LISTENING BOOTH: NICK TAN

Two hours left in this Valentine’s Day, so I’d thought I would get this just under the wire – it’s the single version of Nick Tan’s You. Check it out…

NOISE 2011

I have been involved with Noise Singapore since 2008, when my dear friend Patrick Chng invited me to be a judge in the open category. Since then I have been fortunate enough also to be a mentor to six talented apprentices, whose friendships I will always treasure! Is there a lump in your throat yet? Seriously folks, working with Noise Singapore has been a great ride for the last three years and this latest edition is no different. The kind folks at Noise Singapore have never kept still and have always looked to improve on how best they can best assist the talented youth in Singapore.

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DEATH KIT

DEATH KIT Devadesi 7 inch single (Fort Lowell)

Devadesi is Death Kit’s debut physical release following the digital release of their first single, I Can Make You Love Me, in 2010. Said to have been formed in response to “a Los Angeles indie rock scene too witheringly lazy to pursue the potential and precision of electronica”, the band clearly has a lot of confidence in what they have to offer to the scene.

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NOISE-TIMBRE SINGER-SONGWRITER PROGRAMME

It seems like I’ve been waiting for a singer-songwriter centric event to come to pass for the longest time. Well, it’s finally here. Mark your calendars to turn up at Timbre @ Substation on Wednesday 23rd February 7.15pm to witness the first installment of the Noise-Timbre Singer Songwriter Programme.

I am also equally excited to be able to have talented singer-songwriter Ling Kai as our very first special guest star to share with us her songs and her methods/inspirations. Perhaps she will tell us about her internationally renowned song – Larkin Step – which garnered more than a million views on YouTube.com. Check out the sheer number of cover versions and you will understand the wide appeal of Ling’s song.

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BASEMENT IN MY LOFT

Join BIML this Friday evening, as they dramatically get their cellos & acoustic guitars out to perform an unplugged version of the songs on their recent 12-track album See The Rhyme In The Dirt & Grime plus more.

A truly cultured & chilled event at the Boat Quay, Singapore!

BIML be playing at the venue’s entrance… lulling passers by and enchanting the folk at the surrounding restaurants !

Prince Of Wales Boat Quay, 51 Boat Quay.

Fun begins at 9.30pm.

THE TAXPAYERS

THE TAXPAYERS To Risk So Much For One Damn Meal

It is both funny and fun to receive an e-mail from a member (Noah) of the band, The Taxpayers, from “inside a storage contained in Florida” (believed to have a typo) – their practice space container named “The Pauly Shore”. Even more so when, heading over to their official website (http://thetaxpayers.net/) for a quick glance, the first entry post shows a very gay (read: happy) Arnold Schwarzenegger in a 3-seconds frame, stuck in repetition.

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LOVE-IN

Press release

Join in the celebration of life, peace, and love at non-ticketed music concert Love-In. Held on 6 March 2011 at Hong Lim Park, the event will feature some of Singapore’s most talented musicians coming together in aid against domestic violence. This picnic-style concert features an impressive line-up with the likes of Basement In My Loft, Etc, For This Cycle, King Kong Jane, Sean Harrison, The Pinholes, TypeWriter, and Zahidah.

6 Mar, 5pm onwards. Hong Lim Park. Free Admission. www.love-in2011.com

RUDRA

Press Release

Pioneer Vedic Metal band, RUDRA, from Singapore, will unleash their latest album, BRAHMAVIDYA-IMMORTAL I, the long anticipated final chapter of the Brahmavidya Trilogy through SONIC BLAST MEDIA on 3rd March 2011.

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THE STROKES

The Strokes To Release First Single From Angles, Under Cover Of Darkness on February 9th

Song Available to Stream and Free Download for 48 Hours from TheStrokes.com

Under Cover Of Darkness Available to Purchase In The U.S. on February 15th

The Strokes are set to release their newest single, Under Cover Of Darkness, on February 9th via a stream on their website. The song will be available to download for free for 48 hours from www.thestrokes.com , and will arrive at radio on the same day. Under Cover Of Darkness will be available to purchase digitally in the US via iTunes on February 15th.

The song is the band’s first released track from their highly anticipated upcoming album Angles, out on March 22nd via RCA records in the US, and March 21st via Rough Trade Records in the UK.

WHITE LIES – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

Never underestimate the power of nostalgia. I looked forward so much to catching Foals at the recent Laneway Festival in Singapore, partly because I wanted to close my eyes and pretend that I was listening to the Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen and Talking Heads in 1982! Imagine my disappointment when I had to bail that night before Foals took the stage. But fret not, as Greenhorn Productions will be bringing fellow British post-punk revivalists White Lies for a night at the Esplanade Concert Hall on 11th April! So my date with faux-nostalgia is still on, as White Lies channel Joy Division, Tears for Fears, Teardrop Explodes, Duran Duran and Bunnymen (again!) into one dark-edged, beautiful mess…

More details at Greenhorn’s Facebook page.

