Sunday 30 November 2008

Lee Guitars All-Star concert Singapore 2008

Last night's Lee Guitars All-Star concert can be described in just two words: simple and acoustic. All the performing artists - Jonathan Lee, Emil Chau, A-Yue, Cheer Chen and Tanya Chua performed with just an acoustic Lee Guitar in hand, with the exception of Mayday who played their usual set with Ashin playing an acoustic Lee Guitar.

the stage. Lee Guitars up for auction on the top left LOL
The concert was long and ended just about 15 minutes before midnight. Much of the concert was not actually listening to the artists sing but rather their stories relating to their Lee Guitar. Tanya talked about how her Lee Guitar is now her boyfriend *ahem* and she named it "xiao li" (I think?) and Cheer told a story about how she once flipped a burger a long time ago for Jonathan. Veterans Jonathan Lee and Emil Chau kept going and on and on about their guitars and all that I almost drifted to sleep listening to the old pops' stories :P


I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know a single of A-Yue and Cheer's song last night LOL and surprisingly, I knew 2 of the Emil songs he sang (only cos my mom has the CD) Of the many songs Jonathan Lee sang, the only one that I knew was I'm A Little Bird (I have the Richie Ren version and it's one of my fav Richie duet/cover version)

I've never seen any of the artists last night in concert - Tanya and Cheer sang really well and both have such beautiful and melodic voices. Cheer look really pretty (and so slim!)

Cheer Chen

Tanya Chua
The crowd was really tame. Some people around my area only stood up when Mayday came on. I was really happy they sang Ting Bu Dao cos it's been so long since I last heard them sing it live. Ashin wore the Hello Kitty Stay Real tee last night - I want one!

Ashin in Stay Real Hello Kitty tee!!
Ooo Masa looks cool
Mayday rocking at the acoustic gig
the end (my wide angle lens could not capture Masa, Stone and Cheer in the frame :( )

Friday 28 November 2008

Be Happy

Now that the Bangkok trip has been put on hold, that leaves me with more funds for my upcoming Taiwan trip (my year end bonus couldn’t have come at a better time heh heh) so I might be up for some serious shopping in Taipei. Splurging at Stay Real will be the first thing on my itinerary =] (ahh this wonderful of purchase power..)

I'm so gonna buy the new limited edition Stay Real X Hello Kitty tee. It's so cute!

I'm off to Singapore tomorrow for the Lee Guitars All-Star concert and I can't wait to get my Be Happy tee.

Thursday 27 November 2008

So why so sad

So it's finally official. Bangkok 100 Rock Festival 2008 is cancelled. I am soooo GUTTED!!! I was really looking forward to the trip and watching Ash and Manics live again.

What now? I've to reschedule my Bangkok flight (hmm shall try to book for next year's Rock Festival though I doubt if Ash and/or Manics will be in the line-up), cancel my hotel reservation, trouble Jib to get the festival tickets refunded and book my SG return bus ticket!!

The protestors have also taken over the second airport in Bangkok, Don Muang Airport (for domestic flights) as of midnight.. gosh what is going on in Bangkok?

I came across this on the Bangkok Rock Fest webboard and found it rather amusing (no offence to As I Lay Dying):

AS I LAY DYING Jakarta Show Re-scheduled to Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dear metalheads, due to current ongoing mass strike in Bangkok, Thailand (and
other Thailand major cities) since Tuesday, November 25, Tim Lambesis and
friends from the band As I Lay Dying had encountered an unexpected situation
where they could not fly out of Bangkok. The band had arrived on Tuesday night
and stucked in the city ever since. They could not get out of the country as the
main international airport in Bangkok, Svarnabhumi, and other international
airports have been blocked by the masses. On Thursday morning of November 27,
the band was finally able to take the land route to Vientiane, Laos. In the
middle of their journey, roads were also blocked by the angry masses. Hours of
travelling to reach Laos, then they continued to Pnom Penh (Cambodia) and
attempting to get the fastest route to Jakarta.They will be here, they are eager
to play and the fans are crazy to see them, one of the 2008 Grammy Awards winner
nominee. It is delayed, it will be delayed...we are deeply apologize for the
inconvenience but we assure you the band will play for the Indonesian fans,
re-scheduled to play Senayan Indoor Stadium on Sunday, November 30, 2008 from
the originally schedule of Thursday. So metalhead .. what are you waiting for …
the show must go on..!!! It does not matter if it’s Thursday or Sunday, it’s
time to rock!!!

