I was reading a kind of former friend's LJ a while back, and he mentioned reading a book written by this old rockstar who was feeling depressed because of the advances in technology, musicwise, how we all have all the music we want in the backs of our pockets, in our iPods and mp3 players. He said that when he was young, mixtapes were the thing, and special care was given to making them, because you wanted every tape to be special, since back then making one wasn't really as easy as dragging a file into your iTunes.
So I've decided to make you guys a sort of mixtape (if you will) of all my favorite songs as of late. They've fueled me, picked me up, made me dance, cry, angsty, and inspired. Without further ado, songage for all. Thanks to everyone who follows soundtrackd
! ^^track 01: Suga Shikao- 19sai Language:
After graduating from Tokyo University (0__o smartness!), Suga Shikao worked at an ad agency until he released his debut album, Clover. His work has appeared in Japanese music textbooks and anime such as Honey and Clover and xxxHolic (this song is the opening theme). Apart from being a part of Fukumimi (a group made up of artists under the Office Augusta label, namely: Chitose Hajime, Masayoshi Yamazaki, KYOKO, and COIL), he also hosts a nighttime radio program called Night Stories Monday on the J-Wave radio station, which you can also download as a podcast.
Needless to say, I wasn't really impressed when I first heard Suga Shikao's music in Honey and Clover. I guess I wasn't listening to the right stuff, because 19sai
really rocks. I actually downloaded the PV on a whim, since someone said that it was great when you were reading lemons, and that there probably has never been a better PV with butterflies, photography, and sex. She was right.
I must say that this song made me change my mind about Suga Shikao. The catchy riff at the beginning hooks you immediately, then there's Suga Shikao's masculine voice (he sounds like another Jrock singer, but I can't put my finger on it), and then the chorus welds together the riff, his voice, and a catchy beat, and it's an aural orgasm. My description really does no justice to this song. It's best if you download it. ^^ Download: here
|| Sugar: A Suga Shikao FansiteBuy: 19sai (Regular Edition)track 02: Gomes the Hitman- Ashita wa Kyouto Onaji Mirai Language:
I first heard this when I watched an episode of Otogizoushi: The Legend of Magatama out of curiosity; it was the opening theme. Ashita wa Kyouto Onaji Mirai
is a very laidback, cheery acoustic pop song with excellent, catchy guitar work. It reminds me of walking in a bright forest on a perfect summer morning. And as I love clapping and whistling in songs, this one ranks high with me. Unfortunately, there's not much information available in English about Gomes the Hitman (pity, because I want to hear more of them!), but apparently they've developed a cult following in Japan, and have been around for over 10 years.Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Asu wa kyo to Onaji Miraitrack 03: Kangta & Vanness- Scandal Language:
Kangta used to be part of the group H.O.T, until they broke up and he went solo. Vanness Wu remains a part of the Taiwanese group, F4, best known for starring in the sensational dorama
, Meteor Garden.
I think Kangta and Vanness pairing up is the smartest marketing move ever. It covers ALL bases. Kangta's got Korea, Vanness has China/Taiwan/HK, and their fanbase extends beyond these countries. It also helps that these are two very good-looking boys with amazing voices and undeniable talent. But I digress. I LOVE THIS SONG
. It's got a powerful beat that makes you want to get up, forget your inhibitions, and grind against a stranger on the dance floor. It's fun, funky, a must-download if you don't have it yet. Vanness' rapping is amusing, if not corny; it cracks me up when he says 'Coz your lips/Be so fresh and so clean
. The English version is also great; you get to hear Kangta say 'crunk!'Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Scandaltrack 04: Wang Lee Hom- Ge Er Men (Brotherhood) Language:
Alexander Wang Lee Hom was born in New York, studied music at Williams College, and earned an MA in Jazz Piano & Composition at the Berklee College of Music. He's involved in many aspects of music production, from writing lyrics, composing songs, playing various instruments, and directing his own music videos. He debuted in 1995 with the album Love Rival Beethoven.
Wang Lee Hom's always been a fantastic artist, but these past two albums, Shangri-La and Heroes of Earth, where he mixed traditional Chinese music with rap and hiphop (a genre he called 'chinked-out'), were particularly mind-blowing. Ge Er Men
is an excellent mid-tempo rap song, which deserves some attention besides his singles Perfect Interaction and Kiss Goodbye.
And while this may not mean much, I just wanted to share a Lee Hom experience of my sister's friend. She went to the night market in Taiwan, and it just so happened that he was around. He talked to her and her aunt, asked her about her school, what her name was, how old she was, that sort of thing. While my sister and I freaked out when she told us about this, as she had no idea who he was until then. She reported that 'his English was good', 'he was nice', 'his English name is Alexander', and 'he was good-looking'. I wanted to strangle her then and there... had she not been miles away from me.Download: here
|| US Fan Club Homepage
|| Lee Hom OnlineBuy: Heroes of Earthtrack 05: Maki Goto- Glass no Pumps Language:
Maki Goto was the only 5th generation member of the genki-genki all-girl group Morning Musume. Her debut single with MoMusu, Love Machine, became the first #1 hit for the H!P group. She went solo in 2001 with the debut single Ai no Bakayarou, which remains the only Hello! Project solo release to get to number 1 on the Oricon charts.
