May 30, 2009

POWER RANGER$

a few years ago, after graduating from UCLA, i lived in Mid-City LA with the homies Fatgums, Dallas, and Roel.  we were about 5 minutes away from Hamilton High School over in the Palms/Culver City area, which years later turned out to become the home of one of the most vicious jerkin crews anywhere, Power Ranger$.
these high schoolers got it.  from what i've seen so far, i think they're the most innovative out of all these kids that be jerkin.  crazy how they took the eastside step (or reject) to the next level and brought back the clown walk!
-ET

peep the new Rock Steady Crew.. haha




May 29, 2009

Interview with Eric Tandoc in UCLA Asia Pacific Arts Magazine

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival 2009: an interview with Sounds of the New Hope director Eric Tandoc

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival 2009: an interview with Sounds of the New Hope director Eric Tandoc

By Clifford Hilo

Eric Tandoc's short film Sounds of the New Hope draws connections between music and politics, the Philippines and Filipino America. APA talks to the director about striking the right balance to strike the most provocative chord.

Documentary filmmakers are the underdogs of cinema. They live in poverty, struggling between intermittent stretches of grant funding. They shoot their footage in completely wild and unforeseeable conditions, and are often prone to the most cruel and unhappy kinds of accidents. Yet, for all the hard-fought footage, the countless hours of tedious editing, and of course, the lack of funding, the documentarian must always ask himself, "What is the end result of this work?" For Eric Tandoc, all of this work and labor in documentary has an eventual point -- the creation of community and of relations between people. It is the hope that documentary as an art will have the ability to share and empower viewers, and give a voice to the unheard. With his new film Sounds of the New Hope, Tandoc wants to put the microphone to the mouths of storytellers who have not been able to tell their story before. In the film, he follows the Filipino American MC, Kiwi, as the young rapper grows from his brash youth as a gangbanger on the streets of Koreatown to radical political activism promoted throughout the slum-dwellings of the Philippines. But what makes this film so fresh, exciting, and relevant is that Kiwi wants to translate the rough material of real politics and class struggle through the word and rhyme of hip-hop. Like an improvement on Aristotle's notion that what makes a human political is his ability for speech, Kiwi transforms the flow of his rap into a tool that constructs a unity and kinship. Kiwi uses rap as a bridge for the impoverished Filipino to communicate. Rapping, it seems, is a much more immediate mechanism for saying what's on your mind. And much like Kiwi, Tandoc wants to use the tools of documentary to create these same bridges and to tell stories that are much more than stories. For Tandoc, the end result of a documentary should be action: to turn back, reflect, and serve a community.

Asia Pacific Arts: Could you tell us a little about yourself and the short film that you have playing at this year's festival?

Eric Tandoc:
My name is Eric Tandoc, and I'm a 29 year-old second-generation Filipino American who was born in San Diego and grew up in Long Beach. Aside from filmmaking, I'm a community organizer and member of a youth and student organization called AnakBayan and a progressive arts organization called Habi-Arts. Both of these organizations are part of a national alliance called Bayan USA, which consists of 14 organizations across the country that support the struggle for national liberation and genuine democracy in the Philippines, as well as the struggles of Filipinos living here in the United States. In addition to that, I'm a DJ in a hip-hop crew called Mass Movement and an emcee in a live hip-hop band called The Committee. My latest documentary, Sounds of the New Hope, chronicles the life and music of Filipino American emcee and community organizer, Kiwi, as well as the growth of hip-hop as an organizing tool in the movement for genuine freedom and democracy in the Philippines. It was created as my thesis film for the UC Santa Cruz Social Documentation M.A. program.

The film documents Kiwi's life growing up around youth gangs in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles and how he later became involved in hip-hop and community organizing in the Filipino community. Then the film fast forwards to his current organizing work through hip-hop workshops with youth in San Francisco at the Filipino Community Center. The second half of the film follows him on his political exposure trip to the Philippines in 2007, where he is hosted by AnakBayan and integrates in urban shanty communities. There, he meets youth gangsters who rap and connects with their experiences through the common language of hip-hop.

APA: Do you have any good anecdotes of working on this documentary while following Kiwi around the Philippines?

