Wednesday, October 31, 2007



This is a record that always makes me think of Christmas. I actually got the CD for a present in 1992 and it was one of those scenarios where mum just gave me the money to buy it from the shop (Andy’s Records) and I would hand it over where she would wrap it up and hand it over to me a couple of month’s later on Christmas Day. However I knew where she had put it so whenever she went out shopping or something I would sneak into her bedroom and listen to tracks until I heard her returning home.

Singles was a strange film. At the time I loved it and naively I thought the lifestyle on screen was something I could aim and aspire for. No one was ugly in the grunge world. I even might be able to travel to Seattle one day to drink coffee and she all the badly dressed beautiful people making great music and living amazing lives. Can you tell that over the years I have adopted some kind of cynicism towards the piece? And this is probably to my detriment.

The bands on show here were certainly from the more photogenic and glossier side of the city, acts that were already all signed up and were about to make it the show regardless of their coverage from the movie although certainly it didn’t hurt. Then there was the appearance of Paul Westerberg as the alternative rock troubadour who didn’t necessarily have links to the Seattle grunge scene. And then there was The Lovemongers, the nepotistic inclusion of Cameron Crowe’s wife’s spin-off band contributing a live version of a Led Zeppelin song (“The Battle Of Evermore”) which certainly begged the question: why?

Regardless the album opens on a high as Alice In Chains rumble into proceedings with “Would” which remains probably their finest moment. Here was a band being caught at its peak in a motion that was very “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” as their video explicitly implied the movie Singles (including a shot of the poster) without necessarily featuring clips from it (instead clips of people who looked like they should be in it).

To their credit Pearl Jam follow and chip in with two very decent cuts in the form of “Breath” and later “State Of Love And Trust” (which they also opened their MTV Unplugged set with). Whether you give any attention to these songs is a given, at the time most people with passionate were either split into a Pearl Jam or a Nirvana camp while those who liked both were really tourists stopping over before moving onto the next shiny thing. Personally I like both of these tracks here. “Breath” sounds invigorating to me, somewhat representative of the time and when I was young and somewhat more optimistic. I never got the aspect of grunge that was about wallowing, for me it was about being different to all those around me that were making me feel miserable. Whether this conceit was contrived by record labels or genuine from the band was not obvious at the time, all I knew is that it felt like a better direction to take. Both these tracks feel and sound optimistic, which meant more than anything else.

Chris Cornell also got in on the act as he provided various pieces throughout the film including a strange acoustic instrumental version of “Spoonman”. His proper contribution to the soundtrack “Seasons” is quite a piece of work as he plays unaccompanied and delivers an expansive dose of reflective reasoning that boded well for his eventual solo career that never really delivered. Of course Soundgarden had to be on the record also and after the longest introduction of any song in the history of grunge “Birth Ritual” truly chunders out of the blocks in relentless manner and proved substantial enough to feature them in the movie performing the song at a show while Campbell Scott gawped into the abyss deep in thought. What was he thinking?

When Paul Westerberg turns up it is blowing a harmonica. Against so many hulking and distorted guitars this felt wrong as The Replacements were not necessarily early torchbearers of this movement (although I am sure many might disagree). That said “Dyslexic Heart” does fit comfortably into the scheme of things with regard to the romance element of the movie and the lyrics are expertly penned, memorable and easily recounted/recalled. I seem to remember at the time on his morning Radio Five show (back when they played music) Danny Baker would regularly play the Westerberg tracks from the soundtrack and neglect the beef in the sandwich. “Waiting For Somebody” is slightly more sappy and thus less effective but certainly at the time when the wide world was discovering REM wholesale songs that were not so blunt and abrasive were certainly acceptable.

As noted above the song to raise most eyebrows in this collection is the cover of “The Battle Of Evermore” by the Lovemongers. I guess Heart were from Seattle but being married to the director was unforgivably nepotistic. That said with mandolins raining on proceedings (an instrument at the time now made cool by Peter Buck) the ladies made a pretty good stab at sounding like Percy Plant. All in all a pretty decent effort but on that failed from being more crushed velvet than flannel shirt.

I think the presence of Mother Love Bone really displays most which side of the bread this record is buttered. When the scene was beginning to kick off initially the band was just something of a footnote in the history of Pearl Jam to a large extent, not necessarily students of the Sub Pop way of doing things. Sure they were signed to a major label but they were just rock, almost glam, not a band looking to carry the burden of a generation. Then again who was? For starters though their contribution here “Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns” opened with a piano line. There were no keyboards in grunge. Sadly in a time of the anti-star Andrew Wood just appeared to be too brash and too poncy. And then he went and missed most of the party altogether. Green River were always better anyway.

Indie credibility resumes with contributions from Mudhoney and Screaming Trees. Sure they were on major labels by this point but their contributions screamed of remaining true to the course as Mudhoney drop “Overblown”, a thoroughly sarcastic take on proceedings and blatant message to the masses that they are being duped. Likewise Screaming Trees offer up a great selection in the form of “Nearly Lost You” which is just a genuinely balls out, glorious piece of Seattle rock. It’s a heavy heavy tune that tangles the pulse with a serious of heart stopping hooks and thumps.

In many ways Mudhoney should maybe have enjoyed more coverage regarding the movie considering that Matt Dillon’s fictional band Citizen Dick (seemingly him fronting Pearl Jam) had a big hit with “Touch Me I’m Dick”. There is apparently a recording (re-recording) of this song (so say the movie credits) by Citizen Dick however who makes up such a band is not disclosed.

Realistically homeboy Jimi Hendrix had to make an appearance in the movie, Seattle being his hometown and all. Here we get “May This Be Love” which is a trickling, loving slab of song displaying him in a mellow mood. It doesn’t sound out of place.

A final curveball gets thrown in at the end as Smashing Pumpkins deliver the eight minutes plus “Drown”. This was not a band from Seattle, on a major label or strictly on Sub Pop (although there was a single). They were not necessarily connected to the scene and, in a lot of cases, not strictly welcomed or entertained by it either. Corgan had enemies within these ranks. So then just how did they get on this record? Gripes aside I actually do like this song in the same way that a fair few Smashing Pumpkins songs are guilty pleasures for me (once the stinkers have been weeded out). Listened to with a clear conscience this is a glorious and soft sounding track reminiscent at times of Mercury Rev that does not make eight minutes feel indulgent and goes through many waves of joy over the course of its appearance. It’s a good way to close even if seems foreign.

It’s been a few years now since I last watched Singles. I have to admit I am afraid to revisit it, fearful that it won’t have aged well and will feel like a mockery of my supposed youth, my supposed era. How green was my valley?

Thesaurus moment: pretence.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007



With a well aimed and focused trajectory the spasmodic delivery of “Girl You Want” (aka “Girl U Want”) is the kind of catchy trickery that could potentially induce insanity in the listener. More or less it is the sound of a stereotype nerd wittering into your ear, in other words this is the sound of band on fast forward.

Playing at the height of their abilities this is a band delivering hardcore vocals to a new wave sound while retaining/maintaining their identity. This song is as much pop as it is a hep anthem. To some casual/lazy ears at the time this might have sounded like a sped up version of The Cars but that couldn’t be further from the truth as Devo even at this stage in the game were still changing things and evolving, taking on board the environment around them and looking to subvert it as much as ever. This is a song about longing for the girl, not actually getting her. Who wants to hear about the guy (the jock) with the success rate, don’t we have people like that shoving their personalities down our throat on a daily basis in the real world? With this song Devo represent us, the audience of battlers and those wrestling with toil looking to be set free. This is not strange, its nature.

