Friday, August 29, 2008

Why Won't You Die?...

I blogged about one of the songs in the movie soundtrack of Queen of Damned titled "Slept So Long" last month. I actually like a few songs in that movie's soundtrack. This particular one is also written and recorded by Jonathan Davis and Richard Gibbs for the movie. I've been listening to it over and over for the past 2 days. I know, it's weird. But I really like that song. And to a certain degree I identify with the meaning of it. And perhaps my obsession with vampires drew me to the song as well.

Below is the music video of the song created for the movie. The video actually shows up in the movie when Akasha visits a vampire coven in search of Lestat. Check it out below along with the song's prose.

by Jonathan Davis and Richard Gibbs

You fell away
What more can I say
The feelings evolved
I won't let it out
I can't replace
Your screaming face
Feeling the sickness inside

Why won't you die?
Your Blood in mine
We'll be fine
Then your body will be mine

So many words
Can't describe my face
This feelings evolved
So soon to break out
I can't relate
To a happy state
Feeling the blood running side

Why won't you die?
Your Blood in mine
We'll be fine
Then your body will be mine

Why is everything so fuckin hard for me
Keep me down to what you think I should be
Must you tell me and provoke the ministry
Keep on trying I'm not dying so easily

Why is everything so fuckin hard for me
Why is everything so fuckin hard for me

Why won't you die?
Your Blood in mine
We'll be fine
Then your body will be mine

Why won't you die?
Your Blood in mine
We'll be fine
Then your body will be mine

The song was released as part of the movie soundtrack CD. However, Chester Benington did the vocal parts instead of Jon Davis for the in-movie version. I actually found the same music video in YouTube that someone uploaded. He spliced the CD version of the song onto the video. I actually like Chester's vocals on the song more than Jonathan Davis'. But either version of the song is awesome to me nonetheless. Check out the video below.

What I'd give to have that much power behind my voice. To be able to scream your anger and hatred through a vocal medium. How good would that feel?


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Waiting for Dekaron Open Beta Testing...

Dekaron Closed Beta Testing ended yesterday at 10:00PM. The past two days were no longer spent levelling. They were spent punching holes, socketing stones, fortifying with argates, etc. on one's current armor set. No use saving all of those items if they're all going to be deleted. Most of the time, players just wanted to revel in the thrill of PK-ing each other outside of Parca Temple. Our guild came up with the bright idea of taking screenshots of all of us gathered together. Even though our characters got wiped, at least we have the screenshots to show for.

Below are the screenshots I took of our guild. My guildmates apparently didn't know you can press F12 to take a fullscreen in-game screenshot. So they ended up capturing the outer rim of their desktops. I'll just post the screenshots I took on the last two days of Dekaron CBT.

My gear changed because I hit level 68 and could wear the next set of gear available in town. So I wasted all the argates I had in my stash on it to make my outfit glow.

Open Beta is slated to begin on September 3. Check back at the Dekaron SEA site for details.

In the meantime, I guess I'll be playing World of Warcraft this weekend. I neglected a subscription based game for too long there. Damn Dekaron. LOL!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What Does One Year Mean To You?...

There are many aspects of my life that have reached about a year by now.

One year since I've resigned from my previous company of 7 year tenure.

One year heading my own department in my new company.

One year since a defunct relationship that almost amounted to marraige.

One year since my month long incessant pain attacks called Cluster Headaches.

One year that I've truly lived alone and fended for myself.

There were so many huge and sudden changes in my life a year ago, when I avoided changes for years. What semblance of an idea of my future faded away quickly. Some changes were thrust upon me. Some changes I voluntarily accepted. Either way, I have learnt to be a stronger person. I have learnt self-reliance when no one was there to help. I have learnt to take care of myself.

I don't exactly have all my ducks in a row, so to speak. But I definitely took advantage of this one year to lick my wounds, brace myself for all the changes, and make something of myself.

One year filled with music.
One year of being a better percussionist.
One year of writing songs.
One year of playing guitar and singing.
One year of gigs and relishing the music scene.
One year of album recording.
One year of being touched by so much good music in the world.

