Monday, May 31, 2010

Ripples Around the World – Featuring Mr. Something Something, Jorge Strunz and EarthRise SoundSystem

Mr. Something Something - Shine Your Face

Back in the late ‘80’s a new music movement swept through San Francisco like a tsunami.  World Beat was a fusion of rock, soul, Latin, and world music elements, all fused into one politically charged, massive-booty swinging rhythmic orgy.  Bands like the Looters and Zulu Spear took charge there, blasting their uproarious world fusion to pulsating throngs, dancing in the streets, swinging from light posts, sweating in the nightclubs.  At that time, I was massively into African bands like Toure Kunda, King Sunny Ade, and Fela, as well as being fully immersed in reggae from Black Uhuru, Mutabaruka, and Augustus Pablo, amongst others.  I was also DJing a weekly reggae show at KSDT FM.  As a former sworn metalhead, World Beat gave me a new sound to latch onto, combining the dynamic rhythms and pulsating beats of my new found musical love with the flat out familiar rock elements of my former home.  World Beat came and I bought the ticket, sold the farm, and joined the band.

Someday I still mean to get the Looters reviewed in these pages, but currently, my ears are wrapping around a sound so familiar in intent, but so totally fresh, that I haven’t found the time to dig those old Looters LP’s out.  Mr. Something Something, coming from Toronto, take all the blazing dancefloor passionate, polyrhythmic experience of Nigeria and Ghana, and add a glorious amount of good ol'
soul and funk to create an intoxicating blend of their own world beat mania.  Adding a solid horn section into the mix of afrobeat guitar, percolating bass and impossible-to-resists beats, keeps the party flowing like a 24-hour soundsystem.  Toss in their “green life” beliefs (a recent concert was powered entirely by fans generating electricity on bicycle rigs) and political savvy and we got something Mr. Something Something affectionately calls “dancefloor activisim.”

And who am I to argue that.  Imagine the best of Johnny Clegg and Savuka, mixed with my old time favorites The Looters.  Beats don’t just come at you, they surround you, lift you up by the hips and start shaking them all on their own.  The arrangements are complex and layered and the soul is achingly fresh.  And best of all, underneath it all there beats a heavy rock and roll heart.

It’s a party for your ears and your butt..  Afropop at it’s finest.

buy here: Shine Your Face

Jorge Strunz – Neotropical Nocturnes

In truth, there’s not much that I can say about Jorge Strunz.  As half of the neo-flamenco guitar duo Strunz and Farah, I’d gobbled up each album of their delectable guitar feasts like a man eating his first bite after a hunger strike.  Emerging to prominence around the same time that Ottmar Liebert’s star took flight, Strunz and Farah wove and picked and strummed and crafted some of the most gorgeous, intricate, and impassioned neo-flamenco ever released to human ears.  If the thought of a warm afternoon patio, a glass of breathing red wine and flamenco sounds like your idea of a party, any Strunz and Farah album would fit the bill for your soundtrack to heaven.

Now, releasing a solo disc, Jorge Strunz brings all that passion, precision, technique and magic to Neotropical Nocturnes, and the results are nothing short of magnificent.  Let’s be honest, I’m a rock and roll writer (if that). I can’t tell you what Jorge is doing with his picking hand, or his technique of simultaneously strumming as the whips our arpeggios at mind-boggling speed.  I don’t have the words to describe the beauty of his notes, but let it suffice to say, they are beautiful.  Romantic.  Exotic.  Alluring.  I could break out my thesaurus to find more words, but I'd rather not.  I'd rather just sit here and listen to the music.

Strunz’s guitar is like a musical magic carpet blessed with the power to lift you up and carry you away.  Enchanted lands await. 

No fan of flamenco guitar should miss this one.

buy here: Neotropical Nocturnes

EarthRise SoundSystem – The Yoga Sessions

Contrary to any images the name may conjure, EarthRise SoundSystem’s, The Yoga Sessions, aren’t slow, new-agey tunes designed to numb the corporate-mindset while they adopt strange positions and stretch their backs.  Mixing Eastern voices, instruments, and thoughts with some serious downtempo beats and chill bass, this is luscious yogic lounge music of the highest order.  Anyone who’s ever spent any time in a Hindi ashram knows how beautiful the bhajans can be.  What EarthRise does is take the pulse of those bhajans and marry them to Western beats and rhythms, creating a heavenly, pulsing, throbbing, intoxicating blend of Hindi-chill.

Again, there’s way too much pulse here to use it as background music while you wrangle your body out of “downward dog” pose into “cobra.”  But that’s not the intent.  Think of this as a sumptuous late night chill album, or an early Sunday morning coffee riser and you’ll get the feeling. 

Exotic in flavor, spiritual in nature, the vocals float and dance above the lingering dancefloor beat.  Basses throb in sensual pulses, approaching a point of complete higher-self eroticism. “Intention” leads us off, with its prayer of a vocal chant, repetitive in nature, blessing us as we embark on this journey. Harmonies layer on, building softy over the heartbeat of bass.   Songs like “Dash Nayad,” could create a swirling throng of heated bodies on any late-night dance floor. Forget all thoughts of this being a “world beat” album, this is just addictive down-tempo chill.  Perfect for calming the night, settling the soul. “Daylight as Sunset” reminds me of some of the best of Si*Se, throbbing downbeat lounge. 

I’m always on the lookout for a good chill album to calm the ears after all the metal, punk, and garage we get at the Ripple.  Previously, my favorite recommendation would’ve been to check out the Angel Beach 3-CD set.  Now, I got EarthRise SoundSystem and all is right in Ripple world.


buy here: Yoga Sessions: Earthrise Soundsystem

Mr Something Something (song not from this album)

Jorge Strunz (song not from this album)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Sunday Conversation with Abysse

French ambient metallers, Abysse, floored us with their two song EP entitled Le vide est forme.Filled with huge swells of sound and complex musical arrangements, this disc made the Ripple office stop and take note. A few months back, we were able to spend a few moments with the band to find out more about how they create their wondrous sounds and to find out more about the music scene in France. 

Every musician is influenced by those who came before them, but what were your major musical epiphanies that inspired you to create music? What major musical moments helped define you as musicians?

Abysse is a "friend band". We grew up together since we were 6 years old. Now, we are 20, time spent together has permitted us to discover huge bands as Opeth, Lamb of God, The Haunted but also to create our own music database, sometimes enjoying bands that the others totally dislike!

Defined as a beginner musician was an easy step "Hey Guys, it's time to learn instruments and create a rock band" (Summer 2004). Easy as fuck, uh?

We needed barely 3 years to create what Abysse is now. Mastering instruments, developing, creating.. We recorded "Le vide est forme" in summer 2008, exactly 4 years after the killing question: "Hum, who wants to play guitar? You Vincent? So I'll learn bass. What is a bass guys?" 

Entering in this professional recording studio was time to feel like a musician and say 'Hey, I'm part of a rock band. Not the best, not the perfect one, but a cool rock band. That's what we wanted guys, we’ve done it!' A year after, we can say that it was a little step, and we are now in front of the wall.

Le vide est forme is only a two song, twenty minute long EP. What made you decide to issue this release as an EP and not go for a full length product?

 Our writing process is very long. When we recorded it, we didn't have any add songs to record. It was the moment to end the garage band period. The concept "2 tracks - 20 minutes" was strong, original. We had a good feeling with our studio engineer (David Potvin from the band Lyzanxia (Listenable records) and One Way Mirror (Metal Blade). He understood what we wanted and made a very good job, giving soul to our universe. It was another step, give the audience our identity ' We are an ambient band, will never create radio hit'

From where we’re sitting, the French music scene appears to be a burgeoning entity of massive creativity. Being that you’re there, does it feel the same way?

