Posts tagged ‘music’

January 14, 2013

Scream Sweden – “Flash Crowds exist outside my Window!”

Scream Sweden liveleaks link as found by me.

Random link found on a typical Monday morning. I wonder what led this enterprising individual to make this remarkable discovery – I mean this came so far out of left field it ended up somewhere in centre.

If you listen closely it might even sound musical, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were sudde… you get the picture.

Update: For those curious, this Reddit thread explains the origins of the screaming culture. Apparently it’s a tradition for students in the Flogsta area of Uppsala to carry on the scream. If I had to hazard a guess, it probably started like all good “bad” traditions do, by accident. Then collective stupidity being fun when shared, it spread. And continues to this day, helped along by the fact that it’s fun, is relevant to a need and a great way to bond with others – a classic example of tribe culture in play.

Even those slightly beyond shouting distance.

May 5, 2010

Weekly Music Pick: Yui’s Solo Guitar Riff (K-On!!)

Late by a week and a half at least…. but better late than never.

This week’s weekly music pick comes from the latest season of K-On, simply titled K-On!! (note the extra exclamation mark). It comes from the opening minutes of the 1st episode, when Yui begins to practise her guitar strumming skills – a min and a half of pure bliss.

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March 8, 2010

Weekly Music: Bokura no Natsu no Yume

This week’s music pick centres around summer. Entitled Bokura no Natsu no Yume by Tatsuro Yamashita, it loosely translates as Our Summer Dream, or more appropriately, Our Dreams of that Summer. The song is the theme/ending song for the anime movie Summer Wars.

Tatsuro Yamashita – Bokura no Natsu no Yume

Considering the unseasonable warmth we are experiencing here, and that the movie was only just recently released in local cinemas, I thought it particularly apt. Trailer for the local release below.

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March 2, 2010

What’s Up People – Many Parodies

For those who don’t recognize the header, it’s the title of Maximum Hormone’s most famous single, What’s Up People. Used as the second opening for the hit anime Death Note, it’s unique for its apologetically hardcore punk sound, rare in a market overflowing with cutesy rabbit-girl-idols and bubblegum pop. The opening itself is inspired, featuring a psychedelic collage of characters, yet using dystopian film noir shadowing techniques to give that dark gritty feel. No one is innocent, with everyone portrayed in shades of gray.

Original Death Note opening video

The madness began with an innocuous trailer for an AMV contest in 2007, featuring a certain famous yellow animal…

2007 AnimeNext AMV Promo clip

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February 21, 2010

Stardust Revue – 木蘭の涙 (木莲的眼泪)

Humans have a peculiar penchant for time-limited offers. Sales, school years, seasons, quarterly reports, all are limited by their duration to lend themselves significance. Given that we all drink water to survive, isn’t it passing strange that no one makes it a point to monitor the price of water everyday? I wonder if it is a failing or a blessing that humans tend to view events as significant only in terms of limited time frames…

Original recording

Anyway, back to the point. I have been posting a “song of the week” on my Facebook since 2009, since a week is not too long that I will forget, yet not too short that I don’t have time to prepare the next song. However,  given how ephemeral Facebook links are (and how underused my blog is), I have decided to move the weekly song pick over to the blog instead which will beef up the content on this blog, and also serve as a more lasting record of my weekly song picks, thus killing two birds with one stone.

This week’s song is called 木蘭の涙 (mokuren no namida), a 1993 ballad by Stardust Revue. Given its age, it’s claim to fame is as the theme for a Nikka Whiskey commercial in 2005. 木蘭, or the magnolia flower, is named after the French botanist Pierre Magnol and is noted for its large flowers. Now given that the song is probably not interested in taxonomic differences, we probably should look into the flower meaning itself. According to one online source, magnolia symbolizes pensive beauty, nobility, splendid beauty, a love of nature and in some states in the US, a harbinger of spring.

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May 25, 2009

The Gift

A beautiful song. Though I dislike the original version by the Flaming Lips, this acoustic version carries a “purer” feel, drawing more attention to the lyrics. Note: Song is at the end, after the lyrics. Set to clips from the 2008 anime series ef – A tale of melodies -, done by Jasper;isis from Allegretto Productions.

Do you realize – that you have the most beautiful face
Do you realize – we’re floating in space –
Do you realize – that happiness makes you cry
Do you realize – that everyone you know someday will die

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May 14, 2009

Script: Ame ga Furu (The Rain is Falling)

Based on a video I linked in an earlier post with its lyrics (in Japanese and translated into English). You can watch the PV here.

Process Overview
Step 1: Timing and section partition (DONE)
Step 2: Lyrics translation and annotation (in progress)
Step 3: Stage setting and characters
Step 4: Fleshing out story
Step 5: Review finished storyboard for discrepancies

Intro 00:00-00:33
Rain falling from the gray sky between 2 buildings.
Man lies face-down bleeding on the floor, in pain.
A revolver drops from a limp hand beside him.


