Jan 312015


Scandal may be ludicrous for 90% of the time but at least it’s good fun ludicrous. “Run” – the first episode of the new year has Olivia Pope kidnapped from her home and imprisoned in a Muslim country (probably the Middle East?). Shades of Homeland perhaps?

But, it doesn’t take too long to figure out that things aren’t quite as they seem. The big reveal (it’s a twist in the tail) at the end was utterly predictable and that’s why it was ultimately boring. And the reason for all the nonsense on this episode was plain dumb.

So this is where we’re going with Scandal for the remainder of Season 4? Disappointing.

Jan 302015


Directed by Brian A. Miller
Starring Thomas Jane and Bruce Willis.

B-grade scifi of the worst kind. Nothing even makes any sense whatsoever.
Premise – VICE is the ultimate paradise, where patrons can commit any crime they want without fear – as the offenses are perpetuated on androids (or “artificials” as they are called in the movie).

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Jan 302015


It’s called Hands. Cannot. Erase. and it already deserves to be hailed as one of the albums of 2015! Known primarily for his progressive rock work with Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson is a singer-songwriter-instrumentalist that is able to encapsulate myriad rock styles into a pleasing whole.

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Jan 302015

cats at MBS

When it comes to Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ Cats, the only song that came to everyone’s mind is the song Memory. Indeed that is the only hit song from the show. It was this song that spurred me years ago to get hold of a DVD of Cats from a friend. (This was before the days of Youtube.) I remembered being very confused, trying to decipher a storyline out of all the singing and dancing cats. After a while, I gave up on the DVD.

It was then with much trepidation that I attend this Cats, currently showing in MasterCard Theatre in Marina Bay Sands. I was all prepared for an evening of boredom and confusing. After all, I was just there to hear ONE song. It was then a pleasant surprise that, although I was indeed bored at some points, I generally enjoyed myself.

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Jan 292015


And January is almost over! Time to ponder the coming movies in February 2015.

5th February 

Directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland
Starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart

Another movie about suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Nothing frightens more than losing one’s memory permanently. Moore is nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for this one, so her performance is probably worth the price of admission. Get the hankies out though.

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Jan 292015


Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom.

Life is a convoluted mess. Well, it is for the protagonist of Thomas Pychon’s 2009 novel Inherent Vice. This ambitious film adaptation by Anderson stays relatively faithful to the novel in all its complicated glory. That protagonist, Larry “Doc” Sportello (Phoenix) is captured brilliantly by the performance of Pheonix.

Sportello is a pothead/a private investigator drawn into a complex web of crime and paranoia set in 1970 Los Angeles. Clocking in at 148 minutes, Inherent Vice is not an easy film to follow, with a plot that meanders a great deal and adds new characters almost every other scene, straining the mind to the limit to understand.

Thankfully, Anderson lightens the mood considerably with numerous sight gags amongst the sometimes prolonged conversation pieces. It might take a little time to absorb everything (who is this again and how is he/she crucial to the plot?) but it’s worth the time and effort. Just about.

In the cinemas now.

Jan 292015

Russell Peters 2015 Singapore EDM

Comedian Russell Peters returns to Singapore on April 7, 2015, 8pm at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, Level 6, Hall 601-604.

Standard tickets priced at S$108, S$138, S$158, S$188 and S$228 go on sale 10:00 AM Saturday 31 January, 2015 at and via all SISTIC channels. (Sistic booking fee not included.)

Official Sites:

Join on Facebook:

Jan 292015


Oops! Missed a week!! So let’s discover a fortnight’s worth on Spotify.


Welcome back! The Decemberists represent old school pop-rock values where folk and country music are twinned with alternative rock mindsets. For this new album, Colin Meloy and company also recall their early indie-pop days with bright tunes like “Calvary Captain” and “Philomena” standing out from the stellar quirky country-folk pop fare. Essential!

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Jan 282015


We’re digging the new Malay single from Sezairi – “Jangan Coba Berlari” (roughly translated as “Don’t try to run”) as it oozes the smooth classic pop-soul vibe that the singer-songwriter has made his name on.

The song was written by well-respected Indonesian pop singer Tulus and was produced in Bandung as well, with the final result reflective of that fact.

The video (directed by Helmindra) is highly watchable — cleverly made up of various long takes — and complements the intimate nature of the song itself. Check it out!

Instagram/Twitter: @sezairi


Jan 272015

Screen shot 2015-01-27 at PM 10.43.23

Finally, the first teaser trailer for the new Fantastic Four movie arrives and frankly, it’s looks fine to me. After all the trepidation of the supposedly ‘un-superheroic’ approach of the reboot, the movie comes across like a Warren Ellis comic book, specifically Ultimate Fantastic Four!

