Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong

Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong. CCP ≠ China

The Berlin Wall might have fallen 30 years ago, but it still stands stubbornly tall in many ways around the world. Just look at what’s been happening in HK over the past months. For deep dives, hop over to “China Uncensored” (EN), “世界的十字路口 唐浩” (CH), and “新聞拍案驚奇 大宇” (CH) on YouTube. Links below.

Just remember, the fact that ppl/entities keep silent and even impose self-censorship on otherwise healthy/normal/discussion-worthy topics is exactly what fuels the regime’s ambition and atrocities.

China Uncensored: https://lnkd.in/fY3gYNc

世界的十字路口 唐浩: https://lnkd.in/fYZRf9V

新聞拍案驚奇 大宇: https://lnkd.in/fMrRJpe

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

Are you new to blogging, and do you want step-by-step guidance on how to publish and grow your blog? Learn more about our new Blogging for Beginners course and get 50% off through December 10th.

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Keyboardist needed for a Deep Purple tribute band (Tokyo)

Hi,

We’re a Deep Purple tribute band looking for a keyboard player to join.
Except for myself (vocals), all members are Japanese in their 50s/60s and are very seasoned players.
Our previous keyboardist quit due to his financial situation.

So far, we’ve had one gig, and with your addition, we’re looking forward to more gigs to come!
We rehearse about twice a month in Kita-Senju (北千住) on weekends.
Japanese language skills are a plus, but not a must.

We mainly cover Mark II materials, but we also play songs like “Burn” from the Mark III lineup.
Below is our current song list for your reference, but you don’t have to know how to play all of them right now:

  1. Burn
  2. Highway star
  3. Child in time
  4. Black night
  5. Space truckin’
  6. Strange kind of woman

For those interested, just shoot me a demo. (alvisspeaking@gmail.com)

Looking forward to hearing from you soon \m/

Upcoming gig in mid-Feb

‘Sup, fellas? Drop me a line if you wanna come see me sing a Deep Purple set (30-min) in my band at a live house. We’ll play songs from Mark II (Ian Gillian era) and Mark III (David Coverdale era).

Only two tickets left. 
First come, first served! Hope to see ya there \m/

  • Venue: Studio PACKS 北千住 (120-0035 東京都足立区千住中居町29−1, Google Maps link at the bottom)
  • Price: 1600 yen entrance fee + one drink voucher (500 yen) = 2100 yen in total
  • Set time: 17:00-17:30 (we play the first)
  • Date: Feb 9 (Sat.)
  • Note: For those interested, plz just drop me line as I don’t check my website that often (but i can get notifications when I receive direct messages)

ライブ再開した〜
もしよろしければ、来てくれ。
今回は、僕のディープパープルのコピーバンドです。もちろん、俺はボーカル担当です。ただ今チケット2枚しか無いので、来てくれたい方は僕に連絡してね m(__)m

演出時間:17時:00ー17時:30分

Knock北千住
日本、〒120-0035 東京都足立区千住中居町29−1
+81 3-3870-7799
https://goo.gl/maps/stkG7pMPUT22

 


 

Burn:

Highway star:

Child in time:

Black night:

Space Truckin’:

Book review: Confessions of a Global Negotiator

I’ve read a few books on negotiation. What makes this book special is its practicality and story-telling. It’s full with many a readily implementable tip on this subject, with each chapter ending with neatly summarized takeaways of the chapter, which makes it an ideal textbook on negotiation. Yet, it’s by no means textbooky. it wasn’t a dry read for me. In fact, it was fun thanks to the author’s great storytelling ability, and he does have great stories and anecdotes to share with you, the reader.

With the far-reaching principles and tips, this book will prove to be very beneficial for both professional negotiators and “occasional negotiators” alike – we all will have to engage in negotiation at some point in our lives, be it haggling with a prospective landlord, car dealer, or negotiating a potential pay raise with your manager. With that said, make sure you pick this book up before going to the negotiation table!

Check out this book on Amazon

 

 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day & Acoustic project

Happy belated Saint Patrick’s Day, guys!

I’d like to take this opportunity to announce my acoustic project. It was actually my guitarist’s idea few months back, and so far we’ve got 2 gigs under our belts.

While I didn’t record our first gig, I did remember to do so in our second gig, which happened to be on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Below is the complete playlist, 5 songs in total. Hope you’ll enjoy!

I’ll continue to upload our acoustic recordings on my SoundCloud, so stay tuned, fellas!

Rock on!

