Thursday, October 29, 2009

off the florida keys

It seems I did remember a song from the 80's after all (that is, remember listening to it when I was young, not retroactively).

Every so often, our parents would have hangouts (I suppose they would be in their mid-30's so is that what I'm going to be doing in 10 years? Scary.) with two families from our church (and sometimes they'd let another family in the cool kids group), both of which were alumni from my dad's college, Seoul National University. Naturally, after some group activity, the parents would hang out in the living room, while the kids would hang out in one of the bedrooms, playing Monopoly, or an awesome computer game called Cyberia (where after you kill people and come back to the room, the hero quips, "You guys still dead?" Classic.) or watching some random TV show. One of the families had two girls, the other had two boys (the oft mentioned Brian Lee being one of them), and we were the boy girl family, yay. (Funnily enough, the two girls both went to MIT, the two boys went to Yale, and my sister went to Harvard and I failed to complete the trend by being well, a failure. Ok, really I'm over it though. Really.)

Anyhow, Aimee, one of the two girls and being the oldest of the bunch, introduced us to this song called "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys. You can listen to the song here.


Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go, Jamaica

Off the Florida Keys there's a place called Kokomo
That's where you wanna go to get away from it all
Bodies in the sand, tropical drink melting in your hand
We'll be falling in love to the rhythm of a steel drumband
Down in Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo Montego, baby why don't we go
Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo,
we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go, way down in Kokomo.

Martinique, that Monserrat mystique...

We'll put out to sea and we'll perfect our chemistry
By and by we'll defy a little bit of gravity
Afternoon delight, cocktails and moonlit nights
That dreamy look in your eye, give me a tropical contacthigh
Way down in Kokomo


Port au Prince, I wanna catch a glimpse...

Everybody knows a little place like Kokomo
Now if you wanna go to get away from it all
Go down to Kokomo


This song definitely has nostalgic value as we listened to it on those hangout nights, probably instilling some wistful Caribbean dreams in us (though none of us had probably ever been to the Caribbean at that point). I think I didn't actually know what Kokomo was until a long time afterwards, all I knew was it was a place where we wanted to go, apparently.

Oh, and now I remember I kicked ass at Monopoly. Sweet. Ah the memories.

Today's perspective:

This song still makes me want to get away from it all. I don't think I've been to the Caribbean yet actually. ANYONE WANT TO GO DOWN TO THE KOKOMO? Actually, I hear the cruises there are better than the cruises in Greece. (For more info on cruises in Greece, click here) Something else just makes the song tropical (probably the combination of the hand drums, steel drums and accordion-like sounds).

I didn't know this was a song made in 1988 until I researched songs from this time period, but man had the Beach Boys aged even at that point. I guess you can still sing about taking a hot babe to the Caribbean when you're a creepy old guy, as long as you're a Beach Boy.

I can't put my finger on it, but I suppose descending chord progression of the verses make for a potent nostalgic feeling, even without the memory of the song being from my childhood. The traditional Beach Boy style also pack a 60's type vibe into this song which makes it kind of looking into the past, in the past. Definitely would be an awesome song to play if one were to have a lot of friends at the Caribbean with a tropical drink melting in the hand at night, enjoying a nice breeze, ZoMG.

edit: Extra note, there's a scene in a How I Met Your Mother episode where Barney communicates to Ted with his eyebrows and this song starts playing where it's utterly classic.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

it don't matter

Much of my musical influence has come from my sister, who introduced me probably to the biggest musical icons of the world, such as Michael Jackson and the Beatles. In the early nineties, she bought the Dangerous album. Michael Jackson is one of the few artists who released albums where you could really listen to the whole album and not have to skip tracks cause a track sucked (yes, some purists never skip tracks, but frankly, imo VERY few artists deserve that treatment).

My chronology must be a bit off, because it appears that the album came out in 1991. I'm not sure when my sister brought it into the Kim household, but it might be around the same time as the previous two songs.

The most catchy tune to me of the album was the biggest single, "Black or White". You can listen to it here.


