Yes, I'm also resurrecting the weekly Jiwang Tuesday, mostly because I've got a new stash of Malay songs! Though the frequency will still be determined by whether I'm too lazy to blog or not...
Anyway, today we're not gonna be very jiwang, because it's MERDEKA DAY!
Whether you're actually feeling the Merdeka spirit or could care less about it and are just enjoying the holiday; this is still a day for celebration. So let's have some er.. patriotic songs to celebrate the occasion!
Everytime I hear Perajurit Tanah Air, I keep thinking of the time in UPM when the college seniors forced the juniors to walk around the campus in single file singing the song but substituting every adjective with 'baris'.
Inilah, barisan kita, yang tetap membaris. Siap-sedia membaris, untuk ibu pembaris! Sebelum kita membaris, Jangan harap kami baris. Inilah sumpah pembaris kita, untuk ibu pembaris!
Anyway, I got these two songs from (surprise, surprise) the Menteri Penerangan website HERE, which had a whole lot more lagu-lagu patriotik there.
Funnily enough, I never realized M. NAsir's Mentera Semerah Padi was a lagu patriotik. Which is ironic, considering he's was actually born in Singapore...But there's one glaring ommision though... Where's that 'Setia' Song, the one that goes "Demi Negara, yang tercinta, dicurahkan bakti penuh setia..."???
They've even got the new 1Malaysia song, if you're into that sort of thing...
Then again, with all the stupid shitty news about the state of our country every day, it DOES make you rather jiwang doesn't it? So I guess this IS a Jiwang Tuesday post after all. Sigh...
I don't usually take many pictures with celebrities when I'm at work. One, I'm shy. Two, I just don't like taking pictures that much. And for every picture I HAVE taken, are a whole lot more I WISH I'd had the guts to just get up and ask the celebrity if I could take the picture (I'm not as great a rock star stalker as Reta, see...)
Anyway, in a classic case of showing off, are some pictures I HAVE taken of some of the celebrities I've met before, some with me in it, some without, some nice, some blur. I also want to preserve some of these memories here, because I lost SO many when my HD crashed the last time.
Neil Gaiman (Singapore, 2005) This was the first time I'd met Gaiman, and probably the first time I was star-struck after three years on the job. Also helped that it was one of the most entertaining press conferences EVER.
Jay Chou (Fearless, Taipei 2006) I've spoken to Jay Chou a couple times already, but this is the only and favorite picture I've got of him. And he wasn't even in the movie.
Michael Cera & Jason Schwartzman (Scott Pilgrim, LA 2010) These two jokers gave one of the funniest interviews during this assignment last month. Michael Cera is AWESOME.
Karl Urban (Priest, San Diego Comic-Con, 2010) Never mind Bones, the minute I found out I was going to interview Urban, I knew I HAD to try to get a reference to Eomer into the questions somewhere. ROHIRRIM! TO THE KING!
Chris Martin (Singapore, 2005) I didn't get to interview him that day (I got the drummer instead), but this was a pretty memorable moment nonetheless. Cracking concert though.
Brandon Routh (Scott Pilgrim junket, LA 2010) I met Superman. Beat THAT. And he even remembered me from the interviews for Superman Returns five years ago. Eeee bangganya.
Maggie Q (Priest, San Diego Comic Con 2010) She's even hotter in real life. Really. Oh, and I dropped a reference to her Hong Kong movies during the interview, and she was suitably embarrassed. haha.
Jet Li (Fearless, Taipei 2006) Jet Li was awesome during our interview. he was constantly fidgeting, sitting cross legged on his chair, but was very talkative and funny yet philosophical throughout the interview. Awesome guy. (Oh dear, look at my hair)
Jacky Cheung (Snow Wolf Lake, Kuala Lumpur 2005) I have another picture of me and Jacky, but I lost it when my HD crashed. Sigh. Until the next time I talk to him (I've interviewed him four times already), I guess this will have to do.
Beyond (Genting Highlands, 2005) One of my greatest regrets is not watching Beyond when Wong Ka Kui was still alive. When the remaining three members came down for a concert in 2005, I instantly volunteered for the assignment. This is one of my favorite pictures EVER.
Damn you Arcade Fire. That Rococo rococo rococo rococo chorus in your new album The Suburbs has been stuck in my head for days now, going on and on like a never ending mantra chant. Rococo rococo rococo rococo rococo rococo rococo rococo rococo.
And it's not just Rococo. I've caught myself humming snippets of almost every single song in the album without even knowing what song it is. It's like your songs just attacked my subconscious and embeded themselves into my brain.
Or maybe I've been listening to it non-stop for too long.
Heck, you know what I REALLY like about this album? It's the fact that I can play the album on loop over and over again and not get sick of a single song in it. None of the songs stand out the way Intervention, Keep The Car Running did for me in Neon Bible. And funnily enough, I actually prefer it to Funeral, which is sacrilege, I know.
But anyway, it may not be as awesome as The National's High Violet (which is still Album of The Year for me), but this is one heck of an album. Mr. Butler and Wife for the Win!
One band I will ALWAYS put in my top five most favorite bands list is Jimmy Eat World. I've loved almost every single album the band have released, and Bleed American and Futures rank as my two favorite albums EVER.
The band is releasing a new album called Invented next month, and already have a new single out from that album called My Best Theory is out now, you can stream it HERE. It sounds pretty unremarkable at first, but it grows on you after a few listens. Kinda like a softer version of Bleed American, if you ask me...
Still, it's a new Jimmy Eat World song, so I ain't complaining. Can't wait for the new album to come out! Woot!
Has it REALLY been almost two years since my last book review? Instead of 'Hopefully Weekly Book Reviews', I should start calling them 'Hopefully-bi-annually Book Reviews' instead...
