July 22nd, 2017

Mongolia’s Got Talent

Of course it does.

This is indescribable, so I’m not going to attempt to describe it. I’ll just sit back and let you watch and listen:

56 Responses to “Mongolia’s Got Talent”

  1. Cornhead Says:

    This guy needs to perform at Buck’s in Venice, Nebraska!

  2. OldTexan Says:

    Kind of blew my misconceptions about people in Mongolia out of the water. In my old mind I pictured them in a National Geographic setting living in Yurts, drinking fermented Yak milk and riding shaggy horses wearing fur lined heavy woolen garments, or something.

    Nice looking guy sounds like our local guy George Strait with a nice soft Texas Twang performing before and audience of well dressed attractive people and nailing it with his song.

    Thank you Neo for bringing the variety of subjects to our attention on your site.

  3. OldTexan Says:

    My first sentence should be conceptions not misconceptions. Why don’t I proof better before posting?

  4. brdavis9 Says:

    I guess that 5 minute post-comment editing plea of a few weeks back met the wall of “technical issues” OldTex’. Sigh.

  5. Mike K Says:

    My daughter and I wanted to visit Mongolia which has gotten rich but we never quite got there.

    That guy reminds me of this video from ten years ago.

  6. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Some of the judges appear to be having a bit of trouble getting past the cultural disconnect (or they just don’t like country music) but the quality of his voice and performance clearly transcends cultural barriers for many.

    That cultural barrier was shattered for me many years ago when my wife and I were invited over by our new neighbors for a get to know each other dinner. He is Japanese and she Chinese (only in America). But as ‘native born Americans they spoke English as a first language. Just as with this Mongolian singer, the disconnect between looks and perfect understanding that a shared language brings led to our quickly forgetting the facial differences. People are people and that becomes obvious when they speak the same language and share the same cultural values.

    Which is WHY this is of great interest;
    “Pilot by Waverly Labs introduce a world without language barriers”

    We still have that “Tower of Babel” problem and it is IMO one of the foremost barriers to a more peaceful world. Well that and totalitarian ideologies… which is simply a formalization of criminality.

  7. John F. MacMichael Says:

    Somebody should get that fellow under contract and get him a gig in Branson. He would be a hit.

  8. parker Says:

    His vocal style reminds me of Gary Allen.

  9. FOAF Says:

    Racist I know but … he probably had to put a lot of work into pronouncing “Amarillo” correctly.

  10. huxley Says:

    Spooky! And beautifully sung. I’m not a big country guy but that song hit home.

    I ain’t rich, but Lord I’m free

    Reading up on the song, I see that it was a hit for George Strait in 1983. It was written by Terry Stafford. His version:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59KbNrBXrdA

  11. n.n Says:

    Momma, don’t let your babies grow up to be Mongolian cowboys.

    Encore!

  12. Ira Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    July 22nd, 2017 at 2:22 pm
    Some of the judges appear to be having a bit of trouble getting past the cultural disconnect (or they just don’t like country music) but the quality of his voice and performance clearly transcends cultural barriers for many.

    That cultural barrier was shattered for me many years ago when my wife and I were invited over by our new neighbors for a get to know each other dinner. He is Japanese and she Chinese (only in America). But as ‘native born Americans they spoke English as a first language. Just as with this Mongolian singer, the disconnect between looks and perfect understanding that a shared language brings led to our quickly forgetting the facial differences. People are people and that becomes obvious when they speak the same language and share the same cultural values.

    Reminds me of the scene in the Coen Brothers’ film Fargo when we see Brainerd police chief Marge Gunderson talking with her high school classmate Mike Yanagita.

    Geoffrey Britain ALSO Says:
    July 22nd, 2017 at 2:22 pm
    We still have that “Tower of Babel” problem and it is IMO one of the foremost barriers to a more peaceful world. Well that and totalitarian ideologies… which is simply a formalization of criminality.

