Saturday, 23 October 2010

Tumblr, it's not your fault. It's who you hang around with.


My stomach hurts too much to eat so I'm looking up various foods on wikipedia. It's really not a very good idea but then again, what is? Maybe not doing it. Ok, you have made your point, SHUT UP. I've also gotten myself into a weird point where I'm so tired, but my stomach hurts so much that I won't be able to sleep. And I can't really draw anything right now either, but I need to keep occupied. Almost all my music is giving me a headache and making me feel ill. I knew I should have gotten more emergency music that is slow and droney as hell, with no percussion or vocals.

But as it stands I currently don't really have any of that; I've got a new laptop recently, and only copied some essential stuff over as of now, though I did a piss poor job of that because I somehow managed to only copy over 3 Red House Painters songs (and they're my favourite band). I'm finding myself listening to The Beach Boy's "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)" on repeat now. It's really hypnotic and drifty. I also had the probably controversial/wrong opinion as of late that "Pet Sounds" is a better album than any Beatles album, with the possible exception of The White Album. But it's just so enjoyable, and to think that it even came out before Sgt. Peppers is pretty impressive (yeah, I know that Peppers was directly influenced by it).

On the subject of music way before my time, I've realised I have really hardly explored the 70s at all. I mean what - Neil Young, Nick Drake, Serge Gainsbourg, Queen. Is that it? I should sort myself out. I also feel that I should apologise to the 80s, cos Anthony made me aware that I kind of slagged it off when I was 15, but really. You brought us The Cure, The Smiths, Michael Jackson's best album (Thriller for those of you who aren't kidding yourselves), My Bloody Valentine's fantastic debut album, and y'know, lots more stuff. So kudos! I think my major gripe is that I think the 80s was kind of the point where mainstream music really started to go down hill, but you should judge a period of time by what it produced, not what became popular.


I'm gonna talk about blogging for a while, though I'm a bit late on talking about what I'm about to talk about. I have pretty much been (semi) regularly blogging since 2006, and it's always been a weird nerdy fringe thing. Like the "You should check out my blog! I've got some opinions there! Heh!" stereotype. Then semi-recently, the tumblr craze started to kick in, and I was honestly excited. Maybe I'd get the chance to read people's thoughts on things, get some kind of better understanding of the people I know but don't really associate with.

Turns out it's just an excuse to post pictures you've seen somewhere else.

I mean, seriously? Is this what people choose to do? Fucking christ. Why is it that when the the "majority" (best word I could have used to not make me look like an elitist shit, guess I failed there) get a hand on something, their first port of call is to be like everyone else? I think the fact there's even a "re-blogging" option is just such a horrible, mind bogglingly stupid tool, saying "come on, don't put any effort it. Just click this button and your tumblr will be as cool as ours!". But then I can't really fault tumblr for that. Its tools given are those that can be created for good, but people use them for evil (ie: stupidly reblogging everyone's blogs that are just a cool black and white picture of someone smoking a cigarette or something).

I think tumblr has Little Big Planet syndrome. For those of you who don't know, Little Big Planet is a videogame that has a very in depth level creator, with the major purpose of the game being creating and sharing levels on a world wide platform via uploading them. The problem with this that it only really works that well as a mechanic if the majority of the audience are artistic creative wonders who don't just remake levels of old games and create cars that go really fast and crash into walls (and one thing it really has in common with Tumblr is that everyone copies levels and posts them again as if they're their own work). Or at the very least, make it easier for the generally good level designs to get a front page spot. What I'm saying is that the premise of tumblr/blogs in general is obviously great, but christ do people do stupid things instead.

I mean at the end of the day, none of this really matters. People can choose to make their blogs however they want/whatever they want them to be about. Quality isn't really what's bugging me. I'm not arguing that a certain style of blogging is best, and that everyone's blogs should strive to be verbose/wordy like mine or anything. I'm just saying that at the very fucking least don't create them by pressing a single button to copy someone else's.

Monday, 18 October 2010

To Not Follow Your Passion

I'm not entirely sure who reads this without me showing them, but whoever that may be, sorry for not writing in this. I think everything is just a bit slowed down, really. None of the bloggers I follow have written any blogs for a long time either (actually Sykes did kinda recently), so maybe it's a peer thing. I have nothing to write about because for a good while my life hasn't had any significant changes, and I'm amazed it's been so long. The days are all one big blur, because I don't do much. I don't actually mind it like this though, which is probably worrying.

But anyway, today I tried applying for a temp job for a nightshift in HMV in Kingston. Thought I'd apply for the nighshift because my body clock is usually naturally fucked (I am writing this at 4am) and I wouldn't have to deal with lots of/any customers most of the time. Which was why I was a tad annoyed that the form said that previous customer experience was essential. It seemed like previously having a job is a prerequisite to getting a job (I have never had a job before), which is frustrating. I'm sure I just need to look further than 1 online application, but still. My hours would be from 9:30pm to 6am. I'd mostly be restocking. If I need past experience for this, what else can I do?

Creatively, I have been actively working towards something that I think will get me some internet exposure. I posted a link to "The City" before, but I have cleaned it up a bit and added about a minute and half of footage, I think. I plan to try and get it sponsored by Newgrounds or another sponsor (maybe flashportal or someone else), and depending on if it does, decide what to do next. If it doesn't get sponsored, I think I might just forget about animating anything for a while. It's not really much of a passion. To explain why I do it might take a bit of a while.

Basically, drawing has always been my biggest talent, or at least it is the one I have explored properly and been the most public about. But a single picture or image can never make such a big impact, at least I would not be able to make such a big impact in this way. I have a love for story telling, characterisation, etc etc. Thus the best I can really do with combining both of these things is animation. It is basically a version of film that I would be competent at, and have no real visual ristrictions, yet be completely individual. I'm not sure what it is with me and creating alone. For some reason I don't ever feel confident with speaking for my creations with any other method besides letting them speak for themselves. I feel uncomfortable explaining the intentions and the story behind something. Back when I was 13 and making movies in 3d Movie Maker and creating threads to hype them up on forums, I would always say the story was "a secret". Possibly because often that aspect is pretty weak with me without the style and way it is told to back it up. Working with other people would mean I couldn't explain my intentions with a finished product, because I'd need them to help with that said product.

But it's not really something I want to do because animation itself is perhaps the most boring and tedious thing in the world. I'm actually leaning towards doing animation in university, though I should hurry up and realise that it's a pointless venture for me. I like animation. I like films. I like stories. If I wanted to be a creative director of an animated movie, I would not need to be an animator, and the story telling aspect and having my own world visualised is the really appealing part. The only reason I make cartoons is because I like the end product, not the process. Having a career where I animate for someone else's creation and directive vision would be my nightmare; all process, none of the feeling of your creation jumping from your mind and into something others can see.

On the matter of university, I've decided that it is something I eventually want to do next year. Because I feel like I need to experience it. Thinking of something that would be worthwhile for me is another matter, and is the problem with creative things. I've gone back to what I was in 2008; I know what I want to become, but not what I want to persue. Knowing my dream and being unsure if I should follow it. It's weird how I'm backtracking. The more I look at what it would involve being a musician properly, the more I want to back away from it.

