• defining the year through albums 2010

    2 Ene 2011, 11:09

    My Top 10 Albums of the Year:

    1. White Shoes & The Couples Company - Album Vakansi
    This album has a quality that isn’t really seen or heard much in other albums I’ve heard this year, and that certain quality isnt really unfamiliar for an Indonesian indie darling such as White Shoes. The record takes in a lot from their usual influences that include 1930’s jazz, 70s Indonesian pop, bits of film noir and even rural Eastern Indonesian tribal music (similar to the afro-pop influences of Vampire Weekend), and is used very thoroughly to create a unique sound blend, spanning from time to time and coast to coast.

    2. The Radio Dept. - Clinging to a Scheme
    Underrated as fuck, IMO. Trademark gauzy effects and distorted vocals, and added traces of heavy post-punk and My Bloody Valentine-esque jams, good enough to be named my best international release of the year. Shows you don’t need constant internet promotion, or riding the media’s back (*coughKanyecough*) to have a great release (even though they do kind of work in the end).

    3. Deftones - Diamond Eyes
    If they could complete Diamond Eyes in such a short time, and with mind blowing results, AND with tearful thoughts of hospitalized bassist acting as a possible distraction (best example of this: Slipknot) I cant help but feel what kind of euphoria I would be feeling when they finally complete Eros.

    4. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
    “Indie’s most anticipated album” (and mine as well) did not disappoint. Though a far stone's throw from their epic masterpiece Funeral, this record somehow lives up to it.

    5. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
    Deerhunter sets aside their trademark shoegazing sound just a bit for more melodic experimentation and ambient jams, to great effect.

    6. The National- High Violet
    an album that goes into the “ha ha I told you so” category. Of course I was not the one who said this, for it twas my Mark Berninger-worshipping friend who spent a few weeks trying to convince me to listen to this album and realize its magnificence. Needless to say, I was in, after listening to the first track.

    7. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
    To hear and feel Plastic Beach is one (brilliant) thing. To see, experience and witness Plastic Beach in performance is a whole ‘nother thing.

    8. Envy – Recitation
    Recitation continues to largen this Japanese post-rock/emoviolence band’s realm, giving their listeners, old nor new, a good impression of what they are capable of.

    9. Jonsi – Go
    Jonsi ditches the Sistine Chapel-sized epic masterpieces of Sigur Ros, for portrait-sized melodic microepics on Go, with similar and lasting results.

    10. Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
    a great album filled with great mixtures of dreampop-laced psychadelia, who also managed to fool listeners into thinking that John Lennon had risen from the dead.

    Usually my end of year AOTY lists are more livelier and more "GYBE-sized" than this. What happened this year you may ask? Its not just because i didnt feel like writing long ass reviews on each goddamn record, or that i missed my personal deadline to getting the reviews and posts done in time before new years. Its also cos theres a lot of unexpected things going on in the last week of 2010 that is simply emotionally and physicaly overwhelming, that this post kinda got pushed back.

    oh, and here's a list of other great 2010 releases that i cant cram inside the 10:

    - Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record

    - MGMT - Congratulations
    *in my opinion, Congratulations is a great album and shows MGMT's step from three-hit wonders to becoming real artists. - Much to the chagrin of the Kids-and-only-Kids fanbase.

    - Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
    ...the once-farfetched thought of "Sufjan the Electrokid" comes to life. not necessarily a bad thing though.

    - of Montreal - False Priest

    - LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening

    (and for those of you wondering, yes i am aware that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy should be in this post, so shut up).
  • defining the year through albums 2009

    29 Dic 2009, 16:08

    well, another year has ended and so another addition to the tome of life is added. What has become of us this past year?

    This year music was largely dominated by the death of Michael Jackson and more recently, the death of "The Rev" (i am by no means an a7x fan, but i offer my condolences to those who are) and others.
    Let us not be pessimistic all the time, below are 10 albums that stood their ground and emerged themselves into becoming the masterpieces of 2009.

    10. Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
    M.”i'm not the guy from Avenged Sevenfold” Ward , Mike “Omaha scene legend” Mogis, Jim “My Morning Jacket and my hair looks cool” James and Conor “RIP Bright Eyes 2010” Oberst.
    Sounds like the ultimate match in heaven, what with four indie folk overlords rotating instruments and vocals in a 12 track LP and all. But with that said, the word “Folk” kind of goes out of context there a bit as the album itself possesses several elements of trip-hop, alt-country and surprisingly others. But these small observations are seemingly overshadowed by the fact that most songs still fit the Folk enamor, what with the befitting lyrics and the plots that can relate to the average MOF fan.

    9. Ghaust - Ghaust
    It’s a surprise that Indonesia does not have a strong or thriving postmetal scene. While the sister genre post rock thrive strongly in the undergound, one can forget the service that post metal has given to the music world and the similar connections it has with its sister genre. Enter Ghaust, with their haunting sludgy reverbs and distorted stoner rock melodies. The instrumental duo from Jakarta seems to have expansive knowledge of the effect and distortion pedals really well, as they use them as if they are driving a stick shift (manual) car. Try thinking of Isis, Boris, Neurosis, Mastodon and Those who tell the truth-era Explosions In The Sky trying to shove and leave out of the same door.. musically of course.

    8. Daisy - Brand New
    Brand New has officially gone the Thrice path of progression. Meaning, every continuing album they release would veer way off of their usual course.
    Thrice started as a post hardcore group who liked to do occasional proggy tapping solos, who then evolve themselves into the direction of experimental, post-rock influenced art-rock… who also occasionally liked to do proggy tapping solos.
    Brand New’s evolution went from depressed pop-punks to the second coming of The Smiths to transformation into Radiohead then ending currently at something similar to conor oberst side project Desaparecidos (seems like an odd turn, but alright). In fact, Jesse Lacey could be any emo icon he wanted to be whether it be his fellating obsession Morrissey, or he could be a more optimistic Thom Yorke.

    In Daisy, they took on the post-hardcore sound while still holding on to those Smiths-friendly lyrics. It is also a somewhat macabre album as the progression between songs are never the same. It also borderlines their Deja Entendu days as well as being something completely contrasting to that. It may not be exactly the Thrice path, but theyre on the right track nonetheless.

