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Jan 272015
 

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Tim De Cotta (Bass/ Vocals), Audrey Tengkey (Piano, Keys and Synth) and Teo Jia Rong (Drums) make up TAJ, bringing forth an exciting new venture, and great contribution to Singapore’s contemporary jazz scene.

Now the above (from the Darker Than Wax press release) sums it up pretty well. 70s jazz fusion lovers (with emphasis on ‘fusion’) will dig TAJ’s debut EP – The Astral Journey – for its grooves, virtuosity and attitude. Followers of old school soul-R&B-funk will thrill to the authentic spirit behind songs like “Taj Yo’self” and “Old Town MOFO”, not to mention the dreamy title track that demonstrates so much emotional resonance, it’s hard not to fall in love with Audrey Tengkey’s fingers… and the sultry vocoder-ized vox on “Daydream”. Too much sexy. Something for everybody here! Get in!! Now!!!

But of course, we wanted to know more about the folk behind the awesome music and so I present to you… TAJ, in their own words…

How did the band get together?

We got together by chance actually. It was 2012 when Tim and Audrey went with the Singapore contingent to MIDEM in Cannes, and through rehearsals for this showcase Audrey and Tim got to know and like their musical styles in their respective bands. So when they came back Audrey invited Tim to an open jam session at LaSalle with other young musicians and students. It was a shed session to just have fun and also to try new things. Drummers, keyboardists, bassists and turntablists even. So JR was one of the drummers there and as the jam went on, it was clear that the chemistry between the 3 of us whenever we were on our instruments together was really strong! We didn’t just jam the songs per se but we moved and evolved them in a matter of minutes. So eventually, we started meeting more and more often, till it became just exclusive to the 3 of us, jamming covers and then eventually writing our own music. It happened very naturally and faster than usual, also because we became great friends. TAJ was born and on 1 Oct 2013, we released our single “The Astral Journey”.

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Jan 252015
 
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Future Islands by Cliff Yeo

What was my day like at Laneway SG 2015? Really good fun actually, meeting loads of cool music people (you know who you are!), boozin’ and enjoying pretty useful festival food as well. The people watching was fruitful – looking at the sweet young things in their hipster outfits made me feel like an anthropologist (okay, not really).

I was so comfortable and chilled out that I wasn’t even bothered by the fact that most of the music was average at best. Also, rock bands were showcased in the afternoon (where the audience was smaller) but it all felt like an afterthought.

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Jan 222015
 

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Who says you can’t make any money doing music in Singapore, eh?

But seriously folks, this is indicative of the Singapore public’s interest in music in 2014 and a great way to start the musical calendar. I will covering the festival as usual and am looking forward most to good music and good company.

My personal picks are: –

Hanging Up the Moon (Cloud Stage, 6.35pm)

.gif (Cloud Stage, 5.20pm)

Continue reading »

Jan 202015
 

CambridgePromo

Aussie punk rockers Cambridge to open for New Found Glory in Singapore. Listen to “Head Over Heels” and “Hit and Run” below.

Event Details
Event Title: New Found Glory Live in Singapore 2015
Date: Thursday 12th February 2015
Venue: SCAPE The Ground Theatre
Time: 8.00PM
Event Hashtag: #NFGSG

Ticketing Details
Ticketing: http://newfoundglory.peatix.com
VIP: $118 (Meet & Greet / Photo Opp with NFG)
Standard: $78
Early Bird: $68 (until 31 December 2359hrs, or until sold-out)
At Door (12 Feb): $98
*All ticket prices includes ticket fee. All prices in SG$

Jan 192015
 

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“I’m really disappointed to not be able to play these shows. The touring has been so enjoyable for me and the band and the audiences have been great everywhere. If it was about just me just being unwell I would have found a way to continue as I did when I broke my hand last year, but to not be there for one of my family is not right. Thank you to everyone for the kind messages. See you soon. Johnny. X”

Nuff said!

All tickets purchased for February 9th show in Singapore are transferable to the new date on July 30th.

A full refund will be made through Sistic for those who cannot attend rescheduled on July 30th.

“Easy Money” indeed…

… still there’s more … 

Jan 152015
 

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Last but not least by any means, Joie Tan will close StageFright XVI @ Artistry on 21st January 2015.

