Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rivermaya and Life Hereafter

A few weeks ago, my officemate announced via YM that Rivermaya disbanded. This friend of mine isn’t given to gossip, but the fact that he mentioned it I knew it was huge.

Of course it turned out that its lead singer and chief lyricist Rico Blanco had left the band on the eve of signing the biggest contract of any Filipino band ever by an international label.

I didn’t know about that then except that one of my favorite bands had gone the way of most of its 90’s peers – a long footnote in perhaps the greatest band explosion in Philippine music. I had more pressing concerns so while I made mental note of the sad news, I had more to worry about because I was leaving my job of two years under acrimonious circumstances – that is another story.

It was just a few days ago that I got to fully comprehend the circumstances surrounding Rico Blanco’s departure from Rivermaya. I read what I could about ‘Maya’s history and what happened in Rogue issue #2, the internet and in forums. And there was the podcast interview with the three remaining members on Philmusic.com. I didn’t sleep well after listening to the – what – 80-minute long interview.

Like most if not all, I want the band to continue. Several years ago, basketball player Olsen Racela, who was a batchmate of Blanco’s during our time in Ateneo together, introduced me as a fan who wanted to do a story on the band. I had seen the band play like eight times already (including two with former frontman Bamboo Manalac) and it was a thrill to be a guest of the band backstage. We had a long chat outside Dish as Rico patiently answered and elaborated on his thoughts about the band, their music, their roots, and direction. And it was great that I got him to sign all my ‘Maya CDs. When I relocated to the United States years ago, I only brought with me a three OPM CDs and two of them were Rivermaya albums (the other was Sugar Hiccup’s Womb). I would not bump into him again until an ABL game about a year later.

So as Japs Sergio eloquently and heartfully penned, “Sayang.” But life goes on. I mulled over the departure of Rico and asked myself, has any band at their peak survived the loss of its frontman or key member (sans their death)?

The Beatles didn’t survive the loss of Paul McCartney; even were it John Lennon then it would have had the same effect. Sting’s solo musings ended the Police. The Eraserheads tried to continue with Kris Gorra as lead singer but they were truly better off as another band not as the ‘Heads though (they did as Cambio). Rage Against the Machine continued as Audioslave when Zach De La Rocha left, but as okay as the band was, they weren’t a kick ass outfit they way they were as RATM.

Van Halen might be an exception as Sammy Hagar still made some relevant music with Van Halen after David Lee Roth left.

That 80’s supergroup Asia may is one band that survived numerous line-up changes, but after John Wetton was ousted as lead singer, that ended their best line-up and whatever success they had from thereon. John Payne did well as they recorded a number of albums afterwards, but as much as I hate to say this coming from a fan, they hardly made a dent in the world of music. Should commercial success be a barometer of the band’s relevance and impact? Asia made more albums under the partnership between John Payne and original member Geoff Downes, but some times I wonder if it was dinosaurs like me who only knew of the band.

Another exception might be that longtime supergroup, Fleetwood Mac. They have the luxury of being a band made where the other members can pick up the slack despite missing a member here or there. When they lost Bob Welch, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham stepped in front of the mike. In their last album, keyboardist and vocalist McVie was out of the line-up, but they still had Buckingham and Nicks to carry the load and they were okay.

Prog rock outfit Yes had some success after losing Jon Anderson (they picked up the Buggles’ Trevor Horn) and Tears For Fears that was minus Curt Smith for two albums before reunion brought the partnership with Roland Orzabal back together. But the momentum from their last great album, The Seeds of Love, was long gone.

And that leads me back to Rivermaya. After Bamboo left, I wondered how they’d continue but Rico Blanco more than made up for it and they made their best music afterwards. After listening to Bagong Liwanag, the three-piece outfit of Mike Elgar-Mark Escueta-Japs Sergio take the sound to a bit back to the sing-song style they had with “Ulan” and “Elesi.” There's a more Pinoy feel back to it. Missing is the Brit-rock influence in the music’s texture and groove.

