Music Rec Wednesday: Malice Mizer – Regret

This is a feature called Music Rec Wednesdays. As you can guess from the name, I’m going to make a post recommending a song, album, or artist I like. Not a full review, just some thoughts on what I like. 

This week I’m recommending a beautiful instrumental featuring a nice duet between a piano and drums. The song, Regret, was performed live during a Malice Mizer concert in 1996. Gackt, the lead singer at the time, played the piano part and Kami the drummer joined in as the song reaches its peak. It’s a piece of music that really makes you feel the emotion of the title.

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Music Rec Wednesday: MUSIC OR DIE

For this week’s Music Rec Wednesday, I’m doing something a little different. I don’t have a specific song or artist to recommend. Instead, I’m recommending my friend’s blog which is currently running a music review series entitled MUSIC OR DIE. Her plan is to listen to and then review all the albums listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. It’s a rather ambitious project but fun nonetheless. Starting with a Frank Sinatra album from 1955, there is a ton of excellent music here to dive into and explore, with my friend as your guide.

As of the day I’m writing this post, she’s already reviewed 8 of the albums. There’s music from Elvis Presley to Fats Domino to Duke Ellington and more. There are some artists I’ve never even heard before so it’s nice to listen to new things. Feel free to stop by and leave her some encouragement!

You can read more details about her project here.

And here’s a link to the main page of her blog.

Thanks for checking it out! Regular Music Rec Wednesday posts will resume next week (barring any unfortunate circumstances)

Music Rec Wednesdays: String Covers of Rock Songs

This is a weekly feature called Music Rec Wednesdays. As you can guess from the name, I’m going to make a post recommending a song, album, or artist I like. Not a full review, just some thoughts on what I like. 

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to put together one of these posts, so today I’m recommending three different bands. I don’t really know much about them other than that I enjoy their music. We’ll be looking at Apocalyptica, Hampton String Quartet, and Vitamin String Quartet. The commonality they all share is that they do covers of rock songs with string instruments. It’s pretty awesome.

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It’s been a while…

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to update my blog, but I plan on getting back to writing soon. Work has been busy for me the last few months, so I haven’t really had much of a chance to put together posts. But I hope to get some more Music Rec Wednesdays together soon along with more Brief Thoughts of Jdramas.

In addition to my regular posts, I’ve decided to start writing reviews of television shows and movies I’m watching currently. I wanted to keep doing photo recaps of jdramas but due to some issues with my internet, that’s not really feasible at the moment. So instead, I’ll be writing reviews of the shows I’m watching along with some that I have saved on the DVR. I know I’m starting these in the middle of American television season but I guess there’s not much I can do about that. Maybe during the summer, I can catch up on the episodes I’ve missed.

So anyway, please check back soon for these upcoming posts! I’m looking forward to rambling about things again. As always, feel free to leave comments anywhere!

And, just in case you missed it, I recently wrote a guest post about Hey Say Jump for Nihonchique, a blog run by a good friend of mine. She writes a lot about Japanese music and culture as well as what it’s like living in Japan. Please check out her site too!

Music Rec Wednesdays: Theme from Defiance

This is a weekly feature called Music Rec Wednesdays. As you can guess from the name, I’m going to make a post recommending a song, album, or artist I like. Not a full review, just some thoughts on what I like. 

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve put together a Music Rec Wednesday, but this week I’m back with the extended theme from Syfy’s Defiance, both a television show and an online RPG video game. It’s got a cool, futuristic-sounding theme so let’s check it out!

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Music Rec Wednesdays: Halloween Junky Orchestra – Halloween Party

This is a weekly feature called Music Rec Wednesdays. As you can guess from the name, I’m going to make a post recommending a song, album, or artist I like. Not a full review, just some thoughts on what I like. 

"Trick or treat!"

“Trick or treat!”

Here’s the ~spooky~ edition of Music Rec Wednesdays featuring Halloween Party by Halloween Junky Orchestra.

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How to Become a Fan of Large Groups in 3 Easy Steps

For the most part, the American music industry is composed of solo artists and small groups. Quick: think of a popular song right now. Is the singer of that song a solo act? Or is it by a band? If the song is performed by a band, can you name any band member other than the lead singer? Chances are, the song you’re thinking of is sung by one person or a band with maybe four or five members at the most.

For me personally, I can think of at least a dozen popular American solo singers off the top of my head. I can think of a few bands too, but they usually only have one or two vocals in the group. Boy bands and girl groups have been popular in America in the past, but not so much recently. These days, it’s all about the individual.

In contrast, the pop music industry of Japan and South Korea is based heavily on singing groups. Yes, there are solo artists but few dominate the charts on the level that these boy bands and girl groups do. Japan has successful groups like Exile (fourteen members), Kanjani8 (seven members), and AKB48 (more than eighty members). South Korea has Super Junior (currently twelve members), Girls Generation (nine members), and EXO (twelve members). These examples are just a few of the large pop groups that both countries have to offer.

Japanese band Exile, 14 members Photo credit: http://www.comtrya.com/tag/exile-japan/

What I’ve discovered through my time on the internet is that fans of Western music (I won’t say just Americans because that’s too specific of a description) are somewhat intimidated by the large amount of singers in just one group. It’s a bit disconcerting at first, isn’t it? Say that you’re a fan of Christina Aguilera. You put on one of her music videos or go to one of her concerts and all you focus on is her. Sure, there may be backup singers or backup dancers, but that’s just for decoration really. Christina is why you are watching. So when you watch a music video for Girls Generation and you are suddenly confronted with NINE different singers, you don’t quite know how to react. Who should you focus on?

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