ANDREW CHEN

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ANDREW CHEN You Just Might (Self-released)

Here’s a very pleasant surprise from S-ROCK wunderkind, Andrew Chen. I first heard Andrew play at Singapore Arts Cafe and was deeply impressed by his maturity despite his tender years.

No, the surprise is not how good his debut CD is but that instead of favouring the jazz-pop confections I first heard him delivering, Andrew’s first album is filled to the brim with authentic old-school good ol’ Philly R&B soul that is rather astonishing (think: Delfonics, Harold Melvin etc). For a Chinese boy, he evokes first class blue-eyed soul ala Todd Rundgren and Daryl Hall/John Oates. All pretty left-field as far as I can tell…

If you wanna witness the future of S-ROCK, look no further. Forget about the pre-fabricated, talent-less pretenders lining up for Singapore Idol, Andrew is the real deal. Rather inspiring and concrete evidence that Singapore music has the chops to go to the next level.

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INTO IT. OVER IT.

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INTO IT. OVER IT. 52 Weeks (No Sleep)

Evan Weiss a.k.a. Into It. Over It. came up with an ambitious challenge – write a song every week for one calender year (hence: 52 Weeks) – fine in itself but he also had to record and mix the songs each and every week as well!

Still, all well and good, but are any of those 52 songs any good? Or is it all merely a marketing ploy? In truth, 52 songs may be a tad much to swallow in one go (especially in this day and age of brief attention spans) and you’re bound to experience some inconsistencies in quality now and then, but you’ve gotta admire the sheer ambition of it all. There are times it’s generic emo-punk that is largely hit-and-miss but there are also moments of atonal acoustic blues chic that hits a nerve, not to mention to Guided By Voices-channeling bits that make 52 Weeks, an enjoyable odd novelty.

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ASTON VILLA 1 SPURS 1

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Apart from a sloppy opening 15 minutes, during which they conceded a soft set piece goal, Spurs demonstrated why they should be taken seriously as a Premiership force this season. Especially in the second half, when observers might have mistaken Spurs for the home team, such was their dominance out-shooting the Villans 17-4. That said, the Villa goal was living a charmed life as a combination of desperate Villa defending and goalkeeping heroics from Brad Friedel kept Spurs’ relentless attacks at bay.

Finally, Spurs broke Villa’s resistance with an emphatic finish from – from all people – captain-for-the-day Michael Dawson, adding his name to the impressive list of outfield players who have scored for Spurs this season. The sense of relief rippled through the Spurs camp and Spurs had the chances to complete the job and collect maximum points but it was not to be.

In his post-match interview, Villa manager was happy with the point (and well he might be) as Spurs totally outplayed Villa in that second half and Villa were lucky to hold on to the end.

With the Wigan drubbing and this resilient comeback in back to back outings, there is cause for optimism for all Spurs fans. Of course, there are still problems, central midfield efficiency continues to elude us but with Modric on the mend and Krancjar’s impressive form, the future looks bright, the future is lillywhite!

LOST SEASON 5

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LOST: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON

I was a little late to the Lost party, I saw a couple of episodes in the first & second season but the series never truly caught my attention. Until that is, until I saw the first three season DVD sets at half-price. Seemed like a bit of a no-brainer and so I picked them up and in no time, I became a Lost addict!

Despite containing some of the finest writing in TV land right now (alongside BSG, Dexter & maybe Californication), Lost (or maybe because of that), the ratings of Lost have been steadily declining season on season. And watching each consecutive season, its no wonder when you consider the amount of detail the writers put into the plotlines, it’s hard to imagine non-diehard Lost fans making sense of it all.

Which is probably the ultimate appeal of Lost, its a series purely for the fans and the show never compromises this objective for the sake of commercial success. Season 5 – subtitled “The Journey Back” – finds the Oceanic 6 making their way back to the island they left three years ago but for some of them, its an entirely different island from the one they left. Like a 30-year difference.

