Sunday, January 29, 2006
Lately, I find myself getting more and more addicted to Redrum's (Japan) dark, mellow, and murky trip-hop music. There is just something refreshingly different and calming about their sound... I can't seem to put it into words.
So just let the music speak.
Sample Song: Planet of Your Sixth
Thursday, January 26, 2006
I've been wanting to write about Mavis (from Taiwan) for quite a while now but kept forgetting too *_* Today, yet again, I was listening to her albums on my Iaudio, and her awesome music finally reminded me (again) to start a post ^_^
I love Mavis' beautiful transition from a children's song singer to a bittersweet and sarcastic acid jazz queen. I mean, just look at her picture when she started her music career in 1997 (so cute ^_^) ->
and compare to the mature Mavis ->
Of course, when Mavis started her music career she was also in her teens. Thus, she probably listened to the good old adults at her label and sang cute, highly-commercialized kiddy songs such as the Chinese version of the theme song of "Kiki's Delivery Service" (love the song & the movie) and the popular, catchy song "Your Sweetness." Although I enjoy these two songs and some of her other earlier songs, it's definitely the transformed, mature Mavis works that I love...
Jazz! Not the happy, flowy kind. Mavis makes darker jazz music - sometimes with her sarcastic, bitter lyrics, sometimes with the overall dark feel/tone of the melodies, and sometimes with the awesome beats (as you will hear in "Battle"). I'm so happy that Mavis decided to explore her own music interests and write her own, powerful songs. She rocks!
Note: If you really want to hear her earlier, cute kiddy songs, try "你的甜蜜 (Your Sweetness)"
Sample Song: 战 (Battle)
Sample Song: 如果我先死了怎么办 (What if I Died First)
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Usually badhead compilations contain overall slow, relaxing songs. Listening to one of the compilation for the first time a month ago (thanks Anna!), I discovered the wonderful folk singer Wang Juan.
I mentioned Wang Juan just a post earlier regarding her collaboration album with Huzi, so why not properly introduce her in this post? ^_^ I have only heard a couple of Wang Juan's songs through compilation albums. However, it was love at first listen. Wang Juan's acoustic folk melodies are beautiful in their simplicity and mellowness. Definitely go to her label site, read her bio (in English!), and sample her whole album. ^_^
Sample Song: Wang Juan - 遥远 (In Distance)
Sample Song: Zhou Yun Peng - 我听到某人在唱一首忧伤的歌 (I Hear Someone Singing a Sad Song)
Sunday, January 22, 2006
It's Sunday again, and Hu Zi & Wang Juan's collaboration album "Two's Personal Trip's" mellow folky electronic sound perfectly fit my mood ^_^
Why folk and electronic? Well, Hu Zi produces electronic music (he was actually into indie rock & played guitar in a couple of indie rock bands), and Wang Juan is a wonderful, relaxing folk singer. When you put these two together, the result is beautiful, folk-electronic melodies that produces a dreamy & calming effect. And isn't the album cover just lovely?
Sample Song: 两个人的旅行 (Two's Personal Trip)
Thursday, January 19, 2006
When I did a search for Sound Toy on google today, guess what I found? An awesome, awesome new site (in English!) dedicated to rock music in China. I read their review on Sound Toy, and it's lovely. (Go read it and check out the Rock in China site!) Wow, Sound Toy not only satisfy my music needs, they also provide me with useful information. Lovely. ^_^
Sample Track: 爱铃 (Ai Ling)
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Every now and then, I need a dose of happy pop/electronic music (aka the wonderfulness of shibuya-kei artists). This week especially - since I am taking finals and am stressing out, dreading how bad I failed the tests that I took and am going to fail the tests I will take tomorrow *_* As a grade A procrastinator (yay go me go!), I am slacking again and listening to COPTER4016882 right now ^_^
COPTER4016882 is amongst my many shibuya-kei favorites. Their sound (happy upbeat electronic goodness) resembles capsule (same label too haha) - another personal favorite. If you like shibuya-kei music in general or just enjoy different, happy & funky music, you will enjoy Ukai, Mikiko, and Miwa's music!
Sample Song: ガール ザ ジャップ (The Japanese Girl)
Sunday, January 15, 2006
So many goodies came up!
Cheer Chen's Rock Concert Pt. I
After the release of her recent album "A Fabulous Adventure," Cheer held a concert in Taiwan. On her second & last show, after two encores... people still kept on clapping... What will Cheer do?
Cheer Chen's Rock Concert Pt. II
Sing again of course! ^_^
最初的起点 (The Very Beginning - Da Da Da Version)
Behind the scenes of Cheer & her band @ her HK concert - some taken by Cheer herself ^_^
Cheer Chen singing "吉他手 (Guitarist)" live
I love when Cheer let her audience sing the "Wo ai ni (I love you)" part ^_^
Why she wrote "A Fabulous Adventure"
I'm too lazy to translate now :P But she's talks about how she already wrote the song "A Fabulous Adventure" 8 years ago & it didn't really fit with her other albums until now (on her new album). She said the song talks about not wanting to go on with life alone. Life is only a fabulous adventure when you're with someone you trust/believe in/nice/funny (ok maybe I added some qualities). Oops, I think I just translated the whole thing :P
Concert @ Tainan University Clip I
Concert @ Tainan University Clip II
Concert @ Tainan University Clip III
Concert @ Tainan University Clip IV
Concert @ Tainan University V
All Credits goes to their original uploaders
By the way, has any of you guys/girls realized that my long term goal for writing this blog is to convert all of you into Cheer Chen maniacs?
