Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"You want the day to fit to a soundtrack..."

Looking at the date on Blogger's saved draft of this post, it's shamefully obvious that I have been gone far too long. In the meantime, Eliott Smith has put out another album (posthumously), as did Liz Phair (post-attempt-at-a-pop-album); and Luis and I have started working on another show script and on a top-secret project. All we can tell you about those last two is that you all should watch out for: (a) more inappropriate incurable-disease-related jokes and (b) bastard-eating eagles. YAY!

Before I get back to the arduous task of bastard-eating eagle-raising and catching up on my blog reading, I feel I must complete this important tast, posted by Thor and then answered in this blog by Luis, who noted that, as music geeks, this is a bittersweet task that is both more enjoyable and more difficult than it normally would be. Of course, even normal (<--term here used loosely) music geeks don't fantasize about the movie that will be made of their lives. I do. It used to star Winona Ryder, until I gained some weight and she, a shoplifting problem.

Just kidding. I didn't gain weight (it's true! I used to be shaped like an amoeba when I was in college! they lied about adolescence and sports keeping you in shape!) and I never did get around to casting the movie of my life. I did, however, make a soundtrack. To wit:


If you were to create the sountrack of your life, this would be the song playing when you are...

"Sad Loved Girl" Scheer; "Maps" Yeah Yeah Yeahs

"Manna" Tanya Donelly. Because, at the end of the day, there really isn't a better declaration of love than the simple statement, "But I'm here now, and I'm staying put."

"How Am I Different?" Aimee Mann

I would prefer for there to be no music in these scenes, but if the director insists, threatening, for example, to put a 70s porn soundtrack in the absence of any choices, I would pick: "The Yard of Blonde Girls" Jeff Buckley; "Hey" Pixies; "Hotel California" The Eagles. Fuck you, I'm not explaining that last one.

"Holah" Mazzy Star. "Baby, won't you change your mind?"

"Think About your Troubles" Harry Nilsson

"These Are the Days" 10,000 Maniacs. And when the road trip's about to end, "Passenger Seat" Death Cab for Cutie

"Mr. E's Beautiful Blues" Eels

"Nirvana" Juliana Hatfield. "Should I end it all? Now, here comes a song I love so much."

"Waitress" Tori Amos. "But I believe in peace, bitch."

"Born Slippy" Underworld

"Mr.Zebra" Tori Amos

"Stars" Simply Red, for the high school prom scene flashback; for everything else, there is embarrassing hair rock and some classical music. I was kind of a strange and pretentious kid.

Choose any song from the following albums:Achtung Baby U2; In My Tribe 10,000 Maniacs; Ten Pearl Jam

The string quartet version of "In My Place" by Coldplay. Yes, I've thought this one out.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Charles Darwin Will Fuck Your Shit Up

I love Master Ninja. "Questionable Taste and No Regard for the Human Condition... Please do not betray us, or we will kill you while you sleep."

Here, from an article commenting on The Top Ten Most Harmful Books:

Chuck: Lenin only gets an honorable mention? They've got Mao and Marx up there -- why did Lenin get thrown to the bottom of the heap?

Fred: Kinsey beat him to the punch. He'd be up there if only Lenin had added "...also, sex is awesome. Do more sex."

Chuck: "Make the man sex and the group sex and all the sex you want because it's all good." That'd be a great addition to What Is To Be Done.

Fred: "Communism? More like Cummunism!" And then he high-fives Marx's corpse. And fucks it.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Elephants and Visitors

Missed two events I would have wanted to go to yesterday, namely the launch of White Elephants, Sarge Lacuesta's second book of short stories, and the re-opening of Doi's bar, 77, on the very spot where Millennia used to be, along Kamuning (just after the Burger Machine, across the Pares place -- note that all my geographical reference points are food-related). Congratulations, guys, and apologies for my non-attendance; rest assured it was for very, very good reasons. :)

I did, however, manage to pass by the opening of Gabby Barredo's new show at the Ayala Museum last Thursday night. Couldn't stay as I had to rush off to a meeting, but I will say that it's definitely worth a look. If you pass by, don't forget to get a copy of the program; it's excellently photographed and designed, and contains "Visitors," a short short story I wrote, inspired by the exhibit. Congrats to Erwin, Yvonne, Juan and of course Gabby, and everyone else associated with the show.

