November 02, 2005


Labor-intensive Jackie Chan pumpkinIt's official: everyone in the world now has a celebrity playlist at iTunes. The sign that the end has arrived: Jackie Chan's official playlist. I can mock all I want, but what does this list say about Jackie? Eyes are the windows to the soul, but your celebrity playlist is the escalator to your heart. And what's inside Jackie's heart?

Jia Xiang de Long Yan Shu - the first thing we find inside Jackie's heart is: himself! Yes, savvy media whore that he is, Jackie's number one song is the title track from his latest album (also available at iTunes). We love you, Jackie! And so do you!

Zhu Zhi Ge (Song of Pigs) - by Xiang Xiang. This one is actually interesting. Xiang Xiang is a 21 year old woman in China who sings into a headset microphone while sitting at her computer, singing along to pre-recorded backing tracks. No studio, no musicians, no expensive gear. She uploaded this song (an ode to a happy pig with a curly tail) to a site where it was made available for free downloads. Cue one billion of them, from all over Asia. Now she's signed with a record label and her first album sold 800,000 copies. (Read about Xiang Xiang via the BBC here)

Lao Shu Ai Da Mi - another Xiang Xiang song, this one called "The Mouse Loves the Rice" aka "Mice Love Rice". Yeah, yeah, Xiang Xiang's great and all, but this song is another internet phenom. A kid named Yang Chen Gang (remember that name - it comes up later) says he recorded the song in 2000 and in 2004 someone posted it on the internet. The site hosting it suddenly started getting 200,000 hits per day before Yang landed a recording contract, and there are now 16 (sixteen!) cover versions of this song floating around. In one year: 16 versions. You can read about the song's litigious and complicated history here.

I'm skipping the Liu Jia Liang song because, to my tin ear, it's just a boring power ballad.

Next comes "Di Di Di" by Hang on a Box, an all-girl band from Beijing that Jackie calls, "a unique alternative and punk group from China." Here's what the Hang on a Box gals think about being called "punk":
"What does being "punk" mean to you?
WANG YUE: We're not punk! NO!!!
SHEN JING: I love many retro punk bands from the '70s. Besides that, nothing else about this question [pertains] to me.
YILINA: It's none of my business."
And here's how Wang Yue handles disrespect from the crowd (the group reportedly was beaten badly many times early in their career): "I definitely will cuss them in the words which will kill them." So watch out, Jackie. You'll be cussed by words which will kill you if you keep calling them punk! So stop already.
(Read the rest of this nastily honest interview with Hang on a Box here)

"Girl Loves Me" - typical Mandopop with more bubblegum than usual from the aforementioned Yang Chen Gang. His squeaky, high-pitched voice makes him a shoo-in to join The Wiggles or to sing adorable songs about mice loving rice. Oh, wait, he already did that. But there's still The Wiggles.

There's four more songs on the playlist, but I'm bored. So what have we learned on this magical journey through the heart of Jackie Chan? That's a question you'll each have to answer for yourselves, I'm afraid. In the meantime, check out that labor-intensive Jackie Chan pumpkin that some anonymous kid carved for Halloween and posted on Jackie Chan's Kid Corner. Yikes.

November 2, 2005 at 10:19 AM in News | Permalink


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