“The next time Reese holds a collage-making workshop,” Rainy told me, “let me know. I want to join.” So, a little over five months ago, we stocked up on old magazines at Book Sale, bought a shiny new pair of scissors, and went to the workshop. Well, only she took part. I was just there hovering around, doing some pre-blogging (that would be our month-long series on OPM classics) and playing with some questions in my head.
It’s been eight years since I last saw Up Dharma Down live. I was still a student in La Salle; they were in the middle of their “Oo” heyday; and the best memory I have of it is my classmate having her iPod signed by the band’s vocalist, Armi Millare. They’ve released two albums since (the latest being the sophistipop-leaning Capacities) and, as they revealed last night, have started writing for their fourth. But first, this, a new song that they wrote as part of a collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board.
Friday night’s Jack TV MAD Fest was, arguably, a festival built around the fact that they got Kimbra to perform. I mean, save for the four DJs that followed her – I didn’t watch them for obvious reasons, and also because Rainy and I were really tired – the acts were limited to three songs each. But it was a nice way to be reacquainted with the best Filipino music has to offer: a good mix of established acts and new ones bubbling under, making you wonder what the hell happened to “OPM is dead”? So, in the following paragraphs, my five highlights, plus a quick run through the rest.
I honestly thought I wouldn’t get to see Kimbra perform live. It’s not just because her songs aren’t really played here, nor because I assumed her following here isn’t big enough to justify a concert. I was clearly wrong on both fronts. No, it’s because of typhoon Ruby, which was being portrayed as a really strong one. The concert was to be held outdoors, and Kimbra was already in Manila for three days at that point, but it really looked like there will be a cancellation. I actually ended up asking folks from Solar about it.
If you’ll forgive me, I’ll write about visual arts on what is supposedly a music blog. Yes, I did come (slightly spontaneously) to the launch of The Gathering Season, the first solo exhibition of Reese Lansangan running all this month at Heima Brixton, to watch her perform. We’ve been on to her since Rainy saw her at the Greenlight Music Festival, and I felt that it would be great if we saw her perform together. Too bad Rainy had work last night.