First, an apology – I dearly wanted this review to be a bigger feature and to be spotlighted in one of the more mainstream outlets I write for BUT alas, it was not to be. I didn’t realize that Charlie Lim was going to do a complete second set – which I missed – and so this serves as a somewhat truncated account of what went down the night Charlie Lim came home.



From the Los Angeles Art Rock duo Eagle & Talon, JAN is Kim Talon’s newest solo musical venture. In 2011 Alice and Kim Talon did separate musical projects. Alice collaborated with musician Kono Michi to form the band Alice and Michi which later released its first album Strange Bloom in late 2012, while Kim assembled herself a live band featuring Chloe Saavedra (Smoosh) and Melinda Parks (Har Mar Superstar) which resulted in the birth of JAN.

Continue reading “JAN – S/T [REVIEW]”


When exactly are we? I get the decades mixed up*

I will be 52 this coming February. Mm.

As I get older, the years seem to pass by faster and faster. I still haven’t quite figured out why but I hope it just means that I am living my life to the fullest and so…

My youngest son Jeremy turned 18 this year and it does feel like a whole new chapter of my life is unfolding before me. Pop culture remains the only true constant in my life. My earliest memories always involved TV shows (Astro Boy), scifi movies (Planet of the Apes) and pop music (The Chipmunks singing the Beatles) and that aspect has not changed.

Power of Pop has been the main outlet of my pop culture obsessions since 1998 (coming to 15 years) and whilst it’s not an income earner (I am too idiosyncratic and indisciplined for that) – it has provided me with free concert tickets, access to new albums, interviews with famous pop stars and a chance to work with young, talented writers and artists/bands. These fringe benefits were intensified in 2012 and I managed to watch many gigs (by local and overseas artists/bands) and expanded my contact base within our so-called music industry.

I have noticed many new music webzines sprouting out in our music scene and that is a very positive development and I wish these webzines all the best. I hope that they do not target merely commercial success (in dollar terms) but derive satisfaction and drive from the love of music writing itself, so that in 15 years time, they will still be doing what they love…

Whenever I talk to folks about what kept me occupied in 2012, there seems to be a consensus that I must be very busy. To be honest, I still have loads of time to do more of the things I love and I hope to do so in the coming new year. I am quite hard on myself in the use of my time and get restless when I seem to be doing ‘nothing’. What I have enjoyed most in the last three years are meaningful conversations and developing relationships. There have been numerous bumps and obstacles in this particular journey but that’s life. However, that’s not going to stop me from doing more…

For Power of Pop, I want to thank our fab writers – CJ Ang, Jeanette Chin, Melissa Ng, Samuel Caleb Wee, Desiree Boey, Hydar Saharudin, Cheryl Chew, Maricelle Wong and Rebecca Lincoln for their excellent contributions in 2012. I also want to thank all the wonderful promoters, publicists, managers, artists and bands that provided the materials from which our content was produced.

… and so on to 2013 and on the horizon: the release of Emo Fascism, the 20th anniversary of Democracy and one or more special projects which shall remain a secret for the time being.

…still there’s more…

info AT powerofpop DOT com

*From “Amateur” by Nada Surf.



Probably one of the finest ‘pop’ bands to ever write and record music in the rock history. Well, that’s my humble opinion anyways. The band built around the songwriting core of Andy Partridge (vocals, guitar) and Colin Moulding (bass, vocals) and ably supported by Terry Chambers (drums, 1977 – 1983), Barry Andrews (keyboards, 1977 – 1978) and Dave Gregory (1978 – 1998). XTC effectively dissolved in 2005. These ten songs below represent merely the tip of the iceberg of the truly amazing music produced by XTC and hopefully, you will be inspired to find out more…

(The best online XTC resource)

Continue reading “PoPTV: XTC”


Point of order. Despite the title above, this is not a year-end ‘best-of’ review of 2012. Why? It’s simply too much effort and after years and years of putting these features together, it all becomes pretty tedious and pointless. Fast. As you can guess from the featured photo above, pop culture is getting increasingly ridiculous with each passing year, so here’s my attention deficient summary of the year that we say farewell to in a matter of days…

