Thursday, March 20, 2008

Baguio Bound (Show Me the Music)

I love I Can Has Cheezburger. And no, the boxing hamster has nothing to do with this blog entry. It just made me LOL. :)

Anyway! Will be in Baguio City from April 6 to 13, for the UP Writers' Workshop. I never thought I would attend another national writing workshop -- not because I've ever had a horrible experience with one, quite the contrary -- but because I always saw them as most beneficial for writers just starting out. That was certainly the case for me, with my first one: I was the youngest writing fellow there, at 18 (a fact that I'm glad went unknown until the directories were issued on the last day). However, apparently since 2005, the thrust of the UP workshop has changed, as "there is now a proliferation of creative writing workshops on both the national and local levels" and "beginning writers now have many other options," so "the UP ICW has decided to re-conceptualize its annual workshop to address the changing needs of writers.”

So I was pretty happy to be invited to this year's session, especially when I found out who else was going: Tara, Mookie, Ian, and even my old grade school classmate, Vince! Am looking forwward to meeting and hanging out with the others, as well. I still have fond memories of that first workshop -- it was held in Baguio, too -- and while we won't have George R. around this time to run naked and drunk through Burnham Park, stricken by love at first sight, am sure this one will be memorable as well.

And now we come to the sing-along portion of our presentation. Is anyone who's reading this familiar with the Baguio music scene? Would love to check out some bars and bands while we're up there, and possibly write about them for my weekly music column for the Bulletin. Please post suggestions here, or email me at thekingofnothingtodo at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Drip's Second

Anyone who reads my blog more or less regularly probably knows how big a fan I am of the fantastic electronic band Drip. So as you can imagine, I'm really psyched about this Saturday, when they're set to launch their second album, Identity Theft. Have been listening to an advanced reviewer's copy for a few days now -- at home, on the MRT, even on a pedicab trundling down Agham Road -- and it's great. Those who liked the first one will LOVE this one, and it's entirely possible that even if the first one didn't grab you, this one will. It's better. As Erwin Romulo put it in a well-written (as always) review for the Star, it builds on the first album's achievements to "reach vertiginous heights."

Cool Drip trailer here and Erwin's review here!

Last week's gigs were pretty excellent. Enjoyed the Stripped gig at Route 196 -- especially since Kidlat, Fran, JB and Steph were able to make it. Interesting and entertaining to watch all-covers acoustic sets by the Dancel brothers Ebe and Vin, and Ace of Bagetsafonik (we joked that Ace and JB should have had a face-off with the Dancels: musically-inclined brother tag teams!). And Ene's set was all hair-metal songs, which of course was a lot of fun. I scared myself when I realized that I still know all the words to "I Remember You" by Skid Row.

The Narda reunion gig was no less fun, of course. Yvette and I finally got to watch Quark's new band, Us-2 Evil-0, and we are instant fans. :) We just missed Ang Bandang Shirley, but enjoyed the sets by Pedicab and Taken By Cars a great deal. And of course, it was wonderful to watch Katwo and Co. take the stage again.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Rogue in March

So, you really should get a copy of this month's Rogue magazine -- it's their First Annual Philippine Cinema Portfolio, which means fantastic photographs and short, sweet write-ups featuring local cinema's luminaries (Lav Diaz, Raymond Red, Ping Medina, Katrina Halili, etc., and of course Cherie Gil -- check out that cover!).

Yvette and I both have work in this one -- she wrote great profiles for Teddy Co, Eddie Romero and some others (Teddy Co's room makes mine look spartan and minimalist), and I wrote a new story, called "Little Fears," to accompany a series of evocative photographs by Frank Callaghan. BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! There's also a lengthy excerpt from Butch Dalisay's new novel, Soledad's Sister. Plus, did I mention the Katrina Halili pictures? They're really nice. Butch Dalisay AND Katrina Halili! What more could you ask for?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Gigs This Week - The Return of Narda, etc

Lotta good gigs this week -- hope my money holds out. This Wednesday, you've got the latest installment of Stripped, my favorite new production. (I wrote about the first Stripped night here.) Lineup looks great -- Francis Reyes of The Dawn, Ebe Dancel of Sugarfree, Vin Dancel of Peryodiko, Ene Lagunzad of The Ronnies, Justine Javier (I don't know who she is), and everyone's favorite Cada brother, Ace of Bagetsafonik! (Just kidding, JB. He he he.)

And of course I'm excited about the Narda reunion gig this Thursday at SaGuijo. They were one of my favorite bands until they decided to break up (read Joelle's account of the split here). To be honest though, I'm still not sure if I'm going. Might be a bittersweet experience to watch a band I was so crazy about perform again for one night only. But I want to see Pedicab and Taken By Cars and the other acts too. We'll see.

Finally, according to a text from Cris Ramos Jr., the Revolver production night celebrates its big Five-O this week too, at Route 196 on March 7, Friday, featuring Hansom, Hilera, Juan Pablo Dream, The Lowtechs and Roots of Nature. See y'all there.