Yes, you see, for the majority of our beloved characters end up in 1977 as members of the DHARMA Initiative! Trippy, huh? Kudos to the writers of this wondrous series for once again confounding expectations. Having already utilized the flashforward device so innovatively at the end of Season 3 and throughout Season 4, the writers place the narrative in several time zones – the “present” (2007), the three-year old past (2004) and the thirty-year old past (1977) which intertwine meaningfully to create a powerful, entertaining and thought-provoking story.

Along the way, the story broaches on the most critical issue of time travel – can you change the past and therefore the present? Which leads us to the ultimate objective of the Season 5 finale as our heroes endeavour to alter history so that Oceanic Flight 815 never crashed and completely unravel the very basis of Lost! Whether they succeed or not will be the subject of Season 6, the final season of Lost and hopefully, all the questions that Lost fans have had will finally be answered.

In the meantime, enjoy Lost Season 5 as the end draws ever nearer…

PREVIEW: ASTON VILLA V SPURS

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What do you do with a team that recorded a 9-1 victory in its last match? Don’t change a thing? Or freshen things up? That is the dilemma facing Harry Redknapp as he brings his high-flying Spurs to Villa Park for the 4th vs 5th clash between Aston Villa and Spurs.

Surely, conventional wisdom would tell you never to change a winning side, especially one that has won 9-1 a week ago. But wouldn’t it be naive to assume that Wigan at home and Villa away will provide the same challenge? Apparently, Redknapp is of the same opinion and has been making noises during the week about the possibility of Keane and Jenas starting, presumably at the expense of Crouch and Huddlestone.

No doubt, Villa will be an entirely different proposition from Wigan but it would be a mistake to give Villa too much respect and not play to our strengths, which is to attack, attack and attack. Hopefully, Redknapp will not resort to putting Keane in midfield as he did against Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea with disastrous results.

With three points seperating the clubs, this match is effectively a “six-pointer” in the race for a Champions League spot, a victory for Spurs will begin to crystalize ambitions thought frivolous during the nightmare reign of Juande Ramos.  It will be a close encounter but I fancy Spurs to get at least a point.

COYS!!!

A THOUSAND APOLOGIES

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To all my faithful visitors and to all the artists, bands, labels and publicists who have sent me CDs, download links, DVDs, books and the like, I’m sorry that I haven’t had a chance to post a review of your particular item. The last month has been difficult as I go through some life changes so please bear with me for another month and I promise that it will be normal service resumed soon…

Thanks for your patience and continued support.

…still there’s more…

SPURS 9 WIGAN 1

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Funny how I was wondering whether Jermain Defoe had gone off the boil slightly after his three match suspension. Ask the Wigan defence what they think! The first Premiership striker to score five goals in one half staked his claim for a starting place in next year’s England team with a impeccable showcase of goal-scoring ability.

But at half-time, with Spurs leading by a Crouch header (after great wing play from the returning Aaron Lennon, it was not hard to see the 2nd half being a tad more difficult for Spurs. Quite the opposite ensued! Spurs went ballistic as everything went right, dominating the midfield and bombarding the Wigan goal from every angle. Despite the fact that he conceded nine goals, Wigan keeper Kirkland actually had a good match! Which says a lot about Spurs’ utter dominance.

Even substitute David Bentley got in on the act, curling a brilliant free kick over the wall, which the hapless Kirkland was unlucky to deflect into his own net but credit to Bentley nonetheless. Every Spurs man, a hero Krancjar and Lennon simply magic on both flanks and capping it all off with a goal each.

But the kudos belong to Defoe, who demonstrated why he is – on his day – one of the most lethal strikers in the world. Certainly, this result will do wonders for Defoe and the Spurs team. With Modric due to return, the signs are looking pretty good for Spurs as they begin to realize their potential as a top Premiership side.

COYS!!!

