I have a new website

www.johndangmusic.com – this is my new website! Hope to see you there everyone. :)

Video Blog 16th May 2010

The Prince & Me 4 – RELEASED IN THE UK

The Prince and Me 4 is now available on DVD in the UK! The best place (i.e. cheapest!) to buy it is Amazon. I’ve been told it’s also available in all good entertainment stores (HMV etc). Here’s the Amazon link:

I produced 4 tracks for this movie and wrote/sang the end song ‘Someone I Can Love’. I went to the screening of the film the other day – it’s very silly but a lot of fun. The end party scene with the song is brilliant (of course!).  ;)

The movie will be released on ABC Family in the US next month but if you can’t wait … well, get yourself a copy and let me know what you think!

John x

Rumblings no ramblings…

Hello all.

I’ve had visitors! Lots and lots of them. Some have stayed with me and some have just passed through Bangkok but either way time seems to have disappeared spectacularly quickly these last few months.

So where were we before we were so rudely interrupted? Well then, we’ve had the King (of Thailand’s) birthday, Christmas, my birthday, New Year, my mum’s birthday, Valentines Day and Chinese New Year. All have come and gone without too much fanfare and now we’re almost into March. Wow March 2010!!! I watched the movie 2012 by the way. It was ok; predictable and a little silly but then what would you expect?

Also, another reason I have postponed my blog writing was due to the fact I was considering a redesign for my website. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet got around to doing that yet. (I, of course,  blame all my very lovely visitors). I will definitely get around to it soon though and hopefully in time for the EP I’m supposed to be releasing in June (yes delayed again!) which I also haven’t quite got around to yet (ominous I know!).

However, one thing I have got around to creating is my brand spanking new facebook page.  So please come and visit and add yourself so that we can keep in touch. :)

Click here to go to my new facebook page!

Ok that’s all for now! See you on the facebooky thingy, John x

PS. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Lovely Valentines, and Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!!

Twilight, New Moon – a review, of sorts…

I wasn’t expecting much when I went to see the original Twilight movie but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I thought it was a decent story and a nice take on the whole vampire/folklore thing. Robert Pattinson did a lot of cool posturing and for a few days after I found myself desiring orange contact lenses, soft-hold hair mousse and sparkly shimmery foundation powder. I’m happy to say I didn’t end up buying any of those items but I did find myself walking in ultra slow-motion every now and then, especially when there was a light breeze in the air.

Unfortunately Bangkok seems short on the Bella-type girl so my dramatic walking didn’t get me very far (literally). It also just made me late for lots of things; funny how Edward Cullen was never late – I guess being a superfast vampire helps. Alas, real life is just not like the films.

Nevertheless, drawn in by Twilight, yesterday I went to the cinema to watch the highly anticipated second chapter in the series: New Moon. And how was it? Well, to me it’s pretty much the same as the first only it’s even more melodramatic – yes, even more, can you imagine that! There’s more pining for Edward, more angsty ‘we can’t be together’ speeches and yet more ‘oh dear, i’m bleeding again in the compay of all you vampires, whoops-a-daisy, silly me” moments. This time though there are also werewolves; including Jacob ‘I can’t keep my shirt on so let’s just not wear one for half the film‘ Black, and there’s also a Vampire council led by British actor Michael Sheen. For those of you that don’t know, Michael Sheen played British Prime Minister ‘Tony Blair’ in the film The Queen.  Some would think it strange that casting directors chose the same guy to play a Vampire leader and the former British PM. I’d say they probably got it just right.

Overall the film is watchable…much like mid afternoon TV when you’re a student. Ok maybe that’s a bit harsh! Some bits are beautifully filmed, the actors are pretty good and Bella still reminds me of someone I used to know. I’m just not sure about this whole storyline in the second film because we’ve covered so much of it in the first film; it’s a bit like a skipping record. There’s a bit too much angst and confusion in it for me. I mean come on…just tell me what happens next? Will they have half human half vampire kids? What would they be called? Hupires? or Vampans? Would you dare breast feed such a child? How much pain will they be in come teething time? Will they attend a normal school or will they be sent to a Vampworts boarding school to study all things Vampirish? The possibilities are endless so why is the author sticking to the ol’ ‘girl meets vampire, falls in love, has a love triangle with a werewolf, chooses to give up her soul and become a vampire’ story? Yawn.

