a collection of thoughts by reno nismara

“It’s an orgasmic world” -Reno Nismara-

Those Shocking Shaking Days, Ulasan Lagu Demi Lagu

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Seperti yang kita tahu, Those Shocking Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Funk 1970 – 1978 telah menuai banyak pujian dari berbagai pihak, baik itu seorang ikon hardcore bernama Henry Rollins, pemeran Frodo dalam trilogi Lord of the Rings, maupun sebuah majalah Amerika Serikat dengan nama Spin yang memberikan antologi berisi 20 lagu dari band-band Indonesia terpilih pada dekade ’70-an yang sempat terlupakan ini nilai delapan dari sepuluh. Namun, bagaimana sebenarnya warna setiap lagu yang ada di album rilisan Now-Again Records milik Eothen “Egon” Alapatt ini? Saya mengulasnya lagu demi lagu.

1. Panbers – “Haai” (1972)
Ode untuk rock n’ roll dan psikedelia pada khususnya dan musik pada umumnya, lengkap dengan bebunyian sitar dan lirik “I like Beatles songs/I love Rolling Stones/I love Led Zeppelin/But also the Panbers I love”. Pada lagu ini, Benny Pandjaitan meneriakkan nada-nada tinggi yang mengingatkan kita akan vokal Perry Farrell. Hanya saja, vokalis Jane’s Addiction tersebut baru berumur 13 tahun ketika lagu ini dirilis.

2. The Brims – “Anti Gandja” (1972)
Lagu trippy yang meneriakkan semangat anti obat-obatan terlarang. Tidak ada lagi lagu dengan konsep se-paradoks ini dalam sejarah musik Indonesia.

3. Rollies – “Bad News” (1972)
Sebuah lagu funk yang menghentak seru karena kekompakan setiap personil dalam memainkan instrumennya masing-masing. Belum lagi, suara serak nan bertenaga dari Bangun Sugito, lebih dikenal dengan nama Gito Rollies, yang mengingatkan kita akan masa jaya “The Godfather of Soul”, James Brown.

4. Shark Move – “Evil War” (1973)
Sebuah antologi wajarnya memiliki lagu-lagu yang mewakili sisi uptempo dan sisi ballad, dan “Evil War” dapat mewakili keduanya. Shark Move meleburkan kedua sisi tersebut dengan takaran yang pas pada lagu bertema politik ini. Dan tanpa lagu ini, antologi Those Shocking Shaking Days tidak akan pernah ada.

5. Golden Wing – “Hear Me” (1972)
Kuintet asal Palembang, Sumatera Selatan ini menciptakan istilah “Indo Rock Sound”, yang mereka gunakan untuk menyebutkan musik yang menggabungkan melodi Indonesia dengan pengaruh musik Barat. Dan lagu ini adalah contoh paling tepat dari istilah tersebut.

6. AKA – “Do What You Like” (1971)
Lagu pertama dari dua lagu AKA yang ada di antologi ini diselimuti oleh aura pemberontakan kental yang tergambarkan dengan jelas dari lirik yang dinyanyikan oleh frontman tereksplosif dan paling teatrikal dalam sejarah musik Indonesia, Ucok Harahap.

7. IVO’s Group – “That Shocking Shaking Day” (1974)
Sebuah lagu pop psikedelik merdu nan apik yang menunjukkan bahwa band ini mendambakan demokrasi di Indonesia. Dari lagu inilah judul antologi Those Shocking Shaking Days berasal.

8. Ariesta Birawa Group – “Didunia yang Lain” (1973)
Suling yang mengalun merdu, perkusi yang primitif, gitar fuzzy yang bising, dentuman bass yang empuk, dan lirik melankolis soal putus cinta dengan sudut pandang multidimensional. Indonesia membutuhkan lebih banyak band seperti ini.

9. Terenchem – “Jeritan Cinta” (1971)
Sebuah ballad dengan suara gitar menyayat serta drum dan bass saling bersahutan yang berada di jalur yang sama dengan lagu-lagu dari band hard-rock asal Inggris, Egg.

10. Benny Soebardja and Lizard – “Candle Light” (1976)
Selain Shark Move, ini adalah band kedua dengan Benny Soebardja sebagai frontman pada antologi ini. Berbeda dengan Shark Move yang memainkan musik rock progresif, Benny Soebardja and Lizard mengusung musik funk manis yang mengasyikkan. Lagu yang ditujukan untuk teman dekatnya yang ketika itu baru saja meninggal ini bisa dijadikan sebagai bukti.

