水曜日, 3月 30, 2005

I'm back!

c.a.n. y.o.u. f.e.e.l. T.H.I.S. !!!?!!

take that, muthatrucka!


possible dinner option for tomorrow evening:

Beef or chicken? Lobster.

土曜日, 3月 26, 2005

Enjoy the silence

i've not blogged for a while due to an error 617 popping up every single time i wanna get online. i've done diagnostics etc etc but to no avail. resorting to coming to the workplace after a spot of easter saturday shopping just shows how desperate it has become.

oh well.

金曜日, 3月 25, 2005

I am frong Japang! Itadakimasu!

since KT wants food entries, this is a second in a row. i made lunch for the band since it's a holiday. bastardised the ebi chilli men recipe to include ayam. by the way, what's ayam in nipon-go? prease, not the anglicised translation like fu raidu chikin or rosu tu chikin eh?

anyway, the ebi chilli men is my favourite ramen dish if i were to go to wagamama. i know, strictly speaking, wagamama ain't exactly japanese. more of a fast food joint inspired by japanese noodle bars. still good food, though. for some bizarre reason, i totally sucked at preparing maki today. the nigiri was fine. the guys were otherwise totally fine with it, though. otherwise i'd commit seppuku lah ini macam.

Got it from the buku. Much cheaper!The kuah. Somehow it reminded me of the mee bandung I made last time.

i didn't take pictures of us eating. surprisingly, i totally forgot about my digital camera. all of us were happily slurping away with our bowls and chopsticks.

to quote mr. rat: in japan, you must slurp your food or people will think you are odd. sluurrp! sluurrrvvvpp! ngrouuupvzxxt!

木曜日, 3月 24, 2005

Lunch at a Broomhill cafe

today marked a close colleague's last day as a trainee as he will be moving to pastures green over yonder as a consultant. after an excellent presentation by our HoD, we decided to go to thyme cafe in broomhill for a farewell lunch do. a last minute choice but an excellent one.

Up Glossop Road, just 5 minutes walk from work.The tarte.Banter over risotto.

this is a spin-off of richard smith's upmarket restaurant down crosspool way, and for a cafe the food was reputed to be just as good. whoever made the decision to go at 12 noon made the right one, as by half 12 people were told to come back later at half one. we didn't do too badly as we had our table for 8 despite not booking. the menu was scribbled in chalk on the blackboards on the surrounding walls. the chap who waited on us was this friendly and vivacious scot, who, on serving the food, was really passionate about what they had on the menu. he just made me hungrier by the minute, listening to him describing how the cheese is dripping of the fish pie to the patron on the opposite table. the main course was in the region of £10 each. even before ordering i was already salivating over what dessert they had on offer. nothing fancy, they had stuff ranging from apple and peach crumble to creme brulee, each for a fiver. *leleh*

Talking about the dapper man.The baked prawns in garlic butter. Absolutely yum.

there were quite a few seafood options to choose from, like grilled mackerel and the eleven quid (!) fish and chips. saleh and i opted for the baked prawns in garlic butter, which was absolutely sublime despite the fact we had to peel the bothersome shell off ourselves. all the fish dishes came with half a baguette, which was tres excellent when it comes to mopping off the garlic butter from the bottom of the bowl. rob had the risotto and walid the scrumptious fish pie. the ladies preferred healthier options, like the rocket and mozarella tarte.

The fish pie. Simple, yet absolutely gorgeous.Still laughing about the dapper man.The humble diet Coke.

the bill could have gone for at least £25 per head, but since we were teetotalling, due to work (and for some of us, being muslim!) it was less than that. i know i have to come back, at least for the dessert since i didn't have any!

金曜日, 3月 18, 2005

Maniacs at the Manchester Academy 2

bidan terjun. that's what we were. we were invited to take part in a gig organised by the manchester malaysian students' society only like last weekend. a set of three songs. the best way was then to play what we knew best so that we'd have less fcuk-ups.Menon waiting for the soundcheck. even whilst driving up the snake pass, we didn't have a name for the band.

the academy 2 at the students' union was the smaller sister to the manchester academy just down the road. it wasn't a large crowd but it didn't matter, as everyone was there to chill. no pressure. we were suppose to play like 2nd, but was then slotted to open the gig. i wasn't a big fan of getting on stage first (remember newcastle, guys?) but what the hey, life's too bleedin' short to get too worked up. besides we were doing the soundcheck just before getting onstage and it felt alright.

