Sinology Sunday: Tan Weiwei’s folk rock

Here’s a look at Tan Weiwei’s flawless original and cover performances that combines rock, musicals, and traditional Chinese music forms. Many of those songs are helped by arrangements by the incredibly talented Liu Zhou and rock legend Cui Jian.

Counting People 数人玩 takes inspirations from  Suzhou Pingtan. The song is originally by Xiban Band, which combines Suzhounese pingtan, Chinese opera, and Mongolian sounds.

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Music Monday: 2018 drama theme song edition

Instead of clogging up my end of year review (coming soon!), I’ve decided to create a separate post for my favourite OSTs of the year.

When done well, theme songs and instrumental music are able to draw me into the events happening onscreen, even if the acting is bland and/or the story is sub par (sometimes I find that the worse a drama is, the better its OST). I may not have watched some of the dramas on this list, but that didn’t stop me from putting their songs on replay.

I’m a fan of ancient dramas, hence my playlist is usually dominated by melancholy ballads. Which drama soundtracks made an impression on you this year?

Phoenix Street 朱雀街 by Song Bingyang (Moonshine and Valentine)

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English translations of Rocket Girls’ Light

When I turn back to look at myself,
That light was “me” all along

The lyrics by Wu Tsing-Fong of Sodagreen for Rocket Girls’ third single Light (second from their EP) is heartfelt and shines with his unique combination of childhood wonder and  empowerment, and the arrangement of the girls’ voices is stunning  Someone said it reminded them of classic SHE songs and that’s how I feel.

SHE celebrates their 17th anniversary with a moving MV

S.H.E.’s anniversary MV is so moving it made me cry.  It tells of their journey through a subway ride, from the moment they said goodbye to their families to embark on this journey to them splitting off but still supporting each other through their marriages and pregnancy and divorce.  The song is written by  Wu Tsing-fong  of Sodagreen.

 

Music Monday: Boybands and girlbands are back!

Awaken-F’s summer photoshoot

Thanks to variety shoes Idol Producer and 101 , there’s once more popular boybands and girls outside of TF boys again. Here are some recent MV’s from some of the bigger ones, including Rocket Girls, NEXT, Awaken-F, Sing girlband,   and a few solos from Nine Percent and M.I.C. boyband.   .

On the girl group side, Chinese-styled EDM group released their latest single Night of Music  夜笙歌 with inspirations from Southeast China. I wish they would release a MV for “Accidentally Time-travelled to Ancient Times一不小心到古代” because that’s probably my favorite song from them after 寄明月.

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Ren Suxi’s live mini- musical is Phantastic

Ren Suxi’s live performance in Hunan TV’s new live musical show, Phantacity 幻乐之城,is full of childhood wonder but also made me cry like an idiot at the airport.

The series features Faye Wong as she overlooks the production of four 10-minute mini-live musicals per episode. Episode one featured Yi Yangqianxi and Hu Xianxu, Huang Xiaoming, Ren Suxi, and Lei Jia. Yi Yangqianxi and Hu Xianxu’s work with Peng Youlun was visually stunning and a decent watch, but the breakout performance was definitely director Xin Shuang and actor Ren Suxi’s “Time Machine.”