Monthly Archives: November 2013

Sticky Fingers And An Open Mic

16th September 2012: Sticky Fingers presents Open Mic Sundays with Ray Cheong!

This is Jes Ibrahim.

Ruben Kelvin.

Hugo Yap, who loves his Fender Jaguar. I can see why!

Eddie Murphy is the sound guy.

Gregory Ramanado, extremely funky as the first featured act.

Hameer Zawawi, prince of melancholic dark music.

Cal who I think runs the place, gets Ray Cheong, the organizer, to back her on some songs.

She can sing! Also, her necklace reminds me of the Lego mural formerly in Johor…

Blu, I think.

Wawa Dzulkifli, one of the featured acts.

Bazli Zulkifli.

Ezya Bahra.

Christina How.

Backing vocalist.

Another band member.

Cassandra Wong. First time seeing her perform, after seeing her around all this time.


Finally, Ray Cheong himself, also a featured act!

With dim light, the only thing I could do was use the Sony Alpha 77 at ISO3200 with the Opteka 85mm F1.4.

Publika Jazz Fest 2012

15th September 2012: Publika’s first anniversary was celebrated with the Publika Jazz Festival! As usual there would be an emcee asking questions and giving out prizes. This was the second evening; I didn’t go for the first evening.

Oh waitaminute it’s Davina Goh!

Questions so difficult, only kids dare answer!

I got there in time for Liyana Fizi. I remember her (or her music, or both) once described by others in a confectionery fashion as one of those that are really soft inside and melty and dreamy, almost wispy inside.

Izaad Amir, talented guitarist/songwriter. RIP.

Pito lays laid back bass.

Surprise, a violinist!

The front area of the stage, unlike that of the good ol’ Sunrise Jazz Fest over at Plaza Mont Kiara, wasn’t blocked from photographers.

All shots near and far from the Sony Alpha 77 and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA.

Cute keyboardist for the next band!

Koujee Beatbox.

Duel with Dennis Lau, on a very cool violin!

A Flying V-styled violin with 24 frets! This is the Wood Violins Viper 6 fretted violin.

I didn’t catch her name.

Open Mic @ The Venue, Pavilion KL #1

September 3rd, 2012: Open Mic @ The Venue, Pavilion KL #1. This was the very first, hosted by Az Samad himself! Here he is with a ukulele.

Ariff also on ukulele.

Alloy is a beatboxer.

He then collaborates with Tasha, to form Alloy & Tasha. Alloy with an alloy!

Tharish and her striking white guitar.

Irena Taib of The Impatient Sisters, the first featured act.

Three sisters.

The odd one out, a violinist.

Jared Lim Trio/Jumero. This is Jared, and they play more classic rock/funk/disco stuff, really well!

Alloy & Keana.

The amazing Shaneil Devaser. His DIY CD is well-produced!

Jia Ming does some fingerstyle.

Paolo Delfino, second featured act, has an older sound this time, after not seeing him around for some time. Also, that is one heck of a shiny Floyd Rose floating bridge!


Faan, with legit Malay folk music. Solid stuff.

Markiza & Peter Hassan Brown are veterans – here’s Peter.

Master of the harp.

Markiza usually plays on her organ but is dwarfed here.

Sulyn Ooi then gets on the keys.

Her band.

Azfar Allias.

Joe Loy. Here you can get an idea of what the stage looks like.

A very smiley Melissa. (Who I’d later discover to be part of the awesome girl band Crinkle Cut.)

The melancholic Hameer Zawawi.

Pictures mostly by the Sony Alpha SLT-A77V and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA, with some shots from the Sony Alpha 900 and Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM, and the Opteka 85mm F1.4 (judging on perspective – since its DIY chip fell out, perspective is the only way I can differentiate between that and my Samyang 35mm F1.4, as the EXIF data reports a focal length of 0mm.)

A Gust Of August Gigs

9th August 2012: Az Samad Trio @ The Venue, Pavilion KL. Herman Ramanado, one heck of a groovy cat, was on bass guitar this time!

Az basks in the smoke and lights.

Zalila Lee on percussion.

I always enjoyed The Venue’s lights – they don’t dance as much as others do, so I don’t get large variances in exposure and white balance.

Zalila on cajon.

Amirhooman, a guitar student of Az’s in the audience, has a damn cool moustache.

They did a cover of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together. I’m not sure if this was the point where I got the song stuck in my head, because it bubbled up a year later.

During the intermission, Zyan performed a few songs.

And now we’re back!

The night ended with pianist, David Gomes.

Before the show, a bunch of us were sitting outside The Venue, when we realized that all our phones were running on different operating systems! How rare that would be – clockwise from top – iOS, Windows Phone, Android, BlackBerry OS, and Symbian.

Then, on the 27th of August 2012, I was down in Jalan Mesui for one of the longer-running establishments of the music scene – No Black Tie! The event was Az Samad – Solo Guitar Retrospective @ No Black Tie.

Az and his knock-on-wood harmonics.

His parents were in the crowd.

