Joe Meek

"Joe Meek Freak Beats" always show up when I google meekfreak, which I do once in a long while ever since I had adopted "meekfreak" as a handle since 1999 (it was during the mIRC days). I'd always wondered about him and thought he was a musician from the US. But now, perhaps because internet has really grown and more information is made available, I finally got to read him up and listen to his works.

Joe Meek was a british music producer in the 50s to 60s. He was an indie producer and would experiment with all the electronic sounds.

It feels more than a little strange that I feel a strong sense of affinity, not just in the indie, experimental approach... not just in the similarity of our tastes, but in a sentimental, curious, eerie way. I listen to his music and watch some of the videos and feel that these are things that I would like and was curious about before.

He committed murder and then suicide in the 1967. meek freak. is liddat?

Random good links - 18 June 2015

Here are a bunch of interesting things:

Untitled (silverfish and snakes)

Looking at a bunch of paintings on my computer and feel like playing with my pastel crayons but I decided that it's easier to open up a new word doc than to dig out my crayons. The last time I opened my box of crayons, a big silverfish slithered out. Yikes. 

The biggest silverfish I've ever seen was when I was still working in the corporate world. It was around one inch. I won't blame you if you don't believe me. It's uncomfortable for everyone to think that silverfish that big exist. Apparently, they say that silverfish eat protein that exist in hair, and glue. So all that office carpet tiles that are glued down must provide quite a buffet spread. 

If you're reading from an office, that's carpeted right now, try not to think about the silverfish city that lives beneath your feet.

That silverfish must have been too full gorging itself, I think, for it was resting on top of the carpet (maybe it's like their beach, you know), and it was slow enough for me to stick a piece of tape over it to trap it.

That was probably the best opportunity for me to observe silverfish close up. But I didn't. I couldn't bear to, because they were so ugly. Then when I tried to throw the tape away it escaped. Duh.

I think the non-human creatures on earth will only become uglier and uglier. Only then, will we fear it, and only then, will we not want to hunt it down and capture it for gazing. Cockroaches, silverfish, and all the other critters which are ugly and inspire disgust or fear. Butterflies, ladybugs, and all the other sparking, shiny, pretty ones will be caught and tortured. 

The same goes for all the other animals - the beautiful birds of paradise and the colour parrots and parakeets are coveted for their feathers or as pets but perhaps the mynahs and crows are more likely to survive and multiply, although they might not mind being pets. 

Tigers, lions, pandas, rhino, giraffe, koalas, elephants... are beautiful. And then there are snakes. All snakes are quite beautiful.

As compared to like... rats. Maybe rats are not so beautiful.

But maybe I'm just being judgmental and shallow.

Dreams and Persistence

Dreamt of attending a literature-cum-chemistry class at Yale, no less. Concluded something about Popularity of a literary work being a function of Genre + Target Audience. And that parallel lines won't remain parallel because they are positively charged. Huh, right?

Maybe it's related to this link my friend sent to me about Tom Sachs. Which led me to this video: Ten Bullets, which is worth a watch (20+ mins).

My favourite? Bullet number 10. 

Was at a gallery on 9 Apr 2015 and made some new friends, of whom there were two ladies whose contacts I didn't get, Ms Rebecca and Ms CS (and sorry if I got your initials wrong). We were just talking about art and what I do and intend to do, and they were generous with their encouragement and confidence. Thank you for your encouragement. I will press on!

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
— Calvin Coolidge (or Ray Kroc?)

Jorge Luis Borges and Beethoven

I think it's funny that I stumbled across Borges on a Australian publisher's website, because I tend to think South Americans as being a Western influence, but he came to me from the East.

In On Writing, Jorges Luis Borges discusses grand ideas. To be frank, I find them difficult because these essays call upon so much background literary knowledge, but it's humbling and enjoyable because it makes me realise that there's so much more to learn and such a long way more to go, in writing. That is consoling. It's like when a child is upset with himself and an adult pats him on the head and says, "it's okay, you're just a kid."

Due to a hereditary disease, Jorge Luis Borges' vision begun to fade in his early thirties and he became completely blind in his late 50s.

How difficult, it would be, for one to hold on to his will due to such a crisis? How devastating for a writer, who lives in the world of written words, who creates worlds with writing?

JLB continued to work with the help of his secretaries, by dictating and being read to. If I don't recall wrongly, some analysts suggested that his works might have become more concise because of his blindness - as he'd have to compose the writings in his head.

He's like Beethoven who lost his hearing but continued to compose music.

Over time, his hearing loss became profound: at the end of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony in 1824, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause of the audience because he could hear neither it nor the orchestra.

I don't advocate liking writers or artists or any professionals because of their personal lives or misfortunes, nor that one's work should be accorded with more merit because of one's determination or effort. I think our works should be judged regardless of whether or not its creator act like assholes and that it is his/her private business if he/she chooses to behave much lesser than paragons of virtue. If I spend 50 years of my time to create a rubbish work, it's still rubbish. Etc, etc.

But I do admire persons so much more because of the challenges they face and overcome. And I do think that these things help make people more interesting. And interesting people tend to present interesting perspectives and produce interesting works.

Nevertheless, I am grateful for having both my sight and hearing. 

Have you heard of Vocal Slender?

I first learnt of Eric Obuh from the BBC documentary, "Welcome to Lagos". 

Eric is from Lagos, Nigeria. He was an enterprising "scavenger", which is the professional title of someone who worked in the rubbish dump, searching through fresh loads of garbage brought in by the dumpster trucks, for scraps that can be resold for money. Clothes, metal, radios that can be fixed. I like the title, "scavenger". 

He was doing it not just to make a living, but to save up to finance his dream: of becoming a rap artist. In the documentary, he was depicted to spend his savings on studio time, cutting a demo, and getting his picture professional professionally taken to promote his musical talents

I was impressed and inspired by his dedication to his dreams.

Riding on the exposure that the BBC documentary provided, he made it to London. And he is still trying to make it bigger and bigger.

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