Tiger throws a gig

And it was a good one. More like a festival than anything else. Began real early too, kicking off at 5pm, and going on till about 1am.

I liked the spot – APW in Bangsar, which i’ve visited for cocktails at the pop-up bar 44, as well as for a few Chivas events. Translate however took the entire area – a coupla warehouses included.

Translate happens around the world, and  features creativity in the field of music and art. So there was a good mix of artistry, by Malaysians and foreigners.

The images can tell the story.


Welcome sign

Welcome board


Funky art

Random art


Here.. kitty kitty! Awesome piece made of shattered glass and mirrors, by Louise Low….



.. who also designed this special huggaz beer koozie for Tiger Beer, which keeps your beers chilled

and this was designed by HK artists Parent’s Parents:


who also designed the simple n cool outdoor bar:



Andrew doin his thing

Andrew doin his thing


Blood Red Shoes - awesome energy for a two-piece

Blood Red Shoes – killa energy for a two-piece


One of three bars

One of three bars


The set-up was awesome – a mix of outdoor & indoor


Warehouse gig - been awhile

Warehouse gig – been awhile


Thailand's Rukkit Kuanhawate's Tiger head artwork.

Thai artist Rukkit made this cool piece..


.. and designed this huggaz

.. and designed this huggaz

The huggaz-Tiger Beer collaboration koozies were limited editions, and guests could get them by registering. However, you can get your own huggaz koozies here.

The event had a great atmosphere, and everybody looked content and happy. Lotsa beer went down over the evening dats for sure!

Tiger Translate looks set to be an annual gig. It’s definitely bold and something different from the mainstream; lookin forward for Tiger to unleash the next episode.


Brain damage: 8/10


Heineken and Guinness rock on

Heineken has launched a new label for some of its bottled beers, featuring six cities of the world. It’s a global campaign aimed at inspiring people to get out of their routines and start exploring their cities. A good idea.

Fortunately KL is one of them, so there was a cool party called Cities of the World to introduce the Cities bottle and campaign. It went down in an industrial zone in PJ, and the set-up (from scratch) was really good.

New Heineken Bottles.

Getting to the bar / music area required some navigation, and it felt like a maze, and i opened quite a few dud doors. There were exhibits and all along the way, and some salsa thing goin on.



Goin somewhere?

The main room featured an island bar and DJs on ground-level decks. Among the performers were Goldfish and Blink, as well as Hulkas. The boys from Hulkas rocked it. Awesome house set.

Hulkas in action

Bust a move

Heineken says that the campaign aims to “inspire people to move away from their usual habits and discover more within their own backyard.” It would be interesting to see how they plan to do this.

Salud. (pix by @juzliv)

Salud (pix by @juzliv)

There’s a website that’s been built to give people a look into interesting locations around them. Not very impressed with it though. Lack of content.

I’ve seen a lot of my city, but coincidentally i plan to see more of the inner city soon, by booking a couple of days in a hotel downtown. And explore.

New Heineken Bottles

Drinkers will find a unique code under the cap of each limited-edition bottle, which gives people a chance to win prizes, including an opportunity to unlock worldly adventures in New York. You can checkout the site here.


GUINNESS meanwhile has launched the Amplify campaign, one that’s based on music.

With this, the Arthur’s Day seems discontinued. Amplify seems more focused on local talent, and more personal as opposed to Arthur’s Day’s mega gigs.


Launch in session at a bar in PJ

It’s a platform for extraordinary local musicians to showcase their talent alongside international stars, and will feature fourteen of Malaysia’s best acts including Kyoto Protocol, Paperplane Pursuit, OJ Law, Froya, and An Honest Mistake. International act Howie Day will be joining the party on Sept 6 at The Bee, which is the kick-off.

4. Guinness Amplify Live Tour Listings

Admission to the 6 shows in the Guinness Amplify Live Tour will be free of charge and on a first-come, first-served basis, and will feature special promos on Guinness throughout the night. More details here.


Dying for fun – what caused it? What next?

It sucks when people die when they’re out to have fun. There’ve been many such incidents all around the world. Some at tourists spots (like alcohol poisoning in Bali), others at bars or clubs, and some at music festivals /raves, like the ones below:

Love Parade, Germany (2010) – 21 dead after being crushed by others in a tunnel. Love Parade has since ceased.

Electric Zoo, New York (2013) – 2 dead after taking what they thought was MDMA. It is thought they instead consumed bath salts disguised as pure MDMA crystals. Event called off.

