Mikomo

Independent DIY Music Straight From a Living Room

We all live in a yellow submarine… Except Ringo

Ringo and the BeatlesI discovered this image yesterday thanks to my friend Nellie and I thought it was hilarious. It made me laugh so hard… I guess you either get it or you don’t, but this was right up my alley. A nice bit of Beatles humor.

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I live in Spain now

I live in Spain now
A luxurious 100m2 apartment in a small Spanish city by the coast has been my home for the past two weeks. It’s basically located in a gated community; very posh. I moved to Spain on December 1st and I will live here for at least two months. The Mediterranean Sea is only 200 meters away and the city is quite lovely and beautiful. I’m not a fan of the winters back home and nothing was really keeping me there, so I decided to discover another part of the world and move to a country where it’s warm and sunny this time of year. I hoped that a change of scenery would do me good.

I usually don’t enjoy the actual traveling part, but I was surprisingly thrilled on the day of departure. I remember sitting on the airport waiting for my flight to arrive just feeling excited and being full of expectation. For the first time in months, I actually really looked forward to something and it felt like I was going somewhere.

In the animated safety instruction video before take off, all the people were happy and smiling like Barbie dolls, despite the fact that they were putting on oxygen masks and jumping out of an airplane that just had crashed: “calm like Hindu cows.” Of course it made me think of Fight Club.

I love flying. I got goosebumps all over my body when the plane left the ground. I looked out the window for most of the flight and some of the views were stunning. The best part was a gigantic mountain chain that suddenly appeared out of thin air. From a great distance, I saw formations that seemed to be rising high above the clouds. It wasn’t until we got a bit closer that I realized those formations were mountains.

We flew over the mountains around dawn, so the villages in the valleys could be seen in the form of tiny dots of light. Sometimes the houses were spread out in semicircles, higher up in the mountains. The lakes appeared as large, black holes in the ground. I later learned that I saw the The Pyrenees between France and Spain. It seemed so safe and cozy living up there.

I arrived in Alicante around 7PM and had to wait about an hour for the bus to my coastal town. The bus driver helped pick out the right amount of Euros from the coins in my hand. I said “muchas gracias” and he replied “de nada”. The driver was playing Light My Fire by The Doors on the radio and when I got to my seat, Free Falling by Tom Petty came on. For some reason, I suddenly felt so happy that I got tears in my eyes.

After the bus had taken me to the coast, I walked around for a bit and eventually found an available taxi. Since I hardly speak any Spanish and to avoid misunderstandings, I had written down the address to the apartment on a piece of paper. When the cabdriver dropped me off, however, I quickly realized that he had not taken me to the correct address.

So there I was in Spain at 9PM, right by the ocean, and I had no idea how to get to my apartment. I knew I was in the right area, but I wasn’t in the right neighborhood. I aimlessly started walking around, asking the few people that I met for directions. Problem is, not many Spaniards know English – particularly not people over 40. They had no idea where my apartment was, even though I showed them the address.

After 40 minutes of walking up and down blocks, I was preparing myself for a night on the beach. Then I discovered a bar, a Swedish bar, actually. I went in there and met a girl around my age who finally could tell me where to go. Success! I was impressed by the apartment that somehow managed to exceed my high expectations.

I was so very thirsty that night and I dreamt of lakes, even though I had managed to buy a couple of small bottles of water at the airport. See, the tap water in Spain is undrinkable. It both tastes and smells like a swimming pool. I’m not fully sure how they managed to ruin it. A lack of groundwater, pollution, no proper cleaning process? Either way, I had a clear mission when I woke up: food and water. My inner compass immediately took me in the right direction, but for some reason, I strayed from the path. I ended up in some weird part of the city, far from the commerce. After having walked around aimlessly in the hot sun for two hours, I was dehydrated, exhausted, hungry and lost.

