islington.

the rain falls like a blanket of teardrops. your brown suede jacket, cuffed sleeves, darkens to a midnight black. you remember when you bought it, in an old theatre turned second-hand store. when cancer claimed the walls the building lost its spirit, a bit like a pretty girl that’s been alone for too long. “half-price”, said the middle-aged blonde woman after you pulled it from the rack. it’s yours.

under the rain that continues to fall, you wonder if it’s made to last. you wonder, too, why it always seems to rain on weekends. instead of entering the bar, you’re looking in from a distance, arranging these thoughts into linear obtrusions between you and the door. for now, the rain that makes you cold is more comfortable. a social anxiety envelops you.

inside, there are people. among these people, there are friends. friends with their plus-one, or two, or three, or none. they are all talking. you hear the sounds, the air vibrations are there, but you cannot decipher them into words or sentences. there are currents that run through each of them. two met at the same twenty-first, six worked in the same building, the rest went to the same school. shared currents will hold them together until they grow weak, sometime in the future.

a singular drop falls from a clump of hair. it hits the lower part of your cheek and trickles downwards. if the rain keeps coming, you’ll end up with a cold. an inevitably lingers. the doctor has called this fight or flight. it’s your instinctive psychological response, she says. it all feels like a meandering garble. textbook medical speak.

you remind yourself of tall trees in southern tasmania, of canyons in the blue mountains, of the light dust that rolls over the nullarbor. you imagine bodies of water carrying your laden thoughts to other parts of the open country. you feel them leave you, at first slowly, then quicker, and quicker, until there’s nothing left. a sort of temporality has emptied you, filled you up again.

a short-lived breeze slides across your face. after one step, you take another. the handle tilts, opening to a concurrent world away from the rain. you hear your name being called. discernible, almost emphatic. “antho, you’re here.”

jangle, shoegaze, something, something. day ravies’ [fb] unbeatable album of late ‘13, 'tussle' - a sort of throwback to the youthful disposition of times past. this is the video for the track 'double act', where dreamlike crooning, backyard jams, milk-crates-for-seats and beers with mates all come together.

[image via futei]
"from the darkness within him sprang that famished ardour, that mad passion for living which had always been part of him and even today was still unchanged, making still more bitter - in the midst of the family he had rediscovered and facing the images of his childhood - the sudden terrible feeling that the time of his youth was slipping away, like the woman he had loved, oh yes, he had loved her with a great love, with all his heart and his body too. yes, with her it was a fervent desire, and when he withdrew from her with a great silent cry at the moment of orgasm he was in passionate harmony with his world, and he had loved her for her beauty and for the open-hearted and despairing passion for life that was hers, and that made her deny, deny that time could pass, though she knew it was passing at that very moment, not wanting people to be able one day to say she was still young, but rather to stay young, always young; she burst into sobs one day when, laughing, he told her youth was passing and the days were waning: ‘oh no, oh no,’ she said through her tears, ‘i’m so in love with love.’ and, intelligent and outstanding in so many ways, perhaps just because she truly was intelligent and outstanding, she rejected the world as it was.
as it had been those days when, returning after a brief stay in the foreign country where she was born - those funeral visits, those aunts about whom she was told: ‘it’s the last time you’ll see them,’ and actually see their faces, their bodies, their ruins, and she wanted to go out screaming; or else those family dinners on a tablecloth embroidered by a great-grandmother who was long since dead and whom no one thought about, except she who was thinking about her great-grandmother when she was young, about her pleasures, about her appetite for living, like herself, marvellously beautiful in the bloom of her youth, and everyone at the table was paying her compliments, and on the wall around the table were hanging portraits of beautiful young women who were the ones who were complimenting her now and who were all decrepit and worn out. then, her blood on fire, she wanted to flee, flee to a country where no one would grow old or die, where beauty was imperishable, where life would always be wild and radiant, and that did not exist; she wept in his arms when she returned, and he loved her desperately.”
a largely unedited excerpt from the unfinished manuscript, le premier homme, published in 1994, albert camus.

