Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Feature: Vektroid


Summer. Skate. Tune.

These are the three words I'd use myself to describe Washington State- based chillwave prodigy Vektroid's music. In the producer's own words it would be a hi-fi computer journey through space and time and second life sunsets on a nude virtual beach.

Two albums released during 2011, Starcalc and Neo Cali are the perfect examples of how an artist can grow during a short period. Vektroid delivered a very coherent sophomore, which also transmits a story. When listening to Neo Cali, it feels like you're being taken through the phases of a summer day. From skating like crazy under the hot midday sun, until relaxing when the comforting cooling evening breeze comes. For pure electronic music to pull of something like that deserves to be congratulated.

Exciting times are ahead, as the third album will be released late spring. Here's a teaser;

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Little beer school

Today I had the tastiest lecture since 9th grade; beer professional Mikko Salmi taught the beer basics to some Hospitality Management students. As a Music and Media Management student I felt it was important to know them too.


We learned how to look at the colors, smell the aromas and taste the different flavor phases from the tip of the tongue until the after taste. All I could think about was our beer tasting evenings and countless visits to the Bierreclame Museum in Breda with my Erasmus friends.

One reason to live abroad? I'll give you six.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Last Saturday we celebrated the Iranian New Year, Nowruz at Finnish composer Toivo Kuula's old summer house in Lappeenranta.


Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the Iranian calendar. It usually occurs on March 21, on the day of astronomical vernal equinox. The celebration usually means a lot of food and dancing to Persian techno.

It's a tradition to have a table of "sin", objects, which start with the Persian S symbolizing something. For example an apple is beauty and health and vinegar is age and patience.

Sometimes there might be a bowl of water with a goldfish= life within life. Three times I've taken the goldfish as a pet. They were called Pikachu, Silgo and Goldeen. Pikachu being my first pet ever, we didn't have food for him during the first day, so I put some cookie bits in the bowl and was happy that he was still alive the next morning!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Best of SYTYCD season 6

I've recently just finished watching season six of So You Think You Can Dance. I know I'm very behind, as it's from 2009, but please no spoilers from the next seasons! Soon I'll be done with them too.

Anyways, here a are a few of my favorite dances. The first three are choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, who has now for surely become my favorite choreographer. Her way of using alternative music to come up with quirky moves has had America falling in love with her.

Below all the dances I've put the songs used, so you could listen to them as a whole, if you like.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Exactly 20 years

and a week ago we moved from The Philippines to Finland. Someone has said that I've perhaps had a rockier path in growing up, when I am more Finn than other family members. Always have had to learn and understand my homework myself, when my parents couldn't help with the language and six years older siblings were somewhere else. Being raised with three cultures, of couse I've suffered from identity crisis. Especially, when I haven't been able to fulfill the culture, which has had the biggest influence on me through my family. Christmas ham is missing from the table and on Midsummer Day we're one of the few, who stay in the city.

Is this how non-Christians feel during Christmas?

Some have raised the issue of when second generation immigrants feel they've become truly Finns. The world at home and outside are two different places. For me all it took was to leave the country. It wasn't until moving to Holland that I started to tell people that I come from Finland and didn't explain my roots further to just make things simple.

I also began to realize that I actually am a Finn.

It's not about your blood, but your mentality. Though my family coming from somewhere else makes me special and makes me more aware of happenings.

I remember my teacher once saying that the Finns abroad are more Finnish than the ones here. What she meant was that while abroad you embrace better those characteristics, which define you as a certain country's citizen, but without feeling superior towards other cultures. After all you don't only start to appreciate the positive things in your country, but also dislike the negative.

The funniest part though is that Finnish people constantly think that at least one of my parents must be a Finn. And the most common comment of people abroad was 'I thought that Finns had blond hair and blue eyes!'.

No, it's the Swedes.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Attack of the Aunts pt.2

In part one of Attack of the Aunts my sister had come for a visit back home and to see our nephew. This time we had our own aunts visiting us from Austria and Hong Kong to attend Nate's baptism last Sunday. Also my sister-in-law's aunt flew from Poland.

Family reunions can only mean proper feasting (Filipino, Polish and Iranian food) and nervous breakdowns...

Nataniel Keon was asleep during the whole ceremony, only opening his eyes when water was poured on his head. So all in all the day went smoothly. Without anyone being killed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Attack of the Aunts

March 6th-11th, 2012

After not seeing my sister in over two and a half years, I was really excited to have her visit Finland again. I even did some hand crafts, which I wasn't good at in school, and got some Finnish goodies.

In exchange I got some American/Canadian goodies, including Austra's deluxe edition debut album!

I'm sure my sister was very stoked of seeing our nephew for the first time too! Almost as stoked as eating rye bread again.

The week also included seeing my father, since December in London.

A shopping day in Helsinki. Yes, I bought a dress.

We celebrated someone's two-month birthday.

Nate is already a big handsome boy!

The highlight was when not only did he smile at me, but kept eye contact and smiling even when I walked pass by him; he followed my movement! He looked like a toothless little old man.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tree standing tall

I'm running now, but off the path. 
Franticly searching for my way back. 
Now I'm lost and losing hope, 
and feel the breathing of something close. 
Must escape, go far from this, 
but I'm travelling deep in the dark of this. 
I can't tell, but I can see the rabbit standing next to me.

Based on these words, I get the feeling that Oliver Tree Nickell is experiencing rough times in finding his place in the world. However, music-wise his straight-forward lyrics, hard-hitting beats and now and then sentimental melodies have shown that he's an act the indie scene will embrace sooner or later.

Nickell is the father of the amazing Tree project, which is a collective of multimedia artists (director, 3D animator, 2 street artists) from San Francisco. Together they create and push the underground movement in the bay area, while promoting creativity and positive energy.

Only 18, Nickell has already been successful in licensing some of his music with an MTV show, and played alongside artists such as Skrillex and Nero. This spring will see Tree's debut 'Splitting Branches' being released, and I'm starting to think that 2012 has the chance of being a better year for music than the splendid previous one.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The New Girl

Has anyone watched the US hit show New Girl starring the amazing Zooey Deschanel? Well, in Finland the title is translated into 'Three men and a girl', and that's how it is now. I mean me living with three guys.

It's great! We get along very well. What's even greater is the view from my room.

In front you have the central park/church, the lake, the bridge, which takes you to which I like to say 'the better side of the city' (that wasn't a joke, always going to be proud of coming from that area of town). Then also the mushroom-shaped water tower, which was almost in our old apartment's backyard. Even though the picture doesn't show you properly that this city is called the 'city of light', this video should;

It's really strange to be living somewhere else than the area I'm used to (excluding Holland & London), having everything close by. Best to enjoy it then!

With her staring at me.