Category Archives: music

The Glad Stones’ Gypsy In The City – 3 x Autographed Copies to Giveaway!

Who are The Glad Stones?

They are an indie band based in Singapore who love making music with a feel-good vibe – “the kind you’d load into your mp3 player when you’re lazing by the beach under the hot tropical sun”.

This arrived in my mailbox a week ago
This arrived in my mailbox a week ago

They sound like The Beatles jamming with The Kooks and Fratellis. Here’s a few of their music videos to hear it for yourself:

The Glad Stones was formed in 2011, when two Singaporean singer-songwriters, Marcel Lee Pereira and Jaye Foo, met in 2010 while on separate musical journeys.Both of them have completely different styles: funky hip-hop versus soulful folk, but when they started making music, they loved it so much that they decided to team up.

The content in the box
The content in the box


You can find out more about them on their official website, YouTube channel, Facebook Page or Twitter.

The Glad Stones have recently launched their new CD, “Gypsy In The City” and it is available for sale at all Starbucks Singapore stores. Do support them and their music.

They are done with their Singapore tour in March and will be on a Japan tour this month.

Btw, Marcel is a schoolmate and colleague of mine. His publicist sent me a copy of his CD for review and THREE AUTOGRAPHED COPIES OF “GYPSY IN THE CITY” TO GIVE AWAY!

Autographed copies of The Glad Stones' Gypsy in the City
Autographed copies of The Glad Stones’ Gypsy in the City

I do not really know how to review music, but I find the songs all really easy on the ears and gives a light, lazy but happy feel. Pretty good stuff. Go buy their CD! 

Alternatively, to win a copy, simply LIKE my Facebook Page and leave a message on my wall to say why you would want to win the CD. It would be good if you can share The Glad Stones’ music video or official website with all your friends too.

The three lucky winners will be selected via a random draw by 15 Apr (next Mon). 🙂

Little Psy, Hwang Min-Woo, Adds Gangnam Style to LG’s Pop-Up Café on Orchard Road

 Little Psy performing his original song, Showtime,  at the opening of LG’s G-Café
Little Psy performing his original song, Showtime, at the opening of LG’s G-Café

Shoppers along Orchard Road were treated to a tiny surprise as they pass Wisma Atria yesterday evening:

Little Psy performing Big Bang’s Fantastic Baby at the opening of LG’s G-Café
Little Psy performing Big Bang’s Fantastic Baby at the opening of LG’s G-Café

Hwang Min-Woo, better known as “Little Psy”, made his Singapore debut by performing several dance routines outside LG’s G Café pop up store, to a crowd of hundreds. The talented nine year-old is best known for appearing alongside Korean rapper, Psy, in the viral hit music video, ‘Gangnam Style’.

Little Psy with his new LG Optimus G - I am now using the same phone too :)
Little Psy with his new LG Optimus G – I am now using the same phone too 🙂

“Little Psy” was in Singapore to kick off G Café, the retail and lifestyle concept store for the newly launched LG Optimus G smartphone. He performed his signature dance moves and upbeat choreography to ‘Gangnam Style’, ‘Fantastic Baby’, and an original track from his upcoming album, ‘Showtime’.

The G Café, situated at the Wisma Atria Atrium, is set up to allow consumers to see and experience the unique features of Optimus G, the most feature-rich smartphones LG has produced to date. The G Café comprises three experience zones for consumers to learn more about the design, performance and user interface features, as well as an actual café, where consumers can enjoy a fresh cup of coffee from the popular Melbourne-style coffee brewers, The Plain.

One lucky member from the audience having her picture taken with little Psy using the LG Optimus G
One lucky member from the audience having her picture taken with little Psy using the LG Optimus G

LG Optimus G, the premium flagship smartphone that has been making waves in Korea, Japan, United States and Canada, was launched in Singapore on 31 January 2013. It was recently lauded with a Korea Electronic Show (KES) Innovation Award for its Zerogap Touch Technology. This improves the durability and clarity of the display by eliminating air gaps found in other touchscreens. In design, the Optimus G is awarded the iF Product Design Award 2013.

LG Optimus G retails for S$798 and is currently available in Singapore at Starhub, M1, Singtel and selected retail stores. The G Café is open on 23rd February 2013 to 8th March 2013 from 12pm to 9pm daily. Hurry down before you miss it!

LG Mobile Singapore has also launched the “G Lounge” Application on their Facebook fan page where participants can experience Optimus G through technologically stimulating games. Players can stand the chance to win exciting prizes, including a brand new Optimus G! Go try the app and you just might be the lucky winner!

