Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Music Blog – Critique

As someone who is very interested in music, I find this blog very interesting. It explains clearly and thoroughly on new musical instruments and accessories, including the latest of pedals, latest tuner and there are also some interesting videos.

This blog page is full useful links, but at the same time very neat with clear and neat fonts. So, viewers don’t get confused or even annoyed when they read the entries of this blog.

This blog is all about music, music and also music instrument, so, the owner of this blog had uploaded many relevant images and videos along with his entries. The images and the videos are uploaded as evidence to what he writes about in his entries. The relevant images and videos are what attract me to read his blog. It is hard to get on track on the latest music technology nowadays, as new things come up every day. But by reading the entries in this blog, it is easier to look on which music instruments and accessories are better by reading his opinions, as I think to know how good the product, you have to know what some people think about it. Another interesting thing about this blog is, the images that he uploaded are real images, and they’re all very clear.

For example, in one of his entries, he wrote about an incredible DIY guitar and tin-can amplifiers, and he even uploaded a photo of the self-made guitar! Another good example is his entry on ‘Drumometer’ where drumming can be considered as an extreme sport! A ‘Drumometer’ is a little box that can measure how many times you can hit the drum in 60 seconds. So, by using this, there drummers can now have a tournament. This blog also tells me a lot of things that I’ve never heard about, like the ‘Weird headless guitar, from the 1950’s’. The fact that I know there are many photos on this blog, and the interesting titles, make me want to read his entries even more!

The way the owner of this blog writes his entries, makes me feel convinced on his opinions and views. He sounds like he’s really into music and has a lot of experience in the music industry. For example, when the blogger writes about a new guitar modeller, he wrote, “VG-99 Guitar System This looks like the mother of all guitar modellers - like the old VG-8, it runs from a hex pickup, has a tonne of guitar and amp models, and a MIDI out port. I'm not sure how you use the ribbon controller while playing guitar, but, you know, it's cool to have.

MV-8800 'Production Studio' Their big daddy MPC4000 killer, with built-in TR808/909 Space Echo models, a colour screen and an output for a monitor, it's almost like... using a PC.”. This is how convincing his opinions and views are!

VG-99 Guitar System This looks like the mother of all guitar modellers - like the old VG-8, it runs from a hex pickup, has a tonne of guitar and amp models, and a MIDI out port. I'm not sure how you use the ribbon controller while playing guitar, but, you know, it's cool to have.

MV-8800 'Production Studio' Their big daddy MPC4000 killer, with built-in TR808/909 Space Echo models, a colour screen and an output for a monitor, it's almost like... using a PC.

50 Questions & 50 Answers

1. Sex? Male

2. D.O.B? 02.07.1983

3. Height? 178

4. Weight? 67

5. Waist measurement? 30”

6. The girth of your chest? No idea

7. Feet size? I wear size 9 – 270 mm

8. Blood type? B

9. Nick name? Han

10. Hometown? Busan, South Korea

11. Current address? 78/414-418 Pitt St. Sydney NSW 2000

12. Family? Father, Mother and me

13. Character? Too complicated to explain

14. Drinking capacity? Two bottles of Soju (Soju is Korean alcohol – 21% of alcohol)

15. Smoking? Stopped

16. First kiss? When 15 yrs old

17. Where? My friend’s place

18. Who? A girl!!

19. Why? Drunk!!

20. How was it? Drunk!!

21. Hobby? Playing soccer, Watching soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, table tennis and movies
(Korean), Listening to the music and Reading soccer magazines

