31 08 2008

I feel like kicking myself, well, maybe you can do it for me. I should have taken notes early on. Just imagine the number of gigs the past 4 years and what stories, anecdotes that could have been posted. From the worst to the memorable and important ones from just about any band on Terno. Local, provincial, overseas, school, corporate, private functions, anniversaries and the 1001 “prod” gigs out there. Would’ve been a good read.

I’ll try to look back and remember some highlights and post them every now and then. Meanwhile, here’s some snapshots from recent gigs starring various people and not just Terno artists. Don’t expect a blow by blow account. Let the pictures do the talking.

On a side note, i thought The Purplechickens’ set last Friday kicked ass and the new songs were quite good. Criminally underrated band. Potential future act.

In somewhat related news, Ang Bandang Shirley’s “Theme Songs”  should be officially out in the stores a couple of weeks from now. The first pressing is to be delivered today at the office. It’s a very good album. I think the local indierock cognoscenti will lap it up.

By the way, prior to the Shirley gig last Friday, a few of us ate at this restaurant along Katipunan. We had eaten there before and it was quite good so we did a McArthur. This time it was still not bad but the service SUCKED like Dracula on a virgin’s neck. We ordered the “batchoy” as it says on their menu it was 65 pesos for a solo order. We had asked if the serving was big enough and the waiter said “yes sir, good for two”. For 65 pesos that’s not a bad deal and 3 people including yours truly ordered Le Batchoy.

Once served, we saw that it was in a HUGE bowl and again were amazed at how reasonable it was for its size. Lo and behold, the waiter says its P150 pesos and not P65 pesos since we ordered the “regular” and not the “solo”! Now, that would’ve been fine if their menu stated that there was a “regular” at P150, unless, i and the other two people who ordered were crosseyed and just didn’t see it, which i doubt. So, it’s a bit deceiving really. Still, let’s just say we were just stupid to realize it just from looking at the menu, the waiter should have at least explained or corrected that there were two sizes and we were ordering 3 bowls that’s good for 6-8 people. As if that wasn’t enough, the waiter argued with us vehemently that we ordered the “regular” just as he described it when in actuality there was no warning nor explanation before and all the more, after he got the three separate orders, two from people who are skinny and can’t possibly be ordering something that’s double their usual intake!

The waiter said we can’t send it back to the kitchen anymore because clearly THAT is what we ordered. Whatever happened to “the customer is always right”? Good for them, cooler heads still prevailed and we just ate the unexpected P150 Batchoy x 3 that weren’t actually the best in my book. It doesn’t end there. Another person from our group who got in a little late ordered Chicken Inasal. To cut a long story short, we had all finished eating and his order still hadn’t arrived. We called another waiter to follow up the order and he comes back saying “Ay hindi po pala nakuha yung order nyo eh. Paluto pa ho ba or cancel na lang?” Can you believe the waiters and BAD service in this restaurant? The waiters aren’t even briefed well to at least apologize and say sorry for their shortcomings. This place may have been awarded one of the “Best Restaurants” by Tatler. We say, they got it wrong.

despite the comedy of horrors, at the end of the night, we were all smiles.

jack of all trades and master of none.

30 08 2008

Yes, i wear many hats. I might be selling myself short though with the post title but it sounds good so it stays.

Recently, i revived my DJing career and the Groove Nation entity though it doesn’t mean i DJ every weekend. It’s whenever i feel like it. I’ve slowly learned to enjoy it again and play the other kinds of music I’ve championed from the start. There was a time when i couldn’t listen to HOUSE music be it Chicago, deep, tech, micro and TECHNO, from minimal, Detroit, dub and hardcore to electro, the way i would listen to it everyday before, not because i grew tired of it but more because of just about everyone here in Manila were DJs and each one tooting their own horns with proclamations of being “The No.1 DJ in the country”,”The Best Local DJ”, “The Most Exciting DJ”…something i’d give to anyone IF they backed it up with TALENT,SKILL and TASTE.

As it is though, most lack history and foundation in music or to be specific with Soul, Funk and Disco onto the “House” music that they play and it shows. Being a DJ doesn’t mean just because you learned to BPM mix from one record,cd,mp3 to another,then you’re already a DJ. Worst of all, if you just throw “anthems” one after another. The argument I’ve heard is that the DJ is an entertainer and should please his/her audience and i agree to some extent, especially if you’re a DJ in a bar or a club wherein you’re expected to play the hits or you have to have a more populist mindset but if you’re propping yourself up as THE DJ much like how the famous international ones are then you’re expected to guide and influence your audience to new ideas and sounds and not just give them what they have in their Ipods which they know inside out. If you’re going to promise me that cliche, “I’ll take you on a journey of valleys and peaks” then by all means i for one, expect you to push the envelope and not play what the 100 other DJs play day in day out in bars and pseudo-clubs around the metro. Back it up so to speak.

