Smells like (short) nostalgia

Screw you, Charles R. Cross. Screw you and Heavier Than Heaven. Screw you and your research. Now I can’t let a whole day pass without listening to either Bleach or Nevermind or In Utero… and feeling the soul-crushing weight of April 1994 again. Screw you and your damn book to hell.

Of course, I’m aware that many have dismissed Heavier Than Heaven for being based mostly on the narrative of the most untrustworthy of sources — the blabbermouth Widow. But that doesn’t make his story any less painful, at least to me, a 90s kid who’s more than just a casual listener of his band and, for good or ill, considers him some sort of a personal hero, corny as it sounds.

Now excuse me while I scratch old wounds.


CD crazy after all these years

IMG_20130608_140817Imagine a dog that catches the smell of a bitch in heat. One whiff and the bastard goes crazy. That’s kinda like me every time I hear of a CD sale going on somewhere. I get overexcited and won’t be pacified until I hump away the itch by visiting the venue, checking out the available titles, and going home with as many loots as my wallet can handle.

So in the age of MP3s and iPods I still collect CDs. So what? Some people like posting #selfies, some blog endlessly about food, some bash gays in the name of God. As the stubborn unapologetic drunk says to the annoyed non-drinker: to each his own, bitch.

That’s why Saturday morning found me at the biannual Universal CD/DVD Sale at the Smart Icon, Universal Tower on Quezon Ave. experiencing mental orgasm as I gawked at stacks and stacks of interesting titles being sold for as low as P20. Needless to say, I emerged from it an hour or two later with a lighter wallet and a heavier bag, and a happy-kid grin stretching from ear to ear.

Dig the artists:  Interpol, Mercury Rev, Bob Mould, Paul Weller, Cowboy Junkies, Moby, Britny Fox, Crowbar, Ian Gillan, Kings of Convenience, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Cracker, Dog Fashion Disco, The New Pornographers, The Cribs, Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, Black Box Recorder, Grandaddy, Amusement Parks on Fire, OHgr. From dance to indie to electronic to metal. With CDs that cheap, it made sense to experiment and introduce my ears to new music and artists. So I did. And that’s why I’m such a happy camper these days. Nothing beats striking gold when you’re in the process of discovering new stuff. It’s a natural high.

Looking forward to the next CD sale already.

*With apologies to Paul Simon for the title.

Rockstar obituary: Jeff Hanneman

hanneman-dghWow. Less than a week after that heavy metal high that was Pulp Summer Slam XIII comes the ultimate letdown: Jeff Hanneman, guitarist and founding member of thrash metal titans Slayer, died Friday (Manila time) due to alleged drink-related liver failure. He was 49.

Really, wow. This genuinely saddens me. I may not be the biggest Slayer fan on the block, but I have the biggest respect for the band and have fond memories of their music.

I remember listening to Decade of Aggression at a friend’s place many summers ago. Nothing really special about that afternoon except the period: I was starting my teenage years, cranked up on that feeling of invincibility that one feels at that age, and Slayer — with Hanneman and Kerry King’s blitzkrieg guitar riffs and face-melting solos — was providing a fitting soundtrack to that. Slayer was also among the first bands I listened to when I wanted to feel “tough” and “evil” and to piss off the adults. Later I’d use their music to get over a particularly hellish day at the office.

They say the most unforgettable music in one’s life is the one he heard when he was a teenager. Hard not to spot sense in that wisdom.

Will be listening to Decade of Aggression all weekend.


Work Drugs - Tropic of Capricorn coverCopy-pasting this review of Work Drug’s Tropic of Capricorn because I’m too lazy/tired to write my own. Also, because it tells exactly what I feel about the band (one my awesome music finds in 2012), particularly that part about how each track in the album is like “waves lapping the shore” or like the “sun setting over the ocean as you reflect on your day.”

“I live a cram-packed life. With the day job, school at night, writing (The Owl’s my fav, duh!), I’m always on the lookout for tuneage to lower my blood pressure and calm me down after a stress-filled day. I’m not talking about elevator music (Muzak, BLAH!), but something with a tight groove, mellow melodies, and soothing vocals. My newest find, Work Drugs hits the spot and then some.

This duo (sometimes trio) from Philly really knows how to lay the grooves, and their new album, Tropic of Capricorn is evidence of that. The album title alone lends a sense to what the music is geared for as each track feels like waves lapping ashore. Each is different, with natural crescendos that climax to a point where they gently whisk into the next. It’s hard to pin-point tracks in particular, but some of my favs are ‘Rad Racer’, ‘Third Wave’, and ‘Dog Daze’, which sounds like the sun setting over the ocean as you reflect on your day. Exactly what the doctor ordered.”

Ah, yes. Isn’t it nice when the reviewer tells us how the album really affects him/her rather than resorting to verbal masturbation?

The piece was written by Christopher Allen for The Owl Mag. Mentioning it here because unlike that one nasty comedian of a senator, I don’t plagiarize stuff.