Archive for September, 2008

After years in the music business and still smiling!

After years in the music business and still smiling!

That’s right ladies and gents, the boss of bossa and Tsar of Samba is coming.

When it comes to Brazilian music, I would surmise that there are few people around who can compare to Sergio Mendes. I mean, the guy had Antonio Carlos Jobim as a mentor! What I really like about him is his innovation – from the beginning, he’s taken plenty of tracks that are popular and just made them his own.

Mendes isn’t someone to rest on his laurels and dwell on his hits of old. You continue to see innovation even now as he blends hip hop music into his Brazilian rhythms. His smash hit Mas Que Nada has taken on a complete revamp with the Black Eyed Peas‘ contributing a hip hop lyrics and instrumentation. Yet the song remains, unmistakably samba, unmistakably Sergio.

A quick browse-through of the demo tracks on his website and you can see how Mendes doesn’t just keep up with the times, he shines.

Details of his show in Singapore

Singapore Sun Festival 2008
Sergio Mendes in Concert

22 Oct 2008
Wed, 07:30PM
Esplanade Concert Hall
S$148, S$128, S$88, S$68, S$48

Get your tickets at Sistic.

Sergio on a modern version of Agua De Beber:

Ash's Twilight of the Innocents is probably going to be their last album. From henceforth, the band will only release singles. Yay to Digital Media for changing the music industry.

Ash has announced that twilight of the innocents will be their last album. From henceforth, they will only release singles. Thanks to digital media for changing the music industry.

I guess the tile is pretty much self explanatory. Ash is coming to Singapore, Fort Canning to be exact.

Admittedly, my knowledge of Ash (or most indie rock bands for that matter) is quite limited. I do know however, that they have been around since 1992. A quick Youtube checkup on the band and you will be able to find a multitude of songs they have done over the years. The band really made it big in 1994 are well know for their songs, “Goldfinger,” “Oh Yeah,” “Burn Baby Burn,” “Girl from Mars,” “A Life Less Ordinary” and a bunch of others.

Never one for the ordinary, Ash were once part of a teen slasher flick called slash that featured plenty of music personalities such as  Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Moby, James Nesbitt and Dave Grohl. The film never got released and one can only wonder at how crappy it actually was.

Check them out:

ASH ‘Live’ At The Singapore Beer Festival
Date: October 2, 2008
Time: 8pm
Venue: Fort Canning Park
Ticket Prices:
S$85 from August 15 – 31
S$95 from September 1 – Octobter 1
S$110 on October 2
Ticket prices are exclusive of S$3 SISTIC charge

This song just reminds me of my JC (highschool days). I feel old:

As you might have gathered from this post, I am quite the muppets fan. So when I was travelling in New York last december, I made it a point to watch the muppets for ‘mature’ audiences. As a parody of Sesame Street, it scores.

Avenue Q’s inventive reworking of sesame street really got me hooked from the opening theme “It sucks to be me” all the way till the end. By writing the cynical lyrics of the jaded working class and putting it to a children’s show type of tune, Avenue Q certainly makes an  impact. Couple all that with puppets that show uncanny similarities to the muppets of our childhood and you get a Tony Award winning Musical.

This musical isn’t going to resonate with everyone. If you only want to watch nice happy, uplifting type musicals like mamma mia and coarse humour (there is an actual puppet sex scene) is the bane of your life, you might want to save your money for something more tame. Otherwise, Avenue Q is sure to entertain.

Oh yea, did I mention they’re coming to Singapore?

Details for the Singapore tour can be found here.

Oh and if you’re interested in watching some clips, you can head to Avenue Q’s website.

PS: I have heard that cast that is on tour is from the Philippines and not the States. Just thought you should know.

As you can probably tell by now, I made my choice and decided to go for the amazing bass show performed by the greatest bassists in the world today. Now, a few hours after the show, I’m still reeling from the all the groove kicked up by the 3 “crazy people” as Victor Wooten put it so aptly.

Not quite a showcase of pyrotechnics and wizardry as G3 is. However, SMV had this uncanny ability to lock the whole audience in a tight groove. From start to finish, the audience kept nodding, tapping their feet or clapping to the beat of the band.

Of course, each of the individual bassists had do a little bit of showing off on their own, and each of them had their own special something to bring to the table. Victor had his inventive genius, particularly in his use of the looper machine. Marcus Miller demonstrated unfair amounts of talent by playing not just the bass, but the saxophone and the bass clarinet as well. My favourite was Stanley Clarke with his unmistakable tone (there were times I couldn’t tell Wooten and Miller apart clearly) and who went on to show off his mastery of the acoustic bass.

My fellow audience members were particularly receptive to SMV, applauding enthusiastically after every single solo and the occasional cry of “We love you Stanley!” could be heard now and then. It was a great experience really for $40.

Marcus Miller had a question for the Singapore audience early in the show,

“Singapore, do you like bass?”

Hell yeah.

The worse you look, the better you play.

Posted: September 17, 2008 in Rants
Gosh! That really hurts!

Gosh! That really hurts!

Take all the great musicians you’ve ever heard. The one thing they have in common? Every great musician makes some kind of weird face when they play their best.

What? You look too good when you play?

Fret no more, this video will teach you everything you need to know to look just like a pro..

I love the muppets. I grew up watching Sesame Street and a host of other TV shows. But, the magical thing about Sesame Street (or the muppets) is that I still enjoy watching it now, even though I’m all of 24 years! Other TV shows I watched as a kid (Teenage mutant ninja turtles or Chipmunks) just don’t bring about the same levels of enjoyment as it did then.

Not so for the muppets. I love them as much as I ever did. I think its the music.

Andrea Bocelli and Elmo – Simply adorable!

As you know, I’m currently agonizing over whether to attend SMV’s performance at the Esplanade. At the same time, I’m also wondering whether I should go for John Scofield’s performance also at the Esplanade, also at the same price (Student discounts!).

Scofield isn’t really something for the uniniated. As they say, Jazz is all about tension and release. For Scofield’s music, it’s MOSTLY about tension, then there’s a teeny weeny bit of release buried somewhere in the song, and I just love it!

BE warned! If you go for his concert without ever listening to music of similar vein (IE. Modern Jazz such as Pat Metheny or Herbie Hancock) you might well feel you’ve wasted your money. Scofield, however, contributes much to modern music that I find sordidly lacking (melody and harmony). He earns my respect for that.

Did I also mention that Joe Lovano was coming with him?

Here’s one of his more err, mellow performances with John Mayer:

PS: I’m probably only going to catch just 1 of these performances, still undecided and open to suggestions!