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char y
my african politics tutor finally wrote a response to the kony 2012 video that's been trending-- or rather, a response to the criticisms of it since they seem to have become even more popular than the video itself-- and posted it on our course forum. with each point of his that I read I thought, yes, this, exactly. I think that critical thinking is good and some of the criticisms are definitely valid, but many others are also unfair. (I also bristled at the smug tone many of them seemed to be taking, but that's largely irrelevant to this.) he addresses this fairly analytically and backs it up with reasoned thinking. I've been waiting for this.
 
 
char y
10 March 2012 @ 01:53 am
florence and the machine concert tonight! what a great show. one of the most incredible concerts I've been for, but also the least enjoyable in terms of comfort and surrounding concert-goers. would've been loads worse without the good company of my coursemate though!

it was in alexandra palace (zone 3-- far out, okay) for one, and the wait for the shuttle buses from the tube station were so long that it took us 45 minutes to get there from the time we arrived at the station. it was also really crowded, I was in physical contact with all five people around me. worst of all, we ended up standing beside this awful bunch of girls who were basically everything I hoped to avoid. the waiting around was really long and I didn't like either opening act-- but it was (magically) all okay when florence and the machine finally came on.

this is how I feel about florence and the machine's music: I'm not actually that crazy about her (the fans she attracts are crazier than any of the other concerts I've been for-- the crowds there are fairly sedate in comparison) but I do enjoy her songs! sometimes if I'm in an uncharitable mood and I think too much about her songs and performances I find they're ridiculous (but not in a bad way), but they're very fun because they're so epic and unrealistic I can't really sympathise that much with them. maybe because I take them too literally. but oh my goodness do they make great tracks on fanmixes, because the lyrics are PERFECT for things that happen in larger than life tv shows/movies/comics etc. for example: blindness is the PERFECT inception song and I refuse to hear otherwise. cosmic love also makes me think of amy pond and the weeping angels and also this huge damian/steph fic on the internet. drumming song makes me think of the master and the end of the tenth doctor. because THE LYRICS ARE ALL PERFECT. but I digress.

she was so theatrical. I loved it. if I could get away with wearing the cape and suit she was wearing (you could tell me she was Catwoman and I would believe you) I would, but I guess they only really work in her settings. also I don't normally adore the bands/artistes I watch, but oh man, did I adore florence welch. she was queen of the crowd in every way possible. and HER VOICE holy crap those lungs. amazing. the crowd loved her, obviously, which made it really easy to be immersed in her songs. I don't normally dance (i.e. do dorky jigs) either but it was impossible not to.

the setlist! she had a whole string section, a harpist and a choir, so the songs sounded great. they were more like the record versions on a larger scale, rather than variations of them. I enjoyed rabbit heart the best (not one of my favourite songs, but I thought it was the most fun song of the night haha), but everything else was also very good.

look, some photos!Collapse )
 
 
Current Music: Florence + The Machine - Only If For A Night | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
char y
08 March 2012 @ 12:19 am
'kay I just came back from laura marling's gig at the hammersmith apollo! 

she's so young but you wouldn't really guess from her music. unfortunately I wasn't that familiar with her newest album nor did I like it best, but she was good live-- the sort that'll only keep getting better. I kept thinking things like "wow, you're so talented, and you write and sing your own songs, and I love your lyrics, they're mostly very mature-sounding, and you're so much better than so many famous pop artists out there", then I started thinking snooty things about taylor swift and forced myself to stop.

her band is also completely ridiculousI was laughing quite hard when she introduced then and got them to state one fact each. that elicited the most deadpan "I can't banter onstage or off" ever, an apollo fashioned out of cafeteria materials, a chicken nugget, more banter and the pronouncement that they were all pretty mental backstage.

setlist here. of particular note: BLACKBERRY STONE! one of my favourites of hers, and it sounded great live. definitely my favourite part of the whole show. alpha shallows, another of my favourites, was good too.

that's about it really. but she's definitely one of my favourite solo artists. (the guy behind me said the same thing.) also on a whim I went to check out the setlist for the death cab gig in singapore yesterday and holy crap it looked awesome!
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char y
05 March 2012 @ 11:31 pm
andrew bird tonight at the barbican centre with rain_ing who came down from york! I keep forgetting how much I like andrew bird and how good he is live. mostly because, compared to the record tracks, there's a lot more extended instrumentals and slight improvisation? ALSO he's hilariously awkward and tells the audience stories. and his violin just sounded a lot nicer live. and I liked how sometimes his whistling and singing blended so well with his violin that I couldn't always tell which was which. but that's probably just me.

the barbican centre was also an experience in itself-- the barbican hall had really comfortable chairs and I was in the second row, which was awesome, because I could see everything. a sit-down concert! in which I didn't need to jostle for a view of the front! v v v comfy.

set list! to the best of my memory, he and his band played:
the entire break it yourself album (of which I really liked desperation breeds, lazy projector and lusitania-- I first heard lusitania two years ago when he was playing in the union chapel, but it was this preliminary version. I think I actually liked that version better...)
plasticities
tables and chairs


[encore]
? something very folksy
so much wine (handsome family cover)
effigy
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char y
04 February 2012 @ 05:57 pm
(disclaimer: I may be harsher than normal because today has not been Good.)

okay, as much as I sympathise with underdogs and unrequited love? this whole 'nice guys never get the girl' sentiment that has been going around online is REALLY ANNOYING. I saw it on 9GAG first, but now I'm seeing it on facebook which annoys me way more because these are people I actually know. I think it's a subset of the friendzone thing, but that's a broader thing which I'm not going to address here.

