Tag Archives: vienna teng

Here is the entirety of Muse’s Seattle show from 4/2 http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=104720086

And Muse wrote a song that will be the “lead single to be released from the soundtrack of the new Twilight film ‘Eclipse'” HAHAHAHAH. Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)” HAHAH!! Comes out on May 17. Oh, Stephanie Meyer, with all your wishes coming true.

AND they are coming back 28th Sept: Arco Arena, Sacramento, CA

Vienna Teng
I think I’m going to buy this wooden Vienna Teng USB drive (2 gigs, $20, comes with all the files from the new live album) instead of the CD version. http://viennateng.portmerch.com/stores/product.php?productid=17394&cat=0&page=1&featured

She is going back to school. http://viennateng.com/scrapbook/2010/03/new-chapter/ MBA in green business. So the last time to see her live for a while is coming up — she’s doing FOUR shows in 2 days at Yoshi’s in SF — May 15 and 16.

Also, I’m sorry about the posterous spam. I’ve been using it to get my files to people for our recording sessions for the 2nd episode of the first Avatar fan podcast. I thought I fixed it so that it won’t auto-update my livejournal anymore, but obviously I didn’t.

gravity music video

OK REMEMBER THIS POST? http://judytuna.livejournal.com/195392.html

THE VIDEO IS OUT! ONE YEAR LATER! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8nypWKa_aU
Turns out the song is Gravity, always one of my favorites.


I don’t get it. Maybe I’ll have to watch it a few more times, or read the director’s blog or something. But look at the RIBBONS!!!!!!! And he’s kind of like a pirate. I like pirates?


the thing that gets me about vienna teng’s music is its imperfection.

she has a glorious voice but that’s not the first thing you think of it. it doesn’t sound particularly special, she doesn’t engage in vocal pyrotechnics, it’s not something you’d describe as “lush” or “colorful” or something but that’s just it, the beauty is in its seeming ordinariness. especially in her latest album. she’s very personal, whispering, musing.

the voice: “we will know that the fate of one is the fate of all” is very !!!!, and then she chokes on her “and” in the next line, hushing down “and we will be as one god” and it fades away into trembly soprano. i can understand the reduction in volume and in force because it becomes only the harmony but it makes me feel angry or something. which is totally irrational and it’s anger and not sadness or something because i know she could blow us all away. and the way she chokes on “carry me down” … i just wish she did those four lines more full-throated or something… and same for “i am a constant satellite,” it feels like she gave up right at the height of everything. i mean i know you can’t be at !!!!!!-emotional level all the time because then it’ll be just normal instead of !!!!! when the !!!!! happens, but i always want more. but isn’t that always the case? i measure everything in opportunity cost. and i don’t know why i take her singing so personally. i know i make no sense. maybe i listen because it’s the feeling of wanting more that i seek.

and then lyrics. sometimes there’s complete disregard for rhythm and scanning, syllables all jumbled together, and then other times it’s as natural as talking, which i guess is the whole point and i’m saying that two things which are different are the same. some of the lyrics are just… “to carve us as instruments/ that play the music of life” ? what? i object because it just sounds dumb (why? because it’s too “obvious” ?), especially at such a climactic moment of this song, but then she goes and kills you with “for we don’t realize/ our faith in the prize/ unless it’s been somehow elusive” and it’s unbelievably perfect.

reading over this entry i realize it seems really negative. that’s not how i feel at all. i absolutely adore vienna teng’s music.

and the words, they’re everything and nothing.
i want to search for her in the offhand remarks:
who are you, taking coffee, no sugar?
who are you, echoing street signs?
who are you, stranger in the shell of a lover?
dark curtains drawn by the passage of time.
oh words, like rain, how sweet the sound…
well anyway,
she says,
i’ll see you around.

