Monday, September 15, 2008

Slick OPM

Bring on the dance!

It's already September, but I still haven't found a landmark Filipino song for 2008. Since I don't listen to radio, all the good music I catch on are from word of mouth. Last year's crop included Julianne and Up Dharma Down. It took a while, but this year, I finally caught on Taken By Cars. Late, but not too late. Thanks to the first of 120 Days of Octoberfest, a rekindling of local act burns once more.

View from the crowd: I though I saw Daniela Hantuchova...


(Looks up)

I had initially planned to write a snippet of a blog post, but I was completely enamored by the sound of Taken by Cars that I had to rush to the nearest record bar to get a copy of their album. So here's a review:

My Malaysian friend would probably call the album "another suprising, polished effort from the crafty Filipinos," but I don't think it's not just polished. I think the sound is slick and glossy, which reminds me of The Gossip and The Myriad. I think it's just phenomenal, to have a indietronic attitude in the rather drab battle-of-the-bands OPM atmosphere. Finally, local music that will give Sneaky Soundsystem, Simian Mobile Disco and Bloc Party a run for their money. I'm so proud right now. And grateful that I attended that Octoberfest party.

ps. I wonder what bonus track I'll receive when I log in with the audio CD. That track remix by Funk Avy is truly ear candy.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Blinded By Memories

Stephan Jenkins brings it on!

I would like to believe that I have good music memory. The first record (cassette tape!) I ever bought was Vanilla Ice's To The Extreme. Yes, I have no shame saying that. The second CD I got, was Third Eye Blind - and it sits wonderfully in my music library, getting the distinction as one of my favorite albums ever. The year was 1997, and Semi-Charmed Life was my high school graduation song (see related music list here). And as with all my Favorite Song Of The Year Awardees, the nostalgia just flows when you hear your song. It's one of those few remaining songs that I can sing from memory.

Just when I thought my music year couldn't get any better (Lifehouse anyone?), I am presented with media passes to 3EB. Blogging, I love you even more. So, before I relapse in to total fanboy mode, let me just say that I had given up seeing them live. I honestly thought that there wouldn't be a chance in hell that they'd come over and perform here. Never say never I guess.

The great thing with the concert? They sang a lot of stuff from the first album, including Jumper, Narcolepsy, How's It Gonna Be, apparent cult favorite Motorcycle Drive By and God Of Wine for the encore. Missing from the list was Blinded, which was perfectly fine by me, and a personal favorite of mine, I Want You (also known as my favorite *ahemahem* song). That's all right, the set ended with the band performing SCL; even though I was dehydrated from all the sweat, and hungry for passing up the buffet dinner, it was one final chance to rock out to one of my favorite songs of all time.

Stumbled upon them during their soundcheck!

Just to wrap up a wonderful night of memories, it felt like graduation day for me all over again: the sky was gold, it was rose, I was taking sips of it through my nose, and I wish I could get back there.
Sunday, September 07, 2008

World Record Breaking

Here's something to add to your "distinctly Filipino quirks" list. It's not a party if there's no world record to break. File it right beside "Giant Wooden Spoon and Fork".

Remember all those kissers some Valentines Day ago? What about those fish roasters in Dagupan City and General Santos? So, throwing a grand event? Make sure you plan to break a world record to make it count; no matter how ludicrous it may sound.

World's Longest Bar...before night time, and the massive crowds

I really thought last night was the "Most People Wearing A Scarf in 80% Humidity, 35 C Weather In An 8-Person Per Square Meter Area" world-record breaking activity. Close, but San Miguel made sure we were aware of what claim to fame we were gunning for: World's Longest Bar. Spoiler alert - we did bag the record, with a length of over 600 meters. Great job for the organisers, but couldn't they tie it up with "Longest Octoberfest Celebration"? This year's Octoberfest starts in September, but ends in January. Wow, more world mysteries as we roll this blog.

