=703= Word: Closure

I have been going around WordPress, trying to find certain people. Perhaps I really just wanted to know how they are and what they were thinking.

I wonder if me searching like this mean that I am not settled with certain things? I really want closure, but I guess I just don’t have the luxury of that.

To person A. I have no idea if you even know this site. Even if you do, I doubt you follow it much. If you ever ever see this, this is what I want to say. I was hurt by you. I think I deserve more than just a text after 4 months. I apologise for being so cowardly, for not being able to express how I feel. I think if I was more mature, I would have handled the situation a lot better. Forgive me of my immaturity and cowardice.

To person B. I am sorry for being rash. I am sorry for being unclear. I am sorry for handling the situation poorly. I am however, hurt. I just want a proper time when I can say what I want to say. Forgive me for being impulsive.

To person C. I am sorry for demanding things. I am sorry for being manipulative. Using your own words against you. I should have understood that you were uncomfortable. I was hurt whenever I feel that I am not getting what I am giving. Forgive me for my manipulative ways.

If the good God is willing, I really want to have some time to apologise. Perhaps it doesn’t seem like much now, but I just think that we could be mature and handle it better.

Lord, please heal these wounds.

-Kelvin-

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=702= Music: Music I Recommend

Well, I have yet to make such a post. I think it is about time! I have been thinking, though I listen quite a huge amount of music, there are a few albums that I always return back to, so let me intro you some music that I think that you should listen to in no particular order!

1. A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar by Dashboard Confessional
If you know me well enough, you will know that Dashboard Confessional is one of my favourite bands of all time. This album was the one that really made me a huge fan! Chris Carrabba is an amazing singer and song writer. Tracks like “Several Ways to Die Trying” shows how crazy his voice is, he held one crazy note for 5 bars straight. No track on this album is boring! Every track is perfect in its own right! Extremely musical and it shows very good songwriting! It is not just emo punk ok! This whole album is fantastic! The other albums just can’t really hold up to the legacy of this album, I have yet to listen to another Dashboard album that is as good. Dusk and Summer came quite close, I haven’t checked out Alter The Ending and Crooked Shadows yet, perhaps they might be better!

2. Twin Forks by Twin Forks
Think Dashboard but singing folk songs! Don’t think folk songs aren’t cool ok? It is really very nice! Twin Forks is another album that I wouldn’t mind listening to throughout because it is so well written! Too bad they stopped playing, Twin Forks is a very cool band!

3. 步步 by 五月天
HAHA, obviously I cannot leave out my favourite band right? HAHA! This shouldn’t be a surprise to people, this was the band that made me start listening to Mandopop! JJ Lin, Namewee and others all fall behind them! Of course this is a compilation album, but it features album exclusive tracks! This album has 30 songs for the same price for one! So you know, it is very worth your money! From the rock to the soft ballads, they excel in every song they produce! Just check it out lah! It is amazing, I am sure it will convert you to become a Mandopop fan too!

4. Christmas by Michael Buble
So, after my favourite band, would come my favourite singer! Michael Buble is a hard one. Though I REALLY REALLY love his voice, there isn’t one particular album that I love every single track, except this one. HAHA! Though it really is my favourite Christmas album! Not to mention that this was the first CD I have ever bought in my life! This album is recorded live with no click! Think about that! HAHA! It is such an amazing feat of music engineering and amazing musicians! Not to mention Michael’s voice is definitely suited for Christmas songs! If you haven’t listened to one track, you really should check out the whole album!

5. The World From The Other Side Of The Moon by Phillip Philips
Phillip Phillips holds a very soft spot in my heart! Phillip Phillips was the person that I only know one track of, “Gone Gone Gone” from Spider-Man. Then when I saw the album in HMV in Marina Square, I just decided to give it a chance and oh boy was I blown away! His music was crazy good! From the catchy guitar pop songs to the full band zingers. Gosh I love every single track! His following album, “Behind The Light” was great too! I think quite different from his first album, but I think his first album will always be my favourite! I dunno I Guess I should just wait for his third to come this Sat! (AHAHA, Thanks Miss Tan! 🙂 )

6. Wild Heart by Urban Rescue
If anyone wants to hear modern Christian Music. I think it does not get any better than this. I have been trying to find modern Christian music that has both the sound of today and the spirit of the older worship/praise songs. That is why I really like Young and Free! Y&F has really good stuff, but I think Urban Rescue deserves it more because they excel in both Praise and Worship songs! Not to mention that I feel Urban Rescue has more of a band sound.

