Music Singapore Writing

5 reasons to watch Muse live


There are certain acts that you have to watch at least once in a lifetime, and Muse is most definitely one of them. They are not one of those typical bands who sound pretty much the same as the CDs, with very little imagination and showmanship. They are also not the band that comes on stage and takes your breath away by just playing. Muse comes on, and puts on a show. And a god damned good one at that. You’re not going to, at any point, be closing your eyes to let the music wash over you. To go to a Muse concert means you are ready to get your groove on and work those calves and vocal cords like you have never worked them before.

5 reasons why Muse performances are awesometastic:

1. Superior technical skills

It is a given that, for all great bands, there is at least one member who is extremely skilled in their instrument. The gem here is that all 3 Muse members are crazily talented in their own area of expertise.

Matthew Bellamy. He is a man entirely in his own world. And I think he enjoys it way too much. Multi-talented with a ridiculous vocal range and crazy guitar skills, the only thing that could go wrong with him would probably be his fashion sense. Or lack of one. Thank heavens that he was only in a simple black shirt and pants, and not one of his crazy get-ups. I didn’t get to hear Supremacy which would have totally made my night, but though you don’t hear every single word, his voice carries the emotion through perfectly.

Bassist Chris Wolstenholme picked up the instrument only in the early 90s to be able to join Muse, and for a guy who used to play drums, he gone on to be voted top bassist of all time in 2011, a mere 14 years since he first started learning. Watching him play, you would have thought he was born with a bass in his tiny baby hands. His ability is sound, and his groove is always spot on. Just listen to Hysteria. I don’t think I need to say any more than that.

And who cares if your drummer cannot carry a tune, if he can control the beats as well as Dom. His drumming is super creative, probably due to the lack of any formal training. No rules for Dom! Even though he was hidden from my view by Chris, you can feel his energy and his passion, holding the band together as one.


2. Insanely energetic performance

90 minutes through the roof energy and song after song, non-stop. Not a moment’s break at all for this trio. No chit-chat to catch their breath, no long breaks in between sections, no moving off-stage except once when Matthew went off-stage for the drum & bass interlude. I honestly have no idea where these guys get their energy from, the adrenalin must be coursing through them by the end of the night.

When you look at the set list, you have pretty much rocked through Psycho, Dead Inside, Hysteria, Citizen Erased, Supermassive Black Hole, Uprising. And ended the night with Knights of Cydonia.

How can you beat that?


3. Solid rock out audience

When the show starts with the MV opening for Psycho and fans start screaming, you instantly know that you are in for an incredible show. There simply cannot be a better way to open a show than 9,000 fans screaming ‘A Fucking Psycho’. And guess what? It didn’t stop at just one song. Fans knew the right lines to sing (or scream) for almost every song! Being part of the moshpit meant that I was at the core of the action, but a look around the stadium, there wasn’t a soul not head banging and rocking out to their songs.

One last thing, UPRISING SINGAPORE!!!!!!


4. They don’t kiss ass

Great bands don’t need to talk too much. Just deliver the goods, over and over again. Never once during the whole session did they introduce themselves, I mean, all of us were there for them, why should they bother to do self introductions? Not a word of how they love Singapore, or how they miss playing here and all that ass kissing shit. Just straight up rocking out all night. The entire duration, I suspect they uttered about 10 words in totality. Maybe even less.

The changeover from their supporting band took almost 45 mins, and they didn’t care that we were waiting. Nothing to apologise for! Some performers love to wait a lifetime before coming back for the encore, but Muse was just gone for less than 5 mins, not even enough time for a smoke. After the final song, it was a quick bow and then off they go, techs come up and stadium lights come on.


5. Balloons

Every. Single. Show. It’s as if they are in love with those damned balloons. Though I have to say, it injects an insane amount of joy and entertainment during the last song. Queuing up for 7 hours, and making it to first row in the standing pen was absolutely worth it. I’d do it again in a heart beat.

To the next Muse concert!!!


Why I Do Not Believe In Categorising Music

There. I’ve said it. I do not subscribe to the grouping of music into genres, or categories, or type. I never understood why we need to compartmentalise music into such narrow categories? Music is just music and everyone should have the flexibility to listen to what they love without being judged by their music tastes.