22. Motto? Do your best! & Enjoy your life!

23. When you want to get married? Whenever I think I’m ready

24. Describe yourself by one word? Weird

25. Favorite movie? My sassy girl

26. Favorite novel? The old man and the sea - Ernest Hemingway

27. Idol? Aresene Wenger, Guss Hiddink and Rui Costa

28. How do you keep fit? Drinking a lot … of water

29. Sleep habit? Snoring, kicking and hugging a pillow

30. What type of person you want to be? Competent, credible or reliable person in my field

31. Good points?

32. Bad points? Lazy, thinking too much and timid

33. How do you get rid of your stress? Singing and playing soccer

34. Unforgettable friend? Too many to write

35. Unforgettable TV show? K-league highlights

36. Unforgettable soccer match? Liverpool versus A.C Milan (CL Final 2004-2005)

37. Favorite song? Master of puppets

38. Favorite food? Fish & chips

39. Favorite season? Fall

40. Favorite singer? Metallica, Zakk Wylde, Slayer, Black Sabbath and Ronnie James Dio

41. Favorite soccer player? Rui Costa, Cesc and Rosicky

42. When do you feel that you want to be in love with someone? When I am sick and tired

43. Your dream when you were a child? Soccer player or manager

44. Now? Soccer journalist or analyst or reporter or commentator things like that

45. Hateful singer and song? No idea

46. Idle type of woman? Hot, rich and smart

47. Role model?

48. Happiest moment? 2002 world cup

49. Saddest moment? Military service

50. Angriest moment? Military service

Monday, January 15, 2007

Metallica – Metallica (Part II) – Arguing for Metallica

Introducing Metallica

Metallica who did prove the fact that heavy metal is not just underground music any more, recorded best-selling in 1991 with their fifth album ‘Metallica (the black album)’, sold 14 million, and showed qualities of heavy metal through having a performance in Grammy Awards in front of all genres’ super-stars. Metallica is regarded as one of the most successful, in terms of music and business, and widely-loved heavy metal band, since the term heavy metal used. As usual as other heavy metal bands, messages of their songs are about repugnance to the older generation, criticism to sluggish societies and anti-wars. Moreover, they always play heavy metal.

Arguing against Metallica

Just after, Metallica’s fifth album ‘Metallica’ was released, there were a lot of criticism. So many critics said like “Metallica is getting on. They are not Metallica that we know any more. They are not strong as they were. Metallica’s time is out. They abandoned their style and color.” The reason for that is the sound of Metallica’s fifth album is slower, softer and weaker than before.

Arguing for Metallica

I personally believe that as a professional musician, the most important thing is having one’s own color and style. What I mean by the color and style is an identity. The most important and fundamental thing is what and how they play as a musician. Metallica was still playing heavy metal in ‘Metallica’. Moreover, not just playing heavy metal as any other bands do but playing heavy metal in their own style or identity which no one can have only they can have. That is the point. Simply, they altered their way of expression or playing but they did not abandon their identity as heavy metal band and Metallica. Their music was still containing a lot of energies, rages, grooves, melodies and emotions. They were just expressing their definition of heavy metal in more sophisticated ways. That’s what they did and why so many people were confused.

Although, their way of playing is slower, softer and weaker than ever before, they still have the most significant thing. They are still playing heavy metal as Metallica.

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Paris Whitney Hilton – Is Paris Hilton really news? – Tabloid Journalism

Just before Minehan’s first class in the New Year, I had not been into discussing on Paris Hilton at all. But during that class, I began to relate Paris Hilton to tabloid journalism, and then it gets on to me.

Apparently, the most famous name in the realm of celebrity journalism is Paris Hilton. Whatever she does, it becomes news on newspapers, magazines and television, everyday. Then, why is she such an issue? Is Paris Hilton a big deal for everyone? Is it because she is young and glamorous heiress? What makes her a worthwhile front page?

I personally think who Paris Hilton is and what she does is not a big deal. In the rest of the world, there are bunch of more extreme, interesting and exciting people’s stories that would be better news than Paris. However, my point is that, arguably, she becomes the news by the media; particularly an arena of tabloid journalism which is the most significant consequence of the relation between the media’s aspect of business and capitalism.

Jeff Cohen, who is one of the founders of FAIR, the media watchdog organization, and the author of several books critical of mainstream media, said in his interview with St. Louis Journalism Review that one of the major reasons for the flood of tabloid and celebrity news is, firstly, it is cheap to produce.

“You can fill up hour after hour of coverage with a crime story, a sex scandal, with just idle speculation. And the speculation never has to be accurate; and if the speculator proves to be wrong, well, he or she will be on the next tabloid story without any problem. So they're cheap to produce.”

