Singing About the Comfort Women

A beautiful thing about music is how it, like other forms of art through history, captures a moment in time, becoming a way to address current issues in a language that transcends languages. Political songs are not new; from Bob Marley’s I Shot the Sheriff to John Lennon’s Imagine, music that speaks directly to one’s heart is sometimes the best way to handle a controversial topic.

Such is the case in the following song about comfort women- aptly titled “Comfort Women Song”:

The Japan comfort women were women in the second World War who serviced the military in various comfort stations throughout Asia. In 1993, more than twenty years ago, the Japanese Government made several investigations into the issue before publicly apologizing in the well-known Kono Statement:

“The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.”
Source

The atonement also included personal letters of apology written to all surviving comfort women, and millions of dollars disbursed to the latter through the special government-run foundation, the Asian Women’s Fund.

The issue has, however, recently been brought up anew, particularly by the South Korean and Chinese governments- both of whom, it should be noted, have ongoing disputes with Japan over island territories. It’s clear that the topic has become politicized.

Here are a few more “Political Songs” we love:

Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit

It’s sometimes hard to believe this anti-racism is more than 75 years old; referring to the lynching of black men, it still gives us chills:

The Clash’s Clampdown

An anthem for the disgruntled working class.

John Lennon’s Imagine

We love this one because it’s less Anti-War and more Pro-Peace.

K-Pop Group Loses 2 Members in a Tragic Accident

Ladies' Code in October 2013

Earlier this month, popular K-Pop girl group Ladies’ Code was involved in a motor accident, resulting in the death of two of their members.

It was raining heavily he van carrying the group crashed into a guard rail on a highway near Seoul. They were on their way back to the South Korean capital after recording a television program in Daegu, a city in the southeast. Witnesses reported seeing the van roll over multiple times.

Twenty-two year old Go Eun-bi, known as EunBi, died shortly after the accident. Kwon Ri-sae, popularly known as RiSe, was treated for severe cranial and abdominal injuries, and was in critical condition, comatose, for four days before passing away. The group’s final two members, Ashley, Sojung and Zuny, were injured but survived the crash.

There was much mourning at the recent funeral for EunBi, attended by hundreds of mourners, including many from the world of K-Pop. The K-Pop music scene is thriving in South Korea, a nation which has had many international problems lately, including ongoing hostilities with North Korea, and a disturbing lawsuit filed against the government by Korean War US comfort women.

The song below, I’m Fine Thank You from the group’s second album has topped several real-time music charts.

Ladies’ Code was first formed in February last year by Polaris Entertainment. Their debut song, Bad Girl, was an instant hit.

Scythe Whomps That Cyberpunk Prog Rock Punch!

A genre has been on the rise the past few years. Spearheaded into the minds of producers and musicians alike through the soundtracks of the motion picture Drive, and the video game Hotline Miami, and the Far Cry 3 DLC, Blood Dragon, this new retro based genre, dubbed “Synthwave” or “Outrun,” has been make a tidal wave in various internet communities! More games and movies seem to be taking a synthesizer heavy approach to their soundtracks, with the Elijah Wood vehicle “Maniac” being just one of those.

 

There is no doubt, with helpful blogs such as Neon Vice and Synthetix.FM, you can be satiating your 80’s itch for the rest of 2014 and well into 2015! But before 2014 closes, you might want to set your ears towards the giant project lead by Jon of the Shred, called Scythe.

This Scythe release is a 19 song compilation, each track featuring collaborative efforts of Jon of the Shred. The artist list is an abundance of some of the most killer artists in the scene! These names include and DATAStream, Python Blue, Miami Supercops, Riddlis, Dakarius, 20SIX Hundred, Beatbox Machinery, Hide and Sequence, Quantum, The Maniac Agenda, Cluster Buster, KFDDA, Bixby Snyder, Killstarr, Protector 101, and Ed Harbinger! Quite a lineup!

The idea is basically a concept universe, or in music terms, a never-ending concept album. Instead of being a sub-genre of music dedicated to similar sounds, it is moreso a sub-genre of music connected through a supplemental, cohesive narrative. Bi-weekly releases on Synthetix.FM will house videos (posted on the ever-popular Luigi Donatello Youtube Channel) featuring customized art to depict the events occurring in each song. Each Synthetix.FM posting will feature chapters to further flesh out the story, and the universe of Scythe.

