Thursday, August 07, 2008

i'd like to have company during thunderstorms/

tracyanne campbell live, which I hope to see soon.

I woke from a restless 13 hour sleep today.

God knows when was the last time I slept that long.

Oh and the fitful snatches of dreams I had that were just plain huh. Imagine a combination of hamsters, evil supervillians and some other damn weird stuff.

To tell the truth I do not think I have slept as well as I did last night for the past few years ever since the first day I entered military, then the hectic working at hmv after that, and the supposed 'rest' period just done. I like to think the start of university and the rest of my life is on a fresh page.

And what joy I wake to when random browsing online led me to find out that Camera Obscura is coming down to perform in Singapore late October. New films like The Go Master which I have been waiting for some time are *finally* opening here next week. Analogue Girl at the end of this month maybe too just to see what the fuss is all about her, and just to see how electro pop sounds like live. Ohh and the lucksmiths soon too. Ah im happy.

All that is left is getting my new laptop and transferring all the music into it, and soon my dream of a 24 hour jukebox room will come true. And the rest that I hope for is that ill meet people here in nus who share the same music and kind of things that I do. haha but i'm not greedy so let's just see what comes eh.

there is a nice five o clockish rain floating outside of my home now, which sealed my decision for this camera obscura song. I've decided to not write anything about this because well, for me this tune is just = happiness right now, and words really cant find a way around that. Enjoy!

Camera Obscura - I Don't Do Crowds


Monday, July 21, 2008

or do you seek loving

Hold My Hand Video

Sometimes, you cant go wrong with a little dark tune with a dirty glamourous tint to it can you?

I know I cant.

I never was the dance or electronica kid, and only came into the whole thing rather recently. The popular ones like Hot Chip, The Whip and the like were all discovered whenever Ali, the hmv resident dance go to guy, put them on the shopfloor radio during the nights. Unkle too once, and I was quite blown away by it.

Sure unkle may be a little gimmicky and uneven but it was sufficiently interesting for me that I plugged the album in on the long walk down the streets of town to dhoby ghaut one night and realized it was very good music to *go with*. And listening to alone. I suppose it was something to do with a kind of grittiness that pervaded Unkle's music which went well with the concrete jungle of this fine island. Like the video you see, all dark muted colours of grey and dark green.

The song that struck me most was this, " Hold My Hand".

The lyrics are simple and straightforward, but the vocalists drones it in such a way that, along with the whole apocalyptic morbidness of the song, evokes such a bleak and eerie soundscape that it is actually quite frightening. Plus the guitars actually *groan*, and I do not know how that exactly works but it does, and rather effectively gives the utterly already intense texture of the song a visceral quality that just makes it more immediate.

Oh and the video, the video. It basically is just one extended metaphor for a relationship, but I really like the narrative focus and determination that carries very well throughout. Is he dead weight or not? *Why* exactly is she willing to drag him around? What could possibly explain it? Can the simple act of holding a person's hand ever mean so much? Ever been in a relationship where on retrospect, it just feels like someone has been dragging the other? Well I have not, so dont go thinking too much into my interpretation of this clip.

However the very interesting thing that happens in the video is right at the end. The part where he finally responds, right after she *lowers herself down to his eye level*. Says a little doesnt it?

But I don't know.

UNKLE - Hold My Hand


Monday, June 23, 2008

i wont let you/

Turn up the volume if you can, dim the lights if it is convenient, make sure you will not be interrupted for the next 8 minutes or so, and watch through the *entire* song above. I refuse to let you read the rest of this post until you have done so, and I trust that you trust me.



Let me get this straight. I never trusted Death Cab For Cutie from the start. Sure I only had a couple of songs from their OC days, but still I always felt for some reason they were the poor man's version of The Decemberists. Songs about immortal love and stuff like that are fair and fine enough by themselves, but they were not particularly *memorable* nor scything like how Colin Meloy and co. do it. That and their stiff band name. I mean Death Cab? For Cutie? Wha?

