Another tease will come along with everything I don’t want






Richard Wilson’s 20:50 at the Saatchi Gallery is my favourite room in London.














London: all taken on Kodak UltraMax 400 film with a Nikon F3.

Tomorrow, I’ll have lived in Dublin for three whole weeks. Not including any holidays I leave the country for, I’ll be in Ireland for 110 days; all up, 155 days away from New Zealand.

Until this year, I have never travelled so much in such a short span of time before. It’s been a jam-packed tumultuous ride. And even though it’s not for very long, I’m glad that I finally have four walls to call  “my room”.

I arrived in London on August 12th, ditched my suitcase, and spent the next three weeks hopping around on a bit of an odd itinerary. Along the way I picked up a cold, which turned into a traveler’s cough through a shitton of second-hand smoke at a music festival, then developed into bronchitis by the time I arrived in Dublin. I caught up with old friends and made new ones. I saw my favourite metal band from ten years ago, and have a newfound obsession with Jamie xx’s In Colour. (I’m digging his new-and-improved live set — so far, no one else has made me dance like that before.)

It’s strange and scary how easily we can make a new place “home” for a while. I had only been to London for a couple of weeks earlier this year, but the city felt so strangely familiar. During my five short days in London, I had developed little routines and habits already. It was sobering to realise that I didn’t hesitate between the train and tube at Liverpool Street station, when all the tourists around me were flipping out their maps and apps, standing in the way. After flitting around Europe, London and my mate’s flat had felt like “home”. And indeed, it will very likely become “home” for a while, probably in the next handful of years or so. It’s just such a strange feeling, to have made “homes” out of so many eclectic places, in such a short space of time.

At the moment it feels like I’m the only exchange student intending on “doing uni”. I have to write my honours dissertation whilst I’m here, and I’d like to do better than barely scrape a pass in my courses. I’m trying to get involved in campus life like I never have before, and I’ve thrown myself into uncomfortable situations that I never would have back home (where is home?!). So far, that has manifested in the form of reading pretty out-there poetry to a group of people at a Lit Soc event, and I also plan on trying out camogie later this week. I had a lengthy and rather intimate chat with a gallery owner whilst perusing art galleries alone, and even befriended a sort-of-lost American on the street, who then bought me a beer.

I have too many rolls of undeveloped film and a backlog of research to tend to. I’m feeling excited but exhausted, displaced and distracted, and utterly, thoroughly alive — yet surreal. This playlist is called “september”, but I’ve had some of these songs on repeat since late-July. It doesn’t encompass the hip hop and dancier aspects of the past month or so, but is otherwise fairly representative of my headspace. I need to learn to be happy and content in little, small ways, without being crippled by the fear of stagnation and complacency. Here’s to trying to keep on trying things.

all your words are so magnetic, generational pathetic. and I will do it on my own again, and I will say what I will

There are those rare, rare moments that make me perk up and feel thoroughly, substancelessly euphoric. Moments where I feel the most clear-headed, yet hazy at the same time.

Clear-headed because for a few short minutes or partial-hours, it feels so obvious — what else could be the point to everything? And hazy as the scarce appearance of pure happiness couldn’t feel more inebriating. I expected a good show, but I didn’t expect this.

I’m a sucker for atmospheric music with honest lyrics, and Beach Fossils nailed it on the head. Dustin Payseur’s banter carried well throughout their set, being the type of frontman that never said too much or too little. Having experienced too many awkward singers that carried jokes into the land of cringe, I was pleasantly surprised to be chuckling along to his assertions that they were [ridiculous fake band name] and that “Beach Fossils are next”. And whether or not the stories are true, there were touches of surprising intimacy when he explained what the songs were about, even introducing one as “this song sucks”. Other band members chimed in with suggestions such as “everyone should crowd surf at the same time” and they engaged in faux-fights, trying to push each other off the stage whilst playing.

