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Kelly Clarkson - Love So Soft

 

album picks

The Definitive Track-by-Track Ranking of Taylor Swift's 'reputation' Nobody Asked For
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Niall Horan Shows Us A Different Side Of Him In 'Flicker'
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Album Review: Our Top 3 Tracks From BTS' EP 'Love Yourself: Her'
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World Bloggers And Social Media Awards
SBA 2014
SBA 2013
SBA 2012

 

 

 

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Over a year ago, the folks of La Blogothèque ambushed the Michelberger Music festival in Berlin to kidnap members of the audience who were brought into a room where an musician was waiting to give them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of a One To One concert.

In the first episode of this concert series, a lucky fan was brought into a room to meet a musician who introduced himself as Justin.

But of course, the fan already knew exactly who he was. "Justin Vernon," she said, as she looked around the room while trying to keep herself calm, of which she did a better job than what most of us would be able to do.

We're in love with this intimate performance and can't wait for the next episode of the series to be out. Since the series was filmed during Michelberger Music, we should be able to expect the other headliners of the festival, such as Damien Rice and Matt Berninger of The National, to be featured next.

That left us wondering - wouldn't it be great if someone did the same for Laneway 2018 (that is, 'kidnapping' a lucky fan - I volunteer as tribute!!! - to be serenaded by one of the Laneway headliners)? Someone needs to make that come true and we already have our top nominees to perform in the one-to-one concert:

 

1. Father John Misty

When the American singer-songwriter in the mood to make an acoustic cover, be it Nirvana's Heart-shaped Box or Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, he never fails to deliver a mean and solid one. Father John Misty is our obvious first choice to serenade us in private.

 

2. Wolf Alice

There is something about Ellie Rowsell, frontwoman of English indie rock band Wolf Alice, that makes her very enthralling to watch. We reckon there's plenty of fanboys and girls out there who would do anything for five minutes alone with her!

 

3. The War On Drugs

Strip away The War On Drug's signature synth melodies and you'll be left with a bunch of complex emotions that the band brings out best with their acoustic performances. If ever a fan gets lucky enough to have frontman Adam Granduciel all to him/herself, we wonder how long it'll take before he/she is reduced into a puddle of goo from being swooned too much.

Since the release of their debut album All We Know Is Falling in 2005, Paramore have gone through a  great dealchanges with members leaving and rejoining.

Over the past 12 years, the band have experimented with an array of sounds and genres. Despite revamping themselves with each album release, Paramore somehow still manages to maintain a large and steady fanbase that other bands could only dream of.

One core reason for that? Their amazing live shows.

As Paramore's sound evolve from emo to 80's pop, they never once compromised on their onstage performances. Here are 5 performances that follows their incredible evolution over the years:

 

1. Pressure (2006)

Even from their humble beginnings, Hayley's vocals were already thriving. It's hard to believe that she was only 18 in this video!

 

2. Crushcrushcrush (2008)

By the release of their second album, Riot, Paramore was already the face of pop-punk and Hayley proved herself to be one of the most charismatic frontwomen of all time.

 

3. Brick By Boring Brick (2010)

While musicians tend to butcher their TV performances, Paramore was no less than on point during their appearance as musical guests on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

 

4. Last Hope (2014)

Admittedly, I never really paid much attention to Paramore until I came across this outstanding performance of Last Hope that blew me away. I have been a huge fan ever since!

 

5. Hard Times, 26, Fake Happy (2017)

In the band's recent NPR Tiny Desk Concert, it's clear to see the ones who does the best renditions of Paramore's songs are... none other than Paramore themselves. Their tropical-esque version of Fake Happy is refreshing and makes us Real Happy!

Photo credit: NPR

When Charli XCX's music video for Boys was released back in July, it got many heads turning with the staggering number of famous personalities featured in it, from British Olympian Tom Daley to Wiz Khalifa to k-pop idol Jay Park.

