Wednesday, April 16, 2014

>tried to protect a school’s name by not mentioning it in a sensitive article

>people in the comments section defending the school by revealing its name

ishygddt

Sunday, March 23, 2014

what’s older than too old, or thinking that you’re too old?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

trying to fly away without knowing how to fly

singular

marijuanatacular taste on his gums

skin like butter

irregular

irreversible now

further

further 

further

further

then turn back

it begins once more

trollbag

eggs

and crispy bacon

sliced through with a fine knife

-

one egg, two yolks

one with blood, one almost done

refusing to mix

because he would

rather be

with his chicken

-

ending up someone’s ass

it doesnt comfort anyone

to know

no one fought

a good fight

title fighters

our war

lasted longer than

the Six Day War

But

the same number of people

died in it

It became civil

territorial, farcical, seussical

over our former colonial powers

and how we once fought

in their name

Observing countries can only observe

they give aid

but not fight

but neither do we

Dead, reincarnated again

just to win the right

to be right.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

FAV> ALBUM OF 2013: DEAFHEAVEN - SUNBATHER

Sunbather is the album that I always come back to in the end, this year. Very much like the other albums in this top 10, it feels like a home that I always look forward to come back to. Before this album, I hadn’t even known Deafheaven existed or that Sunbather turned out to be the epic monster that it is. Judging from the cover, you initially couldn’t tell much about what the band had in store for you, unless the record stores or the online music services did that categorization for you. But in the end, the record wowed me with its size, atmosphere, varying song styles, and the floating ambiences in between the hardest songs. For me it had everything: atmosphere, aggression, size, timidity, despair, optimism, beauty, immersion, ferocity, heart, technique, darkness, brightness etc. all hidden under a luminescent sea of noise and a reef of echoing guitars. It was all I needed, for awhile.

It is also, in my opinion, an album of which a lot of different people can enjoy. It can strike the hearts of hardcore kids and metalheads while also making indie kids and punk kids cry. Its an album that can be enjoyed simultaneously by the Pitchfork community and the Absolutepunk community and emerge out of this harmony a better record. Appreciation will always make a record sound better, especially if one shares it with others. It is a massive album in terms of its music: the atmosphere caused by the reverbing guitars and the drowned out screams, coupled with the dark ambient and noise interludes in between the “main” songs.  It is an album that can be enjoyed by people who don’t normally listen to heavy music, much like how Swans’ The Seer captivated listeners of all kinds with its size and its unique ferocity back in 2012, winning many hearts and praise along the way.

Deafheaven will become a legendary band thanks to this record. 10 years from now, they would probably achieve the same kind of high that My Bloody Valentine reached, resonating in history as an incredible band with their own unique sound.  This year, they have released my favourite album of 2013.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

No. 5 Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

Random Access Memories is an incredibly produced album possessing one of the defining sounds of 2013, and an album which survived the incredible hype cycle put upon it by desperate EDM snobs looking for a justified savior of their static scene and the myth-eating media unscathed.

Overhyping anything has the possibility of ruining an object or an event’s element of surprise and the expectations of many. Over the course of the first half of 2013, partly fueled by the “dying” EDM scene, the highly anticipated fourth album from French electronica duo Daft Punk was almost the only thing that dominated the music media.

All their previous releases have all become staples of dance music and has inspired dozens upon dozens of DJs and artists. Some currently big DJ names have credited their work a lot to Daft Punk’s brand of robotic French house music. It would be no surprise if a release by the duo would garner so much attention. The growing EDM scene in America is (still) facing a dire crossroads due to the threat of musical stagnation and over commercialization. They needed a savior in their legendary figures, to bring them out of the slump and back into the game. This, and coupled with the Daft Punk myth being eaten ravenously by the public, helped fuel the memorable hype that was not necessary from the beginning.  

But how much were people’s expectations being too much? Was it simply because the album’s marketing scheme was incredibly effective? Or was it because the receiving end was being gluttonous in eating the myth that is Daft Punk? Is a marginally biased music media responsible for the dashed anticipation of the people who expected no more than another record like Discovery? Was it worth the drive (or flight) to a remote Australian town just to hear the record being played for the first time, in public, without any sight from the band itself?

In all ways, yes it was, depending on what one expected from Daft Punk. Sure, Random Access Memories still retained elements of the old Daft Punk, as one can hear in Giorgio by Moroder or in Contact, but overall, the duo came out with a record that was entirely different. Their famously digital trademarks have been replaced by the high production value of analogue drums and instruments, as well as making Pharrell Williams the number one pop star of the year.

