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Apr 12

Taiwanese Pop Music

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, General, music, video | Tags:, , , , ,
58 Comments » newest 2013-07-18 14:57:28

In the past, I’ve written posts about indie music in China, Taiwan and other Asian countries but I haven’t spent much time on pop music since it isn’t really my thing. But I feel it is time to include what is most popular in these countries and I’ll start off with Taiwan. What inspired me to do this? Well, I recently discovered that my brother-in-law’s wife’s cousin (Wen Shang Yi 溫尚翊 also known as Monster) is the lead guitarist and leader of a band called Mayday 五月天 that is quite popular in Taiwan. So as a loyal brother-in-law, I needed an excuse to feature them!

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Apr 10

minipost-Shanghai’s Singing Chicken Lady

Written by: Steve | Filed under:-mini-posts, culture, music, video | Tags:, ,
1 Comment » newest 2010-05-12 03:28:58

In a Shanghai market, this lady selling chicken said, “If you buy more, I will sing a song for you” and launched into “Amazing Grace”. She’s from a rural village in Anhui province and doesn’t speak or read English. After she finished the song she said, “As long as everybody is happy.” (I hope this translation is correct. If not, please let me know)

Apologies for the cheesy Susan Boyle comparison in the video and the introduction of the song by a western singer before she launches into it. What impressed me the most about this lady was her great attitude.

Apr 09

minipost-Taiwan’s Version of Whitney Houston

Written by: Steve | Filed under:-mini-posts, culture, media, music, video | Tags:, , , ,
20 Comments » newest 2010-04-25 04:43:58

Lin Yu Chun is a contestant on Taiwan’s version of American Idol called Super Star Avenue. He’s quite young, a bit chubby with a bowl haircut, not the most likely candidate for stardom. But he does a dead on impersonation of Whitney Houston and has gone viral on You Tube with over 2 million…  5 million hits.

Jan 07

Asian Music Update

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, media, music, Photos, video | Tags:, , , , , , , , , ,
13 Comments » newest 2015-07-26 10:49:24

TheAnalogGirl_bRather than stick to just one country, I thought I’d highlight underground music from Hong Kong on this post and add a little bit from the rest of Asia on the end. On the left is the Analog Girl, one of the hottest acts on the continent. Hailing from Singapore, the electro-rock chanteuse was named by TIME magazine as one of the 5 Music Acts to Watch in 2008. Since that time she’s toured the world with her unique sound.

I also got interested in the underground music scene in Hong Kong after I discovered “The Underground Channel” on YouTube.  After the jump, we’ll feature videos from Quasar, Tacit Closet, Soler, The Sinister Left, DJ Matthew Veith, Hardpack, Audiotraffic and Poubelle International. We’ll also hear from Jakarta’s Goodnight Electric, Malaysia’s Zee Avi and Beijing’s P.K. 14 along with Japan’s Vamp and YMCK. Finally for some of the older crowd, I want to introduce a couple of Enka style acts from Japan, which is surprisingly similar (at least to me) of some of the classic Chinese singers.

Today’s collection is very eclectic so hopefully there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

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Dec 09

In case you haven’t heard, the multiple Grammy®-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma, is celebrating his 30th anniversary recording with Sony Music through the release of Yo-Yo Ma: 30 Years Outside the Box, a deluxe limited-numbered box set of his recorded legacy. Comprised of 88 discs of original album releases and an additional two discs of bonus material, 30 Years Outside the Box is the definitive collection of this iconic artist in a presentation as beautiful and timeless as the music itself. It has quickly become a popular gift for the holidays!

Yo-Yo Ma: 30 Years Outside the Box includes:

* 90 CDs – every original album Yo-Yo Ma has recorded to date.
* 2 Bonus Discs featuring the first release of John Williams’ Suite from Memoirs of a Geisha for Cello and Orchestra.
* Entirely re-mastered with DSD technology.
* 312-page hard-bound book.
* Beautifully designed, velvet-lined box.
* Numbered limited-edition with letter of authenticity.
* Rare archival photos, essays, full track lists, original liner notes, and more.

