Live things: the magic of forty years of Lea Salonga

The evening rush hour can be particularly bad along C5 these days, and on one of those days, when you need to break the tedium (and physical strain) of inching slowly towards your destination, you end looking at the billboards. One of them has Lea Salonga on, and while I couldn’t remember what else was on it, it helpfully noted that she’s been in the business for forty years.

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Live things: Season of GFriend is a pilgrimage for a Buddy’s undying love

I am a control freak, and concerts bring out the worst in me because a part of me is convinced that the rules set out during ticket selling out to be followed, while a part of me – and other people as well – constantly reminds me that, in times like these, chaos is bound to happen.

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The crash course: the evolution of GFriend, K-pop’s unlikely heroes

[Update: the “anything drastic happening” at the end of this entry took place – GFriend’s Manila gig has been moved a week to Sunday, 26 August, because of the closure of NAIA’s runway.] This Sunday sees me take this K-pop thing further: I am watching my first K-pop concert. As it turns out, this is also Shalla’s first – and I thought the person responsible for introducing me to this world would have seen at least one Super Show. (She did see Siwon in the flesh, though.) We’re watching GFriend, and she’s really excited about it – she’d call herself a Buddy. I wouldn’t, mostly because I’m a stick-to-one-group guy, but I’ve learned to appreciate these girls enough to make sense of just what makes them tick, in that overanalytic way so-called music critics do. And that means a crash course, which might be unusual considering this is a girl group that hasn’t quite reached astronomic levels of fame (at least compared to Twice or Blackpink) – but then again, I’m writing.

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The five songs Nikki Nava can’t live without

We’ve had our ear on Nikki Nava since last year, when we included her in a Local Outsider column. We’ve always liked how she does so much with what seems to be little. That’s on full display with the release of her first proper single, “Secrets”, and with more new stuff on the way, we asked her to tell us the five songs she can’t live without. Warning: there are some surprises on her list.

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IV of Spades vs Unique Salonga: Who has the better single?

When I first wrote about IV of Spades last year, I was already a bit behind on the curve. But then bigger things were just coming for them: the release of “Mundo” catapulted the four-piece to crossover success, their song acceptably playing in both indie kids’ Spotify playlists and masa radio stations. But then, even bigger things happened: vocalist Unique Salonga suddenly left the band – well, not suddenly, because there were weeks of arguable drama, which saw the band’s three remaining members continue to perform before an official departure was announced in the middle of the night – and suddenly, we have two entities, creating music separately. Today, both the new IV of Spades and Unique released new singles, and because we love ourselves traction, we’re pitting the two up against each other.

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