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Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Recital

This morning, because I assumed I was very free, I went to visit a friend's house in Ipoh. I was just tagging along with Alif and Azmi who'd been invited over by Mei Le. Actually, she just needed Alif over to help her sister do some stuff. He just asked me to come along last night, I just said yes, without thinking of the many things I needed to do today, haha!

Well, Mei Le's dad came around 10 in the morning to pick us up. For me the situation was a little strange because you could see this as Mei Le bringing three guys over to meet her family. Can you imagine her saying, "Daddy, I'm bringing three guys over to the house okay?" If you can imagine, you would think of it as a slightly awkward position to be in. I guess that didn't matter to her though.

The ride was a bit long, passed by the area where Jamie Neoh stays that reminds me I still haven't met up with him ever since I've been around Ipoh. Anyway, we arrived shortly after that and we met her two sisters, one two years older and another much younger. I think she's in primary school, just not sure what year. It was pretty cool, it was the first time I'd met any of her family before so it was a nice experience getting to know them. They're really nice people, I've personally come to believe, having a good family is much easier in places which aren't too influenced by western culture such as Ipoh. Yes, there are lots of trendy teenagers around but you can tell any negative influence by extremist western culture is a lot less there than in KL.

There was one piano that was sitting in one corner of the living room. I knew Mei Le played the piano, she mentioned before that she'd be back every weekend in Ipoh because she missed playing it. Hence, it wasn't long before I asked her to play something. Predictably so, she was a little reluctant but she gave in and took out some of her score sheets and started playing some pieces. What really struck me initially was the kind of confidence in her playing that she portrayed as she put her hand to the keys. If you saw her play, you would see the way she strikes the keys confidently lets you know that she's really into what she's playing.

I took out my camera and started recording which she was opposed to. She currently insists that I erase the video recording I took of her playing and any pictures I took of her face. Apparently, she's very camera shy. She even took the time to look back while playing to ask me to stop recording (it's quite 'potong stim' to have that when you're recording). I only managed to record one song though, it was nice nonetheless although I wished I recorded another song she played which was kind of romantic, haha! I have no clue what song it was though. What was nice was that I got on her elder sister's classical guitar and spontaneously performed a duet with her for a couple of pop songs, Robbie Williams and the like.

That was cool, the highlight of my day.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

FamiLY iN oNE

As I've mentioned before, I went back to KL for the short Chinese New Year break where I only expected to see my mother as my father works in Kerteh,Terengganu. My father's working for Petronas, as he has been for more than two decades, talk about company loyalty, he's a living example of it. Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise when I found that he was in KL and would stay on until the day I left. Just for those who do not already know, I do not have any brothers or sisters, my family only consists of myself and my parents.

It was nice to get back together as all of us hadn't been together as a whole family in a while. My father would come down to KL every now and then for meetings and such but I wouldn't be around to see him. On one of those days, we went down to The Curve just to hang around before we went off for dinner with a family we knew. We sat down at this coffee shop for a short while, just to take a breather after our walk around. We started talking about stuff, and it was real nice for once. It's not like I come from a hostile family but I think it's been a very long time since we sat down as a family just to chill and have a friendly, non-serious like conversation. How long's it been since you had one?

It wasn't too long ago when my family were still together, living in one place, KL. It was only since the end of 2005 that my father moved on to Terengganu to fulfill job requirements. It was in July 2006 when I got my scholarship that all of us were finally separated and it looks to be this way until I graduate from UTP. My father won't be posted back to KL anytime soon. Looking back, I would say that I may have taken my parents for granted in the sense that I didn't really bother to spend much time with them as opposed to my friends. Nowadays, I do appreciate it when I get to see my parents together again once in a while. It's one of those things where you don't realise it until you actually lose it.