    I disagree. Different languages leads, through imports through those who speak multiple languages, wonderfully increased forms of expression. Meanwhile, as noted by Geoffrey, totalitarian ideologues exist. Unfortunately, many live among us and speak our language natively. E.g., Yvette Felarca. See, http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/07/19/berkeley-middle-school-teacher-yvette-felarca-arrested-charges-inciting-riot/.

  13. John F. MacMichael Says:

    Watching the reaction of the women in the audience, I would bet that this guy never goes home alone after karaoke night at his local bar.

  14. huxley Says:

    There’s a hilarious Italian video of Adriano Celentano singing a rock’n’roll song in gibberish English.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5VpczwrSCc

    It looks and sounds real. You can’t make out the lyrics but you assume if you just listened closely enough they would make sense. However, except for the occasional “Awright!”, they don’t. Uncanny.

    Elvis Presley and Jerry Lewis are two of his biggest influences and it shows.

    Celantano is huge in Italy and hugely talented — a singer, dancer, composer, producer, comedian, actor, film director and TV host. Yet entirely unknown in the US.

  15. SR Says:

    George Strait is pretty universal it seems. The Mongolian singer should definitely have a Stetson though.

  16. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    He’s good, Neo, but he’s no William Hung.
    But then, who is?

  17. huxley Says:

    In the film, “The Salton Sea,” actor B.D. Wong played a country boy named Bubba wearing a big white cowboy hat, driving a pickup truck, and calling protagonist Val Kilmer, “Hoss.”

    It was never explained how a Chinese-American came to be a country boy, but Wong pulled it off without a false note.

    As a viewer I just assumed the melting pot had done its work and somewhere out there are Chinese cowboys.

    Of course, just using the term “melting pot” is a micro-aggression.

    I’m sorry I brought it up!

  18. Mike K Says:

    he probably had to put a lot of work into pronouncing “Amarillo” correctly.

    My wife and I watched it several times and wondered if he speaks English well. Some of it sounded like memorized lyrics with some garbled.

    Good job, though.

  19. n.n Says:

    Some of the judges appear to be having a bit of trouble getting past the cultural disconnect

    It’s probably due to a bitter cosmopolitan dissociation from fly-over people.

  20. lynndh Says:

    Several years ago my neighbor and I joined a tour of Mongolia. It was a blast! in the capital, Ulan Bator, all the teenagers looked just like US kids. Cell phones everywhere – had to be because no land lines. Terrible traffic. Out in the countryside yes Gerrs ( sorry for the spelling), not Yurts. Yurts is a Russian word and that is a no-no. Before Christ Gerrs but they had a Toyota pickup to move the camp, a solar cell to power the cell phone and TV and a single light blub. I would urge that anyone that wants to go should go. There are various tour group that go there.

  21. OldTexan Says:

    lynndh,

    Thank you so much and there is much much I think I know and don’t know – Gerrs – a neat sounding word.

    As for language I live in a part of Texas that has a lot of folks with origins in Mexico and some families have been here longer than the Gingos.

    We were at our kids house in town a couple of months ago and they have a son who is a good basketball player and they invited another family over who son has played with our grandson for years on select teams. The dad of the other couple brought his brother Jesus along with Jesus’s wife and four year old.

    When I met them I made the comment that my wife and I were Mary and Joseph and it was great to meet Jesus. That cracked everyone up and they had to take pictures of Joseph & Mary & Jesus.

    I asked Jesus about his Spanish and he said he knows how to order a beer and get tacos and that’s about it. His parents used to speak Spanish between themselves so the children did not know what they were talking about and the grandparents were the ones who had lived in Mexico.

    Then his little pale skin, blonde headed wife spoke up and said that her Spanish was pretty good and fluent since she had grown up in McAllen Texas right on the border had had mostly Spanish speaking kids as friends. She also works in a medical center office and her bi-lingual ability is an asset in this part of Texas.

