土曜日, 7月 31, 2004

The sacred and profane

This poster now adorns my wall *sigh*after reading a short comment by nads from an earlier entry, i thought of sharing with you lot this article i wrote for rottw 4 years ago. like nads, i had the opportunity to watch one of the last ever smashing pumpkins gigs in the uk. i first heard of them in 1992 from the singles ost. been hooked ever since. they had a pretty rough ride as a band. death. the firing of one of rock's brilliant drummers. a frontman with the biggest metaphorical (bald) head ever seen. a demo-sounding synth-y 4th album. the return of one of rock's brilliant drummers (but followed by the quitting of d'arcy wretzky). the decision to call it a day was sad, but i guess they wouldn't want to end up churning album after album for the many years to come (read: the rolling stones).

this article contains a couple of inaccurate accounts. they didn't actually play anything from machina ii. the songs that i didn't recognise were obscure covers. also, this article was written in bahasa malaysia, and reading it again was pretty amusing as a rock gig review written in bm just doesn't clinch it. it doesn't sound that right. read it and you'll see what i mean.

Billy Corgan"... apabila saya memasuki panggung Apollo, Catherine Wheel, kugiran pembuka tirai baru sahaja mengakhiri persembahan mereka. Setelah menunggu selama 30 minit, lampu panggung dipadamkan . The Smashing Pumpkins memulakan set mereka dengan The Everlasting Gaze. Sistem bunyi malam itu pada mulanya tidak berapa baik. Bingit dari Les Paul Junior Billy Corgan dan SG Custom James Iha mengisi seluruh panggung, diiringi alunan berat Fender Precision berkilat Melissa auf der Mauer dan bedilan dram Jimmy Chamberlain. Bullet with Butterfly Wings dan Zero diberi nafas baru. Saya pada mulanya tidak dapat mengenali irama yang dipersembahkan mereka!

Melissa auf der MauerMereka mempersembahkan beberapa lagu dari Machina II: The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music, yang hanya boleh diturunmuat dari internet. Kebanyakan penonton pada waktu itu masih belum pernah mendengar lagu-lagu baru mereka. Saya hanya boleh memberi pendapat yang lagu-lagu Machina II kebanyakannya melalut dengan piano solo dari kedua-dua pemain keyboard mereka. Sambutan hangat tetap diberikan! Set kedua dimulakan selepas segmen piano solo, dimana Corgan menukar kostum jubah beliau (dari putih ke hitam!).

Tone gitar mereka sungguh mengkagumkan malam itu. Corgan menggunakan Gibson E335nya untuk Cherub Rock, irama klasik dari Siamese Dreams yang menyemarakkan semangat penonton malam itu, manakala solo gitar Corgan dari Stand Inside Your Love dimainkan dengan Fernandes Sustainer. To Sheila dari album Adore dimainkan secara akustik diiringi slide guitar Iha. Jika dilihat malam itu, para penonton lebih suka melayani lagu-lagu era lama seperti Disarm dan Tonight, Tonight.


Corgan and Iha belting it out!!


Jimmy ChamberlainSebagai encore pertama, Fuck You (An Ode To No One) menghangatkan suasana. Corgan mengucapkan terima kasih dan memperkenalkan anggota Pumpkins kepada para penonton. “Selamat Malam Halloween”, ujar beliau lagi yang tidak berkata banyak malam itu. Setelah mendendangkan Ava Adore, mereka meninggalkan pentas. Saya terfikir adakah mereka akan kembali untuk encore kedua, akibat kerenah rock star Corgan yang tidak menentu. Sewaktu gig mereka di NEC Arena Birmingham keesokan malam itu, Corgan meninggalkan pentas tanpa encore!

James IhaTiba-tiba kedengaran suara seorang MC mengucapkan terima kasih kepada semua yang sudi hadir ke gig terakhir Pumpkins di kota Manchester. Beliau pun terus memperkenalkan beberapa tetamu selebriti yang akan memulakan persembahan terakhir yang istimewa malam itu. “Sila berikan tepukan gemuruh untuk… DAVID BECKHAM!”. Semua terasa cuak. Beckham? Sebenarnya yang muncul adalah Corgan berpakaian jersey Man U lengkap dengan bola sepak! Iha pula berjersey Man City. “POSH SPICE!!”. auf der Mauer muncul dengan rambut palsu hitam berpakaian dress hitam pendek. Chamberlain muncul sebagai George Best dan kedua-dua pemain keyboard sebagai Noel dan Liam Gallagher. Tidak sangka Corgan begitu sporting. Halloween punya pasal. Mereka mempersembahkan 1979 secara akustik sebagai lagu terakhir malam itu.

