July 31, 2010
901 Tequila Branding
I clicked on a banner advertisement for the first time in a long time, and ended up at a web site that I think has done an excellent job of creating an emotional atmosphere and connection with its audience. 901 Tequila is a tequila from Justin Timberlake and I think visiting the site, experiencing the marketing and method of delivery, and exploring a bit about how and why they went this direction is very interesting.
I've grabbed the background song and image in case the site ever goes away. (Make sure to hit play on the song.) But definitely check out the site as it is several orders of magnitude better to interact with it in its native form.
July 23, 2010
SamBakZa's There She Is!
Ah! The series from SamBakZa is complete! Make sure to stop by their web site and support them!
There She Is!
Doki & Nabi
July 17, 2010
Distant Worlds II
I attended the Friday half of the Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy at the San Francisco Symphony last night. I really enjoyed it, although I would have enjoyed it more if I had the entire hall to myself. ^_^ Primarily because the audience acted less like a symphony performance and more like a get-together. So there was a lot of clapping and cheering and even a few jokes called out. I didn't appreciate all the clapping during the credits, which prevented me from hearing Terra's Theme.
I kept my eyes closed as much as possible, during the performance, so that I wouldn't get distracted by the visuals they had up. They played pieces from a variety of Final Fantasy games, including one from the upcoming FFXIV online game. I know Roger Ebert is skeptical about the artistic nature of games, but having played the games added a lot of emotional depth to the music I was hearing. I have a much deeper understanding of what the music is trying to convey, and an emotional attachment to the songs. I got goosebumps during Aerith's Theme, JENOVA, as well as a few other songs. (No goosebumps during One Winged Angel because that was played sort of like karaoke&emdash;I chanted but the choir was a little weak.) The music from FFXI and FFXIII didn't have the same effect on me, because I didn't really have any context for it. There was an older couple sitting in front of me that didn't even know what Final Fantasy was, and I don't think they got much out of it and were somewhat confused by everyone else's enthusiasm.
One thing that I was confused about was clarified for me last night. I'd picked up the FFXIII soundtrack while in Japan, and although I haven't taken the time to listen to it (on purpose) I did listen to a few songs. And my immediate thought was that this is not Final Fantasy music. It didn't sound right. Sounded much more like a typical classical soundtrack. I thought perhaps Nobou Uematsu was doing something different. But, the FFXIII soundtrack was entirely composed by Masashi Hamauzu.
After getting back to Alla's place, I ordered both Distant Worlds CDs. (The Symphony Store was selling them for $20 each so it was cheaper ordering off Amazon.) I really enjoyed some of the new compositions, and want to be able to listen to them at home.
July 11, 2010
San Jose Obon Festival 2010
San Jose's Japantown is holding their annual Obon Festival, hosted by the SJ Buddhist Church Betsuin. It runs today and tomorrow, for several hours each day. This is the first year I've gone. It's definitely not like the fancy temple Obon festivals you may have seen on TV or in anime, but it was close, taking into account the location and people that would show up.
I did find it a little disappointing. It was a little small, and didn't have a whole lot to see or do. There was a food court, which had a lot of regular-type Japanese and summer food, although there was a taiyaki stand. Unfortunately they were shaped like English muffins rather than fish. But tasted decent.
The one thing I did really enjoy was the Taiko drumming. A few different schools and organizations showed up to perform. The one I was able to attend for the entire duration was the UC Irvine Jodaiko group. Their performance, which also included some fun play between members, kept a big smile on my face.
July 7, 2010
Lilith Fair 2010
I went to Lilith Fair with Yvonne and two of her friends, Tina and Jackie, yesterday at the Shoreline Amphiteatre in Mountain View. (Make the drive to the venue itself to purchase tickets; they are significantly cheaper that way.) I had a lot of fun, but mostly because of Yvonne, Tina, and Jackie and not the fair. We did end up meeting Dantam and her friends later on, after having gotten there around 1:30pm but not actually listening to any music until 4pm.
The event wasn't put on the way I expected. Gates opened at 2:30pm as I was told by the box office when I purchased the tickets. It didn't take too long to get inside although everyone's bag was thoroughly checked which meant slow entry. But the lawn didn't open until 3:30pm so we ended up standing in that line for a while too. They obviously wanted you to spend time checking out the sponsor booths, getting samples, and buying food, drink, or other little things. Borders was selling CDs at relatively high prices.
After eating a bit on the lawn, I stayed with our spot while they went off to check things out. They came back with a bunch of freebies. All the freebies are for women though, so I didn't really get much. One person still had a bunch of stuff she needed to get rid of before performances on the main stage started, so I was offered something for "my girlfriend".
I did get to see the one artist I really cared about though, which was A Fine Frenzy. Their set was kind of short and on one of the small stages though. And the audio setup wasn't super great. But it was still cool. Much cooler was getting Alison Monro to sign my CD (I bought it from the Borders tent after I found out there was going to be a signing). I think she was happy when I told her I came to Lilith specifically to see them. ^_^ The guy behind me in line was pretty nice and took a photo of me and Alison, which he promised to mail me later.
I didn't get a chance to see Terra Naomi (heard her a bit while in line for the lawn, and sounded interesting) or Kitten and I think I would have liked to. It wasn't that clear to me how the schedule worked; we only found out about the multiple stages after getting inside.
The sponsor booths basically shut down once the main stage opened. Everyone piled in to see the main attractions. But none of them had any real interest for me. All the new interesting artists were outside on the little stages, before the main performances. We stayed through Colbie Caillat, The Bangles, and left in the middle of Miranda Lambert around 8:15pm because they all had class the next day. Looks like we missed Heart and then finally Sarah McLachlan, who is the only one any of us had any interest in listening to.
There are a bunch of other artists participating in Lilith Fair that I would have really liked to see, but they weren't playing in San Francisco. Some of them "oldies" like Sheryl Crow and Suzanne Vega and Beth Orton, but most of them newbies or people I haven't heard about before (too many to list here) and they usually only showed up at one or two of the venues, whichever happened to be closest to where they live. I actually thought Lilith was primarily to show off new interesting female artists, so have a main set featuring artists that made music before I was born was a little disappointing.