Monday, June 23, 2008

Escapades - No Black Tie #2

Once again! I got the call back to open for Andrew Netto (I think I should start blogging for him though because I’m constantly showcasing the bugger! But hey, his shows are well worth it and I’m the wicked sales ****!).

This show is, I believe going to be epic because I’ve decided to give you a full-on show instead of the normal acoustic bypass.

Going to be trying this new idea of having a short musical skit, sort of a theatric performance with merely a 5-piece band, (no props, no lighting, no backstage, no costumes, no make-up, no positions…. Just pure drama and songs avant-garde)

An idea of an idiot whose been dwelling on it, sitting on it, for the past couple of months.

It will definitely revolve around some conventional covers delivered in the most peculiar manner and also highlighting some of our compositions. Also is an informal debut of the COMPLETED Hey Gypsy Girl (check previous blogs for more info on the song)

Well, this phenomenal project requires that of talent and sheer talent I have found, collaborating with another influential and gifted artist Kishore Ramdas on vocals,
His help and input in some of our creations have been ecstatic with his infusion of comedy with my much acclaimed heart-in-blender soul is ….killer!

The band line-up as of now:-

Stevie Ramanado - Lead guitar/ Backing vocals

Herman Ramanado - Bass/Piano/Keyboards/ Vocals

Gregory Ramanado - Rhythm Guitar/ Percussions/Vocals

Kishore Ramdas - Percussions/Vocals

Unidentified - Drums/Percussions

*the “unidentified” is Kishore’s drummer who hopefully can confirm and session with us.

So, please do turn up and support an extraordinary event, extraordinary meaning this is something different and it might be phenomenal or it may not, but still?!
Don’t you wanna be part of something phenomenal? Be part of history in the making? Maybe I’m over my head with this one, but hey.. everyone’s gotta go over their head once in awhile!

8:30pm – 11:30pm

Monday, June 16, 2008

Serenades - Groove Junction

Andrew once again to the rescue of his broken friend, hooks me up with a solo gig opening for him at Groove Junction!

I got to debut Gypsy Girl and a few covers including Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah.

Andrew was of course on fire! He continues to amaze me with his awesome ability to generate ideas and convey them in a cynical yet comical sense.

I got an encore and what supposed to be only a 15 mins opening act turned out to be a call back for a proper gig along side a new friend I met, Ida Lisa (a singer/songwriter as well) who happened to have an authentic versatility you don't find in most. Punching, wrenching melancholic and emotional lyrics which were not well accepted but caught my attention.
Malaysian majority need an education on art and poetry. Amongst most I believe it has died.

So, the call back is soon. Hopefully I bring the Gypsy to Life! Good show! So pleased!

Hopefully, my acclaimed manager Jeff did some good and took some pictures for me to post up!



Sunday, June 15, 2008

Serenades - My Curse

Simply Unbelievable

Andrew sends me a message at 4pm which read, "Greg call back bro, urgent!".

After the full-scale partying my friend Jeff and me had done over the weekend, mostly at the new chic-happening club below Cynna, Space Bar, (We've been going there constantly last week which started out with an invite to some fashion show and ended late at 530am on Sunday morning as the club closes after the usual 3am), the both of us were taken things easy and chilled out on Sunday after church in the morning, had lunch with the family as it was my sister, Maria's birthday, went to my other sister Sharina's house for a sorta hi-tea birthday party, laid back stuff nothing intense until I got the message.

I called and Andrew said "Greg! there's this talent showcase thing happening tonight at Planet Hollywood. My management called and said anyone can take part and that there'll be a lot of influential people, this could be good exposure for you dude"

I was floating on cloud nine.

Planet Hollywood? Hell yeah! I've only got one song, 5 mins?

So, I got my guitar out, got my brothers together and full-on practiced! Note for note!
Then amidst the excitement, I thought to myself the boys have school tomorrow, this is short notice, what if we don't get to play? I couldn't risk it so I told them to be on standby while me and Jeff swiftly whisked away from the party to get Andrew and hurry off to Planet.

Once we got there, the air was just oozing with talent. Andrew introduced me to Freddie Fernandez, COO of Maestro talent company. It was simply an amazing experience getting to know the man behind the works of Akademi Fantasia ( although I'm not particularly fond of the programme because I personally think it's simply bias and unjust towards other extraordinary talent).

I registered and signed up and they told there was no problem doing my own composition, my slot was 12:15 am. The time then was 9:30pm.

We didn't have time to go to the bank so we running low on cash, the boys Jeff and Andrew decided to have dinner at the Kopitiam upstairs, I was wrecked with nerves as I had completely finished the vocal arrangements for the second verse, sipping on Honey Lemon tea instead of the usual Jack on the rocks. (Was the only singular acoustic/vocal performance, everyone else had a band, playing thumping rock, clad in the full uniform, - long lengthy hair/out of bed hairstyle, boot cut jeans, checkered/tight-fitting shirts/leather jacket, boots/converse/MAKE-UP! Somebody needs to give me some lessons on looking like a modern day rockstar!
I still think dressing up like Noel Gallagher is cool, so you can pretty much imagine how I was dressed.) I didn't quite fit in!

