Konsert XPAX Era Sayang Sabah

Not so long ago, I was given the opportunity to attend a music event on behalf of Breeze magazine. When I was first called I was thinking of declining because it was a rainy day and I was not keen about going alone. I called a bunch of friends and none were available at the time…. and then, I thought about all those IMPROV exercises we did at AWE’15 in Jogja this year… and realized that I was being a total wuss! I mean, seriously, I have been to shadier places in Bangkok! Alone! Yet I was afraid to go to a freaking concert alone? Booo!

So I said YES! Went alone and no, the ground did not opened up and swallowed me whole. It was fine. Going to a concert stag definitely FINE! No.. I might be down playing it a bit. It was a awesome! Ear-Splitting and Brain Damaging but… awesome!

I arrived a little bit late. I was welcomed by See Bee from Astro, she gave me my Media Pass… took me near the stage where the media people hang out. I got to bypass the crowd, that was super-great because the crowd was insane! I immediately saw my old friend there. She was there with her husband’s band (Ariez).

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This is Angela. We used to climb hills together when we were kids! Sorry, no beauty shot. This is how I normally look like on a rainy Friday night.

Upon hearing that I came as Media, Angel asked me “Did you go behind the stage and took photos with Afghan? Did you? Did you?”

And my priceless reaction was “Afghan, who?”. Even in my confusion, I could hear the crowd behind me chanting Afghan’s name. I found myself wondering… Who is this sorcerer? Is he someone famous?

The show began with a local Hip-Hop Duo but don’t ask me their names,  I definitely had no idea who there were. I scrambled a bit before I remembered to adjust my camera setting. So I am sorry to the local hip hoppers. Tiada gambar kamu yang cantik. It’s been so long since I have to shoot at night. Other medias with their big cameras made me feel small with my small mirrorless.

Right after the first performance… something blew up behind the stage and suddenly the power was out. The rain was a downpour so all the media people ran close to the stage to take shelter from the rain.

The crowd though, were not moving an inch.

The crowd though, were not moving an inch.

I can’t remember how long it was. But we stood there, in puddles of water, barely concealed from the rain. Shivering and waiting for the power to come back on. I remember looking at my feet submerged in a puddle and noticing cables on the ground right next to my feet. I remember thinking “This would be the worst way to go. Electrocuted in some concert.”

 

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I wondered briefly if I should just ditch it.

And then bam!  The show was back on again!… Took some nice photos, I did.

 

Donovon from Ariez. Angela's hubby who is also my old buddy from college.

Donovon from Ariez. Angela’s hubby who is also my old buddy from college.

 

And the show went on and on and on….

Ariez

Ariez

I am somewhat useless in these kinds of live shows. I really don’t listen to the radio much. I only find new songs from the movies and non-local tv series that I watch. So coming to this concert was really weird for me. Since I didn’t know most of the songs, when people sang along to the songs I just stood there like an asshat who refused to mingle. What was I supposed to do? I didn’t know any of the songs. Couldn’t even hum them if I wanted to. But Thank God, for this guy though. At least I could sing along to his song…

 

Altimet, singing the only song that I could sing along to that night. :p

Altimet, singing the only song that I could sing along to that night. :p

…..

Kalau Aku Kayaaa... Hari Hari Hari Raya....

Kalau Aku Kayaaa… Hari Hari Hari Raya….

Since, I didn’t have to give any photos to Breeze… I just took photos whenever I felt like it, usually when I saw great lighting or when I saw someone I knew. Like these fellas…

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Mak Jemah in da House!

….

Black & RJ

Black & RJ

…..

MOJO

MOJO

…..

Yeah, I am the creepy lady taking photos from between people's shoulders because I would do anything for a crazy angle.

Yeah, I am the creepy lady taking photos from between people’s shoulders because I would do anything for a crazy angle.

You know when you go somewhere and you say to yourself I am gonna take one awesome shot and I am done! Well, after taking this shot I looked at it, and I was DONE! I did not think that Akim was a good singer back in his AF days… but man, his has grown to be one hella performer! And oh yeah, because I live in a cave… I didn’t know he has this awesome band. My bad.

Akim and The Majistret. This SHOT. This lighting. Slayyyyyy.

Akim and The Majistret. This SHOT. This lighting. Slayyyyyy.

