Music

Songs I wrote a while ago

Death of the Excel Spreadsheet, 2005

Taken from an old MySpace blog post I made in 2006…

The Story Behind the Song:

Death of the Excel Spreadsheet was written around July 2005, when I was in Bethesda (near Washington D.C). It never had a title till I uploaded it on Myspace.

But the story behind it is pretty straightforward.

I used to live by my Excel Spreadsheets, where my schedule, budget, notes, decision making models, private journals etc were stored on. I woke up to a spreadsheet. I went through them before I slept.

Shortly after completing my studies at San Francisco State, I spent 3 weeks with my good friend Jeff at his place in Bethesda, Maryland.

I never looked at the spreadsheets. I woke up with no plan, and did nothing everyday, but eat, watch MTV2, play guitar, talk nonsense, and maybe go for walks in the neighbourhood, factory outlet shopping.

I didn’t set any goals, and didn’t care about being “organized” or “productive”… and it was quite liberating. I wrote this song on one of those lazy afternoons, while reflecting on what was going on at that point in my life, about the quiet satisfaction of having no plans, and just existing in each moment for what it’s worth…
Lyrics here.

Morning Divide, 2006

Pic of me back when I used to perform, once upon a time.

Do Yuna this girl?

This girl stood out like a rocket in my mind a few months ago, and has been lingering since.

1516582103_lYou may have seen her / heard her by now.

She is Yuna.

Although she may be in the early stages of her music journey, she is one of the rare local singer songwriters who, I feel, have commercial potential overseas.

She hails from Kuantan, wears a tudung, studies law in Uitm, and bleeds a raw, unpolished sincerity in her songs.

I like her for the same reasons I like Meor. In the global marketplace of homogenous musical talent, they appear to have stories of their own.

//

Speaking to Izham that day got me dreaming about the music business again. It’s a puzzle I never really solved, but I reckon I will revisit when the time is right.

Life after an evening with Broken Social Scene

Have I raved about my evening with Broken Social Scene yet?

Huh?

You know, Broken Social Scene?

One of my favorite bands of all time?

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Going to see them live was the DIVINE PURPOSE of me driving all the way to Singapore.

And it paid off.

Also because there were some other tasty bits:

  • I found my other half!
    It is a bowl of beef noodles. Not the soup kind, or the “Famous” one near Alor… this is one has beefy gravy. I kept going for the same dish everywhere I went!
  • Reckless shopping
    I spent so much money I just want to forget about it. The result? See for yourself, this month, as I strut about town in radical fashion experiments!
  • Road trip games with music heads
    Stuff us into the same car? You get 4 hours of traveling through music history, pulling out the likes of Ini Kamoze and Engelbert Humperdinck, as we played tag team “spelling bee” with band / singer names.. Eg. The Strokes ends with an S, so you have to think of a band starting with the letter S, like Soundgarden. Which ends with N, so um, Nick Carter… I think you get it.
  • Immersion in hours and hours of damn good music
    What’s a road trip without good music? Thanks James for the compilations! All 300 songs!

And yeah…

The gig was hands down the best live concert (yet).

That’s kind of a big deal, considering I almost maybe slightly teared midway watching Radiohead in Sydney.

.. nobody cared about the seats any longer. Everybody was on their feet and screaming our heads off to every tune…

From someone else’s  detailed review of “An Evening With Broken Social Scene”

My favorite part was minute 4:25 of this video. Uploaded by ariddesert87.

(I’m referring to the electronica opening for Stars and Sons (orginal song here). Pardon the guerilla-quality capture, you had to be there!)

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH the gig was SO good.

I was standing and dancing and orgasm-ing for 95% of the gig (the other 5% was recuperating)

After all, it was no ordinary band.

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Broken Social Scene was there for me during one of the best times of my life (back in Sydney). Their songs were on replay for me for more than 6 months, and along with the Album Leaf, they inspired a few sketches of mine, too.

