Of Daylight and Shopping

Yet another show.  This time was with Annie as well.  Bugis Junction.  The show was “Daylight”.  Although BCM has already set a high expectation, I still found it very good.  It was definitely better than the preview clips.

And I have done quite a fair bit of shopping.  JP bought me an expensive tie and I bought myself another one.  And being very bored with the belt that I have been wearing for more than 6 years, I need a new one.  So I bought a Valentino.  I know, I know.  It was quite painfully expensive.

Then I was wandering in Tower Record and could not find any CD that was appetizing.

Looking Back on 1996

As I have promised myself on the last day of 1996, I will review what I have done in the last year. And hopefully, I live a better life in the year 1997.

As I was playing my guitar tonight, singing the song “Nobody Knows”, I remembered my days back in the US.  Indeed, that was one of the happiest moment of year 96, or perhaps my life.  Being influenced by US culture (movies, music, and jeans) for so long, it was the first time I have ever stepped into the land of liberty.  I still remember the excitement in me when I first landed at the San Francisco Airport. The limousines. Everything seemed so different – the roads, the buildings and even the air.

I drove into Chicago so many times and I could not remember how often.  I was with Collin all the time. Great friend to be with.  I still remember we got lost initially all the time and eventually, he directed and I drove.

Three weeks in St. Charles.  I hang out with Collin, Yoshito (Japanese man), Mitzi (Korean lady) and another Australian lady.  Great friends to be with. The drinking parties in my room and the lovely conversation with Collin and the beautiful Mitzi.  Life was good.

Vividly I remembered a pub with a large dance floor, country style.  Collin and I left the party without telling Mitzi, who was too busy dancing with all the guys on the dance floor.  And she was not happy when she knew that.  The next day, before she and her friend flew back to wherever they came from (Australia), we had a conversation by the fireplace.  Some random topics and Collin and I saw them into the bus.

And then, I felt a sense of emptiness.  Suddenly all the friends were gone.  And I was back in Singapore, facing the hot sun.  The whole period in US was like a fairy tale.

Yet, there was another fairy tale – my two trips to Paris.  The first one lasted for 5 days and the second one lasted for 60 days.  The BNP promotion with Francis was fun.  We had great food and since we are not the fuzzy type, we can get along very well.  I showed him Paris whenever we had time.  The other trip was for Societe Generale.  During the first 3 weeks, I had Damien with me.  I miss those days with Francis.

Life in Societe Generale was pretty peaceful.  Work started at 9 in the morning and usually ended at 6 in the evening.  The people there were very nice.  Sad to say, Sophie, Claude and Lionel left for Sydney in the middle of my stay.  But my days with Aurore, Noubi and Mohammed was great.  Especially Mohammed, we called each other brothers.

Weekdays after work, I usually went downtown to have my dinner.  As for weekends, I always started from La Defense and ended up in Paris center at night.  One movie and one meal and back home.  During nighttime, I composed electronic messages that captured my feeling and observations during the day.

The food was good.  The MTV in the morning was good.  The French music was good. By the way, I felt in love with Mylene Farmer.  Her music is just fantastic.

During those days back in Paris, someone thought that I was lonely.  But I was not, I was in another state of mind. If I had my guitar with me, I would have composed a lot of great songs.

Back in Singapore, I am glad that I know Sam as a friend.  He has introduced me into his circle of friends (which is big).  Through him, I know a lot of people.  Although they are all men, I don’t really mind.  All the Wednesday night out, cheap dinner, and Karaoke.

Enough of stating what happened in year 96, but that was not the main topic in here.  What could I have done better, hopefully in year 97 ?

The New Motto: To actively pursue what I want.  I have been too passive.  Not determined enough. Always avoid the reality.  Must face it and direct the future into whatever I dream of.

Action: To plan and stick to it.  I must treat my personal life as yet another project.  To self improve or to exercise?  It must be planned and followed.

Beware : Spend within budget.  I have been spending too much money on things that may not be necessary.  This is no good and must change.  I must keep track on how money is spent and plan for future saving.