11. Super Kid – “People” (1976)
Sebuah lagu langka yang terdengar seperti diciptakan oleh seorang musisi jenius berkulit hitam dari roster label rekaman asal Amerika Serikat ternama, Motown Records. Begitu langkanya lagu ini, salah satu personil Superkid, Deddy Dores, ketika dihampiri untuk membicarakan lisensi lagu ini mengaku tidak ingat bahwa dirinya pernah merekam dan merilis lagu dengan judul “People”.

12. Koes Plus – “Mobil Tua” (1976)
Tanpa diragukan, mereka adalah band terbesar dalam sejarah musik Indonesia. Dan lagu yang dinyanyikan oleh Murry, drummer dan satu-satunya personil yang tidak memiliki darah Koeswoyo, ini adalah salah satu dari sekian banyak alasannya.

13. The Gang of Harry Roesli – “Don’t Talk About Freedom” (1971)
Harry Roesli, seniman papan atas Indonesia yang sering membicarakan soal ketidakadilan sosial pada lirik-lirik lagunya, menunjukkan kegeramannya atas rezim Soeharto pada lagu berdurasi 8 menit lebih 18 detik ini. Dan hebatnya, hal tersebut bisa ditangkap dengan jelas walau lagu ini dapat dikategorikan sebagai sebuah lagu instrumental.

14. Black Brothers – “Saman Doye” (tidak diketahui)
Kecenderungan oktet asal Papua Barat ini dalam menyanyikan lagu dengan bahasa Papua dan penggunaan kostum kesukuan pada setiap konser tidak menciptakan jarak antara mereka dengan pendengar yang masih buta akan kebudayaan Papua Barat. Terima kasih kepada aransemen-aransemen orisinil nan luar biasa yang mereka ciptakan, seperti pada versi funk-rock dari sebuah lagu tradisional Papua Barat ini.

15. AKA – “Shake Me” (1975)
Lagu kedua dari AKA pada antologi ini bercerita soal seks tanpa ikatan yang diiringi aransemen funk-rock dengan progresi beragam. Belum ada lagi band seliar sekaligus secerdas ini.

16. Rasela – “Pemain Bola” (1972)
Selain lagu-lagu yang tersebar di dalamnya, susunan lagu dari Those Shocking Shaking Days juga patut untuk diberi acungan jempol. Setelah sebuah lagu tentang seks, kita langsung diberikan lagu polos yang sederhana dan playful yang sesuai dengan judulnya, bercerita soal olahraga favorit masyarakat Indonesia, yaitu sepak bola.

17. Freedom of Rhapsodia – “Freedom” (1972)
“I don’t care if the government won’t stay out of my life/I want freedom, freedom like a bird/I want to walk and sleep anywhere I want”, begitulah keseluruhan lirik lagu ini yang dinyanyikan secara berulang-ulang. Dan hal tersebut sudah menjadi alasan yang cukup bagi seseorang untuk mendengarkan lagu ini. Plus, pada lagu inilah momen paling heavy Those Shocking Shaking Days berada.

18. Rhythm Kings – “The Promise” (1970)
Purba Bersaudara, kakak beradik yang menggawangi Rhythm Kings, adalah sekelompok straight edge sebelum Ian MacKaye mengalami mimpi basah. Terbukti dari prinsip 3M mereka, menjaga nama baik, menjauhi narkotika, mengutamakan sekolah, yang jauh dari konsep rock n’ roll. Namun, hal tersebut tidak membuat mereka lembek. Justru sebaliknya, seperti yang terdengar pada lagu ini.

19. Duo Kribo – “Uang” (1978)
Satu lagi lagu dengan Ucok Harahap di dalamnya. Namun, kali ini ia tidak bersama AKA, melainkan dengan Duo Kribo, band yang dibentuknya bersama vokalis God Bless, Achmad Albar. Lagu yang dipenuhi dengan pertanyaan kritis seputar alat tukar ini menjadi bukti bahwa nama besar mereka berdua bukanlah tanpa sebab.

20. Murry – “Pantun Lama” (1975)
Sebelum menjadi drummer Koes Plus, Murry sempat menjadi penyanyi solo. Seberapa besar kontribusi Murry dalam kesuksesan Koes Plus dapat terdengar di lagu ini, yang aransemennya tidak jauh berbeda dengan lagu Koes Plus yang terdapat di Those Shocking Shaking Days, “Mobil Tua”.

 

Tulisan ini juga terdapat pada situs Rolling Stone Indonesia.