I accept that there are genuine cases in which genuinely selfless, nice guys do not get the girl. but in my opinion such genuinely selfless, nice guys wouldn't even see it that way. to them, it would be a case of 'this girl does not like me back :(' rather than 'I'm really nice to her so why doesn't she love meeee'. you are not single because you treat girls well. you are single because the girl does not like you back. this should not be tied to how well you treat her, as if she owes you a debt for receiving your niceness. this is how I see it1:

[I. Re: Niceness]
1. niceness can sometimes be passive-aggressive behaviour. you, and not others, know your true motivations and intentions best.

[II. Re: The implicit link between niceness and getting the girl]
1. being nice does not entitle you to someone else's affections. genuine niceness should be given with no strings attached, without the expectations of reciprocated affection.
2. has the guy actually TOLD the girl how he feels rather than just faffing around assuming she'll guess from how 'nicely' he's treating her? if the girl genuinely does not know, it's unfair to pin the blame on her lack of response.

[III. Re: General things]
1. if the girl knows how you feel, and continues to take your nice treatment of her for granted, why the hell do you want to be with her?!
2. if you do still want to be with her despite her taking you for granted, you really shouldn't be whining about her mistreatment of you. because you know this is the way she is, and to some extent it really is a choice on your part to continue. do not pin it all on her. and certainly do not pin it on your nice behaviour.

that said, I hate it when girls trample all over guys' niceness. >| take take take it all but you never giveeeee okay I have gotten to the point where I am quoting bruno mars so I'm going to stop now.

1 this works the other way round too, for girls who treat guys nicely and other non-heteronormative variations thereof.
 
 
Current Music: Grouplove - Slow | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
 
char y
28 January 2012 @ 01:39 am
friends-locked
(mostly, anyway)

comment to be added?
 
 
char y
28 January 2012 @ 12:54 am
I went for the explosions in the sky concert tonight! it was really really good; I enjoyed myself a lot. absolutely no lyrics and no silence from start to end (which got a bit annoying sometimes when the segue music was particularly...dissonant but overall was alright and solved the problem of awkward transitions between songs I guess). the thing about explosions in the sky is that I've heard all the songs, but only really listen repeatedly to some of them, and also I usually can't remember the song names of the less well-known ones (I'm the same with mogwai).

but! the songs I really liked were played tonight. setlist for reference! my favourites: catastrophe and the cure, six days at the bottom of the ocean, be comfortable, creature and I guessss the birth and death of the day. and, of course, the only moment we were alone, which I suspect I might have been willing to pay the full ticket price just to hear. the audience was enraptured. the bass was also really loud, which brought the song to a whole new level I've never heard before.

I try not to use this word but their songs when played live really are epic.

notes to self: as a smallish lone (asian) girl, it is v easy to slip through spaces to get close to the front. also, arriving after 9 if you care nothing for the opening act(s) minimises standing time. however, getting too close to the front also means things are really loud which may not be the best idea if it's a post-rock band. man everything still sounds kind of muted oh well it'll wear off soon enough.
 
 
 
 
char y
04 December 2011 @ 04:58 pm
piping hot chicken soup at pret, chilly weather, a warm maroon knit sweater, christmas stuff EVERYWHERE including gorgeous christmas lights at brunswick, a grande toffee nut latte and even though I have three essays to complete by the coming Friday...I love where and when I am right now.

time to put on my winter/christmas playlist on itunes hehe. I also desperately want to watch Narnia (my favourite movie ever/so far because of one particular scene which made my heart soar for some reason when I first watched it. magic!!!)
 
 
char y
03 December 2011 @ 02:06 am

I think my present position on most political and other issues can probably be summed up as "a liberal among conservatives and a conservative among liberals".

beyond having a penchant for the middle ground (which I undeniably do because I like consensus, compromise and can't we all just get along?), I often find myself thinking yeah, but when I'm in both camps and I'm definitely uncomfortable with both extreme poles and their nearby regions.

I suspect this is actually not that uncommon? it's just that most of the views I hear on the internet and in person tend to fall much closer to either end of the spectrum than I am, and sometimes I'm uncomfortable with the stridency of views (or maybe I should just toughen up since disagreements and conflict are part of life).

it's really not a cop-out, though. my position is arguably just as valid! it doesn't mean I've been influenced by the liberal side, and it doesn't mean I'm too close-minded and steeped in conservatism. it just means I happen to fall somewhere in the middle, which either includes or excludes me from both, depending on levels of openness.

and who knows how this might change as I go along? I'm not old enough to have ossified, that's for sure, even if I'm much surer of my views than I was, say, five years ago.