Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The hell she is

When searching for new singer/song writers in the style of say Jeff Buckley, Shanghai would not be the first place to go to, you'd expect. Wrong. One of Shanghai's most popular singers, 26 years old Hao Haidong, has released a first album in the English language after three millionsellers in the local Shanghainese tongue and one in mandarin. His English diction is surprisingly good, and the translation of his texts to English expertly done. The hell she is contains 15 songs on the theme of relationships, for better or for worse. Instrumentation is sparse, mainly his own guitar play and drums, with the occasional erhu sounds thrown in to remind us in which part of the world we are. Highly recommended.

The idea of this little game is to create an album cover for an imaginary artist/group, as well as an imaginary review, following these instructions:

[1] The artist/group: go to the wiki random page generator. The first random Wikipedia article obtained this way is the name of the band or performer. In this case, I ended up with Hao Haidong.
[2] The title: go to the random quotations site. The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of the album. The random quote that came up was by Ellen DeGeneres: My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is.
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Shanghai silhouettes 2, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Elephant 40 Black and Chinese Takeaway 30 White, respectively.

Note: this is a variation on the "Debut album game" that has been making its rounds around bulletin boards and blogs for some time now - the original version called for a random Flickr Explore photograph to be used as the cover. I have been trying to find out who had the original idea, but so far no success.