Endank Soekamti: Semoga Kau di Neraka

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The melodic punk outfit from Yogyakarta, Endank Soekamti, have just picked “Semoga Kau di Neraka” as their second single. Not only the is the title pretty in your face (it means “wish you were in hell”), but the circumstances as to why it was chosen are a little unusual. They conducted a poll on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter, hoping to gauge which song was considered the best to be the second single. And viola… As the second single, “Semoga Kau di Neraka”, has also made an impact on the ring back tone sales, featuring even higher than their first single, “Audisi”.

So far Endank Soekamti has released 4 full-length albums. The first one, Kelas 1, was released in 2002 with help from Pongky Jikustik and Tony traX. The second, Pejantan Tambun, in 2005, and third, SSSTTT!!, in 2007, were both released under Warner Music Indonesia. In 2008 at the same time they quit from Warner, they started their own online radio: Soekamti FM.

In 2010 they joined the Nagaswara label and in May released their fourth album, soekamti.com. A few days ago they finally decided to use “Semoga Kau di Neraka” as their second single. Watch them live on Dec 19 in 1000 Bands concert in Cibubur. Or stay tune with what they are doing via http://soekamti.com

Maroon 5, Presale Tickets & the Power of Twitter

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Like it or not, you have to agree with the power of Twitter—or social network, at least. Look what happened with Maroon 5. They are scheduled to play in Jakarta on April 27, 2011. Java Musikindo, the promoter, started promoting the concert a month ago and opened the sale of presale tickets on Sunday, Dec 5; although the information about the presale tickets day was only published on Twitter and a few big banners ads, the 6000 tickets were sold out in less than 10 hours!

A similar thing happened a few months earlier, Java Musikindo sold presale tickets of Pitbull, and 4,400 of them sold out in less than 24 hours. As with Maroon 5, Java Musikindo only promoted the presale tickets via Twitter, and it worked really well. Who would’ve thought that Pitbull would get that awesome response from the public?

Java Musikindo is also using this strategy for the upcoming Deftones gig, scheduled to play in Jakarta on Feb 8. Their presale tickets were sold on Nov 27, a few months before the gig. Although no proper data is published as to how many tickets were sold, if we look from the Twitter time line obviously the Deftones concert has created a lot of hype on that web platform.

Earlier in October, JavaRockin’Land already proved how effective this Twitter marketing can be. By creating its own account which people can follow and know what’s going on minute by minute with JavaRockin’Land (e.g. are Smashing Pumpkins confirmed to play? When are the presale tickets on sale?). The gig itself ended up a massive success: Almost 50,000 people came to witness the biggest rock concert in South East Asia. Maybe not all because of Twitter, but there’s no doubt that Twitter played a major role here.

Yes mister, the super power of Twitter!

Senandung El Maut Kawanan Kelelawar Malam

Here comes Indonesia’s scariest band: Kelelawar Malam. Featuring Sayiba Von Terkutuk (vocals, guitar), Deta Beringas (bass, vocals), Fahri Al-Maut (guitar, backing vocals), and Apin Kiamat (drums), was released their debut album, Kelelawar Malam.

The album consists of 12 songs with the central theme of horror stories and urban legends, and dabbles around punk rock, heavy metal, stoner rock, ballads, and delta blues.

The band was founded in 2008 due to Sayiba and Deta’s dual obsession with the American horror-punk band the Misfits, and their love of Indonesian horror b-movies. Sayiba then wrote the lyrics and Deta did the artwork.

Stay connected with the living dead here: www.myspace.com/kelelawarmalam.com

Domestic Groove: LANI LEYLI

DOMESTIC GROOVE ~ Celeb’s Chosen Seven is my biweekly column in The Beat (Jakarta) mag. Basically it’s an interview via e-mail which focuses on small, intimate, domestic stuff; what Indonesia’s public figures are really into, musically speaking.

For the sixth edition I went upclose-and-personal with Lani Leyli.

One Million Facebook Fans Can’t Be Wrong

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A few weeks ago, the biggest punk rock band in Indonesia, Superman Is Dead, reached a significant record: One million fans on Facebook. This phenomenon is considered even more impressive due to the lack of SID’s appearances on television, proving that plenty of block-rockin’ concerts and a little word of mouth is all it takes for succes on this scale.

JRX, the drummer and spokesman for the band stated that their interaction with outSIDers/Lady Rose (their special name for the fans) is not always about the music or promoting their current activities. Sometimes discussing humanities and ecology—in a few case the discussion can get very heated. “But that’s the beauty of it,” he added.

According to JRX, Bobby Kool (vocal, guitar), and Eka Rock (bass, backing vocal) the Facebook succes only goes to show that television is not everything, and that you don’t need to move to Jakarta (a.k.a. the centre of Indonesia’s entertainment industry) to find stardom. There’s no such thing as “Jakartacentric”. And their intense and caring relationship with fans on Facebook has proven their theory.

Stay connected with Superman Is Dead by checking out their website: www.supermanisdead.net or search them on Facebook, of course.

Five Men, Pop-Manoeuvres & Manimal

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After their last phenomenal album in 2005, The Osaka Journals, which was chosen as one out five greatest album of the decade by the Jakarta Post, Sajama Cut are back in full effect. A few weeks ago they released their third and latest work: Manimal.

This album contains 8 songs and nothing has changed: Sajama Cut are still genre-free band. They, Marcel Thee (vocal, guitar), Dion Panlima Reza (guitar), Andre Humala (keyboard, synth, percussion), Randy Apriza Akbar (bass), Hans Citra Patria (keyboard, percussion), and Banu Satrio (drum); are as excited as ever before about having a wild adventure with Folk, Rock, Ambient, Sunshine & Baroque Pop—you name it, it’s there. And at the same time retaining consistency with their absurd English lyrics.

