LIVE NEWS: PANDAROCKETSHIP X THE MUSIC PARLOUR #2

Pandarocketship2

More Singapore indie pop & rock to discover this weekend.

EVENT DETAILS:
Saturday, May 28th
The Music Parlour, #04-20 Peninsula Shopping Centre
Doors Open: 645pm
Tickets: $10 (at the door)

Tickets will start selling at the door at 6.30pm.

See you there!

SINGLE REVIEW: SAYING GOODBYE TO ANOTHER SUNDAY AFTERNOON WITH NO WORD NO BOND ROW ON

Another Sunday Afternoon - 29 Dec 2011

Well, that’s it for S-ROCK trio Another Sunday Afternoon (left to right above: Zhiwei Xu, Caleb Lye & Kamal Yacob), they have released their final single, “No Word No Bond Row On”, a chilled out instrumental rock beauty. We caught up with frontman Caleb Lye, for the last word on Another Sunday Afternoon.

What has the band been up to since The Bookmark?

Since releasing The Bookmark (2012), we’ve been playing some shows, with the highlight probably coming when we opened for Biffy Clyro in 2014.

No Word No Bond Row On is an instrumental track. Why?

Honestly, I think we kind of ran out of interesting things to talk about, to sing about. Our music has always been primarily about telling good stories, and I guess when you run out of good stories to tell, you lose your voice. We also thought it would be cool to explore instrumentals and soundscapes. I’ve always been a fan of layering and this seemed like a good time to get into that. 

Is this a new direction or just a minor detour?

I think it’s neither really. It would be cool to do something like this as part of your traditional Another Sunday Afternoon album, as a segue, to connect the rest of the tracks to each other.

What does the title signify?

This is where it gets really interesting. We asked our friend Charlie, who came up with the title for our first album (“The Uncanny Tree of Fractured Hearts: featuring the Peculiar Case of Janet Leno and other short stories”), to help us out for what could possibly end up as our last effort.  She came up with this because, after listening to a demo of the song, she thought it would be cool for the title to be a palindrome (even though the song, in itself, isn’t). We’re also very lucky to have Boon, who designed the album art for “The Bookmark”, come up with an ambigram, which was really cool. So if you actually flip the album art upside down it says exactly the same thing!

What were the feelings and ideas you wanted to convey?

When we let some of our friends listen to it, a lot of them mentioned that this sounded like a perfect song to say goodbye. Maybe it’s something like this – something different (and free!) to remember us by, till we see you all again.

It’s not really goodbye to Another Sunday Afternoon, is it?

Well truth be told, I think in its current incarnation, this is sadly, probably it. We do need some time to go away, rediscover ourselves, think about what kind of music we really want to bring to the table the next time – so it’s something like a soft reset if you like. Probably play with other bands, expand our music palette, evolve and come back in the not-too-distant future. I think that’s the key word for us: evolution – because we certainly don’t want to be doing that same thing over and over again!

And there you have it – pick up your copy of “No Word No Bond Row On” from Bandcamp now, and if you have not done so before, do check out the band’s other releases as well.

SINGAPORE ROCK HAS COME OF AGE? IT IS STILL ONLY IN ITS INFANCY!

S-ROCK

It has been said so often now that it’s almost become a cliché – “the Singapore indie music scene is growing” or even “Singapore’s indie music scene is on the cusp of a new golden age”. But how true is that statement and what do we mean when we say that the scene is ‘growing’?

This weekend (July 10th – 12th) witnessed a slew of Singapore indie music events that seemed to suggest that if nothing else, the number of events being organised within the scene is increasing. But is this a result of funding from SG50 celebrations or a genuine improvement in the manner in which Singaporeans appreciate local music.

Well, let’s take the examples of two very recent album launches viz. DEON’s Oceans and The Steve McQueens’ Seamonster. Both events were sold out registering between 100 – 200 paying attendees, with good sales on CDs and merch as well. Both artists have excellent reputations with track records of performing at overseas festivals. Is this an indicator of success?

Late in June, Baybeats Festival 2015 once more delivered three days of mostly Singapore indie music, spotlighting a bunch of ‘budding’ bands that for some, meant a dream achievement. Is playing at Baybeats an indicator of success, as well?

To put things into context, I came across a poster for Baybeats 2008, which introduced 11 ‘budding’ bands to the festival. However, none of those 11 bands exist anymore, seven years later.

So is that all? Playing at Baybeats and selling out your album launch? If so, then these are mere baby steps still for our perpetually teething indie music scene.

What is the measure of true success for our indie music scene?

I have been reading about the origins of Nirvana and the Seattle music scene in the late 80s and early 90s. Before the Seattle music scene exploded with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains etc, the city had little to shout about in that respect. But of course, once it did, first amongst its own local audiences, the Seattle music scene became world famous, with record labels rushing down to sign anyone in a flannel shirt with greasy hair and Seattle became synonymous with ‘grunge’ (a meaningless label) that branded Seattle as the place to be for at least five years. Though ‘grunge’ eventually died out, many of the first wave of aforementioned Seattle bands managed to make a mark on rock history.