 France is a particular country. Metal music is not considered as music for masses. Our top 5 is Rn'B, Electro, Pop, Rap and French variety. So there is no institute, no structure for metal bands. We have to find by ourselves the great bands who really kick ass in different styles. It's not so easy for them (and us!) to be heard. Many talents stay anonymous while our French proud (Gojira, Hacride..) is getting bigger and bigger. We've got a few bands who cross borders, who are recognize in foreign country. Even if we've got great bands (take a listen to Watertank, Overmars, A Subtle Understatement), we find that the French scene is poor as well. Maybe because we've got many bands who are a 'copy of a copy'. Dejà-vu as we say in France.

Is there a lot of camaraderie within the various bands of the French underground?

 Metalhead’s are very nice, sure it's the case in the whole world. We’ve toured since late 2008, so we do not meet a lot of people, but it's been a great pleasure to share with musicians, promoters (sometimes you find great assholes, but we forget them as fast as possible). We met superstar (Guillaume Bideau haha(singer from Mnemic, One Way Mirror, Scarve..!) and great unknown bands. When people are motivated, they are interesting!

What do you see as being the biggest obstacle in getting your music heard in some of the more major markets, such as the U.S.?

 US market is not untouchable. We don't have any distributor for the moment . . . maybe because we didn't search them. But it will be the next step for our first LP (recording session in a year maybe). For the moment, we will have to share with people like you, getting reviews and interviews, find radios... It's a very hard work. We are actually working on many foreign magazines, but sometimes, they are not translated in English... Hard time!

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

We probably have the most weird way to write... We get together in our rehearse place and play, until finding the best riff/arrangement. We only work together, 4 musicians, 1 music... We are not able to write alone as many bands. If one of the members is not here (even the bass player!), we can't write!
It starts with a guitar riff. Our drummer is the orchestra chief, he gives them sense, a soul, and the way he plays, our guitarist will accommodate for the next. Leads come naturally on and bass gives basement, leads by the drums. We need about 4 month to write a ten minute song... For our upcoming first long play, we decided to think about a concept, how we want to feel the songs, get a view of the art work. We've got a direction to create a coherent album.

What piece of your music are you particularly proud of?

 We love what we play, we give pleasure to ourselves. That's how we feel music. We are happy to see people supporting us, loving personal music like ours. We are proud about one thing. Show to people that music sometimes doesn't need vocals.

The business of music is a brutal place. Changes in technology have made it easier than ever for bands to get their music out, but harder than ever to make a living? What are your plans to move the band forward? How do you stay motivated in this brutal business?

 We can't pretend to live with music. But we've got inside of us the energy to push the band as far away, away as we can. We spend a lot of time with promotion, management, and booking. When you want to go further, you have to think business. Play instrumental underground pieces and think money both is possible . . . haha. We consider us a self managed band. We do everything. We produce our own show in our region, so we played with great bands (Hacride, Kruger.) We create our own promotion/management/booking structure, working as me want. We are actually evoluate as booker, working on a west euro tour with good bands, including Abysse as opening act. We want to become a label soon to sign Abysse and re edit 'Le vide est forme'. Work hard is the best way to get notoriety. When our next album will be recorded, we will need to find a bigger label, tour agency.

Describe to us the ideal (realistic) record label and how you'd work with them, and they with you.

 Ideal professional structure are the ones who give us musical liberty, let us work as we want, but giving us what you can't get alone (International distribution, euro tour, maybe US Tour :)) We stay unskilled in some domains, we need elders to get what we want, a label that works for you if you work for them. These two last questions give you a taste of how our business works.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

If you want Vinyl or CD, you need money. When we've got some to spend on good stuff, we get a better appreciation when items are real, artwork bigger. We will never buy mp3.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kpop conquers the World Cup

In lieu of an Inkigayo recap today, since Dream Concert is airing instead, is a post I've been thinking about since last week but never got the time to write because I've just been so busy with a gazillion things and summer is coming to an end. UGH. Anyway.

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I'm in no way a soccer/football fan, and I don't think I will ever be in this lifetime, but for some reason I'm attracted to music from countries who are CRAZY about the sport. First it was Britain and now it's Korea, it's more than a coincidence - it's almost like fate.

Of course since Korea is just crazy over soccer and talent companies need to earn as much money as they think they can in the quickest time, why not make songs for the world cup? Fantastic. But this isn't the first time the World Cup was influenced kpop in some way, shape or form. At least the kpop I'm aware of.

In 2002 Rain debuted under JYPE - the singer/dancer combination, backing from JYP and strong material mixed with heart-wrenching sob story would've been more than enough to launch anyone into super stardom any other time. However according to that Hip Korea docu on Rain, the reason why he didn't succeed on his first try was because of the World Cup. Korea rejected (kinda) one of the best performers of the 2000's on his first try because of the World Cup. THANK GOD he tried again though, 'coz I would've never gotten into kpop had he not succeeded, but that's a completely different story that has nothing to do with my point.

This didn't shape kpop that much, but personally the title of the best Korean World Cup song ever will have to go to none other than DBSK. Their now-anthemic (at least for me!) 동방의 투혼 was released in 2006 and is probably one of their best Korean ballads ever. It was epic, their vocals were in top form, and it gave me goosebumps all throughout when I first heard it. I mean it when I say no one can do kpop World Cup offerings like DBSK.

There are however a few songs that have come in close this time around, but some I just don't like whatsoever. I give you 7 songs from 7 top idol groups - all in support of Korea for the World Cup.

World Cup songs generally fall into 2 categories - they're either ballad-y and inspirational or noisy, happy and spirited ones that could easily be cheers. These songs posses strong percussion lines sometimes left unprocessed, catchy melodies, easy-to-remember hooks and "Dae Han Min Guk" being chanted and/or sung every few seconds - what more is there to a pop song?

Sponsored by Coke, 2PM released What's Your Celebration? and it just screams advertisement. People have pointed out that it sounds like a Coke song but since I stopped watching TV a long time ago and I've never listened to the radio, I don't actually know what that sounds like. Either that or I just can't remember - this song sounds very familiar though. Their vocals are OK, but I find the chorus a little sloppily sung - they're slurring the notes when they're supposed to be nice and snappy. I do like the percussion line that's obvious on parts of the song, especially at the beginning and the end - very big.

This is my first time writing about T-ara on the blog, and I've gotten some attacks on formspring because I've never mentioned them before but to be completely honest with you, I've never had anything ground-breaking to say about them - until now that I'm writing this World Cup post and they did a song. One of the earliest songs to be released by idols, We Are The One has probably the cheesiest hook ever and the girls are drowned out by the chorus - you have to turn the volume up to hear them because if you listen in passing, you'll hear random voices. The chorus is so cheesy that it sticks so bad - I won't be able to get this out of my head for hours. UGH. However the verses are pretty OK - the melody's pretty and their vocals sound decent. Small and mouse-like, but decent. It's one of those songs that are borderline ballad but borderline uptempo too - there are parts of the song that are one thing then the next part is completely different. It's cohesive though, and here we go again with the percussion - I like.

If my memory serves me right, HAM's video for 우리는 하나 was the very first World Cup release by an idol group, it also happens to be one of my favorite of the group. I didn't like HAM when they first debuted, and I didn't like their second single either (I was still with OMGKPOP then so yeah) but this one song made me interested in these girls again - their vocals are very, very strong. I LOVE the real drums, and I LOVE the treatment of the vocals on the chorus but the chorus after the middle 8 just gives me goosebumps every time. It's not as good as the DBSK ballad, but it's pretty damn close - good try girls, REALLY good try. There's something that I still don't know yet though - who's the guy singing with them? UGH I know, shoot me now, but answer my question first!

