The 2005 List (Music)

I love year-end lists. If you google for '2005 lists' right now, you will probably find thousands of year-end lists that covers almost absolutely everything from music, movies, people, business, sports... everything. Being a huge entertainment fan, I sometimes don't agree with some of these list. So I have decided to come up with my own list. This is not a top 10, or Top 5, or Top whatever. The list is just a recollection of some things that I enjoy watching/listening to this year. These are my source of entertainment in 2005. Some of these stuff are probably from late last year, but who cares.. It is MY list. So if you don't agree with me, well, go do your own list! I dare you.. haha. (u know who u are).

So here's now, my list of favourite (..and not so favourite) music of 2005 in no particular order whatsoever. Coming up next, The 2005 List (Movies & TV).


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Seven Collar T-Shirt

Of all the bands and artistes that I listened to this year, nobody had an impact on me like these guys. They reminded me of how I felt when I first listened to all those other great rock bands. Simply because the music that they played is like nothing that you ever heard of. Before Drones, I was aware of SCTS existence but I was not paying much attention to them. But after I heard Faith on the radio for the first time, I was impressed. Awed to be exact. Somehow I felt the emotion and the intensity of that song. It just grabbed me. Needless to say, I went out and bought Drones. After that, the only music that I listened to for 2-3 weeks straight is their album. I was impressed by the melancholic sound and the multi-layer of every song on the album. The guitar work was amazing and the vocals was emotional. I felt that the album dwells with my mood no matter where or when I listened to it. It was full of emotions and feelings. It takes you on a journey. It was good music.

I regard SCTS as one of the important band in our music industry today. They are not afraid of exploring new sounds and new styles of music. Although some people would think that they were merely experimenting, but you cannot hide the fact that these guys has created something fresh and new to our music industry. Us, music lovers, can't help but be thankful because of bands like SCTS, the local music industry is on it's way up again. So to Duan, Ham, Fidi and Adil, thank you for the music. Keep on exploring..


Drones - Seven Collar T-Shirt

It's pretty obvious isn't it? The most important local release in 2005. I kept playing this album non-stop for weeks on my computer, my car, my discman, everywhere. The sound that they produce is so refreshing and unique that you just can't help but be proud of these local heroes. Duan wailing melancholic voice is so full of emotions and intensity that you just can't help but feel his pain, anger, sadness and every other mood swings. Moody at times, the album is well-produced, the tracks were well-written and the musical arrangement was superb. Check out the harmony part in the title track Drones. Or the bassline in The Boohuoorah Theory, Or the infectious sound of snare drum in Faith. Or the guitar effect on Summary. If you are connected to your own emotions, take a listen to this album, close your eyes ..and just feel. Fave track : The whole freaking album!

Silent Alarm - Bloc Party

Oh, how I love this one. I couldn't stop stomping my feet to every freaking song on this album. Matt Tong's acrobatic drumming, Kele Okerke's endearingly ugly vocals and a collective knack for instrumental and studio nuance set Bloc Party apart from all the other British post-punk bands. Now, if only I could see them perform live... Fave Track : Helicopter. Makes me wanna jump and scream 'Hell Yeah!' in thick British accent.

Funeral - Arcade Fire

It's not easy to describe this album. But I remember reading one review of this album that says, '...Funeral is a amazing record, hard to hear at first, then hard to stop hearing.' That is exactly what it is. Canada's best export since, err, well.. Bryan Adams! Fave Track : Wake Up. The majestic harmony that started the song reminded me of Chinese opera. And at the end, Win Butler screams out, ' better look out below!' . Pure genius.

Laskar Cinta - Dewa

As a self-confessed Baladewa, this album had to be on my list. Although not as great as 'Cintailah Cinta', this album still packs a few punches. Nobody can tell a universal love story, musically or not, as inspiring as Dhani and Dewa. I could hear this album on almost every computer in my office this year. They will release a new album next month entitled 'Republik Cinta' and I just couldn't wait to hear what they had to offer this time. Fave track : Satu. Simple melody, wonderful lyrics, great song.

Late Registration - Kanye West

He did it again. After his critically acclaimed first album, Kanye has produced another masterpiece. With his sharp lyrics and phat beats, Kanye is probably the most important man in hip-hop at the moment. I salute this musical genius. Fave track: Heard 'Em Say. Last year it was Justin Timberlake. This year Adam Levine is the new white boy in hip-hop. Smooth vocal and melody plus Kanye sharp lyrics, makes this a one hell of a collaboration.

X&Y - Coldplay

The band that the critics love to hate this year simply because it's cool to do so. Regardless of your opinion about the band, this album stills stands out as one of my favourite album of 2005. Fave track: Fix You. I love the part when the drums and the guitar kicks in and change the colour of the song completely. Brilliant.

