Archive for October, 2011

The Alcohol Talking

The alcohol talking – Short Round

I’m glad another Short Round song came up because it gives me a chance to demonstrate, however insufficiently, that there are better songs on the album. And this song reveals Jason Thinh’s ska background, which is how i came across the band, following him.

Also i called them punk yesterday, and these lyrics make it seem like their punk rock days were behind them. Oops. I don’t know. There are two kinds of music for me in this world: Punk and not. I’m happy to reduce all music to those two groups. DIY with sometimes a little (a lot) help, or DI completely not Y – music born from the personal or music born from committee, from money. Both equally “worthy”, both equally reaching great heights or horrendous lows.

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Post Office Date

Post office date – Short Round

The power and joy of personal mail, all conveyed in a wimpy punk song that should appeal only to those nerds of us who still get excited by the sound of the postperson’s motorcycle as it nears. Not that i ever get much mail, and rarer still personal mail. Still, i like the idea of it, and i like carrying the delusion that someone might bother to one day send me something. For that to happen people would have to a) know my address, and b) care enough to and have faith i’d write back. I’d post my address here but i’ve been cautioned against doing so (“What?!! Are you crazy?! Never give out… etc.” Sheesh); and on the b) point, i can only be blunt and implore that it would mean a lot to lonely, old me and that i would.

I’ve been receiving postcards from my mum recently. That has been nice.

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Sign – Brown Eyed Girls

This song has come up before so i’m going to be lazy (it’s a Sunday! [it’s a Saturday, dingus – ed]) and post the video. It’s like they’ve apparitioned themselves into a very Oldboy-like movie, haunting the lead character, giving support and motive, whilst held captive, drowning in human-sized test tubes. And they all die except Ga In. No other group could get away with something so dark. No other group really tries to.

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Breathe – Miss A

Here’s a video of them performing this song on Music Bank, one of the four weekly televised showcases South Korea has for its music chart(s). For a song about not being able to breathe, they sure set the choreography to suit it. They are at points absolutely breathless – struggling to reach notes and keep up, missing lines, the deep breath acting parts of the song come to seem essential, “I can’t breathe” to be read as a legitimate plea for help – but they endure. And it is fantastic. Maybe sometimes there are good cases for lip syncing, but if this performance were to be note perfect it would lose everything the breathlessness adds. How hard these girls work.

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Step – Kara

This is not their best song, but various powers and factors pushed it out as the single so i guess we have to deal with it. I think it’s too much for me. If it were not for that relief of a pre-chorus, the rap verse and the part that follows it, it would just be one endless, bland, head-thumping dance song, and it’s too early for old man me for that. Why can’t songs be all pre-choruses and bridges?

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Dum Dum Diddle

Dum dum diddle – ABBA

That’s the sound of the Yamaha GX-1, of which less than ten were ever made, one of which went to Benny Andersson. People are nerds and have traced this very synthesizer as it’s changed owners and the storage units they keep it in, so if you ever wanted to play it you can contact this person. Used here, i think it’s meant to emulate a fiddle chorus in sound. It was from the time when sonic exploration was still mostly bound by imagination and machine capability, but it still sounds incredible. The best way to start a song.

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Two Tons Of Dynamite

Two tons of dynamite – Sweet Baby

This is quite the song. Slight, understated, goes nowhere but verse-chorus-repeat, but what a verse to return to. Different chords. It’s funny how what could be seen as the template for so much 90’s pop punk, Sweet Baby were the ones to use different chords, and that all they laid ground for and influenced honed and watered down the music into formula and convention.

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Easy Guy

Easy guy – The Archies

Close your eyes and think of this song as played by the all-est of all-american cartoon everyteens and i believe there’s a dissonance between image and sound here. It doesn’t sound like what the Archies look like they should sound like. It is as though the songs are put before the image or the image before the songs – that the songs and the marketing package of the Archies were crammed together in unconvincing ways. Sugar, Sugar fits perfectly. This song, and others, do not. This is not an incongruity that was ever found in the Monkees, another “pretend” band. Their songs always seemed appropriate as Monkees songs. Well maybe not towards the end. And this is an Archies song towards their end. I don’t know. It’s a good song, just a sound and sentiment more believable coming from those bearded folk in the inlay card than it does those cartoon folk on screen.

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Speak now – Taylor Swift

There was a matter of shameful worlds colliding in an explosion of giddy glee for me recently when on the SNSD special of the South Korean talk show Big Brothers Seohyun covered this song as her prepared special talent. There’s always a prepared special talent. Always some hoop jumping… Anyway, it was just herself and an acoustic guitar and it was very nice. I think it’s the same pink guitar Yonghwa from CNBLUE gave to her on an episode of We Got Married. I’m in too deep.

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Sister Havana

Sister Havana – Urge Overkill

I should just let things lie in the past where slips into nostalgia and ebbs at recollection keep them as i remember them. I haven’t heard this song probably in fifteen years, and fifteen years ago i remember loving it. I couldn’t remember how it sounded at all – melody, sound, lyrics, structure – but i remember my pre-teen self thinking it (alternative) rocked. And i remember a certain cache of cool it gave me, being the only kid at my school who knew the song. That’s probably why i remember liking it so much.

To satisfy an interest that in fifteen years nothing nor no one has for me otherwise, i decided to look it up. Eww. It wasn’t so much a mistake as now i’ll never wonder about or pedestal it ever again, but it is a pity. Almost everything to hate about the early-mid 90’s in one song. Those alternative rock years must have been so frustrating for smart people – the people who would have found and harboured themselves in punk regardless – seeing bloated, corporate, chinese whispered versions of what affirms them so, being clustered among people who beforehand would have still antagonised but at least then were not grouped in the same generational market segment. Of course it was. It always is.

I wonder if I Got a Girl by Tripping Daisy was ever actually a good song.

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