ROCK THE SUB 2009

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Presented by The Substation & Timbre Music

Saturday 6 June, from 6:30pm

The Substation Theatre & Timbre @ The Substation

Admission: $21 (includes one free drink) available from The Substation, www.bytes.sg and at the door or call 6332 6919

Line-up

* Amateur Takes Control

* For This Cycle

* Postbox

* Silhouette

* Allura

* The Fire Fight

* Caracal

* A Vacant Affair

* Urbandub (from the Philippines)

* Nothing to Declare

* The Great Spy Experiment

* Force Vomit

A WIZARD, A TRUE STAR LIVE

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“…still there’s more…”

I’m certain regular PoP visitors will be aware of my favorite tagline. A few of you might be enlightened enough to know that the line comes from International Feel, the opening song off my most beloved of Todd Rundgren’s albums, the masterpiece that is A Wizard, A True Star.

I’ve always believed that AWATS accomplished what Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks tried to achieve with Smile – a seamless stream-of-consciousness cross-genre concept album that looked backwards and laid the foundations for tomorrow. For a modern-day version, try the Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin.

So imagine my shock when I discovered that Todd will be performing the entire AWATS album live in the USA and UK, in the coming months! The mind boggles. This is an awesome “once-in-a-lifetime” experience and I’ve got to figure out if there’s any chance at all of yours truly actually pulling it off.

In the meantime, check out the interview Todd gave with regards to the upcoming AWATS shows.

and yes…still there’s more…

LONG LIVE THE CD (?)

Sean Boyd, partner at Fanatic Promotion, debunks the myth of a ailing music industry on Fox Business News. According to Boyd, CD sales have increased overall with too much focus on the major labels and ignoring the relative success of indie companies. Comments?

THE BEATLES

(c) 2009, Apple Corp Ltd

Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music have announced the release of the original Beatles catalogue, which has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 (9-9-09), the same date as the release of the widely anticipated “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game.  Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. On the same date, two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released.

Beatles fans (and that’s every living person on the planet who has an interest in rock music) are divided on these remasters. On the one hand, we’re happy about having the opportunity to listen to those wonderful songs in pristine digital sound (the Love album demonstrated this). On the other hand, it seems like an exercise to squeeze money from fans in less than economically viable times.

On balance, whilst I think that it’s about time that the Beatles catalogue received the deluxe re-issue treatment many lesser acts have already received many times over, I am a little concerned about the fact that fans will be asked to pay full price for 30-minute albums, from whom the record label (viz EMI) has made megabucks from fans already. Sure, you can talk about the packaging, the expanded booklets and the embedded documentaries but if this exercise was about the fans, then the discs should be priced at not more than half the usual CD prices.

Unfortunately, with EMI in dire financial straits, it will see this as a perfect opportunity to replenish its coffers with even more Beatles money. Personally, I can see myself simply purchasing the entire catalogue without too much hesitation (just look at the CD package for Abbey Road above) but I’m hoping for some common sense from Apple and EMI. Am I being too naive? What do you think, Beatles fans?

Pix (c) 2009, Apple Corps Ltd.

JON CHAN/KEVIN MATHEWS

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So far, we’ve had three jam sessions and just one performance (at the MDA Fiesta) but this little collaboration with Jon Chan that Esmond (WMUM) suggested has been working out fine for all concerned.

Today, at 10pm at the Scape Lab, we add three more songs to the 15 minute set we did at MDA Fiesta, which are basically another song by Jon (Security), a new song from me (The Secret) and a 70s cover that we’ve had loads of fun prancing around to.

I’m particularly enjoying this change of environment after about two years either playing solo acoustic or full band with the Groovy People. With Jon around, I can take a breather – a back seat if you will – and just be the rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist on his songs. Refreshing!

So hope to see as many of you guys as can make it tonight…please come up and say hello!

…yes, there’s more…

WEEKENDTRIP NOISE EDITION

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This Friday, 20th and Saturday, 21st will mark the debut of a brand new WeekendTRIP program for 2009. Now conceived as quarterly 2-day music festivals, former Baybeats organizer Wake Me Up Music has been roped in to co-produce these ambitious sonic events.

