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Showing posts from June, 2013

Zaijian Shanghai - We Will Miss You!

And so, as we say our fond farewells to the impeccable staff of the Peninsula Shanghai - who have pampered us, cared for us, and, when needed, overlooked so much (not least Paradise's pet white mouse and Husky Go-Go's antics) - we prepare f or the long journey by air and  sea back to California, where I must write and be otherwise occupied for a time. First to the frenzy and humidity of Hong Kong, then a Flying Clipper to San Francisco, then onward up or down the California coast, as the whim may take us. The Boeing 314s are a wonder to behold: flying boats that offer the true meaning of luxury, with a perfectly elegant dining area staffed by chefs from four-star hotels (my one bone of contention: why not five-star hotels?), plus dressing rooms and bunks for overnight accommodation. They are so large, these flying boats, that a man - a mechanic - may stand up inside the wing while in flight and perform maintenance, should it be required. One

The Intercontinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland Hotel - Amazing!

THIS is where we're going to be living next in may be 48 clicks outside of town, but how many other hotels can boast an underwater restaurant? This is the Intercontinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland Hotel , set to open in 2014 or 2015 at the foot of Tianmashan Mountain. It's tough, because the W Shanghai is opening around then, too - and Hudson has a very special relationship with the W.

Daft Punk - Random Access Reflections

The more I listen to Daft Punk's Random Access Memories , the more convinced I am that it is a work of pure genius.  It is also the French duo's ( Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter ) most critically and commercially successful album to date, debuting at number one in 22 countries worldwide, including on the US Billboard 200 chart. Each track flows into the next like the 1970s-concept-album-in-space that it is designed to be, and the range of music and sounds (given that the vocals are dominated by a vocoder , even with the various guest stars such as Pharrell Williams , Paul Williams and Panda Bear ) is fabulous. It is so great to hear Paul Williams again (a MAJOR songwriter, recording artis t and fairly frequent film and TV star - especially on The Muppet Show - in the 1970s) on the standout track, Touch, which shifts so beautifully into Pharrell Williams on the newly-minted dance classic, Get Lucky. The instrumental

The NSA, PRISM And My Shirts

I greatly enjoyed this piece about the whole NSA/leak story from my pal Frazer Rice's blog, which is called, not unreasonably, Perhaps what surprises me most about all this is how much I'm not surprised by NSA snooping. I feel that Google, Facebook, AT&T and my beloved Apple know all that stuff about me anyway (not to mention LinkedIn). I guess I'm just not paranoid enough anymore - I feel I could have a Hunter S Thompson weekend in Vegas and no one would care. I rather expect full valet service from the NSA now. A car with a driver would be nice - as long as it took me where I wanted to go, rather than a one-way trip to some undisclosed location. I guess it's being white and British-born (privileged, as my wealthier-born Chinese-American wife is always pointing out) - I feel that I could still engage in some pretty nefarious activities, and the NSA/FBI/CIA wouldn't get hot under the collar (hopefully they'd be pre

Daft Punk's Random Access Memories Is Superb

French electronica duo Daft Punk's new album Random Access Memories is superb.  I particularly love Giorgio by Moroder , a tribute to (and monologue by) the master of radically progressive dance beats in the 1970s ( Donna Summer's astounding I Feel Love and Love To Love You, Baby , among others) - but RAM has a beautiful shape and sound to it, from reflective tracks like Within to fabulous, heavily 70s-influenced songs like Lose Yourself To Dance, featuring Pharrell Williams. A truly groundbreaking - yet also nostalgic - album. Download it now!

Daphni's Outstanding New Dance Album, Jiaolong

If you like electronica/dance music, check out Daphni's outstanding album, Jiaolong - especially Cos-Ber-Zam Ne Noya - absolutely hypnotic, put that track on repeat and see where it takes you!   You can preview the album on SoundCloud .