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Stephen Malkmus

2014 means new albums. Listen at Spotify!

STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKSWig Out at Jagbags

Ex-Pavement frontman, Malkmus returns with a brand new solo LP. Idiosyncratic songs with quirky arrangements but never lacking in memorable tunes.

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STAGEFRIGHT XSTAGEFRIGHT X

Goes without saying that local original music needs more exposure and so I am pleased that STAGEFRIGHT @ Artistry is now into its 10th edition. Tonight, the lineup is –

8.00pm to 8.15pm Che Cereza
8.20pm to 8.35pm Hiroki Sunayama
8.40pm to 8.55pm Richard Philip
9.00pm to 9.15pm The Winged Butter Cats

Come on down and enjoy some mid-week refreshment. I will be playing a couple of new tunes from the upcoming #alpacablues ep at the end. See you there!

More info.

SINGAPORE ROCK FESTIVAL [NEWS]SINGAPORE ROCK FESTIVAL [NEWS]

SRF Artwork

Here’s a festival specially made for all you metalheads out there.

ROB ZOMBIE!

KORN!

Tickets for the first night on March 5 is on sale now while tickets for the second night on March 6 goes on sale 9:00 AM on January 10 at www.sistic.com.sg

Early Bird Doubleshot Package: $198 (both nights)
Early Bird Single Shot: $118
Standard Single Shot: $128
At the door: $148

Sistic booking fee not included.

To Book tickets in Singapore:
Online: www.sistic.com.sg
By Phone: +65 6348-5555
Agents: At all authorized Sistic outlets in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Tickets can also be purchased through the SISTIC Mobile and iNETS mobile apps.

SISTIC Mobile is available at the Apple App Store, Google Play store or Samsung Apps. Download iNETS mobile through the Apple App store or Google Play store or SMS to 76387.

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The Flower Kings

Neo-prog. Progressive metal. These are the descendants of the first wave of progressive rock that flowered in the 70s. Check ’em out at Spotify.

THE FLOWER KINGSDesolation Rose

Hailing from Sweden, The Flower Kings have been making symphonic rock (echoing the sound of Yes, Genesis and King Crimson) since 1994.

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PoPTVPoPTV

Red Roof Records has just released a mandarin single, 《在一起》 which is the theme song for Mediacorp upcoming drama series <Yes We Can!> starring Romeo Tan and Rebecca Lim which debuts 8 Jan 2014. It is performed by 3 local singers, Ric Liu, Carmen Ang and Jeremy Kwan. Check out the official video above.

More info.

GEEK OUT!GEEK OUT!

MAGIC WORDS: THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF ALAN MOORE (by Lance Parkin)

It’s difficult for me to be objective about the writer Alan Moore. After all, the man had been responsible for many of my favourite all-time comic book stories viz. Watchmen, From Hell, Marvelman/Miracleman, V for Vendetta, Top Ten, Saga of the Swamp Thing and so on. Apart from Philip K Dick, Alan Moore is my favourite writer. Period.

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ALIVE & KICKINGALIVE & KICKING

LOWERCASE AND LINCH AGENCY PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH LYON APPRENTICE, GENTLE BONES, LOKIES & LINYING

The year has kicked off and the gigs are coming in thick and fast. A relatively low key event, this stripped down acoustic affair showcased Gold Coast brother act, Lyon Apprentice, as they made their debut appearance in Singapore.

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POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – ADAM LYONSPOWER OF POP INTERVIEW – ADAM LYONS

Screen shot 2014-01-05 at AM 11.21.28

The first impression I had of Aussie indie pop band Fairchild — by watching a YouTube video of “Burning Feet” (off new EP of the same name) — was that the band was a professional set-up with management & promotional support – the whole shebang! But the truth is that the Gold Coast sextet actually have day jobs (!) and ascribe to a D-I-Y aesthetic, depending very much on contacts and their own business acumen to make it this far. Frontman Adam Lyons not only has to juggle a full-time profession with Fairchild but also has a side-project Lyon Apprentice, with his brother Nathan (who is also in Fairchild). The band played in 2013’s Music Matters Live and more recently The MIDI Festival in Shenzhen and will also be showcased at the upcoming Canadian Music Week in May. All these overseas jaunts, virtually on their own dime. Quite an achievement. Over this weekend, I had the unique opportunity to watch both Fairchild and Lyon Apprentice and spoke to Adam about music, passion and how to finance it all by robbing a bank!

Why music?

I was forced to play piano when I was about 15 years old but I played guitar – I didn’t study it (music) at school – I wasn’t allowed to actually, I wasn’t even allowed to do PE – Maths and Science was my thing. I told them (parents) I wanted to do medicine, which I eventually got into. Music is a gateway to something else – it’s not a profession for me per se and I think things change when you switch music from a job to a hobby but we treat music as a job in the way we approach it. I look at my friends at work – 9 to 5 – and that’s all they do but it gives me another avenue to be creative.

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LISTENING BOOTHLISTENING BOOTH

LISTENINGBOOTH

Songs! They’re practically giving them away nowadays. So, get them while you can!

SAM PAGE – “Release Me”

DOT DASH – “Shopworn Excuse”

FAIRCHILD – “Dancer”

TUBEWATCHTUBEWATCH

Shelock301

SHERLOCK: SEASON 3

As a young kid, I loved the Basil Rathbone version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective. Subsequently of course, Sherlock Holmes fans have had no shortage of versions to choose from. Perhaps its the unsmiling Jeremy Brett one or the Steven Spielberg’s vision of the Young Sherlock Holmes or the latest Hollywood incarnation with Robert Downey Jr or even the quirky Elementary US TV series (where Lucy Liu is Watson!)

