I am listening to the Letters to Ubin EP and smiling to myself because I am thinking of how a critic/observer of the local scene slammed iNCH’s music for being ‘soft’ and ‘not edgy’. Fact is that could not be further from the truth. Perhaps that critic was fooled by iNCH’s public persona! Certainly, there are numerous elements of Letters to Ubin that most casual listeners would consider too arty and indulgent — definitely ‘edgy’!
Indie rockers Stopgap have issued a music video for “Nervous” – a track off upcoming new album Totems. Not quite sure if it’s the strongest song the band have ever written but there you go.
… still there’s more …
It begins with a sharp intake of breath before it engages in an almost five minutes examination of arty minimalism. Not exactly a track that jumps out at it but more like a steady grower.
Back in 2011, in a public Facebook note, singer-songwriter iNCH (a.k.a Inch Chua) criticised Singaporean attitudes toward local music. iNCH even moved out of Singapore (to the US) in order to pursue her musical career. Four years later, back in Singapore, as a packed audience demonstrates their hearty approval, iNCH is moved to tears by a post-gig video filled with expressions of congratulations, love, admiration and celebration for the launch of iNCH’s new EP, Letters to Ubin.
Now here’s one that snuck under the radar. Released earlier in the month, this is a three-track EP that contains some of the better pop songs heard this year.
Why does this exist? Well, a couple of reasons.
— Sequels are profitable.
— Trilogies are in vogue
— A cash in on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (where the version of Batman is inspired by The Dark Knight Returns)
Oh, you wanted artistic reasons.
Laneway Singapore 2016 promises to be the music festival all hip music kids need to be seen at – and this was doubly confirmed by the news that British hip rock outfit 1975 will headline the festival when it returns to our shores on 30th January.
We urge the Organisers of Countdown 2016 to recognize and respect the values of the majority of Singapore that has voiced its desire to preserve our nation’s moral fibre.
The above is from a petition to stop American singer Adam Lambert from performing at Countdown 2016. Amongst the objections, are the fact that Lambert is gay and his shows are sexually charged.
Neon Lights Festival is upon us this weekend (28 – 29 Nov) and these are the acts we are most looking forward to.
The state of pop circa 2015. The record-breaking new album from British songstress encapsulates all you need to know about pop music in the here and now. It’s about songwriting collaborations – Adele co-wrote the songs with eleven other songwriters/producers – including Max Martin, Greg Kurstin and Tobias Jesso Jr.
Scifi TV geeks have been waiting for a long time for a series that matches the epic sweep of Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica. Thus, when it was announced that Syfy was adapting James SA Corey’s Expanse series, there was palpable excitement amongst geeks that perhaps the wait was over. Based on the pilot, there is enough evidence that The Expanse may have a shot at emulating the greatness of the aforementioned series.
When news was announced about the cast for Captain America : Civil War, folks starting referring to the sequel as Avengers 2.5. But based on the first trailer, it’s clearly a Cap movie – it’s just that Cap’s quest for justice for his friend Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) leads him to war with Iron Man and his team.
Which is a clever twist to how the original comic book story played it. It’s about Cap being loyal to his best friend in the face of virtually impossible odds. What a story this is going to be! And we get a first look at Black Panther too! 2016 is going to be an amazing superhero movie year.
Check it out now.
Ian Axel and Chad King of piano pop band A Great Big World (AGBW) seem to have hit on that elusive formula that makes their songs both irresistibly catchy AND strikingly authentic.
A mere 12 hours after hearing their sophomore album When The Morning Comes in its entirety, I was already easily singing along to the big melodic hooks and memorable choruses of every song. At the same time, the unique vulnerability in the words being sung was reeling me in, giving these (otherwise pretty simple) lyrics an emotional depth you wouldn’t normally expect from “happy clappy” pop tunes.
Netflix’s collaboration with Marvel featuring the grittier, street-wise superheroes of New York (of the Marvel Cinematic Universe) enters into Phase Two with Jessica Jones. Whilst Daredevil has a marquee-level brand recognition, Jessica Jones would only be familiar to diehard comic book fans, from the Marvel MAX series, Alias. Thus, it represented a bit of a risk for Netflix-Marvel to produce a Jessica Jones series over a more prominent character like say, The Punisher or even Luke Cage. But the gamble paid off and how!
The latest DC crossover event Convergence gave the company the excuse to reboot its characters yet again. For some reason, Marvel and DC are convinced that comic book readers constantly want something new in lieu of memorable stories.
The Silver Age Green Lantern (a.k.a. Hal Jordan) gets his latest makeover with the Renegade storyline: Hal gets a new look as he goes rogue from the Green Lantern Corps and along the way, Jordan steals a Green Lantern prototype gauntlet and power pack from the armoury.
If you’re a fan of classic prog rock and Genesis, then arguably, it is worth noting the role of keyboards maestro Tony Banks in shaping the sound of both. However, if one talks about Genesis, the focus is usually on Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins and maybe at a pinch, Mike Rutherford. I have been obsessed with Banks compositions on Genesis albums for a long time, and this is an opportunity to share this passion with the world!
“I’m a Blackstar”
Two years ago, David Bowie returned to the spotlight with the release of The Next Day, his magnificent comeback album. On 8th January 2016, Bowie drops his new LP, Blackstar.
I am a pretty emotional person, and am more so when I get older – I guess when you have a greater experience of loss and sadness – these scenes hit home. Sure, some of them are melodramatic and in fantastical settings (and one of them involves an imaginary friend) but death is a fact of life that as human beings, we will always be trying to come to terms with. Until of course, our own time is up! Enjoy (or not, as the case may be).
And… spoilers, duh!
Some respite for true pop lovers from the onslaught of the prefabricated anti-music dominating the current Billboard charts in the form of a new Squeeze album! Yes! When frontman Glenn Tilbrook was in Singapore last year, he mentioned that the band was recording a new album and here it is – Cradle to the Grave – the band’s first album of new material since 1998!
Yes, like most geeks I can hardly wait to watch Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens when it opens in Singapore on 16th December 2015 (and yes, I have purchased my tickets already!) BUT at the back of my mind I have lingering doubts whether the movie can live up to its enormous hype. So let’s look at SEVEN of them, shall we?
It’s amazing to consider that a mere decade ago, bands dominated the local indie music landscape. Now, singer-songwriters release music with a frequency that suggests some kind of epoch is upon us. This is a natural development of a maturing music scene. After all, singer-songwriters can express themselves to an audience without a band and thus, in practical terms it’s easier for singer-songwriters to find performance opportunities.
It seldom gets as meta as it did in the 4-part Airboy series recently published by Image Comics, written by Jame Robinson and illustrated by Greg Hinkle.
Basically, Robinson and Hinkle are hired by Image Comics to reboot WWII hero Airboy for the millennial generation. Instead, the mini-series is about Robinson and Hinkle meeting Airboy (!) being transported into WWII and actually participating in an Airboy mission.
Russian post-rockers Around The World In 80 Days make its performance debut in Singapore on 18th November.
To be honest, I rather balked at yet another superhero being ‘reinvented’. Already, Marvel has given us a female Thor and so it seemed cliched to now come up with a distaff Wolverine. As you know Logan is dead – though the Old Man Logan version turned up in a X-Men comic recently – and so his clone X23 (Laura Kinney) takes up his mantle, in his original yellow and blue costume.