・:* l o n e l i w i s h 

favorite albums

The OK Thing to Do on Sunday Afternoon Is to Toddle in the Zoo by My Little Airport Night Falls Over Kortedala by Jens Lekman Nothing Feels Good by The Promise Ring I Wonder Why My Favorite Boy Leaves Me An EP by The Marshmallow Kisses Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens


"J-Boy" by Phoenix. Ti Amo (2017)
It's the way melancholy sometimes shimmers. The little abyss and bluelace agate you become in clublight. Translucent and heavy with the booziness that inheres in heartbreak. For how measurably successful his indie pop/rock outfit once was, Thomas Mars is an often overlooked songwriter. His music exists in a similar space as The Strokes' bouncier fare (think "The End Has No End," "Tap Out," "Welcome to Japan"), but there does not seem to be a comparable popular enthusiasm for Phoenix. Mars' voice is softer, sweeter, mostly void of the gravel and anger of Casablanca's. It's a voice that might belong to a sensitive aesthete, in keeping with his indie-pop leanings.

It's a shame Phoenix isn't more talked about. Some of their songs, like this one, are so beautifully moody.

band writeups

album cover of The OK Thing to Do on Sunday Afternoon Is to Toddle in the Zoo
The OK Thing to Do on Sunday Afternoon Is to Toddle in the Zoo

✈︎ 1: my little hen

When I was 14, my (then-newly met, but now best-) friend Hen showed me my little airport's debut. You'd like this, Hen might have said, forgoing the ungainly title. A pair of school chums linger by the window. The slighter of the two sways so near the other their faces seem to touch. It is a snapshot so highexposure that the world outside comes through only as purewhite effulgence (the nothing that is memory) into which the subjects in their white polos blend, or from which, maybe, they ultimately emanate, consubstantial.

This didn't come from nowhere. Hen and I talked music pretty often. Or, more exactly, once a week at VSA, over lunch. Vietnamese Student Association, held at lunch in an English classroom, had a special vibe to it like that of an elementaryschool movieday. Against the backdrop of a space that is usually more regulated and cold, the sense of leisure and warmth is actually redoubled. You feel the absence of restriction. We scooted our desks and rolling chairs out of line with their usual equidistant intervals to chart a path closer to our friends.

Looking around, we know who we are: we are, all of us, just some students, basically. Students in a club. Of course this kind of belonging is never to last. We would be, for the most part, shuttled off, down (mostly) unshared career paths. Slowly, so you wouldn't think to ask (ask who?) to stop or slow down until it was too late. And either our more fluid identities were poured into the gelatin mould of our professions, or we resisted alterations to the shapes of our souls at the cost of a persistent feeling of nonbelonging.

Alienation isn't a choice. You can have your best friends forever, but the vast majority of the relationships that comprise your current social milieu disappear into nothing if you're switching schools, jobs, cities. There is no hope to hold on to everything, so we try to hold on to what we can.

On reflection I believe one of the club members may have had a crush on me, which I was oblivious to and did not reciprocate; and one of my friends had a crush on a different club member nothing came of, who was not aware of that, nor was I until recently. These feelings, the intertwinings of romance, friendship, a lovely present that gently gives way to an immeasurable emptiness, this is where the story of My Little Airport begins for me.

Today, in March in 2012, Hen and I were discussing about Kumisolo's debut, My Love For You Is A Cheap Pop Song, one of the first CDs I ever bought, which I still have to this day. After giving MLFYIAPS a good listen or two, Hen diagnosed me as a twee pop fan, and guessed MLA would be right up my alley. It makes sense: both albums feature amateur production, lots of cute toyish synths, and soft whispery vocals--though MLA is both less twee and less pop than is Kumisolo. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

When I got home, I looked up what the word twee meant; Google offered this borderline offensive definition: 'excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental." It wasn't until years later that I found out twee pop here was not being used an insult, but as a more or less neutral description of the genre of music I liked. (A genre of music whose name was a reclamation of an insult, but still, there's a certain difference.) And so, not knowing what they really meant, the words impressed themselves on my mind like a seal: they represented nothing less than my divine fate, stamped on my forehead in black ink. Yes, my fate had been sealed then and there, and, like a seal caught in those bulkbuy sodarings, no matter how I twisted and flailed, I could not escape, and my flesh became ribboned with the blush of light abrasion.

...Just a preview.
Sorry the rest of this is being worked on in a private document.
I'll post it when it's fully complete.

Ah P and Nicole Au ambling by a grave
Mei Foo Sun Chuen, the 80,000-resident, 13,110-residence, 99-tower private housing complex, housing complex where Ah P grew up.