I took my baby
On a saturday bang
Boy is that girl with you
Yes were one and the same

Now I believe in miracles
And a miracle
Has happened tonight

But, if
Youre thinkin
About my baby
It dont matter if youre
Black or white

They print my message
In the saturday sun
I had to tell them
I aint second to none

And I told about equality
And its true
Either youre wrong
Or youre right

But, if
Youre thinkin
About my baby
It dont matter if youre
Black or white

I am tired of this devil
I am tired of this stuff
I am tired of this business
Sew when the
Going gets rough
I aint scared of
Your brother
I aint scared of no sheets
I aint scare of nobody
Girl when the
Goin gets mean

(l. t. b. rap performance)
For gangs, clubs
And nations
Causing grief in
Human relations
Its a turf war
On a global scale
Id rather hear both sides
Of the tale
See, its not about races
Just places
Where your blood
Comes from
Is where your space is
Ive seen the bright
Get duller
Im not going to spend
My life being a color

Dont tell me you agree with me
When I saw you kicking dirt in my eye

But, if
Youre thinkin about my baby
It dont matter if youre black or white

I said if
Youre thinkin of
Being my baby
It dont matter if youre black or white

I said if
Youre thinkin of
Being my brother
It dont matter if youre
Black or white

Ooh, ooh
Yea, yea, yea now
Ooh, ooh
Yea, yea, yea now

Its black, its white
Its tough for you
To get by
Its black , its white, whoo

Its black, its white
Its tough for you
To get by
Its black , its white, whoo

My sister got annoyed whenever I reset this song on repeat, but I was addicted to the intro part where Slash melts your face off with the guitar going into the main catchy riff (the version is a video is a lot longer than the one in the actual recording).

I feel like this song brought out the feel goodness of the early 90's. The line "I believe in miracles, and a miracle has happened tonight" I remember resonated with me at the time. I remember I sang this and another song when I was a kid as my first times at a karaoke place in Korea with my parents and other relatives, and remember them loling at my song choice (although MJ is pretty big in Korea, too).

The little trademark sound bites (ow, whoo hoo, shamon, etc.) that Michael interjects into his songs to color them definitely made an impression on me. It's little moments in the song like this where you really can feel the artists connection to the song they're singing through non-verbal cues.

Today's perspective:

The song is still awesome imo, which shows how much staying power Michael Jackson's music has. The overall theme and message of the song doesn't really make me too excited, but whenever I hear the intro to the song I just want to do a little jig down the street.

I have to say though the song does get weak towards the end; the rap in the middle of the song does take away from its quality a bit, which is unfortunate, but by that part of the song I already reset it to start over.

Friday, October 23, 2009

what's goin on? (not marvin gaye)

Somehow, I changed to arial font last entry, so to keep it consistent, I'm keeping all my music entries arial, because I am OCD.

So as I was perusing (looking through thoroughly, not the often misused definition) through the dearth of comments (I still after 7-8 years of blogging do not have a readership of a hot chick who wrote about how cool her boyfriend is or what she had for pinkberry last weekend, ef em el) I was reminded by my good friend Brian Lee (i don't know why i mentioned his last name, particularly because adding the Lee after Brian doesn't add to any specificity because the Brian Lee subset is probably 90% of the people named Brian) when he commented on my past entry on the next song on my emo playlist, called "What's Up" by Four Non-Blondes.

The song was ubiquitous, a hit at our elementary school for some odd reason, as little of us could probably relate with 20-somethinng lesbian angsty rockers at the time. I just remember one kid singing it to a teacher in defiance, and it was pretty funny at the time. Might be one of those you had to be there moments.

Anyway, listen here.


Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination
And I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
ooh, ooh ooh
and I try, oh my god do I try
I try all the time, in this institution
And I pray, oh my god do I pray
I pray every single day
For a revolution
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination

I suppose any rambunctious 9 year old would love a song that involved screaming at the top of one's lungs. I used to be produce high pitched noises at octaves not known to normal humans (resembling the sound of a pterodactyl, should one know what a pterodactyl sounded like 65 million years ago) using a technique that didn't involve an open throat sound as in normal screaming. Though I suppose the actual chorus isn't a scream, per se.

Anecdotally, I can only remember playing this numerous times whilst playing at this friend's house of mine that I do not have any contact with anymore (even facebook was unable to rectify that). As somewhat of an outcast during my earlier years growing up, I could understand the not fitting into the world part of the song that the singer goes through. Without going too deeply into the details of that, it would sufficeth to say that I often wondered, "What's going on?"

