Thursday, 21 July 2016

Jay Chou's Bedtime Stories Signings: Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung




Over the weekend of 16 and 17 July, Jay graced three autograph sessions in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung,
Fans turned up in droves, many also flying in from other countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, etc to join the queue and get their chance of seeing Mr Chou up close and having their albums signed.

Playlist of vids from Taipei:

Playlist of vids from Kaohsiung:

This is a must-watch vid from Kaohsiung, featuring the 12-year-old dancer who was in Jay's MV for Yang Ming Shan two years ago. She completely killed Turkish Ice Cream with her moves, so much so that it attracted Jay's attention and he simply HAD to stop signing to have a chat with her!
He was in top form, praising her flinging arm movements and advising Xiao Mai to learn from her. ;)

One thing is certain: his popularity has not waned one iota and with his passion for music still intact and perhaps even more inspired by his lovely wife and daughter, he looks good to keep releasing albums for many more years to come. :)

Bonus pics from my fanclub, Jay Chou Malaysia and Singapore!
Photo credit: JayMS FC

中国新歌声 Sing! China Episode 1: All the news and youtube links

It was an awesome start to the new season of this reality singing competition and the chemistry between the four mentors was even better this time round.
Bantering, teasing, joking and mock insults flew fast and furious but there was no denying the warmth and mutual admiration each had for the rest.
Last season, Jay forged a partnership of sorts with Na Ying as a brother-sister pair.
This time round, with the changes in positions, it appears he will form some kind of alliance with Wang Feng...methinks Team Dads is more like! After all, Wang Feng and wife, Zhang Ziyi have also recently welcomed a baby daughter. :)

An added treat for fans in Singapore was the appearance of our very own Nathan Hartono, who blew the judges away with his performance AND eventually chose Jay Chou as his mentor!
Needless to say, there will be HUGE interest from the locals and I hope Toggle or any of the other broadcasters will be able to start simulcasting this show as there are still two more Singaporeans in the blind auditions to come.

FULL vid:

If your preference is to watch in parts:

Part 1:

Part 2: (Nathan Hartono)

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

The 4 mentors solos and group:

Jay's solo of Wang Feng's song:

Wang Feng's solo of Silence:

Na Ying's solo:

Harlem's solo:

I Want Summer by all 4: (awesomely appropriate song for the finale! )


Nice vid about our Jay:

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The Invincible: Shanghai 30/6/2016 to 3/7/2016

Hot on the heels of the release of Bedtime Stories came the start of Jay's The Invincible concert tour at Shanghai's Mercedes Benz Arena on 30 June 2106.

Report from Toggle:

Playlist of fancam vids:


Featuring a 4D stage and space theme, he went through a repertoire of songs from all his albums, with some significant omissions, most glaringly the absence of old favourite, Nunchucks.
Was this a result of a previous incident at a concert in China where a fan had complained about being hit by that weapon which Jay and his dancers always fling out to the audience?
Or did Jay figure it was time for a change anyway? *furrowed brows*

He has said many times that he is not a natural dancer and needs lots of practice to get his steps correct, so it was a treat to see him performing for Stolen Love.
Methinks he looked a trifle serious as he stepped, twirled and swung his lovely partner around for that 40-second segment....guess he was concentrating hard to make sure it was perfect. :)

Another difference from his previous The Era and Opus Jay concerts was the absence of usual guest artistes, Cindy Yen and Darren. Instead, it was young Patrick Brasca's turn to shine, as he performed his song, Try from Kung Fu Panda 3.

Costumes for this concert were colourful and featured lots of pink but this yellow patterned suit from Moschino has to be the most gaudy outfit of all. ;)

Not forgetting this from the opening number:

Some favourite shots:


And what Jay Chou concert is complete without an elaborate piano?

And the icing on the cake?

Has to be this photo....

I'm so feeling the JH LOVE!!!
Besides Hannah, Mama Chou was also spotted in the audience and Hathaway had also gone along for the trip!
Hannah revealed that Jay would feed her before going on stage and Mr Chou confessed that the best post-concert experience for him was to be able to hug his daughter when he returned to the hotel. *heart melts*

Next on the calendar is Invincible: Beijing and of course, Hathaway's first birthday, which is likely to be celebrated there on 10 July!
Do join in the virtual party for her on Jayannah!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Jay Chou's Bedtime Stories

Jay's 14th studio album aka Bedtime Stories was officially released on 24 June but even before the stroke of midnight, everything was available on iTunes and my chat group was full of comments as we tuned in and gave our two cents' worth.

