Archive for July, 2009

July 26, 2009

Dillinger escape plan!

by Kevin Aditya

If you’re gonna watch a crime-thriller movie with loads of gunfights and cop chases, the first rule is you have to bring at least 10 guys to watch together. Because cops against robbers with loud, ear-buzzing gunshot sound effect means a DUDE movie. Look, if the mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan (remember the single Panasonic Youth?) took their name from this guy, he must’ve been truly badass. And so I went to watch the highly anticipated crime thriller of 2009, Public Enemies, with 11 of the guys and you ask me how the movie goes? Awesome.

A nicely done flick directed by the guy who directed Collateral, Michael Mann, this film follows the life of the charismatic true-life bank robber of the 1930s John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), as he escapes prisons, rob unfortunate banks, and running away from the cops full-time. Was it that hard to catch and execute one group of robbers? No, he’s been caught, but even the movie opens with Dillinger’s prison break from the Indiana State Prison just to show his awesomeness. But wait, where’s the good folks? Oh, there’s one dedicated FBI agent named Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) who, after his recent success of hunting down Pretty Boy Floyd, has been awarded the task to catch the slick Dillinger by the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. And there the story goes as Dillinger did his bank jobs, fell in love with Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard), stressed out with his tense life, escaped another prison and… oh, remember that films with stories taken from real life rarely ends happy. Because reality sucks, dude and that’s why people make movies. Hmm, come to think of it again, this movie is actually a summary of the last years of Dillinger’s life. Come on, how awesome should your life get to be movie-script worth? Watch it for yourself.

Robbing banks 30s style, dude.

Robbing banks 30's style, dude.

First thing, Johnny Depp really goes deep into John Dillinger’s character. Save for being a bad guy, Dillinger is genuinely charismatic, as you could see in how he treated the bank customers well while still pointing his SMG at the security guards, and a true gentleman when it comes to his love Ms. Frechette. Depp was also able to portray Dillinger’s worried, intense expression as he sneaks up on the street between police officers, but can also goes wild with his weapon when needed, killing prison guards on his way. Christian Bale delivers a fine performance as the disturbed, but continually seeking the truth Agent Purvis. He was truly dedicated to catch Dillinger without as few fatalities as possible, like shown in how he seeks more professional agents to avoid casualties in the field action against Dillinger and his cronies. And Marion Cotillard has done a good job as Billie Frechette, a normal girl that fell in love with Dillinger, and has always tried her best to support Dillinger ever since, like rejecting to cooperate with the police to help the chase.

The only aspect this film lack is the “Great Depression” theme that should be sticking close with the 1930s America setting. Without the financial collapse, Dillinger seems to be a folk hero that people love (maybe simply because he’s too cool.) and there wasn’t really any sign of the great financial depression along the movie. Actually the film is a 50:50 between gunfights and bank jobs and catch-me-if-you-cans, and the love story of Dillinger and Frechette. The film pictures how Dillinger fell in love with Frechette and treated her the true gentleman’s way, continuing to love her no matter how difficult his life was for their relationship to continue (“You ain’t going nowhere. I’m gonna die an old man in your arms. We’re too good for ’em.”) and fortunately, Frechette is also a truly loyal lover that has vowed to support Dillinger, although at first she was hesitant to go along with him. Ahh, that’s the way loving someone should be. No matter if you’re a guy or girl, go and watch this mesmerizing life and times of John Dillinger!

“I like baseball, movies, good clothes, whiskey, fast cars … and you. What else you need to know?”

— John Dillinger

July 25, 2009

5 books

by Kevin Aditya

ITB required me to buy these 5 textbooks, but it’s already heavier than lifting 9 or 10 of my highschool textbooks.

And oh, the subjects. This holiday is probably too long, in my sight the Calculus textbook seems to be written in Spanish. Oh wait, seems now I could even read Spanish better than numbers.

But it feels somewhat exciting at the same time. A right moment to start anew, to forget bad memories of the past. This must become a new life, and ágætis byrjun, an alright start!

July 22, 2009

Congratulations

by Kevin Aditya

for being in a relationship again after just 2 weeks.

July 21, 2009

Six months of 2009; six favorite albums

by Kevin Aditya

What’s better to post in a mid-July than a list of your favorite albums during the first semester of the year? Apart from whatever might happen to you in these past months, there must be an album or two that always lighten up your mood or helped you through some hard times. And for me, after 60+ albums I’ve listened to since January (it’s true, should be more but I’m tired after counting them up to 60) there are some of this year’s albums that have truly caught my ears. Yes, I’m restricting this to 2009 releases up ’till June only and I’m gonna list only 6 albums. Such disappointment though, because most of my current favorite albums came out at this very July! But oh well, let’s save Mew’s No More Stories… and Owl City’s Ocean Eyes and Jónsi & Alex’s Riceboy Sleeps for the next semester list. Why 6 albums, if you ask me? Because I friggin love that number 6 since who knows when. I round up amounts to 6, not 5. Well, enough with the blabbering and let’s start!