2AM were the latest idol group to release a World Cup single - I first heard Number One the other day and the video followed last week. It's like that T-Ara song in the sense that it's borderline ballad AND uptempo - it has this uplifting feel to it. The melody is pretty, and there's just the right amount of autotune throughout the song - plus the vocals are really nice and smooth. The talking gets to me a bit and the chanting of the random colors is rather, uh, random, but it's very sweet to listen to and it doesn't piss you off or anything. It doesn't have the intensity that some of the others have so it's rather refreshing after all the heavy ballads and uptempos. WAHAH.

After School's Dreams Again! reminds me a lot of a female version of 2AM's Number One - the bits out autotuning here and there, the cool and calm nature of the song and the smooth vocals. It's a little more intense in a different way though, and it sounds very Euro/trance-y - would have no problem fitting into a Robyn or Agnes album with a few tweaks here and there. I love the piano loop mixed with all these electronic elements and their relaxed vocals - one of my personal favorites.

Kara released We're With You on the same day as T-Ara, if I remember correctly. Out of the two I preferred the Kara one, although it's not without it's flaws. It's a Kara song, and that instantly makes the vocals not my type. I've never liked their vocals and I remember saying that had someone else with better vocals recorded Lupin, I would've worshiped it like hell. The melody is pretty, the guitars add a good contrast to the nature of the song and the the yeah yeah's towards the end are nice a floaty but everything else is far too cutesy for my taste. It sounds very Kara though, so I gotta hand it to them.

Ah yes, Super Junior - or at least part of the band. SME released a video teaser for Victory Korea one day, and when I heard it I was all over it. The full song was released a few days later and the video followed, but I was rather disappointed. I mean yeah part of the instrumental is like a direct copy of Sorry Sorry raised by a few octaves but that isn't my main concern - I don't know why but after an hour of listening I got sick of it. When I listen to it now I don't wanna throw up or anything, it just doesn't hit as hard as the other songs anymore. Leeteuk singing is good and Yesung's voice was brilliant on this but where's Shindong? SME's starting to treat him like a backup dancer now and not as a member of an idol group that you know, sings? UGH. It's really upbeat and catchy and the chorus plus the verses are brilliant but for the most part, it goes right through me now. It's a very good World Cup song though - does the trick.

Thanks to Bing for pointing it out on the comments section that I didn't include Big Bang on this post. UGH. I remember writing about the song, but I honestly (and I'm not trying to cover up any mistakes here) have no idea why it didn't get on the post. UGH anyway.

Ah yes, Big Bang, Trans Fixion and Kim Yuna's rather highly-publicized duet, 승리의 함성. It's a very catchy song, and for the most part it literally sounds like Big Bang singing a World Cup song, which is good, but my main problem with the song is that they're not actually the ones singing the hook - or at least it doesn't sound like them. Nice try at singing Yuna, but I wouldn't advise you to give up figure skating. I like that little bit with Trans Fixion - it sounds different from the song and yet it doesn't seem detached from everything. I like.

A Lesson In Fangirling (and analysis too, we suppose)


For this post I've gotten a little help from Mel from Melismatic - go read her blog AFTER this. I swear, she's brilliant. :)

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know (I think?) that Mel's probably the blogger I'm closest too - I treat her like a big sister. :) And I CANNOT believe that we didn't think of writing something like this sooner. We were talking the other day and this came up, as did a few others we'll get to when we do, for now they're all under wraps. *evil laugh*

The initial idea for this was to do a V 3.0 of my DBSK vocal commentary, but it's up to you to judge whether or not we followed that plan. OH well.

So anyway. Before you start reading our hilarious chat a few hours ago, there're some terms and nicknames you gotta take note of, or else you'll be lost as hell 'coz we both talk A LOT. :)

According to Mel:
Yunho - (aka YH, Ho, U-Know) The bass voice and "leader" of DBSK. He's also the main dancer. Fans often joke that he is in a "relationship" with group member Jaejoong (Yunjae)...but that's a long story for another time and place.
Yoochun - (YC, Chun, Chunnie, Micky) Next above Yunho, more of a growly deep voice. He also lived in America for a few years, and is therefore given speaking parts in songs that are in English. However, he's not exactly fluent and often forgets much of the English he learned. We love him all the same.
Jaejoong - (Hero, JJ, J, Joong, Joongie, Nikki's Bias or Favorite) The somewhat obvious heartthrob of the group, who sings melody tenor. He's basically so pretty, the collective women of the world are jealous. Myself included.
Junsu - (JS, Su, Xiah) The requisite "big" voice of the group. He's often pigenholed by the other members for being so cutesy all the time in interviews and fanservice, and is unarguably one of the funniest members of the whole group by how willing he is to sacrifice himself for others laughter. He also just released a solo single called "Intoxication" this past week and it's sex, sex and more sex. Just saying.
Changmin - (CM, Min, Minnie, Changminnie, Minnie Mouse, Max, Mel's Bias) What is there to say? Min sings the highest parts, and often is accounted for his ability to "scream" (see "Rising Sun" and the bridge of "Mirotic"). I quite enjoy him for his long legs, his snarky remarks and his ability to make me stand mesmerized when watching music videos. It's an addiction. It really needs to stop.

Yunho is either Ho or YH, Yoochun is YC, Junsu is Su, Changmin is CM, and Jaejoong is JJ. SM is their entertainment company in Korea, TSC is The Secret Code - their fourth Japanese album, FITB is Five In The Black - their second Japanese album. I guess that's it.

OK, prepare to laugh like hell. *evil laugh* If you learn something, Mel and I will consider it a mission accomplished.

Mel: lmao This is a rather ragged attempt at an analysis of DBSK's members vocal competency. *She said in her big girl voice.*
Nikki: WAHAHAHAH It is. V 3.0!
Mel: remixed
Nikki: LOL the other 2 versions are gonna suck now. GREAT
Nikki: YES
Mel: ::cough:: ::cough::
Nikki: NO BIASES. * glares at Mel *
Mel: Hey, I said it first. I shall stick to it.
Mel: You did. Then I was forced to suffer the pain.
Nikki: yayyyyyyyy :)
Mel: For the record though, my bias isn't considered the lead singer. AND I should ask, why does your bias always stand in the middle?
Nikki: well I'm sorry he's my bias 'coz I like his voice!
Mel: I wouldn't say he's the middle voice.
Nikki: he is. well technically
Mel: Doesn't he sing higher than Junsu?
Nikki: No. he does melody.
Mel: Harummmph.
Nikki: Su's between CM and JJ * glares *
Mel: Matter of opinion.
Nikki: mmmhmmm. that's for a capella.
Mel: Does Jaejoong always stand in the middle b/c he knows he's the eyecandy?
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: Or rather SM knows?
Nikki: when they dance he's not in the middle. SM knows. I think?
Mel: They ain't stupid.
Mel: If DBSK was *NSYNC, JJ would be Justin Timberlake. Which would make Junsu the JC. Exhibit A: his solo single is all about sex and makin' on the laydeez. *rather "mackin'". Let's strike that from the record, please
Nikki: mmmkay
Mel: Following this pattern, this would mean that Yoochun will join and almost win a dance show, Yunho will be revealed as gay, and Changmin will fade into obscurity (b/c he will have moved to America to marry me).
Nikki: you're the NSYNC fangirl here LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL BIASED!
Mel: yes but we aren't talking about vocals yet.
Nikki: ugh fine. * sulks * but can YC even dance?
Mel: PPL should probably refer to your previous vocal analysis' for more info regarding each member. There's no point in repeating. YC can dance. Honey, YC can dance.
Nikki: UGH. THEN
Mel: Then?
Nikki: after I open my eyes what do I do?
Mel: Stare longingly at the computer screen. NOT at just Jaejoong.
Nikki: but whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy LOL.
Mel: Because believe it or not, there are four other people on that stage that also matter, silly. ;)
Nikki: But you do realize that YC and JS are still fighting over #2 for me. Yes I know that.
Mel: I hear you. I listened to "Intoxication" about six times today.
Nikki: ugh me too.
Mel: Each time I heard a new dirty phrase in English I hadn't heard before.
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: often times misprounounced.
Nikki: I wouldn't even dare listening to it without earphones. I might get looks from my parents
Mel: Scandalicious. That can be the name of the male complement of Girlicious. Scandalicious.
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: ANYWAY stop getting me distracted
Nikki: I'm not getting you distracted, you're getting yourself distracted!
Mel: I suppose it's my albatross.
Nikki: ugh whatever.
Mel: lol
Nikki: lol
Mel: Where to start?
Nikki: hmmmmmm
Mel: With one member in particular or by song?
Nikki: uhhhhhhhhhh this is "remix like total remix like hell" right? by song.
Mel: o.O huh? Sure, whatever you say.
Nikki: I mean we're not doing this like how I did it before by member.
Mel: OK. Just by song and with commentary. Sounds like a plan.
Nikki: K. let's start with uhhhhhhhhhh you pick. you're gonna kill me if I don't pick 'Mirotic' anyway
Mel: lets leave the best toward the end. leave them wanting.
Nikki: :)
Mel: Although with them, it's kind of difficult.
Mel: Let's go with early work.
Nikki: MLP
Mel: So "My Little Princess."
Nikki: yeah. that's what I said.
Mel: You abbreviated and were therefore faster than me. It doesn't count.
Nikki: it does!
Mel: And pressing

