If someone asks me about my taste in music, I don’t think I can give a solid answer. My taste varies according to my mood just like everyone else but I think it changes per life event. The second time I went to Singapore was for a conference and I had to stay with my sister over at far west side which meant longer travel time in the MRT everyday. Having recently uploaded Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto in my iPod defined that trip to be pretty much Chris Martin’s.
Discovering indie for the first time
High school was a definitive moment for me. I think I learned to appreciate rock music then because of the few bands that sprung in campus. Highly influenced by the OPM greats like Parokya Ni Edgar, Sugarfree, and Moonstar 88, student bands have lots of potential since most of the known bands started when they were in high school too. As part of the student council, I had to tolerate the manufactured noises made from basic percussion and string instruments, not to mention the adolescent’s pubertal voice of the lead vocals. Because they were all pretty much indie at that time, I found it convenient to learn more about other indie rock music out there.
My favorite indie band was a group from Minneapolis. Gossip Girl, the TV series, led me to Motion City Soundtrack because of that Dan-Serena scene in the beach in Season 2 Episode 1 which really kind of stuck (emotionally). It was an acoustic version of the song “Fell In Love Without You”, one of Motion City Soundtrack’s popular songs which was pretty ironic considering that they were an alt-punk band. Later on, I got a hold of their whole discography and fell in love with(out) them ever since.
What’s your musical score?
If each part of my life was written in cards and filed in a filing cabinet, I think the drawers would be labeled per artist per album. That time I was going through a breakup? Filed under The Script’s The Script. That time my bestfriend left for the States? Filed under John Mayer’s Continuum. That time I was studying for my toughest exams? Filed under Explosions In The Sky’s How Strange, Innocence. That time I went to a concert alone and absolutely loved it? Filed under Chvrches’ The Bones Of What You Believe. That time I met my soulmate? Filed under Coldplay’s Live 2012. That time I was crazy-for-someone-but-it-didn’t-work-out-and-that-uneventful-concert-was-shamefully-the-last-straw? Filed under OneRepublic’s Native. The ones above are only the ones I can remember because these were the times I felt the strongest emotions I can possibly have—loneliness, sadness, anxiety, excitement, passion. Each part of life is like a scene in a movie. If ever someone’s going to do a film score for mine, I have my list ready!
Living in all generations
Just recently, I helped my dad build his music collection of ’80s to the ’90s. Artists like Simon and Garfunkel, Bread, The Eagles, Daryl Hall & John Oates, and The Stylistics were not so bad. I also loved the music of Paul McCartney And Wings, George Michael, The Police, and Styx. It was interesting how I can share this with my dad whom I always used to fight with over the car stereo. Maturity really makes us tolerant to music of all genres, the way he must have tolerated my Britney Spears and M2M days from before.
That said, I don’t think I will stick to one genre when I’m listening to music. I’m more certain that I will stick with one album at a time to fully experience the story behind its creation. I have a lot of musician friends who have poured out their heart and soul into releasing their EPs, and I could never imagine how that feels like. The least thing I can do for them is to listen, rave and/or rant, promote, and simply just write about them.
Score independently: a suggestion
One thing I realized though after all these musings is how a pattern actually exists when I discover new artists and new music. As a visual learner, I prefer watching movies and TV shows and reading books. I’m getting good with my listening skills but I think I’m still a casual music lover. So how do I choose which music to listen to? TV soundtracks almost always does it for me. The soundtracks of Grey’s Anatomy and Girls (HBO) are one of the best ones. When I hear a good song in the background, I google the song title and artist and head on over to download their songs. When good music accompanies something that I’m seeing, then it definitely completes the sense experience and therefore, it’s worth an ear.
Indie artists should definitely consider selling rights to their music to the film and showbiz industry. Sure we have a lot of national singing contests on TV and our local films almost always get their title off the lyrics of a song, but the point is creating a different experience for the potential fan. I like discovering artists on my own because it gives me a sense of ownership and credibility. The problem lies in the hipster mentality that all indie bands prefer to keep. That or how production houses and record groups see film scores as a supplement more than a complement to the whole movie experience.
Otherwise, music festivals are always an option.
Coachella, Glastonbury, Laneway, Malasimbo, Wanderland, you name it. I recommend watching the Japanese film “Beck” if you want to know what it’s like to be in a music festival — minus the alcohol and the cigarettes plus the mud and shortchanged vocals. Music festivals altered the way I approach music now. It has definitely allowed me to grow and become a better person, if only by the judgments I make. Having limited tastes in music is overrated! I think it should be perfectly fine if you appreciate quite a number of genres because people shouldn’t be allowed to judge you based on it anyway. (Yes, I am friends with a lot of Beliebers and One Directioners. That doesn’t make me a bad person!)
What better way to start my year than to finally self-publish a book? Well of course, it doesn’t come immediately but I need to train for it!
Last year I told myself at the beginning of 2013 that I would publish my own book. I had a working title! But then I realized that nobody wants to read a self-help book or an autobiography. I was a feature writer and not a novelist so my chances of finishing it was very small. Now, I think I’ve gained more knowledge about the real challenges and will start the habit of writing this year. However, I’m not counting on the possibility to publish it this year. Tentative date would be in 2015.
1. Commit to the plan.
2. Set some goals.
3. Get up an hour early.
Out of bed by 6 AM.
4. Learn to free-write.
“Free-writing is writing without worrying about editing or punctuation or anything.” I will definitely struggle with this.
