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Monday, January 28, 2008

Maybe It's Called Ambition.

Okayyy, so it was my first Open Mic Gig last night at The Dram Projects.

There's only one thing I really regret after it all.

I should've called someone to watch me.

Oh well.

I played one of my older more emo songs 'Just A Smile'. Too bad I didn't get the chance to do fills with Daphne's band. I was all prepared dammit. Just proves how much damage a wee bit of miscommunication can do.

Unfortunately, it was a really informal thing, which of course isn't a problem, but when it came to my turn the bloody mic kept moving away from me so I couldn't start my performance. Minutes later, I was all set but some people had already walked out of the place. Sigh.

Plus I screwed up my intro. Luckily no one could hear it. Haha, that helps.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Future Lawyer In The Making.

Okay. I just HAD to blog about this.

It was Nami's farewell on Wednesday. Yes, Thaipusam day. Yes, the holiday which was claimed (we all know why) only two days before the day itself. The day everyone went out to watch movies like Sweeney Todd and Cloverfield.

So nine of us met up at KLCC (DFP to be exact), the place we've all grown to know all too well by now. We headed towards TGV for Gameplan (yes, there was no way we could get tickets for Sweeney Todd or Cloverfield for that matter).

*SKIIIIIIIP THROUGH THE MOVIE*

Hokay, so Gameplan was pretty funny at times althought kinda cheesy too. Ah well, typical Disney movie la, what you expect.

Then, you know us. We always feel kinda akward without our instruments, so we ended up standing around outside the toilet or somewhere in the middle of nowhere after the movie. And that's when we gave Nami her present and persuaded her to open it on the spot.



Check this out.








Haha, the expressions on her face say it all.



Ooo! That's me!



So then it was time for dinner. We headed to Chilli's which seems to be the only place we go to eat when we have time to burn.



The greeeeedy Myles.



Su Yin and delicious tostada chips.



WTF Nami?!



All of us.

Well, that about wraps it up. Good luck and all the best in Aussie, Nami! Study hard and we're sure you'll become a great lawyer one day. =]

Friday, January 25, 2008

Of Taxi Drivers and Maggi Goreng.



I hardly ever take taxis.

Most of the time, I don't see the need to.

But today, after college, Debra, James, Joel and I definitely needed one. The three guys were heading to Damansara Utama for jamming at Akarkarya while Debra was off to One Utama. All four of us were 'rushing' to our respective destinations for different reasons.

Soooo, we decided to take a cab from the bus stop opposite Wisma UOA, closeby from Wisma Help.

See the thing is, we told the cab driver to stop at One Utama first to drop Debra off. When we asked him which was better, he said "Utama dulu."

So, fine. Things were going according to plan. And then, as we were approaching One Utama, the dude just turned in to a road which would lead to Damansara Utama. Confused, Debra and I were frantically telling him "One Utama, One Utama."

The next thing you know, he stopped the cab and muttered, "Semua turun sekarang."
We exchanged puzzled looks. What the fuck was going on?

Plus, the bloody cab driver wanted us to pay the 7 bucks that was on the meter. I mean, this was insane. Just because there might have been some sort of miscommunication, how could he just tell us to get the fuck out of his cab?

Anyway, not to waste time, we just paid him the cash and got out.

Seconds later..

CAB DRIVER: (opens front passenger door and points at Debra) Kurang ajar! @#$%! (swearing in Malay).

JAMES: Just walk away.

It was so stupid it was almost laughable. I nearly laughed, anyway.

So, we were stranded. But can you imagine if all four had been foreigners? I mean, this was appaling behaviour. My guess is the fella had bad sex the night before.

And after we saw Debra off at One World Hotel, the three of us looked for another cab. I asked the cab driver whether he could take us to Damansara Utama, and he actually said "OK" in a friendly, enthusiastic manner, as if to give the impression that he was excited to go to DU.

Tsk. Such a stark difference.



MmMm, does this make you hungry?

Sorry, but I'm going to be totally random right now, but I suddenly remembered the Maggi Goreng which James had, opposite Akarkarya, tasted cheesy and almost like pasta. YUM!

Jamming today was 1337. There was like a time when I was playing around with the bass, Andrew was on guitar, Aaron was fiddling with the keyboards and its effects, and James was on drums.

All of a sudden, we were like jamming this god-knows-what and it sounded so damn cool and somewhat trance-techo-ish especially with Aaron going "AaAaAa" in a very psychedellic way. Haha. Couldn't think of any other word.