Anyway, I've been doing a lot more reading these days, thanks to my not being able to sleep much in planes; so I decided to relaunch the book review section. And to ease things off, here's a simple one, a non-fiction book, more like a reference book in fact, on one of my favorite subjects... VODKA!
Title: Vodka Classified: A Vodka Lover's Companion Author: Stuart Walton
Synopsis: It's about vodka - from the history, how its made, where its made and how to drink it. Also has a guide to over 80 of the world's best-known vodkas, and a list of cocktails.
What I Liked:
Very educational. Good reference for the column.
Also very interesting and simple to read. Didn't feel like I was reading an encyclopedia.
I love the guide on all the brands. Now when I see a particular brand in the airport, I know exactly where its from and what's so special about it...
Nice BIG pictures of the vodka brands' bottles. Sure helped me in identifying them when I was in the airport...
What I didn't like:
Not much really, but I wish the cocktail section was a bit more detailed, and that each brand had a 'recommended cocktail' section.
Summary: Do you like vodka? Want to know more about what you're drinking? Then this is the book for you. I LOVE vodka, and I've always wanted to find out more - how to appreciate it, the differences between the different brands and also HOW to drink vodkas properly.
This book is great because it was easy to read, and it also had all sorts of information about vodka. It's great for reference for my column, AND it's also made me curious to try more of the vodkas mentioned here, especially the once I've come across while traveling.
Oh, and it's about VODKA! WHEE!
Where to get it: Bookxcess has it for RM37+ I think. The original price at Kinokuniya is about RM80...
To tell the truth, I never heard of Car Crash Hearts until Elfie (COME BACK ELFIE WE MISS YOU!) started pimping them on her Twitter, asking us to vote for them in some contest. Then when we met up one day, she passed me a CD and told me to "Say nice things about them OKAAAAY!" in the sort of non-threatening tone that suggests that she will burn my house down and drink all my booze if I didn't. :-p
But I DO have nice things to say about this EP. I never heard of the Car Crash Hearts (BTW, did they name themselves after a FALL OUT BOY song? Oh dear...) before listening to this, and I have to say the band actually does sound promising.
Of the three English songs, Just A Face In The Crowd - is probably the most memorable; while the slower Sometimes I Wonder is not bad either. Go! is ok, though I have to say the vocals were a bit raw in that one...
Surprisingly, I actually liked the the Malay songs more here, especially Rahsia and Kawan; which go a long way to showing that Malay rock music doesn't have to be all jiwang or rempit rock. I'm guessing they'd be pretty awesome live, BTW. :D
The EP should be out already, though I'm not sure where you can get them. Rock Records, maybe? Or you can just go ask them yourselves on MySpace, Facebook or Twitter!
The Last Airbender. Not a review. Oh, this isn't THAT bad. Just ignore the bad dialogue, Ignore the silly plot, Ignore the lousy acting, Ignore the disjointed flow, Ignore the humourless tone... Oh who am I kidding? Just ignore the whole bloody movie.
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS ATROCITY??? WHERE IS THE JOY, THE FUN, THE HUMOUR, THE ADVENTURE, THE INNOCENCE AND THE INVENTIVENESS? EVERYTHING THAT MADE THE CARTOON SO AWESOME! Where is it, M. NIGHT SUCKMALAN!!??!!??
I REALLY wanted to like it. It's M. Night Shyamalan. (Whom I'd been defending all this while, even after The Happening) And it's AVATAR, one of my favorite cartoons EVER. HOW could he get it so so wrong? HOW could he COMPLETELY miss the point by SO MUCH? It's a CARTOON for gods sake. His kids should be ASHAMED of him for ruining their cartoon!
Even if you never watched the cartoon, This is still one horrendously bad movie. I think the fact that I loved the cartoon made it even WORSE. He tried to cram 20 episodes of awesome, All into a measly two-hour movie. It's SO SO BAD, That I had to go home and watch the cartoon again, Just to cleanse my mind of the memory of this farce.
All the awesome stuff in the cartoon... WASTED. Appa, Momo, Bumi, Iroh... all awesome in the cartoon. All WASTED by Suckmalan's vampiric humour sucking ability. Even Sokka, the comedy relief in the cartoon, Is turned into some BLOODY TWILIGHT BROODING FAGGOT He doesn't even crack a SINGLE JOKE for fucks sake. Heck I don't think anyone even SMILED the entire movie.
And the fighting? It's like it was made by an angmoh who opened a fortune cookie, And saw the words 'KUNGFU' inside it. Ok the kid can fight, But goddamn you suck at making fight scenes, Suckmalan. Heck, I'm not sure you even know how to make a proper movie anymore.
Seriously people, DON'T BOTHER SPENDING MONEY ON THIS MOVIE. Take your hard-earned money, And go buy the DVD for the series. Yes, ALL THREE AWESOME SEASONS of the cartoon. At least THAT won't be a bloody waste of your money and time.
Salt. Not a review. Who is Salt? Salt is Angelina Jolie. And no one else.
Oh look it's Angelina Jolie in bra and panties getting tortured! And hey! There's Angelina Jolie as a blond chick! Oh, and here's Angelina Jolie running away! And Angelina Jolie with black hair. And Angelina Jolie again. And again. And again. WTF, isn't there ANYONE ELSE in this movie besides Angelina Jolie?
Sigh, I used to worship at the Temple of Jolie. But she just ain't as hot anymore. So scrawny now, first Wanted then here. And her face is so sunken like a skeleton. The lips are still there. But they were never my favorite part of Jolie anyway.
Meh. This movie needs more than a pinch of salt. Or maybe just a little bit more JOLLY. Instead of just Jolie Jolie Jolie Jolie. The action scenes are ok. But just nothing new lor. Should have spent my money to watch Inception again.