Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ed. Note: Travel Update II

Just dropping in with a quick note to say that The National gig was excellent! I loved every minute of it. The Annuals were the opening band and they weren't too bad as well. The Astoria is this extremely dark, no, pitch black, venue and the seats were horribly cramped. But who cares!? I was standing and cheering the whole time The National was playing. At the beginning, Matt Berninger said "I'm not much of a talker" and he was singing half the time with one arm folded under the other but when Mr November comes on, the whole crowd went nuts and that was when the party really started, I think. Matt Berninger jumped right into the mosh pit as he sang "I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders". WOW! Imagine doing that in Singapore. I bet he'd be dragged away by security and slapped with a fine.

I felt really lucky to be on the guestlist and this is one of the few times I really believe in serendipity. I attended the gig with a brother of a friend of a friend, talk about randomness! But it was great nonetheless and a big ass cherry on top of my trip.

I leave for Prague tomorrow. Talk to you guys soon. Take care now! I'll be back and bitching before you know it.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ed. Note: Travel Update I

Hey all, how's everything in bloody hot singapore?! Everything is great here in London: everything is expensive and everyone is rushing like crazy, ha! And tomorrow is going to be great as well because guess what, I got a spot on the guest list for The National gig! Isn't that great!? I'm very very very happy, no, ecstatic! Check out the band and then tell me you're not jealous!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ed. Note: Today Is The Day

Hello boys and girls. I'll be leaving for London and Prague later this evening. I think access to an internet connection will be intermittent at best and I definitely would not have my iTunes library with me. So, I'm sorry that there probably wouldn't be any soundscapes episode for maybe 3 weeks. I've also mentioned that I'm in a bit of a dirge with this so hopefully a trip abroad will start the font flowing again.

If you are reading this, don't just stop; why not go through the archives? I've been doing this for about 38 weeks so hopefully there's a soundtrack for a particular moment in your life. Let me (soundscrobbler at gmaildotcom) know which episode is your favourite and which you hate.

Take care now, and I'll see you guys soon.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Soundscape #38: "Did You Forget That Yellow Bird?"

The yellow bird in the title refers to a canary and mine workers in the past used them to go down the mines first to test for poisonous gases. Cruel, sure, but that was how they work. The title is also taken off a Bright Eyes track ("We Are Nowhere And It's Now"), something I listened to over and over again on the 6-hour coach ride from Manchester to London 2 years ago. My ipod was running low on batteries and I had to listen to the same album over and over because I didn't want to risk changing the tracks and have my ipod remember that it's out of juice and die on me—you know how it is. It's funny how listening to that particular track immediately conjures up memories of that trip.

And I'm going again! I'll be going back to London and also embarking on my Kafka pilgrimage in Prague next week. This has been a long time coming and I've been planning and planning so much that I'm about to go nuts with maps and places to go, plane tickets, rail tickets, hotels, everything. I'd have like 15 tabs open in my browser and getting increasingly confused with the details (Transport Pass or the Oyster? It's a harder decision that you'd think it is); it's hard to keep that big picture in your head. Then when you get home, through your mail come the brochures you've requested and you see all the gorgeous pictures of landscapes, of neon lights and the city, of the people so deliriously happy. The concreteness of the trip and the everything just hit you and you have to sit down and take it all in. Slowly but surely, you start smiling to yourself, thinking "man, I'm really gonna go!" and you know that everything will be alright.

1. (0:00) Pink Martini - Sympathique (Sympathique)
2. (2:48) Lloyd Cole - Travelling Light (Antidepressant)
3. (6:32) Gene - London, Can You Wait (Olympian)
4. (9:42) Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (In The Aeroplane Over The Sea)
5. (13:05) Teenage Fanclub - Fear Of Flying (Thirteen)
6. (18:28) Bright Eyes - We Are Nowhere And It's Now (I'm Wide Awake It's Morning)
7. (22:40) Gomez - See The World (How We Operate)
8. (26:45) Trespassers Williams - Different Stars (Different Stars)
9. (31:31) The Clientele - These Days Nothing But Sunshine (God Save The Clientele)
10. (34:55) The Wrens - She Sends Kisses (The Meadowlands)

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ed. Note: Public Announcement Service

Good morning/afternoon boys and girls. We interrupt our usual soundscapes schedule to bring you this important notice: I sincerely urge you NOT to watch Spider-man 3. Not only is the show more than 2 hours long, its special effects sequences are simply not enough to make up for the extremely stupid cheesy slow and soap-opera-y plot. The lines are contrived, the action predictable, the characters are worse than their 2D counterpart; at least the comics don't pretend to be anything else. And Peter Parker as an emo gia?? wtf, dudes? wtf?


Friday, May 04, 2007

Soundscape #37: This Too Shall Pass

Hugo Leglise. La Defense, Late Afternoon, 2006.

If you really think about it, we don't live our life by the hour nor the day. If I were to ask you what you had for lunch last Tuesday, would you know? In contrast, some days are forever marked by past events. I realised that for me, I live my life quite half-arsedly half the time. All the self-improvement "gurus" would tell me that I'd have to really grab the bull by its horns. Carpe Diem. Live each day as if it were your last. But can we really do that? It's a bitch to even wake up some mornings, much less make it through the day. Think about it, if it were my last day today, would I really be at work right now? I hardly think so.

It's more likely that we live our lives through moments, through the interstitials. We only know we are alive when we catch ourselves being ourselves in the spaces that were never intended to be such; a different context, perhaps. We only know we are alive when we are about to die. And it's not easy to lie to yourself about something as fundamental as that. If your mind doesn't believe you are going to die today, the harsh reality of it is that you'd still have to be at work earning your keep.

It's those moments that you live for that make life worth living. Looking forward to something and living for it; nothing else would matter. Have you ever looked forward to something so much it hurts, right at the pit of your stomach? Hoping and praying that the planets will align just for you as that cynical voice at the back of your head keeps telling you that it will all be over soon and you'd come crushing down from a great height.

1. (0:00) Badly Drawn Boy - The Shining (The Hour Of The Bewilderbeast)
2. (5:20) 18th Dye - Poolhouse Blue (Tribute To A Bus)
3. (12:12) Bloc Party - Waiting For The 7.18 (A Weekend In The City)
4. (16:29) Iron And Wine/Calexico - He Lays In The Reins (In The Reins)
5. (20:08) M. Ward - Deep Dark Well (Transistor Radio)
6. (22:39) Beirut - After The Curtain (KEXP Live)
7. (25:42) Tindersticks - The Not Knowing (Tindersticks)
8. (30:43) Bedhead - The Rest Of The Day (Beheaded)
9. (37:05) Portishead - Wandering Star (Dummy)
10. (41:57) Mogwai - Helicon 1 (Ten Rapid)

*there seems to be something wrong with the font size but i cant figure out what the problem is. if you do, drop me an email, please. I got it! Stupid mistake

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