It's good to have family around, supporting you, looking out for you even as you grow older and get more independent. You do appreciate it. No one likes being completely alone by themselves, even if they think they do. I know that not everyone has parents that give enough love and thus feel unloved, unsupported, unaccepted even. It turns to hate sometimes and things just get ugly. I've heard stuff from friends and it's just hard. There's no quick fix, no drug that just makes it dissapear. I just want to offer one thing to you, a Father's love. To whoever reads, I just want to let you know, God loves YOU. He'll give it all to you, you just have to let Him in. You've got nothing to lose. You've got so much to gain, simply because unlike us humans, God's love never fails and is stronger than any family or life partner you can possibly find.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Young

In the past few months, a particular issue has been tingling in my mind. Youth development I would call it. It started off when I was in my church on a Saturday evening where a music workshop for electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were being facilitated by some of my friends for a whole lot of youngsters aged between 12 and 15. It was quite encouraging to see the response as there were loads of them that came for the workshops, very eager to learn certain music skills. What I saw there was the chance for the music team there to grow in numbers and to nurture young talent that could have potential to play very well just after a few years of experience. That's the way it was for people like myself, Khye Shin, Chris Wee, Samuel Wee, Josh Wong, Sharmane, Tze Quan and so forth. I'm really looking forward to see the progress of some of these younger people as I go back to KL every now and then. It's a really exciting prospect, getting to see new musicians up on stage instead of the veterans like Chris Wee, Khye Shin and Timothy Au. I'm particularly interested to see Inessa's progress on bass though, Wesley on keyboard and Shammie on drums.

On another youth development note, I've been following the progress of some young footballers over at the club I've been loyally supporting since 1994, Manchester United, haha!! Yes, I've seen some of the stuff of the legendary Eric Cantona who's definitely worthy of the number seven jersey. As we see the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Neville, veterans who are aeging, there are many young players in the academy that show much promise. Some have been so good that Alex Ferguson has loaned some of them out to other clubs to gain first team experience. The likes of Guiseppe Rossi, Phil Bardsley, Lee Martin, Gerard Pique and quite a number more that you've never heard before are slowly coming up the ladder. All these guys are a result of nurturing at the Manchester United Academy and are a sign of United's first teamers in the next decade or so. Both Alex Ferguson and Arsen Wegner both give much emphasis to young development, hence their dominance in the top 5 of the league in recent years and the many years to come.

One last thing that caught my eye recently was the involvement of youth in a cultural heritage project that Vern was involved in. She was kind enough to lend me a three hour DVD that Digi made all about it (in my mind, I'm like "Man...... three hours..."). Basically it's about a bunch of 60 youngsters in project aimed at preserving and conserving Penang's cultural heritage and quite a fair bit of them are in primary school I believe. What they did was they put on several performances in a few locations around Penang that portrayed some of Penang's history, reminding Penang residents of the past they may have forgotten. Each of these performances are researched through interviews and visits to several locations around Penang to ensure what they perform are based on fact and authencity. The best thing is that all these are done by kids. It's not an all adult performance. Who says kids can't do stuff, huh?

As Christopher Chew once said, "Don't despise your youth."

I'm getting older now... looking back and wondering whether I wasted five out of my seven teen years is a little daunting. I'm still wondering what did I ever do that was really worth something.

If you need another reason to make sure you count as a young person, CLICK HERE. Some youngsters don't have the great chances we do.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Back in The Land of Mud (Saae Andemae utspae tiae)

Well, yes, I'm back in Kuala Lumpur, the land of mud as the word 'lumpur' would have it. I have to say, the trip back down was the best one I've had ever since I've been in UTP. Why? It's simply because I finally got to sit in a more than HALF-DECENT bus man. Since last year, every bus that I've taken from my uni down to KL and back is really crappy. You might as well be sitting in one of those buses taking you to prison. I finallly sat on a bus that I actually felt comfortable in.

Well anyway, got back down to KL Sentral after taking the LRT from Masjid Jamek to meet my mum. She wasn't so keen to drive down to Puduraya during the festive season. Anyway, we settled my handphone problem straight away which was just great. For those of you who didn't know, I encountered the problem where an idiot like myself can magically unknowingly turn off his phone and turn it on again, and magically enter the wrong pin code three times and moronically enter the wrong PUK code more than ten times, resulting in my phone rejecting my sim card. That forced me into a desperate situation to temporarily use a prepaid number but I managed to solve my problem at the maxis centre at Taman Tun yesterday so that's all settled. The bad thing is I've lost all my contacts, but I guess that can be sorted out later.

After settling my sim card problem, we headed back to KL Sentral to pick up my dad who was down in KL for meettings the past few days. I just realised then that this was the first time my whole family was together for quite some time. It felt good, it's nice to have the family back as whole, especially when we're all living away from each other. Even my mum and dad don't live together because my dad's working in Terengganu.