One year of getting back into the game with my work.
One year of proving all those who doubted me wrong.
One year of taking my department to higher levels of growth and profitability.
One year of finally enjoying work once again in so long.

One year of learning the art of self-amusement.

One year of finding a better appreciation for each member of my family.

What does one year mean to me? This past year is when I felt I truly started to live. And no one aside from myself has made this possible.

Gives himself a proverbial pat on the back...


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wishful Thinking...

In my voluntary solitary confinement last night, I just let my Winamp randomly guide me through my large music collection and see where it takes me. This particular song came up.

As if I haven't shared enough honesty in my last post, I'll throw in one more tidbit about myself. I used to listen to this song practically everyday back in college. This was during a time when I was depressed about the lack of reciprocation from a person. It seems so long ago, when simple things seemed to way heavier on my chest. Although, ultimately, it didn't work out with this person and I, I am glad that she's in a good situation now and is very happy.

Anyway, check out the video of the song, along with the song's prose. The song is part of the soundtrack of the movie adaptation of Great Expectations.

Wishful Thinking
by Duncan Shiek

Listen to the waves,
Everything communicates
Will it ever be
Anything more than wishful thinking?

Oh no there you go
Looked away and missed the show
how much wasted time
Will you survive?

Feel the blades of grass
How it brings you back
it will always be
Only as green as you can see

Oh no there you go
Looked away and missed the show
how much wasted time
Will you survive?
Oh yeah fooled again,
I don't know how and I don't know when
Not much else to blame
But wishful thinking

Little breakdowns
In coastal towns.
They come suddenly
Crashing over you.
They come easily.
I'm falling through the skies
And frozen places

Oh no there you go
Looked away and missed the show
how much wasted time
Will you survive?
Oh yeah fooled again,
I don't know how and I don't know when
Not much else to blame
But wishful thinking

And I try to realize
That I needn't look any further
the whole of the universe
Is plain to see
And I try not to rely
On another world or the future
The whole of the universe is a mystery

And it gets me over
Yeah, it gets me over
and it gets me over
Yeah, it gets me over

I always wondered why I didn't bother learning this song on guitar. It seems simple enough. I probably gave up learning it when I couldn't figure out the initial guitar part of the song. Or perhaps the vocals are too high beyond what I can muster with my meager vocal chords.

Below is a video of Duncan Shiek playing the song live. I actually like the studio album version better. Somehow the song looses its luster when I watched the live version.

I know Duncan Shiek; cheesy and sappy. My friends used to look at me funny when I told them I liked this song. Give me a break already. It's been years for crying out loud.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Random Thoughts this Weekend...

-I hate the word "noob", especially when you're non-confrontational. Wish people would come up with a better descriptor than that to sling at someone. Some people seem to only have "noob" and "bakla" as part of their vocabulary.

-I spent three days doing absolutely nothing. I just stayed couped up in my turtle-shell of an appartment. I was able to rest and relax. But what did I really accomplish? I have album recording and a number of projects I've thought of doing in the past. But I did none of them this weekend.

-It's funny that the two songs I've written, happen to be post break-up songs. It's not about those two ex-girlfriends per se. It's about my emotions and feelings back then. So try not to feel special ladies. I wrote them because you gave me so much pain in the past.

-I only realized that I ordered food from Rufo's for 3 consecutive days, when the girl on the phone didn't bother asking me for my address anymore. So I cooked on the 4th day.

-I keep a few close friends but none keep in touch much. So I suppose I'll just rephrase it to "keeping a few friends".

-I didn't play any of my percussion instruments even once this entire long weekend. I don't know why exactly. Just didn't feel like it I guess. It's supposed to be the one thing I'm proud of in my life. But I didn't pick up even my bongos this weekend.

-I wish I had a "best friend", like Harold and Kumar. Someone who I can just call and drag to Amsterdam (for obvious legal reasons), or to Switzerland (to go buy a Hang Drum). Or someone to call me and yank me somewhere because he needed me. [This is me NOT turning gay, trust me]

-Playing guitar and singing here in my appartment always seems to calm me down or toughen me up. It's a good thing the walls of my place are thick. Otherwise, the neighbors would come knocking on my door complaining if they hear me singing at the top of my lungs in the wee hours of the morning.

