Sunday, February 20, 2011

a new rock baby is born

we were outside Saguijo bar when i heard a familiar voice. it was too familiar, too special for me to ignore and i tried my best to look for where the voice came from. it was just right in front of the bar i was in. and then i saw him.

i love Francis Reyes too much not to recognize his voice.

it turns out that they have been streaming music through the internet and trying to pick up where NU107 left off. since the internet is more liberal compared to local commercial radio, it pretty much allows them to play whatever they want, with responsibility, of course. they play some of the classic rock tunes but they also want to be able to play some of the new stuff. we have to evolve after all. most of the last batch of DJs from NU107 are also there, because as Francis says, they just love the music and they're doing what they can to provide that to people.

i am very thankful to the fact that there are people out there who pooled their resources in order to make this possible. i am very thankful that there are rock enthusiasts who refuse to let go of our dream, our family. i am thankful we can hear the music again and there will be an avenue for those who are just starting out in the rock music industry again.

while i appreciate the station i'm listening to now (next to NU107, it is the only other station that plays rock music before it becomes mainstream), because it does have it own style of programming that is appealing to me, i kinda miss the people in NU. i can't be on the net all the time so it works.

it is always nice that we can find music that we like when we can, while we can. the internet allows us to do a great number of things. bringing us back rock music is one of those things. we have it on the market, on radio, on video, on TV. we have it on the net. i'm glad that we do. nothing beats that. something to fill the void we all felt that fateful day they shut down our favorite rock station.

i just like listening to Francis Reyes' voice.

check out http://digradio.ph for the latest and the greatest rock tunes played by your favorite rock jocks. it's not NU107. but it's close.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

i still love Rico Blanco

this is what happens when you are awake for more than twenty-four hours. you want to do so many things, you HAVE to finish so many things, but there isn't enough time to do them.

***
i also want to change my status and tell people that i'm not on the family way. not yet anyway. but then it would take more time to explain why i did that. it was fun to do. i had a great time leading people on and making fun of their reactions (i was really sad that i had to break it to Trina that i wasn't really pregnant, she looked so excited for me. bet if i really had a kid, she would spoil that creature to bits), we had a great laugh over it. but it looks like there are gullible people out there who were concerned and i have to disappoint or humor them, as the case may be. either way, i don't know how to fix this. too bad i don't have broadband internet to make a webcast like that girl in the movie Easy A.

***
yesterday after shift i went with my friend to the mall to have her drug test. apparently, it is a requirement before she can start training for this account where she will be transferring. we had coffee and a few cigarettes before she headed home and i boarded the train.

when i got on the train, i received a phone call from another friend asking me to watch a movie with them when i got off the MRT.

Tangled is a retelling of the story of Rapunzel and features the voices of Zachary Levi, Mandy Moore (as Rapunzel) and Donna Murphy. the story begins with the queen having difficulty giving birth and had all the members of the castle looking for a rare powerful flower that has a special healing power. however, it was found and hidden by a wicked witch who wanted to use it to keep her youth. they eventually found the flower and used it to save the queen and her unborn baby, beautiful little princess. as a celebration of the birth of the princess and her health, the king and queen lit a lantern and set it off into the air. the witch found out about the princess and came in the night to steal the precious hair of the princess but when she cut it, it would turn brown and lose its power. so she she ran off with the baby girl, and hid her in a tower where she grew her long blond hair, kept her as her own but used the power of her hair to keep her young.

years later, a thief who stole the lost princess' crown finds his way to the tower while hiding from the castle guards and he is captured by Rapunzel. she wanted to use him as a reason for the witch to let her out of the tower and see the lighted lanterns for her birthday, as proof that she can take care of herself. but since her "mother" wouldn't let her, she devised a way for her to be gone for days in order for her to escape with the thief to see the lights. on their way back to the castle they develop a friendship, a romance. Eugene (Flynn Rider, Zach's character) realizes that he doesn't need all the money in the world or live in a castle. he just wants to be with Rapunzel.

Rapunzel finds out that the woman she's been living with is not really her mother all along and that she is actually the long lost princess that everyone is looking for and then she and Eugene live happily ever after.

***
i hang out with my friends some more, even tried on a few clothes for them to judge before meeting with another friend for a gig of two of my favorite bands, Imago and Rico Blanco's band. the third band, Callalily, i'm not too familiar with, but their vocalist Kean, i have a crush on.

