Category Archives: Music

Democratic Country Pala Eh…

Standard

Lady Gaga is here in the Philippines for a two-night concert. How about that? It’s what everybody’s been talking about this past week. And, because this country is predominantly Catholic (partially conservative at that), sparks quickly fly in debates whether she ought to go on with the show or not. Little Monsters are doing business tickets while working on costumes, traffic is predicted near SM Mall of Asia, and, idiots who don’t know for shit what an illuminati actually is are trying to get attention with their journalistic views of this entire affair.

I’ve come to believe that we are a fake democratic country. The government says that it “supports freedom of expression”, yet it has the audacity to warily eye and threaten to arrest a talented artist who is just having a concert? And at the end of the day, that’s just that. These “defiant protests against Christ”, this “devil worship” will be just what it actually is in the first place: a concert. And, Lady Gaga is another artist who just wants to sing for the fans and to promote her album. Believe me, she’s not the only musician whose songs have subliminal messages in their lyrics.

So what does Lito Atienza and Tony Calixto care whether Lady Gaga sings Judas in her concert? They wouldn’t even know that she has that song had not they been alarmed by these overly concerned, narrow-minded detractors of hers. Like she said, she’s not a creature of our government. And, anyway, doesn’t the country have more things to be concerned about other than a two-night gig? Stop rushing, go help with the Corona trial or something.

“Her fans are in danger of falling into the clutches of Satan!” Can you comprehend how ridiculous this Catholic leader sounds? It’s embarrassing. As far as I’m concerned, I have yet to hear about anyone getting demonically possessed by listening to a song. I feel that most religious conservatives overlook the lyrics of Born this Way, which does not provoke, but rather gratifies a Supreme Being. Does this act have anything to do with the fact that the song has plenty to do with gay rights? Well, we know how the church feels about that material.

How stupid is it for Christian youths to march to Manila just to protest against this matter? And how dare the government disallow Gaga’s song, Judas, which music video stars my love, Norman Reedus? Listen: if you dislike Lady Gaga, then don’t watch the concert. Case closed.

I’m not a fan of Lady Gaga, but I admire her bravado. She said, “It’s not about the music, but about being yourself”. This is what people never get. Unlike the dim-wits who foolishly tagged along the bandwagon of “anti-illuminati” (are you serious?), the Mother Monster has her own beliefs. Tell me, did half of those Christian fundamentalists even did their research on Lady Gaga or her music? Or, did they just march in with their placards because some idiot quoted a nonsensical “translation” of Alejandro?

This I get: these narrow-minded people are so dogmatic that even depth cannot fit inside their constricted minds. Hence, they feel opposed to metaphors and symbolism that they’d rather listen to some lucid, meaningless cliche lyric of a sappy love song that repeatedly talks about feelings and nothing more.

I’m not for the belief that we are what we listen to. How stupid is that? I listen to songs that I feel do not completely – or even partially – make up my being. Amy Winehouse, for example: Frank album, which lyrics I perceive as an honest view on relationships, lustful men, and women in speakeasies. Yet, I’m not in a fem-dominated relationship with some guy who would eventually kick me to the curb. Point is that I listen to Amy Winehouse because of her witty abrasiveness and second-to-none talent. What we are is what we profess, not what’s coming out of our iPod. Any smart person that is entitled to his/her belief knows this.

Art is expressed in diverse ways. Music is art. Lady Gaga is an artist. One must completely comprehend what that means. The show must go on.

“All the things that I sing about and the way that I am, my lifestyle is just part of this one big giant life performance-sized statement of liberation…. So many people have been protesting, and it really doesn’t bother me, truly, because I know there has to be change…. I am you, little monsters. Tonight’s not about making a statement. Tonight is about us all coming together because we believe we were all born this way. This is a singular moment, a moment for us to share, to forget about everything else and just dance.”

– Lady Gaga, The Born this Way Ball: live in Manila

Advertisements

Jukebox the Ghost – Everything Under the Sun

Standard

I have recently made December unofficial Jukebox the Ghost Month. This is because I always seem to get the craving to listen to the band during the holiday season. I should also review that I did find out about Jukebox the Ghost on December 2009, which really was a romantic year for me, so listening to Good Day on some virus-infested laptop at that time meant a great deal. The song spoke so much of the many ways I felt, “how good it felt to be young and loved and feel it in our bones”.

