This past Thursday, I finally watched the Studio Ghibli film “Princess Mononoke” (directed by Hayao Miyazaki) for the first time. I was lucky enough to see it in theatres for its 20th anniversary special screening. In some sense, I cannot believe I’ve previously never taken the time to watch this film. I went into the theatre clueless about the film’s background and story line, and was in complete awe and blown away by the totality of the film. Some scenes overwhelmed me with sadness and despair, especially the hatred (brought about by humans) that turned animals into demons and the lack of care and conservation humans had towards mother earth. How relevant Princess Mononoke is to our world today! The extremes of both sides, nature and conservation vs. human industrialization, power, and domination, Princess Mononoke vs. Lady Eboshi, were convincingly portrayed. My heart broke and was in distraught seeing how the selfish desires of the human heart can lead to such intolerable destruction to humans and mother earth. Prince Ashitaka’s character brought forgiveness and hope for a genuine and respectful coexistence of humans and nature. One of my favorite scenes was when Prince Ashitaka comforted Princess Mononoke by simply hugging her after her heart was filled with brokenness, vengeance, and hopelessness, to remind her of love, among many others. My mind is still constantly thinking about the story, the beautiful soundtrack, and the important message for us humans alike. I by no means fully grasp the film, but appreciate Hayao Miyazaki and his staff for creating such a compassionate film filled with essence and timeless relevance. I do plan on re-watching the film soon, and look forward to one day visiting the Ghibli Museum in Japan.
A favorite lecture of mine from Michael Ramsden.
I was very ambitious yesterday and decided to head to LA (on my own, a scary decision indeed) to see Aimee Mann live at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. I found out last minute about her concert, and realized that even if I announced it, no one would be willing to pay $40 to see an artist they probably have never heard of; thus, my decision to go alone. I say it wasn’t the smartest decision only because I’m new to driving in southern California. It sure is different compared to the rest of California; so much more traffic, smaller roads, crazy fast drivers, you name it (ok, maybe I’m being a bit stereotypical, but definitely a lot more traffic). I was extremely nervous driving there, but thank the Lord for delivering me there and safely back home in one piece without getting into any accidents (and thank God it was a Saturday).
Wilshire Ebell Theatre is a very nice venue. Established in the 1920s, it is nicely preserved and maintained. I ended up buying the 2nd best level of seating ($10 more). However, when I got there, the theatre was not that big. Even if I had gotten the cheapest tickets, I would only be about 5 rows behind where I sat. Not a wise decision, but hey, I’m supporting Aimee Mann.
Majority of the attendees/fans that came to support Aimee were a lot older than me, in their 40’s and 50’s. There was definitely a younger crowd present also. Field Report (from Wisconsin) opened for Aimee Mann. They first sang “Route 18” from their debut album, and went on to sing for 30 minutes. I was able to buy their album and received an autograph from the lead singer/acoustic guitar player. Aimee Mann came on 30 minutes later, and began the set with a few songs off her new album Charmer. She was beyond AMAZING live. A great live musician indeed, and also very humorous. She was great interacting with the crowd and making everyone laugh. After her hour-long set, she came back and did an encore (after 30 seconds off state lol) for everyone, playing a few of her older songs: One, It’s Not, and Deathly. I, along with many others, wanted to meet Aimee and get her autograph, but unfortunately, she disappeared after her show (somewhere in the building, but no where near the front nor her tour bus). I really wanted to stay, but figure it wasn’t plausible since I still had to drive a long way to get home. Nonetheless, I do not regret taking the trip there to see her. Her music, lyrics, sound, and presence were fantastic. I did manage to get her official poster before it was long gone! During my drive, I pretty much just listened to her new album the whole way. It’s a great album, with different tempos in each track. I’m sure many people will enjoy it, especially with Aimee Mann’s lyrics!
Aimee Mann’s encore performance of “It’s Not” (my recording, got the best view I could)
Dealbreaker by Rachael Yamagata, from her new album Chesapeake. This is probably my favorite live performance from her and the band, most notably because of the harmonizing. Simply lovely.
Palmy’s new music video for Crush featuring Erlend Øye (a Norwegian artist). Palmy’s music and voice is so pure and soothing.
Hugo’s Wake Alone performance early last year. He just finished his special concert in Bangkok, Thailand last month (if only I could’ve been present). Glad to know many of his Thai fans are supporting his crossover in the states.
Love You Now by Madi Diaz. My favorite arrangement of this song since it includes a whole band and killer vocals.
Gemma Hayes! Gemma Hayes! Gemma Hayes! She’s my favorite female singer/songwriter. A simple composition combined with her voice makes all her songs so magical. I found this mini concert she played on a television broadcast (unsure where). Here’s the setlist: Ae Fond Kiss, Back Of My Hand, Ran For Miles, Walk Away, Evening Sun, November. Ran for Miles starts around 7:30 time-frame. Listen, listen! You won’t be disappointed. She’s truly a GEM, thus her name.
Nothing but the Blood Cover by talented individuals from the WorshipMob collaborations. Was introduced to them from a friend, and am definitely loving their complete rearrangements of the originals. There is nothing but the blood of Jesus Himself.
A prayer for you and me. Though I am miles away, though I may not know immediately how to respond to your troubles, know that there are many who are willingly and silently praying for you and your situation.
More recently, I sympathize with many individuals near and dear to me. It pains me to know others are in deep sorrow, just yearning for care, comfort, understanding, and love from those around them. Lord, even though at this very moment, the times are troubling for many (including myself), I genuinely ask that You give them faith, Lord; faith to trust You and Your eternal goodness. God, as stated in Psalm 34:18, You are close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit. Please be with those who are broken, and may You open their hearts in whatever form you deem valid. God, it is in our weaknesses that You are exemplified. May these endured hardship be an investment in something greater than we can ever perceive; that at the end of it all, God be praised. Amen.
“I may be weak, Your spirit’s strong in me. My flesh may fail, my God You never will.” – give me faith by elevation worship
Lord, I am nothing without You. I need You. Give me faith so that I may trust in You and Your will that is to be done in my life.
“noooooooo, nowhere to run. nowhere to run.” – rivermaya
Great music=great productivity=happy me.
sara groves – eyes wide open
vienna teng – the tower
jessica vang – ua tswv yexus tsaug
vienna teng – blue caravan
rivermaya – nowhere to run
rico blanco – kahit walang sabihin
kuroki meisa – wired life
mr. children – shirushi
rico blanco – come close
priscilla ahn – the moon
hanson – give a little
hugo – sai lom
roddy hart – independence day
roddy hart – home
roddy hart – take me home
bao her – tus kuv hlub tshaj
benji hughes – you stood me up
hillsong – god is able
cheezymousetrap (janett) – you
gemma hayes – something in my way
gemma hayes – shock to my system
mr. children – and i love you