Urbanscapes Highlands


6th December 2014: Urbanscapes 2014, at Awana Horse Ranch, Genting Highlands! Here’s the second (and last) part.


It is a place to bump into old friends who have blossomed into spoken-word-readers!


Acquaintances busy at work I didn’t get to say hi!


Rock stars not too famous to take a picture with!


Yeah, I tried it.


Don’t look at me!


The standard straight-on hipster pose.


Mural Cubes.


This video should have some good bokeh, at such a distance.


Finally! Some onesies! Where is the caterpillar onesie I was hoping for?


Spin and see if you’re lucky.


Spin inside.


The Market Of Experiences.


Tongue In Chic! Joyce’s hair isn’t the yummy-looking pink floss anymore.


This should be interesting.


This was what I originally thought the horse ranch was. I remember always seeing this as the bus would pass by on the way up to Genting Highlands.


Biji Biji.


Like a walk-in science center!


Anytime is selfie time.


Be kind, rewind.


Cycle power!


Liyana Fizi spotted with a cool banana umbrella!


Didi meanwhile has a banana holder, with a banana inside! A banana inside a banana? That’s bananas!


Regretfully, this picture is out of focus.


It started to rain, and these poor chaps were stuck inside.


Those with raincoats and hoodies braved it.


I didn’t bring an umbrella since last year’s Urbanscapes didn’t allow it in; instead I brought a hoodie that was somewhat waterproof. It also shielded against the Genting breeze, that was sadly non-existent that night.


Inside one of the many tents where hipsters sook refuge.


Jia Wen’s smile is unmistakeable.


Bumped into Jolin, who introduced me to so many important people back in the day.


The camwhoring continues.


Return of the space cowgirl!


I missed every act at the Upfront stage…


…but at the Urbanscapes stage…


…I did not miss Kimbra.


I can see why everyone is in love with her.


She’s just like in the videos, crazy and kooky dance moves on stage.


Instruments changed, but her dress stayed.


I bumped into Kingsley earlier, who gave me a ride down Genting that night. We’d jammed, sort of, in the now demolished Pekeliling flats.


DJ Leng Yein spotted just before we left!

Urbanscapes 2014: The Democratic Mayor’s Republic Of North Bangsar


6th December 2014: Urbanscapes 2014, at Awana Horse Ranch, Genting Highlands! I took so many pictures that I had to split this blog post into two parts.


But first, a look at The Democratic Mayor’s Republic Of North Bangsar, a gigantic walk-in parody full of puns and comics, all for picture-taking and laughing. Oh, and Zunar.


A road burial site.


Oh so punny!


See if you can figure out which section of Bangsar this is supposed to rhyme with.


This, too!


They’re on a roll here.


An iconic staple of Bangsar, of course…


Another place I know in Bangsar.


Inside, posters with Jon Mayor adorn the place.


They even have their own doctor, and their own hospital.


A gym, too!


The inside.


More great portraits of Jon Mayor, Supreme Leader.


His biography, spotted on a lighted cube.


The other side.


Yup, his pet car Pony Eusoff.


More glorious representations of the Supreme Leader.


A mural.


A cinema, showing posters of movies he was featured in!


Sadly, I did not get to watch any of them.


On the plus side, they did show his artwork.


Some wild animals captured, on display.


Jon Mayor, with Tenacious D.


Jon Mayor takes a selfie, like all good politicians out there in touch with their citizens.


Through a peekhole.


Perhaps it was time I went to see the Mayor!


There he was, upstairs, approachable as always. I kissed his hand for good measure, as a sign of respect and submission.


There was music! Lawrence Graham had a DJ set.


There were YouTube superstars!


There was poetry and spoken word!


Freedom of speech!


Sheena, not the punk rocker.


The crowd was colorful.


+2db +Jon Mayor (who’d later have a DJ set, which I missed.)


I did not, however, miss his speech. This was the beginning of Comedy Hour – Kuah Jenhan & Rakan Rakan.


He truly believes in multi-racial representation, with a token Indian comedian…


…and a token Malay one, who is also female! Sharmaine would also point out the postcode of North Bangsar is a cheeky 80085.