I liked three of the new songs in “Banda Ng Bayan,” “Sumigaw,” and “Olats” and I know that after this EP, they’ll find their new sound altogether for their next album. I know they lost a lot when Rico left, but I guess that’s part of the challenge. Mabuhay ang Rivermaya!

Check out the tracks: "Banda ng Bayan," "Sumigaw," and "Olats"

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hopping On and Off in KL

Reading through the long list of places to go to with Cebu Pacific's Piso Fare, KL was roughly 22 stops that will cover over 40 of KL's major picked in our quest to find out if Michelle Yeoh was telling the truth. Well, actually, "I haven't been there" is the reason but you won't believe how many people just can't help asking:

Hey, so where did you go this time?
Malaysia. In KL.
Ah, Malaysia...so...(intelligent pause)...is it truly Asia?

Since what we considered "the list" of must-see places in KL didn't really progress after "1. Petronas" and "surprise me!" is the impromptu battlecry, taking the Hop-on-Hop-Off for RM38 was a life-saver. The double deck bus goes th
attractions. They run 12 hours daily starting at 8:30AM. Tourists may board and get off at any of their designated stops. Part-lazy, part-"creating a plan", we went through all stops without going down during the first round, which took around 2 hours. Well, except for when the bus waited for 5 minutes at the National Palace stop to give everyone a chance to take pictures.

I'm sure we missed out on the other must-sees but in the interest of time, we picked the following:
1. Stop 8 for KL Tower where we found our inner drama queens;
2. Stop 9 for Chinatown which was a bit disappointing since I was expecting so much more plus the fact that we ended up eating in McDonald's and satay was nowhere in sight;

3. Stop 14 for the parks and the gardens where we found our inner "Supermodel on a day-off";
4. Stop 15 for the National Mosque where we attempted to take a picture while we were in mid-air only to realize jumping was quite inappropriate;
5. Stop 16 for the Merdeka Square where we thought we will be arrested for "excessive overacting during picture-taking". Turns out, they wanted to watch us entertain ourselves taking goofy shots;
6. and of course Stop 1 for Petronas.

Ah, Petronas. There was a reason why it was the only one which made our list initially (and it's not even because Catherine Zeta-Jones frolicked on it in Entrapment). Skybridge tickets are free but you have to get up early and line up to get one. The waiting area was like a UN Convention with every continent represented. After excitedly taking my first five shots on the bridge, I found my knees shaking the rest of the ten minutes realizing the free fall awaiting me if the floor caves in. The towers are connected to the Suria KLCC, a high-end shopping mall where one of us resisted having her picture taken in front of the Jimmy Choo store. With shopping farthest from my mind having been to HK just 2 days before, their food court was my Disneyland -- so many choices, so few meals!

Our hotel, despite the borderline crappy frontdesk service and leaking bathroom ceiling (ahem *Radius* ahem), was not so bad since it boasts of a nice view of KL Tower and Petronas.

So, was Malaysia, truly Asia? Well, let's just say unprepared as we were for this trip, KL, with its clean streets (shiny cars included!) and intricately designed structures, was quite a pleasant surprise.

Parting shot: Hop-on-hop-off services are offered in several cities/countries (I found a website which covers Turkey, Greece and Egypt) including Manila. Last Friday's episode of Trip na Trip on ABS-CBN, featured WOW Philippines' version using a colorful van. I didn't get the details though except for the one-day fee of 500 pesos.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Macau at Night

Music by Bloc Party. Doncha just love it?

It's not quite La Vegas yet which is one long light and sound show that overloads the brain, but Macau's getting there. Before we left, the Venetian was just a week or two away from opening and I think it opened yesterday for business.

The picturesque Fisherman's Wharf with its bevy of eateries, bars, entertainment joints, and the Rocks Hotel.

Looking out towards Taipa. Wish we were able to get the way the moonlight blended with the clouds and the lights from the sights. It was just awesome!

Next to Italy and Atlantic City, I've never seen so many vespas and scooters in one place. But I'd be right at home. I miss my scooter!