Take myself for example, I fist pump to X & L’arc-en-ciel; sing along with Backstreet Boys or Spice Girls; groove to the tunes of Pharrell Williams and Jason Mraz; going crazy with LMF and Snoop Dogg (or Lion); enjoying the trips DJ Tiesto & Paul Van Dyk brings me on.. So what am I supposed to say when people ask what type of music I like? Rock? Hip-hop? Dance? Pop? How about just music in general?

Maybe I’m one of the exceptions. Maybe most people do actually like only one ‘type’ of music, and completely identify with the label that comes with it. Now, don’t get me wrong. It isn’t a problem, not at all. I sometimes admire them, singular in their passion and belief, to be able to go all out to embrace the one thing that fires them up.

I know I’m weird, and the circuits in my brain don’t exactly wire the same way as others. Most people run closed loop circuits, the head and tail of my circuit hardly ever meet. So don’t ask me to sing along to any songs, or ask if I remember lyrics to this song or that. It just doesn’t work that way. Music, to me, is a blend of all the elements of the song – the melody, rhythm, the riffs, the vocals. I don’t hear lyrics, the vocals is an instrument in the song. I don’t know many people who are like this, most people have lyrics that they really love, or say their story or calls to them. I don’t. I just enjoy the music for what it is, lyrics included.

Maybe that is why I don’t put music in boxes. I simply let it fill my heart, mind and soul.

Fangirl Music Musings

L’arc-en-ciel: My 1.5 Decade Fandom

They say the music you listen to in your teens, will stay with you for life. When it comes to L’arc-en-ciel, I don’t think I can agree more.

  • 2000, first discovery when my classmates jammed to Driver’s High
  • 2004, SMILE was the first album I went searching around Singapore for
  • 2005 Asia Tour in Shanghai was the first time I flew to watch a concert
  • 2006, I shut myself in my room for almost 3 hours, spazzing over their 15 Anniversary concert
  • 2012, traveled again for their concert, this time to Taipei in 2012
  • 2012 in Singapore was a dream come true
  • 2014, live screening of documentary “Over the L’arc-en-ciel” in Singapore announced
  • 2015, I’m still waiting for the next World Tour

15 years later, my love for them still runs strong, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to ever stop. It may not run as deep and intense as that for X, laruku still counts as one of the bands that I truly truly love.

Seeing as how accomplished and well loved hyde is as a vocalist, it would probably surprise many people that he really didn’t want to be one when they first started the band. He didn’t think being the vocalist was cool, and wanted to be the lead guitarist. (REALLY? hyde. Really.) He is also one of those few that readily admit that he is a bit sick of playing and performing with the same band, at their first big concert in Madison Square Garden in NYC! I’ve always loved how brutally honest he was, very much unlike the celebrities now, all smiles and laughter, but full of scorn and arrogance the minute the cameras are turned off. I also really enjoy the fact that he doesn’t really care about what everyone thinks, because he went and got married in 2000, at the peak of their success. Not because of any baby in the wife’s tummy, but truly because he wanted to marry her, his idol. And the whole band went on hiatus almost immediately after that, in 2001! Imagine the shock of the fans! First their idol gets married, and then the band rests indefinitely!? I swear I could hear hearts breaking. And the intensity of his protectiveness towards his family is inspiring. He knows he gets crazy fans everywhere he goes, but his family has hardly (if ever) been photographed or harassed. Maybe because he got married at a time and age where the internet was only dial-up and there wasn’t the ease of information sharing available now, and the media was a lot more respectful.

And then, how can you not talk about a rock band without mentioning their mad skills. Rather, the mad skills of tetsuya, the bassist. Generally, for most rock band, the guitar is the shining star of the instruments. But no. Not for laruku. tetsuya’s bass lines are just pure magic. The bass line he creates, takes on a life of its own, with the additional ommph it brings to the song. Just listen to “Blurry Eyes”, “Honey”, “Stay Away” and you will hear what I mean. Bass guitars often take a back seat, playing the supporting role in the band, but laruku’s bass plays an equally (if not more) important role in the songs. And check out “Neo Universe”. He plays a 6-string.

Plus, they are in their mid-40s, yet are just as sexy as they were in their 30s. Japanese rockers. How the hell do they do it?

