Thursday, December 30, 2010

S/mileage wins "Best New Artist" award!!


*sniffle* oh happy days! My babies won the Japan Records award :D SQUEE!!

Following in C-ute's footsteps from three years ago, S/mileage follows up their kick-ass debut with the much-coveted Best New Artist award. They had some really tough competition from SNSD, so I'm super stoked that they won the award. The girls have had a great year--four singles, a fantastic (I do say so, thanx!) debut album, and all kinds of promotion through anime, Oha Girl, Bijou Gaku....the list goes on.

I'm so stoked for them. I hope they keep being awesome, because they are the future of Hello! Project. Like, for reals. Anyway, here's the announcement and their performance of "Yumemiru 15sai." Kanon's reaction is SO CUTE!! And it looks like Ayaka might just grow into this whole leader business after all :P

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So how about that new year?

How old will you be in 2011?
24. Damn, I feel old.

If you could pick one famous person to be emulate in 2011, who would it be?
Takahashi Ai. She always has genuine kindness in her heart for all people, and she's incredibly beautiful and talented. I need more of that.


What's something you're not so great at that you'd like to work on this year?
Baking. I love making breads and cookies, but I always seem to wander off, do something else and forget about it. Maybe I can learn focus this year. I wouldn't mind improving my drawing skills, either...dammit I wanna draw a turian!

(Namely THIS turian.)

Biggest goal?
To finally move out of Laramie. I hope I can accomplish that, and all the things it entails.

What's something you'd like to learn how to do?
I really wanna learn quilting. I want to make quilts, even though I know quilting is a VERY expensive hobby.

What's one bad habit you'd like to break this year?
Biting my nails and being a scrappy bitch on the internet.


What was the most significant thing that happened to you in 2010?
Realizing I needed to go back for my second bachelor's degree. That changed a lot of things.

What's one thing you could have done better this past year?
Worked on my fear of asking people for things.

What's one big thing you'd like to save up for this year that has nothing to do with necessity?
A trip to Japan. And photobooks.

What was your most visible deadly sin in 2011?
Pride. Oh god.

The least?
Eh, I was a fan of all seven, but I think lust, sadly, takes the cake. Booooooo.

What was your most visible heavenly virtue?
Chastity. I think it was the only one I exhibited.

The least?
Patience.

What was your favorite video game of 2010?
Mass Effect 2, OFC!!! Fallout: New Vegas came in a moderate second.

Favorite song of 2010?
"moonlight" by moumoon. I wish I could also think of one stateside, but I don't really keep up with it.


moumoon - moonlight (PV)
Uploaded by masa37610. - See the latest featured music videos.

Favorite movie of 2010?
Megamind. It was cute :P

Favorite cool celebrity happening of 2010?
S/mileage's major debut. And Natalie Portman being preggo is another one. Oh, those genes won't go to waste after all *heart*


What are you looking forward to most this year?
Getting my second useless humanities degree, getting out of Laramie, Captain's photobook :P

What's one fun thing you're going to do in 2011?
Being the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding. I don't really think I deserve to be, but it's super-awesome anyway =^_^=

What's one thing you used to enjoy, but haven't been doing lately, that you would like to pick up again this year?
Piano. God do I miss that. I wanna be as good as this girl here.



Play a song for one person you'll miss in 2011.
This song helps me not miss you. Peace be with you always.



Play a song for one person you're glad entered your life in 2010.
Mehehehe.....

Sometimes you gotta get personal. Let's talk about ME!!


Sometimes, it's gotta be all about me. So screw all you people...it's all about ME today!! (I kid, I kid :P Kinda. ;) )

I've been doing a lot of thinking about new year's resolutions and such. Yeah, new year's resolutions are kind of an outdated and stupid concept--we never can seem to keep them, and they don't usually have a lot of thought behind them. They've come to be a cultural platitude perpetuated by magazines and religion. The phrase doesn't mean anything anymore...

So we should change it.

