Cantopop Level of Hell

Bring On the 24-Herbed Clockwork Oranges!

A truly bizarre album cover concept for the local cantopop band ’24 Herbs’. They are purveyors of the usual HK saccharin-sweet boy band crap, with song titles like Turn It Up, Bring It On, Fashionista, and my personal favorite Chillax featuring Taiwanese rapper Soft Lipa(?).

Now it seems someone had the brilliant idea of doing a full-on Clockwork Orange branding campaign for their latest album and concerts, complete with clubs. bowlers, eye makeup and steel-toed boots. Which leaves me to wonder: did they actually watch the movie? Do they have any idea why those guys dressed like that, and what they were up to? Do you really want your boy band linked to costumed fascist sociopaths? Suffice to say I hope they don’t take the marketing too far, and go on a stomping foray into their adoring audience, accompanied by a stirring rendition of Beethoven’s 9th...



Heavenly King Leon's Dream Wedding

A poster for 'Dream Wedding - Leon Live in Macao 2010'. Leon is a cantopop (HK's own brand of sickly sweet pop/R&B) uberlegend. From his website promo:
Lai first broke in to the Asian entertainment scene as the second runner-up in the 1986 New Talent Singing Awards. A record contract followed, as did fame when his debut album 1990s Meet the Rain went gold. Success followed with a series of chart-topping releases among them the award-winning single Not One Day I Dont Think of You... Lai was later crowned one of the 'Four Heavenly Kings of Canto-pop'...
Seems he's tired of ruling heaven (or a quarter of it at least), and is back on the comeback trail; he's decided to usher in 2010 with a 'dream wedding' tour. Unfortunately Leon's dreams appear to involve razors, disembodied female body parts (bleeding paint all over everything, even on his otherwise immaculate tux). Other highlights include flights of fighter jets and WWII bombers, ferris wheels, headless poledancers, and a truly disturbing female torso equiped with a camera simulating male genitalia. Yow. Don't know what to do with that one. Anyway I think I'll stick to tamer fare, like a Heironymous Bosch painting, or maybe one of those quaint Saw movies...









Crystal. Winkie. Regen. Cheeky Girl.

A bus stop ad for Hotcha's latest album, Shall We Shall We Dance Love. Interesting band name too; the term 'hotcha' was big about what, 70 years ago? Why not call yourselves 'flapper', or 'charleston'? Anyway the titles etc are pretty tame by HK standards; its the list of names at the lower right that got my attention. Seems we have Crystal, Winkie, and Regen, Cheeky Girls all. Perhaps they are all rather cheeky individually, but collectively form a singularity of pure Cheeky Girl energy, ready to be unleashed in a veritable Dance Love explosion. Shall we shall we? Oh yes, we shall...

Who's Dope? The Bro5, That's Who

A poster for the 'Who's Dope' dance competition. It seems some in HK have wholeheartedly embraced street dance culture (if 'culture' is the correct term) right down to the ludicrous names - Tommy x Bro5? Is that supposed to be a play on 'bros'? And the tagline - 'Dance Forever in my Life'? God I hope not.

Anyway do we really need a competition to determine who is in fact dope? It seems all the dancers represented here are living incarnations... manifested in their recycled breakdancing moves, faux gang signs, sparkly shirts, hats worn at rakish angles, and of course baggy jeans belted well below the pelvis.

I must confess I'm a bit concerned that too much dope will be concentrated in one place during the 'final'. Usually the hyper-dope crew assembled to judge spread out the dope to manageable levels across the planet (unlike our friends at the Hong Kong Funky Dance Centre, who seem to want a concentrated funk implosion - the fools). Could we see the unintentional creation of fusion right here in HK, powered not by deuterium reactors, but dope?

My Money's On the Horse...

This is a Jockey Club ad for a recent horse race. It's very well rendered, though I was struck by the tagline - I would love to see one of HK's beloved cantopop darlings actually race a thoroughbred, if only for 100 metres or so. Forgive me if I don't recognize exactly which one she is, but Jessica, Cyndy etc. tend to blur together, like the ladies from the 'pussycat dolls' and their 37 lesser known competitors.

Or perhaps this is like a vulcan mind-joust, a contest not of brawn but raw brain power. I think my money would still be on the horse...

Hong Kong Funky Dance Centre

This is a billboard for The Hong Kong Funky Dance Centre in Wanchai. Every metropolis worth its 'funk' should have a locus for cutting edge (choking edge?) funky dancing. This place radiates funky energy; I found myself pop-and-locking and flashing faux gang signs just looking at the signage from three blocks away. Thankfully the centre is miles away from the lesser known but still potent 'Hong Kong Polka Dance Centre', otherwise the two styles would annihilate each other on contact. Believe me you don't want to be in the vicinity when a chicken dancer and pop-and-locker physically touch...

As you can see, the most prominent strains of funky dance are represented; just check out that funkity funk crew. For the men there's funky ballroom (note the suave turtleneck), hip-hop badass (must be tough to dance in a wool hat in HK, but funky dance knows no pain - and takes no prisoners), and music video/solid gold dancer (with complimentary frosted highlights). And for the ladies, err, well it looks like they get ballroom midriff, hiphop midriff, or solid gold midriff.