Turning over the disc features “Turn Around”, a song that has subsequently been made somewhat more famous through its cover version by a heavyweight act. It is actually fairly reminiscent of “Whip It” with its spasmodic beats and silly intentions. Mothersbaugh telling me “take a look at yourself” is a funny gesture that could be taken two ways. As ever there is something of a hidden meaning in the tune that renders an otherwise bubblegum track subversive and important. Not that it matters. Strong stuff.

Unintentionally Tokyo.

Thesaurus moment: hanker.


Monday, October 29, 2007



This is the Cat Power album that I once gave to my mother for a birthday present. I figured the country tinge of proceedings might appeal to her. I was wrong.

Initially well received by me, I personally now find this record a tough sell. Perhaps it was just representative of a time where a red haired potential loved one was driving me insane as this record came coupled with You Are Free to shoulder/soldier me through the season.

Having left it alone for a couple of years returning to it now, having seen her doing these songs badly live, I can’t help but find too much of this record flabby and indulgent. The tone is too downbeat to stomach. Right from the off as Chan cries into her beer it fails to convince me that these emotions are still real within her world.

It is with “Livid In Bars” that she loses me. There is nothing more unattractive than a female wino (and this is coming from a person that lives in Essex). This track is overblown and as far removed from attractive as an orchestration can get. I do not believe the person behind this song is necessarily looking to better themselves via these means. Drink aware.

Before I get onto the good stuff I need to rant about the bad stuff. “Empty Shell” is country music hell to me. Why would anybody choose to listen to music like this? Likewise the crooning of “Where Is My Love” also fails to convince. If this is your front no wonder your “love” has fucked off. And don’t fake being upbeat as with on “Islands” which ultimately is slide guitar hell. “After It All” then performs a similar kind of feat for bar room piano and whistling in song. Stop!

From here saving the day comes half a record of great songs. Firstly there are the traditional Cat Power standards in the form of “The Moon” and “Hate” which sound distant, disturbed and distracted in the manner of her old classic material. Here I feel convinced that there is more going on beneath the surface. These are songs that sound like tears, like crying fits waiting to happen. You can almost touch the desperation. Here she achieves the modern blues that made her career viable.

As far as upbeat tracks go, the potentially cheesy horns of “Could We” manage not to spoil proceedings as a breezy gallop engulfs the record and demonstrates that Chan does indeed have a happy place sometimes.

Likewise “Willie”, despite being sad in nature, is fairly upbeat in execution and issues a healthy dollop of empathy that sees the listener siding with the characters of piece hoping for success, victory and all the best. This represents and describes a tough life/existence I can associate with as the haunting clarinet points towards a peaceful conclusion eventually.

The highlight of the piece arrives in the form of “Living Proof”. I have to concede the song is enhanced by the video of Chan as Britney being crucified in a hip hop world with a high school mentality that is not easy on females, often unkind and unsympathetic to their plight. On this song everything comes together, everything goes right. The track represents the expression of an optimistic and forgiving person, hopeful that things are going to improve within a relationship when it does not necessarily appear forthcoming in the distance. The slog and vocal yearn for some kind of sign and direction proves a pained declaration and thankfully the presence of a warm Hammond adds an air of optimism against the elements. With “Living Proof” Marshall manages to construct easily one of the finest songs from her songbook.

The record concludes/climaxes with the epic “Love And Communication” with its descending tone which serves as a recap of the album that just passed. As the song drops further, chiming strings and subtly dark guitar couple with strangely upbeat keys as yet more declarations of affection are expressed and drowned in sound. It is a song that expresses as many questions as it does conclusive observations but perversely it ends proceedings on a fairly upbeat note, much in the face of such failure for motion and connection.

The Greatest is an incredibly frustrating piece of work, regularly promising to be great but also often slipping into too many traps that hold it back.

A whole lotta love.

Thesaurus moment: emote.

Cat Power
Matador Records

Sunday, October 28, 2007



I don’t think anywhere else in the history of music does a song fade in with such a cavalier manner, it is almost as if the band are too quick for the studio and producer (on this occasion being Conrad Uno).

With jerky ramshackle guitar parts unique to themselves and Arm’s vocals as nasal as ever this most certainly sounds like Mudhoney’s drunk period. Its very loose and as the title suggests stocked with slide guitar.

“Let It Slide” is another quick paced and infectious execution of a single with laidback sentiments and an intension to uncover lies suggesting that the band be somewhat more worldly and knowing with regards to global expansion of their music scene at the time. After the conscious decision to stay on Sub Pop for one more record this could almost be an accusatory song pointing fingers in various directions towards people that may have leapfrogged them in the process of selling out.

At the end of the day as it comes with a video of the band generally frolicking without a concern in the world the whole tone of the song comes over as some kind of positively snide and nonchalant take on developments housing what appears to be a distinct lack of concern.

On the reverse the band delivery up childhood photos of themselves on the sleeve while on vinyl comes “Ounce Of Deception” and an alternative version of “Checkout Time” which now comes more fuzzed up and darker than the original with more Arm echo on the vocal.

Thesaurus moment: offer.

Sub Pop

Saturday, October 27, 2007



At some point I think there was a hope that all records were going to sound like this because this sounded like the future now. The Rich Man’s Eight Track is a crushing record of accusation and hostility seemingly purposely exhibiting a desire to weed out the waste of the crowd by pummelling everything and anything into submission that stands in its path. This was the brief sound of early industrial music while it was blue collar prior to mutating into a Goth movement and losing the plot.

The Rich Man’s Eight Track is a CD compilation that takes in the Atomizer album, Heartache EP and “Heartbeat” single. The title of the album is a sly dig by Albini at the compact disc format comparing it to the failed format of the seventies, no doubt reflecting a hope and prediction that the new digital format was set to fail also.

With some kind of ironic twist the record opens with “Jordan, Minnesota” which, as per Pigpile, was the track the band would drag out as its explosive set closer. Placed at the beginning of the piece it is no less devastating (if slightly briefly). This is the music that drum machines were born (if not necessarily designed) for. And somehow, just to be that extra bit annoying, the guitars manage to sound like bagpipes.

In essence this is the sonic equivalent of being shouted at for an almost an hour over the course of seventeen tracks. There is a large degree of bile attached to proceedings, serving up a kind of sensation that echoes shaking some sense into an individual.

There are so many great tracks to choose from in this collection. The highlight of the piece is without doubt the suburban angst cum pyromaniac mantra of “Kerosene” with its disillusioning repetition that ultimately points towards sticky gestures. This was the updated version of no future, now served with an extra portion of malice and sonic bombast.

Also in amongst the flurry is perhaps the most upbeat sounding of all Big Black songs in the form of “Passing Complexion” which is a rapid fire jig that contains a machine gig riff destined to get stuck inside your head for the remainder of the day once swallowed whole.

All this and the record has only been rolling for four songs.

On the whole the record is a tough listen to take all in one hit. The influence it had one future acts sounds obvious. “Strange Things” sounds very much like Ministry before Ministry as “Heartbeat” sounds very like The Jesus Lizard before The Jesus Lizard. At the same time nods go in the opposite direction as “Bad Houses” sounds like an evil version of Kraftwerk.

Often at times the record appears to be sound of a sociopath (maybe even psychotic) mind on songs such as “Fists Of Love” which appears to resemble the sounds of domestic violence in full flow while “Bazooka Joe” feels as if all human emotion has been voided as it sounds as robotic as it does psychotic. Then the band reels of its list of “Things To Do Today” which gradually becomes terrifying with each line.

The record remains pummelling until the wire as “Black Grinder” scoops another perversely upbeat riff placed beneath seemingly more threatening words from Albini until it finally and fully closes on “Pete, King Of Detectives” that sounds perversely like a drunken early Depeche Mode playing ping pong as I relentless mad man makes heavy claims over the top.