-I watched Death Note for the Nth time and finished it. Watashi wa Kira desu. And for the Nth time I found myself cheering the bad guy on. I wish I had a Death Note. Not because I want to kill someone. But to just have that kind of ability to do so. I always say that I probably wouldn't use it if I had one. But you never know once you've tested it. And that's what scares me actually.

-A friend once said, "Bembang lang, wag girlfriend agad. Ikaw kasi may mabembang ka lang gi-girlfriend-nin mo na agad." Those lines speak truth and practicality. But it saddens that it has to be so in this world. To think the friend who told me this is a girl even. [And no I'm not interested in my friend]. And it's equally saddening that a lot things, like relationships, have to be driven by sexual intercourse. I'm as horny as the next guy. But I suppose I don't act on it as impulsively for fear of hurting someone, even myself, along the way.

-Closed Beta Testing for Dekaron SEA ends at the stroke of midnight tonight. Something saddens me about getting my level 68 Vicious Summoner wiped. Especially since that's what I did for the majority of this weekend. My World of Warcraft account is being neglected because of Dekaron.

-A friend said "[Insert Name], look at your future.", referring to me as the representation of this guy's future in a few years. I found it funny because the joke insinuates that person's wretched future or something like that. Perhaps it's not a joke. And this situation of mine is wretched. My only recourse now then is to aim to be filthy rich and go out with a bang like what Jack Nicholson did in the movie "Bucket List". Filthy rich and nothing else to hold on to. That doesn't seem like a bad outcome. But then I'd have to get filthy rich first. I wonder how I'm going to do that.

-I haven't gigged in weeks. I think I'm going through gig-withdrawal-symptoms. I wonder if other good bands would want to get a percussionist like me? I'd ask Wowee or Jinky of Jazz Volunteers if I can jam with them again. But I choked the last time I played with them. I need my gig fix soon or I'll just go crazy. None of my bandmates, except Briggs, replied to my text about a possible gig at Bela Bar. I guess they're all busy at the moment. Sayang. It's no wonder I always want to bring a guitar and bongos to inuman sessions. At least I get to play a little.

-Damn, this large bed that my appartment came with. You can fit a small Igurot village on this bed. It's cool when you have a girl with you. But I find it totally space consuming now that I have the whole place to myself.

-I've been downloading useless movie trilogies lately. The ones where the first movie was decent and then the sequels after that were B-movie renditions of the first movie. It's so odd that I decide to download those.

-People say I'm a very eligible bachelor. Although, most of the time I think it's bullshit. Good education, Nice family, Works hard, Earns well, Musically inclined, Eloquent english speaker, Nice guy (Notice that I didn't mention good looks, I'm pretty far away from ever being good looking). I think that's all just initial hype until one gets to know me more. I'm ultimately boring, as demonstrated by people who leave after some time. The financial stability, english speaking, guitar playing, and percussions, all wear thin in the long run. One will soon find a "better deal" elsewhere. Someone more interesting, that's not too hard to find I bet.

-The new black couch is great. I sprawl on it every time I watch a movie, tv series, or anime on my 32" LCD TV.

-It's funny that when you try your hardest to help people that you metaphorically get thrown mud in your face for even trying. It's even more funny that other people think THEY did you favor when you were the one helping them. Emotions are running high. I can understand that. But it seems I'm the only one being mindful of others. I shouldn't try so hard to help. I end up rendering myself handicapped to help my own people.

-What's good for me, while doing right by my friends and family. Standards are placed as a filter to ensure that you select the best partner. I don't even know what's good for me, nor what I like in a girl these days. And who am I to have "standards"? Ang kapal ko naman. Not like I measure up to other people's standards either.

-I truly believe in reciprocation. I give back 10 times fold the kindness shown to me. But somehow I'm starting to become selfish. The only thing I hate about the concept is the immediate and exaggerated expectation of reciprocation. Someone gives a little and they expect a whole lot more to be given in return back to them. But when kindness isn't returned after a while, you start feeling used all of a sudden. You start to wonder what the meaning of "friends" really means to these people.