Sesudah sahaja 1979 dipersembahkan, Pumpkins membaling coklat dan gula-gula ke arah penonton, sambil tepukan gemuruh diberikan. Gig terakhir (untuk Manchester) sebuah band yang merupakan salah satu tunjang muzik rock alternatif zaman sekarang."


manchester apollo setlist (10/31/2000)

set 1: the everlasting gaze / bullet with butterfly wings/once in a lifetime [talking heads] / glass and the ghost children / stand inside your love / cherub rock / blue skies bring tears
set 2: rock on [essex]/heavy metal machine / zero / porcelina of the vast oceans / to sheila / with every light / disarm / tonight, tonight / this time
encore 1: fuck you / ava adore
encore 2: 1979

[credits: spfc.org and infinite pictures for the setlist and rare pictures]

Eh, lapar lah! (part V)

Devourable in 5 minutes

i am a simple man. whilst sweets like saint emilion au chocolat could be the order of the day for some, this is my idea of post-prandial delight. tgi friday's brownie and popcorn sundae.first had it with some mates of mind after band practice. we actually shared it between the three of us as it was a bit on the big side, but it disappeared in 5 minutes. had it again (unshared) last week after the guys' congregation (we thought driving 40 miles south for dessert at HRC was a little too much!). i think all you need is a big(!) cereal bowl, add your favourite make of vanilla ice cream, together with some butterscotch popcorn. a couple slices of choc brownies chopped into manageable pieces and some whipped cream on top. bob's already your uncle.

金曜日, 7月 30, 2004

Leaving here

a second entry on goodbyes in a week. today's my last day at the royal infirmary. it's back to the hallamshire in sheffield as of next week. the head of department organised a little presentation (for which i brought in some donuts and choc cakes) where i got some parting gifts from the medical and laboratory staff. i got a lovely picture frame (they saw my framed photos on my office desk), a black neck tie (to wear for any upcoming HM coroner's inquests!) and a desk clock (so that i will always be in time for future surgical cut-up sessions. yeah, yeah.). yes, the lab is a cheerful bunch and i'd kill to come back here for a consultant post. very cheerful that it makes you want to stay late at work (and i ain't a sad git). in fact, just look at how happy we all look!

Shiny (pathological) happy people!

how many workplaces you know can do that to an individual? and tonight they've organised for us to go bowling. i will miss this place. immensely. hey-ho.

木曜日, 7月 29, 2004

Let's swing!

I paid the equivalent of RM210 for this!i had to buy it. i usually go for the pre-owned ones as original ps2 games cost a bomb in the uk. but ten quid off activision's new spider-man2 game? £29.99 it is (ok, it's only a fiver, ringgit-wise, for some people, but it costs £515 to fly back home to one utama!). one thing i can tell you, it's addictive. i can just sit there with the dualshock 2 controller for hours on end, swinging from building to building. you can even swing really low over the nyc traffic and build your momentum with L2. yeah!

another thing i found out, is that i'm a lousy spidey. only for the moment, i hope. i can swing fine. i can catch baddies with uzis, chase carjackers and catch onto the underbelly of a helicopter with my web (sometimes, on a good day). i'm crap with saving people who are hanging off a building or catching a crying girl's balloon that is floating away near the chrysler building. yes, i think the nyc geography is pretty accurate. never been there, but i have the impression that it is.

it basically follows the basic premise of the movie storyline, with additional bad guys added for the enjoyment of the gaming comic fan. and not to forget one bad gal. ooo, black cat. shorter, bobbed hair as compared to her comic counterpart (rumour has it that eliza dushku may be donning the tight black suit in the upcoming 3rd spidey instalment)... and she is such a tease. meoww! (reminder to self: she's fictional, and this time, so-oo pixelated).

at the moment, i'm performing tons of heroic deeds to purchase additional skills for the friendly neighbourhood webcrawler. so much for altruistic heroic deeds! next bad guy: mysterio. think mars attacks! bloomin' difficult, hence the need for many of the spider-skills that could only be obtained by chasing purse-snatchers and the like.

Screenshots of the game. The xbox version is unfortunately better :(

the game has only maguire, dunst and molina from the original cast providing the voices of the characters, together with some other people providing okay la imitations of the likes of harry osborne and jjj. the game also teaches me restraint. why? cos i got bloody revision to do, that's why. ooh... it's calling to me now... have to switch on console...

