Nostalgic Nibble: Something Like You/Say It

One characteristic from my teenage years is the plethora of R&B and Pop music from a variety of boy bands and girl bands. No matter how much people hate on it, there will never be a time period like it ever again. N’Sync. 98 Degrees. Backstreet Boys. Spice Girls. Kai. Devotion. Innerlude. Hanson. SWV. All Saints. O-Town. LFO. New Kids On The Block. Boys II Men. Immature. Five. And so on and so on.

More specifically, the slow jams from the 90’s to the 00’s will forever be near and dear to those of us who grew up during those times. For me, it was a time of incessant hopeful thinking and naïve searching for a brainwashed concept of reality that seems so trivial now. I smile when I think back to who I was before because even if I no longer hold onto those same concepts, the thought of having once believed is comforting. =)tdk-cdr

Below is a video for a sweet song by N’Sync called “Something Like You.” When you hear this song, what place in time does it bring you back to? I am brought back to a time where CDs were filled with love songs downloaded from Napster or Kazaa, and pleasant thoughts of one day falling in love. I stumbled on a YouTube video of the song in sign language. Check it out!

Don’t you all miss this type of slow jam music? I was discussing this with a friend awhile ago, and the funny thing is that there are bands out right now that are producing music similar to how it was back in our day. One of them is Legaci. I would love to see slow jams make a come back. Our 90s styles are coming back into fashion. I’m curious to see if legit harmonized boy/girl bands will also make a return. Here is a cover to Voices of Theory’s “Say It” by Legaci. (check out their YouTube Channel here)

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SSB vs. Valvrave:The Liberator

 

It’s been about 11 years or so since Gundam Seed first hit us with its “space drama giant robots destroying colonies” schtick, and Sunrise decided that we were lacking in that department, so they sent us Valvrave.  They realized early on that teenagers go with giant robots, just like Evangelion (we all know how well that turned out, right).

No, not that.

No, not that.

[gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_01.04_[2013.05.05_07.20.48] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_01.08_[2013.05.05_07.21.09] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_01.11_[2013.05.05_07.21.17] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_01.18_[2013.05.05_07.21.30] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_01.32_[2013.05.05_07.21.53] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_01.37_[2013.05.05_07.22.08] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_01.40_[2013.05.05_07.22.16] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_01.42_[2013.05.05_07.22.25] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_01.49_[2013.05.05_07.22.38] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_01.54_[2013.05.05_07.22.52] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_02.08_[2013.05.05_07.23.15] [gg]_Valvrave_the_Liberator_-_04_[88D7EE45].mkv_snapshot_18.24_[2013.05.05_07.25.30]

My first impressions after watching the first 4 episodes?

They threw Gundam Seed (NOT DESTINY), Code Geass, Vampires, Metal Gear Solid 4’s nanomachines, and TM Revolution into a blender, and this is the result.  A visual feast of stuff blowing up, teenagers making peace signs, and EL ERUFU.  I’m impressed by it.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m older now, but I’m finding it harder and harder to get an anime to gel with me if it’s not Initial D.  I blame TM Revolution.

SSB’s “TM Revolution Rule of Cool” – If TM Revolution is involved with an Anime/Manga/Game franchise of any sort, it’s automatically cool, or at least tolerable.

So yes, I will be following Valvrave: The Liberator.

An Upscale Casual Kinda Night

‘Twas another wonderful Wednesday night at The Office Bar in North Park, San Diego. Upscale Casual, my favorite San Diego ukulele band, brought with them the “sweet sounds of the islands to the mainland” once again. On this particular night, only three members of the band graced us with their island presence, but the band actually consists of four members: Jason Torres (not pictured), Vanessa Nguyen (middle), Frederick Callo (right), and Sean Davis (left).

Upscale-Casual-April-2013-SmilingUpscale-Casual-April-2013-Goofy

As an avid fan of this sweet group, I’ve been loyally following them all around San Diego. I always make it a point to attend one of their shows any chance I get, in order to satiate my desires to hear the addictively serenading sounds of the ukulele. Their music not only comforts their audiences, but their stage presence also engages their audiences to feel the music with them. As they play a broad range of cover songs from Anuhea’s “Simple Love Song” to J-Boog‘s “Sunshine Girl” to Nicki Minaj‘s “Starships,” they imprint a unique island twist to each song that coincides with Upscale Casual’s unique style.

Their rendition of the childhood classic Ducktales theme song manages to provide a sense of nostalgia that warms the hearts of their audiences. Upscale Casual’s style is not only relaxing but playful, attracting all music lovers back for more with each show.

In addition to cover songs, they also showcase a few original songs such as “Good Times” or mashups of “As Long As You Love Me” (Bieber/Backstreet Boys). I love the 34 second mark of “Good Times” because I absolutely love carne asada fries and Korean BBQ, and I’m sure a bunch of you men will be amused at the 1:38 second mark. =)

Upscale Casual has been swaying their way around the mainland with their serenading ukuleles since July 2011, and with each performance I look forward to what comes next for this band. For more information on Upscale Casual, visit them on their Facebook page, their main site, their Twitter page, or their YouTube Channel.