Gosh, the trouble the band had to go through, travelling through Laos and Cambodia and encountering angry masses along the journey just to get to Jakarta must be quite an experience for them! (though I wonder what were they doing in Bangkok on Tuesday when they were suppose to play Jakarta on Thurs and Bangkok on Sat??!)

Show or no show?

Frustrations mount in Bangkok as we enter day two of the Suvarnabhumi Airport closure. Trapped American passengers aren’t too pleased bout not being able to get home in time for Thanksgiving while the rest of us with tickets to Bangkok this weekend are wondering how much longer are the anti-government protestors gonna invade the airport and when is it re-opening??! Don’t the thousands of protestors have jobs or family? How can they stay put at the airport for days on end?

To make things worse, the organisers for the Bangkok 100 Rock festival have not issued any statement as to whether or not the event will go on. Foreign bands like Manics, Ash, etc won’t be able to make it to Bangkok if the airport is not reopened.. unless they fly them in to a different Thai airport. *sigh*

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Bangkok Dangerous

Nuch, my fellow Ash friend from Bangkok sent an email last night informing me of the Bangkok airport closure. As of last night, all flights in and out of Bangkok have been either cancelled or diverted to other Thai airports. The unlucky ones who arrived after the anti-government protestors invaded the airport are still stuck inside the airport as of now.

We’re still waiting for official confirmation on whether or not the Bangkok 100 Rock Festival will be postponed. Again!! The festival was postponed last year though not due to protests or anything. (I think it was due to sponsorship problem)

If they do postpone the festival, then it’s gonna throw a wrench to my travel plan!! I will have to cancel my flight, reschedule and replan.

The only good news I've heard all day is that Tsu Ning may be seated beside me at the Lee Guitars All-Star concert! yippee!

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Live and Let Die

Is it an 'in' thing now for old, gone away bands to make a comeback?

Guns N’ Roses have just released their first album in 15 years titled “Chinese Democracy” which incidentally, is banned in China (with an album title like that? Go figure) Apparently, Axl Rose is the only remaining member from the original line-up. if it’s just him from the original line-up with a couple of new guys, that technically does not count as a revival of the band does it?

I’ve never been a fan but I do remember Slash, that guitarist with the big hair (it’s funny looking back now but in the 80s and through the early 90s, it was a fashion trend in rock bands to have big hair. Remember Skidrow, Bad English, Bon Jovi?) who always seem to have his pet python snake around during photo shoots.

And no, this album won't be on my Christmas wantlist :P

Manics in the Lion City

The Manics played their maiden concert in Singapore last night (it’s about time considering that they have been around for so long!)

From what little information I could gather online, the concert was rather short and there was no encore *gasp* They played La Tristesse Durera!!!! Sadly, Nicky didn't wear mini skirt :P

There is a special Send Away The Tigers Asian tour tee with dates for the Singapore, HK and Bangkok gigs printed on the back. Can’t say I’m too crazy about the tiger motifs printed on the tee (though it does add an Asian flavour to the tee..hehe) It looks too much like a Yakuza tattoo design LOL.

Monday 24 November 2008

Out of space

Today is the start of the last week of work before my upcoming Bangkok and Singapore trip. (I hope it goes by quickly :])

I started packing over the weekend - only cos I need to gauge if I have enough space in my luggage for the load of stuffs I've bought for my Thai friends and my aunt in Singapore. I'm tired of packing and unpacking to try to squeeze everything in. Dang.. it doesn't look like I have enough room in my luggage!

