Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Defy The Tragic End: Dissecting The Beauty Of Doubt New EP (Dissection Courtesy Of Filter Zine's Femme Fatale)

Two Saturdays ago, I forgot that I am not a superwoman. I had planned to initially check out Rude Maynila: Ikalawang Yugto at Sazi's Bar before going to the launching of The Beauty Of Doubt's new EP over at Ten02 Bar. While I was able to show up at Bisikleta Production's comeback gig (fun as always), I failed to catch The Beauty Of Doubt play, which is such a shame because the person who pitched in for semi-retired TBOD guitarist Albert Ascona was none other than Boyet Miguel of Tame The Tikbalang and Betrayed fame.

How could I have missed that awesomeness? The crowd was present but was about to disperse when I arrived at Ten02 at a little past 12 midnight. I was told that 3 (or was it 4?) bands originally slated to play did not play that night, and so the whole gig was finished earlier than expected. I grabbed a copy of the new EP (100 bucks lang po) which contained takes of the singular theme "Just Matter".

Now Mina, a.k.a. the main person behind Filter Zine, has written a rather riveting review of the EP. Mina is herself a riveting writer: I personally enjoy reading her works. I have asked her permission to reprint her review and she agreed. Now here it is: read on. It is probably the closest thing to having a copy of the EP, which I strongly suggest that you get a hold of as soon as you can.

All songs by The Beauty of Doubt
Album artwork and design by JL Burgos
Produced by Counterflow Records

The strum of the guitars and blast of the drums stopped abruptly. I found myself staring at the monitor for a minute or so. I couldn't say a word. I couldn't move my fingers to type anything. The past minutes since I loaded the cd to the player gave me flashes of unending walks in chaotic streets under the blazing tropical heat with people shouting and I,wanting to shout in unison with them. As soon as the music stopped the silence felt deafening. I was emotionally struck.
Just Matter is 10-minute journey of looking at our own lives: how we lived it, how we will spend the rest of it. The sense of reflection and aggressive delivery of the lyrics will have listeners relate to any one, if not all, of the three songs.

"Are we just matter floating
like tiny specks of dust
in an eternity of space?
Are we just matter with no
bearing on anything
devoid of purpose or meaning?
Are we just matter floating
towards a tragic ending?
Are we just matter
destined for a tragic end?"

The past months I would jokingly say that I am having a "premature midlife crisis" (or quarterlife crisis... if ever there is such a thing). Major changes in relationships had caused me to take a better look at my life and things I had set aside to live in acceptable standards. (Are We) Just Matter was able to sum up how discontended I feel of myself and how I had lived the past 27 years. I think most of us comes to a point the same as this. And that people get to have a realization that they are just travellers and this idea urges them to take a bigger, heavier step and leave a mark. Personally I think this makes the idea of death quite acceptable.

"No. I won't spend another day
in this void existence.
And I won't waste another breath
living a fettered life.
And I won't let myself
submerged into nothingness.
No. I won't waste my life."

(We Should) Just Matter is a response to the sense of living in idleness expressed in the first track. It is the second stage wherein after one had identified what's lacking, he'd come up to a decision and start putting such decision into action. The heavy riff definitely adds to the lyrics sense of taking a stand. The band may have (or may not have) the full intention of expressing the levels of consciousness: raising awareness, mobilizing, organizing. But regardless of personal or political ideals, one would relate to this because TBOD voices out questions that we all have lingering inside our minds.

"All the courage you have shown
the seeds that you have sown,
may it grow in all of us.
And when they took you away
into uncertain fate,
we still hope you come home safe
and that they pay."

(A) Just Matter is a tribute to all Desaparacidos (people who chose to "matter," as Ron would say it). Personally, this is the most shattering song in the EP especially for someone who may have a family, a friend or had simply been acquaintted with someone who had been a victim of political killings or political-related injustices. TBOD had included names of Desaparacidos at the ending part of the song and the mixed sadness and anger in it can make one shout along with the line "Surface them now!"

Overall, Just Matter is a three-staged travel. Sit back and close your eyes. Move and shout in full hardcore madness if you feel like it. Then right after the journey, open your eyes into a different perspective.


