Paul’s Place had a gig of the funk variety, and I was all geared up to see Cosmic Funk Express again. Unfortunately, they didn’t play; replacing them was Call The Paramedics. I missed them and Telebury, to be greeted with:
A full-house crowd in Paul’s Place! Anybody who’s been there on any of their gigs would know how rare this occasion would be. It was my first time having to trip over people sitting down.
Next was Groovetank, made of Zack (of Cosmic Funk Express), Sam (of Call The Paramedics), a rapper, guitarist/vocalist and drummer. Zack had a sedentary sound-effect-making role in this band, though. 🙁
The last band, Zhen, hailing from Singapore, caught the crowd’s attention the moment the female bassist stepped on the stage, with an unusual-looking 5-string bass; it had a pattern behind the black neck, black-painted fretboard and clear-finished body. She had her accomplice, a 7-string shredder, but she had the spotlight for the night.
She thankfully lived up to her bass; she had the same itch I had – guitarist on a bass. She never played single root notes; she’d always play the fifth after it, noodling around, playing power chords, and full chords up the fretboard. WHOA!
Then, there was also tapping, sounding excellent coupled with the GT-6B soundboard’s sounds. And like WHOA! again, you don’t see a bassist slapping and wah-ing the wah pedal at the same time often, do you?
She would’ve been Syefri‘s new bass-playing crush.
Oh and I’ve updated my links in my About Me! page.
The first thing a Chinese cabbie asked me, after I stated my destination, was:
“Eh you Cina ker Melayu?”
That, in Malay, was to ask if I was Chinese or Malay. I said Chinese, yes, why? He said he wasn’t really sure. I was relieved, though, as I couldn’t really speak Chinese anyway. And so I asked why he asked. “Nowadays very hard to tell lah…”
Since it wasn’t the first time a cabbie had asked me, I asked him why. I knew that there was one Malay lookalike who worked in Nando’s, one lookalike in APIIT, one lookalike good-looking lecturer in Lim Kok Wing (this, I was most proud of) and of course the famous Keanu Reeves. (Okay stop sniggering now.)
He said it was… my dressing.
Damn. All this while, I thought I had a sharper-than-regular-Chinese, thin Malay-ish face. He said NOOO my face was completely Chinese; it was my clothes. I dressed like a Malay. Well I didn’t have dyed blonde hair or bellbottom jeans.
I didn’t take it as an insult; I thought it was interesting. However, I felt dumb for barking round the wrong tree.
He then went on into political rhetoric (doesn’t every taxi driver?) about how, if certain laws were abolished, that in the future, we’d never have to ask if we were Chinese or Malay. We’d just be… Malaysian.
Anyway, what he said was by no means conclusive – I’ve been asked “are you Chinese Chinese?” In that sense, it meant if I had pure Chinese genes. That, I had, but my grandmother was from Indonesia, concluding my friend’s theory that I was Indonesian Chinese.
Well, at least nobody has asked me if I was gay or straight.
Score Love Language
7 Words of Affirmation
10 Quality Time
1 Receiving of Gifts
2 Acts of Service
10 Physical Touch
How to interpret your Profile Score:
Your highest score indicates your primary love language. Your second highest score indicates your secondary love
language. If two scores are identical, you are bilingual (you have two primary love languages). If the scores of your primary and your secondary language are close (for example, 10 & 9 respectfully), it indicates both are important to you. Whatever a significant other does to express love in either of these languages will get emotional points with you. The highest possible score for any language is 12.
Having a clear picture of your primary & secondary love languages will explain much of your past behavior Think back over the past and ask yourself “What have I most often requested from significant others?” Chances are your answer will lie within the scope of your primary & secondary love languages. You have been requesting that which would meet your deepest need for emotional love.
Cue Albert typing in his blog again.
Ah, it makes sense. I don’t need gifts despite my youthful materialisticness and current financial crisis. (Or perhaps because people don’t know what to get me, and I can’t trade it in.) Yes I am a horny young man who likes to be touched, (cue The Darkness, touching youuu) and yes I enjoy company, rather than sit and sip my teh tarik alone. Or perhaps I need people to pander to my ego. Words of affirmation go right up my insecurity lane. Ironically, I am not a touchy feely person, and I’m not a natural at praising people. That doesn’t mean I’m not cool with touchy feeliness… I could get rich suing my molestors… if I even considered it molest.
