It’s unbelievable how quickly the year has come to an end. And though there’s still so many hours of un-watched films, we must all begin sharing our End of the Year lists.
As per tradition, here’s my 2018 music highlights. As Jocelle pointed out, might change drastically midway through 2019. LOL Remember when Su Yunying released an album on December 31st? Chinese people got no chills.
May 16th is the date. Remember that. This should’ve been posted that day, but I’m way to giddy to wait. It’s taken me a long time to sit down and look back at years of archives to update this entry, but I suppose it still beats trying to figure out how to write a comprehensive Wikipedia entry.
Yu-chan and I, we’ve had our ups and downs, but I’ve always tried to stay as loyal as possible. LOL I may not stalk her tags online 24/7 (all my Japanese sources in English are rubbish now) and my Japanese skills are in the gutter, but I’ve managed to remain the biggest English/Spanish-speaking Yu Aoi fan in this side of the hemisphere (if not the world, xD). It’s been a good ride, Yu-chan. I’m looking forward to all the catching-up of all your latest movies. Here’s to another decade with Yu!
You know, for a year when I didn’t watch that many movies, I’m doing pretty good. LOL Confession! I haven’t been following award season, it does feel like it’s my second or third year already. I do know that people have been freaking out because all critic guilds and industry guilds have been awarding all different movies. As the saying goes~ todos parecen más perdidos que cuy en tómbola!
Light blue highlights mean watched, hot pink are pending, and green on the queue already.
My favorite competing film this year (so far) is Lady Bird coz it got me in the feels. I wouldn’t mind The Shape of Water winning, though. Considering BAFTA nominations (Producers’ Guild win and Directors’ Guild nom), The Shape of Water does seem to have a love more momentum than actors-backed Three Billboards, and this one also has a strong BAFTA showing.
Fun fact, yo! Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread and Victoria & Abdul are [most likely] the first Chinese-backed films that make it to Oscar. All backed by Perfect World Pictures (北京完美影视传媒) .
There was a time, a long time ago, when I really took to streaming music. My music buying habits, but specially my music download habits, changed to basically streaming to the point when licensing and catalogs began changing, and I found my music collection shrinking. In the end, I started downloading once again.
I have come to the realization that I buy less and less physical albums, or it takes me longer to buy them. :(
As I found myself deeper and deeper into Kpop fandom once again, so deep into Mamamoo fandom that I begun to get irked by fans who publicly post about their illegal downloads AND complain about numbers of comebacks/group activities. I ended up writing this nonchalant post about music earnings, as well as other Mamamoo activities fans can support besides comebacks . Yes, I’ve become that type of fan. The old one. LOL
As a grown-up who loves the arts, I always try to remind people that if they love and support their artists that they should buy instead of stream because streaming doesn’t pay. I was literally shook when Hyori mentioned that she had learned that PSY’s Gangnam Style only made $38k ; even though I knew some of the horror stories like the one of musician Lee Lang (이랑) who, during her acceptance speech for winning Best Folk Song at the Korean Music Awards, stated that she had only made $370 USD in total earnings on the month of January, so she decided to auction her award starting from the base price of her rent .
You can support Lee Lang by buying her album, Playing God (신의 놀이), on Bandcamp :)
And to my surprise, one of my favorite groups this year~~~ the lovely girls from Bolbbalgan4, who are considered digital monsters with their songs almost always charting within the Top10 of Melon, South Korea’s most used music site, had made only $61k USD by August this year . Red Diary Page.1 didn’t drop until a month later, and all 5 songs in the album charted within the Top15. But that’s still besides the point. The point being that your faves don’t make money because you stream music on YouTube or Apple Music or Spotify.
So stop demanding expensive music videos that can cost from $100k-$500k for an average medium size budget, or go up to $1M for the splashy ones that we don’t often see nowadays. At the height of the music video era in the 90s, Michael Jackson and Madonna’s most expensive videos hovered the $5M budget without adjustments for inflation . Stop demanding multiple comebacks a year with infinite number of physical prints (these cost production budgets AND storage budget for large stocks) that you will be waiting for price drops and re-sellers.
