Friday, November 30, 2007

THEE HEADCOATS – PUNK ROCK IST NICHT TOT (FRIENDS OF THE BUFF MEDWAY FANCIERS ASSOCIATION)

THEE HEADCOATS – PUNK ROCK IST NICHT TOT (FRIENDS OF THE BUFF MEDWAY FANCIERS ASSOCIATION)

Seemingly intent and destined to leave ringing in the most militant punk of ears “Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot” is a stand out Billy Childish number as he leans towards a more Stooges like direction picking away at the lower strings and successes of his instrument.  With a gut reaction, this is “I Wanna Be Your Dog” without the sleigh bells and cunnilingus.

As ever sounding scolding Childish snaps out his latest barrage of aggressive tone and instruction as he hardly exhibits any degree of appreciation for this existence of this song and its form.  He hasn’t done so bad from punk but he hasn’t done so great either.

If you have not already guessed from the title this is a surface level scathing attack on punk rock, which at this time in history (circa 2000 and since) does feel like something of a soft target for him to be baiting and abusing.  Then again punk rock is something that’s mutated into a multi million pound/dollar industry for some while others just have not got their taste.  As with life in general there has been a poverty gap born out of this movement being molested and ultimately it has rendered it no good (nicht tot).  Perhaps he was just feeling bitter the day that he authored the song, maybe a large bill came through the door.

This is a much better Thee Headcoats single than usually comes down the line.  While there is no questioning Childish’s ability as a guitar player there is slight frustration with the manner in which he executes his muse as lo-fi speed garage usually rules the roost and backs his latest niggle and rant.  This song is altogether a different beast, slowly paced and played way down the frets.  As I said, it’s born to leave ringing in the ears.

One of their best songs ever.

Thesaurus moment: pop.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

MUDHONEY – SUCK YOU DRY (REPRISE)


MUDHONEY – SUCK YOU DRY (REPRISE)

This is a fucking blistering track which was probably the first Mudhoney song that “normal people” heard in real time (in other words the first single released by the band after grunge went postal).

It opens with a tambourine rattle which in a few split seconds builds beautiful anticipation before a particularly farty grunge guitar from Steve Turner begins unloading a major gallop as Mark Arm calls out the audience offering up the opportunity for them to lose their shit.

In many ways this is the perfect (and the best) Mudhoney track as everyone is playing to their fullest potential at a pace seldom achieved by the band. Then just two and half minutes later it is gone, far from having outstayed its welcome.

Other than seeing the video on 120 Minutes one Sunday night, my most vivid memory of this track was when I played it on the train to a girl called Claire that I fancied back in 1993. She made comment “its pretty obvious what that song is about” in reference to repeated reference to sucking. Yikes, it hadn’t even occurred to me.

From here the release comes accompanied by further bolts of energy in the form of “Deception Pass”, “Over The Top” and “Underide”. “Over The Top” is particularly notable for being a Motorhead cover that Mudhoney completely make their own. “Underide” is an equally curious ride that feels like the soundtrack to drunken confessional telephone conversation made on a mobile while behind the wheel of a car. This is reckless stuff.

Thesaurus moment: charge.

Mudhoney
Reprise

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

THE KNACK – MY SHARONA (CAPITOL)

THE KNACK – MY SHARONA (CAPITOL)

As far as the history of one hit wonders goes this single finds itself sat on top of the throne.  “My Sharona” is just basically a very good song that coasts the good side of both new wave and pop without being compromised by either.

From the off it flies with a thumping stomp that immediately skewers its claws into the mind’s ear.  With this it causes the heart to pound quicker and the foot of the listener begins to tap.  Within a matter of seconds this song is already familiar, stuck in the memory bank and almost impossible not to respond healthily to.  Then the singer opens his mouth and it almost sounds like Devo.  And suddenly this just might be the greatest song from the end of seventies.

I have always wondered why The Knack only had one song.  Was it a fluke that this single was so good?  Was their entire premise a façade, were they only pretending to be a new wave band?  Looking into their history it would seem an immediate backlash based around accusations of being Beatles copyists and writing songs about teenage girls killed their career.  Indeed listening to the flipside “Let Me Out” proves a decent experience as it is a more than passable song in the style of say Redd Kross with those Devo like vocals.  In other words they were over too soon.

In modern culture the song has always resonated, not least during the interview in the Nirvana video Live Tonight Sold Out where Dave Grohl compares “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to “My Sharona”.  Obviously the initial reaction is to scoff but then given some thought the comparison isn’t quite so wild.  Likewise the appearance of the song in Reality Bites saw some kind of Generation X acknowledgement and appreciation as Winona Ryder and Janeane Garofalo danced like fools in a petrol station to the song while Ethan Hawke just stood slack and cool denying himself the power of the music.

It would appear that The Knack were a decent band.

Thesaurus moment: premature.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

TEENAGE FANCLUB – AIN’T THAT ENOUGH (CREATION RECORDS)


TEENAGE FANCLUB – AIN’T THAT ENOUGH (CREATION RECORDS)

Unfortunately for me this represented the band having something of an off day, of the band really putting the fanny into Teenage Fanclub and serving as the first chink in the armour for a very long time. That said when a band is liked as much for its personality as it is for its music such things tend to be soon forgiven and an effort will be made to enjoy such a record. Not necessarily by me however.

For me the lyrics sound a bit too childish here for me. I think it is the point where they go prattling on about “toy town feeling” that most exhibits this worst. No such thing, no such place. By this stage the harmonies of the piece have already softened its emotional clout and using such imagery and terminology it suddenly feels like a full on regression is the order of the day. This almost sounds more like The Byrds than The Byrds did, the harmonies are high but they are not hard.

One day I will definitely revise this opinion.

Things thankfully improve as their cover of “Femme Fatale” follows lending something of a much needed nastiness to proceedings as they impressively add a male touch to Nico’s vocals. It is actually surprisingly far removed from the sound of the Velvet Underground but very successful in its characterisation as the band expertly paint it in their colours. Quite frankly this would have served better as the lead track.