But how can I say I don't want to be a musician when people like Mark Kozelek exist, reminding me through his bands Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon just how perfect it is as an individualist medium, and how if I could make just person feel what his music does to me, I would have succeeded at life. To not follow your biggest passion when you are only alive and here once for a very short time...I don't think I could ever rationalise it. I am not going to strive to settle.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

This is where I live

And I've never felt less at home

Sorry for making a post that's just a link to a song, but I had a special moment with it today and so should you.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Mosque at Ground Zero

Actually, by "at" I should say "near". And by "near" I of course mean 2 blocks away. And let's not forget that there is already a mosque closer to ground zero than this proposed one.

This is the biggest non issue ever, and anyone who is offended by it should take a really good look at why they're offended. Mosques are not the international symbol for terrorism. 1.5 billion muslims did not crash the planes into the towers. America should not show intolerance by allowing every other religion to build their worship site in the area except one specific religion, because of something a terrorist group did in the name of it.

And also, am I really insensitive for saying that 9/11 was almost 9 years ago now? People are letting it fuck things up much more than it should have with protests like this.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Limits in Comedy

This might be an opinion that's controversial (not that this blog really has the potential to be seen as controversial) but I really don't think there should be any limits to comedy. Too many times I see people say "some things shouldn't be joked about", but I really don't see this as the case. I can't think of anything that simply shouldn't be mentioned in a joke, or where context or something else can't negate the fact that it's distasteful, or something. Sometimes I've just been flat out crushed by something (emotionally, I'm not actually dead) and then soon after, I see a joke about it that makes me laugh a whole lot.

But I think it should be understood that: I'm not arguing that it's impossible for jokes to be in bad taste or unreasonably offensive, not in the slightest. I'm just arguing that I don't think there should ever be a subject matter that is immune from being joked about. I think comedy being censored is one of my least favourite things, is all I'm saying.

In other news, I'm getting minor spam on a particular blog entry from 2008 called "Laughing when you Shouldn't", which is just a link to a video of this guy inappropriately laughing on this show (but it's all staged). I wonder why this is happening on that particular entry; if it's because it comes up in a particular Google search or anything.

Perhaps it is a mystery best left unsolved.

Thursday, 19 August 2010


So I got the best possible grades for both my courses at college (distinctions all round). This makes me rather pleased. However, there's something about Btecs that takes the "fun" out of grades. You pretty much know exactly what you're going to get from a mile a way (that is, if you choose to check what marks you're actually getting and adding them up). And it's not a "try and succeed or fail" policy a lot of the time, it's "try and succeed, or try and fail but keep trying until you get a better grade" though admittedly I didn't retake anything. I'm happy though, I guess. I think it's the fact that I wasn't really stressing over anything (read: at all) that makes lessens the impact of good news, y'know?

I've been opening up quite a lot recently. I let other people read things that I thought I'd never let anyone else read, and it feels really good. And friends have been telling information that seems to come from deep, secret places. I feel closer to them now more than ever. It's as if all barriers have been broken.

I've also been lead to wonder what it is about human nature and keeping secrets that are, if looked at from a distance, really NOT a big deal. I wonder if it's a biological thing or a social construct. I can't think of a biological need for shyness; maybe to just stop one putting off people through annoying behaviours or something? I don't know. Note to research later (by research I mean google), do any animals experience shyness and embarrassment besides humans?

Inception was really great.

Friday, 6 August 2010


This picture, to me, looks like some weird early CGI magical mountain that would've been in a cut scene in one of the PlayStation 1 Final Fantasy games. And yet this is a picture from space! It's funny what computer generated animation has done to my mind. Too often I'll look at an image that is a photo and think in my mind "this looks like CGI". I wonder if that's because graphics are getting closer to reality or because my mind is dumb. Not sure exactly why I say my mind is dumb, rather than just "I'm dumb". I think it's because of the implications, like saying your mind is something rather than yourself implies that you're talking about your subconscious or whatever.

Recently I've been thinking about what the most fulfilling thing is possible to happen in my life. Once I fulfil my dreams I'll just have more dreams to fulfil. I wonder what kind of life style, wealth, situation etc would be the one that makes optimum happiness. Well the answer to that would be in a machine that constantly stimulates the happiness part of my brain, but that's not one I mean, all of you assholes. I always seem to stay on the same level of happiness throughout my life. Actually, that's not true. I was definitely happier when I was 10 years old and all that, and I've actually noticed that my happiness goes in cycles:

September/October I'm usually uncomfortable and generally unhappy, but I get happy and optimistic about something by November, and then by around April I realise that it's not going to happen, and I turn kind of mellow until June, in which I don't really mind anything because I can relax. Sometimes the realisation and mellowing out actually happens much later.

That's pretty much it. I think it's due a lot, in part, to the school cycle. I'm not sure what it's like in the rest of the world (I think school years in Australia start when the year starts, generally), but that's kinda the school start and end cycle over here. But now that I won't be having any kind of education for at least a year, I wonder if my emotional cycle will stay as consistent as it always is. Lol, emotional cycle. My life is one giant period or something.

Sunday, 1 August 2010


Hey, I'm still here and all that. Pretty much just been working on my cartoon or lazing around recently. Strangely I haven't really had a desire to play/write music at all as of late. What I have had the desire to do though, is watch some films! Apologies to people at the Projectorheads forums, because I have posted all of these there already. Spoilers beware, you're in for a...few of them:

Horseo (Actual title: Ponyo) (The guy who made Spirited Away, 2008): Very, very adorable movie, and one that I can easily admire for its practices used in making it alone. The predominantly coloured pencil backgrounds instead of the traditional gouache paint created a wonderful child like atmosphere around the whole thing, and I often found myself just focussed. I didn't feel as much of a "this is entirely gorgeous" vibe when watching Spirited Away, and I'm not sure why that is since it was a lot more detailed. Maybe it's the fact that I watched Ponyo on a computer with a very high definition copy, rather than a dvd on a small tv but yeah. The whole sequence with the waves chasing after the car while Ponyo is running on top of them was pretty amazing.

However, I gotta say I didn't like this nearly as much as Spirited Away. It's very adorable and pretty, but definitely overly simple in its premise. That's not necessarily a problem I suppose, it's just that compared to Spirited Away, this felt like a movie targeted directly at children. None of the characters were really very interesting besides Ponyo (though the designs for a lot of them were very good), and some parts I just didn't understand, like... the moon is falling because Ponyo is becoming human? I felt like this is just something to make the movie feel more urgent, like there's some kind of danger (which it failed at, and didn't need to try to do either). And I also wasn't quite sure if the sea was rising a lot because of the magic potion thing or because the moon was out of orbit.

But when watching the movie, it's hard to convince yourself these things matter much. It makes you feel warm inside, it's very pretty, and it's a good film.


The Dad's name Tenebaums (Actual title: The Royal Tenenbaums) (Tom Bown (actual director: Wes Anderson, 2001):

I found this to be a very funny movie. I love how Royal can be so clueless about him saying stuff that is so obviously offensive to people, but yet dead on about other stuff that no one is even aware of (Margot having an affair with Eli). think most of my enjoyment of the film can be chalked up to this character, such as the hilarious scene in which he tells his wife he's dying, then he's not dying, and then that he's dying when he sees how mad she gets. I seem to love characters that aren't really "bad", but that everyone hates for being an asshole. The attempted suicide scene was really great because it used Elliott Smith and he's dead! Also Dudley reminds me of Solomon from Gummo. I'm not sure what else to say about this film, since it's not as fresh in my mind as the others...