The word "resolution" is a noun--something that is immutable, unchanging and complete. It doesn't move, create, or destroy. It just kinda....sits there.

But what about the verb form, "resolve?"

To resolve to do something means to make a commitment, to take action, and ultimately, to change one's current circumstances. When one is resolved, they aren't sitting on their couch waiting for good fortune to come to them. They're out and doing it, even when it's hard. That's been my biggest struggle over the past year--the going has been extremely tough, and there have been many times when I've surrendered to the depression that comes with economic-recession-induced failure.

People sometimes need to surrender to it for a bit just to get all the drama and irrationality out of their system. This is a good thing!! It's also something I've been getting much better with. The drama kind of comes and goes now, and I hope I can keep this up. The key is not to hang on to it and let it affect the rest of one's mojo. And that's what has brought me down.

On one hand, it's extremely ignorant of people to say things like "Buck up" or "Well, just get out there and change your life!" to people who have experienced several setbacks and still feel depressed about them. This feeling is natural, and needs to be expressed. But on the other hand, we need to move on eventually, and there are many ways to do this.

And this is where my resolve/resolving comes in. I don't want to allow myself to feel more drama and depression than I need to. And there are a few things I have in mind to bring in positivity for the new year.

#1: More yoga!!!!

This year, I've finally been introduced to the joy of yoga, and I don't want to give it up. A very generous soul gave me the opportunity to attend a yoga class she teaches--for the low, low price of FREE (+ community service)!!!!

I'm so thankful this happened to me--it's helping me to get out of the house and move more--which is good, because I need to lose weight. I know keeping a healthy attitude about one's body also helps people lose weight, but I won't lie--I absolutely LOATHE my body. HATE it. I miss my pre-college pre-rent pre-roommate-scuffle pre-WOW pre-family-drama pre-yadda yadda body. It was great. However, so is yoga :P Hopefully the brain-shift will come with more yoga.

#2: More dancing!!!!

I have been slacking off on my booty shaking this year (in more ways than one, but that's another discussion for...never :P ). If it weren't for "Dance de BaCOON!" coming out, I'm not sure I would have learned many dances at all this year. But fear not, my beloved idols--I will not forsake you and your super-fun choreography again!! I think I'll venture into the world of Kpop dances too...though it might kill me. Namely THIS one:



#3: Less Facebook!!!!

Facebook--great way for me to connect with friends, but right now, for me and my life, the shininess stops there. Facebook brings out the scrappy bitch in me, particularly when something stupid happens in politics and I break out the four-letter-words to describe my feelings on the subject. I don't want that anymore. It's caused a lot of my family to think (wrongly so) that I'm nothing but negative, and I'm sick of that. So, no more political posts for me. I like science news better anyway.

The other thing over-use of Facebook has made me realize about myself is that I make too many comparisons between my life and that of others. I have a lot of awesome friends who are out and doing it, politically active, smart and successful, no matter whether they're in college or out. Seeing how awesome they are really makes me feel, well, NOT awesome at all. I don't do many of the things they do, and not nearly as well. But I have other things. Other skills. Hopefully this year, I can use them to my advantage, and learn to stop comparing myself to other people. Cutting back on Facebook time, as silly as it seems, will be good for my soul.

#4: More money!!!!

This year, for me, has been fraught with failed interviews and dead applications. The last job I applied for, I spent hours polishing my resume and working on the perfect cover letter. I even had my mom help me with interview questions...and I STILL didn't get the job. I'd really been hoping for this job--it was in my field, and I'd had an entire summer of flipping burgers and volunteering at SAFE to get the skills I needed. I was qualified, but I still didn't get it.

But I have to keep looking. I have bills to pay, and I don't have the luxury of having a family who can help me when I need it. And I DESPERATELY want to get out of Laramie. It's suffocating me. However, I'm going to have to settle for something, and any way this works out, it will help. I just hope I don't have to go back to flipping burgers again. So, it's night classes and a day job for me (I hope).

#5: No more political blogs!!!!

