Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Sick Sick Six: Top 6 Songs Why I Love Jason Martin


I have many obsessions in life. Barbecued pork ribs are right at the top of the list of course. Then there is arranging my CDs in chronological order. And of course there is the art of tasering the neighbors' kids. Or assembling my very own Gundam V-series robot complete with steel wings, chain guns and eight missile decks.

Californian band Starflyer 59, headed up the brooding, facial-hair driven frontman Jason Martin, happens to be another one. Yup, 'who' you might say. I've given up trying to highlight to supposed clued-in idiots that their last three albums made Pitchfork's album of the week. The man should be President. Yep, go ahead vote him in, I have the forms here. What? Nomination process? Isn't everyone that makes Pitchfork's album of the week automatically fit to be President? I mean wasn't the reason why George W. Bush was made President because he released that seminal cow-town rocker Rocking the Horses in My Ranch?

Starflyer 59 - Everyone But Me (from Americana) [BUY]
The song ends 2:14 in, then it restarts and before you know it, you're in a never land with sexy little fairies that don't look like Julia Roberts.

Starflyer 59 - 20 Dollar Bills (from Everybody Makes Mistakes) [BUY]
This song was probably written with Jason hunched over a piano, hands slamming the keys while feeling frustrated that he missed out on a Sizzler eat-all-you-can meal because he was a little short on dosh.

Starflyer 59 - Just Try (from Everybody Makes Mistakes) [BUY]
If you have this hot girl that's always brushing your advances, play her this song. Yep, all you need is a sample, baby. Come here.

Starflyer 59 - Fell in Love at 22 (from Fashion Focus) [BUY]
Completely romantic if you 'fell in love at 22, to a girl that's close to you'. If not, it will remind you of how damn old you are and that beer-belly you're carrying, as the sound of your wife Helga nagging bleeds in and out in the background like a fuzzed-up out-of-tune guitar.

Starflyer 59 - Samson (from Fell in Love at 22 EP) [BUY]
Put this on at 3am at night when you're on a deserted highway. You might hear a crash boom bang and see angels after that. Really lovely.

Starflyer 59 - When I Learn to Sing (from Leave Here a Stranger) [BUY]
I have been hearing this lady in my church sing this for awhile now. Possibly 23-years. Poor thing.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Travis, Alicia Keys and more to headline SingFest - 2nd and 3rd August

Alicia Keys, Travis, One Republic, Panic at the Disco, Jamie Scott and Simple Plan have been announced as some of the acts to take the stage for this year's SingFest. There will be more acts to be announced in the coming weeks/months.

As you can see, I avoided using the term FrankenFest. Mainly because the lineup is rather self-explanatory. And they haven't even announced Barry Manilow and his midget orchestra yet or Josh Groban and his chicken breast choir. When they do, you will all see the light, or Fran Healy's underwear.

For more info, go here.

Travis - Be My Baby (from Driftwood single) [BUY]
Alicia Keys - Heartburn (from The Diary of Alicia Keys) [BUY]

Word for the Week: Block


My company has blocked access to non-business related sites, including Facebook, Youtube and all emails (of course, we aren't called pirates for nothing, but that's another story). So what's considered a business-related site? Well, and seem to have remained unscathed, and frequently ranks among the top 20 most visited web pages. I know, I know: my company is so dull.

Badly Drawn Boy - Once Around the Block (from The Hour Of Bewilderbeast) [BUY]
In a rare moment of joviality, Damon Gough gets intoxicated over some frivolous, unnamed madame. Apparently her name is Chu Chu.

The Strays - Block Alarm (from Le Futur Noir) [BUY]
Swaths of Strokes are championed from the summit of Mt Vavavoom.

Company of Thieves - Around the Block (from Ordinary Riches) [BUY]
Smack in the middle of the dang fine debut by this Chi-town bunch comes a pre-pubescent parade that flaunts its speckles twice round the hood.

Bob Dylan - No More Auction Block (from The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3: Rare And Unreleased, 1961-1991) [BUY]
A forsaken Bob pines for the lost era of opportunity, and in the process wrenches out a most muddy hymnal.

It's International Hug A Musician Day

Indeed, it is International Hug A Musician Day. C'mere, Leslie. I give really good ones.

Placebo - Hug Bubble (from Teenage Angst single) [BUY]

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In the papers today...

Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has supported the forced closure of an art exhibition by renowned artist Bill Henson featuring nude photos of 12 and 13-year-old children. However, curators have clarified that selected shots declared "revolting" by Rudd were actually just candids of Tina Turner's legs.
This story reminds me of: Art Brut - Modern Art (from Bang Bang Rock & Roll) [BUY]

Former US president Jimmy Carter has declared that Israel has 150 atomic bombs in storage. His statement marks the firs time a US president has publicly acknowledged that their Jewish ally possesses nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, no US president has yet acknowledged that kosher food mostly sucks.
This story reminds me of: Silverchair - Israel's Son (from Frogstomp) [BUY]

In the aftermath of China's 12th May earthquake, the Chengdu Population and Family Planning Committee in Sichuan Province has allowed families who lost their child to have a second child. The move can be viewed as a relaxation of the country's stringent one-child policy. Good move, chaps.
This story reminds me of: Piana - Two Of Us (from Eternal Castle) [BUY]

New Release: Plainsunset - Plainsunset

So they broke up, formed splinter groups, realized it wasn't quite working out, wept as a group, made up, reformed, wrote new songs and recorded this album.

For those of you that do not reside in Singapore or some regions of Malaysia, the news that Singa-punk heroes Plainsunset have not only reformed but have released a new album might be as much news to you as your dad farting again. But hey, to the selected few, these guys are heroes.

Which sorta brings me back to the time, about five years ago when I was a bit of a hero. I was walking along the path to my home when I encountered a five year old neighborhood kid being preyed upon by a drool-dripping rabid pitbull in attack mode. I could see the fear in the kid's eyes, and the blood-lust in the mutt's. So I ran and ran and ran until I reached my home and locked the doors. I felt like a hero because someone very wise once told me that a hero lives to fight another day. Then again I could have been the one who said that. The kid? Don't know what happened to him. Someone mentioned something about him being mauled to death by a dog. I wonder what happened.

Track listing:

1. Johari Window
2. Interference
3. De Oppresso Liber
4. Children
5. Eyeliner
6. Song of Achilles
7. River Song
8. Postcards From Paradise
9. Sweetest Nothings
10. Greatest Days

Updates: Baybeats 2008: Full Lineup Announced - Aug 29 to 31

It's back.

Bigger? Perhaps not. Better? Well that is rather subjective. Bolder. In some ways yeah. The Lucksmiths aren't exactly your token Singa-worshiped emo band and My Little Airport should at least get some buy-ins from the twee brigade.

Oh it's also free, right? Yeah here's a wise lesson (and I may have said this before) - anything free is automatically good. Yep, doesn't matter if you don't want it or have no use for it, just as long as it is free, you should take it. Like somoene gave me a free baby gorrilla about 10 years ago. And sure we have our hardships (like how it slapped uncle Sunny and killed him) but I believe the ends justifies the means. That being that it was free. Yeehah.

The full schedule is out now. Go here to check it out.

Full Lineup:

The Lucksmiths, Jebediah, Joy Electric, My Little Airport, Electrico, Typecast, Silhouette, Faspitch, Force Vomit, Agrikulture, Peepshow, Caracal, The Oddfellows, Deserters, Vertical Rush, The Shine & Shine & Shine & Shine, elemental gaze, Abuse The Youth, Leeson, Anna Judge April, You and Whose Army?, The Other Side Orchestra, The Lilac Saints, Sourgrapes, The Oslo Castaways, Another Epic Story, Cardinal Avenue, Morning Utopia, Midnight Marvel.

The Lucksmiths - I Started a Joke (Bee Gees cover) (from Spring a Leak) [BUY]
Force Vomit - Siti (from Give It Up for the Trustfund Rockers)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Fad of the Land: The 100K Battle

To you, the card-carrying member of that corner of the hip-hop digging populace that daily bemoans the murder of your genre by pussy-faced practitioners and their faux-thuggin' swipes, bemoan no longer. Premiere hip-hop program the Wake Up Show has teamed up with social networking/music discovering site urSESSION — the self-proclaimed "Sundance of the music industry" — to give unsigned rappers America-wide the chance to flaunt their flow on top of some body-rocking beats. Called the 100K Battle, it features 28 beats produced by DJ giants like Pete Rock, Alchemist and the late J Dilla, all of which are freely available for MCs to download and spit their Spartacus over. The winner — determined by online voting — gets $5,000, a round trip to LA, an appearance on the Wake Up Show and a chance to bump 'n grind with some MC-hunting agent.

Neato. So how did this killer idea come about anyways? Well, Legend has it that one day, Wake Up Show co-host King Tech was cruising through San Francisco Bay Area, and he was listening to the radio, and a dude called into the station pining for the hip-hop legends of yore, and Tech started mulling over the whack-ass beats on radio today and was suddenly struck with an epiphany, which lead to a flurry of phone calls and...

