Peter Hassan Brown just released his album, Blues.
I got one, because my picture was used on the back cover with my permission, and credited to me, too! The album is, to my non-sound-engineer ears, well-produced, and has amazing clarity. I like how Peter sounds far more cynical and observant, his biting lyrics and social commentary cutting through the mix. It’s something I am aware of when I see him live singing about open mics and about activist stuff, but it’s just clearer on the CD for some reason.
His English is many levels above even the English-educated of today. He spoke of Singaporean history – something I’d admit that I don’t know much about, about Operation Coldstore, the Singaporean Internal Security Act, how Barisan Sosialis formed out of PAP, and how the British gave independence to the party who would be friendly to them and allow them to continue trading (as after World War 2, the British had heavy financial losses and relied on the resources in British Malaya).
He also spoke of how Lim Kit Siang was a reporter, something I’d not been able to Google (though I might someday look for his memoirs.)
Then there was that interesting bit about how back then, Singapore was very much considered part of Malaya, and that a remerger was always considered. To today’s generation however this would be unthinkable, in how different we’ve become!
Some of the interesting snippets I got out of this, was that Tun Dr. Ismail (then the Home Minister) had Burhanuddin al-Helmy arrested (and Taman Tun Dr. Ismail fittingly has a road named Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi!) He was arrested under the Internal Security Act when Ghazali Shafiee was the Home Minister. He was also once the President of Parti Rakyat Malaysia (formed out of Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya, Angkatan Pemuda Insaf and Angkatan Wanita Sedar).
He also mentioned something about new parties attracting new members, and that we had a lot of sponsored capitalists who don’t understand the game. Very enlightening talk!
23rd February 2013: Hari Darwin 2013. Foong Jin and me take a selfie no wait, I don’t think that word had been invented yet. So we were just good ol’ camwhoring.
Pepper Lim emcees the event.
Post-event activity was a bunch of people jamming to The Beatles.
22nd November 2014 Lot 36: Dotters’ Division with guest singer Faz Anam! Or at least that is what the poster says, never mind that Faz is actually a guitarist, and her name is actually Faz Aznam. Because of this poster, we’d been cajoling her in the days leading to this gig to sing (and we also lovingly called her Ah Nam, a running joke from when her name was misspelt the same way at No Black Tie!) Also, that’s a picture I took of Dotters’ Division, ever willing to strike a photogenic band pose!
The band, sans Audrey the saxophonist.
Rebecca has a new style and we dig it.
Jie Er/Joey gets to play a lot of bass lines.
Linet on keyboards leads the band.
To her left is Faz.
A birthday boy!
Melissa the powerful vocalist, who also does guitar duty.
They also covered Faz’s song, Hurt, with her on vocals. I’d normally hear a stripped-down version with her other band, Calico. Super glad to hear Faz sing it!
Fast-forward to 17th January 2015, also with Dotters’ Division! So I blogged about 2014 and 2015 in one post, making this span 2 years!
Rebecca’s got a ponytail now!
Yes we’re all excited to see the return of…
…Audrey the saxophonist and occasional bearer of shaky things that make noise!
The band showed her how much they missed her…
…by caringly placing her sneakers in appropriate locations.
I did, too, with this. (She didn’t know until she got home – had I owned up then, she might not have introduced me to her mom!)
14th January 2015: Urban Sunset with Crinkle Cut and The Maha Jeffery Band.
Urban Sunset starts at sunset…
…with two bands, performing two alternating 45 minute sets.
First act: acoustic loungey Crinkle Cut!
Ashley’s cute bunny tail.
The Maha Jeffery Band!
Malcolm starts on cajon.
What a lovely finish on the guitar!
During the second set for Crinkle Cut, Kelly Siew was invited to sing along. Here she is saying “no no no no no” to Melissa (who is fond of that phrase.)
Frances with Kelly.
Not sure who is taller!