And, of course, an educated doctor.

Moonshine: Spotlight ft Tilu, Dash, Anna Chong & Reza Salleh / December 2014 Edition


4th December 2014: Moonshine: Spotlight ft Tilu, Dash, Anna Chong & Reza Salleh / December 2014 Edition at Laundry Bar, The Curve. Here’s hardworking organizer and emcee Reza Salleh!


Anna Chong.


Her music is ever haunting and mesmerizing.


Accompaniment.


She gets all tribal.


In the crowd, and Christmas bokeh.


Reza Salleh next.


Long-time bassist Melina.


Adriane on drums this time.


Next up…


Tilu!


His afro, hidden this time.


Regular saxman.


They have a jazzy pop sound.


Been a while since I’d seen this band around!


Wider shots with the Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 Dark Knight Pro edition.


So there’s someone else who likes bringing backpacks on stage!


Last act of the night…


…and also for Moonshine…


…was the band of Darren Ashley…


…called Dash.


Ryan tends to have cool T-shirts.


Sometimes Laundry has cool background lighting.


Darren the electropop cat.


John the evil brother-in-law.


Opposing like Capture The Flag colors!


Can’t decide which of the two pictures I prefer.


Drum not-so-solo!


The end.


Reza announced that it was the last Moonshine, after a great run of 9 years, as Laundry found it running at a loss. Sad, and coincidentally, Az Samad’s open mic at The Venue ran 9 times; Amrita Soon’s Treehouse open mic also ran 9 times.


We didn’t want to leave just yet, with the scene coming out in full force.


The sign at the entrance.


And now, for a bonus section!


Pictures taken by random people; I don’t know who took what, but I know I didn’t take them. I like this shot very much!


Maybe he did.


Lean on me.


Darren in the crowd.


Son Of A Policeman’s bassist.


Ivan.


Leatherwoman.


Vaaalerie.


All hail the king of the night that allowed these pictures in the dark to be taken with such clarity, my Sony Alpha 7S.


Yvonne lookin’ all suspicious and shit.

Feedback Open Mic ft Reza Salleh & Fazz @ The Bee Publika / December 2014 Edition


25th November 2014: Feedback Open Mic ft Reza Salleh & Fazz @ The Bee Publika / December 2014 Edition. Didn’t catch this guy’s name.


Ajantaro.


Jack Fastbeats?


Ziel.


Saturday Afternoon on a Tuesday evening.


Didn’t catch this band’s name.


Don’t know who took this shot of Jone, Fazz’s drummer.


Defusion. Awesome instrumental groove metal!


Reza Salleh, first featured act.


Regular bassist Melina…


…and a surprise Adriane on drums! We’d not seen him in this format for the longest time.


Shane Tan and Kelly Siew, in the crowd.


Caught Red-Handed.


Raja Farouque of Fazz with Kelly Siew. He also plays guitar for her.


Now, Fazz!


Second featured act…


…and always smiley.


I wouldn’t know why keyboardists always take this side of the stage.


Shane took this picture with the Sony Playmemories app on his phone. You can’t see it in the picture as it’s hidden.


Donna Marie.


Talitha Tan.


Love the Capture-The-Flag color scheme!


Fikri Azam.


Eloise Lau. I’d been waiting for her to come to this and blow the crowd away, and blow the crowd away she did. I saw Fariz of Saturday Afternoon with the look of falling in love, and I wanted to tell his bandmate Melissa, who was sitting behind him, that Fariz had that look, when I realized she, too, was falling in love.


Sasha.

BFM Life: Come Out and Play


16th November 2014: BFM Life: Come Out and Play, at The Bee, Publika.


On the way there, I bumped into Ian Tai for the Merdekarya busker thing they have in the concourse area of Publika!


A rather cool giant capacitive touchscreen.


I’d label the deejays, but I can’t find a list of deejays to help identify them.


She, I know lah. Shelah!


Sharaad Kuttan (left) and Fuad Rahmat (right).


Angeline Teh pointing at things! And people!


These are all crops from my Sony Alpha 7S and Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 Dark Knight Pro edition, because I’m lazy like that.