But fuck everyone for just not giving a shit when the dog gets killed. The kids don't even shed a tear, and get given a new dog and suddenly everything is 100% fine magical ok. God damn it. They took that dog everywhere with them and they don't give a shit. What bastard kids. I wish the car had killed them, cos then maybe the dog would be upset and prove that it's better than them.


DULLholland doctor (Gordon Cole (actual director: David Lynch), 2001): I enjoyed this. It started to kinda drag on after a while until the last 40 minutes or so, which was very interesting and you could tell it came from an entirely different place than the first 2/3rds of the film. I think the film kinda suffered from being originally filmed as a pilot though, because while I just praised the last part of the film for shaking things up and being interesting, I don't think he would've originally wanted it presented like that, and would have probably taken some time to explain things further. Characters and other elements are involved, make you interested, and then are never brought up again or explained, probably because it was planned to go on a lot longer. I guess I don't exactly like having to look up "theories" on films to make sense of them, but maybe that's just me being a fuckin' moron!

It's made me wanna see even more Lynch though...but I hope me starting with his best work (in the eyes of Liam at least), Twin Peaks, hasn't made everything else seem worse in comparison.


Lesbian Human Sexers (actual title: Fucking Åmål) (Mad Eye Moodysson, yes this is the best I could do :( (actual director: Lukas Moodysson , 1998 :( )

First off, I want to say that I'm very amazed at Alexandra Dahlström for a number of reasons. First of all, how she was actually 14 at the time of recording is shocking for how good she is an actress. I found it so weird how I as I am now am 4 years older than when she was in this film. What have I been doing with my life? Secondly: she's really hot! I need to see other films that involve her being legal age so I can remove my creep status while holding the same opinion.

But yeah, this movie was really really great. It's the kind of movie that I wish I could just instantly play to the occasional homophobic bastards I argue with on the internet. I think what really made this effective is how young the 2 girls are. There's an innocence to it; it's not seedy, nothing sexual really happens, which makes its value much stronger and effective. But it's also really hilarious at the same time as its touching. Elin and Agnes walking hand in hand together, after the perfect toilet scene, to then say "we're going to fuck now" or whatever it is. And then the scene with the chocolate milk at the end. I often overtalk things when I like girls too!

Also gotta love it when Elin just says to Markus "You're a fucking idiot". I think this is a very good film for youngish teenagers to see to make sure they don't grow up to be bastards.


Monday, 26 July 2010

Late Night Experiment

Backstory: It's 3:40am, and I am very, very tired. For the past week, I've been going to bed at 11pm, completely and utterly exhausted (my body clock is in a weird, unique phase of early waking and relatively early sleeping) and I wanna write. I'm just gonna type shit and then see if I'll post it.

Ok back story out of the way. COMMENCE TYPING *waits for it*


Ok man, all I can immediately think to talk about is music, blogging, and being really tired. What the hell is wrong with me, fuck that shit. I've talked about those subjects into the ground. I've done it so much that I've even talked about talking them into the ground into the ground. Read that again if it doesn't make sense to you *just dazzled you with my shit fuck, this is boring as hell*

argh man. Tiredness is never interesting. Even when I purposely gave myself no limits in what to say I just say the same old shit. I'm hard wired. I need to get into the habit of writing about other things, like maybe give myself subjects to talk about or ask people what they wanna see me write about or something, I dunno.

This experiment was a failure but I got some insight.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

I wrote a post a while ago

Where I was upset about something, that still upsets me but not in a personal way. I can't really explain because y'know, annoying and uninteresting vagueness which is a certain barrier on this. It'd certainly be a lot more frequent if no one else could read it at the very least, because I'd have a lot more to say. But yes, following on from that blog I decided to not advertise this anymore in my msn name or on Facebook, or anywhere else (though I don't think I ever did advertise this anywhere else except when MySpace was actually used by people)*. But where's the fun in that? Ok, there's none, but there's no fun in emitting an audience either.

The bottom line is, without kidding myself: I want people to read this. I want people I don't speak to or know that well (or at all) to read this more than I want my closest friends to read it. I'd love it to be this just, complete open medium that people can use to know certain things about me. I'd love for this to be something that I can use to express what I often fail to do in real life, either out of awkward cowardice or the time never arriving at the right moment. So starving this off being read by other people isn't something I want. But I will always be embarrassed of what I write here. Not because of the content, but just the fact that I'm even doing it. It paints a weird picture. There's nothing wrong with it...I can't explain this very well at all.

I think uh, something along what I'm trying to say too is: there lies the problem with giving secrets. You can never ask for them back.

So in short, I'm gonna link when I want, and not link when I want, and not make such a big deal out of this. It's funny how I say "in short", as if what I just wrote previously is anything like I just said. Oh well. 2 blogs in one day! Sadly, one of them is about blogging itself, therefore being uninteresting.

*Reading this paragraph over makes me feel a horrid shame at how social networking is so ingrained in my life. Or maybe that's not true, and it's the only proper way I can advertise this because no one else will ever care?

Power of Persuasion

I wonder if there are the perfect words for any situation. I wonder if each person can be persuaded by something with the right words, or if there is a limit to what you can do. I wonder if even the most atheistic person could be converted to being religious with just words, and vice versa. But not just beliefs. Can someone who hates a certain movie with a passion, be convinced that the movie is actually great by words alone? I mean specifically words and things you can say, just so that's clear.

Of course, the answer to all of these is yes: it does happen. But what I want to know is if it could happen to everyone. Or does the human brain eventually get to a point where it just can't be convinced? Where no possible reason (or trickery, I guess!) can persuade them otherwise of what they think? Do human minds start open and eventually lock over time?

It'd be an interesting power to have, the power to have perfect persuasion, just to see who you could change and who you couldn't because of the impossibility factor that they are hard wired.

Not really sure what this is about. I found it written in a word document from a few months ago, but I guess it's slightly almost interesting! I also want to get some blogs out of the way so I can get to number 100, a special blog I have planned.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Homes in the stars

It's something we've all thought about; that the Earth is just, as Carl Sagan put it, a "pale blue dot" in the eternal vastness of the universe. And I think I wrote a blog about eventually everything will end, including our memories and documentation because eventually the sun will explode, and destroy the Earth, etc etc. But looking back, I think I made a very weird assumption; that we'd never leave our planet to inhabit other areas of space.

Can you imagine what that'll mean when this happens? It'll pretty much change what it means to be a life form. The fact that overtime, a species has learned not only how to leave their planet, but to cultivate something else into a new one. There'll probably end up being limitless possibilities to where we can go. I don't know why I didn't really think about that before.

It's weird to think of our personal selves and our opinions, and what they will mean to people in the distant future; how eventually we might just be something to be observed with interest but no emotional attachments. How eventually we will be grouped as an "era" no different to the ones we look back on. We differentiate so much between the different decades of the previous century, but soon that'll all be in a big melting pot. But what I hadn't really thought of before was if there will eventually just be a whole era of human existence known as the "Earth" era, as known from our very distant descendants as we leave this planet. For some reason that evokes a lot of contradictory feelings. The sort of weird loneliness that what we find important may not be important one day, but yet a feeling of warmth that we are probably part of the society that will begin cultivating outside of this planet, and to top it off, a sense of envy for the future humans that will have freed itself from being dependent from 1 home.

Speaking of envy, I really do wish I could go into space and see the Earth from there. I think it must evoke some kind of calm epiphany of what's really important, and how trivial a lot of our worries really are. I really think that doing so could be beneficial for a lot of people, almost feeling a massive spiritual connection to where you are and how beautiful it is.

