Friday, September 22, 2006

Narda Comes Out with Discotillion

Narda's new album is being launched tonight!
Discotillion is shot through with fierce get-up-and-dance punk energy laced with sugar-sweet hooks and squelchy electro-sounds... "Molotov" is a sonic grenade that combines yelps and croons, beeps and buzzes, urgency and sentiment; it has received airplay on NU107, and was voted no.1 this year by NU107 listeners on the Stairway to Seven countdown. "Mitsa" is an enormously catchy shout-along number, peppered with rapid-fire bursts of drumming and burning with attitude. "Kay Lab" slows things down but is no less intense, and "Alta Presyon" has a New Wave flavor but an energy all its own. "Buti Nga" is a car chase of a song: adrenaline-pumping and dangerous. Six more remarkable songs make up the rest of the new album.

It's tonight, Sept. 22, Friday 9pm at Cafe Saguijo in Makati. Aside from Narda, Bagetsafonik, the Milagros Dancehall Collective, Chicosci and Day One Movement are playing. (Invite's here.) See you there!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My Pups My Pups

I want one! Wait, correction: I WANT THEM ALL. Thanks a lot, Fran. Ever since I read your post, I've been wanting a basset hound puppy. They're SO CUTE.

Sadly, since I have a full-time job and lots of scratchable wooden furniture in my sala, I don't think raising one is feasible right now. Besides, I can't even take care of pet fish, much less furry mammals. But man, look at 'em. AAWWWWW.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Saving Sally

Here's something I'm looking forward to: Saving Sally, "a Tiny Independent Film About a Girl, a Boy, a Few Monsters and Some Ice Cream." (Thanks to Budjette for clueing us in.) "This project is a blend of live actors, illustrations, 3-D characters and motion graphics. It was shot entirely on a blue screen and is currently undergoing heavy postproduction with the use of regular mac & pc desktops. The end result is a visually delightful moving picture book."

"Visually delightful" may be an understatement, judging from the trailer. (Gotta love those little robots!) The movie stills make very nice wallpaper, btw. ;) That it looks so good will come as no surprise to those familiar with the work of Avid Liongoren -- his excellent illustrations and videos have always had an eye-catching, childlike-yet-twisted quality. (Read The Boy Who Liked Bear to get an idea of the state of his brain.)

Avid's apparently using some techniques he's employed before, as in the video he did for Kamikazee, but this is the first time he's doing something on this full feature-length scale, which is exciting. I only hope it doesn't turn out like MirrorMask, which delivered in terms of concepts, visuals, and casting, but in the end fell somewhat flat in terms of story and characterization (that last bit was somewhat painful for me to type; as anyone who knows me knows, I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan. Still, it's true).

So here's to Avid's labor of love. May it turn out to be wonderful (and robotful and monsterful).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


There's this thing at the Rockwell tent tonight at 8 PM-- YStyle's Third Anniversary. There'll be a fashion show with Ivar Aseron, Yvonne Quisumbing-Romulo and Patty Eustaquio, and the whole thing's being done "in collaboration with HG, Furball and Sweetspot."

The music and visuals for the event are going to be interesting, I hear. Apparently, "25 musicians in an orchestra pit, 5 laptops, Wahijuara, the Radioactive Sago Project, strings and wind from the UP College of Music, and a human beatbox" will be involved. Someone will be mixing cinematic visuals in real time to the music -- I'm not sure exactly how that's going to look just yet, but it sounds good -- and it'll be conducted by Lourd de Veyra, with music written by Malek Lopez.

"Come in cinema-inspired outfits, and bring yer cameras and friends!" the text from HG honcho Erwin said. See ya there.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Back to School

"Okay, who here has read my book? All the rest of you, get the hell out of my classroom." Photo by Chris Lagman. Thanks Chris!

Yesterday I took a leave from work to lecture on Creative Writing at this Alternative Classroom Learning Experience thing (ACLE for short) at my alma mater, Philippine Science High School. I had forgotten how scary-smart and versatile Pisay kids can be; despite the fact that they’re supposed to be total science geeks, they often display an astonishing aptitude for the arts. Two budding anthology editors were planning a compilation of essays on high school dorm life by the end of the session (and asking me about possible publishers).

A quick writing exercise -- write the opening paragraph of a story based on one of two beginnings (1. “I don’t even know why I’m telling you this” and 2. “When I woke up this morning, I knew something was wrong”) -- yielded a wide variety of imaginative responses. And unlike most high school classes I’ve lectured to, the Pisay kids were actually eager to read their work aloud. (Well, most of them, anyway.)

It was fun talking informally to the students after the lecture; some of them seem more like college students in their self-possession and awareness (I take it as a good sign when people can regard their writing with enough detachment to acknowledge that it tends to be “emo”). It was also great when Yvette and I hung out with the other lecturers afterwards -- most of them were former batchmates of mine, so it was like a mini-reunion. Excellent food was provided by the Regali Kitchen (hi Jabes!). Lecturer Gang Badoy feeling up bahag-clad lecturer Kidlat Tahimik was another highlight of the afternoon.

For those who are wondering how I ended up with a degree in English after having studied in Pisay, well -- I studied BS Mathematics for two years before I caved in and shifted. (Other former Pisay students who betrayed the school by turning their backs on science include Jose Dalisay, Jessica Zafra and Allan Popa.)

Friday, September 01, 2006

"The King of Nothing to Do" OUT NOW!

Haven't blogged in a while -- chalk that up to being busy busy both with BURN magazine and with my *new* job (more on that later) -- but of course I just had to tell everyone to go out and get a copy of my new book, The King of Nothing to Do, which has finally rolled off the presses, yay!

It will eventually be sold in National Bookstore and Powerbooks, but RIGHT NOW it's available at the UP Press bookstore in UP Diliman, and at the UP Press booth at the Manila International Bookfair this week, which is being held at the World Trade Center on Roxas Boulevard until September 3, Sunday.

Thanks to Elbert, who did an excellent job on the cover and the interior illustrations! Am very happy with the way they turned out. (Although since I had most of my head hair shaved off, the caricatures don't look that much like me anymore. Luckily I'm still fat.)

Milflores Publishing doesn't have a budget for launches and such, but I have been talking to Yvette and Kidlat about holding one on my own, preferably at one of the bars I usually go to for gigs. Am hoping Hong Kong Holiday will play at the launch, if we manage to pull it off. (The other week, at a dinner party, HKH lead singer Waya sang absolutely devastating covers of "Waiting in Vain"* and "Overjoyed." You people don't know what you're missing.) :)

In the meantime, go out there and buy my book! You won't regret it. Okay, there's a slight chance you may regret it, but that will no doubt be due to some sort of failure on your part, as I am a writing genius and my book beyond reproach. Thank you.

*Originaly mis-identified as "Train in Vain." Clash, Marley, whatever.