Bihzhu!


Aggrobeats!


Selfie!

Feedback Open Mic @ The Bee Jaya One ft. Calico & Sulyn / November 2014 Edition


11th November 2014: Feedback Open Mic @ The Bee Jaya One ft. Calico & Sulyn / November 2014 Edition. Here’s Reza Salleh, emcee and organizer. First time I’d see him with an electric guitar!


Josiah.


Ariff AB.


Jia Wen is pretty good at this Mowember thing.


I just have my unibrow.


Ian Steven.


Calico, first featured act. Faz singing her tune, yay!


Sulyn Ooi, second featured act.


I’d see Ian for the first time since his accident.


Straw.


So pretty!


Wai Leong & Friends.


Wai Leong with his cool headless guitar; it had a floating bridge that could be locked!


Red Panda.


Rachel, with someone who looks just like Red Panda playing guitar for her.


Tiah In The Faz Lane.

Not My Average Friday Evening

I was walking around Desa Sri Hartamas sometime after 7pm, 16th January 2015. I was waiting to meet my friend who had a tendency to be late.

I walked past Kantin to the road leading to Souled Out. I was near the place that used to have a burger truck and shisha.

Somebody grabbed me from behind, with his right arm around my neck and asked “kau pergi mana?” I was confused. I turned around expecting to see Tarquin Hashimi?, my friend who had a tendency to surprise me from behind with a bear grab. It wasn’t him.

I asked if he was a policeman, as he was not dressed in uniform as he escorted me, with his arm around my neck, towards Jalan 26A/70A (where the big police station was). He didn’t seem to concerned about cars as we crossed the road, and no cars honked, interestingly. I asked him to show his kad kuasa (Police authority card) but he did not.

He asked where I stayed and I replied with which Taman I stayed in. Then he asked again, louder, and I answered again. He asked what I worked as. I said, “saya buat Android app”. He said “pfft apa benda buat Android app” as if he did not believe me.

I asked what I did wrong and I do not remember what he replied, or if he replied to my question at all.

Upon entering I was brought into the nearest door facing the entrance. The corridor made a sharp left, where I entered the second door on the left. The room had a window with curtains behind it that faced the outside.

There were altogether 5 of us in that room. The guy who grabbed me looked a bit like Aizat Amdan. (I will refer to him as Aizat* from now on.) To my right, a skinny cop who looked like a guy I know called Areef (who I’ll call Areef*). Another guy in a crew cut with a mole to the side of his mouth, to the left of Aizat*. There was another guy on a laptop with a scanner/printer combo.

They asked for my NRIC, which I handed to them. They asked me to empty my pockets and bag.

Areef* asked me to unlock my phone and he went through it, scrolling through pictures. He saw the MyDistress app and asked what it was. I told him it would send a distress signal to PDRM Selangor. He was probably curious since it had a PDRM logo on it.

They saw my Politiko notebook and asked about it, saying it was a benda subversif pembangkang. “Ni geng Adam Adli ni”. I said it was just a “benda free”. Aizat* went through it, and I pointed out the Android app mocks that I had drawn in it. There were also some Transformers sketches and some notes about Copyright Law, which he noticed as well. There was also a list of band names, which they asked about. I said that I had written down the names for one of the open mics I went for.

They saw my camera and Aizat* asked how to turn it on. He then looked through the pictures. I then said that there are pictures there, including of Rock The World. “Gambar gig”, I said.

They asked why I was resisting and I said I was scared. I told them I thought they were going to rob me. They asked, “kau pernah kena samun ke?” I said no. They asked again, and I said no again. They told me that if a robber wanted to rob me, a robber would have immediately gotten out the knife.

Then I said that usually when police stop me they ask me to show their NRIC. Even when I’ve seen foreigners, they do not get grabbed from behind, but they get blocked and asked for identification.

They said that they will not courteously “baaang, minta tolong tunjuk IC” in a soft, gentle voice. They said that they were “tegas, bukan kasar”.