And at the end of the day, shouldn’t that be the ultimate indicator of success for our indie music scene? Music that is appreciated in Singapore first, before being appreciated overseas? Music that is written about in glowing terms by the popular indie music influencers online, invited by popular indie music festivals overseas and drawing international visitors to experience Singapore indie music firsthand?

Without a mindset shift within our own borders, it would not be possible for our indie artists to make a significant impact, regionally and internationally. So the key question, once again, is how can Singapore indie artists build a quality fan base (i.e. one that is willing to spend money on the artist and not merely clicking ‘like’ on social media) that will sustain said artist for a lifetime of music making?

There are many factors but I think the critical one is a partnership between indie artists and venue owners to push out original music content to build a solid fan base for Singapore indie music. In order to do this, venue owners must forgo the narcotic of cover music and go cold turkey with originals! Aspiring indie artists must see the value of writing and playing their own songs – whether live or via online videos. Therefore, the music scene must be dominated by original music content, with cover music being in the minority. Yes I know it’s the usual chicken and egg situation but that’s the radical step that must be taken!

In other words, we must nurture a culture of creativity and artistry in our indie music scene. Without this, our indie music scene will constantly be on the verge of something great but without sustainability or continuity, the artists will lose faith and stamina and fade into the normalcy and obscurity of adulthood and our indie music scene will find itself at square one again!

MUSIC MATTERS LIVE 2012

Charlie Lim by Serena Neo

Review by Samuel C Wee

This is meant to be a review of the final night of Music Matters. Of course, with so many bands playing out the closing night for this three-day conference, it would be churlish for me to even pretend to be complete or objective…disclaimer aside, let’s dive into it, shall we?

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MUSIC MATTERS LIVE 2012

Inch Chua by Dawn Chua

Who Will You Discover? (By Jeanette Chin)

Music Matters Live is a showcase, a chance to present a live demo in the flesh to the right people, the people who could potentially help to push music careers to the next level. This is a chance for the public to see the music business in action. Although the various acts are required to present their music in a live festival-type setting, this is not a concert situation where everyone in the crowd already knows who they are and has paid for a ticket to see them performing live onstage. This crowd is different, this audience consists of more discerning listeners who have probably heard thousands of bands worldwide that may sound somewhat alike… so how do you grab their attention?

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MUSIC MATTERS LIVE 2012

Kate Miller-Heidke by Glenn Taubenfeld

Review by CJ Ang

For what it was worth, Music Matters Live 2012 was extravagant, and spectacular like fireworks on display.

In local, Singaporean context, it is a free three-days music event in conjunction with Gaming Matters and Digital Matters, it is like a musical discovery journey out amongst the 8 participating venues in the urban, nightspot jungle of Clarke Quay (my workplace)!

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SHELVES

FUZZY LOGIC

With the resurgence of 90s alternative/powerpop/rock, bands like Girls, Yuck, WU LYF, Radical Dads and the like channel the influences of Pixies, Teenage Fanclub, Dinosaur Jr and Weezer into a beautiful noise. In these circumstances, it seems appropriate that in the Singapore indie rock scene Noel Yeo, Melvin Ho and Robin Chua, members from two nineties bands (viz Suchness and Livonia) have, together with Brian Leery (from Leeson) released a smashing debut album that succinctly captures the zeitgeist of these  sweet and fuzzy times.

The name of the band is Shelves and the eponymous debut LP that has resulted from this collaboration rivals anything its Western contemporaries have mustered so far. Seriously folks, songs like “Against The Wall” and “(She Wakes Up To) The Beat” would have gotten the hipster crowd at the recent Laneway Festival agog with blind worship, if not for the notoriously illogical anti-Singapore sentiment that pervades music lovers here.

Bottom line, kind people, is that it can only be about good music i.e. memorable melodies, crunchy guitars and an easy vibe that appeals to the teenage pop-rocker in all of us. Tracks like “Holiday”, “Killer Concern”, “It’s Always Summer”, “Sussed Out” and “Superstar” are so filled to the brim with superior tunes that it’s almost criminal that a songwriting talent like Noel Yeo still remains an obscure commodity.

Hopefully, Shelves will redress any injustices in this respect and earn Shelves the love and acclaim the melody-driven quartet truly deserves. You can either purchase the vinyl LP at one of the band’s shows or digital download at the Bandcamp link below.

Official Site

 

Upcoming Shelves gigs:

Mosaic Music Festival 2012 Esplanade Outdoor Theatre 13 Mar 2012

Identite w/ Obedient Wives Club HOME Club 23 Mar 2012

The Pigeonhole 30 Mar 2012

THE PEOPLE’S PARTY

The first major rock festival this year arrives on our shores this weekend as The People’s Party takes place from 3pm to 10pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Looking at the wide array of bands, it’s comforting that the organizers have made it a point to spread the range of bands over several countries from local to regional to international. With top headliners like Metronomy, The Naked & Famous and Bombay Bicycle Club mixing it up with our very own Monster Cat, Plainsunset, The Analog Girl, Muon and In Each Hand A Cutlass, The People’s Party sounds like a groovy ground-breaking event not to be missed.

Tickets available at SISTIC.