I love Maki Goto. She can be cute, sexy, hot, a boy... and I'd still
like her. Sadly, this does not extend to her singles. I liked Uwasa no Sexy Guy
, and... that was it. Her videos were kind of boring, too. But this has restored my faith in Gocchin. Glass no Pumps
is a fun, catchy dance-glam-pop song that suits Maki's vocals best. The PV is extremely hot too. Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Glass no Pumpstrack 06: Edison Chen feat. Kary Ng & Chopstick MC- Saai Hei Part 3 Language:
Edison Chen is almost always heavily criticized for having no talent, when it comes to either music or acting. But Edison Chen is undeniably one of HK's most popular and productive celebrities, talent or no. Saai Hei (Waste of Breath) Pt. 3
is an excellent hiphop track from Edison Chen (who's a so-so singer, but a good rapper)'s album Hazy The 144 Project. The rapping by Edison and his 'crew' (I don't know anyone there except Chopstick MC) contrasts and meshes perfectly with Kary Ng (formerly of Cookies, and the lead singer for Ping Pung)'s vocals. Download: hereBuy: Edison Chen: The Best Collection
-- I can't find the special edition of Hazy on YesAsia. That one has Saai Hei Pt. 3.track 07: Supercar- Yumegiwa Last Boy Language:
Supercar is (was?) a four-piece pop/rocktronica group with Koji Nakamura on vocals, Junji Ishiwatari on lead guitar, Miki Furukawa on vocals and bass, and Kodai Tazawa on drums and vocals. They did most of the music for the movie Ping Pong, starring one of my favorite Japanese actors, Yosuke Kubozuka. They disbanded in 2005.
Supercar is another one of my 'too-late' discoveries, those bands I fall in love with after they've disbanded. YUMEGIWA LAST BOY
is a lazy poptronica piece, perfect for listening to while driving on open roads, or background music when you're reading a book. Koji does the singing on this track, and I definitely prefer Koji's voice to Miki's. So download.Download: here
|| InfoBuy: Atrack 08: Tony An- Yutzpracachia Language:
Tony An (An Seung Ho) used to be part of the famous group H.O.T (High-Five of Teenagers), undoubtedly the most popular group of the 90s. When the group disbanded in 2001 due to contract problems, Tony, along with Lee Jae Won and Jang Woo Hyuk, left to form the group JTL, while Kang Ta and Moon Hee Jun stayed with SM Entertainment as solo artists. Tony is currently the CEO of Tn Entertainment, and owns a school uniform company called Skoolooks. To date, he has released two albums.
There are few men with voices that melt your clothes. On my list, there's Ryohei Yamamoto, Wang Lee Hom, Na Won Ju, Lee Seung Gi, Wang Guang Liang, Ken Hirai, and Tony An. What Tony An lacks in the looks department, he makes up for with his music. No kidding. This man is amazing
, vocally. Yutzpracachia
is a midtempo R&B song with a catchy beat and Tony's heartfelt vocals. Download: here
|| InfoBuy: Yutzpracachia's Lovetrack 09: The Cross- Green Dream Language
Discovered this completely by accident while browsing through the now-defunct Z-Degrees.net (*lights a candle*). This was the only song I liked after picking through their single. What amazes me most about this song is how the different styles (at first it sounds like a cheer song, then it turns into a rap song, then a pop song, the a rock song) come together so nicely and sound RIGHT. Plus the layering of the voices (there are three guys; one sings, one raps, and the other makes sounds. It's really awesome) works really well to make this a high-energy song. Great for driving.Download: hereBuy:
Annyoung doesn't seem to have their album. ^^;;track 10: at17- Bin Bin Bin Language:
at17 is a Cantonese girl duo composed of Eman Lam and Ellen Joyce Loo, who, compared to groups such as Twins and Cookies, seem to focus on the quality of their music rather than on the quantity of singles. Their band name comes from the Janis Ian song At Seventeen, which they also did a cover of. Because of their insightful lyrics and folktronica style of music, they appeal to high school girls and university students.
at17. I don't know whether it's because I'm a girl, or I'm a university student. And usually I don't like this stuff. Bin Bin Bin
is a fun, upbeat song with carefree, easy vocals and a catchy chorus. And even if your Cantonese is rusty, or nonexistent, you'll feel like singing along. A real feel-good song.Download: here
YesAsia doesn't seem to stock the album Bin Bin Bin.track 11: Bump of Chicken- Little Braver/RITOPUREIBA Language:
is yet another excellent song from BoC, one that's forced its way into my list of favorite BoC songs. The vocalist's voice reminds me of Riki Kinoshita's (ART-SCHOOL) sometimes, in that it can be really gritty and yet so packed with emotions that even though your grasp of Japanese is hovering between a few words to nonexistent, you feel that you can understand what he's getting out. And when he lets loose and yells, it's fantastic. I bet if I saw him at a live, waves of raw emotion would be emanating off him. Download: here
I don't know what album this is on. ^^;;track 12: Ai Otsuka- Smily Language:
Ai Otsuka debuted with Avex Trax in 2003 with the single Momo no Hanabira. Apart from starring in the dorama Tokyo Friends, she has also acted in several commercials. Her songs have also been used in doramas (PLANETARIUM was used in Hana Yori Dango) and commercials (Friendger was used for a Toshiba commercial). She has released three albums to date: Love Punch, Love Jam, and Love Cook. She currently hosts a radio show called Otsuka Ai no ai-r jack, and is qualified to teach kindergarten.
