Archive for November, 2011

Love Out Loud @ “Secret Venue”, 13/11/2011

For Hari Raya Haji (aka Eid al-Adha), I left KL to follow my friend back to his kampung in Kelantan for the holiday celebrations. While I was away, shit went crazy in KL (and then the rest of the country) over Seksualiti Merdeka. To summarise, Seksualiti Merdeka is a yearly sexuality rights festival, which features talks, forums, workshops, art exhibitions, concerts, film screenings and other interesting events organised by activists, NGOs, artists and other cool people. Its been happening for a few years now, without much problem, but this year some right-wing NGOs filed a bunch of police reports claiming that Seksualiti Merdeka was a threat to national security. The festival got debated in parliament and the police ended up banning the festival. Over the next few days, you couldn’t open a newspaper without finding pages of articles about spokespersons from all sorts of political and religious groups supporting the police and joining in with the gay-hating trend that seemed to have swept the country. People said that homosexuality was against the values of Malaysia and was a threat to national security. One guy from some religious organisation in Kedah said that all gay Malaysians should be deported. “The Guru” Nik Aziz, in his infinite wisdom, said that if we allow human rights for homosexuals we’d soon have to give people the right to rape, steal and murder. In those couple of days, I angrily read more Malay newspapers than I’d ever read before (as that was all I had access to in Kelantan). Among other things, it was good for learning Malay.

Which brings us to this concert. There was always going to be an awesome concert with Shh…Diam! and Shelah and other awesome people but since the festival had been banned and made illegal, this event, as well as many others, were moved from the Central Market Annexe to various “secret venues”.

13 min 16 sec / 18.2 MB / 192kbps MP3
Although I’ve seen them about a hundred times, this is the first time I’ve recorded Shh…Diam! This time was a little different, the drummer was playing bass and a friend from another band was playing drums. I probably lost my shit seeing Farah Saad wearing a dress for the first time. But she nicely balanced out any extremes in femininity with a nice fake mustache. There was a lot of dancing and singing and clapping along. Which was awesome, but it means that the recording has lots of out of time clapping from people standing very close to me. But if you can get past that, you’ll find Shh…Diam! covering a Lady Gaga song, which is pretty special – I think.

Earlier in the day, I attended a really interesting panel discussion. The panelists were LGBT people and their parents. One of my friends was a panelist. The host read out one of my friend’s tweets and asked his mother what she thought about her son tweeting such things out into the world. The tweet said:

24 Sept, 2:27pm
sitting in a boardroom meeting n right across the table there’s a hot person… can’t concentrate in meeting… just thinking of a kiss… oh man.

I’m pretty good at remembering dates. I immediately looked at my friend and he looked at me. Internally, we burst out laughing.

And his mum was cool with it.

White Shoes & the Couples Company @ Black Box, KL – 9/11/2011

Everyone came out in their Cikini or Frinjan best, depending on if you were a Klang Valley kid or a Jakarta kid here to study in KL. The show started really late but no one cared. Most people were there to see White Shoes & the Couples Company from Jakarta (sorry, I mean, Cikini) or local band Khottal, but a few of us came to see Saycet, that band from France that was pushed in between the other two. Also, Black Box, MapKL, or Publika, whatever you want to call it, is a stupid annoying and hard place to get to. Thank you to new friends who drove me home.

19 min 24 sec / 26.6 MB / 192kbps MP3
Khottal, is a band I’d recorded earlier at Rock the Youth in Subang Jaya. Unfortunately, this time the crowd was a lot more still and a lot less fun. Khottal were still good though. Their set ended with the smashing of a melodica two. I find it hard to tolerate bands who destroy musical instruments that are in perfectly usable conditions. Someone, somewhere, would be able to put it to good use and make some nice music with it.

35 min 11 sec / 48.3 MB / 192kbps Mp3
Saycet were just awesome. Guitar, laptop sounds and laptop visuals. The visuals were set up in a really interesting way – projecting onto large sheets of hanging material and a big ball hanging in the middle of the stage. And musically, well, it was Saycet just doing their ambient electonic thing. Though, when playing live, Saycet seem to have this heavier, darker, bassy feel I haven’t really got from their recordings, which added to Saycet being awesome.

White Shoes & the Couples Company
I didn’t record White Shoes & the Couples Company, from Cikini, the Newtown of Jakarta. Maybe because I had little battery left, but probably because they were just really really really  boring. Everyone else seemed to enjoy them though. Maybe because I’d just watch Saycet, most bands would leave me bored and restless. Or maybe they just are really boring.