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the gig turned out to be a promotional tour for a beer they're trying to repackage and sell to people even if there is already a favorite.

we arrived just in time for Imago to start. i was really happy that i got to see them because it's been a while since i last saw them live. i think that was months ago, over at Route 196, with Nix Puno (drool, drool) sessioned for Myrene. people only knew a few of their songs and they sang along with the ones they knew. i loved all of their songs :)

i was surprised that Rico Blanco came in next. i was expecting him to go last since he had the most experience, he was the most talented (let's face it, he has moved on to TV acting but ) and to my mind, the most popular. he did songs from his solo effort and some Rivermaya songs. he would mash up a classic before bursting into a Rivermaya or Rico Blanco song. mash ups have become really popular because of the show Glee but Rico Blanco, along with other local artists have been doing that in their gigs, especially the big ones. i think i remember a concert featuring Rivermaya and Slapshock a few years back and Rico doing this to one of them songs i can't remember right now. but it's so cool. entertaining too.

he may be all things considered as selling out: acting on local TV after going solo, going out with a famous daughter of two big actors, doing jingles, going to the gym, but we cannot deny the fact that Rico Blanco (with or without Rivermaya) has written and brought to us the music that we have loved for the better part of the 90s and the early 2000s. what he has done with this career, with the band or as a solo artist. doesn't change the fact that he's brilliant or that we love whatever he puts out there. because it is good.

i still love Rico Blanco. i may not be as hardcore a fan as some of you are but i support him when i can. i don't agree with everything either but i respect greatness. and Rico Blanco, his music, is great.

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kean. kean. kean. you're cute. i love the song Stars. that's it. my friend and i got tired and went home. maybe next time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

sad sugar

let's just make it clear: according to their Facebook page (again, like i said, very powerful media that Facebook is), there is no bad blood among the members, but they are breaking up because their main songwriter and lead vocalist, Ebe Dancel is leaving the band to work on his solo career.

we've seen it before with Ely Buendia leaving the Eraserheads, Bamboo leaving Rivermaya (Bamboo, the band, recently disbanded as well) and then Rico Blanco leaving Rivermaya (let's face it, when Perf left the band, nobody noticed or gave a fuck) so we're sad when a band we love disbands.

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i've loved listening to Sugarfree way back when M and i were still together and i appreciated their music even more when she and i broke up. their music is very relatable, emotional, without the cheesy aftertaste. it makes you feel that you're not alone, that you're not weird or strange or pathetic for feeling the loss of a loved one or owning up to loneliness since everybody else feels that way some time.

maybe the reason why people are so sad, when bands disband, is that they lose the opportunity to hear their favorite songs live again even when the pop radio stations play them and some stranger bastardizes it on local tv by covering it. sure Rico Blanco plays some of the songs he wrote when he was still with Rivermaya and Ely did some covers of their Eraserheads tunes but it disorients the people listening to them. we hope we can get our bands singing our favorite songs forever, not thinking that it may no longer be healthy for them to stay together and play it for us. they're just like your separated parents: you want them to stay together but they can't because they have to think about their own happiness too, not just yours.

Ebe is going to branch out and try something different. you would hope that instead of leaving, he can just do a side project so that Sugarfree doesn't need to break up. but sometimes they need to go on their own so that when they get back together, the songs are more meaningful and more memorable. hello, think The Dawn or Wolfgang or, of course, the Eraserheads. :)

the music will live on and the memories will still be there. but you just can't help but be sad.

am i really?

This will be in the drafts for a while before it gets published.

I know they will check this after that status change.

An hour or two ago, I launched a bomb on Facebook, which is more of a social experiment than anything else. Over glasses of Jack Daniels and Sprite, a couple of friends and I were chatting about 80s TV shows, relationships past present and what-might-have-been, serious or sexual, in between singing a jingle for this optical shop, smoking and out of this world what ifs. I said to them, “what if I didn’t show myself to you for a couple of weeks and then I suddenly changed my Facebook status to “married”? my profile picture showing me wearing pink and saying how much I LOVE being a housewife? Me who hates the idea of tying the noose, err, knot; me who hates pink and being tied down slaving on house work gets married and actually declares loving it. weird, right? Last person you would suspect got hitched.

So Friend #1 says that he’d be pissed because he wasn’t invited to the wedding, and then when I mentioned the pink gown and he screams, “who the hell are you and what did you do to my friend?!” Friend #2 says that she never saw me as a Stepford wife. But what if I did?

