The Past

City and Colour

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From screamo-aggressive rock band, Alexisonfire, Dallas Green jumped into softer, way less aggressive music in his individual string, City and Colour. The Canadian-born musician started this project in 2005 and growing strong ever since. City and Colour creatively derived from his own name, Dallas: a city and Green: a colour. Simple! His music flows like a poem; heart-wrenching, soothing and can make someone can fall in love with it all at once.

His idealism in his music also shows through his interviews when he explains about the song-writing process. He obviously put his hands on his work, make sure everything is in line. It is vivid that he invested his emotions within the songs and album, which makes it more personal as if we are reading, or perhaps listening, to his diary. And what's better than musicians who sincerely putting their heart out into their work?

The more you listen to his lyrics, the more his image is shaped as charming and articulately poetic - even when he swears it sounded like a poetry. There are a lot of death imagery in his songs, especially on his third album Little Hellbut somehow he is able to make death sounds just as kind as life. Dallas says he relies his inspiration when things seem going down hill in life, but his critical visions upon his music obviously has brought him into a higher, and better level. With this kind of music, this world will be a much better place.




A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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MMXIII

This is my the third year away from home, let's just settle for the definition of home to where the loved ones are now, and this Southern part of England is still look as attractive as the first year I got here. Many things had happened in the past year, good and bad, mostly good though, but what matters is the learning process. It may take a while, longer than you thought or expected, but as long as at the end of the day you learned something, that what counts. Keep in mind, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

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Roads: I get to travel for a bit to see more beautiful things this world has to offer: through the scenery of Istanbul which has the best of both continents Asia and Europe, in Spring days when tulips are blossom in rainbow colours and the very Island of Gods, Bali in the Summer where the sun never look more gorgeous. Though it was not the first time I went there, it never got any less interesting. There is something about Bali that always makes every visit feels different. (Remind me next year I have to travel more)

Moreover, I have been through priceless experiences that allowed me to grow as a person. I understand the concept of faith better than when I was younger, at the times where I was just accepting what had been told, not actually necessarily understanding the whole narrative. Even though, I cannot say I understand it completely, but I feel I have better grasp on it. Paulo Coelho hit the nail on the head by saying: People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.” 

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Home: I have never value home more than I do now. After one and a half year, this Summer I finally went home for a good two months. I have met faces that I miss, catching up with favorite ones over the old late night drive. The best food. Distance also taught me to appreciate everyone and everything more. Family is the heart of my life while friends are the skeletons. I also had the chance to meet my long lost childhood friend that inspire me to write more than anybody ever did in such a long time. I learned even the shittiest feeling is a gift, because once you are not able to feel, that is the worst situation when you do not have anything to fight for.

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Them: Last year, I tend to keep distance with people that I met here because this town is always just a pit stop, never been a place to stay or settling more than one year. Thus, the fear of getting too attached is unbearable. But this year somehow, I found myself among great people that soon feel like the second family in this grey England. This, only to realise, the whole don't get too attached is bullshit. Jonathan Safran Foer once said, “You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” And who wants to be protected from happiness? Though it is all just temporary, as most of them are savouring their next journey away from this town, I am genuinely so glad we ever cross-path in life.

Let's raise our glass both for 2013 that has been so good and many great things to come in 2014 -- on to the next exciting adventure! We all know that life will only get better.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Candles

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It begins with an attraction. Then over few dinners, coffees and stroll by the beach to the amusement park, a relationship established. Then more dates, more dinner, more breakfasts, small arguments, more arguments, talks, more talks, then  poof, somehow, it disappear. Like a thunder. Just like that. And the next thing you know, you have to let go and move on.

