#goindie Reviews: I was here for a moment, then I was gone

Today’s Soundtrack: Relative Minors by Maybeshewill

In two days, Robert Smith’s Meltdown festival will take place at the Southbank Center in England.

Look closely and you will see several familiar bands.

There, for the first time since 2014, Maybeshewill will return to perform.

meltdown

As a part of a long overdue promise to continue to write reviews to promote indie bands, I present my retrospective thoughts on the third full length album of Maybeshewill.

Take this to heart

We make our own worlds, strike our own words, and do that all over again the next day and the day after that.

Fascinating, isn’t it?

I was here for a moment and then I was gone appears among a sea of other post-rock albums like Mogwai’s Rave Tapes and This will destroy you’s Another Language. Moment features a wide diversity of different moods ranging from sweeping melancholy to hopeful, vibrant, violent tones of clashes.

It is an album with its own identity and that identity is vivacious.

Accolades

Journeys. The hardest part is starting them. The worst part is ending them. The best parts are strewn all around at random. 

Think of this album as a soundtrack to a wordless film about a journey through life and love.

There is the optimistic, hopeful start of walking through a brave, new world.

The ecstatic joy of finding love

The bitter clash of falling out of love

And ultimately returning back to yourself and realizing that, despite everything, you are still here

This is what this album felt like to me; a wild, frenetic, unpredictable journey that never fell into complete despair and always had a bit of laugher.

 

A wonderful paradigm that feels far shorter than what it is.

 

Stay tuned next time for a review of Epitaph by God is an Astronaut.

godiaa-epitaph

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Art Sketches: One a Day Challenge

As a personal challenge to myself, I decided to do at least one digital sketch a day in order to improve myself. Needless to say, I am quite enjoying the process so far and have finally gained enough confidence to share a whopping 2 IMAGES with accompanying mini stories.

happiness

Happiness (5/24/2017)

As the indigo moon rose above the ombre hills, Little Blue started to hum a little tune. It started off quiet, barely above a whisper. As the whisper grow into a hum and the hum evolve into a song, the girl barely noticed the moon stopping in its rise and drift slowly towards her to listen and grin a secret smile.

everythingisfine

Everything is OKAY (5/23/2017)

Angel thought that it was amusing.

To see all her friends in one place.

But what she didn’t realize is that none of them were moving.

So proud was she for winning the game.

 

 

#goindie Reviews: Not for the Want of Trying by maybeshewill

Today’s Soundtrack: He who films the clouds pt.2 by maybeshewill

I have a terrible habit of being late for things I love.

As some of you may know, maybeshewill held their first and last American concert in New York last April. It was truly an ambitious and fittingly grand end to a decade long career of post-rock magic.

But this review will not be about their final album, Fair Youth. That is for another time.

This review is a mostly personal reflection on this band, my optimistic days in college, and how I first came across this hidden gem.

Ixnay on the Autoplay

How I first came across maybeshewill

As much as I would like to start by saying that I came across this band at an indie music store hidden in the streets of San Diego or a Student Co-op that just so happened to play a song randomly selected via Pandora, the first very first time I heard a song from maybeshewill was through this video:


I really wanted to learn how to paint with watercolors.

While I still struggle with painting with natural media of all sorts (digital media helped both remedy my anxiety over painting at the same time coddled me with the freedom of using the undo command liberally which also worsened my confidence in handling the unpredictability of using natural media…but I digress), I fell in love with the world of maybeshewill.

Not for the want of trying became my first foray into the world of post-rock, a strange, weird, wonderful hybrid world of sounds ranging from the loud, vicarious blasts of electricity coupled with the fluidity of a string, piano, and other generally symphonic instrumentals to the quiet lull of cooing vocals.

The unpredictable mish-mash of different sounds and vibes works to maybshewill’s benefits, faults, and legacy.

I’m in Awe Amadeus!

I am still nostalgic from this album

So strong after all these years

maybeshewill’s evolution as a band can be evident throughout their albums. In the case of Not for the want of trying, samplings from different media (namely films) are accompanied by various instrumentals which greatly harnesses and exacerbates the emotional soundscapes of the samples.

For instance, in the namesake song Not for the want of trying, there is anger, rage, a furious indignation that begins with a blast and continues in spikes in between brief moments that barely let you catch your breath before hurtling you at breakneck speed.

Upon first listening to this furious song, I admit that I jumped at the first chord as it had followed the powerful, moving song He who films the clouds, pt. 2; the experience was akin to someone lighting a firecracker after one had just listened to the inspirational speech (“Oh look up Hannah”) from Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator.

Or something like that.

But as I continued to listen, then came the “I’m as mad as hell” speech from The Network. It comes gradually like an eye in the storm. But the eye serves as a stark reminder that, though the moment seems mellow, there is still a quiet tension and in anticipation for the rest of the storm to follow.

This is where the sampling and the instrumentals work in perfect harmony to create an emotional soundscape that captures the element of justifiable rage inherent in this song, spoken through the words of Peter Finch in his memorable role in a movie most people now remember just for that speech which remains as relevant than as it is today.

Like Not for the want of trying, another strong song from this album features powerful spoken words but these do not originate from a film, He who films the clouds, pt.1 is ode that fills one with hope and inspiration.

“Now we’re apart,”

“Though not through choice”

“Do we stand still?”

“Or raise our voice?”

As enigmatic as this message is, it is very much open to interpretation. I personally like to interpret this as a call to action for a common purpose in complete unity with our fellow human beings.

