Friday, November 30, 2007

Fad of the Land: Midomi

Everything about Midomi squeals Jap. Seriously. The name, the colours, the technology—heck, the other day I saw a couple of cosplaying Sailor Moons playing Sudoku right near the "privacy notice" icon. They solved the puzzle in 29 seconds flat! Or was it 29 minutes. Hmm. Time sorta blurs when you're staring at blue haired chicks with miniskirts.

But alas, the rising sun eats none of this cake. Rather, a bunch of Standford grads are responsible for inventing a site that helps us solve one of the universe's most vexing questions: What's the name of that damn song?!?!?!?? Yes, fluster no more. As long as your computer has a mic plugged into it, you simply sing or hum that song into the mic, and Midomi will help you identify the name and artiste who sings it.

So anyways, I tested it out. The site didn't respond to my signature Greg Dulli yowl while I searched for Afghan Whigs 'Faded', or my flawless emulation of Jonsi Birgisson's "Ye-shoo-oo-oooooo" amidst a hunt for 'Ágætis Byrjun'. I'm so sure my voice isn't the problem, but apparently after I did that there were reports on Al-Jazeera's 11pm news that cats within the 19 blocks surrounding my house began transforming into lemmings and leaping from the balconies. Heck, there was this one cat who even tried to climb KL Tower so he could impale himself on the spire. He only reached 400 metres above the ground, before tumbling down onto a pile of rocks and busting his skull. The footage was awesome.


BB King and Zucchero - Hey Man (Sing a Song) (from Zucchero & Co.) [BUY]

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Who's Who at Big Day Out 2008: Kate Nash

When I first caught a glimpse of her video for her breakthrough single 'Mouthwash', I thought Nash was Jenny Lewis, the irrepressible indie sex siren. But alas the tea-friendly British accent gave her away.

But then again these days, I have supposedly been mistaking things. Like recently I tried to pan-fry my dog until my dad stopped me. And I already had the bloody buns and lettuces ready. What a shame. Or how I tried to kiss this girl in some mall the other day, thinking she was Petra only to find out she was not so I got slapped. Just in case you didn't know, if it was Petra, I wouldn't have gotten slapped. Or how that day I thought I saw Conan, Genghis, Vic Mackey, the Incredible Hulk and Destro on my front lawn, having a beer and I got pissed off. So I went out there and proceeded to beat the crap out of each them until they were all begging for mercy and crying like little ninnies only to find out that they were in actual fact Conan, Genghis, Vic Mackey, the Incredible Hulk and Destro.

Did I mention I was badass?

Kate Nash - Foundations (from Made of Bricks)

Who's Who at Big Day Out 2008: Dizzee Rascal

I am convinced that British rappers have zero ability when it comes to picking a name. I mean, they've got the bump and grime down pat, and the consonant-dropping flow that will always garner critical drool on all ends of the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Indian, Caspian and Mordorific. But c'mon: The Streets? Plan B?? Sway???

So, in the name of altruism, I have decided to assist Dylan Mills by redeeming his alter ego Dizzee Rascal, thus provide him with a far zippier moniker to match those Mercury-nomming rhymes and dimes that he can't help dropping. The goal: to present the ultimate bitch of a name to him, right before he takes the stage at Big Day Out. The side goal: to be invited to his after-party, where the hunnies and the... heck, what happens there is none of your business.

Anyways, to aid me in my World Vision-like endeavour, I have enlisted the help of Rap Star Name, Hiphop-Rapture and My Rap Name—flawlessly crafted rap name generators destined to produce a result that will send the bling to the ceiling. The ho to the down low. The jammers to the slammers.

The results, pronto!

Rap Star Name:


My Rap Name:

Shit. 'K fine, forget it. Dizzee, you got two months.

Dizzee Rascal - U Can't Tell Me Nuffin' (from Maths + English)

B-Side of the Week - Green Grass of Tunnel

British Sea Power
Green Grass of Tunnel (from the It Ended on an Oily Stage single)
(Rough Trade Records)

British Sea Power cover Múm. That's all I have for you. The song is called Green Grass of Tunnel.

Oh, not good enough for a supposedly savvy indie music blog?

Ok, both bands are quartets, one is from Brighton and the other from Iceland. And
Múm is pronounced Moom.

Still not enough? Figured. You fascist.

The song's about a guy with a hole in his ceiling. Water drips on him and he swims through a tunnel. There's a lot of water imagery and to be perfectly honest, I wanna get this post done quick cos every time I listen closely to the lyrics, it makes me wanna hit the john. And there's nothing worse than a tune that makes you wanna urinate all over your office cubicle.

Like that time when I was three and my mum would whistle whenever she brought me to the little boy's. Now I can't hear a whistle without pissing the entire amazon basin. Damn that positive reinforcement crap.

Of course, I've found a way to use this unique conditioning. I work for the army. Yes. I work for the army to destroy the dangerous minority of savage whistling militia. What? You think that's lame? What? You think they don't exist? Oh, you think it's a stupid way to wage war? Tell me who wages war better then. Tell me. Huh? Who? British Sea Power?


British Sea Power - Green Grass of Tunnel

Baybeats 2008: Pick your headliners

Baybeats, Southeast Asia's indie rock Mecca and the one-stop shop for Singapore's undiscovered, has gone all Web 2.0 for 2008. No, they're not exactly giving us the chance to upload our own bedroom anthems to be blasted from the spikes of Esplanade. Heck, if they did that, I'd be sharing with the entire Raffles Street my killer 14 minute cover of Akon's 'Lonely', where I remix it with Mogwai's 'Glasgow Mega Snake' to get a bonecrusher of a song. I named it 'Alfalfa'.