How nice of them to re-appear in my life, right now, to remind me what a wonderful adventure I’m on. (pic me and Kevin Drew)

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The random escape – a Sunday and Monday to Singapore and back… turned out to be the highlight of my year so far.

Special thanks to James, Mei, Kia Meng, and Broken Social Scene!

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(me, James, Brad Canning)

"Small Finger" by Enik

Maybe you’ll like this as much as I do.

Acoustic sounds, dreamy effects, and sincere, heart-wrenching vocal style, melodic songwriting… this is Enik from Munich. He’s more intense and electronic in other songs.

I first discovered him through the writing of Cry Bloxsome, probably the only modern writer I think about when I think about modern writers. Cry, from Perth, acted in a music video by Funkstorung, for a song Enik lent his vocals to.

How to feel alive

Imagine… the right music, the right people, the right vibe… all the elements needed to smile for no reason.

When was the last time that happened?

For me, it was 2 hours ago.

Been attending (and organising) quite a few gigs over the past year, and until tonight, I admit I was almost getting used to the live music scene here.

So what was different about tonight?

The bands I’ve heard before… The venue (Laundrybar) was the same. I didn’t drink or sniff anything funny.

While I can’t put my finger on it, I safely to point to some aspects of the live band experience tonight:

  • The emotions the musicians on stage are emitting through their music, I felt them. And I responded. The crowd responded. With bobbing heads, stomping feet and clapping hands. Random shouts and nods of approval, all that…
  • Music Genre I used to be so in love with post rock (now i’m kinda looking for something else), nevertheless tonight’s gig had local post-rockin’ cult faves like Furniture and Citizens of Ice Cream at full blast… brings me back to the good ol’ days, reminding me that post-rock still rocks.
  • My hair was in place. After surviving an unexpected ugly haircut I’m glad I’m finally holding my head up high. This may not have much to do with the live band experience, but it is worth noting.

Never been to ProjectBazooka @ Laundry (or any Malaysian gig)? Meet me there. Who knows… it might just remind you how to feel alive.

Whoop Whoop 3 Huge Bands at Laundry!

ProjectBazooka is at it again, with our 5th installment of live local music. Jamming it into your ears! One Buck Short, Telebury, and Single Track Mind. FREE GIG. yes. Thursday (tomorrow) 9pm+ at LaundryBar.

I can’t believe it’s been 5 gigs so far. Just a recap… we have had Flatline, DejaVoodooSpells, BrokenScar, Curtis Blues Review, Couple, The Sofa Sessions, Rhapsody, Tempered Mental… and we’ve bands booked till December…

Besides gigs, there’s a whole lot in the pipeline for ProjectBazooka! Will talk about it soon. But as I speak, the damn website is down again. Grr…

Troubaganger = Heroes

I was almost slightly maybe sad, leaving LaBodega KL tonight. It was the last of many open mic singer-songwriter events held there.

Why? The venue will be transformed into a steamboat restaurant in 2 weeks.

Sei Hon, Jaz, Jerome, and Azmyl have been organising these gigs for over a year now… see “troubadourskl.blogspot.com”:http://troubadourskl.blogspot.com

My first, ever public performance was in their show… They gave me a space, support, and a safe environment for me to discover music, including my own.

Their service to the local scene cannot be quantified. The exposure and energy for the performers who play there… artiste development, tieing up the “scene”… They are Malaysian music heroes!

Many singer-songwriters and musicians in the KL urban scene share this sentiment.

Moving on, anyone knows where Troubaganger Open Mic gigs can find a new home? Get in touch.

It was a great gig anyway.

ProjectBazooka will be helping East Malaysia music scene fighter Owen Nicholas expose the East malaysian scene. Details to come. Meantime, check out his awesome killer-folk music

Overall, I’m very happy how the music scene is picking up, and getting it’s act together… see you all at the next Troubaganger open mic, wherever it may be!