Buzz Artist: Warpaint

Posted in Airwaves, Music, Reco by weng Saturday January 8, 2011

Some remember Warpaint as Shannyn Sossamon’s foray into music, but I feel what makes the band today are the vocals of Emily Kokal. She feels like a second coming of Elisabeth Fraser from the Cocteau Twins. She feels like a post rock version of Bjork. Fresh from releasing their debut album The Fool on October 25, they have also been nominated for BBC’s The Sound of 2011 poll.

When I first listened to Elephant (Youtube:Elephant, I was left feeling haunted and intrigued. Check them out.

33rpm, BFM @ Little Havana

Posted in Gigs, Music, Reviews by weng Sunday December 12, 2010

They need to have more nights like this. Zach Yusoff’s quirky little music show on BFM gets a live session.

Free Deserters, Tenderfist and Kyoto Protocol were enlisted to play the first ever live show for 33rpm. The live recording of the radio show commenced first and then, music mayhem.

Free Deserters, fronted by Zach Yusof and Tenderfist entertained the crowd with covers and some original tunes. I wasn’t the biggest fan but Kyoto Protocol kicked indie ass. Any band that does a Foo Fighters cover does alright in my books.

I hope for more of these nights to come by as it sure as hell kept me entertained.

15 November - A sad day around us.

Posted in Compilation, Music, Tribute by weng Tuesday November 16, 2010

Today, my sister passed on after an almost 2-year battle with cancer. The last few days have been pretty tough on the family, my brother in law, nephew, my parents and all close family members. More than 2 weeks ago, she moved into Hospice. As you know, it’s usually one-way traffic in there.

I have selected 9 songs to be part of the funeral and it will be 9 songs to send her off in style.

1. Claude DeBussy - Claire de Lune
2. Kitaro - Impressions of The West Lake featuring Jane Zhang
3. Aaron Neville - Ave Maria
4. Civil Twilight - Quiet in My Town
5. Karla Bonoff - The Water Is Wide
6. Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold
7. Lauren Hill - His Eye Is On The Sparrow

8. Sarah McLachlan -Angel
9. Alison Krauss - Get Me Through December featuring Natalie McMaster

This is a tribute to my sister who I dearly love and will miss. She along with my Dad is one of the most sensible and caring people I will ever know. She will be greatly missed. I see a lot of my sister in my nephew, so I’m glad I have him. She was just 35.

Paramore @ National Stadium, Bukit Jalil - 19 October 2010

Posted in Gigs, Music by weng Wednesday October 20, 2010

So Paramore finally made it to Malaysia :). 6 years on tour and they have arrived. As Hayley says, it won’t be another 6 years before they come again. She’s careful with her words and like her gig in Singapore, she never really committed to coming again. Clever girl.

Y2K Bandit was the opening band. Erm, top marks for effort but they weren’t really doing it for me. Good to have some punk music once in awhile though.

The crowd in KL is on average older than the ones in Singapore. I was told there were more than 8k people in attendance. Awesome since it was an outdoor gig. I had reservations for the sound setup as no organiser in Malaysia is good with outdoor gigs and with Paramore, you had to be loud.

At 8.25pm, the convoy of cars turned up at the stadium. Crowd went mental. 8.30pm or thereabouts, curtains down, band starts playing. Cute little silhouettes of the band and Hayley starting to rawk away appeared in the lights. Start your engines ladies and gentlemen, here we go!

As usual for their current tour, Paramore kicks the night off with Ignorance. They continued to plow through songs from Riot! and Brand New Eyes and even their debut with the highlights definitely being That’s What You Get, All We Know and Decode. I think the heat was getting to Hayley a little bit as her rawking out was reduced compared to Singapore when she was headbanging throughout the whole night.

Acoustic sessions came on and Paramore played When The Lines Overlap, When It Rains and Misguided Ghosts (well half of it). Sound problems interrupted Misguided Ghosts. Grr. Damn you Phatboys, the organisers.

The band came back stronger and played Pressure the song that really got them noticed from their debut, Crushcrushcrush and other tracks from Brand New Eyes, finally ending with No Exception. Encore time.

Paramore came back on with Brick By Boring Brick and ended the night for real this time with Misery Business. Before the night was up though, Hayley pulled a fan up on stage and even took a picture with him. She got Y2K Bandit on stage and finished up the night with some serious headbanging. Nice touch.

Overall, I thought this concert was starting to feel better than the Singapore gig but with sound problems, it was a mood killer so, sorry Malaysia, Singapore trumps you.

