Category Archives: Music

I suck at blogging

I deeply apologize for the lack in posts. I don’t really have an excuse either, because although school’s busy, it’s not that busy. Then again, life has not exactly been super exciting since I got back from HK, so there’s not much to report. It’s like sitting on a bench feeding bread crumbs to geese after jet-skiing through the lake. Mostly, I’ve been shut up either in my room or in a library. I went out a few times over the recent Canada Day long weekend (all these July birthdays…) and that’s about it.

To be honest though, it is quite nice to be home, away from the humidity, mosquitoes, suffocating crowds, and random drippy signs. The thing that bothered me most was that as much as I shower or attempt to stay hygienic, I was never able to feel totally clean. I’m also really enjoying the awesome weather we’ve had this summer so far. Last week’s heat wave would’ve been unbearable in HK. Hallelujah for air conditioning!

So to compensate for lack of any real content, I’ll turn this into a gimmicky music post! Again, I’m gonna try to put up songs that aren’t rampant everywhere. Not indie though, I’m probably still not “cultured” enough to appreciate it. New-ness of music is not guaranteed :P

Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars

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Snow Patrol is underrated!

Agnes – On & On

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Alphabeat – DJ

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Pixie Lott – Turn It Up

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Bruno Mars ft. Cee Lo & B.o.B – The Other Side

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Yes it’s a song about vampires. Don’t hate.

Rick Ross ft. Ne-Yo – Super High

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Epik High – 바보 (Fool)

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My other favourite off their album, epilogue, is Coffee. So chill and relaxing.

Hyori Lee ft. Daesung – How Did We Get

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You may know Daesung from Big Bang. He gives me the creeps, but I can’t deny he has a really nice voice. Update: This song is actually a cover of Jason Derulo’s version, which in turn gets its beat from Annie Lennox’s No More “I Love You’s”. You may have heard Nicki Minaj’s Your Love, which also samples from Annie Lennox.

SNSD Girls Generation – 별별별 (☆★☆) (Acoustic R&B Version)

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La musique

Just thought I’d share some tunes that have been on my recent playlists. A little bit of Big Bang and Epik High satisfy my Asian music palate, but other than that, it’s been mostly Western. In no particular order:

T.I. ft. Young Dro – King On Set

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Totally awesome beat. Random: Is T.I. out of prison yet?

Little Boots – Remedy

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Little Boots is this adorable, instrumentally-gifted British newcomer to the mainstream scene. This one’s a pretty dance-y track. Her style reminds me of Lady GaGa, except with sufficiently less crack. Also check out New In Town, which I believe was her breakthrough single.

Jay-Z ft. Young Jeezy – Real As It Gets

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Really liking Jazzy’s latest album, The Blueprint 3. My other two favourites are Empire State of Mind and D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune). I think this track should actually be the intro on his album.

Boys Like Girls ft. Taylor Swift – Two Is Better Than One

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Boys Like Girls is reminiscent of Good Charlotte and Sum41, so when I first heard their single Love Drunk (also the name of their latest album), it didn’t really appeal to me. But I am a sucker for this track. It’s like one of those slow dance songs they play in chick flicks.

Ashanti ft. Flo Rida – Let’s Do Something Crazy

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This has actually been on my playlist since July, and I don’t know why it’s not more popular – I find it totally addictive.

Mariah Carey – I Want To Know What Love Is

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Good to hear MC can still belt it out. Kind of a homage to her ballad days.

James Kinney – Therapy

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This James Kinney guy just sort of came out of nowhere, but I do like the piano part in this song. Somewhat infectious?

Ke$ha – TiK ToK (aka Dolla)

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Just a fun track, with fun lyrics. Yea, Ke$ha is the girl who did Right Round with Flo Rida.

Study music

It’s final exams again, so I’ve begun my usual rounds of operating in a different time zone everyday. There’s a lot of studying going on, and I was curious as to what kind of music people listen to when they’re studying. I used to stick to classical because lyrics were too distracting. Some of my favourites are:

J. Bach – Air

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We used to giggle at the song title (“on the G string”…yep, totally immature), but this is a very very relaxing and beautiful piece.