This is an experience everyone should be made to endure.

Thank Roland.

Thesaurus moment: scold.

Big Black
Touch And Go

Friday, October 26, 2007



Released in 1995 this felt like something of a golden era for indie songwriting and how the music world was changing for the better. Teenage Fanclub had always been lucky enough to benefit from the grunge movement having made a noisy record with Don Fleming and getting signed to Nirvana’s label in the US. There was also something of a stronger link between Scottish indie bands to the movement than their English counterparts it seemed. Whether this was down to Eugene Kelly and The Vaselines is debateable but just as possible was the fact that there was a genuine earnest feel to certain Scottish acts that just was prevalent in their English counterparts or the weak kitschy acts that seemed to trivialise things.

A year or so after this EP came out Scotland took over with regards to being champion of true indie rock in the UK as Bis, The Delgados, Mogwai, Arab Strap and Chemikal Underground shone very brightly for an all too brief moment. You would like to think that Teenage Fanclub helped serve as a bridge between the grunge movement and the lo-fi/DIY scene that eventually followed.

This EP arrived as something of a stopgap between albums. At this point Teenage Fanclub could do no wrong, Grand Prix had been both a critical and commercial success (a career peak) and airplay was something that still came relatively easily for them. Here they took aim at four of the best songs of their catalogue and presented them in acoustic form. The quality on show represents yet another high watermark by the band.

The record opens with “Don’t Look Back”, here no longer electric but still this version would not have been out of place appearing on Grand Prix. Yet again in adult nursery rhyme style this was a song that felt immediately memorable. The words and meaning were universal, provided your world was about indie and not having a girlfriend. When the words “I’d steal a car to drive you home” the words were intended to make the heart flutter, which they indeed did.

Everything Flows” follows in acoustic form that adds a new dimension of clarity to proceedings and perhaps a calmer, denser emotional aspect to the song. As the chorus kicks in its cacophony of confusion a fluttering percussion accompanies proceedings with a collection of strange instrumentals before a harmonica brings the song home.

Some weird “take with you man” looped sample moves the EP onto a banjo happy/heavy “Starsign” and its shrugging suggestions about finding happiness in small things culminating in some kind of conclusion akin to the more things the more they sound the same. There has always been a sense that this is the kind of music to old with and few tracks more in their cannon display this so explicitly. This is a song that makes you feel sure you will find happiness in the end.

“120 Minutes” closes proceedings with a pained run out that proclaims (for me) too many things that Raymond doesn’t want to be when the return of being his friend feels like something of a limited trade and pay off. Norman would get away with it though. Still there is lots of love remaining however.

You bless it I’ll eat it.

Thesaurus moment: naked

Teenage Fanclub

Thursday, October 25, 2007



A long time ago in a galaxy that now feels far far away bands would regularly release their singles on twelve inch vinyl that would lend breathing space for the inclusion of warped new variations of said songs bringing a whole new art form to music releases.

As we all (should) know Grand Royal was the record label run by the Beastie Boys back when they were at the height of their powers. Initially it was an ultra cool lifestyle magazine best known for its mullet celebrating article (“Mulling Over The Mullet”) before it became their own imprint and eventually a fully blown label with the expected exotic roster of the cool and the hip. Alas it was a thing too good to actually exist and maintain as a going concern in the real world.

Collecting up seventeen remixes and hidden gems the reworked tracks on show range from the hardcore days (“Cookie Puss”) onto Paul’s Boutique (“Hey Ladies”) up to Hello Nasty (“Intergalactic”) with goodies such as “Rock Hard” and “In A World Gone Mad” thrown in for further yuks.

The compilation opens with the Soul Assassins treatment of “So Watch Cha Want” which turns the vibe very Cypress Hill from the off, not least for the guest appearance. Meanwhile “Drum Machine” does exactly what it says on the jar in the most vibrant of fashions sounding like a combination of the Top Of The Pops theme and Art Of Noise. Don’t tell me these guys do not know how to have fun.

Coming up next is the AC/DC sampling classic “Rock Hard” where Newcastle never sounded so good. This song would have been so perfect on their first record beefing up what was something that was perhaps a bit too brat heavy and could have done with a bit of manning up.

From here we get exposed to the “Original Mix” of “Jimmy James” (which I never really thought differed that much from the album version and then unfortunately we arrive at the Fatboy Slim remix of “Body Movin’” which I always thought was a true abortion, a genuinely awful stab at a Beasties track. What were they thinking?

Things get back on track with the disorientating “In A World Gone Mad” which resumes a sense of cool seriousness to proceedings.

In impressive line-up to proceedings gets further improved as Handsome Boy Modelling School do a job on “Negotiation Limerick File”, making things muddy and classic and in essence pulling things back from the sound of Hello Nasty to their more live orientated era of Check Your Head and Ill Communication.

The “Green Mix” of “Sure Shot” offers up a roving jazz bassline that lends the track a new groove and smoothes over the edges. The reworking of “Intergalactic” makes an already clumsy song even more robotic in its movements. You decide whether this is a good thing.

Eventually “Root Down” turns up with its “PP Balloon Mix” which realistically only serves to slow down and hinder the track. Conversely though the “Buck Wild Mix” treatment of “Get It Together” with its Q-Tip guest turn may slow the track down but gives it a dark edge and midnight feel. This works.

Despite the remix the nuisance call classic “Cookie Puss” still sounds like it has the bassline from “Push It” by Salt N Pepa to me. I defy you not to have this likeness taint/tarnish this track for you.

Ultimately it’s a mixed bag. Throughout the beats are good which makes for a good party record but when listened to closely and intently often many of the “classic” tracks have not necessarily been improved upon. A lesser outfit would not be able to get away with this kind of thing. Thank God we’re not flying a plane here.

Thesaurus moment: multifarious.

Beastie Boys
Grand Royal

Super duper hilarious!!!

Have you guys seen this video yet?


I laughed until I almost died ok!!!

Watch watch!!


It's damn fucking funny lar!

The writer of the English lyrics is someone called Buffalax (I googled him and he seems like just some WoW addict) and he is amazingly talented!!

I don't know how he can actually hear English within all these languages.

He also did a few more funny videos, here's a Japanese one:

SHIT! I knew your son!! MUAHAHA

Got a Russian one too!!



That's as logical as it can get!

Can't wait for Buffalax to do a Chinese one!

His talent lies in doing this man, he should set up a website and just keep doing it, everyday.

His job occupation? Subtitler.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Macau, Hong Kong. Shen Zhen

Congrats to me!!

I'm flying to Macau tomorrow via no less than the magnificent Tiger Airways (trying to be ironic, in case you thought I'm serious)!!

I'd be going with Qihua and her BF so poor Mikey will be left at home alone for 4 days...

Tomorrow is the press conference for Fresh Air For Women, an anti-smoking campaign, and since I am one of the ambassadors I have to be there at 10am (Jesus!! Hate morning people).

Yesterday I bought a lo mai gai (is it spelt like that?) and I put it on the kitchen table for maybe 1 hour... The damn thing was wrapped inside 1 paper bag and the paper bag was wrapped in a plastic bag.

I took up the package, wanting to microwave it, and midway during the journey to the microwave a HUMONGOUS LIZARD JUMPED, literally JUMPED, out of the plastic bag.

He flew up scrabbling and wiggling in midway (in a rather comical way, if I were not the victim) landed with a heavy and cold THUD on the crook of my arm.

I screamed cold murder and flung both lo mai gai and lizard away while running to the bedroom and whimpered to a sleeping and confused Mike.

