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bits and pieces

Feb 11, 2009 Leave a comment

As if there wasn’t reason enough to love the Ricecooker shop already, over the past two weeks I bought a couple of pretty damn impressive—and pretty damn noisy—CDs in the Al-Thawra / Winters in Osaka collaboration CD and Bastard Noise’s Descent to Mimas. Yeah, motherfuckers. Bastard-fucking-Noise. I admit that I’m not totally sold on the merits of the Bastard Noise machine, but that CD I bought is pretty fucking killer, I have to say. Worth the cash. And, unless someone beats me to it—highly unlikely, but you never know—I’m going to be getting Guilty Connector’s Cosmic Trigger / 2 A.M. Visit CD next. If this was the me of ’08 I’d be all over the Prurient CD they have (Shipwrecker’s Diary… yeah, it’s all Ground Fault stuff) but I’m thinking I’d rather spend my cash on other stuff first.

I also attended both of Goh Lee Kwang’s recent concerts at the Findars Space at the Annexe, yesterday and the previous Tuesday. Enjoyable experiences both, although two very different experiences. Last Tuesday’s performance was acoustic, while yesterday’s performance was pretty much pure laptop-based noise. I have to say that I preferred last night’s performance over his previous one, but it’s all good.


(Last week’s concert.)

I’ve been playing Baldur’s Gate 1 like a motherfucker recently. Great, great game. I just wish that the characters, y’know, walked faster. Or that you could, y’know, have them run. BG1 seems a bit old-fashioned and unrefined compared to later Infinity Engine games, but I guess that’s to be expected. It is, after all, the first IE game. I would’ve used BGTuTu or whatever so that I could play BG1 with the Baldur’s Gate 2 engine, but I seem to have lost my BG2 CDs and, well, the Internet’s being hugely sucky so I can’t download it.

And, if I may make a complete detour: this whole Perak business and the sudden emergence of boatloads of idiots who thump their chests and shout “Daulat Tuanku!!!” makes me sick. Utterly, utterly sick. What the fuck, people? No, seriously. I’m hardly a supporter of Nizar or whoever, but fuck you guys man, I want nothing to do with idiots that deify their—very nearly pointless, to these eyes—sultans and rajas and etc. It just makes me sick. And pisses me off. Some people are just so… stupid it beggars belief. I just don’t see the logic behind it at all. Not one bit. Respecting your leaders is all well and good, but this shit, this belief that they’re above everything and that they’re somehow special and that anyone speaking out against them deserves to be stoned to death and et cetera et cetera is just plain fucked. 21st century my ass.

Mari menderhaka, folks!

grart for abs

Dec 20, 2008 1 comment

look at what i got ma

Every time I go to Art for Grabs I seem to always end up spending money. Oddly enough, no books or movies this time! Can’t go without buying some music, though.

Anti-clockwise, from the left, are: a nice notebook I bought because of the lovely photo on the front, The F.R.U.’s self titled release, The Haters’ Audiothecary 9, the SMG / Verge on Reason split, a roll of Kodak BW400CN (pricey, but I do want to try it out, so yeah) and, the largest item, a t-shirt bearing a message that I wholeheartedly agree with.

I’ve bought too many t-shirts. Time to stop buying ’em.

I had a good time at Art for Grabs today. Had some fascinating conversations, hung out with some nice people, took a fair few photos (some of which I feel quite good about) and, well, just soaked up that CM Annexe atmosphere I love so much. I would go there again tomorrow, but there’s a gig I think I’m probably going to, so yeah. Will have to give it a miss.

I also recieved some confidence-inspiring praise about my writing from a couple of people I know today, which really felt quite good.

Categories: gigs and events, purchases

dogs can grow beards all over

Oct 14, 2008 2 comments

In some circles I guess this would be called “coming out.” Yes, I like TDWP, and I like them enough to want to buy a TDWP t-shirt and wear it to and fro. Basically it’s me embracing my inner xmetalxcorex kid, why lie. Haha. Seriously, though, it is a pretty nifty t-shirt. I like the colour(s) of both the t-shirt and the design, and I like the design itself as well. It has injected a not-unwelcome dose of colour into my wardrobe, too. Black is still (and perhaps will remain for quite some time) the dominant colour in my wardrobe, but it’s good to branch out a bit, eh?

There was also this very nice Alesana t-shirt, but, well, I don’t like Alesana. So I went for this one instead.

