Wednesday, January 28, 2009

everyone is going home.


so the lunar new year came and went. i had a good break.. it was a good time to catch up with a lot of family and friends.

in time, so many of us are leading our own lives, we don't have the luxury of being in school anymore and being constant in each others lives. what's more, with my friends who live or are going overseas to continue their studies, we're all gonna just keep growing and i can't be a part of it.

i don't know what's making me keep this blog alive.. i know i won't share the intimate details of my life, i'm posting more thought provoking stories on singularity industries, and i'm definitely getting lazy when it comes to typing in here. maybe i'm just tired..

maybe at it's heart, i just don't seem to think that typing in here reflects my life anymore. you know? that feeling that what you're doing on the outside doesn't represent the inside.. it's such a fake sensation. i wonder how some of us do it though, not just with blogging, but with life.

that we use this world as a stage and act out facets of our lives that we hope for the desired response from the audience around us.

"i want to be beautiful.
i want to be smart.
i want to be accepted.
i want to be free.
i want to be loved.
i want to change.
i want to be respected."

and there is no real response to all these slices of life. we're always looking out for ourselves.. yet at it's heart we're constantly looking for that validation from an external source, or from our loved ones.

i guess what i'm grappling with right now, is a purpose to this life. it's a new season of being in my late twenties i reckon. back when i was in school.. it was relatively simpler, the stakes weren't so long term as well. pass my exams and projects, do my best when it comes to bass playing, in the worship team and band.. and in that regard, it was "easier" to see what God's direction and purpose for my life was.

then suddenly i've graduated, and spent the last two years working. but for what gain? what profit? and the thing is, this doesn't end till the day i retire.. does it?

the world tells me to work for the future, for my family even perhaps.. noble aspirations definitely.. but my zest for life is fading at an alarming rate.. even if it has been on the backburner for awhile.

even when i play music, either listening or making music.. there's a part of me that goes.. what's the point? it'll just be a hobby, we'll never make it big.. the joy of creating new sounds just becomes an unrewarding two hours spent with my friends in the studio. don't get me wrong, i have a great time hanging out, laughing, and for a moment, these brief glimpses of joy distract me for a while.

but ultimately, i feel myself fading fast and increasingly disconnected from what my purpose in this life is.

i know i could make myself feel better by sharing photos of my new supersampler application for my iPhone , or talk about the fun interesting bits about my life.. but this goes beyond that..


i guess i really am looking for a sort of validation and direction in life. that this will be alright, everything will be alright.. everything's going as planned.. some things are still worth fighting for..

i think too much, and i have lots to be thankful for. I KNOW THAT, and i am.. but there's always something more, something deeper that gives this life meaning. and i'm either blessed or cursed to have to think that way, to unlock this mystery or break the meaning of existence down to it's most empirical form. i can't help it, it's the way i was wired.

Ozymandias: "I did the right thing, didn't I? It all worked out in the end."
Dr Manhattan: "In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends."

i suppose i was born with an infinite gap in my soul that only eternity can fill.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

so this is the new year, i don't feel any different..

maybe my age has caught up with me. i don't know, but i've been caught in situations where i have to reveal my age quite a fair amount of times just this month. not that i'm hiding behind anything, but the frequency of this social play makes me think of what the numbers mean.

twenty. seven. this. year. well. actually. in. september.

i'm really still twenty six. you might think it's just a number.. but twenty seven is a rather iconic number when it comes to rock and roll history:

kurt cobain, jimi hendrix, janis joplin, graham parsons, jim morrison.. they all passed away at twenty seven. and i used to joke that i too would go like these icons at the grand age of twenty seven.

and now.. i'm just nine months away from actually being that age.

i guess i used to associate being twenty seven with a sense of accomplishment. people who were at the peaks of the musical careers.. that when they passed, history can't help but remember them for their stunning contributions to culture. in a sense, i also misplacingly see them as somewhat lucky, that they don't have to deal with the come down after such a high. but then again, so many of them killed themselves in one way or another.

but back to "success". i guess there have been some. working in one of the best worldwide public relations agencies, specialising in a relatively new field of communications, Leeson has already played Baybeats, i'm sort of meeting and making friends with people in the local music scene.. and yeah.. wow.. i'd never thought i'd be this "grown up".


but i couldn't have done it without the grace of God. it's not that i was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, for every single one of those moments i'm proud of.. it's involved a lot of work and dedication, struggle even.. with people and even wrestling with God to make sense of way i was in life.. when i couldn't really see how it was all gonna end up. but the refreshing thing about completing your journeys and trials, is that you can look back, take stock.. see what you did or didn't miss out on. but to be able to complete a journey, to be encouraged when it seems like you're the only one facing struggles, when you're alone in your fight.. those are times when God's with you.. through the good and the bad. in fact, you don't keep fighting because you want to get something out of it.. but you go through it because it seemed to be the right thing to do.. and you felt compelled to get through it. i think that compulsion comes from knowing God, and having faith that what you're doing is the right thing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

all the kings men.

