Ng Su Ann
Best spas in Kuala Lumpur for cheap massages under RM100
Looking for some high-quality rejuvenation but not keen on splashing out at one of Kuala Lumpur’s fancy hotels? Fear not, as the Malaysian capital has plenty of wellness to go around. Sure, you might not get the whole luxury experience at the places listed below, but you’ll also get to spend a handful of bucks to come out feeling like an entirely new person. Well, you’ll be the same person, just in a more relaxed state of mind. KL’s attractions and restaurants are legendary, but more and more people are finding out about the fantastic wellness roster that the city holds within its borders. These are the best cheap spas in the Garden City of Lights. While we’re here, how delightful is that nickname? Gorgeous stuff.
The best flower delivery services in KL
Shopping for a bouquet of flowers doesn't always need to be a chore. Show that someone you care without even leaving your desk with our list of KL's top online florists for all occasions including weddings, birthdays, Valentine's Day, anniversaries and more. Go grand with a dozen red roses or surprise someone with a beautiful rustic arrangement of wildflowers, all with a click of a button.
The best cafés in Johor Bahru
Jalan Dhoby is the best place to start your JB café-hopping adventure. Ten minutes away on foot from City Square Mall, the narrow street has the highest concentration of cafés, from coffee shops to trendy brunch eateries. We packed our passports (and cameras), hopped on a bus, and paid a visit to our closest neighbour to bring you the 12 best cafés in Johor Bahru, close to the causeway and beyond. RECOMMENDED Ultimate guide to Johor Bahru, the best family-friendly activities in Johor Bahru and the best supper spots in Johor Bahru
Designer looks for less than RM100
There’s no secret to becoming a successful secondhand shopper – but then again, I’m a seasoned hand. I’ve spent a lifetime shopping at undesirable, unexpected places, like bundle stores, pasar malams, and, um, Sungei Wang Plaza. No, it’s not just that it’s cheap; I like the character of vintage clothing, the details, the quality. Thrifting is a treasure hunt and a game of hits and misses; be prepared to spend hours shopping in a cramped, dusty space that smells like a basement, and by the end of it, still not find anything you want to take home. Be patient – that aged leather jacket, Kenzo T-shirt, or velvet button-up skirt is out there somewhere. Also, a good two-thirds of shops in Berjaya Times Square and Sungei Wang Plaza – as well as bundle shops and vintage stalls – have a strict no-trying policy. That, or the store simply doesn’t have a fitting room. I only have one word for you: alteration. If a dress works better as a top, cut it short. If a skirt’s too long, cut it short. Finally, to paraphrase Macklemore, cop it, please, please, please wash it, then go and get some compliments.
Best things to do in Melaka
There's only so many times you can visit A'Famosa or the Stadthuys after the initial thrill of seeing those historical structures in Melaka. Give the obvious destinations a miss and learn top spinning from a gasing expert, view treasured Peranakan jewellery, read a vintage comic during an ear-cleaning session, wander through forgotten streets and more with our guide to the best things to do in Melaka.
Best of Melaka: Cafés, restaurants and bars
Rickety rickshaws and tourist traps are all fun and games during your first visit to Melaka, but you'll be looking for the real deal soon enough. Skip the first-timers' attractions and sit down to a Peranakan dinner, eat putu piring, sip flavoured rice wine at a four-generation family-owned bar, and more with our guide to the best cafés, restaurants and bars in Melaka. Chicken rice balls still included.
The best barbershops in KL
There’s never been a better time to get a classic cut and shave at KL’s modern barbershops. Here, we check out the city's best places for cool hair and wet shaves.
The best cafés in Johor Bahru
Going to Johor Bahru for a weekend getaway? Make sure you add 'café-hopping' to your itinerary; Johor's capital city has everything from coffee shops with award-winning baristas to trendy brunch eateries. Here are five of our favourites. For more places to eat around Malaysia, see our list of best food trails. PS: When you return to KL, head to these top KL coffee shops.
Guide to Plaza Batai
We’re calling it: Previously a hidden gem in the crown of Damansara Heights, Plaza Batai is now a yuccie enclave. The two rows of two-storey shophouses built in the ’70s have had, in recent times, a revival of sorts involving closures and new openings, new tenants and relocations. Its charm now comes with commercial corridors; its streets lined with inventive modern eateries and shops. The development has brought more foot traffic to the neighbourhood, and for better or for worse, Jalan Batai has fallen to the forces of gentrification – but there are still traces of residential calm, and you can still get your kopi peng from a classy kopitiam. Here are the must-go places at Plaza Batai.