Apparently, the lighting people did an awesome job. For me to be able to take these shots without using my fast lens etc… says a lot about the quality of the lighting. Why am I talking about the lighting? What else am I going to talk about… I don’t know any of the songs remember?

Akim & The Majistet

Akim & The Majistet

And… what would a show on Sabahan soil without Stacy right? Stacy sang a duet with Akim but no good photos came out of that roll… :'( Their chemistry was a bit off!

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Last but not least, the sorcerer himself. I swear to God I did not know any of his songs. But the crowd was screaming so loud when he came on stage so I figured, he must be a big deal in Malaysia right now.

Afghan

Afghan

My friend’s sister was going Gaga over this dude. I can understand. He’s very good-looking and when he sang that duet with that Sabahan Singer whose name I don’t know (so sorry), their chemistry was off the freaking chart!

Afghan

Afghan, close up!

Don’t hate me. This is the last photo, I promise.

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Afghan was the closing act. He sang about five songs. I left before the last song ended. It was a little over midnight and I anticipated that there would be a traffic jam trying to get out of there. Not knowing what to expect from a live show like this… I came unprepared. In the end, I was a little bit deaf and light-headed because I stood too near to the speakers! But overall, I had a really great time! I took a bunch of photos that I am happy with and I learned a lot about taking photos on live shows!

This is my first time ever blogging about a Music Event! (Time for me to upgrade my musical knowledge a bit)

Thanks for the opportunity Astro (See Bee) and Breeze (Dinoza)!

Festive Indulgence at Avangio Hotel, Metro Town.

The festive season is just around the corner. Are you in your festive mood yet? I know I am. Can’t wait to kickback and end the year in style! If you are like me, you are probably planning family gatherings and looking for a place to spend your time with family. Preferably over good food and drinks!

avangio

Recently, Avangio Hotel launched their restaurant’s Dinner Set Menu for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. It is a delightful gastronomical spread of fresh and succulent courses comprising of delectable appetizers, homemade soup, main courses selection of either turkey, salmon, or steak served together savoury accompaniments.

But what better way to describe all these delicious food than with photos right?

Canapes

Appetizers!

Appetizers are Prawn Canapé, Mango Salsa Canapé and Tuna Canapé. I really love the Prawn Canapé. It’s succulent and the prawns are not overcooked. Just enough taste to open up the taste buds for the next dish.

Oven Baked Salmon

I love Salmon! I love my Salmon raw and fresh. But I love it cooked as well (as long as I don’t have to do the cooking). I think the salmon was cooked perfectly and the sauce really complement the taste of the salmon. The salmon was really my favourite that night.

They are offering two delicious Salmon dishes on the menu. The Oven Roasted Salmon for the Christmas Menu and the Grilled Salmon with Capers Cream Sauce (the taste was divine, BTW).

Lamb Rack with Garlic and Rosemary

Lamb Rack with Garlic and Rosemary

Hello meat! Meat eaters will love this Charboiled Lamb Rack with Garlic and Rosemary. It was clearly the night’s hit. The chef said Sabahan loves their meat and considering the amount of this people pile on their plates, I think he got a point there!

Turkey

Sliced Turkey with Cranberry Sauce

Next is the Sliced Roasted Turkey with Cranberry Sauce. The Cranberry Sauce was subtle and really brought the whole dish together. The Turkey was cooked just right.It was not too hard and not too tender.

More food photos…

 

Here’s the menu for the Christmas Eve Dinner Set.

 

CHRISTMAS EVE
DINNER SET MENU
RM78 NETT

with a complimentary glass of wine.

APPETIZER

Prawn Canapé
Mango Salsa Canapé
Tuna Canapé

SOUP

Cream of Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Bread

MAIN COURSE

All mains are served with mixed vegetables and mash potatoes
Sliced  Roasted Turkey
or
Rib Eye Steak with Shallot Balsamic Reduction
or
Oven Roasted Salmon

DESSERT

Fruit Cake
or
Apple Crumble
 

and the New Year’s Eve Dinner Set.

NEW YEAR’S EVE
DINNER SET MENU
RM88 NETT

with a complimentary glass of wine.
 

