Friday, December 01, 2006

Studying Music: Summer Lei, Huang Jian Wei, Faith Yang

Two awesome albums came out today: Summer Lei's "the light of darkness" and Faith Yang's "Dame." Since I just started my cramming fest for winter finals, I've been listening to a lot of relaxing, mellow studying music lately (aka Cheer ^_^). Thus, these two new & very much anticipated albums gave me even more motivations to study :o)

photo credit: Sundance = 放晴

Faith Yang (Yang Nai Wen)'s new album is quite special. Not only has it been 5 years since she last released an album, Faith is the the producer of her new album - she chose all the songs (written by lots of nice indie artists too ^_^) , and even wrote a song herself - "Be in Love." Thus, "Dame" is a very personal album.

"Dame" is again filled with mostly nice & slow ballads and a couple of upbeat, catchy songs with Faith's powerful voice. However, I'm actually most impressed with the song Faith wrote herself. It diverges from what she usually sings and is a bit experimental. I love it - the dreaminess, the ambivalence...she should definitely write more songs in the future *_^

Sample Song: Be In Love + Hidden Track: 女爵 (鬼魅版) (Dame - Ghosts Version)

Summer Lei (Lei Kuang Hsia) - another Taiwanese singer + songwriter I admire, also haven't released an album for 3 years until today. "the light of darkness" is just what she does best - relaxing, calming piano/guitar melodies with her soft & semi-deep/entrancing voice. I love the beauty in the simplicity and pureness of her songs. Summer's albums are also personal in that she sings about her life, her past, her friends... sorta like a soundtrack of life. The light of darkness of life.

Sample Song: 我的 80 年代 (Our 80's)

photo credit: Sundance = 放晴

Another recently released, really, really nice folk album by a new Taiwan artist - Huang Jian Wei, is also super mellow & good study/relaxing music. Hehe I really like the description of him - "Occupational Therapist by day, acoustic guitar singer by night, singing about a simple life with his guitar on the rooftop barefooted." I wish I could do that. There really isn't a song that's not awesome on this album - including the instrumental breaks. The whole album pretty much just consists of Jian Wei's unique, soft voice and his guitar, giving me a sunny, relaxed, and happy feeling.

Sample Song: Over the Way

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another mini "News" update: Cheer yay + argh, Loveholic, the Indigo

Happy news: Cheer released another 2 singles in very cool & fun packages titled "Happy Summer" (Female version & Male version). Each package contains 1 Cheer single, Cola King's limited edition notebook, a really cute male/female doll, and some happy summer post-it note thingies.
Sad news: 1. I can't buy it 2. it's sold out 3. I can't get it not only because it's sold out but it's another limited edition, sold only in Taiwan, none-mass distributed Cheer jewel...


Well, life goes on I hope *_^ and if there are singles, maybe another album is in the making. Who knows ^_^ For those lucky ones who live in Taiwan or plan go to Taiwan early December: go see Cheer at the Simple Life concert! Maybe she'll even perform her new singles...

Anyway, Loveholic will also soon release their remake album "Re-Wind." Just in case if you don't know Loveholic - they're an awesome Korean modern rock/pop band that has grown pretty popular during the recent year (Korean drama soundtracks!) Their upbeat songs are catchy, their slower songs are beautiful, and Jisun - the lead singer has a powerful yet pretty voice. I have so many, so many favorite songs of theirs. Having already heard half of the remake album, I'm expecting that the other half will also be great ^_^

Take a trip to youtube for lots of Loveholic fun ^_^

Sample Song: 늘 (Always)

Lastly, the Indigo just released a new album! What a pleasant surprise ^_^ Not only that, I guess Ichikawa Yuichi is trying out a new, long hair image :o) I haven't listened to the Indigo for awhile now, but it seems that some songs on their new album "FUTURE FOLK" are poppier than usual. But than again, their music is always a mix between pop/electronic/folk/etc. Welcome back - fun & upbeat music that makes me want to dance :o)

