Monday, March 30, 2009

My first Java Jazz Experience.

Java Jazz Festival 2009
Saya terbaca satu artikel di akhbar mingguan berbahasa malaysia mengenai Java Jazz Festival yang diadakan di Jakarta baru-baru ini. Artikel yang ditulis oleh seorang wartawan yang bertugas di sana agak menghampakan. Mungkin kerana tugas untuk memenuhi kolum di akhbar dan tidak memahami muzik jazz kerana terlalu “into rock muzik”, beberapa info yang tidak tepat telah diberikan buat peminat-peminat jazz di Malaysia.

Java Jazz Festival, Jakarta
Jazz is not everyone cup of tea but if you are really love music, please don’t put a barrier to it. This is my first time attending a jazz festival and very excited to be part of the largest jazz festival in the world, even for 1 day. (Java Jazz Festival is a 3 days event and has been held annually every early March).

Java Jazz ticket
Bought the ticket online for 300,00rp (one day daily pass). If you buy it earlier or wanted to go for the full 3 days event, a special promotion price is given only for a limited time. It’s highly recommend and a very good deal. There were also “ticket touts” or “ulat tiket” selling the daily pass outside the venue. Hati-hati ya cause you have to bargain for the price, if not you’ll be buying the ticket more expensive than the original price.

Java Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009Me @ Java Jazz FestivalJava Jazz Festival 2009Maliq & D'essentials CD Boxset
Not to be missed the excitement and to avoid the heavy crowd, we went early to the festival. Lots of special booth were open here. Everything from fashion, cds & dvd, all range of musical instrument & gears, music channel, Indonesian tourism, KLM Airlines and even Blue Bird Group (for transportations) are in this big event. Even our Malaysian GP and Sunburst KL promoting their concert here.. (sad to hear what happened to N.E.R.D after the concert, it was a shame to Malaysian music scene. Well.. I guess we can learn a thing or two from this Java Festival organizer). 

We catched a gamelan jazz fusion performance by Gamelan Shokbreaker, after hours browsing the booth and bought a few merchandise. It’s an outstanding collaborations between Norwegian and Indonesian musician. They were playing the traditional and classical Indonesian music. (Rhythm in Bronze used to “jamming” a gamelan fusion in Actor Studio back in 2005. Remember?)

Java Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009
This 5th edition of Java Jazz has brought variety to the festival. There’re gamelan, rock, funk, soul, R&B, and etc…

Me @ Java Jazz Festival
After has been mesmerized by the sound of gamelan, we move on to the rock sound of Slank. By this time, the crowd has already started coming to the venue. Inside the hall, people patiently and eagerly waited to see the greatest rock band in Indonesia to “goes jazz”. No sign of typical Slankers (Slank fans) among this jazz fans. Maybe because it was too early (Slanks performance started at 4pm) or the ticket price was too expensive or cause it was “Jazz Festival”, I’m not sure.

Slank goes JazzSlank goes JazzSlank goes JazzSlank goes JazzSlank goes Jazz
Once the announcer introduced the band on stage and the shirtless Kaka belting his first number “Ngangkang”, crowds started cheering and dancing to the tunes. Heavy & bluesy riffs, horns by the Ron King Big Band and critical lyrics like Gossip Jalanan, Jinna were all blended well, even if it didn’t sound that jazzy. Who cares? The crowds were having fun and together we sang along to Slank slow number “Ku Tak Bisa”. Does that qualify me to become a Slankers? Hehehe…

Java Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009Abdul & Coffee Theory @ Java Jazz
Everywhere in each hall, there’s performances going on and we couldn’t catch them all. We nearly missed Tompi, Anna’s favourite singer, cause the hall was already packed. Yup!, some halls were full even before the show started. Disebabkan Tompi ni rendah, Ana terpaksa menjengket beberapa kali to see him. Tompi as always bring up a good show and his energetic voice makes the tunes more lively. We couldn’t resist ourselves from sang along to Menghujam Jantungku, Sedari Dulu, Salahkah and… I guessed all his songs. Oooh.. What a lovely moment.