Buzz Artiste: Inch Chua

Posted in Airwaves, Music, Reco by weng Monday June 21, 2010

Who is Inch Chua? She is a Singaporean musician that has taken the solo path out from her altrock outfit Allura. She has release two EPs; an xmas EP and another one just released in 2009 called the Bedroom EP. There is something pretty distinctive about her vocals and the various interesting instruments that she plays. She is clearly trying to set a genre for herself within this EP, it’s acoustic, it’s electronica, it’s lo-fi, it’s a lot of things. On first impression, her vocals seem to be a cross-blend of Stacey Kent and Bjork. Yep, it’s pretty unique.

Her influences are clear; Fiona Apple, Roisin Murphy (Moloko fame), Aphex Twin (very evident in her electronic beats), Bjork and others. Her work still needs some refining but her blend of the genres make it a pretty good listen. Her vocals are strong across the harder stuff she needs to get through in Allura, but she can sound equally jazzy and dreamy in her Christmas EP. She’s something special, trust me on this. I hope she gets enough eyeballs and ears on her music and doesn’t get stuck with the indie minority syndrome.

Actually I never did mention why she created such a space on my music radar. Somewhere at the end of 2009, there was a pretty simple but brilliant TVC put out by DiGi to advertise their Internet services. What really caught my attention about the TVC was mostly the song in the background. It was REALLY GOOD, especially the vocals. So for the next few months, no one was revealing who it was but the vocals sounded semi familiar. Eventually gave up and nearly 7 months later, I get a message from the Inch herself on Youtube promoting her self made video. My day has turned brighter :)

Check out the videos:

Original TVC: Click Me
Inch’s Video: Click Me
Inch’s FB: Click Me
Inch’s band Allura: Click Me
Inch’s Official Site: Click Me

Stereophonics @ KL Live, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Posted in Music by weng Monday May 3, 2010

Stereophonics were in town on the 28th of April and boy was I excited. Again, it was a gig that was put together cause the welsh rockers were to play Singapore during the weekend and hell, why not get them to come here. Aside from the sporadic rumours that they were not showing up due to monetary issues, thank the lucky stars, the promoters came through.

I’ve watched them years ago back in 2001 or so, after they released Mr Writer. Visibly more mature in their looks, but Kelly Jones is still that same mumbling welshman that I watched years ago. I’m not the biggest fan of their latest album, but it is still growing on me.

The crowd was visibly lesser than Placebo who played there a month plus ago, but the crowd was older (surprisingly) and definitely bigger music lovers, instead of the newer generation of wannabes (yeah, I’m an elitist). AND, there was booze available.

Stereophonics rocked their way through a variety of songs from their many studio albums. Superman, Pick A Part That’s New, Mr Writer (my alltime fav song from Stereophonics), Maybe Tomorrow, a new track from their latest album, Innocent, Have A Nice Day, Traffic, Just Looking (my 2nd fav song from Stereophonics, at this point I was just hypnotised), Bartender and The Thief, Dakota (which got the crowd going loudest) and A Thousand Trees. I only listed out 13 songs that I really like and to be honest songs that I recognise easily without any effort. They played 24 songs in total :)

Overall, the gig was awesome but I suppose I expected more engagement with the crowd from the band, but Kelly being Kelly, he mumbles with his welsh accent. Hang on, most welsh peeps do that all the time, and they’re not really mumbling as we have problems understanding them.

Key moments of the gig, when Stereophonics played Just Moving.

Zee Avi @ KL Live - 20 March 2010

Posted in Gigs, Music, Reviews by weng Monday March 22, 2010

For the longest time I have been raving on and on about Zee Avi @ Kokokaina. She finally had her homecoming gig in Malaysia since getting signed. About time!

50 minute set. Short but sweet. Well she doesn’t have that many songs. Zee started the night off with Poppy. Good way to get the crowd going. And it was a pretty decent crowd. About 3 thousand people made the night merry. Zee continued with Slow Hands, The Childhood. She followed that up with Honey Bee, Bitter Heart, You and Me and finally Kantoi! Her final song (yeah that was fast), The First Of The Gang, which incidentally was not written by her came up the block pretty fast.

Then came some dramatics. She thanked the crowd the organisers, brought her dad up there, Gold certification was awarded (probably Malaysia or Taiwan certification). Then it was done. The crowd (some of them) started leaving but I knew there was no way I was leaving till I heard my favourite, Monte. After some feeble attempts to calm the demanding crowd down, Adam the MC saved his head when Zee stepped out and performed, wait for it….Monte :)

That just wrapped up the night for me. Check out some pictures that the organiser Red Tix shared with me.

