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Music

[Music] 周杰倫 Jay Chou – Mojito

As with American pop, Mexican pop, Korean pop and most pop around the world, Chinese pop (C-Pop) generally makes me want to vomit in a way which would make Linda Blair in The Exorcist shriek in terror. With that being said, however, I give props to Taiwanese (or Chinese, depending on whom you talk to) artist Jay Chou (周杰倫).

Mojito, his latest hit, has busted charts in China, and just might have the possibility of crossing over in Europe, the U.S. and Latin America. He mixed his version of C-Pop with Cuban music, making a song that flows rather nicely. Chou is actually noted for being revolutionary in the Chinese music business as being able to blend Western and Eastern music into a cocktail that isn’t saccharine or cheesy.

This is probably the best modern pop song to come out of China in the last 10 years, at least to my taste. It’s my hope that with Chou’s rather brave (for China) mixing of cultures that producers there will start implementing more and more culture-blending in their music scene.

I thank my former student, Alyssa, who kindly introduced me to his music recently. One of the great benefits of teaching in China was to have students like her introduce me to part of the popular culture I would have otherwise missed. I’m indebted to her, and to all my kids who were kind enough to help keep me in the loop in Beijing.

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Music

[Music] Yu Ying Ying / 于櫻櫻 – 朋友不要心煩 (groove funk pop, Taiwan 1976)

Living in China, one can see that, despite the façade of wealth, this is a land of missed opportunities, even when it comes to music. Excepting the underground music scene in places like Shanghai, Dalian, Hong Kong, and here in Beijing, to a point, thanks to Fruity Shop and other amazing record stores, pop music here is garbage.  It was bad during the 1970s as well.  Taiwan, on the other hand, had music that was funky, lively and energetic.

Yu Ying Ying is a fine example of this.  She released scores of albums in Taiwan, and this treasure came into my feed last night.  How I didn’t discover this cherry before is anyone’s guess, but Yu’s work is definitely worth hunting for.

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Uncategorized

[Music] Various Artists – An Anthology of Chinese Experimental Music 1992​-​2008

Dajuin Yao, Dickson Dee and Xper Xr. are the only familiar artists to me on this compilation of avant-garde music from the Sinosphere.  Sub Rosa Records outdoes itself with the marvelous (and quite long) compilation.

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Alternative/Indie Music Music Videos Psychedelic Rock

[Music] 草莓救星 (We Save Strawberries) – Solar System

Taiwan’s 草莓救星 (We Save Strawberries) are dream pop which would make Hope Sandoval smile, I’d gather.