Amazingly enough, the lizard managed to get through both paper and plastic bag to get to the food.


Don't people who defend lizards always say, "Oh, lizards are good what, they eat our pests!"


Lizards like our human food just like cockroaches do, and what's worse, they PRETEND to eat mosquitoes and the like!


No right?!


I swear, these fuckers just hate me!!!!!


Maybe they know I enjoy killing their kind. Oh yes I'm gonna redouble my efforts in killing you all you know, you dirty ugly wonky-eyed muthafuckers!!!!!!

I'd extend my reign of terror to Macau, where I will also kill the lizards there!!

Soon, Macau lizards will be whispering to each other:

"Hey... You know that blogger Xiaxue? Came here! To our very own peninsula! She is going to kill as many of us as possible!"

Terrified, lizard two replies: "How do you know this?" while he cowers in his wall corner, and clasps a filthy hand to his mouth, thus nearly falling off the ceiling. Lizard One grabs hold of him just in time.

One says: "My cousin from Singapore told me! He came all the way here via a ferry and a budget airline and relayed the news, then died of exhaustion." Lizard one adds severely, "He didn't sleep for 2 days, poor boy."


Ok I might be a bit deranged.

I'd be back on the 31st, and will post about the trip!

P/S: Here's a photo of a lizard I smacked to death with my bathroom slipper.

Disgusting, isn't it?

It totally serves him right because he was hiding BEHIND THE TOILET ROLL.

I cannot comprehend why anyone would go hide behind toilet rolls unless their purpose in doing so is to unleash themselves upon innocent girls who unfurled the roll of paper to wipe their asses.

That place (behinde the toilet roll) is not particularly fragrant and it is definitely not a good insect-catching spot.

Therefore, this lizard is evil.

Since he is evil, I chased him into the shower area and sprayed him with terribly hot water and when he is momentarily paralyzed, smacked him with my bathroom slipper.


Once, and he twitches. Oh, still alive, aren't you?


A last feeble twitch.


Flush corpse into toilet bowl. Revenge is sweet.

I killed one more lizard with this method.

That lizard also deserves it because he was drinking water from my bathroom.

We have to pay rent and water bills of the precious water he is drinking, and did he ask permission? NO. Sorry, water not yours to drink, therefore deserve to DIE.

Besides, he was probably the one who dared the toilet-roll-lizard to sit there and hop onto my hand after I shat, thinking it is very funny.


Ha! Dead.



There is a strange sense of euphoria attached to Arcade Fire, one that feels unexplained and often unexpected. For a band that looks so unappealing there is quite a magnetism to their being.

“Rebellion (Lies)” is a real triumph of music with its basic layering of motions that gradually build into something very successful and affecting, effective in the most generous of measures.

With the mantra “every time you close your eyes” the engine steps up as a crushing pulse invigorates the tune and serves as some kind of rallying call to optimism. This is a song that I am able to listen to over and over without growing bored or cynical, instead it races through my mind like pure lifeblood, lending a welcome energy to my being and a signpost to potential success. Yes, this single is that good.

Arcade Fire themselves are something of a mysterious proposition. From one perspective they look like gypsies, then from another like look steam punks before eventually settling in on the eccentric dollar. They are from Canada after all.

In a time where Flaming Lips have given the audience a patience and a reason to indulge in lengthy, layered workouts when it comes to rock music all that is required is for bands to deliver hooks as sumptuous as this band.

I feel young again.

Thesaurus moment: lift.

Arcade Fire
Rough Trade

Monday, October 22, 2007



This is one of those songs that is defined by its music video which adds a whole dimension and weight to the meaning of the song that might not necessarily be there otherwise. Displaying the couple that everyone always wanted to be there is a definite element of perfection attached to this song.

Until I saw this video I had tended to consider Air something of a novelty act, an electronic outfit dealing in fromage. There felt little in the way of substance, instead smartly and tactically tailored elements built to appeal to the most base of emotions. However with “All I Need” suddenly Air felt glittery.

Featuring Beth Hirsch on vocals “All I Need” is a saccharine ode to a love one that thankfully manages to keep on the right/correct side of good taste, not labouring over/with the fat elements of joy and remaining lean and effective without becoming too wet. The brush strokes that cradle the track add a haunting sense of affection as the voice attached soothes the tone. Eventually this sound begins to resemble a bubbling caress pointing and leading towards musically a happy place. Then arrives a sparking pay off and one of the most glorious and tender moments in modern music is sealed.

Towards the end of the video (directed by Mike Mills) things get soppy as the boy says something nice and the girl threatens to start crying. This triggers some kind of additional emotional toll placed to the piece, distinctly reminding me of somebody I used to go out with who I once told “I like it when I make you cry”. She hates me now. She is now a lesbian.

All I need is for someone to just take the time.

Thesaurus moment: heartache.

Virgin Records

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Video Updates

Xiaxue's Guide To Life: Episode 5 - The Princess Room

Learn how to furnish a princess' room if the princess happens to be poor.

News Asia: Episode 4 - Iron Crotch and Castration

In this episode - amazing video footage of a man with an iron crotch, and a tragic story of another who got his penis chopped off.



The Judgement Night soundtrack probably represents the moment/point in which the music world was most enthusiastic for rap rock fusion as the project pulled together eleven of the most exciting rock and metal acts to collaborate with ten relatively high profile hip hop acts to varying degrees of success and mostly interesting results.

When the movie Judgement Night eventually emerged in the UK several months later it was a very disappointing accompaniment to what was such a strong concept. The movie featured the still minor Jeremy Piven who was already a motor mouth while the villains of the piece came in the form of Denis Leary who had a henchman in Everlast from House Of Pain. Suddenly the pieces from the origin of this record were coming together. The hero of the day was to be Emilio Estevez. Was this really a man that listened to rap without a fuss?

It is interesting now to contrast and compare the various contributions to the collaborations and which artists won out on their respective days. There are a few tracks that display a perfect sync (such as Faith No More and the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. in addition to Mudhoney and Sir Mix-A-Lot) but the whole album isn’t necessarily great.

Things kick off with Helmet jamming with House Of Pain on “Just Another Victim”. In many ways this is a perfect coupling as two sets of hyped young white men with short hair that like to shout a lot come together to produce a piece of aggressive music. However the final piece doesn’t necessarily sound all that different to other Helmet songs of the era and when House Of Pain drop in at the conclusion name checking Harvey Keitel amongst other items it feels taped onto the end. Rock wins.

Following comes the collaboration between Teenage Fanclub and De La Soul where the former appear to hardly make a peep. Teenage Fanclub always seemed to struggle when put up against harder rocking items (such as the bands on this record) and on this occasion De La Soul kind of dominate proceedings in laidback fashion. Rap wins.

When Living Colour and Run DMC come together it is a collaboration you suspect could have occurred much sooner. From the off it heavily recollects the legendary pairing of Anthrax and Public Enemy but it just lacks the crisp spit of Chuck D and Flavor Flav. In the end though there are no real surprises attached to this record. Run DMC have been using rock with their rhymes for years and Living Colour are not necessarily stretching or testing their skills with their contribution. A draw.

Biohazard and Onyx prove something of a dream match and after this track they even later worked together on a later version of “Slam” by Onyx. For a while back there Biohazard was one of the leading outfits in the hardcore rock rap scene, albeit an act considered slightly one dimensional and even Neanderthal. Personally though for a couple of records I thought they did what they did very well with heavy as hell slabs of metal that backed up their posturing. Onyx was also a pretty snappy proposition but their shelf life wasn’t as lengthy, perhaps they were too real. Certainly I found myself stealing one of their CDs (Bacdafucup) from a market stall in Soho once. At the end of the day the song sounds straight from a Biohazard record. Rock wins.