But it could be something simpler like, persay, coming together to make up after a nasty breakup or meeting up for Dollar Tuesdays at Baskin Robbins.

The call is evident. Will you answer?

maybeshewill’s ability to capture emotional resonances is evident throughout each song, with or without samples alike.

From the painful heartache of Heartflusters to the endearing feeling of hope in He who films the clouds, pt.2, each song has a vividly clear feeling that can be felt and, if the mood is right, experienced.

Not for the want of Trying

While each song is different, sometimes the sounds melts into the other and it becomes a chorus of screams.

I cannot say the album isn’t perfect.

Nothing is perfect.

However, my critical points are limited solely to just a single personal gripe: with a few exceptions, it can be very LOUD.

Not for the want of trying was all about loudness because rage is best experienced when it is screaming in your ears with all the might and force of everything that rage is capable of.

When you listen to an album many times, you being to notice a pattern: calm moments are punctuated by spikes in excitement. It can be disconcerting at times, especially when a song begins with a blast.

Thankfully, there are some songs that break this pattern by either avoiding it altogether and remaining a simple, soothing lullaby or becoming a loud,bombastic cry. Either way, they both make the album a vibrant, diverse collection.

He who films the clouds pt.2

A toast to you, good gentlemen.

May there be fine wine and precious moments flowing in your future.

A perfectly, imperfect album bursting with emotional ups and downs, Not for the want of trying remains a memorable, lasting collection to me and, hopefully, to many others entering the post-rock foray.

Stay tuned, good readers, for next week’s review of maybeshewill’s I was here for a moment and then I was gone.

iwashere

After the End

Today’s soundtrack: Fresh Static Snow by Porter Robinson

landscape6cyan

I was given a prompt from a friend to write a brief one paragraph story with only the words “after the end” as a guide.

I didn’t work on the story immediately. Instead, I procrastinated and made this picture using a combination of Photoshop, glitches, and textures of pictures that I took of bark and pine needles.

The amount of time that it took for me to finish was around 10 hours, on and off. During that time, I came up with a shadow of a story.

After the end, only the machines were left and they were lonely. So, they decided to create a new world for themselves. But how would their new world look like?

There were some who wanted to replicate the ways of the old; 9 to 5 jobs, nuclear families in neat suburban homes, a society of order and routine. What would have been a perfect world.

But there were many more who, savoring their freedom, went forth and explored the desolate world. They would have chosen to risk their lives in climbing mountains covered in mists like curtains, finding forests of ash and fire, a chaotic and unpredictable end.

But they wouldn’t have it any other way.
This brave, beautiful dangerous world they had.
The only world they have.

My friend’s reaction simply was summed up like this, “it’s okay”.

At least I finally finished!

Thank you for reading.

 

Modulo Comic #1

modulo1

What if someone designed an app that could destroy the world?

Or at least blow up the city?

Either way, at least you don’t have to come in to work the next day!


Modulo is now live!

But what is Modulo you say?

A simple little comic about a City, multiple MAIN characters, and pesky things such as conspiracy theories and alternate universes.

Updates on Fridays.

I forgot I had a blog

There are plenty of things to forget that are fairly innocuous and no one would know all the better:

  • Pennies
  • absent-minded doodles on a partially-used napkin
  • cough drop wrappers
  • Dove chocolate wrappers with inspirational quotes

And then there are somethings that are much more important that makes you wonder, how on earth did I survive adulthood so far?

  • Deadlines
  • Appointments
  • Pushing your part of the code to a group project that nearly tanked all because of your forgetfulness
  • The Way to prevent the VOID from engulfing us all

Thankfully, this blog was in between pennies and VOID-engulfing catastrophes so, to preserve the existence of this…not online diary, I’ll share with you a bittersweet memory.

When I went to counseling, my counselor let me draw some of my feelings out while we talked about balancing my mental health and school.

Counselor: When you wake up in the morning, how do you feel?
Me:
ugh1

Counselor: *laughs* I’m sure that’s an incredibly relatable feeling nowadays since Finals are so close.
Me: Actually, I feel a blend of this as well as this
ugh2

Counselor: Subdued anger. Frustration. Again, very relatable feelings. And valid too.

We talked a little more about stress management and what to do when I experience a panic attack.

We ended our talk with a brief but memorable quote which I don’t quite remember but it was from Toni Morrison…I think.

I finished it up with this doodle which didn’t impress the Counselor at all.
ugh3

It wasn’t intended to be insulting but I ended up doing so unintentionally.

After digging these up from an old USB drive I found while unpacking my stuff, I then decided that, while these conjure up bittersweet memories of my cynical, younger self being a brat to those who were trying to help me, these were worth posting up on the internet.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed my Therapy Doodles.

Hello and Welcome!

This is a refreshing start.

You know what is amazing about the internet?

You can easily create a new identity, one in which you can present a new person who is you except relegated to the digital world.

That person can showcase all your talents and skills shared with the world at large.

You can show that you are a productive individual with a unique style and a clear understanding of what they do and what they’re passionate about.

Isn’t that wonderful?

Anyhow, if you want to know a little bit about me, I like to consider myself to be a raconteur with an interest in design and stories whether they be true or not.

Because stories, like the internet, is a realm of possibilities that could be true, could be false, but most of all can be shared and recycled around in different forms.

But ramblings aside, welcome to this humble site where it is periodically updated with new projects, updates, and blog entries by yours truly!

Happy Readings!

judgementbun