Goal: Must list out all the goals I want to fulfill this year.  Thought goals, I will have motivation.

Of Emma and Four Weddings

What a feeling !  Year of 1997.  Got up late in the morning and headed for Bishan Golden Village.  Movie, of course.  I guess in Singapore, either eat or see movie and nothing else better to do.  So, I met up with JP for the show “Emma”.  A very British kind of show.  With heavy British accent.  After the show, went back to her place and watched the TV show, “Four Weddings and a Funeral”.  Yet another very British show.

This year I am going to keep track on how many shows I have watched.

Love Fiction

This, “Love Fiction” has nothing to do with “Pulp Fiction” and it’s my personal observation in the past few days.

#1

Midnight, I was on a train back to the hotel. Sitting in front of me was a French couple. Initially I did not pay attention to them. Usually the French lovers’ impression on me is that when they sit together in a train, they (1) look at each other, then (2) smile and then (3) kiss. The whole process repeats again until the destination is reached.

But this time was different. (1) The man looked at the girl but the girl tried to look somewhere. (2) The girl was about to burst into tears but tried very hard to hold back the tears. (3) The man comforted her and whispered a few words. (4) They hugged each other. And again, the whole process repeated.

After a few stations, the man took out FF20 and a few coins (SGD6) and gave it to the lady. She refused initially but let the man put the money into her pocket.

The first impression to me was that they were going to miss each other and the man had given her with all the cash he had. Unfortunately there is no known ending to this tale as I departed before them. If we actually take in all the observation, it is still very difficult to guess what the real story like.

So with my wild imagination (being affected by movie overdose). (a) The guy has a wife and this girl was his mistress. The mistress realized she would not be seeing him after tonight, hence very sad. (b) The man was a bad guy and he was about to have a duet (fatal one-to-one) with his enemy. So he might not live to see the sunrise. (c) He was a murderer and was currently running away. Hence would not be seeing her for a long while. (d) The girl just got dumped by her boyfriend and the guy happened to be her best friend. (e) The guy actually broke up with this lady, apparently his girlfriend, and he was sending her off the last time.

The love of man, the tears of woman.

#2

One sunny afternoon when I stepped into the hotel, I saw this beautiful dog standing right in front of me. I am not a dog lover but have to admit that she is very beautiful. Very big and sparkling pair of eyes. She was the small type with a body like sausage. Dark brown skin.

At first she was in the hall. Obviously her owner was not around. Then she began to walk out of the entrance. The two porters (one French, another North African), aged around 50, were immediately tensed up. Both of them tried their best to attract her back but she just seemed to be uninterested. They dared not touch her as dogs do bite.

And the dog ran out of the door. All of us (me + 2 porters + 4 tourists) rushed out of the entrance. Then the two porters shouted at each other. I guessed they both asked each other to chase after the dog. You should look into the North African’s (P1) face. He was in total concern and I could see P1 was about to cry. And P2 was just standing there like all of us, did not know what to do. P1, short and fat, ran after the dog (D0). Poor chap. And D0 was about to rush into the main road.

This time, P1 seemed to be able to get the attention of D0 and slowly, P1 guided D0 back to the hotel hall. All of us was in joy.

The love of dogs. As the nature calls.

#3

We can definitely find a formula for world peace at last if we figure this out.

Always, the White hates the Black. That is called discrimination. One day, there was this Black mother carrying her baby (black). There was a White lady siting next to the Black mother showing immense affection and envy toward the baby (black).

At that very moment, I saw the breakage of the wall of discrimination. No color boundary. Why we always love babies no matter what color they are in ? If you loved me 20 years ago, why do you hate me now for I am of a different race ?

The love of baby. World peace, maybe ?

#4

This is a visual experience. Use your imagination.

Once again, I was in a train. The train was at the station and door was opened. Stationary.

Suddenly there was some noise outside the train. Someone walked passed an Indian, who was selling some peanuts, overturned the Indian’s “table”. The “table” was made of paper box and all the packets of peanuts were on the floor.

All the people on the train were very concern, and some were curious.

The whistle was blew and the doors were closed. The train started to move away from the station.

Then I saw another Indian (20 steps from the first Indian) shouting at the guy. Obviously his “store” had been overturned as well.

As the train moved forward, I saw all the people of different color, who were at the station, shouting at the that bad guy.

Finally, I saw that guy. He was a Black walking proudly with head up.

And the train gained it’s speed and it was once again, in total blackness.

What is hatred ? What is love ?

Album Reviews

Hi Guys,

When was the last time when you walked into MPH, found a lot of unheard CDs and wondering what to buy ? When was the last time you deeply regret of buying a trash CD that you probably throw it into the cupboard and never want to listen to it again ?

Not to worry, your friend here has spent a lot a lot of non-chargeable hours and has sampled the most popular CDs in town. If you do find the review useful, please feel free to donate some cash and of course, it will be for charity purposes. To help those poor chaps who are addicted in CD buying.

The first album I wish to talk about is not at all a chart album. Well, got to admit that not all the good albums are chart albums. It is from Belinda Carisle, the tile of the album is “A Man & A Woman”. Remember “Heaven is a Place on Earth”, “Circle in the Sand”, “Little Black Box” and “Summer Rain”? Well you can say she belongs to the 80s. Even her last few albums were not at all fantastic. But you got to check this new album out. Take a listen to “In Too Deep” and  “Always Breaking My Heart”. You will see what I mean. She’s back and back with the old style. Even the cover photo looks a lot better.

How about Sheryl Crow? I know you all heard of “If It Makes You Happy” (or something like that). But doesn’t it sound too much like Alanis Morrissette? Take a look at the MTV and you know what I mean. Personally I have no affection towards Sheryl Crow. She should have gone back to her last album style (“Tuesday Night Club”, I think). I forced myself listening the whole album and found that all the songs sound pretty much like “If It Makes You Happy”. That is, pretty trashed.

And we have our Iceland Babe, Bjork. The new album called, “Telegram”. Solid bass and is potentially dangerous to eardrums. Checkout the powerful overdrive. Surprisingly not a lot of singing. Sometime like a remix album. Sad to say my eardrums refuse to scan through the whole album. Therefore no further comment.

Okay, if you want some New Age music, we have the ENIGMA 3 and the album is called “Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!”. If you like their first album and if you like their second album, certainly you will love this latest one. I would say the first album carries more characteristics (good for medication). The second one is more aggressive and more religious (“I love you I’ll kill you”). As for this new album, seems to me the ENIGMA bass is still there but we have lost the ENIGMA flute. Wonder why. There are more singing and choirs. Oh, by the way, check out the sleeve design. Instead of the ordinary paper, they use super high quality plastic-paper (transparent). Collector’s item.

Another lady singer. This time is Neneh Cherry. Album is simply called, “Man”. For those of you immediate ask: Who is she ? You must have heard of “7 Seconds” when she sang with a Non-English speaking Guy. It was a big hit and is in this album as well. Another song sounds similar to “7 Seconds” is “Woman”. I believe that this is actually the chart breaker. Strong lyrics with immense feeling, “But I’m the kinda woman, that was built to last … In this Godless land, that delivered me. I’ve cried so many tears even the blind can see.” Besides all these slow killers, we do have some faster one like “Hornbeam”. An album with a wide variety.

Spice Girls – “Spice”. Do I really need to say more ? Two singles  taking the 2nd and 3rd position in French Chart in the same week. The last time I saw this miracle was during the Take That era.

3T – “Brotherhood”. Confusing enough, they are TAJ Jackson, Taryll Jackson and TJ Jackson (hence 3T, I suppose.). And the only thing I know about them is they are very closely related to Michael Jackson. (Even appear in their MTV). Hit songs include “Why” and “I need you”. Be warned. Although these singles are very good, the album seems to be otherwise. Personally I don’t really like the whole album, do check out yourself.