    7. Hertz Dyslexia - The S.I.G.I.T
    By now the hard work that the SIGIT put into their music, especially in this EP, should be recognized worldwide.
    I mean, come on, they rock as hard as (maybe more than) Wolfmother and are as innovative as Sigur Ros. Whats not to be fascinated by?
    Adding to that, their live shows are amazing. When they usually open for international artists here in shows in Indonesia, they often end up upstaging the headlining band (Case in point: when they opened for Franz Ferdinand in a Jakarta show on November 2009.. at least from my point of view).

    Quite possibly the only Indonesian garage-rock, Zeppelin-based-hardrock-sounding band to play SXSW (a feat achieved by fellow scene allies White Shoes And The Couples Company the previous year), it should be no doubt that Hertz Dyslexia should get the recognition it deserves.
    Entering with the riff-chugging intro of Money Making, ending with the psych-based ambient outro of Midnight Mosque Song, added with a Neil Young cover somewhere in the middle, it seems to be SIGITs most experimental release yet.

    6. The Hazards of Love - The Decemberists
    With a macabre storyline with colorful characters and abstract events, it’s no wonder that Hazards is being made into a children’s storybook. I mean, what could be more child-friendly than the depiction of a drowning infant in a bathtub?
    Hazards pretty much is the Decemberists’ entry into the territory of the rock opera, and it tells us of a tale of how a woman falls in love with a forest dweller, added with the occasional speed bump of villains and conflicts. It seemed to bring out the Decemberists’ classic rock influences with sort of progressive elements- Jethro Tull style (but not much of the flute) and the musical ambience emitted usually by other late 60s to early 70s prog rock bands. It is incredibly innovative, even for Meloy and the gang. Furthermore, I never thought the overuse of a harpsichord could be something good.

    5. Hymn to the Immortal Wind - Mono
    I'm willing to bet that no one that heard the record had dry eyes or didn’t have metaphoric wings by the end of the last track.

    What separates Mono from most post rock bands is that they have the uncanny ability to grab a hold of their listeners emotions with ambient distorted-shoegazey melodies and take them up to the Mono heavens with their independent, symmetrical guitar work and signature post rock elements. In other words, they can make the listener “feel”. Hymn to the Immortal Wind could be the best example of this metaphor since Walking Cloud, Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined.
    The record starts with Ashes in the Snow, an incredibly emotional and uplifting orchestratic instrumental and ends with a piano laden outro of Everlasting Light which steadily grows into a majestic instrumental, nostalgically recalling the path of You Are There’s closer Moonlight.
    Its like the experience of a dandelion blooming, and then slowly losing its petals to the wind and dying (add slow motion effect for maximum euphoria).

    4. Kamar Gelap - Efek Rumah Kaca
    During the reign of Suharto, not much rock bands seemed to voice their opinions on social, domestic and world issues. Even if they did, it would be somewhat in a form of a protest song. Tyrants like Suharto suppressed the Indonesian voice of reason and the development of creativity.
    now under a new "democratic" regime, freedom of speech has expanded somewhat more diversely on the Indonesian independent scene. Efek Rumah Kaca (Indonesian for “greenhouse effect”) seems to be one of those artists who embrace that freedom well enough. It was amazing that one particular band seemed to continue the spirit of famed Indonesian folk-artist and political activist Iwan Fals to the young crowd. I've always wondered if Iwan Fals were still in his 20s today, will his musical direction be similar to Efek Rumah Kaca’s?

    Kamar Gelap (Dark Room) notably tackles the domestic topics which many Indonesians have either forgotten or ignored such as the literacy rate and censorship of information (outlined in what I feel is the record’s best track, “Jangan Bakar Buku” - Don’t Burn Books), air pollution and global warming (“Banyak Asap Di Sana”, which means “There’s a Lot of Smoke over there”) and the progressively degrading nature of Indonesians themselves (in “Menjadi Indonesia”, which means “Being Indonesia”). That said, the trio aren’t always social minded as they also have their personal desires and pleasures (notably sung in “Kau dan Aku Menuju Ruang Hampa” – You and Me Heading for the Empty Space).
    These tracks are blurted and put forward with Radiohead-ish melodies, Sufjan Stevens and Iwan Fals-ish song structures, and the energy like that of Muse and… the sentimentality of Jeff Buckley.

    One should also check out the abstract images and photographs that come in the album’s package, which consists of real (but for satirical purposes) individual photographs of a dead mouse, a beggar and an empty, dark motel swimming pool. Try to figure what they mean.

    3. Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective
    Naming Merriweather Post Pavilion the best album of 2009 or one of the best albums of 2009 has somewhat become a cliché.
    I can also say that the record did convert a few outsider types late to the Animal Collective party. It’s just the impact and vibes given out by the record is so strong, it can be used for musical aromatherapy.
    But probably due to it receiving the reception and the acclaim it did, it must mean that it did the music world pretty damn good.

    Merriweather really did prove itself worthy to the masses, by boasting out neo-psychadelic pop experimental sounds churned with bluesy african beats mixed with their signature freak folkish indie pop. Merriweather also seemed like the Neon Bible of 2009, by bringing the scene further into the unsuspecting masses of semi-mainstream. AC however released another (brilliant) EP this year, to more positive acclaim, which seemed to prove that the world is still high on Animal Collective since Merriweather first came out.

    On another note, on what I have observed, “My Girls” seems to have lyrics contradicting last year’ s most preferred indiepop song, MGMT’s “Time to Pretend”. You’ll just have to hear that one out for yerself.

    2. Veckatimest - Grizzly Bear
    The second of the two freak folk acts and albums who took the indie world by storm this year. Grizzly Bear have certainly caught the eye of all living hipsters with Veckatimest (also along with Merriweather Post Pavilion) and shoved their brand of freakfolk and Modest Mouse-y indie rock down every hipster throat.
    It certainly is an accomplishment, what with the critical acclaim brought in by the likes of Pitchfork (duh) ranging even to Jay-Z and you know you’re worth something when you are publically praised by a gangsta rapper… who attended your show.