    We live right out from San Antonio in a town where George Strait has his large horse training facility and we have a great mix of German, we were originally a German settlement and it was the common language until the 1920’s for school and business, Spanish because we have a lot of Spanish missions less than an hour from here going back to the 1700’s, and of course English because of all of us Gringos.

    Language has always been elastic, bending and changing and we are in a super accelerating world where blue jeans, shorts and t-shirts are common work wear most every and folks who dress up wear Western (civilization not Texas) cloths. Being ethno-centric I of course think everyone should just come along and become nice get-along with others and don’t tell me what to do Texans in their own way.

    Whatever is going on it is going to happen and George Strait songs on easy on the ears.

  22. huxley Says:

    George Strait is pretty universal it seems. –SR

    Whatever is going on it is going to happen and George Strait songs on easy on the ears. –OldTexan

    When I was driving around Ireland in the nineties, I stopped in Wicklow, a coastal town far enough away from Dublin it wasn’t necessarily up to cosmopolitan standards. The hotel I stayed in had a bar and a jukebox — entirely stocked with American Country & Western songs.

    My Irish friend told that’s the way it is in Ireland and much of Europe outside the urban centers.

    C&W is a universal music.

  23. huxley Says:

    Some of it sounded like memorized lyrics with some garbled.

    Mike K: That was my impression too.

    Which is why I thought of Adrian Celentano and his gibberish English song.

    I would bet this guy never goes home alone after karaoke night at his local bar. –John F. MacMichael

    Me too.

    It’s not just that the Mongolian kid pulls off a country song and a country twang. He is singing bass-baritone, which you don’t expect from a young Asian.

    I had a Romanian yoga teacher who would go all TMI on us how she would peel down for Johnny Cash in an instant if he were still alive.

  24. groundhog Says:

    Not from around here, Pardner?

    He’s from Mongolia.

    What part of Texas is that?

    Near San Antone.

    Never heard of it.

    Well, it’s OUTER San Antone.

    Is that a buffalo or a longhorn?

    It’s a yak.

    What?

    It’s a hybrid.

    ————–

    Just writing a comedy.

  25. OldTexan Says:

    Groundhog,

    Love it…. when I talk to a call center and get switched to folks who almost speak English I ask them what part of Texas they are from.

    I get some laughs and sometime found out they have relative over here or in one case a nice young man in the Philippines wanted to come to Texas, go to Amarillo and eat the giant 72 ounce steak which is free if you can clean the whole plate.

    I was also back in Germany in 1999 and went to the Munich Hof Brau Haus where I spent a lot of time in the late 60s and the band was playing ‘All My Ex’s Live in Texas’ which was just wrong.

  26. Ymar Sakar Says:

    We still have that “Tower of Babel” problem and it is IMO one of the foremost barriers to a more peaceful world. Well that and totalitarian ideologies… which is simply a formalization of criminality.

    Haha. The Tower of Babel problem is why humanity was even permitted to exist.

    Novus ordo seclorum

    People under one world government will need one world 1984 language. Without split languages, people cannot fight the power of conformity.

  27. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I used to think the world would improve by having a greater understanding. Education and public status quo.

    But after awhile, I realized that there are some things, like evil, which the more you understand, the more you hate it. If you have a conscience at least.

    The Alt Right vs Ctrl Left.

  28. AesopFan Says:

    Enjoyed the song very much.
    I come from a town a bit south of Amarillo (one daughter-in-law hales from there), and another one of my sons had a Mongolian companion during his church mission in California. The world is getting much smaller.

    You can just barely hear the singer’s double-l (almost Spanish but not quite) rather than the Texan single-l sound, and there are a few more not-quite-cowboy phonemes, but a very credible job.

    Asians have just as much vocal range as any other ethnicity, and his had a great timbre.

