Saturday, 23 May 2009

ratata in saigon...and afterparty hosted by everyone's a dj!!

Ratatat are coming to saigon.....i hadn't heard of them until tom had mentioned that they were coming and he was super excited. found out that they are a couple of guys from brooklyn who play indie electronic stuff with no vocals..and they managed to do a gig at the guggenheim museum in new york. now that's what i call cool! so i took a listen and i really like their stuff. at first listen, not knowing what to expect, i was a little kind of put off by what seemed to me sounded like "i'm trying really hard to put lots of sound samples in there" but after listening to their 2 albums i've come to like and appreciate them. I like the track "shempi" off their new album LP3. So since hearing about the gig i've been getting more and more excited to see them play...and then it hit me...let's do an afterparty! the music they play is along the same lines as the music we do at our party and it's a perfect fit! and our party was going to be on the saturday, so just switch it to friday instead. Since then, Tom and I have been scrambling around trying to confirm the party and now i'm happy to say that it is confirmed! we've contacted the management to see if any of the guys would be interested in playing a set and they said..maybe..will depend on how they feel on the we're keeping our fingers crossed. We found a venue right across the street from the place they're playing at so, we're super excited!!! We can set up and run right across the street. how awesome is that!!!

so flyer is done..and promo-ing begins! ratatat in saigon! :D

Sunday, 10 May 2009

district neighbourhood

I've lived in district 4 for over a year now and funnily i have yet to really, fully explore it. for me district 4 so far has consisted of my apartment building which includes the supermarket on the bottom and the occassional wet market and the kfc down the road. i guess after long days at work i just want to go home to my apartment and get away from everything. i have yet to explore the market just down the road or the numerous coffee shops and food stalls around me. but today after just feeling kinda down about life stuff i went for a quick drive around my neighbourhood and while it's a small district comparted to, say Phu Nhuan, this area is so full of things....a lot of old things. you can say this area is slowly being gentrified but it's taking its time. i remember when i first told my family i was going to move into district 4, they were a bit worried. you see back in the day this area was quite dangerous, full of gangs and drugs and was also a port/shipping area of sorts as it's on the river. however, since those days gone by, the area is getting revitalized, especially with the introduction of the 20 floor apartment building that i am in and the others ones being built. the area is a blend of the new, modern and the old...only the modern is coming in very slowly compared to say, district 1 (the main city centre). so when driving around today through the smaller streets, i saw some very beautiful buildings. the geometrical shapes and repetition of patterns that these buildings have just grab me everytime. And because this area is still poor in a lot of ways, the signages that people have in their stores are of the old variety. the painted images of shoes, bags, letters, words, etc. this stuff will slowly disappear to make way for the new just as it has slowly everywhere. I took some pictures of them today with my camera but it was with my film camera so we'll just have to wait till i get them developed.

this slight drive around has made me decide to explore my 'hood next weekend when i have time. i'll hit the market and the surrounding area, camera in hand. it's this stuff that makes me happy. that makes me feel good. that makes me not want to leave this city...not quite yet.

i'm lucky to be here in a time when things are changing because i know in 10 years time i won't recognize it. I know it changed so much from the first time i came to explore my roots 8 years ago and even from when i came back a little over 2 years ago. there are just so many more cars and motorbikes on the road. when i head home to visit in september i will take a look at my old photos from 8 years ago...funnily, those were all taken with the current nikon slr film camera i'm using now.

pics to follow....

Saturday, 9 May 2009

alarm clocks, jumpsuits, grandpa glasses and monster bags

So the last few days have been some pretty good days. I hit my dance class again and had a great time. it was so nice to get back into it again. the routine was a good one as well. it saw us doing some slides on the floor and that was nice. i just wish the classes were longer because just when i get down the routine and start focusing more on the technique and hitting the moves, the class is done. I miss the dance classes at SDA in toronto. the instructors are good and the style is what i like. But Ethan's class at Dancenter is good...the style is a lot more along the style that i like. hitting the beats and smoother.

