Showing posts with label new wave. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new wave. Show all posts

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Reliving younger days - Tears for Fears in Manila - 2

The Clairvoyant and I had a blast one Friday night, a celebration of sort after she came back home after a more than 1.5-year stint in Singapore. I had bought tickets to one of our favorite bands from our high school and university days that we associated with the New Wave music that was quite popular with our generation. It was quite nostalgic for us and we always joke about how this must be the feeling of our parents and grandparents for music and artists of their time.

Tears for Fears is one of the most popular bands of the 80's churning hit after hit with favorites like Mad World, Pale Shelter and Change from their very successful The Hurting album. They followed this up with an even more immensely successful Songs From the Big Chair that featured Shout, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Mother's Talk and Head Over Heels. They broke up in the early 90's due to some differences between Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. Orzabal retained Tears for Fears while Smith embarked on a solo career. Orzabal released a couple of albums that had some marginal success (compared to their 80's albums) while Smith's stint was largely forgettable. They got back together in the middle of the last decade and returned to touring. Well, it took them some time before they came to the Philippines for the first time last year. And they themselves were probably so happy to see how they are still immensely popular in this part of the world. That concert last year probably convinced them (and their producers) to return this year and even add a playdate due to the sold out initial dates in Manila and Cebu.

Tears for Fears' finale was Head Over Heels but even before they exited the stage, the fully-packed coliseum was already cheering them on to do an encore. They did respond to the shouting by returning to the stage to sing a couple more songs. The first one was the haunting Woman in Chains that everybody also seemed to know the lyrics of, resulting in a continuation of what has become one big karaoke session since the opening act of Per Sorensen of Fra Lippo Lippi fame. They capped the night with their smash hit Shout, which was #1 in the US, UK and other countries - a perfect ending to a night of fun that brought us back to what people may refer to as the good old days when we were young and care free.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reliving younger days - Tears for Fears in Manila - 1

We had a great time recently, going to a concert where played two great acts of our generation - Fra Lippo Lippi and Tears for Fears. The former was represented by its lead vocalist, singer-songwriter Per Sorensen while the latter by no less than the duo of Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal, who are Tears for Fears. The concert turned out to be  a 3-hour karaoke session with the fully-packed Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City singing along with the artists as they performed the songs that were familiar to most if not all the audience.

Following is a video I took and uploaded to YouTube of the opening act for Tears for Fears. I wasn't able to record the entire performance of their first song but I guess it will be clear from the video how popular Tears for Fears still is in the Philippines.

The first time they were in Manila was only last year and they mentioned they were asking themselves the question of why they didn't perform here in the 1980's or even the early 1990's when their popularity in Britain, the US and elsewhere was peaking. Well, they are still quite popular in the Philippines and Roland Orzabal even related a story in between songs that when somebody asked him whatever they were doing these days, he replied that the man should go to YouTube and type in "Tears for Fears in Manila" to see how they're doing these days. That elicited cheers from the audience. In fact, they have three concert dates in the Philippines with 2 in Manila last August 10 (which the Clairvoyant and I attended) and 11 (an additional date due to the sell-out Friday, that many of our friends went to and was also a sell-out). They are now playing in Cebu to another sell-out crowd. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Reconnecting with a friend and his music

I first met him in high school and he was ahead of me by a year. I was a freshman and he was a sophomore when we got introduced by way of scouting. It was a little later that I discovered he was the older brother of another sophomore but wasn't at all surprised. In our school, it was quite common for younger people to catch up to boys a batch ahead of them because of the acceleration opportunity granted to Grade 6 students who performed quite well in their academics. I found him as someone quite odd yet very kind and very patient. He was to me someone whom you'd want to be your kuya given the way he related to people younger than him. Many of us in our batch got to be acquainted with him and he was gracious enough to help us out being an upperclassman in high school. He shared stories with us about what he would like to be if given the freedom to choose, to decide. He wanted to become a DJ. He wanted to devote time to music. He wanted to mix music, play it and enjoy it. That was how I knew Vir-Gil then and that was how I know him today, many years after we lost track after graduating from high school.

He is known online as DJ Beatraxx and his works are accessible for music lovers through Mixcrate, which I only discovered a few days ago, thanks to one of his postings on Facebook. We only got reacquainted last year thanks to the search features of Facebook where he was suggested as someone I knew. I took the opportunity to reconnect and he did accept the friend request. Later, he related to me about how he had become serious in life after marrying and having a family of his own. He also shared how he finally got to save up to get back to his hobby of mixing music. And so I was happy too to have reacquainted with an old friend and had a bonus of sorts with his music, which happens to be mostly about the 80's and particularly about New Wave. Glad to see you again, my friend, and perhaps we shall meet in one of those alumni homecomings at Lourdes soon. The silver jubilees of our batches are coming up quite quickly in the next few years.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Everything Counts

Tears for Fears held a concert last year to the delight of many Filipinos particularly those of my generation who were in high school or college in the mid to late 1980's. It was about 25 years late but it didn't matter to fans who gobbled up the tickets to the gig at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. In fact, when I had a chance to check for tickets the only ones remaining were the 10,000 PhP ones. I would've wanted to watch the concert with the Clairvoyant but just couldn't justify shelling out 20,000 PhP for a pair of tickets. My conscience would not allow me to splurge just like that. So now I'm just looking forward to the real possibility that Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal will be returning to Manila given the tremendous success of the concert. In fact, I learned that the organizers initially reserved only half of the venue but eventually had to add more seats as the demand for tickets was clearly underestimated. It seems that one thing they didn't consider was that a lot of those who probably would have coughed out good money if the concert were held in the 1980's are now mostly successful people who can afford the tickets, even the most expensive ones.