APPETIZER
Prawn Canapé
Mango Salsa Canapé
Tuna Canapé
 

SOUP
Oxtail Soup

MAIN COURSE

All mains are served with mixed vegetables and mash potatoes
Grilled Salmon with Capers Cream Sauce
or
Charboiled Lamb Rack with Garlic and Rosemary
or
Stuffed Chicken with Mushroom Ragout

DESSERT

Fruit Cake
or
Mille-Feuilles


24th December 2015 (Chrismas Eve Dinner) /
31st December 2015 (New Year’s Eve Dinner)

Time : 6.30pm – 10.30pm

Venue : Mercato, Lobby Level

ADVANCED RESERVATIONS PREFERRED.

MAKE YOUR RESERVATION @

Phone : 088-536 888

Email : H9027-RE2@accor.com

 

Other than that Avangio Hotel also have a selection of Christmas Goodies for Pre-Order! Available from 1st – 31st December 2015.

 

Avangio Hotel Kota Kinabalu Managed by Accor
Jalan Metro 2, Metro Town
Off Jalan Lintas,
88300 Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah, Malaysia.

Tel : 088-536 888
Fax : 088-536 999

Reservation : H9027-RE2@accor.com
www.accorhotels.com/9027

Yasmine, Sebuah Filem.

images (2)

Baru-baru ini saya tertarik dengan satu video trailer untuk sebuah filem produksi negara Brunei Darussalam. Apa yang menarik sangat tentang filem ini? Ia bukan sahaja filem ‘box-office’ pertama keluaran negara ini, ia juga diarah oleh Siti Kamaluddin, pengarah wanita pertama negara Brunei Darussalam!

Filem yang menelan belanja produksi sebanyak BND 2 Juta ini memaparkan barisan pelakon berwibawa dari tiga negara (Indonesia, Brunei dan Malaysia). Produksi ini juga mengambil langkah berani dengan memperkenalkan barisan pelakon utama yang baru pertama kali berlakon dilayar perak. Tanpa bercerita panjang… jom tengok theatrical trailer!

one more…

Sudah lihat trailernya mungkin anda sudah tahu ya apa jalan ceritanya. Ada petikan kata-kata Bruce Lee lagi diselitkan disitu. Memang sangat menarik kan? Macam Karate Kid versi Melayu! Bukan selalu ya bisa merasa teruja menunggu filem keluaran negara serumpun kita sebegini rupa. Jadi, nantikan kedatangan filem ini di pawagam!!

Drumcat

Don’t let their name fool you. Drumcat is the best all female percussion group in Korea and quite possibly the world, too. Banded together in 2003, this eleven member group has won several international awards including Herald Angel Award at England’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Scotland’s Cavalcade Best Unit Award in 2008.

In South Korea, they have won the prestigious Performance part Grand Award in Korea Entertainment Award 2009 and they’re regarded as one of the must-see attractions in Seoul.

The group is made of eleven power-house drummer: Lee See Do (the amazing lead drummer), Ji Young, Chung Yeun, Mi Ni, Jin A, Noi, YuRi, Hyo Jung, Miran, Hyowon and Hyun Jung. They’re dubbed as Korea’s most compelling women and this is hardly an exaggeration. They deliver one of the most energetic and explosive performance on stage; Each with their own lively personalities.

Check out their Trailer

I had the opportunity to attend one of their spectacular shows entitled “Free Your Soul” when I was in Korea recently. I am not much of a percussion enthusiast but Drumcat, they blew me away! Their performance exudes so much passion and power; it was impossible not to get swept away by it. Once the show started none of the audience could take their eyes off the stage. The air sizzled with raw energy, it was such an electrifying performance!

My favourite member of Drumcat has got to be their lead drummer, Lee See Do. She practically owned the stage. Whenever she’s on stage I find it impossible to take my eyes off her. She’s Electric with capital E. Out of all their numbers, See Do’s Solo Snare was my favourite part of the performance!

Check out her solo snare.

and one of their street performance… But this really can’t compare to their stage performances…

Took some photos after their performance..

Lee See Do and Yours Truly

A Drumcat Live performance is really something that should not be missed. The next time you visit Seoul be sure to include them in your itinerary. They have 2 shows a day (16.00 / 20.00) from Tuesday to Sunday at MyungBo Art Hall, Seoul. You can check Korea.Net or their website for more info.

Adele Blanc Sec, the Witch and the remake.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon must be evil. After reading his books I can’t seem to appreciate other books anymore! I do wish he would come up with a new book soon because I really need to break out of this tedious cycle of buying books that I can’t read!

