October 17, 2008

Upcoming Shows

25 Oct 2008, 20:30 08:30 PM - Jaya One
31 Oct 2008, 20:30 08:30 PM
- Jaya One

Doppelganger - tbc

Suaram's Human Rights Concert - tbc

October 7, 2008


1. Good intentions

Feels Like Falling

I fall asleep at night
Thinking you’d be there tomorrow
And I’ll Kiss you
Like I kissed you for the first time
When I awake I’ll find you
Waiting by my driveway
Smiling, and singing
Songs that make me cry now

So tell, tell me
Do u mean what u say
Cuz I’m tired, I’m tired
of the games we play
Baby baby
Do u know If this means

Here we go again
And it feels like falling
And I’m wondering where I stand
Before you go again
I’m gonna say it loud
I don’t need you now

With your life as such
Sometimes u don’t even know
How the snow
Can make me smile so much
Then you turn around and say
That it would be okay
But your empty words
Mean nothing to me, nothing to me now

Sunny Days

Hands are frozen
Still we’re standing here
Look for the stars
They’re just not there tonight

When nothing’s right
And you cannot hide
You’re weak to fight
All the ghost inside
Your head now

It’s so cold now
Why can’t we leave this place
And run away
To someplace better

When all I can do to make things right
is sing you this song
cuz It won’t be long now

Till one day
Our roads may cross
Maybe we’ll be standing still
You will see
Sunny days will come your way

When nothing’s right
And you cannot hide
You’re weak to fight
All the ghost inside
You cannot fight
All the fears inside
Your head now

Sunny days will come your way


And I’ll work tomorrow
And drown my sorrows
I’ll pay my bills and fake a smile
We’ll talk about it
And laugh about it
How we slept our life away

So time can change your mind
And he can break you down
Do you wake up sleeping?

Make a decision now
Maybe it’ll be alright
If we put our heads together
Or would you disappear
On a desert island
To find your own peace of mind

So we’ll talk about it
And laugh about it
How we slept our life away

So we’ll talk about it
And laugh about it
How we slept our life away

Good intentions

Lights are low
No one’s here
It’s tomorrow
Do you fear
All that’s certain
And all that’s plain to see
If all that’s real isn’t even me

You read my mind
Like a mirror
Do you wonder
How we feel?
Do you shiver in the night
When you just don’t know what is right
Are you safe from your uninformed thoughts and good intentions?
If nobody knows anything at all

You think you know
You think you feel
Well aren’t you one in a million just like everybody else
I say take it if you can
And read the writing on the wall
See the truth in every lie

Before the day you die
If nobody knows anything at all
If nobody knows anything at all

My Time

Oh no, oh my
It’s another day in time
Please wait for me
Do I have to fight alone
When my world came tumbling down

I’ll wait for my time
But I won’t let this pass me by
Hold me, I’ll survive
But I won’t let this pass me by
I’ll never let this pass me by

Once more maybe twice
We can even reach the stars
How much is enough
When will all this ever ends
When the walls came tumbling down
When your world comes tumbling down

So I’ll wait for my time
But I won’t let this pass me by
Hold me, I’ll survive
But I won’t let this pass me by
I’ll never let this pass me by
never let this pass me by

Do you see me like you

All I want
Is some room to be heard,
Speak, live, and breath
Have you seen
Some kind of truth
What, this they called it?
Do you see me, do you see me like you

Big things, bright lights
What do you choose to fight
Poor things, not right
Do you give a damn
If you don’t see me like you

Oh it’s a shame
To say it’s ok
You wash your hands
It’s not your life
It’s easier
If you don’t see me like you

What does it take,
To push and break this down
What fools we make
The circle goes around
Around and on


Beautiful Minds

My oh my, beautiful days
Twist and turns, we make our own way
Take me away, from me

My oh my, beautiful minds
Tease and turn, you weave and you burn
You weave and you burn for?

Hey, hear me today
Can I be so lost
Here in your world
I don’t understand
Am I so blind
Can it be so wrong
To be in your world, or mine

My oh my, terrible times
Tears and fights, what do you fear?
What do you fear, today?

Hear me, hear me
Can I be so lost
Here in your world
I don’t understand
Am I so blind
Can it be so wrong
To be in your world, or mine

I found my home

I NEVER thought much about our national anthem. It’s not bad, every country has one – it’s our national anthem. But something unexpected happened recently, where for the first time in my life, tears welled in my eyes as I sang Negaraku.

