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M AY 2008
rogue's first annual philippine
PINOY ROCK'S fIRST DAUGHTER
johnny alegre sammy asuncion a.m.p.o.n. manolet dario cluB dredd elmer dado chin-chin gutierreZ Binky lampano dondi ledesma manuel legarda kakoi legaspi junji lerma jun lopito arnold morales lougee BasaBas mocha moon fear moon saguijo gerard salonga sultans of snap louie talan emilio tuason rico veleZ and more
BY LUIS KATIGBAK
real wilDOfChilD THE NINE lIVES KARl ROY
BY PHILBERT DY
BaBy ClASSICAl MUSIC got BaCh WHY I lOVE
BY ANTONIO ABAYA
roCk anD roll all Inight WHY lOVE KISS
BY TIRSO RIPOLL
no statiC STEElY DAN at all WHY I lOVE
BY JOSE MARI UGARTE
reunion on page 58
plus a historiC
ROGUE MAGAZINE . 180 PESOS
ISSUE NUMBER 10
MAY 200 8
OF ANGELS, BELLS, AND BANGAWS: JiNGLE ChOrDBOOk rEmEmBErED / 58
Established by a Beatles aficionado named Gilbert Guillermo, the Jingle Chordbook had a simple idea. It was all about the music. Whether it was transcriptions of popular page songs or the essays/reviews written by some of the most talented scribes of their generations, it was all borne out of a passion for rock ‘n’ roll (or whatever they were indulging in at the time). Two of the Jingle alumnus, writer Bert Sulat Jr. and filmmaker Lav Diaz, reminisce and evaluate the magazine’s legacy.
FrOm VENUS WiTh LOVE / 62
Space Age Bachelor Pad Music was the soundtrack of the swingin’ future. It promised adventure, sex, and the perfect martini. Though this stylish and chic version of utopia didn’t exactly happen, its intoxicating mélange of sight and sound survives in the detritus of Pop Culture: in elevators, design showrooms, and The Jetsons. Malek Lopez briefs us with a map of the genre while stunner Maria Dolonius tours us around the premises. Photographs by Mark Nicdao.
LUST FOr LiFE / 72
Emerging from the underground, Karl Roy became one of Pinoy Rock’s most recognized frontmen in the Nineties. A dynamic performer, he was equal parts James Brown and Johnny Rotten, Pepe Smith and Rico J. Puno—albeit possessed by a unique quality that was all his own. Yet, for all his talents and fame, he missed as many opportunities to capitalize on his gains. Suffering a major stroke last year which left him partially paralyzed, he talks to Philbert Dy to tell his story and say why no one should count him out just yet.
ALL kiLLEr, NO FiLLEr: ROGUE’S FirST ANNUAL mUSiC POrTFOLiO / 80
More than anytime before, local music is thriving. Not only is the demand for OPM (Original Pilipino Music) at its most enthusiastic, but interest in it has made us look back at our own musical heritage—and despite the chasm of scholarship or preservation, the songs of our forefathers still resound. The diversity of artists gaining attention in the scene today is another healthy indication as well. Rogue celebrates this epoch by paying tribute to many rogues who have paid the way for future generations and those who are now just starting to make their own noise.
ISSUE NUMBER 10 MAY 2008
SANYA SAYS / 110
rOGUE FiCTiON: BOUND / 134
LiVE iN CONCErTO / 44
Even from a distance, she cuts a striking figure: a stylish bob, a strangely beautiful face, long lean limbs. Her name is Sanya Smith—commercial model, MYX VJ, and veritable rock ‘n’ roll royalty. Being the daughter of musical icon Joey “Pepe” Smith has blessed her an automatic genetic advantage, and perhaps, instant celebrity. Luis Katigbak sits down with Miss Smith one rainy afternoon and meets one tough but oh-so-cool chick. Photographed by Juan Caguicla.
SNOWBLiND / 124
Every sexual act is political. To quote Marx: “Great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex . . . ” Multi-awarded author Nikki Alfar’s “Bound” illustrates this negotiation—where, to gain an advantage, it may be required to compromise a position; to emancipate yourself, you must be in bondage.
GODS OF ThUNDEr AND rOCk & rOLL / 40
Classical music—with its big names like Mozart, Beethoven, and Wagner—may seem daunting to the modern listener who’s used to the constant crash-and-bang-playing ad nauseam on the dial these days. But the epic canvas of human experience is something that the three-minute pop single is hard-put to capture. As Antonio Abaya writes, he didn’t set out to learn to love classical music—“it just happened.” And, it all started from listening to the radio.
COLOr mANiLA BLUES / 46
Inspired to embark on his own mini-version of Into the Wild (which he hasn’t seen), Gutsy Tuason boards a plane bound for the icy landscape of Alaska to see the Aurora Borealis. But before he gets to chase the trippy Northern Lights, he goes on a solid road trip with a Facebook friend, meets a Pinoy who invites him to watch a 4 P.M. Pacquiao fight in his Fairbanks home, and plays spectator to a bunch of barking dogs competing for the U.S. Championship for Dog Sledding.
There was more to KISS than the wicked costumes, demonic make-up, and knee-high boots. Like big, bad superheroes of rock ‘n’ roll, they backed up their outlandish image with solid riffs, great melodies, and a groove that was pure sleaze. From the moment he heard “Detroit Rock City” as a kid, Tirso Ripoll was eternally hooked.
The Blues may have been born in the American cotton fields and hot Mississippi shacks of the 19th century, but its fans span every corner of our green and blue planet—including the Philippines. From the Juan De La Cruz band and Pepe Smith, to Wally Gonzalez and Annie Brazil, the local players of today’s modern blues scene have grown and expanded. C.H. Pardo tells us why it will never grow old.
4 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
DESiGNED TO STimULATE / 50 ThE GUEST LiST / 10 rOGUE’S GALLErY / 17
ISSUE NUMBER 10
MAY 20 0 8
rOGUE STYLE GUiDE / 139
One of the greatest non-bands in history, Steely Dan, was apparently named after a sex toy—a giant, metallic, futuristic dildo, to be precise. A sick fan, Jose Mari Ugarte, tells us why the band, like a dildo, was specifically designed for no other purpose but to stimulate the pleasure senses and bring you to musical orgasm.
SONG AND DANCE / 56
In 2006, a trailblazing band of sonic bandits grouped together with one idealistic goal in mind: to elevate “a stagnant local club scene.” The answer seemed simple: Fresh dance music, not reheated Ibiza leftovers, spun by local DJs like themselves. Adrian Cuenca tells us about his group, LOCAL//:e!, and what OPDM (Original Pinoy Dance Music) is all about.
EDiTOr’S LETTEr / 8
Tals Diaz parties like a rockstar in Mag:net’s Rockeoke and performs a baffling tribute to the Bob Dylan biopic, I’m Not There. Gino de la Paz expresses his mixed Adora-tion for an Anton Mendoza-designed retail wonderland. Erwin Romulo plays some moody music by Morrissey. James Gabrillo spreads some Big Love for a Tom Hanks-produced polygamy drama. Andy Briones finds out why the late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis was always out of Control. Anjanette Pe treats her intrepid taste buds to a pleasant, piquant kick in Cecille Ysmael’s Thai at Silk. Marc and Yasmin Baumann sing a culinary duet for Japanese food joint John and Yoko. Cris Ramos, Jr. discovers that the dynamic female duo behind indie outfit Princess Batugan are no slouches. And, lastly, our resident Rogue Trader, Bruce Curran, tunes in to more investment options for our bank notes and tells us why it all sounds like music in the end.
Up, up, and away with the flyboy style of the bomber jacket in Retrospect. Two regular Joes model some of the most outspoken statement tees. It takes more than rockin’ beats and suave moves when it comes to getting Justin Timberlake’s and Lenny Kravitz’s superstar style. Read about how music is at the very heart of the Ben Sherman philosophy. Moisturizers are the building blocks of good skin, and we’ve picked our favorites. Behold the musical and sculptural majesty of Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound 9000. The heart of this season’s fashion is white haute with these blanc beauties from Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo. Step back and move forward with a commemorative timepiece from IWC and the latest models from Omega and Tudor.
ShOP LiST / 158 ThE WirE / 160
6 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
“Chinese music always sets me free Angular banjoes sound good to me”
– •From Steely Dan’s “Aja”
The Editor’s Letter
ome people say the music of Steely Dan derstood the music, I would enjoy it more than I is chronologically out of place, stuck in already did. So with eight albums at the time and their own strange genre and lost in a race roughly 70 songs—each and every one of them of new music that’s evolved to an inde- exquisite in their own unique way—I listened to finable point—or even just simply “groping in the them almost every day and proved my theory right. dark,” as Donald Fagen himself sings on “Blues It was a pleasurable and never-ending cycle of disBeach,” from their last album, Everything Must covery and re-discovery—and I understand their Go. And that’s exactly why I will always credit music now like I know the veins in my neck. It’s them as the reason I listen to music—and, there- music that makes me want to drive at top speed. Some guitar solos stood out, like Elliott Randall’s fore, the reason I present this issue to you today. on “Reelin’ in the Years” from 1972—which I I wrote a column on them on page 50 and saw Chikoy Pura from the Jerks grind out every time I read the damn thing, I feel at the Hobbit House the other night—the like I haven’t said enough. I feel no May electric sitar solo on “Do It Again,” Mark justice and need more pages to seriKnopfler’s on “Time Out of Mind,” and ously tackle the subject and explain anything Walter Becker did on Aja and the appeal—so I’m shamelessly using Larry Carlton on The Royal Scam. Some this one. And, as such, I should because vocals were unmistakable as well, like Miin my own personal experience (which, chael McDonald’s on “Peg,” “I Got the News,” as Editor-in-Chief, I get to impose on Rogue readers every month) they are the very definition and “Time Out of Mind.” But their hardest rocking of music itself. In an age when music has exploded songs I would say are “Bodhisattva,” “Kid Charlein every conceivable direction, you need to put magne,” and “Don’t Take Me Alive.” And “F.M.” one album in a space capsule that will show extra- would have to be one of my all-time favorites; a terrestrials what human beings are technically ca- track you must absorb at full volume. The point is they made me realize that adroit pable of, sonically. Aja? The Nightfly? O.K., how musicianship and studio perfection were imporabout a box set? I have to give my older brother Mikel props on tant, and they made it an almost scientific point this one—he and his scotch-swilling friends, with to illustrate exactly why. I appreciated this, and it their cigarettes and their aviators and their puka- stimulated my mind and nourished my soul with shell neck-chokers, used to play these old, sandy an electrocuted sense of curiosity and passion for Maxell and TDK 90-minute (that’s one trip from music in general. Which is why, after many hours New York to Paris in Fagen’s “I.G.Y.”) cassette of wise and considered reflection, it fills my heart tapes on a portable radio, and I remember visibly with pride to accomplish such a thing as an entire reacting to how clean yet rocking the sound was. issue of Rogue dedicated to the local music scene I never thought those old Sony speakers could as it thrives in the Philippines today. After all, there sound so bloody good. It was the first kind of mu- were many nights that defined that scene, espesic I could enjoy both as a background soundtrack cially in the old days, when local bands rocked to good times with friends, and alone in my room like a thundering herd of wild pigs while the fans with my undivided attention towards it. I must have screamed and lit up their joints with Zippos. Our wily production director, Jay Pou, organized been 11 or 12. I developed a habit fairly quickly, starting off a series of shoots with a rogue’s gallery of musiwith weekend binges at the beach that slowly cians and music-related people who are at the mosnowballed into much-needed daily fixes, some- ment critically acclaimed as some of the most dytimes locking myself in the bathroom with a pair of namic and important individuals working in music. headphones. I was never in denial—I just wanted With an equally illustrious band of photographers to understand the music because I felt that if I un- you’d recognize as the usual Rogue suspects—
ANACHRONISTIC, BUT NICE.
Mark Nicdao, Juan Caguicla, At Maculangan, Wawi Navarroza, Jake Verzosa, Steve Tirona, Paul Mondok, JA Tadena—they plotted and pieced together a portfolio that is as diverse and rich and raw as the music that permeates it. From guitarists to managers to deejays to legends, our first annual Music Portfolio beginning on page 80 will rock you to your core—or, at the very least, rattle your gonads till your eyes cross. And if it doesn’t, then we’ll feed you to Karl Roy, whose profile, “Lust for Life,” on page 72 is a wild and reckless rock and roll riot of a story about a self-destructive artist trainspotting the main vein that runs through Pinoy Rock history. As P.O.T.’s Jim Morrison-slash-Kurt Cobain archetype and looking like he was raped at Nanking, Karl wore his art like a suicide bomber wears a vest of dynamite, and inevitably paid the hard price for living fast. It’s possible we may never see a frontman as hardcore as Karl again—his on and offstage antics were both violent and euphoric—and so we felt the timing was right to light the fuse and kick off our first music issue with a loud and dangerous bang. To put things in some kind of skewed perspective, Karl might be described as the ghoulish reincarnation of someone like Pepe Smith, who, like the Stones’ Keith Richards, managed to survive the vicious cycle of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, and remains a vital figure in the local rock scene. He even produced a daughter named Sanya who appears to be making waves as a local model and veejay, which is why we thought it appropriate that she grace this month’s cover, given her close association to the music scene. So here it is: another basket containing the fruits of our labor, which will always be a labor of love. We will always find a way to bring you the real story, even if it takes long nights full of cheap whiskey. So, kick back, put some sounds on, and enjoy the magazine. Let the rogues rock and the good times roll. Jose Mari Ugarte
8 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
PHOTOGRAPH BY JUAN CAGUICLA
THE GUEST lIST
antonio aBaYa got his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the Ateneo de Manila in 1956. In his column “On The Other Hand” for The Standard Today he wrote, “The only audio equipment I bought early on was a phonograph . . . I was, and still am, a Frank Sinatra fan and bought all the LP reissues of his earlier recordings, as well as his later recordings when he re-started his career.” He likes Duke Ellington, Antonio Jobim, Ahmad Jamal and the Modern Jazz Quartet. “But not Elvis.” nikki alFar, an accomplished and imaginative writer, has won Palancas and a National Book Award, and was selected by the Ateneo Library of Women’s Writing as one of the up-and-coming Filipina writers. She also earned a citation in the international Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. Her fiction may be controversial by local standards, but she hopes readers will go out on a limb. The artist Rogue commissioned, Christina Dy, studied shibari after reading it: she prefers to bind though. luiS katigBak is one of the country’s most respected music journalists and reviewers. He was on the editorial staff of music magazines, Pulp and Burn, and was the editor-in-chief of pulse.ph, an online music site. For this issue, he writes about Sanya Smith, Pinoy Rock baby and this issue’s cover girl. Despite being used to the likes of Sitti and The Pussycat Dolls, he admits that the MYX VJ was no less intriguing or intimidating. He has a secret passion for gangsta rap—which proves he’s tough. adrian CuenCa has been involved in music for more than a decade now. A leading figure in Manila’s club scene, he started DJ’ing in 1996 in Makati and Malate, championing movements like Electro House, being eclectic enough to incorporate elements of minimal techno, electro, techno, tech house, and non-mainstream sounds in his sets. As part of Local//:e!, he writes in this issue about the continuing evolution of dance in the country. Juan CaguiCla played electric guitars for bands that covered stuff from classic thrash acts like Metallica to grindcore anthems of Carcass. In college, he was classmates with the members of Kamikazee whom he showed his skill at playing Rick Springfield covers. Before graduating, he sold his guitars to buy his first camera. For this issue, he shot Sanya Smith, whom he considers one of his favorite models, as well as the staff of Jingle magazine, which taught him the chords to “Jessie’s Girl.” Malek loPez only listened and played metal in the 1980s. He studied Classical Guitar at the UST Conservatory and Film Scoring at Berklee in Boston. In the late 1990s, he formed Rubber Inc with Noel de Brackinghe and did a residency at Club Kemistry, performing live dance music. He also writes, produces, and plays for electro-pop outfit, Drip. An avowed enthusiast of esoteric music, he has yet to buy the pad to house his own tunes.
