Thoughts on SCLL

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What is SCLL? Spangle Call Lilli Line. They were formed in 1998 in Shimokitazawa.

Shimokitazawa! That place is Tokyo hipster central! I wanted to go there when I went to Tokyo in 2014 but it was difficult. Many train changes and buses and not enough time. Next time for sure.

Spangle Call Lilli Line is my favourite band of all time. I say that without hesitation. Fronted by Kana Otsubo, whose vocals soothe effortlessly. Guitarists and multi instrumentalists Ken Fujieda and Kiyoaki Sasahara flank her through the years. The band has undergone different genres and styles through the years but the quality has never wavered. I would label them experimental pop music. Some songs can be 9-minute long but they aren’t inaccessible and repetitive. Songs are constructed expertly and thoughtfully. In their early years they might fall under the ‘post rock’ label but they’ve become progressively more jazzy.

They’ve released 10 albums, the latest on 2015 (ghost is dead). I will be reviewing each and everyone of them on this blog. I probably won’t go chronologically, just however and whenever I feel like. But for now I’ll just share two songs via YouTube. I hope I can get them new followers.

This is their lead single from the latest album ‘ghost is dead‘ released on 2015.

 

Perfect song to listen to on that lazy rainy Sunday mornings.

 

More SCLL PVs on felicity official! Look forward to some reviews next time. 🙂

Breakfast at VCR KL

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VCR Big Breakfast

VCR Big Breakfast

I was in KL with family back in December, just before New Year’s Eve. That day I wanted to have breakfast at a proper cafe. Not roti canai, not nasi lemak, not dim sum and all these local goodies. Not Coffee Bean, not Subway and Starbucks. No franchises. I wanted something different. I wanted a quasi-hipster food shack. I remembered googling ‘best cafe kl’ a few weeks before but I didn’t remember much. My cousin suggested VCR. So off we went.

Our hotel was next to the Airasia Bukit Bintang Monorail but we skipped that an Uber. Since it wasn’t hot yet we decided to walk it. It was a 10-minute walk from Times Square (My cousin stayed there). It was hella humid. We were slick with sweat when we saw the cafe at a quiet block of Bukit Bintang. Behind the looming shadow of KL Police HQ and neighboured the Swiss Garden Residences.

The black cat perched lazily on a shelf as we arrived. It hardly moved. I thought it was taxidermised. The cafe looked like a house. Modern and minimalist but cozy. The baristas greeted as we entered and I picked a seat close to the window. There were five of us and I was the oldest by a large margin. The barista handed us the menu and skipped merrily away. Bloc Party was on their playlist. I forgot which song it was. I loved the vibe in that cafe. Next to our table was an English family and at the far side, near the industrial-themed lavatories was a Scandinavian couple.

VCR mirror

That’s me in the corner ♫

My brother and cousins ordered variations of the VCR Big Breakfast. Some ordered the barista pour over coffee. I decided on the Turkish Style Eggs with raspberry tea. We ordered cakes but I didn’t have pictures of that.

More indie songs blared from the cafe stereo. Some folk song. Vampire Weekend was next. We busied ourselves with the interior decor as we waited for our food. Smell of coffee wafted lazily through the corridors. We discussed plans for the rest of the day. Someone suggested Publika. We needed to use Uber for that. More tourists went in. Some finished their meals and left.

VCR Big Breakfast

Planning the next move.

VCR Big Breakfast

Digging in to the Big Breakfast.

VCR Salmon

I forgot the name of this salmon brunch dish. But hey, it looks good!

Within minutes our orders came in waves. First the hot drinks, then the plates of VCR Big Breakfast. Indeed they were big. Two free range eggs. Two meaty chicken sausages. Home-stewed beans and mushrooms. Beef rashers and a spread of salad. Mine came last. I don’t eat beans much and this was rife with chickpeas. But it looks picture perfect. At the time I didn’t even think of writing a blog. We dig in, ravenous like wolves.

