly lost through the centuries, but Toronto brought it back to life with colours, culture and cuisine for the second Persian cultural festival.
Tirgan is a four day event held at the Harbourfront Centre, featured theatre, film, dance, music, visual art, and cuisine from Iran. The legend of Tigran tells the story of two long standing enemies -- Iran and Turan -- who decide upon peace, by settling their borders. The most celebrated archer in the Iranian army, Arash, shot his arrow into the skies. When it finally landed upon the banks of Jihun, the Iran boarder expanded much farther than before, which provided much cause for celebration for its people.
Mehrad Arainnejad, the CEO of the Tirgan festival said, "There is so much value in the old civilization, and we need our intellectuals and artists to expose it to the masses."Posted by Geraldine Anderson | July 23, 2008 | Comments (0)
For those of you who grew up watching Dragon Ball, there is some incredible news. You may have been led to believe that the lead character, GOKU, was of Asian descent (or at least looked it, because technically he's an alien, but that's too complicated to explain), but apparently, you are wrong.
According to the new live action DRAGON BALL movie, GOKU is -- gasp -- white. To be portrayed by Justin Chatwin. Now, admittedly, he's got the "saiyan" hair down, but he's still a long ways away from passing as Goku.
But really, should we still be surprised that the Asians got pushed into the backup roles AGAIN? Afterall, in show business...it's all about the money game. And in the money game, "green" is the more important colour.
Any video-gamer knows interactivity, and engaging with their television or computer screens, but now the engagement between screen and viewer is being taken to a new level - in North America's first dramatic interactive feature-length movie, LATE FRAGMENT. Now the idiot-box won't accept passive reception. Instead you will be able to engage, direct even.
The National Film Board (NFB) collaborated with the Canadian film Centre (CFC) to bring you this first-of-its-kind feature. A male stripper struggling with past trauma, a mother dealing with the loss of innocence of a child, and a father trying to reconnect with a son- three different story lines, each with its own director, Late Fragment offers the viewer thousands of pivot points from which to choose. And as you choose which storyline or character to explore, you discover more nuances and delve deeper into the poignant stories.
Late Fragment first previewed at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last year, and hit Toronto retail stores this past week. The launch party took place on July 10th at Tattoo Parlor on Queen West in Toronto.
What are the cities of love? Paris, Rome...Singapore?? The government of Singapore would certainly like you to think so. In order to stem falling birth rates, they've created an official national matchmaking agency called the Social Development Unit (SDU) to encourage Singaporeans to get it on.
One major initiative by the SDU was to create the ROMANCING SINGAPORE FESTIVAL. This year-long annual festival is designed to encourage hookups among youth by sponsoring activities, such as: Friday Late Night Shopping, Chemistry Challenges, and Island-Wide Treasure Hunts - what fun! The government also publishes helpful pamphlets like "Mix N Match", which details how to organize group dates and instructions on ice-breaker games. There is even a "Romance Singapore" perfume!
According to its mandate, Romancing Singapore is a "celebration of life, love and relationships...aimed to convey the message that 'Love is the little things' and seeks to encourage everyone to be more expressive with their partners at all times, not just on special occasions" and "the spirit of the festival is to also help everyone rediscover and enjoy living in Singapore."
Perhaps the governement should consider a cheaper solution to increase Singaporean libidos: free copies of Kama Sutra!
There aren't a lot of people in baseball that are like KIM NG, but the Assistant GM (General Manager) of the L.A. Dodgers refuses to think about her situation that way.
"I can't necessarily go through life thinking that I'm different, I don't know where that gets me, really."Although she was born in Indiana and raised in New York, Kim Ng's odds of making it as a pro in the Majors were still slim to none because of her gender. In a mostly white, and mostly male league where testosterone levels are through the roof, Kim Ng has risen through the ranks from being a teenage project analyst with the Chicago White Sox to, now, the assistant GM of the L.A. Dodgers. Quite a prestigious position, right?
But, like always, the path to her success wasn't an easy one. Other than constantly needing to prove she belongs in a league full of men of different races than her own, Ng has had to bare through heavy racist and sexist remarks through her tenure, most notably that of which she calls, The "Bill Singer Incident".
Ng handled the matter calmly and professionally, and after seventeen years in the pros, Ng has gained respect from all those around her and has shown she is more than competent at what she does. In 2005, her recognition became global as it was announced that she would be interviewed for the General Manager position of the L.A. Dodgers. Although she eventually lost the job to the present GM Ned Colletti (who quickly decided to keep her on as his assistant), Ng is still touted as the best bet to become the first female General Manager in MLB history. Way to represent, Kim.Posted by Matthew Tsang | July 17, 2008 | Comments (0)
Iraishaimase! -- the common greeting when you enter a sushi establishment...and if you haven't heard it, maybe you should think twice about where you eat your raw fish.
Yeah, so it's a tad late, but who knew this existed? The SUSHI AWARDS took place last October in London -- wait...London? -- where 300 food enthusiasts and food journalists gathered to judge sushi plates from 7 of the best sushi chefs in the world (list of contestants & sushi creations).