Sample Song: マスターミュージック (Master Music)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

News? Update

Err, I can’t believe it. Around a week or two ago, I visited Cao Fang’s blog (haven’t gone there for months). And guess what? New song!!!! It seems like the new song has been posted on her blog for awhile now…*_* I’m glad I finally spotted the update ^_^

Since I'm on the subject of (or lack of) updates, Spangle call Lilli line is releasing their best album “since,” Super VC just started recording their new album (I am super, super excited), also, see them live here (they have a new bassist too). Cheer just had an “unplugged” concert in Hong Kong (ah I wish I was there instead of August… *_*), Faith Yang (Yang Nai Wen) is releasing her new album in December, and…and….. Sweater’s new album is finally going to be out next year!!! (thanks Anna for letting me know :o)

Well, here are the new tracks from Cao Fang and also My Little Airport!

Sample Track: Cao Fang - 礼拜六礼拜七 (Saturday Sunday)


Picture by bluedangdang

Sample Track: My Little Airport - 我愛官恩娜,都不及愛你的哨牙 (I love Ella Koon, but not as much as I love your buck-tooth)
(Track linked directly from Site)

Haha another wonderfully original & cute track from MLA! ^_^

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Audio Archive

I got a few emails asking me to re-upload none-working sample files on my old posts this summer. So this weekend I've been replacing a lot of the none-working links with new ones. I've also decided to create an audio archive at filelodge, so in the future - when the samples expire, there's a backup system ^_^

Everything should be up except 8 posts since I'm in college right now & didn't bring all my cds *_^

Have a great weekend everyone!

And then?!!

Sample Song: Wang Yi Jui - You Are Far

"And then?!!" is the indepedent compilation album created by 22 Tainan National University of the Arts (Music Department) graduating students (their graduation piece). The album name, "And then?!!" refers to the students' mood while creating the album-what will life be like when they graduate? Especially during a period with high unemployment rate where finding a job is very uncertain (I love how the album cover conveys their feelings). Surprisingly, while creating this album (which took a year), the artists' intention is also to embrace and remember their present images/lives. The seven songs on the album are "brave, original, pure, and simple creations." It is their dream coming true.

And the music? I love love love it. It's got the great, Taiwan indie music's cuteness, but it's also very relaxing & quiet. "And then?!!" is becoming one of my favorite compilation albums just because of the beauty in its simplicity. Good luck Tainan students - I hope you will keep on embracing life, creating your own melodies, and "embracing everyday's magnificent sunlight."

Sample Song: Shui Jiu Jue - 楼梯口 (Staircase Entrance)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cherry Boom

Started out as a couple of Taiwan college students playing music in 2003, Cheery Boom officially debuted with their album "My Dear Prince" in 2006 after being discovered & then extensively trained by, well, professionals in the field of course. I first heard Cherry Boom's music this summer - they're a pop-rock band (although their music is also described as "E-punk" and "coolsweet" ^_^) playing nice & catchy tunes. I'm actually quite surprised that they're so big in China - even my cousin, who is a diehard c-pop fan, likes them! But hey, I welcome fun girls' rock music anytime ^_^ Wouldn't you?

Joe Russo's ( Cheery Boom concert pictures

Sample Song: 不对也要爱 (Love Even If It's Wrong)

The sample song is actually one of Cherry Boom's slower songs. I posted it because I love it so much :P and you guys/girls can see & hear their more upbeat MV "Fresh Morning" @ youtube ^_^ Their song "I wanna rock" is also on the odeo player thingie at the sidebar (because I also love it :o)

PS I'm going to try out the odeo player/podcast ( from now on ^_^

Summer, College, and Procrastination

Jiu Zhai Gou

Hey everyone - sorry for the long long hiatus *_* After AP tests and finals, I went back to China & spent the whole summer with my extended family. My cousins, aunts, and I travelled to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Shaoxing, Jiu Zhai Gou, etc. I even went to Hong Kong for the first time!