  29. Matthew Says:

    One of my favorite writers is Harold Lamb who wrote Biographies of famous Conquerors particularly Genghis Khan and adventure stories set in the Asian civilization. There is a lot of similarity between the Old West and Mongolia. The nomadic mongols were a lot like American Indians and they herded cattle like cowboys. At least some of Lamb’s adventure stories could be easy rewritten as Westerns. One dealt with a Cossack rescuing a woman from the Mongols like a frontiersmen rescuing one from the Comanche. At least one dealt with one Asian nomad taking rescuing his sacred herd of rain deer from Russians who stole them.

    So it doesn’t surprise me that Country/Western music are popular in Mongolia. (Country music descends from Celtic ballads so it is popular in Ireland and Scotland.)

  30. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    Country music will do that for ya.

  31. Mike K Says:

    Genghis Khan’s tomb is still undiscovered. National Geographic had a piece about the search.
    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/expedition-week/articles/facts-forbidden-tomb-of-genghis-khan/

  32. Matthew Says:

    Mike, Harold Lamb used the discovery of Genghis Khan’s tomb in one of his stories.

    There is also a Japanese legend that Genghis Khan was a samurai who fled Japan and assumed another identity. Which is BS and good example that cultural arrogance was no way exclusive to Western Civilization.

  33. Patrick Says:

    The most striking thing to me about this is that there is even a show called “Mongolia’s Got Talent”, and given that, you’ve got someone singing an American country song. The world is becoming a smaller, more homogeneous place I’d say.

  34. Sean Says:

    Damn. Everything I thought I knew about Mongolia = obliterated.

  35. Sean Says:

    I guess we’re all going to ignore what a blatant racist this guy is for culturally appropriating country music.

  36. huxley Says:

    The most striking thing to me about this is that there is even a show called “Mongolia’s Got Talent”, and given that, you’ve got someone singing an American country song. The world is becoming a smaller, more homogeneous place I’d say.

    Patrick: Amen to that!

  37. miklos000rosza Says:

    It’s funny. I basically like this site, both neoneo and most of the regulars, but i’m just on another planet insofar as the arts are concerned.

    does this mean that i’m so non-mainstream? I don’t really think so. I wrote book for the l.a. times for more than ten years, rarely had a word edited, and I’ve had several books and stories optioned by Hollywood, sigourney weaver and so on, 20th-century fox, and a novel of mine is currently in development to become a television series….

    a Mongolian man who sings c&w is as meaningless as a dolphin who can play the clarinet.

    or an 8 year old who can vocalize like Barbra Streisand. wow, that’s expressive. (zzzzzzzzzzz).

  38. huxley Says:

    miklos000rosza: A Mongolian who sings C&W reasonably well is a surprise and fun. Interesting as cultural traditions are shared globally. Fun too was watching the happy shock of the Mongolian audience.

    Plus it’s an all-time great country song and like the best country speaks directly to the human situation with a hummable tune and toe-tapping beat.

    The Mongolian isn’t the next George Strait but his performance was enjoyable at several levels and hardly meaningless.

  39. huxley Says:

    miklos000rosza: Are you any relation to the composer Miklos Rosza? I asked before and if you answered I missed it.

    I was watching “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” and noticed Rosza in the credits about the same time I first saw your username.

  40. Will Smith Says:

    Mongolian babes. Just the best.!

  41. huxley Says:

    And here’s the Saudi version of “All My Exes Live in Texas.”

    “All My Exes Can’t Drive Lexus”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nbIknMiuXw

  42. Gail Finke Says:

    What a great voice!!! I really could not make out until about halfway through whether he was singing in English or made-up English (I don’t know the song). What really struck me is how this show is EXACTLY like the American one. Same camera angles, same shots of the host watching from in the wings etc., I know that many of these contest shows are sold all over the world, but I didn’t know how identical they were. Having watched a few of this year’s “America’s Got Talent” (I got tired of it years ago because it’s not anwhere near as family-friendly as it markets itself as — there are a lot of raunchy acts and way too many disgusting “thrill” acts for me) the main difference I saw here is that neither of the two women judges wear as little as Mel B from the Spice Girls currently does, and she looks far classier thany Tyra Banks — who is currently hosting. The previous host, whose name escapes me at the moment, wore flashy suits but was otherwise more staid. Poor Tyra wears some things that should not be worn by human beings.

