Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Japan 2008 Photobook

Me and a couple of buddies travelled to Japan in early 2008. I promised to my friends to make a photobook documenting the trip shortly after returning, but only finished off the job last week. It's off at the printers now, but here's a little preview. I hope they turn out fine in print!

The photobook was created (rather simply) using Apple iPhoto and the music is by Air (Alone In Kyoto).

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I'm going to let you in on a bit of a strange quirk of mine. Part of my leaving-the-house routine includes spending up to five minutes deciding what CD I should bring with me to accompany the carride. I feel it is important to match up the music with a bunch of parameters: who will be in the car with me (further complicated by the combination of different people), where we will be driving to and whole bunch of other mysterious and undefinable variables. This can result in cases where the length of the drive is much shorter than the time spent looking for the soundtrack.

All of this misspent time is hopefully justified by the passenger inquiring about the music bouncing around the car...but that doesn't always happen! Next time you are in the passenger seat - make the driver happy - complement them on the strangely perfect music choice for the carride as they may have spent an unreasonable amount of time thinking about it!

On a related musically obsessive note - a few months ago I stumbled upon the 8tracks website. 8tracks lets you listen to and create online "mixtapes" to share. It has quickly become one of my favourite places to find new music.

I like my mixtapes to have a running theme that ties the songs together. My latest mix can be listened to below and relates to death and learning to live with it with songs by Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine and Holly Throsby. To check out a few other mixes (including a mix of songs about bicycles!) visit my 8tracks page. Also let me know if you have an account as I'd love to hear more mixtapes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jacaranda (thirty years ago today)

Jindalee Sunset 24/09/09

I once associated the bloom of jacaranda trees with the coming of exams for university students. On the onset of Spring, purple Jacaranda flowers appear on the normally leafy green trees and cover the lawns of the Great Court of the University of Queensland.

Jacaranda 18/10/09

But now I associate Jacaranda trees with the arrival of the Bui family in Australia by way of South Vietnam - thirty years ago, today. My parents every Spring speak of driving down Coronation Drive for the first time and marvelling at the purple that covered the trees along the riverbank.

Jacaranda 18/10/09

I often think about how different my life would be if my family did not arrive as refugees after the war. We're lucky to have carved out the life we have right now. It makes you want to make the most of what you have for all the risks that your family have taken for you to be here.

Jacaranda 18/10/09

All photos taken around the Bui family household.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Whitsundays/1770 Road Trip

On the day after boxing day the family went for a big drive up the Queensland coast for the first time. This was the first time we've ever gone up north despite living here for all of my life!

Tree, Antennas and Powerlines

Early Morning on the Bruce Highway

The drive was filled with some great scenery - cow-filled farmland, lush fruit-land and heaps of little beachside towns.

Town of 1770 Lookout

The Town of 1770 lookout.

Grays Bay, Bowen

Gray's Bay, Bowen

The Big Mango + Kim

We visited Bowen - which has set itself as the place where Nicole and Hugh spent 6 weeks filming 'Australia' as well as being the mango capital of the country. It's a really lovely place though, and I think if I ever want to spend a week or so at a few quiet beaches I would be heading back here.

Whitehaven Beach Jump

We also got to spend some time at the cleanest and loveliest beach I've ever been to - Whitehaven Beach located in the Whitsunday Islands. The sand felt so perfect under foot and the beach just felt pretty and untouched.

All in all a really great time, and despite the drive being 1200km each way, I wouldn't have it any other way.

oh...Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Peregian Beach, Sunshine Coast

I had a great day yesterday out with my mates. We had a bit of a drive up north to Peregian Beach. The simple days are the greatest. Terrible mix CDs in the car, having a swim in the waves at the beach, laughing uncontrollably at things that aren't funny to anyone else, fish and chips in the park and hanging out on the porch until late back home. And polaroids! It was a nice day.

Top 5 Desert Island Discs

Written for a competition at work funnily enough.

Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

- An fittingly overblown title for a double album boasting 28 tracks. This album is the soundtrack to my teenage years, awkwardly chasing after girls and not quite catching them. The songs are mostly heartfelt love songs, that alternate between heavy distortion at home in arenas to delicate acoustic melodies designed to be played to small audiences. This album feels like a precursor to 'emo' music - which I guess is not a good thing. Around April this year when the band came through on their reunion tour I donned the loose black t-shirt and became my teenage self again for the duration of the almost 3 hour concert - confirming that they are as gloriously overblown as they were 12 years ago.

Neil Young - After the Gold Rush

- A couple of years ago I found a battered old 12" copy of After the Gold Rush in a market stall for $2. It's probably the most I've gotten out of $2 - I have listened to it so much that the scratches and pops have become part of the songs and it sounds strange when I hear a clean CD recording of the album. I found myself relating unexpectedly to the lyrics in a lot of these songs - who knew I had something in common with a hippy with an acoustic guitar in the 70's? Anyway, I don't think I would ever want to part with this album and I'll be happily seeing him live in just over a month amongst a sea of older codgers.

Holly Throsby - On Night

- An album from a young lass who at the time of recording was working in a video-store in Sydney. On Night was recorded in a house in the Blue Mountains, which is evident in the birds calls that are audible in the background of some of the songs. The production is very sparse with many of the songs being only acoustic guitar and Holly's low whispery vocals. The lyrics are based around relationships gone wrong and lonely nights - which I think would be a comfort to me living alone on a deserted island! I personally think this is one of the most underrated
Australian album debuts of the past few years.

Yann Tiersen - Amelie soundtrack

- A soundtrack to a Sunday day out. The instrumental music score to the film is as joyous as the main character of the movie. The main instrument you will hear on the recording is accordian, but there are flashes of piano, strings and even the sound of the keys of a typewriter. This album is a bit of a counterpoint to the 4 others in
the list which tend to be a bit on the depressing side. It's a shame that McDonalds used one of the songs in an advertisement.

eels - Daisies of the Galaxy

- I read that lyrics from this album were posted on George Bush's 2000 campaign website as an example of inappropriate lyrical content. Which is a unfortunate, because if George actually listened to this album I think he would have liked it. The cover of 'Daisies' is in the style of an old children's book drawing - which does have it's own sweetness to it and a touch of darkness. The album sounds much like the cover looks - the music is pretty joyous but the lyrics can be pretty dark at times. This is another album that I relate to a lot lyrically and I end up putting it in for a spin every few weeks subconciously!