-I wonder when I'm going to get my ass back to Puerto Galera. I miss jamming with Turtle Club, Joel, Pino, and Kiddo, at CocoAroma. I miss just sitting on the beach listening to an audiobook because I'm too lazy to read. I used to be all gung-ho about just throwing some clothes in my backpack, grabbing my guitar or bongos, and heading off to the beach alone. What happened to that? I can't even go to Galeria to watch a friend's indie film alone these days. I need to get that back.

-Naruto Shippuden and Bleach always manage to put a smile on my face. Too bad the new episodes don't come in frequently enough.

-I seem to be the go-to guy for people who need to borrow money, who need a job, or need a character reference in their resumes. Although I help people out as much I can, I always wonder when will I ever rely on people in a similar degree. It's also sorely disappointing that you only hear from these people when they actually need something from you.

-It's pretty pathetic that I actually read the horoscope in Friendster almost everyday. I don't know if I'm looking for direction or a good laugh when I read those.

Too many thoughts to write it all down. I'll just leave it at that. I've been a little too publicly honest with this post. I'm a weirdo.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tentator Goodness...

Got myself a new pet when I reached level 58 with my Vicious Summor (Rozaku). Woohoo!!! Dekaron is my only source of reprieve these days. So I've been playing a lot since last weekend just to cut the stress and the loneliness. Below are pictures of what my character at level 60 looks like, along with my new pet "Tentator".

A officemate of mine, Orly, was right. The Tentator is bad ass. And I can do AFK-Levelling easier in Parca Temple with this abomination from the Abyss.

Shamelessly plugging this game again, sign up for Close Beta Testing for Dekaron SEA if you haven't done so already. You will move your mouse cursor over the link below and click on it [waves his hand as if attempting a Jedi Mind Trick].


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Djembe Player with Character...

I had a hard day at work today. It seems I may have bitten off more than I can chew with trying to help others when it's ultimately none of my business. I suppose when you try too hard to help and be accomodating to others, your efforts at times seems to go unappreciated and even insulting to people.

So in an effort to make myself feel better, I looked up various djembe players on YouTube. Perhaps my passion for percussions would inspire me to remember what's more important in my personal life. And remind me what truly makes me happy.

The video below is one of many I will blog about over the next few days and weeks. I'll start with a light video for now. This particular video is of a djembe player named Matthias Spangenberg. Although his playing in the video is not remotely flashy to the likes of many djembe masters, he exudes a flare and a character about him that I was drawn to. Check out the video below and you'll know what I mean.

This is non-traditional percussions at its best, without easily veering towards the pure gut-feel of world music that most djembe players partake in the Philippines (including myself).

I've neglected my Pearl 14 inch fiber glass djembe for quite a while now. I've preferred to use my congas these days because I've learnt quite a bit of traditional rhythms with those drums. I actually miss playing my djembe at gigs these days. I suppose what I miss is the character I had with just knowing only what I've invented in my playing. I guess it is true that once you start learning how an instrument is really played based on traditional theory, you do lose that flare and end up being just a variation of tradition and not something completely unique. Below are old pictures of my djembe when I first got it, alongside one of my congas and my small djembe.

I don't think I've lost that flare in my playing quite yet. As I still retain what I've invented, and injected those new traditional rhythms to my invented style of playing, instead of completely suplanting it. I doubt I'd fully become a traditional percussionist. I'm nowhere near as skilled, nor have the opportunity to be instructed enough to reach that point. Something saddens and relieves me with knowing that. I don't know why.

I used to do hand claps while soloing during gigs with my band. I stopped doing that because it really couldn't be heard and most people found it funny. I suppose I'll start doing that again since this guy does it so well.

So there you go, hand claps. Aside from playing djembe again, it's my redeeming inspiration for today.

Mission Accomplished...


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Got a New Pet... Finally!!!...

