So it began this morning. Congrats to the selected budding writers – Arisya Sulaiman, Elizabethe Er, Hamidah bte Otheman, Han Tingyan, Karen Gwee, Melissa Ng, Salima Nadira Mafoot Moss Simon & Terry Tan – from now till Baybeats 2011, we will be functioning as a Baybeats magazine, with yours truly as editor-in-chief as out intrepid aspiring rock journos file reports concerning Baybeats 2011. The reports will be published here at the Power of Pop and also at the Baybeats 2011 microsite. Keep a lookout…

…still there’s more…



Spotted at the Facebook profile of Great Spy Experiment drummer Fandy, a screen capture of yet another ugly Singaporean who apparently has no patience for Singapore bands opening for foreign bands. Presumably, if it was another foreign band opening for Switchfoot, he would have had no such problem. Last month, of course, we reported that when MUON opened for MGMT, it suffered the same verbal abuse from intolerant audience members. The statement that – “Then what, you think I paid money to see you guys is it!” – is telling. Why is it always about money with Singaporeans, eh? So does that give you the right to be rude and intolerant, just because you bought a ticket? Shameful.

Switchfoot must thank its lucky stars that they are not Singaporeans and are in fact White Americans, or else they would never have had a chance to showcase its talent before thousands of music fans worldwide, even in Singapore! Good thing that when Switchfoot was starting out and opening for bigger bands in San Diego, California, there were no idiots in the audience complaining that they did not pay money to watch Switchfoot…

Again, my message to you S-ROCK haters is the same – FUCK OFF! You don’t deserve good S-ROCK… I am sure that The Great Spy Experiment did not perform for YOU anyways – but to people who enjoyed its music. And believe me, there are many people who do enjoy S-ROCK…



THE KILLS Blood Pressures (Domino)

The future does start slow, or so it seems, in view of the fact that it has been 3 years since The Kills’ last studio release, Midnight Boom, in 2008. Alison Mosshart had kept herself busy with her other side project with Jack White, Jack Lawrence and Dean Fertita, otherwise known as The Dead Weather; while Jamie Hince formed a new five-piece sidekick band, featuring his fiancée-slash-superstar supermodel, Kate Moss, and um, been feeding the tabloids with all kinds of news.

Continue reading “THE KILLS”



It’s like a familiar stranger one happens to chance upon on an occasional basis, whose face stays in your memory each time you see him (or her). That’s the same effect Fake Furs has on me: I may have heard of the group before (on one or several of the music blogs I happened to stumble upon online and bookmark thereafter), but I am not sure about it. It may even be another group altogether, as there is one with the name Fake Blood. And that was the personal struggle I had prior and while listening to the album -1.

Continue reading “FAKE FURS”


This special subculture night consisted of two events.

First, there was a preview of the exhibition at the Fred Perry store at Ann Siang Road where the stories of 18 local persons/collectives (who have shaped local culture – their words not mine!) were featured with personal items and artifacts. Yes folks, yours truly was included in this description! My contribution consisted of the original typewritten lyrics of My One & Only and the personal mixtape where the first demo recording of the song is featured. Truly embarrassing stuff! Even X’Ho thinks so (see below)…



ROBOTANISTS Plans In Progress (Overhead Records)

Is Robotanists a side project as a collective for KT Tunstall – popular for her hits like Black Horse And The Cherry Tree, Suddenly I See, (Still A) Weirdo, just to name a few – I asked myself, as I took a first listening venture dive into Robotanists’ tracks for Plans In Progress.

Continue reading “THE ROBOTANISTS”



It takes a certain amount of cojones to claim for yourself instantly recognizable acts like The Beatles and Oasis as your influences. After all, the number of bands out there who fall over themselves trying to mimick their idols and end up making bland, generic MOR rock are aplenty (exactly the case with Oasis and the Beatles, actually).

Continue reading “THE BRIGHT WHITE”


Maroon 5 “Hands All Over” Concert Press Conference In Singapore

25th April 2011

It was imaginary hands and definitely eyes all over the 5 tall lads striding into the press conference room – James Valentine, Jesse Carmichael, Michael Madden, Matt Flynn, and especially so the case for frontman Adam Levine, noticeably the most recognizable and popular member of the collective named Maroon 5.

