Monday, February 28, 2005

Music for Blue Rooms and Blue Skies

Last Thursday, me and K2 watched the press preview of New Voice Company's production of The Blue Room by David Hare, starring Jenny Jamora and Jamie Wilson and his...wilson. Blue Room was, if anyone follows these things, the same play that Nicole Kidman starred in, "famously baring her celebrity tush in sold-out runs in London and New York," as New Voice director Rabbi Ganaban notes.

You'd think that a play featuring ten different sexual pairings, full-frontal nudity, and a script by David Hare would be more interesting (especially since I sat down to it after a couple of glasses of wine, which tends to make me kinder and somewhat more receptive to anything to do with sex--which has gotten me into trouble more times than we'll talk about. Hi, mom!) But the six-week rehearsal period for this production really wasn't enough to spark the essential sexual tension between the two leads, and the whole thing turned out to be as fun and sexy as an itchy wet blanket on a cold night. A longer rehearsal period would really have helped, if only to get Jamie Wilson in shape for the role. As it was, he was this black hole of unsexiness, draining all the sexiness out of the room and preventing any from escaping. Anybody who sees the play may never get laid again! It was that unsexy. (Okay, so I'm exaggerating. There were a couple of reporters I knew who sat in the front row and who looked like they were going to get laid--by each other--pretty soon.)

I will, however, direct the music fan's attention to the soundtrack used in this production. I perked up when, during the short transition between one act and the next, I realized that, Hey! They're using OPM! Not the usual Ogie Alcasid/ Nina/ Regine Velasquez/ Sex Bomb Dancers stuff (although that last one might've worked), but tracks by Boldstar ("Acoustic Prone," "Betamax"), Twisted Halo ("Irene," "Miron,") Squid9 ("Insincerely," "Sad Place"), Ciudad ("The Herb"), and Boy Elroy ("Conversations"). It was good to hear these songs in a surprising setting, and some of the songs actually worked very well in the interstices, although some more time and thought might've greatly improved the interplay between the soundtrack and the play's text.

This reminds me of a three-act play that I wrote in college; I don't remember what potentially shameful lines I wrote in that piece of juvenilia, so thankfully the script's now lost to the ages. I'd written it as a The Big Chill or Peter's Friends type of thing, where a couple of old friends meet at a bar to discuss what to do with their dead barkada's ashes. I'd written in a video jukebox in the corner of the scene to play current songs that were supposed to add some dimension to the dialogue--although, for the life of me, I do not remember any of the tracks I'd picked out.

Picked well, the music can be as memorable as anything any of the characters can say. This is something that advertising commercial directors know very well: look at this brilliant VW ad that uses ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky." There was also, somewhere in the mid-90s, another VW ad that made me want to buy both a VW Polo convertible AND a Moonpools & Caterpillars CD to play while cruising down some unnamed seaside highway. It wasn't until months later, after I'd come back from my Stateside vacation and tuned in to NU107 to hear Moonpools' single "Here" that I learned what that song was, but it had stuck so well that, even riding in the passenger seat in my dad's Lancer, I felt the wind in my hair.

Volkswagen certainly doesn't have the monopoly on good commercial soundtracks, although they've had more than their fair share of good picks (one more memorable ad features Nick Drake's "Pink Moon"). Being evocative in a way that's suitable for commercials is something that's also worked to Moby's advantage--Play, if you recall, is the first album to have the distinction of having all of its tracks licensed for use in ads. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? When "Porcelain" comes on, my world suddenly turns green-tinted and well-edited, and suddenly my hair's perfect and the lighting's perfect, and I'm no one but a perfect driver driving a perfect car in a perfect world for the length of that track. Here we can decry how much our very lives have been overcommercialized and recast in the cold cathode glow of TV--in fact, I think that might've been the point of my teenage play--but let's forget that for a while and think about how much pleasure we get, if a little guiltily, from these movie moments. There's little else that has the power of music to evoke a tangle of thoughts, emotions, and desires. So it's used to sell us stuff. Most of the times we know how to dose ourselves with auditory medication, letting the songs play in our heads that will transport us to a world with better lighting, where everything works out very well during the space of a song.

