Category Archives: mouthful of songs

Music yet again

[Yes, I am still alive, folks. Crazy, right? :>]
[This entry was drafted weeks back.]

I almost always leave the ones who show me tenderness. I am allergic to people exhibiting tenderness toward me. I feel it is a put-on, a show, something insincere and transitory. While most people are excited about relationships, I always ready myself for the end. That’s how I am. However and whenever we part, know that I have exhausted mental energy plotting, choreographing, and directing the versions of the characters in my head way ahead of the actual parting.

It’s not a good way to live a life — preparing for the end of all things and ties. Top this with a faulty memory, and there lies the tragedy. Top this further with my drive to prioritize convenience over emotional ties, and there lies the grain of the matter: All for my benefit, all for my convenience, comfort, and welfare.

The worst that people said to me or about me are the following: “You’re a bitch.” “You’re vicious.” “Wow, walang puso [i.e., heartless].” My perpetual response: “I love animals.”

But nature/life/universe/playful gods made sure that I don’t go scot-free.

They have given me deep obsession for music — well-crafted, well-arranged music.

When a person leaves a mark in my life (which is quite rare, to be blunt about this), I tend to associate him or her with a song. Mind you, I never recycle a song (key persons, I tend to ‘recycle,’ but that’s altogether a different story and adventure). I pride myself in an eclectic taste and a wide swathe of songs in my collection inversely proportional with the depth I feel toward people.

So sometimes when I listen to a song, a wave or a flick of memory washes over me, hits me, and then leaves me full of questions. The best part about this? It’s so quick and so transitory that I let go of it in the blink of an eye, and everything is light and bright once again. It’s as if I paid a visit to Lacuna, Inc. years back and had my memories erased. Only in rare times does the procedure fail and reveal its errors, but for the most part, the procedure is a success.

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Songs: Feel It in My Bones and Goodbye Stranger

I plan to blog about a song or two every week. This week, I bring you DJ Tiesto’s Feel It in My Bones and Supertramp’s Goodbye Stranger.

Feel It in My Bones is a song by DJ Tiesto featuring Tegan and Sara Quin and is found in Tiesto’s 2009 Kaleidoscope album. Here’s a segment of the lyrics: “Blow by blow I didn’t see it coming/Blow by blow sucker punch/Rushes in here to stay/Rushes in you are here to stay/What rushes into my heart and my skull/I can’t control, think about it/Feel it in my bones/What rushes into my heart and my skull I can’t control/I feel you in my bones/You’re knocking at my windows/You’re slow to letting me go/And I know this feeling/Oh, so/This feeling in my bones/Left hook I didn’t see it coming/Left hook you’ve got dead aim….”

The title is very apt for me. “My bones hold a stillness,” as Plath wrote once. Mine hold stillness and pain. I can feel the season shifting not just through platitudes and expletives from the media and from commuters but right through my speaking and creaking bones. When it is colder, my bones thrum and quiver in fear. They, too, know how massive the cold can become and how tiny my bones can become wishing to hoard heat and warmth.

When you have brittle bones susceptible to scoliosis and slipped disc, you become more accustomed and more alienated to your body. My body is more pliant toward my bones. When my spine dictates pain, my body follows suit. It chooses flat shoes, it chooses dresses and pants to go along with the flat shoes, it can even cancel a night-out, it can dictate what sort of fun to have and what sort of fun to abandon.

I am writing this as my right wrist and right forearm creak. My office space is right smack under the sweep of the air conditioning breeze. My bones are again whispering to leave, get out, flee from the cold, but everything is suspended.

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Part of Supertramp’s 1979 album, Breakfast in America, Goodbye Stranger paid me a visit again on Friday via a Tumblr entry. I caught a whiff of this song in the film, Magnolia, and it has never failed to arrest my thoughts for its creativity and for the natural selfishness and greed the song embodies.

I celebrate greed, I champion selfishness. Thus, this song is one of the songs that encapsulates clearly who I am. Like the song, I am not apologetic. Like the song, I wonder sometimes: “Will we ever meet again?” But this curiosity is fleeting. After all, strangers are more arresting than acquaintances.