On another note, I've started watching Twin Peaks again. It's really great (or damn fine lol!!!!).

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


I'm moving house tomorrow. I move pretty frequently, and I don't like moving, or at least not when I move, mainly because when my family moves, it's never some planned goal or anything (except the house I moved in when I was 6). It's always because "something comes up" or whatever. I feel unstable, like I can't get attached to a home because after 3 or 4 years I'll get a new one. And they're always rented so we have to like, "be careful" and stuff (not that I wouldn't be careful if the house was my family's). I guess this is what life's gonna be like when I move out though, so I should get used to it. I'd like somewhere to properly call home though, and I feel like I won't feel that for maybe a decade. That better not happen.

My main memories of this place are of it being a creative den. It was the place where I honed most of the talents that I have now (I taught myself guitar here over 4 years for example) and also for becoming someone who isn't terrible (I think when I was in year 9 I might have been pretty terrible, I can't be sure). It was in this house I first indulged in Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Red House Painters, and everything else that was to come music wise. Ummm. I also made the best friends I've ever had, and maybe ever will have, while I was here (literally for the online ones).

But let's just hope this new place brings unseen amazements. Is amazements a word? I like it. Firefox hasn't auto-corrected it at least.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Wondering if I'm more agnostic

Than atheist now. Probably not, but recently I keep thinking about after death, and thinking "Nah, I gotta continue on after I die. There's no way it'll just end like that." But I can't really rationalise it at all. It's just a feeling, probably brought out of some deep fear of eventually not existing. I can imagine the last days of my life (if I know they're near) are probably going to be spent with me praying and repenting and stuff, because I'll want to continue living, and I'll be doing this out of fear. That's a prediction. I mean if I'm feeling "this can't be it" by this age in my life when I'm not even near death, I can't imagine how I'll be acting when it's right at my door step.

Hmmm not really sure what that paragraph is about. I don't think about death as much as I used to. Ummmmmm. Also I'm kinda realising that my blogs are very lame in some aspects. I mean the ones where I'm complaining about not creating. It's just funny that I spend all day on the internet and playing videogames or whatever, and then I write about how I'm not doing anything. It's entirely my fault. I guess I've never denied that it isn't my fault, but I could very easily create some stuff that I want to create. I think the main problem is that I have no idea how to go about recording music, which is the main endeavour I wanna persue. But I think I'm gonna spend the next few weeks trying to finish my cartoon. I got it like, 80% done, and then just stopped cos I'm stupid.

Some songs I've been hearing you should also hear if you haven't already:

Animal Collective - The Purple Bottle
The Constructus Corporation - Invisible Sentinels
Red House Painters - Have You Forgotten
Arcade Fire - Vampire/Forest Fire
My Bloody Valentine - I Can See It (But I Can't Feel It)

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Nothing in Particular

Rankings of some Games:

Bioshock: 9.5
Bioshock 2: 8.9
Final Fantasy 7: 10
Final Fantasy X: 9.7
Zelda: Majora's Mask: 10
Heavy Rain: 8.5

Note - none of these are new to me except Heavy Rain. Actually I wanna talk about that game a little bit more. Never have I felt so tense and nervous in a game. It's great. Actually, that's the problem with pretty much any horror game, once you die for the first time in the game, nothing is really scary anymore. Heavy Rain's different because dying doesn't mean finishing, it just means changing. You want to keep these characters alive, cos if you don't, they are dead. It's just a shame that, even with the amazingly wide variety of ways to change the story, it has basically no replay value for me for some reason (though maybe I'm basing that on me trying to get a certain ending twice in a row and the game crashing on me, twice. That sucks cos that almost never happens to me).

I also can't really ignore how the game play aspects for the action segments really are awful if you're honest with yourself, as in the sections that aren't puzzles or trying to make you make very hard moral choices (which are great). But at the same time, it doesn't matter that the game play aspect for those sections are awful because the cinematic aspect is still there, and great. I'm not exactly sure what I would change if I was in charge of making a sequel to this game (not a sequel plot wise, it could be a completely different setting and characters). I'd probably include less annoying controls for things like walking (and more exploring rather than strictly chapter based) which would in turn make more massive possible story variations.

In fact, this is why I love Majora's Mask so much, how you play the same 3 days over and over but can completely change the character's schedules. When you reunite an engaged couple, just 5 minutes before the moon crashes down and destroys the planet, and you basically have to "reset" time to save yourself from being crushed, it makes you mad, that you went through all of that for essentially nothing, because that damn skull kid was just about to destroy the planet and the people you helped, and it makes you much more motivated to complete the game. It's also funny, cos while I was playing that game, I was sometimes like "I wonder what so and so character in the game is up to now" as if they were real people. Though I should stress I'm probably making that aspect of people having their own schedules sound much more complex than it is (but the game did come out 10 years ago). I'm just annoyed nothing else has really come out like that since, because it was the most I've ever felt like something is a real place (and have a problem with things like GTA, because for such a vast place and all the people, they essentially amount to people you can kill or not kill).

And what's worse is when people say "Majora's Mask was great except that it had that 3 day thing". It's like saying "Majora's Mask was great except that part where you move around and play the game". It IS the game.

Video game talk; my blog has hit a new low. Oh no!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

It's my birthday!

Happy birthday me! I'm 18 now! Fuck yeah! Now I can be a person!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Me making plans

Me making plans has basically no influence on whether I will do those things. That kinda sucks, probably. I think I have to be forced into doing things to well, actually do them (e.g THIS, though it is just a first draft, it's almost done). I'm actually amazed; I did about half of this cartoon in about a week, and the other half over around 2 months. I could probably get so much done but I just can't, for some reason. Maybe I just need a massive break from creating anything until it all becomes fun again, and motivation won't even be needed.

Writing this because seeing as I've finished school, it's meant to be time to make things and all that. Have done nothing. Haven't even picked up a guitar for a good while, and I usually do that out of habit, uh oh.

On the other hand, I have been watching lots of films and playing lots of games, which is great for me. I'm glad that I can finally enjoy games again, it's a good thing.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Art, flow

That's it, basically. Now I just need to clear my locker, collect my portfolio, collect my yearbook and grades. Then I'll probably not ever set foot into school again. Done all the work I can do.

Now it's going to be an albeit small period in my life where I can absorb all the art I want with no restraints. That's a pointlessly weird way to put it, yes. I basically just mean that, for at least 3 months, I want to just read all the books, listen to all the music, watch all the films, play all the games that I've been wanting to play. With no worries. Of course, I say no worries, but I can't help but worry. I'll probably be thinking I'm wasting my time while I'm doing this. But I want to go into this and come out as a different person (well, in some aspects). I want to know what I've been missing in the world.

Feel free to recommend anything to me.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Best gig of my fucking LIFE.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

This time of year

This time of year looks nice. It's sunny and all that, sure. But I have a new appreciation for something new, probably exclusive to my room. At around 7pm, the sky turns really blue to the point where it gives things a tint, and it comes in through my window and looks nice. I also turn on my lamp (cos it's a little dark) and then the yellow mixes with the blue and yeah. Then I play guitar. This has pretty much been my routine for this week, and it's pretty enjoyable. Atmosphere does make a difference.

