God, I love this CD. I bought it, for a dollar, in the bin outside the DVD/CD/VCD store at the corner of Bowery and Canal, one of the few of my favorite foreign-media haunts in NYC that is still in business. I bought it, to be totally honest, because I loved the title. I had no idea who the singer was, although he did look oddly familiar ...
It turns out the singer has long been one of my absolute favorite Hong Kong cinema actors. There is no equivalent for this sort of thing in U.S. culture. It's not like Harvey Keitel cut a CD and it happened not to suck. Or, as might be the case here, it sucked in ways previously unimaginable, and sucked so hard and so relentlessly, that it was actually, finally, totally great. (Did I mention how much I love this CD?) Because most Hong Kong actors, from the late Anita Mui to the insanely popular Andy Lau, have singing careers that are every bit as robust as their acting careers. It's just that most of them don't sound in any way, shape or form like this.
Many, possibly even all, of the songs are covers. Wong covers Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" (a super Xtreme crazy fucked up backwards alphabet poetry magnet gay & lesbian Islam double fupa rainbow high point), Nirvana's "All Apologies" and whatever the hell the song is that I don't know the name of in the sample song above. (Someone please let me know. I've been dying to know ... for years, now.) But these are not mere covers. These are Xtreme emu-on-sheep action covers. "Don't cry for me ... next door neighbor," the chorus exhorts in the sample song above. Where the hell did that come from? Where did any of this come from?
I love, love, love, love, love, love, love every moment of this monument to bad taste and good smell. If you get even 7% of the thrill I do listening to it, I'll have done a swell thing posting it here.
Found at Bastille Day on 61st Street, withdrawn from the French Institute's library. I think I payed $1. Ménélik is a French rapper who was born in Cameroon and who moved to France at the age of 9. This was his first CD, released in 1995 when he was 25 years old. I'm not sure what I'm more surprised by: That I haven't really heard or heard about much Francophone rap or that this is as good as it is. Definitely iPod-worthy!
Soon after I moved to New York City in 1997 I began to notice that bodegas run by people from around the world sometimes stocked CDs and DVDs of music and film from the countries they had come from.
The music I've collected from these bodegas can almost never be found in the "World Music" sections of the few remaining places to buy CDs in the U.S.; nor, for that matter on iTunes (or cheapo MP3 sites like Soundike).
If you are an artist or publisher and do not want your music here, just let me know and I'll remove it.