Thursday, May 25, 2006

Born For Bad Luck

Boys I'm most done travellin', Lord I'm at my journey's end
B'lieve I'm most done travellin', Lord at my journey's end
Well I been lookin' for me a good partner, bad luck is my best friend

Lord I was born for bad luck, bad luck is everything I see
I was born for bad luck, bad luck is everything I see
Well I wonder why, bad luck keeps on follow me

There was thirteen children in my family, I was the last one born
Thirteen children in our family, I was the last one born
I was born on bad luck Friday, lord on the thirtheenth morn'

Play it Jim

Bad luck is just like my shadow, follow me everywhere I go
Bad luck is just like my shadow, follow me everywhere I go
Till they follow me one time, back to my best gal's door

-- Brownie McGhee, The Complete Brownie McGhee (Recorded 1940 Released )

I saw Brownie McGhee with the legendary blind harpsmen Sonny Terry at the Student Union of the then SUNY-B back in the early ‘80s. Since then, Sonny died. Well he was pretty old already then. Brownie moved on to play with other harpsmen (harmonica player).

I couldn’t quite get remember any song from that duo. I pick this one cause I believe it is also sang by the legendary guitar boogie bluesmen John Lee Hooker. This song of Brownie’s epitomise the sense of hopelessness within the former slave Black community.

After the emancipation of slaves by the decree of Lincoln, resulted in the American Civil War, life didn’t get any easier for the slaves. 

They continued to work on cotton farm and plantation of their former masters as lowly paid workers without any regard for their welfare. The harsh condition continues. 

Unconstitutional discriminatory laws, like Jim Crow law, continue to exist. Segregationist practices in school, public facilities and even church last for another century.

If you get to watch movies and documentaries on the 1950s in the US, you’d likely to come across scenes of a baseball game where the blacks are separated from the whites and signboard "No Blacks, Jews and Dog allowed" placed at public and private facilities. 

It took Dr Martin Luther King 1956 march in Alabama to remind that they are citizens with constitutional right to vote.

Aside from the illegal act, social and economic discriminatory practices by the dominant whites are near impossible to curtail. 

Today discriminatory practices prevail under the coverage of individual rights. That it is enough to say that its bad luck all the way I see. What much more should they bear for being black?

While writing this thoughts, I can’t help but compare with what is happening here. 

The discriminated here are the majority saved by the political numbers. Capital ownership remains with the minority and they continued to discriminate unabated and fail any attempt for social equality. 

And, talking of slaves, do we feel the same of the displaced lots in the plantation and the immigrant workers living a dreaded and endless work life.

The power of money and capitalism has usurped into mainstream media to ironically blame laws and policies for social equality as discriminatory, unproductive and inhuman.

With the power of money and valueless society today, even the powerful pious are no more incorruptible. You hear great cliche which effectively does not serve the lesser of society but for the interest of rising new power devoid with any sense of loyalty for the country. 

Who will champion the down-trodden ones? Who do we trust today? Who will have the heart in themselves?

It’s a hopeless feeling, ain’t it? Do you feel the blues? Heck man, its nightime …

Till they follow me one time, (I’m) back to my best gal's door.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
May 25th, 2006, 1.00 am

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Came Up The Hard Way

I came up the hard way, I had to work both night and day
I came up the hard way, I had to work both night and day
It's a shame, shame, shame, that a poor man have to live this way

I came up the hard way, they kept me workin' from sun to sun
I came up the hard way, they kept me workin' from sun to sun
Well it seems somehow or another, that a poor man's work ain't never done

Well my mother sat down and told me, she said Son, don't forget the golden rule
My mother sat down and told me, she said Son, don't forget the golden rule
I had to go head-on and deal with it yes I did, cause I didn't get, I didn't get too far in school

I came up the hard way, I had to work both night and day
I came up the hard way, I had to work both night and day
Ain't it a shame, ain't it a shame, that a poor man gotta live this way

(guitar solo)

My mother sat down and told me, she said Son, don't forget the golden rule
My mother sat down and told me, she said Son, don't forget the golden rule
That's all I had to deal with, because I didn't get too, too far in school

(harmonica solo by Mack Simmons)

-- Eddie Clearwater, Boogie My Blues Away" (released by Delmark in 1995; recorded in 1977)

I do not have much no personal comment to make here but let the song tell the story.

I saw Eddie Clearwater play in the winter of 79/80 in Chicago south side after attending the student conference in LSU, Baton Rouge.

It is a vivid memory of this Bluesmen of the Chicago blues scene. But I remembered of the nite's performance till today for his expression while playing this song.

That nite was his birthday and he sang with a sincere expression of "I ain't have nuthin' but the Blues" on his face. I believe it was this song.

Browsing the Internet, I found his website . Seems he got his act finally -- first album in 1997. Thats what? Some 20 years since I saw him play in Chicago.

