Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chinese Whispers

I have been getting a lot of Chinese speaking visitors lately, based on their comments left (they wrote in Chinese). Which is rather unfortunate (or maybe lame) of me, being a Malaysian, but can't read/write Chinese (be it Mandarin, Hokkien, Canto etc)

Anyway, for my amusement, I used Google's translator to figure out just what were they actually saying in those comments ;-) Luckily, they turned out to be not too obscene, so I can publish them here lol! Here goes:

"Temper and mouth is not good, even if no matter how carefully, not too good"
-For The Killer gig post
I figure he/she must be a fan of the The Killers. I was being tongue-in-cheek for the post there

"People have eyes of a tongue, is the observation times for the sake of talking."
-For the Stereophonics KL Live: Liz's take post
Not quite sure what the commentator wanted to say hmm...

"nice blog yo ~ ~ I will always look at fuel ~!!"
-For the Shiny Happy People post
Hurrah! TQ there :-D

And a few more others, which I accidentally deleted before I could do those translations sigh!

Note to Z.M.: I reckon u to check out R.E.M's Automatic For The People (1992). Phoaaaarr fell in love with the album instantly! Check out Everybody Hurts from the album


Friday, May 21, 2010

Shiny Happy People

Just wanted to share the 'theme song' for POPY
Shiny Happy People by R.E.M.
A very young Michael Stipe there.. LOL at his dancing!

Song released in 1991 from the album 'Out of Time'


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stereophonics KL Live : Liz's take

I have to publish my lovely gig mate Liz' Stereophonics review here. Hers gives more justice to the awesome performance of the 'Phonics. She's only 22, but has great potential to be a music journalist (I hope she'll achieve her dreams!) She sends her gig reviews around to music zines/sites~ hopefully one of them will take notice and rope her in! *Fingers crossed*

Originally published at More Than Good Hooks

The five guys (4+1 touring keyboardist) of Stereophonics were flawless.

Alas, this is where the quandary starts trickling in. You get so comfortable and in total captivation by their musicianship that you start to wonder if you were even in a live concert. The whole stage was set up perfectly. The dry ice effect (probably more tobacco smoke than dry ice), blazing lights from all directions and top notch sounding audio resonating through the halls of KL Live. It seemed too good to be real.

The only constant reminder of course was Kelly Jones himself in flesh and blood giving you scraps of his thoughts by belting out song after song after song in sheer confidence. As you soak up everything they have to offer, there’s only one way of giving back. It was an absolute sight to behold as everyone paused in time and chanted in unison to the lyrics of Dakota during the encore but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

JUNK magazine did a great job helping This Feeling KL to spread the word out early March that Stereophonics will be stopping by Malaysia. By the time the tickets were announced in April, word has already stretched to long time fans eagerly waiting for the revival of Britrock in Malaysia. Kudos to This Feeling KL for their effort, but a huge howler came up when there was a mammoth mess up of the queue pre-gig. Fans that arrived early were left disappointed and upset when they found themselves squirming with late comers. However, noting that this was perhaps the first major event organized by This Feeling KL, it was quickly forgiven.

Rockstars are never punctual so when Stereophonics emerged in a very Malaysian time-keeping manner at 9:25pm the crowd was almost delirious as Live N Love echoed abrasively catching any one off guard. The blinking multi coloured neon lights were a sight to behold as it blends with every pitch perfect note and drum beat. More so if you’ve got a bird’s eye view of the whole stage from the balcony. It almost tells a story of its own added to the weight from Kelly’s lyrics. From the front however, it was a nightmare for photogs to get the right camera settings. The lights were clearly set up for arenas and stadiums that Stereophonics have now become regular patrons of. Basking in the glorious lights, all five seem to play in their own silhouettes and one can only hope the lights would be from the front to see more of their facial expressions (I mean, let’s not put Kelly Jones’ pretty face to waste, shall we?)

For a guy that usually dons his leather jacket and black shades, we can excuse Kelly if he seemed slightly detached with the audience. His luscious Gibson SG guitar with a bejeweled strap stole the hearts of many but it’s the music that really speaks. Take it from the pair of young lovebirds, soaking in the lyrics of Could You Be The One hand in hand and eyes gazing timidly into each other as the song panned out.