Japan's Masahi Ogata won the Sushi Award 2007 Trophy, as well as ...wait for it...a year's supply of Kikkoman soy sauce (ahaha), and a London-Tokyo return flight. Ogata's winning Golden Shooting Star sushi (in pic) uses a vegetarian alternative that mimics the taste and texture of shark's fin, along with nori, fruit syrup, avocado, and frosted cornflakes. Um....*perplexed* ....this is sushi?
Ogata, a sushi chef for 19 years, said this about his creation: "With my Golden Shooting Star sushi, I tried not only to recreate the taste of shark's fin without using any fish, but also to make a piece of sushi that would appeal to the palates of people over here [in London]. So I'm really happy that people understood the effort that I made."Posted by Tamiko | July 16, 2008 | Comments (1)
So much talent is coming out of Sweden these days and making a global impact. Swedish songstress LYKKE LI is no exception. The Stockholm native is all but 22 years of age, but her debut album, Youth Novels, has already made heads turn.
The album is a fusion of electronic pop-rock with a little new age thrown into the mix. Lykke Li's raspy, almost childlike voice floats above really lightly-layered instrumentals. On "Little Bit," Lykke Li's sad and delicate vocals are balanced with very minimal percussion, while her debut runaway single, "I'm Good I'm Gone" is much more assertive, bouncy pop.
She's on a mad touring schedule right now. Recently in North America opening for Swedish comrade El Perro Del Mar, Lykke Li is currently touring Europe but will return to North America in the fall.
Be sure to check her out live when you can, but for right now, satisfy your Lykke Li cravings with the videos (under the cut)!Posted by Michelle D. | July 15, 2008 | Comments (2)
Hot or Not? So 1999. These days the best way for self-validation is through sites like BeautifulPeople.net. This exclusive social networking/dating site, originally from Denmark, has gone international with sites in Japan, Spain, Germany, and now Canada.
No fuglies or geeks allowed here - this site promises to weed out the aesthetically offensive masses so that beautiful people may finally have a safe haven to discuss" beautiful people issues", such as how tiresome it is to constantly be hit on by randoms in coffee shops, or just why is one's reflection so infinitely distracting?
Applicants to the site must submit a picture to a three day voting period where existing members rate their hotness. After those 3 days, if the applicant is deemed worthy, they're in, if not, then well, see ya! Plus, if an existing member decides to let go of themselves, *shudder*, they are given the boot.
So if you're tired of all those other sites that are based on lame things like "personality" and "interests," then this may be just the thing you were looking for.
Hey ladies! Imagine this...One day you feel that your Japanese husband/boyfriend isn't good-looking enough, or suave enough... so you call your girlfriend to talk about it and she tells you to meet her at this small cafe to drink some tea...and maybe even have a piece of cake while you're at it. You arrive, and before you know it, this dashing white man with incredible charm and gentleman-ly demeanour addresses you as "princess" and sits you down in a seat by the window so that the sunlight will shine, as he says, on your pretty face. In the next couple of hours, he brings you and your girlfriend more tea and desserts on command (whenever you ring your slave bell) and compliments you at every turn...even if you beckon for him every two minutes just to remind yourself that this royal treatment you're receiving isn't a fairytale.
Of course, this doesn't have to be a fairytale.
If you live in Japan, just head to THE BUTLER'S CAFE and everyday you can have (supposedly) good-looking and charming white men -- yeah, you read that correctly -- raise your self-esteem and do all kinds of wonders your husband/boyfriend can't do...as long as you pay your bill when you leave...and don't forget your glass slipper (heh heh).
The mastermind behind The Butler's Cafe interviewed 200 Japanese women and all claimed they wanted "a cafe where the waiters were male, good looking, would treat them nice and most importantly, were Western." A regular customer of the cafe claims that "all the butlers are very cute, cheerful and sweet and, above all, the fact that they're foreigners helps us to escape from reality."
Because, supposedly, only the white man can. We have a word for women like that...delusional.
The perfect soundtrack to sticky, summer nights might be psychedelic pop-rock in the form of ASOBI SEKSU. Meaning "playful sex" in Japanese, the Brooklyn-based band is made up of Yuki Chikudate (vocals, keyboard), James Hanna (guitar, vocals), and Ben Shapiro (drums).
Since their eponymous 2004 debut, Asobi Seksu has garnered critical acclaim, with comparisons to Lush and My Bloody Valentine. Their 2006 follow-up, Citrus, recorded with producer Chris Zane, further demonstrated their abilities with songs sung in both English and Japanese and a greater push towards a rock sound.
Frontwoman Chikudate's voice is charming and delicate, a perfect balance to the rich guitar and synth instrumentals. Asobi Seksu was recently signed to Polyvinyl Record Co., and are in the process of recording their third album.Posted by Michelle D. | July 10, 2008 | Comments (0)
Just because the news doesn't report it often enough, it doesn't mean the Darfur crisis has disappeared. To raise awareness about the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, the uber trendy tee-shirt company Public Library has designed SAVE DARFUR GRAPHIC TEES for men and women, sold exclusively at Urban Outfitters.