Coincidently I was together in a ceremony delivering a check for a widow to send her kids to school. Education ... the passport for social mobility.

Signing off with Eddie's last word ... That's all I had to deal with, because I didn't get too, too far in school.

A Voice
Petaling Jaya
April 11th, 2006, 3:00 pm

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Why I SIng The Blues

You all have been wonderin',
Wonderin' why I sing the blues (2x)
Yeah you just listen
And say you're me instead of you

Ah you won't to or you do get married
To someone for the rest of your life (2x)
Yes and there is always someone else
Whenever you out of sight

You get the affection of a servant
The kindness of a slave (2x)
Yeah you get the love of a dog
That can't even hear a word you say

I try to say something people
Something just to pacify (2x)
I might not have lived right all of my life
But people please believe me I've tried

-- BB King, Do The Boogie! (Ace Records 1956) - B.B. King's Early 50s Classics

Been havin with much personal woes lately … gotten sick, tough time to make a livin’, frickin’ oil rise, hustle and harassment from bankers, betrayals … many betrayals, and “trouble all the way I see”.

Having downloaded a 5-CD compilation by Martin Scorcese entitled “the Blues - A Musical Journey” and listening it repeatedly, got me the Bluesy mood. I decide to dedicate April to the music genre that was the root of the popular Rock and Roll.

The word the blues was traced by Musicologist to the phrase “for having a fit of the blue devils”, meaning low spirits, depression and sadness as found in
George Colman’s farce Blues devils, a farce in one act (1798).

The Blues could be traced much earlier in African American music but the first recording was Memphis Blues in 1912 by WC handy, today honoured as Father of the Blues.

Blues music is a vocal and instrumental music evolved from spirituals, praise songs, field hollers, shouts, and chants in the communities of former African slaves in the US. Its an expression to life’s hardship and injustices - lost love, cruelty of police officers, oppression at the hands of white folk, hard times, etc.

Gut bucket blues have a more raunchier lyrics to describe man-woman relationships. The term gut bucket is derived from the metal bucket used to clean pig intestines for chitterlings, a soul food dish associated with slavery and deprivation.

The Blues earned an unsavory reputation amongst upstanding church goers for gut bucket blues and its rowdy juke-joint venues. Preachers rallied against it as sinful.

Ironically, bluesmen such as Joshus White, Son House, Skip James, or Reverend Gary Davis are expressing seminal messages through the Blues.

The Blues has evolved into mainstream music and attracted the white crowd. Much is attributed to white British “Bluesmen” like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and John Mayall. Their foray into Blues made a major impact in contemporary Rock.

Lest not forget, Elvis Priestly and Bill Haley.

The Blues have been written and recorded not only by Rock musicians but also other genre - Folk, Country, Jazz, Classical and not forgeting … sambal belacan eating Malay musicians like Blues Gang.

Emulating the successful music-theme restaurant Hard Rock Café, there is a chain paying tribute to (or exploiting) the Blues, House of Blues. In fact, Norah Jones recorded a Live album there.

The late comedian George Carling had this cynical joke on the House of Blues - “White got no business singing the Blues. You are supposed to give people the Blues.”

Perhaps read this humourous observation of the Blues in this posting “
How to sing the blues” on the blog Musical Perceptions.

And, the same message of “You gotta to suffer just to sing the blues …” could be found in the movie

I guess I’m ready to sing the Blues. And, I’ve got the Blues alright that I’ve bottled up stress symptoms in my feet and body muscle, so I was told by my recently turned reflexologist buddy.

My path have been a frustating journey. Yeah yeah I know … don’t think about it. Just keep goin’ and place yourself in the hands of the Lord.

But people please believe me I've tried.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
April 1st, 2006 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

All I Can Do Is Write About It

Well this life that I've lead has took me everywhere
There ain't no place I ain't never gone
But its kind of like the saying that you heard so many times
Well there just ain't no place like home
Did you ever see a she-gator protect her young
Or a fish in a river swimming free
Did you ever see the beauty of the hills of Carolina
Or the sweetness of the grass in Tennessee
And Lord I can't make any changes
All I can do is write 'em in a song
I can see the concrete slowly creepin'
Lord take me and mine before that comes

Do you like to see a mountain stream a-flowin'
Do you like to see a youngun with his dog
Did you ever stop to think about, well, the air your breathin'
Well you better listen to my song
And Lord I can't make any changes
All I can do is write 'em in a song
I can see the concrete slowly creepin'
Lord take me and mine before that comes

I'm not tryin' to put down no big cities
But the things they write about us is just a bore
Well you can take a boy out of ol' Dixieland
But you'll never take ol' Dixie from a boy
And Lord I can't make any changes
All I can do is write 'em in a song
I can see the concrete slowly creepin'
Lord take me and mine before that comes
'Cause I can see the concrete slowly creepin'
Lord take me and mine before that comes

-- Lynyrd Skynyrd, Give Me back My Bullet (1976)

They can see but how to make them feel. How can there be remorse or regret without knowledge of the irreversible loss ahead. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the eyes of Monet? The keen eyes to uncover beyond the beautiful garden laid out.