In previous gigs, they’d cover Musiq Soulchild – Sunny (Just Friends) and I noticed that the chord progression was very much like Sly & The Family Stone – If You Want Me To Stay. I’d been bugging them to hear that song and cover it… and they finally did! So here’s their medley… with a twist! It not only included both songs but started with Bobby Hebb – Sunny. I liked how Frances further broke up the rhythm of Sly’s already broken up funk vocals.
Then came The Maha Jeffery Band’s second set, with Malcolm now on drums.
Meanwhile, outside, a tug of war was happening.
These guys are old-school blues rockers!
Fast-forward to the 28th of January 2015.
Yup, same lineup!
This is how a sound engineer gets in the mix.
Diggin’ Ashley’s new hair.
Crinkle Cut takes their themes seriously.
Foreground becomes bokeh, seriously.
Sound engineers, imbalanced.
I worry about other things, like picking the right white balance for pictures. I shoot RAW so I can deliberate on this, but I usually end up picking an in-between that shows the most color tones e.g. I will dial it so there is an equal amount of blue and orange on the primary subject.
Sometimes though, I may keep a bit of warmth or crop more.
This picture had a fair amount of green versus magenta in the background. Picking the middle allows both parts to appear separate.
Another two-tone white balance (you can tell from the face.)
At this point, I managed to play with 3 classic lenses – the Contax G Carl Zeiss Biogon T* 21mm F2.8, the Contax G Carl Zeiss Planar T* 45mm F2.0, and the Contax G Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 90mm F2.8…
…all thanks to this dude who I hadn’t seen in 2 years. He also brought an adapter which had its own dial to turn the screw-drive focus on the Contax G lenses, since they were auto-focus lenses when on a Contax G body. The perspective hints that this was the 45mm F2.0.
Sam Soon, Amrita’s sister, with a very nice-looking Ibanez SA160 Quilted-Maple Top in Transparent Grey.
Melissa (Toh) played with my Sony Alpha 7S and Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 Dark Knight Pro edition lens, and snapped a few shots.
This one, for example, of emcee and organizer Shaneil.
This one, with the Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake lens.
And now, for a selfie!
Nicolas Ritom. Awesome stuff – something new, and something real old. I sadly don’t remember because I didn’t write it down.
Shaneil Devaser (joined later by Ian Tai.)
This would be the last BALLSY! at Page 2, sadly. The next BALLSY! was supposed to be here, too, but Page 2 suddenly moved to Ipoh, so it was relocated to Merdekarya 2 days before the event. This is what Page 2 looked like on the night the next BALLSY! was supposed to happen!
Loco, formerly of Poetic Ammo, auctions off the T-shirt he is wearing – a rare T-shirt indeed!
This vinyl of The Mighty Imperials – Thunder Chicken didn’t get much bidding, sadly.
Shame though, because it is a dope funk track!
Lions Of Shadow Moon.
Wait a minute. These aren’t rock stars. These guys look like they rap.
Yup that’s right – my first proper full-on hip-hop gig! I’d been meaning to check out this scene for a long time, but Raising The Bar, usually being on Sunday evening, clashed with either me being out somewhere or being lazy at home, or blogging.
Auctioning a snapback cap to raise funds for the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, badly affected by floods.
Gotta love their T-shirts!
These guys joget to their beats, too!
All stage shots with the Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 Dark Knight Pro edition.
The low light capabilities of the camera help me freeze everything no matter the aperture.
Jin Hackman, host and emcee, hops into the crowd.
Introducing Vandal properly…
I didn’t get the right focus, but I still like these pictures.
The crowd bops!
The Bat Cave.
They had some serious metal riffage in one of the tracks, and the crowd started moshing! I like this scene already.
I don’t know what goes on here.
Members entering and exiting the stage…
…that the only way I can filter pictures for repeats…
…is to identify them by their caps.
I lost count, but there’s supposed to be 10 of them.
Jin is damn cute here.
It’s a bit of a sausagefest though, this scene, as the emcees would note.
Shame, because every act was top-notch in energy and showmanship.
It was also Jin’s birthday, where he turned 28!
The gig was nice and clean and safe and then boom! Drive-by with a NERF gun.