THE STRANGENESS, ROMCOM, LOWLEAF WHOEVER SAID THAT OPM IS DEAD CLEARLY DOESN’T KNOW WHAT GIGS TO GO TO + Neil Craver Alfonso Bassig Ryan Melgar Domenico Petralia Jessan Miramon
THE STRANGENESS, ROMCOM, LOWLEAF WHOEVER SAID THAT OPM IS DEAD CLEARLY DOESN’T KNOW WHAT GIGS TO GO TO + Neil Craver Alfonso Bassig Ryan Melgar Domenico Petralia Jessan Miramon
THE STRANGENESS, ROMCOM, LOWLEAF WHOEVER SAID THAT OPM IS DEAD CLEARLY DOESN’T KNOW WHAT GIGS TO GO TO + Neil Craver Alfonso Bassig Ryan Melgar Domenico Petralia Jessan Miramon
EDITOR’S LETTER For an average observer, OPM only involves poorly recorded song covers by famous actors and actresses trying to find other sources of revenue aside from their regular teleseryes. If we’re lucky, we sometimes get original songs from respected composers like Ryan Cayabyab and Noel Cabangon, sung by your average biriteras along the lines of Sarah Geronimo and Rachelle Ann Go. If we’re REALLY lucky, independent artists like The Strangeness, RomCom and Lowleaf magically appear out of nowhere and produce amazing tracks that are enough to inspire other local artists to step up their songwriting games.
This issue, we featured three artists that are proof that OPM has a bright
future ahead of it. Whoever said that OPM is dying clearly doesn’t know what gigs to go to and what radio stations to listen to. The Strangeness, a Meiday veteran, has already come up with their first EP entitled Jesus Camp. RomCom, a bubblegum pop group who has an internet sensation for a vocalist, also recently produced an EP entitled Tight Like Prom Night. Lowleaf, a newcomer in the local music scene, also released an EP recently entitled Giga Gaia. All three bands differ in genre, but their contribution to the industry fuels OPM and the people surrounding it to create more music. Speaking of amazing music, Ellie Centeno and Lambert Cruz also named 20 OPM tracks that you should be listening to and I was honestly blown away by how much talent we have here. I think it’s time to take off the media blanket and uncover the local talents from waaaay underneath the surface.
We have also received a lot of great contributions for this issue including Neil
Craver’s Underwater Nude Rock Quarry, Adrian Gonzales’s Gospel Decay and Alfonso Bassig’s song covers and original compositions. One of the greatest mysteries of all (why do we listen to sad songs?) have also been uncovered by our Associate Editor, Carl Millan. Karla Bernardo’s Style Between The Riffs article is exactly six issues late and it’s still worth checking out. Our new batch of photographers also talked about what got them started, what keeps them going, and what they want to do in the future. Who’s their #1 fan? Find out on page 109! Photo by Christienne Berona
I don’t want to spoil anything else in my letter so I’ll leave it to you to dis-
cover what else is in this issue. Again, for the nth time, I can’t believe that we have come this far. From a group of 7 to a community of 40, we’re still alive and kicking and doing our best to give you our best issue after another. SUPPORT LOCAL INDIE MUSIC! LONG LIVE OPM! MEYNTEYN! Maine Manalansan, EIC P.S. There are also a few upgrades with your magazine-reading experience. We have incorporated hyperlinks in our layout so you can visit the writers’ and photographers’ websites in just one click. Pretty nifty huh?
ON THE COVER
Photography by Jelito de Leon
STACHE Editor-in-Chief MAINE MANALANSAN Associate Editor JARED CARL MILLAN Marketing Director ELLIE CENTENO Assistant Editor MARIELLE MISULA Marketing Associate COCO MACEREN Senior Photographer JELITO DE LEON Web Designer MARY SILVESTRE Music Director LAMBERT CRUZ Fashion Director ECKS ABITONA WRITERS Katrina Eusebio, Alvin Greg Molina, Karla Bernardo, Elise Montinola, Miles Malferrari, Mae Pascual, Laurice Sta. Maria, Sarah Buendia PHOTOGRAPHERS Patrick Guillermo, Grace De Luna, Hannah Magsayo, Adrian Gonzales, Mayee Gonzales, Yana Gagarin, Cru Camara, Dan Doydora, Joanna Santillan, Christienne Berona, Bea Fernandez, Elora Picson ILLUSTRATORS Marella Ricketts, Pum Briones, Daniela Go LAYOUT ARTIST Daniel Placido SUBMISSIONS firstname.lastname@example.org INQUIRIES email@example.com ADVERTISING firstname.lastname@example.org TWITTER http://twitter.com/stachemagazine FACEBOOK http://facebook.com/stachemagazineonline STACHEMAGAZINEONLINE.COM
CONTRIBUTORS ERIN EMOCLING is a marveller of nonsequitur writing, cinematic films, and analogue photography. She adores cats, the human anatomy, tattoos, and vintage finds, among otherworldly things. She recently worked as Lomography Magazine’s chief editor. She currently works as a freelance writer and contributes to online magazines like Feature Shoot, Lost at E Minor, and Network Awesome. You may also follow her on Twitter and Tumblr under the
DOMENICO PETRALIA is a photographer born in Sicilia, Italy in 1985. He moved to Milan aged 23 to cultivate his passion where he refined his skills and taste towards fashion photography. He is captivated by the expressivity and natural movements of an individual and captures timeless emotion in their purest form.
NEIL CRAVER began his path as an abstract painter and figurative sculptor in North Carolina; motivations grew from his interest of the psychophysical effects of chroma. Photography holds all the intrinsic values of all the other arts, but differers in the fact the it’s the foundation of existence. His creations are the exploration of his inner facilities; in the pursuit of contemporary knowledge expressing “original thoughts”
RYAN MELGAR is 20 years old and he’s basically in love with art. He can eat a dozen of donuts, too. Well, except Bavarian-flavored ones.
ALFONSO BASSIG has a way with words. Heavily obsessed with poetry and songwriting, you can often find him fiddling with the Notes app on his iPod, attempting to string lines together. For this issue, he submitted a few of his song covers and original songs.
JESSAN MIRAMON likes to doodle, to pull all-nighters, to read. He likes making things with his hands and singing about things he does while he is doing them. Jessan hopes to one day find Where’s Fluffy?, kiss his elbow, and read the best-est novel next to The Catcher In the Rye.
MINA DEOCAREZA is is taking up BA Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She works as a freelance writer and academic tutor.
COLUMNS MUSIC ELITISM
“We began to define our coolness with how little the bands we like were known. Then suddenly, the ones which have reached a wider audience, or at least people outside the circle with which we identify ourselves, are just now plain shitty.” BY SARAH BUENDIA, P. 10
ON WHY WE LISTEN TO SAD SONGS
“I believed then that because I was sad the logical remedy is of course to listen to sad songs. After all, isn’t that what these songs have taught us all along? We were brought up in the mythology that certain questions with regard to the matters of the heart can be found in song.” BY JARED CARL MILLAN, P. 12
“I’m still figuring out why I opted to leave the Philippines and tried my luck in some place I’ve never been before. Maybe it was a case of impulsiveness. Or a bad case of wanting how it feels to be independent.” BY MARIELLE MISULA, P.14
STYLE BETWEEN THE RIFFS
“We all have our own personal relationship with music: some in secret, others spelled out in blatant capital letters. But the truth is we let it become a part of us that it trickles down into so many other aspects of ourselves, from the way we talk to the way we dress, whether we like it or not.” BY KARLA BERNARDO, P. X16
THE WAR ON MUSIC ELITISM “MUSIC ELITISM HAS BEEN AROUND FOR A VERY LONG TIME, BUT LIKE YOLO, IT HAS BEEN GAINING MORE POPULARITY THESE PAST FEW YEARS WITH THE INFLUX OF UNKNOWN, OBSCURE BANDS FROM ALL OVER THE INTERNET.” BY SARAH BUENDIA ILLUSTRATION BY PUM BRIONES
YOLO, before it became a commonly used and acceptable excuse for stupid things we do—as a lot of us know—came into popularity through Graduation’s 2007 release, when Kanye first said it. But some of us also know that before Kanye gave us a statement we clung to like a bad faith, The Strokes have already suggested it back in 2006 in their single “You Only Live Once.” And didn’t that make a lot of us Strokes fanatics pretty pissed off about it? That YOLO is a contestable way of living was beside the point; it made us angry that people have been throwing it around proudly when we have known it (and have perhaps lived it) way before all these mainstream-loving people did. Suddenly, YOLO to us has lost its magic. And there, in that feeling of misplaced pride, we have an example of our version of music elitism. Music elitism has been around for a very long time, but like YOLO, it has been gaining more popularity these past few years with the influx of unknown, obscure bands from all over the internet. We began to define our coolness with how little the bands we like were known. Then suddenly, the ones which have reached a wider audience, or at least people outside the circle with which we identify ourselves, are just now plain shitty. But don’t we think that to measure the
greatness of a piece of music based on its popularity is really just kind of unfair? We are not doing anybody a favor by calling those which are known bad, and then be selfish with the ones that we claim are good. I’m pretty sure the artists and the producers we glorify so much won’t be happy about our selfishness either. This only makes us corrupt people—claiming for ourselves that which does not even belong to us. And if we are so keen as to calling the popular ones bad, then why do we let them continue spreading like wildfire and hiding those which we believe deserve to have more air-time? My biggest guess as to why music elitism exists in this context is that it makes us feel special knowing that we know good music—the best ones, as some of us may claim—and it only shows how much greater our taste is than everyone else. But allow me to question this entitlement with the notion of what music, especially of the good kind, are supposed to be: shared. So I ask: should we really trust our sense of good judgement? The issue here, perhaps, is that we are forgetting the powerful potential of what music can do, and supposed to do, for the blinding purpose of satisfying only ourselves. We are so busy enjoying criticizing Justin Bieber and basking in our awesome playlists that we began to completely miss the point.
“WE BEGAN TO DEFINE OUR COOLNESS WITH HOW LITTLE THE BANDS WE LIKE WERE KNOWN.”
So let me remind you: Sure we all have the freedom to be critics. And by all means do. I encourage it, especially that as people who are at a very vulnerable age, it would be good for us to filter which things to take in. As I have to admit that, yes, there are a lot of bad existing albums out there. There is a very huge gap between being a critic and a hater, though, and to judge music by solely basing them on a criterion that discriminates not the artist or the music itself--but the people who enjoy it--may be indicative of really bad taste. Elitism represents one kind of hindrance we encounter in our never-ending fight for progress. It spurts the growth of people against the direction
which music could lead them to. Instead of appreciating the variety and making the most out of it, we keep pushing others downward. Thus, the whole process just becomes counterproductive. This does not just hold true in the elitism we see in soap operas where the Donyas and the Dons prohibit their children from falling in love with poorer people. In a more realistic and less melodramatic situation, we see elitism here as we exhibit our most undeniable contempt towards those who are just different from who we are in terms of how many bands we know. And honestly? It isn’t very YOLO of us.
ON WHY WE LISTEN TO SAD SONGS THE SONGS WE LISTEN TO TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT OURSELVES, AND THEY AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT WE EXPECT THEM TO BE. BY JARED CARL MILLAN ILLUSTRATION BY DANIELA GO
“AFTER ALL, ISN’T THAT WHAT THESE SONGS HAVE TAUGHT US ALL ALONG? WE WERE BROUGHT UP IN THE MYTHOLOGY THAT CERTAIN QUESTIONS WITH REGARD TO THE MATTERS OF THE HEART CAN BE FOUND IN SONG.”
Some many weeks ago I tweeted, “Why do we listen to sad songs when we’re sad? It doesn’t make one feel any less sad.” When I tweeted that I still have in my mind the general conviction that sad songs exist for a reason: I had just come out of a relationship and I was trying to ease the pain of a heartbreak by listening to sad songs, trying to dull the ache that had begun from the pit of my stomach and into my every vein and limb, trying to drown out the screeching and caterwauling of voices in my inner ear. I believed then that because I was sad the logical remedy is of course to listen to sad songs. After all, isn’t that what these songs have taught us all along? We were brought up in the mythology that certain questions with regard to the matters of the heart can be found in song. Weren’t we conditioned since we were little children by some inexplicable impulse to take listening to songs which reflect our moods? They did not make me feel any better, neither did they drown the voices nor dull the pain nor serve, in general, the purpose they are supposed to serve. I was still as heartbroken as I had been before I sang along with those songs. I can’t remember now what was then playing on my computer (or was it on my iPod? the radio? some speaker I happened to have encountered?), what was the song I was then listening to but I do remember asking myself why we listen to sad songs when we are sad when it does not really help with the sadness. And it will take me some weeks to learn that sad songs do not necessarily serve that purpose. I was listening to Jann Arden’s Insensitive nonstop for quite some time, sometimes on Repeat One, because certain lines from the song have been playing in my head and in my ears whether or not I want them to and especially at times when I want to hear it the least. I may or may not have been listening to it to ease the pain or dull the ache (it might have been because of some habit I had acquired through
repetition), but I do know that I was listening to it because I wanted to cure whatever it was that had been triggering the song in my mind so incessantly, through repetition. It was only some time after that I started to really understand its every word, recognize some familiarity reverberating through the song as though it wanted tell me something. “I really should have known by the time you drove me home, by the vagueness in your eyes, your casual goodbyes, by the chill in your embrace, the expression on your face. “You probably won’t remember me. It’s probably ancient history. I’m one of the chosen few who went ahead and fell for you. I’m out of vogue, I’m out of touch. I fell too fast, I feel too much.” That song does not make one feel any less sad, it does not make me feel any less sad, but when I listen to the song now, I do not anymore do it for the same reasons I had. I listen to the song now because I understand the story that those words are telling me (and perhaps telling someone or telling you), and what they are saying is this: I have been there; I know that; I have worn the shoes you’re wearing; I am not trying to make you feel better by telling you all this, for I cannot; I am only here to make you feel that someone understands and that you’re not alone. And that’s precisely what sad songs do. They make us feel, however slightly, less alone, and that someone sympathizes. Sad songs tell us that someone understands. That is where the easing of the pain and the dulling of the ache stem from. You might not feel better now. I might not feel better now. But I know that, in time, with my sad songs telling me what I feel is normal and that I am not in fact going crazy, I will be all right. Isn’t that what any one wants, to feel as though someone understands?
ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES ARE UP FOR GRABS; THEY JUST BECKON YOU TO LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE, LEARN THE ART OF INDEPENDENCE, AND SASHAY INTO THE UNKNOWN, AS OBSERVED BY MARIELLE MISULA ILLUSTRATION BY PUM BRIONES
I’m a big, big girl, in a big, big world. That’s what I told my lost, wide-eyed, disoriented college freshman self upon entering the university. I was just trying how to figure out what to do for the rest of my life. I was going with the flow, drawing plans up in the air, and picked up lessons along the way; some, I learned with open arms. Others tasted like a bitter pill in my mouth. Four years have passed; I altered some of my life plans. I was slowly poking holes in my bubble, eager enough to plod through the wonders and blunders of
the real world. I wanted to be an independent woman, fending for herself and the people who matter to her. After four years in college, I have embraced a restless life, travelling where my feet would take me, with a pen or a camera in tow. That and the life I have created out of making rash decisions. That mantra stayed with me still. But I never thought that I would be big enough to pack my bags and be a continent away from the comfort of my home.
“MAYBE IT WAS A CASE OF IMPULSIVENESS. OR A BAD CASE OF WANTING HOW IT FEELS TO BE INDEPENDENT.”
It has been more than a month since my parents left me to my own devices, in a land where herds of sheep and cows alone were more than enough to fill a city. I’m still trying to get the hang of seeing the Sky Tower lance through the foggy morning and lighting up the City of Auckland at night. Needless to say, I’m still figuring out why I opted to leave the Philippines and tried my luck in some place I’ve never been before. Maybe it was a case of impulsiveness. Or a bad case of wanting how it feels to be independent. I have only known of a place where two to three hours of traffic jam in EDSA can send Kiwis to the brink of insanity and where people will help you appreciate the smiles and simplicity of life in the face of mind-bending disasters. It has just dawned upon me: I’m realizing something that isn’t even part of my life plans. It didn’t occur to me that I would have to ask for my friends’ postal addresses in an attempt to send them a greeting card on their birthdays from New Zealand with love. Worse, it didn’t occur to me that I have to miss my mother’s 50th birthday. Skype and overseas calls might do the trick. But really, nothing beats a dose of physical warmth and the joy of being with my mom on her birthday. It didn’t occur to me that owning a driver’s license can be a necessity when it comes to bagging that dream job. I lived in a place where driving a car is a luxury. Much to my surprise, I never thought that BMWs, Audis, Fords, and Peugeots filling up the motorway as private cars or cabs from dawn till dusk is a sight that’s as common as experiencing Asia in one city. Here I am smack in the middle of the city, observing a melting pot of different cultures. I can see a plethora of Thai restaurants, middle-aged Chinese and Indian men driving buses, some Koreans manning the fast food counter, Japanese high school students on a study tour, and Maoris filling up the streets. I didn’t even have a chance to ruminate on the consequences of my rash decision. These people around have stories to tell while I’m sitting by
the window of a fast food chain, still wondering how my own story will unfold. I marvel at seeing how some Filipinos have managed to work their way around here, from owning restaurants to heading nurses in a health center. However, hearing tales of some Filipinos being forced to leave New Zealand for the lack of work send me in the throes of uncertainty. To them, work was so elusive as seeing sheep and cows in the city. What if in the end, I’ll become one of them? I even have yet to draw my plan B for that. Really, I still lug around a lot of baggage; even if my clothes and things filled my luggages to the brim before leaving for Auckland, there would still enough space for doubt, fear, and bahala na nga ulit si Batman moments, just like everybody else. I have been telling myself how exciting it can be to be independent—from paying the bills all by myself to going to places I have yet to set foot in. I take comfort in knowing for a fact that my loved ones back home will be alright while I’m here, trying to see what future has in store for me. But sometimes, it hits me to the gut how much I have to miss. It’s not easy seeing going on for days without talking to my family and friends and check on how they are doing. It’s not easy missing birthdays, Christmas, and other special occasions with them just to live alone overseas. My friend told me that I wouldn’t have to experience these things after three months. And life might just go on. A lot will change without me being there to see how it happens. Maybe that’s the price my independence has to pay. I’m now thrust into the world of 20s, where I’m still swimming in a sea of confusion, hoping for the current to send me to the shore of certainty. Alright, I got what I wanted: it’s about time to be an independent woman. But until now, it still boggles me why I can’t find the answer to the question, “What did I get myself into?” But I just hope that when the going gets tough, the tough should get going. After literally taking flight, I now have landed to take chances and see where this takes me.
STYLE BETWEEN THE RIFFS FASHION HAS ALWAYS BEEN PART AND PARCEL OF MUSIC; EVERY MUSICIAN HAS THEIR OWN STYLE. BUT SOMETIMES THE LINE BETWEEN THE TWO BLURS, AND IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW EXACTLY THE ROLE EACH PLAYS. BY KARLA BERNARDO ILLUSTRATION BY DANIELA GO
I. I think in general everyone has a crazy, frenzied love affair with music. Think about it: we all have those secret songs we sing in the shower, those bands whose merchandise we are more than willing to cover our bedroom walls (and drain our wallets) with, those song lyrics we shamelessly put on our Facebook walls. Even the most solemn of men can attest to holding a particular lyric close to heart, possibly hidden well inside the deep recesses of his subconscious, but it’s there, on repeat, at maximum volume. We all have our own personal relationship with music: some in secret, others spelled out in blatant capital letters. But the truth is we let it become a part of us that it trickles down into so many other aspects of ourselves, from the way we talk to the way we dress, whether we like it or not. Its lasting influence is a testament not only of how well people create music, but how music creates people. It has become an expression through not just rhythm or words, but also through style. It is a reflection of an entire consciousness. If you think about it, music has never been just an auditory experience; it never settled for only just that. The great musicians can evoke all senses. They shock, they stun, and they astonish. No wonder looking back on the history of pop culture, it is often always the musicians that play a part in a movement, in an evolution – and sometimes, they even start it. II. No other icon deserves to be hailed the King of Pop than the late Michael Jackson. The small black boy with his big afro and an even bigger voice started charming the crowds by being in a boy band with
his brothers in the Jackson 5. Even in the beginning it was clear that he was the one to watch out for; he had the talent, he had the charisma, and he knew it. Not long after did he embark on his own solo career, paving the way for great things that his brothers, or any other musician for that matter, could only imagine. His was the voice of a sweet boy, the kind who would never hurt you, the kind that was charming and safe and uncomplicated. Who knew that very same voice would be making girls all over the world swoon with his signature curly locks (sans the afro) and unabashedly sequined tops? As the years went by, Michael Jackson started shedding of the layers of cuteness the people had long identified him with and just began to be all-out “bad.” He revolutionized the music video by weaving within them stories of zombies and leatherjacket-wearing-gangs fighting in the parking lot. He began wearing white socks with black shoes. He graced the stage with such impeccable style yet unexceptional ferocity. More than anything, he not only rose above the label of “musician,” he Moonwalk-ed all over it and left behind a trail of gold and boxy, military jackets. He became an icon. A legend. He inspired a generation. Two years after his death, you still hear people quivering with the mention of his name. No other male artist has gained so much fanaticism as that boy with the sequined red coat, black pants, white gloves, and black fedora – yes, that boy, because in the eyes of many, he never really lost his charm, did he? III. If staying power were the subject of discourse, then it
it would be unthinkable to not even mention this one particular woman. She of the inexhaustible transformations, she of only one name: Madonna. Since she broke into the scene in 1982, no other pop star has had her name uttered by so many devout worshippers, both men and women and everything else in between. With each decade, each album, and even each song, she manages to change her image, like a serpent sloughing off its layers, effortlessly and enticingly. And entice she did. But more than that she leaves behind her veneer for everyone else to feed off of and gladly devour: from her iconic cone bras to her outrageous shoulder pads, from her American girl phase to her disco/techno one-piece. It’s too many to fit in one sentence, to be honest. Through all this however, one thing remained the same. She became a symbol that encouraged women everywhere to embrace their individuality. She sang of the realities of living in a rising modern world through “Material Girl” and made it okay. Yes, I want shoes, yes, I want money, and yes, I want to wear my clothes all tattered up like this – you have a problem with that? She was wild, and she didn’t care. It translated from her music, to her style, and to her entire identity. If you think about it, it’s hard to think of just one iconic Madonna picture. Unlike so many style icons immortalized forever because of their one famous photograph or film, Madonna afforded a piece of herself to everything, and it’s hard to see a world without her influence making things gold. Age does not seem to be a problem, and in fact, she only seems to be gaining more momentum as decades go by. Numerous other female artists have claimed to be inspired by her but none have been as successful, and indeed her sovereignty as a music and style legend remains cemented. Just our local talent shows and beauty pageants (gay or otherwise) are proof that there is none more idolized than this pop star supernova. While she may not be the first to break the mold, and maybe not the last, she definitely will remain the most prominent. After all, she’s not esteemed the Queen of Reinvention for nothing. IV. But not everyone is into the more rainbow-colored spectrum of pop. For most others, refuge is found under the intense vulgarity of rock. With volumes reaching
maximum and voices breaking boundaries, rock is by far a religion on its own. The faith of its believers lies in the musical prowess of its icons and the words that come out between the riffs, but also, albeit probably less admitted, in their façade – the outer shell that sets them apart from all the bubblegum and glitz of mainstream. Few are considered godlier in the realm of rock than the front man of Queen himself, Freddie Mercury. Just one example of that is his still-secure deity status online as an Internet meme. Like the planet, he burst of hot energy: a kind of heat that burnt the skin of those who were not brave enough, but a warmth that felt uplifting to those who shared the same cries. Always the flamboyant performer, he never gave his audience anything that fell short of his own ostentatious expectations. He was particularly strapping and was always conquered the stage like his own battlefield – but he never did it without style. He could be wearing leather boots and red leotards one minute, then a simple black tank top the next. His was the kind of macho that never completely crossed the line of exasperating. In fact it only kept people guessing for more. His music, much like his clothes, is an assortment of all things hard and dreamy. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” one of the band’s greatest hits, remains to be an encapsulation of what Freddie Mercury himself stood for: a kind of rebellion. Sure he was a rock star that probably enjoyed his nights with all kinds of booze, but he too was the rock star that took pleasure in the company of men. He wore his jackets yellow, he wore his moustache proud and thick, but that didn’t mean he could not be as comfortable in just his jeans. He struck the balance between shocking and undamaging. And while his presence is missed both in the world of music and even in fashion, his death did not go in vain. His grandiosity amplified not only his music but also raised awareness about AIDS, emphasizing that music can go beyond its own borders. V. Perhaps a current list of music and style icons would be deemed incomplete without the name of this crazy/ beautiful woman on the list. From mere mortal to a divine being, Lady Gaga has truly ascended to immaculate superstar prominence.
Where does one even begin when describing Lady Gaga and her style? Bubble dress. Ribbon hair. Fishnet mask. Head-to-toe red lace. Kermit attire. Meat dress. Tiered cape. An egg. A male version of herself. The list seems endless, and the exciting part is, we never know what’s going to hit her (and us) next. Lady Gaga nails the meeting of the sensual and the violent, the beautiful and the ugly, the haunting and the hopeful. She is never below outrageous, be it from her songs that tell of a toxic romance, to her clothes that cover either all of her or nothing of her. Avant-garde would probably the closest thing to accurate to describe whatever it is she does, for certainly she is going out there to be noticed and to stand out. It’s hard to ignore her when her name is uttered by almost every other singer, radio station, and gay “monster” devotees. Her level of outlandish may have turned some off, but it has definitely made them aware. She is lovingly Mother Monster by her devout followers, and appropriately at that, for everything about this girl is monstrous in an absolutely delightful way. The unsightliness of her costumes is precisely what makes them attractive; they pull you in and they make you want to know more. Look closely and suddenly her weird, odd sky-high boots become symbolic of her rightly soar to fame, of her bizarre exquisiteness. For Lady Gaga, her clothes go hand in hand with her music, and her music accompanies her image. We can only be thankful that she was generous enough to grant us with her eccentric and bizarre presence. VI. They are just four of the many other influential musicians that have equally placed their mark on the world of style. While the bar on shock-value is getting set higher and higher as every new celebrity pops into the scene, the question on the emphasis of fashion also gets scrutinized. It seems that every singer these days has a certain image that they have to project and keep up with: Katy Perry and her bubblegum pop, Rihanna and her bad girl reputation, Taylor Swift and her girl-next-door vibe, Kanye West and his loud, obnoxious stance, the list goes on. We can credit it to the fact that these musicians have to have a stamp with which the audience can
identify themself. But because of the aggressive wanting to display a uniqueness, it loses its purpose. It’s as if each artist has to have their own style to “break the norm,” so much so that being exaggeratedly dressed has become the norm. Suddenly, it seems like the music does not matter so much anymore as the amount of weird things on your face. And with more minimalistic artists like Adele strongly speaking about music being only for the ears, it makes us wonder if musicians making statements through their wardrobe is still very much relevant. If you’re only letting the clothes do the talking, what does that say about your music? I suddenly remembered this line from One Tree Hill, something that Peyton said in the first season: “Just because I like the music doesn’t mean I have to paint my fingernails black.” True, our music icons have their individuality, their personality, and their characters that are revealed through their sense of style. They encourage us to welcome the different, to reject the boring. Their fashion can also be a means of reiterating this point. We all know that these clothes are more than just clothes; they are also a statement, much like how their lyrics are. But at the end of the day, we have to remember that they are musicians for a reason; and that is, they want to reach out to a far wider audience. I’d like to believe that their music, their style, and their legend statuses combined, when put together, should create something more than the sum of its parts. It is never just about the sequins or the meat dress – it is about why there are sequins and why there is a meat dress. These style changes are not about imposing only one way of dressing up, but rather making room for all the possibilities of being different and still being in harmony. It is about sending out a message, about bringing about a kind of collectiveness with the same people who share the same convictions. It is about making us feel that we are not alone, even when it’s just us and the song in our earphones, even if only the four walls of our bathroom can hear us singing. After all, if music is powerful enough to affect the senses, then it should be just as provoking to influence thought, and prevailing enough to make us come together, regardless of the wardrobe.
EDI T ORS’ PICK S
MAINE MANALANSAN, EIC Beirut’s The Rip Tide is an amazing album because of the wind instruments and Zach Condon’s distinct voice. It’s like your own personal marching band inside your brain trying to calm your nerves, bring out your suppressed emotions and inspire you to write a coming- of-age novel about the strange mix of solitude and revolution all at the same time.
SOMETIMES, YOUR FAVORITE ALBUM AND THE ALBUM YOU FORCE YOUR FRIENDS TO LISTEN TO ARE NEVER THE SAME. STACHE MAGAZINE’S EDITORS PICKS THE ALBUMS THAT EVERYONE SHOULD BE LISTENING TO.