If it is meant to be, it is meant to be. But I had long sense what's coming. 

Its not like I never tried hard enough. My Monet vision with the energy, resources and time was just helpless to steer from the inevitable. It seemed not to be wonderful.

Alas ... If it is meant to be, it is meant to be.

All I can do is write in cryptic about it. Whatever it is to come, Lord help keep my faith intact, my spirit high and my mind sound. Although it did creep my mind at my most bitter moments to wish the ... Lord take me and mine before that comes.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
March 8th, 2006, 12.30 pm

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Old Man

Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.

Old man look at my life,
Twenty four
and there's so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two.

Love lost, such a cost,
Give me things
that don't get lost.
Like a coin that won't get tossed
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life
I'm a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that's true.

Lullabies, look in your eyes,
Run around the same old town.
Doesn't mean that much to me
To mean that much to you.

I've been first and last
Look at how the time goes past.
But I'm all alone at last.
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life
I'm a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that's true.

Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.

-- Neil Young, Harvest (1972)

After having done some share of time travel, you begin to see how things move in circle.

In the normal natural process, we are instituting discipline on our kids and they at times despise it like we used to despice it.

The historical rise and fall of civilisation fitting a set pattern. The boom and bust of economy fit the sequences of pre-event and post-events.

While there are that resemblance between the past and present, its the differences that determine the progress and regress in the framework of time.

I can't help myself posting the image of the first Prime Minister and the most recent ex-Prime Minister together. Much have been said and analysed the relationship between them and lets not try to repeat.

In the picture, perhaps one is saying to thte other ... I'm a lot like you were ... :-)

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
March 4th, 2006, 11:05 a.m.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Mengapa kanta ini masih berkaca
Sedangku telah pun terima di dalam redha
Segala kepahitan
Pengalaman menjadi penawar
Mengejar impi ke pintu syurga

Duhai bonda bilakah akan
Ku kecapi kasturi
Penebus maruah dan semangat lama

Mengapa sinar neon dan gedung indah
Kotaraya yang menjanjikan sejuta rasa
Sejuta haruman
Kini menjadi penjara jiwa
Ku yang merindukan ketenangan

Duhai bonda hari-hariku
Kini berlalu bagaikan bahtera
Tanpa layar dan kemudi

Akhirnya terbongkar jua rahsia
Tangisan dan gurindam
Keramat kasih sayang
Keramat kasih sayangmu

Saat dan pertemuan semula
Kita kali ini
Akan ku abadikan
Keramat kasih sayangmu


-- M Nasir, Canggung Mendonan (1993)

Thinking of Mother ...

All the years of my ordeal, I come to know her better. Her compassion revealed. Her spiritual side imparted.

I know she couldn't ... but she tried hard to understand my struggle, my redemption, and my journey and endeavours.

I know she couldn't ... but she extended to have me in her mind and prayers, and bridge my troubles.

She doesn't have to ... Bonda ...

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
March 3rd, 2006, 7.30 p.m.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Wish You Were Here

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl,
year after year,
running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears,
wish you were here.
- Pink Floyd, Wish you were here (1975)

This is the only visual found thus far in the newspapers, tabloids, and websites of our Friday adventure. What do you aspect? We were in the opposition party show. Despite their predominant, we two big white plastic banners and at least one is seen.

We were there under a non-partisan group, although seldom wrongly perceived by the public and observer as partisan. That Friday we were there on an issue that has sparked the displeasure of substantial and significant Muslims and Malaysians in this country, cutting through their political, racial, and religious persuasion. Some may not be able to understand the significance of it, but what can we say.

The publication of the satirical Non Sequitor cartoon by Willey Wiley on February 22nd issue of New Straits Times (NST) is not as blunt and rude as those by Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper.

If you could understand, it is equally bad as it make light of the serious issue that angered the Muslim worldwide.

I found a more offensive cartoon published earlier on February 18th by NST (below) depicting Muslim subtly as lover of violence, women roving eye and brainless law enforcers. Such cartoon gives the impression that this is the norm and it definately wasn't any intellectual satire.
Even with all the commotion, another Non Sequitor cartoon (below) on February 23rd depicted in a lighter mood satiring Prophet Noah.

For long, it was the unethical journalism, vindictive writing and crude newspinning orchestrated by Dato Kalimullah and Brenda Pereira of NST I found extremely distasteful. Their writings have been injecting discenting agenda that in my view can be disruptive to the harmony of Malaysian society.

Who are they to be preacher when they used to be vocal critics of this country? And, it is the same ruling party and structure they were against?

Their response in "What NST Says" and so-called "Unreserved Apology" are blatant arrogance to even republishing the questionable cartoon. Answering your actions should be an explanation and not concorting assumptions and deflection blame to others. An apology is only apology and nothing else, not repeated denial and childish dragging of others.

