Transformers: Masterpieces!


Here’s the last of my Transformers series, for now. Hasbro Masterpiece Thundercracker! (Yes, the stand has a typo, saying Thunder Cracker.)


Takara Tomy Masterpiece MP-17 Prowl.


Next to Takara Tomy Masterpiece MP-12 Sideswipe.


From back: Hasbro Masterpiece Soundwave, Hasbro Masterpiece Thundercracker on Hasbro Masterpiece Optimus Prime, Takara Tomy Masterpiece MP-12 Sideswipe.


Prowl’s sexy back.


Optimus Prime, mid-transformation. Note the light blue eyes, the way it should be, cartoon-style.


Getting his Matrix fix in his battle station.


This explains where the trailer goes when he transforms – Roller drives out of the trailer, and tows the trailer away to a safe place.


Based on Takara Tomy Masterpiece MP-10 Optimus Prime, he has a magnificent cartoon-based sculpt.


Clockwise from front right: Takara Tomy Masterpiece MP-12 Sideswipe, Reveal The Shield Special Ops Jazz, Generations Wheeljack, Generations Springer, Hasbro Masterpiece Optimus Prime.


I love Sideswipe’s paint job. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!


Sexy back, too. He’s a lot easier to transform than Prowl.


Here he is with Alternators Sideswipe, who had lousy leg articulation.


Perspective makes Alternators Sideswipe look smaller, although he is a 1:24 scale car. I don’t know what scale Masterpiece Sideswipe is.

Transformers, Deluxe

And now, for a smaller run – my Transformers Prime collection, and other deluxe figures!


Left: Generations Sergeant Kup, right: Prime Sergeant Kup.


I obviously like the Generations mould better.


“Damn kids! Get off my lawn!”


Left to right: Generations Sergeant Kup, Prime Sergeant Kup, Prime Cliffjumper First Edition.


Left: Prime Wheeljack on United Scrapheap, right: Prime Cliffjumper First Edition on Takara Tomy United Wreck-Gar.


That they can ride each other is very cool! Here’s United Scrapheap on Takara Tomy United Wreck-Gar…


…and Takara Tomy United Wreck-Gar on United Scrapheap!


Prime Cliffjumper First Edition, a very handsome muscle car.


It even has a slightly painted rear.


Awesome shadow, too.


Prime Starscream First Edition.


Quite a bit of kibble for the back, but otherwise slender profile.


Generations Autobot Springer. Not a triple-changer, and a bit clunky.


He does have an awesome helicopter mode, though.


Reveal The Shield Special Ops Jazz. My favorite version of Jazz, even beating Alternators Meister (Jazz) because it doesn’t have loose shoulders.


The face is spot on!


Prime Wheeljack.


Also a sexy back.


Not the engineer we knew.


Yes, I love Wheeljack too. Left to right: Unrelated Prime Vehicon, Prime Wheeljack, Generations Wheeljack, Cybertron Downshift, Energon Powerlink Downshift. Due to licensing issues, Transformers often get renamed, to get their proper names back later (in the case of Wheeljack.)


Slightly off topic, but here’s IDW Orion Pax.


First official mould of Orion Pax, and a good one.


Unrelated Takara Tomy Animated Bulkhead.


Left to right: Prime Starscream First Edition, Prime Vehicon, Prime Cliffjumper First Edition, Prime Wheeljack.


Fall Of Cybertron Shockwave.


The cold guardian.


Left to right: Prime Vehicon, Prime Vehicon First Edition. One of the rare cases where the First Edition is weaker in design.


In vehicle mode however the First Edition (on the right) is beefier.


First Edition. With clunky shoulder transformation.


Not first edition. Like a cockroach-inspired drone.

Transformers: Triple-Changers And Dinosaurs!


First up, my darling theropods. From left: Energon Grimlock, Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Dinobot, Classics Grimlock. Dinobot is the odd one out, being a velociraptor instead of a tyrannosaurus rex.


Clockwise from front-right: Classics Grimlock, Energon Grimlock, Energon Swoop, Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Dinobot.


Energon Grimlock and Energon Swoop combine to form Energon Mega-Dinobot, a rare and clunky two-figure combiner. Here he is in scale to Hasbro Masterpiece Soundwave and Hasbro Fall Of Cybertron Bruticus Generation 2 in the background.


