Jun 30, 2010

Sayonara COLOR

I picked up a lot of awesome tracks while I was bumming around Japan, and I'd like to apply my amateur translation skills to some of them. A bit of practise, and a bit of sharing with people what's so great about these songs without the barrier of language.

"Sayonara Color" by Super Butter Dog (a band) / Hanaregumi (a solo artist), is a really simple but sweet song. It was one of the first I heard and totally (or 90%) understood, so it had an impact on me. I'm not sure how much mainstream success Hanaregumi has had (at least a bit), but his sound is very Jack Johnson. He makes relaxed, thought-out tunes to warm and mellow the cockles of your heart.

So this is my approximate translation of that song, which you can hear here.

Soko kara tabidatsu koto wa
Totemo chikara ga iru yo
Namikaze taterareru koto
Kirau hito bakari de

You'd need a lot of strength, you know,
to take off from where you are now
With so many people out there
who hate to see things stirred up


Demo kimi wa sore de ii no?
Raku ga shita katta dake na no?
Boku o damashite mo ii kedo
Jibun wa mou damasanai de

But... is that really ok for you?
Did you just want to make things easier for yourself?
You can lie to me all you like, but
Don't fool yourself anymore

Sayonara kara hajimaru koto ga
Takusan arunda yo
Hontou no koto ga mieteru nara
Sono omoi o boku ni misete

 There are so many things
that begin with a goodbye
If you've found the answer, then
tell me what you're thinking

Jibun o tsuranuku koto wa
Totemo yuuki ga iru yo
Dare mo hitoribocchi ni wa
Naritaku wa nai kara

It takes a lot of courage, you know,
to overcome yourself.
Because nobody wants to
end up all alone

Demo kimi wa sore de ii no?
Yume no tsuzuki wa doushita no?
Boku o wasurete mo ii kedo
Jibun wa mou hanasanai de

But... are you really alright with this?
What happened to those dreams you had?
You can forget me if you like but,
Don't let go of yourself again

Sayonara kara hajimaru koto ga
Takusan arunda yo
Hontou no koto ga mieteru nara
Sono omoi o sutenai de

There are many things, you know
that start from a goodbye
If you've found the truth,
don't throw those thoughts away

Sayonara kara hajimaru koto ga
Takusan arunda yo
Hontou no koto wa mieterun daro
Sono omoi o kienai de

There are so many things
that start from a goodbye
I know you've found your answer, so
don't let those thoughts fade

Sono omoi o boku ni misete

Tell me what you're thinking


Sayonara Colour while being simple has this implication, that this guy is giving advice to his girl at a point where she's deciding where her feelings lie. When I first heard it, I read it as each verse telling her, "there's a lot of scary and hard things out there", but each chorus saying "but is where you're at now really okay?", like he was convincing her what she was trying not to see was that she needed to leave. It was really poignant, because here he is saying saying "you can lie to me all you like" to make his point, saying that she has to figure herself out and listen to that truth rather than going with the easy/safe thing.

Except, with a closer look, he could be asking, "but is leaving really okay?" Which makes the "tell me the truth" lines a bit more poignant, like he's asking her each chorus, which way are you going? And his position seems more undecided. In english it's the difference between "But is THIS really okay?" and "but is THAT really okay?". I just kinda left it awkward so you can make up your own mind.

The clip (J-clips are always weird, low-budget and not necessarily tied to the song) has old people, and thinking about it it could be a parent's advice to a child, too.

Anyway, a lovely song.

Espresso Coffee


I wanted to continue in the vein of my Chimneysweep pic, maybe make a series... so I thought a bit about what other professions I could cover. It's not exactly traditional or representative, but I couldn't help thinking of Coffee Baristas, people who make Espresso coffee.

It actually really surprises me that in America (and other places?) Coffee is just this filtered watered... thing. Here in Melbourne we (thanks to our Greek & Italian heritage) take pride in taking our espresso seriously, and taking it European.

The range isn't quite as expansive, the drinking culture is different and the names are too, but I gotta say... Melbourne makes a mean coffee.

These Baristas, the magic men behind their magic machines, are the epitome of the cool mystique of these hospitality places. I actually have 1 day's training in making espresso... steaming the milk and all that. XD So I know what it's all about, man.

Anyway. I inched away at it last night (while watching Gone With The Wind... I'm one of life's Scarletts *SIGH*) and more today but didn't have the energy to go to colouring stage.

Some colour refs I'm hoping to use.

Jun 29, 2010

When you talk about cool...

There's people who try at cool, people who try and fail, try and succeed...