Nikki: I have the brains to abbreviate!
Mel: Hehehe, not.
Nikki: * glares *
Mel: YC has a nice speaking voice.
Nikki: FAIL ENGLISH YC, FAIL epic faillllll
Mel: He's the random base speaking voice of DBSK like Boyz II Men.
Nikki: HAHAHA JJ! He wasn't that good yet though.
Mel: It sounds like he's singing in an empty room.
Nikki: very plain.
Mel: With all that echo.
Nikki: CM.
Mel: ......<---dead
Nikki: Without the screaming.
Mel: Just kidding.
Nikki: I like him this way.
Mel: He has a very pretty voice when he controls it.
Nikki: no screaming. that's what I said.
Mel: And he gets better with his control with age. Like wine. ;)
Nikki: ughhhhhhh
Mel: Or something.
Nikki: you and your bias. I like YC's vocals.
Mel: I'll stop being gushy. Till "Rising Sun."
Nikki: they're different.
Mel: I like YC because he's breathy.
Nikki: they've got dimension. I like dimension
Mel: It makes him stand out.
Nikki: Awwwww young Su
Mel: His growling I could do without. Ahhh.
Nikki: UGH ME TOO. Ho. I was thinking of something new to say about him. later.
Mel: Hehe. Poor Yunho. Just stand and look pretty.
Nikki: he's not pretty
Mel: And dance around a bit. HE IS SO.
Nikki: well not as pretty as JJ
Mel: At least he is now.
Nikki: Yay more YC!
Mel: No one is, sweetheart.
Nikki: even me. * cries *
Mel: Nor me. * cries * I love CM's little bit here.
Nikki: more random YC talking bits. at least they're in Korean now.
Mel: I just imagine cheesy grins and adorable-ness.
Nikki: Ughhhhhh
Mel: Awww, how adorable.
Nikki: harmoniesssssss * dies *
Mel: * claps *
Nikki: * still dead *
Mel: Nikki, wake up.
Nikki: * dead *
Mel: We have more songs to about.
Nikki: UGH FINE. next?
Mel: I chose, now you choose. Yoochoose. Hehe.
Nikki: uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Mel: That wasn't funny. I apologize.
Nikki: LOL. I just noticed it now.
Mel: Right. Because it wasn't funny.
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: It happens sometimes.
Nikki: how are we supposed to leave out the good stuff for later when they're all good?
Mel: Mmm. Well, that was a ballad, so let's go for something more uptempo.
Nikki: 'Hey!'?
Mel: Does that narrow it down? Sure, that works.
Nikki: K.
Mel: And....go.

Nikki: Ugh I wish they did this with a live band.
Mel: Do you think of Queen when you hear the beginning?
Nikki: LOL no. sorry
Mel: I thought it from the first time I heard it. So when I saw them do that in the stage act, I got excited. CUT UP CUT UP
Nikki: weeeeeheee my dad said this was a cover. according to him.
Mel: I told you so.LOL Junsu kind of kills this attitude vocal here.
Nikki: but it was "written" by Yoo Young Jin.
Mel: Who does that OOOH! bit in the chorus?
Nikki: UGH YES. where? when? ughhhh
Mel: At the beginning of the chorus. Go back, go back.
Nikki: I'm back I'm back.
Nikki: Su? The scream?
Mel: It's hard to tell.
Nikki: that's CM.
Mel: IS IT?
Nikki: Yeah.
Mel: Well....
Nikki: duh.
Mel: I didn't even mean to compliment him and yet, it still happens.
Nikki: hahah
Mel: Miracles never cease with that man.
Nikki: I love how YC always gets the fail English lines. what the crap does "give it away" mean?
Mel: "I really wanna touch myself."  lmao
Nikki: in reference to the song I mean. LOL YEAH THAT TOO
Mel: I know they pick on Su for being so cutesy, but attitude, he does have. In bucketfuls. When on stage.
Nikki: ugh I know. it's like he steps on that stage and he's like WHOA. I believe JJ does the scream on the second chorus.
Mel: ...
Nikki: WHAT?!
Mel: Not as impressed that time.
Nikki: ugh.
Mel: Justkiddingtotallykidding. Honestly, I didn't even hear it.
Nikki: I did. * loser sign *
Mel: Junsu kills the bridge. KILLS. It's dead.
Nikki: he does. I am too. * dies *
Mel: Then JJ's little riff is the final death blow.
Nikki: I'm already dead and he has to go in and kill me too?
Mel: It's downright MELISMATIC. Sorry.
Nikki: LOL are you advertising your blog?
Mel: No? (Junsu Smile)
Nikki: we should put a link later. LOL. yeah yc "needs a girl". LOL. OK that was funnier in my head.
Mel: He "needs you gurrrrrr." Or rather GRRRRRR
Nikki: can we die now?
Mel: Yes. That really is one of my favorites.
Nikki: OK. * dies *
Mel: The first I heard was that whole album, and Mirotic, Hey!, Good Girl and Love In the Ice were the main standouts. And they continue to be.
Nikki: I didn't like it when I first heard it
Mel: At all?
Nikki: BOO ME
Mel: Yes, boo you. How dare you?
Nikki: 'Mirotic' and 'Flower Lady' were the only songs that stuck, BUT I'M REPENTING NOW!
Mel: Well, we diverge, b/c you like ballads. And swoony things.
Nikki: I like uptempos too! * sulks *
Mel: And I like attitude and dancing and uptempo and sex appeal.
Nikki: LOL you do.
Mel: hahaha What's next?
Nikki: you pick.
Mel: Hmmm. If I pick, I say....Doushite?
Nikki: K.
Mel: And......go.

Nikki: I remember the first time I heard this. It was a Monday
Mel: Awww nostalgia.
Nikki: then I freaked out over it when I saw my bff the next day I was like "OMG JJ'S SO BRILLIANT WAAAAAAAAHHHH"
Mel: I think all five are in top form here. And I like it b/c it breaks the stereotype of boy bands -- all of them sing
Nikki: hell yeah. Ho's pretty OK on this too.
Mel: He is. Give him credit.Junsu has such control. Gorgeous.
Nikki: I mean compared to everyone in the band he's not THAT good, but as an idol he pwns everyone else.
Mel: BUT....Changmin's little grace notes in his solo kill me EVERYTIME.
Nikki: Even CM sounds good.
Mel: That could be part of the bias, though.
Nikki: it is.
Mel: Excuse you -- EVEN CM? Hurumph.
Nikki: ugh.
Mel: I'll try to forgive you for that.
Nikki: fiiiiine. I liked Su on this. and YC A LOT
Mel: I actually really like Ho, even though it's kind of clear he's trying REALLY hard
Nikki: yeah.
Mel: I respect that.
Nikki: but at least he's trying.
Mel: He tries to have the flow the others have and it just doesn't come. But...he still tries.
Nikki: yeah. and then JJ just blows me away
Mel: I shall have to agree on this song.
Nikki: yayyyyyy
Mel: But the king will always be Junsu.
Nikki: well yeah. I like how it ends nice and clean and soft
Mel: But JJ sounds almost as pretty as he is.
Nikki: HE DOES.
Mel: Very pretty.
Mel: And how pretty is the background? Simple.
Nikki: next song?
Mel: you pick.
Nikki: 'Break Out'?
Mel: Ahh, that works. And....................... Go.

Nikki: "Baby we keep the faith eternally" * bawls *
Mel: :) :) I can't believe it took me that long to fully grasp how meaningful that was. Even if its just YC.
Nikki: UGH I KNOW * glares *
Mel: I quite prefer their Japanese uptempos.
Nikki: Me too.
Mel: With the exception of "Mirotic."
Nikki: I'll just nod.
Mel: And the Japanese version of "Rising Sun." But we'll get to that later.
Nikki: CM sounds good here.
Mel: Dang Skippy.
Nikki: WHAT?!
Mel: Just nod.
Nikki: whyyyyyyyyyyyyy
Mel: B/c he does! You said it!
Nikki: Yeah I know I said it!
Mel: Yunho's solos tend to blend in this song.
Nikki: JJ sounds better though. dreams
Mel: I tend to forget its him and think its someone else.
Mel: I prefer CM in this range. And Junsu sounds stellar as usual.
Nikki: well duh. when DOESN'T he? OK maybe sometimes but let's just go with that!
Mel: The roundtable Autotune bit is my favorite part.
Nikki: hahah.
Mel: I always want to do the robot.
Nikki: I was against autotuning them at first. but it's tasteful.
Mel: It is. And really, it's not nearly as robotic as most Auto-Tune uses.
Nikki: and they didn't autotune everything.
Mel: I have to give the award to YC for this one.
Nikki: Me too.
Mel: Even if he doesn't sing much other than that big line.
Nikki: yeah but it's pretty much the entire song.
Mel: Dang these songs fly by.
Nikki: ugh I know.
Mel: I wonder who does that robotic "Break Out" bit?
Nikki: Me too.
Mel: Hmmm. The mystery.
Nikki: could either be CM or Su or none of them
Mel: Maybe it's Yunho.
Nikki: maybe.
Mel: And he's punking all of us.
Nikki: ugh the song's done and we're still talking about it.
Mel: It's a good one. What's next?
Mel: Hmmm. "Darkness Eyes"?
Nikki: :)
Mel: Off the beaten track a little. And go.

Nikki: ahhhh DBSK does EPIC. EPIC.
Mel: The background is really kind of amazng.
Nikki: it is. I love string sections. :) it sounds even better in CDQ
Mel: Stop yourself.
Nikki: and why would I do that?
Mel: I liked this one because it's kind of dissonant in places, so it wakes you up and makes you pay attention.
Nikki: OK OK I'LL STOP MYSELF! * nods * the string section alone is enough to kill me.
Mel: That coupled with the harmony chorus = Nice.
Nikki: then JJ just HAS to come in and kill me a gazillion times more.
Mel: To be honest, I feel he sounds real thin on this one.
Nikki: I think that's the point.
Mel: But perhaps that's why I like the chorus so much more.
Nikki: you know, airy and whatnot? to contrast the really heavy instruments
Mel: It fills you up...its almost like it's turning. Like a wheel.
Nikki: it's more brilliant live. did you see that?
Mel: Agreed 110%.
Nikki: OK you did
Mel: Yes ma'am.
Mel: Trueee story. Ah, I see what you mean on the thin vocals. Su's like that too.
Nikki: see?
Mel: I do.
Mel: Errr....yes?
Nikki: I like how it just ends.
Mel: True. I have a new appreciation for that one.
Nikki: su says the last line and it's like 'BAM' done. I TOLD YOU.
Mel: I'm more in favor of The Secret Code album, but T is probably my second favorite of the Japanese albums.
Nikki: amen.
Mel: But I like the Five In the Black one too because of CM's hair.
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: OK, I'll stop now. Next song?
Nikki: FITB gave us 'Proud' * dies * Next?
Nikki: uhhhhh 'Rising Sun' or 'You Only Love'?
Mel: Either works.
Nikki: mmmmmmm Rising Sun.

Mel: Is that CM or Su doing the RISE UP?
Nikki: SM. CM! lollllllll
Mel: I got scared for a second. haha
Nikki: LOL
Mel: It takes on a new meaning then. Haha.
Nikki: YC rap.
Mel: YC's RAP MAKES EM LAUGH EVERYTIME! dslkfjdsklfjdksjflkdsjflj lkjsd gotcha bah!
Nikki: HERE I GO, COME BACK! what the crap does that mean?
Mel: I love the versatility in sounds of this song.
Nikki: Junsu was brilliant on this.
Mel: One minute it's hyper, next it's introspective, then dancy.
Nikki: I wanna faint, but then I won't hear JJ
Mel: Chorus is beautiful too.
Nikki: I KNOW.
Nikki: LOL. "waiting for rising suuuuuuuuun!!!!"
Mel: YH's rap makes no sense either.
Nikki: and more YC rap. LOL.
Mel: FAIL ENGLISH again.
Nikki: I know. CM! his signature line. I think?
Mel: :) :) :) insert Mel dancing
Nikki: SU! JJ!
Mel: CM's wail here is too golden.
Nikki: why do they always put them together? don't they have any mercy?
Nikki: lol.
Mel: aye ya ya
Nikki: NA NA NA! YC. again.
Nikki: WHAT?
Mel: at 3:23
Nikki: yeah?
Mel: did you hear the "eh he" like Michael Jackson? Or was it just me? Who was that? Yunho?
Mel: Go back, go back.
Nikki: I DID!
Mel: :) :)
Nikki: O.O
Nikki: then we go back to normal. with a CM scream. I HAVE NO IDEA.
Mel: It makes my ovaries quake.That scream. RISEEEEEEEEE UPPPPPPPPP
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: Even if he was underaged when he recorded this. I don't care.
Nikki: I didn't actually like this either when I first heard it.
Mel: jaw drop
Nikki: I'M SORRY, OK?!
Mel: It's so strange and interesting.
Nikki: I know.
Mel: Hehe.
Nikki: and once again, it just ends.
Mel: Are you sure that Rise Up's CM at the end?
Nikki: they're made for performance. no. at the end, no.
Mel: Who is that?
Nikki: dunno. YC?
Mel: It sounds a bit like YC. Hmm. I suppose we do "You Only Love" next?
Nikki: yeah?
Mel: Why not.

Nikki: I love Su here.
Mel: I like the piano.
Nikki: me too. and CM isn't wailing. yayyyyyy
Mel: I wish it was them playing it though.
Mel: CM in control = Happy Mel
Nikki: JJ+Piano = Dead Nikki
Mel: (dirty grin)
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: ugh... I was waiting for that.
Nikki: I love the chorus.
Mel: I like how you can really hear all five voices and how they fit in together.
Nikki: I was trying to concentrate on listening to the harmonies but they're too gorgeous that I just had to fangirl over it. you can't not fangirl over it - that's a crime.
Mel: :) Nice try at a big note, YC. Kudos.
Nikki: wait.
Mel: A for Effort.
Nikki: where are we?
Mel: 1:46? 1:48? Was it not YC?
Nikki: no. it was YH
Mel: lmao Ahh. Now it makes sense.
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: I told you - I get his voice confused.
Nikki: hahah. JS and JJ have to STOP sharing verses/middle 8s
Mel: He's the only one. NOOOO. No no no no.
Nikki: I'm dying too much.
Mel: They sound perfect together. Su is killing me.
Mel: I love the oooooh WOP
Nikki: me too.I love dynamic markers. :)
Mel: :)
Nikki: I can't believe it's over. :((((
Mel: Ahh. OK. Now you give ME one second. Brb.
Nikki: K.
Mel: k
Nikki: 3 songs left.
Mel: Needed to get some water. DBSK parched me.
Nikki: HAHAH
Mel: OK. What's left?
Nikki: survivior, 9095 and mirotic.
Mel: What about Love In the Ice? Oh dear.
Mel: How could we?
Nikki: wait.
Mel: we shall be crucified.
Nikki: lemme load the CD I KNOW. * goes and gets a cross * you get the nails. LOL.
Mel: Oh dear.
Nikki: K. CD's in. gimme a sec
Mel: Are we doing Love In the Ice?
Nikki: yeah. we should.
Mel: okay. You tell me when to hit play.
Nikki: k.
Mel: now?

Nikki: I love the sparkly bits. YES NOW.
Mel: Awwww.
Nikki: they're even better on CD * grins *
Mel: And I should point out that Changmin transcriped the Korean version from the Japanase.
Nikki: yessss he did.
Mel: I say that like I'm proud of it. But I am.
Nikki: we're doing the Japanese version right? RIGHT?
Mel: Err, no. Changm -- I mean Korean version.
Mel: UGH.
Mel: OK. Tell me when.
Nikki: I thought you said Japanese!
Mel: NOOOOO.  Why would I have the non-Changmin version?
Nikki: BOO. because it has better production? :))))
Mel: Huffffsdlkfjdslkfjlds Details.
Nikki: OK NOW. sparkly bitssss
Mel: Take 2.
Nikki: the Korean version has less depth
Mel: You cannot listen to this on anything short of 11.
Nikki: but I like it. it's crisp.
Mel: JJ sounds lovely.
Nikki: and JJ's just O.O I would like to die happy now. CM sounds nice.
Mel: I quite like CM's vibratto as well.
Mel: Even YC sounds gorgeous and controlled. They are all on their best behavior in this one.
Mel: This is one of the best parts. The little mini duets.
Nikki: I. KNOW. RIGHT.
Mel: Even better live. :)
Nikki: ughhh yesss
Mel: We say that like we've been there. Haha.
Nikki: I'm dying just thinking about it. LOL. in our dreams.
Mel: LIGHTERS UP. JJ's note here is perfection.
Nikki: I love that everything just disappears when YC and JJ sing.
Mel: Gorgeous. Oh, YH, nice of you to join us.
Nikki: we get a CM scream! kinda.
Mel: Errr...nah.
Nikki: MORE JJ.
Mel: That's not a scream, honey. ;) (winky winky)
Nikki: well kinda! Junsu makes me wanna cry
Mel: He does that to me a lot to.
Nikki: * sobs * IT'S SO PRETTY!
Mel: The boy knows how to emote.
Nikki: Seriously. I feel tears.
Mel: Rock to the ah ah ah ah bit.
Nikki: Then Su comes in and just WHOA
Mel: Junsu here is perfection.
Mel: JJ soars.
Nikki: I wouldn't be surprised if I cried in a while.
Mel: But YC just sends it home. Arguably his best.
Nikki: when they did this live at the Tokyo Dome I was bawling by this part.
Mel: Awwwww.
Nikki: No other boyband has made me cry. for real.
Mel: I cannot claim that feat.
Nikki: UGH.
Mel: But I'm older than you, young grasshopper.
Nikki: * stares * * blink *
Mel: Just smile and nod.
Nikki: * smiles and nods * AWWWWW WHY
Mel: Ahh. Five minutes goes in a blink.
Nikki: it's overrrrrrrrrr BOO
Mel: Gorgeosity.
Nikki: I know. I can't believe we forgot this.
Mel: I don't think they can top that now. Ballad-wise.
Nikki: we'll see.
Mel: Fingers crossed.
Nikki: * sigh * Right now any new material will be brilliant. because we've waited so long.
Mel: Mmm. And to be honest, I'm not a huge of Tomete.
Nikki: It was OK.
Mel: It's pretty but it's no Love In the Ice.
Nikki: not crazy over it. LITI is really WHOA
Mel: Very very WHOA.
Nikki: this and 'Proud' are lightyears above everything else.
Mel: It's the type of song that you give to people when they say UGH They are such a BOY BAND. And you say, oh yeah? Hmmm.
Nikki: LOL. it's been done for ages and we're STILL talking about it.
Mel: Ah, right. OK.
Nikki: 9095?
Mel: Sounds good.
Nikki: loading the CD
Mel: Anddddddddddddd
Nikki: WAIT!
Mel: .....tell me when
Nikki: LOL. stupid copyright protection. you guys seriously think I'd wanna degrade a CD to an MP3? SERIOUSLY.
Mel: * taps foot impatiently
Nikki: I am too. waittt OK! aaaaaannddd NOW

Mel: Ooooh Rain Effects.
Nikki: JJ wrote this. It's my ring tone.Mel: Ahhh, I shall bow to you, then.
Nikki: Weeeeheee
Mel: My ring tone is vibrate.
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: Err...anyway.
Nikki: I love this with real drums. it doesn't have it in the recording though
Mel: It's so spooky and mysterious.
Nikki: BOO.
Mel: CM follows JJ in solos alot, huh? Hmm
Nikki: yeah. My phone was ringing the other day and my mom was like "why's it so creepy?" yeah. and Ho gets the chorus! well part of it.
Mel: Ooooh....dark. Dissonant... Ahh, he's throwing his boyfriend a break.
Nikki: I believe that's a guitar? LOL. Mel: Lots of spooky midi keyboard.
Nikki: * nods * YC sounds brilliant on this. they all do.
Mel: Goes without saying really.
Nikki: and you'd think the chorus would explode but it doesn't
Mel: I like when it sort of POW!s off into the chorus. and gets quiet. AHHH wavelength.
Nikki: the harmonies are so pretty.
Mel: same one. jump on it.
Nikki: HAHAHAHAHAH JJ's note. sends everything into utter brilliance.
Mel: It sounds so different than everything else.
Nikki: :)
Mel: Than anything I've ever heard in the pop realm, really.
Nikki: it's like the JJ version of 'Darkness Eyes'
Mel: I almost feel like those notes at the end were almost as if they were recorded and then put on the record being played backward. Hard to explain but that's almost how it sounds. So hesitant.
Nikki: there's '9096' and that really freaks me out - it's even spookier than 9095
Mel: I'm not a fan. I prefer the real thing. ;)
Nikki: me too, but it's just so damn spooky
Mel: Speaking of interludes, I like the main intro
Nikki: me too! JJ scream!
Mel: But I also quite like T's "Trick". If only for the Michael Jackson reference. Again.
Mel: Ahh, I love them for loving MJ.
Nikki: hahahahaha. Ho's MJ tribute. :))))))
Mel: :) So that leaves Survivor for next, right?
Nikki: yessss
Nikki: I believe TSC was my #1 album of last year because of this song.
Mel: I am Junsu. Native Speaker.
Mel: I'm a new fan. Let's listen....anddddddd. go.