I think have enough foodstuff to feed the thousands of anti-government protestors in Bangkok. Oh, I didn't forget to pack my Ash and Manics CDs (not ruling out the possibility of bumping into them at the hotel XDD)

Sunday 23 November 2008

Gashing up for Bangkok Rock Fest

the original punk boy

Bangkok 100 Rock Festival is exactly a week away!

I’m rather excited. It’s my first ever trip to the City of Angels (it’s embarrassing to admit that I’ve never been there). Though Ash and the Manics won't appear onstage till way past sundown, we plan to get to festival ground in the afternoon so I hope weather won't be too hot there. At the last Ash concert in SG, Liz and I got baked in the sun! This time I'll remember to pack sunblock lotion.

Liza is getting our custom Ash tees printed LOL I can't wait to see them. I gave her the design I made with the Ash font from Twilight of the Innocents and Tim's Meltdown phoenix tattoo design on the back.

And I’ve got a new Ash banner. It’s awesome, it’s 5 feet long and it looks smashing! And it took me an entire day to make it from scratch!

Saturday 22 November 2008

A week to Lee Guitars All-Star

Exactly a week to the Lee Guitars All Star gig in Singapore!

Jen sent me a message today saying she just collected our gig tickets and we're seated in PA-1 section at Row 9. Once again, I'll be seated in the Monster + Masa section of the stage (not that I'm complaining) Seeing that the Lee Guitar All-Stars concert will be held a day after Monster's birthday and I'll be seated in the section in front of Monster, maybe I should make a HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONSTER banner :o)

I'm really looking forward to the Cheer Chen and Ashin "Elope To The Moon" duet and I hope they play some new songs from the "Poetry Of The Day After" album!

It's gonna be one crazy weekend. Right after the Lee Guitar All-Stars, Tsu Ning and I will catch the morning flight to Bangkok on Sunday, arriving in time for lunch with Jib, Art and Tangmo before catching Ash and Manics headlining the Bangkok 100 Rock festival.

That's watching 3 bands, 2 gigs in 2 separate countries in ONE weekend LOL

Ashin working on a Mayday signature model Lee Guitar

Thursday 20 November 2008

Rock on, Apollo!

Finally, after almost 2 weeks of very intense gaming I finally closed the chapter on Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. I just broke my own record for completing an Ace Attorney game in the fastest time! Ardent Ace Attorney fans will know that all the game in the series are really time consuming. I played for hours on end each night before I finally reached the conclusion. Talk about hardcore gaming :P

I was skeptical initially before I played the game, knowing that Phoenix Wright, the original Ace Attorney was no longer the protagonist and in his place was a rookie defense lawyer. But Capcom had to bring Phoenix back in the Apollo Justice game (how else will they please the masses of Phoenix fans?) and to make things interesting, Apollo Justice takes place seven years after Phoenix had lost his attorney's badge. The entire Apollo Justice game revolves around series of events that lead to Phoenix losing his license to practise. Which all makes sense in the end, it was like a really long legal drama. I'm still baffled as to why Maya and Pearls were noticeably absent from that 7 year old case.. hmm

Prosecutor Klavier Gavin, mr Guitar Hero is probably the coolest prosecutor in the Ace Attorney series! He's such an airhead LOL who has ever heard of a prosecutor who does air guitar and fronts a popular rock band while holding a daytime job in the prosecutor's office?

OK Godot comes close to #2 but Miles "Edgey" Edgeworth is still my favourite prosecutor =) Do keep an eye out for the upcoming Ace Attorney spin-off series "Perfect Prosecutor: Miles Edgeworth" that should be out by next year. I'll be waiting in anticipation for that!

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Here's a taste of the seven sins

I was up last night watching “Envy” on telly out of curiosity cos 1. I’ve never heard of that film and 2. Ben Stiller and Jack Black are in it (it reminded me of their recent Tropic Thunder collaboration)

The movie was BAD. It fared so badly at the US box office that it went straight to DVD release outside the US. The plot is ridiculous but it was hilarious, like all classic Stiller comedies. Disappointingly, "Envy" is marred by bad script and plot.

