The Local Outsider #30: The Sellout Club, KRNA and One Click Straight

Oooh, it’s our thirtieth installment, and on a week when I’m reviewing (tomorrow) four albums from Filipino acts. That’s something I never thought would happen in this blog’s entire history, even if most of that is down to coincidence. When I started earthings! I imagined I’d have a hard time writing about local music, in part because I felt disconnected from it, thanks to shifting tastes and the fact that more credible local acts seem to have crawled back underground. Now, well, I still don’t go to gigs that much – the whole set-up remains prohibitive to me – but it’s interesting that I know a bit more about these things now, and I feel a little more comfortable reviewing them. But, you know, still an outsider. I have to keep that brand going as long as possible.

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The crash course: the evolution of GFriend, K-pop’s unlikely heroes

[Update: the “anything drastic happening” at the end of this entry took place – GFriend’s Manila gig has been moved a week to Sunday, 26 August, because of the closure of NAIA’s runway.] This Sunday sees me take this K-pop thing further: I am watching my first K-pop concert. As it turns out, this is also Shalla’s first – and I thought the person responsible for introducing me to this world would have seen at least one Super Show. (She did see Siwon in the flesh, though.) We’re watching GFriend, and she’s really excited about it – she’d call herself a Buddy. I wouldn’t, mostly because I’m a stick-to-one-group guy, but I’ve learned to appreciate these girls enough to make sense of just what makes them tick, in that overanalytic way so-called music critics do. And that means a crash course, which might be unusual considering this is a girl group that hasn’t quite reached astronomic levels of fame (at least compared to Twice or Blackpink) – but then again, I’m writing.

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The Local Outsider #29: CHNDTR, Nathan & Mercury and a delayed reaction to No Rome

As I start writing this month’s Local Outsider, I’m listening, again, to the new single from the Metro Fantastic – their vocalist, Carlos Castaño, talked about his love of hip-hop for us last year, and here he and the gang channel funk that just won’t stop. If only I wasn’t stupid (and tired) enough to not figure out how to properly embed a Spotify link, I’d give them a longer write-up, so here’s a link to “We Need To Talk” instead, which really just won’t stop. We await the new EP, and maybe a Soundcloud link soon. Now, for the rest of this month’s column…

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earthings! World Cup of Music: the quarterfinals

earthings! World Cup of MusicWell we’ve staggered and stumbled our way somewhat incomprehensibly to the quarterfinals of the earthings! World Cup of Music where we have to ask the question… is this whole thing some type of elaborate scam involving the contributing author, some dodgy backstreet betting agents and bundles of money laundered Swedish krona? We’ll probably never find out the truth…

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