Aussie indie pop outfit Fairchild has debuted “Arcadia”, a song off upcoming new EP – Sadako – to be released on November 21st through Canvas Sounds/Believe Digital. The new song is an infectious, hooky dance pop number which indie pop fans will simply lap up. Check it out below.
In bygone days, it was common for superheroes to be placed in life threatening situations with readers being confident that the hero would somehow escape the clutches of death. But that concept was first challenged in X-Men #137 (1980) when Jean Grey (aka Marvel Girl/Phoenix) took her own life in order to protect the universe from the Phoenix force that possessed her. In an unforgettable sequence, Jean Grey paid the ultimate price in order to save the universe.
2014 has been a good year for music, make no mistake about that! And as the year draws to a close (yes really!), it’s time to take stock. Power of Pop will be announcing soon a tie-up with the kind folks at Spotify Singapore for you to share with us your favourite 12 tracks for 2014. Stay tuned for the details to come your way very soon. In the meantime, here’s a playlist of 12 tracks that made the Power of Pop alive again this year! Enjoy!
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Directed by David Fincher.
Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris & Tyler Perry
When you are watching a movie, you want to like it – after all, you are spending time and money to watch the movie so… wouldn’t you want to like it? I find that increasingly, the more visual eye candy the movie throws my way, the more amenable I am to accept the story flaws that inevitably crop up. But in the case of Gone Girl – director David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best selling novel, there are no special effects to distract from the plotline and thus, one would think that it would be easier to determine how successful the story-telling was.
Was fortunate to spend a fair bit of last night soaking in local artworks that were inspired by pop & rock music at the Singled Out exhibition at tcc – The Connoisseur Concerto ‘The Gallery’ at 51 Circular Road. Basically, the artists used vinyl records as a starting point, mixed that with other media to create something new. The artworks will be up for auction where all proceeds will be managed by Thunder Rock School, though a music education outreach program specifically catered to financially disadvantaged children. The exhibition will be open till 6th Jan 2015.
I was impressed by the concepts and execution, by and large. Also, I was hooked by how well the ideas connected with the inspiration. In addition, I was intrigued that many of the artists were also musicians in their own right and that spiced things up for me. Check out my top 10 favorites below.
Taken off Facebook.
It is with outmost regret that we are announcing the cancellation of the Hostess Club Weekender Singapore.
Due to the second day Tokyo headline artist falling through at visa deadline time, and another artist on that program being unable to secure visa approval, the Tokyo Hostess Club Weekender has had to be very reluctantly canceled.
Given the Tokyo Weekender is the anchor event of the Hostess Club circuit, which also helps fund the entire Asia outing, this meant the tour itself has come to be untenable.
We would like to offer our sincere apologies to fans who have bought tickets to the show – every effort has been made to find a solution to retain the regional shows without Tokyo, however a combination of political unrest and sponsor withdrawals in the region as well as just moderate ticket sales in Singapore ultimately made this unrealistic to pursue.
We are working closely with our ticketing agent eventClique to ensure all ticket holders are refunded swiftly. For enquiries regarding this please contact:-
Tel: +65 6602 9900
Forefront Asia & Ynos Inc
This is the second Hostess Club Weekender in a row that has been cancelled. It’s going to take something very extra-special if the event is going to regain the confidence of concert-goers.
There’s quite a fair bit of country music out there that’s popular but sadly, it’s mostly Top 40 mainstream pop fare that never challenges the mind and instead panders to the lowest common denominator. For something more cutting edge in the country music sphere, we need to continue to look at Alt-Country. Thankfully, that aspect of country music is still thriving (creatively, if not commercially) and one prime example can be found in Sleeping Operator, the sophomore effort from the Montreal-based Barr Brothers (viz. Brad Barr, Andrew Barr, Sarah Page, Andres Vial).
It’s always a wondrous experience when an artistically-minded band blends country with rock ‘n’ roll to produce soulful music that leaves the listener satisfied. To these ears, songs like “Wolves”, “Even the Darkness Has Arms” and “Half Crazy” recalls the likes of Steve Earle, The Jayhawks and even early WILCO – a wonderful evocation of Gram Parsons’ Cosmic American Music. The melodies glide effortlessly and the exotic instrumentation complements the same perfectly to send sympathetic listeners into country-folk-pop-rock bliss!
Thanks to Nick Whitcomb for the recommendation!
Yeah I borrowed the “I REMEMBER SG” motif – it’s valid and appropriate in the context. I have been thinking for quite a while that it is time to document the beginnings of the Singapore indie music scene (SGINDIE) and probably the easiest way to do so would be to get quotes from folks who are able to ‘remember’ (SGINDIE) and present them in this new PoP feature.
First off, I asked Patrick Chng (The Oddfellows, TypeWriter) about when the SGINDIE scene all began.
“For me it started with the No Surrender gig at Anywhere pub in ’87, organized by BigO. The vibe was just electrifying. It was packed. It was the first gig that BigO organized. It was featured in BigO too I’m sure. There was a bootleg cassette released too by Joe (Ng) for BigO. Two songs for each band.”