For more on Mina and Filter Zine, you can click on the link HERE.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Paalam, Daddy Malcolm

Numero (para sa alaala ni Daddy Malcolm)

Ang tao nga ba ay isa lamang numero?
Kahalintulad ng mga tala sa pisngi ng kalangitan.
May mga bituin na nabinyagan ng maririkit na pangalan,
mga bituing magaganda sa ating paningin...
Subalit mas marami pa sigurong mas magagandang tala
na kailanman ay hindi magiging abot-tanaw,
sa ating kamalayan, isa lamang silang

Ano ba ang kahulugan ng kamatayan ng isang nilalang
sa kabuuan ng sangkatauhan?
Napakaraming tao sa sandaigdigan para maunawaan ko silang lahat
at angkining bahagi ng buhay ko.
Ano nga ba ang bahagi mo sa buhay ko,
Manong magsasaka sa hilagang Tsina,
Mamang mananayaw sa Nuweba York,
Manang misyonaryo sa puso ng Aprika,
Aleng kumakain ng keso sa Kanlurang Pransiya....
Ano ang saysay ninyong lahat sa buhay ko?

Kung sasabihin ko, "Wala,
Hindi ko kayo nakikilala,
hindi ko alam ang buhay nyo, pati na ang
pangalan nyo",
Marahil nga, marahil nga,
Ang bawat isa sa atin ay isang numero.
May takdang panahon ng kapanganakan,
May takdang panahon ng kamatayan.


Ayokong maniwalang ang mga taong mahal ko ay
mga numero lamang.
Para sa akin,
higit pa sila sa mga naggagandahang bituin na
bininyagan ng mga siyentipiko.
Para sa mga taong mahal ko,
Aangkinin ko, pati ang pagkakilanlan ng mga taong
ay hindi ko makikilala,
huwag lamang silang tawaging
isang numero lamang.

(Hindi po ako manunula, pero naisip ko lang isulat ito. Inspirasyon ni Daddy Malcolm, pati na rin ng usapin kahapon tungkol sa pagyoyosi at pag-inom ng kape ng karamihan sa mga manunulat.)

Ernesto Basa Dimalanta
a.k.a. Daddy Malcolm

Para sa mga hindi nakakikilala kay Daddy Malcolm, siya ay ang ama nina Al at Bunek, at isa sa mga personalidad noong panahon ng tagsibol ng Pinoy Punk. Siya ay kasalukuyang nakaburol sa Funeraria Floresca (Letre) [isang deretsong sakay ng bus puntang Letre, pagkatapos ay isang maikling sakay sa tricycle] at sa aking pagkakaalam ay ngayon na ang huling araw ng burol. Siya ay ihahatid sa kanyang huling hantungan sa Navotas Cemetry bukas ng alas 9 ng umaga.

Katuwang na poste sa The Last Song Syndrome.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Post-Election Gigs Gigs Gigs

Two interesting gigs will be held this coming Saturday, and I advise that you guys check them out, as part of your "post-election" to-do chores (haha).

(Of course, that does not mean that you are letting your guard down. Every Filipino's task right now, after having made a choice last Monday - voter or abstainee - is to be vigilant.)

The first gig is the EP launch of The Beauty Of Doubt which will take place at Ten02 Bar. This is a gig worth watching since Boyet Miguel of Tame The Tikbalang and Betrayed will be performing guitar chores for the band, aside from the fact that TBOD has not had a release in a while.

The second gig is Rude Maynila Ikalawang Yugto by second-time balikbayan Hilboy of Bisikleta Productions. This will be held at Sazi's Bar in front of UST. You may catch any one of these gigs, or be present in both ... your call.

Also worth mentioning (although this one will not happen this Saturday, but on Wednesday next week) is a not-so-frequent chance to see Bane live. The gig will take place in Balibago Complex in Santa Rosa, Laguna on May 19. It is strongly suggested to get your asses down South at the first opportunity to see this hard-hitting hardcore group.

See you at the gigs!

(... and please ... when you get to the gig (or anywhere else for that matter), please please bring something to cool you down, like a fan, or mineral water or drink, or a face towel. The summer heat can take a serious toll on one's hydration status, so please, take care of yourselves. Be safe, everyone.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pambansang Halalan 2010: 3 Araw Na Lang!