Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of humankind.
– Bertrand Russell
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Thirty is like being 15 again except with a few wrinkles (laugh lines). And this is no crisis or anything becuase I think I was a complete person at 15! Thirty is like being 21 again except with a little less alcohol, maybe, with its misadventure and discovery. Thirty is nothing I imagined it to be and everything I wanted it to be. Free.
When I was 15 James Taylor’s Mudslide Slim was in heavy rotation on my cd player. God knows what brought me to folk/blue grass music. My parents had his Best of album and I guess I picked it up. But they weren’t exactly hippies. I thought Mudslide Slim was the coolest thing and epitomised in every way, the life I imagined for myself then and in a way, was, for a brief moment in time. It was country. Now I listen to Machine Gun Kelly or Riding on a Railroad and almost melt from the memories and of course, James Taylor’s smooth twang. The sound of the guitar, to me, the way it resonates, is like thick black fresh brewed coffee and hot biscuits, just like his voice. I grew up for some time in the Deep South so I can understand, to a certain extent, the sentiment of the album. I can just see the steamboats rolling down the Mississippi River and an old creole rocking in his chair on his makeshift cabin floating there on the bayou. It’s almost a perfect record and I have heard the original vinyl (it was at Ewan Vorenkamp’s house, 4th year at school maybe and his parents WERE hippies), it’s absolutely gorgeous, music to the ears, melting.
Step right up! Step right up! To the greatest music show on earth! Yeahhhhh – PiB@theattic presents – ‘the KL word’ – a sexy, sassy night of tunes prepared specially from the back catalogue and inspired by our favourite lesbian tv show’s original soundtrack. Bring your loved ones and lovers, friends and foes, your fags, their hags and sit back and watch the drama unfold.
Wow! I saw the most inspiring thing over the weekend. At One Utama on Sunday I was wondering around the mall along with every other Malaysian in KL and came across the photo exhibition of a certain young Malaysian called Law Tzuo Hann. Tzuo Hann is a 24 year old graduate from Duke University in the USA who one day decided to cycle back to Malaysia from the States. And he really did. I think he must be the first ever Malaysian to do it.
When I tried to google him I couldn’t find much except for an entry from last year about another Malaysian student who is planning to be ‘the first Malaysian to cycle and walk around the world in 500 days”. His expedition, sponsored by UiTM was to begin in January 2008 and was to be accompanied by 12 research assistants and media and would cost RM1.5mil. He was bound for Malaysian World Record fame – perhaps for “the most money spent on a cycling PR trip”. I wonder how he’s doing.
Tzuo Hann, on the otherhand, was not sponsored, he raised his own money and, except for the trip across the Gobi Desert where his dad was with him and some friends he met on his way, Tzuo Hann travelled mostly on his own sleeping in anything and anywhere he could find shelter. Tzuo describes his adventure through diary entires on his website Crazy Guy On A Bike. I was blown away by his ambition and determination and of course by the sheer distance and what he had to endure over the 28,571 km. Part of me is extremely jealous, in fact all of me. But it’s easier for guys, right, to do that sort of thing? A lone girl cycling across the globe with nothing but her Swiss Army knife and cell phone would not have gotten so far…
Tzuo Hann was at One Utama trying to raise funds for charity and as far as I can see media attention has been lacking. Maybe there will be stories out in this week’s papers. Maybe not. Maybe Malaysia will still be distracted by post election problems and the Malaysian Can-or-not’s new best seller. Tzuo Hann deserves a place in the Malaysian record books, he deserves that best seller, he deserves more than a reality tv show. He is the real deal, people. A true Malaysian idol. Maybe the first one of the 21st Century.
Helena Foo is the Artistic Director for KLPAC, which this week is debuting her physical theatre piece, Three. She gave us an intimate and impromptu performance of a song from the show at the attic last month and, although it sounded raw and unpracticed (Helena is not a professional singer), the tune was pretty and delivered with heart(player’s name I can’t remember sorry!). The official warning says the show contains slightly adult themes, but an insider has told me that the show is pretty racy (a man with no shirt on is hardly racy!). We HOPE it’s racy! Looking forward to it.
“A girl wakes up in the afterlife with no recollection of how she got
there. Guided by a guardian angel, she relives three moments in her
life which mattered the most to her when she was alive.
The first being sin, which represents the stage of adolescence in her
life where she is first introduced to things like lust, seduction and
In the second scene, she encounters her mother, who died of breast
cancer when she was just a little girl.
And lastly, she meets her first love, who took her breath away in the
beginning but stole her heart and soul from her at the end.
After those three moments, she finally settles in her ‘heaven’, where
she needs to come to terms with all that has happened and accept her
life the way she has lived it.”
*Please note that this play deals with slightly adult subject-matter.
I’m re-reading Jeanette Winterson’s Gut Symmetries. It’s so perfect –
Is crassness bound to win? To live differently , to love differently, to think differently, or try to do so. Is the danger of beauty so great that it is better to live without it? To to fall into her arms fire to fire? There is no discovery without risk and what you risk reveals what you value.
I like to know about music. I want to know what’s new out there, who’s new and what’s a great listen. But I hate music reviews. They are not fun to read. I don’t understand them half the time. Reviews are usually laden with these wanky descriptive words I don’t get or they use words together to describe which mean different things. It’s really off putting don’t you think? Maybe I’m dumb. Maybe the reviews are just bad. Maybe reviews are actually pointless? What are they for? To give you an idea of what kind of music is being reviewed? To tell you if the music is good or bad, or, how much the reviewer liked it at least? And unless you trust the taste of the reviewer then who cares what they think? Maybe they are just to satisfy the sponsors,sell the product,pay the bills…? Somebody please point me in the direction of a good music review!
Perhaps a good review is just a good piece of journalism. Ye, that’s all I want. A well written, witty, informative, well researched, opinionated without seeming arrogant, knowledgeable but with heart, and a simply but poetically constructed, piece of writing that, whether you agree or not with the review, will make you want buy the album. If you’re looking for a musically inspiring read, Nick Hornby is pretty real about his musical tastes, especially in 31 Songs. I think I have to agree with him that music is all about sentimentality. Music discovered and loved without a human context, a meaningful experience, is music loved less.
But everything is about context. Without context, without ethics, morals, social condition and human emotion, what is there? Really Bad art.