Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lean and Mean?

The second Transformers movie comes with a new Linkin Park song for its sound track. I couldn't help but be excited.

It's the first time for me to hear the song New Divide. I was reading the comments and was a bit surprised that the audience find it too "What-I've-Done-ish." For the non-LP fans out there, What I've Done was the first single from their third album and it became a sound track for the first Transformers movie.

Mike Shinoda and the boys from Linkin Park were "hired" to create a song for the latest Transformers movie. The song New Divide was "customized" for Transformers 2. It's obvious it's "What-I've-Done-ish." That's what the movie-makers from Transformers liked in the first place.

I personally liked New Divide. It's a "big" song. I think it's the biggest one they've done yet, vocally and technically speaking. (Duh, it was made for big robots.)

I can describe Linkin Park's third album Minutes to Midnight in two words: Growing Pains. They have, in the process, lost their fans who got fixated with their Hybrid Theory success.

I've been enjoying their music ever since I was a geeky high school senior. That was freaking eight years ago. Mike Shinoda and the boys know their fans have matured in time as they have.

Their songs are starting to sound U2-ish and I believe that's the direction they want to go to. I have a feeling twenty to thirty years from now, the person who will replace Bono (the current rock icon) will not be a fellow golden-haired blue-eyed Briton such as he. He's going to be a dark haired half-American, half-Asian (Japanese, specifically) who raps.


A few weeks ago, I deleted some of my online accounts such as friendster, myspace and multiply. I have no specific reason why I did it. I just did. Friendster lost its “silbi” for me when I got tired of “spying” from my college classmates and previous officemates. I find it somewhat stupid to compare their so-called “successes” and otherwise with what I have. It sometimes adds pressure that I have to have this and that to avoid feeling envious. Myspace, I wasn’t using. It was just plain clutter. It was one of the reason I don’t have a facebook account. I’ve been warned that it’s intrusive. There are some personal facts I don’t want to show off public. I’ve only learned to behave myself online starting last year when I had this so-called “Orwellian” period where I went back to my entries ever since I had my blog. I edited and “salvaged” what I can. I deleted a number of hopeless entries. It was like re-writing the past. Multiply? Jack of all trades, master of none. I deleted my multiply account because it doesn’t link my blogger entries to its blog accordingly. It was simply inefficient.

There’s a deluge of free online services. Most are for socializing and others are tools to improve one’s craft: blogger for writing and photo bucket for photo enthusiasts. I made a decision a few weeks ago to stay with the bare essentials. With my current state of mind and finances, clutter isn’t a good thing.


I finished reading Haruki Murakami's South of the Border, West of the Sun. The first two books I read from him were Dance, Dance, Dance and Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Both two books had an unnamed protagonist in their mid-thirties and they had a “sidekick” in a form of a teenage girl who happened to be too mature for her age.

South of the Border, West of the Sun for me deviated a bit as the main character was named, Hajime, and there was an absence of this matured teenage girl persona. It was a story of an “ordinary” man who thought of himself as extra ordinary growing up because he was an only child. He had a childhood sweetheart named Shimamoto whom he somewhat described as “the one that got away.” The second main woman in his life was Izumi who became his teenage sweetheart. When they became adults, Hajime had second hand accounts of Izumi as a terrible woman who scared little children. It made him guilty as he felt he “destroyed” her by having a violent sexual affair with her favorite older cousin when they were young. It became the reason they broke up. The third main woman in his life became his wife, Yukiko. Her father made him wealthy turning him from a bored-to-his-skull school textbook proofreader to a man-of-the-world owner of a Jazz bar. Things became complicated as Shimamoto returned to Hajime’s life. He had a wife and two kids and there was too much sexual tension between them. And complicated was the best word to describe Shimamoto.

What I like about Murakami books are the obvious references to pop culture during his time. I’m not very familiar with the band Talking Heads but now I’m sure it was one of his favorites. I had injected music and bands that I liked most with my stories such as Linkin Park and Audioslave.

- Did I personally like it? Yes.
- As a writer do I get something out of it? Yes. I want to be able to write a “weird” story like he has in the near future.
- Would I recommend other people to read it? It’s easy to read, therefore yes. It’s not the type of book, quoting Jessica Zafra, you want to the throw at the wall saying “I don’t understand you, you old fart!”
- Will I read another Murakami title? Of course, next on my list are Sputnik Sweetheart and Norwegian Wood (the book that catapulted him to popularity).


collapsingbarrycade said...

Soundtrack aside, i'm really looking forward to watching Transformers movie.Saw the trailer and it looks better than the first, in terms of action-packed scenes.

on social networking: agree with you on decluttering.the bane of social media is the pressure of networking even with strangers and people who don't really matter--oftentimes, just for the sake of number. you are in the right track by limiting only to those that mean and are helpful to you.

bw said...

"A few weeks ago, I deleted some of my online accounts such as friendster, myspace and multiply. I have no specific reason why I did it. "

For social networking the likes of Facebook , Twitter and Plurk also made them obsolete methinks :)