“Talk away the pain for the very last time.”

“Last Days on Earth” by Tears for Fears | So, here we go – this blog’s final ever week. Nobody cares, I know, but I do, but then, I have been quite busy that I haven’t had any time to put into place the plans I actually have for these past few weeks. So, a song I’ve long loved, shorn of the agenda this blog found itself having to be part of these past few years. I don’t think anybody remembers a time when Jam 88.3 played stuff like this rather than the too-cool-for-school alternative it specializes in now. It’s an album track, from the arguably obscure Tears for Fears reunion record, and it sounds good even if the song is maybe about euthanasia. (So it applies here more?) Death. Definitely death. Our last four days are here, and I have so much left to do I’m feeling extra stressed out. But that’s why we’re closing this thing down… [NB]

“Hindi na tayo katulad ng dati.”

“Burnout” by Sugarfree | I haven’t written on this blog enough about Sugarfree. Surprisingly – they’re my first favorite local band. I keep on making mental notes about making commemorative posts surrounding the release of their first two albums, but then I forget about it. Now we’re closing down, I guess I’m trying to make up for it. I discovered Sugarfree, like most of us, on the radio, but by then they had begun creeping out into the mainstream – I think I first heard “Telepono” on RX. Dramachine, their second release, remains one of those really good, all-killer-no-filler local albums of the past couple of decades. But I still have a soft spot for the songs of their debut, Sa Wakas, of how it introduced us to the bittersweet nature of Ebe, Jal and Mitch. “Burnout” was the second single, if I recall correctly, and it felt just a bit more painful. And then it makes sense. It’s time to go, even if you don’t want to. [NB]

“I feel the music in you.”

“You Get What You Give” by New RadicalsTwenty 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]

“Saan ka man ay halina kayo!”

Great Philippine Song HitsEat 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]

“At sa gabi, sinong duduyan sa’yo?”

Great Philippine Song Hits“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]