With the Grammy nominations coming out this past Monday, I’ve got music on the brain. This isn’t a departure from my usual state of brain, but it’s been intensified. And also, the current social climate in the U.S. has been, well, less than friendly towards people of color. So for this week’s web crush, I want to highlight a Black woman making geeky music: nerdcore rapper Sammus. As always, hip-hop is an open, candid art form, so some mild to extremely not safe for work language in some of the songs.
In recent history, Tumblr has been obsessed with the word “aesthetic” recently almost to the point of parody. While it has become somewhat of a memetic joke, aesthetic choices really affect the tone of an artistic work and can affect its quality. It is essentially a method of thematic enforcement through visuals and sound. As well, I’ve seen fantastic writing about fashion relating to games via Gita Jackson’s Wardrobe Theory series, and Zolani Stewart’s discussions about the Sonic the Hedgehog series’ relationship with visuals. These got me to thinking more about the necessity of strong thematic decisions. A series that works with well with aesthetic enforcement is, surprise surprise, the bright, bold, and often praised Steven Universe.
The spark of creativity for writers can come from innumerable sources—a line from a television show or book, a color, seasons, watching Food Network; who knows. Sometimes for me getting started down that path to a thousand words and beyond can seem impossible, but there’s always one thing that seems to motivate me: music. While there’s certainly something to be said for the method of repeating a song on YouTube for hours on end, or clicking on the related videos until you get to that whispered about “strange side” of the streaming site, these days I find myself drawn more towards online mixes. While I’ve made quite a few mixes, I always love going on sites like 8tracks and Spotify to not only find new music to add to my library, but to see other interpretations of certain characters, ships, and events. And while I can’t link the sites themselves, I was lucky to recently come across a Tumblr that filled this niche of mine: the aptly named Fanmixes.
This month has been exhausting. Black History Month always brings pushback: talk of a Black Spider-Man has resurfaced with all the associated bigotry, and current events have been as bad as always. It’s been really emotionally taxing, so I want to talk about something a little lighter and upbeat: nerd-inspired music. (Occasional NSFW language follows.)
I love music and it has often been a comfort to me; I’ve also found value and comfort in nerdy things. So, mixing these two concepts together is the perfect product for me. This week’s Web Crush Wednesday, Adam Warrock, makes self-proclaimed “Overly Enthusiastic Hip-Hop” about pop culture and general nerdy media.
I remember a calmer time in video games; one where the most heated debate was the well-known console wars. The fighting occurred mostly between Sega and Nintendo, with Sony eventually joining in, and creativity was a premium seller for games. Creativity can come in various avenues, such as art style, music, mechanics, and story. This week’s Throwback Thursday topic, 2000’s Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio in some regions), encompasses all those things!
Once again, the Mnet charts are dreadfully boring, and as we come ever closer to Valentine’s Day I fear this will continue to be the case. However, as I’m not in the mood for banal love songs nor interested in the surprising comeback song from Rain (seriously, he’s still making music?), I initially thought I would need to dig deep for this post. You can thank Lady Geek Girl herself for preventing that from happening—or you can thank my laziness, anyway.
Two years ago in July the girl group GLAM—shortened from ‘Girls be Ambitious’—released their first single, Party (XXO) to moderate success. Or at least I’m assuming it was moderately successful, because last year they had a comeback single. Even so, outside of Party, I haven’t heard anything from them or anything about the group at all, which is really a shame. It’s true that they’re a talented group of women, but what’s even more important about them is that in an industry inundated with tradition gender roles when pertaining to romance, GLAM took the bold move to make an entirely LGBTQ+ inclusive song.
Are you excited? You should be.
It’s no news to anyone here that I’m a huge fan of good translations. Honestly, who isn’t? It’s quality translations that lead to both an increase in interest in other cultures and media produced from said culture, as well as an increase in quality from the translation community as a whole. Both
are super important aspects to a world that is increasingly opening its borders to each other. Although the cultural sharing that goes on between America and Japan is nothing new, what is new is how much VOCALOID—essentially voicebanks (with adorable personifications for each) that music composers can use to add vocals to their songs without using their own or employing anyone else’s—is starting to get into the American market.
Ranging from collaborative apps from Domino’s Pizza, western PS Vita ports of previously unavailable rhythm games, and even VOCALOID cameos showing up in popular web shows like Bee and Puppycat, the American market is in closer contact than ever with the counterculture of Miku Hatsune and the other singers that make up VOCALOID. Yes, I admit some of these songs can be rather tragic in quality, but surprisingly a majority of them are really good. Today, I want to celebrate one of the many, many translators of these VOCALOID songs, ColeenaWu.
Today I had two clear choices when picking a song: G-Dragon’s newest hit to climb the charts, or the recent installment from the steamy, depressing, and gritty duo Troublemaker, staring B2ST’s Hyunseung and 4Minute’s Hyuna. Of course, I had to go with the artist(s) I was more invested in.
As much as I love the idea behind Troublemaker, their newest song Now is kind of boring. Besides, GD and I already have a relationship going on. After slamming GD hard in One of a Kind for being weird in all the wrong ways, how could I resist the chance to rip apart this toned down version in Crooked? Except, damn it, I want to, but I can’t. I love Crooked. I love it so much. Crooked’s the perfect anthem for angry teenagers that think a break-up is the end of the world—in other words, ridiculous. Right up my alley.
Between marathoning Pokémon X and getting excited over Halloween, I’ve been completely ignoring the music charts. To be honest, the way this week’s chart is laid out, maybe I should have ignored it a bit longer. Or at least expanded Generation Avex to include Jpop in addition to Kpop—they get a cool Halloween song! But that day is not today, no matter how much I wish it was. Instead, I have to deal with the slow-paced love songs and abnormally popular break-up songs of the Mnet chart. Though that description is entirely subjective, what’s not is that the charts this week are completely dominated by one songstress: IU. From the songs I’ve listened to, I don’t understand the popularity.
Despite that, for the most part, I do like her song Between the Lips (50 cm). Kind of.