Tuesday, 27 February 2007

MPH Comic Buying Frenzy!

Just got back from the MPH Distributer's Warehouse Sale here:

Went completely bonkers over the graphic novels. Comic fans, rejoice. there's a BRILLIANT selection of trade paperbacks, all going for only half price.

What I saw there:
  • Alan Moore's Tom Strong, Top Ten, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Swamp Thing, Promethea and even V for Vendetta (I only saw ONE LAST COPY of this though)
  • Lots of Gaimans, especially Sandman & Books of Magic.
  • Almost the entire set of Sin City books, all half priced
  • Hellboy, Constantine, Ex-Machina, Transmetropoliton, Lucifer...
  • A whole bunch of Batman, Superman and other DC comics as well.
  • LOTS and LOTS of Star Wars stuff
Alas for you Marvel freaks, there was not a single Marvel comic to be seen. But DC and Vertigo fans should be very, very happy.

Oh, and books? A lot as well:
  • Tintin books going for RM19, and hardcover three in one compilations for RM40 each
  • Calvin and Hobbes anthologies going for less than RM30 each
  • A Whole shelf-full of Terry Pratchetts going for RM20+. Good selection too.
  • Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb and other fantasy novels also going for RM20+
  • Garth Nix's Sabriel, Lirael, and Mister Monday goign for RM5!!!!!
  • Other assorted paperbacks going for RM20+

Granted, these may not be the RM5-RM10 books that we usually get in Times Warehouse Sales, and I probably need to go again to browse the book section properly since I spent most of my time hunting for the entire set of Hellboys and the assorted number ones (hey, it IS the best EVER selection of graphic novels I've ever seen in a warehouse sale. All half price samore!), but at least you still save RM10-20 each book.

I'm very happy because I managed to get most of the graphic novels I've been longing to get, including the Sin City Hell and Back book (which cost RM102 in Kino, but only cost RM56 at the sale), and also the only Sandman book that was missing from my set: The Doll's House.

All in all, I haven't spent so much at a warehouse sale since the Times one two YEARS ago. Here's my haul:

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bil Bryson)
  • Hellboy #1 - Seed of Destruction (Mike Mignola & John Byrne)
  • Hellboy #2 - Wake the Devil (Mike Mignola)
  • Hellboy #3 - The Chained Coffin and Others (Mike Mignola)
  • Hellboy #4 - The Right Hand of Doom (Mike Mignola)
  • Hellboy #5 - Conqueror Worm (Mike Mignola)
  • Hellboy #6 - Strange Places (Mike Mignola)
  • Top 10 TP #1 (Alan Moore)
  • Top 10 TP #2 (Alan Moore)
  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: Highwater (Brian Azzarello)
  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: Haunted (Warren Ellis)
  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: Setting Sun (Warren Ellis)
  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: Son of Man (Garth Ennis
  • The Sandman #2: The Doll's House (Neil Gaiman)
  • Sin City #7: Hell and Back (Frank Miller)
Total damages? Go do the math yourself... Let's just say I just blew my entire book + CD + Toy budget for the ENTIRE MONTH. Gah.

And that was just the graphic novels. I haven't even gone through the BOOKS section properly yet... Anyone wanna go again? :D

Monday, 26 February 2007

Pan, Martin, Gwyneth and Oscar.

I will remember the 2007 Oscars for...
  • The Departed winning best adapted screenplay for being based on the JAPANESE film Infernal Affairs...
  • Meryl Streep's stern, straight face when Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt was making fun of her.
  • Aww, poor Mater looked so downcast when they lost to...
  • HAPPY FEET????!!?!?!?!!!??? HAPPY FEET???!?!?!????
  • Martin Scorcese, finally.
  • I wonder what was going through Beyonce's mind when Jennifer won?
  • I must go watch Pan's Labyrinth
  • Poor Peter O'Toole...
  • Gwyneth, fire your hairstylist
  • Bring back Billy Crystal!
  • THE DEPARTED???!?!?!????? I wanted Babel to win!
  • Hmph, stupid producer. Not a single mention of Infernal Affairs (which is still better than The Departed, BTW)

Friday Bought on a Sunday

It's been a long time since I bought a NEW, a SPANKING NEW, HARDCOVER book.

But yesterday I bought one:

On the first day, there was mystery.
On the second day, there was darkness.
On the third day, there were pirates.
On the fourth day, there was war.
On the fifth day, there was fear...

FINALLY! Friday is here!

A Wall of Awesome and Noisy Rock Muse-ic

My voice was hoarse from too much screaming, and my neck sore from too much headbanging as I drove back from the Muse concert with my ears ringing and the strains of Invinsible, Supermassive Black Hole, Feeling Good, Starlight and Time is Running Out playing on loop in my car.