Areef* then took his turn at explaining. He grabbed my wrist and asked, “kalau saya tangkap kamu macam ini, kamu boleh lari tak?” “Tak”, I replied. He asked again, “kalau saya tangkap kamu macam ini, kamu boleh lari tak?” “Er, boleh?” I answered. So he explained that is why they had to grab me from behind on the neck.

So then I asked how I could tell if they were robbers or cops. They said that if I had shouted, “tolong ada orang nak samun saya!” and a member of the public intervened by trying to stop Aizat*, then he or his partner would show his kad kuasa.

They explained that by bringing me to the police station that they were actual cops, and if they were not, they would have been stopped at the entrance (but the main gate was open anyway, with a guardhouse.)

They asked why I was walking around aimlessly. I said that I was waiting for a friend. The crew cut cop said that if I was to wait for a friend, I would sit down at a mamak and have a drink. I explained that I did not want to do that as I was going for dinner later and I’d be full of water. He questioned that. I said I had stomach problems, and they laughed.

Aizat then asked how long I’d been going for gigs. In my head I would’ve said 8 years (actually, 14 now that I think of it) but I stumbled and said 2. He later asked again and I said 3-4 years. So he said he had been going for Rock The World since he was 13, and he only missed one. (So did I, and if he missed Rock The World 1 as well, that would make him around 27.) He then asked me which was the best one and I said, the one with 3 stages where two were facing out and one in the middle. He said that was around 2007-2008.

Then he said that I should not say gigs because gigs ada elemen subversif. The pictures he saw, of open mics, were “muzik budak-budak, bukan gig sebenar. Lain kali jangan kata gig”.

So yes, the police have seen your pictures. My SD card went all the way back to Rock The World 14, so if I saw you perform then, so did Aizat*.

He also saw my Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon, a third-party Megatron toy that transforms into a realistic-looking handgun. Fortunately, he also saw pictures of it in robot mode, so he did not question me on that.

Finally, Aizat* asked that I stand up. He asked me if I knew what I was in the room for. “Er… sebab jalan-jalan tak tentu?” Then he said that it was because I was suspicious and he suspected me of concealing a weapon.

The cop on the computer printed a few copies of the report and got Areef* and Aizat* to sign. Aizat* realized he signed on the wrong part and went “tsssk”.

I did not have any statement or sign anything. They did not ask me to put my thumbprint on their report, either.

I asked if I could see the report (presumably in this context, I do not own the report). They said that I could not. They then asked under which Section of the law that I could see the report, to which I could not answer.

Areef* appeared from behind the window, smoking a cigarette. It was then I realized there was a window there.

Finally, Aizat* walked me out, and said that they’d been getting reports of a Chinese guy breaking car windows around the area. (In retrospect, that has been happening for quite a while now so I do feel sorry for Aizat* and fellow policemen, you haven’t found the right guy yet.)

I was just about to say, “okay see you at Rock The World!” but then my friend called at 7:53PM and so I said “see?” I spoke loudly to my friend how I was brought in to the police station. He picked me up and we went to a warung where Gerak Khas was playing, and we wondered if they ever showed the police arresting people who they thought were suspicious and finding out they were innocent.

I was quite shaken by the experience and nearly in tears as I walked out. My friend picked me up and I was just very, very thirsty. I cannot imagine though for someone who had not read the Red Book once (it tells you what to do when stopped by police) how they would feel! So it was not exactly as I thought it was, of course, and they did not tell me the reason for arrest until the end when he asked me stand up. In fact, I did not even ask if I was under arrest, and I did not ask for any of their names or identification. However, upon re-reading the Red Book, because Aizat* wanted to take me to the Police Station, I was thus under arrest.

I also felt shaken because, instead of shouting for help, I instead checked to see if it was my friend! I should’ve just shouted for help, as the elbow around neck could also be a kidnapper’s posture.

It’s interesting how a policeman’s logic and my logic is different. Similiarly, my mom’s logic and mine are different (her dad was a police officer, but I don’t know if I could call her a “anak kuarters”). So no, I don’t hate police, not because my grandfather was one, but because I understand that we all come from different backgrounds, different experiences, and they’ve been looking for the car-window-breaker for a while now while I wouldn’t think about it except when walking around Desa Sri Hartamas or SS2.