Our people were few but we were visible. Only had... wish you were here.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
February 26th, 2006, 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Rumours of War

We met on the beach amid rumours of war
Your head in your hand, what you saw you won't say
As the newspapers blew in the wind
I can see you're one of that kind
Who carry round a time bomb in their mind, no one knows
When you'll slip the pin
Rumours of war
Rumours of war

I see that your dress is torn at the edge
You were lost, intense, like a man on a ledge, waiting to jump
As the waves break over the shore
You say there's a storm that can't be delayed
And lately it seems to be comin' this way, you can hear it break
Like the slam of a door
Rumours of war
Rumours of war

You tell me, just look all around
At the past and the present, the cross and the crescent,
The signs and the planets are lining up like before
There are souls on fire in the day and the night
On the left and the right, in the black and the white
You can see it burn in the eyes of the rich and the poor
Rumours of war
Rumours of war

Rumours of war
Rumours of war

-- Al Stewart, Russians & Americans (1984)

I haven't been able to up-date my blog awhile... been somewhat busy. And, spending time at home searching for Ali's misplaced press clipping. It was moved that was why I couldn't find it. Mind you, what seemed such a dissarrayed working desk is actually a finely tuned arrangement :-)

Continuing my dedication to Blues Treat and D'Attap is this Al Stewart song, rearranged and delivered with such feist. It left an indelible reminder of many impending next target of the Israeli-Anglo-American war complex ... next being Iran and perhaps Syria.

It looks inevitable. They are quite preset to set aside any explanation on the nuclear facility in Iran. While Iran may deter it with smart manouvering with the Russian, they could come with a price for the Iranian. And, the "invaders" seemed to got their logistics in place and just to roll out the battle.

The reluctant party in this so-called War Against Terrorism has been Western Europe. I believed the cartoon controversies on the Danish newspaper was intended to turn the public opinion of liberal Scandinavian sympathy to Muslims into haters. With one stone and judging from blogs, websites and newspapers from Europe, it could have affected Western European psyche.

The so-called liberation of Afghanistan left these two countries into a shamble. Life is not any better. In Iraq, after so-called instituting democratic election, they disallowed the winning majority Shia and led the country into a Civil War. Hamas wins handsomely in Palestine and they are out to starve every living Palestine soul, even their Christian breathens.

I think they way they are acting, where reason and justification is put aside are typical attitude and irrationality of War. And its not anymore just a ... Rumour of War.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
February 26th., 2006 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sultan of Swing

You get a shiver in the dark
It's been raining in the park but meantime
South of the river you stop and you hold everything
A band is blowing Dixie double four time
You feel all right when you hear that music ring

You step inside but you don't see too many faces
Coming in out of the rain to hear the jazz go down
Too much competition too many other places

But not too many horns can make that sound
Way on downsouth way on downsouth London town

You check out Guitar George he knows all the chords
Mind he's strictly rhythm he doesn't want to make it cry or sing
And an old guitar is all he can afford
When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

And Harry doesn't mind if he doesn't make the scene
He's got a daytime job he's doing alright
He can play honky tonk just like anything
Saving it up for Friday night
With the Sultans with the Sultans of Swing

Amd a crowd of young boys they're fooling around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They don't give a damn about any trumpet playing band
It ain't what they call rock and roll
And the Sultans played Creole

And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
And says at last just as the time bell rings
'Thank you goodnight now it's time to go home'
and he makes it fast with one more thing
'We are the Sultans of Swing'

-- Dire Straits, Dire Straits (1978)

Another favourite number and "trademark" of Blues Treats at D'Attap.

Sultan of Swing described the music life with a scene at a music joint as the background.

There are dedicated fan that can come just to "feel alright when you hear that music ring" and appreciate ".... not to many horns can make that sound".

Dedicated musician playing "... strictly rythm" in the background. And, stalented salarymen looking forward for their Friday nite gig.

The typical unappreciative crowd with a stereotype taste of music. And, the musicians obliged to please.

When the nite is up, we'd have a fast finale to end it. The music stops, fans leave and musician pack. And, all look forward to come again next Friday nite.

You'd think its nuts why a bunch of people spent their time, money and life for music. Thats what doin' something for the love of it. You dedicate yourself to it even if the reward you are likely to get is pennitence.

For the love of music, you guys of Blues Treat '... are the Sultan of Swing'.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
February 15th, 9:150 p.m.

Sweet Home Alabama

Big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the Southland
I miss Alabamy once again
And I think its a sin, yes

Well I heard mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down

Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don't need him around anyhow

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you

In Birmingham they love the governor
Now we all did what we could do
Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you
Here I come Alabama

Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers
And they've been known to pick a song or two
Lord they get me off so much
They pick me up when I'm feeling blue
Now how about you?

