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May 31st

Jack and Rai support fight against famine

By Yuda
By ewenboey 

Normally seen entertaining crowds in the local music scene, Jack Ho and Rai Kannu, also known asJack and Rai, are using their fame to appeal for support of a greater cause.

The musical act, who are goodwill ambassadors of World Vision Singapore, want to highlight the importance of the 30 hour Famine Camp to be held this year on 18 and 19 June.

At the camp, participating youths will go 30 hours without food and join in activities designed to replicate the experiences of people living in impoverished communities. The event aims to help the youth understand the challenges faced by those less privileged.

Speaking to Yahoo! Singapore, Rai said he and Jack appreciate how hard some people's lives may be. "We're not the richest people in the world, but we're definitely better off than somebody else," he noted.

May 30th

New Releases @ HMV This Week

By Yuda

(week starting 30th May)

Rock & Pop

  • Pierces - You & I
  • Death Cab For Cutie - Codes & Keys
  • Charice - Charice (Repack)
  • Shinedown - Somewhere in The Stratosphere 


  • OST - Green Lantern
  • OST - Snow Flower & The Secret Fan
May 30th

West Grand Boulevard launches album

By Yuda
By Monica Kotwani

SINGAPORE: The popular local band West Grand Boulevard has launched its first album -- but what took it six years to do that? 

The band, which comprises Jude, Bryan, Syed, Erik and Dharma, says it started work on a first album when Daphne Khoo -- of Singapore Idol fame -- had a brief stint with the group.

After her departure, Bryan, who left the band earlier, came back to front the band. 

"Ever since then, we started writing a few more songs, and then we started polishing up our act," Bryan says. 

"And then we said, 'hey guys, we're not exactly getting younger. It's about time we launched this, because the fans have been waiting for a really long time', he says, adding "thank for your patience".

And that patience is bearing fruit. 

"Life, Love and a Loss for Better Words'" was launched to a packed crowd at the Substation Theatre two weeks ago.

And is there any significance behind the title? 

"This really is the personification of everything we've been through," says Erik. "We spent three hours on one time, and maybe a year later, we thought about it again. They were like, no, 'Big Knife' is not a good idea." 

The album's a compilation of old and new songs the band has written over six years, and features crowd favourites like "DKNY". 

Says Syed: "As a band, when you're actually playing music, you don't want to have a formula. And a lot of times, the songs that have a standard formula, they tend to sound better... The standard chorus, verse, bridge... because it makes sense.

"But to fulfil the other side of us, which (is our) love (for) playing music, and upgrading our current capacity... we have tracks that are not commercially viable, but we just love playing them anyway".

And while Bryan and Dharma are the main songwriters, creative inputs come from all members. 

"Either Dharma, me or Bryan will have a melody, usually on the guitar or something," says Jude. 

"We bring it to the studio, and we show it to the guys. And Syed comes up with a beat, Erik comes up with a melody, and then we just jam it out. 

"We just flesh it out and see what happens. And if we don't like it, we make changes from there." 

Despite performing for years and being well known in the local music scene, they still say it's a special feeling when they see people singing along to their songs.

They also say they enjoy their "fan" moments, such as the time when they played at a girls school on a tour to introduce local music. 

"Life, Love and a Loss for Better Words" is out at selected CD stores.


May 24th

Lady Gaga’s $0.99 Album Download Overwhelms Amazon

By Yuda
by Brenna Ehrlich

Lady Gaga fans were delighted Monday to learn that they could download her new album, Born This Way, from Amazon for a mere $0.99 — until, of course, technical difficulties set in.

Downloads of the album are delayed, leaving folks unable to get the entire album immediately upon purchase. Amazon issued the following statement:

Amazon is experiencing high volume and downloads are delayed. If customers order today, they will get the full Lady Gaga, Born This Way album for $0.99. Thanks for your patience.

However, the damage has already been done, as users are meting out one-star ratings in droves, most of which deal with Amazon’s slow service as opposed to the quality of the music (although some reviews in the lower bracket did dub the disc “disappointing”). As a result, the album has a relatively low three-star rating.

Reviews of the following nature reign: “This review isn’t a review of the album, but of the Amazon’s digital music service. I tried this as an experiment to see if I wanted to order more music this way, but it only downloaded half the songs. Still a deal at 99cents, but not an experiment I’ll want to repeat with a full-price album.”

Many reviews also trumpet the user’s intent to buy from iTunes in the future, instead of Amazon — a state of affairs Amazon would want to avoid, considering iTunes already holds most of the market share for digital music.

This backlash does not bode well for the future popularity of Amazon’s new Cloud Player service, which the company was touting in the promotional language of the deal, offering users more storage space for buying the album.

May 24th

Japanese pop group AKB48 to perform here every month

By Yuda

JAPANESE idol girl group AKB48 have committed to performing in Singapore every month at *SCAPE. The 61-member group recently launched their first South East Asia concept store in Singapore on May 14.

Debuting in 2005, the AKB48 girls are known for their cute schoolgirl image and position themselves as 'idols you can meet everyday'. They earned a place in the Guinness World Records last year as the 'pop group with the greatest number of members', with 48 of them. AKB48 has since recruited more girls to join its ranks, and now comprises of 61 girls aged between 12 and 24.

They perform live at their own Akihabara theatre-cum-shop in Tokyo almost daily, and now they are exporting the whole AKB48 experience to Singapore. They kicked things off with their first concert at their so-called Singapore Theatre on May 14.

