Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can't Stop Lovin' Van Halen...

Hmm.. now Obama is officially the 44th President of United State of America. While watching his inaugural “We Are One” concert, by artists like Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, U2, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonders, etc.. I suddenly recalled the controversial issue by some artists regarding the use of their songs during the presidential campaign. One of the artists is Van Halen. They’ve requested to stop using “Right Now” for Mc Cain’s presidential campaign.

Van Halen's CD

Van Halen is always an interesting band. Either for Eddie’s superb finger work or making headline on their feud between Eddie & Sammy, Eddie & Roth, Eddie & Cherone and Eddie's in rehab. 

Van Halen never had a tour in South East Asia. Japan & Australia are the farthest they have gone. Speaking of Japan, the country is known to music lovers as a place to find a limited edition collectibles. While we were there, I spoilt myself browsing their rare collection including Van Halen “Balance” cd…
Why this album is so special that I eagerly wanted to share with Van Halen fans?

  1. The cover album is different from the US release.
  2. Extra bonus track - Crossing Over. 
  3. Last album with lead singer Sammy Hagar. 
  4. Always a fan, no matter if it's Roth or Hagar. Cherone? He’s a good singer but not for Van Halen. He’s the man of funk & soul.
  5. Luckily it’s still available at some music store in Japan. (Balance was released in 1995). Thanks to my wife for passionately waiting for me as I was browsing thru the whole store in Japan.. muahh!

The album has a mix reviews from the fans and music critics. For me, it might not be as classic as “Van Halen”, “1984” or “5150” (my favourite) but it still a great album. Considered it’s been released in the era of grunge where everyone dig the sound of bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. 

Eddie’s guitar work is heavier, crunchier and basically dominates the whole album. What can I say, it’s his band after all. Listen to “Seventh Seal”,“Amsterdam” and “Big Fat Money”, you can hear to his hardwork to create a new sound for Van Halen. “Baluchitherium” is one of 3 instrumental tracks on this album. (and the best too...)

The best track of all is “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”. It’s such a guilty pleasure… Oh! Sammy, what a miss!!!

HRC Nagoya
*Sammy Hagar just released a new album “Universal Cosmic Fashion”.
Picture of Sammy memorabilia I took at Hard Rock Café Nagoya.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

John, Yoko, Faizal & Anna

We’ve been writing about John Lennon on our last post. Why?
Because…our passion other than travelling is music and because of music too… we travel. I really love The Beatles and when we went for our budget backpack to Japan last year, we took the opportunity to visit The John Lennon Museum in Saitama, Japan.

Here we come!Going to the MuseumJohn Lennon Museum @ Saitama, JapanJohn Lennon CollageJohn Lennon Collage
Located on the 4-5th floor of Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Shintoshin (Saitama New Urban Centre). It takes about 40min ride from Tokyo Station (JR Keihin Tohoku Line) to Saitama Shintoshin Station. Once you at the station, don’t worry about getting lost cause John Lennon signature are there to guide you. The museum opens from 11.00am till 6.00pm and is closed every Tuesday. Admission fee is 1,500 yen per-entry.

Built as tribute to the music legend, the museum exhibits mostly on John Lennon. Personal items and memorabilia from his childhood years to The Beatles till Life with Yoko Ono and his son, Sean. All is beautifully displayed in chronology into various zone. Love & Peace zone really attracted me the most (Peace campaign, White Album, Yoko Ono and The Beatles breakup). 

Keep an eye too on Yoko Ono’s art exhibit “Telephone Peace” : if this white telephone rings when you pass it, don’t be afraid to pick up, you’ll find yourself chatting with the artist…I mean Yoko herself…apparently she calls from time to time.. (we waited for a few minutes, but no calls….sad). If you are searching for his past stories with his first wife, Cynthia and his son Julian, look carefully or you might miss it cause she is almost invisible in this museum… hmmm wonder why?

