November 25, 2020

I'm Back!

 Hello, everyone! I hope that you are all well and healthy.

These past few months have been a challenge for me. I needed some time off to sort out my thoughts and my mental state. My biggest regret is that I couldn't write the review for Utopia Avenue (the book that I wanted to write the most about). I guess that now it will have to wait until I reread it as I want to do this book justice. 

However, now I feel ready to start writing and be creative again 🎉 

I have plenty of ideas but I believe that my comeback should be with a new discussion post. So, I would like to ask for your help. Below, you will find a list of blog post ideas. What would you like to read about the most? 

August 16, 2020

Play(list) by the Book - Utopia Avenue, by David Mitchell

 

Hello, everyone! It's finally here! I know that I've been hyping you for weeks about this book, this literary playlist, and the book review (which will come shortly - I hope). Today, I have finally compiled this Play(list) by the Book, so it's time to explore the '60s! 

Utopia Avenue is about a psychedelic band in London so the novel has plenty of references to the era's scene. This playlist is probably the biggest one I have compiled for these posts, but at the same time, it was one of the most interesting. So, sit back and enjoy!


As per usual, for this list, I have used every song, artist, band, and album mentioned in the text. Some songs, like Joni Mitchell's For Free or Peter Gabriel's Mercy Street, found a way in the list through lyrics. However, for this playlist, I haven't used any songs by individual members. For example, John Lennon is an elusive figure in the book and he is mentioned numerous times (as well as the rest of The Beatles). Despite this fact though, the book takes place in 1968 his solo stuff came a little later. For this reason, I haven't also included a song by Yoko Ono.

For the albums, I included the song that I liked the most (and in some cases, it was just a random choice). For the artists and bands mentioned, I went to their back catalog and picked a song that was released in 1968 or earlier. Below, you will find a couple of songs that I couldn't find on Spotify and a list of the albums (in case you want to dig deeper).

Nina Simone  You Don't Know What Love Is



Syd Barrett  Have You Got It Yet?



Nina Simone  Mississipi Goddam



Bruce Forsyth  I'm Backing Britain



List of the Albums mentioned in Utopia Avenue
  • Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
  • Blue Note Albums
  • The Who Sell Out
  • The Byrds – Younger than Yesterday
  • Big Bill Broonzy And Washboard Sam
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced
  • The Mothers of Invention – Freak Out!
  • Cream – Fresh Cream
  • The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
  • Bert Weedon – Play in a Day!
  • Andrés Segovia – Master of the Spanish Guitar
  • Odetta – Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues
  • Harry Smith – Anthology of American Folk Music
  • Stan Getz and João Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto
  • The Rolling Stones – Their Satanic Majestic Request
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold as Love
  • Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde
  • John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
  • Etta James – At Last!
  • Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
  • Love – Forever Changes
  • Otis Redding – Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul
  • The 13th Floor Elevator – The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevator
  • The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle
  • The Band – Music from Big Pink
  • The Beatles – Rubber Soul
  • Bob Dylan – Bringing it All Back Home
  • Aretha Franklin – Lady Soul
  • The Mothers of Invention – We're Only in It for the Money
  • The Beastie Boys – Paul's Boutique
There you have it! This Play(list) by the Book has been a pleasure to compile (but it's the same every time). I hope that I will soon stumble upon a book with plenty of musical references.

Find more playlists at: Play(list) by the Book

July 29, 2020

2PM - My House: A Fairy Tale Mash-Up (KpopXBooks #5)


Hello, everyone! This week, we are back with another instalment of KpopXBooks. It's already the fifth post of the series and I have to admit that it has become one of my favourites. As a Kpop fan and a bookworm, it's always great to find the opportunity to combine them.

The previous instalments, like The Fairy Tales of IUThe Bookish Concepts of SHINee, and VIXX: The Book Concept Kings required a lot of research. However, this week I'm trying a different take on the series. In the fifth instalment of KpopXBooks, we are going to explore the concept of a single music video.

For this post, I had a few contenders. But I decided to go with 2PM's "My House". It's a song that I really like, and it's (almost) considered a classic in the Kpop community. The concept of "My House" is fairy tales. Some imagery (which will see in more detail later) refers to specific and well-known fairy tales. Moreover, other imagery reveals a fairy tale origin, even though I couldn't trace a specific one. Some examples are the castle, the goat's head, and the crests shown on the walls.

Before we start talking specifics, let's take a look at the MV of "My House" by 2PM.



Cinderella



Surprise, surprise! The music video begins with the clock striking 12 and our protagonist trying to run away from a posh ball. From all the fairy tales referenced on the MV, I believe that Cinderella and another one (I won't reveal it now though) are the main inspirations. The Cinderella reference becomes even more obvious at the ending of the video, where the protagonist takes off one of her shoes and throws it at the staircase. I like this more modern twist of the fairy tale, which is not the only one I have spotted in the music video! 


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland



Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a favourite book for the Kpop art production teams. We've already seen a handful of MVs inspired by it, both by IU and SHINee. Furthermore, I have many other videos in mind, and one of the future instalments will be dedicated to this concept. The Alice in Wonderland imagery in "My House" is just the protagonist running through a long corridor and encountering this cute rabbit. 

Red Riding Hood



In the same corridor that the protagonist encounters the rabbit, she then meets a wolf. It could be Red Riding Hood or any other shapeshifter wolf. However, since we are talking about fairy tales, I thought that Red Riding Hood is the appropriate choice.

Snow White



Snow White is much clearer to spot in the music video. First of all, we get to see the apple (what else could it reference?). If it was this imagery alone, I would be hesitant to call it. However, we do get another one: one of our handsome princes/monsters is giving the apple to the protagonist, which she accepts. 


Beauty and the Beast



This is the second fairy tale hat I believe inspired this MV, even more than Cinderella. This visual is taken straight from the Disney movie. You can even see the fur in the back of the chair. As if this wasn't enough, we get more pointers that Beauty and the Beast is our main fairy tale.


The next Beauty and the Beast imagery couldn't be any clearer. The protagonist tries to leave and the beast grabs her and leads her back to the castle. While we get a closeup of the hands, we see that the prince's hand has turned into that of the Beast. Once more, the imagery reminds of the Disney movie.


Lastly, we get this shot. In my research, I've read that this might be Romeo and Juliet and even Rapunzel. If this were the case, the roles are reversed from the originals and I really like it! However, for me, this is just imagery from Beauty and the Beast. The red roses are huge in this fairy tale, just as the balcony is shown numerous times in the movie. 

This was it for today! Did you get any other fairy tale imagery in 2PM's "My House"?
Stay tuned for more KpopXBook lists!