New songs

July 18th, 2017

Since I came back from Japan I’ve been gearing up my demos, and I finished three of them just this past weekend! “Omniscient” is good fun with its cheezy sample from the local train system.

Soul Horizon

Wicked Laughter



Even When I’m Right I’m Wrong

Before I went to Japan I recorded some songs at home in Garageband using loops and my voice as recorded through a microphone. I’d put the lyrics together some time back with no thought of what the tune should be, but Garageband did all tha tfor me.

The song “Take Your Fill” is a bit different – the vocals for that one I came up with on the spot, based on a very cool slow guitar loop that I found in Garageband. It isn’t all the raw first take – I did a rant, then ran out of steam… I wrote down the rant, re-recorded it, and then carried on with a new rant. That’s the version you get here.

Double Feature

Soup In My Fly

Take Your Fill

Japan trip, June 2017

June 22nd, 2017

In June of this year we went to Himeji for a family reunion, it was fun! Zen has important tests this year, so we all just spent the whole week at Naoko’s family’s house chilling out and eating, giving Zen lots of quiet time to study… and he did study… a bit…

I did a trip to Osaka to see friends, and a trip to Kobe for shopping (I wanted to buy new tips for my boots, couldn’t find any, so I consoled myself by buying some great vinyl!). I also cycled around Himeji castle every day, until one day my rear tire blew up and I had to get it repaired.

Oh, I also found a great vinyl shop in Himeji, bought a bunch!!

Here are a bunch of photos. As usual, click on the picture to see a larger version.


Zen, go Zen!!


Homecoming party!!


Himeji homecoming dinner!!


Homecoming welcome!


Himeji Castle!!


Himeji castle!


Himeji castle. I like this angle, and the great clouds…


Himeji Castle park.


Himeji Castle – Naoko & Zen!!


Himeji castle with Naoko & Zen.


Himeji castle


Himeji castle terrace – for our picnic lunch, we found this weird columned structure…


Himeji castle second moat, near Route Two. This was my first time coming to this part of Himeji.


Himeji castle – second moat, near Rout Two. Never been here before!


Himeji castle second moat!


Himeji castle environs.


Himeji castle – the second moat, where I’ve never been before until this year!!


Himeji Castle, second moat.


Himeji Castle – new view. Beyond the first moat, but I’d never been this way before.


Himeji castle crane.


Himeji castle crane.


Himeji castle – splendid crane!!


Himeji castle.


Himeji Castle!!


Himeji Castle!!


Hey – watch it! The “don’t walk & text” warning!!


Someone at Megane no Takaya has a sense of humour!!


This is an Apple… this is a pen!! On the road to Osaka…


The ramen bluesman whips up a feast!


Chillin’ in Osaka with the ramen bluesman!!


Our Okinawa mama – all heart!!


With my homeys!!


Our Okinawa mama – all heart!!


Big & bigger!!


Little lady, all heart!!


Warriors… come out and play!!


Boys in the hood… Kyobashi!!


Tulip chicken in Kyobashi!!


Now that’s soooooo-OOOOME tulip chicken!!


Juso tachinomiya… great place!!


Juso party!!


Amazing punk rock!!


This band is your band, this band is my band… a little bit of Hamilton in Juso!!


The Gero! Love you guys!!


The Gero – raw power!!


My new best friend… I didn’t notice earlier that his t-shirt is Suicidal Tendencies, otherwise we would have had more to bond over.




House warming!!


Housewarming party!!


House warming!!


House warming


House warming!!


House warming drinks!!


Sochu lovely!!


House warming sunset!!


House warming party!!


Himeji sunset!


House warming party!!


Great food – katsuo boshi!!


Peter & Naoko – the cool people!!


Amazing tofu!!


Grandfather, grandson…


Min Min gyoza shop in Kobe… love this place!!


Min Min gyoza!!


Kobe records!!


Awesome dinner!!


Something’s not quite right about this kanji… can you see what it is?




Barbecue battle!!




Barbecue time.


Barbecue party!!


Barbecue time.




Twilight serenade.


Twilight in Himeji!


Dinner time!!


Eel dinner.


Lovely soup!!


Wonderful yakisoba on our last evening in Japan.


Cucumber power.


Last supper in Himeji for this year.


My brother-in-law with a picture of him from a year ago (wearing the same clothes).


Awesome ultra-karai ramen from Hope Ken!!


Cucumber power!!


Cucumber power!!