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In March, the organizers in collaboration with Noise Singapore are rolling out the WeekendTRIP Noise Edition and this mini-festival has significance to me as it brings together two facets of my involvement in S-ROCK. As a musician, I will playing with Jon Chan under the WMUM banner on Friday at 10pm at the Scape Lab. As a mentor under the The Noise Apprenticeship Program, my two apprentices Nick Tan and Rachael Teo will also be performing on Saturday at 5.15pm and 6.00pm respectively at the Scape Lab as well.

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This is all exciting news for S-ROCK lovers and as you can tell from the line-up below (which also includes regional acts), there is enough variety to satisfy every whim and taste. …and there’s more…

Friday, 20th March 2009
The ‘Main Stage’ @ *scapeYouth Park
(Outdoor)
The Confessions Stage @ *scape Lab
(Indoor)
Plug & Play Stage @ OrchardCathay Cineleisure
(Outdoor)
700pm – 7.30pm
Quasimodo
745pm – 815pm
Monochrome
8pm – 830pm
For This Cycle
830pm – 900pm
Blind Meets Mute (TBC)
9pm – 930pm
The Karl Maka
9.30pm – 1000pm
Silhouette
10pm – 1030pm
Jon Chan & Kevin Mathews
1030pm – 1115pm
Sandwich (Phillipines)
Saturday, 21st March 2009
The ‘Main Stage’ @ *scapeYouth Park
(Outdoor)
The Confessions Stage @ *scape Lab
(Indoor)
Plug & Play Stage @ OrchardCathay Cineleisure
(Outdoor)
3pm – 4pm
Noise Workshop
‘Daniel Ong – How to present yourself on stage
430pm – 5pm
In Finite Flight (Acoustic Duo)
515pm – 545pm
Nick Tan (Acoustic)
6pm – 630pm
Rachael Teo (Acoustic)
630pm – 700pm
The Lion Story
6pm – 630pm
Azmyl Yunor (KL)
730pm – 800pm
Duxton Plains
7pm – 730pm
EN – X
830pm – 900pm
King Kong Jane
8pm – 830pm
Indus Gendi
930pm – 1015pm
Caracal
9pm – 930pm
The Marilyns
1045pm – 1130pm
Bittersweet (KL)
*All Lineups subject to change without prior notice
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RACHAEL YAMAGATA – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

After bringing us indie talents like Death Cab for Cutie, Stars and Ani DiFranco in the last six months, local gig organizer Greenhorn Productions now presents Rachael Yamagata, live at the Esplanade Concert Hall on 15 April 2009. 

Stay tuned for more details.

TO TEXAS AND BACK

Here’s your chance to support the S-ROCK scene in a very tangible way. I Am David Sparkle has had the honour of being the 3rd S-ROCK band (after Great Spy Experiment & Electrico) to be invited to the prestigious indie rock festival, SXSW. Unfortunately, part of the deal is self-financing the traveling and accomodation expenses, which according to the band is the region of $30,000.

Thus, the band and the KittyWu label has organized To Texas and Back, a fund-raising benefit for the band’s SXSW adventure, on 31 January 2009 commencing at about 2pm at the Home Club. Entry is $18, which is reasonable considering the array of S-ROCK bands and (more importantly) the knowledge that you’ve contributed to the development of our beloved S-ROCK!!!

SET TIMINGS:

FLEA MARKET STARTS FROM 2.00PM ONWARDS (OUTSIDE HOME CLUB)

Band 1: 3.00 – 3.30pm (30mins) : A Band Named Power
Band 2: 3.45 – 4.15pm (30mins) : Indus Gendi
Band 3: 4.30 – 5.00pm (30mins) : Amberhaze
Band 4: 5.15 – 5.45pm (30mins) : AUM
Band 5: 6.00 – 6.30pm (30mins) : Plainsunset
All changeovers above are 15mins each.

6.30 – 7.30pm INTERMISSION, Music by Sweetmusic.fm (Roland)

Band 6: 7.30 – 8.00pm (30mins) : Amateur Takes Control
Band 7: 8.15 – 8.45pm (30mins) : The Great Spy Experiment
Band 8: 9.00 – 9.35pm (35mins) : Muon
Band 9: 9.50 – 10.30pm (40mins) : 41 (from Kuala Lumpur)
Band 10: 10.45 – 11.25pm (40mins) : I Am David Sparkle

DJ SETS FROM 11.30PM ONWARDS:

11.30pm – 12.30am : Unpopular Music (Charan) & (possibly Sweetmusic.fm)
12.30am – 2.00am : 4 Imaginary Boys
2.00am – 3.00am : Kid Villain (Razi)

3.00am ONWARDS: SLEEPY TIME!

