hurts.

Gosh, I can’t believe it has been an entire week since I last blogged. Yes, I was tired of a lot of things, and to a certain extent there just wasn’t much to write about.

At this point, my life is pretty staid because day in and out, I will be making a tedious commute to the office, spend a few hours in a freezer-like environment, before thawing myself out in the perpetual sauna that Singapore has become in the last few days.

I penned a couple of long wordy entries that I just deleted away though, because I felt it was pointless to write about them since I would rather just keep the comments to myself. So… what has been happening in this boring life that I call mine?

Went to cast my vote for the first time in my life, although it wasn’t exciting or life-changing. To me, it was more of a necessity to vote rather than me being in anyway passionate about politics. I wasn’t, am not, and probably never will be. As much as this round of elections garnered a lot of attention at the national level all the way through the community as can be seen and heard almost everywhere I go to, I still am not interested in it at all. I believe everyone just wants the best for the country that we call home, just that the way they go about it is different, so everyone has their own opinions and thoughts about the scene and so be it. There really is not much point getting all rifled up for nothing.

Caught the Last Bladesman starring Donnie Yen on Saturday, since I was in bad need of a cool respite anyway. It wasn’t too bad, because although if you ask me about Chinese classics like Romance of the Three Kingdoms or the likes, you will most probably draw a blank, I really enjoy movies that are adapted from these classics, or rather anything adapted from historical events. Maybe it’s an easy way out of learning about history in bite sizes, since I gave up studying history after Secondary 2 because it entailed too much memorising that I wasn’t at all fond of, although what I chose eventually also involved a lot of memory work. I loved Donnie Yen in the 2 Ip Man movies but watching the Last Bladesman was like watching Ip Man fighting with the crescent blade (this is what the huge sword/spear thing is called based on a quick scan at wiki), so it was a bit weird.

Spent the rest of the Saturday evening wining and dining at Wala, where Luthfi from the Common People was standing in for Shirlyn that night. The repertoire of songs was definitely different from the usual Saturday night gig by the Unexpected but it was still all good, although perhaps the chemistry seemed a little different. And I think we encounter the oddest people at Wala! How many times has it been since we met strange people?

And tonight, courtesy of my dear cousin and F3, I got a pair of complimentary tickets to watch Hurts live in concert at the Esplanade! I really love their songs and especially Theo Hutchcraft’s vocals! When I first heard them, I thought they reminded me of Depeche Mode, infused with a little bit of New Order perhaps? The concert was a really short one at about 60 minutes, but the crowd that turned up was definitely not disappointed at all! I would say that most of us are still pretty reserved in showing our love for the performing band, but well there is some improvement because I saw a number of people up on their feet and getting all excited each time the first few notes of a song were played. But from where I was seated the spotlights/strobe lights (or whatever) on stage made it extremely painful (on the eyes) to focus on the stage and the band because the lights are shining into our eyes and they are just too glaring for comfort. Theo’s microphone-swinging reminded me a little of Brett Andersen when they were here for concert eons back when I was still in school, albeit the style of swinging and perhaps the manner differed greatly; compared to Brett’s languidness, Theo’s antics were a tad more erratic and forceful. I hope they will return for another concert in future!

a state of comparison

How often do you hear people comparing one thing with another, one person with another, so on and so forth? It goes that it is with comparison that we can more confidently make an opinion of which we prefer, favour, dislike, etc.

I was watching this teen idol drama (ok, go ahead and laugh but they can be therapeutic in their own ways, believe it or not) where this guy tells a girl he likes and who likes him back, that as much as he can’t ignore his ex-crush when she comes to him after quarreling with her boyfriend, he feels more ill at ease when he knows that this girl is upset, and his heart aches more for her. Well, I suppose some girls will probably swoon at that, especially when the person speaking these lines own a good-looking face, but that’s besides the point now. I was quite taken aback by her response, which stated that she doesn’t care for his feelings in that case, because if he can only realise that by comparing her with the ex-crush, then she doesn’t want him at all. Hmm. Food for thought?