The CD comes to a close with the track “Jesus Christ” which is a pretty unnerving song to be following such a cover and in general coming from such a formerly noisy band. Unsurprisingly penned by Alex Chilton and originally by Big Star this sounds like an all too formulaic run out for the band, one that really does not served them well. Choices made both good and bad.

Thesaurus moment: hiccup.

Teenage Fanclub

Monday, November 26, 2007

HOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW?!?!?!?!

I think I've suddenly lost my ability to bloggggggggggg!!!

I don't have anything interesting happening to me recently that doesn't involve the privacy of other people (which means I can't blog about it), and my life has settled into a flat boring plateau of comfort.

OKOK I know...

I shall blog about my (closer) girlfriends!!


Here's their birthdays:


MARCH

Kaykay: March 11th

Eileen: March 8th



APRIL

Qing qing: April 2nd

Shuyin: April 19th

Huifen: April 23rd

Gillian: April something (it's not stated on her facebook -_-)


JUNE

June: June 1st

Rosalyn: June 20th

Wanyi: June 21st

Eekean: June 21st



FUNNY HOR?! It appears I can like my girls to be either from the star signs Pisces, Aries, Taurus or Gemini!

Of course I have other female friends who didn't fall in these signs but I guess I'm not that close to them as those mentioned here.

My female friends are all mostly born in the first half of the year, and almost all my closer guy friends are born in the second half (with the exception of maybe Ming)...

I wonder if the astrology horoscope shit works, or maybe it's just a coincidence? Do people who have their birthdays close to each other tend to have similar traits?

Do your friends have birthdays all close to each other?

Food for thought.

Speaking of food, I'm now fucking fat! I'm like 45kg, which is a 2 or 3 kg disparity from my usual of 42/43, and I'm telling you that 45kg is fucking fat for my height!!

CCB.

I saw Shuyin yesterday and she is DAMN skinny lor! I can see her ribcage all! She went to Shanghai and thought she'd binge there so she asked the doctor for appetite suppressant pills, and in the end she didn't binge in Shanghai so she now looks like a chopstick lor...

I told Mike my intentions to go get those pills too, and to my surprise he told me he also has those pills and he got them for his first trip to Singapore when he was super scared that I would think he is fat!

So just now, I ate a pill, and kuku bird! It doesn't work lor!

According to both Shuyin and Mike, the pills are supposed to:


- Increase your heartbeat rates (coz metabolism increases)

- Give you insommia (very unfortunate side-effect)

- Obviously make you not crave for food



Not only did I fall asleep on my bed 2 hours later (took a short nap) with an indifferently beating heart, I woke up to raving hunger pangs (at 2 am when I ate a full dinner at 8pm) and ate 8 egg tofus and 4 deep-fried spring rolls (which I cleverly ta bao-ed from Kelvin's bdae catering).

WHY DOESN'T IT WORK FOR ME!??

I'm super upset lor!

Am I destined to use photoshop to lose weight for the rest of my life??



At that rate of eating no wonder fat...


*****************


I know what else I can blog about!

I shall blog about typical reader comments which pissed me off recently...

I'm not quoting them word for word but these are the essential meanings to what they said:

1) You can lie about staying in a condo but I know you are not! Your room's layout is exactly the same as mine, and I stay in a HDB flat! And your princess room is so small, it can't be a condo.

.........

Excuse me, but why would I lie about staying in a dumbass condo? It's just a two-room condo in the very end of Singapore - it's not bloody Beverly Hills, so the puny bit of prestige is not even worth my effort to lie.

I've openly told everybody before that I used to stay in a 3-room flat in Teban Gardens, the armpit of Singapore, so why would I have a change of character and decide to lie about my lodgings?

It really pisses me off when people accuse me of things due to their own stupid ridiculous presumptions. Pisses me off even more when other stupid people believe these stupid people!

I'm sorry that your room is the size of my Princess Room, but I'd like to inform you that the "Princess Room" is only one-half of the rather large master bedroom...

Ok this is going nowhere.


2) I can't believe we are paying you but you are still not blogging after so long!


PAYING?

You mean like giving me MONEY?

SHUT THE FUCK UP, BITCH.


When did you ever pay me ANY money at all?

All you did was to read this site due to your own boredom/kpo-ness, and I DON'T OWE YOU ANY-FUCKING-THING.

If you don't like my tardiness in blogging, just fuck off, will ya?

I hope you get herpes.



3) Mike hasn't left you yet?


Nope... If he ever does I'll be sure to write about it, so you all can gloat and be marginally happier than what you usually are... because your own life is so miserable and sad. Sucks to be you, huh?


4) You (and Qihua) totally look like prostitutes blah blah blah.


Oh wow, you are SUCH AN INSULT GENIUS! I said I was mistaken for a hooker, and therefore, the insult you should say is that I do look like a hooker!

*roll eyes* Oh my, I am so hurt!

I don't care if you think I look like a hooker.

Girls would say that because they are incapable of dressing up like Qihua and I did, or even if they did, it would look shitty coz they are butt-plug ugly.

Guys would say that because they know that hooker-resembling or not, girls like Qihua and I would never fuck them, and it makes them bitter to see self-confident, vain girls.

That's why I always say, ugly people with self-esteem issues are the most annoying.


5) You are so ugly next to Qihua. You are so fat and fake and she is so pretty and natural.


When I told Qihua about this comment, she laughed and said she'd like to tell you guys that she has on eyelash extensions, hair extensions and of course make-up, so what's there to be so "natural" about?

I think it is very ludicrous that these unknown netizens have the nerve and audacity to comment on famous people's looks, because you are probably a sad, timid low-life in real life who would never even dare to speak to me.

Am I right? Would you tell me in my face that I am ugly, and not have me not have the immediate ready retort that you are hideous yourself?


I also don't care that you think Qihua is prettier than me, which she is... and there is nothing much I can do about that, unless I splash some concentrated acid on her face, which I won't because if she turns ugly she'd stop being so vain and I'd like her less.

