Easy Dunne It
October 31, 2006

Last week I was laughed at by my 10 year old cousins as we sat through the 90 minutes telecast of Wigan’s 4 – 0 mauling over a very sorry City side. Legally, I’d be disowned by the family should I deliver a few piledrivers and chip in some German suplexes to those kids for making fun of me. I was that disturbed, emotionally.

Then again, they had all the rights to mock me (buggers are fans of Arse, Manure and CSKA London). What gives? Just minutes after being down by a goal, that team captain heads the ball into the back of your own net. That, before the opposing team threw in two more goals with only seconds between them.

And so goes the fan’s weekly call for the manager’s head. I could only care less. All that matters is that we put the poor show at the JJB behind and set things straight against Boro; which I think we did.

Thanks to daylight savings, I had toothpicks in between my eyelids to stay awake ‘til 4am. Consequently, I spent the whole day enduring a massive headache due to lack of sleep; even after two gulps of Uphamol. But it was all worth it.

Three full points after Dunne found the correct end to score the winning goal from Barton’s corner and Dickov’s usual nuisance to the keeper. It was as straight as that. City finally had some of the more important elements they’ve been missing all these while: passion, desire, determination etc. Despite attendance at the COMS being the lowest ever, a highly-spirited City team seemed more than ready for a showdown.

Yet, I had mixed feelings about the starting XI. The fact that Reyna and Dickov was in it instead of Trabelsi and Vassell, only to come later in the second half is somehow upsetting. Though Vassell blew away two one-on-one chances toward the end of the game, I’d put him in the first XI over Dickov anyday; judging only from Vassell’s speed and size. On the other hand, a good starting debut for Beasley. Despite his size, the pace and flair he brings to the team is very refreshing. Oh, and quite a decent comeback from a more reserved Ben Thatcher. I think he did well throughout the game.

That said, here’s my starting XI: Weaver, Richards, Distin, Dunne, Trabelsi, Barton, Beasley, Miller, Sinclair, Samaras, Vassell

Not too shabby eh? Bottom line, we gotta quit the nonsense play some good football, consistently. Unbeaten at home with no goals conceded means nothing without any points away from home.

I’m still not watching City games with my little cousins in the future.



Keroncong Hari Raya
October 16, 2006


Kami ingin mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri kepada ibu bapa, adik beradik, saudara mara, sahabat handai, para guru dan seluruh umat Islam di pelusuk dunia. Tidak lupa juga buat para buah hati kami yang sentiasa jauh di mata tapi dekat di hati.

Bercakap tentang berjauhan, ingin juga kami memanjangkan salam Raya ini kepada rakan-rakan kami yang masih berada di Amerika Syarikat, terutama brader Alee dan Pak Andak dengan ucapan:
“Biarpun gambar kami bersama Papa Rock hanya di sebelah vending machine, gambar itu jualah yang menjadi kenangan pengikat inspirasi dan pembakar semangat kami untuk terus berkarya. Usah dikarang cerita jumpa Clapton di blues club kerna Gamal cakap dia bawak lu orang pegi Ghareeb Nawwaz makan nasi beriyani lepas concert itu hari. Kot ye pun passing la gambar sekeping dua; takkan bawak handphone ada kamera tak amek gambar ngan Clapton kut? Kitorang dah ada pun kontek kat Singapore Indoor Stadium untuk masuk backstage bulan satu nanti. BTW, brader berjanggut dalam gambar kat atas kirim salam sama lu orang.”
Sekali lagi, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Maaf zahir dan batin dari hujung rambut ke hujung kaki. Jangan lupa untuk menonton Raya Bersama Wings di TV9, pada hari Raya kedua nanti. Oh yeah!



Blurts...
October 13, 2006

…are fun.

I was asking for directions from this one lady and this was how the conversation went:

M: So cemana saya nak pegi situ?
H: Ha ok you pegi depan terus then turn love… eh left.
M: Ok pastuh?
H: Lepas you turn love… eh left. You terus nanti jumpa roundabout.
M: Ah roundabout.
H: Dekat roundabout amek pukul 12, the shop is on your love… eh left.
M: Haha, orait terima kasih.

Obviously, she ought to do something aboot her rights and loves, eh lefts.

On another note, my little sister told me that my breath stinks like her turtles' pond. Cool eh?



Unplugged in Shah Alam
October 11, 2006

When you’re sitting inches from a 3-ft tall stage and four of the country’s legendary musicians are jamming on it, you just know that Lady Luck has a thing for you. Or at least that’s how I felt last night.

Only a few days ago, after watching the Dylan Unplugged DVD, I daydreamt of enjoying an unplugged gig in the usual small, yet ornately decorated studio. And last night, I need not dream anymore. I was at the dim lighted chandelier filled Sri Pentas 2 studio to witness the first recording of Akustika, TV3’s equivalence of MTV Unplugged; due to air on the second or third day of Syawal.

The special affair featured Ramli Sarip, M Nasir, Jay Jay, Zainal Abidin, Andy and Nan as the guest musician. On the stage, the setup couldn’t be simpler. Zainal handled the percussive duties while the rest had their acoustic guitars on them, with Nan in charge of the lead parts on his Yamaha 12-stringer. Everyone was on stage throughout the show.