Thumbs up to Returning Empty Handed too. James and I NEARLY aced the song, just the two of us playing.

So there's your story.

Crazy taxi drivers.

Cheesy, pasta-ish Maggi Goreng.

Bleargh.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

OH! GRAVITY Review

Switchfoot is performing live in Malaysia on Feb 2nd! WOOOT!

SOOOO, I decided to do a quick review of their latest album, Oh! Gravity.

Enjoy.



OH! GRAVITY
Switchfoot
Columbia/Sony BMG

Release date: December 26 2006

When alt-rockers Switchfoot released the studio album The Beautiful Letdown in 2003, they were barely recognized across the globe. But within the next couple of months, they went booming up the charts with tracks such as Dare You To Move and Meant to Live. Two years later, they came up with Nothing Is Sound, regarded somewhat as a sophomore record to many.

With their sixth studio album Oh! Gravity, not only have Switchfoot proven that they are capable of continuosly pumping out top quality music, but also to venture into new, unexplored territories. Sure, Oh! Gravity can never match The Beautiful Letdown in terms of technicality as well as worldwide sales (The Beautiful Letdown went double platinum with a whopping 2.6 million copies sold), nor can it match Nothing Is Sound from a edgier, more post-grunge point of view, but what it definitely has is more originality.

Lyrically, Switchfoot’s latest effort falls a little below compared to The Beautiful Letdown, which boasted quirky lines on songs such as Gone, amongst others. However, on the second single, Awakening, Jon Foreman and his fellow surfers do manage to come up with a very meaningful chorus which can make you melt:

Here we are now with the falling sky and the rain,
We're awakening.
Here we are now with our desperate youth and the pain,
We're awakening.
Maybe it's called ambition, you've been talking in your sleep,
About a dream, we're awakening.


As mentioned before, Oh! Gravity is mostly about new sounds. Perhaps tracks 5, 6 and 7 stand out from this perspective. Circles has a more dissonant approach, unlike Switchfoot’s previous material. Then there is Amateur Lovers, which starts of almost Jet-style and ends with an interesting section of classic rock-style guitars and attempted ‘vocal percussion’ work by Jon Foreman. Faust, Midas and Myself is pretty impressive in its own way too, again, not sounding too conventional-Switchfoot.

Easy listening songs for the younger generation are aplenty on Oh! Gravity too. Tracks such as American Dream, Awakening, Head Over Heels (In This Life), and Burn Out Bright have pretty predictable and normal chord progressions, but remain great songs to sing along to. These more upbeat songs manage to consolidate Switchfoot’s slightly unusual approach towards this album.

On The Beautiful Letdown, Switchfoot started the album superbly, with Meant To Live kicking off things, whereas on Nothing Is Sound, Lonely Nation didn’t do justice as the opener. However, on Oh! Gravity, the title track is a splendid choice to get the listener aching for more. Switchfoot prove they are masters of the phrase ‘short and sweet’. Oh! Gravity only lasts a mere two and a half minutes, but it sure plays its role as the benchmark for a pretty satisfying next 11 tracks.

Let Your Love Be Strong is a simple track which features mainly acoustic guitar and a strangely out-of-tune Jon Foreman when singing in the lower register. Now this is one track which may seem to end midway through, before it picks up again with the introduction of new sounds, such as strings and the drums. Unfortunately, this track isn’t strong enough to end what is an interesting, but not quite gripping enough record by the Grammy-nominated quintet from San Diego.

Maybe Switchfoot rushed things a little. Perhaps they could have taken an extra few months for songwriting. All in all though, no one can deny the fact what this band can do, and one can only sit back and wonder what they’ll come up with come fall this year.

Rating: 3.5/5

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Be Careful Who You Tell This To.

We are all well aware that the issue on corruption is nothing new in Malaysia.

So, what is the reason behind it and why can't it ever be eradicated?

Here's a simple conversation between two average Malaysians.

MALAYSIAN 1: Wa salah lu mai kong. (When I do something wrong, you don't tell).
MALAYSIAN 2: Wa mai kong lu salah. (I won't tell when you do something wrong)

Now doesn't that sound just like:

MALAYSIAN 1: Wassalamualaikum.
MALAYSIAN 2: Walaikumssalam.

x)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Confrontation.

I've just realised something. The audition is less than one and a half months away.

And there I was telling myself: "It's three months away. Breathe."

Well, looks like I can barely breathe now.

Time simply flew by. As usual.