Of course, the movie could still suck but at this point of time, I am looking forward to see what Josh Trank has come up with. Check it out!

Jan 272015

Screen shot 2015-01-27 at AM 09.46.46

Tim De Cotta (Bass/ Vocals), Audrey Tengkey (Piano, Keys and Synth) and Teo Jia Rong (Drums) make up TAJ, bringing forth an exciting new venture, and great contribution to Singapore’s contemporary jazz scene.

Now the above (from the Darker Than Wax press release) sums it up pretty well. 70s jazz fusion lovers (with emphasis on ‘fusion’) will dig TAJ’s debut EP – The Astral Journey – for its grooves, virtuosity and attitude. Followers of old school soul-R&B-funk will thrill to the authentic spirit behind songs like “Taj Yo’self” and “Old Town MOFO”, not to mention the dreamy title track that demonstrates so much emotional resonance, it’s hard not to fall in love with Audrey Tengkey’s fingers… and the sultry vocoder-ized vox on “Daydream”. Too much sexy. Something for everybody here! Get in!! Now!!!

But of course, we wanted to know more about the folk behind the awesome music and so I present to you… TAJ, in their own words…

How did the band get together?

We got together by chance actually. It was 2012 when Tim and Audrey went with the Singapore contingent to MIDEM in Cannes, and through rehearsals for this showcase Audrey and Tim got to know and like their musical styles in their respective bands. So when they came back Audrey invited Tim to an open jam session at LaSalle with other young musicians and students. It was a shed session to just have fun and also to try new things. Drummers, keyboardists, bassists and turntablists even. So JR was one of the drummers there and as the jam went on, it was clear that the chemistry between the 3 of us whenever we were on our instruments together was really strong! We didn’t just jam the songs per se but we moved and evolved them in a matter of minutes. So eventually, we started meeting more and more often, till it became just exclusive to the 3 of us, jamming covers and then eventually writing our own music. It happened very naturally and faster than usual, also because we became great friends. TAJ was born and on 1 Oct 2013, we released our single “The Astral Journey”.

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Jan 262015


As part of her 2015 Brutal Romantic World Tour, Brooke Fraser will be making her Asian debut in Singapore on 20 March at the Kallang Theatre.

Ticket sales will commence on 27 January 2015, and are priced from $58 to $148. Limited VIP Meet and Greet Passes are available at $40.

Fans can subscribe to Sprout Entertainment’s online newsletter at for instant ticketing discounts.

Jan 262015


Directed by Morten Tyldum.
Written by Graham Moore.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Matthew Goode and Keira Knightley. 

Before discussing the merits of the film, it was ironic to discover that the movie was rated NC-16 for “homosexual references” in Singapore. Thus, despite receiving a royal pardon for his criminal conviction for gross indecency, Turing is judged again in this risible manner. Ah well.

Apart from that, there is nothing notably negative about The Imitation Game. The actors are all on their game – Cumberbatch delivers a stunning performance. The narrative jumps around from time to time in a satisfying non-linear fashion. And the grand injustice meted out to Turing before his death is given its due as a horrifying third act.

The message behind The Imitation Game is clear enough – prejudice is inhuman and those that stand out as different should be treasured not vilified. Of course, much of the human drama is glamorized for effect – Turing’s role in breaking the Enigma code and the relationship with Joan Clarke (Knightley) – but necessary to design an effective plot.

An enjoyable ‘message’ film that really should be seen by everyone from 12 upwards.

Jan 252015


Syfy series Helix is back and while it retains much of the key features of season one (i.e. deadly pathogen, CDC involvement, death, gore, immortality and conspiracies), season two differs significantly in having two separate storylines (one in the present, and one in the future). Yes, the LOST flashforward is back!

Curiously, there are a few parallels with LOST – besides the flashforwards, the CDC team is trapped on an island, there is a cult group headed by an enigmatic leader and secrets kept within secrets. Two episodes, there is much to recommend the show with — after one absorbs the disorientating changes from the season one finale.

Jan 252015

Future Islands by Cliff Yeo

What was my day like at Laneway SG 2015? Really good fun actually, meeting loads of cool music people (you know who you are!), boozin’ and enjoying pretty useful festival food as well. The people watching was fruitful – looking at the sweet young things in their hipster outfits made me feel like an anthropologist (okay, not really).

I was so comfortable and chilled out that I wasn’t even bothered by the fact that most of the music was average at best. Also, rock bands were showcased in the afternoon (where the audience was smaller) but it all felt like an afterthought.

