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[personal profile] oyceter
This is not an introduction to Cpop, largely because my knowledge of Cpop is limited to songs that I get from my sister years after they are popular in Taiwan when I hear them in karaoke. As such, the music I listen to tends to be very pop-y and very popular; I have zero knowledge of the Taiwan indie scene.

It's also not an introduction because I don't listen to all of Cpop. I have zero knowledge of the Cantopop scene, very little knowledge of music in Taiwanese (as opposed to music in Mandarin Chinese produced in Taiwan), and zero knowledge of music produced in Singapore, Malaysia, Mainland China, or the rest of the Chinese diaspora.

Mostly I just want to give people Chinese music and make other people out there who do know more about Cpop than me post about it because they are ashamed and embarrassed by my horrible not-introduction!

Also, I have no idea how to talk about music, so there will be much handwaviness.

The little I do know about Taiwan mandopop is that there is a music industry, it manufactures pop stars, sometimes people write their own lyrics and sometimes not, and there are actually a good deal of pop stars in Taiwan who aren't from Taiwan. Some of them are from HK or Singapore or Malaysia, and some are ABCs or grew up bilingual in English and Mandarin.

I'll be using the names that the artists picked for themselves; sometimes they are transliterated, and sometimes they are the artist's English given name. I'm going to try and grab the Chinese characters if I can (traditional not simplified, given that I listen to Taiwan stuff) and I'm going to try and transliterate song titles using pinyin and then try translating them too. But be warned! My Chinese sucks! My translation skills are worse!

Also, most of the Cpop that I like is incredibly sappy. I have zero sense of irony in Chinese, and I do not care! I flaunt cheesy sincerity and wear my heart on my sleeve.

鄧麗君 aka Teresa Teng aka Deng(4) Li(4)jun(1) is probably one of the most famous Taiwan stars. I probably know a few of her songs via cultural osmosis, though now her stuff is more classic pop that my dad's generation might listen to than stuff played on MTV.

月亮代表我的心 (Yue(4) Liang(4) Dai(4) Biao(3) Wo(3) De Xin(1), The Moon Represents My Heart) is a famous one of hers that is probably warbled in KTVs everywhere! It's mostly just: "You ask me if my love is true, you ask how deep it is. My love is unmoving, the moon represents my heart." I am not actually sure what this means, given that the moon waxes and wanes, but oh well. (music video)

陶喆 aka David Tao aka Tao(2) Zhe(2) made a remake of this song titled 月亮代表誰的心 (Yue(4) Liang(4) Dai(4) Biao(3) Shei(2) De Xin(1), Whose Heart Does the Moon Represent?). It is sappy and R&B-y and got stuck in my head for a month. Also, for anyone who cares to know, it is nearly impossibly to sing in KTV when you don't know all the words. (music video)

Another famous Teresa Teng song is 甜蜜蜜 (Tian(2) Mi(4) Mi(4), Sweet) that's mostly about how sweet her love's smile is. (music video)

And yet another one is 天黑黑 (I am not sure how to transliterate this because it's in Taiwanese. Something like Ti Ou Ou. It means "the dark sky."). I include this because a) it's in Taiwanese and b) Stefanie Sun did a cover/remake that I really like.

孫燕姿 aka Stefanie Sun aka Sun(1) Yan(4)zi(1) is actually from Singapore, though she's very popular in Taiwan and I think is signed in Taiwan. Her version is about her childhood and how whenever she was afraid, her grandmother would sing the original song to her. Most of the song is in Mandarin, but the chorus from the original song is still in Taiwanese.(music video)

And now I move away from anything even vaguely resembling an introduction and just go into "songs I really like."

Going back to David Tao...

One of my favorites is his 找自己 (Zhao(3) Zi(4) Ji(3), Find Myself). It's my rainy day song, complete with the "Hua la la la la la" onomonopoeia and references to the tree of knowledge and the apple.(music video)

Another really famous Taiwan star is 周杰倫 aka Jay Chou aka Zhou(1) Jie(2)lun(2). He tends to go for incredibly sappy ballads or for hip hop. I know more of his sappy ballads, largely because it is easier to sing sappy ballads on karaoke than hip hop, especially when you don't know the lyrics and are testing your Chinese speed-reading skills with the karaoke machine.

簡單愛 (Jian(3) Dan(1) Ai(4), Simple Love) is mostly about wanting to take the girl you love to your grandmother's house so you can both sit on the porch, hold hands, and watch the sun set as she rests her head on your shoulder. (music video)

And 龍捲風 (Long(2) Juan(3) Feng(1), Tornado) is the song that got me into my latest Cpop kick back in college. I am sure you are all unsurprised to hear that it is a sappy love song about love being like a tornado that sweeps in and out of your life. (music video)

I love Stefanie Sun's voice a lot (she's the one who did the cover of a Teresa Teng song in this post).