ELLIE CENTENO, MARKETING DIRECTOR The Song Remains the Same is the live soundtrack of Led Zeppelin’s 1973 concert film recorded during their North American Tour. Being born decades too late, this album gives off a certain kind of nostalgia even if you weren’t there. If there was ever a band that reached musical perfection in an album, this would be it; plus it doesn’t hurt to indulge yourself on good ol’ classic rock.
JARED CARL MILLAN, ASSOCIATE EDITOR Following a breakup with a band and a girl, Justin Vernon retreated to a cabin in Wisconsin woods to heal a broken heart and a broken body—he was suffering from mononucleosis. What came out of it was a haunting record, beautiful in its state of vulnerability and honesty, recorded only with a few microphones and aged recording equipment. Bon Iver’s music is so distinct and beautiful that Kanye West considers it nothing short of spectacular.
LAMBERT CRUZ, MUSIC DIRECTOR Listen to this. Watch the Marley documentary. Then listen to it again. Confrontation with death from an uprising to unite brought Bob’s realization of soul satisfaction. This manifested his appreciation to everything and everyone and every day. It’s very inspiring.
JELITO DE LEON, SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER “Vice Verses” is Switchfoot’s latest album released last year and probably one of their best. This album is about the opposites of life; the songs have so much meaning in them that you have to give them a good listen to understand what the songs are really about.
ECKS ABITONA, FASHION DIRECTOR This 12-beat track by local artist and solo project of Bee Eyes’ lead guitarist—Idris Vicuña— will make you explore the strangeness and mysterious characteristics of your dreams, a nebulous and psychedelic trip which leaves you quite fulfilled and euphoric. His beats take you through the deepest recesses of nature and space wishing you had your camping boots or 3D glasses on.
MUSIC WEBSITES YOU SHOULD GO TO
MUSIC DISCOVERY JUST GOT A LOT EASIER. MAINE MANALANSAN, COCO MACEREN, ELISE MONTINOLA AND MILES MALFERRARI TALKS ABOUT THEIR FAVORITE MUSIC WEBSITES. PHOTO BY BEA FERNANDEZ
Type in xmusic.fm and tell me what you see. I’m pretty sure the conservative youth’s eyes would pop with such a banner: “Music to have sex to.” What? Everyone must’ve at least come across some really sexy music and think of twirly thoughts right? But anyway, at times wherein your hormones are just raging and all you really have are those twisty thoughts in your mind, might as well add some background music to it. I’m not telling you to go and pleasure yourself but I’m telling you to add drama to your thoughts. Add the music that it so desperately needs! XMUSIC. FM is a website solely dedicated to songs that (according to them) are the perfect background music when your sexy time is on. It’s not a porn site, but it’d definitely make you want to rape the repeat button. With music coming from indie to electro and to even mainstream artists, xmusic.fm is a channel for you to explore the music world. Explore what these artists have to offer, what goes beyond their auto-tuning and explore the music that not really everyone might appreciate. I highly doubt also that these songs were written to arouse the listener, but rather to give the listener a different experience with listening to this type of music. So go on, continue scanning through xmusic.fm and don’t get intimidated by its tagline, it’s a site dedicated for good music to play in your ears at the sexiest times.
The power of the social media is one we can never underestimate, especially nowadays where we see people posting almost everything online. From status updates, to cheeky hashtags, to homemade records and favorite mixed tapes. More and more people have begun to share their own favorite music to the world. People always say that they “discover” these new artists on the Internet by other people who post about them. One online blog takes it to the next level. Yvynyl (pronounced as ‘why-vynyl’) is not your ordinary music blog that talks about random artists and songs; the blog shares these songs with the world for people to listen (not download, listen) to. It focuses more on the experimental music, the new, together with the old and classy (from the name itself “vinyl” is one clue). The blog is a mix of music and videos and art. With every post you would always find a link or details to where you can buy the album or EP of the particular artist. Mark Schoneveld is the proud owner of this blog on the famous social media website called Tumblr. Aside from sharing music, he also shares his own work with music videos he himself created. If you want to check
them out for yourself just go to his blog!
Box of Wolves is a hybrid 90’s Summer Nostalgia/Chill-/Synthwave music project nursed by Canuck Gabriel Akinrinmade out of the whims of his sundry synth modulator experiments. Highly reminiscent of the sounds of Teen Daze, Com Truise, and Washed Out, Box of Wolves, even to bottom-tier music aficionados, runs like a non-obnoxious transcendental LSD alt-party set list. It’s equal parts chill, equal parts solid, thanks, in part, to the basic but grippingly steady beat. Gems from the Illusions LP include Wake Up, the crash of industrial waves spliced through rousing syncopated delay, Glitter Vision, the aural transcription of the perpetual glint in your eyes, complete with sensory warping evinced by the fading in, fading out, and To Want You, a composite of slippery smooth fuck yeah yeah yeahs. Check out the site for more slick beats, especially the newly released Occasion EP, and let the decade-season warp commence.
One Tree Hill has always been famous for their music. For the hardcore OTH fans, there will always be a time when you immediately associate a song to particular scene in the series and probably proceed to suffer a mini-nostalgia attack. From Le Tigre to The Replacements to Led Zeppelin, their songs serve as the soundtrack to the stories of Lucas Scott, Peyton Sawyer, Brooke Davis, Nathan Scott, Haley James and all the others living in the big, dramatic, tangled web of Tree Hill. The website was created to give the fans a Tric where they can listen to the songs used in the series. So far, the project is 18% finished with almost all of the tracks in seasons one and two.
A lot of low-profile celebrities try to give making song covers a shot but only a few succeed beautifully. Here comes indie folk band Fleet Foxes and their versions of viral songs (Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen), jukebox classics (I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston) and ultimate theme songs of internet trolling (Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley). The band has the ability to make almost any song hauntingly beautiful with their distinct sound and make any listener tear up at the most unexpected songs. On top of all these, download links are also available for each song so feel free to replace the original versions with these covers on your iTunes.
PLACES GOOD FOOD LOVES GOOD COMPANY A NOTE ON THE INCREDIBLY SATISFYING PAIR OF FOOD AND BEER. BY KATRINA EUSEBIO Personally, I think Filipinos grew up tasting mediocre food served in the typical beer houses of Manila. Far from when bars served finger food and average quality meals, today’s city is slowly being populated with pubs serving amazingly delicious pairs of food and drinks. Gone are the days when you had to eat dinner first before having a good drink with friends. In this generation where we want everything fast and instant, there’s no better way to please millenials like us than to bring the beauty of dine and wine together. Check out these hot spots to have your fill of delightful meals and brew.
If you’re tired of the loud and crazy noises of Manila’s urban scene, then Borough is your Friday night haven. With their shelves filled with a wide variety of beer and kitchen stocked with good food, it sure is the prime place for intimate gatherings and reunions with good old friends you haven’t talked to for a long time. Borough is uniquely named after the five boroughs in New York: Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. It offers Manila foodies with New York comfort food all day every day. And it is comfort for a reason. What better way to end a long tiring day than a good filling burger and great company? We had the All Beef Cheeseburger and BBQ Pulled Pork, both of which were greatly satisfying. The beef patty was huge, tasty and wasn’t salty and greasy like other burgers. They also presented their food uniquely (like the fries were served on a brown paper bag and the whole burger meal was placed on a wooden board), adding whimsy to the whole dining experience. Aside from huge and delicious burgers and sandwiches, they also serve beer, salads, appetizers, mains like pork, chicken and steak meals and a pleasing array of desserts from chewy fresh baked cookies to oven-baked cheesecakes. The prices are reasonable given how clean and modern the place is along with the quality of food and
drinks they serve. With P600, you could buy yourself a solid main dish and good beer at the side. The place was dimly lit and quite quiet considering it was supposed to be a watering hole of sorts. The floral seat covers confused me a bit as it contrasted with the solid teal walls and stiff choice of furniture. Address: Ground Floor, The Podium Mall, Ortigas Center, Pasig City Tel. No. 570-8906
It was intimidating to go into this place since it was really crowded from the outside. Nevertheless, we opted to try the place out. From the outside, the place looked like the typical upscale urban bar but as you enter the pub, you would notice how welldrafted—see what I did there—the interior design of the place was, as it showcased a marvelous blending of strong shades of dark brown wooden fixtures and furniture along with a beautiful touch of beer bottles all over the place. The bar was quiet during lunch hours but transformed into a packed watering hole by nighttime. What we really like about this place is their awesome Beer Sampler, which serves three beers and small food pieces to bite in between. This was great for us since we were beer virgins at the time. Home to well-known international drinks like Beck’s and Stella Artois, Draft is really a good place to dine and drink with your closest friends. Not only that, they take pride in the note-worthy Fish & Frites and huge Bleu Cheeseburger, both of which are scrumptious meals anyone would crave for. They also serve appetizers, pasta, mains, pies and desserts. For P700, you’d be happily full with their big servings and a drink of your choice. Address: Unit C, The Fort Entertainment Center, Bonifacio Global City Contact No.: 846.9725
“GONE ARE THE DAYS WHEN YOU HAD TO EAT DINNER FIRST BEFORE HAVING A GOOD DRINK WITH FRIENDS.”
SORRY COACHELLA AND LANEWAY BUT THIS IS THE BEST MUSIC FESTIVAL OF ALL TIME. OF ALL TIME! BY SARAH BUENDIA
Whenever we try to recall any pivotal moment in rock and roll history from the last 50 years, we would probably never be able to dissociate it with the image of the youngblood, feeling for the first time, what it’s like to live. Here, I am speaking from the perspective of our parents, and maybe of our grandparents, from whose generation we owe a lot of the pioneers of great music as we know it today. Their belief was simple, and it is by the two words that The Woodstock Festival held by. Peace and Music. The year was 1969—yes, kids, 1969—when over 500,000 people came over to a little town in New York to experience three days which promised anything and everything that involved these two things. Performers included some of the biggest names in rock and roll, including Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, The Who, and our favorite heroine Janis Joplin. Imagine that. Perhaps, to call it fun would be embarrassingly inadequate—to describe it as anything, even, would result only to feeble attempts to encapsulate what had taken place in those three days. Luckily for us, a talented team that included the highly respectable Martin Scorsese (as editor), was thoughtful enough to have captured that which may not be rightfully described in words. The result was a 3-hour documentary that included the highlights, the troubling rains, and everything in between. It did not only serve as a kind of memorabilia for those who were there or had lived during the time of Woodstock, but also as a gift to us, generations later, in order for us to see the kind of surrendering that had won wars, both in and out of oneself. I call it surrendering, as it was not just that the people in it fought relentlessly for the cause they fervently believed in. It was more that the festival symbolized a complete concession of oneself to music, trusting that it would bring everybody together in a moment of
unselfishness, allowing it to move them completely. More famous and more heavily-attended festivals have sprung up over the decades. There is of course, the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which provided for many of us not fortunate enough to afford time and tickets to go to California the wonders of live streaming, and which we have relentlessly talked about year after year. But Michael Wadleigh’s Woodstock remains relevant, and will most probably remain relevant for decades more, because it is perhaps the first, and the best, to exhibit the type of freedom we find ourselves foreign to these days. As more and more cultural events and changes happen, the farther away we become from experiencing a life devoid of many wants and needs. We become enslaved by the things we encounter, and by the pressure to always get our hands on something, afraid that we are always missing out. And while this isn’t necessarily a misfortune for our generations as it provides us with more opportunities and the maximization of our potentials, there is that state of being which we are missing out on. It is that state of being we get whenever we allow ourselves to forget everything else for a little while, and just enjoy the music. Surrender. There is, though, a reason behind why festivals are usually no longer than three days. Besides the financial reasons, most of us have to go back to fulfilling our roles as responsible members of society. Or, at least, as the Internet celebrities that some of us are. And as much as we wish these festivals last forever, we know that there are limitations to our freedom no matter how noble and nonthreatening our intentions are. But, once in a while, Woodstock reminds us that we still own this freedom. And that we can all afford to be back in 1969, lost within the sea of Peace and Music.
A STORM IS THREATENING DECEMBER 6, 1969: THE DAY THE SIXTIES DIED. GO ON A JOURNEY TO SEE HOW THE ROLLING STONES CONQUERED AN ERA AND SIMULTANEOUSLY HELPED USHER IN THE END OF A REVOLUTION, AS TOLD BY MAE PASCUAL
Against the glare of the spotlights, crowd hungry, stands The Rolling Stones—basking in their own magnitude, set to conquer the world of Rock ‘n Roll one stage at a time. “Gonna get us a little satisfaction”, sings Mick Jagger and fans scream bloody ecstasy, throwing themselves at the iconic rock god, wearing as he is forever emblazoned in our minds, the mad Uncle Sam hat of red, silver, and blue. He is energy personified, performing and hypnotizing as his hips move in time with the snare drums, as if he is connected by strings to the rhythm churned out by Keith Richards and Mick Taylor, by Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman, engulfing his entire being as he moves in and out of focus of the camera recording on film what is to be one of the last concerts of a leg doomed to tragedy. This is the beginning of Gimme Shelter, a documentary film named after the lead track off of the album, “Let It Bleed,” chronicling the last weeks of The Rolling Stones’ 1969 U.S. tour. Directed by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, the film is best known for capturing the ill-fated December 6, 1969 Altamont Free Concert which resulted in the death of 4 individuals and the injury of several others including Jefferson Airplane’s front man, Marty Balin. Included also in the film are scenes from the Madison Square Garden concert, as well as their photography session for the cover of their video concert album, Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out. But more than that, we are treated a backstage pass to the lives of The Stones on the road as they check into cheap motel rooms, guzzle booze like bottled Kool-Aid, and even get treated to a glimpse of the band working at Alabama’s famed Muscle Shoals Studio, recording “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses”. And then there’s Altamont. Of course, the film was never intended to serve as pallbearers for what the majority would deem as the death of a free-loving, Woodstock-borne era. It is important to take note that the film makers only intended to capture The Rolling Stones’ first U.S. tour after three years. But as circumstances would have it, the cameras were there to witness the unfolding of what was to be a free end-of-the-tour gig at the Altamont speedway in California turned into the end of the flower power youth counterculture as we know it. The climax of the movie, the real gut-wrenching kicker comes in the form of the parting of the crowds, the flash of a revolver in the hand of Meredith Hunter making a dash for the stage and in an eye’s blink, taken down by a Hell’s Angel. With one swift
move, life was snuffed out of Hunter with a knife to his back and is swept away by the off-camera darkness. Although gruesome and shocking, the disastrous turn of events was already evident, Death’s grin looming overhead even from the haphazard dealings for the concert venue, to “security” in the form of a notorious biker gang aptly called Hell’s Angels, paid in 500 dollars worth of beer. Add to that intoxicating mix free-flowing booze, acid trippers, and a discontented and agitated crowd and you’re sure onboard a speeding train to impending doom. With the Maysles brothers and Zwerin being proponents of the Direct Cinema movement wherein filn nakers take the reactive path and record events as they naturally unfold, the movie entails hand-held camera footagw making scenes shaky and ragged in most parts. The film also employs techniques from fictional films, using shots to shape events which explains the frequent intercutting of scenes and imprecise chronological sequence in the movie. Personally, I found the movie rough and lacking focus—forcing the metaphor of death as its narrative, giving away the ending even from the beginning of the film and rushing its “death of the 60s” theme. Although cinematography and editing-wise, it was rough and tumble due to its background with the Direct Cinema movement, I quite like it as it gave a more organic and grounded “I really was there” feel to it. But what stuck to me the most was the image of the band gathered around the Maysles’ editing console, watching the tragedy that failed to reach their eyes on that fateful night in Altamont. Arguably, the film would have just been another alternative to Woodstock with a violent aftermath if not for that scene. Gimme Shelter now becomes a commentary on itself, making it seem as if the concert footage, the happenings in Altamont were just a move within a movie, with the real movie set there in the witness of the editing bay, in Mick Jagger’s blank face betraying neither shock at the brutal way a fan was killed nearly before him nor relief that it did happen, maybe even sparing him his life had Hunter really planned ill with that revolver. Who knows? Only that scenes like this and the unbroken shot of the band listening to “Wild Horses” playing back: eerie, dreamlike, and odd, serve as a foreshadow, a premonition of the things yet to come and as a history lesson on American music culture. Welcome to the death of an era.