Taken from the bandcamp release page, the story is as follows:

“Scythe is three tales that all take place simultaneously in the wake of the great Circuit Board Lunacy. This takes place 1 year after the events of the Apocalyptic Dawn. It appears the Impaled, the ravenous undead that ripped through a Paragon laboratory and ended Scythian society, is only the beginning of the planet Scythe’s troubles…

As the dust settles upon the burning Camp Terror, three groups set out in different directions. The Meganet system has gained full sentience and has hijacked the Paragons train convoy, heading north towards the Ocean of Ice, an avenging force. But when the cybernetic resistance arrive, a clash of steel and circuits commences. The Meganet cyborgs wind up battling the Frozen Soldiers, a barbarian race that live outside of Scythian society, free of it’s dystopian rule, high in their mountaintop homes. Blood and circuits stain the snow as the deadly quarrel escalates.
 
Meanwhile, what remains of the Camp Terror rebel alliance has escaped to the edge of the Forest of the Impaled, meeting up with the Lone Musicians army. Joining forces they flee together into Sector Alpha Centauri, a hellish bog deep within the Forest of the Impaled. There they stumble upon an illegal drug manufacturing plant, where the terrorist organization Euphoric Damnation draws up the Entity drug from deep within the swamp. Entity is a powerful substance that causes violent and dangerous overdoses, and Euphoric Damnation is planning to use this drug in an effort to wage war against Paragon. The rebel alliance watches from afar as the Wasterider biker gang invades the drug manufacturing plant. A bloody battle between the Wasteriders and Euphoric Damnation movement ensues…” (cont. reading)

It is no doubt that this release is going to be HUGE! Cyberpunk, heavy metal, progressive rock, electronic music, and synth fans will certainly delight in this epic undertaking!

Best Jazz Music Blogs to Follow

Jazz music is cool and has its own following around the world. Although it originated in the southern part of the U.S. at the start of the 20th century, it has gradually spread throughout the globe producing numerous musicians in this specific genre.

jazz performance

Jazz music today is of different styles owing to the influences of various musical cultures. These include the original New Orleans, Kansas City, gypsy, avant garde, Afro-Cuban, West Coast, Indo, soul, free, Latin, punk, modal and chamber among many others.

If you’re looking for some great websites on jazz music, we recommend several of them here. More »

The Rolling Stones: 50 Years Since and Still Rocking

If there’s one rock and roll band that has endured for a long time, one of them has to be The Rolling Stones. Since 1962, this band has been performing their music all over the world and the members have shown that age will not stop them from doing what they love most.

Even in their senior years, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts still have the energy to rock and roll all for their loyal fans. For their 50th year, the band started going on tour in November 2012 for the first time in five years. They performed in London and the U.S. which were all highly successful as tickets were sold out in a very short time.

To celebrate their golden jubilee, you can check out some cool postcards on the HowtheStonesroll website.

How the Stones Roll

The graphics are a representation of the band’s journey from the time they first performed at the Marquee Club to their 50th anniversary concerts at the O2 arena in London. Snippets of information about the graphics are also provided making it a very informative postcard worth sharing with music lovers.

1984-I'm-Not-Your-Drummer

Whether you’re a fan of the Rolling Stones or not, you are free to share the postcards on your favorite social media or your blog.

1986-Stones-At-War

4 Music Shows That Put ‘Glee’ To Shame

glee

 

Music has long been a fairly popular theme in TV shows – it is after all one of the elements that allow a show to linger in your brain in the form of catchy theme songs or memorable performances. You probably already know about shows like Glee and Smash, but there are actually musical shows out there that are better than them. Here are some examples:

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Exciting Thai Pop

The Asian pop music scene has been at its most exciting in the last five years. Whereas before, it was only the Japanese music scene that has gained the attention of the rest of the world, the last few years have seen emergence of new music markets like China (Hong Kong), Taiwan, and South Korea – which is exploding like crazy. One of the newer music markets that’s getting the attention of the rest of the world is Taiwan’s music scene. The Thai music scene is growing at a remarkable pace and it is also getting more worldwide recognition. If you study at a Thai language school, you’ll definitely hear the new Thai pop that is so hot right now. More »

Jennifer Lopez: Her Beauty and Her Music

People can’t stop talking about Jennifer Lopez. She’s one of the most successful women in Hollywood. She’s sold over 55 million records, and was included in VH1’s “100 Greatest Women in Music.” She’s also one of the highest paid actresses, and by 2012, her net worth was estimated at a staggering $250 million. Not bad for a girl who grew up in the Bronx! More »

Android Music Apps You’ll Love

Android smartphones, just like any smartphone, is the perfect device for both business and entertainment. And when it comes to portable entertainment, listening to music is the perfect activity for those who are on the go.

There are many music apps that you can read about in various Android websites. If you’re looking for music apps that you want to install on your Android device here are some that you should definitely check out: More »

Top 7 Songs About Cars and Driving

Songs about cars and driving are awesome because a lot of the time spent listening to music is in your vehicle while the song blasts through your speakers and pours out of your rolled-down windows. Or maybe you only listen to music on you iPod. Either way, songs about cars are awesome, so here are 7 of the best songs about cars and/or driving.

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