湘南海鷗 (南拳媽媽)

There’s been this song I kept hearing on the radio that I liked but didn’t know who it was by. It always seemed to play when there was nobody I could ask about who it was. Yesterday I finally solved the mystery. I stopped by Rose Music on Zhongxiao East Rd. near Sogo and visited their listening stations. For some reason nobody thinks about putting the “top 20” CDs into listening stations. It’s always crap like “Mountain Love Instrumental Music As Played On The Zitar” instead. I guess they figure if the CD is on the top 20 list that they don’t need to bother promoting it further. Anyhow, Rose actually had a few listening stations with, you know, popular stuff in them so I was able to track down the song I was after which is 湘南海鷗 (Hunan Seagull) by 南拳媽媽 (Southern Fist Mama) on their album 藏寶圖 (Treasure Map) of which I promptly bought a copy.


南拳媽媽 – 湘南海鷗

The lyrics are kinda cheesy, for example part of the chorus is “我們手握緊因為水很冰” (We hold hands because the water’s very cold) but the music is good and Lara sounds cute. There are a few other tracks on the CD that have potential, and the set also includes a DVD with five music videos, so it’s a pretty good deal.

Lyrics: New York Is A Woman (Suzanne Vega)

I’ve been listening to Suzanne Vega for ages and she’s finally released a new album recently called ‘Beauty & Crime’ which is pretty good. Even better, it was available on iTunes Plus (high bit-rate and no DRM!). Probably the best track on it is ‘New York Is A Woman’. I tried to find correct lyrics for it but couldn’t find any one site that had the complete and correct lyrics (some were correct but incomplete, others were complete but incorrect), so here’s my version:

Artist: Suzanne Vega
Song: New York Is A Woman
Album: Beauty & Crime

New York City spread herself before you
With her bangles and her spangles and her stars
You were impressed with the city so undressed
You had to go out cruising all the bars

Your business trip extended through the weekend
Suburban boy here for your first time
From the 27th floor above the midtown roar
You were startled by her beauty and her crime

And she’s every girl you’ve seen in every movie
Every dame you’ve ever known on late night TV
In her steam and steel is the passion you feel endlessly

New York is a woman, she’ll make you cry
And to her, you’re just another guy.

Look down and see her ruined places
Smoke and ash still rising to the sky
She’s happy that you’re here but when you disappear
She won’t know that you’re gone to say goodbye

New York is a woman, she’ll make you cry
And to her, you’re just another guy

And she’s every girl you’ve seen in every movie
Every dame you’ve ever known on late night TV
In her steam and steel is the passion you feel desperately

New York is a woman, she’ll make you cry
And to her, you’re just another guy

iTunes Plus Stumbles

I was really looking forward to the new DRM-free high-bitrate iTunes downloads. I’m actually more interested in the high-bitrate upgrade rather than the lack of DRM. The iTunes DRM never got in the way of anything I wanted to do, so I was quite content to put up with it.

So now iTunes Music Store has finally rolled out iTunes Plus and it looks quite attractive. There’s quite a lot of good content available, though it is still a bit limited. I was excited to about the prospect of upgrading my current library to the high-bitrate versions, so I eagerly clicked on the button to upgrade the library and then came up against a serious drawback.

The upgrade is all-or-nothing.

Now it’s not a complete disaster for me. My iTunes Music Store purchases have mostly been for things not available on CD and a few individual tracks here and there where I didn’t want to buy a whole album. So I don’t have a lot of upgradeable music. In fact, it’s only 2 albums and two individual tracks, or 18 tracks total.

But even there I face a dilemma with the upgrade. Of the two tracks, one of them I ended up buying the album on CD and ripping it at high-bitrate, so I already have a DRM-free high-bitrate version I made myself. The other individual track is one I’m a bit undecided about upgrading. It’s not one I listen to a whole lot, but I guess I’d probably do it.

