Friday, July 31, 2009

The Homecoming To End All Homecomings Of 2009 (aw000t!)

Here it is. The real deal. Bulacan's hardcore specialists T.S.A., now collectively based in Singapore, will be back in town for a brief visit. We've written about them many times, played their fast and furious songs a couple of instances here on Trash Radio Manila. If you haven't seen these guys yet, here's your chance. Stay stuck for more announcements in the coming days.

[Kaya Jam naman diyan. Kahit isang kutsara lang, sa bulsa ng mga maruruming damit. For old times sake. :(]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The 1st Manila Ska Festival: Come Rain, Come Moonshine, and Sneaking in at the ASEUM Art Festival in Mogwai

By now most of you people have already seen those fab photos of the 1st Manila Ska Festival uploaded in numerous Multiply and Facebook accounts. So what exactly happened last Saturday (July 25) at Cubao X? I arrived at the venue (in front of the Wooden Gallery) at around 9pm, in time for Hopskatch's set. Already there was a good number of people in the audience gathered in front of the stage. Stayed on for a few numbers until someone grabbed me to meet, well, Caliph8, who was invited to do a DJ set at neighbouring Mogwai.

[Some explanation here. Caliph8 spinned on the occasion of ASEUM (Asia-Europe) New Media Art Symposium's 1st International New Media Art Festival in the Philippines. A five-day affair of conferences, exhibits, fora, and what-have=you's, last Saturday I think was the final leg of the art festival in the form of VJing and sound experimentations at the Mogwai Cinematheque, of which Caliph8 was one of the performers. Some photos inside the cinematheque below. Also check out this site for details.]

(In photo: video screening accompanied by sound experimentation, an
d Caliph8 - in blue shirt - doing what he does best.)

Also entered the Wooden Canvas which featured the photo exhibit. The walls showcased photos, both old and recent, mostly of bands who performed that night (Shuffle Union, The Marcos Cronies, Steady Movin' Beat, among others). Old photos brought me to times past: Clubska, Skamax, out-of-town forays (oftentimes Je would come, leaving me behind here in Manila because I have to report to work everyday, shame shame), Kolumn days. Interesting documentation of the bands' visual evolution, indeed.

Okay, I apparently digressed. After Hopskatch came Steady Movin' Beat. By this time, some people in the audience have drank enough and were gradually getting into skanking mode. The flurry on the dancefloor continued when Life Without Francis (that's Pink Cow without their vox Francis for you) stepped in and sang originals and covers (a smuttering from The Clash). The amount of alcohol intake is, without doubt, proportionate to the activity on the dancefloor.

(In photo: JR of Shuffle Union and Hilboy of Bisikleta Productions, hosts to the event)

When Rocket Punch took the stage, rain poured in from the pregnant skies.By then the crowd, which had really swollen, cramped at the sides and at the makeshift tent. The rains stopped somehow by the time The Marcos Cronies were playing. The rain obviously could not stop the people from having a good time.

Sige kag skank pipol!

Shuffle Union finally took the stage, joined in at some songs by Noel of Skabeche. For a moment I was on time travel. I first saw Shuffle Union about 8 years ago in Mayrics. While they were already showing promise then, the lads were a little restrained, and January could not been seen without her shades (hehe). Time has passed quite fast and endowed this band with maturity and confidence. SU did their originals, as well as their favorite covers (Tainted Love, among others). They paid tribute to two of their mentors who had since left the physical world - Luis Guiang and Je Bautista - by playing "Thank You Weslu" (a song the band wrote specifically for Weslu) and "Absolute" (a song originally by Absolute Zero, Je's very first band, and popularised by Put3ska). Watching the band and the crowd from afar gave me an ethereal feeling, and at the same time a sense of longing.

Shuffle Union dancefest

The last time I saw Jeepney Joyride was during that ill-fated gig somewhere in Quezon about 5 years ago. (I am not about to tell you how horrid the event was ... I just want to say to prospective producers that, please, when you book your musicians in gigs far away from Manila, please, TREAT THEM PROPERLY! Give them decent transpo, decent food, and decent place to sleep. DON'T MAKE THEM SLEEP ON THE SAND. Ok, enough said.) Been a while. The band is still as hyperactive though Norman hasn't done some tumblings that night. I sort of missed them.

Finally, Coffee Break Island. If you people follow my posts, by now you would have known the bands that I like to watch live. CBI is one of those bands. These guys have gone a long long way from the first time I saw them in Millenia some 7 years ago. Evolution indeed is a very curious thing.