Okonomi-yaki! Our last meal in Himeji before going back to Singapore.


Okonomi-yaki dinner… our last meal in Himeji for this trip.


Zen’s study parlour. How cool is this!?!


Zen and his grandmother.

Twin Peaks mania!!

May 16th, 2017

Twin Peaks returns on Sunday after a 25-year absence!! So, here’s my review of the Twin Peaks Definitive Gold Box Edition of Season 1 & 2:

I remembered watching the original series as it was released on TV (when do we ever do that any more!?!) Then I remembered watching it on VHS with my girlfriend (now my wife). Now, 25 years later, we are watching it with our son. I loved it each time.

This is the entire two season run of Twin Peaks, with bonus features. The box it comes in is sturdy, but the design unimaginative, and there’s no booklet!!

All of the 29 episodes are there, as well as the pilot, and the European version of the pilot with its strange “ending”.

Bonus features:

There’;s a very long documentary called Secrets From Another Place – Creating Twin Peaks”. It has lots of Mark Frost. “We’re just going to buckle our seatbelt and go for the ride.” The script was so mysterious. Cast and crew weren’t sure what they were shooting. Lots of Log Lady appearances. “Mark is really an unsung hero, because he did a lot of storytelling and allowed David’s imagination to take off.” There’s great shots of David Lynch on set. We learn thatFrost & Lynch were introduced by a mutual agent, got along right away, started working on features, “One Saliva Bubble” nearly got made in 1987. Agent Tony Kranz wanted them to do a series. Took a crazy meeting with ABC, “told them about this strange town in the northwest, and a murder that happens, and I remember David said something about ‘and there’s the wind in the trees’, and he moved his hands a certain way, and they all kind of leaned forward, and I kinda knew we had them. So, sure enough, they made us an offer to write this pilot. Then a few weeks after that the writer’s guild went on strike, so it fell between the cracks.” Long break, then Tony Kranz called again, they tried to remember what was discussed about what they bought. Developed further first draft, initial title Northwest Passage, stuff that happened, murder of a young girl. Sat in a room, batted things back and forth, Lynch lay on psychologist’s couch, Frost typed into the computer, set up a map, town nestled between two mountains, created the title Twin Peaks. Their only collaboration, enjoyed the process, laughed a lot, had fun. “We had no expectation that ABC would give this thing a second thought, because it was kind of out there, given what network television was doing at the time – it was off the charts.” Negotiated for and got total control – they didn’t need to do this, they had lots of other things they could do. Mark made David feel comfortable with a TV network. David didn’t have to take notes, he could cast as he wanted to.

Joanna Ray discussing casting.

Richard Beamer from West Side Story was perfect for Ben Horne, “what a thrill”, got Russ Tamblyn together again. Surprised the Piper Laurie wanted to come in, she had “weight and gravitas.” There was no proper audition, just talk. Sheryl Lee also discussed the casting. Ray Wise, on his casting, notes that he had pictured that he’d be cast as Sheriff Truman, had to look back at the script to find out what Leland did – lots of crying! Kimmy Robertson looking very large, and so Lucy-like!! Joan Chen as a quasi-Isabella Rossellini. Script written as an Italian woman!! Trying to re-create the Rebel Without A Cause feeling with gorgeous young actors & actresses. Created Madchen Amick’s Shelly role after meeting her and liking her so much.Frost suggested Kyle, David like the idea, and Kyle was perfect. Some concern about Cooper’s age. Greatest character introduction with the dictaphone. Gave story and plot, established character too. “Just jumped off the page, off the screen as well.”

Scouted in Seattle area together, looking for the icons that they needed, found it in the final day. “It was if we’d seen it in a dream, it was pretty spooky.” Kyle’s from Washington state, saw his home state in a new way. Mike Nelson has brief spot in the documentary. Joan talks about the interesting dreams all the cast had from the forever wetness. Michael Horse was once a traditional dancer, felt presence of Spirit despite being very un-New Age. Piper Laurie loved it too, got to see a lot of the area. Log Lady Catherine Coulson loved being there. Had to adapt to film making in an area that didn’t understand film-making. Worst winter in 20 years, with 100 year freak weather like baseball-sized hailstones and a blizzard. Crew was snowed in for 48 hours, didn’t have enough film for their scenes! “David was amazing, nothing stopped him. Incredibly inventive for how to get the material shot.” Weather contributed to the mood of the scene. Pushed James & Donna on a cold night to get great emotion.

Duwayne Denham gets lots of interviews.