As for the albums, one is a must-upgrade. It’s not available on CD, and I’d love to have a high-bitrate version of it. The second album is another one I’m on the fence about. There’s a few tracks on it I’d really like to upgrade, but the rest are so-so.

I thought maybe this was some quirk of the user interface where I didn’t understand which combination of buttons to press to get to upgrade individual tracks or items. But looking at the iTunes Plus FAQ I read, “You cannot choose which songs, music videos or albums to upgrade individually.” So, yes, this is intentional.

Thinking about it, I’ll probably go ahead and do the upgrade. The whole upgrade will cost $5.35 which is less than it would cost to repurchase the one ‘must have’ album upgrade. But this must be a huge decision for someone who has downloaded extensively from iTunes. Those are probably the people most likely to jump at the chance to upgrade, but they face my problem on an even larger scale.

If you have hundreds of tracks that could be upgraded but are like me and find that maybe half of the tracks are still well-liked enough to upgrade, you may have a really tough time deciding if it’s worth spending a lot of money when you really only want to upgrade a few things.

I can understand requiring purchased albums to be upgraded as an entire album. That’s a reasonable restriction. I can’t understand the justification for requiring someone to upgrade EVERYTHING whether they want better versions of everything or not. And as a customer satisfaction issue, I think Apple has taken a serious step backwards with this policy. They should toss it out and let customers upgrade the individual tracks or albums they want.

As it is, Apple has at least one customer who was eager to buy, but then discouraged by this policy. I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one.

Lyrics: Angels in the sky (Sundae Club)

Funny story here… Sundae Club is a somewhat obscure new band that has an album called Technostalgia out. Rosminah recently posted on her blog a YouTube video commemorating the CARE program which used the song “Constant Raincheck” by Sundae Club.

It was a catchy little tune of which I found a free mp3 download which got played incessantly over the next few days at which point I ordered their CD from CD Baby. As an aside, CD Baby’s service absolutely and completely rocks. They managed to get a CD from them in Portland to me in Taipei in five days from the time I submitted the order.

Anyways, funny story time: I had found the lyrics for ‘Angels in the sky’ sometime last week on the web. Today I wanted to find them again and for whatever reason my Googling skills let me down. However, my own damn blog popped up consistently on the first page of the search results I was trying by virtue of having the song listed in the ‘Recently Played’ list (over there on the top right) and having a ‘Lyrics’ category listed further down. So since I couldn’t find the lyrics and my blog was showing up anyways, I figured I’d better put up the lyrics so others could find them. (It is rather ironic that my blog seems to rank so highly in Google.)

EDIT: And of course I happen to find the other lyrics page after this is all written up.

Artist: Sundae Club
Song: Angels in the sky
Album: Technostalgia

Thought I saw angels in the sky
And in my dreams, they’re flying by and by
Shining brightly in the sky, so many colors
And it’s so beau-beautiful

Thought I saw angels in the sky
And in my dreams, they’re flying by and by
Shining brightly in the sky, so many colors
And it’s so beau-beautiful

The world is turning as you sleep
Sure of your body I will be
Halos are drawn in the sky
And I hear your cry and it’s so beautiful

Thought I saw angels in the sky
And in my dreams, they’re flying by and by
Shining brightly in the sky, so many colors
And it’s so beau-beautiful

The world is turning as you sleep
Sure of your body I will be
Halos are drawn in the sky
And I hear your cry and it’s so beautiful

The world is turning as you sleep
Sure of your body I will be
Halos are drawn in the sky
And I hear your cry and it’s so beautiful

And as you lie asleep
(Thought I saw angels in the sky)
The world is turning around you
Sure of your body I will be
All this love I can see

And it’s spinning around you
(Thought I saw angels in the sky)
Halos are drawn in the sky
And I hear your cry and it’s so beautiful

And as you lie asleep
(Thought I saw angels in the sky)
The world is turning around you
Sure of your body I will be…

Lyrics: Soldier Jane (Beck)

Yet another example where looking up the lyrics on the net results in painfully incorrect lyrics. I’m not saying this is 100% right, but this is a hell of a lot better than what’s out there. I’ve also added a ‘歌詞 / Lyrics’ category now that there are a few of those on this blog. (By the way, the new Beck album is good!)

