Ministry of Blunk (MOBlunk) live in Fresca


18th July 2014: Ministry of Blunk (MOBlunk) live in Fresca, The Gardens Mall, Midvalley City!


Fresca is a Mexican restaurant, in the middle of The Gardens Mall, on the ground floor. I’d never noticed it there before!


Isaac the hidden drummer!


The sessioning bassist!


The guest vocalist!


Doctor Kelly.


Lyrical flub, I think!


Shane the blues/rock/soul singer!


They did some covers of some stuff I didn’t even know were covered in that way, like Creedence Clearwater Revival – Heard It Through The Grapevine (I didn’t know CCR covered it!)


There was also a Bon Jovi cover.


Before the busy doctor had another appointment, she took a picture with Shane.


Mike Skinner, of Douche Manouche, gets on stage to jam the blues.


Cassandra Chong, too!


The crowd waiting outside was very curious, and somewhat spellbound.


Vishnu Black Jesus with a crown of thorns roses one rose.


More ladies called up to sing. Somehow, they knew which ones could!


Hina must be like, “I’ll just hold this…

Discovariety Thursday


10th July 2014: Laundry X AHM Records Present: Discovery Thursday at Laundry Bar, The Curve! Here’s Shane of Ministry Of Blunk.


Here’s Vishnu, but we call him Black Jesus.


They have a sessioning bassist.


Isaac on drums. Unfortunately I got there only in time for their last song and missed most of their new sound!


Darren Teh of An Honest Mistake (and An Honest Mistake Records), emcee and organizer.


Meanwhile, outside, Ray Cheong and band, practicing.


Back2Basixx, a vocal harmony group!


Looking all dapper.


Sharply suited.


Cool shave!


Daryll on guitar.


Their own Bruno Mars.


Side bokeh time!


Christian Theseira, who also sings R&B with his band. (Thanks Christian for the correction!)


Back2Basixx from the back.


Christian then gets on guitar while Daryll sings.


If he’s familiar, that’s because he performed at Laundry Bar almost 8 years ago, on the 13th of July 2006, at an open mic session at the third ever Moonshine at Laundry Bar, or the seventh ever Moonshine. (Yes, this picture was taken with a Canon Powershot A520, not a dSLR, and it is misfocused.)

Just for listmania, here are the first 10:

1) 26th November 2005, No Black Tie
2) 15th December 2005, No Black Tie
3) 5th January 2006, No Black Tie
4) 2nd February 2006, No Black Tie (postponed due to complications with DBKL.)
5) 11th May 2006, Laundry Bar (same lineup as the postponed Moonshine #4, just relocated.)
6) 1st June 2006, Laundry Bar
7) 13th July 2006, Laundry Bar
8) 10th August 2006, Laundry Bar
9) 14th September 2006, Laundry Bar
10) 12th October 2006, Laundry Bar


Meanwhile, Darren looks busy on a laptop.


Ray Cheong, double-tapping fingerstyle extraordinaire.


The song is elevated with Jonathan Khor’s violin.


Ryan Lee Bhaskaran, on percussion.


Ray sings his soul out.


Meanwhile, this soul-stealer…


…is featured in the next band, Black Lightbulb.


Here’s Raja Farouque looking as handsome as a cat can be.


Ian fills in for Zaim, with one extra bass string.


Simmy just got out of prison and hasn’t found her civilian wear.


The genre is rock of the instrumental type, but Hameer adds acoustic guitar and rock vocals. They even did a cover of Led Zeppelin – Kashmir!


Farouque on fire on slide on guitar on speaker on stage.


Simmy then released her hair as all rock stars should.


The next rock star, however, kept it all under a cap.


The brutal Deumuseth!


There’s just three of them.


They play music so heavy, they have difficulty carrying their own weight.


Minor electronica.


Dark, heavy, Drop E tuning (an 8-string guitar adds a 7th string which is a lower B, and an 8th string which is a lower F#, but from his tuning and comparing a video to my tuner it looks like he dropped the 8th string to E so it plays like Drop D on a 6-string guitar.) Although we were all getting into the sound of the djenty guitar, so low the band doesn’t need a bassist, I do wish there was more higher register guitar work though! (This also makes me wonder if there are bands that are just a drummer and an 8-string guitarist, where either one of them sings.)


Sara, an accomplished screamer.


What a varied night! Music ranging from heavy sludge to vocal harmony!

Dash x Bassment Syndicate Live at No Black Tie


6th July 2014: Dash x Bassment Syndicate Live at No Black Tie.


The boys of Darren Ashley’s band, Dash, are back again.


All in red and suits.


No suit, just tie.