Later in the evening, my parents and I went over to One Utama to catch a movie and boy was parking hard to find. I think we spent about 30 minutes in the parking basement just to find one space. The most annoying thing about the experience was that we always saw other lucky people managing to find spaces just less than ten metres away from us. We'd always see cars leaving their space on another lane but another car would already be there to snap it up. It got to the point where we gave up and decided to leave.

About 10 metres out of the parking basement my dad suggested we try the outdoor parking lot which never came to my mind and when we went there, half that place was EMPTY. My gosh, we'd been going for over half an hour in a crowded basement car park when there was a half empty parking lot outside. We rushed to the cinema to see if there were any shows left worth watching. By that time it was already around 10.30 p.m.

We ended up watching Dreamgirls, featuring Jamie Foxx, Beyonce and Eddie Murphy. I've got to tell you..... it's real good. Whoever came up with the idea for this show and teaming up those three talented stars is just brilliant. Nominated for several Academy Awards, it's no wonder this show's so good. It's about three young black women who are talented singers, looking for a break on the big scene, how they get there, it's aftermath and what happens when you're all caught up in show business. I think it's really good, because I think it brings a fair bit of entertainment industry reality. I think several people would've been surprised at Eddie Murphy's inclusion in a more serious film but he fits his role really well.

Well, one day after that (now) I'm eating a nice Chinese dinner with another family who's having their reunion dinner, lol. It sounds weird doesn't it, having a reunion dinner with another family but it's not a big deal for us because we're quite close to this family. The food was... great, but what my mum cooked for the dinner was exceptional. She made roasted pork (siew yoke/siew bak), the one with the golden crispy skin on the top. Having eaten that, I am truly convinced that there is not one person in the Klang Valley that can possibly whoop her ass in making that dish, not one. I dare not say for the whole nation, that's a little ambitious. So for now I'm online, possibly the only time I'll have online for the next few days before I go back to KL.

So just a happy new year to you all, have a great time with your respective families. Take the time just to know them a little better and foster goodwill all around. I'll just be around..... studying.. or trying to.

P.S - I think I might want to trim my hair, people suggest I cut it, buttt.............. we'll see. I always wanted something as long as Jon Foreman or Thomas De Longe. And I'm starting to learn how to play 'New American Classic' by Taking Back Sunday, finally!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Mix Of Things.. Conclusively SUcky

Not gonna write about one thing in particular, there are just quite a number of things on my mind, just my whole life really. I'm just finding it hard to be genuinely happy or maybe just myself as of late. It just feels like when I'm facing up to someone, I'm just putting up the diplomatic friendly face when I don't really feel like it.

The past few days have been a little like a blur for me, after I was done with the Chinese New Year project, I didn't really want to bother about anything for a while. I just wanted to empty my mind, have that kind of blissful ignorance for a moment before stepping back into reality. It just doesn't stop though, just when you think you're done, you've got a whole lot of other things to do. It just makes you feel like wanting to drop some of these things, but commitment isn't something you drop just like that is it. There's work to do, a lot of books I've got to read to catch up with what I've missed. I seriously wonder how my friends can cope with they stuff they're doing, guess their brains are all wired for it.

Heading into Valentines day, I totally forgot about it until someone wished me. Valentines.... whatever.... for me it's another day to go through, like my birthday which doesn't seem so great anymore although I didn't wish it to be that way. It's not like that day changed anything for me. We were supposed to have a test that day but our oh-so romantic lecturer whose wedding anniversary fell on Valentine's decided to cancel it. Mind you, that's not such a great thing to happen as it sounds. It just means he can put in more chapters the next time around. Speaking of Valentines, did want to do something, but.... dunno la.. I ended up doing one of those 'so close, yet so far' deals, I won't elaborate. If only.. if only.

Chinese New Year holidays..... I'm just going to catch up with my studies, it's pretty amazing how much I'm left out. I need these few days, not like I'm celebrating CNY much anyway. I just need to push through, I'm still in that part where I'm still struggling, trying to find my way out of a mess and getting back to something more stable, perhaps routine. I'm trying to get my way back into my studies, I just need to stabilise that. I seriously do not appreciate that I have to skip my programming lab to go back home. That just sucks.... seriously. I'll definitely be missing out a lot. Even worse, I skipped my English tutorial accidentally, twice. I forgot to go this Tuesday for only God knows what reason and my replacement last night. I was just dumbfounded when I knew I'd missed that. Well, I'm just trying to make up for it by completing all the tutorial assignments (Call Lab). Yeah, so my catching up and work is my hong bao for the season.