Once again, sleep was sacrificed for His Royal Diaoness....but as always, no regrets!

As Jay had already released 5 songs over the past few months, there remained only another five to catch up on. There was plenty of his signature rap and ballads but one thing I sorely missed is a zhong guo feng song like Qing Hua Ci or Hong Chen Ke Zhan.
Apparently, the NYSM2 theme is meant as the zhong guo feng song for this album; well, it fit into the movie and has Chinese-style instruments but it cannot hold a candle to his slower numbers from previous albums nor even the ones which were more hard rock like Dragon Fist or Fearless.

Anyway, the track list on Itunes is here:

And here is my playlist of five other new songs:

My overall impression of the album is favourable and I would put it on par with Aiyo Not Bad.
The absence of the 'proper' zhong guo feng song is made up for by the Hathaway-inspired Lover From A Previous Life, which remains my favourite track.

My rating of the songs:

1. Bedtime Stories: 9/10: weird and OTT reinterpretation of what the humble bedtime story can be

2. Stay Away: 8.5/10: catchy  and nice to bop along to but what I really love is the banjo

3. A Little: 8.5/10: typical Chou ballad, emotional and heart-tugging

4. Lover From A Previous Life: 9.5/10: near-perfect mix of rap, strong memorable melody and the fact that Hathaway inspired it makes it stand out for all time

5. Hero: 7.5/10: good song for LOL, with shades of The Era and All In One Breath

6. Shouldn't Be: 9/10: beautiful duet, destined to be a karaoke favourite which will be mangled by well-meaning fans. ;)

7. Turkish Ice Cream: 8.5/10: did not like it initially but after listening a few times, now find it utterly cute! Has shades of Nunchucks. Can't wait to see this MV!

8. Love Confession Balloon: 8.5/10: simple singalong number 

9. Now You See Me: 8/10: the supposed zhong guo feng song; sounded great in the movie, though! 

10. Failure At Love: 8.5/10: another heartrending Chou ballad


Incidentally, sleep will be sacrificed again tonight as another new MV will be released at midnight!

Can't wait!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Updates: MV for Should Not Be; Bedtime Stories Press Conference and Radio Storyteller

The MV for Jay's new song was scheduled to be released on the stroke of midnight, 17 June 2016.
However, JVR Music had to push forward the timing due to a leak of the song online.
Social media was abuzz with a link to an audio version in the late afternoon and fans were elated when they realised it was a duet with none other than A-mei, with whom Jay has frequently collaborated with in concerts but not on an album.
Previous duets on his studio albums had always been with his JVR team mates eg Lara, Cindy and Gary.
This would be a first with a fellow Taiwanese non-JVR artiste!
Have a listen:

I've always been of the opinion that Jay's forte in music is his ballads and this song did not disappoint. Not to mention that it was a duet, which is always a challenge to write.
Memorable melody and a cool MV story combines to make this a sure favourite during future karaoke sessions for fans.

Article from Asian Pop News:

Behind the scenes:


JVR held the press conference for Bedtime Stories on 17 June 2016, with Matilda Tao once again hosting.
From various online news clips which I went through, it is clear that fatherhood has had an effect on Jay, what with the pop-up storybook and owl music box for the new album.
Not to mention his pajamas-like suit which he wore with his signature coolness and nonchalance. ;)

JVR's vid of the press conference:


Music box USB:

More cute vids and reports:

More pics here:


In conjunction with the release of the album, Jay set forth to be a storyteller on radio, with his good friend Darren supporting with voice effects.

For five nights from 13 to 17 June, both of them covered the following well known stories, tweaking each one with a twist of sorts from the!
And of course each had a lesson or two to impart.
I'm sure everyone is familiar with these famous tales, so I will just indicate the difference from the original below, for the benefit of those who do not understand Chinese.

1. Littel Red Riding Hood: To punish the wolf after he had cut open his tummy to rescue Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandma, they stuffed all fourteen of Jay Chou's albums inside so that it would no longer eat humans and could only listen to Jay Chou's songs.

