Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Indie Guide Jakarta: Vintage and Local Shopping Guide

The Anti-Shopping Mall Guide to Jakarta
Where to Find Rad Vintage and New Threads on the Cheap

Intro: Like, why are there so many malls?

You're in Jakarta now, but let me give you some perspective of the world outside. Today, Toronto's autumn air was crisp and invigorating, the sun glinted off the yellow tree leaves like a cocky grin and my friend Jeb and I decided we were going to eat our hungover burrito outside. I had no idea where we could find a park in the area we were downtown, but he wasn't worried."I'm pretty sure if we walk far enough in any direction we'll hit a park," he said breezily. 500 metres later in rando direction we were sprawled in the green grass, sour cream dribbling down my chin. Like duh was soaked deep in his #firstworldproblem voice, but little did he realize the urban planning cluster buck nightmare that is Jakarta that I had come from before.

Upon arrival in Jakarta, September last year I had a haunted visit akin to ol' Ebeneezer Scrooge. I saw the ghost of anti-consumerist highschool Fel's past scream in agony and attempt a roundhouse kick to my sensibilities. Everywhere I looked, everywhere I walked and everywhere I ate, I was surrounded by MALLS.  As prominent as zits are to your adolescent pizza face are shopping centres to Jakarta’s expat living, but unlike Scrooge this was no nightmare.Where was the local goods? The cool markets?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Things to do at Hallowe'en: Zombie Walks

 When the Dead Come out to Play..Tennis?

Okay, not to sound like a necrophiliac, but I've always had an abnormal obsession with the living dead. I suppose it follows the logical order of my interests.  Not sure if you could tell but I'm a pretty big sci-fi nerd cookie, loving the idea of apocalyptic inducing diseases, post apoco societies, disorder, anarchy, politics, human nature studies etc so of course zombie anything has always drawn the me in! Though I must say that I prefer the 28 Days Later zombie story over any other, probably the same reason I love Planet of the Apes, and Oryx and Crake : we crazy humans be the agents of our own destruction in our perennial quest for technological advancement. Hell, the first night I even met my (ex) amour before we started dating, we bonded over zombie role play,  pretending the foggy, scary night outside of the camp grounds we just snuck out of in the French country side were the set of a zombie film. Ooh! The key to my heart!

ANYWAYZ. You can imagine how bloody excited I was when I realized I was in a city that had a Zombie Walk. Toronto. Paris has one too but somehow I find it hard to imagine French kids dropping their cool capes enough to really pull off the ugly grunginess of the zombz. In this article people complain about the French getting too drunk all the time and hanging out at the bars haha. If you can comment on the nature of the Paris version, please do!

Despite my excitement, I was in a bit of a dilemma. The rain had let up after a week straight and I was just dying to play tennis too. Only the most obvious solution struck me and that was to play zombie tennis in Trinity Bellwoods Park! Duh rahhreehhhee* !

*zombie translation

Here are a couple pics from the march.

 While Tennis a la mort vivant was fun , it was hard to take myself seriously. Especially with all the groans of the dead echoing around the park, it was damn and delightfully distracting, sorry Cindy! Toronto you are too cool sometimes. 

Eat the ball boy? Attack the weak and small

Somehow the little tyke was unperturbed by my menacing swagger

Now THIS could give you the shivers. Hundreds of zombies marching past us, see the fresh blood of tennis players and suddenly rush the fence, climbing it and groaning for our flesh. It was actually frightening, I felt like I was in the Walking Dead (show not comic) and reality and fiction lines were way too blurry!!

Best zombie that day at Bellwoods. Not necessarily how she dressed but the way she dragged her leg behind her, the distant look in her eye, the slow bend of her neck as she walked around. She was freakin into it and for that she has my love forever.

 Zombie Bloggers, Lauren O'Nizzle and Casie Stewart. Check out their pictures from the day that included more than tennis!

Political zombie farmers even showed up! It should have read "Zombies feed (on) cities".  Anyways, that concludes that deadly awesome day. I had to go into work (I'm serving to save money atm) a couple hours later and although I begged them to let me serve customers all dead like, my managers didn't want me eating our customers for dinner. Seriously dudes, if you're lucky enough to be in a city where the living become dead the Saturday before Hallowe'en, don't procrastinate. Throw on some fake blood and your limpy swagger and march!