I spoke to Joie late last year mainly about her experience building a fan base on YouTube.

How did you get started on YouTube? How old were you?
I started on YouTube after watching Alyssa Bernal’s covers. She was a big inspiration for me and I felt like I could really relate to her and grew to become a huge fan. Thereafter, I felt inspired to start my own channel and finally did it in 2008. I was 13.

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Jan 142015
 

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Mention the word ‘cadence’ during a music theory class and chances are that panicked students will be racking their brains to recall what that term means (true story!). As highlighted in their bio, #sgindie rock band Cadence explains that it is “a section in a musical piece which creates a sense of resolution, or the measure of a cyclist’s pace”.

Cadence

The bio goes on – “The band’s music runs either fast and loud, or slow and yearning. If it sounds desperate, that’s because it probably is. The sound of five, taking a shot in the dark, hoping to create something to believe in”.

The band consists of Seth Chiam (Vocals, Guitar); Angus Sham (Guitar); Nathan Huang (Guitar); Japheth Ng (Bass) and Dominic Goh (Drums). At StageFright, we have been quite blessed to experience many bands that have delivered stellar performances despite the space constraints at Artistry, using the limitations to their advantage (instead of sulking about them). Stopgap, Catalogue V, Doves & Ravens, Atlas, Enec.e and Sapporo Safaris are just a couple of great examples. So don’t miss Cadence as they open StageFright XVI @ Artistry on 21st January!

Artistry is located at 17 Jalan Pinang.

… still there’s more … 

Jan 092015
 

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Some may say that Singapore does not have a music industry but that it only has a music scene. But even that may not be wholly accurate. Step into any bar or pub with live music and chances are that you will hear a cover band playing Top 40 hits. That’s not a music scene, that’s an entertainment circuit. Singapore needs at least 50% (or more) of its live venues hosting original music but that would take a paradigm shift. Platforms like StageFright @ Artistry is a tiny step in the right direction.

So come on down on 21st January, when you can watch aspiring singer-songwriter Ashlyn Julia in action.

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“Drummer turned songwriter. A poet since her teens, she’s wondered a lot about life, love and humanity. One day, Ashlyn Julia discovered a newfound joy when she started to turn her poetry into tunes. From translating expression into beats, she now story-tells in rhyme and voice. Taking inspiration from the little and big things around her, her songs are tales of ups and downs in life. Some say she is too emotional, take a listen, and judge for yourself” is how Ashlyn Julia describes herself.

So if you want a Singapore music scene that can emulate the 70s New York punk scene or the 90s Seattle grunge scene, support your local artists!

Artistry is located at 17 Jalan Pinang.

 

Jan 082015
 

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I have been fortunate enough to participate in two assessment panels for NAC’s EP grant thus far and it’s clear that there are more and more talented artists out there in Singapore! And the fact that in the two years that I have been curating STAGEFRIGHT, I have never once repeated a performer means that the critical mass of singer-songwriters/bands is definitely expanding.

FDym_Summer

Fym Summer is a very promising singer-songwriter and I am happy to have her perform at STAGEFRIGHT XIV. Her bio is short but succinct.

“A bathroom singer-songwriter since 2004, Fym Summer, known for her raw, mezzo vocals and honest, narrative lyrics, is set to drop off her debut acoustic-based mini EP titled “Heart” (stylised as “Hevrt”) in January 2015.”

So get an advance preview of her upcoming EP on 21st January at Artistry (17, Jalan Pinang). Support made-in-Singapore original music!

… still there’s more …. 

Jan 062015
 

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The legendary Crosby, Stills & Nash – one of the biggest bands of the early 70s gets to finally play in Singapore, forty years later. Not much else to add to that, really. Except for the concert details.

CSN perform live in Singapore on Thursday March 19, 2015 at The Star Theatre.

Standard tickets priced at S$98, S$128, S$158, $188 and S$228 goes on sale 9:00 am Friday 9 January, 2015 at SISTIC.com.sg and 10:00 am via all other SISTIC channels. (Excluding Sistic booking fee)

For VIP packages, please call LAMC Productions at +65 6324-0764.

