October 4th, 2008 | Comments Off on Wheeeee~!!!

7 April 2009 can’t come soon enough.

Actually, on second thought, I should be gearing up for the last of my undergrad exams at that time–maybe it can. 😛 Then again, I’ll only have three, so maybe it won’t be so bad. But–then I also have to defend my thesis, which is going to be incredibly draining.

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June 15th, 2008 | Comments Off on vous êtes à la bonne époque

Several notes from the concert last night:

  • I can see why the act at 7 has won Félix awards. He’s got a very rich voice; unfortunately, I wasn’t as able to appreciate him as fully since I was really waiting for those who’d be taking the stage at 9.
  • I think it’s also kind of amazing how any Francophone accent he has completely disappears when he’s singing in English.
  • Fifteen minutes of speeches before the main attraction is not a good idea. Especially when your first two speakers don’t speak French all that well. (The Francophones behind me were snickering–as was I, admittedly, having been caught at this very error once–at the pronunication of “qualité.” En français, on dit “ka”, pas “kwa”.) There was also his infamous “Dansons! Chassons! Mangeons!” (“Let’s drink! Hunt! Eat!”)
  • That being said, the third speaker was able to read the growing impatience, and said: “J’ai préparé un long discours, mais devant cette foule, je n’ai plus de discours.” (Cue cheer from the crowd.)
  • Concerts are bad for me, as I tend to spend way too much money at them. Still, the tickets were cheap–$25–and I only picked up two CD’s and a shoulder bag (and a couple pins….) I suppose this does mean I don’t need to buy a bag anymore!
  • I admire the trust of the lead singer, who stage-dove and crowd-surfed in the middle of the set. This is a big man, too!
  • The bassist had good taste in shirts. It’s a takeoff of the old stick-in-rink Canucks logo, but with a guitar instead of a hockey stick. I can only assume he’s aware of the reference.
  • The kids to my left (and yeah, they were kids, no more than 13 or 14, if that) were a bit annoying. At one point a beach ball was being passed around, and they wanted to over to the side, where they were–so I kept hearing cries of “ici!” and “hé, le ballon!” as well as near-misses as they tried for the ball which remained desperately out of reach.
  • Security was quick! Towards the end of the night, a guy jumped onto the stage and was immediately whisked away by two guards. I didn’t even see where they came from.
  • There was a bizarre call-and-response sequence which I think ended with us chanting “Roberto Luongo”.
  • This was an outdoor concert. I kind of wonder where the residents of the nearby retirement community were yesterday evening.
Posted in ramblings
April 5th, 2008 | Comments Off on Heart Station

Soooooo I’ve kind of been listening to Hikaru Utada’s new album, Heart Station. I don’t like it anywhere near as much as ULTRA BLUE, but there are still a few repeat-worthy songs on this one. Among them:


    心の電波 届いてますか?
    罪びとたちのHeart Station
    I miss you

    This song reminds me a lot of some of the songs on ULTRA BLUE, but a tad more melancholy. I also like the punning (or possible punning, I haven’t really looked at the lyrics) on heart/hertz/station. That’s mostly just a language geek thing, though. 😀

  • “Prisoner of Love”

    I’m gonna tell you the truth

    This wouldn’t sound too out of place on Exodus. Actually, who am I kidding? This song is better than most of the songs on that disk, but I’m kind of at a loss to explain why I like it so much.

  • “虹色バス” (Niji-iro Bus)

    愛する人へ 想いを寄せて
    Everybody feels the same
    Everybody feels the same
    虹色バスで 虹の向こうへ
    みんなを乗せて 青空PASSで

    Although it’s upbeat, the melancholy that permeates this whole album (except for “Boku wa Kuma”) seeps into this one too. I almost dismissed it as “too cute” on first listen, but there’s such a good beat! As the last track (next to the bonus track), it actually lifts my mood a bit. 🙂

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March 24th, 2008 | Comments Off on Déjà entendu

I’m currently listening to Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” right now, and it struck me that there’s something very familiar about the chorus. I suddenly realized that it reminded me of LOVE’S (Fukiko Nakamura) song “Trigger.” (Go to her myspace page to preview. Do you agree?)

This seems to happen to me a lot, and not everyone agrees with me: my brother likes this song whose opening reminds me forcefully of Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me.” Naturally, he doesn’t hear it at all. To be honest it’s maybe just a couple of bars, but every time I hear it, I think of Nickelback’s song first.

“Cloud 9” by Maaya Sakamoto and “Une héroïne” by Laurent Voulzy kind of seem similar too, although I can’t really place my finger on what’s so similar by the two songs.

The opening chords of sagayuuki’s “Hatsuyuki” also inexplicably remind me of Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. This connection is so tenuous, though, I’m tempted to say it doesn’t really exist.

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March 6th, 2008 | Comments Off on MySpace = not evil?

I lately have fallen in love with the Japanese vocalist サガユウキ (sagayuuki). Unfortunately he’s one of these up-and-comers and so I haven’t been able to find much. I’m thinking pretty seriously about ordering his album, but to tide me over until then, I’ve been listening to the stuff on his MySpace page.

I hadn’t realized the extent to which artists use MySpace. (I hesitate to say “indie” because some, like サガユウキ, are actually signed to major labels.) So…. all those artists I always wanted to hear more from? MySpace’d.

