Wednesday, August 20, 2008

R.I.P. LeRoi Moore

I have never felt so sad for such a long time. I was surfing my usual websites when I stumbled across the news that DMB's saxophonist, LeRoi Moore, has died. It's really a big blow to me and all the DMB fans worldwide.

LeRoi had an accident in June, leaving him with a punctured lung and broken ribs. He was discharged initially but returned to hospital recently due to complications. He passed away yesterday morning at the age of 46.

I'm still shocked at the news. I read on the DMB website that he got into the accident and was on the road to recovery, and I believed that he would get better. DMB's summer tour still went on, with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' saxophonist Jeff Coffin filling in for LeRoi.

They still have 15 shows left to do, including one at the LA Staples Centre tonight, but I'm not sure if they will be able to carry on performing. If DMB somehow manage to complete their tour, I'm not sure if they will carry on recording as a band. They were in the midst of recording their next album earlier this year and it's not sure how much of it has been completed.

I'm really at a loss for words. Right now, I'm only thankful that I managed to catch LeRoi and DMB in concert last year. It's a very sad day for DMB fans. R.I.P. LeRoi Moore.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Akon featuring Michael Jackson - Hold My Hand

I'm not sure if you're aware that there is a new MJ song being leaked on the Internet recently, and it's a collaboration with Akon. Apparently, it's Akon featuring Michael Jackson, not the other way round, and it's scheduled to be the first single from Akon's forthcoming album, Acquited.

The song is titled Hold My Hand, and you can listen to it from this website. The song has been removed from YouTube already, and not many other sites have it now.

After listening to the song for the first time, I was simply overjoyed because MJ is singing again. It's like his old records where you can hear his wonderful singing voice, proving that he has not lost his God-given talent after all these years.

Strangely though, Akon sounds a little like him. Not sure if that's a good thing, but I'd say they managed to compliment each other well and blended into each other. The harmonising is great and you can't really tell who is singing which part at times.

As for the song's message, it's pretty meaningful. Just remove all your pre-conceived notions of MJ and you will enjoy the song.

I've done some scouting around and I'm very pleased to learn that about 90% of the comments for the song are good, and that they can't wait for MJ's comeback album. For once, people are able to appreciate the song for what it is rather than base their judgments on the person.

Hope that the new album will not disappoint. There's no release date yet though. We shall keep our fingers crossed. In the meantime, here are the lyrics to the song:

Akon featuring Michael Jackson - Hold My Hand
This life don’t last forever (hold my hand)
So tell me what we’re waitin’ for (hold my hand)
Better off being together (hold my hand)
Than being miserable alone (hold my hand)
Cause I’ve been there before
And you’ve been there before
But together we can be alright
Cause when it gets dark and when it gets cold
We can just hold each other till we see the sunlight
So if you just hold my hand
Baby I promise that I’ll do all I can
Things will get better if you just hold my hand
Nothing can come in between us if you just hold, hold my, hold my, hold my hand
The nights are getting darker (hold my hand)
And there’s no peace inside (hold my hand)
So why make our lives harder (hold my hand)
By fighting love, tonight
Cause I’ve been there before
And you’ve been there before
But together we can be alright
Cause when it gets dark and when it gets cold
We can just hold each other till we see the sunlight
So if you just hold my hand
Baby I promise that I’ll do all I can
Things will get better if you just hold my hand
Nothing can come in between us if you just hold my hand


Foo Fighters Live At Wembley DVD out 25th August

The Foo Fighters Live At Wembley DVD will be released on 25th August. Here's the tracklisting:

1. The Pretender
2. Times Like These
3. No Way Back
4. Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)
5. Learn To Fly
6. Long Road To Ruin
7. Breakout
8. Stacked Actors
9. Skin And Bones
10. Marigold
11. My Hero
12. Cold Day In The Sun
13. Everlong
14. Monkey Wrench
15. All My Life
16. Rock And Roll
17. Ramble On
18. Best Of You

I've watched most of the concert on MSN already and I must say it's pretty awesome. However, I'm a little sad that some of the songs from the Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace album had to make way for the two Led Zep songs.

At least I got to watch the Foos perform Let It Die, The Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners and But, Honestly live in Perth. Let It Die is such a good opening song. Pity they aren't on this DVD. They should release them as extras or as easter eggs.

Their previous Everywhere But Home DVD contained a wonderful easter egg of 6 bonus live tracks from Dublin. Click here to find out how to access the easter eggs.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Collectibles #24: South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut OST (1999)

Finally! I've been looking for a copy of this OST for a long time, and I finally found it in HMV! Ever since I saw the movie on DVD in 1999, I've been looking for a copy but to no avail. My friend actually bought a copy at Tower Records (long before it closed down) but I haven't seen it since he bought that copy.