BigO (Before I Get Old) was an indie rock magazine (Singapore’s first) that championed Singapore indie music in the late 80s/90s. The magazine stopped publishing in the early 2000s. It still exists as an online zine.
“The line-up at No Surrender was Joe Love & The Hoodlum Circus, Earth Medicine Band, Don Victor, The Nonames, Opposition Party, Corporate Toil, Zircon Lounge (pictured above). Back then the crowd was tough… you get booed or jeered at if they don’t like you. Corporate Toil were heckled and jeered throughout their set cos their experimental electro music didn’t appeal to the audience who were more into guitar-rock. I guested on guitar on Corporate Toil’s last song… a cover of Joy Division’s “Exercise One”. Before I came on, I was thinking to myself, “OH SHIT.” Played with my back to the audience. HAHA!”
There you go, our ground zero is 1987. I am hoping for this to be a catalyst, a starting point of discussion about SGINDIE. Please get in touch (info AT powerofpop DOT com) if you have anything to contribute concerning that special epoch in our history.
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The Flaming Lips are coming back to Singapore! Four years ago, the Lips thrilled us with a wildly psychedelic show but omitted to play a single track from my favourite Lips album – The Soft Bulletin. Well, hopefully, the band can remedy this in December at The Coliseum! Tickets go on sale this Monday (20th Oct) 10am at http://tickets.eventclique.com/thegathering.
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From 17th October 2014 to 6th January 2015, tcc – The Connoisseur Concerto is proud to present Singled Out – an art exhibition conceptualised by creative agency fFurious, and developed in collaboration with events organisation art-management.com, and Thunder Rock School. This exhibition will see 50 local designers and artists transforming vinyl records into pieces of artwork that will be on display at tcc ‘The Gallery’ at 51 Circular Road. The artworks will be up for auction where all proceeds will be managed by Thunder Rock School, who will be setting up a music education outreach program specifically catered to financially disadvantaged children.
Of special mention would be the artists-musicians (or is that musicians-artists?) e.g. Alan Bok (TypeWriter), Amanda Keisha Ang (No Pantz), Andy Yang (Cheating Sons), Ginette Chittick (Astreal) & Yee Chang Kang (TypeWriter). To keep the musical theme going, here’s a mix that KidG put together especially for the occasion.
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Y’know I am always griping about how pop-punk all sounds the same but of course, that accusation can be leveled against any music that stays within its constrained ‘genre’ limits. Case in point – Rhett Walker Band. The band unashamedly describes itself as a Southern Rock/Christian Rock group and its new album – Here’s To The Ones – actually opens with a sermon snippet before launching into the rousing blues anthem “Clone”.
The rest of this album stays true to type, more or less, which halfway through is a bit too much unless you are a diehard fan of Southern Rock (or a bible thumper). There are good instances of country-folk-pop on view – the title track is a breezy delight and “Love Like Jesus” was probably written with worship bands in mind – but overall, Here’s To The Ones will only appeal to the converted, which is a pity.
I guess you could say this is a ‘big deal’ – especially if you are a Bob Dylan fan and of the individual members of the supergroup that is The New Basement Tapes viz. Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons).
The New Basement Tapes and producer T Bone Burnett convened in March 2014 at Capitol Studios in Hollywood to write and create music together for 26-year old Bob Dylan’s long-lost lyrics. The complete album, Lost On the River: The New Basement Tapes, will be released by Electromagnetic Recordings/Harvest Records on November 10.
So far, three tracks have been released with Costello, James and Mumford taking turns at vocals/melody writer. This time around it’s Giddens and the song is “Spanish Mary”. Check out the video below.
Additionally, the original documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued will premiere on SHOWTIME on Friday, November 21st at 9 P.M. ET/PT. See what I mean? A. Big. Deal.
Just downloaded the new Thom Yorke album – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes – via BitTorrent. And it was totally legit. Yorke has, in the recent past, condemned streaming sites for exploiting artists and thus it was interesting to find out that Yorke is using a BitTorrent site to sell his album. The digital album is US$6 and the bundle comes with 8 tracks and one video (of single “A Brain in a Bottle”). The single and video are available for free – as a teaser presumably for the album. Check it out at https://bundles.bittorrent.com/
Brass Bed is releasing a brand new 7″ with MA’AM Records on November 18th, 2014. The new single, “Be Anything” b/w “Mind The Gap” captures the band live on two inch tape deep in the midst of their tour cycle. Fuzzy guitars, gorgeous tunes and easy vibe recalls Dinosaur Jr., Teenage Fanclub and the 90s Pop Underground. Listen now!
Last year David Bowie shocked the world with the release of a new single (“Where Are We Now?”)/album (The Next Day) after years of silence and relative inactivity. Well, it didn’t take long for Bowie to return with another new single/album did it? The single is “Sue (Or In a Season of Crime) which was given its world premiere on BBC Radio Six by DJ Guy Garvey, a couple of days ago. Of course, the song is all over the internet now – check it out below.
