from #ladyinsatin to the addictive #mdna

A week ago, I plugged in my iPod into my computer and there was this dialog box asking whether I want to scan and fix this drive. I have seen this dialog box for dozens of times, but usually I ignore them. But that day, I decided to click on YES and voila, the result of my action was all the songs in that iPod were deleted. 

Let's not talk about how my reaction was to that silly mistake.

Anyway, my iPod was (is) fine, but I (did) need to put, to copy, to get some songs onto my iPod. The big question is which one? Before the incident, my iPod contained more around 200 albums (not many according to some of you, probably). It took me a while to figure out what I really wanted to listen to first, what are the essential  albums for me.

So here they are, in a random order.

LADY IN SATIN, Billie Holiday
Released in 1958, Lady in Satin was not critics' favorite at that time. But for me, it's so personal. Holiday's voice might not be as powerful as her early years, but it's definitely very emotional. It's recorded with full orchestral arrangements, I must admit at certain songs, certain music instruments might have stood up way too strong, but again, her emotion and how her voice vocalized that emotions will definitely captured your attention.

I read somewhere that during the recording of I'm A Fool to Want You, Holiday was actually in tears. Every song from Lady in Satin definitely worth my USD1.99, however if you're not really a fan, you can start with (1) I'm A Fool to Love You and (2) The End of A Love Affair (This one's my personal favorite - if I really have to pick!!).

LEGEND, Bob Marley and the Wailers
I will slap you if you have no idea who Bob Marley is, no matter how old you are. Come on, he's like THE legend, the KING! Two things about Bob Marley and me, Alex. First, if I could sing well, I would definitely be a reggae singer. Secondly, one of the songs that will definitely be on my wedding is Marley's Is This Love. I personally think it's the most romantic song ever written!

I think I first began listening to Marley on one of the trips to Bali and since then, even without my iPod, I can assure you my brain will always have Marley. Songs like Three Little Bird, Is This Love, Could You be Loved, I Shot the Sheriff, Waiting in Vain are definitely where you should start with if you never really heard of him before.

LIFELINE, Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals
This is what I think of Lifeline: A very clever combination between folk, blues, jazz and rock. I think one of my friends introduced me to this album and there were times, when I listened to nothing else but Lifeline. Call me crazy, call me sensitive or anything, but I think listening to certain songs from Lifeline at night escalate certain emotions. Really, I'm not kidding.

Songs like Fool for A Lonesome Train (heavy in blues and folk), Needed You Tonight (Oh BOY!), Paris Sunrise or Lifeline will haunt you, will stay inside your mind and make sure you emotionally drenched. A little note for Needed You Tonight is just a perfect song to listen to if you just had your heart broken.

I was accidentally introduced to Rumer, when I was looking for David Gates' Good Bye Girl. I'm a huge fan of the movie and somehow I found her version, and she's been in my playlist since then. If you ask me how to describe Rumer, I will that she's might sound like Dido singing songs from Carpenters. Rumer sings effortlessly. Every song in Season of My Soul is very light with voice resemblance the late Karen Carpenters. Still, I love this album and think that it should have get more attention that it really deserves.

MDNA, Madonna
Yes, I do need something to shake my bootie and MDNA might have successfully provided the tunes. Okay, I admit that MDNA might not her best effort, but it definitely (quite .. HAHAHA) stands out. It's a very well-constructed record. I like how Madonna contradicts one track with the next one. For example, she wants to kill her lover in Gang Bang, but then she admits that she's addicted to his love in the next track and so on.

If you're not a fan of Madonna, I understand. But it wouldn't be fair to insult her due to her age. I think she still look great. If you're not up to listen to the whole album, you can start with: Girl Gone Wild, Gang Bang, Turn Up the Radio, Superstar.

Other albums that I do listen to regularly are: Soundtrack of Midnight in Paris, Soundtrack of The English Patient, Tori Amos' Tales of A Librarian, Simply Red's Greatest Hits.

#ModusAnomali is not flawless, but still agreeable

Director: Joko Anwar
Stars: Rio Dewanto, Marsha Timothy
Year Released: 2012

Modus Anomali started with a man woke up in the middle of the forest and not able to remember almost everything, include his name. Later, he found that his wife was brutally murdered, pieces of information of the man is and suddenly it became a cat-mouse chase between him and the murderer. 

So we have probably seen the trailer of Modus Anomali since last year's INAFFF, haven't we? Probably some of you have heard about it even long before November last year. First time, I saw the trailer, I seriously rolled my eyes and asked: Why is it in English? Still until today, I consider that as the biggest flaw of Modus Anomali. (BTW, ANOMALI is not an English word).

Now, it's arrived.

I understand Joko Anwar's intention of being playfulness with his audience. How he might soak-up a great deal of pleasure while taking his audience to solve the mystery of the movie. However, although Modus Anomali can be considered fair in as a whole production, in some parts, it looks like it's trying too hard.

Anwar doesn't exactly give us a reason why the psychopath did what he did (to experience a great shot adrenalin is never good enough, #justsaying) although he feels that it's necessary for us to see how he did it. He took at least 15 minutes to explain the whole process and (probably) was hoping the audience had some regrets not paying a good attention to the movie. Unfortunately, many of us are not quite brain-dead yet, so we felt that 15minutes just drenched the whole mystery of the movie. 

Tips for you who haven't seen the movie: avoid sitting next to a row of young girls, they're giggling the whole movie. Seriously annoying. Yes, yes, we know that Rio is a handsome guy.

Probably I'm not in the right chair to compare Modus Anomali to Michael Haneke's works. But anyway, If you remember Funny Games or even The White Ribbon, Haneke didn't bother to explain anything. His movies just show a period of time as an event occurred and that's all. He left his audience to interpret why, how and sometimes he didn't leave an ending to it. 

I strongly believe Modus Anomali should have gone that way. Cut out the last 15 minutes and end the movie while the psychopath got in the car, made that phone call and just drove away. That at least 5 minutes driving scene could have been legendary. It's COLD! It's how a psychopath should be.

Still, I think Modus Anomali is quite agreeable.

Anyway, I'm heading to cinema for #TheAvengers! Exciting! 

hello there, dear void

So today (May 1), we commemorate the national Labor Day, which I myself must admit is quite interesting. Thousands and thousands of people currently are practically taking over Jakarta (Yes, that's me being dramatic). Not the whole the Jakarta, but probably the main business districts in Jakarta. My twitter timeline keep suggesting to avoid Sudirman and Thamrin area.

Anyway, despite the excitement everyone's having downtown, I feel a bit cranky these last few days. Due to that irregular unwanted emotional state of being, I really cannot find any contentment in my daily routines. I also believe I must write a "I'm sorry for being an a-hole" note to a few people at work and my maid at home. 

In case you have watched that movie, You've Got Mail, you'd probably remember there's a scene where Kathleen (that girl played by Meg Ryan) wrote an e-mail about questioning her life and how it might have been if she did or did not do certain thing. Well, I'm probably wearing those same shoes. Yes, maybe I don't have enough of sleep, maybe I'm quite tired or simply bad weather, I really don't know.

I feel a bit useless (I know, you probably are going to scream: again, Alex?). I feel that everything else going in a full speed while I'm a bit stuck. I feel that the first four months of 2012 has just passed by without me achieving anything significant. I don't remember doing anything memorable, neither at work nor everywhere else.

Yes, yes, I know. I have the options of doing or not doing things. I have the options to behave or not to behave certain way. But maybe like Kathleen Kelly, I'm sending this question out into the void without expecting any answers.

So, hello there, dear void! Thank you for listening.