Sunday, March 30, 2008

MiNdBOx - Little Love Song

I was introduced to a new song last Friday and now I just can't seem to get it out of my mind! It has definitely skyrocketed to the number one spot on my playlist.

Xiao Qing Ge or directly translated as Little Love Song is sung by Taiwanese band, Sodagreen (Su Da Lv). Yup, the band is new to me too although they are not newcomers in Taiwan's music scene as they'd released at least 3 albums from as early as 2001 as well as winning multiple prestigious awards. Somehow they have escaped my music radar...

Anyway, Sodagreen is an indie Taiwan group consisting of 6 members (an acoustic guitar, 2 electric guitars - the bassist happens to be the only female of the group, a drummer, a violinist/keyboardist, a vocalist.) One thing is for sure, they are all young :P - back in 2005, they were either university graduates or still students of local Taiwan unis.

So what makes this band so special? Well, for one, the vocalist has a very unique voice that some said sounded like a female's, contributing to the band's unique sound. Also, their pleasant melodies and simple lyrics are kinda refreshing. Their music video for Xiao Qing Ge is rather creative, making use of ink wall drawings. But what I love the most is the overall melody, goes perfectly with that voice! Enjoy...

zhe shi yi shou jian dan de xiao qing ge
(This is a simple little love song)
chang zhe ren men xing chong de qu zhe
(Singing about the complications of people's hearts)
wo xiang wo hen kuai le
(I think I am very happy)
dang you ni de wen re
(When I had your warmth)
jiao bian de kong qi zhuan le
(the air by my feet turned)

zhe shi yi shou jian dan de xiao qing ge
(This is a simple little love song)
chang zhe wo men xing tou de bai ge
(Singing about the white doves in our hearts)
wo xiang wo hen shi he
(I think I am very suitable)
dang yi ge ge song zhe
(to be singing odes)
qing chun zhai feng zhong piao zhe
(Youth is fluttering in the wind)

ni zhi dao jiu suan da yu rang zhe zhuo chen shi dian dao
(Do you know, even if heavy rains turned the city upside down)
wo hui gei ni huai bao
(I will give you my embrace)
shou bu liao kan zian ni bei ying lai dao
(Can't tolerate watching your back)
xie xia wo du miao ru nian nan ai de li sao
(I wrote down the unending misery of leaving)

jiu suan zheng ge shi jie bei ji muo bang piao
(Even if the entire world is held ransom by loneliness)
wo ye bu hui beng pao
(I will not run away)
tao bu liao zhui hou shui ye dou zhang lao
(Can't escape, in the end everyone grows old)
xie xia wo shi jian he qing shen jiao cuo de cheng bao
(I wrote down how time and music harmonize into a castle)

My Rating:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Music & Lyrics

Music & LyricsDuring the long weekend, apart from dim sum for breakfast, the usual gym/book-reading/game-playing/facebook-ing/anime-watching routines, quadruple hours lost in the Times Bookstore Clearance Sale, free seafood dinner @ Tambun and one Easter-sort-of celebration on Sunday morning, I manage to squeeze in an old movie; Music & Lyrics. Released by Warner Bros in 2007, it stars Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore as Alex Fletcher and Sophie Fisher respectively.

Alex is a former pop star, one half of the once-famous 80's group, "POP!". Interestingly the movie kicks off with a music video of the group performing their famous song yet, "Pop! Goes My Heart". LOL you should see their dance moves and boy, can they gyrate their hips!

Anyway, Pop! disbanded when the other lead singer chose to go solo. 15 years down the road, Alex is now reduced to performing hits at lowly venues(think high school reunions and theme parks). The has-been still has some followings though - middle-age females fans! In a move to revive his career and recapture his former glory, he agrees to write a song called "Way Back Into Love" for the music industry's current it-girl, Cora Corman (Haley Bennett). However, Alex was never good when it comes to lyrics as he is usually only responsible to compose the melodies for Pop! back in the heydays. Headache, headache, headache...

In comes Sophie who waters the plants at Alex's house. (I didn't know you could make a part time job out of watering plants at Sophie & Alex trying to compose Way Back Into Lovepeople's apartments..hmm..*note to self, potential source of income :þ) Sophie, a former creative writing student, just mumbles the words out one day when she hears Alex over the piano, busy trying to compose his song. And since they sound way way better that what Alex has in hand, he decides to ask for Sophie's assistance. Thus began their collaboration which of course sparks romance while producing a commendable song as well.