And so is the weather. I walked in the rain, leaving behind a highly energised crowd, some really drunk. I thought to myself, as I was going home, that sometimes, erratic weather is not enough to put a good gig down. Congratulations to Shuffle Union and the rest of the bands, to Wooden Canvas, and to PiliSkapinas. It has been one fantastic night of music, alcohol, and friendships. Thank you very much, once again.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tonight...and 7 Nights Ago

Huli man at magaling ... huli pa rin!

I am putting up some photos from Try This At Home's gig last Saturday, July 18, held at the Leprechaun Bar, which featured The GoSignals, Hilera, and Coffee Break Island.

The GoSignals


Coffee Break Island

Try This At Home is, as far as I know, a two-man production composed of Russell Eustaquio (Tame The Tikbalang fame, shown in photo at the right) and Albert Ascona (guitarist to a myriad bands). TTAH is a welcome addition to the productions in existence, as it provides another venue for bands to play and people to appreciate music that's apart from the run-of-the-mill stuff that I no longer have to enumerate. [Bashing is something I consciously try to avoid here in TRM ... if you've nothing good to say, then don't say it....]

Anyways, we'll definitely hear more from TTAH in the days to come.

Now for tonight. The First Manila Ska Festival also happens to be the final leg of Shuffle Union's Invincible Album Launch Tour. The affair starts as early as 3pm via a photo contest/exhibit. Gig starts at 7pm. It might interest you that after a longish absence, the hyperactive Jeepney Joyride is back and you might want to check them out too alongside Shuffle Union, Coffee Break Island, The Marcos Cronies, and many more bands. Even told that Jon (of Neighbors and now of Soundblasters blogsite) will be spinning some tunes as well. Tonight, it seems, should be a fun skanking night. See you guys over at Cubao X laters.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Once Again, Grrrl!!!!!

Finally finished Part 2 of the Grrrl playlist. Had fun putting the songs together. As I was doing so, I came across this announcement over at MySpace.

Clitfest Los Angeles is "...a 3 day national event dedicated to Womyn (born and self identified, queer, gender nonconforming, trans, people/youth of color) [emphasis mine]". This is a three-day affair filled with workshops, discussions, and relentless music from all-female and female-fronted bands. Now one of the bands included in the list is Naked Aggression.

Naked Aggression are veterans. The band was formed in 1990 and were actively touring until disaster struck them in 1998: one of the founding members, Phil Suchomel, died. The year 2003 saw the return of Naked Aggression, which continues to churn out one highly charged political song after another to this day. The song "Smash The State" kicks off our playlist.

The next band, The Scuds, are from Singapore. Got hold of this band's songs just recently as a recommendation by a good friend. Punk with garage undertones, very raw but not at all amateurish. Check them out here. The title of the song? "Fuck You!"

Out of Bonn, Germany come The Gee Strings, fronted by the ferocious Ingi Pop. The song "Snuff Fiction" appears both in their album Arrest Me and in the Radio Disaster Volume V compilation released by Basement Records. Do listen to more Gee Strings on their MySpace site.

I admit to procrastinating more often than I should. Cebu City's Tiger Pussy should have long appeared in Trash Radio Manila's playlist, but somehow I was not getting the proper timing. Jan's voice is simply what the band's byword is: rawr! I was told that the guys are coming back to Manila this October. (Yep, they were here last April....) No reason not to see them this time. Their song is called "High Class Curriculum", and the band's photo, which I got from their site, is taken by Keith Dador.

Also in the list is The Devotchkas, who eventually came to be 99's, before reverting to their old name before the band finally split up. The song "Wicked Heart" comes from the album Live Fast Die Young.

Lastly, we have Tether, one of the bands that played in the Louie Louie gig held last January. Tarhata has a voice that is compelling, and she is amply supported by her bandmates. I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy of their album Tell Me Stories. Find out where they are gigging next on this site. Their song "Html" caps off this playlist.

The list:

1. NAKED AGGRESSION - "Smash The State"
2. THE SCUDS - "Fuck You!"
3. THE GEE STRINGS - "Snuff Fiction"
4. TIGER PUSSY - "High Class Curriculum"
5. THE DEVOTCHKAS - "Wicked Heart"
6. TETHER - "Html"

It's been good. Harrowing maybe, but good. Hope you enjoy this playlist, as much as you enjoyed the first Grrrl!!!!! installment. For the next playlist...let's see. More local bands! New materials! Ugh. Backlog now really catching up with me. Just, stay tuned.

Photos from the artists' sites. Tiger Pussy's photo in the site done by Keith Dador.

Friday, July 17, 2009

R.I.P. Vincent Go

R.I.P. Vincent Go of Dear Dingo.

