Horace the Holga : Set #6

September 13, 2010

Horace the Holga: A Lomography Collection
Set #6: I _ KL / I _ Singapore Pt 2

August 20, 2010

“Untitled #5.”

“Untitled #6.”

“Megalomania.”

“Untitled #7.”

“Thinking food.”

“Little Singapores.”

“Untitled #8.”

“In case of emergency.”

“Little important things.”

“The ICU that reeked of piss and 409.”

“20.10.09.”

“The fire escape where you would sit to contemplate your day.”

Film
+ Lucky SHD100

+ More lomography sets HERE.

Horace the Holga : Set #5

September 10, 2010

Horace the Holga: A Lomography Collection
Set #5: I _ KL / I _ Singapore Pt 1

June 26, 2010

“Why you’d wanna live here.”

“Bedtime buddy.”

“I hope this song will guide you home.”

“Lard-dee-dah.”

“Singing teacups.”

“Urbanscapes #1.”

“Urbanscapes #2.”

“Urbanscapes #3.”

Film
+ Fuji PRO 400H

+ More lomography sets HERE.

The Pink Sage is my new obsession.

July 10, 2010

Also guest blogging at Backseat Radio: Fair enough and Of Iceland and inspirations.

Slash of Guns ‘N’ Roses live @ Sunway Lagoon, 5 Aug 2010. Buy your tickets now!

—–

It’s not even a question. It’s on the lips of your lover. It’s the love you discover. (See what I just did there? Heh).

Relocated not too long ago to Solaris Dutamas, just a little bit down the road from Solaris Mont Kiara, The Pink Sage has created quite livelihood in the still developing centre. The diner is far from being exaggerated by perky pink walls, but it has all the creativity the fun-loving colour possess.

With a simple interior that houses many laughters their customers bring in groups and packs, The Pink Sage serves breakfasts, lunches and dinners daily. From signature favourites to familiar dishes, take it easy here over the weekend. Believe me, it will be love at first sight.

The Pink Sage serves breakfasts of all sizes that will satisfy all kinds of appetites, including the Stacked breakfast (RM17.50). Your choice of beef, chicken or lamb sausages, juicy beef brisket, with the side of toast, beans and mushrooms to go with eggs cooked any way you want. Packed with protein to give your morning a good headstart.

One of the must try’s here is their homemade burgers. They have a pretty good selection, but if it’s your first time, order the Classic cheeseburger (RM21.50). A thick patty of beef, oozing with avocado sauce, you can smell it on its way from the kitchen, even before the waiter places the platter on your table. Although quite petite in size, but it is enough to fill the tummy until the next meal.

Also with a decent selection to choose from are the tacos and quesadillas, such as the Ribeye steak quesadillas (RM24.00). In bite-sized forms, these pockets full of beef served hot from the oven drenched in spicy sauce, are suitable for a mid-day brunch for those who aren’t looking for overbearing dishes first thing in their morning, or afternoon.

Make a meal out of this, or share it with your friends. Whatever you do, The Pink Sage’s 3 stack buttermilk pancakes (RM8.50) is one dessert you would make room for even if you’re stretched to the brim. Although it’s merely three stacks, sprinkled with snowy powdered sugar and topped with a strawberry, it holds a great deal of sweetness to its name, being a household favourite to many. It definitely makes for a good start for your day at the diner, as well as an end to it all.

Also on the menu is the pancakes’ dessert sister in arms, Classic waffles (RM9.50). Baked to a good browning crisp and crowned with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, add some flavouring maple syrup and jam on the side to sweeten things up a bit.

So, how about spending your Sunday a little away from town here at The Pink Sage. Just drop in anytime, and they will greet you with a smiley…

… hello.

* The Pink Sage is a pork-free establishment.

++
The Pink Sage
A4-UG1-01
Solaris Dutamas
1 Jalan Dutamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Opens everyday @ 8AM-11PM
T: +6 016 205 2023
F: +6 03 6207 9908
E: hello@thepinksage.com
W: http://www.thepinksage.com

Pulse of The Press Room.

June 6, 2010

Here comes the beginning of the month, when paychecks have just been cashed in. It is also the middle of the year already. Oh, how time flies. The good news is, half of the year’s worries and troubles are over and done with already.

How about a little ‘celebration’ to give yourself a pat on the back for surviving the first 6 months of 2010? Or perhaps just something to treat yourself and your friends to since you now have some extra dough with you?