So, right after creating a crummy commendation for Let Live and Let Ghosts, which is Jukebox the Ghost’s first album, I ended up getting Everything Under the Sun, which made my ears clap during the holiday season. And although it has never played this year so much as The Killers had, the album still includes a lot of must-listen tracks that I quickly resorted to whenever I cannot describe my feelings. The band has also put on some commentaries about the tracks in their website, which, even though is not that often updated any longer, I am still urging you to read at jukeboxtheghost.com.

Up until recently, Empire became this song that I could completely relate to. The lyrics go, “My heart is my keep, and you are threatening me”, which was just how I felt when a boy gave me a letter just before the semester ended. It’s a long story. And for a while I’ve looked for songs that I could possibly relate to. And with my iPod on shuffle, Empire came up, and it just took me and my newly-found appreciation away.

The Summer Sun was a great song last summer. I really liked the onomatopoeia of the beating heart. I think I might have put that on speakers when my sister started worrying about her grades for the final semester last year. She kept on wondering about what was in store for her that summer. It was inevitable, and we didn’t know what to do. On the other hand, we had P8,000 on our pockets, and I was prepped up for a summer adventure. I knew the long summer cliches were about to come to an end and that it was so much better to find who I am and who I want to be. The song just caught me off guard with its lyrics “And when the summer sun comes you might shape up. Go back to being yourself and to the ones you love. And when the summer sun comes you might just say, ‘I got to find a way to get away'”.

Mistletoe is the best. I asked Bet to include this in that Christmas mixtape she’s concocting for our mother, but since it really isn’t a Christmas song, we refrained from that idea. But I just loved singing the chorus to this song because there’s so much heart to it. Whenever I feel all against the world, this plays and just clicks with everything else. I’m not saying that I have many lovers and that I am a groupie (nor do I want to be one if a chance passes me by). All I know is that I “know who I am, who I was and that I don’t regret either. (“If I’m to be alone, then I’ll be alone, but don’t look at me like another lost soul”)”.

Now here’s the perfect song for the year: Nobody. In the song, the word was used as a pronoun and in its literal meaning. No body. And throughout the year, this was all I felt being next to whiny grade-conscious bitches and non-supporting class/club officers and every other people that never gave a fuck about all the important projects that I was forced to do. The first line was totally agreeable: “I’ve never known why it’s a crime to say you’re not fine”. The chorus goes:

So when you feel left out
Go have a shout to nobody
‘Cause you got nobody at all
And while I’m locked out
Oh, I have a shout to nobody
‘Cause I got nobody at all

It has that feel to it when after singing it in front a few audience – assuming that they never cared as well about the lyrics – you’d feel totally proud and smug that you’ve sung it right there. So radical, dude!

There’s also The Popular Thing, which I still enjoyed despite a depressing bridge. Then there’s So Let Us Create, which made me fall in love with a lot of random ideas because of this nostalgic feel to it (nice falsetto, Ben!). And after getting these mad tiger looks from people I’ve been attempting to help, Carrying always seems like a nice remedy. The Stars – I fell in love with its lyrics the first time I heard the song. Completely surreal. I like all the songs in this album is all that is left to say!

I refuse to weigh Everything Under the Sun against Let Live and Let Ghosts because for some reason, I just cannot find them comparable anymore. There were times when I’d listen to the former and would find my mood in it, and there were times when I’d put in the latter and would feel completely attune with it. Anyway, I’ve said it before, I just really like singing along to their songs!

Well, it’s Christmas again. And I don’t see any albums coming up yet. I do see a lot of tickets for different tours. I hope Jukebox the Ghost comes here as well. For the meantime, I’m leaving you a link to JTG’s newest music video: Half Crazy.

5/5!

Along the Line of Choices

Standard

My keyboard classes concluded today. It was very special. I still cannot finish The Prayer. I had wished to perfect it today, but it seems that I still need to observe. I still need to persevere. During this final meeting, Kuya O got to know so much more about me. That I am a very active pupil in school, that I want to take up either political science or journalism in either UP or Ateneo, respectively. That I can write for shiz. He even got to read the initial parts of The Boy with the Fork in His Side, which is a story I made for my Sophomore English Class. The biggest shocker, I think though, is divulging to him and Teacher Bong that I had been taking this class for the past three weeks without either of my parents knowing. I myself find it charming now that despite my many extracurricular, I still pursued this course. And that I still opted for Gardner above all. Well, keyboard is the only class that I never missed a session of. In a way, I was also relieved that it was to end. Now Kuya O won’t have to give up a lot of his time just so he could tutor me. And believe me; I am very difficult to teach. Nevertheless he has remained patient throughout, so for that, I want him to get a well-deserved respite every Tuesday at 1 -3 in the afternoon, and again every Friday at 1 – 2 PM. He’s a very great teacher, and I owe all the world to him.