So I was rather indifferent when I first put on their new album that came into hmv the last couple of weeks I was there, but found it actually not so bad at all. I started to find myself playing the CD as often I could, but not too long at a stretch since the songs inside were not exactly what you called ' commercial' ( oh well upstairs still wanted nauseating replays of madonna's album then). I mean just take a listen to their first single, ' I Will Possess Your Heart', where the vocals only come in *4 minutes and a half * after the start. " You can hear their record label bosses gently weep as the vocals finally come in" so aptly described by NME. DcFc could have went all bland and stuff after finding fame and widespread popularity after their OC stint and grammy nomination, but nope, I respect them for their trying out something new on ' Narrow Stairs'.

If you are looking for the same instant hooks like ' Title & Registration' or the warm kind of ' Army Corps of Architects' then you probably will not find it here. Most of the lyrics here have a healthy tint of genuine melancholy that I find really gives colour to each individual song, or as Allmusic puts it rather succinctly, raw rather than polished, heartbroken rather than optimistic, enigmatic rather than energetic. The album really does grow on you, and there is no better example of that then ' I Will Possess Your Heart'.

It starts slow and innocent enough, with that rev and the bass guitar that settles into its own rhythm, the drums sliding in unnoticed, the keyboard chiming as his turn finally comes. It is in one word, gorgeous to put it simply. To just sit back, close your eyes, and listen to how everything falls into place and builds up to a tantalizing height. Stunts like this cant be pulled often on us listeners, but when pulled off like that, how can one say no?

The lyrics are firm and to the point here, something refreshing from a band that I found liked too much dithering semi romantic love songs with protagonists that refuse to just get on with it when enough is enough. But I guess those were what attracted DcFc's main core group of female fans to them in the beginning. Granted, saying " I will possess your heart" straight upfront may seem too eerily forward and scary ( and rightfully so), but really I find in context here it is not really about that. All the lyrics here are asking for is just a *chance*. Nothing more but just to spend some time together. It may be heartbreak, or it may be finally love, but before any of that at least a chance of any kind would be good is all the protagonist is asking for, honest, upfront, and sincere. It actually is quite good isnt it?

Plus I do like the video too, the traveling bits. Ok I admit precious shots of a rather attractive girl with wispy hair set against the sun cant really go wrong but that's not the point. Well it just reminds me I still got a bit of wanderlust to do before ill be satisfied, and the short run around in Vietnam last year will only be the beginning. Couple of nights back I dropped by xj's and desi's lot at the the tanglin mall flea market, and found out that des just came back from a two week trip up Vietnam too. The route she took was different, though the direction was the same, most of it being on a 5 day hired motorbike tour up the midlands. The photos on her camera were telling too, very different from the kind me and the rest took. She had people. A lot of people. Each one captured differently, each one probably meant something to her. Many close ups too. While we had lots of interesting bits and wide scenery shots. Says a lot about what we were looking at doesnt it?

haa so maybe we were a bit too absorbed in ourselves then, but im fine with the way my experience as it is. But ill keep that in mind the next time. Somewhere to the west next I think. Europe I hope, but ill see what comes eh?

Death Cab For Cutie is coming down to singapore for show in early august too. So are the lucksmiths!

Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart

/let me down so easily


Sunday, June 15, 2008

may it be tomorrow/ that I can love again

saying hello to the rest of my life.

and a good accompaniment to it would be a new discovery among my last day along the aisles of hmv.

Husky Rescue- New Light Of Tomorrow ( Live Acoustic)

the other versions are all good too, but as usual the acoustic one strikes me the most.

- thanks to noy for tipping them off to me

you gave me hope amidst my sorrow
may it be tomorrow, that i can love again
and in return for what i've borrowed
be with you tomorrow and until the end

i know the road we're on is narrow
along comes tomorrow, we're gonna see the sun
and with the wings of the first sparrow
new light of tomorrow
we will be as one


Thursday, June 12, 2008

oh im worried/ im worried

I didnt know why I chose to pick up Wilco's album yesterday, but I did, and I didnt know why I chose to go on a late night small exploration of the town area with two complete strangers, but I did.