Goodbye Stranger
Songwriters: Richard Davies and Roger Hodgson

It was an early morning yesterday, I was up before the dawn
And I really have enjoyed my stay but I must be moving on
Like a king without a castle, like a queen without a throne
I’m an early morning lover and I must be moving on
Now I believe in what you say is the undisputed truth
But I have to have things my own way to keep me in my youth
Like a ship without an anchor, like a slave without a chain
Just the thought of those sweet ladies sends a shiver through my veins
And I will go on shining, shining like brand new
I’ll never look behind me, my troubles will be few
Goodbye strange it’s been nice, hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view, hope your dreams will all come true
Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane, will we ever meet again
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame, come tomorrow, feel no pain
Sweet devotion (Goodbye Mary), it’s not for me (Goodbye Jane)
Just give me motion (Will we ever) and set me free (Meet again)
And land and the ocean (Feel no sorrow), far away (Feel no shame)
The life I’ve chosen (Come tomorrow), every day (Feel no pain)
So goodbye Mary (Goodbye Mary), goodbye Jane (Goodbye Jane)
Will we ever (Will we ever) meet again (Meet again)

Now some they do and some they don’t and some you just can’t tell
And some they will and some they won’t, with some it’s just as well
You can laugh at my behaviour that’ll never bother me
Say the devil is my saviour but I don’t pay no heed
And I will go on shining, shining like brand new
I’ll never look behind me, my troubles will be few
Goodbye stranger it’s been nice, hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view, hope your dreams will all come true
Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane, will we ever meet again
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame, come tomorrow, feel no pain
Sweet devotion (Goodbye Mary), it’s not for me (Goodbye Jane)
Just give me motion (Will we ever) and set me free (Meet again)
And land and the ocean (Feel no sorrow), far away (Feel no shame)
The life I’ve chosen (Come tomorrow), every day (Feel no pain)
And now I’m leaving (Goodbye Mary), got to go (Goodbye Jane)
Hit the road (Will we ever), I say it once again (Meet again)
Yes I’m leaving (Feel no sorrow), got to go (Feel no shame)
Got to go (Come tomorrow), I’m sorry I must tell you (Feel no pain)
Goodbye Mary (Goodbye Mary), goodbye Jane (Goodbye Jane)
Will we ever motion (Will we ever) meet again (Meet again)

I believe, yes, I’ve got to get away
(www.lyricsfreak.com)

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Tegan and Sara Live in Singapore

More than a week elapsed since I went to Singapore to watch the Tegan and Sara concert. It’s been years since I first started listening to their songs. In between, nothing much has changed within me as a fan; I just got older and my bones have grown more weary. Here is a simple tale of two fan girls, two performers (plus an opening act), in one venue, for one event.

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As Sapphire said, “They don’t even know what it is to be a fan. Y’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.” – Almost Famous

This was only one of a hundred SMS between B, a friend from the U.P. M.A. writing program, and me. We are kindred spirits in more ways than one, and this time, we have found solace in each other as music fans – rabid, addicted, passionate, will-sell-everything-for-music fans.

Our first project as music fans was to go to Singapore to see Tegan and Sara (T&S) perform as part of their “Heartthrob” tour. It was fate pulling strings here and there. We realized through tweets that we wanted to see them live, and we were willing to suspend our lives and raid our savings to make this dream a reality.

We were also praying to the heavens that the twins play old favorites from past albums as Sainthood, The Con, Under Feet Like Ours, and So Jealous. We were creating playlists in our heads that included Arrow; My Number; Walking with a Ghost; Where Does the Good Go; Monday Monday Monday; Nineteen; Beauty; I Know I Know I Know, among other fascinating past pieces.

Heartthrob has its merits, and it helped propel Tegan and Sara to fame after it gathered support from ‘mainstream’ listeners. My favorites are Shock to Your System and I Couldn’t Be Your Friend. Yes, Heartthrob is a different facet of the twins’ musicality. But I remained sulking in a corner. I was looking for the old spice, the old indie sound and kick they had, the heft and the weight of their riffs and pounding percussions. Heartthrob had splices of it here and there (such as Shock to Your System), but I was hungry for more.

