javiera Welcome back to the Pop World Cup, and to the first of our four quarter finals. Chile (managed by lartsaegis) reached here via what turned out to be the narrowest Round of 16 win, against Cameroon. Japan (gaffer: Patrick St Michel) saw off Uruguay more convincingly. The winner of this game faces Nigeria or Ghana in the semis.

QF1: Chile v Japan - which do you pick? [ballot]

  • CHILE: Javiera Mena 53%
  • JAPAN: Perfume 48%

Total Voters: 80

Poll closes: 23 May 2014 @ 15:00

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This match runs until Friday! Both teams’ songs are below the cut, along with a belated farewell to Switzerland…

CHILE: Javiera Mena – “Luz De Piedra De Luna”

“I had a hard choice coming into this round, I really did. And in one respect it was a choice that hinged on who Chile would be playing next: so when I found out we would be up against Japan, I had a hard choice coming into this round, I really did. I already had a sort of prospective write up done for Mena’s latest flaming sword, Espada, it was one that delineated my history with who I’ve come to dub as Javiera Wena — how I got to know her through her first album Esquemas Juveniles, how I fell into the slowdancing-in-a-drowning-room depth of field that the title track had, how Espada takes direct reference to Revolutionary Girl Utena: Adolescence Apocalypse and how it remixes the prince aesthetic, how the melodyne pitch shifting is TREMENDOUSLY used to make her voice sound like a male’s voice, how I love the whole damn thing even if others have started to wane on her, but I had to take a step back and have a pow-wow with Javiera herself.

At a dinner I brought out a toy silver-paint-plated plastic buckler made for an action figure, put it on the table, and I took the pink sword from my drink and set it down beside. I told her she could either play with the shield of herself or the sword magically extracted from the chest of her lover. She told me that a man on TV once told her to “believe in the shield, because the shield brings the sword,” but she then replied that the sword brings a safeguard, and invoking Tracey Thorn on Massive Attack’s Protection, she said “I have no fear, and I’ll take on any man here who says that’s not the way it should be.”

I then told her that while I know Espada is who she is now, Luz de Piedra de Luna has literally been haunting me since I began planning strategy for this match. I had a dream just yesterday night where I was in a classroom, explaining to a professor who had been teaching me how to teach Young Adult Literature a translation/breakdown of the chorus:

“Aunque cuando bailo contigo (But when I dance with you though) / no me preocupo más (I worry no more) / sueño contigo (a dream with you) / Luz de Piedra de Luna (Lightsewn Stone of the Moon / Cuando bailo contigo (When I dance with you) / no, no trato más (No more do I try) / de entender que tu luz se apagará (to understand why your bright always dies). The shieldmaiden of Santiago brings a shield the size of Satan’s, circa Paradise Lost. We play on a field of dreams.”

JAPAN: Perfume – “Hurly Burly”

“This far into the tournament, staying focused is key. Which is why for this match, we are marching down the pitch with a bounce in our step but unafraid to get aggressive if need be. The teams’ eyes are focused on the back of the net, and this techno-pop tune shall guide them there.”


SO FAREWELL THEN…: Switzerland, guided by the enigmatic Mullah Rezmat through Group E only to exit at the hands of Rezmat’s former charges Iran. We’ve lost one of the most unpredictable sides in the tournament, shifting formations completely from game to game. My personal favourite, the Celtic metal of Eleuveitie, didn’t quite catch the fans’ ear, so instead here’s veteran playmaker Boris Blank and “Random Tox” from game three…