after yesterday's bout of catharsis, it feels a lot better to "own" this space again.

blogs are great communication tools, but ultimately, if they aren't personal.. they aren't really engaging.

i think different blogs serve different purposes, and for the purpose of harmless? bananas! it'll always remain my personal communications tool.

if you know me, at least in the past year or two, you'd have noticed that i love a genre of music called "alternative-country". in fact, two of my favourite artistes would be Ryan Adams and Joe Henry.

there's something about America that's always fascinated me.. probably because of all the cartoons and TV i used to watch, add to that, the music, literature, fashion and culture.. and you might have gotten an American-phile in me. unfortunately for would be marketers who try to sell me stuff.. i tend to be rather subversive in my lifestyle choices. hence, it's always been a case of sticking it to the man, and then developing into a loathing of mere hippie / empty punk rock promises.

but somehow, this genre of country music has captured my imagination. i can only speak like an outsider looking in, for i never grew up on a farm, or the suburbs, nor have i seen or lived the mountain ranges or the iconic streets and hole-in-the-wall bars that these singers croon about. yet, perhaps it's because of that fishbowl i constantly peer into, that i'm so enamored by it all. the undue love i place upon this piece of art, only because i cannot identify with it.

still, they sing songs that are so ridiculously universal.. emotions down to the commonest denominator, that even a city-dweller like me longs for the yearnings that these singer-songwriters sing about. some place in the past that they still hold on to, or brings them happiness.. some place in the future that they hope for.. all the while that while i will never be a part of it, they always invite me to keep on observing.

and with that i am content.

Time is a lion - Joe Henry

If you fear the angels above while you sleep
Then I'll be the blood, you paint on your door
Your dream is a worry that nothing will keep, but
time is a story and there will be more

Your dream is a worry that nothing will keep,
but time is a story and there will be more

and death in disgrace can seduce anyone
that needs to believe there’s judgment at hand
or God may be kind and see you like a son, but
time is a lion when you are a lamb

Or God may be kind and see you like a son, but
time is a lion when you are a lamb

The years see the best of intentions and greed
they come without shame, they'll leave you with some
men become old when their hurt becomes need, but
time is a lover and your time is young

Men become old when their hurt becomes need, but

time is a lover and your time is young

The sun is a soldier, out crawling the hills
setting fire to every house that’s in view
lighting the ruin of my hope and my will
till I’m like a shadow and I’m falling on you,
crawling on you..
Oh you know how I do..

So sleep here with me and I’ll keep you close
for now while i try to live up to you
You can’t see the challenge of this I suppose, but
time is a dare and I’m trying to

You can’t see the challenge of this I suppose, but
time is a dare and I’m trying to

time is a dare and I’m trying to

Fix it - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

What makes them walk away, after all these years?
These years are burning in the hard way by the lessons from the tears
I know it’s not a game
But it feels like losing when someone you love throws you away

I’d fix it
I’d fix it
I’d fix it
I’d fix it if I could
And I’d always win
I’d always win
So you can always win the in end

How easy was it for you making those plans you made?
Before I became someone for you you know to try to dislocate
But, I know it’s not a game
But if feels like losing when someone you love gets up and walks away

I’d fix it
I’d fix it
I’d fix it
I’d fix it if I could
And I’d always win
I’d always win
And you’d always lose

Look what I did to you
Look what you did to me
Fixed it
I’d fix it, id fix it if I could
And I’d always win
I’d always win
I’d always win in the end

Let it Ride - Ryan Adams

Movin' like the fog on the Cumberland River
I was leaving on the Delta Queen
I wasn't ready to go
I'm never ready to go
Twenty-seven years of nothin' but failures and promises that I couldn't keep
Oh lord I wasn't ready to go
I'm never ready to go
Let it ride
Let it ride easy down the road
Let it ride
Let it take away all of the darkness
Let it ride
Let it rock me in the arms of strangers, angels until it brings me home
Let it ride
Let it roll
Let it go

Loaded like a sailor
Tumbling off a ferry boat
I was at the bar till three
Oh Lord, and I wasn't ready to go
I'm never ready to go
Tennessee's a brother to my sister Carolina where they're gonna bury me
And I ain't ready to go
I'm never ready to go
Let it ride let it ride easy down the road
Let it ride
Let it take away all of this darkness
Let it ride
Let it rock me in the arms of strangers, angels until it brings me home
Let it ride
Let it roll
Let it go

I wanna see you tonight
Dancing in the endless moonlight
In the parking lot in the headlights of cars
Someplace on the moon
Where they moved the drive-in theater
Where I left the car that I can't find but I still got the keys to
Let it ride
Let it ride easy down the road
Let it ride
Let it take away all of this darkness
Let it ride
Let it rock me in the arms of strangers, angels until it brings me home
Let it ride
Let it roll
Let it go

