Asian News 6/21

 Golden Melody Award winners, Culture Convenience Club eyes HMV Japan, techno tickets go on sale, …


Lee and Tsai Take Melody Awards

The Golden Melody Awards, sometimes referred to as the Chinese-language Grammys, were given out on June 16 in Taipei, with Nicky Lee and Jolin Tsai winning big. Pop singers from China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia attended.

American-Korean singer, Nicky Lee won for best male singer for his R&B album I’m Your Baby. Others nominated in the same category included Taiwan’s David Tao and Kenji Wu, Singapore’s Wayne Lam and Malaysia’s Gary Chaw.

Best female singer went to Taiwanese pop diva Jolin Tsai for her album Dancing Diva. Her competition was fellow Taiwan singer A-Mei and veteran Hong Kong star Sandy Lam. Best album of the year went to MC Hot Dog.

Best song was "You Are Marrying Me Today," a ballad duet by David Tao and Jolin Tsai. Jay Chou, probably the biggest male singing star in all of Chinese-speaking Asia, missed a best male singer nomination but picked up the first-ever "Best Single Producer Award" for his rap tune "Huo Yuan Chia."

The ceremony was not without controversy. Ethnic Hakka singer Lin Sheng-xiang refused awards for best Hakka singer and best Hakka album.

"I think the Golden Melody Awards should be categorized by music type and not language type," he told the audience. "Therefore my production team isn’t attending the ceremony and decline the awards."


Culture Convenience Club Eyeing HMV

Culture Convenience Club Co., which operates Tsutaya, Japan’s largest chain of music and video software rental stores, has announced its intention to buy HMV Group’s Japanese operations.

Record retailer HMV is suffering from a worldwide slump in CD and DVD sales as online music distribution becomes more popular.

The company has already announced its intentions to sell its Japanese unit, HMV Japan, as part of its restructuring efforts.

The company accepted bids in early May from about 40 companies and investment funds. It has since narrowed the list to six candidates, including CCC and a fund affiliated with Nomura Securities.

Another round of bidding will be held in late June and a buyer will be chosen by the end of the summer.

HMV Group entered the Japanese market in 1990 and now operates about 60 outlets nationwide. It has already sold its U.S. and Australian units.


Big Techno On Sale

Tickets for the summer’s two big techno festivals – Metamorphose and Wire – went on sale in June.

Metamorphose 07 will take place once again at the Cycling Sports Center in Izu City, about 90 minutes south of Tokyo, on August 25.

Participating artists include Audion, Richie Hawtin, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Darren Emerson, Mad Professor, Rovo, and more than a dozen other electonic musicians and DJs.

Wire, Japan’s biggest all-night rave, is scheduled for September 1 at the Yokohama Arena.

Organized by Takkyu Ishino, one-half of Denki Groove, Japan’s nuttiest electronic dance outfit, the event will include more than 20 artists from Tokyo, New York, Buenos Aires, Hamburg, London, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo, Amsterdam and Berlin.


Japan Gets Loud

Japan’s autumn hard rock/heavy metal situation is shaping up. Loud Park, the two-day festival previously known as Beast Feast, will take place October 20-21 at Saitama Super Arena in the suburbs of Tokyo.

Heaven And Hell and Marilyn Manson are the scheduled headliners.

Other acts on the roster include Blind Guardian, Saxon, Lacuna Coil, Machine Head, As I Lay Dying, Wig Wam, Anthem, Therion, Trivium and Amorphis.

On a much smaller scale, five bands, including The Used, Rise Against and Gallows, will be touring Japan festival style in November under the title Taste of Chaos.