The Local Outsider #32: Peaceful Gemini, Moira dela Torre × Nieman, and D’Sound × Armi Millare

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.

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Five years in: (some of) the earthings! story in photographs

Honestly, there really isn’t a lot of story to tell, unless I decide to act like a really big thing and insist that the mundane things earthings! has done over its five years of existence is worth telling. But isn’t it fun to be able to post a photo album of scenes captured from those five years – at least scenes that don’t involve me writing paragraphs in front of a laptop from my so-called desk, or sometimes at various hotels across the region – and say something about the “story” of earthings! across its five years of existence? Yes, right? So, well, here it is – a slightly random compendium of photos, of the people we met, the people we became friends with, and in between, some photos that didn’t quite make it to these pages. This is, after all, a personal blog masquerading as a music blog. You get the idea. [NB]

“Malas mo, ikaw ang natipuhan ko.”

Great Philippine Song Hits“Oo” by Up Dharma Down | The idea for this whole month of iconic Philippine songs came when I was listening to this song. This is, of course, iconic. It may not look like it yet, even if the song was on every twentysomething’s lips when it was first released in 2006. When you think of those songs, you think of the classics, but a lot of them are being forged now, and that hasn’t gotten much attention in that light, too. Also, “Oo” is best proof of one of the anomalies that happened during the mid-2000s resurgence of local alternative bands: Up Dharma Down, a band that stuck to their sound and sensibilities rather than yield to the typical “pogi rock” sound of the time, and yielded dividends. There were, of course, a lot of bands that had a different sound, but it was they who told everyone that it’s okay – and they continue to do so, as their sound evolved over their three records (and their upcoming one). It all boils down to accessible songwriting, I say. That’s all it boils down to. [NB]

Two minutes with Up Dharma Down: “We have to keep it personal”

Up Dharma Down at the Henderson Waves in Singapore

During the launch of their new single “All The Good Things” on Tuesday night, Up Dharma Down revealed that they’re working on their fourth album, and there’s still a long way to go: they’ve just begun writing songs, and we can expect a release on the first half of 2016. So, in a hit of chutzpah, we decided to interview the band and press them for more details, during a lull from bloggers taking photographs with them and other members of the media interviewing them. What was supposed to be a one-question interview ended up becoming a three-question one lasting a mere two minutes. And sure, this interview (this blog’s first) may not be much, but hey, it’s still a glimpse into how the band is approaching their albums. [NB]

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Live things: Up Dharma Down’s “All The Good Things” premiere

Up Dharma Down debuted their new single, "All The Good Things", a collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board.

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.

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