Of course, summer in China means massive cheap CD shopping sprees for me ^_^ With the help & advice of makzhou - I found some nice, cheap, and none-pirated Japanese CD shops in Shanghai & Hong Kong. I also bought some Taiwan albums (ironically) in Hong Kong :P and mainland wise - the CDs I've acquired ranged from Modern Sky compilations to Stefanie Sun. It was awesome.

Hong Kong

Another fun thing is that I actually caught a worthwhile concert this summer! In Hong Kong! I must be really lucky, because the weekend I was there, piana had a concert there! Hmm, I can't believe I never mentioned piana in my blog. Well, soon :o)

Hong Kong

After feeding myself massive amounts of food, fun, and music (greedy greedy me...), I flied back in late August - and college soon started *_^ Thus, the past month I've been trying to adjust to the new enviornment, new people, new, tiny dorm room, etc. etc.

Shanghai Sea Aquarium

But I'm back now ^_^ and I hope everyone had an awesome summer!

Friday, May 26, 2006


I haven't listened to good old mainland indie music for a long time now (these days it's either relaxing study music for me or Cheer in the shower + car. I've also been listening to a lot of J-indie *_^). So today, I digged up my Raven album - and Raven is just that - a good old mellow Beijing rock/brit-pop band (hehe you guys/girls must've known by now how much I love mellow music), getting me into my lazy/dreamy mood again.

The cool thing about Raven is that they mix elements of rock, electronica, ambience, trip-hop, and even DJ scratch sounds (one of the band members is indeed a DJ ^_^) into their music. They're definitely one of the more creative mainland bands out there. I love it.

By the way, the free songs provided at the rockacola link below are awesome (and that's the only reason why the sample song is not one of them). Definitely check them out ^_^

Sample Song: 飓风 (Hurricane)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Girls Tape Store

I'm sorry for the late update again - it seems like my teachers won't give us a break even after the AP exams *_* Must...graduate...soon... :o) The semi-good news is, I went to an award ceremony tonight & got my valedictorian award! ^_^ Why is it "semi" good? I'll have to give a speech during graduation *_* Arghhhhh yuck *_*

Back on topic :P I first discovered Girls Tape Store through lemongalaxy's wonderful livejournal (which was introduced to me by, surprise, surprise - Anna! ^_^) Girls Tape Store is a Japanese duo? who makes synthpop & electropop music. They're a bit like supercar, but mellower. I'm so sad that their website doesn't work *_* But even though I know absolutely nothing about them, I love their music. The mellowness, the dreaminess, and the touch of dance beats... Music that I could listen to on any & all occasions.

Sample Song: Lights

Saturday, May 20, 2006

ACO, Nakatani Miki, bird

My Japanese albums shipment finally arrived yesterday yay! ^_^ I guess you could call ACO, Nakatani Miki, and bird's music "dance" or "pop" (well, from the albums I bought anyway). But these albums contain all quality music with awesome diversity and freshness.

ACO - Kittenish Love

Sample Song: Kittenish Love

ACO is one of Japan's most talented musicians. Her music range from catchy R&B/soul music (earlier/this album) to electronica-pop to crazily experimental Bjork-like songs. I never know what to expect from her new albums. *_^ "Kittenish Love," ACO's debut album released in 1996, is one of my favorite ACO albums. It takes R&B/pop/jazz music to another level - every song on this album is unique & pretty in its own way ^_^

Nakatani Miki - Cure

Sample Song: corpo e alma

Most of you probably know Miki as an actress (or not --> me :P). Truthfully, I've not heard any song by her before I bought this album. So why did I get this album? All of the songs on this album is written & produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto! After I listened to the whole album, guess who Miki sounds a little like? Miu Sakamoto! (Ryuichi's daughter, whom he too writes music for, and whom I worship) Anyway, "Cure" is Miki's second album released in 1997. It's basically nice & relaxing pop music. Me like ^_^

bird - bird

Sample Song: 空の瞳

I first got interested in bird's music when I heard her on one of Mondo Grosso (Osawa Shinichi)'s albums. bird makes catchy dance/club music with a touch of jazz. She's great. "bird," bird's debut album released in 1999, is produced & written by Osawa Shinichi. Awesome album. I love her voice.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tizzy Bac - It's My Fault You Turned Out This Way

