shadowspar: Picture of ouendan (\o/)
Saturday, May 31st, 2014 23:13

New-to-me music: Basia Bulat, one of my favouritist musicians evar, released a new CD last fall, and I finally just picked it up yesterday. Here's the title track, "Tall Tall Shadow":

muzak vids... )
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Monday, November 18th, 2013 23:40

I can't even verbalize how well listening to THE BLUE HEARTS suits night like this.

Lyrics & my translation )
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Monday, June 25th, 2012 10:33

Brought to you by my discovery of the Transatlantic Sessions.

If you put a bunch of skilled, motivated people in a room together with a minimum of structure and organization, you can witness some amazing results. In tech we get a hackathon or an unconference. In music we get a jam session.


The Transatlantic Sessions are a project of BBC4 Scotland that brings together folk musicians from both sides of the pond. They've been called "the greatest backporch shows ever", and it shouldn't come as much surprise to see Celtic and American trad musicians gel so well, given the amount of crossover in the styles' origins.

Unfortunately the BBC site seems to be kind of shite when it comes to actually describing or showing what the whole thing is about, so instead I give you some starting points to browse on Youtube. There's a lot of really, really amazing music to be found.

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 23:07

Another post I'm writing reminded me of this. Best breakup song in the history of evar, hands-down.


Sarah Harmer - Don't Get Your Back Up on Youtube.

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Friday, May 18th, 2012 23:02

So, I was lucky enough to get Basia Bulat's CD Heart of My Own this past Christmas. It's awesome, she's awesome, and anyone who's been following along at home for a while already knew that I would say that. =)

Here are two tracks of hers that I hadn't heard before the CD made its way into my hot little hands.

Vids behind the cut... )
shadowspar: image of an alto clef (alto clef)
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 16:14

Haven't posted anything about how the viola lessons have been progressing for some time now. Will try to find time to rectify that soon; big news coming up. ^_^;

In the meantime, and since I haven't posted it yet, here's one of my favourite pieces of classical music. If you're not familiar with it -- it starts out soft, but you might not want to turn up your speakers too loud. ^_^ Even with the obvious musical joke in this piece aside, I really think it's a beautiful and flowing piece of music.

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Monday, April 18th, 2011 23:36

B'z just announced three North American tour dates:

  • 20 Jul at the Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, BC
  • 22 Jul at The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
  • 24 Jul at Club Nokia, Los Angeles, CA

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG.

Uh, who? )
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shadowspar: A viola on a purple flamed background, with the text "viola hero" (viola hero)
Friday, February 25th, 2011 01:48

Finding forum threads on Teh Internetz discussing how to set up your viola to play a punk show simultaneously fills me with a sense of possibility and makes me disappointed that I didn't think of it first. More of the former than the latter though. (Besides, who am I to think I'm some kind of musical prodigy, eh? =)

shadowspar: A viola on a purple flamed background, with the text "viola hero" (viola hero)
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 00:53

Now up to three fingers on the A & D strings in first position. This gives me enough notes to play a scale (D major), so from here on there will be a lot of scale-playing in my practice sessions.

We started (explicitly) working on quality of sound production today -- ironing out the screeches and scratches -- which I've been waiting for since day one. Can definitely see that I'm going to need to step up my sight-reading; the staff is quickly getting littered with a lot of different notes; it's not a matter of distinguishing between four evenly-spaced open strings any more. =)

Capable viola instructors aren't always easy to come by in small towns, but Anya is not only extraordinarily qualified but extraordinarily gracious to boot. Quite frankly, I figure on having a long road paved with practice and frustration ahead; string instruments are rife with subtleties, and playing them well is the study of a lifetime. The innumerable squawks and sour notes I produce are something I expect and am amused by, but any good-natured self-deprecating joke I make is always met with a response like "You're actually progressing quite nicely" or "Like most adults who are just starting to learn an instrument, you are too hard on yourself." I well appreciate how good my fortune is to be studying under such a beneficent tutor.

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shadowspar: A viola on a purple flamed background, with the text "viola hero" (viola hero)
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 22:42

Made a neat spontaneous discovery tonight: first position on viola + being able to correctly place your first three fingers on the A & D strings == Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in D major! Wooooo! =)

shadowspar: A viola on a purple flamed background, with the text "viola hero" (viola hero)
Saturday, January 29th, 2011 23:59

Inasmuch as I've always thought it'd be neat to play a musical instrument, for the longest time I considered it to be out of reach -- something that only "cool kids" did. I was a computer geek, so being good with technology was my lot in life, and making music wasn't. I toyed with the idea of picking up an instrument for years, and of course never did.