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you

Sweet home Alabama
Oh sweet home baby
Where the skies are so blue
And the governor's true
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you
Yea, yea Montgomery's got the answer

- Lynyrd Skynyrd, Second Helping (1974)

I had written about this song sometime back and couldn't place the pictures in. By the time I got round to do so, the whole posting disappeared. So here I am reposting and wonder if I could recall what I wrote about.

This song is regularly played at D'Attap and I've got the picture Rfizan the front man with axemen Tapok by his left and drummer Arul at his right.

Someone commented to call Lynyrd Skynyrd a racist band. Sure they are mean rough neck lookin' fit the bill. And, when you hear the song is about Alabama, pow ... you are reminded of Klu Klux Klan, Governor George Wallace, etc.

Yes, I had the bad experiance of stopping over at a gas station in Birmingham, Alabama at night to be subtly told by a cop to get out of town.

As much we hate racism, it is equally wrong to stereotype all people as racist.

This song is exactly about that. Neil Young wrote two songs, Southern Man and Alabama, about racism. Lynyrd Skynyrd replied with this song to warn him of his sweeping generalisation. Read this interesting hyperlinked article entitled Jammin' with Neil on this exchanges.

While we remembered the racist policies perpetuated under Governor George Wallace, I remembered Birmingham used to have a black Mayor. The Reverand Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. organised a peaceful march to demonstrate for rights of black to vote in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

Yea yea Mongomery's got the answer.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
February 15th, 2006, 7:50 p.m. (reposted)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Too Old to Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young to Die

The old Rocker wore his hair too long,
wore his trouser cuffs too tight.
Unfashionable to the end drank his ale too light.
Death's head belt buckle yesterday's dreams
the transport cafe prophet of doom.
Ringing no change in his double-sewn seams
in his post-war-babe gloom.

Now he's too old to Rock'n'Roll but he's too young to die.

He once owned a Harley Davidson and a Triumph Bonneville.
Counted his friends in burned-out spark plugs
and prays that he always will. But he's the last of the blue blood greaser boys
all of his mates are doing time: married with three kids up by the ring road
sold their souls straight down the line.

And some of them own little sports cars
and meet at the tennis club do's.
For drinks on a Sunday work on Monday.
They've thrown away their blue suede shoes.

Now they're too old to Rock'n'Roll and they're too young to die.

So the old Rocker gets out his bike
to make a ton before he takes his leave.
Up on the A1 by Scotch Corner
just like it used to be.
And as he flies tears in his eyes
his wind-whipped words echo the final take
and he hits the trunk road doing around 120
with no room left to brake.

And he was too old to Rock'n'Roll but he was too young to die.

No, you're never too old to Rock'n'Roll if you're too young to die.

-- Jethro Tull, Too Old To Rock'N'Roll: Too Young To Die (1976)

Just a month ago, we were ushered into the year 2006. Two days ago, it was the Chinese New Year for the Year of the Dog, which I can't quite relate the zodiacal relevence. Yesterday was 1st Muharrram, the new hijrah year 1427.

Today February 1st, it is the 32nd year of Kuala Lumpur as a Federal Territory i.e. the year Sultan of Selangor sign away an expansive track of land to the Federal Government.

All these many "first days" reminds me of my piling age which will fall on auspices days. The upcoming one is the Day of Asyura 10th Muharram 1380. On the gregorian calender, its another auspicous day, 4th July, 1960 American time or the American Independence Day

I am not being philosophical or reflective today.

The title of the blog today relates to a nice and rather spartan eatery at the roundabout, near Sterling Drugs plant, at the end of Jalan Enggang, Keramat called D'Attap. When I have the time, I'd go there on a Friday nite. The band, Blues Treat, starts playing at 9:15 p.m. till around 12:30 a.m..

The place reminded me of the Whole in the Wall, a place I regularly go back in college. Its a bit bohemian place that serve all the organic and no chemical food. College students come to perform and anyone could come to join to jam along.

That pretty much is as close to describe the inconspicous D'Attap. Click on the link The Edge for their review of the place.

D'Attap is a place that revive your spirit after a week of hard work with music of your youth, the rock songs of the 70s and 80s. And, its a place for camarederie of an appreciative crowd with the sole interest of the genre of music.

It beats going to hotel and club lounges with its repetitive top 40s, overzealous wannabees, and business and corporatemen selling their wares or flaunting their ego. At times, their subtle displays is as fine as a battering ram.

The band inspired most of the songs written in this blog. I'd like to dedicate February for the songs from Blues Treat. To Rfizam aka Ali, Tapok, Bob, Arul and others ... No, you're never to old to Rock'n'Roll if you're too young to die.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
February 1st, 2006 2:10 p.m.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Open Arms

Lying beside you
Here in the dark
Feeling your heart with mine
Softly you whisper
You're so sincere
How could our love be so blind
We sailed on together
We drifted apart
And here you are
By my side

So now I come to you

With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you'll see
What your love means to me
Open arms

Living without you
Living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you
Wanting you near
How much I wanted you home

But now that you've come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay

So now I come to you
With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you'll see
What your love means to me
Open arms

-- Journey, Eclipse (1981)

So the court set aside the "quarrel", but not "quarrel", of Siti Nurhaliza and Sharifah Aini. I thought it is a ridiculous case and a waste of public fund. But isn't all quarrel and disputes ridiculous.