Picture time beneath this Chinese temple.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


While walking down from the Ruins of St. Paul, we saw this medicine shop with this strange strange sign. Another reason to guard against piracy. In the headlines of two days ago, this man paid Php 80,000 in fake 1000 peso bills to a funeral home. By the time the cashier realized they were fakes, the man was long gone. Crap!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

From Spice Restaurant


Dear Rick

Thanks for the e-mail and the video...Elmar is very happy and we are all pleased you had such a pleasant time.

Look forward to seeing you on your return.

Best regards

Stuart Brookes


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tripping Billies in Macau Part 1

The Turbojet Sea Express (HK $138 round trip/pax) was rocking from the choppy waves that were smashing against the harbor of the Shun Tak Centre in Sheung Wan. Nary a minute inside the ferry and my travel sickness kicked in big time. Normally I am able to hold back from throwing up, but this one was a challenge. It took a bloody long 15 minutes before everybody was on board for the hour-long ride to Macau from Hong Kong. “Ordeal” is the best way to describe it and I had to buy a can of Pepsi Zero (HK $10 on board but $7 outside) to help squelch the queasiness.

You can imagine my relief when we finally docked at the Macau Ferry and Helioport Terminal. Whew. Nothing like having two feet firmly planted on terra firma. From a distance we could already see a couple of casinos and the famous Ponte de Amizade that heads out to the island of Taipa. You should see the bridge at night with the lights and the clouds that are lit up by the moonlight. Ah, ever the hopeless romantic!

We docked around 145pm and we couldn’t wait to get to our hotel posthaste coz we’re starved after skipping lunch. The problem was we couldn’t locate the shuttle to our hotel, the Casa Real.

The shuttle terminal is a mess. Not only do the shuttles (medium and large-sized buses) mix with the cabs but also private cars. So it takes awhile to get out. There are representatives from the different hotels holding up signs for their respective shuttles so you have to look out for them. Unfortunately Casa Real does not have any rep so we had to ask around in locating our bus.

As it is in most Asian countries, English-speaking people are hard to come by. Since we weren’t a part of any tour group, we knew we were in for a heck of a time getting where we wanted.

Casa Real, a four-star hotel just across the Red Dragon Casino and Yao Han Mall, is a five-minute drive from the terminal. Once inside, its luxurious spaciousness and hominess reminded us of one of our favorite hotels back home, the New World Renaissance in Makati. Room 1122 was real nice and a pleasant change from the budget hostel we stayed at in Tsim Sha Tsui. Ah, the comfort of a soft and fluffy bed! Some things you should never take for granted. As I switched on the telly, the local programming was worse than Hong Kong’s! Fortunately we don’t travel to stay cooped up in our room to become couch potatoes. After a quick wash up we’re off to eat then see the city and the sights.

A couple of the hotel doormen and porters are Filipinos. We can’t begin to tell you how grateful we are to be able to talk to someone who can help you out without having to resort to sign language or semaphores. One of the Filipino porters is a chap by the name of Anthony who helps carry our luggage to the room. Another noypi, Edgar later gives us valuable advice when commuting to Leal Senado and other sites.

If you thought that there was nothing to do in Macau, then you’ve got another thought coming… welcome to the Las Vegasification of the former Portuguese colony!

Lost In Translation
Unfortunately for us, one hotel meal costs MOP (Patacas) 69. That’s equivalent to HK $69 so we decided to eat at the nearby Yao Han Mall that resembles Landmark in Makati.

It took us another 30 minutes before we could actually eat a meal since no one understood a word of English. That’s strange considering the signs in the Food Court are all in English. We eventually managed to communicate the viands we wanted to order by writing down their code numbers on a slip of paper. It turned out that every dish of every food stall is numbered and all you have to do is write it down on a slip of paper and give it to the centralized cashier. Another thing was if you want a Coke, you have to say “Coke,” not soda or softdrinks. Coke is as universal a word as you can get.

We had one whole roasted chicken, a plate of sautéed vegetables, and a cup of rice. Not the tastiest of meals but it was enough to satisfy our hunger.

Mai and I laughed at the language barrier and wondered how we’ll get around. We had no idea that the worse was yet to come.