I’d forgotten to put this in the previous blog entry about combiners. This is Reveal The Shield Deluxe Optimus Prime with Make Toys Battle Tanker add-on. Not mine – belongs to Amir, a colleague of mine.


This, too. Star Wars Transformers Millenium Falcon (who becomes a Space Balls-like Han Solo and Chewbacca) on the right, and Takara Tomy Reissue Unicron (Amir’s) on the left, without the plates that make him a spherical planet.


Another one I forgot – headshots of the Robots In Disguise Build Team peeking out.


Another – TFC Hercules, in his vehicle form, minus TFC Exgraver not-Scavenger. Amir’s as well.


Knock-off Fansproject City Commander…


…an add-on for Classics Optimus Prime.


Yeah, I quite miss the old office. Left to right: Chuck, the yellow Angry Bird, best of the original; Energon Powerlink Tow-Line, Energon Powerlink Prowl, Energon Powerlink Rodimus, Energon Powerlink Inferno, Energon Powerlink Energon Hot Shot, Energon Powerlink Downshift, Generations Wheeljack, Prime Wheeljack, Cybertron Downshift, Robots In Disguise Grimlock, Robots In Disguise Hightower, Robots In Disguise Heavy Load, Robots In Disguise Wedge, Takara Tomy United Wreck-Gar, Alternators Ravage, Alternators Mirage, Alternators Decepticon Rumble, Alternators Grimlock, Alternators Hound. Whew!


Now that all that is out of the way, here come some triple-changers! Clockwise from front-right: Classics Bumblebee, Classics Astrotrain, Classics Tankor (Octane), Fansproject Warcry. Bumblebee is not a triple-changer. Warcry technically is a quadruple-changer since he can become an arm or leg… but he doesn’t have the parts.


Either triple-changers or quadruple-changers here. From front-right: Generations Springer, Fall Of Cybertron Onslaught, Fall Of Cybertron Swindle, Fall Of Cybertron Brawl, Takara Tranformers Collection Re-Issue #17 Blitzwing, Animated Blitzwing, Generations Blitzwing, Fall Of Cybertron Soundwave. Soundwave can take an unofficial form as a boombox, just like in the game!


I break the above rule for these aerial fighters.

From left to right, front row: Fall Of Cybertron Vortex, Takara Tranformers Collection Re-Issue #17 Blitzwing, Takara Tomy Prime Arms Micron Vehicon General, Fall Of Cybertron Blast Off.

From left to right, middle row: Generations Springer, Generations Blitzwing, Animated Blitzwing.

From left to right, back row: Transformers Star Wars Millenium Falcon (Hans Solo and Chewbacca), Hasbro Masterpiece Thundercracker.


Generations Blitzwing has a very customizable form, once you get past the weak shoulders and hard-to-flip face-swap mechanism, both of which can be fixed with a bit of hacking – look it up on YouTube.


The standard jet form, from the back.


A War For Cybertron-styled custom transformation.


His default face is the best-looking.


He was born to spar with Generations Springer, who has the best frame I’ve ever seen in a Transformer.


His athletic look has prompted many a colleague, who’d just pass by and ignore the Transformers, to genuinely ask: How much is this one?


He also has a custom fourth form – gerwalk mode!


His lesser-liked helicopter mode.


Still, I have the most Blitzwings. In fact, I have all triple-changing Blitzwings there ever were! Left to right: Animated Blitzwing, Generations Blitzwing, Takara Tranformers Collection Re-Issue #17 Blitzwing.


The face-swap gimmick I spoke of first showed up in Animated Blitzwing, himself an awesome figure with great articulation. You’d roll a dial on the back of his head to turn his face around inside its helmet.


All the triple-changers I can remember, in road-worthy form. From front-right: Generations Springer, Fansproject Warbot, Transmetal Airazor, Transmetal Tarantulas (as a motorbike, not obvious), Classics Tankor, Classics Astrotrain, Takara Tranformers Collection Re-Issue #11 Astrotrain, Takara Tranformers Collection Re-Issue #17 Blitzwing, Animated Blitzwing, Generations Blitzwing.