Anyways, what they've done is presented a list of 24 bands their looking to bring in, and asked Facebook members to vote for the 10 they most want to see. And it's a promising list, to say the least. Unlike yonks before, the lineup presented before us is a significantly more eclectic (no doubt a byproduct of Singapore's emo stalwarts Wake Me Up Music choosing not to curate this year's effort). Sure, there are the token emunks (hello, Jebediah) and moshpit muggles (that's you, Mae). But there's also the option to go the IDM route via Telefon Tel Aviv, the synth pop path beside Joy Electric, or the Canto-twee lane with Hong Kong's My Little Airport. It's not exactly Wonderland, but it's also not a road of thorns and thistles. I'm sure even Alice can find something to bring to the queen.

1. The Ambassadors (Philippines) [ link ]
2. Tabasco (Thailand) [ link ]
3. My Little Airport (Hong Kong) [ link ]
4. Lemon Soup (Thailand) [ link ]
5. Telefon Tel Aviv (US) [ link ]
6. Imago (Philippines) [ link ]
7. Jebediah (Australia) [ link ]
8. OK Karaoke (Indonesia) [ link ]
9. Rosemary (Indonesia) [ link ]
10. Elemental Gaze (Indonesia) [ link ]
11. Intercooler (Australia) [ link ]
12. Mary Trembles (Australia) [ link ]
13. Joy Electric (US) [ link ]
14. 15th Scenery (Thailand) [ link ]
15. Telephone Booth (Taiwan) [ link ]
16. The Shine & Shine & Shine & Shine (Taiwan) [ link ]
17. Primary Shapes (Hong Kong) [ link ]
18. Mae (US) [ link ]
19. Re-TROS (China) [ link ]
20.The Groceries (Thailand) [ link ]
21. The Pale Pacific (US) [ link ]
22. Pocketbooks (UK) [ link ]
23. The Hollows (UK) [ link ]
24. Regurgitator (Australia) [ link ]

Telefon Tel Aviv - My Week Beats Your Year (from Map of What Is Effortless)
Joy Electric - Buttercup Fairy Jamboree (from Melody)
My Little Airport - I Love Ella Koon, But I Love Your Buck Teeth More (from We Can't Stop Smoking In The Vicious and Blue Summer)
The Ambassadors - Senseless Song (single)
OK Karaoke - Milky Way (from untitled demo)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Word for the Week: List


List season draws nigh. Paste couldn't wait for December, while Stylus closed their doors for good with an early one of their own. Where to scan 'em all? My two picks are Largehearted Boy, who has begun compiling the directory of every site that lists anything music-related, and Fimoculous, who extends the concept towards chronicling everything rankable, including the Best UFO Photographs. My shot of Britney's car almost made it to that one.

The Killers - My List
(from Sam's Town)
A slow-burning spawn from the loins of Chris Martin. Good thing Brandon Flowers didn't title it 'Persimmon', or something equally fruity.

Metric - The List (from Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?)
A gushing Emily Haines makes fuzzy nods to Broken Social Scene, KC Accidental, Stars and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Who ever said indie rockers are tortured, reclusive hermits?

my Orchard - A List Of Things (from Silhouettes)
Norway-originating, Sweden-based power poppers hide their mental tumult behind that Scandinavian vixen of a whistling synth.

Starflyer 59 - A Lists Go On (from Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice)
Aged, yet eternally tenacious; Starflyer continues to swim the doubtstroke in a placid pool blessed by New Order, plus an eyedrop of "abracadabra".

Hall & Oates - Kiss On My List (from Voices)
Had—had—to add.

New Release: I am David Sparkle - This is the New

When I was young, perhaps around five, my dad decided one day that we should take a drive. I asked him where we were driving to but he just grunted. My dad grunts at everything. I once caught him grunting at the tape deck because it was playing 'Hard Day's Night' a nanosecond slower. Yeah my dad knows these things. He may not know that poultry means chicken or that the Internet is not inside the computer but hey, he knows when John's singing a fret lower.

So I got to the car. It was a nice black and white Toyota. The kind that looks like a shoe box with wheels. I tried to open the door but it was stuck. Turns out someone stitched the door together so I had to sit down there for about three minutes untying the stitch.

Five minutes later we were on the road. I was naturally excited. I have no idea why but I was. Then again I used to get excited when it was bath time or when I put coins in my piggy bank. Did I ever tell you guys about my super ultra brain-busting philosophy about kids? Oh, I haven't? They're dumb. Yeah that's it. They're dumb. I like my philosophies to the point.

An hour later and we were still on the same road. And there wasn't much to see. No sparklingly tall buildings or weirdly formed clouds. Just a dark grey sky, us driving under it and nothing for miles, and miles, and miles and miles. Occasionally there were minor bumps, a roadkill or two here and there to break the monotony but it was still predominantly the same long road.

And after about 10-hours, we came back to dinner.

Yeah that's it. True story. Still brings me to tears these days.

Track list:

1) The Way of the Universe
2) Do You Cry While You Sleep
3) Jaded Afghan
4) There is No Time for Love, Only Chaos
5) If I Never Come Back
6) Dance of Death

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Look What I Found in the Bargain Bin

This Perfect Day
Don't Smile

Price: S$5.00

Yes, it's another Swedish power pop band. They sell them at 7-Elevens over there, next to the Coke bottles and under the instant meatball section. This one come packed complete with thick harmonies, soaring choruses and two redeemable coupons.

Ah, but you are wondering, redeemable coupon for what right? Is it for a t-shirt? A CD? Brands chicken essence? Ginseng beer? No my wayward underlings, it's redeemable for a dinner date with me. And you are honored to be the first to redeem because I have been sitting here for 10-years and for some reason, hardly anyone has had the guts to step in line. Either that, or they were guys or not-hot-enough girls, in which case I sent them to the other line where Fabio is sitting at. So if you're from either demographic, go off to the other line while I wait for my cute and lovely 'Petty' Nemcova.

It's been 10-years now but my love is strong, and patient.