No fancy words, and explanations are reserved elsewhere. Just please pray for the repose of his soul.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lagare Nights Part 3: Shuffle Union Invincible Tour, 1962 Tambayanan, July 11 Saturday Night. Plus This Weekend's Gigs!

From España, Manila, I transferred to Timog Avenue in Quezon City. I did not get to see The Nudolls (featuring Smee, for those who frequented Kolumn in the past), the band that played first. Steady Movin' Beat was about to play by the time I arrived. Some people were already alcohol-fueled and skanked towards the middle of the set. The flurry on the dancefloor went on as Rocket Punch took the stage (and commissioned Mateo to sing some songs for them). These guys are good and they prepare their repertoire well. Of course, Shuffle Union (frequent victims of ill-functioning mics lately) was as always consistent and Nomer was a delight behind his keyboards. Tsunami Tsunami, Arnold Morales' new band, did an ambush set, while Lagare bands The GoSignals and The Marcos Cronies performed just as well after coming from Sazi's (and Ten02, as in the case of TGS).

Yup yup. A long Saturday night of music indeed. (And I was still dreaming of teleport - TP in Second Life lingo - on my way home.)

Some interesting gigs are up this coming weekend. Filter Zine's Unmerry Melodies is kicking off this Friday (uhm, that's today) at the Leprechaun Bar. Poster is at the siderail for your reference. Also at the Leprechaun Bar this Saturday, July 18, Try This At Home Productions will be presenting three musically diverse bands: Coffee Break Island, The GoSignals, and Hilera. Now this should be really interesting. Show starts at 9pm; entrance is at PHP100 inclusive of a bottle of beer. Watch out, too, for the First Manila Ska Festival set on July 24-25 (July 24: photo exhibit, July 25: actual gig). I shall be filling you in with the details soon.

By the way, I got a good number of positive feedbacks in reference to the Grrrl!!!!! playlist. As such, I am presently concocting Grrrl Part 2. Do watch out for it, hunnies.

That's it for now. As for me, I'm about to go to this other world where I can at least satisfy my TP cravings to my heart's content. [IM me or send me NC if you care to join me....]

Photo: A spirited Nomer of SU

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lagare Nights Part 2: The Bing Austria Show, Sazi's Restobar, July 11 Saturday Night

Bisikleta Productions strikes again. Hilboy was talking about his future line-ups and plans the night we saw each other at Sazi's, all worth watching out for. For now, however, it's about this Saturday night topbilled by The GoSignals and participated in by a host of other bands. Gut Reaction, unfortunately, was not around.

Surf and garage muzak from Tango Bitoy!

My little surprise of the night was Tango Bitoy. It was my first time to see these guys. They do surf music and played some originals that night. Sy did fine with the four-string, Jerwin provided ample skins, but it was Rod Mijares' awesome guitar-playing that took centerstage. If my eyes were not fooling me, this lefty did not even bother to shift his strings, and for a very very weak guitar player like I am (*blush, blush*), that was truly amazing. Do try to catch these blokes.

Apostles of rockabilly: Pusakals

The Trend covering Third World Chaos

SDK: These boys pack a really mean wallop

The GoSignals: Mod galore

I got to see Pusakals play their rockabilly set, too: they opened the gig. Other bands that played included The Trend, SDK (really ferocious kids), and The GoSignals. Unfortunately I had to leave in the middle of the set to catch another gig, which you can read about in my 3rd installment of Lagare nights. My apologies to the bands that I did not get to see, it was nothing personal. :(

I was also the beneficiary of many a gesture of generosity that Saturday night. I got a shirt from Pau of Pink Cow (and Life Without Francis, now that was clever), a CD from Knop Knop of Einstein Chakras, a ride to Timog Avenue from Mel of The GoSignals, and the usual niceties from Hil, Dennis and Bunek, Ish, Carl Simonon and Jumar Burns of t.R.A. Thank you very much to these people, from the bottom of my pineal gland. (Hehehe, go figure: it's not what you think it is.)

This was one of those nights when I wished I had the power to teleport from gig to gig and back, so that way I would have missed less. Hell, come to think of it, I have always wished I could teleport to the nearest virgin beach, to that country north of the Philippines which I love so dearly, to the other side of the world which I have always wanted to visit, to the moon, the stars, to another dimension of existence where no physical entry is possible. I. Just. Wish. I. Could. Yes. I. Seriously. Mean. It.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lagare Nights Part 1: Coffee Break Island, Shuffle Union, and Earthlings, Leprechaun Bar, July 10 Friday Night

What can I say?

