Gig #102

Coffee + Chords & Comedy! : Vol. 12

Today at 2:30 PM – 8 PM

Grind 22 [No. 22, Lorong Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia]

The first instalment of Coffee + Chords at Grind 22 for 2017 adds on an extra kick from some fine indie comedians. (We’re just adding the “indie” label because it legitimises everything.)

On the dais for the day is:

• 3:00PM Sia Nicholas
• 3:30PM Tan Soon Tiong Music
• 4:00PM Shaneil Devaser of The Endleaves
• 4:30PM: Qhotakmusica
• 5:00PM: Michelle Augustin Barbour, Riezman Radzlan, Harresh A.u, Abdul Raqib Karim, Aiman Azri, Nat Kang
• 6:00PM: DANI
• 6:30PM: The Propositions
• 7:00PM: Priscillia Xavier
• 7:30PM: 2storeyheart

I can’t remember the last time I performed alongside stand up comedians, this should be a fun one! Drop by if you’ve got nothing to do this afternoon/evening!

Also, my first show of 2017!

Snow comes and snow goes

Being away from home makes me appreciate home more. You miss the convenience of having your own car and being able to go anywhere you like. You miss the convenience of calling up your friends to meet up for a drink just because you feel like it. You miss not having to wear a jacket every time you want to go out for a smoke. Oh wait, you’d be able to smoke indoors if you were in Malaysia.

I experienced snow for the first time in my life. Mines Wonderland when I was a kid doesn’t count. So, yay! I never thought it’d be so mushy to step on. Maybe it wasn’t cold enough. I smoked my first cigarette in the snow. I put my first cigarette out in the snow. I didn’t open my mouth to catch snow flakes in my mouth though. Didn’t feel like it. Don’t think I’ll be making a snow angel either, I have a feeling it’ll just soak my clothes.

Even though I’m not traveling alone, I do get my own room wherever we stay, which has been pretty good (not that I don’t miss you, Sherman, leave the army and come back dammit). I don’t have to wait to use the toilet. I don’t have to decide which bed I want. There’s no shortage of power sockets. I can throw my shit all over the floor and bed. I can walk around naked ( ?° ?? ?°) I can put on whatever music or shows I want to fall asleep without worrying about having to wake anybody.

I’m gonna be here for another week. I’m looking forward to the Ciana Book Fair. It’s going to be my first time.

My jam for the night:

Airport hues

It’s been awhile since I had to spend an extended period of time at an airport. The last time this happened was when I was in Japan. I had arrived after midnight, and there were no more trains and buses out from the airport. I had no choice but to wait until the first bus of that day.

I remember walking around the airport aimlessly. Almost everything was closed so there was nothing much to see. Nobody else was walking around. People were all strewn across chairs or on the floor, sleeping. Waiting for their next flight or like me, a bus out of the airport. I managed to find an open restaurant and bought a bowl of Udon noodles to fill my empty stomach. After that, I just loaded up Twitch on my iPad and watched some games to pass the time.

Fast forward a few years later and we have me in a similar situation. Waiting for my connecting flight to Heathrow, sitting at a Shake Shack, listening to some tunes by Dance Gavin Dance and typing out this post. Dubai’s airport is a hell lot busier at this hour. It is brightly lit, there are tons of people walking around in search of food, a place to rest, their departure gate, or just walking because it’s better than sitting around.

I was sitting alone until 5 minutes ago when this stranger just took up the seat on the table connected to mine. I didn’t acknowledge him. Not that I needed to. He was a person looking for a place to sit, like me. I don’t think I’ll engage in conversation with him. According to my laptop’s clock, it should be 5am in Malaysia now. I would be asleep at this hour. However, I slept almost the whole flight earlier so I’m not tired.

It was an uneventful flight. I watched This Is Spinal Tap for the first time. I fell asleep about 20 minutes from the end of the movie so I’ll probably finish it later. I had the aisle seat, which I didn’t mind at first until I realized it meant that I would have to give way to the two passengers next to me if they wanted to use the toilet. Good thing it only happened once. I would’ve been annoyed if I had to do it a few times.

The food was pretty good. I had some chicken curry and rice. And carrots and long beans. And a piece of chocolate. Oh, for some reason I received two prawn salads. I didn’t complain. Also ate some bread sticks. Had a lot of water. A glass of gin and tonic.

When I was sleeping, I kept feeling my hands getting wet. I have no idea if I was sweating or it was just in my head. But it was a weird sensation. I did drool a lot. One of the passengers next to me had a strange laugh. She sounded like she was going to die. I just put on my headphones to listen to the Giant Bomb podcast and ignored her. I pulled my beanie over my face and fell asleep.

My flight to the UK departs in about an hour. Great. I’m looking forward to freeze my balls off.

Oh, 70 AED = RM85, I found out today. Priciest fast food I’ve ever paid for in my life. At least it’s cheaper than rap CDs.