These guys are FREAKING AWESOME:

It's amazing how three guys on a stage can make so much noise. The whole concert was just song after song of LOUD MUSIC, HEADBANGING, FALSETTOS and AWESOME PIANO and GUITAR playing; all coming together to make an AWESOME wall of glorious NOISE - the coolest two hours of NOISE I've ever heard.

This dude was especially awesome:

Matt Bellamy is one hell of a live performer. From his impassioned and fervant guitar playing to his piano BANGING and tinkling, he was awesome to watch. Never mind that sometimes we didn't know what the hell he was singing, it was freaking cool just to watch the guy play. Made me wanna learn how to shred the guitar like that as well...

The HELL with over-produced Korean idols who can't sing, the HELL with fancy-schamncy mushy Chinese popstars, or whiny, radio-friendly Fall Out Boyband shit - THIS is what a brilliant concert is all about - nothing but good music, energetic and passionate feverish musicians, and a lot of headbanging.

What a way to kick off my concert-going of 2007. Bring more ROCK BANDS IN PLEASE!!!!

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Read 'Em Before You Watch 'Em!

Or why you should read these books before the movie comes out:

300 (Frank Miller)

- Because the movie follows Miller's AWESOME style, so you'd want to see how AWESOME the comic is before you see the movie which is probably going to be AWESOME as well.

Stardust (Neil Gaiman)

- Because carriages drawn by goats may sound fairly plausible in a book, but on screen it looks a little dumb.
- Because trust me, you'll want the images of Charle's Vess's illustrations in your head whenever you recall the story; not that of Nicole Kidman, Robert De Niro and Claire Danes.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)

- Because although I hate to admit it, the books are actually a lot better than the movies...
- Because you'll want to see how this sluggish, under-edited 1000 page book can be turned into a 2 hour long movie

Prince Caspian (C.S. Lewis)

- Because this is MY favorite Narnia book, and it should be yours too
- Because you should read about Reepicheep first before they turn him into the token talking-animal-comic-relief in the movie

Tales of Earthsea (Ursula Le Guin)

- Because the previous TV show SUCKED
- Because Studio Ghibli likes to change the original story a lot. Never mind that it's Hayao's son doing this one.

Northern Lights aka. The Golden Compass (Philip Pullman)

- Because you don't want to keep thinking of Lord Azrael as James Bond.
- Because armoured bears may be cool when you imagine them, but may look stupid when movie directors imagine them.

Charlotte's Web (EB White)

- Because Dakota Fanning is annoying.
- Because Julia Roberts's voice is annoying.
- Because talking animals in books are great, but on film, they're mostly annoying.

Nancy Drew (Carolyn Keene)

- Because... er... uhmm.... hmmm... er....... oh, never mind.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Have A Nice 'Red' Chinese New Year!!!


Let's have some RED in here!

Blog- CNY

Friday, 16 February 2007

Jingle Jungle Jangle

Lets play a little game.

Take a look at the list below, and tell me how may of these jingles can you actually SING?

No cheating now, you HAVE to SING, SING not recite them.

Now take the ones you DO know how to sing, and sing them at least five times to make sure.


Ok? Ready?

Here they are:

- Choki-choki, have some please. Choki-choki, for you and me!

- Minum Milo anda jadi, sihat dan kuat!

- Sweet, sour and salty... Nano-nano, Nano-nana, NANO-NANOOOO!!!

- Paddle-pop, WOW! Paddle-pop, YEAH! Super-duper yummy!

- Jualan hebat Parkson! Jualan Hebat Parkson!

- Good times, great taste, that's why this is our place! Good times, great taste, at Mc-D-O-N-A-L-D-S, Mc-D-O-N-A-L-D-S... Good times, great taste, at McDonalds!

- Mee Maggi, cepat dimasak, sedap dimakan!

- V, is for Vitagen! It's good for your digestion!

- I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R' Us kid. There's lots of toys in Toys R' Us for us to play with!

- Let's go to the zoo, there's lots of things to do, and the food is finger lickin' good!

- Seven five five two five two five, seven five five two five two five, seven five five two five two five, special delivery!

And finally, come back in an hours' time and tell me which one is STILL stuck in your head. GYAHAHA!

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Babel-ing Terrorist Goat Tenders and Paranoid Yanks

No time to write more.
Busy busy busy.
So nah: Babel.
Not a review.
Not a tower.
And most certainly not a fish either.
No spoilers. None needed.
Hmm, Oscar Best Picture nominee.
Must be good. Must go watch.
Guns + Kids = Not Good.
Nekkid Jap!
Hairy Monster! GAH!
Wah, no censor. Miracle!
We have a political situation. HAH!
Paranoid Yankees. BAH!
Japan is the new Hollywood in-thing. Again.
Poor Amelia. Buta-buta kena.
Hmm, that Brad Pitt can act.
Jap chick also can act. Takes off clothes too.
Cate Blanchett a bit underused though.
Everything is connected. Somewhat.
Always anticipating, always dreading.
Life can change so easily just like that, huh?
In a blink of an eye.
A bit slow, and heavy.
A bit too long also.
Wahlau, damn tragic.
Damn sad.
A bit political.
The Academy loves films like this.
I bet it'll win that Oscar.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

I hereby declare my love for....