I was initially skeptical in terms of the album due to my dismissiveness in believing that the album would be the album of the century. But upon hearing the album itself, I was more than impressed. In fact, I loved it, and was actually obsessed with it myself for the first week or so. I could not believe they had pulled off something so great, just doing their own thing in the midst of very high expectations.

What annoyed me about the album was the certain excessive hype that surrounded it. For one, when Get Lucky’s radio edit came out, it was played on Australian mainstream radio every three songs for almost two weeks. Too much of a good thing is never great, but this excessive hype was made for by the actual album.

It is no wonder that Daft Punk are one of the most praised acts in music, because boy do they bring their game to the table!  

Friday, December 20, 2013

no. 6. TWIABP&IANLATD - Whenever if Ever

Emo has so, so much potential to cross over to other audiences, especially into the indie scene. The problem with bands that carry this label with them is that they have to work harder in proving the music world that they are not what the supposedly negative and stereotypical image of emo is. If you think about it, songs about depression, crying, self harm, wearing black, heartbreak, misery, rejection or what have you exist in all realms of music. But whenever certain people are told to describe emo, these categories will definitely show up some time in their description, and spoken with a negative connotation.  Out of all the sounds that exist in alternative rock, for me, emo bands have the biggest potential to cross over into the indie scene, because they act like a literal bridge between indie rock and hardcore. Bands have to work hard to stand out with their own sound.

Enter The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die. It seems that my discovery of this band was an answer to my prayers. Emo now has the possibility to be appreciated on another level, by new audiences.

For the record, I have never heard a band quite like them, I have never heard of a band whose sound is similar to that of Broken Social Scene and Thursday at the same time. Its as if Kevin Drew (BSS) started crying when he sang and then dragging his band’s music down with his moods. But I am incredibly joyed to hear a band like this, because they seemed to fulfill almost every criteria I set 4 years ago about being the perfect emo band of the future: they had originality, they melded unpredictable sounds, they stayed true in their lyrics, of which is able to hit the hearts of even the most aged emo fan. The only minor drawback about this band is its insistent band name (because of the amount of energy you would have to spend referring to the band’s full name). But aside from this, I was almost reduced to tears when hearing this album for the first time because it had been what I’d hoped for. 

The music and the lyrics blend so well and are delivered flawlessly. The vocalist sounds like a wimpier version of Thursday’s Geoff Rickly, but he delivers his words with almost the same intensity as Rickly does. Even the instrumentation harkens Thursday’s final efforts to blend in post-rock into their music. Instrumental opus “Ultimate Steve” would not feel out of place in an Explosions in the Sky album, as the buildup-turned-ending is able to remind one of EITS’s The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place. “Gig Life” is sadder than a lot of other emo songs I have ever heard and I could actually feel for the subject that is being left behind.  The words are shouted, whispered, screamed, sung directly into the listener’s heart, immediately feeling their pain.

The post-rock comparisons and the intense delivery of the music and the devastating lyrics places this band on a par with such post-hardcore emo legends such as Thursday or Cap’n Jazz. Their musical aesthetic is certainly reminiscent of 90s emo, which can be said to be a literal bridge between indie rock and hardcore music. The harking of the Braid, Hey Mercedes or any Kinsella-related sounds are very transparent in this album.  

In a way, I guess that this album is the album which is closest to my heart this year. Music publications such as Consequence of Sound are already predicting the return of emo, and so am i. With a resurgence of bands like TWIABP, it looks like Emo will evolve beautifully from its caterpillar and cocoon states, into a butterfly of triumph.  

