Thursday, January 28, 2010

BELIEVE: Throw's Third Album Launch (Saturday, 23 January 2010)

If you were present during the launching of the previous album, Unwavering, you may have probably noticed that last Saturday's affair at the Leprechaun Bar was more sober. It is not a bad thing to be one, though. There may be some reasons for it.

Perhaps, one of those reasons is that January 23 also happens to be the birthday of the late Jay Dimalanta, brother to Throw vocalist/guitarist Al and bassist to the legendary punk band Dead Ends. Or maybe the people were just a little tired and spent from the week's travails. Or maybe, wala lang, I think too much, haha.

Sobriety, however, renders little consequence to the sound of Throw's newest album. Believe is not sober, and Throw is definitely a non-complacent band. Al, together with his crew is, and will always, bite, so to say. Their songs hit the midsection always, and takes a constant, painful stab at politics and the society. The album is dedicated to the memory of three local punk luminaries who have passed on to hardcore nirvana: Jay Dimalanta, of course, Luis "Weslu" Guiang, and Je Bautista. Believe, like the other Throw albums, is, contrary to popular thought, a team effort: Spyk co-wrote Choose and Believe (a very strong track), Dennis was credited for penning Eleksyon and Borrowed with Al, and Albert of course wrote Six and co-wrote Warlord and the Zappa-inspired Screw Yourself.

(But hey, why don't you just pick up a copy of the album? I am meaning to write about the gig.)

I got in just in time to see Talk Sick, the Malolos-based hardcore outfit. (Sorry po, Against Man, I like you guys, pero na-late lang ako, di ko kayo napanood.) Talk Sick does not just rip through their set, the band actually groove, if one listens close enough. I made a mental note to play Talk Sick in the playlist sometime soon. They were then followed by Staid, the hardcore band whose members come from groups such as Half The Battle and Choke Cocoi. I personally admire the efforts of these two bands, as well as the rest of those who endeavour to go outside their homebases to play, and the same thing goes to the audience who support the bands wherever they are. It is the best that one can offer to bands who do not, and will likely never, get the support of popular media.

Spyk's young band SDK (with Dennis Maniego as proxy bassist) followed. Not long ago, Spyk was a gangly teener who just smiled as he banged the drumkit. He still smiles, as if playing the drums is a breeze, but he is definitely getting more and more formidable, and is fast turning into a...heartthrob! (Sounds funny? Wait till you see the giggly girls at the sideline whenever he plays.)

Tame The Tikbalang is one band that I really love for its consistency and competence and I am happy that they are still around and continue to play like demons. No obvious signs of aging so far.

It is good that The GoSignals finally started to play their originals on a regular basis. I am paying a close watch on the band's first album release.

Goo played too. It was a blast to see them cover some Descendents. I saw the crowd liven up and sing along, including, of course, Throw guitarist and unabashed Descendents fan Albert Ascona.

Then it was Throw's turn.

What can I say?

If I talk further, it will be my heart talking...

A somewhat sober night indeed, but still great. My heartfelt congratulations to Spyk, Dennis, Albert, and Al.

And the best way to end the launch? Nekbu!

Till the next album launch! Yay! Yay!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Throw's Third Album Launching This Saturday! Yay! Yay!

Ninety percent of the time, I am the usual observer, the one to make comments, the person who is never too impressionable. Not exactly jaded, just not wont to rave quickly over matters and people.

Thus, it is unlikely that I resort to lick-ass (pardon the dirty term) tactics just to earn the good graces of people that I respect or admire. This I say as a general rule.

Sometimes, however, I turn into a little fangirl (still without the ass-lick predisposition, please note) ... like right now. It cannot be helped. To fully appreciate a craft such as a beautiful song or an iridescent voice, one has to listen, not only with his ears, but with his heart, mind, and soul.

It is therefore with my heart, mind, and soul that I appreciate the artistry of Al Dimalanta, and the people who make up Throw, as well the people who were once part of Dead Ends.

Which is why I am very excited about Throw's 3rd album launching this coming Saturday, January 22. It's been more than a year since Throw launched their second album (we wrote about it here) Unwavering. The featured song is Choose, a song written by Al and emerging wonder drummer boy Spyk Maniego. Do come over to Leprechaun Bar tomorrow, see Throw live (check out the poster for details), and pick up their CD. I should stop blabbering now and let the song speak for itself, yes? See you at the gig.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Isang Pagpupugay Para Sa Bisikleta Productions

Bisikleta Productions celebrated its 4th anniversary by way of a gig entitled "Sweet and Dandy" last Saturday, January 16, 2010.

As a refresher, let me just tell you a bit about Bisikleta Productions.

The birth of Bisikleta Productions is largely credited to the late great Luis "Weslu" Guiang, probably known most for being (arguably) one of the best local drummers of his generation and for his easy-going, funny ways. Weslu formed Bisikleta with some kids from Malabon (his hometown) and Kalookan City. Bisikleta, the bicycle, is their chosen metaphor for the DIY ethos of punk, and was formed to further the cause of the subcultures of punk, ska, mod, rockabilly, hiphop, and dub, among others.

Unfortunately, Weslu met a gruesome road accident on January 2007. It was Hilboy Raymundo, the kid from Kalookan, who almost singlehandedly took over Bisikleta, even though he had to leave for a while for a 6-months job stint in Singapore. Upon his return, the gigs started pouring in. One of these is the monthly The Bing Austria Show.

Ever since the inception of Trash Radio Manila on January 7, 2008 (oo, dalawang taon na ang Trash Radio Manila, pero ipinagpaliban ko ang pagdiriwang, at malamang ay alam naman ninyo kung bakit), Bisikleta has always been supportive of us. Our last team-up was the Louie Louie gig over at Cubao X last January 2009. Bisikleta has been around, coordinating with and supporting Trash Radio Manila, and as such we are more than glad to do the same thing in return.

To Hil, I speak to you now, both as a friend and a co-supporter of the scene: Congratulations ... at padayon!

Some photos from the gig.


The crowd

Bing promoting the second album of his band Juan Pablo Dream

The GoSignals

Stolen Shots, the bubbly Bicol ska band that got the Manileños dancing

The Marcos Cronies Conspiracy

(As always, thanks to my trusty Canon Powershot ;) )

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rilkean Heart, Rilkean Reality (This Is...)

Do you guys like Cocteau Twins? I do, I do. I simply love them: the dreamy songs, the beautiful lyrics, Elizabeth Fraser's otherworldly vocals.

It seems that a friend of mine loves them too. Xtin, my favorite foodie (the real deal, forget about the self-proclaimed foodies duh!), sent me a link to a video after having seen my Facebook status (Yes I have a Facebook account *blush* *blush* haha) quoting my favorite stanza from one of the poems of the great Ranier Maria Rilke. Yes, I love Rilke and his poetry, too. This is my favorite poem by him:

I live my life in widening rings
which spread over earth and sky.
I may not ever complete the last one,
but that is what I will try.

I circle around God, the primordial tower,
and I circle ten thousand years long;
and I still don't know if I'm a falcon, a storm,
or an unfinished song.

(Ranier Maria Rilke, 1875-1926)

Cocteau Twins sings out of inspiration from the German poet. The title of the song is "Rilkean Heart", and randomly selected lines from the song go a little something like this:

Rilkean heart, I looked for you to give me transcendent experiences
to transport me out of self and aloneness and alienation
into a sense of oneness and connection ecstatic and magical.
I became a junkie for it. I came looking for the next high

I'm sorry I've been putting the search on the wrong place.
I understand that you're confused, feeling overwhelmed.
Well that's a feeling state from then, the reality.

One entity on the planet, becoming truly self reliant
and become connected with something beyond me.
That is where I have to go.

Now tell me: How the hell can anyone go wrong with lyrics like these?

A similar post appears at The Last Song Syndrome.

Upcoming posts: Dum dee dum ... new playlist, weekend gigs, the usual. Stay posted. Why don't you guys tell me what you want?

(Youtube video courtesy of TIMOL69.)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tonight, Like It Is Starting To Become A Habit

The gig in honor of drummer extraordinaire Luis "Weslu" Guiang's third death anniversary will be tonight, 8pm at Sazi's Restobar (formerly Mayric's).

The line-up is formidable, as it includes the bands for which Weslu has pounded the skins (G.I. and the Idiots, and for a short time, The GoSignals) as well as friends like Throw, Nekbu, and Against Man.

This seems to me more like a celebration of life and times of (rather than a tribute for) the man who will always be remembered for his amazing sense of humor, his mania behind the drumkit (Skanking while hitting the skins? Almost unbelievable!), and his enduring courage, especially manifested during his last hours. As such, I am not too hesitant to promote the gig.

It would be banal of me to say that I miss Louie, but it is the plain truth. Everybody misses Weslu. Everybody will miss him. I will not be amazed if Weslu's death anniversary will be celebrated in the (many many) years to come.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year, Happy New Decade

Kamusta na kayo?

The year 2010 appears to be personally promising. The past year has been difficult for most (both on a personal and global scale) that it is not too hard to look forward to this new year, and new decade, with hope in our hearts.

Siya siya. I do not wish to further distract your attention with useless words. Here's the first playlist of the year. All-Pinoy! With new songs from Bad Omen, The GoSignals, a fresh cut from Tsunami Tsunami, a couple of songs from the Deadly Rhythms compilation, and an old favorite.


1. DEAD ENDS - New Life
Always, always, my favorite. I literally grew up to this song. Great memories. Al Dimalanta is fantastic in my book, and I say this not just because he is my friend.

2. ISTUKAS OVER DISNEYLAND - Fairy Tale In The Philippines
One of the two tracks from the Deadly Rhythms From The Production Line compilation. This San Fernando, Pampanga-based band has been gigging for more than 10 years.

3. GARY GRANADA - San Simon
Gary Granada apparently announced in his site that the album Basurero Ng Luneta, from which this track was lifted, will be his last. Not exactly good news for me.

4. KILLRATIO - The Parade
Fierce music. very competent band. The other track off the Deadly Rhythms compi.

5. THE GOSIGNALS - Neverending Cries
Mel Maniego and the rest of his crew take a stab at the never-ending crisis at Mindanao.

6. TSUNAMI TSUNAMI - You Are So Irresistable
Uhm, yup, spelled as is. Arnold Morales is really a gifted songwriter with obvious pop sensibilities. Hints of mod and a very light shade of punk, from which he came from anyway.

7. BAD OMEN - Thanks A Lot, Je
I must admit that it took me a long time to decide on whether to play this song on the blog or not. It is a song dedicated to the late Je Bautista, who would have turned 44 last January 1.
You guys know that Je was the musical programmer of Trash Radio Manila and has carved a niche of his own in the underground scene. He is a dear friend to many, a fierce adversary to some, and more than a dear friend to this author. To put a song dedicated to him in this blog would seem to be self-serving, to say to the least. However, I thought, it is a great song, Bad Omen did a good job. This song deserves a listen somehow. (Being self-serving be damned, and I don't care: I stand by every decision I make on TRM.)

Do enjoy the first playlist of the year. Here's to a fantastic year to all.