The Yo-Yo Ma collection is available for sale at…

Borders:

Amazon:

Barnes and Noble:

As an Asian American (I’m Filipino!), I am proud to say that Yo-Yo Ma has even more achievements worth celebrating:

* His album “Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs Of Joy And Peace” recently received a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Crossover Album.
* He was named a U.N Peace Ambassador in 2006.
* He performed at President Obama’s inauguration who also appointed him to serve on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Yo-Yo Ma’s boundary defying career and his place as a cultural figure known throughout the world is surely a source of inspiration for the global Asian community!

Dec 05

Immaculate Machine’s Tour of China

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, media, music | Tags:, ,
3 Comments » newest 2009-12-08 17:12:50

im003_10x6 (Large)We’ve written about China’s music scene in the past and remarked how few hip bands actually tour the country. Most of what appears are singers and bands that saw their heyday decades ago.

With the help of Louis Yu, Vancouver’s own Immaculate Machine is currently touring China. They are a side project of the New Pornographers, and their newest album, “High on Jackson Hill”, featured appearances by Alex Kaprano of Franz Ferdinand and members of the Cribs. They’ve also worked with such famous performers as Neko Case and AC Newman.

So for all our readers who live in China and wish they could see more quality acts, here’s your chance to catch a hot band that really knows their stuff. Their concert dates are after the jump.

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Sep 15

Panda loves bamboo, and so did ancient Chinese musicians. Here is an image of a ceramic xiao () player excavated from an Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD) tomb in Sichuan province (also home to pandas). The dizi (笛子) is held horizontally. Both are made of bamboo. What do you get when you add the Mongolian morin khurr to the mix? Here is a composition involving these instruments: “梦回鄂尔多斯 (Dreaming Ordus).” Ordus (鄂尔多斯) is a city in Inner Mongolia, China.
Jun 26

Chinese Rock n’ Roll!

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, General, music, video | Tags:, , ,
33 Comments » newest 2009-07-25 19:05:12

hardqueen81 We’ve done some posts on China and Taiwan music in the past, but those were about the general music scene. Today I’d like to feature two videos created by Brendan Madden, who lives in Qingdao, is a teacher and member of the band Dama Llamas, and keeps up with the scene in northern China. I’ll also feature a few other bands you might not know, and some comments about where I think things are headed.

These two mini-documentaries show the trials and tribulations of trying to establish modern music venues in China. So far, the audience has too many non-Chinese expats along with too few locals, though locals form most of the bands themselves. Right now, Beijing is the hot spot in northern China with the most popular bands in the country. Outside of Beijing, legitimate venues are hard to come by and the money isn’t very lucrative. In these places, rock n’ roll comes strictly from the heart.

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Apr 25

minipost-People of the world unite?!

Written by: Nimrod | Filed under:-mini-posts | Tags:,
3 Comments » newest 2009-04-26 00:48:48

Here is a light topic. Since last year’s parody song “Say a word in heart”, singing songs in a foreign language — if you can call it that — has been raised to a totally new level. You’ve probably even heard the stomach-churning subsequent parodies of “Shanghai beach”, “Spicy girl”, and even the Peking Opera standard “Su san qi jie”, but alas this genre has mercifully run its short course.

On the other hand, there are more serious foreign language translations of songs, too. Just today, I discovered really nice versions of translated national anthems. Most anthems tend to be specific to a national consciousness, metrically prosidic, and so difficult to convey well in a different language context, but these two versions are quite good, I thought! What say you?
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Jun 21

Yellow River in Beijing

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:culture | Tags:,
5 Comments » newest 2008-06-22 18:45:22

Let’s have a quick flashback to a happier time, when all of us thought 2008 would be a simple year full of celebration. Below is the Chinese piano prodigy Lang Lang, performing the Yellow River Piano Concerto on Tiananmen Square.  The date is 08/08/07, one full year before the start of the Beijing Olympics.