On to the Next Show

I’m slightly disappointed that I didn’t put in the effort to update this blog, but I’ve done a lot of things since I last posted. I don’t consider graduating from college and getting my engineering license a waste of time, and I’ve always kept an ear listening to what’s been interesting in local music. Things have been interesting in the last few years too; old mainstays1 are putting out good albums, and independent music is making its presence known in the local gig scene and on the internet 2. I’ve been itching to write about Techy Romantics, Encounters with a Yeti, Kate Torralba et al., but I’d really like to let sleeping dogs lie and call it a day for this site.

That said, I’m starting a new blog up. I find value in writing again; it lets me journal my thoughts and keep a record of the things I have and will enjoy. You can read it at Compress and Play. My interests have changed and broadened from 5 years (!) back, so I won’t just be writing about local music. I aim to write about the technology and software I use, links and stories I find interesting, and, yes, the local music I listen to. There are a couple of posts there right now, so you can see how the way I write has changed3.

Anyway, thanks for the page views and the comments; good night!

 


  1.  Up dharma Down’s Capacities and Urbandub’s Esoteric are both really good. I’m optimistic the new Drip and Sheila and the Insects albums will come out soon. 
  2. I swear if another good-but-hard-to-buy album like the tide/edit EP comes out on Soundcloud or Bandcamp, I will begrudgingly give up my credit card number. 
  3. I do indeed read Grantland, why do you ask? 

Why I Hate Mainstream Music

There are thousands of great bands out there. Bands that write intelligent, thoughtful, sophisticated, uplifting, truly original music. Yet they toil in obscurity and poverty while Chad Kroeger speeds around in a Lamborghini and probably uses $50s for toilet paper. It’s just not right.

- written by DARRYL STERDAN in The Nickelback Debate, published in The Edmonton Sun

Nail, meet head.

Last.FM to Charge €3/month for Radio Service

I really do have impeccable timing. Right after posting about Daydream Cycle’s first album being available on Last.FM, the site announces that they will no longer allow users outside the US, UK, or Germany to use their radio services without paying €3 a month. Pandora has already shunned non-US consumers, now that Last.FM is out as well, where are we supposed to find new music?

Addendum: Free downloads and 30-second previews are still available according to the comments on the link above. It’s the artist/user/group recommendation radios that are disabled (which basically still neuters the service for us). Someone should use the Last.FM recommendation data/API and aggregate music to play user recommendations.

Daydream Cycle’s Debut Album is Still Free for Download

A while back I posted a link to Japs Sergio’s multiply page, as one of his bands, Daydream Cycle, placed their debut album up for download. Of course, Multiply no longer allows the downloading of the mp3s stored on their site (not willingly, anyway), so people had to make do with third-party software or homemade hacks to get the music on their computers.

Fans will suffer no longer, as the band has now uploaded digital copies of their debut album on Sergio’s Multiply site (now via direct-download service Mediafire) and their Last.FM page. Why turn down their brand of dreamy electro-pop for the low, low price of free?

Eraserheads Blah Blah Blah

With the reunion happening next week, it’s fitting that Pulse.PH has spent the last few weeks building up the excitement by providing a unique view on not only next week’s show but also on the band’s past and present. Already featured on the site are testimonies from Itchyworm’s drummer Jazz Nicholas, Purplechickens guitarist Marco Harder, studio guru Robin Rivera, and Fatal Posporos+Duster+Cambio singer  Kris Dancel, along with some pretty prose. Also included is an account of a day in the frenzy that will probably be the country’s most significant musical event for the year.

Music that Sounds the Same

Courtesy of a friend:

kinda sounds like:


War

usher

I guess we know what type of music the United States’ torture department uses.

A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mmm…. Controversy

Esteemed local music critic Luis Katigbak wrote an incendiary article on the validity of the Bamboo NU Rock awards (heh) after seeing the nominations for the event this year. The Manila Bulletin site had the article uploaded, but it has since been taken off (normal for the site), so here’s a copy courtesy of Drip’s multiply site. Let’s go through the article:

“Another music industry insider came up with a hypothetical scenario: what if he was asked to present one of the awards that Angulo was nominated for, and on the night itself, they actually won? He said that in that case, he would grab the podium, lean into the mic, and scream, “What’s the matter with you people? Don’t you have ears?””

That would be nice.

“Marcus is listed as a performer but he’s not nominated for anything,” another observed. (It is thought by many that former Eraserhead Marcus Adoro’s first album as Markus Highway—Behold, Rejoice! Surfernando is Here Nah!—is one of the absolute best of the year.)

I am not as staunch of a fan of Adoro’s release as others are, but this is an interesting exclusion, especially considering some of the stuff that got in. Also, the nominees seem to be much fewer now. What happened to the long list of nominations I saw a month ago? If you check the current polls, there are essentially a handful of bands grabbing the all the nods. Those Drip nominations (more on this later) aren’t there anymore either.

“Dude! They should have nominated you guys!” This statement was directed at the lead singer of an insanely talented band that just released their fourth—and quite possibly best—album this year, well within the period covered by the Awards. This is a band that has been giving us songs that stick in your head and break your heart for over a decade now; they make world-class songwriting seem effortless. “We never get nominated!” the singer said, with a big, bitter-free smile. “Not even when we first came out. We didn’t even get nominated for Best New Artist.” (It often seems that almost any band with a little buzz can get nominated for Best New Artist.)

Hello Ciudad. I’ll listen to your album once I find a copy.

And then there’s Drip. One can argue that they aren’t covered by the Rock Awards, since they’re an electronic act and not easily classifiable according to genre. But first of all, lack of guitars and the usual band set-up aside, Drip does rock—harder than a lot of bands, to be honest, even if half the group looks like they’re checking their email while they’re performing. And second, they were recognized as eligible, as their manager Mark Laccay informed us earlier this year. But they only made it into one category: for music video, of all things. Never mind that the music on their album Identity Theft blows most of these other nominees away.

I wonder what happened to the other nominations, as I do recall Drip getting in for more than one category. Considering the Out of Body Special got in for more than one category, I don’t think NU can use the “not rock” card as an excuse.

Let’s be realistic. The business of running a radio station is still a business, and the possibility that an awards show run by a station chooses its nominees and winners based on corporate sponsors and major label muscle over actual merit shouldn’t be a shocker. But there’s a fine balance to be struck here: if an awards show loses its credibility, there’s no reason for the fans—and, consequently, the sponsors—to stick around either.

It’s just a shame that in one of the best years for local music in recent memory, a year where we were treated to album after album of enthusiasm-stoking excellence, one of the longest-running awards shows—on its 15th installment this year—should miss an opportunity to celebrate this outburst of talents. But, anyway, in these days of downloads, music blogs and sites, YouTube videos, regular production nights, and word-of-mouth powered by mobile communication and so forth, it is truer than ever that we don’t need the usual radio stations and rock awards to discover the music that matters.

Thank goodness for the internet. Otherwise I might be the one listening to LS Forever and whatever drivel they’re playing in those multiplying masa stations these days.