Friday, February 25, 2005

"A Million Miracles"

From Margie + Gracie:

This is your chance to help.


for the benefit of the Southeast Asia tsunami victims and the rehabilitation efforts in Gabaldon, Quezon

featuring: Kitchie Nadal, Sponge Cola, Sandwich, 6 Cycle Mind, Ramp Queen, Twisted Halo, Mayonnaise, and many many more!!!

February 25, 2005, 6pm onwards @ the Ateneo College Covered Courts.

Rock for a cause! Tickets at Php150 only! Bring your friends along and tell everyone about it, too! :D

*for ticket reservations and inquiries, text Mike at 0920-9614537

Please pass on to family and friends, and let a million more miracles happen!

See y'all there tonight! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Constantine Rocks

Keanu or no, the fact that Constantine is showing gives me a good excuse to wallow in old comics, and to post this image, from Hellblazer #153, page 2, of John Constantine in his punk rock days.

Punk rock days? Here's an explanatory quote from the brief biographical essay on Constantine, in Vertigo Secret Files: "Rebelling against his dysfunctional family life, Constantine ran away to London twice -- once in 1967, then again at the age of 17, when he eventually settled there. Instantly drawn to the emergent punk scene of the late seventies -- identifying via his working class Socialist background with its anti-establishment call-to-arms -- John even formed a New Wave band called Mucous Membrane, with an old school friend from Liverpool, Gary Lester."

It's not something one expects a mysterious magician-figure to do, to be quite honest, but that's why Constantine is unique among the other members of 'the trenchcoat brigade'. "I have an idea that most of the mystics in comics are generally older people, very austere, very proper, very middle class in a lot of ways," said Alan Moore, co-creator of Constantine (and From Hell, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, etc). "They are not at all functional on the street. It struck me that it might be interesting for once to do an almost blue-collar warlock. Somebody who was streetwise, working class and from a different background than the standard run of comic book mystics. Constantine started to grow out of that."

Dogstar cameo in Constantine 2, anyone? I thought not. ;p

Let's Bagets!

Somewhere in Cubao's Araneta Center, behind Ali Mall (or, more accurately, behind Rustan's -- I think), there's a little loop of shops known as the Shoe Expo. I think it's actually called the Marikina Shoe Expo, but that can be a little confusing for some people who assume that the name means that it must therefore be, you know, in Marikina. Not only is this not the case, it ain't all shoes they're selling there either. Anyway, Yvette and I were there tonight and the book-finding gods smiled on me because I got a secondhand hardback copy of The Best of Robert Benchley for P50 at Datelines, a bookstore near famed Italian resto Bellini's. Benchley was a member of the infamous Algonquin Round Table, and, as the Amazon review says, he "was kinder than Dorothy Parker, less manic than S.J. Perelman, not quite so curmudgeonly as James Thurber -- and arguably the funniest of them all." I wouldn't go quite so far as that, as Thurber remains my favorite humorist, but Benchley is damn good.

Anyway, finding the Benchley book was just the first good thing about an evening spent at the Expo. Louie Cordero opened a gallery or something -- I'm not sure, I just remember some artsy installations, a huge bowl of guacomole dip, a buffet of various vegetably bits, and a serve-yourself vat of lemon grass iced tea. An art critic I'm not. The thing we were really there for was the bands, specifically Isha and Bagetsafonik (though Death by Tampon performed as well, and Romeo Lee and the Brown Briefs, and two other bands whose names I didn't catch). Isha was as impressive as ever, of course. This time she performed with a vintage organ that, as she pointed out, made a sound like an accordion. Her between-song banter was funny and relaxed, which would have been expected even if she weren't an experienced performer -- after all, it was a crowd made up mostly of friends and artsy acquaintances. Everyone who wasn't an outright friend or acquaintance at least looked vaguely familiar. It was great hanging out with old friends like Kidlat, Tanya, Lala and the rest; pressing buttons on a semi-functional jukebox in Vintage Pop, looking at old sepia photos in the window display of an antique shop.