Get Lifted - John Legend

I'm not sure if this album was released in 2005. But I'm sure I've been playing his CD a lot this year. This album is really good for that long drive home from work. Relaxing and uplifting. He's the new soul superstar. Fave track: Used To Luv U. Kanye West / John Legend partnership at it's best.

So Amazing (Tribute To Luther Vandross) - Various Artistes

THE R&B album of the year. This album features some of the best R&B, soul and hip-hop artiste in the industry that includes, Usher, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Patti Labelle, Gladys Knight and many more. Fave track: Superstar. Usher has never sounded so soulful. A fitting tribute from a superstar to another.

Be - Common

Nobody raps smarter or more thoughtfully than Common, and with the help of the genius that is Kanye West, the result is a funky album that's good for rocking your body as well as your mind. Fave track: Testify. Catchy hook, thoughtful lyrics, funky beats; recipe of a great song.

Padi - Padi

One of Indonesia's greatest rock band, Padi have always been consistent with producing a great album after another. This album portrays a more lighter and sunnier side of the band (complete with the colorful band logo) yet they never lost that edge when they rock. Fave track: Menanti Sebuah Jawaban. After first listen, everybody fell in love with this tune. Fadli voice sounded very silky.

This Is The New Pop - Love Me Butch

One of the exciting talent in our local music industry today. I love this album because it sounded so raw and heavy and yet very tuneful. Fave track: Reconcile. It goes from hard-hitting to melodic without changing the feel and the energy of the song. Energetic.

The National - Alligator

Several critics have referred to The National as 'rock noir', and it's a pretty apt moniker. I love the fact that the lead singer, Matt Berninger's voice sounded like Johnny Cash. The music is dark and the voice broods; perfect for those lepak moments before you go to sleep. Fave track: Mr December. You'll be singing along to the chorus in no time once you hear this rockin' track.

Rebirth Into Reality - Too Phat

Just when everybody thought they were breaking up, Too Phat answered the critics with this delightful double album. Filled with outstanding, well-written, well-produced tracks, this album also features great collaborations with big names like Siti Nurhaliza, Machi, Joey Boy and even dangdut queen Inul. Any local hip-hop acts in Malaysia right now has to top this album to even being consider a serious contender in the business. As for now, Too Phat still reigns. Fave track: Dua Dunia. The collaboration that was bound to happen. And I'm glad it did. Excellent vocals from Siti Nurhaliza. Malay rap starting to make sense.


Apart from songs that I mentioned above, these are some songs that I really enjoy listening to this year :

Dealova - Once

Once has a tremendous voice. He could even be singing football chants and still sounded good. Dealova is a beautiful song. Backed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Once voice just haunt you. You could feel the lyrics that he sang because it was full of emotions. I love the fact that Once kept his voice just right on the edge of breaking. Hauntingly beautiful.

Manusia Bodoh - Ada Band

Surely with a title like that you would have everyone's attention. Ada Band is one of Indonesia's underrated band. They produce some great songs and made some great videos. This is a simple song about a man who realizes that her girl was cheating on her. Self-hating has never sounded so tuneful.

Welcome To Jamrock - Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley

The dancehall anthem of the year. Damian continues the legacy left by his father with this hypnotic, oddly slow, almost hip-hop, reggae groove. Check out Alicia Keys Unplugged album where Jr. Gong was invited to sing this song on stage towards the end of the show, and he brought the whole crowd down.

Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson

The most infectious pop/rock song of 2005. Before this song, I never really care about Ms. Clarkson, American Idol or anything related. But I have to admit, after hearing this song, I started paying more attention to the talent of Kelly Clarkson. The Swedes who wrote this track are geniuses. They have the ultimate formula of writing catchy pop/rock songs that made us all singing in unison. Kelly can rock Ashley and Avril out of the game any time, man.

Hate It Or Love It - The Game feat. 50 Cent

The underdog is on top. Dr Dre produced one of the catchiest hip-hop anthem of the year. Buttery soul beat, pumping bass line that got my head nodding and the strongest verses 50 and Game has ever written. Gangsta rap is still alive and well.

Helena - My Chemical Romance

A funereal work of pitch-perfect adolescent frustration and morbidity, easily the most psychologically twisted song ever written. It got me singing ' long and good night!' like a psychotic gravedigger. Plus, the video rocks.

Oh - Ciara feat. Ludacris

Slow jam hip-hop always got me going. With its quaking low end, that ominous synth loop crawling up from somewhere dirty, and, of course, a never-sexier Ciara purring 'Round here, we ridin' sloooow...', it's the low-riding song of the year. And for his part, Ludacris's guest verse is absolutely dynamic. You'll be boppin' your head in no time.

