V3con opening night will feature singer-songwriter Connie Lim

Connie Lim

Connie Lim portrait by Shane Sato (courtesy of connielimmusic.com)

The V3 Conference organizing committee got some great news last week, when we learned that singer-songwriter Connie Lim had agreed to be part of the Opening Night festivities for the third conference of Asian American digital media-ites that started as the Banana gathering way back in 2009.

Lim is an introspective songwriter with a mellow voice with a deep and wide emotional range that pulls you in. If you like artists such as Nora Jones and the new generation of atmospheric singers who walk the line between alternative, folk and pop, you’ll like Lim.

She’s been writing music on the piano since she was eight years old, and when MySpace (what’s that?) was all the rage, she obsessively recorded tracks and posted them online. She has a couple of albums including a 2010 seven-track project, “The Hunted,” and a few remixes available for purchase online on her Music page on the website, or visit the Connie Lim Store on Amazon (which includes her edgy, nicely-produced 2008 album, “Shifting”).

I love her music best when she adds an edge to her voice and the production has fuller instrumentation. Although her voice pairs perfectly with just a piano or a quiet art-chamber arrangement, I really get fired up listening to the rocking title track of her “Shifting” album, which closes out the six tracks on the release, where she pushed her voice through a variety of soulful textures from a whisper to a scream.

You can learn more about Lim from this excellent Feb. 2012 interview with AARising’s Nelson Wong.

Lim will perform at the V3con opening reception presented by NBC Universal on Friday, Aug. 24 at the Pacific Asia Museum, and also be a panelist the next day during the actual conference, which will be held at the Japanese American National Museum.

There’s two reasons right there to attend V3con!

Here are several terrific videos from Lim’s official website:
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V3con is the evolution of the Banana Asian American bloggers’ conference: Visibility. Vision. Voice.

Banana 2

The first Banana conference of Asian American bloggers back in November 2009 — almost an eternity in Internet years — was a revelation to me. Although I was familiar with some AAPI blogs, I didn’t feel like I was a part of a community of people like me, toiling away on our computers to pass on information and express our opinions on issues that matter to Asian Americans.

It was cool to meet some people face-to-face that I’d only I connected with online, and some bloggers who I admired, and make new friends.

Erin and I were invited to be panelists at Banana 1. It was a small gathering – in fact, organizer Lac Su didn’t want to call it a conference, he used the term “gathering” – held on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Su, the author of “I Love Yous Are for White People,” and co-founder Steve Nguyen (a filmmaker of ChannelAPA.com) came up with the idea to showcase the diversity of Asian American perspectives online.

Erin knew Lac from her emotional intelligence training — when he’s not promoting AAPI bloggers, Su is a psychologist, the founder and vice president of marketing for TalentSmart, a global think tank and management consulting firm based in San Diego. But I only knew him from his excellent book, a memoir of his upbringing in a refugee family that fled Vietnam for the U.S.

The gathering was planned quickly, but 20 bloggers showed up to be panelists, representing the well-known (Angry Asian Man, 8Asians) to the lesser-known but notable (Kimchi Mamas, Big WOWO). Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man was given an achievement award for his blog, which is a must-read for anyone interested in Asian America.

Banana 1 was a little raggedy, but real. It was an ad-hoc affair that attracted about 50 audience members, many of them also bloggers, and there was a lot of interaction between panelists and audience members. There was only one extended conversation that took much of the afternoon, with panelists fielding questions from Su that ranged from the provocative (women’s perspective in blogging) to confusing (if childhood traumas motivated us). The political bloggers criticized the pop culture bloggers for being shallow, and the lone Canadian on the panel criticized the event’s U.S.-centric worldview.

In the end, it was an inspirational afternoon of thoughtful conversation, and everyone left feeling like we were a part of something bigger than just ourselves and our blogs. It was a validation of our voice.

I wrote after attending Banana 1 that it felt like the start of something that would continue and grow.

It took a little over a year to organize, but Banana 2 took the inspirational spirit of the first conference and turned it into a terrific event for a couple-hundred people.
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