水曜日, 7月 28, 2004

Adieu, mes amis

this is that time of the year when your friends load their shipping boxes, pack up their bags, and leave for home. yesterday, my good mate the neon did just that. he'll be hanging out in the smoke for a week and a bit before flying back home for good. before he does that, i'll be joining him this sunday when the one half of sun redd sun will perform the obligatory pilgrimmage to abbey road. traffic permitting, perhaps a 50% rehash of the iconic beatles album cover of the same name (now, where is my white suit?).

king kiasu and firr, wanna join us?

Goodbye uni life, hello real world(?)

also, i had the pleasure in soaking up the glorious experience of sheffield university's congregation of the class of 2004 last week. being absolutely biased, nothing beats the newcastle medical school class of 1995 congregation. by the way, i hate mortar boards! anyway, the sheffield one (the engineering faculty) was vibrant, with a swinging jazz band belting out jungle book tunes from the alcove. smiling faces everywhere. even though it wasn't my day of glory, i could just feel the happiness around me. in short, tumpang gembira for my friends and their families. there was the usual image capturing (no more camera clicks in this day and age) of poses and the obligatory mortar board tossing (so american... is there a name for that activity of melambung mortar board?). after about an hour, it was all over. quick, but an experience that will remain forever in the memory vaults. which brings me to think, of how some people just can go on holiday and not go for their graduation day. i personally feel they have missed something really big, albeit symbolic. perhaps i am a tad sentimental.

you can view the various snapshots i took by clicking the collage above.

Rock the casbah

Go to www.rottworld.com for more picsi didn't go to the incubus gig in bukit kiara, but i knew such a sight as aptly describedly below by their frontman, brandon boyd, was pretty much not surprising. this is what he had to say, on the release of the official bootleg cd (an oxymoron perpetuated initially by the great pearl jam) of the said kl gig:

"This show will always stand out in my mind as one of the more unique concerts we've played. I can't even remember a show that I've been to that offered such rarities on an experiential level. The audience was one of the more animated that we had ever seen and proved to be so until the last note of our set. I'll never forget seeing all the girls in the crowd with their veils over their heads and dancing as hard as their Chuck Taylors would allow! It was a cultural paradox at it's finest! We'll never forget Malaysia! Thanks."

pengsan pak aji mendengar! :)

火曜日, 7月 27, 2004

Revenge of the Sith

Senator Amidala at 6 am...

yes. it's official. thanks to trabye i have rekindled my passion for everything amidala... i mean, star wars. if she looks this good in ii, wait til may 19 next year!

土曜日, 7月 24, 2004

? (end)

SLAP!!!(wake up, please...)

??id6890

karma police arrest this man he talks in maths he buzzesLikeAfridge hes like a detuned radio.

karma police arrest this girl her hitler hairdo is making me feel ill
&we
have
crashed
her
party.

this is what you get. tHis is what you get. tHis is what you get when you mess with us.

karma police ive given all ican its not enough ive given all ican but were still on the payroll.

this is what you get. this is what you get. tHis is what you get when you mess with us.

(phew for a minute there i lost myself ilost myself



(yorke, greenwood, selway, o'brien, greenwood)
©1997 emi records limited

金曜日, 7月 23, 2004

? again

Yea, noise? Then I'll be brief. O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die - act V


Wake... from your dreams
The drying of your tears
Today.. we escape
We escape.

Pack and get dressed
Before your father hears us
Before.. all hell.. breaks loose.

Breathe... keep breathing
Don’t lose.. your nerve.
Breathe... keep breathing
I can’t do this.. alone.

Sing us a song
A song to keep us warm
There’s such a chill
Such a CHILL.

You can laugh
A spineless laugh
We hope that your rules and wisdom choke you
Now we are one
In everlasting peace

We hope that you choke.. that you choke
We hope that you choke.. that you choke
We hope that you choke.. that you choke

(yorke, greenwood, selway, o'brien, greenwood)
©1997 emi records limited

木曜日, 7月 22, 2004

?

Come on rain down on me...


please could you stop the noise im tryin to get some REST?
from all the unbornchikkenVoices in my head?
huh whats's that?? (i may be paranoid   but not an android)
what's that...? (i may be paranoid   but not an android)

when i am king you will be first against the wall
with your opinions which are of no consequence at all
huh whats's that?? (i may be paranoid   but no android)
what's that...? (i may be paranoid   but no android)

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaambition makes you look pretty ugly
kicking   squeeling   gucci   little   piggy
"you dont remember
you dont remember
"why dont you remember my name?
off with his head.
off with his head man.
why wont he remember my name?"
""i guess he does_"

raindownraindown
come on raind down on me
froma great height.
from a gra/eeaa haaeeeeeiii. haaaaeeeeeiiii
rain down rain down
come on rain down on me
froma great height.
from a great aaaaaaeeeeee
raindownrain down
come on raindown onme.

