More Album Art

Searching for the album art of local CDs is a bitch, and the prevalence of watermarks certainly doesn’t make it any easier, but this interesting tool from Reddit provides a worthy utility for art mavens by indexing Amazon’s library of books, DVDs, and CDs for album art in a pretty package. One still won’t be able to get full results but the site sure makes it more visually appealing than other art fetchers out there.

Visit Bigbooksearch here.

Advertisements

Listening to Bipolar

I find it amusing that Up dharma Down placed their commercial jingle “Float Away” “Clarity” in their latest album as a hidden track. Only without the corporate shilling. Or any lyrics whatsoever.

As for the album launch, I do think that it was an unequivocal success, as the band expressed surprise at the dense and enthusiastic crowd and lamentation for those that couldn’t get into the Hexagon Lounge (which was a great venue save for weak air-conditioning, especially when the crowd piled up). As reported, the band played most of their new album, as well as some favorites from Fragmented, with an encore of The World is Our Playground and We Will Always Be Home (much to the glee of one particularly vocal fan). Weirdly enough, they didn’t perform any of their three (arguably, but not really) biggest singles (Oo, Maybe, and Pag-Agos). Of course, that could be explained by their revamped sound (guitarist Carlos Tañada describes Bipolar as a “new first album”). The band was also gracious enough to sign autographs, and seemed to be friendly even after a long and tiring set (drummer Ean Mayor looked especially tired, which was no surprise considering his drumwork that night).

Oh, and that limited edition packaging looks really nice, though the manufacturing was less than stellar (glue marks were in mine). Still certainly worth the 500 PHP when considering the autographs and the set and the drinks though.

One last observation: Up dharma Down definitely has that breakthrough potential that the internets anoint them with, especially when you consider the varied audience they attracted last night, with the bloggers, rock photogs, foreigners, and even some EMOs (complete with matching accessories) thrown in for good measure.

Going Off Topic Here- You Got Rickroll’d

News on How MTV Just Got Rickroll’d

While I am certainly not worldly enough to never give you up or let you down, I am certainly amused and pleased by this turn of events caused the man who is going to fuck up MTV’s plans for dictating the tastes of mainstream media. Tokio Hotel? Britney? Best act ever? Serves them right.

Straight from the man himself (via the link above) : “The majority of the other entrants in the category for Best Act Ever (Green Day, Tokio Hotel, Britney, U2, Christina Aguilera) simply don’t belong there,” adding, “If we were being honest, you’d have groups like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones.”

Let’s just hope nobody decides to Barbe-Cueshe the NU Rock Awards.

No Drip in NU Rock Awards

As I browsed the polls for this year’s NU Rock Awards, I just noticed that there was a definite lack of Drip in the equation. Is Drip a bit too offbeat for rock event of the year? Of course, there were also a lot of very deserving nominations in the polls, but it’s sad that there is a distinct absence of the fantastic Identity Theft from the album of the year discussions (save Luis Katigbak’s support, of course).

Sopiz- High School Life

A pubescent Session Road at first, then a less-catchy Avril Lavigne group as their debut goes on, Sopiz should be commended for not just sticking to the typical pop-rock themes of love and loss, as their initial foray into the local music scene also features stalkers, terror teachers, and exams, playing well with their band and album names. Sadly though, the rest of the musical package is lacking, as the album suffers from a severe case of schizophrenia, shifting from the pop ballads in the opening tracks into a pop punk sound in the second half, then finishing with a more alternative rock sound in the end. At the same time, there isn’t a standout track, essentially wallowing in its mediocre pop sound aside until the album’s two punk covers, one of Prettier Than Pink’s Cool Ka Lang and Sharon Cuneta’s (of all people) High School Life. The subsequent punk sound fails to impress as well, with cheesy execution marring the passable thematic focus of the band. In the wake of Hilera’s impressive debut album, even younger acts such as Sopiz have to be held to higher musical standards, and this album doesn’t meet them.

Rating: C-

For more on Sopiz:

Malaya covers the band along with Delara somewhere in the latter section of this post

Odyssey Live Page

Music Lokal Page

Yes, This is an Eraserheads Post

But it certainly isn’t going to be a long one. Suffice it to say that I was there, I was enjoying myself before Mr. Buendia’s sudden medical emergency, and I was definitely disappointed at the abrupt ending.

However, I was more disappointed at the asses who were clamoring for refunds while Lally Buedia and the remaining ‘Heads were on stage trying to stay composed. Yes, we didn’t get the entire concert. But then the 10+ songs they performed were plenty, though their heavy-hitters were still in the wings for the encore. Still, sweet nectar after a drought isn’t supposed to be bad, right?

Also, doing drugs is bad, as the actions of those people behind us would prove. God knows how umbrellas umbrellas can’t be brought into an open air stadium but drugs can. Of course, considering the events that occurred, I guess it was very wise to bar the potential projectiles.

I’d make a list of relevant posts, but Mr. Katigbak has already done a splendid job on that. Also, the Saguijo gig that ensued is something I definitely wish I saw. Oh well.

