So this has been a weekend loaded with activities I attended haphazrdly. The Kowloon City Bookfair, which is running its 6th annual leg, finally fit into my junky, over-the-head, boisterous music-by-the-habourfront weekend. Organised by young literary connoisseurs, back by a creativity-oriented high school, a think tank, etc., the bookfair is a mélange of talks, roundtables, flea market, mini-bookfair and a mini-concert. Free of charge to everybody, coarse but ever-evolving, it’s what this overcrowded and over-developped city needs if Hong Kong were to slow down and smell some roses, or fresh air!
Thanks to a random gift of kindness, I set foot in West Kowloon waterfront for Clockenflap, probably the last time in a while by the West Kowloon waterfront since constructions will be swung into actions in the coming years.
My previous impression of this “music festival” has been some gweilos replicating rock concerts spiced with burning man. Upon entering I was upset with the overfloated plastic recycle bin with all types of trash. A day later however, a politically charged performance by “my little airport” sort of eased my displeasure. Well, in a non-perfect world, room for improvement is the key!
The dust has long settled after the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Football aside, the theme song and its video really sounded and looked heavily American, albeit international production. So much for Brazil’s backbone of photographing and fingerprinting Americans visitors knocking on their doors on arrival, when it comes to big money, multinationals still dictate how events are run or sponsored. This couldn’t be truer weird and somewhat vulgar and definitely violent (towards the end) parody which par hasard caught my attention today:
So the Brazilians spent all that money, threw in some false pride, garnished with cultural absence and misrepresentations and topped off with some posh infrastructures, et Voilà! Who eventually would benefit? Wait, Rio will host the Olympics in less than 48 months and the story keeps on fermenting itself.
and here’s the NFL or Miami-like original jingle.
認識Klô Pelgag 是源於每年三月份的法語節. 某些地區只是一天的journee de la francophonie, 但中國地區有大半個月的活動。今年代表加拿大來表演音樂的Klô Pelgag 只有主音和大提琴手兩人，但那是有很溫暖感覺的表演。
self-inflicted wound, and…?
un climat frigide
une chanteuse excentrique
une voix riche
des chansons tières
ensemble un équilibre bien attribué
Even if you dunno French, you can feel the warm of Klô Pelgag‘s music. Snuggling up your loved one, enveloped in a blanket, the aroma of coffee nearby… THAT kinda feeling.
for more of their music:
i like Symphony Space in New York City, especially their Wall to Wall musical events. Fittingly, even though I haven’t been back in NYC for a while, I am still on their email list. Strangely a few days ago, I go this promotional email about an event with the word “kamikaze” in it. I don’t speak Japanese but the only nanosecond synaptic association I have is for the suicide attacks by the Japanese in WWII. Now maybe it has been sixty plus years so people’s sentiment changed, or became ignorant or got indifferent, it just seems insensitive to me a group name its acts using such a word. The actions of these suicidal pilots decades could be labelled heroic or demonic depending on whose side you are on. This event for me is simply bad-taste but Ms Westwood now has company.
kamikaze? 神風敢死隊? ai ya ya
Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and now Whitney Houston are sadly pointing to a converging theme for certain PSAs.
My pick to share with my readers are:
If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful – a duet from a couple of decades ago, it pops out from time to time on the radio when I was in North America, though not necessarily as often in Asia. If anyone would ever got a video version of the song, they should ping back at me on this blog. The chance is slim.
The 2nd selection is even older, probably equally not popular nor frequently heard. But then why do I have to select for my readers if they can get her more popular numbers from elsewhere.
If You Say her voice is Beautiful, all that’s left are the far reaching reverberations.
無意中聽到 Bananarama 的love in the first degree，馬上裡我想起80年代 陳百強的改編歌曲 神仙也移民。我本來不是特別喜歡陳百強的，雖然他也有頗多受歡迎的作品。也不知道是中還是英，那年頭有一中學舊知在司徒拔道的嶺南書院讀A-level。印象深刻是朋友邀請我觀看他們的variety show，表演其中的歌曲便是一些這樣熱爆80年代的number。
這是還未有spice girls的年代。。。其實後者亦已很passé 不知現在血氣方剛的男士看見這香蕉女郎的video會否流鼻血乎？
Deux autres chansons jumelées de Bananarama – Love in the first degree et Danny Chan – 神仙也移民 (l’immortel immigre aussi). J’ai choisi d’écrire en français car “immortel”(神仙) donne une traduction plus amusante que celle en anglais!
Elles étaient populaires que je me souviens de l’avoir écoutée l’une ou l’autre dans un concert auprès une école pré-universitaire à Hong Kong. Comme le chanteur pour la version chinoise était devenu un “immortel” ça fait une décennie, ceux qui resent sont la mélodie et une vidéo racontant des paroles joviales.
