Sunday, 17th August '08

GoMusic and Such

In the everlasting search for cheaper ways to get some ear candy, I've been wondering about how to verify authenticity of too good-to-be-true pay-per-download sites. It's not as if the iTunes shop is the easiest thing in the world to navigate, but at least it's safe. Or in the words of one suspicious netizen wondering about gomusic.ru and allofmp3.com:

"If I give the Russians my Visa number will some guy who looks and sounds like Borat max it out on bottles of Vodka?"

I was concerned about the same thing, but I was never quite that articulate. smile

Dziękuję!

*chuckle*

Oh those were the days of running around watching the Bravo Italia guys doing Borat impersonations. It'll be great to meet them in Brisbane / Sydney soon.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 11:14 pm
[6 photographs developed.]


Thursday, 7th August '08

Never Gonna Give You Up!

Friends of Singfesta.k.a. Day Two of Singfest 08. For the low down on Day One, please click here.

Had to split this into two; there was so much data there that it hangs the less powerful computers. And without further ado...




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Chapter 2.1: Stacey Orrico
Chapter 2.2: Jamie Scott & the Town
Chapter 2.3: One Republic
Chapter 2.4: Panic! at the Disco
Chapter 2.5: Jason Mraz
Chapter 2.6: Pussy Cat Dolls
Chapter 2.7: Rick Astley
Chapter 2.8: Alicia Keys




Chapter 2.1: Stacey Orrico

Um, yeah, Juli-item deja vu, for those in the know. I didn't try to hard for this one, meaning I just lay on the grass and slacked while everyone jumped to their feet. She sounded good though, and it's a tough position to play in, really, opening the second day as a solo act and being followed up by instrument-totting bands.

No videos, I was very impressed, but it's not really my thing. You'll have to content yourself with pictures.





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Chapter 2.2: Jamie Scott & the Town


"Weeping Willow". Wonderful, apart from my own voice giving directions in the background. What a waste.


"When Will I See Your Face Again". Zhihao is prompted to say, "oh, he's actually quite good, hor?" The rest of us roll our eyes.







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Chapter 2.3: One Republic


"Can You Feel All the Love" and "Say (All I Need)"


"Stop & Stare"


"Apologize"















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Chapter 2.4: Panic! at the Disco


"The Only Difference between Matyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage"


"I Write Sins Not Tragedies"















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Chapter 2.5: Jason Mraz


Introduction - the set opening. Awesome stuff. Not my recording, so thanks to iamthepurplewalrus for the sharing.


Opening and "Make it Mine"


Another gem from iamthepurplewalrus, this is "The Dynamo of Volition". I wish I had the wisdom to tape this one, but I was having WAAAYYY too much fun doing the high-fives and low-doughs myself. I suspect this is the same reason the video is incomplete. Haha.


"I'm Yours", "Three Little Birds" (Bob Marley cover) and the first bit of "Butterfly". Damn the camera for timing out. I didn't know video maxed out at 10 min. Seriously disappointed as Butterfly is just about the most inspiring song off the "We Sing We Dance We Steal Thing" album.


Last bit of "Butterfly", the finale.

























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Chapter 2.6: Rick Astley


Always good for a Mambo. In the Zouk-iest sense of the word. You gotta love the flying underwear too.


The one video that is TRULY important. Thank you, StEweDLaMbb. Possibly the most "covered" song of the entire festival. Haha.

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Chapter 2.7: Pussy Cat Dolls


"Buttons", the epilogue bit. Ah, memories, eh. Stop grinning at me like that Limin.


"Beep", I would have seriously enjoyed this if not for grating doll-like laughter. Bik and I exploded in tears of mirth every single time it happened, which was often.













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Chapter 2.8: Alicia Keys























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en ying snapped a shot of life @ 11:49 pm
[1 photograph developed.]


Monday, 4th August '08

One Hundred F*cking Percent

Friends of Singfesta.k.a. Day One of Singfest 08. If you're more interested in what happened on Day Two, please click here.

43 years is not a long time for nationhood. 24 years is not a long time to have existed. About 3 years is not a long time to have concert-going experience.

But right now I'm finding it hard to believe that this country has ever seen a better music festival, or a more heartfelt spirit of... well... I don't have a name for it, but when you do cramp thousands of people together in a mid-sized field, throw in a mix of musical performers who each do nothing less than "give one hundred f*cking percent" (more on that quote later), whatever it is that is given life to in that place is beautiful and so very much fun.

So for a full twenty giddy hours over 2 & 3 August 2008, the good people of Midas Promotions showed the world that Singaporeans do indeed know how to party.

I no longer have to do a lot of writing, since the new media speaks for itself. I take a certain amount of pride in my concert pictures and recordings (Gerri does them better, though). But when you're there as a paying customer trying to mosh along with everyone else, with a tiny little digicam and no high-speed shutters or fancy tripods or long lenses, and you stand at the kind of height that I do... there's a lot to be thankful for if I can even get something without someone else's head in pit. But well, enjoy. Tell me if you think anything can be sold to Getty Images. Haha.




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For your navigation convenience, as I think this may be a long one.

Chapter 1.1: Dearest
Chapter 1.2: Crowned King
Chapter 1.3: Melanie Subono
Chapter 1.4: New Found Glory
Chapter 1.5: Melee
Chapter 1.6: Levi's Fashion Show
Chapter 1.7: Lost Prophets
Chapter 1.8: Simple Plan
Chapter 1.9: Travis




Chapter 1.1: Dearest

It's hard being the first act in a huge series of concerts. Goodness knows I've ended up in enough opening items to know what it feels like to be the first one fielding the hostility of a crowd that's been waiting too long for something to happen and wants instant gratification, now, now, now! But they made a great show of it, and while punk music isn't quite my cup of tea, their energy and passion was just what the doctor ordered.