6. The Appleseed Cast – Sagarmatha

The band that originally rocked with their emo-driven style a la Sunny Day Real Estate has now gone to a more post-rock oriented music with lengthy instrumental tracks and non-intrusive approach of the vocals to the songs. Their masterpiece came with their 2001 album Low Level Owl, Vol. 1 but in this newest release they has proven that a band can continue making masterpieces by shifting up the genre. In songs like The Summer Before the reff simply consists of the word “Arizona”, yet the voice blends well with the guitar riffs to make a mesmerizing tune. The closing track Army of the Fireflies and some others have the Explosions in the Sky-ish feel to them, a signature tone of the post-rock genre with roaring guitars covering other instruments. Sagarmatha is what the locals at Nepal call the Mt. Everest, so no wonder if at times the album has the cold and lonesome atmosphere about it.

5. mewithoutYou – It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All a Dream! It’s Alright

mewithoutYou is previously known with their raw, hard post-hardcore influenced rock music and the religious, shouting lyrics sung with full emotion by their frontman Aaron Weiss. They’re a very spiritual band, you know. Look, the Y in the band name is in caps. But it’s “previously” with a good reason, as in this album they explore the uhmmm… folk-rock genre, arming themselves with acoustic guitars and bells and violins and accordions. Aaron Weiss’ vocal is still roaring in contrast to the acoustic haze on some songs though, and this way their spiritual lyrics could reach out more to the heart of the listener. You’re out playing folk and singing about God, see, it matched. However, the band is now criticized for being too preachy — the last track is even titled Allah, Allah, Allah. But if you’re not into the lyrics, you’ll find this album calms you down in some journeys to the neighboring city, perhaps. Cheers for bands that explore new genres!

4. Gossip – Music for Men

The front cover uses drummer Hannah Blilie instead of the vocalist/frontman Beth Ditto probably because she already contains much controversy in herself. She’s (like very, totally) obese, a lesbian, and very outspoken about those two subjects. I wondered how many “yo mama” jokes she has endured so far. Gossip is Beth Ditto, no doubt about it. But it doesn’t mean their popularity only rise from the eccentric frontman, because their major label debut Music for Men proves that they deserve the praise. The single Heavy Cross which has received many airplays features the queer guitar intro indie-style accompanied with Ditto’s powerful voice. Her singing the words “I checked yoo-o-ou” in the reff will shun you still with the power and that’s just one song. This indie-rock/dance-punk outfit still has a crapload of sweetly good songs you should listen to like Pop Goes the World that will bring you to your feet and dance. Or at least tap your fingers, okay. And don’t miss the intricate guitar in tracks like Men in Love that shows that even without bassist a band can still sound good. They’re a trio and Beth Ditto purely does singing only, well I wonder if there’s any guitar strap long enough to wrap around her body… just kiddin’.

3. Adhitia Sofyan – Quiet Down

This guy has made a really nice album and released it for free to the world — the best move a musician could make. He’s Indonesian, as you can see from the name, and you’ve probably heard and loved his single Adelaide Sky. This whole album revolves around the same mood, the soothing, let’s-just-sleep-through-this-sunny-day mood we all love to plug our ears into. His voice is truly calming, and accompanied with pretty, minimalistic acoustic guitar setting, this album will grow in you. And the lyrics are beautifully simplistic as well with lines like “I don’t mind if time goes too soon,
we’ll stay up all night and make it slower”. Oh, and this album also brings back the good memories of some past months… you should listen nevertheless! See his blog here to download it, it’s legal.

2. Paolo Nutini – Sunny Side Up

This is so far, the loveliest album I’ve ever heard this year. This sophomore effort by the Scotsman Paolo Nutini, lifts the joy of loving up high with his smooth bass voice singing through the acoustic guitars that have a hint of folk in the tracks. Okay, actually I added it to the list because the video of the single, Candy, is too beautiful to be missed. It’s the celebration of love, the merry festive brought by a wedding… that or I’m just missing a love. The whole album is great anyway, songs like Coming Up Easy reminded me of good ol’ country-folk tunes when others like Chamber Music embraces the power of his voice, which truly stands out against today’s male singers: John Mayer, James Morrison, Jason Mraz, and the other Js out there. Hearing his songs is like slouching lazily in the porch with the grass fields outside, on a sunny afternoon. Perrrfekt.