7. Cathedrals by Tenth Avenue North
Tenth Avenue North has really quite a lot of great songs! I think Cathedrals was my favourite because of how the album sound together! Its tracks are modern sounding and every track sound like they belong together! I used to run with this album on! HAHA! Not that the other Tenth Avenue North albums aren’t good, but I really prefer this album over the rest!

8. 我的朋友、我的同学,我爱过的一切 That Girl In Pinafore Soundtrack
I think not many people know this, but I really liked this movie! I actually watched this movie 3 times in the cinema, bought the CD then bought the DVD. This was the movie that made me realise that Singapore had a Chinese music history! That all the songs used in the movie were all by Singaporeans! XinYao has been in my heart ever since! It has this fresh and youthful sound to it! If you can still find a copy, you can go ahead and listen! It is great! Very fun stuff! Go experience a bit of history of Singapore music!

9. 起飞 Drama Soundtrack
Another recommendation of a XinYao album will be this one. This album was cheaper and has more tracks! The quality of the tracks are really quite good too! They really made the old tracks have new life in this show and the songs were very good! This album features more recent songs too! So if you are in for a taste of Singaporean Chinese Music, go for it man!

10. Where The Light is: Live In Los Angeles by John Mayer
This album has a special place in my heart too! Whenever I am in the mood for some John Mayer, this album will be my guilty pleasure! It was the album that really made me want to be a better musician. I remember asking Bro Leb who his favourite drummers were and among them were JJ Johnson and Steve Jordan. I remember practicing a piece in My Drum School, Belief. This album really bring back some memories! Though it has been quite some time since I last listened to it, but it is really John Mayer at his peak! Every budding Musician should check it out!

11. Memory Lane by Mcfly
Haha, I really enjoyed this album, but I almost did not add it in because even though it is nice, I don’t exactly follow McFly that much! However, a good album is a good album! This album is another compilation album, it is really good though, affordable too! The music is really fun, pop punk? Haha! McFly has very nice melodic stuff while they also have their nice punk stuff too!

Honourable Mentions:
So there are a few other bands and singers that I enjoy, but they are not above probably because I haven’t heard an album that I REALLY REALLY like from them yet! Most of these people, I still do follow, but perhaps they haven’t produced a great album yet!

  1. Charlie Lim – He has REALLY nice stuff, but not all his songs are my cup of tea.
  2. Wakin Chau – Just started listening only! His voice is quickly becoming a quick favourite!
  3. Superband – Just started listening too, but high chance! The first album is really good!
  4. Hillsongs – They are very good! Perhaps I just have a lack of their older albums, but I probably listened to their songs more than the above. I play their songs so often!
  5. Jason Mraz – His new album would be a top favourite if profanity wasn’t in it, but yeah he is VERY good!
  6. JJ Lin – His voice is SOOO nice! Though once again, haven’t had a best album yet! Perhaps 和自己对话, but not all are perfect. Though kudos to JJ for trying to use binaural technology to record his album!
  7. Jonathan Lee – OH, I really like his live album, Sense and Sensibility, but once again, not all tracks! Though it is VERY good stuff! I love his manly voice!
  8. Lifehouse – especially Out Of The Wasteland! They are really clean and well written music!
  9. Martin Smith – God’s Great Dance Floor Step 2 is VERY good too! Actually not much complaint for this album! This could be above, but I Guess I just don’t follow him THAT much either!
  10. Mika – His falsetto is crazy and I really love his happy songs!
  11. Rend Collective – I really like them! I think in a lot of ways better than Hillsong! Just not all tracks!
  12. Switchfoot – I kinda follow them because everyone in church does? However, I am only ok only! I think Vice Versus is probably my favourite!
  13. Namewee – This Malaysian singer so dope man! His songs are creative and I learned so much! The only complaint is that I don’t have one particular album that I really like!

So yeah, hope you like this list! Do check them out! They are really good music that I have curated over a LONG span of 6 years! See if you like what I like!

-Kelvin-

=701= Review: Meteor Garden 2018

AHAHAHA! Don’t judge me, but I actually finished the whole series. So yeah, since I invested 49 episodes of my life to this, might as well give it a review.

