× m u f f l e d n o i s e ×
(http://blog.mymelody.com/mufflednoise)
No music no life~

Archive for February, 2007

Musicians Turned Actors

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Generally good or generally bad? On one hand there are acts like Will Smith and Mark Wahlberg…whose music careers people have already forgotten because of their success as actors. Does anybody even remember “Marky Mark”? Granted, these two aren’t among the best actors out there, but the camera loves them, and fortunately for them, their acting careers are enough for even critics to take them seriously, what with all the musician-actor skeptics.

But on the other hand, there are tragedies like Mariah Carey. Glitter has got to be the musician movie failure of the century. It’s one of those movies you make jokes of, poor promoters. And there’s Madonna, who seems very confident in her acting career, contrary to the opinion of just about everybody.

Don’t even get me started on the Asian actors. Oh, why can’t they just concentrate on their music? Honestly, even when they make good actors, unless they’ve failed as musicians (See: Marky Mark), I think going for acting careers is trying too hard. It gives the impression that they were never really passionate about music, and they just want the fame…any way they can get it.

I love i,Robot though. What? Don’t look at me like that haha~

I’ve Never Bought You Flowers

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

James MorrisonTo be honest, the first time I heard about James Morrison was when he was featured in MTV. He was a skinny English guy, wearing a white wifebeater, holding a guitar, and looking like he had just gotten out of bed.

A few seconds into the interview, I heard him comment on how some people ask him why he sounded like an African-American. But as I watched, listening to the way he spoke and how he answered the questions, I couldn’t imagine how he supposedly sang to make them say that.

So I waited a while, and he started talking about his song called “You Give Me Something”, and that’s when I heard it for the first time.

And now, a month later, I’m listening to that same song, and I’m finally able to understand what he was saying about the lyrics of this song. Although it feels like a very romantic and sweet song, listening to the words I can understand what it was originally intended to be―a cruel, almost heartless song.

From even his supposedly sweetest words like “I’m willing to give it a try” and “Someday I might call you from my heart,” show just how unattached the singer is to someone who seems to love him so much. Even if he’s singing in a sweet tone, with a lot of soul, it seems like he is just sticking around because he’s got nothing better to do. At the same time, it seems that the singer really doesn’t think so highly of relationships and of love itself.

Ultimately, the song could keep its listener stuck in between hopeful and heartbroken, because you know the singer is staying, but one has to wonder where he really is.

As for James Morrison, I think I’m going to keep my eye (and ear) on this guy. Looks can be deceptive―this guy has so much soul, and such a sharp way of conveying emotions, that even in the simple lines of the song, he was able to make me feel everything the relationship was and wasn’t. Looking forward to more from this artist.

American Idol

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Amazing how out of thousands and thousands of people who joined the auditions, only over a hundred (forgot exactly how many) got into Hollywood. Though it’s obvious that some of them just wanted to get their 30 seconds of fame, many of them go there armed with full confidence in their singing abilities. But this confidence doesn’t always come with the actual skill, and this is the reason the judges often come out as the bad guys.

Well, while I do agree that there are comments that they’d do better not to say, I don’t agree with how some contestants react, saying things like how Simon isn’t even American, how Randy doesn’t really know anything because he’s in the background, and how Paula isn’t good at all because her career went down or something. Seriously. They were the ones who were given the opportunity, and those judges were put there for a reason. Contestants should only react to what they say, not keep dissing them for who they are.

That aside, I think that American Idol is one of the rare few reality TV shows that won’t fade out so easily. Talent is easy to sell, and when someone wins, that’s instant platinum (at least) for that singer. People seem to love seeing talent more than drama, in fact the drama of normal reality TV seems to be the one thing people have grown tired of in the genre.

Simon said something like “I don’t know what we’re doing here anymore,” some time during this season’s auditions. And it’s true for me too. On one hand, it’s amazing (in a bad way) how many people would go there just to do something weird (like dance in a chicken suit), but on the other hand, if they didn’t go there, the show would be less interesting.

It’s encouraging for those aspiring that every year, you hear Simon say something like “Absolutely brilliant”, so that means that every year there will always be a fresh supply of talent, either they just didn’t come out before or they just got that good at that point. With that in mind, I really can’t see American Idol stopping anytime soon, after all it’s six seasons strong.

