The all-girl pop/rock band Nylon Pink recently released a cover of Big Bang’s latest hit, “Blue”. The video features an English cover of the Korean group’s first release off their latest mini-album “Alive” – whose video also boasts a 15 million view count (and counting!) in a month. The girls’ cover features a different take on the original – check it out!
Share us your thoughts! What are some of your favorite covers of “Blue”, Audrey readers?
We all know Asian Americans have musical talent. Have you heard Joseph Vincent croon a tune or Clara C bang on her tambourine? It must have been ingrained into us since the days of yore when our parents
forced piano lessons down our throats gently encouraged us to play piano.
Are you tired of seeing Asian American musical talent being limited to the bounds of YouTube.com? Are you an aspiring solo singer or member of a vocal group that has always dreamed of making it big-time? Well, wait no longer! Here, at Audrey Magazine, we’re absolutely teeming with excitement to present to you a once in a lifetime opportunity. THE X FACTOR, the highly anticipated show produced by Simon Cowell that is debuting on FOX this fall, will be holding auditions in major cities around the country. You or your vocal group could be the recipient of an extraordinary $5 million dollar recording contract with Syco/Song Music and on your way to global stardom hood.
I was marinating in my long time friend’s raves about jazz band Pink Martini during our bi-monthly double-date at The Corner Place Korean BBQ House in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Living in Seoul together, we had both missed the atmosphere of smoke, clanking soju bottles, and the jib jab busy sounds of Korean.
It was at Milk, a delectable ice cream parlor on La Brea, my friend continued to rave on with glittering eyes about how amazing this group was. So naturally, I went home that night to do a bit of research and came to find that I had glitter in my eyes as I listened to their music and found out that the cellist in the band is a Chinese American musician, Pansy Chang. Simply fantastique!
Chang is one of the twelve musicians in Pink Martini. Drawing inspiration from music all around the world, Pink Martini, the “little orchestra” as founder and bandleader Thomas Lauderdale calls it, has released four albums on the band’s own independent label, Heinz Records: Sympathique (1997), Hang on Little Tomato (2004), Hey Eugene! (2007) and Splendor In The Grass, (2009). They are a whimsical 1940’s and 50’s-esque jazz group that began when Lauderdale met fellow Crimson, China Forbes at Harvard. Their first song “Sympathique” became an overnight sensation in France, and was nominated for “Song of the Year” at France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards. In fact, the band has gone gold in many countries including Canada, Greece, and Turkey and is continuing with their international success.
Pink Martini performed last month at the Hollywood Bowl on September 10th through the 12th. They performed an impressive show full of “Gershwin meets the Girl from Ipanema meets peaceful Kyoto” and the audience was completely entranced under a night sky with the Bowl’s celebrated and loved fireworks finale. I loved the performance and was able to enjoy a much-needed night out with good music, good wine, and good company…three things that Americans need more of. My personal favorite song is “Hang on Little Tomato”. It has sort of become the theme song of my life whenever I’m typing away on my notebook…or paying the bills. Rufus Wainwright, another personal favorite, made a guest appearance, as well as Jane Powell, Ari Shapiro, and even the cast of Sesame Street.
Chang has performed in North America, Europe, and Israel and has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Chamber Music Northwest, on Bob Sherman’s “Listening Room” – WQXR New York, and in both the Yale Spectrum Series and the Yale Faculty Artist Series in New Haven. Her impressive resume also includes performances with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, the Oregon Symphony, and regional orchestras in the Washington, DC and Portland metropolitan areas. In 1992, Chang was awarded a Fulbright Grant for study in the United Kingdom, and was a semi-finalist in the 1993 Leonard Rose International Cello Competition. Much of her work now seems to be in part of the efforts for Pink Martini.
Chang, along with the other members of Pink Martini have performed with over 25 orchestras around the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center and the BBC Concert Orchestra in London. Other appearances include the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, at Carnegie Hall; the opening party of the remodeled MoMA in New York; the Governor’s Ball at the 80th Annual Academy Awards in 2008; and the opening of the 2008 Sydney Festival in Australia.
Lauderdale said it best: “All of us in Pink Martini have studied different languages as well as different styles of music from different parts of the world. So inevitably, because everyone has participated at some point in the writing or arranging of songs, our repertoire is wildly diverse. At one moment, you feel like you’re in the middle of a samba parade in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next moment, you’re in a French music hall of the 1930s or a palazzo in Napoli. It’s a bit like an urban musical travelogue. We’re very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad … and therefore have the incredible diplomatic opportunity to represent – through our repertoire and our concerts – a broader, more inclusive America … the America which remains the most heterogeneously populated country in the world … comprised of people of every country, every language, every religion. We’re a bit like musical archeologists, digging through recordings and scores of years past and rediscovering beautiful songs.”
The multilingual, virtuosic musicians of Pink Martini cross boundaries with each new album producing gifts of music for our ears. Hopefully with more fame, we will enjoy more of Pink Martini’s tunes. In fact, one day I’d love to have an actual pink martini with Ms. Pansy Chang.
For more information on Pink Martini or Pansy Chang, you can support them here at: www.pinkmartini.com