Tuesday, 30 September 2008

2 days to ASH concert!

Irish punk-pop trio ASH
48 hours to go..

I'm leaving for SG tomorrow morning and I've yet to finish packing. Can anyone lend me a Star Wars or Transformers tee for the Ash gig? LOL

I'm all set for the Ash concert - I've checked out the directions to Fort Canning and I have my gear in place (sounds like I am off to war :P) and thanks to Liz, I now have "Singapore Song" a.k.a "Seventh Circle" - that was written by Tim in Singapore and recently released as a b-side to "End Of The World"

Monday, 29 September 2008

Do you like Taiwanese food?

There's a Taiwanese food restaurant at the Gardens that's perpetually packed with patrons both inside and outside (neverending Q even on weekday) Fong Lye Taiwan Restaurant is located on the top level of the Gardens near Borders and Crystal Jade restaurant.

Fong Lye Taiwan Restaurant at Midvalley
I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of Taiwanese food - I'm not too crazy about deep fried pork innards and stinky tofu but I do like Taiwanese pork intestines flour noodles (mee sua) and "tao suan" dessert. Fong Lye serves pork intestines mee sua though it's nowhere as good as the infamous Ay-Chung mee sua in Taipei.

pork intestine mee sua at Fong Lye
Sadly, "tao suan" is not on the menu. About 3 years ago in Kaohsiung, after visiting a temple I remember stopping by to buy some "tao suan" from the local market and it was the yummiest tao suan I've ever tasted! My dad and my aunts are tao suan fans LOL and I remember dad would always make a stop at Chinatown's People's Park food court whenever we're in SG to get his tao suan fix. It's one of those Hokkien dessert that you can't find in KL for some reason though I'm told you can get tao suan now at Midvalley's food court.

had this bowl of not-so-yummy tao suan at IMM's foodcourt after the Ashin book signing
The food at Fong Lye restaurant is a little pricey - a bowl of noodles would easily set you back by almost RM20 and the sets with the steamboat are between RM27-30 though the portions are fairly big. Restaurant service is quick and efficient but the drinks are expensive! Milk tea costs RM7.30 (nope they are not refillable even at that price) - the cheapest drink on the menu is the mineral water which costs RM3.30

hmm.. did we order too much food?
yummy sausage

Sunday, 28 September 2008

New lappy ThinkPad R61i

I've a new lappy!

Bought it this afternoon for just under RM2,500 and it comes with Vista so looks like I gotta get used to the new platform. It has:
- 3GB RAM (basic is 1GB but I got a 2GB upgrade for RM80)
- 160GB HDD
- Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor T2390 (1.86GHz 533MHz 1MBL2)
- Intel® GMA X3100
- 14.1" WXGA
- dual layer DVD multi writer
which isn't too bad at that price considering it is a ThinkPad.

When I find the time, possibly after my week long escapade to Singapore, I'll need to extract the data from my old lappy, which I've decided to revive once I get the replacement part (I can't let my old lappy die like that) but whatever am I gonna do with 2 lappies? 

me new lappy - ThinkPad R61i

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Ashin's new friend

I spent the day combing through every nook and cranny of Low Yat Plaza in search of a new lappy. I must have seen at least a hundred different models of Acer, Dell, HP, Asus, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Compac, BenQ and Lenovo but I couldn't find anything that I particularly like till I got to Midvalley and found the one and only Lenovo shop carrying Thinkpad lappies!!!!! hehe. It was like love at first sight.. the Thinkpad on display look almost identical to my old lappy (they retained the classic Thinkpad design) Am going back there tomorrow with the moolahs to buy it.. yippee!!

On another note, I picked up a Yoshi figurine today (my favourite Mario character!) and Yoshi found a home with my other figurines.. well it's not much of a collection but Ashin now has a new friend. LOL!

Konichiwa. Watakushi-wa Ashin, desu

Thursday, 25 September 2008

In memory of my lappy

My beloved lappy died yesterday *sob* :(

It was a sudden unexpected death. There were no symptoms and it was running fine up to the night before its death. When my lappy wouldn't boot up yesterday evening, I knew something was amiss. I could almost feel tears welling up in my eyes when dad broke the news to me! How could my lappy leave me so suddenly? It lived a good 3 years of its life with me, filled with countless nights of online chatting, music and video downloading and emailing, but I guess it was time to say goodbye.