I got into playing CBT for Dekaron since late this week. I just finally reached level 36 with my Vicious Summoner to get my new pet (Aldebaran) to aid me in battle. I know that so many players have already way surpassed where I'm at. But I just felt good because of the fact that I no longer had to stare at a Tarantula's ass for hours anymore. (Not like an Aldebaran's ass was any less displeasing to look at). Anyway, I took a screenshot of it below. So you can see what my new pet looks like.

I'm getting into this game all over again. If you haven't signed up for CBT for Dekaron SEA yet, just click on the link below.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Wii-Mote Geekery...

About a month or so ago, I blogged about one of Johnny Chung Lee's pet projects utilizing the Nintendo Wii Remote Controller. In that project, he showcased Virtual Reality Head Tracking Capabilities utilizing a Wii-Mote. The URL to that particular post is below.

Below are two other videos showing off more of Johnny's ingenius Wii-Mote geekery. I'm sharing two videos this time because you need to watch the first one in order for the second video to make any sense.

The first video showcases how Johnny is able to enable tracking of fingers using the IR camera of a Wii-Mote. This paves the way for an interface the likes of the movie "Minority Report".

Given the interface technology that Johnny was able to create in the video above, he then extends that technology to a white board interface. Instead of your fingers that are being tracked, it is now a pair of modified pens that have LED lights for tips.

Like what Johnny said in the video above, this allows for people to create a low cost white-board interface by just using a Wii-Mote and some make-shift LED pens.

I'm thinking of creating one myself and using Johnny's software that he created. But then again, it wouldn't be as cost-effective as I would think because it'll require me to buy a projector and screen. I really would love to try the table-top interface. I was considering buying a projector and a screen instead of my 32" LCD TV last year. But I ended up buying the LCD TV instead. Perhaps I can try it on my LCD TV first before even thinking about buying a projector.

Well done Johnny. Keep that shit up.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The "Art" of Beat Making...

I first met Artstrong at my friend Kenneth Santos' wedding eons ago. He was invited to sing at the reception with some members of Kulay. I seriously doubt he remembers me. I pretty much lost track of the guy for years until I saw him fronting for a band called Third World Project. I also started seeing him on TV a few years back with what seems to be him breaking through to mainstream with an upcoming album. Since then, I've been hearing buzz about him every so often in the gigging scene, as well as cutting tracks for TV commercials and even Manny Pacquiao's theme song. He always had a flare for HipHop/R&B music, and in the video that I wanted to share with you is no exception to what Artstrong is all about.

The video below is of Art showing how it's done in terms of Beat Making. He got into this sect of Urban HipHop culture when he and a few friends formed a group called "Beatmathics". You'll find that this kind of sound is very electronic driven aside from it having roots in HipHop, R&B, and Soul music. And this is what makes it unqiue amongst similar sub-genres of music. I'm not a huge fan of this general area of music. But I can appreciate talent when I see it. So here's the video. Enjoy.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Crazy Ass Japanese Bassist...

In attempt to keep myself occupied while recuperating from my current situation, I am again going through my YouTube favorites for stuff that I actually haven't blogged about. My officemate Kenny showed me this particular video months ago, of this bassist named Masaki Kurata, or just plain "Masaki". He was playing for a Japanase heavy metal band called Animetal from 1997 up to 2006, among other musical projects throughout his career. Animetal primarily focused on covering songs from various Japanese anime in a very progressive rock fashion. They're actually a very good band. It's too bad that they went on an indefinite haitus about 2 years ago.

Animetal aside, this particular post is about Masaki himself. The dude obviously grew up with posters of John Myung and Dream Theater on his bedroom walls. Check out the video below of Masaki playing one of Animetal's songs. There's a picture-in-picture window in the video. So that you can see what both his left and right hands are doing for the duration of the song.

I thought Victor Wooten was a psycho. Masaki is just a whole different other level of crazy.


Thought of the Day...

I feel like the love child of Two Face and Stay Puft Marshmallow Man...


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reunited with my Turtle...

My parents insisted that I should stay at their house for a few days as I recuperate from my tooth impaction. There's not much to do here. But at least I get to be a kiddo-brat for once in a very long time.

