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.
The plan was to write this column way ahead of time. Well, yes, that always was my plan, but this month is a busy month – the biggest event of my calendar year, for the day job, happens next week – so I thought I’ll get some writing done. But, well, I am writing this the night before publication date. Of course I would. I have work flow issues, clearly. Well, I can always say work for the day job took precedence, but I need to discipline myself further. So, here’s this month’s Local Outsider, reliably crammed like most months, if not all months.
Oooh, it’s our thirtieth installment, and on a week when I’m reviewing (tomorrow) four albums from Filipino acts. That’s something I never thought would happen in this blog’s entire history, even if most of that is down to coincidence. When I started earthings! I imagined I’d have a hard time writing about local music, in part because I felt disconnected from it, thanks to shifting tastes and the fact that more credible local acts seem to have crawled back underground. Now, well, I still don’t go to gigs that much – the whole set-up remains prohibitive to me – but it’s interesting that I know a bit more about these things now, and I feel a little more comfortable reviewing them. But, you know, still an outsider. I have to keep that brand going as long as possible.
As I start writing this month’s Local Outsider, I’m listening, again, to the new single from the Metro Fantastic – their vocalist, Carlos Castaño, talked about his love of hip-hop for us last year, and here he and the gang channel funk that just won’t stop. If only I wasn’t stupid (and tired) enough to not figure out how to properly embed a Spotify link, I’d give them a longer write-up, so here’s a link to “We Need To Talk” instead, which really just won’t stop. We await the new EP, and maybe a Soundcloud link soon. Now, for the rest of this month’s column…