Darren picks up his ol’ acoustic guitar for a throwback to his pre-electropop days… but the songs escalate into electropop eventually.


View from upstairs.


Full house.


Massive drum (not) solo! Also, Isaac has gotta have more cowbell!


Darren with one KAOSS Pad today, instead of the usual two. Also note his red towel!


View from the balcony.


Here’s their last song for the night, We Are Over Here. (Thanks Isaac and Dash for the name!)


Next up: Bassment Syndicate!


I like that they always bring their own lighting.


There is probably a spookier angle, but I did not take it.


Upstairs, Clara and I.


Monica encourages us to drink water. It’s good for you!


Artsy shot by artsy Clara.


Jeremy and Monica. Not my blurry in-the-club shot.


Drunk on F&N, obviously.


I didn’t have one of Bassment Syndicate’s funky LED lights so my phone screen would have to do.


So back to the band, with Marcus.


He invited on stage…


…the amazing Najwa Mahiaddin!


If I remember correctly, they did the neo-soul Bassment Syndicate feat. Najwa – Confusion. A really groovy, smooth track.


Fook also sings, sometimes, alternating between bass and guitar. This gives the band an interesting sound, that’s not too full in that guitar and bass sound, to be filled up by keyboards…


…or trombone.


They also invited Darren Ashley up.


They’d performed together before.


The crowd was asked to get up!


I haven’t seen the crowd stand up in No Black Tie, to the best of my memory.


I forgot this guy’s name. Eric something, I think, in town for a bit.


For some reason, the way he looks reminds me a lot of Murphy Kenneth Hibbert…


…also known as Bleeding Gums Murphy, Lisa Simpson’s saxophone mentor in The Simpsons!


Meanwhile, outside, Feeka, the hipster coffee shop next door, had a sign that said “Close”. I think we can tell. It was open earlier in the day, so I don’t know why they’d have to put a sign!


On the other side of Jalan Mesui was this signboard.

Alter:Fest


5th July 2014: Alter:Fest, at Merdekarya! I didn’t catch the name of this band, who played during the open mic session.


Brendan James de Cruz, with a raspy rock voice.


Alexa.


Jes Ebrahim, a familiar face.


Fabian.


Christian Palencia, organizer, introduces the emcee…


Amanda! Cute, funny and full of corny jokes.


Guess whose do-it-yourself contraption this belongs to!


Ray Cheong, fingerstyle funk soul rock and roll star.


While waiting for the next band to set up, Amanda took the oppurtunity to pimp the pre-loved stalls set up downstairs, by showing off the deals she got.


The guys from Six Strings, a guitar store.


Interestingly, the Timoz-branded cajon that the Yao-Ming-faced guitarist is sitting on, is made in Kluang, Johor – it’s a Malaysian brand. I don’t remember exactly, but it was mentioned that they hire ex-offenders as well, a good way to reintegrate them into society.


I was feeling really tired and was about to leave when Tasha got on stage, so I stayed to see this familiar face.


Eness, too. I’d seen both of them when I was taking pictures and recording videos for Ministry Of Blunk when they were recording an EP, as they laid down vocal harmonies on the tracks.


Together, they form Tashnes! Awesome vocal harmony like none I’d heard before, with tight acoustic guitar. It was like Destiny’s Child on guitar, with fingerstyle guitar slapping, even! (Slapping guitar for Ne-Yo – One In A Million, wow!)


They’re tight in real life too, having been best friends since childhood. I love their on-stage chemistry! I stayed for their whole set.


Here they are, covering Little Mix – Wings.


Sara G., to great acclaim from the audience.

An Honest Mistake: #TheAcousticAlbum Launch + DVD Screening


5th July 2014: An Honest Mistake: #TheAcousticAlbum Launch + DVD Screening, at Laundry Bar, The Curve!


Here’s the emcee for the afternoon, Ashley Chan!


First opening act: Talitha Tan!


Checkout this guitar I borrowed yo.


Isn’t she lovely?“, she would sing.


Michael Perumal on guitar this time.


A very varied audience.


Thug life is tough yo.


Second opening act: Annatasha Saifol!


On guitar: Syamee Shamsul with awesome hair.


She is joined by Ashley for a song.


Like so!


Clara and I beat the heat outside with a selfie.


After a screening of behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the album…


…it was time for the live show.


Oh yes that’s Sheryl Goh, ex-vocalist for An Honest Mistake, back in town for a bit, so she was to sing a few songs.


Leonard Chua looks like he’s getting used to the idea of an acoustic guitar!


Tomas Tam was on guitar this time…


…as this guy whose name I did not get, took over bass duties.