""thats it sir
youre leaving_"
the crackle of pigskin
the dust & the screaming
the yuppies networking
the panic    the vomit
the panic    the vomit
god loves his children
god loves his children yeah!

(yorke, greenwood, selway,o'brien, greenwood)
©1997 emi records limited

水曜日, 7月 21, 2004

Careful with that axe, Eugene (part VIII)

the fender telecaster. the workhorse of many a band. or guitarist. muddy waters. bruce springsteen. david gilmour. jonny greenwood. prince (erk). even the slipknot guys now use a hot-rodded version. mine is the 50's classic one, made at the ensenada factory (don't get me started on mexican fenders). the price was a steal, at this place in castleford. it was funny as i was wandering around birmingham, hoping to find the tele of my dreams, i found nothing that i took a liking to. everything was too overpriced or even if it was cheap, it was the tele standard (nope, not this time for me). after coming home following a fruitless search, i found this two-toned sunburst on the net. going for cheap. no marks, nothing. first-hand.

got off work early as it was a bit of a drive to get to the place. as usual, i could manage a couple of meaningless riffs and pseudo-blues licks, with the tele plugged to a marshall avt100. only for five minutes as i was the only person in the vast warehouse-like shop, apart from the owner and his german shepherd. *very shy, one*

this guitar is twangy. it's a tele, with a beautifully finished maple fingerboard to boot. what do you expect. but wait. the tone knob allows you to vary its tone so subtly that you can make her sing like anything you want it to be. coupled with the volume knob, the overdriven tones can be altered from muddy to the sublime. hook it up to the gt-3, step on the mesa dual rect patch, it's metal mayhem! it doesn't look the part, but hey, it rocks (the only thing is that it doesn't work the other way, i.e. jazz music played with a bc rich warlock). the body is made of solid ash. the hardware is vintage 1950's style, with the three-saddled bridge and kluson machine heads. i could put an ashtray bridge cover if i wanted as well.



i've used to it to record on this blues track with the neon. not gigged yet. december? january? blue planet, mr. lamson radius king kiasu?

tsk. it looks like that this is my last entry in the series. although, the possiblity of a sequel remains, eh?

火曜日, 7月 20, 2004

Kiasu rig

hopefully by the end of the year, i am getting myself a proper desktop. one of my ambitions (which may remain just that!) is to have a recording facility on board. i was browsing through the i-bands forum, and i found this entry by suicide.

Everything also got, one!

i wish i can try it out, but my current laptop just can't handle this! you can get a free download of the demo version here. so, if any of you can try it out, please leave your comments!

Yebo, baba*!

[*hello, grandpa! in zulu speak]

everyone loves a good old barbecue. in malaysia, it's a pretty common alternative to making steamboats/have caterers (cop out!) for a party at home as it's pretty easy. and i'm sure you lot out there who's been to australia or the 'states have experienced the way they grill their meat over a fire! i've never been to australia or the 'states. in fact over here in britain, only occasionally i'd get some prawns, skate wings, chicken and lamb chops over a small £6.99 woolworths b-b-q set with a few friends. only in the summer. if it doesn't rain.

Jason with the braailast saturday, i was over at jason and kate's for a braai. as a malaysian, i've pretty much had the braai experience a couple of times now. braai is afrikaans for barbecue. the braai is simply an institution for south africans. wherever they are in the world, whatever the outdoor temperature is, you just need two of them around and the next thing you know, they'll be lighting up a fire and getting ready to grill some succulent boerewors!

the braai experience is simply different. most barbecues i've been to are mainly getting the charcoal lit, get a fire going, bung in some chicken, and the next thing you know, blood comes dripping down your chin and you'd go, "this could do with a couple more minutes".

Kate with some of the guestsone takes their time preparing for a braai. while the fire is being prepared, guests would usually enjoy basking in the evening sun, having pleasant conversations over a glass of fine red. i noticed my british friends were busily helping themselves to the doritos and dips, probably not expecting the laidback nature of the evening! the evening's non-vegetarian fare consisted of ribs, sausages, chicken (it was considerate of them to have provided me with the halal version!) and lamb chops. it was also publicly announced that the marinade of the chicken was based on my recipe, much to my embarassment (it was a half-baked attempt for a soya sauce-based marinade, ie ayam kicap, made a few years ago at my first braai. apparently, this recipe was highly praised and had even been used by my friend's mom in jo'berg, entertaining their guests by the poolside) as the wife of one of the guests was keen to know how to make it.