I don't know, I just need a boost or something.... all this just... sucks. I'd love for my mind not to be so occupied by all this crap, I just need some... peace. Not feeling alone might help just a little too. All this..... the occupation of crap in the human brain, not to mention the heart...... needs more than an incinerator to burn it all up. My heart..... could really use some joy, happiness, something it hasn't been fed for a while.


Oh... and if anyone knows how to play John Mayer's live version of '3x5', I'm begging you..... teach me please.....

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Friends

"Dude, who're you with man? I see you're alone all the time! You're not with anybody."

A statement I received from a friend over lunch just a few days ago. A valid question, something I can't really answer. It's something I have to admit to be quite through, not really being with anyone, referring especially to a secure, permanent group of friends in UTP. A loner, individualist, go-it-alone person might be something someone might call me. I'm not saying I don't have friends, but I've realised that over the many years of my life that I haven't had a group of people or a real close friend that I've constantly hung around with for a long long time.

I've realised ever since the two last closest friends I had in high school left before I finished form 5 that I've never really had a close friendship with anyone excluding some people I know from church. Even before then, I also faced the same thing after my dear French schoolmate, Sebastien Ferriere left Vietnam for Turkey before I left that place. He was my buddy in international school at primary level. I went to Vietnam at the age of eight or nine I think.

In the light of the departure of these friends, I've had a struggle to try and build new friendships or at least develop closer mutual ones with existing schoolmates that I just greet every now and then. It's hard because you're trying to break into a group of people that have already bonded, cliques if you like. It's also very much saying, "Can I be your friend, since mine left so I need a replacement, see." Fortune did favour me a little and I did manage to break in and get along with some of my classmates that I never did talk to before, or not that much at least, but it's just not the same. Some of you should know how this feels.

Taylor's college was a new break for me, socially, another chance to get new friends and all. It was pretty cool that our class was united, but then again I never really got it off with the guys much, although we did play pool and all together. I may have been a little closer to people like Rachel and Praveena (two awesome girls, haha! you'll never find them anywhere else). I am really thankful though that throughout this time, even since Wei Yang and Alex left Hartamas that I've been with Khye Shin a lot. Music really helps to bring two people like us together, haha!

Now, I've also had to leave him behind in my attempt to make up for my Taylor's failure at UTP, which is a real blessing. There're no doubts about that. UTP has a whole lot of different people than KL, more simple minded (doesn't mean, not sophisticated aiight), sincerely friendly and not bitchy which isn't hard to find in KL. Maybe it's because they're mostly not affected by a very westernised influenced city culture even if they have been exposed to it.

It's easy to make friends with these people, even if they are more Chinese influenced than most of my previous acquaintances. I find it easy to talk to most of them as well, without the feeling of tension, face-saving and prideful way of presenting myself. However, again I had the issue of finding friends or maybe just one that I'd be comfortable with. I think God knows who's in for people like me and he made me meet two people I never imagined I would meet for any particular reason, Vern and Eddy from a totally different course than mine. I believe I met Vern before though, over dinner with a whole bunch of people, then we got off with music interests.

Anyway, I've gotten to know people like Vern, Jialin and Sam who I think I've had the privilege of developing very good frienships with, which I'm quite appreciative of. It just seems I know people outside my course better than those inside. I'm aware of it, just trying to fix that now.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Chill

I.... just want to chill... some company would be nice..

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I..... just... can't...

I think barely within one week of involvement in logistical processes that I've been assigned to, I'm already starting to lose it..... I have to say though, friends can help a lot during times like these.

I'm involved in this Chinese New Year event in my uni and it's just been tiring and somewhat burdensome and slightly depressing. I know every other tom dick and harry in any other event feels the same way but I don't know, I'm just not really into it you know. I'm looking around at some of my friends who are much more relaxed than I am, wishing I was in their position.