actually he throws confetti on himself on “sleep in peace/ when the day is done”

and he still does it. like in this video a few weeks ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnU3NVTlRlA

i uploaded blue caravan, seattle nov 2005: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h1wMVTbI3Q
i can’t find the other videos i took at that concert =( and i don’t even remember what else i recorded. i think i also got the one where david berkeley came out and sang with her, and http://viennateng.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1065 tells me that was during the tower.

i just broke down and bought the new assassin off of muse.mu. drm is for nubs: the faq on the website even says “burn it to CD, then rip it using iTunes to play it on your ipod.” stupid, stupid record companies. you can stream it here: http://judytuna.vox.com/library/audio/6a00c22529c75d604a00cd970406034cd5.html

i don’t even know what .89 pounds is in dollars. i’m assuming it’s not too much more than $1. i hope. in other news in the “Judy Spends Responsibly” department, i just found out i was just charged $79 for amazon prime a few days ago becuase of their “try prime for three months for free!” promotion and i forgot to cancel it in time. i’ve just cancelled my prime membership but i have yet to figure out if that means i get refunded. goddamn it.
–edited to add: they’ve refunded me. hooray!

You know what? I think a lot of Vienna Teng songs have extraordinarily good parts in them, and then some other parts that I don’t like. “taste of dried-up hopes in my mouth” I really like, but the chorus not so much. “like a phoenix you rise from the ashes” i like very very much, but “heyyyyy” at the end I don’t like so much. I think that “heyyyyeyyeyyyeyyy” kind of thing comes across much better for her live, so maybe that’s why she’s gone with the “I will sing in a whisper, as if I am lying down on the floor” approach with her newest CD. I think this because I perceive that my own singing comes across better live than in recordings, not because I actually know anything about Vienna Teng. No, that’s being unfair to myself, I’ve seen her perform like 6 times. She’s really good live. (As a contrast I think Guster comes across better on CD–well, Ryan’s voice at least. But who knows; maybe the times I saw Vienna live she was really awesome and the times I saw Guster live he was really tired or something.)

Someone random left a comment on my flickr of David Berkeley singing with Vienna Teng, and besides demonstrating my internet savvy by nounifying “flickr,” I went and obediently downloaded the link to the interview she did of him on her podcast/website. Apparently her podcast is … interviewing many many many many different singer/songwriters. The only other one I recognized after a quick glance was Kyler England, whose podcast file was missing alas, and who I only know because she opened for Vienna Teng (and sang harmony on city hall on the album). There are many many many singer/songwriters out there trying to make it in the world. I, being part of the ‘general [ignorant] population,’ only hear about the ones that make it somehow, and thus about the ones that tour with the ones that make it somehow, and this is such a small small segment of all the ones out there that it is depressing. There is so much good music out there, how could you possibly listen to it all? Or even find out about it in the first place? How do people find it in them to create things out of nothing like this? No, of course a song isn’t created out of nothing, you must practice your instrument to be familiar enough with it to play it while you sing, and surely there is a learning process in weaving melodies together, and if you mean to write a meaningful song it must be born of some kind of interesting thought. It just seems so… intangible, not like carting cement somewhere and building a house with it. Obviously.

Now that I know a few rudimentary things about finite groups, maybe I will take “Simple Finite Group (of order 2)” and slo-jam-ify it or something to sing in Spot the Octopus (cuz just arranging it straight would be lame). http://www.kleinfour.com/ (though I’m sure you’ve all seen the video, it’s been a few years) and http://www.stanford.edu/~lekanw/random/music/simplefinite.html for an explanation. Their entire albumful of math songs is on itunes and napster and everything. Furthermore I am impressed by their bottle choir. The end.