This Perfect Day - Blinded by the Light (from Don't Smile)

This Week's Track 9 - Tell It Like It Is by Graham Coxon

Fragile chap. Yes, I've always liked the idea of a fragile rock chap, wearing at least a veil of noise to hide the brittle voice and vulnerable lyrics. That's pretty much what you get with possibly-no-longer-former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon. In this track 9, he extols the superlatives of a girl whom lazy internet gossip sites call a "model agent". One site goes as far as to assume she's a "gorgeous doll of a girl" but the last time I checked, model agents are agents and not models because they aren't gorgeous dolls.

But who am I to say? There's every reason why a good looking girl can still be a model agent. After all, I'm the one who once had a whirlwind romance with a stunning North Korean girl who was an agent of everything. Sure, it only lasted two weeks, but in that time, I found out that she was a travel agent, an insurance agent, a press agent, a sports agent, a special agent, a real estate agent, and agent Orange all at the same time. Yes, that's right. I made tireless love, seven times a day for fourteen straight days, to a girl who was a biochemical weapon and I survived. She, however, didn't. Which not only explains why the whole thing lasted only two weeks but also why I never found out if she was ever a model agent.

Graham Coxon - Tell It Like It Is (track 9 from Love Travels At Illegal Speeds)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Look What I Found in the Bargain Bin

Golden Smog
Down by the Old Mainstream

Price: S$2.95

Just in case you haven't put two and two together between the fact that this is one hell o' a bloody honkingly excellent Americana rock record featuring members of Soul Asylum, Wilco and The Jayhawks and its meager price, this bargain-find made me feel like the ozone layer repaired itself, that Panda's have become pests because they mate so much, that Singapore 'fried kuey teow' have stopped becoming sweet and sticky and that Petra Nemcova just proposed to me about how she wants to have five kids with me. You know, all that saving-the-world stuff.

And how does Petra Nemcova having kids with me going to change the world? It's simple, I'll go to the bedroom and I'll come back and show you. Give me 30 minutes.

(After 30-minutes) Ah, doesn't the world look like a better place already?

Golden Smog - Glad & Sorry (Small Faces cover) (from Down by the Old Mainstream)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Rarity on the rarity - Lord, Don't Slow Me Down

Lord, Don't Slow Me Down
(Big Brother)

Rare factor: Online-only single.

Johnson begot Waters, Waters begot Berry, Berry begot Lennon, and Lennon begot Gallagher.

Now Gallagher was forty years when his disciples built an altar for his greatness. Beginning in his youth with Lightning Speed and Immortality, he proceedeth to craft the Great Brick Division and did so reach the peak of his strength with the enviable Eternally Reconciled Forward Glance.

His disciples asketh him, "O Master, what didst happen then?". And their master replied, "Assuredly, I sayeth to thee. I was there then".

Now the invading hordes were upon his kingdom, and the mighty army of Yorke hath conquered much new pasture. And Gallagher thought, "I may be hard of youth now, but surely the Lord hath much promise in this new land. And I shall seeketh it with an online-only single."

And so Gallagher lifted his voice to the Lord, the God of his fathers, and saith "Lord, don't slow me down".

Oasis - Lord, Don't Slow Me Down

Fad of the Land: SellaBand

SellaBand has been around for the past year and a half. It's essential function is to get fans to help bands record albums. Fans buy shares in a band, and are christened "Believers". Once the band raises $50,000 worth of sold shares (equivalent to roping in 5,000 Believers investing $10 each into the band), SellaBand sets up a recording session, and the end product is sold to new fans, while both the band and its Believers share the resultant income.

Very neat. Anyways, it recently got neater, as the Believers for American popper-songwriter Cubworld, Dutch gothheads Nemesea, Kiwi rappers Maitreya and Brit trip-hoppers Second Person recently got their cut of the promised revenue (over $20,000 in total). Deducting 33 percent from that for SellaBand's own portion, then dividing the remainder between the four bands and their army of Believers means that the final individual slice of the pie does sound a tad skimpy. But who's to say you can't do much with $1? I can immediately think of about 49 things you can do, each one involving prostitution, a triceratops and shaving cream. Mail me for details. It's so worth it, seriously.


Cubworld - For Love (from Step Lightly Create Out Loud)
Nemesea - No More (from In Control)
Second Person - Water (from Elements)
Maitreya - Harlem Streets (single)

Who's Who at Big Day Out 2008: LCD Soundsystem

Oh isn't this exciting.

Is this the new thing? To name yourself after a combination of electrical equipment classifications? Gives you that cold urban slickness that just goes oh so well with being on the forefront of the electro clash/dance punk movement? In any case, it beats naming yourself James Murphy. It's slick like those huge ancient Nokia phones that used to be able to double up as machetes. I would sit down and talk about the time I killed 500 people, Megatron, Cobra Commander and that short dude from Goodfellas with just one of them Nokia phones but I have no time. Have to rush off to save Mars, they just placed a Help Desk call. Yeah, I do galaxy calls these days. Earth can be so boring sometimes.

Anyways, back to the name. If so, I choose Dishwasher Microwave Hair-Straightener. Oh, that's been taken? Bloody cool bastard there. Okay, then I go for Oven Vacuum Cleaner Water Dispenser. Cool huh? Cool huh? Huh huh huh.

LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk is Playing at My House (from LCD Soundsystem)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

In the papers today...

We got three. All are pretty good.

Sydney's kids are facing a crisis of childhood come Christmas time, as dress-up Santas citywide have been told not to use "ho ho ho" as their greetings, out of respect for women. The acceptable term of cheer? "Ha ha ha". That's not too bad, I guess. Hopefully someone doesn't say "hai hai hai" to a Hakka-speaking passerby.

This story reminds me of: Sufjan Stevens - Get Behind Me, Santa! (from Songs For Christmas)

Ebbsfleet United football club are the latest real world beneficiaries of Web 2.0. Thanks to an initiative called MyFootballClub that invites people to purchase a share in a lower league club in exchange for participation in its management, the team will now be partially controlled by the website's 50,000 members, who will vote each week on team selection, transfers and all the niggling corners of football club management. No word on whether they get a say on hiring cheerleaders.