    The album itself is seemingly different from their previous releases, notably being more ambient, rhythmically diverse and atmospheric. It also consists of beautiful tracks, including the mesmerizing single Two Weeks (with an intro which sounds like a little child effortlessly playing dissonant chords on a keyboard), the sway-friendly “Ready Able”, the math-rockematical While You wait for the others and Veckatimest’s uplifting entrance, Southern Point.
    From what I’ve heard, however, most people cannot get past the thrill of Two Weeks enough for them to listen to the entire record. If one song can be that good, then the record should be somewhat of an orgasm. Right?

    1. Embryonic - The Flaming Lips
    Imagine yourself carried away by a rocket into space, going to Mars and probably spending your Christmas there. On the way, you will see many odd entities that were expecting you, which include talking eyeballs, exploding suns, 170 watt stars, a floating wishing well and a mess of colors. To the average burnout, hippie or spacey, this may be the idea of the 7th heaven. For Flaming Lips fans and aficionados, it’s probably something beyond god’s penthouse. For Wayne Coyne and the Lips, it’s just part of their daily commute.
    It may not be Dark Side of The Moon, but it’s eerily close. With more acid trips than any other release this year, Embryonic deserves the top spot on my personal albums of 2009.

    At first I had my predictions of the album whilst downloading it. I guessed it could be something of At War With the Mystics, because I felt that that’s how evolution works nowadays. Once evolved, it will stay at that state for a period of time before moving on. At War was an example of the process of speciation, similar to the evolution process when humans started to grow noses or develop opposable thumbs. The Lips however went through premature music evolution, with positive consequences Which is a good thing.
    Embryonic reveals itself as a double-disc fantasy world where anything is possible. You can watch the planets with Karen O, while she becomes a frog. You can visit Worm Mountain with the boys of MGMT, or you can just simply experience an Aquarius Sabotage or be convinced of hexes with a kilo of acid.
    Embryonic harkens back to the days of Futurama, where dreams of frequent space travel and alien brotherhood were fulfilled.
    It was a fantasy laden end to the year and decade as we can now celebrate the fact that we are no longer at war with the mystics.

    Honorable Mentions: (albums that were also great in 2009, but didnt make the big 10)

    - Axe to Fall - Converge
    Converge goes back to their hardcore punk sound, similar to Coalesce.

    - Farm - Dinosaur Jr.
    it was worth the fucking wait. "Fucking" and "Wait" are underlined.

    - Unmap - Volcano Choir
    Hauntingly beautiful.

    - Crack the Skye - Mastodon
    Mastodon is still the best example of "Neurosisity" to this day. ask me what that word means.

    - Nowhere To Go - Endah N Rhesa
    one of Indonesia's best acoustic folk duos... ever.

    - Earthly Delights - Lightning Bolt
    yeah, definitely, probably, maybe. its destructive.

    - No More Stories - Mew
    One of my friends is going to kill me if i dont at least mention this release.

    - Raditude - Weezer
    oh come on. its not THAT bad.

    art is everywhere, especially in music, so keep at it!
    enjoy the new year.
  • defining the year through albums 2008

    30 Dic 2008, 15:11

    Well, hereth came the end of the fantastic year of 2008. It has been a pretty eventful year, especially in the field of our beloved music. (and i mean good events, not anything to do with Leona Lewis or Rihanna or Katy Perry (although i do admit she is kind of a fascinating woman, except for that whole lesbianism thing), no actually good stuff.
    the year saw the release of hundreds and hundreds of albums and i am naming 10 of the best of the year.

    10. Bring Me Your Love - City and Colour

    I regard it as one of the year’s best folk/acoustic releases by a man who sings in a post hardcore band. Dallas Green has showed that he too has the mind of Bob Dylan as some of the songs in the album incorporates elements of blues and a bit of alt-country ala Uncle Tupelo. Despite a folkier sound, he still is the same heartbroke lad from lower Canada that still cries his heart out through six steel strings, with a voice to die for and a heavy heart to top it off.

    9. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
    Omaha Nebraska’s favorite son Conor Oberst hath graced the masses with his first solo record in 13 years. Yet another addition to the folkcoustic category, Oberst has shown that not only he can grow up but also his music can too. I compare him as a young Nick Drake, due to his vast range of lyrical experimentation. But unlike Drake, I just wish that he may live a little longer.

    8. We Started Nothing - The Ting Tings
    I admit the release from this catchy British electropop act is quite a smashing effort. From the upbeat drum rhythm of Great DJ to the quirkiness of That’s Not My Name or the very very catchy Shut Up and Let Me Go, The Ting Tings have broke on as a fine new addition to Britain’s musical powerhouse.

    7. The Age of the Understatement - The Last Shadow Puppets
    TLSP is a sideproject of Arctic Monkeys frontmonkey Alex Turner, teaming up with Miles Kane (of The Rascals). The album itself sounds like the early Monkeys’ records but with a different kind of such attitude. With even a presence from the London Metropolitan Orchestra to kick up and sophisticate Turner’s lyrically smashing songs and alternative riffing.
    For the fans who cannot be patient about the Monkeys’ next release, look for no second resort than the beloved Turner’s Last Shadow Puppets (who I am hearing is considering a second release next year. So watch out for that one!).

    6. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
    Afro-Post punk revivalists Vampire Weekend bring the sounds of The Police back into the light (even though The Police themselves have reunited) with their selftitled release. Very acclaimed by critics and fans alike, the album boasts many ranges of musical styles, one of which is noted on the track named Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, that uses African style beats and rhythms. In other tracks it shows traces of folk, afro-pop and even a slight touch of math rock in them whilst being wrapped up in a nice alternative bundle. Despite their worldly influences, they hail from New York. They are one of the most interesting bands of the year.

    5.Ports of Lima - Sore
    I just have to include this album in the list. It is a work of pure geniosity by my favorite Indonesian indie band, Sore. The record itself is a concept album, as the CD inlay booklet itself is a written movie script written by the members of Sore suiting the songs on the record into the script. I might recommend that listening to the tracks whilst reading the script, it syncs very nicely as if you are in your own personal movie theater. Anyway, this nationalist indiepop jazz band have incorporated their unique styles of music on the record, bringing a flavor of experimental jazz and slow rockish blues sound is seen as a slow but steady departure from the group’s last more jazzier release, Centralismo. For those living in Indonesia or for overseas fans, I highly recommend this album if you want to know what the music of Indonesia is supposed to sound like. Personally, it is my favorite album of 2008.