Have you ever listened to “Death Jazz”? This was an unforgettable mind blowing performance by Japanese jazz group called “Soil N Pimp” Sessions. It comprised of six musicians playing drums, piano, saxophone, bass, trumpet and agitator (the very interesting bearded front man with a megaphone). Never heard a jazz music been played this aggressive and believe or not, I’m head banging to their tunes. (In 2007, they were invited to play at “Later with Jools Holland”).

Anna & D'essentials?
By this time, it’s already past midnight and the hall was still packed for the final performance by Maliq N D’Essentials. Cheering the crowds with the opener “Terdiam”, the band delivered a very tight set arrangement featuring The Organics All Star. There were songs from the new album too “Mata, Hati, Telinga” (Pilihanku is definitely my favourite). Little disappointment was Angga & the heavily pregnant Indah voices agak tenggelam at the beginning, but then it didn’t stop the crowds from having fun cause the tunes really made our body moves…

Java Jazz Festival 2009
After all, what else can I say more… besides photos, to be part of this experience is definitely completed our journey…
*Already marked on next year’s calendar... Hoping it’s getting even bigger and better.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Backpack bermula di Jakarta

Pintu Gerbang ke Sukarno-Hatta Airport
Hello, it's story time. It has been a week now after we came back from Indonesia... cepatnya masa berlalu. Anyway, lets start with Jakarta.

Day 1-5

Hotel Ibis Arcadia, JakartaIbis Arcadia Hotel, JakartaRoom at Ibis Arcadia HotelMONASGambir Station,JakartaWelcome Monument, JakartaGrand Indonesia, JakartaMasjid Istiqlal, JakartaNet Ezy-24 hours internet cafeNasi Padang everywhere...
We stayed at Ibis Arcadia, Central Jakarta walking distance to many places such as MONAS, Gambir Station (actually jauh jugak but then still boleh jalan), Masjid Istiqlal, Welcome Monument (yang paling famous sekali), and shopping paradise, Grand Indonesia area. Tapi yang best sekali kat hotel Ibis Arcadia ni dekat tempat makan, internet, dan kemudahan lain untuk backpacker macam kitaorang ni. Budget hotel ni (rm130 per night, kalau dikira sorang rm65 jer). Bagi sesiapa yang nak lebih cabaran boleh menginap kat area Jalan Jaksa, not bad tau.., price range RM60-RM90 per night. Jalan Jaksa ni terkenal dengan westerners’ backpackers jadinye tempat ni banyak kemudahan yang disediakan, say no more check the photos out! And also check this out, KL Village Kopitiam at Jalan Jaksa, sempat jugak makan roti canai dan teh tarik!

Jalan Jaksa,JakartaMargot Hotel, Jalan JaksaAlong Jalan Jaksa, JakartaKL Village Kopitiam, Jln JaksaBreakfast @ KL Village Kopitiam, Jln Jaksa
Hari pertama sampai, selepas check-in, we went to grab quick lunch kat Sarinah Deparment Store, food court nya not bad…Guess what? Nak balik ke hotel hujan lebat sangat sampai banjir la kat depan hotel.. Apalagi I took a chance to do manicure and pedicure… he..he.. murah giler rm30 for both plus reflexology. Meanwhile, Faizal was busy browsing his CD selection kat Musik Plus (one of the best CD shop in Jakarta).

Java Jazz ticketActually, our main intention for Jakarta was Java Jazz Festival. Grand banget! One of the best festival that we have ever been, even though we didn't go for 3 days. Faizal paling puashati sekali dengan scene Slank Goes Jazz.. Slank?! You guys pernah dengar tak pasal Slank? Tak pe nanti Faizal will story you guys. We were there on the last day, besides Slank, we had a chance to see Tompi, Maliq n D'Essential, Abdul and Coffee Theory, Soil n Pimp, Gamelan Shokbreaker performances dan macam-macam lagi. Disebabkan terlalu banyak performances yang bertindih dan crowded giler we missed Tohpati, Drew, Gruvi (sounds familiar?!! or not). Selain tu booth2 yang disediakan pun best2 termasuk la Rolling Stone. Sempat jugak sambar latest limited edition Maliq n D'essential album, dapat T-Shirt sekali... I think I will let Faizal post the details on Java Jazz Festival later, he does it better..