Museum LoungeJohn Lennon MuseumMuseum LoungeMuseum LoungeJohn Lennon MuseumJohn Lennon Museum @ Saitama, Japan
After spending about 2 hours, we took a break at the Museum Lounge where books, magazine and cd’s (solo & beatles) related to him is for you to browse. If you wanna take a piece of John Lennon with you, just headed to the Museum Shop. (I bought a T-shirt, pins and a copy of White Album (Japan Edition). The price… you will be surprised…

John Lennon Museum
For more info, click to the website and lookout for a latest special exhibition at the museum.

*Sorry guys... taking picture inside the exhibit area is prohibited.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

GIVE PEACE A CHANCE... please...

“All we are saying is give peace a chance”. These are lyrics from John Lennon famous anti-war song. Passionately sang it words by words, he really wanted people to get his message.

For us, Peace means not only to Stop The War, actually it’s more than that. Respect each other, Stop Violence, Stop messing with Mother Nature, Keep Our Country Clean, Stop Discrimination & Being Racist, Stop being Megalomaniac (not only to politician…), Stop driving like a Lunatic, Stop blaming each other, Learn to admit you own mistakes… and finally, Love and Live Life to the Fullest. 

Do you think you can do it? Or still waiting for others to make a move? Why not give ourselves a chance? 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Late Arrival / Early Departure

Have you ever experienced this kind of situation? Finding a hotel at these odd hours? Not only it will be stretching your budget, but its time consuming! This is one of the reasons why certain travellers didn’t like to book an early or late flight..

But...would you ever considered sleeping in the airport? Without a room service, a comfy bed or a bathroom? For some travellers, this is a “no-no thing” or afraid they are not allowed to do it. Budget travellers (like us) see this as a thing to keep our expenses low and time catching. Actually, we’ve done it and here are a few tips from us…
  1. Some of the airport official might not allow you to do it, but you must be prepared with your travel document and itineraries.

  2. If you’ve decided to sleep in the airport, prepare some of these items to keep you company: inflatable pillow, alarm clock, ipod, jacket/blanket, toiletries and reading stuff (magazine/guidebooks).

  3. Cautions: take care of your belongings and never leave them unattended. It might freak them out… hehehe…

  4. Some of the airports have good facilities such as massage chairs, free internet & movies provider, pay shower room & restaurants. Make use of them.
Last but not least, you have options and reasons to do it. We like to share the idea and the rest is up to you. Why not let yourself experience this little “adventure” and who knows, it might be FUN…for your travelling story.

For more information, type on Google search “Sleeping in the airport”.
* Don’t be surprised, KLIA is on top 10 favourite airports and a 2007 Golden Pillow winner.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

What's the story morning glory?

Rasanya belum terlambat lagi buat kami untuk mengucapkan Selamat Tahun Baru 2009 kepada semua keluarga, kawan-kawan dan juga sesiapa sahaja yang sudi membaca blog kami. Azam Tahun Baru?! Hmmm...Soalan biasa untuk first day of new year, right?!!

Walau apa pun azamnya, sama-sama lah kita cuba melaksanakannya. InsyaAllah.. As for us, meneruskan lagi budget travel ke destinasi terbaru. Ada satu lagi yang buat Ana happy sangat, sebab she was chosen for Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Fabulous Girl Campaign January issue (untuk versi Malaysia ye..). Actually any girls out there can be nominated for this campaign as long as you meet the requirements,like.. not more than 35 years old.. Ana dah nak sampai dah umur tu...he..he.. Anyway, What a good start for 2009. Kalau ada sesiapa yang interested nak tau lebih lagi, can get a copy from any bookstore or newsstand. For those who have bought it, Thank You so much.....

Gambar-gambar semasa photo shoot for Cosmo hari tu, sempat berborak dengan Qushairi Razali atau lebih dikenali sebagai Qi (pengacara Destinasi Bajet), he is very nice and down to earth kind of guy dan sorang lagi Henry Golding, yang ni handsome dan cute la.. Buat Cosmo team, especially Anida. Thank You sooooooo much... Faizal and I had a wonderful time. (* Tapi Faizal lagi excited sebab dapat jumpa dan borak-borak dengan Qi)

Cosmo Photo Shoot Photo ShootCosmo Photo ShootMake-up artistHos Destinasi BajetWith Cosmo TeamCosmo Photo Shoot