Here I am in Seattle. I twisted my knee getting into my seat on the plane (ha ha) so I hobbled around yesterday in one of Jenny’s many flavors of knee brace. I followed her to school one day, school one day, school one day, baaa, I’m a little lamb. Uh. Ahem. She had class for 1.5 hours so I sat around and looked at the internets on her computer in a “breakout” on her floor. You know how in Soda there are some random “lobbies” with tables and chairs on each floor near the elevators? They call them “breakouts” in that building. Do they call them “breakouts” in Soda too? Anyway, her building is really nice. There’s a huge open space in the middle of the building illuminated by skylights so you never feel like you’re in a cave. Jenny has a view of a gorgeous lake and snowcapped mountains in the distance. We ate pizza at “the hub.” I sat around trying to complete a “put these 14 logs of different length back into the box” puzzle that Ratoul told me to do while Jenny had her office hour during which I was not disruptive. We played foosball. People who Jenny introduced me to said “what did you do to your knee? what is it with jenny and her friends being injured all the time???” We picked up Susumu and Yong-joon (spellings?) and went to the Triple Door to see Vienna Teng. At this time I think it is appropriate to create a paragraph break.

The Triple Door is an awesome venue. In fact, here is a link so you can all imagine its awesomeness: http://www.thetripledoor.net/ There is a lounge area/restaurant thing, and then downstairs there’s a concert area with a nice stage. The concert area was filled with tiered layers of tables and booths–you’re supposed to eat before/during the concert. It was really nice. I had mongolian pork chops and choked on szhechuan pepper (however you spell schezhaun). We had appetizers of yummy black pepper squid and some deepfried shrimp, and Jenny got “dragon and phoenix” (prawns and… scallops?), Susumu got pork, Yong-joon got pad thai. Jenny was fascinated by the bottles that the water came in–glass, with a metal-and-plastic apparatus-plug at the top. Paragraph break number 2 inserted.

I liked David Berkeley, the opening act, who sang and played guitar and had songs about New York and railroads and how we are worn like river stones. His voice is the trembly (not weak, I mean sort of vibrato-y swing-around-y) folkish sort of kind. Vienna Teng played with her cellist and a drummer and they were really good and of course Vienna Teng was wonderful. I’ve noticed that I like her live a lot more than her recordings–not to say that I don’t like her recordings, of course. I do. She is just awesome live. Last time I saw her, I liked “momentum” a lot more after hearing it live. This time it was “hope on fire,” which may have been partly becuase she had a drumkit on stage with her. “Blue blue caravan” is awesome, as were the other new songs she sang, and I can’t wait for her next CD to come out. Hey Jenny’s back from class. I haven’t played civ4… oh well

On “Gravity” by Vienna Teng

So–I’m listening to Vienna Teng’s “Gravity,” right, and there are the lines, and here I will do a Kristinesque italicization in the places I wish to call attention to–
Hey love. Is that the name you meant to have
for me to call?
Look, love. They’ve given up believing, they’ve turned aside our stories of the gentle fall
(then(?)) Don’t you believe them.
Don’t you drink their poison, too!

These are the scars that words have carved
on me

[punctuation mine]

Ok so–and I’m feeling so dashy today–I have always interpreted the above-italicized lines as happening in the imperative tense (note: hold that thought about “imperative tense,” I’m gonna talk about it later). Like, “hey you, don’t believe them. Don’t drink their poison, as others (presumably) have.” After all, we’ve got “look” in the imperative tense. Also, in the next verse we have:
Hey love. That’s the name we’ve long held back
from the core of truth
[and here the guitar goes doo doo doo doo]
So don’t turn away now! [which could not be a question]
I am turning
in revolution
these are the scars that silence carved
on me

But it had never occured to me until a moment ago that “Don’t you believe them/don’t you drink their poison too” could be questions. As in, questions like “Isn’t this great?” or “Aren’t these your shoes?” or “Don’t you have to talk to an L&S counselor soon?” Like, “Do you believe them? Are you drinking their poison, too?”

Which makes more sense?