1. The Hint – I Am The Hint EP

Alright, I know an EP is not worth the top spot of a list, but hey, it’s my list of favorite albums, not the best. The quartet hasn’t made a full album yet, but listening to this EP makes me wonder how big will their future studio album be. There’s not much I could find about this band other than the fact that they produce richly sounding powerpop music with the synth dominantly playing along the songs, new-wave style. It’s like if The Killers dumped Brandon Flowers and replaced him with AAR’s Tyson Ritter look-alike only with more bass voice. The vocalist’s voice merged perfectly with the background music in Always With You while on other tracks they goes into more traditional powerpop style, like heard in Something to Hold On to, but the real power of their music lies in Pride and Into the Fire. Here the new wave influence caught the listeners like no other bands, while it’s still soothing the ears at the same time. The album sounds perfect to be listened in a middle of the busy city night, you know, when everyone moves so fast around you but you can still find the peace beneath just by closing your eyes, and feeling the flow of the city that runs in between. The future studio album will be highly anticipated. Thanks for reading this, wait until the end of the year to catch the second half-year list!

And if you’re interested to listen, just tell me which one that you like. Internet is free. 😛

p.s. still insisting I’m doing you wrong huh. and it’s not even me commenting.

July 18, 2009

Jakarta dan ledakan dalam hati

by Kevin Aditya

17 Juli 2009, saya bangun jam 8, pagi yang cukup cerah untuk melakukan kegiatan apapun. Baca koran, nyalain laptop, sungguh pagi yang sempurna buat malas-malasan seperti pagi-pagi lainnya. Tapi ke’biasa’an pagi ini dibuyarkan oleh satu berita yang mungkin bakal jadi titik terhitam di tahun 2009:

2 buah bom meledak sekitar pukul 07.45 di depan hotel JW Marriott dan di Ritz-Carlton Jakarta.

Hari Jumat itu bukan hari yang tenang. Berita mengalir dengan sangat cepat dan terus diperbarui tiap detik lewat Twitter, orang berkabar di Facebook dan MSN, semua orang bertukar cerita yang saat itu masih belum jelas kredibilitasnya — entah 40 bom ditemukan, 9 meledak, daerah Muara Angke diledakkan juga, SBY hampir ditembak sniper, apalah. Histeria massa, teknologi termanfaatkan.

Manchester United yang akan melawat ke Jakarta bertanding dengan Indonesia Allstars, MU yang mana tempat menginapnya di Ritz-Carlton telah diluluhlantakkan, dengan segera membatalkan kunjungannya.

Semua penggemar fanatik Setan Merah menyumpahi sang teroris.

Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono menggelar konferensi pers dan menyatakan bahwa kegiatan terorisme ini memang sudah terdeteksi, dan bahkan beliau menunjukkan foto-foto para teroris itu berlatih menembak gambar seseorang yang tidak lain adalah mukanya, muka SBY. Ya, semua orang dengan sedikit ilmu Photoshop juga bisa membuat foto itu, tapi — apa gunanya menunjukkan itu?

Kejadian hari itu saya bicarakan dengan beberapa teman di rumah Echy sampai sangat larut malam, dan kita semua tidak habis pikir, apa gunanya pengeboman ini? Apa sih yang ingin dicapai?

Untuk apa, untuk siapa, karena apa?

Oke, mari coba selami pola pikir para pelaku. JW Marriott. Ritz-Carlton. Tempat berprestise tinggi di daerah bisnis Mega Kuningan. Daerah yang banyak ekspatriat. Tempat petinggi-petinggi perusahaan melaksanakan bisnisnya. Apa yang diincar? Orang penting tertentu? Perjuangan aliran agama yang ekstrim? Perusakan kredibilitas hotel? Perusakan citra Indonesia?

Sekedar anarki?

Yang pasti peristiwa ini dapat berdampak sangat luas pada rakyat Indonesia. Rupiah melemah. Travel warning dikeluarkan lagi oleh negara-negara Eropa. Acara berskala internasional dibatalkan. Paranoia massal terhadap tempat-tempat yang rawan ancaman.

Berhipotesalah pada saya, apa tujuan sesungguhnya?

p.s. “done you wrong”? how kind, thank you.

July 13, 2009

Hmmmmmm

by Kevin Aditya

So, earlier today, somehow I realized — after a week of analyzing the situation — that it was simply I got dumped.

Well, thank you for that…

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