In other news: apparently, the Earth-2 Superman has returned. Those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, just move along. The comics geeks among you, however, may have just experienced a slight but pleasant tingling of the spine at the news. And speaking of geeks, and tinglings -- along the spine and elsewhere -- the animated Ralph Bakshi/Frank Frazetta collaboration Fire and Ice is being released on DVD. Here's a true story from the Newsarama thread:
In 1984, I rented this movie for my 13th birthday party. While my friends and I were watching it, one of my friends said that the main girl in the film was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Another friend said something like, "why don't you just go hump Betty Boop?", and somehow a gigantic fistfight broke out in the living room. The point of the story is that I never saw the rest of the movie and now I finally get to buy it. Thank God.

And finally, Jessica Zafra's blogging. (Got the link from Budjette). "Yes that IS my real name, I AM the columnist slash talk show host, I AM the author of the seven Twisted books (eight if you count Twisted Flicks) and this IS my first and only blog."

Monday, October 10, 2005

In with the New

So I was with some friends a week and a half ago and Karlo asked me: what is your favorite New Order song? (Apparently Electronica Manila, of which Karlo is a member, is thinking of doing a New Order night). I experienced a moment of hesitation -- brought on by the idiotic music-geeky notion that I should name something earlier and more obscure -- and then told him what my tragically obvious first choice was anyway: "Regret," from Republic. Waya, sitting next to him, immediately asked me to sing it, which I refused to do: I once actually recorded myself warbling "Regret," when I was toying with a new tape recorder in college, and listening to the playback was an act of sheer masochism, the aural equivalent of deliberately stapling one's fingers (which, funnily enough, I have also done).

Anyway, through cosmic coincidence, it seems that Ninja Kiss 11 is going to be a New Order covers night too: according to Bernie, it's "going to be our biggest kiss and kick fest evah! see you next friday, october 14, at big sky mind, new manila as we pay tribute to new wave pioneers, new order with a banging six-band line-up starring: orange and lemons, morse, bagetsafonik, sleepyheads, isha, and watari's machine -- it's a night of electronica, britpop and new wave, kaya punta na! gig starts early at 10pm."

Ace of Bagetsafonik has told me that they're doing "Regret," so that's something to look forward to. I wonder if anyone will perform my other favorites, like "Love Vigilantes," or "Every Little Counts," a cute and twisted little song from Brotherhood (the same album the over-covered "Bizarre Love Triangle" comes from), or "Run Wild" from the fairly recent Get Ready. Maybe someone will do the happy-catchy "Krafty" and evoke the guilty giddy voyeuristic adolescent thrill of the video. And I wonder how great -- or awful -- a full-on rock version of "Shellshock" might sound! (Flash back to high school: I owned a Substance T-shirt I bought off one of those clothing stalls near the pier, and I wore it regularly until it was basically floor-rag material).

In any case, it looks like it's going to be fun. So: what's your favorite New Order song? :)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

OST: Luis is Listening

From Thor: "If you were to create the soundtrack of your life, this would be the song playing when you are..."


From a Late Night Train by The Blue Nile. Other possibilities: I Live To Fall Asleep by Manic Street Preachers, and the acoustic version of Everything But The Girl's Come On Home.


There She Goes by The La’s -- yeah, I know: it’s probably actually about heroin. But hey, love is a dangerous drug too, which, just like heroin, may result over time in scarred and/or collapsed veins, bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves, abscesses and other soft-tissue infections, and liver or kidney disease. Oh, and constipation. And then there's Cole Porter’s Looking at You -- Life seemed so gray/ I wanted to end it/ Till that wonderful day/ You started to mend it -- yay, suicidal depression and unabashed romanticism in bed together! And finally: As The World Falls Down by David Bowie.


Messy Shitty by The Spinanes. You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi. And Dare To Be Stupid by "Weird Al" Yankovic. Okay, I can hear you now!


Again, Dare To Be Stupid by "Weird Al" Yankovic. Just kidding. Almost anything from Portishead's first album, To Bring You My Love by PJ Harvey, and Massive Attack.


Buwan by Itchyworms. Far From Me by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: You were my mad little lover/ In a world where everybody fucks everybody else over/ You who are so far from me. And, for real wrist-slitting action, Broken Heart by Spiritualized.


