This rotation (mostly) contains the names of fictional characters (a hefty bunch of them from literature, you'll see), but still famous. track 01: Quruli- AmadeusComments:
Quruli is a four-man rock band from Kyoto that sometimes mix techno and house elements into their music, producing a unique sound truly all their own. It has Shigeru Kishida on vocals and guitar, Tasshin Ohmura on guitar, Masashi "Moshie" Satoh on bass, and Christopher McGuire on drums. They have recently released their sixth album, entitled Nikki.
Quruli is one of my most treasured 'discoveries' this year, along with Suneo Hair and Nell. Amadeus
is a more subdued (considering this came from The World is Mine, which had such gems as Go Back to China and Mind the Gap, this is REALLY different) Quruli effort, a slowish piece with violins and classical piano, and Shigeru's vocals interspersed throughout the song, a rare Quruli ballad. While this is not really the song to get you hooked on this fabulous group, it's still worth a listen.Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: THE WORLD IS MINEtrack 02: BUCK-TICK- Mona LisaComments:
The beginning of Mona Lisa
sounds like something a DJ would play during lulls at a club, or something you might hear at a strip club (Is it just me, or does it seem like every BUCK-TICK song I put up seems to give off the strip-club feel?). Then the drums and heavy guitars come in. Then the killer rapping, and eventually, Atsushi's panty-creaming vocals. The rap-rockness of the whole song reminds me vaguely of Psycho le Cemu's Chou Supa Happy, except Mona Lisa
is definitely darker. Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Mona Lisa Overdrivetrack 03: Nell- Peter Pan is DeadComments:
Nell is a Korean rock quartet composed of vocalist Kim Jong Wan, guitarist Lee Jae-Kyung, bassist Lee Jung Hoon, and drummer Jung Jae-won. They named themselves after the 1994 Jodi Foster film of the same name. They have four albums to date: Reflections of Nell, Speechless, Let it Rain, and Walk Through Me.
I love Nell. I really, really heart Nell. Part of the reason I love them so much is because of Kim Jong Wan, who manages to cover a wide range of emotions with his voice, from desperation and fear to passion and hope. And he conveys emotions so well that you sometimes feel what you think you're supposed to be feeling when you listen to the songs. I've compared the lead vocalist of ZE to Jong Wan, how both guys' voices tend to get all breathy and desperate-sounding, but I suppose that's an unfair comparison. ZE's lead vocalist (still no clue on what his name is) has a more mature feel to it, while Jong Wan's still has the angst of youth. Peter Pan is Dead
is a catchyish Nell rock ballad, which shows off Jong Wan's desperatebreathyangsty vocals. The English at the end is so inspiring. Plus, JW's English is actually quite good. Oi you! Do yourself a favor and download this!Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Walk Through Metrack 04: Angela- Ni Hao, Zhou Jie LunComments:
I couldn't get any information on the particular Angela that sings this song. I tried checking Angela Zhang's discography, but I couldn't find it on any of her albums. Ni Hao, Zhou Jie Lun
, is a catchy dance track, with Angela rap-singing her lines, which makes the whole song work. I imagine it could be played at clubs and remixed with lots of heavy heart-thumping bass. And who is Zhou Jie Lun? Jay Chou, of course. Download: hereBuy:
It's a mystery to me. Inform me if you know who Angela is.track 05: Harry and the Potters- Save Ginny WeasleyComments:
Harry and the Potters is an indie pop/rock duo formed by Joe DeGeorge and his brother Paul. They sing about all things Harry Potter, with amusing titles such as Luna Lovegood is OK
, Cornelius Fudge is an Ass
, and Stick it to Dolores
. So far, they have released three albums as Harry and the Potters: their self-titled debut, Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock!, and A Magical Christmas of Magic.Save Ginny Weasley
was the first song that got me interested in Harry and the Potters. It's a charming, catchy little number set in Book 2's timeline. While the brothers' voices don't stand out, the beat and lyrics make up for that. But of course all you Harry Potter fans have this already. Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Harry and the Potterstrack 06: Lords of the Rhymes- Nine Fingered FrodoComments:
Who says Tolkien and rap don't go together? The Lords of the Rhymes are made up of two rappers, Quickbeam and Bombadil (who dress up like Ents), and DJ Radagast the Brown. Their songs are basically hobbitized/LOTRized versions of all the 'look-how-I'm-living-it-up-with-bling-wo
men-and-Cristal' rap songs by Nelly/Chingy/whoever. But these, of course, are better. They are also very fond of Elf girls. Nine Fingered Frodo
is one of the best songs written about hobbits ever. Even if you don't like rap but are mad about Tolkien, or even if it's the other way around, check this out. ^^Download:
|| OfficialBuy: Lords of the Rhymestrack 07: My Little Airport- Gigi Leung is DeadComments:
My Little Airport is a kitschy Hong Kong indie pop duo, with members P (Lam Ping, songwriter, guitars, keyboards) and Nicole Au Kin-ying on vocals. Their song titles remind me of the way Fall Out Boy name theirs (An example being I Can't Download Good AV --Adult Video-- Like Iris Does
and Leo, Are You Still Jumping Out of Windows in Expensive Clothes?
