Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cutting Corners,and music too

(This post started almost a month ago but never finished because it is....lame, even for the internet. I have made up with music near the end, scroll down to skip the boring part)

Back in the glorious old days of high school, the only sweet treat that does not mandate the endless queue at the tuck shop is the $2 Cadbury chocolate sold by your various compatriots raising funds for both mundane and noble causes. I must have bought hundreds of these bricks of concentrated energy, and once in a while I got to sell these coronary-blocking treats to other people, and from what I can tell it moves pretty quickly, seriously who does not like chocolate.

I bought the first of such chocolate since graduation, and to my dismay the price has gone up 25% to $2.5. The package says 85g, yet the block feels significantly smaller, can someone let me know if shrinkage is also involved?

Cadbury can disgust me no longer, after they cunningly introduced cardboard packaging so the smaller chocolate blocks may go undetected. It has been a blatant ripoff for as long as I can remember. Another example below:

Yes, that is right, the box had the capacity to hold 9 bars, yet what you get are six feeble wieners of muesli rice puff ingots. It certainly blow all senses of corporate responsibility(which in itself is an oxymoron) out of water, as well as breaking the golden rules in packaging: never let your contents move inside its container or it will break.

Something less significant also happened to bottle seals:

First it was like this, notice the beautifully stamped continous piece of metal seal cap with a generous ring.

The same bottle now, probably a result of anorexia. 



Laura Marling - My Manic and I

If case you have not noticed, Laura Marling seems to find her way into over 50% of all posts by me. To make long praises short, she sings true to the hearts and minds of the premature/immature, confused and eternally struggling of us.

Julieta Venegas - El Presente 

I have watched this on TV, so take my word for it, shes even more fabulous than this fuzzy video already has to show.

El presente es lo único que tengo
The present is the unique thing I have
el presente es lo único que hay
The present is the unique thing there is
es contigo mi vida con quien puedo sentir
With you in my life so I can feel that
que merece la pena vivir
It is worth the trouble to live

A simple, happy and beautiful song like Cuban sunshine (Julieta is an US-born Mexican, FYI). If you have not previously listened to Latin music I highly recommend that you do. A better recording can be found on here, yet visually disappointing(must be her outfit, huh?). Just let me know and I will lend you her MTV Unplugged CD.

Also, the accordion is awfully underrated, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries. Playing an accordion is a dance of its own kind, where the body is truly incorporated into the rhythm. I might learn as well if I can first of all master chromatic harmonica.

AI - Story

I grew up listening to Japaneses pop music, nevertheless I don't like it anymore since the genre has been steadily going downhill in the last 10 years or so. What used to inspire an entire generation of musical talents in the far east had already reduced to a random assortment of Engrish-filled lyrics and repetitive melodies that always have your ears ringing. Well, unlike the rest of the bunch of female jpop singers with high-pitched "cute" voices, AI is a nice break from general mediocrity.

You are not alone 
Because I am taking care of you 
So I'd love to see your smiling face 
时がなだめてく 痛みと共に流れてく
Time soothes and flows with the pain 
日の光がやさしく 照らしてくれる
The light of the day, gently shines on us all

The Corrs - Runaway

I listen to a lot of obscure folk, country and celtic music. The Corrs may be somewhat too well-known for the group, however their music still had the grassroot touch of the people.

Erin Go Bragh

Diane Cluck - My Teacher Died

Anti-folk does not have a grudge against anything, it is a continuation of the true folk/punk spirit following the ascension of rock music into the mainstream. Like many antifolk singers, Diane Cluck's style is hard to generalise,but there is a rein of rare casualness throughout.

Gabriela Robin - Torukia

Gabby's identity deserves a high ranking on the list of the worst kept secrets, losing narrowly to Ricky Martin's sexuality. Her existence has been vaguely hinted/admitted/denied many times in the past, but every fan knows Robin is the pseudonym of The Sealbelts' composer/conductor Yoko Kanno.

Her strength as a composer is her ability to write music to any style with high authenicity: Orff, Wagner, Kitarō,Björk, Joplin, Garbarek, Elgar, Sousa, you name it, she can do it. However, her vocals are consistently transcendental and soul-grabbing. Some closure has been provided at last year's The Seatbelts 7/7 concert, at the end of which, Kanno performed one of Robin's songs, informally putting an end to the speculation. This song is the opening piece of the same concert; the version played here, as found on the compilation CD "Space Bio Charge" has been rearranged to be 30s shorter than the full version, honestly I failed to detect the difference.


Lyrics, well not really, Robin sings in her own fictional language, this is just an impression:

In the land of Torukia
Words fall to become the sand

Did you see the sea? Did you see the sea?
Guided by the water of thought

A proud spirit walks a proud road
A humble spirit walks a humble road
And between the two
The fog breaks over the flat land
And a song that cannot be heard dries out those two spirits

In the land of Torukia
Words fall to become the sands

In other news:

- Three more exams to go, will commence studying once time runs out. 
- I have got into my hands another prospective project, that is successful, may relieve me from the troubles of postgraduate studies, hope everything is going to work out.
- Things to do: Complete the other 3 draft posts/bake blue cookies/buy a single bed/eat all the cake before the others get to it