THE FILM WAS NEVER INTENDED TO SERVE AS PALLBEARERS FOR WHAT THE MAJORITY WOULD DEEM AS THE DEATH OF A FREELOVING, WOODSTOCK-BORNE
A, Z, AND THE WORDS IN-BETWEEN
AN UNASSUMING BOOK THAT BURNS BRIGHT ON THE THORNY PATH OF CREATION AND SUCCESS, DEBRA WEINSTEIN’S APPRENTICE TO THE FLOWER POET Z BARES A LOT ON THE COLLECTIVE SOUL OF THE WESTERN LITERARY SCENE. THOUGH YEARS PAST ITS PREMIERE, ELISE MONTINOLA STILL THINKS IT PERTINENT TO WRITE IT A LOVE ESSAY. Making its rounds in book sale bins everywhere, Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z is a footnote novel in terms of its plot skeleton, being yet another hyperrealist account of a wide-eyed girl trying to get by in the big city. It should not, however, be easily dismissed based on this fact, but instead wholly considered for its rough-around-the-edges charm, its brute undertones, and the sinewy narrative voice on which these two things rest. Looking deeper into its content, it is, essentially, fiction about poetry, about the impenetrably complicated poetic process and the cut-throat world of the poetry elite, laughably akin to the world of the fashion elite – a more intimate and Etsy-fied The Devil Wears Prada, if you will. The aforesaid voice is Annabelle’s, creative writing major and lower 99% occupier, whose words chronicle her descent into the world she fell feet-first in love with, in search of answers to the perennial what is poetry question, and en route in her journey to interning for the famed and decorated Flower Poet . Annabelle proves to be a good looking glass into this world as a vessel both verbose and empty; at 20 and on a scholarship to Columbia from a Long Island community college, she is barely half a person, only certain of her affinity for words. But this, for the time being, seems to be enough to breathe life into the little she has and to fuel her ambition to succeed, to stand out from a sea of sharks, but first, to impress Z at any cost. Upon and throughout contact, she maintains a strange dynamic with Z, who is, at best, an ambivalent aunt to her, one that
may have the propensity to overstep her boundaries during frequent bouts of figurative drunkenness. Poetry, ironically, seems to have hardened and mechanized Z, who, in the novel’s present, views all forms of life through a utilitarian lens, wary of all those gunning to usurp her throne. She overworks Annabelle to the grind, and whatever meat left on A’s bones is passed on to the rest of Z’s prodigy family whose side endeavors need cataloguing. But despite all this, Annabelle clings to the Flower Poet, whose title comes from her most potent figure of speech, even with the presence of a small cast of characters that remains close by. There is her true mentor, Arthur Feld, her old poetry professor who encouraged her to venture into the big world of Columbia and whose negligible literary status, warmth and praise of her make him the sweet, dependent loser-father she never had. There is also in-vogue experiment poet, Braun Brown, whose graduate class Annabelle audits and who advises her to beware the Flower Poet. And there is co-tryster and grad student Harry Banks, who, similar to her, is an assistant to a famous novelist and so suffers from the same abuses, although his manifests in his obsession over literally pressing his James Joyce-Nora fetish onto her in order to impel him to write. Annabelle bears all this unwaveringly as a true passive– masochist, letting people happen to her, perhaps to add more and more bricks to her experience so she can write herself endlessly. In this way, it becomes clear that she glosses over her life and hides behind her words to brave her truest intentions, producing beautiful and
“AT ITS BASEST, IT IS A BOOK ABOUT WORDS AND THE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES THAT AWAIT US WHEN WE ARRANGE, INTONATE, SYLLABIZE, CLEAVE, SATURATE, AND MISUSE THEM TO FIT INTO THE SPACES THAT ARE BARELY LEFT FOR US TO FILL”
seething poetry. It, however, begs the question: does one really have to choose between being poet and being a person? Apart from the specifics, Apprentice is about universals, about the different archetypal figures that don’t only grace the ]poetic field but appear in any kind of social hierarchy. Among them are the greying legend, the up-and-comer, and the struggling artist, who equally have their moments of genius and of contrivance, showing that it all boils down to what lengths one would go through in order to make it big. It’s about the inevitable disillusionment that comes upon contact with the people we’ve idealized from a far, about just how much a great can suck the life out of those who come in close contact, eager to learn, and about how apprentice, consumed by the delirium of having grown only to be used, tries to triumph over unruly master. But at its basest, it is a book about words and the infinite possibilities that await us when we arrange, intonate, syllabize, cleave,
saturate, and misuse them to fit into the spaces that are barely left for us to fill. And how each little shift can spell artificial, mechanical or truth, gut. It’s an insight into the course of creation and the lengths writers go through to shake and set inspiration out to paper, to be true to their quirks, to work their niches to death, to overcome their typecasts, to never reach the point of has-been, to scale the wall of never-was, and to finish that one thing that’s taken their whole lives to write. What, then, is poetry at the tail end of this book? The answer reveals itself simply, infinitely: poetry is the courage to spill our most primal feelings; poetry is the attempt to distill even just a drop of the monstrosity that is the world around us, inside us; poetry is every story we’ve heard before, told in a different way.
VIRAL INNER GODESS
IF YOU THINK YOU’VE SEEN THE WORST OF IT, THINK AGAIN. BRITISH AUTHOR E J JAMES REMINDS US ALL OVER AGAIN WHY WE HATE TWILIGHT AND WHY WE HAVE ALL THE RIGHT TO, WITH HER BOOK FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. BY ALVIN GREG MOLINA
People are very much on the bandwagon about the love story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele of 50 Shades of Grey, but not with unanimous reasons. It’s no doubt that the book has gone viral and won a lot of people’s attention in a very fast pace scale—most of them women, and most of them not at all what one considers “young.” Its rise to popularity is not unlike the path the Twilight books have taken, one which warrants every one’s genuine curiosity as to why almost everyone is talking about it. If it wasn’t because of my growing love for Stache and the ridiculous things I’ve heard about this book, I wouldn’t find myself perusing it with my time which could have been used more productively. Fifty Shades of Grey is not your ordinary boy meets girl story; it’s an erotic, BDSM novel written by the first time British author, E.L. James. As reported in Publisher’s Weekly, the book started as a Twilight fan fiction, then was made into a full-length novel with only the names changed from the original. That is the reason why the characters in her novel very much resemble those in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. In brief, James’ characters are ripped off. The story is written in the first person of Anastasia Steele, a doubtful literature student, who invents strange words and whose vocabulary seems to have run out in the book’s first few pages. She is drafted, as substitute of her sick roommate, Kate, to meet the rich, handsome, sexy, salacious, albeit not sparkling, young tycoon, Christian Grey, for their campus magazine. Anastasia is instantly smitten with Grey like most other girls in the book, but she finds him intimidating, arrogant, and referred him as control freak and leaves the interview believing it went badly. So she tries to put Christian out of her mind and thinks that that would be the last time they will ever see each other, until Christian Grey turns up at a hardware store where Anastasia works part-time. The innocent Anastasia Steele develops strong feelings towards Christian and he admits that he wants her as well, but on his own terms. They go through a passionate and daring affair—not to mention ridiculous, and unhealthy, and absurd, and unbelievable and funny for all the wrong reasons, among others. Having read books of different genres quite unlike 50 Shades of Grey, this is perhaps the first time I’ve read a book that blatantly depicts sexual intercourse, which are very much detailed
that instead of coming across as passionate or sensual or erotic, James has inexorably written a caricature of a novel. It failed as an erotica. It failed as a narrative. It failed as a literature. The author repeatedly uses curious descriptions and downright bad wordplay to paint us a picture. In terms of her protagonist, Anastasia Steele, she failed to create a strong female character with substance and depth. (In E J James’s defense, how can any one make a profound character that is patterned after Bella Swan?) Her narration is repetitive, tiresome, moronic, and Anastasia’s reiteration of her subconscious and inner goddess is downright foolish. It’s over the top and all over the place. Perhaps the only thing that I found unexpectedly amusing while reading the book was the exchange of emails between Christian and Anastasia: James, instead of showing us what her characters are like, she decides to tell us through their exchange. I may not be an expert when it comes to studying in-depth an author’s writing style, but comparing EL James’ books to Stephanie Mayer’s Twilight saga makes everything clear that there can be in this world novels that are far worse than stories about sparkling vampires. Stephanie Mayer is admittedly the superior writer—but not by much. E L James not only cannot write a good characters or good story, she simply cannot write. 5o Shades of Grey, for the people who has enjoyed it, is not unlike a guilty pleasure, which tells us a lot of things. And among these things are the question, “has our taste in literature has taken a turn for the worse?” As well as, “is our generation that moronic?” What is more peculiar about the craze of this book is that there are a lot of smart and educated women who enjoy similar books. For a novel which does not cultivate positive self-images about one’s self, one which promotes all the wrong virtues for women and men alike, it is easy to question why a legion of readers enjoy this kind of things. Relating the rapid viral spread the of inner goddess of this book to the world of health and science, most viral illnesses are self-limiting. That basically means that this book and the unhealthy phenomenon is has brought along, like any other poorly written books that has gained extremely fast attention and extremely huge following, will certainly run for only a definite limited course, and I cannot wait for that alleviation to come.
“INSTEAD OF COMING ACROSS AS PASSIONATE OR SENSUAL OR EROTIC, JAMES HAS INEXORABLY WRITTEN A CARICATURE OF A NOVEL”
THE RISE OF ZOMBIECORNS WHETHER YOU’RE A SUCKER FOR RAINBOW FLATULENCE OR RELENTLESS SHAMBLING, HOLLY BLACK AND JUSTINE LARBALESTIER HAS GOT YOU COVERED WITH AN ANTHOLOGY THAT DARES TO ASK THAT AGE OLD QUESTION OF WHICH CREATURE IS SUPREME. ZOMBIES VS. UNICORNS IS THE SOLUTION. BY MAE PASCUAL. PHOTO BY TIM LIM
It all started with a simple argument on a blog which sparked an overnight internet sensation. A thousand memes, countless comment floods, and even a few YouTube videos later, the question remains: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? This has got Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black duking it out (in literary form, nonetheless) for ultimate zombiecorn supremacy. Welcome to Zombies vs. Unicorns, the anthology. Twelve of the best names in Young Adult fiction today such as Cassandra Clare, Meg Cabot, Libba Bray, and Garth Nix take their sides and tag team in six short stories revolving around each mythical creature with Justine Larbalestier headlining the zombie camp and Holly Black taking charge of the unicorn herd. Commendable stories for Team Unicorn include: A Thousand Flowers, a haunting tale of a princess’ fate told in lovely, enchanting prose with a disturbing (although it depends on the reader) twist; Princess Prettypants, which tells us what happens when you take your regular run-of-the-mill rainbow farting unicorn and give it to an angst laden, jaded teenage girl; and Purity Test, the unlikely story of a unicorn and a drunk girl he found on a bench, out on a mission to save the magical world. For Team Zombie, must-reads are Love Will Tear Us Apart, a star-crossed tale of a boy zombie-boy love affair built on a mutual love for Joy Division. Has loads of musical references and will oddly leave you craving for Mac ‘n Cheese after. The Children of the Revolution on the other hand is your typical zombie horror story, with a tongue-in-cheek tale of how and where the zombie epidemic might start. And finally, Inoculata, the post-apocalyptic tale of what happens when the zees have taken over the world and there’s nothing left to do but surrender to their terrible end... Or not. The beauty of the anthology lies not only in the quality of all the stories included, be it of zombie or unicorn descent, but also in how these two creatures where breathed new life (no pun intended for the zombie camp!) in literary form. Beyond the surface level of trying to find out which mythical creature is better than the other, the underlying theme here is to actually grasp which of these creatures’ inherent characteristics best relate to the human aspect, all in the guise of man-eating, rainbow-farting, hilarious but well written and ultimately addictive creative prose.
