Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Best of 2010: My Favorite Concerts!

Ok, so I didn't go to THAT many concerts this year. I'm still kicking myself for missing Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and unfortunately, The Killers canceled their Singapore date in February because of personal family matters.

Oh, and I couldn't care less about the Katy Perry, Akon, Flo Rida, Paramore and Ne-Yo concerts. Sorry, it's just not my kinda music.

I DID manage go to a few cracking concerts though, though unfortunately, most of them were in Singapore. Really put a dent in my wallet. Sigh. But anyway, here are my top five favorite concerts I went to this year:

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1) Green Day (Singapore)



Too much of a hipster to go watch Green Day? Well, your loss, cos you missed an AWESOME concert full of singalongs, WTF moments and a pure masterclass of showmanship from Billy Joe Armstrong.

They played old songs, new songs, and I knew almost all of them (I think this helped me enjoy the show even more). Plus it was worth it just to be able to hear and singalong to Jesus Of Suburbia live.

Heck, I don't think I've ever screamed so much or jumped so much in a concert EVER. In the end, it was just right, and I think everyone in that stadium really did have the time of their lives.

Best moment: The Jesus of Surburbia singalong + the acoustic encore
Worse moment: Douchebag 'fans' who spent most of their time watching the concert through their videocams and blocking the view for the rest of us.

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2) The Flaming Lips (Singapore)



This wasn't a concert, it was a full-blown PARTY. Wayne Coyne is a BRILLIANT performer, and even if you didn't know the songs, you would've have STILL been hugely entertained by the show.

Best Moment: HER NAME IS YOSHIMI!!!!!
Worse moment: Fat attention-whoring skank with VPL on stage. The sound system was also pretty lousy.

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3) Slash (Sunway Surf Beach)



Too think I almost didn't go for this one. It's SLASH fer gawds sake. And it was worth it just for that Sweet Child O' Mine singalong, and to see the man rip into the riff for that song. THAT'S the real deal, man!

Best moment: The Sweet Child Of Mine and Paradise City singalongs. Who needs Axl, eh?
Worse moment: Crowd control was AWFUL. The areas were overcrowded to the MAX, and I actually spent most of the time helping keep the steel barriers from falling over and hurting someone.

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4) Florence & The Machine + The XX (Singapore)



I LOVE Florence and The Machine. Her songs have those LOUD, POUNDING drumbeats that just gets me pumped up every time I hear them. Listening to songs like Drumming, Hurricane Crush and Howl live was just awesome. Also helps that Florence Welch is also a livewire on stage - she can't seem to keep still at all!

In contrast, The XX were a little er... boring. Sure, their music is awesome live, but after the initial thrill, you realise that they are just standing there recreating all the songs in their ONE album word for word, note for note. Still, they're a young and new band - they can only get better. I hope.

Best moment: Not exactly a concert moment, but I got to interview her before the show! She's so cute and quirky!
Worse moment: Not exactly a 'worse moment' either, but The XX performance was a little monotonous. Close your eyes and you might as well be listening to the album.

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5) Placebo (KL Live)



This wasn't as great as I thought it would be, but it was still pretty damn fun to be at. The initial triple whammy of For What It's Worth, Ashtray Hearts and Battle For The Sun was great, and it was fun when they played older hits like Every You Every Me and Special K because the crowd really came alive during those songs.

Oh, and I also interviewed both Brian and Stefan before the concert. Which was just AWESOME.

Best Moment: Jumping up and down during the CINECERO CENICERO chorus of Ashtray Hearts.
Worse Moment: The mid-section of the concert, where they mostly played their newer stuff, and the crowd wasn't too responsive.

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Honorable Mentions:
  • Kings of Convenience (Bentley Music Audiotorium)
  • Video Games Live (KL Convention Center)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Best of 2010: My Favorite Music!

Here we are again at the end of another year! And it's time for the year end lists again...

Let's start off with music, shall we? Here's my personal list of favorite music this year. And might I stress, these are MY personal favorites, so of course it's gonna be a bit bias (and have a few dodgy choices as well...) ... heh heh...