She popped on stage and sang as if she didn’t go overseas to study at all.


One of the rare times when I can get a wide-angle shot with everybody on stage. Well, almost.


Darren Teh, frontman.


Uncharacteristically, without a guitar strapped around him, ready to spin around with the safety of double-locking straps.


And now, for some gratituous bokeh!


The big drum and the mallet.


This wasn’t all, of course.


Ashley, current female vocalist (where Darren is the male vocalist) comes on stage.


They both sing!


Darren regains his guitar by this picture.


Post-gig group shot!

Moonshine: Spotlight ft Paperplane Pursuit, Nakedbreed, Bihzhu & Crinkle Cut / July 2014


3rd July 2014: Moonshine: Spotlight ft Paperplane Pursuit, Nakedbreed, Bihzhu & Crinkle Cut / July 2014 at Laundry Bar, The Curve!


First act of the night…


Crinkle Cut!


Acoustic loungey harmony.


They had a floral theme today! Plus points for any band that coordinates themes.


Ashley smiling away as Grace plays the bleeps that she normally plays on an iPad.


Melissa.


Rocking the hat.


Frances, nervous because legendary songbird Najwa Mahiaddin is in the house!


Just chillin’.


Yes gong xi fa cai to you too!


Melinya who just joined the Chaswood Resources team as a sound engineer!


Hameer, emcee for the night.


Disco balls.


Bihzhu!


Percussionist Ryan David Gomes.


Bassist Fook.


Guitarist Raja Farouque.


And of course, Bihzhu on vocals and feel good vibes!


She brought on Herman Ramanado to sing a song with her. Here he is looking all eligible bachelor.


I particularly liked her last song; it had an interesting, darker inflection.


Naked Breed!


The bassist had a CheaPro GuitarCam on. The maker of these things, Kevin Theseira, is behind him.


This is what it records.


In case you’re wondering, here’s a video, cleverly mixed with footage from the front, shot by Kevin Theseira.


What, no drum cam?


Jack the shredder. This guitar is ironic, because it has locking nuts, traditionally found on guitars with floating bridges, but this guitar has a fixed bridge – also ironic because it’s an EVH Wolfgang Special, and Eddie Van Halen used a floating bridge to great effect, doing divebombs and inventing his own add-on attachment to allow a floating bridge guitar to quickly switch from standard E tuning to Drop D tuning – the EVH D-Tuna! (Changing from standard E to Drop D on a floating bridge would require you to retune everything very tediously.)

I was interested in the D-Tuna for a while, but I could not find any local music shop stocking it. The only way to get one easily was to buy this same guitar, but the floating bridge version – it came with the D-Tuna pre-installed! The only drawback of the D-Tuna being that the floating bridge needed to be blocked so you could not pull up, only divebomb, but pulling up can be done with bending anyway!


They still rock hard, even breaking into a little Nirvana – Breed. A member of the audience whose identity I shall not uncover, said he remembered seeing them when they played at Rock The World 3. I was taken aback, because this was quite a young-looking dude!


Last band of the night – Paperplane Pursuit!


Drummers who can sing!


The only other bass I’ve seen with fanned frets!


John the frontman knows how to work the crowd and entertain.


This is what it looks like from the camera end.


Electric blue, electric performance.


Isaac, who may have something to do with their band merchandise, one of which is a cool Salty Customs T-shirt that says “Made In Malaysia”.


The drummer then gets on the bass…


…and the drummer chills out in the back while John sings and drums.


Too damn awesome!


As if that wasn’t enough, Darren, his brother-in-law (notice the Capture-The-Flag color contrast) comes on to sing.


“Oh hey there my guitarist!”


They sing their pop anthem, Beat Of Your Love.


Yes, this one, with the awesome video.


What a night! Here’s Crinkle Cut + Yvonne Chong + Grace Cho.


Ashley shows us how to disappear into Laundry Bar’s wallpaper.

I realize how someday, we will associate wallpaper with a digital display’s background image more than actual decorative paper that is glued to a physical wall. When was the last time you thought “change your wallpaper” meant stripping a wall and pasting a new design on?

The Crinkle Cut Bee


27th June 2014: Crinkle Cut at The Bee, Publika!


Frances Tsen, lead vocals, and that red box that makes her voice all spacey.


Grace Foo, keyboard, basslines, and bloops and bleeps.


Bleeps used to be Ashley Choong’s job, until she dumped the bleeping iPad to concentrate on beating the cajon.


Melissa Wong, on guitar, vocal harmony, and looking serious.


Interestingly, three of them met through the choir.


Some songs would be introduced as written by respective members, and yet gelling together cohesively in their acoustic loungey sound.


