31 August 2010


As some of you may know, I'm heading to the States for six months... tomorrow! I will most likely have fairly limited access to the internet (which may be an excellent thing) so I will be leaving this blog for a little while and posting at Touring the Light. If you go to that page while I'm traveling, you will probably be able to keep track easier.

Cool! Okay! Take care!


21 August 2010

A Photo of Someone You Love

I couldn't choose between my mama and papa so I'm cheating and uploading photos of both of them. I'm also going to elaborate rather than just post photos that wouldn't mean much to anybody else.

Mama was always a fighter. She took care of seven younger siblings, dropped out of law school, rode dirt bikes all over Indonesia and listened to so much classic rock it'd make your ears bleed. She traveled around for most of her early twenties years, all over Europe and the Middle East. She raised four children and gave them everything they wanted but always taught them how to speak politely and appreciate and return every single kind gesture. She adopted a sick baby a few years after she moved back to Indonesia in 2002 who is now a healthy, hyperactive three-year-old. She still travels constantly around South-East Asia. To this day, she pushes boundaries and stands up against the greedy and is envied for her patience and strength wherever she goes.

Papa dropped out of university when he was studying psychology on the grounds that he was "bored". Now you know where I got my restlessness from. He moved to Australia to study aeronautics and became a pilot in his early twenties. After a few years back in Indonesia, he came back to Australia and brought his family over in hopes to raise his kids in an opportunity-filled country. He won a fight that lasted more than a decade against immigration scumbags. He ignored the criticisms of the hypocritical and big-mouthed Indo-Muslim community. He worked sixteen-hour days/seven days a week in order to raise four kids almost single-handedly when ma left for Indonesia. He is the embodiment of perseverance.


12 August 2010

Faint Heart

I was engineering at a youth forum in a council building. Unnoticed, I carried on with my work which involved panicking when some dickhead stands in front of the drivers with a microphone and gaffa-taping leads down. The usual. Nothing flash. I'd been up since 4am for sahur and caught a train at 6:30am so obviously I was quite braindead. I overhear some words that make me wake up: "There's meant to be fifty kids but five dropped out" and "It's 8:30am but there are only thirty people here".

What is with young people and our bullshit unreliability?!

I am sick to death of my very own generation with our smartphones that let us cancel on people with ease, our lack of a sense of urgency and our super-fast internet that breeds procrastination. I don't understand why we think it's fine to string people along and allow ourselves to be strung along. We click attending on Facebook events but never really show up. Do we know how goddamn hard that makes life for the person organising the event? It's bad enough without unreliable people screwing it up for them.

Here's the thing - I'm nineteen and I grew up with new technology and new media. I am no vintage enthusiast and I can safely say that the advancement of technology has opened new doors for me, as an audio-engineer-in-the-making, a future traveller and as a human being in general trying to find my identity. But the thing that provokes my animosity towards this high-speed evolution is the fact that some people are already unreliable and this is simply perpetuated by the world of social networking and text messaging.
Nowadays, you don't have to confront someone (and in turn, witness their emotional reaction) personally to tell them something that is generally hard to address and/or discuss. Where is the fucking courage in that?! Grow up, Gen Y. I don't want to hear about misunderstandings and break-ups and cancellations over email and text. I don't want that type of cowardice - which I'm so very guilty of - in my life anymore.

We load Youtube videos to listen to music and never really experience, let alone understand, the high quality of CDs and vinyl nor the compelling art that often comes with it. We are lazy and I admit it but I certainly do not want it.

I want endless, barren roads and open bushlands. I need to see lakes and rivers and the generosity that Mother Nature offers. In fact, I feel like such a fucking cop-out going to Chicago - an English-speaking, tech-savvy, easily-accessible city. I guess I just feel the need to get out of here but it certainly ain't bravery running through my veins. It's probably just the fear of staying in the same place for far too long. That is what we are. We are agitated and we always want to be on the move. Though that could be a good thing, it's also shit in that we expect everything to move with us and everything to be fine when we want change.

You might wonder why I'm posting this on my blog considering I'm trash-talking new media but it seems to be the only way that people will read it. And even then, I can't seem to hold anyone's attention if my posts exceed 140 characters.

In the words of my crazy generation: epic fail.


10 August 2010

Sonny, Stop the Car by Corpus

Jack Bruun-Hammond and Keiron Steel (aka Corpus) are two of the coolest cats I know, hailing from the North-West suburbs of Sydney. They tear up every stage they embrace and create artistic explosions with every song they compose.