From Yao Han Mall, we took the A3 bus to Largo do Senado. Unfortunately, the bus driver didn’t understand a word we were saying and he angrily dismissed us to just move to the back. Since we were unsure if we were on board the right vehicle and the driver was most unhelpful (and rude), we went down since we didn’t want to end up in the middle of nowhere. The thing is, I already plunked down MOP 5 Patacas (at 2.50 each) and weren’t getting any refund.

Upset at our quandary and the stifling heat, we took a cab instead. The driver hardly spoke English but when we showed him the map that we wanted to go to the Leal Senado only then did he understood us. As soon as we got down, we noticed the A3 bus we initially took pass right by. The cab ride set us back by MOP 24 Patacas (ouch!). What a waste of money!

Largo do Senado
Back during its colonial days, this was the center of all activity. Now while the Largo do Senado is no longer the center of government and power it is still the venue for public events and celebrations. As for buildings that retain the neo-classical Mediterranean architecture design – they’re now shops for international brands like Giordano, Bossini, McDonald’s, and Starbucks among others.

As we moved inwards, we followed the street up to the Ruinas do Sao Paolo. The road to the ruins is lined with shops that sell antiques, shirts, football jerseys, kites, and beef jerky. The beef jerky and cookie shops offer free tastes.

Ruinas do Sao Paolo
Having gone to a Jesuit school, seeing the ruins of the old St. Paul’s Church in Macau was all the more special. Built in 1602, the church had an impressive structure with three naves. As it was in the Philippines and the rest of the world, the Jesuits were expelled after their order fell victim to intrigues and power struggles within the church’s hierarchy. St. Paul’s was turned over to the Portuguese military until a fire destroyed the entire complex in 1835. It was only in the 1990s that massive restoration work turned this landmark into a modern tourist site.

Whenever we travel, we can’t help but find the hand of God in the places we go to. And behind the ruins even at the crypt, or the beautiful sunset from the Fortaleza do Monte, we just marvel at His creations.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

HK Mix Pix

Show them your true colors. You're a Red. Go Liverpool! Killing time in Chek Lak Kop before going home.

Taken from the Peak. Nice 360 degree view. I have acrophobia so don't ask how I manage.

I've been to a lot of places, but my two absolute favorite places are New York City and Hong Kong. What do I like about HK? Simple... east meets west.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

HK Summer & More Eats

Taking the Airport Express to Tsim Sha Tsui. It's faster and cheaper to ride since the MRT system is easy to understand. It took 25 minutes from Chek Lak Kop to Kowloon. Then it's like a 10-minute bus ride to the hotel. Only because we had to drop off some others at their respective hotels.

Cool, cruel summer and La Nina.
We arrived with the Summer Shopping Festival two-thirds done and with intermittent rains and a hot summer sun that wrecks havoc on the health. But make no mistake… it was hot in every conceivable way from the slashed prices to the pretty girls in season wear, and down to the events that make Hong Kong such a happening place.

When you fill out the Disembarkation Card for immigration purposes, there’s a question that asks why you’re flying to the former Crown Colony of England. We always check the box that indicates holiday/pleasure. And that for us and I’m sure many others as well an understatement.

Time was – when I was younger – going to Hong Kong was a “reloading run” where I hunt down the books, CD’s, and DVD’s I didn’t have. I didn’t buy too many clothes. I only indulged myself occasionally in Calvin Klein jeans and Giordano as my brand clothing of choice. I normally prefer tiangge stuff than shop at trendy stores and malls. But I’ve really been satisfied with Giordano ever since time immemorial. So I guess that doesn’t make me a fashionista at all, eh? Hahaha!

Over the last seven years, traveling undertook a different meaning for me – chalk that up to age I guess. I began to better appreciate the various cultures, history, and cuisine. I started to look beyond the traditional budget conscious fastfoods like McDonald’s and KFC (as a means of saving my few dollars for more materialistic loot) for the somewhat more pricey restos. But teka minute, does that mean that traveling is better suited to when you’re older?

