Archive for ‘music’

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.

July 20, 2010

Weekly Music Pick – Wanderer on the Offensive/The Opened Way

This week’s music pick is not just 1 song, but rather almost 2, namely a remix and its original arrangement. This should cover my earlier absences, due to my overseas trip to the US.

Below is the OC-remixed version, entitled “Wanderer on the Offensive”. The remix re-imagines “The Opened Way” from the Shadow of the Colossus, if the Wanderer was an offspring of Dante the Demon Hunter that is. (Hint:  DMC)

For those unfamiliar with the term “oc-remix,” it stands for OverClocked Remi, which is the term given to remixes produced by what is possibly the largest video-game community

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June 21, 2010

Weekly Music: Sekai ga Owaru made ha

This week’s pick comes from the famous Slam Dunk anime back in the mid-90s. Band that performed this song is called Wands (ワンズ), which was disbanded in 2000.


Short version

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June 15, 2010

Weekly Music Pick – Aria on Air (British Airways Banzai!)

This week’s theme is in honor of a friend of… or rather 2 friends of mine, who are both getting married to, well, to each other. For those unfamiliar with the song, it’s called Aria on Air by Malcolm McLaren.

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May 31, 2010

Weekly Music Pick: Thief

This week’s pick is a 2000 hit from alternative rock band Our Lady Peace (OLP for short).

OLP is a Canadian based band that was started in 1992. Given their obscurity on this side of the Pacific, I only discovered their unique sound through, predictably, an Anime music video.

(Video removed due to term of use violation.)
For those interested in the video, please refer to animusicvideos.org.

The AMV features their 2000 hit “Thief” with animation from the sci-fi series Vandread: The 2nd Stage. The lyrics of the song talks about the agony of witnessing a person suffering through a chronic illness, particularly fitting since the scenes in the AMV come from the episode of Vandread that revolves around a chronically ill child.

The  part that resounds most with  me comes from the refrain, which I will quote below:

It’s a long, long getaway; it’s a long, long getaway.
Make it home again, make it home again.
It’s a long, long getaway; it’s a long, long getaway.

Truly gives the feeling of how “epic-ly” long the journey to recovery can be, and the hope and wishes for those who stay by the side of the patient.

Resources:
Wikipedia Article
Our Lady Peace – Thief Lyrics

May 25, 2010

Weekly Music Pick – Sting & Emmanuel

From the PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) special, “Chris Botti in Boston”, which is a series of very jazzy covers of songs both obscure and famous. A cover (?) of the Sting classic, Shape of my Heart. Considering Sting was singing as well, it’s iffy if the performance can be considered a cover or a re-worked version. Here’s another “cover” of another Sting classic: “If I ever lose my Faith in You”.

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May 17, 2010

Weekly Music Pick – Rehearsal

From the award winning manga-turned-anime Cross Game, the fourth ED, “Rehearsal” by Natsuko Kondo. I highly, highly recommend the anime.

Taken from Wikipedia:

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