Same as above, just in aerial form, except Transmetal Tarantulas, who has become a tarantula.


Again, as robots.

Transformers Combine!


I also have a thing for Transformers that combine and merge into what is unofficially known as a gestalt – a larger robot made of smaller robots who transform themselves. This is Fall Of Cybertron Bruticus Generation 2!


A key thing about combiner teams is that the members must be able to transform between two modes as well, and a third mode which is as a part of the combiner. There are some combiners that have drones that are only in vehicle mode and don’t transform into robots. I don’t consider those worth collecting.


Another plus point is when they have a fourth mode – usually only applying to figures that are usually arms but can become legs, or legs that can become arms. The center torso guy doesn’t have a fourth mode.


There are also third-party combiner figures. This is Fansproject Warcry. I didn’t do my research before buying – this did not come with the extra parts needed to merge with Energon Bruticus!


He is supposed to be an Energon Bruticus-compatible version of Swindle. Here’s Generation 2 Swindle on the left.


Here are a whole lot of white space shuttles. Clockwise from top-right: Fansproject Flameblast, Takara Tranformers Collection Re-Issue #11 Astrotrain, Generation 2 Blast Off, Classics Astrotrain. Although I have Energon Powerlink Jetfire, I’ve omitted him from this picture.


From left: Generation 2 Blast Off, Fansproject Flameblast, Takara Tranformers Collection Re-Issue #11 Astrotrain, Classics Astrotrain.

Astrotrain is a triple-changer, but I’ll leave the triple-changing collection to be blogged later.

Flameblast is supposed to be an Energon Bruticus-compatible version of Blast Off, also regrettably missing the extra parts. What I really should have got was the Fansproject Munitioner and Explorer two-pack.


Clockwise from front-right: Energon Sledge, Fansproject Flameblast, Fansproject Warcry, Energon Duststorm, Energon Kickback, Energon Barricade, Energon Stormcloud. I initially collected these Decepticon combiners (before the Fansproject guys) to form a Decepticon gestalt; they were from the Energon Constructicon Maximus and Energon Bruticus Maximus sets. The Energon combiners got lazy – there are only 3 unique molds for 5 characters, with two pairs of twins in different colors, and one unique torso figure. I didn’t buy double, but I skipped Energon Steamhammer, the torso figure for Energon Constructicon Maximus, thus making 5 figures exactly.

I did however buy the full set of Energon Superion Maximus, all in separate boxes. Nope, I don’t keep any Transformers MISB (Mint In Sealed Box).


One such combination! I could reuse Kickback’s foot for Fansproject Warcry.


This time, with Energon Sky Shadow as the left leg and Energon Windrazor as the left arm. You can also spot TFC Madblender not-Mixmaster in the back, and Robots In Disguise Landfill (as the Build Team).


TFC Hercules not-Devastator and THS-02 Hybrid Style Convoy (Optimus Prime). Both are not mine, but Amir’s, a colleague of mine.


This has got to be one of the handsomest of the third-party Devastators to storm the market.


Size comparison from left to right: Fansproject Protector not-Rodimus Prime-add-on’s not-Offshoot, Reveal The Shield Deluxe Optimus Prime with Make Toys Battle Tanker add-on, War Machine, Energon Powerlink Downshift on Energon Powerlink Rodimus, Classics Hot Rod with Fansproject Protector add-on, Robots In Disguise Landfill, and part of TFC Hercules. Mine? The Powerlink pair and Landfill; the rest belong to Amir.


Powerlink pairs are interesting; they have four forms – robot, vehicle, upper body, and lower body. Please pardon my laziness to omit the medicine and notes from the picture.

Clockwise from front-right: Energon Powerlink Inferno, Energon Powerlink Downshift (who should be named Wheeljack), Energon Powerlink Prowl (who should be named Mirage), Energon Powerlink Tow-Line, Energon Powerlink Energon Hot Shot (The extra Energon in its name implies that it is the silver recolor – sad that I could not find the first version, as each other figure is the first version.)


Classics Hot Rod with Fansproject Protector add-on. Pardon the lack of foresight on the shallow depth of field.


