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.

Continue reading

I Am A Singer Ep. 7: A pun about The One being number one

Tibetan Buddhist monks join Han Hong on stage in this week's I Am A Singer.

Tibetan Buddhist monks join Han Hong on stage in this week’s I Am A Singer.

I Am A Singer, this year, is sponsored by Honda and Oppo. So the singers drive up in their Honda cars which totally look like the Jeeps from Jurassic Park, and unbox their new Oppo smartphones. They watch the introductory video for the newest contestant, Korean singer The One, but none of them know who he is. Obviously they didn’t watch the first season. For shame.
The One’s “manager” on the show is Xiao Wu, the Korean member of Top Combine. He does most of the interpreting for him. Let’s hop straight into it.

Don't worry. The dinosaurs don't start eating people until after Newman shuts down the park's security system.

Don’t worry. The dinosaurs don’t start eating people until after Newman shuts down the park’s security system.

Jane Zhang
If 是否 by Julie Su

Earlier in the competition, Jane performed Legend of a Hungry Wolf 饿狼传说 by Jacky Cheung. Everything about it was eerily similar to G.E.M’s performance of Lady Marmalade on last year’s show (especially the part where it actually segued into Lady Marmalade). Jane came second, but people were a bit iffy about it.

This time, Jane is singing a song that G.E.M recorded back in 2013. The similarities stop there, however. While G.E.M’s version was a demure, piano-only track, Jane’s arrangement features the whole band. Her voice harks back to her time on Super Girl. It’s powerful and free. It’s everythi- oh… and now it’s been jazzed up with trumpets. So not only did she not watch the first season of I Am A Singer, but she didn’t read my comments from last week’s episode either.

Besides almost ruining the song by turning it into a breezy jazz number, Jane actually did sing it really well. Nobody else has performed yet, but we have a strong contender for best vocal performance of the night. Continue reading

Music Monday: May 5, 2014

Music Monday 2014

I’m back! I realize the last time I posted anything was back in February. So… Lets ease back into Music Monday again. But first I would like to introduce two new discovery of sort. 1) Music Radio Billboard Chart and 2) CCTV Global Music Chart.

Music Radio Billboard Chart has been around for a few years, but the webpage was never that visually appealing. The chart is now separated into Mainland, TW/HK, and new releases. Then there’s CCTV’s brand new “live” music performance program Global Music Chart first aired in March. While not all the performances are for new songs, but I’m not going complains about finally having a show dedicated to musical performance and promotion. Like its counterparts (Music Station/Inkigayo) a winner is crowned at the end of each episode based on SNS votes, text, and audience votes. I hope they include digital and physical sales later to promote legal music download/purchase.

Speaking of music award, it’s music awards season again! Yinyuetai held their 2nd annual award show a few weeks ago. The award show itself wasn’t all that interesting, basically anyone who decided to attend got an award, but there were some great performances. QQ Music held their first music awards show this year. Finally the all important Music Radio Annual Top Billboard Charts and The Chinese Music Awards 全球华语榜中榜, which were both held in late April.
Continue reading

Music Monday:Februrary 17, 2014

Here to make Monday a little easier =)

Here to make Monday a little easier =)

Starting the lunar new years with another unexpected collaboration, GOOD NIGHT MY LOVE (penned and composed by Wei Chen) is a special Valentine’s Day duet performed by Vision Wei Chen 魏晨 and Laure Shang Weijie 尚雯婕. The music video follows Wei Chen from street to street, store to store, looking for the perfect gift for this Valentine. [MR]

Continue reading