Lyrics, Please!

Forgive me, I seem to be in music mode.

This weekend I was able to watch some local music videos in MYX (a local music channel) on the TV at the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at in Naga City. The reason this is a big deal (or maybe it’s not, but it’s a different thing that happens to me) is because our cable operator at home doesn’t carry the channel MYX (or Animax, or Hero channel, or Cinema One. I know, I hate it too sometimes. But it’s not so bad, we get a lot of other channels that not many cable operators have). Hence, I am only able to watch this channel when it’s shown on Studio 23 (and that’s rare), or when I’m out of town staying at a place that has a different cable operator.

Boring details aside, the program I watched in particular was the OPM Top 10 (or was it Top 20?) which featured songs from artists that I know and love, but while watching it, I wondered why I never loved them as much as I love Rico Blanco. (Bazinga! This is a Rico Blanco fangirl entry! Don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming?! πŸ˜‰ ) Anyway, MYX has this feature where they put the lyrics of the songs as subtitles on the video, so you can sing along πŸ™‚ and it was while I was reading those lyrics that I figured out the reason. I love Rico Blanco’s songs as much as I do, and not as much as other artists’ songs, because Rico Blanco writes impeccable lyrics.

OK, I know, that when you get right down to it, lyrics alone do not make a song great. The best lyrics in the world, accompanied with the worst melody ever will not be a song you like to hear, and vice-versa (e.g. Crash Into Me by The Dave Matthews Band is a brilliant song, with a melody that puts you in a romantic mood, so it’s a great love song, but once, I saw it used in a wedding video, and I just thought that ew, it’s too weird to see a couple inside a church while what you can hear in the background is the line “hike up your skirt a little more”.) but still, I think lyrics are one of the reasons why a song transforms from something you don’t mind hearing while you’re passing time during your morning commute, into something that you want to hear during the special moments of your life. Or, at least that’s how it is for me.

So, apologies to Sandwich fans, I know they have some great songs but one of their recent ones, Lakad, has just some of the most unimaginative lines like:

‘Pag lumakad ka sa init, magdala ng sumbrero, para ‘di mainitan ang iyong bumbunan.

I mean, can’t they maybe think of something more poetic? Something like, “Your face lights up the sky on the highway.” (Balisong, Rivermaya)

I’m not saying you should be poetic all the time. Sometimes, words with literal meaning are good for songs, too. But that really depends on the type of song. Some have lyrics that sound mundane, but because it hits the right spot, it turns out great. Like the old Eraserheads songs, or this one from Parokya ni Edgar’s Pakiusap Lang:

Ngayon lang ako nasaktan nang ganito, kaya pakiusap lang, lasingin n’yo ako!

It goes both ways. Too much poetry makes something hard to understand and will eventually lose its meaning, so you may as well say what you mean. But on the other hand, just saying what you mean can get boring (as is the case with some Parokya ni Edgar songs, I’m sad to say, especially their joke songs, like Picha Pie, which was of course, funny when you first hear it, but after hearing it for several times, becomes boring, as with all jokes. And with lyrics like “As long as I eat picha pie I know I’ll be alive”, it’s just not something that will have a special meaning to you, and that you’ll want to hear even when you get older).Β I’m one of those people who don’t like poetry too much because it’s hard to understand, but I think that’s where the brilliance of Rico Blanco’s (and the old Rivermaya’s) lyrics lie, because it finds a middle ground to it all. The words give nice imagery but are still easy to understand, like:

Is it too late to stop this pain that I’ve created from eclipsin’ the million precious things we shared? – Start Again (Rico Blanco, Your Universe)

If only you were smiling, if I was your reason, tomorrow, I could die. – Hate (Rivermaya, Rivermaya)

Pangarap kong makita ang liwanag ng umagang naglalaro sa iyong mga mata. – Himala (Rivermaya, Trip)

He’s waiting for the drink in her hand to turn into a kiss. – Neon Lights (Rico Blanco, Your Universe)

And my absolute favorite piece of OPM lyrics ever:

You can thank your stars all you want, but… I’ll always be the lucky one.Your Universe (Rico Blanco, Your Universe)

Just so hindi n’yo masabing uber biased ako (although uber biased naman talaga ako), I’ll leave you with a quote from a foreign artist (haha!), which I think is another example of what I said earlier, of how there are lyrics that sound poetic but are still easy to understand:

And the piano’s this melancholy soundtrack to her smile. – Sometime Around Midnight (The Airborne Toxic Event, The Airborne Toxic Event)

Ngunit, Kahit, Dahil

Pumulot tayo ng aral mula sa kanta ngΒ Giniling Festival. Hindi nga. Serious! Paminsan-minsan, may katuturan din naman ang lyrics ng mga makukulit at seemingly walang kwentang mga banda hehe.

Mula sa kanta nilang, Psycho:

Mahal ko siya ngunit psycho siya.
Mahal ko siya kahit psycho siya.
Mahal ko siya dahil psycho siya.