I'm not a regular South Park watcher, but I thought that the film was super funny. And it was so successful because of the songs in there. Needless to say, the most obvious standout track is the ultra vulgar and profanity-laced Uncle F**ka by Terrance and Phillip. It's damn hilarious, and even though I'm not one who spews the F word about, I think when used appropriately (like in this instance), it's actually acceptable. Too bad they didn't include the remix from the film here.

I also like Mr Mackey's It's Easy Mmmkay. Never knew that there would be a substitute for "OK" other than "K".

Blame Canada was even nominated for an Academy Award despite its political incorrectness ("They're not even a real country anyway"). During the Oscars ceremony, Robin Williams performed the song live, but without the profanities of course.

Kyle's Mom's A B**ch is also super hilarious, especially the part where the African kids sing the verse and you don't know a single word of what they're singing. Superb.

Another personal favourite is Up There by Satan The Dark Prince. It's so funny because they make Satan to be this diva-esque figure who's really lonely and has a penchant for singing high notes and wailing like Mariah.

The OST contains 12 songs that were featured in the film and another 8 tracks that are inspired by the movie, which essentially are different versions of the songs sung by popular artistes. Not as good as the original for sure.

To fully appreciate this OST, you'd have to watch the film, otherwise they wouldn't make sense. After a long search, I'm so glad I found this. But you can bet I wouldn't be turning the volume up too often!

Monday, August 04, 2008

MTV Asia Awards 2008

The MTV Asia Awards 2008 were held in Genting last night, and it featured an A-list of stars and performances. Among the highlights are Leona Lewis' performance of Bleeding Love, Project E.A.R.'s Freak Show, The Script with The Man Who Can't Be Moved.

To watch videos of all the performances, visit the MTV Asia Awards 2008 website.

Jabbawockeez opened the show with a cool routine showcasing their slick and perfectly coordinated moves. It was followed by The Pussycat Dolls with a sizzling performance of Buttons and When I Grow Up. I was previously not much a fan of those 2 songs, but after watching them being performed live, I changed my mind.

The Script was another surprise, as I had never heard of them before this. The lead singer's voice is really nice and even though the song is quite generic-sounding, it's nice and they certainly have what it takes to be the next big thing.

OneRepublic showed up as well, performing their massive hit Apologise (but without Timbaland's beats and additional vocals) and second single, Stop And Stare. It was a performance that was expected of them, nothing much more. But it was not bad.

Electrico performed Save Our Souls, a song specially written for the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC). It was a good song, but unfortunately it didn't translate well when performed in a major awards ceremony, maybe it wasn't catchy enough.

Stefanie Sun later joined Electrico to harmonise on the vocals, before they segued into Ni Guang, a cut off Stef's latest album. It was a good idea to pair 2 of Singapore's biggest acts together on stage for the first time, but on the second song, Electrico became the backing band for Stef. It would have been cool if they had traded verses (like on her duet with Mayday on the track Wo Shi Wo, off the Kite album), but perhaps that was limited by Dave's grasp of Mandarin.

The Click Five returned to Asia for the upteenth time in the past 3 years, and the fans never seem to get tired of them. And I must admit that Jenny is a darn catchy song that grows on you. It's one of those songs that you'd hate to admit you liked. The kompang players were a little calafe though, with their stint on Empty so short-lived.

Leona Lewis is a great vocalist, and she delivered a top-notch performance on Better In Time and Bleeding Love. She is the one who can rival Mariah in the vocal department, and her high notes on Bleeding Love proved that she's a worthy contender. Let's hope she doesn't go the hip-hop way and lose her original spirit.

Project E.A.R. was another revelation of the night, delivering what I feel to be one of the best performances that night. Consisting of rock and hip-hop titans from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand, supergroup Project E.A.R (or Project East Asian Revolution) rocked the house down. It was the most energetic performance of the night no doubt.

MTV pulled out all the stops when it came to the closing act of the night. Having opened with a bang with Jabbawockeez and PCD, the 2-and-a-half hour show wrapped with Panic At The Disco playing I Write Sin, Not Tragedies and Nine In The Afternoon. They were surprisingly good live, and lead singer Brendon Urie sounded strong too.

Nine In The Afternoon didn't hook me previously, but I like the song a lot now after hearing them perform it. It's not a typical punk/pop rock band song and they successfully integrated a big band section to boost the sound and epic quality of it.

The performance certainly did not lack grandeur as PATD were joined onstage by backward-flipping acrobats and colourfully-dressed cabaret girls. A marching band even marched down the stairs towards the end of the song. And it closed with a bang literally as golden streamers and confetti shot into the air to oull the curtains down on one big, memorable MTV Asia Awards.