For more information about LG Optimus G, please visit www.lg.com.sg

LG Optimus G Retailers (Singapore):

Arrow Communications
Ang Mo Kio Hub #B1-31
Tiong Bahru Plaza #01-49
Northpoint #B1-26

Gadget World
Jurong Point Shopping Centre B1-87/88
Causeway Point #03-14A

Handphone Shop
NEX #04-43/44
Blk 211, #01-747, New Upper Changi Road
Ion Orchard #B4-21

Challenger
Challenger Funan Mall
Challenger Jurong Point

Gain City
Gain City Marina Square
Gain City Chua Chu Kang
Gain City Changi City point

Newstead
Newstead Jurong Point
Newstead Funan #03-32
Newstead Star Vista

Best Denki
Best Denki Vivo City
Best Denki Plaza Singapura
Best Denki Clementi Mall

Paul Wong (黄贯中)’s Career Revival

If you grow up in the 80s and is a fan of Mando and Canto rock, you have to know who is Paul Wong  (黄贯中).

Paul Wong on stage
Paul Wong on stage

For those who do not know who he is, Paul Wong Koon-Chung (born 31 March 1964) is a Chinese musician, singer, songwriter and the lead guitarist of the Hong Kong legendary rock band, Beyond.

He is well-known for his extraordinary guitar techniques and is regarded like a “guitar god” in the Chinese world.

After the lead singer and centre figure of Beyond, Wong Ka Kui (黄家驹) fell to his death in a freak stage accident in 1993, Paul Wong took over the lead singer role in the band. Beyond after Wong Ka Kui never came close to the same level of fame and success.

The musical career of the three remaining Beyond members did not progress much over the years.

Nonetheless, Paul Wong stayed true to his brand of rock music and strived on till today.

After a long period staying out of the media radar, he rocked the Chinese music world recently with his rendition of Beyond’s all-time classic, 《海阔天空》in a China singing programme,《我是歌手》(must watch!):

This is why I idolised Beyond in my teens. After so many years, hearing this song still makes me have that urge to cast aside everything in life to chase my dream.

I remember how I wanted to be a famous artist when I was young. I remember how I would spend all my time drawing and redrawing, designing and redesigning to perfect my illustration techniques.

What cause me to abandon this dream?

This song jolted me again and reminded me that we only live once.

Even at the age of 48, Paul Wong still can rock and inspire!

On a side note, I recently attended the preview of Young and Dangerous: Reloaded 《古惑仔:江湖新秩序》which Paul Wong had a role as a famous gang leader. The movie is a remake of the popular Young and Dangerous movie series in the 90s. Here is the trailer:

Young and Dangerous: Reloaded is stil showing in Singapore cinemas. Go catch it for a whiff of nostalgia. 🙂

Gangnam Style invades Singapore

PSY - the most satki bui bui in the world now
PSY – the most satki bui bui in the world now

This bui bui singer, PSY from Korea is really satki. His infectious Gangnam Style song and music video is all over the Internet and spilling into the real world as well.

Everywhere I go, I hear the song playing somewhere or someone talking about it. Here’s the orginal Gangnam Style music video by PSY if you have been living in a cave the past few months:

Gangnam Style has invaded Singapore, both online and in the real world. Here are some of the Gangnam-Style-inspired made-in-Singapore videos I dug out. Enjoy:

《老九》音乐剧 Lao Jiu: The Musical (2012)

Lao Jiu Musicial (2012)
Lao Jiu Musicial (2012)

A Boy. A Dream. A Choice.

Lao Jiu《老九》is one of Kuo Pao Kun (郭宝崑), the pioneer of Singapore theatre’s most popular and accessible works. In 2005, Lao Jiu was adapted into a musical for the first time, and this year it is restaged as an entirely new creative production featuring an exciting fresh lineup of performers and creative collaborators.

Getting to know Kuo Pao Kun
Getting to know Kuo Pao Kun
Lao Jiu storyboarding
Lao Jiu storyboarding
Rehearsal photos
Rehearsal photos

2012 marks the tenth anniversary of Kuo Pao Kun’s passing and The Theatre Practice is holding a Kuo Pao Kun Festival (郭宝崑节) to showcase some of his works. Lao Jiu is one such production:

I caught the musical at the premiere last Friday together with my wife, Rachel, thanks to the folks from The Theatre Practice. omy.sg is the official online media for the production.

Both Rachel and I enjoyed Lao Jiu very much. As we were commuting home, I asked Rachel what’s her key takeaway from the musical. Her answer sums up my sentiments nicely: “Everybody will have a Lao Jiu moment at some point in our lives. It’s about choice and that’s what makes Lao Jiu so accessible to everyone”.

Whether you are a student or a parent; a “scholar” or from the working class; you will be able to find inspiration from the musical.