Not to be missed.

Jan 062015
 

NFG

New Found Glory have announced new tour dates in Southeast Asia for February 2015. Commencing on February 6th, the tour goes through Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand before ending on February 12th in Singapore.

Upcoming Southeast Asian Tour Dates:

February 6th – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Bentley Music Auditorium (Indoor)
Tickets: http://www.mcmticket.com.my

February 8th – Manila, Philippines, Skydome
Tickets: http://www.smtickets.com/

February 10th – Bangkok, Thailand, Live House Studio
Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/livehousebkk

February 12th, Singapore, SCAPE Warehouse
Tickets: http://www.newfoundglory.peatix.com/

Check out the music video for the band’s new single, “Stubborn”.

Jan 052015
 

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The songwriters are the future of Singapore music. Make no mistake about that. STAGEFRIGHT is a platform for the songwriter and in its 16th edition at Artistry on Wednesday, 21st January, we continue in our support of the songwriter.

Cloud & Shadows aka Andy Philip has a elliptical concept of a bio. To wit,

“The absence of pain does not guarantee love.
But the absence of love can be painful and bitter.
Clouds & Shadows explores the realities of life, love and loss through music.
Giving voice to such personal experiences, it hopes to provide solace to the souls of others alike.”

Clouds & Shadows (Andy Philip)

Come and support your songwriters, Singapore!

Jan 042015
 

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This came out on Christmas Eve but better late than never as Cherie Ko hams it up as forlorn & neglected housewife on this official music video for “Oh, Louie”. The song is suitably retro and thus Power of Pop fans would eat this up ravenously and the video has sufficient cuteness overload as well. Sorted on all counts.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pastelpower
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cherieko
Instagram: http://instagram.com/cherieko

Jan 032015
 

Pre Order

Fuck ‘genre’ and let the music flow.

Certainly #sgindie quintet The Psalms gives that impression. Consisting of Kye, Isyraf, Mish’aal, 1G, Suhaili, there is a palpable excitement whenever one listens to this bewildering offbeat widescreen music which can be loosely defined by the absurd descriptor of “jazz metal”!

The debut full length – People Eating People – is an endless wonder of surprises and inverted expectations where groovy dissonance becomes tangible. Listening is believing, for sure. Check out the band’s album launch on 10th January at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre where People Eating People will be in sale.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/epsalms
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/epsalms
Bandcamp: http://thepsalmssg.bandcamp.com/

… still there’s more … 

 

 

Dec 262014
 

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I experimented with 20 Originals performance events earlier this year at a local outlet, which was not perfect but was a good platform to push the novel idea that original music made in Singapore needed to build a fan base in order for the local indie scene to survive.

The biggest difficulty was as usual, getting people to attend. I always laugh when folks describe me as a ‘legend’ cos if that was true I would not struggle to get people to my gigs (especially when the admission is FREE). So that’s the reality — nobody really gives a fuck about original music in Singapore, and in particular, mine.

Of course, that’s a generalization – a sweeping statement. Sure, there ARE people who dig my music, even if it’s a minuscule group. There are people who pay ‘lip service’ – flatterers who maybe believe that they can get something out of me in return. But these are the same people who NEVER attend any of my gigs. So there you go, actions speak LOUDER than words! You know who you are! Aha!

But I digress. Despite the challenges, I plod on. Ultimately, I believe in myself and my music, even if the world does not. And that’s what it’s all about really. Perhaps it’s self-delusion – so what? At least, I know that the handful of people who do turn up on Saturday for this event are truly the people who do believe in me and my music. And for that, I am eternally grateful and that little encouragement drives me to keep moving forward.

So, here’s the deal. Two sets of 10 songs each. The first set will concentrate mainly on the 90s (and mostly ‘love’ songs) and the second set will focus on newer material (mostly ‘hate’ songs) and will also see the debut of four new songs that will form the bulk of my upcoming 2015 EP. See you there if you’re interested. And oh yeah, NO FUCKING COVERS!

More info etc – https://www.facebook.com/events/740476162667896/746885612026951

... still there’s more ...

 

Dec 212014
 
Caracal-Live

Photo taken from the Caracal Facebook page.

