Categories: beat laments the world
Tags: hip-hop, specifics, under the hood
Last week saw me in a bit of a sorry state, as I was rockin’ a mighty fever amongst a few other unwanted things, so I spent most of my time in bed watching cheesy 80s movies. I also managed to crawl over to my laptop on some evenings only to get beaten to a virtual pulp via online video games and much better players.
I was going to get back into the swing of blogging about things this week, but decided to give myself a grace period, which I suppose is a little bit cheeky but whatever. So with a keen interest in boring pursuits I thought it would be a great idea to do a lot of walking about — my going from poorly and bedroom-ridden to well-recovered in a short space of time gave me an inflated sense of wanderlust. You see I’m currently back living in the countryside, and when the weather’s sort of good (it‘s been slowly getting better) the views can be pretty pleasant, and it isn’t a bad idea to want to go chasing them.
Sometimes my dog accompanies me, but there are other times when I’m out for a few hours alone and I’ll want see how far my mind and body will take me. If I manage to make it to the nice view I thought I saw a while ago I‘ll spend a second admiring it, then I’ll quickly proceed to fall hard to the ground and gasp like a moron for oxygen. Granted, steep inclines like hills are what cause any real problems, but where else am I going to stand, look down upon other puny humans and proclaim myself ruler of the land, probably the universe and anything alternate or parallel that might be out there.
What’s interesting is how often I get shouted at by podgy, leather-faced farmers as I traverse their fields. Considering there are public pathways going through most of them you might think that I’d be afforded some leeway, but nope. I brush the farmers off by giving a slight wave of the hand coupled with a lazy smile before continuing on my way. What can’t be so easily brushed off are those freakin’ gnats, because on milder days they like to gather in swarms and bite the shit out of me. I’ve tried using Tiger Balm (this house is eerily stocked to the teeth with it) on the bites but all that seems to do is make me smell like the inside of a curio shop. Unfortunately the equally useless but nicer-smelling Kwan Loong is nowhere to be seen — god damn it!
This post is much longer than it needs to be so I’ll conclude the bugger. Hated being ill, I enjoyed getting back to nature for a little bit, and I’ll get back to stay-at-home interests like blogging sometime next week. The end.
Well, it’s been a while. wu has gone more than a week without posting, quite a drastic change from about fifty in under a month. Henkka’s busy translating for benefit of pageviews and glorious profit for nation of monotones, and I haven’t seen skald or Delrey around in a while.
So we come to this, the latest of my insanely long, occasionally pointless and soon obsolete lists. This time I’ve chosen to step away from music momentarily and focus on the other side of my formal training. Sort of. I’m a stills photographer, not a cinematographer, but I have a deep-seated affection for the art-form that is the promotional video. That said, I do have a slightly different view than some as to what makes a music video good. To me, a promotional video should be a silent film with the music in the background, a short film no more than a minute or two longer than the length of the song. I also look highly upon abstractions, concepts and PVs that tell a story without the need to resort to dialogue. This sort of disqualifies a lot of later-day AKB48 videos that may otherwise have stood a chance, because they’re no longer really PVs at all, but full-fledged drama episodes. Another thing I disapprove of is ridiculous amounts of post-processing work unless it’s in some way required to gain the needed effect. For example, the ridiculous sparkles in recent Momusu PVs = instant fail.
For a change, there are no draws in the top 50. This happened by accident, which is confusing, considering how many PVs there are in incredibly close proximity to each other in score. In fact, in the 84 PVs I gave scores to, there’s only one draw: between AKB’s Hitsujikai no Tabi and Momusu Sakuragumi’s Sakura Mankai at 66.
I drew in some help for listing the PVs this time. As I had no inclination to watch nearly 1000 PVs to determine the best, I helpfully found a way around it: get other people to do it for me. Sort of. I asked a bunch of people for recommendations and as a general rule got about zero. A few people gave me one or two. Henkka gave me about 30, some of which I deleted. So in the end I had to go through and watch a bunch of stuff. Of course, AKB were the most annoying. Any group that puts out 32 PVs in one year, not counting sister groups, subgroups, soloists or other stuff is really going some to annoy me. Even so, through sheer spam power, AKB have more PVs in this list than any other group. I suppose if you release enough of something you’re bound to get a good one eventually. For most groups I accepted that the vast majority of their output was shit, and then carried on thinking so until convinced otherwise, unless I could specifically remember something. Thus, SKE PVs were done entirely from memory, Momusu almost entirely by memory, yet on the other side of the coin I watched some PVs I’d never even heard of before, let alone seen, including a bunch by older groups like Hinoi Team and SweetS. However, none made it to the list so I could have better spent my time elsewhere.
This post will contain possibly a huge amount of “alternative” video sites, because for some reason some idol groups seem to not want to release their music videos online. Also one label which blocks us filthy gaijin from watching entirely. I may devote an entire hate post to them at a later date. So, if you have problems with Yinyuetai, Tudou, Youku or other Chinese video sites, you may not be able to see all of them. But I’m sure there are “resources” at your disposal anyway. Read more »
Faye Wong has been a personal hero of mine for years, and although I’ve still yet to burn the few albums that I have of hers onto my laptop and subsequently re-listen to them, I regularly enjoy her movie performances without a doubt; I have a couple of classics on DVD; don’t tell me you haven’t seen Chungking Express before.