Check out the matchstick!


one thing i can say is that you can get a full 3-to-4 course meal out of a single braai sesh. i experienced this first-hand at my first braai at another south african friend's home in sheffield. and this was late autumn! after getting the fire right, you can have starters the likes of shiitake mushrooms glazed in garlic, herb and butter. i've also had cheese, tomato and onion toasties over the fire! obviously, grill meat like chicken first as they take a longer time to cook. steak is simply gorgeous. with no salt or pepper (to prevent osmosis of the meat's juices), grill the (unmarinated) steak for about 5 minutes on each side if you like it medium. season thereafter. serve with a steak sauce of your liking.

as the fires die down, throw in a couple of bananas in the glowing embers. let the skin burn to a black colour. remove the skin, and trickle some vanilla/cardamom syrup (if it's your cup of tea, a tinge of brandy should also add some zing) over the steaming bananas. dessert's ready. by the end of that evening, all three of us sat down quietly with our freshly brewed coffee - too full to even speak!

i'm glad that i've learnt how to do a barbecue the suid afrikan way, and that is the way i have been doing it ever since that cold autumn's evening. chilled and laid back.

月曜日, 7月 19, 2004

Eh, lapar lah! (part IV)

I just love the kuah, made up of the lemon, olive oil and fish juices


this is one of my fav cincai piscine concoction, bastardised from a jamie oliver veg recipe and a nigel slater-esque method of cooking fish. it's also something that i started making after joining a gym (i'm not getting any younger). place the fish, in my case either trout or salmon filet, on a large piece of kitchen foil. a generous squeeze of lemon juice, fresh ground black pepper, parsley (fresh or otherwise) and a bit of colman's wholegrain mustard on the ikan. chuck in veg. from the illustration above, i only had green peppers in the fridge, but sliced carrots, petit pois or anything of the sort would do. then wrap the whole fish-and-veg combo loosely with the foil. bang it in the oven, gas mark 7, for a good 10-15 minutes. the looseness of the foil wrap allows the fish and veg to be steam-cooked. once ready, squeeze a little more lemon juice and drizzle some of the extra virgin. no salt. bung in some leaves, rocket, radicchio and the like. paruk!

日曜日, 7月 18, 2004

ni ju san candles

otanjo bi omede to! hime-chan!

土曜日, 7月 17, 2004

Are you sitting comfortably now, folks?

Powerful! The makings of a cultural juggernaut! -The Washington Post


"I am a citizen of the United States of America. Our government has been overthrown. Our elected president has been exiled. Old white men wielding martinis and wearing dickies have occupied our nation's capital."

- the opening chapter of Michael Moore's Stupid White Men

about the time the american/british coalition forces were about to invade iraq in march last year, i read michael moore's hilarious take on everything-that-is-america, stupid white men. i didn't read his current book as later on in stupid, it got a bit samey. i do have a short attention span sometimes. hehe.

not last night. i saw his palme d'or-winning opus, fahrenheit 9/11. screen 10 was pretty much half-filled (it was released last week). but then, probably a multiplex audience would prefer spider-man 2 anyway on a friday evening! i watched bowling for columbine last year on dvd, so i knew just what to expect last night as i nestled in my seat with my usual fare of nachos and diet coke.

we've all read it all before on how the u.s. of a got itself a chimp for president. reiterate these points in the initial segments he did, it still blew my mind. what followed through were several disclosures on events before and during 9/11, the subsequent failures to capture bin laden in afghanistan and the unnecessary horrors in iraq. they even had bitney spears spouting praises supporting dubya while chewing some gum. the detractors would say that moore was telling one side of a story. a half-baked yarn that moore would have us to believe. well. after the biased reporting of the war by the american media? after the u.s. government scaring the american public into thinking every man with a bin in the middle of his name is involved with al qaeda? hell yeah, this movie should be telling this side of the story!

this may not mean much in the greater scale of things. i saw a news report on sky the other day where they interterviewed a staunchly republican american couple. after watching the movie, they said that it was a wake-up call and the republicans will definitely not get their votes this coming november.

i know that michael moore is pretty sensationalist, reminding me of the syed al-attas political paperpacks that bedeck our friendly mamak newspaper stands. moore takes it a braver step further. i know 9/11 did very well in the box office in the 'states, but i don't naively expect this movie to have that profound an impact on the american people, as it takes more than just a 110-minute docu-movie to veer the votes away from dubya's next term in office. if it opens some blinded/blinkered eyes, i think that's pretty good enough.