2. Hansel and Gretel: The witch suffered a less morbid fate.

3. The Ugly Duckling: The hunter whipped out his cellphone and took a wefie with the Ugly-Duckling-turned-Beautful- Swan.

4. The Emperor's New Clothes: no twist here

5. Snow White: Listen for Jay's 'singing'



Thursday, 16 June 2016

Jay Chou in Now You See Me 2

Now You See Me was a sleeper hit and a breath of fresh air when it was released in 2013.
Amidst superhero movies and films based on books, it stood out for being an original story with a stellar ensemble cast featuring the likes of Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and veteran actors Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.
Like many other movie-goers, I was quite enthralled by the special effects and 'magic' on display and when a sequel was announced with an Asian-American director (Jon M. Chu) plus the inclusion of our Jay Chou in the cast, excitement ran high among the fans.

In the run-up to the movie's release, Jay had been quick to clarify that his role amounted to only a cameo. As such, I had to tell myself not to expect too much but was still keen as this would now be an original franchise, a rarity in today's cinematic climate.

As fortune would have had it, Shaw Theatres organised a movie marathon consisting of NYSM and NYSM2 which coincided birthday! I lost no time booking the tickets and sped through the busy work day on 14 June with anticipation of the treat afterwards.

Shaw was also screening a special preview for media, sponsors and other contest winners that same evening so the lobby at Lido was a hive of activity, with an emcee on stage playing games with the crowd and people taking pictures with the gigantic billboard.
Of course, yours truly was right up there to pose with Mr Chou and was extremely happy to receive an instant print, courtesy of the organisers....who were really kind to accomodate everyone, and not just invited guests. :)

It was certainly a treat to catch the first movie again and refresh my memory about how it all began.
And when it was time for NYSM2, I was all ready to savour some movie magic and keep a close watch for our Jay.

I had already written in earlier blog posts about his appearances in the movie and true to what he said, his role was not that huge and did only amount to at most 20 minutes in all. Not at all like in The Green Hornet, where he practically stole the show from Seth Rogen. As such, I felt he was severely under-utilised in NYSM2.
His spoken English was pretty good; I would describe it as endearingly enunciated with a Taiwanese twang. :)
However, his presence on the posters, the open ending of the movie and some interesting information from director Jon M. Chu in various interviews hint at a more developed story for his character in NYSM3.
Keeping my fingers and toes crossed!
I did enjoy NYSM2 very much too, for its bigger scope and further development of Mark Ruffalo's character. Lizzy Caplan was a delight to watch and Morgan Freeman is just Morgan Freeman...'nuff said.

Some good articles to read:

This is the article which mentions the NYSM3 and Jay's character:

So....have you seen them yet??

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Jay Chou's MV for Bedtime Stories: Famous European Paintings

After I had shared my post about the MV for Bedtime Stories on the Facebook Page, I got a most enlightening comment from a fellow Jay Chou fan, who is also an art lover and creator, Alex Marsolais.

Alex said:
"I also love how he incorporates those famous paintings and interacts with them."

Truth to tell, I knew those were famous paintings but not being an art afficionado and being somewhat lazy to do research, I did not dare to mention too much in my first post apart from the fact that they were definitely of European!
So I was immensely grateful for Alex's art education and decided to write about these works in a separate post.

This is Alex's website and when you click on Art, you can look for Diao and see what I mean about his Jay fandom:

According to Alex, there are three clear-cut references.

1. The Scream (1893) by Edvard Munch, a Norweigian born painter and printer.

More about Munch here:

And about The Scream:

2. The Persistence of Memory (1931) by Salvador Dali, a Spanish surrealist painter and this is one of his most recognizable works (except to art-ignorant people like yours truly).

More about Dali:

About The Persistence of Memory:

3. The Birth of Venus (1486) by Sandro Botticelli, an Italian painter in the Early Renaissance.

About Botticelli:

About The Birth of Venus:

4. Another indirect reference was the appearance and mention of apples, likely related to Rene Magritte, a Belgian surrealist artist who had quite a few works centred around that familiar fruit, most notably The Son of Man (1964).

About Rene Magritte:

About The Son of Man:

Only one thing to say about Jay: