Sunday, December 16, 2007

Song of the Week (15/12/2007) Killswitch Engage - My Curse

Wow it's been a long time. I flew back to Houston today, but that doesn't really mean anything. I probably haven't felt the need to blog about music because I was in the process of completing Guitar Hero 3 in expert, which has failed (damn that One solo...) [as they were stricken down, to the ground] and practicing further will result in what I believe is a waste of time (still fun though). So I just started playing guitar again.

Well that really has nothing to do with anything, so, this song.

It's been a long time since I felt the need to blog about a 'core' (what's with this terminology all of the sudden?) metal song, and actually I don't really remember having blogged about one before. I don't know what brought me to start typing this out, but this song is a thrilling ride.

It may be the entrancing clean guitar intro and the recurring themes, the energy full of lyrics (actually, the other way around), and the strong guitar that takes you on this interesting rock trip. Blogging about music can become a pain in the ass, you really can't say much :P.

Well guess this band is a good example of US Metal which isn't very... well not as famous as European but it's hanging in there. Anyway, if you don't like grunts (not my cup of tea either, but I guess it's the best type of voice that can go along this type of metal) you can and probably should stay away from this one.

Well I should stop listening to this one, I'll probably wake someone up. I know the cat is complaining about it already.

There's no real interpretation of the lyrics, sounds like a painful love curse which we all stumble upon eventually. Here goes the lyrics and the mediafire direct download of the song.

Killswitch Engage - My Curse Lyrics

I watched you walk away
Helpless, with nothing to say
I strain my eyes
Hoping to see you again

This is my curse (the longing)
This is my curse (time)
This is my curse (the yearning)
This is my curse

There is love burning to find you
Will you wait for me?
Will you be there?

Your silence haunts me
But still I hunger for you

This is my curse (the wanting)
This is my curse (time)
This is my curse (the needing)
This is my curse

There is love burning to find you
Will you wait for me?

Still I want
And still I ache
But still I wait
To see you again

Dying, inside, these walls (2x)

And I see your face, in these tears? In these tears
And I see your face...

There is love (8x)
**********************************************
Killswitch Engage - My Curse Direct Download

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Friday, November 16, 2007

2007 Fall Anime

WTF?

I have failed to find at least 3 shows worth my time. I'm just going to watch some old series that I haven't watched already.

Except for Shana. It's always a pleasure to watch that fiery attitude/hair of hers. And the supporting cast will keep us(at least me :P) entertained for another season :D. Shakugan no Shana Second that is. It also broadcasts in HD, it's pretty nice.

The other one I kinda liked is Bamboo Blade, it's funny and keeps the story on the light side. It's about some crazy people/highschoolers who engage in kendo activities just for the hell of it. How far can a poor man go in order to get free sushi? Apparently enough to try to get a female kendo team in shape, there are some guys too.

Big X ->is missing for the third show I'll watch this season. Maybe a good one slipped by, I'll be checking. If you have any suggestions for a series, a comment will be appreciated.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Song of the Week 10/11/2007 Plus-Tech Squeeze Box - A Day in the Radio

Wow, it has taken me long to post. It's no surprise to most people by now, anyway you can email me at *see profile* and I'll be sure to answer. I'll probably make this into a Stepmania song next week, so whoever is interested in tapping keys or stepping on stuff with the correct timing will have fun with this one. So anyway, I came across this song somehow.

A lot of keyboard electronic sounds (not like conventional electronic music though) will make you feel like SNES bg music at first, but then a joyous tune will quickly burst into that thought.

It has a pretty weird jpop ring to it, although the lyrics aren't really the point. A gal sings in japanese and stuff, but I can't really transcribe the lyrics, it's some pretty crazy hard to figure out stuff.

There isn't much to say, it's a crazy happy song, try it if you feel like something different. It's good when you need some energy in the morning:D.

Oh and just because I felt like it, I have rapidshared it for your direct downloading pleasures. Enjoy it. Um. If if breaks leave a message:P Also, if you have a better host, let me know.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Darker than Black Review

Ah, so the spring 2007 anime season is coming to an end. Guess I should review something :)

Darker than Black, DtB. Ended up being more enjoyable than I originally thought.

The way they deal with the story is pretty odd. Most people will find themselves a bit confused, or like myself a bit disappointed at first. There's this whole bunch of supernatural humans and some giant walls sealed off some part of Tokyo. Oh, and they are somehow related. No proper explanation is given, they just slam the premise into your face.

After the premise is set, the story kicks off pretty nice. Most of the series is displayed in 2episode "mini-arcs". It's pretty exciting, the story has enough time to build up before everything goes crazy and the cold hearted superhumans (contractors) get on with the killing or whatever they are up to in each episode.

Contractors are some pretty weird antagonists. They have superpowers, but they have to pay for them in really weird fashions, most of the time involving stuff they really don't like to do. Like this guy who had to line up some stones in order to pay for his "contract", was pretty funny. They think in a more logical manner compared to normal human beings, always doing the "rational" thing, that's why they sometimes act heartlessly, if such a way of acting exists.

There's really no such thing as good and evil in this anime. Everyone acts towards their own benefit, and try not to get in others' way. The main characters form some kind of task force for an organization with mysterious leadership. In every 2episode arc they'll be involved with some situation or the other in some sort of mission. Sounds repetitive, but the steady flow of new characters with odd powers is pretty interesting. How they pay for their powers is also something pretty interesting. Of course there are variants to these contractors, like people who lost their souls, or pay eternally for their contracts. There are also some very nasty payments. Also, the main characters payment/remuneration is one of the best kept secrets.




There'll always be new characters to explore. Is is me or does he look suspicious on that first pic. Also, notice how these gangsters plot stuff, on a kid's slide (top left) oh and the cat is definitely talking.


The music is good, as most of Yoko Kanno's work, it blends pretty well with the anime. It doesn't do as much as "boosting" its effect though. It's just pleasant. The opening and ending sequences are good, not exceptional.

The fighting scenes are pretty cool, the main character Hei got some batman style fighting going on, which is kinda odd at first, but when he uses his power you quickly forget about silly old batman and his gadgets. There will always be plenty of different powers and it's pretty clever how he can counter most of them. Animation is not a problem, unless you're really picky about character proportions at all times and stuff.

You'll live through the past, think about what will happen in the future, and question yourself what is the right thing to do in each character's case. That seems to be the objective behind every story. I never found Hei's decisions (the main character) disappointing.



Bottom: Would you believe me if I told you it's the same guy?
Top: Even if it's not part of the main plot, Yin's story is pure gold.


After around 18 episodes of introducing characters with 2 episode stories, the main story kicks in (the whole 2 episode per character part is pretty good, no worries). It's pretty interesting. It seems a group of contractors are up to no good. But once again their intentions can't be simply set as evil. Who will prevail? The last saga is pretty exciting in my opinion. The ending is evangelion-like-trippy in some parts, pretty strange, yet nothing close. Oh, and I found myself watching some bits of the first episodes when it all finished.

Season 2 anyone?



When this blond comes in, all hell breaks loose. As if it weren't crazy enough from the beginning.


Favorite episode: 13-14, and the ending saga.
Overall: 8.2
Closing comments: I'm not really sure about this. I don't really consider it to be exceptional, but it was quite an enjoyable ride. I'd definitely watch a second season. The 2 episode stories and characters are good enough.

note: technical problems.. screenshots....will fix later

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Song of the Week (29/09/2007) Frank Zappa - Peaches en Regalia

I've been playing DS a lot lately :D. If someone could send me an Umbreon via WFC, I'd be very happy. Well cough back to reality.

So much music in the world, it's always hard to choose. Well anyway the track for this week is from Frank Zappa. En epic guitar player for a lot of people in the rock world, a mentor for some, master for many. I don't particularly like his style, but I did like his solo instrumental album Hot Rats, among others. His lyrics are witty, his songs have a nice style, but sometimes the solos on his long songs go way out of hand, in my opinion. It does work pretty well on altered states of consciousness too.

This short 3 min track features jazzy brass and keyboards with a rock base (I wonder...). It is a nice example of Zappa's compositions. Check it out :p

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Song of the Week 9/8/2007 Supertramp - The Logical Song

Studying medicine can be pretty time consuming some days. Well anyway, this was a choice between two songs again. Oh and someone still owes me a song of the week.

Supertramp is supposedly a "progressive rock" band from about thirty years ago. Suffering many lineup changes in their later life as a band, their earlier material seems more solid and brought them stardom for a while.

It's a bit different from many traditional progressive pieces: there are no crazy solos in this song, only a catchy keyboard tune. The song is brilliant musically and lyrically. The keyboard tune syncs up to the heavily rhymed lyrics. The song does turn into progressive instrumentality after the first 3 minutes, but it only gets a bit conceptual and no crazy instrumentation is involved.

Supertramp nailed a chart hit with this song, with reflexive lyrics and nice melodic background. I'll try to land on the lyrics with a correct interpretation.

Supertramp - The Logical Song (and my interpretation)

When I was young,
it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle,
oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees well they'd be singing so happily,
oh joyfully, playfully, watching me.
But then they sent me away and teach me how to be sensible,
logical,
oh responsible, practical.
And then they show me a world where I could be so dependable,
oh clinical, oh intellectual, cynical.

This part is about how we can't appreciate life and beauty as children. All it's magic, and there's nothing to hold us back, and most of our parents took care of protecting us from all the crap in the world. However, when we get to schooling age, they send us away. They teach us how to be sensible, standardizing our point of view in beauty, art. They teach us how to be logical, and not emotional, responsible so we can work for the rest of our lives, and practical so we can get rid of all the unappreciated things in life: beauty, emotions. We then turn into being dependable of our world, thinking rationally, and most of the times we tend to act cynically towards our world.

There are times when all the world's asleep,
the questions run too deep for such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what you've learned,
I know it sounds absurd,
please tell me who I am.

Pretty straightforward as well, when our identities from childhood and adulthood clash, we find ourselves stuck and not knowing who we are.


I say, now watch what you say,
or they'll be calling you a radical,
a liberal,
oh fanatical,
criminal.
Won't you sign up your name,
we'd like to feel you're acceptable,
respectable,
oh presentable,
a vegetable.

Now that we are grown up beings, we must watch what we say or we could get in trouble. Freedom of speech is mostly an idea, not a practice, and people can use our words against us.
We become beings dependent of our name, we need fame in order to be trustworthy. And we become slaves of the social system, respectable, presentable, and as irrelevant as a simple vegetable. The song is all about not losing all the beautiful parts of humanity we lose while growing.


-----
I think I'm getting good at transcribing lyrics, hopefully, no one from those misheard lyrics sites will come and attack me:P

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Nanomachine of the Week 01/09/08 Chiral Molecular Scissors

As you can probably guess from what Sooki wrote about me, nanomachines are a big influence in my life. So the idea of this is to post the nanomachine that I was most surprised to hear about this week. This week's prize is for the Chiral Molecular Scissors developed by Takuzo Aida and his colleagues at the University of Tokyo.


The Chiral Molecular Scissors are composed of three parts: a pivot, the blades and the handles. The pivot part is molecule called chiral ferrocene which consists of an iron atom and two carbon plates which can freely rotate around the iron atom. The pivot works the same way as the pivot on your every-day scissors work.

The blades are organometallic units called zinc porphyin. The zinc atom binds to a molecule that contains nitrogen such as the DNA molecule). The actual cutting works by attaching each blade to a part of the molecule being cut, and since the zinc porphyin maintains a firm grip on the guest molecule, when the blades open and close the guest molecule is twisted back and forth, which ends with the guest molecule being split into two.

The handles are probably the most interesting part of the nano-scissors. The key molecule here is called azobenzene which comes in two isomeric forms, one of them longer than the other. When exposed to visible light, the short form of azobenzene is converted into the long form. Conversely, when exposed to UV light, the long form is converted into the short form. The result is that when the molecule is exposed to visible and UV light interchangeably the azobenzene molecule expands and contracts, opening and closing the blades

The Chiral Molecular Scissors could provide scientists in many fields with a simpler way of working with molecules. Dr. Takuzo Aida and his colleges are now working on a larger scissor molecule that can be manipulated remotely. So you can probably expect them to be back for another nanomachine of the week.

You can read more about the Chiral Molecular Scissors here and here.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

5 Centimeters per Second ~ A Chain of Short Stories About Their Distance



What can I say about 5cm. Not much is to be said, you simply have to watch it.

Oh you don't trust me then? Fine, I'll blurt out some text, I was planning on doing that anyway. OK so what is this about. It's a movie, fine. The full title says something about a chain of short stories about their distance, but who's distance? Distance between lovers is a common theme in Makoto Shinkai's works. This work, however, is very close to perfection.

Akari and Touno are two childhood friends (sounds common enough, right ;)) who share special feelings. However, they are abruptly separated, and as if that were not enough, they are separated a second time. This movie reflects their views in very interesting ways!

It is divided in 3 parts, which I will use as well in order to limit my comments to certain aspects of the movie.



The first part, Oukashou (something about extract cherry blossom, cherry blossom extract) is a nice introductory tale about Akari and Touno's initial relationship. It is pretty sweet and almost goes straight to the point. There's is a great part where suspense is involved, and it is very strong and emotional. One of the things I like the most about this part is that dialog is reduced to a minimum. It may sound weird, but this part of the story is driven by memories, letters, and thoughts. Pretty nice touch in my opinion. This part was a little bit hard to grasp for me in the beginning, due to the character's ages in this part (~13). I don't feel like such feelings could emerge at this age. But it is probably because I'm putting myself and our culture as an example.



The second part, Cosmonaut, is a beautiful follow-up to the separation between Akari and Touno. They are last year high-schoolers now, and Akari is nowhere to be seen in this part. There's a new character, Sumida. I like her as much as the other two main characters. She gives a very interesting perspective on the relationship based on her own perceptions. There is more dialog in this part, and it has a very pleasant "small Japanese island" (Sumida is a surfer, for example) theme. This, however, is a very very sad segment. It is sort of inspirational, too.



The third and last part completely blew me away. It shares the name with the whole movie, Five Centimeters per Second. I don't want to spoil anything, but a great deal of story is solved and amplified in a very short period of time. Watch it, and believe me. This part is very short, but you will probably need to watch it a couple of times to get the full detail. Besides that, the soundtrack playing is a song I have already expressed love for. In a few words, this part is mostly a music video concluding the three stories.



Want to know how the story unfolds? Watch it :D



There are several themes covered in the character's thoughts. Oukashou deals with distance, and time. Cosmonaut deals with space. 5 cm deals with sadness and beauty, which is a theme covering the entire movie. The ending, is a combination of all of these factors.



Did I like it? I think I did. A lot. The unusual love stories always get to me. It just has this feeling of real, and one can form a strong bond of identity with the characters, even if one doesn't belong to that culture. The dialog is good, the style is superb, the pace is fast enough (it lasts barely under and hour) without sacrificing emotion and thoughts, and reflection. The piano music is an excellent ambient factor. The ending song is incredibly fitting, the video is wonderful and the bittersweet ending is just enough to crown this incredible masterpiece.



*cough About the animation, if you find a flaw in the animation, I'll personally invade your house with a bunch of angry... dogs or something (or with a bunch of internet trollz, they seem to have a lot of free time, oh and are practically the same thing as dogs). In other words, even if you hate the story, the animation itself is worth viewing. In other words, it can compete with Hayao Miyazaki's / Ghibli films in terms of animation.

"They say it's 5cm per Second." You'll know what the title means right at the beginning :)

Favorite Part: Chapter III (5cm per Second)
Overall: 9.8
Closing comments: As beautiful as it is, I'm not sure it's perfect for most people. Bah damn people, always find something bad about any given thing :P. Especially for people who are a bit picky about "deep" Anime like this.

*cough I'm working with a group for a spanish release, stay tuned. cough, I wonder who's talking? Lately there has been some odd voices in my head. Sorry for the image heavy post, I should probably figure out a screenshot thumb system. Yeah right, as if I had any free time as it is...

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Guest Writers

Ah! Been a while since I write about something other than music and bands. It still is about bands and music, though. Well, take this post as some sort of metalanguage text.

As you can see now (they had disappeared some days, for some weird reason), there are now four profiles down there in the Contact section of my blog. Don't be surprised if these individuals are bored enough to post in this blog. They all know their share about music and anime and crap no one cares about and have very different styles and skills, look forward to them!

They specialize in:

neop- nanotechnology, robotics, computational theory of the mind, Apple Inc. fandom
Flow- misc. music, soccer, neurotic love(depression), 'art' movies, and some other details that have eluded me for several years of friendship now
Nor- Organizing, correcting, ordering, numbering, scheduling, pointlesswasteoftime.com

Of course all of this is a joke, and I expect some mild reprimand later on, but I had fun thinking about these skills :). They'll prove themselves whenever/if they write.

Well, this is just in case you notice some guy with a strange nick post in my blog. Maybe one of them will get a post on here later ;)

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Song of the Week 19/08/07 Camel - Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider

Ever tried picking up your favorite song from one of your favorite bands? This is what I tried this week, and it was pretty hard.

After having a couple of international pop songs appear in my song of the week collection, I'm back to my adored progressive rock on this one.

Camel is a great prog. rock band, not very famous, but most of their early music is simply amazing. These British guys really knew how to play their stuff. After a pretty irregular debut album named Camel (it's good, I just never came around to understanding why it just wasn't so good to me), they launched Mirage. In this album they explored new styles including two ~10 min. songs, both of them great. One of them is Nimrodel~The Procession~The White Rider, and the other one is the Lady Fantasy suite, commonly known as just Lady Fantasy. While both songs are great, I find more progressive goodness from the first. Certain Camel fans would probably kill me by now, because Lady Fantasy is just great. If that is the case, please re-read my first sentence and try to feel my pain. Actually, one of the reasons I really don't like Lady Fantasy better is that its intro is somewhat repetitive to me. But that is just my opinion.

Anyway, if you ask me where the song name is from, I really don't know. You could go seek up a dozen interpretations if you want, but in my opinion it seems like something from Lord of the Rings. Wierd, huh? Well Nimrodel, the first part of the song, is the name of a river from Middle Earth, so I may not be missing the point. This part is very nice, slow, gloomy, and gradually builds up into the Procession. This second part is kinda odd, but it kinda gives some sort of ambientation for the next part of the song, as it's pretty hard to switch from the gently Nimrodel into the rock crazy White Rider. That being said, the White Rider explores melodic scales in a pretty interesting fashion, with a couple of keyboard and guitar solo's courtesy of Andy Latimer and Peter Bardens. Andy Latimer also carries the heavy burden of singing, and he wrote lyrics and music for this song. The White Rider probably means Gandalf, if you think about the title and lyrics.

After this album, they released The Snow Goose, which is another masterpiece (with great songs such as Rhayader, Rhayader Alone, Friendship and La Princesse Perdue). Also, Moonmadness (all of it) is great.

An incredible, classic progressive rock trip through the life of Gandalf in around 9:18.

Camel - Nimrodel~The Procession~The White Rider Lyrics from Mirage
(Lyrics and Music by Andy Latimer)

When he rides, my fears subside,
for darkness turns once more to light.
Through the skies, his white horse flies,
to find a land beyond the night.

Once he wore gray, he fell and slipped away
from everybody's sight.
The wizard of them all, came back from his fall
this time wearing white.

He has a certain air, as if he's never there,
but somehow far away.
And though he seems afar, like a distant star,
his warmth he can convey.

Note: I transcribed the lyrics, he doesn't sing much, so I can remember them easily :P

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Song of the Week 08/08/07 Yui - Good-Bye Days

After a rather unusual "back to school" period, I'm back to cover the uncovered holes left by the last song of the week. The other song I had in mind is featured in another movie, the actress herself sings the song, and that part is pretty cool.

The singer from this one is again from Japan. Yui is a rather interesting figure over there, she sings some rock songs and almost feels like a "bad girl" in one of her videos (Rolling Star, the one from Bleach). The really interesting part here is that her voice is beautiful, so the bad girl look is... well, that's not the point. Forget about that video for now.

The movie's name is Taiyo no Uta (any resemblance to this blog's name is a mere coincidence, really). Yui, our main star, suffers from Xeroderma pigmentosum. In other words, it's a pain in the ass sickness. This sickness is really bad news... she can't expose herself to the sun. She falls in love with this surfer guy. Guy who is always under the sun, girl who can never feel it's warmth, you know where this is going, right? You can skip the next paragraph if you feel like watching the movie by now...

Well wrong, the girl is a musician (and a pretty cool one at that). And her sickness isn't very much controlled. She loses some of her musical skills, and she gradually turns into being a heavy burden for her boyfriend.

I think Yui sings about three songs in her movie, and one of them is Good-Bye Days. She writes and arranges her own songs too, so that's a very big plus. Good-Bye Days is a gorgeous, guitar-voice driven ballad about those days when our relationships find themselves in a path that ends in "Good-Bye". Most of the time, they are the saddest moments in one's life.

Good-bye days by Yui Lyrics

Thanks, source, for these lyrics.

Lyrics and Music by Yui

Dakara ima ai ni yuku
Sou kimetanda
POKETTO no kono kyoku wo
Kimi ni kikasetai

Sotto VORYUUMU wo agete
Tashikamete mita yo

oh Good-bye days ima
Kawaru ki ga suru
Kinou made ni so long
Kakkoyoku nai yasashi sa ga soba ni aru kara
~with you

Katahou no IYAFON wo
Kimi ni watasu
Yukkuri to nagarekomu
Kono shunkan

Umaku aisete imasu ka?
Tama ni mayou kedo

oh Good-bye days ima
Kawari hajimeta mune no oku alright
Kakkoyoku nai yasashi sa ga soba ni aru kara
~with you

Dekireba kanashii
Omoi nante shitaku nai
Demo yatte kuru desho?
Sono toki egao de
Yeah hello!! my friend nante sa
Ieta nara ii no ni...

Onaji uta wo kuchizusamu toki
Soba ni ite I wish
Kakkoyoku nai yasashi sa ni
Aete yokatta yo

...Good-bye days

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Song of the Week (24/07/07) Coralie Clément - Samba de mon coeur qui bat

In case you've been wondering about the delayed update. Besides playing Ragnarok Online 2 in open beta, I actually couldn't find a song that was worth it. Well I found two yesterday, but I had to choose only one.

Making my songlist a bit more international, the next song is from France. I don't particularly like French but this song is worth it. I really don't know where I got this song either, probably from someone's USB flash memory at random file transfer moments.

Coralie Clement has a very sweet voice, and I'll have to admit, French can sound really nice at times. The music and lyrics are by Coralie's brother, Benjamin Biolay. He does a nice job. This song is part of the soundtrack in the movie Something's Gotta Give.

About the lyrics, I couldn't find a translation, but this song doesn't rely on the lyrics to make it good. The title is pretty ironic though, because this sounds more like a bossa nova than a samba (blame the French :P).

Samba de mon coeur qui bat lyrics (by B.Biolay)
Source


Mon dieu que c'est lâche
Que c'est facheux
Quelle tragédie,quel tracas
Mon dieu que c'est vache
Mon amoureux est reparti là-bas
Mon dieu que c'est triste
Il m'aimait si peu
Moi je l'aimais tant je crois
Mon dieu tu t'en fiches
Toi tu n'as d'yeux
Que pour une autre que moi
Même si le temps passe
Je n'oublie pas

La samba
La samba des jours avec toi
La samba des jours avec toi
La samba de mon coeur qui bat
La samba
La samba des jours avec toi
La samba des jours avec toi
La samba de mon coeur qui bat
Samba de mon coeur qui bat

Mon dieu que c'est moche
C'est ennuyeux
Tu t'es joué de moi
Mon dieu que c'est cloche
De se dire adieu
Et Paris est si froid
Mon dieu si tu existes même un peu
Ramène-moi
Mon aquarelliste
Si vaniteux
Qui ne peignait que moi
Même si le temps passe
Je n'oublie pas

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Song of the Week (11/07/2007) Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

Well I've been thinking whether or not putting this song up. But I guess it's a classic and it has a guaranteed place in most of our hearts, so it's worth it :). I also had trouble deciding if I should put the whole background story or not, but I decided to go for a short version.

Sometime around the 70s, this band that played psychedelic rock had already formed. Syd Barret, former "leader" of the band had left and disappeared from the band's lives for around 5 years.

The band, Pink Floyd, felt like they had to pay tribute to this old member of theirs. So they recorded Wish You Were Here (album). My two favorite songs by Pink Floyd (Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Wish You Were Here) come in this album, which has become my favorite from Pink Floyd. Both songs are dedicated to the former member I previously described. It is said that Syd Barrett arrived unexpectedly at the recording studio when they were recording Shine On. Fat and hairless, the band barely recognized him. However, they payed tribute to him with two great songs, I had to pick Wish You Were Here, but both are just as great.

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here Lyrics:

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell?
Blue skies from pain?
Can you tell a green field, from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade, your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year.
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.


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Monday, July 2, 2007

Song of the Week (02/07/2007) Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Well I'm back in Cancun for some more days.

I was riding with my dad on his car, looking for some songs in his new ipod, and among several other songs I dare not mention I found a great classic :P. Bohemian Rhapsody is a pretty crazy song, jumping from one theme to another (from ballad to rock-ish), with some pretty gloomy lyrics at times. Queen is one of those bands most people have heard of at least once... even if it's We Will Rock You or some of those over-the-board popular songs. This is probably my favorite, although Killer Queen is pretty nice too, and some others. It is also amazingly popular for such an "experimental" song (very experimental for 1975 when it was released), I was singing along when I was at the CocoBongo the other day ;)

About this song... hmm. Some people relate the lyrics to the plot of The Stranger, novel by Albert Camus. This weird relationship comes directly from the lyrics and is not a hard fact. The song deals with some guy disappointing his mother, and killing a man. The attitude of the "character" of this song matches the "existential" nature of the character from Camus' novel. Check it out yourself :P The song is a little too happy at times and unrelated to the book's plot for me to actually place a strong relationship.

There's probably a great number of interpretations from these lyrics but I liked the relationship with the Stranger. It is a fact that Freddy Mercury, who wrote this song, never revealed the actual meaning of the lyrics. Some other people speculate it's about HIV, but HIV still didn't appear in Mercury's life at that time. That can only mean it is probably a very obscure secret, or he simply left it to the interpretation of the listener; or that he was high when he wrote it.

It's a great song either way.

Curious facts. The classic Queen image with the band in half-light is taken from the promotional video made out of this song. The video is right over here.

For the lyrics (weird word meanings):
Beelzebub-the devil
Scaramouche-"a cowardly buffoon" according to M-Webster also "a stock character in the Italian commedia dell'arte that burlesques the Spanish don and is characterized by boastfulness and cowardliness" may be the case, since Freddy Mercury enjoyed Opera
Fandango-spanish dance
Bismillah-in the name of Allah
Figaro-means barber, but i'm not really sure, he, very probably, refers to the world from FF6

Now go build your interpretation.

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody Lyrics
Source

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, to me

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooo
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye everybody - I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo - (anyway the wind blows)
I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning - very very frightening me
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo Figaro - magnifico

But I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come easy go - will you let me go
Bismillah! No - we will not let you go - let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go - let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go - let me go
Will not let you go - let me go (never)
Never let you go - let me go
Never let me go - ooo
No, no, no, no, no, no, no -
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
for me
for me

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh baby - can't do this to me baby
Just gotta get out - just gotta get right outta here

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters - nothing really matters to me

Anyway the wind blows...

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Full Metal Panic

Full Metal Panic. A 2002 Anime. Mecha Action, Comedy, Romance.That would summarize Full Metal Panic in a couple of words.

Military dude with a dubious past, and two sidekicks, all with great skills. These characters are sent to protect this typical anime beauty, typical until they get to know her well. The Military dude and anime beauty fall in love, and they live a cute yet neurotic love. The military dude doesn't know how to handle the situation (being a women-less mercenary his entire life), and the neurotic anime beauty doesn't help very much. Suddenly the military dude gets into giant robot action and some time or the other the girl acquires psychic abilities worthy enough to help out the military dude. The military dude is Sagara Sousuke and Chidori Kaname is the psychic girl (actually called The Whispered in the series). They are actually a very nice anime couple which I was glad to watch in action. Other important characters are the tough Melissa Mao, the feeble Captain Tessa, and "Kurz" the sniper.

I would say that this anime is built with two pieces: action and comedy.

The action parts of this anime sometimes take up many episodes in a row, which are pretty enjoyable to watch. It's a matter of taste though, I like when series use multi-episodic sagas for proper buildup.

The comedic parts have many fun jokes but sometimes drag a bit too long or make no sense. They are fun most of the time, and the boring ones at least have a bit of character development (in a romantic sense) so most of the time they aren't such a waste. Expect the character development to be slow, this series has 2 sequels up to now (Fumoffu- comedy based, and The Second Raid which continues the storyline) and they won't throw the entire material in their first saga; but they do use enough of it to be interested in the characters' story and such.

Even though both parts seem enjoyable (action and comedy), there is a big problem with such a diverse anime. When there is a 6-episode epic death-defying action saga followed by a dose of school comedy, some things are bound to go wrong. The simple solution is enjoying the randomness. People who do not enjoy it will inevitably dislike this anime in some episodes. I liked to think that the romance between Kaname and Sousuke glued up both of the parts greatly (but not perfectly), and the comedy stopped the anime from becoming too gloomy (Sousuke's past gets really heavy at times).

It also uses a conventional mecha setting. Some of the plot elements are a bit forced, too. You see, a weapon based on "imagination" sounds too powerful for me to conceive:P. The Black Technology concept is somewhat sudden, too. But as long as giant robots don't exist in real life, most people can take these premises for granted :P. Also, there is a character who is somewhat invincible in this series, and it's a bit disturbing.

I've spent a while saying mostly negative things about Full Metal Panic, now for the good part. The truth is it is one of the most enjoyable anime I've seen. Despite several deficiencies I have already described, it maintains the suspense and can generate a lot of different emotions in the viewer. Laughter comes in as an occasional treat. Romance is there for anyone who likes it, and it's not too consuming for anyone who dislikes it. Action is there in case you are not up for a school comedy anime, the action is heavily loaded with drama as well. Drama is unloaded with laughter, and the cycle is complete.

The animation is acceptable and the music is not really worth paying attention to. The opening and ending themes are not bad, even though they are just some jpop songs that will eventually stick into your mind due to repetition :P. I did like the ending theme at first, Never Dying Flower is not a bad title for a sweet song ;). As I said, music is not very important for this series (like for example Cowboy Bebop). The thick part of this series is in the plot and the dialogs.

I can not see Full Metal Panic from an angle where viewers could not be satisfied in some sense. The only real problem here is the balance between its elements. Depending on your personality, you will either like them, or have some trouble with them. In the end, there is something for everyone to enjoy. If I wasn't clear enough in this review: Full Metal Panic is amazing; entertaining, dramatic, but not perfect.

Favorite episodes: 1 (I rarely like first episodes, this one is pretty good) and 24.
Overall: 9.5
Closing comments: A lot of enjoyable themes. Trying to cover a lot of themes sometimes leads to loose ends.

Couple of Full Metal Panic images follow:






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Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Midsummer's Past-Midnight Layout

Well it's that time of the year again... very hot (for the North Hemisphere (just not too North)), or very cold depending on where you live (cough South Hemisphere). Well anyway, with the change of season... (again, in some parts of the world only) comes a change of layout. New FLCL images crown the header part of my blog, although I'm not sure the Mamimi part will stay. I just couldn't find the image I wanted in hi-res. Also the "address bar icon" will be changed to something better if I can manage to find it.

A bit of a "warm" appearance has been configured too. Also the (for now) unused "header-bars" have been hidden in order to maintain color (colour in some parts of the world, wonder when I got so international...) continuity. Actually, the continuity is easily broken in some of the text's colors, but I like it. The grammar continuity is easily broken in this post, too. Not that I care much, the changes are visual enough ;)

Anyway, enjoy Sooki no Uta's Summer Layout.*

*Crappy name subject to change, oh and Mamimi may change too :p.
**Oh and for anyone actually interested, Midsummer is today, I think.
***And for those who didn't notice, the title is a pun alluding a play by Shakespeare. Ha. Oh and it's good... I think.
****I only saw the movie, I think two of them actually, didn't read it :(

Edit: Also, thanks to this guy, comments can now be viewed from the main page, just have to click the show/hide text.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Couple of funny Star Wars Videos

Well now that I can finally update some more (with misc. stuff), I have a couple of funny star wars videos for you. I can't deny that I like most of the Star Wars stuff ;).

The first is a 3 series video from Robot Chicken. It was a 30-min. Star Wars special which took a long while and a lot of work in order for us to receive the final product.

Robot Chicken Star Wars Special - Video from the official Adult Swim Website. (stream)
It doesn't work for me... probably because I'm not visiting from the U.S.
I would like to find a better version, but you can check it on youtube: Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 | Pt. 3

It has a couple of brilliant moments, several other funny ones, yet most of it is not much of a hit. It's a fun watch if you're bored and like Star Wars though :P. The best moment is the one with Palpatine talking on the phone with Vader. That was already shown on a previous Robot Chicken show, but check it out anyway, it's the best part of the special. Link.

The next video is just hilarious. It is a video with an Obi Wan imitator looking for a ship in a normal car sales agency. It's great, kept me laughing for a long time. Again it's aimed at Star Wars fans but this one has a bit more general jokes, and they are good. No idea where it came from though. Link Here.

I'm sure there are a lot of remarkable Star Wars jokes out there, but I don't really like most of them. These are a couple I liked and wanted to share.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Song of the Week (20/06/2007) Sonata Arctica - Kingdom for a Heart

I've been very busy the last couple of weeks, but I finally got everything under control. A lot of songs have come and gone and I haven't been able to immortalize them here. Well anyway. This song is from a Finnish metal band. Lol, a little side story, one day in my faculty's radio station some girl on the speaker said "this (she was talking about Finntroll actually), like most metal bands is from Finland". Well, we got news for her: that's not true. There is a large number though, and this is an example.

Sonata's style is a little confusing, I wouldn't say it's power metal, but I wouldn't say it's plain metal. I don't even know what plain metal is nowadays. Genre is not an issue anyway(well it is kinda, I prefer my metal without grunts). This song is pretty nice, it seems to deal with the classic "I have a kingdom but it's nothing compared to having your heart" idea, which is a bit of a letdown because I expected deeper lyrics. On the other side, the keyboard riffs are fun to listen and the rhythm will keep you moving throughout most of the song. The ending is a bit sudden though, but it leads very nicely into the next song in the album "Full Moon" which is a great metal ballad. The album that has this song is called Ecliptica. I'm going to see these guys on stage whenever I get the chance ^^

Lyrics from:
Sonata Arctica's Website
Kingdom For A Heart

(Tony Kakko)

What the hell are you standing there for, expecting
me to help you, when I'm down myself
Waiting my savior, my world is flooding over, there's
no room for air, I can't breathe, I would give a kingdom
for one more day

I'd give - a kingdom
For one more day as a king of your world
I'd give a kingdom, for just one more day

What the hell am I waiting here for, expecting you to
come and give away your life
Just for a moment of my time, have a hole where I
should have a heart, I'm made of wood, I'm falling
apart, I would give a kingdom if I only had you

I'd give - a kingdom
For one more day as a kind of your world
I'd give a kingdom, if I had a heart

I'd give it all for a heart
if I was a King I would give away my kingdom
Treasures and crowns wouldn't mean a thing
If I only had a heart, if I only had a heart...

Now I know I will never love you, I'm a man without
a heart, I'm not allowed to feel human feelings
I'm king of the land, I'm a ruler of seas, I'd give it
away in a moment. If I only had one moment

I'd give - a kingdom
For one more day as a king of your world
I'd give a kingdom, if I had a heart

I'd give it all for a heart
if I was a King I would give away my kingdom
Treasures and crowns wouldn't mean a thing
If I only had a heart, if I only had a heart...

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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Song of the Week (02/06/07) Greg Bissonette - Train to Willoughby

To tell you the truth, I have NO IDEA where I got this song from, really. It was like hey, there's a new song in my library...

Well anyway, the song planned for this week was The Lamia by Genesis, but since I have some time I'm going to put a pretty interesting song with a lot of references, and try to get most of them explained. It was pretty fun discovering I knew most of these, and also discovered how much I don't know. Hmm Steve Stevens (from Bozzio Levin and Stevens; if that rings a bell, if not, forget this sentence) plays in this song, somewhat plain old rock with a slice of prog. metal.

Train to Willoughby by Steve Stevens Lyrics (with meanings by Sooki ;))
Farewell to Manzanar -Manzanar was Japanese-American Conc. Camp in USA, during WWII.
Far From the Maddening Crowd - Didn't know this one, there's a movie called Far from the Madding Crowd, guess it's referring to that.
My Good 'Ole, Summertime - This is a hard one too, this is a very common phrase, but there's also a song with this name o_o not sure.
Shipwrecked on Treasure Island - From Stevenson's Treasure Island, I guess.

*C'mon we've got to go - Hmmm, no idea.
It's time to stand alone today... - No idea either, maybe to add some coherence? The song is still very incoherent anyway so, what's the point?

**Madame Butterfly(Singing in the Rain) - didn't know these, Madame Butterfly is an opera and singin' in the rain a classic song.
Catcher in the Rye(Pinky and the Brain) - Catcher in the Rye the greeeeat (in my opinion) book by J.D. Sallinger, and um the Pinky and the Brain cartoon?
See the King and I - The musical a lot of people know of but have never seen, including me.
As we ride the Train to Willoughby - No idea, Willoughby is the name of several places...

Come near me, Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf character. I've always wondered why Woolf has two o's, but no one cares about that. Wasn't sure about this one.
My Glass Menagerie - play by Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie.
Be still my Tell-Tale Heart - Edgar Allan Poe's short story.
When War of the Worlds will start - War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.

* Repeat
** Repeat
** Repeat

As we ride the Train to Willoughby
As we ride the Train to Willoughby

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Song of the Week 24/05/2007 Dream Theater - Hollow Years

Oops update failure (also, something was wrong with blogger last week for some reason). Well, seeing as how I can't study atm for a couple of reasons (because I don't have enough study material) and I'm just consuming my time talking with someone special ;) I'll put up a small post. Sorry for the no update last week, it's just that there were probably too many songs for one to stand out, or, mexican culture is kicking in.

Well anyway, I never thought I would ever put a Dream Theater song that wasn't Octavarium or Finally Free, my two favorites. Well whatever, this song is up there with the melancholic ones I love to post as Songs of the Week, maybe it's part of my personality? It's for you to decide. It's a nice slow song, dealing with metaphorical issues with two apparently sad people who suddenly realize some things. The moment we lift the shadow of sad moments from which we hide, is the crashing down of hollow years, maybe we lost all of those years in which we carried the burden of heavy troubles hence the hollow years. Makes sense? If it does, you'll like the song, if it doesn't you can just read the lyrics ;) and interpret it any way you want. I don't care. Well actually I do, you can post about it, I'd love to hear it.

Dream Theater - Hollow Years Lyrics

He's just the kind of man
You hear about
Who leaves his family
For an easy out
They never saw the signs
He never said a word
He couldn't take another day

Carry me to the shoreline
Bury me in the sand
Walk me across the water
And maybe you'll understand

Once the stone
You're crawling under
Is lifted off your shoulders
Once the cloud that's raining
Over your head disappears
The noise that you'll hear
Is the crashing down of hollow years

She's not the kind of girl
You hear about
She'll never want another
She'll never be without
She'll give you all the signs
She'll tell you everything
Then turn around and walk away

Carry me to the shoreline
Bury me in the sand
Walk me across the water
And maybe you'll understand

Once the stone
You're crawling under
Is lifted off your shoulders
Once the cloud that's raining
Over your head disappears
The noise that you'll hear
Is the crashing down of hollow years

Carry me to the shoreline
Bury me in the sand
Walk me across the water
And maybe you'll understand

Once the stone
You're crawling under
Is lifted off your shoulders
Once the cloud that's raining
Over your head disappears
The noise that you'll hear
Is the crashing down of hollow years

Once the stone
You're crawling under...
The noise that you'll hear
Is the crashing down of hollow years

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Song of the Week 13/05/2007 A Perfect Circle - 3 Libras

You know? Sometimes I wonder a lot about which will be my next song of the week, but really, some song always appears along the way that makes life easier :P.

I listened to this song around 5 years ago. It was good, but I didn't keep a blog then. I was recently reinfected with this song because of Frets on Fire. Someone decided to "tab"(?) this song for that game and when I heard it again it was a pleasant surprise.

I really don't know much about the band itself (besides wikipedia's info:P). But I've heard a couple of songs and this was the one I liked the best.

About the meaning of the song.. the lyrics don't have much of an interpretation (nor are they very complex for that matter) but it does seem to refer to some kind of heartbreak... a very complex kind of heartbreak though.

3 libras means 3 pounds in spanish, but that isn't the actual interpretation of the title. I'm not sure I got it perfectly right, but in some DVD footage the lyricist explains the meaning of this song. It seems he believes that at first everyone lived with the objective of making the world a better place. He then realized there's a group of people emit some sort of positive aura alias the good people in this world, and there is another group who feeds on this aura like leeches instead of growing from it. Such bad people aren't they? So, if you love someone, and they play around with you, they suck your positive aura. Well I guess I could fit both sides, then what?

Well anyway in the experience of the songwriter, all these evil leeches all had birthdays around the same date, all with the zodiac sign of Libra. Poor Libras. Well anyway, there were 9 libras who affected his/his friends' life, but he took 3 libras he thought were the worst "positive-aura-sucking" side, and stabbed them back with a song.

He got a point in some way, why not everyone grow from these positive auras? Not everyone is nice, but anyway, you got a point in some way, and, you made a great song.

Btw the music video is pretty crazy, you can check it out on youtube. Or search for it more carefully.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Song of the Week 02/05/2007 Yes - And You and I

Yes is one of the greatest progressive rock bands. Their lineup includes top of the line musicians that simply love music. A 10 minute song, it's not that long compared to other songs from the same band, or the same album. After the song 'Close to the Edge', in the album by the same name, comes the wonderful 'And You and I'. With irrational lyrics, a lot of clean guitars, some solos from guitar and keyboard, this song is in my opinion one of the best progressive rock songs. It is not that crazy, nor fast, it's more full of melody and more like a ballad. For a faster, rocking song, go for 'Close to the Edge', which is great also. This one keeps it slow for the most of the time (not forgetting the solos though :P). It is divided in 4 parts if I remember well.

And you and I reached out for reasons to call...

Of course, no Song of the Week post is complete without a wikipedia tidbit.

"Yes are an English progressive rock band that formed in London in 1968. Their music is marked by sharp dynamic contrasts, often extended song lengths, and a general showcasing of its members' instrumental skills. Yes uses symphonic and other so called 'classical' structures with their blend of musical styles. Despite the many changes to its lineup, the band has continued for nearly 40 years and retains a strong international following."

And the corresponding leeched lyrics.

The Song of the Week section is filling up, wonder what I'm going to do :/

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Song of the Week 28/04/2007 Yamazaki Masayoshi - One More Time, One More Chance

I saw the streamed 5cm per second first episode. It is beautiful, can't wait for the dvd. A story of love that has it all, and it is beautifully drawn (Directed by Makoto Shinkai). Anyway, this song's effect is mainly caused by 5cm. Soft guitar, mild male voice, and gradually filled up with drums and strings for a very nice and soft ending song. Everything composed and arranged by himself.

Watch 5cm if you can.

I'll quote wikipedia :P

"The song was also the theme song of the 1996 Japanese movie Moon and Cabbage. The reason Makoto Shinkai chose such a famous song was that he wants to evoke images of everyday happenings, and by choosing a song that "everyone knows about" would add realism to the movie.[4]"

Yamazaki Masayoshi - One More Time, One More Chance Lyrics

kore ijyou nani wo ushinaeba kokoro wa yurusareru no
dore hodo no itaminaraba mou ichido kimi ni aeru
One more time kisetsuyo utsurowanaide
One more time fuzakeatta jikan yo

kuichigau toki wa itsumo boku ga saki ni oretane
wagamama na seikaku ga naosara itoshikusaseta
One more chance kioku ni ashi wo torarete
One more chance tsugi no basho wo erabenai

itsudemo sagashiteiruyo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
mukai no HOOMU rojiura no mado
konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai noni
negai wa moshimo kanau nara imasugu kimi no moto e
dekinai koto wa mou nani mo nai
subete kakete dakishimete miseru yo

sabishisa magirasu dake nara dare demo ii hazu na noni
hoshi ga ochisouna yoru dakara jibun wo itsuwarenai
One more time kisetsu yo utsurowanaide
One more time fuzakeatta jikan yo

itsudemo sagashiteiruyo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
kousaten demo yume no naka demo
konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai noni
kiseki ga moshimo okoru nara ima sugu kimi ni misetai
atarashii asa kore kara no boku
ienakatta "suki" to iu kotoba mo

natsu no omoide ga mawaru
fui ni kieta kodou

itsudemo sagashiteiruyo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
akegata no machi sakuragi chou de
konna toko ni kuru hazu mo nai noni
negai ga moshimo kanau nara imasugu kimi no moto e
dekinai koto wa mou nani mo nai
subete kakete dakishimete miseru yo

itsudemo sagashiteiruyo dokka ni kimi no kakera wo
tabisaki no mise shinbun no sumi
konna toko ni aru hazu mo nai noni
kiseki ga moshimo okoru nara ima sugu kimi ni misetai
atarashii asa kore kara no boku
ienakatta "suki" to iu kotoba mo

itsudemo sagashiteshimau dokka ni kimi no egao wo
kyuukou machi no fumikiri atari
konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai noni
inochi ga kurikaesu naraba nandomo kimi no moto e
hoshii mono nado mou nani mo nai
kimi no hoka ni taisetsu na mono nado


EDIT: I watched the entire movie, it's very much worth it.
Get the fansub it on DVD when you can.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Song of the Week 19/04/2007 Rie Fu - 笑って、恵みのもとへ (Waratte, Megumi no Moto He)

Hmm, first I liked Bleach ED(1) from her: Life is Like a Boat. Then when I watched Darker than Black, I liked the ED too (Tsukiakari). So after that I got my hands on some of her music (the Rie Fu album). It was a pleasant surprise, very soothing at times, pop-like and light at some moments and dark but not too dark afterwards. Rie Fu scored a new fan :P.

Songwriter and composer of her own songs, I don't really know if I should say that this is jpop. Songwriting and composing by the singer isn't the norm for pop songs (insert long ass discussion here, she's still good and makes her own music, I admire that from any artist, being partly musician myself).

One thing that I complain about j-pop, j-rock songs is the lousy English that is "fashionably" inserted into lyrics. However, Rie Fu does this wonderfully, because she can pronounce it correctly ;), so the song "bilinguality" is very interesting (this song isn't that bilingual, but try Life is Like a Boat for example, or decay english version for a full song in english). She lived in the USA for a while, and is currently studying art in London, the art of painting, specifically (wow, she has everything ;)). Also her lyrics aren't happy/ silly, or very common (in my opinion). They explore sad and happy moments equally.

This song, the first one in the album, didn't immediately catch my attention the first time I listened to her album, but I've been listening to it all day ;). Sweet, soothing melody; explores rare tones (the chords are really weird at times), nice combo of instruments, beautiful voice, and it's all her music and lyrics. The English is well placed. The lyrics explore mildly sad, and sweet happy moments, and memories; never too pessimistic, nor optimistic.

Lyrics and translation here.
I didn't have time to ask for permission and repaste it here, but I'll link to this wonderful site where someone equally wonderful translated the lyrics for us (under the nickname of frecklegirl). Yay for you. Thanks. I am going to quote a translated bit though.

"Laughing together with someone – is the reason we do that
just the same thing as trying to hide an unavoidable loneliness? "


PD. If I do ever complete my made up anime project, with people helping, I'd probably use this song for an ED, seems fitting :P.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

New Spring Anime

Just a small update mentioning what I'll probably be watching this spring anime season.

Seirei no Moribito is simply wonderful. I'll be watching that. Story/setting/characters/music are all great.

Darker than Black is hmm. Well, the walls (or Hell's Gate or whatever) remind me of Ergo Proxy, which isn't a very pleasant memory anyway. One of the male characters reminds me of Ergo Proxy's main lead too. Without comparing, it's not that bad. It's not that good either. In any case, it would be unfair to judge it right now, I'll keep watching until I can decide. Oh, and I like the ending song :P.

As for the rest, nothing very appealing to me yet. Sisters of Wellber has yet to be subbed; same goes for Blue Dragon.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

(Stepmania) Song of the Week 12/04/2007 Tsumasaki - Ore Ska Band

I had my doubts at first with this one. Ska isn't really my genre (and the band name really scared me at first), but this song resulted incredibly fun to play. It's in 4-6-9 difficulties I think, I bit higher from my usual because this is a speedy song. At 190 bpm, if you are going to tackle the hard version you're going to hop around like crazy ;), but it can be done.

Embrace yet another stepmania anime file by me, this time from Bleach Ending 11, which came out recently. Didn't take long, and it ended up nice :P (although encoding is a pain in the ass, doing it correctly is... well I did the best I could). As usual, I appreciate any comments, and you can use my file however you wish if you give me credit.

Good luck. Hint on next song: it's from a new spring anime, and the ED is performed by someone who also sings a Bleach ED.

@bemanistyle download here.
My profile with all of my 5 songs is here. Both need registration, it's worth it though.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New Layout

If you have been noticing broken images and stuff, it's because I'm updating my blog layout to a spring version :P. You know, the flowers blossoming, the green trees, fresh air, all that crap.

Doing my best with just paint and amusingly basic CSS for this job ^^

Enjoy Kanon Spring Version Layout, still not complete.

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Sunday, April 8, 2007

(Stepmania) Song of the Week 08/04/2007 Fly So High - Yu Yamada

And out of nowhere, a Stepmania anime file from Blue Dragon's (ED).
An upbeat, happy tune has taken a bit of my time and has been converted into a stepmania file.

Complaints about this one:
-There were no good images for me to set up as BG.
-I had to edit the hell out of the banner and make it fit (in paint of course), and it cut the girls' hair in the end :( (my photoshop is broken)
-The avi file for some reason turned out dark, no matter how hard I fiddled around with the settings. I couldn't perfectly sync it with the previously done karaoke by the DATS fansubs. (Sorry DATS, I stole your ED, though I am promoting your job, and your job is free ;) thanks)
-I finished it around 7 hours ago, but faced multiple difficulties :p

Any help, contributions, always appreciated. Comes in a 4-6-8 difficulty flavor, adapted for pad. Hmm. I can't get an A in the hard one :(. Maybe tomorrow when I haven't tired myself from bicycle riding. Oh, speaking of tomorrow.. exam.

OH the link: here. (reg. required @ bemanistyle.com)
And the rest of my songs all together here. (reg. required too)

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Back. (Home Sweet Home)

And ready to go back to school too.

About my trip to Cancun: was cool, but it def. isn't my kind of fun (beach&disco&someotheroptionalsexualactivities), the Coco Bongo is pretty interesting, and I got in free. Don't ask, I get everything free, you see, more people read this blog than I can keep track of, and I thank them (they get me everything free too). I'd appreciate some more comments though. Well anyway let me talk about what everyone wants to hear and it's about the future.

New anime series. I'm not much of an avid watcher, despite my love for the japanese culture. I'm going to watch Blue Dragon because what I read from Toriyama; he said he was going to make a great job out of this "last" (tentatively) anime of his. This sounds nice to me.

About other new series, I'll be lurking around and probably just go with the flow this season, not much time to check on every show, have to study for.. lots of stuff. Who's going to sub Blue Dragon btw?

Well anyway, last day of vacation, let's see what layout content I can get up by tomorrow.... my photoshop exploded, so I guess I'll have to use less fancy stuff :p.

Hmm. Have fun. You're favorite misc. blogger here.
-Sooki

PS- I've always wondered about the song names in parenthesis. I mean, Norwegian Wood (This Bird has Flown (Beatles' song)). The song is called Norwegian Wood, why do people erratically name songs?
PS2- Oh right, Radio DJ have, most of the time, questionable intellect.
PS3- No wonder I never listen to the radio.
PS4- Then again, it's good to have a laptop for my music needs on board my car.
PS5- I blame this post's title for causing PS1, not sure about the rest of them though.
PS6-"PS. I love you" is a nice Beatles love song btw.

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Birthday, Sushi and Vacation, and the Effects of sleep deprivation

Time for a personal post :p

My birthday happened this week, March 27th, I turned 20. Birthdays are not that big of a deal to me, but they are for some people. I have never realized what the big deal is all about. I mean, I did get a cake from my classmates which was yummy (and I don't really like cake, but this one was gooood :D), I also got some money for my Wii (that is, if they ever are available), and the chance of hosting a birthday party with a lot of old friends and some drinks (which could've been pleasant, if I hadn't canceled it). This is all good, but it didn't have to be my birthday for me to get all of this. I'll appreciate gifts all year long, no need for special stuff in this one day I celebrate the anniversary of me coming out of the womb :p. Guess it's a day to enjoy, anyway...

And in that mood, I went to eat some sushi with my three best friends. There's this place where I can eat all the sushi I want for around $19(in dollars) which isn't that bad. My favorites (nigiri) are anago (sea eel) and unagui (sweet water eel), which are simply delicious. Which are yours? :p

Spring Break vacation is now happening, with a full 1 (one) week of rest. Time to evaluate my future. I am now in doubt of where and what I'm going to major in. Psychology has been working, it's fun most of the time, but the way it approaches most of the topics is simply not believable. I'm going to try studying medicine, since most of the classes seem enjoyable to me, and follow the path towards Psychiatry. My arguments for this are strange and complicated, but it's a decision I have to make.

About the effects of sleep deprivation. If you came here looking for scientific facts you will be mildly displeased, because I'll post those later, not now :P. The thing is, I gathered with my classmates to test the effects of sleep deprivation, applying mental skill tests before and after. I still have to interpret the results but it was a hell of a lot of fun. I wasn't a test subject, I was an observer, so I got to sleep in the afternoon. We gathered in an apartment and just played DOA and Smash Bros. Melee for hours, saw a couple of movies, listened to some music and even played Pictionary. After 24 hours of no sleep I applied some tests. I'll post the results later. It's pretty fun learning stuff like this, actually :p

Oh, I'm flying to cancun, I'll get another stepmania song done when I come back, and I'll try to post a song of the week before I leave. Have a fun Spring Break*.


*Only where available :p

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

(Stepmania) Song of the Week 24/03/2007 Message - Yoko

Catchy technostyle jpop song (kinda like Zankoku na Tenshi no Teize, from Evangelion), I decided to make it into a Stepmania file. The reasons why are contained in my previous Stepmania songs... post.

It's just catchy, nothing supremely artistic about this one. Also, I like making songs no one else is going to do :P. This anime is not very well known, so this song was going to suffer the same destiny, but I hope this fun file gives you some minutes of enjoyment.

As I said previously, I took on this song with a different approach. It comes in a 3-5-7 difficulty flavor, to please most of the people. Most of the people who play on pad anyway, which is the real way of playing Stepmania. If you want to add challenge difficulty "steps" for keyboard be my guest. Light and Medium steps are more "rhythmic" and have a fun feeling, and the Heavy ones are sync'd to the melody (voice&keyboard mainly).

The song isn't available in most places as a tv size (and after noticing the tv recording in mono was a piece of crap) so I used audacity to cut my own again, just like I did in Kimi ga Sora Datta, so this wasn't a problem. Video encoding made easy by Virtualdub too. For some reason the Stepmania player crops the video file left and right borders but this isn't my fault, I also used this ratio so the karaoke was viewable (this is NOT my karaoke, it's from WinD fansubs) no matter what skin you use. Also for some reason Stepmania readjusts the BG image I cut (which is from the ED btw). Well, all in all it wasn't too hard, a couple of mistakes took a lot of time, but it ended up in a fun song. I got AA in level 7 with pad, so it's possible :P.

Uploaded to bemanistyle (had to edit audio bitrate to reduce file size to 9.99 mb :P). Reg. required, but it's a great database for Stepmania files, especially anime. For non anime files you can try flashflashrevolution.

You can download this song by looking into my bemanistyle profile, here.

As for my next songs, I don't know. I'm thinking of remaking songs that I think have terrible steps or are keyboard only... I'll decide when I have some more free time:P

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New Stepmania Songs...

So I figured most people come here looking for stepmania songs, among other things. So I guess it's time to please the crowds.

I had three upcoming projects, a random anime song, Love is in the Air by John Paul Young, and All Star by Smash Mouth. Not really my favorite songs, but should be fun to play in Stepmania.

After a quick 1 person poll, and a bemanistyle/flashflashrevolution checkup. I decided to go for random anime song, which quickly transformed into Yoko's Message (OP from Soukou no Strain). It's a j-pop techno style mecha anime song, so you know what to expect, should be more step friendly than my previous vocal step attempts. I'm using a different approach in this one. Expect a post when finished. Should be up tomorrow, I got free time :D

Stepping... Complete
Video... Done
Misc Images... Victory
Uploading... right now

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Kanon 2006

Well I have been busy the last couple of days, so no posts. Why? I was busy finishing Kanon 2006.

Short intro. Kanon 2006 was originally a Hentai game with a very minimal amount of Hentai (or so I've heard... that version of the game seems nonexistant now). The game was rereleased with all-family-viewable content (meaning: no nudity, etc).

There was a 13 ep. anime adaptation from the rereleased version of the game. Spanning only 13 ep. it could only include key moments from the game's plot, and not the full story.

Someone somewhere (Kyoto Animation) saw the potential in Kanon and decided to rerelease it in 2006 (so the viewers adopted it as Kanon 2006 or maybe only me), with a whole 24 eps. containing most of the game story.

Music is pretty much the same from the old Kanon games, maybe a couple of new arrangements. It's pretty fitting most of the time, but I really don't like the OP (Last Regrets). ED is fine. Also, I like how the episode titles make a musical allusion to the episode (canon, partita, fuga, serenade to mention a few). And the ep. where they talk a bit about Pachelbel's canon in D major, such a beautiful song, but anyway...

The animation is gorgeus. I rarely care about this issue. To me, good animation is a nice addition to most series, but it isn't imperative. Bad animation, however, can really harm a series by making it less enjoyable. This is all my opinion, a lot of people may differ. However, most people will agree with me that the animation here is just wonderful, excels anything I've seen.

The story is beautiful. It has crying moments, and laughing moments. It's just a matter of time before you fall in love with most of the characters. They are stereotypes after all, you are bound to like at least one of them. I'm going to have to mention that I really loved the Makoto story, by ep. 10 (and I'll remain spoilerless -for the next few words-) I had tears flowing down my neck, it was just great. Right now thinking on that part of the story, I'm getting very nostalgic, heh. The ending is just one of those bittersweet endings that fits everyone, liked it. (spoiler 1 cm away from this -> Why do they have to cut their hair?)

