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Oct 172014
 
Photo credit: Koh Nguang How

Photo credit: Koh Nguang How

Yeah I borrowed the “I REMEMBER SG” motif – it’s valid and appropriate in the context. I have been thinking for quite a while that it is time to document the beginnings of the Singapore indie music scene (SGINDIE) and probably the easiest way to do so would be to get quotes from folks who are able to ‘remember’ (SGINDIE) and present them in this new PoP feature.

First off, I asked Patrick Chng (The Oddfellows, TypeWriter) about when the SGINDIE scene all began.

“For me it started with the No Surrender gig at Anywhere pub in ’87, organized by BigO. The vibe was just electrifying. It was packed. It was the first gig that BigO organized. It was featured in BigO too I’m sure. There was a bootleg cassette released too by Joe (Ng) for BigO. Two songs for each band.”

BigO (Before I Get Old) was an indie rock magazine (Singapore’s first) that championed Singapore indie music in the late 80s/90s. The magazine stopped publishing in the early 2000s. It still exists as an online zine.

“The line-up at No Surrender was Joe Love & The Hoodlum Circus, Earth Medicine Band, Don Victor, The Nonames, Opposition Party, Corporate Toil, Zircon Lounge (pictured above). Back then the crowd was tough… you get booed or jeered at if they don’t like you. Corporate Toil were heckled and jeered throughout their set cos their experimental electro music didn’t appeal to the audience who were more into guitar-rock. I guested on guitar on Corporate Toil’s last song… a cover of Joy Division’s “Exercise One”. Before I came on, I was thinking to myself, “OH SHIT.” Played with my back to the audience. HAHA!”

There you go, our ground zero is 1987. I am hoping for this to be a catalyst, a starting point of discussion about SGINDIE. Please get in touch (info AT powerofpop DOT com) if you have anything to contribute concerning that special epoch in our history.

… still there’s more …

Oct 162014
 

Flaming Lips SG

The Flaming Lips are coming back to Singapore! Four years ago, the Lips thrilled us with a wildly psychedelic show but omitted to play a single track from my favourite Lips album – The Soft Bulletin. Well, hopefully, the band can remedy this in December at The Coliseum! Tickets go on sale this Monday (20th Oct) 10am at http://tickets.eventclique.com/thegathering.

… still there’s more …

Oct 152014
 

 

SINGLED OUT

From 17th October 2014 to 6th January 2015, tcc – The Connoisseur Concerto is proud to present Singled Out – an art exhibition conceptualised by creative agency fFurious, and developed in collaboration with events organisation art-management.com, and Thunder Rock School. This exhibition will see 50 local designers and artists transforming vinyl records into pieces of artwork that will be on display at tcc ‘The Gallery’ at 51 Circular Road. The artworks will be up for auction where all proceeds will be managed by Thunder Rock School, who will be setting up a music education outreach program specifically catered to financially disadvantaged children.

Of special mention would be the artists-musicians (or is that musicians-artists?) e.g. Alan Bok (TypeWriter), Amanda Keisha Ang (No Pantz), Andy Yang (Cheating Sons), Ginette Chittick (Astreal) & Yee Chang Kang (TypeWriter). To keep the musical theme going, here’s a mix that KidG put together especially for the occasion.

Singled Out (Mixed By KiDG) by Kidg on Mixcloud

… still there’s more …

Oct 032014
 

News about the lineup for Laneway Festival 2015 came out yesterday. There was the usual hand-wringing and whining about why so-and-so wasn’t coming etc but overall, I believe that the response has been fairly positive. For me personally, having endured the dark days of the 70s, 80s & 90s when rock music events were far and between, I never take these things for granted. Sure, none of these bands compare to Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath or Deep Purple in their prime but in the context of rock & pop music circa 2015, this lineup looks intriguing. Apart from St. Vincent, Lykke Li and our very own .gif and Hanging Up the Moon, I am not too familiar with most of the names but that’s the joy of discovery, I guess. So expect more information about the above bands/artists in the weeks leading up to the festival, from our typical critically objective perspective!