Keyboard will forever hold a spot in my core. It’s not just the course, but also the art of music, and music being played right beneath my fingers. I feel that this whole affair has brought me closer to my musical endeavors, and I hope to go all the way with it. Now that I know so much about it, there’s no stopping me. Not this time, you’re not.

After keyboard, when I got home, I just about felt good about myself. Just felt good about a lot of things again. I am thankful that I got a one-on-one module for only P2,400. That I got to use my keyboard again, and that it finally has its AC power adaptor back, which I found inside an old, smelly cabinet. I am grateful that I have done it. That I just went with it and did it. As I have written, I am relieved, but in a lot of ways, I am also disheartened because I really enjoyed this, and I will very much miss it. Before I started, there were times when I doubted my choice to go with this, and there was a time when I considered putting off it until next summer. But when I was running out of time, I decided not to think anymore, and just went with my intuition. It was now or never. Those were the choices, and apparently, now was the answer.

I will now feel at ease every time I push the keys of that electric organ. Not anymore discomfited or frustrated because, now, I have a mentor whom I can approach whenever I need help. I think now that there will always be that sweet summer smell for every time I play The Prayer, or every time I carry the keyboard case which I so skillfully sewed out of old school uniforms myself. Gardner will forever be the very scent of it, for that is the only place where it had quietly reposed. Gardner – which has been my haven every time I walk to it, about three blocks from my house, carrying the heavy bag with a keyboard inside, under the blazing sun of May, then under the rain for every time I go back home. It had freshened me up with its air conditioner all these weeks. It had made me feel at home. I should remember it for every time I play. Then perhaps, I should also remember Kuya O, and Sir Bong, and Ma’am Lynn and all the others at Gardner Integrated School. Maybe next summer, who knows, I might do it again. Thank you Sir/Kuya Olan Alagao. More power to you and God bless, idol!

So here I am in my parent’s room – keyboard poised on the floor. It is one of my favorite spots for playing music because in here, everything just sounds so peaceful; every note sounds so infinite. I have just finished playing my instrument. I hope I can upload a video one of these days! Keyboard, Taekwondo, swimming – they are all done today. I am so glad that I gave time for all of them this summer. I HAVE FINALLY DONE IT: THE GREATEST SUMMER ESCAPADE. It wasn’t how I pictured it to be. It was dang hectic, and I wasn’t always happy. But add them altogether, and they make me smile. What an experience – it was really something.

This is the purpose of bobsbigbeerbelly. It only took us a year to accomplish them all. And for that… well, here’s to us.

And happy birthday, Lola Olive.

A Lot of Thinking

Standard

I saw a light today. I was floating on my back in swimming class when it appeared. It was the sun – only, it was hidden behind a multitude of clouds in such a way that, for a slight moment, it didn’t appear to be the sun at all. It seemed more like dawn parting, making way for a new day. I think that the coming storm gave it that unusual effect. But even then, it made me feel peaceful, like nothing could hold me down anymore. For a moment, I was invincible. After Taekwondo class, as I was walking home in North Olympus, it happened again. The feeling was there again, which sounds even more fucked up in writing than when it was just in my head. It was almost nighttime, and the streetlamps completely aggregated the orange sky. Jukebox the Ghost was playing on my iPod. I forgot what the song was, which I am resentful for. I think now that I’d give a lot to go back to that particular scene, listening to that particular song. Because then, I just felt good about myself. I felt good about life. It was strange and tranquil and beautiful.

One Lucky Penny

Standard

I have a lot of bruises right now. One on my right bicep from a kick (courtesy if Taekwondo), one on my knew from a blocked kick (Taekwondo again), and recently, on my hips – from carrying the keyboard slung over my shoulder and letting it swing hard on my sides. They’re all dang painful.

Today, after eight long years, I attended keyboard classes again. It’s funny how I wait too long to go back to the things that I’ve always liked. I had always thought that doing all those things as a child, as a beginner was just okay. But growing up made me realize how wasted my capabilities had been for not working on them and for leaving them not on my terms. I was a kid, and now I have grown. I’m coming back, with my own money to pay the enrollment fees, there are new faces, and I am different as well. I’m thankful I did this. I’m proud of myself, in fact for thinking things over, for discovering what I have, for trying.

