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  • My Favorite Foreign Hits of 2011

    15. Jan. 2012, 19:33

    2011 is not a bad year for music because of the diversity of hits released this year, coming from different sources [The Music Industry, Underground, TV, Youtube (and the Internet in general) and even video games]. Sadly though, there aren't a lot of standout artists and songs this year, making it easier for me to filter out my choices. Many sites are also proclaiming the death (it's probably just hibernation [--,] ) of rock this year (but at least we're fine, according to one site.)

    Enough with depressing news. Here are my favorite tunez last year:
    • Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song
      The last two years were a banner year for the half-Filipino singer and songwriter, making a lot of achievement for the typical metrics for success: A Grammy, #1 hits and album sales; he even sang the main theme for part 1 of the Breaking Dawn movie. And of all his hits, choosing this track is a no-brainer. For a white-collar worker like me, it's a dangerous song to be listening to on a rest day. I can relate to the lyrics, and the original music video was also very entertaining despite its simplicity (it looks like most Youtube videos, and the chimps ... uh, never mind; it really captures the Lazy aspect of the song). However, it also made some reference to another song, and it just so happens that the song was prolly the most annoying song this year: Teach Me How To Dougie.
    • The London Philharmonic Orchestra - Angry Birds: Main Theme
      2011 was the year when Angry Birds really exploded. Available on nearly all smart devices and even on the Web and Facebook, the game is nearly as universally recognizable as Mario. I was also skeptical about the game at the beginning of 2011, but I played it one night on my PC and instantly got hooked. And to attest to the gigantic success of this game, the main theme was included in the playlist for the Video Game Heroes concert last September 1. The orchestral arrangement is simply stunning, and it's easily the best performance in the concert. Later, I checked the album and unfortunately, I was disappointed because even though all decades were covered and there are other excellent picks (namely, The Ocean on His Shoulders and Gusty Garden Galaxy), I found the other tracks to be very literal.
    • Bad Meets Evil - Lighters
      I only chose this due to the non-rap part (which was also contributed by Bruno Mars, BTW. He also did the song parts in Nothin' On You, another one of my favorites). To be honest, it's a very annoying trend. The rap parts were nothing more but fillers, and is generally unnecessary. Still, there are some of these kinds with excellent songs for the past few years, like Airplanes and Pyramid (Ft. Iyaz).
    • Adele - Rolling in the Deep
      The song (and, oh well, Adele) deserved all the acclaim she got this year, but I actually chose this song for another reason. The song was perfectly made, and Adele sang it flawlessly, but it's another thing when it's interpreted by another artist and actually top it. Every once in a while, I come across more than a dozen versions for a song, just like in 2005 (Crazy for You) and 2007 (Umbrella). In 2011, it's RITD and we're lucky that there is, not one, but two, excellent covers of the song. The first one was made by Linkin Park. And the second? It's the Glee Cast version.
    • Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
      For all the flak that Pop Music receives every microsecond, I still need to pick maybe one or two hits from the POP Machine, referring to artists (usually a female with a killer figure, usually artificially sculpted as well) who can churn out an album every 6 months and have no difficulties posting a hit on the charts due to a very dedicated and huge fanbase, with their songs having a heavy reliance on Autotune (considered as the PhotoShop of music. I actually have nothing against it, for me it's just another instrument or tool, just like guitars, microphone and the human voice). Anyway, this year is an easy one. After two albums, Lady Gaga run out of gimmicks and ended up with a mediocre album. And after listening too long, Taylor Swift's latest songs sounded recycled. Hold It Against Me was actually good because it's a deviation from her previous hits, I almost ended up choosing California King Bed because it's mellow rather than upbeat, and it's already tiresome and irritating to listen to Beyoncé crooning about female empowerment. So why this? It was supposed to be Firework, but I changed my mind the last minute, and it's only because it's refreshing to listen to after five days of work.
    • Linkin Park - Iridescent
      Even though I absolutely hated all three Transformer movies, I consider their OST's to be one of the best there is, spawning hits like 21 Guns, Before It's Too Late (Sam and Mikaela's Theme), Doomsday Clock and Burn It To The Ground. The Dark of the Moon soundtrack didn't disappoint, it's nice that this was the chosen track from their A Thousand Suns album. Other stand-outs in the soundtrack include Monster, All That You Are and Awake and Alive (Rock Radio Mix). The soundtrack is also the closest thing I have to a rock album last year.
    • Glee Cast - Loser Like Me
      The second season of may be the worst among the three seasons, but I think it has the best songs and the best tribute (Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is slightly better than the Madonna episode), thanks to the guests this season: Gwyneth Paltrow, Charice, Chord Overstreet and Darren Criss with The Warblers. But the biggest draw of the season was the inclusion of original songs. All of which are good, making it hard for me to make a choice. In the end, it's all about this track vs Light Up the World.
    • Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger (feat. Christina Aguilera)
      This is easily the best collaboration of the year and the comeback hit for Maroon 5, after the disastrous second album. It somehow merged the good parts of This Love and Won't Go Home Without You. There. I have nothing else to say, I just want to increase the size of this paragraph.
    • Simple Plan - Jet Lag (feat. Natasha Bedingfield)
      SP was one of those teenager bands that has silently matured over the years. Gone are the days when they're just whiny teenagers venting their frustrations about their life. Their last two albums were good because they are so different from their previous works, and it's evident in the songs like Save You and Your Love Is a Lie. JL doesn't show any traces of their previous hits, I was actually surprised when I found out it that it was a SP song. It was easily one of their best songs.
    • Avril Lavigne - Wish You Were Here
      From one teenage icon to another. She actually matured earlier, with her second album Under My Skin. Her latest album, Goodbye Lullaby wasn't able to top that, but it was better than her third, which reeks of pop.
    • Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks
      FTP is "The Best Band of 2011 That Literally Came Out of Nowhere." Or maybe "The Best Band of 2011 That Came Out of Thin Air." They're the same, anyway LOL. There. I don't have anything else to add. xD
    • Charice - Louder
      2011 should have been a promising year for Charice, unfortunately her career was less than spectacular at the end of the year. Her guesting in Glee was an absolute disaster (though she's actually credited with singing some of the best songs in the season: As Long As You're There and her mashup with Lea Michele for the song Telephone). Louder is still a good song, but at this point, Charice is still a WIP, and she still has yet to discover her potential. Here's hoping to a better 2012.
    • Lee DeWyze - Sweet Serendipity
      After the exodus of Simon Cowell last year in , I wonder what will become of the TV show. I was skeptical at first whether Jennifer Lopez or Steven Tyler of Aerosmith would be able to fill up the missing judges' shoes, of which Randy Jackson is all that's left. The answer, it turns out, is a resounding YES!
      Now, about my choice. Lee DeWyze actually won the ninth season, not the tenth. I only did this because I hated Scotty McCreery.
    • Nicki Minaj - Super Bass
      After being a rapper's bitch for a while now, she finally had a hit that's truly her own now. Nothing follows.
    • Nickelback - When We Stand Together
      Nickelback was that band that was severely criticized many years ago for having songs that lacked variation. That turned around with the release of their Dark Horse album. If this track is any indication, then they will have another excellent album. Considering also that there aren't too many rock hits this year, this will suffice.
  • Song Names