Manimal—the name came from an action-adventure 80s tv series—was recorded in their own studio, Movement. And during a whole year process the whole crew isolated themselves from the public, minimizing any distractions for a great record.

Stay connected with Marcel Thee and co. by visiting www.sajamacut.com

Domestic Groove: MAYLAFFAYZA

DOMESTIC GROOVE ~ Celeb’s Chosen Seven is my biweekly column in The Beat (Jakarta) mag. Basically it’s an interview via e-mail which focuses on small, intimate, domestic stuff; what Indonesia’s public figures are really into, musically speaking.

For the fifth edition I went upclose-and-personal with Maylaffayza.

Domestic Groove: BONDAN PRAKOSO

DOMESTIC GROOVE ~ Celeb’s Chosen Seven is my biweekly column in The Beat (Jakarta) mag. Basically it’s an interview via e-mail which focuses on small, intimate, domestic stuff; what Indonesia’s public figures are really into, musically speaking.

For the fourth edition I went upclose-and-personal with Bondan Prakoso.

Rockin’ Dreams Do Come True

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Not that long ago, local rock enthusiasts would only have dreamed of having an act like Smashing Pumpkins playing in Indonesia. To go to a Wolfmother gig in Jakarta, back then, you would never have thought possible. But these days, it is possible. And not just for the Pumpkins or Wolfmother, but also Muse, Korn, Avril Lavigne, 311, Placebo, Black Eyed Peas, Bjork, My Chemical Romance, NOFX, Belle & Sebastian, Stereophonics, Dashboard Confessional, too many more to mention, all of whom have played in big cities in Indonesia—mostly in Jakarta.

Indeed, these last few years, showbiz has become a big and upcoming trend. More people seem interested in doing it seriously. Local promoters/event organizers don’t really think twice anymore about bringing big name artists to Indonesia. The last gigantic music event, Java Rockin’Land, was so succesful—some said it attracted 50,0000 plus people. This fact brings even bigger hopes that showbiz has become stronger. It proves that showbiz in Indonesia is alive and kicking. Nowadays, music lovers have more and better options. Not only in Jakarta, but also in Bandung, Bali, and a few other areas in Java and Sumatera. Look at how dynamic the music scene is: October 24th sees Vampire Weekend at Bengkel Night Park and October 27th Hatebreed at Gelora Bung Karno (both in Jakarta), on November 10th Temper Trap will be in Bali’s Hard Rock Cafe before heading to Jakarta and Tokyo Police Club and Raveonettes will both play in Bandung mid November.

So, following all that, have you been dreaming about Iron Maiden coming to Indonesia? Quit dreaming. Bruce Dickinson and friends are coming to Jakarta and Bali in February of 2011. Get ready for the ticket race.

Skenario Masa Vakansi

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Retro Jakarta outfit, White Shoes and the Couples Company, just released their third collection, Vakansi. According to Aprilia Apsari this album is much like a suitcase, a diary or a memory box that contains stories about traveling or a vacation trip, and day-to-day life with band members: Yusmario Farabi, Saleh Husein, Ricky Surya Virgana, Aprimela Prawidiyanti, and John Navid; collaborating, sharing experiences with legendary musicians such as Fariz RM, Riza Arshad and Olle Pattiselano, and also having fun with buddies such as Oomleo (who wrote “Kisah dari Selatan Jakarta”), Ade Firza Paloh (who wrote “Ye Good Ol’ Days”), and David Tarigan (who contributed lyrics for “Matahari”).

The album consists of 11 songs with David Tarigan as the producer, and all under a new label: Purapura Records.

Stay connected with what’s going on via their website http://www.whiteshoesandthecouplescompany.org

The Upstairs: Resah Berdansa di Menaralara

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Almost a year after releasing their 3rd full-length album, Magnet! Magnet!, The Upstairs are back with their newest single and video, “Menaralara”. Indra “Kubil” Idris (guitar) was the guy in charge for the video clip, while Jimi Multhazam (vocal) wrote the lyrics and Beni Adhiantoro (drums) took the position as producer.

Yes, after quite a few musicians have come and gone, during their 9th year The Upstairs has officially became a trio with some additional players: Khrisna (keyboard) and Pandu Fathoni (bass, synth).

Go visit YouTube now and witness—and dance to—“Menaralara”!

Countdown to Music Armageddon

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Aquarius Pondok Indah, one of the biggest record stores in Indonesia and located in the South of Jakarta, will soon be closed. The shop, first opened in 1995, has simply run out of business. Mid-August saw them start selling tens of thousands of items in their collection with a massive discount. A few months before that, in February, Aquarius Surabaya, after operating for 7 years, went bankrupt and Aquarius Dago, which used to be one of the coolest hangout spots for kids who lived in Bandung, was shut down in December 2009 after 19 years of guts and glory.

Disc Tarra, another national record retail chain, consisting of 78 stores to be precise, is apparently in a similar situation and although they haven’t closed any of their stores yet, some in significant cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, and Denpasar, have been resized, some down to 50% smaller. This phenomenon, most people believe, is caused by the digital trend. MP3s and iPods took over the world. They are more popular than cassettes or cds and walkmans or tape recorders, and piracy is exacerbating the problem. Even the gigantic-size record stores like Virgin have lost the add-on “Megastore” in their title, switching now to become Virgin Store only. HMV, idem ditto, they get tinier. Not to mention Tower Records, once considered a major influential music institution in their heyday, called it a day in 2006.

With the many DVD and CD shops that line many of Indonesia’s streets, the Indonesian government must come up with a strategy to put a stop to piracy and illegal copies. If they fail to do this, the countdown to music armageddon will continue…

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