lördag 31 augusti 2013

Kpop: Lim Kim (김예림 )

A little elegant piece of song, "All right" with a understated but stylish Lim Kim (Kim Ye Rim, 김예림) is so well done and performed that you forget its simple nature. That's what the magic called stage presence does. Her other songs, "Rain", "Colorring" and "Without knowing it all" shows a quality and variety while still having her distinct style that she may well be one of the next stars on the kpop sky. (I know she is in a due with male Do Deu Jun, but in Korea mixed-gender groups *never* seem to be able to sustain any long run towards fame, so I am ignoring their group Two Months in the calculation.)

Jpop: Nomico - Bad Apple!!

This singing by Nomico is quite OK, but it is the entertaining video that you watch it for. The song "Bad Apple" has been released and recreated in many forms since its orgin in a computer game in the Touhou series in 2009. This video is made by a Akira, a player of the game.

torsdag 29 augusti 2013

Kpop: Spica - Tonight (투나잇)

"Tonight" from Spica I actually finds a little funny. Korea and kpop is known for somehow being sexual  without never actually being explicit about it like in the West or Japan, partly due to a diligent goverment that classifies sexual content so that explicit lyrics or videos can only be shown under restricted and limited conditions. As in all cases of cencorship, this just makes the creative be more creative. It may very well be my imagination, but this video seems to be very much about sex and even drugs. It left me smiling at least, as it must have been quite fun to make this video. ^_^

tisdag 27 augusti 2013

Japanese indie: Plasticzooms

Goth/artistic group Plasticzooms fits rather well for me into the emo label, and nothing wrong with that.

Jpop: Sisterjet (シスタージェット)

I'm not sure how to place Sisterjet but for me they move between britpop and mild punk, with 60s sound mixed in, to give a rough description. Caramel flavor is my favorite for its softer sound.

Swedish food: Surströmming (シュールストレミング)

I think it says roughly that Surströmming is literally the most special smell in the world. ^_^
They home page then goes on to promote t-shirts that says you have survived eating this fish that smells 67 times worse than old socks.

A selection of old Swedish Surströmming cans in my backyard. Ah, the memories...

One of the more special and should I say controversial Swedish dishes is the Surströmming, literally "Sour herring", or "fermented baltic herring" as it is often translated. It is known mostly for its smell, as the fermentation has created a pungent odor that can almost be seen on the can as the process even makes older cans swell outward from the pressure. The taste in itself, though, is something else, a salty and unique spectrum of flavors that beats everything else. ^_^
This means that even in its homeland, surströmming is often either loved or loathed, and as the opening of a can can make the whole neighborhood feel the smell (I kid you not), eating it in cities has its challenges.


Let me shortly walk you through a basic meal of surströmming:

First you open the can. Why do I mention this? Well, because if you dont open it under water, the explosiveness of the air leaving the can will spray you with very smelly surströmming-fluids. You *will* smell a little after eating surströmming (the burps...) but opening a can wrongly is nothing to play with (as carefree people prove again and again...). Also, be prepared for flies. Living next to a horse loving family has proven to be a bit of a handicap in regards to this... ;-)  One trick is to place the surströmming and the purge from the fish on a neighboring table and let the flies have it there.

 You eat surströmming by making special flatbread sandwiches. You eat them with butter, potato and minced onion (yellow or red). To milden the effect of eating basically rotten fish I often have milk as the drink. This is not the only way, but my way, by the way. ;-P

First you have to clear out the guts of the fish. There is a special technique to this, but basically you remove tail, fins, guts and then finally slice of the filets from the spine leaving you with two small filets that you divide into smaller pieces.
 Then you butter a flatbread ("tunnbröd"), the hard kind, mind you, and add a layer of mashed potato (no, you may not use ready-made potato mash) some minced onion and crown it all with pieces of surströmming.
Add the other buttered flatbread piece on top. Some experts (like me) then quickly flips the sandwich over as the hot potato sometimes makes the bread soft and makes it fall to pieces. Viola! Just eat and enjoy the probably most special piece of Swedish cuisine you can find.