Music

Hong Kong's Answer to "Empire State of Mind"?

Living in Hong Kong, I hear the phrase “East meets West” a lot. Sometimes this is interpreted in odd ways like the television commercials for local property developments that feature Europeans frolicking in palatial homes resembling Versailles. The local music industry, on the other hand, seems to have a better handle on the concept. 24 Herbs (Ya Sei Mei) are one of the territory’s contributions to cross-border mixing of cultures. Formed in 2006, the all-male, all-Chinese group consists of six members including an actor, a music producer and a clothing designer. Their latest video is "Hong Kong/Kowloon" which is more than a little influenced by Jay-Z/Alicia Keys' video for "Empire State of Mind". Perhaps they’re less “East meets West” and more “East borrows West.” What do you think?

'Psycho': The Mother of All Horrors

Psycho stands out not only for being one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, it is also one of his most influential. It has been a template and source material for an almost endless succession of later horror films, making it appropriate to identify it as the mother of all horror films.

Francesc Quilis
Film

The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (By the Book)

With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.

Susan A. Phillips
Books

The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2009

Indie pop in 2009 was about all young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band, and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.

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