More than 500 fans turned up from as early as 8.30am that day to meet three of the AKB48 girls - Misaki Iwasa, Mika Komori and Miho Miyazaki - who were there to launch their concept store.

Merchandise such as pens, photo books and musical mugs are available at the store, which will also include a world's first AKB48 cafe, due to open in June.

May 23rd

Rainism hits Singapore

By Yuda
Text: Joanna Goh
Photos: Lim Wen Ying and Joanna Goh


It was their final chance to get up close and personal with Rain last night before the singer-actor temporarily hangs up his dancing shoes to serve his country for the next two years.

Though "a little sad" to bid goodbye, a couple of Malaysian fans who specially flew in on Sunday morning for the concert were "proud of Rain" and will continue to "wait two years from now" for his return.

To grab the best possible standing spots in the mosh pit segments, these Malaysian fans started queuing at 9am, hours before the The Best 2011 Rain Asia Tour in Singapore concert began. The first in line was an 18-year-old Malaysian fan who arrived at 6.30am with her mother in tow.

Armed with paper fans and fan paraphernalia, waiting patiently outside the stadium's premises were a group of 200 overseas and local fans from Rain's official fanclub. We were told by two Singapore reps that a group of 150 Korean, Japanese and Indonesian fans specially flew in to attend the event last night. 
May 23rd

New Release @ HMV This Week

By Yuda

(week starting 23rd May)

Rock & Pop

  • Lady Gaga - Born This Way
  • Simply Red - Farewell: Live at Sydney Opera House 


  • OST - Sharpays Fabulous Adventures
  • OST - Hangover II
  • OST - Glee The Music: Vol6 Season Two

Classical & Jazz

  • Various - Great British Wedding Album
  • Brad Paisley - This Is Country Music

Dance & Soul

  • Stephen Marley - Revelation Pt1: Root of Live


  • Thelma Aoyama - Love Story
  • Mister Mr - People Sing For People (CD+DVD)
  • Wynners - 38 Da Yue Jun Concert (DVD)
  • Misia - Hoshizora Live VI Encore 2010 (DVD +CD)
  • Ivana Wong - Cinema of Love (CD+DVD)
May 20th

Guns N' Roses: Axl Rose Has Three Albums Worth Of New Songs

By Yuda

When Guns N Roses’ much delayedChinese Democracy was finally released in 2008, many suspected that Guns front man Axl Rose had more new material up his sleeve. In an interview with Australian rock radio station Triple M, the band’s latest Guitarist DJ Ashba seems to confirm this fact, stating that Rose has a large number of new songs in the works:

"Axl has a lot of great songs up his sleeve... He probably has three albums worth of stuff recorded... The stuff I've heard… I've been up in his hotel room many nights and he just sits down at the piano and plays. I'm like, 'This is amazing. People have to hear this song.' And he's like, 'Ah, this is something I'm tinkering on.'... He's just a genius when it comes down to music and I just cannot wait to sit down with an acoustic guitar and just write. He's just got this gift that's very, very rare."

Fans expecting a new Guns N Roses record in the near future might be in for a bit of a wait. According to Blabbermouth.net, Ashba went on to tell Triple M presenter Nui Te Koha that most of Axl’s new tracks will never see the light of day.

Chinese Democracy, the first Guns N Roses album of new material for 15 years, performed disappointingly on the Billboard charts, debuting at number 3 before being pushed out by Kanye West’s Graduation album. While the disc was eventually certified a Platinum seller in February 2009, it only shifted 261,000 units in its first week of release, a small number when considering the success of the bands’ previous offerings, The Use Your Illusion discs, which spent 108 consecutive weeks on the Billboard charts in 1991. Many believe that Axl Rose’s reclusive nature and lack of media appearances in the lead up to the album’s release were a key factor in Chinese Democracy’s commercial under-performance. 

- Ultimate-Guitar 
May 19th

Are solo artistes at a disadvantage in S’pore?

By Yuda
By Ewen Boey

Who says Singapore does not have good young talent?

Six artistes -- all below 35-years-old -- were chosen  as winners in the recently-concluded Noise-Timbre Singer-Songwriter Programme.

Under the programme, young aspiring singer-songwriters send in YouTube videos for a chance to gig at Timbre @ The Substation. Those whose entries get the most votes win.

Chief creative director and co-founder of Timbre Group, Danny Loong, told Yahoo! Singapore, that Timbre Music Academy will be taking baby steps to work on developing the chosen musicians into recognised performers.

Loong, the ex-bandleader and founder of critically-acclaimed blues band Ublues, lamented that Singaporeans' mindset is to see more bands play, but not solo performers.

May 16th

New Release @ HMV This Week

By Yuda

(week starting 16th May)

Rock & Pop

  • Danger Mouse & Danielle Luppi - Rome
  • Seether - Holding On To Strings Better Left To Pray
  • Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Trouble Water (40th Anniversary)
  • Bruce Springsteen Promise - Making of
  • Billy Joel - Live At Shea Stadium
  • Friendly Fires - Pala
  • Kate Bush - Directors Cut


  • OST - Thor
  • OST - Pirates of Carribean: On Stranger Tides
  • OST - Sharpays Fabulous Adventures

Classical & Jazz

  • Various Liszt: Wild & Crazy

Dance & Soul

  • Moby - Destroyed


  • Girls Generation - Mr Taxi
  • Tizzy Bac - 告密的心
  • Inoran - Teardrop (CD+DVD)
  • Xu Zhi An (Andy Hui) - On & On