    29. Sep. 2011, 14:32

    [Taken from this forum.]

    Using only SONG NAMES from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions (Wikipedia is your friend). Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think.

    Artist: Linkin Park

    Are you male or female: Robot Boy [A Thousand Suns]
    Describe yourself: By Myself [Hybrid Theory]
    How do you feel: In Pieces [Minutes to Midnight]
    Describe where you currently live: Somewhere I Belong [Meteora]
    If you could go anywhere, where would you go: A Place for My Head [Hybrid Theory]
    Your favorite form of transportation: Crawling [Hybrid Theory]
    Your best friends are: Wretches and Kings [A Thousand Suns]
    You and your best friend is: One Step Closer [Hybrid Theory]
    What’s the weather like: Burning in the Skies [A Thousand Suns]
    If your life was a television show what would it be called: My December [single]
    What’s life to you: What I've Done [Minutes to Midnight]
    Your fear: Fallout [A Thousand Suns]
    What is the best advice you have to give: Leave Out All The Rest [Twilight OST] or Don't Stay [Meteora]
    Thought for the Day: The Little Things Give You Away [Minutes to Midnight]
    How I would like to die: Hit the Floor or maybe Lying From You [Meteora]
    My soul’s present condition: No More Sorrow [Minutes to Midnight]
    My motto: Easier to Run [Meteora]
  • Hidden Music in Windows Vista System Folder

    9. Mär. 2009, 3:03

    The other day, I was looking for 's startup theme because I want to use it as the startup tone for my WinMo phone. I found the WAV files for various system events but ultimately failed to find the actual tone. I used the search button to locate all music files in \ (Search is one of Vista's best features IMO), and to my surprise, I found eleven excellent WMA tracks in the winsxs folder, with complete album artwork and ID3 infos. (I also liked Vista's new thumbnail view for music files)

    You can get the songs by going to \Windows\winsxs\x86_microsoft-windows-musicsamples...

