Monday, June 26, 2006

This site's not Dead.

It's just that my computer was broken a week ago, and although it got fixed now, I decided to take a little break from posting. Been busy putting together stuff for my new iPod Video. In the meantime, check out the other blogs I read. They're great fun and have lots of cool music. This blog will be back soon.

Peace,
Zeon.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Zeon Proudly Presents: Zeon's Mixtape Vol. 1: Summertime

Wo, my 100th post. Yeah, can't believe it either. Been writing on this blog for about a year now. And still all I've got is this really, really readership. Figured I should do something special to celebrate this day. How about a mixtape?
I've been planning on this for quite a long time. Well, I've had the idea in mind first, but just started to work on it last weekend. It was hard going through all the music I had and jotting down a list of 16 songs that I think would showcase the summer theme. There were so many songs I wanted to include, so many I had to leave out. What I want in this mixtape is to blend everything together, from mainstream to indie, rock to electronic, the well-known to the obscure, all organized in a proper order. Something you all can enjoy. So here it is, my first mixtape, I hope you will download all the mp3s, listen to them thoroughly, discover some new songs you've never heard before, then turn out to like them, and start to tell all the people you know about this blog. Even if you hate it, just add a comment and tell me. I'd love to have some feedbacks.

I'll go through each track and give a comment or two:

1. Love Love Love - Tristan Prettyman: The mixtape starts off with one of my favorite songs from last year, 'Love Love Love' by Tristan Prettyman, whom I mentioned before. She's just got this breezy, laidback voice, kinda like a female version of Jack Johnson, that eases your mind. Listen to it when you're walking on the beach, you'll feel all happy-go-lucky.
2. Island In The Sun - Weezer: A summer classic already. Seriously, who haven't heard of Weezer's 'Island In The Sun'? I don't know why but every time I listen to that song, I just keep picturing me saling in the sea, on and on, in the sun.
3. California - Phantom Planet: The unoffical theme song for the Orange County, ever since it was chosen as the theme song to The O.C. Hear it when you're driving on the highway, with the top down.
4. Don't Cha Wanna Ride - Joss Stone: A soulful Dusty Springfield cover. The melodies are infectious, and perfect for cruising-in-your-car times.
5. Wish I - Jem: You can already picture the seagulls and the coconut trees in Hawaii right from the intro. Very soothing and relaxing. Just makes you want to leave all of your worries behind.
6. Just My Imagination - The Cranberries: I love this track. It's flawless from beginning to end. Those bouncy hooks, honeycoated harmonies. I've listened to it many times while walking along in the sunshine.
7. Fill My Little World - The Feeling: My new favorite UK act. These perky, sunny melodies can't seem to get off my head.
8. Incredible (Radio Edit) - The Shapeshifters: A song to move your feet to. A polished, summery dance track that's supposed to get your head all shaken up.
9. Someday - Sugar Ray: Those twangy acoustic guitars. Those irresistably catchy hooks. And the images the lyrics draw. All that's a proper summer anthem should be.
10.Ocean Avenue - Yellowcard: So far things get a little mellow, so I throw in an emo song, all loud and blistering. But the lyrics are actually quite sincere, and the chorus's great singalong material.
11.Kiss Me - Sixpence None The Richer: This track's just too beautiful and sweet to describe in a few words. I can imagine me kissing someone on top of a mountain, and then the camera rolls around with the song played in the background. So dreamy...
12.Pokito A Poko - Chambao: A great find from the local VH1 channel. I don't understand a single word, because it's in Spanish, and still manage to enjoy the song. It's flamenco chill-out music. Play it at a beach party at night, light up some fire and get drunk.
13.Homesick - Kings Of Convenience: A melancholy, Simon & Garfunkel-esque song. Gorgeous, folky harmonies, and the acoustic guitar intro alone is to kill for. For the sentimental souls who likes to mope around in summer days.
14.Sanctuary - Natalie Imbruglia: This is the most rocking song she's ever done. The song's got this pop charm and energy, it makes me want to run on the highway and show your fists up in the sky.
15.A Summer Wasting - Belle And Sebastian: A delicate little number from these arty Scottish. A suitable setting would be sitting on green grass, near a small lake, in a hazy afternoon.
16.Transatlanticism - Death Cab For Cutie: Some would argue that either 'Soul Meets Body', 'Crooked Teeth', or 'The Sound Of Settling' would make a better summer song, but I've got my reason. The song starts off quietly, then slowly builds to this epic climax, adding a high note for the end of the mixtape. Ben Gibbard's achingly, deeply beautiful vocals gives you chills. Just hear it when you feel like walking on the shores at midnight, with the breeze in your face and the neverending sounds of waves. There couldn't be a better way to end the mixtape.