The top 30 local tracks of 2015
We’re not definitively declaring 2015 as the best year in the history of hip hop – but we’re definitely declaring that we’ve been blessed with a ton of game-changing, major hip hop releases this year in KL. It was a good year for local music, we think, and choosing only 30 songs was a cruel, cruel process. This list isn’t about what’s wrong about the songs that didn’t make it to this list; it’s about what’s right with the songs that did. It’s not an exact science. It’s not mathematics. We didn’t sit down to systematically decide that this particular track was seven percent greater than this other track (please no more mathematics). Some songs on this list are just enjoyable earworms that we listened to on repeat this year; others we felt displayed skill of some sort, and so on and so forth. Presenting, Time Out KL’s list of 30 top tracks this year and the reasons we chose them. Listen on Spotify.
The top 30 local tracks of 2016
It’s been a good year for local music and 30 barely covers it all. Just as we mentioned last year, there is no science or mathematics to this, these are the songs that we listened to the most throughout the year. Listen on Spotify.
Best brow bars in KL
Whether you're getting ready for a special occasion or just need a quick brow fix, we've brows-ed them all for you. So for all your brow threading, tweezing and waxing needs, here are the brow bars that wow.
Listings and reviews (11)
Isetan The Japan Store
The Malaysian embrace of Japan is nothing new. In a city and a country already well-versed with the culture, merits and imports of Japan, the launch and opening of Isetan The Japan Store at Lot 10 is the icing on the proverbial cake; it's the first of its kind in the world, aside from its smaller counterpart store within the Japan Cultural Institute in Paris, France. Isetan The Japan Store is a swanky specialty store, featuring 11,000 sq m spread over six floors of fashion, lifestyle and technological products from Japan, with more than 200 brands debuting outside of Japan for the first time. In concept, it differs from other departmental store as the products are coordinated and curated around the four pillars of the Japanese philosophy of aesthetics: iki (cool), miyabi (elegance), sen (sophistication) and so (pure). For the time being, only five floors are operating, with each floor designed with and dedicated to a single theme: The Market, The Museum, The Studio, The Room, and The Cube. The sixth and final floor, The Table (a premium dining floor featuring authentic Japanese cuisine), is set to open in Jan 2017. Dine and shop for seasonal groceries at The Market. The floor offers authentic Japanese food and flavours, as well as seasonal ingredients (fresh fish filets, sashmi, meat, and so on) from each of Japan's regions. Here, you'll be able to sample Japanese green tea and sweets from Fukujuen, Henri Charpentier, Ginza West, Minamoto Kitchoan and Toraya. There's also a
The Oven Cuttery
Barber-musician multi-hyphenate Kevin Tan – formerly of OTHRS barbers – has his own salon space now: The Oven Cuttery, located inside Battery Acid Club. First and foremost, it’s home to Mentega, Kevin’s own oil-based pomade (#whatbutteryisthis, he’s also an entrepreneur/hair scientist) – but it’s also a barbershop, where the master barber will treat your whiskers to a beard trim (RM15), an old-fashioned straight razor shave with a hot towel service (RM25), and so on. Haircuts, which come also with a hot towel service, start at RM38. By appointment only.
This neighbourhood joint, formerly known as Amplitude Barbershop, is a triple threat – barbershop, music store, and academy for dance and music. Chief barber Lex Low has been practising the craft of the cut since he was 16 years old; in June he partnered up with Jonathan Lim, founder of Amplitude Music, to open the barbershop. In the front and on the walls, guitars are mounted alongside posters of rockers past and present; the back area is the barber space, decked with a couch, leather chairs and pomade products from America, Holland and Indonesia. Lex also brews his own pomade – the water-based LeQuiff&Co – and takes to the streets to cut hair for the homeless, the orang asli and the underprivileged. Go in for a beard trim, a haircut, a fade, and have a conversation with the boys – it has a hip-but-homey vibe, without a hint of pretension. They also offer free cuts by their barber apprentices, under the watchful eyes of Lex, of course.