But the biggest mystery would be, how come Third Eye Blind wasn't too publicized? Thanks to Benj and the rest of the blogging community, I was able to catch wind of the event, and get inside the venue.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008

US Open 2008: Men's Quarterfinals

Nadal vs Fish
In a rematch of Indian Wells, expect a change of coasts, but not of outcome. Nadal has been unstoppable since the start of the clay season, and his quest to end the year with a flourishwill not stop here. Fish will try to outserve the Spaniard, and he probably will, but he will most probably be out-returned as well. With Fish throwing piercing winners, expect Nadal to return most of them wil interest. Four sets should do the trick.

Del Potro vs Murray
Sorry, I thought this was the "Most Improved Haircut" category. But hey, look up their old photos, JMDP's Frankenstein look will give Murray's Krusty The Klown hair. Oh yeah, we were talking tennis. Finally. Murray's guile is now matched with his sense of balance, and you can see that shine through in Cincinnati. With 4 straight tournaments in tow, he's definitely this season's breakout star. This will be decided by a coin flip, and should this go the distance of 5 sets, expect the Scot to fire up his campaign for a first Slam. I think it will, but it will not save us from the bicep pumping exercise please.

Roddick vs Djokovic
Include me to the group of people who's actually written off Andy to win another major. He's proven me wrong, with a stellar first week then capping it off with a sensational win of hard hitter Gonzalez. He's been playing grounded tennis, less of the fancy powershots, and more of the patient slice backhand game. Honestly, I'm bored, but if it takes him a step further, then New York and the rest of the US will have something to celebrate. Djokovic, on the other hand had a slight blip against up and comer Cilic, and turned into a nightmare with Robredo. Hopefully the Serb will pick up the pieces there, and peak right in time for another final in Flushing.

Not sure if he'll survive the Roddick QF test

Muller vs Federer
I would've chosen Nole or Roger to take the title, but their 4R challengers took away their mantle of invincibility. This section of the draw is stacked, and Federer still may salvage his worst season in 5 years with a title run. He probably won't lose to a qualifier, and he should be able to save enough energy to face the withered winner of the Andy-Nole encounter.

Semis and Final
I'd choose Federer and Nadal. It's going to be another thrilling final match up, and I'm crossing fingers that the Swiss will not end the year Slamless.

I'm going to rule the hardcourt slams too...

A last hurrah!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008

US Open 2008: Women's Quarterfinals

Flavia vs Dinara
Looks like a winnable match for Lil Sister - with rising confidence and falling champions in her draw this should be a walk in the park for her to reach another Slam semifinal. Given that it's the hardcourts, expect Dinara to shine in straight sets.

Venus vs Serena
A very joyous occassion for American tennis fans. What they missed out in Beijing and an awful schedule in London, they will gladly make up on primetime. Both sisters have been cruising since W, but I would gladly give the edge to sister Serena. It's payback time, and has anyone noticed, she's World # 3 already? For all that popcorn factor, let's see this one stretch into the morning with 3 sets.

Elena vs Patty
Nice to see the remaining Swiss Miss to sneak in quietly in the draw. However, I don't think she'll be contesting for the title, and with a bonafide contender in Dementieva, consider her hopes dashed. I've seen 3 matches by Elena, and I've noticed that people have stopped picking on her serve. The signs are coming true! Two long sets here.

Sybille vs Jelena
She's the highest seed left, yet she hardly looks the part. She's lucky that Sybille is new to the big stage, and given the rowdy NY crowd and night lights, the Austrian might crumble to pressure. She should draw up her previous matches, and come out blazing - Jelena, show em you're in the mix to win the competition.

Less tournaments, more focus!

Semis and Final
I wanted a Jelena-Elena final, to guarantee that one of them will finally graduate from kiddie table onto the Slam Winners elite. If I was to choose which one of them is ripe to hold that trophy and 1.4 Mn USD booty, I'd side by the Russian. By this time, the Serb would've wilted from all that match play. To make her win credible, a final test with Serena Williams should to the trick.

A win! Finally!

On her way to claim the top ranking again..