Due to my Zafon mania, I managed to overdose on movies. I’ve seen a number of interesting movies lately and I guess since I can’t write about books, I might as well write about the movies that I have seen. At least I could take my mind off all the books that I can’t seem to finish.

I have seen Tron in 3D. Apart from the fantastical CG, the only thing I could remember about Tron was the glowing wet suits – what can I say? Forgive me for being dazzled by the gay-est fashion statement ever. As for the storyline, I just hope that they could explain the part where people disintegrated into millions and millions of tiny pixels and end up in the GRID? I just don’t get that part. Is it like cyber-teleportation or something? It’s just too hi-tech even for my geeky brain to interpret! I can’t seem to think of any programming that could make that possible, because if I could … I would be living in my FB’s Sorority by now, I have a boat and a hummer there.

Adele

I managed to get a copy of Luc Besson’s Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Pale White). It’s one of the most intriguing films I’ve ever seen. I liked how it started from a simple story about an adventurer that turned into a surrealistic tale of mummies rising from their tombs and a pterodactyl hatchling attacking politicians on the streets of Paris. There were just way too many sub stories in this film and they’re probably a bit far-fetched for some. But I kind of like how it gave the film an original feel to it. I have not seen many French films but this film has the kind of weirdness and unpredictability that becomes the trademark for almost all the French films I have ever seen.

French filmmaker Luc Besson has been responsible for some of the most enduring contemporary films from action thrillers like Nikita and Leon the Professional (Yup, the one with Natalie Portman) plus the science fiction cult, The Fifth Element (the one that propelled Milla Jovovich into stardom). But Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec doesn’t remind me of any his famous films. In fact it has the kind of weirdness that reminds of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie… so if you like Amelie, that I would highly recommend this film to you.

sotw

Season of the Witch pretty much reminds me of Karen Maitland’s Company of Liars. Not that the story is similar but it centers around the plague, famously known as the Black Death; it was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. It is widely thought to have been an outbreak of bubonic plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, an argument supported by recent forensic research, although this view has been challenged by a number of scholars.

Well in the film, the plague was supposedly caused by this young witch who, with all her supposedly supernatural powers, managed to get locked up and tortured by the church. So the main storyline of this film was actually the journey of a few people who band together to get this witch to a monastery where an elite group of monks lived. These monks were thought to have the means to disposed of the witch and restore order to the world thus stopping the widespread of the plague once and for all. But of course the story is not as simple as that. They were conflicts, deaths, a few deadly battles and a bit of a predictable twist at the end – all of which I can’t really reveal to you without giving spoilers! Haha.

I liked the history part of the story but the witch part is just soooooo… boring. Now, did I mention that the film was predictable? Yup, it was. (Okay, okay spoilers ahead) In fact, it was so predictable that I was actually on the edge of my seat waiting for the ending where everyone dies but the innocent boy who was born to live and tell the story. I wanted the girl to die too… but oh well, it’s Hollywood after all. Don’t even get me started about HOLLYWOOD.

Go watch this movie if you’re not very picky about what you watch. It’s not bad. It is also partly true… or probably mostly true. God knows how many stupid things were done in that period of time in order to stop the plague. It was a desperate time and I am not surprised if they were a large number of women killed because they were thought to be the witch that started the whole plague. Of course, who cares about that interesting history? Just go watch it and enjoy the lack of fighting scenes (despite what they try to imply in the poster).

sotw

What I don’t like about Hollywood is the fact that they seem hell-bent on remaking popular Asian or European films shortly after their releases. It’s just too annoying. Especially when most of the remakes can’t lived up to the originals! I have reviewed Let the Right One In earlier last year – I called it the most intriguing vampire film of the year if not ever. I was a bit worried when I heard that Hollywood was making a remake of the movie. I tried to get a copy of that remake and finally I did. I watched the Let Me In a couple of nights ago and it was not as good as the original but it was okay. But what I don’t like about it though is the way they try to explain everything! It’s too Hollywood. I liked the original movie because they left us to wonder about certain aspects of the story and in the end of the story some audience may be able to piece all of the random information together and arrived into a very very chilling conclusion… or some may missed all the clues and not get how very disturbing the whole film was. It was the was they executed the film that turn it into a very strangely chilling vampire film. That was why I thought the film was very intriguing in the first place!

