It’s hard to build character overnight, whether you’re referring to people or buildings. More often that not, modern architecture in Singapore remains cold and formulaic. This week let’s explore some of Singapore’s oldest yet most charming areas and the establishments that have helped breathe new life into them.
Culture Jam, an exhibition by students from the LASALLE Design Communication programme, in conjunction with some of the most exciting graphic artists and designers in Singapore, opens at LASALLE on Thursday August 26. Referencing rebel skate graphics, the works touch on a range of current contemporary issues.
Wanderlust, the latest boutique hotel by Loh Lik Peng hosts its official opening party, appropriately with a travel theme, on the same night. Located at 2 Dickson Road, in one of the most authentic parts of Singapore and a personal favourite, Little India, the opening event is invite-only but members of the public can swing by any day thereafter. A few of you have probably already have since Cocotte, the hotel’s restaurant has been serving up rustic French fair for a few months. Non-vegetarians, order the roast chicken!
The Club by Harry’s (another recently opened conservation hotel) in the quaint locale of Ann Siang serves up food, drinks and beats at rooftop outlet, Ying Yang. EJ Missy, one of Singapore’s fine female selectors, spins Friday August 27 while Av Neesh, winner of Juice DJ Quest 2010 plays the following night.
I happened to take in the sights around Kampong Glam last Friday with a group that included Minister George Yeo and his wife. They were well impressed to see how alive the area was with young entrepreneurship (Haji Lane). Adding art to the neighbourhood is Café Le Caire,. On Friday August 26 at 9pm, they host, MORALS, a visual arts exhibition by 11 artists relating to moral issues that affect them in daily life.
The Worldwide Festival descends on Zouk this weekend [Check out the inSing guide here]. More experimental than the main room has seen in awhile, catch all 21 acts spread out across the club’s four rooms. If you’ve been dying to get bass heavy or understand the whole dub-step phenomenon, the lineup indicates plenty of this plus a whole lot more. Besides the local jocks on the lineup who can always be counted on, international guest highlights include Dam Funk, Gilles Peterson and Dorian Concept on Friday and Jazztronik and Lefto on Saturday. If you’re a Heineken Green Room Member or member of the media, I’ll see you on Saturday at Velvet Underground at 6pm for the private Gilles & Lefto showcase. I’ll be moderating the Q&A, so please ask questions. If you’re unable to make it but have a burgeoning question for either DJ, send your questions via twitter to @itstracyp and I’ll ask them for you. For the full lineup for WWF 2010, go to http://www.zoukclub.com/wfsg.
An event I look forward to every couple of months, ROJAK, takes place this Saturday August 28, 7pm. Always held in a different location, this session takes place at the void deck of Waterloo Centre, Block 263, a charming 1970s HDB residential housing block located behind the Singapore Art Museum. If you haven’t been for a previous installment, ROJAK features 10 presenters from different creative disciplines sharing their works and processes. A free event, everyone’s encouraged to BYO drinks, beers and friends.
Continuing with the recent spate of live music gigs, as part of a fledgling grass-roots initiative between Australia and South-East Asia, Melbourne's own, Carnation will be touring Singapore with local band, The Pinholes. Performing at six venues around Singapore from Saturday, August 28 2010, 9pm @ 'Blu Jaz', till their final show on Sunday September 5 at The Arts House. For a listing of all their dates visit, http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111211642246746&ref=search
On Saturday August 28, former chapel turned award-winning restaurant, The White Rabbit celebrates its 2nd Anniversary with an awesome twosome dress up party and charity event, ‘2 Of A Kind’. In conjunction with their Meal for a Meal campaign (everyone who buys a set meal that night until September 12 feeds one underprivileged child) each dynamic duo that attends the party in costume will feed another child at the restaurant. NYC duo, House of House (DFA Records) makes sure the garden party goes all night. The Best Dressed Duo also stand to win a weekend stay at Wanderlust, a chauffeured Maserati ride and vouchers from The Lo & Behold Group (redeemable at Loof, The White Rabbit, OverEasy and Tanjong Beach Club).
Also celebrating their anniversary is eM Studio's trance party, Dazed Out, commemorating thee blissed-out years. Trance pioneers JonG, P@t and Yukun work their magic from 10pm till 4am at the venue by the river.
Bump at Butter Factory has Japanese cutie, DJ Licca throwing it down on the same night. To bypass the queue and party for free, take part in the inSing.com Butter Factory promo. Be the FIRST 100 to email five passwords correctly and gain free entry to The Butter Factory on Saturday till September 24. Check out this link for all the details here!
To get you through the week, Singapore’s largest entertainment complex, St James Power Station (yet another conservation building of yore) presents a few options. The Boiler Room launches a brand new season of Retrospect, it’s highly successful retro music night which starts on Wednesday September 1. Enjoy a free flow of champagne and vodka from 10pm to 12am to kick-off the first of four weeks of ‘Oldies But Goodies 3’ featuring frontliners Gino, Ela, Eliza, Kevin, Ann, resident band SoulKool and The Boiler Dance Crew. The brand new St James Wine Bar & Bistro has recently opened. It stocks more than 50 wines from all over the world, and features a tasty European & Mediterranean influenced menu specially designed for sharing.
About Tracy Phillips
An accomplished marketeer and trendspotter, Tracy Phillips has helped shape Singapore's nightlife, music and popular culture landscape for over a decade.
Instrumental in developing the local nightlife scene, she maintains a passionate soft spot for promoting artistic expression and channels this into creative pursuits for institutions, brands and artists via her consultancy, Present Purpose. One of her ongoing projects is Camp Pong, a pop up urban social club involving Ping Pong, music and good times at *Scape ending on 7 October.