Kerna Sayang - VE

Sure, Pop Ye Ye is a great party song, but VE is at it's best when singing R&B slow jams. The musical arrangement on this song is excellent and VE nails the harmony part brilliantly. Soothing and comforting music.

Benci Untuk Mencinta - Naif

Indonesia's version of The Darkness with less rock, more campy and fun. This is a stunning ballad that potrays the more romantic (..or rather un-romantic) side of the band.

Angguk Angguk, Geleng Geleng - Ahlifiqir

The catchiest song on the radio this year. They got everybody and I mean EVERYBODY singing along to this song. Proof? I overheard my always-stern-and-serious 55 years old boss mumbling the hook to this song once. Now THAT is quite impressive.


Doves - Sky Starts Falling
The video was filmed in grainy black and white and coupled with some remarkable CGI that includes orchestrated fighter planes and flying houses among others. Stunning.

Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl
It's not the song. It's not the Neptunes who wrote this track. Hell, it's not even Gwen. It's those 4 Harajuku girls that got me watching every time this video came up on TV. Super-kawaii.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing - Jack Johnson
They filmed the whole video backwards. In one take. Brilliant idea.

Beck - E-Pro
Do you remember those back pages of 'Gila-Gila' magazine where you can fold the pages to reveal what really is the image and messages behind the initial artwork? Well that's what the video is all about. Eye-catching.

White Stripes - The Denial Twist
Michael Gondry is a genius. If you saw 'Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind' you probably know that anything directed by him is going to be exceptionally mind-blowing. After that Lego inspired masterpiece, 'Fell in Love With A Girl', Gondry and White Stripes has delivered us another amazing video. Plus, there's a cameo appearance by my favorite talk show host, Conan O'Brien.

Carpark North - Human
Putting kids in music videos always got people watching wether it's good or bad. It's a simple video, images of kids filmed in some abandoned school. But it's the way that the video was shot what makes this video so beautiful. Eye candy.

Oasis - The Importance of Being Idle
Cameo of the year by Rhys Ifans. Oasis finally shows the lighter side of their band with this video that potrays them as staff from a funeral parlour.

The Strokes - Juicebox
Who doesn't enjoy watching 2 beautiful ladies making out like crazy? Huh? No?


anything by Crazy Frog
Somebody please kill this stupid frog!! It's the Macarena and Las Ketchup of 2005. It seems that every year, there's going to be an album or artist (..or in this case an animal) that's going to annoy the living hell out of us. A ringtone turned into a single that designed purely to make money. Thanks to this frog, the theme to Beverly Hills Cop will now be remembered as 'That Frog Song'.

Listen to Your Heart - DHT
Oh please. Do people still dig techno covers? It is so 1980's. I prefer Roxette's version a million times better.

Ass Like That - Eminem
By releasing this crap as a single, he just lost a chunk of his credibility as a serious contender in the rap game.

Lonely - Akon
Amusing when u listened to it the first few time. But after 25,000 times, u just wish that somebody would kill those chipmunks singing the hook of Bobby Vinton's 1964 hit and let Akon be lonely for good.

Cater 2U - Destiny's Child
Here's what I don't get about Destiny's Child. They used to sing songs like 'Independent Women' and 'Survivor' and all that girl power stuff. But in this song, they sang like they were slaves to their man. They harmonically listed the things they'd do for their man when he got home from work, from removing his shoes and getting his slippers to running a bath. And there's a part where they sang '...when you come home late tap me on my shoulder, I'll roll over baby, I'm here to serve you.' What? I'm a male, and even I'm embarrassed to hear all that shit. Hmm, so much for being an independent women.

My Humps - Black Eyed Peas
Yeah, I know u love this song. But wait till you hear your 6 year old niece singing it. Then u probably feel very worried, like me. BEP used to have credibility. They were the new face of hip-hop when they release the first album. But after tracks like these, I'm not very sure. How the hell are we going to explain to our nieces/nephews/sons/daughters what humps and lumps really mean? Thanks a lot BEP for corrupting the minds of children all over the world.

anything by Craig David
Oh Craig, Craig. I could still remember your first album. It was refreshing, tuneful and full of energy. In fact everybody thought that you would be the one that could give a facelift to the world of R&B. But sadly, you turn.. err,... well, pop. Instead of being an R&B superstar, you have turned yourself into just another pop singer. Reinvent yourself, please. And lose that silly beard already, man!

I Don't Care - Ricky Martin
Mr Bon-Bon turning hip-hop? Even Amerie and Fat Joe couldn't help to relaunch his career. The title of the song explains how I feel about this track.

..better to burn out than to fade away

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I've lost something on my way to wherever I am today - Blake, Last Days.