The Slayer and Ice-T collaboration is actually a trio of UK Subs covers and it does not necessarily sound a million miles away from Body Count. With accusations in later years being tossed towards Slayer as being racist this displays evidence to counteract such suggestions. Ultimately though the tracks are stifled by being cover versions. Score draw.

Far superior is the Faith No More and Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E collaboration, which without doubt is the most famous track to have come from this compilation. With dark video in tow, on “Another Body Murdered” both acts play to their strengths and produce the highlight of the album, a pulsating and energising piece of rap rock that puts the rest of the genre to shame. Everybody wins.

Afters things get chilled out and weird as Sonic Youth scrape their guitars and Kim Gordon whirls a mantra over a Muggs beat as Cypress Hill bring their rhymes to the game. Cypress Hill actually benefit from a female accompaniment but other than that the Sonic Youth involvement is minimal (although the get the last word). Rap wins.

Following from Seattle comes the Mudhoney and Sir Mix-A-Lot collaboration as the neighbours fart out pretty stock appropriations of their wares but ultimately it totally works as the pieces perfectly sync together as rap’s true one trick pony gets lurid and dirty much in the same way that Mudhoney play their guitars (albeit in restrained fashion). Its galloping and pulsing stuff, Lukin makes for a natural at doing a hip-hop bassline, probably without even knowing. We all win!

In a similar vein Dinosaur Jr and Del The Funky Homosapien glue together unconventionally as the pair of them phone in their elements of the track and happily make a real breeze of a track even if the construct suggests mild effort. A scoreless draw.

Therapy? and Fatal arrive as something of a curious inclusion. Who on earth in American would have known who Therapy? were? And to this day I am still wondering who the fuck Fatal were (or are). With this in mind it is very much Therapy? who dominate proceedings echoing their earlier, more experimental efforts. It also reminds slightly of the Biohazard and Onyx effort, not necessarily a good thing. Rock wins.

The album ends with Pearl Jam tagging up with Cypress Hill making their second appearance on the compilation. Again Cypress Hill lay on the track thick and quickly make it their own joint. Apparently at the legendary Nirvana MTV Live And Loud concert when Cypress Hill supported they dragged out Pearl Jam for a live version. Eventually Eddie Vedder makes an appearance on the track but he sounds like he is speaking in tongues. What is going on? Rap wins.

Legend has it that there was an extra collaboration from Tool and Rage Against The Machine but word has it neither act were necessarily happy with the results. Perhaps the fact that it was two rock bands knocking heads on what was a rock rap collaboration record may have had something to do with it.

With Nu metal still a few years away and grunge still just about remaining in the game this compilation managed to capture the alternative rock spirit of the time, a spirit that was open to rap but only, it seemed, when it was aggressive. The film was rubbish but the soundtrack was good.

Thesaurus moment: join.

Judgement Night
Epic Records

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Shocker of the year: Albus Dumbledore is gay

Nope, I'm not even joking, or trying to make fun of him.

Two days ago on the 19th of October 2007, in New York City, Jk Rowling revealed a nugget of information that would change the course of literary history forevermore (ok, I'm being a little dramatic).

I quote:

When asked by a fan if Dumbledore ever loved anyone, J.K. Rowling replied that... Dumbledore was gay. Reports from the scene say a hush fell over the crowd and then it broke out in applause, to which J.K. replied that if she had known that would be the response, she would've revealed her thoughts on Dumbledore earlier.

She went on to say that while she was reading Steve Kloves' script for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, she came across a passage in which Dumbledore was reminiscing about past loves, and she corrected it by crossing it out and scrawling "Dumbledore is gay" in the margin.

When I first read this on Mugglenet I thought she must have been joking, but I realised she would never joke about something like that.


Obviously I have nothing against gays (having a few gay friends myself) but I've always thought of Dumbledore as being somewhat ASEXUAL.

The idea of him humping someone, whether female or male, is disgusting and somewhat just can't be associated with his wise, serene character which we have all grown to love and respect!

The idea of him BEING humped is really even worse because it kinda puts him in a submissive position of weakness (I also think it is the most "demeaning" for females when we give a BJ or are being fucked... When we are doing other stuff men can respect us, but at the moment when sex happens, I just think it's not very possible, you get what I mean? It's like we are the weaker sex).

... =(

The idea that Dumbledore has an alternative sexual inclination opens up a world of other possibilities, such as...

- Aberforth liking bestiality. And goats too! I don't think much of his taste. Goats are smelly.

- Fenrir liking children (I dearly wish he didn't rape the kids before making them werewolves).

- and of course other characters being gay too: Dobby (likes Harry Potter!!), Sirius, Mad-Eye, Pettigrew, Voldemort etc etc

Did Sirius like James?

Of course, in Half-Blood prince Rowling already touched on the topic of incest, but I don't know... why DUMBLEDORE???!

I'm a bit annoyed... I wish Rowling didn't tell us this.

Well since I stupidly poked into Mugglenet and found out about this, I shall now spread the news to everyone who reads my blog too, so that they too can be troubled/cheered by this.

It makes me think of Dumbledore having sex and wanking and doing BJs and surfing porn, and I DON'T WANNA!!!

In my mind Dumbledore doesn't even lao sai one lor, coz he is so powerful and clever he doesn't do mundane things like shit.

Now I can never read the book the same way again!!!

I don't wanna know if he is gay or straight or whatever... He should be celibate and asexual! Things like sex shouldn't interest him.

A few days ago I wrote on my facebook that my favourite book is the whole Harry Potter series, and I also added that I wanted to ask Rowling is Dumbledore is gay.

Am I prophetic or what?!

To my utter surprise, I got my question answered almost immediately. I always thought Rowling would fend off that question by saying that this is a children's book and such issues are not of any importance.

Oh well!

I must say I admire her courage! Afterall she says that she values the latter above everything else.


p/s: Lockhart also gay.

p/p/s: Dumbledore liked Gellert Grindelwald. I think that's why he didn't wanna duel him till much later. Dumbledore likes blonde boys!! And smart ones la, of course.

My source here, if you don't believe me.

I don't care if most of you don't read Harry Potter. I read it all the time and it's my life!



This was a surprise when it came out. As Public Enemy appeared to be mellowing and grounded despite adopting a more mid tempo riff this song still carries a lot of weight and intensity displaying that this act was very much still in the game.

Early menace in the record comes from the form of the whispered introduction before Chuck D is soon laying into an audience living out a hip hop lifestyle that is as much media invention as it is reality. Public Enemy never really got into the East Coast v West Coast nonsense, they were never gangsta and never pro-violence. As a result this generally made them the thinking man’s hip hop act.

“So Whatcha Gonna Do Now?” asks a lot of questions of the listener. I think the general tone of the song states that the band have matured and moved into a smarter place and now is the listener about to do so as well? Its all a very dark ride. Chuck D is going off.

Sinister horns beckon in the chorus the mantra of “rap, guns, drugs and money” gets thrown out as if it were a feasible reality. There is stench. More realistic however is “talking that Gat talk, walking that catwalk”. We see right through.

Following comes a more subtle “Drive By S##t” mix where the words are clearer even if the lessened backing is more hip. Said lessened backing then follows as an instrumental track. Not necessary.

The release ends with an airing of “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos”, their classic cut from six years earlier on It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. With it’s Isaac Hayes sample the inclusion of it here is somewhat curious. Was the intention to get it onto twelve inch vinyl? Was Chuck trying to comparing it to the work of now to question how far we have come (or rather not). At the end of the day there is no doubting the quality of the tune, only what it is doing here. Was Chuck envisaging an upcoming draft towards the Middle East?