Despite this, this time of the year always saddens me... I have a longing for it to keep going on. The thing is, I constantly feel like I have unfinished business. I feel like I haven't done what I should have where I am, I feel like I haven't done what I should have with who I'm with. And to have it be forced away from you, man, it upsets me. It's like giving up on a painting you've been tweaking for the past 4 years, or something. I'm not sure how long it would take with me staying where I am to feel like I've done all I can; maybe it'd never come. Maybe it's just something about the way my mind works that prevents me from moving away from things easily.

But sometimes it's good to just step back and call it a day. Or a year, or 4.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Time, you're kind of a bitch

The worst thing about making lists is how they can completely change within a month or 2. Despite that, I'm writing another one. I call it "Top 10 Things". It is the top 10 best things that exist on this Earth (or have existed, I guess).

Here are some links, because I'm tired of staying in the dark:

Facebook fan page for my music (would definitely appreciate you joining)

Um, what else to link that's related to me? I guess there isn't anything.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Alien Blogato: A Short History

I've been neglecting this thing probably more than ever, so it's time to write.

I've realised that I spend a hell of a lot of time documenting things in my life (this blog is just one of the many methods.) But it's weird how much I can write and get from the smallest of things. I'm probably marvelling more at how verbose I can be sometimes. I spent about 60% of this blog just talking about music and art, and it was usually the same subjects about both. I think me wanting to steer away from getting repetitive is keeping me from writing, and I also used to be a lot more open in this thing when I knew that only Anthony and Dom read it.

But about documenting stuff... I have a fear, or well, a massive "want" to not forget anything in my life, no matter how small. Weird eh? That isn't the reason I started blogging though, I think I started (this was on MySpace by the way, in 2006) because Anthony was doing his daily blogs. But it was sometime in 2008 when I was reading over those old entries, and there were so many memories that I'd just completely forgotten about. Reading them all was so much fun, nostalgic etc. I guess that made me just want to continue, though I've definitely had a massive shift in tone over the years. I think this was brought on by when I thought all my MySpace friends read my blog, to when I thought basically no one read it. It turned into less of a diary of what I did, into what I thought. I guess it's just nice to remember that each day isn't a meaningless blur, and things actually happened.

Short history of this thing. Quite weird that it's almost been up 2 1/2 years now.

Friday, 30 April 2010

I have made another song

Time Had Found Us. It's a folk song this time.

Sorry for the pathetic update. Proper blogs will come soon.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Things that suck

When you're angry at people who've done absolutely nothing wrong, and you know they've done nothing wrong. It just sucks. You kind of have to hide that you're angry, because you know that there's no excuse for it. It's just...being completely unhappy with a situation, but you can't blame a situation. They don't exist, in a tangible way. So you have to blame someone, but all the people involved haven't done anything wrong. Then why is everything so fucking not right?

Sorry for being mega vague. I just hadn't blogged in a while so...I guess it's something. I should also add that I feel mega uncomfortable having this blog advertised on my Facebook and msn display name now, so I will be removing them. I mean, it was nice when all I wrote about was music, but I feel I can't write about myself anymore.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Public Transport Heroes

I'm not usually one to call people heroes, but I'm not usually one to write about heroes either. Let's begin!

Guy 1

Chain smoking man who looks like the bum from The Simpsons who actually created Itchy and Scratchy, though he doesn't actually look like he's homeless. Once came up to me and said "Everyone's dead, aren't they?" and I replied with "I guess so", to which he thanked me and put his hand on my shoulder before walking off. He pretty much walks in circles while waiting for the bus, and everyone ignores him, so I think he appreciates it when people don't. He's usually complaining about something no one really understands, as in literally it'd be like "the bus doesn't care about us" and things like that.

Guy 2

Probably my favourite one of all. He's deaf, looks about 50, and always pulls this face:

He usually greets me by poking his head in front of my face, then backing off and out stretching a hand, which I shake. He also usually tells me to take off my headphones by signalling him pulling something out of his ear, which I used to then follow, but now I just keep them on because he's deaf so he never talks or anything anyway. But yeah, the first time meeting him, he sat next to me on the bus, did the usual stuff except that when he got off, he rubbed my neck to say goodbye. So far all these bus people seem to like rubbing necks and shoulders and things.

Guy 3

This guy isn't actually a bus person, therefore there's no rubbing involved (that's my conclusion anyway). I met him on the train, and he said in a very loud and slightly slurred voice (maybe drunk) "Alright man? Nice hair cut" and I replied with "thanks". He then said to me "heading Victoria?", to which I replied "Yeah uh, this train's going to Caterham". This is funny cos it's like...complete opposite directions. It's like getting north and south mixed up. When I'd revealed that to him, he said "I hate Caterham.", but stayed where he was.

He then kept talking to me, and I had to keep taking my headphones off etc. He asked me if there was a Sainsburys near where I was going, and I said "I'm not sure, but there's a Tesco", and that seemed to anger him for some reason. He got off without saying bye.


On a final note I get frustrated seeing really beautiful girls on public transport on the way home or whatever. I dunno, there's something about the fact that I probably won't ever see them again that saddens me, which is very weird. Must be some weird instinct, I'm not really sure. Oops.

Other News

My first gig, a Beatles cover gig on a barge, is finally underway. Whoa, a Facebook event page. It's gonna be pretty cool and stuff, and everyone should come. Well, not everyone...that'd suck. We'd probably all die.

Monday, 8 March 2010

It's just a part of me, I guess

Note: this blog was originally written on the 11th of October 2009, but I just found it recently and it's quite coherent, so here you go:

So I've been listening to and watching some great stand up routines recently. A lot of George Carlin, and Bill Hicks's stand up album "Rant in E minor" (courtesy of Bown). Extremely funny and clever stuff, even if I don't agree with everything said, it's just so well delivered and makes me think. It's weird, because "comedy" and "making me think" aren't usually things that I associate with each other; I usually watch comedy with intentions opposite to this (just to relax myself and laugh a lot, etc).

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but the thing is that I realised (note: I have known this for a long time) that both Bill Hicks and George Carlin are dead.

What the hell is it with me and dead people?

I sometimes wonder if I'm just naturally attracted to dead entertainers, but this isn't the case because half of the dead entertainers of all kinds that I love, I didn't know were dead when I got into them. This includes Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, Mute, Michael Jackson (because I liked him before he died). So I've concluded that: people that are destined to die just have better things to say. Actually, that's a shit conclusion, because everyone is destined to die (George Carlin wasn't exactly young when he died).

I guess it's just a coincidence, or it's just an unexplained part of me...


Or maybe, I'm a fan of many more living entertainers than dead ones, so fuck everything I've ever said.

This isn't a very good blog.

Friday, 5 March 2010

What Would I Want? Sky


I got into Animal Collective incredibly slowly, taking me about half a year to get around to having the opinion of them being a very good band that deserve their acclaim. But I've just had something that could be equated to some weird kind of epiphany, a realisation of "this is one of the best things I've ever heard in my life" from my first listen of the song "What Would I Want? Sky". There's something about this that captures something, and I'm not sure what. Almost a sonic representation of imagination being restrained by reality, or something. It's just fucking great, so:

Listen Here

I want to make music like these guys now, but I don't know the first thing about going about doing so. It seems like a pretty production heavy job.


I've come to the realization that video games, as a medium, get me more involved then pretty much any other artistic medium. This isn't on average, I should make clear. Most video games are a "past time to blow a few hours" type of thing, or having fun with friends. However, there are few, extremely few, games that actually get very deep responses from me. Off the top of my head: Zelda: Majora's Mask, Final Fantasy 7 and 10...and I can't think of any others that have got me quite as involved. But when they manage to create an entirely believable world around you that you're interacting can't really be matched, in a way. A very primitive version of a medium that, when mastered, will transcend being a game, and an entirely interactive experience built around a person's choices.

