Archive for August, 2010

August 22, 2010

Weekly Music Pick – Queen’s Blade Themes

This week’s music pick is an orchestral piece from a fairly recent anime, Queen’s Blade.


Queen’s Blade Main Theme 1

Queen’s Blade is an ecchi series of “visual combat” books, which are essentially books that lets the reader choose the protagonist’s path by turning to the relevant page.

The Queen’s Blade books enjoyed cult success, and in 2009 was made into an anime, enjoying 2 season runs of 12 episodes each. Personally, the anime’s plot was terrible, a stereotypical hero’s journey involving scantily clad women with out of the world proportions. If that does not stretch your disbelief, try a slime shaped in a busty woman that shoots acidic milk out of her mammaries (Melona for those wondering), or fighting that involves more cloth ripping than blood spilled.

What saved the anime from eternal damnation were a few pluses: the pacing is better than most anime and voice-acting is top notch, involving famous names in the field like Rie Tanaka, Yuko Goto and Rie Kugimiya etc. Another major factor is the memorable soundtrack, especially the pieces that play during high tension scenes.

The main theme of Queen’s Blade, simply titled “Queen’s Blade Main Theme” in the OST, is actually 2 songs, part 1 and part 2. The 2 parts differ in the introductory section and the portion prior to the main refrain, mainly because of the situations in which they were used: Part 1 was used in the anime’s introduction while part 2 plays during comebacks from a disadvantageous situation. In both cases, the main theme actually refers to the main refrain, a series of string sections that form a rising crescendo.

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August 18, 2010

Weekly Music Pick – Raise Me Up

For those wondering, Derek Redmond was a favourite coming into the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, after a shock victory over the American athletics team in the 1991 World Championship 4x400m relay.

The fateful event happened during the semi-finals. As stated within the video, 150m into the race Redmond tore his hamstring and collapsed on the track. As paramedics came to assist, he would wave them off and then started to hobble towards the finish line, 250m away. 65,000 spectators watched in silence as Redmond and his father, having braved security to support his son, hobbled the remaining distance to the finish line. At the end, Redmond finished with a standing ovation from the spectators.

2 years after, Redmond would retire from athletics due to injuries, but he never gave up on representing his nation in other events.

This week marks the first week of YOG competitions, so something a bit more uplifting is in order. “You raise Me up” is a 2002 song originally sung by Irish singer Brian Kennedy for the Secret Garden album “Once in a Red Moon”. The song sold well in its home market but true popularity would only come after several notable covers, WestLife among other acts.

The melody of the song is derived from Danny Boy, a popular Irish folk song (lyrics written by an Englishman), which in turn was based on Londonderry Air. A copy of the songs are listed below for your listening pleasure/comparison.

August 9, 2010

Weekly Music Pick National Day Edition – Baby I’m a Fool

This week’s music pick coincides with National Day, but instead of blaring some nationalistic song, why not kick back and listen to some cool groove as we welcome this new day?

Baby I’m a Fool by Melody Gardot is a jazz piece, reminiscent of such 40s-50s era crooning songs such as Fly me to the Moon and Dream a Little Dream (of Me).

August 2, 2010

Weekly Music Pick – August

This week’s pick is a tribute to 2 persons.

As a decade, the 2000s was marked by the growth and maturing of the Internet as a medium. That maturing within the music industry often takes on the feel of a crusade, with the RIAA leading the charge against weapons of mass destruction, real and imaginary. It is funny how amidst the bullets between RIAA and the greater public that 1 of the greatest hopes of the Internet was to showcase independent acts that otherwise would not have the muscle to step into the limelight.

Julia Nunes, an independent singer with her own (cute) homepage and (very commercial) music selection, is 1 such act.

For those who fancy her singing, you can go to her homepage and gawk at her repertoire of pieces (3 EPs, 30+ songs and counting).

Julia Nunes Home

Or, you can support music and pay that dollar to own the right to play those songs on your Ipod/Iphone/Iwhatever.

Julia Nunes Songs

I am NOT Julia Nunes. Just to be perfectly clear, of course.