Apr 202014


When I spoke to Alex Zhang (aka Dirty Beaches) a couple of weeks ago, he was adamant that his live performances would not consist of reproducing his recorded work but would focus on being more experimental and spontaneous. In fact, halfway through his concert at Pink Noize on Wednesday, 16th April he remarked – “True blue’s for pussies” when a request was shouted out from the audience.

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Apr 162014



Super-heroes are massive. Especially Marvel super-heroes. Both Fox’s X-Men and Sony’s Spider-Man franchises have been incredibly lucrative: X-Men has grossed $1,065,460,187 and Spider-Man, $1,375,853,166. And this May, the two franchises go head to head, who will come out tops? Our bet is on X-Men: Days of Future Past (which opens in Singapore on 22nd May). The star power on the movie will more or less guarantee box office success, and based on the final trailer below, might have a good story behind it as well.

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Apr 152014


By Jeanette Chin

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity of interviewing a very talented new R&B singer-songwriter from Singapore called J. Clement. He worked with Marc Lian from Trick on his latest single, “Body Move”, and it has remained at #1 on the Hot 91.3FM chart for the past month! Wanna know more about him? Read on.

What got you started in music? Give us the lowdown on your musical history.

I started playing the saxophone when I was 12 years old, and as the years went by, I wanted to learn an instrument in which I could play and sing at the same time, and that’s how I got started playing the guitar. Having being influenced by Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, and YouTube sensations like Gabe Bondoc & Tori Kelly, my music tends to lean more towards R&B.

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Apr 122014


Three years ago, I first met Deon Toh (second from left, above) when he was a participant in the Noise-Timbre Singer-Songwriter Program and I was the resident songwriting mentor. Since then, DEON has gone from strength to strength and has played all over the place, including last years’ Canada Music Week. This year, DEON has extended his overseas stint to include the UK (London and Liverpool) as well and will play at the International Pop Overthrow Festival. Backing him will be Lim Jie (guitar), Mindy Kon (Keyboards), Stasha Wong (bass), and Jovin Lim (drums). Before leaving our shores, DEON will also play a couple of local gigs (see poster below) so make a date with DEON in the next couple of weeks.

Always Take The Scenic Route (Poster)-Small

Look out for DEON’s new album, Antiphobic, to be released in June 2014.

Official Site 

Apr 082014


When I told DARKSIDE (Nicolas Jaar & Dave Harrington) over the phone that I thought new album Psychic sounded like traditional rock, they were rather amused (and bemused, I suspect). And whilst, it is true that their improvisational performance style was somewhat experimental, it was not difficult to hear the echoes of Pink Floyd (Harrington did a fair Gilmour impression) and other psychedelic space-rock acolytes in the duo’s well-received set at the Ground Theatre *SCAPE on Sunday, 6th April.

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Apr 072014

What else can you say about Tommy? Well, if you are a diehard classic rock fan, then this documentary endeavours to be all you really need to know about The Who‘s famous rock opera. And the documentary certainly spares no detail in getting the story right. Interviews with survivors who were instrumental the creation of the album – Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Chris Stamp (ex-manager), Bob Pridden (sound engineer), Mike McInnerney (cover artist) – provide the historical background for how the album came about, the individual tracks themselves and the post-release impact.

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Apr 062014


Quick news bites of new releases from the modern rock wasteland.


They Might Be GiantsIdlewild, a 10-Year Song Compilation. Release date: May 27.


Julian Fleisher - Finally. Release date: May 13 via Modern Records.


The Trewss/t. Release date: April 22 digitally viz Nettwerk Records.


Stumbleine (ft. Violet Skies)Dissolver. Release date: April 29th via Monotreme Records.

Lewis Watson

Lewis WatsonThe Morning. Release date: June 17 via Warner Bros. Records.


Dead StarsSlumber. Release date: June 17 via Old Flame Records.

… still there’s more …

Apr 062014


Faithful readers will be aware that Power of Pop has been around for some time, so let’s take a journey back in time via Spotify to discovered the hidden gems of the last decade or so, shall we? Climb on board!

DON MCGLASHANWarm Hand (Arch Hill)

Best known for his work with seminal New Zealand band the Mutton Birds, singer-songwriter McGlashan finally delivered his debut solo album in 2006. A record of shimmering guitars, deep instrumentation and thoughtful lyricism, Warm Hand is a potent statement of artistic intent.

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Apr 052014



A transitional year for me. I welcomed the new decade as a National Serviceman having enlisted on Boxing Day, 1979. But more importantly, my musical tastes were changing as well, significantly. Sometime in 1978, I had been exposed to punk when a JC friend played to my friends & I, the Sex PistolsAnarchy in the UK LP (banned in Singapore but smuggled in for good measure) and to be honest I was unimpressed. For a pop-rock lover weaned on The Beatles, Deep Purple, Queen, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, the Sex Pistols seemed dumb and barbaric!

That said, by 1980 I had begun to cotton on to the post-punk movement and had already started listening to the pioneering new bands of that era, which seemed far removed from the old-school rockers of my relative youth. Fueled by the noises made by rock mags like NME, Sounds & Melody Maker, I had started to abandon the old bands (as irrelevant) and had ‘embraced’ the future of rock. 