Alas this has become personal - one shamed by a malicious e-mail and one said to share the malicious e-mail with someone else. Yes there is honour involved - both side. That complicate matters.

I guess that is the nature of disputes.

When it is let to prolong, it'll come to the point you forget what its originally about. You start talking to lawyers. They'll tell ye other legal principles you do not know happen in the first place, before the dispute begins.

Its best to try to put aside what happened and rebuild that relationship again. Dah lah yang lepas tu lepas lah. I am learning that it is right.

I know its hard. I've got my own and many fair shares of disputes. Some out of being slighted for an incidence, injected with non related issues and get prolonged into somewhere else. Some out of others interference into a relationship that was drifting cause of our own predicament.

I was told by a special and wise person not too long ago "the bigger of you is the one that can set the differences aside ...". Some friends sniggered recently and said "alah tak de hal lah tu, biasa aja". And, they are right. It shouldn't have been allowed to worsen.

I hope I can be the bigger one and hope the counterpart is also a bigger one. Anytime we may continue our journey. For love, brotherhood, and friendship ... Open arms.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
January 26th, 2006 12:20 p.m.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hey You!

Hey you, out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old
Can you feel me?
Hey you, standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles
Can you feel me?
Hey you, don't help them to bury the light
Don't give in without a fight.

Hey you, out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone
Would you touch me?
Hey you, with you ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out
Would you touch me?
Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone?
Open your heart, I'm coming home.

Hey you, standing in the road
Always doing what you're told,
Can you help me?
Hey you, out there beyond the wall,
Breaking bottles in the hall,
Can you help me?
Hey you, don't tell me there's no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall.

-- Pink Floyd, The Wall (1979)

I do not know how to describe what I am feeling now! Angry, concern, flabbergasted, frozen, and perhaps helpless. Some applied forces have upset my mental state and environment of harmony and balance.

How could a group of Ministers gang up to send a memorandum to a Prime Minister? That is a an act of threat so blatant that has never been seen. What cheez me off is their demand for the already poorly empowered Syariah court to be subservient to the Civil Court!

I can appreciate the horror of the wife of Allahyarham Moorthy to find out the husband converted to Islam without her knowing. He must have his own reasons. But this issue of the court making decision on behalf of others is part of law and order. It has worked against the Muslim too! If Ministers were to act to disrespect the law, I have a right to be angry.

I believe this is an open attempt and a slice by slice strategy to subjugate and deny the Malay and Islamic inheritance of this country. And, I am not talking out of paranoia or hatred but with full awareness and analysis of the timeline of events and its anticipated direction.

The immediate objective is towards the creation of Interfaith Commission (IFC). The proponents of IFC claim it to be a body to resolve inter-religious issues. I am agreeable to a mechanism to resolve such issues but the drafted proposed legislation does not say so. The intention seemed to lead towards revoking Article 153 and those relating to Islam.

Since last weekend, I was in communication with many who wish to express their willingness to show our Islamic concurrance but was dampened by the attitude of those in the position to initiate and lead.

Last night I met Mr Damp and express our more monumental concerns. We were told of a stark reality in our wishes to put right of wrong. Unity can be cracked by lines of mouth that needs feeding, young brains that needs schooling and dismotivated weary warriors.

I can't blame them and appreciate what they have went through. Only the Liverpool FC have ownership of the tagline "you never walk alone".

But I still believe lone frustation should not be a hinderance and ... together we stand, divided we fall.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
Jan 24th, 2006 11:15 a.m.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

For You

There’re no words to say
No words to convey
This feeling inside

I have for you
Deep in my heart
Save from the guards
Of intellect and reason
Leaving me at a loss
For words to express my feelings

Deep in my heart
Look at me losing control
Thinking I had a hold
But with feelings this strong
I’m no longer the master
Of my emotions

- Tracy Chapman, Debut Album (1988)

We just had a great feast of fish and good conversation for luncheon till a phone rang. Your counter has been suspended pending announcement. Look what is the other counter being suspended. We were suspecting a corporate M&A in the offing.

He left a company to join another company and the procedures of transfer is ongoing, strangely for too long a time. This industry emulates the professional football transfer practise. By a bizarre twist of coincidence and faith, his new company could be acquired by his previous company.

I have to dedicate to him this song because the first two verses accurately described his predicament. By thus far, he has not lost control.

I'd say buddy, face difficulty or such bizarre coincidence as scout and ossies. A scout is supposed to smile under all difficulty. And, ossie put a sense of humour into just about everything, even laugh their trouble away. Don't worry you and family will be alright.