. . . IN NO pARTICUlAR ORdER.
PHilBert dY is currently out of the country, taking a break from the torturous process that he was put through by Rogue’s Features Editor while writing the profile of local rock icon Karl Roy. He claims the thing that kept him sane throughout the many requested rewrites was that he was a fan of his subject’s music. As a film reviewer for clickthecity.com, he says he’s used to being berated and threatened as well as being wooed and seduced.
Jake verzoSa looks very much like a rock star and is prone to air guitar like the rest of us. He went to Ateneo, and hung out with the musicians that would later become popular act The Itchyworms! In fact, it is rumored that the band wrote one song in their upcoming album, Self-Titled, about him. He says that shooting Binky Lampano was a long held ambition. “Matagal na akong fan, kaso bihira lang din yung gigs niya dito—kaya nung napanuod ko, para akong bata. Kileg,” he admits.
10 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
THE GUEST lIST
tirSo riPoll is currently in the business of churning out fine cigars for the family business (Tabaqueria de Filipinas) and good old rock and roll music (for Razorback). This month, he returns to Rogue’s pages in full Gene Simmons face-paint (care of Solenn Heussaff) to write about his life-long love affair with the band KISS. According to Tirso, it was like a bomb went off in his head the very first time he heard the group play—and he’s never really been the same person since. CH Pardo (or Cousin Hoagy) is not Dead, but rather just resides in Stratford, Connecticut now. According to him, he was one of the first writers to work for Jingle and was the “FIRST writer at Jingle to constantly hit Gilbert [Guillermo] up for advances on some really bogus and some really good stories I wrote!” He used to host The Crossroads, a blues-oriented radio program. In this issue, he writes about the evolution of blues in the Philippines. And, yes, we think his mojo’s just working well and fine. WaWi navarroza has exhibited work around the world, with recent shows at INSEAD and Artesan Gallery Singapore—and one at the National Museum in June. Between shows, she works as gun for hire for select editorial/ commercial photo assignments. This issue was up her alley—she’s been immersing herself in the circuit, gigging with her band The Late Isabel whose album Imperial is set for July. She said it was an honor shooting these “living inspirations.” Steve tirona has photographed various album covers, from Bamboo to rapmetal progenitors Rage Against The Machine. Apart from that, he’s done videos for neo-soul act SinoSikat and planned collaborations with electronic musician, Moon Fear Moon. For this issue, he trespassed into a patch of wilderness in Diliman to shoot ethno-rockers Kadangyan, as well as the urban minefield of a club dance floor to shoot our four featured DJ’s. He survived.
12 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
. . . IN NO pARTICUlAR ORdER.
Mark niCdao—head of Wildbunchplus Photography and one of the country’s most successful young photographers today—did work on the portrait of pop band Mocha and on Rogue’s feature on Maria Dolonious. Mark says it was just basically fun shooting Mocha and her dancers, capturing and letting them do what they do best. As for Maria, he says he drew inspiration from the character Elvira Hancock from the film Scarface, whom Maria uncannily channeled during the shoot. Ja tadena rose to prominence as cinematographer for groundbreaking videos for Slapshock, The Teeth, and Rivermaya before turning to lighting feature films and commercials. He’s worked on projects for Erik Matti, Quark Henares, Erin Pascual, Sid Maderazo, and Lyle Sacris. For this issue, he photographed Lizza Nakpil, Tommy Tanchanco, and Richard Tan—as well as Razorback’s Tirso Ripoll as a member of Kiss. Paul Mondok managed a band initially called Try The Extra Special, which later changed their name to The Chenelins. He says that the band’s demo got extensive airplay on NU 107.5’s radio program Radio Dredd, whose hosts praised the band’s lack of musicality or sense of rhythm. For this issue, he took portraits of musicians Dondi Ledesma and hiphop collective A.M.P.O.N. Needless to say, he won’t manage them, and will stick to being a photographer instead. at MaCulangan says that one of the best things about being a photographer is the privilege of meeting all types of people. “I always end up taking their portrait even if it is not an assignment,” he says. “I just shoot because I know life is short and time will not stop ticking for anyone.” He finds himself usually documenting the art scene since “artists are interesting people with lots of character.” For Rogue, he shot legendary bass players Rico Velez and Louie Talan. “All cool, unassuming people!”
Jose Mari Ugarte
EDITOR IN CHIEF DESIGN DIRECTOR MigUel Mari PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Jay PoU MANAGING EDITOR CarMela loPa FEATURES EDITOR erWiN roMUlo GALLERY & WIRE EDITOR Paolo r. reyes STYLE EDITOR l.a. CoNsiNg loPez DESIGNER MigUel lUgtU ContriButing editorS MartiN o. Mari, VaNNi De seQUera, gUtsy tUasoN ContriButing WriterS aNtoNio abaya, Nikki alfar, MattHeW arCilla, MarC baUMaNN, yasMiN baUMaNN, aNDy brioNes, aDriaN CUeNCa, brUCe CUrraN, laV Diaz, tals Diaz, giNo De la Paz, PHilbert Dy, JaMes gabrillo, MariaN HerNaNDez, lorNa loPez, Malek loPez, CH ParDo, aNJaNette Pe, Cris raMos Jr., tirso riPoll, biaNCa P. saNtos, bert sUlat Jr.
ON THE COVER
Sanya Smith Photographed by Juan Caguicla Styled by Juan Caguicla Make-Up by Xeng Zulueta /Shu Uemura
ContriButing PHotograPHerS and artiStS robert aleJaNDro, JUaN CagUiCla, CristiNa Dy, tiM De los reyes, at MaCUlaNgaN, MigUel MiraNDa, PaUl MoNDok, JasoN Moss, gil Nartea, WaWi NaVarroza, Mark NiCDao, DaC riVera, oliVer sarabia, Ja taDeNa, steVe tiroNa, Jake Verzosa, sHaWN yao
April 2008 Issue GET THE LOOK Chevy Chase and Tom Selleck Writing credit goes to Bianca P. Santos
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14 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
N U M B E R 10
E D I T E D B Y PAO L O R . R E Y E S
M AY 2 0 0 8
KNOCK, KNOCK, WHO’S THERE?
The art-house biopic I’m Not There—a schizophrenic depiction of the freewheelin’ life and times of rock icon Bob Dylan—may be a little baffling, but a cross-dressing Cate Blanchett is simply brilliant, man
SO WHAT DO BOB DYlAN and the future president of America have in common? They have incarnated as either a woman or an African American. These times are a-changin’, indeed. It is difficult to dwell on anyone else but the woman playing Bob Dylan in the film, I’m Not There, an experimental take on the enigmatic life of the legendary American musician and singer-songwriter. That woman, of course, is Cate Blanchett, who brilliantly plays the twitchy, chain-smoking, outspoken Jude Quinn, an avatar of Bob Dylan circa 1965. Confused? Prepare thyself. The film is baffling, especially to non-Dylanophiles. “I accept chaos,” says his poet incarnate aptly, “I’m not sure it accepts me.” The 135-minute movie, acknowledged as the first biographical feature with the approval of Dylan himself, challenges the notions of a traditional, straight-up biopic. It presents Dylan’s many lives, shot in various film stocks and styles: there’s Dylan the ragamuffin folk singer with a social conscience, Dylan the young rebel, the sellout rock star, the estranged husband, the frontiersman, the poet, and preacherman. Š
Cate BlanChett as Dylan’s pill-popping alter-ego JuDe Quinn Just outshines the veteran ensemBle of riCharD gere, Christian Bale, Julianne moore, anD the late heath leDger.
Each of these life stages are played by a different character (none of whom carry the name “Bob Dylan”), representing the various aspects of his extraordinary persona and music. It’s a big risk that paid off, as it captured Dylan’s style of appropriating various, contradictory musical styles and genres into something that is uniquely his own. I’m Not There is arguably pedantic, for aside from the experimental storytelling and casting, director and co-writer Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Far from Heaven) shows off his knowledge of film history by referencing the cinematic styles of Fellini and Goddard. If it wasn’t so beautiful, you might actually be annoyed. Now, Cate Blanchett as Dylan’s pill-popping alter-ego Jude Quinn just outshines the veteran ensemble of Richard Gere, Christian Bale, Julianne Moore, and the late Heath Ledger (who plays a philandering Hollywood actor, representing Dylan the divorcee). Enhancing her brilliance is the film style—her storyline is shot in surrealistic black and white, in homage to Fellini of course, nose pointed to the air! Blanchett is simply mesmerizing, man. In a scene wherein Jude is questioned by a reporter insinuating his loss of relevance, she retorts within a cumulus of smoke, “Who cares what I think! I’m not the president . . . not some shepherd! I’m just a storyteller, that’s what I am.” Cate, there is something about you indeed. In the end, you’ll end up either more understanding or more confused, overcome with love or filled with revulsion, or perhaps all of the above. That’s the Bob Dylan effect, baby.
18 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
IN MOz WE TRUST
HE IS POP MUSIC’S lAST TRUE ENIGMA. Emerging from the Northern part of England at the start of the 1980s, his influence can only be comparable to that of Madonna, another musical icon who rose to prominence at roughly the same time. Unlike the former Ms. Ciccone, though, he’s never felt the urge to re-invent himself other than by changing his shirt. Nor has he felt the need to bare himself in any medium other than through the three-minute single. She’s flaunted promiscuity; he’s proclaimed celibacy. (Curiously, they also command the affections of as many heterosexual men if informal surveys are to be believed.) But besides sharing the same first letter of their single-word monikers, she bears the name of a saint, while Morrissey only bears his own. Mark Simpson’s Saint Morrissey is a “psycho-bio” that attempts to be a “portrait of this charming man by an alarming fan.” Telling the singer’s story through the filter of a deeply held personal obsession, Simpson doesn’t even try and attempt to talk to Moz himself. Rather he reconstructs everything through Morrissey’s oeuvre. This includes the many interviews the singer has given throughout the years and its parade of Oscar Wilde-worthy witticisms. (For example, “I despised practically everyone. Which does somewhat limit your weekend activities” or “I am only attracted to the things I can never become or get. My pop career would be finished if I found total harmony.”) The result is all the more compelling and insightful about its subject. In contrast to biographies like those of the Kitty Kelley-type that are little more than a litany of indiscretions and embarrassments, Simpson’s is intimate but dispels none of the mystery of the man. Perhaps this is because Simpson’s only agenda is not to upend the persona of Morrissey as much as to understand it—or to be more precise, to understand his attraction to it. Openly gay and credited as having coined the dubious buzzword “metrosexual,” he doesn’t claim Morrissey for the community—rather he celebrates the ambiguity and the singer’s resistance to be pigeon-holed. (Responding to questions about his sexuality or the desire to be intimate with another person, Morrissey denies it. When told that he’s a “human being” after all, he quips, “You’ve no evidence of that. Artists aren’t really people. And I’m actually 40 percent papier-mâché.”) Simpson is only too willing to take such comments seriously—if only because of the cleverness of the retort. But it’s Simpson’s reading of Morrissey’s lyrics, his deciphering of the language and the references, which will interest fans the most. Here, he goes back to the primary sources: the films that were part of the British New Realism movement, the New York Dolls, James Dean, the skinhead novels of Richard Allen, Jack Kerouac, Oscar Wilde and—most significantly— playwright Shelagh Delaney. The latter’s play A Taste of Honey has been a particular fertile resource. “I think the Smiths were the only group whose falling apart really affected me personally,” says Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling in the 2002 documentary The Importance of Being Morrissey. The list of fans include other writers, such as Tony Award-winning playwright Alan Bennett and literary enfant terrible Will Self—as well as musicians like Oasis’ Noel Gallagher or Bono. It’s to this disparate audience (which includes the greater number of unknowns still sitting in their bedrooms) that Simpson addresses his book. Saint Morrissey is no Sex. It doesn’t render its subject banal. (After all, no body is that interesting without clothes on for more than the number of pages it takes one to get off.) Like Morrissey himself, it offers everything and shows nothing.
is there any sex in morrissey? none whatsoever. whiCh in itself is Quite sexy
DiD you hear t.a.t.u’s version of “how soon is now?” yes, it was magnifiCent. aBsolutely. again, i Don’t know muCh aBout them. they’re teenage russian lesBians. well, aren’t we all? – morrissey, 2003
SEx AND THE
Big Love, the Tom Hanks-produced polygamy drama by HBO, follows a knotty suburban family—a man, his three wives, and their children—and how they struggle to love in the plural tense
HBO HAS MADE ITS BREAD AND BUTTER churning out the most unpredictable shows we’ve seen on air. In the tradition of the cable network’s The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, the new series Big Love succeeds in turning uncommon characters into universal heroes. The pilot episode’s first sequence immediately pulls us to the show’s parallel moral universe. God is in the details, and so is primetime commotion: the poorly maintained dirt backyard, the plastic toys scattered all over the floor, the flock-patterned comforter, Chloë Sevigny’s hairstyle. Clearly, it’s a world we’ve never seen on television before. The laid-back setting throws us off just enough to give the main characters a clean slate. We’ve never met them before, and they’re certainly not Hollywood stereotypes we’ve ever encountered. They’re actual human beings who are alien to us from head to toe. Bill Paxton plays Bill Henrickson, an unpretentious and easygoing owner of a Home Depot-type store. But he’s no ordinary middle-aged chap. As soon as he gets off from work, he ping-pongs to three wives living in three adjacent homes, all of which share one massive backyard. Scheduling is one of the main dilemmas, as the wives often assemble to divide up Bill’s time in order to make sure that he’s there for every important occasion. A tricky but bold concept that has garnered HBO even more buzz than it could handle. It’s highly compelling to watch, thanks mostly to the stellar acting of Bill and his wives (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin). But the show somewhat disappoints. Instead of exploring its entangled and enthralling premise, the people behind Big Love have chosen to focus on throwing in more odd supporting characters, including Bill’s outlaw fatherin-law Roman (Harry Dean Stanton), the badass polygamist to Bill’s pleasant one; and Bill’s mother Lois (Grace Zabriskie), who may or may not be trying to poison his father, Franklin (Bruce Dern). As a result, the show’s effectiveness is watered down, clearing out the promise of its novel premise and leaving audiences with zero insight on the reason why the four leads have agreed to create such a bizarre arrangement in the first place. Instead of plots revolving around the more important issues relating to juggling a large family, the focus is placed on sex and gratification, particularly on how Bill is able to satisfy his three ladies.
What’s more, Big Love literally starts in the middle. It takes no effort to pause for flashback or justification—it just shoves us into the main picture as if the Henricksons were just another family, only with more knotty issues. So it makes one wonder why HBO would push for a show like this now. Is it a lampoon of the Mormon religion or perhaps a critique of their faith’s long-banned practice? Who is Big Love’s intended audience? While the pilot episode carries a disclaimer meant to ward off controversy, it’s obvious that the protests have done nothing but help launch the series. This leads us to speculate if every drama series that will come our way will be a B-class imitation of The Sopranos, featuring a distressed yet compassionate hero who’s just trying to make it from day to day.
22 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
THE SECOND SEASON OF BIG LOVE WILL PREMIERE THIS OCTOBER EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO.
