Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Hell unleashed... and London is calling!

So today on Halloween, 31 Oct 2007, hell is unleashed upon the citizens of London! The minions of darkness has spewed upon the world of the living, destroying and corrupting everything in its wake. Salvation now lies in the hands of a select few (that is you) to defend the last vestiges of humanity from eternal damnation.

It may come as a surprise to many who know me that I, on occasion, do dabble onto a good PC game! Nothing gives me great satisfaction that to annihilate them baddies with a quick click of a mouse or a fancy combo of keys. And there is no game i look forward to more than Hellgate: London, the 'spiritual successor' to the clickfest that is Diablo. I have ordered my collectors edition DVD and now preparing for the sleepless night ahead. Now, if only I have a smacking new PC play it with, hehehe... In the meantime, i will have to settle salivating at these gorgeous screenshots:

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Congratulations Governor!

Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz got an A for the fifth year in a row in the 2007 CENTRAL BANKER REPORT CARD survey issued by Global Finance Magazine. The magazine said that her "even-handed management of monetary policy has helped Malaysia to successfully weather this year’s global and regional financial turmoil".

Congratulations boss... your success is ours as well. Hopefuly this years bonus quantum would reflect the good news and commensurate accordingly, hehehe... ;)

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

DIESEL's Double Take

Look carefully at the picture above… could you spot the difference?

The background picture is a page from the August 2007 Details magazine, while the inset is from the Diesel AW2007 catalogue that I obtained from my Bangkok shopping escapade last month. Both show the same model, porting two different sets of outfits, gazing (or rather posing) sternly at a little brat for roughing it a bit too much at the clone reproduction chamber, resulting in a specimen of prime bodily spare parts going to waste.

Like the age old idiom: boys will be boys, that is how the good folks at Diesel cheekily prophesied that even in the distant sci-fi future where technology takes centre stage in everything in our lives, we are still essentially ‘human after all’. The AW 2007 campaign, produced by the French advertising agency Marcel Paris, is photographed by renowned Swedish video director Johan Renck, marking his first foray into shooting a stills campaign (trivia: Renck is the director for Madonna’s music videos: NOTHING REALLY MATTERS and HUNG UP!). Meanwhile, the clothing is styled by the legendary Patti Wilson, who has worked for the likes DSquared2 and Dolce& Gabanna (anyone notices a pattern here?).

So is there an error in the printing? Should the combo be military green cotton jacket + khakis + leather shoes OR black leather jacket + denim jeans + sneakers? Either way, both looks are hot!

Friday, 19 October 2007

Hazami – Nyata ****

You know your in for an aural roller coaster ride when the first thing you hear is a Mariah Carey like whistle – sweet and delicate before bursting into the joyous big band raucous that is AYUH, the first track from the singer songwriter Hazami's third album. Perhaps to infuse variation and freshness into his repertoire this time around, the album features an eclectic mix of R&B, pop, dance and Motown jazz while preserving his mainstay of signature ballads. Coming off on the heels of Anuar Zain’s latest opus, comparisons between the two crooners are inevitable. While this album slightly lacks the production polish and immediacy of his peer, Hazami’s willingness to experiment is both brave and commendable.

That is not to say that the album is not without it's highlights. The Audi Mok penned BUKAN IGAUAN, a stomper of a song that could have been the lovechild of Amerie’s ‘1 Thing’ + Beyonce’s ‘DejaVu’, showcases Hazami’s falsetto doing a one upmanship with wood instruments (also features backing vocals by Nikki); while the potential club hit YANG KU MAHU manages to channel Daft Punk electronica replete with vocoder effects. Meanwhile, Hazami’s accomplished songwriting skills are much evident in the haunting KATA CINTA MADAH DUSTA, the yearning SEMPAT, as well as the inspiring TIADA DIKAU TIADA DAKU, a tribute to his parents. Hazami also utilizes his resources to the fullest by featuring his choir group, ‘Music & Me Vocals’ as backing in many of the songs to great effect.

Overall, ‘Nyata’ is definitely Hazami’s most satisfying release to date and would further cement his reputation as one of the most talented artistes in the Malaysian music industry.