After a two-month preparation, we found ourselves bleary-eyed yet eager to fly to Singapore. Note that only Sara Quin can rouse us very early on a Sunday morning for us to make it to our flight. Our plane even experienced a two-hour flight delay. We waited for two months, what more can two hours of delay do to us? Well, it made us crankier, and it made us more impatient. It made us thank the heavens for our decision to fly in a day earlier.

MRT ride

MRT ride

True to my personality, our conversations swung from mania to somber realizations. We shared our Tegan- and Sara-related fantasies, we repeated conversations that once enthralled us on Twitter, we fielded wisecracks to the tune of T&S songs, we swapped our two-cents about previous albums, we planned on how we can snag a few seconds with Sara, and we spun ways how to kidnap her.

And we realized we are snobs. Snobs against fairly new T&S fans, snobs against people who only want them for their looks and for their vibe, snobs against what we termed pretentious people for liking T&S because it’s the in thing (and because they enjoyed the music video of Closer). My words about this group were vile and venomous so they will not see the light of day here.

LOST IN DIRECTION
The night before our flight, another friend suggested places for me to visit in Singapore. She didn’t think that we’d find ourselves lost in searching for our lodge. She didn’t think twice about sending me a list of things to see when all I wanted was to visit Kinokuniya, a couple of museums/art galleries, Little India, and Esplanade for the concert proper.

This fat cat made me miss my cat more

This fat cat made me miss my cat more

Marina Bay Sands, the Lion, Clark Quay, these are all places I never bothered seeing. I was there for one purpose alone, and all other tasks and places paled in comparison. We were doing our own William Miller tale-tripping and music hopping, and distractions would only lessen our time spent with our idols.

As we went around looking for our hotel, we took photos of an art deco building and a mosque in a strip that housed Middle Eastern restaurants. Bookmark this building and this mosque, this will figure in wildly in our story later. We chanced upon a fair called Samsara Sunday Fair Festival but opted not to attend.

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Buildings in SG are fascinating

Buildings in SG are fascinating

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After an hour of leisurely search, we found a restaurant that had amazing artwork on its facade. We realized we were right smack in the thick of things in the Samsara Garden Fair. The long and short of our search: We found our inn, checked in, settled in, grabbed dinner, found ourselves inspired by street fashion, and tucked ourselves in.

At the Samsara Garden Fair

At the Samsara Sunday Fair

Monday morning and afternoon were uneventful in terms of sightseeing. We did our due diligence: We fed ourselves, we tidied up, we picked up items for people back home to tinker with, and we earmarked shops we intend to visit once we return to Singapore with more cash on hand. All throughout this time, we were noisy and frightened and eager and excited for 7pm to roll in.

We were again oscillating between excitement and dread: excitement because we are both Sara fanatics and dread because the anticipation and long wait have been addicting, and after the concert, we feared that nothing and no one else can make us this giddy and elated.

Here’s a sample of our conversation. This one happened after we saw a photo of the twins taken at 4am based on the caption.

B: Oh my god, we think like them.
E: Wavelength! Sara is not a morning person like us!

Sara is also not a morning person

Sara is also not a morning person

Another:
B: What if they’re also in the area [meaning airport] while we’re here?
E: Oh my goodness, that’s definitely a medic moment!

WOES
We were frustrated. We found out that the twins flew in from Australia on Sunday afternoon THE SAME TIME THAT WE FLEW IN. It would have been nice to see them at the airport. It wouldn’t be stalking, right? : )

Another friend tweeted me while I was in SG:
K: Were you one of the people who waited for Tegan and Sara and who brought food?
E: If I knew about it, I would be there most likely.