ASOT @ Future Music Festival Asia (March 15, 2014) – 6 dead after taking what they would have thought was Ecstasy. Event called off.

ASOT, Jakarta (March 18, 2014, ie, YESTERDAY) – 3 dead after ”suspected drug overdose”


Fun times

Fun times

Whatever crap that killed guests on Day 2 could still be circulating on Day 3, and more could have died. By cancelling it and highlighting the deaths, hopefully those who were planning to consume a pill obtained at random would have decided otherwise, and avoided another cluster-fuck.

Sure, it sucked. Plans were made, money was spent, etc. In fact, I had a huggaz booth between Stage 2 and Stage 3 (stages that would’ve been only activated on Day 3), selling official FMFA 2014 koozies. So i lost a couple of grand. Fortunately, i was cool about it.



(BTW if anybody is keen on scoring the above FMFA 2014 koozies as souvenirs, you can mail me via this link; going for only ten bucks a pop. Would appreciate your support.)

Or purchase online here.

I’ve been attending raves n festivals since  the early Noughties. All types – legal, illegal, in the forest, on a roof, in warehouses, on the beach, in a prison, in the hills, on monkey islands. Have never seen any tragedy. In fact, i’ve organized a few myself – no permits, no rules, no sponsors,  no bullshit. All underground.

And all were ‘safe’.

Six deaths are goddam catastrophic.

It will affect future events, funding, n sponsorship too.

Nearly 100% of chemical drugs like MDMA and LSD are increasingly cut with other substances for profit.

So what might have killed our fest-buddies on Saturday? I would speculate that it could have been either:

– mephedrone (aka ‘bath salts aka meow-meow’) disguised as/mixed with MDMA

–  a bad batch cut with too much toxic material

– or it could have been mixed with PMA (para-methoxyamphetamine).

PMA-cut pills (sold as MDMA) is a much more toxic drug that mimics the effects of MDMA. It’s fuckin bad news. It’s killed dozens in UK recently. ”Victims suffer intense over-heating, become panicky, speak quickly and incomprehensibly, convulse, and die.” (Mixmag)

”This increase in serotonin, especially when PMA is in combination with other drugs like MDMA, can lead to hyperthermia (overheating) and subsequently, organ failure. Basically people are overheating and collapsing.” (The Guardian)

Also pills with PMA take longer to come on than MDMA, and has a milder effect. ”Users often think their pills are weak and take more, chasing the buzz.” Over-dosing is easy. Before they know it, they’re on the floor, dying.

OD-ing on MDMA doesnt usually kill. “To get a sense of how rarely MDMA is fatal, in 2011 the BBC reported that there were 500,000 yearly Ecstasy users in the U.K. and just 27 deaths.” (Rolling Stone Magazine)

That’s 0.05%.


FMFA 2014, Day 2, the day of the disaster

FMFA 2014, Day 2, the night people were dying

The narcs here are saying it’s a ”new drug”, and have speculated that it was brought in by foreigners. However the toxicology and chemist reports arent out yet.

But here are some symptoms of OD-ing.

You cant stop drugs. It will always be there. (So self-righteous dickheads, sensationalists, alarmists, and conservatives, shutdafuck up. All i’ve heard is crap and no realistic solutions. Fuckin booshit!)

So what can you / we do about it? The best method i think is harm-reduction. There are many ways to ensure what you’re getting is decent stuff – by getting it from a reputable, long-term dealer; and then testing the shit.

There are so many test kits out there which allow you to test the purity or otherwise of what you got. It takes seconds, and its mobile. Event organizers should consider bringing them in. You can get them online from Dancesafe or better still, Bunk Police, which costs only US$20 for a 50-use kit. (postage to Malaysia costs more that the product, so best to team-up and buy.) However, keep in mind that the kits are said to be not 100% accurate.

In Portugal where recreational use of the drug is decriminalized, things are different. Raves in Portugal have testing booths to test the quality of your shit. It’s unlikely that approach will be widely adopted. Coz people /societies rather live in denial.

Family members of victims (pix by mstar)

Devastated family members of victims (pix by mstar)

Users shdnt consume more than 2 pills in one session (over several hours), in case they contain PMA, and these shd be spaced out 60 minutes minimum, and not taken at once. Actually, i think one should be the limit now, with this new crap going around.

Swallowing a pill is different from drinking booze (which is natural). Once the chems are in you and your bloodstream, that’s usually that.

Also event organizers should provide water fountains for all guests, and NOT sell bottled water at ten bucks. That’s fuckin ridiculous. It’s important to stay hydrated when on drugs as your body overheats. On Friday, the bar ran out of water.

