Thursday, 9 October 2014

Bieber vs Miku

This ten-minute video is actually quite instructive about the two sides of the popular music scene – human and virtual. It also covers ground that doesn't tend to be mentioned very often, and could even be helpful to former 'Beliebers' who have recently gone off their former idol. Here, you might find out why it all went wrong for him, and many others before.

As always, it is important to remember that Vocaloid does not replace human performers, but merely adds to choice in the marketplace. There were those, years ago, who bemaoned the arrival of piano-keyboard type synthesiers, fearing they'd supplant guitars. They did not, but augmented them instead. Now it is commonplace to have both, whether on record or at live performances.

This video, though, concentrates on the actualities of the two methods and what effect they can have on the person or the product. It is a useful reference work...

Monday, 22 September 2014

Zero Zero

We are lucky to be living in an age of musical composing/performing geniuses. We have the likes of Yuki Kajiura, Jean-Michel Jarre and Joe Hisaishi, for a start – and we have Mike Batt. Now, Mike is often criticised simply for having written The Wombling Song – but that is as silly as having a go at Neil Innes for doing A Way With Words or Ralph McTell for Tickle on the Tum.

One of Mike Batt's masterpieces is Zero Zero, which he devised, composed the music for, performed in and co-directed, back in 1982. It had (and has) many prophetic elements, and was very well formulated. If you pay really close attention to the song lyrics, you'll probably be startled to discover a lot of material meshed-in with the underlying story that will get you thinking anew. I bought the album more-or-less as soon as it came out, and it is here with me today.

Mike has generously posted a video of the entire performed work, on his YouTube channel, and permitted it to be shared – so reserved forty minutes or so, and let yourself venture into the world of System 605 and Zero Zero...

Saturday, 20 September 2014

'Secret Police' by Miku

This is the Project DIVA version of Secret Police, given the googoo888 treatment – so expect top-notch quality, English subtitles and lots of costume changes. This definitely needs to be viewed full-screen and in as high a resolution as your system can handle.

Although this song is, as always, a sheer delight, and is great fun if taken as a parody, it does also carry a powerful message and might make you think. That I'd count as being A Good Thing in itself; but for now, simply enjoy this excellent performance...

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Star Trek Continues – Episode 2

I filed this away a few months ago, unsure whether the series was really continuing, and (mainly because of my health issues) failed to follow it up. Episode 3 has appeared, some weeks ago, so it looks like 'Continues' continues!

The second of these Vic Mignona stories is again in the vein of the original Star Trek, with Vic's Kirk being near enough spot-on as before. Even the story, and the way it is handled, are classic Trek in nature and treatment. There are a couple of omissions, such as what happened to the other ship near the end, and it is a little heavy-handed on the slavery aspect; but overall it's still very good Trek for those who are fans of the original series...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Telling Your World

Place Miku on a stage with a (modern) piano, let the audience in with their glow-sticks, and see what happens.

This isn't a real concert performance, but has been presented as if it had been, and even without English words will touch the hearts of many. This piano version of Tell Your World is very soft and 'close up', and here has been rendered near enough to perfection. I gather that the video is an entry in this year's MD Cup contest, and I do hope it wins or is runner-up.

For all the flashy stuff (much of which is fun) that is entered into this annual event, sometimes it takes something as straightforward s this to show just what can be done simply by playing it completely straight. You'll want to switch this to full-screen view...