Robots In Disguise Landfill is amazing. He’s made out of just four parts; three of which can cycle between being both arms, the left leg, and the right leg. The chest plate and head is made from Wedge, the center guy. Everything else clips on. Ugly, but quite innovative for its time.


A knock-off Fansproject City Commander add-on for Classics Optimus Prime, and THS-02 Hybrid Style Convoy (Optimus Prime) riding on his shoulders.


Classics Hot Rod with Fansproject Protector add-on in the back, and Takara United Optimus Prime in front.


A regrettably blurry shot. From left: Fansproject Flameblast, Prime Wheeljack riding Takara Tomy United Wreck-Gar, Deluxe Barricade with Frenzy (from the first Michael Bay movie), Robots In Disguise Landfill, and yet another Energon combiner with Aerialbots for arms and Decepticons from different combiner teams for legs.


And now, on to the latest darling of the third-party series – Fansproject M3 not-Menasor!


Amazing articulation and component reuse!


His sword stows away on his back. The rails on the back are optional, to give him a skyscraper-ish form.


Fully articulated fingers and arms let him reach for his sword.


The torso is Diesel not-Motormaster. Love his head sculpt!


He can load up on all his extra bits, usually used to form the gestalt, like this. Hasbro Masterpiece Optimus Prime is in the background (the one based on Takara Tomy MP-10).


Here the not-Stunticon team is, in scale to Hasbro Masterpiece Optimus Prime, and Takara Tomy Masterpiece MP-12 Sideswipe and Takara Tomy Masterpiece MP-17 Prowl. Diesel cannot turn corners while Optimus has the articulation to.


Not-Stunticon team. From left to right:
- CA-10 T-Bone not-Wildrider
- CA-09 Car-Crash not-Breakdown
- CA-13 Diesel not-Motormaster
- CA-11 Down Force not-Drag Strip
- CA-12 Last Chance not-Dead End


Some sacrifices had to be made to allow for full articulation. The legs go on calf braces that connect to feet (as opposed to being formed entirely from the leg figure.) Same goes for the arms. The ultimate goal would be to not use any extra parts, like Fall Of Cybertron Bruticus!


Those are, at the moment, two goals that nobody has achieved just yet. Either you get a handsome combined mode at the expense of extra parts, or a frigid combined mode with no extra parts.

Also note that the arms and legs have been swapped. When a combiner can do this, it is said to have Scramble Power.

These pictures aren’t my full collection – I’ve got Generation 2 Aerialbots that I won’t take out, since Slingshot’s head broke (as is with all gold-colored plastic) and his head functions as the connector. I’ve also got Beast Wars Magnaboss, a three-figure combiner, that I’d have to dig up, too.

Soundwave And Friends!


After posting all the gigs I was to post, I went next through the Transformers pictures I had, all from various times over the years. I found it easier to separate them by category.

It so happens I have a thing for Soundwave and his ejecting minions (unofficially termed Cassetticons) – be it discs, guitars, missile packs or cassettes, like the original. My criteria was that the Soundwave toy must have at least one minion in order for me to buy him.


Left: Takara Tomy Masterpiece MP-13 Soundwave (not mine); right: Cybertron Soundwave.


Left: Hasbro Masterpiece Soundwave; right: Hasbro Masterpiece Optimus Prime. Notice how sleek and similar both their backs are!


Hasbro Masterpiece Soundwave has yellow eyes like the toy, but we all know that Decepticons have red eyes, so I used a Sharpie to color them in, so they would look glorious and red, like the Takara Tomy version.


He has a way of attaching Rumble and Frenzy’s kibble, as well as a snap-on grid.


One of the coolest poses you can get with him, is that he can press his own eject button, just like in the cartoon. Here you can see I had not painted his eyes in yet.


All his cassettes! The Hasbro version comes with all 5 – Ravage, Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Rumble, and Frenzy. Megatron, obviously, is not a cassette.


Those with red highlights rode together. Following the Generation 1 cartoon naming, Ravage is being ridden by Laserbeak in front, with Frenzy holding Megatron.


Takara Tomy Animated Soundwave, with Laserbeak, who is perched on Soundwave. Another rolling thing is that Laserbeak usually has a way to attach to Soundwave firmly.


