Friday, February 27, 2009

Mike League interview featured this interview of Mike League a few weeks back - I'm continuing music journalist and arts promoter endeavors with the last few interviews I've done: Mike League of Snarky Puppy, Eric Pulido of Midlake, and Filipino Reggae celebrity Budoy Marabiles of Junior Kilat (recorded one week ago).

I'm constantly impressed by the musicality and high-caliber collaborations of Mike League and his band, and even more impressed by the humility with which they approach their audience and music. That is why, when at the beginning of this year I was invited to join the creative team that would bring Snarky Puppy to uncharted territory, I was immediately in. That uncharted territory is the US West Coast, Europe, and Asia. First things first - the Pup is currently on tour in the Southeast United States, and making their way up through New York and on to Canada.

You may download the interview by right clicking (or apple + click) and saving the file here. Note: Tony Spiro on percussion on the last track "When the Saints go Marching in"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On a Slow Boat to China

I have moved to Hong Kong.

(It's nice.)

There are no pictures for this post, because it represents potential rather than people met or goals achieved. My main goal is to truly become part of this community, especially in the arts scene.
For now, imagine a photo for this post and expect to see many later.

What are you doing? Specifically?
I'm serving as the Asia Promoter for Sitmom Records, bringing Snarky Puppy to Hong Kong and other Asian countries in early 2010. There is much work to be done, but I made many contacts before my arrival and even more in my first few days throughout a series of meetings and social gatherings. I am also seeking other media opportunities in photography and film. I have a hushed excitement that is equally shared with friends and colleagues in Manila, Texas and China.

Special thanks to Ashley and Phil for taking me in during my first few days!
(Happy Birthday!)
Congrats to Lori on your new job with Mabuhay magazine!

Call me: +852 9154 4837

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Abide with me

Ed Pakan, from whom I get my middle name Edward, is no longer with us. He passed away at 2:25pm on February 13 in Eagle Pass, Texas with his wife Margaret Pakan at his side and holding his hand. He was my grandfather and a soldier, father, husband, and Christian member of the community of Shamrock, Texas. His parents were immigrants from Slovakia (then Czechoslovakia) and we have kept contact with family there for nearly 100 years. He and Margaret had just celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary earlier in the week; Ed was 95 years old. He was buried at the Pakan community cemetery in North Texas. Please keep Margaret and our family in your prayers as we mourn the loss and celebrate his final homecoming.

Some of my favorite memories of Grandpa:
He took us fishing. To me, fishing is the ultimate boring sport (after cricket) but his wit and occasional lack of fuel for the boat made an exciting time for me as a child at Uncle Dusan's lake. At one point, we caught a turtle and brought it home so I could have a pet. Since it was hard to track, Ed painted the poor animal's shell road-hazard bright orange. This was ultimately in the turtle's interest as it ran away (well, quickly walked) from the utopia of apple trees and sunflowers that was my grandparent's yard.

Ed had a love for watermelon and ice-cream. My sister Lia once caught him in the dead of night with his head in the freezer, sneaking a scoop of the frozen delicacy and rather than spoil his own party, he cheekily asked Lia "You want some?"

We used to spend every Christmas in Shamrock with Grandma and Grandpa. It snowed almost every year (or sleeted sufficiently to our South Texas liking) at Christmas and we made snowmen and even a giant snowboarding hill in their driveway (that took 2 weeks to melt). Once as kids, we visited in March for Shamrock's spectacular St. Patrick's Day parade and were so excited about playing in the snow - after all, there's always snow in Shamrock, right? RIGHT. It snowed in the middle of March and we were filled with joy, and snow cones.

Christmases have changed since then. We've had them in Eagle Pass and in the Dallas area. I had a very sad Christmas in Hanoi last year, and a beautiful Christmas in Flowermound this year, inviting a new life into the family, Thomas Emmanuel Cook. Next Christmas is still a mystery! And I realize in these years of seeing family periodically that sometimes people must leave this world to make the living finally understand how much they meant to us. Such is life, such is death. We will miss you Ed, and we love you.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hildegunn Gjedrem's first NY gig!

Hildegunn Gjedrem's first gig in New York is tonight at the cozy wine bar Abigail Café, 807 Classon St. in Brooklyn, 8-10pm. It's not really her first time to perform in the city, but it's her first time as a resident. You can expect much more good music where this came from! Have a listen to "Someone to Watch Over Me" on the music secton of her site for a great sample of Hill's vocals.

I'd be there, but I'll be packing my things to move to Hong Kong on the 22nd (it won't be long kong!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sarah Renfro Sounds

The photographic medium is fascinating yet limiting; it's ironic that I ever refer to myself as a "music photographer." If you could see ala Batman & Robin what was happening while this image of the Renfrizzle was being taken, it would look much like this - lots of impact and a flood of good sound (subconsciously).

I dig it.

Comic rendering by the artist.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kind of Blue

The color was blue a few weeks ago, for those who had the blues and those who love to play the blues. I hosted a shindig in honor of being, because sometimes it's just great to be, and to be blue. You will certainly enjoy simply being more when you celebrate it more often.

Photos by Taiwo Badejo, Paulo Bel Monte and Michal Garcia

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just another day in paradise...

While job-searching, you must give yourself adequate rest and relaxation time to be sure you can focus when the time comes to continue the search. Many people are searching for an answer for how to cope with more stress. The answer is simple: Don't get stressed in the first place. And if you're in the vicinity of Cebu, a 3-hour trip north (plus a ferry boat) will take you to the lovely island of Malapascua. This is where your friendly blogger and host has been spending a few days away from the computer. Now back to work and off to Hong Kong on February 22!

I'm not actually pictured in this post. The first photo is Chris enjoying a drink on the beach, followed by an awesome sunset (nevermind the jellyfish sting), and Daphne below with the fish that would soon become dinner.

Daph, Chris and my sister Lia (visiting from Viet Nam)

We enjoyed watching the locals skimboard. I gave it a go, but I'm out of practice and the shore ate up my feet, figuratively speaking.

What better place to sit, relax and enjoy a book about the, wait up?