The Albums of 2009

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Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come for another year end best albums of the year list. For me, 2009 is a better year for music than 2008. Why? Because there are more great records this year than in the previous year. Last year when I made this kind of list, I made the top 5 and 5  honorable mentions. And actually, it was pretty easy to pick those albums. But for the year 2009, it was very difficult to compile and pick which ones are the best. Want proves? Just listen to the great albums that was released in the year 2009 from the likes of Wilco, Manic Street Preachers, Bat for Lashes, Julian Casablancas, Phoenix, Fever Ray, Mastodon, Them Crooked Vultures, Wild Beasts, Florence + the Machine, The Swell Season, and even The Horrors.

But here are the ones that made it to the list…

1. Grizzly Bear / Veckatimest

I always thought that 2009 is the year for Animal Collective. Until this album came out. This is chamber pop at its spaciest. Melodious riffs, beautiful vocal harmonies, spacey layered guitars, catchy tunes, and many more aspects that makes this album the best of 2009. It’s at the same time complex and listenable without the need of further listening. In short, Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest is what The Beach Boys would have sounded like if only Brian Wilson’s father had sex with a sexy female Martian. 2009’s best album. Definitely.

2. Animal Collective / Merriweather Post Pavilion

Let’s just put it this way for this album: For me, Animal Collective should dedicate Merriweather Post Pavilion to the people who don’t believe that originality still exists in the present day. Sure, this album need further listening, but after further listening? This album will thrive inside your brain. And stays there until… I don’t know, because it hasn’t leave from my brain since the first time it thrived into my brain. The rawness, beauty, and of course originalities of this album really amazed me, even for the hundredth listening. How could such album exists? Pure brilliance.

3. Dirty Projectors / Bitte Orca

The combination between modern and traditional, difficult techniques and musical talents, and guitar melodies and vocal harmonies has never been so beautiful and touching before. Kinda like the musical arrangements of Frank Zappa with Rafiki, Timon, Pumba, Mufasa, Simba, and the whole Lion King characters as the singers. On acid.

4. The xx / xx

Who would have thought that a band who call themselves as stupid as The xx, titled their album xx, and used a white capital X letter with black background for their album cover could made a debut album so defining that from first hearing you can already determine the band’s signature sound? All they did was create a twisted yet romantic lyrics, combine two melodies (one Interpol-esque and one Interpol-esque), create simple basslines, make head hopping beats, and sing it wonderfully light. Oh, did I mention that they did all of those with no real drum kit? They did it with a marvelous play of drum machine instead. This album is a classic case of “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

5. The Flaming Lips / Embryonic

After their stunning audiovisual experience with Christmas on Mars, these manic Martians are back to make us a little playlist to accompany our long Uranus trip to celebrate Hanukkah on that planet. The pace might be slow for your taste, but it is stunning nevertheless.

Honorable mentions:

- Yeah Yeah Yeahs / It’s Blitz!

- Girls / Album

- Sonic Youth / The Eternal

- Japandroids / Post – Nothing

- The Pains of Being Pure at Heart / The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

If you don’t agree with what I have picked, then you should tell me what are your best albums of 2009. But if you agree, then we should meet up and start a band together.

Written by Reno Nismara

December 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm

The Final Gathering

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An artist painted the sky black
A dilettante said that it’s such a drag
But the devil didn’t care
All he wanted to do was glare
So he wore a full red suit
A pair of torn brown leather boots
And a wayfarer sunglasses
Finally, he kissed his missus

He levitated himself to the meeting location
The main gate is guarded by the two headed lion
After a long walk, he entered a room
A God, a prophet, a martyr, and a fake has just created a doom
God Himself, Jesus Christ, Joan of Arc, and Icarus all became loons
The devil felt that he should be better at home watching cartoons
Everyone in the room but the devil bursted into laugh
He wished his ear was deaf

The devil sat between Icarus and Joan of Arc
Suddenly the room became very dark
Someone in the room turned on the projector
The devil felt like a soap opera actor
God unleashed His droning sound
The other people in the room were suddenly bound
The projector projected a sentence which read, “When should we blow up the sun?”
Then everybody except the devil picked up their gun
Yes, everybody except the devil
He is not a rebel
He is just afraid
Afraid of the great big raid

The devil suddenly ran
He didn’t care if he’s going to be banned
As he ran, two big holes accidentally showed in the back of his red suit
Those two holes exhibited two white wing roots
Then he cried
He cried while he once again flew to avoid the flirts of the black coloured sky

“Black sky, goodbye.”