So, I know. Tinawag niyang psycho ‘yung girl. Pero wala lang. Ang sweet. Hahaha! No, I mean, there is some discussion about whether you love a person “because” or “although”. There is a quote that says, “We like someone because. We love someone although. – Henry de Montherlant”. However, some people argue that you’re not supposed to say that you love someone despite their shortcomings, and are even supposed to love them because of it. But I do truly believe that in love, just like in most everything else (and yes that includes mathematics. haha! 2+2 does not always equal 4! hehe), there are no right or wrong answers. And as someone has said before, love is full of contradictions.

Therefore, I just found it so cute/sweet that in a song that describes the craziness of a person, it says that somebody loves her both despite and because of it. πŸ™‚

But just so I won’t be branded as the person who called Giniling Festival (GF) cute/sweet, here’s another lyric quote from another band, which I don’t think has the same reputation as GF, Ang Bandang Shirley.

From their song, Sa Madaling Salita:

Ikaw ang puso ko, dahil sa’yo, dumadaloy ang dugo.
Ikaw ang puso ko, dahil sa’yo, dumadanak ang dugo.
At sa saliw ng isa’t-isa, tayong dalawa’y dakila.
At sa saliw ng isa’t-isa, tayong dalawa’y alila.

Ring Tone / Ring Back

When I called my own cellphone to locate where it was (I left it in the car -_- forgetful me), I remembered that I have a ring back tune, and it’s Bangon by Rico Blanco. And then when I found my cellphone, it was still Rico Blanco singing, because my ring tone is the song Come Closer, also by him.

At hindi ko ‘to sinasadya ‘ah. I mean, Come Closer has been my ringtone for ages (dati pa nauso ‘yung kantang ‘yun, right?), and I only availed of the Bangon ringback recently. Ngayon ko lang na-realize na pareho pala silang kanta ni Rico Blanco. Haha. Hindi naman ako masyadong fan.

Anyway, tawagan n’yo naman ako! Promise hindi ko sasagutin ‘yung call para hindi mabawasan ‘yung load n’yo. Makinig lang kayo ‘dun sa song πŸ™‚ Hehehe. Hindi pa kasi pinapatugtog sa radyo ‘eh.

The Final Set

Here’s something about me: I’m actually not as big a fan of music as a lot of people seem to think I am (because I like videoke and I listen to non-mainstream bands and usually carry an mp3 player in my bag), but when it comes to OPM (Rock OPM, I don’t mean the Regine Velasquez-pop-type of OPM), I get very emotional. It could be because their music just caters more to my taste than the foreign artists (e.g. Incubus, U2, etc.), or maybe it’s just because of the fact that they’re here in the same country as I am. Whatever the reason, I am really quite fond of local music, and it’s one of those things that make me feel real sentimental, more than any other type of music. Know why I never pandered to the boyband (e.g. Boyzone, Backstreet Boys) craze? It’s because of them — the Eraserheads (and Rivermaya, actually). Why admire guys who sing simple notes with blah lyrics, which they didn’t even write, when there are people who sing nice tunes, write their own material, play their own instruments, AND live in the same country as you do (and so you can watch them live whenever you want)?

Anyway, I’m writing this down now before more stuff happens tomorrow. Soo many things happened over the course of 24 hours that I don’t know where to begin. So maybe I’ll just write stuff at random.

Farewell Francis

I was watching the Eat Bulaga tribute to Francs M earlier today (technically yesterday but because I haven’t slept yet, I’m considering this as a March 7 entry), in the bus, on my way to Mall of Asia, and I cried. Literally. I tried not to, but as soon as the Akafellas started crooning Cold Summer Nights, my tears were on their own. And they fell. Oh, how they fell.

I almost missed getting off the bus just because I still wanted to watch the rest of the clip they showed of Gary V’s 1990 concert where Francis M made a guest appearance. I mean, he was working up the crowd and was about to sing Mga Kababayan Ko when the bus stopped at Baclaran. I really felt bad when I stood up from my seat. 😦

The thing is, I’m not even into rap music. Seriously. During the olden days when people would ask other people “Hip Hop o Metal?” I would always say “Metal!” It wasn’t because I liked heavy metal, but because I really didn’t like Hip Hop. Until now, I’m totally clueless about all the famous rappers (and R&B artists, actually). But somehow, the kind of rap that Francis M did, maybe because there was something really Filipino about it, appealed to me in a way that no other rapper ever had, or has until now. In fact, Kaleidoscope World is the song that made me realize that I could like rap “music” (See, I don’t even think it’s real music!), and up to now it’s still one of my favorite songs, despite my inability to sing along with it.

So, I know everyone dies, and that this is just nature taking it’s course, but he will definitely be missed.

(Mababaw lang: This incident also made me think– Why do we call people named Francis, “Kiko” anyway? The nickname is somehow so natural to us Filipinos, but now that I think about it, “Kiko” is in no way similar to the name “Francis”, so why is this the default nickname? Kind of like how “Bob” is the nickname for “Robert” in the U.S.)

THE FINAL SET

Wow, so many things to say about the Eraserheads concert last night! It was really lots and lots of fun! Although I think the last one was more fun, despite it being cut short. But wait, let me put these opinions under more specific headings.