$5 from the purchase of every $28 tee goes to savedarfur.org. Go on, a little does a lot.
There's a new trend in South Korea, and for all you guys who don't mind being dragged around like a pet dog, it's perfect.
"I'm 6 ft tall guy and nice looking. Girls who would like to adopt me as your pet, please contact me."
Above, are the words of a typical applicant for a PET BOY position. Pet Boys are often college kids in their 20's who believe the "work" of keeping a woman company is a stress-free job...
Thousands of these college kids have jumped at the opportunity.
Last month, a local Korean TV Show announced they were accepting Pet Boy Applications, and over 2000 potential Pet Boys willing to trade their dignity for money contacted the show.
On second thought, being a Pet Boy really must be a great gig for financial reasons...after all, what girl wouldn't pay big money for a guy that shops with them whenever they want, takes them to romantic dinners, and basically obeys their every command?
U.S. President George Bush continues to deliver his uncanny ability to make people laugh. Amidst all the media attention that U.S. Presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton are drawing, it's easy to forget that Bush is still the President. If there's anything Bush has been, it's consistent. Especially at his diplomatic "mis-plays."
At a recent press conference with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (aka. "GMA"), Bush's attempt to pay a compliment to Filipinos tragically tanks:
"I am reminded of the great talent of our Filipino-Americans when I eat dinner at the White House ... The chef is a great person and a really good cook, by the way."
Oh no, he di'int! Don't be mad, just watch the video after the jump ... it'll make you laugh. When you're done shaking your head at Bush, think of what it took to sit there, swallow your pride and bite your tongue (or not crack a laugh). Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a real class act.
Visiting London, UK, anytime soon? Then heed the words of Yutaka, the Japanese programmer and protagonist of YUTAKA LOVES LONDON, who promises this:
Welcome to the best guide to London, prepared just the way you like it, no touristy stuff.
He'll direct you (with the click of your mouse) to Eye Candy spots (choice architecture)...Pubs...Shops (underground fashion boutiques, and the trendy shops)...Clubs...Nosh spots (bistros, cafes, restaurants)...and more.
Yutaka Loves London is a campaign by Virgin Atlantic, which uses the fictional character of Yutaka to highlight the best of the best in London town.
For fun, if you hit the "Yutaka Projects" tab at the bottom of the webpage, you'll be able to raise London Bridge in real time AND broadcast a message to London through one of the screens in Piccadilly Circus.
GREECE IS FOR LOVERS is a cool little design company based in Athens, Greece. They create kitschy items (like coffee mugs, T-shirts, home decor, and skateboards) that put a unique spin on otherwise ordinary objects.
Check out the "Tougher Than Leather" skateboard, taking the gladiator sandal trend to a whole other level! They've also designed another board called Ridden in Stone, made out of (you guessed it) stone, which they claim "Socrates himself used to ride."
There's no doubt that these guys have a good sense of humor about mixing the old with the new. They also sell some pretty cool stuff.
Check out all of their designs @ greeceisforlovers.com.Posted by Michelle D. | July 3, 2008 | Comments (1)
It's not new to upload your photo and then add different hairstyles to it to see how each style will work with your face. What's even better? St.Andrews' University's Face of the Future THE FACE TRANSFORMER, which allows you to upload your photo to transform your ethnicity (Afro-Caribbean, Caucasian, East Asian, or West Asian), age (baby, child, teenager, younger/older adult), or even turn your face into a manga image or an artistic vision (re: Botticelli or Modigliani style); as a drunk; and even as "Apeman" (50% ape)! Basically, harmless facial reconstruction!
Face of the Future is a publicly-funded project aimed at exploring the latest advances in facial computer vision and graphics, and what they mean for society. The project has developed a number of interactive exhibits, online demos and a lecture presentation aimed at engaging the public with the technology and the social implications of its technology.
Even better? You can save each facial transformation for your pleasure -- but as the disclaimer states: don't let your emotions colour your mood. After all, The Face Transformer is purely a fun toy! And just as plastic surgery proponents often say, once you make one change, you can't seem to stop (plus you can save all your images) -- highly addictive!Posted by Tamiko | July 2, 2008 | Comments (1)
In honour (with a "u") of Canada Day on this July 1st, let's go back in time to the famous "I AM CANADIAN" ads from one of Canada's much loved beer companies...eh?
Canada is the second largest landmass! The first nation of hockey! and the best part of North America...
No, this isn't related to the robot love in WALL-E...
SEGA'S brand new EMA is every boy's perfect girlfriend...the only difference is that EMA is a 15-inch tall robot. If you're fine with that, then the lovable and friendly (*wink*) robot can kiss, sing and shake its booty on command...the only things you need are some batteries and around US$175.
"EMA", which stands for "Eternal Maiden Actualization", is meant to attract men over 20-years-of-age and will be hitting the shelves in late September (in Japan, of course).