Loveless, the best album of the 1990s, turned 31 today.
Just discovered this Singapore's magnificent shoegaze unit, Coming Up Roses. Saw them performing at Hard Rock Cafe Singapore a few nights ago, falling in love instantly. Been listening to this song on repeat. Melancholy and atmospheric yet beautiful. Sad and gorgeous vocal style. Shoegaze at its best.
DOMESTIC GROOVE ~ Celeb's Chosen Seven is my biweekly column in The Beat (Jakarta) mag. Basically it's an interview via e-mail which focuses on small, intimate, domestic stuff; what Indonesia's public figures are really into, musically speaking. For the seventh edition I went upclose-and-personal with Henry Foundation.
Tonite! Wednesday, November 03, 2010; 8-10 PMR-n-R Exhibition [mini version]: STIRLING SILLIPHANTThe Nostarwhere Tapes:: Introduction, playlist and photos, written and handpicked by Stirling Himself :: What I originally intended as a curatorial focus on a very specific genre (early-to-mid-'90s American Underground) has morphed into a retrospective on the music I was listening to from 2001-2006, a time when I was the heart, soul and scrambled brains of the nostarwhere collective. We (I, most of the time) booked DIY gigs for bands from all over the region (with a heavy Singapore and KL emphasis, though we got some takers from Oz, the States and Japan) in Bangkok, where I also played in my own band, Eastbound Downers. Growing up between Asia and the States in the pre-web days, I had a lopsided exposure to music. I'd tend to binge in the former (on live shows, records, 'zines, books) and hibernate in the latter. Say what you will about social networking, but without it, there were few avenues for an international school brat like me to stay simultaneously informed about global and local underground scenes. A couple years after I moved back to Southeast Asia in '99, I started to make up for lost time: Once I got hip to the incredibly diverse, talented regional scene, I started inviting bands up to play in Asia's crossroads city, my home at the time, Bangkok. The friendships forged in the course of doing so last to this day (and will far beyond), but another fortunate knock-on effect was the amount of music I was exposed to. The amount of 'what... you haven't heard of so-and-so?!,' and, 'you're from California and you've never seen such and such??' was dizzying. Like a good student, I took notes, I read up on stuff... and sure, I downloaded a few tunes on p2ps---but mostly I kept buying records. What follows is a cross-section of jams (some completely new, others 'rediscovered') that I either got turned onto over those years. Jams that were blasted out over the PAs of the dive bars where we set up shows (all closed now; if they were naïve enough to hand the keys to us for even a night, there was an operative lack of business acumen), late, late night and through the morning at the 'Stirling's house after-party', or the follow-on afternoon, when the slowing music would tease my thoughts to ask if this was really what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life. ♪ ♫ ♬ Radio streaming live
Tonite! Wednesday, September 08, 2010; 8-10 PMWham! Bang! You're Dead, Man!Today is the 1st anniversary of BlokRokinBeats. Each and every person who participated/doing exhibition before, was asked to pick one song with special theme: a track that they would use for their funeral, soundtrack of their last-kiss goodbye, song to overdose to, farewell-and-wish-you-well (or hell), a solid calibre of "danse macabre".
Edition: June 30, 2010Rock-n-Roll Exhibition: BIN HARLANButuh Kaset C Berapa?:: Playlist, intro, and song descriptions, written and handpicked by Bin Himself :: Saat masih kuliah, cukup sering saya melihat eksekutif muda memborong CD progressive rock di Aquarius Pondok Indah. Waktu itu saya hanya terus membatin,”Nanti kalau gue udah kerja, giliran gue yang kayak begitu. Gue borong CD-CD kesukaan gue”. Kenyataannya, sampai sekarang saya tak kunjung mapan. Hingga di era penampakan dan perdagangan vinyl di Facebook, saya hanya mampu membeli sedikit demi sedikit CD band luar negeri di toko-toko tenar yang kian sepi. Menggeluti permusikan menggiring pada dua hal: rasa penasaran dan jiwa koleksi. Penasaran ketika bertemu visual, membaca resensi album, atau mendapat informasi tentang sebuah band dari teman-teman. Jiwa kolekasi membuat suasana toko rekaman musik seperti sekuntum dongeng hangat. Tapi, rasa penasaran dan jiwa koleksi senantiasa dihadang hambatan: akses mendapatkan barang yang diinginkan dan kondisi keuangan. Sulit. Solusinya: teman-teman dan kaset (belakangan CD) kosong Merekam dan direkamin adalah petualangan. Berlama-lama di kamar teman untuk membuat kompilasi. Menulis judul-judul lagu. Menyalin sampul CD impor menjadi sampul kaset fotokopian. Pertanyaan penutup saat ingin direkamin sebuah album rekaman bisanya masalah durasi, “Butuh beli kaset C berapa?” Kadang-kadang saya membuat rekaman Single atau EP. Saat meminjam sebuah album, saya malah membeli kaset kosong C 15, memilih lagu-lagu tertentu di CD pinjaman itu untuk dijadikan rekaman mini versi sendiri. Atau kebalikannya, membeli kaset C90 untuk bisa membikin split album versi suka-suka. Pernah juga seorang teman mengirim surat dari luar negeri disertai kaset kosong yang telah diisi oleh lagu-lagu James Iha. Tapi sayangnya, sesungguhnya tak banyak teman-teman saya yang menyukai musik-musik yang “sealiran” dengan saya. Atau dengan kata lain: saya kurang bergaul dengan “anak underground”. Akibatnya, sumber untuk membuat kaset-kaset rekaman tidaklah banyak. Sangat sering saya penasaran dengan sebuah band tapi tak kunjung bisa mendengarkan dan memiliki albumnya karena keterbatasan sumber tersebut. Cara membuat playlist saya ini adalah dengan metode “Rekamin gue, dong” yang klasik itu. Saya ke kamar kerja seorang teman, mengecek lagu-lagu di komputernya, dan membuat kompilasi dari stock lagu yang tersedia di sana. Lebih spesifik lagi, lagu-lagu yang saya pilih dari komputer itu adalah lagu-lagu yang pernah saya rekam atau pernah direkamin oleh teman untuk saya. Kaset dan CD kosong membantu dahaga musik dengan lika-likunya. Termasuk lupa memencet tombol “record”…
Edition: June 02, 2010Rock-n-Roll Exhibition: EKA ANNASHPast, Present, Heron & Morphine:: Playlist, notes and (a few) photos, written and handpicked by Eka Himself :: Some of these tracks are obvious classic. But I'm going to try to include a few obscures that I thought was brilliant and didn't have the chance to be explored by (or exposed to) the mass at the time of its release. But then again, maybe it didn't have to. It only belongs to those whom had intimate relation with (and appreciation to) these songs, that makes them extremely vital and relevant from the first place. These songs connect with me in a special way. It has relation to momentum, mental state and memories that happened during the stretch of my childhood, puberty and adulthood. It helped shaping me into a better human being that I am today. Enjoy!


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