Livin' It Up by Rickie Lee Jones, Don’t Give Up The Fight by The Magic Numbers, the Built to Spill version of Linus and Lucy, Try Again Today by The Charlatans, and Wrapped in Grey by XTC.


Several Josh Rouse songs come to mind, but I can't remember all their titles now, so how about Survival Car by Fountains of Wayne? And, for some reason, I've Had It by Aimee Mann has always struck me as the kind of music that would suit the beginning of a really early-morning road trip, like around 5 AM just before sunrise.


All I Need is Everything by Aztec Camera, Se a vida e by Pet Shop Boys, and Pussy by Brazilian Girls. Beach-tastic!


Discolite by Teenage Fanclub! The Robots in My Bedroom Were Playing Arena Rock by The Soft Lightes! And Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down by Toasters! Whooo! *trips over furniture*


Without You I'm Nothing by Placebo (tick, tock).


Grrr! Hulk Smash to the tune of: Speed by Atari Teenage Riot. Stockholm Syndrome by Muse. And One Man Army by The Prodigy with Tom Morello (also good for Tae-Bo workouts).


Speak To Me Someone by Gene is, in some parallel world, a bigger videoke staple than "My Way." And maybe that parallel world would also have The Pixies' Where is My Mind? on their sing-along machines. And maybe that parallel world is called "Japan". Here's hoping.


Lotsa stuff. Signs by Snoop Dogg and JT, Super Bon Bon by Soul Coughing, Music Gets The Best of Me by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and Cool as Ice (Everybody Get Loose) by Vanilla Ice with Naomi Campbell, not that I'd ever admit any of this in a public forum. Oh wait, I just did.


I don't believe I've ever been singing, dancing and drunk off my ass, at least not all at the same time (unless you count that wake I attended once). But I can totally imagine the soundtrack for such a scene: Don't Stop Me Now by Queen, 99 Luft Problems (a Jay-Z/Nena mash-up), and Le Tigre's version of I'm So Excited. I'm about to lose control, and I think I like it!


Basically, 80s hair metal: Slip of the Tongue by Whitesnake, Photograph by Def Leppard, Dreams by Van Halen. Although that last one might result in Air Keyboarding rather than Air Guitaring.


Life Goes On by The Sundays, Lonesome Reply by The Whiles, 1992 by Isha, The Build-Up by Kings of Convenience, and One For Sorrow, Two For Joy by The Innocence Mission (thanks to Robyn for introducing me to that last one).


Days of hanging out in the front lobby and the canteen, requesting songs on NU and dedicating them to girls we yearned after secretly, sharing mixtapes, discussing lyrics, paging through shitty yet compelling music zines. Gravity by Translator, Little Paradise by The Dawn (although, actually, anything from The Dawn's first three albums will do), and anything from The Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears. And of course, The Smiths, The Cure, New Order... all the usual suspects, for someone my age.


All of Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos and Automatic for the People by R.E.M., as well as Waiting for Somebody by Paul Westerberg, and the first three Eraserheads albums. Stayed too long in college, worried too much, did too little. Still, music, a handful of new friends (and a handful of old ones), and monthly installments of Neil Gaiman's Sandman saw me through.


I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness. At that point in the song which basically demands that people clap their hands above their heads in time with the beat -- you'll know it when you hear it -- I expect the congregation to behave accordingly. The priest can do the guitar solo. Alternatively, We Go Together from Grease. Shoowop shoowally wally yippity boom-de-boom!

What fun! And what fun to go through other people's soundtracks: like Thor's, Margie's, and Jovan's. Now I want to see lists from more people. Yes! That means you. ;)

Monday, October 03, 2005

I Should've Known From the Start

Going to the Alliance Francaise later for a group exhibit opening. You should, too. This is the same group of happily pop-culture-drunk lunatics who did Go Chopsuey Go! last year at Big Sky Mind, so it'll be worth it. Hell, the title alone should make you want to, as they say, check it out.


featuring works by: clint catalan | bernie sim | ronald caringal | marcushiro | brian vallesteros | dave yogore | jordan santos

opening night: oct3, monday | alliance francaise | total gallery | cocktails and good wine at 630pm | band performances at 8pm

performances by: bagetsafonik | chillitees | morse | enemy of the enemy

exhibit runs till oct 28 alliance francaise is at: 209 nicanor garcia st. (formerly reposo), bel air II, makati city

gallery hours: M T TH 9am-6pm | W 9am-9pm | F 9am-12pm | Sat 9am-5pm | Sun 2pm-5pm

From the press release:
Man's evolution has been blessed by "the gift of immaturity itself, which has enabled us to retain in our best, most human moments the capacity for play." So said Joseph Campbell, an author of mythology and comparative religion, whose work has inspired a certain George Lucas to create the Star Wars galaxy.