CRASH AND BURN
Buoyed by Sam Riley’s earnest performance, Control lingers long after the music stops playing
AN EClECTIC GROUP Of YOUNG MEN followed Joy Division’s progress in the late ’70s. Prone to anonymity, they called themselves “Cult with No Name.” Although none of the extras hired for Control—an Ian Curtis biopic—were members of the aforementioned cult, most of them were dedicated followers of the band. For them, Ian—Joy Division’s lead vocalist—was untouchable, off-limits. During filming, actor Sam Riley asked an extra if he was a Joy Division fan. The man said yes, after which he raised his shirt up. What Riley saw left him speechless: there, tattooed prominently on the man’s left tit, was Ian’s somber face. Sharing the man’s unbridled sentiment is Dutchman Anton Corbijn. A rock photographer by trade (subjects include Björk, Morrissey, and Johnny Cash), Corbijn is more concerned with
24 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
pain and realism than beauty and perfection. He rarely—if ever—compromises his passion for acceptance. Glitz and glamour mean nothing to him. In Control, his debut feature, Corbijn applies in film the very same aesthetic he uses in photography. Tediously framing each scene with an artiste’s sharp eye, he becomes the camera—mindful of light and shadows, conscious of Riley’s gravity. He is as good a filmmaker as he is a photographer, heavily relying on his camera to convey the actor’s inner turmoil. Predictably, Control becomes a spitting image of his snapshots—monochromatic, livid, searing. Even at its most mundane—a turntable spinning, a lone bird flying, Ian on his bed musing— Corbijn’s artistic inclinations shine through.
In its entirety, Control is an exercise in good cinematography. For its picture-perfect visuals, it gets an A. Slightly better, Matt Greenhalgh’s screenplay gets an A+. Although Deborah Curtis’ memoir, Touching from a Distance, is the script’s backbone, Tony Wilson (Factory Records mogul), Ian’s band mates, and even Annik Honoré (Ian’s mistress) all chipped in, resulting in a, more or less, truthful account of the singer’s tragic life. With the film’s dark premise—a young man ill prepared for fame succumbs to adultery, depression, and, self-destruction—Greenhalgh could have easily gone the whole Macbeth angstladen route. But he didn’t. Instead, he peppers Control with bristling wit and humor—enough to steamroll its grim, dark overtones.
“Now remember, we are live—so no swearing or they’ll cut you off,” warns Tony Wilson (Craig Parkinson), Factory Records’ big kahuna. “How about ‘big dog’s cock,’ can you say that?” counters a bystander. Wilson has his moments of engaging, good laughs, but Rob Gretton (Toby Kebbell), Joy Division’s brusque, straight-talking manager, gets the lion’s share of Greenhalgh’s wisecracks. After watching the band’s gig, he exclaims: “I’ve not seen a reaction like that since George Best got kicked out for glassin’ a bouncer.” With his big aviator sunglasses, bushy reggae hair, and abrasive tongue, he always has the last say. “Where’s my £20?” demands a stand-in. “In my fuck-off pocket!” he snaps. He’s very fond of that word—that “fuck” word. “I have my hands up. I’m a believer in Joy Division. Fuckin’ hallelujah,” he declares. In another instance, he announces, “We’re up for the U.S. fuckin’ of A!” And in another, when Ian’s wife, Deborah, asks, “Is she with him?” referring to her husband’s mistress, Annik, he replies, “Yeah, one big happy fuckin’ family.” Rob Gretton is such a big personality, such a great role. Thankfully, Yorkshire actor Toby Kebbell (Match Point, Alexander) decides to downplay his acting—play it cool. Not that Sam Riley (Ian Curtis) has anything to be worried about. Despite his inadequate filmography (his film credit is limited to 24 Hour Party People), he holds his own against Kebbell and, with all due respect, Samantha Morton (Deborah Curtis)—a gargantuan talent in the acting department. When Deborah lays bare her guilt trap, saying, “I really love you. No one will love you like I
the hype surrounDing Control, most espeCially riley, is wellearneD . . . he owns ian anD ian owns him . . . he’s so gooD, it’s eerie seeing him that way.
love you,” Riley (as Ian) keeps still—repelling her stifling words with silence. Ian loves his wife, but not enough. He wants to leave his wife, but he can’t. He’s a walking contradiction: a man stuck in a boy’s emotional stagnation. Self-absorbed in his own misery, he ruins everyone’s life—including his own. “It used to be so simple. Now everyone hates me. I made everyone hate me,” he says. “No one hates you,” Tony interjects. “Even the people who love me hate me.” That’s what he thinks. In Cannes, Control won three awards in the Directors’ Fortnight category: the CICAE Art & Essai prize for best film, the “Regards Jeunes” Prize award for best first directed feature film, and the Europa Cinemas Label prize for best European film. The hype surrounding Control, most especially Riley, is well-earned. In as much as Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting), Benicio del Toro (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) were talked about during their first boom, the 28-year-old actor was 2007’s revelation. He owns Ian and Ian owns him. From the singing (Riley uses his own voice) to the dance moves (the marching and the manic arm waving are oddly perfect), he becomes Ian’s suave doppelganger. He’s so good, it’s eerie seeing him that way. Watching Control, one gets the impression that Ian has risen from the dead—and judging from this, it seems like twenty-eight years of sleep did him well.
roCk thy neighBor
IN THE HISTORY Of COOlEST lINES EVER UTTERED, there is one that stands out as an all-access password: “I’m with the band.” This one liner trumps any VIP pass or guest list, accelerating one’s status from floor matter to stage presence—even if it’s a backstage presence. It is for this reason that Monday nights at Mag:net Café on Bonifacio High Street have become redletter dates in the nocturnal calendar, ever since a brilliant little experiment called Rockeoke hit the stage. Everybody gets a chance to be a front act. What is Rockeoke? It is a simple formula in the mathematics of rock and roll: live band + open mic + a healthy sousing of alcohol = mad fun. It’s way better than regular karaoke—no, you could say Rockeoke kicks its amps a hundred times over. Thanks to the promotional power of Last Song Syndrome, word-of-mouth, plus some healthy digital exhibitionism via YouTube, Multiply, and Facebook, what started out as a two-table affair has suddenly swelled into an SRO, fully booked event. On a Monday night, that is. There’s even a mention in Time magazine about Rockeoke. Of course it’s fun, especially with a song list that runs the gamut of eras, from classic to punk, new wave to heavy metal, glam to grunge. Yes, there’s a lot of Bon Jovi and Madonna on the list, and yes, even that song you listened to over and over in college because it reminded you of someone is there, too. With a little guts, you get up with band (The Johnnies) and the mic is yours.
Ever wished you left your day job to be a rockstar? Good news, for one night a week, you can be
26 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
MAG:NET CAFé IS LOCATED AT 2/F, B3, BONIFACIO HIGH STREET, BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY, TAGUIG. CALL 856.3400, 0920.9793400, OR VISIT WWW.MAGNET.COM.PH.
PHoTos by SHAWN YAO
to. “Broadway-oke” gives the band a break and Mag:net’s co-owner, film director and cardushers in a piano player instead for another carrying member of the rakenrol generation entertaining scenario, albeit in a more cultured, Quark Henares shares that he got the idea wine-sipping kind of way. “Popeoke” from gal pal and fashion maven Mich happens on alternate Mondays, with the Dulce, who talked about a “Punk Night Oven Toasters dishing out pop songs. Rock Karaoke” night at hotspot What to watch out for in the near future: Arlene’s Grocery in New York City. Life “Disney-oke.” You read that right, be still “The image of people suddenly your beating princess heart. singing along to a live rock band just So channel your inner rock star, check your popped into my head and we decided to shame in at the door, and hie on over to Mag:net do Rockeoke,” he spills. High Street. Just say you’re with the band. A great part of the scene’s success lies in the talent, verve, and supreme patience of the band, TAlS DIAz The Johnnies. It is not easy to play for hours on end whilst tone deaf customers/wannabe rock stars shamelessly hog the microphone! Credit goes to Mag:net’s other co-owner, Lulei Avecilla Simpao, for finding and booking The Johnnies, who are class acts in themselves, and worthy of catching before and after the Rockeoke free-for-all. The successful formula has even been applied to other nights as well. Now, there are other “oke’s” to look forward
Within this Anton Mendoza-designed retail wonderland, beaded Barbara Barry chandeliers mingle with well-edited brands from Bangkok to Istanbul
THE COOlEST Of THE HOT, NEW STORES in the Greenbelt 5 neighborhood, Adora is all about the “ahhhh” moment. And indeed, with racks of Earnest Sewn jeans mingling with beaded Barbara Barry chandeliers, this retail wonderland is the department store equivalent of a cocktail party for the young, sexy, and effortlessly refined. The Anton Mendoza-designed Adora has in its 2,500-square-meter landscape a unique mix of departments, from women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, to accessories, beauty, fragrance, and home. But Adora, the brainchild of 28-year-old Eman Pineda, the same retail genius that gave urbanites the tailored crispness of Tyler, would like to be known more for its editorial voice than its supposed luxury. Mingling with fail-safe crowd-pleasers like Jil Sander, Marni, and D&G are slightly more obscure sartorial souvenirs from the world’s emerging style capitals. After all, Adora’s team of astute buyers skims the globe to cherry-pick up-and-coming brands and designers. “Our buyers also take inspiration from different key cities each season, such as Istanbul, Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, and Copenhagen,” says store manager Erica Ilacad. In the glow of this enhanced perspective, it then makes sense that the Thai label Jaspal, for instance, features prominently on the men’s floor. Forward-moving fashion is an important element of the store’s DNA. Combined with that shorthand that only the truly stylish are privy to are pleasant price points. This may be secondary, but it’s still belated good news for fashion fans. Those who shop at Adora are not exactly more cosmopolitan, or earthier, or more sophisticated than others who engage in this ostensibly pleasurable activity. Rather, and more accurately, they possess the quiet confidence to team, for example, a Tyler top with Cheap Monday jeans and a Givenchy bag. Again, this is where Adora’s approach to brands comes into play. Of course, to be freshly possessed by something Chloe, Givenchy, or
28 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
aDora is all aBout the “ahhhh” moment . . . the Department store eQuivalent of a CoCktail party for the young, sexy, anD effortlessly refineD.
H. Stern would not be possible without excellent customer service, a crucial part of the Adora mandate. Senior shop floor assistants know their products inside and out so that they can offer unparalleled advice to clients. Quietly riffling through James and AG denims in one corner, I found out two things firsthand: that the jeans were arranged by fit, style, and wash rather than by brand and that expert suggestions from the store’s sales associates were only a nod away. Unlike other shop assistants who are either condescending or completely inattentive, Adora’s are helpful and polite but can fade into the well-appointed background when the need arises. The seductive spell also extends to goods for the home. Near the eyewear section populated mostly by this season’s Ralph Lauren shades are animal skin trays and decorative boxes. Ceramic Jonathan Adler-esque fish-shaped platters are also available for the discerning homebody. These well-edited items are proudly made on Philippine shores and are likewise exported to other parts of the planet. Fiori di M is Adora’s flower department, and as with everything else, they wanted to work with an artist who had the same values as Adora, and a florist who has her own clear identity. Gaita Forés, the award-winning culinary entrepreneur behind Cibo, Pepato, and Café Bola, definitely fit the description. It was fortunate that she had been on the same artistic page as Eman Pineda. Jaw-dropping arrangements from Fiori di M range from P800 for a bouquet to P1,250 for a more ornate table arrangement. To round things out, Forés has recently opened her newest restaurant, Lusso, on the Adora premises. Like a style magazine that you have learned to trust, Adora challenges the thinking shopper with its individual fusion of directional clothes and accessories. Offering customers just the right assortment every time, Adora is definitely not about passing fads but about a distinctive experience you’ll remember for the rest of your shopping days.
GINO DE lA PAz
ADORA IS LOCATED AT GREENBELT 5, AYALA CENTER, MAKATI CITY. VISIT WWW.ADORA.PH OR CALL 687.4809.
With curious sounding dishes like the Japaella and Tempura Banana Split, the oriental flavors of East are given a familiar, Western twist in this Japanese noshery
John anD yoko
He Says She Says
HE SAYS: The ambiance provides you with a snapshot of what to expect from the food and service to come. It seems that they sacrificed comfort in order to fill up the place as much as they could, as there was barely enough space for the waiters to maneuver around the tables.
SHE SAYS: It was the only restaurant in Greenbelt 5 to have a number of people outside waiting for tables. But the turnover was pretty fast, and we were promptly seated within 10 minutes of arrival. The trendy ambiance sets a phlegmatic, eccentric, and somehow sophisticated mood. That may sound contradictory, but the design is really unique and very well done. With an imaginative eye, and some very clever lighting, this ambience was achieved. However, the atmosphere rests in these metallic walls, and is slightly let down by the tables crammed in between them.
HE SAYS: The food was slightly predictable. Much like I had suspected when Japanese cuisine tries to take on a western touch, the quality tends to suffer. The Spicy Tuna Sashimi was coated in stale tempura batter and the tuna itself could have been slightly fresher. SHE SAYS: The presentation of all dishes were nice and portion sizes were decent. The Geisha Salad of lettuce, candied walnuts, sundried tomatoes and a creamy feta cheese was very tasty. The Spicy Tuna Salad was alright, too. However, the Spicy Tuna Sashimi was truly amazing and superior above all the other orders. I regret not ordering more sushi, as it really was good—and such an array of quirky, interesting sushi choices! Interesting choices throughout the menu, for that matter. We ordered the Beef Teppan, which we were not at all impressed with. The Squid Teriyaki was actually very tasty if you like a very sweet sauce, as I do. The beef in the Uzuyaki Beef Roll was much more succulent than the Beef Teppan.
HE SAYS: The service left a lot to be desired. The waiters had little knowledge of the menu and it seemed like they were more concerned about getting you served so that they could give your table to the next customer waiting. They were a little disorganized. SHE SAYS: I had called earlier to book a table for four. The lady who answered told us we could not book on a weekend. A couple of hours later, I called back. A man had answered this time and agreed to the booking. This did raise a little curiosity about the knowledge of the staff. Within minutes of being seated, we were asked by six different waiters for our order, and if they should clear away the two remaining spaces. We told them we were a table of four, and that we were not ready to order yet. I know they were trying to turn over tables as fast as possible, but in this case, I felt this was at the expense of the customer’s comfort. We’re also fine having one or two orders come out at a time, but if you like to have everything in front of you at once, you may need to request for a larger table.
HE SAYS: The overall experience felt like I was in a canteen that was possibly a notch above a fast food joint. SHE SAYS: I couldn’t help feeling a little confused with the consistency of this restaurant during our visit. The ambiance and design was truly compelling, though a little erratic, when I think about the tables and seating arrangements. The food was unpredictable. The confusion of the waiters when we tried to book a table, as well as the amount of times we were asked for our order was a little too much as well. I suggest you visit on a weekday, and order from their vast variety of tasty sushi. That would be the best option when trying out this unique restaurant.
30 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
ABOUT OUR GUESTS:
MARC BAUMANN does his best to manage a start up BPO and keep his
head above water, the only saving grace is that he comes home to a loving, beautiful wife and a great 8-year-old son. YASMIN BAUMANN was a commercial model, but is now focused on her raising her son, completing her life coaching degree, and volunteer work for the AFP Hospital, serving as play buddy to cancer-stricken children.
JOHN AND YOKO IS LOCATED AT 2/F, GREENBELT 5, AYALA CENTER, LEGASPI ST., LEGASPI VILLAGE, MAKATI. CALL 729.8698.