The more I catch Bagetsafonik performances the more I like them, and not just because most of the members -- not to mention manager Bernie -- are our friends. Over time, Ace's control of his voice is getting better, they're getting tighter overall as a band, and the songs themselves are being honed, the nice smile-bringing musical moments are coming faster and thicker. It was a treat to hear Doi attack a full drum kit instead of the usual k-hon too. Bagetsafonik has an 80s vibe that appeals to me, but Marcus' electronic flourishes keep them from sounding too 80s. Songs like "Halogen" and the Murakami-monikered "Sputnik Sweetheart" are catchy without being predictable, and numbers like "Back in the Day" (which they didn't perform, tsk tsk -- one of my favorites) just sound so fresh. Marcus tells me a 7-song EP is in the works for April. :) Yay!

After I dropped my sweetie off at home, met up again with Kidlat and Tanya for a 2am dinner at Mr. Kebab. Beef kebab and buttered rice never tasted so good before, nor disappeared so fast.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

My Life According to Liz Phair

ARGH! I've been gone a week, and Luis has monopolized the blog! ;) I've been meaning to answer this pseudo-questionnaire, too, since it seems that a lot of our music-geeky friends have posted their own versions. My competitive nature was on vacation, but it seems that it's awakened with a start--no doubt because of the sugar cookie I ate, washed down with liberal amounts of week-old Pepsi X.


Choose a band/artist and answer only in song TITLES by that band: Liz Phair
Are you male or female: Animal Girl
Describe yourself: Whip-Smart on some days; Wasted on others. ;)
How do some people feel about you: Strange Loop
How do you feel about yourself: Do You Love Me?
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: Big Tall Man
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: Support System
Describe where you want to be: Crater Lake
Describe what you want to be: 6'1"
Describe how you live: Turning Japanese
Describe how you love: Supernova
Share a few words of wisdom: Fire Up the Batmobile

Notice how I got through that without succumbing to the other, more tempting titles. :)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

My Life in XTC

"Describe yourself using song titles from just one band". Thanks to starshuffler for this questionnaire. Naturally, I chose XTC. :)

Choose a band/artist and answer only in song TITLES by that band: XTC
Are you male or female: Merely a Man
Describe yourself: The Mayor of Simpleton
How do some people feel about you: Wake Up
How do you feel about yourself: Train Running Low on Soul Coal
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: Living Through Another Cuba
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: You're the Wish You Are I Had
Describe where you want to be: Wonderland
Describe what you want to be: Burning With Optimism's Flames
Describe how you live: Love on a Farmboy's Wages
Describe how you love: My Love Explodes
Share a few words of wisdom: We're All Light

Stop It, Hollywood

Okay, there's nothing music-related about this post, but I just felt the need to comment on the fact that Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are going to star in a remake of the lovely Korean film Il Mare. Leave Il Mare alone, Hollywood! Or at least don't cast two people who are best seen together in a bus wired with explosives hurtling towards certain doom while Dennis Hopper cackles maniacally somewhere. I love Il Mare, with its postcard-pretty scenes, swoony cinematography, and restrained yet almost-giddy romance; yeah, I'm a sap. It was one of the first Korean films I ever saw, and it's still quite possibly my favorite. Or is My Sassy Girl my favorite? Whatever. Something with Jun Ji-hyun, anyway. Oh wait, I just thought of something music-related to add to this entry. Il Mare, as good a film as it is, would have been a lot better without that stupid, piano-based, retch-inducingly-sung ballad polluting its soundtrack. There.

