MP3 Magdalen Hsu-Li - Evolution
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POP: Piano, FOLK: like Ani
Magdalen Hsu-Li is an Asian-American music artist and speaker. A pioneering Asian-American woman in music, she is one of the first Chinese-American singer-songwriters to emerge in the United States as a star in the acoustic/pop/alternative genre. By redefining her identity as a musician and artist, she is opening new doors of expression for Asian Americans and people everywhere by challenging stereotypes, raising awareness, and bringing communities together through her music. Magdalen is a consummate performer, visual artist, and free spirit with a world vision that cannot be categorized. She writes universal, personal, and political songs that stretch the boundaries of our consciousness.
Her live shows are powerful, high energy, consciousness raising events which feature piano, vocal and drumset duos, impromptu stand up and theater, thought provoking poetry readings, and spiritually rousing percussion and drum improvisations. In addition to performances, her lecture series includes five programs which encourage diversity: "Redefinition of Identity - Asian Women in the Arts (feminist and LGBT focus)", "Redefinition if Identity - Asian-Americans in the Arts", "Asian's in the Arts - The Influence of Eastern Culture and Art in Western Civilization", "Evolution - A Womyn of Color's Journey Into Health" and an interactive workshop called "True Diversity - Exploring Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Programming" Expect the unexpected...from the tenderest of piano ballads to raging political piano punk; Magdalen is a new voice for an increasingly diverse and multi cultural generation coming into their own in the 21st Century
She has shared the stage and the podium with notables such as The B52's, Mary Lou Lord, Betty, Melissa Ferrick, The Butchies, George Takkei (Star Trek's Dr. Sulu), Windham Hill recording artist Barbara Higbie, Grace Jones, Kathy Sledge (of Sister Sledge), Ce Ce Peniston, SONia, Barnes, Ferron, Phranc, Ulali, Suede, Red Letter Day, Kai, I Was Born With 2 Tongues, writers Phoebe Eng and Jeff Yang ( A Magazine), comedians Michelle Balan and Suzanne Westenhoefer, and is a familiar face on the college, acoustic, women's and GLBT Pride circuits. She most recently studied with internationally renowned Brazilian jazz pianist Jovino Santos Neto, and pianist Barbara Higbie.
Most recently, Magdalen was nominated for a GLAMA (Gay and Lesbian American Music Award) for "Best Out Song" for "Monkeygirl", the single from her critically acclaimed 1998 release "Evolution". "Evolution" is played on hundreds of college and commercial radio stations throughout the US, and was rated number 5 in WCUW's 91.3 Airwaves Top Ten in the April 1999 edition of the Worcester Phoenix. "Monkeygirl" placed in the Top 10 GAYBC Radio's "Best Out Songs" for 1999, and placed in the Top 10 "Hot Sellers" CD sales list in the April 1999 issue of The Advocate. Her CD and singles also regularly chart in Outvoice, a weekly national listing of the GLBT Music Charts.
Evolution is distributed nationally through Goldenrod Inc, Ladyslipper, Harmony Ridge Music, and MP3.com, and is available at Borders Books and Music Stores, Tower Records, and women's and GLBT bookstores nationwide. Her much anticipated new release "Fire" will be due out in 2001. This album of all new material will showcase Magdalen's talent and skill as an instrumentalist and singer while deepening her music with a powerful message about multiculturalism, awareness, and diversity that's sure to uplift many hearts.
STUDENT, FAN, AND PRESS REVIEWS
"With a Jackie Chan karate chop to the stereotype of the submissive Asian woman, Magdalen Hsu-Li answers back in the name of all outsiders not as an agitprop political shouter but in the seductive voice of a tender-hearted artist who transmutes anger, beauty, and hope into a fully realized album. Hsu-Li never compromises her music to make a political point and never compromises her politics to make her music more accessible. She clearly took care to make her powerful feelings sonically strong and melodic. Prepare to be surprised: All the colors of life shimmer in her well-crafted soundscape." Jim Fouratt, The Advocate, May, 1999 From "10 To Watch For On The Web"
"Magdalen Hsu-Li is so amazing! She came to my college campus early this semester. I am a student at DePauw University. Her music is so beautiful, spirited and racey! SHE ROCKED THE HOUSE!! After she left people were still talking about her for a long time. We hope to get her back next year again. At a predominately white school, we need people who can come and share their insight on issues that aren't in the 'DePauw Bubble.'" Tracey King, Flossmoor IL , May 2000
"Magdalen Hsu-Li is no shrinking violet...her engrossing 1998 album Evolution will tip you off to this fact. From soaring vocals to gritty angst, Hsu-Li shows that it's possible to have it all and to escape being labeled both as an artist and as a woman. In this well made, instrumentally enticing album, Hsu-Li highlights facets of her anger while explaining through music, mind you that evolution is necessary and welcome".