Hello Kitty Dream Wedding~

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

 Wedding

Wow. That was extravagant. Even the minor details like the flowers along the aisle were full of Hello Kitty designs. The couple really seemed happy with everything, as if it really was a dream come true. Well I can’t blame them, the bride’s dress looked very expensive, along with everything else. Not to mention they get to be known as the couple who got married with Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel, heheh. They were brought to Tokyo station by a Hello Kitty train on the MTR, so really, it was extravagant from start to finish.

How great for that couple though, and on Valentines Day too. XD Talk about memorable.

The Korean Music Wave

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Hello again everyone. Today, instead of featuring an artist, I decided to write about the Korean music scene.

KPop, short for Korean pop, almost seems synonymous to “Korean music”, because people hardly ever hear or read “KRock” or K(insert genre here). While most mainstream artists shift between genres often while still remaining in the “pop” genre, it is still true that when many foreigners think of Korean music, they think of either ballads or catchy songs with matching dance steps.

But just how diverse is the (South) Korean music scene? In the 70s and 80s, there was a small movement of rock music, mostly motivated by political and social awareness. By then they already had a fairly established pop scene, which was actually influenced by the Western “foxtrot”. This kind of pop music (called Teuroteu from the Korean pronunciation of ”trot” ) slowly faded away, as influences from other Western artists lead to the soft rock-type ballad.

In 1992, one group revolutionized the Korean music scene, and its name was Seo Taiji and Boys. They mixed other elements from Western music, such as rap, rock and techno, incorporating dance routines into their performances. Since then, rock music has been slowly making its way into the mainstream, with bands such as Cherry Filter, Nell, and The TRAX, though the latter is more popular in Japan as rock is more accepted in the country’s mainstream.

Though rock music and hiphop still have their marks in Korean pop culture, society more readily embraces themes such as love, life and having fun. So socially and politically-motivated songs mostly remain in the underground, regardless of whether they are good or not.

An example of such is The Movement Crew, a group of Korean rappers consisting of artists like Drunken Tiger and Epik High. DT was founded because of supposed racism against Koreans in the US, and even the rest of the crew focuses on themes relating (or retaliating) to ideas like this.

Korean pop music is primarily commercial. Pop groups forming and disbanding in a matter of a few years is common, and many artists have switched companies for better contracts. To many people in and out of South Korea, this is the main problem of the music industry there, because for many it is not about talent or the quality of the music, but about looks and marketing.

Still, this is not to deny that there are many very good groups and solo artists from Korea. For this reason, among others, the “Hallyu” is born. This literally means “Korean Wave”, and refers to the rising world interest in Korean pop culture. Aside from Korean dramas taking the world (especially Asia) by storm, the wave brings with it the interest in Korean acts, not only for their image but for the talent the world is starting to see in Korean acts.

There are many Korean artists that are currently trying to penetrate the US market. Unfortunately, the US does not seem to be ready for this, and regards most of these acts as merely “asian artists”. The underground scene may never take part in this wave (which is also mainly commercial). Despite these setbacks, there may come a day when Korean music will be readily accepted in the world’s mainstream music industry.

Heya all.

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Alrighty! A new blog!

Hello everyone, this is my first official entry. And what am I gonna be blogging about? Drumroll please…

Music! Yup, fitting for my blog’s name isn’t it? Anyway, first of all let me start by saying what kind of music I’m into. In terms of genre, actually, I don’t really have a favorite…I guess it just depends on my mood. I believe that there’s good music and there’s bad music, regardless of genre. So earlier in the day I could be listening to rock, and later Bossanova, then some R&B at night. I think it’s best that way, because when you restrict yourself to certain genres (or even just ONE genre) then you close yourself off to the possibility of other music being good.

The first thing that catches my attention in music is the beat. When I like the beat, the other instruments start creeping into my ears, to totally draw me into the feel of the song. Arrangement next, because to me it’s what separates good music from bad, on a technical level. Last, but definitely not the least, are the lyrics. Words in a song are always very important to me, and if I don’t like the words, I won’t like the song either. It might seem like I’m contradicting myself with the whole good music is good music thing, but actually it’s very clear to me. Songs are made for the purpose of sending messages, through the lyrics, and they’re just as important as the melody and rhythm.

So even there are a lot of foreign songs that I like, I make it a point to know what they’re about. So that when I sing or listen to them, I can really get the feel of what they want to say. ^_^~

That’s all for now~~ Tomorrow, I’m gonna feature an artist, still haven’t decided on whom yet though. Kpop maybe? Heheh, we’ll see.