Vietnam & Thailand Spice Village
Prat Avenue in Tsim Sha Tsui happens to be one of the few streets in this shopping district without stores. What it has are numerous small restaurants and bars, a betting station, and a three star hotel in Guangdong where I’ve stayed frequently for its proximity to Nathan Road and those all-nighter food joints.

Nestled between a pair of bars – just a literal stone’s throw away from Guangdong is the Vietnam and Thailand Spice Village. It’s a small and cozy restaurant no bigger than a small Starbucks. But the food is… delicious and at affordable prices. In fact, this is our second time here.

Here’s what we ordered:

Guay Tiow Pad See Yu $52
Fried Noodles Chinese style
Mixed with your choice of pork, beef, chicken, seafood

Moo Pad Takai Ob Neay $48
Deep fried pork with butter and lemongrass

Strawberry Sago $15

Rua De Macau
A lot of the restaurants in Hong Kong serve a variety of ethnic cuisine. All the more to cater to a wider client-base I figure. One the way back to Hong Kong from Macau, we skipped breakfast. So by the time we arrived in Sheung Wan around noon, we were famished. And it turns out there’s a pretty popular restaurant in the Terminal, Rua De Macau Chef where they serve a mixture of Chinese and Portuguese food.

We were lucky to get a table right away coz within a few minutes, the line was getting kilometric.

What we ordered:

Baked Short Ribs Macau style $40

Baked Pork Chops Portuguese style $40

Each meal comes with rice and they serve free tea.

Okay. This is for the budget conscious. But I make it a point to try out a branch in every territory because of the differences in the menu. For example, the McDonald’s in Philadelphia carry cheese steaks. The McDonald’s in California have fajitas. In Australia, the burgers don’t have pickles (Aussies hate them I heard from the Manager of the McDonald’s in NYC’s 42nd Street).

While watching people gamble in the Sands casino, I checked out the McDonald’s inside and they had this on their menu:
• Tiramisu Sundae Parfait (yum!)
• Mango Fruit Sundae
• Milo (yes, Milo!) McFlurry
• Mango Fruit Punch

What we were not able to try:

Atomic Patty the Great Burger Shed

Yes I know it sounds like some Japanese anime film but this is Hong Kong’s answer to Brothers Burger or the Bite Club. It’s located at the basement of the California Tower in d’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong. It’s that trendy expat eatery that I mentioned above.

New Korean BBQ Restaurant 2/F Lockhart Road, Wan Chai or at VIP Commercial Centre along Canton Road (the road where Harbour City, Gateway Arcade, and Ocean Centre is located) in TST.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Streets of Mong Kok

Mong Kok in English means “busy corner” and this tourist-favorite place located in the Yau Tsim Mong district of Kowloon is known for its street markets where bargains abound. From our hotel along Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, it’s a short MTR ride ($4) on the Tsuen Yuen line. The street markets here extend all the way to the Jordan district (Tsim Sha Tsui-Jordan-Mong Kok)

There’s the Temple Street night market in Jordan and Tung Choi (Ladies’ Market) and Fa Yuen Street (Sports Wear Market) in Mong Kok. We tried to go to Yuen Po, which is located on the other side of Nathan Road, but the afternoon was sweltering hot and we needed to go back to the hotel to get some rest before moving out again. Yuen Po is more popularly known as the Bird Market where you’ll find all sorts of feathery fowl sold on the street. Plenty colorful I must say. Haven’t been there in years though.

A word to the shopper though -- don’t just buy anything right away. Look around first. You might see something better even cheaper in the next stall. And haggle for a lower price.

And there are food stalls/hawkers abound selling congee, noodles, tofu, dimsum, fishballs, and Chinese delicacies. Again, always haggle for prices. If they see you’re a tourist they jack up the prices.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Knutsford Terraces, Kowloon August 2007

music by: broken social scene

Knutsford Steps and Terrace
Tucked behind the Miramar Hotel along Nathan Road is picturesque Knutsford Steps and gastronomic dining experience at Knutsford Terraces. It’s Tsim Sha Tsui’s answer to Central’s Lan Kwai Fong (or Singapore’s Clarke Quay) – a hangout for the expat crowd with a smattering of locals and tourists. Part of the allure to this walkway of eateries located behind the Miramar Shopping Centre (along Kimberly Road corner Carnarvon Road; exit B2 of TST MTR stop) is that if you choose not to sit inside the air-conditioned confines, you have the option of dining in the al fresco area.