The boys were pretty aggravated because not only had it been 2 hours (time now was 11:30) they had been pretty much listening to every variation I had for the song, I'd be aggravated as well if not for the butterflies circling around in my stomach.

We went down, played a little Foosball, still waiting to go on (12:30). The management said they'll push the solo performers up first and told me politely to be patient. I was working a smile on everyone I met, my self-acclaimed manager for the night (Jeff) said it would be good PR work to keep smiling. I was getting anxious.... every other person I met that night had gone and goodbyed, I was still behind the stage, crouched on the floor against the wall cause nobody could get me a seat, tuning my guitar checking my pitches and vocals against the blaring music being played with a finger in an ear. The time was now 1:30am. Nerves weren't the problem anymore, my temper was building.

After a quick but once again polite discussion with this guy Pacheye?(musician i think) he mentioned he was sorry but the bands were exceeding their time limit by doing two songs and acting cocky, he sincerely apologised on behalf of them as apparently some guys were ridiculing me being Indian saying "He's the only Indian, if you put him last, whats the most he could say?"
I really admire the guy, he saw me looking disheartened and said "Bro, don't worry about the comments, I've been in this industry so long and from my experience, comments don't mean anything, comments don't define you, YOU define yourself when your up there under that light, so take your friend, that guitar and do some magic, I'll probably 'pinjam' your guitar and do a solo also later, I got your back".

I was ready to rock! Like a volcano on the verge of erupting! Time was now 2:00am, one more band and I'm up.. we were down to the last five performances!

I was raring to go, like a race-car wheel-spinning! The band exceeded time with a Malay cover and played another song on top of it. Pacheye came up to me and literally begged for mercy.

"Bro, I don't know what to say but we've got a major problem! Planet says we've exceeded closing time and they need to shut. The band played two songs or you would've at least got a chance to play. Every other performer after you can't play as well now. I'm really sorry brother. I really am speechless."

My heart crashed. I wait 5 hours to play 5 minutes and this is what I get? Yes, I know I've got to work hard to catch a break in this industry but you at least cut me some slack! If this karyawan talent night was for every aspiring talent in Malaysia, why wasn't I informed earlier? If I didn't know about the event, what kind of marketing have they done? Only a select few are called? I have no case or issues against them, but why was I the only Indian in the place? Only Malay people are talented in this country? I'm sure these questions are debatable and probably justifiable. But you have to understand my frustration and argument. I was beat.

I humbly thanked them for at least the opportunity, and walked away while Jeff and Andrew, tired and anxious as they were themselves rushed to sort the matter and tried talking the management into letting their friend have at least two minutes to showcase this brilliant composition of his. They refused and got a proper 15 minute banging from the both of them.

Me? I was devastated and wrecked. I waited by the car with my friend, the guitar and a cigarette which I was saving for later hoping it wouldn't damage my already hoarse throat.
I felt really bad I couldn't kick ass basically.
I also felt bad for my friends who had to endure the whole ordeal, listening to garbage music, compositions from metal bands screaming " KA...MU.. PENGARAH!!!" utter rubbish. Tired as they were, very thankful I had them there for support.

For the first time in my life, I feel inferior. I always thought I had talent and that I was easy to love with my unconventional behaviour infused by my always amiable nature. I was wrong.
Being the nice guy doesn't get you anywhere.

This bites!

-what schemes do you devise?
-to trample on my pride just because I'm nice?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Escapades - Andrew Live vs. Happy hour? hmmm

Andrew's going live come monday.
I think it's gonna be pretty fascinating to see
what this boys got up his sleave this time!
His ability to communicate his ideas in such a comical
yet intriguing manner is something I constantly look out for.

To be quite honest, the sound of HAPPY HOUR ALL NIGHT LONG
tickles my fancy as well!




Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Escapades - Gig at no black tie

The Brothers open for Andrew Netto Live

Happened sometime earlier this year, a really good friend of mine, whose probably seen me through various times (both bad and good) ;) in my life, Andrew Netto ( Malaysia's foremost, reputable and youngest stand-up comedian) invited me to open for him at The No Black Tie, KL.

Me, being me, thought it'd be a better idea if we showcased the talents of not only myself but my siblings as well. Herman, 14 (really awesome ear for music this one has, plays bass guitar, piano and might I add completely astounding on vocals, I'll be out of a job soon enough) ;( , and Steven 18, (lead guitar, can sing and produce good music but is sometimes annoyingly shy and negative, he rocks really good when he's in the mood)

I also introduced a friend from Bangladesh ( I know what your thinking, NO he's not a cleaner!) Raihan Hussin whom I believe is a guitar legend in the making. I call him Flash ( cause his fingers move as fast as Slash, but he's no Slash)

We came up with what would be the most interesting set I've ever played 2 guitars and 2 vocals without percussion's:-

1. Sweet Child of mine ( slow and acoustic)

2. Creep

3. Billie Jean ( a little reggae influenced by the Chris Cornell adaptation.

4. Hit me baby one more time. (Yes that is correct! A reggae version with hints of jazz)

5. Encore: Sweet Home Alabama ( Herman Solo) - blew the crowd away and questioned my talent as a singer. :( but really am very proud of the bugger!