I think some positive thinker might tell me something like, "It's ok, I mean look, you're the one being active, they're not, so they're losing out." Honestly, I don't feel they're losing out simply because I just don't feel it's really worth it. It's been taking me away from studies as well. I've been rushing from building to building that are at least 500 metres away from each other for the past four days.

I know, it's short right? "Just four days what" you say. Some in other events may say, "I've been doing all this crap for months okay, so don't even talk about your crap." If that really is you, I just want to say, fine, I'm not as tough a proposition as you and maybe I'm not in a position to say this, but that's just how I feel. Kudos to Derrick and Kee Siong who handle this a gazillion times better than I do. I've screwed up several things too, neither of them know too. I've tried to clean it up, maybe I'll be successful, only time will tell.

In fact, after all the rush, I just don't want to do it anymore. Nonetheless, I do it for three reasons, number one, I promised someone last year I'd help this person out for this event and I'm intent on keeping it. Two, how am I supposed to face my superiors, colleagues and all those other people if I just quit, I'd be losing not just respect, but friendships with many people as well. Three, I just feel I owe everyone else my effort because I think they've worked pretty hard to get this event going. I think the third reason is the only one that pushes me to do anything, although it's not quite motivating.

You know, I've missed quite a number of classes to do this stuff, especially today. I just want it to end, 12th, 13th and 14th are the days of this event. After that, that's it. You won't find me doing this anymore. Several of us who are involved in this same project want nothing to do with events as well after this, some who had offerred themselves in future events have already pulled out whilst going through this experience.

We're all just...... tired, bummed out. I don't even know if we really want this event to succeed or just to get it done overwith. I'm feeling the second reason totally.

Just for those people who can handle all this event crap and actually perform satisfactorily for your studies and such, I just want to salute you because I think it's just freaking hard. I've got a few friends in such positions, longer than I have, congrats to them. I'm just not one of those, not really made for it...... too bad for me..... screw it.

You know I feel like such a bitch right now that if I had the choice to attend (which I don't) this event, I'd rather stay out and do whatever I normally, most probably sleep or something assuming I've done my part correctly.

And I kid you not, my studies are suffering because of this... just how do you do it, how do you...
I mean, come on, one of my logistic colleagues looks like a depressed, dying, shot down, screwed up drug addict right now. But kudos to him.... I guess he finds the value in doing all this 'stuff'.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Last Night...

Yesterday, I was quite a busy bee, running around here and there like an idiot to settle bureaucratic, hierahchial logistical issues for the Chinese New Year Celebration and Exhibition project that I'm working for in my university. It got me so preoccupied that day that I didn't even bother to take dinner before my 8-10 p.m English tutorial. Before that, I was just kind of relaxing in my room, I didn't really feel like eating. The action of running around all over the place does take away your mood to do a lot of things.

Anyway, I got hungry after my tutorial. Well, yes, it did have to happen eventually. I asked one of my course mates if he'd want to go out of campus with me, just to have a little company for my meal. He declined and so I went on myself, out to D'Toronto, this place that was 15 minutes walk from where I was (I think I've mentioned this before in some other post). As I passed by the sports complex, I just HAD TO BUMP INTO MY JUNIORS AGAIN. You see, I've been bumping into my juniors quite a lot recently. Almost everywhere I go, I'll definitely meet a junior I know and give the usual greeting. I never intentionally go looking for any of them but sometimes we even end up at the same dinner table.

The first person I noticed was Richard, then a few others like Jenny and the lot. I stopped by for a while to talk to them, a long while rather. I discovered they too were going out for supper(my dinner). We just waited a little more for some others like Calvin, Seok Yee and Jason to arrive and went off to D'Toronto. It was rather good, getting to talk to Richard and Jason again who I think I'm starting to develop good friendships with. I was talking a lot with Richard though, sharing our music interests and talking about ideas for Euphonious, the battle of the bands competition I'm joining.


Calvin and Jason

A lot of stuff came up during our time there, the usual talk about relationships or crushes between so and so, and of course the usual teasing here and there. It seems to be a culture in Malaysia that supper is the correct time to 'cucuk' people. Anyway, a huge lot of the time we were there had the spotlight on Calvin who's participating in this debate event today I believe. His plan is/was to sing during his turn to speak. His topic is about love or something like that. Everyone started taking out their hand phones, playing tonnes of Chinese romantic songs to see which one he'd like to use. My goodness, I think 60% of our time was taken up by that. In the end, he didn't even pick ONE! I think he'll be singing his own tune or something, he's really insistent about it.


