Happy Chinese New Year

Wishing all my Chinese friends a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

Most people back home will be pretty excited and the whole Chinese New Year vibe is all around by now. I reckon there would be a long public holiday and most of you would be on leave, heading back to your hometowns and gathering with family and friends.

The Hokkien’s will normally gather for a Steamboat reunion dinner. I remember as if it was just yesterday that everyone would be hyped up for the reunion in my grandmother’s ancient house. We’d have dinner and the kids will be over excited right after to play with fireworks. We’d also watch those typical Chinese New Year kung fu movies. Ahh, the good old days.

It’s going to be quiet for me this year. Somehow, I don’t quite feel the vibe, mainly because I’m away from my family. Plus the vibe depends a lot of one’s surroundings as well. If I were home, the neighbours will be blasting those typical CNY songs and you’d get into the mood right away. I guess the only way to get that vibe is to go into Chinatown.

Anyway, once again, Happy Chinese New Year! Eat up and may you receive heaps of ang pows!

...In The Air

I know the whole Valentine's Day thing is blown way out of proportion and it can get a little overrated. Around this time each year, florists will over-stock those red buds in various stem lengths and make a killing, guys will get down on one knee, the newspapers will highlight the most over-blown and fanciest idea for a proposal, all that 999 roses and pretty much those lovebirds will have a weird smile all day.

Well, I’m not saying that it is not cool to have all that swimming in your head but it’s just too cliché and commercialised. Despite all that, I still love the idea of celebrating one's love for another, as cheesy as it sounds. I, however, prefer it quiet and more low key.

The plan was to cook up a really nice meal as a treat in the comfort of our own home. The results below.

I'm not sure why the wine was so bubbly.

Shrimp Cocktail for starters

The Main: Salmon steak served with pasta with light pesto sauce, buttered and spiced mushrooms and oven-baked potatoes.

If you notice, there is no dessert simply because we just barely made it through everything. It was a satisfying meal.

Happy Valentine's Day!

A Basic Weekend

The weekend was a blast. It all started on Thursday. Here’s the lowdown.


I went to see The Basics at The East Brunswick Club. It was their single/EP launch and the EBC was packed. There was hardly any room to walk when The Basics went up on stage. The Basics are kind of like a modern day Beatles. I reckon they've got the whole “less is more” concept down with their catchy but clean guitar lines and riffs, swinging keys lines, tight and appropriate drums and cool basslines. The best part was they could all sing both lead and harmony. They’ve got very solid harmonies, I should add.

The Basics:


SoCo Cargo night. The St. Kilda Festival was on for a whole week from Monday to Sunday, although “Festival Day”, the main shebang is on Sunday. Because The Basics were so good and they were playing again at the SoCo Cargo, I decided to head over to the beach and check it out. The SoCo Cargo looked like stacked cargo containers from the outside, but the moment I stepped inside, it was a total transformation. It looked like an awesome clubhouse, Spiegeltent-like and again, The Basics played an awesome set. Oh, SoCo, as I soon found out stands for Southern Comfort. Why didn’t I think of that?

Stacked containers. I guess this picture will give you a better idea of the cargo containers I was talking about.

The Basics again

This guy is a singing, drumming genius!

Which side of the disco ball do you dance on?

The mandatory St. Kilda sunset

Look, the sun is going to fall into the sea. Is the earth flat?

The Getaway Plan headline gig at The Rob Roy. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures at this gig because it was so crammed that I couldn't get a good shot of anything. So, instead of trying to take pictures that will end up blur and unusable anyway, I just hung out and enjoyed the music. The bands were awesome and Closure In Moscow sounded great. I approached them to see if they would be able to come to the studio to record some tracks but they were already working on an EP are not able to do it.

This gig was interesting, someone actually came up to me and said I played a great set. Hmmm...am I that good? I don't even have to play anymore and I get compliments? No way, the dude probably mistaken me for the other Asian dude in Closure In Moscow. It's a good laugh, don't you think?

Festival Day! Any reason to party, is good enough a reason for me.

The multitudes of people on the street kind of reminded me of Thaipusam in Penang. Strange that I would think that, I know.

This gives the term hanging out a new meaning and brings it to another level. Get it?