Now, if only everybody could take this test, put it on their blog, or print it out and stick it on their forehead, so I’d know if I should suck up to them or molest them.
The hunt for Titus Blues Avenue was on. Supposedly the last blues joint in town, this seclusive place was found on the road opposite Kemayan ATC college. Surprisingly, I could not smell the ambient cigarette smoke. It was even well ventilated!
I was there at 9:30pm to catch the blues man Julian Mokthar in action. Unfortunately he had pulled out, but replacing him was Tok Ghani of Blues Gang.
I don’t know about you, but there was something about the way he looked and played that was just so awesomely cool. Plus he was using a guitar slide, something I’ve only seen live on Butterfingers at Rock The World 4 and in my own inaccurate fingers.
Aznan Ali was playing along and singing. His voice was WHOA bluesy. It reminded me so much of Jack White of The White Stripes – I call him a Kurt Cobain who played the blues. Even he sang with different vocal tones, it still reminded me of Jack. Watching the duo play was inspiring. While I only recognized their cover of Cream – Strange Brew, every song was familiarly a twelve-bar-blues. Still, the gig was very inspiring, and I couldn’t wait to get home to screech some unison bends on the guitar.
I proved to Shaz‘s expectation that it was a small world.
I first went to Woh Fatt to hunt (there’s that word again) for a Dean Markley acoustic guitar pickup (as seen on Azmyl Yunor‘s guitar) for my friend. Negotiations failed, so I headed to Do Re Mi to get myself a cheap transducer as seen on a busker’s 12-string:
Easy mounting! Haha. Now, if only everything was easy mounting in life.
I’d still have to peel off the protective covering for the double-sided tape, but because of my fear of commitment, I put regular tape on top of it for my ukelele:
The Dean Markley Promag Grand was better – you can’t see it, but it says “The Original ‘Instant Mount’“. Hot damn! Now, if only everything was instant mounting in life.
There it lay, instantly mounted, with my non-committal transducer. The sound? Excellent, but not as noiseless as claimed. Or perhaps my SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 couldn’t handle such high-quality. I liked it because it didn’t pick up everything unlike my old cheap mikes. The transducers were another matter – they were so hissy (probably because I didn’t commit to peeling the tape!)
Happy birthday, you old fart! Now you’re technically as old as I am (until December 19th that is.) See, I can be as shameless about self-promoting my birthday. Haha. You even got me promoting it. I just hope you get a free lunch at college, so be a good girl and don’t skip class.
On a side note, if I ever get a piercing, I’d want a small tuning fork. That way when I hear the sweet 440 hertz sound, my ear will vibrate. I could then claim I had perfect pitch. 🙂
I headed down to the newly-relocated Bleu Bar (the old Mcities place in KL Plaza) for a tribute to Metallica gig. After 2 hours of absorbing cigarette ash during their soundchecks, I left because it the smell was just too pungent. (I justified myself, knowing I had a driving exam on Monday!)
Metal rockers sure have cool guitars; left has shiny decals all over, while the right is a headless Lazer (the tuning heads are at the bridge).
I needed to do my time in bed for the early Monday.
At 8 am, many young eager behind-the-wheelers stood around waiting to be called to their Kancils to be tested. For some reason, I only had to retake the road test (and not all the circuit tests!) Perhaps my instructor had pulled some strings.
I was the first person to get in that car with that particular examiner. How fortunate to not have to wait much! My engine died upon starting but that did not cause a monetary setback on my part. And so, I hobbled on, pissingly slow, only reaching third gear once… to the point where the examiner asked me to take the highway shortcut. (Shortcuts are reserved for hot sunny days when the examiner’s patience has run thin.)
I passed. I passed!
Well, better to be penalized for using the wrong speed than to hit something or panic at the tricky downhill turn back into the driving school. After all was done, I left the driving school at 9 am. 9 am! Hardly time to go home.
I can no longer brag that I don’t have a “P“. 🙁
To celebrate, I called many, but one hailed my call – Dustyhawk. We’d meet at Ahameedia’s with Fazri for cheese naan at noon.