Categories: purchases

haemorrhage

Sep 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Wednesday was, overall, a pretty good day.

First off, my Sennheiser PX100s arrived. Of course, I opened the package up and put them to use instantly. It took me all of 30 seconds or so to conclude that, yes, it was money well spent. I frankly never knew headphones could sound as good as the PX100s. I can’t imagine how ear-/headphones like Sennheiser’s HD650 or UE’s UE-10 Pros sound. Really fucking good, I assume.

They sound brilliant with nearly anything I throw at them: anything from Crystal Castles to Sodom to 65daysofstatic to Underneath the Gun. They seem to be able to handle most genres well. I was most impressed with them, however, when I listened to Daft Punk’s Alive 2007. That album just sounds fucking brilliant through the PX100s.

Their arrival was perfectly timed, since I was planning to head to KL later in the day, primarily for a buka puasa gathering with friends at, of all places, Planet Hollywood, but also because I was planning to hit up CK Music and buy a Toneport GX.

I was almost dissapointed in regards to the GX: they informed me that there was no stock (and that I could pay the full price, get a reciept and come back later to claim “my” unit, which is what I was going to do) , but, in a good turn of events, they decided to let me have the unused, stored-in-the-cabinet display model. I wasn’t expecting that, but, well, I wasn’t about to turn them down.

I really like it. But it’s given rise to a realization that I may need to get myself a new, more powerful rig (minimally a new motherboard, CPU and HD) to really get the latencies down. I think it’s time for a new rig anyway, but then, well . . . I have no money. Recording with ~18ms of latency, while not impossible, isn’t really all that great, I have to say.

My brother and I have recorded a few “songs,” including a cover of Ken’s Theme (which may collectively be our favourite videogame song ever). He hasn’t laid down his lead/melody part yet, though: if he had I’d probably have uploaded it.

While my friends and I were at CK, I forced the PX100s (with the aforementioned Daft Punk album playing) onto one of my friends. He gave the response I expected, namely one of “holy fuck yeah these are worth the money,” which enticed my other friends to try them out. While I’m not sure about one of them, the other two seemed to like them indeed. One of them initially made a comment about how she could’ve bought a Guess handbag for the amount of money the PX100s cost, but after a short listen she said something to the effect of “I take what I said about the Guess handbag back; these are worth it.”

I also wanted to pick up a guitar and hammer out some riffs, since the friends I was with, bar one, haven’t seen or heard me play (one of them even told me to “play something”) but I didn’t want to buat macam kedai bapak aku, so I didn’t. Maybe sometime/someplace else.

Like the gig I may be playing at on the 19th of October. Yeah, that’d be a good time/place . . .

Categories: life and times, purchases

a night at the studio, again

Sep 19, 2008 Leave a comment

Yeah, we got our asses into the studio again last night, this time to finish up the vocals. Things went pretty smoothly, although the vocalist’s attempt at a sort of “oh!” for the into of a song sent the rest of us (three, plus a guests) and the recording engineer into barely-controllable fits of laughter. Twice! Not that my attempts were any better, though. Will probably delete that bit.

I ended up having to do the vocals for one track, due to said vocalist being unable to put my lyrics to the music (we didn’t get a chance to practice, and he didn’t have the time to come over to my place to figure it out with me). One take, no corrections or anything of the sort. Not half bad, I guess.

I’m purty excited about finally releasing the EP. We’re going back into the studio with Meng for mixing/mastering and some final edits and then, well, that’ll be it. Can’t wait! After we’ve finally finished the audio, it’ll be time to get to work on putting it out. Cover design and all that jazz.

We’re collectively roughly RM300 out of pocket right now. Add in some more for time with Meng (RM50? 100?) and the cost of putting this thing out (we’re going the CDr route, but still, 100 CDrs is already roughly RM100) and it comes up to quite a bit. And this is just 5 songs. Imagine how much we’d be paying if we were putting out a full-length. I’m somewhat confident of at least being able to make some money back, though. Which we’ll probably put towards recording our next batch of songs for another EP, or something of the sort. Or at least that’s the kinda-plan.

Speaking of amounts of RM in the hundreds, I just “got rid” of RM200-ish, and, in return, I shall be getting a pair of Sennheiser PX 100s in the mail soon, hopefully within the coming week. Can’t wait for those either.

