Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Performing at No Black Tie

No Black Tie, 26h March 2007

My girlfriend was invited to perform at No Black Tie this Monday, and guess who tagged along as the guitarist? Yup, you guessed it.

Although my schedule has been extremely tight the past few days, weeks even....how could I pass up the chance to introduce my brand of 'guitaring' upon the hapless patrons of No Black Tie? I admit, I was a bit unsure initially as I am more used to performing together with a full band (Sighh...oh how I miss HodgePodge).

This time around it was going to be just me, Janice Yap and our guitars. No fancy amplifiers, distortion and effects pedals to mask the mistakes which I will undoubtedly make.

Hurray :P

Practice makes purr-fect

As usual, due to a combination of procrastination and an overdeveloped sense of confidence in my ability to improvise, I didn't practice all that much before the performance. It wasn't till Sunday night that I realized "Shite! The show is tomorrow and I know nuts!"

What followed were a flurry of activities revolving around Janice running through her songs and me trying to strum my guitar and pluck at em' little strings. After a few hours of fooling around with the guitar, I felt reasonably comfortable.

Not too bad whut....

Can lah.

Break a leg

On that night itself, we performed 2 sets of 35 minutes each. The manager, Evelyn, of No Black Tie basically wanted to use this session to evaluate us (and by us I mean Janice...hahah), hence the slot on a Monday night. If she likes our sound, she'll book us for more prime slots on the weekends.

Should be interesting. I definitely wouldn't mind performing there again as the acoustics of the stage was pretty darn good. Being able to hear yourself, unlike at Laundry, sure makes a helluva lot of difference.

We'll see how it goes. As of now, we've been invited to perform in Attic and Alexis as well so it should be a pretty fun next couple of months.

Here are some pics taken from the night by Nick Tay and myself. Enjoy!

(above: Janice and Sue Ling)

(above: "Hmmm...Should I go to the loo now or wait till after the show?")

(above: Bryan, Charlene, Myself and Joanne)

(above: For those of you fellows who used to frequent Boom-Boom-Room back in the 90s, I am sure you will recognize Joanne Kam Po Po. She and Janice met during one show they did together and have hit it off pretty well ever since. On the right is Llew, the dude in charge of The Attic KL. Apparently, he liked my guitaring...so he's my new best friend)

(above: Alan and his colleague)

(above: Janice Yap with Nick Tay, our in-house photographer numero uno)

(above: Here are Stevie (right) and Johann (left). Stevie was kind enough to lend me his 'girlfriend' for the night. She was excellent! She made all the right sounds, felt good in my arms, and sat snugly on my lap. Magnifique!)


Thursday, March 22, 2007

I Felt Bad, Really

I was at an MCA meeting recently when one of the members really got on my nerve. It was ten-minutes into the meeting when the door to the room creakily opened and in walked an overweight dude with terribly unfashionable glasses. With pale, white skin that looked like it has spent the better part of the past decade indoors, I straight away deduced that his profession was either an engineer or an undertaker (later on I discovered that he is an engineer...bingo!).

As he approached our table, I did what any normal, mature adult would do. I introduced myself and reached out to shake his hand, causing the layers of blubber on his under-arm to wiggle and jiggle threateningly.

"Hi, my name is Bernard. Nice to meet you"

Normal right?

The fatso didn't say anything in return. No "My name is bla bla bla", or "Nice to meet you too" or "Gee...my arm is helluva fat".

Zip, Nadda.

He just shook my hand, sat down, and proceeded to chat with the people beside him. I was amazed. Apparently, I've stumbled across a rare breed of Stupidofilus Dunggulsapien. Scientist once thought that this breed was extinct due to the proliferation of great institutions of learning such as schools, colleges, universities and Google. All of which serve to wipe out stupidity from the human race.

I guess they were wrong.

Strike One.

The second annoying thing he did was to shoot down one of my suggestions in the midst of our discussion. Now don't get me wrong, I do not think that I am right all the time (I am right MOST of the time, but 'most' of the time is not the same as 'all' the time geddit). I can accept it if someone disagrees with me, but what I cannot stand is when a person disagrees but cannot sufficiently substantiate why.

Honestly, if you think my idea is not doable, then for goodness sake provide us with a better alternative. Don't just say "I disagree" and begin mumbling something vague and incoherent about setting objectives, focusing our efforts and achieving our goals when pressed to provide an alternative.

Strike Two.

I know in baseball three strikes make an out, but two strikes is more than I can tahan.

I didn't lose my cool however. I just sat back, smiled and let him go on with his explanation... before proceeding to rip every single one of his suggestion to shreds with a healthy dose of sarcasm and criticism. I didn't criticize just for the sake of it though, it was just that what he was suggesting was really very vague and silly.

This went on for quite awhile, with him struggling to futilely defend his suggestions and ego, before he finally gave up and proceeded to sit there glowering in silence.

I should have felt victorious. I should have been bursting with glee at having silenced him. But I didn't feel any of that.

Instead, I felt really, really bad.

It suddenly dawned upon me that I had let my conceit take over. What kind of person did I become in those few brief minutes? How could I take delight in tearing somebody down?

As a Christian I should always be compassionate and understanding towards my fellow man. Although it may be difficult at times, I should at least try my very best and not succumb to the 'easy way out'.

Feeling remorseful, I tried to make up for it during the rest of the discussion but I am afraid the damage may have already been done. What the Bible said is true, be slow to anger, and be quick to control your tongue.

