My Polyvore.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Take the fruit

I just finished watching Mark Ronson’s TED talk about sampling. It’s one that I wanted to watch for such a long time, but had never gotten around to doing so, but finally it has been done.

Lately, as in the past two days, I’ve been listening to hip hop real hard core. And no, it’s not Korean. Yeah you read that right.

I though that I should educate myself a bit more in the original genre considering I got into honours for next year and am going to write my thesis on Korean hip hop and how it’s reported in the US (I’ll talk more about it in another post). So that was the initial reasoning for this and I’m loving it.

As I’ve said, I’ve only really gotten into hip hop this year with Korean hip hop. And in the past, it was not as if I hated it, it was just that I never really seeked it out like I did with post-punk, for example.

So I feel like people could be like, ‘who is this bitch, thinking she knows all about hip hop and shit now’ considering I’ve just gotten into it recently and I’m going to head off a write a thesis about it.

Firstly I think the whole point of doing research is looking into something you don’t know about because what’s the point. Secondly, after watching that TED talk and a bunch of videos of People Under The Stairs talking about music, I really got to thinking about it, and it’s just a natural progression for me, particularly since I’d been listening to a lot of jazz prior. I’m surprised it’s come so late to be honest.

For such a long time, honestly as long as I can remember, I’ve always really loved when classical and traditional instruments were used in modern music. A string or brass section always makes songs better! And I think that when this fusion initially seems abstract and opposing, actually makes the songs so much better when they come together to form a true piece of art.

Take Patrick Wolf’s record Wind in the Wires (or even his music in general honestly). This is one of my favourite records ever and it’s a true testament to his categorisation as folktronica. By folk I don’t mean Mumford and Sons banjo strumming, I mean Gaelic, cloak wearing, moor rambling soundtrack probably created using a super rare renaissance instrument (yep he’s one of those weirdo’s that can play every instrument in existence). Then imagine, accompanying that is the loop of a fuzzy electric drum beat and with his haunting poetry on top. Ah jeez, just listen.

And even if you look at my favourite bollywood songs, they have one layer of the song that is a really classic Indian sound with a pipe or violin section and then the rest of the song is made with more modern instruments. Oh but there are always killer dhol beats! Check it.

Ok, so going back to hip hop it’s completely built on this idea of taking from the past and putting a new spin on it, pun not intended. Then I don’t think it’s hard to guess that I have an inclination towards jazzy hip hip. I really love songs that you can chill out to. So far I’m really into Hieroglyphics, A Tribe Called Quest, Deltron 3030 and Madvillan, with the list surely to grow and grow. But People Under the Stairs are hands down my favs; not only is their music slick, but they also have sincerity in that they write about both sides of life, as opposed to just writing about getting money and bitches. True poets.

I leave you with my current jam and the expectation that I may complete that k-hip hop post soon. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Yesterday, today, tomorrow

I decided to write a quick blog before I start editing the drafts of my assignments because I'm just feeling really happy at the moment. This is something which I attribute to the weather. I sat outside in the sun listening to Foals new record (what a ripper, let me tell you) and colouring in one of those de-stress books. I'm so glad that it's social acceptable to use colouring books. I got a Japan one and a Paris one, and there's so many more I want, but I dream of getting a William Morris one (I just goggled it and this exists!!).

I'm pretty happy with my Korean progression considering that since I started going to uni I haven't started level two of TTMIK (an amazing and free resource -minus the textbooks- for learning Korean, 10/10 would recommend), so I've just been revising and trying to increase my vocab. I'm mainly happy with my progress because I can now read and understand Hangul, which I'm really proud of.  The problem is 95% of the time I have no idea what it means.

Actually learning Korean has inspired me to revise my Italian. Last week I actually wrote a couple of diary entries in my diary that I've had for five years! It was interesting looking back and the entries and seeing how my handwriting had changed. There was even a diary entry of my first day of work, which made me very nostalgic.

Now that I think of it, I've been very nostalgic this past week, today in particular. I read a letter that I got from my brothers grade three teacher who I've been writing to for 10 years, and we both can't believe that it's been 10 years since we've met. It's so weird to think back to that time because even though I'm 20 now, I still feel like the same person I did when I was 10. I think back to my thoughts about something back then, and still feel the same way today.  For example, I remember going to my cousins wedding when I was 9 and being worried about looking fat, which is something I do every day now, but when I really think about it, it's something that I've constantly done throughout my life (not to mention that it's crazy that I was concerned about that sort of stuff at that age. Thanks society).

But at the same time, I'm looking to the future and I think for the first time in my life I feel confident in what my future holds after uni and I'm really excited. I've decided that I will vlog about my life and stuff and more importantly do gig and album reviews. Don't worry I'll still keep blogging on this ol' blog here, because who knows, people actually might start reading it.