Dustin hopped off the stage in what my drunken friend mistook as a crowd-surf-attempt during “Clash the Truth” and they ended up on a pile on the ground. Maybe I’ve been too bogged down by the daily slog, but it was just so much fun.

I really didn’t care that I had only slept two hours the night before, already endured a 10-hour day, or that I had a full schedule of law lectures and then tutoring to dread. For the first time in a long time, everything fell away and I didn’t care, didn’t worry and didn’t feel. I didn’t mind that I hadn’t done my readings for class, or that my recital charts weren’t finished. I forgot that I had dirty hair and was sweating from being in my own little bubble. Because for once it was a happy bubble.

To add an even sweeter ending to the evening, at the end of their set, they hopped off the stage and hung out with leftover fans like us. It was the second time in my life that I’d ever felt any level of fan-girl-ness*, and I ended up gushing to Tommy the drummer about how I really dig his time feel. Turns out, he’s actually jazzically trained (somewhere prestigious, on a different instrument) so I guess my ears weren’t lying! Jazz schools and music training aside, what a nice, genuine guy.

I think… it was just so lovely of them. To have played a great show, and then hung out and chatted to us. I don’t know if they’ll remember the moments and words exchanged, but that doesn’t matter. I’ll remember it, and regardless of how fleeting, I found some pretty intense happiness on a fucking stormy Tuesday night. I hope they survived their 40-hour trip to Brazil and didn’t lose any instruments on the way.

When I bought tickets, all those months ago, I had obsessively listened to them whilst studying and expected a good show. I’d thought, Diiv was amazing live, I’m sure the band they spawned from could do just as well. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I can get all analytical-music-student about it, but it’s not about just the music. It was the vibe, the honesty, the atmosphere, the ambience in the things sung and left unsaid. Just some cool guys doing what they love. They were mindset-altering, to say the least. I guess I had better work on an excuse to go back to New York soon?

*The first time being when I met Nick Zinner and it turned out he liked my photos enough to get me a press pass.

P.S. This really sounded like a half-review, half-ramble and I really don’t know what the point in this post was. Nor do I know where this blog is going, but I am going to write more. Maybe not blog more, butwrite more. I know bloggers these days are all trying to find a “target audience”, have specialised blog posts such as “Music Mondays”, etc., and some even monetise their blogs — but I really can’t operate like that. Sure, I write for “someone”, unnamed, uncertain, out there, but I never know who that is until I get the odd comment or email that really connects with me or something I said. Well anyway, this is just an archive of a tiny portion of things I see and do and feel and hear.

I’ve wasted all my daylight

Part of a series of photos I exhibited in August in three cities in Taiwan. I cropped this to be landscape for the sake of this post.

Bad things happen for probably no reason whatsoever, and I need to stop thinking about shit happening to me in terms of me “deserving” it because of karma. A tiny clink against the leg of my chair in the law library, and unbeknownst to me, my torts case book was destroyed, along with the bottom three lines of my moleskine notebook containing the past year’s worth of writing in fountain pen ink. Glass containers for water, eh. I usually stick to plastic, but on the one day that I— well anyway. I feel moronic that I’m copying my highlighting and handwritten notes from my soaked, half illegible torts book into the replacement I bought. I know I should just re-read it all but who has that kind of time when other cases remain completely unread?

The other really shit thing is that my beloved Nikon F3 (pictured above) is currently broken. A really stupid accident led to me being unable photograph myself being in the company of thousands of second hand books. And of course, you always miss what you don’t have, so all of a sudden there’s all these things and moments that I keep wanting to capture on film, but of course I have nothing on hand. My point-and-shoot film camera is also mysteriously out of action too.

The title of this post is from Black Moth Super Rainbow who I had on repeat the other night. Also reflects how I spent Saturday in bed nursing a hangover. Rare occurrence for me, as my friends kindly pointed out. I think that the cigarette some stranger offered us at a bar must’ve done it. I was fine and fun, up until that point.