Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Thanks Netta, there's a wee bit to read, so feel free to take a look and leave your thoughts in the Comment section.
So, exams are over. I'm pretty pleased. For the most part they went well. One of the best, most miraculous things during the whole exam time was that I got ZERO punctures! That's 6km, each way, about 25 trips. Amazing! The cycle fairies were watching over me, especially after they seemingly turned their backs on me when I got three punctures in the two weeks before the exam period.
I've been enjoying the time to chill, and spending lots of time with Beth. I'll write another post about what I've been doing.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
I wrote the following in the back of my physics course reader. I present it to you, unedited,
"The world is such an amazingly beautiful place, and it's all so overwhelming.
But it's just full of beauty - enough to make write and babble at uni, in the dark, because I have to get this out.
A miracle to be alive, and to see and feel and experience everything.
The cold air biting through my cardigan
The whistles of the air intakes
Seeing a man walking in front of me.
Reading blogs after a whole days study.
Time to cycle home.
Beauty is everywhere - a matter of blissful perspective"
"Simply put, I love snow. It's amazing stuff, and I can't imagine living without it. The interesting thing though, is that I only reached this conclusion on Saturday (7th June 2008).
Yeah, embarrassed to say, but I was a snow virgin. It had been a long time coming, I was certainly willing and eager, but it just, you know, never happened. It was awkward talking to people about it, and I'd just pretend to be 'one of the guys', who's had their fare share of days in the snow.
So my snow-cherry was popped, and I can't imagine a more beautiful moment. I was coming back from Pak N Save on the bus, and thought that the rain on the windscreen looked funny. I wondered, suspected, that it could be snow, and when I got off at my stop, was a little confused. It was like, really slow moving rain. And big, and white.
My flatmates Mohammed and Shanna were on the balcony, taking photos when I got back. After confirming that it was, in fact, snowing, we all ran outside. Fantastically, we weren't the only ones. In case you didn't know, I work as a residential assistant at Ilam Village, a hall of residence for students from all around the world. This means that apart from my own deprived self, there were many other people who haven't experienced snow. So there were Malaysians whooping, Saudis slipping in the snowy grass, Solomon Island children making snowballs. Can you imagine a more amazing scene? It was one of those incredible 'we are the world' moments, where we all forgot about terrorism, petrol prices and the cold, and were brought together by snow.
Wandering around Ilam, I found more of the same. It was an incredible day. In the evening, my friend Bronwyn (Canadian), showed me how to make a snowman, and I made the best and first one of my life.
I really have to say, that this was one of the most amazing days of my life in every way. It felt like my heart was going to explode, from being so happy, which is a fantastic feeling.
I hope it happens again."
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
It said something like 'Check your mail box for secret surprise present'
What I found amazed, confused and overwhelmed me.
In a decorated brown paper bag, with a typewritten note, was this:
It was made by a mysterious stranger, because they enjoy my blog so.
I really didn't know what to say. It is such a humbling gift. I enjoyed a strange sense of pride (for myself) and love (for the Mysterious Stranger).
I had my suspicions, and it turns out it was the absolutely adorable (and impossibly talented) Mirabel from All Your Stars Are Out.
We will be having a craft circle on Saturday afternoon. I am very excited, and have a few projects in mind
When dealing with trigonometric functions (sine, cosine, tangent) these terms are shortened, and expressed with a variable. Usually, you'll see sin(x), tan(c) etc.
If I'm lucky, sometimes the problem will be cos(y), which always makes me smile.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
I remember when I was in sixth form at high school, our history teacher, Mr Voelkerling, asked us to describe beauty.
What a hard question. Way harder than any of the essays I wrote about the unification of Italy.
After the class thought for a while, one guy said 'some girls'. Someone else said 'Jesus'.
My answer was 'lots of things'.
It's a question that I still ponder. Every day, in fact.
And while I'm still looking for an answer, I love the examples I find everywhere around me.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
It was very cold.
I wrapped my scarf over the top of my head to help keep my ears warm, and my helmet kept it in place.
The air was still and quiet. It was easy to cycle fast, and I did, which helped warm me up.
I sliced through the night. It was perfect.