What's your point in making an obvious comment like that? Are you trying to hurt me? Ruin friendships, perhaps?

It won't work, coz I only care that Mike thinks I'm hot and that I think I'm hot, so those two are satisfied and thus, nothing else really matters! :)

I understand the pleasure of insulting me though, because let's face it, if tomorrow Britney Spears has a blog too, I'd love to insult her and know that I am important enough to make someone as famous as Britney feel hurt.

Me, insignificant Wendy, managed to evoke emotions in the famous Britney Spears!

Complimenting someone is uncool and probably won't get you any attention; insults on the other hand might get you a reaction and not only seems outspoken and brave, but also sort of praises yourself at the same time (ie saying someone is stupid is also saying you are cleverer than that person)!

Insults are the no-brainer choice.

Whatever, dudes.


**************


Some photos I edited sorta for facebook.

Kaykay and I dressed up as Fafi!!

You won't believe how vain we are lor... We were du lan that we missed Halloween (and a chance to dress up), so one day, I just decided to jio Qihua to come over and take photos and she did... bringing with her an entourage of wigs, socks, and even a box of candy canes and a purple puff for what she called "props".







Lookit! My crazily thick eyelash extensions that have lasted for more than 2 weeks now! Never drop at all!! Call Carragheen at 68849924 if you wanna do too. There are different types of lashes (from $62 to $130) so if you want mine make sure you let them know you want Xiaxue's lashes.





Matchy matchy socks we bought in HK













I'm not including Kaykay's individual shots coz I want more attention on me, thanks! (at least I admit it lor...)

Random shots:





With Mike... in the second pic he took me out for fine(ish) dining! Which is very uncharacteristic of him... I love you bb!!



With my smelly bff



Me, photoshopped to death

Please don't ask me where I bought my colour contacts hor! You'd be horrified (and rather impressed) to know that I DID NOT WEAR CONTACTS AT ALL.

The light brown colour is purely done by photoshop. :D

Li hai or not! Just goes to show you can't trust any photo online at all!

In Norway ~ One in five children have experienced violence from the mother. The Minister concerned.

This is a Google English translation from the Norwegian original located here.


Some sections of the translation may cause you to howl in laughter but that's the way it is with quick and easy translations. The conclusions moms were more violent than dads befuddles the participants and they offer the usual rationalization of mom having more contact and women learning from dad who beats mom. What a bunch of gibberish. 


In the USA increased contact was debunked and when comparing apples to apples i.e. single moms with single dads the same result of mom being more violent with the children was apparent. I think we would find the same result the world over if statistical gathering agencies broke out the perps in finer detail. For example in Canada the agency responsible refuses to break males  down into biological fathers, boyfriends in residence, step dads, brothers, uncles. If they did this I would posit we would find moms are the most violent with their children and some of the male perps are quite likely going to be boyfriends and step dads acting as proxies for the mom. Biological dads are the least likely to be harming or killing their children other than in these murder-suicides that get massive publicity and are used to slander all dads.MJM

by Kristine Hovda

  


- Taken as a whole, it is evident that the mother turns more often than the father, "said Svein Mossige. Along with Kari Stefansen la NOVA-researcher Friday presented a report on the extent of physical violence and abuse of Norwegian children and adolescents. And the findings are dramatic.
 

Subjects
child violence

Oslo, Norway

ad


• 20 percent have experienced violence from mother
• Mother athlete aggravated assault as often as the father
• Violence from the mother experienced bad for kids


Most violence from mother
In total, 20 percent of the children experienced violence from the mother, against 14 per cent from the father.

16 percent of girls and 14 percent of boys reported that they were exposed to mild violence from the mother. The corresponding figures from the father was nine per cent among both boys and girls. Six percent of girls had experienced serious violence, and the mother was as much violence as the athlete's father. For boys the figure was four and five percent for violence, respectively, mother or father.

- There may be several reasons for this. One is that women often are eneforsørgere than men, and often it is also so that the mother is more with their children than the father is, "said Mossige.

Increases suicide risk
The survey also shows that children get the most problems when the violence comes from the mother.

Aggravated assault from the father led to an increased risk for eating disorders, anxiety and dissociation, while aggravated assault from mother found an increased risk of suicide attempts.

Violence Researcher Ragnhild Bjørnebekk believes the findings are startling.

- We have a notion that the mother is the loving person that protects and safeguards the children's needs. When the mother turns, it may be experienced even more dramatic than when the father does, "says Bjørnebekk. She gets support from Ingeborg Vea in association Adults Child.

- This is very surprising reading. But it might have a connection with that we do not like to think that the mother turns, "she says.

Older children believe the subject is very taboo in Norway.

- There are a lot of shame attached to the mother turns and we see that it is difficult for people to say so, "said Vea.

Stressed women
Bjørnebekk believes the findings are different from other research on family violence.

- In Sweden, has concluded that it is usually the father who beats. But we must also see this in the context of changing social groups in society, "she says.

Swedish studies have shown that women with higher education beats more than before.

- It's possible we could see it in the context of that people have a more stressful life than before, "she says.

The researcher also believes there may be something in the myth that the father beats the mother, and mother beats child.

- Prolonged pressure and stress on the mother can decrease the threshold for the exercise of physical violence, "she says.

Female violence increases
At the same time other research shows that more and more women are using physical violence.

- We have seen an increase ii recorded violence among girls from the 1980s to today. The proportion of women in prisons is increasing, and we see more anti-social women. I do not know if there is a connection between this and domestic violence, but we have to investigate more, "she says.

In 2004 Hilde Pape published a research report about violence in the relationship, showing that women as often as men resort to violence.

- Kvinnevold is very taboo and traumatized, and we feel a part mørketall. It has been difficult to reveal the facts, for violence research has until now mainly been about men, "says Pape.

Violence Researcher Sidsel Natland has done research on girls and violence. She warns against the tendency that girls are more violent, will increase when the mother turns.

- Violent girls often come from homes where the father beats. But if young girls also learn from the mother that violence is legitimate, it's serious, "she says.

