Thursday, August 31, 2006

I've Made Enough Friends

The WrensI don't know if it's the commercialisation of the music industry or the nature of it all but sometimes listening/discovering new music can feel pretty.. business-like. You read a review of a new cd somewhere, get the cd, slip it into your player (or upload it onto your ipod, whatever), listen to it for a bit, and if you like what you hear, you talk about it with your friends, even obsess over it for a while... but when the next new thing comes along, what do you do with the now-old obsession? It's become a routine-like thing, hasnt it? After a while it can seem a little tiring even.

Sometimes rediscovering the old can be as exciting, even more so, than discovering the next CYHSY or Tapes 'n Tapes. The soundscapes project, which I am trying my darnest to put up (semi) regularly, has me digging through old cds and old times, and I realise more often than not, you will definitely find something you will love all over again.

And it's always nice when you can put a personalised touch to the music you listen to. I was ordering a Wrens tshirt (the previous post rekindled my Wrens phase) when I realise that someone made off with my Silver and Secaucus cds previously. So I emailed Greg Whelan to ask if he could hold the tshirt shipment so that I can add the 2 cds to my order. And he actually said he would send them to me free since I am the only Wrens fan he knows in Singapore! How sweet is that!?


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I'm living on the wrong side of the world

This week, I'm looking forward to M. Ward's Post-War, which was originally supposed to be out last week. I enjoyed his previous Transistor Radio and am rather looking forward to the new one. The thing is, living in Singapore doesnt exactly make listening to new releases very easy. For one, it takes forever for the stores to stock up new stuff, sometimes as long as 2 months (I kid you not). And if they do stock up (like HMV), they often charge outrageous prices.

Preordering from the labels/artists doesnt work as well, since the warehouse will only ship them a couple of days before the release date, and cds usually take about a week or so, sometimes 3 (I kid you not) to reach Singapore. And not to mention that shipping is bloody expensive.

What I usually do is to settle for mp3 subscription services like emusic. For a relatively good price per month, I get a pretty good selection of stuff I need to get and what I want to check out. But recently, due to some copyright shit (geographically-based distribution deals), emusic limits the releases of some cds to only the US. It would be futile to blame emusic for this as they are bound by the contracts they sign etc, but come on, does noone realise the stupidity, the inanity of this arrangement? This is the Internet, fer fucks sakes.

Sometimes it's really hard not to fire up the bittorrents, that's all I'm saying.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Soundscape #1

Songscapes are moments captured on the fly just before life sweeps them away again and they have the power to bring you outside of your life, even if it's for a while. It's the opposite of catharsis where you wallow in self-pity, waiting for a release that promises to solve everything. You aren't always that lucky. What do you do after all that catharsis, after the pain, after the numbness, after the letting go? You listen to music that brings you to other places other than hurt and pain just so that you will have time to heal whatever needs to be healed and move on.

This is the first in the songscapes series. I wanted it to be happy, optimistic and hopeful but underneath the insane catchiness and hooks of some of these tracks lies a deep and poignant sense of sadness and nostalgia for all that's been lost. I'd like to think that these hooks are deliberately calculated to stick in your head so that you dont forget about the past and that you should learn from it.

Track Listing:

1. (0:00) Neutral Milk Hotel - The King of Carrot Flowers Pt 1 (buy In the Aeroplane Over The Sea)

2. (3:06) Interpol - Not Even Jail (buy Antics)

3. (8:52) Okkervil River - Black (buy Black Sheep Boy)

4. (12:91)Stars - Calendar Girl (Buy Set Yourself On Fire)

5. (16:98) The Wrens - Hopeless (buy The Meadowlands)

6. (22:06) Teenage Fanclub - Sparky's Dream (buy Grand Prix)

7. (25:21) Mojave 3 - Big Star Baby (buy Puzzles Like You)

8. (29:39) Yo La Tengo - Today Is The Day (buy Summer Sun)

9. (34:73) Wilco - Pot Kettle Black (buy Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)

10. (37:98) Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken (buy Let's Get Out Of This Country)

11. (41:47) Headlights - TV (buy Kill Them With Kindness)

12. (43:84) DeVotchKa - How It Ends (buy How It Ends)

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