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Here goes (in alphabetic order):
at17 Ming Ming OST
Cheer Chen (陳綺貞) Cheer Lyrics + Media Blog New MVs Unreleased Tracks + MVs Cheer media @ youtube.com Demos Live CD
Cao Fang (曹方) MVs Single/Extra Songs New Song
Cherry Boom (樱桃帮)
Cold Fairyland (冷酷仙境)
Fu Lu Shou (福禄寿)
Girls Tape Store
Huzi & Wang Juan (虎子 & 王娟)
Huang Hsiao Chen (黄小桢)
Huang Jian Wei (黄建为)
Humming Urban Stereo (허밍 어반 스테레오)
Khalil Fong (方大同) 2nd Album
Le Petite Nurse (小护士)
Lim Giong (林強)
Love & Pop
Mavis Fan (范晓萱)
Meng Qi (孟奇)
Mongo So (苏孚)
Mr. Chelonian (海龟先生)
Natural Q (自然卷) Single: A Good Day
Plastic People (플라스틱 피플)
Roller Coaster (롤러코스터)
Sai Ning (塞宁)
Sound Toy (声音与玩具)
Spangle call Lilli line
Sugar Plum Ferry (甜梅号)
Summer Lei (雷光夏)
Super VC (果味VC)
the Indigo New Album "Future Folk"
Tizzy Bac 2nd Album
Wang Juan (王娟)
Won Fu (旺福)
Yang Nai Wen (楊乃文) New Album "Dame"
Yu Fei Men (与非门)
Zhang Xuan/Deserts (张悬)
Cao Fang + Cheer Chen Interview! ^_^
20 Something Taipei Ost
after17 webzine & nicole@my little airport
Another mini "News" Update (Cheer, Loveholic, the Indigo)
Bad Head 3 - Garden Village
CRACKER: compilation for a bittersweet love story
Grassland Music Compilation
Harbour Thumbs Up X'mas
L.A.M.N. (line And Meter Nova Society)
Ming Ming Soundtrack
News? Update (MLA & Cao Fang's New Songs)
Modern Sky 5
My Beautiful Rock Dream
Pop! (S.H.E, Khalil Fong, Bibi Zhou, Jane Zhang, Huang Ya Li)
Quality mainstream female singers
The 4 R&B gods of China (me attempting to be funny *_^)
Who is Cui Jian!?
75 Minutes: Your Weekly Source for Independent Music
Switching Host & Instructions
I don't usually go search for personal information on an artist/band unless I'm really really crazy about him/her/them (haha *cough* Cheer Chen *cough*). After all, only the music matters for me. However, listening to the Taiwanese singer/songwriter Huang Hsiao Chen's English songs, I wondered if she studied abroad. Her English is so good (grammar + pronounciation wise). And so I googled her - and yup, she went to UCLA as a psychology major. (btw, this it totally irrevelant, but Cheer Chen's major was philosophy!). Oh, and if you're wondering what Huang Hsiao Chen's blood type is, it's A :P
Anyway, Huang Hsiao Chen makes awesome acoustic rock music. She sings in both mandarin and English, which is quite refreshing to hear (yay I can understand without having to concentrate hard!). Some of her lyrics are funny too, and you will hear them in "Loveli Sickness." ^_^
Sample Song: Loveli Sickness
Sample Song: Cake
Friday, January 13, 2006
So, the other day, a guy named Sean sent me a pm through my last.fm profile asking me if I want to be the Asian indie contributor for his podcast radio show - 75 Minutes. 75 Minutes is a weekly online program playing independent music from all around the world (yay!). I listened to few of their shows, and enjoyed most of the songs/artists they recommended. I decided to join the team, since Asian indie music definitely needs more love, especially in the states ^_^ Another wonderful thing about 75 Minutes is that they offer their shows in 128kbps mp3 format and/or enhanced AAC files.
Interestingly, people from mainland China are 75 Minutes' second most listeners, after the US. Go Chinese indie lovers!
Check them out, and support the independent music scene :o)
About 75 Minutes: (Quoting directly from their site)
We at 75 Minutes scour the earth looking for the best of the independent music world: no matter the language, style, or level of presumed hipness. We have a bias for the new, but an appreciation for the path that lead us here.
We. like you, are music fans, not deeply crass and fraudulent critics of minutiae. We simply look for music that kicks ass, no matter which container it comes in.
Our goal is to contribute to the independent community, not just mirror or comment on it, and we hope to have listeners who will contribute, and be active in the community as well.
