LOST WEEKEND ALBUM LAUNCH

LostWeekendLP

You know the drill. Here comes an anecdote about the first time I experienced one of my favourite bands. That’s me, consistent!

A Baybeats audition a couple of years back at a room in Lasalle. One of the band members was very late. Jokes were circulating about him being ‘lost’…

Not very helpful when the name of the band is Lost Weekend. The band eventually did the audition but were naturally fairly rattled. But there was something inherently valuable in the songwriting that prompted me to check the band out online and I was sold based on the demos I heard online.

Since then, Lost Weekend have gone from strength to strength and the much-anticipated debut album is upon us. Produced by Roland Lim (Sync Studios), the new album (based on the 4 tracks previewed) sound exactly as classic indie pop should sound. Sophisticated ‘retro’ melodies and edgy instrumentation with attitude – presented with sympathetic production values.

The band have decided not to release the album in the physical CD format, and will instead focus the delivery of their music in a digital format. Working with local design firm fFurious, Lost Weekend will offer download codes for their music through their merchandise, including a t-shirt and a special pop-up card. Check out the music video for the infectious “Mornings” below.

Lost Weekend Launch Event Details
(with special guests, Obedient Wives Club)
Date: 2 August 2015
Time: 7.30 pm; Opening band at 8PM, Lost Weekend at 9PM
Address: SingJazz Club, 101 Jln Sultan, Singapore 199002
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/590235367782319/591116557694200/

Ticketing Information:
Pre-sale tickets ($15) available at http://lostweekendsg.peatix.com/
Limited tickets available at the door for $20

Social Media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lostweekendsg
Instagram: https://instagram.com/lostweekendsg
Bandcamp: https://lostweekendsg.bandcamp.com/

… still there’s more … 

GARETH FERNANDEZ EP LAUNCH: MOVIN’ ON UP!

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2014 has been a very good year for made-in-Singapore pop music with more album/EP releases and more live performances to capture the imagination of the music-loving public. One significant factor has been the EP Grant administered by the National Arts Council which awards the sum of S$10,000 to a band/artist applicant for the cost of recording, production, marketing and launch of a 4-song (minimum) EP. This EP grant not only gives the successful band/artist the platform to share the music but also generates business activities for producers, recording studios, sound engineers and venues. In short, the grant has been a boon to the local music scene as a whole. Thus far, 15 such bands/artists have benefitted from this grant – including Celina Kimble, Gentle Bones and Gareth Fernandez.

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Fernandez’s debut eponymous EP was launched at The Barbershop by Timbre – a relatively tight venue (in terms of space) – but that didn’t stop singer Fernandez, his four-man backing band The MommaShop (Sikai Goh – Keyboards/Organ, Titus Ng – Bass, Anson Koh – Drums, James Lye – Guitar), three-man horn section (Daniel Chia – sax, Vignesh Mohandasan – trumpet, Deric Tay – Trombone) and a duo of backing singers (Tok Xue Yi & Andrew Mark Oh) from bringing the (Arts) house down with a scintillating display of sinewy soul-R&B prowess. The sound throughout was fairly competent when considering the challenge of 10 persons on stage to deal with and there was hardly any issue with the sound that got in the way with a full and complete enjoyment of the show in front of us, the audience (which consisted mainly of hip and trendy twenty-somethings, include well-known local musicians like The Sam Willows, Joel Tan (aka Gentle Bones) and members of hot indie bands like Stopgap and Take Two).

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The show opened with the crowd parting like the red sea and the band making a dramatic entrance resplendent and looking sharp in their suits before Fernandez made his way to the stage. Drawing mainly from the songs off his debut EP and a couple of choice covers, it was all systems go right from the moment Fernandez and band launched into a feisty Physical (also the opening track of the EP) which sounded more authentic than the recorded version when sans the cheesy electronic keyboards. When you consider how sophisticated the song arrangements tend to be, the talent and effort demonstrated by Fernandez and band was impressive.

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My personal favourite moments arrived with passionate renditions of Movin’ On and Northern Lights – songs imbued with the classic soul vibes of the 60s & 70s. The former had Fernandez engaging the audience with a call-and-response that all in attendance participated in whilst the latter brought the crowd to a collective emotional high (or low, depending on your perspective) with its fragile piano balladry and prayerful sentiment (“Come back home”). With well-worked covers from Allen Stone, Justin Timberlake and Sam Smith operating as appropriate fillers (in the absence of more original material), there was a welcome surprise with Heart Walls, an original explicably left off the EP – a suitably impassioned albeit heart-breaking rant about a severed relationship.