Continue reading “MAROON 5 – LIVE IN SINGAPORE”


SOURCE CODE Directed by Duncan Jones

It’s nigh impossible to escape the influence of iconoclastic sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick on modern day sci-fi movie making. Already this year, we have actually had one (subpar) Dick adaptation (The Adjustment Bureau) and one superficially Dick-inspired fantasy (Zack Synder’s critically lambasted Sucker Punch). However, it may well be Duncan Jones’ superlative Source Code that takes the prize for the most faithful Dickian film creation in 2011!

Continue reading “GEEK OUT! SOURCE CODE”


UK-based Axel Loughrey has been described as an indie blues prodigy, and is creating buzz for his dark and bluesy rock ‘n’ roll magic. Listen to Love Thing from Loughrey’s upcoming debut EP.




THE SMITHEREENS Smithereens 2011 (eOne)

Amongst the power pop faithful, New Jersey band The Smithereens remain one of the standard bearers for the genre’s fading influence. In a modern rock scene where power pop is often mistaken for pop-punk (ugh!) – it’s vital for bands like The Smithereens to be recognized as the champions of power pop!

Continue reading “THE SMITHEREENS”


Singer-songwriter Amy Kuney has just released the video for her song, Gasoline Rainbows, which gave its name to the Gasoline Rainbows benefit compilation released in 2010. The song and compilation were put together in the wake of the terrible oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico a year ago, affecting many states along the coast while having a devastating effect on wildlife. It’s a haunting little piece that leaves the right impression, sad and angry….



Well, after this dismal result, it does appear that CL qualification is now mission: impossible.

Spurs’ form has been fading fast in this crucial run-in – only 1 win in the last six games tells its own story. This time round, blame could not be assigned to the strikers as both Pavlyuchenko and Defoe scored the goals that should have brought us the much needed three points. In the end, it was a cruel wonder strike from substitute Simon Cox that broke Spurs’ hearts.

But really, Spurs would not have deserved victory for the sloppy manner in which they went about their business. Defensive frailties exposed with almost every Albion attack and an inability to break down the Baggies’ defensive ranks have cost Spurs dearly. Now, Man City have the game in hand and a point advantage. Not only that but with a resurgent Liverpool finishing the season strongly, 5th place may not even be guaranteed!

Spurs still have to play away to Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City – and on current form, are likely to take nothing home from these difficult games. It’s probably still too soon to call but yesterday’s draw probably signals the end of the Champions League quest for next season. Hopefully, I am proven wrong in the weeks ahead.



(Press release)

SG 21st Century Mods is proud to present Singapore Mod Swing’11 party that will be held in celebration of Mods Mayday 2011. This event will be held at the Home Club on the 1st May, 2011 from 7:00pm to 1:00am (2nd May, 2011). Bands slated to play – Pinholes and Cheating Sons (Singapore) with Innocenti (Indonesia).

Continue reading “SINGAPORE MOD SWING ’11”


V1K1: A TECHNO FAIRY TALE Directed by Tzang Merwyn Tong

After the screening of this short film, director Tzang remarked to me that imagination has no budget constraints. Or something like that! Produced in conjunction with ITE College West, a group of dedicated thespians and intelligent special effects personnel, Tzang has delivered a sci-fi/fantasy narrative that works even on a minuscule budget. Chief amongst its many achievements is the amount of plotlines, nuances and tangents into its brief time frame.

Continue reading “GEEK OUT! V1K1”


Emmylou Harris – Goodnight Old World


Album: Hard Bargain

Director: Jack Spencer

Country music is definitely one of my weakest music links. It rarely catches on in my books, and I never could quite get the hang of it in general. When I watch the annual Grammy Awards each year, or try to, for that matter, I often find myself struggling, or leaving in the midst to do some errands, or even dozing off during the country performances and category award presentations.

But then of course, there are still acts that managed to catch on a fever within me – be it the sounds of adult contemporary, the soothing or catchiness of the song’s melodies, or the depth of maturity in its lyrics. Or the sheer influence of various other factors involved. Emmylou Harris is definitely one of them. After all, who else can one trust to deliver quality music, other than someone who has been around since 1970?

In Goodnight Old World, Emmylou’s vocals tingles with the feelings and emotions of sadness, hope and vulnerability all packed up in one. As the title suggests, it is a good song to play during the nights, when the world turns into a shade of the unknown, emotions are high, and the anticipation of a greater tomorrow lingers in the thoughts in our minds, and seeps into our dreams of fears and visions.

