the pen lane

The signs as TØP songs
  • Aries: We Don't Believe What's On TV
  • Taurus: Forest
  • Gemini: Stressed Out
  • Cancer: Ode to Sleep
  • Leo: House of Gold
  • Virgo: Car Radio
  • Libra: The Judge
  • Scorpio: Guns for Hands
  • Sagittarius: Doubt
  • Capricorn: Addict with a pen
  • Aquarius: Lane Boy
  • Pisces: Heathens
dc characters' fighting styles
  • batman: bat-flips
  • superman: fricken laser beams
  • wonder woman: ass-kicking when positive feminism fails to subdue buffoonery
  • shazam: SHAZAM
  • black canary: bullshit tolerance & ear bleeds
  • green lantern: giant fisting
  • green arrow: boxing glove arrow
  • hawkgirl: mace in yo face
  • lois lane: the pen is mightier than the-*stabs you with pen*
  • flash: whiplash
  • aquaman: sharknado

November 10 // 8:15pm // 1/100// so I haven’t been posting for quite a while now because I had some family issues. Honestly haven’t felt like doing any work not to mention trying to take pictures and post it online.

But everything is starting to settle down so I’ve decided to start my 100 days of productivity over again. Tonight I’m working on a paper draft that I will be going over with my professor tomorrow.

Finally had a moment to breathe from behind the camera and sat outside to clear my head with a little plein air sketching. The sun was setting so the drawing ended…I think it was a pretty good point to stop.

On this beautiful day in Houston, rather than be outside fighting my allergies, I stayed inside and drew this ink wash/pen and ink study of my friend Nathaniel Donnett from a photo that I snapped of him with my iphone yesterday at his opening at Project Row Houses.

Q&A with Tom and Richard


To celebrate the release of “The Best of Keane,” Tom and Richard invaded the Facebook HQ and hosted a Q&A session for their fans, who quizzed the band about being in Keane, their best musical moments from the past decade, and their current playlist jams. Indeed, #Strangers were beyond grateful to be given another opportunity to talk to the band that keeps on giving and giving, and is never too shy to talk about their secrets to eternal youth and favorite animals:

Before officially closing out KEANE month, we revisit the band’s amazing discography, spill the beans on our favorite albums, and talk about the magic their timeless songs have imparted on our lives. This isn’t the last time that we’ll be saying these words –


Hopes and Fears is the closest to my heart because I can relate to this album a lot. I consider this as a diary of emotion. Sad or happy moments, I could listen to this album. One of the things I really enjoy listening to this album is the melody. It has a happy sounding sound even though lyrics are depressing and very emotional. I can’t believe this album was released 9 years ago. Whenever I listen to this album, I always remember that surreal feeling when I heard songs from this album performed live during their Manila visit. I can’t help but smile and cry.


I can say that I relate the most to the optimistic and hopeful themes present in Strangeland, but my favorite album out of Keane’s entire discography would have to be Under the Iron Sea. Its dark lyrics and haunting melodies were exactly what I needed when I sought out comfort while I was mourning the loss of my grandmother, who died a day before I was scheduled to visit her for the last time and tell her that I loved her, and afterwards suffered an emotional downward spiral into the depths of desolation. It was during this period when I developed my love for Nothing in My Way, specifically its “well, for a lonely soul you’re having such a nice time” outro, because the words perfectly summed up what i was going through as I was wrapped up in my little, lonely, grieving world, which I quite liked. Tracks like Is It Any Wonder?, Leaving So Soon, A Bad Dream, and Crystal Ball also provided me with the strength and closure I needed as I lived my hermit-esque ways and looped the album to keep me company. Perhaps knowing that the album was also conceived during a tough period in the band’s life made it an appropriate soundtrack for me to get through my own troubled times. And looking back, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.