P Lal Store
A family-owned shoe store located along Jalan Gasing, P. Lal is an education in European heritage shoemakers – think Barker, Cheaney, Crockett & Jones (super spy James Bond wears these), Gaziano & Girling and Sutor Mantellassi. The PJ store is well worth a visit to chat with the know-all staff associates – and soak up that irresistible smell of leather. Fun fact: P. Lal has been in operation since 1929. Another fun fact: The store claims to have the largest collection of Loake shoes in the world. A final fun fact: the late Yasmin Ahmad (celebrated Malaysian filmmaker, writer) produced panel and print ads for P. Lal way back when it was still located at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and prices were in ‘$’ and not ‘RM’.
A'aroma Concept Beauty & Spa Boutique
I've recently decided I was going to start taking proper care of my skin as I no longer have youth on my side (note: apparently, your twenties is as good a time as any to worry about age spots, fine lines and wrinkles). In an attempt to solve all my new skin-centric woes, I put on my big girl pants and booked a big girl facial. I ended up at the cozy, garden-like A’aroma, a concept aromatherapy beauty and spa boutique. A’aroma is the country’s first Aromatherapy Associates salon – a brand with roots in the UK – that boasts the usage of all-natural, organic products in its treatments. My aesthetician looked over my skin as I sat sipping floral tea (my ‘welcome tea’, as she put it) and explained to me the nitty-gritty of A’aroma’s signature Essential Rose Facial, before leading me to my room. After cleansing my face, she began to massage it to encourage relaxation and to release tension. A brief spell of hot steaming followed; it supposedly aids gentle exfoliation, boosts hydration, and has a soothing, smoothing effect. Mostly, it was all prep for the real work: extraction. Think of it as a cosmetic courtship; it’s all about coaxing out the contents of the clogged pores with oils, steaming and exfoliation. Extractions can be so cathartic; it’s the same sort of manic satisfaction I feel post-wax, or after I pop a pimple. Bonus: it wasn’t as painful as I had built it up to be in my head, and lasted maybe 20 minutes. For the finishing touches, there was a face mask, ice rollers ac
The Wknd Store
Here’s a store you can swear by, audiophiles, casual collectors and vinyl junkies: The Wknd now has a store for all your Malaysian and Southeast Asian music needs. Welcome to The Wknd Store. The store itself may be a relative newcomer to the city’s record scene, but Fikri Fadzil’s music platform The Wknd has long set the agenda of the independent music scene in Malaysia and beyond; think the long-running music series ‘The Wknd Sessions’, which showcases live, stripped down performances by artists in the region. These acts run the gamut from up-and-coming and unsigned to heavyweight names, and the genres are just as varied, which you’ll find is reflective of the inventory in-store. The shop is smaller than most, but it holds its own with a well-stocked – and growing! – selection of records (plus cassettes and CDs) by local and regional acts, alongside T-shirts, tote bags and zines. Bonus: there’s a resident cat, but Bullet’s probably too cool to hang with you.
You can’t miss da:mén – with a name that literally translates to ‘big doors’ in Mandarin, USJ’s da:mén boasts a big red gateway entrance, complete with cymbals and lanterns. Plus, it’s located along Jalan Kewajipan in Subang Jaya, one of the busiest main roads in the area. Some figures: six-storey, 280 retail outlets, 420,000 sq ft. Every floor offers a specific shopping experience – the 10,000 sq ft Beauty Queendom, for example, was designed for all your beauty needs and is anchored by SaSa Zensation in collaboration with A Cut Above and Oriental Spa, housing brands such as Beautime, Bloop, Hanna & Kent, Kasumi Beauty and Wunderbath. da:mén has some choice dining fare too. AM-PM has day-to-night dining, with outlets open from 10am until late at night (as in, beyond 10pm); AKIBA is a Japanese food street concept restaurant located on the fourth floor; and there’s also The Canteen, a cashless concept food hall with 12 food stalls and themed seating areas. Other dining options include Grand Harbour Restaurant, Grandmama’s, Morganfields, Tonkatsu, Sangkaya, Sukiya, Tea Press, and many more. Also, check out PasarBella, Singapore’s artisan concept marketplace. If not, there’s always the ever-reliable Jaya Grocer at the lower ground floor.