Listen to them, like them, love them. And come join me at their next show!! Mahalo!! =P

I <3 SCANDAL

Yep, I'm hooked.

Yep, I’m hooked.

I’m a huge fan of K-On.  So naturally, I started gravitating back to J-pop once I really started getting into the series.  Along the way I heard about this group called SCANDAL.  Apparently, they got together in high school and started jamming out.  Then they started playing in clubs, and they…quite simply blew up.  You might’ve heard their songs in Bleach and Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood.

The group’s lineup consists for 4 girls, each with their own distinct roles.

Haruna Ono (小野春菜 Ono Haruna?) – lead vocals, secondary guitarist (she’s the face of the group and she has a cute overbite)

  • Born: August, 1988
  • Hometown: AichiJapan
  • Guitar: Fender Tele Thinline Deluxe Black

Mami Sasazaki (笹崎まみ Sasazaki Mami?) – lead guitarist, secondary vocals (OMG HER VOICE IS SO KAWAII AND CUTE AND I JUST WANT TO HUG HER)

  • Born: May, 1990
  • Hometown: HyōgoJapan
  • Guitar: Gretch White Falcon Double Cutaway G6136DC

Tomomi Ogawa (小川ともみ Ogawa Tomomi?) – bassist, secondary vocals (She plays bass, so she doesn’t really stand out as much, but she’s necessary.)

  • Born: May, 1990
  • Hometown: HyōgoJapan
  • Bass: Fender American Standard Precision Bass Silver

Rina Suzuki (鈴木理菜 Suzuki Rina?) – drummer, secondary vocals (GOOD GOD YOU ARE HOT WHY DON’T THEY FOCUS ON YOU MORE RINAAAAA)

  • Born: August, 1991
  • Hometown: NaraJapan
  • Drums: Pearl Masters Series PREMIUM MAPLE

I mentioned the K-On connection earlier in this entry.  Imagine my surprise when I came across this on youtube.

SCANDAL AND SHOKO NAKAGAWA ARE SINGING “DON’T SAY LAZY”.  YES.

Anyway, give this group a listen.  You won’t regret it.

SCANDAL1

Super Spice Bros 2

This is the first time I’ve ever seen this YouTube video. I must say. I found it quite hilarious! Terry Crews + Old Spice + Super Mario Bros 2 = Super Spice Bros 2. I love the Old Spice commercials, and this mashup just takes it to another level. Mowtendoo YouTube user really loves his Terry Crews. All you Nintendo geeks will/must love this. Enjoy the laughter!

Game of Thrones Theme Song Violin Cover

So I hear that the third season of Game of Thrones is now underway. I have yet to watch an episode, but I hear it is really good. So for all my Game of Thrones geeks, if you haven’t seen this cover of the Game of Thrones theme song yet, here it is for your viewing pleasure. I thought it was pretty awesome. I found it when I stumbled on Geekologie.

These one-man videos always amaze me. =)

To Be Loved

Another song on my Songza played that was the inspiration for this post. Jackie Wilson‘s “To Be Loved” as heard by Eddie Murphy, aka Akeem, in the classic movie Coming To America. Please tell me you all know this movie. I can’t classify myself as an anime geek just yet, but I can classify myself as a movie geek.

The search for true love across countries, only to really find life lessons of hope in perseverance, value of genuine friendships, necessity of humility, and the spirit of commitment. If you have not seen this movie yet, I will not spoil it for you. It is a heartwarming movie filled with all sorts of slap-your-knee kind of laughs.

The only information I will divulge is that I think it’s fair to say that Eddie Murphy’s character, Akeem, is quite geeky. He is no popular boy toy like Eric La Salle’s character, Darryl, the smooth, suave, sophisticated fellow that most girls throw themselves at. One of the more attractive features of Akeem is his self-confidence, and his awareness of what he wants for his life. I feel that a lot of people in our society lack this confidence within themselves, as well as how they would like their life to be laid out. It is not that we have to map out our futures perfectly, but I think that it is necessary to at least have a plan of action. To have a general sense of where you are going in order to keep moving forward in this life. In a society where so many different arenas tell us that we need to be doing this, or looking like this, or acting like this, I can see how difficult it is to just hear one’s own inner voice and follow their heart.