Let me get one thing straight. Most people will likely watch this film thinking, 'Oh, its about Kurt Cobain. I like Nirvana, so I'll like this movie' without bothering to find out what makes this film so significant. If you're looking for a Kurt Cobain biopic, look somewhere else. Avoid this film if you don't have the patience to follow a nearly catatonic case study for 97 minutes, just to realize something that you already know. Remember, u have been warned.

Last Days is a film by director Gus Van Sant, and is a fictionalized account of the last days of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. The film stars Michael Pitt as the character Blake, based on Kurt Cobain. Kim Gordon (from supergroup Sonic Youth) Lukas Haas, and Asia Argento also star in the film. Author and friend of Van Sant's, Harmony Korine, appears in a brief club scene as well, playing a character similar to one in the movie, Kids.

Last Days is the third, and supposedly final installment, in what Van Sant has frequently called his "Death Trilogy" which began with Gerry and continued with Elephant. The most obvious similar trait in this trilogy of unrelated plots is that the dialogue and narration are minimal, and not linearly connected. The technique is especially similar to Elephant, where scenes are revisited from new angles, starting at differing points in time, without a signal that the clock was turned back at some point. What's obvious is that they share the theme of extreme isolation (in Gerry it is physical, in Elephant it is social, and in Last Days it is mental). (

I've been a fan of Gus Vant Sant's work since I saw My Own Private Idaho in 1991. Although much later he would become the director of 'mainstream' movies such as To Die For, Good Will Hunting, Psycho remake and Finding Forrester, I prefer his more personal, crafty movies such as Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Gerry, Elephant and of course (my favourite) My Own Private Idaho. Being familiar with his work, by his standard Last Days is his masterpiece. You can clearly see a progression from Gerry (a good film) to Elephant (a very good film) to (a career pinnacle) much the way as Kurosawa used Kagemusha as a tune up for Ran. Last Days is done in proper Van Sant form and defines Cobain and grunge perfectly. Maybe all that inner anger takes its toll more deeply than before imagined, and its effect will be felt in multiple ways reflected in youth defined that way. I admire Van Sant for making movies he wants to make. Even his great successes had little regard for what the public may want. For this alone, true admirers should stick with him and, at the least, try to understand his motives.

Despite being very slow, Last Days was at times very funny and it was certainly a wonderful alternative to the cliche world of Rock and Roll biopic. Van Sant doesn't for one second try to explain or over-indulge the audience with a sorrowful tale of one man's inability to cope with this fame. This is refreshing to me. Van Sant doesn't give us a cookie-cutter mold of what a film about a popular icon is supposed to be, so I was not sure what to expect, which helped me enjoy this film. Many are put off by the mumbling and incoherent ranting of the lead character Blake played by Michael Pitt, ( was about 20 minutes into the movie that we hear the first clear dialogue!) but I found them to be funny, especially in the scene where he's attempting to communicate with a Yellow Pages salesman (played by a real YP salesman) who has him confused with a business owner. This is not a biopic, nor was it ever intended to be one. If anything, Van Sant is simply guessing what he believe what must have been like for the last day(s) of a man who has decided to kill himself. Visually the film was stunning. The photography is well done in the sense that it adequately compensates for lack of dialogue. Isolation and despondency are made clear by the vistas, fields, verdant greenery, and one man being out there alone. Van Sant seems to be an expert at using the silence between people in order to emphasise natural noises, which gave me a nice sense of calm in watching the film, which is another reason why the movie was easy to watch. It was never hurried, and its shooting perfectly matched the script's and character's pacing. Shot with simple long takes, incongruous sound, and minimal dialog, the film is a self-conscious exploration of cinematic form.

The story, in case you're unfamiliar with Cobain's life , follows a young musician who, after having recently escaped a stint in rehab, spends his last days wondering his palatial estate, cooking macaroni and cheese, avoiding his hanger-on 'friends', and composing lonely, morose songs that cling to your memory long after the movie has ended. It's in these scenes that Michael Pitt, a singer himself, proves that he was the only and I mean ONLY choice for the role. Often under-appreciated (in The Dreamers and Hedwig & the Angry Inch) or overshadowed (particularly by Ryan Gosling's tour-de-force performance in Murder by Numbers), Pitt's finally allowed to shoulder a feature film and proves himself worthy of comparisons to James Dean and River Phoenix. If you're skeptical of that statement, just watch the way Pitt is able to convey so much through body posturing alone. His eyes obscured behind his greasy, golden locks for much of the film (with the exception of one particular scene where he's allowed to stare into the camera for seemingly an eternity), and his dialogue reduced to little more than incoherent mumbling, he still somehow manages to let us into the soul of the character. He's on screen for almost the entirety of the film and rarely shares a scene with any of his co-stars, but despite all these obstacles is still able to flesh out one of the best performances of the year.

