Some really cool videos that caught the eye (and ear) of PoPTV recently. Enjoy…
FOUR YEAR STRONG Enemy of the World (Universal)
What would we do without genres, eh? The music of American band Four Year Strong’s has been described as pop punk and melodic hardcore, both terms I take issue with. I mean, if it’s not rap or spoken word, then a song should always have a melody right? So screw genres is what I say. Though some have labelled the band “beardcore”, for obvious reasons!
We are continually fine-tuning how we deal with the responsibility of being tastemakers in the modern world of “too much music, too little time” flood of music releases. So… Blurb-O-Rama is our solution. Shorter to-the-point reviews of music that may not merit a full-length assessment (for one reason or another) but concise enough to help you dear visitor to determine whether said music is worth your support. Hopefully, in this way, we will be able cover more music than ever before. We will keep trying and that’s our promise to you.
Popping its way through the day, this is PopTV.
ELECTROLIGHTZ It Happened Over Night (Self-released)
It should be understood and made clear to musicians that we, humans, do not feel the need to dance all the time. So stop – stop with this current trend of making all possible tunes out there as danceable as possible. Humans, as we are, have different sides/moods at different phases of our lives, different times of the day.
SINGAPORE, 13 DEC 2010 – What do Zee Avi and David Choi have in common? They were both made famous thanks to YouTube. The phenomenon that is the video-sharing website has paved the road to fame for a rare, talented few and has inspired many others to upload their own homemade videos for a chance at making it big.
To help aspiring local musicians be heard amidst the clutter of the massively crowded YouTube, Noise Singapore and Timbre are launching a platform to provide young, talented singer-songwriters in Singapore with the first step to becoming the next big thing. The Noise-Timbre Singer-Songwriter Programme, which opens on 14 December 2011, aims to uncover unknown gems on YouTube and have them trained by top musicians in Singapore before giving them the chance to perform live at Timbre @ The Substation.
“The Noise-Timbre Singer-Songwriter programme provides young Singaporeans with the rare opportunity to perform at a popular music venue, and at the same time receive training by music professionals. That is essentially what Noise Singapore aims to do – provide youths with opportunities to learn and showcase their talent,” said Ms Chua Ai Liang, Director, Arts Engagement, National Arts Council.
3 acts which showcase live electronic music will take centre-stage at HOME Club on Friday 17 December 2010. Synth-pop quartet Elektone, electro-hip hop act The Lard Brothers and live drum’n’bass crew Breakbeat Theory will share the same stage.
Electronic music with the dynamics of live musicians will be performed as a seamless showcase, akin to a DJ set. The electronically programmed beat sets the pulse for the show while musicians augment the tunes by layering additional pulsating rhythms and carefully crafted melodies.
It would be the first time in Singapore which 3 such acts with different electronic genre leanings have come together to work as a community, presenting their craft as a whole unit.
Date: Friday 17 December 2010
Venue: HOME Club (22 Upper Circular Road, The Riverwalk)
Ticket charge: S$12 (including 1 drink).
The first 50 guests get an additional glass of Heavy Water vodka.
More info – www.agingyouth.com
Upbeat Underground – A Fred Perry Subculture Night
Thu, 2 Dec 2010 @ Velvet Underground
On 2 December, 400 people including culture shapers and street-style advocates – Tracy Phillips from Present Purpose, Wayne Lee from Juice, Jasmine Tuan from Blackmarket and Alvin Tan from Phunk Studio, braved the rain to make their way down to Velvet Underground to celebrate urban street cultures and the brightest of our homegrown talents Inch Chua & The Metric System, Breakbeat Theory and Caracal.
The National Museum of Singapore held a media preview for the screening of A Page of Madness/Kurutta Ippeiji, a Japanese silent movie from 1926, with original score written and performed by The Observatory. Frankly, I did not know what to expect. When I walked into the venue, The Observatory was seated in the “pit” so to speak in front of the screen. Then the lights went out…
Yes, it’s probably strange that I am making Cheating Sons‘ magnificent debut LP – Masters, Wives, Daughter – the album of 2010, when you consider that it will only be released in 2011! But hey, it’s the best collection of new music that I have heard in 2010 so it’s perfectly logical. Reviews to come and all that, expect great things from this amazing band in 2011.