[image via futei]

"from the darkness within him sprang that famished ardour, that mad passion for living which had always been part of him and even today was still unchanged, making still more bitter - in the midst of the family he had rediscovered and facing the images of his childhood - the sudden terrible feeling that the time of his youth was slipping away, like the woman he had loved, oh yes, he had loved her with a great love, with all his heart and his body too. yes, with her it was a fervent desire, and when he withdrew from her with a great silent cry at the moment of orgasm he was in passionate harmony with his world, and he had loved her for her beauty and for the open-hearted and despairing passion for life that was hers, and that made her deny, deny that time could pass, though she knew it was passing at that very moment, not wanting people to be able one day to say she was still young, but rather to stay young, always young; she burst into sobs one day when, laughing, he told her youth was passing and the days were waning: ‘oh no, oh no,’ she said through her tears, ‘i’m so in love with love.’ and, intelligent and outstanding in so many ways, perhaps just because she truly was intelligent and outstanding, she rejected the world as it was.

as it had been those days when, returning after a brief stay in the foreign country where she was born - those funeral visits, those aunts about whom she was told: ‘it’s the last time you’ll see them,’ and actually see their faces, their bodies, their ruins, and she wanted to go out screaming; or else those family dinners on a tablecloth embroidered by a great-grandmother who was long since dead and whom no one thought about, except she who was thinking about her great-grandmother when she was young, about her pleasures, about her appetite for living, like herself, marvellously beautiful in the bloom of her youth, and everyone at the table was paying her compliments, and on the wall around the table were hanging portraits of beautiful young women who were the ones who were complimenting her now and who were all decrepit and worn out. then, her blood on fire, she wanted to flee, flee to a country where no one would grow old or die, where beauty was imperishable, where life would always be wild and radiant, and that did not exist; she wept in his arms when she returned, and he loved her desperately.”

a largely unedited excerpt from the unfinished manuscript, le premier homme, published in 1994, albert camus.

this must be the place.

i have been in japan for fourteen nights. these are some of the memorable locals i have met in osaka, kyoto, and tokyo. i leave for egypt tomorrow, but something aches to remain.

junko was the first japanese person i had a conversation with. she was 32, had the youthful beauty of a twenty-year old and spoke better than broken english. we shared a beer over television. i told her what animal i thought each person on the screen looked most like. the catfish was probably my worst comparison. her smile was one of the most beautiful i have ever seen.

yoko, age undeclared, lived in london for four years. as time went by her english grew confidence in my presence. a scarf wrapped and draped itself over her shoulders. it worked well with short-cropped hair. i would often catch myself looking longingly at her just before she noticed. she carried herself with an understated elegance. 

ryo brought a plate of thick-sliced bread and apricot jam to the breakfast bar. every morning i asked for more yoghurt. she smiled like she knew the meaning of life. she had two crooked teeth. i admired her imperfections the most and felt good when she spoke to me. good like a man who has been made honest by the woman he loves.

mino wore glasses and served two beers. one had too much head and the other was close enough. he told me i would have much luck with the japanese ladies. that was an unfortunate lie. after an hour or two i requested ‘alabama shakes’ to be played over the sound system. he obliged. when he asked his boss if he could join me for a beer, i thought he was a better man than most. i drank myself into disarray and shouted his name like we grew up together. i don’t remember when he left, but i missed him.

kento was on his first day at work when i met him. it was a good test for him. when i saw him for the first time i thought he looked like a manga hero. he had an angular jawline and a sharp chin. his character would have saved some beauty from a ravenous evil. he was the man. when he left he slapped me on the back and said he’d visit me in australia. i don’t like it when people leave me with the faintest hope.

akano had a fringe that framed her full cheeks. she had a warmth in her face that would melt snowflakes on contact. when snowflakes fell on my skin they remained as ice crystals for much longer. that’s how i knew the difference between us. she was either shy or uninterested in talking. she remains a mystery to me, like the smile of mona lisa.

nara wore a horizontally-striped jumper in blue and white. she travelled across japan on the shinkansen before we met. when i made her laugh, two organic patches of pink blossomed on her cheekbones. she raised a full hand over her mouth when she giggled. a stereotype somewhere had been confirmed.

furo had medium-length hair that snuck out from his beanie. he was the bar manager at the hostel. i ordered a neo-kamikaze drink that some guy the night before made me aware of. it was probably a secret thing. he wanted to know how i knew about it. i tapped my nose twice and he laughed. he had the most concentrated laughter in japan. it is probably better if the neo-kamikaze remains a secret. they are deadly.

tatsuki approached me at the bar of a record store. he was a middle-aged man with longish sideways-swept hair. he slid a business card across the bar and told me he was a musician. when he asked for my card i told him that i was a student. for a moment, we were lost in translation. he checked his watch sometime before the frost on my second beer disappeared, and left. i have his youtube link.

kohei ran an american-styled cafe. he dressed like a lumberjack from portland. his moustache was out of place but i didn’t take that away from him. when we shared a conversation over coffee he told me that he had been to australia. he said australians are laid back because the landscape is vast and allows them to have more space in their heart. it was poetic, and i let him know that. after the coffee he wrote a list of places to visit. his knowledge made him a wealthy man.