My favourite scene in the movie is when Van Sant uses Boyz II Men video, 'On Bended Knee' to emphasize one's realization at the end of all hope. The lyrics in this song are of a man who wants to "go back to the way that things used to be." And he is begging and praying for that possibility. Through Van Sant's artistic license, the video suggests that he realized he was in trouble and wanted to return from the brink of destruction to a former good place, but had no one to help. Therefore, he continued composing his suicide note. Apparently, the Hollywood machine consumed him, feet first. Nevertheless, the thought of Cobain breaking down to a syrupy Boyz II Men song certainly doesn't cross my mind. But the scene work brilliantly.

Gus Vant Sant's Last Days is an interesting case study of one of rocks great personalities and innovators. I'm sure every single one of us who grew up listening to Nirvana and who are affected by their music (just like myself) will definitely want to see this movie, doesn't matter if the reviews were good or bad. Obviously, those expecting to be entertained are not, and those expecting 'insight' at very least will get that. Although, Cobain's greatness is debatable, his legacy will outlast debate, as his music and style defined youth and teenage angst for the 80s-90s. There always has been youthful angst, and there always will be, it's just that Nirvana excelled at defining its generation. In his life, Cobain railed against all that was phony and hyped; by crafting a visual poem resolutely defiant of rock star spectacle, Van Sant honors the late singer as sincerely as he can, by keeping it real.

Jolly Rockin' Good Time..!

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Pheww.. What a week. Banyak benda yg berlaku minggu ni. There's tons of work in the office. Biasa la nak hujung tahun. Semua benda yang tak settle kena settle before the year ends. It's a race against time. Tapi minggu ni juga la aku terpaksa pindah rumah. I've been living in KL since 1999 and this is the 5th house that I'm staying. Hopefully this is the last time aku pindah umah sebagai org bujang. Letih aaa.. Barang aku dah la banyak. Nak mengangkut tu satu hal. Nak memunggah pulak.. Aduh..! Nasib baik umah baru aku dekat dengan umah lama. Kalau jauh mahu patah pinggang aku.

So untuk menghilangkan tension dan penat aku pun, apa lagi, tengok wayang la! Hehe.. kalau dah kaki wayang tu memang tak bleh cakap apa la. Untuk meneruskan tema muzik dan rock minggu ni aku dan girlfriend aku decide untuk tengok sneak preview of Mamat Khalid's Rock di MBO, Galaxy Ampang. Rock berkisar tentang sekumpulan anak muda yang menganggotai kumpulan Rimba Bara yang ingin menjadi kumpulan rock yang berjaya di tahun 80-an. Pelbagai halangan dan dugaan ditempuhi dan akhirnya mereka berjaya ke peringkat akhir pertandingan. Di sinilah babak menarik dapat disaksikan, keadaan menjadi gamat dengan suasana rock ditambah pula dengan kehadiran Amy Search dan Man Kidal selaku hakim pertandingan Battle Of The Bands. (

Filem Rock membuatkan aku terkenang kepada zaman kanak-kanak aku. Walaupun masa tu aku masih kecil, tapi impak muzik rock memang kuat dalam hidup aku. Search, Lethanded, Wings, Bumiputra Rockers antara kumpulan yang menguasai industri muzik tanahair pada masa tu. Seperti kata Zack lakonan Hasnul Rahmat dalam filem ini, '...zaman tu semua orang nak jadi rockers.' Aku paling ingat kepada abang aku, yang memang rockers abis at that time. He had the whole look. T-shirt Loudness yang kecik, seluar jeans ketat, kasut Aliph and big puffy mullet hair. Secara tak langsung, dia mempengaruhi pemikiran aku. Dia memberikan aku gambaran how and what a rocker should or should not be. Bagi aku, muzik rock is not just about the music. It's the attitude. It's the fashion. It's the trend. It's the glam. You need to blend all this things in order to become a true rocker. And I'm very glad to say that Mamat Khalid has manage to capture all the things that define that rockin' era.