B and I would squeal in awe and then in disappointment whenever they would tweet about what they saw in Singapore. We wanted to be where they were, but we wanted them to enjoy the place without being disturbed by rabid fans like us. (And anyway, we didn’t know which places to look first, hee)

At one point, they posted a photo with a background of an art deco building and a mosque. These were the same buildings that enthralled B and me! We were in the area at about the same time they checked out the street! Wavelength!

This defining moment

This defining moment

CONCERT HALL
We were at the receiving area of Esplanade at around 3pm for the 7:30pm concert. And how did we kill time? We made handwritten notes for Tegan and for Sara. We bought pretty envelopes, and I tried designing loopy and comic letters on the envelopes for our notes to stand out.

We noticed a delegation of young Filipinos in one corner, and B told me these were the Facebook group members she was in touch with back in the Philippines. A couple of familiar faces, some photos here and there, and some gaggling happened with the FB group convincing a T&S crew member to meet the group. They had presents for Tegan and Sara from journals, letters to t-shirts. B and I followed them, and we were able to include our letters in the stash for the twins. The crew member named Jeremy was gracious and promised to give the loot to the twins, and he was happy to get a free shirt from the FB group.

Our handwritten notes <3

Our handwritten notes ❤

Jeremy, crew member

Once inside the waiting area proper of Esplanade, I elbowed my way among a throng in front of the merchandise stand. B and I finally had what we wanted from the merch stand: T-shirts!

An hour of waiting can deaden yet heighten your senses.

Here’s an aside: I was expecting a lot of cute faces in the crowd. I guess my age and my weariness have caught up with me. Among hundreds of people, I was only able to find one who was cute.

IN WHICH WE MADE A PACT TO FOLLOW THE QUIN DUO WHEREVER THEY PERFORM IN ASIA IN THE COMING YEARS
B and I agreed that we would always find time to attend T&S concerts especially when they’re slated to perform in Asia.

The heat flusters Sara. Bad heat

The heat flusters Sara. Bad heat

B: You know, I was serious when I said I’d follow them to Jakarta if I had enough money.
E: Me, too; if I had funds, we would have headed straight to Jakarta!

HEART-STOPPING EVENING
Weish was the opening act. She is a tiny dynamo who did vocal loops a la Imogen Heap and who breathed out words and melody as if she were a pocket version of Bjork.

My admiration toward the twins deepened even more. I knew it was their choice to have Weish perform. I imagined they saw themselves in Weish — feisty, independent, and hungry to share her music to the world.

talking like a teen!

talking like a teen!

This was how they were when they were starting. Their lyrics in their first studio album, This Business of Art, were biting and feral, and their sound architectured their riffs and percussions as if these were towers of steel and glass.

True enough, Weish thanked them after her performance, saying she was grateful to the twins for having her as their personal choice to open the show.

And when they finally finally finally opened their Singapore concert, I rushed closer to the stage (we were in the V.I.P. area) while bawling and crying. I couldn’t help myself. I think that was the closest I could get to experiencing a purely spiritual moment inspired by fellow mortals. They opened with Drove Me Wild that was very apt. I was bawling as I said, and B was beside me in tears, too. At that moment, I was thankful for having someone like her in my life. Time and time again during our concert trip preparations, we’ve been thankful for each other’s presence because we alone understand each other in terms of our T&S mania and our love for music in general. But at that moment when I glanced at her, I was happy to be with her in a concert hall with a state of the art sound system.

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Finally, Tegan, Sara, and I were in one place. Not just in one city as tiny as Singapore, but in one place sharing music. It couldn’t get any better than this.

Their spiels were sincere and very friendly, and they even acknowledged those people not based in Singapore who flew in to see them. I think our loot bags did wonders.

In her spiel, Sara promised to tour Asia again in a year’s time. That was how much they enjoyed the Singapore concert. They shared anecdotes (way to go, Tegan, for your memory and your comic timing), and they interacted with the crowd.

When they performed Closer (definitely a crowd-pleaser), I kept on pointing to Sara whenever she sang “I want you close, I want you!!!”

When they sang the line “You should be out driving people mad,” I recalled someone.