SUGAR AND SpicE
The fragrant, chili-based cuisine of Thai at Silk balances out the spicy with the subtle, the sweet, and the sour. Treat your taste buds to a pleasant, piquant kick, and your palate to a party of fiery flavors
IT fEll ON fAMIlY TIME, the day I found myself in Thai at Silk. I brought along my best canine friend, my mom, my brother, his wife and little kids. The odd combination (children and chili-induced cuisine, as well as the presence of my dog, Sugar) might seem a little off—but being the adventurous diners that we were, not the tiniest hint of apprehension was shown, even after seeing the restaurant’s elegant, dimly-lit interiors, complete with carefully thought out table settings, accentuated by lilies, wrought-iron candelabras, and Asian-inspired ceiling lamps. We settled ourselves in at a long, fancy table outside, where towering stalks of Thai grass were bundled in vases and orange flames that emanated from candles surrounding the façade swayed with the soothing, early evening breeze. Ah, perfect weather, perfect ambiance. Before I could wish upon the gods for the food to please my ever so critical companions, the receptionist’s gaze caught my attention. Her look seemed slightly concerned when she saw Sugar. I was about to give her the evil eye when the food started to arrive. Lucky her, I thought. My first bite was of the Yam Som-O, a salad sans the usual greens, which was basically made up of pomelo and shrimps. Each munch spewed squirts of tangy sweetness in my mouth, followed by a subtle, piquant kick from the herbs sprinkled all over. My palate welcomed the pleasant, savory jolt. My family—even the kids—seemed to agree: it was different, but in a totally good way. The server came back with the soup, Tom Yum Kung, a hot and sour prawn soup mixed with lemongrass and ginger. Even from afar, the strong orange-red color—and the daunting whiff I got from it—was enough to warn me how spicy a treat we were in for. The graininess of the potage left a strong, fiery flavor in the mouth. But it wasn’t the kind that lingered. It burned intensely but, much to my relief, only briefly. Upon finishing my soup, I looked over to my nieces who were already stuffing themselves with Spring Rolls, salmon, and crab fried rice. After that, it was a flurry of noodles, curries, and scoops of sweet smelling Jasmine Rice. I learned that, instead of serving their dishes
32 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
with seven other Cooks helping her Create the 85 mouthwatering Dishes on the menu, the management prouDly swears on serving Quality anD authentiC thai gastronomy at its finest.
in courses, Thai meals are served all at once, allowing you to enjoy a complementary mishmash of different flavors. And to avoid exhaustion from too many spicy dishes, it’s balanced out by the bland; as well as the intermingling of the hot, the subtle, the sweet, and the sour. You might say our senses were having their own little party. While we waited for dessert, I noticed an amiable lady in chef’s attire who was doing the rounds. She headed towards our direction and started admiring Sugar from a distance. I was about to get up in a panic to save my canine friend from being minced Chow meat for tonight’s specials. But the lady chef turned to me, smiled, and shook my hand. Cecille Ysmael, she introduces herself to me. The head chef and the hands-on owner of the restaurant. I offer her a seat. She sits down and tells me about her culinary baby, Thai at Silk. Ysmael has been in love with the chili-based cuisine for as long as she can remember. Thailand has become her staple go-to country—an exotic land where the locals eat more hot peppers (five grams per person, per day) than anywhere else in the world. Since her first visit, she found herself magnetically drawn to Thailand, taking frequent trips over the course of six years, and eventually enrolling in cooking workshops there to pursue her lifelong passion. Hearing praises for her growing culinary skills was enough incentive to give her the push she needed. Hence, Thai at Silk, a corporate-owned establishment, came about in late 2006. In operation for almost two years now, with seven other cooks helping her create the 85 mouthwatering dishes on the menu, the management proudly swears on serving quality and authentic Thai gastronomy at its finest. Aside from being the head chef, Ysmael is also the selfappointed “marketer.” Every few months, she visits Thailand to purchase the herbs and curries she needs for her kitchen. She ensures that the majority (roughly 85 percent) of her ingredients are imported from Thailand. Save for the Roast Duck Curry and Chicken Masoman, everything on the menu is freshly prepared upon order. She’s well aware that spicy food isn’t for everyone, so it’s a staff custom to ask diners what level of spice they prefer before ordering, so the kitchen can customize the dishes to the their liking. The Pomelo Salad, Green Chicken Curry, Tom Yum Kung, and Jasmine Rice were wonderful dishes that managed to leave a lasting impression on my taste buds, spicy or otherwise. Personally, I love a little spice in my food. It’s like having your own mini euphoria from a chili high.
PHoTos by MIGUEl MIRANDA
THAI AT SILK IS LOCATED AT UNIT 1C12, G/F, SERENDRA, FORT BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY, TAGUIG. FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL 856-0386 TO 87 OR EMAIL SILK@GLOBELINES.COM.PH
THE ROGUE TRADER
BY BRUCE CURRAN
the sounD of musiC
Tuning The Bank noTes
overwhelming temptation to satisfy the endless need for self-gratification. The human character must take up the challenge and fight between weakness and strength, balance between endless choices and the chance of a return to nothingness. After all, the chimes of “tin-pan alley” might quickly turn into a cul-de-sac and the silence of a dead-end!
MUSIC AND MONEY
Musicians often appear to be blissfully caught floating in a realm beyond care. Their harmonious gift and talent capturing a world beyond the mundane and the routine, drifting in some magic space far apart from the harsher realities and practicalities of daily life. At the end of the day, like everyone else, the musician must make ends meet. A lucky group of players might well have a sponsor to cover the expenses in the logistics of a spirited performance, but most fend for themselves from gig to gig. Somehow, somewhere, and sometime out there, a performer finds a following, gets recognized and caught up in a frenzy of promotion. Suddenly there is an inflow of cash and a spending spree is a welcomed change from scratching a living. The trick then is to move on from a newfound life of buying and the
PSYCHOlOGY AND WORRY
The successful musicians will revel in the flush of success, and so they should! But eventually for some there will come a subconscious crossroad where need and greed collide. Colleagues, friends, or relatives might well become the first to notice, but outsiders in particular will observe a sea of change. The rumble in the jungle, the bungle in the mumble, and the struggle in the psyche will take its toll. The struggling musician might well invoke that
famous cult saying: “The first shall be last and the last shall be first”—believing in the godgiven right of their own success. But just as valid is the shrewd observation that “all good times come to an end.” However, the crest of a wave always seems to roll on forever in the flurry of no worry. This gobbledygook aims to raise the red flag of warning, and to give the keen musician (in all of us) the opportunity to remember the rule of the 3 S’s—take Stock, Stock up, and buy Stock. The Rogue Boracay Issue of April is a reveler’s dream that can come true, with its full exposé of the delights and temptations of the good life. These can be enjoyed spontaneously once or twice with a flush of money, or forever etched in the psyche with a little bit of planning and a lot of the 3 S’s as a back-up for the future. After all, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail . . . so let the good times roll!
34 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
ART BY MARTIN MARI
THE MUSICIAN’S SET
The long Easter weekend gave us an opportunity to take a break from the market’s recent frenzied trading to try and put things in perspective—or more precisely, to reflect upon how much damage has been done since the stock market highs of a few months ago. Interestingly, the MSCI World Index (-16.8%) is still shy of the -20% level, whereas this level has already been breached by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (-20.4%). Also, European markets have mostly been underperforming the S&P 500 Index (-15.1%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Index (-12.7%). So much for global economies decoupling from the U.S.! The events of the past several days have marked a major turning point for the U.S. equity market. Share prices staged their first weekly gain in a month. The Federal Reserve pulled out all stops to save the banking system. Financial shares bounced hard, and inflation fears eased as commodity prices fell back to earth. History suggests that major upside reversals are rarely anticipated before the fact or at the time. Usually, they are not even acknowledged for days or months after a rally has begun. Often it is the longer term investors who remain committed to their portfolios during market draw downs that proffer substantially when markets recover. Over the long term, stocks have historically outperformed all other investments. From 1926 to 2006, the S&P 500 returned an average annual 10.4 percent gain. However short term volatility cannot be ignored. A diversified portfolio is less susceptible to short term market corrections than a portfolio that is concentrated in one or a few investments. Therefore, an investor can reduce portfolio volatility simply by holding assets which are not correlated. Modern Portfolio Theory dictates that an effectively diversified portfolio should include alternative investments such as hedge funds to help optimize long term returns. Believe that investors should always take a longer term view to investing since it is only over the long term that investors really benefit from a diversified portfolio that includes alternative/hedge based strategies.
TRACK ONE – EARTH RHYTHM AND BEAT
leverage, good risk management and . . . a lot of thinking! The Prudential and Norwich Union X funds have returned a profit of over 11% at a time when the S&P 500 Composite Index in the USA has dropped 15% in the last 6 months. That is a difference of 26% . . . these are modern formulas based on 150 years of investment experience, supported by computer analysis.
THE MUSICIAN’S WAY: THE TOPSY-TURVY PAY
Money comes in a trickle, which often means finances get in a pickle. The ultimate dream is for that moment of truth which brings in the treacle—a regular spot in a club, an invitation to play a concert, a homemade CD, an audition, a contract, a national road show, and an international venue are all on the cards of the musician’s schedule. When fame arrives, it is time to cash in on the bandwagon and save for a rainy day.
TRACK THREE – ExPERIMENTAl AND fUTURISTIC
Gearing is a smart formula to success. Invest $50,000 geared twice, and you get the equivalent of $150,000 invested, having only put in $50,000 of your own money. The rest is borrowed. If you believe in the underlying investment, it makes sense to gear up. When it goes right, you make almost three times the profit with someone else’s money, getting you almost 2/3rds of your overall profit. It all looks like gobbledygook in the explanation, but rakes in a fat profit for the geared investor. The downside is that such investments require a five-year program of patience and perseverance. If you cash out early, they take 25% of your profit as a fee. A heavy toll, but one that makes investors stay put for the duration. The likes of Prudential and Norwich Union have proven this formula works consistently over time.
SPEND AND SAVE
Step 1 - Tuning In – Playing It Safe – Immediate Access Money for a rainy day sits in the bank. Step 2 – The Silver Handcuffs – Playing it longer Money locked up in a time deposit for 12 months gets a better return—and locks money away so it won’t be spent. Step 3 – The Golden Handcuffs and the Golden Handshake – Playing the 3 S’s Taking stock . . . stocking up . . . buying stock—playing the markets over 3 to 5 years. When the fat paychecks come in, this is the time to move in and move up in the world of investment. Over the long term, it is patience, perseverance, and “good choices” that pay off with the handsomest of profits.
The ideal wrapper for all of these investments is an Offshore Private Portfolio Bond. This means they operate in tax sheltered secure jurisdictions primarily in Europe and the Caribbean, and are offshore from the home-country where you reside. The starter pack begins with a $75,000 entry fee. International brokers are available to assist even small investors with US$10,000 to invest, or even just $5,000. You do not have to be a high-flyer to invest . . . after all, everyone starts small. The local banks have a very limited range of offerings, whereas the more worldly brokers have access to a vast range of choices. My advice to all you musicians out there is, take stock, stock up and buy stock. Put aside funds and buy some funds—after all, there is no expectation without speculation.
THE SPONDOOlICS: CHOOSING THE RIGHT INVESTMENT VEHIClE
CHOICES ON THE MENU:
Aperitif Pack / Simple and effective; low risk 1) Buy a managed mutual fund investing worldwide 2) Buy an Asian mutual fund 3) Choose a mutual fund with a guaranteed capital base and a lock in of profit 4) Hedge fund in Australian Dollars with capital guaranteed Sophisticated Main Course / High risk 1) Buy a single country mutual fund 2) Buy a mutual fund investing in commodities, energy, and natural resources. 3) Hedge fund with a good track record – 12% growth per annum Dessert / Higher risk with potentially higher profit 1) Individual stocks 2) Commodities 3) Specialist funds – property, mortgage debt, speculative ventures
TRACK TWO – ElECTRONIC AND MODERN
THE VOICE Of CHOICE
While stock markets have suffered majestically, there are funds that have performed superbly over all time periods, and especially over the past six months when all hell has let loose in the markets. It is a sophisticated formula for success based on a combination of high quality assets, advanced product engineering, intelligent use of financial
Be it rock and roll, jazz, rap, or the multitude of modern expressions, it is all music in the end. Just like investing, it is all a version of the same thing—you choose which you like best and get involved. So, do not delay. Get on stage, pick up your instrument, voice your choice . . . and get invested now! It is all a part of tuning the bank notes, and increasing the pile. ☐
the struggling musiCian might well invoke that famous Cult saying: “the first shall Be last anD the last shall Be first”— Believing in the goD-given right of their own suCCess. But Just as valiD is the shrewD oBservation that “all gooD times Come to an enD.”
Choosing EyEwEar for PErformanCE and ProtECtion
SummER’S HERE and the sun is HOT! Playing
out in the sun isn’t what it used to be. The price of progress has meant larger and larger holes in our ozone layer, increasing the damage that ultra-violet rays inflict on our sensitive bodies. Remember when sun block numbers were in single digits? Today nothing under 30 is acceptable. But look around you on the course, a scant few choose to play with protective eyewear. Just because you can’t get sunburn on your eyes, doesn’t mean they’re immune to sun damage. If your eyes are tired, red or dry at the end of a round, you risk cataracts; long term damage and possibly blindness. Good news is that protection is just a good pair of shades away. Most lenses sold today block 100% of UV light and so will go a long way to preserve our vision, but do precious little to help get that six footer in the hole. Golfers have specific vision requirements and need eyewear that will enhance vision and performance; eyewear that you never feel like you have to take off. This is why most golfers don’t wear sunglasses; it’s a lot of trouble. You put them on then take them off before you hit then put them back on. Then you start over when you get to their next shot. And you have to clean them constantly; sun block and body oils leave nasty smudges on the lenses rendering them useless. But a careful search can lead to the Holy Grail; eyewear that offers 100% UV protection enhances visual performance, increases comfort and isn’t high maintenance when you’re using it. The golf course is a world of shades of green and we require lenses that will allow us to decipher the subtleties and highlight contrasts without taking your sunglasses off. Oakley Gold Iridium, Fire Iridium, G30 and Persimmon filter out most blue light and increase contrast in the green and yellow range. This highlights subtleties in contrasting shades of green and a higher level of confidence. Choose the intensity of the tint depending on the conditions. For bright sunlight, Gold or Fire Iridium both work very well resolving contrast and reduce eyestrain dramatically. The G30 is the only choice in changeable light conditions and in low light Persimmon works to magically increase visual acuity, performance and reduce eyestrain. They’re all so good; you can read the greens with them on. The most advanced sports lenses adjust the amount of sun protection they provide based on the intensity of the light. Oakley’s Transitions are leading examples of this application; put them on indoors and they’re a light brown tint, walk out the door and they darken immediately. This is more than a marketing gimmick; the lenses’ adjusting saves your eyes the wear and tear of doing so themselves and leads to a higher level of comfort both during and after the round. Lenses that are optically correct are vital to any sport; in golf the precision required makes this an absolute necessity. This is where most sports lenses fail utterly. The curvature of a sports lens often causes severe refraction of light causing you to feel like you’re walking down stairs. If you get a bit dizzy or light-headed, the lenses are unsuitable for golf. Our eyes compensate, but this leads to eye strain and fatigue. They’ll wind up on top of your head instead of on your face; not good. This is the single most important criteria for most golfers; after all if you can’t see it, you can’t hit it. Also new are hydrophobic and oleophobic lens coatings that repel water and body oils. These things are just amazing. Think about playing an entire round of golf without cleaning your glasses. Can’t be done? Think again. Current eyewear technology has advanced to the point where sports vision is no longer compromised by protection. The best examples demonstrably enhance visual performance and have progressed from a fashion accessory to become indispensable sports equipment.