Whatever, that's the part I really liked, the rest of them are great. Near the ending it got wonderful again (veeery emotional), the ending ep. was full of mixed feelings. I do believe that Shiori's part was the least enjoyable, with how they handle the ending of it. Nevertheless, I still like her, along with the rest of the characters.

There is a problem with the whole story though, and it's that the feeling of the game is still there. Basically, in the game you can take the path of any girl you like. Here, you have to watch all of the paths, and this sort of harem gives a very unnatural feeling to the plot. It is a nice adaptation though, keeping these thoughts to the minimum. Too much going around to focus on that.

I could compare Kanon quickly to Rumbling Hearts (KGNE, Kiminozo, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien): I liked Kanon more. The magical elements unearthed feelings that Rumbling Hearts couldn't, however, they are different and this comparison would require much more depth than I have time to write :p

I believe Yuuichi is a great lead, I feel identified with his kind of personality. Sarcastic and mean at times, yet helps anyone who's in need (and as Yuuichi says, that sounds like a personality that brings a lot of trouble (oh and it does :p)). Yuuichi was improved from the previous versions, his design was horrible and lacked the style this new version gave him. His voice acting is nice too, as well as the voice acting in Kanon in general, they really shine in the emotional moments. Btw, if he sounds to you like Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, you got it right. Horie Yue repeats the Ayu role and if she sounds to you like Honda Tohru from Fruits Basket, you got it right, AND a sharp ear :).

I do recommend Kanon if you want to see a slice of life, supernatural, and revive a bit of your feelings and ideas towards love; or if you like crying or strong emotions (and anime can take you there) then you probably will fall for this one :p. Life's a canon, bound to infinitely repeat itself with small changes.

Favorite Episode: 10 (Umm. Makoto's story climax)
Overall: 9.3
Closing comments: uguu~
More closing comments: auuu~
Even more closing comments: No need for more, I think I said everything. :D Comment otherwise.
neop's additional closing comments: nyuu~

note: I'll put pictures up in a while.
note2: Done. Not very representative, but nice 10 min. finds.








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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Song of the Week 15/03/2007 The Seatbelts - Wo Qui Non Coin

Hey, time for another song of the week, before I lose myself in the world of psychology journal articles.

The Seatbelts is the name of the band that performed the music for Cowboy Bebop. Both their music and Cowboy Bebop (ranking around #3 in my personal favorites) are a beauty, but in this occasion let's focus on the music.

Names that shine within the Seatbelts are Yoko Kanno, composer of many many anime music tracks. Tsuneo Imahori on the guitar (composer of Trigun's OST), Mai Yamane as singer on some songs, and a guest musician spam (who do a great job on most of the songs). Highly Jazzy, with incredible style, the music just helps Cowboy Bebop flow nicely. There's a great number of tracks that shine, and will probably be up for future songs of the week, but for now I'll just take a personal favorite: Wo Qui Non Coin.

Do not expect to find the most artistically beautiful song from Bebop in this track, it's just a personal favorite. It's playful, the rhythm just flows (it sticks into your head :P), and it helps the scene in Cowboy Bebop in a great way; you could say it's Ed's Theme ;) . I'd post a picture of that moment, but *someone* has my Bebop DVD.

Oh btw, the Seatbelts (or Gabriela Robin, the lyricist in this case), in this playful "we are a band from 2071, the Seatbelts" concept, went as far as creating languages for the songs of this Anime, or maybe just messing up existing languages. In this case, around half of the song is sung in japanese, and the other half in some sort of meaningless french, very amusing, actually; put is up as my MSN nick, got some people telling me that my french was... mediocre haha.

Oh, the singer from this song is Ed's voice actress, Aoi Tada, I believe ^^.

The Seatbelts - Wo Qui Non Coin
Source (whom I deliberately borrow their lyrics :P): http://www.animelyrics.com/

Hanamogeraed by: Aoi Tada (Yes, that's what the booklet says. ^^;;)

Lyrics by: Gabriela Robin

Romanized by: Priya Monrad/Tommy Pedrini

boku no koinu ga
inaku natta
shiroi ashi shiroi shippo
zutto issho datta no ni

boku no koinu ga
inaku natta
shiroi mimi shiroi senaka
itsumo issho datta no ni

boku wa kawaita namida de
mainichi kurashite'ru
hayaku kaette kite

ame no hi mo kaze no hi mo
mainichi sanpo shite ageru

dakara hayaku
hayaku kaette kite

*Translatable up to here

j'eu suis sa mosokona
wichet de bous sobleu
que se apusizi lepou zi ne
j'eu mi si tu lamour, tu lamour chet moi
hmm-hmm
j'eu suis sa mosokona
ruchet de bous sobleu
que se apusizi lepou zi ne
j'eu mi si tu lamour, tu lamour chet moi
hmm-hmm
adetu la mien ka fe tu notra
abelru hii ri soa
a lamour
ma-mii...
andetu la rien ka fe tu notra
abelru hii ri sora
a lamour
j'eu me tu lire ti la me tushe kyuela
j'eu suis sa mosokona
wichet de bous sobleu
que se apusizi lepou zi ne
j'eu mi si tu lamour, tu lamour chet moi
hmm-hmm
j'eu suis la mo saa (ahh ahh...)

Translated part:

My puppy
isn't here
he has white feet and a white tail
we were together all the time

my puppy
isn't here
he has white ears and a white back
even though we were always together

My tears have dried up
everyday I hope
hurry
come back

rainy days and windy days
but everyday I know
I want you

so hurry, come back

*************************************

This song is used in Cowboy Bebop Session 24, Hard Luck Woman.


****
Full credits if you check http://www.animelyrics.com/anime/cbebop/woquinoncoin.htm
There may be mistakes in the aberrated french part, that would be because it's a phonetic attempt at capturing the lyrics, be nice :P

edit: fixed some errata and CSS column gimping, by removing the columns ;)

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Song of the Week 10/03/2007 Calipso/Fine de un Viaggio - Le Orme

Oh a morning update, well almost.

This week's song is Le Orme's Fine de un Viaggio, in English, The End of the Trip or something like that (I don't really know any Italian). It's the second-to-last song in the album, and is sort of a closing song.

Le Orme is a band belonging to the Italian Progressive Rock genre. Again, this song is not really a faithful representation of all the bands' music. Prog. Rock tends to get crazy and keyboard-y, however, most of these bands write wonderful ballads as well. This song is one of the latter.

My favorite part is the last instrumental minute. Very nice. I can't really say much about the lyrics, since most of them I'm just guessing their meaning (I would appreciate some translations, they seem to be hard to find :().

Another prize goes to the previous track from the same album (Le Orme's Florian). Calipso is a very sweet ballad, and I think it connects perfectly to the next song (Fine de un Viaggio, described above), that's why I think they should go together in the song of the week category; also, it used to be my most played song. BTW, most of the album seems to have references from the Odyssey, so this song is inspired by the goddess Calypso, interesting eh?

I'll be including the lyrics from now on. These need an almost good & almost impossible to find translation though, at least for my degree of laziness.

Le Orme - Calipso

Poiché riconosco la tua canzone e il disegno sul tuo telaio
a te rivolgo, dolce Calipso, questo mio pensiero,
non sono un'austera divinità, ma solo un uomo che sta seguendo la via
illuminata dalla tua immensa statua.
Dona libertà per il tuo amato eroe accolto e poi nutrito
ora è molto triste, sai, rivuole la sua terra
anche se la notte era tanto calda sotto la bandiera di stelle.
Ora una barca ha costruito sotto il sole rosso e spietato
ha innalzato la bianca vela e aspetta sereno
il tuo soffio di vento.
Dona libertà per il tuo amato eroe, amico dei tuoi sogni,
ora si è svegliato, sai, non può aspettare il giorno,
anche se la notte era tanto calda sotto la bandiera di stelle.

Le Orme - Fine de un Viaggio

Il lungo viaggio che hai fatto è terminato qui
dal tuo sonno ora ti dovrai svegliare.
Io ti lascio al tuo destino, non ti servo più,
la mia nave ha invertito la sua rotta.
Smetti di sognare, amico,
e ricorda che domani è già oggi, per questo io ti dico:
Cambia, Mister Tambourine Man, a me non servi più,
la tua nave magica è un relitto ormai.
Lascia il tuo tamburo e vai in cerca di altri suoni
le tue ombre inutili nessuno segue più.
La nuova strada è già tracciata e la percorrerò
più sicuri sono ora i passi miei.
Le risate verso il sole
ora fanno solamente paura, per questo io ti dico:
Cambia, Mister Tambourine Man, a me non servi più,
la tua nave magica è un relitto ormai.
Lascia il tuo tamburo e vai in cerca di altri suoni
le tue ombre inutili nessuno segue più.

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