In 15 minutes, you can squeeze in a quick snooze; you can read a chapter or two in a book; you can drive from Sri Hartamas to the city centre if it’s a good traffic day. Pink Parlour waxed me clean in 15 minutes. I feel like that’s about all anyone needs to know come bikini season and below-the-belt grooming is in order: 15 minutes is fast! It’s nothing! Of course, I’m comparing this to the first and worst and, until that point, last time I got my privates ripped out at another salon, which lasted 45 minutes – an eternity during which I prayed for death and questioned all my life decisions that had led to that exact moment. Back to Pink Parlour: I woke up bright and early on the Saturday of my appointment with the Singaporean brand – my booking was online and hitch-free, by the way – and ended up sitting in my car at the parking lot of Sunway Putra Mall for a good ten minutes, wondering why women wax. Yes, yes, I regularly wax other parts of my body: eyebrows, upper lips, underarms, legs, the list goes on. But a Brazilian wax calls for applying warm wax all over your nether regions with your legs spread open in a birth-giving position, while a stranger gets up close and personal with your labia majora so she can rip hair out of your roots, and all the while she’s asking you questions about your life, your love life or lack thereof, your grandmother’s birthday parties. I had heard that some women develop a hopeless addiction to Brazilian waxes – maybe it’s something to do with
Blow dry bars, that’s where it’s at, ladies. Having said that, however, I rarely – if ever – go to blow dry bars; the entirety of my hair care routine is me washing my hair with sulphate-free shampoo about three times a week, and bending over at the waist to blow dry my hair upside down for extra body and volume. Also, I have bleached hair. I’m beyond help. Cue Simpli Dry, the salon for girls on the go. It’s a blow dry beauty bar that provides professional wash-and-blow, scalp and shoulder massages, treatments and manicures and pedicures (by appointment only) – just note that there’re no cut and colour services available. While it’s not the first to debut as a blow dry bar in KL – that honour belongs to Dry Parlour, though it shut its doors last year – it’s still something of a novelty. For one thing, Simpli Dry is open from 7.30am on weekdays for your morning meetings, or for the days you have to leave immediately after office hours to rush off to a dinner date where you’re required to look respectable, at the very least. It’s an airy, white-walled space on Jalan Batai – bare bulbs hang from high ceilings against wide mirrors, the seats are cushy leather, and there are hot pink blow dryers resting on each station’s marble countertop. There’s a play corner for children, and the back area of the salon is reserved for manicures and pedicures. The playlist is poppish but not distracting; even the constant hum of traffic drifting in from the main highways outside is comforting. I
Long live retail: Following in the footsteps of other shopping sites, FashionValet has set up a brick-and-mortar store five years after it got its start in 2010. It appears there’s still value in physical shops after all – especially for people who want to feel, see and try on products before they make their purchases. The 2,456 sq ft store is spacious to say the least: it’s mostly minimal but sophisticated, with gold accents set off by plush carpeting and seating. It currently carries a curated selection of clothes, along with accessories, bags, and shoes as well as beauty care products from over 400 brands available at FashionValet. Think household names the likes of Alia Bastamam, Biyan, and Mimpikita, as well as Kittie YiYi, Nelissa Hilman, Soonaru, Sean & Sheila, Wunderbath Co. and many more. As for accessories, there’s the very popular Daniel Wellington, which has been relaunched on FashionValet, as well as Cluse watches and Dipped Row earrings and necklaces. Take note that the in-store selection will be regularly rotated, so check in every now and then. Also, along the marble wall that dominates the left half of the store, the good people of FashionValet have installed three tablets where you can, you know, shop online as well as offline. Now you get the buzz of two separate, very distinct experiences: the retail therapy moment of walking into a store and trying on new things, and then there’s the rush of thrill at receiving – and then unwrapping – a package deliver
