I still like Crim3s - it might sound one of like edgier Crystal Castles demos, but I guess it’s this rawness that is so appealing.
Source: SoundCloud / CRIM3S
“The cheesiest songs all end with a smile
This won’t end with a smile, my love”
This is another beautifully heartbreaking song from Majical Cloudz’ upcoming “Impersonator”, out on 21st.
Judging from the strength of the EP and the 2 songs that appeared so far, “Impersonator” might be an “Album of the Year” contender.
Source: SoundCloud / Majical Cloudz
New Single from upcoming “Settle” - Disclosure hasn’t missed a track yet, this is no exception. Terrific track, even though it’s not as big as White Noise was… though let’s be honest it would be to top that.
Source: SoundCloud / Disclosure
And this is what I stumbled upon looking up some 70s music. I love how Japanese not imitate but entirely adapt influences to their likings and make them their own. Enjoy
So after the very promising teaser and lots of unofficial, confusing mixes that claimed “this is the real thing” we finally got the official version that’s been released on iTunes. There was a lot of hype after that teaser played at Coachella… and I’m not exactly sure if “Get Lucky” in its entirety lived up to that.
When you listen to the trailer, there’s not much beyond that in the Radio Edit, really - It’s still a nice song that will definitely attack us everywhere this summer on the radio, and I really dig the 70s disco homage as a direction… but the song leaves a bit more to desire - it just feels not fleshed out enough.
“Get Lucky” is rather simplistic, there’s basically one basic loop behind, and the song is carried entirely by Pharrell Williams - and it’s alright but then again I wish melody was more lush, that there was more lurking between the lyrics because the song feels bare and well, plain. That sort of disco music can be rich with melodies and pulsating beats and “Get Lucky” so far feels like a draft for something bigger. To put it bluntly, there’s just not much going on in there: we have Williams singing his verses, there’s backing music and some “Daft Punk-ish” stuff towards the end that it’s more of a feature than actually making the song.
Maybe that’s what sort of irritates me about the track - Daft Punk’s presence comes late in the song and feels like as such is divided into two. It’s interesting that Daft Punk sort of took backseat with “Get Lucky”, having a very fun distorted interim featured very briefly in the song but in the end it feels more like a Pharrell William’s song featuring Daft Punk. It’s frustrating - because in the teaser that bit was its crescendo, that climax that left you extremely excited about the real thing. In that regard, “Get Lucky” disappoints. It’s a nice song, but it could be so much more.
ももいろクローバーZ「BIRTH Ø BIRTH」MV (by stardustdigital)
can someone tell me what this is? what band is this?
i appreciate these face masks and this scary music
I’ve never seen an idol group like that in S&Mish masks and music like this… really cool
(Also I decided to read the group’s name as Pink Crowbar rather than Clover… it actually suits it better)
I think you are brushing off the fact white dudes are pretending to be Japanese a bit too much…like, it isn’t a tiny fun thing to pretend to imitate another race. Identity isn’t a dress up game, and some white dudes going around doing interviews pretending to be Japanese girls is not cool.
Also, uhhhhh, the part about them “not making this a selling point” seems wrong - if this weren’t a selling point, they would just release their music and hope that got attention. This Japanese stuff is totally a selling point - nearly every write up mentioned it! Even if it’s just in passing, that’s inaccurate and should be called out, regardless of how big a publication makes it.
Speaking of…the big problem here (besides racial masquerading) is music websites just gobbling up whatever press release mumbo jumbo gets shoved to them. Pitchfork used to be THE best place for music news on the web. Now, they post cell-phone footage of commercials and copy-paste press release fluff which ISN’T JOURNALISM. And I really do think it’s great you questioned it but most people are going to see this go unquestioned on sites like Pitchfork and The Fader and THEY AREN’T going to just assume it’s obviously a gag. When you say “who really believes they were kids”…well, lots of super important publications seemingly bought into it.
And while we are talking about Pitchfork, I get that they are catering to an American audience and I am certainly coming from somewhere where this matters more to me. But still…why CAN’T they try to expand a bit more? They’ve had moments where they’ve explored South African music (behind Die Antwoord) and Middle Eastern pop…heck, when they started up, they reviewed all sorts of Japanese music, like freakin’ Puffy. I get why they don’t, but I also see that as a cop out, to just playing it safe with your audience (an audience that I guess likes 2NE1 based on that interview they did last year?).
Man I don’t know…nobody is blowing this out of proportion, BenZel pretended to be Japanese and 100 percent deserve to be called out on that. Simply saying it’s “no big deal” seems like a total cop out to actually dealing with a problematic issue.
Anyways, to not reiterate too much of what Patrick has said since he did cover some of the points you presented, I just wanted to focus on the aspect of racial identity that this plays again and my personal take on it being of Asian descent (sorry if I am repeating some things I said in my original post).
I feel like saying it is an overreaction of sorts just plays into a deeper argument. While this may all seem fairly innocent on the surface because of the identity BenZel have assumed and how they are carrying it doesn’t make it any less harmful, in my opinion.
By thinking that these sort of things shouldn’t have a harsh reaction misses the mark of how some things manage to maintain political correctness while others don’t.
For example, wouldn’t this have caused an even huger uproar if BenZel were two Caucasian men portraying African teens and going through with racial stereotypes that were associated with popular culture concerning African people (for example, if BenZel were to undergo a fake hip-hop persona as opposed to a stereotypically ~kawaii~ Japanese schoolgirl one)?
Even if the stereotypes and racial identities were changed and weren’t necessarily “derogatory” in that situation (because being a rapper would also be a “cool” persona, albeit it one stereotyping African people) the likelihood of them being scrutinized for falsifying their race at all would still most likely cause a media uproar.
