Saturday, July 18, 2009

Little Boots Debut Album dropped 1 month ago.

Little Boots, the DIY electropop musician/singer whom I discovered at Jools Holland in Youtube, has released her debut called HANDS last month, I found out with some random googling.

She started out humbly by posting various bedroom videos of her making music with her ultra-cool Tenori-On, and various keyboards. I am liking the new breed of electropop artistes like her and Lykke Li who use simple things like hand claps or simple piano chords to churn out electronic music that is distinct from the rest in the scene.

Give her music a preview by downloading a mini-mix provided in her myspace page
to anyone who signs up for her mailing list.

I listen to the stuff she puts out and haven't disliked any of it. I am predicting that the album could contain many potential winners. Can't wait to get hold of her full album.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I am stealing this look!

American Casual (probably Ame-kaji to this guy) done well, as captured by The Sartorialist.

I am in full support of the American Casual summer style to be adapted by more Malaysian men. Why not?
  • The style is relaxed and unpretentious, if you are afraid of being labelled an attention whore. (refer: picture above)
  • Most items are worn in relaxed/regular fit and not figure-hugging tight, if you're afraid of looking ghey. (refer: picture above)
  • Materials are lightweight, if you're afraid of getting soaked in sweat. And shorts are definitely acceptable! (refer: picture above)
  • The shirts are in bright summer colours that would look great in the Malaysian sun. (refer: here)
  • Most elements in American Casual clothes are time-tested classics, if you're afraid of ending up looking like a fashion mistake.
  • The styles are conventional, if you're afraid of looking too modern.
  • The colours and patterns can be modern, if you're afraid of looking too conventional. (refer: here)
So what IS the American Casual style? Discussing that would need a whole separate blog posting.
In the most superficial sense, it's (in terms of a 21st century summer):
gingham, summer plaid, seersucker, ribbon belts, boat shoes, loafers with no socks, Ivy League, East Coast, tailored shorts, plimsolls, madras, oxford button-downs, chinos, linen, repp ties, cardigans, cotton blazers, nylon raincoats
OK, I've found a way to shorten it to two words: Ralph Lauren. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


via Jak & Jil Blog

I have made a discovery. 10 months late.

All this while, my daily dose of menswear came from a small staple of blogs and websites. As I started to blog again, I notice a whole kaboodle of fashion blogs (the amount of blogs linked by Susie Bubble is dizzying), even local ones (totally impressed by the number of Malaysian fash-blogs out there). As usual, many were filtered out due to their focus on women's wear or editorial fashion. One blog stayed on my mind for posting one excellent shot after another.

paparazzi of enviable style, via fashion royalty or otherwise
+ belles femmes de paris
+ belle donne milanese
+ mind-blowing details captured in camera
+ amazing photography
= add to delicious bookmark + save as *.jpg

This unsurprisingly popular blog is Jak & Jil, and I am ashamed to say that I am ten months behind on the greatness that is Jak & Jil. Nevertheless, better late than never.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Sartorialist's Picks for Summer 2009

Spring Collection 2010 on the runway = Hot summer 2009 style off-the runway

I am one who appreciates fashion shots taken of people on the street, more than fashion displayed through runway models and magazine editorials.
Scott Schuman who blogs at The Sartorialist takes shots of the best fashion styling going on OFF the runway (i.e the attendees) of the menswear fashion shows in Milan, Paris and New York City. Fashion show season (June/July, Jan/Feb) would be a personal period of anticipation for updates from the Sartorialist, who would post his photographic findings in his blog on

As for this season's fashion shows, the pics have slowly begun to arrive.
While he has yet to post the complete collection of photos in his blog, he has a feature on The Upgrader to highlight some of his best shots to date for the season.

Here are my favourite shots from the feature:

You may have noticed that many of my favourite shots happen to be men of a slightly mature age. Perhaps the more mature man have gained, through experience, conviction of what works and what does not.

Stockholm Select : Streetstyle snapshots

Taken from one of my favourite streetstyle blogs, Stockholm Streetstyle.
Click on the pic for link to original blog post and photo.

DAM (ladies)

HERR (gentlemen)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Malaysian Mega Sale 2009: Guide for the male 'choosy beggar'

NB: There is a blog by the name of The Choosy Beggar, a name which is rather self-explanatory (it is a blog that blows the whistle to discerning but broke shoppers in NYC whenever there are sales in credible/noteworthy brands or shops) . Closer to home, we do have a few blogs that announces sales dates etc (one of them is extremely popular, in fact). However, these blogs report sales of all sorts, including electronics, stationery, near expiry toiletries. Furthermore, going to a sale in Malaysia is like a lucky dip- some goodies are no goodies at all. Malaysians who have lived abroad would know what the sale situation like in Malaysia when compared to other countries. Many sales in Malaysia comprise of either very very old/ugly stocks or meager reductions not worthy of the word 'sale'.

