Thursday, August 11, 2016

Play, Chainsaws, and Smashing Ukeleles in Taiyuan

billboard advertisement for a performance by Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) in Taiyuan

In a section of Taiyuan with several newer shopping centers, over a month ago I saw the above advertisement for Taiwanese pop star Jolin Tsai's (蔡依林) concert featuring music from her most recent album "Play". A concert poster with a fuller image reveals that Tsai is destroying a disco ball.

concert poster for Jolin Tsai's "Play" performance in Taiyuan

I am guessing that Tsai didn't really put herself at risk of being cut by flying disco ball shards, no matter what her feelings towards disco balls may be.

Whatever the case, the video for the song "Play" is remarkable. So much happens that I don't even know where to begin. In the 2014 piece "Asia’s Dancing Queen May Have Given Us the Year’s Best Pop Music Video" in Time, Nolan Feeney highlighted some key parts:
Nudity, aerobics-inspired choreography and fantastical colors all play major roles in the Sims-inspired clip. Also, someone gets hit in the face with a ukelele, so there’s that, too.
The scenes with apparent nudity are appropriately blurred, so the video should be safe for work as long as a company doesn't have a strict ukelele-violence policy. The official YouTube version doesn't include English subtitles, but this video does (may need to click "CC" to turn them on):

For those in the U.S. now wishing they could see the Play World Tour live, you missed a big chance. Tsai performed in Atlantic City earlier this year.

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