Anyway, keyboard was great. Our instructor, Kuya O, is amazing. He used to play for Black Jack – and for those of you who don’t know, Black Jack is a singer here in the Philippines. Kuya O gave me a music notebook. It’s a relief that I didn’t bother to buy one. I like the efforts made so far. There are only two of us in the keyboard class. The other one’s an eight-year-old – Marell, I think. While she’s a complete novice, I am a bit more complex, so Kuya O had to instruct us in a different way. I am presently captivated with playing the keyboard again. We already have assignments so we can polish our fingering. I’m looking forward for more keyboard classes. I hope that I can play Chasing Cars soon. I’m very much fond of that song. I even had the PDF file printed before the sitting started. Nine pages of Snow Patrol.

Taekwondo was rather interesting today. A new trainer from Ateneo came in to teach us forms. I can’t seem to memorize mine. I heard we’ll be doing more forms come Friday, but I won’t be there since that’s my birthday (woo woo woo you know it bro!!111!!!).

I joined the competition at Laguna. I don’t know why. I’m not trying to put myself down, but this is the truth: I know I won’t win because the players there are vicious. I’d probably get hurt pretty bad. But I’m still going to try. I sparred against Jayson today. I got to do a head kick, twice – one of which made his headgear come off of his head. Even I was taken aback. Coach E then told him, “Don’t underestimate her”. It was a good day over all.

Dota Tayo!

Standard

I spent the last thrity-five minutes of my life singing all the songs in Fall Out Boy’s Folie a Deux album. I then remembered summer of ’09. That was a great summer despite not having anything to do. No internet. No good shows on the TV, but Wowowee and Game KNB?, which weren’t even considered good at all. That summer, I learned how to play Fur Elise on the keyboard, and I finished A Tale of Two Cities. Fall Out Boy became my life that summer. I had them on my CD player – album after album. They secured me. They made me happy. Fast-forward, and here I am lying on my stomach, this bed cluttered with notebooks and calculators and pieces of paper. I can barely read the two novels that I have selected for this summer for I am obliged to cram over these Math assignments.

I just want to tell you that I played Dota for the first time with Josh and his friend Abe last Tuesday. I don’t know how boys can get so addicted to the game because it bored me very much. I was glad that Josh paid for my time in the computer shop because I really believe that I wasted mine in there. It was an hour of sheer ennui. I will never play that game again. I was a Razor, in case you want to know, and I named it josh, and it kept getting killed. And Josh’s friend was so aggressive and annoying while playing. He kept on telling me, “Dapat nga kasi, ‘di mo nilalabas ‘yung second skill ni Razor”. At one point, “Umalis ka diyan!”. He kept on killing my character. >___> Bitch. So much for that. At least, I have the right to say that it’s a boring game, and those who play it must be really boring, and can’t get girls for shit. Fuch yeah!

Who?

Standard

I went to the mall early, around nine in the morning. It was only when Bet and I have reached the mall when I realized that it opens at ten. So Bet and I had to wait on the steps until it did. It honestly felt like being in one of those movies about high school or college when students loiter outside the building, anticipating the ringing of the bell. I was listening to The Who. Ironically, the song was La-la-la-Lies. I say ironically because by then, right when that song played, this lady – who I suppose is an employee of the mall – sat next to me on the steps. And for the next twenty minutes – and I now realize that twenty minutes is a long time – that’s all she did: just sat next to me. And I kept on replaying the song on my iPod. For some reason, I was happy that she was there, eating her breakfast and checking herself in her compact every now and then. I was happy that she was there as if she added to the beauty of the warm day and good music and nice T-shirts. Like, I was bound to have a great day because she was there. And, in fact, I did. It’s nice to have someone sit next to you sometimes, even if you don’t speak at all. Talking only often brings up a problem. It’s unbelievable how one stranger can just change my whole perspective of things. When the mall opened, everyone waiting clustered to form a line. And I never saw her again. But it had been a wonderful day.

If I’m so lost without a friend, tell me who’s this by my side? This girl with eyes like gems and cool reactions to your lies, lies, la-la-la-la-lies.”

Very fitting.

Hi Bea here from Ystyle. Are you free tom for makeover?