Still it.

Thesaurus moment: clarity.

Public Enemy
Def Jam Recordings

Friday, October 19, 2007



I never quite jumped two footed into the post rock scene and as it gracefully mutated towards folk music and struck up some kind of middle ground hybrid I have to admit I found myself removed even further.

It is no secret that Papa M is one of the many recording aliases of Dave Pajo who cut his teeth early and deep as a member of Slint before later moving on to play with such heavyweights as Tortoise and Stereolab before taking a more curious step with Zwan and experiencing a whole different kind of ride at the hands of a real joker. A good experience I sense was no had by all.

On his own the music that Pajo produces is most graceful, taking guitar arrangements to a new place and combining modern and classical interoperations in a way that is both fruitful and pleasing. Cynicism aside this guy can drink from my canteen any day.

This is post-rock as chill out music, minimal and explicitly able to build a base for a smile in/on the listener.

It was one afternoon when walking through Leicester Square that I finally click with this record. With coffee in hand and my walk soundtracked by the pulsation of “Drunken Spree” not even the freaky sight of a shirtless man on a chilled October day could possibly ruin proceedings. This is “European Son” done the happy way. The menace and intensity maintains as there is no cumbersome posturing or negative ending attached to the show. It stands out.

This is a record that manages to climb the chancers of the ilk immediately displaying width and invention in the piece as “Roadrunner” serves to remind me of Boards Of Canada while “Arundal”, the track that bookends the record, is indeed the song from the Hamlet advert.

Despite its country picking “Plastic Energy Man” reminds me of “Can’t Find My Way Home” by Blind Faith. Later the voicemail checking of “Crowd Of One” makes for an equally evocative and intrusive despatching.

Ultimately this is a satisfying ride, not least for making it through the fourteen minute “I Am Not Lonely With Cricket” that swallows up the entirety of side three. Mammoth and maddening.

Now, just what is that mark on the sleeve of my copy?

Thesaurus moment: better.

Papa M
Dave Pajo interview
Drag City

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What I have been busy with:


That's right, nothing!!

Nothing out of the blue that is - except that a China manicurist pissed me off real bad yesterday!

The story begins with me doing hair extensions again (together with Kaykay), although I swore never to do it again because it made me lose so much hair!

The problem is... although my hair is long, it is just not long ENOUGH, and the price of the extensions was going to a new low of $1 per strand!!

$1 for someone to bind a bunch of real human hair to your damn head and make you gorgeous!

And according to the China lady (they are everywhere in the beauty industry, I tell you) who did the extensions, the real human hair they buy comes from poor ladies (or maybe men, I don't know) in China who sell their hair to pay for school fees and food, etc!!

I asked her if the hair is shaved off a corpse (si ren de tou fa, I said) and she looked at me as if scandalized and said it is impossible.

I asked her how she would know for sure, and she (rather annoyed) replied that she may not know THAT for sure, but she is quite certain that the mainland Chinese won't go shave off their freshly dead relatives' hair for money coz it is disrespectful!


Kaykay and I then continued to laugh and joke about the dead person's ghost confirm very annoyed that she is uglier than the rest of the ghosts coz she got no hair, and I concluded our highly intellectual discussion by saying that ghosts are ugly ANYWAY... not like with hair will look much better.

Imagine hor, if afterlife really exists and you look like how you were just at the end of your life, wouldn't you be super pissed off if you jumped off a building instead of taking sleeping pills to commit suicide?

I must keep that in mind if I ever wanna die.

Digressing even further, Mike says that he thinks that when people die, NOTHING happens.

When I asked him what he means, he asked me back, "Did you ever go under (general anesthesia)?"

I told him no (my nose job's one I was fully awake), and he said it is a really queer feeling, like you just stop being in existance.


Just a little part of your life was lived without you even knowing it.

You wake up later and that period when you were down is just a... blank.

Isn't it scary?

I told him that I am mortified of death because I think that when people die, their souls are trapped inside their immobile and dysfunctional bodies, just exactly like how we are when we sometimes get the "bei gui ya" (a Chinese saying meaning 'trapped under a ghost') feeling.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, sometimes, when you get really tired and you fall asleep, you wake up and you are actually conscious of your surroundings, but you just can't move your body!

Not a muscle. Well, I think its possible to like twitch your fingers but that's about it.

So you just sort of loll around in bed under you finally, with a might jerk, wake yourself up.

It's a terrible, terrible feeling and I HATE IT! I always get it when I take afternoon naps!

And what if after we die THAT happens? Except we can't even jerk ourselves awake ever again!

I wonder when in that state we can actually feel PAIN? You think? What if when we die (ie break our neck) we can completely feel pain but can't move or express it!!

OK I got to stop this topic and go back to hair extensions.

But why so many people claim to have seen ghosts but they never ask the ghosts what happens when people die ah?!

As I was saying, hair extensions are now $1!

Usually I'm very generous when it comes to fashion advice, but this time round I'm sorry that I can't tell you people where I went to do it, because the damn place is already super full usually and so many people are doing extensions now... if everyone also got super long hair then I won't be special anymore!!

I did 40 strands of ashy brown hair (exactly my shade!) and wanted to do 40 strands of blonde...

Then I saw another shade of blonde... instead of yellowish blonde it is ashy platinum blonde!!

I chose that one istead, and the girl told me that's a "highlight colour", which means it is $0.50 per strand!


In the end it only cost me $60 for the whole head!


You can't tell, but the hair like reaches my ass ok! When I sit down, the ends sweep my thighs!! And the quality of the corpse's hair is so much better than my own! Happy happy happy!!

... And the blonde and brown looks like peanut butter chocolate swirls... :)

So anyway, I went to do my nails at Bugis Village with my mom after I got the extensions right, and this was how the conversation went, in Chinese:

Me, to China manicurist: "Wow, you all should do hair extensions too... It's all the rage now."

CM: "Yeah, we are doing it. Didn't you see the signboard outside?"

Me: "Oh really? I just did mine yesterday! How much are you all charging?"

CM: "$5 per strand."

Me: "FIVE DOLLARS?!! I did mine for only $1!! The blonde coloured ones are even cheaper, 50 cents!"

CM: "Ours is 100% human hair."

... I fucking HATE it when people who way overprice their products try to say that their products are better than other people's with their stupid weak accusations that theirs is BETTER.

I MEAN FUCKING CMON. Nobody uses bloody synthetic hair for hair extensions ANYMORE lor! The plastic hairs all tangle up really bad and they just are horrible!

Defensively I told her that my extensions are 100% human hair too.

How do I know? Because plastic hair will melt with hair curlers, and I've curled my hair a bazillion times!

To my horror, the woman stopped filing my toenails and hooked a strand of my blonde hair with her finger to examine it.

"Hmm..." she said, spreading the strand out and studying its minute molecular structure. "Yours is not real... Surely has some fake hairs mixed into it."


I screamed at her, "Please stop doing that!"


Indignantly she took a poor broken piece of blonde hair in front of my face, and holding both ends of the hair, tugged ruthlessly at it to see how elastic it can be before breaking!!

"See... I think it's fake," she announced weakly, because the hair behaved exactly like how normal hair would behave.

She went back to doing my nails while I suppressed the urge to strangle her off her tiny stool.

Quite annoying lor!

Abrupt end of story.

Sorry I've been so absent... I've actually took photos of the Princess Room (finally it's ready) but they are not edited yet.

It's all facebook's fault! I'm officially hooked on it! And Ms ZS! I keep talking to you online for hours!!!

(Please DO NOT add me. I don't add people I don't personally know. That is, if you see me on facebook.)