Link: Match of the Day 2-muxed

THE SCALLIONS

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THE SCALLIONS Sounds of Vinyl and the Past (Self-released)

What to make of this? 30 minute instrumental album that is available either on vinyl or download only. Deliberately obscure? Avant garde power pop? Honestly, even when taken as an instrumental album, Sounds of Vinyl and the Past is rather difficult to understand and appreciate. For me its always about melodies and this is just a collection of sounds and noises without direction or tunes.

Sorry guys, I just don’t get it. Or maybe that’s the entire point.

Hurm.

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PREVIEW: SPURS V WIGAN

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The international break has been dominated by one headline – Henry’s handball. Will that affect this weekend’s round of Premiership games? Will referees be more circumspect about player’s attempts to cheat? How about the effect of the Irish disappointment on players like Robbie Keane?

As far as Spurs are concerned, there is only one target for this weekend, 3 points out of the home match against Wigan. Despite Spurs’ recent poor form, Spurs are still sitting pretty in 4th spot – a false position? – and a victory against inconsistent Wigan will go a long way towards the goal of a successful season.

Spurs recent indifferent performances has been attributed to the absence of the injured Luka Modric but surely, if Spurs has ambitions of Champions League qualifications, it cannot be seen to be a one-player team. So, is the lack of Modric’s guile and creativity on the ball the actual reason or is that merely masking the fact that Spurs still do not possess the quality or winning attitude needed to gate crash the “top four”?

The return of Aaron Lennon to the Spurs team on Sunday will add pace and dash to a Spurs attack sorely bereft of ideas in the last couple of matches and hopefully will dismiss the notion that Modric is indispensable. With Keane and Defoe upfront, perhaps the long hoof up the pitch will be laid to rest and a balanced midfield will bring predictable shape and a return to a passing game that should be too good for Wigan.

COYS!!!

KEWEI & EIN EIN

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A message from two of the brightest talents in the Singapore Music Scene (trust me I know – I have worked with them)

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Email [email protected] with the heading: I want Kewei & Ein Ein’s Acoustic EP in my mailbox!

Please indicate your

1. Name

2. Number of copies

3. Mailing Address

Payment Details:

S$6.00 per CD (excluding delivery)

Delivery charges vary –

In Singapore (via Paypal or iBanking) – approx $1 additional

Outside of Singapore (via Paypal) – approx $3 additional

Exact delivery charges to be updated!

Please support and spread the word o!

xoxo

Kewei & Ein Ein

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LITTLE FEAT

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LITTLE FEAT Skin It Back (Eagle Vision)

When I was growing up in the 70s and discovering rock music, I was always intrigued by Little Feat. Mainly for their surreal record covers (I hadn’t listened to them – this was way before the internet, folks) and for some reason, I’d always imagined that their music had a magical, alchemical quality.

Well, boys and girls, glad to say that this DVD offered me the opportunity to finally taste the spicy delights of this special band. Featuring a show on German TV program Rockpalast, which showcases Little Feat in their prime, Skin It Back demonstrates why Little Feat is remembered as a distinctive outfit.

Lustily blending blues, country-folk, rock and jazz into a heady concoction, underpinned by irresistible backbeats, the music of Little Feat is proof positive of the eclectic nature of 70s rock. With the late Lowell George and Paul Barerre fronting the band with good humour and gusto, there’s never a dull moment at a Little Feat show.

A wonderful nostalgic moment in rock history.

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HENRY HANDBALL

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Not going to say too much about this as it’s probably the biggest sports news worldwide this week but I do want to express my astonishment at certain quarters who have been surprised at Henry’s conduct in this matter. Isn’t this the same Arse player who would constantly run to Spurs fans and taunt them whenever he scored in a NLD and get away with it? And isn’t this the same French player who cheated in the 2006 World Cup to get Spanish defender, Puyol (now his club captain!) sent off and earn France a free kick (from which they scored the winner!) Lest we forget… evidence below.

