Help Make This Happen! “Give Fans the Credit”

Ack ack ack ack ack ack ack ack!

I’m over the moon about this, you guys. I seriously think it needs to happen.

I get email alerts from the Grammy Museum, and today I saw one on an initiative called Give Fans the Credit. It’s for:

Beatles Stories

Real music fans want to know who wrote, produced, and played on their favorite tracks. Making credits available so that fans can find out what other songs a songwriter wrote or a producer produced will lead to more music discovery.

The Recording Academy®, the organization internationally known for the GRAMMY® Awards, has launched “Give Fans The Credit” – a new campaign that helps enhance fans’ discovery of new music by working to ensure all music creators are credited for their work on digitally released recordings. Honorary Ambassadors for this campaign include: 12-time GRAMMY-winning producer T Bone Burnett; GRAMMY-winning songwriter Lamont Dozier; singer/songwriter/percussionist Sheila E; singer/songwriter Skylar Grey; five-time GRAMMY-winning producer/songwriter Jimmy Jam; two-time GRAMMY-winning producer/songwriter RedOne; GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Tedder, and three-time GRAMMY-winning producer Don Was.

An online petition for fans to sign along with further information is available at Get involved and help us convince digital music services to let fans know who made the music they enjoy!

Honestly, this accreditation is so long overdue. On my music blog, I got slammed once for putting up the wrong co-songwriter credit on a Jason Mraz, which I had pulled from Wikipedia (I had searched multiple sites and Wiki seemed the best out of the ones I found). And it was so bogus because Wiki then started using my blog post as a citation source! The internet is just a whirlpool of very potentially bogus information, especially when it comes to truth and origins of data, so trustworthy sources and authorities in different fields really need to be available.

Back to my blog story, I only found out who the proper songwriters were from a tip someone left in the comments – music performing rights royalty organizations like ASCAP, BMI and SESAC have a search portion of their site where you can verify who actually worked on a song, but it’s a big hassle (and in some cases, there’s still a disclaimer regarding accuracy of information!). Because each person involved may be under a different music organization, you may end up having to search all three sites using different terms to find what you want. And think of what search errors you can find if you’re looking for a song with a very common title, or that has been remade by the same artist!

This kind of information should be available, for matters of verification as well as for the benefit of fans. I can’t think of a person in music who wouldn’t want their name to be credited in their work, and it doesn’t sound at all difficult for digital music services to add on. I’m sure all the documentation exists already, so a lot of it would just be some sort of copy/paste algorithm to have the information automatically attached to songs.

One of the primary plusses of the internet and digital services is that they’re supposed to make things easy and convenient for users. This sort of feature would really add to that aspect, and I see it as incredibly beneficial to anyone involved and/or interested in music: A dance fan who loves the production on a catchy track can search by production team and find more songs in the same vein. You’re a songwriter and you think a song is dope; now you can find the names of whom you would potentially want to work with. A young listener, inspired by a certain sound, finds out who’s playing guitar on a track and can easily locate other songs the guitarist has played on.

If you’re into this, please please please get involved and sign online – it’s so easy, all you enter is your name and a valid e-mail address.

4 Favorite Male K-Pop Ballads

Recently my cousin asked me for recommendations of K-pop male solo singers “without girlie voices,” and the first one I probably thought of was 박효신 / Park Hyo Shin. I first heard him through the theme song of the K-drama, 미안하다 사랑한다 / I’m Sorry, I Love You. The song was called “눈의 꽃 / Snowflower” (originally Yuki no Hana by Japanese singer, Nakashima Mika).

You can probably tell my leanings already, and I admit it! I love the big, tragic, dramatic ballads (and stories). It’s like literal soul food or something, it just tugs something inside me! XD It is melodramatic angst, and done well, it is so, so good. There is just something about melodic shamelessness … can … not … resist. !!!

Anyway, I sent my cousin a handful of recommendations and wanted to share with you. I can already feel myself getting sucked back into the Korean vortex… but you have to admit, this genre really does suit an autumnal mood.

4. 휘성 / Wheesung – 일년이면/ Already One Year (2005)
그대 닮은 사람마저 미워해봐요 / I’ll have to hate those who look like you
(Skip to 0:40 for the start of the song)
Wheesung is a respected R&B singer in Korea, formerly under M-Boat and thereby connected with YG Entertainment (company that houses Se7en, 2NE1, Big Bang, 1TYM, etc.). He has a pleasant voice and soulful tone that lends itself really well to these pop-soul tracks. Full lyrics here.
3. 허각 / Huh Gak – 죽고 싶단 말 밖에 / Told You I Wanna Die (2011)

 미칠 듯 숨이 막혀 / Michil deut soomi makhyeo /
Can’t breathe, suffocating, as if I ‘m crazy

This guy is a newbie who won one of of South Korea’s televised singing competitions, “Superstar K 2.” His voice is great for emoting and I just love how he uses it for all these little things and contrasts between the verses and the chorus.

2. 김범수 / Kim Bum Soo – 보고싶다 / I Want to See You (2002)

죽을 만큼 보고 싶다, 죽을 만큼 잊고 싶다 / Miss you to death, Want to forget you to death

Kim Bum Soo will probably go to the grave unable to escape this song. Perhaps the King of Korean Ballads (which are all presumably tragically minded), Kim Bum Soo sings with sorrow and desperation on this track that became the theme song for the classic K-drama, 천국의 계단 / Stairway to Heaven. Remote control? Check. Tissues? Check. Ice cream and chips? Check. And we press “on”… Yep, still a tearjerker.

1.박효신 / Park Hyo Shin – 동경 / Yearning (2001)

내 이름조차 생각이나 날까요 / Will even my name pass through your thoughts?