When they belted out “Walking with a Ghost,” I remembered the times I spent in my old apartment singing at the top of my voice songs that included T&S’s while taking a bath.

When they sang “How Come You Don’t Want Me,” I wanted to hug B.

When they sang “I couldn’t Be Your Friend,” I was traipsing in my place.

When they performed “Shock to Your System,” I was over the moon. When Sara belted out the lines, “What you are is lonely” several times, I wanted to hug her.

When they performed “Hop a Plane,” I was giddy and thirsty for more.

When they sang “Alligator,” I wanted to do the dance steps that they did in their music video, but I was taking photos and recording, and no one wants shaky clips.

When Tegan held her ground while singing “Nineteen” (this song leaves me breathless, too), I wondered what and who made them write this song.

When they sang “Arrow,” I cried again.

When I caught lines from “On Directing” in their medley, I was overwhelmed for the nth time.

When they performed the medley, it was an earth-shaking experience. [Medley: My Number/Monday, Monday, Monday/You Wouldn’t Like Me/We Didn’t Do It/Superstar/Speak Slow/Sentimental Tune/On Directing/I Know, I Know, I Know/I Was Married]

When they closed the show with “Feel It in My Bones,” I felt everything in my bones: the fatigue, the dying excitement, the lingering fear, the giddiness, the headiness, the deep hunger, the dread of flying back to Manila and not finding them anywhere.

POST-CONCERT
We waited for their vehicle to pass by at the parking lot. After a long wait, a van drove by and Sara slid the window open and waved to us. The van sped by and only stopped for five seconds when a fan tapped on it and sort of body blocked it. And it was then that B had her moment.

I know it’s not my place to share this, and I’m not claiming this as my divine moment. I am just over the moon for B. She bolted past all of us slowpokes and managed to touch Sara’s hand for a few seconds. Sara, according to B, kept on saying, Sorry, sorry, sorry!

I have a photo of her moment. The shot was a blur just like our entire Singapore experience. It was all a quicksilver blur, but somehow, everything made sense.

B's moment with Sara

B’s moment with Sara

*****

POSTSCRIPT

B and I agreed that our lives as pure fans in Singapore were similar slightly with the adventures of William Miller, the journalist-fanboy in Almost Famous.

As such, we swore to follow Tegan and Sara in every concert they will hold in Asia and if possible in other parts of the world.

I have been a groupie of other artists in past years. Yes, I am guilty and proud of this. I was a groupie of Barbie Almalbis especially during her Hungry Young Poets’ days and a perpetual groupie of Cynthia Alexander since 1999.

To follow T&S in their tours is a piece of cake.

With B a.k.a Miller by my side (I called dibs on Will), that will surely be one sweet ride.

Will and Mill

Will and Mill

Things went by so fast. We were caught in it and refused to let go.

Things went by so fast. We were caught in the blur and refused to let go.

(Photos of Sara and Tegan with the caption, “Sara is not a morning person like us” and the two Instagram shots were copied from their Twitter account and from their Instagram account, both at @teganandsara)

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then she appeared

“Then she appeared, a love so fine, my valentine…”

This little wonder of a song is composed by Paul McCartney and has THE Eric Clapton on guitar. McCartney also directed a music video. As I tell people from time to time, black and white is enigmatic. This video has that sense and so much more. Plus it has Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp (Oh, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, how you move me.) — what more can you ask for?

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this just in!!!

*cue palpitations

the god that is thom yorke

Radiohead to perform in Taiwan on July 25, 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

please god please please please let Radiohead come to RP!

(or if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad then Muhammad must go to the mountain)

This is lifted from http://www.junkonline.net/articles/3582-Radiohead-Live-in-Taiwan

You heard us right – it looks like Radiohead will be in our region this summer 2012! The English rock band has confirmed a date in Taiwan on 25th July 2012, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a possible Asia tour.