    4. Intimacy - Bloc Party
    There’s a saying going around about Bloc Party (it’s even on one of their band shirts). “If You Like Rock Arty, Then You’ll Like Bloc Party”.
    The new record suits that phrase very nicely. From the opening bars of the artsy Blood Brothers-ish first track “Ares” to the closing rhythm of “Ion Square”, the quartet has certainly stretched into new boundaries that the world of music has either rarely or seldom stepped on. A final thought, I’d say this album was very well put together, their version of their own Kid A.

    3. The Red Album - Weezer
    There’s no doubt that geekrock champions Weezer put out a very great effort into their third eponymous album. In the record, the band often tries to incorporate something new. Its like a more rapid and better form of evolution. For one thing, Brian Bell, Pat Wilson AND Scott Shriner did the lead vocals on a few songs (technically, each member did only one, with the exception of Bell who sang backup for Cuomo). Another highlight of the album is the track “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived”, a song which “incorporated 10 different styles of music into one” (Shriner). Proof is the usage of an angelic choir, police sirens, rap-style vocals and even falsetto. In short, the whole album itself is rather more different than the others as Weezer went on a new direction, despite still being in the same car. (yeah, I don’t know what that means either).

    2. Narrow Stairs - Death Cab for Cutie
    The album was very critically acclaimed this year. It received overwhelmingly positive reviews from reviewers and critics, citing that this record is the best that the Seattle indie-pop act has released so far. While I may slightly disagree with the term (personally, 2003’s Transantlanticism is the best they’ve put), the record still is an amazing piece of work. Their creative direction had grown excellently since their last release, contending with their impressive musical performance and everlastingly emotional and confessional lyrics. The album though showed a darker side to the band, but this is a dark side that the masses grew to love this year.

    1. Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust - Sigur Ros
    Honestly, when I heard so suddenly that Sigur Ros was releasing another record this year, so very soon after Hvarf/Heim and the breathtakingly magnificent documentary Heima, I was happier than a 12 year old girl at a Hannah Montana concert. I thought, “man, it never stops for these guys”. The year saw the release of Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (translation: With Buzzing In Our Ears We Play Endlessly) , the Icelandic postrock band’s fifth full length. Listeners could tell even by the opening drum beats of “Gobbledigook” that they were in for something beyond their expectation. And it was. The album showed a lighter, more whimsier side of the band but still being the ambient atmospherics they are. It focused more to the sound of the original four piece rather than the extensive use of the orchestral sections (which I admit, I do miss). A slight downer about the album was that very few hopelandic was used in the record, which explains the group’s first track sung in English. But truly, it deserves the title of the year’s best release.
  • I am 24.5% mainstream

    18 May 2008, 10:13

    Take your top 25 artists, and find out how many listeners they have.

    1. Radiohead - 1,364,518
    2. Weezer - 908,500
    3. Brand New - 367,261
    4. Enter Shikari - 102,866
    5. Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - 59,358
    6. Bright Eyes - 643,873
    7. Sigur Ros - 587,163
    8. Efek Rumah Kaca - 267
    9. Lightning Bolt - 66,306
    10. Elliott Smith - 591,552
    11. The Dillinger Escape Plan - 129,145
    12. Dashboard Confessional - 474,017
    13. Fall Out Boy - 686,187
    14. Rivers Cuomo - 19,422
    15. Jon Brion - 92,143
    16. Arctic Monkeys - 817,622
    17. Deftones - 489,919
    18. Circa Survive - 141,230
    19. Coheed and Cambria - 326,953
    20. Every Time I Die - 118,414
    21. Flowers From The Man Who Shot Your Cousin - 51,486
    22. The Bled - 87,613
    23. The Rocket Summer - 92,258
    24. HORSE the Band - 84,727
    25. Daphne Loves Derby - 77,302

    Total Listeners: 8,380,102
    Divide by 25: 335204.08
    Divide by the number of Radiohead listeners: 0.2456574995712771835915685978492 (ironically, i am one as well)
    Multiply by 100: 24.5

    I'm 24.5% mainstream.

    So that means, i'm not a sell out, but i have the potential to be one.
  • 50 diversions from studying

    11 May 2008, 15:43

    1. How did you get into 29?:
    Muse. First heard it on the radio. I believe the song was Space Dementia.

    2. What was the first song you ever heard by 22?:
    The Bled. The first song i ever heard from them was "Porcelain Hearts and Hammers For Teeth". It came off as a reccomendation from one of my friends.

    3. What's your favorite lyric by 33?:
    Friends Of Mine. Theyre an indonesian poppunk band similar to takingbacksunday.
    my fav. lyric is "Biarkan sinar ini padam" from their song Dalam Tenang, which means "In Calm" or something like that. the lyric itself means "let the light fade off".

    4. What is your favorite album by 49?:
    Glassjaw. Well of course it's Worship and fckin' Tribute! Ape Dos Mil rocks dude!!

    5. How many albums by 13 do you own?:
    Rivers Cuomo. Only one, as he's only released one. But if you count weezer, hoo boy you dont wanna know how much i have. (3)

    6. What is your favorite song by 50?:
    The Shins. "New Slang" probably, thanks to Natalie Portman and Garden State.

    7. Is there a song by 39 that makes you sad?:
    Thursday. Hmm.. thursday's not the sad type, more of a "suicidal" type.

    8. What is your favorite song by 15?:
    Arctic Monkeys. "The View From The Afternoon". i mean, the intro is killer!

    9. What is your favorite song by 5?:
    Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
    oh, dont make me choose... i very very very much like "Call Me Ishmael", "Lighthouse Keeper", "Find The Time", "Get Cape Wear Cape Fly", "Have You Got a Story to Tell?", "a Song For.."... aaargh if i list it all it'll fill up this whole thing.

    10. How did you get into 6?:
    Bright Eyes. Three words: Drunk Kid Catholic.

    11. What is your favorite album by 40?:
    Daphne Loves Derby. "On The Strength of all Convinced".

    12. What is your favorite song by 10?:
    Elliott Smith.
    Hands down its "Between the Bars". or hands up for "Needle in the hay" as well.

    13. What is your favorite album by 30?:
    Iron and Wine.
    Our Endless Numbered Days, definitely. or the "Sam Beam has an awesome beard" album.

