Month: July 2006

Malaysian Music Scene – No Disclaimers Please!

Yuri and I at ProjectBazooka never, ever, encourage local performers to get on stage and greet the crowd with excuses.


“Eh I sore throat dat day ar.. So if I suck sori ya.”

“We are playing 4 songs today, so you have to suffer for half n hour.. sorry ya.”

“We are quite a new band, so if we screw up, please forgive us.”

You guys have the balls to make music – at least give yourself some credit.

Being humble is good – but don’t let it destroy your standards. Malaise takes this self-victimizing standards-lowering stigma to the next level… he sez…

“Support the malaysian music scene!”. this is not an uncommon phrase if you associate with malaysian musicians. unfortunately it’s also one of the lamest things a local artiste could possibly say, who ever thinks they are doing their bit for manchester when they buy oasis? my point is, good music doesn’t need additional reason to be liked. malaysian bands need to think big and think universal. when you are good, it matters not where you are from, the support will naturally follow from the home front and beyond (but you have to work your arse off for it of course.)

Read the full article, here.

But I think the brotherhood rally is fine. Only disclaimers are too much.

If you know your worth, don’t let people expect you to suck… Keep up the great effort with music – but leave the disclaimers to the n00bs. You guys are better than that.

GE + McKinsey Invites 40 Outstanding Students to Leadership Workshop

A smart HR strategy as well… how can you expect any less?

Open to ALL Malaysian students, you have until the end of this month to apply.

Designed and facilitated by young leaders from GE and McKinsey’s Kuala Lumpur offices. Workshop sessions will include topics such as What makes a leader, Personality types and influencing techniques, Applying logic to decision-making and Effective Communication….

Details in the application form, here.

I’m a huge fan of GE and McKinsey’s org-cultrue… So I applied anyway, claiming I am a student at heart! *fingers crossed*

Treasures from Amoeba Music

The last time I came back from California, I brought back 58 used CDs for cheap, from Amoeba Music. It’s the largest indie record store in USA, and the most fun place to buy and discover great music. I used to spend whole days, crawling in there with my notepad and shopping basket.

Amoebamusic
See photos of it on Flickr

This time around, I only got half a day, and 13 CDs, from USD2 – USD10 each….

I Really Liked

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
I love the way the voice just let’s go, catchy tunes too.

We Are ScientistsWith Love and Squalor
I can dance to this! Playing in Zouk next month.

GrandaddyJust Like The Fambly Cat
I am very sad they decided to stop making music as a band =(

Mull Historical SocietyThis is Hope
Mull Historical SocietyLoss
Can’t help it – I’m a fan, and I have all his albums now!

Not as satisfied with…

Ours – Precious
Majorie Fair – Self Help Serenade
The Concretes
Barsuk Records – Treats
The Reindeer Section – Son of evil reindeer
Cursed Reindeer shit.. I only bought it coz of MHS was involved – but that Snow Patrol bastard spoiled it all.

New soundtracks to my life!

Phoenix
PhoenixIt’s Never Been Like That
First heard them on the beloved Lost in Translation Soundtrack. This CD had a hint of a bit of a hint of the lastes Strokes CD.

Small Sins
Small Sins
Wah! This dude reminds me of French Kicks with all the synth and bass emotion I’ve listened to this 20+ times so far.

Magnet
Magnet – the Tourniquet
Better than the previous album! No joke.

//

Ah… everytime I gush about CDs I wonder if I will ever, ever, buy anymore… new ones are so expensive. Still, Amoeba Music is still getting more and more profitable despite this online piracy BS!

For a deeper look, read:

+ FastCompany’s “What’s Selling in America
+ Businessweek’s “Amoeba’s Simple Music Formula”
+ “Talk About the Passion”

For other music+business related reading, I recently imported my old research into BlinkList.
Check it out.

Disconnected, once again. Help Needed?

I am quite glad I am reading a real book, paper and all. Any reassurance I am doing something other people do is welcome, considering how I have been told I “missed out” on…

* World Cup – didn’t watch a single game
* DaVinci Code – a friend verbally told me the story
* Movies – Harry Potter, LOTR, StarWars, and um, what’s that show…
* TV, downloaded or not – The OC, Lost, American Idol, advertisements…
* Social Fabric – Alcohol, romance, top40, ‘other people’, politics, cars…

Which explains my gradual social retardation. In a recent mamak conversation, this surfaced as

KhaiLee doesn’t take girls home, he only takes work home.

So I probe for a root cause…

Is it the Continue reading

Stumbling on Happiness

This book I had my eye on fell into my hands, courtesy of “Aunty” Wuen Fung and “Uncle” Yu-Ri, who bought it for me, upon sensing that I was a huge mess. It’s a Harvard Professor’s take on how our mind works, or rather, doesn’t work to our happiness…

Stumbling On Happiness

The only reason why I didn’t get put off by the title of the book in the first place was the names that recommended it (Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Levitt, and Seth Godin)… I look forward to finishing the book.

But whether I get a lot out of the read or not, I’ve already stumbled on happiness for a bit, knowing that I have such thoughtful friends =)

UPDATE #1

I’m done with 35% of the book – and the author has just finished setting up the framework of the argument. Lovely! As Einstein puts it best, and as Mike reminds me often,

“If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.”

If you are a critical reader, who takes notes, stops every next page to question what you read, you may enjoy it – it takes great care to be intellecutally rigorous, with humor, too!

UPDATE #2

Yu-Ri and Wuen Fung are not related to me, just older than I am, so I make joke of it. My real aunts and uncles haven’t bought me any books, only durians, and um, Ang Pows.

University of Technology, Sydney UTS Graduation Speech 2006

Well, the ceremony was cool. I’m glad it’s over. I’m quite happy with it. Read my speech here.

I shook hands with the Chancellor, walked down the wrong aisle, forgot to take my cert.

As for my “valedictiorian speech” – I wasn’t introduced well (something to the effect of… now let’s have random Graduate with Distinction kid, Khai Lee Ng to speak on behalf of everyone who doesn’t know him).

Proceeded to deliver my speech poorly (used a script! Ill prepared!) – and after the speech, my Harry Potter outfit snagged onto an expensive-looking stick – and almost took it with me – off the stage.

But I’m still happy – because after multiple script revisions – I got to say what I really wanted to.

I will be uploading a video of my clowning soon – in the meantime, here is the transcript of the speech.

Continue reading

Boy from Belarus comes to my office

I know it’s a Russian-ish country – and then I saw this from the CIA World Factbook:

  • restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion…
  • southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl’ in northern Ukraine…
  • negative population growth rate…
  • government is republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship…

Yeah I know I painted a skewed picture, you can read Wikipedia if you’re interested enough. I can’t wait to hear it from him. He arrives tomorrow, to work alongside our wierd-enough team.