Artist: Beck
Song: Soldier Jane
Album: The Information

No one cares what dress she wears at all
Tattered rags and paper bags and all
She’s the one sleeping in the dirt
Drag her down, don’t let her drown in dirt

Lovers drag their canes across the gates
Gamblers light candles for the days
No one wake her up, she’s sleeping still
So put a candle on her window sill

Soldier Jane, don’t be afraid
Take your heart out of the shell
Take your heart out of the shell
Throw it away

Stars, they strike the darkness in the room
Knives, they take the poison from the wound
Cars, they drive us down into the ruins
We sweep our cares away with dirty brooms

Soldier Jane, don’t be afraid
Take your heart out of the shell
Take your heart out of the shell
Throw it away

Lyrics: Champion Sound (Fatboy Slim)

Here’s another case of hard to find lyrics for a Fatboy Slim song. Previously I had transcribed the lyrics for the Fatboy Slim version of The Joker because the lyrics sites had just copied over the lyrics for the original version which was quite incomplete.

On the “Why Try Harder” album there are two new songs, “Champion Sound” and “That Old Pair of Jeans”. There’s acceptable lyrics available on line for the latter, but I couldn’t find any lyrics at all for “Champion Sound”. My CD’s liner notes has lyrics for it (in English and Japanese!) but only the first eight lines of it.

Here is my work in progress for the lyrics to “Champion Sound”. I’m pretty sure it’s at least 90% correct. Suggestions welcome!

(2016-06-18: fixed the line “They they they botch time zones around the world and” almost 10 years on…)

Artist: Fatboy Slim featuring Lateef
Song: Champion Sound
Album: Why Try Harder

Anybody lost looking to get found
Know it when they hear the champion sound
Works like a magnet on the people all around
Know it when they hear the champion sound

Anybody loving music up in your town
Know it when they hear the champion sound
Love it when they hear the champion sound
Need it when they hear the champion: “Watch Out!”

We’ve made tragedy, ripped up sporadically and (4X)

Gimme ride at the party with the bump full of Pearl (3X)

You can’t remain hit and we detect your identity

Anybody lost looking to get found
Know it when they hear the champion sound
Works like a magnet on the people all around
Know it when they hear the champion sound

Anybody loving music up in your town
Know it when they hear the champion sound
Love it when they hear the champion sound
Need it when they hear the champion: “Look Out!”

They they they botch time zones around the world and (4X)

And her true women they cried gradually (3X)

Do your soul grow by holding no rock

Anybody lost looking to get found
Know it when they hear the champion sound
Works like a magnet on the people all around
Know it when they hear the champion sound

Anybody loving music up in your town
Know it when they hear the champion sound
Love it when they hear the champion sound
Need it when they hear the champion

Bugger back to collect the due wanted by (2X)

And then whoever try to disrespect a mighty good time
Or a mighty good rhyme with a fight for the mind
Present at time or let me line flex
Listen and rewind it rebel pirates band at highest

Try this skit trampled by the stampeding feet of the fans
in the crowd screaming: “Yo, that’s Lateef! MaROON!”
That boy Slim on the tune
Rally round it if you’re strong
Throw your arms to the moon, c’mon

Anybody lost looking to get found
Know it when they hear the champion sound
Works like a magnet on the people all around
Know it when they hear the champion sound

Anybody loving music up in your town
Know it when they hear the champion sound
Love it when they hear the champion sound
Need it when they hear the champion: “Watch Out!”

CD, Baby!

This is really what CDBaby.com wrote on my receipt:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with
sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure
it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over
the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money
can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party
marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of
Portland waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, on its way to you, in
our private CD Baby jet on this day, Wednesday, June 28th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as ‘Customer of the Year’. We’re all
exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!