So in case you don’t know this drama, it is a remake of the Taiwan Meteor Garden, which was quite a buzz quite some time ago. It is based on a Japanese comic and it already have a Japanese and Korean version. So why is Meteor Garden 2018 cool? Mainly because the Taiwan version was very long ago, so the production wasn’t very high back then. Remaking the series just gives it a second chance to make a higher quality product. Oh I forgot to mention that this remake is done by China, so I was really looking forward to it, considering how the recent China movies have really high production value.

So let me start of with the bad. Actually if anyone asks me if they should watch it, I would actually say no! HAHA! This is because it is too draggy and it just has way too many cliches and I was cringing so often during the drama. The script was really bad too. So many lines felt unnatural and forced. Perhaps it was a directing decision, perhaps it was something else, but certain lines just wasn’t tight. I think the Taiwan version had a tighter script as they were producing something with a shorter timeline/less episodes.

Ok on to the good bah. If you can look past the cliche drama scenes and cringe dialogue, this drama has quite a lot done right.

Let’s start with character design. I actually think that they did a very good job with the characters. I think the first immediate improvement from the Taiwan version was the differentiation of the members of the F4. The original had 4 dudes with the same hair, it was really hard to tell them apart from the first episode. This time, they did it from the start. Be it clothing or hair or face shape, they differentiated the F4 so clearly that you could almost tell their personalities from their appearance alone. On the development of them, I cannot say much because I haven’t watch much of the Taiwan version.

Videography! Man, their quality is dope. It isn’t just about bokeh in your shots, they really know what kind of effects to use to express emotion. The Taiwan version really fall short in this aspect, but you know, it was many years back and I am sure the China version had a lot more Budget!

To give it credit, I really enjoyed the last few episodes. The first few were extremely draggy. Taking about 20 episodes until they finally officially got together, but the last few, somehow the script got tighter and the acting felt more realistic. Even the cheesy romantic scenes felt more comfortable because the chemistry was there.

The soundtrack of this drama was very good! I think soundtracks of a series needs to have quite a few or at least better sounding ones. This drama was overloaded with choice. They have quite a lot of new tracks that they used which clearly fit the mood and emotion of the scene and on top of that, they also used the soundtrack of the Taiwan version, which just helps people relate.

Ok lah, the drama is alright, don’t expect a very tight one, but the characters are very good looking and I actually think that certain side stories about other couples were more interesting than the main pair! So yeah, just see if you wanna watch it lor 49 episodes!

-Kelvin-

=700= Word: Conflict

Recently, there are a lot of conflict around me and I have been observing a few things.

Very often, both parties think that they are right. In conflict, most people don’t even consider the option that they might be wrong. One person will be angry over something and the other will be angry with the first person because it was such a trivial thing to be angry over. Very often, people leave certain parts of the argument out, because it is considered as trivial to themselves, but you might surprise yourself when you discover how pivotal those parts are in the conflict.

Most people refuse to say sorry or even just talking it out due to pride. A person dignity seems to be tied quite closely to whether they are in the right or not. I want to refute that! It is not! To be fair, I am not a stranger to this, I also struggle to apologise or make up whenever I fight with someone. However, is pride really worth that much? I can almost predict, if you are so prideful, you will be losing friends very often. I am not saying that you are always wrong, but I am saying to be wise about things. Is being right really that important? Not to mention that as humans we make mistakes so often, could it really just be your fault? Even if it isn’t, is it worth that much?

Most conflicts don’t start with just that disagreement that caused the fall out. Whenever people find that the issue the other party is angry with is trivial, it is good to think of other reasons why he might be angry. Very often, there are other acts that led up to the fall out. Most likely, you have already irritated the other party before that and that disagreement was the last straw.

Most arguments against reconciling are usually emotional and not logical. “He did so much, so whatever I did isn’t counted ah?” “If I say sorry, he will just step over my head and take advantage of me!” “Why is he treating me like this when he knows that I am the most hardworking?” Familiar? Very often we need to sit down to talk to someone and think about things rationally. Perhaps you are just angry because of something totally different.

Kudos to the people that puts in effort to resolve the conflict! Really! It isn’t easy to walk up to someone you were once close to, to break the awkward Cold War with a heart of reconciliation. Good job, you guys are the bigger man/woman.