This gig was by no means a product of massive information dissemination nor was it supported by some megalomaniacal sound system, both of which oftentimes are very crucial ingredients to the success of a gig. No big stars here, though CBI and Shuffle Union by now are respected names in their own circuits and Earthlings are beginning to carve their niche as well. But it has been a very very good night, in spite of the usual hitches.

Some members of Shuffle Union and Earthlings were sick and as such Jun and Raffy of CBI pitched in. Mae, January, and JR of Shuffle Union jammed with CBI, and the audience was either drinking or dancing or both. And just when everyone thought that the music had ended, JR and Paul of CBI (aka Pineapple Jam) took the stage and did acoustic renditions of The Jam's "That's Entertainment" and a few more songs. I could have sworn that this gig was a home party where everyone is welcome to crash right in and join in the fun, except that the Leprechaun sign was glaring in front of the place, a reminder that we were not in a house but in a bar.

Photos here (above photo: Earthlings):

Earthlings: Smiling sheepishly

Sibling act: Jan, JR and Dagul of Shuffle Union

The belter: Mae of Shuffle Union

Shuffle Union with Jun of CBI on drums

Raindance, Paul stylee

Raindance during CBI's set

Shuffle and CBI jammed together

Pineapple Jam!!!

It was a cool night, all things taken. Sometimes all it takes, in the absence of the usual things we obsess about to come up with a great gig, is one that is lacking in most gigs: GOOD VIBES.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grrrl!!!!! Redux

This is a rather premature post; I was not planning to put up anything yet. But I was surfing a while back and chanced upon this link, which led me to the site which appears below.

I am guessing that this site is an aggregator of posts, which is not as bad as those that aim to really steal specific blog posts. This was more funny than offensive, and you have to see the "other" post to find out why it is so.

Anyway. Back to regular programming. All set for those upcoming gigs this weekend?

Sunday, July 5, 2009


For the longest time, I have wanted to make a girl (or grrrl, if you so prefer) playlist, but I sort of shied away from it. For one, it is a rather overused theme, for another, I am not exactly a feminist, I simply know my rights as a female. But I certainly like the refreshing sight of women in the sea of men in the moshpit, and how girls provide an interesting counterpoint to the musical style of the all-male bands.

So here it is, a 6 song playlist that does not even last 10 minutes. Fierce, you say? The artists and their songs:

1. PLASMATICS - Test Tube Babies

"Plasmic eruption, baby, erupting my brain"

The frontwoman of Plasmatics is none other than the late wildchild Wendy O. Williams, probably best known for her nihilist and sexual antics onstage. Test Tube Babies is off their 1980 full-length album "New Hope For The Wretched".

2. LIBYANS - Cough It Up

"Im sayin', it's not worth it. Cough it up!"

Female-fronted four-piece band out of Boston. I dig their frantic songs and Liz Panella's low, throaty vocals. They will appear on the July issue of Maximum Rocknroll. Do check out their MySpace too.

3. RIOT-A-GO-GO - High Society

"Got no money, got no sophistication. I'm working for the sound that's due to sweep up the whole nation."

Not anymore. Riot-A-Go-Go, the three-piece San Francisco-based outfit, has disbanded roughly four years ago, and last I heard, vocalist Nova Lee Szoka has joined the acoustic bandwagon too. It was definitely good while it lasted. High Society comes from the album "A Piece Of It": yep, that album with a very provocative cover.

4. ABRASIVE RELATIONS - Kulang Sa Pamagat

"Salita ka nang salita, wala ka namang ginagawa."

The songs comes from the now hard-to-find compilation "Alternatibong Musikang Filipino Dekada '90". The copy that I have in my possession was originally a gift to my late mom. Mention Abrasive Relations and 1990s punk scene come to mind. They were an all-girl band who could screech and play well: these qualities I daresay set them quite apart from similarly structured bands.


"Don't you think you're such a fluke?"

I bought "Ready...Set...Go!", Bloody Rejects' album, upon the recommendation of a friend. ("They're interesting. The female members look so feminine, and yet they do kick-ass covers of Bad Brains." Cool.) This Singapore-based group has long been in existence - 1997 to be exact - and is said to be lately getting active once again in the gig circuit. Good for us then. Check this album out.

6. EPOXIES - Cross My Heart

"I'm not the type of girl who gives up easily or runs away.
You better get used to it, cos I ain't leaving you.
I'm here to stay."

Ouch. Heard this before? You can forgive this Portland, Oregon-based band for the rather cheesy lyrics, though. Vocalist Roxy Epoxy is very engaging and the band does really catchy songs. Oh, but if you do find the lyrics okay by you ... then hop right in, grrrl. ;)

That's it for now. Have a great week, people. Cough it uuuppp!!!

Photos all come from the artists' sites.