… still there’s more …

Oct 022014
 

Songwriters Open Circle

SGMUSO is proud to present SONGWRITERS WEEK

Our friend Adam Lyons (Lyon Apprentice/FAIRCHILD, Alumni of Music Matters Live) has informed us that he will be coming to town for a week in October for a songwriting collaboration project with a few Singaporean acts at the amazing Beep Studios! At his request, SGMUSO will be helping to facilitate a couple of side events to open up the opportunity to even more Singaporean musicians to get together, know their community, perform and also encourage cross-collaboration amongst each other locally and internationally.

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SONGWRITERS OPEN CIRCLE

7th October 2014, TUESDAY
7PM – 9.30PM
LITHE PARALOGUE STUDIO

We will be kicking off the week with an intimate SONGWRITERS OPEN CIRCLE, a sharing session in which we would like to invite all songwriters, producers and music-makers to join us for a chat and jam. We hope to provide a small creative space for everyone to get together to know their community, discuss and exchange ideas, stories and processes, tips on getting ideas on paper and then in the studio, to collaborate musically – all in an relaxed and improvised setting. The intimate vibe of the songwriter’s circle will allow for a unique discussion and improvised performance. Musicians can choose to bring along their own instruments to share a couple of songs at the open circle. Musicians that attend will be encouraged to sign up for our open jam at the Songwriters Night at Timbre Barbershop at the end of the week. Special guest, Adam Lyons will be present to drive this Open Circle session!

Big shout-out and love to Lithe Paralogue Studio for letting us use their lovely space!

*Limited seats only. Send your RSVPs to info@sgmuso.org by 6th Oct to reserve a seat!

Bring your own food and booze!!

Songwriters Night

… still there’s more …

Sep 232014
 

Here’s a lively soul pop number with a fun video to boot! It’s awesome to see tons of familiar faces from the local music scene in the video as well (but what about moi?). That sense of playfulness is nicely contrasted with Gareth’s (and band’s) sophisticated image – y’know the suits etc. The song itself has a catchy horn(y) motif and chorus (though the song title seems a bit of a mouthful). Am glad to announce that Gareth’s debut EP will be dropping soon and the launch will be held at Barbershop at Timbre on 22nd October. This suave boy is going places so better get in on the bottom floor before take-off. Tickets available from http://garethfernandez.peatix.com/

… still there’s more …

Sep 202014
 

Other Sounds is presenting American singer-songwriter and guitarist Bill Callahan in Singapore this November. Callahan is probably best known for his work in the lo-fi genre of underground rock, with home-made tape-albums recorded on four track tape recorders. Leslie Low will provide support.

Details: –

The Substation Theatre (45 Armenian St)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Doors open: 8pm

$35 (early bird, limited quantity), $45 (standard), $55 (at the door)

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW VIA PEATIX

http://www.billcallahan. peatix.com

 

Sep 192014
 
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Stephen Christian by Aloysius Lim

I often use observations at gigs in Singapore to comment on how things have changed. And this final show of Anberlin’s in Singapore certainly revealed a lot about how far our indie music scene has come. I first saw Anberlin in 2007 and whilst the crowd then was exuberant, that show did not come close to the excitement displayed by the audience at TAB last Friday (12th Sep). In addition, the opening band this time round – Caracal – were rapturously received by an audience that easily accepted a local band on stage unlike say 7 years ago when local bands were tolerated at best as a necessary evil.

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Caracal by Aloysius Lim

By the large, the main takeaway from this was the obvious mutual love between band and its audience – almost every song was sung in gusto, moshing broke out every and then & at the very end, the band was presented with a fan-made video that brought everyone in the venue (especially the band) to tears. All very sentimental, you will agree, but considering that Anberlin consists of men in their thirties (by and large) and is not a bunch pre-pubescent K-pop boys, the adulation is commendable.  That Singaporean indie rock fans are able to make an emotional connection to a band beyond basic functionality proves that there is indeed hope for the future of arts and music appreciation in our formerly cultural desert of a country.

Kudos to everyone who made this performance a smashing success. Take a bow!

Thanks to Upsurge Productions for making this review possible. 

Sep 182014
 

No exaggeration to describe Bastille as one of the biggest new acts coming out of the UK and fans will be thrilled to learn that – courtesy of Now/Live – they will be in town on Friday 9 January 2015 at The Coliseum, Hard rock Hotel Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa. Tickets will be available from SISTIC from 22nd September.

… still there’s more …

RAUS LP LAUNCH

 MUSIC  Comments Off
Sep 112014
 

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Come 19th September, DUNCE Collective presents Raus, a groovy electronic act from esteemed Canberra music label hellosQuare, are launching their new record, titled LP, in Singapore. This would mark the 4th gig of their month-long LP launch tour, between KL and Hong Kong.

The launch will be held at Blu Jaz Cafe from 7.30pm and will also feature neoDominatrix, Fauxe, Michaela Therese, blankverse (the solo project of IsaF, from sub:shaman), weish annd DJs, RAH (of Darker Than Wax), and Jaydah (of Phyla).

LP is now available.

RSVP

Sep 112014
 

The inaugural Y2K14 International Live Loop Asia Festival Singapore will welcome 20 local and international live looping acts to the stage at Artistry from 25-27 September 2014.

Performances will feature music created using live looping technology – equipment that records and plays back sound, to which other sounds can be added, overlaid, deleted, filtered and mixed to form an improvisational work on the spot and using no pre-recorded material.

The lineup features 13 Singaporean acts, including Bani Haykel, SA (仨), Randolf Arriola and Eileen Chai, and introduces four international acts who will perform in Singapore for the first time: Mandoman Hideki from Japan, and Stylish Nonsense, Jin Matutamtada and Kasemsmai Wongchayasilpa from Thailand. Asia-based international acts include Para Sabda from the United States, Thorsten Vieth from Germany, and Wil Kolen from the Netherlands.

More details here, here and here!

 

Sep 092014
 

DSC_7935_3 COMA. NeoDominatrix. In Each Hand A Cutlass._Final

New local promoters LivePOD got off to a great start as it brought to our indie scene, an instrumental rock event (at Hood Bar) that not only championed an acclaimed regional act – COMA – but also showcased our very own talented bands viz In Each Hand a Cutlass and NeoDominatrix.

Continue reading »

Sep 082014
 

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TARAGANA PYJARAMA (DEN) live in Singapore
Life Is Beautiful (99 Duxton Rd)
Thursday, 16 October 2014
Doors open: 9:30pm
$20 (available online and at the door)

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW VIA PEATIX
http://www.taragana.peatix.com

LIVE SET (not a DJ set)

Brought to you by Other Sounds. 

PoPINIONS

 PERSONAL  Comments Off
Sep 072014
 

PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR

Back in the 70s, the Government conducted a smear campaign against rock n roll and labeled it as ‘yellow culture’ meaning it was decadent and unsuitable for nation building blah blah fucking blah. But to be fair, many countries worldwide were unable to accept the hippie generation (including its originator, the USA) – it’s just that it was possible in Singapore to utterly destroy the thriving local music scene in order to stamp out this undesirable phenomenon. Which they duly did.

Continue reading »

Sep 072014
 

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Noise for noise’s sake

With Singapore indie pop music on the ascendancy, it is important not to neglect alternative music that embraces more artistic and esoteric values. Whilst the success of indie pop in Singapore will still be judged by the usual key performance indicators like number of digital downloads, ticket sales, radio play, Facebook likes and Twitter followers, this form of so-called art-rock deserves to be embraced on its own terms – art for art’s sake. In that respect, local art-rock collective The Observatory has taken the lead in not only organizing its own gigs but also curating music events that aim to expose Singapore audiences to new sounds viz, the Playfreely series of 6 shows and MOHA! in 2011 and for this year, the 3 day event Playfreely II, MoE (as part of the Transitions tour).

Continue reading »

Sep 052014
 

4.10pm – 5.50pm Hollow Threat
5.50pm – 6.30pm Cultures
6.30pm – 7.10pm False Plaintiff
7.10pm – 7.50pm Straight Forward
7.50pm – 8.30pm 7 Nights At Sea
8.30pm – 9.10pm Tell Lie Vision
9.10pm – 9.50pm Exhibitors

Aug 312014
 

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By Nikita Wong

The usual hustle and bustle filled the streets along Orchard Road, by 6.30 pm approximately 400 fans were embracing the heat as they queued to catch the Gentle Bones (aka Joel Tan) Ep launch. As the doors opened, avid shutterbugs and fervent fans scouted for perfect vantage points to catch a glimpse of their idol. Held on the 30th of August 2014, TAB was teeming with mostly school girls who were die-hard fans of Gentle Bones. The crowd huddled together with approximately 700 over people within the room.