Compounding to this problem is if you were the Malaysian version of a 'choosy beggar', and a male one at that. I could spend a whole day writing about the predicaments of being a male 'choosy beggar' in KL, but in two words- it sucks.

So in conjunction to the nationwide sales, here are some relevant observations and updates which I hope would be useful to some. I didn't do this on purpose- I was basically wandering around my favourite shops to work off my lunch before my gym workout.

1. Gant
Is closing! It's a pity that American East Coast/Ivy League style did not catch on among Malaysian shoppers. I am surprised it didn't because the materials are suited for Malaysian weather (cottons/linens/seersucker) and the designs are conventional and not over-the-top. Plus, they are de rigeur of summer 2009, all over the streetstyle and fashion blogs

Discounts=Great. 70% off storewide with some value buys. If you are an Amex/Maybankcard user you get additional 10% off the discounted price, ie a 73% discount (You don't get 80% off, mind you)
I finally found a pair of slim chinos after 1 year of hunting (told you it was hard being a choosy beggar in KL!), at 73% off! It's probably several seasons old since I didn't see them at last year's year end sale. I don't know if slim chinos are in favour this year, but who cares? We live in KL!
Menswear items still available are mostly in sizes L or XL, with the smaller sizes already snapped up (sale started 1 July). My slim chinos were W34, the last and smallest size of the bunch.
A question of ethics arises for the shop not informing the customers that the additional 10% discount is on the discounted price and not the published price.
Verdict: Goodbye Gant, sorry Malaysia didn't love you as much as I did for your 70% off reductions. But I hope you get bad karma for misleading your customers about your discounts.

2. GAP
I respect the FJ Benjamin group for not insulting the Malaysian shopper's intelligence and giving genuine discounts on their current items. Their sale started about 2 weeks ago, and it was for the current SS09 collection!

Hurrah: 30% off almost all of their great shirts. I got one in teal gingham long-sleeve for about RM140. Lots of nice summer shirts and shorts in tasteful plaids, ginghams, madras, seersucker. Many sizes available.
Boo: None noted.
Verdict: Noteworthy, genuine sales for up-to-date yet practical American casuals.

3. Zara

Hurrah: Black and white espadrilles for RM49.90.
Boo: Most stuff are only reduced by 15%, but they made seem it like a hell of a big deal. No wonder the cashiers on the men's dept weren't busy. The sales in UK were much better in comparison.
Verdict: You call this a sale?

4. Nautica
Selection this time wasn't too impressive. Discounts were fair, but not noteworthy. I once bought a brown leather belt for RM50+ there, but this time around the discounts were only 10%. Perhaps the best discounts are not to be had at Megasales period.

5. M boutique by Melium, the Gardens
This shop, tucked behind the escalators in the ground floor, stocks the more edgy and youthful fashion labels like CDG, Fred Perry, Y-3 and K by Karl Lagerfeld.
Hurrah: 50% off Fred Perry made in England (I repeat: made in England) polos at various sizes
It doesn't get much better than this. Hope to cop this during their next sale in the year-end.

6. Club Monaco
Visited this last week in Pavillion. Reductions were mostly for their AW 08/09 collection, not the summer collection. In general, I think they have better discounts at the end-of-season sale, especially with further reductions.

7. Banana Republic
Also visited this last week. Discounts this time around weren't that great, but being part of FJ Benjamin it still is a genuine sale. Didn't see many 40% reductions as compared to previous years.
Maybe their other sales are better.

Final word: Don't fall for the 10-15% discount crap. And as you know, Malaysian sales happen all year round. Many shoppers would realise that some great deals are to be had outwith the Megasale period.

Friday, July 3, 2009

UNIQLO opened in Singapore 3 months ago.

I am behind time as usual.
Just got to know about this after visiting DJ Blink (of Lapsap)'s blog. Singapore is so lucky as usual, all the major Japanese retail chains will choose to open there. They've already got Muji and Graniph, and now Uniqlo!

I visited both Graniph and Muji when I was down there in Feb, Muji was fine (was tempted to buy their boston bag) but Graniph wasn't as impressive as its website suggested. I guess the selection of items brought over to our shores tend to cater more to the South East Asian, less adventurous tastes. Just like how a friend mentioned that H&M in Shanghai wasn't as good as the ones we were used to in Europe.

Hope the selection in Uniqlo would not dissapoint. On my list are nice slim chinos sold last year. And perhaps some UT's, too.

Would be looking forward to visiting Singapore at the end of this year, provided I don't come back a pauper after my Aussie trip this October.

Update: Upon seeing the pictures posted here, I have a gut feeling that I might be disappointed with Uniqlo Singapore? Place looks a bit more F.O.S than its counterparts in NYC or London. Nonetheless, it's what they sell that matters. Many H&M stores look unsavoury too.