Nikki: I know. I love the start
Mel: POW It's like fireworks. mixed with guitars scratches.
Nikki: they have fireworks when they do this live. later.
Mel: :)
Nikki: and the production's just O.O
Mel: I love the synth arpeggio.
Nikki: me tooooooooooooo
Mel: It's so 80''s like...duran duran meets 00's korean boy band. epic.
Nikki: YC tends to growl or whatever when he does this live. :(
Mel: Yes. He needs to learn to stop that.
Nikki: Ho. Oh ho.
Mel: The way he does it on record is just fine.
Mel: Does the chorus sound like a video game theme song to you?
Nikki: CM and JJ!
Mel: It does to me.
Nikki: yeah.
Mel: I'd type more but I'm busy dancing.
Nikki: and then the middle 8-ish thingy.
Mel: AHHH.
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: Junsu....
Mel: How I heart you.
Mel: random ambulance sounds too
Nikki: LOL I know.
Mel: its like they've been to NYC
Nikki: lolllll and it just ends. :((((((( I want more
Mel: like they skip off into the sunset.
Nikki: Skip off into the SUNSET? after singing SURVIVOR?
Mel: Uh...why not?
Nikki: LOL.
Nikki: LOL. I'll load Mirotic.
Mel: And that leaves the myth. The one. The only. The legend.
Mel: I'm so excited.
Nikki: and we haven't even pressed play yet.
Mel: Ahhh, the anticipation! Tell me when.
Nikki: K. 1 2 GOOOOOO

Nikki: JJ doesn't get that many lines. :(
Mel: How can you not dance to this song?
Nikki: I don't. :(
Mel: The backdrop is crazy.
Nikki: Ugh I know.
Mel: The use of "red ocean" disturbs me.
Nikki: I was trying to follow the percussion and I was like OMG whoever made this was so brilliant.
Mel: I know its a reference to Cassiopeia but...
Nikki: hahahah.
Nikki: "neon nareul wonhae....."  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHHA "i gotchuuuuuuuuuuuuu!"
Mel: try to unhear that now.
Nikki: it's like this gets even more epic live.
Mel: During CM's bit in the video, the camera doesn't capture him the whole time.
Nikki: YH+ a bit of YYJ
Mel: During this verse. It annoys me.
Nikki: hahahahahha Rap.
Mel: Now, put your hand on your chin and prove to the world you're a bad ass beast.
Mel: <<--- Melismatic died  Nikki: OK guys. it's just me now. Mel's dead. we're planning her funeral now.
Mel: Ah, CM revived me with his Come On Come On. He promised me other dirty things I cannot repeat.
Nikki: OMG THAT MIDDLE 8 OMG! OMG! * dies *
Mel: UGH, so perfect. Don't you die on me too!
Nikki: I just did.
Mel: * slaps Nikki *
Nikki: * dies *
Mel: Pull it together.
Nikki: we're done anyway. LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL come to think of it, it DOES sound like that.
Mel: During the live cuts, Junsu's riffs are the best.
Nikki: JJ's adlibs
Mel: Hehehe.
Mel: I'm telling you, it's impossible to unhear when you hear it.
Mel: OK. One....two... GO
Nikki: did we say anything NOT fangirl-y about this?
Mel: Uh...blank stare
Nikki: Ugh who cares.
Mel: I like their outfits in the video.
Nikki: Me too.
Mel: And CM in the water.
Nikki: :))))))) LOL.
Nikki: ughhhh I might start singing that the next time I hear it.
Mel: Chrome Heart?
Nikki: uh... yeah.
Mel: What does that mean? And it doesn't even sound like that. CM needs to practice his annunciation.
Nikki: dunno. * shrugs * LOL it's "enunciation"
Mel: Whatever.
Nikki: * glares *
Mel: I'm not an English teacher. Only for him.
Nikki: LOL well what use are you if you're gonna teach him the wrong things!
Mel: Shhhhh details.
Nikki: * glares *
Mel: <-- Melismatic died again.  Nikki: lol. OK guys, I'm serious this time. got a date for her funeral? I'm free this weekend.
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: This is the ghost of Melismatic. And she will haunt you.
Nikki: I wouldn't want to. I'd gladly teach JJ though.
Nikki: oooooohhhh I'm SO SCARED * blank face *
Mel: Ugh, and it's over again. Already.
Nikki: I know.
Mel: Incredible.
Nikki: I remember my review of this. back when I wasn't a fangirl. :)))))
Mel: Ahhh, so there was no bias.
Nikki: LOL we're done? we need an outro or something.
Mel: I did the intro, you do the outro. ;)
Nikki: while I listen to 'Flower Lady'
Mel: And I listen to Good Girl.
Nikki: I don't know what to say! we're done. were we funny? I hope we were.
Mel: (Junsu smile)
Nikki: WERE WE FUNNY? * asks everyone else *
Mel: Don't make me one-touch you.
Nikki: I'm not scared of you. hmph.
Mel: Hyunggggggggggggg Wait, this just got weird.
Nikki: LOL. I KNOW.
Mel: I'll stop now.
Nikki: yes.
Mel: (Junsu smile)
Nikki: ugh stop it with the Junsu smiles.
Mel: (Junsu smile) (Junsu laugh/cackle)
Nikki: I have 4 DBSK physical CDs. :)
Mel: (crickets)
Nikki: 'Mirotic' in CDQQQQQQQ!!!! :)
Mel: (more crickets)
Nikki: 3 versions. :))))))
Mel: I'm married to Changmin.
Nikki: mmmhmmm. no one believes you.
Mel: Well, I guess I'm not being truthful.
Nikki: no one will.
Mel: I'm married to Changmin, but only in HIS dreams. It's quite sad actually.
Nikki: LOL.
Mel: Poor thing.
Nikki: you and your wild dreams
Mel: Well, I have a 'Wild Soul'. (Junsu cackle)
Mel: I was WAITING to use that. You don't even know.

[May 29, 2010] MBC Music Core Highlights + Commentary

I would very much like to fly to Korea right now and shoot the sound engineer today. Who's with me? We'll book a flight and rush to MBC the minute we land. HAHAH. The consensus today? Almost everyone sounds crap compared to yesterday.

A lot more performances compared to yesterday though, so yayyyy.

Credit for all the videos goes to the always brilliant CrazyCarrot220.

CN Blue - Love
The lead singer guy lost the texture in his voice when he got hospitalized. Even if I don't like CN Blue that much (yet? we'll see.) I kinda feel bad for the guy - he had a nice voice. I forgot what he was diagnosed with (nodules or what?) but hopefully he gets his voice back soon.

UGH. Everyone in this band is still too pre-occupied with looking good during their "big close-up" to care about singing. I mean yeah they're synchronized 'coz Rain must've slave-driven them to oblivion to make them "perfect" or whatever but everything about this performance was so stiff and lifeless - there was no passion, no feeling in their movements and vocals. I mean I admit that I know nothing about dance but I notice if it's really robotic when it shouldn't be. They had no feeling and their vocals were still crap. Sorry MBLAQ, strike 2.