Java Jazz Festival 2009Slank goes JazzJava Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009Java Jazz Festival 2009BudgetCouple @ Java Jazz FestivalRolling Stone booth @ Java JazzMaliq & D'essentials CD BoxsetAnna & D'essentials?
During our time in Jakarta, we spent most of the time on sightseeing, we went up to MONAS (Monumen Nasional), to see Jakarta from different angle. We took one day off from Jakarta, to go to Bogor, dikenali juga sebagai Kota Hujan. From Jakarta, we took express train Jabotabek from Gambir station, ticket price 11,000rp = rm3.30,(1 hour) tapi kalau naik yang ekonomi 5,500rp = rm1.65, waduh murah sekali! tapi 1 1/2hr.

MONAS viewing deckView from top of MONASSculptures around MONASGambir Station,JakartaGambir Station,Jakarta
Bogor StationInside AngkutanEntrance Kebon Raya, BogorEntrance Kebon Raya, BogorKebun Raya, Bogor
Sampai jer kat station Bogor, confused where to go, terus jer naik angkut (mini van with crowded people), the cheapest and most efficient! Price 2,000rp=rm0.60. About 1/2 hour ride including macet (traffic jam) we reached Kebun Raya Bogor. This place is in the centre of Bogor, and it's has been the greatest asset since 1817. For your information, the person behind this project was Sir Stamford Raffles, he renovated the residence inside the garden to become the famous Istana Bogor or Presidential Palace. Disebabkan tak ada group tour, kami tak dibenarkan masuk dalam kawasan istana cuma tengok dari luar jer, pun dah ok! Kalau sesiapa yang ada masa lama, bolehlah berkunjung ke zoological museum yang terletak dalam kawasan garden. Admission fee, 9,500rp=rm2.85 per pax. After few hours strolling inside the garden we headed back to Jakarta. Besides it's cooling and peaceful garden, Bogor offers Wayang Golek Puppets and not too bad shopping mall nearby..Menariknya disini, ketika kami nak pulang ke Jakarta, sementara menantikan train bergerak, kami dihiburkan dengan pengamen (pemuzik jalanan) di dalam train sehingga tak sedar dah ternaik train yang salah. Nasib baik ada penumpang yang tegur kami.. Itu la..asyik sangat dengar musik..

Istana BogorIstana BogorIstana BogorKebon Raya, BogorTugu Lady RafflesKebon Raya, BogorAround Kebun RayaBogor StationPengamen @ Bogor StationInside Jabotabek train
Since we have been to Jakarta a few times, this time we take things slow and steady. For those who have planned or thought of going, Jakarta has many things to offer. For "not to stuck in the macet" everytime, we suggest you to take TransJakarta. It's like MRT/LRT/Tram/Monorail but it is a bus. Fare price agak murah kerana tidak mengikut distance, paling untung sekali kalau arah tuju kita station yang paling akhir.. 3,500rp per entry. Click here for more details on TransJakarta route.

Halte TransJakarta BuswayTransJakarta Busway ticket counterTransJakarta BuswayInside Transjakarta BuswayTransJakarta Busway

Si Jagur aka Fertility CannonKalau di Jakarta, tempat sejarahnya terletak di kawasan station Kota dikenali sebagai Old Batavia, berdekatan dengan Sunda Kelapa, yang merupakan sebuah pelabuhan bersejarah. Centre of Old Batavia, there are Taman Fatahillah, Jakarta History Museum, Museum Wayang, Ceramics Museum dan yang paling istimewa sekali Si Jagur. Nak tau kenapa? Mitos mengatakan jika sesiapa yang ingin menimang cahaya mata bolehlah duduk di atas Si Jagur yang dikenali sebagai Fertility Cannon. Tetapi disebabkan terlalu ramai yang mempercayainya, pihak museum tak membenarkan sesiapa duduk lagi diatasnya dikhuatiri ia akan jatuh dari platformnya. Betul atau tidak hanya Tuhan Yang Lebih Tahu.