Today I hu-ed Yao Jiu Da Pai!! Nan feng was my winning card!! Yi Wan, Jiu Tong, Hong Zhong, Nan Feng (my wind) and Bai ban (eye)!!

Yao Jiu Da Pai is add 2 doubles coz it is a special right?

6 doubles plus 1 animal and 1 flower outside - whoopee!!

Ok I just wanted to record that. This is my blog afterall lor.

Sunday, October 14, 2007



When this was released as the second single from Nevermind it sealed the deal on just what a great thing was happening. For anyone that was suspicious of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (which I think I have to admit I probably was) this was tamer song but no less weird or catchy, almost as if it came from under water. Here were sounds that I had never heard before or had anyone else of generation for that matter.

The intent of the song seemed to be to scream and celebrate individuality and to the lesser popular kids at school this was more than music to their ears, this was a clearer more defining anthem. It was a good look for people that looked bad.

With another beautifully turgid video in tow I remember one time watching MTV were the gormless host was quoting Kurt as saying that in order to get the unique guitar sound on this record he used piano strings in his guitar, the worst that he could find.

There was always less shouting attached to this record which I guess helped make it more accessible to the squares in addition to the slackers that just thought all the noise and aggression of Teen Spirit cried of too much effort.

Of course over the years we have all discovered “Eighties” by Killing Joke and the more than passing resemblance but there is no arguing what Nirvana did with the piece was a far superior effort.

When it comes to their single releases, this just might be the song that was their actual masterpiece.

Thesaurus moment: dunk.


Saturday, October 13, 2007



Recorded at the legendary CBGBs in New York in December 1993 this is actually a surprisingly solid and well recorded live set captured at a time when the band were not necessarily quite at the height of their powers or most in demand. Indeed on this night in question they weren’t even the headline band playing support to The Damned of all people.

This live recording represents one of those prized and rare moments of the live album ilk as it actually manages to capture the intensity of both the performance and the atmosphere in general. As the set carries on you can hear in the voice of Yow just how much he starts to lose patience with the crowd, often scolding them for their moronic behaviour.

“Glamorous” opens proceedings with its thunder punch blows and steady entry into the set. With each strum Duane Denison fires out a message of arrival to all the squashed New Yorkers in the toilet castle of punk.

“Please hold your apples to the end of the set.”

Even though it is only half of the Yow live experience on show his between song banter and apparent behaviour really exudes and makes this recording. As the incendiary version of “Dancing Naked Ladies” begins to pummel all in sight as the lumbering bass runs over ears like a harvester mowing a field Yow tops it all by screaming “I think I’m gonna fucking throw up.” That is how you introduce a song!

The man really is an Uncle Touchy as he later explodes at the audience in a hyper aggressive manner asking them why they are so violent (“Killer McHann”). This is the prettiest pot calling the crappiest kettle black.

The aural harassment and abuse is spread over a very strong fifteen song selection. The set really hits its stride as the dizzying magnificence of “Fly On The Wall” kicks off an unforgiving barrage of The Jesus Lizard “hits” as “Boilermaker” couples with “Puss” tears into proceedings full on even if the band don’t quite nail the latter (in my opinion live they never did or could).

Wheelchair Epidemic” beckons towards the end as “Monkey Trick” teases an ending out of the night and gets a final few licks in on the crowd (and vice versa).

This set will have blown The Damned off the stage.

I believe that there is a live video recording of this set also named “Show” but being pre-internet days there is very little information to be found although I do believe once reading about a guy saying how he used to rent it from his local video store and I am positive that I once saw one of the tracks from the video on an episode of Beavis And Butthead while they waxed lyrical over the bare-chested shenanigans of Mr Yow.

The world would be a better place if this were available on DVD.

Thesaurus moment: lost.

The Jesus Lizard

Friday, October 12, 2007



With an all star lineup there is something incredibly sumptuous about a compilation record beginning with a track by The Jesus Lizard followed by one from Shellac. In order to draw such an astounding set of artists you get the impression that the cause must be something worthy.

Lounge Ax was a music venue in Chicago that played a key role in hosting many of the cities legendary acts (many of whom were Touch And Go artists). It also featured prominently in the movie version of High Fidelity (for those curious enough to check it out on video). Unfortunately the venue experienced complaint and harassment from city officials when a new yuppie neighbour (NYN) moved into a condo behind the venue around January 95. As ever the squeaky wheel gets the grease and causes most trouble as after persistent complaint over noise the city and police begin to get heavy becoming sniffy over club licences and issuing penalty tickets when being called out to sight on nights of shows. In other words someone somewhere really hates noisy indie rock. With no end in sight for the problem (and no indication that it will be going away) the people at Touch And Go clubbed together to compile this record with view to assisting in covering the venue’s legal costs and its not seemingly forced relocation at the hand of one grumpy neighbour ruining it for everybody.

Here fourteen very cool and recognisable acts lend their wares to a cause close to their hearts in a manner that represents why the networks of US indie rock have often served as an exemplarily example of how to act.

Thankfully there is a distinct air of quality that comes with this collection as in the words of The Jesus Lizard effort it is “Uncommonly Good”.

The Shellac track is “Killers” which over the years has probably come to represent the best known contribution to this record as people over the years have gone to great lengths to search out their songs.

From here Sebadoh deliver a classically noisy number with “Whole Hog” before the clambering June Of 44 do their bass heavy take on Slint. June Of 44 is always good.

When Guided By Voices turn up it is with their wicked brand of disrupted pop that on this occasion sees them in quite a psychedelic mood with “Beneath A Festering Moon” that could quite happily originate from the same clouds as Sgt Pepper.

Bad Livers then bring bluegrass and country. Surely a yuppie neighbour would be partial to this. Seems not.

The ever reliable Yo La Tengo bring something unique and new to the record with a Theremin and saxophone laced noise workout a million miles removed from their potential harmonies and slick distortion. They live and breathe this shit.

Towards the end Tortoise threaten to steal the show as they supply a definite highlight with the delicate “Restless Waters” which lends a glimpse into the potential beauty of the area and the potential to surround all with goodness.

Rachel’s conclude the album as they do their string thing as if soundtracking the closing credits of a Hal Hartley movie in stirring if distracted fashion.

This is an album of width and girth, of many styles and voices all linked together by the essential social centres that are great venues in great cities which in this case was Lounge Ax.

LAx good. NYN bad.

Thesaurus moment: manifold.

Lounge Ax
Touch And Go

Thursday, October 11, 2007



There has been something a real void to indie rock since The Delgados went away, they may have been a bitch with many faces but they were something of a consistently great presence, not least for being an act that had so tangibly “made it”.

During those times Emma Pollock was something of an understated powerhouse, often looking as if she was holding more cards to the organisation than she was letting on. All in all which makes it a real pleasure to report how rewarding and fulfilling this single is.

Reminding me greatly of Tanya Donnelly, especially were she a big fan of keyboards, this slice of indie pop makes for a refreshing antidote in response to the current torrent of depressed downbeat lady angst female songwriters that are healthily shifting units at the moment.

On the flipside “A Glorious Day” is a more personal, solo affair perversely reminding me of Julie Delpy at the close of Before Sunset, a truly genuine (or genuinely true) song regarding yearning in the most sophisticated and dignified manner (in actuality a musical reading of a poem by an exterior influence).

As a precursor to the upcoming album this reason to be very excited for what lies ahead in the future.

Thesaurus moment: pleasant.

Emma Pollock

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I've got nothing to blog about!

Recently nothing made me angry!! Isn't it amazing? No horrible cab drivers, no rude service, nobody insulting me (excessively enough to create a reaction), no nothing!

And therefore, I've got nothing to complain about - and what is this blog without my various complains?!