ET: Although the film focuses on Kiwi's experiences rapping with urban youth in the shanty communities of Caloocan, we were also able to connect with some of hip-hop's elite in the Philippines -- Francis M and Gloc 9. Francis M is considered the "King of Philippine Rap," since he was the first Filipino to ever release a hip-hop album back in 1990. What's great is that his songs are also very nationalistic, rapping about positivity and believing in ourselves as Filipinos. When we first met him, he told Kiwi how he'd been following his music with Native Guns since 2005 and frequently played their songs on the radio show that he hosted. Kiwi got to build a friendship with him and when Francis suddenly passed away from leukemia earlier this year, he took it really hard. We are all saddened by the loss of a legendary figure in Philippine hip-hop.

Gloc 9 is one of his talented protégés and had several songs on the radio while we were there. He's known for super-fast rhyming and talking about the struggles of growing up poor. But the ironic thing is, even though he's well known and has songs on the radio, he recently enrolled into nursing school and has aspirations of going abroad to work. I remember him saying how if he were able to financially support himself and his family through nursing, then he could be free to fully pursue rapping. I think it's a reflection of the Philippines' semi-colonial and semi-feudal economy that even a big-name rapper like Gloc 9 isn't able to make a living off his art and is forced to follow the thousands of Filipinos who leave the country every day just to survive and support their families.

APA: This is a piece about the mixture of music and politics, of hip-hop and massive political movements in the Philippines in a very literal way. Tell us more about the relation of music and politics?

ET: Kiwi and I both identify as cultural workers, meaning we create our art for the purpose of educating our communities in order to raise people's political consciousness and hopefully inspire them to take action and work towards creating systemic change. Music, and hip-hop in particular, is a powerful and direct way of conveying messages through personal expression. Often times, it's more effective than speeches or forums as a way of sparking interest in political or social issues. Music, like other forms of cultural work, connects with people's emotions in such a way that one can really feel the humanity and beauty found in the struggle for a better world. Music can reflect the realities of people and society, but it also shapes reality. A song can be highly influential and infectious, as it can inspire you to memorize lyrics and even cause you to behave in ways that manifest the values in those lyrics.

APA: You studied documentary here at UCLA. How has that influenced your growth as a young filmmaker and documentarian?

ET: As an undergrad at UCLA, I was introduced to documentary filmmaking through the History of Documentary Film course taught by Marina Goldovskaya. Through her Documentary Production Workshop, I made my first visual life history documentary about my grandmother, called Nanay. Subsequently, I took the year-long UCLA EthnoCommunications course taught by Robert Nakamura and John Esaki and became grounded in the principle of creating documentaries to give a voice to underrepresented communities. Through this course, I created 810LOGY, a short documentary about the history and growth of my multi-ethnic skateboard crew from Long Beach and our struggles with gangs, discrimination, and police harassment. Through studying documentary at UCLA, in addition to having wonderful professors as mentors, I was exposed to amazing films such as Beats, Rhymes, & Resistance: Pilipinos and Hip Hop In Los Angeles by Dawn Mabalon, Lakandiwa de Leon, and Jonathan Ramos; Koyaanisqatsi by Godfrey Reggio and Ron Fricke; Style Wars by Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant; and A Rustling of Leaves: Inside the Philippine Revolution by Nettie Wild. All of these had profound influences on the style and approach of the documentary films that I make. Before then, I had only associated documentaries with boring history channel "Voice of God"-style films. But these films showed me the diverse creative possibilities of the documentary medium.

APA: What's next in store for you in terms of your documentary work in the Philippines and here in America, and also with regard to your musical interests?

ET: We plan on taking Sounds of the New Hope on a concert tour around the US later this year and intend to hold the LA community premiere at UCLA. As for future projects, this summer I plan to work with AnakBayan and Habi-Arts to conduct documentary workshops with youth and educate them on how to produce visual life history documentaries about their parents and their experiences as immigrants from the Philippines. I'm also working on an ongoing video documentary about my cousin Mark Canto, who is an artist and first-generation immigrant, called Mass Movement: Roots. In the future, I hope to continue making films raising awareness about the people's struggle in the Philippines as well as the culture of Filipino Americans here in the United States. I'm interested in documenting the contributions of Filipino Americans to youth culture, music, and American society as a whole. One day, I also hope to be able to make a feature narrative about critical events in Philippine history. Regarding music, I'll always continue to DJ, make mix tapes, make beats, and develop my skills as an emcee. Currently, an album is in the works and will hopefully be released by next year. All the while, I'm continuing to perform and create songs with my band, The Committee.