The Press Room is no stranger for fellow Bangsarians, as well as any KL-ites who enjoy good Anglo-French cuisine and a good atmosphere to be in over the weekends. It is also a commonplace for wine enthusiasts with the restaurant’s abundant collection of the world’s best wines hanging off the shelves.

For starters, there is Escargot Gratinés with Bleu Cheese Butter (RM26).

Or in English, snails.

OK, I know it does not really sound appeasing knowing what it really is. Fact is, I did not even know what I put in my mouth that day either until I babelfished what ‘Escargot’ meant today. But I suppose it was quite an interesting dish. Just as long as I do not eat too much of it.

The dish is prepared in a famous French culinary technique known as gratin, whereby it is cooked under an overhead grill until the toppings of breadcrumbs, bleu cheese and butter is brown and golden. The texture is slick and juice, and the gratin toppings just make everything go down smoother.

There is also Salmon Tartare (RM32) for starters. What better way to start off your course with some finely chopped raw salmon that tingles your tastebuds with its sweetness? The juicy meat, heightened by the seasonings, will awaken your senses to get you all ready on what is to come.

If you are up for some seafood, might we suggest Moules Marinières, Frites (RM30), or fried marine mussels.

I have never been a fan of shellfish. I have to at least be eating them with something else, like pasta or risotto, so I do not throw up. But surprisingly, I loved this dish. The buttery and cheesy sauce kept things fresh for the palette and I am gunning down one after another pretty fast. Definitely something to share with a friend or two.

For something from the grill, Duck Breast à l’orange (RM45) is the dish to go for.

If you have never been a duck fan (because of that ‘duck smell’), you will probably learn to love it here. The so-called ‘duck smell’ is pretty much non-existent – not that I have a problem having it around anyway, and the zesty orange flavour highlights the juicy and tender meat texture.

The Cheese Platter for two (RM42) is perfect to kick start or finish up your meal, or even just to have something to chew on.

Feta cheese, goat cheese and bleu cheese, with complements of crackers, nuts and fruits to reset your tastebuds to end things pretty like the pretty bow for the final touch of your Christmas present.

Too bad we were not given any desserts to try out. It already sounded so yummylicious on the menu itself. So, perhaps some other time, I shall stop by solely for their Crème Brûlée or – gasps – Chocolate Volcano (RM16 each), Lemon Meringue or Peach Melba (RM12 each). Yums.

Also, being called The Press Room and all, wine aficionados will definitely have a field day with their wine list is extensive and superb with a wine collection from all over the world. Reds, whites, champagnes, sparklings, magnums, desserts – you name it, they will probably have it.

Call for any of the waiters or waitresses in The Press Room, as they are all trained to help you with recommendations on what to go best with your selected dishes for the day/night.

Things are quieter in daytime at The Press Room. Although it is located by the busy traffic light of Jalan Maarof, the greeneries that surround the mall seem to filter out the gridlock like a solid wall, leaving patrons in the restaurant  a serene and tranquil atmosphere to enjoy your morning coffee or tea.

Spend your early hours at the al-fresco area enjoying a cuppa while flipping through the Sunday papers alone, or with plenty of company over a feastful luncheon after a fun Saturday night out.

By nightfall, it is said that The Press Room is the place to be to see and to be seen. So guys, give yourself an extra dab of that musky cologne and polish up your charming smile, and ladies, it is the time to put on that sultry body-hugging black dress and dreamy mascara – go all out to look your best while you are dining in one of Bangsar’s bests.

The deep red timber wood complements the sensual colours of golden orange bouncing off the walls set you in the mood for love – or lust, if you must – as you toast to your friends and loved ones the clink of their best house wines meticulously selected from their brewery.

It does not matter whoever you are and whomever you are with: whether you are a guy and you are out with your guy friends for a guys’ night out, or a lady with your lady friends for a girls’ night out with good food, wine and company; someone who would like to lavish your date with something above the class, or a special family dinner to celebrate your grandpap’s 50th birthday – The Press Room fits the picture perfectly.

++
The Press Room
Bangsar Shopping Centre
Lot G110, Ground Floor
Jalan Maarof
Bangsar
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Opens everyday @ 12PM-2AM
T: +6 03 2095 8089
F: +6 03 2095 1089
W: http://www.gastrodome.com.my

Jolly Frog goes ribbit, ribbit.