金曜日, 7月 16, 2004

soon forget

Aloha!

 
sorry is the fool who trades his soul for a corvette,...
thinks he'll get the girl he'll only get the mechanic,...
what's missing,...  ?
he's living a day he'll soon forget.

that's one more time around,..
the sun is going down,...
the moon is out but he's drunk and shouting,..
putting people down,..
he's pissing,..
he's living,... a day he'll soon forget.

counts his money every morning,...
the only thing that keeps him horny,..
locked in a giant house, that's alarming,...
the townsfolk,...  they all laugh.

sorry is the fool who trades his love for hi-rise rent,...
seem the more you make equals the loneliness you get,...
and it's fitting,...
he's barely living,... a day he'll soon forget.

that's one more time around,..
and there is not a sound,...
he's lying dead, clutching benjamins,..
never put the money down,..
he's stiffening,...
we're all whistling,....

a man we'll soon forget.

(vedder)
©2000 innocent bystander (ascap)


木曜日, 7月 15, 2004

The webslinger cometh... or swingeth, rather

i used to really love marvel comics when i was 12 (all credit goes to turq). i got into (the amazing!) spider-man a little bit, reading stuff from the lee-ditko era (reissues, i ain't that old!). the story-telling was great. spidey's witty retorts and taunts did it for me! the villains (a new one every issue) were varied in powers and skills (the usual fare of the green goblin, doc ock and electro, to name a few) but some were rubbish (namely kraven the hunter...). my spidey experience was however limited to the early part of the 80's as i'd pretty much lost interest when i entered boarding school.

The UGC@Don Valleywell. saw the first ever showing of the eagerly-awaited spider-man 2 (with the lip-tenyeh-ing uncut and sans subtitles) on its official day of release early this morning. 0005 hours. on a 'school night' (hah! what, me worry? i saw britney *oops* in a city 90 miles away on a 'school night'). went with the neon, and arrived a little on the early side. long live geekdom (loads of 'em jay and silent bob types at the cinema, in various shapes and sizes too)!

i know many have blogged about this superb effects-ladened cinematic piece. from the well-written, to-the-point kinda reviews to the incredulously verbose what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about-THIS-IS-SPIDERMAN-NOT-TERMS-OF-ENDEARMENT(!) kinda write-ups.

both the neon and i agree that this movie rocks big time, exemplified by the photos seen khere*:

Classic comic book poses recreated flawlessly!


khere:

One of the best fight sequences created on CG, I can assure you!


and, khere:

M-J... now we're talkin'!


(*the word here: to be read with an arabic lilt, and accentuate the R's...)

to quote stan lee, excelsior!

and by the way, captain john jameson. don't think your poster boy good looks (i'm sure you gals find him oh-so dishy *swoon*) can charm our M-J. go piss off to the sea of tranquility on your bloomin' apollo rocket or something! (you go, peter!)

apart from the obvious clues on who the baddie might be in the next movie, i thought there is also a subtle clue, especially to readers of the spider-man comics, of another possible villain in the works. we shall wait, with bated breath.

[acknowledgment: thanks to sony pictures for making their pics downloadable on their website (all credits to them!)]

水曜日, 7月 14, 2004

Alamak

something really fucked up happened. 75% of the template was accidentally wiped off when i was updating a few minutes ago. so, if you see some little differences (like not seeing your blog linked to mine *hehe*), it'll be rectified soon.

thank goodness, for i actually saved the template on word (a virtue of being mildly OCD).

later.

All those yesterdays

thanks to ecrivez and the nirvana vs. pearl jam slot on mtv2, i am back in the pearl jam state of mind, musically. after picking up my les paul yesterday with the single video theory dvd playing in the foreground, i remembered.

www.lukin.com for more unofficial PJ info


given to fly?

[update: i felt i didn't do the ed vedder pic justice, so here it is in its entirety]

火曜日, 7月 13, 2004

A Rush version of the classic Crossroads?

i got rush's new ep, feedback, in the mail yesterday. great covers! and i almost forgot that i had tickets to see them this coming september at the nec arena in birmingham. this was them live at red rock amphitheatre in denver, CO, two weeks ago:

2112 cometh! [photo ©2004 andrew macnaughtan]


to actually listen to their rocking stuff like 2112 and tom sawyer live? i simply c-a-n-n-o-t wait, man!!

*playing by-tor and the snow dog in my head with glee*

日曜日, 7月 11, 2004

Eh, lapar lah! (part III)

well, that's what i said driving back from the multiplex last night. there's a recent trend of halal chinese restaurants in britain lately. an example is chopstix at oxford street and charing cross road (nearest tube: tottenham court road) where i finally could enjoy lemon chicken and egg char fan without guilt :) . being peckish, i decided to head for noodle inn at london road for a little take-away.