With the hype surrounding the video, it wasn't long until someone finally made a Singapore version!

Check it out below:

 

No disrepect to those who were featured in the video - they're all great and 100% deserve to be featured. However, we can't help but agree with the amount of dislikes on the video for one reason: it missed out far too many boys! Blasphemy!

Instead of featuring Nathan Hartono twice, here's 15 local boys/bands who we strongly believe should have been included in the Singapore version of Boys.

Not only are they incredibily good-looking, but also so musically-talented that they got us busy thinkin' and dreamin' bout them.

 

1. Charlie Lim

First on our list is none other than singer-songwriter Charlie Lim. As one of Singapore's most prominent local act of today, he would've been our first nominee to be included in the video.

 

2. Jack & Rai

Duo Jack and Rai may be veterans in Singapore's music scene, but they are just as qualified to be in the video, in our opinion.

 

3. T-rex

This all-instrumental band is just as good as bands with vocalists, and sometimes even better.

 

4. JJ Lin

How could the video miss out Singapore's biggest mando-pop star??

 

5. Taufik Batisah

Not even our very first Singapore Idol??? Really???

 

6. Electrico

Nor the band who has been around for over 20 years and is often credited for the revival of local indie music???

 

7. The Façade

We're guessing that the creator of Singapore's version of Boys probably haven't seen any of this band's music videos...

 

8. Caracal

Post-hardcore band Caracal is one of Singapore's suavest bands so it boggles our minds how they weren't in the video.

 

9. Ken Loh

If you're wondering why Ken looks so familiar, it's probably because you've seen him performing along the streets of Orchard. We think buskers, especially one as prominent as Ken, should also be included too!

 

10. THIEVVES

The electronic artiste is not only super stylish, but is also the brains behind the likes of Disco Hue and Aquila Vasica. So of course THIEVVES is all good in our books!

 

11. Shaun Jansen

The Final One finalist is the epitome of Boys.

 

12. CampFire

We reckon hip-hop duo CampFire would add some spice to the mix.

 

13. M1LDL1FE

With their whole boys-next-door image combined with indie-pop tunes, the boys of M1LDL1FE would be perfect for the video!

 

14. Stopgap

Jumpsuits and covers of Sun Ho's China Wine are sure-fire ways to win our hearts!

 

15. Steven Lim

Last but not least, how could they miss out Singapore Idol alumni, Steven Lim Kor Kor???

 

Of course, this list is non-exhaustive. So please tell us if we missed anyone out!

 

Photo credits: Aimee Han, jufhzr, Men's Folio, Hype Records, Cross Ratio Entertainment, Aloysius Lim, Humans Of Singapore, Iyaad Salleh, TODAY

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 09:47

5 Albums That Will Turn 10 In October!

If you're in the mood to walk down memory lane and into the streets of nostalgia, then this post is definitely for you.

In the month of October, these five albums will be turning 10 years old. Yes, that's the typical age of a Primary 4 kid.

These five albums are made up of some of the biggest hits of 2007 too. Let's see if you still remember the lyrics to the songs:

 

1. We The Kings - We The Kings

Other than the classic Mr Brightside by The Killers, We The Kings' Check Yes Juliet is one of the other few songs that would never fail to bring major #throwback feels. We The Kings' self-titled debut album was released on 2 October 2007. Feel old yet?

 

2. Matchbox Twenty - Exile on Mainstream

After coming out of a 4-year hiatus in 2007, pop-rock band Matchbox Twenty reunited and released Exile on Mainstream on 2 October 2007, the same day We The Kings debuted their first album. Shortly after the band finished touring in 2008, they went into yet another hiatus.

 

3. Cobra Starship - ¡Viva la Cobra!

Before the iconic purple hoodie was associated to Justin Bieber, it was Cobra Starship frontman Gabe Saporta's thing. ¡Viva la Cobra! is Cobra Starship's second studio album and was produced by Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump.