On June 5, they released their unreal album "Sonny, Stop the Car" at SFX, Space Bar and like previously stated, they tore that stage to shreds with hearty vocals and furious notes pushing out of Keirons' vocal cords and guitar strings and an unmatched furiousness that Jack drove into his drumsticks and onto the skins of his drums.

The album is simply wild. Knowing that Keiron has always been interested in Middle Eastern scales, it's no surprise when the album opens with quite an Arabic sounding guitar riff. But of course, there's more to it than just one type of influence. When the second track "Grassy Knoll" begins, the listener is taken straight into their punk and grunge roots. My favourite bit of the whole song is when Jack sings with utmost passion "So I'm standing at the edge of the bridge/I couldn't help but to watch you fall/But I had, I had places to be/And people to see".
These boys are real, genuine songwriters and genius composers. Their lyrics are cryptic yet so realistic and it's so easy to get lost in this album and be fine with doing so. It's fun, it's insane and it is actually quite carefully engineered and written. My personal favourite tracks would be "You'll Hate This" - even though Jack says it's too poppy - and the title track which leaves only one word to describe it: epic.

You can find Corpus here and you should definitely hit up their next show which is this Friday (August 13) at World Bar in Kings Cross.

My favourite pair of talented little cookies have made me so fucking proud, once again.


16 July 2010

Edifice by Al-Thawra

It's been a while since I wrote about something important...

If you haven't heard me rave on about Al-Thawra before then you must have been living in a cave. And just in case you have been living in a cave and have decided to step out into the world, I'll give you the lowdown.

Al-Thawra is a crust punk band from Chicago, Illinois with influences coming in from all directions. I guess we could start with the punk thing and list bands such as Crass, Discharge and Amebix but it most definitely does not end there. With a goal to align Middle Eastern instrumentation alongside meticulously orchestrated samples and the simplicities of punk rock, they are a true representation of cultural experimentation... whether they like it or not.

Al-Thawra is Marwan Kamel, Micah Bezold and Mario Salazar playing furious music, fuelled by dissent and conflict. They may not tackle issues head-on but they speak in a tone most people would not usually hear and they certainly question the hell out of all aspects of our modern world, from the reason why kids are dying in the Middle East to the suffocating authoritarians of Chicago.

And the punks love 'em.

On June 19, the three M's released their second album "Edifice". With three pairs of helping hands and an enormity of enthusiasm and talent from Pop Sensation Productions, they headed up to Madison, Wisconsin for an intense weekend of recording which naturally resulted in an agonising frenzy of sounds, adequately showcasing their vast range of influences.

The album begins with a psych-up of an intro and it doesn't wait for you to get comfy as it soars into "Beneath the Edifice". It continues with just the right amount of "flow" from song-to-song to distinguish between the diversity of tracks but at the same time, maintain the same level of stamina throughout. It most definitely does not fall short of energy. Songs like "Eviction Sama'i" provide the album with colour whilst the sounds embedded into songs like "Truth's Eternal Sun" and "Gaza: Choking on the Smoke of Dreams" define the severe passion of the band and with beautiful transitions such as the one from the interlude "The Exile of Hope" into "Mundo Y Carne", Al-Thawra have proved that punk does not have to be three powerchords played over and over. Punk music can be cleverly engineered (big ups to Dustin Boyle - love that kick-drum sound and the haunting psychoacoustics, man) and scrupulously arranged.

I won't dissect each track and talk about their individual highlights because you cannot skip tracks on this album or turn it off half way. It is a journey in itself, like an acid trip in sepia and it's best experienced from start-to-finish without stopping. I mean, I haven't experienced a trip in sepia but I assume that I would hear Edifice playing in my head if I did.

Anyway, to get the full mind-exploding experience, I suggest you don't buy the MP3s off Amazon like a lazy fucking shit but rather, go and pester the band about buying a physical copy as the songs will be a lot clearer and defined and you will get the beautiful art in it too.

I hope whoever reads this admires this multicultural, multilingual and multi-awesome band just as much as I do.


11 July 2010

To the North

Keep the spaces around you clean and your mind clear.
Never ever ever live in fear.
Pray when you believe in it and not for the sake of it.
Open your heart but guard your soul.
Eat what tastes good but know your limits.
Stand up to the tyrants and for the tyrannised.
Stay calm, keep loving, drink plenty of water.

Do not trust anybody ever again.


05 July 2010

If You're Listening...


