The Music of 2011 (Part 1 of 2)

It’s rare for me to talk about music.  Historically, it ended up resulting in some embarrassment or frustration as people would react in a way that implied that if I didn’t listen to something they didn’t already know about from the popular media that I must be pathetic.

As a result, I adopted a technique of telling people–coworkers in particular–that I didn’t listen to music.  Instead, I insisted my MP3 player was filled with podcasts.  Particularly right-wing ones. 

At one point last year, two interns asked me if I listened to music and I surprised myself with how naturally I slipped into that routine.

In more recent times I’ve taken it to the extreme, and insisted that I believe music is inherently evil.  I even say that the town of Bomont in Footloose was better off before Kevin Bacon’s character of Ren showed up and re-introduced the sin of music.

Kevin Bacon’s So Evil that Even in Cartoon Form He’s Unpleasant

But I listen to music.  I’m not an enthusiast, but I can find a beat. Sometimes.  Anyway, here’s the music that I dug in 2011.

  1. The Remix Artist Collective are geniuses.  I hated the song “Home” by Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zeros.  It was over played, over calculated bullshit trying too hard to be indie and quaint.  These jackasses so desperately wish they were 60’s hippies that I am totally eager to see them blow their minds on acid and walk off a rooftop.  It was so evident that their stuff was the next big small thing that they were used in the parody “what if God of War was made as an indie movie adaptation” maybe six months before it became inescapable.  So it’s rather remarkable that I really enjoyed RAC’s remix of “Home.” I’m in such a bad mood from describing the uphill battle RAC had that I don’t care to elaborate on how they succeeded.
  2. I attended a meeting of a local anime club.  I don’t know why I’ve only been to two meetings of this club in two years.  I need to try harder to get to know people.  Anyway, at that meeting I happened across the series Basquash which … made me shudder.  I’ll give the writers credit, though, for having an explanation for why some of the women had ridiculously huge breasts.  We’ll ignore the particulars.  Anyway, the scene I was caught involved the giant mechs playing basketball in the middle of the city … ugh, let’s go back to ignoring particulars.  The music that played during the scene I saw was titled B.S.Q.S. (which is kind of the title of the series) and was composed by Yoshikawa Kei.  I like the piece, it mixes some electric guitar, piano, a strong beat, it’s exciting but has a somewhat hopeful quality (very fitting for the on-screen action).
  3. Prior to the release of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition a fan made a video lamenting the playability of the character of Makoto, who came from Street Fighter 3. I don’t really know what drove me to watch the video; I’m hardly a hardcore enough player of fighting games to even be able to understand things like frame counting, tiers, or priority.  Besides which, my favorite Street Fighter characters are Adon, E. Honda, and Ibuki.

It Should be Obvious Why I Like Ibuki
     I watched the video and was blown away by the music that the guy who made it used.  It was a lovely jazzy tune with scat singing that I thought was absolutely fantastic.  I quickly scrolled through the video details and comments to track down the musician because I really couldn’t have cared less about the particulars of playing Street Fighter.  It ended up being Color of Days by Jazztronik, a Japanese musician. I bought the whole album, Samurai, off Amazon MP3 (my first time using Amazon MP3, in fact) and found it to be an amazing collection of mostly jazz music drawing from various sources and infusing some techno influences.

This post is getting a little long.  TO BE CONTINUED!


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