I can’t say for the VCR Big Breakfast (I only had a bite of meaty sausage, which was nice) but my Turkish Style Eggs was delicious. It came with two slices of buttered sourdough bread which I used generously to scoop up eggs and peas, shoveling them down my throat. Poached eggs topped with spices and crushed pistachios. Chicken sausage hiding behind drapes of tomato sauce and Greek yogurt. It was nearly poetic. I didn’t overeat which was pleasant.

VCR Turkish Eggs

Hearty brunch of eggs, chick peas and tomatoes.

If I were to go there again I’d properly go for the more traditional VCR Big Breakfast but nonetheless, it was a good change of pace. In terms of taste, I would compare it to eating chick peas and eggs with pasta sauce. If those three things are your favourite things in the world, you’re in luck. Even I can tell how good the quality of the ingredients are.

The raspberry tea was splendid. I had no idea what brand they were or if they were brewed in-house. So good. So refreshing. My weary bones snapped and crackled with life. I was ready to go. To brave the sun. I footed the bill. It was RM220 (BND71). It’s reasonable bordering on expensive for me and four hungry kids. But it was a nice place with good ingredients, probably a little walk away from the shops and bustle of Bukit Bintang. But I guess it’s justifiable. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Fed and energised, we stepped out in the blazing heat. It was 11:30AM. I put on my sunglasses. The cat was still lazily perched on its spot. A barista was on smoke break. We smiled as we walked by her and we trekked up the incline. Across the Police HQ was the Hang Tuah Monorail. Five minutes later we were inside the train, seated and air- conditioned. Our next stop beckons.

Post brunch hike.

Tummies filled, we hike to Hang Tuah Station.

How to get there

Assuming you are at the Bukit Bintang area, easiest route is to take the monorail from Bukit Bintang at stop at Hang Tuah station. Head towards the Police HQ and turn left, going downhill. VCR is at the block next to Swiss Gardens Residences.

Come and visit them!

Adidas Originals Stan Smith Primeknit Review

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The Primeknit infused modern classic.

Stan Smith Primeknit

Stan Smith Primeknit with the classic box.

The adidas Stan Smith sneaker is as classic as they come. 20, 30 years later men and women alike will still wear these classics and it has proven to withstand the test of time. Understated, unpretentious, versatile and sleek this sneaker is a must-have for sneakerheads and fashionistas. First released in 1965 as a tennis shoe, adidas remodeled it into adidas Stan Smith in 1971 and has gone through many iterations but the original has remained unchanged since. I will be reviewing the Primeknit white/navy editions. Big fan of Stan Smiths. Big fan of Primeknits. Happy Days. If only they had Boost midsoles…

Design: YES

These are classic white Stan Smith tennis shoes. You can’t go wrong here. Simple, almost no-nonsense and minimalist design which complements your outfits rather than being the centerpiece. But we’ll get to outfit ideas later. The main feature of this sneaker is of course the Primeknit upper. I’ve wrote extensively on Primeknit uppers in my previous reviews but as I’ve said before, they are super comfortable. And having the Primeknit upper on an iconic sneaker is always a good idea.

Front view Stan Smith Primeknit

Front view of the Primeknit.

The Primeknit upper itself is thinner than an Ultraboost’s. Much thinner. The intricate knitting pattern covers the middle part of the shoe. On a normal Stan Smith, the iconic three stripe pattern is in the shape of perforations running through the middle part of the shoe. But in this edition the three stripes are in the form of shiny knots threaded through the middle. Very nice and intricate.

The Primeknit tongue has the same intricate knitting patterns and has the classic adidas Stan Smith endorsement logo placated on it. The Primeknit also covers the heel tab. They removed the ‘Stan Smith’ label on the heel and is only a solid navy colour. The toebox and the heel counter are thicker than the rest of the shoe, which gives the shoe a proper support structure. The inner heel lining is made of leather and adds to the comfort.

Stan Smith Primeknit heel

Soft heel counter with the knit heel tab.