Dear universal force,

It's Stoney here. I'm not sure if you've noticed but I've been working really hard lately. I got through intense weeks of TAFE and am currently working full time and casual technician jobs to earn some money for my big trip and get some experience. I also cook and serve weekly at People's Kitchen. I don't expect instant gratification or anything like that but throwing one of the hardest things I've had to deal with at me at this very moment in time was pretty uncalled for. I do not have the time or strength to handle such negative energy. I am struggling to cope but I am forcing myself to otherwise my heart will break and my body will cave in response.

If this is a test, I'm losing my shit. If this is a test, I'm wasting my breath.

I cleaned my room on Saturday - like a madwoman. There was not a speck of dust in sight and the floor, desk and wardrobe are currently looking immaculate. This was meant to be the beginning of a hopeful and driven me. Unfortunately, however, I have been feeling a little bit shit and I really don't want to feel like this anymore. I know I must get over it but it is still fresh in my mind and painful. Some may say I'm forcing myself a bit too much considering it's only been a few days but no, I do not have a choice. I must say, the amazing friends you gave me have just been infinitely loving and caring and generous so thank you for that... But I feel like my recovery from this ordeal is taking far too long as I cannot afford to have emotions holding me back from the things I have promised myself I'd do.

I don't know if you see the determination in my eyes and heart or the passion in my soul but it's there and I need you to recognise it because nobody else does, especially the one person I hoped would have. I am tired of trying to find an inner strength I simply do not have so please, give me strength and patience.

I know I don't give you much but I don't ask for much either. Just this once... please. I am exhausted.




08 June 2010


Inspired by the Watch Him Bleed zines by Ivana Stab. Mainly dedicated the womyn (in hopes that they will find similar strength) but applicable to anyone.

The "you" in this instance is a collective "you" because everyone that I've ever cared for has screwed me over and don't deserve the time of day to be individually named and shamed.

Resilient, they call me. And though I don't believe them, I know I've endured an ungodly amount of painful experiences. I am not tough or butch; effeminate or sensitive. I am, however, happy and proud to call myself me, inadequacies included. And you, you fucking arsehole, have helped me realise this.

You always picked her over me and you always pointed out our differences. But I don't even want to be her anymore because I don't need to be. I don't need to grow up to be glamourous or even worse, a mediocre nine-to-five gym junkie. That shit just bores me and come to think of it now, you would have bored me too.

You never gave me a moment to feel proud of who I am and what I've become. You wouldn't even make the slightest effort to just, for one second, tell me that I was worth your time. So if you can't even crack a smile when I tell you something awesome that I've just done then well, these tears will fall for you no longer.

Today, I sit here happy. I work my arse off everyday. I walk through rain and wind and a shitload of heartache yet still try my best to stand up for the subjugated. I fall down every single day and I get upset at the tiniest, pettiest things but I will not fall without gritty determination to get back up again.

I have not reached my biggest goal but you better hope you're still asleep the morning I do.


11 May 2010

I'm Flawed, Nice To Meet You

I'm short, skinny, hairy.
I'm angry, tired, moody,
Agitated, complicated,
I am most definitely the most stubborn person I know.
I work hard but I burn out,
And end up losing all hope.
I wish I was the strong and stable person I pretend to be.
I'm helpless,
And on the edge of being worthless.
I am the most annoying drunk,
With meaningless ideas.
My lips are chapped,
And my skin is rough.
My feet are awkward and my toes even more so.
I pretend to know more than I do.
I never know how to finish things.


22 April 2010

Your Palms Are Sweaty

Who would have thought that one change in my life would have so much impact on all the other things I surround myself with?

Yesterday, I did a job interview. Last night, I got a call back. Today, I started training. In two days, my soul has been confronted with a strange mix of feelings that I'm actually grateful for. Dreams to travel finally seem a lot more real than they did three days ago and I feel like I'm actually working towards something rather than sitting at home doing nothing, hoping for employers to call me back. And now when I leave TAFE, I won't dread the long ride home on packed trains as I only have four stops to get to work and by the end of my shift, trains home will be emptier. This job is all evening work and Saturday day shifts so it still gives me the chance to study, freelance for forum theatre work and live PA system work and go to shows!

It's a shitty thing to do, you know, calling people up on autodial and asking them to donate to a charity you don't know shit about but in the end, we've all done things similar like this. There's a gorgeous lady I look up to named Lina who once said "You just have to do what you have to do... even if that means creating a different persona for your part-time job. You don't take your work home with you. You leave that other girl at work." So I've decided my name is "Asia" at work (both for spelling and escapism purposes) and she's a happy motherfucker who doesn't take rejections to heart and is as strong as steel. The second I walk out of that building I'm back to being Stono/ey.

To my friends, thank you for being awesome people throughout my job hunt (and just in general, really). I know I was probably a terrible, depressing person to be around so I apologise for weighing you down. Sadly enough, I won't get to see you all as often anymore - not that I was the best at catching up with people - as I'm studying twenty-one hours a week and soon I'll have to start working a compulsory twenty hours a week too. I'm sorry in advance for I may become a bit of a tight-arse and a hermit crab. These next few months are going to be hard and heavy but I kind of need to do this.

On Saturday, I begin proper work. The journey has actually begun and I'm just as excited as I am scared.


16 April 2010

Your Ocean, My Grain

I'm sort of sitting in a mess of emotions right now and I hate it more than ever. I hate that I sit in bed thinking about things you say over and over and over again while you're off being famous. This is not some glorious journey of friendship but a daily labour I've undertaken with diligence for you. I've stretched from here to every place you choose to stand and I don't ask questions; I don't expect answers.
We both enjoy the synchronicity sometimes but most days, it's hard work just to get you to look up. I don't whinge about it or make a fuss but I don't sleep either and I don't focus when I'm meant to. You can steal my energy, my light, my strength and transfer it into your heart.
"Thank you" is nice but "I love you" would be better.


04 April 2010

Oh Hey There Mind, Haven't Seen You in a While

I've been thinking a lot about the hijab lately - just passing thoughts that question the perspectives of the people I know, the people I see on the streets, the people that simply see pictures of me etc. It's strange because I've always thought that people instantly knew that I wasn't what the media had portrayed young hijabi girls as but I guess I'm wrong.

Maybe when I walk down the street, my not-your-typical-Muslim way of dressing isn't enough to deter one's attention from the fact that I appear to be covering up the hair on my head. Or maybe the mere fact that I'm actually at a gig dancing and thrashing around isn't enough to say "Hey, I'm not right-wing or conservative or oppressed".
It's not that I'm actively trying to make these statements but it just scares me so much that the stigma that surrounds a covered girl can be so strong that people who claim to be so open-minded still look at you and ever-so obviously treat you differently to other people - a handshake instead of a kiss on the cheek, the "Oh sorry, no offense to you or anything" statement.

I don't really want to be pointed out. I know I've written about these things before but I don't know, it's just been on my mind a fair bit lately. Maybe it's because even when I actually do try and be somewhat "flirty" or "friendly", I just come across as "really nice". It's like I have to try twice as hard when it already requires a shitload of psyching up for me to simply muster courage to talk to someone cute.

I'm actually scared of good-looking people. I'm scared to talk to them because I don't want to make them feel obliged to talk to the nerdy kid trying to start up some conversation and in turn, embarrass them in front of their friends or other good-looking people. Most days I just feel like some stupid girl who knows nothing about this whole human interaction thing.

So why can't someone approach me and not reserve themselves because they think I'm reserved? Why can't someone say "Hey, can I buy you a drink?" instead of awkwardly try to decode my personality through cryptic questioning?

I'm Stono. I wear a hijab. I don't give a fuck about your religious or non-religious beliefs so I hope that one day you can ignore the black cloth covering my head and ask me out on a date... or something.

Image by Princess Hijab


01 March 2010

01 February 2010

The Jobless Blues

This is kind of like a cry out for help. I need you, whoever you are, to help me find an employer that will actually hire me. One that won't throw my CV out or move it to the "Trash" folder before reading the whole thing.

I'm eighteen and as of next week, I'll be available all weekend long, two full weekdays and any other weekday after 6pm. I'm still unsure about what days they are but don't let that throw you off as I receive my full, extensive timetable very soon (within the next two weeks).
I live in South-West Sydney and yes, I'm willing to travel. The most I'll travel is two hours on public transport as I don't drive. Again, please don't let that throw you off. Two hours is a long time.

I have a Higher School Certificate, a Certificate III in Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Operations), a Certificate III in Music Industry (Technical Production) and am currently undertaking a Diploma in the last mentioned course. I've been involved with running events since I was fifteen and I really do love it so a job within any of the above fields would be rad.