Didn’t think about the closed ending, didn’t have a killer! “Snew doog tog ev’I I’ve got good news!”

People hated the test.

Kimmy Robertson “I’ve never been in anything that cool since.”

Ray Wise was amazed at the reaction to the show.

“Whether they liked it or not would be another question, but they certainly got their money’s worth, and it turned out that they were just as mesmerised as I’d hoped they’d be, and we were off and running.”

The show was on during the week, they could talk about it at work the next day, nothing like it. Ad campaign capitalised on this.

Everyone was surprised that this was going to come a series in the end. Season One was a provisional order of only seven episodes. Started shooting in July-August. Shot Season 1 in LA in a warehouse. City Studio. Twin Peaks Land. Some LA spots were like Washington state. Duwayne Denham chosen to direct the first episode of Season One.

Great editing!

Twin Peaks was director-driven – David Lynch was so accommodating, not the norm in Hollywood!

Lots of indie directors, edgy!!

Superbowl-like numbers, people obsessed with the show, a run on cherry pie, they caught a wave! In those days there were only three networks anyway… a cultural phenomenon.

“I’m not sure David & Mark know who killed Laura Palmer.” “I still don’t know who killed Laura Palmer.”

Everybody thought that Sheryl Lee knew… she didn’t!

Ray Wise: “All I know is that, as great as all of the hubbub was a the time, I was just praying that it wasn’t me!”

Joan Chen – didn’t realise what this phenomenon of being in a hit series was all about. Catherine Coulson also didn’t know what was going on, then she was mobbed. Acting all her life and had never experienced this. Roseanne Barr “It’s the Log Lady”, and she’s reached another plateau.

Phil Donahue’s Twin Peaks spot with Sheryl, Eric, Madchen, Dana, Piper, Peggy

Catherine honoured by the Sesame Street “Twin Beaks” episode!!

Sad to see Catherine Coulson and Miguel Farrer, who are now passed away.

Laura Palmer funerals around the country, coffee shops selling Twin Peaks pies, t-shirts… CC has a Log Lady t-shirt from that day…

The attention was a distraction – photo sessions… suddenly wrangling people – instead of having Kyle from Monday-Friday, you have him Thursday-Friday. “really hit a nerve.” David on the cove of Time magazine, but unfazed. “It was as surreal as the television series.” Kimmy Robertson about David Letterman Show. Kimmy voted worst-dressed at Emmys.

Secrecy over script, the cast also became viewers!!

Charlotte Stewart – Betty Briggs speaks

Packed all the cliffhangers they could possibly add into the end of Season 1, tried to create as much tension as possible…

[1:00:00] Talking about the music of Twin Peaks, great interviews with Angelo Badalamenti and Julie Cruise. Working with David on the Fender Rhodes, describing the mood, giving directions. Best moment in the documentary!! “David got up, gave me a big hug, he said ‘Angelo, that’s Twin Peaks’!”

Julee Cruise sang “Falling” to Rudy, her cocker spaniel, although she had just gotten married…

“God, I love this music – isn’t it so dreamy?!?”

“Julie, I don’t like your attitude!!” Had a falling out with David at one point, took seven years. Julee’s crying talking about the mutual apology…

Paul McCartney’s anecdote about performing 30 minutes of music for the Queen… then she goes off to watch Twin Peaks. Paul punches Angelo, “used a few choice English words, said, ‘because of your blah-blah-blah show Twin Peaks, I could not perform for the Queen’.” Up against Stanley Jordan, Phil Collins and Quincy Jones for Grammys. “Being nominated is fun and it’s great, and I think most people would say ‘we psych ourselves, or ‘we truly believe it’s truly great to be nominated,’ but there ain’t nothing like winning. It’s a whole ‘nother thing. It’s great!”

Julee Cruise: “Just being part of Twin Peaks is enough for me. It’s enough. I already made my mark, I don’t have to try. It just happened. You never know what’s going to come along. You plan your life out, and you never know what’s going to come along.”

“I’m not quite sure where the wheels fell off the cart, but it sort of did.”

“They forced a creative issue upon Mark and David that was sort of unfair, and probably was the undoing of the show.”

Mark & David knew from the beginning that Leland was the murderer. Keeping the secret became a burden in the second season.

Fake scenes were shots. The actors became viewers.

Benjamin Horne, Leland Palmer and Benjamin Jacobi were all laid out as possible killers.