- Not acceptable
Svein Mossige believes it must work with the attitude changes, especially when it comes to mild violence against children.

- The inquiry, we see that physical violence, whether it is mild or serious, set its mark in the children who experience it. And it is not always the parents themselves are able to distinguish between what is mild or serious violence, says the researcher. He reacts to the proposals in the media recently that the rice and slap on the ass is fine in the upbringing.

- Our study shows that mild violence is relatively widespread, and that such violence can have adverse effects on those who experience it, "says Mossige.

Ombudsman Reidar Hjermann think it is very unfortunate that violence against children is presented as fine.

- When celebrities like Carl I. Hagen and Labor Party politician Aslam Ahsan is presented in the media and the defense of rice on her ass, gives the go-ahead to the cruelty of children. It is very serious, "he says. Hjermann do not think that more equality in the home will solve the violence problem.

- It may cause the mother turns smaller, but remains to be seen whether the father is going to turn more. We need to convey to parents that violence against children leads to the opposite of what we want, namely, children who take good choices based on what they believe is right and wrong, "he says.

- No excuses
Ministry of Children and Equality Manuela Ramin-Osmundsen said the findings from the NOVA-report really should arouse concern.

- We see that the mother often gets much of the responsibility for raising children, and in some situations it may be too much. There is still no excuse for resorting to violence. One can never excuse violence against children, "she says.

Now, the minister strengthen the competence of family offices, and that teaches students and educators learn more about detecting when children are exposed to violence.

- There is little awareness in the education course on violence against children, but it is imperative that those who are closest to the children have knowledge about this, "said Osmundsen.
 
Published Monday, 26.11.2007 kl. 08:30, oppdatert 09:46

Sunday, November 25, 2007

THE DAMNED – LOVE SONG (CHISWICK)

THE DAMNED – LOVE SONG (CHISWICK)

The Damned were a strange band that managed to straddle a number of genres through their career and thus managed to elongate what could otherwise have been quite the limited lifespan.

“Love Song” is a blunt, sarcastic sounding gesture.  The band were punk but looked goth so such lyrical sentiments do not necessarily sit comfortably with their shtick.  Their music didn’t appear to carry the intellect of the torchbearers of the movement but with its hooks and thug chorus chants their appeal was not limited but such deviations.

Released in 1979 after they had left Stiff Records and taken from their third album Machine Gun Etiquette this single actually saw the band making their debut appearance on Top Of The Pops.

Listened to from a 21st century perspective it feels slightly tame.  With bass playing that sounds like it maybe about to fall apart at any moment it rumbles with something of a Motorhead motion as it all gets delivered at a Ramones pace.  There is no questioning the hook of the piece but time does expose the basic playing involved and slightly one dimensional delivery of the song.  In other words time has not been kind.

That aside The Damned were powerful forerunners and for this their work must be valued and appreciated at a time when younger and more cynical ears hold it within their means to tear their material apart.

There was a reason why this band played on The Young Ones.

Thesaurus moment: regard.

Friday, November 23, 2007

SPOON – THE WAY WE GET BY (12XU)

SPOON – THE WAY WE GET BY (12XU)

For the longest time Spoon were the best kept secret in alternative rock as they consistently put out strong release after release without too much in the way of fanfare that might serve to ruin their spirit or allow it all to go to their heads.  In many ways they were the perfectly formed unit.

This EP was released in the UK on the 12XU label run by Gerard Cosloy with the name obviously borrowed from the Wire song title.  With such a name it conjures up a post-punk sensibility which is a movement/bracket I guess Spoon could fit into (a band having taken their own name from a Can album) but ultimately their output is much more tuneful, possibly even leaning towards to pop in its execution.  Theirs is a very adult sound in an Elvis Costello manner.

“The Way We Get By” is one of the band’s stand out numbers.  With its playful key opening it boasts a sense of swing that is sadly so allusive in modern guitar music, this is classic stuff.  Then it lurches forward into motion.  By the time it reaches the chorus the listener is sold as the desperation of the piece resonates while accompanying personal victory.

This has always been a stand out Spoon tracks being one that relies so heavily on the piano line.  Personally for me it hit hardest when suddenly it appeared on the soundtrack of Stranger Than Fiction.  This was a very emotional time for me as it was a movie I was watching on an early date with a girl I had high hopes for so obviously it came at a moment when I was becoming thoroughly wrapped up in proceedings.  In the end though this song remains with me long after said lady has left my life.

Elsewhere stacked on the release are six live radio performances in addition to three music videos that you are unlikely to see on MTV.

The radio performances originate from four sessions recorded in 2001 and 2002 at stations in both the UK and America.  Included are covers of The La’s “I Am The Key” (albeit not a great song) and the great “Me And The Bean” by lesser known band The Sidehackers.  The pick of the bunch is the breezy drive through of “Anticipation”.

This is a great band no doubt.  Don’t let the crow on the cover mislead you.

Thesaurus moment: ripe.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

GIL SCOTT-HERON – PIECES OF A MAN (FLYING DUTCHMAN/RCA)

GIL SCOTT-HERON – PIECES OF A MAN (FLYING DUTCHMAN/RCA)

The debut studio album from Gil Scott-Heron is a magnificent piece of work.  It is an album that shits many gears and surfs several genres as it crosses streams to capture Scott-Heron at the height of his powers, at the most meaningful with his words.

Recorded and released in 1971 the album of eleven songs is as strong a debut as anybody, comparable and equal to most milestone records in black music history.  Even though his dad played for Celtic here was (and is) a performer heavily entrenched in political dissent serving as both an informer and trailblazer.

It opens with “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” which remains his most famous song.  Often considered one of the first rap songs (definitely a prototype) over the years it has served as inspiration to thousands (maybe even millions) it pounds like an elephant as Scott-Heron’s voice booms over proceedings.  This song is sharp and blunt all at the same time, explicitly name checking so much that were wrong with the times while acting as some kind of wakeup call to his public (the black public) in an attempt to address the issues that were going unreported in the media.  In the past my friends and I have laughed out loud at the sheer velocity of the track, the determination in the delivery is to be truly admired.  This is the toughest song to ever feature jazz flute and easily up there with the best album openers in the history of music.

