Thursday, April 30, 2009

Memorable Moments

My ears are fried.

Tonight was my first band practice since I left in 2006. It feels right to do this now (and the right opportunity presented itself). Apparently, Mr. Bickerson referred to the band as the new Fleetwood Mac on Twitter today (pas autographes SVP). Then this past weekend, I had a fit over something really trivial which made me wonder if I could even do this again. After the tantrum (it's healthy to have one per season), where the bad moments came back all at once (we're not playing Memorial Moments if anyone is remotely interested), I realized how that's the past and that I just need to chill and have a good time which is what generally happens when I play music. And yes, it was so much fun. So yeah, a few more rehearsals and we should be alright. Two new songs, all the old hits... the makings of a good show...

* Excluding myself (I'm not really back, this is just for a one-time show), this band is quite tall, averaging a 6.26' height. Somehow, it was really obvious tonite.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

gia đình (family)

My uncle who's been in town just gave me a cd containing so many incredible images of my Dad's family from the 30s to the 70s in Vietnam. Here are some of my favorites which are literally blowing my mind right now. What can I say? My family is awesome.

Family gathering, Hoa Binh, 1938
(We were like the Corleone family of Vietnam.)

My grandparents with siblings, Hanoi, circa 1940
(How editorial is this?)

My aunt + grandmother, Hanoi, circa 1950
(How precious were they?)

Song Hong dike, 1953
(How cool is that car?)

My dad and his sister, Saigon, 1956
(My dad looks like he's wearing Acne head to toe... As I grow older, I'm looking more like him in so many ways!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Analog rules, vinyl's forever...

My Dual Noresco turntable and Marantz 2230B receiver (sans speakers in this pic). 3 things to get you going.

I had a feeling that this would be the case soon enough. When you've traveled so far and that which it embodies has re-appropriated (mostly) for the better (though many would disagree), the only way is to return to the original.

Three examples:

1. Jarvis on Record Store Day, His New Album & Pirates

I totally agree with everything Jarvis is saying. Thank goodness (!) I kept my cassettes and didn't chuck them in the last move...

2. The LA Times had a piece on it this past weekend which highlights my new neighborhood record shop!... "In a digital age, vinyl albums are making a comeback."

3. And something rather ingenious... the best of two worlds...

Spinning vinyl iPod application

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More Pano fun

Former roommate (fellow, erm "current" bandmate / dear old mate), future textile queen, Mr. Bickerson + his lovely gf, the couch surfing Anarchist and the J Motors back from tour... it was an unexpected night of (Pano) fun.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


In loving memory of Shawn Mortensen, 1965-2009.

His talent was immeasurable, his energy was unmatched, his enthusiasm... absolutely contagious.

These were some of his new works we were both looking at for an upcoming show just last month.

If you...
If you could...
If you could only...
If you could only stop...
If you could only stop your...
If you could only stop your heart...
If you could only stop your heart beat...
If you could only stop your heart beat for...
If you could only stop your heart beat for one heart...
If you could only stop your heart beat for one heart beat.

-Bill Callahan, "Too Many Birds"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You're a Jerk!!! (I know...)

I heard this catchy song on one of my favorite hip hop stations driving the other day and it sorta blew my mind. I'm a jerk myself so that's prolly why I instantly turned up the volume... I thought the song meant something else... Like the kind of guy (or girl, as in me) most girls (guys, as in you) ACTUALLY want when they say they want a Nice Guy (a Nice Girl... erm, that's not me). After some research, it's actually a new dance movement that started in LA. Cute kids in skinny jeans and with lyrics like "We pulled up to the party ices on my shirt and got geek'd up everybody jerkin'...," this is irresistible.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The only thing worth putting up here is the only thing that blew me away this weekend: Tinariwen at Coachella:

Amazing guitar work... if only we can dress like this all the time... and insane dancing... dude's like the Bez of Happy Mondays but he actually made it into this country...

Friday, April 17, 2009


The thing I loved the most about Copenhagen wasn't the endless supply of gorgeous Nordic girls + boys on their fancy bikes nor the feeling of hygge that's inherent in this super polished city but of Humlebæk, where the Louisiana Museum resides, just north of the city. Set against the whispering Øresund sea, it was the most elegant museum experience I've ever had. A lot of my friends who've been to CPH hadn't heard or been to the Louisiana which is a shame really. The name of the museum derives from the first owner of the property, Alexander Brun, who named the villa after his three wives, each with the name of Louise. Isn't that just sorta awesome?