Animal Day @ 313 is back! Come support the 10 animal welfare groups that will be supported through performances by 7 bands!
Dates: 18th & 19th October 2014
Venue: Discovery Walk (313@somerset, L1)
In support of:
ACRES: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Singapore)
Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD)
Agency for Animal Welfare Ltd.
Animal Lovers League
Causes for Animals – Singapore
House Rabbit Society Singapore (HRSS)
Noah’s Ark Natural Animal Sanctuary – nanas
Save Our StreetDogs SOSD
Pet Lovers Centre Singapore and Clubpets Magazine
Still Sunrise | Stopgap | Pleasantry | Sam Rui | Purple Tiger | Theodora | Afterglow
(Organized by Thunder Rock School)
PoP is on a quest to discover the best contemporary bands out there trading in classic pop-rock, power-pop and garage-rock and we aim to please ourselves as often as humanly possible. The Singles viz. Vincent Frederick (guitar/lead vocals) and Nicky Veltman (drums/back-up vocals) are the real deal! This LA based duo have just released Look How Fast A Heart Can Break and it is a winner. It’s fair to say that they don’t sound like any one band directly but there’s certainly a healthy dollop of Big Star, The Replacements, T. Rex and more, in their musical agenda. Best part is that it gets hearts pounding and adrenaline rushing for all the best reasons. Check ‘em out!
Regular PoP visitors will be keenly aware of my aversion towards ‘pop-punk’ in modern rock parlance. But of course, there is still a place for punk-rock in 2014 for any band who is clever enough to not be limited by ‘genre’ but instead is able to use punk as an attitude to approach music making. Case in point – Toronto outfit PUP, who consists of Stefan on vox / guitar, Zack on drums, Steve on guitar and Nestor on bass and simply classify their music as ‘loud’!
According to its press release, The Spider Sessions came about as a response to a lack of paying gigs for musical artistes in Singapore. Which is in itself, an excellent cause, of course and the folks behind this initiative should be commended.
Apart from organizing more paid gigs for indie bands, “the Spider Sessions aims to build a strong community, holding networking sessions prior to events in order to allow featured artistes to build rapport with each other as well as to facilitate pooling of fan bases. Similar avenues will be provided for the audience to interact with the artistes both during and outside of the events”.
Which is also to be applauded as the sense of community within the local music scene can definitely be built upon. The inaugural event will feature boxchild, Koji, Knightingale and Orange Cove. Ranging from melodic hard rock to grunge to pop punk, these bands represent the lesser-known albeit up and coming modern pop-rock scene in Singapore.
Venue: Pink Noize
Date: Saturday, November 15th 2014
Time: 7 PM to 10 PM
Ticket Pricing: $10
(inclusive of a complimentary non-alcoholic drink)
The best part of being in Singapore? The availability of awesome #sgindie music at my doorstep! MAAD Sounds has going for it two main things – a wonderful selection of S-ROCK and the presence of the effervescent Andy Yang – artist, musician & all-round fun guy! This Friday, MAAD Sounds returns with four exciting indie rock bands – The Psalms, MONSTER CAT, Spacedays and Ellipis! Don’t miss this!! Check out the music below and will see you tomorrow!
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Directed by Gary Shore.
Starring Luke Evans, Sarah Gordon, Dominic Cooper & Samantha Banks.
There was a time Dracula was portrayed as a monster. Nothing suave or romantic about him, for sure. But of course, in these modern times, the vampire has become a sex symbol and Dracula is the King of Vampires! Eschewing any reliance on Bram Stoker’s classic storyline, the producers of Untold have opted instead to create an origin story for Dracula set in the 15th century. A good idea that has seldom been examined in the movies but sadly, the execution is an absolute letdown.
Is there a mini classic pop-rock happening in 2014? Well, you could argue that it has never really gone away when guys like Bob Mould, Guided by Voices, Tom Petty, J Mascis, Johnny Marr, Sloan and the like have continued to make vital music. Never mind the fact that Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack has all but brought classic 70s pop-rock back to the mainstream. AND with ex-MCR frontman Gerard Way releasing a debut solo album that has the ‘emo-punk-pop’ kids in an uproar, then you know for sure that something is going on. In any case, here’s a couple of 70s-era song videos that will demonstrate, I hope, why this is the kind of music that I will always be rocking to!
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John Lennon was my very first musical hero back when I first started listening to pop music and remains to this day, in my humble opinion, the ultimate embodiment of rock n’ roll. As a songwriter, Lennon has always been my primary inspiration, equally at home writing rockers and ballads whilst expressing topics ranging from love to politics to the whimsical but always personal and honest.
Thus, it was good news this morning, when I discovered that Lennon’s back catalogue is now available at Spotify. Finally! Yes, of course, I possess virtually every single track that Lennon ever made, either with The Beatles or as a solo artist but it’s so convenient to have all these wonderful songs at a finger click now. So, here’s my John Lennon Spotify playlist. Enjoy….
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