A lovely movie that gives you quite a good laugh as well as lets you enjoy some delightful songs. From the catchy pop song to the romantic love song, I'm sure you'll be downloading the soundtrack in no time! LOL and I'm surprised to see Hugh Grant playing a pop star. He always gave me the impression of a much duller persona albeit capable of comical moments, what with him in movies like 4 Weddings & A Funeral, Notting Hill, etc. so it was an eye opener to see him in tight pants gyrating away. Plus he sings alrite too! Drew Barrymore, on the other hand, is her usual quirky self and plays Sophie to perfection.

Here, see the "music video" for yourselves ;)

Also the lovely Way Back Into Love. Enjoy!

hmm..thanx to Tango, I'd just realized that the song above is just a 30sec preview. I guess coz I was the one who uploaded song thus had no problem listening to the full song. Anyway, I'll post a youtube clip of the said song so now you can enjoy the full version and the clip too :)

Another song worth mentioning would be "Don't Write Me Off". Its lyrics is totally meaningful and cute but I guess you will only feel so if you follow the movie from the start. Just like how sometimes you watch a show and then gets addicted to the's that feeling at that particular moment ;)

My Rating:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Vantage Point

Vantage Point, the latest thriller film showing in cinemas nationwide. It stars Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow), Matthew Fox (you might remember him as Jack in Lost), Forest Whitaker (I only know he won an Oscar..) and Sigourney Weaver (Aliens, Alien: Resurrection). This show is rated PG-13 in the States and quoting Wikipedia, "..for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images, and brief strong language." Guess what the Censorship Board gave it. 18PL? 18SG? Nop, just a U - safe for all :P

The entire film is set in Salamanca, Spain, where an anti-terrorism summit is being held. Over a 23-minute period, we see a news achor reporting the events, the arrival of the President the of the United States flank by Secret Service agents via various camera angles, speech by the mayor of Salamanca, a curtain flutters in one of the suppose-to-be-empty hotel room balconies overlooking the podium, the President stepping up to the podium, two shots hitting the President, all hell break loose, an explosion somewhere outside the plaza, more chaos ensue, podium explodes, and news anchor lies dead in front of a camera still providing live feed.

And then ... we relive the 23-minutes again, and again, and again, and again...

Each time from a different character's vantage point; Secret Service Agent Thomas Barnes (Quaid); Enrique, a police officer assigned to guard the mayor (or so he claims); and Howard Lewis (Whitaker), an American tourist who has been busy taping the event on his camcorder and who happens to capture some vital details, to name just a few.

Each time more is revealed and when things seemingly start to get exciting such as when Barnes sees something shocking on a monitor, or when a little girl is about to be hit by an ambulance in the middle of a busy road ..... we are brought back to the start yet again, 11:59:58am to be exact. (LOL, even the cinema-goers were laughing, perhaps out of frustration!)

Just when some viewers' patience starts to wear thin, we are finally rewarded a finale that comes with a bang and a twist (though the ending kinda flashed in my mind after the first 23minutes.) I guess that's about after the 5th or 6th rewinds. Ahh, you can almost hear the sigh of reliefs! LOL

While some might find the film confusing and annoying (like how some people can't appreciate Cloverfield :P), it is actually rather good. Sit through the rewinds and it will not be in vain. Afterall, PATIENCE is a virtue ;)

My Rating:

P/S: Here's the trailer for those who would like to get a feel before buying that movie ticket

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Special Assignments by Boris Akunin

Special Assignments by Boris AkuninMy latest lunch read - Special Assignments: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin. It is actually a translated version from the original in Russian by Boris Akunin. So it's no surprise that the backdrop of the stories are in Russia itself.

There are two stories in the book and both feature the Deputy of Special Assignments, Erast Fandorin. However the similarities end there. The tone of the stories cannot be more different!

The former is a light read and revolves around a con artist who had been doing some monetary trickeries around Moscow in the year 1886. Known as Jack of Spades, for he always leave behind the Jack of Spade card after his successful swindles, he finally meets his match in a battle of wits with Fandorin. This is also where we are introduced to Anissi Tulipov, who ended up becoming Fandorin's most trusted assistant.

The latter is set in Holy Week 1889 and the tone is so much darker, like a huge cloud of storm looming in the horizon. A serial killer, known as the Decorator, is out to "beautify" those cursed with ugliness. These brutal killings are similar to those by Jack the Ripper in London, where prostitutes were annhilated. It is up to Fandorin and Tulipov to stop this monstrous killer before it is too late.

The second story is much more gripping than the first as it is set in a much faster pace and one can feel the urgency to get to the bottom of the mystery. With descriptive words by the author combined with a pinch on my own imagination, the word brutal is taken to an entirely new level! (I do not know what would happen to my lunch if I were to put in 100% imagination :P)

Overall, both stories are well plotted with an interesting 1800s Russia and characters. Hmm...another author's creations to look forward too now ;)

My Rating: