Friday, December 18, 2009

017 snow

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It's 20h16, and it's not warm.

Tonight's post will have to be short as well because my wife will be home soon. She works until 20h15...well, maybe I have a little time, unless she gets a ride, but I wouldn't blame her if she asked someone to give her a ride because it's really cold outside. I just got back actually from shopping; I almost didn't make it to the stores because of work, but I did and was able to find what I was looking for. Honestly, I haven't had much time to go to the stores with work and all, but I have been able to find a couple of things that I hope she'll like. Of course, the Internet has also been a life-saver because really, when you don't have a car, it is quite difficult to get around here because the buses are not realiable in winter; you could be waiting for a long time for them to arrive.

Well, I finally have something to put on my wine blog. No, I haven't posted yet, but this past week, we had a wine party and it went really well. I hope to do it again soon. I won't go into too much detail, but there were six wines, and a lot of food. Everyone seemed to have a good time, but I think I drank too much. It seems that when I drink, I get, how should I say, preachy. It's strange, too, because I don't remember ever getting that way back in Canada, nor when I first came to Japan, but now that I think about it, I tend to talk a lot when I have been drinking, and well, when you're somewhat tipsy, you don't know, well, when to shut up. I'll just leave it at that. In any case, the wine was overall good, and so was the food; definitely, a good evening was had by all. If you are interested, I hope to post about it tomorrow, well if I have the time because I still have some shopping left to do.

Anyway, on to the song. Honestly, I wasn't sure which song to post. Recently, I have been recording only melodies and not really writing any words. To clarify, I mean that sometimes when I have a melody in my head, I can play it out on the guitar, but when I don't have any words to sing, I tend to mumble or make up any old gibberish to catch the sound I want. Then later, I go back and try to put words to it. Therefore, I have many pieces to post, but since I haven't gotten around to putting real lyrics to them, I can't really post them now can I, so tonight was going to use my last piece, thereby forcing me to sit down and properly record the others. However, on my way home, a melody popped into my head, and words came really easily; luckily I had my recorder, so I recorded it. I don't sing in French very often, but this one is in French. After I came home, I recorded it, but then immediately the song I am going to post this evening came out of nowhere, and I thought, 'Hey, this is really catchy!', so I recorded it as quickly as possible. The song is definitely funky pop bluesy something; I'm not really sure what you classify it as, but here is the song for this evening, which means I still have two songs left, but that still means I have to record the others soon, or I'll be in trouble. Where do all these melodies and ideas come from?

cheers,
alexander

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

016 say yes

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It's 18h07, and it's a winter wonderland outside - I'm not kidding. We got hit hard on Tuesday, and well, it doesn't look like it's going to go away any time soon.

Well tonight will have to be a short post because I have some shopping to do. Tonight we are having a wine party, and I'm responsible for the wine, so if I don't leave soon, the store will be closed. Actually, I'm really looking forward to this because first of all, it has been a really long time since we had one, and second, well, I love wine! Tonight will also be our first blind tasting - only I will know the wines - so it should be interesting; hey, I may finally have something to post on my wine blog! Yes! Of course, it's difficult to have such a party every week because of schedules and of course financial reasons, but it would be great if we could because as many sommeliers and wine advisers recommend, the more wines you try and the more people you try them with the more fun and educational it can be.

As for tonight's song, it's one of my more poppier songs. Honestly, it reminds of something I've heard before, but I can't figure out what, so I'm safe from copyright infringement although it is only the melody that sounds familiar. As for the theme of the song, I would say it's about love, although there may be a tint of vampire with the part about watching the sun rise one more time, or it could just be about having to leave someone you love and this is their last night together. As you can see, I'm not really sure what it's about because I wrote it spontaneously and I just liked how the melody and words mixed, so I left it like that, but despite its spontaneity, there is potential in those lyrics for various interpretations. If you are interested, let me know what you think about this song's meaning, or more importantly, how it makes you feel. I would be glad to hear from you.

cheers,
alexander

Friday, December 11, 2009

015 what would I do without you?

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It's 17h56, and I've just heard sirens nearby. It sounded like an ambulance. I think this time of year, many people are using their heaters, and as a result there tends to be more fires, accidents etc. I hope whoever it is is OK.

Well, I spent some time again today clicking on the next blog only to find more and more reading and writing blogs. There are really so many out there, aren't there? It still amazes me. However, I was able to stumble across these two blogs both of which have nothing in common with one another nor with the theme of reading books and writing books. Here are the links

Brandon

Bernie Gonzalez

I liked Brandon's blog for his accounts of living in Japan and now Korea for the first time. Some of his stories are quite funny, and quite true to me because I also have been there and can relate to what he's saying. As for the other blog, the cartoons are cool and I like the Hammer Horror reference. Actually let's link that up, too.

Hammer Horror

Definitely check out the archive; I love the Dracula films.

Anyway, this post will have to be short because I have some shopping to do, and the place I have to go closes early. Before I go though, I just want to mention another band that has influenced me, but more recently - Vampire Weekend. I am sure that many of you know this group, but if you don't check them out because in my humble opinion, they are one of the best bands out there right now. Here is one of their songs,



Well, as for my song tonight, it's probably not as good as Vampire Weekend, but it's quite catchy I think. Honestly, I should probably post some of these on Youtube and see what happens, but for some reason, Youtube scares me. Does it scare you?

Cheers,
alexander

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

014 boogeyman

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It's 18h34, and I think it's quite mild, or at least it was when I came here this morning.

Well, winter is finally upon us; it started snowing Monday, but most of it has disappeared now. Nevertheless, since Monday I have been walking to work, mainly because riding a bicycle in the snow is a little too adventurous for my blood, but also because I need the exercise. Yes, metabolism has struck with a vengeance, and I've put on a few pounds to say the least. Hopefully, walking to work each day - it takes about an hour to go there and back - will help me shed a few pounds.

Recently, I've discovered that blogger has a new function where if you click on the 'Next Blog' button, you'll probably be brought to a blog that is similar to your own, but so far, no luck. Honestly, I never knew so many people used blogs to review books. I spent about 10 minutes or so, clicking the button then going back and doing it again, and about 90% of the blogs that appeared were about books; interestingly, my blog is not about books at all, so I really don't know how they associate these blogs with mine. If someone could let me know, that would be great. What I was hoping for was to find other blogs like mine that showcase original music, but perhaps everyone in that boat is over at myspace, but despite having an account there, I never really got into myspace, maybe because of the look or the upload capacity - not sure.

This morning I heard something straight out of a sci-fi movie - scientists are developing a contact lense that will function as a computer. It seems that you just pop in the contact and the screen appears in front of you. Of course, I only heard this this morning, so I really don't have any details, but my first thought was that if some people are so oblivious when talking on cell phones - I don't know how they don't get killed while using them - what will happen if they have a computer screen in front of their face? I picture many people with bruises and broken noses for a while. Or maybe they will have to close their eyes while using it, so then we get a bunch of people talking aloud with their eyes shut. Can you imagine that? A bus full of people with their eyes closed surfing the Internet? It would be a very bizarre world indeed.

Well, I should get going, but first, just a little about the song. I wrote it this week or last, I forget exactly, but I really like this because it's very calm, relaxing, but also poppy. I also like the lyrics which I wrote in a very short time - less than 10 minutes maybe? I think those songs have the most potential, the ones that you create in a flash. There is just something energetic, raw about those that make them fun to play over and over again. As for the lyrics, I would say that it's a parent protecting his or her child, although I would be interested to hear what you think. If you'd like, leave a comment or email me at sneakergroove(a)hotmail.com.

Also, if you are interested visit my other blogs. There is one for learning French, one for English vocabulary, and one for wine, although I haven't started it yet. Honestly though, even though I want to have a wine blog, I realize that I never have much to say about wine, not enough anyway to have a blog. In due time, I guess... in due time.

Cheers,
alexander

Friday, December 4, 2009

013 fear of cars

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It's 18h01, and the heater is making all sorts of noises.

Yeah, I am not sure what it's trying to tell me, but every day around this time, it starts to cackle and pop and then after a few minutes it goes back to sleep leaving the room nice and toasty.

I can't believe it's Friday again, which means that Monday is almost here, and then it'll be Friday once more, and I'll have no idea of where the time went. I don't really have any plans, except for doing some Xmas shopping, but other than that, I've got nothing going on. Of course, I won't go into that because, well, it's not that interesting for you to hear that I have no plans, now is it?

