Monthly Archives: October 2011

Julieta Venegas: “Me Voy”

About a month ago I asked my good friend Alex H to recommend some of the specific songs and albums that helped him ease into the spanish language. Without hesitation he claimed that Julieta Venegas’ albums “Limón y Sal” and “Otra Cosa.” were absolute highlights. They are girly but incredibly good and really easy to understand.

Here’s my favorite from her so far:

It appears the anti-Justin Bieber isn’t exclusive to the US only. Check out this top comment on the youtube video “2.000,000 millones de visitas tiene este video y mierdas como Justin Bieber tienen 600,000,000?WTF?”

Translation: 2 million views that this video has, while Justin Bieber has 600,000,000? Bahaha I find great humor in that. When seeing how I want to cater to the Spanish language a bit, allow me to give a little lesson here. The words “tiene” and “tienen” are verb conjugations (in the present tense) of the word tener (which is the infinitive of to have). Since tener is one of those stem changing verbs, the e becomes “ie” in the conjugation.

 

Lyrics

Porque no supiste entender a mi corazón
lo que había en el,
porque no tuviste el valor
de ver quién soy.

Porque no escuchas lo que
está tan cerca de ti,
sólo el ruido de afuera
y yo, que estoy a un lado
desaparezco para ti

No voy a llorar y decir,
que no merezco esto porque,
es probable que lo merezco
pero no lo quiero, por eso…

Me voy, que lástima pero adiós
me despido de ti y
me voy, que lástima pero adiós
me despido de ti.

Porque sé, que me espera algo mejor
alguien que sepa darme amor,
de ese que endulza la sal
y hace que, salga el sol.

Yo que pensé, nunca me iría de ti,
que es amor del bueno, de toda la vida
pero hoy entendí, que no hay
suficiente para los dos.

No voy a llorar y decir,
que no merezco esto porque,
es probable que lo merezco
pero no lo quiero, por eso…

Me voy, que lástima pero adiós
me despido de ti y
me voy, que lástima pero adiós
me despido de ti.

Me voy, que lástima pero adiós
me despido de ti y
me voy, que lástima pero adiós
me despido de ti y me voy.

Me voy, que lástima pero adiós
me despido de ti y
me voy, que lástima pero adiós
me despido de ti y me voy.


This Post Was Inspired By A Tweet

“Sometimes I imagine what my own funeral would be like. Then I stop listening to Radiohead and perk the fuck up.” – @torriezaccor

Yeah, I got a twitter. It was required for a class. Not like I wanted to. But I did. And now it’s kinda inspired me to write a post. That’s not a good sign, I’ve heard. But whatever, it’s happened. To be fair, I am re-tweeting one of my best friends (who has great taste in music b-t-dubs), Torrie. (If you have a twitter, FOLLOW HER. Follow me too. But mostly her.)

So, referencing Torrie’s tweet, I thought of a way that Radiohead could be perky.

Add a uke.

I love this arrangement; it’s full of cognitive dissonance. I love the original song, I love the lyricism. The dark beauty in sad, incorruptible loneliness. And when Ingrid Michaelson sings it, it reveals how dark we all are, even the happiest of us, a theme that recurs through her deceptively peppy songs. It’s beautiful, because it reveals just how flawed we all really are. Dark and twisty and scarred. And lonely.

Right-click to download:

Ingrid Michaelson – Creep (Live Radiohead Cover)

 


The Future of My Playa and I

This week has been a good week. I’ve been killing the midterms, but I found out something even better. Not only did I get a bid to be a “Founding Father” of Sigma Pi fraternity at UW, my best pal (and fellow blogger) Chris is also a member too! My brother Kevin always begged me to post this song when I would officially be in a fraternity, and it’s my pleasure to finally post this mashup between Asher Roth and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. This song is fitting of my relationship with the concept of being a “frat boy”. Asher Roth is extremely annoying with his perpetuations of white boy college rapper stereotypes, but when combined with the bliss of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s “Young Adult Friction”, this makes it a very fun song to listen to. Likewise I am not absolutely enthused about the image of the fraternity life (several aspects I would like to refrain from), but with the company of my best friend Chris, I think it’s totally going to rock. Ballplayer status.

 

 

Song: “I Love Friction” by The Hood Internet, a mashup between Asher Roth’s “I Love College” and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s “Young Adult Friction”.


“Miranda” – Surfer Blood

So, a few months back, I told you guys the story of how I dropped the lead singer of Surfer Blood, one of my favorite bands, at Sasquatch. Sadly, I never got around to finishing my review of Sasquatch (though I might do that sometime in the future for kicks), so I didn’t have a chance to regale you with the story of how I was in the front row for his concert in the rain on Monday. He jumped in the crowd (no drop this time), and was actually set down next to me. He didn’t recognize me, or at least pretended not to. The energy and the song creating it were awesome. So I guess we’re cool. I guess.

Tuesday, Surfer Blood released their new album, Tarot Classics, and it’s freaking awesome. My favorite song to jam out to right now is  “Miranda”, about the lead singer’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend from New York, which was my favorite song that they played at the Sasquatch show; the catchy chorus of the echoing harmonies chanting Mi-ir-a-a-nda over and over pulses me and keeps me hooked. The last harmony, on ‘da’, is beautifully dissonant, recognizing the irregularity in the traditional punk heartbeat–it’s a nod to the imperfect, but passionate relationship shared by Miami Surfer Blood and his New York girl.

