Thursday, January 27, 2011

Audio obession for the day

Further Seems Forever - On Legendary

Summer is gone and winter is never too far now
When my poor arms (my arms are aching)
outstretched so long that my bones are now
but there, you come with a smile that sends any man to his knees
And I feel I've begun now that we're one now
now that we're one now

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2010: The Soundtrack

Reflecting on this year before, I was afraid that I didn't make any great strides to listen to any great or new music. Then when I started to listen to songs that were relevant for me this year a great collection of music was established. This has been quite the year filled with events that will shape my being.

Roman Candle - Eden Was A Garden
The beginning of the year was full of anticipation. Bachelor parties, weddings, marriages, moving, tournaments, life constantly moving at paces that I pretended to be accustomed too but never really comfortable with. Roman Candle has also been one of Raleigh's standout in the indie scene but never got really into them until I listened to this song.

Drake - Over
Drake is my guilty pleasure. I know many of the underground/hardcore rap hip hop fans hate on him but I can't help but to enjoy his hooks. Plus I believe knowing him first as Jimmy Brooks give me a free pass to enjoy his music. Starting to plan Adam's bachelor party was proving to be a difficult task. I was finding myself frustrated with his friend and having arguments over FaceBook. But when we finally made it to Atlantic City everything came together and consummated into one of the most memorable weekends of my life. While Friday was a reconnecting with friends and making a new one in Adam's HS friend Anthony, Saturday turned into an all out party. Eating expensive steak dinners, drinking wild amounts of liquor (well in Adam's case Crown Royal), running into multiple bachelorette parties, going to bars and clubs. A completely captivating weekend.

Sufjan Stevens - All Delighted People
I remember Nader was the one who posted that there was new Sufjan Stevens up. Ecstatic, like a child tearing the wrapping of a Christmas present, I followed the link and began to listen. It was blissfully chaotic. When the world has come and gone shall we follow our transgressions or shall we stand strong...... and what difference does it make if the world is a mess....... I can just imagine myself screeching those words in agony questioning my faith, my world, my fellow human, my resolve, myself.

Thad Cockrell - Beauty Has A Name
So much planning. So much money. So much bickering. So much drama goes into planning a wedding. Its your bride's day so even the casual or smallest of occasions has it situations. Yet, when the day comes all those things that's been hanging over your head become so tiny and minute compared to the beautiful thing that happens that day. Being stuck in the room awaiting to present myself in front of my family and friends the magnitude of the moment took over me. Pacing back and forth, heart racing, I walked into a full church of the dearest of family and friends. As soon as Sara began walking down the aisle I fought back tears. My machismo was fully relinquished when I began to speak the vows I made for her. Looking into the eyes of the woman that I am submitting myself to I couldn't make it pass the first few words before I choked up. Then the party begins and you share so many wonderful moments with so many wonderful people that are so essential to your life. Then when everyone leaves, the table is cleaned, and the floor is swiped...... you still have her.

Clash at Demonhead - Black Sheep
When I was in High School and begin to define myself with indie music, emo music, punk music, I'd imagine that my love life would turn out exactly like Scott Pilgrim's. Nerdy, insecure, quiet kid wooing the mysterious and socially rebellious girl. My life didn't quite turn out that way but I still identify a lot with 15 year old Elliot. How much pure inhibition passion he had, how reckless he was with his pursues with love. Those things I now try to pour into my marriage to Sara.

Sufjan Stevens - Futile Devices
If I had to sum up my year in music into albums it would be divided into two. The first one would be Sufjan's Age of Adz. Throughout the album it speaks of a theme of now words hold a lot of weight in society. And I pondered on that, that in the end words are futile devices. And some of my own experiences this year held true to the idea.

Derek Webb - Give Us Today Our Daily Bread
The other album would be Derek Webb's Feedback album. An instrumental worship album to the Lord's Prayer. Growing up my Dad would tell us to recite the Lord's prayer before we headed to bed. I think it was this introduction (and reciting it robotically in the Presbyterian church) to the prayer that made it lose its luster. Something cookie cutter and not sincere to your own heart. Yet when Derek Webb introduced this project, I begin to listen to the music and look at the paintings. Then I found a video from the painter Scott Erickson, and he said something that really shook me. "Its an invitiation for you to go deeper..... if He could sum up prayer for people to God, He gave us this statement. That's a pretty amazing invitation." It made me realize that it is kind of a blue print to prayer. Quite the amazing invitation indeed.

Saves the Day - Hold (Electric)
I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again, I'm an extremely reflective person. Most of the time I don't even consider how something has effected me until well past that events has happened. When I was heading to marriage I started to look into my past and the hindsight of things help me understand what I've been through. Why God chosen to place me in those situations, pitted me against those trials, lead me to joy in those triumphs. My writings on those experiences (yet to be finished I know) had become a great tool for me to prepare myself for marriage. When I hear this song it illustrates that idea for me. This is a one of the first songs ever to be released by Saves the Day, and now with a completely different band its re-released and you can hear the maturity and growth of the artist despite the song, chores, and lyrics being the same.

Husking Bee -
Sun Myself
I didn't hear this song until very late in the year when Chris Conley released a EP with the lead singer of Husking Bee. Reading the translated lyrics (no I cant read Japanese just because I am Asian) I understand the peace that the song speaks of. Sometimes I can't just but to help to lose myself in the sky in its deep blue, birds soaring through the sky, and in me in the shade taking it all in.

The Annuals - Springtime
So confession, I stole this song from the Vintage 21 video that announced their new space. I can feel the anticipation of the new season in this song. I approach a new season of my life, I am married now, we even have a dog. Sara and I are the starting point of this family and I am so completely excited for what the new season brings. And what was once a point of hesitation, is now a point of anticipation: time. Time keeps moving and I once was reluctant to move along with it. But for now I am along for the ride. I'm married..... saying those words in no way conveys the weight that it should.... wow..... pretty freakin amazing.

bonus track:

Journey - Don't Stop Believing
FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I will never forget the incredible circle we created at Adam and Kristin's wedding screaming out this song at the top of our lungs. It was an unbelievable joyous day, filled with so much smiles and laughter and love. And to complete the night, you must end with Journey.