Monthly Archives: August 2012

This Is A Call, To The Bee!

14th December 2011 brought many firsts – the first gig I would photograph at The Bee, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, for example.

Reza Salleh of Moonshine Productions, announcing this gig – This Is A Call!

First up was the fingerstyle guitarist Az Samad.

For those not in the know, Az entrances where his fingers dance all over the fretboard, often with percussive knocks to the guitar to make rhythm in the absence of a typical rhythm instrument.

The Sony Alpha 77 with the Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8 gets a real tight crop.

Yin, his lady friend. The tripod legs aren’t offloading the best chi, though!

And then, a shot with the Samyang 35mm F1.4 UMC on the Sony Alpha 900. It’s a tried and tested classic focal length – just a smidge of wideness to give some context to your subject. Now I’d tell you that this is the classic focal length of point-and-shoot cameras and cameras on phones, but that is no longer true – newer models got wider, anywhere between 24mm and 33mm.

Next up, was Diandra Arjunaidi. Dang, she looks so different!

Last I saw her she was still sporting her signature red hair (okay, technically Hayley Williams’ signature, but her Paramore fandomship is no secret, having done a cover). Click here for previous Moonshine gigs she performed at:
Moonshine 11-2
Moonshine Turns 4!

She also had a full band.

It really escapes me how having a fringe or losing it makes a big difference in facial geometry.

Pardon my extra verbiage this time around – the words will look smaller, as an illusion, because my pictures are bigger. I hereby debut pictures that are 960 pixels wide in either dimension! The previous standard was the Facebook Standard, at 720 pixels. (And before that, 600 pixels, 400 pixels and 200 pixels.) Why not 1000 pixels? 1000 pixels in 3:2 would give an unevenly divided 1000×666.66 pixels. Plus, 960×640 pixels is just the resolution of the iPhone 4/4S, for those who want to set any of these pictures as your wallpaper. My Asus Padfone’s screen is 960×540 pixels. 640 pixels is a good number.

I have to say, I am digging her new look. She looks all serious woman, in a hot way. Plus I just realized she has a really nice nose!

Break seriousness.

Godin makes interesting-looking guitars.

Next up – Liyana Fizi.

I like how much space I get on the side of the stage to use a telephoto.

There is this thing about Liyana, her unassuming lyrics, the gentle, carefree voice, that just endears to many. Her music (and I assume likeness) has been described to be akin to cupcakes and pastel colors and that soft crumbly cake whose name escapes me.

Now I am fuzzily misquoting from memory, but I reckon, no worse than a Malaysian newspaper – I have been misquoted, misnamed, and wrongly aged by two major newspapers at least a decade ago.

Eee nak cubit!

Her fun band.

I also like how I can shoot directly in front (granted, with some perspective correction) with a telephoto lens, for this kind of perspective.

The last act of the night was Aizat Amdan, often suffixed with “AF5”, because he was a participant of Akademi Fantasia Season 5.

Reza recounts how a cabbie once mistook him for Aizat. I could see a glimmer of why.

Another 35mm shot. Makes me realize I need to bring it out more!


11th December 2011: EPIConcert, at The Stage, Publika Square, Solaris Dutamas. A throwback to the 90’s, with proceeds going to EPIC Homes – an outreach program to build homes for the Orang Asli.

Queenz Cheng, from Perlis.

You think you’re otai? Well these guys are more otai than you! (Otai = old-timer.)

I wonder where they usually play.

I then headed upstairs for lunch at The Red Beanbag.

I fell in love with the place and their burgers, and later their Fowl Luck meal.

The place is modelled after an Australian coffee house, complete with quirky name and decor.

It also probably keeps the spirit of The Pink Sage (that was also in Solaris Dutamas but had closed down), in that it had good coffee and lots of chicks would hang out there.

Meanwhile, as I had bought a ticket, I got a box of 90’s paraphrenalia.

Inside were classic snacks.

Long time no see Shervin!

Yi Ching shows us how to walk the dog.

Ewin Ee and I camwhore.

Thanks Ewin for taking this picture! Shot with the Sony Alpha 900 with the Samyang 35mm F1.4 UMC at F1.4.

Weiyein Leong and (then future) husband.

Josh Lim doing his thing.

Bubble blowing competition!

Stack them up.


Sam Wong on stage.

Narmi, acoustic soulster.

The crowd dances along. I don’t remember to who.

Big-eyed Yi Ching.

Audrey Tan and sister.

Lainey Ying and Celeste Goh in the back.

A 90’s Baywatch run contest.

The sun was setting, for some cool hair light.

Yep, lovely hair light.

Leonard Chua of An Honest Mistake, on the left.

And then, it was Paperplane Pursuit on stage! Gotta love their band shirt (not pictured here.)

Darren Ashley plays bass for them and sings backup vocals.

Extreme closeup of the goggles.

Then, it was time for Darren Ashley and his band!

This electro-pop genius brings on the crowd.

