All right, shall we rush back into this? February means the Local Outsider feels like it’s coming by much sooner, because the month is shorter than most – a neat four weeks, except once every four years – and all of a sudden, the idea that it’s almost March is staring us in the eyes. March! The days are getting longer and the sun is getting brighter, uncomfortably so! March! Next thing you know it’s April, and people are being idiots on Instagram again. (I don’t have an Instagram account myself.) Anyway, before I ramble on any further, let’s get back to the tunes, and what I’d like to believe are songs that fit this transitional period between “Manila is really cold” and “Manila is really hot” well. Well, I’d like to believe that. This is, as always, random, sort of.
The Local Outsider is back for another year of playing catch-up with the best Philippine music has to offer. And, in this case, I really do play catch-up, for some of these acts, I have been to write about for months. Why I never got around to it, I don’t know. All right, the last few weeks of the blog for 2016 has been busy, and I have been busy, too (which explains this happening) so some of these came from rustled mental notes. So, with all that said, here’s that new year we alluded to.
Perhaps it’s a bit of poetry, or, if you’re looking at 2016 as the year that made so many people sad, it was just being cruel. George Michael died on Christmas day at age 53,6 on the day one of his signature songs, “Last Christmas” – a sad song, for sure, but a jolly-sounding one nonetheless – gets a lot of play. Of course, that wasn’t his only popular song: he was the force behind some of the biggest pop hits of the 80s and 90s, and continued to create music until just recently. So, with the words “the very next day, you gave it away” ringing in our heads, we find ourselves diving into George Michael’s work.
Here we are again – the end of the year, or at least the end of our year here on earthings!, as we take that long holiday break to recharge, or whatever passes for that these days. And it’s been a busy year, or perhaps because we found ourselves juggling a lot of things on many fronts – lots of changes off screen, and a bunch of new features on screen. But I digress. Here we are again – the end of our year on the blog, which means I trot out my ten favorite songs of the year – not a definitive list by all means; just a reflection of what I’ve liked, considering that I seem to have listened to less new music and more K-pop these past few months. So, here’s the list, arranged alphabetically as always. [NB]
This final installment of our seven-week dive into Japanese pop was supposed to be focused solely on the Shibuya-kei scene, that movement in the 1990s that I have a bit of a soft spot for because it gave us Pizzicato Five. But then, as we put this series together, we ended up with a lot of acts that don’t exactly fit their obvious categories. One is a soloist that doesn’t exactly fit her pop sheen. Another does music you wouldn’t exactly call J-rock. Yes, I know, this all sounds like an excuse to lump acts that don’t quite fit the themes of the past few weeks, but don’t take it that way. Not at all.