The setlist was, as far as I can recall:

1. Ramli Sarip – Senandung Hidup Berbudi
2. Jay Jay - Belaian Jiwa
3. Zainal Abidin - Manis
4. Andy - Atas Nama Cinta
5. Andy - Aku dan Kamu
6. M Nasir - Juwita Citra Terindah
7. Zainal Abidin - Suraya
8. Ramli Sarip - Jikalau Berkasih (UBER-PWNAGE as usual)
9. Jay Jay - Petang Sabtu (a take on the Eagles' One of These Nights)
10. M Nasir - Satu Hari Di Hari Raya

So, be sure to tune in to TV3, Raya 2 or 3 to catch me and Salah the show.



Muzik Kita
October 07, 2006

When he first met Eric Clapton, amidst the crowd in a hazy, poorly lighted club in downtown London, Jimi Hendrix had these words to say…

”Ah, it’s my blues brother from England…”

Astounding; I should say of that moment.

And correct me if I’m wrong but as far as I can recall, the infamous British Invasion of North America in the 60s and 70s brought no harm at all to the region’s music industry. In fact, the arrival of The Beatles, Stones, Who, Led Zeppelin etc. created a more vibrant Rock and Roll scene in America.

Let’s not get into that grass festival Dylan had with the Beatles though.

So where am I getting here?

Nowhere far. It’s all happening right here; on the wondrous land of our beloved nusantara.

Apparently, unlike the camaraderie between cross-border musicians mentioned earlier, some of us are super angry, and I mean Eric Cartman in the Dog Whisperer mad, at the emergence of Indonesian bands in the local scene and the incredibly positive response they’re getting from our listeners and the media.

These fellow musicians from a neighboring country are seen as a threat to our local music industry as they influence the public into buying their records instead of ours. And when it comes to live shows, they are accused of raking bills from the people’s wallets; to be spent on tickets to their shows instead of ours. Ah, and how could I forget. They’re stealing the local music awards from us too!

Some observation huh?

The only thing we’re not seeing though is how we’re making Shallow Hal look like a diving pool and ourselves a kiddy, ankle deep one.

We have our own brand of music and they have theirs. I don’t see any harm in them coming into the country and giving us a taste of their music. We’re doing the same thing too aren’t we with Siti, Too Phat, Search etc.? Why don’t we see it as a cultural exchange rather than musical invasion?

Precious time is being spent on bashing them. Nevertheless, there’s a ‘bandbasher’ in every man.

To be honest, I’d have to agree that some of their songs are being overplayed on our airwaves. OK not some, there’s only one in particular. I eat my steering wheel whenever the radio plays that Samsons Kenangan Terindah tune.

There you go, I just bashed a band. Hence, my claim is close to true. There’s a ‘bandbasher’ in every one of us.

Yet, would it stop the radio stations from playing it in the future? Or at least after reading this piece? I highly doubt it.

While I truly understand the strong opposing notion heralded by our angry men of music, bandbashing does nothing. You can bitch all day long but if there’s a change due to it at the end of the day, it could only be your level of masculinity stooping down to a new low, close that of Richard Simmons'.

That said, let’s join hands and quit our whine-o-rama and start making great music.

I don’t see the local music industry flopping down at any point in the future at all. We have a really strong foundation built by the likes of Tan Sri P. Ramlee, M. Nasir, S. Atan, Ajai etc.; the list just goes on and on. These individuals have shaped our industry and paved the way for new and promising composers who are just too many, still undiscovered, out there. And their original music spells serious class.

Ultimately, it’s all up to the people to choose whom they’d want to listen to. It’s only human to prefer listening to things you fancy and if 75% (scary figure eh?) of us Malaysians choose Indonesian music over our own, then let it be. We can only improve the quality of our stuff.

Most importantly, we have to realize that all in all, it all comes down to musicians making music.

Oh, and funny true story…

Two guys were in a car and running in the CD player was a Maroon 5 record without any of them realizing it. The first song on the CD was Sunday Morning and as the jazzy intro to the song ended, signaling the entrance of the first verse, one of them started singing in English and the other in Malay.

Guess the song sang by the second guy.

Bandbasher? No?

Exactly my point.



Total 94
October 01, 2006

"The bottom line of it all is that when you get a goal in the last minute emotions will run high!" - Stuart Pearce ending the post-match interview.

Brilliant! (Image: BBC)

Addendumb, dumb, dumb:
"Given the midfielder's impetuous nature and the exuberance generated by Micah Richards' equaliser in the fourth minute of injury time at Goodison Park, there was shock but no real surprise when Barton decided to follow his legitimate celebrations with the visiting fans by cheekily shoving down his shorts to offer the home supporters in the Park End a view of his bare backside.

As crimes go, it was not particularly heinous and came within seconds of a heart-warming gesture to offer his shirt to a disabled City supporter. But, with complaints received and local police involved within minutes, the matter will now be included in referee Andre Marriner's report, leaving the FA to decide whether to charge Barton with improper conduct." - The Manchester Evening News
And time stood still as it encounters a new level of intelligence deficiency. Heck why would we call ourselves the Blue Mooners in the first place anyway?



Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

About
  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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