36 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
THE KIll GIRlS
a iMee M arCos & gabbie De la raM a- ta la N PH OTO G RA PH E D BY J UA N CAG U I CL A AT N O RT H SY- QU I A O N JA N UA RY 2 6 , 2 0 0 8
“MAG-PROD TAYO!” seems to be the new catchphrase among the “hipsters” and the “scenesters” in what constitutes as the “rock scene” these days. A new production sprouts practically everyday, some with immensely promising (like Attraction! Reaction! and Helter Shelter) and others with, er, disastrous results. But independent music management outfit Princess Batugan has been with us for some time now, way back before SaGuijo became such a hotspot. According to one of SaGuijo’s main men Angelo Carlos, “Princess Batugan has always been one of the more consistent productions in our place. With them, you’re always guaranteed of a decent showing. And they have a certain kind of crowd that they can virtually claim as their own.” Even though 95% of Batugan’s band line-up is comprised of a bunch of heavy-leather toughies, it’s actually run by a nice pair of Catholic schoolgirls, Gabbie de la Rama-Talan and Aimee Marcos, who first crossed paths in the 2nd grade and found that each had one-and-a-half number 6’s etched in the temple of their heads. They recently held a Rogue-sponsored event called “Maximo Libido” to celebrate a reunion of the original lineup of Batugan bands, namely: Severo, Salamin, Monkeyspank, and in this case—since Sultan of Snap couldn’t play—Glorious Masai Mara. We caught up with Batugan’s dynamic duo and asked them what the hell they’re really about.
than that, we love rakenrol! And this is why we started doing this production bit. Batugan is Bato’s younger sister—the kind that can be quite rebellious, but is no less incisive when it’s called for. aimee: We tried to help the community through Bato by putting on performances for causes. When this happened, we saw that most of the bands that we liked were underground and could use all the help they could get, so we decided to help them out by putting this production out. is there some sort of mission that you adhere to with regards to how you do the line-up and conduct your shows? aimee: We tend to like the harder side to music— or “edge,” if you will. Kung walang topak, we’re not interested. Kung walang passion, we’re not interested. Gabbie handles the line-ups mostly, but in the end we tend to agree which bands we want to support. People write to us and we welcome all
In fact, these extra fingers actually looked like they belonged. They weren’t stumpy or twisted. They were quite beautifully shaped, and each one ended in a long, tapered fingernail. Hell, they were scarily beautiful in a way that is difficult to put into words! The bands that Princess Batugan supports are like sixth fingers. They are all crazy and different. Most have a certain wildness about them. Most make music that’s hard as rock, just the way we like it. We don’t sign up bands based on popularity, how many CDs they sell, or the number of radio and TV appearances they have made. Just because you look cute and sound catchy, you can’t fake talent, and you certainly can’t fake originality. That would be boring, and the one thing we don’t want to be is boring, typical, or unimaginative. If Princess Batugan was a chick [and she is], she would definitely have balls—figuratively, of course. She would also look like Tetchie Agbayani in the ‘80s, but with a mohawk. What do you think are your most important achievements so far? gabbie: That we are still doing this despite the increasing difficulty of waking up early with hangovers—your body’s recovering abilities suck when you’re hitting 30. Kidding! It’s not really about us. It’s about them. Every time a band we support gets recognized, we get off. It’s a great feeling when other people believe in what—and who—you believe in. The fact that both Bato and Batugan has set-up gigs to help the less fortunate is an achievement. The fact that we haven’t switched to supporting more mainstream and steadier acts to match the fact that we aren’t getting any younger is an achievement. In fact, it’s not about the achievements at all—it’s about never losing sight of your purpose. So, do Catholic schoolgirls really rule? gabbie: Only .05%. The others suck.
CRIS O. RAMOS, JR.
“we tenD to like the harDer siDe to musiC— or ‘eDge,’ if you will.
What is the difference between Princess Batugan and Princess Bato? gabbie: Princess Batugan is an offshoot of Princess Bato, a charity-based group headed by Aimee, and which she, Camille Lanuza, and myself came up with. Batugan focuses more on the “artist aspect.” Princess Bato was also the name of Camille and Aimee’s band in high school with Beng Calma of Drip. It is, so to speak, a promotional arm. The three of us, from time immemorial [we’ve known each other since elementary] have always loved music. But more
kung walang topak, we’re not interesteD.”
mAKe-UP by bArbi cHAN
these letters. But we want to give people—who really deserve it—a chance. Real talent. gabbie: In 1999, I went to Sagada and met a tribal chieftain called a Dangwa. He had a sixth finger on each of his hands. The strange thing was that this so-called abnormality wasn’t disgusting.
ON WHY HE LOVES kISS
GODS Of THUNDER AND ROCK & ROll
was there more to the lewd lyrics, outlandish costumes, and freakish makeup? a kiss-and-tell confession By a truly oBsessed fan
love KISS. They were the first Rock and Roll band I listened to, and the first Rock album I ever bought was theirs. My brother got me into them and, for that, I am forever grateful. The moment I heard “Detroit Rock City,” I was hooked. The great riffs, the energy, and, of course, the wicked look. They were pure ROCK & ROLL. It was like a bomb went off in my head, and I’ve never been the same since. KISS started out as a band called Wicked Lester in New York city. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley decided to quit Lester and answer an ad in a local music mag placed by Peter Criss. They held auditions for a lead guitarist, and the story goes that as soon as Ace Frehley walked in to the room and plugged in his guitar, they knew that he was it. When you mention KISS to anyone, the first thing they think of is the make-up. It’s what got my attention before anything. I suppose that once they had the band together, they needed to find a way to stand out. In the early ‘70s, glam rock was all the rage, so make-up and outlandish dress were the norm. They decided to take it a step further by creating individual characters for themselves, and they looked awesome. Like Rock & Roll super heroes. There was a mystique about them that was both frightening and fascinating. The costumes were wicked. It was like they weren’t human, which I think was the whole idea. Gene the Demon, Ace the Spaceman, Peter the Cat, and Paul the Starchild. I fell for it. Gene was my favorite. That wild crazed look and his freakish tongue. I liked his songs the best, too, like “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “Calling Dr. Love,” “Deuce,” and “Cold Gin,” just to name a few. He was the better singer as well. Gene prowled the stage in his demon make-up, knee-high seven-inch platform boots, his bass shaped like an executioner’s axe, flicking his huge tongue. Plus, he spewed blood and breathed fire on stage. Fucking awesome! Definitely one of my favorite guitar players ever. He had the coolest licks and tone, his guitar literally smoking on stage. He made his own smoke bombs, would stick them under an empty pick-up cover, and would light them during his solos. Peter Criss’ was cool, and Paul “sizzle chest” Stanley was o.k., I guess. He sang well enough and wrote some good tunes, but he was just a bit too cheesy for me. Because he was in the band, though, he was liked by default. They put out three excellent albums before their big break came with the Alive! live double album. KISS’ greatest strength lay in their awesome live shows—great tunes played with more intensity plus a stage act that was out of this world. They
captured that energy on Alive!, and it became an instant hit. This was then quickly followed up with their most commercially successful album, Destroyer. KISS had become a phenomenon. Four guys in wild make-up and costumes playing solid Rock and Roll. They were a twisted Rock and Roll circus act. They also had every conceivable merchandising item available—from T-shirts and posters to action figures and comic books. (This was under Marvel, and which reportedly had their blood mixed into the ink that was used for printing. Wicked!) In 1978, they even made a movie called KISS meets the Phantom of the Park. Twenty years later, they released another excellent film called Detroit Rock City. As a kid, I lapped it all up. I had all the albums (on vinyl), I used to draw the Destroyer album cover or their faces in class. I even had the KISS lunchbox.
A MOMENT THAT IS fOREVER BURNED IN MY MIND WAS WHEN I SAW THE “lICK IT UP” VIDEO. IT WAS KISS’ fIRST ONE WITHOUT MAKE-UP. I WAS DUMBfOUNDED. MY fIRST THOUGHT WAS: “WHAT THE HEll IS THIS CRAP?!?”
Everybody thought my KISS obsession was a bit weird, but they just didn’t understand, man! This wasn’t just rock and roll, this was KISS. But, more than the make-up and wild costumes, they had the music to back it up. Classic tunes like “Deuce,” “Firehouse,” “Strutter,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Love Gun,” “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “She,” “Cold Gin,” “God of Thunder,” “Beth.” Solid riffs, great melodies, and a groove that was pure sleaze. Pure Rock and Roll, baby. At the time, I didn’t fully understand the meanings of their songs. Lyrics like “Oh, baby please, get on your knees, there are no bills, there are no fees” (from “Calling Dr. Love”) or “The plaster’s getting harder, and my love is perfection, a token of my love for her collection” (from “Plaster Caster”—a song about the legendary groupies of the same name
who were famous for making plaster molds out of celebrities’ penises) sounded innocent enough. It’s funny when you think that this band who were famous for their lascivious lyrics were all Beatles fans and that the band was patterned after the Fab Four. Like the Beatles, Gene wanted each member to write songs and sing. Each of them was to be a personality. They became The Beatles from Hell! KISS was a monster, and I loved them. But I do need to qualify that the KISS I love is the original KISS: Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley. The other KISS incarnations have never interested me, and every album after Unmasked was pretty much crap. Over the years, the ugly truth behind the band was revealed, some of which were confirmed in Gene’s autobiography. Apparently, Gene and Paul were the dictators of the band. Even today, as far as KISS’ business dealings and strategic career moves are concerned, Gene’s word is law. Peter would go along to keep the peace, but Ace fought tooth and nail every time. Sadly, Ace and Peter both had massive drinking problems. Gene and Paul, oddly enough, never touched a drop. Their thing was women, lots of women. To his credit, Gene knew that the original four had to stay together for the KISS machine to operate at its highest level, both musically and financially. So, when Ace wanted to do his own thing, Gene suggested that they all make solo albums and release them together. The fans loved it. It was like having four KISS albums at once. The man was a genius. In 1980, Peter Criss decided to quit the band. I was devastated. I’ll never forget the day I rushed out to get a copy of the Jingle magazine with a picture of Peter Criss sans make-up. You must remember that at this point no one ever saw what they looked like without make-up, so it was a huge deal. I turned the page, saw the photo, and was, well, a bit disappointed. He looked just like a regular guy. What happened to the Cat, man?!? Then it hit me. They were just regular guys. Reality had popped that larger-than-life balloon in my head. He was replaced by Eric Carr, The Fox. To be fair, his makeup was pretty cool, but nowhere near as cool as The Cat. Peter left just before the release of Unmasked. The album that followed, Music From The Elder, a bizarre concept album, was KISS’ worst effort yet. They released one more album called Creatures of the Night before guitarist Ace Frehley left. Then, the unthinkable happened . . . they took the makeup off. It was, as far as I was concerned, the beginning of the end. A moment that is forever burned in my mind was when I saw the “Lick It Up” video. It was KISS’ first one without make-up. I was dumb-
40 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
PHOTOGRAPH BY J.A. TADENA / MAKE-UP BY SOLENN HEUSSAFF
founded. My first thought was: “What the hell is this crap?!?” When the video ended, all I could say was, “Put the bloody make-up back on!” In the years that followed, KISS became very prolific and had good success in the ‘80s glam scene. I guess it was because it fit Paul’s persona perfectly. They did release a couple of well received albums in the ‘90s, but I wasn’t interested. I did enjoy Gene’s occasional interviews and appearances, though. His true sleazeball character really came through—like when he told Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain, who were both constantly moaning about how they couldn’t handle the fame and the money, to just write a huge check addressed to Gene Simmons and make them all happy. In 1995, the original four members decided to reunite for an MTV Unplugged show. It was excellent seeing them all play together, and they were brilliant. The reception was so good that it prompted them to do a real reunion tour, complete with the make-up and costumes the following year. I was ecstatic! The original KISS back on tour. In late 1999, I found myself in Vancouver, BC to celebrate Christmas and see in the new millennium with my then-girlfriend-now-wife who’s also a huge fan. KISS was playing a special New Year’s Eve show and there was no way in hell we were going to miss it. They were phenomenal! They played all the old favorites and some of their ‘80s and ‘90s “hits.” These sounded so much better with the original
GENE WIll BE THE fIRST TO TEll YOU THAT KISS ARE NOT A BUNCH Of ARTiSTES. THEY ARE IN SHOW BUSINESS, THE BUSINESS Of SHOW. YOU MAY NOT lIKE IT, BUT THEY DON’T CARE. THAT’S ROCK AND ROll.
line-up, and I realized then that it was Ace who always kept them rocking. Gene may have been their brains, but Ace was their soul. They had the stage set they used on Alive II. It was the best show I had ever seen. Full on action from the get go. We counted down to midnight, and Ace broke out into “2,000 Man.” The band that I loved first and more than any other was back, and they kicked ass. At some point, both Peter and Ace decided to quit the reunion tour, but Gene insisted on keeping it
going and committed the ultimate sacrilege: putting other people in the costumes. KISS are on tour now with some guy as the Cat and another clown in Ace Frehley’s Spaceman suit. KISS has always been very upfront about their objective: to be the biggest and greatest Rock and Roll band of all time. And, in the process, make as much money and have as many women as possible. No matter what it takes. They have never apologized for their behavior, their attitude, or anything really. Gene will be the first to tell you that KISS are not a bunch of artistes. They are in show business, the business of show. You may not like it, but they don’t care. That’s Rock and Roll. It’s all rapidly getting very campy and sad, but I’m still a fan (of the original KISS). I read somewhere that taste triggers parts of our memory, both good and bad. Food doesn’t do it for me though, music does. When I hear a song, I remember the first time I heard it, what I was doing at the time, who I was doing at the time. (Oi, Gene!) Songs are like little flashes/flasbacks of my life. When I listen to the old KISS songs, I always catch myself grinning like an imp. I feel like I just got away with something. So, I’m hanging on to the image I had of them as a kid. I guess it’s like losing your virginity. You never forget your first time. KISS was my introduction to rock and roll. Their audacity and spectacle are some of my most treasured childhood memories. ☐
42 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
ON LEARNINg TO LOVE cLASSIcAL MUSIc
in the days when radio was the rage, a 15-year-old Became captive to the classics
lIVE IN CONCERTO
Shortwave stations appreciate these reports because they enable their engineers to fine-tune their transmission. In appreciation, they send acknowledgment cards called QSL cards. Hobbyists collect these QSL cards, which they tack on to their wall map of the world, like fighter pilots painting an enemy’s flag outside their cockpits for every enemy plane that they have shot down. Shortwave Heaven, called DXCC, consists in accumulating a total of 100 of these QSL cards. I do not know if: a) shortwave radio is still a hobby these days, and if b) hobbyists today still follow these rituals. But fifty years ago—and that tells you my age—these were the little joys that mid-teens like me enlivened our days with. Not quite like the life-and-death struggles against space aliens or other baddies that young people plunge into everyday in the video games of today.
did not deliberately set out to learn to love classical music. It just happened. When I was in my mid-teens, one of my hobbies was shortwave radio. I would spend hours past midnight surfing the shortwave bands of the General Electric radio-phonograph in the family living room, straining my ears for familiar and unfamiliar sounds from God-knows-where. Pretty much like an amateur astronomer scanning the skies for familiar and unfamiliar sources of light. In the world of shortwave radio, one of the arcane activities that hobbyists engage in is to send reception reports to the various stations that one is able to catch, and rate the quality of reception according to strength of signals, interference from other stations, and fading. The scales, if I recall correctly, were QRT from 1 to 5, QRM from 1 to 5, and QSB from 1 to 5.
