JULIA WU, TAIWAN AND TERRY LEE

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Once in a while you hear someone new and you just have to hear more from where that came. And in this world of clutter and clatter, these diamonds, often drowned in the rough terrains of social media are few and far between…especially when they are from Taiwan. Then again, Taiwan has always been one of the few countries in this region where the music fans are totally real- very different to just being music fans- and who actually know good from bad and will never accept mediocrity. It’s from where the wonderful Cheer Chen hails. That’s good enough for me.

This pride in one’s art is what’s always pushed all those making music there to improve and strive for the best and never resort to cheap short cuts and not ever take their eye off in the end product. If it sells, or they become rich and famous and date Kendall Jenner, that’s a bonus.

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CAN THE HONG KONG MUSIC SCENE HANDLE THE TRUTH?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

What’s holding it back? The water? Lousy dim sum? Outta whack egos drowning in cobwebs of mediocrity? Hell, there are those who describe Rihanna as a “Jazz” singer, which is like saying James Blunt is a “soul singer”. Whatever it is, nothing much is happening here in the way of actual original music whereas whatever creative spark there might have been in Hong Kong- and it’s hard to remember when that was- has not only blown out, it’s really hard to think if there ever was one.

That creative spark. Musically, Hong Kong is a non-starter. At lunch a few days ago, the executives of a music channel just couldn’t think of even one good artist from this city. All they could talk about were the millions being paid to Canto-popsters even those past their Use By Date for warbling just one- ONE- song in Mainland China.

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HAVE WE GOT TO THE POINT WHERE WE ARE SPEAKING EMOJI?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Be selective. Be very selective. That’s one thing that’s becoming more and more clear every day. These days I don’t know anyone who’s not on some form of social media. This is probably where one has to be the most selective what with all its links, and tags and likes and comments, childish politics, paranoia, and, of course, emojis.

The world today almost speaks in forked tongue emojis. Whereas Twitter has reduced the art of conversation to 140 words or less, emojis have taken over even thinking about being a wordsmith. What for, when one is not being selective in who we choose to communicate? Just give a thumbs up emoji for the sake of “social media etiquette” and move on.

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GREY MATTERS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The sky is grey and so is my mind. It’s been grey for a while. Nothing is black and white. It’s being stuck in the Now and the Now is not what it was. Another birthday beckons and I wonder if I’ll see it through. Or want to see it through. My father wanted to live to be a hundred. He fell short by six years.

The television is on another of those news channels. It’s more pundits talking all over each other about the future of America under Donald Trump. It’s as repetitive and boring as nearly everything and everyone around me. I look out at the grey staring at me through the window and wonder what it’s trying to say. It’s probably saying nothing like many of those around me. We’re living in a grey world.

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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SONG

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It’s all become so formulaic, but how does one politely tell someone who believes they have written something original that it’s derivative?

My singer friend Jennifer remarked the other day that she didn’t know whether it was just her, or was “Pop” music all sounding the same- meaning almost a nursery rhyme lyrics and melody line repeated over a backing of synth bass, drums and percussion.

Of course, it is because success or a hit creates the sausage factory syndrome of manufacturing recordings “like” this and “like” that. And right now, there’s an awful amount- and most is truly awful- of recordings that simply regurgitate what Justin Bieber recently recorded. Bieber’s recordings are wonderful pop music. But they belong to Justin Bieber. We don’t need more of the same. But that’s what happens when followers become sheep and lemmings.

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STEVE LILLYWHITE AND KFC AND PET SOUNDS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

We have to first switch it all off, take a deep breath, exhale and switch it back on. Switch off that television. Switch off those 24 hour news channels with their non-stop avalanche of politics and lies and deceptions and “world leaders” playing roles.

Switch off everything and everyone that has become a distraction to you moving from here to there for the sole purpose of progressing and evolving and building your own portfolio. There’s nothing wrong with being selfish. There’s everything wrong in being weighed down with unnecessary baggage.

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