I promise too once I get some time, I will write that Korean underground post, but let me tell you, it will be quite a task because literally every day I'm discovering new artists. It'll be a labour of love though because I just love sharing music with other people.

Oh I got Big Bang tickets and I just know how good a night it's going to be, especially since I'm making a costume (T.O.P's blue suit from the Doom Dada film clip). And I'm going to make sure that T.O.P sees it and I get on the Big Bang tour report video.

I leave you with this dope track released just two day that features a heap of cameos of some great rappers to give you a taste of what's to come.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Seeing BTS

About this time last night I was on the train home from the city. What was I doing in the city last night you may ask? Seeing my boys BTS that’s what was up!

They totally exceeded my all expectations. I was expecting them to be amazing, but not this amazing!! Taking as a journalist and music fan they were truly spectacular; they were so polished, effortless and completely owned the stage. They’re all so talented and this is what they were born to do. They’re not just some boy band that will be over in a few years; they’re going the whole way. (Maybe I should do a proper review on my music blog? I’ll keep you posted).

Ok, back to fan girl mode. The setlist was seriously awesome. Of course some of my favs didn’t make the cut, but it was ok because even the songs I didn’t really like were done so well. And you can tell when someone is good live when after seeing a song that you previously didn’t like, live, and loving it afterwards. Of which this song is a prime example. (Tbh I don’t really know why I didn’t like it that much because I feel like it’s a classic me song, but anyway… also as I was listening to it then it just started raining!)

My highlight was when they played Cypher pt.3 and I absolutely lost my shit. As mentioned in my ‘K life’ post it’s my all time fav BTS song and the rap line absolutely slayed. Like ugh it was just the best. Anyone reading this from the gig who was behind a girl with long hair in row C I sincerely apologise for dancing erratically and looking like I was possessed by the devil, but that’s just the way I am. #babyiwasbornthisway

They even played Hip Hop Lover which I wasn’t sure if they’d play it but they did (I even tweeted them to play it and Cypher pt.3) and it was sick.  Another moment that sticks out in my mind was the transition from Cypher pt.2 into War of Hormone, it was on point. I just love when shit like that happens (think Bombay Bicycle Club and The Giantess/Emergency Contraception Blues, I actually tweeted them to play this and they did!)

I’m really proud of the Armies (BTS fanbase) and proud to be part of such a cool fanbase. Honestly I was worried because from watching videos of just pop concerts in general (particularly where hot boys are involved) and the screaming. Now when I say screaming, I mean constant screaming, like throughout the whole concert even when the artist is speaking or they’re singing and emotional song or whatever. And I can’t stand when people do this, it just drives me insane; there’s a time a place for it. But last night was great!
The whole atmosphere of the concert of was one of the best I have experienced. Actually the atmosphere is exact reason why going to concerts is my favourite thing in the whole entire world.To be in a space where you’re with a huge group of people that love an artist as much as you do, where there is this collective adoration of this artist and everyone sings and dances along, it’s just the greatest feeling. I live for this.  And it’s sad that some people don’t see the worth in seeing artists live.

There were so many great moments, but I felt like it happened so fast and I couldn’t dream of remembering them all. But in closing I just want to say seeing BTS was the second best gig I’ve been to ever, second only to The Horrors of course. Actually, in all honesty if the Horrors weren’t my favourite band and weren’t a band where their music is meant to be experienced live, BTS would have been number one.

Oh yeah and Jimin and I totally made eye contact. And I maintain that my boi Suga looked at me at least once. Oh yeah, I was actually really happy with the seats (though my friend and I stood up the whole time) I ended up getting because they were basically at eye level and I could see them perfectly and it was just good.

P.S they are all 300% more good looking in real life.
P.P.S my friend and I may or may not be twitter famous because we are in a photo of one of SBS pop asia's host's photos from the night (my friend especially hahah) 
P.P.S Big Bang are now coming to Melbourne and even though it’s in the last week of uni, I’m going!!
P.P.P.S I’m learning Korean and have decided that I’m going to Korea to teach English for a year. Meaning I’ll be able to go to the hip hop clubs in Hongdae all day everyday.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Songs written by other people

I was actually thinking about this in the middle of my 'K music' post and I thought it would be something worthwhile to pursue properly. Notice here how much more eloquently I'm writing in comparison to my usual trash, so you know I'm down to argue some real shit right here.

You may or may not know, but I'm pretty critical of pop music, and up until the past couple years I was so against all pop music.

