Maria Clare Khoo

I do not believe in fairies, I like to take photos and I love These New Puritans.

The Horrors: Moving further ahead
Hostess Club Weekender Japan sparks rumours for a second Singapore edition
Blue Hour Sessions: MUON – Always pushing the boundaries which push back
A Rocket To The Moon @ TAB (27.08.13)
These New Puritans – Field Of Reeds

Mac DeMarco
The Cairos x Pastelpower
The Attic Show 2.0
Dune Rats
A serving of humble pie with The Temper Trap
Carl Barat with members of The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things
KO Double Bill with Obedient Wives Club and Bored Spies
MAAD Sounds presents: The Analog Girl and The Pinholes
Timbre Rock & Roots
The Summer State EP launch

HMV Asia acquired by private equity firm AID Partners

The fate of inevitable closure of two of Singapore’s last two HMV stores has been thwarted by Hong Kong private equity firm AID Partners, who have bought the chain’s Singapore and Hong Kong operations as well as the the licenses for mainland China, Macau and Taiwan for an undisclosed amount on Thursday.

“HMV is a legendary brand and its business in Hong Kong and Singapore is still very strong, and we see many exciting opportunities ahead, including Greater China, where we would be able to leverage AID Partners’ deep experience and extensive connections in the entertainment industry. It’s essentially a perfect fit,” said Kelvin Wu, Principal Partner of AID Partners.

This means business as usual once again for the British chain of music and video retailers in Singapore whose future has been uncertain since it was announced in mid-January that accounting firm Deloitte had been named administrator for the HMV Group in London.

“We are putting in place our initial plans and look forward to confirming further investments in HMV as things take shape. This is just the first announcement of many other exciting ones to come from both HMV and AID Partners,” concluded Mr. Wu.

HMV’s Asia stores are the first to be successfully sold, removing them from the 103 of HMV’s 220 stores to be closed in the next two months.

By Melissa Yong

The Other Sounds: February

Are you as psyched about Mosaic Music Festival 2013 as we are?

If yes, it’s time to start revision on some of your favourite artists — we’ve compiled a neat list to start you off.

If no, firstly: why not! And secondly: here’s a good introduction to some of the best music around today that you’ll actually have a chance of experiencing live soon:

1. Grimes / Nightmusic ft. Majical Cloudz
2. Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra / Pride of Lions
3. mouse on the keys / Spectres de Mouse
4. Grimes / Skin
5. Love/Comes / His Gesture Of Love
6. My Brightest Diamond / Magic Rabbit
7. Acid House Kings / Say Yes If You Love Me
8. Tennis / Long Boat Pass
9. Tennis / Marathon
10. Mutemath / Chaos
11. Mutemath / Typical
12. Pleasantry / Swan Song
13. Grizzly Bear / Knife
14. Serenaide / Furry Animal Fury

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By Zixin Lin

Electronic Music Lab presents ‘Persona’

Faces, masks, identities. How many do we have, and how real is each one?

This is one of many questions posed by Persona, the latest offering by Electronic Music Lab (EML), the Singaporean performing arts group known for creating, producing, remixing, performing, recording and promoting electronic music.

Set in the year 2025, Persona is an hour-and-half-long audio-visual showcase that features original electronic music by EML members exploring the human struggle in today’s rapidly evolving society to find meaning and purpose in the realities surrounding them, exploring the persona as a coping mechanism for this quandary. It traces the path of an android and her quest for the perfect persona through the diverse landscape of electronic music.

The event will feature enhanced surround sound and video with original electronica, ambient, electroacoustic, electro house, glitch and 8-bit music from Bottle Rack, Kevin, Timothy Tan, SkySprinter, Long, Sean Alex, (Banana) Wafer, Liushu & Rey, Ocean’s Children, para.digm, DJ Svensational, Shay, Ryuu Shun Hayashi, and Idiosync.

Watch ‘Space Age’ by Bottle Rack:
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NUS Arts Festival: Persona
9-10 March 2013
University Cultural Centre Dance Studio

Tickets are available now at all SISTIC authorised agents.

The Radio Dept. to return to Singapore for one-off show

Swedish dream pop band The Radio Dept. will be returning to Singapore for the for the first time since 2010 for a one-off show this April, performing songs from their latest album, Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010.

It will be the band’s second time in Singapore since their debut show at Zouk in 2010 on the back of the release of their third album, Clinging to a Scheme.

A part of Sweden’s finest indie label Labrador Records, The Radio Dept. have released three studio albums, four EPs, ten singles and one compilation album thus far.

Despite the little chart success the band have found internationally, band members Johan Duncanson and Martin Carlberg, with Daniel Djäder on keyboards, have an almost cult following, making waves among indie aficionados since the release of their critically acclaimed debut.

Watch ‘Heaven’s On Fire’ live at WFUV:
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The Radio Dept.
23 April 2013
8pm, doors open 7pm
$50 pre-sale,$60

Tickets are available here.

Coheed and Cambria and Circa Survive to co-headline massive prog rock show

Progressive rock fans have a lot to look forward to this April with Coheed and Cambria and Circa Survive set to play a massive double billed show in Singapore at The Coliseum.

Touring on the back of their epic two-part release, The Afterman, Coheed and Cambria are hitting the road after nine months in the studio. The New York-based band—singer-guitarist Claudio Sanchez, founding guitarist Travis Stever, bassist Zach Cooper and drummer Josh Eppard— stay true to their restless, exploratory nature, staking out exciting new ground.

“With all of our older albums, my thing was always figuring out how to fit my life into the Amory Wars concept,” Sanchez says. “I knew where each one sat in terms of the story. Whereas with this one, I allowed my life—my experiences and what I was going through—to frame the concept.”

