Embarcadero Blues

November 16, 2007

San Francisco songwriter Goh Nakamura is featured on the front page of YouTube right now with a music video for his song "Embarcadero Blues." The video was directed by Dino Ignacio (known by some for being the mastermind behind Bert is Evil).

As of this writing, there are more than 700 comments on it and they are all over the place. Lots of people are digging the song. But there are also some people trying to figure out Goh's ethnicity (Does Nakamura not clue you in?) or asking if the people who worked on the video (they are listed in the info bar on the side) were Latin American or Spanish (If you really want to know, they are Filipino American) or expressing surprise that the songwriter is an Asian dude.

So, an Asian American guy picks up a guitar and that instantly shatters stereotypes or blows people's minds? Well, good I guess, though I hope we can get to a point one day where it’s not oh-so-surprising that a songwriter has the name Nakamura and people can just concentrate on the music. (Full disclosure by the way: Goh is a friend and I’ve included Dino’s work in film festivals I’ve curated.) Anyways, check out the video. I really like it.


Melissa Hung

Founding Editor

Melissa Hung is the founding editor of Hyphen. She was the editor in chief for the magazine's first five years and went on to serve in many other leadership roles on the staff and board for more than a decade. She is a writer and freelance journalist. Her essays and reported stories have appeared in NPR, Vogue, Pacific Standard, Longreads, and Catapult, among others. A native Texan, she lives in California. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.



Dear Anonymous,You asked for it. Apologies in advance. Get ready...Influences: Beatles, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Ron Sexsmith, Elliott Smith, Neil Finn, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Hendrix, Aimee Mann, Jens Lekman, Magnetic Fields, Bill Frisell, Miles Davis, Chopin, Simon+Garfunkel, Coltrane, Bach, Roy Orbison, Howlin Wolf, Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Otis Redding, Brian Blade, Wes Montgomery, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Bruce Springsteen, Invisible Cities, Scrabbel, Odessa Chen, Michelle Amador, Tim Bulkely, Moore Brothers, cute girls at coffee shops, actually anywhere really, insomnia, disgruntled jazz musicians, my mom.
Mr Goh:Thats a pretty impressive list of musicians, a lot of them I like as well. This is a difficult question im about to ask you. What 3 musicians influenced you the most? You have Howling Wolf up there, which im a big fan of as wll, but im surprised you didnt add The great Muddy Waters to the list. As you can tell I love the blues. Are you a fan of Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin and BB King? Keep up the great music and start a new trend
Hey Anonymous...sorry- I keep laughing when I read MR. Goh. There's this bad korean horror flick that has a lecherous character (school teacher) named "MR. Goh" in it. He sleeps with a student. Then he dies a horrific death. My friend heckles me at gigs sometimes with this.http://www.mandiapple.com/snowblood/mementomori.htmAnyway- yes... I love the blues. Muddy Waters, the 3 kings (Albert, Freddy, B.B.)... it's a never ending list. As you can see it was almost 3am when I posted and I just gave you the very tip of the iceberg.As far as top 3 musicians... oh man. See, this is where I'm like John Cusack in "High Fidelity"... I'll give you 3 names, but come back and wanna change them. It's gonna keep me awake at night.Ok- Honestly- the top 3 as far as changing my life: Beatles, Van Halen, Elliott Smith.That took way too long, but I feel better somehow.Thanks for your interest!MR. GOH
love it.
Hey Mel, Thanks for posting this. I couldn't help but imagine if the animatic rough version of this video was featured instead, would people concentrate more on the art and the music?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT9wWYe0lzo
Just out of curiousity, Who is some of MR. Goh musical influenses?