Coincidentally, the movie shares the same title as an Ash song (great Ash song but can’t say the same about the movie) Which brings me to the next point - why do movies that share the same titles as Ash songs always turn out to be disaster movies? “A Life Less Ordinary” was so bad that I think nobody remembers it now LOL

Monday 17 November 2008

Nothing Burns Like Bridges

I still haven’t had much luck looking up Penny Century online. All I found on YouTube was just a single video of a song titled “Nothing Burns Like Bridges”, that I listened to a couple of times yesterday and it was stuck in my head till this morning! I like the song - it has a really infectious melody.

They are no rock band for sure but they do sound distinctly Europop and a little folk-ish. That guitarist who sang a couple of lines look a wee bit like Kelly of Stereophonics. Hmm... I wonder what's his name? Just in case I bump into him at the hotel since we may be staying in the same hotel :) Does anyone know any simple Swedish pick-up lines? LOL!

Sunday 16 November 2008

Gifts from Tokyo and Boston

Rayne went to Tokyo recently and she bought me a bunch of soft toys and assorted goodies (really cute chocolates and candies). I'm fascinated by the stuffed Hello Kitty ice-cream toy. If I take it with me to bed, will I dream of ice-cream every night? LOL

Elly also brought me some teddy bears when we met up in Singapore earlier this month.

Teddy, mini me and mini mini me LOL
plushs have invaded my bed!

Friday 14 November 2008

You Love Us

In an interview featured in today';s Star with the Manics' frontman, James Dean Bradfield, he revealed that the band will be playing mostly their old songs at the upcoming Singapore and HK shows. Reason being it's their first time playing there.. so it's gonna be a sort of greatest hits set. I hope they play the same set in Bangkok! =] I wonder if there's any chance of them playing "Yes" live?

Hmm.. I wonder if Ash'll also play a greatest hits set at the Bangkok Rock festival?

It was also interesting to note James' view on playing first time shows in Singapore and HK:

“I got to tell you, our apprehension is doubled when it comes
to playing shows in places like Singapore and Hong Kong not just because we
haven’t played there before but also because there is an ... otherness about
playing a gig in places such as these where the culture gap is wider than
perhaps doing a gig in Europe. So the apprehension is doubled because you just
don’t know what to expect. But it’s a motivating fear because it keeps us on our
The band are concerned about culture gap? We're okay with Nicky wearing his mini skirt.. really!
When the Manics get to Singapore, they'll see that there is a fairly sizeable Britpop fanbase there.. so nothing to worry about guys. I'm sure it'll be a fullhouse show.

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Crazy December

I received my Taipei airticket today. Yay! Exactly a month to go before my Taipei trip! It's been almost a year and a half since my last trip to Taipei and this is gonna be my first trip there in winter so I'm really looking forward to it.

December is gonna be a crazy hectic month for me. I've taken 9 days of leave for December (utilised 21 days of my 28 days annual leave entitlement) for my trips to Singapore, Bangkok and Taipei (I'm contributing greatly to those country's music tourism!)

I'm counting down:
17 days to Lee Guitars All-Star concert in Singapore
18 days to Bangkok 100 Rock Festival in Bangkok
31 days to Mayday's 50,000 People 出頭天 concerts in Taipei

...and looking forward to meeting up with my fellow friends along the way =] See ya'll in December!

Monday 10 November 2008


Last week in Japan, Nintendo released the third generation NDS, the DSi, which is currently only available in Japan and won't be available outside Japan until the first half of next year.

The DSi is 12% thinner than the DS Lite with larger screens (wow!) and has a built-in 3 MP camera + 256MB internal flash memory + SD memory card slot. Here comes the bad news - the DSi does not support R4 *gasp* and is apparently region-locked.

It looks so sleek! Definitely gonna be in my Christmas 2009 wishlist

Sunday 9 November 2008

The greatness that's ASH

Since Ash's 1977 Deluxe Collector's Edition arrived last Thursday, it's been playing non-stop, alternating between CD1, 2 and 3. Mayday's Poetry Of The Day After has been shelved away.. for now.

