Category Archives: Music

Let’s Karaoke~~~I am kidding!

Yann Tiresen’s Dust Lane Concert

I was kind of excited to see Yann Tiersen. Obviously his soundtrack work for Amelie and Goodbye Lennin was good.

His Dust Lane concert I would have to say is a big disappointment to me. It is not really about the music played is quite different from his soundtrack work. The real issue is that his music there was not inspiring, almost not at all. Often times the music was loud and a chaos. The vocal was extremely weak. Many times The music was okay until the band members all started singing; I wanted to shut them up!

His hair was also dreadful.

I think I was not the only one who was underwhelmed by this concert. Many people walked out after they said bye, of course they will return but people left. And people chanting for one more song was really not that loud. I can see many people are not even chanting. Although the number of people who came out is more than Little Dragon concert, people did not show nearly as much energy.

Interesting day

Talking about co-incidence.

I was wondering around on last.fm. Checked out an old “friend”‘s page there and clicked through a link, which inspired me to look up some groups. Then almost immediately I saw some picture familiar, which turned out to be someone from Blacksburg. Then I sent this person a message on both Facebook and last.fm.

Then I went to an old group I joined on last.fm, and noticed that the person who wrote Audioscrobber.app is the person behind Homebrew which I have been trying to use to replace Macports.

And this person recommended Braid, which intrigued me for a while. And then I noticed that the character in Braid is redhead. I don’t really care about blonds, but I have been intrigued by redheads recently. Anyways, I missed the humble bundle 2, but I bought Braid for $5 just to check it out from Steam. I am not a huge game fan, but I probably get bored some time and will play it.

2009年我最爱的音乐

精选了一些YouTube大家可以立即品尝我的推荐。
我的list从美国到英国到加拿大到阿根廷到中国,感觉还比较国际。

Artist – Album – Genre – Release Year

1. Grizzly Bear – Yellow House – Neo-Folk/Alternative – May 2009
美国Gay四人乐队,Grizzly Bear,新民谣。这张评价很不错。进入很多排行榜前列。
Pick: Two Weeks,Southern Point,I Live With You.

Two Weeks的MV很不错。

***

2. IAMX – Kingdom of Welcome Addiction – Alternative – May 2009
英国前Sneaker Pimps主唱单飞后project的第三张专辑。这张更带劲,更电子舞曲,更硬。
Pick: Kingdom Of Welcome Addiction,Tear Garden,Think of England。

***

3. Beirut – March of the Zapotec & Realpeople – Alternative – 2009
美国才华型Zach到墨西哥拆封,用丧葬乐队搞出来的好东西,外接一些garage electronics。爱死The Shrew这首歌了。我要卡拉OK!!
Pick: The Shrew, The Concubine.

amazing video above.
Debut The Concubine LIVE

看了很想很想看他的Live.

也算是新民谣吧?

***

4. Zero 7 – Yeah Ghost – Pop/Rock/Electronic – Sept. 2009
英国电子trip hop后续二人组。时常配有很不错的女声。例如来自澳大利亚的Sia。这张新专辑,和之前三张有很大的区别,以致很多前歌迷表示不喜欢。加入了一个新女声,颇有趣。
Pick: Swing (Sia), Mr McGee, Pop Art Blue, Medicine Man, Sleeper
Pop Art Blue LIVE:

listen to Swing:

Sleeper:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpLOb2VUKVU

***

5. Sufjan Stevens – The BQE (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Instrumental – 2009
美国songwriter Sufjan Stevens时隔多年再发专辑。不过居然是全instrumental的soundtrack。而且movie也是他拍的。还没有看movie究竟怎么样。不过搞得很艺术。他还是很擅长编很复杂的东西,很喜欢里面的brass之类的吹奏乐器。
Pick: Movement II: Sleeping Invader, Movement III: Linear Tableau With Intersecting Surprise, Movement VII (Finale): The Emperor Of Centrifuge.