Lunarin – The Midas Session, Nada Surf – The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, Laneway Festival (Laura Marling, Feist and Girls), Jeff Litman – Outside, Cheating Sons – Time Trails (Live at Esplanade Recital Studio), Lambchop – Mr M, Sweet Diss and the Comebacks – Emerald City Love Song, Brad Brooks – Harmony of Passing Light, Friendly Fires (live at Avalon), The Observatory – Catacombs, Shelves – s/t, OMD (Live at Esplanade Theatre), Orbital – Wonky, James Morrison (interview), Bitch Magnet reissues, Music Matters, ShiGGa Shay – They Call Me ShiGGa, Rick Murname – Wednesday Child, Pugwash – The Olympus Sound, Keane – Strangeland, Marvel’s The Avengers, Fringe Seasons 4 & 5, Pink Floyd: The Story of Wish You Were Here (DVD), The Newsroom Season 1, Hot Chip (live at Avalon), Empra – s/t, Amazing Spider-Man, SING A NEW SONG, Prometheus, Breaking Bad Season 5 (Part I), Indus Gendi – I’ll Be Good If You Say Yes EP, Stone Roses (Live at Indoor Stadium), The Dark Knight Rises, Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game, Peter Lacey – Worlds End Amateur Melodramatic Society Ball, Metric – Synthetica, Baybeats Festival, The Beach Boys (live at Indoor Stadium), Cosmo Jarvis – Think Bigger, Peter Doggett – The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s, Metric (Live at the Esplanade Concert Hall), The Pretenders (Live at F1), Joe Bonamassa (Live at Esplanade Concert Hall), alt-J (∆) – An Awesome Wave, Regina Spektor – What We Saw From the Cheap Seats!, The Whigs – Enjoy the Company, Nelson Bragg – We Get What We Want, Ingrid Michaelson (Live at the Esplanade Concert Hall), Alan Moore/Kevin O’Neill – League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 2009, The Sam Willows – s/t EP, Kate Miller-Heidke – Nightflight, Looper, Mumford & Sons – Babel, Simon Townshend – Looking Out, Looking In, Chromatics – Kill For Love, Thunder Band Slam, The Bootleg Beatles (Live at Marina Bay Sands), Jersey Boys Musical, Christmas in Singapore, Fred Perry 60th Anniversary Party, Classic Albums: Peter Gabriel – So (DVD), Sarah Cheng De-Winne – Brand New, Troy Chin’s Bricks in the Wall, Tay Kexin – Get Set Go EP, Uncanny Avengers, Regina Spektor (Live at Esplanade Theatre), Another Sunday Afternoon – The Bookmark, The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness reissue.


…still there’s more…





One of the best old school classic pop offerings from anyone in Singapore came from an unlikely source – bilingual singer-songwriter Tay Kexin. Kexin is probably better known in the local pub & club circuit as a wedding singer and somewhat specializing in jazz-pop standards but on this debut 3-song EP, Kexin demonstrates that she will be a force to be reckoned with in the pop market as well.

The first two tracks are Mandarin pop numbers – a little cliched in parts – but the melodic and harmonic goodness will just leave you with chills down spine so those technicalities will fade into irrelevance. Better yet is the sole English track – “Someday You’ll Be” – which is delightfully crafted in 80s soul-pop stylings. Tastefully presented with acoustic guitar, electric piano and breezy vibes, Kexin’s message of positivity rings true down to the sweet vocals (occasional shaky diction, notwithstanding) and backing harmonies. Definitely one of the better local pop songs of 2012.

A triple threat wonder (good looks, good voice and good songwriting!) to keep an eye on!

Official Site


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Homegrown indie rockers King Kong Jane have released a new music video for their latest single ‘Lemonade’.

Created by designer Trixie Chua (, the music video is a visual treat, leveraging on the song’s uplifting lyrics to present kaleidoscopic motion graphics. This is the fourth music video which King Kong Jane has released in support of it’s album Waiting For Friday, which was released in 2011.

