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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Yaoband’s album teaser is all I’ve ever wanted

Publishing this before the actual album is out because I’m scared the album won’t live up to the teasers.

pipa X hard dance ✓
kunqu opera X future bass ✓
Triple pun  and triple entendre ✓
my favorite ancient Chinese novel  ✓

Every detail of 耀乐团 Yaoband’s  new album teasers is tuned to perfection.   Reflections in a Garden 镜花园  is an upcoming concept album inspired by Flowers in the Mirror 镜花缘, a nineteenth century fantasy novel known for its explorations of various dystopias.

The first teaser opens in a garden.  The music opens with future bass, then goes to guzheng  as the teaser reads “Disturb the waves by washing one’s clothes in the milky way, clean oneself of star dust.”  The metaphor uses several wordplays. Disturb (波动) can also refer to the plucking of a zither instrument such as the guzheng, clothes can also mean baggage, the characters for the milky way literally mean silver river, and dust is often used to indicate mortality in Chinese.

 The song then samples  a line from The Peony Pavilion segment  A Walk in the Garden, “Without visiting the garden, how could I have known such beauty ? 不到园林,怎知春色如许. ”  The opera’s protagonist then falls asleep in the garden and meets and falls in love with her otp in a dream.   The teaser reads “Searching for a dream of the past  to meet oneself in parallel universes.” 

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Music Monday: June 27, 2015

This is the first time where the leader kept switching places. It went from Zhang Bichen’s Nianlun to M.I.C.’s theme for the drama that is still never going to air before settling on Zhang Jie‘s Truth.    Also, I really need someone to convince me that Wang Hao is not planning to host drug parties because everything about his store from their slogan to logo to the trap music screams Chinese-entertainment-ban-for-life.

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Sing My Song 中国好歌曲 and What It Means for the Chinese Indie Music Industry

I get goosebumps every single time. I’ll bet my all she’s going to win Season 2. Also, the ladies are totally owning Season 2, which is so great.

As people go wild over this season’s I Am A Singer and sob over Han Hong, the second season of the lesser known Sing My Song (or Song of China) just hit the halfway mark. I think this is a show that’s even more important than it realizes, for the platform it provides for underground musicians and even more so, the culture of appreciation for diversity, creativity and individuality that opens up the indie music scene to viewers.

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China’s Modern Sky Music Festival Hitting Up NYC This October!

For the first time since it started in 2007, China’s Modern Sky Music Festival is heading out of the country and coming to the US. Managed by the indie label Modern Sky Entertainment, which includes artists such as Carsick Cars and PK14 under its name, it is the largest music festival in China.

International and Chinese artists will be playing on Oct 4th and 5th at New York’s Central Park.

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[Lyrics] The brightest star in the night sky

The most popular song of 2014 was not a pop song, but one released in 2011 by indie band Escape Plan.   “The brightest star in the night sky 夜空中最亮的星” resonated with listeners with its catchy tune and lost but still hopeful lyrics, and the song slowly gained a cult following. The song was later covered in various singing competitions, notably Zhang Jie in I am Singer 2 and Zhang Hengyuan in The Voice of China 2.  Three highly recommended versions (harmonica, Qin Lan, Qin Lan and child) also appear in the eeMedia musical Journey to the Song & War.  

English translation by me:
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The Comeback of a Lifetime – Luo Qi’s “Return”

luo13
China’s No. 1 female rock vocalist in the 1980s returns to the limelight with a life story worthy of a biopic.

This January, the second season of “I Am a Singer” returned with seven big name celebrities who call from the 60s to the 00s, including Gary Cao, Bibi Zhou, G.E.M. Tang, but the lady with the powerhouse vocals that has captured the hearts and tears of Chinese viewers is Luo Qi.

On January 10th, Luo Qi performed a stirring cover of Zhang Yusheng’s “我期待”. Standing on the stage in a shining black dress, her explosive tresses falling on her shoulders, her eyes closed, she sings: Say goodbye, Say goodbye/Back and forth, over and over again/ Say goodbye say goodbye/ Throw my shoulders back my head held high/ Without any regret”

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Music Monday: December 23, 2013

Here to make Monday a little easier =)
Here to make Monday a little easier =)

This Music Monday include: Newage pianist Vanros Kloud (V.K克), actor-turn-sing-turn-MC Ray Zhang Rui, the beautiful Jikejuanyi (吉克隽逸), cute little Zhou Ziyan, the powerful vocal of Huang Qishan, comedian acapella party group Panda Bros, glam rock band Lilith, zhong guo feng girl group Seven Sense trying something new, underage boys and girls from TF Family and Blog Girls.

Jin Zhiwen (金志文) and Guan Zhe (关喆) – Old Friends Diary.
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