Pick one: sociopolitical shenanigans and bullshit with a side of high blood pressure, or news and pictures about your favorite Jpop idols. Yeah, that's what I thought :P

I've been a big fan of most of the STFU blogs on Tumblr for quite some time now. There is a lot of utility in knowing about the injustices going on the world, but anymore, there is no room for civility in political discussions, even on the STFU blogs. I'm tired of being pissed off after exiting my reader, and I'm tired of being appalled at how no one, be they "conservative" or "liberal," "progressive," or "tebagfuckwit," "moderate" or just "on the fence," can compromise or get along. I'm tired of rabid Evangelicals spewing their hate, and I'm tired of rabid Dawkins/Hitchinsian atheists spewing their hostility toward all people who have some kind of spiritual belief in their life. I interact with both crowds, so I get my fill of all this BS without reading political blogs.

What would I rather read? Check out my blogroll. There's a lot of tea, jpop and food over there :P

#6: More of all things happy--my idols, my Burn Notice, my music, my cooking, my body back, my friends, my family.

C'mon. Best resolve ever, right? :P











Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 in review: Kpop songs that kick serious butt


I'm not as big of a Kmusic fan as I am of Japanese stuff. There are some groups I just can't get enough of, while there are others that just need to disappear.

2010 was an extremely annoying year for Kpop. It seemed like 5,000,000,454,000,642illion groups debuted, and hardly any of them were worth a damn. But there were a couple that stood out, and a couple that got even better. I don't have as much to say about these groups--maybe I'll make that one of my New Years' resolutions.

Here's my top 10 songs for 2010:

#10: Bbiribbom Bberibbom-Coed School

These newcomers rock my world right now. It's nice to see a mixed group, and a talented one at that. This song is very eccentric, but still awesome.




#9: Lupin--KARA

Oh man, I though these girls would never come back! How pleasantly surprised I was! KARA is one of the few Kpop groups who consistently puts out good stuff--even album tracks. (Yeah, the last album wasn't perfect, but it was still pretty good.) KARA kicked off the "sexy in black" shtick, and I still think they did it best.



#8: Lucifer--SHINee

Oh, dear SHINee, please keep releasing tracks like this and stop with the crappy ballads. PLEEEEEEEEEEZE OH PLEASE!! Great release from a great dance group.



#7: I My Me Mine--4minute

Mmm...fierce and addictive. And epic dance soloage.



#6: Thrill Love--f(x)

I didn't even find out about this digital single until months after it came out, but I'm glad I did. I hope f(x) does more this coming year (we miss you, Amber!!), because they are so fresh and fantastic. I can't say there's a thing they've done so far that I don't like. Definitely my favorite Kpop group, and I hope they can do well if they release something in Japan.

Anyhoo, have a listen. I wish I could find an actual MV for this.



#5: Hurricane Venus--BoA

It's impossible not to include BoA's first Korean release in 5 years in this countdown. The queen of Kpop is back, and holy cow, is she still awesome. (Love all those ear piercings, too!) I played this song so much I think my partner wanted to punch me :P



#4: Run Devil Run--Girls' Generation

This is by far my favorite release the Soshis have ever put out. The choreography is great, as usual, and the song is addictive. The song itself is actually a Ke$ha creation, but someone at S.M. saw SNSD in the song, and purchased the rights from Ke$ha. The results were awesome.



#3: Bbi Ri Bba Bba--Narsha

Narsha of the Brown Eyed Girls gets all anti-nun and dark in this one...love it! This song really shows off Narsha's vocal ability, and the instrumental is very unique and unexpected. It always reminds me of Xenosaga now because I spammed this song while I was playing the first game for what must be the fifth time now.



#2: Breaka, Shaka--Kangta

*droool* maaaaaan cannnndddyyyy....hawt beats....maaaaaaaaannn caaaaaanddddyyy...