The flat was cold and empty when I got home. Wrapped up in blankets, I sat on the couch, hugging my hot water bottle, and listened to Neon Bible.
Beth and I sent a lot of text messages. I wish she was there, then.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
4 track sampler of Liars angular art-punk. Some demos, and a Crystal Castles remix, which sounds heaps like CC (Sailing to Byzantine/It Fit When I Was A Kid)
Little Pictures - Owl + Owl (26 mins)
Minimal bedroom pop from a boy and girl in love. Awww. A bit samey across the album, but heaps of fun. (Owl + Owl/Tiny Gaps/You + Me + My Amplifier)
Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster (42 mins)
Easily my favourite band, just amazing on so many levels. Phenomenal debut. I'll probably post about them later. Anyway, great 'everything in the mix' indie pop. Sound explosions. Vindictive lyrics. Songs about being an aimless 20 something. Relationships. Dance parties. It feels like my life won't be complete 'til I see them live. (all the songs)
Los Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed (32 mins)
More great stuff, darker than before. Insanely memorable lyrics. 'We kid ourselves there's future in the fucking, but there is no fucking future'. (it's all good)
Jody O Lloyd - Loops of Love (56 mins)
Great hip hop album, reminded me a bit of RJD2. A more enjoyable listen than Trillion's SilentInvisible (Happy & Healthy/Happiness Is.../Recipe for a Perfect Nap)
Lullatone - We Will, We Will Rock You (To Sleep) - (30 mins)
This 'Beginners Guide to Lullatone' is a great intro to the minimal bedroom Japanese pop duo. Lots of soft percussion, and lullaby-esq tunes. A good place to start when defining 'cute'. (Good Morning Melody/Hello Kitty Makes a Band/A Miniature Finale)
Metronomy - Nights Out (43 mins)
'Kind of' a concept album about going out to clubs. Fantastic IDM/pop album, and an amazing live act (The End of You Too/On Dancefloors/Heartbreaker)
Mint Chicks - Screens (30 mins)
One of my most anticipated releases of the year, it certainly did not disappoint. I really like the direction these guys are headed (in to the future, to deconstruct art/pop/punk), and it's a strong album full of great songs. (I Can't Stop Being Foolish/Hot On Your Heels/Life Will Get Better Someday/Enemies)
Mount Pleasant - Horseshoe Lake (34 mins)
Wistful, dreamy instrumentation, with the occasional burst of distortion. Very little singing, just fractured, honest statements. A few 'good vibes' floating around too. (In Lust pt.2/Song With X/Track 4)
The Naked and Famous - This Machine (19 mins)
A great debut ep, with mixes of electro, post-grunge, pop, and shoegaze. Spongelike music. (Part 1/Post)
The Naked and Famous - No Light (19 mins)
Ostensibly the second half of the 'not released as an album-album', more of the same, though less rewarding. (Birds/Part 2)
The O'Lovelys - The O'Lovelys (30 mis)
This was probably the first local band I became a fan of when I moved to Chch. Some nicely written pop songs (Oh No/Clocks/Black Stitch)
Operator Please - Yes, Yes, Vindictive (39 mins)
I hadn't listened to this in ages, and found that I still enjoyed it as much as when I first got it. Perhaps even more. Trashy throw away electro-pop songs from precocious kids - heaps of fun. (Leave It Alone/Zero Zero/Other Song)
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Inspired by Learning to Love You More, I thought about my own little assignment. On Facebook Chat, I sent this message to everyone online: 'Hello! I just wanted to say that you are a beautiful and unique person, and I hope you've had a nice day'. Here are their responses:
AB - shucks you! you're just too delicious and nutritious for words!
AC - best day ever and you are wonderful!
AK - ha, thanks bro. same to u to man. i havent seen u in ages
AM - wow, i cant remember the last time someone has so unexpectedly said something so nice to me! thank you! and right back at you! :)
CL -? are you sharing the love david
EG -awhhhh david! you too! ^^ hope the studying isnt killing you
EL -Every day's a nice day.
FMP - ... uh thanks
MS - oh. thanks david vice versa
MO - are you sure you're talking to the right person
NR - interesting,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
RP - right back at ya
RL -oh. awww. thanks :)
RA - Why thank you
VO'B - why thank you David! That is very sweet of you. Right back at you my friend.
