D é N O U E M E N T S

Antony Hegarty: “Landslide” (MP3)

Nothing better than capping the day off with a new Antony Hegarty track. Then the day becomes double great when you hear a common song, the one that was memorized with all the lyrics and the chords way,way back, being redone by Antony in an achingly plaintive mood that brings back the same old stuff you have attached the songs to.

The most favorable cover of “Landslide” that I have personally enjoyed is the one done by the Smashing Pumpkins, after that the rest becomes mediocre if not totally irrelevant.

The beauty of “Landslide” is re-lived more than 35 years when it was first put on record on Fleetwood Mac’s eponymous 1975 album. In his contribution for DFA’ Record’s Fleetwood Mac tribute album Just Tell Me that You Want Me, Antony put his towering wail into a whirring restraint, capitalizing on the song’s powerful lyrics instead and the effect is breathtaking. Listen to it via Soundcloud or get it from a link floating around. Unfortunately, the Soundcloud link is broken so I have the YouTube clip instead.

“Landslide” by Antony

DOWNLOAD “Landslide” by Antony

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Filed under: Song/MP3 Parade, , , , , ,

ROSIE THOMAS: With Love

Rosie Thomas’ toss to slight fame was when she partnered with Damien Jurado for the single “Parking Lot.” Admittedly, I have never heard from Thomas after that aside from some Sufjan Stevens videos online. It was my lack to not look much into her music aside from occasionally hearing her work in When We Were Small and These Friends of Mine. Though bereft of album-by-album familiarity, her name pretty much stayed within my musical satellite, whatever that means.

My full experience of Thomas’ comes across her latest record With Love. A collection of ten, heartfelt songs that listeners can either hate or love depending on how they would perceive Thomas’ generosity to amour. It can be taken as being honest to what the album gravitates to or going overboard with its theme.

The kickstarter “Where Was I” shows off Thomas’ delicate voice, child-like yet embittered, as she shuffles memories and wistfulness that works similarly in another track “In Time,”  two of the best songs in With Love. Cunningly placed to sandwich the lovesick “Over the Moon,” the two aforementioned tracks are the couple in the set which do not make the sappiness go bit over the top.

The most engaging track in the bunch is “A Really Long Year,” a nicely-written narrative that recalls Thomas’ thoughts about her public wedding marred with figures in her life- parents, brother, grandpa- and how she saw “somehow over the rainbow dreams will come true.” (The lyrics get forgivable once played from the start!)

Needless to say, With Love is created if you can bare hearing the title word sung more than ten times and not feel it crawling in your skin. While the record seems like a jar filled of honey to the brim, it has its bitter flavor bottoming in the pit. Few of the tracks are blessed with this, Thomas doing it personal and with a dash of melancholia, but the rest of it are just too saccharine sweet for my taste. It could work in a perspective that With Love is just paying its dues to its intention, that is to speak of the feeling in volumes, but a juicy bit of different taste could also do wonders.

Filed under: Album Commentaries, , , , ,

Fête de la Musique in Manila 2012 (Schedule + Venue)

French DJ Collective Chinese Man is this year’s main attraction in Fête de la Musique 2012. The group, known for its leader Chinese Man, an enigmatic head and owner of Chinese Man Records, blends contemporary jams of dubstep, Afro and hip-hop sampled with obscure samples of traditional music. The group is currently touring Southeast and has been invited to headline the event touted as World Music Day. Aside from the French exports, 10 local bands also take part in the concert: Coco Jam, Pepe Smith, Pupil, Jonan Aguilar, Tondo Tribe, Razorback, Flippin’ Soul Stompers and French singer Julien Drolon.

Aside from staging the concert, a street party is set to pay tribute to the Beatles and the anniversary of their first EP which I assume is their first British EP Twist and Shout. However, the EP was released July 12, 1963 which does not make sense with the press’ claim of celebrating its 50th anniversary. Any information on this one would be very appreciated, just in case the organizers are referring to the band’s another EP. (Here’s my favorite Beatles’ archive site.)

DOWNLOAD: Fete de la Musique 2012 Schedule

Here’s the low down of the event:

Fête de la Musique 2012

Date: June 23, 2012
Venue: Makati Avenue (between Kalayaan Ave. & Valdez St.)
Time: 4:00 pm

STREET PARTY on Makati Avenue
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1st Beatles’ EP release

FREE CONCERTS – 23 June 2012, 4pm onwards

Featuring French DJ Collective Chinese Man and 10 Filipino Bands + Pocket venues

The 2012 Fête de la Musique in Manila is made possible by The Embassy of France, The Alliance Française de Manille, together with Rustan’s, the City of Makati, B-side- The Collective and San Miguel Corporation.

Filed under: Happening Now, , , , ,

Cat Power: “Ruin” (MP3)

The story behind Cat Power’s upcoming record Sun is always followed by a mention of her break-up with long-time boyfriend actor Giovanni Ribisi. Honestly speaking, Chan Marshall’s private life has always been a thing I’d like to know a little but not as much as I would like to explore her discography. Quite hesitant to sound like a fanatic but You Are Free and The Greatest are two of the few records that could easily transport me to different set of mind.

After 2008′s Jukebox, containing mainly of covers, Cat Power was last seen working with Manny Pacquiao in a song “King Rides By” for charity. As one of the most anticipated records, Sun took her to different places (listen to the places mentioned in the lyrics) and a hint of that record was shown via her Instagram back in December 2011.

Now, the first single from Sun is out and I will reserve judgement until I get the whole damn thing but what is noticeable is a change in the atmosphere and instruments used on this one (together with a banging do) which could mean a totally different aura for Sun. Anyway, get “Ruin”, it’s free. If you like to see Chan in action, a video announcement is made for the single where you can see her spray painting barefoot and looking nothing but gorgeous.

DOWNLOAD “Ruin” by Cat Power (right-click, save as, my amigo.)

Filed under: Song/MP3 Parade, , , , , , ,

Send Off Notes: Cynthia Alexander

Tonight Cynthia Alexander is playing at her home. As part of her Send Off Series, Malou Matute, Cj Wasu and Jonathan Zuniga Urbano join the great Miss Alexander in Conspiracy Bar, the place she has been playing almost regularly all these years. But tonight it is for the last time before she leaves for good at the end of the month.

It is certain that at this hour people are cramped in that no smoking, haven for artists venue where familiar faces I have seen sing along to her songs are carrying both heavy and hopeful heart for the musician. Fans charmed by Miss Alexander’s songs, fans who know those songs line by line have taken the freedom of owning the meanings on their own. One comment in her fan page about her recent gig in 19 East rings true to most us, “I remember catching your gig every Thursday at Survival Cafe 12 years ago. Your songs got me through tough times and heartaches.” Pretty much that statement sums up what made her music special to all of us.

“Owner of the Sky” by Cynthia Alexander

Seeing her for the first time way back 2003 in Rakista gig was a shining memory among my friends and I in our university years. That was the first time we heard Miss Alexander sing songs from Insomnia & other Lullabies and Rippingyarns. Hers were records that we memorized from start to finish, from side A to the last track in Side B and with stories winded on some of them. That night, I gave her a bookmark I made with lyrics of “Owner of the Sky,” the ninth track off of Rippingyarns. After that, we tried as much as we could to catch her on her gigs until the time we had to leave school and get our way into the world. Last I have seen of Miss Alexander was on her live recording session in 19East for her live release.

The news about Miss Alexander leaving the Philippines for Washington started buzzing few weeks ago and was confirmed when on her fan page she posted about the Send Off Series she would be staging as farewell concert to her friends and fans. Surely my friends know about this and probably they are now at her concert this very moment. Probably, they are celebrating Miss Alexander’s possible success in another land yet mourning for a pending loss happening in contemporary Filipino music. Her music has been the emblem of triumph for Filipino independent music praised by music critics and worshiped by us. Her leaving could be personal or a professional one, and I cannot blame her. Some of my friends have left the country, too, for opportunities and that includes me. It is just colossal this one, it is Cynthia Alexander and it felt like my country is about to lose the greatest independent artist of my time.

Filed under: Wonderlings, , , ,

Mabuhay!
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