1977 sounds as fresh as it did when I first heard it over a decade ago. Listening to it brings back memories of my school days. I had forgotten songs I used to like: "I'd Give You Anything", "Let It Flow" and "Lost In You". Classic timeless hits such as "Girl from Mars", "Kung Fu", "Oh Yeah" and "Angel Interceptor" never sounded better.

Ash's cover versions of ABBA's "Does Your Mother Know" (fantastic!), Dusty Springfield's "I Only Want To Be With You" (so amazing!), Star Wars' "Cantina Band" (even John Williams would have been proud) and The Temptations' "Get Ready" (wicked!) goes to show that Ash aren't just another punk band, they're so versatile! They sound almost like a 60s/70s band doing those cover versions.

They sure don't make albums like they used to. The current era of bet wetters music can't hold a candle to the once great Britpop bands.

Mark Sutherland, who was entrusted with the task of writing the sleeve note for the 1977 deluxe edition wrote:
"While everyone else from our supposedly golden generation
crashed and burned, Ash have never let us down. As heart-tearingly
fantastic today as they've always been, throughout the line-up changes, shifts
in direction, rock'n'roll excess and rehabilitation, their recordings have
always retained the happy knack that all the great possess: of always being
different, while never once betraying their core essence."

"Once you've heard 1977, whatever year you're living in just
won't feel the same."

Listening to "Girl From Mars" 4-track demo in its purest form with a semi-comatose sounding Tim Wheeler reminds me of what a great band Ash have been and will always be. I'm looking forward to seeing them live again this 30 November at the Bangkok 100 Rock Festival =]

Saturday 8 November 2008

Justice is served

I jumped into Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney right after I concluded Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations and the first episode kept me gripped to my DS for hours! It was an excellent first episode which takes place 7 years after the last Phoenix Wright game and once again Phoenix Wright found himself being accused of murder.

7 years after Trials and Tribulation, Phoenix is no longer the great defense attorney that he once was. He's been reduced to a 'professional' poker player cum pianist working in a seedy Russian joint. Whatever happened to Nick??! I've yet to find out what exactly happened 7 years ago that caused him to lose his attorney's badge..

Graphics on Apollo Justice look somewhat improved and but gameplay remains the same. I do believe the new Miles Edgeworth Perfect Prosecutor game due out next year will feature improved gameplay compared to the previous Phoenix and Apollo chapters. Can't wait for that!

Friday 7 November 2008

Britpop revival

The Star ran a full page article on the return of Britpop in today's paper. A decade after the height of Britpop, it’s making a comeback and leading the revival are none other than the big bad boys of Britpop, Oasis, whose latest studio effort peaked at No. 5 on the US album chart. Looks like they're finally making waves across the Atlantic.

It was reported that Keane recently knocked off Oasis from the top album chart spot and in the coming weeks, Snow Patrol, Kaiser Chiefs and Razorlight will be vying for the same position.

In the past 12 months or so, major Britpop bands like Stereophonics, Travis, Ash and the Manic Street Preachers have played across Asia (but not in KL!) indicating that the next Britpop revival may spread across Asia (hooray!)

Britpop giants Oasis

Thursday 6 November 2008

1977 revisited

My Ash 1977 Collector's Deluxe Edition arrived in the mail today!

The official release date in the UK was 3 November but Amazon UK mailed it two days earlier i.e 1 November. Royal Mail has always been so efficient - the CD only took 4 working days to reach me from jolly ol' England.

Unlike the original version which came in a standard jewel case, the deluxe edition is housed in a digipak with 3 discs. Bands take note - this is how first albums should be rereleased. Remastered with sh*tloads of goodies, bonus tracks and rarities thrown in with an updated lyrics booklet.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to go burn my CD player

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Case dismissed

I always take a long time to finish a Phoenix Wright game and the final Phoenix Wright is no exception. I started the game in mid/end Sept and after my week long SG trip in early October, the DS laid idle on my bedside table for a good 2 weeks before I dusted it off for the final gameplay.