In the same vein, a group of seven 'gifted children' -- who moonlight as graphic designers, visual artists, independent filmmakers and illustrators -- present imagery which retraces their own childhood, and their penchant for everyday play. In Quit Playing Games with My Art, subtitled "Ay, Pwede Pala," the audience is encouraged to interact with Jordan Santos’ man-made toy pieces and Marcushiro’s unhinged interpretations of second-hand literature. Brian Vallesteros explores the randomness of art through an indiscriminate and mindlessly enjoyable play of found objects. Likewise taken with games of chance, Cubicle Gallery curator Clint Catalan lets the vertical tumble of a pachinko ball decide the fate of its willing vassal. Dave Yogore also toys with destiny, as he reinterprets the cards of Tarot with painted humor and childlike tomfoolery. In the end, while Cubicle Gallery curator Ronald Caringal’s favorite childhood characters invade each other’s worlds and wreak even more gratuitous pop art havoc on the canvas, Bru burrows herself in the soft shapes of candy-colored ponies, and dissects how play can awaken one’s sensuality through her installations of fancy fantasy.

Although play has its own structure, it exists to become our escape from logic and causality. In play, we are free to create our own endings and, in a roundabout way, our own realities. Needless to say, it's also a lot of fun.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Slice Like a Ninja, Cut Like a Razor Blade

Had a great time at Ninja Kiss 10: Ninja Ka Ng Ina Mo!, which, unlike most ninjas, struck in loud and nonlethal style last night at SaGuijo.

First up was mainstay band Bagetsafonik, who mark their third year together as a band today (congratulations Ace Doi Marcus etcetera!). As usual, they rocked the place with their electro-dream-hip-pop-rock-tronic music; old favorites like "Halogen" and "Song for the Sunlight (Back in the Day)" were highlights, and somewhat newer, almost alarmingly radio-friendly tunes were featured in their set too.

Reggae band Hemp Republic provided the production night's fantastic finale: mixing popular hits like "Pass the Dutchie" and No Doubt's "Underneath it All" (not to mention the obligatory Marley stuff, and a perhaps ill-advised cover of Sting's "Love is the Seventh Wave") with their own excellent material, they got everyone up and dancing by the close of their set, at around 3 AM.

In between, we had Switch (a decent industrial rock act that reminded some of my companions of Nine Inch Nails and "a more electronic Korn"), and Sino Sikat. I expected to appreciate the sets by Bagetsafonik and Hemp Republic -- both bands whose performances I've enjoyed immensely before -- but I was surprised, and blown away, by Sino Sikat. Despite their throwaway name, they're amazing to watch, and not just because of the good-looking members. Their brand of Pinoy soul -- spiced with dashes of funk, pop, jazz, and a strong sense of fun -- is sensual, skilled, beguiling, and will have you moving like a mofo. I was wondering why vocalist Kat looked familiar: turns out it's because of the striking photograph of her taken by Juan Caguicla, which takes up a whole page in the May 2005 issue of PULP. Rereading that brief feature on them, I'm surprised by how bland it is, how little it makes me want to go out and watch the band. Luckily, I know better now. (And lest people think I'm always bashing the magazine I used to work for, I will say that their recent Bamboo-covered issue was definitely a good one).

Aside from the outstanding music, it was great to see old friends. My cousin Carlos reminded me once again that I have yet to watch his new band, the Milagros Dancehall Collective. Joey D. gave me a mini-review of the movie he had just seen, Land of the Dead (so bad it's good, in a nutshell). Gracie enumerated the people from her batch in Ateneo who've ended up in the band scene. Margie kissed a complete stranger to bag her second Ninja Kiss T-shirt. And so on. Hitched a ride out with M., and had a Jollibee longganisa meal at around half past 3 AM -- a good end to a good night's gig-going.