So here you go, click on the link of each track to download the mp3s. If you like my mixtape so much, you can download the front and back cover too. Hope you'll have fun.




TRACKLIST:

1. Love Love Love - Tristan Prettyman
2. Island In The Sun - Weezer
3. California - Phantom Planet
4. Don't Cha Wanna Ride - Joss Stone
5. Wish I - Jem
6. Just My Imagination - The Cranberries
7. Fill My Little World - The Feeling
8. Incredible (Radio Edit) - The Shapeshifters
9. Someday - Sugar Ray
10.Ocean Avenue - Yellowcard
11.Kiss Me - Sixpence None The Richer
12.Pokito A Poko - Chambao
13.Homesick - Kings Of Convenience
14.Sanctuary - Natalie Imbruglia
15.A Summer Wasting - Belle And Sebastian
16.Transatlanticism - Death Cab For Cutie

VidVibe: Joseph Kahn - Part II

Okay, I'm gonna do this quick as this is my 99th post. You can watch these 5 fantabulous music videos directed by Joseph Kahn while waiting for me to get ready for a special feature to celebrate my 100th post.

Garbage/ Cherry Lips


Muse/ Muscle Museum


The Chemical Brothers feat. K-OS/ Get Yourself High


Blink 182/ Always


D12/ Purple Hills

Monday, June 12, 2006

VidVibe: Joseph Kahn - Part I

Joseph Kahn's a renowned Korean American music video director, who has worked with many mainstream superstars. He's got a distinctive visual style with lots of cutting-edge special effects. He has received several awards, including a Grammy for his work for Eminem's 'Without Me'. He also directed the feature film 'Torque' in 2003, but it didn't do so well in the box office.
This first part will select 5 of his most impressive works:

Britney Spears/ Toxic


Rob Thomas/ Lonely No More


Jamiroquai/ Feels Just Like It Should


U2/ Elevation


Eminem/ Without Me

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Picks Of The Week #26

Lyrics Of The Week

I used to give up on this song after a couple listens, but then I saw the Joaquin Phoenix-directed music video, which is like a mini movie with subtitles. The music video visualized the lyrics so well that it made me come back to the song on my iPod and now, it's growing on me. I really like the story in the lyrics, it's got this kind of a dark, gothic, sinister, emo vibe to it. Read it below:

Tear You Apart
She Wants Revenge

Got a big plan, this mindset maybe it's right
At the right place and right time, maybe tonight
And the whisper or handshake sending a sign
Wanna make out and kiss hard, wait nevermind

Late night, and passing, mention it flipped her
Best friend, who knows saying maybe it slipped
But the slip turns to terror and a crush to light
When she walked in, he throws up, believe it's the fright

It's cute in a way, till you cannot speak
And you leave to have a cigarette, your knees get weak
An escape is just a nod and a casual wave
Obsessed about it, heavy for the next two days

It's only just a crush, it'll go away
It's just like all the others it'll go away
Or maybe this is danger and you just don't know
You pray it all away but it continues to grow

I want to hold you close
Skin pressed against me tight
Lie still, and close your eyes girl
So lovely, it feels so right

I want to hold you close
Soft breasts, beating heart
As I whisper in your ear
I want to f**king tear you apart

Then he walked up and told her, thinking that he'd passed
And they talked and looked away a lot, doing the dance
Her hand brushed up against his, she left it there
Told him how she felt and then they locked in a stare

They took a step back, thought about it, what should they do
Cause there's always repercussions when you're dating in school
But their lips met, and reservations started to pass
Whether this was just an evening or a thing that would last

Either way he wanted her and this was bad
He wanted to do things to her it was making him crazy
Now a little crush turned into a like
And now he wants to grab her by the hair and tell her

I want to hold you close
Skin pressed against me tight
Lie still, and close your eyes girl
So lovely, it feels so right

I want to hold you close
Soft breasts, beating heart
As I whisper in your ear
I want to f**king tear you apart.