I remember reading an article a number of years ago about a lady who wrote songs hit songs for pop artists and some music producers. And this lady talked about how she wanted to get into the industry but no one would sign her so she was just sticking to writing songs. It just made me so angry that this lady could write these amazing songs and someone else would completely take the credit for it.

I also had this misconception that all pop was manufactured shit, but I just got over that and realised that it was just another genre of music. Since then I've sort of embraced it and if I like a pop song, I like it, simple as that.

But there's basically one other underlying factor, apart from the music obviously, that I think affects my music taste and that's artist input.

For me when I find out that a musician has some input into the music they're representing, it's a huge tick in my book and automatically results in respect for that artist regardless whether or not I like their music or not. So of course I'm drawn to musicians who are super talented.

As I was writing the 'K music' post I was thinking maybe the reason why I seem to have this inclining towards 'self-written' music is the music is more real. Real is probably not the best word to use, so maybe genuine. Genuine because the music in response to someone's experiences and emotions.

When someone sits down and writes a song it's a totally organic process where someone is expressing themselves and their experiences through music and lyrics. While not always the case, there are a heap of songs that are inspired by the things the writers have gone through and so the songs are deeply personal.

This is a really important part because for me music isn't just something to just have on in the background. It sounds pretty silly, but it's part of the way I react and make sense of things and so songs that affect me emotionally I'm deeply connected to.

So when you listen to these songs you can just hear the pain or happiness in the music and it's so much easier for the audience to connect emotionally with the music because the audience can link the music to their own experiences and emotions.

For me there is a point of difference between your average manufactured love song and a love song written by a singer-songwriter. I'm not saying that the writers of these songs aren't writing from their personal experience but it's their job to write hits and I think that there is a certain formula to the process.  But there is an individuality of the song since no one can go through the exact experiences of the songs writer.

So when someone shares their experiences through music I think it's a privilege and I will end by saying thanks to the wonderful musicians in this world for so openly sharing their lives with us all.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The K life

Well, well, well. It's that time again. I am in bed, recovering from a hard day of doing nothing important, but also whatever I wanted. In all seriousness though it's my first official day on holiday and I'm so happy. Well that's not completely true.

Usually when I post blogs it's on the good ol' Windows Live Writer because it's how I've been doing it for however long I've had this blog (I just checked and it's been 6 years, and oh god the grammar!!). But for this one I'm doing it on blogger. Why? Because I recently had to get a new laptop (my poor trusty laptop shit itself, but I still hope I can revive it, especially since iTunes, ya feel me) and I've tried installing WLW but alas, to no avail because it's a little shit.

I was actually getting really mad especially at the thought of having to write a blog on word which I was really against because I think I would be in an assessment mind set which is in no way a good thing. So I reluctantly logged onto this, but it's actually not bad at all. Which is really good because I can feel a really long blog post coming on. Here we go.

Korean music obsession has hit hard! Like, on a level of zero to Tokio Hotel, Tokio Hotel, and we all know how hardcore that was.

It all started at the end of Feb when I was in search of an music video. I had seen it on SBS' Pop Asia which I used to watch every now and then because I was a fan of the music videos #masterpieces though I didn't really care for the music; like most pop music for me. Anyway I was searching for this video for hours! While I was searching for this video, I was listening to some of the songs and I was really loving them and it just started from there!

You'll be somewhat happy to know that I think I found the video I was looking for. Check it out below, and not only is the video dope, but the song is too.

The first musician I got into was G-Dragon. Now I had heard of GD; just like I had heard of Shinee and Super Junior, I actually remember looking them up in prime Tokio Hotel time and not liking them lolz. I even recently remember seeing his video for Coup d'etat on Pop Asia and thinking wow so he's pretty hardcore; in terms of the electronic sound. I think I must have re-watched this song and fell in love and I just kept listening to his music. His second record also called Coup d'etat is really great and probably has a place in my top 20!

I have to thank this video because initially I didn't really like this song but I loved the video with my whole heart and after watching the video a million times I really got into it.

I really (oh shiiittt this song just came on shuffle) love how well the video goes with the lyrics of the video. This is one of those songs that the music is so upbeat and it disguises the true meaning of the song. Which is exactly what the song is about; someone who on the outside puts on a tough guy act, but in reality they're breaking down on the inside. The lyrics are amazing and they're a perfect testament to GD's genius, and to some of his sadness. I can really relate to these lyrics. And the video shows this perfectly.

Back to less hardcore analysis  I may or may have not stolen four items of clothing from this video (fur coat- oh yeah I made a fur coat and I'm so proud of it even though it cost me $80 to make, everything is good - red striped t-shirt, striped polo and red shirt) #sorrynotevenremotelysorry. In terms of GD's fashion though, he looks amazing in everything; even when he wears something hideous, he just pulls it off so well. I also got a custom made tote bag with a still from this video and I love it.