However, I finally managed to score some bottled water and later that day I had dinner at one of the restaurants by the beach with an old Finnish couple (the old geezer hated Russians). The meal was bloody horrible and later that week I noticed the restaurant had put up a “closed – for sale” sign. On my second day in town I even managed to find an open supermarket. There is of course an abundance of bars and restaurants here (basically one every 15 meters), but I didn’t think I could feel so exhilarated walking out of a supermarket with a bag of groceries. It felt like I had found a treasure and ten minutes after my grocery store discovery, I was dancing around in my kitchen while cooking a nice chorizo and cheese omelette.

I discovered so many unfamiliar places and met so many new people during my first time here that I basically got to experience more during one day than I did during an entire week back home. The last time I lived abroad for an extended period of time, many years ago when I was much younger, I asked myself when I got home: what am I doing? I should be traveling non-stop. That’s how I feel now, and this time I actually can go through with it if I want to. I can keep doing my job as long as I have a computer with an Internet connection.

For a Spanish city, it contains surprisingly many Irish pubs. I did some research and the Spaniards are actually a minority here. Nearly 14% of this city’s population consists of British people, which explains the amount of English and Irish pubs. This town would be a great place to become a booze hound. Alcohol is dirt cheap, too: yesterday an old lady in the line in front of me at the supermarket bought seven beers, some vegetables and 70cl of fancy vodka for 9 Euros. I hope that list isn’t representative of her diet.

It was naturally not the main reason, but in part I moved abroad to forget about a girl. Initially, it appeared to be working. Now I am no longer so sure. I’ve dreamt about her every night the past week or so. She seems to be following me around like a ghost. I hope she eventually will go away and disappear, because the memory of her is just bringing me down.

I’ve investigated the apartment rental situation in this city a bit closer. You can basically live like Scarface during his heyday, right by the ocean, for the same rent as my last apartment in my homeland. One of the flats I looked at even had two stories. I’m still surprised that it’s so easy and cheap to find a nice place to live here.

Even though I am a big movie buff, I actually didn’t watch The Shawshank Redemption until the year 2000, I believe. Frank Darabont’s prison drama has consistently been one of the two highest rated films on IMDb for at least the past 15 years. At that time, however, I wasn’t very impressed even though I appreciated the craftsmanship. I felt that the movie was too mainstream, predictable and sentimental back then. Around that time, I was mainly into weird, surrealist, original, quirky and less commercial dramas.

When I watched the film again earlier this fall, I could appreciate it more. The Shawshank Redemption is indeed a fine film, and one line particularly struck a chord with me: “Get busy living or get busy dying.” I’ve had my dark moments since I lost the one I love. Moving to another country is me doing my very best to get busy living.

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Lonesome Town

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Crying like a baby

I just discovered this song, All I Want by Kodaline, through Google’s great summery of 2012. The song made me cry like a baby, for many reasons, but mainly because it reminded me of Emmeli. Hell, I’m even crying while typing this. I was rather moved by the music video as well.

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Dissatisfaction is the coal that fuels the fire

Space

One of my closest friends and I regularly go for long walks. We usually walk over 10 kilometers and stroll around for hours. While walking, we have inspired discussions about science, history, politics, video games, music, and whatever comes to mind.

During our last walk we debated heavy topics such as the universe, the very fact that life exists, that anything exists, how astonishing that is, and the never-ending nature of space. When I was younger, I sometimes spent a lot of time thinking about and analyzing those kinds of things. It’s hard to explain, but ever since I was a little kid I have occasionally been so amazed by the mechanics of the universe, life and the world – almost like a positive feeling of vertigo.

As I grew older, those subjects were unfortunately also a source of existential anxiety – at least in my early 20s. Yet, during our walk, instead I was in awe and I suddenly felt humbled and enlightened. Instead of existential anxiety, I reached some sort of existential high. I felt like a curious kid and I wish I could’ve held on to that feeling.

