“You Get What You Give” by New Radicals | Twenty years ago, this album was released. Yes, I’ve gone clickbait-y, pandering to the nostalgic tendencies of my supposed audience, but at least I’ve gone for a nice, round number, rather than the random “31 years ago…” things you tend to see on Facebook. So, yes, New Radicals – aka Gregg Alexander, who previously had a solo career going, and his gang, usually keyboardist Danielle Brisebois – released this one album, Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too, twenty years ago. Released at a time when American alternative was beginning to boil over, it offered a glossy yet gritty sound, and an uplifting yet biting message. It clicked, for the most part: “You Get What You Give” was an international hit (but didn’t really crack the top ten in the United States) and you still hear it today. And then the band split up, Gregg citing, among others, the grind of constant touring and his intention to return to making music for other people. Their second single was going to be “Someday We’ll Know”, which did resurface on the A Walk To Remember soundtrack (now that’s a gold mine, but one for another time). Gregg would go on to write songs for a bunch of people, winning a Grammy for this song, and being nominated for another for this song, which he co-wrote with Danielle. He’s still around, but we have this album as a relic of sorts, and it shouldn’t be. [NB]
Eat Bulaga! theme composed by Vic Sotto and written by Vincent Dy-Buncio | Yep, we went there. But why not? If you’ve grown up at any time in the past four decades there’s a really good chance you know this song, even if you preferred rival shows. I’ll say I have a soft spot for Eat Bulaga!, the noontime variety show which premiered in 1979, moved networks twice, saw its fortunes come and go (and come, and come some more) and put itself at the forefront of Philippine pop culture, for better or worse. Whatever your opinion may be of its hosts, of how conservative its outlook is, or whether you really just hate AlDub because they’re “jologs”, you’ll have to admit that this song – in all its versions, although I am very partial to the 1990s version because I grew up with it, back when Philippine TV shows had proper titles – is part and parcel of every Filipino’s life. It just feels comforting, so familiar. Incidentally, last Saturday they began celebrations for their 40th year on air, never mind that they actually reach that age 54 weeks from today. But why can’t they celebrate early? They’ve certainly earned it. [NB]
“Huwag na Huwag Mong Sasabihin” by Kitchie Nadal | My first ever album is Kitchie Nadal’s debut. In hindsight, it was a no-brainer. I wasn’t familiar with her work for Mojofly, as I was blissfully unaware at the time, but when she went solo and came out with this song (and the Onemig Bondoc cameo I have long forgotten) I was hooked. And then I realized I found her cute. Fast forward a year or so later and I got giddy upon realizing that Kitchie is also in La Salle. There I was, a frosh, and there she was, I think in her third year, and my blockmate managed to wrangle her to take photos with our group, and I, the guy with the camera, ended up having a photo with her. Squee. That moment aside, like with the last two entries, her songs were universal – and the fact that she was a female, at a time when female rock stars were few and far between, made it all the more important. Now, writing this, I remember my friend Sam, who is a huge fan of hers. We bonded over her new releases, although that was a long time ago. She’s settled down and has been a bit quiet of late. I think we need her back. [NB]
“Sugod” by Sandwich | It’s July, which means it’s time once again for Great Philippine Song Hits, where we cover a whole month with classics from Filipino musicians. (This is the fourth year we’ve done it; here’s what we’ve done so far.) And there’s no better way to start this than with an act who marked twenty years just a few months ago – conveniently covering up the fact that I have been holding off on featuring these guys for so long because I didn’t want to run out of material so fast. But, really, twenty years of Sandwich? I’ve said this a few months ago, but they still sound as potent now as they did then. It’s interesting where camaraderie and musical restlessness brings you. At twenty years, bands can get a bit complacent, or worse, people lose interest in your new stuff. But these guys have stuck to their guns by not sticking to them. Whenever I start listening to a new album from the band there’s always a thrill of not knowing what will happen. There are constants, sure, but they aren’t obvious – and I’m thinking that’s why they’re still up there after all these years, whether you be left of center, or decidedly to the right, of musical tastes. They’re a band to be envied. How else would we start this month’s batch of song hits? [NB]
“Trains To Brazil” by Guillemots | Today marks ten years since I graduated from college. The plan was to devote this week to the songs I listened to a lot during my three years in La Salle, but to be honest, that plan was months ago, and I completely forgot about it, so instead, here I am, writing about one of those songs from the time – specifically, one of those songs that I somehow have not written about in the six years I’ve been writing this blog.