The William Jeffrey Jones Proteus Electric Guitar.

Some days I wish they had hair lights on the stage.

Az on ukulele!

The next day was the 28th of August 2012, where I found myself at Feedback Open Mic at The Bee, Publika. This was Lufti, with a smooth, manly voice and a backing track.



The very adorable Bay!

First featured act, Halfway Kings.

I love how the band has blossomed – I really feel that Stevie Nicks rocker vibe from Adeline.

This is what happens when you shoot at too fast a shutter speed – it captures the flourescent lights exposing only part of the frame.

March The Angel/Gaga, I think.

Ariff AB.

Now with accompaniment!

Narmi, once known as Imran, drummer of One Buck Short.

Remy J, once known as Jeremy.

Darren Ashley, second featured act. He does a loop pedal vocal orchestra.

In his past life, he laid out some funky, jazzy tunes.

Fazz was a pleasant surprise. They played what would sound like cabaret jazz. This was the first time I’d ever seen them – what a first impression! Note that Raja Farouque was on guitar and not his usual double-bass role in the band.

Everybody looked and dressed different. This was their pre-hipster phase.

What a voice! Kevin Vong stuns the crowd.

Sheryl Goh said I had a nice T-shirt. It was An Honest Mistake’s first purple dinosaur shirt, and she was singing in the band. Thus we took a picture.

All shots with the Sony Alpha NEX-5, Opteka 85mm F1.4 through Sony LA-EA1 adapter and Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake lens.

Three Gigs

Feedback Open Mic at The Bee, Publika, 24th July 2012, saw Natasha Ejaz up on stage.

Genji, if I caught his name right, beatboxed.

Jared and Max.

Stanley Oh.

Rafael, with a most awesome solo jazz vocal performance.

Figure It Out had a sound like The Strokes.

Ray Cheong, the first featured act, in a pre-performance moment as opposed to his usual fretboard gymnastics.

Narmi, touted as king of jiwang.

Remy J, the second featured act. Why Remy J? I am guessing it is because Jeremy L. doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way.

Jon Liddell.

Bassment Syndicate, neo-funk-soul.

Why yes Davina does have… a B.R.F.!

I don’t know what happened but Sharon Chong was suddenly on bass (with Fook shifting over to drums).

The Boon Band covered Stevie Wonder – Isn’t She Lovely.

As always when I bump into Gregory Ramanado we take a picture like we were spotted in a club by a bored photographer looking to look busy.

And here’s Davinaaargh. I don’t remember how we got to camwhoring like Elmos.

8th August 2012, saw me at The Bee, Publika again, for The Songwriters’ Showcase Series #5. Here’s Jasemaine Gan, host and emcee!

Reza Salleh was up, and I think I remember him singing a Chinese song for the Chinese crowd.

Zin Chin.

Ray Cheong, again. He has a load of funk in his guitar slapping.

Angie Lym.

14th August 2012, was Feedback Open Mic at The Bee, Jaya One. Here’s Van Carlson the band, with a most shiny guitar!

I really don’t come here often because it’s in Petaling Jaya, next to Section 17, home to many mosquitoes. I grew up there and fed many generations.

The vocalist looks a lot like Jacob of Twilight.

George Wong of Two Storey Heart, meanwhile, has a better love story.

Jason Kon.

Sulyn Ooi.

Eu Gene does her basslines.

Josiah Ng.

Natasha Ejaz from Pakistan, the first featured act, does a killer trumpet vocal solo.

A 5-string fretless bass! This was the lined, inlayed variety. 24 frets, interestingly.

Nicky and Aliff do an interesting take on Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Nicky also beatboxed over a loop pedal.

Ariff AB has that ever clear voice that cuts across the crowd.

Ryota Katayama, the second featured act, has a melancholic emo voice.

Narmi at close range.

Remy J again, closer.

David Ling does a fascinating clarinet solo, backed by Fook on bass. How do I know this is a clarinet? I made a wild guess and Googled it, to find the exact same clarinet at the top of the search results.

All shots with the Sony Alpha NEX-5 and Opteka 85mm F1.4 on a Sony LA-EA1 adapter (with the wide shots on the Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake lens.)

Space, Rocked!

7th July 2012: Mull; Debauch To Kuala Lumpor (Component Two) at The Actor’s Studio, Lot 10.

Starting the show was experimental rock band Space Gambus Experiment.

There was plenty of screaming…

…but no actual vocals. Here’s to expression.

Reset To Zilch was next. Note the stage deco, with a skeleton in front of the drumset.

They played what I’d call modern space rock.

The Psalms, with a screamer vocalist, reminding me of Mike Patton. That is always a compliment. They had this effect much like a dubstep ring modulator, if I remember. Made me want to replicate this.

Then came the band a lot of people came for, myself included – the seminal Damn Dirty Apes! Here’s Pedram.

I remember seeing them in what I thought was their original iteration, with Ian Cheah on bass, Paul Metcalfe (the Shaggy of Scooby Doo lookalike) on guitar, Sina on drums and Pedram.

