Tag Archives: Kuantan

Whirligig

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Taken almost a couple of years back when we were still living at the Kemunting house, 5 minutes from the fair. We had a go on the bumper cars (fun!) and S went on the creaky kiddy car ride (crap!).

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So, do radioactive spirits ride bicycles in Australia on election day?

  1. The recent election in Sarawak just reaffirmed my suspicion that I have no real interest in local politics. It’s bad enough that the winning side represents a whole lot of things I disagree with, the opposition offers no viable alternatives as to what would undo generations of misinformation, nepotism, corruption and bad fashion sense. Frankly, at this point, I don’t give a fuck. Or two fucks.
  2. I need a new bicycle. No, I want a new bicycle. Because the one I’m riding now is a hybrid with a front suspension fork and is almost as heavy as my fat ass. The blind consumer in me is drooling over something like Puyu’s Scott but will probably invest less lavishly on some old 80’s frame and build the bike up slowly.
  3. The campaign against LYNAS building a rare earth processing facility near Kuantan is gathering steam. Been invited to join FB anti-LYNAS groups and goaded by old punk friends to organise and reignite past flames of civil disobedience and dissent. Sure, who wants a radioactive dumpsite in their backyard, but truthfully, I’m ashamed to admit that in all likelihood I’ve been coaxed into the apathy of the middle class. The armchair revolutionary or the sloganeering beatnik are two personas I’m not comfortable with at the mo. I have been talking about this in classes at school though. See? I’m not such a burnt-out and pacified civil servant after all. Pbbthhhh.
  4. Two. I repeat two friends have expressed real intention in migrating to Australia these past couple of months. Greener pastures, ey? I don’t intend to dismiss these good, examplary Malaysians as defectors nor do I envy them (although I did sing “Malaysiaaaaa oh tanah air kuuuuu” to one of them). It’s just that I hate losing friends just because the place I live in is such a shithole. Awwww.
  5. Three. I repeat three occurrences of the paranormal phenomenon known as hysteria came to my attention this month. One of which happened right before my eyes as our school dance troupe were rehearsing their ulik mayang routine for a competition. They purportedly saw princesses (summoned by the music), one of which put a heavy selendang (scarf) made of gold on one of the poor girls. Screaming and fainting ensued, until a colleague ‘exorcised’ these beings by pressing on toenails and the usual verses. Shit. I mean, shit. I gotta move to Australia.

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Hello Conor Oberst, See you later DEP.

i.

So ada la band baru yang aku duk dengar sekarang. Bukan band actually tapi this singer/songwriter called Conor Oberst. Sebelum ni dia ada band called Bright Eyes dan Bright Eyes ni aku dah terdengar/terbaca dalam media yang aku consume la. Siap ada name-dropping lagi dan berada dalam playlist ramai di kalangan blogger terkemuka tanahair. Chewah.

Anyway, aku takde stuff Bright Eyes dan aku rasa aku boleh bagi pandangan yang agak neutral bagi album ni. I’m treating it as a discovery.

Setelah sedikit research, material Bright Eyes (baca: album-album Conor Oberst sebelum ni), bersifat eclectic ie. pelbagai dan tidak stick to one formula. Tapi album  yang aku dengar ni, bertajuk Conor Oberst (Merge Records, 2008) mostly acoustic dan berbau country/folk. Aku tak tau sejak bila, tapi mamat ni sering dikaitkan dengan Bob Dylan. As in “Conor Oberst is the new Dylan”, you know? Dalam konteks sejarah muzik barat, satu perbandingan yang hebat dan membebankan buat si penerima gelaran. Mungkin versi tempatan bagi perbandingan ini adalah Cat Farish is the new Jaafar Onn. But I digress.

Perbandingan dengan Dylan sudah tentulah hasil daripada penulisan lirik Conor. Dari perspektif sesiapa yang celik sastera, tulisan pukimak ni memang tersangat tinggi nilai puitisnya. Rahsia puisi (for me at least) selamanya ialah makna, ekonomi perkataan dan kebenaran – lagu-lagu Conor ada ketiga-tiga bahan ini.

Juga dikaitkan dengan puisi Beat, tema utama bagi album ini ialah the road: kesunyian di jalanan, sinis dalam sedih, ulasan perasaan melalui objek-objek, pertuturan, babak-bakak rawak yang dialami seseorang ketika bersendirian menghadapi dunia menuju horizon yang tak sampai-sampai.

ii.

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Terus kepada DEP yang telah mengucapkan adios semasa mengadakan show terakhir mereka di Little Bali, Cherating pada hari Sabtu Lepas. Kawan-kawan baik aku, antara manusia-manusia terawal yang berkongsi taksub dengan muzik yang pernah aku jumpa.