menon's first notes accompanied by wong's drumming during the intro to megalomaniac were greeted by a rousing cheer which actually made us feel more at ease. and i knew we were gonna be ok. i just love it when my bass playing is amplified on a proper bass amp. the fact that touching the strings with the tips of my fingers would give a mildly earth-shattering boom is making it my raison d'etre at the mo' to get myself an ashdown (ampeg mahal... and berat). as usual there were some ultra-minor fcukups but i really enjoy it when i could play with a tight drummer (kalau tak puji, siapa lagi nak puji kan?). wong's chops were really ace. menon on the other hand, being a mike einziger freak that he is, was twiddling out the phaser/delay-tinged notes from his PRS mc carty archtop artist (paraparapeewit). kere was pretty selamba, and he was great for a first-timer in front of an audience. the warmth was our chill-out song. i've never played anything with a quasi-reggae vibe, let alone on the bass. i was well-chuffed with myself 'cos i never knew i could pull it off. we ended on a high note with melompat lebih tinggi from the 30 hari mencari cinta soundtrack.

Dancing pretty much in the dark.

it was just much later that we were told that people would like to see us play again. i had to play drive off the cuff (thank you incubus for having just four bass notes to play on that!) and we pulled budin, who's the frontman for bandthing (he fronts his own band, witi, with his ex-KTJ schoolmates), to do a linkin park-ish duet for circles. whilst doing the encore performance we had a handful of guys from cheetham hill (thanks for the support, helmi and friends of magicbus!) joget-ing a la xpdc fans at a FELDA funfair. we ended (again) on another high note and felt happy all the way home to sheffield. the post-gig curry at london road saw us talking about the night non-stop. it was a first for them to play here in the UK and from what we talked about last night, it looks like that it won't be their last.

many thanks to the manchester malaysian students' soc for inviting us, and also to all the bands who were there, we'll see y'all in the autumn.

木曜日, 3月 17, 2005

Ulek mayang (not by Cromok)

Puteri dua, bersanggul sendeng, puteri dua, bersubang gading.

ku tahu asal usul mu
yang laut balik ke laut
yang darat balik ke darat
nasi berwarna hamba sembahkan

水曜日, 3月 16, 2005

An elitist's list

by the neon

What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
If we’re talking about professional recording artists’ stuff, then it’s less than one giga at any one time. Only rip it if I need to slow it down and learn it. Once I’m done, I delete it. But I love original homemade stuff made by other non-pro people – music, videos etc. That’s around 3-4 gigas – not a lot by any measure.

The CD you last bought?
James Taylor’s The Best of. Wanted to check out why this man is revered as one of America’s greatest songwriters. The live cut of Steamroller alone is worth the price of the CD three times over…

… and Butterfingers’ Selamat Tinggal Dunia which,Paraparapeeeewit!
to paraphrase kudo, ‘is how it should be done’.

What was the last song you listened to before reading this message?
Faith Hill’s Let Me Let Go. She has two versions of the song, I think. I prefer the one with the male singer accompaniment, i.e. the more country-sounding version with slide guitar.

My all-time, Top 5 records, in no particular order, are as follows:
i Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye from Let’s Get It On
Shot by his dad.

The song I shared most intimately with someone I bled for.

Enough said.

Jimi H.ii Bold As Love by The Jimi Hendrix Experience from Axis: Bold As Love
Great lyrics, sublime guitar playing (particularly that glorious through-zero-flanging sound in the outro) and prophetic vision of what modern music should be – a potent mix of old skool rnb, skanky funk, 70s psychedelic rock and old blues. A good song to make out to, too. :-P

iii Paranoid Android from OK Computer & Fake Plastic Trees from The Bends, both by Radiohead
Abingdon School's pride.Paranoid Android blows the mind. Some bands write one hit song and do three alternate versions for MTV airplay. Radiohead put six gorgeous songs in that 6-minute aural burst.

I have to include Fake Plastic because that song was very dear to me during a period of difficult times a few years back. I saw them play live in London, but had to leave early as I had to attend a project meeting at 9 a.m. in Sheffield the next day. As I was pushing my way through the crowd, I heard that glassy, haunting voice of Thom Yorke singing, “Her green plastic watering can” and the next thing I felt was hot, stinging tears on my cheeks. I tried very hard not to look over my shoulder and kept on walking to the exit. Simply heartbreaking.

iv Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen from A Night At The Opera
The greatest song ever written in popular music. Period.

v Bell Bottom Blues by Derek And The Dominos from Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
Recorded in a stupor.I owe it to myself to include something by E.C. This song is good ol’ country blues and the guitar playing on it is too tasteful. The solo kills me when Eric does this repetitive lick only audible to dogs and bats. Most importantly, the band sounded like they were having a whole lot of fun – something lacking in modern-day acts.

I am guilty for not including works by/from Pink Floyd (Us And Them, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Wish You Were Here etc), Led Zeppelin (Rain Song, Black Dog, Immigrant Song etc), B.B., Freddie and Albert King(s), Jeff Beck, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, SRV, the Seattle grunge scene and a whole lot of other newer acts like Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Jonny Lang etc.

But these types of questions are almost like asking, “So which one of your children would you kill first if God ordered you to do so?”.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
I don’t pass sticks. I dish them out.

月曜日, 3月 14, 2005

Spiritually recharged?

Day 1 of lectures.the weekend was hectic and indeed tiring. it didn't help by the fact i only had 3 hours' sleep prior to an early morning drive over the pennines on saturday.

i was in manchester as a delegate in the 2005 islamic medical association of malaysia (IMAM) symposium, held at the manchester royal infirmary. i have to confess that i wasn't really up to attending the meeting due to a few reasons. anyhow, after being persuaded by a friend as well as the fact that there was going to be a meeting with the deans of KUIM and UITM medical schools among others, i thought i'd go. i could always leave if i wasn't feeling up to it.

all the speakers were malaysian medical professionals, most of whom were professors and associate professors from malaysian institutions. the lectures mainly welled on the subject of the effects of globalisation and its effect on health in the third world, namely muslim countries. a short forum was then held in the afternoon which followed on the topics covered in the morning. the symposium was officiated by the DPM who was in town. i've to say this was the first time in my life that i shook hands with minister higher up than the minister of education. no photo proof. oh well. there was a guest lecture later in the evening on abu al qasim al-zahrawi, an eminent muslim surgeon from andalusia who lived around 960AD, of which was really great as a subject matter but i have to say i wasn't too impressed with the convoluted nature of the delivery.

in the evening, we attended a dinner at a restaurant in rusholme where, apart from the meal, there were two interesting (i wonder how the non-medical waiting staff stomached the slides of the achenese dead, whilst clearing our tables) presentations on the situation in banda acheh and the work of MERCY malaysia.Discussion sesh with the bigwigs of the universities and MoH. the symposium continued on to half of sunday. the most important part of the sunday programme was the discussion on employment matters when people like myself were to return home.

i was somewhat surprised that i thoroughly enjoyed this event. for one, i got to meet quite a few other medics (apart from my friends who are already in the business) albeit from different specialities. also, in some ways, some of the topics discussed, as well as the meeting as a whole, were somewhat brought about a personal epiphany. an epiphany which i am thankful for. not surprisingly, i am looking forward to attending the next one in 2006, which may be held in sheffield.

*the title of this entry comes from a remark my prof made to me after coming back from sembahyang jumaat.

木曜日, 3月 10, 2005

Another list! Haiya.

thanks to anuar, i have another list. i first noted this on pick yin's. oh well, jump on the bandwagon one and all!

1. What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
not a lot, just a measly 2.5G. i actually have less than 1G left on my notebook's HDD. need to get an external one (not in the market for an actual desktop as of yet).

2. The CD you last bought?
exile on main street by the rolling stones. i already have it on vinyl, but i just needed to listen to it in the car.

3. What was the last song you listened to before reading this message?
mahadewi by padi. a great band. where else can you hear a rock song with a buloh inn bossanova interlude followed by a radiohead-esque guitar lick.

KSJ, Evolution, LMB's Shahrul screamin' and Peter Green chillin'.

4. Write down five songs that you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
i don't have a particular top 5 as like the proverbial lalang, it depends on what phase i am in, music-wise. at the moment, i am in the 'revisiting' phase. one of them songs would definitely have to be love me butch's the protector. i just dig the way shahrul thrashes the tambourine whilst singing the song live. next is pearl jam's do the evolution. now, that's a rocking tune on par with evenflow. i've jammed that song once or twice but never played it live. the fact i know i can go berserk with my guitar playing that song deserves a top five slot. man of the hour is another pearl jam ditty, from the big fish soundtrack. it reminds me of the importance of family, which i'm sure those of you who watched the film would understand. m. nasir's sesat di kuala lumpur from the film kembara seniman jalanan is another favourite, a poignant tune about being alone in a large city and this was one of the first songs that i learnt to strum and sing along with. and finally, fleetwood mac's need your love so bad: that'll be the song where i will have my first dance with my wife on my wedding day, whenever that'll be (the neon et al., get ready ya?).

5. Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
the neon*, due to the fact he is an elitist blues connoisseur, jimmy cornell, for his eclectic taste in tunes, and pinkfrog, for being ratu download sedunia.

*despite being a non-blogger, he still has a guest slot in this one!

水曜日, 3月 09, 2005

Memang sayalah yang Mak Kar!

30 mile return trip for this.I'm not greedy. 30 cukup lah.Got colour some more one. Muahahahaha!

and for the piece de resistance, see this.

火曜日, 3月 08, 2005

Boutique emulation

after trying out trabye's pod at karya enigma, i did think of perhaps getting this:

All the classic amps and stompboxes that you'd wish for in one multi-effects unit.

it's all fine and dandy to get the original units if you are rolling in it and have a world tour to boot, but in the comfort of one's bedroom, the pod xt live should just do the trick.

until, this came out at NAMM in winter:

Click the image for specs.

i have no idea whatsoever what the amp modelling is like, but so far i could make out from this review that the GT-8 has dual COSM modelling engines, allowing you to layer two amps in one setting. no price as of yet.


trabye's review of the GT8 following last week's demo by roland at bentley music:

Sound: Boss did a great job at improving the sounds but still not much to cry about. I guess this is due to the fact that I've been exposed to a lot of professional gear and can't settle for anything less, budget not permitting.

Features: Whole bunch of new features like double amp emulation a la Pod XT and the Vetta series, and check this out: the GT8 can be set so that when you pick lightly, it runs one patch, and if you pick hard, it'll run another. Cool huh? Other than that, they just rehashed GT3, GT5 and GT6 stuff.

Price: I forgot to ask. Ha ha. (sbb tak heran)

Overview: Excellent purchase for those who gig. Not too hot for studio players and living room rock stars...

日曜日, 3月 06, 2005

Exile on Main Street

Could this be the secret? Yeah, right.after a short jam sesh last night, i got myself thinking about why is it that i find it more tedious to learn new tunes to cover. i could find the notes, no bother, but it just feel more like a chore than what it used to be. when i first picked up the guitar years ago, i learnt to play stuff by def leppard and iron maiden religiously, albeit only using power chords. i moved on to open chords as well as learning songs at it was played on the actual recording from transcriptions in books and mags after a few years. my guitar world magazine has amassed to a good 6 years' worth (each with at least 5 songs to learn note-for-note). for the past couple of years, the dependence on these transcription had lessened. now, i resort to them only when i get really stuck.

so, why the lack of enthusiasm now?

i find that all this time, it's only in half the bands i played with that i get to jam with a decent singer. when i first started jamming with mates, it was always having the drums and bass providing the solid foundation for the tune, tight rhythm guitar parts and having a soloist who would nail a lick exactly as it was meant to be played. it'll then be pats on the backs, congratulating ourselves for a job well done. and all these despite having the song sung on a cukup makan basis.Laying down rhythm tracks. it was then in the last two years that i hooked up with a couple of mates who actually can sing that i realised that it's the singing that matters all along. common sense, but i was too blind to recognise that fact.

i had a couple of clues actually. when i showed the videos of gigs i had played to my non-gigging friends, they were basically pulling their faces going on how bad the singing was. there were absolutely no comments made on whether the drummer had really good chops or the solo was ace. if i want to make any person on the street to go wow! with a band performance, the singing needs to be nailed big time.

playing tunes without having anyone sing well enough makes it not worth the effort now, let alone playing a tune without anyone singing. when you listen to pearl jam, 99% of listeners actually listen to ed and not mike's solos or jeff's basslines. i have to say, getting someone who can sing is as bad as trying to find a drummer (for the bass, all you need is to force a guitarist to take up that position!).

singing is also an essential skill in songwriting, as far as i'm concerned. i remembered the days when i was playing around with the guitar, trying to write something original. like this chap, i am my strongest critic.Checking out how the bassline sounds. i found all of the stuff sounding like someone else's, and my humming would sound abysmal! writing for me is such a chore. when i think i have a tune in my head that's worth putting on tape, i lose the tune when i finally get the MD recorder out. all these bleedin' excuses eh? i once had a lil' sit down with the neon when we had a couple of tunes on the MD. i still have them, although i do feel they need a melody to go with it and not just some guitar parts. as you can see, the singing part of the equation comes into play once again. we tried again last year and things were way better, since i found that when he got the melody going, the laying down of the bass and rhythm guitar parts came so much easier.

i also see this working very well when i listen to the stuff written by sun redd sun. it makes a whole lot of difference when one can sing. at the moment, i would be more than happy to play second fiddle in the band that writes their own stuff. it'll hopefully allow me to develop my currently non-existent songwriting skills further.

yes. get a decent computer with recording facility, you say. you'll just have to wait, mate.

coincidentally, this was written whilst MTV2 was showing the battle for ozzfest, where tonight they had a few bands having to write an acoustic tune in 24 hours before they had to perform before judas priest's rob halford. and, man, could these guys sing!

土曜日, 3月 05, 2005

Wun, jedi, wun, jedi! Wun wun wun!

Rise Darth Tater. We shall rule the galaxy as master and... and... err... vegetable.

full episode 3 trailer out on march 10 during a commercial break on the OC (in the 'states... dagnammit!). on the big screen, it'll be march 11 before the screening of robots.

金曜日, 3月 04, 2005

The list

lisa requested that i list out this roll call of favourites, since both of us share a common love, i.e. makan. it's a little long and there's suppose to be this curse if i don't, yadda yadda. i'm not superstitious but then again i'm suffering from blogger's block. must be the cold.

No. 3.1. main entree: steak (medium, any old)
2. salad: any green thing but cucumber or celery
3. soup: lobster bisque
4. appetizer: deep fried calamari
5. dessert: plain vanilla cheesecake or choc fudge cake
6. fruit: mango
7. vegetable: the humble green pepper
8. sashimi: i only go for the lame non-raw ones they have here!
9. sushi roll: maki, nigiri, california rolls... i love 'em all
10. soda beverage: diet coke, plus minus the vanilla
11. non-alcoholic beverage: ayaq tebu
12. alcoholic shot: never tried shots *lalala*
13. alcoholic drink: ana tak minum lah, ish ish ish
14. cake: see number 5
15. pie: plain apple pie, with custard
16. ice cream: pralines and cream (HD) or choc fudge brownie (B&J)
17. milkshake: chocolate, McD's or Hard Rock Cafe
18. cut of beef: not particular, but i'd love to try filet mignon, thus tenderloin
19. cuisine: Malaysian
No. 2120. part of chicken: breast
21. fried food: char kuey teow
22. cookie: choc chip, preferably home made or Famous Amos' (predictable or what)
23. indian curry: chicken karahi
24. gum: airwaves
25. candy: kit kat
26. crepe: appel pannenkoek
27. sandwich: fish fingers or corn beef on plain white... heaven!
28. pizza: sloppy giuseppe was the bomb in the old days (ahem!), now it's the cajun (both at
pizza express)

29. mexican dish: fajitas, what else?
30. vietnamese dish: never tried
31. korean dish: anjing panggang. kidding! see number 30.
32. chinese dish: lemon chicken
33. filipino dish: see number 30
34. southern food: jambalaya
35. instant noodles brand: maggi
36. juice: orange, mixed with apples or cranberries, like at wagamama
37. snack food: Kettle chips
38. fish: bawal putih (malaysia), trout or haddock (england)
39. cereal: Special K (i'm such a big girl's blouse)
Nos. 41 and 46.40. pho: see number 30. again.
41. breakfast food: roti canai or nasi lemak, gua happy!
42. french food: steak with bearnaise sauce (french enough aa?)
43. mcdonalds food: A.L.L. O.F. T.H.E.M.
44. pasta dish: spag bol, i'm a simple man!
45. bread: brioche
46. tea: teh tarik, none of this earl grey or lapsang souchong nonsense.
47. 7-11 slurpies: the cola one. wait, that's an ICEE. nope, never had one.
48. hershey's kiss: almond
49. flavor of m&m's: peanut
50. candy bar: see number 25