Thierry Henry is a cheat. Always has been. Glad to see that the football world is finally waking up to that fact.

LLOYD COLE LIVE IN SINGAPORE

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I arrived at the Esplanade Recital Studio in the early hours of Monday afternoon and was welcomed by the distracting noise of the Esplanade sound crew carrying out its microphone check. The purpose of my visit? To provide Lloyd with a couple of guitar stands! Anything to meet the man, I guess. He turned up, greying hair and slight paunch (like me, I guess) and proceeded to go about his sound check in a business-like manner. Armed with his two acoustic guitars, Lloyd sounded warm and pristine as the Recital Studio resounded with his baritone voice. Nice.

It didn’t take long for Lloyd to finish up what was required and Dinesh and I escorted him back to his hotel. Dinesh & I chatted for awhile before he had to meet up with his wife, Sylvia and by then it was two hours plus to the gig.

So there I was, macbook on my lap, in the Esplanade Concourse, typing out these words and trying to figure out how I will approach this review. I guess I could begin by referring to my love of Rattlesnakes, that magnificent debut LP of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. With literate words and folk-jazz arrangements, Rattlesnakes spent more than a fair amount of of time on my turntable in the early 80s. Or I could pontificate about how in the internet age, even obscure artists could turn their musical gift into a cottage industry of sorts. Or maybe I could write about how Chris Collingwood and Lloyd Cole are friends and live in the same area in the USA.

Whatever.

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I rather start with Tim Ellis. Tim is an Aussie Lloyd Cole fan who flew down to Singapore to sell Lloyd’s CDs. Mind you, Tim is a volunteer (!) and does so purely out of his love and passion for Lloyd’s music. Which to me says more about Lloyd’s music than a million press releases and glowing reviews. And… the 52 CDs that Tim brought with him were sold out during the half time interval between Lloyd’s two sets.

So here I am warm in the afterglow of Lloyd’s performance, listening to Lloyd’s recording of his Whelan (in Dublin) gig and whilst the CD is good in its own right, it cannot compare to a special intimate night with Lloyd as he shared songs from his early days with the Commotions, his middle period as a solo artist (and the Negatives) and his newer material.

Certainly, the songs he popularized with the Commotions eg Perfect Skin, Are You Ready to be Heartbroken (which Lloyd actually played twice for the folks who returned late after the break!!), Lost Weekend and the like, go down well with the sold out audience whilst latter-day solo material like My Other Life, Late Night Early Town, Old Enough To Know Better, Undressed, No More Love Songs, Unhappy Song, What’s Wrong With This Picture hit the spot every single time.

Personally, I found the set truly inspiring and its the sort of influential performance that make us musician-types wanna pick up a guitar and start playing. I am richer for having had the experience. Good enough reasons for re-visiting the music of this talented and distinctive singer-songwriter.

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Pix by Jonathan Kwa.

POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – MARCHTWELVE

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(Answers by Joseph Roberts)

Who are Marchtwelve and how was it formed?

Marchtwelve are Joseph Roberts on guitars, Dewi Marie on vocals, Yuri Dahlan on bass, Helmi on drums and Beb on guitars. We were formed in March 12, 1999. It started out as The Marchtwelve Ensemble, but we dropped off the “ensemble” bit.

Who are the influences for Marchtwelve?

Starting out, we were pretty inspired by some late 90’s emo bands such as Texas is the Reason, The Get Up Kids, Saves The Day, Ida, Denali, and Sunny Day Real Estate. Currently listening to a lot of Kaddisfly, Mutemath, Karnivool, and Mastodon.

What’s the dynamics of the band?

Normally I’ll come up with the basic riff structures and melody lines for the song and I’ll work on it together with the band. Working on it means arguing with everyone in the studio. Dewi then does her vocals on top of the produced song. All arguments are left inside the rehearsal space.

Why do you play music?