 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
7. TYLER, THE CREATOR - WOLF
This year, it seems that Tyler, the Creator is experimenting on other forms of art, putting his hands onto whatever he thinks he can do. In film, he is bound to drop the movie version of WOLF any time now, and he’s also just made a low-budget horror film with Earl and the others. He’s also a TV star, filling the massive void for prank and stunt shows that Jackass left behind with Loiter Squad. Musically, he has also grown into someone that he actually wants to be, and hopes to stay as in the future: an artist.
WOLF is his musical centerpiece and may be the best album that any Odd Future act has ever released, but it did not define the year the way another OF release did (which I’ll get to soon…). The star here is Tyler’s production. He’s already shown the world what he is capable of producing, and the beats that he produces sound genuinely him. In terms of lyrics, he may be a more mature Tyler, but again, Tyler is still Tyler. Even though his lyrics shine the most on his first album, Bastard, he operates now on a different mindset, having living the life that he dreamed of and having changes in his life that he may or may not have expected. With this album, there is no doubt that hip-hop has one of its best beat makers in Tyler.
WOLF is structured as somewhat of a concept album. It is basically a screenplay and is a surprising shift in direction from his “therapist trilogy” that has yet to be completed. With WOLF though, it would be surprising if he decides to even complete the trilogy after all. His mindset is no longer the psychopath we hear on Bastard or Goblin. Here, he is hanging out with his influences (Laetitia Saedler, Pharrell, Erykah Badu!), having kids on the street walk up to him for a photo (to his disdain) and he even has love on his mind, even though he subtly hides his “lovey” side behind his foul mouth and attitude. It’s a remarkable maturity, and we who followed him from Bastard or Goblin have heard him do so in this album.
The songs themselves show Tyler’s love of jazz, as most of his beats would incorporate some elements of jazz in them. “Awkward” is an example of this. “Treehome95” is a very unpredictable song because nobody would expect him to make a song like that. In this album, Tyler is pouring his heart out about the changes that came to his life after becoming famous. “Ate one roach and I made a lot of money” he raps on Domo23, referring to the music video that catapulted him to stardom. “Colossus” can serve as his Stan moment, as he describes how it feels for him to be approached by kids telling him that his music saved (or ruined) their lives. The song with my personal favourite lyrics is “Rusty”, and that happened to be the song that I was obsessed most with. In it, Tyler basically summarizes his entire career into one long verse: the media, the fans, his friends, everything. If one wants to know how this guy’s life is like at the moment, listen to that song. He also seems to share some kind of telepathic empathy with his “little-brother” Earl Sweatshirt, as both talk personally about the passing of each of their grandmothers and how they felt, on their respective albums, only Tyler talks about it at the end and shares his quiet shock.
WOLF can also be a quiet shock to a lot of people wanting another Goblin. Maybe he would continue his therapist sessions if he feels like it in the future, but right now, his problems seem to not be what he is on at the moment.

 

7. TYLER, THE CREATOR - WOLF

This year, it seems that Tyler, the Creator is experimenting on other forms of art, putting his hands onto whatever he thinks he can do. In film, he is bound to drop the movie version of WOLF any time now, and he’s also just made a low-budget horror film with Earl and the others. He’s also a TV star, filling the massive void for prank and stunt shows that Jackass left behind with Loiter Squad. Musically, he has also grown into someone that he actually wants to be, and hopes to stay as in the future: an artist.

WOLF is his musical centerpiece and may be the best album that any Odd Future act has ever released, but it did not define the year the way another OF release did (which I’ll get to soon…). The star here is Tyler’s production. He’s already shown the world what he is capable of producing, and the beats that he produces sound genuinely him. In terms of lyrics, he may be a more mature Tyler, but again, Tyler is still Tyler. Even though his lyrics shine the most on his first album, Bastard, he operates now on a different mindset, having living the life that he dreamed of and having changes in his life that he may or may not have expected. With this album, there is no doubt that hip-hop has one of its best beat makers in Tyler.

WOLF is structured as somewhat of a concept album. It is basically a screenplay and is a surprising shift in direction from his “therapist trilogy” that has yet to be completed. With WOLF though, it would be surprising if he decides to even complete the trilogy after all. His mindset is no longer the psychopath we hear on Bastard or Goblin. Here, he is hanging out with his influences (Laetitia Saedler, Pharrell, Erykah Badu!), having kids on the street walk up to him for a photo (to his disdain) and he even has love on his mind, even though he subtly hides his “lovey” side behind his foul mouth and attitude. It’s a remarkable maturity, and we who followed him from Bastard or Goblin have heard him do so in this album.

The songs themselves show Tyler’s love of jazz, as most of his beats would incorporate some elements of jazz in them. “Awkward” is an example of this. “Treehome95” is a very unpredictable song because nobody would expect him to make a song like that. In this album, Tyler is pouring his heart out about the changes that came to his life after becoming famous. “Ate one roach and I made a lot of money” he raps on Domo23, referring to the music video that catapulted him to stardom. “Colossus” can serve as his Stan moment, as he describes how it feels for him to be approached by kids telling him that his music saved (or ruined) their lives. The song with my personal favourite lyrics is “Rusty”, and that happened to be the song that I was obsessed most with. In it, Tyler basically summarizes his entire career into one long verse: the media, the fans, his friends, everything. If one wants to know how this guy’s life is like at the moment, listen to that song. He also seems to share some kind of telepathic empathy with his “little-brother” Earl Sweatshirt, as both talk personally about the passing of each of their grandmothers and how they felt, on their respective albums, only Tyler talks about it at the end and shares his quiet shock.