    Complete list of tracks:
    * Aaron Goldberg - OAM’s Blues
    * Aisha Duo - Amanda
    * Aisha Duo - Despertar
    * Habib Koité and Bamada - Din Din Wo (Little Child)
    * Habib Koité and Bamada - I Ka Barra (Your Work)
    * Karsh Kale - Distance
    * Karsh Kale - One Step Beyond
    * Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfon - Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55, ‘Eroica’ - Scherzo-allegro vivace
    * The Posies - I Guess You’re Right
    * The Posies - Love Comes
    * Luciana Souza; Romero Lubambo - Muita Bobeira

    I Guess You're Right is my favorite song in the group. I couldn't think of any reason why Microsoft would include those songs in a cleverly hidden folder. Maybe, they're the favorite artists of MS employees?

    Original blog post here
  • PostScript: How Addicted are you to Last.fm?

    29. Mär. 2007, 10:53

    Actually, this one is way too easy.

    As usual, go to the weekly chart of your choice and get your total plays: Mine is 250

    And then ... divide that by 7, as simple as that.

    Let's see.

    250/7 = 35.714

    That reads, about 35 songs a day. That's kinda short. Let's see, assuming the average playback of a song is 4 minutes, that's a total of 142 minutes of playback, or only about 2 hours and 22 minutes a day. That kinda sucks....
  • Rate your musical diversity for this week

    29. Mär. 2007, 10:34

    Oh yeah! New layout and new features. But that's not what this entry is all about, even though it has something to do with it. I was busily exploring my page for changes, and to my utter delight, I discovered that the weekly charts has some additional statistics included. Check it out for yourself, right beside the calendar thingy, you'll see the total number of unique artists, unique tracks and finally the total number of tracks played in that week.

    Okay, so there. Actually, I already have this idea for some time now, it's just that way back then, I have a problem regarding where to get the data that should be processed. Until now, that is.

    Okay, that's quite lengthy already for an introduction. But first, open up your weekly charts to get the needed information (they're found beside the calendar). Fire up your OS's calculator as well (every OS has one, I think. I'm using PowerCalc, a member of Powertoys). There are two methods:

    Method 1:
    The only things you'll need here will be the total plays (the last one, I think), to be divided by the unique artists (the first one). In case of mine:

    250/140 = 1.785

    Pretty easy, huh?

    Method 2:
    If you don't mind doing additional calculations, then this one is for you. Well, the first thing you have to do is to add the squares of all the play counts of each artists (those numbers on the right side of each artist, if you're slow). Hey, don't get discouraged, it wasn't really all that hard, promise. For multiple artists with the same rank, the trick is to note the number of artists sharing that rank (Q). You can manually count if it's short, however, if the group was quite lengthy, you can try this trick: check out the rank of the "group" below that of what you're counting, then subtract the rank of your current group. (For example, in my group of 2's, the rank below is 56, while its rank is 28. Therefore, the answer we need is 56-28 which is equal to 28.) Do this until you reach the group of 2's.

    Don't count the 1's. Instead, get the number of unique artists (the first one), subtract the rank # of the 1's, then add 1. In mine:

    140 - 56 + 1 = 85. This will become the Q of the 1's.

    It's best to list down all your results, shown in the first two columns:

    PC| _Q_ | PC2 | RES
    11 | 001 | 121 | 121
    08 | 001 | 064 | 064
    05 | 004 | 025 | 100
    04 | 007 | 016 | 112
    03 | 014 | 009 | 126
    02 | 028 | 004 | 112
    01 | 085 | 001 | 085

    XX | 140 | XXX | 720

    The result we're looking for is 720, and to find it, square first the play counts (PC) (squaring is defined as the multiplication of a number by itself), then multiply it with the corresponding Q (the output is shown in the column RES). Add the results.

    You will still need the result from Method 1 here (do it if you haven't yet). Subtract it from your previous result:

    720 - 1.785 = 718.215

    Divide this by {"unique artists"-1}:

    718.215/139 = 5.17

    Get the square root:

    sqrt(5.17) = 2.27

    That's my rating. Hey, try it for yourself.
  • Fixed

    7. Mär. 2007, 4:00

    It seems that tracks with ID3v1 tags can't be scrobbled. Well, then, that makes 10 tracks already. Now, I hope last.fm updates my site because I'm tired of waiting already. (Oh yeah, I'm actually ashamed of my current chart... Blame it to Winamp, it has a bad habit of picking the same artist even on random playback)
  • I can't scrobble my Diablo OST

    1. Mär. 2007, 16:32

    Badly tagged? What's that? Matt Uelmen