Initially, it was for the love of the community we had back then. Everyone we knew and that knew us were playing music or involved in the scene in one way or another. There are revolving answers to this generic question, but all I can say is that I write music as a self realization of sorts.

Marchtwelve is in the process of recording a new album. What was involved in the recording process for the album?

In early June, the whole band flew up to Bandung Indonesia to record at Massive Studios. We were there for a week, recording 12-18 hours per day. The songs were all done and just needed to be tracked, but we re-did some part on the fly. The recording process involved a lot of satay kambing (goat), Richeese and Murtabak (indo style). And Special beer for me. It was a tedious but fun experience, a lot of artistic collision between members. We are heading back soon to complete the mixing and mastering process.

What was the lyrical process for making the album?

Dewi often writes about daily experiences, based on relationships and friends. There wasn’t any specific theme behind the album, though if you’d run a word check on the songs, basic themes of love, emotion and desire come up.

Marchtwelve has played shows with many other bands in Singapore and the region. If you had a chance to collaborate with a band, who would it be and why?

On the local and regional front, I’d really want to collaborate with The Out Of Body Special from the Philippines. They’re pretty much doing what I’d want to play if I was a singer instead of a guitarist.

But would pretty much be set for life if I get to collaborate with Billy Corgan

What are the future plans for Marchtwelve?

Album release and playing regional shows next year. We are also working on our live sound and evolving into a more tight and comprehensive unit.

(Rebecca Lincoln)

Photograph is by Timothy Stuart Wee

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CONFESSIONS UPSIZED!

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A month after Taken by Cars and Chicosci shook up the *SCAPE Youth Centre Lab, *SCAPE is back with Confessions UpSized, featuring The Giant Sound of the South, Urbandub and Angulo from the Philippines, together with some of our most talented local bands.

The Giant Sound of the South will be back on Saturday after playing an overwhelming set last June 6 at Rock The Sub at the Substation. For the past few months, Urbandub have been in the studios recording their fifth studio effort, The Apparition, to be released under MCA Music Philippines.

Apart from this, the band has been playing numerous shows like the Sonic Boom 3rd Anniversary and a number of large-concerts scattered across the whole country. With the recent typhoons in the Philippines, they’ve also taken time out to play intimate shows like Sonic Shutdown to raise funds and gather supplies for the victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng that have devastated the metro and neighbouring provinces.  All of these, while also playing at a host of other corporate events and bar gigs around Metro Manila.

On Saturday, they’ll be playing some choice cuts from their massive fifth salvo, The Apparition, and a host of other songs from old albums, 2001’s Birth; 2004 NU Rock Awards’ Album of the Year, Influence; Gold-Record hitting, Embrace and the 2007 crossover hit, Under Southern Lights.

With a large and still growing following in the Philippines, Angulo have managed to make a name for themselves through the sheer amount of hard work and dedication they’ve put it to band. With regular performance with some of the biggest and most prominent production houses in the Philippines, they have played for some of the biggest shows in the Philippines, including Fete de la Musique, Myx Mo!, Pulp Summer Slam, MTV Summit and they were handpicked to open for New Jersey-based post-hardcore pioneers Thursday during their Asian Tour.

Following a successful debut release, Blur The White Lines in 2008, they’re back in the studios to record a new album, which promises to be more experimental while enabling them to broadening their niche market without alienating existing fans. Their second album would push the band further in their ability to showcase what Angulo are capable of achieving musically.

On the local front, we have some of the freshest talents playing alongside Urbandub and Angulo. Marchtwelve are back, having played numerous acoustic shows, Baybeats in 2007 and more recently, for Rev Up On Orchards in conjunction with STB for F1. They’re currently working on a full-length album, with recording happening in the middle of the year. Their debut album would be released sometime in March or April 2010.