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Apr 042014

Hailing from Bueno Aires, Argentina, Baby Scream has been flying the power pop flag for the past decade or so, delivering premier Beatlesque goodness that fans of the 90s Pop Underground would have no problem appreciating. The sardonically-titled Greatest Failures compiles some of Baby Scream’s finer moments (“Slut”, “Mars” and “Morning Light” amongst them) and provides a good starting point. Deeper exploration of the Baby Scream discography is available at Bandcamp. Led by vocalist/guitarist Juan Pablo Mazzola – who himself sings with a Lennonesque authority – Baby Scream is a safe haven for the power pop purists out there who are pining for the good ol’ days of the 90s Pop Underground. Check ‘em out!

… still there’s more …

Apr 042014

Singapore electro-pop duo Cosmic Armchair has signed with Alfa Matrix, and has become the first Asian band to sign an album deal with Belgium-based in label. This collaboration with Alfa Matrix, home to international electro stars like Front 242, Recoil, Nitzer Ebb and supergroup Bruderschaft, gives the duo better access to audiences everywhere especially in Europe and America.

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Apr 032014


Directed by Terry Gilliam. Starring Christoph Waltz, Lucas Hedges, Mélanie Thierry, David Thewlis and Matt Damon

Director Terry Gilliam has called The Zero Theorum the final part of a dystopian satire trilogy or “Orwellian triptych” begun with 1985′s Brazil and continued with 1995′s 12 Monkeys. This time round, the story centres on Qohen Leth (Waltz), a reclusive computer genius working on a formula to determine whether life holds meaning. It’s clear to anyone who has seen these three movies that Gilliam shares the same concerns that Orwell had – the oppression of the individual by totalitarian organizations, the loss of personal liberties due to the role of technology in enabling oppressive governments to monitor and control their citizens.

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Apr 032014

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at AM 11.46.32

Aussie troubadour Gabriel Lynch plays at Hood Bar on 24th April. It’s the first time that Lynch will be bringing a band to the region and he will be playing tunes from his forthcoming album, All of Us. The album was crowdfunded and many of the songs are based on titles and topics suggested by the people who helped Lynch fund the recording, including several from Singapore!

Doors at 7:30 – $15 entry (including free drink)

RSVP | Official | Facebook


Apr 012014




Album #4 opens rather tentatively with sparsely instrumented tracks like “The Upsetter” and “I’m Aquarius”. The songs sound vaguely unfinished – almost like demos. And the pace never quite picks up for the rest of the album. Presumably, Metronomy was not interested in simply replicating meaningless dance rock numbers. Good for them.

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Mar 292014


Has been a while since I posted my discoveries at Spotify but better late than never. It’s truly amazing to me that so much of the music that I loved and collected as a young adult is easily available at a mouse click nowadays. Let’s talk about a couple of them, shall we?

DONALD FAGENNightfly (1982)

I only got into Steely Dan much later in life but I did pick up singer Donald Fagen’s debut solo album on cassette due to the great press it was getting in the music magazines. It was a sophisticated hybrid of jazz, pop and soul that resonates to this day.

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Mar 282014


(Directed by Anthony & James Russo. Starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford & Sebastian Stan)

Finally, a Phase 2 Marvel movie knocks one out of the park! Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World had not quite hit the heights of Avengers and thus it was left to Captain America: The Winter Soldier to deliver the goods.

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Mar 262014



A beautiful noise is what punk quartet Perfect Pussy makes on its debut full-length. Deliberately lo-fi with singer Meredith Graves spitting out the barely discernible lyrics over the cacophony, there is something disarmingly honest about this edgy sound. Sure, it’s hard to tell what Graves is singing most of the time, yet it all come across as compelling. Recommended!

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 FILM  Comments Off
Mar 252014

Billed as the biggest superhero movie ever produced, Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past packs two generations of X-Men in a loose adaptation of Uncanny X-Men #141-142 (1980). Based on the two trailers already seen and the previous X-movies, it’s obvious that changes to the original stories is a given. The most one can hope for is that director Bryan Singer keeps faith with the core of the original stories, does not include too many lame characters (like X-Men: The Last Stand) and keeps the plot convolution to a bare minimum. Here’s the latest trailer for your viewing pleasure.

Opens 22nd May.


 MUSIC  Comments Off
Mar 242014

Photo by Cass Goh


Over the course of the last three weeks, The Groovy People and I did a couple of gigs in support of #alpacablues. Overall, I felt that the band was in top form with Eileen Chai on violin providing the distinctive flavour that carried us over the top. Considering how badly Emo FASCISM was received last time out, I kept my expectations for #alpacablues extremely low. This was the best way to approach these bunch of gigs as well and in the final analysis, I had fun. It was great to see friendly faces at Artistry, Hood Bar & the Esplanade. Most of all, it was amazing once again to play with Patrick Chng, Ray Aziz, Nelson Tan & Benjamin Ang - I love them all as friends and respect them all immensely as talented musicians. It is never easy playing live in Singapore where audiences are not as appreciative as you would like them to be especially with music that they are not familiar with (i.e. NOT COVERS) but once you keep that firmly in mind, you can get by fairly well. Managed to get hold of the soundboard recordings from the Esplanade so check them out below.

… still there’s more …

Mar 242014

Electrico is back in the saddle and recently posted sneak peeks of new material over at their official Soundcloud page. Three songs – “With You”, “Live in the Night” and “Easy Go” – are reminiscent of the band’s early days, chock full of melodic hooks and powerpop vibes. The band has promised a new release later this year. Personally, I can’t wait. Check them out!