The BQE trailer:

Movement II …Surprise
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4frEjVqYBo

***

6. 朱哲琴 – 七日谈 – New Age – Jan. 2008
中国最高质量音乐代表,朱哲琴+何训田,不用多说,多年之后朱哲琴复出的作品。据说之前何训田还担心她不愿意出来唱。朱哲琴已经移民加拿大了,不知道还能不能算中国?依旧是七首歌。七日谈。
Pick: 不翼而飛,夕陽西下, 路過地球

***

7. SimCity 4 Rush Hour Soundtrack – Soundtrack
EA游戏,貌似很多soundtrack做得很好。这个就是典范。这张是Rush Hour Expansion Pack里添加的音乐。个人认为比原来的SimCity 4里面的稍好。里面的Jerry Martin, The HUmble Brothers, Andy Brick等人专门做soundtrack,很有点才华,能够给这个游戏配怎么符合题材,质量又高的音乐,我很佩服。这张里面不少算是现代交响乐+电子杂交。
Pick: Bumper to Bumper, Wheels of Progress, Metropolis.

Bumper to Bumper:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9nO69AeBBw
Wheels of Progress:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah9uxDDSVkE
Metropolis:

***

8. Tegan and Sara – Sainthood – Alternative/Rock - Oct. 2009
加拿大lesbian姐妹摇滚乐队第二张专辑。强大之处是常给人out of box的新鲜感,有些东西颇有试验感,而且比较悦耳。弱点是编曲时常老套,一首歌可能开始很好之后似乎感觉她们才华难以支撑?或者需要更好的制作人。这张也是进入若干排行榜。
Pick: Arrow, On Directing, Night Watch, Paperback Head.

On Directing在YouTube上好多Cover。
Arrow:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsmrlJX2gIA
亚裔mm cover Paperback Head drum
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JImb674MXH4
推荐上面这个!

***

9. Little Dragon – Little Dragon – Rock/R&B – Sept. 2007
瑞典籍日美混血主唱。另类R&B杂种音乐,常给人耳目一新的感觉。
Pick: Twice. Constant Surprises, The Last.
Twice:

***

10. Junior Boys – Begone Dull Care – Electronic – April 2009
加拿大电子二人组。最近美国巡演也要结束了吧?其实也没跑几个地方。最新特别爱好这种合成电子,而且很fresh的感觉很好。Honorable mention里面的Grand National也有点这种类似的电子感。最近比较流行有些古老电子游戏的感觉。但是绝对不是那样粗糙的,而是很精致的。
Pick: Dull To Pause, Hazel, The Animator,

=================

Honorable Mention:

Tori Amos – Abnormally Attracted to Sins – Alternative

Clint Mansell – Moon (soundtrack from the Motion Picture) – Soundtrack
没看过这个电影,应该去看看。是David Bowie的儿子拍的。

Juana Molina – Some of her music…
阿根廷的音乐。节奏很有趣,其他地方很少听到。音乐不错,不好搞到,我也不全。2003年的Segundo,iTunes上都没有。但是第一首Martin Fierro很不错。

Nine Inch Nails – The Slip
说实话这是我第一张NIN的专辑。。。

Santogold – Santogold – Alternative
很少有黑人MM唱这种风格的音乐啊。水平还可以。Indie。

Grand National – Kicking The National Habit – Alternative

单曲 Honorable Mention

Bjork – Wanderlust (Ratatat Remix)
Ratatat很有趣。。

Peace Orchestra – Who am I? (Animatrix mix)
这个很老了。但是这个别人做到的video很不错

Sufjan Steven’s The BQE is Probably the most Artistic Piece of His Work Yet

Just started to listen to this album recently. And today there is this report from NPR.

Sufjan Stevens personally shot the movie too, as far as I understand. I haven’t seen the movie, just the trailer. It is definitely a very contemporary piece. This is kind of a work that comes out of such normal life: the traffic on a very old expressway. He is definitely very talented music writer. His work is becoming more and more “classical” and also, Osso redid his Enjoy your Rabbit album, which has 12 songs based on the Chinese zodiac. Osso is a quartet and the album Run Rabbit Run, is very interestingly classical style as well.

I used to give ratings of albums on my blog. But I guess at least this time I am not ready to rate this album.