Photo Credit: indy.liu's Flickr

Tizzy Bac is getting better than ever. I was already very impressed with their first album "Anything can tempt me," but now, I'm amazed. Wow. "It's my fault you turned out this way," Tizzy Bac's second album, just came out recently, and I plan to grab this album along with their single "Hot Summer" this weekend when I figure out how to buy things on a Taiwan site that I found this week that ships overseas! (holy cow that was a long sentence *_^ and I will tell you guys more about it after I succeed in making my first purchase ^_^) Again, I shall be bankrupt....soon *_^

Anyway, this is another crazily good Tizzy Bac album filled with piano, bass, catchy beats, and wonderful melodies + lyrics. The quality of their second album has exceeded their 1st - which is suppose to happen in all great musicians ^_^

Check out Tizzy Bac's site for album songs samples & videos/MVs! They're beyond awesome.

Sample Song: 疯狂的猪 (Wild/Crazy Pig)

MV: Sideshow Bob (credit:aolamor)

MV: 我又再度依恋上昨天 (credit: levonhsu)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Plastic People - EP1

A couple of months ago, I downloaded a couple of songs from Plastic People's official site, and fell in love with their mellow, dreamy sound. Then, of course, Anna the Korean music expert had Plastic People's "Travelling in the Blue" 2004 EP and debut album "Songbags of the Plastic People," and they are lovely. Thanks again Anna! What will I do without you :o)

Yesterday, I finally found Plastic People's first EP "EP1," and if I remembered correctly, Anna was looking for it at that time. So this is for you Anna! (if you haven't found it already) Plastic People is a Korean duo that makes relaxing acoustic dream pop music. Both 윤주미 (Kim Min Gyoo) and 김민규's (Yoon Joo Mi) voices are so dreamy & nice. I love every song on this EP.

Sample EP - EP1
01 무서운 이야기
02 흔히 있는 일
03 오후 3시 (Acoustic Ver.)
04 여백
05 고양이 2

Thursday, May 11, 2006

CRACKER : compilation for a bittersweet love story

Hi everyone - I'm back! I took the last of my AP exams yesterday woohoo!!!! ^_^ AP Lit, Comp, Calc BC, Psych, and even Bio went well. However, Physics was torture *_* Half of the time I didn't know what I was doing *_**_**_*

But it's all over now! Aside from 4 major school projects and a couple of books to read (lol why do teachers still give us so much work after AP tests *_^), I'm... free! And wow, these two months must be great album releasing time, since so many good albums just came out......I shall be bankrupt by the end of this week..........

One of the albums that I've ordered is a Korean compilation album (with a few Japanese artists) called "CRACKER." It seems like Cracker is a Korean comic soundtrack. I wish I could understand/read the comic, since wow, almost all of the artists on this album are my favorites. Also, the ones I don't know are great new discoveries. The beautiful thing about this album is that most songs on it is new! For example, songs by Swinging Popsicle, Oldfish, Misty Blue, Bluedawn, Tearliner, Jelly Boy, etc. are songs that I've never heard before. Awesome songs. Overall, this is a wonderfully mellow & relaxing indie/alt. compilation - definitely one of my favorite compilation albums. This is not something to miss. ^_^

Since I've already mentioned some of the artists on this compilation in my previous posts, here are some of the other great artists (some are all-time favorites & others are newly discoveries) ^_^ Ooh, by the way, all of these artists (if I'm not mistaken) are from/related with the Korean music label Pastel Music. Pastel Music is an awesome label! Check out their site for some sample music ^_^

