Monday, April 25, 2011

J-POP AND K-POP

It seems that a lot of Malaysian teenagers are into K-Pop or Korean pop nowadays. This can obviously be seen in their way of dressing and hairstyles. Before K-Pop made it way to the Malaysian shore, it was Japanese pop or J-Pop which dominated the scene but the impact was not as big as that of K-Pop. I also did not know that a lot of Malay songs from the 70s and 80s were actually cover versions of Japanese pop music until I heard a few of the original tunes on youtube. It was amazing how heavily Malay music 'borrowed' from the Japanese that some of these cover versions have become the signature songs of these secondary singers. J Mizan is known for his' Hari Ini dan Semalam' and Rina Rahman for 'Berikan Ku Bahagia'. Other Malaysian singers who have sung the cover versions of Japanese songs include Sudirman, Noorkumalasari, Sharifah Aini, Uji Rashid, Halil Chik, Sanisah Huri, Alleycats and Sarena Hashim. I might be a tad too old for this K-Pop thing now but the J-Pop songs from yesteryears really suit the old man in me very well.

p/s On a lighter note, if Japanese pop is known as J-Pop and Korean pop as K-Pop, what should we call Chinese pop? Chi-Pop obviously, which in the Malay language sounds very much like the vulgar word for the female genital!

Friday, April 22, 2011

WHAT A JOKE : RECYCLING WOMEN'S INTIMATE APPAREL FOR THE SAKE OF EARTH DAY

I read an article in the newspaper today (http://www.hmetro.com.my/articles/Dermacoliselamatbumi/Article) and I almost choked. How do you show that you are doing your part to support Earth Day? Well, you can announce your plan to collect used brassieres and donate these unmentionables to relief centres and under privileged women who don't own bras. You can also work with certain government organisations and promote your campaign nationwide. Yes, that's right. That is what you can do and this is the strategy taken by a women's undergarment company with the co-operation of the Ministry of Women's Development. There is even a facebook page for it. It seems that both parties are keen on educating the public regarding recycling and the purchase of quality products (the company's producta obviously). Have they really gone out of their minds? Do they know how ridiculous the whole thing sounds? I know there have been similar efforts being carried out but most of the time, the undergarments are recycled or donated to women in really, really poor countries. Are the under privileged women in Malaysia in such dire straits that they have to wear other women's used bras? Will these under privileged women be sincerely and eternally grateful for this so-called kind gesture? I'm not sure what this company is trying to do. I can't really see how they are actually helping to save the Earth by asking women to donate their used brassieres and then extending the donation to the less fortunate ones. I don't see much recycling process here at all. All I see is using the relief centres and less fortunate women as a dumping site for their used bras. And how can this step be seen as helping to save the Earth when for each bra donated, the donor will receive a RM10 rebate to buy a new bra of a certain brand from the company? Buyers will also be given a 'Save The Earth' bag (made from paper I think so go figure) when they purchase products worth more than RM100. It's not a campaign or a measure to save the Earth. It's a blatant marketing strategy. That's what it is actually. There are many ways how we can help save the Earth but I believe that donating used brassieres to the less fortunate is not one of them. It is tacky and it is demeaning. If I were one of these unfortunate women, I would feel totally humiliated. I deserve my own new bra even if it's non-branded and cheap. I'd rather wear a RM5 bra than demean myself with a RM350 used bra from La Perla or Victoria's Secret. If this company is really trying to help, they should be buying new brassieres for these ladies NOT giving them used ones. They should also educate women to hand down their used bras to their own daughters or teach women to turn the bras into something that can be used again. That's what recycling is all about.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