From here the record maintains a high standard.  High on stirring emotions Scott-Heron covers so many important issues of the day in addition to offering escapism and some kind of option for his listeners caught in similar positions and situations.

It doesn’t take long for the album to deliver another solid as “Lady Day And John Coltrane” resembles one of the most upbeat and optimistic songs in the trough of history.  In essence only a song about his favourite music, its sentiments are akin to “Rubber Ring” by The Smiths but delivered in a much more assertive manner than suggests a more positive and cathartic outcome in the power of music.  Suddenly Scott-Heron is not only performer but also fan and listener, very much at one with the listener as he expresses the importance of music in selfless fashion.  It’s a glorious song.

The tone swings again as “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” tells the story of drug addiction and its impact on home life.  This was urban ahead of its time.  The voice being expressed is somewhat autobiographical exhibiting a rare degree of conscience in much and a real earnest attitude, almost confession.  Again there is something exhilarating and oddly upbeat with the way in which this is delivered.  The music is heart stopping as you sense the protagonist nearing home and where issues most raise their head.

The title track is a devastating croon laced with pain.  It is the most succinct telling of how life can break a man and tear apart families that you are ever likely to hear.

With this the album is filled out by songs of optimism and such as “When You Are Who You Are” prior to returning to a sense of pummelling realism via “A Sign Of The Ages”.  It is quite the emotional rollercoaster with it’s author laying everything on the line.

Towards the end “Or Down You’ll Fall” smacks with the chorus “the world is just a simple circle, you got to keep turning” which serves to warn and inspire all at the same time.  Its just a smart message.

It concludes with the almost ten minute “The Prisoner” which is the most avant jazz piece of the record.  With its piano drops it features Scott-Heron at his most reflective while sending out another message to his audience to not fall make the mistakes he has over the course of his, at the time, brief journey so far.  He describes an example of his people’s struggle and plight, of being stuck in vicious routine lacking the social mobility to climb out of the situation and the blues that arise from.  This is addressing what I call the great lie.  All in all it ensures the album does not end with a false dawn.  There is only so much optimism to be taken from the world and sadly it is not necessarily where the ending and solution lie.

To be rediscovered year after year after year.

Thesaurus moment: time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

PUBLIC ENEMY – MUSE SICK-N-HOUR MESS AGE (DEF JAM RECORDINGS/COLUMBIA)


PUBLIC ENEMY – MUSE SICK-N-HOUR MESS AGE (DEF JAM RECORDINGS/COLUMBIA)

The fifth Public Enemy studio record is one that holds up better with time more than a person would be forgiven to expect. And this arrives after the blatant handicap the album carries with the glaringly awful title. Chuck D would have been wise to have just called it “Music And Our Message”. That rolls off the tongue.

Release in 1994 it very much reflects a sense of disillusion with the art, of a form that has been mutated into something no longer empowering to its audience but instead many ways stifling. The band never really got caught up in the whole Gangsta nonsense that overwhelmed and for a while engulfed hip-hop in the nineties but in the lyrics spat from Chuck D he certainly addressed it. Flavor Flav wasn’t quite a reality TV star just yet.

It doesn’t take long for the record to pummel you like a sledgehammer. From the off the Bomb Squad is weaving chilling samples and new beacons/sirens to provide a latest wake up call for the listener. If there was any suspicion or suggestion that PE were mellowing out it wasn’t going to happen without a fights (that debatably came with He Got Game).

The show opens with “Whole Lotta Love Goin’ On In The Middle Of Hell” which lives up to its name as an incendiary sonic build up sees D and Flav burst onto proceedings at the 1:50 mark in explosive fashion. “The beginning of the end of an era”, this was not optimistic stuff.

Soon the first single from the album arrives in the form of the playful “Give It Up” complete with wacky video, Flavour declarations and laidback guitar line amongst the deep bass beats. Again D serves with major flow offering a necessary option to the listener.

Things remain visceral on tracks such as “Bedlam 13:13” and “Hitler Day” and certainly the second single “So Whatcha Gonna Do Now?” packs plenty of punch. The “Whites Lines” and A Tribe Called Quest nods held in “Race Against Time” suggest some kind of leaning and yearning towards a previous period. Unfortunately it then cannot be denied that things become a bit plodding partway through, not least on tracks such as “Aintnuttin Buttersong”. It all feels a tad self-defeating. Perhaps ultimately aiming for twenty-one tracks was in the end a bit too ambitious.

This record may not have made the ripples of their earlier albums but that was nothing down to the quality of the material.

Thesaurus moment: still.

Public Enemy
Def Jam Recordings

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

VARIOUS – THE SOUNDS MACHINE EP 1 (SOUNDS)


















VARIOUS – THE SOUNDS MACHINE EP 1 (SOUNDS)

Dating from 1988 and originally given away free with Sounds magazine (ask your parents) this four song seven inch is a pretty stark display of where alternative music was at in the late eighties and the extreme gulf there appeared to be comparing the United Kingdom with the United States.  The fact that one side is taken up by The Mission while the US side manages to squeeze in the Throwing Muses, Pixies and Dinosaur Jr just displays who was taking quality over quantity more seriously.

The Mission track (a live version of “Shelter From The Storm”) is as to be expected even though it begins with John Paul Jones joining them onstage to, I guess, add more bass guitar to proceedings.  Taking in its grey Goth legacy I would say though that this music for the time I would imagine to be more MTV and radio friendly that what is/was coming on the other side.  Ultimately it sounds bloated, sounds like The Cult.

Sounding more streamlined and generally more exciting, unsurprisingly the three American bands blow their British counterpart away on this occasion.  I’m probably biased by nature but there truly is no competition here.

The suitably named “Mania” sees Throwing Muses galloping through a live version of their contribution at a hectic rate that sounds straight from the prairie, complete with vocal warbles.  Not their finest moment.  More inspiring is the live version of “Hey” from the Pixies which has always been one of their true slow delights prior to flipping its wig and firing off.