Hollywood likes to explain. The clues were not subtly placed they were plain as day. It was as if they were worried that the audience may not be smart enough to figure things out on their own. For example right in the middle of the remake, Owen stumbled upon a photo of Abby with a boy wearing a round spectacle! It was Hollywood explaining : Hey people, it’s Abby and her old lover. Yeahhh… that old man? He is not her father… he’s her lover! He got old and when he dies, Abby’s gonna find herself another lover to guard her! THAT is just too annoying! Right? Now imagine if you finally got the revelation about Abby and her guardian right at the end of the story (that is, if you’re smart enough to figure out the subtle clues)? Imagine, how chilling it would be?

But of course, I am just one person. There are people who enjoyed the remake better than the original, perhaps because they were able to grasp the storyline better in the remake? Hmmm… Now what did I say about Hollywood and its stupid audience?…. but I digress.

Now… this has gotten longer than I intended. But it is nice to be able to write a post that is longer than 100 words. 🙂

A Must Read Book : Lolita

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.

Vladimir Nobokov is one of my favorite writers of all time. One of his greatest works is Lolita, a story about a middle-aged man’s obsession with a 12 year old girl. Lolita was first published in Paris and was soon banned for its controversial content. John Gordon, editor of the popular Sunday Express, had called it “the filthiest book I have ever read” and “sheer unrestrained pornography.”

I live in the part of the world where good books used to be so hard to find. It took me years to find the book and when I finally found the book, it was in the place where I never expected to find it – The Sabah’s State Library. Apparently they don’t have any law against banned books.

Because of all the controversy surrounding the book, I began reading the book expecting to be disgusted but surprisingly, it never happened. I read the first page and instantly fell in love with Nobokov’s beautiful prose. For a man who claimed to have a love affair with the English language, Nobokov certainly live up to his words.

Nevermind Humpbert Humpbert’s sickening fixation on the seemingly not so innocent Lolita. I was too absorbed with Nobokov’s intricately woven wordplay to notice. Instead of being repulsed the story, I was contemplating to steal the book from the library!

I think disgust is a harsh word to be associated with this great book. People can be too judgmental sometimes and they haven’t even tasted any of George Bataille’s masterpieces yet. Because if they have they would know what “filthy” means.

So, If you’re a Sabahan and if you’ve never read this book. Go to the Sabah State Library and check out this book. Don’t just read it, enjoy every word of it. Nobokov certainly had flair for shocking people with his stories, but it was his love for beautiful wordplay that really set him apart from the rest. He wrote like a composer and words were his musical instruments. He is a true lover of the English language and one of the most important literary giants of all times.

Are you Invisible?

I am invisible and I listen to invisible songs sung by invisible people who are lost in their very own invisible worlds. I am invisible, all my efforts go unnoticed and my good intentions are wasted on people who take me for granted.

Are you invisible too?

Come and sing along to my invisible songs.

Iron & Wine – Trapeze Swinger
I love Iron & Wine! I am so in love with Samuel Beam’s voice!

Lenka – Trouble is A Friend
This is just too cute!

Hem – My Father’s Waltz (Streaming)
I can’t remember where I found this song so no download link. But it’s really worth all the trouble it takes to find it. This song is so beautiful and it makes me cry every time I listen to it. The song was written for Dan Messe’s (Piano, Glockenspiel, Celeste, Harmony Vocals) father who was dying of Cancer. It was one of the first song to be recorded in the album Eveningland because Dan was keen to let his father listen to it and his father did get to listen to the song shortly before he died. I am a sucker for sad stories. *Sigh*

Yael Naim – New Soul
A very fun song by Isreali-French Singer-Songwriter Yael Naim. It was handpicked by Steve Jobs to be the background song for his Macbook Air TV ad.

Ingrid Michaelson – Keep Breathing
Ingrid has a beautiful voice. She was discovered on MySpace featured in Grey’s Anatomy and catapulted into the charts with Old Navy commercial, Ingrid has performed on major talk shows, like Leno, Conan, Regis & Kelly, and Good Morning America.

The Bird and The Bee – My Love (Full Album Download)
Grey’s Anatomy featured this song and I just love it!

I hope you love my invisible songs. Have a nice day.