May 22, 2010

It’s been a while since I last posted something on food. Now that the concerts and events have died down a little, I think it’s time to get back to that. Just don’t drool all over the keys, alright?

The last time I was down in Singapore for Stereophonics’ concert, I had my friends take me around for some nice eating spots in the fine city. After a late night of club hopping, we kickstarted our Sunday morning with some hearty breakfasts. And we chose this cosy little gourmet cafe – Jolly Frog, around the Chinatown precinct.

A bit of love on my Cafe Latte to brighten up my day as I flip through the morning papers. Heh.

Despite being a late riser, I adore breakfast platters. The sausages, the buttered toasts, the scrambled eggs, the crispy bacons – oh the bacons. So, of course I went for the one on the menu that screams the loudest, “Eat me! Eat me!”

I suppose you can’t go wrong with the Jolly Big Breakfast (SGD15). It’s got everything you ever need for a filling breakfast: toasts, eggs, sausages, roasted tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and did I mention – bacons?

Another yummylicious breakfast to try out is the Eggs Florentine (SGD11.50). Drizzled in Hollandaise sauce that drips onto the plate sensually, poached eggs, toasts, baby spinach and – why yes – bacons.

But if you’re not up for a big appetite so early in the morning, or you just want to eat healthy or watch your weight, try out the Cinnamon French Toast with fair trade bananas in organic yogurt (SGD7.50).

Or the Roasted Portobello Mushroom Bruschetta with goat’s cheese and wild rocket (SGD10.90).

They don’t have no bacons though. Boo.

I thought Jolly Frog was quite cosy. Small but spacious enough to fit in enough people for a cheery morning. There is also an al-fresco dining area for someone who would like to have their morning meals outside.

Sure, the weather in Singapore can get quite unbearable sometimes, but lucky for the patrons, Jolly Frog’s cooling system on the outside and inside is good enough to keep us comfortable as we drag on our breakfast sessions well into the afternoon.

So, if you’re looking for some place to cure the hangover from the night before, or if you may, bring that someone you bedded the night before for some nice breakfast, Jolly Frog would be an appropriate place to visit. It is located along an almost deserted road, and the cafe is low key for that quiet moment.

And look, they have fresh and bright gerberras – one of my favourites. Now, who would not want a tint of sunshine on your table as you enjoy some jolly ol’ brekkie? Heh.

++
Jolly Frog Gourmet Bistro Bar
81 Neil Road
088905
Singapore
Opens weekdays @ 9AM-11.30AM; weekends @ 9AM-2.30PM
T: +65 6222 9227
E: enquiry@jollyfrog.com.sg
W: http://www.jollyfrog.com.sg

Meeting Superman.

May 14, 2010

“You don’t know what it’s been like meeting someone like you.”

—–

Of course I was nervous and excited at the same time. Days leading up to Stereophonics’ Malaysia concert, I was trying to appear cool that if ever I could not weave my way to their ‘secret’ press conference, I would be alright, even though I probably would not. And after knowing I have been granted access – double access, in fact, just in case – to meet them, it was pretty hard to keep calm and carry on. I mean, who am I kidding? They are Stereo-fucking-phonics!

So, I do apologise beforehand if this entry sounds a little too fangirlish. Just be thankful it wasn’t Damien Rice I was meeting.

In the span of my journey to Nikko Hotel, where the press conference was held, I smoked three cigarettes just to calm my nerves. Trying to pretend that meeting Kelly Jones  and co was not really a big deal. I made it just in time, and was still catching my breath as the escalator carried me to the second level. Lugged against my back was Vern‘s Takemine guitar, probably bigger than me; this is why I don’t play the guitar.

I expected the band to pull a diva card, being fashionably late and all, but there they were, huddled together behind a pillar talking to a camera. My heart started up triple its normal speed. There they were.

I was caught in a funny situation when I was heading into the ballroom for the press conference just as Stereophonics themselves were going in. I mean. Should I walk past them to go in, would that be impolite. Or should I let them go first, because you know, they are fucking rockstars. At the same time, trying hard not to go on overdrive for being just a breath away from them. Before Kelly Jones led the band in with their own improvised interlude, Javier Weyler caught my eye and smiled at me. I melted inside. Guh.