They come down to KL once in a while to blow our minds and show us how to build a slow brooding intro into a hard, heavily distorted fuzzy chorus, while feeling a windy chill when the room is closed.

I love how Damn Dirty Apes played their set in chronological order, somewhat:

From the Valve State Dreams EP:
1) Death Of Optimus Prime
2) Naninong
3) Charlie

From the Ape Kill Ape album:
4) Allied Run (1 minute only)
5) Rebel Scum
6) In Tents

7) Empire (as named here)
8) Kilometrico (according to Rishi Majimbo)

This is Kilometrico.

This is how I recorded this video – with an Asus Padfone sitting in its station on a TF101 dock – look ma, no tripod!

Love/Comes, modern sound.

This shot was on my Instagram the same day, by putting the SD card from my Sony Alpha 77 in the TF101 dock’s SD card slot, and uploading it right away.

By then, Mr. Skeleton had a hat and was now a hipster.

This Is Atlantis.

Akta Angkasa.

Angkasa is the Malay word for space, and it is obvious what they play.

Ned, on bass, with a very cool-looking bass.

Thanks sir for liking my Instagram pictures! I have liked yours too.

A lot of the crowd was already sitting on stage; a very intimate setting for shoe-gazing and noise.

Zul, exhilirated.


This was not a space rock band, but we all knew the lyrics to their classic Orange School.

The crowd calls for more!

A funny moment ensues when somebody brings a band member’s kid up on stage and the kid cries.

Then came the well-coiffeured members of Killer Calculateur.

The songs were short but full of riffage…

…and intensity. Here’s Smek not holding still for the camera.

All shots with the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA and Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM.

What an awesome gig! There was this buzz after the gig that filled up the Facebook event page, even.

Bit Of July

Here are some shots from July, starting with Eric Li, Fly and John Thomas at Nerofico. Eric Li is on the keys. This was back on the 6th of July, 2012.

Didn’t catch her name.

Also featuring a horn section.

John Thomas, cropped from far away, on the Sony Alpha NEX-5 and Opteka 85mm F1.4 through a Sony LA-EA1 adapter.

I then adjourned to hipster central, Publika, with Jolin Kwok…

…and half-Korean half-Chinese Kimberley. I also brought my 11x11x11 Rubik’s Cube and lost the center red sticker. Coincidentally, her dress was full of red squares! We did not manage to find the fallen sticker.

14th July 2012. I went to MBPJ’s office and on the way out, I saw this.

Didn’t stay around though, because I was headed elsewhere at night…

…to The Venue! Here, Reza Salleh was performing.

Zalila the smirking percussionist, and Melina the badass bassist, back him up. They did a cover of Beatles – All My Loving in the macho way that only Reza could do.

This was the first time I had been to The Venue, and what a positive impression it gave! Having acquired No Black Tie’s excellent sound engineer, and installed plenty of pretty lights, it would be the venue for plenty of gigs to come.

18th July 2012 was an open mike at Frontera, Jaya One. Didn’t catch this guy’s name.

This night was a bit different, however, because I brought only my Sony Alpha 900 and Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM. That means awkwardly close pictures like this one.

Here’s Jack and Kimberley.

They did a cover of Nouvelle Vogue – Just Can’t Get Enough (it itself being a cover of Depeche Mode’s).

Jack on harp. I remember it was Intan’s farewell that they met and thus a new band was formed!

Tim and Kim.

Tim, of Tim and Kim. I didn’t take this picture, I think.

Kim, of Tim and Kim. I didn’t take this picture. She asserts her Asian identity.

Jack transforms my War For Cybertron Shockwave.

We were sitting with Peter and Markiza Brown, and they commented that these toys were war machines!

Backlit Kim.

This was from a later meetup at that vegetarian place in Lebuh Ampang that encourages you to stuff your face up in vegetarian food. It also gives me that accomplished feeling when I clear up a batch of pictures. I still have two gigs from July 2012 that I have yet to post, and one of them actually happened within this time of events, but I’ll do that one after this since that was a big gig.

Feedback 626

Feedback Open Mic at The Bee, Publika, 26th June 2012! Here’s Ashley and Gavin.

All shots with the Sony NEX-5 and Opteka 85mm F1.4 on the Sony LA-EA1 adapter.

Stanley Oh and Neo Ann Na form the formidable Oh Neo! (You’ll not forget the band name from the makeshift shaker.)

Crispy Christian Palencia.

Reina, I think.

Tiah with an all-star band.

Her friend joins her for a bit of vocals.

Sharon Chong! She has many hats.

Her sister, Yvonne Chong, joins her in hat-dom and vocal duty.

Raksasa awakens from his slumber for some outerworldly music.

Jessica showed me an article that came out about him, in Juice Magazine.

It was also Ann Na’s birthday! I’d later know these faces in detail.

What the cakes say?

Ronan King, I think.

The amazing Elvira Arul makes a surprise appearance!

Nish Tham surprises us with a vocal performance, after years of cajoling.