Filem Rock memang sarat dengan adegan yang membuatkan sesiapa sahaja yang menjalani zaman tersebut, mungkin ketawa kecil kerana teringat akan menjalani perkara yang sama. Aku sangat tertarik dengan all the little details yang Mamat Khalid sempurnakan dalam filem ini. Dari pakaian, gaya rambut, gaya menyanyi, gaya main muzik hinggalah kepada perkara-perkara kecil seperti duit seringgit lama, sarung plastic sbb nak pakai seluar, (..things that people do to look cool those days), sumbat kertas dalam crotch seluar, poster Whitesnake dan Twisted Sister yang ditampal, ulasan tentang URTV dan macam-macam lagi. Mamat Khalid berjaya membawa kita kembali kepada zaman tersebut. Seperkara lagi, aku sangat tertarik dengan gaya komedi yang ditonjolkan oleh Mamat Khalid di dalam filem ini. Bagi aku, Mamat Khalid menggabungkan beberapa elemen dry humour mirip kepada gaya humour filem British dan Jepun serta komedi gross out America ala Farelly Brothers complete with flatulence and vomit jokes. Satu pembaharuan dalam filem komedi tempatan bagi aku. Mamat Khalid comply with the number one rule in comedy : make people laugh without trying to hard. Mungkin satu dua pengarah filem komedi tempatan yang ada sekarang (.. you know who I'm talking about) should learn a thing or two about the rule.

Seperkara yang mencuri perhatian aku ialah cara filem ini divisualkan. Proses dubbing dibuat seperti filem 80an. Oleh kerana itu kita dapat lihat pergerakan bibir dan dialog yang tidak selari. Terdapat juga 2 atau 3 scene yang sengaja dibuat out of focus yang memang menjadi trademark filem 80an. Aku pasti perkara-perkara tersebut disengajakan oleh Mamat Khalid untuk menimbulkan mood filem tahun 80an. Bagi aku, kreativiti Mamat Khalid terserlah dalam perkara-perkara sebegini. Dan yang pastinya ia berjaya. And one more thing that's great about the movie is of course the music. Search's Isi & Kulit and Pelesit Kota never sounded better. Aku suka dengan scene angan-angan Zack yang diiringi dengan lagu Dari Sinar Mata dari Bumiputra Rockers. Scene tersebut difilemkan seperti klip video tahun 80'an yang memang a bit corny dan kelakar (..landasan keretapi, wind effect masa guitar solo, dram 'angin' etc...). The music in those days were fresh as they were now. My feet was definitely tapping to the songs.

Dari segi lakonan aku rasa pelakon-pelakon yang dipilih memang tidak mengecewakan. Hasnul Rahmat berjaya membuatkan penonton percaya bahawa dia adalah seorang rocker kampung yang tipikal. Aku semakin percaya bahawa Hasnul ialah seorang pelakon yang versatile. Begitu juga dengan Que Haidar walaupun aku rasa wajahnya terlalu 'segak' untuk jadi rocker kampung. Aku sangat tertarik dengan lakonan Sofi Jikan dan kumpulan Malaikat Maut yang selamba. Tapi bagi aku lakonan Khir Rahman sebagai Jijo is the one that stands out in this movie. He steals every scene he's in. Yang paling aku suka ialah cara Khir Rahman bertutur gaya rocker dalam filem ni. Memang totally spot-on. He just nails it. Mungkin juga sebab dia memang seorang rocker (..dia pernah jadi vokalis group Iklim dan Brain Connections) atau dia sendiri pernah melalui zaman tersebut. Yang aku pasti, aku percaya sekarang bahawa Khir Rahman adalah seorang pelakon hebat. Tak kurang hebat ialah pemilihan pelakon-pelakon pembantu yang memberi definisi zaman kegemilangan filem 80'an seperti Norlida Ahmad, Julie Dahlan, Hamid Gurkha dan Kamarolzaman Yusoff (Farouk Gagak Hitam!). Filem ini juga menonjolkan karyawan-karyawan seni yang bertanggungjawab membentuk era kegemilangan rock pada zaman tu seperti S. Amin Shahab, Nasir Jani, Man Kidal dan Amy Search (..walaupun aku kecewa sebab Amy tak pakai baju lace ropol-ropol dia masa final Juara Lagu!).

Aku percaya bahawa filem Rock ini merupakan tribute Mamat Khalid kepada generasi yang paling dekat di hati beliau. Sama juga ketika Cameron Crowe mengarahkan 'Almost Famous'nya. Filem ini merupakan satu penghormatan Mamat Khalid kepada satu generasi yang bertanggungjawab membentuk industri muzik rock kita pada masa kini. Tanpa kumpulan-kumpulan seperti Search, Lefthanded dan ramai lagi muzik rock tempatan berkemungkinan tidak akan jadi sepertimana sekarang. Muzik rock pada zaman tersebut telah mencetuskan revolusi terutama sekali di kawasan luar bandar. Oleh sebab itulah subjek cerita rockers kampung ingin berjaya di bandar yang ditonjolkan dalam filem Rock ini boleh dikongsi ramai. Tahniah kepada Mamat Khalid kerana berjaya membuat satu filem yang entertaining. Jarang kita dapat tonton filem komedi tempatan di wayang pada masa ini yang tidak mempersendakan pemikiran penonton. Aku pasti ramai brader-brader dan akak-akak rocker terutama yang seusia abang aku akan pergi tengok filem ini. Untuk mereka yang ingin tahu tentang sejarah muzik rock tempatan or just simply want to have a good time at the movies, ROCK is just for you. So come on everybody, have a good rockin' time..!