“When we released the album, Lemonade was singled out by many of our fans as their favourite track. We knew we had to release a music video for it eventually, so we’re really happy that we’ve finally done so with Trixie’s help. She’s done a brilliant job with the motion graphics, and we hope that the song’s message of positivity will strike a chord with our fans during this festive season,” said Colin Lim, vocalist of King Kong Jane.

Waiting For Friday is exclusively on sale at the Esplanade Shop. Digital copies can be purchased at



Screen shot 2012-12-26 at PM 03.52.58

(Riot! Records Press Release)

After five months on the road peddling his inimitable concoction of folk rock and neo-soul across Asia, singer-songwriter Charlie Lim returns to Singapore for a homecoming show at BluJaz Café on Friday, 28th December.

The tour, which has taken him to Tokyo, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia, saw him perform at world-renowned stages at Clockenflap, Jarasum International Jazz, and Urbanscapes festivals and alongside some of the regionʼs top independent music artists such as Malaysiaʼs Liyana Fizi and Side A from The Philippines.

BluJaz holds particular significance for Charlie, who started his fledgling career performing shows at the venue from the young age of 18. In homage to his journey since then; and to the inspiring cultural exchanges experienced on-tour, the upcoming show at BluJaz Café promises two sets featuring jams with special guests and musicians who played with Charlie at different segments of the tour, with the support from fellow independent artist Weish.

Show details:

Date & time: Friday, 28th December 2012, from 9pm to 12.30am
Venue: BluJaz Café, 11 Bali Lane
Entry: Free
For more:


(BASE Entertainment Asia press release)

Sir Cliff Richard OBE, with global record sales beyond 250 million and a ceaseless performance schedule spanning 54 years, is set to return to Singapore for two nights only with a hit-packed national tour Still Reelin’ and A-Rockin’. Tickets are now on sale.



The late great Gram Parsons

Country music mixed with rock n’ roll seemed like a logical conclusion as the roots of the latter was intertwined with the weight of inspiration of the former. The Flying Burrito Brothers, led by two former Byrds viz. Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, lit the touchpaper for the likes of The Eagles and Poco. Not only that, in-between his time with The Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, Parsons provided the Rolling Stones with much know-how for the legendary country-folk-blues classics that followed. In the late 80s/early 90s, Parsons (who passed away from a drug overdose in 1973, aged 27) become the godfather of a new movement which brought elements of punk and alternative rock to Parsons’ self-styled Cosmic American Music.

The Flying Burrito Brothers – Christine’s Tune (Devil in Disguise)

Continue reading “PoPTV: ALT-COUNTRY [VIDEO]”


Photo credit: Anthony Scarlati
Photo credit: Anthony Scarlati

Engaging & Connecting with Rick Price

On 7 Dec, I found myself seated in the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Concert Hall, waiting for an acoustic show to start. The setting was a lovely venue with great acoustics, and the stage held a Steinway piano, an acoustic guitar, a harmonica, a table with 2 bottles of mineral water, and a standing mic. After a short introduction, a man dressed in a shirt and jacket, wearing glasses and a hat walks onstage, and starts to play the guitar and sings. He moves effortlessly between guitar, piano and harmonica, and 20 songs later, he has me leaving the concert hall feeling like the world’s a better place. Who is this man? It is Rick Price.




Time to refresh our collective memories concerning ‘classic’ synthpop which originated with German pioneers Kraftwerk in the 70s before flowering in the UK post-punk scene in the 80s. Probably the pre-eminent style of the post-punk revival now currently the rage amongst new alternative rock bands. Enjoy…


Continue reading “PoPTV: SYNTHPOP [VIDEO]”


(Press release)

Hopeless Records is excited to announce our newest signing, Denver, Colorado’s AIR DUBAI. Their songs “All Day” and “Warning” are now available for purchase on iTunes as a two-song bundle.

Purchase “ALL DAY” & “WARNING” song bundle on iTunes:

Composed of singer Jon Shockness, rapper Julian Thomas, Nick Spreigl (drums), Lawrence Grivich (guitar), Michael Ray (keyboard/synth), and Taylor Tait (bass), the band’s group appeal lies in its member’s passion for the music they create. A heady mix of hip-hop, pop, soul, rock and electronic, AIR DUBAI exists not to fit into one specific category or sound, but instead to create something new and fresh on each album and even every song. The true magic lies in AIR DUBAI’S live shows; energetic, soulful performances fueled mainly by the faithful fans that come to see them play.