Masjid Istiqlal, JakartaMasjid Istiqlal, JakartaMasjid Istiqlal, JakartaMasjid Istiqlal, JakartaSt Mary's Cathedral, Jakarta
Selain MONAS, Masjid Istiqlal juga menarik untuk dilawati boleh menempatkan lebih kurang 250,000 jemaah dan mempunyai lima tingkat. Di hadapannya terletak sebuah gereja yang sangat besar, St Mary's Cathedral. Menariknya di sini, ketika kami melawat Masjid tersebut, yang jatuh pada hari Ahad, kelihatan ramai yang datang ke masjid dan juga gereja tetapi pengunjung gereja bebas untuk meletakkan kenderaan di kawasan tempat kereta masjid tanpa ada rasa prejudis atau kontroversi. Selain itu, tempat lawatan lain termasuk Istana Negara, National Museum, Taman Ria Ancol dan juga Taman Mini Indonesia.

Kalau nak shopping di Jakarta, i would recommend Mangga Dua, Blok M, Tanah Abang tapi it depends on what things you are looking for. But for typical Malay Malaysian those places are on top of the list. During Jakarta Sale (May-June), almost all the malls are offering discounted prices including the big ones, Plaza Indonesia, Seibu, Senayan Plaza, Sarinah, EX,Semanggi dan yang paling besar Mal Kelapa Gading. Di Indonesia, paling disukai oleh both of us is shop for CDs, paling sikit kalau beli pun mesti 10, murah banget deh! Recommended places are Musik Plus, Duta Suara, Disc Tarra, Ak’sa.ra (for books too).

Senayan City, JakartaSeibu, Grand IndonesiaDuta Suara Musik storeJalan Kwitang, JakartaJalan Kwitang, Jakarta
Bagi sesiapa yang nak cuba for books bargain, boleh ke Pasar Senen dan Kwitang area. Biasanya buku2 dijual di kaki lima atau di dalam kedai. Tapi yang grand di sini adalah Gramedia atau Toko Buku Agung. Kalau naik bajaj ke sini, lebih kurang 10,000rp=rm3.00

Natrabu Restaurant Sate stall Jalan SabangThey sell noodles...Nasi Padang delivery...
Kalau nak makan, pun senang mana-mana ada masakan padang, minang,sunda, fast food dan warung. Paling famous sekali memang Nasi Padang la... Disebabkan I’m a big fan of cupcakes baking, sempat jugak check it out My-cupcakes kiosk kat shopping mall EX, kedai cantik, the cakes are tempting and the taste are wonderful. Price?! Of course la… cheaper than Malaysia.. He..he..jangan ambil hati Malaysian bakers! Check their website here.

Cupcakes shop, JakartaCupcakes fridge magnet Vanilla Mocha CupcakeCupcakes PromotionChocolate Mint Cupcake
Kalau nak ke mana-mana di kota Jakarta ni, selain TransJakarta dan teksi, we also take a ride on bajaj and metro mini bus, cheap and fast! Works on short distance. Tapi kalau naik metro mini atau kopaja (also a mini bus) you have to be quick, biasanya bas ni, it doesn’t stop totally, it slows down so you have jump into the bus or out of the bus.’s fun we have tried it! Price 1,500rp=rm0.45 onwards. Tapi paling efficient sekali ialah Ojek, caranya dengan membonceng di belakang motor kapchai and just tell them your destination. Biasanya kita akan dapati mereka ni menunggu customer di pengkalan masing2. Nampak macam lepak but they are not. Kalau di Malaysia, patutnya mat rempit jadi ojek lagi bagus! Di Indonesia, it is legal tapi kena bargain sikit la.. Yang buat kitaorang respect diaorang, none of them taking advantage on the customer. Cayalah…

Kopaja busMetro Mini busBajajTake a ride on BajajOjek - waiting for customers.

Jakarta's viewEven though, Jakarta is famous for it's pollution, crowded and macet, we never get bored of it. For us, the people, the city and the food always make us feel welcome.

I shall continue our journey on next post...