By the time I was close to the end, the battery indicator was flashing red and I knew I had to quickly finish it before the battery goes dead. There's nothing worse than the DS going dead when you are so close to finishing a game! Sure enough, the battery died just as the end credits started to roll.

And despite what the reviews say, this is definitely not my favourite chapter of the Phoenix Wright trilogy. Dahlia Hawthorne was put on the trial stand too many times in this episode though they made up for it by introducing the Godot character. One of the many great character in the Phoenix Wright series (Miles Edgeworth is still my personal favourite)

Moving on, my next game will be "Apollo Justice", the successor to the Phoenix Wright series.

the cast from Apollo Justice

yes the scruffy looking dude on the far left is Phoenix Wright !

Dead rising

back from the dead
My old dead lappy was brought back to live today!

Thankfully it didn't cost me serious money reviving old lappy - only US$12 for the replacement part sourced from the US (Elly brought the part for me to Singapore). Dad replaced the faulty part (and upgraded the RAM yay!) so no workmanship cost incurred.

Whatever am I gonna do with two laptops? I suppose I could use them interchangably on alternate days ;)

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Poetry Of The Day After.. 2 weeks

It's been about 2 weeks since Mayday's "後青春的時 Poetry Of The Day After" was released in Taiwan and I have been waiting very patiently for my copy of CD before listening to the album. Downloads just don't cut it for me.. I must have the shiny round disc to listen to while perusing the CD booklet.

After listening to the entire album in one sitting, it struck me how much more mellow they sound now. Track 10 in particular is almost like a classic Dadrock track. Most rock bands go through that Dadrock phase at some point after band members get hitched and inevitably Mayday seems to have gone in the Dadrock direction [oh no!!!] I'm afraid OMG (hehe it's cute how it's spelled OMG in Chinese) is one of the very few songs that's not-so-mellow and it's also my favourite track off the album at the mo ;)

Now then, I have exactly 5 weeks to memorise the album and songs furiously before I embark on my Taipei trip to attend the 50,000 People 出頭天 concerts the guys are throwing for free =]

Monday 3 November 2008

Music-Man (with sidekick Bahamut) rocks Singapore

Music-Man was fun. And it was good to see all the familiar faces of the homies from across the globe gathered at the Indoor Stadium in SG last Saturday. And of course Elly a.k.a smeLLyphant, my homie from Boston! :) I last saw her [almost] 2 years ago at the Mohegan Sun show in Conneticut on my maiden trip to the States.

That Saturday we arrived early at the stadium to pick up Elly's ticket.. and unexpectedly, much to our surprise we saw an altar table set up at the side of the stadium where the local fans in blue Ourhome SG tees have already gathered to watch the Music-Man offer prayers. We waited for almost an hour before Leehom appeared to pray.

Leehom praying for a fullhouse concert... and his pants not to fall off ;P
We sat at PA-1 section, Row 10 which is in the heart of the fanclub zone. Once again much thanks to Fei for securing the tickets. The seats were really squashy - I don't know why they arranged the chairs so close to each other cos the last time I was at the Indoor Stadium to watch Mayday back in April, the seating wasn't as bad. It's kinda weird to be rubbing thighs with the stranger guy beside me and each time he blew his whistle I swear I felt as if my left eardrum was gonna pop!

The Japanese fans seated beside Baby J were a funny lot. The one right next to her brought along a pair of binoculars *ahem* Row 10 isn't that far from the stage. Maybe she's got really bad eyesight or something.
The concert was about 2.5 hours long and it was good to hear Leehom sing songs that weren't in the previous tour. I particularly enjoyed "Ai Cuo/愛錯" ;) Previous songs from Heroes Of Earth tour (that had not been dropped) has been rearranged. And I still think the rock version of "W-H-Y" sounds bizarre. And so does "Hua Tian Cuo". Highlight of the night was when Leehom's pants fell off. Ha ha ha! That's what happens when you do speed costume change :P

If anyone has it captured on vid, please do share :)