Laserbeak transforms into a Dean-Razorback-V-styled electric guitar!


Even in vehicle mode, Soundwave implies a music box. Next to him is Takara Tomy Animated Bulkhead; they came together in a double pack.


Flying V, indeed!


Then there’s Hasbro Fall Of Cybertron Soundwave.


He ejects circular discs that are spring-loaded; when the discs are ejected, the impact from landing triggers their spring-loaded transformation. However you still need to adjust it just a bit to make it not look like it was dropped. Poor Ravage.


Frenzy’s feet need to be pulled out, and his arms need to flip down, before it can look right.


But hey, this is one classy guy, with awesome light piping.


He, too, can press his own eject button. Unfortunately, Laserbeak does not peg on his arm like the other Soundwave/Laserbeak versions do.


But enough of Soundwave! Let’s look at other versions of his minions. Here’s a gathering of birds of prey – clockwise from bottom-left: Takara Tomy Masterpiece Laserbeak, Hasbro Fall Of Cybertron Laserbeak, Cybertron Laserbeak, and the rare Energon Swoop, an Autobot.


I recently bought this pack of Takara Tomy Henkei Autobot Specialist figures – from left: Mirage, Ironhide, Hound and the odd Decepticon, Ravage.


Alternate mode. Sadly missing a part of Mirage! Ravage, as a cassette, can hook onto Hound’s back, just like in the cartoon, when it wanted to infiltrate the Autobot base.


Amazingly, it is about the same size as Masterpiece Ravage – which is the same size as the Generation 1 Ravage. This probably allows it to fit in Generation 1 Soundwave – it fit in my Masterpiece Soundwave!


Transformed, both look awesome.


Transformers Device Label Jaguar (Ravage) on the left, versus Alternators Ravage, who transforms into a Jaguar XK car.


Prime Rumble.


It can simulate the pummelling motion of the original Generation 1 character.


Next to the very handsome Reveal The Shield Special Ops Jazz. The Prime series is shorter, smaller, and hollower, sadly.


There was also a Alternators Decepticon Rumble, with spring-loaded piledrivers.


For scale, a bunch of Masterpiece figures – Hasbro Masterpiece Optimus Prime with trailer, and Takara Tomy Masterpiece MP-12 Sideswipe inside. On the left is Hasbro Masterpiece Soundwave, with Hasbro Masterpiece Thundercracker standing behind.


Lastly, a big gathering of pairs:
- TFC Hercules not-Devastator with Hasbro Fall Of Cybertron: Generation 2 Bruticus
- Fansproject Warbot Defender (one in robot mode, the other in armored vehicle mode)
- Alternators Jazz with Reveal The Shield Special Ops Jazz
- Classics Optimus Prime with THS-02 Hybrid Style Convoy (Optimus Prime)
- Cybertron Soundwave with Fall Of Cybertron Soundwave
- Prime Vehicon with Prime Vehicon First Edition

Spot the Classics Kup behind, and a giant 11x11x11 Rubik’s Cube, behind the 5x5x5 V-Cube and 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube if you will!

There will be more after this.

Dotters’ Division And Douche Manouche


12th April 2014: Dotters’ Division, at Phat Barrels, Publika!


Yup, this is not the usual lineup.


I’d have to look at the back row!


Here’s Linet, band leader and keyboardist.


Here’s Rebecca, holding the beat.


Sachie Amira, the first import singer, as Melissa was performing with her other band, Crinkle Cut, the same night.


Kevin Wong, on guitar, also filling in for guitar slinger Melissa.


Kevin Theseira, with the lovely glow from his new Asus Padfone 2, filling in on bass for Jie Er, who was playing in another state!


Whatchu looking at?


Linet also sings, sometimes.

Of all the stuff they sang, I enjoyed the most, the slow-fast cover of The Pointer Sisters – Fire (well it sounded like their cover of Bruce Springsteen’s song to me.)


Maybe he does, too.


Kevin gets bombed photographically.


Now I really can’t decide…


…if I like this or the previous one better.


Meanwhile, over at The Bee, Publika, The Lindy KL Swing Dance group swung over after a Swing Out! session at The Square, just outside. I actually went here first, then ran to Phat Barrels on the other end of Publika, and back to this when Dotters’ Division finished, but the sequence of pictures will not indicate this.