May 28, 2009

May 27, 2009

VIGIL TONIGHT for MELISSA ROXAS in LA!

Photobucket Our friend Melissa Roxas and her companions Juanito Carabeo and John Edward Handoc were abducted at gunpoint last week in the Philippines. Melissa is a Filipina American from Cerritos who moved to the Philippines in 2007 to dedicate her life to working for human rights and serving the people as a community health worker. After a barrage of press releases, Facebook and Twitter posts, Roxas and Carabeo were soon released from captivity, but Handoc is still missing. It's important to recognize the power we have to affect the situation in the Philippines so thank you all for spreading the word. We are holding a vigil for them and the more than 200 people who have involuntarily disappeared as a result of government repression since Gloria Macapagal Arroyo became president in 2001. Please come and show your love and support tonight.. Vigil in front of the Philippine Consulate Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 7:30 PM 3600 Wilshire Blvd. (a few blocks east of Western) Los Angeles, CA 90010

Oooh... This ish SLAPS!

I think commercials are one of the few things getting better on TV. -Chris G.

Top 12 Reasons Against Gay Marriage

Photobucket thousands hit the streets of LA last night after california supreme court upheld prop h8 which denies same sex couples the right to marry.  my friend regan reposted this list which hit the web in february of '04, the author is unknown to me.
Top twelve reasons homosexual marriage should not be legal:
1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control.
2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can’t legally get married because the world needs more children.
3. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful, since Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.
5. Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are property, blacks can’t marry whites, and divorce is illegal.
6. Gay marriage should be decided by people not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of the minorities.
7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
10. Children can never suceed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why single parents are forbidden to raise children.
11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven’t adapted to cars or longer lifespans.
12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a “seperate but equal” institution is always constitutional. Seperate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as seperate marriages for gays and lesbians will.
-tadillac

May 26, 2009

FUNK FUZZ SUMMER KICK-OFF!!

THIS THURSDAY, MAY 28TH!! Photobucket Shouts out to the graduating CLASS OF 2009! Come celebrate at the freshest party in the LBC! Come early to hear ReVISION's 1ST EVER LIVE DJ SET and get in FREE!!! You don't wanna miss this... plus KRISSFADER, ET, and ROOTS spinning that new Long Beach sound.. Que Sera 1923 E 7th St, LBC FREE BEFORE 11 $5 after

May 24, 2009

Contact: Kuusela Hilo BAYAN-USA Vice Chair vicechair@bayanusa.org Rhonda Ramiro BAYAN-USA Secretary General secgen@bayanusa.org BAYAN-USA, an alliance of 14 Filipino American organizations and chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan Philippines), is calling on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Department of National Defense, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to immediately surface Melissa Roxas, an American citizen of Filipino descent who was abducted in the Philippines on May 19. BAYAN-USA also urgently calls on our representatives in the U.S. Congress to act quickly to ensure the safe return of Roxas. Roxas is a well-known Filipino American activist, who served as the first Regional Coordinator of BAYAN-USA in Los Angeles and co-founded the cultural organization Habi Arts. Roxas is an active human rights advocate and was instrumental in organizing a BAYAN-USA contingent that participated in the International Solidarity Mission in 2005, an international fact finding mission that called attention to the escalating human rights violations in the Philippines. Roxas went to the Philippines in 2007 to pursue human rights work, where she became a full time volunteer health worker. She was abducted on May 19, 2009 at approximately 1:30 PM in Sitio Bagong Sikat, Barangay kapanikian, La Paz, Tarlac. She was with two other volunteers, Juanito Carabeo and John Edward Handoc. Based on reports filed by the human rights group KARAPATAN and the La Paz police, Roxas and her companions were taken by at least 8 armed, hooded men riding two motorcycles and a Besta van without any license plate numbers. There has been no word on the whereabouts and condition of Roxas and her companions since the abduction. The circumstances of Roxas’ abduction typify the abductions and enforced disappearances of over 200 innocent civilians, allegedly last seen in the hands of suspected state security forces. “We are deeply concerned about the abduction of Melissa Roxas, Juanito Carabeo and John Edward Handoc. We call for Melissa and her companions to be immediately surfaced unharmed,” said BAYAN-USA Secretary General Rhonda Ramiro. “We condemn the ongoing abductions and human rights violations that have been rampant under the Arroyo administration and victimized thousands of innocent people.” The search for Roxas and her companions will be spearheaded by the human rights organization KARAPATAN, while BAYAN-USA, its member organizations, and allies will undertake an international campaign to exert pressure on the Arroyo government to surface Roxas. “We appeal to our elected officials, members of the Filipino American community, and all people in the U.S. who believe in human rights to take action to surface Melissa and her companions. Since we were founded in 2005, BAYAN-USA has campaigned ceaselessly for an end to the human rights violations in the Philippines, and we will not stop until we obtain justice for Melissa and all victims of human rights violations under Arroyo.”