Jenny,Haviar (I don't know how to spell his name) and um..... ( I don't know)

Well, anyway, it was just cool hanging out with the lot of them, getting to know them a little better. They're a nice bunch of people. Talking to Jason was cool, I think we share some mutual interests. I finally got to know Jenny as well, I didn't even know here name until last night, lol! It was just nice.... a better way to end my day rather than thinking about logistical things to do, haha! It feels good.


Haviar and Richard

Monday, February 05, 2007

Something cool.... maybe awesome

You know, many times as a Christian, you sometimes do question your faith wondering whether God is real or not. It seems to be something fundamental that Christians would never doubt God's existence, that it is a firm and rigid understanding not to be questioned. There have been times when I have doubted God, going to the point of wondering what if God isn't real, what if all this is a lie? If all this is a lie, what's going to happen to me when I die?

Those were my thoughts at the age of 17, at a time where I'm in active participator in the church. It came at a time where I was not feeling depressed, not feeling lonely or anything like that. It just came to mind, perhaps after a conversation I had with a friend of mind who's an aethist. Let me tell, it feels awfully scary when you think about those things, all the 'What if?" questions should God not exist. Thoughts of death, and nothing after that was one of my main concerns. It really terrified me, and I talked to my parents about it, and my youth pastor as well, Kay Lee.

One thing that they all assured me was that, this is pretty much normal. Everyone at some stage of their Christian lives all doubt God, even his existence is questioned, just like my case. One thing that Kay told me was just to be patient for God to be evident to me. It's through life experiences that you know that God is real. That was at age 17. I then recommitted myself to faith, and not basing my belief in the evidence I wanted from God to prove he was real.

I've gone on through life, starting to experience God in many ways, some small and some big. Let me share with you the big ones. Just last semester, I experienced something that I know was from God. It was just such a phenomenonal event in my life, something that never happenned to me before, neither did I expect it to happen. You can read about it here. If you haven't read it, please do because it really is amazing and it's REAL. I'm not here to bluff.

I now have something to share. Just a few days back, something totally amazing happened and again, it's really one of those things where God's working in people's lives so they can experience Him. Last Saturday, my church in Ipoh, Hope of God church, organised a barbeque night where we'd invite our friends, and our juniors as well. We all had a good time at the barbeque and it finished at about 11.30 and we arrived back at my university slightly later than 12.

Some of my juniors were quite awake and actually went around to play basketball after 12. The whole group of them were guys except for this one girl that tagged along. As they were playing, this girl tripped over and knocked her head against the concrete floor. She was unconcious, knocked out by the fall and the guys did what they could to revive her.

They tried for quite a while and didn't get a response. At one point, one of the juniors checked her pulse to find that there was none at all. Fortunately, they managed to call for help and quickly get her to the university clinic. At the time they were at the clinic, she was still unconcious, the juniors who'd brought her over went just outside the clinic and prayed real hard for this young girl, their peer.

Not too long after they prayed, she eventually woke up and she was quite alright. She still fell a couple of times as she started walking again but she's fine now. You see, this girl (who's not a Christian by the way) was quite surprised after she found out what happenned. She only remembered falling down and waking up at the clinic. After that, she told us that she's gone unconcious before, several times. In fact, she mentioned that if she's unconcious for more than 10 minutes she goes into a coma for a couple of days. I can assure you that it was much more than ten minutes that she was unconcious but she didn't go into a coma for a couple of days. She was really thankful for the prayers and even praised God for it you know. I think that's just a start to what God has in store has for this young Girl that doesn't quite know Him yet.

That's why they say, miracles aren't really for the believers, they're more for those who haven't really experienced Him yet.

That's why, God is real. Not just that, God is awesome.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Missing the stage... and getting a little back

"I like your stage presence, the way you move on stage."

That's what a friend told me a few years back during one of our band rehearsals for a performance we had in 2004. A complementing statement, and a little flattering at that. We performed two songs, The Rock Show by Blink 182 and Hold On by Good Charlotte. This was in 2004, three years back and that little compliment has stayed with me ever since.