I did not speak much that afternoon for one reason: I was starstruck. And I am never good with making witty quickies to catch their attention like Reta – pro-rockstar stalker that she is, so for the better half of the press conference, I was pretty much quiet, snapping pictures, and sitting quietly chewing my gum, pretending to be listening to them, when really, nothing was registering in my head.

After calming myself down a bit, I decided maybe I should ask some not-so-silly questions. It is not everyday I would find myself in the same room with people whose CDs are lined amongst the collection I take pride in. I would probably regret not saying enough in later days. So, it was either stay shy and let this moment pass by, or just say something and risk sounding – well, stupid.

Half of the time, whilst my eyes were fixed on Jones, my head was bewildered, “oh my gawd, he’s looking right at me, answering my question. Wait, what was his answer again? Oh gawd, he’s looking at me.” It was such a fangirl moment, anyone would find it funny.

The photo session came afterwards, and of course, I managed to snap a shot with the band. Jones’ height proved true, as I slipped in between him and Weyler. He was merely a couple of inches taller than me. And everyone knows how short and tiny I am. Heh. I also remember Weyler’s arm leisurely placed on my shoulders as we looked at my camera and smiled. He is such a sweetie pie.

Before we media were shooed out of the room, I quickly took out the guitar and have the band sign it. Seeing the guitar, Jones asked if I play, but sadly and embarrassingly, I had to say no and that it belonged to a friend. Our conversation would have been more interesting if I do actually play. Would it be silly to start learning guitar just to have more meaningful conversations with my favourite musicians?

Richard Jones reached forward and ran his fingers down the strings on the neck and said, “Wow, these strings are well-worned.” Even for a non-musician, I thought it was some sort of a compliment.

I muttered to Jones something about Vern being an aspiring musician himself, and he was a little bummed he could not be there that day, and perhaps a little word of encouragement may help? So, he scribbled a quick “be lucky”, before signing his name.

The Takemine has been blessed by one of Brit rock’s bests.

So much so that after that, I could even strike up a tune of Bright Red Star. Not. Heh.

Some roundtable interviews followed. Unlike MTV World Stage last year, we had plenty of time to spare, journalists asked the quirkiest questions in regards to life back home in Welsh – recommendations on where to visit and when to visit, of Lolita Bootsy, Kelly’s baby girl, something about their albums, something about their concert later that night.

It was call time for the last question once again. The journalists have pretty much exhausted themselves with questions, so my hand shot up. And it was quite a cheap thrill for me, when the band got all excited that the quiet me in the group decided to ask the question – well, for me, at least.

“My favourite song is Bright Red Star,” I started.

“Ah, really?” Jones said. “Well, we play the song every night!” (Another mental giggly moment for me)

“I just wanna know: who is Mary in the song?”

There were some chuckles in the group, and Weyler got all mischievously shifty eyed, probably knowing some secret meaning behind the song.

“Mary is just someone I used to know. She’s sort of a girlfriend, but not really.”

“Was the song written to woo her?”

“Nah, it wasn’t really a song to woo her, but more about her. It’s a lot to do with phone calls. Those long distance ones. And you know how sometimes you get to know more of a person through the phone than in person. That’s kinda how it is with her, and that’s what the song is.”

And that concluded our intimate session with Stereophonics.

But not forgetting, of course, to shake each and every one of their hands, especially Jones’. Le sigh.

Listening to Pull the Pin on the way back, every other second, I could not believe I actually met Stereophonics in person just a few minutes ago. Years I have spent loving Jones’ raspy whiskey voice, and making favourites off almost every song off their albums, listening to a few favourites a little too often. It actually happened. It was surreal.

Probably the best fucking day of my life.🙂

More about the Singapore concert HERE.

Horace the Holga : Set #4

May 12, 2010

Horace the Holga: A Lomography Collection
Set #4: The phail shots

April 3, 2010

“Technical difficulties.”

“Paradise lost.”

“For blue, blue skies #1.”

“Untitled #4.”

“For blue, blue skies #2.”

“Once upon a time #1.”

“Once upon a time #2.”

“Mad Hatter’s tea party gone wrong.”

Film
+ Fuji Pro 160S

+ More lomography sets HERE.

Language. Sex. Violence… And a missing slipper?