Or the dawn-to-midnight vigils at the computer that many teens are hostage to these day—like our 15-year old ward—without much thought to eating and other bodily functions. But, hey, without the sedentary pleasures of shortwave radio, I would not have fallen in love with classical music at the tender age of 14 or 15. Waiting for a shortwave radio station to identify itself sometimes meant staying tuned to it for 30 to 60 minutes, and those minutes often meant being the captive listener to a symphony or a piano concerto being played. Without even knowing who Beethoven or Tchaikovsky or Mozart was, I fell in love with their music, despite all the static and extraneous noises inherent in shortwave reception. Culture, as they say, is a matter of exposure, and my life experience is living proof of that truism. I never learned to read notes
44 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
ART BY ROBERT A. ALEJANDRO
and I never mastered any musical instrument, yet classical music became a life-long passion, thanks to chance encounters on the shortwave bands while waiting for the station break. In the early to the mid fifties, while I was in college at the Ateneo de Manila, Station DZFE of the Far East Broadcasting Co. began operating as Manila’s sole classical music station. If I recall correctly, DZFE started as an AM station, then converted later to an FM station. DZFE helped define my musical taste, as it has undoubtedly that of thousands of other listeners, not only because—unique among radio stations in Manila— it broadcast classical music everyday, on a more accessible medium-wave frequency, but also because it published a monthly program guide that identified the hours when it was going to play classical music. The monthly guide was available to listeners who requested it. And if I were to rummage through my piles of college memorabilia in my ancestral home, I would undoubtedly find copies of it. When DZFE celebrated its 50th anniversary about three years ago, they requested a congratulatory message from me, which I gladly acquiesced to, knowing how much I owed to this pioneering station for having indulged my love for classical music in the relative desert that was the Manila cultural scene. When I went to the U.S. for further studies, I purchased my first phonograph, but I never managed to acquire more than a few LP records, as they were too expensive to include in my monthly budget. My break came when I purchased a small but very sensitive FM radio that allowed me to connect to WFMT, Chicago’s classical music station. WFMT also published a monthly program guide, not surprisingly on a much grander scale than DZFE’s, with detailed information on what compo-
sitions were to be played at which hour, on which day of the month, and identifying the performing artists and giving biographical sketches of selected composers. I was still in Chicago in 1960 when WFMT celebrated the 100th birth anniversary of the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler by featuring all his recorded music which I was previously unfamiliar with. The moral of this story is that learning to love classical music, like all other great passions, starts with exposure. And it does not have to involve a lot of money. In my case, it started with occasional encounters on the shortwave bands, nurtured through more accessible exposure through a radio station (DZFE) and eventually raised to a more sophisticated level through another radio station (WFMT). All of which practically cost nothing. Is this still possible in 2008 in Metro Manila? Why not? DZFE is still on the air, though I have not listened to it for decades. I cannot even recall its broadcasting frequency. That’s because my music library has grown substantially, at first with music cassettes in the ‘70s and ‘80s, later with CDs when that format became the standard, now with DVDs, that I no longer need to listen to other sources. Since 1982, I have accumulated more than 1,200 CDs and about 150 DVDs. My music library has long grown more extensive than DZFE’s, and I had more classical music titles in my collection than Tower Records had for sale when they had an outlet in Makati. Those who want to access more classical music than DZFE can provide can, without having to spend a whole lot of money, use their computers to visit www.wqxr..com , the classical music station of The New York Times, or www.wfmt.com, my classical music home in Chicago almost half a century ago.
(It makes me feel old to realize that.) For those who have the equipment and the computer skills to download music, there are a few blog sites which “share” classical music for free. But I understand it is still legally sticky to identify these blogs in public, on the grounds that it can be misinterpreted as encouraging piracy. If you will drop me a note at tonyabaya@gmail. com, I can whisper the blog sites to you, as long as you promise not to tell anyone else about them. Be warned, however, that the best among these sites— with more than a thousand titles—is heavy with medieval and baroque music, my current passion but not everyone’s cup of tea.. Those who are seriously interested in building a classical music library of the best recordings available in CDs and DVDs should acquire the latest edition of The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs which is published every year. I do not know if it is available in Metro Manila, but you can pick it up the next time you are in Hong Kong, Singapore, or Bangkok. You can also order it from amazon.com. It costs about US$ 25. The Penguin Guide not only reviews the different recordings available of, say, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, it also indicates the price categories of these recordings: from super-bargain (about US$ 6.50) to mid-price (about US$ 9.95), to full-price (about US$ 17.95). By the time this article sees print, my list of “Outstanding Classical Music DVDs” (in my music library) will probably be ready in my website www. tapatt.org. So instead of mentioning these choices in this article, let me just refer the interested reader to this list. My DVD collection is by no means extensive; but my CD collection is. For those who want to start or expand a classical music library, I am attaching a list of what I think are essential must-have compositions for the non-specialist. Enjoy! ☐
O N M A N I L A’ S B L U E S H I S T O R Y
Archive photos of (L-R): Grupong Pendong, Mike Hanopol, and the facade of 70s Bistro.
COlOR MANIlA BlUES: 1900-2007
a 3-lesson primer on how the Blues came to Be, and why it will stay
century, but I’ve met blues musicians and music lovers from every part of the green and blue planet. Everyone has the heart and soul to love or hate it. I have been to Chicago, Sheboygan, and New York where you’d think blues was widely heard in clubs and music venues. Nope. One club, Terra Blues in Greenwich Village served up blues in a small venue serving only booze and music. A small stage for one black musician playing three sets a night. There were 10 people in the place. In Chicago, the club didn’t open its doors till 8 P.M., and most small clubs and bars had blues maybe one night a week. I’ve talked with dozens of blues musicians on the difficulty of staying with the music. Making a living for a family is hard in itself. It’s all about the love and roots in America’s history. It’s about being on the road for weeks at a time. Invariably, if the musician doesn’t love the blues, it’s not going to work. I have seen Manila’s blues scene grow to great highs and lows. My high was Bourbon Street Cafe on Makati Avenue at the turn of last century,
’ve played the blues on Manila’s AM/FM radio circuit for a lifetime. I always mixed a mean musical cocktail that included rock, soul, R&B, jazz, fusion, reggae, and pop. A generous dash of the blues with all the genres it has given life to. The recipe is a secret and its ingredients are available to everyone. Think back to Martial Law. 1972-1979. The Golden years of progressive Filipino radio, framed by curfews and no writ of habeas corpus, when I’d play Champion Jack Dupree, Return to Forever, and Stevie Wonder in one wave of uninterrupted music. It was indistinguishable to me. The music flowed from one genre to another, seamless and wonderful. The panacea for the political blues of those times. Some of the best rock the planet will ever hear in one short burst of time.
tHe FirSt BlueS leSSon iS tHat no one iS an exPert. It may have been born in the American cotton fields and hot Mississippi shacks of the late 19th
created to serve Cajun cuisine, New Orleans Jazz, and Blues. Idahoan Matt and Suzette Barrett had gone all the way! Manila’s longest bar, 23 kinds of Bourbon, and a mural of the what NOLA is all about. I tried my best, and we had a fun run. It failed even with the wonderful live music and parties. Another blues bar in Malate running out of a trailer outfitted with bathroom and grill died. And on the third floor of GB3, Mike Besa and Noelle Reyes had a club to match many in New York. A dining area, bar, and outdoor band setup. On the bright side, it was a slower fade to gone. I produced dozens of “live-in studio jams,” in the NU107 FM studios for Crossroads from 1997 till today with Captain Eddie and The Penguin. The best groups early on were showcased at Bourbon Street. We had a couple NU Blues Concerts at Music Museum, and a Chicago Rib joint in Eastwood held jams that served Chicago’s finest influences. Barbecue and Blues. The point is that there are dozens of venues for blues in existence. They are like an endless refuge that changes and moves on. Flourishing and fading. ⊲
46 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
Above: A photo of Yvonne Elliman shot at the InterCon when she was here in 1973 to publicize the movie Jesus Christ Superstar (where she played Mary Magdalene). Left: Joey “Pepe” Smith performing in the late ‘70s.
IT WIll NEVER GET OlD. WAllY GONzAlEz IS STIll OUT THERE ON THE ROAD . . . JUN lOPITO IS STIll JAMMING. DONDI lEDESMA, THE MAGICAl BASS PlAYER, HAS lOTS Of VERY MODERN BlUES ON lINE . . . THE OlD WAVE IS NO MORE THAN JUST A PART Of ONE PIECE Of THE PUzzlE. GROWING AND SPREADING.
tHe SeCond BlueS leSSon iS our PHiliPPine HiStorY. I discovered much about the American occupation of the Philippines from 1899-1912 while researching on the internet, libraries, and U.S. Army records. I set out to write the history of my own family’s stake in General Aguinaldo’s capture in March 1901. The American General Frederick Funston had evicted my Grandfather and Grandmother from their home in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija in December 1900. From here, he would plot the capture of General Emilio Aguinaldo, the one Filipino rebel who could end combat and insurgency. How the blues comes into play is even more fascinating. The General had his staff in my grandparents home—a close knit group of his nephew, an Spanish ex-soldier, Lazaro Segovia (who spoke Tagalog), the two American Hazzard brothers who were officers, and a group of Macabebe Scouts (Little Macs to the Americans). My Lolo’s house staff served and did general house chores, often listening and reporting to my Lolo. He was a pharmacist who had used his stores to pass intelligence on to American troops movements in a store where prescriptions passed over the counter daily as well as vital information on surviving the American occupation, while my Lola cooked
bagoong and fresh pan de sal in her corner of the compound that was their temporary home. The American troops pitched tents and had access to the grounds surrounding the house, and it was not uncommon for my Lolo to chat with the soldiers in the afternoons and share a glass of Tanduay rum as the hot day ended. A black U.S. volunteer soldier from Kansas, Private Greg Odrap, would sit at sunset near my Lolo’s shaded chair and play harmonica blues. My Lolo would offer him a glass as his blues filled the coming night, even teaching rudimentary blues lessons to my Lolo. General Funston and his officers walked through the compound at night, nodding and greeting my grandparents. The harmonica blues cut the humid dangerous darkness of San Isidro. The point here is that the Blues was born a century ago, born in the fields of Central Luzon during the hunt for Aguinaldo. It continued on as the American colonized the population and vaudville and jazz became a part of Filipino culture leading up to WWII.
tHe tHird BlueS leSSon iS tHat Manila HaS inFluenCed MillionS Let’s not forget that Bistro ‘70s is an icon and Penguin Café on Remedios is legendary. Living memories still soaking the night with cold beer
and blues. I’ve been at Café Stagionale in the West Village where our own icon, Annie Brazil, sings jazz standards on Fridays and Saturdays for tips. Huge Pop salaries and talent fees are not what the music is about. I’ve seen blues/jazz bars turn into Sports Bars in Bridgeport and New Haven. I was introduced to two Scottish bankers, Bill Renfro and John French, when the Crossroads was still new. John could slap the bass lines, and Bill’s love of blues sent him on many quests. Traveling to Texas to hear Stevie Ray Vaughan and set up a Blues Bar (called The Healer after the song by John Lee Hooker) in Brisbane, Australia. It was wonderful. They were bankers who loved blues. An unlikely combo. Bill died suddenly in Thailand, and John works in New York City today. The players of today’s modern blues scene has grown and expanded. Blues Rock band, the iconic Juan De La Cruz, has remained the gold standard of orignal Pinoy Blues Rock. Pepe Smith, Mike Hanapol, and Wally Gonzalez have continued to move forward, teaching and inspiring thousands of kids and a new generations—on songs of tripping in the garden, teachers, Project 4, and swimming! RJ AM debuted the original blues Juan de la Cruz and Bosyo Fortuno’s music then, only to turn its
48 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
time to beach music. The blues traveled to NU107 who gave the time and torch an enduring flame of hope to air on its new rock station, reaching out to one listener at a time. One hour a week to an hour and a half today. Heading into its second decade. The Crossroads. We must speak of how that century ago seems so disconnected to the very public sharing of blues. It may have been passed on a hot evening in Central Luzon between people who shared rum and pan de sal in war. Yet, I recall the late G Bob (Gary Hesler) of Alexandria, Virginia. He lived in Manila in the early part of this century. He walked into the studio of NU one night with his steel dobro. The American, fired on alcohol with stories of Muddy Waters and blues history, shared his music many a Tuesday night. He walked into my life many times. The traditions are passed to the next generation. Then there was a retired harp player from North Carolina named Tom Kat Colvin who worked in Manila and worked the bars and clubs of our city with a passion. He now plays in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. These random meetings not only affected my life but others as well, made evident by the release of a new Pinoy Blues CD: BluesKrieg—with a direct relation to the influence of G Bob and everyone else mentioned. I attended G Bob’s funeral this year, and his dobro guitar shined on the altar. I didn’t give a eulogy, but an interview/performance of G Bob recorded at NU played before the service for friends and family. I was taken to tears of laugher, sadness, and blues. It will never get old. Wally Gonzalez is still out there on the road. He has even taken a young singer, Paolo Santos, under his tutelage. Jun Lopito is still jamming. Dondi Ledesma, the magical bass player, has lots of very modern Blues on line. Or Perf de Castro, now a California resident and 10 string guitar expert, continues to jam and teach. The old wave is no more than just a part of one piece of the puzzle. Growing and spreading. The credits are not easy to assemble. Maybe General Funston, the Hazzard Brothers, and Lazaro Segovia (who brought the blues through war to my Grandparents doorstep) were gifts in a way. Well, we may have temporarily lost our nationhood for another half century, but the blues arrived to haunt those officers who captured Aguinaldo for the rest of their lives. Lazaro Segovia was walking through Intramuros, his pockets filled with silver, when someone put a lead bullet in his brain. Captain Russell Hazzard, was offered and refused America’s highest award for bravery, the Congressional Medal of Honor, in the Aguinaldo affair. He fought the depression caused by what they had done in the Philippines for another two decades. On September 4, 1921, in a squalid Seattle hotel, Russell Hazzard took the same Colt .45 automatic pistol he pointed at Aguinaldo and ended his own life. The Blues had overtaken him. The blues in Manila is alive and well. It’s not meant to be heard on any real pop level. Its personal sound will become a part of your own life experience when you hear it. The best advice is to go and support all the musicians who play blues live. Buy their CD, and, if you find them sitting on a stage, go and shake their hand. Salamat and Mabuhay. ☐
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Tim de los Reyes
JOSE MARI UGARTE
ON WHY HE LOVE S STEELY DAN
why any major dude will tell you that steely dan is the greatest non-Band in history
DESIGNED TO STIMUlATE
thing extra-special. In a Steely Dan production, egos are set aside so that all the attention can be placed on perfecting every aspect of the music. Fagen and Becker write the songs, but they seek out veritable prodigies from the jazz and rock worlds to help bring them to life, extracting in the process inspired guitar, horn, and keyboard solos that might never have found a platform anywhere else. Further evidence of their obsessive-compulsive regard for sound quality is their unnerving reluctance to tour. Some of their songs are simply too complex to justifiably replicate on a live stage that they would rather not perform
es, that question struck me when I first heard the name back in the fifth grade: What the fuck is a Steely Dan, eh? Then many years later, an aging hippie on Haight Street gave me a tattered edition of Naked Lunch, William Burroughs’s hallucinatory beatnik masterpiece; and it was upon reading the book that I discovered that a Steely Dan was a giant, metallic, futuristic dildo—an industrial-strength clitoral vibrator that looked like a space shuttle poised for takeoff. I was curious to know this because Steely Dan also happens to be the pseudonym of one of the most gifted and sophisticated songwriting, composing, arranging, and recording collaborations in the recent history of music. It’s funny to think that a band of such intelligence and talent would name themselves after a sex toy—but then I realized it made perfect sense: This band, like a dildo, was specifically and technically designed for no other purpose but to stimulate the pleasure senses. They don’t want legions of sweaty groupies; they don’t want to start a countercultural revolution and change the world; they don’t want to be MTV stars or guests on Jay Leno—they just want to make you come. They want to stimulate your ears and mind and bring you to musical orgasm. And therein lies the rub, the joke, the sharp and sometimes perverse humor, the gut-stabbing irony, the literary allusions, many of them violent and drug-related, that define the greatest non-band in history. I didn’t make that up: I heard some jazz geek say it at a wine party in the garment district of Manhattan, back in the mid-’90s when I was spending some time in New York. I just thought it was worth mentioning here because it seemed to hit the nail squarely on the head in terms of really trying to describe the nature of their immortality and their invaluable contribution to music. Here is the basic idea: Two dirty old intellectuals from New York City devour enough jazz and literature over the years and develop an almost supernaturally inspired ability to compose, arrange, and play contemporary jazz-rock-pop music. With the pointed intention of focusing directly on the quality of the music, they form a pseudo studio band, where none of the members are permanent except the brilliant and hilariously demented minds behind the band itself—Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. Highly skilled jazz and rock sessionists like Michael McDonald, Mark Knopfler, and Lee Ritenour come and go based on what they can contribute to a particular song or album. It’s almost like they come to Steely Dan so they can work with the best and, in so doing, they contribute some-
It is strong ly recomm ended that reader pre the pare a Ste ely Dan/D Fagen playl onald ist on an iP od to listen while read to ing this co lumn, in ord fully under er to stand and appreciate opinions ra the ised and id eas put fort herein reg h arding the music.