Anyway, when I first walked in my old room, my not-so-tiny-anymore pig nose turtle greeted me by flailing wildly and splashing all this water inside its tank. I remember buying this turtle in Cartimar years ago and it was only a quarter of its current size. Pig nose turtles are fresh water turtles, yet they have fins for feet and therefore can live submerged in water. This was a unique find for me in Cartimar because similar turtles were usually sea turtles which you had to take care of in salt water. And if you're an aquariam/fish buff like I was, you know that salt water tanks are just way too difficult to maintain long term.

Even though I was in pain and my cheek was growing to the size of a small cantelope, I was glad to see my old turtle friend once again. Below are pictures of my turtle, just in case you are curious what it looks like. Pay close attention to its snout, then you'll realize that it is indeed a "pig nose turtle". Pardon the blur in the pictures. My turtle just doesn't stop wriggling around when you come near it.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

7 Congas in E Minor...

I've had this particular video in my YouTube favorites for quite some time now. Since I'm just wallowing in pain here post-tooth-impaction, I figured I might as well share it. Samuel Torres is a prolific percussionist. Although I think Giovanni Hidalgo is way better than he is in terms of speed and technique, Mr. Torres is actually more melodic than Giovanni.

The video below shows Samuel Torres, playing a total of 7 congas, which is actually the most number of congas I've seen anybody play. The title of the video indicates that all 7 congas are tuned to a E minor scale, which just absolutely blows my mind away. Take special note of the way he plays chords by striking two congas at the same time. This is where his melodic skill shows.

Damn, how I wish I was this good.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Digital Eyes...

I created a photoblog last month. So I can put up pictures that I've either taken myself, tweaked in Photoshop, or both. The first few pictures I uploaded are actually already in my Deviant Art account. The next ones are just random snaps here and there that I've taken.

Multiply's cross posting feature apparently posts even future scheduled posts. So all the pictures I've uploaded in my photoblog have already been seen by my friends in Multiply. Oh well, spoiled the fun of slowly showing one picture at a time. I'll just wait until the last picture I've scheduled to display has posted, before uploading more.

For those of you who are interested below is the link to my photoblog.

I'm not a professional photographer nor a Photoshop expert. This is purely for fun. So please be kind if you feel the urge to critique any of the pictures I uploaded.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bring Down the Rain...

It's a little ironically funny that I'm blogging about this given it's been raining a lot the past few weeks. Anyway, this post is about yet another new percussion toy that I recently bought last Friday.

The thing is called a "Rainmaker" by LP (Latin Percussion). I got an 18" one because I needed one that was short enough to fit in my gig-bag-o-percs-toys. You basically just tip the cylinder towards one of its ends and pebbles/particles inside roll down creating a sound similar to rain fall.

Below is a link to the exact brand and model of my new Rainmaker. It's got a sound bite of how the thing sounds like when played.

I actually have a rain stick, which is essentially the same thing as a Rainmaker. Filipinos are known for rain sticks. So if you want one, you can just go to any souvenir store and get one there. Below is a picture of the rain stick that my little sister bought me years ago, alongside my LP Rainmaker. You'll notice that my rain stick is rather long. I couldn't exactly just throw that in my gig bag. Hence why I was looking for a shorter version.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Awesome Gig...

We didn't gig all of July. So you can imagine the gig-tigang-ness my bandmates and I were feeling by the time August 1 rolled over. The gig was at the back of my mind all week, generating more and more anticipation for it. After a good practice at Pipeline last Thursday night, I was more psyched than ever for Friday's gig.

Friday at work was long and arduous. Although I wanted the day to fly by quickly, seconds, minutes, hours seem to be moving at crawling snail speed. When I left the office, it was pouring rain. And cab drivers seem to prefer female passengers over male ones for some reason. Eventually I got a cab ride home after 45 minutes of standing out in the rain flailing my arms up and down like a gorilla to catch cab drivers' attention. I was starting to think that I need to grow my hair long and grow a pair of knockers before I can get a cab ride home that night.

