Am I TOO anal about my sitar? Could there ever be such a thing as being TOO anal about my sitar? Here’s the deal. I don’t mind other people touching my “stuff”, cause it’s all just that, “stuff”. I’m not a very materialistic person, and “stuff” doesn’t really mean anything to me. But lately I’ve been realizing, I’m REALLY ANAL about my sitar. I was at practice the other day for the gig on Sunday (see below), and my sitar was out of its case, off to the side, cause I was playing with it on and off. This girl was clearing space for a few other people to practice, so she picked up my sitar and moved it out of the way. Like I said, generally, I don’t really care when people touch my stuff, I’m not a very stuff-oriented person. But from the second she picked up my sitar to the moment she set it down, my eyes were on her like a laser guided tracter beam.

It’s just that the thing is really fragile, and if anyone dings it, scratches it, or dents it, I’d rather it be me than anyone else, even if they are trying to be careful. I should have spoken up, but I didn’t cause I’m shy like that… I gotta get over that. Same thing happened last night, TWICE. Second time I just stepped in and said I’ll move it out of the way. But am I being TOO anal?

I don’t think I am, cause like I said, the thing’s really fragile. And I have a lot vested in it. Even though it’s a material thing, it’s my instrument, if I were a carpenter, it would be my tools. My sitar, in a way, is an extension of myself. So yea, I’m anal about the thing. Hello.

So anyway, here’s info about my gig on Sunday. I think it’s gonna be really cool, there are ton of really talented artists getting together for this thing, and I feel totally humbled just being a part of it. It should be great.


All this week at the Gene Siskel Film Center they’re having an Asian-American film festival, and Sunday is the last day and I will be part of the closing performance that night along with a slew of other really talented artists. The performance will include video, spoken word, dance, and music. A lot of it will be political, both serious and seriously satirical, and other pieces deal with individual and social issues with being Asian in America. It should be cool, so you all should come check it out! Here’s some quick info, and below I’ve included the brief synopsis on the show, and an article about the Showcase from the Chicago Tribune:

MARS, MARRIAGE, AND MASS DISTRACTION Sunday, April 11 at 7pm Gene Siskel Film Center 164 N State (at Randolph, right above the Lake St CTA Red Line Station) $9 —————————- Elevator Speech:

It seems everybodys talking politics these days. Tired of being told what you believe from political pundits and public opinion polls? Whos being polled anyway? Nobody I know. Whether it be witty or angry, utopian or bemused, critical or celebratory, this performance takes all that palpable anxiety and turns it into the carnivalesque hallucination of the past three years. Come experience our take on the current state of affairs through a colorful interweaving of the spoken word, music, video, movement and dance talents of the Asian American community of Chicago. Featuring the collaborative work of:

Nilofer Ahsan Kay Barret Jeff Chan Greg Grucel Adam S. Kellman Sharmili Majmudar Mary Anne Mohanraj Jon Monteverde Vince Pham Sarwat Rumi Rupal Soni Nikhil Trivedi Kelly Tsai Chien Yuan

Directed by Sheelah Murthy of MRS RAOS GROWL —————————- From the Chicago Tribune:

Asian films from up-and-comers at Siskel By John Petrakis, Special to the Tribune

The Asian American Showcase is more than a film festival: It’s a full-fledged, 13-day art attack, chock full of events that complement the carefully chosen feature-length films, documentaries and shorts programs. All are by up-and-coming Asian-American filmmakers, many of whom will be in town to screen and discuss their work.

Of course, the substance of the showcase consists of the films and videos themselves. Over the years, the Asian American Showcase has nabbed a number of films that have gone on to successful theatrical runs, including “Charlotte Sometimes” and “Robot Stories.” Promising films this year include “Invisible Light,” about two troubled women involved with the same naive Korean man; “See You Off to the Edge of Town,” a road comedy about a Hong Kong family’s disastrous visit to the Grand Canyon; “Take Out,” which looks at a bicycle delivery man in New York City; “American Aloha,” about the rise, fall and rise again of traditional hula dancing; and “Sumo East and West,” which reveals everything you need to know about Sumo wrestling.

One pre-screened film is Victor Vu’s “First Morning” (***), a melancholy feature about the sacrifices a family must make as they escape South Vietnam after the Vietnam War, with hopes of finding greater opportunities in the United States. The film centers on Linh, the family’s only daughter, whose inability to cope in her new homeland is a source of anguish for the other family members, as well as a constant reminder of the mistakes and compromises they have made for the sake of security and prosperity. The acting is low-key and effective, especially that of the photogenic Kathleen Luong (Linh),whose sad face and sagging spirits mask a family secret that has been buried for too many years.

Here’s a rundown of other festival events:

…And on April 11 at the Film Center stage, the Asian American Artists’ Collective introduces a multimedia performance piece that ponders the current political scene via language, music, dance and video.

The 9th Asian American Showcase runs through April 14 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, … Tickets are $9. 312-846-2600.