Ah, what the heck, more links here:

The 8302008th Blog Entry About The Eraserheads Reunion

http://watdat.livejournal.com/21906.html

http://armimillare.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/saturday-night/

So… How About Those Eraserheads?

Those poor bastards that were billing Daughtry as the “rock event of the year” must be damning the ‘Heads right now, huh? They were asking for it, though. Rock event of the year my a**.

While I was blissfully innocent in the heydey of the Eraserheads, their influence on the music landscape is unquestionable, and calling them the most popular band in the history of the Philippines would not raise an eyebrow. That said, I personally believed that the many posts on the so-called Eraserheads conspiracy theory were avid fans of them reaching for something that wasn’t there. After all, it’s not like there have been murmurs about a comeback for the past few years. Still, the concentration of posts on the topic recently got a bit annoying after a while. Once again, I wasn’t there to appreciate the band’s success. Thus, I don’t have the same emotional investment in their little reunion. Also, it has to be a bit annoying for bands, though, that they’ll be ignored for the next two or so months as this lovefest continues. That is of course, if they aren’t busy jumping for joy themselves because of the reunion.

Enjoy this, people. There could be another WOWOWEE scenario (Never call it the ULTRA tragedy, it’s the network that has more fault here) that unfurls come August 30 (knock on wood).

Adding Credibility to the Local Easy Listening Scene

While the current local easy listening scene is littered with derivative bossa nova cover acts, one should remember that there are still bands that can make interesting, creative bossa-influenced music. For every ten or so “In Love With Bossa Nova”s, there are also some gems to be found in today’s easy-listening music crowd. Falling into this category are Sound and Liquid Jane, two of the current music scene’s better jazz/bossa acts.

Sound is probably best known for their single Habulan, a grabbing commentary on the brevity of human life and opportunity. The band blends a mix of influences from bossa, acid, and more traditional rock elements to produce an aural experience that is relaxing yet still lively. If my Filipino reading skills are still functioning correctly, they are also one of Armi Millare’s favorite groups. Certainly, they play a style of music that is different in today’s music scene. The band has undergone lineup changes, but have released two excellent albums in their debut Bossa Manila and the follow-up in Blue Monsoon.

Here’s Sound’s Habulan, from Bossa Manila:

and Bossa (Reprise) from Blue Monsoon:

Meanwhile, where the music of Sound is more laid back, Liquid Jane is more aggressive, like a  traditional rock act, at least some of the time. Like Sound, the band features strong influences from jazz and bossa. The two bands also share a tendency to have extravagant  titular track openings in their albums, as well as band members- at least one of them has been affiliated with both at one point in time. Nevertheless, the band, composed of Chad Rialp (bass & vox), Erwin Fajardo keyboards & vox), Dru Ubaldo (drums), and Gino Aguas (guitar), plays music that is decidedly different, but equally listenable. Their full-length release Newspaper, Bottle has a bit of the Dave Matthews Band sound in it, and mixing that in addition to an otherwise jazz-based feel, results in a interesting pastiche of genres that can drag at times but is ultimately a very worthwhile listen. In addition to their full-length debut, the band has also released a self-titled EP. Overall, the band doesn’t sound quite as tight as Sound, but they’re certainly very good in their own right.

This is Guillotine from their EP:

Meanwhile, this is Paumanhin, which was featured in both the EP and their subsequent full-lengther:

Remember, the local jazz/easy listening scene isn’t all bossa nova covers, and these two bands are testament to that.

For more on Sound, here are a few links:

A review of Blue Monsoon by Jewel Regal of Pulse.PH

More Sound coverage from Pulse

Listen to both Bossa Manila and Blue Monsoon on OdysseyLive.net

For Liquid Jane:

Liquid Jane’s Myspace page

Liquid Jane’s Soundclick Page

Listen to Newspaper, Bottle on OdysseyLive.net

Random Musing On Cambio and Music Television

While people are lauding local videos for their increasing production values and similarity to foreign acts (hello, colonial mentality), one does have to keep in mind that it doesn’t take a million props or top-of-the-line-studio lights to make a memorable music video. Think of Radiohead’s Just or that adobo recipe video that I keep talking about. One recent video that shuns the extravagant production values would be Cambio’s latest, You Wear Me. The video fits the tone of the song, and it is most certainly one that is unlike any other video in rotation right now. Hey, bigger isn’t always better, and all the bells and whistles might just detract from the video anyway. Here’s You Wear Me courtesy of Youtube:

One thing that could be considered a problem with the video, though, would be the sound quality. Of course, since it was done live and in one take (check the comments), I guess we should just appreciate the rawness of it all. For contrast, this is the album version:

And hey, at least they didn’t make another desert-themed video. It’s getting almost as offensive as the light graffiti thing.

Also, the next bastard that calls a “music video” a “MTV” should have his/her mouth washed with soap. Not only does it sound retarded, MTV hasn’t really played music videos since the 90s, just countless crap reality shows, the equally annoying Punk’d (yes, accusing someone of pedophilia is funny), and the stupidly exorbitant excuses for entertainment (My Super Sweet 16). To be fair, the MTV playlist is still better than MYX’s (no masa singers). I have heard that a local TV station played some pretty good music, but I’m guessing it’s defunct now.