Another act that I would consider going to is Depeche Mode, shown in the YouTube video below in a live performance of "Everything Counts," a personal favorite aside from the mushy "Somebody" and, of course, "People are People." I have a few albums including compilations. But one album I bought in Japan was lost somehow a few years ago and it happened to be a rare one featuring live and extended performances of their greatest hits.

Of course, nothing will beat having U2 live in Manila. Surely this will be sold out in a matter of munites and one would have to compete with expats and tourists to get tickets. But I'm sure it will be something worth it, if only to catch a live performance by a band that is still in top flight and form.

These days, I try to catch my music on several stations during the week and currently, it is 99.5 RT Saturday evening program which provides the best mix of 80's music. I have even had the chance of listening to some new wave music I haven't heard of for so many years now including one that was plagiarized by a local band and passed of as an anthem in sports events. For shame! Anyhow, there is still 89.1's Laid back Wednesdays, 88.3's Slide and 89.9's Magic Madness on Fridays. Only, new wave is not the only thing they play as there are mostly Pop and Rock from 80's and the 90's much like what 97.1 played back when I was at university. I hope RT is able to sustain their Saturday program as it provides a nice backdrop while relaxing on a weekend or even while correcting examination papers.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Reminiscing through music

I always remember my father playing songs from his younger days on our old stereo and later on component system. I grew up to the tune of Nat King Cole (whom he preferred over Sinatra), the Cascades and Ilonggo Folk Songs, thanks to a collection of vinyl records that I assume is stashed away somewhere after surviving the floods that brough havoc last September. I have come to appreciate that music - his music - as part of my upbringing, even as my tastes evolved to including classical, jazz, new wave, rock and pop from a wealth of talented musicians I was exposed to from the 70's to the present.

I must admit the guilty pleasure of listening to Bread and England Dan & John Ford Coley Songs. I sing along to Earth, Wind and Fire as well as to Air Supply and feel good when Barry Manilow plays on the radio. It's even more satisfying to hear tunes from high school times - Spandau Ballet, The Cure, The Smiths...and the list goes on and on. "Nakakabata nga talaga." It's the same statement I remember my father saying when he listens to his music. I guess by now I also have my music and am entitled to it if only because my taste is influenced by almost 4 decades of listening to various artists including one hit wonders (anyone for some Vitamin Z?).

I sit back and relax on Fridays and Saturdays. I'm content listening to Magic Madness or Slide on Fridays and Freestate Sound and another New Wave program on Saturdays. The music allows me to recharge and maybe, at least for those times I allow myself to indulge in it, turn back the clock to a time when there was less worries and less complications in life.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Freeflow Music

It's been quite a while again since the last post and I had wanted to write about recent trips to Davao and Baguio. I haven't been to Davao since 2000 (that's nine years) and Baguio since 2004 (five years ago) so I'm raring to describe these places as I remember them last time I was there. Baguio will always have a special mention as it was the city where I did my first gig after graduation. It wasn't as crowded then but all indications pointed to a problematic future. But that's another story and I promise to write about this soon.

Meanwhile, allow me to talk about the music I love to listen to. I must admit that I listen to a variety of genres and was hooked on Jazz and New Age for quite some time while I was living in Japan. The radio programs in Tokyo and Yokohama made that possible and they were more (much more) welcome than the J-Pop that dominated the airwaves. However, the CDss I purchased told a different story. Most were of artists who were popular during my high school and early college years.

New wave albums and recordings by bands like A Flock of Seagulls, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and the Housemartins alongside the more pop Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran and Tears for Fears seemed too difficult to find when I was in Manila and the CD stores in Japan offered delight as I haunted the gigantic Tower Records in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. But most fruitful were expeditions to the smaller shops that also offered used CDs in excellent condition. I found that such CDs included imported ones from Europe, more specifically the UK, where the New Wave sound reigned supreme back in the 80s.

The result was a hoard of CDs taken home everytime I took a vacation. I just wanted to secure my own collection while I had the resources and the sources for the music I would play again and again and again. I've managed to rip some of them unto my MP3 player and get more music via friends and what used to be the popular sharing sites in the net.

On the FM radio back home in Manila, I have always looked forward to Fridays. 89.9 always had Friday Magic Madness on and it allowed for some reminiscing. Now I can put myself in my father's shoes when I imagine how it must be from back in the 70 to the present, to be missing the music of the good old days and loving times whe you can sit, relax and just listen to such music. Don't get me wrong. I also love standards and other "old" music. But let's be realistic, these are not the music that defined MY good old days.

These days, I've always looked forward to Fridays AND Saturdays. Friday Magic Madness is still holding steady but the selection can get quite predictable especially for one who's usually tuned in on Fridays. A welcome surprise is 88.3's Slide on Friday's and it would in my opinion give 89.9 a run for its money if people attempt to surf stations. The real deal of course is Freestate Sound on 88.3 Saturday mornings 9 to 12. The show distinctively features Manchester music and became quite amusing not just because of the lively (and lovely) DJ but the cuts that seem to have been resurrected from some old "baul". Indeed, 3 hours of bliss always made my day. But let's not forget the whole day treat that is Saturday's at 99.5. The 6 to 9 pm should be difficult to overlook and would complete the day if not save the week.