mr takahashi owns a record store and sits day-long on a small cushioned stool behind a wooden bench. i met him eight months ago, but he did not remember. he does not speak a word of english. in a conversation where neither person can speak the same language, a general tolerance and comfort is found. i sat in silence on a wooden seat and listened to a soul record for an hour or more before nodding and walking out the door. our dialogue had been the music.

an almost made up poem

"i see you drinking at a fountain with tiny blue hands, no, your hands are not tiny they are small, and the fountain is in france where you wrote me that last letter and i answered and never heard from you again. you used to write insane poems about angels and god, all in upper case, and you knew famous artists and most of them were your lovers, and i wrote back, it’s all right, go ahead, enter their lives, i’m not jealous because we’ve never met. we got close once in new orleans, one half block, but never met, never touched. so you went with the famous and wrote about the famous, and, of course, what you found out is that the famous are worried about their fame - not the beautiful young girl in bed with them, who gives them that, and then awakens in the morning to write upper case poems about angels and god. we know god is dead, they’ve told us, but listening to you i wasn’t sure. maybe it was the upper case. you were one of the best female poets and i told the publishers, editors, “print her, print her, she’s mad but she’s magic. there’s no lie in her fire.” i loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of. i would have loved you more if i had sat in a small room rolling a cigarette and listened to you piss in the bathroom, but that didn’t happen. your letters got sadder. your lovers betrayed you. kid, i wrote back, all lovers betray. it didn’t help. you said you had a crying bench and it was by a bridge and the bridge was over a river and you sat on the crying bench every night and wept for the lover who had hurt and forgotten you. i wrote back but never heard again. a friend wrote me of your suicide three or four months after it happened. if i had met you i would probably have been unfair to you or you to me. it was best like this.”

love is a dog from hell, 1977, charles bukowski.

this is my jam. this is tsunthis is where to follow them [x]. this is their track ‘marmalade’. this is a clip filmed in canada and north america. this is psychedelic meets blues meets grunge. this is me letting the music speak for itself.

a place where nothing ever happens.

the first day of spring, and we’ve come full circle. it feels like the first time you meet someone. when they carry an energy that makes your breath so short that you are weakening. then they start to patch together your unravelling knitwork. you don’t really know what’s happening, but shit it, the sun is lending you its warmth and the days are growing longer inside of you. then the winter approaches.

a friend once told me that people need the winter sun. it’s cold, and you’re becoming empty. but when the sun finds your skin, it starts to take you over. and like that person that took you away, you need it more than anything else. then somewhere along the way, you don’t know what’s happening again. you become complacent, and instead of loving, you lose trust in yourself and start examining. you’re nervous about doing or saying the wrong things. it scares you to death because people everywhere have told you for so long that falling in love is the hardest thing.

and soon it’s the last day of winter, when you look her way and ask her “do you love me?” and she responds “yeah, i love you”. but now that you’re deep in this chasm, you don’t know if she’s telling the truth, or if she’s even interested anymore. you start to shake inside, and wonder if the days are being forced. it scares you to death because you have no control. all you ever wanted was to feel that winter sun.

the wind makes trees sing and the long grass bend, that’s a fact. but when a girl loves me she begins to live within herself, spending hours saying less and less until she asks an impossible question like “are you happy?” and you say “i guess so” and she says “oh”, looking upwards to the sky with a distance growing in her gaze. you can feel your doubts become more real than ever. and before long, you’re piecing together everything that has broken away.

sometimes, the seasons pass and you look around to realise that you’ve been left behind. you can still feel those last corners of warmth slowly escape your body. then you move on, and start listening to psychedelic music or meet new people with that same new energy, who patch together the new holes in your already patched knitwork. over time, you collect a little more, and remember a little less.

[image via kikagakumoyo]

"kikagaku moyo started in the summer of 2012 in tokyo, attempting to recreate the spirit of the early 70’s japanese psychedelic underground. they enrichen this gentle sound with the use of sitars, percussive drums, theremins, wind instruments and charming female vocals, to the point of sounding powerfully spacious and lazily calm at the same time. and they achieve such levels of invention, to not be labelled traditional revivalists but creators of a modern electric music for the mind and body”.

i’m down with this. kikagaku moyo and the track, 'can you imagine nothing?' from their debut lp, may 2013.

