A Start with WordPress App

Been a while since my last post. What an unproductive blogger I am indeed. But hopefuly it’ll  change since I’ve got this wordpress app on my phone *grin*
Hello wordpress!

As a start, I wanna write a lil about what has bumped into me this past week.

I fall in love at the first bite with Ootoya’s tofu salad. My taste bud got a chance to try it at Ootoya Kemang Village. It’s really delicious. The tofu is so soft and easily melt once it finds its way in my mouth. The mix between anchovies and seaweed sheet give off a savory taste. Unlike Sushi Tei’s tofu salad, the dressing used in Ootoya’s is broken-white paste. Unfortunately, I can’t yet identify the dressing ingredients.

image

The yummy tofu salad

Another thing going on with apps. But this time is Google Chrome’s apps, Band of The Day, which I’ve got on my office pc recently. Like its name suggests, it features a new musician each day. For Sep 17, the turn goes to American Authors, a 4-membered band from Brooklyn, USA. Of all the songs featured, I like ‘Believer’ the most for its catchy tunes and anthem- like reffrain. I can almost hum the reffrain all day.

image

A screen cap of the app

Other artist whom I pay attention is Yuna, a Malaysian singer who happens to be a hijaber. She is on the trending band. Her songs sound ‘less crowded’ than any songs I’ve been listening so far. I sense honesty when I hear it, I dunno why. They are perfect as daydreaming soundtracks :)

I enter a saving mode now to pay the bills and to plan another goaway. Wish me luck!

Juno and His “STYLE”

I like JYJ’s Kim Junsu. No doubt about it. And I think it’s natural if I want to know more about anything related to him, like his twin brother, Kim Junho. When I know Junho – or Juno, his Japanese stage name – has musical activity in Japan, I didn’t jump right into listening to his music. Only recently do I have the feeling to do so.

Despite Junsu’s renown vocal ability and musical achievements, I don’t have any assumption nor expectation on Juno’s music. They both different people who are likely to produce different kind of vocal and music.

I listen to Juno’s first album “STYLE”, released on October 17, 2012 under a Japanese label Rhythm Zone. The album is of pop genre that consists of 10 songs: 7 slow songs and 3 upbeat songs.

Image

JUNO STYLE

When I start listening to it, my notion proves me right. I think Juno has a shorter range vocal and sounds best in middle notes, while we know Junsu’s voice is broader in range and can reach higher notes. But Juno’s sounds more manly. I catch much less expression from his a-bit-husky voice and much fewer improvisation.

The first time I listened to “STYLE”, I thought his voice wasn’t too suitable for upbeat songs. His sounded a bit weak in parts that were possible for powerful vocal or high notes.  I hoped something more on his slow ones. However, contrary to my expectation, his slow songs mostly didn’t leave me impressed and were easy to forget. In both type of songs, I rarely heard any improvisation in his vocal.

After the second hearing, I concluded I liked him better in upbeat songs because the strong beats complemented his voice. In doing so, the songs were becoming more pleasant and entertaining to listen to. I’ve also found songs that are my favorites in the album. “Fate” is the kind of song that can always play in my head, while “Look At Me” is the first slow song that I happily sing along. I’d also add “Everything” in my favorite list since it appears as an oasis in the middle of a desert of average slow songs.

What I like from this album is it sounds so Japanese despite being sung by a Korean. Most K-singers who try their luck in Japanese market sing their Korean song translated into Japanese, so basically it sounds Korean style. But Juno’s album is the exception. It is most likely part of his label’s strategy for Juno to be able to be accepted by the market. But then again, I think Juno will be mainly based in Japan rather than in Korea. So it makes sense. Being familiar and falling in love with J-pop first, then with K-pop, my nostalgic ears are stimulated and my heart warms upon hearing it.

Writing  such less favorable comments have left me doubtful about myself not having certain assumption on Juno’s music as I said before. Having been impressed by his younger twin’s work, I think, deep down, I kind of expect something similar from him at least. But of course, it’s not the case here.