The Main Stage. It sounded like there was massive phasing coming from the Front Of House system, but I reckon it's because of the strong winds.

This dog is huge! I've noticed that the average dogs here in Melbourne are either really huge, or really tiny, like those Paris Hilton ones.

This is how your friends will treat you when you're drunk and passed out.

It was a perfect weekend!

AM Radio

It's 2 a.m. I should be sleeping but there's this restlessness that kept me a little more awake than I should be. I sit here and think while the silence screams in my ears and I could almost see flashes of lightning out the window.

It’s 2 a.m. and I’m missing home, wondering what it’s like back there, what my friends are up to, what gigs they’re going to, what gigs they’re playing and the list goes on. I love going to gigs and I’ve been to a lot here in Melbourne as a spectator but being a spectator makes me just want to get up on stage again and rip it apart.

So yeah, how are you people back home? Drop me a line to let me know you're all good. Goodnight.

The Food Mafia

Everybody, I'd like to introduce you to a good friend of mine, the food mafia! She's started a blog reviewing food both home made and from restaurants around Melbourne and I thought I'd plug it here. So head over to that blog right now and send her some love. Make sure you drop her a comment or two. The more the merrier.


Recording: The Drones

This is my man Carl on Bagpipes!
Today was an awesome day for me as far as recording goes. I took on the role of just a recording engineer and not having to half moonlight as a singer songwriter/guitarist while I'm at it.
This is the first time that I've recorded the bagpipes and it was the first time in the history of SAE Melbourne for recording bagpipes. How cool is that? I'll go down in history!
The bagpipes were loud and I felt I was transported to another dimension, a place I've never been before. Well, probably if you've been to Scotland, that will be a different story all together.
Anyway, I had three mics going and for you recording people out there, here are the specs. I used an SE Electronics 5600 for room tone, an AKG C414 for the chanter and an SE Electronics pencil mic (the model slipped my mind) for the drones.
I should say, the results were pretty sweet sounding and all in all, we recorded four songs of solo bagpipes extravaganza!

Demo Recording Day Three

Since today is the third day of the demo recording sessions, I’ve decided to take it easy a little bit and not push so hard for ideas. I decided to only touch up a bit on one of the songs I recorded yesterday and dedicate the rest of the time to work on another song from scratch.

The results? Since I dedicated more time into one song, I got a better guitar tone, more guitar lines and ideas, more vocal melody ideas, more vocal harmony ideas and wrote the lyrics for the remaining parts of the song I didn’t have lyrics too. Although the lyrics aren’t set in stone, the song sounds pretty decent and it is flowing in the direction I want it to.

The ideas for vocal harmonies kept coming and I put it all down on tape. Well, not “tape”, rather hard disk. I ended up experimenting with so many harmonies that I came up with sections that had 4-part harmonies. Again, this “4-part” is in no way the conventional written 4-part harmonies as I have no idea what that would really be like. I don’t read and write music you see. Let’s say I’m an illiterate in that area. So everything went by ear and by feel.

At the moment, all the songs just have working titles and I’d rather not mention it yet because they might not even be used.

If all goes well, I’ll be having another session tomorrow to record some killer bagpipes and South American instruments. Looking forward to that! Bagpipes babeh!

Demo Recording Day Two

This is what happens when you stay too long in the studio.
Today was day two of the demo recording sessions and I should say it has been pretty productive despite the noise outside the studio. There was a studio builder in the facility sawing, drilling and hammering away with the renovation of another studio.
Day one was sort of a warm up session to get used to things but was pretty productive as well. All in all, the demos are coming along just fine. It should be done by the end of the week.


All of the above for under 5 bucks.

The price tag was responsible for this

I bought 8 DVDs and a CD, all for under 5AUD. Is that awesome or what? One of the DVDs is a two disc special while another is a 4 in 1 movie pack. The best thing is that those DVDs I wanted, stayed at full price for the longest time and it didn't even budge and all of a sudden, the price gets slashed. Oh, plus two of the DVDs are niche ones therefore I never thought the price would actually drop.

This is the purchase of the year.

P/S: This was all from JB HiFi

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    Who Is Broken Scar:

    Loves Jesus. Singer. Guitarist. Songwriter. Audio Engineer. Producer. Wears band t-shirts. Wears red t-shirts. Based in Melbourne.



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