Speaking of hands… (here we go) how lovely was the fact that every time Kelly raise his glorified hands, the crowd cheered even louder? Amusing himself (for lack of better words), Kelly played a little game of what I’d like to call “hands and cheers” with the mass as they made their final bow out. They left on such a high after the Malaysian gig but the Asian leg of the Keep Calm and Carry On tour may have ended slightly sour with a particular slipper incident in Singapore two nights after.

Forgive my massive lack of mention for Adam, Javier, Richard and Tony (who celebrated his birthday that day!). They were the true champions of the night, allowing Kelly a platform for storytelling. Richard was particularly groovy with his bass and when met after the gig, he was still in high spirits and jocund company albeit sleeves folded up as high up as they can go due to the scorching Malaysian heat.

With 17 years of experience in their pocket, Stereophonics weighed their options and chose a splendid set list. Going through all the best moments from that night would take a while with the massive 24 songs played, but I shall remain forever grateful to be able to listen to A Thousand Trees live.

At the end of the day, leaving a Stereophonics gig may give you that very pleasant feeling of consuming a small portion of your favourite (vanilla) cupcake. Exhilaratingly memorable leaving you craving for more. It is with that very essence everyone went back to work and reality the next day with the intensity of Dakota still ringing in their ears.


Sunday, May 02, 2010

Stereophonics, KL Live 28 April 2010

Another gig within 2 months!

Unlike Placebo , Stereophonics took some time for me to decide whether I should go. I theorised that if I knew at least 50% of their most recent setlist, then I should go!

But I failed the test - knowing only about 8 of the songs :-p

I defied my theory anyway and bought the ticket. It turned out to be a good decision - it was totally worth it! Worth 24 songs - 2 hours of rockin' guitar licks, swaying bassline (or rather swaying bassist!) and infectious chorus. Plus it was a good winding down after weeks of slaving it off in the office. OK no mention of work should come here. Apologies. ;-)

No stalking also this time lol! Though we knew they were staying at Hotel N ;-)

I was impressed by their live performance. They surpassed my expectations. Kelly Jones' (that's a male Kelly yeah) raspy voice totally commanded our attention to him. And his glorified hands - borrowing Liz' words - commanded the crowd's cheers and screams. Glorified because everytime he raised his hands, people would cheer- the higher, the louder. He also did this at the end of the gig - before leaving the stage. He would raise his plastic cup and people would cheer - and he kept on repeating it until he disappeared from sight. That was pretty funny :-)

Kelly's glorified hands

I was impressed with the guitar playing (and admiring Kelly's sparkly guitar strap as well) especially on the rockier tunes- although less pedal effects from them- not really needed actually- as their choruses was enough to get the appreciative crowd singing along (and to an extent - some very very high pitch screaming from a few fangirls behind me). I could tolerate loud amplifiers, but not those screams! Luckily that happened at the tail end of the gig; I would have to nurse semi deafness if it had been longer lol!

Some grouses though - the backlighting was too bright that you couldn't see the guys - only their silhouttes! Argghh we couldn't really see the faces of the band members. Sigh. Another one was the overly loud sound system - but maybe because I was very near to the amps. At the same spot as Placebo actually. We initially wanted to go to the upper tier, but seeing that we could get front row, we abandoned the plan. So we had to live with poorer acoustics then. Thirdly, the gig only started around 9.20pm and finished around 11.15pm so a friend of mine had to leave earlier to catch the train and missed the climax of the gig - the closing song - Dakota!

And another one - again - the disorganized queueing system - people who came later to collect their tickets prior to the gig conveniently parked themselves at the entrance upstairs while the early birds (a group of 4 came as early as 10am!) who already had tickets waited downstairs. There was a commotion between the organizers and the early birds. When will the organizers learn? It happened also during Placebo, but this time it was worse.

Anyway, here's the setlist:

Some pictures (not so good due to the said lighting)

And a review by The Star here

Review by Malay Mail and KLUE

A press conference link here. They tried rendang and durian heheh