LUNAR NODE

Instrumental rock is nothing new, of course. I grew up listening to the Shadows and the Ventures in the 60s and bands like Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Cinematic Orchestra are modern versions, that’s all. Naturally, the S-ROCK scene has its own proponents, chief of which is I Am David Sparkle.

Add spanking new S-ROCK instrumental band, Lunar Node, to the list. The band is releasing its debut EP – Exploring Unknown Territory – in February and the EP launch is slated for 7 February 2009 at the Playden, Arts House. Amateur Takes Control opens the show at 8pm.

More information about Lunar Node here.

LIVE ‘N’ LOADED

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Excuse me, while I wax political for a bit.

In the 60s, Singapore had a thriving pop music scene with top bands like the Quests actually out-selling the Beatles at times. However, in the 70s, the Government deemed rock music to be decadent and undesirable and basically threw the baby out with the bath water. Long hair was effectively outlawed and pop culture in general was discouraged to such an extent that the local music scene died. Thus, in the 80s, there was no local scene to speak of as Filipino covers bands dominated the musical landscape.

In the early 90s, a revival of S-ROCK took hold as a combination of BigO magazine, supportive radio stations (Heart 91.3) and DJs X’Ho and Suresh Menon put Singapore music at the top of the radio charts and into the public consciousness again. But sadly, this revival did not last as the 1997 Asian financial crisis put money concerns back high on everybody’s agenda. 

However, in recent times, the S-ROCK scene has once again been in the ascendancy as the Government has realized the value and role of S-ROCK in making Singapore a vibrant global city. Which is why in January 2009, Mediacorp TV will be debuting a live music programme featuring S-ROCK! 

Live n Loaded promises to be more than just another music variety show as it will be on all media platforms – TV, Radio, web and print – and will “expose” local music acts and “showcase” local, regional and international music stars in front of 4.8 million people in Singapore, live every week.

Not only that but aspiring artists/bands can create profiles and upload music and stuff so that the general public may decide who is worthy to perform on the show. 

Well, that’s the concept, anyways.

Personally, I think it’s about time and always better late than never!

Power of Pop will of course be on hand to cover this significant S-ROCK event and hopes it will indeed achieve exposure for the S-ROCK scene. 

First off, this Saturday, at Scape, you can catch Astroninja, Allura, A Vacant Affair, Plainsunset & Vertical Rush. Then the live taping of the show on 27 January 2009. 8.30pm every Tuesday with the first show to feature Great Spy Experiment, Electrico and Ling, amongst others.

Check out Live n Loaded’s web page.

…and there’s more…

WATCHMEN MOVIE

Nite Owl

Nite Owl

The Watchmen movie marketing juggernaut continues to roll despite the uncertainty over the March release date (please!!!). 

Now Total Film has a couple of exclusive pix to share. Check them out here.

STARS LIVE IN SINGAPORE

 

Amy & Evan
Amy & Evan

The Stars concert is only three days away. Go to the Greenhorn Facebook page and get the password for the discounted ticket price. Not much time left, so don’t hesitate. Hope to see you there!

ANI DIFRANCO – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

Okay, here’s some priority booking information on Ani’s Singapore show in Feb 2009 from our good friends Greenhorn Productions (and yes, it’s all in caps)

PRIORITY BOOKING FOR ANI DIFRANCO WILL COMMENCE AT 9 A.M. TOMORROW (19 Dec) AT SISTIC. VISIT WWW.SISTIC.COM.SG. THE PASSWORD FOR PRIORITY BOOKING AND THE 10% DISCOUNT IS (at the Facebook group page).

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. PLEASE CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT ANI’S FIRST EVER PERFORMANCE IN SOUTH EAST ASIA!!

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

So don’t hesitate, get your tickets while hot…(sorry, could not resist).

