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i'm bored. and you ruined my pants.
02 December 2011 @ 09:24 pm
there was once this episode of king of queens when doug discovers his lovingly bitchy (or is it bitchily loving?) wife carrie's truly selfish nature where she would rather everyone in the world be unhappy if she had to be unhappy too. he's shaken by the depths of this flaw and in a manic outburst, calls her out on it. to his horror, she calmly furrows her brows and silently stares at him quizzically.

sitcoms can be written with LOL jokes that reverberate long in my mind after their reruns finished their last run, just like this one.
 
 
i'm bored. and you ruined my pants.
At 25, I have been thrust into the brave new world where I’m finding that life is never easy, always messy, morally grey (and especially patchy), requiring an equal amount of caring and uncaring. That all the wise men truth-tellers were once raving madmen, that a fury so passionate swallows all of you and turns you into the beast you’ve been fighting with. That questionable relationships rule the day (though you will go out of your way to avoid them) and your own happiness solely exists from taking advantage of them with some degree of shamelessness. That you choose, no matter you do. That you risk it all, by not taking any risks at all and only one thing is eternal and yet, nothing is.

In other words, I'm starting to think that in this world, some people are meant to be good and some people are meant to be bad. And that's just how it is and it's how the world has balanced itself.
 
 
Current Music: jenny lewis - it wasn't me
 
 
i'm bored. and you ruined my pants.
04 August 2011 @ 04:30 pm
I revisited 'Hissing Fauna, Are you the Destroyer' again this month and was reminded yet again of how the title brings to mind Pan's Labyrinth and its hissing fauna. It made me think of how fantastical that album with its vivid lyrical imagery and how painfully introspective it is as well, all of it coated with a syrupy, cheery sheen. Then you learn of the back story of the dark time (Kevin Barnes rough break-up with his partner Nina) that inspired the album and it's even more inspiring. A lot of interviews played up that aspect of the album and interviews with Kevin Barnes offered more and more soundbites about that episode that it made me wonder about the other side of the story. Thankfully, Paste made an interview about it.

So I read it again and decided I'll try to dig up other great, memorable interviews that I've loved and that inspired me to want to write. The excitement of journalism has always been, for me, the interviews.

Paste: When I met with Kevin last time, we talked a lot about the difficult time the two of you had between Sunlandic Twins and Hissing Fauna. Kevin was going through a depression, you guys split up and he left you to take care of [your daughter] Alabee on your own. I’ve heard his side of the story, but I was wondering what this time in your life was like? Because he said he got to tell his side in some of his songs, like “Past is a Grotesque Animal,” but that you’ve never been able to tell your side of the story.
Nina: It’s true, yeah, it’s true. But I have a double view of Hissing Fauna. I see the artistic statement. And even though listening to it can hurt, I totally respect it, and I’m totally like, “This is his artistic freedom, his freedom to take something very hard and difficult and make it into a personal statement, an artistic statement.” And I think it’s beautiful and moving. I really, really love that record. But it’s not something I’m going to hang out and listen to and rock out. I couldn’t really do that. But it’s true. When the record was released, it was interview upon interview about our breakup, and it was a story about me and my child, and I had no say in it. I became this sort of object. And at first, I was really like, “ But no one really knows me.” I became like a character in a book. On a totally personal level, of course, it was rough for both of us, but it’s one of those things—I roll with the punches in life. When you have a kid you just have no choice other than to shape up, take control of your life and make the best of it. And also, it’s a source of humongous inspiration for both of us, you know, artistically.

More of the interview here.

Here's Regina Spektor in a Pop Matters interview talking about the difference in expectations placed upon actors over musicans.

“I don’t fully understand the fascination of people wanting to know the ‘real’ you after listening to your songs,” she said. “People always want to know which part of the song really happened, they want to know some sort of a ‘Truth’. For some reason they can see the same actor acting in 17 different movies, using 17 different hair colors, using fake props, changing their voice, changing their accent, being evil or being the victim, and they are okay with that. They understand that it’s just a movie, they understand that it’s an art. But with music they forget. Music, somehow, is life.”