Poor Sheryl Lee: “that was a long day of work [laughs], that was a very long physical day of work, thank God I was working with such great actors that were so respectful in that kind of a situation. Because it does, emotionally, after being beaten up and killed all day, it kind of gets under your skin a little bit.”

Edited and cut the negatives for both endings, mixed the show, the decision was made after mixing and colour correcting both versions so that one ending was added to the end that was delivered.

Ray had to be told that he was the killer, he was leaving the show… Astonished and horrified. “He bit into that role with a kind of ferocious dedication.” Ray had a baby daughter at that time…

“They liked to know, not necessarily to know…”

Kimmy stopped watching in the second season!!

Some started losing interest.

Carel Struyken speaks!! “What struck me immediately was how everybody seems to be in a trance. And at first I thought ‘oh, that’s David Lynch doing his thing.’ And afterwards I realised that it was just because everybody was so over-worked working day and night on this project.”

ABC backlash.

Leland Briggs bitterness about Twin Peaks being shuffled from Thursday to Saturday… then the start of the Gulf War and being pre-empted a lot… ABC being bought over by new owners.

Mark Frost would have made Wyndham Earl a more threatening presence in episodes 10-12. Didn’t come in with buns blazing right away. Didn’t hit the riveting spine yet… went off track with some nutty stuff… “The last couple of hours in the second season are pretty powerful, and what we has set up was a great dilemma for Season Three, with Cooper becoming in effect the hero and the villain, which is where we were going to go with it.”

The last scene was completely improvised. Wyndham Earl talks about speaking backwards… everyone puts their trust in David.

Mark was already mapping out Season Three at that time… “the human heart is capable of incredible goodness and remarkable darkness… Season Three would have gone further into that heart of darkness into looking what happened with Agent Cooper, with the guy who was the personification of the light side of things, having to confront that within himself.”

Breakaway television!

You also get the Saturday Night Live appearance that Kyle McLachlan did, which isn’t very good, and Julee Cruise’s video for “Falling”.

“Return to Twin Peaks” shows a group of Twin Peaks fans staging their convention. Nice, human stories of real people who happen to love Twin Peaks.

Blue Velvet DVD review

April 23rd, 2017

I recently re-watched Blue Velvet, and discovered that the DVD has some great bonus features!!

A superb mini-world that completely foreshadowed Twin Peaks every step of the way.

Great movie – symbolism made extravagant and obvious, enflamed, spurious!!

Over 50 minutes of newly-discovered footage! A mini-movie!!

- topless girls in a bar with a blues singer, Frank and Jeffrey and gang come in, terrorise some guy and a stripper on a pool table, “love letter”, a girl lights her nipples on fire!!
then goes into chronological order:
- father is discovered by neighbour (toddler’s mom)
- Jeffrey spies on a date rape (of a woman in a blue dress), intervenes, then gets a call from his mom telling him about the father’s illness and getting him to withdraw from school
- awkward farewell from girlfriend at school
- airplane
- pick-up from the airport with Mother & Aunt
- breakfast
- scenes of dread
- new first meeting with Sandy and Mike, Mrs Williams
- Geoffrey borrows car, doctor’s injecting mother
- driving with Sandy, gorgeous and intense scene – Sandy’s falling for him!
- driving up to and entering the Slow Club
- chatting at the table endorsing Heineken (!?!), watching the dog act on stage, then the totally bizarre second act!!
- confrontation with mother after coming home late after the first night at Dorothy’s
- phone call to Louise, who’s now married!
- termite conversation with Aunt Barbara/Mrs Tremayne
- dinner with the Williams & Mike (!?!)
- Aunt Barbara & the termites
- ice cream & coffee & photos with the Williams & Mike
- Aunt Barbara’s termite note
- Frank & Geoffrey on the phone
- Frank & Geoffrey in the windy field
- Geoffrey & Dorothy
- Dorothy’s confrontation with Gordon, takes Geoffrey up to roof, throws red shoes
- post-credits scene – “well, it’s about time you came”
Documentary reveals:
- production early meetings at Bob’s Big Boy
- First casting meetings of Kyle, Isabella
- David wanted Hellen Mirren to play Dorothy
- Isabella’s second Hollywood film!!
- David wanted Dennis, Kyle, Isabella & Lorna, they all got paid peanuts
- David had to take a pay cut to get it done – final cut wasn’t in the contract, but on Dino’s handshake
- Dennis Hopper got out of rehab and did Blue Velvet, Hoosiers & River’s Edge back-to-back!!
- Isabella had no undergarments on for her first scene with Frank Booth
- This Mortal Coil’s song “The Siren” was supposed to be in the movie
- Angelo Badalamenti describes beginning of working relationship with David Lynch, coaxing Isabella to sing
- Isabella Rossellini felt blame for the initial failure of the film
- John Simon’s review!
1.5 minutes of outtakes, including Kyle’s weird eating scene
1.5 minutes of Siskel & Ebert’s review of the film
- coffee shops
- the chicken walk
- the robin
- Sita, Kate Millet
Trailer (1:30)
TV spot 1
TV spot 2
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new Botanical Gardens area – The Learning Forest