Melissa’s vocal timbre is quite different from Frances’ – the difference I’d say like the difference between a single-coil and a humbucker pickup.


Ashley, or Ashleg, as she is commonly misspelled.


P.S. I’m still waiting for them to cover Sly & The Family Stone – If You Want Me To Stay (Live) right after covering Musiq Soulchild – Just Friends (Sunny), because of the similarity of the songs!


It’s always somebody’s birthday at The Bee. This time though, they gave us the leftover cake. Yes, eat your chocolate cake with M&Ms, with chili and ketchup.


The only picture I have of this sexy back!


And now, for an interlude, or outerlude if you will….


Melissa takes my camera for a spin as the rest of us play POLITIKO. All pictures from this point onwards were taken by her, for a change in pace. Interestingly, this picture shows you just how big The Bee, Publika, is, and how music venues in the Klang Valley have evolved.


Token Sabahan plays with the Sabah party.


Ashley will have none of that, and steals voters!


Melissa plays with the camera and not the cards.


Random bar shot.


The Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA versus somebody’s finger.


Out of focus, but hilarious! Some voter stealing must’ve been going on!


Nevertheless, the head of the island of Borneo still won.


Crinkle Cut +1. (I’d resumed camera operator operating here.)

V3: A Nite Jam Project And Flashbacks!


27th June 2014: v3: A Nite Jam Project, at BullsEye Pub & Restaurant, Publika!


This pub has been around since I was working in Solaris Dutamas, before Publika’s construction in the middle of Solaris Dutamas was complete. I remember coming with colleagues, but without the live music back then.


Velan, on drums!

The first time I saw V3 was at KL Jamasia’s Anniversary, 24th March 2007. It had a different lineup then, with Velan on drums, Ojie of Stonebay on vocals, the late Alda Tan on bass, and a guitarist I can’t identify. (Ironically, Velan would also play drums for Stonebay.)


Jocelyn Wong on vocals, doing all out good ol’ rock, ranging from Bon Jovi and The Beatles. Here’s a video of them covering The Beatles – Come Together!


Roni on bass, also from Stonebay.


Chot on rhythm guitar. Awesome T-shirt!


Kamal on lead guitar. Peak beard!


BullsEye is owned by C.S. Nathan, Velan’s father, who also owned KL Jamasia!


Nathan on the far right, and Velan on the far left, with their friends.


A clearer shot.


I tend to get asked to take pictures.


Jo in leather in this weather.


I’d seen her from other scenes, but this was a first in this admittedly older scene.


Then again, as clumped as the music scene in the Klang Valley is, I know there is still so much I haven’t seen, such that I’d only been to the legendary Waikiki this year, and I don’t have any pictures of it with a proper camera.


I then took a walk around Publika (I had come from The Bee earlier) to see what else was going on, on a Friday night.


Some Tamil music, I think.


I came back, and bumped into Rudy, an old friend from the scene, who I also met at Jamasia. As we sat at the table catching up, I then spotted a particular, familiar Epiphone SG…


No way, flashback! (Reza Salleh’s new Feedback series, without the Open Mic suffix, 12th January 2007.)


Could it be? So we asked to see the back of the guitar, and viola!


It was the same guitar that stood on the speaker! (From A Night Of Magic & Music with Auburn, 29th April 2007.)


Rudy then picked it up and played with it a bit. This guitar used to belong to Ian of Milla, who smashed it on stage.


Nathan then got his workers to glue it back together. (This picture from 12th January 2007.)


But wait! That was not its original location! It was originally hung from the ceiling! (This picture from the Xcited Screamers album launch, 24th September 2005, and this wasn’t even with a SLR, but my second ever camera, the Canon Powershot A400!)


I remember this epic wall, too. There were actual strings on that guitar. (Not metal nor nylon ones, though.) Also, spot Rudy! (This from the 29th of April 2007.)


From the same gig, you can see where the guitars were.


Fadhil was the emcee for the night. So you know what the doors look like.


Speaking of the epic wall, there were quite a few signatures that were etched in my mind, like this one from Emmett of Butterfingers. (From 12th January 2007.) The full quote is from their live performance of Faculties Of The Mind off the album Butter Late Than Never, and it goes like this:

Like I said, if I could only see your faces. The like, the hate, I don’t know but just enjoy the music. I hate the lights. I hate the lights… it makes me a star. I’m no better than anybody else.


From Fireflies And Something Something: Hey Man, Nice Shoes, 27th July 2007. The scene was tight, as we all crammed into a upper storey shoplot.


Same gig. Jamasia was on the first floor, and the smoking section was outside. Cool idea, this!