Finally Dinosaur Jr close proceedings with the suitably scrappy and slack filled contribution of “Throw Down” that is semi acoustic and inhabited by the trademark J Mascis drawl that barely clocks in at a minute (if that).  Some things never changed.

America beat us.

Thesaurus moment: moment.

Sounds

Friday, November 16, 2007

How do young people communicate nowadays? It's ridiculous.

I remember the era when I used to write tomorrow as tomolo (in fact, embarrassingly visible during the start of my blogging days) but the kids nowdays are just completely mad can?

Junne was telling me about how they speak on msn:

Junne:
iie, eeu, gort, wib, lorrs,issh --> are these even words?
they're jus sounds. gosh.


Me:
oh dear
what is wib
that is just ridiculous
what is iie??

Junne:
eeu is YOU, iie is I, got is got, wib is with, issh is IS

Me:
gort is actually 1 alphabet more than got leh
why would they do that??

Junne:
go ask ur bro
lol


And with those words of hers, today I indeed encountered exactly that.

I had a dilemma coz Mike is going out drinking with his colleagues again and no doubt he will come home belligerent, drunk, and 5 hours later than the time he claims he will be home (OK I'm exaggerating a bit, bit yeah, hate when he goes drinking with them), so I didn't want to stay alone at home waiting for him and wasting a good Friday.

Unfortunately for me, my delinquent brother Clinton, 14, said he had a little bridge in between chalets.

One ends at 10pm and the other starts at 2pm, so in between he is stuck in Pasir Ris and wanted to come over to my place (which is 5 mins from Downtown East) to stay the night.

So I got 1 delinquent and 1 belligerent drunk both coming home at ten.

I don't wanna wait at home for them coz both are super untrustworthy!


Thus I called my brother, with his line being engaged.

Few seconds later came a message from him:


"Who are yo0h ...i can only msg ."


Exactly like that, with all the dots and spacings untouched.

Guess it's because his Hi-card doesn't have any more credit or something. Juvenile problems.


I replied:

"I am your sister. What time are you coming over tonight? I wanna go out tonight but you can come too. Can you come over earlier?"


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Clinton:

"Who my sister .. ?whiich sister .. ?"


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GOT SIBEH A LOT OF SISTERS LEH!

HE THINKS MY MOTHER CAN POP SO MANY OUT MEH!



I replied:

"OMG I am going to KILL YOU! I am your REAL sister! Didn't you say you are coming over tonight? Are you that stupid?! And reply my previous sms!"


The reply:

"Yo0h mean yo0h're clinton real sis ...clinton's not using this number alrd."



OMG sibeh paiseh. Stupid brother change number never tell me.



********************************************


NEW VIDEO EPs!!!!!


News Asia on the Net - Ep 6




Catching houseflies for money,
and banning bald Men in Beijing (alliterates somemore)!
Watch!!!



Xiaxue's Guide to Life: Ep 7




Your guide to putting on fake eyelashes!

Now you girls can stop bothering me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

NIRVANA – SLIVER (TUPELO)


NIRVANA – SLIVER (TUPELO)

Situated between Bleach and Nevermind and featuring Dan Peters of Mudhoney on drums “Sliver” was always something of a mystery when the swimming baby album was blowing up. It so much of a mystery that for the longest time many of us thought it was actually called “Silver”.

This version is the CD single that Tupelo released when Sub Pop chose to licence their records in Europe. I bought this in Andy’s Records in late 1992 around the same time that “In Bloom” was released as a single and the two studio tracks from this release were now seeing the light day on Incesticide.

“Sliver” is something of an infantile burst of energy benefiting greatly from a bouncy bassline provided by Novoselic that bursts into a strange tale of a child being shipped between relatives which was probably one of Cobain’s more explicit and literal recollections of his troubled youth. It is a song that demonstrates the band’s growth and would have sat a lot more comfortably on Nevermind than Bleach. In the end it wound up being the second track on Incesticide where it ultimately probably sat even better.

The flipside of the original release is the muddy “Dive” which does cast a nod to the thick and dense growls of Bleach as the guitar literally drips with feedback and overdrive before the vocals launch into a downward spiral of wretched gestures.

With the main tracks eventually becoming easily available and relatively familiar with their audience the real gold of the release comes with the additional live tracks.

The live version of “About A Girl” is an altogether more speedy and fizzy take on the song that personally I find preferable to the studio recording on Bleach. Next “Spank Through” roars as a seldom heard treat that contains perhaps one of the greatest breaks/stops in the history of guitar music. In many ways these two tracks prove more invigorating than the actual lead tracks.

Thesaurus moment: extended.

Nirvana
Tupelo

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

DORMICE, MSN NICKS, AND PUBES

I just bought a new computer!!

Was just transferring files into my portable hard drive when I came across my old chat logs and was reading through them.

The ones with Howard were damn funny! I didn't realize when I chatted with him it used to be so hilarious.

Anyway, I've decided to make a list of the MSN nicks I used to have over the years... They are super ridiculous.

Somehow i forgot my password for part of the logs so there are only a few from long ago:


  • Turodriqueismygeniusgod-fellatehimnow (Turodrique made me write this after he said something smart)
  • Xiaxue: Goddess
  • Howard is a prude (Howard refused to go ktv because he cames he has work like a normal person tomorrow. Prude!)
  • Shalala
  • I am actually a banshee
  • Ridiculous weather
  • I am your mother
  • Nobody wants to play minesweeper flags with me!
  • Zhengchang sucks in bombsweeper
  • Howard is gnome-like
  • FREAKING NIGHTMARE
  • TSY BLUFF ME (TSY is teo shuyin)
  • Centipede at my house!
  • Cheebye Cloudy ate my duck rice (was super angry!!)
  • Main menu
  • I am a bombshell
  • Happy Spring cleaning!
  • The next fucker who talks to me about Today will be blocked (Don't even remember what happened)
  • Hate new year shopping
  • My phone is very mei!
  • You can call me Taittinger
  • You have a long vagina
  • Everyone is just jealous of me (Being sarcastic)
  • MSN is a chao cheebye (MSN won't allow me to sign in!)
  • I cant type again. CHEZEBYE (MSN allowed me to sign in but won't let me send messages)
  • I am a mei nu
  • Just one day (Mike arriving next day)
  • Don't understand why we must have pubes (*pube-related story in a bit)
  • mememememe me!!
  • new photoshoot!!
  • I am an angel!
  • Anyone knows any web designers?
  • I want to watch Quidam! Anyone?
  • SO MANY NEW GADGETS!
  • Bored at home!
  • fucking chaocheebyely ugly
  • I hate stupid people
  • Cheebye singapore schools
  • :D
  • I'm a football
  • I promise to do work



Well, these about summarize my life.