    14. What is your favorite song by 38?:
    The Polyphonic Spree.
    Hmm.. i dont have a fav. album by them but i am in soooooooooper love with "Light and Day".

    15. Is there a song by 19 that makes you happy?:
    every Time i die. Sure. Whats more happier than a song about beating cokeheads?
    or, "Kill the Music".

    16. How many times have you seen 25 live?:
    death cab for cutie. henceforth, none. shiite.

    17. What is the first song you ever heard by 23?:
    The Rocket Summer.
    Introduced by my good friend Iman (lastfm account: evergrow), he offered Thats So You and he said "Yow dude. This artist is da Booomb yo!".

    18. What is your favorite album by 11?:
    dashboard confessional. oh its gotta be For You To Notice. but thats an EP, does that count?

    19. Who is a favorite member of 1?:
    Weezer? RIVERS CUOMO DUDE!! for harvard people, theyll know him as that "shy geek who likes to peek into the rooms of asian girls".

    20. Have you ever seen 14 live?:
    Fall Out Boy. Yes, yes i have. Believe it or not, Wentz smiled directly at me because of my Clandestine shirt.

    21. What is a good memory involving 27?
    Fear Before the March of Flames.
    the only memories i can think of were taking dumps in airport restrooms.

    22. What is your favorite song by 16?:
    "Be quiet and Drive". Especially Radiohead's version of it. You know youre a great band when your song is covered or mentioned by radiohead.

    23. What is the first song you ever heard by 47?:
    Zeke and The Popo. Well, of course its "Mighty Love". theyre the Cursive of Indonesia.

    24. What is your favorite album by 18?:
    The Dillinger Escape Plan.
    i love their intensity, thats why im going to go with Calculating Infinity.

    25. What is your favorite song by 21?:
    Flowers from the man who shot your cousin.
    its "Lay down your arms" or "Wild Geese"(which i think, has a hint of incest in it).

    26. What is the first song you ever heard by 26?:
    My Bloody Valentine.
    i first heard "Sometimes" in Lost In translation but i didnt realise it at at that time that it was by MBV.

    27. What is your favorite album by 3?:
    Brand new. "Deja Entendu". Its not too preachy, but its the epitome of Jesse Lacey's arrogance. haha

    28. What is you favorite song by 2?:
    Radiohead. Oh dont make me choose..
    "2+2=5", "street spirit", "lucky", "high and dry", "wierd fishes/arpeggi", 15 step", "bodysnatchers", "knives out", "there there", "idioteque", "thinking about you", "karma police".... you know, i could keep this up all day. but the real concern is that wether you care or not. haha

    29. What was the first song you ever heard by 32?:
    Between the buried and me.
    it was Mordecai. at first i hated that song.

    30. What is you favorite song by 8?:
    Efek Rumah Kaca.
    ooh "Sebelah Mata". (beside eyes)

    31. How many times have you seen 17 live?:
    Circa Survive. None times, and sometimes i wonder if those times stalking Anthony Green was a waste of time..

    32. Is there a song by 44 that makes you happy?:
    Head Automatica.
    Graduation Day! Whats better than that?

    33. What is you favorite album by 12?:
    Jon Brion.
    None of his real albums though. But my fav would be the soundtrack to Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind.

    34. What is the worst song by 45?:
    Belle and Sebastian.
    cant think of one.

    35. What was the first song you ever heard by 34?:
    The Locust.
    "Anything Jesus does I can do better". they were once on top of my lastfm charts, but fell now after i realised how badly they suck.

    36. What is you favorite album by 48?:
    Zeke and The Popo. They have only released one album anyway, "space in the headlines".

    37. How many times have you seen 42 live?:
    none times... i hear their moshpits are legendary.

    38. What is you favorite song by 36?:
    Motion City Soundtrack.
    "Broken heart". The video for it is great too.

    39. How did you get into 28?:
    friend reccomendation.
    stare at the sun.
    nothing else to be spoken.

    40. What is you favorite album by 7?:
    Sigur Ros.
    I cant choose. Its too difficult.

    41. Is there a song by 31 that makes you happy?:
    Pee wee Gaskins?
    Sure why isnt there? maybe Remember The Titans or something.

    42. What is your favorite album by 41?:
    Sunny Day Real Estate. At first, it was "Diary" but i kind of began to like their progrock sound so i defected to "The Rising Tide".

    43. What is your favorite song by 24?:
    HORSE the band.

    44. What is a good memory you have involving 46?:
    Funeral for a friend. Wow, FFAF has made more memories for me than any other band. FFAF guided me through the 7th grade, and what a memory that was.

    45. What is your favorite song by 35?:
    The Minibosses.
    the Tetris theme...
    i have a sudden craving for a Gameboy..

    46. Is there a song by 9 that makes you happy?:
    Lightning Bolt. well, "Captain Caveman" seems to always perk me up.

    47. What is your favorite album by 4?:
    Enter Shikari. "Take To The Skies".

    48. Who is a favorite member of 37?:
    The Blood Brothers. JOHNNY fckin' WHITNEY!! God bless his high pitched torture squirms!

    49. What is the first song you ever heard by 43?:
    Sore. the first song i heard was "No Fruits for Today". at first i didnt like it because it was too jazzy. Then i listened to the other songs and they all blew me away..

    50. How many albums do you own by 20?:
    Coheed and Cambria. 20. Nah, just kidding, umm.. i, wow, own em all really. But now the Amory Wars story is over, i guess Claudio can focus on making some real songs.
  • Good News For People Who Love Bad Shuffle Surveys.

    10 May 2008, 5:41

    You know the drill. Put your music player on shuffle and answer away, no cheating blah blah blah.

    Why are you taking yet another shuffle quiz?
    "Sundays"- Daphne Loves Derby
    because sundays are sometimes dull.

    What's currently in your fridge?
    "Four Winds"- Bright Eyes
    Yeah, my fridge is set on cold, very cold, freezing and liquid. Before this whole global warming thing was invented, i was planning to use it as a cryogenic timetravel device.

    Your biggest nightmare?
    "Brianstorm"-Arctic Monkeys
    Thats my favorite worst nightmare.