This story reminds me of: Bob Dylan - When The Deal Goes Down (from Modern Times)

England lost, and are out of the 2008 European Championship. Two-thirds of the pirates are heartbroken. The other third—the wiser third—is merciful.

This story reminds me of: R.E.M. - The Lion Sleeps Tonight (from The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite single)

B-Side of the Week - Pennies

Smashing Pumpkins
Pennies (from the Zero single)

Gosh, these are sad days. They don't make them like they used to, that's how it always works, isn't it. Great men are brought down from their splendour. High art is defiled by populism. And while money inflates, what you get for them just gets shittier.

Take Smashing Pumpkins for example. Man, there was a time when they dreamt up some of rock music's most symphonic epics, blistering cries and wounded numbers. Now, well... they sure don't write them like they used to.

What they value for thirty dollars today used to be worth a penny. Like, literally. If you square off how much you spend on a cd single, credit the a-side with the lion's cut, you'll find that that's what b-sides cost. Pennies. Well, you sure used to get a lot more for what you spend.

Here's a slice from one of 1996's tastier pumpkin pies.

Smashing Pumpkins - Pennies

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Word for the Week: Protest


Everyone's doing it: Burmese monks, Belgian bi-linguists, Pakistani journalists, Malaysian yellowshirts, American anti-torture chaps. Next up: my global campaign against swimming trunks. Meet me at Trafalgar Square tomorrow, 3pm. Come in a scuba suit.

Skinny Puppy - Pro-test (from The Greater Wrong of the Right)
Industrial legends spit upon our velvet cushions with piss-flavoured saliva, and a promise to return every night with 10 like-minded recruits until we sign that darned petition.

Evaline - A Protest in Lines Too Thin to Read (from Postpartum Modesty. A Portrait Of Skin EP)
For the first 41 seconds, you'll think these Cali-based rockers were picketing over the preservation of baby seals. After the next 424, you're ready to bomb Guantanamo.

Aloha - Protest Song (from Sugar)
Indie rock's vibraphone purveyors trade the jazzy twinkles for a 7/4 surge that heads for the cosmos, and never returns.

Protest The Hero - Blindfolds Aside (from Kezia)
The Darkness might have revitalised the era of glam and yelp, but look who's disbanded now? Meanwhile, album two from these Ontarians comes up next year. The curse of the shirtless rocker lives on.

Alanis Morissette - Doth I Protest Too Much (from So-Called Chaos)
Let's face it: it was a little premature to crown this lass the 1990s' queen of angst. Marriage does strange things to anyone, like make Alanis miss being missed. Soooo sweeeeeeeee...

(image from

Who's Who at Big Day Out 2008: Battles

Q: What do you get when you put the ex-drummer of legendary NY post-hardcore band Helmet, together with ex-Lynx guitarist Dave Konopka and ex-Don Caballero guitarist Ian Williams and this other dude whose father just so happens to be legendary avant-garde jazz musician Anthony Braxton?

A: A legendary Lynx named Don who just so happens to like wearing a helmet. Funny huh? Funny huh? Huh huh.

And yes, in case I still need to say it - that's way cooler than being a butt-kicking progressive instrumental avant-rock band

Battles - Atlas (from Mirrored)

BDO - Second Announcement

Yes, it has finally come. After weeks on end of anticipation, illumination and err ... castration on who will be part of the second announcement, the day has finally arrived (cue LOTR/Jurassic Park soundtrack).

At least two out of three of ye Pirates are slightly miffed that Corgan hasn't quite signed on the dotted line yet but hey, we've got Britt Daniel and seriously we ain't complaining. Then there's UNKLE (no not your Uncle Sunny that likes to dig his nose and wipe it on his disgustingly short beige shorts), the British trip hop troupe that's bringing their live set for some neon-bathing. And, we have the delectably-British lass Kate Nash to serenade to us about Friday nights and err ... parts of her anatomy. Plus, Pantsy is particularly stoked that Augie March, his favorite band from the land of kangaroos and cheap beer, has made the bill as well.

For the third announcement I wish for ... Petra Nemcova. Oh she's not a singer? It's okay, we can take care of that easy. Either that or Optimus Prime. What? He's a robot and he doesn't bloody sing? Ah, my wayward underlings let me put it into perspective for you. If there was a giant robot, that could transform into a huge red truck, doing his thang in front of ya, would you be caring if Arcade Fire was playing 'No Cars Go' on the stage? I thought not. Optimus please.

Full list from the second announcement:

Spoon, Brand New, Anti-Flag, Carl Cox, Kate Nash, Shy Child, Enter Shikari, Operator Please, UNKLE (live), Dynamite MC, The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello solo), Augie March (Australia only), Regurgitator (Australia only), Karnivool (Australia only), PNAU (Australia only), Josh Pyke (Australia only), Bexta (Australia only), Gyroscope (Australia only), Goodwill (Australia only), Die! Die! Die! (New Zealand and East Coast only), Blue King Brown (East Coast Australia only), Dr. Octagon with Kutmaster Kurt (New Zealand and East Coast only), Aceyalone (New Zealand and East Coast only), British India (Australia only), Krill (Australia only)

Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb (from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga)
Kate Nash - Mouthwash (from Made of Bricks)
UNKLE (featuring Thom Yorke) - Rabbit in Your Headlights (from Psyence Fiction)
Augie March - One Crowded Hour (from Moo, You Bloody Choir)
Die! Die ! Die! - Auckland is Burning (from Die! Die! Die!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Release: Scott Orr - Miles From Today

As a penny-wise international student, one of my favourite weekly routines involved heading down to the city markets just before noon. No, it wasn't because the belly dancers came out that time to do the cha cha in a vat of squished grapes. It was because that was around the time when all the grocers started slashing the prices of their goods in an epic effort to get rid of their produce, otherwise whatever was unsold would spoil and go to waste. And in "slashing", I mean 5 kilos of apples for a dollar, or two boxes of watermelons for whatever change I had in my pocket at that moment (never more than 50 cents, miraculously).