List of Cities with Zombie Walks

Ps. I'm going to be on TV tonight (Tuesday 8:30 on Rogers Channel- canadian only) because I was interviewed. SOO EXCITED. SO COOL.  Please watch and tell all your compadres!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pop Kult at the Gladstone Hotel: Review of LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Whang

The Politics of Partying: When the Main Act Sucks

Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem vs. Scottish DJ Hal Kilmer

I know we can barely remember if we put our Mustard Yellow or Nantucket Red socks on today, but let's walk our ADD brains back to the weekend for a sec. Can I be perfectly honest with you guys? Okay, I'm going to be perfectly honest. People may have paid to see Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem for Pop Kult #002, but it was the opening Scottish man beast, Ross aka Hal Kilmer who actually gave folks C-4 levels of awesome at the Gladstone last Friday night.

I mean sure it was just Whang's DJ set, but just cuz you're kinda famous and pretty cool doesn't mean you can stop trying to make people shake their bon bons, right?  "Day Time Disco" describes the style of her way slow set (yes, it's actually a thing, pretty groovy stuff too), and is all the rage in New York atm but unfortunately what she played fell as flat as what your stomach didn't look like post multiple Thanksgiving dinners.  In the end, what was left of Hal Kilmer's high voltage crowd resembled obese men trying to do the robot in a bowl of Jell-O as the vibe was drastically slowed..down... for... Ms.Whang. Whoah. The effort of slow motion must have been too much as the crowd waned and ducked out early to the afterparty (turkey dinner cooked by the Mansion boys probably had something to do with it as well though).

So What's the Deal? 
Arguably, the 24 year old Hal Kilmer perhaps should have played a slower set in order to not upstage the main act. There were murmurs that it was a bit heavy for what the night was supposed to be, but I'd have to disagree. It was pretty much thanks to Ross that Pop Kult #002 remained the event I've come to absolutely adore in the city, helping pull a great crowd and throwing down surprisingly good tracks to rock out to all while still incorporating the disco theme. What's more, he worked jiggity darn hard to do so too. I recently (at the last Pop Kult actually) befriended the straightfaced Scot' and saw a microcosm of the hours he put into gathering songs that would get that crowd pumped up. My new fav' is posted below. Here's a mini interview from Toronto Blogger Lauren O'nizzle. See? Look how keen he is.

Booking and organization had a part to play too. Nancy Whang just has a different sound and wasn't prepared to play the crowd that anxiously awaited her. Originally, The Mansion had managed to score Tiger Love slash the king of my heart right now (singers of Pussy Cocaine, duh), but the British trio apparently has some shart stained management that weren't able to get their visas sorted in time for their Toronto date.  Secondly, one might say that given Hal Kilmer's high energy style, his place in the line up probably wasn't ideal to support Whang, making transition a bit rough. There are openers and there are closers, Ross is a closer.

But hell, you know what? To quote Kanye, that sh*t's whack (or is it cracked?). Whang is a veteran musician who has been touring for a while. If she saw the direction of the crowd and did nothing to adjust to the flow of the night as any good performer/musician would, that's her fault. Maybe inflated egos/paycheques asphyxiate room for flexibility and flow. I mean, apparently she livened up a bit later but I don't know. Also, what did Toronto do to piss her off? She had no energy nor stage presence while up there and I felt confident I'd see a unicorn before I'd see a smile on her face.  I guess enthusiasm is hard to fake. And was that a dirty look I got while dancing before she came on? *Sigh.  On the flippy,  Hal Kilmer used more than his doe eyes to get the crowd going. He was up on stage jammin' out and feeding the crowd his enthusiasm like it was fresh haggis. Seriously, this kid handed the warmed up, rosy cheeked scene over to Whang on a golden platter and she dropped it.

Anyways, enough pointless analyzing (which I love to do), for partyers it's all about how good we feel in a night. Ultimately, when it comes to DJ sets specifically, people don't really care about the big names if they don't use their musical ear talents to help them towards the best night of their life. Moi, I loved Friday night. What I said before still stands and is magnified. Pop Kult is one of my fav' events in the city at the moment and I'm uber looking forward to the next one on November 4th with Gigamesh. Huge thanks to Mansion and for adding high levels of radness to Toronto!

Remember team T Dizzle, this is just my humble opinion. What the jazz do I know about events? I just love going to good ones.  Think differently? Baller. C'mon now, don't be shy. Share!

 CTS Vintage + Bloggers Pic!

My Gay Boyfriend not loving the Whang this time. 