We can never understand, even if try to rationalise and justify why certain things happen and certain things don't. I have stopped figuring it out and resolve to just move on. Off course, it is never easy on us and yet at times I do get into instances of regrets and dissappointment. After so often, I try to numb myself.

... I am no longer the master of my emotions.

A Voice
January 18th, 2006, 8:30 a.m.
Kuala Lumpur

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Who am I to be blue
Look at my family and fortune
Look at my friends and my house

Who am I to feel deadend
Who am I to feel spent
Look at my health and my money

And where
Where do I go to feel good
Why do I still look outside me
When clearly I've seen it won't work

Is it my calling to keep on when I'm unable
And is it my job to be selfless extraordinary
And my generosity has me disabled
By this my sense of duty to offer

And why
Why do I feel so ungrateful
Me who is far beyond survival
Me who see life as an oyster

Is it my calling to keep on when I'm unable
And is it my job to be selfless extraodinary
And my generosity has me disabled
By this my sense of duty to offer

And how
How dare I rest on my laurels
How dare I ignore an outstretched hand
How dare I ignore a third world country

Is it my calling to keep on when I'm unable
And is it my job to be selfless extraodinairy
And my generosity has me disabled
By this my sense of duty to offer

Who am I to be woo

- Alanis Morisette, Feast on Scraps: Inside Under Rug Swept (2002)

Its the festival of Aidil Adha today. To commemurate this auspices Islam's syariat-ed festival, it is the animal sacrificial ritual in remembrance of the act of Prophet Abraham. Its about his willingness to follow God's command to sacrifice his beloved son Ishmael. He was about to perform it on his willing son Ishmael that another revelation came to request replacing with a goat. He has pass that greatest test of faith ever on men.

The message of the Quranic story that is translated into a ritual and honoured as a festival, is the importance of sacrifice. It comes together with the quality of patiance, selflessness and steadfast. It takes a spirit of such prophetic faith to be able to do such act of Abraham. We are not likely to be tested in a manner.

For us, God is less demanding. At its minimal, we are expected to assume some discomfort or restrain oneself from certain trappings for a rightful purpose. The Quran 22:37: "It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah. It is your piety that reaches Him...".

Its telling us to seek a purpose and role beyond the limited fardhu 'ain confine of family and neighbours. Each must balance their life to take up a role of a higher order for community, nation, ummah and humanity albeit within ones knowledge, capability and capacity.

As time goes by, I sense this is diminishing in today's society. It is selfishness rather sacrifice that rules the day.

People are driven by their self conquest for car, condo, and credit card. There are many of those getting involved but with the ulterior motive for access to power if not power itself. Gone are empowering for the sake of a cause and capability.

We have forgotten that it is the patiance and sacrifice of our forefathers, past leaders and brave souls that made this lovely and peaceful country of ours. Reap the benefit but concurrently assume some discomfort and restrain ourself to sacrifice for others or the later.

As professionals, carryout ones expertise diligently beyond just scope of responsibility but enable objective met and the community benefit.

As administrators, carryout ones authority beyond rules and regulation but with wisdom and compassion so community life be better and interest not compromised.

As people of commerce, carryout ones pursuit beyond personal wealth creation and opulance living, but accumulating capital to contribute to betterment and benevolent pursuit.

As corporate captains, carryout ones objective beyond bottom line and financial positioning but not to foresake the interest of the little people and the deprived, where one came from.

Just as in the ritual Aidil Adha, it is the meat that is redistributed to the poor, needy, and community, not the bone soup. Its tasty but no nutritional value.

The decay seemed inevitable. Lets ponder.

If individual's conscience can't be relied on to carryout their respective role dutifully and let alone beyond ones expectation for a cause and a struggle, it is time for a rethink. It has to be system driven and less individual's discretion. The role and integrity of institutions strengthened and must be instilled that it come before personalities.

But ... Who am I to ... woo

Selamat Aidil Adha

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
January 11th, 2006, 12:10 a.m.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Highway Star

Nobody gonna take my car
I'm gonna race it to the ground
Nobody gonna beat my car
It's gonna break the speed of sound
Oooh it's a killing machine
It's got everything
Like a driving power big fat tyres
and everything

I love it and I need it
I bleed it yeah it's a wild hurricane
Alright hold tight I'm a highway star

Nobody gonna take my girl
I'm gonna keep her to the end
Nobody gonna have my girl
She stays close on every bend
Oooh she's a killing machine
She's a moving mouth body control
and everything

I love her I need her
I seed her
Yeah She turns me on
Alright hold on tight I'm a highway star

Nobody gonna take my head
I got speed inside my brain
Nobody gonna steal my head
Now that i'm on the road again
Oooh i'm in heaven again i've got everything
Like a moving ground an open road
and everything

I love it and I need it
I seed it eight cylinders all mine
Alright hold on tight I'm a highway star
Nobody gonna take my car
I'm gonna race it to the ground Nobody gonna beat my car
It's gonna break the speed of sound
Oooh it's a killing machine
It's got everything like a driving power big
fat tyres and everything

I love it and I need it
I bleed it
Yeah it's a wild hurricane
Alright hold on tight I'm a highway star
I'm a highway star, I'm a highway star

- Deep Purple, Machine Head (1972)

Yup, thats you alright. In all its glory ... Pontiac Firebird 1972. They must have wrote this song for you, honey.