5. Write about the most important day of your life.
The goal here is to paint the scene in the reader’s mind. Ex. graduation, becoming a mother, getting diagnosed for appendicitis.
6. Tell someone else’s story.
If I lack things to say or feel unimportant, I’ll just think about someone else and decide if he/she is worth 500 words. Otherwise, I’ll probably rewrite an ending to a popular novel.
7. Write a letter to your kids (or your younger self).
Basically a rant, I will write something with the reader in mind. Advice, regrets, gratitude — these will be some of the more common themes.
I’ve learned that it isn’t so much about what we want in our lives that makes us happier. What makes us smile and laugh everyday depends on our pursuit of relieving pain and getting by without it. Katniss was right to choose the boy she can’t survive without because the same goes for trying to make this life bearable — make choices that give you the least pain.
2013 has been challenging but equally interesting. Towards the end of 2012, I had a lot on my plate and decided that the coming year will be full of big things. I told myself that I would be open and more objective, keeping to mind the unknown future that lay ahead.
I had a few things to guide me as I survived the past 365 days of 2013 full of events, milestones, life-changing news, and people. I can (sort of) guarantee that if you do the same, it will make each day bearable. Turn your unremarkable days to extraordinary ones, only if you accept that your life isn’t made out to be the most ideal one.
Some victims lost their family members. Most victims lost their homes. If there is one thing that supertyphoon #Haiyan cannot take away; it’s the resiliency of the Filipino people.
Show your support in uplifting the spirits of every Filipino affected by the storm. ASEANpreneurs Philippines is selling T-shirts for a cause for only SGD 25.00*. All proceeds will go to the devastated communities in Cebu, Palawan, and Iloilo.
In 7 days, help us reach our target number of 100 orders by reserving shirts so that we can get them printed and delivered to you. A successful campaign would mean a faster turnover of cash proceeds to the beneficiaries, resulting to appropriate relief that will lessen risks of communicable diseases due to the poor health of our #Haiyan survivors. To know more about the relief operations, please go to http://www.globalshapers.org/projects/shapeph.
Let us unite and be one in telling the typhoon victims that they are not alone. The whole world is joining them to rise up and overcome this tragedy.
Reserve your shirts online at http://www.slingprint.com/risePHshirts. Campaign ends on November 19.
*exclusive of shipping fees
For the past month, I’ve been crazily joining online contests and raffle draws to win tickets to see OneRepublic LIVE in Manila. I’m a big enough fan to actually do this half my time and if you will look at how many plays my OneRepublic playlist has had, you’ll be surprised.
Imagine my excitement when I found out that I actually won a contest! Don’t get me wrong—I don’t jump in to any contest and join just because. I feel that when someone really wants something so bad, the universe conspires to give it! And so it did for me!
I won two VIP tickets and a meet & greet pass from Spinnr and MCA Music and found out on the concert day itself!
— Spinnr Philippines (@SpinnrPH)
SPINNR is powered by Smart Music and it allows you to
Spinnr just launched last week and I’m just so incredibly lucky that I found out about their giveaway. It’s like the Pinoy version of Pandora, an automated music recommendation service and internet radio available in the US, Australia, and New Zealand only. With SPINNR, Smart will be the first to offer in the country a music-streaming subscription service with unlimited access to more than 3 million songs from the catalogs of worldwide music leaders MCA Music, Inc. (internationally known as Universal Music Group, Inc.); and Sony Music Entertainment, through a partnership with local licensee Ivory Music and Video.
MEET & GREET: OneRepublic
I was so excited! I kept thinking about what I should do when I finally meet them because we were given very clear instructions on what NOT to do. I We got to take the picture at almost 7:30pm and we really had very limited time to chat with them. I stood beside Drew for the photo op and you couldn’t see it, but I was clutching at his waist. NUKS!! Ryan was giving everyone a fistbump and to me that was more than enough. I just felt so lucky to be in the same room with them!
My favorite part (song) during the concert — I can’t decide whether it’s Good Life because the lights were just so amazing, or Feel Again because of Ryan Tedder’s dance moves, or Counting Stars because the crowd’s energy was nuts!!! One thing I can definitely say though is that this concert had all the good stuff—incredible setlist, amazing stage, very talented frontman, and fantastic crowd. Everything was just beyond my expectations!
Thank you SPINNR and SMART for letting me meet my music idols. Like any music lover, I went inside to stay put, soak in the sounds, sing the songs along with everybody else, and just enjoy the moment. I basically couldn’t tear my eyes off of the stage for a minute!
Fan In 30 Days
I have an advice for everyone who like a song so much that they think the artist or band behind it is a musical genius. When this particular artist/band is coming to Manila but you’re not sure if you should go because you only know a couple of songs (that changed your life anyway), here are some steps on how to become a fan in 30 days:
1. Buy the band’s or artist’s album on Spinnr PH.
2. Look up their previous concert set lists on Setlist.fm.
3. Create a playlist on Spinnr and pattern it over the most recent and relevant setlist. (e.g. If you’re from Asia, follow the Asian tour setlist rather than European)
4. Look up their song lyrics online and make yourself your own lyrics sheet with all songs in order.
5. Save it on your computer, smartphone, or tablet so you can access it whenever you want, on-the-go or at-home listening to their music.
I’m listening to OneRepublic through Spinnr right now and I just can’t help but relive each song in my head as if the group was there in front of me again, performing. Really a great addition to my list of unforgettable moments this 2013!