    What place would you like to visit?
    "Take a Bow"- Muse
    The barbershop. so i wont be needing the bow anymore.

    A reason to commit suicide?
    "Heartbreak for six seasons"- daphne loves derby.
    Wow, what an emo answer. actually, if i break my heart, i will surely die because the blood vessels will break and soon i'll be out of breath. dont you emo people pay attention in science class?

    Why are we here?
    "Song about an Angel"- Sunny Day Real estate
    we're here to debate the existence of angels. meeting adjourned!

    Something you never dared to say to anyone...?
    "Chacun des tes Pas"- Envy
    Because they wont understand what the hell i'm saying.

    One thing the world really doesn't need?
    "Am I Very Wrong"- Genesis
    Phil Collins. 'nuff said.

    What's your biggest unfulfilled wish?
    "2+2=5"- Radiohead
    My unfulfilled wish is that i want mathematics were banished from this world. Ask Thom Yorke, i bet he's frustrated too.

    If you could invent something, what would it be?
    "Another Travelin' Song"- Bright Eyes
    not quite. probably "another dopin' song".

    The last thing you say before you die?
    "Nice Shoes, Wanna Fuck?"- Ed Gein
    hahaha it couldnt have been a more perfect answer.

    What's your destiny?
    "How Long Is The Night"- Thursday
    to make the night longer. Oh say, 10 miles longer.

    What do you do when you're alone in an elevator?
    "The Moon is Down"- Further Seems Forever
    I believe the key word here is "moon".

    Why do people go fishing?
    "Nude"- Radiohead
    Why do people go fishing nude?
    for guys, we have the perfect "rod" to catch with.

    What would you do with your slaves?
    "The Best Deceptions"- Dashboard Confessional
    well thats kind of creepy aint it?

    Is there a man on the moon?
    "Jasey Rae"- All time Low
    What do you know, there is! we should thank Alex Gaskarth and his band members for their scientific findings.

    What does Hell look like?
    "Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner"- Fall Out Boy
    Being in the festival section of a Fall Out Boy concert, with tons of girls holding signs and screaming "I LOVE YOU PEEEEEYTE!" directly into your ear. Man was that uncomfortable

    About what would you like to write a book?
    "I-Novel"- Zeke and The popo
    About I's. Follow the story of I, who's overshadowed by his 8 elder siblings (A, B, C, D.. you get the picture) as he copes with the arrival of more siblings (J, K, L..etc.)

    The best thing ever is...?
    "Favorite Things"- Incubus
    Your Favorite Things! isnt that obvious?

    Why did the chicken cross the road?
    "Sweet Avenue"- Jets to Brazil
    It crossed the road to taste the "sweet avenue". Lets hope there's no "chicken flavored" avenue.

    Why do you listen to music?
    "Untitled #4/Njosnavelin" - Sigur Ros
    Thats precisely why!

    What do you do when you're alone and nobody's watching?
    "Wake the Dead"-Comeback Kid
    I wake the dead, but after several attempts, i dont think that Casey Calvert realizes how much his band sucks.

    Why are other people so stupid?
    "Two More Years"-Bloc Party
    because they always wait two more years to throw a block party.

    Last thing you ate?
    "Back To You"-John Mayer
    I ate Mayer's smug sense of self satisfaction, but it made me feel more like Pete Wentz.

    Why is grass green?
    "Debate Exposes Doubt"- Death cab for cutie
    Not sure. in fact people have been debating and doubting over the fact that gnomes pour paint on it every night.

    Your phone is ringing, but who's on the other end?
    "Lend Me Your Brain (I'm Building an idiot)- Hot Cross
    Thanks for calling, Dr Frankenstein, youre here for suggestions right? May i suggest the brain of the eldest Jonas brother?

    What should you stop doing?
    "Black Dog"- Led Zeppelin
    Man, i should really stop ignoring it and give it a bath.

    A word of advice to the readers of this quiz?
    "The Greatest Actor Alive"- He is Legend.
    and the answer to that is Jason Schwartzman.
  • "The Beijing Playlist"

    16 Mar 2008, 7:03

    Last week, i embarked and joined an ambitious excursion to the land of bargains and bargainers. China.
    It was just an ordinary class trip tradition we do every year, and for a while, i never thought that this China thing was going to mean anything to me. And uh.. well it didnt. It didnt have the same chemistry that it once had before when i went to Thailand with my class. The only difference it had with the Thailand thing, was that i brought my own ipod and in the former trip i didnt.
    But rest assured, the songs remained the same and the whole week turned out to be a great week, with me forseeing that Facebook will crash due to the number of photos uploaded at one time.

    Since my last class trip to Thailand (read my other journal), it has become a tradition for me to comprise a playlist according to the whole experience and what songs meant it for me.
    There are in total 25, including some lesser extent ones.

    1. Jasey Rae- All Time Low.
    The trip was plagued by late nights and early mornings, so in many cases i always felt tired and sleepy. i needed something to perk me up somehow, but not too much. Using my current interest in All Time Low, i listened to Jasey Rae and uh, it kind of worked but i sometimes slept through it.

    2. So Cold I Could See My Breath- Emery.
    This song is basically the whole trip summed up into one phrase. The title says it all. My lips turned to glass and glass turned to lips... whatever that means.

    3. Brighter Than Sunshine- Aqualung.
    This song was my "card game song". The game of the week was this card game called "Capsa" (i dont know what the english word is for it) and i had this song on repeat on my friend's ipod (because it was the only one i liked) while playing the Capsa. Even though i always lost, the song reminds me of the card game and the tournaments raging on in the hotel bathroom.

    4. The City Is At War- Cobra Starship.
    Cobra Starship kind of meant a lot for me during the week. i feigned a listen the day before i went and i kind of brought it with me, to my surprise. This song simplifies the locals bickering and bargaining poorly with us over fake or rejected goods.
    which brings us to no. 5..

    5. Guilty Pleasure- Cobra Starship.
    I told you Cobra Starship meant something.
    This might fall into the "Too much information" category, but coincidentally and without notice, this song was the song i frequently urinated to. whether it was public attractions or the hotel bathroom, i kind of didnt realize this fact until the 6th day into the week. On another topic, doing the Guilty Pleasure dance on top of the Xian city wall was a defining moment in the trip.

