“Sa pag-alis, ako’y magbabalik, at sana naman…”

“Nobela” by Join the Club | The circumstances behind me writing about this song aren’t exactly the best: a neighbor was blasting out the karaoke one night, and he – he was the only one singing – was singing this terribly, out loud. Shalla and I were hanging out at my place, settling in to watch an episode of Sisters’ Slam Dunk, that Korean variety series revolving around the creation of a girl group (it is educational), when we got so distracted we ended up talking about this song. She thought the band was named “Join da Club”; I was perhaps the first person to think that’s ridiculous. But then, it was a flashback. This song’s a decade old, more or less. This played a lot on the radio when I was in college – bus trips back and forth from La Salle, me listening to whatever radio station struck my fancy then. I didn’t like LS then, but they played this a lot. I’m sure NU did, too. Magic, I think so, too. Anyway, what I always liked about this song is the key change before the final chorus, how it takes the whole thing on a very sad, resigned note. It’s not a shrug. There is some resistance to it. But there’s a hovering “oh, fuck it!” over the whole thing now, and I found that fascinating. The band’s still around, but back to their underground roots. I read they’re releasing a bunch of things but haven’t really made much of a dent, arguably, outside the usual circles. It’s a shame. [NB]

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