The rubber cupsole is the original authentics like the original Stan Smiths. The adidas logo is embossed on the midsole. Flat, sturdy and no-nonsesne. The cupsole does its job as it has been since the 1970s. Nothing special here. On the outsole, the adidas logo is engraved in the middle and is covered with small nubs which provide good grip. Again, nothing groundbreaking here.

Classic. Iconic. Modern and welcome twist in the Primeknit. Can’t go wrong with that.

Comfort and Fit: OK

Let’s get this out of the way. This sneaker is easy to put on and easy to take off, just don’t tie the laces too tight. As I’ve mentioned before, this is among the criteria a shoe has to do well in for me. I like to drive without wearing shoes so I take them off quite often. This shoe does that well but it’s not a sock-fit Primeknit type like an Ultraboost.

The Primeknit upper is very comfortable though. Especially the tongue area. It feels great on foot as it molds to your feet over time. But because of this comfortable Primeknit upper, sizing and fit is a problem. The thin Primeknit is much, much thinner than a classic leather Stan Smith. I normally wear size US10.0 so that’s what I ordered. But I needed to go half size down at least. I think I can even go full one size down to US9.0 and it’ll fit perfectly. There was so much room on the toe box area. So everytime I wear my Stan Smiths I have to compensate with thicker socks and have to tighten the laces a bit more. At times they make my feet look bigger than normal. 🙁

Stan Smith insole

Classic Stan Smith insole. Runs half size bigger. Can be more.

One thing I didn’t like was how quickly this shoe dirties. I understand white shoes will always have this risk but I feel this one in particular is too sensitive. I’ve worn it less than 10 times but it looks like I’ve worn it for two years already.

Stan Smith outsole

Dirtied outsole. I’ve worn this shoe a max 10 times.

This shoe is comfortable as I can see myself going to Korea and wearing this. For me, a true test of shoe comfort is how well it does when traveling and walking the whole day on the city streets. So far the best for this is my Ultraboost 2.0 which I’ve used in Malaysia and Singapore. In Brunei, we drive everywhere so I can’t put this factor to the test. But I feel this Stan Smith is up to the job if I were to take it abroad. But as always, Ultraboost is number 1 in this category.

ALWAYS go half size down regardless of foot width. Comfortable Primeknit upper. Dirties a bit too easily.

Worth it? Depends

This shoe retails at USD110 (BND156) because of the Primeknit technology. A normal Stan Smith is USD75 (106). That’s quite a difference. The Stan Smith Primeknit is not easy to find. It’s definitely not sold in Brunei and I’ve not seen it at the adidas store in Miri. They might have it in KL and Singapore at times but I didn’t see it last time I was there. But they are readily available at Foot Locker online so no problems there. But the problem would come from the shipping fees (USD45):

  • Stan Smith Primeknit: USD110 (BND156) + Shipping USD45 (64) = USD155 (BND220)

I honestly think this nice shoe is not worth BND220. But I went ahead and ordered it anyway because I’m a bit crazy :). But if you can get this shoe in store (not online) then that’s ok. You can justify paying BND156 for an iconic classic with Primeknit tech. But if you don’t need/want the Primeknit tech, the normal classic Stan Smith are relatively easy to find. You can go to Miri adidas store at Permaisuri for that and they should cost about BND106.

If you are on the fence whether to get a Stan Smith (Primeknit or not), I’d say go for it. This is a classic. I would say this is among the must-haves for anyone. They are versatile and I promise you, will never go out of style. I’ve worn this to meetings, to training, to client offices and of course on date nights. Business casual outfits, go sockless with a t-shirt and basketball shorts, the easy white t-shirt with jeans, polo shirts, flannels… Oh the possibilities!

Versatile and will not go out of style. Must-have for anyone’s wardrobe. Not worth paying USD45 shipping fees for. Buy the normal original Stan Smith. Cheaper but still cool.

On Feet

Stan SMith Primeknit on feet.

View from my nose.

Stan SMith Primeknit outfit.

On feet view from the top.

Stan Smith Primeknit on feet.

Can’t go wrong with Stan Smiths and jeans.