And hilarious it is as what makes this book pop up from other anthologies is its wicked sense of humor deriving not only from the stories, but more so from the funny and downright comical running commentaries from Black and Larbalestier themselves. Found not only in the first few pages where they talk how the book came about, but also in the introductions of each story; having a go at each others’ preference (literary genre, beast, or otherwise), wit, and even their stomach’s constitution. As for the stories themselves, themes are quite varied, covering a wide range of genres that will leave the reader happy and satisfied, jumping from a serious heavy tale to a light and humorous satire with just a flip of a page. Same goes for the writing styles employed by the contributing writers, weaving ye olde medieval english or juxtaposing angst-laden teenage verse into thought-provoking prose. But most commendable about the whole is that it takes the pre-conceived, stereotypical notions of what we have of zombies and unicorns and flips it over our heads. The mish-mash of the familiar characteristics of these two creatures married with alien concepts, with respect to each, is a union made in literary heaven. Rampaging blood-thirsty unicorns or gay zombie love stories anyone? A zombie fiction fan myself, I expected to just skim past the unicorn stories, but getting egged on by Larbalestier and Black’s arguments, I succumbed and found myself actually enjoying the horned palfry stories (annoying though some of them are). There is a consistent quality in all the stories, leaving no duds in the bunch and imparting you with something to think afterwards. Although it is marketed for young adults, there is a lot of grim, gore, and profanity in the stories. But then again, what do you expect from a book with zombies in it? Unexpected, unconventional, and unrelenting; Zombies vs. Unicorns will have you challenging your beliefs of the allAmerican Kraft slice, cookie-cutter version of everyone’s favorite mythical beasts. Whether you’re Team Unicorn or Team Zombie, you’ll enjoy this good read and settle for yourself once and for all which of the two is ultimately better. So consult your cards, weigh your chances, and take your pick. Just be brave enough to choose the right side. As Justine Larbalestier puts it, “ZOMBIES!!!! (I win)”.
THE SOUND OF TIMES HAS DEFINITELY RESONATED FROM VINTAGE VINYL TO PRESENT-DAY PORTABLES. MARIELLE MISULA TRACES BACK HOW MUSIC PLAYERS CAME ABOUT, CHANGING THE WAY PEOPLE LISTEN TO THEIR LIFE ANTHEMS. ILLUSTRATION BY MARELLA RICKETTS
1877: Renowned inventor Thomas Edison created phonograph which enabled recording and playing back telephone messages. He successfully recorded “Mary Had a Little Lamb” after having machinist John Kruesi construct the basic design.
1904: French company Pathé Frères Company invented Tournaphone. It used discs playing at around 95 rpm from the inside of the disc outwards.
1887: German American Emile Berliner produced gramophone which used flat discs made of wax with a stylus vibrating from side to side. Berliner’s Gramophone Company also produced clockwork gramophones.
1900: Gramophone Company used Shellac for making flat discs playing at 78 revolutions per minute (rpm). Their surface was laced with slate to wear down the needles instead of the other way around.
1950s: New long playing records were in. 1950s and 1960s saw “High Fidelity” or “Hi-Fi”, a term pertaining to better sounding systems, according to the Museum of Technology.
1954: Radio company I.D.E.A. released the first portable transistor radio called Regency TR-1. It featured a gold dial for tuning radio stations and analog AM tuner. It came out in a variety of colors like white and lavender.
1962: Henry Kloss developed KLH Model 11, the first transistorized stereo system which ran on A/C power. It featured a record player, amplifier and two speakers which could be folded into a suitcase.
1965: Philips released the first ever compact cassette tape. It recorded up to 45 minutes of sound on single 1/8-inch tape. It was complemented with Philips’ battery-operated Carry-Corder 150 cassette which weighted over three pounds.
1984: Sony introduced the first ever portable digital music player with D-50 portable CD player. It was slightly larger than a CD case yet “the player offered all of the great audio quality that digital recordings had to offer”, according to website Technabob.
1998: Korean company SaeHan Information System made the groundbreaking MP3 player called MPMan. It allowed users to transfer high-quality digital music from computers to music players. It ran on rechargeable NiMH batteries and had 32MB of RAM.
2001: Apple released iPod, featuring a five GB hard drive that could store 1 000 songs. It stood out among the rest because of its sleek design and mechanical scrolling system. Apple released iTunes in 2003 to allow users purchase legal downloads.
2005-07: Players like iPod Video, Zen Vision, and iRiver successfully introduced video playbacks on their players a year after Archos’ failed attempts.
2004: The market saw the birth of Aiwa’s AZ-RS256 which could be slotted with a flash drive. Microsoft Zune, Archos, and Cowon also released their music players around this time.
2007: Apple released iPod Touch. Its fourth generation has features similar to iPhone like FaceTime and two cameras. It introduced the touch screen system for more advanced sound-tripping experience.
1979: Sony released TPS-L2 Walkman cassette player, its first self-contained portable music player. It featured a pair of portable, lightweight headphones and operated on AA batteries while measuring a tad bit bigger than a cassette tape.
1999: Sony released its first portable player, the Network Walkman. Compaq, meanwhile, produced the first hard-drive based mp3 player.
2004: iPod Nano took off from its predecessor, iPod Mini, and is now on its sixth version. It uses flash memory which can store as many as 1 000 songs.
2010: Sony released its digital musical players, the A, S, and E series. They come in 16Gb and 32GB versions and use flash-based video technology. Meanwhile, SanDisk released Sansa Clip which uses micro SD Card to store music. Sansa updated its music players with more storage space in 2011.
Information gotten from Museum of Technology website, TechnaBob, BBC, SanDisk website
Leading in an entirely different and fresh way of brightening up your rainy season wardrobe, white-on white layers puts a new spin on monochromatic dressing. Established by distinct tastemakers and designers like Stella McCartney, Rachel Roy, Alexander Wang and Diane Von Furstenberg, white is the color of the season. White’s simple elegance when paired and styled properly can easily transcend to sophistication. The ‘12/’13 runway produced an abundance of lightweight to sheer fabrics of layers of white. The beauty of all-white looks is that one need little in the way of accessories. Keeping it clean and minimalistic embellishes the overall effect without detracting from it. As one of the trickier looks this season, wearing white all over requires not only simplicity and purity but also absolute confidence.
ST YLE GUIDE BY ECKS ABITONA
SNEAKER WEDGE Leave it to the queen of reinvention, Isabel Marant to redefine the sneaker. Her very famous willow wedge high tops sold instantly after she showcased it last Spring. Sneaker wedges: the very name can send shivers down even the most fashionably adventurousâ€™ spines. Many had their doubts on this look seemingly because this might offer a rare chance to be chic. Having perpetually worn by famous actresses and models and the added advantage of a leg-lengthening effect not to mention the comfort, this suddenly became a must have in your closet. Fashion and ease are two of the defining characters of this accessory. Ever since the release of Marantâ€™s wedges, Topshop, Asos, Nike and Converse released their own takes on this trend giving fashion leaders and followers a wide variety of selections. The hybrid is both fashionable and functional, with chunky heels built into the sporty look that one can wear on ever-relevant situations like getting coffee, grocery shopping, dog-walking and running errands. This is the one piece that does all the hard work while keeping you looking comfortable and effortlessly chic.
HIGH SCHOOL JUST GOT AWKWARD. EVERYONE DREAMS OF A PERFECT HIGH SCHOOL MEMORY. THE PERFECT LOVER, THE PERFECT GRADES, THE PERFECT FRIENDS. HOWEVER FOR ONE GIRL, IT’S AN ALTOGETHER DIFFERENT STORY, AND COCO MACEREN TAKES US DEEPER INTO THIS.
Being suicidal because of hate mail isn’t awkward but people thinking that you are suicidal (when you really aren’t), is. Falling for the school heartthrob isn’t awkward but having sex and having your relationship kept secret is. Having one guy fall for you isn’t awkward at all, but having his best friend fall for you at the same time is. These are the reasons why a lot is caught up with the awkward craze. How can a girl whose only plan in high school was to be herself and stay that way, suddenly skyrocket to fame? Not to mention, fame that was brought about by a series of unfortunate events. Thought about by the creative minds of Remote and MTV Productions, Awkward has got a fan base of people wanting and craving for more action. With all the drama and awkwardness high school shares, it’s no wonder why this show became an instant hit. Creator Lauren Iungerich, an academy award-winning producer, states that creating Awkward was just really a combination of her personal life, her imagination and what’s really going on with the youth today. With the medicated generation of youngsters, she wanted to produce a show that was going to portray what it is to actually be a teenager, may it be with the troubles of beauty, weight, relationships, friends and family. Ashley Rickards, you may remember her from some episodes of One Tree Hill, Entourage and CSI:NY, comes to play the star of the show, Jenna Hamilton, the awkward teen that everybody seems to love and hate. She’s not the typical geeky lanky girl that had to undergo a make-over to get noticed, but rather she had to undergo a bathroom incident with a hair dryer, some pills and hate mail to get the attention. She obviously isn’t living the teen dream. Witty and smart, Ashley plays Jenna flawlessly with just the right amount of feistiness
and the confusion only a teen may possess. Her first love interest, Matty McKibben played by Beau Mirchoff, is the high school heartthrob that every girl wanted to date and every boy wants to become. Matty is portrayed to be somewhat dumb but sweet teenage boy. Though he may want to hide Jenna from the prying stares of their fellow peers, he still commits to seeing her regularly and obviously, Jenna loved that. Beau stuns the audience with his good looks and charm that can sweep any girl off their feet, but is it really him that captures Jenna’s heart or is it the second love interest, Jake? Jake Rosatti, played by Brett Davern, is Matty’s best friend. He eventually falls for Jenna alongside Matty. You know that boy you can just run to when you’ve got problems? That’s what Jake is. He’s the sweet boy-next-door type of guy with a very clueless aura. Brett’s physical sweetness and his puppy like appearance seemed to capture not only Jenna’s eyes but the eyes of the audience as well. As teams start forming on whether or not it’d be Jake or Matty for Jenna, a teenage drama cannot go without a crazy queen bee keeping the social hierarchy. Molly Tarlov plays Sadie Saxton, the sadistic head cheerleader whose sole purpose is to maintain the status quo of high school. She’s the sadistic queen bee and head cheerleader of Jenna’s high school. Oh did I mention? She’s a plump girl… awkward? This show will give you an escape from the reality you live in and a remedy to your (maybe) uneventful life. If you’re into reminiscing your high school life and wanting to be in the know with the medicated youth, the witty dialogue of the show and the sappy romance will surely get you hooked. Not to mention amazing music tends to play in the background once in a while.
THE GIRLS ARE NOT ALRIGHT
HBO’S NEW SHOW GIRLS HAS BEEN MAKING ALL THE RIGHT NOISES AND FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS. JARED CARL MILLAN TELLS US WHY THIS NEW SHOW HAS TAKEN EVERYBODY BY STORM.
If there is one invaluable thing HBO offers its original series it is creative freedom; think Sex and the City and Entourage and True Blood. If one thinks about it the common denominator of all these shows, and most others under HBO’s list of past and present and future programs, is their raw and somewhat uncompromising nature. And with Girls it is exactly that kind of freedom that makes the show brilliant—equal parts of brutal honesty, obdurate sexuality, and painful comedy. Its premise is nothing short of ordinary: some number of independent—a word that is in the purpose of this article used very lightly—twenty-somethings in one city or another trying and failing and learning to stand on their two feet. A formula so hackneyed that if one pursues the discourse one would find in the history of television some many dozen programs that
have worked with a variation of the premise. Let us discuss the formula. The girls. Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham—Girls’ creator, director, writer, co-executive producer, executive producer), the show’s heroine with all the wrong virtues, is an aspiring twenty-something writer. Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams) is Hannah’s serious and somewhat uptight best friend and roommate. Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet) is a student at New York University, an ebullient and virginal young lady whose sensibilities seem to have come from a commonplace girls’ magazine. Then we have Shoshanna’s British cousin and roommate, Jessa Johansson (Jemima Kirke), a capricious traveler who comes back to the big apple at the beginning of the series.
The city. New York City’s grandeur begins first at the mind, an appeal we acquire, like most others, from something read or heard or watched about New York, and it is exactly that fantastic notion that draws people from all over the world into the city. “New York is…for only the very rich and the very poor,” Joan Didion once said. “[It] is also, at least for those of us who came [to New York] from somewhere else, a city for only the very young.” And it is precisely this reason why New York City serves as the perfect backdrop for Girls; it is a city in which one’s dreams can be found just around the corner, down some street, or some borough, always visible, reachable. Whether or not this is true, whether or not these young people really do see that light, is only a sentimental notion. All we ever learned about New York taught us that everything is possible in that city, the future is bright, we have all the time in the world to become what we want to be. I suspect this is one of the reasons, if not the reason, why instead of Chicago or Los Angeles or London or Berlin, the story is set in New York. The meat of Girls is of course the ways by which these girls try to live, the choices with which they try to live it, the honesty through which they portray it. There are throughout the series three scenes that I consider nothing short of spectacular among many others. In the pilot episode, a drugged up Hannah storms into her parents’ hotel room and implores them not to cut her off financially; she is in the process of writing a memoir and she would not be able to finish her book without their help. After all, she thinks she is “the voice of my generation.” Then she corrects herself saying that perhaps she is only “a voice of a generation.” At some point or another we have all fancied ourselves the voices or our generations, but we are wise enough not delude ourselves that perhaps we really are that voice, and Hannah recognizes this; she might perhaps be the voice, but she knows that she can’t be that just yet and she admits it. The second scene takes place outside the apartment of the
uncharismatic guy Hannah is seeing. Upset, she goes on to tell him off, “I don’t even want a boyfriend. I just want someone who wants to hang out all the time, and thinks I’m the best person in the world, and wants to have sex with only me.” At the end of her rambling speech about the vices of their relationship, they make out and have sex—something the best and the worst of us have at some point in our lives done. (How many of us have fallen victim to that kind of a lover’s trap time and again?) The third scene happens towards the end of the season: Hannah and Marnie have a shouting match at the end of episode 9 and seem forever irreconcilable, but come episode 10 they’re friends again, kissed and made up off screen. Their friendship runs deep, something we get to see throughout the season, and a disagreement is barely sufficient to ruin that. In Friends, when Rachel and Monica had a falling out, it took them three episodes to realize that they value their friendship. In Gossip Girl how many dozens of episodes have the writers wasted trying to pit Serena against Blair? In brief, Girls is a show about the girls we know, about our real life Hannahs and Marnies and Jessas and Shoshannas. How many times have a friend pop up in our head as we see their lives portrayed by equally clueless twenty-somethings? We watch Girls because we want to see our lives played out before our eyes with a narrative we can follow, a narrative we understand. Critics lauded the show for its “raw nature, humor, and refreshing tone,” and because precisely of its raw nature, humor and refreshing tone there are some people who refuse to join the bandwagon, and their reasons for dislike is not entirely unfounded: These girls can be downright stupid and harrowing and unlikeable in more ways than one, and some people simply cannot put up with that. But let me ask this: when has it ever been easy for any of us to accept what we really are and who we really are through ours and other’s eyes?