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Favorite Albums of 2010



  1. High Violet (The National)
  2. Write About Love (Belle And Sebastian)
  3. The Suburbs (Arcade Fire)
  4. The Place We Ran From (Tired Pony)
  5. Invented (Jimmy Eat World)
  6. Covers (Mates Of State)
  7. Plastic Beach (Gorillaz)
  8. Come Around Sundown (Kings of Leon)
  9. American Slang (The Gaslight Anthem)

Honorary Mentions:
  • Congratulations (MGMT)
  • Forgiveness Rock Record (Broken Social Scene)
  • Go (Jónsi)
  • Halycon Digest (Deerhunter)
  • Head First (Goldfrapp)
  • Heaven Is Whenever (The Hold Steady)
  • If I Had A Hi-Fi (Nada Surf)
  • One Life Stand (Hot Chip)
  • Postcards From A Young Man (Manic Street Preachers)
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World OST (various artistes)
  • Shadows (Teenage Fanclub)
  • Slash (Slash)
  • The Age of ADZ (Sufjan Stevens)
  • The Sea (Corinne Bailey Rae)
  • This Is Happening (LCD Soundsystem)
  • TRON Legacy OST (Daft Punk)

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Favorite Songs of 2010
  1. Afraid Of Everyone (The National)
  2. The Heart Is Hard To Find (Jimmy Eat World)
  3. Vandelylle Crybaby Geeks (The National)
  4. Write About Love (Belle & Sebastian)
  5. Ready To Start (Arcade Fire)
  6. On Melancholy Hill (Gorillaz)
  7. Runaway (The National)
  8. TRON: End Titles (Daft Punk)
  9. Bloodbuzz Ohio (The National)
  10. Mixtape (Jimmy Eat World)
  11. I Am A Landslide (Tired Pony)
  12. Pyro (Kings Of Leon)
  13. Slush (Hot Chip)
  14. Black Sheep (Metric)
  15. Na Na Na (My Chemical Romance)
  16. Son Et Lumiere (Mates of State)
  17. Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John (Belle & Sebastian)
  18. Alive (Goldfrapp)
  19. Rococo (Arcade Fire)
  20. Flash Delirium (MGMT)
  21. World Sick (Broken Social Scene)
  22. Sing (My Chemical Romance)
  23. American Slang (Gaslight Anthem)
  24. Month Of May (Arcade Fire)
  25. Cut (Jimmy Eat World)

Honorable Mentions:
  • 17 Pink Sugar Elephants (Mates of State)
  • All To All (Broken Social Scene)
  • Animal Arithmetic (Jónsi)
  • Arcadia (Ash)
  • Boy Lilikoi (Jónsi)
  • Brothers (Hot Chip)
  • Coda: A Burn Scar in the Shape of the Sooner State (Los Campesinos!)
  • Congratulations (MGMT)
  • Drunk Girls (LCD Soundsystem)
  • Electrocution (Nada Surf)
  • Garbage Truck (Sex Bob-Omb)
  • Get on the Road (Tired Pony)
  • Go Do (Jónsi)
  • I Didn't See It Coming (Belle & Sebastian)
  • Just A Face In The Crowd (Car Crash Hearts)
  • Long Way Home (Mates of State)
  • M.A.D. (Hadouken!)
  • Piano Fights (65daysofstatic)
  • Postcards From A Young Man (Manic Street Preachers)
  • Rocket (Goldfrapp)
  • Sleep the Clock Around (Mates of State)
  • Stylo (Gorillaz)
  • The Spirit Of Jazz (The Gaslight Anthem)
  • Was It Something I Said (Brandon Flowers)
  • Welcome Wagon (Fang Island)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

This Is NOT the End Of Line For TRON's Legacy



TRON: Legacy
Not A Review.
In case you never saw the original,
Here's what it looked like:



Damn primitive, right?
Well don't mock it ok,
TRON was the first to use CG special effects,
Heck, without them we wouldn't have Pixar.
Oh, and this is what the light cycles looked like in TRON:



And this is how they look in TRON: Legacy:



Damn awesome right?
The visual effects on this one are AWESOME.
The light cycle battle, the disc wars,
The Recognizers,
Even the 'ice cubes' were ice PIXELS.
How awesome is THAT?
Yup, this is one heck of a visual feast.
Too bad about the story though....



FLYNN LIVES!
And he is now... er... some kind of Zen Dude.
Like The Dude, but more Zen.
Also damn power ok,
He's Obi-Flynn Kenobi!
(His son's pretty boring though)



Too bad the story's pretty rubbish though.
Then again, so was Avatar's.
And wasn't the original's pretty much like that as well?
Oh, and that whole Michael Sheen part was pretty pointless eh?
The main attraction here is the visual effects.
We saw it on IMAX 3D and it was AWESOME.
So were the sound and music.



