The Latest

Took a while, but I finally got the deluxe edition of Coldplay’s Ghost Stories sold only at Target stores in the US and containing three bonus tracks that were exclusive until they sold them via iTunes with the A Sky Full Of Stars EP. Bah. Anyway, good to finally have this album on CD. Thanks to Tyo for getting this for me!
Jul 21, 2014

Took a while, but I finally got the deluxe edition of Coldplay’s Ghost Stories sold only at Target stores in the US and containing three bonus tracks that were exclusive until they sold them via iTunes with the A Sky Full Of Stars EP. Bah. Anyway, good to finally have this album on CD. Thanks to Tyo for getting this for me!

I got Travis to sign my Good Feeling CD back in 2008 at Singfest. Dougie Payne even spelt  my name right. Well, mostly right.
Jul 19, 2014

I got Travis to sign my Good Feeling CD back in 2008 at Singfest. Dougie Payne even spelt my name right. Well, mostly right.

Setlist from Travis’ headlining set at Singfest 2008, almost exactly six years to the day from their upcoming Singapore show in two weeks (August 2, 2008-August 1, 2014). A sneak peek at the setlists from their recent gigs indicates they’ll play most of the songs from this setlist, including “Re-Offender” which is one of my favourite Travis songs but they didn’t end up playing at Singfest for some reason. Also looking forward to the songs from their new album, Where You Stand. Two weeks can’t come soon enough!
Jul 18, 2014 / 1 note

Setlist from Travis’ headlining set at Singfest 2008, almost exactly six years to the day from their upcoming Singapore show in two weeks (August 2, 2008-August 1, 2014). A sneak peek at the setlists from their recent gigs indicates they’ll play most of the songs from this setlist, including “Re-Offender” which is one of my favourite Travis songs but they didn’t end up playing at Singfest for some reason. Also looking forward to the songs from their new album, Where You Stand. Two weeks can’t come soon enough!

Jul 9, 2014 / 5 notes

Ocehan Sebelum ke TPS

Sejak awal saya sudah yakin akan memilih Jokowi andai dia maju sebagai calon presiden, bahkan saat siapa saja yang akan menjadi calon presiden masih sebatas wacana dan spekulasi. Di antara nama-nama yang sempat disebutkan itu, bisa jadi ada yang lebih pintar daripada Jokowi. Tapi secara realistis, Jokowi yang paling besar kemungkinan untuk dipilih, jadi yang lainnya tak perlu terlalu diperhitungkan, setidaknya untuk pemilihan umum kali ini.

Lalu muncullah Prabowo yang menjadi satu-satunya saingan Jokowi sebagai calon presiden. Selama satu setengah bulan terakhir saya sudah lebih dari kenyang dengan bombardir opini dan laporan di media massa dan dunia maya mengenai baik buruknya masing-masing kandidat. Saya membaca banyak artikel, dan banyak juga yang langsung saya abaikan terutama kalau sudah mulai tidak rasional dan mengada-ada.

Harus diakui bahwa pemilu kali ini yang berlangsung di tengah semakin besarnya Internet dan media sosial dalam kehidupan rakyat Indonesia telah mengeluarkan sisi terbaik (misalnya kesadaran berpolitik) maupun terburuk (seperti saling menjelekkan pilihan) dalam diri kita semua. Saya pun tidak luput dari efek itu. Seumur hidup, saya belum pernah seaktif ini dalam mengikuti perkembangan politik Indonesia, dan di sisi lain saya kurang bisa menerima perbedaan pendapat yang diusung oleh teman-teman lama dan bahkan anggota keluarga sendiri. Mungkin lebih tepat disebut bahwa saya bisa menerima dan menghargai perbedaan pendapat, tapi dengan syarat itu berdasarkan atas landasan yang rasional dan obyektif. Di saat ada yang membela pilihannya atas dasar agama yang mengarah ke fitnah atau hal dangkal seperti “tegas” atau “sederhana”, pilihan saya adalah memperdebatkannya dengan segala fakta yang dapat saya temukan namun kemungkinan kecil bisa membuka mata, atau mengatur akun media sosial saya agar tak perlu membaca opini mereka. Biarlah mereka memilih apa yang mereka yakini, apa pun jalan mereka dalam menemukan keyakinan itu. Kalau tidak yakin, berarti perlu menggali lebih dalam lagi sampai ketemu jawaban yang dicari. Bukankah kita semua juga begitu?

Maka dari itu, maksud saya menulis ini bukan untuk membujuk pembaca agar mengikuti pilihan saya. Ini bukan tulisan ilmiah, jadi saya takkan mengumbar sumber dan catatan kaki. Semua ini adalah berdasarkan apa yang saya belajar lewat membaca serta diskusi, dan dapat dicari oleh siapa pun kalau ada niat. Saya sekadar ingin berbagi sedikit tentang apa yang menjadi dasar pertimbangan saya dalam memilih calon presiden.