Thankfully my harddisk together with all its data are still intact, though I suspect finding a replacement for lappy won't be easy. My lappy was highly reliable and in its lifetime, I never had any major problems with it (the Thinkpad T series are tough lappies)

My lappy, you will be missed dearly!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Superband Grand Finals


After weeks and weeks of pestering the staff at Mediacorp, friends in Singapore and random band sites for tickets, I finally got hold of a pair of tickets to the Superband Grand Finals on October 5th!! (on my birthday!! hoho) Damn those tickets are sure hard to come by.. why don't Mediacorp just put them on sale and save us fangirls the agony of having to hunt for tickets.

I get to celebrate my birthday watching 五月天 live. Awesome! Also performing at the Finals alongside Mayday are Beyond (two of Asia's biggest rock band) and Jonathan Lee together with some other Singaporean bands.

Looks like it's gonna be a long fun-filled week in Singapore with the Ash and Mayday shows. Can't wait!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Get Ready

1977 Ashtoria
Counting down 11 days to the upcoming Ash concert :)

So far there's no indication of what the Singapore setlist will be like, but seeing that the guys are fresh off their London 1977 gigs, I think they may be playing more songs off 1977? Or not?

Not only did the guys played the entire 1977 in the album order live at the Roundhouse and Astoria, they also threw in b-sides from the singles off that album, including "Cantina Band" (ooohhh I really wanna hear that live), "Sneaker" and "Get Ready". I hope they'll play "Get Ready" in Singapore - I have this on the Goldfinger single. It's a cover version of the 60's Motown classic by The Temptations and it's wicked!

I'm also hoping that they'll play another one of their wicked cover version of Ween's "What Deaner Was Talking About" cos they played it years ago at Zouk in Singapore.

Hmm.. I'm wondering if concert merchandise will be available at the Singapore concert? I'd like one of the 1977 tees

i want the white baby tee with the 1977 era Ash logo on the top left corner!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Forever Delayed

Almost 2 years after the Playstation 3 was first released in Japan, the console has finally arrived on our shores today. The official Malaysian launch was held today at 1-Utama. When I got there this morning, the place was already swarming with hordes of eager fanboys (our resident fanboy who already owns a PS3 was still fast asleep at home)

Various booths were set up to promote the PS3 console and games with many curious onlookers. Over at a corner I saw a Q of fanboys who have been Q-ing up since last night to purchase the PS3. The first batch of PS3 buyers were entitled to cash vouchers of up to RM1,000 from Sony.

PS3 testing zone

event itinerary

Friday, 19 September 2008

Trials and Tribulations

I put off playing Phoenix Wright 3: Trials and Tribulations long enough. I’m now embarking on the last of the 3-part Phoenix Wright series which some critics claim is the best of the series. So far gameplay has been sluggish - after a week of gaming I'm still only at episode 2. Like its predecessors, there are 5 episodes altogether.. i.e I am barely halfway through the game!

Coming fresh off playing Lifesigns, Phoenix Wright now seems so tedious.. there are so much text to be read and sometimes I find myself tapping the button too quickly to fast forward the dialogues only to miss out on parts of it!

Interestingly enough, the game introduces a new prosecutor who goes by the name Godot, a coffee junkie (drinks up to 17 cups of coffee per trial day!) wearing a Cyclops like mask who seems to hold a grudge against Phoenix.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Countdown to Ash live in Singapore - 14 days!

The Ash concert is exactly 2 weeks away and my Ash CDs are being played to death. No kiddin' I think I can even sing Girl From Mars backwards now LOL

The recent 1977 gig at Astoria featured appearance by non other than the stormtroopers (and Darth Vader) from the 501st Legion. I don't suppose they'd have stormtroopers at the Singapore concert..? I hope they'd at least play Cantina Band live =]

Tim finally announced on the Ash blog that the 1977 deluxe edition will be released on Nov 3rd. Can't wait for that!

stormtroopers alert
Watch out Tim!! behind you!!!
oh no it's too late - they've captured the band!
Star Wars fanboys (L-R) Rick, Tim and Mark (in a Back To The Future tee!!)