Music Others Cannot Hear: On Geeks

Am reading Lucky Wander Boy by D.B. Weiss, an entertaining and erudite book which "does for video games what High Fidelity did for pop music", according to one reviewer. Last year, I spoke to an auditorium of St. Scholastica college students about writing. I had a great time, and regaled them with anecdotes and advice about the so-called writing scene and the importance or lack thereof of awards and mentors. One of them had a concern about image, about being regarded as "a geek". I told her: that's a compliment. To be a geek means you have mastered something, that you have dedicated your time and your efforts to knowing something inside out, whether it's something as useful as Linux programming or as useless as Silver Age comics trivia. Getting back to Lucky Wander Boy, in one chapter Weiss has a great definition of the word geek: "A geek is a person, male or female, with an abiding, obsessive, self-effacing, even self-destroying love for something besides status."

I'll quote the entire closing paragraph of that particular chapter on geekhood, because... well, because I want to.

They may be oppressed by the figures of beauty, and they may be ugly -- but they have the music. While the hedonistic treadmill carries the others through cycles of momentary appeasement and slow, scraping dissatisfaction, the geeks will penetrate deeper and deeper into the music the others cannot hear, its notes independent of the demands of the world that pull people through jobs and parties and bars toward their end. They will hear its forgotten strains and study its evolution in all its branching intricacy, and in the unlikely event of an afterlife they will have their music to carry them, they will never grow tired of it, they will still be going and going and going long after the others have overdosed on the maximum conceivable pleasure and chosen self-extinguishing over the ultimate boredom hangover that follows. Their passion is like a red dwarf star -- it may not burn as hot, but it burns longer. It burns near forever.

Thanks to Robyn for the T-shirt link! :)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Today is the first Monday of the rest of my life

Spent a stupid Sunday indoors, vaguely depressed and apprehensive about the prospect of slowly sinking once again into a familiar freelance rut. As anyone who's ever been employed for over a year knows, it's really easy to get used to a regular salary, even if the job is shitty and the pay isn't great to begin with. It's also easy to get used to the pleasant camaraderie one has with officemates one likes, especially if one is fortunate enough to like almost all of one's officemates.

I know that as long as I don't slack off, being free from PULP will be even better for me in the long run -- it was a dead-end job, with little room for advancement and lots of opportunites for being annoyed on a daily basis -- but for most of yesterday, it was really hard to convince myself of that. One of the problems I had before was that I was always writing an article here and a review there for various publications, and not only was a huge chunk of my pitiful freelance earnings used up just commuting from one office to another to collect checks, I never felt that it was all adding up to anything. Whether consciously or not, I had gotten tired of scattering my efforts, not really focusing on one thing.

Of course, looking back at two years of working for PULP, I wonder what the hell that adds up to anyway. I had the strange notion that over time, I could help make it into the kind of magazine that I would have bought on a regular basis even if I didn't write for it. By that standard, I failed. When the editor-in-chief himself doesn't seem to care whether or not the writing in his magazine is any good, it's pretty hard to come up with a publication to be proud of. Of course, the Reviews section is always solid (hi, Kristine), and I'm pretty happy with most of the stuff I wrote over those two years, but overall, PULP is still... well, PULP.

So anyway, last night, I started digging through old Word files for inspiration. Found an e-mail I sent to a friend in August 2001. Was amused, mostly because of the job opportunity mentioned. I cut-and-paste it here in its entirety:

Dear Mei,

There are days when I sit in front of this PC for so long that I think the UV rays must be transfoming me into something, either a superhero for the 21st century or a giant rampaging lizard that will lay waste to the cityscape. I'm hoping it's the latter. I don't think I have the resolve or the moral compass to be a superhero.

Sorry I wasn't able to contact you earlier. Things got rather hectic during the second half of last week -- or at least as hectic as they get in my life, which, by your standards, would probably be equivalent to a vacation. On a beach. With little umbrella drinks.