However, don’t overdo water, or risk hyponatremia. So electrolytes / isotonics are always good / better.

Groups like EDM Malaysia provide good info.

Also it’s important that everybody knows CPR so that if your friend has a cardiac arrest, YOU can execute the first-aid. You can’t really expect even on-site medics to arrive in time through such huge crowds. (Electric Zoo had 70 emergency medical technicians, 15 paramedics, five ER nurses and two physicians. Still, there were deaths)

Learn. Especially about what you’re consuming.

Look out for each other – whether or not you know each other.

Lives were lost. Let them have not died in vain. We need to learn from this, and improve things.

Party on, and party safe!


Damn bar bands

Yea, most of ’em blow, at least as far as their repertoire goes.

It’s kinda crappy that most of them only know how to play 80s shit. Specifically, 80s rock.

(Never understood why people refer to them as live bands. As opposed to what, dead bands? If they there, of course they live. They can’t be streaming right?)

They seem like they stuck in a time warp, not realizing we’re deep into the 21st Century. They wanna play same ol’ 70s n 80s covers, fine, but what about the 90s and Noughties? Too complicated to play? Too lazy to learn? Fuck is dat about?

Can’t handle Radiohead, Coldplay or Red Hot Chili Peppers? If a repeater band / bar band can’t play a classic like Give It Away, they shouldn’t call themselves a rock band, and get the fuck off the stage.

Dave Matthews Band? Fuggedaboutit. Pearl Jam? The Verve? Haha! You gotta be kidding me.

Next time u find yourself being force-fed a dose of same ol, request a track from any of the above groups.  And see what the band says!

Maybe we shd start a Play Something Recent! campaign. They need to get out of their toxic nostalgic fog.

Maybe the vocals, and higher sophistication in 90s music is too difficult to handle.

If a cover band claims it plays classic rock, then it should play 90s rock too, coz dats how long ago the 90s was – two decades now.

Hotel Fuckin California. I swear, dats the most-played song on this planet. Hell, maybe other planets too.

Most of these bands seem to have gone deaf around 1989.

Request for Snow Patrol and you’ll probably get served some cocktail. Haha

To restrict music to one genre (ie rock) is bad enough, but to time-limit within the genre? Too much. Any0ne who know of any options, would love to hear from u.

Creativity. I love it, but i think that’s what’s missing in da scene.

Bar owners share the blame. Maybe coz many of them are uncles themselves. I doubt they even hire music consultants pre-opening. It’s more like, “Hey u know any band?”

“Yea sure, can be arranged.”

“Can play Hotel California?”


“OK deal!”

I’ve seen mafuckers performing with mullets man! Mullets.

Bars need differentiation

Bars need differentiation, not same ol’

The OTHER thing that pisses me off about band music is the fuckin volume. Wattup with dat?

What’s wrong with medium volume for ALL tunes? Why dafuck does the band music need to be on full volume?? The band members might be deaf, but the customers sure aren’t.

There’s really no justification for it. (In fact, i have written a piece here before about how the music (and lighting, and bar furniture) affects people’s drinking speed.)

I mean, there’s no consistency. The regular bar music might be hardly audible (which is usually better than the band’s music), but the band one is waaay too high. High. Low. High. Low. How bout some damn balance? Outlets should increase the bar music, and lower the band’s volume.

Bar bands are meant to be playing in the background. Definitely not the main attraction. Unless it’s a superstar band doin a gig. Even that doesn’t deserve FULL volume, right?

Maybe the bands’ fat egos demand max volumes, i dont know.

The break between sets are sometimes a real relief to the customer. Conversations and drink orders can be audible again. People can mingle.

A band with a difference

A band with a difference

Bar owners need to grow some balls and break away from these dumb traditions. Even once a week on a Friday night would be nice. For a change.

Unless they dont want younger customers, in which case, their establishment might die a slow, natural death.

The Rollin’ Sixers (now-defunct) was an awesome Malaysian band that lit up many bars. Blues rock n shit. And boyz like Blister and Hydra are adventurous. Respect.

Maybe its clueless bar owners, maybe incapable bands, maybe stupid tradition, maybe a mix of all.

I think what pisses me off is that two decades of awesome, solid music has been ignored. Like it never happened.

Dats booshit, man.

They been getting away with crap for way too long.

Maybe bar owners and bar bands haven’t noticed yet, but the alco uncles that they have been repeating the same tunes over and over to for 30+ years, are dying off. It’s time to dust off and update the fuckin playlist already.

Sickodat shit.

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