Her mother was killed when Allied Forces bombed Japanese troops occupying North Vietnam during WWII and she was later separated from her father when the Geneva Agreement divided Vietnam in half. Three years later, Kieu Chinh began acting and over the next two decades landed roles in 22 feature films, winning Best Actress in Vietnam in 1969 and Best Actress at the 1973 Asia Film Festival. With the fall of Saigon in 1975, Chinh became a war refugee for the second time in her life. She made her way to California unfettered and continued acting, becoming known to American audiences through her roles as the Korean girlfriend on M*A*S*H and the immigrant mother in The Joy Luck Club. Chinh tells her inspiring story at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Unique Lives and Experiences series.
OK Go and Atomic Tom
It’s tough to keep pushing the boundaries of the music video format in the post-MTV world but the band OK Go makes it look easy. They’ve long graduated from the days of synchronized treadmill dancing; their recent videos include an elaborate Rube Goldberg contraption sprawled through a two-story warehouse for the song “This Too Shall Pass” and a crowd-sourced flash mob geotagging mashup for the song “Back From Kathmandu” where the band leads a parade through the streets of L.A. on a route that spells out “OK Go.” They’re bringing their live show to the Avalon on Tuesday with fellow viral videographers Atomic Tom.
It’s a free show at the Blank Club with Beta State, the new powerpop project of guitarist Ryan Hernandez and drummer Adrian Robison, formerly of the band Strata (with singer Eric Victorino who went on to form The Limousines). Hernandez and Robison teamed up with bassist Justin Kastner and vocalist Matt McDonald in San Francisco and recently released their debut album, Stars, that’s already been getting some major TV and radio play. They’ve got all the right elements that seem to be popular in mainstream rock these days: massive guitar reverb, dance rock rhythms, emo vocals and big, sing-along choruses. They’re joined Wednesday night by Gardens & Villa and The Cryptics.
Jazz Warehouse Art Jam
Jazz jams are nothing new. Bring together some jazz players and watch the magic happen. But SLG Art Boutiki is on to something. They figured out how to make a jazz jam more inclusive: invite those who can’t play instruments to bring pencils and sketchbooks for making jazz-inspired art. The gallery then displays the best submissions in the following month’s jam session, thus completing the cycle of art imitating life imitating art imitating life. It’s like Sun Ra meets M. C. Escher.
Pac Div and Rey Resurreccion
Pacific Division, better known as Pac Div, is a rap trio from SoCal comprised of BeYoung, Like and Mibbs. But the local star of Friday’s hip-hop show at VooDoo Lounge is Rey Resurreccion, the Filipino rapper whose music videos shot around San Jose have been blowing up on YouTube. Rey’s been putting out mixtapes through Clout Magazine and Cukui Clothing, making his own beats as well as collaborating with Bay Area producers like the Bangerz, Nima Fadavi and ChexMex. With the stars aligned, 2011 could turn out to be a very good year for Rey and the San Jose hip-hop scene, assuming other venues pick up the slack if the VooDoo Lounge indeed shutters its doors at the end of this month.