Adidas Adizero Prime Boost LTD Review

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Adizero Prime LTD

Adizero Prime Boost LTD with the Box.

Adidas Adizero Prime Boost LTD Review. This is what I call serendipity.

The Adidas Adizero Prime Boost LTD is an exclusive shoe. The previous iteration was known as Adizero Primeknit but it was also a limited edition. It was marketed as a light and fast running shoe armed with a Primeknit upper and a Boost midsole which in my book, will always be a winning combination.

The Adizero Prime Boost LTD was released on 28th December 2016 in Asia and Australia, released January 2017 in North America and Europe. Of course I know all about the adizero Primeknit but I didn’t know there was gonna be a new release of this silhouette at the time. Fortunately for me, I was in KL at the day of release and found myself at The Marathon Shop at Lot 10 Bukit Bintang. This sneaker immediately caught my eye, I knew it was something exclusive. It was priced at RM780 (BND255) and no questions asked. I whipped out my card, swiped and brought it back to my hotel next door. The Adizero Prime Boost was an unexpectedly delightful find for me.

Design: YES!

Right off the bat the Adizero Prime Boost LTD looks more like an Ultra Boost Uncaged than its previous iteration. The cargo Primeknit upper colourway is officially named ‘Tech Earth’ and exudes a wonderful military vibe with it. Grounded and earthy green upper combined with the white Boost midsole and black Continental outsole. It looks like a winner.

Let’s get into the details of the Primeknit upper which is very similar to an Ultraboost Uncaged. This shoe utilises a sock collar with its cuffs. No tongue. Just classic Primeknit sock. It has no eyelet so the cargo green laces go through the Primeknit upper. If you remove the laces you can see the ‘adizero prime’ labeling knitted vertically onto the darker green upper tongue area. On the right shoe it is in English. On the left, the same ‘adizero prime’ spelt in Japanese Katakana. Nice touch and easy to miss.

Adizero Prime Boost LTD

Primeknit upper from the top.

Adizero hidden logo

Unravel the laces to see this hidden logo.

Adizero Katakana hidden message.

On the other side it’s in Katakana.

Despite having a full Primeknit upper, this shoe is a bit thicker than an Ultraboost 3.0. It is thicker and multi-layered on the sides. But it is thinnest at the toebox area and has added breathability. There’s a lot of airseams throughout the Primeknit upper. The classic three stripes is painted in a lighter shade of cargo green on the outer side. Finally there are modern military-inspired black patterns on the heel counter and the inner toebox.

Between the Primeknit upper and the Boost midsole is a dark green rubber layer. After that it is the Boost which is just short of full length. The Boost midsole is thinner than an Ultraboost and an NMD. As usual, the Boost midsole is a bit thicker at the heel area and thins toward the front. Aesthetically it gives the shoe a lower profile and looks similar to a Nike Flyknit Racer, which is also a very good sneaker.

Three Stripes Adizero Prime LTD

Three stripes painted over the Primeknit perforations. Boost midsole.

Front close up

More perforations on the front and the military pattern.

This being a running shoe, you can expect multiple technologies implemented into it. The outsole combines three. It uses a silver coloured Torsion System for midfoot integrity. This is used to lock the foot down further when running. It utilises the Adiwear Stretchweb rubber outsole which is lightweight and elastic and gives more stability, working together with the Boost midsole. And to top it all off, the Continental rubber outsole gives the shoe excellent grip for all-weather conditions. Adidas really did well to put all this tech in one package.

  • Primeknit Upper – Great comfort and sock-like fit.
  • Boost midsole – Great comfort and Boost energy returns.
  • Torsion System – Enhances foot lockdown.
  • Stretchweb rubber outsole – Lightweight and enhances stability with Boost.
  • Continental rubber outsole – Excellent and proven grip on all-weather conditions.
Adizero Prime outsole.

Continental rubber outsole.

Adizero Prime Torsion

Torsion System in place.

Adizero Prime Adiprene

This is the Adiprene Sprintweb overlapping the Boost midsole.