By then, I had reached Central Market at 9:30 am, and so I opened the newspaper I bought for the anticipated wait. No buskers were in sight. 🙁 At 10 am, Woh Fatt opened. I walked in and saw this older shopkeeper dude shredding classical music! He was probably in his sixties, doing what Yngwie Malmsteen would do, minus the slow parts! I bought the one impulse item I had been wanting to reward myself with for ages – a cheap RM50 4-string Ukelele. The younger shopkeeper dude tuned it up a lot (meaning it was hanging there, strings loose) before putting it in its free gig bag. (Yes free gig bag and pick! 🙂 No strap though…)
I sat down in Central Market again, eager to learn the tunings; it was in GCEA (where guitars would be EADGBe). If you did your math you’d know that GCEA is relatively the same as DGBe, meaning you could play it like the first 4 strings of a guitar. (A bass guitar is the last 4 strings of a 6-string guitar, an octave lower though.) Of course one kink would be the 4th string; it was one octave higher, meaning if you fretted it at the 2nd fret, you’d get the same note same octave as the open 1st string.
By 11 am, Dustyhawk came, and he agreed that it sounded gay sissy-ish. (Yeah I haven’t been politically correct for a while.) The nylon strings (or was it the body?) had very little sustain. This meant no long rock chords or vibrato held for more than half a second. A cool side effect was that palm-muting was unnecessary, and muted, percussive chords sound great. 🙂 It also had high action, and I wasn’t used to slippery nylon strings so I couldn’t exactly do a blues solo on the spot for some money.
Notice that on the guitar, the 9th fret is equivalent to the 1st fret size on a ukelele. I could practice accuracy with tiny fingerings in smaller frets than my guitar would allow! Also, I could claim that my hand could stretch one octave. 🙂
Fazri brought two friends for cheese naan and Low Yat after that. Picture has been artistically recolored; credits go to Dustyhawk for the picture-taking, and the original can be found on his blog.
After a tiring afternoon of playing catch up in Bintang Walk, we all met up again at Starbucks Times Square, where Dustyhawk and Fazri had a flash fight between their cameras – a Canon Powershot A60 and A70 respectively. One two three shoot. The loser, or flashee, would see white; the winner, or flasher, would see the slower camera. There was even a draw.
In the evening, I stood sat corrected, drinking what was just apparently sweet Teh Tarik at Maju Curry House, Masjid Jamek. Was I the only one tasting the cinammon in it? Freaky. Surreal.
We parted ways, and I met up with Syefri at Paul’s Place, Uptown. We saw:
Cosmic Funk Express (!!!) Majorly cool funk, and they played a majorly cool rendition of Super Mario, complete with sound effects! You know the bassist, Alda, the band slut. 🙂
Uh, I missed Side Circle because everybody was trying out the ukelele. In the hands of Syefri, it became East Malaysian ethnic music; in Az‘s hands, he showed me that it was possible to hammer-on-from-open-string on it. Saiful even shredded on it! Heck, the taxi driver who took me to Uptown expressed interest in it. Amil said it was cool. I could not agree more; to me, it was the anti-hero. It was rebellion against steel string and piercing-attack guitar. It was sissy and unconventional. And in some cases perhaps gay; Freddie Mercury sang over the ukelele chords on Bring Back That Leroy Brown.
Dragon Red featuring Kime (the guy in red). I didn’t expect Adam to look menacing in an Xfresh T-shirt, but somehow he looks rugged and built in it. Zack, the guitarist of Cosmic Funk Express, even asked us for a new T-shirt after that!
I reached home and tested out the ukelele with my computer mike on distortion. It sounded… chirpy, sweeter than a steel-string, with little sustain, but definitely not sissy-ish. I found the sound addictive.
I went to Paul’s Place again; this time it was Y2K. Ah, memories of my first gig at No Black Tie – the first people I’d ever met through gigs were Khai (playing inverted bass) and:
Hermano Grande. Their masks (and uh punk cover songs) have gone a long way, and it was the first time I’d see a Y2K drummer in a mask.
Ahmad borrowed Paul’s Vax SG (yes Vax like the brand of cheap 7-string guitars.) Members of Triple6Poser filled in.
I finally got to see Triple6Poser; Khai’s old humor-laden ska-punk-funk band Khaimano was what got me into going to gigs. I wanted to see how different it was. I was pleasantly surprised; sure, it was less funk and ska, none of Khai’s trademark humor in his lyrics, but there was more rock and roll, and solos!
Paul and gang has some funky lighting set up. Khai is a rainbow-flavored-colored Paddle Pop head.
Flip Rotation ended the show; they had an excellent lead guitarist. The vocalist was cool too, punching in an aggressive line in an otherwise slow ballad.