Oh, and the Daft Punk soundtrack ROCKS.
I STILL can't get the bloody theme out of my head.
And I still think that bloody End Of Line Club scene,
Was there specifically so Daft Punk could have a cameo.
As mp3 DJs WTF.



Oooh Olivia Wilde.
She's hot.
Even hotter than she was as Number 13.
Her eyes damn big ok?
And she's damn cute.
You'll love her from the very first time you hear her laugh.
She's just a cute little pixie pixel!
Ok, a HOT cute little pixie pixel!



If you loved the first one, you'll love this one.
It's almost like the first one, but with MUCH better SFX.
But I don't get the added stuff about the ISOs.
It's like George's Midichlorian shit.
But I'd watch it again just for the light-cycles.
And Olivia Wilde of course.
Sigh...
Let's hope this is NOT the end of TRON's line.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Dodging Telemarketers

Telemarketer: (in Mandarin) NI HAO! My name is So An Soh from Astro!

Me: (lazy to think in Chinese) Er... can you speak English please?

Telemarketer: (in English) Yes! So, mister, today I got offer Astro Hong Kong On Demand package for you...

Me: Er... no thanks.

Telemarketer: Don't want? Why?

Me: Why do you think I asked you to speak in English in the first place?

Telemarketer: ...... Oh.... sorry. *click*

Monday, 13 December 2010

Flaming Lips Vs. The Attention Whoring Fat Skank

In all the excitement leading up to the wedding, I actually forgot to blog about the awesome Flaming Lips concert in Singapore last month. It was actually one of the best concerts I've been to this year (second only to the kickass Green Day one in January).

Heck, to quote one of the reviews online (I forget which one), it wasn't a concert, it was a PARTY!

But first, the opening act - The Raveonettes:



I actually quite liked the Raveonettes' act, even though there wasn't much interaction between them and the crowd. Their music was pretty good, but it was spoiled by the godawful sound system in the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center.

They played for a whole hour, I think, which is actually almost a full set already. Then, it was time for the main event....

The mood was crazy from the start, when the band members came out from an opening in the middle of the backdrop. But it got MAD when Wayne Coyne got into his space bubble and walked out into the audience!



Here's a video I took while he was er... rolling over us!



(Sorry about my hand blocking Coyne's face. I had to support the balloon or the poor fella would've fallen down on the floor... LOL)

After that, the confetti and giant balloons started to rain down and the party got started!



BTW, see those girls at the side of the stage in the picture above? Well, they were supposed to be partying and making the atmosphere more happening. But there was this one girl... actually more like a attention-whoring skank, who stayed in front of the group, fiddling on her phone ALL NIGHT LONG, showing off to her friends in the crowd, and essentially spoiling the show for the rest of us. All night, I wanted to yell GET OFF THE FUCKING STAGE YOU FAT SKANK!

*breath in, breath out*

Anyway, that Coyne can really put on a show, I'll give you that. The guy was UNSTOPPABLE all night, from the space bubble, to riding piggyback on a bear...



And gurning to the camera parked right in front of his mic...



And my favorite of all... The giant laser hands!




The music? What music? Ok fine, the music was great as well. They sang most of their hits, from She Don't Use Jelly, Do You Realize, The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song... and even a couple from the Soft Bulletin album. Not bad...

Oh, and that Yoshimi Vs. The Pink Robots singalong ranks as one of THE best singalongs I've ever er.. sang along to.

But ultimately, the music seemed secondary to the performance itself. Never mind the music, this was a concert that had to be SEEN rather than heard.

Now, all together now.. HER NAME IS YOSHIMI!!!!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Dufflepuds! Reepicheep! (And some dodgy green mist)



The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of the Dawn Treader
Not a review.
Movie number 3, based on book number 5.
The first Narnia was not bad, but too LOTR-ish.
The second Narnia was so-so only.
This third Narnia is probably better than the other two.
But not by far.



It's got ships! Sea serpents!
Slavers! Dragons! Minotaurs!
Strange stars floating down from the sky!
Dodgy gold statues!
And the greatest enemy of all...
Er... some sort of green mist. WTF.