Circa Survive will also be touring in support of their new album, Violent Waves, released in August 2012, playing live in Singapore for the very first time.

Coheed and Cambria with Circa Survive
The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel
23 April 2013
Early bird $78

Tickets are available 5 March 2013 from all authorised SISTIC outlets.

The Summer State EP launch @ Home Club (23.02.2013)

The time had finally come for The Summer State to release their long-anticipated EP and the doors opened to an eager crowd flooding into the venue. The first act of the event was pop/hip hop duo Trick, consisting of Quick Quick Danger frontman Marc Lian on vocals and guitars and Richard Jansen on rapped vocals. It may have seemed at first that Trick was out of place at an event with mostly pop/rock bands; but the duo easily cast doubts aside as they danced and grooved through covers and originals.

The second act was pop-punk crowd-pleasers Godzilla, the young musicians churning out song after song of their catchy pop-punk melodies that had the crowd singing along to every word. Their set was marred by mixing problems where Tejo’s guitar was barely audible but all was sorted again towards the end of the set.

Following Godzilla was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the entire event, Amateur Takes Control. Having played shows as a band for almost six years now, the self-styled ‘meth-rock’ band had amassed a large following owing to their frenetic music and incredible live performances. Crashing into complex instrumental riffing and bass lines, Amateur Takes Control put on an incredible, and at times, emotional show. Complimented by incredible drumming, the band showed that instrumental music can be just as powerful as music with vocals.

Next up were indie pop crooners For This Cycle. Charming the crowd with their heartfelt lyrics about love, life and family, frontman Weiwen Seah certainly got heads bopping along to the tunes. They had excellent audience interaction as well, cracking jokes directed at their drummer, Luke. He urged the crowd to cheer for the supposed ‘Ah-Lian slayer’ to take off his shirt… which he eventually did for the final song, to much applause from the crowd.

The following act were alt-rock veterans West Grand Boulevard. The crowd during their set was made up mostly of gig-goers who have followed the band since their inception in the noughties, singing along to every song. Their performance was a slap in a face to anyone who doubted their relevance and longevity in the scene as they head banged and jumped around the stage with energy that could very possibly could surpass many younger bands. It was a general good vibe all around as old and new fans alike tapped their feet and jumped along to their songs. They also gave away a free shirt to yours truly who managed to answer a trivia question right.

Finally, the time had come for The Summer State to take the stage, and by then the crowd had eagerly amassed at the front of the stage for the start of their set. Floodlights were set up at the sides of the Home Club stage, giving the set a stadium feel. They started their set with a surprising pop-punk rendition of ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ by Swedish House Mafia, which got the crowd starting to sing along enthusiastically. The band then ceded into their original, ‘Love, Is That What They Call It These Days’, prompting more head-bopping and jumping followed by another surprise cover of Yellowcard’s ‘Awakening’, which made several fans in the crowd go wild.

Following from that was an original, ‘Hope, From The Gallows’, a groovy pop/rock number before they slowed the pace down with an acoustic set including songs ‘Revenge, Revenge, Revenge’ and their current hit, ‘I Do, I Don’t’, which featured Siti Zahidah live. This was definitely a crowd favourite, prompting massive sing-alongs.

The momentum picked up again for the band’s final few songs of the night which kicked off with ‘Trying Was My Only Regret’ with its massive bass drops and a hard-hitting octave progression. Then, the band announced that they were going to play their final song, ‘Hush We’re Taking Over’. It was a moment for them, and the fans as well, to reflect on the past two years that The Summer State had been around — some would look back on their debut show at The Sweet Collision, and then back to present day to see how much the band has matured and grown over the past years. It was indeed a moment to be proud, for everyone present in the show. As the soaring ‘Whoa-Ohs’ of the bridge passed and the song ended, the crowd immediately proceeded to chant for one last song to be played.

The encore began with a song by The Starting Line titled ‘Best of Me’ which, judging from the crowd’s reaction, was definitely a favourite amongst the older audiences whom, like The Summer State, had grown up listening to bands like The Starting Line. It was an epic sing-along as Ryan, the lead vocalist passed the microphone to a member of an audience to sing a few lyrics. As the song came to a close, the band was greeted with a thunderous applause from the audience. Pictures were taken, beer mugs were clinked, and smiles were all around as the night came to a close, perhaps one of the most memorable gigs that have been held at the Home Club.

By Louis Foo

Lenovo and MTV launch CO:LAB: Perform. Create. Collaborate

Lenovo, in collaboration with MTV, has just announced the launch of the Lenovo-MTV CO:LAB, an integrated social platform that will enable the most progressive, creative and talented Millennials from seven countries – India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – to share stories about their communities through music.

Over six months, the platform will enable like-minded artists with varying skills (encompassing DJs, vocalists/instrumentalists, filmmakers and motion graphic artists) to connect, whilst simultaneously inspiring and encouraging audiences to take action, connect, collaborate and create music using technology.

The first round challenges participants to tell the story of their city using sight and sound. Participants will be supported by a panel of local and regional mentors including acclaimed contemporary design and art collective PHUNK, renowned international DJs Brendon P (The DJ Dispensary) and Matty Wainwright (The DJ Dispensary).

The winning talent in each of the four categories will be determined by public votes through the Lenovo-MTV CO:LAB website and regional mentors, run simultaneously across the seven countries, with the winning participants coming together to create an original MTV music video production with the theme ‘Pulse of the World’.

Prizes include a Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, the opportunity to participate in a five-day workshop in Singapore with MTV and regional mentors, and USD10,000 cash for each of the four regional winners.

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Submitted entries can be viewed here. Applications close 21 April 2013.