MIKE ROSS R EVERYTHING
(OR WHY YOU S WATCHING S
EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER COME T DROP IT, BECAUSE USA’S SUITS IS M TELLS US WHY THESE NEW LA
I hate Mike Ross. Sure, he’s a nice guy. He loves his grandmother dearly, he always looks out for others, and he rides a bike to work. He seems like the kind of boy one would gravitate towards when one is in such a hostile environment such as a law firm. He stands up for you, he sticks by you, and he always tries to consider other people’s feelings before his. And to be honest, it doesn’t hurt to look at his face, too—it doesn’t, it really doesn’t. But in the last three months since law school started, I realized I hate him. Not because he is always in a suit, not because he is living the life we can all only hope for right now, and not because of some choice he made at the expense of a really pretty girl. It’s because Mike Ross has eidetic memory. And I don’t. In the midst of trying to remember Constitutional provisions and memorizing crimes punished by prision correcional, I remember Mike Ross and his crazy memory and I cannot help but think to myself, “That lucky bastard.” He gets to work at one of the most prestigious law firms in New York with no less than the best lawyers (and the prettiest paralegals and secretaries), with nothing, and I mean nothing, other than his skill of remembering everything. No, not even a diploma from Harvard Law from which he claims to have graduated or any other law school or college. I can barely remember facts long enough to say them right for recitation. But my hate for Mike Ross and his photographic memory notwithstanding, Suits is always a welcome distraction. Despite being in itself a show that features such a stressful and high-strung environment, it is the kind of show you would want to watch at night after a hard day’s work, because it trims down the drama and converts it to substance—much like an actual day at work, really, but minus the hysterics. Suits, unlike most other lawyer drama shows, is probably one of the few (if not the only) shows that features a corporate law firm. This means no bodies found in the dead of the night at some dark alley, and no woman crying in halfanguish and half-embarrassment as she decides she will sue her ex-fiance for breach of promise to marry. This also means there are not that many scenes in the court room with lawyers giving big, grand closing arguments to a jury who look like they will believe anyone who musters enough lines with dramatic pauses. No, Suits is not that. Suits is Harvey Specter, possibly the best (and not to mention, most dashing) lawyer in New York City, telling Mike to learn how, instead of going to trial, to settle. Suits is Louis Litt terrorizing young associates into doing their research and their briefs right, all the while figuring out which boss’ ass to kiss. Suits is about losing in housing court the first time you go to trial, ever. Suits is realizing that /August 2012
REMEMBERS G YOU DON’T
SHOULD START SUITS NOW)
TO ASSOCIATE WITH A LEGAL DRAMA, MORE THAN THAT. KARLA BERNARDO AWYERS ARE WORTH A SHOT.
it’s not just the lawyers who make the firm; it’s the secretaries too (we’re looking at you, Donna). Suits is trying to hold back feelings for that hot paralegal Rachel because it’s just not the right time yet. Suits is about what loyalty really is. Suits is about overturning the stereotype of TV lawyers just always being monotonous, melodramatic and theatrical. No, there are other things that lawyers have to deal with too—hotel mergers, stocks, intellectual property, health care benefits. But for a show that features a firm dealing mostly with corporations rather than people, it surprisingly brings out the excitement and anxiety of not only the lives inside the firm and what they do, but also the lives of these people outside of it. Stakes are higher because principles are more at risk. And perhaps this is what we all need to learn along with Mike Ross. It is hard to separate feelings from a lot of things, especially work. There will always be times when our logic won’t seem to make as much sense as our emotions do, and it will be difficult. But you cannot let them get in the way, especially when it’s not only your ass on the line but other people’s too. Good intentions and good faith can only take you so far—but to get to the answers you have to look hard enough for them, even if it means taking off your rose-colored glasses, even if it means accepting that feeling right is not the same as being right, even if it means letting go of what you want. I may hate Mike Ross and his ability to remember every minute detail that enters his realm of consciousness, but at the end of the day, aren’t we all a little like him, pretending to know our way in the big, bad world? We’re all still learning. We’re all holding on to what we do know and what we do remember so we can move along. We’re all still trying to shed the kid in us as we struggle with grown-up suits and corporate conferences. In many ways, it is comforting to see someone like Mike, a neophyte like the rest of us, trying his best to just get through the day— sometimes succeeding, but most of the time with no idea how to. After all, if there’s anything to take away from Mike being Harvey Specter’s associate, it’s this: we’re all going to get there. We just got to want it enough. And hey, at least, we can all take comfort in the fact that unlike Mike, we’re not pretending we went to college. We’re actually studying for a diploma and working our asses off and not asking someone else to take tests for us. Mike Ross can have the eidetic memory all to himself – I’ll let my actual law school knowledge back me up instead. More reason to hit the books, then.
LYCANTHROPIC IN THE BREW OF POP-CULTURE PLUS THE MYTHOLOGY OF VAMPIRES AND WEREWOLVES, THERE ARE ONLY THE GOOD AND THE BAD. HERE’S WHY TEEN WOLF BELONGS TO THE FORMER. BY JARED CARL MILLAN
In 1985 when Rod Daniels’s Teen Wolf premiered, he might not have thought that twenty-six years into the future his film will undergo such a massive overhaul and will take a path entirely of its own. No one also would have thought that a television series adaptation of a mediocre 80’s teen comedy film would be anything short of mediocre: the capitalization of the werewolf and vampire mythology was at its peak, there already were too much films and books and television shows about it, and honestly speaking nobody wanted to do anything with the overused genre anymore. But in the mix of many stones the real gem shines above the rest. The fact that the show was produced by MTV did not help matters, of course, but contrary to popular belief MTV has the ability to create great shows, although admittedly they have had more misses than hits in the many past years. Think of Beavis and Butthead. Daria. Those were and are great shows; they understand and sympathize with the generation and the pop-culture of their time, and MTV has an aptitude for that: when reality television was at its peak, they rode it as it crested—and they still do, even if that crest is no longer as high as it once was. They produced Laguna Beach and Newport Harbor and The Hills and The City and Jersey Shore and Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant and if you think it pertinent to the discussion, I can go on. When MTV realized that they cannot live off reality TV alone, and with the main thing that people come to MTV for in the first place—which is music—not being able to drag people in, they decided to produce scripted programs again, which bore great fruits, among them Awkward and Teen Wolf. What MTV did with Teen Wolf is that they cashed in on the vampires and werewolves phenomenon and took only the rudiments for the narrative.
The first season of Teen Wolf tells the story of the nondescript teenager Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) who suffers from asthma, plays second-line in their high school’s lacrosse team (which is to say, he plays for the team only in theory), and isn’t exactly the brightest crayon in the box. Scott and his best friend Stiles Stillinski, portrayed by the brilliant Dylan O’Brien, go to the woods one night to snoop around the latest evidence to have come up from the recent town murder. As he leaves the forest an unknown animal attacks him. The next day he develops heighted senses, super strength and speed and healing. He is now a werewolf. Throughout the first season he tries to find a cure for the bite, dates the head werewolf hunter’s daughter (Crystal Reed), deals with captain of the lacrosse team (Colton Haynes) and his desire to be a werewolf himself, hears about Stiles’s never ending rant about his crush Lydia (Holland Roden), and lets Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin) control his werewolf urges. What makes Teen Wolf great is that Jeff Davis (the same executive producer who brought us Criminal Minds) knows what the show is and what it is not and simply tries to tell a great story. In brief, Teen Wolf is a humble show that does not bite more than it can chew and works with what they have and wishes for what they do not. One will not be unable to sense how the show seems to be finding its footing in the first season; as through they are walking on eggshells and testing the waters, the show tries to understand how to pull people in and how to give them what they want—among these things: gratuitous display of naked torsos, a flawless cast (even recurring characters are beautiful), and brilliant humor—all the while maintaining the qualities of a good show. When season two aired June of this year, Teen Wolf came
back more sure-footed, with the creative direction mapped out and audience more established. Upping the ante further, the show returned with vengeance. It became equal parts slasher, romance, comedy, and suspense all in perfect balance. The story has more narrative drive, more mythical creatures, more werewolves, more naked bodies, all the while not losing for a single moment the show’s enduring humility. And they are greatly rewarded for it: Teen Wolf has one of the most passionate, most enthusiastic fan bases in television today, and in San Diego Comic Con last July the show was renewed for 24 episodes instead of the current 12 episode format. Teen Wolf is one of the best television series aimed for teenagers in the past few years, and with the how great the show is doing thus far I cannot see it going anywhere else but up.
20 LOCAL TRACKS YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO BY ELLIE CENTENO AND LAMBERT CRUZ PHOTOS FROM THEIR WEBSITES
Underneath the media blanket, there is a deeper sound in Manila that needs to be uncovered - music made with skill, passion and creativity. There is so much talent in the country aside from yours and your wife’s valentine’s concerts, those which should be exposed as much, if not more—play it on the radio and the music tv channels, create more concerts. So, instead of fangirling over someone whose claim to fame is a rendition of a cover of another cover, here are just a few of the OPM you should try. Yes. They’re all local.
1. ARIGATO, HATO! – CITY SLEEPING, YOU ARE CUTE It’s that really short moment when you take a peek at the window late at night while the city’s asleep, just right before you snuggle with your partner, appreciating and being thankful for everything in those few seconds. Who else would have done it better than Gato and the rest of the animals? 2. BIG HAT GANG – FRIDAY HANG (H.E.I.L.) A mindfuck. It starts off with a tease and you think you’re just about to like it when the suggestive lines convince you right away to do so. Steady hiphop on a lazy sundown weekend. 3. EGGBOY - STRANGE ODYSSEY This is another world of the beat genius and revolutionary artist Diego Mapa (Cambio, Dayuhan, Monsterbot, Pedicab and Tarsius). A home recording stint turned hobby that ended in 2005. He teased us again with a track in 09, and this in 2010. It’s been two years Eggboy. We’re clamoring for more! 4. J-HOON FEAT. PHATKHAT – REMEMBER THE DAYS Yes! Bring back that old school backyard /poolside hiphop. J-Hoon and his project, Noodles. Now making his own beats and bringing out his own sound. Album will be available in vinyl really soon. Deeper Manila. 5. LOVE IN ATHENS – SOFT PINNACLES So we hear this is just a prelude to the new sound of Francis Maria Regalado and we already thought it was mind blowing. We’re excited for the album! Set to be released this month! Let’s go Numberline! 6. MY PARASOL – SPACETALK We’re no believers of long distance relationships, but this might just make you hold on to it a bit longer. And that giggle, it just gets us all the time. What’s cool about these guys is they’re literally giving you the song and make it yours. The track stems are available for download so you can take a shot at remixing the track. So, what you got?
the audio inserts holds you there. Wow! 11. OUTCASTS OF THE UNIVERSE – ONE LITTLE BOMB Close your eyes and visualize. Focus on the instruments and let it take you where it wants to. Relax and let go. That’s most likely the reason why the anonymity advocates wear masks during live sets. They want you to listen. They want you to experience their music. Feel it. Don’t see. If you really do want to see, see by listening. 12. PINOY STORIES – ALAMANTRA After years of making music, differences forced them to stop and leave songs afloat. Realizing the similarities of passion for their music, they’re back and ready to attack! 13. WALLSTER - SAID AND DONE Psychedelic Beck-ish pulsating and repetitive bliss makes it a catchy tune! 14. RH XANDERS - PADMINI DHOOP I feel like I’m about to be part of the Danny Ocean crew until the melody messes up beautifully and then you know you’re in for an eargasm. But you don’t, because it doesn’t hit the 2 minute mark. So put it on repeat. And then some. 15. SPAZZKID – RIGHT NOW Can we take this off the list? We feel like we just want to keep this flirty track all to ourselves. No, really. 16. THE TREBINKA LOVE SCENE – NICE TRY, SUNSHINE Francis and Francis are back writing more songs about love, sex, and lack of intimacy. It’s quite refreshing to hear this indie/ sunshine/pop but a 2 minute shy track. 17. TRAVELATOR – MEDICATION Here’s the former frontman of Boy Elroy going solo. Conrad Javier is the Travelator.
7. MONICA BAUTISTA – FIVE IN THE AFTERNOON To every gametophobic man, don’t you just wish she’d give you more time and sing you this song? Or not, if her voice is far from Monica’s.
18. TARSIUS – DEATHLESS GODS Yes, we’re still quite in the hangover of Ang Nawawala and Ang Nagwawala. But the movie and the party is not why we’re sure that this is going to be big. We know what talent the guys behind Tarsius have. So dust your players because the album’s on fashion green vinyl!
8. MULTO – HALLELUJAH AND ALL THOSE THINGS I’m really clueless on how to feel about the song. It sounds very nice and dreamy and hopeful. But I just can’t fully understand the lyrics. I hope Alan posts it real soon. Just so I know where to position myself every time I listen to the track.
19. DR. STRANGELUV – AIGHT MA Sissypuss. You just gotta say it again. Folk sounding bum associates El Scum and Grandioso makes you feel like you’re in an indie movie, although it was a riot having these guys at the show. Aight Ma’!
9. MAYO BALUYUT – GO WATCH YOURSELF A reminder from an older brother.
20. YOLANDA MOON – PATH Saw them start a Terno X Jam 88.3 gig and had no idea who they were. The keys played and the beats started and Cholo Hermosa’s voice mixed everything together. These guys know what they’re doing. And they know they’re doing great. An instant favorite.
10. MODULOGEEK – AN ANDROID’S LAMENT My fascination for this song has never diminished from the very first time I’ve listened to it. The patterned glitches hammering onto the beats gets your head bobbing, the melody keeps you afloat while
AMBIVALENCE BY PATRICK GUILLERMO
NUDE PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRU CAMARA STYLING BY NEAL CORPUS MODELLING BY ALTHEA NICOLAS
Bel-Air Maritime Photographer: Domenico Petralia Assistant: Giorgio Fata Art direction: Joanna Gyamera Stylist: Irene Zucchiatti Hair & Makeup: Elisa Mazzei Model: Gerta Satkeviciute of Mpmanagement (Milano) Production: Passepartout4uItalia
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Blue dress by NAâ€™AT Shoes by Bata Necklace by Accessorize White bracelet by Coccinelle Gold bracelet by Liu Jo / H&M Earrings by Govoni Gioielli
Blue dress by NAâ€™AT Shoes by Bata Necklace by Accessorize White bracelet by Coccinelle Gold bracelet by Liu Jo / H&M Earrings by Govoni Gioielli
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Gospel Decay PHOTOGRAPHY: ADRIAN GONZALES STYLING: ARGIE SALANGO HAIR: ADAM SETH TEH MAKE UP: ANTON PATDU MODEL: FREDDIE ABRAHAMS OF ELITE MODEL MANAGEMENT MANILA
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WORDS AND PHOTO
water e Rock rry
OS BY NEIL CRAVER
â€œNothing can exist without the photon, and every aspect is controlled by its usageâ€?
