(Update: GoodVybes released an extended statement, admitting that while there is a “disputed amount of additional costs”, they have paid 86% of the total Passion Pit is owed, and added that “to say that we have not paid them is not only dangerously reckless, but libelous and slanderous.” Michael isn’t happy: “How this is being handled pretty much explains it all.”) This morning Michael Angelakos, aka Passion Pit, started some sort of thunderstorm, tweeting that he has yet to be paid for his appearance at the GoodVybes Festival last year. The festival’s organizers, Vybe Productions, have told Bandwagon that they have, in fact, paid his agency, and raised the possibility that the agency has not paid Michael. (As I write this, we’re still waiting for an official statement from the outfit, but we have a couple of tweets.) It’s a weird situation, at least from my viewpoint. The story took a while to be picked up by some media outlets; I am pretty sure Bandwagon is the only music-centric outfit that has written about it. Manila Concert Scene deleted the tweet – an innocuous one, marking a year since the festival – that Michael replied to. But that’s trivial stuff. As a country that’s looking to be a stop for all these foreign acts – and at the risk of sounding like I’m taking sides – why the hell is this thing happening? Nobody’s sure what the real situation is, but there can’t be no fire if there’s no smoke. There is a deeper story here, I think, but ultimately, in the world’s odd way of doing things, it wouldn’t matter much to the public – what matters to them is that they get to watch their favorite acts live here. All that said, this kerfuffle becoming public is a reminder that there is a lot of work to be done, and constantly. [NB] (Photography by Jobelle Natividad.)
Last year we took seven weeks to dive into Korean pop music, ostensibly to help us create a playlist to accompany us as we go on a vacation to Seoul. That resulted in a pretty intensive playlist and me having a deeper-than-expected appreciation for Korean culture, complete with a substantial list of biases (and reasons for said biases) and an ability to carry conversations about Big Bang with my sister. We’re repeating the same thing this year, only this time we’re diving into Japanese pop music – a much bigger beast, arguably, what with its rich history, diversity, and that intimidating sheen of cool it always has. That, and the fact that it’s really hard to listen to J-pop on their radio stations, because you can’t stream them. First, like before, we begin with some history.
I have not had much interest in Christina Grimmie. She joined The Voice at the time when I stopped watching singing competitions altogether: she finished third in its 2014 season, by which time I was very much done with writing about television for a living.
Embarrassingly enough, I had no idea who the Strokes really were when I first heard of them. An older friend of mine told me I needed to go to Maxwell’s in Hoboken with her to check out this awesome new band. This was back in May 2001, before Is This It was released. Back in those days, I was already a fan of the Swedish rock bands like the Hives and International Noise Conspiracy and just getting into the new type of Modern Lovers-style rock-and-roll.