laceblade: 5 girls of K-On! anime, carrying UK bags. Text: let's go abroad! (K-On!: Abroad)
Yes, I am behind on that meme and also on comments and also many things. I have plans for blog posts, though!

That said, I’m going to be spending the month of April in England. [My partner's employer has a retention problem that they combat by giving a month-long paid vacation anywhere the world for employee and a +1 every 5 years they work there.]

Do you know of any books, comics, or manga that are published/available in the UK that are not available in the US? Tell me about them, ;)

I’m also going to be looking into anime. While I understand that DVDs there are a different “region,” for a while the UK had the Studio Ghibli movie “Only Yesterday,” which was only finally released in the US LAST YEAR. WHAT IF THERE IS MORE. I’m willing to nose around a little, but if you have thoughts/knowledge on other forms of media you think I’d be interested in, I’ll take that, too.
laceblade: Chord Overstreet offering his hand to Chris Colfer. Glee live-tour. (Glee: Colferstreet)
I only have one WIP, so these are all from A Song Is a Weapon. There's a lot of middle between what I've fleshed out & these scenes, so still a little sketchy.
[personal profile] littlebutfierce, the tag is for introducing me to the song in #3, :)

1) Rachel assessed herself coldly in the mirror. She looked too peaked; she pushed her fingertips into her cheeks, massaging tiny circles to push some color there.

Who knew that a theatrical education would have practical applications in espionage? I should write a thesis about this.

2) Her fingers hit some low notes on the electronic keyboard. Simple - he knew she didn’t play much.

“All my life, I’ve been fighting a war…” her voice started out like it always did, clear, sweetly cutting the air with pure, full notes.

Her voice lifted higher.

“My heart jumps around when I’m alluded to.
This will not do.”

Puck new they’d all been scared - for a long time - but all he could think about was how Rachel had had the fear first, and worst - but her entire tone shifted, to anger.

“’Cause I was raised up to be admired
To be noticed.”

Her anger was about her loss, then. Of a meticulously planned future to which she’d devoted the last decade of her life.

Could she ever do this?

Would her bitterness allow her to slip into other personas, to ignore herself for the sake of their missions?

Rachel turned toward him then, as if reading his thoughts. Her smile was warm and infectious as she went on.

“It’s a switch flipped,
It’s a pill tipped back
It’s a moon eclipse.
And I can tell you that when the lights come on I’ll be ready for this.”

She went to another verse, and her voice was full and strong.

Puck hadn’t exactly forgotten what it was like to listen to Rachel Berry sing, but remembering was so different than being right in front of her.

3) “I’ve been thinking a lot about faith,” says Rachel. “But before you get upset, Kurt,” she holds her hand up as if to silence him, even though he hadn’t said anything. He lifted his eyebrows, waiting for her to continue. “This is a little different, though. And…I think you’ll like it especially, because you’re my Glenda,” she said.

She took a deep breath and rested her fingers on the piano. Her posture’s always good, but on the bench it’s perfect.

“Well I’m off to see the wizard,
With his curtain and his crown,
But my hands are not trembling,
And my head it is not bowed.
All I’m asking is that you show me something real…”

Her voice trembles a bit, and Kurt feels as though no one else is really breathing. When she sings, “All I’m looking for is someone to walk with me,” and reaches her hand toward him, he smiles and takes her hand, swinging them back and forth while she continues. He almost can’t believe how much her writing has improved - they’ve all matured over the past few months, but being able to articulate something this meaningful and… sad, is truly surprising.

Maybe it’s easier to write when you have something to say.
laceblade: chibi version of Wakana from Tari Tari riding a bike, cat in front basket (Tari Tari: bike)
Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler
Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser
laceblade: Nana Oosaki of NANA, singing (Nana sing)
This year I listened to more current music than I have in the past - usually I get obsessed with an old band for a year (Tool, Placebo, My Chemical Romance). I absolutely credit this change to Glee/Glee fandom.

Born to Die - Lana Del Rey : I bought this because everyone at [ profile] ontd_glee was talking about it. Her performance on SNL wasn't great and I actually didn't really care for Video Games, the first single off this album, but I bought it anyway and I fucking loved it.
The opening drama of the strings on Born to Die pull me in, and this album makes me think of getting myself into my car after surgery and driving myself to work because it hurt too much to stand on/ride the bus. This album is pain and recovery, to me.
My favorite song is National Anthem, although I also really like This is What Makes Us Girls, Off to the Races, Born to Die, Summertime Sadness, and Lolita.
Faith, don't fail me now / Take me to the finish line are the lyrics that made me drag my hopeless/depressed/WILL I EVER GET BETTER JFC ass to work, to the fucking grocery store, etc.
It's hard to put into words how much I love this album. It's one of my all-time favorites, for sure.
After about a month, my boyfriend despaired over its constant presence in my car's CD player.