Sunday, January 11, 2009

respectfully, i decline.

this evening had me feeling rather out of sorts. if you were on plurk, i mentioned that i was feeling hostile.

i wonder why, was it the throngs of people younger than me dressed in fine indie-threads (maybe not fine, but arguably indie-styled)? what was the insight or pre-disposition i was gleaming from their collective flocks?

i dunno, maybe there was a bout of self-loathing, of the empty reassurance we get from hanging out with our friends, and dressing ourselves a certain way to express our identity while not rocking the status quo. even if it's the status quo of our social circle.. it was the need to belong to something, or some people. and it was in the myriad of different cultures and groups of friends that i saw a reflection of my own weakness.. for dressing up a certain way, for being accepted a certain way.. for being acknowledged a certain way.. and while i wasn't active in my self-loathing.. it was there passively, eating away at my psyche..

how worthless i was, and what i feel i am for still trying.. everyday.

i don't think we were meant to live like this, yet like the air we breathe.. we find ourselves social creatures, and need to feed this frail ego of social status, and we draw our confidence in the acknowledgment of men.

i've talked about this before, and with God's help, i've also not lived my life like this, not always. yet i think at various points in our lives, we grapple with this again. not because the problem never went away, but at different stages in our life, we're being shown more and more where we need to surrender, places deep in our hearts that have not been surrendered to that one perfect love.. that we are either always changing, or learning something new.

i'm not afraid of the emotion i face, but i am afraid of the stagnation and atrophy of the heart. i don't want to be unfeeling.. because it is a lonely place, where love nor hate exist. it is a plane of "un-love" and stagnation. it is an absence of God, not the burning fires of hell that scare me.. and put me in my place. in fact, it's not fear that paralyses me.. it's an infinite sadness that spirals without end like a bottemless pit.

no. we were meant to live.

Friday, January 9, 2009

a series of self-titled debuts

a little brain fart came to me the other night as i was walking home from the bus stop.

as some background, i love to think of new band names.. i don't know why, but i think of possible band names more than i think of possible album titles. i guess it's got something to do with the inconsistency in which i record material.

anyway, i was thinking of a band name, ohaiyo. i guess it was a play on the American city, Ohio, and also a reference to the Japanese greeting for "hello". yes, stuff like this excites me.. it shapes the sound i want to come up with.. and ultimately who i might be able to work with if i were to ever record or perform with such a collective.

and then it dawned onto me, if i love playing with different kinds of music, but instead of maintaining a different band for each of my interests.. why not just have a revolving door of musicians, songwriters and performers?

we wouldn't be a band.. but more a collective or record label called "a series of self titled debuts" and each band incarnation is basically the title of the album!

it's frickin' genius i tell you.. or possibly the most stupid thing anyone could think of.

but i like it, i'd like to write music for an incarnation of ohaiyo, or the ghost of anna karina, or attaboy! or whatever ludicrous names i've come up with.

why should music always be categorised in only one way?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

the new year, it's not all that bad..

2009. why does a new year bring us so much promise? new budgets for the new financial year? opportunities? resolutions? another chance to get it right?

hahaha, don't mind me, it's just rhetorical. i too feel some of that joy, but the natural cynic in me is just.. "meh, it's just a perception of time."

but maybe that's what we need as humans, or at least being part of society.. it's common ground for all of us, we're all given the same 24 hours as the person next to us.

so yeah, i'm starting a new year.. and i'm writing in my blog only one week after the new year's kicked in.

you'll have to bear with me as the tone of this blog begins to change.. and this will basically be my self-indulgent space of expression.

all i can say, is that if you're interested in the misadventures of brian leery, then by all means, keep checking back here or subscribing to the RSS feeds. most of my thoughts on social media and public relations will be moved to, and my observations and theories about media, technology and culture will be taking place at singularity industries.

i'm not making hard and fast rules to control where the conversations take place.. it's just gonna be fluid, and you might see certain topics crossing blogs. but it's all part of an experiment, and how i want to reignite that passion in blogging.

there's no real theory surrounding this, just a used-to-be passionate blogger trying to find his voice again.

i guess this is a year of new beginnings, whether it's in music, blogging, interests, friendships and life.. i'm just trying to be more positive. i think toward the end of last year, i felt like a dark cloud was following me, and i felt i shouldn't share that because i didn't want my clients or bloggers to think i was goinig nuts.

but i think i came out the other side, and maybe i'm not gonna be afraid of what other people think of a little jaded-ness in my life.

if anything, i think that's what i enjoyed about blogging, and reading blogs.. those little insights and glimpses into another person's life. and i'm not saying that all blogs should follow my example of candor, i just think you gotta know what voice works for you. and i think this works for me.

so to recap, i'm maintaining three blogs now.

harmless? bananas!
singularity industries
the open room

so yes, 2009 will be a year where i blog more!