Friday, December 31, 2010

A year has passed without a trace without a sound

This is a peaceful year for me. No alarms, no surprises, I am actually glad about it. I hope my life will pass like this. I never feel bored about peace and quietness, maybe I'm just a boring person.

Music is still my important companion, provides me an exit from banality, even some moments of edification.

to continue my previous post, my favourite album of 2010:

1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

2. Sambassadeur - European
Sunshine, sea breeze, idleness, indolence, sea birds swirling in the sky, cruise to the Mediterranean, gondola in Venice, a feast in the southern Italy, loafing around in Greece, haha, that adoring laziness, those sunny places i've never been, that's what i thought of when i listened to this album. A true summer album,but I still listen to it in winter days, and I will definitely continue to listen to it when i long for a summer holidays in my head. I always like Swedish pop. Strange, the female vocal Anna Parsson does not have a heavenly goddess' voice, or you may even call it plain, but it just perfectly fits the music.

3. Carl Barat - Carl Barat
I always enjoy his song craftsmanship. I think I'm one of the few who believe that he is actually talented. I hoped so much that I would like this album. That is the reason why I was silent about it when it was released because if I could not click a "Like" to it, i would rather remain silent. But i was capricious, as i now write about it, yes, i now really adore it (or did i hypnotise myself enough to have a change of heart? haha)

His style in this sole album was described as that of marc almond, serge gainberg and leonard cohen. We made various association that is not very fair to him (though I admit I also think of those names when I listened to it). I never skip a track of it. Maybe I love his new music style or, maybe I just love to hear his confession of failed relationship. Besides his music talent, I'm sure he is also good at breaking hearts. It's difficult not to associate his songs to some of his ex-lovers. I remember he once said in an interview "somebody dies, not only do you lose them, but you lose a part of yourself, things that only they know about you". I think carl must have died a bit in all his failed relationships. But whatever great passions and relationships are, they do not crumble and die all of a sudden, they just turn cold, fade into the realm of forgetfulness and indifference, however much we do not want to accept it. So, for a record (pun?) of relationships that he (and I) cares/cared about, I will rank it to my top 3.

4. Foals - Total Life Forever

5. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

6. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today

7. Johnny Flynn - Been Listening

8. Philip Selway - Familial

9. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

10. The National - High Violet

Some other albums I also like include Jonsi - Go, Warpaint - The Fool, Marc Almond - Variete and MGMT - Congratulations (my appetite to it is quite addictive at first but then dies down suddenly). Manics, Klaxons and Bryan Ferry are a bit disappointing to me. Girls' EP is heartrending as ever but it's EP, so I don't count it in.

Friday, December 24, 2010

In the night there is someting wild, I feel it, it's leaving me

A sunny silent afternoon again. I don't like to draw the curtain down, for I can feel the warmth outside and see the glittering water flowing above my head, of course this is only the reflections of sunlight on the water, which is reflected on the ceiling of my office. Yes, there is a large artificial lake outside my window, with various big fishes swimming and bubbling. It's lovely to idle the life away, like the fish.

My most favourite album of this year:

1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
i regard it as the part 2 of the Funeral, still about the agony of growing up, but of course Funeral is more "in the process" of growing up - frenetic, violent and reluctant, The Suburbs is more like "the aftermath", a hollow wasteland, but still reluctant. I love it cos' this album is actually very "me", haha, I the aftermath, the hollow wasteland.

"We used to wait, sometimes they never came." This is Win Butler's own Waiting for Godot. We wait, we waste and still we wait. I am convinced of this idea, how depressing. For human being we always have a restless heart to seek, for dreams, for the future, for meaning of life, haha, all these grand words. "In my dream I was almost there, then you pulled me aside and said you're going nowhere, I know we are the chosen few, but we're wasted, and that's why we're still waiting". Wasted Hours, my most favourite track of the album, its beginning reminds me of the summertime in my childhood, just staring out the window and doing nothing, this song somehow provides an exit (really?) for me. "Wishing you were anywhere but here, you watch the life you're living disappear, and now I see, we're still kids in buses longing to be free. Wasted hours before we knew, where to go, and what to do. Wasted hours, that you made new, and turned into, a life that we can live." Always out of place and out of time, we just feel frustrated, awkward, trapped inside a situation, longing to be free. Clueless, but we still try to seek (how ridiculous and also great we human being are), and before we find out the answer (for whatever questions), our life passed, like the fish, idle away, isn't it great?!

err... number 2 to the rest, maybe later.