Woh, woh. You askin' me to back up a jiffy? Oh, you're wondering why "Legend" is being spelt with a capital "L". Well, you clearly have not met Mr Legend. No, not John Legend, ya ol' dunce. I'm talkin' 'bout Legend. He always has it. Always had, always will have. He can be a bloody selfish prick sometimes, I must admit. But since he has it, you can't really do much. Unless you too have a homie named Story, who always goes. In which case, good for you. Your Story goes and my Legend has it. They should get married.


Auburn Lull - The Last Beat (from Alone I Admire) [BUY]

Let's get lyrical, lyrical: Maia Hirasawa - Gothenburg

Trams coming in, there's wind from the sea
But I don´t feel cold, it's not shivering me
And I thought I didn't like this city but I've changed

Pass the place were I lived in 2002
And I can see the square close to my old school
In the middle of Northtown, just feeling good
Did not think I liked this city,
Thought I, thought I hated this city but

Gothenburg I came back to you
Now you be nice to me, then I'll be nice to you
Gothenburg I thank you
You gave me someone to love, and I really owe you

Walk up to the hill, there is someone I like
He has those wrinkles close to his eyes
But they're not from crying, he laughs more than I
Did not think I liked this city
Thought I, thought I hated this city but

Gothenburg …

R. Kelly on the stereo, a boy is dancing
Around in the livingroom it´s Monday morning
And I don´t ever want to go home again
Did not think I liked this city
Thought I, thought I hated this city but ...

I once wrote a song called 'Lendu'. It's basically about how It hate this sleepy town in Malacca that gave me nothing but mosquitoes and stewed chicken feet. Someone to love? Oh, no no, I still hate it, yep.

Maia Hirasawa - Gothenburg (from Though, I'm Just Me) [BUY]

Friday, May 23, 2008

Esplanade Presents ElectroLab: Film : Club

Anyone seen Baraka? It's that drool-soaked film with no storyline, instead featuring a cluster of time-lapsed scenes about humans, nature, human nature and nature's humans, all interweaving and beefcaked by an hour and a half of house-happy beats. Anyways, in my fully credible, Variety-certified opinion, Baraka has got to be one of the most dull, mind-numbing movie experiences ever. It's the reason I refuse to give that other flick with that long, pretentious, unpronounceable title more than two seconds of eye time.

So, forgive me for not setting my very pronounced heinie aflame upon hearing that Esplanade are set to play host to a fusion of precisely that — a cluster of time-lapsed images accompanied by Jappy electronica. Nevertheless, while I can't pretend to appreciate the whole tea and symphony, This Singapore gig promises to be at least three notches more interesting since Yoshihiro Hanno, aka Radiq and Hong Kong's Dickson Dee will be concocting their beats live. Plus, glitch geek AOKI Takamasa dials in his blips later that night, so there's always the offering of stone-friendly salvation to whittle any fragments of yawndom. So yeah, at least one portion of the evening won't be all wtgdmf.

Yeah, that's my Friday rant. But at least said my peas. Bring on the weekend of surf, sun and s...

Huh? Said my what, you ask? My peas. Goodness, you mean you have no idea how to say your peas? Then you have hardly said anything memorable in your life. Me? I've moved way past peas, and find myself saying my beetroots and gherkins on a daily basis. Can't believe you haven't tried it out. Oh well, you've got something to do this weekend too.

For more details click here.

Radiq - Suicide (from Suicide EP)
AOKI takamasa - C.Y.E.-+ (remix of 'Cover Your Ears' from Indigo Rose)

Camera Obscura Wants You

Yes, you.

Yep, even though you are wearing that horrendous fluorescent chicken suit with the prosthetic beer belly and large rubber feet, they still want you to be their Lloyd Cole.

Okay we lied. You seriously think a guy in a chicken suit is equivalent to a living music legend? In fact I must say, we lie quite a bit. Biggest lie I have ever told? Let's see. Ooo yeah, there was this one time, I told some chick at some swanky party that I am ugly. Gosh, I felt so bad after that.

Anyways back to our less apparent habit of telling the truth, the Glaswegian band are seriously looking for potential concert organizers to bring their yummy act over here in Malaysia for a show. They already have a date in Singapore more or less pegged but they would love to make the five-hour bus journey here for a show as well. So yeah, if you were the quiet kid in school that was always doodling on the science lab table, dreaming about organizing a show for Camera Obscura, your dream can come true.