Here’s the link to the Red Book, in English and Malay, that talks about what to do when stopped by police, and your rights:
http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=333&Itemid=120

P.S. I’ve just spoken to a lawyer, who thinks that if they suspected me of carrying a weapon, there should be no reason for them to approach from the front, so I have no case against them. Which is fine by me – I was just curious if there was. So friends, now you know!

Edited 1:45AM, 26th January 2015: A rough sketch, in that POLITIKO notebook. X marks the spot I was grabbed from.

Moonshine: Upcoming ft Rashdan Harith Band, Jumero, Nastia & Ardiv Jauhari / November 2014 Edition


6th November 2014: Moonshine: Upcoming ft Rashdan Harith Band, Jumero, Nastia & Ardiv Jauhari / November 2014 Edition at Laundry Bar, The Curve. Here’s emcee and organizer Reza Salleh!


First act of the night…


Nastia!


A bunch of familiar faces.


They brought a big crowd!


Liyana Fizi!


She was called up to sing a song.


Keyboardist.


This guy was alternating between many different instruments, including the accordion.


The charismatic vocalist!


Yes, that is a microphone stand blurred out in front.


Then came Jumero.


Referred to as those boys who dress for the beach in slippers and play barefoot. I’ve heard this from a few strangers before!


Yet another Ryan on drums.


Just a random shot outside.


Rashdan Harith Band!


Sessioning for them, Simmy.


Ash with dashing hair.


Zaim which… is difficult to rhyme with.


Man this dude can shred!


Ardiv Jauhari.


That is a dope cap and a dope-looking bass.


Drummers. Ah, the main reason to bring a telephoto lens!


This, too, with a telephoto, from the side.


You can tell, though, by how the background subjects are nearly the same size as the foreground subjects, that the picture was taken from far away, and a telephoto was used to get a tight composition. It is the distance that gives that compressed perspective.


For nearer subjects, a 50mm on full-frame gives a perspective quite like this.


Zaim and his band members from Tilu, who I had not seen in a while!

JAMFEST 2014 FINALE – A TRIBUTE TO QUEEN


29th October 2014: JAMFEST 2014 FINALE – A TRIBUTE TO QUEEN, at Backyard Pub, Sri Hartamas.


Rock N Rolla was the band playing all the tributes!


I arrived somewhere in the middle of the first set.


Like a proper tribute should, all songs were Queen covers. Rafique Rashid would’ve been pleased!


Oh and Halloween was two days away!


All shots by the Sony Alpha 7S and Mitakon/ZhongYi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 Dark Knight Pro edition.


Hot solos!


Then came the charismatic vocalist…


Vijay David!


He was leaping and pouncing all over the stage!


Definitely embodying Freddie Mercury.


Here is a cover with an awesome guitar solo intro, of Another One Bites The Dust.

Feedback Open Mic ft Nakedbreed & Rashdan Harith Band @ The Bee Publika / October 2014 Edition


28th October 2014: Feedback Open Mic ft Nakedbreed & Rashdan Harith Band @ The Bee Publika / October 2014 Edition. Here’s Samantha!


Fadli.


Annatasha.


Ajantaro Dan Ahli Silap Mata (with Hameer!)


Ukulele-slappin’ Az Samad.


He brings a totally different sound to it than you normally hear.


Musicians.


Emcee Hameer Zawawi!


Defusion.


Awesome sludge/groove metal!


First featured act, Rashdan Harith Band!


A to the Z.


Simmy has a very directed glare.


Second featured act, Naked Breed.


Let’s go back 2 centuries in music! (Well, I tire of saying 90s music.)


Once in a while, I enjoy a switchup like this, where the watermark is colored and the picture is not.


The Filters & Mazrul.


Ammal & Ahmol. The ukulele bass sounded very much like an actual bass. I suddenly want one, given that the one thing that puts me off a bass is the scale length!


The Message.


The Filters. Yeah, this is a setup shot, but I find it cute.


Wai Leong & Friends, bringing the jazz.


The Boohoorah.


A Virtuous Cycle.