Mix by [personal profile] littlebutfierce: The list of tracks/thoughts of j. are here! I really liked the PMMP songs and the Delgados. This was my first introduction to Attack All Around and my re-introduction to Stars WHICH WILL BECOME IMPORTANT LATER IN THIS POST.

Attack All Around - megamix compiled by [personal profile] littlebutfierce mix & videos & track list are here.
I LOVE THIS TRACK LIST SO MUCH. The music is incredibly upbeat, and so are the lyrics. This was very much my, "Alright LET'S DO THIS!" album of the year, and I typically listened to it as an entire album rather than individual songs.
If my life were an anime, "Overdrive" would be my OP, tbh.
Overdrive lyrics - this song is so RAWWWW FEEL MY POWER to me.
I <3 Samurai Heart for similar reasons.

Let It Beat lyrics - Don't whine / Bare your fangs!
Are u ready?
I’ve found my glory days
I’ll let this love be my weapon
Let it beat! Let it beat! Let it beat!
I can move on, dreamin'
Are u ready?
Gonna strip away, another day
My regrets until I’m left with zero

Until I get hold of the pieces of tomorrow

Gossamer - Passion Pit - I also started listening to Passion Pit because of Glee fandom, specifically the fic These Strange Steps by [ profile] thememoriesfire. The fic starts off as Rachel hits rock-bottom in her life and starts a relationship with the stripper, Quinn Fabray. But the entire fic goes on to cover their climb back up from rock bottom, and it's so good. She and Puck are the ones who make the music that is Passion Pit's.
I love the rhythms on here, but the lyrics are also quite devastating imo, which I wouldn't expect from just zoning out and listening to the way they're sung.
I <3 this entire album, and I really like listening to it as an album.
Faves include Take a Walk, Constant Conversations, On My Way, Love Is Greed, and Where We Belong.

All the things you can't control
Should never destroy your love or hopes
I found a place, I found a place,
I found a place where we belong

Vows - Kimbra - I also bought this because people in [ profile] ontd_glee were talking about it.
I liked the rhythms of "Settle Down" and "Sally I Can See You" and so I bought it. This is definitely an album that's grown on me the more I listen to it.
My two favorite songs from the album are "Sally I Can See You" and "Warrior." Honorable mentions to Come Into My Head, Cameo Lover, and Settle Down.
I feel it growing from whisper, to a shout and a fist in the air is my fave line of "Sally I Can See You," but I really like the entire song, mostly the rhythm (I'm a pretty rhythm-oriented music listener in general. I played piano for a decade but I also did percussion in middle school & high school).
I would quote "Warrior" in its entirety, I love the lyrics and the music. I suppose my favorite bit is:
You're just pushing me down, pushing me down, pushing me down
(They tell you 'trust your head, be like men' but never feel like you're good enough)
You're just crushing me down, crushing me down, crushing me down
(They wanna take our light, make us fight, but never cry for the ones you love)
(I'll be your warrior, warrior)

The North - Stars - This definitely isn't my favorite Stars album, and I think I really need to listen to their songs lots of times before they grow on me. Still, there are a few songs I like quite a bit: Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It, The Loose Ends Will Make Knots, and Walls.
"A Song is a Weapon" gets high marks for finally giving the Glee fanfiction I'd been working on for most of the year an actual title. I really like that song especially.

Revolution Summer EP - Muncie Girls: Discovery thanks to [personal profile] littlebutfierce, who blogged about them here. I don't know what I'm gonna do & I'm sick of having to decide could have been my anthem from the first 8 months of 2012, I think.
I'm looking forward to hearing more music from Muncie Girls.

Magic Hour - Scissor Sisters - Started listening to this album because they covered Let's Have a Kiki on Glee. I bought the album off iTunes the same night I listened to it.
In addition to LHaK, I like Baby Come Home, Keep Your Shoes, and Self Control for groovings. So many great rhythms in these songs.
I think Only the Horses and The Secret Life of Letters are my favorite two songs off the album.
I know that Only the Horses is about getting out of the city, but I choose to believe it could be post-apocalyptic, too.