Anyway! I have just been informed of a job opening in Makati, at the Filipinas Heritage Library. It's a full-time gig, with Mondays off (but Saturdays on), and the work has something to do with books, so I guess it'll be more palatable to me than advertising. On the other hand, the thought of regular, full-time work raises the hackles on my neck, and I don't even know what hackles are. Seriously, I've grown to love the freedom that comes with freelancing (not to mention hate the regular commuting that comes with a steady job).

The way I see it, either I apply for the job and maybe get it, in which case my free time gets drastically reduced but then my bank account starts to look less anorexic, or I don't apply, and try to find even more freelance writing jobs than I'm handling now. Or I could start work on that novel I've been thinking about, or any number of writing projects that have been bouncing around in my skull.

I know, I know. I have no real problems. Employment and a salary on the one hand, and freedom and some money on the other. Poor me. Still, since I just turned 27, I have (reluctantly) started thinking about the long-term stuff -- someday acquiring property, providing for a family maybe, that kind of thing. Learning how to drive and owning a car, for God's sake. Sometimes I really envy people like you and Nats -- people with definite careers, who have earned respect, responsibilities, promotions. Of course, it is nice to be able to wake up at noon on a weekday, but if I'm still doing that when I'm forty...

Well, enough of that. In other news, I was nominated for a National Book Award. Just found out last night. :) Things like that make me think I should just concentrate on the writing, but hell, it doesn't pay enough. Or at all, in some cases.

Anyway, hope you're okay. Do write back when you can --


So here it is four years later, and I've got that freelance freedom back. I can do anything I want, and after I fulfill my March writing obligations to PULP, I never have to write for it again, nor am I inclined to. Except that I just realized last Saturday, after watching the gig at 70s and interviewing Kiko Machine, that I'd still like to write about music somehow, and not just in this blog. I'll figure something out.

As Margie texted me yesterday, "You're going to put your energies into new, strange places and your brain will grow in weird and wonderful ways." Here's hoping.

PS. Oh, and by the way...
Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey. Thanks to Lala G. for the link :)

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Punk Sinatra's Not Dead

Got home a little after 4am from an interview with Kiko Machine. We conducted it in the starkly flourescent-lit, garbage-strewn front lobby of Vinzons Hall, in UP Diliman. (We were supposed to hold it in the Sunken Garden, but a security guard shooed us away). Like myself, all the band members are UP graduates, so it was an eerie sort of after-hours nostalgia trip for us all.

The interview was quite entertaining, as one might expect from a band that dresses in red jumpsuits (except for their bassist Dan, who dresses like a certain arachnid-bitten superhero -- they call him Spider-Dan), and sings songs about Val Sotto, Panchito, pro wrestling, and superheroes. But under the goofball exterior, these guys have heart, and ambition, and they know what they're doing. They consciously mix musical genres and write songs about pop-cultural icons as a Warhol-influenced attempt to make art out of the everyday. A barkada since freshman college days (they originally called themselves "Punk Sinatra"), the group's friendship is what makes their performances tight, and their wit and songwriting chops are what makes audiences grin. Give them a year or two and they'll be as big as Parokya, mark my words.

Aaand... that was probably the last interview I'll ever conduct for PULP magazine, so it's kind of fitting that it was with a band that made a song about wanting to be featured in PULP magazine. As of last Monday, I've known that, for better or worse, the March issue of PULP will be my last. It's back to the freelance life for me, with all its difficulties and rewards. I'll miss my old gig, and most of my officemates, but I guess it's time to move on. The leavetaking is not without its share of regrets -- two years is two years -- but what the hell, what the hell.

And speaking of breakups -- which we sort of were -- I don't think I can make a soundtrack of my love story, Kristine, as it's still ongoing. ;p I could probably make mixes charting the highs and lows of my last two relationships, but they might turn out a little too flippant or dismissive. I remember, though, that one of the first things I gave Yvette when I was courting her was a mix CD. It had "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" by The Smiths on it, as well as "Nightingales" by Prefab Sprout.