-Kelvin-

=699= Music: Wakin Chau & Chinese Music

Haha, so the news was that I attended Wakin Chau’s concert last week with my mum. I was actually more looking forward to Joanna Dong’s pre show than his concert. I guess, I was just expecting an old man singing old songs in an old style. Not that it is bad, but that was what I was expecting; eighties/nineties sound, an extremely clear voice.

Turns out, when he opened the concert with his 有没有那么一首歌会染你想起我, I was blown away! The song was so full with the saxophone adding such a nice colour! His voice was incredible. Not only was his voice controlled and clear, when he wants to have grit in his voice, whenever he sings “有没有…” he can do it! It was so rock! I love it!

He also had such a nice charisma on stage, knowing what to say and what jokes to crack. It was very nice to be in the national stadium and just enjoying myself with this amazing singer!

I only knew about 2-3 songs in the set list, but I was entertained by every single song. From the songs from old wuxia dramas to the nice ballads, he killed it! It was just amazing! Of course I was very excited whenever I hear Jonathan Lee’s songs!

One thing I realised about his voice was that it had this canto accent! Like even though he was clearly singing Chinese, it seems as though phrases like, “爱你够不够多,爱你够不够好” just has this accent that made me think that he was singing canto.

After the concert I was checking out this song, 其实不想走. The concert ended with this song, it was really dope. It started really slow, then they went double time and it was very cool! I checked out the original song, they did not go to double time at all! So cool, I wonder how did the decision of going into double time come about. Could it be someone just, “hey maybe we can try playing it double time!” Then he was, “WHOA, it sounds great!”

It was very interesting to know that even though the song may be very old, it still has new life when played today.

I then bought his best of album, 1987-2002. You will be surprised to hear how dated his songs are! HAHA! I would really love to have a live concert 2018 version. I want! HAHA! Just so we can hear the modern updates to the old songs.

I actually have a slight pet peeve when it comes to Chinese music. I do get a bit irritated when people tell me that Chinese music has not progressed. It is people like Wakin Chau that I can prove that Chinese music has come a long way!

You listen to Wakin Chau’s album and you can hear all the funny eccentricities of old Chinese music production. Things like using funny percussion in their songs. It is almost a given. I have been hearing songs from Jonathan Lee, Liang Wen Fu and Wakin Chau and all three have the same funny percussions that we would not even consider using in our tracks.

You will also hear very funny mixing techniques like have one guitar part be cut to the left for one note, then get cut to the right for the other note. Things that we would definitely not do today because it sound funny and distracting.

You will hear the kick drum pretty high pitched! Wonder why? From what I know, the old analog recording do not hold Low lows and high highs very well. So very often Engineers have to high pass the track before going into tape. In fact because there were so many limitations to analog recordings that almost everything gets high passed before the master.

However such “dated” tracks are still beloved to many because it was the best or most interesting sounding tracks to them back then.

I remember buying the Beatles album and I was finding it VERY hard to listen to it. Sometimes all the vocals will be on one side and all the instruments on the other. I was thinking of how much better music sound now. Then I had an epiphany; stereo music was probably the most interesting music back then! Being able to hear things panned was probably very cool for the consumers back then!

Can you imagine being in the era when stereo mixing first come out Just think of how much people were experimenting with panning instruments left and right! Can you imagine a world without any set rules on panning instruments? How cool is that!

Now when I play Wakin Chau’s music, I guess it is fair to compare to the more modern sounding tracks of that era, Michael Jackson for example. Old Jackson 5 tracks also had its funny panning eccentricities, but it was definitely more modern. However, I would argue that Wakin Chau’s tracks may not lose in terms of it being modern sounding. They were experimenting then too, perhaps adding their own flavour on top of what they try to learn from English music. The fact that I can say that Chinese music of that era sounds like this (funny mixing decisions and funny sounding percussion) means that the Chinese industry has already defined a certain sound during that era.

Today Chinese music sound very modern. Every track is almost mixed the same way. Drums are recorded with close mic-ing and panned according to their position like the drumset, either in drummer or audience perspective. Guitars panned to the side. Lead vocal in the middle. Etc etc. Perhaps learning from English music, we now also have a wide variety of Chinese music of every genre. Rap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballad, Rock just to name a few. However, I think that we as Chinese have a unique quality of our own in our music. Our Chinese music somehow captures a few things A LOT better than western music. I think our music captures youthful spirit and emotional heartbreak very well!