PoPINIONS

S-ROCK IS HERE TO STAY… IT WILL NEVER DIE!

It’s funny how things can change from week to week. In the days leading to the Laneway Festival Singapore, I had begun to feel a little discouraged about S-ROCK. First, there was this event organized by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, which Danny Loong (musician, Timbre co-owner and all-round great guy) was speaking at regarding local music. The idea was to raise awareness about S-ROCK, the thrust of which related to the irrelevant emphasis placed on classical music in Singapore, when more effort should be placed in promoting and developing Singaporean original pop-rock music. Well, I was disappointed somewhat with the response of the audience which seemed very negative and clueless. I’d basically given up and spent much of the time chatting with (supremely talented singer-songwriter) Ling Kai but was ‘cornered’ by Danny to contribute. So I did. My 5cts worth was this – if music is important in Singapore then we must do something to support and develop it. And if music is not important, then forget it! Music, of course, means ALL kinds of music and not just classical. There were a few heads nodding even as I finished off my ‘rant’ so who knows…but I did feel down after that.

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KYOTO PROTOCOL

KYOTO PROTOCOL Pussycat single (Self-released)

I caught this Malaysian band at last year’s Baybeats Festival and to be honest, was not that impressed. There was nothing sufficiently unique about them amongst the scores of card-carrying “indie-alternative” rock bands that play at the Baybeats Festival every year.

However, I am glad to say that based on this brand new single, I have revised my opinion about Kyoto Protocol somewhat. The band (Fuad Alhabshi – Vocal/Guitar Gael Oliveres – Keyboards/Vocals Shakeil Bashir – Bass/Vocals Hairi Haneefa – Lead Guitar) have delivered a song that is an intriguing mix of Tom Jones-channeling vocals, 80s post-punk guitars and Dylanesque put-down lyricism (I like the line – “Don’t need your shit, I can swallow mine” especially)

Pussycat has been formally released through the following channels:

  • http://monsoon.my/
  • http://www.popfolio.net/monsoonrecords
  • Both are for online download at US$1.05 a pop. Recommended.

    Official site

    GEORGE MICHAEL

    GEORGE MICHAEL Faith re-issue (Epic/Legacy)

    Faith – George Michael’s debut solo album – announced the arrival of the British singer-songwriter as a serious artist. As the front person of Wham!, Michael was often written off as an inconsequential teenage pop sensation and nothing more. But Faith (written and produced by Michael himself) proved all the critics wrong and how!

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    LISTENING BOOTH – CASS MCCOMBS

    Listen to County Line below,  a moody electric piano piece that recalls the late John Lennon and The Band, off the upcoming album – Wits End – from Cass McCombs, to be released by Domino Records on 11th April 2011. It is rather sumptuous, with McCombs also channeling Richard Manuel’s fragile pipes on this country-folk-ish tune. Worth checking out.

    Official Site

    NEVER SHOUT NEVER

    Official Press Release

    NEVER SHOUT NEVER GIVE AWAY FREE DIGITAL EP TO FANS WHO PURCHASE AN ITEM FROM BAND’S WEBSTORE DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY

    THE LOVE (LIVE) EP FEATURES THREE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED LIVE VERSIONS OF SONGS FROM BAND’S TWO ALBUMS WHAT IS LOVE? AND HARMONY

    Burbank, CA – Never Shout Never has announced that it will give away a free three-song digital EP to anyone who purchases an item from the band’s webstore (http://www.nevershoutnever.com/store), including CD and vinyl versions of NSN’s two albums What Is Love? and Harmony. This offer begins on February 1st at 1 a.m. PST and ends February 28th at midnight. The EP will be delivered beginning February 14th.

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    VILLAGERS – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

    Power of Pop writer Desiree Boey shares with us, her concise thoughts on Villagers’ performance at the Esplanade Recital Studio on the night of 31st January 2011.

    I came out of the Esplanade Recital Studio feeling like I’d witnessed something sacred. It was just this pint-sized guy, a mic, his tiny guitar, a pianist for accompaniment on some songs, and some keyboard effects, and it was musical brilliance at its best. Conor O’Brien is a master at his craft. Perfect combination of confidence and vulnerability, amazing control of vocals, killer falsetto, and intelligently artful songwriting that grips your soul.

    The highlights (is it even possible to call them that when every song was a masterpiece?) for me were To Be Counted Among Men, Twenty-Seven Strangers, and Memoir. Each of these songs wove a story, and something about the words he was singing and the heart with which he was singing them stirred such deep emotion and left none unmoved.

    (Picture by Daniel Lee)