 
 
i'm bored. and you ruined my pants.



I'm still recovering from my post-concert high so my mind is still wrapped up in Owen's genious. The first time I heard the song and saw this was around the time I was covering an Air Show. For some reason, this has become the soundtrack of that time (along with, strangely enough Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa - so admittedly my mind's soundtracking choices are rather arbitrary).

The song remains one of my all-time favourites. Seeing it live now, I can say it as electrifying even without the drama of pelting rain and wet electronics. But here Owen is at his most emphatic and it makes sense that I've seen this video more than 10 times now. And how beautiful is the song's refrain "I'm never going to give it to you" celebrating standing up against an all-powerful force that compels you. A straight up F-You resistance song but never so crude.
 
 
i'm bored. and you ruined my pants.
08 January 2011 @ 04:44 am
  • Owen Pallett Vs Andrew Bird
I've been a fan of Owen's ever since I first heard his cover of Bloc Party's This Modern Love roughly about six years ago now (eek, it didn't feel that long in my head!). Once I discovered his violin-engineered genious, I became a fan almost instantly. I later learned about Andrew Bird when reviews I read pitted them together. I was adamant about picking a side (music is an emotional activity after all) and I was all Team Owen, even though I heard that Andrew Bird was some kind of other-worldly violin deity lording over all the other one-man-band violinists.

One day, I decided to get over myself and actually listen to an entire album of Andrew Bird's completely casting aside my bias. Apparently, I had taken this imaginary duel between the two so seriously and felt some kind of guilt over having made a rash allegiance to a side without giving the merits of the other a chance. What had Andrew done that he was lavished that much praise than Owen? However frivolous or foolish the comparison was, I felt necessary to hash it out.

Eventually i grew to become a bigger fan of Andrew's though I did so only begrudgingly at first. While I now consider Owen and Andrew to be similar artistes I would say they are nothing alike. Take the violin similarity away and you have two distinctive styles, a different range of themes and interests, a completely different approach to music.

The comparison is almost moot as it's akin to comparing cake and pie. Sure, both are of the baked goods variety, but other than that, some people like cake and others prefer pie and they will always find a way onto a menu. In my mind, Owen's music is cake (his sweet, boyish voice alone makes me think of strawberry cheesecake - at the base of the colourful fantastical imagery, you have the crunchy, sardonic take-down of subjects like power, faith and gentrification) and Andrew Bird's is pie (it's warm, more traditional against Owen's outlandish approach and seems to adopt a world-weary tone in its critiques rather than an absurdist one). 

Verdict: To drag this admittedly silly analogy further, I love cake and pie equally but my love for pie is slighly more equal than my love of cake. Andrew's songs tend to gel with me better if only for the fact that his lyrics reflect my own personal worldview. He has a way with words that make nondescript things like trash cans or plastic bags feel personal whereas I find Owen's fancy fantastical worlds sometimes hard to inhabit.
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i'm bored. and you ruined my pants.
20 December 2010 @ 10:03 pm
this makes me a little teary-eyed:

 
 
i'm bored. and you ruined my pants.
28 September 2010 @ 10:15 am

"I frequently bookmark the sites I use and email the links to my email. If the links are not that important to be accessed frequently or I want to look at it at a later time, I will simply bookmark them. But bookmarks are not that effective as emailing links because I often forget that I’ve bookmarked something until I open my bookmarks to bookmark something else, so for more important links that are urgent, I tend to simply email them to myself. That way, when I check my email, I will be able to see that I’ve logged an important link.