It's also got that kid from Son of Rambow,
(Which was a damn good movie, go watch it!)
He was suitably annoying as Eustace,
But pretty damn good as well.
The other two kids were so-so only,
Just like how they were in the first two.
Ben Barnes was still not bad though.



DUFFLEPUDS!
I LOVE DUFFLEPUDS!
But why they don't look as cute here. :-(
And we didn't get to see much of them either.
Bah.
But at least we got more REEPICHEEP!
Reepicheep rocks.



I thought it stayed pretty true to the book though.
Ok, maybe not ENTIRELY.
The key elements were there,
But they changed how things worked,
And even added a pretty star coming down from the sky.
(Ben Barnes would've felt right at home)
Oh, and all the religious allegories.
Even more so than the first two actually.
Just thought you should know.



But at least the movie was ok.
Not great, but at least it was entertaining.
I hope it's the last one though.
I don't really wanna watch a movie with Eustace as the lead.
(though they DID throw in a reference to Jill Pole in the end)
(Hmmmm)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Walking Dead Beats The Hell Out Of Living

Zombies are awesome.
Zombies are great.
Zombies will never let you down.
Zombies will never be late.



Zombies ain't like them vampires,
Zombies certainly don't sparkle like those pussies on Twilight.
Zombies don't need a freaking full moon.
Zombies don't just come out at night.



If you haven't seen The Walking Dead TV show, you're missing out on one of the most awesome, tense, thrilling, best-written shows this year. And it has ZOMBIES.



Unfortunately, there's only six episodes in the first season of the show. But don't worry, AMC has already ordered a second season of 13 episodes, so don't worry, them zombies are coming back to TV!

But if you can't wait for the next season, I would suggest you go check out the comic book on which the TV show is based on. Why? Because it's freaking AWESOME.



It's nothing like the TV show though. Oh, the premise is exactly the same - group of survivors trying to survive in a world overrun by zombies - but if you ask me, the comic is even more awesome than the TV show. It's not just a comic book about zombies, it's about PEOPLE and what they do when the world is overrun by zombies. Heck, most of the time, the zombies are just part of the background.



The way Robert Kirkman goes about the story is a lot more uncompromising and unforgiving than the TV show. It's not just about them killing zombies, it's about the psychological changes in people when put into desperate times, and how it's not the walking dead they should be worried about, but the living instead.

It's thrilling, gut-wrenching, psychologically draining and downright depressing at times, but boy is it brilliant. It kinda makes you wish that you were a zombie instead so you don't have to live with all these evil, violent, and desperately stupid people in the world.

So yeah, go check out the Walking Dead, TV show AND the comic. ZOMBIES RULE!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Stay tuned...

Sorry about the lack of updates lately.
I'm still trying to settle back into my routine while tying up loose ends from the wedding.
Regular blogging transmission will be back soon, I promise!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

PHEW!

What a mad weekend it's been.
In a good way, of course.
In fact, it was pretty much the perfect day.
Am dealing with the aftermath now.
More details later.
Kthxbai!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Lightbody's Pony Is a Little Tired



ANOTHER Gary Lightbody side project? After Reindeer Section and his usual Snow Patrol day job, this is the third 'band' he's put together now. At this rate he might just be able to challenge Jack White and Damon Albarn... ok maybe not.

Anyway, Tired Pony is apparently his attempt at making a 'country music' album. Why the hell he would want to make a fuckin' country music album is beyond me, but thankfully, The Place We Ran From actually does run away from being an actual pure country music album.

The 'band' consists of Lightbody (who writes most of the songs, hence the reason most of it sounds like a twang-y Snow Patrol album), R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Belle & Sebastian's Richard Colburn and a few others (including Zooey Deschanel as well!). The music? Pretty damn good, actually.

Like I said, most of the songs DO sound a bit like Snow Patrol's usual stuff (Lightody's stop-start-stop-start style of song writing is very prominent), but they are more mellow, and more soothing than Snow Patrol's usual soaring, crashing chorus-driven hits.

Surprisingly though, my favorite songs here are those NOT sung by Lightbody primarily. Get On The Road (which Lightbody sings with Zooey), which although reminds me of Set The Fire To The Third Bar, is a beautifully executed duet that soars halfway through. Elsewhere, the Iaian Archer sung and written I Am A Landslide reminds me a little of Stevie Nick's Landslide (especially the line that actually mentions 'Landslide'), but the whole song is still wonderfully catchy and probably the most 'country' sounding of the lot. And then there's The Bood Book, sung with the deep baritone of Tom Smith (from Editors). Those songs stand out amongst the Lightbody led numbers even more because they don't sound like a country version of a Snow Patrol song, which is a good thing.