F. Chopin – Grande Valse Brillante

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It’s a happy waltz! I have a thing for waltzes

J. Strauss – The Blue Danube

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Probably the most famous waltz. There’s something about music set in 3/4 time that makes you want to dreamily dance and glide around.

P. Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No. 1

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I love the strings melody at 2:25. I think strings and piano were made for each other.

The problem with classical, because it’s so expressive, is that it can get overly depressing or epic. I don’t feel very encouraged reading about the Bipartite Matching Algorithm set to Holst’s Mars. In fact it just makes me more agitated. Last term I found jazz/easy listening to be more appropriate. As the genre name suggests, it’s light, you sort of don’t even notice it, but it lifts the heavy silence of individual study, and you can think on top of it. Just wanted to share some tunes on my playlist:

Eva Cassidy – Fly Me to the Moon

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Diana Krall – The Look of Love

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Michael Bublé – L O V E

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Okay, that last one may be too happy. So what do you listen to when you study?

Video game instrumentals

Video game music is so awesome. Especially if you’ve played the game, know the story, and developed attachment to the characters. I love original soundtracks, and I wanted to share some of my favourite instrumental gaming music.  Just because they’re awesome. Please take note that yes, I am a crazy Square fangirl, so of course it’s going to be slightly biased :D

Yoko Shimomura – Legend of Mana ~Title Theme~

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Ms. Shimomura has worked with legendary game developer Square-Enix on a number of titles, including the Kingdom Hearts series. She is also the mastermind behind the music of the currently unreleased Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Personally I’ve never played Legend of Mana, but this opening theme is just so beautifully epic.

Nobuo Uematsu/Aki Kuroda – To Zanarkand

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Okay I know this one’s somewhat overplayed (especially on piano), but it’s still so sad and pretty! From Final Fantasy X.

Nobuo Uematsu – Eyes On Me [Piano Solo]

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Beautiful arrangement. Also enjoyable to learn and play on piano. From Final Fantasy VIII.

Yoko Shimomura arr. Kaoru Wada – Dearly Beloved

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This is a recurring theme in the Kingdom Hearts series. Yeah, it kind of just repeats, but nostalgia practically overwhelms me everytime it’s paired with any sort of KH clips. Also it’s very soothing and makes great background music for when I can’t fall asleep :P

Utada Hikaru – Hikari [Orchestrated Version]

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I was so happy they played this at Video Games Live. Already a truly epic piece, it sounded AMAZING with a live orchestra. From Kingdom Hearts.

In school-related news, I’ve survived my first week. Not much of an accomplishment, as I have previously survived 7 “first week”s. After this term, I will have two more terms (one year) of school and then be rudely shoved into the real world. I’m also co-op job-hunting again this term so we’ll see how that goes.

Jin and Mark came to Waterloo to visit for a few days. Yesterday I went to my morning class, then had lunch and grabbed ice cream with some fellow mathies. Afterwards, we spent about 3-4 hours just trying to decide what the hell we could do for the afternoon/night. In fact, we dragged it all the way until dinnertime, and Mark had to go home to Markham. The rest of us went for dinner at Rude Native Bistro. Later, we somehow convinced Mark to drive all the way back to Waterloo to join us for some board games. After a while I got really tired and passed out around 2am. Turns out everyone else slept at 6am.

The weather was pretty much terrible all day today so I’ve just been staying in. Still haven’t really accomplished anything. I should probably do some more reading…

Open your ears

This is not a review – it’s just some tracks that I’ve been listening to and liking lately.

James Morrison ft. Nelly Furtado – Broken Strings

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I found this song very randomly, but it’s been on repeat on my playlist for the past two months. If you talk to me on MSN, I have probably tried to shove this song down your throat onto your hard drive.

Leona Lewis – Run

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I love nearly all of the songs on Leona’s album, Spirit (which is very rare) because her voice is absolutely amazing.

Sarah Connor – Fall Apart

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Here’s a more upbeat song (albeit somewhat angry).

Hayley Taylor – No More Wishing

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I first heard this song at the end of Season 4, Episode 12 of How I Met Your Mother. It was love at first listen (?), so I Googled around and found Hayley’s MySpace. She’s an indie artist; at this point I believe her music is not widely available.

Mariah Carey – Always Be My Baby

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Yes, this song is superrrr old, but I’ve re-discovered how fun it is. It always makes me feel happier :)