Ah well, let’s end on a positive note, New Moon is mildy entertaining and the time does pass relatively quickly so it can’t be all bad. Also, most of the girls in the cinema seemed to heave a collective sigh as Edward took his final closeup and spoke the last few lines of the film…so I guess you girls out there are going to love it too. Hmmm, maybe it’s me, maybe I’m just getting cynical about love – superhuman and otherwise. I watched 500 days of Summer recently and I really liked it; perhaps that explains a lot about me right now.

Anyway, go and see New Moon for yourself and let me know what you think. Also, go and watch 500 days of summer if you haven’t done already and we can discuss the futility of love. ;)

also watch this if you have a moment. It’s brilliant:

A video blog…Making ‘Someone I Can Love’

Back in February 2009 my friend Richard came to Thailand for a holiday. At that time I was writing and producing some of the music for the film ‘The Prince & Me IV’ and one day Richard asked if he could tag along.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I found all these video files – I had completely forgotten that he brought his camera that day! Coincidentally last week, my friend Justin, showed me how to edit film on my PC so tonight I became an aspiring Steven Spielberg. I chopped everything up and then stuck it all back together again. So proud! haha. Well, it’s all very silly but I hope you guys like it.

‘Show No Limit’ Thai TV Show – An Update on the 85000 baht I found!

In February 2009 I found 85000 baht cash at an ATM in front of the Sony Music building in Bangkok. I called my friend Chonrada at Sony and with the help of the building staff we managed to get the cash back to its rightful owner later that evening.

It turns out the guy that lost the money was a fellow working musician and also the voice of Steve Jobs (Apple Computers) in Thailand! It seems he had gone down to withdraw all that money for his employer and then had absent mindedly gone home without taking it with him! In the next few days he sent some chocolates and flowers and his company called up to thank us for our honesty too which is really sweet because I think everyone would have done the same thing in our situation. I’m just glad they got the money back and nobody got in to trouble!

When I got back to Thailand in August I received another surprise – Chonrada showed me this video clip which had aired earlier in the year. It’s all in Thai I’m afraid so a lot of you won’t understand it but I think you’ll get the gist. Listen out for the Thai Steve Jobs – it’s not everyday you get a thank you message from him! haha :)

‘Girl Talk’ with Mint Jiramaneekul (Released 18/08/09 by Sony Thailand)

Mint Jiramaneekul

Mint Jiramaneekul

Early in 2009 I co-wrote two songs with Thai popstar, Mint (Ardhawadee) Jiramaneekul, for her new EP ‘Girl Talk’ (released by Sony Music Thailand August 18th, 2009).

I’m delighted to confirm that the  first song we wrote together, ‘Love Needs Love’, has been chosen as the lead single and the second song ‘Girl Talk’ was made the title track for the EP itself!

Mint has been a popstar and celebrity in Thailand for some time and this was to be her highly anticipated 4th album. Writing with her was an absolute pleasure. She’s rather famous here but it was lovely to discover that behind the glamorous image she’s a warm and down-to-earth person; always smiling and laughing and very generous with her thoughts and ideas. She’s got a great ear for melody and she’s not afraid of trying new things which makes my job as a co-writer so much easier!

At her EP launch show the head of Sony Thailand got on stage and expressed his hope that they might push Mint into the International music market soon. Well, she speaks perfect English, looks fantastic and has a beautiful voice. I’ve been working in Thailand for a few years now and if anyone can break out of here and go ‘Inter’ I think Mint can do it. As always, the most important thing is the song, and who knows, we may just be getting together very soon to do some more writing. ;) Watch this space everyone!

If you’re in Thailand you can download the ringtone by calling *4965 and then press 27 when requested. It should cost 5baht a min + content fee. Also you can request the song on the radio by sending a SMS to (SEED RADIO): 4221466 with the message ‘Love Needs Love – Mint’

If you’re not in Thailand you can buy the EP from www.ethaicd.com and you can watch the video for ‘Love Needs Love’ here on youtube:

Fish, chips and a sunny England!

A lot has happened since my last blog post but before I catch you up on everything I just want to say a big thank you to all our customers and friends that popped by in the last few days  and weeks at the Thai Gift Shop. You are the best! Thanks to all those that helped us move too – Jack and family, Aunty Nicky, Neil, Mei Ling and Caroline to name but a few. We couldn’t have done it without you.