I have yet to find an English band/singers that would bring me on an emotional or sentimental journey as well as Chinese bands/Singers do. Perhaps I am a bit biased because I am Chinese myself! HAHA!

I wonder how the music industry would progress 30 years later. I wonder how dated will the tracks that I love sound next to the modern tracks of 30 years later. Will it be a huge difference? I wonder!

Lord, thank you for blessing me with so much!

-Kelvin-

=698= Word: God is Good

God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

His patience for me blows me away. If I were the one that had to bear my stubbornness, my weakness, my flaws, my ugliness, oh Gosh, I would have just stopped.

I remember the time when I said the words, “I don’t want to be hurt anymore.”

I wonder how God can take the hurt and still ask for my forgiveness.

Have you ever lost a friend? Has any of your friendships gone stale? Has it ever gotten to a point when you have no idea how to approach your Friend anymore?

My relationship with God has gone stale. Not because of Him, but because I keep withdrawing myself out. Still he pursues me. It may have been years, but he never stops.

He gets angry with me, when I stop obeying his word and walk away from Him. Why don’t I have the sense to draw closer to Him?

God, for all the heartache I have given you, please don’t give up on me. You know me. I love you Father, please teach me to run away.

Help me Lord.

-Amen-

=697= Word: Valid

Recently, there are quite a few incidents that have been irritating me.

One in particular was me getting into trouble because I threw trash over the gate of the rubbish dump instead of opening the gate and throwing it inside because I was rushing for time and I got caught by my FSM. My superior wanted an explanation so that he can help me. However, after giving the explanation, my superior told me that my explanation was not valid, because the fact that I could throw it, means that I was close enough to open the gate. He then added that he won’t be able to help me even if he wanted to. To that, I just want to say that he was full of crap.

Let me explain why.

Whenever someone does something wrong, most of the time, the intention will justify that someone. Even if it doesn’t wipe clear of his wrong doing, perhaps it would lighten the punishment.

His point was that throwing the trash over won’t save much time. Opening the gate and throwing it wouldn’t waste too much time. That was why my explanation wasn’t valid. However, let me then ask you, what is a valid explanation then?

The fact of the matter was that I was really in a hurry. I simply threw it to save time and because it was convenient. My intention to throw the trash over like that is the truth. Just because it doesn’t make sense to you, doesn’t mean it isn’t truth. Seriously, if you can tell me that whenever you are late and in a hurry that you don’t accidentally leave something behind or do something to save time, I am sure you will be lying.

Whenever a person is in a hurry, he doesn’t have time to think and he would miss out certain things. Just because you don’t think it makes sense, doesn’t mean it is not true.

I mean seriously. What kind of explanation did you want?

“Oh, my superior told me to do it!”

“Someone pointed a gun at my head and told me he would shoot me and my dog!”

“The gate was spoiled so I threw it over!”

Like come on, a mistake was made and I was speaking the truth. You telling me it is invalid doesn’t make it any less true. I am not going to lie just to get out of trouble.

Of course I am not saying that he doesn’t have a point. It is true that I did not have a proper rationale to throw it. It was really just because it was time-saving and convenient. I am not annoyed by that. I am annoyed by the fact that he told me that even if he wanted to help he won’t be able to. That was a big fat lie.

So what would be helping?

Talking to my superior for me, telling him about my character and performance and that it was just a one time mistake.

To try and lighten my punishment.

To tell him about what I have been doing so far and that I have been good all these while.

To think of ways to explain to soften the blow.

There are many ways to help me even if my reasoning doesn’t make sense to you or that my reasoning doesn’t justify my actions, but no, he was just lazy.

I think of the days when people commit something that is even more serious than my issue and the old superior stood up for him to protect him. He had to do certain things for his actions of course, but he had his superior’s support and protection.

This guy is just lazy and don’t want trouble for himself. Goodness. He needs to grow up.

Nevertheless, I praise God for His favour. The issue resolved simply and it was handled very well. My wonderful CSM helped me to talk to him. I apologised for my actions and all and my FSM was very kind to me.

I guess I was just angry that my direct superior did not bother to help me and left me to handle the issue myself. Thank God for my CSM. He really saw me through. He talked to me, understood my situation. Told me how I should act. Told me what to say. He even talked to my FSM on my behalf to lighten my punishment.

To my CSM, you are the kind of leader that I want to become! 🙂

-Kelvin-

Just a man struggling to live a God led life in a God strayed world