What I will talk about is Ben Harper. I was thinking of who to introduce this week because it has been a while since I talked about my influences, and Ben Harper came to mind. I haven't really listened to his new stuff though, but his first two albums, especially the second one, were awesome. I probably should check out his recent material, but the first two albums were solo performances, whereas later he's with a band. I especially like his slide technique, something which I can't really do, and well, never really fit my style, but when you hear it done right, it's really nice.

The song I am posting tonight will be a little different from the samples of Ben Harper I am going to post, but these songs are beautiful and you should really listen to them. If you like these songs, I strongly suggest you listen to more of him because he is amazing.







I just realized that all three songs came from his second, and I couldn't really think of any songs from his first that I would post, so maybe it's only his second album that really affected, or it could be that I just forgot - it has been a few years since I listened to him. The last video is of him with Jack Johnson, another artist that I know more by name and not music. I was told once that one of my songs sounded like his, but until I listen to him I can't really say. Anyway, before I head on to my song, here are two links, one for Ben Harper and the other for Jack Johnson.

Ben Harper

Jack Johnson

Well, I wrote this song (see above) or this part of it this week. One night earlier this week I was home and this song came out of nowhere - I like those - but I didn't have the time to really record it until last night, and I'm glad I did because the song had been stuck in my head until then. As for the meaning, I would say escape would be it. It seems that many of my songs are about escaping or running away, or going to somewhere quiet where there are lights or cars or city noise. Maybe I'm trying to tell myself something? Anyway, this will definitely be one of the songs on this blog that I will try to work on for performing live because I think this could be a very good song if well rehearsed. I am not sure if I will change or add anything extra to the music because as I mentioned in an earlier post, sometimes songs sound OK as they are even if they are simple, and if you go and add something more, it could completely ruin it.

Well, I should get going because it's getting late. If you ever like a song of mine please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Cheers,
alexander

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

012 tomorrow let's sleep in

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It's 18h36, and it's quite warm for a December day.

I didn't post anything last week because I had to go to Akita. I won't go into any detail, but it was for personal reasons. I will say however that I got sick while I was there and had to go to the hospital. Yes, that's right, the hospital. At first I thought I had drunk too much at the family gathering, but when I continued to get sick until 5 in the morning, I knew it wasn't from drinking. Also, several other family members reported getting sick, so something tells me it was something we ate. However, honestly, I don't know why I got sick because the doctor could not find any reason. He gave me some medicine and sent me on my way. I have to say though that I must have looked crazy to the other patients because I was wearing my brother-in-law's sweatshirt, my father-in-law's sweatpants and I was carrying around a garbage can with me just in case I got sick there, but with all those people I did my best not to. Fortunately, it was not too serious and now I am back to work feeling much better.

Well, enough about that. I still can't believe it's December. Time really flies, doesn't it? I haven't even started Xmas shopping yet and before you know it Santa will be here. I do have some ideas of what to buy though; it's just finding the time to buy them.

So, tonight's song - yeah, I know, this post might end up being a little shorter than usual, but really, once I become busier, I will probably have to keep my posts short or I am going to find myself pinched for time - is quite poppy, probably one of my happier tunes. To be honest, the more I listen to this song, the more my vocals resemble Eddie Vedder's even if it is only a little. Again for those of you who don't know who he is, he's the lead singer of Pearl Jam (the link is on the right). I think it's a song that would definitely sound nice live with the right bass and drums behind it. It could definitely be one of my catchier tunes as well, and of course, we all like catchy tunes, just not those that get stuck in your head when you don't want them to, then it's just horrible. As for the meaning, I am not sure yet as to what I want to say here, but considering the lyrics are about sleeping in until the sun sets, I could say that it is another song about vampires, but I'm not really sure, and no, I am not that goth.

Well, I should be going because I have some things to do, but before I do, I should tell you about the links to my other blogs on the right. There's one for French learning, one for wine (which I really need to start), one for vocabulary learning and one for education. The French blog will be posted every Monday for now, the vocabulary one, I will try to post every weekday, and the wine one every Sunday, but as of yet, I haven't gotten around to posting. There are some links on it though for wineries in Japan and for some shops here in Hakodate. If you're interested please check them out.

Cheers,
alexander