Eclectic E’s

Songs: 129
Albums Represented: 35
Albums Complete in Library: 4

In contrast to the C’s that were dominated by the haunting sounds of Castlevania, and the upcoming F’s which are filled with Final Fantasy, the E’s are just all over the place. From 70s prog rock to the gangsta rap of the 90s, to Mexican diva pop and the shoegazer wall of sound, the E’s had it all.

Let’s just go in the order I laid down there then, shall we?

Last time I went back home, I bought an iTunes Card, then realized that I had to use the balance up before coming back to Japan, since unused balances expire after…6 months I think it was? And you supposedly can’t purchase songs from iTunes Music Stores that are outside of the region you’re accessing from. That’s what the Terms of Service say, but I’ve never tried to see for myself. The threat of being banned from the iTMS for breaching the terms is enough to keep me from trying.

Anyway, I had downloaded all I wanted, and still had credit left over in my American iTMS account. So I asked my brothers if they wanted anything from the iTMS, and one of them requested some songs from Camel.

I immediately thought of cigarettes, even though I don’t smoke. >o<;

I’ve ended up digging many of the tracks I downloaded for my brother, especially “Air Born.”

And now for some gangsta rap!

I was in middle school when Bone Thugs N Harmony were at their peak. I prided myself on being able to keep up with their fast-paced rapping. Now, I’ve always had a sense of humor that gets branded as “dark” or “twisted” by what I’ve come to find out is the mainstream (^_^;;;). Back then, what fascinated me about BTNH was that they rapped so melodiously about the grim subject matter of murder, weed, bitches, and ho’s. Despite growing up in some unsavory parts of Detroit, and witnessing gang violence, sometimes very close to home, I found gangsta rap…hilarious. ^o^; I guess I knew from a young age that swagger’s just a front; if you’ve really got it,  you don’t need to flaunt it. The bravado of the petty gangbangers, the ones who dream of getting to the top but end up just shot on the bottom, it was too ironic to take seriously. Likewise, the bravado of  gangsta rap was just too funny not to sing along.

This is not to say that petty gangbangers don’t do real damage; there have been countless tragedies in my hometown on account of fools with guns who wanna be hard. What I’m saying is, those people think the gang is the only way for them to get somewhere in life, the only way to beat The Man and The Pigs, but the guys at the top of the gang are taking advantage of them just as much as The System. Perhaps even more so. After all, if you switch jobs, your old company doesn’t come try to shoot you for leaving them. Try to leave the gang and see what happens.

Uh…right, this blog post is supposed to be about music. >o<;;;;;

The BTNH track that everyone thought was too fast for mere mortals to rap: “First of tha Month

Ah, that’s right, that’s the other thing I found hilarious about gangsta rap: in this song they’re talking about making all this money dealing drugs, but that money is welfare money, money that came in on the first of each month. I remember being in middle school thinking, if you were really rich, and if you were really “runnin'” anything, would you really be dependent on large numbers of poor people buying small amounts of drugs from you with cash they got by selling their food stamps? If you really cared so much about your hood, would you help keep it in destitution?

I think a really naive side of me found gangsta rap hilarious for another reason: I hadn’t yet realized that people actually could be that stupid. So part of the hilarity, in my mind, was the thought that, of course no one would be so dumb as to think the rappers are really praising this lifestyle, because it’s a lifestyle that treats people like shit, so to come up with these rhymes about it and sing them harmoniously was funny.

*Sigh*

Ahaha, moving on…

…to Mexican mega-star Thalía. She’s actually come up in my iTunes Library already, pretty early on with the album Arrasando, which I bought because it included the theme song to the telenovela Rosalinda. I can no longer remember why I picked up her album El Sexto Sentido Re+Loaded. I may just have felt that I didn’t have enough Latin music in my CD collection; or maybe I did watch the reality show Cantando por un Sueño (which is like Pop Idol / American Idol) and liked the song, also titled “Cantando por un Sueño,” and decided to get it. In any case, my favorite track from this album is “Un Sueño Para Dos” (meaning “A dream for two”).

For the shoegazing, there’s My Bloody Valentine’s combined EPs Ecstacy and Wine, where I heard “The Things I Miss.” It takes you to another world in under 3 minutes!

I’ll admit, I learned about MBV indirectly through Final Fantasy VII. The first time I played through FFVII, I saw the Loveless poster in Midgar in the beginning, but I didn’t really pay it much attention. Then I saw on a fansite that the poster said “My Bloody Valentine” on the side, but the fan thought it was just a reference to one of the game’s characters, Vincent Valentine. A web search for “My Bloody Valentine Loveless” revealed what the game’s programmer’s were really getting at.

Back then there wasn’t that much on YouTube YouTube didn’t exist (GASP–I can’t believe YT’s been around only for 6 years! To me it’s an existence before time!) so I didn’t get to hear much of MBV save what I happened to find on some random website. The site listed its contents as coming from a “rarities” album. The MBV covers of Wire’s “Map Ref 41°N 93°W” and Louis Armstrong’s “We Have All The Time In the World” were all I needed to hear to know that I needed to listen to more of the band’s music, and I ordered Loveless off of Amazon eagerly. The rest of their albums and EPs soon followed.

Alright, so that was me eclectically sharing some eclectic albums! ^o^

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