I bump into you down in Tennesee at the end of summer 81. Rode you back to New York. I gave you a leg job ... air shocks. Redid your paint. Rebuild your engine myself. For $500 bucks, you gave me the most affordable validation a struggling college kid could have. In fact, I even had myself a pair of black leather jacket just to not embarass you.

I thought I was cool struting you around.

King of the highway. Nobody pass me by. You were built with speed. I was the only one who could handle you. You and me were meant to be.

Back then, I'd cruise you baby on a Saturday nite. We'd reach a traffic light. Look to our side. Aha ... thats a fine looking set of wheels. Are you any good? I'd ramp your engine a bit and they ramp back. ... OK. We are talkin' drag. Sure to the next red light.

The lights hit green and its showtime. Tires screeching and rubber burning for that split second lead. The first car that sets in will built up the speed. We reach the next red and slam the brakes. Thumbs to the winner! And its usually us. We acknowledge and we separate.

Cheap thrill on a Saturday nite. Memories of my youth in America ... A highway star.

A Voice
Kuala Lumpur
January 6th, 2006, 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

KepadaMu Kekasih

KepadaMu Kekasih
Aku berserah
Kerana ku tahu
Kau lebih mengerti
Apa yang terlukis di cermin wajahku ini
Apa yang tersirat di hati
Bersama amali

KepadaMu Kekasih
Aku bertanya
Apakah Kau akan menerimaku kembali
Atau harus menghitung lagi
Segala jasa dan bakti
Atau harus mencampakku ke sisi
Tanpa harga diri

Hanya pada Mu Kekasih
Aku tinggalkan
Jawapan yang belum ku temukan
Yang bakal aku nantikan
Bila malam menjemputku lena beradu

KepadaMu Kekasih
Aku serahkan
Jiwa dan raga
Jua segalanya
Apakah Kau akan menerima penyerahan ini
Apakah Kau akan menerimaku
Dalam keadaan begini

- M. Nasir, Konsert Akar (1995)

To to get movin’ on 2006, lets start with a positive and an inspiring note. So lets talk about love!
Pada Mu Kekasih” or translated as “To Thee The Beloved” is a love song indeed, love of God. We are familiar with the concept of love between mortals. The Greeks described love as philia for love emotionally driven out of friendship relationship. Eros love as born out of desire. And, agape love talks about selfless love. And, the many other love – lifelong friendship storgic love, manic love, pragma love, flirtatous ludis love, love of things, platonic love, etc..

Love to Robert Sternberg can be described within the dimension of intimacy, passion and commitment. Helen Fischer suggests that love can go through phases of lust, attraction, and attachment changing with the varying level of dimensions.

Pada Mu Kekasih” opens with the gist of penultimate love, divine love by total submission and reliance on Allah (tawakkul’alallah). The acceptance of the Beloved knowledge of his inner thoughts and true intention lead the Lover’s thought journey to seek answer for his fate with total reliance and submission to the Beloved.

As recorded by Omar Ibni Khattab, the Prophet s.a.w. said: "If only you relied on Allah a true reliance, He would provide sustenance for you just as He does the birds: They fly out in the morning empty and return in the afternoon with full stomachs."

The prophet’s words serves a positive reminder that God is the sole Provider. It reminds us to continue without fear for the way of the message in our life's pursuit. Modern life and decadence of society has made one accustomed to the need to be in control of the determining variance. Many have unconsciously forgotten and led astrayed to think that results is within their power and means.

Transcend our relationship with God beyond the unquestionable adherence to obey and abstain. Seek and follow the Straight Path with acceptance and sincerity (ikhlas). Fulfill and carry out God's wishes with joy. And, seek for God's pleasure that is beyond the entrapment of our senses. Put ourself willingly (rida) in the “hands” of the Provider.

Seek for divine love. The state of selfless and conscious love to the wishes of the Beloved. To be in constant contemplation of greatness and wisdom (hikmah). To fathom beyond our physical senses for the beauty in Gods greatness and perfection. To long and yearn to be close to teh Beloved in prayers and meditation. To have no fear of death in continuing the journey to God.

Put our fate in the wisdom and greatness of God. Fear not of evil to be in God's determined path. Not be discouraged by our situation, even … Dalam keadaan begini.
A VoiceKuala Lumpur

January, 2nd, 2006, 6:30 p.m.

My Say