AAC Encoding in Snow Leopard or iTunes 9.x Dramatically Improved?

Figures show it all.
tori

NIN

faye

XLD is app on Mac OS X that uses CoreAudio to encode AAC. Basically that’s what iTunes was using.

My parameter for XLD was:
True VBR
Encoder quality: Max
Target quality: ~111
Resulted bitrate is around 256kbps, sometimes over 300kbps

Nero 1.3.3.0 was used for my older encodings
And I used Foobar2000 to encode and choose the best settings I could. And resulted in ~200kbps file.

What does this mean?
I know eventually for SQ we need listen test. But these graph suggest dramatic improvement of compression? Or not.
If it is indeed improvement, I probably have to ditch all my nero encoded files…And redo all the rip and such. Painful!

试比较iPod classic, Sony A816及iPhone的音质

器材:
iPod classic 80GB, 6th gen
Sony Walkman NWZ-A816
iPhone 1st gen

MITBBS团购耳机

主要比较了iPod classic和Sony NWZ-A816。
关于iPhone的音质,明显不如以上两者色彩丰富,显得比较平坦和平淡,缺乏跳跃感。但是人声定位iPhone优于Sony。

首先,耳机插入三个播放器,iPod classic最安静,没有任何一点电流hiss。看来网上的测评属实。Sony和iPhone有差不多程度的hiss。

首先比较了王菲的《过眼云烟》。

这里要指出,iPod classic乐器的定位,人声的定位,都要比Sony的清晰。Sony的入耳非常鲜艳,高音灵动得非常跳跃,有些时候甚至到了刺激的程度。但是我发现Sony也许过度加强了高音,因为王菲的声音感觉太虚空,定位也不准,有点四面八方向我涌来的感觉,还是前方几个不同的小方向间歇向我扑来。而且上下高低不稳。背景音乐的高音确实很跳跃,但是也有定位不太准确的感觉。iPod classic里,王菲的声音稳定多了,定位准确,各种声音,特是空灵高音多的时候,没有声音四处乱窜的感觉。但是也确实少了一些鲜艳的色彩。而且,iPod classic的中音和低音部分感觉也比Sony清晰,而且常常更有力。钢琴的声音尤为明显。iPod classic不仅更清晰,而且按下去的力量表现
得比Sony有力不少。Sony的钢琴,几乎只是隐隐约约听到,不但缺乏清晰感,也没有力量。感觉Sony的声音被空灵的乱窜的高音全部占据了。

接下来换了一首alternative rock + electronic的歌。Wired All Wrong的Elevatin。男声在Sony里面有和王菲一样的感觉。定位不准,虚空,偏高,高音过亮。全面看来,iPod classic背景音乐色彩不如Sony鲜艳,但是也并不能叫差,因为我怀疑Sony的鲜艳色彩是高音带来的。iPod classic的全音域都定位准确,也没有觉得中音被过多的高音
掩盖掉。低音仍然更加有力一点。但是音乐画面的跳跃感确实不如Sony。不过人声真的是稳定多了,男声没有闪烁的高音在窜。

再换一首有钢琴,较低节奏和女声的Tori Amos: iieee。女声的差别基本和王菲一样。低音iPod classic更为清楚有力一些。

接下来换了一首主要是Banjo,男声,女声背景,吉他的音乐。iPod classic的Banjo的弦感觉历历在目,清晰可分。Sony虽然更加鲜艳,但是比较混作一团。基本是类似前面的感觉。

结论:

Sony的表现力总体更鲜艳,更跳跃。但是由于我感觉Sony高音过度空灵,或者过亮,而且常有声音乱窜的感觉,人声更是不稳重,我觉得这些大概是鲜艳和跳跃之余带来的副作用。iPod classic声音总体不如Sony鲜艳和跳跃,但是定位清晰,人声稳重,一直几乎都没有感觉刀有声音乱窜的感觉,而且中音和低音相比稍更清晰,而且有些乐器,比
如钢琴,明显更有力。iPhone的声场定位类似iPod classic但是更加平面,平淡无色。人声还算稳定,不过不如iPod classic的好。