The second main reason is that tabloid and celebrity news does not cause any serious problems.

“If you went after President Bush and if you were ferocious as we were on the Donahue show during the run-up to the Iraq war, if you were doing sort of appositional journalism and presenting voices that were informed, well, that gets you into trouble. Remember the operative word in television, in the phrase "news show," is show. It's a show. And if you are tough, they'll freeze you out. They won't send you the guests, and management doesn't like that. If you do reporting on economic power, you might even lose a corporate sponsor. If you do real journalism and real reporting, there are some downsides.”

“At the beginning of summer 2001, the story was shark attacks. The media coverage was in heat, but there was no real increase in shark attacks. And then you had four months, right before Sept. 11--this is a chapter of American history that most television journalists would like to forget--when all they talked about was Gary Condit's sex life and the missing intern who was killed. Gary Condit had nothing to do with it, but they spent months speculating about his sex life and whether he had killed the girl. If you do thorough political coverage, there's a downside. But if you do these tabloid stories, they're cheap and there's usually no trouble for management and no economic trouble in terms of sponsor threats or sponsor flight.”

As far as I’m concerned, tabloid journalism has been increasing its impact on our society under the name of business and making money. As we can see from Paris’ example, so many ridiculous things are being decorated as news just to make money. Moreover, Paris also cleverly accumulates a lot of money with using the media’s aspect of business.

As long as the media is in relation to business, tabloid journalism will never loose its power in our society. So what I’m really worried about is that, due to a significant increase of tabloid journalism, a fundamental concept of journalism which is supposed to investigate and report the area that public can not see from the surface, will not be able to function well. As Cohen expressed the media as a nervous system of democracy, it needs to be as it should be. Am I expecting too much from a business? I don’t know…

“If you do real journalism and real reporting, there are some downsides.”

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Zakkly Wylde?? – Zakk Wylde!! – Black Label Society

From Zakkly Wyle to Zakk Wylde

It was absolutely big news that Ozzy Osbourne, assumed as godfather in heavy metal, selected a 22 year old rookie guitarist Zakkly wylde as his guitarist. This is because it changed a rookie guitarist Zakkly Wylde, who nobody had known before, as one of the best heavy metal guitarist Zakk Wylde. Almost every music magazines began to write articles about him and expressed him as prodigy or new wave and that means he became such a world famous guitarist. However, after recording ‘Ozzymosis’ album, he left from Ozzy Osbourne with leaving a lot of assumptions about why…

Since then, he released his new project band and album 'Pride and Glory' that is originated from 'Lynyrd Skinhead' , his copy band of 'Lynyrd Skynyrd'. However, it was obvious that his glory didn’t come and his pride as one of the heaviest guitarist in the world that he accumulated through his so-called ‘chicken-peaking’, was treaded by playing country style southern rock. It was not fit for Zakk at all. Consequently, the band was presumed as a fiasco in terms of music and business. It also made him to be clarified as new kind of guitarist which means he is not a heavy metal guitarist any more. The reason for that is their music was not “this” or “that”. It was just nothing. There can not be any excuses for Zakk’s horrible vocal and amateurish, dull and tasteless sound. After that, the 'Pride and Glory' was closed and their business was taken over by 'Black Label Society'.

Zakk’s return

As a fan of Zakk, of course, I strongly assert that Zakk is more fit on hard play than any other styles. The reason for that is his vibrato, which nobody dare to imitate and makes listeners to say ‘wow’ because of its intensity and heaviness, and his peaking that is also known as ‘chicken peaking’ are not any guitarist can do. It is only Zakk Wylde can do and it is Zakk’s definition of heavy play with his lovely "Bulls eye", Zakk's Gibson Lespol guitar. Fortunately, since he labeled a society as black with Philth Ondich, Drummer in Black Label Society and Zakk’s drinking mate, he seems he realized what he is capable of and how his fans want him to be. Especially, his second album “Stronger than death” is stronger, harder and heavier than ever before as its title says.

Identity of Zakk Wylde

As a professional musician, I personally believe, the most important thing is having one’s own style. Gratefully, in this album, Zakk clearly shows his color or style as a musician and also shows his further musical direction.