Secret - Magic
Now why can't SME give us a girl group like Secret? You know, ones with more than one or two girls who can actually sing. UGH. And if I remember correctly, someone messed with Secret's sound a few weeks back - it happened again today, halfway into the performance. Either the sound engineer sucks or someone has a grudge against Secret. LOL. Apart from that it was a strong performance though, yay.

f(x) - NU ABO
f(x) were average today, but average is better than crap so they should take that as a compliment. Luna's middle 8 was rather bleh today too. Sorry Luna, no goosebumps this time. WHAT is Amber wearing? Polka dot pants? UGH SM.

4Minute - HUH
Even if they didn't sound as good as they did yesterday, the performance as a whole was pretty good. Their vocals were decent - not good or anything but I'm not throwing up in agony. Hmmm.

After School - Bang!
If it's true that everyone sounds crap today mainly because of the hands-free mics, then why did Secret and now After School sound relatively decent today? I mean they weren't at their best and that high note was really sloppy as hell but they didn't sound like crap. The hands-free mics were a major factor, but its "intensity" or whatever was lessened when I heard AS today.

The Wonder Girls - 2 Different Tears
OK the girl doing the verses has gotten on my last nerve - she now annoys the HECK out of me. UGH. The rest of the performance was OK except that the girl doing the bridges was a bit shaky and the adlibs towards the end were sloppy, but everything else was fine. Still not the BIGGEST fan.

Super Junior - Bonamana
And we're back to normal SuJu with weak vocals. Siwon was good today considering that their mics were crap but everyone else sounded pathetic, I'm sorry to say. It's not their faults though, IT'S THAT STUPID SOUND ENGINEER'S. I mean, just when SuJu were getting pretty decent vocals, the engineer just HAD to go in and make them sound like crap. FANTASTIC. I like the fact that they didn't cut the second verse though - yayyyyy.

Rain - Love Song Hip Song
Love Song was pretty good today, and the dance thing between the songs was nice and new and fresh and whatnot. I hate this - the week that Rain FINALLY gets his wardrobe for Hip Song sorted out is the week he stops promoting it. UGH and we had to live with weeks of him in bad outfits - FANTASTIC. I gotta say, I'm gonna miss Rain now that he's wrapping up promo. Awwww. Hahah.

CORRECTION: No Inkigayo tomorrow to make way for the broadcast of last weekend's Dream Concert. UGH I forgot. :((((

I start school on June 8th, so next weekend might be the last week with regular music show recaps for a while. MIGHT.

Ripple News - Alt Rock Super Group Terrible Things Streams their debut single on The Ripple Effect

A special little treat for all you waveriders.

All-star rock super group Terrible Things featuring Fred Mascherino (Taking Back Sunday), Josh Eppard (Coheed & Cambria), and Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit) have just released their debut single "Revolution" yesterday via iTunes & ShockHound, and they've asked the Ripple to make the song available in full-stream on our site.  Always being a fan of free, legal music, we couldn't resist.

The full-length debut is due out late summer on Universal Motown. The album's concept is about the arson that ravaged Fred's hometown of Coatesville, PA.  So if you like what you hear, go out and support the band.

Ripple News - Skeletonwitch added to Ozzfest

Athens, Ohio's blackened thrash masters, SKELETONWITCH have a busy summer lined up, as they've been tapped for Ozzfest, as well as a Canadian tour with HIGH ON FIRE. The band will be appearing on the second stage at Ozzfest along with former tour partners GOATWHORE and SAVIOURS and other acts including DEVILDRIVER, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and  KINGDOM OF SORROW. The band is currently several weeks into a tour with CANNIBAL CORPSE, which made a stop at the annual New England Metal and Hardcore Fest in Worcester, MA. That tour wraps up on the 15th in Tampa, FL.

The band's upcoming dates are as follows:

5/11        Emo's- Austin TX $
5/12        Meridian- Houston, TX $
5/13        House of Blues- New Orleans, LA $
5/14        Freebird Live- Jackson, FL $
5/15        State Theater- Tampa, FL $
7/8          Rickshaw Theatre- Vancouver, BC %
7/9          Pogue Mahone- Kamloops, BC (SKELETONWITCH Only)
7/10        Starlite Room- Edmonton, AB %
7/11        The Republik- Calgary, ALB %
7/13        Royal Albert Arms- Winnipeg, MB %
7/14        Crocks- Thunder Bay, ON  (w/ High On Fire)
7/16        Opera House- Toronto, ON *
7/17        London Music Hall- London, ON *
7/18        The Blind Dog- Windsor, ON *
7/20        The Casbah- Hamilton, ON *
7/21        Time To Laugh- Kingston, ON *
7/22        Le Cercle- Quebec City, QC
7/23        Capital Music Hall- Ottawa, ON *
7/25       Mohawk Place- Buffalo, NY (SKELETONWITCH Only)
8/14        San Manuel Amphitheatre- Devore, CA #
8/17        First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre- Tinley Park, CA #
8/19        First Niagara Pavilion- Burgettstown, PA #
8/21        Comcast Theatre- Hartford, CT #
8/22        Susquehanna Bank Center- Camden, NJ #
8/24        Comcast Center- Mansfield, MA #

$   w/ Cannibal Corpse, Lecherous Nocturne
# OZZFEST 2010
% w/ High on Fire, Russian Circles
*   w/ High on Fire, Priestess

SKELETONWITCH are supporting "Breathing the Fire" which was recorded in Seattle, WA with legendary producer, Jack Endino (Nirvana, High On Fire, Soundgarden). The album was released by PROSTHETIC RECORDS on October 13, 2009 and debuted at number 151 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and number 2 on the magazine's "Heatseekers' Chart."

Friday, May 28, 2010

SS501 - Love Ya

If you were with me last year, you'll remember that I gave a rather negative review to Rebirth and got an army of fangirls run after me. I stand by my review and don't regret writing it - I had every right to say what I did, and I still have every right to say what I'm about to.

I've tried very hard to like an SS501 song apart from 4 Chance and maybe a spattering of Deja Vu, I really have, but so far it's been unsuccessful - there's always something about their new material that turns me off.

When I saw the teaser to this single the first thing that popped into my mind was DBSK - the set, the strings, the sound. Then I heard the entire song and that thought was just reinforced.

Love Ya sounds like a DBSK song circa Tri-Angle, which was 6 years ago, and they don't necessarily have better vocals than DBSK. I don't mind them sounding so six years ago if they did it deliberately and took the sound of that year as a whole 'coz the whole 'vintage' thing is in now but to take something your rival boyband did a gazillion years ago and pretty much turned into their signature sound and do it now that they've pretty much fallen apart is rather stupid. The song fits their vocals, yeah, but it's unoriginal - strike 3958937552 for SS501 in my books.

As a song alone and without comparison it's OK. I mean it's nothing new or ground-breaking and they didn't exactly take the old and radicalize it into the new nor did they make it better, but it sounds very SS501, if that means sounding like DBSK years ago - it's not so much the song though, it's their vocals. Whether or not I like them, DSP has gotten very distinct singers and they've got their own signature sound.

That said, their vocals sound bear-able now, but I guess I'll have to see them do this live before I reinforce that.

The string section throughout kinda pulls me in for a while, and as a string section alone I like it - it's pretty but it's not that obvious until the tail end, which is a little upsetting or whatever. It is a nice touch though, as well as the piano loop.

Everything else about the song goes through me - I find myself listening to it while I surf the web or read or something and a little later I look and I'm like "I already played this 5 times and I didn't notice?" - oh well.


I will not publish disrespectful comments. You might think I'm "weak" or something for not welcoming criticism but disrespect is not criticism - it's offensive and I don't want another fight to spark on the blog. Please, I've had enough.