Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Music I Love

Writing about Berkeley's harder than I thought. Not having a digital camera on hand makes it harder. Nice online pictures of Berkeley are damnably hard to find. Suffice to say, everything I've seen online doesn't do the town justice. It's beautiful and charming. It's got personality, vibrance and intelligence. It's home of some seriously good kebabs, tacos and, believe it or not, Thai food.

Hence, finding myself wholly unable to describe my week in Berkeley, I decided to distract myself by vandalising Slinky's blog. Slinky responds with a taunt about my ignorance of kewl bandz, and I now feel obliged to disprove her - and in the process affirm my worst fears about my well-affirmed geekdom.

Why do I feel obliged to disprove my ignorance? Why, to prove that geeks do listen to rock bands!

There's only one problem. My music taste can only be described as absolutely weird. I've gone through a cantopop phase, a chee-nah-pop phase, a German Industrial Rock phase (I kid you not), a 60's rock and roll phase, a '70's disco phase (oh the humanity!) and just about everything in between.

However, here's a sample of all-time favourite soundtracks. Let's start with the mainstream stuff.

U2 - Just about the whole of Joshua Tree and "One"

"Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head"

- One, U2

Okay. So they suck now. So they should have retired years ago. But U2 in it's prime was more than music. It was poetry set to a tune. How can you not love lyrics like that? It was angsty, mournful and above all, it was Bono.

"Time After Time"

There. I admitted it. :shamefaced:

I love this song. I have 3 different versions of this song - Cyndi Lauper's, an acapella version by Rockappella and a jazz version by Ella Fitzgerald (at least I think it's her). The music isn't sophisticated - it's elegantly simple, yet raw and honest at the same time.

Aerosmith - "Big Ones" Album, "Walk this Way"

Okay. Another shamefaced admission. I love Aerosmith. I discovered their stuff pretty late in my life, so I can't even blame teenaged rebeliousness. Heck, the only thing that didn't suck about the movie "Be Cool" was that duet version of "Cryin'". Now -that's- kickass.

Bob Marley

Seriously good shit - though the lyrics take some research to understand properly. Bob Marley derived a lot of inspiration for his lyrics from Rastafarian beliefs. No it doesn't just involve smoking pott and wearing multicoloured belts. Go google "Ras Tafari". You won't regret it.



Okay, just kidding. I guess this is as good a bridge between my mainstream tastes and my non-mainstream tastes as you can get. Queenshryce is blardee good. It's German, it's got some really good axe play, it's got two dots over the "e" at the end of their name. How cool is that?!


Now for my not-so-mainstream stuff. Or rather, not so English-speaking mainstream stuff. Some of the stuff here would probably be considered mainstream to a Chinese-speaker.


Another late discovery. I didn't liked the band when I was first introduced to it in Secondary School. Yet, when I was reintroduced to it a couple of months ago, I was instantly hooked. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what their lyrics meant, but believe me, it was worth the effort. Tightly crafted, well suited for the music, and their lead has a beautifully haunting voice.

I'm willing to go out on a limb and consider them comparable to "Queen" in terms of rock anthem-ness. Heck, their lead singer died young too. Scary.

Songs I like from Beyond: 海阔天空, 大地, 光辉岁月


Most people under 50 and not chinese will probably not have a clue what this song is, just by looking at the title. However, if you are chinese, about 30 (or older), and watched old TVB martial arts flicks you'd probably know this song, even though you've probably not heard it in over 20 years.

Give up yet? It was the theme song of the original version of Tian Long Ba Bu (天龙八部). I found out recently that the original singers of this song weren't even professionals - they were employees of TVB.

Say Yes - Chage and Aska

Another theme song, from the old Japanese serial "101 Proposals". I never watched the series, but I'd always listen to the theme song when it played. Forget the wussy English-Translated version, the japanese version fits phonetically better into the tune.

Flying Pickets, King's Singers, Swingle Singers, Rockapella, Budak Pantai

I've a serious love for acapella music. The groups I like are too numerous to mention, but these are the favourite-est of the lot. If you have a chance, listen to "When You're Young and In Love" by the Flying Pickets. It's heart-melting.

I'll leave this list for now. Hope I've sparked off a few good memories with my list of songs.


Ivan Chew said...

So, we're not too far off in age, I think. Here's a few of my favourites from that era: Def Leppard, Guns & Roses (selected stuff), Heart, White Lion...

Slinky said...

There is no saving you! "Time after time"! *slaps forehead*

That being said, you display excellent taste in enjoying Queensryche, assuming we're talking about the same band. "Silent Lucidity", right?

Anthony said...

Yes indeed. Silent Lucidity, Another Rainy Night, and the rock ballad version of Scaborough Fair.

Anthony said...

Hey Ivan,

Yes, love Guns and Roses, White Lion, and like (but not love) Def Leppard. I can't say they make it into my all-time favourites cos they don't make me feel all tight in my gut after listening, but I like it nonetheless.

toysrevil said...

what popped into my mind after reading your list: i am not alone. and that puts a smile on my face - thanx Anthony! :)

Anthony said...


Greetings to a fellow chap-a-lang listener!

toysrevil said...

salutations, Anthony!

chap-a-lang = eclectic = aquired taste hahaha :)

"say yes" serenading out of me iTunes, along with smap, asia, the darkness, most 80's new wave, sinatra, bennet, johnleehooker, lenny kravitz, sugar ray, redhotchillipeppers, earthwind&fire, crowded house, green day, chang1 chen4 yue4, alice in chains + kid rock ... do you find shopping for CDs a hair-tearing-exercise? or do ya enjoy the craziness as much as i do? hahahaha

cheers :)

Anonymous said...

Hello! I was snooping through Slinky's blog and stumbled upon yours. It made me smile! I won a Queensryche CD from a radio contest and thought I got sabo-ed by the station because the cd was so bad. Hey you should listen to the version of Time After Time by Eva Cassidy. I love it! It's my catalyst for massive crying jags post-breakup.