回想前些时候看别人谈论声音音场和定位,我一直觉得难以捉摸,因为我一般是用Sony + 团购耳机作为我目前最高级别搭配。现在看来,大概确实是Sony声音定位不准,而且过于跳跃和乱窜,导致我对定位没有任何感觉。

最后,iPod classic对于有些高音的表现力确实比Sony差。特别是有很多高音的音乐,色彩感一下子就感觉差了一些。但是iPod classic和Sony A816的音质总体差异并不是天上地下的感觉。相比iPhone的音质和两者的差别更大一些。不过我觉得iPod classic整体的效果我更喜欢,人声不再虚空,位置明确,不会上蹿下跳,也很人声也很稳重的样子。

希望大家轻拍。我个人认为我客观的写出了我的测评感受。每首歌片段都是反复听了至少2次以上,直到我确定我认出了区别为止。虽然我个人偏爱苹果产品,但是作为音质,我之前一直都认为Sony比iPhone音质明显要好的。但是iPod classic果然是没有让我失望,虽然不那么鲜艳,但是综合起来我真的是更喜欢。

Wanted, is B

今天和朋友看完赛车说去看。我先到一步,买了此时段最后一张票。按理说是运气好好哦,不过估计进去也没有位子了。所以和朋友改看Wanted。Wanted确实是很cool的片子,但是前半段还好,后半段不Make sense,结尾更是煞笔。

上张赛车照片。最醒目的蓝色的车是这个级别的冠军。

Open Letter to One Little Indian

I believe your company knows about what Bjork did in Shanghai. What she did has consequences. Being an enemy of all the Chinese people is not a smart move. I have been customer of your record company for a long time. I am deeply upset and hurt by her sneaky act.

When she wish good luck for individual or nations in the battle for independence, she should care more about those who will die in those wars. It does not cost anything for her to say those words. But good luck will not save those innocent people dying in those wars. Good luck will not remove the resentment and hate in those people’s heart. I am deeply disappointed at what she has done. I urge your company to give her pressure to apologize. Until then, I will boycott anything from your company and Bjork Overseas Ltd. I will urge all my friends to do the same.

Thank you.

Ref this post for more information.

Bjork自断未来到中国演出之路

Bjork
Bjork (比约克)三月四日在上海举办的演唱会,恐怕是90年代她到北京之后第一次到中国举办演唱会。上海的乐迷自然是十分幸运。

不过Bjork用”Declare Independence”结束演唱会,如果我在场,必然会立即感到不安。果然Bjork在乐曲快要结束的时候,轻声几个”Tibet, Tibet”,然后”Raise your flag! Higer higher…”收场,说了一声”Xie xie”之后,立即离场。

在评论这个事件之前,要先说去年此专辑发布之时,我就对此歌曲表示不安。由于Bjork曾经参加过自由西藏演唱会,她是有“前科”的。自由西藏演唱会是达赖流亡组织资助,利用西方叛逆和标榜自由的摇滚及其他音乐艺人来进行藏独宣传的工具。因此,将她这首”Declare Independence”和藏独联系起来,是很自然的。

Bjork这次在上海的行为,毫无疑问上海了许多中国人的感情,包括很多乐迷在内。她使用西藏英文名字,也可以说是很阴险的利用在场多数中国乐迷不太能听得懂英文,会继续呐喊欢呼鼓掌,令人十分不悦。可以预计,Bjork的一切音像制品会被禁。Bjork下次估计也不可能获得进入中国的签证。Vitamin-max.com表示对Bjork的强烈谴责。其实这个谴责是早有准备,因为我多少预见到此类事件的发生,但是没有预料到会发正在中国。

Bjork在她个人网站上发出声明,指出她自己只是一个艺人,而不是政治家。最后她祝正在争取独立的个人和国家好运。我感到非常悲哀。争取独立的地区是在太多,总是有很多人伤亡,总是带来战争。好运又有什么用呢?Bjork你不是女神,你无法保证平民不受伤害。你的这种祝福,只能充分说明你是多么不负责任。说这些话,你不需要费力,也不需要冒险,更不会有生命危险。你还是太自私。欧洲人无法理解统一,你出身欧洲小国,虽然是耀眼的明星,不代表你就可以代表其他渴望统一和团结和和平的人类。