April 15th, 2017

We woke up early this morning to explore the new Learning Forest area of the Singapore Botanical Garden, and wow is it ever cool! They just opened it up at the end of March, and I can see from one of the maps that they’re also developing another large section just north of if (the only part that is still untouched is an area that we can see from our balcony). Lots of nice pictures

Swan Lake, 7:00 AM.

The start of the treetop walk at the Learning Garden, there’s easy access from one side of Swan Lake.

Bamboo garden

Tall skinny bamboos

Bamboo bush

Cousin Itt bamboo…

Tall bamboo!!


Bamboo Crosses Path



Groovy bridge

Tall tree

Tall tree with reflection

Reflection of tall tree…


Fun pond and promenade


Naoko in contemplation



Groovy catwalk

A perfect arch. That’s the moon up there too…


Yes, we have no bananas…

Cool map of the Botanical Gardens. Learning Forest is newly completed, and it looks like there will be a “Gallop Extension”, with some sort of building in there. The untouched area is adjacent to our condo complex, and our pool can be seen at the far left edge.

My babe likes bananas…

Ginger flowers at the old access area (no longer Learning Forest)


Ginger flower.

Ginger flowers

Someone practicing sword tai chi.





Near the Bukit Timah Road exit.


Bamboo bush

Oma & Opa in Singapore, and my 1000th blog post!!

February 8th, 2017

Oma & Opa came to visit us in Singapore, here are some pictures to mark the occasion.

Oh yeah – and I also noticed that this is my 1000th blog post! How time flies!!

Oma Opa Zen

Grandparents & Grandson!!

Oma Opa

The birthday girl!!


Oma's birthday fruit

Oma didn’t want a birthday cake, so we got her a birthday cornucopia of sorts – ripe cherries and perfect strawberries! Tasted better than any cake!!


Peter Naoko Zen Oma Opa

Balcony pic with tripod so all of us could fit in.


Oma Opa

Oma & Opa


Zen Oma

Grandmother & grandson…


Oma Opa Zen Naoko

Oma’s birthday dinner – chicken with cashew nuts!!


Peter Naoko Zen Oma Opa

I pulled out the tripod for this pic…


Happy New Year 2017!!

January 1st, 2017

Happy New Year 2017! I made a bunch of New Year’s greetings – one from Naoko and Zen and I, one from myself, one from each of my bands.

Peter Naoko Zen PNZ2017Nengajo

Peter PH2017Nengajo

MegalomaniA nengajo2017

The Motör-Apes 2016 wish

The Sinisters 2017 greeting

Balcony view

December 31st, 2016

We’ve seen some great sunrises, and some interesting cloud views from our balcony (as well as lovely birds, but we couldn’t get good pictures of them). Here are some of the better shots I took in 2016.

SIngapore IMG_2708 balcony

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Singapore Got bird!! balcony

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Singapore sky IMG_8589 balcony

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Singapore balcony

Singapore balcony

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Singapore balcony

Singapore balcony

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Singapore balcony

Singapore balcony

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Singapore balcony

Singapore balcony

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Singapore balcony


Christmas 2016

December 25th, 2016

We had a nice, quiet family Christmas this year.

Peter Zen Christmas IMG_3642

Both Zen and I got haircuts on Christmas Eve. Don’t we look great?

Naoko Christmas IMG_3652

Zen vinyl IMG_4232

Zen got his first vinyl – Imagine Dragons!!


Hooray, we got Twin Peaks, season 1 & 2!!

vinyl IMG_4236

I got some of these records on Christmas, some of them before Christmas (but didn’t have a chance to listen to them).


We also played squash a lot during the break.

Rudra live in concert!!

December 17th, 2016

Rudra is one of my favourite Singapore bands. They’ve got everything – the look, the sound, the style, the chops, the dedication, the concept. Love these guys.

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