Smart military-inspired colourway. Subtle and street-ready casual style. Great sneaker technologies in one package.

Comfort and Fit: OK

When you talk abut comfort you have to compare with the Ultraboost and rank it relatively. Because nothing can beat the Ultraboost in that aspect. I would also rank the NMD higher than the Adizero Primeknit in terms of comfort. The Primeknit sock-like upper is excellent and very comfortable but the Boost midsole isn’t as responsive and as bouncy as I would’ve liked. That’s because this shoe has markedly less Boost than an Ultraboost and an NMD. It is also a bit on the stiff side and has greater structure than an Ultraboost. The heel counter is very stable and really locks the foot in place.

Adizero Prime LTD heel

Military theme on the heel with the Boost midsole.

What I like about this shoe is it is easy to put on. Not as easy as an Ultraboost but I’d have no problem putting them on and taking them off if I’m driving around. This shoe has no heel tab but it has sock-like cuffs so no problems there. As I’ve mentioned before I prefer to drive without my shoes on so I’ve made this factor as a test of some sort. A test whether a shoe is easy to put on and take off in the driver’s seat. I don’t think anyone else makes this comparison. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Please note that this shoe is narrower than most. I had to go half size up when I bought these. Thankfully I didn’t order online as I wouldn’t have known and there were no size guides online for this particular shoe. As I bought these in-store I had the opportunity to try them on and I absolutely had to go half size up (US 10.5). I normally go with US (10.0). This is very important. Wide feet CANNOT go True to Size. Go half size up or even one size up. Narrow feet can go True to size.

I’ve never used these for running but I’ve worn them for a while. And from experience I can tell I will get some blisters if I ran with them. I would probably also get blisters if I use them traveling abroad and walking all day, all night. I would guess it is because of the stiff heel counter. Also despite me going half size up and fitting well, the shoe still can get too tight on my feet. Ultimately, you can remove the laces and the shoe will still look great. But I won’t be using them for traveling.

Narrow and tight-fitting running shoes made for runners. Go half size or full one size up for wide feet. Narrow feet can go True to size. Great structure and stability but not as comfy as an Ultraboost or an NMD.

Worth It? Depends

This shoe retails at USD180/RM780 (BND255). It’s quite expensive and you can justify it with the amount of technology adidas packed into the shoe: Primeknit, Boost, Torsion, Sprintweb and Continental. It was released with only one colourway: ‘Tech Earth’, so it looks nice and casual street-wear ready. But despite all that I would categorise it as a running performance shoe. Unlike the Ultraboost (which was initially marketed as a running shoe).

For one thing, the shoe is not that popular at the moment despite having the golden combo of Primeknit and Boost. I’ve not seen it at online stores that ship to Brunei like Foot Locker. I haven’t seen any on Instagram or on the streets. Fame-wise this is well below the NMD, Ultraboost lines, Nike Air Maxes, Roshes, Huaraches and Air Prestos. Again, it’s more performance shoe than sneaker. It does make the shoe exclusive and limited though but honestly I don’t see it picking up in popularity.

Another thing, and more importantly, it’s just not that comfortable and wide feet-friendly. That might be a big turn-off to most people. This shoe is marketed as a running shoe and is aimed at serious runners. Now I’m not a runner but if I was one, I would hesitate to pay BND250 for a shoe I intend to run with. And again, it’s not that comfortable. But it is very LIGHT. Not as light as the NMD R1 but again, it is made for running. The adidas Alphabounce is miles ahead in terms of comfort. That’s what I wear running.

I bought this shoe because it looks great. It has both Primeknit and Boost. It is exclusive and difficult to obtain online. But I would hesitate to call it a ‘must-have’.

Quite expensive. Looks nice. Great tech but not so popular. Might be too pricey to use and abuse on the tracks. There are better and cheaper running shoes out there.

On Feet

Adizero Prime Boost LTD on feet.

Good look on feet.

Adizero Prime Boost LTD on feet

View from my tummy 🙂