I could talk about GD and his talent for 100 year but I've already spent enough time on writing this post and I'm not even half way through, so moving on. GD and this guy called T.O.P made this amazing album together. It's got this really cool old school vibe going on.

T.O.P, aka my second husband, is the most attractive Asian guy I have ever seen in my life and I basically hate him. Just watch that video and see, like mateeeeeeeee and if all men dressed like him i would actually be dead. He's also a really dope rapper. These two are part of a group called Big Bang, and they're sorta the biggest kpop group ever to ever exist.

To be completely honest I actually was pretty disappointed when I listened to Big Bang, because while some songs were really great, I just couldn't get into them. Mainly probably they're a bit too ballad-y and pop-y for me, but also I think it's because a lot of their songs are really date-able; they're not timeless at all. Even they're new stuff, which I'm really loving, esp Bang Bang Bang (listen to this right now, you can thank me later) I think in a few years time, you'll listen back to it and you'll be like this is so 2015. But as group of people I love them all because they're such losers and make me laugh, oh and they're super talented.

The next big obsession comes in the form of BTS aka my boyssssssss. They're a hip-hop idol group composed of seven members and I love them all so much. Entering into the world of kpop I've encountered a number of new terms, but none more important than bias. It's pretty self explanatory, but it's your favourite member of a group. It totally makes sense and why it's not used in other fandom's is lost on me! In terms of BTS they're all amazing and all the members have their individual traits that I adore so it's really hard to pick just one; they're all so lovable, just watch this! What a bunch of losers.

 I do have a top four though; Rap Monster, Suga, V and J-Hope. Mainly based on talent because people who are talented is the ultimate attraction for me, and then there's V haha. But I would probably have to say my number one is Suga. I only say this because I my brother bought me a BTS jumper with a members name on the back and when he asked me, my gut told me Suga and I still stand by that decision. So it was my subconscious telling me who.

They recently released a mini album (but it has 8 songs so its basically a full record) and it's really on point especially it has a really clear theme running throughout. Just listen to it.

It's really strange because for the first time in my life I like a group where some of the members are the same age as me! The youngest member is actually two years younger than me, seriously what is this madness! It makes me feel pretty shit because I'm like, what am I even doing with my life, but anyway.

Now not only is their music amazing, and they're super talented (they all have input in their music) but their dancing is so on point, particularly their synchronization; even my brother recognizes how good they are!! And they do this while singing live at the same time!!

Oh and did I mention, I'M GOING TO SEE THEM LIVE IN A MONTH AND TWO DAYS!?!?!? I'm fucking excited words can't even explain how excited I am, but safe to say I haven't been this excited since I saw the Horrors!

This is probably my favourite song and I'm pretty sure when they play this I'm going to start crying at the same time I'm trying to rap in Korean.

Again I need to move on but I could talk about BTS for 200 years, so please check them out, they're really amazing.

After a while I started to get into less mainstream Korean artists. I was going to say that I couldn't remember how I got into into, lets just call it alt K for typing purposes, but I do because I was listening a cool playlist that just happened to have a Beenzino (god and giver of life) song on it.

I really have to thank 8tracks and some wonderful people for helping me discover some fire musicians. While we're on the topic of 8tracks, check out my own playlists, they're dope #shamelessselfpromo.

I'm super tired right now so I'm going to do another post that looks more in depth into my favorite alt K musicians. Because I'm into so many more artists from the K rnb, rap and hip hop 'scene' than Kpop so it'd be morning before I'd be finished.

So for now here's a teaser in the form of  an awesome track that features a few of my favourite alt K musicians, from my fav Korean record company Amoeba Culture which has all the best signed.

I'm actually really grateful for this obsession. You may or may not have noticed, but music is my whole life, butt over the past couple of years I had been facing a slump. Yes I always kept up to date with my favourite bands, but I never really discovered much new music (apart from Indian music, but it was a different experience).

But with this, I feel like I've fallen in love with music again and the experience of finding new musicians. I had totally forgotten how good it felt to discover new music, so it's really great. It's just sucks a little because I can't show people the music I've found like I used but that's ok, and it's
probably why this post is so long!

Oh but in non Korean music news I'm going to have my most hardcore music experience yet in the form of #3gigsin3days. I'll be seeing The Wombats, Mark Ronson and Years & Years in three consecutive days and it's going to be amazing! But I seriously doubt my body will be ready to handle all that dancing. At least I will have BTS a couple days earlier to prepare me haha.

Sarah out *mic drop*.