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LYON APPRENTICE – LIVE IN SINGAPORE [NEWS]LYON APPRENTICE – LIVE IN SINGAPORE [NEWS]

Yes, again pretty short notice from us but… we met indie popsters Fairchild last night and caught their set at Home Club and it was all good fun. Fairchild’s Adam and Nathan Lyons have a side-project, Lyon Apprentice and the brothers will be bring their brand of indie folk to Lowercase tonight (!) with backing from Joie Tan, Linying and Gentle Bones. It’s at Lowercase, it begins from 6.30pm and the cover is $6. Come on down!

 

JUPITER’S LEGACY GIANT-SIZED EDITION #1 (REVIEW)JUPITER’S LEGACY GIANT-SIZED EDITION #1 (REVIEW)

Jupiter's Legacy Giant-Sized Edition #1

JUPITER’S LEGACY GIANT-SIZED EDITION #1

Most PoP visitors will be aware of my ambivalence towards contemporary superhero comics. But every now and then, a series will appear that promises an intriguing take on the much maligned ‘genre’. Writer Mark Millar is a fairly big shot in the world of superhero comics and the Scot is best known for his work in The Authority and The Ultimates (not to mention Kick-Ass). Artist Frank Quitely has made his name working mainly with Grant Morrison on well-received titles like The New X-Men, All-Star Superman and We3. Last time these well-regarded creators worked together was on the aforementioned The Authority but this time, this creator-owned property gives them both a chance to let loose on the superhero mythos to fairly good effect.

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LANEWAY SINGAPORE 2014 [NEWS]LANEWAY SINGAPORE 2014 [NEWS]

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It’s 1st Jan 2014, PoPies (yes just made that up!) — which means that the first big music event viz. St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival Singapore is 24 days away! I’ve got my media pass all sorted out so I guess it’s just a question of counting down the days and hopefully being able to do a couple more interviews – Savages? Kurt Vile? So far, I have interviewed Frightened Rabbit, Haim and The Jezabels for TODAY and it’s been really fun! Fingers crossed?

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Electric Light Orchestra

Regular visitors to PoP will be aware that I believe that the 70s was the finest decade for pop and rock music ever. And one excellent resource which allows the avid music fan to access this classic rock music is Spotify (haha you saw that coming!). But seriously folks, I’d like to leave you with introductory playlists I’ve curated of three classic 70s rock bands, which I hope will encourage you to explore more on Spotify.

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CARO EMERALD IN CONCERT [DVD REVIEW]CARO EMERALD IN CONCERT [DVD REVIEW]

Alright. In the booklet insert, there are claims that Caro Emerald‘s music is some unique hybrid of jazz and hip-hop. But clearly, it isn’t! Which is a pet peeve of mine when it comes to bios and press releases that do not tell the truth! C’mon!! At best, Emerald is a jazz-pop singer, and regular visitors will know that that is one ‘genre’ I find particularly risible. It positively reeks of entitlement, designer clothes and 1 percenters. Of course, these are all gross generalizations but I guess you should not have started this argument with this talk of a jazz/hip-hop hybrid then!?!?! Sorry if this is a negative review (something I personally try to avoid) but this is such pretentious bullshit. Avoid.

 

 

 

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Kevin Tihista

The final part of our look back at 2013’s recommend album list – accessible at Spotify.

Kevin TihistaModern Standard

Under the radar perhaps but fully deserves your attention. Pop music making at its best.

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GEEK OUT!GEEK OUT!

I am probably going to be lynched for saying this but… I never quite got into Dr. Who. Sure, as a child of the sixties, I can remember Peter Cushing and the Daleks being on TV and found the stories twee and totally lacking any edge. The only thing I liked about the series was the theme song!

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CLIFF RICHARD: STILL REELIN’ AND A-ROCKIN’ – LIVE IN SYDNEY [DVD REVIEW]CLIFF RICHARD: STILL REELIN’ AND A-ROCKIN’ – LIVE IN SYDNEY [DVD REVIEW]

There’s little doubt that Cliff Richard is the one true Peter Pan of pop music. Now in his early 70s, he still looks and sounds good enough to belt out his famous hits in his own inimitable way. The set list on this performance video is dominated by his earliest numbers, like “Livin’ Doll”, “Move It”, “Young Ones” and “In the Country” etc but as well as the obligatory 70s songs like “Devil Woman”, “We Don’t Talk Anymore” and “Wired for Sound”. Naturally, unless you are a diehard Richard fan, there is nothing much here for even the most studious of rock scholars. It’s all rather glitzy and entertaining – not necessarily a bad thing but Richard represented the musical establishment that the likes of The Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks et al would soon overturn and by now, it’s appeal is limited at best.

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The Parson Red Heads

Part two of our recommended 2013 listening list from music currently streaming at Spotify.

The Parson Red HeadsOrb Weaver

Probably one the bands that come closest to the spirit and vibe of 90s alt-country (viz. Son Volt, The Jayhawks, Wilco), The Parson Red Heads released one of the most 60s-evoking albums this year.

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REEL TO REALREEL TO REAL

The premise of Thanks for Sharing is promising enough as it centers around three people undergoing a 12-step process to recover from their sexual addiction. In addition, the strong cast – which includes Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad and Alecia Moore (aka P!nk) – flesh out this intriguing premise well. However, the main problem lies in the third act where the various plotlines descend somewhat into cliche.

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Besnard Lakes!

As promised, here is the first part of a list of recommended listening of 2013 releases that you have access to on Spotify! Enjoy…

Besnard LakesUntil In Excess, the Imperceptible UFO

Have been loving this Montreal band for a while now, and music fans should take them seriously as an alternative to fellow countrymen Arcade Fire. Their gorgeous mix of Pink Floyd meets mid-60s Beach Boys is enthralling. “Specter” is one of my songs of the year.

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