It has Italian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Asian restos.

Spice Restaurant & Bar
We initially wanted El Cid, the Spanish restaurant. I was licking my lips in anticipation of paella and some exotic dish. Except that Spanish cuisine makes use of a lot of seafoods and shellfish which are bad for me. Yes, I know what I’m missing so you don’t have to rub it in. So we chose Spice Restaurant & Bar that serves Thai, Malay, and Indian food. It has the advantage of being one of the first restaurants you come across after going up that photo-op friendly Knutsford Steps (that has a Starbucks beside it). Amarjeet Singh, one of the restaurant’s directors joins his maitre ’d outside and personally ushers you to the second floor where they have elegant Indian-style cubbyholes that have comfortable sofas where you can put your feet up. There also the usual table areas. The dim lights lend an air of mysticism and romanticism to the dinning experience.

If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find yourself being served by Elmar Torrente, one of the few Filipino waiters who work the restaurant. Be sure to ask him what the house specialties are and he’ll recommend some tasty dishes.

The appetizers average $90, salads $60, soup $50, spice meals $160, and curies $110. All the prices are in Hong Kong dollars.

Here’s what we ordered:
Chicken Makhani $90
Spiced chicken roasted in Tandoori sauce then simmered in rich tomato sauce with butter and gravy

Malay Beef Ractang $115
Beef tenderloin braised with galangal, lemon grass and lime

Jasmine rice costs HK $5 each

Our verdict: real good food here. The sizes are pretty generous and we should have ordered a vegetable dish to balance it out. Each order is good enough to split for two people.

Spice is open
Lunch Monday-Friday 1130am-230pm
Dinner Sunday-Thursday 6pm-12mn / Friday-Saturday 6pm-1am

And no, this is not a paid advert. But I wouldn't mind if they'd do though.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Peak & Madame Tussaud's Hong Kong

music by: Dave Matthews Band & Atomic Kitten

Madame Tussaud's Hong Kong

Time was the only thing that you saw when you took the Peak Tram was to soak in the unparralled and majestic view of Victoria Harbour.

Nowadays, there's the Peak Galleria and Madame Tussaud's. The two-way fare/Madame Tussaud's combo tickets cost HK $130 per pax. While the wax museum doesn't have as much as what they showcase in NYC, it's still a god side trip guaranteed for many photo ops. The Tiger Woods and Brad Pitt figures were undergoing repair at the time we were there.

Yeah yeah yeah. Beatlemaniacs unite!

Do we join American Idol or Battle of the Brainless... that is the question?

Meet the next two contestants in Dancing with the Stars...

Meet the Royal Windsor Family. As Mel Brooks famously once said, "It's good to be the King!"

Cher just loves showing me the sights.

Some like it hot, but as for me, I'm not telling. But if you really wanna know... Marilyn should shave her legs.

Bush is a jerk, I tell you! Get out of Iraq!

Who is Monica Lewinsky?

The Princess meets the Pauper.

Everybody's gonna be kung-fu fighting....

Friday, August 10, 2007

CD's I got in Hong Kong

Reel Big Fish's MONKEYS FOR NOTHING AND CHIMPS FOR FREE is the band's first outside Mojo Records and it brings back the fun they lost on their last outing. I have all their albums and I liken them to Parokya Ni Edgar -- they've been around yet they're still a plenty fun band never once losing their penchant for poking fun at themselves, being lazy, drinking beer, and dreaming about other guys' girlfriends. Their best albums are the first two ones but this new album is a fun listen without a doubt. Doncha miss Goldfinger too?

Linkin Park's third album is way different from the rap-metal that permeated itself in their first two offerings. But as much as I'm a fan, MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT just doesn't cut it. I have to listen to it again and again just to like it. But who knows, maybe it will eventually grow on me.

