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    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    There is a very disturbing trend in the music industry.

    Me: Hey! Where are the remixes and that song we recorded?
    Singer: Oh. It's not going to be in this album. I am saving it for the repackage album.
    Me: Why?
    Singer: Dunno. Everybody is doing it.

    Yes. It's is the curse of the repackage album.

    So in Malaysia, the singer comes out with the pre-repackage album. The album doesn't sell well and somehow they think repackaging the album will do better sales. But wait, it might. They will add a new song. Which makes me wonder. Why wasn't that song in the album in the first place.

    The moral of the story to the consumer is to wait for the repackage album. Don't buy the first version. The cover sucks anyway. Wait a few months and get the repack with bonus tracks and all.

    As if it isn't difficult enough, music labels and singers are making even more difficult for themselves to sell music by imposing an entrance fee: The first crappy CD.

    But in other news, I got a bit of a thrill today when I heard one of my tracks reproduced in English: Drama. I recorded Ning's vocals here in KL (with stories which will require a new blog) and the vocals were shipped to London for the music by Jesus From Ibiza. I am very happy with it, although I was expecting them to totally pimp out the song to the point that I wouldn't recognise it anymore. You can check it out on my MySpace page.

    Malaysia Boleh!

    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    There is no easy way to eat the McDonald's Chicken Foldover. Collin told me to keep the thing in the paper wrap and the environmentally-unfriendly cardboard box. I have eaten it that way before and I would end up with a chicken pattie and lettuce at the bottom of the paper wrap. So that didn't work well.

    I took it out of the cardboard box and put it on a plate. To eat it, I had to tilt my head and eat it side ways. I am sure this is a yoga pose. Even then, I had to be careful to make sure stuff do not fall out of the foldover. You just can't win with this thing.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    No matter what they say, it is very possible to burn your hair with a hair dryer. No, it doesn't mean a fire like a burning bush. But it starts to smell funky and you noticed something is missing.

    I recorded Ning and Dayang in two separate sessions these past two nights. And once again, I am given some faith in the music scene. I cannot stress how appreciative I am working with them. Only one word when it comes to their craft: Professional. Both were faced with circumstances that were less than perfect. Both came through. No little part of me died inside.

    Ning had to learn the song that is....let's say "questionable" then and there. She came through and we had a few laughs in the process.

    Dayang was sick. She still came to the session. She tried. I made it quick. I told her to do her best for 20 minutes. She did and we wrapped up the session in 18 minutes. Then we watched the Golden Globe Awards on TV.

    PROFESSIONALS.

    In contrast, some singers don't even show up for their session and then blame their manager for not telling them. But he did. But she didn't get it the message. But he told her already at that nasi kandar place in Ampang last week. But she said she needed directions. But he said.....she said...he said...shave your balls and call your mother.

    Monday, January 08, 2007

    I can't say this enough. I'd rather lick a cat's butt than to have my picture taken or be interviewed. And this time around, they made me wear makeup. I felt compromised. Violated. I am not sure if I will ever be the same man I was again.

    However, the experience reminded me somethings I sometimes forgot in the thick of things. I feel truly blessed professionally. And the interview this afternoon somewhat made me realise that. I have been blessed with people like Mr Manager, Badrul, Izham, and many others that have taken a chance with my work. And they did not ask for ballads. However, it really could be that they had no one else to ask and are just desperate for something different and they'd dessert me at the drop of a hat if someone else new came along. (These people are just bastards!) For now, I am going to think otherwise because there is really no reason why a Chinese guy from Melaka who can't read music and only know five chords should be in the Malay music industry.

    That's why I need 15 takes to spit out these lines.

    "Jangan lupa. Saksikan Kemuncak AIM 14. Setiap Jumaat, 8 malam, hanya di NTV7. Saluran ceria anda."

    Thursday, January 04, 2007

    I had lunch at House + Co., located on the third floor at Bangsar Shopping Centre. This is actually a furniture store but they have a little cafe at the back. They serve the best curry laksa. And the kuay teow soup and nasi lemak are excellent as well. It is not a casual statement when I say the curry laksa is the best in the world. It's a fact.

    Over lunch, my lunch buddy tells me about her friend who was to be married. Her fiance's parents visited those creepy Chinese medium guys at the temple. They got into a trance and told her that her fiance was meant to be alone in life and that if she married him, she would die. Yes, she will DIE. So what does she do? She did what any superstitious-feng-shui-believing-cockle-loving Chinese would do. She called off the wedding.

    I feel for the guy. What can he do? It's about the most cruel thing that could happen...right up there with involuntary castration by a strong overzealous crotch-grabbing child. Even if he married her, they'd have this cloud hanging over them for the rest of their lives. And perhaps to the point where it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and she actually dies. This is exactly the sort of thing that could ruin his day.

    Anyway, check out House + Co. As tables and seatings are limited, please check with me to make sure that I do not plan to eat there as well. I don't need the challenge.

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    So this is what life was like before the Internet. Sort of.

    I just have not been bothered to go on-line these past few days because my connection to the Internet just sucks royal ass. I thought the concept of the Internet and the World Wide Web was that we’d be able to connect no matter what. Traffic will be rerouted if one part of the Internet goes down. Hence, World Wide WEB.

    Anyway, these past few days were different. I’d go on-line for awhile. I can’t get to the sites I want. I get frustrated. I have hateful thoughts then I’d just turn off the computer.

    Suddenly I have all this time in my hands. I had no idea I spent that much time on the Internet doing stupid things like downloading TV shows I don’t have time to watch or digg for stories at Digg.com researching the meaning of life.

    And suddenly, I am living again. I am watching TV. I am exercising. I am cleaning the apartment. Folding laundry. Separating the expired food products in my fridge by year. Visiting other parts of my apartment like the living room.

    I could get used to this.

    And why is it that whenever foreign press write news stories on Indonesians and mention a name, it is almost always followed by “who goes by just one name”. Really…who cares? I don’t think any reader who reads “Sipan is tired of crying” is going to go “I wonder if Sipan is his only name or he has more than one name.”

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    You might want to know this.

    I mentioned this in Clara's blog some time ago but I was again recently confronted with a situation which require some gift-giving. And it is gift-giving of the worst kind: Giving a gift out of obligation. What’s worse than that is giving a gift out of obligation to someone you hardly know but you know you have to because you don't want to come off looking like a bastard.

    Well. Glad that’s out of the way.

    Recent events made me realise that a situation can sometimes call for something more and sometimes, the best gift is not necessarily material gifts. And I do not mean something tacky like a gift certificate or a donation made in that person’s name.

    I am talking about something more radical and heartfelt. Something that this person will remember forever and write folk songs about it.

    I am talking about the gift of honesty.

    And it goes a little something like this.

    Me: I am giving you the gift of honesty this year. In all honesty, I don’t know or like you enough to buy you a gift.
    Sad person in shock: Thank you.

    It’s that simple.