PS 陳百強在video裡的大頭close-up偷窺真的沒半點政治正確，抑或是他到底是太camp而沒威脅呢？那些女的豈不是前者的fag hags?這真可以做1980s考證性別研究或文化研究 的case studies 咯。
I had to opportunity to see two British films with secondary school settings within the past year. The History Boys, which was adapted from a screenplay. and Notes on a Scandal, originally a novel. The History Boys centred on a selected few of higher achievers of Upper Six students preparing for a place at Oxbridge, Notes focused on a school presumably with a more working class setting. What is interesting was several taboo themes that exist in the “real” non-film world of education. Homosexuality, of both the teachers as well as students and Teacher-student love affair.
英國人保守乎？抑或是開放乎？ 本人最近觀看兩齣英國電影其內容皆是在吾國會成為爭議性的話題。退一步說，基本上這類題材的電影在本地上畫不易。說社會保守也罷、宗教也罷 就是沒有這樣的空間。當然我不是認同電影裏那些不同學生的越軌行為，只不過這些現實社會裡的問題，咱們還沒膽量放到公眾空間裡談論。
I didn’t really know what the fuss was about when Lady Gaga performed at the Grammy Awards emerging from the “egg”. Almost, a month later when I got to listen to the number “Born This Way”, only then I realised it is better than many of the boring recorded videos for the “It gets better” campaign in the USA amidst a serious teenage and adolescence suicides as a result of homophobia bullying. Further reading of comments people accused Gaga of plagerism and that. At the first glance, the video obviously had various connections or tributes to personalities I could think of. The queen, monster kinda birth and rebirth and beginning reminded me of the Alien series of movies. The Choreography, whether at the video or the Grammy Awards bear distant recollection of the zombie dance of Micheal Jackson’s thriller. Gaga’s long-hair blonde attire and the musical arrangement towards the the ends hinted some “Express yourself” or blond ambition tour of Madonna fame. Various inspirations, perhaps, not outright coping, no, I don’t think so, converge into the final song. At the end of the day, many religiously “insecure” people probably got offended. I could imagine Gaga as the kid couldn’t quite fit in in high school. But then for that matter I imagine her or Avril Lavigne much more appealing than teen idols like Spears or Aguilera…
Gaga was hardly beautiful gal in either the video or the Grammy performance, but if this talented outcast could make it to a big star, she serves very appropriately a role model for the bullied or teased.
九一一發生的時候我在紐約為人師表。我工作的地方是離時代廣場不到兩分鐘路程。那時學生、同事和我都覺得時代廣場這樣人多車多的地方沒有成為目標是不幸中之大幸。提到那所學校JKO，也就想起關於它校舍前身的演藝中學。這後者在短短的三十多年間已變成有名有氣，甚至電影 FAME 也已它做背景。電影裏的結局有一首 I sing my body electric 的歌曲，熟悉八十年代廣東歌的朋友們必會覺得旋律似曾相識！這一連串事件、 時空、地點的巧合交融自動地把它們連起來放在我的內心經歷裡。
Whenever I think about 911, I couldn’t help but retrace my path to the building of NYCBOE where I worked at the time of bombing on September 11, 2001. Among students and staff, there was always that eerie or should I, not being politically incorrect, say “lucky” feeling that Time Square wasn’t where the planes hit. We were closer than a stone’s throw from Time Square! Anyways, where we the faculty worked or our students studied, played and danced， JKOHS, occupies the FAMEd (the movie) site of Performing Arts (PA), after the latter settled uptown at its merged location with Music and Art as LaGuardia at Lincoln Center in the 1980s.
JKOHS is not as glamourous as PA, but many of my former students did dance, given we have the stage in an auditorium, but not a full fledge gym. If PA had achieved, through motion picture, national and international FAME in its fewer than 40 years of independant identity (from LaGuardia), I think JKOHS can have a bright shinning future if the formula is right.
Change of gear back to the movie, the accumulating climax in Fame as an orchestral pop I sing the body electric is therefore a double si elle n’est pas une triple entente. My Childhood, coincided with the then high-flying era of 1980s’ Cantonpop, included vivid memories of a smash hit Chinese version of the rendition by Deanie Ip 葉德嫻 and Elisa Chan 陳潔靈 called “千個太陽 (A thousand suns)”. No this is not six degree of separation… This is so corny but may those affected by tragedies like 9.11 or the recent 8.23 shooting of Hong Kong tourists find strength in the lyrics from the songs and rebuild their lives.
Je ne suis pas responsable pour la possibilité d’une entente quadrupède à cause de l’occasion présentée par la version chinoise en haut. C’était un événement émouvant lui-même.
J’ai oublié à vous dire un des chanteurs dans I sing the body electric devenu un medecin sur ER. On se trouve également une très jeune Irene Cara dans le rôle de Coco. Incroyable!
Deanie Ip , 千個太陽 image from eimg.com.tw