 Other methods I use which aren’t mentioned in the study include another form of bookmarking using the Firefox browser. As this is my browser of choice, I put sites I use frequently in the space beneath the address bar which turns them into clickable icons that are laid out in a row based on how often they are used. Another method is using Gmail Calendars to set reminders for tasks. The task will then be emailed to me at the time I’ve scheduled to do it and I’ll receive the notification through my handphone."- based on a discussion board question for my new favourite subject Personal Information Management

It's no secret that I'm a little bit obssessed with organisational skills. Not the boring 'Take this course and you will pick up tips to enable you to write a book, swim the length of the channel, and watch 20 movies each week!' type of self-management fare, though. I'm talking about those that help you get rid of things easily, achieve things on the minimalist end of the scale, removing minutes spent in frustration on a day-to-day basis finding missing pants or lost tweezers and the like. When Oprah introduced me to that Peter Walsh dude, it somewhat changed my life, no kidding. I changed the way I organised the closet and have been able to spend less as a result and I've maximised the space in my room. All this is sounding a bit too daytime home-improvement show, but IT'S REAL, and IT WORKS.

 
 
i'm bored. and you ruined my pants.
21 September 2010 @ 01:39 am
in spanish, there is an inverted question mark. we use it to phrase a question. that inverted symbol can't be detected in verbal communication, but by the end the inquiry has been unleashed. the intention to know is no longer suppressed within the boundaries of wonder.  i sometimes think this situation is like that. i start off playing around with that intention to seek out a connection and start anew, but as soon as i've brought it up i realise i don't really want it. or perhaps, i'm too afraid of the answer. either way, i don't stick around long enough to hear the response. it's that way with other things that i hold out hope for. i like putting it out there and abandoning my little projects as soon as they've grown legs. unfortunately that makes me occasionally aloof and unfathomable.

today i considered the thought that there is no need for guilt in some cases of a cooling-off of relations. it can best be summed up as - 'it's not that i don't love you. it's that you've become so unlovable'.
 
 
i'm bored. and you ruined my pants.
19 August 2010 @ 03:02 am
"To offer it to you would be cruel, cause all I want to do is use you."

With those lines, Vampire Weekend had me convinced they were more than an IT band. I'd enjoyed their tunes, but often questioned how they could be so championed for their kooky but catchy melodies and the depth of their lyrics - a mix of pre-occupations with star-crossed love affairs based on class differences and charming non-sequitors (Who gives a fuck about an Oxford Comma?) came off a tad too one-dimensional. The lyrics on Contra, however, particularly in Taxi Cab, Diplomat's Son and the achingly pretty (but lazily spelt) I Think Ur A Contra had a direct emotional appeal that I saw facets of a face, rather than just one winking mug. It's an improvement that's effective enough that even on songs that seem to revisit the carefree ease of their debut, there is an air of effusion that comes through, most notably on California English. There's enough of lightness and passion to carry the album through repeated listens that feel as entertaining as the first time. Vampire Weekend was impressive with its occasional wisdom and casual hooks, but Contra is the one that should steal hearts.
 
 
i'm bored. and you ruined my pants.
09 July 2010 @ 01:06 pm
I fully admit, I had my doubts.

Whenever the World Cup rolls around, there are only two teams that I've been interested in. The first team is Turkey - a side that, since becoming third-place winners in the 2002 tournament that first turned me into a fan, has been languishing despite a promising display often marred by off-pitch brawls and disciplinary actions.

The other is Spain, another team that has a reputation of underachieving, showing great promise only to falter at key moments in their competitions. I remember, for instance, that painful exit on penalties in a quarter-final against South Korea  when my then favourite player Joaquin choked in front of the goal, tearfully bowing out from the World Cup never really making his place in the national team.

Fresh off the Euro 2008 highs which saw Spain lift the trophy and knowing that Turkey was no longer in the radar, there was only one team with a real chance of making it and there was no question that I would be fully behind it. Coming into the game, Spain was the bookmaker's favourite. Already European champions, the bets were in their favour to net football's biggest prize.

But after their first game where despite dominating posession, they failed to find a break, losing 1-0 against a determined Swiss side. I started to worry.
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