May 4, 2010

Event: Stereophonics live in concert
Date: April 30, 2010 (Friday)
Venue: Fort Canning Park, Singapore

A local DJ was on stage that evening, blasting through the speakers throngs of Britain’s best music. From a couple of numbers by Tears For Fear, who will be stopping by Singapore themselves not soon after, and the now disbanded Oasis. Everyone sang along, “Because maybe / You’re gonna be the one that saves me / And after all / You’re my wonderwall”, reminiscing the last time these Brit lads stopped by the country before they went their separate ways, while prepping for the other decade-old band who will be taking the stage very soon.

It was a good thing the concert was at Fort Canning Park. The ground is slanted the way an indoor stadium is built, so no matter where you stand, you will still be able to see the stage. So, it is quite a good thing for me who has height incompetence. The only beef for me, was the PDA couple standing in front of me at the beginning of the show. The guy’s entire head was blocking my view, and not only that, I only got to see the full view of Kelly Jones in between their constant kisses.

Mind you, I don’t have problems with PDA couples. You want to show the world you are in love, kissing and touching and hugging each other every other second, by all means. I wish you a happy marriage with lots of kids. But just. Don’t do it right in front of my face when I’m trying to enjoy the one good thing in my life for being single.

Half of the 5,000 strong crowd that night was made up of foreigners. Some from Wales themselves, like the band; one of them even bore the Welsh flag. But things got somewhat hooligan-ish for me sometimes, what with the beers being served and all. A fight almost broke out right in front of us too. And something more – offensive – which will be mentioned later on this entry.

Stereophonics opened the last show on their tour with lukewarm numbers of Live ‘n’ Love and A Thousand Trees, before taking things up a notch with I Got Your Number, Superman and Doorman.

Hidden in the dark at the side of the stage were more than 10 guitars propped upright like those selling in guitar stores. Throughout the show, Jones, Richard Jones and Adam Zindani would change guitar for every new song, practically more often than a hygienic nut would switch underwears.

But I would like to believe Jones’ true rockstar soul lie in the well-worned strings of his cherry red Gibson SG he has been known to perform with throughout his years of showmanship. Every time he positions the well-polished and lustful guitar on his right hip, he would churn out hair raising guitar solos in Superman, Doorman and Trouble that would make the most uptight person in the crowd headbang to the addictive beats.

Seeing that it was their Keep Calm and Carry On tour, Stereophonics hit quite a number of tracks from the album, including the only slow number that’s becoming a quick favourite for many – Could You Be The One? Paired up with that were older darlings: Maybe Tomorrow, Mr Writer (I thought I heard someone doing a solo number on the piano, or was it just a recording), The Bartender and The Thief, Have a Nice Day… and gasp, when did Javier Meyler go all shirtless at the back? Yum.

It was a shame though, that they did not perform much from Language. Sex. Violence. Other? and Pull the Pin, two of which I favour more over the rest. Stereophonics’ older albums were more languid, and perhaps that is how they flow since 1992, and that is how the fans like them. But it would have been a loud and insane show with Deadhead, Devil and Soldiers Make Good Targets thrown into the playlist. And it would have been sweet to hear It Means Nothing, Lolita and Stone live as well. Alas.

But. When the familiar introductory chords of Bright Red Star chimed through the speakers, and the stage lights went down to a deep sensual red, my heart soared. The moment I have been waiting for since Kelly Jones told me they play the song every night has arrived. It’s my favourite song.

However, it saddens me that Vern was right. For every few seconds that I could break myself from the crowd to pay close attention to Jones’ raspy and breaking voice that sang the lyrics oh so carefully, and Zindani’s bright and clear closing solo, I was immediately snapped back to earth. There were two guys behind me who suddenly seemed to be talking all too loudly in their Singaporean twanged English, and in front of me, another couple moving their heads in and out of my sight to say something to each other. I looked around me, and everyone was just.not.listening. Perhaps I am the only one in the world who likes Bright Red Star, when everyone else craves for Dakota or Mr Writer or Have a Nice Day. Meh.

Things took a turn towards the end when the band broke into the famous Local Boy in a Photograph. Everything was fine and dandy, when suddenly, someone from the crowd threw a slipper onstage and hit Jones square in the face. As the rest of the band continued playing, the lead stopped and moved away from the microphone. He then put down his guitar; he was not at all pleased.

Perhaps he was angry – he flew all the way from the UK to play one last show for us, and this is how we repay him? Perhaps he was embarrassed and hurt – decade-old rockstars or not, to get a slipper thrown at you (and hit your face, may I add), it’s just plain saying, “You suck. Get off the stage.”

