Actually the Lovedrug album I listened last week, The Sucker Punch Show, was on par with Sweat It Out but I was on the mood for pop punk and after a few more listen, the Lovedrug album really enchants me more. Their debut and second album, Pretend You’re Alive and Everything Starts Where It Ends, respectively, also has surprisingly caught my ears like no other. This mix of various genres could best be described as “indie rock” (well okay it’s more like emo) but the real power of the band lies in Michael Shepard’s shrieking, wailing tenor vocal. The way he wails in some song like “Spiders” reminded me of that guy from Radiohead, eugh. Like how good bands get all their loyal fans, firstly you’ll get hooked by their catchy riffs on some songs, then once you dig deeper, what you got is a whole booklet of poetic lyrics full of metaphors. “Watch angels in the morning become a devil’s afternoon, I will panic in the evening underneath the crashing moon.” Really, who wouldn’t buy that? The three albums are progressing musically, as the 2004 Pretend You’re Alive is more mellow and piano-oriented, 2007’s Everything Starts Where It Ends is still piano-driven on some songs but rocks more on the better songs, and with the 2008 album The Sucker Punch Show they put in more indie rock with a slight taste of grunge. It’s worth a try. If you’re interested try a Google Blog Search like this.
genre: emo pop, indie rock, whatever
sounds like: hmm… Abandoned Pools, or maybe As Tall As Lions.
loved tracks: Pretend You’re Alive, Blackout, Castling, Let It All Out
From The Sucker Punch Show: “Everyone Needs a Halo”
Give these guys a few listens. Hopefully it’s a pleasant treat for your ears.
Today some of the walls in my house got repainted so I had to tend the workers, although all I did was playing the recently released Devil Summoner 2 on PS2 in my room (it’s a good game, I’m tellin’ ya). At the afternoon when those walls had been freshly painted white, there struck my nose that unique smell of new house coming from the walls, that brought me back nostalgic feelings of… something I can’t remember. My sense of smell has always been slightly sensitive to stuffs, and I relate some of my past memories with certain smells. For this one though, probably it’s one of the better times — it brought back some sense of security, like snugging back into my bed in the morning to sleep in. Maybe it’s after my house was renovated some 5-6 years ago. Maybe it’s just a déjà vu. I hate it when your senses told you that the memories are right there, but your mind really can’t recall anything. Was my nose lying?
edit: 2.46 am, now I remember it. Exactly, it was the smell of Aisha’s house, how could I forgot? That sure brought back memories… ah, now I overload my emotional capacity. And if after this halftime MU still can’t overcome Barca’s defense then I’m losing a little bet with Ahtar.
Throughout this week I’ve been plugging my ears into lots of artists, because what’s a holiday without good tunes for your playing-out days? I downloaded albums randomly, some are good, some are just plain indifferent. But one album that really struck my senses is The Pink Spiders’ Sweat It Out, and I mean they’re really really sugary good! Although I’ve never heard of them earlier (such regret) but this 2008 album is the best one I ever listened since… well, I regret not hearing Brand New’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me earlier too. The internet says Sweat It Out is not the band’s biggest album, but oh what a sweet blend of pop punk-garage-rock n’ roll this band has caught me! One thing I noticed first is that this band has dominant bass lines throughout the album, and that’s a good thing. Good bands (or at least the ones I like) should have the bassist making up a good foundation for their songs. “Busy Signals” makes a good opening track with garage feel, while “Seventeen Candles” reminds me of Panic at the Disco with catchy pop-punk riffs and piano playing — which is very good. I’d be too lazy to describe one-by-one, but I highly recommend this album. Fits up my holiday mood perfectly. If you’re interested do a Google Blog Search.
genre: glam punk/powerpop
sounds like: older Panic at the Disco, Wakefield, Hot Hot Heat
loved tracks: Seventeen Candles, Truth or Dare
edit: I’ve finally listened to Teenage Graffiti and it’s basically less pop/more punk, still great stuff!
and also if you’d like to know out of how many albums I picked this one as my favorite, these are the albums I’ve listened for the week:
Chuck Palahniuk is not the best writer out there, but he sure as hell is my favorite, in case you didn’t know yet. His seventh novel and fifth I’ve come to read, Haunted, is easily one of his bloodiest works to date. This showcase of pain consists of twenty-three short stories of daily life goes wrong in the worst possible ways, all of them wrapped in a background story: that eighteen would-be writers have agreed to participate in a program called Writer’s Retreat, organized by a suspicious old man named Mr. Whittier, where the writers are to be locked up for three months in a windowless building to help concentrate on creating their own literary masterpiece. Instead, the folks decided to turn the retreat into a faux scenario of half-dead survivors being tortured by the evil Whittier, preparing to sell the story out to the media once they got outside. The short stories are the life experiences of the writers, the reason they joined the retreat in the first place.