    6. Black Sandy Beaches- The Dear Hunter.
    This song is known as my "5 O Clock Song". The tune and melody of the song brought me to sleep most of the time but also is for one of those "walking alone" moments we all secretively do. i played this on the ride to the jakarta airport frequently, and also the ride back.

    7. The Spirit Carries On- Dream Theater.
    The thing behind this uhm.. song was concealed between 4 walls of the hotel room. Uhm.. being the "master of your domain" and such. You know what i'm talking about. the only thing that i can say about this was that "i was alone and bored". Why Dream Theater you ask? the answer is.. i dont know too. My "master" song of choice was "I've been dying to reach you" by Anthony Green.

    8. Angeles- Elliott Smith.
    One of my many sleep songs. Its soothing. and hey what else is there to do on the 4am bus?

    9. I'm Actual- The Format.
    R.I.P The Format's career.
    Anyway, i was brought attention to this band only 2 days before departing. i never got to listen to them in the 2-day period so i might as well try it in China.
    the result: they're really great and the song is fit for running down slopes and almost falling down.

    10. Boy with a Coin- Iron and Wine.
    I listened to a hell lot of Iron and Wine that week, but for the playlist i decided to include Boy With a Coin, from The Shepeherd's Dog. I chose it because the beat of the song is really the life of the tour bus. The other passengers might not know it, but for me it was the "tour bus anthem".
    other iron songs i listened very frequently to included "The Trapeze Swinger" and "love and Some Verses".

    11. ThemeRow
    Peer Pressure
    Strings That Tie To You
    - Jon Brion.
    i couldnt escape the instrumentals of Jon Brion, no matter how hard i can try to. Its just so brilliant, you know?
    these four scores were taken fromthe soundtrack of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (my favorite movie), and it wouldnt be polite not to claim significance to the trip without these four scores, and these four scores have stories of their own.
    - Theme= the theme to Eternal Sunshine was my theme to myself. The story behind this one was that it was my.. uhm alarm clock. i always wake up to the sound of the Theme, kind of like the first scene of the movie where Jim Carrey wakes up and the theme is playing in the back. Thats how i pictured my waking up. But sometimes it kind of fails to wake me up due to the slow rhythm.
    - Row and Peer Pressure= both of these scores were essential for my morning. Whether it be the morning bus ride, to the breakfast. the atmosphere was terriffic.
    - Strings that Tie to you= for the lonely walks down the roads of a Xian "zoo" (properly named an Animal Torture Center), this song kept me company. The atmosphere was quiet and was scenic.

    12. Anyone Else But You- The Moldy Peaches
    Luckily, on the Cathay Pacific flights i took, Juno was screened on the personal television. The Juno experience was brought by me, mentally and this song became a China essential.
    To a lesser extent, the Barry Louis Polisar song heard on the opening credits in the film was planned to be included in this playlist.

    13. Nine In The Afternoon- Panic At The Disco.
    Along with The City Is At War, the video for this song was broadcasted on the chinese MTV frequently. it kind of stuck itself to my head and i ended up singing or humming it along the way, even in theatre culture shows. Jeez.

    14. Such Great Heights- The Postal Service.
    High atop the Great Wall of China, what could simplify that moment in one sentence than the true statement "such great heights", where i waved to the people below and they didnt seem to see or care. On another topic, a group of German tourists nearby were, i think, faintly singing It could be that or something out of Tokio Hotel.
    i could use the Iron and Wine version of the song, but for the Wall i decided to go with the original.

    15. The Only Living Boy In New York- Simon and Garfunkel.
    Is the song of choice for the plane rides. The atmosphere of the song itself seems to be like being in a plane. The perfect time to play it is when the plane commences takeoff. Now that is a great combination! Try it.

    16. Dont Hold Back- The Sleeping.
    Actually it was the video for the track that projected me to think positively and negatively about China. The video has the chinese kung fu and mafia scenes along with the band playing in a dark storeroom.
    its also one of the few hardcore entries to the playlist.

    17. No One Else- Weezer.
    the title of "hotel entry" and "waiting song" was both tied between this Weezer favorite and "Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens. No One Else was the song that accompanied me through the only dump i took throughout the whole week.

    Those above were the tracks that really matered throughout the trip and was the songs that really accompanied me throughout the experience. To a lesser extent some other songs i frequently played that week ae as follows (i didnt put them in because of lack of time, or energy, or because some of them dont have any real defining moments):

    - I Got Punched In the Nose for Trying to Stick it in other people's business- Boys Night Out:
    One of the few hardcore acts to make it into the playlist.

    - Congratulations Smack and Katy- Reggie and the Full Effect:
    which was my "eating" song. I'm hungry.

    - S.O.S- The Jonas Brothers:
    which is my "running down the hotel hallways using only an undershirt and a pair of boxers" song. its also the first time that i said i liked the song.

    - We Live and Die In These Towns- The Enemy:
    they may be another band in the british alt-indie scene, but thanks to chinese TV, it stuck itself into the playlist.

    - I'm No Superman- Lazlo Bane: Luckily, Scrubs was on the Cathay Pacific viewing program as well.

    - "Beauty and the Beast": yeah i dont know why either, probably it was on HBO one night.

    Well, there you have it the glamorous Beijing Playlist. It might not sound as good as my Thailand playlist, but it was worth it, eh?

  • defining the year through albums

    31 Dic 2007, 6:58

    In this good year of 2007, many albums have triumphed over the last 12 months.
    here below i show a list of what albums that really defined this eventful year (in no particular order).

    In Rainbows-Radiohead:
    well, duh. though it may sound overrated, In Rainbows is definitely the best release of this year. Their current album uses musical elements they used previously on their album, Hail To The Thief. they have really outdone and progressed themselves into beyond their full potential.

    Neon Bible- The Arcade Fire:
    They helped bring baroque indie pop into the mainstream. being cited as one of the most creative bands ever, Neon Bible is for that person in the record store, wearing a Neutral Milk Hotel shirt while asking the clerk where the Mozart albums are. So far, as i have heard, people as old as 40 listen to The Arcade Fire. thats something you dont see everyday.