â€œRemember where you come from, but more importantly remember what you are....waterâ€?
“Water can be any form, but at the same time it’s formless.Like our soul, it can Purify and the same time it can contaminate”
â€œOnce the excavation is started, the illumination of the self imposed restrains of values, ideas, and moral codes will dissolveâ€?
â€œThink about the salvia beneath your tongue could have flooded a valley of dinosa
saurs, been the urine of Jesus Christ, or the liquid contents of a dragon fly’s eye”
â€œOnce the excavation is started, the illumination of the self imposed restrains of values, ideas, and moral codes will dissolveâ€?
“So one must dive into the cloudy placid waters of the subconscious world to uncover a linkage between the conscious and the subconscious mind”
MUSIC X FASHION
FASHION EDITOR ECKS ABITONA AND ELLIE CENTENO SHOWS US HOW TO DRESS LIKE SOME OF THE MOST INTERESTING (FASHION-WISE) MUSICAL ACTS TODAY WITHOUT GOING ALL LADY GAGA IN PUBLIC. DISCLAIMER: PHOTOS ARE TAKEN FROM ALL OVER THE INTERNET. IF YOU WANT YOURS DOWN, LET US KNOW.
tyler the creator
DO YOU HAVE ANY PHOTOS, ILLUSTRATIONS, ESSAYS, POEMS OR SONGS TO SHARE? Send them over to email@example.com
A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRIP LOW LEAF MOVES UP TO A DIFFERENT KIND OF HIGH AS SHE RETURNS TO MANILA TO SPREAD HER MUSIC, SHARE THE LOVE AND IMMERSE HERSELF IN THE FILIPINO MUSIC SCENE. BY ELLIE CENTENO PHOTOGRAPHED BY JELITO DE LEON
Having proclaimed to have fallen from an island in the sky to spread love and inspire people to raise consciousness, Low Leaf is a musical force to be reckoned with. While her music gives off a series of beats harmoniously blending with a voice that simulates a sort of a transcendence of the soul, meeting her in person was an entirely different experience. A fullblooded Filipina raised in LA, she visited the homeland June of this year, and we managed to sit down with her for a few hours and talk about her music, her life in California and everything else. Low Leaf is a multi-talented musical vessel who sings, raps, makes beats, and plays different instruments—at times, simultaneously—and lives by the idea that “every day is a new song.” Having discovered the magic of music at an early age, Low Leaf says, “[music] lit up my soul and would make me want to dance, and that was always my favourite thing because it made me go to places within myself.” Now that she’s making her own music, she feels as if she’s just paying her dues. Low Leaf grew up listening to the likes of Erykah
Badu, Jimi Hendrix, Lauryn Hill, Aaliyah, Bjork, and old RnB boy bands and got introduced to The Cure, The Beatles and Sergio Mendes by her father. Other than that, her father introduced her to the world of bossa nova and got her started in songwriting. Her parents got her started with lessons in piano and was classically trained for fifteen years when she decided to branch out to other instruments. “Piano was my main focus, but I just found myself attracted to different instruments, so I kind of taught myself how to play the guitar. And I just always found myself around different kinds of music. At some point I wanted to incorporate the harp with my beats for sampling and I was just like, ‘Whoa! I can play this thing!’ so I just started to write songs and played the harp by ear. I just tried to put things together. I wasn’t trained professionally to multitask on instruments, but I was actually bored at work in a recording studio in LA called East West one day and tried it for fun. I try to play whatever works. I’ve messed around with the cello for a time, too. I just like to mess around with music and find my niche.”
“IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE WAY THAT TREES GROW, THEN YOU UNDERSTAND THE WAY OF LIFE,YOU UNDERSTAND THE WAY YOU ARE MEANT TO EVOLVE.”
Low Leaf takes her real name ‘Angelica’ to heart and calls herself a messenger in charge of “spreading the light.” When asked why she decided to call herself ‘Low Leaf’ she says, “if you understand the way that trees grow, then you understand the way of life, you understand the way you are meant to evolve. I’m constantly evolving like an ever-changing creature, so you know how seasons pass and leaves fall but new ones are regrown? You still keep yourself rooted. A tree doesn’t try to be more than what it is, [which is] a tree. The symbol of the leaf is that and plus, I like to keep things low-key, you gotta stay humble no matter what.” Having spent most of her life in LA, she’s been immersed in the diverse California culture. She says that there is a lot of innovative electronic music, especially with the particular group of people she’s working with at the moment. The talent in the electronic beats scene in LA is as potent as ever and it just keeps growing. She’s constantly surrounded by a creative bunch of people, and they all just push each other towards their dream, which is just to make music and to spread it. She hasn’t quite forgotten about the Filipino talent, however. In fact, she’s very proud of her heritage and constantly mentions how talented Filipinos are. “It’s just a matter of time before the world hears our song because personally, I haven’t quite heard that Filipino sound just yet. You know how with every country, you kind of have an idea of what their sound is but with ours, it hasn’t quite come out yet. It’s up to our generation to just pull it out from our ancestors and everything that’s in the history of our blood. The Filipinos are so, so talented. We’ll get there.” On a normal day, Low Leaf wakes up and never forgets to give thanks first thing in the morning. She men-
tions quite a number of times to always count your blessings because when you do, they multiply. “Meditate and just get in that space, that peaceful place within [yourself] and just bring it around [with you] wherever you go. Always spread the light,” she adds. For her, the concept of time doesn’t exist; she likes to let things happen at their own pace. With her music, Low Leaf tries to keep her songs as honest and as pure as to the message she’s trying to send to other people. “I want to spark something new to whoever may be receiving my sound.” She wants it also to be a visual experience, and take people with her to places they’ve never been to. She has recently released an EP entitled “Giga Gaia” which is composed mostly of electronic compositions, and a slight branch-out from what she’s done before with her song writing. ‘Giga’ represents the technical side of things as ‘Gaia’ is for the earth. She’s always thought of combining those two different and distinct elements and finally brought them together in the EP. Low Leaf’s music is the kind that’s very difficult to put inside a box and classify. For her, it’s about a sense of constantly evolving and never staying within one genre, but more of just letting herself grow and continuously making and discovering new ones. She doesn’t make music to make money, she makes music because she wants to spread love, awareness and consciousness because she believes that abundance will manifest itself in its own accord. One could say that she is the embodiment of a free spirit, a manifestation of what an artist should be; she follows her heart fearlessly at all costs, no matter where it takes her and for the most part, the outcome is and will always be just as beautiful as she is.
TALE AS OL
BOY MEETS GIRL, GIRL FALLS IN LOVE WITH GOES—THE FORMULA TO ROMANTIC COMED WANTS TO TRANSLATE INTO THEIR MUSIC, AN MIGHT BE CLOSER TO HOME THAN PHOTOGRAPHED B
LD AS TIME
H BOY, BOY GETS GIRL, AND SO THE STORY DY. IT IS EXACTLY THIS FORMULA ROMCOM ND JARED CARL MILLAN FINDS OUT THAT THEY N THEY COULD HAVE HOPED FOR. BY JELITO DE LEON
“YUNG MGA NAGBABASA NG BLOG KO, YUNG MGA NAG FO-FOLLOW SAKIN SA TWITTER, TALAGANG SILA YUNG NAGPAPAKALAT NG EP NAMIN. SO KAHIT YUNG MGA TAO’NG HINDI NAMING KILALA, NAKIKILALA KAMI.”
The studio is full. The editor-in-chief is there, the marketing director is there, eight photographers are there, the guys from RomCom and The Strangeness and some other people are there. Makeshift confetti and balloons blown up with our own breaths, props for the two cover-shoots today, litter the studio floor. The boys from the other band clothed in a combination of orange and red are taking their turn in front of the lens. RomCom was the first to be photographed, clad in red—the color that represents passion and love and joy, the very things they as a band exude in themselves and in their music. This is obvious enough. The first thing that comes into mind when one sees them together is how happy they seem, a group of people always in good spirits, always having fun. Like most relationships this day and age, their friendship began on the Internet. If you are on Tumblr long enough and if you have been following all the right people on there, chances are you already have a vague idea about the band and who are the people behind in it. This band’s inception is simple: Tin had in her mind a fleeting thought that the word “rom com” sounded nice as a band name, and she wanted to translate the idea of “rom com” into music. As luck would have it, Tin already knew the right persons for the band. “Kinausap ko lang sila hanbang nag meet-up [kami].” She says. Come late January of this year, the band was formed, with Tin Rementilla on vocals, Marco Dela Torre on Guitars, Larry Cayco on Guitars and Keyboards, Ade Magnaye—who was, prior to RomCom, a part of another band who coincidentally is just a few feet away from where we sit—on bass and backup vocals, and Mon Sebastian on drums. They started out as a band with no aspirations; quite simply, they are just a humble band from Manila who wants to have fun making music. Their career started doing covers of songs from bands like Yuck and Gold Motel. “Iniisip lang namin [mag] pra-practice lang kami, kung saka-sakali suwertehin,” Larry says. “After ng second practice namin, lumapit samin si Tin and she told us ‘guys, meron tayo gig. Dalawa.’” They were happy with it. The band was starting to gain momentum. Everything was going well. Until Marco’s plans to migrate to New Zealand finally pushed through. Suddenly things became very clear: the goal was to make an EP before he leaves. “Basically, nalaman naming na aalis na si Marco. Nasisip namin na…kailangan natin makagawa ng EP before siya umalis.” Tin explains. “Nakasulat kami ng apat na kanta, and then we covered [Weezer’s] ‘Island in the Sun’.” Left to their own devices, everything from the guitars to the mixing the band did themselves, not unlike how commonplace garage bands do it. “So nag-record kami and then Marco put everything together. We were pretty happy with it.” Raphael “Paeng” Pulgar was the last member to join the band. Being a freelance audio engineer, and producing
bands as a living, Paeng knows a great band when he sees one. “First of all, natrip-an ko yung music nila.” He shares. “And second [of all], a part of me doesn’t want people to put up, like, really crappy recordings. Especially, people with potential.” Impressed with what he saw during their farewell gig for Marco at Freedom Bar, he volunteered to mix their songs. “For free!” Tin says. “Sa kanila lang, ha!” Paeng quips. “Mamaya isipin ng mga tao…” “When we heard the finished product, akala namin ibang banda.” Larry says. The band finished the EP in two weeks, just so they can release the record before Marco flies to New Zealand. When RomCom was invited for their next gig, Tin came to Paeng and asked if he wanted to session with the band. He agreed. Paeng has been a part of RomCom since. Of the original member of five, only Mon had proper training in music, and this aspect only lends itself to the band on a very oblique level, for all the technical things he learned of music came from being a part of the theater group in high school. For a band which does not know the rudiments of making music, or at the very least its technical nitty-gritty, a band whose music training are all self-taught, it is more than impressive the things they have managed to do, the heights they have managed to reach. I first met the band on a Wednesday when they performed at the Jam 88.3 studio, during DJ Mike and Lambert’s program in which my friend Ellie has a segment. The band I saw then is no different from the band I see now, as we sat in a circle as though we are to share our deepest, most intimate secrets. And in a way, we are. During the show we had created a moniker for Tin, which is on different levels not untrue. The first time I saw her was on the Internet, particularly on the micro-blogging platform Tumblr on which she had unwittingly created a legion of followers and readers with her blogs. I ask her how true is her being an “internet sensation.” “Hindi siya totoo!” Tin laughs. “Joke lang siya!” I laugh. Everybody laughs. She might not admit this, but she admits that her blogs have something to do with her popularity on Tumblr. “Ang kwento kasi ng buhay ko, hindi kasi ako lumaki sa yaman. As in, mahirap lang kami. Nag-aral ako para lang magkaroon ako ng matino’ng trabaho.” She shares. “So yung mga blog posts ko [is about] inspirational [stuff]. Halimbawa, I say ‘okay lang ‘yan kapag nakikita niyo yung ibang tao na mas mayaman sa inyo’.”
“THEY STARTED OUT AS A BAND WITH NO ASPIRATIONS; QUITE SIMPLY, THEY ARE JUST A HUMBLE BAND FROM MANILA WHO WANTS TO HAVE FUN MAKING MUSIC. “
TIN REMENTILLA 108
LARRY CAYCO STACHE/ 109
PAENG PULGAR 110
MON SEBASTIAN STACHE/ 111
ADE MAGNAYE 112
MARCO DELA TORRE STACHE/ 113
“IT IS THAT FEELING WHEN THERE’S A WALL OF PEOPLE IN FRONT OF YOU SINGING ALONG TO YOUR SONGS. IT’S PRICELESS.”
“And that’s not even an online persona.” Larry, who also happens to be Tin’s boyfriend, says. “She’s really like that.” It does not require a genius to know this. All the images I have ever had of Tin in my head on and off the Internet is of a woman who knows how to carry herself, knows when to be severe and knows when to be humble, knows self-respect and lives with it, a person at once a woman and a girl with big dreams, big hopes. Her popularity proved to be a blessing: one of the first listeners of the band are Tin’s followers. “Yung mga nagbabasa ng blog ko, yung mga nag fo-follow sakin sa Twitter, talagang sila yung nagpapakalat ng EP namin. So kahit yung mga tao’ng hindi naming kilala, nakikilala kami.” She says. Attraction! Reaction! at Route 196 was the band’s many firsts: it was their first paying gig, first weekend gig, and not unlike many firsts, it was their best gig. “It is that feeling when there’s a wall of people in front of you singing along to your songs. It’s priceless.” Paeng adds. I ask if the money they were paid has anything to do with its being their best gig; it is not. “That’s only secondary,” says Larry. This is not surprising: they are almost eight months into the music scene and they have not been getting paid for their gigs. For a group of people who have professional lives outside of their band, it takes real passion and commitment to last as long as they have without any such help. There have been many things in life that I have come to disbelieve. I, for one, no longer believe that most people are good. I also do not believe anymore that salvation lies exclusively into one religion. But I still believe in the totem power of hard work, and I still believe that diligence merits great rewards. The band knows this by heart.
