My 10 Favorite Records of the 2010’s

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You can never quarantine the past

Not intending this to be a quasi best of list. Just ten albums I liked/loved more than the others. All which came out between 2010 and last year. Maybe this is more of a personal chart, what music songs records I’ve been listening to for the last ten years. And this doesn’t even include those which were made in the ’90s and the 2Ks. And from the looks of it, guitar/rock music has dominated my listening years, with a few interesting diversions to spice up the mix. Also, the songs are getting slower, less punk, more like “J Smoov”, Soccer Mommy, or Mitski. Continue reading “My 10 Favorite Records of the 2010’s”

20 Songs from the 2010’s (Part Deux)

Stephen Malkmus at The Forum

Better Off / Guijo St. (Makes You Wonder) – Apartel (2016)
Apartel is Ely Buendia and the gang in full soul/funk/R&B mode. If I remember correctly, Ely once said that he can’t do R&B. Maybe, RnB or contemporary R&B (i.e., South Border, Freestyle, Beyonce, Rihanna) was what he meant because here he is doing exactly that, producing good, if not be for everyone, funky music. And while I’m hoping he and Pupil gets back to making more guitar music soon (their last, Zilch, was kind of a letdown), looks like I’ll have make do with Apartel until that happens. Continue reading “20 Songs from the 2010’s (Part Deux)”

David Berman

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The roads are colored black

It was probably only weeks ago when I read about David Berman’s return from hiatus, via a new band called Purple Mountains and the release of the band’s eponymous debut. And just few days ago, when I read about the shocking news of David Berman’s death. He was only 52.

Before Purple Mountains, David Berman was in Silver Jews. He was singer, songwriter and throughout its existence, the band’s only constant member. Berman formed Silver Jews with friends Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich around the time they worked as security guards in New York’s Whitney Museum. Continue reading “David Berman”

Parokya ni Edgar – Khangkhungkherrnitz (1996)

albumart_khangkhungkherrnitzBefore comedy bars became the favorite hangout of your wannabe-cool titas, who were never really into bands, frats or gangs (and therefore, were never really cool in the first place), the bar/band shenanigans were exclusively aimed for drunk and stoned college kids who were into bands, strippers, and booze. They’re the ones who’ll later turn into yuppies and sing-drunk to Radiohead’s “Creep” with Tagalog lyrics in company parties and karaoke bars.

The title alone is indicative enough how much veggie rolls this sextet has consumed. Of course, TVJ is one of their role models and Tough Hits is the blueprint they patterned this from. And since they’re three heads harder than the aforementioned trio, the goof numbers are sandwiched between original songs and the parodies come in full form.

Radiohead’s first hit became “Trip”, a tale about addiction to siopao made in Shaolin House, one less punky The Clash number became “The Crush”, and “Tatlong Araw” was supposedly borrowed from Yano’s “Mc Jo”. Sophomoric, here, is a compliment and if you want more proof, go to “Karaoke ni Edgar”, it’s killer-filler-fun (Sample lyrics: Okey ka sana, kaso lang, lalake ka).

And the originals are no less catchy and memorable (“Buloy”, “Maniwala Ka Sana”) since the other group they look up to is no other than the Eraserheads. If Stephen Malkmus and Spiral Stairs once made up a story about getting into a fight while auditioning for Beverly Hills, 90210, PNE made a song about trying it out for the Tuesday Edition of Kuya Germs’ That’s Entertainment.

Up to this day, I’m still apprehensive about playing “Lutong Bahay” really loud, that my neighbors, elderly folks, mothers, from Batangas and elsewhere, would find the play on cuss words (putang ina mo and puking ina mo) and innuendos offensive, disrespectful (Ako’s lalayas sa amin—upang makatikim—ng puta(heh) ng ina mo, cooking ng ina mo–oh). That Darius Semana’s mother, who hails from Lipa Batangas, is probably cool with and even proud of it, I find a bit comforting.

Still, a song about eating your girlfriend’s mother’s special pancake in the morning isn’t something your girlfriend and her mother would want to hear—in the car, in a party or in family gatherings—though they most probably wouldn’t mind if newer songs like “Peacock”, Flo Rida’s “Whistle” or “Versace on the Floor” are on your playlist. But that’s okay, you can always put your head-phones on, and LOL yourself into oblivion.

Pavement – Watery, Domestic (1992)

You just can’t go in the studio toss out four “distinguishable, hummable songs” (Christgau) and call it an album. You can’t just invite your two buddies let one of them play bass and the other just basically do nothing and make them official members of the band afterwards. You can’t just have your drummer make a head-stand on the drum stool while tracking his parts. And lastly, you can’t deface an semi-iconic album cover of an obscure brass band’s debut and make it your own album cover. You can’t just do that, even if the said horny band’s album blows (reportedly, it does). Because you might hurt people’s feelings and the band might sue you Continue reading “Pavement – Watery, Domestic (1992)”

Obligatory Pavement Post #3: Ironic Love Songs

MI0002184938“Harness, your hopes to just one person, because you know a harness, is only made for one”. Tell me that isn’t about love. Or marriage. Maybe I’m not right. But I’m sure I could not be wrong. Because seldom are there wrong interpretations, when it comes to Stephen Malkmus’ songs. At least that’s what my Literature teacher told me in school. Of course, she was talking about poetry then and not about songs written by some semi-obscure slacker from Stockton, California. That line, by the way, is from “Harness Your Hopes”, b-side to a single off Pavement’s 1997 LP, Brighten the Corners.

“That’s a love song?”, one might ask. It depends. Are you looking for a love song that is NOT a typical love song? By “typical”, I mean something that goes along the lines of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” or Bon Jovi’s “Always” or Air Supply’s… Wait. Darn it, almost all of their songs fits that category. (Wait, did I just compare Ed Sheeran’s megaplatinum hit to the cheesiest motherf*ckering songs I know? Guess what, I just did.) Going back to my question. If your answer is yes, then yes, it is a love song, or at the very least, it could be. And though the title seems to evoke some kind of Christian inspirational message like Switchfoot’s “Dare You to Move” or “Learning to Breath”, the song is mostly non sectarian. Even though there’s a line that goes “Nun is to church as the parrot is to perch,” it’s quickly followed by “And my heart’s wide open truly” which only shows that “heart” is bigger than both “nun” and “church”. It’s definitely a song about love, isn’t it? Not quite or specifically the romantic type, but it is about love. Continue reading “Obligatory Pavement Post #3: Ironic Love Songs”