  1. Ayuh (Neal/Hazami) ****
  2. Tiada Dikau Tiada Daku (Hazami) ****
  3. Kata Cinta Madah Dusta (Hazami) *****
  4. Fikir (Hazami) ***
  5. Restu (Hazami / Azlan Abu Hasan) *** 1/2
  6. Tidak Mungkin (Hazami) ****
  7. Bukan Igauan (Hazami/ Audi Mok) *****
  8. Yang Ku Mahu (Hazami/ Audi Mok) ****
  9. Sempat (Hazami) ****
  10. Sepi (Hazami)***1/2
  11. Kiblatku (Hazami / Azlan Abu Hasan) ****

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Salam Aidil Fitri

Sebulan sudah kita berpuasa
Moga digolong dalam kalangan yang berjaya
Melaksanakan perintah Yang Maha Berkuasa
Sesudah berpuasa kita beraya
Udara dingin keheningan pagi
Tabuh bising mulakan hari
Sinar Aidilfitri menjelma lagi
Masing-masing pakai berseri
Aidilfitri hari penuh kemaafan
Menghapus kesalahan sesama insan
Memupuk perpaduan sesama ehsan
Mengikat tali keakraban

Monday, 8 October 2007

A Most Beautiful Return

Everyone has their favourite Hari Raya song. Some cherish the evergreen classics from the late Tan Sri P Ramlee and Saloma, while other's appreciate the new interpretations from the likes of M Nasir or Siti Nurhaliza. Nothing sets the mood for a nostalgic Hari Raya of bygone days quite like the prefect song that would fill the airwaves accompaning the 'balik kampung' exudos and the last minute preparations the eve before.

I also have a favourite Hari Raya song. But the irony is, the song in question is not a Raya song at all! At least, the original intention of it isn't. The song in question is KEPULANGAN YANG TERINDAH, the closing track to Ning Baizura's 2004 opus, Erti Pertemuan. Beautifully written by Firdauz JP with lyrics penned by Arab, it supposedly was inspired by the very personal story of the once estranged relationship the chantuse had with her father. It is essentially about acceptance, surrender and forgiveness, ultimately culminating in an unexpected return of a loved one on a fine 'beautiful morning'.

What makes this a Hari Raya song to me is that the themes evoked are both universal and yet very specific to Hari Raya. And the 'beautiful morning' could refer to the 1st of Syawal. The fact that, three years since its release one can still find different nuances and interpretations to the lyrics further elevates the quality of the songwriting into a class by itself. So here i present to you my favourite Hari Raya song (english translation available in the comments section):

Kepulangan Yang Terindah
Firdauz JP / Arab / Ning Baizura

Dahulu pernah aku
Membenci pada hidup ini
Menyalahkan semua kerna
Sejarah lalu ku yang amat memilukan

Perpisahan yang terjadi
Amat payah untuk diterima
Betapa aku menghanyut
Terumbang ambing di lautan keliru

Namun setelah ku redha
Suratan takdir dari Nya
Kasih yang pergi menjelma semula
Aku bagaikan bermimpi
Di saat dikau kembali
Air mata syukur mengalir di pipi

Di hati masih tertanya
Akan kekalkah bahagia
Namun ku harus percaya
Ini adalah hikmah sebenarnya

Di hening pagi nan indah
Kita kembali bertemu
Kepulangan yang tak pernah ku sangka
Biarpun menggunung dendam
Sekian lama terpendam
Semuanya kini terpadam sudah

Ku sambut dia
Sepenuh cinta
Kerana aku tahu
Semua ini Rahsia Illahi….

Friday, 5 October 2007

A return to innocence

When it comes to celebrating Hari Raya, cynicism and old age does go hand in hand, there is no doubt about it.

I remember, as a child how excited i was eagerly counting (and fasting) out the days to it. For a holiday that you really must earn it in order to celebrate it, Hari Raya is a joyous and victorious event indeed. And what childhood memory is complete without the 'balik kampung', 'bunga api', 'duit raya' and the other decorative accouterments that make the whole day special.

As I got older and more jaded, Hari Raya inevitably lost it magic somewhat. 'Balik kampung' means taking leave to visit relatives you hardly knew. Playing 'bunga api' is childish and immature (perhaps out of jealousy? hehe...). And instead of receiving 'duit raya', you are now the one to fork it out to fake grinning kids with $$$ signs in there eyes.

Despite the Mr Scrooge-esque attitude i have towards Hari Raya, there is one thing that I look forward to the most every year. Ultimately, it is the essence and the most important thing about it: Hari Raya is a time to reconnect with family and friends, to seek forgiveness for all our past wrong doings, to turn a new leaf and to start anew.

Yesterday, though somewhat unplanned, I went out to the nearby shopping mall with a friend to buy my baju Melayu and samping. This year its 'Go Green with the Queen' theme as you might have guessed from the pictures. For some reason, I felt giddy as I was trying it out for sizing. Suddenly, I felt like I was a child again, eagerly counting (and fasting) out the days to it (a little over a week to go).

I want to add another meaning to my Hari Raya this year. It is a day of returning to innocence.

Monday, 1 October 2007

All that Jazz!

Musical fans rejoice! Eternal stage diva's Roxie and Velma will slug it out Chicago style in Kuala Lumpur this November. I have watched the production twice during my uni-days in UK, and looking forward to a third helping of this fun and sexy show. Anyone wants in?