Four Year Strong is an American beard-core/pop punk / melodic hardcore band from Worcester, Massachusetts, formed in 2001. The group consists of vocalists and guitarists Dan O’Connor and Alan Day, bassist Joe Weiss, keyboardist and back-up vocalist Josh Lyford and drummer Jackson Massucco. They have released four studio albums with the latest, Enemy of the World. Four Year Strong will be playing in Singapore on 18th January 2011 at the *SCAPE Warehouse. Our Rebecca Lincoln spoke to Dan O’Connor about the band, the new album and the upcoming gig.
…. and CJ is back…
(Sham 69. From left to right, Al Campbell, Tim V, Ian Whitewood, Dave Parsons)
Apart from the Buzzcocks, Singapore has not had the privilege of playing hosts to any of the original wave of English punk bands that emerged in the late 1970s. Well, that oversight will be partially corrected when Sham 69 roll into town to play a one-night-only gig at Home Club (virtually the ‘go-to’ place for all things indie in Singapore). However, as with many bands still rocking on from the 60s and 70s, personnel changes are inevitable and only Dave Parsons remains from the original lineup. Completing Sham 69 circa 2010 are Tim V (vocals), Ian Whitewood (drums) and Al Campbell (Bass Guitar). In an email interview, lead singer Tim V, got upfront and very personal with the Power of Pop.
Join Iris Koh and Singers Club-All Girls in a reflective performance about women and their shoes next Wednesday evening 8th Dec 2010. The performance will be part of the TEDx Women conference here in Singapore organzied by TEDx Singapore. We talk to Iris Koh, the founder of Singers Club- All Girls, Director of Athenarts Pte Ltd about their upcoming performance.
Time flies. I cannot believe that it’s already more than three years since I first met a teenaged Inch Chua at the Kopitiam in Novena Square to talk about Allura’s Baybeats debut later that year. In that interview (you can read it in its entirety here), Inch told me how she had since the tender age of 14, been a big follower of the Singaporean indie scene. Two years later, she saw Marchtwelve live and that experience inspired her to sing in a band.
Fast forward to 2010, and Inch is definitely the “IT” girl of the Singapore music scene. She is everywhere – newspapers, magazines, online, TV, on stages all across Singapore – everywhere. I am proud that ultimately, she is still that”indie” kid I met in 2007 and that she achieved her current solo success on her own terms. More power to Inch, is what I say!
And so I decided to dedicate this Sunday morning’s PoPTV to Inch and to wish her more and more success in the years to come. She deserves all the attention she is getting and more… deservedly so. Enjoy…
Bread & Circuses is the name of the new EP from Philippine band Camerawalls. Those of you who caught the band at this year’s Baybeats Festival would be familiar with its pleasing evocation of 80s twee/jangle post-punk reminiscent of The Smiths, Orange Juice, Felt, Belle and Sebastian etc. Well, I have just received the EP from band leader Clementine and fans of good old fashioned melodic pop-rock will absolutely love the gorgeous music of the Camerawalls. Review to come…
Well, the night started inauspiciously enough with heavy rain when I left home to meet Rach for dinner. By the time, we ventured out to Zouk after our heavy meal (briyani), the rain had subsided and when we arrived at Zouk, it was rather empty! I guess rubber time prevailed as usual so we met Cheryl Ann Lee (from Amnesty, the event organizers) and she apologized for the delay and so we sauntered off to the Wine Bar to wait for the all clear.
THE CULTURAL DESERT
“In March 1978, months into his job as minister for culture, the late Mr Ong Teng Cheong found himself facing MPs who despaired that Singapore was a ‘cultural desert’.” Straits Times article, 2006.
32 years later, is this still true? Well, let’s narrow our focus to Singapore-English popular music (“pop music”) – is there a pop music culture in Singapore? Well, taking culture as shared beliefs on society, politics and human nature – the prominent shared social belief about pop music in Singapore is – rather crudely – that foreign pop music is good, local pop music is crap. This belief also extends to the value attributed to foreign pop songs over local pop songs.
BAND OF HORSES Infinite Arms (Brown/Fat Possum/Columbia)
Band of Horses is your quintessential modern day indie rock band. In possession of its own indie record label (with major label distribution), with songs inserted into cutting edge TV shows and a top 20 album on both sides of the Atlantic. Welcome to 2010!
ROB BONFIGLIO Bring On the Happy (Damask)
If you’re interested, its pronounced “Bon-feel-e-o” and it sounds “G-R-E-A-T”!!! (Sorry, couldn’t resist)
Bonfiglio is an old ‘friend’ of sorts, I loved his former band – Wanderlust – who managed a wonderful major label debut – Prize – before falling prey to RCA’s unrealistic expectations. The band released its second album with Bruce Brodeen’s Not Lame label before calling it quits.