But moving on is another story. Although it is only a matter of mind, it always gets more complex than it should be. It is about the struggle, although the relationship has ended seasons ago but restore the equilibrium takes more time than changing your hairstyle. It starts off with false projection of this very person that you used to hold dear everywhere you go within somebody else on the street that resemble mere similarity. The perfect jaw line, the beard and that beanie you bought for him as a Christmas gift. Your heart will skip a beat. And that missing beat is also a wish, that you want it to be him. When you notice he is not the person you thought, some part of you will withered like unwatered Lily. That moment of clashing side between the mind and the heart was excruciating, but you are willing to jump right in again to the pool of hope for the cosmic joke to intertwine you with him by accident - just because you are aware that you are gutless to initiate an action. Then, you will reach the bit where you will force the fate to happen. You will tell yourself it is the shorter route to your home, but all you want to do is to take the road where you can walk by the bar where he works and sheepishly steal a glance or two. You have missed him too much, you will settle just for a breathe of familiar place. Some other times, you will find a reason to persuade your friends to have few drinks at the bar, sugarcoated it with the offer of cheap wine and close-distance location. Even if some of them smell the burning anxiety on your face, you will immediately deny, pretending you do not care. Once you finally see him where you want him to be, your eyes cross-path with his, you will look away out of reflex. The pride of yours has gotten too deep within your nerves, you are defeated involuntarily. Hereinafter, you will also find him in the chorus of City and Colour songs, that he was shared on your second date, whilst your heart will wrench for the numerous times to the idea of his face that embrace the melody of the first day of Spring.

It is more difficult as your mind often drift away from the initial reason why you have to let go to the place where butterflies and mix-tapes were once dancing. The first kiss in front of your doorstep, when he was holding your hand and it felt like it belong there. Those thorns that bleeds your feelings dry, slowly. The magnet that keeps pulling you down to ground zero. Hence, the truth where sentences that meant to sound beautiful, the ones that suppose to melt, ended up upsetting the soul and conversations that suppose to flow and grow, wilt and blocked are pushed away far at the back. What is worse, you know regardless the truth, to you the idea of him is too strong, like the clasp of phoenix's claws as he embodies the faux-dream of fairy tale you had when the first idea of loving someone shaped in your head. Nonetheless, the person that you thought was the Dream, is also the antidote that brings you closer to a better grip on reality, showing that it is not always about The Maccabees' Toothpaste Kisses, but also Daughter's Candles. All that is left is a silhouette of him that shall fade as the candles burns to nothing but memories. And you cannot wait for the moment to come, cause you are exhausted by this emotional slavery to the past that refuse to dim. Go on, keep trying. Remember, the candles shall fade.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Band Edition: General Fiasco


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I found them through Burberry acoustic session on YouTube, here & they stole my attention in a heartbeat. 

The Irish-born band, General Fiasco, represent the sound of British rock with catchy lyrics. You can imagine three young lads kicking up the amplifier with a gentle rock, not too loud but enough out of their songs. Nevertheless, they also nailed the acoustic version of their songs without losing their basic identity.

There was a bit of change in formation when their former drummer decided to moved to the States. Stephen from the rhythm guitar assigned to take roll on the drum and recently they just added new additional guitarist, Stuart. And guess what? they still sounded rad. Owen's high note voice, the vocalist, set the particular signature sign of the band so nobody would miss interpret General Fiasco with another band.

Their debut album, Buildings, consist of 15 tracks includes 4 acoustic version. Ever So Shy chosen as the hit single from the album and I could not agree more. Their song titles and lyrics are simple, easy to relate with young generation nowadays. Totally worth to notice. Here's their Myspace & official video of Ever So Shy 
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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You Look the Same


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Summer's evening is warm while inside the room people are casting curses and spells to High School reunion night where suddenly all of us are seventeen again. You lured in to my company when I am alone by the balcony of town house at the heart of West Java's capital, catching my breath from the fast-paced conversations. I tried to hide the excitement by looking away from your eyes, drinking the remaining Coke in my plastic cup and continue watching the traffic that looks like half-a-year too early Christmas tree. You leaned back on the pillar next to me before you casually lit your cigarette. "You look English." teased you as soon you open a conversation. I chuckled, considering the non-sense as the only English thing about me was this oversize Union Jack jumper I bought from a lousy shop in Camden Town.

I glanced at you and said, "You, look the same." Except you are not. You look anything but the same. Your hair is much shorter and neat, unlike the messy teenage angst look of yours three years ago. The black-framed glasses make you look older. We have been in the same room for the past hour but it still feels odd having you in front of me, since the last time I saw you was the graduation day. I cannot dismiss the overwhelming feeling of the past towering my head like grey clouds that bound to rain. I was doing perfectly fine before I walked in to the room where everyone that I hold dear are there. You, are there. Here, for now, as you moved closer and rested your elbows on the railing less than ten centimeters away, things are starting to shake; I feel the question mark weighing my breath again.

