The passage of time is so often only lived through and through by us humans, integrating seconds and minutes into a mind piece as ubiquitous as the oxygen we breathe.
Jellyfishes, they never felt the urge to worry if they’re two minutes late for the tidal wave. Trees took thousands of years to transcend their form into a massive piece of living wood, but they never rush their synthesis to grow even one leaf faster.
And so, why am I living a stampede where everyone urges everything to be done in the next six hours, a never ending relentless chase?
I dream of a world where nobody ever contemplated the concept of sixty seconds a minute to stuff as many activities as possible into a tiny box called human lifespan.
Long time no see eh? Yes, it’s a holiday, but things kept me busy and my writing mood was drained answering question on my formspring, ask me anything. It might be a tad too late but welcome to the new year 2010! Last year was a year I would never forget, a year that had changed me in almost every way. I graduated from high school, got into ITB, lost a love, have tons of new friends and new activities, and last but not least, my musical taste has greatly broadened! I no longer put Copeland’s albums on repeat (although they’re still my favorite band so far). 2009 was a great year for music, as there were so many records released through the year, and me myself had listened to hundreds of them. I wrote a post about my favorite albums during the first semester of 2009, and now I feel obliged to write not only six albums, but all releases that I’ve found being on constant play on my iPod. I will not limit the list to certain genres, and the list is not in numerical order. All albums are of 2009 releases. Enough with the chit chat. Go!
toe – For Long Tomorrow
While their previous release The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety has introduced my ears to the drumcrunching sound of the amazing Japanese post-rock piece that is toe, their work in 2009, For Long Tomorrow, still proves that they can still confuse people over whether to put them in the post-rock genre, noticing the gloom aura surrounding their songs, or math rock due to the song dynamics and Takashi Kashikura’s intricate drumming. FLT once again brings the fans to the post-rock tunes you can dance your heads to with tracks like “エソテリック”.
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Eating Us
Reviews say that this album is less “drug trip-like” than their predecessors but for the first listen of this band, what came into my mind was how the album is a total audio hallucination. The first track (which is also the single) “Born in the Day the Sun Didn’t Rise” kicks off the album to a drowning electronic sound and after minutes you will find yourself swaying your head to the buzzing notes of their songs. Tracks like “Gold Splatter” puts them into the definitive road of psychedelic pop.
Jeremy Enigk – OK Bear
The Sunny Day Real Estate frontman Jeremy Enigk throws a powerful piano-driven tune with his single “Mind Idea” featured in a somewhat interesting skateboard music video, but that’s just one track off his new album OK Bear. With enchanting lyrics and a good mix of enchanting acoustic guitar pop and indie rock, complete with his old days emo-driven shrieking vocal, Enigk delivers you a rock record that you could listen through the pouring rainy day. But careful, singing along the lyrics off the songs might bring you gloom.
Company of Thieves – Ordinary Riches
One of my most favorite albums of the year, the Chicago female-fronted Company of Thieves releases a record with a harmony and power of an established band’s fourth or fifth album — although this is actually their début album, amazingly. Playing in what can be described as a healthy blend of indie pop cheerfulness and energetic alternative rock, vocalist Genevieve Schatz’s voice is perfectly complementary with the band’s laid back rock sound. Oh, and she’s also a definite cutie FYI. The single “Oscar Wilde” is a great start for those that haven’t heard them before, which is practically almost everyone, and the rest of the album is equally highly enjoyable.
The Swell Season – Strict Joy
If you ever watched the movie Once, this is the two main characters in the movie making a band, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Well there’s two or three other band members, but the most highlighted are those two because of that 2007 movie, so who cares. Anyways the band releases Strict Joy in 2009, an “alternative” album I am quite fond of, apart from Taken By Trees’ East of Eden. The Swell Season applies full-bodied folk in their music, using various instruments apart from their acoustic guitars as the main weapon. This is a folksy record that didn’t send me sleeping at one-third of the album, which means you probably will enjoy it more, a music that will calm your nerves down in hectic days.
Nightmare of You – Infomaniac
Remember those lazy summer days where everywhere is scorching hot but you’d still love to take a walk around the neighborhood? This album from those New Yorkers can certainly help lift your mood up on through the sunniest days. Playing uplifting, laid-back indie rock a la The Kooks without the annoying British accent (and also less distortion), Nightmare of You will suddenly make you sing along to their lines in songs like “Eustacia Vye” or “I Think I’m Getting Older”. The only bad news is… the band is currently going on an “indefinite hiatus”, since the vocalist Brendan Reilly is departing to Italy. We all know what an indefinite hiatus means.