And somehow along the way in these rushes of spontaneity, sitting on the concrete above the tunnel watching the whizzing headlights of the cars underneath and in turned being watched by a luminous half moon sandwiched between the tall buildings along the emerald hill condos, it seemed right to play this song, the right earphone on my ear, and the left one on hers.

And nothing much else in the world makes me happier than sharing music, and being shared music in return.

Wilco - Im Always In Love ( Acoustic)


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

cause moth believes in an afterglow

I get the feeling that she would be a great live performance

And there goes an unforgettable seven months.

It had been a complete whirl and swash of discovering new things, not just musically, and meeting so many different people that to tell the truth I feel a bit lost as to where I am now. But that is me best I suppose, going along and making my way as it all goes, like the invariable weed in westerns that tumbles his way onwards amid all the bangs and bullets overhead. Never in my life had I been so disentangled with my past, counterpoint with so many new views and doors opening each day that it is refreshing and freeing, though oddly disconcerting at times.

And there it was, Aimee Mann's " Lost In Space" sitting so benignly on the browser under the tag A. Here was a record that was a reliable companion for me stretching all the way back to secondary school. Each song individually found and burnt onto a cdr after discovering Mann from her wonderful track to the film Magnolia -"Save Me". I fell in love with her subdued eloquence. Her intelligent lyrics. Her grounded vocals. On hindsight, a teenager like me then should not have been exposed to such melancholic adult introspections on love, life, and everything in between, but there you go, and I do not regret it.

I remember still having the disc in my early college year, playing it many times in the old musty tsd room before the room was made over into the glass and plastic clinic it has now become. I lost the cd sometime later, most likely lent to someone, but I never found out what became of it.

There were times in the years since then that I would find myself yearning to hum along to a mann song on this album, but the funny thing was I never really tried to look for them all again, allowing myself long replays of " Save Me" and just a few other songs I still had on iTunes on a few late night occasions.

Listening to the songs now, somehow I think I remembered them different. Nostalgia never had a good memory, for she never had need of it. Or perhaps it was just that my ear had changed over the years. The lyrics seem much more biting as I remember, and the melodies not as important anymore.

" The Moth" was not my first favourite back then ( Pavlov's Bell was that), but I find myself irresistibly attracted to putting it on repeat these days. There is something oddly satisfying in the lyrics now, and the slight strings and productions throughout never feel out of place.

The song is really quite bleak actually, but I couldnt help but smile.

Aimee Mann - The Moth

a little weary, a little cynical, but very sharp and catchy. It's not really called pessimism, nor optimism, it's just very .. comforting.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

and the air it all feels clear

haa you know you have been working at hmv for some time when..

a) you start to hit F7 instead of enter on a keyboard far too often

b) your home webpage is allmusic.com

c) your hands automatically ( it's subconscious I tell you!) reach out to straighten racks of CDs even when you are at Borders

d) you reach for your backpocket for a penknife when you need something cut

e) when surprised your immediate reaction is to look up and say " yep can I help you?"

f) you are unfazed when people say who are the Beatles?

g) you know exactly which mrt cab to board at serangoon so it deposits you straight onto the escalators at dhoby ghaut

h) you sigh when another girl asks you for the german version of tokio hotel's " scream"

i) you can actually recognize songs weird people " whistle" the chorus to you

j) your music library expands more than you can handle

k) the first thing you type into google preceding all else is the word lyrics

l) you hate the rolling stones and bob dylan if only because they have too many albums

m) you start to doublecheck your change a lot

n) you imagine what a tiesto remix of everything would be like after hearing his actually not bad at all version of ' back in your head'

o) you inwardly smile when you meet another who clearly loves his or her music too

ah nothing but delicious UK pure powerpop to suit my last two weeks at hmv.

Ting Tings, The - Keep Your Head

I like this song from their album best, the ' name' song that I understand is their fist single is really quite irritating after dragging on too long. Tell me if the guitar hook here doesnt make you tap your feet and I say you are one cold hard person. I get the feeling that the Ting Tings would be much better on stage than evidenced by their studio songs. Something like CSS I guess. bleh I want to go to europe just to watch bands I like play their music live.