No, really, you won’t find spooky ghost stories anywhere in this book. What you got is the horror of how your seemingly harmless everyday life can turn into a series of fatal events, with the wrong person at the wrong time — chef, reflexologist, insurance fraud investigator, you name it, they’ve done it. The book keeps up with the sinister theme Palahniuk had brought into all his works — that us humans naturally have the tendency to be selfish and violent if the chance is given. But the hardly bearable part is the gory, nauseous scenes, and Palahniuk is quite a master in exploiting the pain the characters went through by describing, in great detail, subarachnoid hemorrhage or third-degree burn or rigor mortis or the likes. In one particular story, “Guts”, the gore was so bad many people fainted in Chuck’s reading sessions. Reading the book will make you confirm Chuck’s dark, cynical view of a seemingly good society.
I always believe that knowing the whole story of a film before entering the theatre is the biggest sin for moviegoers, and that rule worked on Angels & Demons. I watched it with Ahtar, Sung, Luna, Echy and Noncha but only me and Ahtar had read the book before, and both of us had forgotten how the ending was like so we supposed it shouldn’t be too bad. Turned out the movie was just Robert Langdon running around Vatican explaining the artful history of the city like a tour guide, only with some murders here and there. In the end I don’t regret having read the novel earlier at all.
"You see... there's another sculpture by Bernini pointing to another chapel we've got to catch up"
So, the book is basically: Robert Langdon the symbologist racing against time and Illuminati to save the kidnapped cardinals and the city bombing threat through hidden signs and clues found in statues and landmarks, the bomb threat is using an important newly-found particle able to wipe the whole city called the “God particle” that will probably spark the old debate between religion and science, and also a romantic subplot with the cute scientist Vittoria Vetra. The bloody history of science (represented with the secret society Illuminati) versus religion (the Catholic church) was also described in fine details by the author Dan Brown.
Now the movie doesn’t go far from that, except you got only half the thrill of the chase, one-third deep the importance of the invention “God particle” being explained, and almost zero love story with Ms. Vetra (Ayelet Zurer was quite a hottie, though). Most of the film you’ll see Robert finding the hidden clues found in centuries-old works of art like chapels and statues that will reveal the directional lead he had to take to stop the killings, with the police officers being skeptical about finding the killer through those classical puzzle nonsense, therefore slowing him down. Thank goodness the ending saved the movie from being another crime-thriller-drama — that means for you that have read the book, there’s no thrill left out of it. Just a visual, abridged version of the novel.
If you haven’t read the book before I recommend you watching it, because after all it’s still 2 good hours of round-the-town chase and intelligent well-hidden puzzles, and also a very good showcase of Vatican’s classical art masterpiece done by legendary artists like Raphael and Bernini. But for the Dan Brown fans, only watch this when you want to see what the statues and buildings really look like. After all, it’s the beauty of the town that will avoid the movie to bore you down.
I just had a long skype call with my gf, Aisha that currently lives in USA on the AFS program. We haven’t had long conversation like this for quite a while. We talked and talked and talked, about what to do when she comes back, about things I dislike of her and vice versa, about life here and there, and particularly about how much we’ve changed apart.
She’s been thinking to dig deeper into the art world. I’ve grown a thought that impractical art is useless. She keeps on trying to make the world a better place. I despise world peace. She’s becoming more mature and thinks liberally. I am now quite skeptical and put reason ahead of everything. Keep this going, and we’ll have a couple that goes on a long debate over which snack to buy or what band’s concert should we attend. Okay, the latter one is the subject we’ve agreed not to talk about.
Still, after realizing what we have become after almost a long-distance year, we knew that the months after she comes back in July won’t be the easy ones because she’ll have to attend high school for one more year, but we’ve promised to keep our hopes high. To dream a little that deep inside, there’s little warm love that keeps everything on the right track.
She thinks through her camera. I think of visual art as fruitless.
Do what you want but I know who you are
Say what you want but I know what you’re thinking
Go where you want but I won’t be too far
Go where you want and I know where you’ll end up
If you fall in love
Fall in love and hold nothing back
I’ll fall in love
Fall in love and hold nothing back from you
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a Ride!'"
— Hunter S. Thompson