My current nick is "I want a stardust dormouse NOW!"

Because I am obsessed over that animal!

Don't know how many of you seen Stardust yet (GO WATCH IT NOW!) but in the movie the male lead got turned into what was described in the movie as a "mouse"...

But mice are triple-f ugly with their bald tails! Especially the white ones with pink eyes... eww!

And yet, in the show the little grey "mouse" shown had a bushy long tail and super humongous eyes and a soft pink twitchy nose...

So I googled "bushy-tailed mouse" and I found out that the animal used in the movie is called either an African dormouse or... an Edible/Fat dormouse.

I'm not even kidding!! It's thus named Edible because it is considered a delicacy in ancient Rome or something...

Can you believe that one would eat something soooooo fuckkkkkkking cute??!!!!!!



The nose and the ears and the whiskers are super twitchy lor! Bloody cute!!


Apparently got brown and grey kinds... I like the greys more.


Ke ai...







They are super lazy and they are always hibernating!!!


CUTE NOT!!! Curled up and all...

Last pic the cutest lor!

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Awwwwwwwww!!!!


Dormice are so cute!!

THE PICS DON'T DO THEM JUSTICE, THEY LOOK 100% CUTER IN THE MOVIE!

I keep asking Mike to catch me one and he keeps patronising me by saying he will.

When I asked him why he even bothers to answer my endless inane questions (Example: I am a bunny, ok? OK? OK?) when he totally doesn't mean his answers at all, he looked at me and said that it's because I won't stop pestering him for an answer until he answers me.

Which is true. I need a constant stream of attention, or I'll just drop dead and die.

No seriously! While other people's biggest fear may be heights or spiders, mine is the fear of being ALONE (and not knowing if I'll ever have company again).

I'd rather, for example, choose to be stuck in a secluded island forevermore with Steven Lim (provided he wouldn't rape me) than be alone. That's how bad it is!

I think I'd rather die than be alone. :(

When I asked Qihua whether she would rather be stuck on an island forevermore with this horribly stupid, mad and vapid chick she knows (I can't say the name...) or Steven Lim, she immediately chose Steven Lim lor! (also provided he won't rape or molest la)

She said he is a boy so can she make use of him to build houses and transport items what...

When I asked "Then he sing song all that to you how?! Then keep talking rubbish and acting crazy..." she said with the air of someone completely indifferent, "Just ignore him whenever he talks la!"

So bad hor make use of people to move things then when people talk you ignore him...

ANYWAY BACK TO THE DORMOUSE!

I wanna buy one but apparently they are all endangered and shit! What's wrong with all these cute creatures! Slow loris also endangered!



*Oh yeah the pubes issue...

(This probably won't interest the guys, not that the dormouse photos did)

Super duper embarrassing lor. Today right, I went to *ahem* somewhere to do IPL on you-know-where la...

The thing is, IPL is damned expensive right, and people at spas and all are always trying to make us sign bloody 2k worth of packages - like 8 sessions of IPL or something.

For those of you who don't know, IPL is using some lasers to get rid of body hair semi-permanently, and if you shoot your skin for around 8 times or so, all the hairs will stop growing for around 2 years.

So I checked with this place (let's call it S... although I think you all know what it is) how much their IPL costs.

Apparently, if you sign a package that costs like thousands, each session is around $360.

Now if you imagine, that machine is bought for a definite price, and each session only involves the beautician shaving off your pubes for you and rolling a cold metal roller on you and then shooting rays into your skin... for 15 mins, and it's done.

Worth $360 meh!?

To the company, doing an IPL for someone only costs:


- 30min of an employee's time (if $10 per hour, I count this as $5)

-15mins of electricity for the machine (maybe 50 cents)

- rental of the day divided by 48 divided by amount of customers in the shop at that time = $10 maybe?

- Aircon I benefited from (free...? or maybe $0.20, I dunno)



RIDICULOUS LOR!


This is assuming they have earned back the money they spent on a machine, which I am sure they have.

(Qihua says I cannot count like that, companies charge us according to how much we save from waxing in the long run etc... Still! That would mean that places probably can afford to give way more competitive prices what!)


So needless to say, I wouldn't pay $360 for one measly IPL session.

However, the first trial costs $180 only (still steep, but at least S is a trusted place).

In most places, first trial sessions are mostly much much cheaper than the usual, coz they want you to come back and sign a package with them!

So around 4 months ago, I did my first trial - and it was good!

After that, I thought to myself...

Why not I be super brilliant and just go to different places to do free trials all the time?!

That way I can save a lot of money right?!

Thinking that S probably has a lot of beauticians and they won't recognise me, I went to a different outlet and did IPL again... and it costed me $180 again.

Happily, I thought they keep records based on credit cards (and the first time I paid by cash) so I drew out $180 and went to S for another "first" trial today.

The girl at the counter asked me if it's the first time I am doing IPL.


"Yes," I confidently replied.

"What's your phone number?" she asked.

I felt a tinge of dread, but gave her my number anyway.

"You never did it before?" she politely asked me. "But our records say that you did it twice before..."

"Oh," I had an answer ready. "That was my mom, I booked for her..."