We put this to the test, with me, the person who hasn’t gotten any for the last three years, me who doesn’t have a boyfriend or a constant date, declaring this on Facebook and we have proven that:

1. People really enjoy gossip, especially bad gossip;

2. Babies, whether planned or unwanted, elicit elated reactions or just reactions, in general;

3. Facebook has become so powerful in connecting you to people that when news like this comes out, whether hoax or not, they will go ahead to bug you and ask (to the guy who thought up Facebook, because I cannot remember your name at the moment, you are a genius and I owe you!);

4. Humans who feel that in some remote way what happens to you affects their lives too tend to show up back in your life when you least expect them to;

. . . that and everything else weird. I received so many text messages and comments were posted on my wall asking if I was indeed pregnant. Some were happy, some were concerned, some had to ask again and again and again just to be sure. I mean, after I posted it, I thought about all the people whom I knew would ask first because they were curious (identity of the father, intended or accidental pregnancy, etc. ) or genuinely happy or react violently. It’s not like I’m seeking attention (okay, maybe a little), but I just want to know.

Watching Bones and how she doesn’t like Sweets because of how Anthropology and Psychology are on opposite ends of the pole made me realize this and the bullet points I stated above.

5. Not everything on the internet is true – Wikipedia can be edited!

6. Zach Lucero’s Superpoke is one great song , especially when Lourd De Veyra says, the pictures do not lie, or I tag, therefore I am. I am tagged therefore I exist. When people take the time out to check out what’s happening to you, you feel important. When people waste load, time or PST space to quarrel with you, they don’t like you, YES. But they obviously thought you were worth wasting load, time and PST space on.

I don’t really know whether Anthropology or Psychology has the answers or what made me decide to update my status like that. All I do know is that if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have thought this thing up just so I could see how people could react and how easy it is to manipulate people just so they can get what they want from you.

I am pregnant.

With ideas. Really crazy ideas.

Monday, February 07, 2011

movie where you can learn a lot of seductive pole dancing moves

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i never liked Christina Aguilera. i never liked their whole batch of blond teeny boppers with record deals (although i do like Mandy Moore, her choice of film roles and the fact that she didn’t have to strip off her clothes to sell records was very impressive) and really lousy songs. i hated their irritating songs and their more irritating videos. i didn’t think they deserved to be role models of that era. i appreciated some of their songs but i just didn’t like them in general. you know the type where instead of listening to any of their songs, i’d choose a root canal. it didn’t help that my father liked them and whenever he had dates he’d tell them the records were mine. Christina had the most powerful pipes among them, no doubt. i just didn’t like them period.

Burlesque is like Chicago and Fame and them other movies mixed into one. the movie starts with Christina’s character Ali asking her employer for her pay from last month so she can move to Los Angeles to pursue a singing career. employer refuses to pay her and her co-worker, so as soon as he leaves, she takes out money from the cash register. enter song production number number one.

so she moves on to leave, with her savings and starts looking for a job when she gets to LA, none of whom would accept her until she chances upon a bar called Burlesque. all the while she thinks it’s a strip club but when she enters the bar she is fascinated by the girls dancing, how graceful they are, how she couldn’t take their eyes off them. they commanded the stage and she wanted part of the action. the bartender, Jack, tells her that if she really wanted to become a dancer, to look for Tess (played by Cher) and then enter another song production number.

to make it simple because i’m not really good at this: boy meets girl, girl wants to be a dancer. girl applies to be a dancer with the owner (who is being offered to sell the club in favor of a hotel building) of the club and her gay best friend but they don’t think she has what it takes or that this is perfect time for holding auditions. girl has a run in with one of the more famous of the girl dancers who also happens to be an alcoholic biatch. girl really wants to be part of the action so she decides she’ll wait on tables until the owner of the club lets her work there. girl goes back to her apartment and finds that it was trashed and the money she so carefully hid by the water closet is now gone. girl runs to boy bartender’s apartment and he offers to let her stay until she finds a job or a new place, whichever comes first. she also thinks he is gay until he shows her a picture of his fiancée. one of the girl dancers gets pregnant so club owner holds auditions and of course, girl applies and she manages to talk her way to becoming one of the dancers. like the great Jessica Zafra said, talking is a form of manipulation – people will do anything to make you shut up.