I like performing on stage, at least with a few people alongside me, a band to be more specific. I wouldn't mind a small acoustic set with just one or two friends either. At the age of 16, I was quite enthusiastic about playing or singing in a band, being up on stage and performing in front of crowds or maybe just jamming in a studio. As much as I wanted this, it never really happenned to me except the one time that I mentioned earlier. I started out in church, singing, and I really got into it. I found myself enjoying what I was doing, jumping around during fast songs, trying to sing song harmonies that I thought was 'cool' and so forth. It's a great experience, singing in church and I still enjoy doing it today.

There have been so many times during high school when I'd just day dream about being in a band and performing at 'battle of the bands' events, or special school events. I think that was one of my 'teenage dreams' so to speak. I've imagined myself in a band with a couple of friends I know but I never really got around to form a band with them. I think it was because I didn't really find the time to do so. Nonetheless, I find myself jamming occasionally with a couple of friends, where I usually play the drums and my friends get on the guitars.

Just recently, Euphonious, the 'battle of the bands' competition for my university was opened for registration. I was thinking about joining but I never really thought I'd be in simply because it would be hard to find other people that can complement me. I'm not saying I'm so skilled until I have to right to get really picky but people know that if you want to form a band, it better be with people who like the same genre of music. As for myself, I like a lot of punk rock and some alternative rock in the form of Switchfoot and it's not that easy to find people who like that here.

Just today though, some of the new students who joined my church service were quizzing Vern about Euphonious and seemed pretty interested to join. Eventually, it came to the point where they asked if I'd join them. Without thinking, I just said, "Yeah, sure." With that, I'll be joining something like this for the first time, hopefully as a singer, or maybe a drummer if my band mates decide otherwise. It'll be fun, getting a little of the stage presence that I've missed again.

The Reason I like Punk Music

In the previous post, I talked a bit about how I got into rock music, through the punk rock genre, more specifically, pop punk. In fact, one of the bands that I'll be featuring a little more on my blog in the weeks to come, Motion City Soundtrack also falls under the punk rock category (at least in my opinion it does).

Just yesterday afternoon, I was quite free and decided to brush through some of my live band performance videos I hadn't watched for quite a while. I soon came to remember that about 80% of all the live videos I have are of bands that play punk rock or somewhat similar to the genre. Previously, I spoilt my external hard disk so the I only had the backup copies of some of my live performance videos with me. I'd actually backed up all my Blink 182, Boxcar Racer and Yellowcard performance videos on vcd. If I hadn't spoilt my external hard disk, I'd still have a couple more videos of Motion City Soundtrack, Taking Back Sunday and Angels and Airwaves performances.

Anyway, as I started going through all these performance videos, I remembered why I like punk rock so much. It's because of the whole lot and type of energy that punk bands put into their performances. Just watching Blink 182 play some of their songs on their Japan tour in 2003 and some stuff live on Letterman reminded me of my enthusiasm for songs that are really fast paced and that the energy you feel flowing through each song. You know, it's not just the way the song is, fast and melodic but just the way the band is, how they move on stage and the kind of image they portray is just very different from a lot of other artists, even other rock bands of contrasting genres.

The full flowing, hard hitting energy that I believe punk music gives is what I love so much. That was the one thing I saw in common when I watched Yellowcard, Boxcar Racer, Green Day performances after dousing myself with live Blink 182 performances. All these bands have distinctive styles but share the common energy factor. Part of the energy factor has to do with the kind of melody used in punk rock. Among all rock genres I've listened to, I still like punk rock melodies the most because I can click with it better, perhaps it is because I can connect to the feel of those melodies better than others in many instances. It gives the punk rock energy a particular feel that's more lively and high-powered compared to conventional pop rock that's common on music television and radio these days(which is why I'm not really interested in radio and music television anymore).


So yeah, that's why I like punk rock, hopefully there are some people like me around. Below's a list of a few of the bands that I'll be talking about soon in chronological order:

Motion City Soundtrack
Taking Back Sunday
Blink 182
Angels and Airwaves
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By the way, I won't be posting just about music in posts to come, there'll always be updates in between of some eventful sections of my daily routine life in university and some things that have been on my mind lately, or perhaps in the past but I just haven't really had time to blog about it yet. Life isn't just about the music. =)