Written by Reno Nismara

September 20, 2009 at 5:27 am

Posted in Short Story

Tagged with , ,

Any Reason, God?

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Let’s get straight to the point, because who knows that the end will come too fast that I haven’t got the chance to finish this post. You have to read this post quickly too, because who knows the end will come too fast that you haven’t got the chance to finish reading this post.

Days ago, West Java and Jakarta was attacked by a seven-point-something richter scale earthquake. I was in Bandung when the earthquake occured. Sure, it was nothing compared to Aceh’s tsunami tragedy, but the latest earthquake occurence is surely the scariest earthquake experience that I have ever felt. After the earthquake, I saw my own reflection in the mirror. My lips were pale. I am very afraid at that time.

Hours later, there were rumours about a follow up earthquake. Not just an earthquake, but an eight-point-six richter scale earthquake. Fucking terror. I am afraid, of course. I even started to think whether it’s going to be the end of the world or not. Well, lucky for me, a rumour is just a rumour. Nothing more.

Enough about the earthquake.

Why do God created solar system and all of its habitants if in the end He decided to destroy all of it? What is His purpose of making us? What is our purpose? Is God too arrogant to explain all of this to us? Was God being irresponsible and reckless when He threw us here? Was God took the wrong choice when He chose Adam and Eve rather than the devil? Those were the questions that was flying around in my head shortly after the earthquake. I am not saying that I haven’t think about those things before, but the urge to find the answers to those questions really increase shortly after the earthquake.

Those questions, I have the answers for. It may not be good, but at least I tried.

To think of it, God created human being without no exact purpose known to mankind. There are no exact explanation about it. God also created natural disasters without no exact purpose known. Does God created natural disasters to see us human being suffers? After all, He likes to be worshipped. He likes to feel superior. Don’t believe? Thoroughly check your own religion’s holy book.

Since there are no exact explanation about those questions, we have to die first to get the answers. As for me, I like to think that God created the solar system, the habitants, and the natural disasters to have something to see. For me, we are God’s Real World. We are God’s The Osbournes. We are God’s Survivor. We are God’s Amazing Race. Heck, we are even God’s Laguna Beach. Yes, we are God’s own reality show. Maybe a life in heaven is not as exciting as life on planet earth and doesn’t provide as many great shows on the television as earth does. Like David Byrne said, “Heaven is a place where nothing ever happened.” So, in able to still be far more superior than human being, He decided to create a reality show with many characters in it, complex story with many layers, and a never ending episode filled with laughters that is caused by something funnier than any Scrubs’ jokes, sadness that is caused by something deeper than any soap opera scripts, conflicts more complex than any David Lynch’s movie, disasters more groundbreaking that God Himself is capable of.

Did you read this post quick enough to reach this point? Or did another calamity already take place? Well, all I can say is just good luck.

Written by Reno Nismara

September 5, 2009 at 12:02 am

Posted in Opinions

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The Alien Took His Last Extravagance

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Fool around. Listen to some music, then create some new ones.  Pop as much pills as he’s capable of. Smoke weed. Watch as much Scorsese as he can. Drink a full bottle of whiskey. Browse the world through a monitor screen. Smoke some more. Eat some munchies. Another reefer is rolled. Get tanned at the side of the beach while he smoke another joint. Fuck someone’s girlfriend. Watch as much Polanski as he can. Create a personal musical masterpiece. Drink a full bottle of vodka. Fuck the cheapest whore available. Watch as much Tarantino as he can. That are the exact order of activities that he probably does in the amount of one day. And no, he never sleeps.

His name is…, well, it’s not very important what his name is. The most important thing is he is the kind of man that can do whatever he likes. Plus, he is gorgeous. He’s the ultimate sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll kind of man. He will make Keith Richards looks like a fucking choirboy, if only he’s as rich as Mr. Richards. In fact, he don’t have much money. No, he don’t need any money.  All he need in his life is his freedom. But still, he can maintain his sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll life. And no, I don’t have any idea of how he does it. All I can say is, he really enjoy his life to the fullest. He is as free as the Polish when the TV news informed them that Adolf Hitler is dead, as free as a mother when she gave birth to her child, and as free as the best orgasmic experience you have ever felt. Such extravagance.

But soon, something will change.