Sigh... Never thought I'd have a problem with being perfectly happy.

Anyhow... PHOTOS!!

Qing qing and I shopping at Plaza Singapore before Kaykay joined us! There was this wall that was completely plastered a super girly wallpaper and I forced QQ to camwhore there. =)

How is it that I am more teen now than when I was a teen?!

Afterwards, we went to KTV!

I know I am wearing different clothes. That's because I changed into my newly bought M)phosis (however it is spelt) gold satin romper! It's damn cute lar!! Unfortunately, to pee you have to peel off the entire suit, which is fucking stupid.

Got those Good-Camera effect or not?? I specially blurred the background out, hehe...

Actually it is because I don't like Kelvin. Hate you for flying all the time!!

He is now in Shanghai and when he comes back he and QQ are going to jet off to JAPAN CAN?!?! I am so jealous!

Never mind. Speaking of trips, I just spent $2.2k on a plane ticket to USA to visit Mike's family.

Leaving on 11th of Dec. So long more. :(

Super expensive leh... I think plane tickets are super overpriced. The ride itself is not even fucking enjoyable, and it costs as much as a new laptop that you can use for years and years! But boh pian... that's the price lor.

CAN'T WAIT! I made Mike promise to bring me to Juicy Couture shops, and I'm gonna eat turkey and celebrate a real thanksgiving!!

Mike's mom also invited me to be in the family portrait taking... HOW SWEET IS THAT? Think I'd look very odd though, one Chinese in an all-angmoh family.

Sorry sorry... back to photos:

Kelvin very contented. If those two ever get married I'm so gonna demand a huge matchmaker's fee!

Dinner with high school friends... Ghim's birthday (way belated)!

Wong, Ghimz, me (in very vain pose)

Peiying and Xiaofeng

Mike came along too.

Coincidentally enough, when we were all in TCC, we saw more River Valley (secondary school) CLASSMATES! How weird is that?!

Different clique one la, but the girls of their clique were all sitting at a table drinking coffee together with one guy I didn't know.

After some customary exclamations of surprise and hellos, we sat down on a different table and Eekean casually announced to us, "Oh, did you all know Jessica is getting married? I think that one is her husband."

I sprayed my drink all over her, that is, if I had already ordered a drink.

Eekean acted like it was no big deal and she announces old secondary school classmates' wedding news every other day.


She's getting married next JANUARY!!


(btw Jess, congrats hor!)

It is just sooooooo weird to think of your old friends (remember when I knew her she was 15) having sex and doing adult things like filing taxes or getting married!!

To my horror, when I told everyone that I think it's very weird to see your secondary school friends getting married, everyone told me that this is happening to them too, and it is not that weird what, the girls our age are getting close to marriage age anyway blah blah blah... To top it all off, QQ added that her friends (22) are indeed all seemingly pregnant.

I'm getting fucking old leh!

In 2 years' time I will be having my ten-year reunion with my sec 3 and 4 classmates, and by that time Jessica would probably be bringing her new baby along with her... *gasp*

Soooooo weird.

I guess people would think it's weird to see me too... Nose job and all. And if anyone in my class were to venture a guess to who will date an angmoh in future, I doubt anyone will choose me.

I looked woefully at Mike and told him to marry me fast so that I can be the first in our class to get married leh, but he don't want. Only like $25 and one trip to ROM also wanna giam.

Or is it like $15? Getting married in Singapore very cheap leh.

I got invited to go on the DHL BALLOON!

It's so sad, the balloon might be forced to close down/relocate! So go on it before it ends! It's $23 per ride I think.

That's cheap, considering the helium inside the balloon costs $60,000! Mad hor?

I like DHL and all, but wouldn't it be nice if some pink brand was sponsoring the balloon instead? Like, like, DIOR... OR maybe a sleek black Chanel balloon... WOOHOO!

I can almost smell the bin

Me and baby

Red and Yellow...

Macdonalds also red and yellow... Courts and Ikea are yellow and blue... If I had a brand it would be baby pink and tan (like colour of light brown satin) or baby pink and pale blue-green... Mmmm...

I am so totally blogging out my nonsensical thoughts.


It's so fun!

The balloon went super high up...

Our view

Happy angmoh

Held up from our plunging deaths only by these

"MARRY ME," I shout... "OR I'LL JUMP!" Mike ignored me.

With Clara, my poly classmate...

who just so happens to be friends with the PR guy who invited me, Jonathan.

With Jonathan this time

I bought a new set of MJ tiles, table, chips and dice!


Behold the chioness:

They sold this baby pink plastic mat thing you pin onto the table... Only $7 lor! Too bad the table can't be prettier.

The dice are glittery gold!

The diminutive lady selling the MJ products let me choose the chips as well, so I have grey and pink chips with a baby pink "Qi Zhuang" pointer!

The tiles are baby pink and looks like marshmallows.

The girls are all very happy with the chio set!

In total, this costs $106... Before I even play I already lose so much lor!

To my horror, after playing numerous games with this set, you know what?


It has been like what, at least 10 rounds of MJ played?


Scary or not?! I'd say that I win and lose perhaps 50-50 usually... maybe win more often than losing even, but with this set of mahjong it is 100% losing rate!

It is beginning to make me quite hate it. I get super grumpy every time I play at home lor, coz the cards are always, without fail, fucking shitty.

Oh well, at least I don't have to take $20 cab rides back home anymore when people come over to play... :(

And stop laughing at my satin home shorts! They are very comfy and perfect PJs.

Back in Teban

Momo's moving, and in transition she has to stay with my aunt, whose house was not convenient for Cloudy, so we had to give him away to my mom's friend... :(

Don't judge him, he just had his hair all shaved off! Usually he is very fluffy and cute.

I'll miss you Cloud Cloud!!

He is just the best dog ever... He never barks, and whenever you call him he'd just jump up your knee and rest there. :'(

My mom's says she is packing, but it seems she is just messing the place up! haha

Momo with Cloudy

Me with my delinquent brother

After dinner with my family I went to meet Kel and the rest.

Timmy posing with my favourite Island Creamery ice cream...

He is working there part-time, so girls, if you wanna know him just go to Great World City, eh?

Palut Hitam!

Black glutinous rice! You know that coconuty dessert? It tastes exactly like the dessert except it's an ice cream!


Thus ends the weird a-spot-of-monochrome pictures.

At Weili's place for dinner, where we spent a good hour just laughing at celebrities on President's Star Charity.

Is it very mean to think that parents to who choose to give birth to a retarded child (knowing he is retarded to begin with) don't deserve much sympathy? I personally think abortion would be kinder to the kid than to make him live a half-fucked life where he is so different from the rest of society.

Random photo of my current favourite shorts: $10 pink satin shorts with ribbon side-tie!! :D

And I shall end off this blog entry with pictures of my new dye-job!!

Went to bleach blonde highlights at KIMAGE. They always do my hair right!

It has been SO LONG since I had light hair... I don't know why, but seeing my hair light just makes me really happy! I think I'm innately blonde.

Now don't give me that crap about me acting angmoh! Nobody praised me for acting like my race when I dyed my hair black recently either!

I'm not trying to be like a bloody caucasian - it is just that I like looking different from everyone else, and also that I sincerely think blonde is the nicest hair colour. :)

That's it!

Next entry: My best buys ever.


New episodes are up!

Xiaxue's Guide to Life

You think there is only one way to wear your bikini? I think NOT!

Girls should all watch this and pick up a new trick. :)

News Asia on the Net

Debbie Wong and Howard Lo discuss big boobs and a soy sauce bottle being stuck up somebody's ass in this crazy episode. :D

Go watch them!