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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

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

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?

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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

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Tanda Titik

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Di dunia sastra, tanda titik adalah tanda yang memberhentikan sebuah kata, sebuah kalimat, dan bahkan sebuah cerita.

Di dunia dialog atau percakapan, tanda titik itu digunakan untuk memberhentikan sebuah perkataan dan pernyataan.

Di dunia nyata, menurut saya tanda titik itu adalah sebuah metafora dari kematian. Namun, apakah di dunia nyata kita akan menemukan tanda titik? Atau hanya sebuah koma? Atau malah banyak koma?

Orang bijak berkata, “Semua yang mempunyai awalan pasti akan mempunyai akhir.” Apakah iya? Apakah tanda titik itu sedang bersembunyi di bawah hidung kita? Atau apakah malah tanda koma  yang bersembunyi di mata kaki kita? Entahlah. Dan saya juga akan berkata entah jika anda bertanya kepada saya untuk apa saya menulis hal seperti ini.

Written by Reno Nismara

February 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm

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The Albums of 2008

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I want to open this post by saying, “Happy New Year!”. Sorry for the lateness and the rudeness. Let’s just hope that everything will change for the better, okay?

Now, it’s always a dream of mine to make my own “year end best of albums list” at a famous music magazine. Until I reach that dream of mine, I could only make my list at this blog, which are completely okay and awkwardly fun.

In this list, I only picked the five (plus five honorable mentions) best albums of 2008. Why five? Just because. Let me tell you that I chose these albums based on many things and I certainly did not chose these albums subjectively.

So, without any complains about the situations that are happening in the music industry, here are my top five (plus five honorable mentions) best albums  of 2008…

1. My Morning Jacket / Evil Urges.

mmj-evil-urges

Since their previous album, that was titled Z, I always wonder what will their album will sounds like after such a magnificent album. Honestly, I am not expecting too much from their new album, because it will be hard to followed such a magnificent album with another magnificent album. But, what do I get with Evil Urges? Brilliance. I was shocked and amazed with it. They’re not afraid to get spacier after such a spacey experience with Z. They even channeled Prince’s falsetto at the album title track. This is a brave album with such brilliance and such class. This is my best album of 2008. And no, I am not exaggerating.

2. Spiritualized / Songs in A&E.

spiritualized-songsinae

Like any other Spiritualized albums, this album generally talks about love, depression, and death. Unfortunately, there’s no Spiritualized album that can matched the beautifulness, the epic-ness, and the honesties of their critically acclaimed album Ladies and Gentlemen We’re Floating in Space. Until this album came out from the surface. From the first hearing, I have thought that this album is going to be the newest Jason Pierce a.k.a. J. Spaceman masterpiece and one of the best albums of 2008. Why? This is not your typical Spiritualized album. In fact, this is not your typical rock album. In this album, Jason Pierce bravely mantained the gospel sound of the band circa Let It Come Down, which doesn’t deliver well enough in that album. But, it doesn’t mean that Songs in A&E is not good. If in Let It Come Down the gospel is too over the top, the amount of gospel in this album is perfectly precise. Songs in A&E is not only good, but better than most of Spiritualized albums, which are also great. This album is heartbreaking (courtesy of the lyrics) and groundbreaking (courtesy of the musical compositions) at the same time. Jason Pierce, I salute you.

3. TV on the Radio / Dear Science.

tv_on_the_radio-dear_science-cover

I could only give this album two words. Fucking genius. And I could only give this band two words after this album. Fucking geniuses.

4. Fleet Foxes / Fleet Foxes.

fleet_foxes-fleet_foxes-cover

This album generally and uniquely talks about life. Why unique? Because they talked about all kinds of life, whether it’s a life at a real world or a life at an imaginary fairy tale world, which they told at an amazingly vivid kind of way.  Sounds familiar? Yes, it was already done before, but Fleet Foxes keeps it fresh and keeps it original by adding such glorious melodies and beautiful harmonies. This album helps the music industry at being fresh again. This is an original album by an original band.

5. The Kills / Midnight Boom.

the-kills

Surprised? Yeah, me too. In fact, I have never liked The Kills before, but this album blows me away. This is a very variative and flexible album. By mixing the beats of hip hop, artsy noise guitar, swaggering rock n’ roll riffs, and of course the rawness of punk, you can hear this album at a party, when you still have a hang over after last night’s party, when you’re having a conversation with some friends in a bar, when you want to be alone, when you’re in love, when you just got your heart broken, and of course when you’re on drugs. The music in this album has the perfect amount of swaggering and cockiness, but this album also has the perfect amount of naughtiness and plainness. This is the kind of album that makes you forget how to skip a track.

Honorable mentions:

– Fucked Up / The Chemistry of Common Life.

chemistry

– Vampire Weekend / Vampire Weekend.

vamp1

– Coldplay / Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends.

vivalavida1

– Bon Iver / For Emma, Forever Ago.

jag115full

– M83 / Saturdays=Youth.

saturdaysyouth-m83_480

Got different taste? Why don’t you tell me yours?

Stay Primitive

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Primitive.

That word is filled with negative things. Ancient, less sophisticated, lacking, isolated, untrained, and many other negative things.

Modern.

That word is filled with positive things. Up to date, new, intellectual, developing, change, and many other positive things.

That is what people think. The vast population of the world thinks that way. At least, the majority of planet earth thinks that way. But think about this, if there’s no primitive, there will be no modern. It’s the less sophisticated that made the intellectual, it’s the isolated that made the change, it’s the ancient that made the new. Stop thinking that the primitive is bad and the modern is good. It’s actually the opposite.

Imagine this, a group of people living with each other accompanied by only natural things. Imagine this also, a group of people living with each other accompanied by both natural things and also advanced technologies, like cell phone, internet, game console, et cetera et cetera. Which one will be better? As for me, it’s the first one. Why? If you don’t have anything to help you live your life, you’re going to make one that does so. You’re going to be more determined if you think like a primitive. And if you think like a modern, you’re going to sit on your ass all day, thinking about sex, money, and fame. Just like me, although I am trying hard to think like a primitive. If at the ancient time, the primitive can think of something new like making a fire without any knowledge about it by only using natural things, imagine what we can think of making in the modern time with many knowledges by using both natural things and sophisticated man made things.

If  Steve Jobs motivate the world by telling us to stay hungry and stay foolish. I am going to motivate you all by saying, “Stay primitive.”

Written by Reno Nismara

January 13, 2009 at 8:06 am

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