on Friday while getting lunch i decided to drive along tran quoc khai street to look at 2nd hand goods. This small strip in the top part of district 1 has people laying down items (mainly watches, tools, cameras, small electronic goods) and selling them. i occassionaly go by here, as it's near my work, and look for things. i ended up finding this awesome old alarm clock for only 20,000 VND (approx. $1.20usd)...and it works! and my lunch was great too. I tend to get rice at this place called kieu giang and today amongst the many dishes they had, they had all my favourites...fried tofu with lemongrass, sauteed mushrooms and morning glory sauteed in garlic and soup....and all for only 18,000vnd (approx. $1usd). And then our editor brought in mangos from his garden for me as well...'and as if that wasn't enough, i went to the tailors to pick up my one piece yellow jumpsuit shorts and they look great!!!! I am now wondering why i have not made clothes before until now. And then on my way home, a woman selling bags on the street had this great green tote monster bag that i got. so friday was indeed a good day of pretty things which make me happy.

Earlier this week i picked up my vintage "grandpa" glasses. a few weeks back i found some glasses on the same street that i got my alarm clock. I brought them to the glasses shop and got my prescription in them for only 120,000 vnd (approximately $9 USD). And next week i'll get to pick up my 12 vintage dresses that i brought over here from canada and bangkok, that i got altered at another tailor. SO excited! pretty clothes again.

So today i'll be working on a couple of flyer ideas for the next party and hopefully at lunchtime, i'll run over to the music shop and see if they have the midi console mixer in. And then tonight we'll be hitting the karaoke place with some friends. it's been ages and i feel like singing. This week
end i'll just be working and researching for things and catching up on sleep. :D

so here are the pics....

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

analog travels

So I've decided to abandon my live journal account and start from scratch again with a brand new blog. I'll try and keep it updated with all the things going on in this side of the world in my work and my travels and my projects. So why did i call this analog travels. There's something romantic about analog...and travelling to see the old...because we're becoming so modern we start to forget where it came from. Where we come from.

So a few things about what has been going on in my life here lately:

I've been rediscovering film as in film cameras. I've been carrying my nikon fg slr film camera around more and am falling in love with film all over again. From the click sound of the camera, to the rewinding to the surprise element of what will come out to the beauty of the results. There's something comforting about film. For the first time in a long time, i actually have prints to look at. There's a quality of forgivingness that film gives us. There's a sense of the old. it feels more sensory and i'm having lots of fun with it. I've been playing with my 2 lomography cameras as well. my four frame and my fisheye. Th
e fisheye is the most fun because i can expose the film for as long as i want and the option allows me to do multiple exposures on the one frame. Super fun! super film!

I've been keeping busy with our dance party as well. Everyone's a DJ ( Not only has it exposed me to the world of "mixing" and i'm slowly getting the hang of in understanding music more and am able to beat match a bit more. I'm going
to get a midi console mixer this week and then let the fun begin. But not only that, it's allowing me to be more creative again. I've been doing the flyers and having a blast working on it. Researching, learning the program more, designing , tweaking, etc. And now i've got one more thing to add to my plate....i'm starting to teach myself premiere because i want to start doing my own visuals for the party. I want to work on a stop motion clip and then move to graphics and also implementing still photos into something...and not only that but it's nice to work with like-minded people again. people who are creating things for the sake of creating....and feeding off each other. And the party is super fun. it gives me at least one night a month for me to dance in a dark bar/club to music i a no bullshit diy atmosphere. And the feedback from people is great. It's a night like non-other here in saigon and i know it'll just build slowly. we have a lot of word of mouth and each month there's more and more people and new people. It's really nice to hear people say it's the best music they've heard here in saigon and how they love it cos it's so different then anything out there. And how we have a concept and are doing it because we love it. We're not in it for the money. We're in it for ourselves and people are feeling that and loving it.

I'm starting my dance classes up again as well after a few weeks rest after inflaming my back. I realize more and more each day how important dancing is in my life
. it makes me feel so good. It lets me forget everything and it allows me to be free. to forget all my stress, sadness, worries and just dance. just dance.

I'm also beginning to explore more again. Explore this city and country. There's so much out there to see and it's all slowly fading away. From the time i arrived here in saigon over 2 years ago to now, so much has changed not only architecturally but also people, attitudes, fashion, socially, media wise, everything is developing so fast that sometimes it's nice to slow down and take it all in before it's gone. Before all the colours of this city are lost in the modernity that is slowly creeping into this city. Slow down to see the beauty in the old.