I started thinking about this because Derek showed me http://www.animemusicvideos.org … It is a site where you can browse videos that people create using a song and images from an anime. It’s a good thing I don’t know very many animes, or else I’d browse this site for a week straight without sleeping or eating. You can search by artist. There are quite a few using Vienna Teng songs (the best I’ve seen so far is for an anime that I don’t know (of course) and D hasn’t even heard of called “the promised place beyond the clouds,” but it looks really good. http://www.animemusicvideos.org/members/members_videoinfo.php?v=65261 … The visuals are matched so perfectly to the song). Anyway, I watched one using Howl’s Moving Castle (this one: http://www.animemusicvideos.org/members/members_videoinfo.php?v=84516 … wow it got pretty good reviews from other users). I liked it OK… anyway, it had lyrics at the bottom of the screen, and they wrote “don’t you believe them? don’t you drink their poison too?” and I was like “WHOA!”

I still hold that it’s in the imperative. At this point in time in writing this entry, I became unsure about the term “imperative tense.” So I looked it up. Here is what I found: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/000942.html I quote: “The imperative is a “tense” roughly in the sense that a ferret is a rodent, or a frog is a reptile. That is, it isn’t.” I highly recommend following that link, by the way. Especially Elanor because Elanor has rodents on the brain. Also Lisa because Lisa is a linguist. I typed “Lisa is a linguini” first, though.

So uhhh…. I still hold that it’s in the imperative … mood. Yes. Because other lines around it are in the imperative… mood. And lines in the same place musically in the next verse are also in the imperative …mood. But what does it mean? That’s another question entirely. “Hey love, is that the name you meant to have for me to call”–ok, that seems simple enough, something like “did you mean for me to love you?” maybe. “Turned aside our stories of the gentle fall” … there are two interpretations of “gentle fall” I have in mind. One is the fall of eve and the subsequent ejection from the garden of eden. The other is an autumn that was particularly mild. The line “they’ve given up believing” evokes faith, which evokes religion, which has to do with the fall of eve… But what does it all mean? Who are “they” ? “Our” stories of the gentle fall? Maybe it is a romantic relationship that is vagely taboo, with “hey love, that’s the name we’ve long held back from the core of truth”–sooooo… maybe… these lovers… um… have been in love for a while but it’s inappropriate in some way, and they tried to justify it to “them” (whoever “they” are), … “gentle fall,” how is the fall gentle? Ummm… maybe they are saying … the loss of innocence is actually a good thing… or… their love is a good thing… the singer is worrying that the beloved is succumbing to “their” (whoever “they” are) “poison,” in other words, “their” reasons why the love is taboo, and as such he is having doubts about the relationship… so she’s telling him (genders irrelevant, really; for the purposes of analysis, “she” will refer to the singer, “him” will refer to “her” beloved, and “they” is… you know, “them”)… anyway so she’s telling him not to believe “them” because she and he know their love is uh good… Ok this analysis has fallen apart. Abort! Abort! Abort!

It has come to my attention that my writing is extremely difficult to follow. I’m sorry. It’s just that I want everything to be as transparent as I can make it–if I have three thoughts in mind, I want to tell them all to you at the same time, no matter how irrelevent they are to the matter at hand (“kristinesque itailcization”). I’ve never been one for organization. Also, the problem may be that there is no one matter at hand. I just ramble. Mike’s java-blogging comes to mind–the entry where you chose levels of boredom and got more and more detail. I really liked that. I could set something up like that too. You could turn off genres of comments like “Where Judy indulges in self-hatred,” “Disclaimers about sounding dumb,” “Irrelevant asides,” stuff like that.

A funny wordage that my dad uses a lot is “such like that.” I think he means to say “stuff like that,” but I find myself adding “and such like that” to a lot of phrases in my head. I can usually bite my tongue before saying it out loud, though. How strange and wonderful it must be to speak your parents’ language. Maybe I should become an Asian-American studies major and do a study on communication and how the language disconnect in particular (as opposed to merely the cultural/generational gaps) affects the psyche of the second-generation immigrant. Do any of you who are not totally fluent in the the language of your parents feel anxiety about communicating, about using words, so you use more and more words in an effort to make yourself clear?