Friday, September 02, 2005

Merdeka.. Paul Ponnudurai.. and the week that was

Happy 48th year of Independence, Malaysia (and 42 for EAST Malaysia!)!!!!

Yeah, yeah, yeah.. it's a few days late, but still counts la. So, 48th year of non-colonial rule. There had been some advances and there are regressions. Can only pray we Malaysians will work towards a more educated, well-informed future (assuming the Powers that Rule Malaysia follow suit).

Paul Ponnudurai @ Alexis Ampang

So what did I do for Merdeka eve? I went to watch the awesome Paul Ponnudurai at Alexis Ampang with some friends. For those who have heard of him, you know of his awesome talent, as a singer, guitarist, an entertainer, and most importantly, a fantastica musician. For those who haven't, let me tell you... he's one of the best Malaysian-born musician (too bad he's based in Singapore now) in town. An awesome guitarist, and vocalist. Superb musical ears.

Anyway, he played a lot cover tunes solo, with a Godin guitar. So what's so special about that you ask? Well, when he plays the guitar to back his vocals, it sounds like there's a whole band backing him up! He's mastered a guitar technique where he can play basslines, chords, in a realtime musical sequence.. ie. simultaneously. That requires a lot of practice on the instrument, I tell ya!

Covers included jazz standards such as Days of Wine and Roses, Misty; pop cover tunes such as Ain't No Sunshine, and torn-apart version of Sesame Street, and even Hotel California, a tune he detests.. but made tolerable by mutilating the tune like it was sung by an Indian, or possibly a Rastafarian!

One of my favorite lines that he casually says in the Alexis show, just before he plays a self-rearranged cover tune is, "... I will take apart, masticate, and take it inside out... why? BECAUSE I CAN!". AHahhaha... that's how good he is. And also one thing about this man... he's got a LOT of SOUL!!!

If you have a chance to see him... go for it!

#gossip Gathering at The Curve

Back in my early college days, I used to hang out in the virtual, real-time friend-making world of IRC or Internet Relay Chat. The very mention of it now, makes it sound so archaic. And in some ways it is. With MSN, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, Friendster and more, IRC may not be the only virtual friend-making tool used by IT aficionadoes. But it was really an in-thing in those days for us.

One of the chatrooms that I frequent is one called #gossip (in the Malaysian server). Basically a bunch of us Malaysians talking about a lot of stuff. I went in a little later than the rest, though. So, like many other chatroom endeavours, we also have met up face-to-face in person.
Read more about us in my friend, Yvonne's blog.

from l-r: Alex (bigbadWOF), Yvonne (oOlUi), mói ([-KoZ-]), Jon (pikey), and Masrey (DeXTeR)

Anyway, we met up at the jam-packed The Curve shopping centre, and we went to the Pancake House to have lunch. Attendees were myself, Yvonne (the founder of #gossip), Jonathan (aka Pikey), Alex, and Masrey.

The last time we actually met for makan was at least 3 years ago, at California Pizza Kitchen in KLCC. And everything was different in this outing. Everybody's interests and endeavours have changed. The stuff we talked about also changed. And that is a good thing.

It was nice seeing them again.


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