2012 recap (aka a list for the end of the world)

Photo by IKMF Philippines

Photo by IKMF Philippines

The world is supposedly ending in half an hour, so I might as well write my annual recap blog post early! Like every end-of-year post, I’m limiting my list to 20 bullets. Here, in a mad dash to midnight, was my 2012:

2012 was an awesome year, but I still have a lot of things left on my bucket list. Here’s hoping the Mayans were wrong!


My list for 2011 is here.

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Road Review: The Purplechickens

When Karl Roy passed away, I went through my dusty CD collection looking for my old P.O.T. album. I decided at that moment to pick out CDs by Filipino bands to bring on the road with me as I drive to and from Makati each day. The rush hour traffic lets me listen to an album the way it should be heard, before iPod shuffling was invented: from start to finish, in one sitting.

Yesterday, I listened to P.O.T. Today, it was The Purplechickens’ Here’s Plan B.

Plan B is nine years old. I first heard it live, in their album launch in 2003. I spent three years with the band as a “purplechick” (a girlfriend of one of the band members), which meant I got to see them live often. It is impossible for me to listen to this album without imagining them performing it, down to every mannerism, the way Aldus makes love to the mic, the guitar poses, the white of Zig’s eyes when he’s drumming in the zone.

I have not listened to Plan B in years. I no longer have the ripped mp3s, and so every song was a pleasant surprise. I still love “Common Cold”. “A Break In A Prayer” sounded better than I remembered it. “Ars Terror”, interestingly, was the only song on the album that I repeated soon as it was done. It is a self-aware rock ballad, gratuitous and marvelous. I covered it a few times in a short-lived band, years ago. Our version was terrible. I’m so sorry.

The Purplechickens

The Purplechickens are a band that you must experience live. The album is good, but it doesn’t do them justice. The best way to describe them is that they are a wall of _sound_. I remember one time at sound check, Aldus motioned to me at the back and asked if the sound levels were good. I vaguely said ‘okay’ (what do I know?). Then Marco came over and gave a list of maybe 10 things he heard that they didn’t like. They are like that. It’s a blend of technical skill and poetic freelance.

Driving back from Makati now. I got to “Dream Systems”. It is absolutely one of my favorite songs in the world. I love everything about it: the lyrics, the melody, and how it is pleasant and recommendable to everybody. I don’t have to explain it; it’s just good. During their early days, the band would be compared to Radiohead or Muse, comparisons that were altogether unfair — the Manox (as the fans call them) are just what they are. “Dream Systems” is likened to their “Champagne Supernova” — it is long, near the end of the album, and epic in scale.

I could write pages and pages about this song, but the short version is: I was lucky enough to direct the music video for it. It was a watercolor animation, rotoscoped by hand, and at once the most beautiful thing ever made and the worst production disaster. It took two years to finish; the painting team lost steam by the end, and many fights were had (some with the band; I fear I lost friends this way). But in the end, the video won awards and was screened at Cannes. This song is emotional for all of us involved with the video, but hearing it again in the car, it all went away. I love this song. It’s perfect. And I’m still proud of the video we made, in spite of what it cost to make it.

The last song in the album is “Carry Two (Remainder One)”, which strangely was the reason I wanted to listen to the album in the first place. I felt like the song was my destination. I wanted to introduce The Purplechickens’ music to my boyfriend, and chose “Carry Two” to play in his car in the States, but the sound system was weird and you couldn’t hear the guitars at all. It was a shame, because that’s the best part of it; the guitar riffs are like a violent kick to the nuts, meant to be heard at full blast.

Me with The Purplechickens

I sessioned once! I was awful.

The song ended just as I was pulling into my street. “Carry Two” is maybe one of my favorite album enders. It ends with a yell.

That was a good drive.

Tomorrow’s driving music is The Purplechickens’ second album, “Girls, Etc”.


The Purplechickens are on Facebook and Twitter.

For sale: Shoes and CDs

I am cleaning out the old to make space for the new. I love all of these, so I’m putting them up for sale just in case someone else wants them. Cheers!

SHOES (I am a 7.5)

Converse pink w/ floral pattern – P400
For sale: Converse pink w/ floral pattern

H&M black robot hi-top sneakers – P300 – Reserved for Anj
For sale: Black H&M hi-tops

Converse Chuck Taylor slip multi-eyelet (white/blue) – P300
For sale: Converse white w/ eyelet
P.S. These run big, so they might be good for size 8, or you can wear thick socks. Also, I had them washed and the blue ran through a bit 😦

Original CDs

Foreign – all P50, even the double-disc ones

Local – I’m actually just giving these away. I can’t make money off local bands.

  • Cynthia Alexander – Rippingyarns  – Reserved for Rej
  • Imago – Probably Not, but Most Definitely – Reserved for Ms. San Juan
  • Pedicab – Tugish Takish  – Reserved for Victor
  • Itchyworms – Noon Time Show
  • Sandwich – Thanks to the Moon’s Gravitational Pull  – Reserved for Ms. San Juan
  • Sandwich – 4-Track Mind  – Reserved for Ms. San Juan
  • Urbandub – Influence  – Reserved for Victor
  • Urbandub – Birth  – Reserved for Victor

Please e-mail me directly if you want something (deathcabcutie at gmail). I’m usually in either Makati or Alabang. Thanks! 🙂

My life according to NU107

Phone pic - Rock awards 2005 4

I distinctly remember the first time I ever tuned into NU107.

I was 15, in third year high school. I had a crush on a boy who was into rock music. (If you’re reading this – oh shuddup.) I was a typical girl who liked what her classmates liked: Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, etc. So this boy liked rock music, and he mentioned NU107, so okay, one Sunday at home, I tuned in.

I heard Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix

I have never heard him before – or any real rock, classic rock, any kind of rock for that matter – and it was LOUD to me. Loud! I quickly shut it off and thought, “What the hell is this shit?”

The boy didn’t last, but NU did. Continue reading