Yes, there are some good things to look forward to indeed, including the end of the fasting month and, most fun of all, many assignment deadlines. I should do some work.

nothing doing, really

Sep 17, 2008 Leave a comment

Yeah. In my posession, finally. I’m liking it so far, even if the surface is horribly prone to fingerprint marks. Not the retail package, so I didn’t get the earphones that were supposed to come with it and instead got a pretty uncomfortable pair, which, well, sucks. So I’ve been using the pair of large Phillips closed-back headphones I have lying around. They’re comfortable, but I’m not sure I’d want to be walking around with them. Of course if I want to get a good pair I’ll have to pay, and to an extent I am willing, but RM200-ish for a pair of Sennheiser PX 100s, though? Yes, I’ll be paying for quality, but do I need that sort of quality? This pair is going to be used pretty much only with this Zen and all I really need is a pair that is comfortable (no annoying ear-/canalphones) and don’t have the frequency response of a telephone speaker (so, nothing too cheap).

And, yes, being the poser that I am, I did spend quite a bit of time mulling over what song to have playing while I took a photo of the thing. Yes, I know: so lame.

On a totally different topic: in keeping with the last post, here’s another Billy Bragg song. Somewhat political this time, and also I feel it’s quite relevant to the Malaysia we all know and love/loathe:

Billy Bragg – It Says Here
It says here that the unions will never learn
It says here that the economy is on the upturn
And it says here we should be proud
That we are free
And our free press reflects our democracy

Those braying voices on the right of the house
Are echoed down the street of shame
Where politics mix with bingo and tits
In a strictly money and numbers game

Where they offer you a feature
On stockings and suspenders
Next to a call for stiffer penalties for sex offenders

It says here that this year’s prince is born
It says here do you ever wish
That you were better informed
And it says here that we can only stop the rot
With a large dose of law and order
And a touch of the short sharp shock

If this does not reflect your view you should understand
That those who own the papers also own this land
And they’d rather you believe
In coronation street capers
In the war of circulation, it sells newspapers
Could it be an infringement
Of the freedom of the press
To print pictures of women in states of undress

When you wake up to the fact
That your paper is Tory
Just remember, there are two sides to every story

And, as an aside, I’ve been enjoying class recently, particularly because there has been no shortage of piss-easy targets for my sarcasm, no shortage of opportunities for my lame jokes, no shortage of chances to use my (verbal, especially) command of English to wonderful, entertaining effect and much somewhat-playful verbal sparring with a certain lecturer of mine. Sure, the subjects are pretty boring, but nothing makes my day more than the opportunity to be sarcastic and get away with it.

So bad~

a man, a plan, a canal: panama.

Aug 1, 2008 Leave a comment

I bought three books today: Oscar Zeta Acosta’s The Revolt of the Cockroach People, Wang Shuo’s Playing for Thrills and the 15th volume of New American Writing, all for a combined total of RM18. Yes, RM18. Probably the first time the whole mega sales going on have significantly affected the amount of money I’ve had to pay. Pay Less Books have a storewide 50% discount going on, people. What the fuck are you waiting for? Sure, they may not always have the greatest selection, but with a bit of looking you can definitely find some gems. I have.

I managed to finish Garros/Evdokimov’s Headcrusher as well. Really good novel for sure, highlighted with certain moments of manic, delirious genius. Funny, violent, witty and somewhat thought-provoking as well, even if the philosophy is a bit . . . quirky, for lack of a better term. A highly enjoyable read, it was one of those novels where I really couldn’t stop turning the pages.

Aside from books and lots of loud, abrasive music (I’ve recently gotten into Sightings and rekindled my love for Merzbow, much to the chagrin of whomever may be in the bathroom when I’m listening to either), today’s mostly been taken up by a significant amount of confusion and thought. I’m confused about college: what I’m supposed to be doing, where I’m supposed to be, what I want, what I should work towards, all that stuff. Sometimes I find myself at college, alone, and I’ll ask myself: “what the fuck are you doing, man?”, and I find that I honestly can’t answer with any sort of conviction.

And then there’s my feelings towards certain things, places and people. I used to think that I had things figured out—at least, to some sort of reasonable extent—but some events over the past week or so have somewhat thrown that into doubt and left me in a bit of a lurch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going strong (well, kinda), but you could say that there’s been some sort of turbulence.

I was not prepared for the memories that came back to me when I visited a certain place today, and neither was I prepared for the (admittedly, somewhat silly) things I felt when I texted someone tonight. God knows why I did that, particularly in the fragile mood I was (and still am, for the record) in.

God, I need this feeling of unease to go away. I have a life to live.