Anyway, I was at my usual Kronenbourg-drinking hole on Saturday, having come out from a very angsty week that somehow warranted some beer methinks, and the Unexpected band was playing. They are one of my favourite local bands in addition to Timmy Band and more recently, 53A (although I only like the latter in a full band), so being able to chill out on a Saturday night to beer and nice music was one of my life’s enjoyments. I was comparing the 2 bands (Unexpected and Timmy) in terms of the songs they sang, because at such live gigs, there are some songs that will inadvertently do their rounds as sort of live band anthems, a very good example of which would be “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. I preferred Timmy band’s version of this song, by the way, because Ngak’s voice in delivering the song win hands down over Simon’s. No offence to the latter, but perhaps Ngak being the lead vocalist of the band makes the difference.

After the 2nd set ended past midnight, I thought to head home since I’d already been there for a number of hours and was honestly struggling to keep my eyes open by then. Somehow, time at Wala passes really fast, because even as I may stop counting the drinks that I consume, the minutes and seconds just tick by without even me realising it and soon it’s time to go home. On the way back, I was thinking how alike and different the 2 bands are… they both play live sessions at pubs and such, and definitely I’ve heard Timmy more than Unexpected since I frequented Wed-night Wala during the period when I bumming around, but the sound of the Unexpected seemed more rock? Based on the songs that they sing anyway, on the few occasions that I’ve heard them. I should probably check out more live acts, although there are some that just don’t do it for me. And oh, being someone who doesn’t listen to radio programmes at all, I think live bands provide a very good source to learn about songs that I may like.

saturday night

One of my favourite Suede songs would have to be Saturday Night, from their Coming Up album. They were a band whom I only got acquainted with when I was in JC, thanks to one of my buddies back then who liked them and sort of introduced me to them, or maybe I have remembered wrongly. Anyway, Coming Up was their most popular and mainstream album I think. To me at least. Their earlier albums had great songs too, especially The Wild Ones (that was on… Dog Man Star, I think), but the ones after that were a bit lacklustre, although Sci Fi Lullabies was quite a winner for me with its dark tunes.

Well this isn’t a post about the band because after that I really don’t know what happened to them or if they are still in existence. They will still be one of my favourite bands though, and are one of the rare English bands that I’ve actually caught in concert live in Singapore.

Last Saturday was actually quite tiring. Started the day pretty early because I had wanted to check out  a cafe recommended by a friend, I shall talk about the cafe in a different post, so I headed out before 10am! I woke up fairly late for a Saturday and took the MRT on the North-South line, changed to the Circle line, and then onto the North-East line! Gosh, there weren’t many stops but the walking time between the lines was pretty long.

It was movie after a very fulfilling and sinful lunch, after which we went downtown to catch an early movie, and headed off to Resorts World Sentosa. I’ve been there twice, once for some company event and another time to visit USS, also courtesy of the company, so I thought I’d go there to check out the shops this weekend. There weren’t many shops, lesser than MBS, so most of the time when I was there I was sitting at Coffee Bean trying to cool off in the humid afternoon.

After we got back to the mainland we wanted to be away from the crowd, at least I did, so we took a bus to Holland Village and got there whilst there was still lots of light. It was kind of weird to be there that early because most times when I am in the vicinity it’s usually Wednesday nights after work, but it felt really relaxing with everyone in chill-out mode. When we got to Wala-wala it was still quite empty with the upstairs occupied by 2 patrons and a handful of service staff. We got a pretty good seat and started our Saturday night of boozing and eating. It wasn’t until about 2.5 or more hours later that the band, Shirlyn & The Unexpected, started their set and by the end of the first set I was so ready to call it a night and head on home to sleep, feeling the toll from the day’s commuting I presume.

Chilling out to band music in a dimly-lit bar really fits the kind of mood that the song Saturday Night gives me, even if the lyrics mean a totally different thing (I forgot what they were singing about). I just wished I was able to stay longer because I think the band is good and Shirlyn’s voice is amazing. Oh, and Walas is one of the places that serves shoe-string fries that I really like, the other being Paulaner. Most other bars serve thicker-cut fries that I don’t really fancy as much. And with Kronenbourg going at 1-for-1 during happy hours even on Saturdays, what more can we ask for?