Jones picked up the slipper, held back his emotions (I would like to believe), said good night to the crowd, and walked off the stage. R Jones, Zindani and Weyler followed suit.

Everyone was stunned. Some booed, some cursed. Some wondered was that it, was the show over just like that. Some checked their cameras to see if that priceless moment was caught in their frames or not. Later, as the security guards escorted the slipper culprit out of the concert venue, everyone booed at him as he passed by.

I just stood there. I felt bad for Kelly Jones.

Fortunately, Stereophonics came back on. (It would totally suck – especially for me, mind you – if that was really it). But something in the air shifted. Although Jones tried to keep calm and carry on (sorry, can’t resist it), thanking the crowd for coming out before delving into the encore of The Bartender and the Thief, not even trying to make sarcastic or comedic remarks on what just happened earlier. I am sure everyone in Fort Canning Park that night, including the band, knew it was just not the same anymore.

The concert came to a quick end with Dakota. The band trying their best to steer things right again for their last show of the tour. The fans jumping and singing along to Jones’ repetitive lines of “So take a look at me now / So take a look at me now / So take a look at me now”. Yet, nobody could help bring things to the kind of perfect ending we all hoped for.

Despite Stereophonics paying lesser attention to my favourite albums, people around me not being as civilised as I hope they would be, and the whole slipper incident, not to mention the fact that I have to fly all the way to Singapore just to see them two days later, I am still glad I caught them live. I could not help but smile every time. Hearing Jones’ whisky voice that I have heard so often I’ve made it one of the most distinguishable vocals I favour. Seeing him crunch out all those splendid guitar solos on his beloved cherry red Gibson.

I have made Kelly Jones one of my favourite vocalists for a long time now. To get to see him live that night, and not to mention meeting him in person, it is definitely something I would tell my grandkids about someday.

When I grow up, I wanna be like David Corio.

April 27, 2010

Event: CONVERSE and Jam Division presents Youth/Decay: Iconic Rock & Roll Photography Exhibition
Date: April 24, 2010 (Saturday) – May 5, 2010 (Wednesday)
Venue: Zinc Art Space, Bangsar

I am hopeless when it comes to music instruments. I was naturally enrolled for piano lessons after my sister when I was 5, only to quit the moment I finally got myself to Grade 8. Better half of my high school days was spent on the school band, only to pay more attention with complicated formations, and to convince apathetic juniors to stay focus and not quit, instead of working on my flute. I also distinctively remember my flute solo being matter-of-factly given to another better player in an orchestra performance years ago. And I never learned to play the guitar, only air guitar – with my left hand.

What are we musically challenged bunch left but our abundant CD collection, a good ear to sift out the good from the bad, and a good eye, to perhaps someday capture moments like these captured by one of the best music photographers out there – David Corio.

After the hype from the exhibition launch the previous night had died down, what was left were the few photography fans, armed with their own DSLRs, with ears on attentively to hear Corio share his stories with famous musicians, while sauntering about the gallery, hoping to take good shots of Corio’s best shots without looking too much of a fool.

I know I felt that way. So, do forgive me if the photos in this entry look weird or amateur (if they aren’t already in general); I did feel intimidated just being in the same room with his photos, let alone being in the same room with him.

The better part of the crowd has left when I arrived later that day. Which was a good thing, since I do not really like crowds. The spacious art gallery left ample space for patrons to move around without obstructing the view of others checking out the photos on display.

To set the mood, drifting in and out from the background was the distinguishable voice of Kelly Jones, only all too appropriate for two reasons: that Stereophonics will be stopping by Malaysia themselves in a few days. And that it is an iconic rock & roll photo exhibition – someday, perhaps, in one of the photos Kelly Jones will sport his leather jacket and Ray Ban shades as he rocked out his solo in Superman. Click. Frozen in time.

With every photo displayed on the wall, Corio told a story behind it. How they were taken, when they were taken. A picture of Eric Clapton actually smiling and letting loose backstage before a gig. An overlapped expose of The Cure, done accidentally, purposely, in a concert setting much too inconvenient for any photographer. A closeup shot of Deborah Harry he took, while the other photographers moved further behind for theirs, and even got a cuffing in the head himself for not following suit.

One of Tom Waits by his piano, too grainy but too perfect to be thrown away. One of Michael Jackson, taken for that split second when he took off his sunglasses and looked back at the flashing cameras – almost scared. That one frozen frame of Bob Marley with his dreadlocks flung in the air like a spider’s legs.