My Little Airport's music takes a few listens to fully appreciate. I'm not good with genres, but I think
it's a mix of synth pop and punk. This (really short) song is mostly about a girl wanting to spend time with someone and not go to school, followed by several repetitions of 'Gigi Leung is deaaaddd..." Nicole's English is comprehensible at best. A download for the curious. I wonder what Gigi Leung thinks about this song. ^^ Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Because I Was Too Nervous at That Timetrack 08: Tony Goldmark- Sirius BlackComments:
I love this song. If you wonder how Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy might fare as rappers ("HP and D-Mal in the house, 'yo..."), then do yourself a favor and download this song, which summarizes Harry's third year at Hogwarts quite nicely/accurately (Agnes Nutter, anyone?). Download it just to hear Draco (oh yes, this is not Tom Felton and Daniel Radcliffe, fangirls. Chill.) whine, "Professor, Potter here won't let me represent for the dark side." And hear Snape say, "Potter, if you don't let Malfoy kick it old school, it's detention." Plus it samples 'Something Wicked This Way Comes'. Download: hereBuy: Rage Against the Mundanetrack 09: ART-SCHOOL- Winona Ryder AndroidComments:
ART-SCHOOL is a four piece indie rock band from Osaka, formed in 2000 with then-soloist Riki Kinoshita, who wanted to try his hand at forming a band. The other original members of ART-SCHOOL were Jun Ooyama (guitars), Hinata Hidekazu (bass), and Yuichi Sakurai (drums). They debuted at the Shitakitazawa Shelter in 2000 and released a couple of independent mini-albums before being signed to Toshiba EMI in 2002, when they released their first studio album, REQUIEM FOR INNOCENCE, with the single DIVA. Hinata and Ooyama left in 2003; Ooyama saying fatigue being the cause of his leaving, Hinata saying that he wanted to pursue other projects. He is now with Zazen Boys. Masafumi "Kenji" Tokada eventually replaced Jun, while Takeshi Uno replaced Hinata. In 2005, they switched labels to Pony Canyon (w-inds.' label), and released their latest album, Paradise Lost. Winona Ryder Android
starts out with a catchy, almost pop-py guitar riff, which lulls you into a strange sense of pop comfort. Then the whole song explodes, and then Riki-kun starts singing, almost screaming, his emotions laid bare for everyone to listen to and be affected by. Try not
to headbang to this rock anthem. Download: here
Boys Don't Cry 1 2track 10: Falco- Rock Me AmadeusComments:
Okay, history lesson time. Falco (or Johann Hölzel) was born in Vienna, Austria, and studied at the Vienna Music Conservatory. Before rising to brief international fame in the 80s, he was the bassist of the Austrian rock band Drahdiwarberl. He is most famous (internationally, at least) for this song, which is inspired by the movie Amadeus
. Far from falling into the so-80s trap of being a one hit wonder, Falco released eight albums and one remix album during his lifetime. Unfortunately for the music world, Falco died in 1998 when his SUV collided with a bus in the Dominican Republic.
I remember that it was my dad who introduced me to this song when I was very young. It was in-your-face German rap with a pop melody, and possibly my first taste of music from other countries. When I saw the music video for it, which shows Falco in Mozart-era attire traipsing through a large mansion with other people dressed in Mozart-era fashion, I loved it even more. German rap is good. So download.Download: hereBuy: Falco's Greatest Hits (and you thought he had only one) Falco 3track 11: Weezer- Buddy HollyComments:
The term 'geek rock' appealed to me, when, years ago, I downloaded my first Weezer song (I think it was Island in the Sun). I like Rivers Cuomo's whiny voice, although I'm not as rabid a fan of their music as I could be. Buddy Holly
is a fun, upbeat rock song, a break from all the slow, angsty J-rock (coughART-SCHOOLcough) that has found its way onto this rotation. I use the term 'shoulder-shaking' very lightly. Download: hereBuy: Weezertrack 12: Shifty- LolitaComments:
Shifty used to be one of the rappers for the rap/rock group Crazy Town, and when they disbanded, he went solo. His first single from his debut album Happy Love Sick
, a feel-the-vibes-of-summer offering, was Slide Along Side (which was just okay; I liked Crazy Town's work more than Shifty's solo stuff). Lolita
is a slick, catchy summer song that brings to mind house parties, dancing on beaches with cocktails or a beer in hand while flirting with a cute guy, and cold showers on hot, sticky summer days. I love it. Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: Happy Love Sicktrack 13: ART-SCHOOL- Fiona Apple Girl
Comments: Riki Kinoshita absolutely rocks my socks and it's not funny. He used to be a slacker, drinking a lot, living off the money his mom sent him, and spending his days watching a movie a day. Now he's been described as 'artsy-fartsy personified', with the whole tall-and-skinny-angsty-writer-with-a-bowl-cut thing going for him. In the acknowledgments/shout-outs/thank-yous part of ART-SCHOOL's old CD jackets, he gave props to Arthur Rimbaud (the French poet), Chuya Nakahara (a Japanese poet), Kurt Cobain, and Martin Scorsese. Among the artists he listens to are Fountains of Wayne, Cat Power, and Death Cab for Cutie. In ART-SCHOOL's PVs, he looks so lonely and skinny that you can't help but want to hug him and take care of him. ^^
While Fiona Apple Girl
isn't the ideal ART-SCHOOL song for the beginner (try Winona Ryder Android
), it's good if you want to complete your ART-SCHOOL collection. Admittedly, it's an average ART-SCHOOL song, not one of their best, but try if you're curious. More people need to translate ART-SCHOOL songs so I can bloody understand what Riki-san's saying.Download: here
|| OfficialBuy: SONIC DEAD KIDStrack 14: Weird Al Yankovic- Jerry SpringerComments:
What's a name-themed rotation without Weird Al? This parody of what goes on during Jerry Springer shows is set to the song One Week by the Barenaked Ladies, which I also love. ^^Download: hereBuy: Running With ScissorsVOTE FOR THE NEXT THEME!
(Come on guys. If you're going to comment anyway, might as well vote, right? ^__^)(1) PLACES
Please get your votes in BEFORE DECEMBER 20.
I'll do a big rotation for the theme that wins.