Continue reading »

Jan 232015


After the apparent death of Oliver Queen at the end of the mid-season finale, how do the Arrow team carry on without their intrepid leader? Not very well by all accounts, as they get their asses whupped by Vinnie (“I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!”) Jones’ silly Brick character. Which is just as well that Olly returns from the dead at the end of this episode. Spoiler? What spoiler? You expected CW to kill off its lead character? Seriously??

But at least, the Arrow’s absence pushes Laurel Lance to put on Black Canary togs and kick arse – so it’s win – win for everyone, eh? All good fun and at least they didn’t milk Olly’s death for too much cheap emotional shots. Although… it’s always cool to see Felicity all vulnerable and so on. Normal service to be resumed? We shall wait and see…


Jan 222015


The Flash is back and he’s bringing a couple of rogues along with him! Captain Cold and Heat Wave team up to confront the Scarlet Speedster!

Sorry for all the excitement but how cool was it to bring back the stars of Prison Break (remember when?) Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell (above) to play the cold and hot villains respectively?!?

Once again, The Flash proves that you can have good fun with superhero TV, without being silly, while still being true to the tone of the source material.

As the ending suggested, we will definitely see more of Captain Cold & Heat Wave (their personalities fit as well!) in the coming episodes – awesome casting and great writing! Bring on the Trickster….

Jan 222015


Directed by Clint Eastwood.
Written by Jason Hall. 
Starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller.

So will the real American Sniper please stand up? The film, a biographical account of Navy SEALs sharpshooter Chris Kyle –  deadliest marksman in U.S. military history – has split US audiences down the middle. From liberals decrying it as jingoistic propaganda to conservatives hailing it as a tribute to a deserving war hero.

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Jan 222015


Who says you can’t make any money doing music in Singapore, eh?

But seriously folks, this is indicative of the Singapore public’s interest in music in 2014 and a great way to start the musical calendar. I will covering the festival as usual and am looking forward most to good music and good company.

My personal picks are: –

Hanging Up the Moon (Cloud Stage, 6.35pm)

.gif (Cloud Stage, 5.20pm)

Continue reading »

Jan 212015


The original line up of Miami Power Pop legends, The Wind, are back with their first release in 30 years….Re-Wind!

Singer-songwriters, Lane Steinberg & Steven Katz (aka Steve Barry) have worked together as both the creative force behind The Wind (1981-1988), and as a duo under the name Tan Sleeve (1998-present).

Now that drummer Steve Burdick is back, Re-Wind represents the trio’s first recordings for over 25 years and for power pop fans, it’s good news. Very good, in fact. The moment “Fight Like a Girl” kicks in with its guitar arpeggios and floor toms, it’s obvious that the band has lost none of its chops and sets the tone for the rest of this album. The warm balladry of “Let Me Show You How It’s Done”, the jaunty jollity of “Weak Spot” and the folk-rock of “Yes and No”demonstrate The Wind’s mastery over the melodic rock form, complemented superbly by the high production values. Re-Wind is a great-sounding album and comes with our highest recommendations.

We managed to pick Steve Katz’s brains to talk about the return of The Wind.

What was the impetus to re-form The Wind?

When Lane Steinberg and I look back on all our musical endeavors over the years, both together and separately, the early years of The Wind was the high point, due to the chemistry we had with drummer Steve Burdick. Steve had played drums on several songs on all the Tan Sleeve CDs. So it was almost The Wind, but not quite. Making a whole album as The Wind seemed like a logical step that we should have taken awhile ago.

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Jan 202015


Aussie punk rockers Cambridge to open for New Found Glory in Singapore. Listen to “Head Over Heels” and “Hit and Run” below.

Event Details
Event Title: New Found Glory Live in Singapore 2015
Date: Thursday 12th February 2015
Venue: SCAPE The Ground Theatre
Time: 8.00PM
Event Hashtag: #NFGSG

Ticketing Details
VIP: $118 (Meet & Greet / Photo Opp with NFG)
Standard: $78
Early Bird: $68 (until 31 December 2359hrs, or until sold-out)
At Door (12 Feb): $98
*All ticket prices includes ticket fee. All prices in SG$

Jan 202015

Screen shot 2015-01-20 at AM 08.39.14

On January 20th, These Brittle Bones (aka Chris Jones) will be releasing the first part of his double EP, which will be called Hiraeth Part 1: The Bedroom EP, part 2 will be released in February and is called The Studio EP. Part 1 will be exclusively available to stream on Spotify, with each track being released a week apart until the whole EP is available. The EPs will also be accompanied by personal commentary by Chris and various visual aspects which add to the experience.

Check it out on Spotify, where you can now listen to “Remain”, a sparsely atmospheric track that is quite a departure from Jones’ previous works.