No need for these!A little history lesson!
 Sotong goreng and ayam masak black bean


had deep fried sotong in garlic and chilli and sizzling chicken in black bean sauce. i've been here a couple of times with friends and the food here is simply yum. their pak choi masak oyster sauce, albeit so simple, is just one of my favourites.

i know if you are in malaysia, all these are pretty much tak heran (muhibbah restaurant in taman tun, my favourite!) kind of fare. suppose that i'd just like to point out that i find this halal trend a welcoming one, especially when one could only order king prawn dishes every time one goes out for a chinese meal in this neck of the woods!

Of bedknobs and broomsticks

The Prisoner of Azerbaijan (!) ;pfinally had time to see harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban yesterday evening. i read the book somewhere over asia in january 2002. i was on a plane :) , immediately continuing off where chamber pretty much left off. yes. it was a rather pathetic attempt at a potter marathon. hey. i had to keep up. book number four was already in paperback! after buying the books at whsmiths, i looked around and found it rather peculiar to see every other passenger at LHR, including the woman in the seat next to me on the plane, reading harry potter.

i couldn't exactly remember much of the book. i knew it had dementors and the first emergence of sirius black. cuaron's vision of j.k. rowling's third instalment of the series was dark. in many sense of the word. invokes the thought of empire strikes back when i first saw it in 1979! ain't that sunny like columbus' two earlier versions. grey overcast skies. a tim burton-cum-batman kind of gothic feel to the hallowed halls of hogwarts. quidditch in a thunderstorm. a meaner mutha of a whomping willow. yeah!

the kids have grown up (and before harry sprouts facial hair to look like hagrid, they'd better hurry up with the later sequels!). gone is the hogwarts public school-esque preppiness. the unkempt comprehensive look is the order of the day (*someone's feeling a little elitist this afternoon*). michael gambon does a good dumbledore although i preferred the late richard harris' portrayal of the headmaster. with all the recent deaths of great actors recently, i digress, i'm glad george lucas had finished principal photography for episode iii! i thought gary oldman was simply class, and an apt choice for sirius. really looking forward to the sequels now.

by the by, in one of the earlier sequences of the movie, in the leaky couldron, i thought i saw ian brown of the stone roses! if it was him, cool cameo!

the next book is apparently called harry potter and the half blood prince. call me an overgrown kid, but i can't wait!

金曜日, 7月 09, 2004

Money, money, money... it's so funny!

if my good old btu4 buddy had told me earlier, i'd now be on a plane. flying to this city here.

Stockholm, Sverige


yup. stockholm.

the weather's apparently gorgeous. the sun does not set at this time of the year. blondes (of the female persuasion, thank you very much) have legs up to their ears (*dream on*).

it's too late now. the last flight to arlanda is at 1735 hours from manchester international. aaaaaaaaaaaargh! damn, man!

so, bunkeye. the next time you plan to come to any part of europe, please do tell me in advance, okay? :)

You wanna homp, ya focker?

i don't know what it is with the telly, but yet again, flicking the channels on sky two nights ago gave me another piece of pacino magic on the screen! this time it was brian de palma's carlito's way. pacino being his usual fiery self, mean ass mo' fo. then, guess whom i saw in one of the scenes?

viggo 'aragorn son of arathorn, isildur's heir' mortensen. from the following dialogue by viggo's lalin (thanks to imdb, as i couldn't exactly remember the lines word-for-word), you'd never thought that this was the man who would be the king of men of middle-earth.

You think you're the fuckin' king of Middle Earth? Yasonnovabitch??"look what I got to go around with, man - fucking diapers, man! i shit my pants every day! i can't walk. i can't HOMP (sic)! why don't you just kill me, you COCKSOCKER (sic)!!"

class.

水曜日, 7月 07, 2004

For those about to rock (we salute you)

Garage (or basement) days revisited
(young, young, johnson)
©1981 j albert & son pty ltd
ac/dc, for those about to rock(columbia)

月曜日, 7月 05, 2004

Thankyouverymuch! Ah ha ha *snarl*

while i was in the car on the way to work this fine morning, i found out on radio 4 that history was made 50 years ago today in this unassuming red-bricked building.

Sun Studio, Memphis, TN


a young man and his two friends were recording tunes and the studio owner, sam phillips, told them to start packing their instruments as he wasn't exactly impressed with the ballad-y tunes they were playing. just as his two friends were calling it a day, the young started singing that's all right, a blues number, and sam phillips just told them to stop packing and start recording. after 3 to 4 takes, history was made.

that young man was elvis aaron presley. his two friends were scotty moore and bill black.