- Amy Kepferle, Every Other Weekly, Bellingham, Wa. March, 1999
"Why aren't you famous yet? I'm trading my Natalie Merchant CD for yours."
- Andrew Freidfertig, Willamsville, NY
"'Evolution' is an explosive, brilliant album that forecasts the continuing evolution and success of one of the most talented and versatile artists to stride on the scene. Some of the best female vocals and smart, strongly-felt songwriting I've heard in ages. Magdalen is simply amazing...she truly stands out as one of the first Asian women to come out with songs and an image that do not fit the cliches and stereotypes."
- The Asian Reporter, Portland, Or, May 1999
"Great doesn't cover it-dynamic-intense! Very real stuff!"
- Joyce, Mullins, Philadelphia, Pa
"Magdalen Hsu-Li is one of the most ground breaking artists I have ever seen. It's only a matter of time before she makes it big. I had the chance to see her when she visited my school (Bowling Green State University) and to date, she gave the most amazing performance I have ever seen. She truly puts her soul into her music. It spoke to me in a way that I never thought would happen. I am a huge fan of singer songwriter Tori Amos....Magdalen Hsu-Li could seriously kick her ass!...her performance is amazing, almost euphoric in a way. If you do not 'grab' her now, you will be sorry, and end up kicking yourself really hard in the butt. She is ground breaking and an opportunity that you cannot afford to pass up."
- Jared Moll, Amherst Oh, May 2000
"Intimate and Brazen!!"
- David Cagan, New Paltz, NY
"Four stars...It's a horrible pigeon-hole, 'breakthrough artist,' but what else shall we call Magdalen? Her voice is lovely and graceful one moment and scathing and powerful the next. Her lyrics force you not only to re-evaluate opinions and stereotypes but also one's own identity and the place of wo/men in the world and universe. She is remarkable and wonderful! You will be rewarded every time you listen to her CD!"
- Nmmca, A Fan in Virginia's Review on Amazon.com, February 15, 2000
"You are such an inspiration to me, and you deliver a vital message to the world about Asian Americans- those that seemingly get trapped between two cultures but ultimately have to define a culture of our own. I'm very encouraged by your presence in the music scene that Asians will be able to break through to a wider audience...I think, however, that you have inspired me so much to follow my heart.something I have yet to embrace in my life... I have just found one of my most influential role models in my life."
- Christine Lu, Boulder, CO , May 2000
"Last month I got to see Magdalen Hsu-Li. She was awesome! She played piano and drums, sang some wild songs, and read some of her poetry. Her poems are hilarious. I especially enjoyed her punk songs. Her talent is remarkable. I hope to see her come to Anchorage again sometime"
- Ellen Twiname Anchorage, AK , May 2000
"Magdalen represents an emerging rebellious Asian generation. She seduces you with her voice and captures you with her words. It's great to see Asian women fighting like this. Blow em away Hsu-Li!"
- Doualy Xaykaothao, WBAI Radio, NYC, NY. Feb, 1999
"Magdalen Hsu-Li performed at my school (Dartmouth College) recently and was absolutely awesome; her performance and discussion brought together two communities that, at many places, Dartmouth especially - are thought to be mutually exclusive. Though her lyrics are specific to her experience, they are also universal, as is her music. Magdalen Hsu-Li has a pure and raw energy that is uncommon... I could go on about her music, but I think her work stands for itself... "
- Helen Kim, Hanover, NH, May 2000
"Musically, Hsu-Li withholds nothing. Confrontational as all hell, she shows her piano no mercy, taking intolerance and every 'Eism' in the book prisoner with a rare and relentless fury, an approach that earns her infinite comparisons to Tori Amos and Ani DiFranco."