so the alcoholic star dancer messes up so girl gets a chance to fill in for her. since she gets sabotaged when it’s her turn to lipsynch, she sings live and they realize she has a good voice. here starts her story of becoming the star of the Burlesque bar so the mogul who wants to buy out the bar starts buying her shoes, flowers, taking her out and she goes out with him even if she’s still just secretly in love with bartender.

to make long story short, moral of the story is that you should never forget where you came from and never turn your back on the people who knew you before you were famous; never believe a drunk guy who says he broke up with his fiancée over the phone because chances are she’ll show up and he’ll throw you out of the house; never be blinded by the glamour because they will fade and true friends will still save you; never go to work drunk and never underestimate a girl who has dreams of becoming a singer in a burlesque bar because she will steal your air rights.

the movie was okay, the music was okay, the production numbers, both song and dance were okay. i thought it was okay. it didn’t blow me away but it didn’t bore me either. it was nice. Cam Gigandet, the guy who plays Jack (if he’s familiar, that’s because he played James in that sorry ass of a vampire movie Twilight), the bartender, is really hot. Eric Dane, although a little older, still hot.

and Cher? Cher still has it. she is still the patron saint, if not the goddess of all gay men. Regine Velasquez is only a demigod.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

still a balancing act - baby steps


it is not a secret that i have been trying to fix myself, my house, my work, my life. i'm slowly getting the house clean. it's not yet clean by standards where i am comfortable having people over but i'm getting there. i'm also trying to get the papers of the house fixed. it's a work in progress. some things are more difficult to do than others, especially when you're all alone doing them. one of the things that i have been working on right now, is enhancing my appearance.

my friends have been helping me out, telling me which clothes to wear, what shade of eye make up to use, what bag matches with what pair of shoes. of course, they have been telling me to lose some weight too. like i said, a work in progress. little baby steps in that area. i don't want to go on one of those crash diets anymore where i lose the weight then i gain it all back again as easy as i did.

the heels are hurting my feet. i still have to get used to them. the make up i'm trying to practice everyday. besides, the people who gave me the make up work with me so i have someone to check if i look like a clown or not. if i don't have any make up on or if my hair isn't fixed, they ask. they bug. i get stares. i get compliments. my new boss Tina likes it a lot. she is very much amused. when we started working together i was already into that whole dress thing. but when i got into the shoes and the make up it really excited her. she looked forward to what i was gonna wear everyday the way i look forward to which bels will come to work.

i am not the type who would change for anyone, nor do i wish for anyone to try to change me. i am open to the idea of enhancing what was always there. i know it's not easy since i've been used to being dressed a certain way. i got laid before even when i don't fix myself (which doesn't follow that i will get laid more now that i do) and i never really paid any attention to posture growing up. i just walk like i own the planet. i walk without a care. now i have to. now i do. otherwise my heel might get stuck in some hole in the street somewhere and i'm trapped.

i'm still me. i'm still the same old stubborn boyish bels. just now open to being "taller" and having more eye color.

never too late to be taken

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when the song Uh-Oh first came out, i honestly thought it was done by a foreign rock band and when the NU DJ announced the name of the band who did it, i was amazed that Taken By Cars is a Filipino band. it is rock music you can dance to. cool, right?

a few months ago i watched them perform for the first time over at Saguijo and my first time to watch a gig in a long time and i was very much blown away. it didn’t matter that Sarah’s voice was a bit hoarse from a previous gig, or that i only know a total of three songs from the album (i didn’t have one at the time yet, and i might have heard the other songs before, i just didn’t know their titles for me to shout them out), i was just having the most fun watching them.

i got the album a few more weeks later, and i’m loving it immensely. i listen to it all the time while working as it has its way of lifting you up and making you want to dance. it makes you proud you are Pinoy and they are Pinoy and the music is great. their live performances are so intense, it takes you to a totally different experience, as if in a trance.

i always said i was a late bloomer. nothing wrong there. all that matters is the music.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

angry girl journal 01.31.2011

wi-fi has the tendency to destroy friendships. along with other gadgets, it is one of the best things to ever be thought of by an individual, but it is also an anti-social tool.

i have always been a loner. i like reading, writing, watching tv and doing other things that you can do without a companion. i'm pretty self-sufficient and can go for days without having to talk to anyone. i got training, being an only child; not to mention i have been single for seven years now. i'm very independent and have been used to living alone, being alone, doing things on my own.