On a related note,
I also hear of a new mall opening up in Singapore around these coming months called the ION Orchard? According to this blog here, they are going to house:
"Cartier, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton and Prada. Burberry, Ermenegildo Zegna and Yves Saint Laurent....Christian Audigier, Dsquared2, Diane von Furstenberg, Harry Winston, Hilfiger Denim, Just Cavalli, Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Tam.....Bally, Miu Miu, Muji, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sephora, Thomas Sabo, Topshop/Topman, Uniqlo and Zara."
Typical luxury shopping mall fare. Meh.

Thou shalt always kill.

Thou shalt not steal if there is direct victim.
Thou shalt not worship pop idols or follow lost prophets.
Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Johnny Hartman, Desmond Decker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or Syd Barret in vain.
Thou shalt not think that any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a peadophile… Some people are just nice.
Thou shalt not read NME.
Thall shalt not stop liking a band just because they’ve become popular.
Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry.
Thou shalt not judge a book by it’s cover.
Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover.
Thall shalt not buy Coca-Cola products. Thou shalt not buy Nestle products.
Thou shalt not go into the woods with your boyfriend’s best friend, take drugs and cheat on him.
Thou shalt not fall in love so easily.
Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls’ pants. Use it to get into their heads.
Thou shalt not watch Hollyoakes.
Thou shalt not attend an open mic and leave as soon as you're done just because you’ve finished your shitty little poem or song you self-righteous prick.
Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar week in, week out just ’cause you once saw a girl there that you fancied but you’re never gonna fucking talk to.

Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were.

The Beatles - Were just a band.
Led Zepplin - Just a band.
The Beach Boys - Just a band.
The Sex Pistols - Just a band.
The Clash - Just a band.
Crass - Just a band.
Minor Threat - Just a band.
The Cure - Just a band.
The Smiths - Just a band.
Nirvana - Just a band.
The Pixies - Just a band.
Oasis - Just a band.
Radiohead - Just a band.
Bloc Party - Just a band.
The Arctic Monkeys - Just a band.
The next big thing - JUST A BAND.

Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-English speaking countries as to those that occur in English speaking countries.
Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling were never part of the four elements and never will be.

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not pimp my ride.
Thou shalt not scream if you wanna go faster.
Thou shalt not move to the sound of the wickedness.
Thou shalt not make some noise for Detroit.
When I say “Hey” thou shalt not say “Ho”.
When I say “Hip” thou shalt not say “Hop”.
When I say "he say, she say, we say, make some noise" - kill me.
Thou shalt not quote me happy.
Thou shalt not shake it like a polaroid picture.
Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak like me.
Thou shalt spell the word “Pheonix” P-H-E-O-N-I-X not P-H-O-E-N-I-X, regardless of what the Oxford English Dictionary tells you.
Thou shalt not express your shock at the fact that Sharon got off with Bradley at the club last night by saying “Is it”.
Thou shalt think for yourselves.

And thou shalt always kill.

"Thou Shalt Always Kill"

Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

It doesn't matter that this song is 2 years old. It still sounds fresh as ever.
Now, repeat after me:

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Music post #1. Latest tracks from Pitchfork that I like.

note: Welcome to my blog, whatever way that got you here.
This blog is where I share whatever things I like (music, clothing, food etc)

Das Racist, eating their combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

I have always been an avid hunter of new music (commercial radio turns me off, literally), and Pitchfork has been my online guide to the latest alternative music. Of course, naysayers might argue that it might not be the best guide to alternative music. However, having a day job means having less time to rummage through the ocean of music blogs/websites for the best ones, and instead settling for convenient ones offering podcasts or the like.

I haven't visited Pitchfork of late, so visiting it a few days ago gave me a sensory jolt of music that I have been missing out on. I usually head for the "Best New..." section and get the latest album/track reviews there.

My favourites from the Best New Tracks section were:
  1. "Keep it goin' louder" by Major Lazer (ft Nina Sky and Ricky Blaze) - I won't hate r&b clubs if they played this.
  2. "Tunguska" by Cymbals Eat Guitars - You don't hear songs like these very often anymore.
  3. "Valiant Brave" by Ganglians - Don't be frightened off by the first minute, the song picks up after the spooky intro.
  4. "So Insane" by Discovery - Brilliant track. So many elements at work here.
  5. "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" (Wallpaper remix) by Das Racist - Hilarious.
  6. "Love the night away" (Tiedye Mix) by DJ Kaos - Reminds me of drinking beer by the swimming pool.
  7. "Yacht by Psychic City" - Reminds me of CSS and YYYs.
Visit Pitchfork's Best New Tracks to listen to all these tracks in one place. There are even free downloads for #5,#6,#7. Get track #2 for free by visiting their myspace and registering for their mailing list.