Saya tidak akan bicara banyak soal Jokowi. Saya tidak terlalu memikirkan sikap sederhananya. Kalau ada yang bilang itu pencitraan, itu tidak salah selama kita tidak keberatan berkata bahwa naik kuda keliling stadion dan bergaya ala Soekarno sebelum waktunya Halloween adalah pencitraan juga. Yang paling penting adalah apa yang telah dilakukan Jokowi, dan apa yang telah dilakukannya adalah banyak. Banyak yang mengeluh bahwa dia belum berbuat apa-apa untuk Jakarta. Itu juga relatif, tergantung dilihat dari sisi mana. Memang, pasti akan lebih banyak yang dapat dicapai jika masa jabatannya dituntaskan. Tapi di sisi lain, banyak juga yang seharusnya bisa dikerjakan tapi terhambat oleh birokrasi tingkat pusat. Dengan menjadi presiden, logikanya Jokowi bisa membuka jalan agar lebih mudah untuk berkembang, baik itu Jakarta maupun seluruh dunia. Kalau mau berkata Jokowi adalah boneka PDIP, tak dapat disangkal bahwa dia dibesarkan partai itu. Tapi di sisi lain, kalau ditanya kenapa memilih Jokowi, saya rasa hampir semua orang takkan ada yang menjawab karena dia dari PDIP. Lagipula, kita bisa menarik kesimpulan sendiri dari kurang besarnya peran para petinggi PDIP dalam kampanye Jokowi belakangan ini. Jokowi tak bisa dibilang 100% independen dari partai, tapi juga tak bisa dibilang 100% di bawah kendali mereka. Sisanya, Anda bisa baca sendiri visi misinya.

Sedangkan mengenai Prabowo, jauh sebelum dia menjadi calon presiden selalu muncul embel-embel pelanggar HAM atas apa yang dilakukannya selama di TNI. Ini adalah hal yang sangat serius di dunia internasional, dan menurut saya tidak sepantasnya “calon presiden” dan “penjahat HAM” ada di kalimat yang sama. Tapi entah kenapa, tampaknya banyak rakyat Indonesia mengabaikan masalah ini. Jadi saya coba lihat dari kacamata mereka dan mengabaikan faktor catatan HAM.

Tanpa faktor catatan HAM, semakin hari semakin banyak alasan saya untuk tidak memilih Prabowo. Ada koalisinya, yang berisi banyak pejabat dengan rekam jejak yang sangat layak dipertanyakan, padahal Prabowo berkoar-koar akan menumpas korupsi. Dalam pidato berapi-apinya yang saya tonton di TV serta YouTube maupun dikutip oleh media massa, saya juga tidak menemukan apa-apa selain orang yang menganggap berteriak-teriak sampai serak akan cukup untuk menutup miskinnya substansi dalam ucapan. Di debat-debatnya dia seringkali menjawab pertanyaan seperti mahasiswa veteran yang masih terbiasa mengarang jawaban di tempat. Anjurannya untuk menerima uang dari tim Jokowi tapi tetap mencoblos Prabowo merupakan salah satu dari sekian banyak ucapannya yang tidak mendidik, belum lagi muatan fitnah yang terdapat di dalamnya.

Sebagai orang yang cukup rajin menonton liputan pemilu presiden Amerika Serikat beberapa tahun silam, menurut saya banyak ucapan Prabowo sudah pasti menjadi bumerang yang akan menggagalkan kampanyenya andai dia mau jadi presiden di sana. Bahkan menjadi ketua RT pun akan sulit. Tapi ini di Indonesia, bukan AS. Alhasil, pernyataan yang seharusnya menjadi gol bunuh diri malah berlalu begitu saja. Ditambah dengan obrolan bersama berbagai orang mengenai kemungkinan terburuk yang dapat terjadi berdasarkan semua indikasi yang ada, rasanya tak sedikit orang yang takut jika Prabowo memimpin negeri ini.

Tapi itu hanya pendapat saya. Sekali lagi, maksud tulisan ini bukan untuk meyakinkan pembaca agar ikut pilihan saya, dan belum tentu dibaca juga berhubung TPS akan dibuka dalam satu jam dari saat tulisan ini diunggah. Saya hanya bisa bilang bahwa saya memilih setelah proses yang panjang, di mana semua informasi yang saya dapat selama kampanye ini ternyata tidak mengubah pilihan saya sejak awal. Andai saya bisa mengabaikan HAM dan ternyata program-programnya lebih meyakinkan, tidak mustahil bahwa saya bisa memilih Prabowo.