Clarity is not an easy state of mind to obtain in our society. I believe that we live in a society of distractions. Music, television, peers, etc. distract us from listening to ourselves. I know that a lot of people aren’t really religious, nor do they believe in a higher being such as God, but I believe in all those things. One of those benefits that I once mentioned in a previous post, is the ability of religion to help provide clarity for those whose minds are constantly cloudy. Media might have you believe that happiness is the ultimate goal of life, but I disagree. I believe the end goal is actually clarity. One of the perks of clarity is happiness and the strength to turn sadness into happiness. This is but one of the few aspects within clarity, there are many more but I will leave that for further discussion in another post. =)

Anyhoo, I have yet to watch Love Hina. Haha. I know. I’m lagging. I just want to have a good state of mind before I start watching. One thing that I did was do some preliminary research on IMDB. This is how someone described the series:

When Keitaro was a child, he was friends with a little girl. When the girl had to move away, the two made a promise to meet each other at Tokyo University when they grew up. Years later, Keitaro has failed his entrance exam twice, and his parents refuse to support him any longer. His grandmother gives him refuge and employment as caretaker of her inn, which just happens to serve as a female dormitory. The eclectic group of tenants tease, annoy and berate him to no end. Still, Keitaro won’t ever give up his promise to meet his childhood friend again, even though he can’t remember her name.

My first thought from reading this summary is that Keitaro will find out that his childhood friend is living in the female dormitory and he won’t find out until much later. The girl might even be one of the girls that tease and berate him the most. She possibly might have forgotten his name as well. Haha. My general impression is that I will highly enjoy Keitaro’s journey to love and be loved.

And with that, I leave you with Jackie Wilson’s, To Be Loved…

KARA celebrated their 6th anniversary….and Nicole is best.

KARA celebrate their 6th anniversary.

Wait, they’re 6!?  Has it really been that long?  Well, congratulations KARA.  You’re the first K-pop group from DSP since Fin.K.L to capture the hearts and ******* of people around the world.

Nicole tweeted, “Ding dong~ It’s our 6th anniversary!! Wow. Time flew by. It was a jam-packed six years, right? Like a roller coaster.. Time is passing right before my eyes more, so my determination to live each day to the fullest became stronger. We have a lot more days together, and whatever happens, let’s face it together. We are strong..^^ I love you, Kamilia~ You know how I feel, right?”

Seungyeon shared, “Uh..I just finished watching the ‘Karasia’ DVD, and it became March 29th. The times when I didn’t know we could stick together and through the low points in our career, I thank my members who strongly supported each other. I thank Kamilia who watched over both our happy and sad moments and helped us rise again.”

Jiyoung shared, “It’s our 6th anniversary. KARA is jjang!!!!! I am very thankful. I ask that you continue to show your love and support.”

Gyuri shared, “I’m just thankful. I am thankful that you supported KARA.. I am thankful that you care about a person like me. Ah, I keep going into serious mode hehe. Anyways, I am thankful that I still hold onto my dream no matter what anyone else says. I am thankful to my parents. I am thankful to everyone hehe..”

Hara shared, “Wow. I fell asleep early and woke up now. There is a big commotion on Twitter. Why? Kara’s 6th anniversary~~ Wow, so cool. I don’t need long words. KARA + KAMILIA are jjang. I will pray that you will always find happiness, joy, and love in KARA~~ I am thankful, and thank you<3 Now I have to sleep again! Bbyong, goodnight”

 Just in case you needed a reminder of why they’re famous…

Nicole, Gyuri, Hara, Jiyoung, and Seungyeon...being cats.A cat is fine too.

Nicole, Gyuri, Hara, Jiyoung, and Seungyeon…being cats.
A cat is fine too.

Harlem Shake By The Backstreet Boys

Um. The Backstreet Boys doing the harlem shake video was actually quite amusingly weird. Talk about cleverly creative. Oh no they didn’t go for the sexual appeal, legitimate dancing, or stupidly silly dancing. They went for the extremely off-the-wall-random-raise-your-eyebrows kind of video. I don’t know if it’s just because I grew up with the Backstreet Boys and seeing them in this way is contradictory to how I remember them. But for whatever reason, I couldn’t help but bust out laughing when I watched this video and think to myself “what the hell am I watching?” I would imagine there are a lot of harlem shake videos on YouTube that may give me a similar effect, but this is the Backstreet Boys. Haha.

I mean come on! Freaknasty Spiderman? Perverted Easter Bunny? Captain America Ballerina? Rocketeer Helmet? Naked man in a Dr. Seuss hat? I can’t possibly be the only person who thinks this is weirder than weird, but I guess that’s what they were going for? Mission accomplished? You’ve succeeded in freaking me out!! =P

And what’s one stage down from being a geek? Hmmm. I kinda think it’s being a freak. And no, not in sexual terms. Freak as in even the geeks think you’re weird. You know what I’m talking about!! Haha. (side note: I loved the show Freaks and Geeks) Criticism aside, I really just want to hold onto my teen perception of the Backstreet Boys. But even though I want it that way, I know people change, times change, and I have to accept that the Backstreet Boys have changed. I mean I just have to quit playing games with my heart and enter the reality that the Backstreet Boys are no longer boys (although I think when they were popular they were actually quite old). They are men. Men, who as long as you love them, will continue to make more music and more extremely weird videos. I’m sure that will definitely make them happy and they will feel larger than life.

Ok I’m done. No wait. Final thoughts. There really is just no way. No how. I’ll never break your heart because I always give you all I have to give. And that, my dear friends, is the shape of my heart. <3