I was up and dancing at the news that the Pumpkins' seventh album was in production only to find out that it was recorded only by the Supreme egoist himself Billy Corgan and forever cohort Jimmy Chamberlain. No D'Arcy or James Iha. But for the tour, Corgan recruited bassist Ginger Reyes (who I was a fan of when she recorded her Ginger Sling album) and guitarist Jeff Schroeder. As much as Corgan is a huge part of the band, HE is not the band. My gripes aside, ZEITGEIST is still a darn good album.

I don't know why I resisted this band for so long. When they released Transatlanticism several years ago, I passed it by constantly on the shelves at Virgin, HMV, Tower, Sam Goody, and Best Buy. I bought the album after I saw them at the Siren Music Festival in Coney Island and am now forever a fan. WE HAVE THE FACTS AND WE'RE VOTING YES is a fun listen that the Photo Album reprises. Nerd rock without that bittersweet taste.

Interpol's Turn On the Bright Lights was my New York soundtrack and years later, onto their third outing in OUR LOVE TO ADMIRE, they're still at it with their post-punk gloom. Only faster and with a snarl. I'd say that its better than their second album Antics.

I grew up with Rush's Permanent Waves. And the Canadian prog rockers have over the years still managed to produce such great rock music wrought with highly-textured arrangements and dazzling time changes. Neil Peart has not lost his deep lyrical approaches despite the tragedy that has befallen him.

I was watching the 20th anniversary Edition of the Transformers animated movie the other night and while Rush doesn't appear there, the soundtrack's music which has a prog rock feel to it reminded me of those good old days. Beginning with Vapor Trails, their music is firmly back in my ipod. SNAKES AND ARROWS is pretty cool.

Kittie may not be the best band in the world -- even in the metal scene -- but there's something about them that makes me a fan. My days listening to metal stuff pummel my head into submission may be done, but I still occasionally enjoy the odd headbanger or two. FUNERAL FOR YESTERDAY however is the band's best album sonically. But for my money, it's still not close to Oracle or Until the End.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Moira Kelly Night!

Back-to-back tonight. Bring out the cornik and some Pepsi Max.

DB Sweeney was asked what it was like to kiss Moira Kelly and all he had to say was that "It's one of life's greatest pleasures."

I bought the movie poster of Cutting Edge during the 2003 Big Apple Comic Convention. It's safely tucked away with some other great stuff.

Hale: I don't like to see her upset.
Doug: If I was you, I'd invest in blindfolds.

Kate: If you're so bored, why don't you read?
Doug: You mean like a book?
Kate: That is the generally accepted format, yes.
Kate: What was the last book you read? You were in college?
Doug: The last thing I read in college was a letter canceling my scholarship when I couldn't play anymore.
Kate: Okay, high school.
Doug: I was a hockey player. The only thing I had to read was a scoreboard.
Kate: And they graduated you?
Doug: They revered me. I was a God.
Kate: What a tragic commentary on our times.

I love watching this not just cause of Moira Kelly's breathtaking beauty but for some great dialogue.

And this may be the best of the lot:

Simon Wilder: You asked the question, sir, now let me answer it. The beauty of the Constitution is that it can always be changed. The beauty of the Constitution is that it makes no set law other than faith in the wisdom of ordinary people to govern themselves.
Professor Pitkannan: Faith in the wisdom of the people is exactly what makes the Constitution incomplete and crude.
Simon Wilder: Crude? No, sir. Our "founding parents" were pompous, white, middle-aged farmers, but they were also great men. Because they knew one thing that all great men should know: that they didn't know everything. Sure, they'd make mistakes, but they made sure to leave a way to correct them. The president is not an "elected king," no matter how many bombs he can drop. Because the "crude" Constitution doesn't trust him. He's just a bum, okay Mr. Pitkannan? He's just a bum.

Simon Wilder: Which door do I leave from?
Professor Pitkannan: At Harvard we don't end our sentences with prepositions.
Simon Wilder: Okay. Which door do I leave from, asshole?