Tell me do, something true, true of you and me
That we're too busy living through, too busy to see.
What is it that we do makes us what we are?
If we sing are we nightingales, shine are we stars?

Who are we? What we got? Are we a firework show?
Growing pale like a star that burnt out years ago
Stranger things have been, stranger things have gone,
I find it hard right now to name you one

Tell me do, something true, and drop the fairytales.
If singin' birds must sing, with no question of choice
Then livin' is our song, indeed our voice
Best agree, you and me, we're probably nightingales

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Losers

Something's in the air--is it the impending Chinese New Year, or Valentine's Day? Conch reminded me that it's been a year since Big Bad February 2004 came and kicked each and every one of us in the gut. It was a terrible, terrible time--which resulted in some pretty good mix CDs that I will never play again. And I bet the makers of those CDs (you know who you are) won't mind if I say that, thanks, you guys, but it'll be a good long while before I can listen to those CDs without following it up with a slug of whiskey.

Anyway, Conch is working on a more pleasant mix this year--it's going to be mostly chillout, she says--and TGB's already turned in the ominously titled but decidedly less ominous-to-listen-to My Horoscope Said it Would be a Bad Year, which Judgment Bunny's horoscope says is a great mix. Both Starshuffler and TGB have recently posted track lists, too. That should get me off my lazy ass and make my own New February mix, but I also came upon this article in the Village Voice: it's a collection of love letters, and one of them is a love letter in the form of a track list.

I'm sure we're all familiar with how that works. *wry grin*

Now I'm curious about other people's song selections for the soundtrack of their love stories. Would anyone be brave enough to post a track list here? (Luis, why don't you start?)

June 15, 2004

Dear Michael,

Ten years ago this summer, we rode together standing in the back of a jeep from Lee Wah's Chinese restaurant to Lake Winnipesaukee, and as Liz Phair's "Supernova" played, you casually lip-synched the payoff line right to my face: "And you fuck like a volcano." I've always regretted that I never got to prove it. I'm still a music fanatic, still think of you when I hear that song. And a few other songs as well, even though I could never be to you all that you were to me. Here's the mix tape (or mix EP) I haven't the courage to make for you:

1. Dave Matthews Band, "Dancing Nancies": What I heard when I got to know you, midnight skinny-dipping at the lake with you and about 30 of your closest friends, and knew you could not be ignored. "Sing and dance/I'll play for you tonight./The thrill of it all."

2. Alex Dolan, "Smoking Gun": You were a pop culture vulture of equal stature. "The spectacular Scott Bakula!"

3. The Supremes, "I Hear a Symphony": "A thousand violins fill the air." Particularly when you dry off and change clothes in front of me, with cocksure confidence.

4. Norman Connors, "You Are My Starship": "I just can't say it's here that you want to be." Indeed, I knew it wasn't. But when has that ever tapered desire?

5. The Samples, "Nothing Lasts For Long": The song that made you bleary-eyed, and made me wish I could be the one you said nothing to all night. "Take my hand and walk with me,/And tell me who you love."

6. Wilco, "How to Fight Loneliness": They opened with this at the Orpheum—a perfect night, except that you weren't in the seat next to mine. "Just smile all the time."

7. Sweet Sensation, "Sad Sweet Dreamer": Lying on the dock of that same lake, this time solo, imagining your leg brushing against mine. "It's just one of those things/You put down to experience."

8. Stevie Wonder, "Another Star": I tipsily sang this, the day after your cousin's wedding. Everyone else was still bunked up with dates and spouses, and I had a water-glistened dock for a partner and a robust morning sun for an audience. "For you, love might bring a toast of wine;/But with each sparkle know the best for you I pray./For you, love might be for you to find,/But I will celebrate a love of yesterday."

9. Robbie Williams, "Angels": That was what I sang after you left, the last time I sang with you, at a karaoke party two years ago. I've never held anyone so tightly as when you said goodbye, never put on so brave a face as when I rejoined the party. "
I'm loving angels instead."

