18 April 2007

Music Reviews #1

I'm not exactly the biggest music fan on the planet, but I do like my music. And I also have a bad habit of actually buying original CDs (Yes, they do sound better than the stuff you download off the net half the time).

Without further ado, here are a couple of the latest music CDs I've bought:

Album: The Cream of Clapton
Artist(s): Eric Clapton, Derek and the Dominoes, Cream.
Price: RM30-something, I think

Yes, I realise that this compilation was first available in 1994 - but then again, I'm not exactly Mr Current Affairs either...

I've been on a bit of an Eric Clapton craze lately and have been listening to shiteloads of stuff - mostly from his post-UNplugged/Tears-in-heaven days. And I liked it, except that most music snobs would tell me, "Bah... Clapton's best songs were before he became clean. When he was still doing drugs and shit."

"Really?" I said.

"Yes. Especially the original recording of Layla by Derek and the Dominoes," reply the elitist bastards.

"Derek and the what?"

"Look, just buy one of those old compilation CDs and you'll know what I mean."

(Of course, this is only a hypothetical conversation and is more of a summary of many conversations I've had with people whenever I tell them how much I like "Blue Eyes Blue" and the "Clapton Chronicles" CD.)

Anyway, I buy The Cream of Clapton because it's listed on most websites as the best single-CD compilation of Eric's songs prior to cleaning up his act.

And yes, it is a rather brilliant CD - well at least half of it is. It's a good mix of Rock, Blues, Country and Reggae. Yes, Reggae. The best songs are undoubtedly Layla, Badge, Strange Brew, White Room, Bell Bottom Blues, I Shot the Sheriff and Wonderful Tonight.

Apart from having fantastic melodies and some of the best guitarwork ever, it also showcases Clapton's talent at singing. He's not the most acrobatic vocalist in town, but at least his sound is distinctive - you certainly wouldn't mistake him for the 13 million Eddie Vedder soundalikes on the radio today.

But most of all, there's a lot of soul in his music. A lot of feeling. Unlike most of the manufactured garbage on radio these days. Yes, I've become an old fart at the age of 27.

Anyway, buy this album. I highly recommend it.

Most of the other songs are rather forgetful.


Album: Permission to Land
Artist: The Darkness
Price: RM40-something

Yes, I've heard the Darkness on the radio before and liked their songs but never really knew much about them. So imagine my embarrassment when I went around asking for the band's compilation albums (They've only got two albums, in case you didn't know).

Permission to Land is their first album, and what an album it is - it's one of the few albums I've ever bought in which almost every song is excellent! There's enough variation in style and sound to make it interesting enough to listen to repeatedly.

My favourite songs of course are "Love Is Only A Feeling", "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" and "Growing On Me".

Generally, what I like most about the album is that the songs sound happy, as opposed to making you want to jump off a bridge. These are the sort of songs that get your feet tapping and get you pressing the repeat button.

If there's only one problem, it's that The Darkness is no longer the same band - frontman Justin Hawkins has left the band and is now going solo. Haven't heard any of his new songs yet, but I'll look.

And no, he is NOT gay. In spite of the fact that he sounds like a modern Freddie Mercury, sings in a ear-piercing falsetto voice and wears flamboyant catsuits, he is NOT gay. Not gay, I tell you.

Hawkins: Not gay...

Best album I've bought in years. This album came out in 2003, btw, so I'm only four years late on this one :)

09 April 2007

I fire some guns...!

The guys at the office were invited to Hari Tentera Darat Ke-74 (That's the 74th Army day to you non Malays speaking people), where members of the media were invited to shoot some guns and to basically muck around with their gear.

Wah... so long!

The thing is, I was expecting to be blown away by firing guns (figuratively, not literally). However, it didn't feel any more menacing than firing a paint-ball gun. I like firing paintball guns, btw - but I was expecting it to be more shiok. Never meet your childhood heroes, I guess....

There was a competition among members of the media - where each team of five faces off with another team to hit down 10 metal plates per team. The first team to finish goes to the next round. Of course, this was very cool :)

Edwin, Ron, Kelly, Ravind and me - preparing for our exit from the shooting competition.

We were beaten by some extreme posers from Berita Harian or something - damn annoying, the bastards wore bandanas, did stretch exercises and had battle cries and shit. All for a simple session in a shooting range. What's even more pathetic was that we lost to them by less than a second. The bastards...

Yes, this post is a little overdue. But rather than write more about it, I've posted it up on YouTube as a video... Enjoy :)

Hanif's secret weapon

Hanif reveals his secret weapon:

Using THREE mics so he's only 1/3 as shitty at Karaoke (or three times as good).