GEORGE MICHAEL - TRUE FAITH

It was not too long ago when I put New Order's True Faith video clip (one of my favourite groups) here and now, it seems that George Michael has come up with his own version of this classic New Order staple. I love George Michael's haunting and soulful voice but I'm sorry to say that I don't like this version at all. I can't feel the song. In fact , it makes me feel quite numb in the brain. It might have something to do with the arrangement of this song or it could be the auto-tune used that totally turns me off. For someone who can easily bring a lot of emotions into his songs, I don't understand why he had to resort to using auto-tune for this cover. Just listen to You Have Been Loved, Jesus To A Child, A Different Corner, One More Try and Kissing A Fool and you'll know what a wonderful voice he has. This is also not the first time he has covered other singers' songs (which he has done amazingly). He covered The Police's Roxanne brilliantly and his rendition of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face can melt almost anybody's heart. I'd say that his version of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face is as good as Roberta Flack's, much, much better than Celine Dion's and will make Leona Lewis's version sound like an amateurish attempt. Well, I can only hope that the great George Michael will be back soon serenading us with his beautiful voice. Until then, you're still not forgiven, George.

Monday, April 11, 2011

LET'S KARAOKE 13 : ماهر زين - إن شاء الله

It seems like everyone is into Maher Zain these days. I even own a poster of him that I wheedled out from a music store owner (I can be quite persuasive sometimes). Personally, I believe that everyone has a 'spiritual' side and from time to time, the soul simply yearns for something soothing and reassuring. The international Islamic music scene has been slightly vacant for quite some time now and it's delightfully refreshing to have a singer who can fill up this void. It is my hope that he is not going to be another flash in the pan. This karaoke is the official karaoke version released in Malaysia. I only removed the vocal part so it's clear that I cannot take any credit for it. Anyway, enjoy this one!

video

Sunday, April 10, 2011

SADE - KING OF SORROW

video

This is one heck of a depressing song and I must say it's the rain that seems to come every evening that is causing me to feel this way. Well, I have to put the blame on something, don't I?

I'm crying everyone's tears
And there inside our private war
I died the night before
And all of these remnants of joy and disaster
What am I supposed to do

I want to cook you a soup that warms your soul
But nothing would change, nothing would change at all
It's just a day that brings it all about
Just another day and nothing's any good

The DJ's playing the same song
I have so much to do
I have to carry on
I wonder if this grief will ever let me go
I feel like I am the king of sorrow
The king of sorrow

I suppose I could just walk away
Will I disappoint my future if I stay
It's just a day that brings it all about
Just another day and nothing's any good

The DJ's playing the same song
I have so much to do
I have to carry on
I wonder will this grief ever be gone
Will it ever go
I'm the king of sorrow
The king of sorrow

I'm crying everyone's tears
I have already paid for all my future sins
There's nothing anyone
Can say to take this away
It's just another day and nothing's any good

I'm the king of sorrow
King of sorrow
I'm the king of sorrow
King of sorrow

Friday, April 8, 2011

SIX YEARS WITHOUT HIM

April 11. The time has come again. The sixth anniversary of his passing. A date so vivid that it will be etched on my mind forever. A date that is much more important to me than any other date. A day when a light in my life flickered out, leaving behind only half-forgotten memories and fading photographs. Sometimes I even contemplate whether I can truly be happy again knowing that he is not around anymore. Then, there are times when I wonder if I had done enough for him. Oftentimes, I'd tell myself that he is in a much better place and my wanting him to still be here is only part of my own selfishness and self-interest. There is no way I can turn back time and though it is very heart-breaking, to keep on wishing for something that is impossible will not serve any useful purpose. Abah, you are still missed all the time. Al Fatihah.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ANY GOOD HANDYMAN AROUND?

It can be difficult to find people who can do things around the house anymore. At the moment , there are tons of small matters that need to be fixed inside and outside my house (and that does not include the things inside my head!) and I have to admit that I am not so good when it comes to fixing things. A cleaner, yes I am. A fixer, absolutely not my expertise. I can't even punch a nail straight without chipping the wall or hitting my thumb. Once I tried to change the light bulb of my table lamp and I almost got myself electrocuted. So nowadays, I usually have to ask somebody to change the lights for me or at least have somebody there with me. Really pathetic. And once I get one thing fixed, something else will crop up. It can be very frustrating and tiring at the same time when you have the go through this never-ending process of fixing and repairing. I wish everything is self-serviceable or comes with a life-time guarantee.