But that won't be for a while.


I've got loads and loads of blog drafts stored up. Expect another blog soon akin to this one, which in case you can't tell, is lots of blog snippets that I never got round to finishing/publishing. I'd add dates to the next ones I do, though.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Make or Break

It's only just struck me that this decade is the one where I'll completely become an adult. I realised this when my friend Zak asked me what my plans were for the decade, and I started to think of recent things before realising I have 10 years left, not 10 months. My immediate thoughts were what I want to achieve by the end of the year, but by the time this decade ends, I'll be 27 years old. Some people I know at school will be months away from 30. It's actually shocking what 10 years actually is. I remember the person I was at the beginning of 2000, and to think that he's the same distance away from me as the 27 year old version of me is down right weird. By the end of this decade I could have children, or have gotten married, or be famous. This is the decade where everything is technically meant to happen.

But I hope writing that paragraph hasn't set me up for some horrible failure that results from making goals out of everything. Wouldn't be a problem at all if I achieved them.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

I haven't climbed any trees for a while

Around the ages of 10 - 12, I used to love climbing trees in the park with friends, sometimes to the point where it's ridiculously high, like maybe twice as high as an average house, and we climbed from the very bottom. Thinking about this now makes me sit in disbelief that I actually used to do this, and at that age. I could have died so, so easily; I wasn't exactly wearing a harness, and even getting down was a challenge. And yet, I was never even nearly scared or doubtful that I should do it. Is it because of little kiddy stupidity, or because all my friends were doing it? Imagining my parents seeing me doing that makes me feel dreadful, because if I had children and saw them climbing to the very top of ginormous trees like that, I'd be terrified.

I don't think there'd be a greater pain than losing your own children. Unless you're an asshole parent who's all "whatever", then I guess it's not so bad. Maybe it's a relief.

The stupidity that goes with defending something that isn't based on appearance: Episode 1

Isn't annoying how if you defend gay rights (and are straight), you have to start it with things like "I'm not gay, but" just so that people don't question your sexuality, and even then they still might. The stupidity that goes with defending something that isn't based on appearance, they'll just try to not count your opinion by saying "you're one of them!" like some weird witch hunt, or something.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Waiting for Things to Mean Nothing, Waiting for Things to Happen

Sometimes songs are annoyingly perfect in what they achieve. I mean, if I ever wanted to write a song about similar sentiments, I just wouldn’t be able to match it. For example, the line “If I could be who you wanted, all the time” from the Radiohead song “Fake Plastic Trees” pretty much perfectly encompasses so many situations I’ve been in my life, and the way they’re so meekly said at the end. Such perfect words make me wish they were my own. It’s annoying when you find the perfect thing to say, but can’t really say it.

On another note, I'm really annoyed with myself lately. I've gotten to that stage in my life where all the problems that seem to be occurring or that aren't being solved are pretty much just because of myself. Refusing to act, setting ridiculous goals in the last minute that I know I won't be able to achieve. For example, I was given the weekend to finish my print making book. It's 2:52am on Monday, and I still haven't even opened it. Why am I doing this to myself? I can't figure out why, why procrastination is such an overwhelming force.

I haven't been writing in this blog recently, despite having plenty to talk about. It's because, over the last 2 months, I've been writing in my diary again. It's nice being able to write with absolutely no restraints in what I can or can't say, and I find it so much easier to write page after page when I'm in this frame of mind. So, in short, it's a little weird writing in this again. It's as if I've spent loads of time out stretching my legs, and have now gone back into a box. But this box is still fucking awesome, don't get me wrong.

Anyway: about the diary. I've had this since I was 13 years old, and started writing in it during the upcoming weeks where I knew I was going to be leaving school. I think this is why I've picked it up again, because school is going to end in...I'm not sure exactly how long, but I think in around 2 months. I'll be permanently departing from the place that I'd have been at for 4 years. That's what I was talking about when I said "setting ridiculous goals in the last minute that I know I won't be able to achieve". I feel there's so much to do, I was meant to have recorded a demo acoustic album to hand out by the end of this year, I was meant to have gotten over my weird social anxiety issues, I was meant to have a clear direction in my head of what exactly I want to pursue in my life (actually, I should rephrase that. I know what I want, just not how to get there).

I feel I need to do this now (specifically the album thing) because I'll never be seeing more than 90% of these people again, and I want to make something to be remembered by, that someone can take with them. I'll have to build social circles completely from scratch, something that I found hard when I first came to this school. I'm also having a gap year (if I go to university at all) and I can see my life completely diminishing around me without the social aspects of school or university life.

I still have good plans for that year, that I'm excited for. Me and Anthony are finally going to get Caged Monkey off of the ground, for one thing. We have so many ridiculous plans for this website, and it's gonna be great when we finally have it fully up and running. It'll be a site that'll have various flash cartoons (good ones), and also the Wobbly Bollock Podcast will move here. The website in of itself is planned to be a giant fun zone in various ways, but you'll just have to wait and see what we have planned.

Seeing as this blog is quickly just turning into an advertisement about loads of things that haven't seen the light of day, I'll also just say that I'm being involved in 2 shows at the moment. The first is a pretty big art show in East London, at a place called The Rag factory. Whoa, a Facebook event page! The 2nd thing is my first ever gig, that will be on the 14th of April at a place called Battersea Barge. There's no event page yet, but there will be this week, for all those who care.

That's probably enough. Started good, and just dissolved into boring stuff. Sorry.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Just thoughts and things

This was written on the 10th of January, but I didn't post it cos I wanted to get the 90s albums out of the way.

You know that feeling where you say something really stupid, and then you look back and think “Oh man, why did I say that?”? Let’s start with one of those:

I was with my friend Dean standing outside school the other week, in the snow. A man in a suit and holding a suitcase came out and walked past us, and then stopped when we made eye contact. “Enjoy being at this school?” he asked, and by now we realised that he was probably some guy who came to review it, like from Ofsted or someone like that. Dean said something like “Sure do, it’s great.”, and I said “Uh yeah, echoing what he said”. He then asked us if it met our expectations, and I said “I didn’t have any expectations”. I really do suck at talking sometimes.

In other news (as previously implied, and that pretty much everyone reading this should know) it’s been snowing a lot recently, enough for my dad to denounce global warming / climate change as a myth, a government conspiracy relating to oil. An excuse for them to severely raise the prices, if you will. The thing is, when he always (and I mean always) says this stuff, I’m thinking in my head “what a bunch of bullshit” when I shouldn’t, really. No, I’m not saying that global warming is a hoax, but I’m saying that I haven’t researched into global warming at all, and I mean literally at all. I’ve realised that I’ve immediately accepted the status quo of “Global warming is happening” pretty much just through adverts for turning the lights off when you leave the room.

It’s just the fact that most people’s reasoning for it being a hoax is “LOOK, SNOW!” and that makes me go “ugh”.

Update about this: Zak told me that my dad was saying all this to him the other day when he dropped him back to his house. Amazing stuff.

