In case you missed our announcement earlier in the week, earthings! will be closing down on 11 April. That means you’re reading the last ever edition of the Local Outsider, that column we started three years (and thirty-five installments) ago to better keep tabs on all the good music coming out of the Philippines, only to constantly cram it the day before publication. Turns out, yes, it is difficult to keep tabs when you’ve got a lot of other things to do.
So, Dicta License released another single a few days back. At this rate, I won’t be surprised if there’s an album in the offing. We need them back, God knows we need them back: a group who’s not afraid to be political, in times like these when musicians would rather play it safe to please everybody. But then, I’ve been thinking about how their popularity came at a time when we were generally more receptive to local alternative. I mean, we are still that now, but we’re fragmented, and we pay attention to our niches, and also, whether we admit it or not, we shut out anyone whose opinions diverge from ours. If ever they release an album, I feel it won’t make the impact I hope it would. But does it matter?
It’s become clear to me that this column is badly timed. I arbitrarily scheduled it for the last Thursday of the month, not really thinking much about it, but in the past few months there’s always a flurry of new single releases – from acts I would’ve otherwise missed – happening at around this time of the month. Well, it’s good that more are starting to toot their horns about local independent acts, but is it too much to wish that they get scattered across the month? Yeah, because who am I anyway? Just a so-called music blogger who’s always late. But then, that is the point of this column. I have to remind myself that.
When I began this column three years ago I had a bit of apprehension that this would be a token slot for local music, which these things tend to be, which ultimately isn’t good for this blog’s attempts to cover it all better. Well, yes and no. I’ve amped up the album reviews, but then I still forget a lot of things. But then, can I blame it on being busy too? I was meaning to review the new Apartel album, but haven’t. Same with the new Strange Creatures album, but haven’t. Same with Eyedress‘ album, but haven’t. (I do have a “review the album within a week of release” policy.) I can barely keep track of my editorial calendar, much more my work one. It is a sign of things to come, I’m afraid.
As always, I don’t know how to start this month’s column. I’ve been preoccupied, in case you haven’t noticed it in my entries in the past couple of weeks or so – and then there’s the packed editorial calendar for the last couple of months of the year. So I’ll be upfront and admit, like I always have, that I am writing this the night before publication with no plans – well, a vague idea of who to feature, but not much of an idea of what to expect. And that’s what we all expect from this column, yes? All right, let’s go.