Fronting a Black Sabbath (Ian Gillan era) tribute band in Tokyo

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I posted anything here, so I thought I’d bring you up to speed with what I’ve been doing.

My friend and I formed a Black Sabbath (Ian Gillan era) tribute band in Tokyo last year and we’ve been working on a set since (basically the whole Born Again album). I’m of course the one behind the mic, hehe 🙂 Check out one of the songs we’ve performed live so far – Born Again. That’s also my favorite song from the album, but I gotta say that this song requires quite a wide vocal range to say the least, aside from the tone and other aspects one must have to handle this piece.  Hope you’ll enjoy it!

For more tracks, visit: https://soundcloud.com/alvisyu/sets/ian-gillan-era-black-sabbath

Peace out!

Book review: American Accent Training

Many (including native English speakers and other non-Chinese speakers) people have asked me how I managed to acquire such a heavy American accent, despite the fact that I’ve never been to any English-speaking countries. Furthermore, numerous ESL learners and even some native speakers (Americans included) thought I was an ABC (American-born Chinese), until I told them otherwise. Well, this book is the answer. It was very helpful during my early years of studying how to speak “the American way.” It goes without saying that consistent, frequent practice and actual application (i.e. by conversing with Americans) are essential for your pursuit of the otherwise elusive American accent (that is, if you weren’t born and raised in the States). Trivia: Back when I was dating an American girl, she insisted that I must have stayed in the USA for a long time and that I simply had memory loss. Like I said earlier, I’ve never been to the States to this day. If I could make it, you can, too. Trust me, you CAN change your accent, provided that you’re committed enough and that you do your practice regularly for a considerable amount of time. Fake it until you make it.

To conclude, I can’t praise this masterpiece enough. Ann Cook surely knows what she’s talking about. If American accent (by which I mean the so-called “standard American accent” commonly heard in public broadcasts such as NPR and among educated Americans) is what you’re aiming for, you do not want to miss this book.

It’s not a hyperbole to call it the Holy Grail of American accent. Period.

I finished reading this book sometime around 2012-2013, so this book review is long overdue!

Amazon link

New 2017 edition here

 

張雨生 Zhang Yu-sheng (or spelled as Chang Yu-sheng, my all-time favorite musician and rock singer, hitting one of the highest notes (D3-D6) a male could ever achieve in mixed voice

Below are a few clips of the late Zhang Yu-sheng (1966-1997), a Taiwanese musician who has been my all-time favorite musician, rocker, singer, song-writer, and, above all, my mentor.

He was very talented as a singer-songwriter, but he’s mostly known for his ability to hit ultra high notes, with purity and power at the same time.

It’s a shame that he died young (at the age of 31); while driving on a weary condition, he accidentally hit a traffic island at a high speed. He passed way at the hospital 24 days after. Contrary to what some people think, he did NOT drive under the influence (DUI).

Caveat: All the English translations next to the Chinese titles are mine, i.e. they’re not the official ones (if there’s any). 

Hitting high notes (A5)
He is asked to hit some insanely high notes by the hosts. (After hitting the very last note [an A5], he tells the hosts that he used mixed voice to achieve that.)

Xiaobao Lianxiqu (小寶練習曲) (HD)
(This is a recording of his rehearsal at the studio, about 10-minute long. This clip basically gives you an idea of how monstrous his voice was. All of the songs he sings in the clip are his own creations. FYI, Xiaobao [小寶] was his nickname.)
(He starts singing at 2:50.)

Zhang Yu Sheng’s (張雨生) high note compilation (C5 – D#6)

Zhang’s  vocal range (D2 – sustained D6)

High Notes in Rock: Power, Pt. 2
(Zhang is featured as the last vocalist in this compiliation, indicating that he’s the most impressive vocalist among all the great singers listed in the clip.)

Distortion/fry/hyper glottal distortion (a sustained D5 note in chest voice; isolated vocals)


Blow are some of my favorite songs written by Zhang (both lyrics and melodies)
Meigui De Mingzi (玫瑰的名字/The Name of the Rose) (HD)
(This is one of those rare occasions where he uses distortion and heavier sound.)

Wo Qidai (我期待/I Look Forward To…) (HD)
(This is probably his most famous song.)

Live version of Wo Qidai (我期待/I Look Forward To…)
(This live performance truly showcases his mastery of his vocals. The ending is simply incredible and jaw-dropping.)

Xiongdi Ya (兄弟呀/Oh My Brother)  (HD)
(This is the song where Zhang famously hits a D#6 [4:08-4:30]. It’s a shame that there’s no live recording of this song.)