The last time I was there was for Khai’s birthday, 25th July 2008. The red guitar had been painted over as a seafoam green Stratocaster! Signatures, autographs all gone!


So back to that time I only had a Canon Powershot A400… I camwhored, as we’d call it before it was renamed a selfie, with a mirror in the toilet of Jamasia. I decided to not have any blade touch my hair at all, and this is how long it was on the 24th of September 2005 (last cut on the 11th of October 2004!)

Laundry X AHM Records X Vans: #ProjectOffTheWall (June Edition)


26th June 2014: Laundry X AHM Records X Vans: #ProjectOffTheWall (June Edition) at Laundry Bar, The Curve!


But first, let me take a selfie.


Stanley Oh on guitars and vocals, forming the OH…


And Neo Ann Na on vocals, forming the NEO!


And so they formed the first act of the night – OHNEO!


Nabeel on bass and Ian on keyboard…


…passing dragon cajon duty to one of the two songwriters.


Also my first time seeing Ann Na play keyboard for a little intro.


Darren Teh, organizer and emcee (left) with the ever-amusing Collin Chin.


I used to see him in rock band Car Crash Hearts. He’s bringing it back!


But first, a sexier back.


Jonah!


He is smooth. (Also, on an unrelated note, Vans replaced the posters hanging on the wall with their own Vans concert posters. Very cool!)


He does a crazy mix of everything New Jack Swing to today’s R&B.


Man he got soul.


Meanwhile, outside, a band practices.


The same guy behind the deejay deck plays for the next performer…


L’zzay!


She does a bit of Britney and a lot of swag.


Her boys be pumping on the speakers!


Then came a much less dancy act…


Annatasha Saifol!


Herman Ramanado on bass…


…and Isaac Ravi on guitar and Ryan Lee Bhaskaran on drums!


This group asked me to take their picture, and so I did.


Collin gives some advice to the bassist of the next band…


A Ruthless Cleansing!


Hard, heavy, modern-day riffage!


A very sexy Jackson Randy Rhoads in white with pinstripes!


A fan recording their brutal metal… with a Hello Kitty phone cover.

Feedback Open Mic ft Ida Mariana & Quirky Qwerty @ The Bee Publika / June 2014 Edition


24th June 2014: Feedback Open Mic ft Ida Mariana & Quirky Qwerty @ The Bee Publika / June 2014 Edition. Here’s emcee and organizer Reza Salleh introducing Flip The Table. Check out that nifty Traveler Escape headless guitar!


Triblues. Three dudes playing the blues.


He sings Pink Floyd – Money and Wolfmother – Dimension!


Solid solos. The theme for the night was Singing The Blues – you don’t have to follow the theme, but the one who follows it best, and stays to the end when the results are announced, wins a prize.


I bumped into Robin Wong and Jackie Loi there (I’ve linked to their pictures from this same night), both fans of the Micro Four-Thirds camera system.

Above is my Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM next to a Panasonic Leica 25mm F1.4. My Sony Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM is the same size as my 24mm, so it gives you a good idea my full-frame lenses scale to Micro Four-Thirds lenses. (Of course, my Minolta 50mm F1.4 Original, with a 49mm filter thread, is closer to the same size as the Panasonic, but its optical quality is probably nowhere near when shot wide open compared to my Carl Zeiss.)

Below is my Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA next to the Olympus 75mm f1.8. Ironically, the Olympus gives a bit more reach!


And now, for the homecoming Ariff AB.


Sharon Chong chilling on the sofa.


Ewaz? I didn’t get his name.


Awesome, awesome singing and loops and ambient wizardry.


Towards the end he suddenly brought this out!


Black & White.


She sang Elton John – Your Song while he sang Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe. Yup, Hey Joe, a classic blues song.


Saturday Afternoon.


Danish & Natalie with a cover of John Mayer – Slow Dancing In A Burning Room.


Instrumental progressive rock band Black Lightbulb! Raja Farouque on millions of notes.


Simmy, on millions of notes, too.


Zaim keeping it cool. Interesting that the number of knobs matches the number of strings.


Ash on the beat.


Melinya.


You’d normally see her on the other end of The Bee, at the sound engineer’s console.


Ida Mariana, first featured act.


She was backed by the legendary Wan Gigi of Alcentric and John Thomas And The Phunk Mob Experience.


Quirky Qwerty, second featured act.


One interesting cover was that of Herbie Hancock – Watermelon Man.


So yeah.


They normally dress up as a polka band, but in conjunction with World Cup they wore jerseys instead.


Lukarts.


Disco rock!


Calico.


Chairs crowning the table.