Tomorrow, the dream of many a music fan will be realized: Coldplay is performing in Manila. Well, the dream of many a music fan with enough money to fork out. Others will have to settle for a marathon of their music, crying over clandestine videos, proclaiming “post-concert depression” like the rest. Even others would just shrug. And then there’s me, doing this list, a token mention of what is an inescapable reality for many months. Coldplay’s got many hits, but some of their songs would fall under the cracks because they’re just such juggernauts. So, my list of five underrated Coldplay songs – according to me, at least. You will have a different list. Or you’ll be crying.
These are not ideal circumstances, I must admit, but when former president Ferdinand Marcos – dictatorial, controversial, polarizing thirty years on – was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani yesterday despite a flurry of opposition from critics fearing historical revisionism, I ended up thinking of all the songs that were inspired by the Philippine strongman. He ruled the country for twenty years, brought it defining infrastructure projects, drained its coffers and deprived its people of basic rights – and that’s a very simple way of putting it. I’m a guy of nuance, but the debate around this hasn’t been filled with, although we all universally agreed at one point that we will not go back to this. And now, here we are, arguing again.
Once again, we find ourselves addressing the passing of a music icon – someone whose oeuvre is so big it’s quite difficult to start somewhere. Prince was very prolific during his lifetime: apart from 39 albums and the many singles in between, whether as a solo act or with his many backing bands, he also wrote and produced songs for other artists, often doing so under a different name. “If you give away an idea, you still own that idea,” he once said. “In fact, giving it away strengthens it. Why do people feel they have to take credit for everything they do? Ego, that’s the only reason.” On this installment of the Inventory, we look at five songs in which Prince had a hand on – all but two under a pseudonym, all varied, all interesting.
It’s incredibly hard to summarize David Bowie’s career. He’s done a lot of things: 25 albums, several films, everything else in between… the man’s a restless soul, always looking for something to pour his energies into, something he’s done up until his last days, as he produced Blackstar while fighting cancer. So, where to begin, exactly? We won’t exactly have the time to dig deep into Bowie’s many personas and phases, so we’ll spin things a bit and look at his collaborations – or at least some of them; again, we can’t quite cover everything – in this installment of the Inventory. [NB]
I crammed this. I’ll admit that I crammed this. I was busy, and I didn’t have the time to do some half-arsed study of a country’s popular music scene, even if it’s Singapore’s, a country that’s both small and one that I am more familiar with than most. So I have a quarter-arsed job instead, which is a shame considering that I’ve been planning this in my head for months, and Singapore is arguably one of my favorite countries, if only because it’s just so organized and walkable. So, with help from friends, Wikipedia and stock knowledge, here are five songs that, well, might not be representative of the Lion City – but since they’re turning 50 years old on Sunday, it’s nice looking at some history. Some. [NB]