Discovering Canadian singer-songwriter Scott Orr and his download-for-free sophomore Miles From Today is like arriving at the market at 11.53am, where all the metal grills have been pulled down and the shelves cleared, and you walk past the fishmonger who is flushing the ice down the sink, and he sees you walk by and chucks three crates of Kangaroo Island rock lobster at your feet and glumly says, "No one buys these anyways", and you take them home and throw a dinner party, with cheese-baked lobster as the evening's mains, and your guests all think you sold your country's entire oil reserves to buy the lobster, and you smile in smug silence, because you're a frackin' genius of a bargain hunter who knows how to con your way towards recreating a dining experience that is the equivalent of a vat full of belly dancing grape squishers.

Track list:

1. Don't Want To See That Again
2. Other Thoughts
3. Wondergirl
4. Hurricane
5. You Know What This Song Is About
6. Love Is A Dream
7. Old Enough
8. Take Them Home
9. You And I Alone
10. Dreamer
11. What A Way To Go
12. I'll Wait For You

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pelle Carlberg and Club 8 in Malaysia?

Rejoice ye purveyors and consumers of twee-licious Swedish pop, Labrador Records fulcrums Club 8 and the delectably catchy and silly Pelle Carlberg could be making their merry ways to our polluted and dirty shores.

What is it with the water in Sweden? Can everyone write indie pop songs? Is it like some national identity thing? That if you can't strum a cutesy pop song then you may not be Swedish? And why is it that every girl is a blond bombshell? What? It's in their genes you say? Nonsense. How do I know it's nonsense? Because I've locked myself in my top top toppest top secret lab for the past 30-years trying to figure out this mystery and I have deducted that it's the water. I know this because all these girls at some point in their lives, drank water.

Yes it's that simple. Science is easy when you're a genius you know?

Pelle Carlberg - Crying All the Way to the Pawn Shop (from In a Nutshell)
Club 8 - Jesus Walk with Me (from The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Arcade Fire in SEA?

Yes the buzz coming in from the bird nestling on some ancient oak tree behind the Shell Station next to the Petronas Twin Towers says that Montreal's finest exports The Arcade Fire might be heading to our region Q1 next year.

No indication on which country exactly but Singapore's Mosaic is a possibility given the dates. But that's just me talking out of my rather smart ass.

Apparently paper work has been put in, managers contacted and it's just a matter of inking a deal. Supposedly this is to tap into the fact that the band will be heading over to Australia for BDO. If you have no idea what that has to do anything, basically - it's cheaper to fly seven people from Australia than Canada.

Yeah, amazing isn't it? Blew my mind to bits as well when I first heard it. What? No, no, not the fact that Arcade Fire will be heading over, but that it's cheaper to fly seven people over from Australia than Canada. I thought we were supposed to practice equality or something these days? What did you say? Distance? Only a word my friend, only a word. My dad thought me that. Especially when he needed me to run upstairs to carry his lazy boy down.

The Arcade Fire - Cold Wind (from Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends)

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Bloody Valentine Reunion Shows: OMG it's seriously happening

When I was a kid, my friends told me that this hot girl in school liked me. And you know, unlike most usually dumb kids, I did not believe them. Then one day, she walked all the way from the other end of the canteen to my end just to say hi to me. And I said, hey, maybe she is just friendly, you know? Then three days later, she asked me if I wanted to go watch a movie with her. I asked her is it with her friends and she said, "No, just the two of us." And I thought, hey, maybe she respects the fact that I am like, and I seriously don't like to brag, the most knowledgeable person when it comes to movies on this side of the whole galaxy and the one beyond it, so I said "Why not?"

On the date, during the movie, which I think was Death Wish 65, she leaned over and put her head on my shoulders and stole a kiss here and there during the pivotal scene where the hero launches the main baddie out of the window with a photon launcher, and I thought, hey maybe this girl gets turned on by violence. Some people are so weird. As I pull up to her place to drop her off for the night, she lifted her legs and wrapped them around mine and spoke in a hoarse-voice "Can I see you again?" And I thought, maybe she wants to ask me some chemistry questions seeing as I am like a scientific wizard as well so I said, "Why not, I have nothing to do usually anyways?"

The next day, I told my friends what happened and they said, "Told you she liked you, didn't we?" And I said I still wasn't sure. It could be still be subjective you know?

A week later she bought me a Godzilla 6-DVD box set from Amazon and it was love at first sight. We've been married for five years now. True romantic story.

Next up, The Smiths please.

My Bloody Valentine - Blow a Wish (from Loveless)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

B-Side of the Week - Peter Panic

Peter Panic (from the Girls & Boys single)

Oh no! It's happened again! What am I gonna do? What? What? Oh dear. Ohdearohdearohdear. This is bad. You know why it's bad? Do you know why it's so bad? Because it's happened again, that's why it's so bad! They're never gonna trust me again. They're gonna tell me it's over. They won't believe me when I tell them why. It's not fair. This is badbadbad!

Is this the end? Is this really it? Why? Whywhywhywhy? I tried really hard. I really did. Damn it i tried so hard!! Damn it! Damn you man! Why does it always end up like this? Stupid damn idiot me! Why?? Aarggh!!! Aaaarrrrggghhhh!!!!!


What? Don't talk to me now. Go away. I'm not listening. Really, please go. Go. Did you hear me? What? No. What? Ha? Ha? It's next week? It is? Not today? Oh. Are you sure? Like, next week next week? Oh. Wow. Heheh. That's good. Thanks. Ya, I'm fine. No, thanks. I'm okay. No, not panicking. No. Not at all. Heheh. Ta.