FALL OUT BOY – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

Emo megastars Fall Out Boy are returning to Singapore for their 2nd gig in 3 years at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. 

Ticket sales will coincide with the worldwide album launch of Folie a Deux on December 16, which will be given free to early bird buyers, for top-tier tickets.

“This is a first ever for Singapore, if not the world and is part of Midas’s efforts to help people deal with the economic downturn. It is our way of giving something back,” says Michael Hosking, Managing Director of Midas Promotions. 

Concert and Ticketing Information: 

Fall Out Boy – Live in Singapore
Date: 10th February 2009

Time: 8.00pm
Venue: Singapore Indoor Stadium 
Tickets: $ 58, $78,  $98  *Not inclusive of standard SISTIC fee. 

Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, 16th December 2008 at 9.00am for online booking and 10.00am at all authorised SISTIC outlets. 

CD Redemption Details : 

Early bird top-tier ticket buyers can redeem their free albums in exchange for their ticket stubs at HMV (only), at the Heeren.

Check out Fall Out Boy’s Myspace page where the new album is streaming in its entirety.

S-ROCK EXTRAVAGANZA

The Fire Fight

Three consecutive nights of music for me this weekend. 

Tonight, at the Bukit Timah CC, my Noise apprentices Nick Tan and Rachael Teo will be performing at the Singer-Songwriter Showcase organized by Musical Theatre Limited. Saturday night, I will be at the Singapore Polytechnic Convention Centre for the School Invasion Finale with bands like the Fire Fight, Force Vomit, A Vacant Affair, West Grand Boulevard, Allura, Caracal, Jack & Rai and Plainsunset illuminating the stage.

And… on Sunday, its Angels & Airwaves at the NUS Cultural Centre.

Good thing Monday’s a Public Holiday, eh?

If you’re at any of these gigs, come up and say hi. I’m the dude with the shocking white hair…no, the other one…

… and there’s more …

ANGELS & AIRWAVES – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

… and the answer of course is The Adventure.

Congrats to Jeremy Ong & Low Han Quan. You get a ticket each to Sunday’s concert.

In the meantime, here’s AVA on Letterman performing … The Adventure.

Thanks to all who tried out for the contest. If you weren’t successful, there’s always next time.

… and there’s more …

ANGELS & AIRWAVES – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

Tom DeLonge walked away from the mega-selling punk pop-meisters Blink-182 and straight into the mega-selling Angels & Airwaves. With two wildly successful albums – We Don’t Need To Listen and I-Empire – under their collective belts, the band has had a tremendous impact on pop culture in a relatively short span of time.

With Angels & Airwaves, DeLonge explores more mature themes and a wider spectrum of rock music than his previous band ever did. Together with drummer Atom Willard (ex-Rocket from the Crypt), guitarist David Kennedy and bassist Matt Wachter (ex-30 Seconds to Mars), Angels & Airwaves dig deep into the roots of classic rock over the decades – from The Who to the Clash, from U2 to the Get Up Kids. 

Which basically means that Singaporean rock fans will be treated to good ol’ Amercian rock ‘n’ roll – despite the “alternative” moniker – when Angels & Airwaves opens their tour of South-East Asia on Sunday, 7th December 2008, at 7.30pm at the University Cultural Centre Hall, NUS. Tickets are selling at $85, $100 and $125 and available now at SISTIC.

Interested? How about free tickets courtesy of gig organizer Midas Promotions?

Well, two free tickets will go to the first two persons who can answer this question correctly – what is the name of Angels & Airwaves’ first ever single? Send your answers to info (at) powerofpop (dot) com and the winners will be announced soon. 

We’ll be waitin’

STARS LIVE IN SINGAPORE

Latest news from Greenhorn Productions – 

Please note that tickets will be available for PRIORITY BOOKING on 11 November 2008 from SISTIC. Fans of Greenhorn Productions Facebook Page will receive a password to be eligible for priority booking by the end of next week. The same password will also entitle you to a 10% discount on all ticket price categories.

General Public sales will commence on 12 November 2008.

Stars will be playing at the Esplanade Concert Hall on January 7th, 2009.

The band may be best known for its high energy songs but there is also a softer side to Stars. One of the tracks they still play live from their debut album – Nightsongs – is this sweet little number called Tonight. Check out the cute fan video below.

