Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pa Pa Yeoh (881): Awakening the Inner Beng.

In case you haven't already guessed, this is what has reawakened the inner Beng even if only slightly.

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I certainly don't have the credentials to be one. In JC, I was categorised as part of the 'Ang Moh Pai' group (used to refer to the English speaking Chinese). My spoken Mandrian leaves much to be desired, I can barely hold a decent conversation in Chinese. My Hokkien is even worse, I can catch the gist of what people are saying; try to get me to respond in Hokkien however and I falter miserably, my entire vocabulary consisting mainly of creative vulgarities picked up in Army from the true blue Beng camp mates. The closest I ever came to looking like one was during the post JC days when I sported striped highlighted hair bleached golden blond and the brick red cargo pants I bought from TopShop then.

So it was a rather strange turn of events that made me want to catch this locally produced movie when it came out on the 9th of August. After all I almost never watch locally produced movies, the last one being Liang Po Po which was a loooong time ago, because I figure that it'll inevitably turn up on TV within a year or so and paying eight bucks and more for a local movie wasn't appealing.

I guess my curiousity about 881 was piqued because it was about getai (stage performances given nationwide during the Hungry Ghost Festival that lasts about a month) which I'd never actually experienced, the songs were Hokkien and damn Beng and the costumes were so outrageously over the top. So I dragged Sean along to catch it. I thought the show on average was rather glitzy and beng but still enjoyable except for the draggy, weepy bit at the end though Sean proclaimed to be bored.

The songs (and after-images of outrageous costumes and feathered boas) however remained firmly entrenched in my mind and I found myself subconsciously humming along to the decidedly Hokkien-Beng lyrics. So I went to get the soundtrack lo. A lot of Singaporeans must have been similarly affected, for I was informed at two of the Sembawang Music store branches I went to that the Pa Pa Yeoh(881) soundtrack was sold out and they had no more stocks. Apparently, there's an inner Hokkien spouting Ah Beng/Ah Lian wannabe in most Singaporeans.

HMV though proved to be a life saver and it didn't matter if it cost more than at Sembawang, I would have bought it if it cost 40 bucks. That's how bad the Beng-ness was that night. The Soundtrack CD while short did not disappoint the awakened Beng. Blasting the familiar getai numbers from the movie helped to make the still-ongoing drilling much more bearable.

My personal favourite remains the touching yet Beng-y tear jerker song at the end of the movie, Last Breath. Here's the Youtube video showing the MingZhu sisters (who were singing the songs for the Papaya Sisters in the movie) performing the song which looks more moving than that draggy hospital scene at the end of the movie. (Video has been removed from Youtube.)

The popular One Half theme song with the 'Ji Lang Ji Phua, Gam Qing Buai Suah..' opening comes a close second. But I thought the way the twin sisters May and Choy sung their hokkien getai songs was really cute. It had a nice, strange english accented twinge to their hokkien techno songs, yet they sung with such gusto and maxed out the bitchiness in the bad girl characters they were playing that I find their english-influenced hokkien techno songs more attractive than the actual getai singers who recorded for the Original Soundtrack album.

You can judge for yourselves in this Youtube video of May and Choy singing 'Lose Control - Dong Buai Diao' in a live getai event the 881 members participated in shortly after the release of the film. Sadly, they weren't singing the song I thought they did the best 'Bad Times' and they were singing with more gusto in the movie. They were certainly way way bitchier in the movie and their costumes were well, spiky and all dominatrix like.^^

Sean has been subconsciously affected, after listening to the album I'd ripped onto my Creative player, he hummed the One Half tune softly all the way as we were making our way to the stadium to view the fireworks. Everyone has an inner Beng or Lian in them, like it or not. And sometimes, if only for a while, he or she needs to be let out, just to hang loose and be unabashedly beng.

I'll leave you here with the MingZhu Sisters' 'Wild Flowers', another song in the movie. Wa ai zho xiao lian gei. Eh sai buai?

Update: If you liked 881, You'll love Hairspray the movie.


Anonymous said...

Hello there. I am the representative of VMP. The record label that produced Ming Zhu Sisters' latest album. Will appreciate it if you could remove the "Last Breath" MV from Youtube as its a very serious infringement of copyright.

You're hereby given 24 hours to remove it before legal actions will be taken.

Thank you for your kind understanding and support

Yours sincerely,

Management of VMP

Anonymous said...

Hello there. I am the representative of VMP. The record label that produced Ming Zhu Sisters' latest album. Will appreciate it if you could remove the "Last Breath" MV from Youtube as its a very serious infringement of copyright.

You're hereby given 24 hours to remove it before legal actions will be taken.

Thank you for your kind understanding and support

Yours sincerely,

Management of VMP

Aelgtoer said...