Some old Zee Avi postings of mine

Placebo @ KL Live - 16 March 2010

Posted in Gigs, Music, Reviews by weng Monday March 22, 2010

Sorry folks, this is a bit outdated :).

I’ve never been a fan of KL Live because it was never meant to be a gig arena. First, it’s where Warp used to be. Secondly, it was where Ruums was and I’ve attended Akon there before. But, since it’s probably the only other intimate arena that KL has, let’s not be too demanding yeah?

I got there pretty early. Around 7pm for some dinner and drinks and was greeted by a tremendously LONG line. So, no way I was going to wait in line, I’ll just wait till later. The crowd was generally youngish and all look all prepped for some RAWKING.

When I decided to stroll into the arena, managed to cut a very long queue thanks to some mates of mine in the organising team. Parked myself upstairs but before long I went downstairs. It’s absolutely not conducive to be upstairs as it’s a stand concert and everyone’s at the same level.

As the band came out and Brian Molko started belting away Placebo tunes, it was evident that this was going to be a good night. However, they played most of their newer stuff. Not the end of the world but the crowd lapped it up anyway. Placebo started the night off with clearly the best song of their new album, Battle For The Sun.

The night progressed on and a couple of cult classics, Special K and Every You Every Me came on but that was it. No Pure Morning, no Nancy Boy, c’mon! When the crowd cheered louder for Bright Lights instead of their classics, it was pretty clear - Placebo were formed in 1994, perhaps some of this crowd weren’t even into music in Placebo’s early days.

Overall a good night but no alcoholic beverages.

A Gig Review: Paramore live @ Singapore Indoor Stadium, 7 March

Posted in Gigs, Music, Reco by weng Tuesday March 9, 2010

Since Paramore were not coming to Malaysia, I had to watch them in Singapore. Another day, another roadtrip. Not too long ago, I was on the Florence & The Machine + The Xx roadtrip, so it has become a natural thing to do.

As I got to the stadium, what a crowd. A very young crowd who I predict are Twilight fans as well. Paramore’s debut and sophomore album catered more for the young ones. Brand New Eyes is a bit more matured in sound.

The night festivities kicked off at about 8pm, with an opening band, which I didn’t catch their name. They were pretty awful, the sound setup was poor and the lead vocalist can’t rawk out.

When Paramore came on, the lights went off - the crowd went MENTAL. They kicked the night off with Ignorance, then slayed Crushcrushcrush. What a way to start their gig. To tone the night down a little bit if it’s possible, Paramore queued up That’s What You Get and Looking Up. Careful and Let the Flames Begin before the infamous “This song is about Love, gone terribly wrong” line was screamed out by Hayley and everyone knew Never Let This Go was next.

Paramore then went back to a couple of songs from their first album, which were Pressure and For A Pessimist….

Then, all of a sudden, Decode came on and it was good night. But we all knew there was an encore. There always is and they hadn’t played the song that got them on the radar.

Hayley and her boys returned to belt out Misery Business and end the night for real this time with Brick By Boring Brick. Throughout the night Hayley engaged the crowd and everyone lapped it all up. It was an image of wholesome bringing the house down with some serious rock tunes. They partied like a rockstar. It was undeniably one of best gigs I have been too throughout my gigging life. I haven’t been to THAT many concerts, but I think I’m in the region of just under 100. So it was that good.

On another note, I have other reviews to post, mainly Florence & The Machine but I have not felt inspired of late to do anything about it. Tough.

Gig Guide 2010

Posted in Gigs, Reco by weng Tuesday February 2, 2010

The Killers got cancelled, which was a disappointment. So a bunch of us drowned our sorrows in The Killers in spirit and went for a roadtrip anyway. Turns out they’re still playing Australia. So, I wonder what the problem is. Hiatus? Breakup? Just play the damn Asian tour.

Next up, Florence and The Machine, plus The xx on February 7th. I’m looking forward to watching these two buzz bands. If you haven’t heard of either of them, Florence and The Machine are similar to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The xx are the new age nugazers. Yep new aged shoegazer bands.

Next up, March 7 - PARAMORE live in Singapore. I’ve been waiting for their Asian gigs for a couple of years now. So they are finally coming. I can’t wait to hear Hayley belt out my favs: Decode, My Heart, Ignorance, Hallelujah, etc.

In March as well, we’ve got Placebo (who I will miss the singapore gig for the Malaysian one) and Kings of Convenience. It is definitely a good start to the year of 2010.

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