Wednesday, December 08, 2004

What You Listening To, Fool?

So any day now, the year-ender issue of PULP should be hitting the stands -- a little late, to be sure, but hey, blame Slipknot -- and one of the features in the December ish is all about What People Are Listening To Now. Not all people, you understand -- just the people whose names we managed to pull, rabbit-like, from our brain-hats, and subsequently photograph and interview. Best answer is Georgette Tengco's (I suggested her, so I get to gloat) -- she listed the listening habits of the whole MTV Pilipinas office, explaining that she's basically forced to listen to what the people around her are playing. Worst answer is some radio station guy's -- "I listen to our station... so that I know it's still on the air." Most inspiring is the hardcore janitor's answer: punk, ska, Selecter, The Specials... oi!

As for myself, most of my daily music consumption is determined by what mp3s I managed to load on my phone (am suddenly reminded of that member of Hoobastank who, during a press conference here, answered the question "What do you listen to?" with -- "My iPod." Sarcasm or stupidity? You decide. But keep in mind the high intellectual content or lack thereof in his band's lyrics). Right now I've got some Charlatans, an ebtg song from Amplified Heart ("We Walk the Same Line"), The Railway Children (looked them up after Mondo Castro gushed about them when I interviewed him for "The Hour That Changed My Life"), Kings of Convenience, Cambio, "Where Is My Mind?" (practically my theme song, I sometimes feel), "Encore" from Eminem's latest album, and too much Manic Street Preachers.

I suppose MTV helps define my listening habits too, as I tend to tune in once or twice a day, if only to check if they're running a new spot I wrote (and therefore owe me money, yay). Saw the latest version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" yesterday morning, and while I know musos hate this kind of stuff, I think that at worst it's harmless and at best it does some good (and excites some fans), so why not. It's not a horrible song, really, and this time around, it has a Justin Hawkins (of the Darkness) guitar solo, and Fran Healy from Travis, Damon Albarn, from Blur (serving tea but not singing), Sir Paul McCartney on bass, Thom Yorke on the piano, the baby-faced singer from Keane, Robbie Williams, and all of the Sugababes, etc., so it's fun to watch. Except for the part where they're all standing in front of a giant screen TV looking at starving Africans (you can almost hear the catch in Joss Stone's throat as her hand flies to cover her mouth, in stunned empathy). I say, if you want real reaction shots, get those buggers out of their comfy studio and fly them to bloody Africa. Don't try to convince us of the deep humanity of the popstars by having them watch television, for Chrissakes. I can just imagine the scene: after they film the assembled musicians watching babies die, Bono claps his hands together and says, "Well! Who's up for a pizza?"

Have also been listening to hip-hop again lately, to psyche myself up for that massive article I'm writing for the Special Hip-Hop Issue in January. I can practically rap the complete lyrics of Common's "The Light" now (but I'll spare you, don't worry), and I've been enjoying stuff by The Roots, Jay-Z, and the posthumously prolific Tupac, as well as Jurassic 5's "A Day at the Races." Yesterday, at the cover shoot, Denise and Cait had managed to gather together Francis M, Andrew E, Ryan of SVC, Artstrong, DJ M.O.D., Gloc-9, DJ Arbie Won, Kimmie from 7 Shots, Dice (or was it K9?) of Dice + K9, and some guy from Salbakuta -- and they were a sight to behold, all lined up against a wall at Prince of Jaipur. Had I been a real enthusiast, I would have been whooping like a drunken cheerleader inside my head. As it was, I could still appreciate the assemblage of hip-hop heavyweights, spanning generations. (Though what generation the ridiculously youthful-looking Francis M belongs to is not apparent at first glance, and one has to remind oneself that he has full-grown children). As Cait said, "I'm not a big hip-hop fan, but this is exciting! We need to do this with rock stars next."

[OT: I took this quiz based on The Little Prince. I know, I know. It figures that I would be The Pilot. "You are the pilot, and the voice of the story. You are the one who creates and tells the stories for those who could not be there. You are unable to be comforted but wish to comfort others. There is a great something missing in your life. Do not forget that you are much loved. Let your sorrow be comforted."]