So, I now recommend for you:

Josée Allard: Bilingual singer-songwriter. Her music’s fun and light (most of the time). On her page she’s only got the French stuff, I think, but they’re worth a listen even if you don’t understand the lyrics.

Bevlyn Khoo: A multilingual singer from Singapore. Some of her music reminds me a bit of Ariane Moffatt; it’s a very soothing, pleasant sound. In the mood for French? Mandarin? English? Bevlyn does all three.

Ellery: Mellow pop-folk sound here. Nothing groundbreaking, really, nor too challenging, but good easy listening.

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January 24th, 2008 | Comments Off on そばに居て欲しくて

(Yes–I am procrastinating. Yes–I will pay for this later. No–I probably shouldn’t be doing this. And no–this will probably not make any sense. At this point I am just SICK of “reflecting on my writing process” in French.)

I’ve been listening to mink’s Shalom album a lot lately. I like mink a lot, but for some reason I always feel extremely guilty when I listen to her music. I think it’s because I find some of it rather formulaic and almost Celine Dion-esque.


And then some of it just makes me think of the 80s, and not in a good way: think heavy synthesizer and sugar-coated bubblegum hooks. I’m thinking specifically of “Automatically.”


mink’s English is not bad, although it’s not as good as either LOVE’s or Rie fu’s. Her English lyrics, though, wow–some of them are quite beautiful. Take this excerpt from the English version of “Blessing of Love”: “How can I live without the hope that we/Might touch the edge of heaven’s light”


I picked up a mink single and a mink album from Book Off about a month ago. I’m not super-keen on the album, although I do love the single (which also has karaoke tracks for you aspiring divas. ;D)

世界で一番奇麗な場所: あなたの側で

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Posted in ramblings
November 16th, 2007 | Comments Off on Banalities

At work there’s a bit of “war of the radio stations” going on–it seems three or four people each have strong preferences about which radio station is best suited for working in the lab, so we swing between:

  • Soft rock/adult contemporary/easy listening
  • Modern rock
  • Classical
  • Top 40-ish type music
  • French talk radio (that’s me, and I only dare put it on when I’m in at 7:30 in the morning. Which I think has happened approximately once.)

Anyway, so today we have the adult contemporary station, and I hear a snatch of a song that goes something like:
“everybody wants to be understood … you are loved …”
I think to myself: “Who wrote this song? Are they kidding themselves? ‘You are loved.’ ‘You are loved.’ What an excellent and gripping hook. And why why why why would Josh Groban sing this?!”

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always pay a huge amount of attention to lyrics (seeing as how I don’t understand the lyrics to half the music I listen to), but when I do, lyrics can really make or break a song for me. I mean, I know half the songs on that station are along the same kinds of lines, but … I honestly wondered for about 30 seconds whether this was a parody of some kind.

Also, I think I’m just kind of bitter that I don’t get my random tune-out-able Top 40 music now. I’m not sure I really like it any better, but at least the music tends to be a bit more upbeat (important at the end of a long day.)

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Posted in quotidian
October 13th, 2007 | Comments Off on Embryo Love Songs

And what’s this? Not only do we have a new single from LOVE, but she also have a MySpace page!

Plus, we are treated to this piece of news:

タイトルは「Embryo Love Songs」

Debut album, people! I am excited 🙂

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September 22nd, 2007 | Comments Off on Eminences and effusions

In no particular order:

  • No one does “FULL MOON PRAYER” better than Fukiko Nakamura. Case in point: Youtube clip of COS performing live Far less wince-inducing than Nami Tamaki’s performance.
  • Work is more and less stressful than school at the same time. I don’t know. I’m a little perdu at the moment. Maybe more than a little.
  • Nachos are delicious 😀
  • Note to self: lab book needs catching up. Also, processing of latest HPLC data needs to be done. Also, coordinate with Brian re: spectra (not “spectrums”) for new compounds.
  • Jigglypuff is cute. But do you know what’s even cuter? Kirby as Jigglypuff.
  • I have re-discovered my love for Dvorak. Anyone up for a game witht the Paranoia or Programming decks? (I plan to print out the “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US” deck as well one day. It has pictures! :D)
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August 27th, 2007 | Comments Off on audition schmaudition

I had heard, once, long ago, that Nami Tamaki had performed a CORE OF SOUL song for her initial audition. I Googled this and found nothing, so I let it drop for a while.

This was, of course, before YouTube got as big as it is now.

Mesdames et messieurs, je vous présente:

Sarah, tell me that it’s okay for me to keep wincing during this thing. Tell me I’m not doing it just because I’m a horribly loyal COS fan (still). Tell me it’s not just because I don’t like Nami Tamaki very much! (Okay, so I know I can’t do better, but still…)

As you might be able to tell, I think the original is much, much better. I think part of it is the piano–some songs just aren’t piano-driven, and sound awful when transposed there. I think the unplugged version of “FULL MOON PRAYER” on One Day, One Love, One Life! is still guitar-driven. I think it’s guitar, anyway. It could be banjo, for all I know. Except I bought the CD, and have the liner notes. Okay, no, it is guitar. There’s a hint of piano in the background but it is a guitar song.

Actually, now that I think about it, the thing I’m most reminded of is Hikaru Utada’s cover of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, another piano-accompanied cover. ACTUALLY, I think the opening chords are the same.

(Sarah, I’m starting to see your point about pop songs all having the same chords.)

Posted in ramblings