When I got home, I had about 5-10 minutes left before my suki-text-a-cab arrived to pick me up. So I threw on some shirt and packed my gear up. I bought new percussion toys the past two weeks but I forgot to think about where those toys would be injected in our songs. So I decided to just bring my regular set of percussion gear. Not gigging for an entire month made me forget how annoying it is to painstakingly lug my gear downstairs. I complain but I shouldn't really because it is I who wants to lug a pair of congas and have a number of percussion toys at my disposal at gigs.

I loaded my gear in the cab and headed to Briggs' flat. Briggs wasn't there yet. But her trusty sidekick Dennis was. So Dennis let me in while we waited for Briggs. He just finished cooking food. So he offered if I wanted any just in case I didn't have dinner yet. Between work, the rain, horny cab drivers that only want female passengers, and rushing to pack up my gear, I really didn't have time to think about dinner. Dennis cooked Nilaga, which was most delictable. I hardly get to eat home-cooked food these days. So that was a treat all on its own.

Briggs arrived after a while and found Dennis and myself staring at the TV watching some MTV dating show. I don't have cable TV at my place by choice, so you can imagine the interest I had watching TV even if it was some stupid show. The chick in the show was hot that's why. I'll just come right out and admit that. LOL!

Liquid Jane

We then loaded up Briggs' car and headed to Mag:Net in Katipunan. Our guitarist, Gino, had a gig there with his other band Liquid Jane. We wanted to catch their set anyway aside from picking Gino up. The crowd was pretty tame at Mag:Net considering it was largely a collegiate crowd. Liquid Jane was awesome as always. But I especially felt Drew's pain (Liquid Jane drummer), because the drum set was just plain crappy. The thing looked like it was about to keel over and die any second. Although Drew did fine during that set, people definitely couldn't see and hear how good Drew really is as a drummer.

It was nice to watch Liquid Jane with the full band line-up. The last few times I've watched them, there was always one band member missing. When Erwin, the keyboardist, is not present, the band's rock sensibilities go on overdrive. When Gino, the guitarist, is absent, the band veers towards acid jazz. Throw them all in the mix and it makes for a great eclectic rock experience.

After Gino packed up his gear, we then proceeded to 6Underground in Ortigas; the venue of our gig. Club 6Underground used to be located in C. Palanca St. in Makati a few years ago. We used to play there every Saturday for an entire year, which was awesome. So it was definitely going to be an interesting night to gig at 6UG again after so long.

When we got to the place, the old familiar, huge ass, WWE wrestler-esque bouncer was there. We were surprised to see him still "bouncing" for 6UG even until now. And the dude recognized us. He came up to me, shook my hand, and muttered in a Terminator-like voice, "Come with me if you want to live". No, he didn't say that. But that was what was going through my mind when I saw him. LOL! He actually was glad that we were going to play at 6UG again after so long.

I saw Allan, vocalist and bassist of Mobster Manila, when I stepped through the doors of 6UG. We gave each other a high-five and talked for a while. Apparently, they were next to play and then we get to play after them.

I was surprised at the new 6UG. The stage was a large spacious square right smack-dab in the middle. While there were couches all around the stage with a lot of people sitting on them. The band gear on the stage sounded great in true 6UG-fashion. I especially like how the drum kit sounded. Coming from hearing how crappy the drum set was in Mag:Net, that brand spanking new drum set in 6UG sounded awesome. It was well mic'd and the sound tech obviously new how to play with the volume levels of the drum set to make the house sound clear.

There were a few bands that played before and after us. But I'll just talk about the ones of significance from what I remember in my drunken stupor last night. LOL!

Mobster Manila

We've gigged with Mobster Manila a number of times. I love how Allan really commits to his Mobster Manila comestic look; with his slick-back hair and garb that looks like it came straight of the old TV show "Happy Days". If you don't know about the Fonz and the show "Happy Days", you're seriously missing out on a great TV series.

Most people chalk Mobter's music to likes of Ska or maybe even Reggae. But their music is best described as Rocksteady, a precusor to Ska and Reggae. I might be wrong but it's the closest description I can think of at this time.