So, first stop on the blog-jog: July! Well with the shop closed I had a month to get everything done before I flew to Bangkok on the 31st July.  I crammed in a little songwriting, a touch of producing, a few martial arts classes, a couple of meetings, a few nights out with good friends, a lot of nights in with the family and even a weekend getaway with some university mates;

Actually it was my friend Ed that suggested the weekend away. His mum, Angela, has a beautiful house in Aldeburgh (a small town in the south of England right by the sea) and as I happened to be in London for music meetings I was lucky enough to be able join him and a few friends for a couple of days. It turned out to be a ‘proper English’ weekend and as such it was the perfect thing to do before heading back to Thailand: Fish & Chips on the beach, long walks through green fields, fresh air, summer sun, local ale and good friends. Absolutely perfect! I’ve included some photos below.

Oh I almost forgot to tell you about seeing a performance called ‘It Felt Like a Kiss’ at the Manchester International Festival. It was a live promenade style walk-through production by a company called ‘Punch Drunk’. It’s hard to describe exactly what happens and why it’s so enthralling but I came out wishing all my friends could see it. If you ever get the chance to see a Punch Drunk performance please go – one word: amazing! For a few more words though please see: http://www.mif.co.uk/events/it-felt-like-a-kiss/

Ok I really wish I could stay a little longer. ;) but I’m feeling rather sleepy. Best get some zzzzzzzzzz before the studio tomorrow. Take care and see you soon. J :)

The Thai Gift Shop is closing down…

Thai Gift Shop

www.thaigiftshop.co.uk

On the 1st July 2009 my mum’s Thai Gift Shop in Manchester will be closing its doors for the last time!

My family opened the shop in 1988. We’d moved up to Manchester from Totnes (a sleepy, slightly hippy town in the South of England) and with the little money my parents had saved up we managed to put down 2 months rent and deposit on a small basement space underneath a highstreet bank. I have a vague recollection of seeing the place for the first time as a child. We’d only had it for a few days at that point; it was  dark, damp and cold; my mum and dad were sweeping up the tiled floors under the dim light of a single lightbulb powered by a car battery. It certainly didn’t look like much then!

In a matter of weeks though that would all change. My dad is one of those incredibly practical and resourceful types from a previous and now lost generation; from a time when men were expected to be able to do anything. Plastering? Check. Wall papering? Check. Construction of a complete hair salon with mirrors and hair-wash basins? Check. Haha. And my mum, well she is and has always been the inspiration; she has this inate and boundless creative energy; she’s fiery at times but she has exactly the kind of passion and vision you need to turn a spark into a flame and a disused, forgotten basement into something special.

Fast forward some 20 years and it has become exactly that. Situated between Manchester Chinatown (the second largest Chinatown in the UK and the third largest in Europe) and the bustling gay village this little shop has survived earthquakes and bombs,  become a regular haunt for locals and visitors to the city alike and supplied various products for fashion shows, theatre productions, TV programs and even Hollywood films (most recently for the new Sherlock Holmes movie!). We do so many things at the shop that I sometimes forget myself what’s on offer. My parents taught me that you have to improvise when you’re a small business because trends come and go but the rent still needs to be paid! So it’s grown from being a hair salon with a few ornamental pieces for sale to an Aladdin’s cave filled to the brim with Oriental clothes, pictures and accessories. Over the years we’ve also offered a whole range of services: from haircutting to Far East language services, from Thai dancing to traditional Thai massage. You name it, we’ve probably done it here!

But as they say, all good things must come to an end. My mum’s retiring this year, my sister wants to pursue pastures new and I am making headway with the music career so there’s nobody here to carry on the business. In some ways it’s a shame because it really has become a special place. There’s a sign in the Hard Rock Cafe which says ‘Love all, serve all’ – that sign has always reminded me of our own little shop shop. In an average day there you’ll come across so many different characters; all of them encouraged to mingle and help each other out; gay people, straight people, martial artists, dancers, chefs, artists, chinese people, thai, english, vietnamese…a whole host of languages and cultures all thrown together happily. I’ll miss that variety and craziness! I suspect the next few days will be quite emotional for everyone. There will definitely be some tears but we take with us lots of fond memories and a lot of good friends that we’ve made along the way.

If you happen to be in Manchester this next week please pop in and see us. We’re at 56 Portland Street and there are lots of bargains to be snapped up before we go: Chinese dresses, Japanese kimonos, Thai handicrafts and many other things. I really hope to see you there one last time. :)

J x

←Older