My little brain has tried to analyze why Juno isn’t impressive with “STYLE”. Probably he hasn’t got suitable songs that work well with his voice or he still needs improvement in the singing technique. I can’t be proud of my knowledge in any singing technique either but my point is I think he still has much more explorations to do in his music.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to find any info whether Juno composed or wrote lyrics of any of the songs in “STYLE”. Otherwise, I can compare his self-composed songs to Junsu’s. What I know is he has lent his lyrics writing skill to Junsu’s solo album in songs like “Tarantallegra”, “Fever” and “I Turn Around and Around”. And his lyrics in “Tarantallegra” is my favorite in Junsu’s album by far. So he may be more of a lyricist guy. But it’s interesting and I’m hopeful to wait for his next musical venture in the future.

My overall conclusion of Juno’s “STYLE” is it will not be in my list of favorite albums of 2012 but I still can find time to listen to it because the Japanese composing style has helped me like the album in general.

credit to: generasia, avexnetwork, junojunho

PS: During finalizing this post, I’ve just known that Junsu’s digital single “Thank U For” is released. Juno is the co-lyricist alongside Kim Jina ^^

My First Tony Moly Items ^^

Since JYJ has endorsed Tony Moly, I look forward to buying any of its products. And finally I can get my hands on them today.

I bought a Party Lover Auto Eyeliner 01 Black and a sachet of Dr. Tony AC Control Spot Patch. I must control myself not to buy more than I need despite many interesting – and cute packaged – items.

Based on my quick observation, the price of Tony Moly skin care products are cheaper than Etude and it has more varieties of lip products.

Here is my shopping spree ^^

Image

Tony Moly Eyeliner & Spot Patch

I think I’ll buy more product when the time I need it comes and after I search the ingredients online.

Fangoods to Drool Over: Siwonlover’s name cards & Caffe Latte’s Stickers

My package from Hongkong has arrived! Four Siwonlover’s name cards and two sets of Siwon’s Caffe Latte stickers.

Image

Thanks a million to my dear fellow Siwonlover staff, Natally, who sent me these beautiful fangoods.

The name card has two sides. One side with Siwon’s photo and the other contains Siwon’s drawing made by Somei, a talented Siwonlover staff from Iraq ^^. The cards were given out by Natally at SS4 Encore in Seoul last May. One of mine is now hung at Cozzi & Friends Restaurant (Korean restaurant) at Gandaria City, Jakarta.

Image

There are nine stickers with different poses of Siwon. I wanna stick one of them on my EZ-link card or my Jakcard :) Oh, which one should I choose? LOL…..

XIA Junsu in Jakarta: His Own Music, His Own Performance

Image

Hardship is seen as challenge and opportunity for people with creative mind. It turns a person into someone better by utilizing his own recognized strength or by exploring his untouchable potential. When I saw Xia Junsu Concert in Jakarta on June 16, 2012, I knew Kim Junsu was one of these kinds.

I will not go over again what hardship he has been enduring. It is part of his life history that has taken him to become what he is now.

I was lucky to be among 2,500+ audiences to witness the transformation of Junsu’s image from a cute boy into a grown-up man. He surely had optimized all the qualities he had been well-known for – the voice, dance and composing skill – into the next level to present the music and performance that were more of him. I got to see bolder and sexier sides of him during the whole show.

I must say that his Tarrantallegra album visual concept is unexpected; offering powerful, more sensual and androgynous style. And he brought up this style on the stage successfully. Costume wise, his blue suit with spiky shoulder pads and walking stick when he sang ‘Breath’, white long coat, body-fitted leather clothes during his musical numbers and sleeveless shirt matched with gold pants backed this up.  I also saw hint of influence from his musicals in his bolder eye make-up. And his blue-dyed spiky hair – a courtesy of being in Indonesia for the first time – complemented the visual well.

As a solo performer, his dance was just as amazing as his in JYJ. I could feel the passion and discipline in his dancing, like in ‘Breath’, ‘Tarantallegra’ and ‘Fever’. He was also confident to show his sensual side and thus stirred the heart of the audience, especially female ones, when he posed, acted and danced with three sexy female dancers in ‘Lullaby’. I’d be more than happy to replace that one female dancer who acted sexy with him in the beginning of the song (fangirl alert :P).  It reminded me of something I had read somewhere on the net that fans said Junsu was likely to show this side, if possible, by the fact that he wrote ‘Intoxication‘.

