a collection of thoughts by reno nismara

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

Posts Tagged ‘Art

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

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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 , , ,

Angan

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Hunuskan pedang sampai putus
Tanamkan jantung di tanah tandus
Arungi darah yang berarus
Jangan hanya berdiam di dalam kubus

Runcingkan taring
Atas bawah depan belakang samping
Pecahkan semua berkeping-keping
Jangan menunggu semua hingga kering

Tebas semua rintangan
Injak seluruh perasaan kehilangan
Lupakan semua kenangan
Gelap dan terang harus dijalankan

Namun semua hanya mimpi
Tak lebih dari ilusi
Aku hanya bisa bersembunyi
Dan membuat puisi menyedihkan ini

Written by Reno Nismara

March 14, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Posted in Poetry

Tagged with , ,

Coconut Shell

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Here I am, walking on the edge of the road in the middle of nowhere searching for something I don’t know, wearing only a plain white t-shirt that has holes everywhere because of the cigarettes that I have been consumed, dirty ripped blue jeans, and a dirty khaki Converse in a weather that is colder than any provinces in Russia, accompanied only by the sound of crickets and the sound of wind breaking the tall grass. Strangely enough, I am happy with this. Shivering, crossing both of my arms to make my body warmer, walking witherly, puffing the smoke that is caused both by the cold weather and the cigarette, and enjoying the sounds of crickets and wind.

Suddenly, a shot of bright heart blinded me for about 5 seconds before I can see where does the light came from.

1…2…3…4…5…

There it is. That’s where the heart light came from. It’s from the head light of a car and it stopped in front of me. I didn’t see that one coming, I don’t know why. Quite strange if I might say.

Along with the added seconds, my eyes is getting more and more focus to see what kind of car is it. It’s nothing like I have ever seen before! It looks like a coconut shell, the size is smaller than the smallest car ever, has only two wheels, and like I have said before the head light is heart shaped. The bright color is very unique, I have never seen a color like it before, so I don’t know what is the name of the color of the car. The car is magnificently unique. Then, I go to the rear side of the car to see what type it is. It has nothing except a car plate, which reads H 4 PY.

“Heeeeeyyyyyyyyy..!!”, the passenger suddenly shout in an odd husky voice. Though, I can tell from the sound that it’s a woman.

I approach her and I was surprised with how she looks. She is very pretty. Too pretty for a voice like that. The voice that sounded  like an old muffler that I heard only seconds ago is completely overshadowed by her perfect face. Her beautiful bright blue eyes shown that she noticed my surprise.

“Sorry, I didn’t meant to be rude by looking at your car with such curiosity”, I said.

“It’s alright, son. I am just calling to give you a ride. Where you headed?”, replied the pretty woman enthusiastically with her husky voice, while she move her head towards me.

“Somewhere”, said I nervously.

“Poor boy. C’mon, hop in!”, said the pretty woman with such happy face and all.

I smiled and think and worried.

“C’mon, son. Do not worry! We won’t do something to harm you”, said the pretty woman as if she can read what is inside my mind. Then she followed it by, “Isn’t that right, my handsome husband?”

Suddenly, a man’s head is appearing from the driver’s seat beside the pretty woman.

“Yes, it is right, my pretty wife”, replied the man. Unlike the pretty woman, his voice is normal. Just like any ordinary man.

“Hello, sir”, I replied. It’s quite dark inside the car, so I must take quite a long time to see the man’s face.

“Hello to you too. Get on, son. I promise I won’t do you any harm”, said the man, while he move his head towards me. And what a face it is. He looks like a man in a magazine cover that was published in the 1950’s. It’s a classic gentleman face that only a little number of people have it nowadays.

They are a perfect couple. Beautiful, happy, and looks perfect for one another.

“Okay. Thanks, sir and madam. You’re all wonderful”, I said, trying to praise them and thank them all at the same time because of their graciousness.

I stepped into the backseat of the amazing and wonderful car with my right leg first, then the rest of my body followed. Then, a funky smell goes through my nostril, the smell of hot coffee and fried onion combined. No, it’s not my sense of smell that is too good, it’s the smell that’s too acute and too funky. Unlike the exterior part of the car that is very magnificent and unique, the interior is very simple, actually it’s too simple and common, not to mention its darkness. The interior is filled with black color. I look around the car just to make sure if this is the same unique coconut shell car that belongs to a lovely and happy couple that I met just a few minutes ago. It is very monotone and boring if I might say.

“What’s wrong?”, said the man.

