My Top 5 in Music 2008: #1 The Pinoy Band Scene Is NOT DEAD

I will not say we’ve had a strong year in quality OPM, but we still had great output. Here’s three records of note, in order of release (earliest to latest):

Taken By CarsEndings of a New Kind

Read my review of the album here.

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My Top 5 in Music 2008: #2 Super Awesome Japanese Music FTW

Three Japanese releases stood out for me last year.

3) Te’ came out with their third album last year. They still rock real hard, but the new influences seeping into the sound needs some getting used to. The dance-rock drumming? Too much playful experimentation? If you want an intro to the awesomeness of Te’, get the second album called it is a thought to try to “sing” the realistic sound from the deeply resonated world.

Continue reading My Top 5 in Music 2008: #2 Super Awesome Japanese Music FTW

My Top 5 in Music 2008: #3 Still Listening to NPR’s All Songs Considered Podcast

I can’t say I agree with host Bob Boilen of NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast when it comes to the music he chooses to play. He seems to be largely influenced by a past generation, someone who probably has a collection ranging from pre freak-folk, Eno-era ambient, to the real-deal music from Africa, but would consider even acts like Kanye West commendable. For that reason, I listen to him, because I do want to discover new music, I don’t always want to listen to someone I would know I’d agree with.

Here’s a shortlist of old and new artists/bands I liked/found/re-discovered interesting from last year who were featured on the podcast:

Bon Iver (intense and sentimental, like a high-pitched Elliot Smith)
Girl Talk (proves everything can be sampled and mixed, but then, I eventually found his music not any different from those I hear blasted on Cubao jeeps)
Land of Talk (beautifully-voiced pop, with an MOR taint)
Modeselektor (relentless and obvious dance music, from the DJ Thom York episode)
Ray Charles (Ray Davies [from The Kinks], and Randy Newman, who both guest DJ’d, love the guy)
Public Enemy (fine vintage hiphop from the show where Portishead sat in as guest DJ)
Erik Satie as performed by Reinbert DeLeeuw (extremely slow, brooding classical music, the sort that makes you want to watch life go by)
Krallice (fierce metal, but so unlike its chosen genre’s cohorts)

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My Top 5 in Music 2008: #4 The Usual – Gigs and Photography

I’ve rendered myself in inactive gig photographer mode for the last half of 2008, with very few exceptions. However, this based on this lot of 15 photos (arranged by date [earliest to latest]), I didn’t think I did badly.

Brigada
Brigada

Descant Gott
Descant Gott

Chubibo
Chubibo

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My Top 5 in Music 2008: #5 The Ten Song Affair/The 90s Plugin Podcast and Semi-Resurrection

See, I used to run this li’l podcast called The Ten Song Affair, which I started around March. I pick 10 songs from my music library, and I play it. There was also a little sideshow called The 90s Plugin, which was part of my music education agenda, by telling people the 90s wasn’t just about grunge and the start of the alternative label. Yes, I did the shows like a radio DJ, except that you can download or stream an mp3 copy of it, and this means you can listen to the tracks and me introducing and making a short critique on some of them.

The podcast-making process was primitive, but satisfying. Armed with a cheap headset and Audacity (recording software), with the script on a multi-tab notepad program, I came up with concept shows (a show where all the songs were chosen because it had the word “dance” on its title) to genre specials (shoegazer, sadcore/slowcore). I sometimes featured 10 songs that I just think mixed well . My most well-received show covered just that:

Not Exactly A Radio Show: The Ten Song Affair – Episode 4
Apr 2, 2008

Te’, And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Los Campesinos, 4Hero, Low, Smokey and Miho, France Gall, The Aisler’s Set, Lloyd Cole, and Camera Obscura.

I saw it as over by June, since running two weekly shows that only a handful of people listen to was tiring, and even if my initial expectations was exceeded, I did want to reach over a semblance of an actual audience.

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