Love, Joe

Read the full article: "Love Letters, Part 1"

Friday, February 04, 2005

Gigs and Gifts

So tonight there are at least three gigs worth going to: at 6underground on C. Palanca in Makati, Kjwan, Sundown Muse, The Late Isabel, The Mongols and a buncha other people are playing. And over at Saguijo Cafe, there's Drip, Sound, Caliph8, and the Milagros Dancehall Collective. Finally, lest we forget, Last Full Show at Big Sky Mind, with Pedicab, Boldstar, Itchyworms, etc. The hell. Personally, I'm very curious about the Milagros Dancehall Collective; for months I've been meaning to see them play. I hear many good things about them (and not just from my cousin Carlos, formerly of Brownman Revival and now a member of the Collective). But I always enjoy Sundown Muse too. And it's been a while since I watched the Itchyworms. And, hey... PEDICAB!! Not to mention Drip, and Boldstar. And Kjwan. Dammit. You guys seem to be leaning towards the 6underground gig tho, so I guess that might be the deciding factor.

Yesterday, I was at the Quezon City Central Post Office, to pick up a mysterious package. The little pink claim card they sent me didn't mention who it was from, nor what it was, so I went there just hoping it wasn't anthrax or a severed head or anything (though now that I think of it, a severed head would have given me material for Se7en spoofs for days to come. "What's in the booooox?!").

I was as happy as a bunny on ecstasy to find out what it really was: a package from my wonderful overseas friend Robyn, that contained a letter, the new Nick Cave album (a lovely 2cd set in a clothbound slipcase), a mix CD of her favorite songs from 2004, a copy of Filter magazine, and -- woo hoo! -- Adventures in Poofyville! All the Poofy strips (up to a point), complete with author commentary and other 'DVD-like extras'! As one reader said, "This comic has not only reinvigorated the twitch in my left ear, it has jet-propelled my everyday life into one 273% more predisposed to squishy bunny-rabbit joy." Robyn, I am overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity and talent and good taste (I love the songs on the mix CD!) and coolness and amazingness and warped sense of humor and etcetera. You are the best. :) Thank you so very much.

Poofy is bunnyesque fun for everyone! Or, as another reader wrote, "Demons... demons inside me."

PS. I wrote a review of sorts, of Mango Jam. One thing I wanted to clear up, for everyone who read it: it's not Cyan's fault that her segment turned out incomprehensible. The script had been 'mangled beyond recognition,' as one staffer put it. They cut out character intros, captions, and basically anything that might have made it any good. Hope the error will be corrected next issue. :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Now That You've Disappeared

Not the biggest Manic Street Preachers fan (that should be Margie), but I did remember that yesterday marked the 10th year anniversary of Richey Edwards' disappearance. I remember reading about it in Rolling Stone back then; I followed the story closely afterwards, not because I was particularly concerned about the band, but because the idea of disappearing intrigued me. Not death--hello, that would be so goth kaya--but disappearance. To be nowhere forever, to have everyone wonder where you are, to see you everywhere. It's a very cruel way to go.

From NME's archives:


    Police fear for the safety of MANIC STREET PREACHERS guitarist Richey Edwards, who has not been seen since February 1. The whereabouts of Edwards, who has a long history of dysfunctional behaviour, were still unknown as NME went to press on Monday (February 20).

Police discovered his car abandoned at Auste Service Station, near the Severn Bridge, on Friday, February 17.

Richey walked out of the Embassy Hotel, in Bayswater Road, west London, at 7am on February 1 leaving behind medication, toiletries and a packed suitcase. It is thought he had over £2,000 cash with him. Detectives believe that he drove to his home in Cardiff Bay where he left his credit cards, passport and Prozac – which had been prescribed to combat his long term depression.

Richey disappeared on the day he was due to fly to America for a week long promotional tour with Manics’ singer James Dean Bradfield.