Tapi pada kenyataannya, Prabowo bukan pilihan saya. Calon presiden yang saya pilih memang tidak sempurna, namun setidaknya saya bisa memilihnya dengan hati nurani yang tenang. Walau harus berseberangan dengan keluarga dan teman, saya percaya bahwa pilihan ini adalah yang terbaik untuk negara ini, dan mudah-mudahan mereka bisa melihatnya sendiri dalam waktu mendatang. Kalau Jokowi tidak menang, hidup tetap berjalan dan kita semua akan mencari jalan untuk bisa tetap hidup sebagaimana seharusnya.

While digging through my bedroom desk I found this letter dated February 9th, 1999. It was from Sheila, my childhood friend in London. Years after my family moved to Jeddah and I went to study in Jakarta while she and her family moved to Yogyakarta, I thought it might be fun to get in touch again, as well as practice my English writing because we never spoke Indonesian to each other back then. So I wrote her a letter (ah, those pre-e-mail days), she replied, then back and forth a few times.

This is her second letter to me, if I’m not mistaken. In our previous correspondence, we talked about what music we liked, and I mentioned that the Smashing Pumpkins had a song called “To Sheila”. And in this letter, she said a friend of hers also mentioned that song to her, but she hadn’t heard it because she wasn’t a Smashing Pumpkins fan.

And then she added this:

"Just to inform you, not only has my name been a title of a song, but soon there’ll be a group band from Yogya which calls themselves ‘Sheila on Seven’, they’ve recently finished recording their first album and have just been working on their new videoclip that will be released on March. How do I know? Well you could say, all those five guys are my good friends, one of them were my SD friend, the other one was my high school friend and so on. This is just to inform you so you won’t be surprised when they most likely become someone ‘big’ and then you’d be hearing my name every now and then. Then again you ask: How can I be so sure? You just haven’t heard them play, even I say they’re good and they are. Well I guess we can just wait for their debut to prove that won’t we?"

And the rest is history. She should’ve been a record label boss.
Jul 3, 2014 / 1 note

While digging through my bedroom desk I found this letter dated February 9th, 1999. It was from Sheila, my childhood friend in London. Years after my family moved to Jeddah and I went to study in Jakarta while she and her family moved to Yogyakarta, I thought it might be fun to get in touch again, as well as practice my English writing because we never spoke Indonesian to each other back then. So I wrote her a letter (ah, those pre-e-mail days), she replied, then back and forth a few times.

This is her second letter to me, if I’m not mistaken. In our previous correspondence, we talked about what music we liked, and I mentioned that the Smashing Pumpkins had a song called “To Sheila”. And in this letter, she said a friend of hers also mentioned that song to her, but she hadn’t heard it because she wasn’t a Smashing Pumpkins fan.

And then she added this:

"Just to inform you, not only has my name been a title of a song, but soon there’ll be a group band from Yogya which calls themselves ‘Sheila on Seven’, they’ve recently finished recording their first album and have just been working on their new videoclip that will be released on March. How do I know? Well you could say, all those five guys are my good friends, one of them were my SD friend, the other one was my high school friend and so on. This is just to inform you so you won’t be surprised when they most likely become someone ‘big’ and then you’d be hearing my name every now and then. Then again you ask: How can I be so sure? You just haven’t heard them play, even I say they’re good and they are. Well I guess we can just wait for their debut to prove that won’t we?"

And the rest is history. She should’ve been a record label boss.

Jun 26, 2014 / 1 note

Watching Transformers: Age of Extinction

Ever since I first experienced 4DX 3D I decided if any movies I wanted to watch were in that format, I would go for it. So after finding out the new Transformers movie was available in 4DX, I checked the schedule and made a few calls to see if anyone wanted to watch it at 20:45, which was the last screening of the day.

Because previous experience has taught me that 4DX tickets sell out fast, I got to the cinema at 18:30…only to discover the 20:45 show was sold out. Bummer! But the guy at the counter told me that they had one more screening left! Awesome! But it turns out the screening was at 23:55, or more than five hours from that moment. Bummer! But having come all that way and not knowing when I’d have time to see it over the next week, I decided to see it anyway and checked with my would-be movie mates to see if they were still in. They were, so I bought the tickets. Good spots too; if you ever want to watch 4DX at Blitz, go for somewhere between F5 to F12. I also signed up for a Blitz Card, so in the future I can just buy my tickets online without having to suffer the agony of going there in vain. I really should’ve paid more attention to that pre-movie ad they show at Blitz, where the girl’s taking her sweet time getting ready for a movie date while her boyfriend’s waiting outside the house and is cranky all the way to the cinema because he thought they were late, only to discover that she already bought the tickets online.