Houzhihoujue (後知後覺/When I realize it, it’s too late) (HD)

He (河/The River) (HD)
(What he does during 4:03-4:20 is simply monstrous…)

Younggongjie De Jiezhang (永公街的街長/The Chief of the Younggong Street)
(Though this piece is almost 10-minute long, I am sure you’ll enjoy it all the way. Please note that the section after 8:14 isn’t sung by Zhang himself, but by a Taiwanese female singer called “馬毓芬.” He dedicated the song to the homeless and the mentally challenged, whose suffering he thinks the society is responsible for.)

Heaven On Fire – Metal Kids (HD)
(With this song, Zhang and his bandmates won the first place in the first Rock&Roll band competition held by Yamaha in Taiwan. Metal Kids was the name of his band. It is said that this studio version is a compromised version due to the demand of the label company; the original version was much heavier than this one, but it is unfortunately no where to be found.)

Koushixinfei (口是心非/False Words) full album
(This is arguably his best album, also his last album, with every single song written by himself.)


TV appearances

Live version of Wo Qidai (我期待/I Look Forward To…)
(This live performance truly showcases his mastery of his vocals. The ending is simply incredible and jaw-dropping.)

Speaking of jaw-dropping, his singing did make a grandma drop her jaw. This is one of my favorite clips.
(Starts at 1:02)

Koushixinfei (口是心非/False Words) (2:22-3:08) & blues jam session (4:04-end)

(Again, the jam session is a rare occasion where he uses a lot of distortion.)

The Phantom Of The Opera (HD) (6:40-8:20)

Love Potion No.9

So Much In Love (0:00-1:07)

Without You (Air Supply)

Tonight (5:25-6:05)/ Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Unchained Melody (13:39-end)

A medley of his songs
(All of the songs in this medley were written by someone else for primarily commercial purposes, and that’s why they sound so poppy..)

A medley (some of which are not his songs)


Below are some of his epic renditions of classic English rock tunes. Hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do

Paradise city

Crying in the Rain-Whitesnake

Dream on- Aerosmith

Separate Ways- Journey

Turn me loose- Loverboy

Highway star

Keep the faith

Mr.Crowley

Show must go on

Smoke on the water

Final countdown

Carrie

You give love a bad name (incomplete)


For those of you who want to dig more, you’re welcome to check out my playlist where I collect his live performances and songs.

Last but certainly not least, this is a thread on his vocal range in the range place.

R.I.P. Zhang Yu-sheng

Edit:
I’ve complied some playlists of Zhang’s songs by category. Hope you’ll find them interesting! So here goes:

Demos:

Live performances:

Zhang’s “latest” album (雨夜星空; Yu Ye Xing Kong) based on his unpublished demos, compiled by his former colleagues, friends, and fans.

Other recordings that aren’t available on YouTube or SoundCloud:

Keep the faith – 1993 blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/34680637
Desperado – unspecified blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/24645258
CHEROKEE – 1988 blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/17655730
Rehearsal version of 「跟得上我吧」 – unspecified blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/17557771
We ain’t gonna take it 1988 blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/14272068
Holiday (Scorpions) – 1988 blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/14271906
Dream (Van Halen) – 1988 blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/13871708
Here I Go Again – 1993 blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/13759417
Unchain the Night 1988 blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/13714635

Beatles medley -1988 December vlog.xuite.net/play/ZmlZbk10LTczNzIyMjguZmx2
Spread your wings – unspecified blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/12787380
Separate ways – 1993 – blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/13360852
More Than Words – 1993 – blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/12714483
To be with you – June 1993 – blog.xuite.net/mr.tu/guitar/12677024

The Demise of Freedom of Speech in HK?

I found another piece that eerily resembles my earlier commentary about the abrupt disappearance of 5 Hong Kong booksellers: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/world/asia/china-hong-kong-magazine-editors.html?ref=world
Yet another relevant note that directly involves a magazine based in mainland China: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/world/asia/china-yanhuang-chunqiu.html?ref=world&_r=0


It turns out that some of the abducted HK booksellers are of non-Chinese nationalities, just like the one in the above-mentioned news article (the first one), which calls for an international outcry over the blatant breach of freedom of speech in an otherwise autonomous Hong Kong.

This is truly saddening.

I realize that I might have charged too much of a pessimistic note in my headline, but I hope I am just overreacting.

If only.