(1) Sunny had mentioned while at the Journey concert that he didn’t want his American Pop blog to become the Arnel Pineda show. I feel him on that, which is why I will forego writing my own lengthy review of this past weekend’s show, since my review would be completely peppered with uncritical feelgoodism (and you get it already: I *heart* Arnel Pineda). Instead, let me point you to two local papers’ reviews (San Mateo County Times | Sacramento Bee) of the other two Northern California Journey-Heart-Cheap Trick shows. If I am reading these reviews correctly, all of the Northern California shows were sold out. Some perspective: the Police reunion tour and Stevie Wonder did not sell out these amphitheater venues.
The reviewers acknowledge the Filipino fan base, especially given the high concentrations of Filipinos in the Bay Area (and California in general), longtime band members Schon and Cain make note that their newly released album is their most successful in two decades (it hit #1 on Billboard charts), and this gets me thinking about Filipino Americans and the community’s buying power, and what makes Filipino Americans not invisible to other Americans. Imagine what we could do with this buying power, and the ability to mobilize, outside of pop culture.
If one were to believe mass media, this is the stuff Filipino Americans rally around: a Filipino A. Pineda visible in American hiphop (apl.de.ap) and a Filipino A. Pineda visible in American rock and roll. It’s like MTV and Billboard are our biggest hope as a community. In other words, there is something to be said here about our priorities. I am sure there is a discussion waiting to be had here; I realize what I’ve just written is reductive. As well, Filipinos mobilizing around apl.de.ap’s work is politically charged as his work has political content. So that’s one fundamental difference between the two A. Pinedas in American popular culture.
Well, anyway, I had a blast. See pictures of the party that it was over at Joanne Rondilla’s blog!
(2) Small Press Traffic Evening of Experimental Fiction. I am co-hosting this event, and will be introducing Sesshu Foster and R. Zamora Linmark. So today, I am catching up on my reading of Linmark, as I have not yet cracked open his latest, The Evolution of a Sigh. Someone recently described him as a modern day Robert Browning, but now I can’t remember who said this. As for Foster, I don’t know that I can realistically get to reading an entire novel in the next couple of days, given my attention span, so I will have to do my best with excerpts and book reviews. Certainly, my recent fervent reading of City Terrace Field Manual will help. At least I hope it will.
(3) Carnivàle DVD’s. I finally threw down on Season 2 DVD’s and we ploughed through these rabidly, as the pace really picked up here. Or maybe it isn’t the pace as much as it is the urgency, with the plot and disparate parts coalescing and finally starting to make some sense. A comprehensive Carnivàle post is forthcoming!
(4) Craig Santos Perez: From Unincorporated Territory book launch is tonight in Berkeley! From Oscar’s blog:
Department of Ethnic Studies & University Press Books invite you to join Craig Santos Perez in a reading from his new book of poetry: from Unincorporated Territory. TUESDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2008, 5:30 – 7:00 PM In the preface to his first book, a lyrical epic on the violent convergences of colonialisms on Guam (Japanese and American), history, family, and language (Chamorro and English), Perez writes: “On some maps, Guam doesn’t exist; I point to an empty space in the Pacific and say, ‘I’m from here.’ On some maps, Guam is a small, unnamed island; I say, ‘I’m from this unnamed place.’ On some maps, Guam is named ‘Guam, U.S.A.’ I say, ‘I’m from a territory of the United States.” On some maps, Guam is named, simply, ‘Guam’; I say, ‘I am from Guam.’” Written in the spirit of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictée and Barbara Jane Reyes’s Poeta en San Francisco, Perez’s book promises to add significantly to a growing canon of Pacific poetries.
Craig Santos Perez, a native Chamoru from the Pacific Island of Guahan (Guam), has lived in California since 1995. He received his MFA in Poetry from the University of San Francisco and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. He is co-founder of Achiote Press and author of several chapbooks.
UNIVERSITY PRESS BOOKS | 2430 BANCROFT WAY (between Telegraph & Dana), BERKELEY www.universitypressbooks.com