Oh, and did I mention that the Stay Away MV has the 4 members dancing in synchronicity, like boy bands? :p

L’arc-en-ciel – Stay Away

Therefore, in February, the month they started to get together, I remember why I love them so much!

Music Musings

X: Psychedelic Violence Crime of Visual Shock

I’ve been counting anniversaries a lot this year. 2014 is the 15th year since I’ve fallen in love with the band that changed my perspective, X-JAPAN.

Thinking back, there are many firsts that I can count that are related to X.

  • ‘Forever Love’ was the first song I downloaded from mIRC
  • First MV I searched for to watch was ‘Endless Rain’
  • First time I went to watch a movie (Windstruck) solely because of the ending song ‘Tears’
  • First celebrity that I researched online to find out about their history
  • First time I wrote to the radio station’s Japanese music program to request for a X special, and sending them all my research (I almost went on air as a guest, but I chickened out)
  • ‘Forever Love’ was the first song I tried to memorise the lyrics for by searching for the romanisation
  • Their ‘Perfect Best’ CD box set was also the first, and only, box set I have.

When I bought the ‘Perfect Best’ box set, I played it so often that I could memorise the order of the song, and I could recognize the song just from the opening few lines of music. The 2 CDs, together with Luna Sea’s compilation album, were always in my CD booklet that I carried around. I was always plugged into my Walkman and secretly hated meeting a classmate on the way to & from school, because I had to pause the music and socialize.

I’ve talked about X before, and even till now, I’m still impressed at the amount of strength & determination that is inside someone so seemingly vulnerable as yoshiki. Someone who is soft spoken, loves to giggle, and is so polite that he finds it hard to reject if you ask him more than once. Even when he gets mad, he’s adorable. But when it comes to music, the focus and the perfectionism shines through the roof. It was the most obvious when they were in the midst of their fifth, and what turned out to be the final, album “Dahlia”. The album took 3 years to write, record and produce, because yoshiki was tweaking it so much.

Enough about yoshiki. Even though yoshiki is definitely the soul of X, I love the band, not just him. Their creativity and songwriting skills were impressive, as well as their arrangement capabilities. I was 16 when I first listened to ‘Forever Love’ and toshi’s voice is nasal yet not annoyingly so, and the music was just enchanting. I was totally caught up in the melody, picturing it with the manga I was reading. X-1999 by CLAMP was what introduced me to X, if anyone really wants to know. It was the first time I realised how powerful music really is, the ability to pull you into a scenario and fire your imagination and emotions. It also struck me how important the vocalist / the voice really is. I didn’t understand the lyrics, didn’t know what it meant, but toshi’s voice matched the music so well, it’s like an instrument in itself, part of the entire arrangement. It was the first time that I realised that lyrics is not everything. You do not need lyrics to feel the emotions and message of a song, if it’s well written. This also set the foundation of my music taste till now.

The variety of music that they write is also another defining factor. Their styles range from various styles of metal, to classical, to acoustic, collaborations with philharmonic orchestras, purely piano ballads; it’s just simply amazing the range that they display. The tempo changes drastically mid-song in ‘Silent Jealousy’ and ‘Kurenai’; including even a short excerpt of ‘Swan Lake’ in ‘Silent Jealousy’.. They released a 30 min long single with one song, ‘Art of Life’, a song which brings you through various emotions

But what I really truly love about them, is that they are rebels. True rebels through and through. Why else would you persist in this pioneering road of visual kei in conservative Japan? KISS is acceptable, but only because they are gaijin, or foreigners. X is not. They are true blue Japanese. All that dressing up as Victorian chicks with long wavy hair and copious amounts of make-up was simply unfathomable to the Japanese, especially the media. But still, they sold albums. Amid all the hate, they sold tens of millions of albums, leaving those Japanese press with no choice but to grant them interviews. No major label wanted them, so they released their albums as an independent label. And they still sold albums. They write songs about sex and death and other taboo / unorthodox topics that were touchy in Japan. Yet they still sold albums.

I’m still waiting for the day I get to see them in Singapore. L’arc-en-ciel has been here. Luna Sea has been here. When will it be X? Every time I remember the Taiwan concert I went to, the emotions I felt when I was shouting WE ARE X!… I just wish I get to see them again, soon!

p/s. This post is posted today, because it is hide’s death anniversary today.