Sample Song: Bluedawn - Tabula Rasa

Bluedawn is one of my favorite Korean indie folk bands. And holy cow, Tabula Rasa has just became my current favorite Bluedawn song. ^_^

Sample Song: 소행성 B612

Alongside with Bluedawn & on the top of my Korean favorites is Tearliner (both thanks to noodz-shi!) Tearliner is such a versatile band - in their debut album "Little Room, Diary," Tearliner incorporates so many different elements of music (mellow electronics mixed with slow rock or upbeat & indie rock). I love it. I also love the lead singer's soothing, lazy voice *_^

Sample Song: Donawhale - A Spring Day

A new discovery! "A spring day" is a really nice & relaxing piano song with cute vocals. I'm definitely looking forward to Donawhale's future works ^_^

Sample Song: Belle Epoque - May

I couldn't find a picture/site/info on Belle Epoque (they must be relatively new?), but this is also a really nice song with pretty acoustic guitar melodies + vocal ^_^

Friday, April 07, 2006

Cheer Chen Lyrics, Instrumentals, MVs, etc. etc.

Hi everyone - sorry for the late update. I'm also sorry to tell you guys/girls that I won't be able to do any updates here the next month, because I will be studying (and cramming) for my six AP tests coming up in May. Passing these AP tests is very important to me, because if I pass, I will get free college credits - which will save money and time. I plan to cut myself entirely from the internet...ok, maybe not entirely *_^ But I will rarely be online for more than 5 or 10 minutes a day, only to check my email & such.

If you enjoy reading my blog and have kept coming back, thank you very much! I love writing how much I like these artists ^_^ and it's nice to see you guys/girls enjoy their works too. (Go Cheer go!) If you don't like my blog but still comes here once in awhile because you're bored, well, you won't have to anymore! ok I'm kidding :P

Of course, I have no intention of stopping updating this blog. After taking all my AP tests (hopefully sometimes mid-May), I will re-start procrastinating online, listening to lots of music, and telling you guys/girls about more artists that I like.

But in the mean time, I hope you will understand (and I hope I will accept the fact that I can't procrastinate anymore *_^)

On a happier note - I've been working on a Cheer Chen Lyrics blog for awhile now, and I think I'm ready to show it to everyone ^_^ Basically, the blog has all the Cheer album lyrics in simplified Chinese & pinyin, I also added some instrumentals so you can singing along with her! There are MVs & other media from youtube of course, and if you guys/girls have suggestions on how I could make the blog better, please email me at ^_^

Of course, I plan to translate Cheer lyrics into English in the future (mostly on a request base I guess), so let me know if there is any specific song(s) that you want translated.

Have fun! Enjoy the lovely weather, and don't procrastinate like me... *_^

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Zhang Xuan (Deserts)

photo credit: kyleme's flickr

I first heard about the Taiwan indie singer Zhang Xuan while reading conjee's blog. And that's when I heard & fell in love with the song "Baobei." (it seems like conjee got the song from Mr. makzhou ^_^) Two days ago, when I was checking out Mr. makzhou's list, in which Zhang Xuan was one of the top artists, I was reminded again of Zhang Xuan & searched for her on google again... Finally, finally I found her debut album "Maybe I don't care" at angeltalent's blog!

As angeltalent says, "Maybe I don't care" is not an official album. It is handmade by Zhang Xuan (she copied the lyrics one by one) & Sodagreen's lead vocal Qing Feng (he drew the background art) given as gifts to fans. Holy cow. How awesome is that (minus the fact that I will never be able to get it *_^).

Of course, when I listened to her album, it was instant love. I love her voice. I love her mellow, acoustic melodies. I love the lyrics. I love how refreshingly different she is from others that I'm listening to, I love how flawless the whole album is...