I love the way Allan manages to play complicated and fast bass riffs while singing at the top of his lungs. That really takes some skill to pull off. Allan is awesome.


The unfortunate thing of not having a girlfriend is that you can't ask someone to take pictures while you play. Although I usually manage to get a few snapshots in of my bandmates when we play at gigs, I was way too under the influence of alcohol to even think about taking pictures, while setting up my gear and my iPod to record our set.

Below are the bootleg recordings I made from our set last night using my iPod recorder. I love my Belkin Tune-Talk. The stereo mic on it captures sound better than most recorders.

Each one of us in the band was so psyched to play, that it exuded a confidence to the audience. The band banter in between songs was hilarious, and the crowd seemed to love it too because they would laugh along with us.

Jerold's drum work blew me away since this is about only the 4th time I've seen him play. His heavy hands provided some extra "umph" in the band's music. He surprises me at times at some of the licks he pulls that he never pulls at practice. UP Music has done well to teach him the ways of drumming. Well done UP.

Gino's guitar work was just simply amazing. Mid-song, I'd get caught just listening to him rather than paying attention to what I was playing. The guy sure knows how to hit the accelerator when he adlibs. He's currently studying in UP Music as well. Our band line-up really got beefed-up because of Jerold and Gino.

I personally liked playing our song "Burned". I found myself bobbing my head while solo-ing during the middle part of the song. I'm no learned musician at all compared to my bandmates. But I just love it when I feel in the zone when it's my part of the song. I actually felt goosebumps while solo-ing. That was wild.

My only regret during the set was that I didn't have a beer onstage. Briggs kept taking swigs from her beer bottle after every song, which made me want to have a beer all the more. I more than made up for it after our set anyway. LOL!

It was to my surprise that a number of people in the crowd came up to me after the set paying me and the band numerous compliments about our music. Although, that's happened many times in the past, I still am not used to people coming up to me and saying "Ang galing mo tsong!". It felt great to be complimented like that.

We hung and drank at 6UG for a little while just to wind down after playing. It was funny that the sea of strangers were now our instant friends, especially at the smoking area right outside 6UG. Oh yeah, they don't allow smoking inside the place. So you really have to step out just to have a cig.

Gino, Briggs, and I proceeded to BigSkyMind to drink some more. It was uncanny at how much alcohol we consumed that night. Most people would've been done at 6UG. But no, we just had to down more beer elsewhere. The highlight at BigSky was when I asked Gino if he ever tried BigSky's "Cobra". Apparently he never even heard of it. So I got all excited about getting him to try it. I offered to drink a shot myself so as Gino doesn't feel too intimidated with the drink.

To this day, I actually don't know what's really in BigSky's Cobra shots. A picture of the bottle it comes in is below. My hand was obviously shaking so you can't really see the little cobra that's inside the bottle. When I first tried Cobra, I had a slight concern that I'm actually drinking some form of cobra venom.

We gorged on cheese sticks, and a whole slew of standard BigSky pulutan. Everything tastes great in BigSky. Either that or I am always too wrecked at BigSky to know any better when I eat there. LOL!

I like the buzz in BigSky. Everybody was enjoying themselves and at times friendly banter are thrown across tables of people even though they don't know each other. It was funny that people would react to the old school music Cindy was putting up on her CD player. She always does that around 3:00-5:00AM in the morning at BigSky. You gotta love Cindy. It makes for great laughs because even though you find the music extremely corny. You can't help but sing along because innately you know the lyrics to all the songs for some reason. LOL!

When we had our fill of alcoholic beverages, we decided to call it a day and head home. We dropped Gino off first. All of a sudden, Briggs still felt hungry so she asked me if I wanted to eat at North Park right before I got dropped off at my place. North Park, the food is always good there in all its MSG glory. I love it.

I slowly lugged my gear back up to my appartment as my vision was in a blurry haze. I didn't realize it at the time, but I actually took all my clothes off right beside my bed like I was a snake (pardon the Cobra pun). I passed out almost immediately. It was already past 5:00AM then. I only know that because I apparently texted people right before hitting the sack.

That night was definitely fun. Haven't had that much fun in a long time.