Month: December 2005

This is the new year.

Will be spending the next few days quietly.
Rebuilding this website – apparently it doesnt look right on certain browsers. Will include a photo gallery too, and a summary of the year that was. It will be a pretty long summary, useful for those who I have lost contact with to sorta catch up. I feel as though the past two years of my life is clumped into one long, crazy year – from leaving to Sydney, to San Francisco, and back to the unexpected turn of events here in Malaysia…

My self-exploratory phase is over – its time for some action and the sharpest learning curve I can take. After all, this is the new year.

Fair and biased (?)

Thumbs up to Think’s list of the top 20 albums.

It wouldn’t have mattered if I was on the panel (they did ask me) because the results would be no different. I have raved about Broken Social Scene, Feist (also part of BBS), Bright Eyes, Doves, Furniture, Sufjan Stevens, and Sigur Ros to too many friends, especially when they are held prisoner in my car.

Think details their selection process well – I like that. It indirectly explains why 99% of Malaysians don’t know half the bands listed =P

Personally, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be there – I am confident, music with such substance, would achieve mainstream success if marketed to the mainstream the same way Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay, Gorrilaz etc (also on the list) exemplified.

Sometimes we have to travel to the edge of ourselves to find our center. – Buck Ghosthorse, Lakota Medicine Man
(quote taken from Evelyn Rodriguez’s blog)


Disguised as band crew for Frequency Cannon, I ran on and off the stage touching guitars and amps for no real reason. Also managed to run off into the crowd, blending in to conduct my guerilla observation studies…


Of what may be 20,000 music fans present, my guess is 95% of them are Malay, middle to lower middle class, median age 17, and not fixated on academic achievement. More importantly, they are more supportive of local music and receptive to something out of the ordinary.


These kids know how to live. They know how to rock out, and let go, unlike the affluent, ‘cool’ kids, who seem to need expensive drugs, alcohol and music with ‘international’ flavour to do the same. That day, so many of them were not like that.

We stupid urbanites have got to stop sinking our own ship!

All because WE don’t give local music any attention doesn’t mean it sucks! Malaysian music is very much alive and well, making a connection with listeners, maybe just not you? Considering we have almost half our population aged 19 and below, there is a very good chance these kids won’t be brainwashed by people who gave up on making music in Malaysia.

Until we rid our prejudices and apathy, Malaysian music will have no room to grow, because the people with the money and power won’t do anything to help. They have some rat race to run.


I enjoyed The Times very much. Their performance was entertaining, and I identified with their music. Classic brit-pop sensibilities were apparent, but not as obvious as Pulp’s Disco2000 in (I think it was) the third song they played.

The lead singer swayed with the likes of Brett Anderson and gestured Jarvis Cocker, his stage antics reflected a sincere “Rock n Roll I don’t give a shit attitude” of some sort. A good example was he lifted up the mike stand and walked around with it with no obvious purpose – that was cool. They really rocked without typically rocking out, and their music’s appeal was more universal, and infectious. I will buy their album when I see it.


I enjoyed Plague of Happiness as well. While I could have mistaken them for being a lil loose, the lead singer’s voice reminded me very much of King Adora. Their tunes were really catchy and almost got me kicking away like a leprechaun.


Furniture was a different story.

The Emcee did a good job of protecting them, and preparing the crowd for the worst, but Furniture themselves gave too many disclaimers and apologies – what is wrong with being themselves?

Shoegazing and not shouting around dancing on stage doesn’t need apologising for. That style of music has never been widely accepted anyway. Given the bulk is expected to walk away in confusion, perhaps for that badly needed toilet break, there were many who were mesmerised, and a minority of the crowd knew their them well – shouting ‘goyang’.

Their music DID speak as loudly (only to less people). I for one, was not disappointed, thumbs up to them for the big balls to do what they do.

What’s the problem???

I am at a mamak. My lips part to mutter “Our local music scene…”

Depending on who shares the table with me, explanations and such, usually in a rant form will spill all over the table, creating a mess of both agreeing and disagreeing arguements in vehement, bitter, sentiment.

Then I ask, “what can we do about it?” and some matter-of-factly-but-not-really statements, hardly in the form of suggestions, break the momentary awkward silence.

I prefer a problem defined well and agreed on, before taking stabs at solutions.

If I have the time and brainpower, I always try for a holistic approach to problem definition – mapping out cause and effects, adding context and chronology, identifying pertinent variables (especially those under my control), and always checking for logcial fallacies.

While it will be imperfect like you and me, the approach can be very useful for stimulating debate, and mostly, search for solution for messy organic problems (and problems which justify the damn trouble) – such as why the Malaysian music scene ain’t bigger than it is today.

I am working on building an easy, step-by-step methodology to identifying solution, using the Malaysian music scene as guinea pig. Anyone interested in sharing some thoughts drop me a line, please.

Another dream come true?

This article encapsulated everything I ever wanted to say about IDEO and why I would love to do similiar work. I know this sounds like my Google post. But I admire a few other organisations too, for different reasons. For IDEO, my reasons are within the article and its excerpts:

Indeed, it is now a rival to the traditional purveyors of corporate advice: the management consulting companies such as McKinsey, Boston Consulting, and Bain. Management consultants tend to look at the corporate world through a business-school prism. By contrast, IDEO advises clients by teaching them about the consumer world through the eyes of anthropologists, graphic designers, engineers, and psychologists.

Or perhaps it is working with interesting polymaths — people with two or three advanced degrees who climb mountains, go birding in the Amazon, and bike through the Alps — instead of the typical B-school grad management consultant.

Rapid prototyping has always been a hallmark of the company. Seeing ideas in working, tangible form is a far more powerful mode of explanation than simply reading about them off a page. IDEO uses inexpensive prototyping tools — Apple-based iMovies to portray consumer experiences and cheap cardboard to mock up examination rooms or fitting rooms.

Despite — or because of — its iconoclastic ways, IDEO’s ideology is gaining traction. Stanford, for one, has bought in. It has committed to raising $35 million so that Kelley can create a “D-school,” a new design school that may one day match Stanford’s famed B-school. Stanford professors in business, engineering, social sciences, and art will teach there.

Don’t get me wrong – I love business – I enjoyed my classes at business school, but I know that there is so much more to creating value/ solving problems!

How does it feel?

What if I don’t bother to structure my posts, arrange my thoughts, and narrate effectively when I blog. Look, I even used the word. I used to hate the word.

I’m pretty dazed and maybe a bit upset. I can’t pintpoint at what exactly, but I’m not keen on rationalizing it right now. I’m impressed by the simple genius of this project. A bit confused and inspired by a 4 hour long conversation with Mun Fye. I’m IMPRESSED off my shoes by Meor. Bought his CD and listening to it as I speak. I’m not sure why I feel Momus, Arab Strap, Bob Dylan, and Bright Eyes… I know one part is the sincereity in his voice. Very thankful to Rachel, Arthur, Kim, Mel, Jeff, Mun Fye, Rena, Lezel, and Matt for their super support of the launch. OK. Let me begin.

It was the launch of Project Bazooka. I let myself down. I’m not sure why… I know we did achieve a lot, but really, it was a little bit shit. Don’t want to talk about it. You know what MEOR IS SO AWESOME