"Oh but it says here you already did it two times..." she argued. Another beautician walked into the counter and stood beside her to see what the commotion was about.

"Yeah both times are her, I dunno la..." I replied, and I was getting ready to take on the 'how dare you accuse me' approach for good measure when the quiet beautician beside the receptionist quipped up...


"Shang ci shi wo bang ni zuo de..." ("Your previous IPL session was done by me")



Completely can't recognise her coz she looks quite nondescript!!!!

I can imagine that my face literally deflated and turned a shade of pink that couldn't be seen underneath my make-up.

There was an awkward silence while all revelled in my amazingly bad ability to lie, and the receptionist, recovering the fastest, continued by trying to convince me to take on the "package".

These people never quit!

Completely embarrassed, I got stuck in limbo between apologizing for my blatant lie and acting like nothing happened - in the end of course I chose the cowardly way, and, unwilling to pay $360, got a normal wax instead.

Sigh.

Those people are damn pro lor! They completely acted like nothing happened. I presume that people try to cheat them of first trials all the time.

Next time I am going to JB to do.

Cheap lor there!! And plus, won't get recognised!!

I hope they don't cut people's clits off or something.


"SORRY MAM, WE THOUGHT YOU WANT CIRCUMCISION, NO?"


Feng diao...


OEI STOP SAYING I AM GIAM OK! $360 per IPL session is fucking ex la! And I am not being cheap, I am being smart! If I got to different salons to do first trials, I am not cheating them what! It is indeed my first trial with that particular salon!


Good night!

I'm going to play Luxor on my new PSP and sleep.

I bought a new PSP!! Traded in my bandung-pink one for a shimmery baby pink one. The new PSPs are much much smaller and slimmer and chioer and lighter than the old ones!

I coaxed Qihua to buy it by casually mentioning that they are selling it in purple, her fav colour. Heeheheehe! I am a BAD friend!

p/s: My facebook is chioness!! Please DO NOT add me if I don't know you personally though!

TAD – JINX (SUB POP)


TAD – JINX (SUB POP)

Did you ever see that movie Singles? You know, the one set in Seattle at the height of the grunge craze that presented the world in such an appealing and fun but adult manner. No one there was ugly or dysfunctional and suddenly Generation X was something to really aspire to being part of. Do you remember that scene where Matt Dillon (playing Eddie Vedder) puts new car speakers into the bubble car of Bridget Fonda? To demonstrate the ferocity of his gesture he plays her the track “Jinx” by Tad. As it rumbles the car out comes Chris Cornell to nod in appreciation because all the grunge musicians lived in houses next to each other at the height of the scene, it was just easier that way. As Dillon becomes orgasmic at the sound produced by the uber heavy Tad eventually the windows vibrate to the degree that they smash and it all goes wrong. This is a pretty fair visual description for the career of Tad. Later (or earlier, I forget) when Bridget Fonda accidentally phones up Tad Doyle and speaks dirty down the phone before realising her mistake this truly is a metaphor for the major label interest that scuffed up against the band. You see, Tad were almost it for more than five minutes.

“Jinx” is a ballsy track before the words of Mr Doyle have even dropped on proceedings. The chunky riff that immediately emerges holds the dense kind of promise that only the toughest of acts can insinuate in an intro.

To be a jinx takes a really stinging degree of effort on the individual, it is as tiring to jinx as it is to be jinxed. In other words this track is all over negative taking in the crumbling association of relations, describing the inevitable chaos that comes with Tad. It is truly a song that flies even if the principle is too heavy to be elevated.

Produced by Butch Vig it possesses that grunge gloss that served to declaw or empower a band’s sound (depending on your metal or indie perspective).

With a close up of a cow’s nose on the cover and a photo of the band including Doyle wearing an Ed Gein t-shirt on the back this is a band that went out of its way to disturb and dismay, looking to upset anyone not wise enough to withstand or understand.

“Pig Iron” rocks up on the flipside as a more customary and stretched out example of grunge as the band plays it downtuned and downplayed with a dark demeanour that even holds a nod towards the terror whipped up by The Jesus Lizard with only the vocals letting it down when attempting to sound like a serial killer. Subtly suited this band.

Thesaurus moment: baleful.

Tad
Sub Pop

Sunday, November 11, 2007

ASOBI SEKSU – CITRUS (ONE LITTLE INDIAN)


ASOBI SEKSU – CITRUS (ONE LITTLE INDIAN)

Complete with lurid Japanese band name, Asobi Seksu have been lingering around New York for a couple of years now oblivious to a crowd and fan base baying for the music that they are suggesting.

Coming on like My Bloody Valentine from the grave with guitar jangles almost Johnny Marr-esqe in delivery and echoing Asian vocals that sound as if from another planet, the album opens strongly. And then the sound gets hard! For a while……..

I get the impression that the Blonde Redhead comparison is something of a red herring and it engulfs me with major misgivings. Sure the lineup and home city may match but the material on offer lacks in substance and electricity. It would seem the return of shredding walls of noise is very much back on the agenda this summer as the further this record proceeds; the more it drifts off out of control. Indeed unfortunately at times the sheer flatness of the wall of noise renders the vocalist as little more than some kind of Enya figure battling against the elements.

It just feels sadly dated in its production, it is fairly clean and crisp for what is in essence a noise record with thrills. In its high times it reminds me of some sort of Matador band I would expect to hear on a Hal Hartley soundtrack in the nineties but when things fizzle out, it seems to lose its way.

Asobi Seksu hardly match up to the Japanese translation of their name as the relative meditation of their MBV-lite arsenal ultimately runs the risk of sending the listener to sleep. Rather than being some kind of exciting Blonde Redhead prospect, instead it feels like Julee Cruise running away with the vocals on an average David Lynch soundtrack.

For a release I was actually really looking to listening to (and hoped to enjoy) the gimmick just does not appear to pay off resulting in something akin to the much missed Spooky-era Lush, sadly lacking any real bite.

Thesaurus moment: incomplete.

Asobi Seksu
Friendly Fire
One Little Indian