It was Douche Manouche!


They play gypsy jazz.


I was expecting to see Raja Farouque on double bass, but I guess not. (He had quit the band.)


Been a while since I’ve seen a slide-in acoustic guitar pickup.


The crowd was dancing all the way up to the stage.


This allowed for very tight closeups, since it would not be so obvious that I was blocking the audience.


Jonathan Khor, who I’ve seen play awesome violin solos with effects pedals!


More dancing!


Thank you bows.


Happy Birthday jam, with many versions.


Later outside, I spotted a new band.


3 ex-housemates and one odd one out.

This marks an unprecendented occurence – I have posted all my gig pictures! There is no gig backlog! I do have a backlog for geeking out, toys, street photography, heritage and activism… but for now, I will savor this minor accomplishment.

7 Buskers In 1 Day


12th April 2014: #BuskStop!


This was the Berjaya Times Square Busk Stop, on the first floor, to the left when you enter from the front. Note the “Photo by Albert Ng” on four of the pictures! It’s been a while since my pictures have been on display anywhere.


Bihzhu was the act of the day. Cool signboard!


Hameer Zawawi, curator of this Busk Stop, talking to the band.


Bihzhu, with a different lineup! Raja Farouque on guitar, and Ryan Gomes on djembe.


The crowd stops by to record. Interesting that the guy is holding a bag from a lingerie store with his fully-covered wife.


Bihzhu has upbeat, uplifting music!


The crowd grew.


I then scurried over to catch Anna Chong, over at the Pavilion Busk Stop, curated by Moonshine Productions.


A big crowd for Anna Chong, who has haunting, emotional, raw music.


Like so.


I then ran over to Fahrenheit 88, for another Busk Stop curated by The Wknd, with Yatai.


I walked towards Lot 10, and passed by these buskers, too!


I took the shuttle bus to KL Sentral (the KL Monorail was closed for the weekend for maintenance, I think) and saw the legendary Meor.

Feedback Open Mic @ The Bee Jaya One ft Amrita Soon & Paolo Delfino / April 2014 Edition


8th April 2014: Feedback Open Mic @ The Bee Jaya One ft Amrita Soon & Paolo Delfino / April 2014 Edition!


Fariz Salleh.


Fariz’s cool pedal, taking some design motifs from Back To The Future!


Basil Foo.


Chelsia Ng spotted assembling a Lego Star Wars Millenium Falcon.


Narmi.


He too has a shiny new toy – a harmonizer!


William & Muhaimin.


Flying Pan.


With Jyo on keyboard – soon to be an ever-rotating slot.


The crowd.


Jyo then performed an acoustic cover of System Of A Down – Aerials, with Raja Farouque on guitar.


Raja Farouque performed next, with his Celtic composition, very technical and acoustic shredder, with a decent bulk of keyboard work, covered by Lor Phaik Sim.


Grace Cho took the keyboard then, to sing Karen O & Ezra Koenig – The Moon Song with Raja Farouque.


He took a more sedentary position.


Amrita Soon, first featured act.


Paolo Delfino, second featured act. Ian Tai is seen here soloing on kazoo.


Fuzzy. Love his voice, and his old soul.


Aiman & Eugene.


They did a cover of Arctic Monkeys – Mardy Bum well.

Sometimes I don’t know if to mention who did what cover since I don’t know all these modern songs that people cover, since I don’t listen to radio.


Clara Cheong beckons me to take her picture yet again!


Adam.


Maisara.


Cool Johor flag!


Her friends came to bootleg her.


As for that bluish tint? It was this portable light, at a cooler temperature than the tungsten lights that shone from above.


More Clara, this time with Narmi.


Ashley Chan with Raja Farouque and Ryan Gomes (not pictured).


Swag!


Reza Salleh.


Reza then plays with Fariz’s ornate guitar.


In case you haven’t figured it out, they are brothers, and people tend to mistake one for the other. This can be exploited to comedic effect.


Jessica, guitar bearer.

BALLSY! An Open Mic Show #4


7th April 2014: BALLSY! An Open Mic Show #4, at Page 2, Publika! This quiet bar above Plan B is an intimate setup for an open mic, and conversation.