Cool isn't in and of itself an objective. Even while you appreciate it, you know it's wrong and shallow somehow... those homely average everyday people you normally overlook in your pursuit of it, they get on with their lives and seem to have a kind of strength about them, a vigour that has nothing to do with being "it" or being "in". people who don't have the time of day for that sort of thing because frankly, we should all have better things to do with our time.
I always looked up to those sorts of people, because I've always been one to fold into believing what shop fronts and catalogues told me about the world.

Travel into the inner, south-of-central (or north-east) suburbs where an edge is borrowed from the grit that once shunned the sort of people that now covet lucrative properties there. Forget trendy, their look has earned edge enough not to have to BE trendy. One of this place would know all the good shops, all the night spots.
You can try to be them, with time, practise and substantial but prudent financial investment. But there are others, out there, the effortless, I-never-tried-but-still-got-it kind of dude you pass in the street. With just the right degree of unaffected on-the-spot style and carelessly bad choices. On broken sofas on the porches of side-streets in what must be one of the costliest areas of the city, sipping wine with flatmates on a drizzly tuesday afternoon. Heading out, after nine, huddled in some packed, some KNOWN SPOT corner cafe cradling a house blend double espresso and wearing that morning after like a badge of honour.

He works, he must work, but you never see him at it unless it's somewhere unbearably, self-deprecatingly IT, elusive and exclusive and only ever existing to own its title BEFORE it is ever really known. Not to be known by everyone, that is, by normal people like you and me. To be known by those people who know before everybody knows, who make it their business and art. Otherwise he stalks the street at all hours of the day and night. The streets are his element, the RIGHT. His eyebrow, cuff link, shoelace loosely tied, all figured down to a T. The careful man will have studied the skill; the careless one born of an inate sense for what lies just beyond the sight of magazines and street fashion blogs.
He cruises, seen in the kind of locales that will intrinsically complement his style and exhibit his good judgment, knowing there's nothing he could possibly add to what he's got on show right now.
He sees others. He reads what they've written in their vintage threads to him, in their shaved heads and layered, torn stockings. There's no envy at that level, only admiration, because every true artisan appreciates another's craft.

Somewhere a long way away, at another time and place he might smile at old ladies, be called Gary or James or Peter, but that all doesn't matter. The personality, the life in the context of the man in his element, at that moment that your eyes meet him and his impeccable chauffeur cap, is irrelevant.
He is the moment, there for the moment it takes you to see and process him, gone the next. Burnt into your retinas as the flawless image of something intangible but there, unspeakable but present, like an animal smell. It speaks to the hindbrain.
It says things to you, like the most upscale and cutting-edge rags say things to you without words, without hard-sell or viral campaigns. It's an image, a feel, a concept. And he owns and embodies it... strangers are his friends, because for that one shallow moment in which a stranger accurately assesses to intricate detail everything about him, he will see the man and take away an immortal, impeccable, flawless impression in his mind of everything the man has perfected.

He is a concept on legs. You don't need to perceive him as anything else other than the stranger on the street, because he is the perfection of that stranger.
He is cool. He owns cool. He is part of the ever-changing dialogue that hides away from strangers and exhibits just enough to earn the love it needs in its constant pursuit for freshness, aesthetics, style, meaning, visuals.

He is the man on the street. 



This pretty much summed up my feelings about the end of the semester...

Redesign & Refresh!

I decided to redo this blog in preparation for using it a lot more (hopefully!).

Still tweaking the layout, hmmmmm we'll see how it ends up looking in the end.

Meanwhile, pic dump is coming up :)

Jun 17, 2010


My god it's cold. I hate it when it's so cold that your feet are constantly shivering in their socks and your fingers slowly stop moving. Even with central heating on, it's cold. :/

HRMMMMMMM I have the nagging feeling that no matter how many times I redo this and how many days it takes, it will never work for me. :/ :/ :/ Nagging feeling, I hate you. 


Jun 15, 2010


bad photo... project in the works. :>

WHOAH. Latest Hetalia fanart, finished shading & posted on DA.

Shading (& typesetting) for an entire comic.
So that's stuff going on, now that all school & work responsibilities have finally disappeared! I'd avoided my laptop parking station for over a month because it seemed a pain to use. I had a long hard think about what made my laptop comfy to use and rearranging things made a huge difference.
Also I can walk in and out of the room now without shelves in the way, as they're by the window now. MUCH better!

I want to er... start another blog... '__' project type thing. So far I've committed one ink drawing a day to it, so. IDK if I'll link it to this blogspot.

Jun 6, 2010

Elite Fours in Rocket Uniforms!