Music Musings 中文


已經萬年沒在ptt發文 要怎麼發我還找了很久 囧

是的 一場個唱會有很多不熟悉打綠的人來看

說真的 蘇打綠有什麼歌 我還真的不清楚
我前半段還想了很久 直到副歌才想起

再來 關於點歌的環節




我曾經在劇場工作過 能大略了解表演者的心情
觀眾給多少能量 台上的就會翻倍還給觀眾
It’s not all about you

最近是有改善 剛開始巡迴比較嚴重 (摳鼻)
(搞不好我是自我感覺良好 而這一切不過是偶然)

(或許小威除外 畢竟他離觀眾席很遠 XD)
我想我站在彩虹面前他們都不知道我哈他們很久了 (嗚嗚)

但是看演唱會嘛 開心就好

Music Review 中文

2012.10.19 蘇打綠 當我們一起走過


演唱會一開始,當Believe In Music 的音樂一下,熟悉的音樂真的讓我覺得能在自己國家看演唱會真的很幸福(被保安請求坐下有種莫名的歸屬感)。不知道是不是因為自己生病精神比較不好間接反射到表演者身上,但是總覺得前1/3場青峰的狀態並沒有到100%。忘詞、音不準都不是他常會發生的狀況。我在觀眾席還和小秋說青峰都不走過來我們這,我們沒辦法把僅有的能量傳到舞台上。抑或我們看習慣完美的演出,對一點點偏差就太過於敏感?


我深深感謝阿福掉mic的糗事,因為我覺得那件事情發生之後,青峰笑過之後狀態竟然好轉,接下來的也都是近乎perfect的表演。(鼓掌)我舅舅過世也有2個月了,心情平復點之後,聽到 小時候 就沒有再像高雄那場哭的稀里嘩啦無法停止。但是還是會思念過世的親人,希望他們現在無論在哪裡都過得很好。

當然,最後我還是有點到 白日出沒的月球啦!可是這已經是第三次點這首歌(’08 植物園,’12高雄,’12新加坡)卻還是沒聽到前面那段。結果還是沒有3rd time lucky~


我其實很愛看小威打鼓,就如同我也很愛看YO大打鼓一樣,純粹因為樂手玩得起勁我也會因為這樣情緒也被帶動起來。不用刻意耍帥,也不用去care是否有人在注意,只要be in the moment,這就是完美。就如彩虹樂團主唱hyde曾經在15週年演唱會說過,演唱會就好像一場orgy,而觀眾都是偷窺者。雖有點低俗(A,是hyde的本性),但仔細想想又何嘗不是?表演者在台上享受著表演的快感,而我們在觀眾席的就是在外圍往內看他們在enjoy。表演者越來越起勁,我們這些在看的,也越發興奮。當然,打綠和彩虹不一樣的是,他們是那種會break the 4th wall和觀眾互動的樂團。

雖然有些美中不足,但是總的來說這場還是蘇打綠在新加坡無論曲目或構想最完整的一次表演。我其實很慶幸,因為這代表他們不斷地在進步,越來越有想法。雖然心中有小小的願望,就是能看到他們在小小的live house空間表演,而不是每次都是看大型的演唱會。無論如何,謝謝打綠讓我暫時忘卻生病的疲憊,好好享受了一場音樂之旅。

Interweb Music Technology

Oh Pandora, How I missed you

I have been in the USA for almost 2 weeks and I forgot that this is the only place that Pandora works in. Well, at least I remembered before I left, so I have a couple of days left to reminisce those good old Pandora days..