May 21, 2009

Fatgums X Bambu Release Party Video

i finally cut some of the footage me and e.t. shot at last month's release party for fatgums and bambu's "a peaceful riot" ep. as you can see and hear, it was an amazing day at the beatrock store, one of those events that really makes you thankful for the community we've created down here: if you haven't already please cop "a peaceful riot" cd at beatrock.com or download it on itunes.
the park's finest bbq is now available to cater your next party, hit them up on facebook.
Photobucket -tadillac

May 20, 2009

Under the Influence

Photobucket someone made the mistake of nominating me for angry asian man's 30 most influential asian americans under 30, and the angry guy picked me!  it's a huge honor to make this list which includes karen o from yeah yeah yeahs and the co-founder of youtube.  i really have to thank phil yu (aka. angry asian man) for always covering my back, his blog is phenomenal and continues to inform and unite asian americans across the country.   speaking of karen o, "zero" is one of my favorite songs this year:
-tadillac

May 18, 2009

Remember to Vote Tomorrow 5/19!

Photobucket last friday teachers and community members protested LA unified school districts' proposal to lay off 5,400 teachers, staff and faculty. read the LA times article here. our education system is already shit, please support these educators in their struggle to prevent it from getting even worse.
please remember to vote yes on propositions 1A - 1F in the cali special elections tomorrow (May 19).  if these measures pass they will free up some money to start repaying some of the public education funding cuts and will help protect schools from even deeper cuts.  if both prop 1A & 1B pass it will repay $9.3 billion to state schools and community colleges.  read more about the propositions on the california teachers association website. 

May 17, 2009

Z-Trip on KCRW

KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic Los Angeles May 7, 2009 Tadillac told me about how he heard this on the radio a few weeks ago. thanks to ReVision for the link! -ET

May 16, 2009

the janelle monae experience

Photobucket on thursday cindy and i got to check out janelle monae for free at royce hall.  i had heard how amazing she is from the homies kori and phatty, but after giving her ep "metropolis: the chase" a spin, i thought she was a little overrated...but now i totally get it!  besides her amazing voice and creativity, janelle is a flat out performer who posses a power that i haven't felt since the first time is saw erykah or bjork live.

if james brown and grace jones had a love child and then was adopted by bjork and andre three stacks, the result would be janelle monae:

May 14, 2009

BEATS, RHYMES & RESISTANCE

last week at the VC film festival, i ran into one of my biggest inspirations in the documentary field, Lakandiwa de Leon. back in Spring 1999 when i was a freshman at UCLA, i went with my big homies Ray Ribaya and Rich Bis to the community premiere of his collaborative film with Dawn Mabalon and Jonathan Ramos,  Beats, Rhymes & Resistance: Pilipinos and Hip Hop in Los Angeles, at SIPA in P-Town (now also known as the Historic Filipinotown community of LA). it was made through the UCLA EthnoCommunications program, taught by Robert Nakamura and John Esaki. peep this groundbreaking film that was
an early inspiration for Sounds of the New Hope:

it was the first time i was ever exposed to the amazing talent of Filipino American community folks. i remember being blown away by Faith Santilla, DJ Kid Wik, and Kiwi. Kiwi was the first Filipino American rapper who made me realize that Filipinos can do this shit. (Before that, I only knew about Francis M) thank you all for changing my world..

