My Geek Stages: Music

Prelude

Here is the first of a series of posts, essentially elaborating why this site can have so many levels of geekery.

The Music Geek

Early-to-mid grade school, I was this shy kid who wrote love songs typical of the pinoy. Oh, you know what they are. Look under Mellow on the Karaoke lists, and I might still be able to name artist, era, movie where it came from of your 70s-80s cheese.

Late grade school, I was a wild radio knob-turner; my dial was stuck on the leftmost side of the FM band. Jazz was seeping into the mainstream market, when noontime shows would showcase sax players for their musical portions. Boy (not Eddie) Katinding was a balikbayan, and his new cd was hot.

Early high school, a vacation in Tayabas, Quezon exposed to me to a growing rock trend. Metallica + Guns N Roses + a certain fascination for Skid Row’s power ballads = enter what I’d consider a very signficant shift to my musical taste. Then came LA105. The pinoy underground music scene’s spirit swelled in me. I picked up the Eraserheads first tape (first ‘pressing’/release) just when my classmates were picking up on the novelty feel of first single Ligaya. My tape was several months old already, and my cousins were literally elbowing each other to snatch the darn thing from my class’s Karaoke machine during the school’s Christmas party season.

Yes, I even sported those trendy makeshift rock binders. I was obviously ahead of everyone, since I made collages from rockmags, when everyone else were buying 30 peso rock posters. How un-creative. Also, I was the sole person who can easily mingle with the hip-hop and metal crowds, during their stupid, juvenile wars.

Enter: Pavement. They weren’t noisy. They weren’t headbanging rock. But I adored their lazy-singing, controlled un-guitar-god concept, and I don’t remember anyone else possessing the same sentiment. Hence, I was different again. I was heavily sedated with the unpopular movement called indie rock.

College was chaos. My playing Catherine Wheel’s Crank in high-school mutated into the madness of shoegazer. My knowledge of metal/death metal turned into a silly self-game, where I’d recite a band corresponding to every letter of the alphabet (Asphyxiation, Bolt Thrower, Carcass, Deicide, Eyehategod, etc.; see, I still rememeber!). While some artsy friends were heavy on obscure American indie labels (TeenBeat, etc.), I stuck with 4AD. I just had to complete to Cocteau Twins catalogue (never did) and at least try to listen to the entirety of The Pixies work. Lou Barlow was a lesser god, and it was always a fine early morning when listening to Flying Saucer Attack.

This was also the time my music-fascination went further: I was invited to join a band. Name was Gitaw 1463 (Gitaw means born, 1463 is the year Panday Pira was born; my bandmates were composed of ex-activists and Marxists). Our claim to fame? We had Tado, the comedian, on… anything he can get his hands on. I saw the band (before I was in it), and Tado was cooking coffee during the performance.

Jazz, true jazz. John Coltrane, early Miles Davis, blips, syncopation, odd measures.

Post-college. I wasn’t anymore under active music nourishment, but I tried to make ways to acquire them. There was the yearly Universal Records CD sale in Quezon Avenue. There were the occassional CD bargains (Elliot Smith, Jeff Buckley). Work lead me to more abundant greens: piracy had me ordering burned CDs of anything from Sepultura videos to Joao Gilberto. I was into Mogwai, Sigur Ros, the so-called post-rock genre.

The year 2005 was too bland for my music-hunger. I’d only cite Interpol, The Killers, The White Stripes, Modest Mouse, and Snow Patrol as significant acts of the year. Pity that they are MTV darlings.

And the iPod. I digress in music appreciation if I depend on genres for searching music, but its the easier way. I haven’t been very busy in keeping a neat music collection, but I was only able to come up with 15 gigs of songs before leaving for Shanghai: Royksopp, Nina Simone, Thievery Corporation, Tito, Vic & Joey, Rex Navarrette, Slayer (Live), Team Sleep, Apo Hiking Society, Cinderella (not the hair band), Jeff Buckley, and, dammit, even the cheesy songs of my childhood.

Now, via podcasts, and the Internet in general, I’m still keeping my music-sanity intact. No one else seems to share my passion for just-good music here, except for some very minor instances.

I need to buy headphones soon.

Next: My Geek Stages: Film

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