WM - wow thank you?
Thanks to everyone who took part
Fantastic slacker rap. Lovingly self deprecating, with tight raps and sweet down tempo beats. (Letters to the Editor/Matchsticks)
Insurgents - Yours Disappointedly (12 mins)
Great little ep of pop rock tunes. The album was good, but I think I prefer this as a recording. (Rather Be Dead/None of Us Are Getting Out of This Alive)
Jimmy Zoom & The Beytown Grifters - Jimmy Zoom (11 mins)
Until I listened to this, I'd forgotten how much I liked JZ&tBG. Nice little guitar tunes, genuine stuff (Orange/Golden Girls)
Kim K - The Book Fell Open (25 mins)
Does music get any better than hand-made cds from pretty girls? Delightful ep of folk/twee/soft pop (Marionette/Creatures of the Night)
Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future (53 mins)
It's funny to think about Nu-Rave being the (near) future of music. This album stands up pretty well once all the hype's blown over. Very British-psych, the hits-misses ratio is about even. (As Above, So Below/It's Not Over Yet/Gravity's Rainbow)
Chris Knox & The Nothing - Chris Knox & The Nothing (70 mins)
Media Player is confused again; Full Source apparently. Hadn't actually listened to the whole album before, but it's fantastic - Chris is in fine form, rollicking through genres, with all sorts of humour (Queer/Cordeoline/Outa Here/You Can't Hide Away)
The Knux - Remind Me In Three Days (64 mins)
Red hot hip hop beats, coupled with garage guitar riffs - it's good, but suffers from lack of imagination, and that Krispy says "It's Krispy, check it out now" on every. Single. Track. (Bang! Bang!/Daddy's Little Girl)
Saturday, June 13, 2009
These guys are nice people, and they played well at Camp. This recording's a bit boring - drawling/howling vocals and plodding guitar. (Track 3 was cool)
Enright House - A Maze and Amazement (54 mins)
Tremendously beautiful. Warmly layer sounds and incredibly heartfelt lyrics. (On the Banks of the Rhein/Remember the Stillness/Scattering the Sun Like Gunshot)
Fuzzy Fuzzmin - High-Stepping Horses (24 mins)
Super lo-fi. Super sweet. A couple of great covers too. (See You Again/Track 2)
The Gladeyes - Hearts A'mour (17 mins)
Scratched! iMac didn't want to play this one. Will hopefully review later...
Grayson Gilmour - Phantom Limbs (33 mins)
Gosh, this is good. Grayson has the knack of (seemingly?) reusing parts of songs, in a tip of the tongue sort of way. Instantly familiar, but always out of reach. (Blood on the Keys/Cast the Red/Elmira vs the Latchkey Kid)
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (52 mins)
Charming four part harmonies, and dreamy instrumentation. Outstanding songs, a great album (Foreground/Two Weeks/Ready, Able/While You Wait For the Others)
Heat Like Me - You Want It (22 mins)
Ultra 90's analog synth stuff - pretty good and dancey. Would probably be better without vocals. (You Want It/My Place ft. Tommy Ill)
The Hot Grits - Champion Sounds (38 mins)
Afro-soul-funk. Not sure how I got this cd, but it was better than I was expecting. Annoying diva-ish vocals; better as instrumentals. (Mild Thing/Formula)
I was the only guy there. Well, there was a 7yr old named Alex Foote. He was my competition in the Most Improved Kniter category. I had to go before this was announced, but I saw him eyeing me up, nervously.
There were lots of nice people there. Women were drinking mulled wine. It seems one can knit just about anything. As the 'token guy', my picture was taken for this knitting blog.
