Wendy Liang sent in a neat article written by Oliver Wang for Asianweek, a San Francisco-based publication, about Asian Americans in the indie rock world…from 1996. From the article:

When it comes to a readily identifiable Asian American “sound” coming into existence, Park is somewhat skeptical, but he can see how a certain aesthetic can be achieved through songwriting. “You could see an Asian American aesthetic, not in musical terms, but more as a lyrical voice. People choosing to talk more about things that were previously taboo in rock music. I could see that happening in the next few years, because younger bands, like Miss May 66 and Emily’s Sassy Lime, [both of which are comprised of Asian American women], might be addressing those issues more directly.”

Both opinions are marked by a certain ambiguity and a respect for the unknown. However amorphous it leaves things, indie rock’s history has never been predictable. Scenes can come and go with the swiftest of fads and other artists can rise to a level of influence that no one could have predicted just by being at the right place at the right time.

“We all eventually discover, of course, that AsAm-ness is a big deal, but also that it doesn’t completely define or determine the whole of existence,” said Kim. “Perhaps it’s both, then, the emergence and absence or latency of explicit, politicized AsAm self-identification, that most often describes the AsAm rock experience.”

Check out the rest of the article at the AsianWeek archives for a neat read on the creation – or lack – of an Asian American music voice. And discuss in the comments section! That’s what it’s there for!

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