But the sexiness was more than met the eyes. It lied in his ability to give the right emotion to a song and to transfer it to the audience. It was this attitude that won over many fans’ heart. When he sang three songs of his musicals (Elisabeth and Mozart), he kind of re-created the atmosphere of the musicals. He did it wonderfully with good acting and stage control. I felt I was in one. That was my moment of awe during the show. He sang all the songs live and his voice remained clear to hear even though he danced, too. I was sure everyone loving his ballads songs were so immensely entertained by his powerful and pleasant voice.

The stage was simple but equipped with good quality backgrounds during the show and fireworks. A video clip showed Junsu’s hard work to prepare for the concert and the cities where he had his first solo concert. The choosing of ‘I Can Soar’ as the background song for this clip was kind of self-explanatory. He was meant to do what he had been doing because he was capable and was willing to do it. And it was time he showed it to the world.

But Junsu didn’t want us to forget the nice Junsu. A so-called ‘angel’ he had been known for so long who acted cheerfully and cute. He fulfilled three wishes from the audience. So we got to see his cute signature aegyo (I couldn’t believe he still wanted to do this), his sexy dance (again) and ‘bambaya’ word out of his mouth.

I think he managed in his attempt to bring out his own music and performance last night. It was like a statement that differed him from his previous works. Of course, it was impossible if he didn’t take a risk to go through all those hurdles back then. I’m looking forward to see more achievement he will make in the future. Junsu, fighting!

STOS Time Is Back!

I find this old article in my folder and think it’ll be nice to post it in this blog. I still feel the excitement when rereading it.


STOS time was back! On 9-10 April 2011, some of STOS volunteers and veterans met at Shinju Apartment, Cilandak. Fortunately, I could join them. We talked about the finalization of STOS 2010 report, the next program for STOS 2012 and who was in charge of each program as well as the institutionalization of STOS.

For each agenda, we were divided into small groups to discuss different aspect of it. Then we presented the discussion result, got commented and then drew a conclusion. Nice and efficient way to address many things.

On STOS 2010 report discussion, among other things, the issue of institutionalization came up from all groups. We would have liked to have a clear idea of what STOS was as an institution. Sounded serious for a film festival? You bet! But this was an important thing because it ensured the sustainability of STOS as a film festival, especially funding wise. The idea to have a consortium composed of all recent pioneering organizations was proposed in the discussion. It would supervise a Festival Board who would act as the acting agent to run STOS. This perspective was given by Dimas who had shared about the struggling condition of most film festivals in Indonesia in terms of finance.

Talking about the program for STOS 2012 was always exciting. Exploration of ideas was the key. Some previous programs were continued and some new program would be in place. The discussion was heated at times. Like in my group, when we talked about the award for noncompetition film. But wasn’t it the great part of brainstorming? ^^….. After all the talkings, we decided to do a road show, comic panel competition and fotonovela competition as pre-festival activities. On the D-day of festival, there would be film screening (of course!) and exhibition. The details of these would be discussed later.

When it comes to person in charge, we were asked by Mbak Mai, as discussion moderator, to put our name on the activity we wanted to take part. This was kinda different from the last time when the volunteers’ role was rather chosen by the main organizing committee. This way, I hoped we would remain consistent in doing the task. I, myself, was a bit confused to choose between Road show and Competition. But finally, I jotted down my name on Road show because I wasn’t so sure to have enough time for other activities. Elita and Wina (they were so lively :)) joined me in the team! In the end, the STOS 2012 event coordinator who would lead all teams until the D-day was elected……and it was Boy!

To me personally, being able to take part in the discussion was like a spark in my almost routine life. I got so excited! I also could meet friends whom I felt comfy with as well as get to know new friends.  But the most important thing was taking part in this film festival was my way to do something for Mother Earth.

I had a good feeling this festival would be successful in reaching its vision. Finger crossed!

*STOS (South to South) is a biennially film festival which showcases environmental, social and political issues at national and global level. More info can be found here.