Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Canto-pop goes the weasel!

OK, here's the big music post I've been plotting for days now. It probably won't live up to the hype.

It all started a few days ago (duh) when I got my hands on an album by a group called the Twins.

It's what they call Canto-pop - pop music (duh) out of the HK/China region, presumably in Cantonese (thus the Canto-).

(It's not like I speak Cantonese. I'm not even Chinese. I'm Vietnamese. And I don't speak that, either.)

The Twins are a duo of these two adorable Asian girls - I know, redundant - named Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi. I'm not 100% sure which is which, but I'm pretty sure Gillian is the taller, more alto-y one, and Charlene is the smaller, squeakier one. (You understand, they look absolutely nothing alike, unless you're one of those neanderthals who think all Asians look alike.)

So how did I end up listening to this, you ask? Well, a couple of years back, I blind-bought a DVD called "The Twins Effect" at Poker Industries, primarily because of the box. The box was made up like a book with a real giant metal bat on the cover.

It was some kind of vampire action movie, an import, and Stewie and I checked it out, and it pretty much rocked.

The one thing we couldn't figure was the name.

So we did what any self-respecting geek would do, and hit the Net. Presto, the Twins are a pop group. Thus, in Asia, "The TWINS Effect." In the U.S., they called it "The Vampire Effect." And cut like 20 minutes out of it, the idiots.

I figured at some point, I'd want to hear them sing. I was figuring them to be sort of Britney/Mandy/Tiffany-esque, and I wasn't too far off.

I don't think. It's not like I can understand a word they're singing. I think I caught a "dim sum" in there somewhere, and maybe a "Yao Ming." Even the song with "Texas" in the title is in Chinese. Dubya would freak. I mean, I should've guessed. It's not like the movie's in English.

And, having seen them act - there was a "Twins Effect 2," too - and heard them sing, I can now say...

They're no Ekin Cheng.

That's a joke. I've never heard Ekin Cheng sing. He's another star of "Twins Effect," and another Canto-pop singer. Apparently, the movie is full of 'em. I wouldn't know. The only actor I've ever heard of in any context beyond the movie is Josie Ho (who plays Ekin Cheng's vampire-hunting partner), who is a daughter of Stanley Ho, a big casino magnate in Macau.

Stanley Ho named two of his daughters Daisy Ho and Pansy Ho. I shit you not. That's almost as bad as the little Ho boys I went to high school with.

But they were Vietnamese. And unlike some OTHER Vietnamese at Bloomsburg High School, they could speak with a Vietnamese accent.

Lost in translation: These kids were named Tung Ho and Dat Ho. I couldn't make that up. They never got the joke, which I suppose is better off.

(Aside, how to put your foot in your mouth: I was talking with a co-worker whose wife is Vietnamese, he was asking me about if I'd ever eaten Vietnamese food. I said no, and cheerfully related the tale of how some of my fraternity brothers in college went downtown, and came back with business cards from "My Dung Vietnamese Restaurant." I'm not kidding. So I tell him this, and he says, "Well, you know, in Vietnamese, the d is pronounced y, so it's (young)." I said, "How do you know that?" And he said, "Because that's my wife's name." Mmm. Skechers taste good. At least he pointed out he's been telling her for years to either get why people snicker at her, or just go by "Dee.")

Where was I?

Oh, yes, the Twins.

I must say I did actually enjoy the music, but I can see how it's fluff-pop, especially if the lyrics are all about love. Not that I can tell. But it's not going to get me to pursue more Canto-pop.

Let's face it, I have crappy taste in music. But not that crappy. Give me a good '80s rock ballad any day over two skinny Asians chirping something I can't understand.

On the other hand, if you like vampire movies, I recommend "The Twins Effect." Try to find the uncut import. It's actually a whole lot of fun - and judging from reviews, it's a lot more fun if you don't know what an annoying cultural phenomenon the Twins are. Of course, then you won't get the title.

(And now that I think about it, if you've read this far, I guess it's too late for you not to know what an annoying cultural phenomenon the Twins are. Of course, they're someone else's annoying cutural phenomenon.)

Hey, you want to know why to see it? Simple: Two cute Asian girls - I know, redundant - wire-fu-fighting over a stuffed teddy bear. You don't get that in a Jackie Chan movie.

Oh, wait. Jackie Chan is IN "Twins Effect." Oops.

So is Karen Mok, of "So Close." And the other Canto-pop guy whose name escapes me. Hey, it's a good cast, what can I say?

Links:
Twins, "actors, singers, idols of millions"
"The Twins Effect"
"The Twins Effect" packaging - cool, huh?
Twins: "The Missing Piece" album
What? They could've said it...
Ekin Cheng, co-star
Josie Ho, co-star
And sister Pansy Ho - a reformed Paris Hilton type - and her casino
Somebody named Dung, explaining it
And Edison Chen (the one whose name I couldn't remember) - whose look in "Twins Effect" may be responsible for my latest haircut

All together now:

"All around the random blog post,
the munkee chased the weasel.
Munkee thought was all in fun...
Canto-POP goes the weasel!"

2 Comments:

Stewie said...

I also dig that Twins album, but I couldn't tell you why. It is catchy, though.

My buddy boombox says that it's unusual for most popular Asian actors not to have an album or two.

I have like 4 Mok albums. That's cause she's singing to me.

You Asians have skills.

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