Full disclosure: This writer ‘drifted off to a dreamlike state’ at the midpoint of the two-hour top-to-toe treatment at Essa Spa (re: I fell asleep). In my defence, that was the whole point of the massage, but we’ll come to that in a minute. The 14,558 sq ft spa in question is a calming retreat in the concrete jungle, smack dab in the middle of the city centre, no less; the privacy it provides and the sheer enormity of the space make it a great choice for a getaway. It features 11 treatment rooms, including two couple suites, and each is equipped with an adjustable massage bed, an integrated shower and a washroom. Soak in the whirlpool Jacuzzis; sweat it out in the 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness centre, saunas or steam rooms; swim in the outdoor pool kept at a constant 28C; snooze at the cabanas and lounge chairs lining the aforementioned outdoor pool – the choice is yours. My choice was the Essential Calm treatment, a two-part treatment that returns the body to equilibrium through ‘well-choreographed rituals created with the ancient Malaysian healing art of ramuan’, relaxes one into a deep dream state, and smoothes away one’s stress. The two-hour treatment began with the Jasmine Smooth: a jasmine scrub that sloughed away at my dull, dehydrated skin revealing smoother skin. Post-scrub, I took a short shower to wash off the sweet-smelling exfoliators, and then it’s back to the bed in my softly-lit, spacious suite, soundtracked by soothing music for the second part of the tre
Ten places to get last minute Christmas gifts
Time’s a-ticking, and it's mere days to Christmas. If you still haven't settled your festive shopping, here are ten places to run to for good last minute presents. Lifeshop Atelier A life without Lifeshop Atelier is no life at all. Expect to spot a variety of carefully curated, quirky furniture and décor, ranging from antique art pieces to chic vintage French round chairs, and clothing, confections, lighting, scents, and stationery. Sunday’s Sunday’s is stuffed with everything from ceramic cups, pillows, and toys, plus artwork prints, vintage knick knacks, and other home décor essentials. Nala Designs Photo: Ng Su Ann Even if it is a last minute gift, your giftee will be feeling the love for months to come with a present from Nala Designs. The handcrafted, locally-grown brand, which began as a salmagundi of stationery, has expanded to include accessories, books, clothing, home décor and homeware. Ben’s Independent Grocer The grocer is a great place to source (edible) presents for your foodie friend. Think balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and T2 teas. Pick up a bottle of wine on your way out. Kaison Malaysia The gift and home décor retailer delivers affordable, cute-sy home furnishings. Think of it as an atas Daiso. Come here for framed inspirational-type quotes and metal plates, mugs, mass-produced artwork and paintings, pillows, soft toys, stationery, wooden letter blocks, and home décor items. Ilaika Photo: Ng Su Ann Pick up something thoughtful from pur
Now Open: Isetan The Japan Store
The Malaysian embrace of Japan is nothing new. In a city and a country already well-versed with the culture, merits and imports of Japan, the launch and opening of Isetan The Japan Store at Lot 10 is the icing on the proverbial cake; it's the first of its kind in the world, aside from its smaller counterpart store within the Japan Cultural Institute in Paris, France. Isetan The Japan Store is a swanky specialty store, featuring 11,000 sq m spread over six floors of fashion, lifestyle and technological products from Japan, with more than 200 brands debuting outside of Japan for the first time. In concept, it differs from other departmental store as the products are coordinated and curated around the four pillars of the Japanese philosophy of aesthetics: iki (cool), miyabi (elegance), sen (sophistication) and so (pure). For the time being, only five floors are operating, with each floor designed with and dedicated to a single theme: The Market, The Museum, The Studio, The Room, and The Cube. The sixth and final floor, The Table (a premium dining floor featuring authentic Japanese cuisine), is set to open in Jan 2017. We break down every floor and its offerings below: Fresh produce and dine-in eating bars at The Market The Market Best for: Bites, Japanese sweets and seasonal groceries Dine and shop for seasonal groceries at The Market. The floor offers authentic Japanese food and flavours, as well as seasonal ingredients (seafood, sashimi, meat, vegetabl
Watch Jocelyn Stemilyn's new music video 'Pedicure'
‘I like to break myself,’ Jocelyn Stemilyn begins to sing, softly, ‘You probably didn’t know that’. The singer-songwriter works through several devastating themes on her latest single: love and loneliness; her exasperation, displayed front and centre; a pretty pedicure hiding her pain, like a too-wide smile stretched over sad lips. There’s a lot going on sonically; it’s a song that’s carefully, painstakingly crafted. The beats build up in the background: it grows into a full groove – the bass thumps, the synths twirl – but stutters and segues, and the last minute of the song sounds like a lullaby for the self. ‘It’s time to come clean that what we want is less than what we need.’ There’s an accompanying music video, too (frequent collaborator Dae Kim directs, with additional shots by hqa aka HAVERHUCK VHS), in which Jocelyn goes through the motions: posing for a family portrait; standing her ground as people, walking past, shove her aside; painting her nails. When Jocelyn tears down the wallpaper behind her, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper' comes to mind – and we ask, at which point does the lady go insane? It doesn’t end well, but what’s ‘well’, anyway? For more, visit www.facebook.com/jocelynstemilynmusic.
