Thursday, May 28, 2009

Scenes From Shit Me Not, And A Plate Of Irish Beef Stew

This should have better read "...and a bottle of Guinness". From the ashes of Purple Haze Bar in Tomas Morato St. in Quezon City rose a bar called Leprechaun, which I was told was owned by an Irish. Leprechaun Bar, like Sazi's, should be a welcome addition to the list of potentially reliable venues for gigs in the future. It was the venue of Shit Me Not, a collaborative effort of Bisikleta Productions, Dirty Shoes Collective, and Tae Productions, held last Saturday, May 23, 2009.

The bands that played, in order of appearance: Tolonguez Death Squad, Clockwork Spiral, Pusakal, Shuffle Union, Umble Uno, Tartarz, Earthlings, t.R.A., Disband, and Pink Cow.

Photos from the gig can be found below. As always, some random thoughts here:

1. I missed the performance of Tolonguez Death Squad, the first band to play that night. Sorry to Odel and company, but I was so hungry when I arrived, and when I am hungry, I am one possessed being. (And obviously, I had Irish beef stew. Sorry, no Guinness at the bar yet.)

2. All the bands were ok (even Tolonguez sounded ok from where I was, which was at the first floor). No band particularly stood out, probably because it was meant to be a light-hearted, fun gig, which is good. Sing when you want, dance when you want appeared to be the dictum of the night.

3. Interesting that Tartarz did a cover of Urban Bandits' "Modern Fishballs"; I actually did a double take.

4. It was a relief to see people dancing without getting unruly to the point of violence. I did not see anybody deliberately destroy things. Leprechaun folks (i.e., waiters) should get used to these gigs. *wink*

5. I just have to say though that the downer of the night was the erratic microphone. I saw frustration written on the faces of most vocalists.

This is the second (I think) collaboration of Bisikleta, Dirty Shoes, and Tae, and I am guessing this is not going to be the last. Good for us. Here's waiting for more gigs from the team.

Clockwork Spiral


Shuffle Union

Umble Uno sing-along



Carl Simonon of t.R.A.


Pink Cow's sing-along crowd

Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering Howlin' Dave On His First Death Anniversary

It was a Monday, May 26, 2008. SMS messages poured in, most of them stating the sad news. Dante David, aka Howlin' Dave, had passed on. He'd left for rock heaven, and we were left gawking here on our puny earthly abode.

Dante's photo from this site.

Then came the downpour of tributes, accolades, what-nots, just like the way things happen when someone passes away. Would Dante have known how he has touched so many lives, if he were alive to this very day?

Two months before he died, we were at his mother's house located at the fringes of Quezon City (or is it already part of Kalookan?) where he spent his last days on earth. Dante spoke ever so fondly of Pinoy Punk, of his excitingly turbulent life as a DJ ("...that was pure violence...", in reference to the military-civilian collision that he witnessed, while he was on board, in front of the building where DZRJ used to be), of Brave New World, and how little did he and his cohorts know that their own musical revolution will eventually inspire many kids to this very day. Dante is quite aware that he did touch lives (he even recalled one time when he was approached by some high school students who recognised him), but I doubt if he ever understood how great his influence has been.

And so a year has passed. Funny that when we do things " memory of (insert name of deceased here)...", we seem to make a mental count of people who have left us, and we find out that we, yes all of us, are actually undergoing a continuous process.

We can always remember these departed people whom we respect, idolise, and love, but it does not just end there. As in all other aspects of our lives, passing the torch to the younger set is an inevitable process. The older generation, the guys who have paved the way for all of us, or have provided inspiration for us to create new paths, will sooner or later be destined for greater things.

We can choose to latch on to a memory forever and ever, spewing phrases like "This is how it used to be" or "During those days". But you see, and like I always say, the world turns, and all of us are accorded the opportunity to start our own revolution. There is no better time than now.

To Dante, Howlin' Dave, the voice behind Pinoy Rock'n'Rhythm that I know, thank you once again. This playlist is my humble tribute to you, though I know that I will never measure up, not in this lifetime, not in another lifetime even. Enjoy people, and have a good week ahead.

