Saturday, March 31, 2012

Birthday Week Part 4: Bush and Evanescence Live in Manila

It's been over a month since this concert. But I wanted to finish documenting the highlights of my birthday week last month. So here we are, the last portion of this series of blog posts. This time the post is about watching Bush and Evanescence at the Araneta Coliseum last February 19.

Coming off my gig at the Rogue Magazine Music Edition Launch at B-Side the night before, I was unfortunately too trashed to make it to my SunDownMuse bassist's son's birthday party during that Sunday afternoon. Io has been dead for about 2 years now. But we continue to celebrate his birthday rather than his death anniversary. I felt bad for not being able to join my SunDownMuse bandmates for the party. I heard it was a lot of fun.

Instead, I texted Briggs and Gigo where we can meet up post-birthday party since I have their concert tickets. We all agreed to meet at the concert venue itself about an hour before the concert. I got to Araneta Coliseum rather early. Which was fine because I hadn't eaten anything all day. So I proceeded to Cafe Bola to eat. I used eat at the Cafe Bola in Greenbelt often years ago. So I kinda missed the food. The restaurant was situated near the green gate entrance as well. So it was convenient for me to dine and spot Briggs and Gigo if they arrived.

Briggs and Gigo soon arrived. I just finished eating. But they wanted to grab something to eat before going in. They had to hurry it up a little though. As they arrived really close to the concert start time.

When we proceeded inside Araneta Coliseum. I was disappointed that they didn't have any concert t-shirts for sale of Bush nor Evanescence. They only had album CDs. I have a thing for concert shirts. So not being able to buy one at a concert venue is always disappointing.

What was equally disappointing was that the usher that showed us to our seats obviously didn't look at the tickets properly. I bought tickets for us that were off to the right side which was the closest section of seats to the stage. Instead the usher showed us to these Patron seats at the back, behind the Patron Standing area. Seeing as the Patron Standing area wasn't full. Briggs, Gigo, and I decided to just dive in the standing area to get closer to the stage.

Below are videos that I took of Bush and Evanescence that night. I would've taken more videos but my arm was getting tired and I was getting caught enjoying the music.

"The Chemicals Between Us"

Bush came out with a new album after going on a haitus for years. It's really nice to see these guys still keep at it. What's interesting to note is that when Gavin introduced the next song that's part of their new album. He mentioned that when they recorded the album, they weren't sure where the album would take them. It shows humility despite him and his band's past rock stardom. I had more respect for him as a musician when he said that.

"The Sound of Winter"

I actually looked up the chords and lyrics on the Sound of Winter on the net soon after the concert. It's simple enough for me to learn. It's one of my favorites to play on guitar and sing now.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Birthday Week Part 3: Jack Versus the Crab at the Rogue Magazine Music Edition Launch

Actually there's supposed to be a Birthday Week Part 2.5. That consists of a last minute J.O.E. gig at Route 196 last February 15, and an acoustic gig with Gigo at the Keg, Fort Strip, last February 16. The only reason why I'm not blogging about those two gigs is because I have no pictures or video of our sets. Those were memorable gigs as part of my entire birthday week celebration. But I feel like blogging about it without any visuals or audio seems too bland.

I'm finally getting around to blogging about Part 3.  It's been practically a month since these events. But I wanted to make sure to post about it before memories of those times fades into the blur of past gigs. This particular gig was with Jack Versus the Crab at the Rogue Magazine Music Edition Launch at B-Side last February 18, 2012. Rogue Magazine were partners with Jack Daniel's. So the top 3 bands of the Jack Daniel's JD Set 7 competitions were asked to play for the event.

There was a good line-up of acts that night. But I'll only recap the bands that I particularly enjoyed. My recap of each band isn't in order of line-up of bands for the night.

(All the fantastic pictures in this post were taken by the beautiful Ninja Queen, Cris Pangan.  Thanks Cris!)

Flippin' Soul Stompers

Flippin' Soul Stompers is a band headed up by Bing Austria. It's nice to see that he continues to revel in the music scene despite the community's continued waning interest in classic soul/mog music. From Technicolor Dreamcoat, Juan Pablo Dream, to this current iteration of Bing's band, it such a pleasure to watch his music retain that old school vibe.

Karl Roy

Karl Roy and his band were very entertaining. Karl still had that rockstar flare from his Advent Call, P.O.T, and Kapatid days. Jun Lupito, veteran guitarist eversince the Cocojam days, jammed during their set. I was a little frustrated with how the sound tech was mixing the volumes of the band. The bass guitar was blaring over Jun Lupito's guitar. But overall, the performance was still entertaining, especially since they were covering some memorable songs of Karl Roy's past bands.

