Good Vibrations 2007

I’m not a huge fan of any of the bands that played at Good Vibrations, but who passes up the opportunity to see the Beastie Boys and Jurassic 5 in Singapore for $40? Kudos to the organizers, I hope it was worth your while and that you do it again.

I haven’t really listened much to J5 since 2000 apart from a couple of unsuccessful attempts to enjoy their latest album in preparation for this festival, so I couldn’t identify that many songs apart from the old classics. Still, I’ve always had a soft spot for this sort of old-school ensemble rapping so I didn’t have to find the songs familiar in order to enjoy them. Highlights for me were Jayou and Quality Control; they also played Concrete Schoolyard and Improvise but I’ve never been that fond of those. I apologise to anyone I might have startled when I burst out with “FINALLY!” when the flute sample in Jayou, er, finally kicked in, because doing half the song without it constitutes cruelty to Michelles.

Don’t hate me, but I’m not a big fan of the Beastie Boys. I realize they’re hugely significant and all, and appreciate the effort they put into good performances and videos, but something in their flow just doesn’t do it for me. (I attempted to explain it here but actually, I still can’t.) Also, given that all the Beastie Boys albums I own are from the days when cassettes still ruled (i.e. any album before Hello Nasty, which I did buy on CD but later sold), I wasn’t exactly able to do much memory refreshment in preparation for their performance either. Based on the songs I did recognise though, they did Root Down, Sure Shot, Ch-Check It Out, one of the better instrumentals from Ill Communications, No Sleep Till Brooklyn, So Whatcha Want, Body Moving, 3 MCs and 1 DJ and unsurprisingly, Intergalactic and Sabotage for the encore. One thing I did enjoy was how they’d do half a song to its original beats, then Mix Master Mike would switch to beats from a fairly recent top 40 hit and they’d just continue with that. It worked well and kept things refreshing for me, plus everything just sounds great to the beat of Pass That Dutch.

Lastly, no account of Good Vibrations 2007 would be complete without paying tribute to these particular members of the audience. In the name of bad 70s fashion, wearing wigs and fake moustaches in Singapore heat, entering and staying in character even before the Beastie Boys were performing, and of course posing so awesomely for my photo, I salute you.

Beastie Audience Boys


  1. Have been following your blog for a while now and have been really really enjoying it – your writing on music is great! On a (kinda) related tip, I was wondering if I could have any tips on upcoming gigs, djs, where to look for them on the net etc. as I have come over from London to work in Singapore for a few weeks. Just need a starting point on where to look and you seemed like a good person to ask.

  2. Hi Sharmila, I popped over to your myspace to have a look at what you might be into (I am a very conscientious recommender!), and there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that you’re into a lot of stuff that I like, the bad news is that you might not find much of that in Singapore.

    Simple starting points for events: (our equivalent of Ticketmaster) (for clubbing – see especially the Events board at the forum) (lists some other nice events like flea markets and other things which Sistic might not list)

    Also, look around on Thursdays or Fridays in places like Starbucks or any other coffee chain for a free local magazine called IS. It’ll have an event guide for the week ahead.

    Random personal editorializing:

    – Gigs: The Esplanade has given me more happy music moments than anywhere else in Singapore (lovely lovely sound plus the most adventurous music curating in Singapore) and its Mosaic music festival in mid-March is the perfect opportunity to check it out.

    – Clubbing: If you must go to Zouk, be prepared to find it insipid. I much prefer Home or Baa Bar Black Chic, but ultimately I just suck it up and go wherever has the DJ I want to see.

    – Other stuff I’d recommend: Haw Par Villa (it’s crazy hilarious and totally unique – see for why I love it so), Haji Lane for a quiet but fun Fri/Sat night, and since you’re into cooking, you might also enjoy a local cookery class with Ruxqana from Cookery Magic (bought one as a gift for my cookery-dabbly fiance and he had a blast).

    Oh and if you’re keen on an event but lack like-minded company, drop me a line (syntaxfree at gmail). Judging from your myspace profile the chances of us being interested in the same event are fairly high. :)

  3. Michelle – thanks very much for this list, its very much appreciated! a workmate mentioned mosaic and i noticed yo la tengo and vadim were on. so hopefully might have chance to check that out. and will definitely email if at a loose end, thats really kind :)

  4. Sharmila, I’d suggest you check on ticket availability for those two gigs ASAP because I bought Mosaic tickets (for those 2 gigs plus 3 others) weeks ago but still didn’t manage to get good seats. By now, it’s possible gigs may be starting to sell out.

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