Mixtape WIP

It’s been a long time since I posted a mix online, and so I thought I’d let the next one form over time in a blog post, with descriptions.

These songs are currently being considered:

Leah Dizon – Softly
The first single from Chinese-Filipina-Caucasian American import car model turned demure, virginal Japanese idol Leah Dizon is an auto-tuned (har har) wonder of pop schmaltz. Except something about it just grabs me. It could be that little down-then-up melodic hook at the end of the first line. It might also be the cliched production – I think the term is ‘shimmering’ – that encapsulates the feeling of a sunny weekend, right at the end of summer holidays.

We all know it from younger days. That feeling that while everything is right in the world, it certainly isn’t going to last forever, and just at that moment you realize one day you will look back from the position of an older, more troubled person and say, “good times.” Summers are the saddest best times of our childhood, all opportunity, waste, and compromise. That’s what this song suggests to me near its end, and if we were all Portuguese/Brazilian I could have just said saudade and you would have understood without all this faffing about.

How to say goodbye to a city

This is something I wrote a few months back for a friend’s zine that has now been released.

5 minutes ago, I had myself a really strong cup of coffee from the office machine. So forgive me if my fingers skip a letter over, or leave out a word entirely. I will not be going back to edit it. This will be a forward-moving exercise, and that is the first step in saying goodbye to a city. You must not look back, only pack your things, both tangible and otherwise. I am not saying you cannot reminisce while in the process of leaving, only that you must never stop being in a state of leaving. A pause to think, “oh, if only I could find a way,” does not help your cause at all. If there was a way, you would likely have taken hold of it in a desperate manner much, much earlier on. Resign to your fate, it will be easier.

Like the weary half of a long-stagnant partnership, imagine yourself a young nubile female recently freed from her possessive mobster boyfriend. Look forward to all the cities you will now be sleeping with. Remember all the times when failed public transportation systems slapped you across the face, sending you reeling into Ming vases and all manner of mantelpiece decorations. If that wasn’t enough, now you can finally stop lying to your family about what this place really does for a living. Remember, look forward and not backwards, unless it’s to frame, sully, or misrepresent the past.

Say goodbye to the friends you’ll leave behind. You know, the ones who declined your offer of lifelong companionship (in locations of your choice). They may not be the most sincere of friends, but say goodbye anyway. It is a magnanimous gesture that helps to ease them into some semblance of a life in your absence. Promise to call, and write letters to rehash and reheat the meagre strings of commonality that will scarcely bind you in the lack of physical proximity. Or hell, since it’s 2007 you could just add them to Facebook and be done with it.

Take a tour bus, or regular public bus, around the city for a day. Allow yourself to realize that there were many places you never ventured out to explore. Many faces you never met. Cities are, by the very nature of their naming, very large places indeed. And does Jesus kick himself every night about not appearing to every man, woman, and child in Jerusalem during his time? Does Mick Jagger bemoan the groupies he had to lock out because there is only so much coke and whores a man and his band can accomplish in one evening? Don’t answer that. Instead, try switching them around in your mind. What Would Jagger Do with the ability to generate alcohol from thin air? Given Mick’s position, would the Son of God… you know…? That’s far more interesting, don’t you think!? My point is, learn to let things go.

Have some fun burning bridges. If you’re never coming back, take every opportunity to push the limits of human decency. Hit on that checkout girl who’s always letting her top fall open at you. No, it’s not an accident you fool. Give her your dirtiest come-on. Afterwards, teach her son how to play with knives.

Take photos of everything. No matter how resolutely you leave – and as mentioned earlier, you must – there will be days where a stray song, or stray TV commercial, or stray hair in your food will reduce you to fond tears for your former home. In these moments of unmanly weakness, you will find comfort in leafing through stacks of these mundane images. But remember, although it may salve your forlorn heart, never mistake this for an acceptable practice. It is the nomadic soul’s equivalent of squeezing one out in the toilet of a strip club.

Finally, and most importantly, have your last meal. Only you should have more than one. The same way vacation overeating is excused, the effects of last meal dining tours of a city on your body are forgiven by friends and loved ones. Have at it. Eat all the duck fat, pork belly, smoked sausage and Mexican food you want. Provided you’re not some sad schmuck who frequents chain and themed restaurants, you’ll never find anything quite the same anywhere else. Although you may plan to return to them someday with new friends, Fate is cruel and your favorites will always be shut down on account of rodent infestation and incest. Or an infestation of incestuous rodents, if truly unlucky. I speak from personal experience.

It’s rare that I finds a remix of a favorite song so good that I can’t tell which is better. This Groovefinder remix of Nina Simone’s ‘I Got Life’ (yes, that Muller ad song from a few years back) is a great example. It embraces and extends the palette, with every new element seeming to belong.

Link

It hurts.

Further to the last post, I just had a moment of heartbreak while surfing the Play-Asia site. I recently bought 3 EA games for the price of 2, which is their current summer gaming promotion. That’s about $140 bucks for 3 games: Def Jam Icon, Burnout Revenge, and Fight Night Round 3.

On Play-Asia, Def Jam Icon and Burnout Revenge are both $38. That effectively negates my free game. Fight Night is sold out, which means I can’t see what it used to cost, which makes me feel only that little bit better.

The morale of the story, once again, is check Play-Asia.com before buying any games.

Edit: If anyone’s looking to buy Prey for the Xbox 360, you probably can’t beat this price: USD$17.90 (SGD$27.50)

A Sales Pitch

The ads are back in town. A banner here, and a skyscraper on blast. Let me show you how advertising can be integrated with blog content!

I use Play-Asia.com quite a bit, seeing as how they have free shipping to most places in the world, and prices are competitive with local retailers. Yesterday I went to a store looking for Rainbow Six Vegas and a sales guy nearby asked me out of the blue, “Do you like… The Darkness?”

Normally, that would be indication to leave the store as quickly as possible without making any sudden movements. But he meant The Darkness, a highly-rated supernatural FPS that’s just been banned here for no apparent reason. Far more violent games continue to be available. It could have something to do with the fact that your character is a mob hitman at the age of 21. Perhaps it has some immeasurable ability to coerce youth into secret societies.

“Ah. How much is it?”, I asked casually, with all the know-it-all insouciance I was born with and which has cost me many a friendship.

“$89. It’s banned, you know.”

Dammit, I wasn’t getting through to him. I decided that I had no time to waste with the maker of such a bad deal, although Rainbow Six Vegas was sitting cold on the shelf before me, at a bargain price of $66, five less than the neighboring stores were asking. The tension built, the silence between us unnerving. Should I make some concession to his salesmanship and indicate some surprise? ‘Wow, that’s a steal for contraband of that calibre!’, or perhaps, ‘Banned? I had no idea!’. Or even maybe affect the creepy voice of the merchant in Resident Evil 4. ‘I’ll buy it at a high price, stranger!’

I decided to walk away, making no comment, letting the imaginary desperation of his mind (in my mind) fester as I picked up Rainbow Six Vegas and made my way to the cashier. While $66 for my game was a steal, The Darkness at $89? Pah! I knew it was only $76 on Play-Asia.com.