AND THAT’S HOW HONG KONG ENDED UP WITH CANTO POP- AND CANTO PAP

By Hans Ebert
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Often one wishes for that the Cha Cha was still in vogue in Hong Kong. Going back to watch those old black and white Cantonese movies from the fifties, there was always a scene in a nightclub where the lead actors were talking while doing the Cha Cha. It was cool kitsch.

For a while, there was the Offbeat Cha Cha which, one supposes, was trying to change something so simple and perfect for the sake of change.

The Cheongsam and the Cha Cha went together. It was sex on heels. All those gorgeous Chinese actresses like Lin Dai and those sassy Cha Cha moves.

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ADAM LAMBERT: COVERED AND BELIEVING

It’s been done many times over: take an upbeat and well known song and slow it down to a ballad or turn it into bossa nova, neo classical or that obtuse term many refer to as “Jazz”. It never is Jazz. It’s simple Pop. But turning a popular Top 40 track into a ballad is no easy thing to pull off. It’s where A&R skills, a knowledge of someone’s back catalogue and arrangement come into play. And about very personal feelings.

Ryan Adams flipping the Oasis hit “Wonderwall” into a tender love song is a track where all the pieces fit. It seems to have been recorded ‘live’ with Adams wanting something raw, real and emotional. It works. Beautifully.

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DOING THE HUSTLE: TRENDING AGAIN IN ASIA

By Hans Ebert
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Van McCoy was a man ahead of his time. He saw the great Hustle of the 2000s coming long before anyone else did. He even recorded The Hustle.

For those of you into such things, hustling and The Hustle is what’s trending everywhere- at least “trending” as a means to an end and to get somewhere. Often, very often, The Hustle blind the easily star struck.

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THE FEMALE SINGER IN ASIA: NEXT CAREER PORT OF CALL?

By Hans Ebert
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For those female artists in Asia who know that no matter how “mature” they might be that their pulling power at those huge and often way over the top ‘live’ concerts worth millions to them will always be there along with Star Appeal, especially at home and which might travel to markets nearby, international fame, no matter how small, eludes them.

Is this fame important to them? Not financially, but as part of their portfolio- part of enhancing their image, and that thing called face/pride, definitely. Maybe not much anymore as no one knows where music is heading and what’s in it for anyone other than coasting along and making that existing brand as relevant and expensive as it can be. Of course, one must first actually have a brand.

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GETTING TO KNOW THE WORLD OF MUSIC ALL OVER AGAIN

By Hans Ebert
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Yesterday, popular record store HMV announced that it’s closing its doors in Hong Kong after being here for over 25 years.

A girl working behind the bar of a hotel lounge mentioned the news. In her late Twenties and early Thirties, she was talking about how her only store in Hong Kong to purchase music as a physical product- the CD- had gone. How streaming music and creating a Spotify Playlist was not for her. How there was just something “not real” about “this music”.

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IS THIS ALL THERE IS?

By Hans Ebert
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We were having dinner with a few cricketers over the weekend. Not just any cricketers. World class cricketers. Guys with whom I was and still are in awe. But heroes rarely last forever. Most eventually disappoint.

These cricketers were talking about their complete disinterest playing in a five day Test match, let alone a series. How much discipline was needed. Being kept under lock and key. Every move being scrutinised. But with there being the 20/20 game, One Day Tests, it was all very much about big money for almost nothing and plenty of models, actresses and groupies for free. It was a Dire Straits song.

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Jay: Hong Kong’s Guitarzan

By Hans Ebert
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Some of us see Jay perform with Jennifer Palor and the band at Adrenaline. The venue that’s a club at Happy Valley racecourse and comes alive every Happy Wednesday.

We’ve also seen him front various bands at the track’s Beer Garden stage. Some good. Some not so good. He can become a sideman. He’s adaptable. Aka versatile. He’s Jay. He’s Guitarzan Jay.

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WHAT IF? WHY NOT?

By Hans Ebert
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How long is a ball of string? It’s always something going through my head when around experienced creative types with proven track records and being challenged to think differently. Come up with ideas. It forces one to be at the top of their game. It’s not the time to play a hand with Jack high and pray to hell it’s high enough.

It happened last weekend in Sentosa at a Think Tank session comprising a couple of people in music, a few from technology, others in marketing aka “social media”, and sports and sponsorship marketing and management. No HR people needed. No need for those who have a new idea every nanu second and hope something sticks.

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GET BACK TO WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED

By Hans Ebert
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There’s that opening chord to “Hard Days Night”. That “naughty chord”. Some of us are still trying to figure it out. Same with the chords to many of their other songs.

Being left handed, McCartney tuned his guitar differently. Strung his strings “upside down”. Was this how he was seemingly able to pluck such wonderful melodies out of thin air?

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