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Tag: music

Why you work hard to be good at stuff:

Why you work hard to be good at stuff:

DeathRay has a saying: “No one should ever cover The Beatles.” Seen, and raised: This is Sungha Jung, a 12-year-old boy from South Korea who now gets invited to the Seoul Jazz Festival by the likes of the Swell Season. He’s “fingerstyling,” which means that rather than focusing on a specific part of the song, the guitarist attempts to create a more dynamic, fully-rounded sound by multi-tasking the instrument. In other words, you’ll hear the whole song in there, even…

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Your daily dose of mukokuseki

Your daily dose of mukokuseki

Mukokuseki (?????) is a word meaning “without country of origin.” Since Koichi Iwabuchi started using it to refer to the statelessness of anime, the term has come into more common use among Western critics. Generally it refers to the way Japanese cultural products can be seen to erase national history and identity in an attempt to ingratiate themselves with a global audience.* Or it could just mean “what happens when two shamisen-playing brothers from Hokkaido re-interpret an Italian composer who…

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How ads work elsewhere:

How ads work elsewhere:

I see this video every Monday at the place where I eat dinner before my workshop. For about a year now, I’ve wondered who the star of the video is. (Hey, you watch the video and try taking your eyes off her. Seriously.) In desperation, after much searching online for similar vids, I described it to Lisa, since her knowledge of Korean pop culture vastly exceeds mine. “And then they photograph it all on their phones,” I said, describing a…

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"Do you believe in God?"

"Do you believe in God?"

That’s what the woman in my dream kept asking me. I was alone at home and she phoned me. I knew her name (Felicia) but not what she looked like. And no matter how I answered, it was wrong. She just kept asking the same question in varying tones of voice. I had the distinct sense that if I didn’t start answering correctly, she would bust down the door with an axe and hack me to bits. Luckily I also…

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As luck would have it…

As luck would have it…

…I’m sitting in a dimly-lit room on Gibraltar Point, polishing my thesis and working on more stories about robots. I lucked into this place — which is beautiful, and spooky, and exactly what I need — because Peter Watts got lucky in Germany and couldn’t take his usual Point position, and offered me the spot. The turnabout happened so quickly, in fact, that his name is still on my key fob. My luck has been good, lately. Through random chance,…

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How do you write "science fiction" in katakana?

How do you write "science fiction" in katakana?

I ask because I’m about to compose a diary entry in Japanese about my hobbies, as part of my class. Which will further delay me from blogging, as one might imagine. Other things which have kept me from blogging include this: Yes. That’s right. Trent Reznor sang one of my favourite songs at a recent NIN show. And I was there. Granted, I wasn’t nearly this close, and I was standing on my tiptoes, but I was there. (I think…

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Ten years ago today:

Ten years ago today:

The CBC reminded me this morning that today marks the ten-year anniversary of what happened at Columbine. I immediately thought of this song, which Amanda Palmer apparently wrote upon learning about what happened, but waited for years to debut. Unlike most of the hysterical anti-kid, anti-media reactions that followed (for perspective, see Henry Jenkins’ chapter on speaking to Congress about videogames), Palmer sought to insert herself in the killers’ subjectivity, to understand them from within rather than without. It’s this…

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My heart. It's in pieces.

My heart. It's in pieces.

NIN: The Fragile live from on stage, Adelaide 2.28.09 [HD] from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo. This is one of my favourite songs. Mr. Reznor rarely performs it. It was the title track of my favourite record, but never became a single. I have always wanted to see it live. I love the Internet. I love NIN’s new stance to fans. I love the fans for making Mr. Reznor successful enough that he can do things like give albums away…

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