“Knock… knock… knock…”

The man is sitting in his dirty and ripped sofa smoking a joint when his apartment door is producing a withered knocking. In fact, it is too withered and the man felt that there is something wrong with it. His sensitivity at sounds tells him that he never has a guess that knocked so witherly before. He glanced the clock in his apartment wall, the minute hand is pointing at number two and the hours hand is pointing a bit past number ten. To bury his feeling of curiousity, he put his joint in his black ashtray that is located  on the floor not far from his feet and wore his black dirty t-shirt.

“Knock… knock… knock…,” the withered knocking is produced again.

“Waiiitttt…!,” said the man as he approached his apartment door and guessing who is the withered-knocking-human behind his apartment door.

So, the man has arrived in front of his own apartment door and quickly turn the doorknob.

“Click.”

He open the door slowly.

The door is now completely open and the man can easily see who or what is behind his apartment door.

The man’s mouth is widely open. He want to scream but nothing can come out from his mouth. His eyes shows that he is completely surprised and afraid. He want to close his apartment door and ran back to his sofa so he can continue smoking his joint and forget about this incidence for the rest of his life, but he felt that his feet is nailed to the floor. He never felt this afraid before. What is standing in front of him is something that he never seen before.

Alien.

Yes, that is what standing in front of him right now.

But no, it’s not an alien.

The alien takes off his mask and shows the man his child face. It is a way to explain the man that the alien face is just a mask. Conversely, he is just a child that want to find someone different and unique that can take a good care of him. Strangely, the man still looks afraid. Very afraid. Then, the child cried.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————

A burning sound has indicated that the man’s joint has burn away. An occurence that also indicates that his extravagance has been stolen.

Written by Reno Nismara

July 6, 2009 at 6:25 am

Posted in Short Story

Tagged with , , ,

?

with 8 comments

Hello earth.

It’s been a long while since I blog. Want to know why? Yes, you’re exactly right! It is because of college! The last semester has been tiring. It will be completely okay if the classes aren’t boring. Lucky me, all the classes are fucking boring. Now, I am trying to blog before it gets busier in my college life and busy college life makes me too lazy to update my blog. Well actually, I just posted something hours ago, but it is not a storytelling kind of writing like this one is going to be.

Now, you must be wondering, “What’s with the question mark as the title of this smart ass’ post?” Well, it is because I haven’t got any idea what will I write about for this post. So, to solve this problem I will use a random method. The random that I mention here means that I will write about whatever pops from my brain and whatever my fingers tells me to write in the time of five seconds. So, shall I start?

The five seconds has ended in my counting.

Do you want to know what I will write in this post of mine? Really? Okay. The random method told me that my brain and my fingers wants me to write about love. Eh?

Well, okay, I admit it. It is already planned before that I want to write about love. Actually, I chose this theme because I felt that I owe you guys a story that I haven’t told you because of my busy and boring college life. Oh, and I want to make you all jealous.

“Love can’t be define and describe. It’s abstract and absurd at the same time. Some random quotes from either famous people or random ones can’t give you the answers about what love is. I am not even sure whether God himself can define and describe what love really is.” -Reno Nismara-

So, yes, I have a girlfriend. You must be wondering, “What kind of a girlfriend can this brainless monster have?” Well actually, she’s a kick ass kind of a girl. The kind that can kick your ass so hard, you will feel the kick from that monster from Cloverfield like a kick from a cute little puppy. Want to see her picture? Should I attach a photo of her in this post? Nah, I don’t think so. It would make you a lot more jealous than you already is. I pity you. Oh yeah, we’re going to have our third months anniversary in the 25th of June. Too fast to call it love? I don’t think so. You do think so? Well, you don’t know what we’ve been through, mate. We’ve seen the most beautiful ruin, we’ve travel the definite to the infinite, and we talk a lot. This has been wonderful for us. Isn’t that right, peach?

Written by Reno Nismara

June 12, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Posted in Opinions

Tagged with

Pig’s Farm

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Liars, corruptors, fakers, police, environmentalists, talk show hosts, hypocrites, junkies, politicians, lawyers, lovers, psychiatrists, gangsters, chief executive officers, geniuses, supermodels, bloggers, prophets, actors, students, entrepreneurs, fortune tellers, hackers, magicians, teachers, whores, accountants, journalists, photographers, alcoholics, poets, scientists, drivers, athletes, musicians, writers, directors, beggars, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandfathers, grandmothers, great grandfathers, great grandmothers, et cetera et cetera et cetera.

They’re all pigs, and they all live in this pig farm we call Earth.

Me, you, and everyone we know. Tragic.

Written by Reno Nismara

June 12, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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