Last Saturday 28th August 2004, 0200 hours, after Friday’s Mont Kiara Jazz Fest, I got a call from The Agent. He needed me to go for the advanced screening of The Bourne Supremacy at Midvalley at 1030 hours in the morning, thus ruining my plans of getting sleep to go out in the afternoon for a screening of Space Balls. Since he had sent all his agents to Genting (with him) he had practically noone to go write a review for this screening unless he wrestled some agents out of God. Fine then, I went, and I called upon the accompaniment of someone who insisted on calling this movie The Bourne Legacy (he had watched the prequel, The Bourne Identity). He was fashionably late. We watched and I was blur and yet entertained.
Legacy Man (I’ll call him that from now on) brought me to lunch in his funky legacy (auto)mobile. We then set out to find this elusive place where Space Balls was to be shown. Unfortunately, it evaded my memory, and at 1400 hours The Agent called again. This time, he bumped into an old friend (also a hot chick) who wanted to meet me badly. He even passed the phone kidnapper style to me, so I could ascertain yes she was indeed female, but not long enough for me to ascertain the identity of aforementioned hot chick. “Get your ass down to KL Sentral“, he said… “Her limo has to go already! She wants to take you on a tour around town, and she might even go for the Jazz Fest tonight so maybe she could drop you.”
The Agent knew that I was intending to go to the Jazz Fest’s finale on Saturday, at 1800 hours, with Steve Thornton‘s clinic.
And so, Legacy Man set a plan only rogue nigger cops in cop movies do. I’d go into Castell, a fancy restaurant near Malayan University, and ask for a map. “Can I have a map please? My boss wants to eat here.” They gave me their leaflet with a map on it. Alas, the map was too simple; our intention was to get an insight of the roads within Malayan University, so that we could enter from Jalan Universiti and exit at Pantai, way nearer to KL Sentral.
We drove coolly past the guardhouse, but they asked us to pull aside anyway. “What’s the plan, man? Whadda we do?” “Chill man, I got a plan.” There was a detailed map nearby; he would inspect it. I would tell the guard that we were going to pick up a friend from Point A (near where we parked) and send him to Point B (near the Pantai exit). I injected a little drama by calling our invisible friend. Timely indeed, that The Agent would call again while I was pretending to ask, reminding me to hurry.
In nigga cop movie style, Legacy Man forgot where he was supposed to go from the map. We made a circle before escaping into Pantai. On the way to KL Sentral, I received an SMS – the screening would be in Mont Kiara on Sunday instead. (Now I wasn’t sure if it was even supposed to be on Saturday to begin with!) While we did not get to watch Space Balls, he did learn a shortcut he would find useful in his everyday life.
I was greeted at KL Sentral by The Agent… and the genie. Still a hot chick, but yes, I fell into his trap. Dammit. There was a van waiting for me. Foolishly, I got in.
There was an Indian man sleeping inside. Junior, he was called. There were other people in the van, but their lethargy showed that they, too, were reluctant to go to… KLIA. Once there, we met North the boyband from down South. On the way, I complained about The Agent and how he tricked me! He conned me! That conniving liar!
It was 1800 hours and the show was far from over. I was getting restless. It was not until 2030 hours that we returned, and I rushed to Mont Kiara. I took photos of:
KC and the Thornton band. Or rather, AfroAsia with Steve Thornton. Or AsiaBeat?
Left: KC on 6-string bass. Right: Steve Thornton makes music with his belly, looking at the saxophone player, probably wondering, “why is KC stealing our show?”
KC was awesome. He played a hollowbody electric nylon-string guitar without any soundholes or pickups under the strings. (If I had a guitar without anything under the strings, I’d put 36 frets!) When he played 6-string bass, there was no guitarist. Being a guitarist myself, I was more interested in his act than Steve’s African beats. Add to that his voice; it was comfortably far away from diva and far away from Eddie Vedder as well.
I bumped into the Indian man again, as well as a sister of an owner of a cute, shiny, tangy orangy Picanto that Smashpop and Warmpaw have been drooling at on its Flash site:
Oh and on Sunday I watched Space Balls. Happy ending.
I’m proud of myself. I tweaked a riff from Metallica – For Whom The Bell Tolls so I could play both rhythm and lead guitar at the same time. 🙂
This of course uses the two-handed tapping technique you can see live on Az‘s performances. (And perhaps, if you have the fortune, from Michael Hedges before 1997.) However, it’s not in DADGAD tuning but a more familiar Drop D.