THE HUNDRED IN THE HANDS

THE HUNDRED IN THE HANDS Dressed in Dresden/Undressed in Dresden single (Gigantic Music/Tangled Up)

In my humble estimation, there are two major trends going on in modern pop-rock right now viz. alt-country and synth-pop. The Hundred in the Hands consist of ex-Boggs Jason Friedman and Eleanore Everdell and the electronic duo has released its debut single as a free download.

The ‘A’ side (such as it is) is a kooky reggae-fied piece of choppy guitars and atmospheric keyboards with Everdell’s plaintive vocals playing counterpoint. The ‘B’ side is a dubbed-up version, with backward sound effects, restless horns, punchy percussion and throbbing bassline making for an intriguing mix. 

Whilst the melody quotient isn’t much to write about, its the overall cool vibe that thoroughly works for me. So pick up this excellent piece of ear candy while you can.

Download: Dressed in Dresden/Undressed in Dresden

Watch: Videos of Dressed in Dresden/Undressed in Dresden

WEEKEND TRIP

 

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Weekend Trip and there’s no excuse not to attend this Saturday, when you’ve got heavy hitters like Great Spy Experiment, Vertical Rush & Jack and Rai gracing stage. Talk about a diverse field! Add to the list, Powerjam first runners-up Page and Juxtapose (whom I know nada about) and a splendid time is guaranteed for all. 

On Sunday, the Youth Park hosts the Music Against Drugs Show and the likes of Allura, Vertigo, MeltgSnow and Deus Ex Machina will be playing. Of course, I’ll be down to catch Allura and then rush home to watch Spurs lose again on live TV. 🙁

Please come up and say hi! I’ll be the silver-haired old fart looking terribly out-of-place…

STARS LIVE IN SINGAPORE

From the Facebook Group page.

Greenhorn Productions presents STARS Live! at the Esplanade Concert Hall on 7 January 2009! 

STARS is a critically acclaimed Juno Award-nominated Canadian indie band that has taken the indie world by storm. Amy Millan, Torquil Campbell and Evan Cranley are also members of the indie band Broken Social Scene, with whom they currently share the record label, Arts & Crafts. Campbell is also an actor and has appeared on the television shows Sex and the City and Law & Order.

In Our Bedroom After the War, the name of STARS’ fourth and latest full-length album, is mysterious, grand, and multi-faceted. 

Set Yourself on Fire, STARS’ previous studio album, provided the Montreal-spawned quintet with their international breakthrough single “Ageless Beauty”, five years after the band was first formed by Campbell and keyboardist Chris Seligman while they were living near-penniless in New York City. Now gold certified in Canada, Fire proved so enduringly popular in so many parts of the world that the band left on tour following its 2004 release and barely stopped for the next two years. Suddenly, this most sophisticated of pop groups was required to adapt to the life of something its members never expected to become: road warriors. 

Don’t miss this chance to experience STARS Live! in their first ever performance in Southeast Asia. This promises to be an amazing night at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Don’t miss it!

Ticket prices (excluding Sistic charges) are $68,$88,$108, $128 and $148. Fans of Greenhorn Productions Facebook page will receive passwords entitling them to a 10% discount. Fans of Greenhorn Productions Facebook page will also receive a password entitling them to priority booking one day prior to public sales launch. Detailed ticketing information will be available by 7 November 2008.

WANTED: MUSIC WRITERS

Yes, Power of Pop wants you. If you’re a music writer, that is.

You would preferably be residing in Singapore and share the same musical tastes as expressed on this site. 

I can’t offer remuneration only music and perhaps press passes.

If you think you’re up to the mark, get in touch with me – info (at) powerofpop (dot) com – and we’ll talk…

STARS LIVE IN SINGAPORE

Stars, the indie shoe-gaze quintet from Montreal, will be performing one night only on 7th January 2009 at the Esplanade Concert Hall. The gig is organized by Greenhorn Productions and official details will be available soon.

Stay tuned.

FLYBAR CD LAUNCH

Singapore band Flybar launch their debut album – Scream Without Raising Your Voice – this Friday at 7.30pm at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Tickets are $5 a pop and available from Flybar’s website

Album review to come.