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Old 07-27-2008, 11:17 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,815 posts, read 12,319,426 times
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I was born and raised in America but I have some relatives in Taiwan. My mom will be going back there to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin and as a present for them I'd like to give them a little something about America, since as everyone knows Taiwan or anywhere in Asia is a whole different world compared to here. I'll be buying two CDs for them. I want to show them something of the "real America" that they don't get from the media there too much. I

know their movie theaters are filled with Hollywood films and a lot of American rap, rock, and pop are popular in Taiwan. I've been there only twice in my life and the second time they were playing Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys in every store and restaurant. A lot pop and rock in Asian coutnries also sound a lot like American music sung in different languages. They also get a lot of classic rock liek John Denver, the Beatles, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, etc etc.

I hope to give my relatives there a side of what I consider the authentic America beyond the mass media, war news, etc. In addition to 2 CDs, I will be buying a picture-filled book that shows American cars from the 50s through the early 80s filmed along Route 66 in the Midwest and West with a lot traditional diners, motels, and truck stops and all-American small town landscapes. I also bought a John Deere baseball cap.

I wonder if Asian countries get anything from country music exported since other parts of American pop culture seem to be so loved there. I'm not talking Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson or Patsy Cline, which older generations there are familiar with, but modern contemporary country out of Nashville.

I'm choosing between Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Josh Gracin, and Brad Paisley. How popular are these artists in Asia or in other non-English speaking parts of the world like Europe or Latin America? Is Carrie Underwood well-known and listened to because of American Idol? Where I live in Maryland, Rascal Flatts is played in stores, malls, and restaurants commonly, and Sara Evans once in a while.
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:24 AM
 
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The U.S. expats might listen to it. That's pretty much the extent of country music's existence in Asia.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:22 AM
 
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I did live in Singapore for a while and didnt really hear much of it. There are some stores that have huge catalogues of it but generally you wont find that many people buying it. Bassically not that much.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:56 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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Its a shame then that country isn't too popular over there. The rest of the world gets a lot of hip hop and rap though
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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Well... how much Chinese Han or Indian sitar music do we listen to in the U.S.? Can't really expect them to listen to our country music if we don't listen to theirs.

Hip-hop and rap have an advantage with corporate and Hollywood marketing. I'm not saying it's the only reason it's big. It's one of the few musical genres that transcend cultures, and pretty much every region has appropriated its own version of rap/hip-hop. But it does gain a lot through movies and MTV.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Road Warrior
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That is a great idea. I don't know how much they will enjoy it though. I do know that Chien-Ming Wang is from Taiwan and as you know the saying "there is nothing more American than baseball and apple pie", why not send them something from the New York Yankees?
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:13 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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I really do wonder how closely American Idol is followed throughout the world!
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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First of all, I'd take issue at the statement "real America". Hip-hop, rock, jazz, and other more popular worldwide genres are every drop as American.
Second of all, all Asia is not the same.
As for mainland China, thereare a select few more countryish songs, ("country roads take me home..."). If you want to get a gift of country, try to get one that has slow, easily singable songs (even if they don't actually know how to speak English). Music that tends to be pretty soft, not too loud, different, etc... tends to go over better. I can't recommend specific artists cuz I don't know country. But examples of what they LOVE are the Carpenters and the Titanic song. They like the Bee Gees as well.
Of course, Taiwan could be VERY different in taste. Even mainland China is changing fast. It's not totally uncommon for youg urbanites to like, for example, Bjork.
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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Oh , and they don't know anything about American Idol. They even have their own idol contests to worry about.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:18 AM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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I purposely put "real America" in quotes b/c it conjures up images of the traditional U.S. Yes, jazz and blues are equally American but they're already popular worldwide but country is comparatively more unique to the U.S. and is less "international". There are Asian rappers but probably no singers that sing in Chinese or Japanese with a twang.

Everyone here is equally American, but I think of "mainstream America" as suburban/exurban/rural middle America to working class America. At least this has been my reality despite being in an immigrant family (though I was born here). The urban culture, whether hip hop/gangsta or the yuppie/hip is part of American culture but more of a subculture. Modern country music I believe is a good reflection of middle America and like the radio promoters say the songs do tell real stories about real people that listeners can identify with and draw connections to their own lives.

Most of us can remember high school football games, getting our first car, our high school sweetheart, moving out of home, or if youre older than me, getting married, rediscovering faith in God, etc. Also more and more songs are now about suburban 9 to 5ers and soccer moms, reflective of the increasing suburban nature of America.

I ended up getting Carrie Underwood's "Some HEarts" (her debut album following American Idol) and Taylor Swift's debut album, both of which have spawned countless hits. I have a feeling that at least "Before He Cheats" and "Teardrops on My Guitar" are played in many other countries.
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