In the past three weeks, many have asked me: “Are you sure you want to close this blog?” My answer is, well, yes, I am – I wouldn’t have announced it otherwise. But it doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. Shalla – we weren’t together yet when I started this thing seven years and three weeks ago – said it’ll probably take me two months to deal with the empty space turning this blog off will leave. But I’m sure it’ll be filled up by all of the other things I’ve had to juggle these past couple of years. There’s also this thing about quitting when you’re still doing well – well, I doubt that in the grand scheme of things we were, but it’s better than being really disappointed with not being able to do what you want to do when you can still do it. And so, it’s time. Seven years is a good run, they say, and I agree. Seven years will mean nothing in the long run, and I don’t mind that. It still has been a pleasure going through all of these tangents, musical or otherwise, and meeting all of you along the way. That’s gotta last longer, even just for a bit.
“Closing Time” by Semisonic | If I was just a little more in tune with the 1990s, I would’ve written an anniversary post for this one. This song – perhaps one of the decade’s most iconic, at a time when being in a band that got played on pop stations didn’t require you to be a teenager – turned twenty years old last year, and in fact, twenty-one years old a couple of weeks back. But then, to be fair, I only really connected with this song a couple of years ago, perhaps because of that last line, and the added poignancy of Dan Wilson realizing, halfway through writing this song, that he’s also writing about births, his girlfriend (now wife) being pregnant at the time. And I’m writing about this song now because it feels incredibly apt. After seven years (our birthday was this Saturday, actually) it’s time to wind things down. earthings! is closing in three weeks’ time.
“Alrighty Aphrodite” by Peach Pit | I may have mentioned this already, but a future essay I’m planning for this blog will tackle this playlist Shalla has, which I have been interfering in, because I am an asshole. But we’ll see if I ever get to write that. Anyway, one of the artists on that playlist is this Canadian band called Peach Pit, and apart from the obvious storyline I’m writing about them because Shalla’s making her con debut this Saturday. The brand of stickers she’s decided on is “Peachyflavours”, and you can see her at Stickercon MNL this Saturday at the Unilab Bayanihan Center in Mandaluyong City. Table 20. You will see me there, too, if you want to say hi, but it’s her stickers you should be going for. Sneak peeks are on her Instagram account. As for these guys… I think they fit in that playlist, thanks to them not really hitting on the gas, but then, she chose them. [NB]
“Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift | Now, if I really want to feel insecure about being 30 and having accomplished relatively (arguably) little in comparison to my peers, I should write about Taylor Swift. You can’t not know she’s turning 30 this year – she’s named an album after it, kind of. One of the biggest names in pop music, one who’s deft both in songwriting and in business (just think of how… cold her 78 Questions video for Vogue was) and one who seems to know what she wants to do before she even does it. Or she has good advisers. Often (especially lately) I stop and think, wouldn’t it be nice to still have the world in your palms when you cross the invisible, arbitrary threshold of turning 30? Or maybe not extra successful like her, but like my peers, with their five-digit salaries in the upper half (I assume) and the ability to indulge in their hobbies without having to worry. Like, this blog is a hobby but it’s increasingly untenable. And then I realize they have their problems of their own, and I’m fine, at least for the moment. But still… [NB]
“Gee” by Girls’ Generation | Yeah, we’re writing a lot about K-pop lately, so this was bound to happen. (That, and this song is turning ten this year.) Six of Girls’ Generation’s nine members – don’t get me started about how one member left and, just last year, how three left the agency, but not the group – are turning 30 this year, which reminds you that not everybody reaches this age in Korean music, especially on the pop side, and remains relevant. That tends to be reserved to groups that have attained legendary, industry-altering status (take the boys of Super Junior) or those who had relatively late peaks in their careers. (Solji, who turned 30 the day after I did, was part of ballad duo 2NB before joining EXID, just before they really got successful.) Yes, sadly, I am just an uncle fan. All these new K-pop groups have members who are just over half my age – IZ*ONE‘s Jan Won-young is just 15! – and they’ve likely trained for years before that. Here I am, cheering (and being skeptical sometimes) about little kids pressured by society to be the best version of themselves, make-up and all. Well, at least Squirtle is turning 28 next month. She’s closer to my age, even if she doesn’t act like it sometimes. No wonder I’m a MooMoo. [NB]