Before we begin, a long-overdue correction: I was wrong when I suggested, on the first ever Local Outsider, that Flying Ipis was the first Filipino band to head to SXSW in Austin, Texas. Well, I didn’t say it explicitly, but I think I suggested it, so I now have to mention that Taken by Cars was invited first, a few years back. I remember hearing about it, and getting excited about it, but I don’t know why I forgot about it. I was going to say that it’s all down to timing, but, well, I’ll explain in the next paragraph.
As I said, it’s all down to timing. I started paying more attention to local alternative acts when in my third year in high school. This was around 2003, 2004. One of my friends, Gio, listened to NU a lot, and more importantly, always bought albums from the bigger acts at the time. I borrowed a lot from him, shamelessly: Urbandub’s early releases, the Mongols, you get the idea. Around the same time my sister and my cousin were getting into such acts, and the next thing I know, we were swept up in that renaissance of local alternative, one that would die down by around 2009. Taken by Cars started around that time – they released their debut Endings of A New Kind in 2008, actually – and “Uh Oh”, with its zippy CSS-esque sound, caught my attention. But by that time I had graduated from college, and was hunkering down on my first job. Life got in the way, so to speak. That, and the local alternative scene returned to its shell, leaving those who became successful (like Sponge Cola) to the zombieland that is “masa”. The band’s still active, though, although they haven’t released an album since 2011’s Dualist.
While many began lamenting the so-called death of OPM (and others lamenting the fact that people think it died), some have been working quietly to at least prop it up. Last month the folks at the Philpop Music Festival revealed its twelve finalists for this year, and one of them is a name I’ve been long meaning to include here: Keiko Necesario. I found her through tweets from John, and him being a guy who knows more than I do, I was intrigued. “Away From The Current”, her latest, was actually released on Valentine’s Day, complete with two music videos with alternate endings. (I posted the sad version here, because it had more views than the happy one.) Being a guy who likes unique but warm vocals, well, Keiko’s up my street. I can’t quite place it: it’s not entirely the soft and breathy type, but it doesn’t go all out emotional either. It’s a balance I don’t often hear, more so a balance done right. Here’s hoping we hear her composition, “Nobody But You”, alongside the rest of the finalists’ stuff soon.
Finally, a last-minute addition: a song called “Millennials”, a song that essentially takes the piss out of millennials, in perhaps the most millennial-y way ever: lo-fi indie. But that’s me conflating the “millennial” of marketing people (those born from 1985-2000, which would include me, which I detest) with rich millennials. PerkyWasted did this song: they’re a four-piece founded in 2011 have been doing songs that play with genres – “Millennials” is different from the more rousing “Pedophilia (Naked Girl)” and “Wasted Kids (Please Let Me Be)” – but stick to the same twisted idea that people of their sort ought to be poked fun at, too. The top-button unpopped kind of fun. “Conyo from Ateneo” gave me a chuckle. I don’t say this as a Lasallian. [NB]