我将不会购买任何Bjork的产品。

一些链接。英国媒体 Guardian 的报道英国媒体Telegraph 的报道Shanghaiist 的报道。Guardian内有视频。

Update:
一些中文博客链接: 12

惊闻中国电子Sulumi 孙大威

这个网站说

“提到中国的新电子音乐,人们就会想到Sulumi,不为别的,因为他玩的最早,从孩子的年龄到现在,一个完美的成熟的转变。”

我倒是在iTunes和emusic上试听了一下。

iTunes上有他2006年的stereo chocolate。Modern Sky出的。倒是已经iTunes+了。
初听蛮有意思。多听发现都差不多。整张专辑感觉就是在搞红白机电玩音乐。。。
很失望。

emusic上有他的Chill Out: Air Inhibition of Water,是中唱的。
当时发现中唱居然还有电子乐,封面是个带耳机的mm。
评分有4个人投票了,平均得分是2/5,听了一下,感觉纯粹是自娱自乐。有些东西我用Garage Band都 可以做出来,还估计比他的好听。

总体很失望。继续巩固我认为国内多数“艺人”不会搞艺术的观点。
至今不知道原因。

Radiohead让你随意出价下载新专辑

Radiohead的新专辑In Rainbows即将在10月10号发布。由于Radiohead之前一张专辑(第六张Hail To The Thief)完成了她们和EMI的合约,他们现在属于“自由”艺人。基于这种状态,Radiohead决定基本上靠自己来发行这张新专辑。虽然有小唱片公司合作,但是这张专辑却是不会走大label的路线的。

除了一个盒装特别版会以40英镑的价格出售以外,Radiohead在其官方网站出售MP3下载。最让人吃惊的是,大家可以随意出价!你愿意以多少钱购买MP3下载,你就出多少钱!

这个新的举措被认为是一个颠覆传统唱片行业的实验。Radiohead这样知名的乐队已经不需要大唱片公司的宣传。而且传统的CD发行得到的利润只有很少的一部分进入艺人的口袋,不少艺人发行CD甚至会亏本,完全靠演唱会来盈利。

Ad that Copies Everything Bjork

I saw this ad on adsoftheworld.com and I am posting the youtube version of the video here. First of all, it basically copies everything from Bjork. Evidence follows.

First, All is Full of Love music video.

Oceania music video.
Oceania

Hidden Place, music video
Hidden Place

Also the bear reminds of the bear in Human Behavior.

So basically people who did not know about Bjork were saying how awsome this video is, how the author is genius. Well, the author is not. He/she simply steals, well, at least copies other people’s ideas. The worst is, copied from basically one, single, creative, artist, Bjork. I feel so sorry.

iTunes PLUS or Used CD?

Since the announcement of iTunes PLUS, I have decided not to buy any music from iTunes which are protected by DRM. And I did have bought some iTunes PLUS music. Anyway, I had over $50 store credit I have to use, or it is nothing because I cannot get refund from iTunes for store credit.

However, sometimes it is much cheaper to buy used CD. Some used CDs can be as low as $0.99 + $2.99 shipping. And you get the physical CD and, most of the time, CD book/artwork. And you can put these as decoration at home, as well as showcase for your music taste. So, why not? It is definitely good.

However, compared used CD to eMusic, I would still download from eMusic because it is even cheaper. Faster.

Still, I have some collection of CDs that I am proud of. What I need now is a CD shelf, artistic one.

Sufjan Stevens is amazing

Have I ever talked about Sufjan Stevens here before? I don’t remember but he is truly amazing. If you have not heard his music, try now, you may like it. Check this out. This is going to be a song in his next album. Name of this song, Majesty Snowbird.

Or these two, different Live versions, but basically sound the same.

He seem always wear that shirt and that wings.
Sounds very good. Looking forward to his next album. Maybe I should write something about his older music too. But I just got to know him, need some time.