I won't work in a place where meat and cheese are shoved in my face on ten bucks an hour, where I'm bound by a 3-4 month contract and then get told I'll only get about fourteen hours a week. Fourteen hours on ten bucks?! That's a measly $140. Thanks but no thanks, Salsas Mexican Grill in Bondi. I'm eighteen with plenty of experience and decent qualifications. Screw you.

Why would I like a job? Well, being at home is crippling my mind, heart and soul. But I mainly would like job so that I can save up a stack of cash to go the States in August where I will hopefully be challenged and educated. So yes, I don't plan to stay with any employer for longer than six months. However, during those six months I will work my arse off and be as dedicated as I possibly can be.

Why should somebody hire me? Like I said, I'll be as dedicated as possible because I know that it's gonna take a lot of hard work to get to where I want to be. Apart from that, I can cook nice food for my colleagues; I know how to type pretty fast; I won't talk much therefore no annoying small talk that everybody secretly hates; I'm pretty sure I don't smell bad; I have two years service assistance experience from Coles Wattle Grove, around six months office assistance experience from Bankstown Youth Development Service and around six months waiting experience from Kam Ying Chinese Restaurant. Yep, I did a runner on Kam Ying but they were pretty shit employers and my dad didn't like me working there.

I'll work with books, clothes, shoes, groceries, CDs, records, tapes, animals (alive), flowers, tickets, kids and elderly people and those in between, electronics, fruits and veggies - almost anything! All I ask is to be paid decently and to be treated with respect.

What would happen if I sent something this honest to somebody? Would I get knocked back because I used swear words and told them that I want a job because I want money to leave the country for a little while? Nothing else seems to work so maybe I should give it a shot. Reckon emails will start rolling in telling me I'm hired? Yeah, me neither. Why the hell are other people being employed left, right and centre without even goddamn trying?!


Also, please only comment if you can genuinely help or if you have something nice to say. It's hardly a joke these days.


25 January 2010

No More!

We have to take back our streets.

We are losing all our live music venues and the buildings are being handed over to filthy corporate giants. The cops are threatening us more than ever with shut-downs and fines. We don't need any more nightclubs or high-rise apartment blocks! We have to put exclusivity behind us and take our art and music and culture into peoples homes faster than they can call Pizza Hut for a fucking delivery.

There is no point, friends, to keep our passion brewing underground and disallowing the average person that walks down the street to hear our voices. We've been doing that for far too long. This is the time where we all need to just forget about wanting to create "scenes" and "cliques" and remember that we're all just trying to be ourselves despite our shackled ankles and the imprisoning structure of society. If we could all just come together and stand up against the mediocrity and dullness that has taken over our alleys and stages then maybe we'd finally be able to collectively tear up laws that creep up on us telling us we can't live freely.

And if anybody reads this and goes "Fuckin' anarchist" then ask yourself if your freedoms have been compromised by the very people that are against the "anarchists". You may end up feeling just the same way I do. Don't lose sight of your emotions and heart because some crazy suit-enslaved loser divided us into a mess of categories and turned us all against each other. The more you bury yourself... well, that's exactly it really: You're burying yourself! Nobody in this world should be afraid of showing their beautiful souls. Nobody.

Also - here's Reclaim the Lanes. I've never been to one before but I think it's appropriate to promote it on this post. Hope to see you there!



23 January 2010


Thanks to the beautiful Kaitlin Foley from the Cultureal Sindicate on 91.7 WSUM (@kaitfoley on Twitter, Photomontage Philosophy on Tumblr), I have fallen deeply in love with Eyedea. He's the most refreshing lyricist I've come across recently. He tore through the thick champagne foam of mainstream hip hop and stood up and out amongst the radio-swollen artists of today. Here he is with his buddy Abilities on decks:

"Self proclaimed rebels say "We must oppose the system!"
"You gotta take a stand!" "If you're not against them you're with them!"
signs read "Support the troops bring em' home!" "No more innocent victims!"
but when a homeless veteran asks for spare change you're to busy protesting to even listen
And I'm no different I live in conflict and contradiction but it can be so beautiful
when I don't reject what lies within
It's beautiful the way agony connects us to the living
I think of the world when I hurt, and keep on existing in the now"


06 January 2010

The Shame

What am I really doing? I'm sitting around waiting for you to come to your senses and realise how much of a jerk you are. I'm wondering if that's impossible. I'm heavily swallowing back everything I want to say. I'm wishing and praying that it didn't have to be this way.

I'm listening to a dead tone.

I'm staring at a blank screen.

I'm gargling the last taste of motivation.

I'm smelling the carcass of our friendship.

I'm holding onto broken glass.