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.
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
|Panda loves bamboo, and so did ancient Chinese musicians. Here is an image of a ceramic xiao (箫) 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.|
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.
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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