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Saturday, September 11, 2010

WHO ARE YOU?


I've been to my fair share of S-ROCK gigs. I always look around at the people attending these gigs. If I come across an unfamiliar face, I try to figure out why that person is at the gig - is he or she a fellow musician, manager, photographer, blogger, organizer or someone else related to the band in some capacity (like family member or friend). 

I know what you're thinking? Why can't the person actually be a FAN of the band? Because it is so rare to come across a person who attends an S-ROCK gig and is NOT one of those aforementioned things. I mean, really. 

BUT, if I attended a gig by a foreign band then you are likely to find FANS in attendance. You can recognize them as the ones who jostle for space at the front of the stage, scream at every movement, jump and down like drunken folk with every song and queue up for hours to have their CDs/merch autographed. 

Again, you're thinking - c'mon there must be some actual S-ROCK fans, right? Yeah, but discounting the various interested parties outlined above, how many are there really? Can I count them on one hand? So who are you, S-ROCK fan? S-ROCK would like to recognize you! Please leave a comment, if that's YOU indeed!

"the intellectual class"


The debut track from "the intellectual class" is out now at Bandcamp. The track is called the draft and has been inspired by observations of recent events. "the intellectual class" is hoping to raise funds with this track to record an EP for release in 2011. Check it out! Support!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

LONG AND WINDING ROAD


When the first Watchmen CD - Democracy - was released in August 1993, I was already 32 years old with two young boys and time was a premium. So there was no album launch and precious few live performances at all. I do remember playing two initial gigs - solo acoustic - at Takashimaya and MPH Power House to promote Democracy and My One & Only, the designated lead single. 

So... articles in BigO (like the above) were essential to continue to plug the album. This would be a familiar practice down the line with subsequent CDs. Man, I look so young in the photo, you can actually make out a chin. Heh.

You can download the hidden Democracy track - Gum - at Bandcamp.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

THE HEART OF ROCK N ROLL


This is not meant to offend but I really need to be honest about what I see, hear and feel. After all, it's only my humble opinion and you can take it or leave it! Heh!

On Friday (3rd Sep) I made my way to Home Club to catch Basement in My Loft play in a gig that included the Rejeks, the Pinholes and Oz band Carnation.

Quick comments about the performances:

Rejeks - Didn't catch them so nothing to say | BIML - Shaky at times but overall the usual punk rock passion. Songs are getting better all the time | Pinholes - Totally new lineup (to me), chaotic but can't fault the attitude. Kudos! | Carnation - Average fare with the singer unable to hold a tune if his life depended on it. We have better bands than this in Singapore, so why bother? 

After the whole thing was over, Adrian, Peggy and I had a good long chat over supper and one thing that Adrian said got me thinking. He felt that Singapore bands were too "nice". Meaning that there was no edge, no danger - everything was safe. Well, I guess that's a product of social engineering as anything else but he's absolutely right. 

Singapore bands are too often apologetic about their music and their reason for being. I'm not saying that our bands should be arrogant or anything but sometimes the attitude that comes across is "lame". Sad but true. And I'm not saying that ALL our bands are like that but a majority, certainly.




Which brings me to Chunkfest 2010 organized by Ben & Jerry's. I know that the founders no longer own the company but it pains me to think that the hippie ideals upon which Ben & Jerry's was established no longer exist, except as vacuous gimmicks. 

In the first place, the organizers had the cheek (or is it just ignorance) to have S-ROCK legends Plainsunset engage in an idiotic voting contest to determine whether the band would be worthy to grace the Chunkfest stage. Thus, there was a bizarro scenario of a seated ice-cream slurping crowd watching Plainsunset! Weird! Only in Singapore.

But the topping of the day was when Leeson took to the stage and frontman Jamie (rather tongue-in-cheek) rambled on about how he didn't like ice cream because it was too cold and too sweet! Brilliant! And of course the humorless organizers ran to the stage to protest Jamie's comments. 

I mean, C'MON! Do you really think Jamie's comments (even if made seriously) would have any impact on the crowd? As if they would suddenly throw away the ice cream in their hands and suddenly swear off the stuff? Ridiculous. I'm certain the founders themselves would have found the irony amusing.

So who was hurt or offended by that? Other than paranoid gig organizers? Sheesh!!

Oh and I thoroughly enjoyed Leeson's set as it had a certain edge, underpinned by Jamie's unintended commentary on Singaporean culture and conventions.

This, my friends, is what rock n roll is about - yes, it's entertainment but much much more than that... there's still hope for the S-ROCK scene. Yes sir!