Time and time (again)

It all started when I was ‘punished’ by Muthu. Leader of one of the most notorious gangs in the Federal Correctional Institute. He didn’t like the way I eyed him for three seconds when he cut in front of me during lunch time. I did my best to give him a ‘don’t fuck with me’ stare because I was there for murder and wasn’t remorseful about it. He didn’t seem fazed, as evident during our toilet break – he and his goons grabbed me and shoved my head into one of the restroom’s toilet bowls.
Continue reading →

MPEG-2 Audio Layer III stories

MPEG-1 and/or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III,[4] more commonly referred to as MP3, is an audio coding format for digital audio which uses a form of lossy data compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio streaming or storage, as well as a de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on most digital audio players and computing devices. [Wikipedia]

One of the best things about the internet is the amount of entertainment available for people to consume at any time. With a quick search and a click of a button, your favorite artists’s latest song can be playing in your ears in seconds. Compressed music is one of my favorite things about the internet. Without the internet, my music library would be a thousand times smaller than what it is right now. There’d be so many bands and singers I would have missed out on because they don’t get any airplay on radio over here.
Continue reading →

And you smile like a saint but you curse like a sailor

If there’s one thing a lot of people tell me after they listen to me perform is that it’s my music reminds them of Dashboard Confessional. I can’t disagree with them because Chris Carrabba is probably the main reason I even picked up guitar in the first place. But my songs are nowhere as near as good as his. Honestly, if my songs were to be placed side by side with Dashboard songs, nobody would disagree that they are miles apart – objectively speaking. Also, subjectively speaking – his songs are much more interesting and varied than mine. But today I’m not talking about my songs, instead I’ll be sharing about Dashboard Confessional (which I’m surprised I haven’t done yet for my Music Monday posts).

I was first introduced to Dashboard Confessional via the MTV Road Rules soundtrack alongside Thrice and Coheed and Cambria. I really enjoyed the respite of an acoustic track in a mostly energetic album, but I didn’t really listen to much of them until a friend (a huge Dashboard fan who frequently quoted their lyrics in her MSN statuses and blog posts) shared Hands Down with me and I was hooked.

Saints and Sailors

Continue reading →

16 going on 17

It’s the same story, just a different day. Cigarette hanging from his mouth, coffee by his side, while he typed away on his laptop.
It’s been almost three hundred and sixty-six days (yes it was a leap year, he had to look it up) – time to kill off our calendars and get used to writing seventeen at the end of your dates.

He doesn’t have to recount everything that’s happened over the year (he’s done plenty of those already, TL;DR: he traveled a lot, worked a lot, played a lot of Dota). What about goals? Hm. Make a game – failed. Made new music – one song, and that happened about a month ago (and it’s still incomplete). Learn new things – he did learn to play Somewhere Over The Rainbow on his ukulele but is still terrible at ‘dabbling’ with the piano. Get scammed by some rap artists – succeeded! He did read more books than before, which is an accomplishment given his busy schedule. He hasn’t really written anything significant since his Nanowrimo novel back in 2014. So overall, besides advancing in his career he hasn’t really done much.

Sighing to himself, he lit up another cigarette. What next? 9 more years to live, still nothing accomplished. But wait, does he really need to accomplish anything? After all, he’s just another human being. Another speck in the universe. A nobody. He’s not special. So no, not really. Everybody else’s life seems better, so what? His life is fine. There’s nothing absolutely wrong with it. Sure, it could be better – but so could everything else. Also, he looks young for his age.

So what’s in store for the following year? Who knows. He still needs to work on his time management. Better time management will lead to more time to spend on his hobbies and things outside work. Be a better son. A better boy friend. A better writer. A better musician. A better person in general. And hopefully, a game developer! Let’s not repeat 2016.

Make moves, not excuses.

Taylor Swift – Back To December just came on. How fitting. Happy New Year everybody!

I’m on fire and now I think I’m ready to bust a move

When I was young, I used to record myself talking into a tape recorder, pretending to be a radio DJ. Now I have the ability to record my own ‘radio shows’ (podcasts) and broadcast them to the whole world but I don’t do it.

I’m sure what I said was full of cringey shit, talking to an audience that didn’t exist, and not even fading tracks in/out while talking in between them. Then again, those fades always annoyed me.

Now I just sit behind my screen and type out my nonsense onto a screen. I hit publish and the whole world can read what I’m thinking about. All my stupid thoughts and stupid songs. It’s mostly garbage. Sometimes I come up with something that people find interesting to read.

Most of the time I don’t. And I end up with half-assed thoughts like these.

Ever since I started listening to podcasts, I’ve had countless ideas for podcasts of my own. Mainly just me and a friend sitting opposite each other, drink in hand and shooting shit. I don’t think it would be entertaining to anyone besides myself, so I’ve never done it. Also, I think I have a shitty radio voice.

I would probably need to train myself to speak differently if I want to sound better over the air. I know because I hear my voice all the time (when watching playbacks of my Twitch stream (shameless plug – come hang out if you enjoy watching Dota fails), and listening to my WhatsApp voice messages to Milin).

Also, your voice sounds different on recording because you hear yourself in two ways – the first is through vibrating sound waves hitting your ear drum, the way other people hear your voice. The second way is through vibrations inside your skull set off by your vocal chords. Those vibrations travel up through your bony skull and again set the ear drum vibrating. However as they travel through the bone they spread out and lower in pitch, giving you a false sense of bass. Then when you hear a recording of your voice, it sounds distinctly higher. [source]

I have no idea where I’m going with this. I guess that’s why I’m writing this for my Thursday thoughts.

Read Only Memories

“It’s about time you change that phone of yours. Come on, it’s a frickin’ iPhone 3G!”
“But it’s served me well!”
“Half your screen is dead, your home button doesn’t function anymore and you can’t adjust your phone’s volume!”
“I can still text and make calls, that’s what matters!”
“You might as well be using an old Nokia then, come on. I’ll give you my old phone. It’s rooted and I’ve got a custom ROM on it so it’s speedy and battery life is still great.”
“But I’m so used to my iPhone!”
“I’ll install an iOS-like launcher for you, but trust me you’ll never want to go back to an iPhone after moving to Android!”
“How much are you getting paid, shill?”

I laughed in response. “Chill here for a bit, I’ll head to my room to grab the phone.”
Continue reading →