The Concert

It was super fun! I do feel a bit bad for those who didn’t get to attend the first one last year (Eraserheads The Reunion Concert), because that was just a lot more enjoyable. Or at least it was more, I wanna say, genuine. I mean, OK, the way they played now was great. They played most of my favorite songs and it was cool how they had the change of outfits for some sets and other stuff, but it just felt a bit too commercialized. And I guess there’s nothing wrong with concerts being commercialized, if they were a pop group (like Callalily or Hale), but they’re THE Eraserheads! The “original” ROCK band of the Philippines. The first ones who dared shock the system with non-pop indie “stickin’ it to the man” (to quote School of Rock) tunes! Somehow, having them seem “poppy” for this concert felt a bit weird. But then again, maybe that’s just me. Besides, overall, the concert was still pretty great. πŸ˜€

The MTV VJs

I do have one complaint– did the MTV VJs really have to be there to introduce the band? Okay, maybe they did since it is MTV who’s sponsoring the event. So fine, I’m totally cool with promoting the sponsors and using MTV’s talents to introduce the band. But did they have to pretend that they loved the band as well?! Honestly, it felt weird seeing the likes of Anne Curtis and Kat Alano say stuff like “This is a great band!” when you kind of feel that they really don’t know what they’re talking about.

I mean, seriously. If they really loved the Eraserheads, they wouldn’t have mistaken Nena for Nene in the song Tindahan ni Aling Nena. AND, “I love Pare Ko!” is NOT an Eraserheads memory! An Eraserheads memory is something like, “The first cassette tape I ever bought with my own money was the Eraserheads’ first album!”

Saying that you love a song, and then someone else saying “I love the lyrics!”, I mean, these are things said by people who can’t think of anything to say. I really wish they’d done their research, or if they’re too busy to do that, then they should’ve just left things as they were. Promote the sponsors, say good things about the shows on MTV, and then leave the stage. No need to pretend they love the band when everyone clearly knows that they don’t. (And it’s fine that they don’t anyway. We all know that the Eraserheads music is not for everybody.)

No Need for Crowd Control

Okay, I lied. I have TWO complaints about the concert — the crowd was BORING!

No, I’m not looking for a riot like in the UP fair. I’m glad that the people weren’t overly rowdy. But I wouldn’t have minded if they were also a wee bit livelier! Seriously, in the place where my friends and I were standing (and it’s not like we were with the somewhat posh VIP/Gold ticket crowd, we were in the humble Silver ticket area), it felt like we were the only ones singing aloud (I think I was even alone in singing some songs, i.e. Poorman’s Grave, Waiting for the Bus) and having fun. Everyone else was just standing still and texting or taking pictures of themselves and their friends (this earns a separate entry altogether), which made me wonder whether they were true fans or if they were just people with too much money and nothing better to do.

Hardly anyone was jumping or dancing, even when the songs were upbeat and fun. So yeah, I mean, I had fun. But I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if the people around me were also enjoying the concert as much as I did.

Francis M Tribute

Right. So it was a tad predictable that they sang Super Proxy in memory of Francis M (that collaboration, BTW, is the only song I truly liked in the Ultraelectromagneticjam album). But when they sang the the last lines of Kaleidoscope World, I was totally lost — in memories of my childhood and my love affair with OPM.

The Encore

Speaking of the boring crowd, or maybe it’s just because the crowd is older than the usual rock concert crowd, wasn’t it weird how a lot of people left as soon as Ang Huling El Bimbo was finished, and didn’t even ask for “more!!”? So when the 3-song encore started, it was already a lot roomier in the audience area. Not that I’m complaining, I got to see the band on stage more clearly, and got to sing Toyang at the top of my lungs. πŸ™‚ Maybe that’s even what made it a great encore–because only the ones who really wanted more were there to see it.

But the Best Part…

And of course I saved the best for last. πŸ™‚

Actually, my friends and I had been in the Mall of Asia since around 2:30PM that day, not yet waiting for the concert, but just hanging out, doing some errands and stuff. Anyway, we were eating at Burger King when one of my friends suddenly pointed outside and said, “Si Raimund ba ‘yun?”

My friends and I turned to look and true enough, Raimund Marasigan, Eraserheads drummer (and Sandwich vocalist) extraordinaire was coming down the escalator.

We were looking at him through the glass walls of Burger King, still trying to confirm whether it was really him or not, when he turned to look at our direction. My friend waved at him, and he gave us one of the most heart-melting smiles ever. :mrgreen:

Okay, so Raimund isn’t my favorite Eheads member or anything, but imagine the high of waiting to go the Eheads concert, and then seeing one of its members just before, and he smiles at you… *dreamy sigh*

So many hours later, I’m dizzy and sleepy and tired all at once, and yet I’m still in awe of that smile he shared. πŸ™‚

Congratulations to the Eraserheads. πŸ™‚ They deserve being treated like the legends that they are. And thanks to them, I will have good happy dreams tonight. πŸ™‚

Mabuhay ang Noypi!
(Bogchi!!!)