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Got my Ash ticket!

I finally got my Ash concert ticket!

I've been listening and studying the Twilight of the Innocents CD - and I feel almost like a student mugging for final exam on October 2nd! LOL. The first song that caught my attention on the album is track 6 "End of The World" [it reminds me of "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" yes that gospel song] The title track, "Twilight of the Innocents'" melody sound almost like it's inspired by the Terminator movie. Looks like the album is gonna be playing on my CD player on repeat for the next 2 weeks :)

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Won't be saved

I've been listening to Ash none stop all week and I am constantly humming them to myself.. (I can't seem to get "Cherry Bomb" out of my head! help!!)

My copy of Twilight of the Innocents finally arrived today =]

Twilight of the Innocents Japan ltd edition + bonus live CD
There's an additional bonus track "Saskia" on the Japan version
I stumbled on a online contest by Mediacorp yesterday and found myself cracking my head trying to come up with a slogan to win a pair of tickets to the Ash concert - not that I need them cos I'm getting my ticket tomorrow but it'd be nice to win some tickets so I can bring my friends along to join in the fun

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

It was reported in today's paper that Noel Gallagher sustained fractured ribs and ligament damage after he was attacked by a crazy fan while performing onstage in Toronto.. ouch! Apparently the assaulter managed to get onstage somehow and our kid was held back by security as he tried to get in on the action with at least one stunted fist swing of his own hehe Liam was always the rowdy one

Poor Noel - I hope he gets well soon :)

caught on vid

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The Price Is Fine

Not too long ago I posted at Travis.ography and the official Travis forum to sell my copy of All I Want To Do Is Rock 10" vinyl released by Red Telephone Box Records. I received a query from a potential buyer the day after asking for my selling price but I could not find any indication of the market value of that vinyl. I read from somewhere that it was being traded for about US$100 and I saw a copy selling for £100 at an auction site.

Weeks went past and I had forgotten that I left my other email address on Travis.ography and forum. Upon checking my email today (I haven't signed in in over a month), there were a few other emails from more potential buyers. I replied with a quotation of 80 quid and one of them replied promptly saying he'd take it off my hands for 80 quid and he reckons it's a fair price!! :D (that's about approx RM500 !!)

Amazing!! I'd never expect to someday sell that vinyl for £80 when I bought it ages ago in London.. (I think I picked it up from one of those indie record store down at Berwick Street, Soho where I usually hang out for CD hunting in London) Heck I don't even recall how much I paid for it but I'm certain it was nowhere even close to 80 quid.

Only 1,000 copies of the vinyl were released by Red Telephone Box back in 1996 and the year after that Travis were signed by Independiete Record. It's extremely rare! So in essence this was the first single/EP released by Travis before they were signed by a record company. Each copy is individually numbered and though it may not look like much (I know the cover art is pants) but this is a very highly sought after item for any Travis fan. I guess next to the Glass Onion 1993 CD, this is the probably the Holy Grail of any Travis collection.
front of the 10"
back of the 10"

Countdown to Ash concert: 22 days

Counting down 22 days to October 2nd! I can't wait to finally see Ash live at Fort Canning Park. It's been donkey's years since I last attended a real rock concert in an open air fully free standing atmosphere! Gotta make sure I get there early - I wanna get into the mosh pit. Hope I won't get trampled =]

I'm hoping the lads will be singing more songs off their 1977 album since they are coming fresh off their London 1977 shows. I really hope they play "Kung Fu" cos I absolutely love that song to bits. I once sent the song on mp3 to a fren in North Carolina and she commented on how funny "Taiwan" was pronounced as "Thai-when" LOL. Till today I haven't a clue the kung fu movies referred to in the song haha.