Definitely grab the album from angeltalent's blog guys/girls - Zhang Xuan's up there with Cheer & Cao Fang! ^_^

Sample Song: my life will

Ha, the sample song is not Baobei, because I'm uploading it to my radio blog ^_^ but of course, I love "my life will" too ^_^

无与伦比的美丽 (Incomparable Beauty) Live @ Youtube

holy cow I love this song too...and I love youtube...and nice Taiwan indie lovers who upload live videos to youtube... *_^

Friday, March 31, 2006

Mongo So

Mr. Zhou mentioned a few days ago about a new Guangzhou singer - Mongo So - who is the first mainland artist to release her debut album under Creative Commons. That is awesome! It's even more awesome that her music is super cute too ^_^ I rarely hear cute, light, and funny indie songs coming from mainland, but Mongo So reminds me of funky Taiwan/HK indie artists, and her voice reminds me of Huang Hsiao Chen a bit. Another unique thing about Mongo So's sound is that her songs are very diverse - I hear indie pop, bossa, electronic, reggae... all mixed into cute, light happy songs.

Go check her music out! Her album is available for download under CC at the imagine corp website ^_^

Another thing: I got a radio blog yay! Been meaning to get one for awhile, but didn't have time to find a good free host until this week. Most of the songs on there are songs that I'm currently listening to ^_^
I hope you guys/girls will enjoy it :o)

Sample Song (from the Imagine Corp site): P. Yo Bunny

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Yang Nai Wen

After reading Cao Fang's blog entry & her interview with Cheer, and after David wanted to know whose music they listen too, I decided to check out the artists Cheer & Cao Fang mentioned. First stop: (Faith) Yang Nai Wen - an awesome alt. rock singer from Taiwan. Wow, I can't believe I didn't listen to her albums earlierer, since Cheer did write a few songs for her ^_^

Yang Nai Wen was mentioned by Cao Fang in her Cheer blog entry - Cao Fang started to listen to Yang Nai Wen about the same time as she started liking Cheer's music. In a way though, Yang Nai Wen and Cheer are opposites. Cheer has a soft, clear voice, Yang Nai Wen has a deep, almost haunting voice. Cheer sings soft rock, and at times, Yang Nai Wen's rock songs are upbeat & heavy - I love both! ^_^ Hmm, Yang Nai Wen'll probably be on my playlist quite often from now on ^_^

Sample Song: Monster

Awesome rock song - great head banging material :o)

Sample Song: Queen

There are so many good songs on this album, but here's another rock song hehe, because Cheer actually did a cover of this at her 2002 Groupies concert :o)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

L.A.M.N. (line And Meter Nova Society)

Sample Song: Spangle call Lilli line And Spanova - HEAT OF THE MOMENT

Oh boy, I've been listening to so much Japanese music during the last month, and discovering so much new great artists. Of course, I've always been in love with Spangle call Lilli line's music, so when I found this album I was quite happy. L.A.M.N. is a collaboration album between SCLL, spanova, and speedometer. It is a beautiful 4 song mellow eletronic/post-rock album, and listening to it brings me a warm feeling. I've never heard of spanova and speedometer., so it's nice to find out that they have a similiar sound to SCLL. J-indie music rocks ^_^

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


What happened to Sweater?! *_* It has been 2 years since they last released an album...and now, their official site doesn't even work anymore... I miss them.

For those of you who don't know Sweater already, Sweater is a Korean band that makes mellow alternative rock/pop music. They remind me a little of Loveholic and Roller Coaster, but their sound is lighter & with a funk + bossa twist. I also love Earip's voice - so... dreamy & soothing. I hope they will release an album soon...

Sample Song: No. 7

I actually started to listen to Sweater after I became addicted to one Earip song on the "Bus Stop" Ost (A Korean movie that I still haven't watched yet but loves the ost *_^). Of course, I did not know who she was then, but because I played the "Bus Stop" ost countless times, I recognized Earip's voice when noodz-shi introduced Sweater...and then started to love Sweater's music. Thanks noodz-shi!

Sample Song: Earip - 누구도 일러주지 않았네 (소희 THEME)