  43. Ymar Sakar Says:

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865683383/LDS-girl-gets-a-standing-ovation-from-all-4-judges-advances-on-Americas-Got-Talent.html

    I don’t watch shows like American Talent. It’s mostly just a massive psy op designed to manipulate human emotions. If you want somebody to drive your emotions into dramatic highs and lows, like a soap opera, be my guest.

    I only listen to the songs myself. The judges can go, well, I don’t need them or the camera shots of all the emotional tones.

  44. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Poor Tyra wears some things that should not be worn by human beings.

    Women have better cuts against women fashion than my one liners.

  45. Ymar Sakar Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGTVjPXNKHg

    A perhaps more stereotypical Mongolian show, although intended for the Chinese, to the eyes of Western audiences.

  46. Uffdaphil Says:

    This guy sure has the pipes and looks. A little enunciation coaching and he would be huge in Branson.

    In the Army I saw many asian bands who learned American songs phonetically. But always female singers for the lonely GIs. The Korean girl group doing “My Boyfriend’sBack” just tore up the EM club.

  47. miklos000rosza Says:

    Huxley,

    thanks for the friendly response. no, i’m no relation to the great soundtrack composer. I used his name as a last-second homage imagining that few would recognize his name.

    no doubt one reason I remain so unmoved by the Mongolian is that I’ve never been able to find within myself any sort of positive response to country, despite many purchases and sincere attempts. the closest I’ve ever come is a liking for the 1967 “sweetheart of the rodeo” by the byrds, and that probably doesn’t count.

    I’ve had famous rock criitics pitch George Jones and many others at me and it just never works. I always suspect they’re ultimately being ironic.

    there’s no poetry in the words for me, and in this kind of a mix you can’t ignore the words.

    oh, I like some Allison Kraus. Gillian Welch.

    well, I also dislike opera. Wagner. My loss.

  48. huxley Says:

    miklos000rosza: Country is not my native musical taste either. It was John Hartford, Gillian Welch, Allison Krauss and the Cowboy Junkies, though they tend to the bluegrass, old-timey side, who made me reassess. That and the decline of rock.

    I also like humorous country songs like Toby Keith’s “Good As I Once Was” and Alan Jackson’s “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” Plus some Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Then there’s Patsy Cline who is in a class of her own.

    These days I find country lyrics refreshing for their clarity, since rock lyrics have become so vague, portentous and pretentious.

  49. arfldgrs Says:

    duh..
    every show is exported now which is why they are politically crappy given the way the world is politically

    on another note
    more records released
    https://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/2017-release

  50. neo-neocon Says:

    miklos, huxley:

    I think a great many country lyrics are masterful.

    Take this and this, for example, as well as this.

    So many others, too! Just this morning my clock-radio awakened me with this one, which I’d never heard before.

  51. huxley Says:

    Well, as Leonard Cohen modestly sang:

    I said to Hank Williams, how lonely does it get?
    Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet
    But I hear him coughing all night long
    Oh, a hundred floors above me in the Tower of Song

  52. DNW Says:

    miklos000rosza Says:
    July 24th, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Huxley,

    thanks for the friendly response. no, i’m no relation to the great soundtrack composer. I used his name as a last-second homage imagining that few would recognize his name.

    no doubt one reason I remain so unmoved by the Mongolian is that I’ve never been able to find within myself any sort of positive response to country, despite many purchases and sincere attempts. the closest I’ve ever come is a liking for the 1967 “sweetheart of the rodeo” by the byrds, and that probably doesn’t count.

