Lagniappe 2004

1. The way you move. OUTKAST: You had to be living under a rock these past two years if you haven’t heard this song. And no, the order of these songs is not chronological. Part of our Death Valley soundtrack.
2. La Comparsa. CHUCHO VALDES: The incomparable pianist.
3. Energy flow. RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: Didn’t have space on last year’s lagniappe. Apparently this song became a big hit when it was used in a commercial in Japan. So big that Sakamoto’s Fillmore concert a couple of years ago (but way after ‘The Last Emperor’) was sold out. D’oh!
4. 19-2000 GORILLAZ: Didn’t have space on last year’s lagniappe. This year: in honor of all the shoe shiners in Morelia. Moving onto Handsome Boy Modeling School now.
5. Maniac MICHAEL SEMBELLO: Flashdance was the theme music to pivotal part of the HK part of my adolescence: cousin bonding in the summer of 1983.
6. Bpoon gun bpak leung (Half pound 8 ounces) SAM HUI: This is from the ‘Private Eyes’ soundtrack, which was the theme music of the HK part of my early childhood. Ding Dong. Beeng goh? (Who’s there?). Ngoh they (We) . . . ni bahn tah gung jai (labourers). But I never got to see the movie until I bought the VCD in HK last year. *
7. Supersize me POP ROCKS: The companion movie to the book “Fast Food Nation”
8. Rhythm bandits JUNIOR SENIOR: Again, it pays to buy a CD based on its cover, especially if you get it for 70% off at a Sam Goody’s going out of business sale
9. Finnish song MICHIO MAMIYA: From ‘Silk Road Journeys’. Didn’t have space on last year’s lagniappe. This was part of a music project headlined by Yo Yo Ma.
10. Another executive announcement MONTY PYTHON: I don’t have a cell phone, but I no longer have a turntable either . . .
11. Entre dos aguas PACO DE LUCIA: Didn’t have space on last year’s lagniappe. Soundtrack to a drive through the white tarp greenhouses landscape of Almeria, which provides NW Europe with their tomatoes in the winter.
12. Faen jah “BIRD” THONGCHAI MACINTYRE: The biggest pop star in Thailand goes ‘look thoong’ (Thai-style country music, often in Isan dialect)
13. Il grande pabomba ZUCHERO: Soundtrack to our Italian roadtrip. Very cute animation video.
14. You don’t know my mind GUY DAVIS: How true
15. One summer’s day SPIRITED AWAY SOUNDTRACK: Didn’t have space on last year’s lagniappe. I have to agree with John Lassiter; this is the best of Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli movies.
16. Verano porteno (Buenos Aires Summer) ASTOR PIAZZOLLA: Piazzolla composed a Four Seasons work, just like Vivaldi, and Gidon Kremer put them together in a cute album called . . . “Eight Seasons.”
17. Tu es foutu INGRID: From Kyrgyzstan to Mexico (where we bought the CD) by way of the Mediterranean. See 10/20/2004 blog entry. We think she’s Italian, but sings in French?
18. Shasta (Carrie’s song) VIENNA TENG: Off her sophomore album. Joe picked this song. I would picked “Harbor”, in memory of Iris Chang. Hopefully she’ll have a third album next year?

It never fails to happen every year: I acquire a lot of the songs for the lagniappe compilation after I create the master, so those songs end up on the following lagniappe lagging 12 months later. The Outkast song is one of those cases. And now I’ve already got 4 songs for the 2005 lagniappe.

Also, I should put more effort at packaging. (Cheap and lazy does show.) I received two holiday compilation from friends this year, both of which were more visually appealing, with proper skinny jewel boxes and photo covers.

This year’s lagniappe is bit subdued (reflecting a lack of lagniappe-worthy music; which afforded space for music we couldn’t fit on last year’s edition.) It’s also a bit somber, which reflects the tone of 2004. I don’t know if 2005 will be any better. I hope so. Anyways, I hope you got a kick out of a song or two. At least it’s commercial-free.

With the preponderance of ipods, I’ve been requested to create future lagniappes in MP3 format. I’ll take that into consideration next year.

And if you’re reading this, and didn’t receive a lagniappe, and would like one (or to be put on the recipient list next year), let me know.

* Before there was Anita or Jacky (Cheung), there was Sam. Even if he has less sex appeal than Paul Simon, as Biker says ” Looking back, I think he is one of the most influential singer-songwriter in HK pop history, as he started in the time (mid 1970’s) when many pop musicians in HK were still singing in English. I would argue most of Sam Hui’s pre-Aces Go Places work can be considered classics: some are beautifully written using more traditional language like “long-zhi-sum-sing (Wanderer’s Thoughts)”, some poked fun at society (“Tsum-Sha-Tsui Suzie” and “Bun-Gun-Bhat-Leung”) and some reflected the times (“Ga-Ga-Yit-Chiew – Inflation blues”). Most Cantopop today -flooded with meaningless tunes or mushy love songs – cannot even compare.”

Biker grew up in HK, so his grasp of Cantonese and literary Chinese is waaay better than mine. I have to confess when I listen to Sam Hui’s songs, I don’t understand everything he’s singing about it, but you get a very palpable feeling of his eloquence, whether he’s philosophizing or parodying; which is afforded by the range and variety of in the Cantonese lexicon, which outclasses Mandarin’s insipid vocabulary. Viva Cantonese!

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2 thoughts on “Lagniappe 2004

  1. hi, i’m wondering if you know the title of one of sam’s most famous song. i’m illiterate in chinese so i really don’t know where to start but all i can tell u is that it’s a slow song and it was remade by andy lau and some guy – andy sang it in some movie called “conman 1999”. Would ever be better is u have the mp3 for it!

    Cheers

  2. hi,
    i’m crazy over the hui brothers’1976 the private eyes and i’m looking for the lyrics of its theme song/soundtrack bpat-gunn-bpat-leung by sam hui.
    please help!!

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