But I think BenZel gets this odd degree of sympathy because they’re portraying Asian people, and being Asian American myself, my experiences of being perceived as stereotypically Asian has always wained mostly on the lighthearted side of things (well, aside from all the times I was called “chink” or yelled at about WWII at school, but I’ll try not to go deep into my own personal quarrels with growing up Asian). Anyways, the “good” Asian isstill a stereotype. And even if BenZel is acting “silly,” it’s still offensive to some extent.
Especially since I feel like there is this comical degree of being Asian and a lot of aspects of being Asian or Asian American is really not taken that seriously, and that xenophobia is not really seen as problematic as it used to bebecausewe see being Asian as sort of lighthearted. Asian people have this association, dare I even say, “privilege,” at times where we have become somewhat assimilated into predominantly Caucasian societies due to the stereotypes presented as us possessing qualities of being passive and submissive, yet intelligent and hard workers. If an Asian is seen as doing something bad in the media, we are usually shocked. We as Asians are thought to be well behaved, and that we don’t speak up.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that being Asian isn’t considered a “bad” thing, but it’s still awful to be lumped as the stereotypical Asian person, I certainly don’t fit that mold, but I sure as hell have been treated as such and have had certain expectations aimed at me because of me being Asian. I don’t need a group like BenZel to think they know what it’s like being Asian, even if they’re just having a good time. I don’t think their “ignorance” makes them out to be taken less seriously.
What I’m trying to say again is that it’s harmful to reinforce what BenZel is doing in all directions. It’s harmful for BenZel to reinforce the archetypical Japanese girl and find it okay to appropriate somebody else’s racial identity when they have no idea what it means to be of that race at all. I just believe that labeling something even as seemingly insignificant as BenZel as being overreacted to is still just taking too much of a passive stance on it.
I think people should take this whole ordeal very seriously and wonder why it hasn’t been as much of a problem simply because the identity of topic is Asian or that BenZel is self-aware and not that serious, or even for the reason that people should get the joke because the signs are apparent and who would believe this anyways, etc..
I’m sure people knew that when blackface was donned it wasn’t really an African person underneath, but it still didn’t make it anymore understandable or humorous. It’s still racist either way. Or if not racist, BenZel just needs to understand why this should be seen as offensive.
Guys if you don’t mind I will reply to both of your responses at once (also, sorry, pinakoteka is my personal blog and the response got posted there, managing 3 accounts sure gets confusing):
I don’t want to come across as racist or ignorant but I just don’t or didn’t see BenZel’s act as that inflammatory. You might accuse me of being biased - I am too, a “white dude”, but in fact coming from Eastern European country I would say my culture and the background is generally even more disregarded than the Asian (and I feel using “Asian” as an umbrella label is already a bit depreciative) one. While the Asians might have suffer from being regarded as harmless, nice people, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian or even Kazakh are portrayed as angry, hateful alcoholics. There’s a lots of admiration to the cultures of Asian countries that I wish was there for mine for example. What I am saying is the fact that they assumed that the japanese schoolgirls can produce a track with Jessie Ware as their debut could be even taken as appreciative, however their fake and stereotypical “cuteness” annoying might be.
Maybe that’s a stretch - but then again I feel making them out as more evil as they are a little bit too much as well. BenZel is not the biggest perpetrator here - the mainstream media enforce harmful stereotypes ten times more effectively than some tiny hipster act that in retrospective few care about (as much as I like their output it’s neither earth-shattering nor lasting in that internet already sort of moved on, until we hear more quality stuff from them) - why Eastern Europeans are portrayed on TV with super thick accents? Why woman are treated as objects more than the men are? Why gay people are always overtly camp and bitchy? Why Asians are portrayed the way you find offensive? We can go on like that forever and it makes the discussion bigger and deeper than it really should be for the band of this caliber. Yes BenZel is ignorant, but I think they are portrayed as more evil and harmful than they actually are… you know, there are kids like that who take up 2 “cool” kanjis, make up a ridiculous name and pretend to be Japanese. That’s why I responded to the comments. I do agree they should be called out, but the part of me feels like their act really is no big deal…
There’s ignorance everywhere and it’s inevitable - I live in the Western country, and I face silly/funny remarks everyday - I turn blind eye on them most of the time because they are harmless - I know better after all and don’t want waste my breath on the general ignorance, since it’s insignificant and will always be there. Just like Spanish are said to be machos, and German to be cold, so will Japanese schoolgirls always suffer from that sort of meta-narrative. That is also why I feel their act is insignificant at the moment because their project so far is insignificant. To me, or even to Pitchfork or Fader (their laziness and click-whoring journalism is a different debate altogether) - new music comes and goes every day, and to address appearance of 2NE1 on Pitchfork - I think they have taken this fascination in Hallyu as more of a one season fascination, than a rightful act on its own sadly enough.
Criticism should be aimed at Pitchfork, yes, but I think the bigger they got, the more they had to worry about their own image, revenue and et cetera. You know, that’s just how things are, thankfully we have blogs like your Make Believe Melodies that make up for that as well as musicians tumblrs like your CaramelMew or Elite Gymnastics one that engages people in the discussion the way Pitchfork would never let to happen (where are the comments there huh?) and we should cherish this instead.
My 2nd full length album and most recent release since 2011. This album is very dear to me—I hope it can mean something significant to you too.
1. The Center
2. The Force
4. Focused Chaos
5. Clean Slate (feat. Gavin Turek)
6. Foolish (feat. Gavin Turek)
7. Go With It (feat. MNDR)
8. Spilling Autumn
9. Sweet Williams
10. Soul to Seoul
11. Green (feat. Andreya Triana)
12. Waiting for the Break of Dawn
13. Moon Rise (feat. Jesse Boykins III)
Source: SoundCloud / TOKiMONSTA