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Chapter 1.2: Crowned King

This one takes the cake for being Limin's discovery of the day, for any number of reasons. Whatever the case, this Vancouver outfit looks set to take Much Music by storm (if they haven't already). The emo rock ballad "War" sticks irresistibly in your head and Shaun Frank's delivery hits all the right sensitive points while still being entirely enjoyable and sing-along-able. My one criticism, listening to their sophomore "Break the Silence" album (which Limin and I effortlessly wrangled, free of charge, out of the hands of Shaun Frank and Jonny Biggs themselves), is that it suffers from the same lapse into monotony that plagues fellow Canadian rockers Nickelback. But once seen live, it does not leave you wanting.

Sorry, no videos for this one.













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Chapter 1.3: Melanie Subono

Urgh, no thank you. I stayed for this, but tried to pretend my ears didn't exist. It was this close to painful, and slightly embarassing that this formed the one Asian representative of the festival.

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Chapter 1.4: New Found Glory

Large tattooed angmoh men in leather jackets banging some seriously loud music. Could have been good stuff, but I couldn't afford to stick around to fined out. Needed to catch some dinner before Melee.

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Chapter 1.5: Melee

An awesome set from a group from the real O.C.. Fortunately for you, I have the videos to prove it. What isn't reflected here is the powerful ballad "She's Gonna Find Me Here", the performance of which alone might well have justified the price it took to bring this band here. It's great on the CD, it's utterly amazing live. Short, simple, and in a set of fast-paced happy numbers, this stands out with the same power that an Elton John performance would. The ordinarily goofy Chris Cron turned around and catapulted himself and his band into the big leagues with a stunning vocal delivery. Watch for it, this is what art looks like.

But in the meanwhile...


Ending of "Frequently Baby (She's a Teenage Maniac)".


On-stage patter, and Rick Sans' take on the new Singapore National Anthem, "Sing It Somemore Singapore".


"She's Gonna Find Me Here". Thank you meepi for the video.


The crowd-pleaser climax item, "Built to Last".











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Chapter 1.6: Levi's Fashion Show

Some decent b-boying going on at the intro, but the models were disgustingly vacuous. After a day of prancing around shirtless and raising expectations of all around, their pathetic attempts at a catwalk / dancing / faux fighting were just sad.

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Chapter 1.7: Lost Prophets

I'm not sure what to make of this part of the performance. There's no doubting Lost Prophets knows their guitar-smashing brand of metalish-sounding punk music. I don't like noisy music personally, but it doesn't stop me from recognising well-performed noisy music when I hear it. Still, I'm not so much a part of that movement that I can comment on it with any authority (if indeed I comment on anything with any authority at all). All I know is that frontman Ian Watkins may have forgotten his meds (or taken too many, go figure), and that segment of the audience who knew what that was all about lapped it up. For our part, Limin and I just pumped our fists on the air on cue, because Ian was so very very psychotically concerned that we give it our "one hundred f*cking percent!!!!!" (with greasy black hair and a throaty, blood-curdling scream Chester Bennington would have been proud of, eyes screwed tight with the agony of our non-compliance so pretty please with a cherry on top scream with me kind of feeling), we were somewhat worried he might blow a gasket if we didn't at least say "OI! OI!" loud enough to be heard back in Bedok.


This is "Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja". I quite liked the album recording version of this one. Maybe I grow too old to take this live. In any event, it sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack of a Spiderman movie. Oh wait, they already are on the Spiderman 2 soundtrack. Haha. Yes, I checked it, of course.







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Chapter 1.8: Simple Plan

The only band I've ever seen live TWICE, and the second time is as great as the first. These guys know how to make you have a good time, and whilst Pierre Bouvier and David Derosiers didn't quite demonstrate the witty banter I fell in love with in Halifax, their rapport with the audience was impeccable as usual.

Did I mention I got one of Jeff Stinco's picks from the show? Trivia bits for the rabid fans - the picks are green, Tortex, heavy gauge, one side says "SIMPLE PLAN" and the other side reads "JEFF STINCO" in that iconic Def Leppard font over a picture of a grinning frog with devil horns.

Emma, if you see this, this chapter is for you. For old times' sake, and the high-spirited jumping in the snow heaps by the road that we did all the walk back to the Y from the Metro Centre. wink I thought of you with every picture of Pierre I snapped.


Angsty teenage anthem. It's hard to believe I was actually a teenager when I first heard this.


She had them apple-bottom jeans, boots with the fur... honestly, this rendition of "Low" pretty much makes Flo Rida obsolete. This one isn't my recording, so props to HeartsRain for this one.


A little patter.















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Chapter 1.9: Travis

I've heard Travis was a fantastic act live, but after a shakey start (involving a hopeless wubbie, drunken crowd hecklers and wonky tuning on Fran Healey's guitar) the headlining band gave a magical performance. In part, I'm sure the magic was due to the Travis fans in the audience who sang every lyric with such gusto that the band looked positively stunned to have this many people know them and love their work.

I won't say a lot about this act because I have so many videos and pictures it'll take you a while to make your way through them. If nothing else, watch "Flowers in the Window".


"Selfish Jean".


"Beautiful Occupation".


"Turn".


"Flowers in the Window" & "Slide Show".



















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en ying snapped a shot of life @ 07:29 pm
[3 photographs developed.]