And many thanks to Lasse who showed us how well the Danes eat.

Bourgeois nipples

Max Ernst inspired color filters

* not my pic (mine couldn't match this)

* neither is this

Hooked. I need to see the sea every time I go anywhere.

The pride of Denmark.

My favorite memory of Copenhagen? Losing every single time to foosball (or as some might say "table football") while drinking the local brew and listening to Jens Lekman at the local bar around the corner from the hotel. It's not that I didn't try to win, it's just I can't win at everything.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Paris + London

This feels like a chore (and thus I have to do it) but here are some of my favorite pics from my recent visit to Paris + London:

Chez Derrière: the perfect smoking room of all of Europe.

On the last Sunday of the season, I had the freshest (le plus frais!) huîtres at Baron Rouge.

Back in Hackney, J+J (+K) walking through Shoreditch Park.

I love J+J's flat on Pitfield St.

The Barbican didn't do Le Corbusier justice with its current show but these glasses he wore made me want to wear specs again.

The Unilever Series: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at Tate Modern.
Set in the future, sculptures of Bourgeois, Calder, Moore, Nauman, Oldenburg and van Bruggen have become gargantuan in size as London is afflicted with perpetual rain. Impressive.

Carl + J helping each other in front of Maison Bertaux.

How do you complete a room with minimalist inclinations? Well a vibrant African print made into a curtain is all you need.

My favorite image from this trip though not for the pic itself as it's a bit shitty + crooked but because I finally got to see it in person.

God Help the Girl

I can't wait for this. All the girls Stuart selected are perfectly cute (mais naturellement). Can you imagine how freaked out they must have been when they realized who it was for? This generation's Phil Spector/Kim Fowley! Summer is going to be so good this year!

Rough Trade

I'm so miffed. Friends have been telling me about this ace BBC documentary on Rough Trade Records that recently aired and said that I prolly could still catch it on its iPlayer. I don't have access as it's only available in the UK. So uncivilized.

But I found this on Rough Trade Shops...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pano iPhone in Paris

I decided to test out the Pano for iPhone application in Paris. Was suffering from a triple hangover so these are not as seamlessly panoramic as I would of preferred but the subjects were the loveliest.

Paris, je t'aime. x

"New York's most famous unknown artist"

I didn't get enough time to really see this show. So so good. It's worth a trip back to dear old Blighty before it ends I reckon! It's that good! Didn't know much about Ray Johnson but was highly recommended by dear old Carl (who happened to be in London while I was there too! What a treat; I was spoiled!) and by Stuart, the hostess with the mostest.

Ray's visual sense is something to be in awe of and his prolificacy is something to aspire to. And equally spectacular was the new gallery itself. Raven Row is a beautiful gallery in a beautiful building at the end of a beautiful street. Here, see for yourself.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Too Many Birds

My beloved Carl gave me this record this week.

"I used to be darker, then I got lighter, then I got dark again."

“It’s time to put God away...”

"If you could only stop your heartbeat for one heartbeat."

Still so fresh, I'm too excited to even express how lovely his baritone voice and accompanying melodies are to my ears. Buy it, download it, steal it. Do whatever you can to listen to it.


Downriver Revival compilation:
A true Appalachian-esque fidelity... And with this incredible comp, I'm pretty set for this month with tunes. A nice secular (+ gospel) companion to Bill Callahan's.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ways of Seeing

Overlooking the Øresund at the Louisiana Museum.

I've been back almost a week now but my perspective has changed. This always naturally happens when I go elsewhere but I'm feeling like a stranger in my hometown now, it's pleasantly unsettling. Maybe it's the nasty cold I got right when I returned, footnoted with the jet lag, but I feel quite trippy even in this soberest state.

I saw new colors, learned new words, heard new melodies, and felt a new breeze pass through me. The mental vistas have been obscured; everything is out of context now. It's been confirmed, LA is boring.

Another world... as I wait for the Paris train to CDG.

The enchanting train ride to the Louisiana.

"Suns rise and suns go down again" - the Hoxton sunset on Pitfield Street.