 

4. Britney Spears - Blackout

Released on 25 October 2007, Blackout is Britney Spear's fifth studio album. The album debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200, and consists of some of Britney's most memorable singles, such as Gimme More, Break The Ice and Piece Of Me, all of which she performed during her concert in Singapore back in June.

 

5. Soulja Boy Tell'em - Souljaboytellem.com

Before there was the Whip/Nae Nae, there was the Soulja Boy. Only a true 90's kid would remember the dance.

This September, we're in for a treat for not just one, but TWO unexpected collaborations. These collaborations are particularly exciting as both go beyond genre and even language! Let's take a look:

 

1. Chainsmokers x BTS

Pop-EDM duo The Chainsmokers are no strangers to K-pop, having  previously revealed themselves as fans of K-pop groups such as 2NE1 and Big Bang. They also previously announced that they were looking to collaborate with a K-pop artist that "shares the same vision" as them. It looks like they have found the one they have been looking for in boy group, BTS.

It was recently confirmed by The Chainsmokers' management that one-half of the duo, Andrew Taggart, worked with the rappers of BTS and will be credited as a co-writer on the song, Best Of Me, which will be part of BTS'sforthcoming album, Love Yourself: Her which will be released on 18 September.

What thrilling news for fans of both groups! We're sure that it's gonna be a big hit and a chart-topper for sure.

 

2. Foo Fighters x Justin Timberlake

As unlikely as it is, it's a funny story how this collaboration came to be: Justin Timberlake dropped by while Foo Fighters were recording in the studio and liked what he heard. After hanging out with Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl, a couple of times, Justin one day drunkenly asked if he could sing on the band's upcoming record, Concrete and Gold.

"I'm telling you - this guy's going somewhere," Dave jokingly commented on the experience. However, before we expect a whole chorus of Justin's smooth vocals, the rock band revealed that the pop star only has a part in the "la la la's" in one of their tracks, which Dave noted that he "nailed it".

Well, no matter how small Justin's part was, we're still just as stoked to listen to it! Concrete and Gold will be released on 15 September and we can't wait to see what this unlikely pair has in store for us!

 

Photo credits: Koreaboo, Kevin Mazur/AMA2013/WireImage

Monday, 04 September 2017 06:32

Concert Review: Mew "LIVE" in Singapore!

Just one day after fellow countrymen Michael Learns To Rock performed at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Danish alternative rock band, Mew, took the stage at the School of the Arts (SOTA) Concert Hall on 3 September.

The SOTA Concert Hall, although considerably smaller than the Indoor Stadium, provided an intimate setting that was perfect for a band such as Mew. However, while tickets in the circles were sold out, the unoccupied seats littered across the stalls area made it fairly obvious in a space with a mere capacity of 600.

By a quarter past 8, the band was up on stage playing In A Better Place. Special, which followed after, was crowd and the intro of the track had a few popped up from their seats to dance along to the upbeat tempo. As earlier promised in a video greeting to fans in Singapore, the band played a good mix of music from their latest album, Visuals, such as Twist Quest and Nothingness And No Regrets, alongside their older tracks Am I Wry? No and Satellites.

Much to the contrary of his seemingly quiet demeanour, Frontman Jonas Bjerre's falsetto was on point the entire night and especially shone in the likes of Snow Brigade and Waterslides. As each song went by, more and more members of the audience started to get on their feet. By the time the band played Carry Me To Safety, every single person in the concert hall had moved on from crossing their arms and slightly nodding to full-on head banging. It's also worth noting how instead of the band prompting audience members to get up and dance, it was the fans themselves who got those around them to stand by shouting: "Eh, stand leh!"

In the atmosphere that dabbled between the extreme polars of intense and chill, the kaleidoscopic visuals and psychedelic stage lightings were also impeccable that night.