Most of my favourite songs are in Hopes And Fears, so it might come as a bit of a surprise when I say that Under The Iron Sea is actually my favourite album from Keane. Singles aside, I just love the general theme of the band’s sophomore release. Tom Chaplin was said to have described it as “a kind of sinister fairy tale world gone wrong”. This was definitely Keane at its darkest. Most of the songs were written by Tim Rice-Oxley during their most challenging time - when it seemed like he was a having a nasty fight with Tom and the band was almost breaking at the seams. So I deem the album as a memorial to how the boys overcame their differences and emerged stronger, not only as a band but as the best of friends. It somehow gives me that assurance that they can only be unbreakable after surviving the strong currents brought by the iron sea.


New wave and 80s music have been a big part of my childhood. I can never forget how I danced whenever my dad plays The Cure, Fra Lippo Lippi or Tears for Fears on the radio. Keane's Perfect Symmetry reminds me so much of the past and I feel very happy whenever I listen to it. It’s wonderful keyboard riffs and sound effects just makes you want to dance. Heck, even the album art, their tour outfits and, pretty much, the whole era is excellent! Though others may  think otherwise, I say this is one of the best things that Keane has to offer.


My fave album would be Perfect Symmetry. Out of all the albums, this one is the most underrated. To be honest, I didn’t like it that much when I heard it for the first time but as I listened to it again, I began to fall in love with it. The more I listened to it, the more I loved it. It is very upbeat in the beginning and then it slowly shifts to a really sad one. And the lyrics are just stellar. If you just look deeper into it, I think its one of their best albums. Thus, it turned out to be my favorite.

Don’t Shoot Me Santa.

Love that it gives a morbid twist to Jolly Old Saint Nick’s kid-friendly persona. The fact that Matthew Gray Gubler directed the video also gives it some killer plus points. - Annie Ford

The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball.

Its infectious melody makes me feel so excited about Christmas and the music video was such a treat. - The Girl Who


Out of all the Christmas singles that The Killers have released so far, I’d say nothing is more meaningful and poignant than Boots. The video starts with a scene from the classic film, It’s A Wonderful Life, being played on an old television and then proceeds to tell a story of a man with no means to give his family a proper holiday celebration, shedding old sins and turning his luck around just in time. In between, we see shots of Brandon Flowers in a wonderful classic suit standing on top of a building overlooking the Las Vegas skyline as twilight drips through the sky. It’s incredibly sentimental and beautiful with its message of hope and redemption and a perfect song to listen to when you’re down on your luck during the holiday season. - Miss Atomic Bomb

BONUS: The Killers Christmas Medley (2006-2012)



Before their official introduction into the music scene, Mt. Desolation wanted to rise above their premise of merely being touted as side-project of Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quin. The release of their self-titled first album in 2010 did just that by drawing raves from critics and fans alike for their alternative country sound and emotional lyricism.

Listening to the entire Mt. Desolation album makes for an extraordinary musical experience, as each track takes you on a synesthetic trip to places (and feelings) unknown. Listeners will find it easy to lend an ear to Rice-Oxley and Quin’s voices as they alternate as lead vocalists and stellar storytellers in the tracks they have individually penned. Some highlights include the melancholia-tinged verses of “Bridal Gown” and “Annie Ford,” the Americana touches in “Platform 7” and “Midnight Ghost,” the smoothly calming vibes that emanate from “Another Night on my Side” and “State of our Affairs,” and the poignant gravitas of the personas in “Departure” and “Bitter Pill.”

Complementing the compelling storytelling is the pitch-perfect instrumentation from members of The Killers, Mumford & Sons, The Staves, and Noah and the Whale. For someone who was never keen on country and folk, much less withstand banjoes, fiddles, harmonicas, and violins - this album was a definite, personal game-changer.

Its comfy tunes devoid of theatrical acrobatics or high-pitched screaming easily make Mt. Desolation the easy choice for laidback listening. It’s a wonderful compendium of alternative-folk gems that are great to accompany days of endless dreaming or sheer sadness. Whatever your scenario of choice may be, there’s surely a Mt. Desolation track that will give you the comfort you need as it wraps you up in their melodies the moment you press ‘play.’