The past is never quite how you remember; the future’s promise may not be fulfilled. Live for the present. The ruins fall around us as we speak.

I was in an unusually good mood earlier this week. Work was more fun and I felt inspired. However, when I feel happy, that happiness seems to be rather fragile. I guess I have a pretty good life at the moment, though. I still care deeply about my job, I meet friends as often as I can, I watch excellent movies and TV-series and I run almost every day.

About once a week I hang out with two old friends in town that I’ve known since I was 12. We eat fast food, snacks and deliberately watch awful movies that make us laugh. We’ve had a very specific movie topic this fall: films about evil animals and evil kids. A couple of times I’ve laughed so hard that I couldn’t stop laughing. Who knew lousy movies could be so entertaining in the company of friends? I treasure those uncontrollable bursts of laughter.

Darth Vader @ Gamex

I recently went to a gaming convention in our nation’s capitol. I didn’t drive there because of the convention: I went there to catch up with friends. The actual convention was really fun, though. BioWare had an event and the game studio answered questions from the audience. Professional cosplayers were attending and I got to say hello to (Disney owned) Darth Vader.

Even though I’ve made great progress, the thing that happened last spring is still very tangible now and then. I’ve never lost someone I love before, not like this, and I don’t fully understand the grieving process. I was fine most of the time all summer and I was creative and positive. A couple of times this fall, however, I’ve somehow been transferred back to square one.

You know what your aunt used to say? You’re lonely, get a cat. They live 13 years, then you get another one and another one after that. Then you’re done.

Mad Men season 5, episode 7

Things that used to reside far back in my mind have suddenly reached the very top of it. During such bouts, I’ve missed a lot of things and my mind has kept showing me flashbacks of her and our life together. I’ve fully realized that the person I loved and lived with for six years is gone forever, yet sometimes I still don’t seem to be able to grasp it.

I tell myself that it’s not the end of the world: that things like this happen to people all the time. They mourn, move on and get on with their lives. I usually don’t think about it at all, but for some reason, she’s still under my skin now and then. I think about her every day, if only for a brief moment. People are unique and they aren’t expendable, but I’ve luckily become a bit numb to it all.

I rarely dream of her, but it still happens. I clearly remember one dream I had earlier this fall. We went grocery shopping together. I tried finding all the stuff she loves to eat. Do you remember the feeling of being a kid and wanting to impress an adult or a parent, to hear them say that you’ve been good? It felt like that.

I tried to shower her with love. On our way home (I guess we were living together) I sat next to her in the backseat of a car but someone else was driving. I was so excited, I looked forward to spending time with her like we’ve planned, but while we were driving she suddenly cancelled; said she couldn’t come. I felt a childlike disappointment, like she was disappearing from me forever even though she said she would only be gone this very evening. Then I woke up, as if I just had a nightmare.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to remember her with a smile on my face. Remembering her is getting reminded of that my best friend is gone, that so much was left undone, that love won’t last, that you can’t truly trust anyone but yourself and that life is fragile. I might be better off without her, but that doesn’t prevent those feelings of sadness. I suddenly got two angry, confused and actually pretty mean-spirited messages from her a couple of weeks ago. It naturally affected me and for several days I considered replying, but never did. Even though it didn’t occur to me then, it would be rather tragic if those were her very last words to me.

Let’s end this on a positive note: I love running on the countryside in the dark. It’s very pleasant to jog when you only see your surroundings as shadowy outlines and silhouettes. Now and then, houses pop up like islands of light in the dark. Since you hardly see anything, you can more easily focus on the music and the running. If you listen to Prodigy, it almost feels like you’re part of some offbeat British movie from the 90s. Highly recommended.

Posted in Misc

Kasey Anderson’s tweets are sublime

Top Kasey Anderson tweets
I used to read great novels, timeless classics from the world literature. I loved reading and I loved books. Now I read stupid 140 character messages on the social network Twitter instead. How sad is that?