The Miami-based band is touring in support of Pixies right now. Check that out if you get the chance.

Listen & Download Here:


Anonymous – Film Review

The Da Vinci Code (movie, not book), if you replace St. Peter with Shakespeare and set it at the time at which it transpired.

Roland Emmerich is known for his bad movies. Godzilla, 10,000 BC, and 2012 come to mind.

John Orloff, a screenwriter known for A Mighty Heart and HBO’s Band Of Brothers miniseries, has endured misfires (Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole), but is generally a solid bet.

This pair is an odd combination to day the least; cheesy disaster movies and character studies combine to create Anonymous, a film that’s easily Emmerich’s best and Orloff’s worst. That doesn’t say much.

I’ll start with the good. Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave carry the film well in fine lead performances typical of their legitimate body of work; Derek Jacobi, Jamie Campbell Bower, Joely Richardson, Edward Hogg, David Thewlis and Sebastian Armesto turn in solid screen time as well. The narrative is sufficiently compelling, and Emmerich is certainly ambitious with its approach.

However, the film is structurally convoluted and riddled with historical inaccuracies. Orloff’s dialogue leaves a lot to be desired; for such an educated screenwriter writing (somewhat) about writing (ahem, Charlie Kaufman), the vocabulary of the film should have been a lot richer. While that could come from Emmerich trying to make the film more comprehensible to mainstream audiences (i.e. dumbing it down), for now since there’s no evidence suggesting otherwise (HA, I’M REFERENCING THE MOVIE GUYS), I must blame it on Orloff.

Emmerich is entirely to blame for the film’s uneven pacing; there were several false climaxes and unnecessarily drawn-out sequences. Like The Da Vinci Code, it suffers as a result of its overlong running time.

The only acting performance in the film I disliked was that of Rafe Spall, playing a cartoonish version of William Shakespeare, portrayed by Emmerich as a bumbling, illiterate, chubby-chasing idiot actor with few sharp moments and an English redneck-ish vibe that leaves him mostly uninteresting and annoying.

The film centers around Edward de Vere (Ifans), who supposedly wrote all of “Shakespeare’s” plays, who in his youth had a torrid affair with the Queen (Redgrave), now an aging woman torn over who will succeed her as the monarch of England. The Queen leans heavily on her advisors, the villainous Cecils (Thewlis and Hogg), who advocate for the ascension of King James of Scotland. Meanwhile, Ben Jonson (Armesto) acts as the middleman between de Vere and Shakespeare (Spall), the actor chosen to be the face of de Vere’s brilliant, but controversial works. The reason de Vere is forced into anonymity is that he’s married to a member of the Cecil family, which believes that writing is blasphemous. These stories all intertwine between 20-30 minutes in, leaving you quite confused until then. To be fair, the story takes unexpected twists and turns and is certainly compelling, but borders on cheese-laughs. It’ll be interesting to see how the reviews and commercial performance shake out.

Emmerich’s visual style is too CGI and messy for my taste, but the opening and closing sequences provide decent bookends to the film. The music, by frequent Emmerich collaborator Harald Kloser and Thomas Wanker, is eminently predictable and sappy, but gets the job done.

A fellow film student who went with me pointed out the similarities to Amadeus inherent in the story, and she asked that I mention that somewhere in this review.

Overall, the film is just okay. Solid performances hurt by poor direction and pacing. Again, The Da Vinci Code for Shakespearean scholars instead of the Catholic Church.

P.S: Seated a few seats down from me was legendary critic Leonard Maltin, also a professor at USC, obviously there to review the film. It made me feel like a real film critic.


CSS-“Hits Me Like A Rock” Music Video

There’s something about this song that is so sweet and draws me back to it. The beat of this song is upbeat and poppy and the chorus is inevitably catchy. From the first time I heard the chorus to now, whenever I hear the it, I can’t help but sing along:

"You know I like you alot but
It still hits me like a rock (ooh oooh ooh)"

Gosh it just hits me (lolz) every time! Every time it plays, I sing along with that part, and although I don’t like to admit it, I try to match the singer’s voice as much as possible. So it’s a good song with a nice little beat to bob and kinda groove to. Which makes the music video kind of odd to me.

Now I am not saying that the video is bad because I love it! There is something oddly charming about the innocence of the song mixed in with several different dance styles. I love watching the video, because I recognize many of the styles of dance in the video and I attempt to do some of them as well. What else is kind of cool about this video is that the beat of the actual song doesn’t seem like something most of theses styles would have to dance to. The street style mixed in with this pop song makes quite a mismatch. But somehow, they make it work. And it’s good.


Sampha- “Indecision”

Fresh off the success of being featured in SBTRKT’s latest album, post dubstep star Sampha has crafted a nice tune of his own. Reading up on other reviews about Sampha, I came across this excellent analogy: “Sampha to SBTRKT is what Frank Ocean is to Jay Z and Kanye West: Beautiful singers who show so much potential on their contemporaries’ albums that it’s seriously worth checking out their own material.” (Source) In theory this song is a demo and will be part of something big that will take later this year or early next. However, I feel that the stripped down music of Sampha really highlights his musicality. Paradoxical I know, but the minimal instrumental combined with the excellent vocals makes this a highlight for the late night. Give this a listen, and I would say the comparison of Sampha to a “British John Legend” wouldn’t be too blasphemous to say right?