    3. Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace- Foo Fighters
    i underestimated this album. i thought that it would only reach moderate sales and would not follow up to their previous albums. Oh how wrong i was.
    Foo Fighters's latest record still maintains the fact that Dave Grohl can still rock without the shadow of his grunge past (a fact already proven since 1998, i just wanted to point that out)

    4. The Big Dirty- Every Time I Die
    The Big Dirty was a good 2007 album. Keith Buckley and co. returned with The Big Dirty, an album that returned to their vicious Hot Damn routes, climbing away from their blunder Gutter Phenomenon and escaped. oh, and did i mention Andy williams has one of the most sweetest beards in music history?

    5. Manipulator- The Fall of Troy
    Washington's The Fall of troy capitalized on their momentum to deliver us another album full of mind pounding guitar work. But where i come from, TFOT has become such a... how do i say it... "band to inspire posers". Examples include claiming that you can play guitar and claiming you can play a rendition of The Dark Trail after just listening to it. Thats what i dont like about this album.

    6. Take To The Skies- Enter Shikari
    If only your local venue had a specialized moshpit section over a huge dancefloor. Then you can call it "dance moshing" or something gay like that.
    Enter Shikari is the first band i ever heardto use such excesive amounts of trance music and mixing it with post hardcore, and actually make them work.

    7. Bone Palace Ballet- Chiodos
    Chiodos might be an overrated band, but still their Bone Palace Ballet album still kicked ass.

    8. Cassadaga- Bright Eyes
    Um, its Bright Eyes for god sake!

    9. RIOT!- Paramore
    2007 is Paramore's good year. Their hop into mainstream, and actually making it, shows that not all FBR artists can just hop into the mainstream and plan to make it. Paramore stands out from the other FBR artists because of these factors:
    1. theyre fronted by Hayley Williams, which i think is every emo guy's crush
    2. even though its fronted by a girl, it doesnt sound as cheap as Avril Lavigne.

    10. Alone - The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo- Rivers Cuomo:
    Just 18 of his over 800 songs put together in one neat CD. This album came out just recently and it reminds us on how in the mid nineties, he was a lonely guy looking for some attention. it also has a few demo songs originally intended for Weezer's Songs From The Black Hole, which serves as a holy grail among fans.
  • December 2005, Thailand... a memorable month, memorable place with memorable songs

    13 Sep 2007, 5:30

    the other day, whilst i was searching for my Alexisonfire CD, i stumbled upon another. the CD read "Lagu2 Chiang Mai Dec. 2005". it was a mix CD i burnt 2 years ago to remind me of the good times i had in my school trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand. it consists of songs that remind me most of that memorable week where almost everybody was sick and the weather kept changing, making us more sick.
    i then took a listen to it and all those memories came back to me. so rather than keeping you wondering, here are some (there were originally 24, but thats too much and you dont want to read that much, dont you?) songs from that CD that really reminded me of the good times i had... and plus i really have nothing else to do right now

    1.Genetic Design For Dying- Aiden
    i remember that when i first heard this, it was in the SH airport. apparently my close friends seemed to like this song at that time and i got to like them too. throughout the trip, this song was played nonstop in my friend Darnell's iPod. This was before i discovered that Aiden was goth. at that time i thought Aiden was like Underoath or something.

    2. Accidents- Alexisonfire
    Embarrasingly, this was the first time i was introduced to Alexisonfire. so i think that i should put this in.

    3. The Saddest Song- The Ataris
    this is a no brainer. this is one of the 3 songs that "brought out my emo side" when clearly wearing a Slipknot hoodie. i wasnt the only one obsessed with this song, my friend Iman was more obsessiver. the atmosphere of the song matches the cool quiet atmosphere of the place.

    4. Saturday- fall out boy
    Dead on Arrival- Fall Out Boy
    these two i must include because, Saturday back then was going to be played by FI in the year 8 assembly and also my friend Darnell's ipod back then only had a few videos and Saturday was one.
    As for Dead On Arrival, it had nothing special. its just that i was loving it and it reminded me of my dorm. my crazy, always-yelled-at dorm.

    5. The Everglow- Mae
    this wasnt my idea of listening at first but my friend, Iman, said it was "so good you will blast greatness through your ass" and i did and it did.

    6. Hands Down- Dashboard Confessional
    this song brought out "my emo side" the most because i remember listening to it, while walking alone on a pavement with the wind blowing and leaves falling. and at that time i had the hots over a girl that didnt join the trip. i wallowed for a week to be honest and triedto find songs that would suit this wallowing (i know its gay).
    what really ruined the emo moment was the realization that i was wearing a Slipknot hoodie! (it was the only one i had at that time).

    7. Honestly- Cartel
    this was another song that had me blinded by love. but to be honest this song is more like a "going back and realizing you made a big mistake" song of my life.

    8. Seven Years- Saosin
    well actually it was the acoustic version. this one was truthfully the only song ever that made me want to cry. dont ask why, because you probably know the answer and besides, Anthony Green has a voice that is "heartcore".

    9. Image Of The Invisible- Thrice
    this song was popular among all my friends in my dorm. at that time, before it ended up in the discount pile, Vheissu was a must-have album. it was also my "bathroom song" considering i took showers and took dumps while listening to it and on loudspeaker.

    10. Blood Stained Bedsheet Burden- It Dies Today
    it was my favorite song at that time. but now i have abandoned metalcore for good and welcomed post hardcore.

    11. The Missing McCloud Boys- The Prize Fighter Inferno
    it was at that time when most my friends were obsessed with Coheed and Cambria. i discovered the prize fighter inferno before we left but sadly that song wasnt in my ipod or anyone else's. it was just stuck in my head for the whole week.

    12. Special- Mew
    well the truth is that i liked the video (back then) and She Came Home For Christmas was another Mew song i loved, so i expanded my interests.

    13. The Words Best Friend Becomes Redefined- Chiodos
    the Chaing Mai trip was the week that i first discovered Chiodos. i loved them since the start but got turned off when i was "holding it in" on the bus from the airport and that song was on repeat. its not a pleasant combination.

    these are the main ones, as there are originally 24. and by the way this blog would only make sense to the people that go to SGJ, Indonesia.

    well, i managed to kill 32 minutes writing this, it certainly killed my boredom.
    (if anyone) thank you for reading this, i appreciate it.

    i cant wait for the next school field trip CD compilation... cant you?