I am disappointed with the new Sky Ferreira video for “I Blame Myself.”
And while I’m at it (briefly), THE FIVE SECOND RULE IS BACK, BABY
Man, if your response to “don’t use ‘I’” is to use “we” instead, then you could really end up writing some stupid things, says the guy who used to do that shit all the time before writing EXCLUSIVELY about himself pretty much.
EDIT: Haha didn’t mean to publish that, but there you go, dwindling Tumbler followers.
Apparently the download link on my 2013 K-Pop post didn’t work for a few folks. Here it is as a Dropbox:
More details here.
Spent this morning dilettantily catching up with the K-pop in my general orbit (several blogs and folks who follow much much more closely than I do!) and put together a one-CD (it’s “teach an 18-year-old how to burn a CD day”) compilation.
Some pleasant surprises here as I scanned a few obvious (Billboard, Tumblr and webfriend K-pop network) and non-obvious (Vice?) places along with the usual suspects. (Chuck Eddy and Frank Kogan both voted 2YOON’s “24/7” country single of the year! And they’re right!)
When in doubt, I went for sonic diversity over OK+ earworms, of which there were many many many. That means the two songs I considered off of Lee Hyori’s great “Monochrome” wilted in the presence of very-much-an-album-track “Holly Jolly Bus,” which sounds GREAT right after “Expect” by Girl’s Day. One instrumental from electronic dorks Glen Check, one near-instrumental from IU’s fascinating canned maturity, which sounds like 90s neo-bachelor pad (personal weakness and/or soft spot). (She finally chimes in at 1:20 out of 2:30, makes a nice “bonus track.”)
The first six tracks here should be enough to drop yer jaw. Holy cow.
After that — so many sounds! Debbie Deb-y freestyle flourishes (GLAM)! Cod-country that wipes the floor with Steps (2YOON)! All variety of dorky dude R&B in both smoky (smokey?) and Timberlite flavors (MBLAQ and Zion T. respectively)! WTF-pop (Wa$$up, T-Ara N4), and stuff that is so fucking weird it didn’t even make this compilation (sorry “I Got a Boy”)!
Anyway, perfect for a warming-up Saturday afternoon listen.
- Crayon Pop - Bar Bar Bar
- 4Minute - What’s Your Name
- EvoL - Get Up
- f(x) - Rum Pum Pum Pum
- Wa$$up - Wa$$up
- Girl’s Day - 기대해 (Expect It)
- Lee Hyori - Holly Jolly Bus
- 2YOON - 24/7
- Trouble Maker - Attention
- Glen Check - Young Generation
- Lee Hi - Rose
- Smells f. Neon Bunny - Listen to Your Heart
- Brown Eyed Girls - Recipe
- MBLAQ - Smokey Girl
- GLAM - I Like That
- After School - Heaven
- EXO - Wolf
- Zion f. Gaeko - Babay
- 9 Muses - Wild
- T-ara f. N4 - Jeon Won Diary
- Psy - Gentleman
- Ladies’ Code - Bad Girl
- IU - Wait
A lot of life changes are afoot so my blogging is down to a crawl. Would like to put any blogging energies into anxiabetes or ed blogging.
But I would like to state for the record that since I submitted balloty type things it has become clear that the best album of last year was actually Sky Ferreira’s Night Time, My Time, according to the list of albums that both my wife and I are willing to share as “our” #1 alb of the year. For reference, these are the ones we agree on from the last ten years:
2013: Sky Ferreira - Night Time, My Time
2012: Hercules and Love Affair - DJ-Kicks
2011: Little Dragon - Ritual Union
2010: Kelis - Flesh Tone
2009: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It’s Blitz
2008: Studio - Yearbook 2
2007: M.I.A. - Kala
2006: Marit Larsen - Under the Surface
2005: Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree
2004: Arcade Fire - Funeral
2003: Constantines - Shine a Light
A few of these are the same as my album of the year (especially during Our Relationship: The College Years), but in the last couple years my wife has basically hepped me to the albums that we end up listening to the most, including reappraisal of It’s Blitz (secret best track is “Hysteric”), some DJ mixes and DJ-y music (Flume!), Little Dragon, and (this year) Sky.
Anyway, I gotta go be a dad in the spring, so I’ll probably be outta commission for a while. Godspeed, Tumblr!
K-Sis’s - “Beijos Blues e Poesia”
I really hate it when words sink songs – and I hate it more when words don’t sink songs but are purported to. I just spent an uncomfortable holiday party listening to folks debate the so-called “rapeyness” of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” The problem, beyond the general issue of using the trivializing word “rapey” to describe anything, is the “words on the page” fallacy – divorcing the words being sung from their context, performance, and experience. Even when this kind of analysis isn’t baldly disingenuous (like excerpting words or phrases from accompanying lines that shape, change, or contradict a single-note reading – see “Blurred Lines” in 2013 or “What Makes You Beautiful” in 2012) it seems to miss a good chunk, and often the primary chunk, of what songs are doing at the expense of what they’re “saying.”
I’m sensitive in part because I’m a words guy. Music is a place where I catch my guts trying desperately to escape the traps and misapprehensions of my words-on-the-page brain. If Lorde’s “Royals” is “about” escaping the stifling signifiers of popular music (with accompanying tone-deafness to how rejecting those signifiers will sound on, say, rap radio through a Maybach Music remix feat. Rick Ross), that’s news to my guts, who inform me that I, like my 3-year-old nephew, mostly just want to belt out “ROOOOYYYYALLLLLLLS!!”
The problem with being a words guy whose guts refuse to cooperate with his (often fallible) words-on-the-page brain is that I’m also usually loathe to not-know what the words are. Listening to music in a foreign language makes this particularly treacherous, because it’s very easy to get a good-enough translation of the words on the page. Sometimes translation can confirm a sense you have of a song’s playfulness or heartbreak or hunger or whatever else. But unlike literature, where there’s usually no meaningful entry without translation if you don’t know the language, music doesn’t always need translation for impact any more than lyrics need to be heard “correctly” for the song to really hit. (Maybe we crave a different kind of bus.)
Sometimes translation makes things worse. I don’t think music abides by Sturgeon’s Law (90% of everything is crap)—I’m generous with my likes—but lyrics are textbook Sturgeon. As far as I can tell, there are four English words in this song—“blues” is from the title, which I did translate – kisses, blues, and poetry. And then there’s that hook—“baby, I love you.” I unwisely glimpsed at a translation of the song once, and got a reference to “your train pulling into my station” before closing the tab. The one phrase I do decipher makes anything else irrelevant, and maybe the song says “baby, I love you” even without that phrase. There’s the kiss, there’s the blues. Seems risky to throw poetry into the mix at all if you ask me.
This song is purty.