Russel Brand sighting! Just Kidding! That's just an immigrant Aussie trying

Brother Ross = Bross

For more pictures and coolness way surpassing sleeve tats, UK accents and even lazer guns, follow this blog on Facebook and Twitter! Pew pew pew!!

Music that Rocked my Night

Never heard this before Hal Kilmer busted it out!

Download: Generate the Heat- Foamo.mp3

Download: Cooler Coleur- Crookers (Feat. Yelle).mp3

Living in Toronto? You'll Also Dig

Indie Guide to Shopping: Best Vintage and Cheap Asian Stores

Dance Party in a Chinese Restaurant? Yes Please, Toronto

Pop Kult 001: Wicked New Event to Hit the City

Restaurant Guide: Cool and Cheap Eats in the City

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Special Cover Letter for 3 Monkeys

3 Reasons Why I Would Be the Next Great Monkey

Dear Mr. ***,

First, I’d like to take a second to thank you for responding to me on Twitter. Congratulations on the new job at 3 Monkeys, as I tweeted I am also intensely motivated to find work within such a fun and dynamic company. Because we’re all busy media people, I took it upon myself to make this cover letter more interesting so I made a blog posting!  Not to mention it will be more efficient with all the references right at your finger tips.  Anyways, below I wanted to swing you through three reasons why I’m worth hiring at 3 Monkeys or at least thinking about a little bit more.

1) I have an unexploited skill in the Jungle
People like what I create. I recognize the importance of creating fun and engaging content for today’s A.D.D media consumer and through my blog, Lil’Fel Rocks the World, I am adept with deploying this asset with high energy and creativity. As proof of my success, readers of my blog spend quite a bit of time on it. I have higher than average times according to Google Analytics, with up to 4-5 minutes per posting. Although many of my readers are not in direct demand of my product (the country/city guides) they have nonetheless become invested in the brand I've established and as a result consume the content regardless of the subject; an asset that may be best maximized in the PR world. Further highlighting the impact of my content development, I was contacted by MTV regarding the possibility of a television show and more recently I was interviewed on Canadian Television for a program called, Start Something Big on Rogers. However, it is important to note that I'm not a one branch chimp. My strong writing capacities, idea creation and strategic mind are transferable to other products and I am absolutely motivated to use all my capacities for the 3 Monkeys’ digital team if given the chance.

2) The Social Media Banana is one I have much experience peeling
Of course, none of that content would have been recognized if it weren’t for my social media strategies. On Facebook I’ve achieved over 1200 Likes- an impressive number for a single community manager of the site, most of which I’ve accomplished through multi-media engagement. I produce engaging status updates, not only promoting personal content but topics that the readership relates to. Furthermore, I liaise with local events management and PR agencies to produce photographic and video media content and thus helping draw their audience to my blog on Facebook. Lastly, I give people reasons to why they should follow on Facebook and Twitter rather than just asking them to do so. When framed in the right way, it has been quite telling to see how effective this approach has been. My practical experience in community management will allow me to make immediate and effective contributions to clients' social media needs for your agency. 

I even like climbing trees! Already a 3 Monkey Brand Ambassador 

3) I am not a monkey on a typewriter
It is not by chance I have come this far. Any experience I lack, I make up for in hard work, high energy and most importantly competence as seen through my academic and non-academic experience. I have worked grueling jobs from the age of 16 to save up for university, succeeding entry at the prestigious Trinity College at University of Toronto and most importantly to send myself to one of the elite institutions in France, SciencesPo Paris as well as obtaining an internship with the UN in Indonesia. Even before university I co-founded and was the editor-in-chief or my highschool paper, which helped gain me admission into the best journalism school in Canada. I am not satisfied with mediocrity and strive to be a leader in anything I undertake. I have worked in the public sphere and now I’m ready for an innovative and creative company that both matches me creatively and fosters ambition. With its independent standing, intimate staff and large year by year growth, I truly believe 3 Monkeys embodies those qualities.

All this is to say that I am dynamic, creative and motivated with the right skills. I know I can make a great fit with your company if you give me the opportunity to become the newest monkey to the team!

Different Jungles: Practicalities
True, I am currently based in Toronto, Canada but I am as flexible as a Chinese gymnast when it comes to mobility, plus that archaic connection known as the Commonwealth makes it fairly easy for a young Canadian professional to gain employment in the UK. I hope it will not be a factor in your considerations. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything else I may provide you with. Thank you for "hanging around" and reading my application, I hope we may discuss this further in an interview.

Felicia M
(Contact information removed)