Sep 29, 2010

Doctor Doctor


Yaknow sometimes when you look at a screen long enough and keep raising the contrast, you kind of don't realise how bright stuff is getting?

Aaaanyway. Too much Red Bull & Sabori.

Favourite line:
hope you die hope you die love from me

HAHahahahaha rock on. :D

Sep 27, 2010


New profile. For Fb.
That's how itchy my butt gets (pardon expression) when it rains and there's no plans on. I  know I should be reading 5-line paragraphs full of 5-syllabic words by French theorists on what's wrong with our society today but I keep distracting myself & missing hanging out with people. Lately I just want life to happen faster and faster, lol... I feel like I'm 12, but I really enjoy just doing not much in particular with fun people.

SO! Deep question... should you go for it and do whatever makes you happy, or are you responsible for the happiness of others too? Family and friends, yes, but people you don't really know? Are the young allowed to make mistakes or should you avoid hurting/inconveniencing other people to the best of your ability? Should you listen to your heart, even if it tells you it LOVES someone one week and is over it by the next? Or should you listen to your head and bind your unbridled happiness for the sake of everybody's sanity?

I'm thinking about this coz I've been reading a lot of bullshit girly manga and if you've never touched the stuff, it's like a terminal sugar high. As heavily manufactured over the decades as a chocolate bar or mackers burger, as calculated to keep you hungry and addicted enough to look past the sheer plasticity of it all.

We Sleep Inside of This Machine

Too Late to be an Emo?

Music Being Emo
How do you make a song sad? Bit of piano, down tempo, warbling strings if you're really in the mood? Or angry guitar and screaming, raging, PAINED falsetto? It depends on the artist, audience and style. Lyrics also have a lot to do with it.

At worst these emotional cues, simple enough to trace back to the messages that our minds infer in them, can just be pulled out of a hat to throw together a "sad enough" song and sell some records. Coz every pop singer tends to stick to a ratio of one ballad every couple of upbeat songs in releases. Kind of run-of-the-mill, right? At best though, they can really be moving, and all the more so when it's not a pile of cues you already know but a song that could be about something else... but isn't. And some of the best emotional touches in songs are ones where it's pared back and withheld somewhat, so you feel the punch in this vocal struggle between saying and not saying.

Well, some awesomely sad (or pretty powerful, anyway) moments follow:

Ani Difranco - Dilate
Ani's lyrics are pretty amazing pretty much all of the time... when I first heard her I was amazed, coz here I was having grown up in late-90s creative ghettos where the nearest thing to her sound was Alanis Morisette, and girls with guitars was a bit of a cliche by then. And her lyrics were so much more of that, but pared down, and so much stronger. It's like poetry, spot on and evocative like words in songs oughtn't ever be, lest our brains either explode completely or just grow apathetic.

Dilate has so much in it as a song, that the only expression and image that it brings to my mind is a deadpan stare, full of despair, resignation, snarky black-humoured burnt pride. The look of one who knows enough to expect shitcakes from the world and yet always manages to be a little more disappointed. And when this person who's responsible for all that looks her in the eyes he knows all this, and she knows all this, you just have this look. LOOooove it.

Brand New - Jesus Christ
I'm not religious in the traditional sense, I don't really like the heavier rock sound that Brand New do. I heard this song on t61 and it was really quiet, and kind of builds this momentum of a conversation that's scarily honest, of the lost at 3 am on a cold night unable to sleep kind. And the beat travels more like harder rock songs do, which gives it something an alt-indie-folk-hipster band more at home in mellow sounds probably couldn't do. For a punk-pop act their voices are hushed till the end and that also kind of rocks... the punch is delicate, and that makes it all the more furious. Pretty much the first verse gets me, and it's a heckuva struggle even if like some suggest it's not his. These lines come back and back and keep this song on my lil' mp3:

Jesus Christ, I'm alone again

So what did you do those three days you were dead?
Because this problem is going to last
More than the weekend

Bump of Chicken - Taiyou
Under the guise of uptempo interesting-ish alt-rock tunes these guys plummet listeners to surprising depths and then drag us back out again. They are usually angrily, passionately willing to hope in the face of a faceless, meaningless reality and that strikes right close to home for a lot of people. Their stories are mostly full of heart and their message, usually to themselves as much as others, is to keep going somehow. To be real, to find meaning, realise your truth and forgive yourself your own shortfalls, in a world that offers you none of that.
Why I have apprehensions about this song is because I'd taken to the idea that it was another help-you-out song... that it was way bleaker and darker than the music promised (as usual), yes, but that they sang hopeful words of advice to an un-named other that they themselves wished fervently to believe. This is the standard BOC song; this is why they warm the cockles of a lot of disenfranchised, lost and searching hearts. Japanese is vague like that, and a few crucial cues can change the subject / narrator / object completely.

So actually, Taiyou is a song about the narrator that, trapped in his vague dark world, destroys the one thing that had any promise of helping him out. But it's more than that... because every line of meaning is a metaphor one step away from one or another telling detail of a chilling reality. Another evocative story, but instead of giving hope to a past self or chasing a best friend's train on bike promising to see each other again, it's a mute bleakness that seeps out and penetrates everything. I don't know how this song can be sung with a straight face or straight voice.