#1: Mr. Boogie--f(x)

Ok ok, I know this isn't a single, but...but...BUT IT SHOULD BE!!!! *rawr* This is the best track off their first album. It's impossible to get bored listening to it. Impossible. This song is proof that f(x) is one of the best things in the Kmusic world right now.





HONORABLE MENTIONS:

1 Bonamana-Super Junior
2 Breathe-Miss A
3 Oh!-Girls' Generation
4 HuH-4minute
5 Madonna-Secret
6 Clap your Hands-2NE1
7 Too Late-Coed School
8 Bang!-After School
9 Copy and Paste-BoA
10 Nu ABO-f(x)

2010 in review: J-pop singles that rocked my world


Now that the new year is almost upon us, it's time to look back at 2010--a great year for great singles everywhere (unless you're Berryz Kobo or Morning Musume, but hey, we all have crappy years). This year introduced me to a lot more great music, including AKB48, whom I'd never really gotten into before this year.

So, let's start the countdown!

#10: "Kirari☆" -- Tokyo Girls' Style

I am so excited for this group. They released 4 great singles this year, and are about to release yet another, which will be sure to put them over the top. Out of all their singles, "Kirari" was my favorite. Fun dance moves with a great message that I, for one, REALLY needed to hear this year.



#9: "Emerald"-- Becky♪♯

Newcomer Becky♪♯ is fantastic. She looks like Isabella Rosselini's twin sister from a parallel universe, and her music was always fresh and amazing all this year. She got so much attention that she was asked to appear on the soundtrack for the Japanese version of "How to Train Your Dragon" (one of my favorite movies EVARRRR). Love her, and I can't wait to see more.

Watch the video/listen to the song here.

#8: "Sakura no Shiori"--AKB48

Once in a while, musicians need to experiment. Sometimes those experiments pay off, as AKB48 found out this year. AKB48 experimented with many different styles and genres this year, and I personally loved the choral gorgeousness that was "Sakura no Shiori." As much as I dig most idol music, change is good sometimes.



#7: "Oshare my Dream"--Ogawa Mana

NICE GIRL Project...Tsunku's side-project...the stepchild of Hello! Project...surely there can't be anything goo....WHO THE HELL IS THAT GIRL?!?!?!

That was basically my reaction upon discovering NGP and Ogawa Mana earlier this year. Mana seems to blend into the background in Canary Club, but oh damn does she have an incredible set of pipes on her! Mana and Risako released a single together in October for the anime they both provide voices for, and Mana's song is just awesome...I could listen to her voice all day.

Check it out, and then run off to buy all of Mana's music and her photobook. DO IT!!



#6: "Dance de BacOON!"--C-ute


My leading ladies...back and kicking ass again! HOORAY! You'd be surprised at how easy this dance is to learn--it's just a bit of a workout. Love this song, and I hope they release more songs like this.



#5: "Otakebi Boy WAO!"--Berryz Kobo

I don't know why, but I am still crack addicted to this song. Best thing Berryz has put out all year. It's fun freaking my partner out when I do the dance moves while driving. :D



#4: "Beginner"--AKB48

This song is the most epic thing AKB48 has ever released. Ever. In the history of ever. I'm not a ginormous AKB48 fan, and I still have to check myself whenever I get peeved that they're selling more copies than pretty much anyone. But this song deserves it. Too bad we can't see the stupid PV. You suck, Akimoto. This is as close as we get.



#3: "Aozora Kataomoi"--SKE48

They may be AKB48 version 2.0, but I love this group. I'm not sure what it is, but I honestly like their music better. In light of all the 1! 2! 3! 4! Yoroshiku! fever, we might have forgotten about their awesome second single. I spammed this song for a good couple of weeks when it first came out. The video's not bad either, though you'd think SKE48's official channel could post a higher-quality version on their own damn site.



#2: "Yume Miru 15sai"--S/mileage

S/mileage's major debut is still their best-selling single, and for good reason. This song rules. I think people like this more mature sound from the girls--I know I do. This song was super-spammable for me, and I hope they go in a similar direction with "Shortcut."