Today's perspective on the song:

It's kind of funny looking back since I'm 25 now, and the song probably has more relevance for me now. I suppose this was the "quarter-life crisis" anthem before John Mayer wrote his first song. Watching the music video kind of makes me like the song less, particularly because the whole lesbian non-blonde thing is too feminine power (brotherhood of man, for whatever that means, etc.) thing going on for me as I used to have no idea what exactly the Four Non-Blondes were, save that they were four...non-blondes.

The song isn't too complex, the concept and the structure are easy enough to understand at first glance. I think its simplicity and the somewhat catchy anthem like nature made the song popular.

What I do like is the techno remixed version, which you can find here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

my first song obsession

I hope that in these entries I will be reminded of something awesome or be inspired in someway, so bear with me if they seem rather boring. Or, don't read them. And die. Jay kay.

edit: My sister has notified me that this entry is too emo, proceed at your own cost. These entries will not all be emo, but I'm going through the moments episode by episode, I suppose I might find something about my own self that way.

"The details of my life are quite inconsequential.... Very well, where do I begin?" - Dr. Evil

In my almost 26 years (life's over btw, going from quarter to third life crisis) on this earth, I tried remembering as far back as I could for the song that has had an impact on me. I suppose the earliest I can remember is in my elementary school days, in 1992, when i was but 9 years old. Home Alone 2 had just come out and I got the Talkboy that Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin's character) uses in the movie. Unfortunately, the talkboy is around 2x the size as shown in the movie so you couldn't really fit it into your pocket, so basically I hate you Tiger Electronics (Hasbro). Anyhow, one thing I happened to record on my Talkboy was this song called "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum.

You can listen to it here.


Call you up in the middle of the night
Like a firefly without a light
You were there like a slow torch burning
I was a key that could use a little turning

So tired that I couldn't even sleep
So many secrets I couldn't keep
Promised myself I wouldn't weep
One more promise I couldn't keep

It seems no one can help me now
I'm in too deep
There's no way out
This time I have really led myself astray

Runaway train never going back
Wrong way on a one way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I'm neither here no there

Can you help me remember how to smile
Make it somehow all seem worthwhile
How on earth did I get so jaded
Life's mystery seems so faded

I can go where no one else can go
I know what no one else knows
Here I am just drownin' in the rain
With a ticket for a runaway train

Everything is cut and dry
Day and night, earth and sky
Somehow I just don't believe it


Bought a ticket for a runaway train
Like a madman laughin' at the rain
Little out of touch, little insane
Just easier than dealing with the pain

Runaway train never comin' back
Runaway train tearin' up the track
Runaway train burnin' in my veins
Runaway but it always seems the same

It seems that even as a kid, I had a propensity towards music that was emo in nature. I think what drew me most to this song was probably the catchy chorus and the singalongability. My sister probably went insane as I played this song on repeat for hundreds of times, something I do when I'm obsessed (I watched the Matrix probably around 100+ times and once memorized the dialogue and choreographed fight scenes).

At the end of elementary school and beginning of middle school was also a big transitional time for me, some details I won't get into because, well you know, it'll be all "whine one one why don't I call a wambulance" if i do. But tying into that, a big thing with this song for me was that I could lose myself in the music (the moment you own it you better never let it go go, el oh el tangents) and for a sliver of a moment, not worry about the real world. It seems that theme hasn't changed.

Today's perspective on the song:

The song doesn't really reverberate with me as much as it did back then, but it does have some moments that still ring for me; the last verse is a very nice touch to the end of the song. The visual picture of an insane man laughing at the rain coupled with the quieter dynamics and the tripling of the hard "ah" sound of the verse makes for a pretty potent combination.

What I found interesting was the music video (I didn't have MTV so I watched 0 music videos back in the day, which will be an interesting experience as I go through all of these) while depressing, actually brought most of the runaways back to their parents when they saw the video on TV. I hope to one day create something that changes people's lives as well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

the new series

In my days of old when I was a budding xanga user, I delivered justice more frequently to my subscribers. I feel that I have not done the same justice to my current readership, thus making the title of my blog a misnomer.