West Grand Boulevard are no strangers to the scene, having played numerous show in Singapore and the Philippines. The quintet have played numerous shows in the Esplanade, including a Late Night @ Esplanade show at the Recital Theatre Singapore and Baybeats 2009, School Invasion Tours and the School Invasion Finale Tour and 98.7’s Life’s A Beach. They’ve also played in the Philippines for Sonic Boom 2nd Anniversary in 2008 and a Philippine tour earlier this year before ending the tour playing for Sonic Boom Sinulog Blast Off! 2009. After taking time out to record their full-length album, their album would be out by end of the year.

Following a China tour in June and self-releasing their Phoenix EP in July, Caracal are back with a fresher perspective and a larger sound. Following their China tour, their Phoenix EP was self-released in July 2009, consisting of songs from the band since their beginning in 2006. The long awaited EP is available at Straits Records Shop, *Scape and directly through the band. Back home, they’ve played for GNITE! Music Festival 2009 at Republic Poly, Electric Ballroom at Homeclub and the Nudge Charity Carnival at Sentosa Cove.

Silhouette’s immunity to categorization has allowed their music to evolve and not be based on a specific genre. With roots in modern rock and alternative music and with Incubus as a significant influence, Silhouette is a band that has garnered a lot of attention within the scene in recent months. Their music reaches out to people through personal emotions and feelings that a lot of bands fail to capture in their music. Their EP, Discover, was launched in January and the band is currently back in the studios working on their debut album with Leonard Soosay of Snakeweed Studios, whose passion and ability to see the bigger picture with his ears has benefited many local bands within our scene.

Come prepared to experience an unforgettable evening with Urbandub, Angulo, Marchtwelve, West Grand Boulevard, Caracal and Silhouette. Take it from me; you won’t be disappointed with the stellar line-up for Confessions Upsized. See you on Saturday!

Details:

Sat 21 Nov, 630pm till late

*SCAPE Youth Centre: Lab

$18 presale tix at www.onetickethub.com

$24 at the door including goodies!

(Rebecca Lincoln)


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Angulo

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Marchtwelve

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West Grand Boulevard

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Latest Music Video of Urbandub’s song, The Fight Is Over.


POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – VERMILLION

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(Answered by Hafyz Tajuddin)

Who are Vermillion and how was it formed?

Initially, Egan, Roslan and I wanted to start a studio band. We got our first two demos done in TNT studios early 2007 but later decided to expand into a full band. We added Melvin Tee on bass and Adam Hammerson, after many changes to our drummer.

Who are the influences for Vermillion?

Most of what we put on the music as the “backbone” of the band will be metal, hardcore and punk, but we like to challenge ourselves musically. We’ve added more variations of rock, which brings out our essence. We’ve put Botch, Castles (previously known as Dear Arson), early stages of Comeback Kid, Every time I Die, Normajean, Pantera, Sick Of It All and Sky In Euphoria into Vermillion to make it our own.

What’s the dynamics of the band?

Egan and Roslan on guitars, Adam is on Drums and Melvin for Bass. Lastly, my microphone and I go way back in time.

Why do you play music?

I may not lead the most dramatic life but in my brain, it’s War and Peace everyday. I may never express everything on tunes but I am sure that music has always been a positive form of release for many younger generations and me.

You’re in the process of releasing an EP. What was involved in the recording process for the EP?

It works both ways, sometimes I have a rhythm in my head and sing it out then Ross and Egan will play through the guitars. Other times, whatever comes out from my mouth only sounds good from my mouth. Then it would come to the next part, “Compromising”. I will always try my best to write the song at the same time the music is still in process so that whatever changes that are needed can be done there and then.

What was the lyrical process for making the album?

I hate writing in a very direct manner. Elaborating on that will be I will always avoid writing the obvious and I don’t really feel any importance to make every line rhyme with the other. However, I cannot deny that sometimes, I do write direct lyrics. So far, what I’ve written is based on perspectives of the events happening to me and around me with many twists of words.