All 36 photos on display during the exhibition are for sale. Some of them cost RM1,800, most of them RM2,000. The thought of looking at some 20 photos that costs as much as the camera I hold in my hands each. Wow.

I noted a few favourites while I was browsing. Two of which were the ones above of Bob Marley and Joe Strummer.

Another is this of AC/DC. I just love photos of musicians and their guitars.

And this of Nick Cave and his long-time collaborator Mick Harvey.

So. Birthday presents for me, anyone? I’d love you forever. Heh.

A plus for showing up that Saturday was that David Corio was there too. He hung back after having a one-hour talk on photography and his works, doing interviews, perhaps even autographs and taking pictures with people.

I even managed to get him to pose with the famous U2 photo he did, which also made the cover of their U218 Singles compilation album, before striking up the courage to shake his hand and introduce myself. Quite a well-mannered guy, with a notable gap between his bucked teeth and talking British with a sort of lisp. I have never been one to come up impromptu conversations. Only managed a lame: “It’s nice to meet you. Your photos are really great.” Meh.

If you are a fan of old rock & roll music, or love photography, or just like to purchase expensive photos out of spite, I would suggest you to stop by this photo exhibition. It is not everyday someone like Corio, who has rubbed shoulders with famous musicians we have only been listening to on the radio, stop by. If you don’t get to meet him in person, it’s still quite a nice trip to Zinc on a weekend.

Someday.

++
Zinc Art Space

Lot 61 Jalan Maarof (opposite Dataran Maybank)
59000 Bangsar
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
T: +6 03 2282 5388
F: +6 03 2284 8044
W: http://www.zinc.com.my

Youth/Decay: An Iconic Rock & Roll Photography Exhibition
Exhibition date: Apr 24 – May 5, 2010
Business hour: 12PM-6PM; closed on Sunday
Admission: Free

PS: Also, if you are a fan of music photography, might I suggest checking out those by the late Jim Marshall. This is my favourite of Keith Richards. RIP.

All our base are belong to VGL!

April 22, 2010

Also guest blogging at Backseat Radio:
1. Stereophonics live in Malaysia, Apr 28, AND Singapore, Apr 30
2. Peaches live in Singapore @ Apr 28, 2010
3. This is a story of a bunch of girls

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Event: Video Games Live
Date: April 17, 2010 (Saturday)
Venue: Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre

OK, before I get crucified here at my own blog, I have to admit I am not exactly a hardcore video games fan. My video gaming days dated back when computers were still Internet-less and my sister and I were taking turns to play games off the IBM 5¼ inch floppy disks (yes, I kid you not) when we were on home arrest for chicken pox, Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty and Warcraft: Orcs and Humans being my favourites then.

As well as when video game consoles were still using them ROM catridges, and my neighbours and I would trade them back and forth for new games – Super Mario Bros, Tetris, Excitebike (love this), Ice Climber, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Adventure Island, Street Fighter, Contra, Double Dragon, to name a few. After that, the rest of my knowledge on video games came solely from my guy friends, who actually play the games.

So, you have got to give me credit that I am not at a total loss when it comes to video games. I guess I would not mind getting in the whole video gaming thing, if I do not actually, well, suck at playing console games. I do. Ask my mom. Other than that, I can always pull the ‘I’m a girl’ card. Heh.

The geekdar is off the charts last Saturday over at KL Convention Centre. Not only was the weekend of the PIKOM PC Fair, Video Games Live was also happening on the same day. It was like saying: “Come buy some computers, and while you’re here, enjoy a concert dedicated to video games!” I am sure some tech geek out there was having a virtual orgasm that day. Heh.

There were two pre-show activities going on before the concert, one being the Guitar Hero challenge, and another, the Cosplay competition. I missed the Guitar Hero session, but managed to catch a few Cosplay characters wandering the foyer.

Here is Nemesis from Resident Evil.

Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter sharing a shot without going expelliarmus on each other.

Can he even see where he is going?

With the immensity of Video Games Live, I guess I expected more people to play dress up. I have seen a larger community of Cosplayers wandering around One Utama a while back, so I thought it would be massive that day. Alas.

Before the concert started, all Cosplayers were ushered up onstage. The one with the loudest applause from the crowd wins.

Cute. /girl

It was a close call between Nemesis and Master Chief. And Nemesis won in the end.