P/S : so I guess now somebody should make a movie about MY generation. The 90's Alternative Rock. The Grunge Era. The Seattle Sound.
...Any takers...??? nirvana story

Nirvana changed my life. I know that might sound a little too silly but come to think of it, it is true. Music is my other passion besides movies. I was exposed to music at an early age. Aku banyak dipengaruhi oleh abang-abang aku yang memang minat dengan muzik. Aku masih ingat semasa umur aku 7 tahun, aku, abang aku dan 3 orang sepupu aku selalu dress-up sebagai Prince & The Revolution sambil miming lagu When Doves Cry (of course aku akan jadi Prince..hehe). Atau masa aku umur 9 tahun, aku dan 2 orang abang aku selalu practice that 1,2 step yg kumpulan Freedom selalu buat dalam lagu Mulanya Di Sini. Or that time bila kakak aku organize that Breakdance competition kat hall rumah aku complete with those maroon Nike tracksuits and headband. (..hadiahnya coklat and gula-gula aja, tapi aku still akan menang sbb kalau tak aku nangis. hehe). U could say I'm in tune with the current trend at those time.

Bila time remaja, aku seperti seorang typical teenager, akan terikut-ikut trend muzik pada zaman itu. Rock muzik memang sudah sebati dalam diri aku. Wings, Search, Lefthanded, di antaranya, memang muzik yang aku selalu dengar. Koleksi-koleksi kaset aku dan abang-abang aku dah mencecah angka ratus. Aku jugak terdedah kepada muzik rock barat seperti Scorpions, Def Leppard, Europe, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Poison, Whitesnake, Guns n Roses etc. Muzik rock memang menjadi pilihan hati sehingga sekarang. Kalau nak diikutkan, aku dengar semua jenis muzik. Dalam umur aku yang masih muda, sesetengah material yang aku dengar memang tidak kena dengan umur aku. Jazz, R&B, Funk, Disco, Pop, Soul, Folk... u name it. Semua aku bantai dengar. But of course as a teenager you tend to follow the trend. Masa zaman rock kangkang aku ada kasut Aliph dengan tali fluorescent, complete dengan seluar jeans ketat dan t-shirt Whitesnake kecik. Masa zaman 4U2C, aku juga terikut-ikut gantung CD, pakai cap terbalik, seluar GQ kotak-kotak, belt buckle leweh dan pakai windbreaker sport walaupun pada waktu tengahari. (!) And of course, everybody loves NKOTB (.. u know who u are, hehe). I have to admit, I still listen to NKOTB Greatest Hits album once in a while just for old time sake. Layan beb.!

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But I can still remember one evening, I was watching this entertainment show on TV3. The VJ introduced the next video and it's from this group called Nirvana. The song is called Smell Like Teen Spirit. At that time aku pernah terbaca pasal group Nirvana ni. Tapi dalam fikiran aku muzik rock yang diaorang mainkan sama seperti muzik Guns N Roses atau Bon Jovi. Hair metal bands were big at that time. So aku pun tak amik port sangat. I was about to change the channel when they played the video. And then it happened...

the opening riff of Smell Like Teen Spirit started playing...
!!..............(mulut ternganga).

Whoa! What the hell is this music their playing??! What are they wearing?? Who are these three guys?? Who is Nirvana??? What does Nirvana mean..?? I was awestruck. I never heard anything like it. The music was loud and angry but at the same time melodic and layered. What do they call this music.?? Where do I find more of this music...??

15 minit lepas aku tengok video klip Smell Like Teen Spirit, aku capai topi besi NKOTB aku dan keluar ke kedai kaset dengan basikal mountain bike kesayangan aku. Aku terus beli 2 album Nirvana, Bleach dan Nevermind. Aku singgah di kedai mamak jual majalah dan terus beli semua magazine yang ada tulis pasal Nirvana. Apa dah jadi pada aku?? Kenapa aku begitu teruja dengan muzik bising, hingar dan bingit ni...? Sampai di rumah aku terus pasang kaset Nevermind. Dan buat pertama kali dalam hidup aku, aku dapat merasakan muzik. Sebelum tu aku hanya mendengar tapi tidak merasa. Buat pertama kali aku cuba untuk memahami lirik sesebuah lagu. Muzik Nirvana telah membuatkan aku berfikir. Membuatkan aku menghargai muzik. Membuatkan aku ingin tahu tentang muzik dengan lebih mendalam.