i have lots of friends who care about me and look out for me even when they're not with me. some of them i don't see very often as i'd like so i make it a point that when i'm with them, to be in the moment. i give them my full and undivided attention. life is too short to be distracted. you never know when the moment might pass you by.

it pisses me off when i'm with my friends and they are texting, taking a long time on a phone call, listening to a song on their headphones, checking email, or playing a game while with me. i am guilty of this too, and i even forget to excuse myself sometimes, especially when i get an important call. i have somehow mastered the art of texting and still be able to pay attention to the person sitting right in front of me (which is why i'm not getting a phone with a QWERTY keypad) because it is rude to be on the phone, or any other gadget for that matter, all the time when you're with someone.

i really value my alone time, off work and without friends. it allows me to think and i value the time i have with my friends too. but when they're too preoccupied with their gadgets and make no conscious effort to pay attention to me when i'm with them, it makes me want to leave and walk out. or not talk to that person. i mean, if i wanted to not talk, i wouldn't have left the house. at least, alone, i can read, or sleep.

you can say that being with a friend with a gadget is better than a self-absorbed person who talks about themselves all the time. i honestly don't know what the lesser evil is. i just know that it's irritating me. how would you feel if you were so enthusiastic about something and the person you are with is not responding to you, or worse, if you feel bad, that person reacts differently because he is really not paying the least attention? something like, you were on the verge of breaking down but he/she gets a high score on the game being played on the gadget that instead of feeling emphatic, that person rejoices. kinda rude, isn't it? the person is only with you physically but he really is not there.

i don't lose respect for people with gadgets. i have gadgets too. we all work hard to be able to get the gadgets we want. whatever new thing we discover with our gadgets, we share with our friends and with other people. it shouldn't be the reason why we lose our friends. gadgets are great. technology is great. they make your life a little more convenient. but they shouldn't shut you out from the world.

it's just like a dildo. it's useful, but nothing beats actual human contact.

does love really make it all better when the drugs don't work?

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last saturday we watched the movie Love and Other Drugs. it's a romantic and comedic approach to Parkinson's disease. i've never seen so many preludes to sex scenes in my entire life. frankly, the 90s wasn’t necessarily a reckless “fucking” area. people were sexually active but they were more aware, more careful and more responsible. wait, now that i think about it, i started fucking in the 90s. but other than sex, the music of the 90s literally blew me away.

Jamie Randall (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) was a med school dropout who gets by, fucking around and selling sound systems. when he gets fired for fucking around on the job, his multi-millionaire computer geek younger brother offers to get him a job as a med rep selling depression meds. he remarks to Jamie that if Jamie earned money just by sleeping around, Jamie would've been richer than he was. as a med rep, in a small town in Ohio he pushes for the depression drug where Prozac is the leading brand and competes and interacts with the leading neurologist there. here he meets Maggie Murdock (yes, this movie reunites him with Brokeback Mountain co-star, the nipple-baring Anne Hathaway), a twenty-six year old who has the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. after their not-so-good first encounter, they become fuck buddies until Jamie develops what Maggie calls his “latent humanity” due to his inability to get it up. she mentions to him about a drug that helps men get wood and he talks to his partner about him selling that drug (yes, yes, this is the birth of the blue pill Viagra) instead of the depression medicines he was first assigned to because, as he said, nobody can sell a sex drug better than him. Jamie gets his fire back and is a big hit in selling the drug. they fall in love, and Maggie finally agrees to be his girlfriend. she says that she is only protecting him before the horrors of her disease get full blown but he insists on being with her. Jamie gets a scare when he chances upon a man who has been married to a woman with Parkinson’s who tells him to “run” because whatever it was that made Jamie fall in love with Maggie would eventually fade and he will just get tired of taking care of her until all he would be is angry and by then it would be too late. Jamie decides to stay and not take the promotion in Chicago to take care of Maggie and go back to med school.

it didn’t make me bawl like a baby crying and it didn’t make me wet my pants laughing. it was okay. the 90s was a crazy era with great music. love does make you cry and make you feel bad that you follow it regardless of the fact that it will make you miserable. yes, it does that, especially when you're told that you should get out when you have the chance, when you're told to run. Jamie does run. he runs after the bus that takes Maggie to Canada where she gets cheaper medication. you know that predictable scene where the guy is supposed to say something to the girl about how great they are together and that no matter how imperfect life is, he would rather be there with her than be anywhere else. yeah, this movie has that too.

then it ends with Regina Spector singing Fidelity. because people who fuck around settle down eventually.