I’ve realised one of my least favourite things is seeing people, who were famous while beautiful and young, being old. It’s because my brain usually automatically and subconsciously applies traits to young people, and then seeing an old person that is in fact the same person as that young person just confuses me, and my brain can’t accept that they’re the same person because I see them so differently. I sometimes wonder if this’ll ever happen with friends that I grow old with (I better fucking grow old with at least some of my friends) but then think that because life is so gradual* it won’t make any big difference.

*depending how you look at it. Most of the time it’s considered too fast.

But then you could argue that as you get older, the previous “you” just dies, so they’re not the same person anyway. It’s an odd way of looking at it but I dunno, it seems pretty true.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Top 10 Albums of the 90s

Hello again, friends. It's time for another list, seeing as my music related one got me a decent amount of views, and a few new followers on the right there -> (and for the first time, followers that I don't even know, which is awesome). This time it's the 90s, probably the decade I'm best acquainted with for music. As a result I'm doing this in terms of albums, a slightly harder ordeal, not just in difficulty making a list, but in difficulty actually writing about them. I tell you, there's so much to say, and trying to narrow it down to a few paragraphs explaining my thoughts and how it's changed how I see music etc, not an easy task. Keep that in mind, please!

Hopefully this'll be a small reminder to a spare few that the 90s wasn't just the further decline of mainstream pop music to an extent, and still had some really really fucking awesome stuff that stands up to any other decade.

10. Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Ah, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, the album that divides one of my social circles clean in two. Some people see this as God's gift to music and the human race, perfection in the form of an album. Some people definitely not called Adam have bought this album more times than they've had hot dinners. Others, however, see this album as overrated and nothing at all worth mentioning in a list such as this, but still kinda ok. My feelings on this album? It's pretty god damn great, but I can see why some people would be underwhelmed.

If you look at things like the chord sequence of the opening track King of Carrot Flowers, Pt 1 it's just 3 pretty basic chords cycled throughout the song. But the production of the acoustic guitar (so thick) and the near perfect and hilarious lyrics make this and the next track one of the best 2 part album openers ever, and Two Headed Boy, Pt 2, is one of the saddest and appropriate closers I've ever heard.

The strength in this album lies in Mangum's lyrics rather than anything I can objectively explain about the musicality of a lot of these tracks (except Untitled, which I can explain as being a fucking awesome curve ball thrown out of left field), because for some reason it manages not to matter. It's easy to see it as slightly unremarkable, but occasionally it'll hit you just right and knock you onto the floor, and you'll remember why it's acclaimed so.

Stand Out Tracks:

Two Headed Boy, Pt 2
King of Carrot Flowers, Pt 1
King of Carrot Flowers, Pts 2 & 3

9. The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream

I had Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness for about a year and a half before I got this album. With Mellon Collie, I found that the more lush, beautiful tracks such as the title track and "Tonight, Tonight" were much better than most of the hard rock stuff, like "Zero". This album is almost all hard rock numbers...but they're all completely fucking awesome. If I ever want to rock out, I just put on this album and go silly to Cherub Rock. By the time I get to the quiet multilayered clean guitars in the last 2 minutes of the anthemic Hummer, I feel like I'm in a perfect place. The line "I wanna go home" in Spaceboy, not by the line itself, but the way it's sung so longingly makes you feel Corgans alienation.

It's hard to exactly pin point where the Pumpkins peaked, because they've made at least 1 or 2 great tracks even in their darkest periods. But this is definitely them at their most consistent, pumping out the most gold of any of their other albums. Sitting through this in one listen isn't only easy, it's a pleasure.

Stand out tracks:

Cherub Rock

8. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

This was my introduction to Pavement. After listening to Cut Your Hair on repeat for days, I had to buy "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" when I saw it in HMV, staring at me seductively in that way only albums can.

From the get go, it's astounding. Silence Kid (yes, Kid, not Kit, you fuckers) is the perfect sound of a band starting up, getting ready, and then jamming to perfection, flowing seamlessly into track two's Elevate Me Later. The album remarkably churns out pop masterpieces at an astonishing rate. Lyrically, this album's a strange one. The lyrics a lot of the time by themselves aren't anything particularly special, but in the context of the songs, they fit perfectly for reasons I can't explain.

And then we get to that closer. That perfect, perfect album closer, Fillmore Jive, consisting of maybe the best 6 minute jam ever. "Round and round and round and round she goes" sends shivers up and down my spine every time I hear it, and I always have to pause it just after the song ends so I can bathe in awed silence after what I just heard. This is the indie rock kid's musical bible, and for good reason.

Stand out tracks:

Fillmore Jive
Silence Kid
Heaven is a Truck (hugely underrated)
Cut Your Hair

7. Red House Painters - Red House Painters (Rollercoaster)

The album on the list that I've had most difficulty placing. I think that if each song was as good as the 5 stand out tracks I've listed, it'd probably be number 1 or 2 on this list. The music here is seriously the most honest and pain painstakingly real stuff I've heard in a long time, subjects such as the horrible regret of having a violent past or the feeling of a memory that you long for that you'll never get to experience again, and that one in particular hits me pretty hard.

It's inconsistent though, a trait that hasn't helped a lot of Red House Painters albums. But what's good, is perfect. And by perfect, I seriously mean the epitome of what music like this should strive to be like. Brown Eyes could have taken over the world, and Katy Song could have made it weep.

Stand out tracks:

Brown Eyes
Katy Song
Down Through
Grace Cathedral Park

6. Sigur Rós - Ágætis byrjun

Magical. Just really, seriously magical, a journey in the form of music. The beautiful Intro suddenly plunges you hundreds fathoms below the ocean in Svefn-g-englar, with a submarine in the distance. What's really amazing about this band is just the effort they'll go into to create these sound scapes. The feeling of massive underwater caverns and an almost mutant whale is created through the brilliant use of a bow and an electric guitar, rather than, I dunno, sampling a sound of a whale.

The reason I'm mentioning the astonishing atmosphere created in this record is due to this element being, in part, not as explored or as well executed nearly as much in their later records. This is Sigur Rós at their prime, pushing them up and above other bands known for doing long orchestral songs, and into something else entirely. But it's also important to note that the record isn't just a whole bunch of atmosphere with some music on the side, the song writing itself is also incredible and powerful, and Jónsi is one of the most original vocalists ever.

I also think that it deserves to be mentioned that Viðrar vel til loftárása is better than any other song on any other of the albums on this list. I think it was the first song I properly really just outright weeped to.

Stand out tracks:

Viðrar vel til loftárása
Ágætis byrjun

5. Elliott Smith - XO

XO marks the end of the indie "do it yourself" albums of the majority of Smith's 90s career. After he was signed to Dream Works, with it came the budget starving artists dream of. There were fears that having this opportunity would ruin everything that was Elliott Smith, which was (as previously mentioned) "do it yourself" acoustic arrangements that spoke directly from the soul. Luckily these fears were quickly and stylishly extinguished with the opening track Sweet Adeline, with it's transition from intimate acoustic goodness to an explosive ensemble of a full band set up. Rather than being filled with a "good grief, what has he done?" doubt upon listening, it's more of a "this is fucking awesome, I could get used to this" kind of feeling.

Hell, in some ways, this album could be argued to be even more intimate than his previous works. I Didn't Understand, a song consisting of a choir of him and over dubs of his voice, shows him at his most open, with nothing, not even instruments, separating him from the listener. The song Independence Day is possibly the greatest song of his whole career (strange, because it was only added to the album in the last minute). Waltz #1 probably creates the most vivid imagery of any Elliott Smith song, at least for me. It's like ghosts ballroom dancing, and it's beautiful.