It's a lesson I would do well to learn.

I hope he forgives me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Have A New Blog


I've taken a page from Daren's book and decided to start my very own news blog. You can check it out here. It is called Malaysia Property News and it is basically a compilation of all property related news in Malaysia from major sources such as The Star, The Edge, Sun etc. Quite simple stuff ler, but I am hoping that it would be able to attract a sizable amount of traffic (thus making me oodles of money in the process).

As you can see from the link above (and in my sidebar), the site is still pretty bare with a few rough edges. Also, Google's AdSense is not yet up and running. They said that I have to wait a week for approval...ughhh, I hate waiting. Once it's approved, I'm going to have a hard time controlling the urge to pepper every last square-pixel of space with Google's Ads....but I'll try my best.

Junk Night Report

Junk Night

Some of my friends are going to kill me for taking this long to post up pictures from our Junk Night performance, but it's not my fault! Work has a habit of piling up just when you least expect it, or want it to (which is pretty much all the time).

Anyway, the pictures taken with my gf's camera wasn't all that great so I had to pilfer some shots from Nick Tay, who by the way is an excellent photographer. Props to him!

All in all, the performance went really well. All of us were pretty chilled and relax before the performance. We didn't practice all that much, and in the end had to rely on our stupendously amazing talent to see us through...errr...right.

Our set was acoustic-based (think Nirvana unplugged, only without the rumpled, just-got-out-of-bed attire), which made it well suited to be the first performance of the night. As anyone who has performed will know, being the first is not necessarily a good thing. The crowd (especially Malaysian crowds) can be darn kayu during the first few hours! Seeing their emotionless faces stare back at you while you perform is enough to send any musician into a sobbing fit.

Thankfully, the crowd at Laundry was much, much more responsive than usual. I guess that was partly due to the huge amount of friends who turned up in support. Thank God for friends eh :) Although the manner in which some of them showed their support could be construed as quite gay, I know it's the thought that counts.

All in all, a great big thanks and shout out to the band members listed below:

Janice Yap - for without her, we wouldn't even be on stage
Leroy - for his ultra-high, ball-shrinking vocals which had the sound crew confused as to his gender
Amanda - for not killing us when she drove a few of us to Laundry
Simon - for his deft touch at handling testicle-shaped instruments
Eu Jin - for being everything a solid bassist should be


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Junk Night @ Laundry, 7th March 2007

Catch us there, at 9:30 pm

Yup, it's true. I'll be performing at Laundry together with a few other friends of mine this coming Wednesday (tomorrow). Laundry sure is brave to allow that. They must despise their customers a lot.

Scenes of angry mobs storming the stage and tossing my sorry arse out did cross my mind.


Ok, truth be told, I'm just going to be a keh-leh-feh with a guitar. My girlfriend was the one they invited to perform as part of an event by Junk Magazine called, you guessed it, Junk Night. The purpose of this event is to feature the indie musicians and aspiring artistes in the local scene, and my girlfriend was selected based on the strength of her MySpace profile.

The organizers listened to her original songs and they liked it enough to invite her to perform. Little did they know that her band consists of 'musicians' like me *evil laughter*

The poster for the event is shown below, so do show your support and be there at 9:30 pm on 7th March. See ya!


Saturday, March 03, 2007

My 27th Chinese New Year

I'm finally back! Yes, I know it's been almost half a month of inactivity, but I just couldn't get myself into the mood to sit down and actually type out a decent post. The Chinese New Year holidays have left me a sloth-y, blubbering heap, with no motivation to get anything done whatsoever.

I blame it on those darn CNY cookies.

Thankfully, I've managed to recover from it and am now back with a vengeance...muahahah!!

Of course, no Chinese New Year would be complete without the annual 4th day CNY bash at Janice's house. Sadly, I dont think the pig enjoyed this CNY very much though. I mean, being made to wear that gawdy pink flower on its head....tsk tsk.

The lion dance troupe performed well this year. They also had a new member in their team, a little Chinese boy who with his shaved head and shaolin style clothing, looked like something out of 'The Last Emperor'. Standing beside the beating drums and cymbals, he was intently focused on the dancing lions. Pretty cute. I didn't manage to catch him on camera, but I am sure you can picture what I'm saying.

My friend Puay Li kept staring at that little boy. Fearing that she may have developed an unhealthy fetish for little bald boys, I asked her what she was staring at.

Puay Li: I'm amazed that he can tahan the sound of the drums! He is standing so close but he doesn't seem to be affected at all...wahhhhh!

Me: Ermm...I think he's wearing ear plugs.

Puay Li: Oh.

Another annual tradition is the 'Hoarding of the Karaoke Room'. With over a hundred guests and only 3 microphones, this is a case where the swift and fleet-footed (not to mention the thick-skinned) will succeed in getting the privilege of using the Karaoke room for the night.

Unable to take the horrendous screeching anymore, Oliver frantically tried to find the mute button on the remote. Unbeknownst to him, I disabled the mute function the night before .... muahahah!

Karaoke has a way of bringing out a side of people you've never seen. Take Roy (above right) for example. He may seem like a serious dude, being an AVP in Citibank and all - but with the right songs and a microphone in his hand, he'll turn into a lean-mean singing machine faster that you can say 'blimey'.

As for Chern Yuan and Alvin, their love continues to grow stronger each year. In fact, they are even considering eloping to Khazakstan where they can spend their days cultivating potasium while twiddling with each other's nips till the sun goes down.