Monday, December 20, 2010

festive seasons

I made my mull wine debut last Saturday, it was surprisingly delicious (and strongly alcoholic, good). I think I can be a good brewer or bartender, anything related to wine making.

it would look much professional if it was served in a glass bowl, but hey, it was actually very tasty!

made some quick presents for my friends:
just messed the frames with colours and further messed them up with cut n' paste patterns:

and then embroidered them with whatever junk i could find:

sometimes you will find it's easy to make people happy, but the first thing is you have to make yourself happy. Funny, i seem to be in good mood.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

retail therapy (again)

I have much excuse to indulge myself this month and months ago, I did have plan to make myself something but I was just too lazy to start the work, so maybe i will delay it to the next year. "It was always mañana." haha, Kerouac told me. So what do I do to treat myself?

I didn't buy it for my big day. I ordered it months ago but it was the efficiency of British mail that I only received it yesterday. So now I can treat it as a gift to myself to celebrate my mortality. Yo, they are so lovely, worth the wait!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Junk boat and English boys crashing out, in a melancholy town where we never smile

If we could have frequent visit from the English boys like last week, of course we would smile a lot.

Press my retrieving button in my brain, I remember the vendetta was actually between Suede and Blur, not Blur and Oasis. The latter was like a marketing gimmick but the former I did feel a heartfelt hatred between the two front men. Me, a time-honoured protector of Brett, never openly admitted my liking for Blur. But long gone the history! I went to see Damon Albarn solo in Japan 2003 and found that I have to disarm in face of the golden boy. Last week, with his great multi-cultural and multi-generations' army of Gorillaz, I have to declare loudly of my fondness of his cuteness(!)

Sorry for the trace of idiotic fangirl's ramblings (that's what I'm good at), but Damon was CUTE. He bounced and jumped and posed and held hands with girl and waved the big big white flag, like a naughty boy. err OK, I have to stop myself talking like an imbecile. About the music: I actually do not like any music with hip-hop elements but Gorillaz is the exception. The HAHAHAHAHA DeLaSoul was perfect in Gorillaz and it's surprising that they would tour with the band. An even greater surprise was that Paul Simonon and Mick Jones also joined the tour - half of The Clash actually came and performed in my little hometown! That's really something grand in my eyes. To Binge, Damon and Little Dragon was so sweet on stage, with the word "poisoned" on screen, what? That's the real meaning of love? We were also surprised to find the Arabian (hooray for Syrian National Orchestra) and Chinese music blended so well with their hip-hop/rock/dance music. Yes, I put my dancing shoes on, great to bounce with 2D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel whole night.

Introducing the girl who plays chinese music instrument
Gorillaz @ AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong 03.12.2010, a song for Hong Kong

Paul Simonon and Mick Jones
Paul Simonon and Mick Jones

wow, exhausted?
Damon waved the big white flag :)

After the exhausting night with Gorillaz, there was Adam Ficek (or Roses Kings Castles)'s Acoustic+DJ night. It was a night of tender serenade as compared to the previous night of carnival and varieté. Like his music, Adam was languid and gentle, though he might explain his manner as a consequence of jet-lag. The acoustic set was not long, I think he just played for about 30 minutes, but it was a lovely little set. The natural, idyllic, sometimes vivid, sometimes wistful pop music, almost like the Turner's paintings. The serenade ended when Adam turned into his alter ego DJ Adam. It's a shame that there was no trace of the "million-dollars band"* in his playlist (and i guess the organiser "Supersonic" [aka "the Likely Lads", the name which tells a lot of their music preference] had to delete all the songs of the "million-dollars band" and its related band in their playlist that night). When will all vendettas between my favourite musicians end?

drummer boy became a guitar boy
Adam Ficek @ Backstage, Hong Kong 04.12.2010, he looked a bit melancholic...

* Adam mentioned the "million-dollar band" (The Libertines) during his acoustic set and joked about he knew some secret ;p