Andrew of course took the show by storm and had everyone, including my parents, on their toes with his comedic repertoire, cracking us up with "Brick City, reprezennt yo!" -(Wheres that?) *Indian accent* Brickfields la macha.. you wouldn't understand till you watch it live! Freaking Hilarious! I've got him on my "Show Some Love" corner somewhere up on the top corner but still do check out his site ( He has also got an upcoming show at the Groove Junction next week as well if you check out the flyer for more info.

We had some fun and I found somewhat the feeling I've been longing for from the crowd but not just enough (check previous posts on my music experiences) .. I still continue to roam and search the earth for that thrill and exhilaration...

Thanks Andrew for the opportunity! Hopefully I return the favor someday!

and also Thanks to all who showed up.. will definitely post upcoming gigs and events in future!

I mean now that I've got this blog thing set up....



The Gypsy Comes Alive

Just posted the video we recorded yesterday for your viewing pleasure, of both the guitar and bass outlines. lol
Pretty amateur though, sorry. Not quality whatsoever on this k850 sony phone of mine.
Hope it does justice to the song! ENJOY!

Sorry Herman's face isn't on it, barely see his hand! Will put up pictures and updates of me and my baby brother doing some work tonight!



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gypsy Girl

This one is a knock- out! (Journal entry of the current song composition I’m working on)

It was a big party weekend for me, parties in the city, and parties in the neighborhood. INTENSE!

Among the tremendous fatigue from the late nights and amidst catching up with the friends, I met this girl, trust me the kind that’s truly hard to find. One of the many rare diamonds you only chance upon if you’re willing to stick your head in the sand. Well, maybe not your cup of coffee but she was quite the eccentric.

She had a mind of her own and the most intriguing part of her is that I still don’t know her well enough or as well as I would like to though ;). She let me into her head but I couldn’t reach the core, her soul.
Do you understand these things I’m saying? I don’t myself, baffling! She had me rolling all over my bed that night, up into the wee hours of morning, trying to decipher what this lady was built on, what drives her, what makes her tick..

I’m not going to mention her name though because:
1. She doesn’t know I’m doing this and I respect her privacy (probably kill me if she found out)
2. Her name is simply too long, and I’m a lazy bugger.

Anyway, I’m plainly going to refer to her as Twirly.

I hate to say it, but apart from every other girl I’ve known, *sigh* well some to say the least apart from all of them, not many have inspired me to write beautiful love songs. I’m the imaginative kind so it does take a lot of falling in love to write them.

I’m also known to have feminine type emotions so it’s pretty easy, when inspired, communicate these emotions. (I’ve also written a lot of other sad, depressing songs about heartbreak and heartache in the past that I will post in due time, you’ll notice the difference. Don’t get me wrong they are good songs! Just, well for the emotional sort.)

Thinking about this one girl and the things she told me got my musical notes hitting pitches and painting pictures that bewilder me as well. Pretty intense stuff and I’m also really happy that the song’s coming out really well.

I spent my afternoon Lunch break on Monday, humming the tune and thinking of her…. Words suddenly came together. Herman (my 14 year old younger brother who I believe is a musical prodigy who’s beyond me) helped me out with the vocal arrangements, bass riffs and piano riffs. Still in development but what’s ready for your reading and HOPEFULLY listening pleasure is the lyrics body of the song.

There are also some pictures Herman helped me take. (All this is part of my initiative to document my writing for the first time ever, probably for future reference)

Gypsy Girl

Think I’ve finally lost my mind,My heads like a broken recorder that’s stuck in rewind,
She came to me just like an advertisement,
Caught my attention then she split in a second.

Oh! My defenses fell apart, right from the start,Is this feeling really being generated from my heart…… Gypsy Girl

I picture you dancing on the street so free,
Your everything and anything this poor boy wants to be,
You can tell me you don’t like it but I love the way your hair twirls,
You’re an enchanting story waiting to be unfurled,
Did I mention your smile so captivating?
Don’t you think it’d be devastating if you don’t let this boy into your world?
Gypsy girl

Need to tell you baby that you look divine,Or maybe it’s just me after several cheap but proper bottles of wine,Run along where you have to, don’t matter cause I know I’ll see you again,All I do is trust in God that you remember to not forget my name.

Oh! My defenses fall apart, right from the start,
Is this feeling really being generated from my heart!..... gypsy girl

Still working but that’s the core, the body. There is a lot more to work to do on finalizing the tempo and the entire riff generally.

I'll keep you posted! Cheers and your comments are welcomed!