Huh? Valentine's Day? Apatu?

Monday, 12 February 2007

Love Song Hate Song

What is it with Chinese singers and their endless love songs? EVERY ALBUM I've been istening to these days seem to be filled with love song after love song, so many that they seem to MELD into one BIG AND LONG love song that never seems to end and sounds the same most of the time.

It's beginning to get really tiresome, listening to love song after love song on album after album. It doesn't matter whether its in Cantonese, or Mandarin, it's all ballad after ballad of guys singing about how their lover has left them and how they miss them, and girls singing about how their lover has run away with her best male friend (ok, not really, but it would have been way more interesting than the usual topics, that's for sure). It doesn't matter who is singing it anymore. They all look and sound the same anyway.

It's getting so... BORING. Someone PLEASE take a gun to the heads of these so-called singers and composers and get them to come up with something that doesn't involve another ting tong ting tong solo piano intro, or a morose chorus accompanied by a music video of the singer walking alone and staring into the sunset.

Yes I realise that the market DEMANDS more and more love songs, but GODDAMMIT at least make some effort to CHANGE the market lar. If you keep feeding the same shit to them, OF COURSE they're gonna end up not buying the albums which you churn out incessantly MONTH AFTER MONTH YEAR AFTER YEAR DECADE AFTER DECADE. And you complain that the music industry is dying. BAH!

Look at David Tao. Jay Chou. Sure, they sing their fair share of love ballads as well, but at least they MAKE AN EFFORT to EXPERIMENT with different styles, different sort of tunes and melodies, instruments and their albums and songs are so much more memorable because of that. They don't just stick to ONE GODDAMN FORMULA and hope that the masses will want to buy YET ANOTHER ALBUM by YET ANOTHER PRETTY BOY singer singing love songs all the time.

Bah. Rant over.

Anyone want some Chinese music CDs?

Friday, 9 February 2007

The Wincing Crane Wife Discovered on Music Blogs

I've been visiting a lot of music blogs lately. In fact, I've been er... acquiring a lot of music from these blogs lately.

Through these blogs, I discovered a whole new world of music. Some good, some bad, some that were overhyped, some were just boring. But at least they were not the overplayed crap you hear on radio these days.

To each blog, hes own I suppose.

But don't get me wrong. I may acquire the songs from blogs, but I also buy the albums also. I bought three of the following albums:

I didn't buy Rilo Kiley though, because I borrowed it from someone instead.

Anyway, The Decemberists' The Crane Wife is actually pretty nice. That Yankee Bayonet song is one of the most pleasant tunes I've heard in ages. And some of the other songs, like O'Valencia is also catchy. But I wish they'd cut down on the 12 minute songs though. Very hard to figure out when the song ends and when the new one starts when you are listening to it on an iPod Shuffle with no display screen.

I've just got The Shins album, and from the first listen, it's ok enough. Still need to listen to it more though. And the Silversun Pickups? Lots of blogs seem to recommend them, but I can't seem to get into it. Maybe It's the sort of album that has to GROW on you.

Anyway, one of the blogs I like to frequent right now is this one: Speed of Dark. The songs they post are usually right up my alley, and I got a lot of nice music from there as well. I discovered Azure Ray, Decemberists and some Sufjan Stevens from there as well. Oh, and a few others as well.

The way I work now when it comes to acquiring music is liek this: I just download the song from the blog, then if I like it enough, I'll go looking for the other songs in the album or by the same artiste, and if I like the album enough I'll just buy it off Amazon.

After all, there's no point buying an album if you only like one or two songs on it right? To convince me to buy an album, I must either like that ONE particular song INSANELY MUCH, or the album must have at least 5 songs that I like. then only I'll buy it.

That's why I like goign to music blogs these days. I can sample the music first, then decide whether it is good enough to get it er.. legally.

If you're good, I'll buy. If you're not, no amount of marketing or promotions you do will EVER convince me to spend my Ringgit (RINGGIT OK, Not even US Dollars!) on your album.