So now, let’s do some math~
Let’s say a physical album, a regular jewel case priced at -let’s say- $10 USD. According to prices in 2017— Apple takes a 30% cut , Bandcamp takes a 15% cut for digital sales and a 10% for merch , whereas CD baby takes a 9% cut off digital sales and $4 USD off physical sales . That means that by selling a $14USD album, the independent artist makes $10USD. In the parallel universe in which your fave is an independent, they keep $7 of those $10 in iTunes, but if there’s a label, the artist (meaning singer) probably gets $1 of those $10. If they’re their own lyricist, musician, producer or sound engineer, fees are different.
Streaming is a whole different beast— according to this post on Digital Music News from 2016, to make a single dollar $1 in Tidal, Google Play, Apple Music and Deezer; you gotta play the song +180 times. 196, to be exact, for Apple Music and Deezer. Make that 279 times on Spotify, 483 times on Vevo, 766 times on Soundcloud, and… at the end of the list, YouTube, where you gotta play songs 776 times to make that one dollar. That means a song/music video that has 100 million views on its YouTube official channel, has made roughly $125k USD, which would be made by selling 12.5k physical albums on CD Baby.
So remember, the next time you complain about X official store prices or limited stocks, it’s because all adds up to the price. If you found a cheap album, it’s because someone along the way lost money.
Yes, I’m low-key talking about Bizent LOL I’ve compared prices with YesAsia, and since I don’t get YesAsia free shipping, that’s paying double shipping because the YA price includes the Bizent $20 shipping fee. I’d rather that money go directly to Mamamoo. xD
I had so much fun watching Moosical last night, and though I’m waiting for the Bluray release, I might keep the DVD if the BR release doesn’t match the current packaging for Mamamoo goods RBW has going so far. I also had so much fun overnight listening to the usual MMM streams we don’t get to attend. Thank you, Tale~
So Chan Whee (소찬휘)’s Tears, Love Battery (사랑의 배터리) AND Bingeul Bingeul ? I was in heaven already before I got to listen to Recipe LIVE. Blessed.
And a complete version of Sleep in the Car (잠이라도 자즤)? Geez, I need RBW to release that ASAP. You’ve spoiled me rotten.
I started listening to Chen Weilun (陈伟伦)’s album, Think Miss Sorrow (念思愁), which just came out last week. While adding it to my iTunes library, it struck me how difficult it was to translate the song names. xD
For those who don’t know because you’ve just stumble upon this post, I usually keep a very organized library of foreign music, which includes ‘Original Name (romanization) – English Name/Translation’; so I was looking if there were official English titles for the songs on Chen Weilun’s album available on Xiami, KKBox or iNDIEVOX. There were not. On my search, already on title #3, I realized they were all titles (or most are, I haven’t gone through all of them yet xDDDDD) for Li Qingzhao (李清照), who is known as the greatest Chinese female poet of the Song Dynasty, mostly for her ci (词)/lyrics form of poetry .
So this is going to be a (hopefully brief) project to translate just the song names xDDDDDDDD
A Twig of Plum Blossoms: The Jade-like Mat Feels Autumn’s Cold 
The Charm of Nien-nu: Spring Feelings 
Like a Dream: I Will Always Recall that Day at Dusk, the Pavilion by the Creek 
Happy Meeting: Wordless, A Lone Ascend Up the West Tower 
Waves Against Sand: As the Rain Patters Outside the Drapes 
The Sounds of Adagio: Searching and Searching 
I usually post my Top50 right after my Music Highlights, but my schedule has been all wonk this year. I know I’m very inactive on this blog, but I still hope the very few of you that still visit the site had a wonderful holiday week and that you are having a blast this New Year’s Eve. I wish for y’all’s good fortune this coming 2017 because we know we’ve had a rough 2016. Let us all recharge, and cross fingers for some very need good vibes~