Now that’s not to say I’m the best in the land but one thing i can say is that i push the envelope and provide an option and to a point, educate that “Everafter” is not really a good representation of what House music really is or that this new rave/fidget scene is not the modern electronic dance music I’m referring to…to a local audience who mostly are uninformed and ill-informed or just plain apathetic. Sadly, in this country it’s more about schmoozing,partying,to see and be seen and the music is more background than anything so it doesn’t matter if they’re dancing or partying to crap dance music or something that’s played from TV variety shows to Alibangbang Beer Garden to Decades or Embassy.  Despite of that short rant, i have cooled down ,the bad taste has left my mouth and while the country is still overflowing with superstar and fake DJs who continue to disappoint and simply, just don’t get it, I’m feeling good about playing every now and then.

Groove Nation also has a new show on NU107 every Wednesday night 11-12midnight  called DEEP FRIED with an accompanying DEEP FRIED bi-monthly dance night at Sagujio. The first of which is to be held this Saturday the 6th of September. It’s obviously experimental being that Saguijo is really more of a rock venue and i really don’t know what to expect for Saturday but Angelo of Saguijo’s open with it so we’ll see how long we need to build this. It is perfect for its small size and somehow i know there are people out there who are really looking for a place where they can dance and have fun but cannot really see themselves going to the commercial chi-chi clubs.

It’s also about time to get rid of the “I only listen to rock music therefore i can’t dance and won’t listen to anything else” mentality. It is 2008 after all and if you’re a true music fan you would’ve heard of the late 80’s Summer Of Love, Manchester or how your favorite foreign bands have embraced the rave/electronic dance music culture. I’ve seen for myself how for example, Bobbie Gillespie and the rest of Primal Scream dance and party at various underground raves in the late 80s,early 90’s why can’t you?

to blog or not to blog

29 08 2008

I know it’s a bit late in the game and i should have done this a long time ago but for a time i wasn’t quite sure i wanted everyone to know what’s going on inside my head and really, i don’t think anyone would be interested. For all we know, it’ll just be the same circle of friends who will get to read what i have to say or share but i guess it could be therapeutic to purge one’s self of thoughts and observations kept within.

I must say, i am inspired by the many music blogs out there, both good and bad and if one person can say so much about his or her favorite records or type of music, i think i can probably do the same thing, 25,000 plus x more, just as long as i don’t get lazy. It’s not going to be all about records though, it could be some other great find, a book, a band, good food, footwear or really well designed furniture. Not to scare you but it could also be about my kids.Yes, i do have the “proud father syndrome” and i can’t help it. My six-year old son Pepi is quite a charmer and has got great taste in music for his age. Yes,of course we (my wife Rica and i) let him be with what he sees and hears on Disney and Nickelodeon, you know, High School Musical, Jonas Brothers or cheesy 90’s euro dance music used for Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler movies but but it’s not everyday you come across a kid who knows most of XTC‘s songs and hums New Order‘s “Temptation” while playing computer games online or singing the chorus to Tahiti 80‘s “1000 Times” while brushing his teeth. Meanwhile, Paddy, our one and a half year old, isn’t far behind, curiously wanting to touch the knobs and faders of the mixer and nodding his head to Swayzak! Not bad eh?

But before you say daddy overload, I’ll stop.

There is however, another father of sorts role i have and that is the headmaster of the Terno Recordings family of artists and bands which is a feat in itself. Having to deal with different characters, attitudes, egos and insecurities can be a handful and most of the time stressful. That’s just being a figurehead mind you.  Managing most of the bands is another ulcer-inducing activity i experience day to day. Never in my strangest dream did i see myself  being a band manager but probably as punishment for some sins in the past i am considered one and a professional one at that . I may have leadership qualities and maybe for some, the idea of managing rock stars is glamorous but it really is nothing more than just working for a bunch of people who most of the time don’t appreciate what you do for them and you are mostly to blame when things are not exactly rosy. With success they’re with you 100% but with failure you’re alone.

I know this blog is not titled the “depressing world of The Collector” and i don’t mean to sound like all are such ingrates but maybe I’m just saying it’s a difficult job (low paying too unless you’re handling superstars) and it’s a good thing this managerial position i have is related to music or i probably would’ve given up a long time ago. Hopefully, some of them do get wind of this blog to see that it’s not sex, drugs and rock & roll for this manager but more like haggling with people who don’t want to pay what’s due the band or bands.

Now, running a small, financially strapped record label is another thing. Yeah, Terno maybe critically acclaimed and so do most of the bands on it but it’s also under critical condition as quality doesn’t necessarily equate to cash flow in this town. It’s hard but when the going gets tough, the tough get going and we trudge on.

If there was a category in some local award giving body like Best Independent label or Label with Balls, it would be a crime if it doesn’t go to Terno. Unfortunately, that seems unlikely to happen, i mean that category or that acknowledgment. Maybe 20 years from now. Maybe never or just maybe, lady luck would smile and make it the cash cow that it should be. I hope so.

In the meantime, we welcome financial donations from like minded music fanatics who double as generous philanthropists. Seriously. No, I’m not kidding. We’ll take cash or checks. We’re easy to please. Yeah.