#1: "VOICE"--Perfume


"Nee" might be the big thing right now, but VOICE was so much more nuanced and awesome. (That and it wasn't primarily promoted through a commercial.) VOICE is the best thing Perfume has put out since "Secret Secret," and if they ever manage to top that, I'll probly pee myself in sparkly joy.






HONORABLE MENTIONS
1. Natural ni Koishite/Fushizen na Girl-Perfume
2. moonlight-moumoon
3. Onegai Dakara-Mano Erina
4. Seishun Collection (KISS MY BUTT, HATERZ!! :P )-Morning Musume
5. GAGAGA-SDN48
6. Jumping-KARA
7. Aitai Lonely Christmas-C-ute
8. Flower-BRIGHT
9. Himawari to Hoshikuzu-Tokyo Girls' Style
10. Ev'rybody Alright!-Dream

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Eri, Linlin and Junjun graduate...you will be missed.

Oh, how sad the times are. Yesterday, the moment we've all been putting off finally happened. Eri and the pandas said goodbye to Morning Musume and Hello! Project :(


I know I'm going to miss them tons. I watched some of what has been posted already on YouTube, and I got teary, as I'm sure many people did. BAWWWW SADNESS!!!

But, all sadness aside, it was great to see them in the Yokohama Arena again--that and the stadium was PACKED to the gills--that was amazing to see. The opening number was SOUDA! We're Alive--and it was FREAKING EPIC! Witness the awesomeness below!



Morning Musume + pyrotechnics = awesome. From what I've seen of the concert so far, it was amazing--one of their best in a while :P

On Bijo Gaku today, some of their graduation messages were shown. Everyone was very emotional--it really shows how close they have all gotten. The crowd was great, and the girls all spoke very well. (I really like that I can understand more and more of what they're saying, too.) Oh, and watch for super-cute BFF moment at 4:27. Ai-chan is sobbing so much she can't sing, so she puts her microphone down, so Gaki puts and arm around her and shares hers. When those two (and Sayumi, of course) eventually graduate, I want to be there.



I hope Eri recovers well, and I hope Junjun and Linlin have long and successful careers in China. It's sad to see them go, but I know they have bright futures ahead.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

3,000 views!!!!


I checked my stats today and died! Thank you guys for reading this silly thing!!! :P

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tokyo Girls' Style to cover SweetS!



Yay! I'm posting again! Had a few huge things to get done for classes and dealing with a fair amount of stress to boot.

I love getting good news--so much better than bad news/judgmental blogs (more on that later)!

Avex's new (ish) girl group, Tokyo Girls' Style is covering my favorite SweetS song, "Love like candyfloss" for their 5th single!!


Avex generally isn't known for its group acts, as its soloists are a bit more well known and, for the most part, better. Do as Infinity and GIRL NEXT DOOR are just terribad, srsly. And don't even get me started on SUPER☆GiRLS. So much badness.

But every once in a while, Avex surprises. For example, Dream, a girl group put together in 1999, has consistently put out great music despite their many hiatuses and lineup changes. Tokyo Girls' Style is turning out to be pretty awesome as well, but it will take them A LOT of work to equal the greatness that was SweetS.

From 2004-2006, the best girl group to grace the J-pop scene in the history of EVER took Japan (and the rest of the world) by storm. AND THEN THEY DISBANDED FUCK ALL RAWR but that's another rant for another day, methinks. Despite the girls' age, their voices were all incredibly mature and polished. Man, do I miss the days when vocalists had not only talent, but training!

Anyway, here's SweetS' original version of "Love like candyfloss."



...and TGS' latest single.



The SweetS song fits their style well. I'm looking forward to the release.

And speaking of SweetS and their awesomeness, their former lead singer, Yoshimura Ayaka, relesased a mini-album in March, and you should all support her! It's got a very unique, neat sound to it. She also has a lovely blog, which she updates regularly.

Toodles--I'm off to watch more Firefly!