Sunday, August 21, 2005

c-pop overload

of course, i just got back from a pop music festival thrown by channel v (the local music video channel that's not mtv), and i had to tell someone about it.

but first, before i got there, i went to zhongxiao east road in search of someone to cut my hair. i actually just picked the first salon i saw that looked halfway decent. it was like $190nt for a hairwash and $450nt for a cut (a combined cost of about $20us), which sounded like a splendid price for a haircut at a fancy-looking salon in dongqu. i told her what i wanted, and she did what she wanted, and i ended up with a decent haircut, but definitely not the one i asked for. i would have stopped her had i noticed she'd taken so much off the top, but she was talking my ear off about her kid in malaysia. i didn't really care about what she had to say, but i was afraid that if i said so, she would stab me with the sharp object in her hand. all in all, i guess i was happy with it. afterwards, i headed to the city hall area where the concert was being held.

by the time i got there, it was raining like bitches and meows. i was not excited at the prospect of having to stand out in the rain while the concert was going on, but i figured when's the next time i'll see yuan wei juexing live? the concert was scheduled to "begin" at 7pm, so i got there at 630, and saw that it was already full of the typical crowd of high-school-aged-and-younger kids that usually come to these things. it looked like there was a line to get into a sectioned off middle area in front of the stage, so, already wet from the rain (yes, i was carrying an umbrella, but in rains this hard they don't work very well) i stood in line and waited.

and i waited a really long time. a little after 7, they finally let people into the middle, but the line was useless. everyone just crowded to the front and squeezed their way in. honestly, i don't think i could have not gone in, since everyone behind me was pushing me that way. of course, after we were all in there, we had to wait another hour during which they repeatedly played channel v commercials (the same commercials) on all the video screens on stage. i didn't really want to watch them the first time (except for the part in blackie's show where yuanwei juexing's jay and wesley kissed, that was kinda fun), and to have them battering us with them for so long, i almost went crazy.

but that was nothing compared to when it looked like they were about to start, but instead, the nite's primary sponsor, le tea, got a bunch of ribbon dancers (of both sexes) dressed in pink to come and do a too-long twirl for us. what the fuck? why can't they just start the goddamned thing? at this point, we'd all been standing in the rain for hours. granted, the rain finally stopped, but we were all still soaked (my shoes were filled with water, and they will never be the same after tonite). after the dancers, and some more commercials (free concert, my ass), the thing finally started.

first, the channel v vjs all came out and talked for a little bit, which was fun, cuz some of them are just as famous as (or more so than) the performers at the concert. we got to see them all on stage at once, and before the concert really started, the mayor of taipei (and newly elected chairman of the nationalist party) ma yingjiu came out and welcomed us too. awww, what a nice guy! intermittently thruout the concert (during commercial breaks for the tv recording), the vjs came out a little closer in the crowd to throw free stuff like pens and stationary at people to keep us from rushing the stage and tearing it apart. the above pictures are from left to rite: first. the channel v vjs and the mayor of taipei; second. vj henry, jiayi, and jason; third. xiaoxiang the gay newsman (i don't kno if he's actually gay, but his listed favorite movie in his profile is formula 17, and that's pretty gay), rongjia, and vj henry again; fourth. jason again with blackie.

before i go on, look at the massive stage! there were a lot of performers. most of them played two or three songs, except for the more popular people/groups. the caesars played what felt like a full set, which is fine, except i don't think most of the audience knew any of their songs except that one ipod one. it is unfortunate that many of the singers came down with a bad case of lipsynchitis, but what are you gonna do, rite? but on with the pop stars!

first, it was stanley huang. i didn't really kno of stanley all that well, except i'd heard his song "who's your daddy?" at some point. he used to be in a boyband with his brother and his cousin way back in the 90s called "l.a. boyz". his brother's now in "hip-hop" group machi, and his cousin... i dunno, i think i saw him on a talk show or something as a guest. don't kno why tho. he was a decent performer, but i didn't really come here to see him, so i wasn't unhappy when he was done. vivian hsu was next. i wasn't really familiar with much of her music, but i'd heard all the songs she sang before (like "vicious love," you kno the one, "say, say, say you love me! bugu yiqie, henhen ai!"). i just didn't kno that she was the one who sang them. she was really pretty, but she's also a dirty white slut. i think i heard that she used to do soft porn, but i haven't had the motivation to go find any of it. her cd cover's already pretty naked tho. she's already 30, which means that her star as a female vocalist should be fading soon. it sucks, but not everyone can be faye wong. then came the caesars with their unusually long set. they played at least 3 times as many songs as any of the others, and they were probably the least well-known. i guess if you're gonna come to taiwan from sweden, you'd make the most out of it and perform for as long as possible. i didn't really give their cd a good listen when i was in the states, so i didn't kno most of their songs. that ipod song ("jerk it out") was good tho.

