Archive for January, 2008

Bacon – Bye-Bye Little School Girl

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

  bacon, ????, butterfly, bye-bye little school girl, japanese punk, pop, indie music, rock, underground, ????????? ???????,

Artist: Bacon
Song: Bye-Bye Little School Girl
From album: Bacon (Self-titled)
[Buy CD][Bacon’s Website]

Why not make a resolution to help expand the musical horizons of those around you this year? For those of us with friends who are drawn to some of the extremely successful pop punk of recent times, bands like Bacon may be the perfect foot in the door.

These guys in particular have a dynamic delivery and virtually every song bristles with synth-hoisted melodic hooks that will expertly harpoon the involuntary-humming-centers of your brain. This is my favorite song off of their self-titled album of several years ago. Their more recent album “Butterfly” has double its length and number of songs, and a lot more of the same catchy accessible sound and savory name that fans of the genre are almost guaranteed to find appetizing…

“Humanizing China”

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

  china, exploration, culture, chinese, people, urban landscape, cities, ruins, abandoned buildings

I see I haven’t been doing much of the “Exploring the world through sight…” part of our title. So here is some very interesting slice-of-life photography of daily situations in various parts of China complete with captions.

I don’t know about you, but I often get the feeling that we humans experience the world too much through simple recognition and not enough through conscious reflection. Which is to say that every time we see or hear about something that is far enough removed from our daily experience, for example foreign countries or cultures that happen to be thousands of miles away, the information gets cross-referenced against a subconscious database of shallow tidbits –possibly simply a few cliché mental images– which is just enough to provide a basic frame of reference that is suitable for understanding the conversation and moving on.

The problem seems to me to be that without some kind of external impetus or revelation many of us may always see these people and their situations as hazy unrealistic caricatures of reality; and remain unable to sympathize with them or identify with their hardships. When we hear about Asia’s struggle for energy and industrial growth we may simply think of the whole continent as an Asia-shaped piece in an economics board game and forget the human element entirely.

In other words, I think images like these can help inspire us to reflect upon what it means that there are real people out there living these lives today.

The world is an interesting and dynamic place. It’s just hard sometimes to see it past the daily grind, to mentally disembark from our domestic slumber.

[Part 1: Survival][Part 2: Relationships][Part 3: Desires]

On the off chance…

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Well, happy holidays and new year to everyone. I’ve been using some of my spare time to work on making a new video player that will have a lot of good functionality built in. For example it has a playlist to support multiple videos, and you will be able to copy link code and embed code very easily in order to paste it onto your blog/myspace/website/email/im/whatever in order to share our videos with a wider audience. It even has full-screen mode!

I expect it will be completed in the next month or so, but in case there is anyone reading this who is proficient in Actionscript 2, I would love to get some advice regarding problems I’m having that seem to have no good solution that I can find.

Anyway, here’s looking forward to new developments!

World’s End Boyfriend – Planetarium Ghost Train

Friday, January 4th, 2008

  world's end boyfriend, planetarium ghost train, xmas song, christmas song, ?????????, japanese indie music, Katsuhiko Maeda, electronic, world's end girlfriend, underground, ?????????????????,

Artist: World’s End Boyfriend
Song: Planetarium Ghost Train
From album: Christmas Song (Xmas Song)[?????????]
[Buy CD][Discography]

Here’s a slightly tardy and amorphously seasonal sounding song for the holidays from a record of decidedly seasonal title. It is the work of Katsuhiko Maeda, whose World’s End Girlfriend project we featured a year ago this month.

Most of the songs on this record seem quite lighthearted in comparison to WEG, though in a characteristically twisted way. It’s something like Christmas-Meets-Halloween the musical, as interpreted by glitchy haunted computer children.

I had the good fortune last year to catch a show featuring both World’s End Girlfriend and Mono on extremely late notice and to find a nice spot next to the speaker stack in the front for the whole thing. While Mono has a well-deserved reputation for their intense live show, I hadn’t heard anything at all about WEG’s. And though I must say that I was hoping to find him with the full band that he had in one of the videos from our previous post, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that his solo performance was comparably powerful at the very least.

An overwhelming amount of sound can come out of this guy and his guitar and the machines that surround him in a nest of wires.