Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Broken Social Scene: Creating new memories

"We cannot relive old memories but we can create new ones."

That was one of the first words that Broken Social Scene's main man Kevin Drew said last night to the packed Esplanade. And I took a brief jaunt down memory lane.

I used regularly check out the Indie Music rack at the old Virgin Records store in Times Square. The thing about Indie is --- it's hit or miss. There were some stuff that I chucked out of the window and into the trash can and forced me to scream out for wasting at least ten bucks.

One time, I noticed this CD with a black and white cover of a band performing. Not exactly something new, right? But there was a certain crudeness to it. DIY the indie way, I figure. So what grabbed me was the sticker that had this one it: “’You Forgot It In People' is a pop record designed to remind us that music still has room to be created. it flows like a compilation of sounds for the wounded. the last record was constructed for lovers in bathrooms...this is for the ones who leave their homes looking for hope.” Now that... convinced me to pick up the album by Broken Social Scene. This was in 2003.

I bought a stack of discs that day and that BSS album was one of the last I played. When I did, I was initially impressed found myself wondering if the production was cheap and why did the album's flow have a certain inconsistency to the production and flow. But those were gripes because the album immediately shook me. I played it over and over and was convinced that I had found a gem.

About a month or so later, I got to watch them in NYC and it remains an indelible memory. Performing live, the band had not of the frailties of what I thought was a badly produced album. They were a solid unit. Maybe it was the indie sensibility but the live sound brought out their chops. It was magical let me tell you and up to this day, I swear by You Forgot It In People.

So seven years later, I'm saw Broken Social Scene for a second time, this time in Singapore. Last night affirmed what Drew said about create a new memory and a relationship with the audience. He was happy that everyone knew their tunes. I helped lead the handclaps for "Stars and Sons"which is one of my favorites. I sang along to "Cause=Time" and it's racy chorus. The band obviously had gotten better; their chops finely honed.

After the show, I had an opportunity to get my CD of Forgiveness Rock Record their new album signed by all eight members of Broken Social Scene. Plus, I got chat with frontman Kevin Drew!

Rick: That was a great performance, Kevin!
Kevin: Awesome! Thanks for watching. We love interacting with the fans as you can see.

Rick: What you said earlier -- about not reliving old memories but creating new ones -- I relate that to You Forgot It In People and Forgiveness Rock Record. It's the way I feel about it.
Kevin: Exactly! (to the rest of the band) Hey, fellas. Rick here really gets us. (saying to keyboardist/guitarist Justin Spearin) Now, this dude here (me) is one serious fan. And you saw us too in New York, you say? Gawd.... I'm old.
Rick: So am I, Kevin.
Kevin: That means we're gonna grow old and make great music together.

Rick: You like performing in Singapore?
Kevin: Yes, I do. We do as a band. It's amazing when people come up to you and tell you how your music moves them and means so much to them. I'm getting weepy here (pretends to dry his eyes). So I'm sure we're going to do this again. After all this is our second time here.

Rick: And the new album?
Kevin: It's tighter. It's more focused. And hopefully, everyone will know the lyrics to the songs the next time we come 'round here.
The new CD. Signed by all eight members of Broken Social Scene.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And another timeless fave... chicken rice

Yep, can not not have this when I'm in Singapore. $6.50/meal at Food Republic.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

With the exception of Sevendust, Stars, and Nightwish, the other new CDs I got were to replace what I previously lost.
Sevendust - Cold Day Morning
Nightwish - Dark Passion Play
Stars - The Five Ghosts
Mastodon - Leviathan
Mastodon - Remission
Lacuna Coil - Comalies

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Me @ the One School

I was a guest speaker today at The One School in Urdaneta Village, Makati. We had a class of about 18 high school students who listened to four different talks from four different speakers about music. My talk was called, "No music. No life." Basically it's all about how it shaped and influenced not just my person but also my career (although I left the music biz not soon after school). You see, I wanted to be anyone of three things -- a US Marine, a teacher, or a rock star. I was leaning mostly towards the latter and that explains all the bands I played in from grade school to high school to college. Why didn't I pursue it? Let me just say that I had the right amount of teenage angst except that it was in the wrong place.

I first became friends with Ryan Villena when I tried to sign their band Tungaw back during the second wave of Pinoy music in the early 90's. Instead, they went to Dyna Records (I signed Datu's Tribe and Parokya ni Edgar instead). After a lengthy sojourn abroad, we renewed acquaintances when I returned and was looking for CDs by his band Narda. Since then we've chatted on occasion about music, what's hot and who's not, and the Ateneo Blue Eagles. He invited me to be a guest speaker given all my experiences with music. I wasn't feeling well today since I've been nursing a fever for quite a while now but no way was I missing this. Thanks for the invite! 

Oh, the project for his class? To release an album! Wooo!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Book video: House to House with David Bellavia

I bought the book HOUSE TO HOUSE the other day as I wanted to read something about the war in Iraq. And as I mentioned before, there are a lot of good books out there on that particular conflict and Joker One being a sample good read. This one, written by Staff Sergeant David Bellavia tells of an infantry squad that entered Fallujah and plunged into a savage house-to-house street-to-street battle. If you liked Blackhawk Down then you have to pick this up.

This is available locally so for war genre buffs pick this one up.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Reflections Part V

From the dinner table of a friend's house in Salcedo Village, Makati.