The world is now thoroughly connected by music. We simply want to make new connections.Official Site
75 Minutes @ iTunes
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Of course, I wouldn't have known about Misty Blue in the first place if it wasn't for the wonderful Anna ^_^ Thank you!
Sample Track: 봄에게 미처 배우지 못한 것 PartⅡ
A bit irrelevant but oh my gosh I wish I could fly to Korea in 4 days and go to this concert *_*
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Natural Q is one of the very first Taiwan indie-pop groups that I’ve listened to. Since I love weird happy funky music, when I heard Natural Q’s upbeat, funny song “c’est la vie,” I knew I had to find out more about the Taiwan/Hong Kong indie-pop scene (I don’t think there are many cute indie-pop groups from mainland China… Is there? *_*).
Natural Q’s second album just came out about week ago. Overall it’s mellower than their first album “C’est la vie.” However, they’ve kept their funky cute sound, thus I enjoy both albums very much. Hehe, since I think their lyrics are super cute too, I will do a translation of the sample song ^_^ (ok so after the translation I realized it doesn’t sound as funny & cute in English :P But they’re still awesome!)
Interview @ petiteMort
Sample song: 鱼罐头 (Fish Head/Fish Can)
A couple of months ago you said you loved me,
And that without me, you couldn’t live.
Right now you don’t even call me anymore,
Not even an email.
In the beginning you sang love songs everyday,
Soon you wouldn’t even come and see me.
Does that mean I’ve turned into a fish head?!
OH NO NO NO!
When I’m bored, please give me a call.
You only have to move a few fingers,
I won’t make you wait long.
When I’m bored, please give me a call,
Just want to hear you tell me that
You like to eat fresh beef.
Repeat whole thing :P
When I’m bored, please give me a call.
Even though I’m only a fish head,
I can accompany you for a long time.
Indie-pop rules! ^_^
Friday, January 06, 2006
Two concerts was organized by Harbour records during the two days before Christmas last year, featuring HK indie artists such as My Little Airport, 22 Cats, False Alarm, and Fantastic Day (to name a few).
The great thing is that everyone who goes to this concert gets a free compilation cd. This reminds me of Cheer Chen, who keeps her indie spirit by distributing mini-albums especially made for her concerts. How lovely.
Here is the tracklist:
01. Florian - Jesus loves children
02. Fantastic Day - are you coming back?
03. The Yours - Cry for glory
04. My little airport - Japan实瓜 (acoustic demo)
05. False alarm - Blood love
06. 人头马 - 人头马风湿初夜
07. 咖啡因公园 - Zeiss
08. 22 Cats - 一个饮
09. Reonda - It smells nice in the graveyard
10. Wilson Tsang - Midnight sun (3am demo)
11. Band Band - 不美不成理
12. 在草地上 - 目的地(漫无目的版)
I recognize roughly half of the artists from the list above. From what I've heard & from the tracklist, I believe most of these songs are either never released demos or just never released songs by these artsits ^_^ Anyway, I was very excited when it featured a My Little Airpot demo song (quite short, but most of their songs are short). I also enjoy Reonda's songs very much, although I've never heard of her before (and can't seem to find info on her right now).
I wish to go to Hong Kong someday, attend an indie concert, and get a only-released-in-concert cd too ^_^
MLA @ Harbour Thumbs Up X'mas Concert
photo credit: Lucky Mr. Guy Tang
Sample Song: My Little Airport - Japan實瓜 (Acoustic Demo)
Sample Song: Reonda - It Smells Nice In The Graveyard
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
"My Beautiful Rock Dream" is a very nice Taiwan rock compilation album. It has punk rock, soft rock, even some fun disco-rock, whatever that is *_^ Ah, I think I'm hyper now ^_^
err, did I mention that putfile hates me? It seldomly works for me nowadays. I think I might resort to ftp again in the future *_* Any good free host suggestions?
Sample Track: Neon - 无悔 (No Regrets)
Sample Track: Chaotic Island - 麻烦大了 (Big Trouble)
Monday, January 02, 2006
Ah, might as well dedicate this blog to Cheer Chen. This is my third post about her. Nowadays, it's hard to pick my favorite Cheer song. In fact, the real question is - which isn't my favorite song. Of course, I'll answer none, because every Cheer song has its own flavor, its own life. I never get tired of any.
So, since I found some unreleased tracks from her today, I am very, very happy. They're wonderful, and I hope Cheer will officially released them in her future albums. I can't wait.
By the way, happy new year everyone! ^_^
Unreleased Track 1: Subway (Fireworks)
Mellow & relaxing. I wouldn't expect anything less from Cheer.
Unreleased Track 2: Going to England Next Week
Nice acoustic melody + Cheer's cute voice = a very enjoyable song.
80% Perfect Life Performance
Cheer started cry about half way through this song, and her fans comforted & encouraged her by singing for her & saying "we love you!" It's a beautiful moment.
Lying in your closet MV
Love the song and thought the MV was interesting. When she was interviewed while making this MV, Cheer explained that she wanted to incorporate dark elements into her MV and show the conflicts of love. After all, she says, many elements, including conflicts, make up a relationship and bring the joy to love in the end.