Only old people like jazz?

I used to hate jazz when I was much younger. I mean really hate. Jazz offended me because I thought music shouldn’t hurt the ears like that, with its weird cacophony of sounds.

I did appreciate some jazz, but only those that incorporated more mainstream melodic vocals. I liked listening to some Christmas carols sung jazz style. And I enjoyed Kenny G, although I know jazz purists would call it sacrilege to associate Kenny G with jazz.

But I hated jazz in its pure, undiluted form. The tunes go up and down like a roller coaster ride in a seemingly random fashion. There’s no melody. The tempo is schizophrenic. Trumpets are noisy. I didn’t understand the genre and I didn’t understand why people would call it music, because it’s just noise to me. Like how the older generation calls heavy metal noise.

Unfortunately, the Goonfather loves jazz.

When I first found out, I was like, “OMG I’m dating an uncle.”

(In Singapore, “uncle” is often used to describe someone who’s not old but acts old and dated. Of course, we also call old and dated people uncle, but it’s funnier when you call a young man uncle.)

I was of the mind that only old people like jazz.

Whenever the Goonfather played one of his jazz albums in the car, I would make a face at him and change the disc.

But I have to allow him his pleasures sometimes. He likes to put on a jazz CD at home, dim the lights and then sit or lie down and zone out, maybe with a glass of red. Totally uncle behaviour. But I let him do it because he doesn’t do it too often.

Thankfully, his choice of jazz veers towards the more melodic type, like “Dream a Little Dream of Me”.

I used to hate that song because I found the melody irritating, like many other jazz melodies. But I’m beginning to like it now, thanks to people around me who won’t quit playing or singing it.

After knowing the Goonfather, I gradually, unknowingly changed my status from “Hate jazz” to “Don’t mind the Goonfather’s jazz”.

And then…

The most incomprehensible thing happened.

Last night, I was at Bellini Room (the jazz/blues outlet of discoplex St James Power Station) and the band was playing this piece featuring a saxophone-clarinet duet and no vocals (exactly the kind I used to hate vehemently) and I was thinking, “This is quite nice, doesn’t hurt my ears.”


I turned on the Goonfather, accusing him, “You make me old!”

“What?” he said, startled.

“I’m actually enjoying this stupid music and it’s all your fault! You make me listen to jazz and bring me to these jazz places. You’re making me old!!”

“Nay,” he said sagely. “You’ve upgraded. You have to be of higher status to appreciate jazz. So, congratulations.”

I gave him a look. “Old people listen to jazz. It has nothing to do with status.”

“Ok,” he said. “I shall quit my job and work at McDonald’s and next time we go Dragonfly instead of Bellini.”

(Dragonfly is the canto-pop arm of St James, frequented by young adults. I’ve been trying to get the Goonfather to go to Dragonfly since St James opened for business more than a year ago, but my plans have never materialised for some reason or other, one of them being that the Goonfather claims he’s graduated in taste and status and now hates teeny-bopper music.)

That wasn’t much of a threat. Wasn’t much of anything, in fact, so our conversation veered away because it was ridiculous in the first place.

But I was quite perturbed by my realisation that I didn’t hate jazz anymore.

I listened to the band intently, analysing the sounds, trying to figure out why I used to hate it and why I didn’t hate it now. Maybe the bands I had occasion to hear in the past sucked. Maybe the band at Bellini Room is really good.

Or maybe my tastes have really changed. Which is quite possible. I used to love Pez candy when I was a kid but now I can’t imagine why. It’s hard and tastes just like sugar. I would probably get more pleasure out of sucking rock sugar, an activity I don’t fancy in the first place.


I just know that the sound of jazz doesn’t offend me anymore.


For the moment, I’m putting it down to the charismatic singers at Bellini Room.

My favourite, suave and dashing Tom Brown:

Smouldering Darius Mendoza, who prances on-stage and off-stage like a rock star instead of a jazz singer:

Sexy Jeassea Thyidor, who was a Singapore Idol contestant.

They’re all really good and are contributing to my mysterious conversion.

I can’t say I love jazz yet. But I can say that I’m looking forward to being a Bellini Room regular.

Does that mean I’m getting old?


Mr Mendoza serenades to an unsuspecting birthday girl with a seductive rendition of “Happy Birthday”.

Thanks for all the presents!

I have not received so many Christmas presents since I was like five years old.

Most years, I get an average of three presents and that’s including party gift-exchange presents.

This year, WOAH.

I told the Goonfather, “We need a Christmas tree to put all these presents under!”

I made that announcement like on Christmas Eve. His response was, “Oh, yes. That’s a great idea. We’ll buy a tree and decorate it and, after two days, we can throw it away because Christmas is over.”

“Boo,” I said.

But then the Goonfather came up with an alternative to satisty my tree-needy soul. He stole a digital wallpaper of a Christmas tree from somewhere and projected it on our actual wall, leaving just enough room to place presents under it.

Hahaha. What a goon.

But I suppose it is rather cool.

(You can also tell that The Body Shop enjoyed thriving Christmas sales this year.)

We went to St James Power Station for Christmas countdown. Because the Goonfather is an old man, he shunned the more festive and rowdy outlets like Dragonfly and Powerhouse.

He likes Movida so we went there for early drinks.

We had to sit at the bar because this was quite an impromptu trip and, apparently, all the seats had been booked solid at least two weeks ago.

We got complimentary champagne for getting a St James membership.

They gave us ugly hats and party packs.

Which Morte immediately decorated himself with.

Men are so lacking in fashion sense.

I kinda liked the lighting in the toilet (low and eerie), so I took a mirror photo. I seldom do that because I think mirror photos are silly, but it’s not silly if you have a good reason.

Anyway, we had dinner at Movida. It’s not a dinner place but I love eating snacks and finger food so I insisted on having a dinner of finger food at Movida. Yummy!

I didn’t take pictures because finger food all looks the same so why would anyone want to see pictures of them?

After my dinner, the Goonfather made us all go to VivoCity for his dinner because he said finger food for dinner is ridiculous.

VivoCity was really cold so I went shopping for a jacket while the men ate their dinners. (It was imperative that I bought freeze insurance because we were going to catch a 1.30 am movie at VivoCity.)

I ended up buying a coat which looks thick enough for winter.

After dinner and shopping at VivoCity, we continued partying at Bellini Room. I informed the Goonfather that the place is more suited to his old-man-ness because Jazz is played there.

We managed to get a table next to this beautiful wall of glass bottles with blue lighting. Aww.

It was fun, because I got to take plenty of blue pictures.

The light turned red for one very brief moment, though. Not sure what’s up with it because it never came back.

Mostly, it was just blue.

Then, I realised that I could make my own red.

Cool! It’s fun to change the colour of your face (without Photoshop)!

Anyway, I kinda “missed” the countdown because I was busy videotaping the countdown. Not posting the video here because it’s a boring video and it’s shaky. Haha.

And then, there’s that, Christmas was over.

We went to watch I Am Legend after countdown. It’s very similar to 28 Days Later but I think it’s much better. Will Smith is great. The suspense is great. The plot is great.

And the Goonfather came out of the cinema with a slightly-deaf right ear. Wahaha.

Well, Merry Christmas (Happy Boxing Day) to you all, and thanks for all the presents! ;)