Sunday, November 29, 2009

Reviewing Andrew Chen's excellent new album, You Just Might, brought to mind, of all people, the legendary Daryl Hall & John Oates, one of the finest pop duos of the 80s. This, of course, necessitated a frantic search through my CDs before I settled on this "best of" compilation (above) which features such classic hits as Sara Smile, Kiss On My List, Everytime You Go Away, One On One and so on.

After some searching around on the Internet, I also discovered that Daryl Hall is currently hosting a monthly webcast called Live From Daryl's House, which as the name suggests features Daryl (now a spry 63!!!) performing choice material on his own as well as with awesome guests like Todd Rundgren, John Oates, Chuck Prophet, KT Tunstall, Nick Lowe and Smokey Robinson. A brilliant idea!

All of which is inspiring me with regards to possible live directions viz. blue-eyed soul pop, which I think will go down well with the general public. What do you think? Would you leave home to watch classic R&B covers from yours truly?

...still there's more...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

And so, the interview Samuel did with me last Saturday was published today in the New Paper. It's a bit of a strange piece as Samuel basically took one of those "favorite spaces" articles and shoe-horned an interview about my music-making. Great effort by the lad, if I say so myself, no mean feat. I don't look half bad in the photo as well... credit to Kelvin, the New Paper photographer, good job!

Pix of TNP page courtesy of the Green Carnation.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An interesting Saturday spent in the company of young people. In the morning, Samuel Wee (one of my off and on contributors to interviewed me for the New Paper (where he now interns) and we chatted for almost two hours about music and stuff. Not sure what the article will be about though, interior design tips? Heh. Believe me, it was really fun.

In the afternoon, it was the turn of my Noise apprentices to pick my brains (so to speak, or was it the other way round?). First up, was Narisa, as we began the task of arranging the song (called Valentine's Day) to be recorded for the upcoming Noise CD. It's a straightforward melodic slab of sunshine pop which I believe will go down well, if we can work out an arrangement that serves the song best.

Next, was Celina and her intriguing modern grunge-folk sensibility - don't ask me why - I keep thinking I need to play for her Neil Young songs. It all gonna make sense soon, trust me. We worked on her song Cinderella, which we hope to grant an earthy feel to convey the emotional weight of the lyrics.

Exciting stuff!

In the meantime, check out some music from these up & coming singer-songwriters.

Yep, MidnightSugarRush is Celina.

Fight is a marvelous song and deserves to be recorded but maybe for another time. What say you, Narisa?

Funnily enough, neither of these songs will on the Noise CD.

Stay tuned for more updates to come...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

+65 Indie Underground

This (now) 3CD boxset collection pays tribute to the S-ROCK revival that started in the early 90s. So why is it called "+65"? I guess it has to do with the year of Singapore's independence. How patriotic eh? Anyways, the boxset is due at the end of the month and the confirmed line-up is -

Typewriter. Postbox. The Marilyns. A Vacant Affair. Amateur Takes Control. MUON. The Analog Girl. B-Quartet. The Great Spy Experiment. I Am David Sparkle. Astreal. Lunarin. Opposition Party. Ronin. Electrico. The Observatory. aspidistrafly. Serenaide. Tiramisu. Force Vomit. Plainsunset. Boredphucks. The Ordinary People. Livonia. Stroll. Psycho Sonique. Sugaflies. Stoned Revivals. Etc. Concave Scream. Kelvin Tan. The Lilac Saints. Suchness. The Mother. Stompin’ Ground. Humpback Oak. The Pagans. S.U.D.S. Padres. Watchmen. The Oddfellows. The Nonames. Convent Garden. Nunsex. Global Chaos. Twang Bar Kings. Daze. Corporate Toil. Razor’s Edge. Zircon Lounge.


I'm stoked that Watchmen is between Padres and Oddfellows! Apt!

... and there's more ...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My first ever (proper) gig performance was in 1976 in the auditorium at the Anglo-Chinese School at Barker Road. So perhaps it was rather fitting that the first gig performance of the Recidivists was at ACS at Barker Road again, although this time at its new premises. The occasion was this year's school carnival and a half hour set was requested.

We got to the school a little late and made our way to the stage (thanks to Faizal) and caught Keong, Jessica Soo and Kat Ong (and company) finishing their set. Cool 70s classic pop vibe with lovely vocal harmonies. We were going to be an altogether different proposition!

Sound-wise, it was tough to hear each other on stage but as seasoned pros, we managed to pull off a solid enough set and I believe that we gave a good account of ourselves. I was particularly pleased with our two originals, which I enjoyed immensely. Overall, the set was electric, rocking and loud and you could groove to it. Which points to an excellent sonic direction for the Recidivists. Expect the band to go full throttle in 2010.

Set list: -

Don't Look Back
Destination Ursa Major
Sink to the Bottom
It's Not A Fact
Golden Age

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Recidivists, my new project band with Daniel Sassoon, Keith Tan and Jocelyn Ong plays its debut gig at this Saturday's (14th) ACS Carnival at 3pm. The set will be about 30 minutes long and feature mainly covers and a couple of originals. Venue is ACS Barker Road Campus.

Hope to see you all there.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Meet the Apprentices.

Last week, I met up with my Noise Apprentices (viz. Narisa and Celina), to kick start The Apprentice Program for 2009-2010. Ahead of them would be CD recordings and live performances, including a prestigious spot at the Youth Olympics Games musical showcases!

And so begins a two month process whereby I share what I know about songwriting, performance and music in general. Hope they'll enjoy the experience as much as I will.

After all, there's just so much music but so little time. So I'm thinking about what I can do to help them along, guide them in the direction they wanna go and hope it all works out. The two girls are so different but have the same needs - to learn about music and I want to do whatever I can to give them what they need.

Tomorrow will be the first 'real' work session when we'll be focusing on songwriting. I need to suit the session specifically to their strengths and weaknesses (what I perceive them to be). So its a lot of music listening & CD selection tonight to open their ears to a different world of musical possibilities.

Stay tuned for more updates, boys and girls...

Life changes constantly. About a week ago I quit my job without new employment lined up and thinking of venturing into the world of music. FULLTIME! Yes, it's a big ask and its giving me some sleepless nights but the LORD has been speaking to me about asking for what I want and so... here goes.

My last day in the office is January 8th so till then I would need to firm up my new direction which I intend to do by talking with my numerous contacts to set things up.

This blog will be the new HQ for Kevin Mathews, full-time singer-songwriter-musician and whatever else. So please return to check on what's up...

Your prayers and good thoughts are appreciated.