Friday, June 12, 2009
The second TDE show, recorded on a walkman. Two ~20 min tracks of super lo-fi surf rock. Great study music. (God Damn)
Dear Time's Waste - Room For Rent (19 mins)
I actually listened to this twice in a row. It's gorgeous. Beautiful guitar work and fragile vocals.(Cows/Room for Rent/Polarity)
The Deceivers - Deceivers EP (20 mins)
I used to manage this band. Sweet funk hooks - party startin'. (Skins n Slaps/Boing)
Die! Die! Die!- Promises Promises (39 mins)
One of my favourite releases from '07. Fantastic album - every song makes you feel something. (People Talk/Whitehorses/Blinding)
Disasteradio - Visions (41 mins)
Good study music. Good party music. Good times. (Ultravision/Hotline/Digital Pop)
Dodos - Visiter (59 mins)
Fantastic album that I've really gotten in to lately. Lots of rhythm, and lots of feeling. (Red & Purple/Winter/Undeclared)
I had a banana chai cake and a soy chai latte. 'You must really like chai', said the waitress. Alana had a baked potato.
As I walked from the cafe to the Crypt, a lady was talking on her phone. 'I love you. Ok. Bye.'
Thursday, June 11, 2009
There does seem to be a bunch of 'regulars' who come to Crypt 2 (not Crypt 1. Oh no. We're here to study, not watch anime, and talk about WoW). There's that fat middle age guy who smokes and smells really bad. There's those three Indian guys who are awesome, and drink a lot of Mother energy drink. And there's that Ginger guy who looks like he could program Skynet.
The study has been going well for the most part. I do have blogging and Facebook to break things up a little. I figure it's not procrastination, just things I do in between study. See? It's all just a matter of perspective.
Also, today I got a job at Rialto Cinemas. I'll be selling tickets. I guess, I didn't really ask. I hope to get to usher people - c'mmmmmon torch! I'll let you know how that goes
Not good study music. But quite good electro-clash. Their newer stuff is all super glossy Synthi Lauper-wave, and I think I prefer them doing that (Blood Red Sleeve)
Collapsing Cities - Elixir Always EP (18 mins)
Yipes, the disc is pretty badly scratched, but this is a good lead in to their full length. The versions of Bastard Son and Eli's In a Cult Now are better on this than the album. (No Plans)
Collapsing Cities - Elixir Always (31 mins)
This album opens as a greatest hits - it's crazy. The first five songs are hit-after-hit. Fades away pretty badly in the second half though. Lots of sweet drum beats and angular guitar, coupled with self deprecating lyrics. (...Or So I Said Last Weeknend/In The Valley/Seriously)
Connan & The Mockasins - Uuu It's Teasey (29 mins)
I always like guessing the runtime for a disc, and was surprised by the half hour for these 6 tracks. Lots a fun though, psychy-bluesy guitar wailing, coupled with Connan's peculiar vocals and lyrical contents (Naughty Holdiays (Again)/Sneaky Sneaky Dogfriend)
Cougar Cougar Cougar - (17 mins)
Generally good/uninspired garage guitar rock
Coshercot Honeys - We're All Lions (18 mins)
Great little 4 track ep. These guys are now known as Brain Slaves, but still play a similar style of blues guitar rock (We're All Lions/Mr Dangerous)
Cut Off Your Hands - Skaky Hands (14 mins)
Bands changing names can sorta mess with a cd collection. And with Media Player - it thinks this disc is Blue on Blue. Tremendous debut from COYH (nee Shaky Hands), full of energy and power-post-pop-punk. (Tell Me About/You and I)
Cut Off Your Hands - Blue on Blue (12 mins)
More Pop, especially on single Still Fond and Oh Girl, pointing in the direction they were heading on album You & I. (Closed Eyes)
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Short and sharp, this ep doesn't overstay its welcome. It lacks most of what makes them such a great live band, and they've improved heaps since making this, so I'm looking forward to what they release next. (Time Mismanagement)
Benny Sings - Benny... At Home (42 mins)
Dudley Benson - The Awakening (45 mins)
An astonishing album, full of beauty and honesty, and more pretentious/precocious than anything else I've heard. Rich instrumentation and vocals make this a stand-out. (Rapaki/I Don't Mind)
Belle & Sebastian - The Boy with the Arab Strap (45 mins)
This is such an inviting album. The kind where you always hear something new each time you listen. Lovely stuff. (The Boy with the Arab Strap/Sleep the Clock Around)
Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress (48 mins)
A more glossy pop sound, but still very welcoming. Gogogo toe-tapping! (I'm a Cuckoo/Step Into My Office, Baby)
Black Market Art - Final Show (Live) (55 mins)
Damn. I miss BMA. I didn't see them at Camp this year, and now I'm feeling all sentimental. This recording is a bit iffy, distorted in a good way, with the vocals right down. (I Want To Die/that one about Emily)
Bonaparte - Too Much (47 mins)
The end of a very long day of study, I wasn't sure how this one would go. It sounded like a party, and made me feel pretty good. Some of the songs sounded really uninspired, but lots of fun overall (Who Took the Pill?/A-A-Ah)
Boy Eat All - 1 EP (8 mins)
This was made by my friend Jos. Really low fi bedroom electronic dance beats, with incredibly earnest lyrics. (The first track)
Brand New Math - Moustache Party EP (17 mins)
Rollicking wee ep, with the band throwing everything in to the mix, and trying their hand at various genres. Looking forward to a full length from them (Idiot Savant)
The Brunettes - Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks (37 mins)
Great pop album, from one of my favourite bands. The engineers must've had fun, thowing stuff around L/R. Super sweet tunes about all the fun things in life, c. 1950 (The Moon in June Stuff/Mafioso/End of the Runway)
The Brunettes - Mars Loves Venus (31 mins)
A near perfect pop album. Brunettes are in a class of their own on this album. (Polyester Meets Acetate/Your Heart Dies/You Beautiful Militant)
The Brunettes - When Ice Met Cream (16 mins)
More of the same, with more ballads, and more humour (Pink Ribbons/The Outsider)
The Brunettes - Structure and Cosmetics (38 mins)
Yeah, I'm a really big Brunettes fan. This is like a super polished indie-pop/Americana album. It's got its moments, but loses a bit of soul (Obligatory Road Song/Small Town Crew/B.A.B.Y)
Monday, June 8, 2009
To make things a bit more interesting, and avoid repetition, I thought I'd have a listen to my CD collection in alphabetical order. Not included are tapes, vinyl, mp3s, and other CDs which were on the floor of my bedroom, rather than on the shelf. Below are summaries of the listening for today (song titles in brackets are favourites)
Alex the Kid - Welcome to the Future (21 mins)
Not as terrible as the last time I saw them live, but kind of boring, and annoying on record. Concept taken waaaay too far (Time)
Shaun K. Anderson - The Stand Sure Oak (18 mins)
A nice, simple, folky ep. Lots of glistening guitar, and a few strings. Good for studying. (An Army of Tigers, Come)
Lawrence Arabia - Chant Darling (36 mins)
An outstanding pop album, full of harmony, fun, and wonderfully thought out tunes. Less diverse than his debut, but with a more matured, focused feel (Auckland CBD pt 2/Beautiful Young Crew/Eye A)
Arcade Fire - Funeral (48 mins)
Oh boy, a real favourite. Wall of sound in the truest sense, it's epic and emotive, without ever trying too hard. (Rebellion (Lies (of course))/Haiti/In the Backseat)
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible (47 mins)
Bigger, darker, epic-er, pipe organy-er. Amazing stuff about life, death, religion, family and relationships. (Intervention/Black Wave/Bad Vibrations/My Body Is a Cage)
Architecture in Helsinki - In Case We Die (41 mins)
Quite possibly my favourite album ever, it just overflows with emotion. Mostly joyous ecstasy, but a few quiet moments add layers, making it a truly exceptional recording. (Wishbone/Do the Whirlwind/What's in Store?/all of them...)
Awesome Feeling - Real Groove Compilation (73 mins)
This is a pretty fab compilation - it did a good job of capturing 'underground' NZ music that was around, especially in RG/ALH-friendly circles. AF II, III are also good, and may get reviewed later in the week. (Cindy's a Zombie Now/Pony Prance/Bloxx War/Skeleton Dance)
The title of the blog was a quote that popped in to my head as I was getting dressed one morning. I think it is rather beautiful.
What is the colour of your love?
Friday, June 5, 2009
One thing I've found in particular is that as I breathe, the air leaving me doesn't want to say 'goodbye', and instead condenses on my beard.
When I lock up my bike, I wipe my face, lest I look like a salivating lunatic.