City stories: Nasib Lemak at Appu Uncle Curry House
We like people who try their best to elevate Malaysian cuisine to new heights. This fortune-telling nasi lemak from Appu Uncle is one such example. Instead of trying to recreate the nasi lemak in roti canai form or the tried-and-tired nasi lemak ice cream, Appu Uncle decided to insert fortunes into packets of nasi lemak – ie the Malaysian Indian version of a Chinese fortune cookie. Nasib Lemak, as Appu Uncle – who may or may not be a real person – tells us, is the first thing you eat in the morning, so why shouldn’t it be fun to read as well? Eat them and read them, he says. We bought a few packets of Nasib Lemak one morning and while the nasi could do with a touch more sambal, here’s what we think about our fortunes: ‘When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane’ – Appu Uncle ‘First of all, this fortune is a lie – nothing’s working out my way. Also, this is better suited to the cab driver I had earlier today, who drove very dangerously on the wrong lane the entire ride. Thank you for the splitting headache.’ – Ng Su Ann ‘Sometimes a man just needs to get his hands dirty, to finish off that banana leaf’ – Appu Uncle ‘This is actually deeply profound. I shall go to Lebuh Ampang for a banana leaf rice lunch.’ – Joyce Koh ‘Change will not come to those who don’t go to the cashier’ – Appu Uncle ‘What if I ask for the bill instead?’ – Nadia Rosli Nasib Lemak available from 7am-11.30am; 3pm onwards. For Nasib Lemak deliveries, email appuunclecurryhouse@g
Watch now: Three new local music videos
It's a long weekend. To celebrate Malaysia Day, here are three new music videos to watch from local rock favourites Kyoto Protocol, hip hop duo Home Court, and up-and-coming rappers A-Kid, K-Main and Klash. 1. A-Kid feat. K-Main and Klash – Apa Lagi Kita Mau Rap rages against racism, sort of, in A-Kid’s ‘Apa Lagi Kita Mau’ featuring K-Main and Klash. Many artists have been politicising their music in popular culture – think Beyoncé ‘Lemonade’ and Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ – and to ease into the exploration of what really makes Malaysia, A-Kid and co. are contributing to the conversation via candid, tongue-in-cheek humour. The fact that the boys are all dressed in baju Melayu, kurta and samfu (plus, a Pagoda T-shirt) only touches the 1Malaysia theme on the surface – listen closer to the lyrics, which sing themselves, really. Behold: On the elections: ‘Berapa kali #inikalilah / nanti kata Cina tunjuk kepala, apa lah’. On bah kut teh: ‘Bak kut teh Klang is the best / fuck what you say’. On racist humour, and why they’re no laughing matter: ‘I’m dark skinned, so I’m robbing / better hide your money, boy / ‘Cha, where are you macha, cannot see!’ / That shit ain’t funny’. Lastly, some quick talking points of note: Jin Hackman and Dae Kim make an appearance, along with singer-songwriter Jocelyn Stemilyn; Haverhuck VHS (aka hqa) directs; and ‘Apa Lagi Kita Mau’ is only A-Kid’s debut single. 2. Home Court – Sun Flare ‘Sunflare’ start off slowly, softly – then, t
Five free things to do at The Cooler Lumpur Festival 2016
Southeast Asia’s first and only festival of culture and ideas, Cooler Lumpur returns this year (Sep 10-11 at MAP @ Publika) to delve into all things independence in its fourth installment. Themed ‘RE: Independence’, the festival will attempt to re-examine what it really means to be truly independent in mind and spirit – as a person, as a community, as a nation. Here, we highlight five free and unmissable events. RE: English, Singlish, Manglish Fuad Rahmat speaks to an English person, a Singaporean and two Malaysians about the English language – more specifically, the adoption and appropriation, the mangling and the mixing, and the use and abuse of the language. On the panel are journalist and theatre critic Kate Bassett; Singaporean born and bred author Cheryl Tan; and Malaysian writers Chuah Guat Eng and Hanna Alkaf. Sep 10, 6-7pm, Black Box RE: On being MalaysianLat aka The Kampung Boy is a cartoonist – a national hero – who captures the many subtleties of Malaysian society through his comics. Over the decades, his cartoons have come to identify what it means to be Malaysian – and Kam Raslan speaks to Lat about exactly that in this one-on-one conversation. After, stay for the book signing session which will be held at the White Box. Sep 11, 10-11am, Black Box RE: Crossing Paths – Spiritual Resources for Queer/Trans Empowerment In an intimate conversation with Leyla Jagiella, Joseph N Goh discusses the frequency in which political clashes and conflicts are often imagined as