This album's important to showcase that just because an indie artist signs onto a major label, it doesn't mean that they've lost their soul. Or, at least, it doesn't have to. The main thing this probably meant to Elliott was that he could finally quit playing every instrument himself.

Stand out tracks:

Independence Day
Sweet Adeline
Waltz #1
Oh Well, Okay
I Didn't Understand

4. Radiohead - Ok Computer

I remember the first time ever hearing anything off of Ok Computer. It was when In Rainbows was first announced (but not released), and a forum I frequent was pretty much going nuts with excitement. I decided to see what the big deal was with this "Radiohead", so off I ventured onto youtube to listen to a random song. It ended up being Paranoid Android, and I was pretty much blown away from the get go.

I spent the following weeks listening to Ok Computer over and over again via MySpace (oh, those were the days), amazed that rock music could sound this perfect. All the different parts coming together, yet sounding completely, for lack of a better word, tight. I'd never paid much attention to things like how fucking great the bass can be in songs, like Air Bag, even when it's subtle and not completely in your face. I think this might have been the first incredible album I ever listened to.

In truth, the placing of this album in the list suffers a little because I've had this for longer than any other album by a decent margin, so it's worn slightly thin. It probably deserves the number 1 spot for context, in that it pretty much encompasses 90s technology paranoia perfectly, while the others aren't exactly era specific.

And yet, this album is a complete oxymoron in that despite what I said about it encompassing the 90s, it feels like the subject matter being talked about is happening right here, right now. Almost a prediction, a look into the future. This album makes me feel that Thom Yorke was onto something we weren't aware of.

Stand out tracks:

Paranoid Android
The Tourist
No Surprises

3. Jeff Buckley - Grace

Jeff Buckley is kind of an enigma to me. He came out of nowhere, released 1 near perfect album, and before anyone knows, he died. In ways, his death upsets me more than with any other artist, because we saw so little, and it was so shockingly good. If he was to improve from album to album in the way that, say, Radiohead improved after Pablo Honey, I'm pretty certain he could've taken over the music industry.

It's easy to remember Buckley simply as that guy with the (absolutely fucking incredible) voice, or the guy who did the amazing cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, because both of those things are entirely true. But what's easy to overlook are his strengths as a song writer, the consistency of his songs, and how well his personality translated into his work. The songs here are some of the greatest ever, whether they're sweet and sombre, or completely otherworldy.

Grace is the best debut album I've ever heard from any artist, bar none. He's critically acclaimed and reguarded as a legend by a large number of people, all because of this, and thank fuck that we have it.

Stand out tracks:

Mojo Pin
So Real
Last Goodbye
Almost every damn one (note: not an actual song title)

2. The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I

This album does something which no other album in this list does (even number 1), which is to remain completely 100% stellar throughout. There are no dips, there is no "best part" and "worst part". Every song, every damn one, is essential to this album.

The musings Travis Morrison gives on this album manage to be both pressed into reality and the super natural. You are Invited, a song about a guy going to a bunch of parties, while simultaneously being about a super natural VIP card to get into anywhere on Earth, is a brilliant example (along with being a perfect song). The City, a song seemingly about how where you live doesn't make it your home, and if someone important is missing it can completely change the feel of a place, is beautiful. Memory Machine, a song about a machine that can "wash away the grief" of the human race, is crazy, brief, and incredible.

I wish more bands would throw songs about nuking the whole of planet earth just to fucking "kick start something" into an album, and then end on a sentimental song about when music hits you just right, and all the memories it brings up. Always shifting, never clashing. That's something you've got to get used to when listening to the Plan.

Stand out tracks (Like I said before, literally every damn one, but uh):

Memory Machine
The City
Back and Forth

1. Elliott Smith - Either/Or

Once again, I've failed in the last minute at not including 2 albums from the same artist. I gotta say, I gave the idea of putting "Emergency & I" at number 1 a lot more thought than I imagined I would, but in the end I had to be honest with myself; this album really does everything it tried to do perfectly.

I remember, once a long time ago, I was reading a list of the top 10 saddest songs ever. Number 1 was "Elliott Smith - Discography", which admittedly I chuckled at, though I wondered what he would have thought about it. It's a pet peeve for me when people refer to emotional works as being "sad". In fact, the whole correlation between emotional works equalling only sadness annoys me. A more accurate description would be real.

Between the Bars, a fan favourite, and a love song from the perspective of a beer bottle and the comfort it gives you, how it keeps the people you don't want to be still while you find that brief moment of bliss, while still having that element of oblivion, almost like you're being tricked. It isn't just "a love song", or "a sad song". You don't know what it is other than beautiful. When Elliott talks about losing a girlfriend that showed him the light after what seemed like an eternity of 1 night stands in Say Yes, he does so with an optimism that's incredibly sweet. "Situations get fucked up, but turn around sooner or later" is probably the line that most effectively encompasses what the song is about. It's more of a "Things may seem bad now, but they'll get better. I'm glad I got to experience this moment" song than what you'd expect it to be like, given the subject matter.

What makes this album better than Emergency & I, Ok Computer, Grace, or his other outstanding album in this list (XO)? Well, the other albums are master pieces composed and arranged with utmost perfection, ready to take on the world. Either/Or, however, feels like it was made in secret. Every word, every chord, every note, every instrument (literally) him and him alone. The fact that there were 12 (and probably loads, loads more that I don't know about) other songs made from these sessions that weren't released until a decade later makes you realise just how lucky it is that this hasn't gone unheard.

Music made with no one to please, yet managing to be perfect. This is something you feel is lucky that it actually exists.

Stand out Tracks:

No Name No. 5
Say Yes
Between The Bars

Here are some other strong contenders that didn't quite make it:

The Dismemberment Plan - The Dismemberment Plan Is Terrified
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
Red House Painters - Down Colourful Hill
Elliott Smith - Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith - Roman Candle
Radiohead - The Bends
Bj örk - Homogenic
Boards of Canada - Music has the Right to Children
DJ Shadow - Endtroducing
The Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin
Heatmiser - Mic City Sons
Jeff Buckley - Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk
Michael Jackson - Dangerous
Portishead - Dummy
The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

What's to come: top 10 songs of the 90s, top 10 albums of the 2000s, and I might try tackling other decades as well. However, before I do those, I'll probably get back into proper blogging. Y'know, the stuff I write about that I'm too embarrassed about to post links to on Facebook, unlike these lists. I even manage to make these too personal, though.

That's everything. Questions? Complaints (GRR!)? Feel free to leave me a comment. Be as anonymous as you like, if that's your thing.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

I make music too

Click here.

Listen to The Floating World demo, as it's the most recent one.

Saturday, 16 January 2010


I just remembered that it's already a new decade, and I haven't made a blog. I entered the decade watching fireworks on tv, and not drunk. I was with friends though, which was nice at least. Man, I can't really think of what to write. I guess to be expected would be a summary of 2009, and well, it was ok but mostly shit, even with celebrity plague aside. The only good things I can really think of are:

  • Became much better friends with Dean and Sandford, and others too.
  • Created Wobbly Bollock Podcast, which is really fun to do.
  • Enhanced my musical palette by a lot, which I'll continue to do throughout this year.
  • Got better at music, and actually created some half decent music which was a first.

For once, towards the end of the year was actually better than towards the beginning of the year. Is this a sign that 2010 will be good? The answer is maybe.