What colors this particular post about my birthday week is the fact that Karl Roy just recently died due to stroke complications. Yesterday was actually the last of the mourning days for Karl. I didn't know him all that well personally. But I have been a fan of his since his Advent Call days. And a number of his songs from P.O.T remain very close to my heart. Karl has no idea how some of his songs have gotten me through some very rough times in the past.

I have gigged in the same events/nights as Karl in the past. I remember quite a number of gigs (SunDownMuse) where we played with Kapatid in Club SEx, Rock Radio Cafe, and Big Sky Mind. Karl was particularly impressed with SunDownMuse back then. He remembers us from Briggs' vintage Hofner guitar (which I'm sure Karl wanted to steal from Briggs LOL). Rogue Magazine claims that this was Karl's last gig. But it actually isn't. I believe he had 1-2 gigs after that night. But regardless, it was such a privilege to be in the same gig as Karl for one of his last performances.

Rest in peace, Karl.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Movie Trailer

I've been a big fan of Rurouni Kenshin, the anime for the longest time. I've seen the entire series several times over without getting tired of it. So when I caught wind of a live action movie, I got all excited about it. But yet I remained skeptical given how the movie industry likes screwing up manga/anime to live action movie adaptations. The movie trailer was recently released, which shifted me towards excitement about the movie again.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Bali Steel Pan

After waiting 11 months sinced I first ordered it back in April last year, I finally got a notice from the Makati Central Post Office to pick up my steel pan. I got the notice last March 5 which was a few days later from when the notice said that the package arrived at the post office (February 29).

I researched how the process is for incoming international packages ever since the steel pan makers emailed me that they had already sent my steel pan. And from what I heard from other people receiving things they ordered online, it seems customs really just throw a wrench into things.  So I went to the post office next day with some knowledge on how this process goes.

There were three people there all with seemingly different responsibilities to do. One took my notice card and look through his log to check it off. He made me sign his log folder and pointed me to the next guy to pay a postal fee of PHP40.00. I paid the postal fee and waved at the first guy. He proceeded inside their storage room. A few minutes later, the guy carried out this rather large wooden crate. I actually didn't expect the thing to be that big. The 3rd person was an aged lady. She came over and asked the first guy what was inside the crate. There was no indication on the crate as to what it was. I told them "musikero ako, tambol yang nasa loob". Traditional percussion drums like congas and djembe are already hard to describe to most people. But somehow the word "tambol" guides their understanding best. Amusingly, the guy thought the crate was the actual "tambol" and started whacking on it. The lady was looking for some "declaration of value" document on the crate which was nowhere to be found. So by then, I already figured out that she was the customs official. Fortunately, the steel pan makers didn't put any valuation document on the crate. So I just told the customs lady how much I bought it for.

Okay fine, I lied. I told her it was 10% of the actual amount I spent on the thing. I hate lying. But I felt like customs would charge me an arm and a leg if I was truthful about it. It already cost me an arm and a leg just buying the thing. So the customs lady went back to her desk and pulled out her calculator and a form. After doing a few computations, she came back to me showing me the form while pointing to the amount that she computed as my customs tax. I felt the amount was still a tad horrendous. But compared to what I should really be taxed, I didn't bother reacting negatively to the tax amount shown to me.

The customs lady told me she would give me a 50% discount on the customs tax, which was nice of her. I paid the amount to the second guy, and picked up my package with all smiles and thanks directed to the three.

So I got my Bali Steel Pan! Finally! I've been playing around with it whenever I can since then. Unfortunately, I accidentally cut my finger that night while opening a can of sisig. It was a bleeder! So I couldn't play around with my steel pan for a number of days. But today, the cut seems closed and it didn't hurt so much anymore. So I decided to make my 1st steel pan video.

I still have to get used to playing my steel pan. So the video above is a one-take, very virgin steel pan player. So please be gentle when you watch it. Hope you like it. More videos to come as I learn my way around my steel pan.

I'm so happy I finally got it!

/big grin
/bigger grin
/ear to ear grin


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Despicable Me 2 Trailers

Some friends in Facebook started sharing trailers of the sequel to CG animated film "Despicable Me". I found them absolutely cute and hilarious.  So I just had to blog about it.


I feel like having banana all of a sudden...