[image via sangbleu]
"tattoos have become ubiquitous in our society. however, for decades in france they were almost exclusively associated with the underworld, and often documented time spent in prisons overseas and/or at home. whether from paris, lyon or marseille, bad boys of the day exhibited on their very skins proof of hoodlum identity: the stigmata of a marginal existence. these photographs, taken during arrests, are a unique portrait gallery of criminals the naked skins of whom reveal sadness, a thirst for revenge, obscene drawings, remembrances of africa… the many ‘poetic expressions of hoodlum sadness,’ as albert londres eloquently put it." mauvais garçons, tattoed underworld, 1890-1930. a portrait gallery. jerome pierrat. [x]
for several days i would pace down rue de la roquette, waiting curiously for a small parisian bookstore to open its doors. on a fine tuesday, just short of midday, it came alive. it had a gentle hush that absorbed the crisp smell that you find on opening a new book. and, perched in the corner near the window where dust started to collect on its sill, i found this book. one for the collection, that’s for sure.

[image via sangbleu]

"tattoos have become ubiquitous in our society. however, for decades in france they were almost exclusively associated with the underworld, and often documented time spent in prisons overseas and/or at home. whether from paris, lyon or marseille, bad boys of the day exhibited on their very skins proof of hoodlum identity: the stigmata of a marginal existence. these photographs, taken during arrests, are a unique portrait gallery of criminals the naked skins of whom reveal sadness, a thirst for revenge, obscene drawings, remembrances of africa… the many ‘poetic expressions of hoodlum sadness,’ as albert londres eloquently put it." mauvais garçons, tattoed underworld, 1890-1930. a portrait gallery. jerome pierrat. [x]

for several days i would pace down rue de la roquette, waiting curiously for a small parisian bookstore to open its doors. on a fine tuesday, just short of midday, it came alive. it had a gentle hush that absorbed the crisp smell that you find on opening a new book. and, perched in the corner near the window where dust started to collect on its sill, i found this book. one for the collection, that’s for sure.

between cities, countries, and continents, there are rare occasions when the wifi service drops in and i have a connection. i spend those moments wrapped in the beats of a favourite tune. currently, it’s chrome sparks’ ‘marijuana’. the clip, the sound, the distorted lyrics and clashing layers, it sends the blood through the veins and the limbs into life.

[image via futei]
the beauty of carrying around a polaroid is that it vaguely looks like a camera. on the backstreets of asakusabashi, in pursuit of taito design village, i came across a man standing to the side and practicing his golf swing. he noticed my presence. it didn’t bother him much, but there was a moment when he gave me that look that suggested a few stray, unpleasant japanese words were coming my way. i smiled, nodded and left him to his hip actions.

[image via futei]

the beauty of carrying around a polaroid is that it vaguely looks like a camera. on the backstreets of asakusabashi, in pursuit of taito design village, i came across a man standing to the side and practicing his golf swing. he noticed my presence. it didn’t bother him much, but there was a moment when he gave me that look that suggested a few stray, unpleasant japanese words were coming my way. i smiled, nodded and left him to his hip actions.

from autumn, came winter.

at times, the life that i have created for myself starts to fray at the edges. those organic friendships, that were once so spirited and warm, now creak under the lightest of footfall. it was perhaps in facetiousness, or the errant placement of word, that i let it break away. but merely does it revive that feeling of awe, watching other people who seem to master their lives so beautifully. their concept of time, that which shares the natural rhythms of the tides.

ostensibly, i am not as assured. events, places, motions, people, and things, all occur somewhere between waking and sleeping. the tree that drapes over the yard, once glowing in yellows and greens, is shedding browns and reds. i don’t remember summer from spring. and from autumn, came winter. it’s a young june, and i’m still catching up. and so, the perpetual fear returns, that in middle winter, there will be a freeze. one that prevents the thaw. 

[image via coastalcities]

coastal cities [fb] are a bit of two door cinema club, and a bit of foals. five indie dudes out of the u.k. who are delivering some strong jangly, post-punk sounds. featured is their new track ‘entropic’, which is one of those tunes that gives you such a good feeling when you listen to it. this tune is soaring, summery, and worth your time.

if you lay awake at night,

your dreams are holding you back.

[image via björk]

listening to björk is akin to having a sexual relationship with nature. you don’t just want to hold hands, you want to get involved. and so, these new puritans have threaded björk’s 'mutual core' with vocals of a solomon islands song, pushing the vines of nature upwards until the sky is pulled closer. those seasonal shifts and tectonic plates in your chest have never been this seductive. it’s a must-listen.

as fast as your fingernail grows,
the atlantic ridge drifts,
to counteract distance.

facts about futei - no. 32

june and july are tokyo, basel, marrakech, copenhagen, berlin, como, and paris. oh, sweet travel, i will have to flunk the first semester for you. (but willingly)