Friday, June 25, 2004

Geek and You Shall Find

Funny you should mention how the people we work with are "music geeks through and through." In the cab on my way home last night after having interviewed the band Marty McFly, I was just thinking of our artists -- Dave, Paul and Marcus -- and how they're at least as into music as the writers. Sometimes I think their music geekery is of an even purer sort, as they're not constantly having to analyze why they like this album or that act.

Our office artists' knowledge of the genres they're into is deep, but it's not anything they researched for a story or interview. They just happily play the stuff they like -- in some cases, over and over, and singing along, besides ("Pa paa! This is the sound of settling!"). Not that I mind, of course. My tastes pretty much jive on some level with all of them: from Paul, I learn about nice indie bands I might otherwise never have had the time to discover, and Marcus always plays this cool obscure undergound hip-hop stuff, and Dave... well, Dave plays David Bowie, the Pet Shop Boys, Black Grape and R.E.M., so it's just like being at home.

I envy Dave and the others sometimes, to be honest; I wonder if it's harder for us to just sit back and enjoy music now, purely and simply and wordlessly, since we have to review it and write about it all the time. And besides, while working with images and typography can be very difficult in its own way, I've always found laying out and designing stuff to be less mind-mangling in general than stringing words together. In fact, I have secret plans (ssshh) for mastering Freehand. ;p (Too bad the problem with learning more skills on this job is that it sometimes leads to us doing extra stuff we don't get even paid for -- photography, concert organizing, etc).

Of course, we writers get to be out in the city, covering events, interviewing artists, doing phoners, scoring free CDs, etc. Which, depending on one's mood or the people involved, can suck too, but on the whole still gives me a buzz. I have yet to interview a musician I'm really really cartwheelingly enthusiastic about, but it's probably just as well. Put me in front of David Bowie or Aimee Mann or XTC -- even if it's just on the phone -- and I may very well be struck speechless, or slip into a coma.

And speaking of covering events and such -- I'm off now, to go to hip-hop act Sun Valley Crew's album launch in Makati. Jun Balbuena assures me that they've got a nu-jazz/soul thing going, and Joey just mentioned that Mong Alcaraz is playing guitar for them now. Sounds interesting. :)

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