The 10 best Simple Plan lyrics
Welcome to our lives. We pay tribute to the Canadian pop punk band’s angsty anthems with the top ten Simple Plan lyrics every former emo kid will – can – never forget. From ‘Perfect’ Best for: When you mess up your eyeliner. From ‘Welcome To My Life’ Best for: When you shop away half of your pay cheque the first week of the month and have to eat roti canai for the next three weeks. From ‘When I’m Gone’ Best for: When Instagram pulled the ‘Stories’ stunt (Instagram is Instagram and Snapchat is Snapchat, fam, don’t challenge the status quo). From ‘Addicted’ Best for: When it’s Sunday night and you realise you wasted the whole weekend binge-watching Netflix. From ‘I’m Just A Kid’ Best for: When your friends make plans without you. From ‘I’d Do Anything’ Best for: When you’re stuck at work and you can’t wait to go home to your cat(s). From ‘Untitled’ Best for: When you’re stuck at dinner with a date from hell. From ‘Me Against The World’ Best for: When you had to file your taxes, like, yesterday but you don’t know how to. From ‘Save You’ Best for: When your iPhone charging cord gives up on life. From ‘Shut Up’ Best for: When an old acquaintance calls you up to sell you insurance or worse, to invest in his MLM plan. Catch the band live in concert on Sep 7. For more info visit imclive-group.com.
Introducing Amplify FM, Malaysia’s first online radio station to play only local music
Malaysia is ready for a radio platform dedicated to Malaysian-made music. Enter Amplify FM, the country’s first online radio station to exclusively play only local music by homegrown musical talents. It’s available by streaming on computers, phones and tablets. To critics who say that there simply isn’t enough good local content to fill up the airtime, Amplify FM will lay to rest that argument. Featuring exclusive tracks and even full albums from many Malaysian bands whose names should be familiar to you – Kyoto Protocol, for example, and Froya – the radio station will introduce a world of local music to listeners, as well as finally giving Malaysian artists the airtime they deserve – that is to say, 24/7 and without commercial interruptions to boot. Featured artists on Amplify FM include electronica duo +2dB, pop punk outfit An Honest Mistake, jazz trio Bassment Syndicate, singer-songwriter Bihzhu, theatrical pop group Fazz, R&B/pop act GTXperiment, acoustic soft rock band Jumero, dance rock outfit KissKillMary, electropop duo Macropsia (in which Froya is one-half of), radio-friendly pop musicians Paperplane Pursuit, singer-songwriter Talitha Tan and blues rock band The Endleaves. Also, here’s a sneak peek of what’s next to come for Guinness Amplify for the rest of the year: Firstly, the Amplify Live Tour returns in September to host free weekly shows featuring local acts in Klang Valley, Ipoh, Penang and Johor; and secondly, a two-day celebration and performances on Sep 30
Drink for good: A Rumah Api fundraiser
Chase those pesky Monday blues away – preferably with a cold beer, and even better, the knowledge that you’ll be doing good while drinking said cold beer(s). If you’re the type to need a reason to drink, you’re in luck: In the spirit of solidarity, Brian Gomez’s Merdekarya – the shindig du jour for independent live music, art, dan lain-lain – is holding a fundraiser for port of punk music Rumah Api tonight. ICYMI, a fire broke out at Rumah Api on the morning of Jul 19 last week. According to Man Beranak, a co-operator and -owner of Rumah Api and member of hardcore thrash band Sarjan Hassan, the fire ‘destroyed the entire building electrical system’. The cost of re-installing and re-wiring will add up to approximately RM5,000. Rumah Api hasn’t seen the best of days in recent times. The Star recently reported Tan Sri Noh Omar, the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government minister as stating that the proposed Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Elevated Expressway (SUKE) highway will go on as planned, despite months of complaints and protests. The Star also reported that development of the highway, which will cut through Pekan Ampang – where Rumah Api is located – will mark the closure of the local independent punk venue, along with over 40 pre-war premises in Pekan Ampang, built during the British era and some over a hundred years old. Come through tonight, there will be beers, music (on the lineup are instrumental rock act Skits, folk musician Hameer Zawawi, and singer-songwriter Brend