Blur - Peter Panic

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Word for the Week: Wordless


The 12,000 members of the Writers Guild of America enter into Week 2 of their strike, in the eternal quest for more wad for their words. Which I'm like totally okay with. I mean, what's the big deal? It's only going to postpone or delay the production schedules of 24, Lost, Heroes, Friday Night Lights, The Office, Battlestar Galactica...



My Morning Jacket - Wordless Chorus (from Z)
Alt country icons evoke Al Jarreau in the company of some gorgeous, recurring organ triplets.

Cinematic Sunrise - The Wordless (from I've Seen Lovers Dancing In Windows EP)
Emocore punks with nothing to say? Never, as long as the gods of stop-start attacks and bedwetting teens rule and reign.

Venus Hum - Wordless May (from Big Beautiful Sky)
Amidst a stunning meld of IDM blips and fully organic yearns, this Nashville ambient electronica act asks, "Did Jesus make me sing?". I don't know, but they've got me saving up for classes.

The Velvet Underground - Wordless (from Squeeze)
Yes I know, purists have disassociated their darlings from anything to do with this album. Their loss; this cheeky soul jam trots through Alabama on its way to Brooklyn.

New Release: The Great Spy Experiment - Flower Show Riots

Okay you know what? I am a fairly abstract kind of dude. How do I know?

Well, I can see through feathers and imagine a plate of golden roast chicken. Or through spots of smelly dung and see a juicy tenderloin steak. Or through the murky waters of Port Dickson and see a chunky plate of my dad's lovely sambal fish dish. So all my abstractness has something to do with food, so what? Try not eating then. If you can't, then I win. Woo.

So I am about as baffled as any when I saw the album title of this latest release by the irrepressibly popular and chic Singaporean post punk heroes The Great Spy Experiment. The set's a bit on the flat side at times, offering nothing more than Brandon Flowers' coattails. But there are some fairly sparkling cuts, namely the one posted here.

Okay back to my baffling. Firstly cause it's about flowers, not pork loins. And anything that's not about food, I most probably care little about or just can't see (lard blindness, it's a new disease, just discovered four seconds ago) Secondly, I have seen people who frequent flower shows (case in point my often reserved aunt) and if there was ever a riot started by them, I might as well release my super ultra top secret crazy explosive ultra beta gamma nuclear boom-boom shake-shake the room weapon - and turn the world into a wasteland of marauding zombies.

Why I would do something crazy like that? Cause zombies are cooler than flowers. Peace.

The Great Spy Experiment - Late Night Request (from Flower Show Riots)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This Week's Track 9 - Elvis by Kent

In an outtake from Pulp Fiction, John Travolta tells Uma Thurman that in this world, there are two kinds of people: Elvis people and Beatles people. An Elvis person can like the Beatles, and a Beatles person can like Elvis, but they always remain true to one. They proceed to Jack Rabbits Slim to do that dance. So I think they were both Elvis people.

As for me, I'm not an anyone person. Heck, I'm not even really a person. I'm actually a vapour-type creature that takes the form of a dashing young man whenever I feel like scoring hot females the old fashioned way. I mean, after 5000 years of being a lustful vaporic entity, it gets a bit boring scoring chicks by crawling into their midst unawares. Wait. What were we talking about again?

Oh Elvis. Right. Nice chap. Scored a few nice girls himself.

Kent - Elvis (track 9 from Isola)

Lets' get lyrical, lyrical: Jens Lekman - If You Ever Need a Stranger (To Sing at Your Wedding)

If you ever need a stranger
To sing at your wedding
A last minute choice
Then I am your man

I know every song, you name it
By Bacharach or David
Every stupid lovesong
That's ever touched your heart

Every power ballad that's ever
Climbed the charts

You think it's funny
My obsession with the holy matrimony
But I'm just so amazed to witness true love

And true love can be measured
Through these simple pleasures
They are waiting there for you
To be discovered

I would cut of my right arm
To be someones lover

Maybe I'll meet her there tonight
At the wedding buffee
I walk up to her
When she's caught the bouquet
And oh, it's just like a whirlwind

Now this is what I call a love song. You know why? Because it's a love song that name drops the word 'power ballad'. And you know how all power ballads are mostly love songs (cause no one wants to hear a power ballad about the time you stuffed your face with 30 packs of Cheetos), so for a love song to name drop one is like a Storm Trooper picking up the Death Star and kicking a home run. Or a chicken picking up a machete and dicing Mr. Nando.

And of course I don't make any sense because love is blind, right right? And what has my eyesight got to do with making sense. That my friend, is the mystery that could unlock the universe. Ciaoree-o

Jens Lekman - If You Ever Need a Stranger (To Sing at Your Wedding) (from Rocky Dennis EP)

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Release: Libretto - Disc:losure

The:re is lit:tle I love more about East Malay:sia other than it's cheap barb:ecued chic:ken wings. 6 for RM5.00. In case you:'re not much of a math:ematician, that's pretty darn cheap.

But of course, that is in Sab:ah. Hip post-punk:s Libretto are not from that stat:e but the on:e next to it, Sarawak. To ass:ociate them with cheap chick:en wings would be like telling Span:iards that they make good past:a.

Though t:his five song EP shuffle:s a:round juicily like one of them soar:ing charcoal:ed-tinged wing:s, from the brood:y angular rock of Pinback to At the Drive-in's less Technicolor moment:s, Libretto drive:s a pretty hard post-punk bar:gain. And that's say:ing a lot seeing as no one does bargain:s as good as ye pirate:s here.

Track list:

1. Skies & Robots(Lufturnich)
2. Ho-Ju
3. Novelist,The
4. They're Here But We Ain't Ready
5. Skies & Robots(Mechanism)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Who's who at Big Day Out 2008: Faker

Ok, so in Faker's 11 years of existence, it has rotated through 23 different band members, and has come across sounding like a chuckaway hybrid from some cloning exercise involving Alex Kapronos and Kele Okereke, with a couple of cells pinched from Gavin Rossdale's cheekbone to complete frontman Nathan Hudson's mug. And yes, their debut Addicted Romantic's cover was a piss-bad rendition of Gavin DeGraw post-barroom brawl.