It really worries me that people say their next album's dark bits are even darker. Because if BOC can't keep hopeful, how on earth are we supposed to?

Sep 25, 2010

Project & Internet

There's a project at work, that put itself together partly after my workmates stumbled upon my DeviantArt account. Not that snooping is the right word, because the internet is the ultimate public domain, but it still feels strange somehow when your relatives/people you know exclusively IRL intervene in the usual running of an online identity.

I don't know why, but it feels saner to keep those identities separate.

Apparently this is a big thing to Japanese net users, who treasure the anonymity (or more the disattachment from any face, body, geographical location / etc) that various social media / self-publishing sites grant them. Whereas in the west net identity seems more a matter of self-expression and broadcasting... every Gen-Y kid's grown up with a myspace/livejournal/facebook nowadays (and I'm in the top end of that grouping apparently), and the first thing you learn when you DO pour your soul out onto the internet is that by and large nobody listens.

But for the west, constructs like 4Chan that force (or at least enable) anonymity are an endless source of novelty. It's both a big deal and in and of itself the reason for acting as (self-consciously) disturbed as possible. On Japan's 2Chan people still seem to "behave" somehow, there are a lot of unwritten manners and culture involved there. Same as on 4chan, but it's like they don't have this pressing urge to make a spectacle of themselves.

Something else to add to my list of things that people have said are Japanese about me. Like cringing when I meet someone that's K.Y. (look it up!) and never being able to tell someone when I like them. Source of endless grief because Japanese people have this crazy idea that western girls are assertive and forward and stuff. PSH

Anyway, I don't know that I can share project bits with you but once it comes online I'll share a link. :>

Lots of remeniscing recently. Otaru (1 hour from Sapporo), 2 winters ago.

Sep 23, 2010


Past weeks' stuff: Atlantis / AMERIBROS

Poster Final (almost)

The text was better laid out in the final, but I don't have a JPEG handy of it.

URGH some stuff is just so annoying. I think I'm impatient with life... on the one hand so many awesome things happened this week, but on the other so many GREAT things were just snatched away, and fell flat around me. I feel like I've become a little bit psycho recently.... I know good things are supposed to bring out the good side in you, but IDK that I HAVE that much of a good side. lol.

If it sounds cryptic, it FEELS even more cryptic. I guess like all good amateur soulful-hipster-creatives I'll channel my no-word-to-describedness into some vaguely life-affirming artwork.

To stick on other people's walls.

And become famous, rich and be able to publish wanky art books and travel the world airing my dirty laundry in delicate pen-and-ink renders of furry monsters and other calculatedly naive, wistful things.

Sep 20, 2010

Date Night

Things never go the way you plan them to, do they?

A little something to get off my chest. This is why I don't do romance... too many extraneous circumstances, lol.


Sep 13, 2010

Beached Whales

Beached whale on a cliff.

We had to scan whole objects and make a digital collage out of them for one class. '__' I know it's a bit nineties but I'm still a fan of the screening-dark-things-together look, getting that writing glowing there.... hmmm maybe I never even left the 90s?

Sep 7, 2010


One of 4 book covers for old Illustration brief, and...
Who doesn't love a little Sadako?

A lot of my illustration homework seems to drift towards horror these days...

yosh! やるきまっまで宿題をし続けましょう!

Sep 6, 2010

In Lieu of Proper Work

I had a neat little 5-day weekend full of awesomeness that included, among other things:
  • An hour of impromptu (and epic) campfire-worthy storytime with a uni lecturer after class
  • 3 hours wasted in the uni pub talking about a lot of fun nothing
  • People-watching in QV while getting weird stares for my ski jacket & giant snowboard case
  • A road trip in which lovely company had to substitute for the broken radio
  • Sleeping with a giant hairy teadybear
  • 15+ runs at Buller, including a miniature ravine effort, moguls, 45 degree slopes and a lot more Goofy confidence
  • Moonlight road trips to the cinema (an hour away) and an altogether not disappointing showing of Tomorrow When the War Began 
  • A 7 am bus back from mansfield that took me to Melb in time for 7 hours at the office
  • A good night's sleep, cake & coffee followed by doing good friendship deeds
  • taking ESL kids out to see Crocodile Dundee at ACMI (their viewing rooms = free, and awesome!)
  • Tim Burton, 1000 pound cafe nihongo meetup, followed by
  • Busking Strategy 101, bogan dinner hour at Crown Casino, height competitions @ the Lounge, a weird korean hangout joint and the mother of all competitions of anti-skill at the pool table
  • Joints cut with Earl Grey tea? Epic and painful kpop karaoke, guitar sessions on the State Library steps and the most disgusting Hungry Jacks I've ever seen
  • A collection of sleepers curled into the glass windows near platform escalators at Flinders St, a long D&M with near-perfect strangers and snooze on the benches while waiting for trains to start running
  • a LONG sleep, comfortable afternoon reading with soup, the induction of our new coffee plunger and 2+ hours of TinTin DVDs!
PHEW. This one's for the records.