I need to check Twitter for work to find news, but it still feels unfortunate. It’s not all bad, though. Besides all the work-related stuff, I also follow a few interesting and witty people.

A person I can relate to is American 32-year-old musician Kasey Anderson. I started reading his tweets a couple of years ago when he was retweeted by another person I was following. He often makes fun of himself in a way I really appreciate. His messages are usually witty, tongue-in-cheek and ironic.

I find Kasey Anderson’s humorous self-mockery endearing. I haven’t listened to his music, but his tweets have cheered me up and made me laugh out loud on occasion the past couple of rough months. Check out a few of Kasey’s top tweets below.

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Dead Film Star by Team Ghost

I just discovered this song and loved it. Excellent video as well.

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Mikomo’s new albums are now on Spotify

Mikomo on Spotify
Future versus Past and Loved and Lost are now available on Spotify. The albums appeared earlier today. They might be available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and other digital stores now as well – I haven’t checked yet.

The important thing for me was to get the albums on Spotify, though, so I can easily share the music. You can check out the albums by following the links below. If you listen to them non-stop, 24 hours a day for two weeks, I might get enough money from the digital streaming service to buy a cup of coffee.

Perhaps I’m imagining things, but I felt that the audio had been slightly altered compared to the original WAV-files. Nevertheless, I am very happy that the records are on Spotify and I now feel that this project is completely finished and behind me. Now I’m on to my next creative effort, and it sure as hell won’t involve writing songs about heartbreak and misery.

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Download: Loved and Lost and Future versus Past

Loved and Lost album cover

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Tonight I finished the Mikomo album Loved and Lost. The new Mikomo records can be downloaded here as high quality MP3 files.

Mikomo – Loved and Lost (September 20, 2012)

  1. Take Me Home
  2. The Angry Song
  3. Everlasting Sunlight
  4. Great People (That I Used to Know)
  5. Love is Lethal
  6. Deltree My Heart
  7. Don’t Trust Your Feelings
  8. Lonely Lonely Lonely
  9. Change of Heart
  10. Drama Queen Sissy
  11. Miss You
  12. Grudge Girl
Future versus Past album cover

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Mikomo – Future versus Past (September 03, 2012)

  1. My New Simplistic View
  2. M.L.E. (mon chérie)
  3. I Can’t Sleep
  4. No Shoes on Her Feet
  5. Weekend, End of July 2007
  6. Weekend, End of July 2007 Pt. 2
  7. Make You Proud
  8. Crowded With Space
  9. Coming to Your Neighborhood
  10. I Know I Can
  11. Future versus Past
  12. Loved and Lost

Both albums are naturally dedicated to Emmeli. If you don’t hear from me again, I’m probably sleeping in a box ”in the good soil of Denmark” (either that, or I’m busy eating insane amounts of Ben & Jerry’s).

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Everlasting Sunlight

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I recorded this music in 2007 or early 2008. I wrote the lyrics in the beginning of June, but I finished Everlasting Sunlight last. Why? I had written a song and a melody that I couldn’t sing. It’s a difficult key for me, too. I tried finishing it months ago and the vocals just sounded bloody awful.

Today I gave it another shot. I skipped doing a quick octave jump in the verse melody, lowered the chorus an entire octave and removed a crazy chromatic screaming part. To record the vocals for this song was very frustrating. I had a horrible time. On top of everything else, my music recording software started crashing constantly.

That’s not enough; the power went out earlier this evening while I was mixing. Apparently, the power company cut a cable. This song is cursed. I’m still not fully pleased with the vocals, but hopefully they are acceptable. I like the rest, though.

The Loved and Lost album became impressively whiny. I hope people won’t hear it and just think “stop complaining and get over it you oversensitive and whiny little bitch!” This song concludes this project and now both of the new Mikomo albums are finished. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I will post them here soon in their entirety.

Mikomo – Everlasting Sunlight

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