January favourites.


  • A search for a lost cable catapulted into a cleaning session which lasted all the way till the early hours of the morning. Amongst the scramble of papers found in the attic was a poem composed by a classmate (Max, powdery complexion, thinning blonde hair, bright red smile) from the Creative Writing course two blazing summers ago. “Her mouth, a tiny mandolin” remains one of those lines which has stayed years after because of the dainty image it conjures.
  • James Blake’s residency for BBC Radio 1 is phenomenal. I don’t pretend to fully understand post-dubstep or dubstep as a genre but this is the type of music that winds you up, the kind of music that is cathartic and emotionally filling. Maybe it’s typical for all generations, but I hear so often of complaints in regards to how people don’t quite make music like how they used to. My primary retort to this statement, time and again, is that those people simply aren’t looking hard enough because there are always things to listen to, given any space of time, given the fact that good shit also doesn’t make its way to you unless you look for it (arguably applicable for restaurants, movies, clothes, cats, and love interests). I’m a fan of James Blake even if I can’t listen to him for hours on end. His music is, more often than not, extremely on point and he is a master of his craft, often showing respect for music of other genres and ages through his samples.
  • I watched Spike Jonze’s Her recently and thought that it was thought-provoking and smart, an overall great movie to begin the year with. If you’re not aware, the movie is set some time in the near future where a man (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his OS. Think Siri, but with the sexy huskiness of Scarlett Johansson’s voice and more miles to go in terms of personality. The colour scheme in the movie relies primarily on sunnies and blues, lending a dreaminess that goes well with the soundtrack. Apparently Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Arcade Fire got themselves involved somewhere, but you wouldn’t really guess it. Or at least I didn’t. Some of the piano pieces in the movie were especially emotive and reminded me a lot of Claude Debussy. Linking ennui and isolated intimacy with the digital age makes for an awfully sad yet effective combination. I think we all spend a little too much time sitting hunched in front of the computer even if it doesn’t really make us very happy. Why do we do so when we could be outdoors?
  • I freely admit that complimentary Chinese New Year dinners, cheap kangkung and many days off due to the abundance of public holidays in January are some of the perks of living here.

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