TL;DR: I've started taking viola lessons.. )
shadowspar: Picture of ouendan (ouendan - osu!)
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 15:23

How did people in remote Northern Ontario ever find out about random awesome K-Pop and Russian girlpop bands before the age of the Internet?

Oh, that's right, they didn't.

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Thursday, August 26th, 2010 09:32

While coming up with music recommendations for [personal profile] damned_colonial, I chanced to discover that one of my favourite songs by Shaye (of Happy Baby fame) is a cover of a tune originally done by Crash Vegas.

In my youth I always felt as though this kind of music trivia was exclusively the domain of 'cool kids' who hung out in record stores all day, so I love that the internetz has opened up an unlimited horizon of musical exploration for geek types like myself. =)

shadowspar: Picture of Rick holding a can of blue Jolt soda (jolt!)
Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 01:33

As I'm continuing to discover, there's a lot more to the world of musical instruments than you find in a typical rock band or symphony orchestra. Some of them are so far removed that they still amuse me every time I encounter them. The best part, though, is that they usually have more depth than it first appears.

A shekere looks like someone playing a lamp that they found at a garage sale, though thankfully without the bulb and lampshade.

I'm sure most people look at cajón players like they're playing the box their drum came in instead of the drum itself. Who cares when you can make a sound like this come out of it, though?

Even the much-pilloried cowbell, made infamous by a certain SNL skit, can really rock out -- here as part of a timbales setup:

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shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Friday, July 23rd, 2010 00:14

From this interview, passed along by [personal profile] badgerbag:

Monae is clear that she makes her artistic decisions to give others courage to break out of the norm. She says:

That's what I've always been fighting for - making sure that people love themselves for who they are, and we don't pick on people because we're uncomfortable with ourselves, or who they are. That's been my message, from when I was young to now. There are lots of young girls out there who are struggling with their identities… afraid of being discriminated against or teased. I take risks and use my imagination so that other people will feel free and take risks. That's my hope.

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Friday, March 5th, 2010 18:33

If you're local to the Sault, I really think you should subscribe to the concert series that the Algoma Conservatory puts on.

Details... )
shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 09:52

Someone on last.fm suggested posting what country your top 50 artists are from. I'm curious, so here are the results:

Japan (25)
1 B'z
2 THE BLUE HEARTS
4 BUMP OF CHICKEN
5 GReeeeN
7 Perfume
8 アンジェラ・アキ (Angela Aki)
9 (Arashi)
11 古代祐三(Yuzo Koshiro)
14 YUI
15 L'Arc~en~Ciel
16 ORANGE RANGE
20 HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR
21 SINGER SONGER
23 関ジャニ∞ (Kanjani 8)
27 FUNKY MONKEY BABYS
28 LUNA SEA
29 大塚愛(Ai Otsuka)
31 ロードオブメジャー (Road of Major)
35 MONKEY MAJIK
36 nobodyknows+
38 KinKi Kids
42 レミオロメン (Remioromen)
44 ケツメイシ (Ketsumeishi)
46 TOKIO
51 NEWS

USA (12)
3 Neil Voss
13 The Killers
17 God of Shamisen
18 Flogging Molly
22 Acid Tetris Music Team
24 Bowling for Soup
25 Leigh Nash
32 Papa Roach
34 The Hooters
38 Nelson
43 Jonathan Coulton
47 Guster

Canada (9)
6 The Weekend
10 Billy Talent
12 Two-Minute Miracles
19 Raffi
26 Sarah Harmer
40 Stan Rogers
41 The Lowest of the Low
45 Treble Charger
48 Blarney (they're from my hometown!)

UK (2)
49 Natasha Bedingfield
51 Sandi Thom

Brazil (1)
30 Serapis Bey

Bermuda (1)
36 Heather Nova

Columbia (1)
50 Carolina Marquez

Australia (1)
51 Merril Bainbridge

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Saturday, May 10th, 2008 19:15

How the hell did these folks manage to put out seven CDs before I ever heard of them? Just goes to show how well-connected I am to the music scene, I guess. =)