1. ZOOT SUIT - Take A Look At That Boy
2. CAMOTE CHUNKS - Mini Skirt
4. PINK COW - Johnny Boy
5. BAD OMEN - Future Generation

(Paumanhin sa Pink Cow! Nakausap ko noong gig ang isa sa mga baka, pero mukhang hindi ko ata naintindihan ang instructions...medyo nabasag ang "Johnny Boy" sa mix. Haaay. Learning curve. :) )

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


MAIM Collective presents Heartcore!, a special gig featuring an impressive line-up: Throw, Tame The Tikbalang, The Beauty Of Doubt, The GoSignals, Goo, End Of Man, SDK, Half The Battle, Bystorm, Staid, and Rust Phantom.

I say special because as far as I know, this gig serves a variety of purposes. Not only is it organised to celebrate both Throw's bassist Dennis Maniego's recovery from his bypass surgery and the life and times of Beatdown Boombox's bassist Je Bautista. Heartcore is a prelude to a health awareness enhancement of sorts, health being a rather uncool and yet a very real concern to all. Yeap, musicians included.

This gig is personally special for me, in many ways. I certainly hope to see you guys at Heartcore! It is going to be on May 30, a Saturday, at the Leprechaun Bar (formerly Purple Haze), located at the end of T. Morato in Quezon City.


And for other gigs, you can update yourself with the posters on the siderail. This Saturday, Bisikleta Productions in cooperation with Dirty Shoes Collective and Tae Productions give you Shit Me Not also at the Leprechaun. Down south, there's an ongoing tour by Play, and a gig produced by SRA will also be held this Saturday at Shan Chai. Better yet, keep your radar on for other gigs. Of course, like I always say, do support these gigs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Playlist From Left Field

On the occasion of Je's 40th day death anniversary (that's today, May 13), I have uploaded this rather special playlist.

1. Put3ska - ABSOLUTE
4. Beatdown Boombox - THE HARDER THEY COME

As many of you may know, ABSOLUTE is originally by Absolute Zero, Je's band before he joined Betrayed. Absolute Zero was short-lived but has the distinction of being one of the bands that played in the early Brave New World Series. It should also be noted that Je eventually managed Put3ska and ABSOLUTE was included in the band's phenomenal first album.

Then there's Betrayed, probably Je's best known involvement as a bassist. This version of NEVER MEANT TO BE THIS WAY was captured live at the NU 2001 Rock Awards. If I remember right, 2001 was the 25th year of punk, and the late Howlin' Dave, whose voice represented the generation of punk rock pioneers (and the rest of the pinoy rock musicians as well), was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Betrayed is one of Pinoy Punk's most popular and enduring bands, continuing to play to this very day.

When Music Front, Arnold Morales' band which he formed after Urban Bandits, was reformed in January 2008, Je came in to fill up bass-playing duties. This version of BORED WITH BOREDOM was recorded live at Club Dredd last April 2008 when Music Front played back to back with The Runaway Boys.

Beatdown Boombox is a project of both Je and The Beauty of Doubt/Bad Omen/Throw/Music Front (and 700 more bands) guitarist Albert Ascona. The two were starting to experiment on sounds and playing with dubs, and were highly influenced by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros. They first played late last year, and this is essentially Je's last band. At the time of Je's demise, the band already has a number of originals, though this song in the playlist is a Jimmy Cliff cover.

There are many more songs that I would have wanted to throw in the playlist, but this should be it. Je will always be known in the scene as Pinoy punk's left-handed bassist, a mean producer, Trash Radio Manila's musical programmer, a passionate music lover.


A mass will be held this afternoon, 5pm, at the Sto Nino Parish Church at Bago Bantay, Quezon City. You can look up the directions here. I know, 40 days came so fast, and personally, I am not over it yet. But such is life, and the end of it. Reality hits from left field, much like this playlist. See you guys, and have a good day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Tale Of Three Gigs

Mick Jagger? Paul of Coffee Break Island, Green Papaya Art Gallery, Kamuning, Quezon City, May 6, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009. More than a year ago, I was in Jed Escueta's photo exhibit Escuebaks at Big Sky Mind. Many months, blog posts, and exhibits later and we were back together. This time, Jed featured the rowdy guys of Coffee Break Island.