Firstly, in terms of music, this album reinforced and infused who Zakk Wylde is. In other words, his image as the heaviest guitarist, which had been ruined by 'Pride and Glory', was able to be reshaped in people’s minds. In this album, as if he craves to show how he is competent musician, he played bass guitar, piano, guitar and vocal himself and even he produced. In terms of sound, this album is showing what Zakk Wylde’s heavy sound is. As his copy band’s name was ‘Lynyrd Skinhead’, it is based on southern rock sound such as ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’ and ‘All Men Brothers Band’. However, it is heavy metal, based on southern rock. (I reckon, that makes many listeners to come up with Black Sabbath’s sound because of its bluesy feeling) Combinations of his down tuned guitar sound, heavy vibrato which he didn’t show since he left Ozzy, destructive riffs, experienced uses of 'Wah-Wah' pedal and repugnant message are the most significant factors to consolidate Zakk’s identity of sound. It seems to say “this is Zakk Wylde’s heavy metal no one can imitate”.

Moreover, as an evidence of his further musical direction, he said in his home page that “We, Black label society, will be kicking mother f**king any kind of pop band’s ass such as ‘Third eye blinds’ and ‘Blink 182’. I think this album is more than kicking their ass. Besides, by releasing more albums, he’s kicked their ass enough.

Trials and Errors

When Nuno and Paul Gilbert’s, who have got almost the same age as Zakk, solo albums are judged as disappointment by fans and critics because of loosing their identities, Zakk also seemed he had been wandering about what his color is by releasing “Pride and Glory”. When I listened to the album “Pride and Glory” I put myself into the question that “What the hell does he think?” “What is this album for?” I mean, I was really curious what he think of himself. Does he think himself as a heavy metal guitarist? Or he thinks he is just a guitarist? The reason for that is there were a lot of concerns and fears for myself that I can not listen to his heavy sound never again.

However, Zakk was back with Black Label Society. Having many trials and errors enabled him to have his own musical color and style. The album “Stronger that Death” is stronger that any other heavy metal album.

"You can't kill what stronger than death"

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A dilemma of the media – news, business and power’s love triangle


How much do you think the media are reliable? Well, of course, it is depends on country’s proportion of freedom of speech. Theoretically, we assume that the media in countries, where democracy is well-developed, are more reliable than any other countries. Is it simply true? What about the example of America’s war reporting in news which is the so-called ‘embedded journalism’? Are only truths reported, objectively? Can anyone confidently say the news are not biased and are not in favor of anyone?

What about relationships between media owners and politicians such as, before, Kerry Packer and Neville Wran or John Howard couple (Well, Packer had a few more political girlfriends but those two are the most representative ones) and Murdoch and Malcolm Fraser (when Murdoch was Australian, now he is American and his girlfriend is George Bush) couple? Why were and are they so close?

In one step further, let me just have some fundamental and theoretical questions. Why are the media so important in current societies? Why is it commonly believed that the media must be objective, fair and balanced? What are the media’s fundamental duties?

As it should be…

Let me start with media’s significance and importance. Since breakdowns of communist countries, western democracy system is regarded as an idealistic governing system in 21st century. Current western democracy system of government, represented as the ‘Westminster system’, is also known as the ‘separation of powers’ system. The reason of why that is called separation of power’s system is that in the Westminster system, there are four different estates (or groups) which all separated from each other estates and act as a check and balance to stop any one group, or estate, from overwhelming power. The media, the fourth estate, theoretically require delivering realities of authorities through investigating and showing what the authorities are really like, how they do and how they should be as tools of check and balance.

Moreover, the media make meanings and organize those meanings into systems or codes which interpret the world. (See Grossberg’s ‘Media Making – Mass Media in a Popular Culture’, 1998) That is why the media must be neutral and objective description of how things are and of how things are supposed to be because the media is the only way that we can perceive other parts of our society. That is in accordance with Stuart Hall’s statement, “we experience the world according to their codes of meaning”.