It seemed only like yesterday when Jia Rong and I were talking about preparing for her audition in January. And right now she's on the coach to Singapore already.

Oh, and today was my first official lesson with Gosia. *shivers*. Okay fineeee Su Yin, 'second lesson.' I consider it as my first real lesson cause this is the first time I'm actually playing stuff which I had time to prepare for her. Soooo, yeah. Luckily, I wouldn't say it was terrible.

ANYWAY, on a lighter note, the second week of lectures have ended pretty well. I'm glad that I've met more people and that classes aren't so dead quiet anymore since more people know each other and more people are talking and more people are making noise and making it a more fun atmosphere to learn.

The pile of homework is starting to get higher though, and although that's expected to happen, it might stress me out further with the work I already have to put in with the date of the audition looming.

Agh.

Must.

Practice.

More.

MUST.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Down, Set, Go.

So has it been a good start to the year?

I’d give you a straight yes.

To cut a long story, as it always is, short, I’ve enjoyed the first few days of college. The whole prospect of traveling from one place to another to attend classes and meet up with friends for lunch breaks or whatsoever has made me feel more independent as an individual.

Yes. Anything aside school.

Gone are the days where a whole class of students would be together for a full year or even two (in the case of Form 4 and 5). Now there are different students in different groupings for different subjects and there’s a great mix.

And my lecturers are well – okay, I guess. I would have said they’re great, if not for my super soft-spoken-until-you-can’t-hear-her Maths lecturer Ms Tan. For Econs, my actual lecturer Brandon Chan hasn’t come in yet. I’m just extremely glad I didn’t get Lawrence Low, some super Cina-terrible at English-metro lecturer who my sis says sucks big time. Apparently he’s not that bad though, according to some of my friends under him.

At the start of the first week of lectures, I was actually considering auditing the English Literature class, conducted by the ever-so-sarcastic Ms Caroline. However, after my very first class on Monday, which was Accounts, I decided I should just stick to my current combo of Maths, Econs, Accounts and Chemistry.

Why?

Well, that’s because Mr Awang, my lecturer is one heck of a guy. Seriously. He’s not your average lecturer who just goes in to class and “bla bla bla” and what have you. As he teaches, he brings in real-life examples to make us understand and all that, which I personally feel is vital in making a student like a particular subject.

Not only that, he also told us some stories (real, again), of people who have unlimited expenditure. I mean, there was one person who “heard of the iPod” and ended up buying all three types on the spot or something like that and one Indonesian student who bought some spanking new notebook with two bodyguards at his side ready to supply him whatever amount of money he needed. Turned out he happened to be the son of the Defence Minister of Indonesia.

Now that class was totally gripping. Perhaps for the first time in my life, I listened to every word the teacher/lecturer was saying in a class.

I can’t say James Chong, my Chemistry lecturer is too bad either. Okay, so the first time he seemed like some weirdo, with his eyebrows completely white and those scientist-like specs. And then the next thing you know he’s putting on this glove while speaking to us. I don’t know about the others in my class but I certainly was paying more attention to his actions more than his speech. He also says the word ‘agree’ in a really strange way, pronouncing it “air-ghree”.

Oh, and he requested for a blackboard to use. I mean, who the hell uses blackboards to teach nowadays? It’s so primary school. His reason? “You see this marker pen? You see so many chemicals inside! Poisonous chemicals!”

Sigh. The kind of people that fill up this world. Anyway, teaching-wise I would have to say he’s pretty okay. His facts are substantial and he also brings reality in to his teaching to help us gettit.

Although after the first two days of lectures I found it was naturally difficult for everyone to mingle and get to know each other, I’m glad that after this week I got to know more people.

Meanwhile, while others have so much free time doing God knows what, I dare say I’ve been practising very hard. From my perspective, I’ve never practised this much in say, a week. Nearly the first thing I do when I get home from college, I would get the fiddle out and start making the awful and sometimes sweet sounds it makes. On normal college days, I would be practising from between four to five hours and yesterday I managed to hit six. I know, I know, tribe members reading this, you guys probably think that is NOTHING. Well, to be honest, I’ve never practised this much before.

Talking about practise, I’ve got to get back to it soon. So, in a nutshell, I’d say it’s been a fairly good start to 2008. Life has been kind to me so far. I’ve good college to look forward to, my first gig playing solo (not just me of course) at The Dram Projects at the end of the month and SWITCHFOOT LIVE IN CONCERT on Feb 2nd!

And I only hope it’ll get better.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Insecurity.

This is even worse than SPM stress.

A lot worse.