It was my first time at Green Papaya. The place, I was told by a friend, was once a house where she stayed in for a few years. The place was filled up when I came in, and Coffee Break Island was already dishing out familiar songs off their repertoire at the ground floor of the gallery, much to the delight of the crowd. Beer was all over the place, and in the bloodstreams of most people in attendance.

Upstairs was where the actual exhibit was located, showcasing the band at various stages of their career. Very interesting.

Jed, consistently the reticent one, was at the background as always. He was one of those familiar faces I haven't seen in quite a while. Glad to see those faces once again. Yup, in spite of the rains raging outside that night.


Joe Jackson? Emil of The Marcos Cronies, Sazi's Restobar, Espana, Manila, May 9, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009. Hilboy of Bisikleta Productions was putting some finishing touches on the tickets while awaiting the matinee crowd. Ah, but it does take a bit of getting used to matinee shows. Maybe Saturday is not a good day for a matinee. At any rate, when people started pouring in some two hours after the supposed sched, they really poured in. Pretty soon, Sazi's Restobar (formerly Mayric's) was filling up.

Bing showed up, of course, and was his usual bubbly self. The GoSignals played. So did The Marcos Cronies, Pink Cow, Rocketpunch, SMB, and essentially almost every band billeted that night. My bad, I did not get to see all the bands play and hence I could not give a fair assessment. I was doing a looooot of catching up with people and towards the tailend of the gig, I have to rush to another venue, which I will talk about later. All I know is, I had a good time talking to long-lost friends. (Or more like, I was the "long-lost" person, heheh.)

Sazi's (and this is just my personal opinion) has not changed much: the look, the mood still reminds me of Mayrics, but Sazi's is a little bit cleaner. It was little like time warp. Hopefully Sazi's eventually becomes another viable option for similar gigs in the future.

A little before 12 midnight, I was hitting the road again.


Silenoz of Dimmu Borgir? Dagul of Shuffle Union, 1962 Tambayan, Sct. Madrinan, Quezon City, May 10, 2009

From Sazi's I went to 1962 Tambayan, a place once haunted (Don't we just love puns?) by news scribes and refurbished to cater for acoustic performances. That night, Shuffle Union and SMB (the boys were working double-time) were to perform acoustic sets.

I arrived and saw Arnold Morales jamming with JR and Dagul prior to Shuffle Union's set. The crowd was (obviously because of the acoustic sets) more laidback, and I actually like the way the sound bounces off in the venue. 1962 Tambayan is looking good as an acoustic gig venue, so far.

Shuffle Union, as far as I know, is presently preparing their EP which should be out anytime soon. If you were at the Louie Louie gig at Mogwai last February, you'd have a good idea how this album will sound. The boys and girls have retained the engaging trad-rocksteady quality of their music but added new elements to their sound making it a little different from how they sounded like four years ago. Now this is something to definitely look forward to, and I am personally glad that they are finally coming out with this album. I wish Shuffle Union all the luck in the world.

The night was not quite over yet for some when I left the tambayan. For me, however, it had just began. Up next, the playlist. Have a great week, people.

Friday, May 1, 2009

For Coffee Break Lovers, And Some Notes on Requests

A good number of people would consistently ask us about the gig scheds of Coffee Break island, probably one of the most hardworking bands around. We (in retrospect, it is we) love CBI but in the past I try to avoid being patronizing. This time I cannot help it and so I am giving you a list so you guys can catch them.

CBI will be at the Ride and Roll Diner at Xavierville, QC on the following Saturdays: May 2 (with Lady I and Earthlings - that's today), May 16 (with Pink Cow and Mobster Manila), and May 30 (with Pink Cow).

CBI will also be at the Green Papaya Art Gallery on May 6, Wed, San Mig Pub at the Alabang Town Center on May 9 (Sat), Festival Mall Parking Lot open parking lot on May 10 (Sun), and at Penguin Cafe at Malate on May 23 (Sat). Probably a few more gigs in between...just keep your ears clean.


Also got some requests to upload music performed by bands that Je had played for. It should be a nice idea (though Je would probably be a little half-hearted and say that this is going to be a bit self-serving if he were alive, since I know fully well that he just wanted to be in the background), and I will see what I can do about it. So, stay tuned. And, by the way, our playlists have ALWAYS been downloadable (/me winks). Anyways. Enjoy the weekend, people. Keep it safe.