Let us look past that whole Jay/Mayday pre-order sales kerfuffle yesterday to other things. Though speaking of other things, I wonder how the pre-orders are going for Leehom’s album? Haven’t they been going on pretty much forever? Once his album is finally released and depending on the sales figures, this could open up a whole new can of worms… (I dressed up as “A Whole New (TM) can of worms” for Halloween once… in general, I do not recommend dressing up like idioms, no matter how well-known they are. I spent the whole night trying to explain myself, which only got harder as party-goers got drunker. I was going to be Ashin this year, but I ran out of time to create oversized denim suspenders, and anyway, I can’t imagine that the joke wouldn’t be lost on pretty much everyone I know here. Instead I’m going as the goldfish pond outside our office building. Much simpler.)
The winners of the 8th Annual Chinese Music Media Awards (华语传媒音乐大奖) were announced this week; they held no ceremony, supposedly because of the uncertain economy. Sodagreen came out the big winner, taking home prizes for best album, best band, best producer and best arrangement for the awesome song, “The Moon Haunts in the Daytime (白日出没的月球).” Other notable prizes: Best Male Singer went to A-yue (YAY!) and Best Mandarin Male Newcomer (最佳国语男新人) went to…. Peng Tan!!! Yippeeee…. Incidentally, the best rock band award went to Carsick Cars, a mainland band on the same label as PK14 with an impressive following in Europe; I keep meaning to buy one of their albums, and now I guess I have the incentive I need.
I suppose I should mention the 2008 Singapore Hit Awards, but when S.H.E gets best band/group over both Mayday and sodagreen, the entire operation is already suspect. There were some bright spots, though: Tanya Chua’s song “Darwin” won the best lyrics, and Tanya Chua was best composing artist. Sodagreen beat out F.I.R. and Champion for best band and Mayday won a media prize and best performing act prize. Both sodagreen and Mayday had songs on the top ten songs of the year list along with Leehom for his Olympic song, but that list also included “Cowboys Are Busy,” so I have deemed it null and void.
There were also the Global Chinese Music Awards this week (man there were a lot of awards in a short period of time here…), which frankly came out looking a bit dodgy as well – in this case, Mayday, sodagreen and The Flowers shared the best band award. Seriously? The Flowers? Okay, next year: Fusion. This must be our mission, and there can be no backing down from it. Other than also giving producing props to Tanya Chua for Goodbye & Hello, the rest of the winner’s list was a bit, erm, lacking. Of these three, my vote is soundly with the Chinese Music Media Awards for demonstrating impressively good taste; I wonder if the fact that there was no ceremony and red carpet meant they had more freedom to pick real winners, and not just popular ones?
We’re not done yet, though. There’s apparently a vote taking place to decide who will MC that MTV-CCTV Awards Ceremony later this month, with voting between Vanness Wu, Leehom Wang, and JJ Lin. What do these three have in common? Fluent English, I imagine. Interesting. (Oh, but what do Vanness and Leehom also have in common? Sweaty shirtless boxing.)
Okay, on to non-awards ceremony news. Qingfeng wrote a song for Rainie Yang’s new album, called “Take Me with You (帶我走).” That article notes that Qingfeng is such a good singer himself that he tends to write songs that he could sing, but are rather difficult for other artists to tackle in concert. If you listen to it, I’d say that’s true: you’d have to be pretty confident to do this one live. A-mei could do it; I have no sense at all whether Rainie can.
Sodagreen will be having a concert in Guangzhou on Christmas Eve this year, but don’t expect a new album from the band any time soon. Qingfeng has noted that the songs on Unparalleled Beauty were mostly songs that he’d written in the last few years; now he’s out of new songs and the band won’t put out a new album until they have new songs they are satisfied with, and they’re not putting a date on that. I can think of one or two other artists who could afford to learn from sodagreen’s example on this, to be honest.
The four Taiwanese bands that mainland newspapers are talking about right now are Mayday, on account of the new album, sodagreen for the Sing With Me live album that only hit mainland stores this fall, 1976′s Asteroid which is being called the one album you cannot afford to miss, and backQuarter, for World, which is apparently quite a departure from their past work. So go ahead and make those shopping lists…