Radiohead skyrocketed to fame in 1992, with their iconic single, “Creep.” Eight albums and numerous iconic hits later, the band has not shown any signs of slowing down. Transcending from rock music to a more experimental sound as the years went by, Radiohead has still managed to draw the world in, with their raw talent, passion for music and hypnotic tunes. You can bet fans all over the world got ecstatic when the band released their latest album, The King of Limbs, in 2011, which hit the digital world with a bang, thanks to frontman Thom Yorke’s wonderfully freaky dancing in the “Lotus Flower” video.

The band will be heading to Taiwan this July 2012, and hopefully, fingers and toes crossed, we’ll see more Asia dates crop up soon.

Radiohead Live in Taiwan
Date: 25th July 2012 (Wednesday)
Time: 7pm
Venue: Taipei World Trade Center, Taipei, Taiwan
Prices: NT$4000, NT$2500

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please god please please please!

This is Thom Yorke doing his own dance for Lotus Flower. Just listening to their latest album is a good consolation from not being blessed with the chance to be part of Coachella.

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hunter and hunted: Tori Amos goes for the kill again

Tori Amos’s 12th studio album, Night of Hunters, is out now. Expect the strange and the familiar from her works, this time with acute references from master pianists, composers, and larger than life musical creations.

This site expresses thoughts on the album succinctly: “On Night of Hunters, her 12th studio album and, notably, first for Deutsche Grammophon, the Peabody Conservatory prodigy draws on four centuries of European art music (Bach, Schubert, Chopin, Satie, among others), as well as on popular balladry and elements of contemporary musical theater, to create a song cycle by turns intricate and impressionistic, demanding and enchanting.”

I’m excited to sample this album and look forward to feeling stupid over my lack of knowledge when it comes to the references to musical greats. I’m imagining the experience: It’s akin to getting drunk on bottles and bottles of red wine.

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northshore: another tegan and sara song

This is Northshore by Tegan and Sara which reminds me of Hole’s style. I like the works of the duo when they use less electronica and rely less on synthesizers.

And now Hole’s Violet

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deathly: back in your head, cornflake girl!

whenever i work, i try to listen to music. in between transcribing interviews, my hands go on auto looking for tegan and sara, tori amos, and aimee mann over at youtube.

for tonight’s search, i found this two-minuter. i like sara more than tegan in terms of facial features. but since they’re identical twins, the fact that i have a hard time telling them apart just tickles me. i was told there were initial plans to bring them over here for a concert, but every thing’s all abstract. so this is my attempt to campaign for their concert to push through here in manila. even without Facebook (where I heard people are voting for the concert to happen here), i am doing my part.

to help me identify sara more, I’ve decided to research on her tats.

here’s from teganandsara.org

Tegan:
Upper Right Arm –black symbol
Outer Right Forearm –colourful tree
Outer Left Arm near Elbow –black symbol
Inner Left Forearm –colourful tree with heart
Upper Right Bicep –beginning of quote from Bruce Springsteen’s The Human Touch “What you don’t surrender” by Justina Kervel
Upper Left Bicep –continuation of quote from Bruce Springsteen’s The Human Touch “the world just strips away” by Justina Kervel

Sara:
Inner Left Forearm – symbol that looks like a capital E with an extra line
Inner Left Bicep – black and red birds
Outer Right Wrist – black six lines
Inner Right Wrist – black ring
Right Bicep – black rope-ish design COVER-UP by boat in waves
Inner Right Bicep – black ninja with sword in front of tree
Centre Back – black design

therefore, on this video, Sara is the one on the right. i was correct all along! 55 points!

okay, scuttling back to work now.

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When I’m confident enough

I will be able to come up with a dance routine using this song

and this song

and another routine using this by Imogen Heap

Imogen Heap and The Postal Service are wicked! Moments like these ones, I’m really glad music was created by the universe.

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another tegan and sara vid

addict, right?

let’s all sing, where does the good go?

sara’s there, too, but the person who shot this video seemed to be enamored of tegan. who could blame her?

i’m supposed to be transcribing an interview (if you’re a writer reading this, do you have this fixation, too? as in transcribing the entire interview before you can hurtle yourself down the lonely road of writing? i can’t escape from this time-consuming, OC task.) but i am again distracted.

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