He has quirky sounds and irresistably dancy grooves. I can’t explain it well. Click here to understand.


It makes grown emcees cry.

The final act of the evening – Busco!

Sam Oh! Spot the projected square pixels.

Later on that night.

Thanks to Waifon for taking this picture!

Clara C, In Clarity

On the 29th of November 2011, I found myself attending a gig I was not likely to attend by myself. Which is still accurate, since I did not attend it by myself. Here’s Charles Jedidiah Tan, from Singapore, who decided to further his musical career in Melbourne. However, he was the opening act for…

Clara C., who rose to fame on YouTube – and that would be why I be unlikely to know of her, since I don’t listen to singer-songwriters and those who tend to cover songs on YouTube (primarily because I am still on Streamyx, and that means it often breaks to buffer music.)

Well mostly I don’t listen to their covers, since I can’t say I enjoy most covers, especially when they are typically acoustic, stripped down, Asian-ized, and lose a great amount of soul the original song had. Like Sabrina of The Philippines, who makes every rock song she covers, suck badly, with no dynamics, no grit, and no suffering. I’ve heard her album played in some restaurants in town, and remember revolting by the third song.

But hey, Clara Chung is none of that! She’s got sass, and she made us stand up for the first few songs. And then she told us to sit down. And then stand up again. She was kooky, a little loony, and all the way entertaining, none of that timid sweet-girl singer persona. Plus she has a whole lot more technical musicality and it showed in her compositions.

I don’t remember exactly how but 4 lucky winners got up on stage and this guy was the luckiest of them all, getting to play a song for Clara. He also had the pleasure of her tuning her guitar for him, like a tandem guitar.

Impromptu performance. Must be a luck-bringing mole.

I’m not sure where I read that she was a music student, as Googling now reveals that she is not, but I’d believe that she was a music student. There was a good amount of interplay and dynamics.

She calls her melodica a shisha piano.

End of the show. I’d never seen the auditorium in bright daylight before!

After the show was an autograph session. Hugs for everyone!

Posters and CDs for sale. Joanne K.K. watches them like a hawk. Note the carefully placed KK bottle.

She was very nice, even though we were at the end of the autographing queue.

I am not sure why but Charles looks adorable in this picture.

Rock The World 11: Part 3

Rock The World 11, 10th December 2011, was a sunny day, uninterrupted by rain, down at Stadium Merdeka.

Ballad For Layla does melodic metalcore.

I have no idea who this photographer is but I’ve seen her around lately. Interestingly, most of my lenses do not taper forwards.

The wide lens for the day was the Samyang 35mm F1.4 UMC on the Sony Alpha 900.

Thy Regiment is hardcore.

Then came Monoloque with Atilia!

I’ve got a thing for battered sunburst Fender Stratocasters.


Kadak, on bass (Loko on drums was also from seminal Malaysian band, Butterfingers.)

However, this band takes on a different creative stance – but then, Butterfingers did, too.

The telephoto work was shot with the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA.

Sekumpulan Orang Gila!

When you got your power stance like that, it goes without saying that they play some form of post-hardcore.

The Samyang 35mm F1.4 UMC proves to not have the best bokeh.

What a show!

Bittersweet, with Ryan Lee Bhaskaran…

These guys bring British swagger on stage.

Some days, I am not sure whether to crop…

…or to leave it as it was originally.

Akta Angkasa.

Space rock lives again!

There is just something very, very photogenic about Ned’s bass. It’s here to enslave us, and it gives me that Sentinel-of-X-Men feeling.

They do space rock, without the slow bits.

Hello there!

Sam of supergroup The Azenders!

In the background, their new music video for Livin’ Rock And Roll debuted.

This version featured my ex-colleague Tehmina Kaoosji!
(This was the earlier one.)
(And this, the newer one.)

The stage lights got really nice by this time.

I dig the perspective here.

Sam brings a different style to the stage – far from his Bunkface days.

Izal was also from a punk rock band – One Buck Short, to be exact.

The next band set up flags, to bring the mood of impending doom up.

Impending, indeed.

They call this blackened death metal.

Yes, they have a uniform.

I really couldn’t figure out how to best crop this.

Then came The Padangs.

The crowd. Poor girl later got hit in the head by a crowd surfer, though!

I have to say, I really enjoyed Rock The World 11’s very metal/hardcore lineup…

…very serious business, legit and true, and free from the typical claims that Rock The World is a reunion of old bands related to the organizers.

Of course, these guys do metal/hardcore, too.

And to end the night…

Massacre Conspiracy!

These guys were decked out in Peter Says Denim wear.

Also a metal/hardcore band.

Admittedly, I am not well-versed in this genre, and they may sound the same to me, but it doesn’t stop me from headbanging. Not having much hair to headbang is a bummer, though.

The show ended before 11pm, allowing the crowd to get home before the monorail closes. Very solid, tightly organized show.

More here:
Rock The World 11: Part 2
Rock The World 11: The Crowd