Vermillion has opened for Avenged Sevenfold and Misery Signals. How did it feel opening for them and did they give you any good advice?

Opening for Avenged Sevenfold and Misery Signals were the most overwhelming moments of our lives. Sadly we didn’t have the chance to talk to them in person but honestly, getting advice would not be the main thoughts in our heads if we managed to have a conversation with them.

Vermillion has played shows with many other bands in Singapore. If you had a chance to collaborate with a band, who would it be and why?

Definitely Castles (previously known as Dear Arson). I’ve always been inspired by them and working with them would just “RE-Inspire” me tenfold.

What are the future plans for Vermillion?

Our current EP is scheduled to be release in KL on the 26th of December and 16th January in *Scape.
Even as we are waiting for the EP to be out, we’re already preparing ourselves to complete a full-length album, which is planned (by will power, determination and a whole lot of time management) to be out late 2010. Do keep track of our official online sites for the up-to-date updates.

(Rebecca Lincoln)

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SPURS 2 SUNDERLAND 0

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How did Spurs beat Sunderland last night? Well, simply put, we scored two goals and the Black Cats did not manage even one. This, despite Harry Redknapp’s best attempts to sabotage a must-win home game which ultimately puts us back into the top four of the Premiership.

Spurs started the match with Luka Modric and Aaron Lennon still unavailable and so Redknapp opted for Crouch/Defoe upfront and a midfield diamond (ala Chelsea) with Keane as the point and Palacios, Jenas and Huddlestone covering the middle of the park. No place for Niko Krancjar again – although he has demonstrated he has more to contribute that either Jenas or Huddlestone on the left side of midfield.

This resulted in a torrid first half with Spurs barely managing to string any attacking plays together. In fact, they only had two shots at goal, one which rather luckily found the back of the net. Assou-Ekotto was given the freedom of the flank to float a good cross which Crouch knocked down and Keane bundled over the line after his first effort was blocked by Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon. How Sunderland did not score in that first half must have truly frustrated manager Steve Bruce.

Clearly the Spurs formation was not working but instead of bringing Krancjar on for Keane at the start of the 2nd half, Redknapp reverted to a traditional 4-4-2 but with Keane on the left side of midfield. This was a disaster waiting to happen and when Gomes was adjudged to have fouled Darren Bent in the box, it looked odds on to be the beginning of the end for Spurs. However, all the pre-match publicity about Bent’s return must have got to him as he totally fluffed his penalty kick and Gomes was able to celebrate a memorable save. For Bent, it capped a miserable day for him as he did nothing to prove that Redknapp was mistaken to release him from the Spurs ranks.

Finally with 30 minutes left on the clock, Kranjcar replaced Keane and immediately Spurs looked a different team and after Kranjcar found Defoe lurking with intent just outside the Sunderland box, Defoe held up play well to set up the erstwhile ineffectual Huddlestone who finished with power and aplomb.

Game over? Not according to Sunderland who manfully pounded the Spurs goal but found Gomes in impervious form even when his defenders were losing their heads around him. Undoubtedly, the man of the match, Gomes showed enough awareness, assurance and agility to justify his acquisition from PSV Eindoven last close season.

With Manchester City once again dropping points, Spurs sneaked into the top four – totally unmerited if based on this performance – but with Modric and Lennon returning soon, Spurs fans can at least take heart from the fact that winning when you’re playing poorly is the mark of a winning mentality, which – whatever his faults may be with choice of tactics – at a minimum, Redknapp has injected into this Spurs team.

PREVIEW: SPURS v SUNDERLAND

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Darren Bent returns to White Hart Lane as one of the Premiership’s top scorers with his new club, Sunderland, perhaps with a point to prove. But for Spurs, this game represents more than that. Since Luka Modric was injured against Birmingham, Spurs has lost 4 of the last 7 (yes, 3 of them to the “Big Four” mind) and has in fact not scored in the last 2, which for Spurs is alarming when you consider the attacking talent available.