Don't get me wrong though, I love this album. It's just that I wish Lightbody had made a little more effort to make it sound less like a Snow Patrol album; much like what he did with his Reindeer Section albums. But it's still a good solid album though, not quite as country as Lightbody inplies, but still very much decent, especially if you're a Snow Patrol fan.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Untangle Yourself For Rapunzel!



Tangled
Not a Review.
Known as Rapunzel here in Malaysia.
Which is the original name anyway.
Before Disney decided to change it to Tangled.
Because apparently they wanna appeal to young boys,
Who wouldn't watch a Disney princess movie called Rapunzel.
HAH!



No matter what it's called,
It's still pretty darn good.
Certainly more memorable than Princess And The Frog,
And harks back to some of Disney's best princess stories.



There's the pretty and feisty princess,
The dashing male lead (voiced by Chuck!)
The cute animal sidekicks (the chameleon is especially fun)
The cackling evil witch/mother,
And the Alan Menken songs!



At first I couldn't get over the fact that she CARRIES her hair around.
Like, isn't it HEAVY?
And doesn't it get DIRTY?
But it's MAGIC hair.
It has a song that heals things,
So there's probably a song to clean her hair,
A song to make it lighter,
And even a song that kills any kutu that moves in.



The male lead sounds too much like Chuck for my liking though.
Or maybe that's cos I just finished a 5-episode Chuck marathon.
But he was pretty decent.
Mandy Moore as Rapunzel was a little generic though.
Why do ALL the Disney princess seem to sound the same?



Oooh, but the songs were not bad.
Reminds me a bit of the old Disney fairytales.
Beauty & The Biskut, Aladdin, Little Mermaid...
It IS composed by Alan Menken after all.
And they were pretty fun as well!



If you like the Disney fairytales of old,
Then you'll probably like this.
It's charming, fun, and quite entertaining too.
The dialogue is fun, the animation is gorgeous,
The music is great, the story is decent (though a bit 'EH?' at times).
Yup, definitely lives up to the Disney princess stories of old.
Better than Princess And the Frog, in fact.



Disney has really found its way back,
Especially since John Lassater took over.
Pixar influence for the win!
First Bolt, then Princess And The Frog,
And now this.
What's next?
Some weird goofjob called Mars Needs Moms.
Oh dear...

Monday, 15 November 2010

Harry Potter & The Bloody Pointless Part One



Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Part One
Harry Potter & The Movie Not Review, Part One
Harry Potter & The Bloody Pointless Part One



Harry Potter & The Deadly Serious.
Harry Potter & The Darkly Sorrows.
Harry Potter & The Bleakly Hollow.
Harry Potter & The Dramatically Slowest.
Harry Potter & The Two Part Cash Cow.
Harry Potter & The 2 1/2 hour Trailer



Harry Potter & The Dolby Stereo.
Harry Potter & The Dobby Whatfors.
Harry Potter & The Harry Potters.
Harry Potter & The OMG THIS IS TAKING FOREVER!



Ok, it's not THAT bad.
In fact, it's actually like the book.
Some good bits here and there,
A lot of sitting around in tents,
At least 450000 pages / 45 minutes too long,
And a lot of bloody pointless scenes.



There was a serious lack of Severus though.
Snape was AWESOME in that brief (and chilling) opening scene.
Then... habis. No more Snape.
Saving Snape for the next one is it?
Good to have more Bellatrix though.
Helena Bonham Carter is awesome.



Ooooh, Emma Watson. Hot.
Cleavage = 8 = just right.
She's legal now, so it's ok to give a a cleavage rating.
Not digging her new tomboy look though.
(Not in the movie, of course)
But she's still hot.
BTW, why is Harry taking his shirt off all the time?
Should give Emma Watson the clothes stripping duties.



Seriously, couldn't they have made it just ONE movie?
Then they could have done away with this one.
Condense everything into one movie,
More action, less pointless chatty scenes.
Then again, they're doing that to The Hobbit too.
Oh dear.
Oh well, at least this wasn't in 3D....