If you are interested, do drop us a note here or in the comments box for this post and we can shoot it up to the powers that be. We were told by them to post this. Only apply if you are serious, and you can get the job done, okay? Which means, we are asking you to be like us. It's not easy, we know.

Camera Obscura - Eighties Fan (from Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi) [BUY]

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Word for the Week: Zombie


We're feeling like zombies today, having stayed up till 5.30am the night before to watch Manchester United beat Chelsea to win the European Champions League Cup (one of those incongruent timezone things that Europe will never get). Still, I'll have you know that feeling like a zombie is the second best feeling in the world, next to feeling a zombie. Like, fo' real. Go test it out.

The Cranberries - Zombie (from No Need To Argue) [BUY]
Tell me you didn't want to sing this every time you went to the karaoke. Oh you didn't, did you? May Dolores grind your lungs into gunpowder for her grenades.

Screeching Weasel - Zombie (from Boogadaboogadaboogada) [BUY]
Punk in all its blistering glory, before pop came and injected bottomless vials of melodic pube.

Howie Beck - Zombie Girl (from Howie Beck) [BUY]
With clandestine beauty, this Canadian singer-songwriter bemoans his lady's cancerous addiction to the shadows, forged from the fragments of her broken heart.

Sufjan Stevens - They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh! (from Illinoise) [BUY]
I really don't see what ol' Suf's fussing over; my zombie neighbours Keith and Jenny never fail to invite me for dinner every night. Such hospitality; think I'll have to say "yes" tonight.

B-Side of the Week - Wrote For Luck

Manic Street Preachers
Wrote For Luck (from the Roses In The Hospital single)

Somebody once told me that there's no such thing as luck.

Well, there was once I walked to the mall and as I stepped onto the escalator, I found a vintage RM1000 note. Then I went to the food court and they were having lobster minute, where they give away RM88/kilo lobsters at 88 cents for 60 seconds. No one was there. I took twenty lobsters. Then I went to the designer store and the guy at the counter mistook me for an actor and told me that the suit from last Tuesday is ready for fitting. "And you left your hat, sir", he said. I walked out with everything in tow. And then I went to the supermarket and all these bells started ringing and they told me I was customer number 726 and that customer number 726 had 300 seconds of supermarket sweep action for me to reel the cart around like a frantic child and take things for free. So I was thinking, this must be my lucky day.

And then I fell into a hole and broke my leg. And then someone stole my vintage RM1000 note and i vomitted all the lobster onto my shiny suit and stetson hat. In a mad rush, shoppers swarmed around me and picked apart my supermarket sweep. It was horrible. All except for the lobster vomit. I swear, lobster vomit tastes just like lobster pre-vomit. No wonder they cost so much.

Manic Street Preachers - Wrote For Luck [BUY]

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In the papers today...

WWE is well into the first month of its inaugural WWE Kids magazine, and apparently, feedback has been positive. The issue includes health tips, geography lessons and esteem building. And if you fold the back pages together, there's a hidden diagram on performing the definitive DDT.
This story reminds me of: Liars - Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack (from Drum's Not Dead) [BUY]

The US TV season enters into its final weeks, with various series already beginning to hurtle towards their end. So far, biggies like The Office, One Tree Hill and How I Met Your Mother have wrapped up. You know, one day my grandma will be right about me watching too much TV. I'm so happy that day ain't today.
This story reminds me of: The Karl Maka - Season Finale (The Karl Maka Remix) (from While There's Time EP)

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has quit his political party UMNO. He cites unresolvable disagreements with current party president and Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the reason for him quitting. No word on whether his anti-aging cream sponsorship deal will be next to go, given their obvious incompetence as well.
This story reminds me of: Hey Mercedes - Quit (from Evernight Fire Works) [BUY]

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This Week's Track 9 - Chick Lit by We Are Scientists

One time this chick lit a match and it burned all my books. And this other chick lit the gas stove and caused an explosion my kitchen. I remember when a chick lit some freshly cut grass and that razed down all of my dad's palm trees. And another chick lit a candle for peace, but that ended up burning down our garage. When I grew up, I met this stunning girl and this chick lit a cigarette which sent my car into flames. Then I grew up sommore and I met an even more stunning girl and that chick lit something inside me and then left me feeling like charcoal.

So when I tell you that I absolutely dispicably hate chick lit, you better damn believe it.

We Are Scientists - Chick Lit (track 9 from Brain Thrust Mastery) [BUY]
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