Ai Otsuka surprises me. I guess it's how she can do serious stuff like PLANETARIUM and light, bouncy, downright perky stuff like Smily. Smily
is the ultimate get-happy song, which is really what the song is all about: being happy and smiling. :)Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Love Cooktrack 13: 3B☆LAB.S- Let's HappiecE! Life Language:
3B☆LAB.S came up with its name because its original three members, Kenji Okahira, Takatoshi Chiba, and Masahiro Tamakoshi all had the blood type B. The S was added later, when two other guys joined, and it so happened that their names both started with the letter S.
Based on the PV, and the lyrics 'very very happy wedding' in the chorus, I'm pretty sure this is a wedding song, albeit pop-punkified. Hearing this song always makes me want to fling cake at someone. Love it.Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Tasogare EVOLUTIONtrack 14: Alan Kuo- Wake Up Language:
Alan Kuo's probably best known for doing the opening theme (Ling
) of the Taiwanese drama (which also happens to be my favorite), Mars, starring F4 member Vic Zhou and Barbie Xu. He's released one self-titled album in 2005, and has starred in a few movies. His songs also appear on many soundtracks for movies, and dramas. His dad, who was a daredevil/famous stuntman (this is what my grandmother, who is also my source for Chinese showbiz gossip, tells me), died recently in a car accident.Wake Up
shows off Alan's rich, powerful vocals. His vocals seem to be the complete opposite of Lee Hom's; Alan's got more of a raw edge, which fits the more rock-ish style of music he does, while Lee Hom's polished voice suits his ballad/hip-pop style. This song was also featured in the Chinese version of Spiderman II. Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Alan Kuotrack 15: Clash- Bow Whan Language:
Clash is a five-piece Thai rock band. Its members are Preeti Barameeanand (Bank) on vocals, Thanapol Rueksompus (Pol) and Thapana Na BangChang (Hack) on guitar, Sukrit Sripaoraya (Soom) on bass, and Anad Darbpettikorn (Yak) on drums. They first got together under the name LUCIFER, and eventually changed their name to Clash, which made it very, very difficult to Google their info.
Another one of my accidental discoveries. Someone uploaded their full album, and since I'd never heard any Thai music before, in Thai (apart from Bird Thongchai McIntyre), I decided to give it a shot.
Needless to say, I was pretty impressed. Off their album Emotion, this is probably the softest and calmest of them all. Nell is probably the closest I can compare them to, but only on this song. Their other songs are harder and have got more of a rock edge. I like the lead singer's voice because, apart from the fact that it's distinct, it's a bit rough and raw, like many of the male vocalists I've been rotating. (Beginning to notice a pattern?) I just love voices that quiver with emotion. Download: here
|| Clash Fanboard (in Thai)Buy: Emotiontrack 16: NRG- Hurray for Koreans! Language:
NRG, or New Radiancy Group, was formerly a five-member boy group composed of Lee Sung Jin, Chun Myung Hoon, No Yoo Min, Kim Hwan Sung, and Moon Sung Hoon. Hwan Sung died on June 15, 2000, while Sung Hoon left in 2005.
This was NRG's song for last year's FIFA World Cup, I think (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). Sadly, I don't have any more NRG songs so I can't compare them or give any more insightful information. All you need to know is that I love this song, it's so high-energy, peppy, catchy, and you should download it. :) Download: hereBuy:
I don't know which album it's on. ^^;; Feel free to enlighten me.track 17: Ellegarden- My Favorite Song Language:
I first listened to when someone put up their indie album for grabs. After dismissing them as Blink 182/Good Charlotte sound-alikes, I burned their album off my computer and never thought about them again. Until I downloaded the Makenshi Radio Spring Mix, which had My Favorite Song
on it, which changed my opinion of the band.
While they still sound a lot like Blink (the vocalist's voice seems to be emulating that of Tom's from Blink), it's still a great song to rock out and jump around to. Indeed, it has become (one of) my favorite song(s).Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: DON'T TRUST ANYONE BUT US
For zerosexappeal, whose journal seems to have been deleted:Epik High- I Remember (70s Soul Remix)STRAIGHTENER- WHITE ROOM BLACK STAR (Stout Version)
:Clazziquai- Cat BossaClazziquai- Color Your Soul
(amusingly, Savefile says that the file is 6.66 mb.)
P.S. I'm sorry! My main computer's motherboard died on me before I could get the rest up. For now I'm stuck on my laptop. Once I buy a new motherboard, I'll get the rest up.
Requests are open, of course. Just drop a line here
Next rotation: June 30
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