So there.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

The Flaming Ghostly Mat Rempit

Ghost Rider.
NOT a review.
Nick, if THIS is your idea of superheroing, THANK GOD you didn't do Superman.
At least, cut out the posing posing with finger pointing oledi.
Damn stupid pose in the first place.
And damn silly posturing villains. Not scary also.
Oh, but the fire damn cun. FHWOOSSSH!!!!!
Oh, and the bike also damn cun. FHWOOSSSH!!!!!
Woohoo! I want a flaming bike of my own!
Eh. But skull floating on fire look damn silly at first.
Wait a sec, can fire actually burn underwater?
GAH! Corny dialogue! Lame lame lame.
Eh, that line I heard before... in X-Men right?
Or was it Daredevil?
Maybe it was Spider-man....
Oooooo, Nice Cleavage, Eva.
Curvy too.
Drool drool.
Let's Ride!
Hur hur.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Background Hotel Calfornia Drives The Masses Insane

There's this restaurant opposite my office that I go to for lunch sometimes, and where I seem to keep hearing Hotel California EVERYTIME I go there. Not kidding. Then there's also some Duran Duran songs, Police, Lionel Ritchie and so on.

It's like the restaurant owner only has ONE 80's CD in her ENTIRE collection, and plays the SAME CD over and over again,hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month.

It's enough to drive any sane person nuts.

If it wasn't because it's practically the only place in my area that has sambal petai in the economy rice selection, I wouln't even go in there.

Yeah, the music being played in places usually do determine whether or not I would frequent the place or not.

For instance, there is this clothing retail store (where I swear the clothes all consist of BLACK) which I will NEVER step foot into even if I spot something interesting from outside. The reason? Almost EVERY shop in that chain play horrible DUM DUM DUM techno music that gives you a headache as soon as you step in.

Oh, and what about those stores that play bastardised techno ah-beng versions of popular hits, sung by whiny chicks who can't even pronounce the words properly? GAH. Everytime I hear music like that in a store, I RUN OUT immedietely. Which explains why I seldom go to Sungei Wang.

And let's not go into those Kenny G or Richard Clayderman CDs that are such a staple of hotel toilets and elevators.

Anyway, I was wondering just now, what music should shops or cafes play that would be deemed appropriate music?

Personally, I think bookstores should actually have music, just so it doens't sound like a library. Nothing against the 'SILENCE PLEASE' rule in libraries, I just find that studying/reading in an environment that is TOO quiet is in itself too distracting in it self.

I personally tend to like a little background music when I'm reading - something that is not too noisy of course. I certainly won't be able to concentrate on reading if Iron Maiden or Nirvana was playing.

No, I was thinking that perhaps the best kind of music that is most suitable to be played in bookstores would probably be acoustic-type songs like those from Kings of Convenience etc. Then, it won't be too quiet, but it also won't be too noisy either. AND, it won't be so annoying that you just wanna run out of the store ASAP.

But then again, considering the fact that I have my iPod with me anyway, I suppose it doesn't really make a difference what they play in the stores, because chances are I'd be able to drown it out with my own personal songlist anyway.

And no, it doesn't have Hotel California.

Monday, 5 February 2007

How To Waste Your Time By Complaining to the Wrong People: An Idiot's Guide

*Office phone rings*

Surprisingly Busy Journalist: Hello, this is...

Ranting Ang Moh:
Hello, is this THE office? In today's copy, you have made a MISTAKE on THIS page, where it should have been THAT word instead; and on the story in PAGE 2 Titled THIS AND THAT, you have THIS error where THIS WORD should have been used THIS way and not THAT way, and.....

Excuse me sir, what's yo...

..... you have ALSO, on the OTHER page, used THE OTHER word the wrong way, resulting in THAT sentence being WRONG, and you SHOULD be using THIS word THAT way, and this is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE for something as BIG as you.....

SBJ: Er.. sir, I'm just...

RAM: .....and the other word should be THIS way, not in hte PLURAL, because it is a SINGULAR item and....

SBJ: Sir, you're speaking to the wro....

RAM: .... AND you have printed this AD on THIS page where the grammar is WRONG, and it sends the WRONG message, and the WORD is wrong......

SBJ: ..... sigh ...... oh well ..... *zones out, start typing on laptop*

RAM: ... SERIOUSLY If you CAN'T get these things straight, I don't know HOW you can sell copies. In THIS section you have THIS mistake as well, and the word SHOULD be used like this not THAT way....

SBJ: Mmm hmmm... doo di doo *cradles phone on shoulder, continues working to soundtrack of RAM in the background*

RAM: .... AND one LAST thing, your COVER page for this day states that it was THIS PLACE that the group were posing at, but I KNOW it is not THAT place that is shown on the picture because I have BEEN to THAT PLACE, and I therefore KNOW that the place they are posing at is NOT THAT PLACE; NEXT TIME you print PLEASE get your facts right and all your words right, will you?

*Sound of phone being slammed down*

SBJ: Doo di doo... Oh, he's hung up. Lalala... Yaaaawn....