Still, there is enough here to be festival worthy. Which means it's all good. So how does one marry the "Where have I heard this before" bitch with the "My festival ass will shake to anything remotely punk" stud? With a good ol' fashioned Moroccan garden wedding, that's how. Make sure it comes complete with 16 flower girls and 24 ringbearers, and involves plenty of monkey-shaped lanterns. And if that doesn't ensure an slug-free procession, at least the reception is still redeemable with generous helpings of camel kurma and cuscus.

Faker - Enough (from Addicted Romantic)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Celebrating Deepavali

Deepavali. Also known as Diwali, or the Festival of Lights. One of the most important days in Hinduism. Celebrated on the end of the seventh month of the Hindu calendar. In many Asian nations, it is declared a public holiday. Through the day, candles are lit. Houses are open. Mutton, chutney and lassi are the spreads of the day. Everyone is happy.

Pirativali. Also known as the Festival of Seafaring Shitheads In Love, Fluffy and Ready To Spit (which can be abbreviated to FOSSILFARTS). Easily the most important day in Animism, Pastafarianism and the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis. Celebrated 17 times a year, precisely on every 3rd of the month, plus every time Britney gives birth. Through the day, prayers are made for the reunion of My Bloody Valentine, the reincarnation of Thelonious Monk, and the chance that Zhang Ziyi will feed any one of us strawberries. Baked seahorse is the spread of the day. Everyone is happy.

Dirty Three - Indian Love Song (from Dirty Three)
Music From The World Of Osho - Festival of Lights (from Yes To The River)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Word for the week: Mango


My folks came back from Bangkok last weekend. And way beyond the peace-sign photos and slash-priced sneakers they brought back, I had to give maximum props to the mango sticky rice (khao niaow ma muang) they smuggled past customs. Trust me, it's worth the possible detention.

M.I.A. - Mango Pickle Down River (from Kala)
Don't let those playground chirps fool you; Maya Arulpragasam is anything but naive, as you'd probably be too if you grew up with a militant dad and grenades that took the place of Lego.

Rabbit - Mango Overheat (from Mango Overheat)
Malaysian electropopper lets octave riffs and synth doots duke it out while he slaps a fro on the DJ.

Maps and Diagrams - Mango Glaze (from Intelligent Toys 3)
A rustle, a creak and puff of vapourised oak result in one of the many nuggets found in the third instalment of Lithuania net label Sutemos's cult classic compilations.

Danko Jones - The Mango Kid (from My Love Is Bold EP)
Canadian mod-rockers see no harm in sharing Iggy Pop's needle.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Gig-gles: Impulse vs The Great Escape, Again

The boy pauses. Paralysed. Befuddled.

"What seems to be the problem, my young padawan?"

The young padawan turns around, his tilted state of flux suddenly straightened by a calming, familiar baritone. He looks up to find his wise master smiling back at him.

"I... I... I can't decide," replies the padawan.

The master beams. Decisions!, he exclaims from within. The padawan is learning to become a man!

"Why, what is it that you can't decide on?" asks the master intently. Deep within, the cogs whir and chug, and synapses plunge into that ancient vat of knowledge in search of a timeless nugget that will eternally equip the padawan with a priceless gem to assist him in that perilous journey towards adulthood.

"Well, ..." begins the padawan.

Could it be a question about eternity?, wonders the master, still maintaining his outer serenity.

"...there are two..."

Two? The master's heart races. Oh, glorious day! Oh, opulent opportunity! It must be the the throbbing yearns from those loins that are engulfing him! What magnanimous maturity!



"...this Saturday. At the same time. At two different places. And both have some bitch-ass, rump-humping, punk-pumping lineups."

The master pauses.

"And I can't decide which one to go to. Can you help me?"

Paralysed. Befuddled.

The Great Escape, Again
Venue: Little Havana, Kuala Lumpur
Date: Saturday, 10 November 2007
Time: 8pm
Admission: RM10
Line up: Documentary In Amber, B-Quartet, Lightcraft, Telephony Delivery, The Otherside Orchestra

Heineken Music presents Impulse
Venue: Terrace Bar, Zouk KL, Kuala Lumpur
Date: Saturday, 10 November 2007
Time: 8.30pm
Admission: Free
Line up: The Great Spy Experiment, Furniture, B4C, Callen (Altered Image)

The Great Spy Experiment - Class 'A' Love Affair 2007 (from Flower Show Riots)
Furniture - Lughnasa (from Twilight Chases The Sun)
B Quartet - Disp Rs (single) [update 13/11/07: removed on request]
Documentary In Amber - For Those Are Truly The Last Days (from Documentary In Amber EP)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Who's Who at Big Day Out 2008: Cut Off Your Hands

Post-2005, any band starting with the letter "C", and with the words "Your" and "Hands" in their moniker, are begging to be sacrificed on the altar of unfair comparisons and impending lawsuits. But New Zealand dance punkers Cut Off Your Hands aren't simply saying yeah on the back of hype-fueled abandon, yet. They've done the hard yakka over the past few months, going cross-Tasman and from one end of the Atlantic to the other, all for the sole purpose of preening the global hipsterati to their Kiwified version of Franz Ferdinand.

Big Day Out is set for a cracker of a set by a deserving bunch of globetrotters, then. Of course, they've hardly clocked up the frequent flyer miles I have. Like on Saturday, I flew to Kazakhstan for 324 rounds of golf, then headed south to Santiago, Chile, for my routine eggs and toast breakfast. Then I felt like buying a Pashmina shawl for my pet earthworms (named Frank, Dave and Spragelidecious, respectively), so I hopped on the first flight out to Kashmir, India. Singapore Airlines should start painting their planes yellow, in my honour. Seriously.