Music Musings 中文


都快10年了。我和X JAPAN相逢恨晚,他們1997年解散、hide在1998年去世,而我認識他們卻是1999年的事。

記得剛開始的時候是因為Forever Love是X-1999動畫的主題曲。而我,愛上漫畫愛上X。我愛上Forever Love的柔美旋律,愛上toshi特別的聲線,愛上yoshiki柔情中帶有點瘋

開始時他們的形象有點讓我不知所措。穿女裝、長頭髮、化濃妝… 這個是甚麼跟甚麼啊?我甚至懷疑我是不是搞錯了?像這個樣子的樂團可以作出像Forever Love那樣子的

于是我向朋友借來X Clips那張VCD。我非得要親眼看到他們在我眼前以這種形象這種樣子來唱Forever Love。結果,Clips當中,最讓我著迷的是Silent Jealousy。那個鼓的速度是我17年來(2000年那時候17歲啦)從來沒有見識過的。那種速度、那種鼓點、眼神里那種驕傲的瘋狂,我著迷不已。




后來漸漸開始存錢收集cd,才發現他們的歌真的多元化,就如同yoshiki曾經說過,X的歌是以感官的方面來做題材的。也難怪有像orgasm、standing sex、i’ll kill you 之類的






Music Review 中文

[心得] 1003訪問 & Jam On 表演



果 然….. 整個感覺就是個很沒有水準的訪問。根本像是在聊天。整個訪問大概只談了五分鐘的新專輯,其余時間就閑聊些有的沒的。爆家凱的料、硬拗青峰唱翻墻會唱的別人 的歌。整個很囧。打綠連一首新專輯的歌都沒有現場唱到!!DJ也完全沒有做功課, 都不知道打綠已經有廣播節目了,還建議他們應該來當DJ。然后打綠通知他們關于“空氣中的視聽與幻覺”后,那兩個‘可愛’的DJ竟然問“是全部一起上 嗎?”既然沒有聽過就不要裝成好像很厲害一樣。試想想,怎么可能六個人一起主持電臺節目?那不就太混亂、太沒有主題了嗎?



當然有超級好笑的話題。比如說,因為其中一位DJ叫靈芝,打綠上場介紹自己的時候就說自己是甚麼人參啦,燕窩啦等等補品。家凱原來還是對榴蓮有些陰影….. 小威執意這里的漢堡王很不一樣…. 還有青峰和他的海南雞飯等等。爆笑!





然后一直訪問訪問訪問。可是訪問也沒有談到新專輯的任何東西。還把紅包場說成是臺南紅包場….. 真的搞不清楚狀況。結果我們樓上的不要臉的人在主持人訪問到一半的時候故意很大聲喊“唱歌!”青峰迅速轉過頭問“唱甚麼歌?”結果還是被主持人抓回去。






然后有人點蔡依林的『愛無赦』,青峰說沒有戴手套不能啦,然后竟然爆阿福的料,說他其實最喜歡模仿蔡依林的舞步。然后又攻擊小威,說他最厲害扮山東大妞。還說“其實他們比較娘,我私底下都很MAN的。”整個是好笑到……. 結論就是青峰還是很介意那個

最后就是唱『相信』忘詞。第二句就凸槌….. 然后一直笑沒有辦法回神。當然后來還是有把歌好好唱完啦。

Music Review 中文

蘇打綠 『無與倫比的美麗』 聽后感




打綠來新加坡宣傳+演唱會的時候我曾經和友人說過,希望新專輯會有更多像“You are, You will” 的音樂。有多點華麗的弦樂,多點平常聽樂團聽不到的古典音樂,多點抒情的中提琴聲。《無與倫比的美麗》發行后,我后悔了。我后悔我忘了英文有一句話“Less is More”,后悔我夸口有更多弦樂一定更好,后悔我希望打綠離開純粹木吉他的音樂。


可是蘇打綠不是只是阿龔和青蜂的。蘇打綠是屬于6個人的。為什么會變成這樣?每一個樂手都有自己的特色,而一個出色的樂團,就是要把這些人的特色集中在一起,并一同發揮化學作用,成就一首首動聽的歌曲。在《無與倫比的美麗》中,我卻沒有感受到。可能因為阿龔真的太強了,他的音樂風格充撤了整張專輯,根本沒有給人家呼吸的機會。專輯很有Gavin Mikhail的Piano Rock的風格,如果這個是蘇打綠要走的路,那我很遺憾這條路竟然在第三張專輯才有所眉目。我要聽到的蘇打綠是一個搖滾樂團,不是流行古典樂團體。如果要后者的話,我有很多其他的選擇,例如Vanessae Mae,Maksim, Bond。可是蘇打綠的特點是在于他們能夠很巧妙地結合二者,併造另外一種fusion的音樂風格。怎么前兩張好好的,第三張卻變成弦樂重奏?