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And while it is accurate to pay due credit to the fabulous musicianship on display, the star of the show was Fernandez with his sparkling vocals, physicality, stage presence and casual banter, which won the hearts and souls of the rapt audience in a manner that would suggest that Fernandez deserves to showcase his promise and potential on bigger stages in the future.

(Originally intended for TODAY newspaper)

Photo credits: Cherlynn Lian

UBER & SPOTIFY PARTNER TO DELIVER ULTIMATE RIDING & LISTENING EXPERIENCE

Photo 21-11-14 6 00 23 pm

Uber and Spotify partners? Seems like a strange bedfellows scenario, doesn’t it? How does it work?

Connect your Spotify account via the Uber app, request a ride, and when you get matched up with a Spotify-enabled Uber, simply select music from any one of Uber’s featured playlists or one of your own Spotify playlists within the Uber app. You can also jump to the Spotify app and select music from within the Spotify catalogue. 

When your ride arrives, your tunes will be playing on the speakers. You can also change what’s playing during your journey right through the Spotify and Uber mobile apps. It’s all there – your own music and playlists and well as specially curated Uber playlists.

To be honest, I didn’t try this but I did try Uber for the very first time. What’s Uber, now?

Uber is a technology platform that is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in over 200 cities today, Uber’s rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer.

Yeah so basically, I got to the Uber-Spotify launch event by using the Uber app and I was able to track where my ride was via the app. Cool huh? The driver seemed to get a little lost along the way! Anyways, the ride was good fun mainly because my driver (see above) was an awesome conversationalist! A smooth ride and a tasty convo – what more could a Singaporean resident ask for? It is an excellent alternative to cabs. No money changes hands cuz the fare is charged directly to your credit card and the relevant info will be posted to your account, easily accessible on the app. Highly recommended.

Now to get that Spotify mobile app hookup going…

More info here and there.

RETHINK: AIDS – WHY YOU SHOULD BE ATTENDING

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Always an exciting prospect to catch some of the brightest indie rock talents in Singapore but when the event also serves to raise awareness of an important cause then, the reasons to attend increase! With a fairly varied lineup as well, Rethink: AIDS promises to be an exciting #sgindie day out. We got in touch with organizer Jared Rezel to find out more.

PoP: How does a music event raise awareness for a cause?

Jared: Music fans tend to connect to their favourite artists via their music. The bond between the audience and performer is hence strengthened through their attendance at live music events. As the bands perform at this event, they will be constantly promoting our cause through their songs and shoutouts, strongly conveying our message to the audience and ultimately succeeding in raising awareness for our cause.

PoP: In what ways are you asking people to “Rethink AIDS”?

Jared: We never actually wondered what we would do if we found out our friend has AIDS and decided to think more about this issue. Most of us realised that we’d probably avoid these friends for fear of contracting this disease. However when we look at the facts, there is no risk at all unless we were planning to engage in some sexual activity with these friends. Hence we want people to rethink the facts they know or think they know in hope that they would ultimately rethink these subconscious stereotypes they place on the people suffering from AIDS. Most AIDS campaigns are all about the ‘safe sex’ aspect especially what we learnt back in sex ed classes in school, hence we felt that our event could influence youths to relate more to the social side of AIDS.

PoP: How should the public attitude towards AIDS change? What should it be instead?

Jared: Most people know the dangers of AIDS or rather HIV and they know that they want to avoid it as far as possible. However, it’s that avoidance and some misunderstanding that has led to stereotyping people with HIV/AIDS as well. We want people to know the facts & the dangers but at the same time, not treat the people with it any differently. Basically, we want people to remove the links between AIDS and friendship, since sex isn’t a requirement of friendship.

PoP: What do you hope attendees will take away from Rethink: AIDS?

Jared: Besides enjoying music and introducing more people to local music, we hope that they at least gain new perspectives towards AIDS. Ideally, we hope that they would change their attitudes towards people with AIDS and treat them as normal people.

PoP: Can you explain the process behind the selection of the bands?

Jared: We wanted to find bands who were rather current and had a pull with different groups of people hence reaching out to a variety of people. We were not so worried about the genre, for example, AVA. When people see a post hardcore band, they usually think like these guys are rebels. But seeing them standing for something good fights for our cause even more.

More info here.

ALT(ETUDE)

To help raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Foundation, Little Voices are organizing a carnival on the 5th of September (this coming Sunday) at Bishan Active (it’s a park opp. Catholic High, about 5 min walk away from Bishan MRT) from 10am – 7pm. This carnival will include food stalls as well as many games stalls, including bouncy castles, zorbs, dunking machine, mini f1 racing and more! The centerpiece of the carnival includes a FREE concert, featuring many renowned local bands. Here’s a schedule of who is playing when!