綠光 (Lu(4) Guang(1), Green Light) is peppy and bouncy and (of course) about finding the green light/love/that special someone in your life. My sister hooked me onto the music video largely by telling me they clog! Or, um, I think that is what it's called? Probably not authentic, but I am a sucker for dancing.(music video)

Both 風箏 (Feng(1) Zhen(1), Kite) and 任性 (Ren(4) Xing(4), Selfish) are sad and haunting. Kite's about wanting to hang on to a kite string, to a lover, but also understanding the glorious freedom of the sky and how to let go. (music video) Selfish is about someone breaking up with you and if your desire to not let go is selfish. (music video)

I actually have more music, but I'm getting tired of looking for characters and links and etc, so will post more later.

Enjoy!

(no subject)

Thu, Oct. 4th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
ext_150: (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com
I'm grabbing these. :) I don't have that much Chinese music of any sort, only 40 songs, according to iTunes (13 of which are Korean or Japanese artists doing Chinese versions!).

One thing I like about cpop over kpop is that if it's not romanised, there's a good chance I'll still be able to ferret out the meaning and at least put a translated title (I hate leaving artists and titles in non-roman characters, as it doesn't display properly in all programs), whereas with Korean, well...I've occasionally tried comparing the letters to a hangul chart or trying to get a translation from Babelfish, neither of which ever ends well.

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Thu, Oct. 4th, 2007 11:17 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] yhlee.livejournal.com
--if you ever have a Korean title (in the actual Hangul) you want to read, sling it my way and I'll give it a try. My Korean is limited, but from what I can tell kpop doesn't use a hugely elevated range of vocabulary. (I could be wrong, though, who knows?)

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Posted by [identity profile] kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com - Thu, Oct. 4th, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Posted by [identity profile] kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com - Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 12:23 am (UTC) - Expand

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Thu, Oct. 4th, 2007 11:58 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] loligo.livejournal.com
Any idea what decade these various songs come from? If there are any from the 80's, I will dl them and see if they might fit in on our radio show!

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] yhlee.livejournal.com
--okay, I am downloading my way through these. A couple I played and was like, Why does this sound familiar? then realized it's because they were on the C-pop mix you made for me a while back. *g* Thank you for this post! I am weirded out by the way the music sounds stylistically relatively similar to K-pop and yet the language sounds so different.

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] yhlee.livejournal.com
Also, I totally think you should do a vid to C-pop. With subtitles even!

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Posted by [identity profile] yhlee.livejournal.com - Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC) - Expand

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Posted by [identity profile] kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com - Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC) - Expand

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Posted by [identity profile] yhlee.livejournal.com - Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC) - Expand

if you're looking for angry c-pop

Posted by [identity profile] toastykitten.livejournal.com - Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 03:02 am (UTC) - Expand

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Posted by [identity profile] yhlee.livejournal.com - Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC) - Expand

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Posted by [identity profile] kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com - Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] keilexandra
Oooh! I know that moon song! Totally obiquitous. And 天黑黑 translates as "tian1 hei1 hei1" or "the dark, dark sky."

My favorite has to be chang(2?) hui2 jia1 kan4 kan4. So bouncy and fast!

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Posted by [personal profile] keilexandra - Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC) - Expand

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] jiawen.livejournal.com
周杰伦's 雙截棍 (Shuāngjiégùn, "Nunchuks") is a great hip-hop song. Incredibly catchy. Probably my favorite of his.

Do you know or like any of Wang Fei 王菲's stuff? She's a Mainlander, but her music really transcends borders, I think. My favorite albums of hers are 浮躁 (Fúzào, "Impetuous") and 唱游 (Chàngyóu, "Song-journey"), especially the former. It was produced by Cocteau Twins, my favorite group of all time. All the songs on it are beautiful -- dreamy and ethereal. Wang Fei and Liz Fraser actually sang together on a rare Cocteaus track, too.

I could probably go on about some of Taiwan's indie scene, but my knowledge is getting further out of date by the day...

(no subject)

Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] jiawen.livejournal.com
Oh, and: If you want some angry Cpop, would rap be acceptable? MC Hot Dog has a hilarious and scathing rap about the 补习班 cram school system. Or is that Tpop?

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] raucousraven.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you. I have been wanting more mandopop stuff, and this looks great.

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Posted by [identity profile] raucousraven.livejournal.com - Sat, Oct. 13th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] tatterpunk.livejournal.com
Yaaaaaaaaay Cpop! *begins downloads* Thank you!