Following in the footsteps of Radiohead, the band performed a second encore with Comforting Sounds, their arguably most defining and awaited track on the setlist. After a mesmerizing extended outro, Jonas took the time to thank and shake the hands of those who were standing in front. His genuine and humble disposition ended the short yet sweet, 1 hour 15 minute concert on a sweet and heartwarming note for both concertgoers and the band who would be embarking on the rest of their Asian and Australian tour.

Photo credits: Jazrel Rezed, @Mewofficial @Rueventan.photo on Instagram

Suspense filled the Singapore Indoor Stadium as the house lights went dimmed. All eyes were glued to the stage for the next 5 minutes, waiting for the stars of the night, Michael Learns To Rock. Yet, all that could be seen were the alphabets "MLTR" flashing on the screens on the left and right.

The last time the Danish pop-rock band played in Singapore was 2 years ago at The Star Performing Arts Centre. Moving back into the Singapore Indoor Stadium is a testament of how well-loved MLTR still is even today. As highlighted by frontman Jascha Ritcher, the last time they played in the same venue was in 1995, which was also their first concert in Asia.

Alas, donned in matching colours of black and red, the band finally came up on stage and catapulted into their timeless classics, Complicated Heart and Sleeping Child

The first half of the concert went like a breeze. Despite a slight misshap with the sound system during Final Destination, the band transitioned from song to song quickly, barely making banter with the crowd. 

It wasn't until the band introductions when things started to get a little exciting. As frontman Jascha introduced his bandmates, it turned out that they had already left the stage. "It's quite scary to be alone on stage like this," he quipped. "I quit, I go home." Fans who were seated along the isles were in for a treat as Jascha walked through the crowd to get to the second stage, located in the middle of the stadium. The rest of the band later joined Jascha and prompted the audience to take out their cellphones. The stadium was transformed into a beautiful spectacle as thousands waved their lighted cellphones.

With screenings of their old music videos playing behind them, the now-middle-aged MLTR still looked just as suave, if not even more so. As if looking into our souls, Jascha winked and made cheeky glances and into the cameras, all while making teasing remarks.

While Jascha remained behind the keyboard most of the time, it was guitarist Mikkel Lentz who walked around the stage to work up the crowd. His gelled-up salt and pepper hair had ladies swooning all around.

In the last quarter of the concert, the band played another set of favourites such as 25 Minutes and Paint My Love. The night ended with an encore performance of That's Why (You Go Away) with a confetti surprise. 

The magic about MLTR is in their music that is able to invoke the nostalgia in the hearts of the old and young alike; those who witnessed the band at its prime in the 90's and those who grew up listening to their music played on their parents' car radio. The band put on a world-class performance that night that will remain in many of our hearts.

 

Photo credits: @iamalextan @mrderektan @aliciacyt90 on Instagram

When you are one of the world's biggest surviving rock band and your return to a country has taken more than 20 years, there is going to be a certain level of expectation set on you.

So when Foo Fighters finally made their highly-anticipated return to our shores at the National Stadium, meeting the expectations of a 20,000-strong crowd was not going to be an easy feat.

It was 8:05pm when the lights dimmed and the sound of electric guitars echoed across the stadium. As if fans were expecting the band to be late, it wasn't until frontman Dave Grohl appeared on the big screen when unprepared fans quickly got onto their feet and erupted in applause to welcome the rock legends on stage.

The night began with I'll Stick Around before diving into the band's greatest hits such as All My Life, Learn To Fly and The Pretender. A friend who was standing in Pen A described her experience in the first few rows as a "gas chamber" and was subjected to "involuntary vertical bodysurfing and moshing", which should've been expected, in my opinion.

It was evident that Singapore's humidity was getting to Dave Grohl when he doused an entire bottle of water on himself, before leading the stadium with My Hero. What a surreal and goosebump-inducing experience it was to listen as the entire stadium sang back its chorus in unison to their heroes on stage.