12.00nn Black Forest
12.35pm The Cockettes
1.10pm Commencement of Lucky Draw (1)
1.25pm Open Mike Session
2.25pm Geminus
3.00pm SavingSomeone
3.35pm Inch Chua
4.10pm Run Neon Tiger
4.45pm Buffer
5.00pm Commencement of Lucky Draw (2)
5.15pm Amateur Takes Control
5.50pm Tacit Aria
6.25pm Trella

TROY CHIN: LOTI, VOL. 2

Troy Chin is the author and artist behind Loti and The Resident Tourist. His comics have appeared in the Image Comics anthology, Liquid City, been translated to Thai.

This evening, LOTI, Vol. 2 will be launched at BooksActually. LOTI, Vol. 2 is now available in print and collects strips 301 to 600 and includes two extra chapters of new strips.

Date: 22.07.2010, Thursday

Time: 7.30 pm

Venue: BooksActually (No. 86 Club Street, Singapore)

Official Site | RSVP at Facebook

THE DOORS: WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE

(c) Joel Brodsky

The Doors: When You’re Strange

5th July – 27th August @ The Idea Generation Gallery

The exhibition will offer an intimate account of The Doors from their rise to fame to their breakthrough on the music scene in 1965. The exhibition will reveal intimate portraits of Jim Morrison and how he became one of the most charismatic lead singers with The Doors becoming one of the most controversial rock bands to exist.

Idea Generation Gallery will showcase the photography of Henry Diltz, Joel Brodsky, Bobby Klein and Ken Regan, who all documented the bands time together. Alongside their most celebrated works, When You’re Strange brings together the lesser known archives and previously unseen contact sheets of photography taken over the decade the band were together.

So if you’re in London during the above period, you might want to check this out.

For more info, click on the links below.

Official Site | Facebook | Flickr Photo Stream

S-COMIX

Like the S-ROCK scene, the S-COMIX (yes, my rather clumsy catch-all term for comics made in Singapore) scene is D-I-Y to the max. There are no big comic book companies to give aspiring comics creators their break and to expose them to the world, with movie options waiting in the wings. No, very often it’s a lonely vocation with the only reward being the work itself.

However, like the S-ROCK scene, there are a couple of passionate individuals who love S-COMIX enough to commit time and money to its promotion and development. One such person is JF Koh (back row, 2nd from left), I first met JF when he was a part of the Audioload site and he has been a firm friend since. JF is also an aspiring creator and keen on promoting local comics in any way possible. He runs a site called Singapore Comics Wiki, with the objective of highlighting local comics and their creators.

Adrian Teo (front row, left) is another such passionate person and has gone as far as setting up as an indie publisher (Wayland Smith Projects) which has published Troy Chin’s Resident Tourist series and Ken Foo’s Freedom Love Forever Graphic Novel. Adrian and JF organized a launch event for Date King (a collaboration between Adrian and Ken) cum meet and greet with other S-COMIX creators at Books Actually on Friday (9th April)

Considering the obscure nature of the event, Books Actually was packed to the gills as the S-COMIX creators chatted about the local comics scene and various related topics. Apart from JF and Adrian, also present were Ken Foo (back row, left), Cheah Sin Ann (back row, 2nd from right), Ye Zhen (back row, right) and Budi Wijaya (front row, right). A fun time was had by all, in getting to know the creators in attendance, purchasing comics and general networking. Hopefully, the local comics scene will go from strength to strength, it certainly deserves to do so, if the passion shown at this event is anything to go by. Do your part, check out the creators below and if you like what you see, purchase their work.

Ken Foo

Cheah Sin Ann

Ye Zhen

Budi Wijaya

Pic courtesy of  Tueac and Ani-Culture.

… still there’s more …

DATE KING BOOK LAUNCH

DATE KING BOOK LAUNCH + LOCAL CREATORS MEET & GREET SESSION

Date: 9 April 2010 FRIDAY

Time: 7.30pm to 9.30pm

Venue: BOOKS ACTUALLY 86 CLUB STREET

Iconoclastic S-Comix creator, Ken Foo, is back already with new material, launching his latest work – in collaboration with Adrian Teo – Date King – this Friday at Books Actually. I copied this from Ken’s blog.

“Come join the book launch along with a number of other local creators like Ye Zhen (Singapore Hip Hip Horror Comics), Cheah Sin Ann (Billy & Saltie: Cool Croc) to name a few who will be there for this joint session. The creators will be there to sign autographs and meet up with their fans.

So be there or be square. Or as Date King likes to say, ‘It’s a date!’”

How could you refuse?