HEALTH – Get Color
The Los Angeles quartet created a weirdly enjoyable noise rock music packed in a jam of electronica and post-punk with the release of Get Color. Tracks after tracks seem to be unstructured, but listen them for times and soon you’ll get those impressive bombing drum beats tangled with seemingly random electro noises rhyming into place. And also, HEALTH is a pretty darn cool name.
Ólafur Arnalds – Found Songs
So, this guy hails from the holy land of Iceland where everyone seems to got some brilliant talent in music and he composes what people call neo-classical. To me it’s post-rock only with piano instead of guitars, and in creating this kind of music, Ólafur Arnalds really got the class. The dominance of piano and violin in the tracks makes it good for movie soundtrack, and I think once Arnalds slips his track into some movie he’d gone famous pretty soon. One good thing is he offer a low-quality version of the album here, and this is the best 128kbps I’ve ever heard.
The Postmarks – Memoirs at the End of the World
Start the album and you’ll be blown by the intro of the first track, “No One Said This Would Be Easy”, that sounds like straight off the opening credits of a campy spy film. The rest of the album is equally blowing — an indie pop sound with a touch of Middle East/Spanish tunes topped with Tim Yehezkely’s cute singing. On the whole this is an inverse of a minimalistic pop record, with ranging instruments and a slight gloom atmosphere.
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Letting Up Despite Great Faults
Hell, this is practically my number one album of the year of all music of 2009 I’ve plugged my ears to. This Los Angeles outfit delivers us their self-titled LP début, playing a sweet shoegaze-influenced electropop with lovely layers of guitars and synth, complete with haunting lyrics. Their music can be described as if someone took all the equipments of Owl City’s Adam Young and created a lush electronic music shadowed by humming vocals. The cute synth noises drag your mind back to where your days were so burden-free you can just snug back in your bed on cloudy days… This is not original nor amazing in any way, but they crafted the songs well for me to listen to on nightly rides.
Unfortunately they haven’t made any music videos, all I got is a live performance video.
And the track “In Steps” and “The Colors Aren’t You or Me”
This August sure starts good, isn’t it, anyone? I lack time to post words since the start of the month, and I’m sure as hell this August will be a pretty busy month. Like on August 1st that was my birthday, I invited some friends to come and have a good lunch at a cafe, we had a good time and thanks to some friends that were gonna go to the Phoenix concert later that night that they chose to come have lunch together instead of going to the Phoenix meet & greet at Aksara hahaa :D. It’s sad that very soon we’ll be going on our own paths, going to different unis to chase our future, but hey that’s life and let’s just celebrate the good times we still have!
And the day after that I went to Bandung to deal with the leftover ITB affairs, and walk around Bandung with Ahtar Echy Juju and some other friends for days. In Bandung I live in this ermm… (what’s the English for “kos”?) at Teuku Angkasa st. behind the Santo Borromeus Hospital, so it’s within walking distance from ITB (very, very good). My housemates Juno and Rafi were quite fun to play around with, and the room’s pretty big so I guess everything will be fine. The walk-around-town-all-day was really fun, but I don’t know if the college has started will I get the chance to stroll around the town like that, I hope so. Based on the given schedule I will attend all the classes with Echy, good to hear I’ve at least one friend in the classes for the start of the year. Oh and I’ve got my alma mater jacket now! The color is this greenish blue something whatchacallitidunno, it’s pretty cool btw. I went back at August 5th so currently I’m in Jakarta but at Sunday I’ll really start living in Bandung for years to come, wish me luck, oh but I don’t believe in luck but whatever. I’ll post stuff when I got the time because starting August 10th the ITB events have begun until 17th, and right on the day after that the semester will finally begin. Life really must go on, and it’s good that now I can forget stuffs from the past. How’s your life people?
p.s. I hope everything goes well for my good friend Ansy, she’s gone off to Jogjakarta today to continue her study in UGM. All the best fer yew matey!
p.p.s. check out this Oscar Wilde song, it’s a single by my current favorite band, the Chicago indie pop female-fronted Company of Thieves. I’ll write a review of their extraordinary album Ordinary Riches when I’ve got the time.
Okay so today I finally watched the Watchmen I’ve been waiting for a looong time, but the bad thing is, I got out from the theater before the movie was finished because the sensei was waiting for me at school for my Japanese conversation test. Fineeee it’s my fault to insist on watching even though the movie played at 12.00 and my test was at 14.30 but why should I had to leave when the movie was finally getting to the thrilling part after 2 tiring hours?? I can’t help but to go to Blok M again to watch that damn movie (again) tomorrow. 2 years of waiting is enough, damn you Warner Bros Studios, I’ll give it a review when I’ve reclaimed my lost half hour this Tuesday.
This is totally unrelated but I thought you would enjoy Copeland‘s Good Morning Fire Eater. The video’s storyline is, well, quite cliché, but it’s still lovely anyway. Good night, and good luck!
"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