Download This!

"Weird Al" Yankovic/ You're Pitiful

"Weird Al" Yankovic's back at his game of spoofing popular songs. And his latest target is James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful', which I've grown tired of. He changed the title to 'You're Pitiful' and turned all the sentimental lyrics to a dissfest full of hilarious insults. And he sings it pretty well, too. You can send this song to someone you hate so much or to the Bluntlovers if you're a Blunthater. After all, it's just fun, crappy, entertaning spoof music that's guaranteed to make you laugh your ass off. Download it right below!

"Weird Al" Yankovic/ You're Pitiful


Flashback

All Saints/ Pure Shores

This little pop song's from a now-defunct UK girl group, back when the teenpop era was still at its boom. However, it sounds very much like adult alternative material. Chilly synths, quiet guitar backing, infectious hooks. The stuff you listen to while walking on the beach at night, with the breeze around and the sound of the waves...


Music Video Of The Week

Paris Hilton/ Stars Are Blind

Okay, so Paris Hilton's not that bad. But that doesn't mean that it's any good, since my initial expectations are very low. It's not a monstrous disaster, but it's still mediocre. The reggae sample is cheap, which is from UB40's 'Kingston Town'. The lyrics are bonkers. And Paris sounds like she recorded it at 2 AM after another endless party, drunk and sleepy. Still I've got a feeling this song's gonna land somewhere high on the charts. Now, talk about the music video. It was directed by the same person who did 'SOS' for Rihanna and did that controversial burger advert for Paris. Picture it as a cheaper version of either Britney Spears' 'Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know', Jessica Simpson's 'Sweetest Sin' or Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game'. Most of the time, it's just a black-and-white Paris wearing nothing but a skimpy bikini, chasing, cuddling her video partner on the beach, and then they cut to scenes of huge blue waves (any metaphor here?), and Paris gyrating with trees and sand. So what? This sounds like softcore porn, with the nip slip edited out. Too hot for tv? Don't know. Why the hell do I choose it for video of the week? 'Cause it will bring more readers here (evil laughs). Beware, not family-friendly stuff! You're watching it right now, aren't you?



Download Paris Hilton-Stars Are Blind music video (WMV format)

Friday, June 09, 2006

VidVibe: Jake Nava - Part IV

Last batch of eye candies from Jake Nava.
I think the peak that Jake reached that he can hardly to top again was when he got to direct the music video for The Rolling Stones' 'Streets Of Love'. And he did a good job with it, the cinematography is beautiful, the video girl looks hot, the mood's atmospheric. Definitely a highlight in his career. Check out more of his videos for rockers like System Of A Down and UK punk band Rooster, both artfully done with groundbreaking visual effects. It's nice to see this recently-changed directing style of him. In his video for Aussie songbird Natalie Imbruglia 'Shiver', there's a plot inspired by the movie 'The Bourne Supremacy', with her chasing cars and switch fake identities, running from somebody in Ukraine. And finally, to end this VidVibe, I give you this must-watch music video 'Stars' from The Cranberries. The song's great itself, but the video he directed back in 2002 is so stunning, although it's just the band performing in exotic, wild landscapes. It's got this summer feel to it, and it just makes you want to jump in the screen and be there, roaring with them. Brilliant stuff.
The next director on my list: Joseph Kahn.

The Rolling Stones/ Streets Of Love
(sorry, can't find it on YouTube, you'd have to watch the streaming version here)

System Of A Down/ B.Y.O.B.