    I’ve had famous rock criitics pitch George Jones and many others at me and it just never works. I always suspect they’re ultimately being ironic.

    there’s no poetry in the words for me, and in this kind of a mix you can’t ignore the words.

    oh, I like some Allison Kraus. Gillian Welch.

    well, I also dislike opera. Wagner. My loss.

    Guess you had to have been there. LOL

    Country music is a kind of a broad category with fuzzy boundaries, but it has some commonalities I suppose.

    One of the interesting things about indisputable country music, is that for all the talk about lost loves and lonesome whippoorwills, is is not exclusively about sex … not even sex at one or two removes and genteelly described.

    That said, what I once enjoyed listening to (the song above) in a pickup truck while driving to Gilleys back in the day, doesn’t really resonate all that much with me anymore. A relatively small amount of country now goes a long way. And none of it can be anything done in the last 3 decades.

    For my money, these days at least, American Songbook standards by Sinatra, and Fitzgerald, and Krall, go better with martinis on the patio in summer than does Hank Williams.

    Most country music of course, like any music, is bad. Much of it is and was embarrassingly bad; even back both in the “golden age” and during the Austin City revival. Nothing worth mentioning has existed for years now.

    And then of course there is the whole fuzzy boundary problem. “In The Pines”, by Lead Belly or Bill Monroe is definitely country. I’m So Lonesome I could Cry” by Hank Williams is a kind of rough lyric poetry, if Cole Porter was lyrically poetic, and country both …

    Whether Elvis singing “That’s Alright” or Chet Atkins playing “Autumn Leaves”, or “Stardust” with Stanley Jordan, is “Country”, I’ll let others figure out.

    “I also dislike opera. Wagner”

    I think there are two pieces of opera I can listen to once every couple of years. The Pilgrim’s Chorus from Tannhauser, and Habanera from Carmen. Kinda pathetic I guess. Time Life Inc. must have had people like me in mind when they used to peddle those sappy collections to those whose familiarity with “opera” came from watching old movies like “Going My Way”.

  53. DNW Says:

    “There is a lot of similarity between the Old West and Mongolia. … they herded cattle like cowboys. At least some of Lamb’s adventure stories could be easy rewritten as Westerns. …

    So it doesn’t surprise me that Country/Western music are popular in Mongolia. (Country music descends from Celtic ballads so it is popular in Ireland and Scotland.)”

    LOL Maybe his mother was “The Beauty of Loulan”

    Looking at those archeological reconstructions of ranch house looking farmsteads along poplar and willow lined stream beds is enough to set you back on your heels.

    “Nice looking guy sounds like our local guy George Strait with a nice soft Texas Twang …”

    He’s got a smooth Southern/Western sounding, baritone and can sing from the front of his mouth just like a … real cowboy.

    I agree that the guy does one a heck of a job all things considered.

  54. Mac Says:

    There is a documentary, which I will try to remember the name of…oh yeah, Genghis Blues. It’s a sort of reversal of this, in which a blind American blues singer hears Tuvan throat singers on the radio, is fascinated by the sound, and learns to do it himself. Tuva I think is next door to Mongolia. It’s a very enjoyable movie which leaves you–or at least an old cynic like me–thinking “gosh, there’s really something to all that stuff about music bringing people together.”

    Here’s the trailer. Looks like maybe the whole thing is on YouTube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_xlbCq0WTw

  55. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The musical complexity of country isn’t all that high or great or deep. It’s mostly a simple melody to go with a simple emotional tone, such as wanderlust or human sadness.

    It’s something foreigners like the japanese can appreciate. The wabi sabi philosophy that beauty is only seen in death, decay, and loss.

  56. John F. MacMichael Says:

    I did a little Googling on this guy. His name is Otgonbat Enkh-Erdene. He won “Mongolia’s Got Talent” in 2016. He was awarded a prize of 10 MILLION MNT. Unfortunately, that works out to only a little over $4,100 USD. Still, not bad.

    He also does a pretty damn good Elvis impersonation. Google “Enkh-Erdene “Don’t Be Cruel” if you want hear it.

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