And it is only natural that as I write this entry in the wee hours of a morning, that I long for sleep like never before. I say, as Emmylou sings, goodnight old world, see you tomorrow, we rise with the sun, and fall with the sparrow.




(Press release)

Renowned Singapore Vedic metal band, RUDRA, have confirmed their upcoming BRAHMAVIDYA TOUR 2011-2012 in support of their latest album, BRAHMAVIDYA: IMMORTAL I, which was released earlier this year. The new tour will see the band tour for the next two (02) years to promote their new album and also to spread their brand of music, also known as Vedic Metal, to both old and new fans.

Continue reading “RUDRA”


Confessions Of A Stardust 2011 Semi-Finals Panel Guest Judge

Even up to today – several days after the event, it all still feels too surreal for me. The event in mind is the NUS’s Stardust 2011 Band Semi-Finals, where I took up a position as a guest judge on the panel in place for Kevin Mathews. After all, I come to realize, that it is not something that happens in our everyday lives that one can pass off and say that one has been a judge in a music competition. So I hopped on for the ride.

Continue reading “STARDUST”



Spirit People’s debut album is one of those albums. The ones where you listen with raised eyebrows. You are tempted to dismiss it as crap (which is fair) but yet, you cannot help but to delve deeper.

The band from New York City are not related to fellow (and famous) city mates, The Village People. While the latter’s tunes were slick and structured, the same cannot be said for the Spirit People.

Continue reading “SPIRIT PEOPLE”


Let’s get this out of the way—quite possibly the worst decision made at this year’s Timbre Rock and Roots was the issuing of free lawn chairs to everyone in the VIP area. I mean—what on earth were they thinking? I can understand the concern that audience members might get tired after a few hours of non-stop music—but that’s why God made grass. All that those fancy lawn chairs accomplished was to ensure a snoozefestin’ atmosphere for the greater part of Day 1…though it all still ended in a blast! But we’ll get back to that later.

Continue reading “TIMBRE ROCK AND ROOTS 2011”


JENIFEREVER Silesia (Monotreme)

There’s more to Sweden than ABBA?

Apparently, there is. My grasp of Swedish entertainment is limited to ABBA, The Hives, The Seventh Seal (awesome movie) and Christina Lindberg (Google her!).

So here’s Jeniferever’s 3rd album, Silesia. The Swedish quartet serves a smorgasbord (heehee) of musical dishes. Think of Sigur Ros’s orchestral atmospheres, Explosions in the Sky’s shoegazing tones and a untidy Brian Eno. It’s hard to define them; not that we need to.

The 9-track album delivers beautiful soundscapes; painting scenes of snow, rain and foggy windows. Melancholic, ethereal, oddly uplifting and subtlety melodic; how can one not look out the bus window melodramatically?

The opening eponymous track feels dystopian as it crawls towards a mellifluous oceanic climax. Where The Hills Fall Towards The Ocean is positively haunting. The poppy Dover is for nights with glow-in-the-dark stars on bedroom ceilings.

Silesia has its downs. Such lush sounds demand strong vocals for anchor. That’s absent.

Certain tracks are cruelly disappointing and aimless; like U2’s With Or Without You but without Bono’s cry. After repeated listens, the album drifts into boredom.

It’d be a better album if it was purely instrumental. However, it’s Jeniferever’s ambient sounds that makes Silesia special. I’m a fan.

(Hydar Saharudin)

Official Site

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Well, what do you think of the new logo? Thanks to Gene Whitlock, we have a spanking new logo which I believe reflects the geeky pop culture that Power of Pop is all about… I am digging it’s comic book feel, not to mention the fact that the musical note that is at the heart of the PoP logo – how true!

…still there’s more…


As much as I love power pop, I often find myself disappointed with ‘new’ releases of the power pop persuasion. Reason being that most of the time, the artists concerned seem to be satisfied merely regurgitating past glories of the best power pop and fall into the derivative trap. So, I am quite excited about the new album from singer-songwriter Scott Gagner (release date: 1 June), based on the two advance tracks now available for free download. Basically, these tracks contain enough freshness and verve to suggests that Gagner is using his declared influences (Guided by Voices, Wilco, Elvis Costello) as mere starting points. The high melody and energy levels certainly bode well. Check them out! Review to come…

Download: I Hate To Say | Take Two

Official Site