Rooster/ You're So Right For Me


Natalie Imbruglia/ Shiver


The Cranberries/ Stars
(highly recommended)

VidVibe: Jake Nava - Part III

You know what, Jake's at his best when he's got to direct music videos for upbeat, bouncy songs, which probably always involves dancing and flashing in the clubs. And that's what they're looking for when they come for him, to get heavy rotations on music channels. Back in the days, he's already good at that kind of videos. You can see Atomic Kitten and Mis-Teeq, two manufactured UK girl pop groups, dancing their night away in skimpy outfits at fancy clubs. And in Lindsay Lohan's first real music video, where she can get all saucy and steamy, showing off her fast-paced lifestyle. Still that signature style for Mariah Carey's European-only music video 'Get Your Number'. And then, you can see this rare video he directed for Japanese pop star Utada Hikaru, when she attempted to invade US with an English album, which totally flopped anyway.
Tomorrow: Last part of Jake's VidVibe, this time he rocks with the rockers. Have fun watching.

Atomic Kitten/ Be With You


Mis-Teeq/ Scandalous


Lindsay Lohan/ Rumors


Mariah Carey feat. Jermaine Dupri/ Get Your Number


Utada Hikaru/ Easy Breezy

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

VidVibe: Jake Nava - Part II

Thank God the world didn't end yesterday.
Alright, part deux of Jake's VidVibe, this time we're digging his work for the r&b/hip-hop scene.
The thing is, when an artist finds a director who understand well how to translate their music to the motions, they stick to them. Like Missy Elliott's got Dave Meyers. Like The White Stripes have Michel Gondry. Like Green Day's got Samuel Bayer. And like Beyoncé's got Jake Nava. He's the one that directed her first ever solo music video, and she's the one who introduced him to the US music video directing industry. He's got a lot of US artists coming for him after they saw what he did with 'Crazy In Love', and later, he even convinced Destiny's Child to strip down for their hottest video to date 'Cater 2 U'. Lucky bastard!
So all three Beyoncé videos directed by Jake will be shown here. We've got so many classic moments from these ones. Beyoncé in red shoes and short shorts doing her sassy-walking on the streets. Beyoncé finger-licking in front of a giant wind machine. Beyoncé kicking the fire hydrant, letting all rain down on her. Beyoncé moaning, sweating on her fur bed. Beyoncé shaking her booty in a pool at night with nothing on but a bikini. Beyoncé teaming up with Usher for some damn hot moves. Beyoncé soaking herself wet in a giant wine glass. The list goes on...Priceless. Gotta love to love them videos! I hope he will work the magic again for her upcoming single 'Déjà Vu'!
Mind-numbingly beautiful lighting work. Multiple costumes change. And drop dead cool locations. Talk about Destiny's Child catering for us. Beyoncé wants to take a dive in the middle of nowhere. Or would we rather fix Kelly's car, or sip a drink with Michelle? That Jake. Got all our fantasies fulfilled.
Last dose of eyepoppers, don't forget to visit Kelis cooking up the whole diner with her milkshake while Nas is watching behind the kitchen. Mmmmhmm...milkshake. Enjoy!
Tomorrow, more pop videos from Jake Nava.

