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Archive for August, 2011

Sign

Sign – Brown Eyed Girls

A funny name for a group of four Korean girls whose principle audience and work base is Korea, but there you go. Maybe it’s a rallying call, a universal embrace – the group standing for and existing as every South Korean girl. Unless there are Koreans with differing eye colour. How alienated they must be. One of my favourite groups (so far), it is with some disappointment they are not part of the K-Pop showcase here in November. I suppose there’s a good reason, most probably to do with other occupations. Or which entertainment company they are on.

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Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) – Girls’ Generation

I like how this song subverts demand for a bridge, solo, rap verse or some other excuse to reprise the chorus simply just by stopping the song dead, Tiffany coming up and saying “DJ, put it back on.” Why not? It’s so plain, so dumb (and also aspirational but who cares?), but what else need there be? Just a want for the chorus to return, and that want is met – the route is inconsequential. As long as that blissful “Sowoneul malhaebwa” refrain is sung as much as pop possible, i don’t care.

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Jimmy’s Grin

Jimmy’s grin – Margox

The last time this song came up it was at a time it was the only Margox song i could tell existed. It’s not like since then i’ve stumbled upon a whole hidden history of Margox songs, but i did make the connection that she behind Margox is the one and the same Margi Clarke of Letter To Brezhnev (which she sang a song in!) and I Hired a Contract Killer fame. Another reason to love her. And another reason to heighten wonder on what other work she has done.

I stumbled upon a great write-up of her on a blog called Music…isms, and it looks like that other work is a scattered and sparse body. Oh well. One incredible song is enough. There’s a great line in there about her wearing an apple around her neck and carrying a kettle for a handbag. Oh man…

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Love is like a bottle of gin – The Magnetic Fields

I wouldn’t know. I imagine he’s correct, though.

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This Wreckage

This wreckage – Gary Numan

The intro to this song. A lone synthesizer rising from a nothingness, surging out a melody line, fading back into that nothingness. Every current of electricity lucid and powerful as it passes through. Humming, enveloping – no other noise or effect but the machine. Perfect. It’s one of the best and most assertive openings to any album. I can’t believe it was released as a single.

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A chicken with it’s head cut off – The Magnetic Fields

Sam: “This was on the Australian charts when we toured there (May 2001). The customs agent looked at my work permit and sang me several bars of the chorus.”

?! It was?! They did?! Time to investigate. Oh how i wish i were smart enough and enough of the person i am now to be into them back then and have seen them.

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Take ecstasy with me – The Magnetic Fields

Again from my mother’s house. To celebrate the very recent release of the Stephin Merritt obscurities collection on Merge Records i will post the Susan Anway vocals version, originally gifted to us on the Oh Merge! compilation CD. The more resourceful, alert and desperate of us have had most of these recordings for years, but it’s nice to have them collected and available through more official means. I will buy it if i ever see it. I promise.

As fantastic as this version is, and as much as i love Susan’s singing, i think i like the original more. It is nice to have the choice, though. I think given the meaning of the song and how intimate it is, Stephin’s voice conveys it best. Though it is hard to know for sure, it might be the most personal of all Magnetic Fields’ songs. It might just the same be the least personal.

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Panik

Panik – Bratmobile

Greetings from my mother’s house. She’s in the U.S.A. right now so i get to house sit a few days a week, feed her cats and use her internet. It’s nice here. And warm. Wilberforce forever!

Amazingly this song was still on our old computer, so i actually have something to post. I’ve been cool for a while, you know? Actually i’m just old. I don’t think there is another band who makes me feel as tough as i do when listening to Bratmobile. A confident toughness – cool, self assured, dauntless, right. We can pretend.

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The Hootch

The hootch – The Pixies Three

These non K-Pop days are victories and should be treated as such. I found this record (b’d/w It’s Summertime U.S.A.) at the Parramatta Record Fair on Sunday. The original but now more sparsely attended, sparsely vendored record fair. And demonstrating my enthusiasm and loyalty for it, i arrived half an hour before it ended, this being the only record i bought. I wouldn’t it have found it at all if it were not for a sticker proclaiming “Girl Group” on the record sleeve.

I’m not good at shopping for records without picture sleeves. I don’t have the label recognition skills, the patience to file through thousands of torn paper-sleeved oldies records, the assuredness i will actually find something of worth, the knowledge of which pressing is the right one to have, etc. Nor do i ever bring my glasses with me so that i can actually read the tinily, tinily printed artists’ names on faded labels. But then sometimes i find something fantastic and wonder if it is worth all that time, effort, hunching, smell, and squinting.

I’ll just spend time there casually i think. There’s a type of person i do not want to become and fear i will if i jump wholly into the 45 scene. I have to keep some dignity. Some free time.

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Girls’ generation – Girls’ Generation

Allaying the regret and shame of another morning with a Girls’ Generation song in my head is the once inconsequential now vital news of the K-Pop Fest that is coming to Sydney November 12th. Life is worth living. Of course i’m going (by myself). It is part of larger celebrations commemorating 50 years of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Australia. Go us.

And the lineup! As well as Girls’ Generation i get to see Kara, Secret, 4Minute, Sistar, Miss A and a bunch of boy groups i’m just not interested in but may actually get once i’m caught in a pit of screams, swoons and hormones. This is incredible! Even if it’s run like a showcase and the groups only perform two songs each it’s more than i ever have hoped. Not that i’ve hoped for all that long. The excitement i have – the glimmer of worth and splendour this news has lit in my life – cannot really be indicated by the time i’ve spent with this music. Then again maybe it can.

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