As for The Secret Life of Letters...
What is the full speed of language
When there is nothing to say


How many days in a sentence
I feel like passing this phrase
These aren’t my friends
Maybe they’ll be again

Glee Cast - various covers - I'm not going to list out every single song I've bought this year, but I do spend money to buy the ones I like. I think almost the entire fandom is still watching solely for the cast and the music, at this point.
"Scream" is undoubtedly my favorite; it's my all-time favorite Glee performance (even though the context annoys me in terms of Artie's characterization on the show). I wrote an entry about this song/performance here.
The Michael Jackson tribute episode aired after my surgery, I think two days after I left my parents' house/care to spend time in my own apartment on medical leave, solely dependent on my boyfriend to do anything involving bending over, lifting, or getting things on/off the floor.
The music had already been out on First Listen Friday and I'd been listening to the song for days. The performance solidified it for me - Kevin McHale and Harry Shum Jr. totally killed it in remaking the Michael/Janet Jackson video, imo.
In the midst of the worst pain I'd ever felt, and my body making frightening alien-type noises every time I ingested food or water, I listened to this song on repeat.
Everything was way worse than I had imagined it being. This song, on repeat, got me through a lot, especially at work, driving to/from places I didn't want to go, driving to/from work, going to fucking medical appointments, listening to it before/after arguing with medical billing people, etc. etc. etc.
Things got worse than it ever had been in the past, at certain points. Nothing made sense; people wanted to help but there was nothing for anyone to do.

Kicking me down
I got to get up
As jacked as it sounds
The whole system sucks

Kevin's screams in the background, just this entire song was very therapeutic for me. Hands-down my most listened to track of the entire year.

The "Rumour Has It/Someone Like You" mash-up sung by Naya Rivera and Amber Riley was another immediate favorite (this might have technically been released in 2011, I can't remember). This song was something of a feature for Santana after having her sexuality outed to her entire community by Finn, white boy/hero of the show (who was never punished for it, btw). Santana's vulnerability and bitch-slap of Finn cemented her as one of my favorite characters (if not my absolute fave, which I think she is). Amber's and Naya's voices blend so nicely. I like this mash-up much more than the original singles by Adele - when I listen to either one, all I can think is, "There's not enough going on, where's the rest?"

I very much liked Unique's three singles from season 3 - the "Starships" cover had me loving that song before that multi-fandom vid that a lot of my friends liked came out (the vid did really nothing for me, tbh).

I could go on & on about each Glee single I bought and what it meant to me.
I should probably add "We Are Young" to this list, although I think that episode aired in 2011.

A Song is a Weapon Playlist - cultivated by me, located here with links to it on YouTube/ I've likely listened to every song on this list 100x or more, having become obsessed with each one in turn.
Each song elicits specific feelings from me about the characters/situations/themes of my story, and I'm so glad I made it because it's helped me get "unstuck" multiple times.
In the past few weeks I've taken a bit of a break from writing my fic, but I'd like to get back to it in the near future, and this playlist is going to be the first place I turn.

Honorable mentions also go to Kanye West, Stars (long a favorite of mine, but I really dug them again this year), My Chemical Romance (Danger Days gets a special mention for getting me to/from many a place I didn't want to go in my car)

Special 2012 bonus: PSY performing Gangnam Style with MC Hammer (Hammer comes in around 2:50):

It's probably worth mentioning that I'm on as [ profile] ribbonknight - this scrobbles what I listen to at home, which I'd say is about 1/4 of my listening. 1/4 = in the car, and 1/2 = at work (my iPod doesn't sync with iTunes b/c it has loads more music ^^;).
laceblade: Kevin McHale & Harry Shum Jr., screenshot from their remake of "Scream" music video (Glee scream)

Anyway, started a playlist of songs for US/UK politics; you can find it here if you have Spotify. I think that all of the UK ones come from a fanmix for Attack the Block that I downloaded a while ago - will link to that when I'm home & have the bookmark.

Do you have any song recs? As evidenced by the list, I'm into pop music, so recs along those lines = nice. Recs need not be centered on US/UK politics; that's just what I've got so far.

There's a War Going On For Your Mind - Flobots
Council Estate of Mind - Skinnyman
Golden Sand - The Republic Tigers
Wretches and Kings - Linkin Park
My England - Lady Sovereign
Take a Walk - Passion Pit
If There Ever Was a Time - Third Eye Blind
Hands Held High - Linkin Park
POWER - Kanye West
Wisdom, Justice, and Love - Linkin Park
We Are Winning - Flobots

I might add to this list myself later, because I forgot my iPod at home today. I need music to function at work, so the Spotify app is currently creating a playlist centered on Flobots's "There's a War Going On For Your Mind." Its first add is "We are all on drugs" by Weezer, lol.



laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)

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