“Signing with HOPELESS was like finding the final horcrux; now we have all the proper materials to destroy it…” – drummer Nick Spreigl.

AIR DUBAI has been voted Westword Magazine’s “Best Hip Hop” band in 2010, 2011 & 2012. They have shared the stage with such acts such as One Republic, 3Oh!3 & Rise Against.





What is S-ROCK in this new indie rock era? Bands that have risen to prominence since 2010 tend to be post-1988 babies and the sum of their influences seems to be the Post-Punk Revival that was crystalized with the arrival of The Strokes, The Killers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The White Stripes and others. Based on the 80s post-punk “movement” of the early to mid-80s, this style and sound is now the pre-eminent indie-alternative rock music of our times. In addition, this sound/style has been closely associated with the “hipster” demographic that is beginning to mark and distinguish this generation somewhat, fairly or not. In any case, here’s a bunch of new S-ROCK bands that come into this equation and it should be interesting to see where these bands will be, come 2015.

Continue reading “S-ROCK 2013: DIG THE NEW BREED!”


It’s no secret that I have been incredibly wary of the current wave of the Post-Punk Revival, believing that it is mostly warmed up leftovers from a special musical epoch now 25 years old. But of course, there is an exception to every rule.


This Portland-based band started life as a spiky noisenik outfit and released a debut album in that vein in 2003 viz. Chrome Rats vs Basement Rutz. However, in 2005, Chromatics would undergo radical changes to its lineup with Ruth Radelet (vocals), Johnny Jewel (producer/multi-instrumentalist), and Nat Walker (drums/synthesizer) joining, with guitarist Adam Miller the remaining founder. The result was a sophomore release – Night Drive – that having taken electronica fully on board, with strong hints of the Post-Punk Revival. The track “Tick of the Clock” gained recognition after it was featured on the Drive soundtrack.

Which set the stage for the latest album – Kill for Love – released earlier in 2012, and in my humble estimation, one of the best albums of the Post-Punk Revival era, let alone 2012. Right from the opening cover version of Neil Young’s Hey Hey My My (Into the Black) – the haunting “Into the Black” (video below), it is obvious that Chromatics is not interested in sounding like the rest of the sheep copycat hipster bands out there in the modern rock wasteland.

“Kill for Love” may superficially recall the 80s with its New Order/Depeche Mode references but there is a distinct attitude especially in Radelet’s languid vocal delivery. Miller’s guitar work helps songs like “These Strings Will Never Look the Same” and “Dust to Dust” escape the usual hipster cliches by channeling a hybrid of older sounds coupled with the now-traditional dance pop styles. Not only that but the band’s penchant for emphasizing soundtrack designs in songs like “Broken Mirrors” and “The Eleventh Hour” keeps the aural experience intriguing always.

More thoughtful (and less trippier) than its predecessor but Kill for Love demonstrates that it is possible for uncompromising intelligent and artistic bands to make challenging original music during these fallow years.

You can also listen to Kill for Love in its entirety at Soundcloud!



They Might Be Giants is back with their deliriously catchy, original sound which has been developed and honed to a fine art over the past three decades. The two-time GRAMMY winning Brooklyn originals return with charming wit, electrifying pop melodies and just enough bass clarinet on their 16th studio album, Nanobots, to be released on 3rd March 2013. Here’s a preview of the new album – the infectious ditty that is “Call You Mom”. Get a FREE MP3 of this song at–just join the Free MP3 Club there.


American songstress Rachael Yamagata returns to Singapore for a fifth time, in support of her new EP Heavyweight. Concert promoters Greenhorn Productions recently announced that Yamagata will be performing on 2nd March 2013 at the Esplanade Concert Hall and that tickets at $48, $68, 88 and $98 (excluding Sistic charges) will be available from soon. Stay tuned for details soon at the official Facebook event page. In the meantime, check out the title track of her new EP below.

Official Site