You can see its location, near the big pink Publika sign.


Kenneth Leow.


The Propositions.


Ian Tai makes a face.


The amazing, upbeat Eloise Lau!


She played country music and came in boots.


Very refreshing!


I recorded a video of her performing Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken, to country music.


An undiscovered gem, I’d say!


Cat.


She did spoken word poetry. I hope she’ll find Sheena and the gang who organize such things, too!


Backup notes.


Basil Foo Music.


Riz Rashid.


Shaneil Devaser, host and organizer of this open mic which “doesn’t seem to attract hipsters.”


They shared the stage and became each other’s second guitarist.

Moonshine: Spotlight Ska Edition / April 2014


3rd April 2014: Moonshine: Spotlight Ska Edition / April 2014 at Laundry Bar, The Curve! Here’s Reza Salleh, emcee and organizer.


Skudap Skudip!


Ska is all about the upstroke.


A strong groove on the bass.


Horn section!


And, of course, that ska drum beat.


Saxophone!


Trumpet.


Bijan Fx, of “We Are Not” All-Stars, also once a long-running sound engineer for Laundry Bar. He also curated the band list for the night!


Since the crowd starting moving in, I had to move in too. So I switched from my Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA to my Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM because everything was so near.


His guitar strap came off.


Horn section!


More close-range stuff.


The bassist and singer.


At this distance, the 135mm would give this.


I was on the stage, next to the singer. This is what the drummer would look like at that distance.


Bijan’s likeness is also the logo.


I love the consistency in the ska bands, in terms of dressing.


They ended their set, to calls for an encore, so they played a cover of Rancid – Time Bomb. This video should give you an idea how close I was, because the crowd was pushing in.


The guitarist crowdsurfed! This was a rare occasion in Laundry Bar; it only happens during ska gigs, really, which says so much about the sorry state of the other scenes, to not be able to keep their phones in their pockets and just rock out, like we used to do back in those days.

Sure, it was chaotic, but it was also cooperative – the dudes in front made sure that the crowdsurfers did not land on the band, and they pushed back to give space. The mike would occasionally fall out of the stand, or the stand would fall, and we’d help to mount the mike back on and get the stand back up.

Or in this case, when the guitarist returned, I helped him find his cable!


Johny Comes Lately.


The horn section played the Godfather Theme.


Skinheads love ska.


I’m not even sure if he was part of the band!


Wide-angle lenses let you get in their face.


These guys had a harder sound.


I liked it!


Lost the hat.


Drummer’s still got his hat.


Oh yes!


My Sony Alpha 99 isn’t so good when focusing with backlight. Had to take a few shots. Sorry, out-of-focus skinheads!


So catchy you just have to sing along.


The bearded skinhead was pulling and releasing the skinhead in white, as if he was tied by a rope. Such fun!

I refer to them as skinheads because they are, with no derogatory notion – I think they’re cute that they stick to their guns and go out all in style, not afraid to show their identity, not affected by the hipster thing where you try to look different but end up the same.

There was even a bit where somebody asked, “eh mana hipster ni?” and the crowd booed. “Ada Wak Doyok?” More boos. He was referring to a well-known Malaysian hipster personality with a distinct handlebar moustache.


The crowd would just invade the stage. It makes me wonder if the Malaysian music scene would otherwise have this, that they’d be so outwardly enthusiastic about the music – we normally just stand back and tell the musicians that they were “not bad” even if we were mindblown.


Everybody knows the lyrics.


After a long break, came Aggrobeats.


This was a bit less chaotic. There was even a kid with a tablet!


These guys, I’d only see at Rock The World.


And yet, familiar enough.


Interesting, black bass strings.


David Gilak, also of They Will Kill Us All.


I was struggling to focus in the ever-changing light.


I think I manually focused this one.


This, too, for the enraptured skinhead on the right. These guys just bring smiles to my face!


That way!


Lefty Tele.


Meanwhile, in the upper area, a group of people obviously not skinheads were toasting.

This post was for a gig 11 days ago, and my next blog post is from exactly a week ago; thus, my backlog for gig posts has hit the 1-week mark. I consider this an accomplishment!