Nervous system

The former MSNBC/FOX news contributor, Jeff Cohen, said that “Media is the nervous system of a democracy. If it’s not functioning well, the democracy can’t be functioning. We’re heading towards an election where most people are never going to be in a room with Kerry or Bush. What they learn about the candidates is what the media shows them or tells them.” (See also ‘Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s war on journalism) However, who decides what to show and not to tell?

A dilemma of the media

As a person who accepts as true Marx’s theory, I personally believe that the nervous system of democracy does not work properly at the moment. The most significant reason for that belief is that the media are used just as tools of production of media owners, which means the media is merely a business in capitalism society, and tools of propaganda of ruling class as lost its natural character which is a check and balance of authority.


As we can see from the examples of ‘Rupert Murdoch’ and ‘embedded journalism’, the media has been being wandered among the areas its fundamental purpose, business and propaganda in capitalism society. It is seriously biased and manipulated in favor of power and business. There are always a lot more significant and important things beyond what we can not see from the screen. (Well, I’d strongly recommend watching the movie, ‘Wag the dog’.)

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch owns 9 satellite T.V networks, 100 cable channels, 175 newspapers, 40 book imprints, 40 TV stations, including America’s fourth largest TV network, Fox TV, Internet web site ‘’ and Fox movie studio. He is an emperor of the media empire of Murdoch. It is widely believed that the Murdoch’s media empires’ prince and princess, New York Post and Fox News channels are the most repellent children’s of Murdoch. Murdoch’s admirable hardworking to attack people who opposed Bush administration, in the infamous examples of “Saddam lovers” and “Peter Arnett interview incident”, tell us how Murdoch’s products, are biased and in favor of power. He is willing to be a pet of Bush administration to accumulate more fortunes and to secure his empire.

“Since 1917 the Pulitzer Prizes -- named for their creator, the 19th-century press baron Joseph Pulitzer -- have been awarded to encourage excellence in journalism. I happen to think that more could be accomplished with a prize for the worst in journalism. It should be called the Murdoch”. (See Cohen’s ‘A media empire’s injustice’, 2003)

Embedded Journalism

Embedded journalism, the other example of dilemma of the media, shows more clearly that the media are tools of manipulation and propaganda of ruling class and is a specific example of how the media can be useful method of propaganda.

Experiences in Vietnam made the U.S government to realize power of the media and needs for controlling media to keep their power which is available through getting publics’ supports. So they came up with a breakthrough idea, embedding journalists that make journalists to see the war only from the U.S government point of view. Not only that but also it does not allow any individual investigations. In advance, they close any kind of possibilities that could turn the public against them.

Examples of ‘Saving Private Jessica Lynch’ – the best war and rescue ‘movie’ ever, made by the U.S government - and ‘Murdoch’s outstanding work in the media field’ - Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News broadcast images that suited the U.S.A and attacked anyone who opposed the war. As a consequence, after the war, the U.S government approved Murdoch’s purchase of DirecTV, a satellite pay TV service, to increase his media empire - give us significant lessons. (See Minehan’s note, 2006)


Theoretically, the media must be able to deliver realities of governments through investigating and showing what the governments are really like, what they do and how they should be as a check, balance and medium. But in reality, there are not many examples for showing that our nervous system functions as it should work – except ‘Water Gate’.

Furthermore, as the example of Rupert Murdoch and Fox news clearly confirm the media does not function as it should be. It implies that the media industry is merely a business in capitalism society, and tools of propaganda of ruling class as lost its fundamental identity which is a check and balance of authority. Pure journalism has been treaded under the flag of capitalism.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Metallica – Metallica (Part I) – How I met heavy metal

(Before I talk about Metallica and Metallica, their fifth album, I would like to tell my readers how I encounter Metallica and heavy metal.)

It was around 1998, when I was extremely depressed due to the France world cup in 1998. South Korean national football team was beaten 5:0 by Dutch team in France world cup and just after that game the manager, who was my hero, was sacked before he finish his contract. (Ironically, Guss Hiddink, who was the manager of the Dutch team in 1998 world cup, managed South Koreans to the semi-final in the next world cup.)