EDITOR’S NOT E:
HERE IS THE BASIC IDEA: TWO DIRTY OlD INTEllECTUAlS fROM NEW YORK CITY DEVOUR ENOUGH JAzz AND lITERATURE OVER THE YEARS AND DEVElOP AN AlMOST SUPERNATURAllY INSPIRED ABIlITY TO COMPOSE, ARRANGE, AND PlAY CONTEMPORARY JAzzROCK-POP MUSIC.
it, opting instead to keeping it in a temperaturecontrolled studio where they can have absolute control over the sound. And even when they are in the studio, they won’t release an album until they’re good and ready, even if it takes two decades (their 2000 album, Two Against Nature, won a Grammy for Album of the Year 20 years after they released Gaucho). They’re more mad chemists than rock stars, trading test tubes in a laboratory and experimenting with a wide variety of instruments, fusing together tracks of funk, jazz, blues, reggae, and rock, and creating strange, fun, and amusing hybrid songs that make your head bob in a groovy rhythm. Kenny Vance, who first hired them as back-up musicians in 1969, called them “librarians on acid.” Surprisingly, and perhaps even thankfully, not
many people are familiar with Steely Dan. Surprisingly because they may well be the most harmonious band ever to be assembled in a sound studio—from a purely objective standpoint, because the only true way to recognize excellence is through objectivity . . . and a subjective observation would be useless because there are probably just as many, if not more people, who loathe their music than love it—and that is usually because they don’t understand it. I’m a sick fan, I admit it, but before I risk the chance of rambling away like one, let me just say that my reasons for being one have nothing to do with personal experience or sentimental value— even though these things do matter. They have more to do with objective musical standards like sheer quality of sound, melody, rhythm, and harmony; complexity of arrangements and the deftness and timing of execution; the subject matter of the songs, the poetry in the lyrics, and how the vocals express and complement all these elements. These are the exemplary standards that every musician should aspire for, not the Rolling Stone cover or the MTV video, neither of which Steely Dan has; and these are the standards that Fagen and Becker have set and maintained for themselves for the past 30 years. Here’s why you should listen to them: it’s intelligent music for intelligent people. It came in the ‘70s when rock was burning out in the west while something new was cooking in the east; something smart and ironic and detached from anything we’d heard thus far; something that focused on smooth jazz chops and lyrics that read like pulp fiction prose and philosophical poetry. Listening to their lyrics is like reading a good novel—but much better because it comes with a complex, funky, and fun soundtrack. Dan satisfies all the cravings of a true musicologist—interesting
50 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
ART BY JASON MOSS
Children we have it right here It’s the light in my eyes It’s perfection and grace It’s the smile on my face Tonight when I chase the dragon The water may change to cherry wine And the silver will turn to gold Time out of mind
That’s from “Time Out of Mind,” their bright-eyed smooth-jazz party song about the virtues of Buddhism and Cocaine. The counterculture drug references are a recurring theme: “Kid Charlemagne” is based on an acid guru from San Francisco in the ‘60s named Owsley. The lyrics below describe the discovery of LSD and it’s subsequent outlawing.
Steely Dan’s Lyrical Romance With Dangerous Drugs
On the hill the stuff was laced with kerosene But yours was kitchen-clean Everyone stopped to stare at your Technicolor motor-home Clean this mess up else we’ll all end up in jail The test tubes and the scale Just get them all out of here
From the Two Against Nature album, “Jack of Speed” is about an ecstasy addict on the brink of self-destruction:
I was on the other side of no tomorrow You walked in And my life began again Just when I spent the last piaster I could borrow It don’t seem right I’ve been strung out here all night I’ve been waiting for the taste you said you’d bring to me
In the only Dan song sung by Becker, the bluesy “Slang of Ages,” dubious-looking E tabs are purchased with reckless abandon from a dealer who claims to be from Amsterdam:
Just roll with the homeys And knock on wood?
From 1980s Gaucho album, “Glamour Profession” is about the big-money L.A. Cocaine concession; the line below referring to a midnight purchase in Chinatown from a Columbian dealer:
Teddy’s rollin’ now most every night Skatin’ backwards at the speed of light
“Dr. Wu” is a love story between a smack dealer and his main customer, where the Heroin seems to destroy the integrity of the relationship; you’re never sure whether it’s a love song for a woman or for a drug:
Jive Miguel He’s in from Bogota Meet me at midnight At Mr. Chow’s Szechuan dumplings? Now that the deal has been done Either one, either one
And who can forget the gorgeous background vocals of “Hey Nineteen”?
Just by chance you crossed the diamond with the pearl You turned it on the world That’s when you turned the world around
Did you say you were from the Netherlands Or was that Netherworld? If you grew up in Amsterdam Well then I’m the Duke of Earl These tabs look iffy But you say they’re good
Katy tried I was halfway crucified
The Cuervo Gold The Fine Colombian Make tonight a wonderful thing
their wisdom remains lodged in a deeply cerebral corner of your mind and it never goes away. You are educated. no other band in recent memory has been able to combine the two most important, most prolific, and most stimulating musical genres—jazz and rock—in the seamless and imaginative way that the dan has. They have managed to squeeze the best out of both these worlds and mold them into their own distinctly weird shape and sound that is impossible to imitate. Their songs employ the skill, dexterity, and subtlety of jazz; and place them in the dramatic, compressed format of a contemporary rock-pop song—party songs with a heart of rock and roll and a brain humming on smart jazz. It’s jazz with prose, and not just typical ho-hum narratives but real songs of the doomed: lurid tales of child molesters, degenerate gamblers, drug dealers, murderers, thieves, antiheroes, and whores. They have the catchiness and familiarity you can’t seem to find in jazz, but they are far more complex and unpredictable than any rock song I can think of. Fagen and Becker’s music is of an exceptional standard of clarity and an almost frighteningly precise and detailed arrangement of ensemble instruments. This is really what it’s all about. Never mind the self-mocking moniker or the weird, subversive lyrics; Steely Dan is all about producing the richest, funniest, grooviest, funnest, mellowest, slickest, coolest, hippest, most interesting, stimulating, and satisfying music around, without using any electronic sampling and mixing—just many musicians playing many instruments, the way a song should be recorded. Many audiophiles recommend you use a Dan album if you really want to test the capabilities of a new set of speakers. The layers upon layers of detailed instrumentation and lush vocals are both a stimulant and an opiate to the ears, and certainly a field day for any hi-fi stereo system. Don’t be afraid to jerk up the volume: the songs are designed to remain pleasing to the auditory
lyrics, skillfully arranged music, and a steady, reliable groove. They are more concerned with style rather than expression, structure and form than sentimentality. They don’t deliver profound social messages or opinions about the real world and the people in it; they are simply interested in recording great music and telling fictional stories spun from a world that exists only in their heads. They are auteurs, and for this reason they intimidate listeners by being too cryptic and far out, mixing in vague literary references with deep slang and dark inside jokes. I suppose you could say they are an acquired taste,
and it takes a special breed of man to acquire it—a rare combination of musical intelligence, literary knowledge, and a perverse beatnik sense of humor. After a few years of listening I came to the conclusion that the only way to truly appreciate their music, aside from being in the studio with them, is through earphones, where you can really concentrate on the music and feel its full effect. Their songs are not instantly gratifying pop formulas, but complicated and insightful musical theorems that would much rather be studied than merely listened to. Because once studied and understood,
danography 1972 – 2003
Can’t Buy a Thrill (1972) The Dan’s debut album introduces them as a “traditional Rock-Pop band” before they started exploring jazz and expending band members. The songs are naturally not as complex as their later work, and because of this they were still touring regularly. The album features two of their most popular hits—“Do it Again” and “Reeling in the Years”—as well as the worst looking album cover in the history of recorded music. Countdown to Ecstasy (1973) Ranked No. 15 in Rolling Stone’s 50 Coolest Records, this is probably their most daring album in terms of experimentation with off-kilter melodies— the bombastic, fast-paced, rock and roll prayer “Bodhisattva”; the sinister chant about going to Lost Wages in “Show Biz Kids”; and the apocalyptic desert driving tune about a man looking for life on Earth after a worldwide nuclear war, “King of the World.” Pretzel Logic (1974) Their third album showcases the band’s style in full development—a bold treatment of blues and rock ‘n’ roll that defies existing musical conventions for an unprecedented, freewheeling yet utterly organized style. Any major dude will tell you that this is an essential Dan album with tracks like the holiday-resort love song “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” and the poignant and reassuring ballad “Any Major Dude.” But the titular single is the bluesiest and coolest song you’ll ever hear about time travel: I have never met Napoleon—but I plan to find the time. Katy Lied (1975) By the mid-’70s, the band was playing smooth and snappy jazz, commissioning the work of leading musicians in the jazzrock realm like Larry Carlton, Michael McDonald, and Jeff Porcaro. Their music hit new levels of sophistication and their lyrics became more mysterious and intriguing (I dare you to figure out “Throw Back the Little Ones”). Check out the nasty porn funk of “Daddy Don’t Live in That New York City No More”: Lucy still loves her coke and rum—but she sits alone cause her daddy can’t cum. Or the sweet irony of “Doctor Wu” where Fagen and Becker write a song about Heroin dependency and withdrawals and manage to make it sound like an elegant, romantic love song for the ages. The Royal Scam (1976) This is definitely their darkest album—and the title and cover art shows it. The songs are edgy, cynical, and full of cinematic violence and heartbreak. “Kid Charlemagne” is the infamous legend of Owsley Stanley, an outlaw chemist from San Francisco who accidentally discovered the formula for LSD in the early ‘60s. “Don’t Take Me Alive” is a Dog Day Afternoon-inspired first-person account of “a bookkeeper’s son” who is being hunted down by the law for murder. Both songs feature Larry Carlton grinding out some incendiary axe-work, and the album also introduces their first science fiction song, “Sign in Stranger,” a languid and playful piano bar number about an intergalactic prison planet called Mizar 5, where ex-convicts have their criminal records erased from their memories by a guy named Pepe. Aja (1977) Considered the Dan’s greatest album because of its exquisite production and highly instrumental tracks, Aja marks the culmination of the band’s long, strange trip from rock and roll to their own unique brand of soul jazz, incorporating more horns and keyboards into a lineup of luscious, multi-layered compositions. This album was too complex to play live so they kept it in the studio where it set new standards of excellence and is often used by hi-fi merchants to demonstrate their sound systems. This album is a real masterpiece with songs about cheating spouses, unhappy priests, leggy supermodels, and Homer’s Odyssey. Gaucho (1980) By the end of the ‘70s, the band’s sound and style had reached a crystal and almost mechanical clarity. The flawless studio sound was almost too perfect for its own good, inciting criticisms that the Dan was losing its soul. Mark Knopfler contributes his virtuoso guitar skills for the mechanized blues of “Hey Nineteen.” In what is probably their most accessible album, Fagen and Becker crank up the drug references by calling Hollywood coke-dealing a “Glamour Profession.” Two Against Nature (2000) Although there was an absurd 20-year hiatus since Gaucho, Fagen and Becker pick up where they left off: the odd couple of perfectionist pop maintain their reputation as snarky heroes of an entire generation of jazz nerds and coffee-house intellectuals, by dishing out the usual smartass licks and lyrics. Although the sound quality is still a little tense and brittle from a digital recording, and slightly in need of some warm blood, the album has some brilliant singles. “Cousin Dupree,” their rural narrative about backcountry incest alone is worth the sticker price—but with “Gaslighting Abbey,” a snappy jazz bass-plucker about a man, his mistress, and their dubious plan to murder his wife by slowly driving her crazy or “gaslighting” her; and “Janie Runaway,” the album more than lives up to its four Grammys. Everything Must Go (2003) What a relief! The band decided to go back to analog recording and what do you know: the sound seems warm and natural again, the drums less electronic-sounding, and the horns deeper and with more character. This is exactly the way Steely Dan should sound—and could the title of the album indicate a curtain call? With the intoxicatingly feel-good “Blues Beach,” the Armageddon blues anthem “The Last Mall,” and the Walter Becker onehit-wonder “Slang of Ages,” we certainly hope not.
senses no matter how high you turn up the knob. Go on, give it a try: you should have the volume high enough to capture all those eclectic sounds and instruments. I never tire from music that I learn something new from every time I listen to it. Each time I listen to a Dan song, I notice something different. There are so many elements to follow, so many instruments and vocals, and as you focus on each one, each particular arrangement or solo, each bass or drum beat, each hook, riff, or chorus, you’ll notice that each one is pure genius. Now imagine all these tracks of genius arranged neatly in a contained musical composition. It’s practically impossible to hold all these elements in one coherent thought in your head because there is too much going on, too many ideas; the texture is that rich. For me, this is the essence of good music—well written, well executed songs that continue to surprise, amuse, entertain, and inform; even after years of listening: the ultimate deserted island discography. Their lack of a visual identity as a group further reinforces the idea that the music comes before the musician. With the more than 70 musicians that have played for the Dan at one point or another, only Fagen and Becker have remained throughout. While boundaries are broken today through technological tinkering and electronic sampling of existing music, Dan did it in the ‘70s with real human musicians playing real musical instruments. It’s no wonder they had to keep replacing band members—a permanent crew simply did not have the endurance and skill to keep up with Fa-
REElIN’ IN THE YEARS
The Grammy-Award winning duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker circa 1976
gen and Becker’s impossible demands as recording studio perfectionists. the lyrics and stories behind the songs are just as good as the music itself. The music is very literary because the songs tell interesting stories that cover a vast range of subjects and that may not be immediately understood by someone who isn’t at least college educated and semi-well-read in English literature. That might sound a bit snobbish, but these guys don’t care: they write what they know and what they know is plenty—medieval history, crime stories, science fiction, forbidden love, insanity; and that’s barely scratching the vinyl surface, so to speak. Fagen and Becker write like inspired beat novelists, and each of their songs is a brilliant short story told with an almost cinematic soundtrack; the lyrics are somewhat histrionic, each track a scene in twisted film noir (now we dolly back, now we fade to black). It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the enigmatic, sarcastic lyrics at first because it’s
fAGEN AND BECKER WRITE lIKE INSPIRED BEAT NOVElISTS, AND EACH Of THEIR SONGS IS A BRIllIANT SHORT STORY TOlD WITH AN AlMOST CINEMATIC SOUNDTRACK.