Which still left us with over four hours to kill, which was mostly spent at Carl’s Jr. discussing the election and its possible ramifications. I’ll spare you the details but it was fascinating enough to make most of those four hours fly by, then we spent the remainder of our pre-movie time fulfilling someone’s coffee-craving crankiness.

As for the movie itself…well, when it comes to Transformers and similar fare, I don’t pay attention to reviews because I know they’ll get shitty reviews. I watch those movies to keep my inner child happy, especially when it comes to Transformers since I grew up with the toys and original cartoon. And to be honest tapping into my 5-year-old self’s memories helped a lot in enjoying whatever flimsy excuse for a plot there was.

Beyond that, it was mostly laughing at the implausibility of it all (like how does a redneck high school dropout turned amateur robotics inventor and deadbeat dad suddenly turn into an action hero?) while checking my phone’s clock and being amazed that this movie lasts for almost three hours. Our politics discussion lasted longer and was more exciting.

But it’s a good thing we watched it in 4DX, because even though our screening started at midnight and the movie went on and on and on, the many actionable sequences meant that the 4DX was on steroids and definitely kept us awake. So if you really want to watch Transformers, do it on 4DX. And make sure you buy tickets early. with Nindya, Iman Sjafei, and 🍕 at Blitz Megaplex – View on Path.

Awaiting one of my favourite Indonesian live bands, Matajiwa, at the launch gig for the second part of their album 1. (at 365 Eco Bar)
Jun 21, 2014

Awaiting one of my favourite Indonesian live bands, Matajiwa, at the launch gig for the second part of their album 1. (at 365 Eco Bar)

Jun 16, 2014

Thought via Path

"I’ll have your steak fat if you don’t want it. I like fat. It’s quite chewy though and I can’t seem to cut right through it. I know, I’ll just put it in my mouth, chew a few times then swallow. Here we go. I like the taste, that was a good steak. OK, I think I’ve chewed it long enough, time to swallow. Here we go. Uh-oh, the fat’s stuck halfway down my throat and I can feel the other half still in my mouth. I’m starting to have trouble breathing. What do I do now? I’ll try pulling the fat out of my mouth. Here we go. Wait, it’s not coming out and it’s making me want to vomit. That could get awkward. What do I do now? Looks like I’ll have to force myself to swallow it, then wash it down with Coca-Cola. Better hurry before I black out. Here we go. Three, two, one…"

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of how I almost choked on a piece of steak fat a few hours ago. Not entirely sure if it would’ve killed me, but it would’ve been a lousy way to die. Not enough to make me swear off steak, though. – Read on Path.

Jun 14, 2014

Thought via Path

Check out “Inclination” from The Many Failings Of Bugsy Moonblood, the upcoming debut album by Marsh Kids, which includes members of Sore, Tigapagi and Polka Wars: http://helattubruk.com/2014/06/04/14-06-14/ – Read on Path.

Looks like it’s official that Mike Byrne is no longer the drummer for Smashing Pumpkins. Which is a shame - seeing him kick ass on the drums during a webcast was the reason I went to Singapore to see SP a few days later, and he was a big part of me enjoying the three SP shows I saw (yes, even JRL). And I’ll always have fond memories of accidentally stealing Mike’s room key when we were both staying at the same hotel when SP played in KL last year and I had to help him figure out how to use the key to operate the elevator.

The article doesn’t mention Nicole Fiorentino, but since Billy Corgan’s been talking about recording bass parts on the band’s blog and she’s busy touring with her other band, I think it’s safe to assume she’ll just play bass during shows or she’s left the band too. My money’s on the latter.

http://m.musicradar.com/news/guitars/billy-corgan-talks-tommy-lee-new-smashing-pumpkins-albums-for-2015-601510/5#next – View on Path.
Jun 13, 2014

Looks like it’s official that Mike Byrne is no longer the drummer for Smashing Pumpkins. Which is a shame - seeing him kick ass on the drums during a webcast was the reason I went to Singapore to see SP a few days later, and he was a big part of me enjoying the three SP shows I saw (yes, even JRL). And I’ll always have fond memories of accidentally stealing Mike’s room key when we were both staying at the same hotel when SP played in KL last year and I had to help him figure out how to use the key to operate the elevator.

The article doesn’t mention Nicole Fiorentino, but since Billy Corgan’s been talking about recording bass parts on the band’s blog and she’s busy touring with her other band, I think it’s safe to assume she’ll just play bass during shows or she’s left the band too. My money’s on the latter.

http://m.musicradar.com/news/guitars/billy-corgan-talks-tommy-lee-new-smashing-pumpkins-albums-for-2015-601510/5#next – View on Path.