CHARLES J TAN

CHARLES J TAN The Pelham Sessions EP (Self-released)

The first thing you’d notice on this record is Tan’s vocals – you can’t miss them. Husky, deep, well-rounded and full, it makes you sit up and pay attention. His enunciation is clear and brings out each word carefully, which is a very positive thing… But unfortunately this is also what brings out the bone I have to pick with this EP: the less-than-satisfactory lyrics.

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PoPTV – THE WOMBATS

Press release

Liverpool’s The Wombats return with their highly anticipated sophomore album, The Wombats proudly present … This Modern Glitch, will be released April 26, 2011 through Bright Antenna/ILG/Warners.

The band has also released a brand new video for their compelling new single, “Anti-D,” produced by Jacknife Lee (U2, R.E.M.); the track was chosen as BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe “Single of the Week.”  The woozy psychedelia of the video – shot in one continuous take – addresses frontman Matthew “Murph” Murphy’s issues with depression and addiction to anti-depressants by contrasting the solemn, black-clad Murph to a colorful array of bizarre characters as he makes his way through a surreal, Technicolor world.

Looks and sounds like the untimely return of Britpop.

Official Site[amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]B004PC87NG[/amazon-product]

 

LISTENING BOOTH – DAVID MYHR

Swedish power pop band The Merrymakers was one of the leading lights of the 90s pop underground scene. Well, Merrymakers may be no more but here comes David Myhr to carry off where his former band left off with a spanking new single – Got You Where He Wanted – the first offering from upcoming album, Sunshine. Chock full of hooks and wondrous melodies, this is a classic pop gem in the making. Check it out, folks!

Got you where he wanted (.mp3) by davidmyhr

NATALIE

NATALIE Little Heart EP (Self-released)

I first came across this young Singaporean singer-songwriter, whilst judging the Noise Open Category submissions for 2011, and quite frankly, she was a welcome respite for sore ears!

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QUEEN

QUEEN Greatest Hits/Greatest Hits II (Universal)

Well, with Queen’s signing with Universal after 40 years with EMI, naturally, we are getting remasters of the Queen back catalogue. And what a back catalogue it is! I make no secret of the fact that I hold Queen (viz. Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon) in the highest esteem and without doubt Queen remains to this day one of my all-time favorite bands. Therefore, I am looking forward to listen to the remasters of the Queen back catalogue.

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THE STROKES

Here’s a short preview of what’s in store for Strokes fans when the new album, Angles, is released on 22nd March.

1.Machu Picchu – Beauty, bouncy and very Strokey. Good Caribbean-infused rhythms and sharp tune. Very good start.

2. Under Cover of Darkness –  Catchy first single – verses contain good hooks. Has strong ethnic ska feel. Although the chorus is a little jaded to these ears. Appealing energy though.

3. Two Kinds of Happiness – Appropriately channels the Cars (who has a new album out soon as well!). Other than that, rather disappointing and nothing special. Exciting instrumental sections, it must be said.

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NOISE SINGAPORE 2011

I presume you must be questioning my objectivity concerning this review especially when I have been a Noise mentor for the past three years and two of my apprentices viz Vanessa Faith and Age of Sinfonia have contributed to this CD. So in the interests of fairness, I recuse myself from commenting on both Vanessa Faith and Age of Sinfonia. I believe I have said enough about them on Power of Pop for any regular visitor to know how I feel about them.

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POSTROCKOLOGY

VARIOUS ARTISTS Postrockology (Deep Elm)

In the gospel according to Deep Elm Records, you have the corporate sell-out pseudo indie labels who work hand in hand with major record companies for distribution and publicity, and then you have the keepers of the true faith, as exemplified by Deep Elm Records themselves: untainted by commercial interests, true indie labels undyingly devoted to the music with a singular passion.

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BIG NIGHT OUT

Wanna win tickets to Big Night Out? Then send an email to info (at) powerofpop (dot) com with the answer to the following question.

What is the name of the band that both Slash and STP’s Scott Weiland were members of?

Winners will be notified by email. What are you waiting for?

MAKING NOISE IN 2011

“My third Noise Showcase!”, as I remarked to Tse Wei (Noise) and probably the best so far in my experience. Van was scheduled to perform at 7.15pm (at the Concourse) and so before that I met her at Tiffany’s Cafe located at the Library @ The Esplanade as she prepared her little extra gifts for her audience. I got to help her “crafting” her special gifts (rather badly though) and meet her good friends Queena and Frannie, with whom I had fun chats with!

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TALKIN’ THE LINE – VANESSA FAITH

It’s been a while since the last Talkin’ the Line installment – so this one’s overdue. Pat and I went down to Van’s place and I think captured a very casual interview with this talented young songwriter. I guess the fact that I am her mentor as well made the interview a bit more looser than usual! Pat also recorded Van singing Good Things for an upcoming S-Indie TV, so look out for that.