The 10 best The Venopian Solitude lyrics
ICYMI, Malaysia’s very own experimental electro-pop singer-songwriter The Venopian Solitude – aka Takahara Suiko of ‘Tenangkan Bontot Anda’ fame – has been invited to attend the reputable Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal from September 24 to October 28 this year. There, she will join 69 other up-and-coming music-makers from 38 countries all around the world, including Lebanon, Iceland and Peru. This is a big deal because a) she happens to be the first Malaysian musician to have been selected to join Red Bull’s world-travelling music institution; b) she was chosen from over 3,500 applicants from 102 countries; and c) by the way, past Red Bull Music Academy alumni include Flying Lotus, Hudson Mokawke, and Katy B. To celebrate, we present you: the ten best The Venopian Solitude lyrics thus far, picked from albums such as ‘A Slur Of Slothfulness’ and ‘I Spent 10 Hours On This Bunch Of Crap’ from 2011, to her most recent full-length ‘Hikayat Perawan Majnun’ in 2014. She released yet another EP – the latest in a long list of albums – ‘Kereta Merah’ last year, a conceptual collection of songs adapted from the Malaysian nursery rhyme. From 'A City' From 'Radical Addiction' From 'Lumrah Raya' From 'Tenangkan Bontot Anda' From 'Radical Blues' From 'Hadiah Untukmu' From 'Radical Addiction' From 'History In A Piece' From 'Kehadapan Para Pencemar' From 'Lagu Jeles' For more music, visit www.thevenopiansolitude.bandcamp.com. For updates on Red Bull Music
Vote for your favourite Tiger Jams finalists
Here’s a quick recap: We’ve written about Tiger Jams before – the music and art initiative by Tiger Beer to help local undiscovered artists be, well, discovered – and the ten finalists, as shortlisted by a panel of music industry veterans, are TMJB, Cats in Love, Nick Yungkit, Mango Bicycle, Home Court, Donamarie, Rozella, RYÖT JONES, Son Of A Policeman, and The Backseat Affair. Darren Ashley Photo: All Is Amazing From these ten, your votes on the website will ultimately narrow it down to the top three. The top three local acts will win RM15,000 each to fund their musical dreams, and they’ll be paired up with Hong Kong’s punk pop outfit ToNick, Singapore’s pop band The Sam Willows and Malaysia’s own producer extraordinaire Darren Ashley (as well as three established visual artists: Donald Abraham, Flex, and Kenji Chai) to produce an original Tiger Jams track and music video. Plus, a mystery renowned international artist will then handpick one of the top three finalists to collaborate with on a remix, which they’ll perform at the big finale. You’ve got until June 30 to vote for your favourite Tiger Jams finalists. For more info and to vote, visit tigerjams.com.
How to decorate your table on a budget
Photo: Shawn Lor/PixelPix Studio When it comes to a Japanese-style table setting, there's no need to splash out. Instead, head to Daiso for thrifty tableware finds to add a little zen to your dining. Need help? These are our top five styling tips: 1. It’s a classic cliché, but flowers are always a good idea. If you’re not into flowers, then might we suggest fruits, herbs or vegetables - think lemons as place cards or succulent table runners. We used twigs picked up by the side of the streets. You can too.2. Patterns: they’re made to match, but are more fun when they’re mixed. Here’s a crash course in clashing courses: if you’re unsure, choose compatible colour palettes; layer dense-patterned plates with the not-so-dense; and remember, some repetition is good.3. Try some DIY decoration – think candles in old wine bottles and glasses, flowers in rustic wood boxes as centrepieces, or drape vintage jewellery over silverware.4. Improvise, improvise, improvise. If you can’t fold napkins, just roll them up. Use linen curtains as table runners or wood cutting boards for cheese platters. There are shortcuts. Find them.5. Add some finishing touches to your tablescape. We like a final bit of shine and sparkle with some gold-plated cutlery to set the scene. All items from Daiso 1 Utama (03 7732 9588), Avenue K (03 2188 7500), Mid Valley (03 2201 9696) and Publika (03 6206 3282). All items at only RM5.30 each. Styling by Ng Su Ann, assisted by Joyce Koh.