Am also hoping to hear Tim sing all my favourite Ash songs live: Girl From Mars, A Lifeless Ordinary, Goldfinger, Oh Yeah, Angel Interceptor, What Deaner Was Talking About, Shining Light, Burn Baby Burn, Jesus Says, Evil Eye, Starcrossed, Renegade Cavalcade and Wildsurf !!

"oh Daniel-san made in Taiwan... c'mon Jackie Chan oh oh oh"

I'm getting my Ash concert ticket this weekend - bro is heading down south for work this Friday so I've asked him to pick up my Ash ticket in Singapore =]

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Gone in 24 hours

I posted my copy of Call Me No. 1 CD for sale at a Mayday forum last night and it was sold in less than 24 hours LOL. I'm slowly clearing my CDs - getting rid of some copies that I no longer need and converting them into cash haha.

The above is a Japan compilation CD featuring songs from their first 2 albums. I believe it's out of print so you won't be able to find it in your local store. Rock Records has a knack for releasing numerous versions of compilation for a single artist. It's annoying and I really don't see the point of buying so many compilation, best of or greatest hits except for completion's sake.

Waiting to reach you

Out of desperation as the Ash concert is approaching (only 23 days to go), I resorted to ordering Twilight of The Innocents online at HMV. My local pursuit of the CD was heading down a dead end anyway and HMV had the limited edition Japanese 2 disc set version that includes a 12 live track CD. Not a bad deal for ¥2,030 [approximately RM65 equivalent]

The only catch was I had to purchase another CD to be able to buy the Ash Cd at that special price and HMV only had a selected range of CDs in the promotion – mostly Coldplay, DBSK, Radiohead, F4, etc. They had the entire Coldplay back catalogue on promotion but since I already own all their pre-Viva La Vida albums, I ended up buying Radiohead’s Pablo Honey re-release version with additional live tracks for ¥1,144. It was a toss between The Bends and Pablo Honey but in the end I went for the latter cos I’ve always wanted to own Creep on CD. And speaking of Creep, I remember reading that Sodagreen covered it at their recent HK concert. I believe the song is featured on their live CD - which I've yet to hear (anyone got a copy? care to share with me?) I hope it wasn't too bad a cover version. Then again you can never trust a Taiwanese band to sing a decent cover version of an English song. (Ashin is excused for his rather poor cover version of the Beatles' Hey Jude cos he doesn't speak English too well LOL)

HMV despatched my CDs today - I hope they arrive by the end of the week =]

Monday, 8 September 2008

Four Seasons in KL

I just found out from my colleague today that my favourite roast duck restaurant from Bayswater is here in KL!! I used to frequent Four Seasons when I was in London.. they had the yummiest roast duck (and chilli oil) and I remember there'd always be a Q outside the restaurant no matter rain, shine, sleet or snow.

The KL branch is located in CapSquare and I think it's time for me to make a trip downtown. I wonder if it tastes as good as the Bayswater one..

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Sayonara Tendo sensei

I completed Lifesigns: Surgical Unit last week and I have to say it ranks as one of my fav game on the DS. The only other game of this genre is Trauma Centre which I gave up about halfway through gameplay as it proved too difficult for me.

Unlike Trauma Centre, Lifesigns did not revolve around just surgeries but also the daily life of Dr Tendo, the 2nd year intern who's also the male protaganist of the game. Wikipedia describes the game as "a cross between Scrubs and Trauma Centre".

The biggest difference between Trauma Centre and Lifesigns is that you get to examine the patient before making a diagnosis. You don't get to operate until you make the correct diagnosis.

I read a few online reviews and many had complained that there isn't enough gameplay (too much text reading and drama) but I think that was why I enjoyed the game so much. (I lost count of the number of patients I killed on the operating table) Surgeries are fun but they are by no means easy. Or maybe I just suck at operating haha

Now that I'm done with Lifesigns I think it's time I get back to Phoenix Wright 3.