Cut Off Your Hands - Still Fond (from Shaky Hands EP)

New Release: Fever Marlene - Civil War

Reading the press junket accompanying this album, you would think that Fever Marlene is in fact members of the Strokes, Arcade Fire, The Smiths and The Stones Roses who got together for a jam with a revolving door of singers that include Bono, Michael Stipe, Thom Yorke and guest appearances by Jeff Buckley and John Lennon, from the dead. Why? Cause it was a gig even they wouldn't want to miss.

But alas, when you prop up a band like that, it's always going to come with a little less luster. That's not to say they are not good. They are very good in fact. Somehow successfully straddling the line between Gallagher-like retro swaggers and sharp-stabbing indie pop-ism. It's a delicate but lovely balance.

Like how I used to go around telling the neighborhood kids that my silver BMX may not look like much but it on occasion can transform into a death ray robot and the pedals are in actual fact photon rocket launchers. Never mind that it came with a wussy bell and a daggy passenger seat behind but it seriously could kill if it wanted to. Serious.

Track list:

1) Red Fire
2) All the Kites in the World
3) We are All Colors
4) Khemitones
5) Mad Woman
6) When Daniel Goodings Made it Rain
7) Civil War
8) Some Saturdays
9) Fast Machine
10) Melodies in Four
11) Something's Going to Carry Your Down
12) AM Radio

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sufjan Stevens Australian Tour

Okay it's not funny anymore.

When Wilco announced that they will be touring Australia sometime in March, we took it like men, mainly cause it was nearly a good two months away from BDO so we could just casually throw the notion away based on that. Then there was the Laneway Festival that rolls into Melbourne less than a month after we head out, and as we've reported, the lineup is pretty stellar as well.

And then just yesterday, the Sydney festival was announced featuring no less than Brian Wilson (playing Pet Sounds in its entirety, dear lord), The National and Joanna Newsom playing in various venues all around Sydney. But hey, it's S-Y-D-N-E-Y, and we are heading to M-E-L-B-O-U-R-N-E, so it's okay. Seriously it was.

But today, today, it is announced that Sufjan Stevens will be touring Australia for the first time, complete with a full band which includes a wind and brass ensemble, rolling into Melbourne - a week before we touch down.

Okay this is too much and I have just about had it. BDO's second announcement better feature The Smashing Pumkins, Manics, Interpol, The Polyphonic Spree, Jesus and Mary Chain and every damn rumored act with The Boss and his E-Street band in tow for an onstage appearance with The Arcade Fire on 'Keep the Car Running'.

If not I am going to be seriously very pissed. And when I am pissed, I go to the toilet.

Sufjan Stevens - Joy to the World (from Songs for Christmas -Vol. IV)

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Pinholes readies debut album

Singapore' s tight-trousered, shades-wearing jogget and roll beast The Pinholes are readying their much anticipated debut album in Studio 31 for possible release at the end of the year.

Formed in 2005, the band has been galvanizing plenty of rabid fans with their tasty brand of retro surf rock that just often gets those klankety-klang joints a-go-going. So look out for this riotous party that's going to hit town. Or you can choose not to look and get stampeded on. That might be fun too. For me, not you.

And to commemorate this announcement, we bring you an exclusive live track of The Pinholes on stage with the ever quirky and zany Ben Harrison of ETC-fame . Enjoy.

Pinholes (featuring Ben Harrison) - Handphones on the Dancefloor (Live)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

B-Side of the Week - Can't Take My Eyes Off You

Can't Take My Eyes Off You (from the In Your World/Dead Star single)

What joy - Muse going all ba-dam ba-dam ba-dada-dam. You know, this is what the b-side format was made for. For serious bands to kick back, have a bit of fun and let their fans see a lighter side of themselves. No pressure to sell records, no pressure to appease the pitchforked gods of music criticism, and no pressure to really even give the fans a laugh. On those grounds, and purely for entertainment sake, this is a delightful cover.

Of course, that's if you compare this cover to the one I took last night. I hid under a giant rock after being chased by a four-breasted marsh-woman with a particular fondness for British bands and the studs who like them. I mean, for crying out loud, if it wasn't bad enough that I had to swim through a giant swamp, get bitten by aligators, attacked by a hive of rats that were larger than capybara, and get stung by scorpions, I had to abandon my search for the highly coveted two-lined froghopper's eggs as part of my research into curing Parkinson's disease.

So I swear, it was a bloody pain to have that damned four-breasted marsh-woman chase me into a rock. And if I might add, it sucks when the wrong girl can't take her eyes off you. Lousy bitch.

Muse - Can't Take My Eyes Off You

Who's Who at Big Day Out 2008: Sarah Blasko

Here's a confession: I'm an absolute sucker for doll-faced female singer-songwriters. Not really flash on the Tristan Prettyman-type bombshells, or the Alice Cooper lookalikes. But you could deck Rosie Thomas in a pink pomegranate suit, or uncover a scandal involving Regina Spektor and a mid-morning romp with three Greek preachers at The Jungles of Zamondo Music Fest, and chances are I'll still lap up the music like a nobbyless noodlehead.

So Aussie senorita Sarah Blasko, hear me now: I give in. Even if you dump the gushy electronica and go Missy Higgins pop, I'd give in. Even if you reconnected with your French roots and sprouted armpit hair, I'd give in. Even if you demanded that all genuine connoisseurs eat three bitter gourds before downloading one of your songs...

Ok, maybe I'm not that big a sucker. I'll just feed them to my pet armadillo. Her name is Caroline, by the way. Yes, DNA testing and 21 vets have all insisted that it is male, and its got biceps the size of a Mazda 929 and a nine-foot long schlong. But science sucks; favouratism rules.

Sarah Blasko - I Could Never Belong To You (from What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have)
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