In an effort to inspire my own creativity, and to start writing more, I will start a series on something that has influenced my life, which is music. I'll probably start by analyzing the effects of certain songs/bands on my life/mood/thoughts and seeing why that was at different junctures of my life. I will also welcome any suggestions to music to broaden my musical knowledge spectrum (is that a term)

If anyone has any other ideas on what they'd like to hear from the mind of the tech, feel free to comment in this space. Oh yeah, I will also try to blog about the acting again, I have yet to do that this year. Hopefully something interesting will happen soon.

Organized chronologically, I will start with the very earliest experiences with music I can remember.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The acroynm list, updated

So, a lot of you guise might have trouble deciphering what I say (sometimes because you are internet n00bs). I had a previous entry where I went through all the acronyms that I use in everyday speak, but I suppose it's time for an updated list where you can now figure out what i'm saying. Some of them are common phrases, some of them are my own or friends' creations.

The List:

the old classic unique tech-isms
gdd - God (as an exclaimation), dick (what i'm calling you), die (the directive). has not been in use too often as of late. brian lee made an alternate form calling someone a dd (dick die, as a noun)

tityta - this still means this is tech you're talking about. probably will be used more often when starcraft 2 is released (additionally, tisatyta, as in this is scout [my roommate] and tech you're talking about, this would be our team name in vid games. personally i think this is tech and scout you're talking about sounds better but tisatyta does sound better than titasyta)

sbsan - stop being such a newb (see below for newb explanation)

hhw - hey hey, wah (the first two heys are a quick 16-th note like staccato and then an elongated WAH, to emphasize the futility of your whining)

wdycai - why don't you cry about it (usually said after a hhw)

currently used phrases
lol/lawl/lowl/lulz/lul - pretty much a standard phrase with now many dialects of usage indicating something that is funny, i tend to use lowl now most often at the moment, but am able to use any at any time.

rofl - much less used

(variations on rofl and lol)

-z0rs - a suffix used to emphasize
sux0rs - sucks a lot
pwnz0r3d - got pwn3d, a lot

ty - thank you

wtf - what the fuck (bad surprise)
wtg - what the gak (question surprise)
wtd - what that do (another question surprise)

omg/Zomg - optional Z, this is usually a good surprise

MR - so this actually came from my dad who told a somewhat funny story of a patient because he was trying to communicate with him but failed to see at the bottom of the clipboard that he was MR. you can guess what this means, it's a bit politically incorrect. example:

my sister: "Hey what's 3% of 100?"
me: "Are you MR?"

YLT - this came from my friends and me in vegas this year constantly going you like that after every sentence we spoke. or, you like how such and such happened. comes loosely from rounders when worm shows his ace of spades tattoo and says, you like that?
ILT - i like that
IDLT - i don't like that

stfu/gtfo - shut the fuck up/get the fuck out (you need a big tall glass of STFU)

imo - in my opinion

newb/n00b/nub - a fledgling. a tyro. a novice. a beginner. a neophyte. a dilettante. someone who chooses easy mode in video games when you obviously should at least start with the standard medium.

obv/obfv - obviously/obfuckingviously (my own creation, used rarely though)

tbh - to be honest

sjj - sweet, juicy, justice (used when something is right with the world)

FTW - for the win (usually used in victorious moments)
FTL - for the loss (usually used in moments of fail)

srs/srsly - serious(ly)

FML - fuck my life
FYL - fuck your life
FOL - fuck our lives
FHL - fuck his/her life

ffs - for fuck's sake (if i'm feeling scottish/irish)

FNR - for no reason

icwudt - i see what you did there (used when someone does something clever)
ucwidt - you see what i did there (used when i do something clever)

alternate spellings
hai - hi
no wai - no way
wat - what, but meaning, more like wat the hell are you talking about

disguised and elongated ways of saying shit
shiza minelli - a combination of shit and liza minelli
shitake mushrooms - a food i don't eat
shitzu - a dog
shikaka - see "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls"

if i think of any more i'll add them to the list. if you remember any, please let me know.

Friday, October 2, 2009

College was teh awsum

i was bored one summer day, i want to go back to college, yadayada.

enjoy, and if you don't, die.