Tickets to the musical is on sale now via SISTIC. Lao Jiu will be showing at the Drama Centre Theatre from 13 to 29 July 2012. 

Do get your tickets before they are sold out or the production ends it’s run.

Synopsis:

As the only son in the family, Lao Jiu (the ninth born) realises that he should grasp the prestigious scholarship opportunity that has opened up for him; yet, he hesitates at the critical junction of attaining the academic prize. Where his passion lies instead is in mastering the traditional art of puppetry. Will Lao Jiu persist in pursuing his dream, or will he continue upon the well-trodden scholarly path? Caught in between what his heart dictates and what his family desires, what decision will he make?

老九,家中排行第九的独子。被家人寄以厚望的他,有机会问鼎一项极具声望的奖学金。就在即将迈向光辉前途的重要关头,他犹豫了。原来他想继续学习自己热爱而又濒临失传的传统木偶表演艺术。究竟老九会追求自己的理想,还是步上领取奖学金的光明大道?游走于理想与现实、传统与现代之间,他该作何抉择?

The storyline seems so familiar isn’t it?

How many of our youths have cast their dreams and aspirations aside, in pursue of the coveted scholarships that promise a life of a smooth-sailing career and success ahead?

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something worth thinking about. If my son Asher was to grow up and tell me he wants to be a full-time puppeteer, I would have my worries too.

In the context of Singapore’s elitist mindset of picking, branding and “manufacturing” scholars from a young age, the story of Lao Jiu still holds much relevancy into some of the fault lines in our current society.

Interview with the director, Kuo Jian Hong, the daughter of Kuo Pao Kun:

Interview with two of the leads, Sugi and Inch Chua:

Music video for the main theme song 《我是老九》:

I enjoyed Sugi and Inch Chua’s songs in the musical. Sugi brings about a playful charm to the lead character of Lao Jiu.

The two older cast of Marcus Chin and Lim Kay Siu exudes great chemistry too.

The narrative does appear a little draggy in the middle due to the simple story line. Nonetheless, the strong cast performance and musical numbers carried it along.

I like the added touch of puppetry play, weaved into the narrative. It reminds me of the multimedia theatrical adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by American filmmaker Stephen Earnhart which I saw at the Singapore Arts Festival earlier this year. Puppetry was also featured prominently.

To me, this is a way of breathing new life into an otherwise dying art. Puppetry would be very hard to appeal to the mass audience on its own, but fusing it with theatrical performances brings it to another level. 🙂

The Straits Times STAR CONCERT 2012 (Concert + Free USS Ticket + Free Singapore Flyer Ticket for $67)!

The Straits Times STAR Concert 2012
The Straits Times STAR Concert 2012 (Click Image to ENLARGE)

Celebrate The Straits Times’ 167th birthday at a mega carnival and concert with star singers Jason Derulo, Boys Like Girls, 4-Minute and Singapore idols Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza.

Participants will receive :
– FREE tickets to the Universal Studios Singapore for a special evening of fun on either August 18 or 19. Yes, with all rides on! ( UP$68-74 )
– FREE Singapore Flyer Ticket ( UP $29.50 )
– GOODIE BAG with gifts and attractive vouchers

To make online purchase , go to www.starevent.sg and click on the red button.

Call 6319-2368 / 6319-2087 or email csd@sph.com.sg if you need help to sign up more than 10 participants or if you encounter any problem.

Those who wish to walk-in and purchase their tickets by cash or credit card can do so between June 18 and 20, from 10 am to 5 pm at:

SPH News Centre, Auditorium, 1000 Toa Payoh North. (5 min walk from Braddell MRT Station).

[Singapore Arts Festival 2012] Opening Show: Mark Chan’s The Flight of The Jade Bird

The Flight of the Jade Bird
The Flight of the Jade Bird

Last Thursday (17 May), I had the privilege to catch the opening show for this year’s Singapore Arts Festival, Mark Chan’s The Flight of The Jade Bird.

I have heard some of Mark Chan‘s earlier musical works before and am pretty impressed with his East-meets-West musical fusion. This was why I was really looking forward to catch his opening show.

Alas, with great expectation comes greater disappointment when the performance somehow falls short. I am not a qualified music or art critic, but seeing that around half of the audience left after intermission, I am quite sure I was not the only one who did not particularly enjoyed the show.

Here’s the trailer for The Flight of The Jade Bird:

Looks promising isn’t it?

Sadly, as much as I want to say I enjoyed the show to support local artists, I am more inclined to agree with this reviewer. 😦

Sorry Mark, this experimentation is too chim for me; look forward to your next production.

The best is yet to be.