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May 14, 2009

Maaya Sakamoto – Ame ga Furu (The Rain is Falling)

ED song for Linebarrels of Iron (鉄のラインバレル Kurogane no Rainbareru)

Having a minor brainwave for this song so linking it here for my own easier reference.

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July 7, 2008

Web Finds: Weekend Music

This weekend’s worth of posts was delayed due to… the Great Muse. Yes, that’s it, the Great Muse called me out and bombarded me with inspiration. I was so high, i was on cloud nine…

Ahem. Anyway, a friend of mine is very much into music. And we aren’t into just music, we are into all sorts of music. Opera, progressive rock, reggae, electronica, jazz, metal, you name it, we were playing it. On youtube that is. I have 0 musical talent, besides appreciation. We spent the entire Saturday evening sharing youtube links on great music that will probably never reach the shores of this fair island, or in the case of local bands, will probably never gain air play on radio. Don’t believe me? I’m gonna share those links with you. Hang on Dorothy, ’cause Kansas is going byebye.

First up, America’s got Talent got its stars, got its duds, but 2007 had Cas Haley. Stars are good within the limits of their craft. Cas rewrote the limits of his craft. Here’s his first performance.

That settles reggae.

Song title is Flim, by Aphex Twin. It’s not bad, but a bit bland, because of the repetitive chords with little break in the monotony. Here’s another version of Flim.

Improvisational jazz piece arranged for a 3 piece jazz setup. Group is known as The Bad Plus, their wiki is here. The band’s homepage is here.

The great thing about live instruments compared to electronics is that it imparts a greater “live” feel to the piece. The Midas touch, if you will. Electronica is computer based, which makes the rhythm very accurate. It also makes a piece feel dead. It is a great wonder that humans have the most sensitive sense of rhythm, they can subconsciously feel the slightest variances in beat, even if they can’t clap a 1-2 beat. It is said that John Williams’ crowning achievement in scoring for Stars is taking a full string orchestra, and turning it into the precise robotic war machine that is the Imperial March.

The next featured song comes from another singing competition, this time it’s Britain’s got Talent. And it’s a genre most people won’t be caught dead with. And it’s sung by a phone salesman with Carphone Warehouse.

Yes it’s opera. In fact, it’s an opera made famous by 1 of the Three Tenors: Luciano Pavarotti. Nessun Dorma is the piece that starts the final act of Turandot, an opera that depicts a prince as he tries to court the cold Oriental princess Turandot (pronounced without the “t” sound at the end btw). This opera is also famous because it is an incomplete opera, the composer Giacomo Puccini having died before he could finish the last act.

Paul Potts went on to win the competition, unlike Cas Haley, who ended up runner up. On a side note, his biggest competitor was a 6 year old girl, Conney Talbot. This was her preliminary round.

Now this blog is heavily tilted towards anime, so it stands to reason that at least 1 song should be from an anime right? Yes, but it’s not some typical J-pop song sung by some high pitched adolescent female. To clarify, I like J-pop; but i do wish sometimes that they stop trying to hit the upper registers every other stanza. To add value, i have taken a very well done AMV parody of the original OP. Feel free to guess what is the anime, though it will not be much of a challenge for anyone who keeps in touch with anime often. I will reveal the answer below for those who did not watch it before.

The anime is Death Note, which was a wildly successful manga that was serialized from 2003 to 2006. By itself, it sparked a new revival of interest into gothic fashion, particularly gothic lolita styles, in mimicry of Misa, a character in the manga. For those wondering, the parody is from Biohazard Outbreak, the Resident Evil multiplayer game that never took off.

Ok opera, , reggae and metal are cleared, that leaves 1 last one. Here we go.

Toe is a Japanese progressive rock band formed in 2000. 1 thing you notice about them is that they have no lead singer. Vocals, when there are any, are done by guest vocals. “Wait a moment,” I can hear you say, “How can they be a rock band without a rock singer?” Vocals are the single most defining part of any rock song, they break up the monotony of the chords, separates different sections from each other, and they simply give “soul” to the song. Lose vocals and the song falls apart. True, and not so true. Listen to this.

To quote Prog Archives: They released their debut EP, “Songs, Ideas We Forgot” in 2002. The world didn’t saw another release of the band until 2005 when they released their first full-length album, “Book About My Idle Plot on Vague Anxiety”. The band incorporated some new instruments into the mix like acoustic guitars and rhodes piano with this release and in 2006 they released another EP, “New Sentimentality”, which saw the band in the same direction as their full-length album. Toe. has toured with many bands in the past years. They’ve been opening act for post-hardocre acts like Envy and post-rock artists like The Mercury Program, The Album Leaf and Pele.

Toe’s band webpage can be found here.