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Gracing the stage was none other than Samantha Rui, the audience was certainly deceived by her reserved and shy composure. Being captivated by her soulful voice that held a great semblance to Ellie Goulding everyone was left awe inspired. The forested graphics complimented the acoustic set up, often exuding a magical feel through her voice. It was an intimate performance as the crowd amassed together at the front of stage, and Samantha drew the audience towards her as she crooned to “All I Want” by Kodaline and “Blue” which was one of her originals. Despite the thick crowd, the vibe was generally relaxed.

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Known as Singapore’s version of Justin Timberlake, Gareth Fernandez had the girls bouncing off their feet as he interacted with them throughout his set. He sashayed, cooed and pouted coquettishly as he reminisced on his inspirations which dawned upon him for a few of his original songs such as “Subliminal Love”. Taking on Top 40 hits such as “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse and “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith, it was a reflex action for the crowd to groove to the sunny beats as they sang along with Gareth. His flawless runs and falsetto was spot on without any room for errors and it was phenomenal for a live performance.

Banners were being raised in the air as the crowd chanted Gentle Bones, starting off strongly the crowd echoed to “Settle Down”. Shattering the atmosphere with the remarkable guitar parts played by Wai Huin and thumping beats by Ritz Ang, Joel’s backing band complemented him. A mellow approach was taken too with his solo performance as he interacted with the crowd through his acoustic showcase occasionally inviting guest singers to join him for a song such as Joie Tan and Samantha. The duets were simply stunning as both singers harmonized for covers such as “Poison and Wine” by The Civil Wars and on “Undecided” which is an original song composed by Joel and Samantha.

Leaving the stage half way, many thought that it was an end. Encore was being echoed throughout the room as they sang in unison to “Until We Die” to beckon the band to perform once again which they did. The ending brought a tear within most fans as the band ended with “Elusive”, fans whipped out their hand phones as they waved the torches in the air and swayed away.

As the concert drew to an end, beelines were made by eager fans as they anticipated the meet and greet session with Gentle Bones and other musicians. Local bands are certainly on the rise and more people are willing to pay for local acts! Joel has journeyed a long way from where he first started out, his humble approach also draws his fans closer to him.

Aug 272014
 
Photo Credit: Flee Circus

Photo Credit: Flee Circus

This is taken verbatim from the promo email: –

♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠

Ahead of Leslie Low‘s highly anticipated solo release No Such Thing As Ghosts, The Diarists are putting together a series of small, personal shows to promote the album.

Cozy up in a living room, an independent venue or a workspace, in Singapore and Malaysia, Leslie Low will perform songs from the new album up close, as it’s meant to be heard. These performances create an emotional experience for both musician and listener, bringing music to fans and audiences in the purest, most intimate way.

Besides material from No Such Thing As Ghosts, Leslie will also be playing songs from his earlier releases.

If you would like to be part of this initiative, please contact us via email at thediaristsessions@gmail.com and in the meantime, enjoy this video as Leslie performs “Despair”.

♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠

Stay tuned for more info

PoPINIONS

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Aug 262014
 

DV-01

MUSIC… OR NOTHING

Being involved in the music scene in Singapore is all about what one makes of the situation. Compared to a mere five years ago, there are many opportunities to fill your time with life-enriching activities. You just know where to look…

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On Thursday (21st August) I met up and interview Julie Edwards (above, left) and Lindsey Troy of LA-based blues-rockers Deap Vally and found them to be intelligent, beautiful women who knew exactly what they wanted out of life. Mightily impressed with them in that short space of time we chatted.

Continue reading »

Aug 252014
 

Alex Goot (Photo credit: Dawn Chua)

(by Nikita Wong)

A throbbing mass of fans, pulsating with the energy that was carried with a throng of people at the front of the stage. Snaking queues were formed from 6.30pm as fervent fans of Alex Goot and Against The Current rushed to get the best spot to catch a glimpse of their idols. Held on the 21st of August 2014, from 7.30pm – 11pm at Scape The Ground Theatre, Gentle Bones and The Summer State graced the stage as the opening acts for the night.

Continue reading »