Awal 90’an di Kuantan, era Hijrah, arguably band punk pertama tanahair. Di atas court takraw Taman Aman, Bukit Sekilau, di Kompleks Teruntum menghirup pencetus alcoholisme utama Melayu Islam Malaysia: Rootbeer Float di A&W. Gig di TMS Dangdut, betul-betul di bawah bilik-bilik GRO-GRO seasoned, dan di Lips Boom Boom dengan basement stagenya, 300 tubuh basah menyambut Budin, stagediver dan taukeh kelapa terhebat scene kami. Terus dikejar Butcher, atau disepak kutu thrasher kompleks kerana tolong mengalihkan kereta Tamara di SABS. Juga penyepak Man Kola kerana salah pilih raja Grindcore Malaysia.

Seperti yang aku cakap kat Acai, aku tunggu reunion korang tahun 2015 nanti. Lebih awal lebih baik la kan. Takkan nak tunggu Celcom sponsor? Aku tak tau faktor apa yang motivate dia untuk disband. Tapi aku boleh agak. Aku teka sahaja berdasarkan persahabatan aku dengan mereka lewat 15 tahun ini. Tak payah dibincangkan di sini, sedangkan dalam realiti pun, mekanisme dalam mana-mana kumpulan yang berhasrat berkarya bersama adalah sesuatu yang amat abstrak dan sulit.

Acai adalah DEP, sekuat manapun dia akan menolak kenyataan ini, itulah kebenarannya. Fahamlah, itu bukan penghinaan. Passion, integrity, keutuhan niat. Itu yang aku baca dari lirik DEP. Kesemuanya dari pena Acai. Terus aku lega dan memujuk hati yang sedikit sedih. Manusia ini akan terus berkarya, walau hanya untuk aku dan beberapa teman, dan sekiranya kamu semua bernasib baik, kamu juga.

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A night at Shannigan’s

I’ve been a regular at Shan’s for nearly two years now. A far cry from your typical smoke-filled, crowded Bangsar watering hole, Shannigan’s is a quiet pub seemingly modeled from those old, rustic British rural town pubs. It’s got Scottish flags plastered all over the walls, a few beery posters and the obligatory big screen for those EPL matches.

The proprietor, a certain Shan from Singapore has been a resident of Kuantan for almost ten years. He and his lovely north Indian wife, Renu manage the joint with 3 other bar staff. They’re good hosts and Shan is a die-hard Chelsea fan. It’s quite a turn-off personally for me though, when he bugs me to bet on football matches. I’m among the few who don’t get football. Especially the variation where you sit around in front of a few beers and watch people in different-coloured shirts with corporate logos emblazoned on them pass around a ball to their multinational, overpaid friends. I’d rather watch Forum Perdana. Honestly.

Anyway, the night started with P, L and I driving over to the place, located just yards from the white sandy beach of Teluk Chempedak. P and I ordered our first draughts while L finished the last few measures of the Black Label they kept there (of two bottles received as a wedding gift). Then Ud came and we started on the tequila shots. They’re evil little shots they are.

Evil enough to induce P into thinking that Forest Whitaker played the high school principal in Boston Public. He was pretty sure of it and proved it by agreeing to bet that the Boston Public guy was the same actor in The Last King of Scotland. Which he most definitely was NOT. (Just googled it and the principal is Chi McBride). Tomorrow I’ll be a hundred bucks richer.

Tequilas anyone?

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A roof that never leaks

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The P Family House

Give me a day full of honest work and a roof that never leaks, I’ll be satisfied” Head Home by Midlake.

Excitement is in the air as P&L discovers a new place to rent together for the first time as newly-weds. Granted it ain’t a Victorian Mansion but it’s enough for the both of them. A spacious lower floor with a nook under the stairs with good acoustics. It’s only big enough for maybe 2 persons of average build to be in but I tried singing a few notes of a current favourite song and it sounded like Abbey Road. The kitchen already has a platform for the new washing machine and the master bedroom features an old-school wooden air-cond unit. Like the ones we had in our old musky libraries at school. It works too.

As I stepped beyond the gates onto the cemented front lawn and into the front living space for the first time this afternoon, I was hit by a sense of timelessness. The bare floors, creaking fan and old chinese new year greetings on the wall seemed frozen in time. For a brief moment I could hear the clatter of mahjong tiles amid happy laughter and the sound of a kettle hissing with steam from water for another pot of tea.

The place is, in a word, perfect. A balcony adjoining the bedroom upstairs for early evenings and beer. A front view of old shops, back-streets and the languid Kuantan sky. A back view of Kemunting’s old JKR workmen quarters. The only small drawback being the toilets which are of the squat variety. Not a problem for P though because he is, in his own words, “a cangkung boy”.

A prayer: Let the halls of the new house be filled with happiness and the walls bear witness to love. Let the floors shiver in glee at the prospect of future little dwellers treading upon them and let the windows bring light to brighten up the occupants’ gleaming hopeful eyes.

Amin.

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