- Susan Moll, Rockrgrl Magazine, May, 1999
"I have recently seen Magdalen Hsu-Li perform at RIT, and the Millennium March of Washington....not only is she a great performer but she is also a very funny and dynamic speaker. Our student government club worked to raise the money to bring her to RIT and everyone felt it was well worth the effort."
- Carly Smith, Rochester, NY , May 2000
"Magdalen Hsu-Li writes very personal songs and she doesn't use kid gloves or obtuse phrases to get across her point. She's from the new breed of female artists that gets right in your face to rise to the level necessary to awaken awareness of unenlightened behavior sometimes evident in our society...cutting edge avant-garde somewhat reminiscent of Laurie Anderson, to modern jazz, folk, pop ala Ani DiFranco and Tori Amos. She plays a powerful hard driving piano, and has assembled a fine array of musicians to compliment her vision and musical essence. "
- Jack Sutton, Harmony Ridge Music, 1999
"Magdalen Hsu-Li came to speak and perform at my college (College of St. Benedict) last fall, and did a wonderful job! Her lyrics are amazing, and she addresses issues that would otherwise go unheard. She informs people about issues without shoving anything down her listeners' throats."
- Michelle Gricus, Wauconda, IL, May 2000
"Asian-American singer songwriter and piano player extaordinaire...Magdalen Hsu-Li. I live in Australia and I first heard her music on mp3 on the Internet. As an Asian-Australian, it is wonderful to hear different voices and speakers in the music industry and to know that marginalized people still have a voice, particularly when American culture proliferates most of global culture and it is easy to mistake it as being homogenous, white and middle class....Magdalen inspires many other Asian people to participate in the arts and music, especially in Australia as there is a definite lack of that...which is concerning because a lot of people's experiences are left out of the mainstream...experiences that need to be spoken about, goddammit!! hehe"
- Diane Ngo, NSW, Australia , May 2000
"Last semester Magdalen Hsu-Li came to my campus (Mills College in Oakland)...I really enjoyed her music...she's an excellent performer and she kept her audience giggling at her jokes and cheering after her songs through the entire show. She has a very unique style, jovial and very open with her audience; I liked her so much I bought her CD. And when she plays at Border's Books and Music in Pleasanton in a couple weeks I'm going to go see her again!"
- The Artist, Pleasanton, Ca, May 2000
"I recently heard a song from Magdalen Hsu-Li's last recording. It was marvelous.Based on that one cut, I'd highly recommend that you request one if you're interested in original, contemporary acoustic music."
- Ellen Hayman, KFAI 90.3 & 106.7 FM Minneapolis, MN
"I'll second Ellen's recommendation. I've played several cuts off the album on Womenspace and am looking forward to meeting Magdalen."
- Carolyn VandeWeile, WFHB FM, Bloomington, IN
"Evolution" is powerful, passionate, and intelligent, with an admirable social consciousness. I saw Magdalen Hsu-Li perform on April 12, 1999, and she put on a great show! She performed all of her consciousness raising songs from Evolution, but also peppered the night with clever bits of poetry and spoken word and a number of songs not available on album. Most impressive was her interplay with her phenomenal drummer, Deb Lane, as the duo performed and improvised off each other tremendously well. Magdalen's warm stage presence belied her confrontational and thought-provoking lyrics, poetry, and stories, and her voice is rare in that it comes across better live than on CD. A very fine concert."
- Mark Miazga, Common Grounds Coffeehouse, MSU, East Lansing, MI , April 1999
"I am from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather have perform at my school than Magdalen Hsu-Li! She is the epitome of diversity! Not only is she an Asian-American feminist, but she is also one of many sexual minorities in this country. Anything she has to say is thoughtful, provocative and certainly food for thought! In this age of appreciation for diversity and outspokenness, I cannot think of a reason why Magdalen Hsu-Li wouldn't break into the public spotlight, given the opportunity."
- Dena Ivey, Fairbanks, AK , May 2000
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