Under the conduction of Jack Hall, co-founder of Video Games Live, the National Symphony Orchestra kicked off Malaysia’s instalment with a medley of Classic Arcade:

Pong. The video game that started it all.

Space Invaders.

Tetris.

And others like Donkey Kong, Outrun, Contra and such.

Tommy Tallarico – who, by the way, is the cousin to Steven Tyler from Aerosmith – emerged after that, sporting his Spidey T-shirt and shoes, to give us a brief run through on what VGL was all about, dropping our infamous lah suffix here and there.

First up was music from Metal Gear Solid.

With some Cosplay going on, and Tallarico hiding in the box behind. Heh.

God of War.

With the bone chilling voice of Laura Intravia.

A member of the audience was invited onstage to play a little game of Space Invaders for 2 minutes. The winning prize was a Katana desktop video arcade machine.

The tricky part was that the player had to move left and right accordingly like the laser cannon on screen. He even had on a T-shirt with the laser cannon on the back. Heh.

Ralph Baer, creator of Pong and the Father of Video Games, also made an appearance that night. Live via Skype, apparently. I was skeptical at first if he was indeed talking to us live, but after getting confirmations from those who have gone to the evening show, it was just a recording. Unless Baer is really semangat, staying up late and all just to say hi to us.

Next up was Sonic the Hedgehog.

Intravia a.k.a Flute Link returned back onstage dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda for a flute solo. Oh, to have half the talent as she does when I was in high school.

Then, the orchestra did The Legend of Zelda.

An interval.

I wonder what happens if the download fails. You know how slow and wonky our connection is here.

Kickstarting things again with a Disney medley of Kingdom Hearts.

And then. World of Warcraft.

Another special guest. Norihiko Hibino, music composer of Metal Gear Solid, performing Snake Eater.

The beloved Super Mario Bros.

Then, the winner from the Guitar Hero challenge earlier was invited onstage to strut his stuff.

He was to score 220,000 points on Hard, in order to win an autographed VGL poster, signed by Koji Kondo, music composer of The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. He got to play the soon-to-be-released Guitar Hero: Van Halen, rocking out to Jump, playing alongside Tallarico himself. Things got interesting when he decided to up the game, to play on Expert instead.

The kid didn’t win though. But he was only some 20,000 points behind, and he did get the poster after all.

Now, till this point, Tallarico was to me just someone with a great idea to revolutionise the worlds of video games and symphony orchestras. But still, I have definitely underestimated him when the concert continued with him at his electric guitar, going through themes from Mega Man, Halo and Halo 3.

Master Chief returned.

Absolutely loving Tallarico’s Spidey guitar as he rocked out to Final Fantasy VII‘s Advent: One-winged Angel.

For the encore, Castlevania.

And Chrono Trigger.

With Hall on his acoustic guitar.

It was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience, orchestral music that leaves your skin all pimply, mixed with a tinge of fun you get from the video game world.

It goes without saying that it is a must for video games enthusiasts to patronise the concert. Heck, everyone was having a ball spotting as many classic arcade games as they could, and cheering everytime the theme from their favourite game was played live.

But, I suppose, if you were only a fan of the music, you would enjoy yourself too. The hair on the back of my neck stood so often, I thought they were just going to fall off my skin.

Tallarico was quite a good sport too, dropping jokes and banters here and there, so he and his army definitely had the crowd going. Besides, it’s video games. Most of the job is already done for you already anyway. Heh.

But despite the goosebumps, I expected better performance from the National Symphony Orchestra. Quite often, I barely noticed the music was actually live. And I don’t suppose that’s a good thing. Perhaps the graphics backdrop kind of took half of our attention away. Or maybe, I should have stopped taking so many photos that day, and just sit down and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Meh.

But, all in all, the inner geek in me had a good time. She came out from the back of the closet and bathed in the sun of pure geekdom. They totally had me with the introductory poem: “Roses are #FF0000 / Violets are #0000FF / All your base are belong to us!” Good to see my graphic designing days finally paid off with such a cheap thrill. Heh.

I could not stop smiling to myself everytime something I recognise came on screen. Brought back a piece of childhood memory I have almost forgotten over time, but still intact – though vaguely – in my mind. Ah, the kind of smile you would have on your face when you recall those good ol’ games you used to spend time on.

My Saturday was definitely pwned by the people of Video Games Live.