the first of the boybands (tho that term can be rather ambiguous in the mando-pop scene) was k-one. i don't like boybands. i didn't like k-one. and neither did most of the people who were standing around me, cuz they were all heckling them like high schoolers often do. one of them was kinda cute tho (the one in the middle in the picture, j.r.). moving on, the cutesy girl duo sweety did a couple songs. i don't like sweety that much either. their gimmick when they first came out was that they were like 15 or something. but that was a few years ago, and they're no longer little girls, so now they're just another girl duo who used to have a gimmick.

nan quan mama came afterwards! to be honest, i don't kno their music all that well, but since they're the band that jay chou helped create, they can't be bad, rite? i really liked their music, and i think i'm going to go get their cd. then finally, it was yuan wei juexing. i don't think their music is all that (it is super catchy tho, with great song titles like "happiness download," "bikini," and "how are u?"), but i think they're adorable, especially jay. i'm a sucker for white jackets too. he was doing everything rite. too bad i missed their beach concert and any signing events they might have had; i would really like to get up close to them. ba ha ha ha... well, it just kept getting better, cuz alive was next. i kno i said i didn't like boybands just a second ago, but this is daniel wu's boyband! you kno daniel wu. he's the hottie from gen-x cops, bishounen, and most recently new police story. i've had a celebrity crush on him since i saw gen-x cops some five years ago! well, i just about died. but it's a good thing i didn't, cuz i ended up taking a lot of pictures. his bandmate and costar in new police story, terence yin is hot too (you might have seen him in tomb raider 2. i didn't cuz i didn't watch that movie). abc pride, yo! if you wanna hear what their music sounds like, i think you can download it off of their site, along with their music videos. they're really not very good, but you're allowed to do whatever you want.

cyndi wang was next. this is the girl with the ultra-catchy (and ultra-annoying because they're so catchy) songs "da da da" and "baby baby tell me," both of which she unleashed upon the audience. she did her silly dances too. anyways, moving on, wilber pan was next. i kno he goes by "will" now, but i'm going to call him wilber still. i don't like wilber very much. i kno i just wrote "abc pride, yo!" a couple lines previous, but wilber annoys me for some reason. he used to be a vj on channel v (he was when i met him years ago), but then he decided he wanted to do music, so he became a musician. anyways, he performed his ubiquitous "can't help but love" ("bu de bu ai") without the girl that he usually does the duet with, opting instead to use a recording of her singing. we think she wasn't there cuz she fucked up so badly at his other performance a week ago.

korean pop star se7en came after. he was pretty good, but i can't say i'd ever heard of him before. by this time, i was so tired, i just wanted to see jolin and go home. but first, i had to go thru the other boyband (performing. make no mistake, there are more than two boybands in the whole of mando-pop) 5566. they suck like k-one, except k-one didn't do a riverdance-inspired jig for one of their songs. but one of the members was pretty hot, again, the one in the center, jason. he didn't look like he was having much fun, but i wouldn't be either if i had to spend much time with those other jerks. finally, jolin tsai showed up and did a few songs. i'm really pretty ambivalent about her, but since she's so popular, i wanted to see why. to be honest, i don't really kno why. is it cuz she can dance better than your average pop star or what? it looked to me like she had no personality whatsoever. she was like a robot who said what she was programmed to say and nothing else, never showing much emotion. i'm saying there wasn't life in her eyes! no wonder she's on bad terms with jay; he must have found out she was a pop music robot!

with the concert over at midnite, i had been wet for a good six hours, five hours of which my shoes were full of water. after i got back home and took off my shoes, my feet looked like they belonged to a corpse. it was gross. anyhow, i had a lot of fun, even tho it was a physically trying experience. i was a little sad i wasn't able to meet up with a couple friends, but they were on the other side of the partition and there was no easy way across it. at any rate, another c-pop concert under the belt.

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