Kaset Nevermind yang aku beli aku dengar sampai tali tapenya haus. 2 minggu non-stop! Sampai aku dah boleh hafal semua lagu. Aku pinjamkan kepada kawan-kawan aku di sekolah. At least 5 of them have the same effect that I have. We were blown away. The music is contagious! Tapi aku masih tak puas dengan hanya mendengar. Aku beli gitar Kapok dengan harga RM45. Aku beli buku chord gitar. Aku belajar sendiri main gitar. Aku ajak kawan-kawan aku belajar main gitar dengan aku. Kami belajar main lagu Nirvana hanya dengan mendengar kaset dan ikut dengan gitar. We learn by ear. Dengan hanya berbekalkan kepandaian main beberapa chord dan lagu Nirvana, bermulalah zaman jamming aku. Setiap kali habis jamming memang kami tak puas hati. Kami terus belajar untuk main gitar dengan lebih perfect. Belajar lebih banyak lagu Nirvana. Dari gitar aku belajar main bass. Kemudian main dram. The adrenaline rush that we got when we play music is intense. You could almost feel the energy inside the jamming studio. I never felt those kind of energy before. My obsession with Nirvana continues. Bleach, Nevermind, Incesticide, In Utero, Unplugged in New York, a few bootlegs, posters, T-shirts, neck chains, books, magazines, videos, everything and anything that I could lay my hands on that was remotely connected to Nirvana.

By that time, Nirvana was huge. Everybody was jumping on the bandwagon. The kids started wearing flannel shirts, dirty cardigans, torn jeans and Converse. Almost everybody in my school started picking up guitars and went to the nearest jamming studio. Everybody wanted to be Kurt Cobain. He was the poster boy of my generation. He was the definition of cool. For us he was the voice of our teenage angst. The brother that we always wish we have. By the time everybody was just starting to enjoy the Nevermind album, I was discovering more great music. Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, Temple of the Dog, Mother Love Bone, Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, Screaming Trees, Soul Asylum, Dinosaur Jr, Lemonheads, Green River, Melvins, Meat Puppets and of course the mighty Pearl Jam. I started appreciating music. Instead of just hearing the melody, I was now more interested in the music arrangement, the guitar solo, the bassline, the drum beat, the hook, the riff, the bridge, the chorus, the distorted guitar sound, the plucking, the strumming, the slapping and the lyrics. I was interested in writing songs of my own. Composing my own guitar solo. I was expressing myself more through music. I was opening up. I was getting in touch with my inner self. My feelings, my anger, my love, my loathe, my life. Whether I like it or not, music has definitely changed me. And it all started with that one infectious Nirvana song...

After Seattle rock, alternative rock, grunge or whatever u call it started to fade away, and after Cobain died, the spirit of music still carries on. More great music was discovered. Silverchair, Weezer, Radiohead, Hole, Blind Melon, Mad Season, Jane's Addiction, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Offspring, The Breeders, Live, Garbage, Muse, Rancid, Butterfingers, Projek AK, Pilgrims, Subculture, Happy Nightmare, Nice Stupid Playground, Force Vomit, Saturnine, Spiral Kinetic Circus among others, along with those bands that I mentioned earlier, were among the bands that I listen to regularly until now. Those were the bands that define my generation. Everytime I listen to their music, I was transported back to those good old days. No matter how drastic the music industry has changed, those were the music that I truly enjoy. It’s like the 60's with the rock n roll, the 70's with the disco, the 80's with the new wave, the 90's is all about the alternative rock. And the person who is responsible for changing the music industry and pave the way for so many other band is none other than Kurt Cobain. He was the greatest songwriter of my time. Few people could write a song like Cobain. And he seemed so amiable. Everybody liked Kurt, even those people who didn't know a thing about him. I admire him not because of his rock star persona (which he hated) and his suicidal tendencies, but for being a musical genius, a talented songwriter and for the musical legacy that he left behind. Personally, I think Nirvana hasn't only introduced grunge/alternative rock to me. Nirvana has open me up. It makes me appreciate other musical genre like hip-hop (..Jay-Z, Mos Def), electronica (..Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim), gangsta rap (..Tupac, Snoop, Dr Dre), Indo-rock (..Dewa, Padi, Slank, Jamrud, Gigi) and others. If it wasn't for Nirvana, I would be merely listening instead of appreciating the message, the depth and the music that the artist is trying to project in each of their songs. If it wasn't for Nirvana, music is just music rather than an art form of self-expression and freedom. If it wasn't for Nirvana, music would only be an entertainment instead of an escapism. If it wasn't for Nirvana, I would be different. Whether I like it or not, whether I want to believe it or not, that is in fact the truth.

"...oh well, whatever, nevermind."

..Red Legend.

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..the name says it all.
..the BEST.

--George Best 1946-2005--