On OPM (UPDATED)

This article could have been written a decade ago, with the same whiny tone, packaged as a deeply concerned critic’s tirade.

Yep.

So, you mourn lack of mainstream success of local bands these days, and the absence of NU107. I say, you don’t go to enough gigs of bands you don’t know, and would’ve said NU107’s playlist reeked of shit and payola, if they were still broadcasting.

To be fair though, if I weren’t this old and tired and spent witness to three decades worth of Pinoy music, I would’ve voiced the same sentiment. It would seem appropriate. However, hearing someone else say it made me prick that bubble easily.

Also, why does everyone have to bring up 90s-era local rock bands into this every time? Oh yeah, because that was the height of OPM.

Really.


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A record deal isn’t what it used to be. Mainstream success in music never really held a firm grip on high musical standards. The market dictates what sells, and so does whatever the business regards as the most profitable. Same goes for media exposure in your usual outlets: TV, (what is left of) radio, media-conglomerate generated online content.

The era of laminated Gold and Platinum plaques, indicative of significant album sales, that one where artists’ would rightfully brag about? Probably gone.

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See, I’ve been an OPM fan as a kid, well through the much-regarded 90s in high school, until now. I devour Cinderella/Yolly Samson records with as much gusto as any of the newer bands independently releasing their songs online for free. The pain that my legs go through because I prop myself in front of the stage taking photos of local metal shows from the amusingly-named Center for Arts is not easy to forget. Ever seen the AMP Big Band? Mindblowing nostalgia. This is the sort of jazz entertainment that was de facto in 50s-60s Manila club scene. Yes, they’re on Facebook. Oh, and as a current OFW, I look forward to every chance to see a Pinoy showband here in the for-expat clubs.

Oh, and there’s probably a dozen more OPM scenes I don’t cover.

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OPM is alive, and it has many, many forms. Again, you just don’t go to enough gigs of bands/artists/performers you don’t know.

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UPDATE (8-28):

This post was linked here. I was quoted for exclaiming that people should go to gigs, and discover new music, and for “being a witness to “three decades worth of Pinoy music.””. I don’t get the last part. It was an approximate of my actual age. I can make the following statements as well:

I was a witness to three decades of Pinoy television.
I was a listener to three decades of Pinoy radio.
I was a consumer to three decades of my mom’s cooking.

Is this one of those situations where criticism tries to pull a non-existent rabbit out of a hat, that I, in a matter-of-fact sort of way, just happen to wear?

I would’ve made the same witness-to-three-decades-of-OPM statement if I did NOT pick up the photography hobby and went to rock clubs.

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On Twitter, I’ve told radikalchick this:

never was an insider. always been a spectator, never been a participant.

I covered the Pinoy band scene semi-actively for 5 years through photos. This has always been in a personal capacity, I was never paid for what I did, and 95% of the time, I paid entrance fees. I’ve made friends with bands, gig organizers, and the people who go to these happenings. This qualifies me as an ‘insider‘, eh?

I didn’t even bring any of that up in the original form of this post, right?

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I understand the defensive stances. The bands/artists that got ‘butthurt’ from this ‘OPM is dead’ decree will of course take arms on this. Those who stand beside the claimed music corpse will remain propped and stand by their big words, though it looks like the delivery of that communication failed. The intent was never really that clear to me, if ever there was one beyond just being an editorial in a major online publication.

I’ll stick it out with OPM, while this little collective does the same with an opinion.

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