To be honest, I initially felt embarrassed. Since when did singing the national anthem mean so much to me? Some like to talk about musical structure, arrangement, delivery, and whatnot when it comes to evoking emotions with the listener. But the undeniable mix to this concoction to move a listener is from the listener’s experience and the context of the moment in question. The song’s the same, so what changed?

I grew up singing our national anthem every Monday morning in school. But there is only so much formalised patriotic actions and calls of unity can do to foster the kind of unity that goes beyond that which only aims to rid the symptoms of disunity.

There is also not much that preaching about unity can do, if racial politics or injustices between communities are exploited or allowed to happen. Malaysians who understand what unity is about, can see through the empty words of those whose actions either run contrary to what they preach, or when such increasingly popular lingo is applied vacuously in the wrong context. In such cases, empty slogans of unity or its equivalent claims will fail miserably.

I used to say Malaysia is my home because well, I grew up here and there isn’t anywhere else to call home. Calling Malaysia home by default isn’t very inspiring but at least the food, people, and places never fail to top the list as things in common that defines us somewhat.

However, there was still something missing somehow, which brings to mind this line I heard recently watching a documentary (www.one-nation-under-lee.org) about Singapore’s untold history, in which it says, "It was only when we feel that our voices are heard, and that we matter, do we feel that we belong to Singapore". I felt an immediate empathy for our neighbour, and wondered if many Singaporeans feel that they do not really belong in their own country.

So it was on the eve of Sept 16 celebrating Malaysia day and in support of abolishing the ISA among thousands of Malaysians, I felt that we were singing the Negaraku with full conviction. We were willingly participating as civil society, making a stand against injustice, to make our country better for all. I was moved when I heard Malaysians speak out against unjust actions from those of their own communities, for that was a sign that people are making a stand for what’s right across racial lines.

Home is not just somewhere where we eat and sleep; a hotel will do for that. If we truly want Malaysia to be our home, we need to take part as civil society to have a say in how we want our country to be. Perhaps then we can feel that we truly belong.

The writer likes teh-si to go with a roti for tea.

Published The Sun, 23 Sep 2008 http://sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=25933

October 1, 2008


You're looking at the cover of my CD. That's right. It's the one with lots of white spaces on the front. I have been wondering for the longest time, 'why should I make an album?' when recording individual songs will do, in doing what it is I really liked about 'music'.

I liked music because part of it was therapeutic, and partly a way to encapsulate and express certain things. I came to a tentative conclusion that what inspires me most, is to capture and express the gist of something that I have been thinking about.

In a way, putting the songs on record is also a sort of closure, to put on record certain defining and shared moments with others, as experienced, that looking back in memory, helped shaped that time in life, not necessarily mine.

I guess it is also for the times when people asked for my CD, for something tangible, and a way to get my songs out there recorded in the best way possible in which its essence aren't compromised.

It's nice that different people can appreciate the same song differently- perhaps an unintentional result of the way the songs were written or titled.

Most of the songs were written in the quiet stillness of the night. While a title like Sunny Days suggests a pleasing song, I'm afraid it is anything but sunshine. 'Good intentions' is about bigotry, chauvinism, with some inspiration from science, and 'Sleeping' is about crossroads and life's choices. 'Beautiful minds' was inspired by a writing class, about different realities, and 'My time' and 'Do you see me like you' were written for documentaries; 'my time' about a man who lost his family and his resolution in fighting an unjust law that led to that tragedy, and 'Do you see me like you' is about prejudice.

I sometimes imagine my songs as individual cartoon characters, and how they feel having been to places unimagined at time of writing. 'Feels like falling' is an honest song, primarily written for private therapeutic reasons, but ironically went on to win an award for being the most downloaded song on a Malaysian music chart. But my hero would be 'do you see me like you', who despite being used for an AIDS campaign, and one against child abuse, somehow found it's way, as part of an anti-racism educational video series, into an infamous racially tinged party's general assembly, where the Vcd was waved around and wrongfully accused to incite racism, when it's purpose was exactly the opposite.

I couldn't quite decide on a title for my CD that would not impose upon what they are about. So there you go; it's a 7-track CD of the above songs that has gotten heard at the 'mother-of-all' women's music festival in 2008. But I think they're just glad that after being kept in the sidelines for a bit, and having been messed around with one imposing and conniving music producer, they finally found a home that appreciates them for what they are.