Now it’s one of my favorite song “Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai. The MTV was wonderfully filmed. (With the lead singer dancing in a small white room. The floor was moving in all kind of direction with a sofa placed in the middle of the room.) The album I think is called, “Travel Without Moving”. But sad to say if you expect to hear anything like “Virtual Insanity”, you will not be able to find any. Not even close to it. I think it’s quite funky though.

A new two lady group, Alisha’s Attic, with their hit song “I Am I feel”. One blond and one red headed. I would say this chart breaker is indeed something but sad to say, the album is just trash. Still remember the beautiful ballad “Independent love song” by Scarlet (2 ladies as well)? Same destiny.

If you fancy some kind of adventure. Try the “A Tribute to Queen – Dragon Attack”. I was quite impressed with the outcome. Sang by all the hard rockers like, The Door and Motorhead and so on. Got to say that Queen’s music is classic and a change in style is always welcome. But as I listened through the whole album (we have “I Want It All”, “We’ll Rock you” and “We Are the Champion”) I really missed the real stuff, i.e. the real Freddy voice. All in all, it is a great tribute.

You must have heard of the Garbage. Take my word, they are great. Of course  you must be able to take medium rock music in order to be able to appreciate this great work. I just need to name a few like “Queer”, “Only Happy When It Rains” and “Stupid Girl”. Are you sure you have never heard of them ? From “Queer”, “… the queerest of the queer … the coldest of the cool … the strangest of the strange … the deadest of the dead … the blindest of the blind … ”.

It’s Christmas right ? Okay, get yourself the Michael Bolton new CD. I am just aware that it is in the market but I am confident with his standard (the strong male vocal). If you are shopping for a Christmas CD, go and buy it.

Has anyone heard of Fiona Apple ? If you listen to the advertisement, you may feel compile to buy her CD. “… My name is Fiona Apple … My songs are … Love … Feeling … Violence “ In fact it may be right that the lyrics are deep with meanings but personally I can only find 2 to 3 good melody songs in the album, “Tidal”. Her voice is not my type.

Van Halen greatest hit. I do love their new songs, especially their latest album “Balance”. I believe that they only get really popular with the “Balance” album. If you already have the “Balance” album, forget about the greatest hit.

Remember the Bangles (“Eternal Flame”)? Well one of their lead singer Susanna has come out a solo album. I listened to it and can’t even find one single nice song.

o)+> or Prince, “Emancipation”. The chart breaker “Betcha By Golly Wow!” is undoubtedly one of his best creation. And you will find plenty of this type throughout his 3 CDs, like “Soul Sanctuary”, “The Holy River”, “Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife” and “The Love We Make”. A lot of funky music inside as well (just like his old style – Purple Rain). Strange enough, Joan Osborne’s hit “One of Us” is in the album as well. I believe it is written by him. As he is famous of writing songs to other artists not under his name. Like “The Manic Monday”, “Nothing compares to you” and a lot more.

There are also two old albums that I have acquired lately. It is really a gem to hard rockers. They are the Hole. Lead singer (guitarist as well) Courtney Love, was married to Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. The two albums are called “Pretty on the inside” and “Live through this”. Highly acclaimed albums. With powerful and sensitive lyrics as well. Checkout the lyric of the song “Pretty on the inside”

“slut kiss girl won’t you promise her smack
  is she pretty on the inside
  is she pretty from the back
  slut kiss girl won’t you water her rack
  is she pretty on the inside
  is she pretty from the back
  dead moon girl, molasses rot black strap
  is she rotten on the inside
  ugly from the back ?
  my pretty power
  my pretty POWER POWER POWER
  is she UGLY UGLY UGLY UGLY UGLY”

No wonder Kurt Cobain has to shot himself (Just kidding, the real reason is because he felt trapped and he saw no way out of his career).

Just wonder how many of you has actually got this far. Perhaps just me.

Anyway, take care and let’s rock!