Anyway, I was watching the T.V to drawn my sorrows. Then I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was an angel on the T.V. The angel was singing and dancing. It was not human being’s voice. There were wings on her shoulders that only I can see. God sent me such an unbelievable gift. I wanted to believe so. My brain was being empty and my organs were all stopped doing their functions. I couldn’t hear, feel and see anything else except her. There was only her in my consciousness.

Since then I began to after her. I collect her every articles in magazines, on the Internet, record every T.V shows that she is on and even went to Seoul, where takes 5 hours to get by train from my hometown, to join her birthday party. I was one of the first members of her fan-club.

While I was reading her article, I found out the fact that she is obsessed by heavy metal and she used to be a vocalist in heavy metal band. She said her favorite band and singers are Judas Priest, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Metallica, and Gun’s ‘N’ Roses so on in her interview. I suddenly became so curious about heavy metal because I had never heard of that before. So I decide to have a listen to heavy metal music to know more about my angel, merely.

So I bought Judas Priest’s album called “Pain killer” which was their latest album at that time.
(I still don’t know why I chose that band’s that album.) That album was my first heavy metal ever. As soon as I play the CD, I felt like I was smashed by a hammer. It was literally shocking, shocking and shocking. Intensely distorted electric guitar, heavily powerful drum sound, horribly shouted vocal and seriously fast tempo but competently controlled and complemented as one sound. I was just obsessed. The sound caused a lot of my anger, rage and repugnance. Also, the sound enables me to feel catharsis. Since then, I became to follow heavy metal bands rather than following my angel. By this post, I want to say thank you to my angel for being a bridge that connected me to the world of heavy metal.

(In the next post, Metallica – Metallica (part II), I’ll talk about Metallica.)

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Monday, November 06, 2006

A curse of new stadium??

Derby County, Leicester city, Southampton, Sunderland and Millwal. What is the similarity of those teams? Some people might have noticed from the title. The answer is that those teams are all victims of the so-called curse of new stadium. Above teams used to be regular customers in Premier league. However, after building new stadiums, they have been staying in the Championship, rather than enjoying the benefit of their new stadium.

Arsenal also seems to suffer from a curse. But, it looks like it is a tiny bit different kind of curse with the curse that above teams are having. Arsenal just can not score.

Well, say so is likely to be not convincing because, so far they have two 3 goals scored games against Sheffield United and Watford. However, their several games against Middlesboro, Everton and Lokomotiv Moscow, made me to come up with the new kind of a curse of new stadium.

The reason for that is, in those games, Arsenal missed, unbelievably, so many chances, though, they perfectly control the games. If it had happened only in two games against Everton and Middlesboro, I would think that it is due to beating them up 7:0 in Highbury in two seasons ago and the last season. That poignant memory made them to only defend all the time. But, after watching the game against Lokomotiv Moscow, I felt something weird.

The curse stemmed from their opening game against Aston Villa. That game did seem that it is one-way traffic. Arsenal players were giving Martin O’Neil’s players a soccer clinic. However, Aston Villa scored the first goal with their corner kick among their 3 shoots. After that goal, they did not look like they are into go forward. Whereas, Arsenal hardly could score their equalizer through having 12 times shooting with 10 corner kicks.

Situations were getting worse. In the game, against Middlesboro, Arsenal had 17 shoots and 16 corner kicks but scored 1 penalty. In contrast, Middlesboro had 2 shoots and 0 corner kick but they scored a field goal. Moreover, Arsenal scored 1 free-kick goal through shooting 20 times and taking 13 corner kicks, against Everton in Emirates stadium last Saturday. Whereas, Everton scored the first goal amongst their 2 shoots which are all their shoots during the entire game.

However, the highlight and most unbelievable game was last Thursdays’ Champions league game against Lokomotiv Moscow. Rosicky and Fabregas missed their chances as if they are haunted by ghost. Furthermore, not only Rosicky and Cesc, but also Henry, Gilberto and Van Persie all did seem like they are hoodoos.

“We were looking at each other and wondering how we didn't win,” he said. “We
had enough opportunities. At one point the Moscow centre back looked at me and
said, 'there is only one team on the pitch". Arsenal skipper and captain, Henry, said.

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