“Nothing, sir”, I replied while I close the car’s door. Maybe it’s just their taste at car’s interior design, I said in my head.

Then, the man step on the car’s pedal slowly to make the car running.

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

It’s eight past twenty in the P.M. said the car’s clock. Fifteen minutes has past inside this coconut shell car. Neither of the people in front of me has say a word. I can’t even hear them inhaling and exhaling the air. They don’t even turn the radio on. Oh wait, there are no head unit. Silence accompanied me along the trip. It was silence that I breathe. It was silence that I chewed. It was even silence that I heard. Where are the happiness and the cheerfulness from the beautiful couple that are easily detected sixteen minutes ago? Where are the colorful and unique car that I first saw twenty minutes ago? Where? Where? Those are the questions that are running around inside my mind, waiting to be vomited. This is not what I had in mind when I said yes to their offer, I am hoping for a more colorful trip, not a plain and pale one like this. This fifteen minutes along the trip felt like one hour, and no I am not exaggerating.

Five minutes later, nothing different happened.

Ten minutes later, just about the same.

Twenty minutes later, same old same old.

Thirty minutes later, I can’t stand it. This must be the most boring moment in my life. Drown in silence and emptiness, plainness and nothingness in about thirty minutes. Wait a minute, the car’s clock shown that it is eight past twenty three in the P.M. It’s only been three minutes when I felt like it’s thirty? Holy shit. I should stop here, this is not working for me. Too empty and pale for my taste. Fuck.

“Excuse me…”, I said whispering.

Both the pretty woman and the man are surprised with my whispering voice. It looks like they are as surprised as if there’s a rumbling lightning near them.

“What is it, son?”, said the man hesitantly.

“Sorry, sir and madam. I didn’t mean to surprise you. I just want to tell you to drop me off here”, I explained.

The man step on the brake pedal to stop the car and said, “Are you sure, son?”

The pretty woman turn her head towards me and said, “Is this your destination?”

I was surprised with the way how the pretty woman is not pretty anymore. She looks older than before, and also fatter.

“Yes, it is”, I replied fastly, so that I can get out of this emptiness as soon as possible.

“Where is this, son?”, said the man while he also turn his head towards me. He also doesn’t look as classic as before. He is too classic. Too old if I may be precise.

“Somewhere”, I replied.

“As you wish then, son”, the man said as if he’s a genie that is fulfilling my wish.

I get out from the car as quick as possible as if I am drowning in the middle of the deepest sea known to mankind in need of a sniff of fresh air. Too quick, I stumble upon something inside the car and fell on the hard asphalt.

“Thank you, sir and madam”, I said while I am trying to stand on both of my feet. “Sorry if I have become such bother for you”, I continued while I check if there’s any blood around my face, which there isn’t.

“You’re welcome son. It’s a pleasure for us”, said the pretty woman.

Without saying anything more, I ran as fast as I could. While I ran, the sound of the coconut shell car is slowly disappearing. Without waiting for so long, the sound of the coconut shell car has completely disappeared, so I stop running and light my cigarette.

Here I am again, walking on the edge of the road in the middle of nowhere searching for something I don’t know, wearing only a plain white t-shirt that has holes everywhere because of the cigarettes that I have been consumed, dirty ripped blue jeans, and a dirty khaki Converse in a weather that is colder than any provinces in Russia, accompanied only by the sound of crickets and the sound of wind breaking the tall grass. Shivering, crossing both of my arms to make my body warmer, walking witherly, puffing the smoke that is caused both by the cold weather and the cigarette, enjoying the sounds of crickets and wind, smiling happily, and feeling relieved.

 

Dedicated to all kinds of couple, whether it’s the married couple, cohabit couple, divorced couple, cheating couple, underage couple, or even gay couple. Be who you are, don’t hide your true self inside your cage.

Written by Reno Nismara

January 24, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Posted in Short Story

Tagged with , , ,

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?

Inconsistent Ignorance

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In these new days,
Do you see disappointment all over my face?
Or do you see grace?
Are you amazed?

Sometimes I do holy, sometimes I do sin
Riding in the trolley, the devil just grin
Corrupted by the society
I live my life inconsistently

“Ride the snake”, said Jim
“Ride the Jaguar”, said the man in green
Don’t know what to choose
Maybe I better do the blues

The coffee is black and the milk is white
To live is a drag, but to die is a fright
Don’t know what to choose
Maybe I better lose

Written by Reno Nismara

January 1, 2009 at 8:38 am

Posted in Poetry

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