WOLF can also be a quiet shock to a lot of people wanting another Goblin. Maybe he would continue his therapist sessions if he feels like it in the future, but right now, his problems seem to not be what he is on at the moment.

 

Monday, December 16, 2013
9. ARCADE FIRE - REFLEKTOR
A band that successfully diverted attention away from other acts in music for a few months this year was Arcade Fire. I remember that during the album’s hype cycle, from August to October, all the music media could do was talk about Arcade Fire and their upcoming album Reflektor. 2013 was the year of the hype: the year demonstrated how capable the media is of extreme hype (and how an increasingly elitist-minded public easily ate it up), in a year where new releases by cult figure bands and underground champions were hyped out of their core fanbase and into the mainstream. At times, the hype cycle did not serve several acts very well (Bowie) due to the 21st century human’s attention span, but Reflektor was one of those albums that went through the hype cycle and did not disappoint.  
This is Arcade Fire’s most danceable record: Caribbean grooves, beach party percussion, blanketed under dark undertones of Win Butler’s lyrics, not unlike the bleak atmosphere of Neon Bible but far from the energized Suburbs. Death seems to be a reoccurring theme in this album, as Butler constantly questions the use of a heaven or an afterlife. During the recording of the album, the band travelled to earthquake-ravaged and internationally forgotten Haiti, where the stench of death creeps even from the living, thus further giving the album its atmosphere. But aside from death, Haiti could also be the reason why this album stands out the way it does from other indie releases of 2013: Butler drew enormous inspiration from how Haitians that lived their lives in the devastation of being forgotten by the world were able to rejoice their being alive through music. In a way, Reflektor reflects that mindset and AF created an album that was able to take a life of its own; possessing the souls of the listeners.
The first disc of Reflektor is more upbeat and as a result the listener is kept constantly engaged with the music and the lyrics. However, the second disc, which harbors the album’s darker moments, tends to flatly drag along, after Here Comes the Night Time II, right until Afterlife, where the album picks up for one last climax before being dragged down again by a tedious closer, Supersymmetry. This penultimate climax seems to be a reoccurring trait in AF’s albums.

In my opinion though, it is the band’s best work since 2004’s Funeral. It just stands out more than any other indie rock album of the year and I attribute that to the album’s ability to take on a life of its own and make the listener dance, brood and contemplate about life and its necessary progress. 
BEST MOMENT: that guitar lead on “Normal Person”.

9. ARCADE FIRE - REFLEKTOR

A band that successfully diverted attention away from other acts in music for a few months this year was Arcade Fire. I remember that during the album’s hype cycle, from August to October, all the music media could do was talk about Arcade Fire and their upcoming album Reflektor. 2013 was the year of the hype: the year demonstrated how capable the media is of extreme hype (and how an increasingly elitist-minded public easily ate it up), in a year where new releases by cult figure bands and underground champions were hyped out of their core fanbase and into the mainstream. At times, the hype cycle did not serve several acts very well (Bowie) due to the 21st century human’s attention span, but Reflektor was one of those albums that went through the hype cycle and did not disappoint.  

This is Arcade Fire’s most danceable record: Caribbean grooves, beach party percussion, blanketed under dark undertones of Win Butler’s lyrics, not unlike the bleak atmosphere of Neon Bible but far from the energized Suburbs. Death seems to be a reoccurring theme in this album, as Butler constantly questions the use of a heaven or an afterlife. During the recording of the album, the band travelled to earthquake-ravaged and internationally forgotten Haiti, where the stench of death creeps even from the living, thus further giving the album its atmosphere. But aside from death, Haiti could also be the reason why this album stands out the way it does from other indie releases of 2013: Butler drew enormous inspiration from how Haitians that lived their lives in the devastation of being forgotten by the world were able to rejoice their being alive through music. In a way, Reflektor reflects that mindset and AF created an album that was able to take a life of its own; possessing the souls of the listeners.

The first disc of Reflektor is more upbeat and as a result the listener is kept constantly engaged with the music and the lyrics. However, the second disc, which harbors the album’s darker moments, tends to flatly drag along, after Here Comes the Night Time II, right until Afterlife, where the album picks up for one last climax before being dragged down again by a tedious closer, Supersymmetry. This penultimate climax seems to be a reoccurring trait in AF’s albums.

In my opinion though, it is the band’s best work since 2004’s Funeral. It just stands out more than any other indie rock album of the year and I attribute that to the album’s ability to take on a life of its own and make the listener dance, brood and contemplate about life and its necessary progress. 

BEST MOMENT: that guitar lead on “Normal Person”.