Sam Phillips and Elvis50 years ago today, rock & roll and what we all know as pop(ular) music was born in a room at sun studio in memphis, tennessee. many legends the like of jerry lee lewis, b.b. king and howlin' wolf have recorded their material here. if elvis had gone home that night, music as we know it today will de different. there would have been no beatlemania, no chart-topping hits on the airwaves, hendrix wouldn't have burnt his strat at monterey, no mtv (yikes!), kurt kobain wouldn't have unleashed the sound of a pissed off generation, and yanni would have been the mainstay of music today (*evil grin*). as far as i am concerned, i'd probably hadn't had bought cashload of cd's and guitars.

i believe a reunion extravaganza will be held at the studio and radio stations worldwide are gonna do a broadcast of that seminal elvis track sometime later today. to quote neil young, i'd say "keep on rocking in the free world"!

Any given Sunday

woke up this morning, had a shower. then fiddled with this:

This tele rocks!


went to waterstone's and bought this:

Will tell you more when I finish reading this!


later at home, read (or rather, flicked through) this:

The delectable Keira Knightley


did some cooking and had this:

Nasi lemak bungkus with telur (goreng & rebus), ayam goreng kunyit and sambal udang


if only life was always this simple. have a wonderful week at work, people.

土曜日, 7月 03, 2004

Goodbye Anna, hello Maria!

why this sudden interest in sports? (*getting ready for jeers*)

Maria on Centre Court today [©2004 Getty Images]


managed to watch the last two games in maria sharapova's winning set against serena williams just a few minutes ago on bbc2. 13th seed and only 17, she's russia's first woman to win the singles women's championship at wimbledon. watch this space!

Careful with that axe, Eugene (part VII)



we come from the land of the ice and snow
from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow
the hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands
to fight the horde
singing and crying
valhalla, i am coming!


words/music: j. page, r. plant
©1970 superhype music inc ASCAP
led zeppelin, iii (atlantic)


the devil's right hand, some would say? i acquired this vintage sunburst les paul standard in 2002 (it was built on the 258th day in 2001) before a gig i played with suck. i remembered firr's face when he asked me where i borrowed the les paul from.

i remembered talking with friends about guitars from makers like paul reed smith in the days when a prs became a more of a fashion statement. all you need is a heavy yet catchy metal tune, and probably look cute clad in a dvs tee and a pair of carhartt denims way down low. your record company will be most likely to get you prs guitars, with a mesa dual rectifier full stack in tow. one thing about prs guitars, they are so expensive. in fact, many (read: sour grapes) would go, "...no way i'd play them", but secretly harbour the desire to own ten.

i decided to get the real axe of the gods of rock (quoting dewey finn shamelessly here). besides, i had been eyeing this beautiful carved chunk (one piece, i may add!) of mahogany for a couple of months. it was also the time when the new(er) and pricier les paul standards were coming out from nashville (with vintage pickups and hardware). i was surprised no one bought it after so long. i felt it was so much nicer than the honeyburst that hung next to it.

so one day, i bit the bullet and told good ol' lee of sound control to bring the guitar down for a test drive. i'd also got him to match the price with a competitor, and i got it for a few (hundred) quid less. the guitar played beautifully.

first of all. i'd like to say, i am not that good a guitar player. honest. my scales go only in the same three fretted box. probably give or take two frets on each side. my licks are sloppy (and noisy... trabye said nirvana was the only thing i could play :P). my only forte, if you can call it that, is rhythm work.

my point is?

this les paul make me sound so much better. i know that tone comes from the guitarist although the guitar, and the amp have some part to play as well. like i could give jimi hendrix my xingxiao strat and i'm sure he'll recreate voodoo chile as it was in 1970 (this remark goes to the people who moan about how they'd buy a signature series axe and still wouldn't sound like guitarist x. like d'uh...).

the les paul was easy to play. in my opinion, when the guitar is of good quality it feels easier and sounds better to play. when that happens, it motivates me to improve myself (i know, *lazy git*). i'm not surprised as this was some quality craftsmanship we have here. i have read that the gibson somehow didn't maintain the same standard in quality control for its les pauls prior to 2002, which means getting a really good guitar off the rack would have been pretty much a hit-and-miss kind of thing. i must have been one lucky customer, if that was the case.

it's pretty heavy, made of mahogany with a maple top and nitrocellulose finish (i wonder what it'll look like in 2040!). i must say i had back ache for the first couple of weeks playing it. the neck was rounded (1959 profile). the pickups are not as strong as the ceramic ones in my explorer. tone-wise, this guitar sings in a variety of voices. this guitar can either sing sweetly or screams maniacally. take your pick.

since owning this les paul, i've always gigged with it. i finally got to do a pearl jam tribute set last year with cicatrizRG/lamson radius/kiasu king, who also by the way, used a gibbo (gold top, nice!) les paul at a gig in newcastle.