“laughing and not being normal” by Grimes | About the events of the past couple of days… dear Americans, or at least that half who thinks the other half screwed them over: be grateful that you still have people who can laugh about this, for now. Be grateful that at the end of the day you will have Sam and Stephen and Trevor and John and Seth and all their ilk, seething with outrage and punchlines, a light at the end of one segment of a seemingly never ending tunnel. Ask us Filipinos. We’re arguably living through your nightmare scenario and nobody can poke fun at it, even if we’re (still) supposedly free. Be grateful that you have them. At least for now. [NB]
When I bought and listened to Grimes’s third album, Visions, I found it pretty hard to penetrate. Sure, it’s glittery and glimmery and interesting, but it was just so hard to penetrate and get into. Art Angels is the opposite: it is, perhaps, Claire Bouchard’s most accessible record to date. And it’s still shimmery, albeit of a different kind: while that last album mined from 80s pop, this one goes forward, to that weird transitional period between 90s bubblegum pop and early-00s pop-rock. You know, the sort of music self-proclaimed millennials romanticize constantly. Not that it’s ripping it off unabashedly: as in her previous records, Grimes just takes off from it, rips it up, and passes it through an oven. The result is a record that’s both familiar and fresh. And irresistible. You would really bust a groove on this one. [NB] | 4/5
In the past few years we’ve seen more relatively out-of-mainstream acts perform in Manila. Gone, it seems, are the times when the only foreign artists who would stop here are 60s and 70s bands targeting baby boomers, or the obviously big pop acts. Now we’ve had visits from Grimes, the xx and Tegan and Sara. We’ve had the Wanderland Festival last April, an attempt at bringing summer festival culture to the Philippines (albeit with half of the line-up being Aussie acts with, likely, a very small following). And, of course, there were the bigger acts, like Joss Stone at Malasimbo (which has been going on for a while and has been, so far, mostly under the radar) and, last month, the Killers.