Beyoncé feat. Jay Z/ Crazy In Love


Beyoncé feat. Sean Paul/ Baby Boy


Beyoncé/ Naughty Girl


Destiny's Child/ Cater 2 U


Kelis/ Milkshake

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

VidVibe: Jake Nava - Part I

This is the launch of a brand new weekday feature for Zeon's Music Blog. After many rejected ideas for a name, I decided to go with VidVibe. This feature's goal is to dig up and make use of the vast online video vault YouTube, presenting 5 great music videos for you to watch everyday from Monday to Friday. You may have seen some. Some you might not have seen. Since I consider music video as an extension for music, visualizing songs in countless ways, I will dedicate this to the music video directors, the guys behind the camera. Each director will get their own rotations, depending on their videography, their most impressive works will be divided into parts. I plan to do this for this summer only, but let's see what I can do more when it's there.
The first director I decide to honor is Jake Nava, who's probably got the coolest name in the music video industry. Starting his career in the UK, he has directed videos for many British pop stars before breaking into the US with his directing Beyoncé's debut solo video 'Crazy In Love'. Since then, he has been directing for a lot of big names. His visual style can be concluded in one word: glamorous. He's at his best when he directs an upbeat song, which obviously involves clubbing or choreography, blinding lights work and flashy close-ups. He also has a knack for picking gorgeous shooting locations. This first part will show his works in the pop scene.
Today, we've got Kylie Minogue pole dancing on L.A. streets, Natasha Bedingfield showing us a quick tour of her fun single life, Aussie once-famous-Britneyesque-pop-starlet Holly Valance showing off her fine legs on billboards after the rain, Britney Spears splashing her car into a pool, and finally, the British songstress Dido wandering around beautiful wild places in Africa. Watch a handful of them, and feel free to comment if you like this new addition to the blog.

Kylie Minogue/ Red Blooded Woman


Natasha Bedingfield/ Single


Holly Valance/ Naughty Girl


Britney Spears/ My Prerogative


Dido/ Don't Leave Home


Tomorrow: Jake's work in the R&B/Hip-Hop scene.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Picks Of The Week #25

This signature weekly feature is back after one week absence to give room for the grand AI5 finale post.

Lyrics Of The Week

I recently bumped into this song through I Am Fuel, You Are Friend, and it's just an amazing collaboration. The lyrics are so inspiring and poetic, make you see the good in the bad and remind you to smile like you mean it sometimes. Read it up.

Gold In Them Hills
Ron Sexsmith

I know it doesn't seem that way
But maybe it's the perfect day
Even though the bills are piling
Maybe Lady Luck ain't smiling

But if we'd only open our eyes
We'd see the blessings in disguise
That all the rain clouds are fountains
Though our troubles seem like mountains

There's gold in them hills
There's gold in them hills
So don't lose heart
Give the day a chance to start

Every now and then life says
Where do you think you're going so fast
We're apt to think it cruel but sometimes
It's a case of cruel to be kind

And if we'd get up off our knees
Well then we'd see the forest for the trees
And we'd see the new sun rising
Over the hills and horizon

There's gold in them hills
There's gold in them hills
So don't lose faith
Give the world a chance to say...

A word or two, my friend
There's no telling how the day might end
And we'll never know until we see
That there's gold in them hills

There's gold in them hills
So don't lose heart
Give the day a chance to start

There's gold in them hills...
There's gold in them hills...



Download This!

The Feeling/ Fill My Little World

I can never quite categorize this band. Power pop? Indie rock? Alternative? All I know is that they're definitely not mediocre. It always takes me a few listens before I really take to their songs. The first time I heard 'Sewn', wasn't really impressed but now it's become one of my favorite songs of this year so far. The same happened with this second single. Perky, summery melodies, twinkling piano and sweet harmonies. Listening to this song just puts a smile on your face. Plus, any song about lovelorns get extra points from me these days. Can't wait for the day their debut album drops.

Flashback

Jane Monheit/ Over The Rainbow

This classic song has been covered by so many artists, and American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee is just the latest added to the list. Her version of the song took me back to another version of jazz singer Jane Monheit. It was featured in the soundtrack of the 2004 movie 'Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow'. This version is similar to that of Kat in that it depends mainly on the strength of vocals. Jane's beautiful, jazzy voice just soared up and down from beginning to end, with help from the orchestra, which makes the song more epic and classier. A captivating cover. If you like Kat's version, you'll probably like this one too. Go hunt it.


Music Video Of The Week

The Futureheads/ Skip To The End

The return of the British band, whose sounds are very much alike to Franz Ferdinand. This video is what can you expect from an indie band. Exotic shooting location, which is in some remote woods with snow on the ground. Bride and groom run around aimlessly. The band looks eerie, playing priests... Freaky stuff, in general. Still, it's hypnotic to watch, and it's an indietastic song. Watch it right below.