Not only that, but the pathetic display against the Gooners last week has left a bad taste in the mouth of Spurs’ fans and threatens to derail the now-dimming bright start the team has made to the season.

Sunderland, as I had predicted, has turned out to be a dark horse in the premiership so far this season, and will prove a stern test for a Spurs team bent (sorry) on winning. Spurs will have to play to their strengths (attacking, of course!) and hopefully, get rid of those annoying (and disastrous) individual errors which plagued the last two defeats.

Good news is that Jermain Defoe will be back after suspension to add pace and guile upfront – and should be paired with Peter Crouch, unless Robbie Keane has a clause in his contract preventing him from being dropped. In addition, Aaron Lennon is 50-50 on returning from injury which will be a tremendous boost. Probably, Bentley will start and Lennon will come on in the second half. For the rest of the midfield, Kranjcar must return and Bale should be given a chance too as Jenas and Huddlestone have looked decidedly ordinary of late.

Spurs have a relatively good record against Sunderland (last season’s defeat nothwithstanding) and should shade this contest. But expect Spurs to make it difficult on us fans until the final whistle. As usual.

COYS!!!

JEREMY

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JEREMY Journey to the Center of the Heart (Jam)

Jeremy Morris is another powerpop stalwart that Power of Pop has had the honor of reviewing for close to a decade and I must admit that this latest release from the ever prolific Mr Morris may be his best yet! Sure, Jeremy never quite strays from the formula viz. jangly Byrdsy guitars, sunshiney melodies, happy positive lyrical concepts and a vocal approach that is halfway between Lennon and McGuinn – but if that’s what you dig, well, Jeremy delivers consistently EVERY time.

Extremely 60s-centric in material source, songs like the gorgeous title track, the chiming Vanity Fare, the reverent Church of Byrds (a brilliant evocation), the raucous (for Jeremy anyway!) No More Lies and the dreamlike Sailing Homeward are reasons enough to give Jeremy’s latest a go.

For fans of the Beatles and the Byrds (circa ’65), Journey to the Center of the Heart is indispensable!

Official Site

Myspace

+/- {PLUS/MINUS} LIVE IN SINGAPORE

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+/- {PLUS/MINUS}

w/ Amateur Takes Control

Date: Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009

Doors open: 7:30pm

Venue: HOME Club, The Riverwalk, B1-01/06 20, Upper Circular Road, Singapore 058416

Tickets: S$40 (Includes 2 Standard Drinks) Available for purchase online from KittyWu Records.

Tickets at the door on event day: $50 (Includes 2 Standard Drinks)

ROXY MUSIC

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MORE THAN THIS: THE STORY OF ROXY MUSIC (Eagle Rock)

If you’re a serious rock scholar, then it would be amiss for you to ignore the undeniable influence of Roxy Music on what passes for modern rock nowadays e.g. the post-punk revival, dance pop & electronica. Which makes this DVD an essential purchase for every PoP visitor.

Filled with interviews with the main players viz. Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay, Brian Eno, Paul Thompson, Eddie Jobson and well-known fans viz Bono (U2), Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), Martyn Ware (Human League/Heaven 17), Siouxsie (the Banshees), Niles Rodgers (Chic), More Than This is a brilliant summary of and introduction to the genius of Roxy Music.

Evolving from an art-rock combo to a slick & sophisticated commercial force, the group (with its creative nucleus of Ferry, Manzanera and Mackay) would end its recording career in 1982 with a high, the amazing tour de force that was Avalon. Apparently a new album is in the works but in the meantime, check out this DVD and pick up those 8 wonderful Roxy Music albums.

Some of my favorite Roxy Music below.

Remake/Remodel from the eponymous debut album.

Editions of You from the For Your Pleasure album.

Love is the Drug from Siren

Oh Yeah from Manifesto

More Than This from Avalon