Pride. I guess that was the emotion coursing through my veins as I watched Caracal deliver a set full of passion, dynamism and yes, even fun last Thursday at the launch of the new album, Welcome the Ironists, at the Substation.

The sold out concert attracted many familiar faces from the indie music scene but it was encouraging to see strange new faces, evidence that the scene is also appealing to newcomers, a very good sign.

I first caught sight of the band during Baybeats 2007 and it’s safe to say that Caracal is a totally different proposition as we come to the end of 2014. As they have grown older, the music has become slower and deeper, with tidy references to 90s grunge (Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees et al) cementing the band’s burgeoning reputation.

The prime examples being “God Damn Tree”, “Divergence” and “Entrepreneur” where the band displayed an unprecedented emotional heaviness. But the highlight for me was probably when singer KC Meals dedicated “Given Breath” to all the band members’ parents – a touching moment that resonated.

Another high point – the encore that included crowd favorite “Cheers to Love” when audience and the band truly become one. Yet again, a spine-tingling memory to cherish. All told, a thoroughly satisfying rock experience. Kudos.

Thanks to Kitty Wu Records for making this review possible. 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/caracalnoise
Twitter: http://twitter.com/caracalnoise
Instagram: http://instagram.com/caracalnoise
Website: http://www.caracalnoise.com

Dec 172014
 

NFG poster_final

New Found Glory is an American punk rock band from Florida USA formed in 1997. The band currently consists of Jordan Pundik (vocals), ChadGilbert (guitar), Ian Grushka (bass) and Cyrus Bolooki (drums). The band have released eight studio albums, one live album, two EPs, and three cover albums.

Continue reading »

Dec 092014
 

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2014 is coming quickly to a close but there’s still one more excellent #sgindie single out there demanding your attention. And it is “Skin” from Jaime Wong. I have waited quite a few years for this talented singer-songwriter to finally record “Skin” and I am glad to report that it is a shimmering thing of beauty. The music video might be a little mystifying (as they tend to be) but enjoy the visuals with that awesome song and then pre-order Jaime’s upcoming debut EP to download “Skin” now. You know you need to.

Don’t forget to come down to Artistry on Wednesday 10th December to catch Jaime Wong live together with The Little Giant, from 8pm. $10 at the door.

Official Site

Dec 052014
 

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It’s here – the official music video for the title track off Caracal‘s amazing new album. The unconventional music video breaks up the song a little at the beginning but delivers a strong narrative and includes a little twist at the end for good measure. Kudos to all concerned.

Check out also my 5-star review at TODAY.

Dec 032014
 

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Fuck nostalgia! For me, it’s always about the here and now – the singer and the song. Sure, you could describe singer-songwriter Glenn Tilbrook in those terms but that barely does any justice to the talent and wit that this man possesses. As the frontman of 80s ‘new wave’ band Squeeze, Tilbrook certainly had his time in the sun but the passing of thirty years have not diminished the artist’s ability to connect with an audience in a manner that escapes many younger musicians.

Continue reading »

Dec 032014
 

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By Nikita Wong

One hit wonders Hoobastank (remember “The Reason”?) gave us a deeper insight of their journey during the press conference held at Hard Rock Hotel. Commemorating their success as a band for the past 10 years, Hoobastank revealed the struggles they had to overcome as they parted from their record label.

According to the band, record labels were only concerned with producing the “The Reason” Mark II and were not genuinely interested in the well being of the band or their music. Being independent now, the band is able to allow their creative juices to flow.

Continue reading »

Nov 302014
 

Wolves in the night EP Launch poster

Debra Khng launches her debut EP Wolves In The Night – a 5-track chronicle of love, loss, and youth – 6th December, 8pm, Hood Bar. Also featuring up and coming alternative rock singer-songwriter Wei Chiang and his band, as well as indie-folk darling Vanessa Faith, entry is free and physical copies of Debra’s debut EP will be available for sale.

Official Site

Nov 302014
 

NickCHIM

Forget about how small Singapore is or how you need to sing in the native tongue in order to play overseas, singer-songwriter Nicholas Chim has broken all these rules to find acceptance in Germany!  Well, don’t just take my word for it, check out his Tour Diaries below.

Official Site