My addiction to Asian pop songs I don't understand has a long and bizarre history... at least with Cpop I could tell myself I was developing my listening skills as I biked to class. ;)

When I was in Beijing I fell hard for the singer Xie Na -- her songs were everywhere and though I'm pretty sure they don't contain any great poetry (I could be wrong... I only understand 30% at the best (and slowest)), they're incredibly bouncy and infectious. Do you know of her? I've found two of her videos on YouTube so far.

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
heresluck: (music)
Posted by [personal profile] heresluck
Music I don't know!

::makes grabby hands::

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Posted by [personal profile] heresluck - Wed, Jan. 2nd, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] daegaer.livejournal.com
Snagging several, thank you!

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lnhammer.livejournal.com
Thankee, he said, snagging.

Sometimes Roommate picks up random pop from her travels, which means I've got a fair amount of Brazilian, African, and central Asian randomness, but very little Cpop. (I'm hoping for some really good Indian insanity when she next returns.) Except for this one disc of what she says is children's songs, which I didn't get a chance to rip before she packed it away.

---L.

(no subject)

Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com
I've emailed a couple of friends who are into Cpop (through Hong Kong Cinema) and told them you were looking for recs.

Haven't even looked at the rest of the post yet, but

Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
ext_6382: Blue-toned picture of cow with inquisitive expression (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] bravecows.livejournal.com
omg 月亮代表我的心! *ROLLS*

I once went to Turkey with a group of friends, mostly Chinese Malaysian, and we went for one of those cheesy tourist things they have, where they make you sit at a little table with a flag on it indicating your nationality, and they serve you dinner, and there is cultural dancing and stuff. At one point they started playing all the traditional/folk songs of all the different nationalities present, and had the audience sing the songs; they did Rasa Sayang for us, which everybody, and I mean everybody, in Malaysia knows -- but not my extremely Chinese friends, apparently. *face-palm*

Anyway there was one PRC person in the audience, and they played 月亮代表我的心 for her benefit, whereupon the two girls who had totally and embarrassingly failed to sing Rasa Sayang perked up and started singing along. So we kind of redeemed our reputation? Conclusion: we looked like losers; the Chinese diaspora is great; blah blah uncomfortable racial/political undertones.

*downloads!*

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Fri, Oct. 5th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
ext_6382: Blue-toned picture of cow with inquisitive expression (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] bravecows.livejournal.com
Also 月亮代表我的心 filk for the hungry international student:

Sambal, chili (http://www.ming.com/simplyming/showrecipes2004/spicysambal.jpg)
你在那里?
我要sambal chili
东西不好吃
我也不要吃
没有我sambal chili

*cough* Clearly slightly overexcited by all this. Sorry for the spam!

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Posted by [identity profile] bravecows.livejournal.com - Mon, Oct. 8th, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Sat, Oct. 6th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourthage.livejournal.com
I support this post and would like to encourage more. Also, yay, new music!

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Posted by [identity profile] fourthage.livejournal.com - Tue, Oct. 9th, 2007 02:11 am (UTC) - Expand

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Sat, Oct. 6th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] keilexandra
Uploaded a few of my favorite (presumably) Cpop songs, including the one about going home that I talked about earlier. It's linked in this entry (f-locked, because it's on a friend's server that doesn't hide directories).

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Posted by [personal profile] keilexandra - Tue, Oct. 9th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC) - Expand

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Sun, Oct. 7th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
ext_2511: (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] cryptoxin.livejournal.com
Thank you for this!

I mainly dabble in Asian pop, but I fell in love with Jolin Tsai's music last year. Do you know her at all? I can link to some YouTube vids if you're interested -- though I generally go for the dance-y stuff and not the ballads.

Here's the video that got me hooked: Zheng Yi Zhi Yan, Bi Yi Zhi Yan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXgwfXE5MZA)

I also like some of Stanley Huang's stuff -- and he did a great song with Jolin called "Nice Guy" (Guay Guay Pai? I'm probably butchering that...) -- here's the very cool and stylish video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pSLtaeyJtg).

yay for asian music!!

Mon, Oct. 8th, 2007 03:54 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] anleedruid.livejournal.com
while not studying like a maniac for my next exam, i browse through youtube for asian music videos. i thought i'd mention some singers/groups that you may or may not have heard about (if not, let me know, and i can send some stuff your way):

- mayday (wu3 yue4 tian1) - rock
- stanley huang (did you know that he used to be in a group called LA Boyz??...this was back in the late 80s in taiwan)
- machi (hip-hop rap)
- F.I.R.

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