The Co-King, perhaps, of Korean Ballads, Park Hyo Shin has got a voice. It’s deep and cloudy and slightly raspy, even a little stuffy, but his emotive tone and accurate pitch make whatever qualms I might have negligible. This song is kind of an oldie, from his second album, but it’s still so good. Full lyrics here.

Hope you enjoyed this little list! Searching for my favorite lines has reminded me to get back on that lyrics/translation project. In my online research, I came across another girl who compiled a list of her sixteen favorite K-pop ballads. Check it out if you want to try out some more depressing songs! :D

Okay, bye, I have to go look up more Park Hyo Shin now.

Happy October, everyone :)

lyric of the day: Bryan Cox, Jermaine Dupri & Johnta Austin

he still got love in his eyes,
and i still got love in my soul

-Tamia, Still : first verse

Love every pickup before the chorus. This song contains the word “still” at least 30 times, but I still have it on repeat.

Check out songwriting credits using ASCAPSESAC or BMI. (Chances are it’s in one of them. ;)

[SiC] R&B Lady Tamia’s Country-Produced Song, “Still”

Though I love the availability and convenience, I wish Spotify gave more credit and cut to the artists / content creators. That earlier stat on how much Lady Gaga got from Spotify plays was just ridiculous.

They do give great publicity though. A most pleasant discovery was getting to hear Tamia’s new album, Beautiful Surprise. It’s just such a solid, melodically catchy album, a nice respite of sparkling R&B that stands strong in today’s electrodance landscape.

With a quick bout of googly research, I’m happy to see that she’s been getting positive reviews. The Washington Post gushed about her and the NY Times review was more critical but supportive.

My current favorite track is the last song off the album, “Still“:

Other favorites: Because of YouLose My Mind.

To read more about the issues regarding Spotify, you can try these articles:

The verdict isn’t out, but what’s out there is enough to make me leery and consider abstaining. :/

[Review] A Few Critical Thoughts on Xia Junsu’s “Uncommitted”

AUGH. It’s so cheesy. SO CHEESY!!!

Honestly, sometimes I think K-pop companies need to hire me (or at least someone like me :X) as a consultant for their English-oriented productions.

The above video is a 43-second teaser for  Xia Junsu of JYJ’s new English-language song, Uncommitted. And here are the issues I have with it:

     1. Please, STOP PICKING words in English that are hard for Korean speakers to pronounce. Especially as the repeated title of the song. See mangled autotune pronunciation at 0:20.

     2. Ending shot where the couple is standing side-face to side-face – the expressions don’t match. His should be a lot more serious and smouldering to match her lost one and the muted vibe of the cinematography.

     3. Please find someone who writes well professionally for your YouTube channel. You’re setting up how people will understand your entertainer here. Current fans might not care, but any potential new audience you’re hoping to score with will.

     4. I’m probably reading too much into it at this point, but it’s starting to bother me that a lot of female figures in male K-pop music videos are non-Asian, usually white. It seems to play into the whole non-Asian superiority/beauty complex undercurrent.

It seems that something always gets skewed when Asian pop stars try to tailor things for the Western market – anyone remember the fiasco that was BoA’s original “Eat You Up” MV for America? Their production values are obviously high, but the companies often take things and run in the wrong direction.

I know I’m taking a pretty critical stance (and that I may sound like a snob), but I always do for these Asia-into-English forays. It’s because the general American audience is much less forgiving when you’re not in your native tongue, plus the fact that I know these entertainers could do a lot better if they actually had some grounded perspective from a non-insider/related-Korean person.

Bottom line: Less yes-men and strangely biased audience predictions, more honest feedback from the internationally minded of good taste. Holler if you know what I’m sayin’.

Lyric of the Day: Ed Sheeran, Jake Gosling, Chris Leonard

i’ll surrender up my heart
and swap it for yours

-Ed Sheeran, Lego House : 4th verse

First day of August, everyone :) Enjoy the end of summer. Go out to the beach. Learn how to grill something perfectly. Make picnics happen. Check out a museum. Eat ice cream on the hottest days.

Lyric of the Day: Rodney Crowell

I’ll be a man of my word
Speak the language in a voice
That you have never heard

-Keith Urban, Making Memories of Us

Originally by country artist Rodney Crowell (according to Wiki), the song has more recently been popularized by Keith Urban, which is the version I’ve heard. I remember a friend in college telling me she loved the line, “steal your attention like a bad outlaw.” The lyrics and theme on a whole are charming and sweet.

Lyric of the Day: John Mayer

Don’t hold your love over my head

-John Mayer, Come Back to Bed : bridge outro

Happy Friday, everyone!

Lyric of the Day: Dan Fogelberg

As I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain

-Dan Fogelberg, Same Old Lang Syne : last verse

Looked up this song after the deejay host, Valentine, and a musician he was chatting with on the phone discussed great old songs. They quoted lyrics and names back and forth to each other, and I managed to catch a few. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember the one the lady mentioned! Something about an incredible lyric, ended with the word “life,” amazing topline, seemed like it was a duet?

Lyric of the Day: OneRepublic

You’re a lonely soul,
Cause you won’t let go
Of anything you hold

-One Republic, Say (All I Need) :  1st verse

To be honest, I like certain parts of this song a lot more than the song overall. (And music video is… eh.) But according to Wiki, it’s frontman Ryan Tedder’s favorite song off the album that also hosted the hits “Apologize” and “Stop and Stare.”

The whole band is credited in the title as all five members (Ryan Tedder, Zach Filkins, Drew Brown, Eddie Fisher and Brent Kutzle) are listed in writing/composition credits.

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