An inauspicious start to the year

Aaaah, where do I go when I disappear for a week at a time? Well, this time: Wuxi. Not for the whole week, but it was long enough to screw up my schedule and interfere with my end-of-the-semester madness in progress around here. What’s more, I’m taking off again on Thursday for Hong Kong for work, though I’m hoping to get in some CD shopping (if anyone has suggestions for where, I’m looking for albums by Groovedog and My Little Airport; I’m not sure how mainstream these things are in Hong Kong) on my free day during my quick weekend jaunt to the south.

Anyway, what’s up in the Mandopop world? Well, for one thing, it has come to an end. Okay, not literally, but practically – this week was Leehom’s first week on the charts, but Show Luo’s new album beat him to end at number one. Mayday came in at number two, and Leehom was a slightly distant third. What is going on in this world? I don’t care what bizarre dodgy rock tracks Leehom has released, this album is bound to be better than anything by Show Luo. Look, Show might be “Taiwan’s Dance King,” but that does not mean he can sing… and, and, but… it’s a Leehom album! Honestly, I think two things are going on here: one, some fans were left feeling rather dubious after that whole “What’s Wrong with Rock” incident, and two, the many delays may have meant that perhaps people were caught a bit off-guard by its release. But still….

There’s some sort of big Hong Kong awards coming up (something about Ten Big Golden Melodies or some such), and six groups have been nominated: S.H.E, Twins (ooh, back from the dead… we should call them the “Zombie Twins”), Yu Quan, the Flowers, Mayday and sodagreen. I’m not sure how this works; if it is a voting thing, then Mayday and sodagreen are automatically out.

So, New Year’s: I didn’t hear Mayday perform, obviously, but it sounds like maybe it was not the band’s best night ever. Or maybe not Ashin’s best night ever, more accurately. This is the band’s second consecutive year being criticized for being off-key, but last year the crowd blamed the talentless model singing a duet with him for the problem. This year, there was no one else to blame, though. Moreover, there were sound issues beyond Ashin’s voice; while singing “Suddenly Missing You,” the sound got very loud, and the audience was suddenly wishing for earplugs. Fans defended the band by pointing out the recent spate of performances, suggesting that the band is tired out. Ludicrously, there were also accusations of lip-syncing, but I gotta poke an obvious hole in this one: if you were going to lip-sync, wouldn’t you use a track where you’re singing on-key?
Anyway, Happy New Year! (Or as people are already punning around here, “Happy Niu Year!”)

p.s. I finally finished my attempt at a review of Poetry; it’s posted here. It contains no new insights and few original opinions, but I did try to cover my lack of musical knowledge with flowery language. :)

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15 Responses to An inauspicious start to the year

  1. double *e* says:

    merry…. happy new year to u!!
    im having a great start for the year… hehe… becos mayday (minus guan you) is here to promote their latest album. there was a concert ystdy and album signing today.
    u can chk out the report & some video clips here:

  2. hobielover says:

    I thought they were lip-syncing at first, but the singing in the recording was kind of low, and I don’t think I had it turned it up enough to tell whether it was in-tune or not. I was also watching it around 8:00 p.m., so I was tired and my mind was mush. (I had no plans to stay up until midnight, of course.)

    I like the review. :) I’d like even more if I weren’t seeing “???” everywhere in the place of Chinese characters at the moment, of course.

  3. emm says:

    sigh -___-;;;
    twins and SHE will rule the world with their mediocre probably auto tuned pop songs someday because everyone is BLIND

  4. xoxoxobexoxoxo says:

    ashin was definitely not lip-syncing. as u said won’t they be using a track that is on-key??? that’s just ridiculous. and so what if they are off-key. ashin himself even pokes fun at himself all the time for being off key.

  5. Helen says:

    Hi I’m from Hong Kong (and wrote you some random emails ages ago :P)

    you can get “my little airport” in some cd stores as they are not too “underground”, but safe to go “sino centre” in mong kok to find it.

    groovedog is a guangzhou band? i never see their cds in store :(

  6. theworldofpride says:

    Hmm, but it’s like we cannot really blame ashin for singing off key because he was sick that day.

    And when he came over to Singapore for concert, he mentioned that he was very scared of singing on stage (that day) as he scared that he might go off key again. (the newspaper said 走音阴影)

    It’s actually a very sad issue to see him being blame for singing off key. It is not what he and his members wanted for as a new year ‘gift’.


  7. hobielover says:

    emm: No, their eyesight is just fine, but they’re deaf and therefore in it for the eye candy. (No offense to people who are actually deaf, of course.)

  8. L says:

    Hi, I just got into Mayday late last year (pretty much right before they released ‘Poetry of the Day After’) and I love reading your blogs about them. =) Really wished I had started listening to them earlier, especially when I realized that I was vacationing in HK around the same time they were there for the Final Home concert; and missed the Leaving the Surface of the Earth concert when they came to Toronto even though I live there and totally could have gone. Ugh. Haha.

    And your translations of the lyrics are really enlightening! I can actually understand Chinese, but sometimes I like to read them for fun. Re: the translations from the latest album. I totally didn’t realize that Ashin was talking about egg tarts in the lyrics for ‘OMG’ hahaha. I heard the word ‘pyramid’ and automatically assumed the words before it was just some place name. And for ‘Spring’s Scream’. Before reading your explanations my main impression of that song was that the line about ‘falling in love with nature’ was hilarious. But really, antelope? Um. Wow. o___O Haha. I’m not really sure how I should feel about this song now.

    Wow. This post kind of turned out longer than I expected. Sorry for rambling/the long post.

  9. heppy says:

    hahas i really wonder y ppl will say he lip-synch.. sing too good = lip-synch.. sing off-key also = lip-synch.. it’s prob the ‘in’ word of this yr (=

  10. hobielover says:

    L: LOL! Antelopes are so naughty, aren’t they? I guess you can decide how you want to look at those lyrics, whether they are dirty or not depends on how you want to see them. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it, either! 😛

  11. L says:

    heppy: Haha. I think I remember reading some article/interview awhile back where Ashin himself was joking/complaining that when he sings off-key he is described as being a horrible singer, but if his pitch and everything is perfect he gets accused of lip-syncing. So yeah, either way, people are going to talk. *shrugs*

    hobielover: I don’t know. I think for me it’s kind of a combination of being impressed with his creativity w/ words and being kind of embarrassed(?) when hearing the lyrics. Haha. Though I guess they’re actually pretty tame compared to the stuff a lot of Western artists crank out these days. But I think from now on whenever I see antelopes I’ll end up being reminded of this song lol.

  12. Merry says:

    Oh, apologies to L for that last comment getting locked up in the spam filter… sorry. I was not checking my email for a few days there, as the conference schedule in Hong Kong was brutal. (Really brutal – I felt so sorry for the people who flew in from the states and were fighting to stay awake!)

    I’ve noted this before, but I don’t see how Ashin would dare lip-sync in a major public forum like that. Forget the on-key/off-key issue, when does he ever do a whole performance without forgetting some of the lyrics? And if you’re lip-syncing, forget one lyric and bam! Busted. Anyway, this was a fun conversation to come home to!

  13. thengfei says:

    Hai…I always log into ur website for translation..i totally cant read chinese..most of the time, i guess the meanin of the songs..hehe..except for those tt are really in simple after readin ur translations, it gives me a different view and feel on the still cant really understand the meaning, i jz love their songs so muc..n yeah, Ashin often goes off-keys esp with high-note who cares, he is still the best to me n v.entertaining…lolz!

  14. Ostensibly this is an try to bolster Omanisation.

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