I managed to slip away from the crowds, for the sake of a minute of solitude before I crash and burn to the sea of yearbook memories. Although secretly, I want you to look for me. So I can have you all for myself, without having to pretend as if you have to fulfil a role in order to make them amused. You tend to discreet your deepest, utmost sincere passion and interest when no one else is watching; like that one time, in senior year when you sat next to me during lunch break and started to tell a story about this girl. I sat there, thinking I have not met any seventeen year old that was so certain about the person they want to marry  although you might have said it spontaneously, but boy, I was impressed. I remember I immediately ran to my best friends in the next room and realised, I was talking about you like you were talking about her.

There, the moment I thought high school just started soon clashed to an end. The story about the girl never come up again, not that I was brave enough to listen or ask. But three months later, you broke the news you were moving to Seattle. I never liked Seattle. The city looks bland and the idea of West Coast is just too far away. But you told me Seattle is much better than this concrete jungle of skyscrapers and traffic. You were certain that was the place to be. I couldn't argue. And I could not ask you to stay, too. Cause who am I to say, let's just carrying on being young, skipping classes and driving from dusk till dawn with cigarettes hanging over the half opened window in your car, at least a little longer. With that, I lost the reason to stay. Broken was still far to describe what I felt back then. I swore I never wanted to be the one who stays. Then, the next thing I knew, I was in London and forgot about high school. About you. Until today, when home is calling for a little reunion.

I thought, I would see you differently after so many years. But it almost feels like although life goes on, I have fall in and out of love, met so many people, but the idea of you stopped when I watched you get on that plane. And now, when you stand before me, the memory resume from that very last scene as if life never moved on. Everything in between is just a fragment of dream. You always resemble the sense of adolescence when all I ever wanted to believe was love. You are the young love that I selfishly pour myself into. And I don't think I can change the way I see you. Not even after we are coming back in to the room and out of the yearbook. You will always look the same. You will always be the young love I could never have.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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All It Ever Does

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There is this room that I found, strange yet so inviting. There is a twinge of familiarity that resembles home but also radiates the challenge of new place, bide to be exposed, discovered. The floor is marmer-tiled, cites history of the past. The walls represent the now while the ceiling is high, above I can hang the future. The first time I stepped in, it is almost as cold as the Winter in the northern hemisphere, but once I stay a little longer, it gleams the warmth of Summer. 
 
This room is very simple; the walls are painted in white whilst the furniture mostly wooden, fitted with a pair of brown-framed windows facing the east where the sun rise. Here, I am breathing inspiration instead of oxygen. This room mirrors the remedy of moonlit sky. Amused, it catches you off guard, as it strips your wall down to the ground, unprotected -- naked.

Not that I just breathe inspiration, I can also breathe easy. I can dance at the tip of my toe living the ballerina dream that never happen. I can paint my bewildered imagination of a house above the clouds with the stars as the light bulbs and all it ever does is shine. I can sing to the hymn of  broken heart parade without feeling the ache. Verse after verse and hums after hums.

In this room, I am young. Free-spirited like bonfire that sparks passion in the middle of Scottish campsite. I am younger even before life happens and take away the innocence of make-believe. Before the monster that lives under the bed flit inside of me. Yet, I can feel safe even though the rest of the world is collapsing.

This room keeps me awake like the sinner that never sleeps and the angel that never weeps. Awake, to the sound of effervescent thoughts of the future as if I am on a road trip to Adulthood valley, all set with books and a bottle of wine for two. I am awake with the dream of tomorrow, a bag full of Stories, forgetting Regret and Doubt light-year away.

In this room, the clock ticks in rhyme with heartbeat and as often as eyes blink. Both fast and slow, under the light of infinite time and space. Nevertheless, here, time does not tie as limitation where things are driven in respect of boundaries; limited. Instead, it is simply there like the base of intergalactic space where all matter, just simply exists.

With the childlike eyes, from this room I can see the world; of two opposites -- the reclaimed happiness glowing in the shades of bitterness. Boy, I can see the universe vastly unravel its secret and I am no longer small. I am adequate. I can see who I want to be and most of all, who I want to be with.

And it’s you.

Because you show me this room.

You are this room.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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