Saturday, August 26, 2006

Arnold's Musical Bio

I've been reflecting on my musical tastes evolving over time and I've come a long way. Aside from listening to Raffi as a child, the artist that sticks out the most as a pre-teen was Amy Grant. I used to love her album, Heart in Motion. But I stopped listening to her music when my childhood buddy, Dustin, told me it wasn't cool. My buddy encouraged me to listen to a new wave of music back then called alternative. He was huge into Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Sound Garden. I remember him turning on his cassette deck all the time when we hung out in his room playing Lakers Vs. Celtics on his brother's Sega Genesis.

Then, techno became hugely popular and I remember buying a 2 Unlimited tape. I became a huge fan of techno music. I started buying Much Music Dance mixes and some other compilations. Techno became short lived when I entered high school because I discovered Lenny Kravitz. His album, Are You Gonna Go My Way, was the first CD I bought for a brand new stereo that I still have and use as an alarm clock. I later got into rock music for a long time buying lots of Pearl Jam albums and then getting into punk music with the likes of MxPx.

In my first years of university, I got into more mellow rock like Our Lady Peace, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Econoline Crush, I Mother Earth, and Everclear. From what I remember, my friend, Mindy, introduced me to the genre. We used to listen to them all the time when I rode with her in her Tracker (which later died when the engine blew up).

In about the middle of my university career, I started listening to Christian music heavily. Probably due to the fact I was quite involved with Campus Crusade. My secular CD collection was quickly being taken over by Christian artists. Mostly because the lyrics spoke to me. I never really listened to the lyrics in the past because I just wanted to listen to a good beat. But the words do have an impact and it's something that I look for when I listen to an artist.

After I finished my undergrad, I really got into a new artist that I discovered while watching TV. It was Coldplay and I became a huge fan. I began listening to similar artists which include Keane, Radiohead, U2, and Snow Patrol. I really enjoy British rock and find its music a powerful force in my life. Another type of genre, I've been listening to a lot lately is underground hip hop. I used to hate hip hop for years ever since it spiralled downwards from Snoop Dogg to 50 Cent and beyond. But one of my best friends, Dean, introduced me to underground hip hop. I had no idea there were plenty of artists to listen to. Hip hop with the likes of some of my favourites including Zion I, Hieroglyphics, GZA/Genius, Giant Panda, Lyrics Born, K'Naan, People Under The Stairs, and Killah Priest blew my mind. They rap about real life that speaks to what I'm going through on a daily basis and not about how many girls I can bang or what I can get in a thug life.

Lately, I've been getting into a lot of jazz music. I find it relaxing and beautiful in those quiet times I have to myself. It's very reflective and emotional music that bring peace to my heart. I've listened to a lot of Diana Krall over the years and have been listening to Chris Botti. I have also been listening to more Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Brown, John Coltrane, and Louis Armstrong.

Aside from the big three genres I listen to, British rock, underground hip hop, and jazz music, I'll listen to most things. One genre I refuse to listen to is country, but who knows maybe I'll really dig it when I turn 100 and flying cars are my mode of transportation.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Games Room

Above: Some workstations in the library being setup.

We have a new games room in the SFU Surrey library. Last week, we put in an arcade machine that plays about 10 or 15 old school games. My co-worker, Jordan, played it for a couple of hours on Friday after work. I have yet to try it out.

The room feels a bit like a museum when you walk in. There are shelves of old school Super Nintendo games. They also have PC, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, and Gameboy Advance games. Today, I helped deliver an Xbox 360. I'm pretty sure the library will acquire a PS3 and a Nintendo Wii when they are released in November. It would be totally awesome. I plan on getting both for home anyway.

The purpose of the games room is to support teaching, learning, and research by faculty, staff, and students in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) according to their website. I think otherwise as a cool place to chill and play video games when I'm not working. Haha..


Saturday, August 12, 2006

In Memory of Mattea Lee

Last night, I attended a memorial service for my close friends, Brian and Vanessa's baby, Mattea. It was held at Burnaby Mountain as the sun was setting. Norm Funk, the pastor of the couple, said words that evoked sadness yet sweetness. There was a time of song and dance, grieving, laughter, and sharing. Towards the end of the service, Brian and Vanessa, shared words to baby Mattea. It was so beautiful and we really felt the presence of God there.

My friends are such strong, loving, caring, and giving individuals. They know one day they will be reunited with Mattea in Heaven. How awesome it is to know God and the plan He has for each of our lives. The hope and love we have in Jesus Christ can never be taken away.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." - Jeremiah 31:3

July 2006
Rest in Peace

Mattea Lee

Artist: MercyMe
Album: Almost There
Song: I Can Only Imagine


I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

Anything Goes

On Thursday night, my friends from church and I saw our friend, Jimmy Yi, in a musical called "Anything Goes" in North Vancouver. The music and lyrics are by Cole Porter with songs including "You're the Top", "I Get a Kick Out of You", and "Anything Goes." My buddy, Dan, told me the song "Anything Goes" is the opening scene of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," where Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) sings the title song in Catonese at a Shanghai club Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is visiting.

The musical was hilarious and Jimmy did an awesome job as Moonface Martin, a gangster on the run posing as a minister. I also saw an old friend, Leo Chiu, from my Campus Crusade days at SFU play the part of Elisha J. Whitney. I haven't seen him in ages, what a small world.

I really enjoy live musicals and plays. There's something about the human connection one feels to a live act rather than watching something on screen. I used to watch a number of plays at the Vancouver Playhouse and Gateway Theatre in my English 11 Honours class. The last play I saw, "The Sound of Music," was in a small town in the greater Chicago area with my cousins a few years ago. Amateur theatre is great.