To the of 'Management of VMP'

Dear Anonymous sir,

I note that you are posting this message twice at 2.25 AM and your IP address is from Singapore and has been logged as and you were referred by a search of the terms '881 soundtrack'.

Kindly be informed that I have serious doubts as to the authenticity of this message and that your allegations are wholly unsubstantiated and unfounded.

If you have not already noticed, I was not the one who uploaded the videos onto youtube so you should be going after the uploaders and getting youtube to remove the file for alleged copyright infringement and not posting a comment like that per se on my blog.

If you are able to get youtube to remove the music videos which I merely embedded in my post for the purposes of criticising and reviewing the songs, the post will naturally be edited accordingly to reflect that.

Embedding the clips into my blog post for the purpose of review and which were NOT uploaded by me to Youtube does not constitute copyright infringement. See Fair Dealing, Section 36 of the Copyright Act. Kindly go after the real infringers and get youtube to remove the videos if you say you are who you really are.

I would require some proper identification as well. Proclaiming to be an official representative of the company while commenting as an Anonymous person without any contact details casts serious doubt about your identity.

You may now contact youtube and get them to remove the videos which would solve the root of your problem and which is something the copyright owners do regularly. IF so, this post will be amended accordingly to reflect that.

Failing which it is obvious that you are a fluke with a very lame sense of humour. Your IP address has been logged and noted.

Yours sincerely,

Aelgtoer said...

@ 'VMP person'

Failing which, your IP address would be, a Singnet subscriber who got referred from the youtube link for Wild Flowers. These two addresses are very close in time.

At any rate, let me reiterate for you that I am NOT the uploader of the Music videos to YouTube. Kindly get your facts clear before posting such comments.

Your two options are to 1. ask youtube to remove the video and 2. attempt to go after the actual uploaders themselves. I doubt you would like a PR disaster unlike a certain local company.

As such, no further correspondance will be entertained when it is very clear that even if your identity is genuine, you are going after the wrong person. Thank you.

Sandy said...

First of all, i apologize for mistaking you as the uploader of the music videos.

Am in the process of submitting documentations to for verification purposes to get the Music Videos removed.

You have my sincerest apologies.

VMP Records

Aelgtoer said...

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for responding earnestly. When youtube removes the video upon documented proof that you are the copyright owner, I will amend this post accordingly to reflect that: Ie, no VMP Music videos.

In the mean time take this as good publicity for your album, I liked the songs, bought the original soundtrack CD and went on youtube to find the videos because I felt the Mingzhu sisters sung very well.

Good luck and all the best on the sales of the Mingzhu Sisters' album.


Anonymous said...

Lol never mess with a law grad and one tats gd with technology ... Super kaobei leh sandy... barking up the wrong tree

xiaotaizi said...

lol. i was looking for information on 881 after watching the very nice movie. looks like i am a very late "beng" wannabe.

seriously, i went to a few sembawang and cd rama, and all sold out. VMP should speed up the production of the CDs. this is the information age. if people are willing to buy the CD but are unable to do so, what do you think they will do?

this is the age of "i-want-it-now-the-dateline-is-yesterday". nobody is going to wait a few months for the CD, consumer will just move on.

VMP! you reading this?!

Aelgtoer said...

Heh, well it's never too late too start.. unless you're past your 50s or something, then it'd be better to be an Ah Peh. Senior citizen. ^^

Yep I think the soundtrack is all sold out at Sembawang and CD Rama, that's where we usually head for our CDs cuz it's cheaper.

I bought mine at the HMV outlet at citilink at City Hall, cost $19.95 so it's about 1-2 bucks more at most, you can try it.

Ya and i think you can give Sandy a break, VMP only produced the music videos. The actual soundtrack CD was produced by Fukie Monkies productions and distributed by Warner Music Singapore, so you should go chase those slowpokes. :)

Suzie Wong said...

I love your site!

Aelgtoer said...

Thanks Suzie,

You blog's really interesting!

Anonymous said...


I just bought the OST at $18.95 from Gramophone The Cathay this afternoon. There is about 6 pieces left. There is also 3 pieces left in Sembawang Plaza Singapura. Head there immediately if interested in getting one.

I think it is still worth buying 1. Support local productions~!

Aelgtoer said...

And if all else fails, HMV should remain well stocked at $19.95.

RQ - Blog Master said...

I know it has been more than 2 years since the soundtrack was produced but I am still having trouble trying to buy one. Any suggestion where I could pick up the 881 soundtrack CD. Thanks a million.

Aelgtoer said...

Hmm You could try at all the local CD shops. Pretty sure HMV still stocks it. If not try That Cd shopt or Sembawang.