Ash collection

I’ve been listening to Ash a lot lately in anticipation of the upcoming gig - alternating between Intergalactic Sonic 7's and Meltdown on my playlist. I'm still on the lookout for Twilight of the Innocents! :(

from L-R: Ask Ash Interview CD Rom, Goldfinger, 1977, A Lifeless Ordinary, Wild Surf, Wild Surf radio promo, Envy, Shining Light, Free All Angels US ltd edn + bonus DVD, Intergalactic Sonic 7's, Starcrossed DVD, Meltdown double disc, Meltdown Korea promo, Starcrossed, Renegade Cavalcade and Renegade Cavalcade DVD.
I have 16 Ash CD in my collection - nowhere as comprehensive as my Travis and Oasis collection (I've 82 Oasis CDs and 61 Travis CDs) Someday when I find the time I will do a separate entry for each collection :)

This Interview CD below was officially released by Infectious Records sometime after 1977 was released though I don't think it was ever available commercially.

Intergalactic Sonic is my most played CD in my Ash collection. My bro bought it as a birthday gift for me and it's conveniently got all the singles (pre-Meltdown) on disc A and b-sides on disc B. Saves me the trouble of having to pull out each individual CD for listening.

And finally, this is the last Ash CD I bought.. and it's from Korea! It's a promotional Korean copy of Meltdown which I picked up in a little CD shop in Seoul. Not quite sure what's the current exchange rate for Korean won but at the time I bought this back in late 2004, 9900 won which is actually quite cheap.

Friday, 5 September 2008

There's A Star

"roman candles that burn in the night.."

I am going to the Ash concert afterall!! Woohoooo!! Thank you Liz for making me change my mind :)

I can't believe I've been a fan for about 12 years now. Back in school I had a metal pencil case that I custom designed in silver paint with an Ash logo on the front. hehe. I first saw them on telly back in 1996 (at the height of Britpop) when Metrovision was in still transmission - they used to air a music chart show from the UK. It was through that same program that I came to discover other bands Oasis, Blur, Cast (they were singing into lightbulbs in one of their MV! LOL), Dodgy, Bluetones, Kula Shaker (singing in Sanskrit!!)

Despite having seen many bands live during the few years when I was in England, somehow I never got to see Ash. I remember they played at London's Astoria many times but somehow they must have missed Notts when I was there. And unfortunately they didn't play at the summer festivals I attended - which is why I am so eager to finally see them. Too bad Charlotte isn't with the band anymore.. I guess she had enough of Star Wars rerun LOL

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Dreaming Of You

The Coral are releasing their greatest hits compilation in a double disc CD set titled "Singles Collection" on 16 September. The album art look almost like Oasis' upcoming album cover LOL

I first saw them in a music video in a Brit Awards nomination DVD back in 2003 when they were nominated for Best British Album and Best British Group. I had "Dreaming of You" on repeat at that time [I was too cheap to buy the CD haha] It was a relatively low budget music video that reminded me of Supergrass' "Alright" in some parts. The song was catchy and it had a retro feel to it - kinda like The La's (both Scouser bands..)

The lads toured with Arctic Monkeys last year (what a line-up!) and they were joined on stage by Noel Gallagher at one of their TV live show. Noel is always out to support all the best bands in the industry - I still remember when he played with Travis on "All I Want To Do Is Rock" at one of their earlier gig. And not too long ago he played guitar onstage with Chris Martin who sang both "Yellow" and "Live Forever" and boy Chris totally messed up the lyrics to "Live Forever".

Ash-less KL

Just barely two weeks after the Ministry of Culture almost cancelled/postponed the Avril gig, it looks like the Ministry has now pulled the plug on the upcoming F.I.R concert this Saturday. It is going to be a continuing trend that all concerts by foreign artists around Merdeka will be postponed?

On another note, thank you Liz for your comment on my previous entry – I’ve tried looking for that CD at Victoria Sg Wang but no luck, though a few years ago I bought the double disc version of Meltdown + live CD there =] And I couldn’t agree more with you on the point you made about how there aren’t too many ‘good music’ fans in Malaysia – which is why KL gets skipped by all my fav bands!! And why aren't Ash playing KL? I seem to recall that they made stops in Bangkok, SG and Jakarta the last time they were in this region. I don't think much has changed since the last time they toured this area, people in Malaysia still haven't a clue who Ash are.