In the meantime, don’t forget that Van performs (with her friends Jeremy, Jon & Elsa) at the Esplanade Concourse for the Noise music showcase on Sat, 7.15pm and Sun, 5.15pm. Check out the other bands/artists during the Noise music showcase over this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Talkin’ the Line is brought to you by Walk On Music and PoPTV.

JUSTIN BIEBER

JUSTIN BIEBER Never Say Never The Remixes (Universal)

Seriously I sometimes wonder why this boy (who is the same age as my youngest son) engenders such polarized opinion. I mean, all he really is, is a singer, a teen idol. To be honest, (if I had to) I’d rather listen to him than any of the American Idols out there, at least, Bieber was ‘discovered’ (on youtube), mentored (by Usher) and rather fortuitously, has become one of the biggest pop singers on the planet (and not prefabricated over the course of a reality TV show). As someone who has seen teen idols come and go (does anyone even remember Sean Cassidy or Aaron Carter?), I do not quite understand the obsession or antipathy that this teenager generates.

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NOISE-TIMBRE SINGER-SONGWRITER PROGRAMME

You could say that this event was almost a year in the making. Having spoken to Timbre co-founder Danny Loong about a dedicated programme for Singapore singer-songwriters in March 2010, it was very satisfactory to finally stand on the Timbre stage and host this event. Happy to say that the venue was packed and particularly so to see my RP students (viz Bryan, Linqi, Emily and Peiqi) turn up as well! In addition, the support of Noise Singapore has been invaluable to the cause.

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LISTENING BOOTH – BANI HAYKAL

Bani Haykal (B-Quartet) has something to share with you

after rounds of deliberations, i would like to present a new body of work, an experiment and an exercise based on recent developments.this is ‘ergophobia’.

Good old fashioned avant garde experimental noise-art. Performed live without overdubs! Listen without prejudice…

Myspace

TIMBRE ROCK & ROOTS

Here we go! Top of the must-see musical events coming up in the schedule packed months ahead is the Timbre Rock & Roots festival to be held on April 15th & 16th at the Marina Promenade. Co-organized by Timbre Music and Bluesfest, the lineup is probably one of the most credible for true-blue music lovers ever seen on our shores – Bob Dylan, John Legend, Imogen Heap, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Toots and the Maytal, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (and our very own Raw Earth) – *whew*!

As you might expect, Power of Pop will be there in the trenches to bring you the lowdown on the festival, interviews with artists and perhaps a couple of choice reasons why you should be attending. First up, we will be talking to British singer-songwriter Imogen Heap soon, so look out for that interview at the Power of Pop.

…still there’s more…

Official Site

STARDUST 2011

Press release

Stardust is an annual nationwide talent-search competition organized by the National University of Singapore Student’s Business Club (also known as the NUS Bizad Club).

Since its inception in 1990, Stardust has been a flagship project for the NUS Bizad club. What began as a singing competition based within the faculty has, over the years, grown steadily into what it is today — A nationwide talent search competition. Stardust aims to be a platform for budding youths to showcase their talents and gain the recognition that they deserve.

With attractive prizes of up to $10,000 for each category to be won, awesome performance opportunities at *SCAPE Warehouse and University Cultural Centre and with famous judges Amanda Ling (Electrico’s ex-keyboardist), Kevin Mathews (Baybeats judge) etc, Stardust promises to be a blast and we want YOU to join us in this extravaganza!

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RUN WITH THE WANTED

RUN WITH THE WANTED Self-titled (Panic)

At first glance, the self-titled album released by Phoenix hardcore quintet Run With The Wanted (yes, Bukowski reference there) seems like your run-of-the-mill genre record.

Dig a little deeper than the cursory listen, though, and there is much to credit the band with on this debut full length album.

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RADIOHEAD

RADIOHEAD King of Limbs (Self-released)

This is part review, part commentary. Finally liberated from record label deals, Radiohead released it’s premier self-released album, In Rainbows (2007) to great critical and commercial success. The LP itself was viewed by many as a return to the rock-ist sentiments of The Bends and OK Computer after the experimental veneer of subsequent releases.

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BASEMENT IN MY LOFT

Just passing along the message from Mr Adrian Jones…

Join BIML for a Friday evening of cello, geetar & drums with brushes for an acoustic show with an edge, on the waterfront at Singapore Boat Quay: There’s lovely innit!! We got some Neil Young , obscure Radiohead songs, and of course the entire batch of original songs – including some brand new – that make us what we are… Dying to see you there, come down & say hello!

Date: 25th Feb 11

Time: 10pm

Place: Prince Of Wales Boat Quay 51 Boay Quay Singapore

RSVP

CHEATING SONS

The most eagerly anticipated S-ROCK album in recent memory was finally launched last night at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre as Cheating Sons played two thrilling sets to announce the arrival of its debut LP, Masters, Wives, Daughter. The packed audience certainly enjoyed every guitar lick from Cheez, vocal growl from Renyi, change of instrument from Don and intricate drum pattern from Andy!

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