-ET

May 10, 2009

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival Part 2

here's more from the LA asian american film festival that ended last thursday. song screened in a very strong shorts program at the festival. from left to right; director of no joke burma li-anne huang, director of parallel adele adele pham and festival director abe ferrer: Photobucket eric answering questions after the world premiere of his film sounds of the new hope: Photobucket eric and his mom: Photobucket cindy, aj from xylophone films, eric and anna at the after-party: Photobucket thanks to everyone who came out to the "what's the matter with asian american film?" panel. i hope me and spencer didn't offend anyone too much: Photobucket some heavy hitters like scholar oliver wang (talking below) attended and participated in the panel. others who came out were asian american film legends robert nakamura, renee tajima-pena and curtis choy: Photobucket after the panel - from left to right: jeff liu from vc, spencer, me, lou nakasako, alex tse (writer of watchmen) and dustin nguyen (the asian guy from 21 jump street!): Photobucket -tadillac

May 8, 2009

Photoshop Skillzzz!

My homie Paul Espanola is up on some Photoshop boosties right now: ------ This foo even does kicks: ------- If you missed the people's elbow reference, you gotta check these out. It was a night full of techs, flagrants, and ejections! Gotta love playoff season. Lakers, Chris G.

May 7, 2009

Next Day Air Opens Tomorrow

Photobucket my brother-in-law david checel's new movie next day air is opening in theaters tomorrow.  he cut the whole film!  its directed by benny boom who's done music videos for everyone including snoop, nas, and 50.  if that doesn't sell you then here's the white man co-sign, roger ebert gave the film a great review.
Photobucket

Filipinos: The More you know PSA

my boy patrick epino's good deed for the year... check out patrick's upcoming feature mr. sadman -tadillac

May 6, 2009

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival Part 1

Photobucket mass movement tv invaded opening night of the LA asian pacific film festival last week.  none of the photographers wanted to take our picture in front of the backdrop so we had to ask someone to take one with my camera.
eric nakamura felt sorry for us so he interviewed me for the directors chair site
Photobucket
dj phatrick and o-dub on the 1's and 2's Photobucket
beau sia lookin hecka hard in a shimmery green scarf Photobucket
e.t. with michael chen the star of the opening night film children of invention directed by tze chun Photobucket
sometimes there's a lot of hollywood bullshit at these kinda things, it is LA.  but i can always depend on a handful of down-to-earth filmmakers have fun with.  from left to right: michael velasquez (who did all the photo effects in song), patrick epino, phuong tang and tim jieh. Photobucket
-tadillac

May 5, 2009

Al Robles Rest In Power

Photobucket we lost a true community treasure on saturday.  that night, while i was seeing his face and hearing his voice, al robles passed away.  i was at the LA asian pacific film festival, eric had just premiered his film and we were watching manilatown is in the heart: time travel with al robles.  the film ended with al reading a poem as photos from his life were projected on screen.  when the film was over, the lights went on and director curtis choy walked up to the front of the theater and announced that al had just died. Photobucket please visit alrobles.manilatown.org to learn more about this wonderful man and the work and art he brought to his community.  
i had the privilege of talking with al a couple of times.  the most memorable was when me, eric and my dad were filming at manzanar and al (plaid shirt) and bill sorro (far left) along with a couple of friends walked up and started taking with us.  it was a surreal experience talking to two legends in the middle of the desert.  two years later bill sorro passed away and now al is gone.   Photobucket
rest in power al.  thank you for your work and inspiration.
-tadillac

May 2, 2009

Chris G's top 5 favorite clutch performances

These were some of the best moments in my life starting at age 1.
Lakers, Chris G.

May 1, 2009

SONG Gets Mention in LA Weekly

Photobucket song got at really dope write-up by ernest hardy in the la weekly this week! peep game:
"Also recommended is Tadashi Nakamura’s hugely moving short A Song for Ourselves, which celebrates the life and legacy of the late Asian-American musician-activist Chris Iijima, an unsung hero of America’s progressive political movement. The film illuminates the roles Asians played in the 1960s civil rights movement, forging political alliances while asserting their own identities, while the portrait of Iijima himself — his oldest son’s anguish at not having his father around; his wife’s teary confession that the world makes no sense without him; his own words on how he came to create himself — will make your heart ache."

Most Exciting Playoff Series in the History of the NBA

Damn... DAMN! If you're not watching the Bulls-Celtics series, you're missing on a whole lotta FUN. SEVEN overtimes in one series! What?! Game 7 on Saturday, I have a feeling that it's gonna end with a buzzer beater... in the 6th overtime! I love listening to Chris Webber and Gary Payton. Lakers, Chris G.