Manics’ bassist Nicky Wire added: "If Richey does not want to come back then that is fine. We just want him to give us a call. We are genuinely worried. He has never disappeared like this before."

[Richey's] father Graham added: "Please make contact with us Richey. Everybody is very worried about you."


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

How Old Were You When John Lennon Died?

Hey, look, Luis! A site that calculates your age in Top 40 terms. We're about 42 years younger than Yoko Ono and 7 years older than Britney Spears. This grounding in pop culture terms feels...I don't know, historic and final and definite, among other things. If nothing else, it should reassure us that if we're getting older, than so is the rest of the world. And some, not as gracefully as others (hello, Britney Spears, b. 1981).

You said your birthday is 11 / 18 / 1974
which means you are 30 years old and about:
41 years 9 months younger than Yoko Ono, age 71
33 years 6 months younger than Bob Dylan, age 63
31 years 4 months younger than Mick Jagger, age 61
29 years 8 months younger than Eric Clapton, age 59
26 years 6 months younger than Stevie Nicks, age 56
19 years 1 month younger than David Lee Roth, age 49
16 years 3 months younger than Madonna, age 46
12 years 9 months younger than Jon Bon Jovi, age 42
7 years 8 months younger than Billy Corgan, age 37
4 years 8 months younger than Mariah Carey, age 34
0 years 6 months younger than Alanis Morissette, age 30
7 years 0 months older than Britney Spears, age 23

and when these songs were topping the charts
and these events occurred your age was:
Silly Love Songs, Wings: 1
Elvis Presley Dies: 2
Do Ya Think I'm Sexy, Rod Stewart: 4
Another Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd: 5
John Lennon is shot to death: 6
MTV makes its debut: 6
Who Can it be Now, Men at Work: 7
The recording of We Are The World: 10
Walk Like an Egyptian, Bangles: 12
Didn't We Almost have it all, Whitney Houston: 12
Back In The U.S.S.R. is released exclusively in Russia: 14
Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O'Connor: 15
Emotions, Mariah Carey: 16
Fleetwood Mac perform at Bill Clinton's inauguration: 18
The Sign, Ace Of Base: 19
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens: 20

Wittgenstein Says

This cheered me up; brought back some good memories. Oh, to be young and aimless again! Wait, I'm still aimless. Also great to be considered a music guru of course, blush blush, despite solid evidence to the contrary. Thanks, Lala. :)

Last Saturday, Yvette and I attended the launch of Mango Jam, a bimothly manga-style comics anthology featuring four ongoing stories. Congrats to Kristine, Cyan and Jovan, who all slaved away on it: good work, guys! I loved Kristine's Mish, Chief in particular -- featuring a lovably megalomaniacal high school newspaper editor and an underage mad scientist, it's very funny and very cute, much like Kristine herself.

My Sunday was spent at The Fort, at the MTV Philippines headquarters. As the sole scriptwriter for Becoming MTV Famous, the first MTV VJ Hunt 2005 Special, I was hanging around at the shoot in case instant script changes or repairs were needed. The finalists for this year's VJ hunt were all there, as well as mainstay hosts KC and Sarah; the high point of my day was witnessing Sarah Meier recite Wittgenstein from memory, for a sequence I wrote where she and KC debate philosophy. As you've probably guessed, I had loads of fun writing that script -- can't wait to see the special, which airs on MTV on February 5. Anyone curious about this year's crop of finalists for the VJ hunt should tune in. WATCH! the VJs-to-be, stumbling about cutely like newborn foals. SEE! KC and Sarah go places they aren't supposed to go. LEARN! a thing or two about Procopio Dipangkaraniwan, titleholder of the Guinness World Record for Man with the Largest Ass.

As for my Monday, I spent it seesawing between mild depression and happy anticipation, two states that are not unfamiliar to me, but which don't often crop up in the same day, much less in an alternating sequence minute by minute.