RomCom’s EP, “It’s Tight Like Prom Night,” is five-song record heavily influenced by the bands in the 90’s (Goo Goo Dolls, Garbage, Gin Blossoms), the premise of which celebrates the beauty of youth, of being young. The beauty of first love, first heartbreak, “lahat ng drama mo when it comes to your first relationship.” This is a concept that should not be unfamiliar to most every body; after all, we have seen some of the many films patterned after this very premise. I suspect that the band had anything to do with the fact that the boy-meets-girl formula inexorably became their very sensibility; the very story they want to embody in their music became the very story the band, whether or not they know it, came to live. There are of course many variations to this formula. Some variables taken out and some are added, making that proverbial road a winding path: boy meets girl, girl does not like boy, boy chases girl, girl falls in love with another boy—a quintessential John Lloyd film, and as it happens, one of the band’s very big dreams now is for their music to go towards that direction, for their songs to be part of a John Lloyd film soundtrack. But however long and winding that road may be, however complex and confusing the variables are, the constants remain the same: boy meets girl, and eventually, boy gets girl, and I believe they already has the former covered. Deus ex machina or otherwise, it is only a matter of time before the band gets their girl; they have to, and I do not doubt they will. At the end of the day, I just want them to succeed. http://romcomph.bandcamp.com/ http://romcomband.tumblr.com/ http://www.facebook.com/RomComBand
Saving Roc One Drunken B
NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE GET TO WORK WITH SU FILM ABOUT THE LOCAL MUSIC SCENE. ERIN NESS, TALKING ABOUT HOW THEY GOT START PHOTOGRAPHED B
ck and Roll, Beat at a Time
UPERSTARS LIKE DAWN ZULUETA IN AN INDIE EMOCLING SAT DOWN WITH THE STRANGERTED AND WHAT THEY PLAN ON DOING NEXT. BY JELITO DE LEON
DIAL M FOR MISFITS (OR MOTHERF*CKERS) The Strangeness, a 6-piece gang of hooligans from Outer Space, started off in 2010 with Francis Cabal on guitar and Jayme Ancla, Jr., who was then on drums. Since Jayme was not meant for percussing, the two switched places and decided to go on a break until they met Erwin Hilao, the band’s current drummer boy. Ade Magnaye (now with RomCom) used to be part of the band but because of schedule conflicts, Ade was replaced by Bijan Gorospe, who now plays the doom doom bass. Several months later, Ivan Brosas (also from Dr. StrangeLuv) joined the group after he jammed with them at an impromptu gig; he now plays the guitar and synthesizers. Shinji Manlangit, the band’s ‘hype man,’ plays the tambourine and does back-up vocals. He is also the frontman for The Strangeness’ brother band, Don’t Bogart the Can… Man! Swathed with a hybrid of garage rock and narco-punk, The Strangeness is collectively inspired and stirred by bands like Black Lips, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and other lo-fi stuff. Etymologically, The Strangeness’ name came from an ‘80s horror film. The band admitted, however, that not all of them have seen the movie and that, according to those who have seen it, “The movie sucked so badly.” But the name is undeniably catchy and rad, so there’s that.
being sober is such a drag,” Luis Katigbak wrote on The Philippine Star. When asked which track/s from their EP they like the most, their answers had common denominators. The majority’s vote was Cain Was Furious and He Was Downcast, which was picked by Francis, Erwin, and Bijan. “Out of all the songs from our EP, Cain is the most historical,” according to Francis. It was the first song to be written and was originally intended for his other band, Love Chariot. “It was one of the first Strangeness songs I learned to play,” Bijan said. “I like playing Cain on drums. It’s upbeat but I need to be graceful, too. It challenges me every time,” Erwin adds. Being Sober Is Such a Drag came second, particularly chosen by Shinji and Ivan. True enough, this anthemic track is a crowd favourite during their gigs. Listening to it is like getting drunk and being sober at the same time – believe me, this is based on a first-hand experience and is coming from someone who has seen them play live for countless of times already. It never fails to bring fuzzy feelings all over. R.E.B.E.C.C.A. (not included in Jesus Camp), on the other hand, is a song of interest for The Strangeness fans. “It was actually a joke song,” Shinji explained. “But it’s exclusive for playing in Cubao X and during Meiday,” Bijan added.
CAMPING WITH JESUS The name Jesus Camp for The Strangeness’ debut EP was derived from a documentary about kids who are sent to a religious summer camp, where they become brainwashed with the idea of adoring Jesus. Shinji shared that he was enamoured with this concept. “Our tracks do not have a specific theme. Our songs are not about Christian rock although our EP has hints of religious tones. It’s like going through and achieving a religious experience when you listen to our songs. But you don’t have to take it seriously,” Bijan, Jayme, and Shinji added. Recorded at Love One Another Studios and produced and released by Wide Eyed Records, The Strangeness’ 5-track EP was released in October last year. Jesus Camp bagged QLE Awards’ Best EP of 2011. “The Strangeness managed to take familiar rock influences and make them sound somehow utterly fresh, because they do it with a laugh and a snarl, and because
WHAT ISN’T THERE (BUT THEY WERE THERE) The Strangeness’ music was featured in the recent Cinemalaya film by Marie Jamora, Ang Nawawala. The band also had a brilliant cameo in it while they performed Jonestown. The entire experience was definitely a highlight for the band. “Seeing our band’s name on the trailer, it was heart-warming,” Shinji confessed. “We’ve never expected that we’re going to be with big bands like Sandwich and Itchyworms. Plus I’ve always been a fan of Marie Jamora. It was really overwhelming,” Erwin added. “They were giving us drinking water, wiping our sweat, and re-touching our make-up. It was a fun experience,” everyone else chimed in. Another highlight of The Strangeness’ career happened during one of the Meiday events held at B-Side. “We played around 8 songs instead of the usual 3,” Bijan shared.
“OPM IS ALIVE. THERE ARE SO MANY BANDS. THERE ARE A LOT OF SCENES. IF SOME PEOPLE ARE SAYING THAT OPM IS DEAD, MAYBE THEY’RE JUST LOOKING AT A DIFFERENT SPECTRUM OR IN THE WRONG PLACES”
SHINJI MANLANGIT 122
ERWIN HILAO STACHE/ 123
JAYME ACLA, JR. 124
FRANCIS CABAL STACHE/ 125
BIJAN GOROSPE 126
IVAN BROSAS STACHE/ 127
HEY, OPM’S NOT DEAD! The Strangeness believes that the current state of OPM is alive, kicking, and fun. “OPM is alive. There are so many bands. There are a lot of scenes. If some people are saying that OPM is dead, maybe they’re just looking at a different spectrum or in the wrong places,” Shinji and Bijan asserted. “Even though several outlets have been obliterated – NU 107’s demise, Cubao X is gone – the scene is still very much alive. There are new EP releases and new music videos every month. As long as people learn to play musical instrument, OPM will live on,” Erwin expressed. “It’s really ridiculous if we say that OPM is dead. We have the Internet! We have music players. We have… everything. People just need to dig deeper,” Jayme cracked. Ivan also told us that people should also learn to appreciate the music and the passion behind it, instead of going to gigs – just for the sake of. MORE STRANGENESS COMING OUR WAY The Strangeness has just started preaching rock and roll for beginners; they still have a long, long way to go. Their full-length album is in the making and is to be expected next year. When we asked them what else they want to accomplish as a band, everyone bombarded us with eager responses. “We would like
to score a film, a play, or a TV show,” Erwin and Jayme exclaimed. “We would like to play on Master Showman and RJ. A tour would also be great,” Bijan and Shinji declared (and they were not kidding). Behind their electric guitars and microphones, these musical hoodlums are a bagful of jocundity, with frequent avalanches of mirthful puns and witty remarks. There is not a dull moment when you hang out with them, even if they’re just being themselves. Collectively, The Strangeness aims for more gigs, more music videos, and more fun – after all, having fun is what they are incredibly awesome at. THE STRANGENESS ARE: Francis Cabal – rhythm guitar, vocals Jayme Ancla, Jr. – lead guitar, vocals Erwin Hilao – drums, vocals Bijan Gorospe – bass, vocals Ivan Brosas – guitar, synthesizers Shinji Manlangit – tambourine, back-up vocals http://thestrangeness.bandcamp.com http://facebook.com/thestrangeness http://thestrangeness.tumblr.com http://twitter.com/the_strangeness
GENER ATION T WO
WE HAVE A NEW BATCH OF PHOTOGRAPHERS IN OUR TEAM AND WE ARE MORE THAN HAPPY TO SHARE HOW THEY GOT STARTED AND WHAT INSPIRES THEM TO DO WHAT THEY LOVE.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE CREATIVE YOUTH WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY?
The world is beautiful. Go out and take a lot of pictures! WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT/SHOOT SO FAR?
My favorite project/shoot I did so far was with Ford Supermodel Danica Magpantay spearheaded by one of the most celebrated Filipino photographers, Adrian Gonzalez. Being able to assist Adrian for the shoot with Danica as our model was the best experience I’ve ever had as a photographer. DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM PHOTOSHOOT.
Photoshoot in Paris, France with Anne Curtis. Period.
WHAT GOT YOU STARTED?
Beautiful sunlight, live music, and the sound of a winding film. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
A lot of sunny and windy afternoons, family, friends, cinematography, and music! WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE CREATIVE YOUTH WHO WANT TO GET STARTED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY?
Just shoot whatever, minimize the editing, be friendly, and learn to embrace natural light!
WHAT GOT YOU STARTED?
One of my friends introduced me to deviantART (“the world’s largest online community”) and I’ve been taking photos and have been learning about the art of photography ever since! WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
People, fashion, nature and places! Some of my favorite photographers are Nirrimi, Weronika Mamot, An and En Estrada, and BJ Pascual. DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM PHOTOSHOOT.
It’s pretty simple. My dream shoot would have Elle Fanning, Kate Moss or Agyness Deyn as the model. The location would be either the streets of New York, London or Paris, or some desert in Las Vegas, Nevada.
WHAT GOT YOU STARTED?
there was a time when I felt ashamed holding this big camera in my hands, I wanted those point-and-shoot ones but my dad was into the DSLR. As I was getting older, I was more appreciative with the things around me and that big camera became my best friend. Now photography is my life. WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE CREATIVE YOUTH WHO WANT TO GET STARTED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY?
DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! Just remember to do it for yourself and never for others. Whether its photography, arts, writing, etc., as long as you want to do it or even just try it then go. Or as we say, GORABELLS! DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM PHOTOSHOOT.
My dream photoshoot would probably be in Paris, right in front the Eifel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa and my models would wear Chanel, Gucci, Vera Wang dresses with matching headpiece.
WHO ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS?
Right now, I’m inspired by a handful of fine art photographers like Geordie Wood, Ryan Pfluger, and Thomas Prior. But when I’m in some sort of creative slump, a good Bob Dylan album always helps. WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE CREATIVE YOUTH WHO WANT TO GET STARTED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY?
Don’t let what’s “cool” dictate the way you shoot. Just do whatever you want to do. DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM PHOTOSHOOT.
My dream shoot would probably include a medium format camera (film), tons of lighting equipment, and a far-off location. That’s really all I’ve figured out so far…
WHAT GOT YOU STARTED?
I think I really wanted to be a photographer when I started to dig through old family photos. I was always so amazed at how a machine can take a hold of any kind of memory and last forever. WHO ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS?
People like Jac Vanek, Dirk Mai, and Rachel Lynch make me want to take photos. Photos of people who should be famous, but keep it on the down low always get me in the “I want to shoot NOW” mood. WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE CREATIVE YOUTH WHO WANT TO GET STARTED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY?
Shoot, shoot, shoot! Have fun with the camera, and don’t let people
bring you down. A lot of people are into photography now, and the competition is high. It’s up to you how you’re going to stand out.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT/SHOOT SO FAR?
Funny thing is I still didn’t have any formal photoshoot yet. I, together with my sisters as my models, organize our photoshoots in our family farm, usually early in the morning to get that perfect dawn and fresh light. DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM PHOTOSHOOT.
My dream photoshoot or more like a project, has always been to take photos of strangers from different countries. I have always been so passionate to capture their diverse stories through simple but expressive photographs. WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE CREATIVE YOUTH WHO WANT TO GET STARTED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY?
Roger Kingston said, “A camera is a save button for the mind’s eye.” You shouldn’t only treat a camera as another trendy gadget but as an amazing tool to transform people, because with just one click you automatically make them smile.
WHAT GOT YOU STARTED?
What got me started with digital photography was when I saw a former Fine Arts blockmate taking photos of my other blockmates using a DSLR. I thought to myself “I can do that too”, so I asked her what I needed to know about photography. WHO ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS?
Ellen von Unwerth, Sandra Dans, Zhang Jingna (Zemotion), Francesca Woodman, Vivian Maier, BJ Pascual, Hugh Forte, Nelwin Uy, Sir Enrique “Tats” Ernesto (my photography professor), Adrian Gonzales, and all the photographers I follow on Tumblr and Flickr MESSAGE TO THE CREATIVE YOUTH WHO WANT TO GET STARTED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY
Equipment is not important. Use what you have, be resourceful. Learn about your equipment so you can use them to their full potential. Tell stories. Know when the Golden Hour is. Learn by observing, learn by reading, learn when you can. Learn, and re-learn. Study lighting, the rule of thirds, perspective, depth of field, and then do what you want anyway.
BY RYAN MELGAR
BY JESSAN MIRAMON
MEASURES NEW WORLD Soon the nights of bottomless coffee would be over And the deadlines they have been setting would find death. The papers we have been cursing, soon, would no longer matter And we would not even bother about the grades we have made. Soon we would all get tired of our seemingly endless ranting About the subject requirements that we are all sick and tired of Because soon, the pile of school works would all be gone And about them, we would just have to move on. And as we let go of this stage of our lives, we would embrace A kind of life we have all been so excited about. But what we miss is the real part weâ€™ve failed to see: The real world is not really better; only more dangerous.
You are miles awayâ€“ say the numbers marking the distance between one point and another, opposite to each other. But the heart knows no numbers and love, it will never learn the measures of length. For feelings do not lie on spaces in between the frozen lines on rulers, metersticks, and whatever they use to measure the length of things they can touch but never touch them.
BY MINA DEOCAREZA
CRISIS IN LOSS How do you measure the weight of a loss? Does it depend on the amount of tears you cry? Do I have to turn into a river and soon overflow, merge with the ocean with waves that kiss the shore? And if tears are the real gauge, please forgive me For I could not cry anymore. I have been taught: Liquid overflows when solid is dropped into the glass. Sadly, I do not have those that I can touch or hold: No tangible things to remind me of you, day or night; Besides, this house I am in was never your home. Ergo, nothing heavy to make the liquid rise and escape. Deprived, even with gas-like apparitions I call memories.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD HIS MUSIC HERE. HTTP://SOUNDCLOUD.COM/ALFONSOBASSIG
Triple cover with The Strangeness, RomCom and Low Leaf. Long live OPM!