The entertaining and extended band introductions that came halfway through the set included snippets of Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, Stayin' Alive by Bee Gees and Another One Bites The Dust by Queen, all of which came to abrupt endings. "Wrong band," Dave reminded.

Drummer Taylor Hawkins then took over vocals in Cold Day in the Sun, bringing our attention to the photo of a young Chris Cornell that was on his drum set - the band's tribute to the late Soundgarden frontman.

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One of the highlights of the night was the trio from their 2011 Wasting Light album, which included Walk, These Days and Rope. Throughout the two-hour set, the veteran performers were able to kept spirits high and show how a real concert should really be. All around the stadium, fans could be seen dancing, jumping and even running around.

However, as energetic and engaging as it was, Foo Fighters' concert was far from perfect. One of the most obvious drawbacks was the setlist that was shorter than many other stops in their Concrete and Gold tour. Compared to their shows in Europe or the one in Bangkok that took place just two days prior, their show here was cut by at least three songs, including Wheels and Skin and Bones which just so happened to be two of the songs that I was personally eager to watch.

All in all, the band put on a solid show that was in their best ability. Many would guess that there was a strict time limit imposed on the show, so it comes with a sigh of relief that audience interaction was not compromised that night. Despite the shorter setlist, Dave's friendly banter and flying kisses were a good trade-off. "Next time, it won't take 20 years, because I'll be 68 then," he said of the band's next return. We'll hold him to his word.

 

(Photo credits: UnUsUal Entertainment, @gavinlsh, @dodytsepotakuc and @eddyyjh on Instagram)

When it comes to Singapore's National Day Parade, one of its biggest and most anticipated highlights is the NDP theme song of the year.

If you haven't heard this year's theme song, Because It's Singapore!, here you go:

 

And... yep. Let's just say that we hope to hear better for NDP 2018.

Yes, we know we'd never get another Home, but before you lose hope in local music, you shouldn't.

In fact, the local music scene has been flourishing as of late. So, to celebrate Singapore's 52nd birthday, here are 5+2 (or 7) of our favourite songs released by local musicians in 2017!

 

1) The Façade - White

 

2) Jean Tan - Crowns

 

3) M1LDL1FE - Distraction

 

4) TOMGIRL - Heartbeats

 

5) Bakers In Space - Mute

 

6) The Sam Willows - Keep Me Jealous

 

7) LEW - Loved You So

Photo credits: LEW, Yak

"Due to unforeseen circumstances..."

We all know how it goes. No exciting news would ever begin with that line.

If you'd ask me, the words "cancelled" and "concert" should never be in the same sentence. Alas, life happens and sometimes things just don't work out as they should.

Here are four highly-anticipated concerts of 2017 that had been unfortunately cancelled:

 

1. Justin Bieber

The most recent concert cancellation goes to Justin Bieber, who cancelled his remaining Purpose tour just 18 days after it was announced that he would be performing in Singapore in October this year.

"Sorry for anybody who feels disappointed or betrayed," he apologised. "Have a blessed day."

Before you hate on Justin, it should not be ignored that the singer had been on tour for the past 16 months and performed at 150 shows. Give him a break.

 

2. Banks

After performing in Singapore for the first time at Laneway 2015, we were all excited for Banks' return in July 2017.

Unfortunately, in March, the alt-R&B songstress had cancelled her Singapore show. However, it does seem that both Banks and concert organizer, Secret Sounds Asia, are keen to work out a concert at a later date.

We're crossing our fingers on that!

 

3. Pitbull

Due to scheduling conflicts, Mr Worldwide a.k.a. Pitbull, could not go worldwide this year. Much to the disappointment of his fans, he cancelled the entire asian leg of his Climate Change world tour.

 

4. Colbie Caillat

Just two days before she was slated to take the stage at The MAX Pavillion, fans were shocked to find out that they would have to make other plans for that night.

When will her fans in Singapore finally be able to watch her sing Try and Bubbly live? Soon, we hope.

 

Photo credits: Getty Images, LA Times

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