endless fun trying to figure them out; and the music is so spectacularly good—the long (but never too long; tracks and solos on their albums never last longer than you want them to), complex solos, the tight and skillful drumming, the meticulously arranged horn sections—that it renders the lyrics almost insignificant. The music was so important that the lyrics didn’t matter; they just spewed out whatever was in the dark bowels of their mind. Just think of them as a bunch of interesting words that go well with the music and soon enough their meaning will seep into your consciousness and a new dimension is added to the song. (See the sidebar for some excerpts.) donald Fagen’s nasal, sinewy voice sounds like a saxophone blended into the speech of a Brooklyn Jewish professor of hipster-beat studies. It is the band’s most prominent identifying mark because Fagen’s voice is perfect narration for his own strange and lurid tales—aching and oozing with sardonic character (like a viper, languid and bittersweet). their songs have a remarkable sense of humor. Fagen and Becker are the Coen Brothers of jazz and rock. The lines in their songs are genuinely hysterical, and oftentimes I find myself laughing out loud at how they tell these sleazy stories with such exuberance and wit—the stark contrasts between comedy and tragedy are absurdly brilliant. Upbeat rhythms plus dark storylines equal razor-sharp wit and the blackest of comedy. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be funny, which makes it even funnier, but a recurring theme in Fagen and Becker’s music is dirty old men preying on impressionable young girls. Take “Everyone’s Gone to the Movies,” for instance, a perversely comic pedophile jingle about a childmolesting neighbor who likes to “show his films in the den,” while “everyone’s gone to the movies.” Both “Hey Nineteen” and “Janie Runaway” are about little girls and scheming older men—and so is “Cousin Dupree,” a bouncy single from the Two Against Nature album about a couch-drifter who tries to seduce his little cousin, puzzled with the query: What’s so strange about a down-home family romance? And there are lyrics that simply don’t mean anything—which makes it funny to think that they would choose a line as mundane and as devoid of poetry as “Is there gas in the car? Yes, there’s gas in the car,” to be a defining phrase in their rock single from 1976, “Kid Charlemagne.” The insistence in finding art in everyday language is what I find deeply amusing. they design their songs to match the everyday situations and circumstances you are most likely to listen to them in, and they write lyrics that are made to sing along to. Take “F.M.”, a song about the radio on the radio. What better way to emphasize the clarity and quality of a song than by making the listeners sing it—NO STATIC AT ALL. You should hear an amphitheater full of fans sing this line at one of their concerts (I’ve been to five). It sums it all up in a great chorus line. And what self-respecting good-time hedonist wouldn’t want to sing along to drink scotch whiskey all night long—even though they don’t let you off that easily by making you finish the line:
BOTH “HEY NINETEEN” AND “JANIE RUNAWAY” ARE ABOUT lITTlE GIRlS AND SCHEMING OlDER MEN
and die behind the wheel. It’s all just straight to the point, which makes it fun to sing because the music is subtler. What a beautiful world this will be. What a glorious time to be free. Lyrics that could easily be sentimental if they weren’t sung in the context of such unsentimental music. It’s just words and notes—but goddamn good ones. they don’t make albums that often. Fagen and Becker are notorious for taking their time in the studio. After a string of solid albums in the ‘70s, they released Gaucho in 1980, and then hibernated for 20 years before releasing Two Against Nature in 2000, then Everything Must Go in 2003. Donald Fagen released three solo albums—The Nightfly, Kamakiriad, and Morph the Cat—which are just as good if not better than any Steely Dan album,
which unfortunately could not be said about Becker’s one solo album, 11 Tracks of Whack. Now that you know more about the Dan, you’re ready to experience the music for yourself. Remember: they have a very distinct sound that may not be comfortably familiar at first. In fact, on first listening, some of their songs sound almost absurdly ridiculous, like some kind of crazy carnival music. But be patient and open-minded, grasshopper: it takes a few intense and concentrated listens to break through the initial ambiguity—but once you get in and fall into that groove, you’re doomed. I think I may be ready to rest my case now. But if there’s anything you should walk away from this with, it’s this: Steely Dan is simply party music. Whether you’re on a beach, yacht, or at a pool party; in a Manhattan penthouse den from the ‘70s with martinis and some lines on a table; at an allnight beatnik wine and poetry party in the East Village; or simply having some beers with buddies. It’s party music plain and simple. O.K. This expanded rant may have rambled on longer than I thought, so I’ll chop this off right here and leave you with a line from “Deacon Blues”— This is the night of the expanding man. I take one last drag as I approach the stand. I cried when I wrote this song—so sue me if I play too long. ☐
steely don The Donald Fagen Trifecta
A Steely Dan story would not be complete without a discussion on Donald Fagen’s solo career. After all, all three albums were produced by Walter Becker, and for all intents and purposes, Donald Fagen is Steely Dan—not to mention the fact that Fagen’s albums are just as good if not better than any Dan album, but the common wisdom dictates that we lump them together as a whole. Fagen’s three solo albums, released in three different decades, are an epic trilogy in their entirety, each album representing a different age in Fagen’s life. The Nightfly It is a widely held opinion that the quintessential Steely Dan album is actually this one: Fagen’s first solo effort came off as the most balanced out of all their albums, addressing every shortcoming previous ones may have suffered from and recording some very memorable compositions that are all at once organic, thought-provoking, and euphoric. The journey begins in the ‘50s, when Fagen was a young boy and Eisenhower’s America was full of promise until the Cold War began. The lush and elegant album has a predominantly positive vibe with lots of joyous, optimistic horns, gleeful backups, and relatively upbeat subject matter. The album contains one of the more interesting song titles: “I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year),” which sounds like something you would read on a navigator’s world map; and a lyric from the song sets the tone of the album: You’ve got to admit it, at this point in time, that it’s clear—the future looks bright. The joyful choruses continue with “Green Flower Street,” which many say is a metaphor for the peaceful nature of Marijuana: where the nights are bright and joy is complete—keep a squeeze on Green Flower Street. Listen to how precise and perfectly timed the horns, synthesizers, and guitars come in the intro of “Ruby Baby.” And the ingenious “party crowd” track that comes in later, which sounds like a really fun party with just the right amount of people. But it’s the rich, engulfing, and exhilarating groove of “New Frontier” that puts this album in high gear—the quick-style drumming sounds like it’s trying to run away from you, as if eager to reach the new frontier; and the electric lead guitar strings and Fagen’s keys are bouncing around in your head from one earphone to the other, trying to keep up with the drums. Kamakiriad This album represents the adventurous prime of Fagen’s life and is the Dan’s first real science fiction concept album. The concept being the Kamakiri—a space-traveling Balinese sports car with a built-in hydroponic vegetable garden in the back (presumably to grow things other than tomatoes). Each track on the album matches the lyrics’ description of the Kamakiri and the eight episodes in this 22nd century synthetic jazz mini-series. It takes off on the cool and confident (especially in the synchronization, timing, and air-blow regulation of the saxophones) “TransIsland Skyway” not like a freeway bullet or a bug with monster wheels but a cool rolling bubble that’s all set to samba. Fagen’s keys call to mind sound effects you might hear from a Star Wars droid. Obviously, and like pretty much every other Dan album, this is great driving music— smooth, fast, fun, and with lines you love to sing along to because they describe exactly how the music makes you feel: strap in tight ‘cause it’s a long, sweet ride. Relax, put some sounds on . . . But what’s really remarkable about this album is that it actually sounds like it was produced entirely by computers—but it isn’t; it’s sound coming from an actual band: human beings tapping on piano keys, fingering steel and nylon strings, blowing on horns and banging on drums. Morph the Cat If the first two albums were about Fagen’s youth and middle age respectively, this latest one, which was released last year, inevitably deals with death—which isn’t to say that the music is dying, but the predominantly bluesy mood of the album is reflective of Fagen’s age. But even though he describes the grim reaper as the fella with the brite nite gown, that track’s fairly upbeat, with Fagen’s voice cooled down to a clean whisper and a cacophonous collision of jerky guitar plucking, awkwardly high-pitched piano notes, and trumpets that sound like they’re looking for a place to jump in. It’s organized chaos: all meticulously arranged to sound messy and scattered, like every instrument doing whatever they wanted. And there are other classic rock and roll bar dirges like “Security Joan,” a wicked and slightly distorted guitar-based hand-clapper about a man who finds love at the airport security check—a reference to the post 9/11 era we now live in.
54 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
ON WHY HE LOVES PRODUcINg AND PERfORMINg OUR OWN MUSIc
despite its jingoistic origins, local//:e!, an electronic outfit that plays original pinoy dance music, is surprisingly listenaBle—and danceaBle. the collective eschews normal crowd-pleasing antics and instead weaves its freshness into our haBitual worship of the familiar sound of old warhorses, causing hips to sway with thoughtful aBandon
n August 2006, I met three like-minded DJs at a Makati café. Muzak drifted in the air, an annoying reminder of why we had convened here in the first place. We represented divergent music styles, but Juno Oebanda, DJ Patch, Don don Renato, and I were united by what you might think a pompous goal: Elevate a stagnant local club scene. We weren’t being arrogant, really. Like everyone else, we were just plain bored. Anyone who went clubbing, even occasionally, at that time could tell the scene was as stale as office coffee. DJs had limited artistic freedom—few viable venues, a small market, and the general resistance of establishments to showcase original music. The club scene needed a jolt, that was obvious enough. But who would flip the switch? Messianic complexes aside, the answer seemed so simple. Fresh dance music, not reheated Ibiza leftovers, spun by local DJs like, well, us. “We were all bitching about the scene at a forum in a DJ website,” says Juno Oebanda, the main protagonist of the trickily spelled LOCAL//:e!, which would eventually become the chosen vessel for
SONG AND DANCE
our sonic uprising. Fast forward to May 2007, at the launch of a new radio station—“Beep Beep,” that absolute Juan dela Cruz classic, is roaring out of the speakers. Except it’s a perplexing version, not quite the familiar rendition we listened to during our rebellious youth, but a more kinetic, collaborative interpretation. The dancing crowd howls its approval at a group of local musicians intently perusing their laptops and keyboards. A month later, the same group performs a freakishly patriotic rendition of the national anthem at a URCC (Universal Reality Combat Championship) event in front of a mob hell-bent on hearing limbs snap. A few weeks later, two members of the group perform at Warehouse 135, peddling their wares to a dancefloor frenetic enough to put many a mosh pit to shame. Something is happening here. It’s what I like to call original dance music. See, LOCAL//:e!, our nebulous group of DJs and musicians, this electronica collective that’s unexpectedly taking a life of its own, had just released a CD . . . and we gave it away for free. Weird, I
know, but I assure you it makes sense. Even good business sense. “LOCAL//:e! is a movement that produces its own music,” explains Juno. Here’s how I see it: in this country, foreign music reigns supreme in a music genre where no local musicians have really stood up to be counted. So this is a giant step, at least in the context of the prevailing inferiority complex. Using new technology—computer software, cutting-edge hardware—we perform original music . . . live. We draw on diversified backgrounds, from the beach-inspired sound of couchLab to the bleepy electronica of Rubber, Inc. to the scratching and effects of Funk Avy. I remember thinking: “There’s something wrong when a local artist like Funk Avy has an international recording contract, but is not well-known in his own country.” That just plain sucks. Any casual fan of electronic music knows that successful DJs abroad become popular because they produce their own music. It’s such a simple equation—PLAY YOUR OWN MUSIC = CREDIBILITY. Tiesto, Miguel Migs, and Richie Hawtin, who
56 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
Clockwise from opposite page: Scratchmedia, Rubber, Inc., Funk Avi, and Silverfilter
DANCE, DANCE EVOlUTION
routinely release their own productions, are fine examples of this truism. LOCAL//:e! decided to do just that, but the problem of finding a venue to flaunt this independence remained. We refused, however, to be discouraged. We were electronic bandits, after all, and if we needed to rape and pillage to be heard, then so be it. The carnage would be complete only if we united. So we did. In November 2007, LOCAL//:e!, launching our second CD called Assembly, played in front of hundreds. Of all things, it was for an event that blazoned the then-new Nokia Express Music phone. Count ‘em—15 of us—jammed in the massive stage at Makati’s Avenue. Ed Nevada; veteran DJ Travis Monsod; music producer Silverfilter; Eggboy a.k.a. Diego Mapa of popular bands Pedicab and Cambio; DJ Patch; Rubber, Inc. comprised of well-known producers Noel de Brackinghe and Malek Lopez; Suntheory of award-winning musical producer Brian Cua; couple Lady Trinity and Funk Avy; and couchLab/03 of events director Juno Oebanda; and video artists Scratchmedia (Brando Umali and Shannen Torres). Pardon the
“THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WHEN A lOCAl ARTIST lIKE fUNK AVY HAS AN INTERNATIONAl RECORDING CONTRACT, BUT IS NOT WEll-KNOWN IN HIS OWN COUNTRY. THAT JUST PlAIN SUCKS.”
nom de plumes, it’s a habit DJs have. We each contributed an original track and video produced by Scratchmedia. We must’ve been quite a sight. Big stage, so many DJs, at least for
Manila. Then guitar god Jun Lopito, seasoned violinist Jay Cayuca, and hyperkinetic Skarlet joined us, their fabulous old-school talents meshing with our speculative use of laptops, keyboards, and whatever new or old electronic music gadget we could get our hands on. Too many cooks spoil the broth? Hardly. You should’ve been there; the music rocked; rapport was unmistakably present. I love it when a plan comes together, especially when there wasn’t any plan in the first place, just a vague optimism. To me, musicians can innovate in two ways. Either introduce new genres, or perform hackneyed ones differently. Forgive the conceit, but LOCAL//:e! can—and does—both. Right now, we’re touring the country, spreading the love, performing live, collaborating with legends. If you haven’t heard our live act, than at least check out our free CD. You really ought to go out more if it hasn’t yet landed on your lap. If it has, then love us or hate us, just don’t’ straddle the fence. E-mail email@example.com if you’re the least bit intrigued. ☐
58 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
of angels, Bells, anD Bangaws:
Jingle ChorDBook rememBereD
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JUAN CAGUICLA AT NORTH SY-QUIA ON APRIL 4, 2008
IT COUlD HAVE BEEN the published songs, whose lyrics and notes were already transcribed for the convenience of aspiring (and maybe even expiring) musicians. It could have been the articles, which not only featured sonic personalities, events, and trends of the times, but—more crucially— chronicled Pinoy music with more depth than any other publication had cared to imbue. It could have been the spot cartoons and comic strips, which tickled the eyes and brain as they did the ha-ha bone. It could, of course, have been the record reviews—initially of vinyl records, later on of cassette tapes—which prescribed anything from one bell (“poor”) to four bells (“very good”), the little angel (“exceptional”) that was also the magazine’s mascot, or the dreaded bangaw (“forget it”) to underscore how trippy or shitty a local or foreign album of any genre was. Then again, it could have been its overall attitude and spirit which, while not too subversive, suggested that this was the bastard spawn of a marriage of the popular and the putrid. There are various reasons that Filipino music lovers of the ’70s and ’80s—even beyond, if we count buyers of reprints—can come up with to explain why they ever scored a copy and dove into the newsprint pages of Jingle Chordbook-Magazine. But there’s no denying the singular fact that the magazine, which has been defunct for over 20 years, struck a chord (no apologies for that pun) in countless lives. While not exactly as allencompassing as a newspaper, Jingle Chordbook was nonetheless picked up and savored by the rich and the poor, male or female, young or old alike—a reflection of how truly universal a language music is, even if the only “music” you heard from Jingle per se was the rustling when its pages were turned. Such was the power of the written word or the published sketch that the magazine—the brainchild of a Beatles-loving entrepreneur named Gilbert Guillermo—went on to attract generations of creative souls to its fold . . . a revolving roster of writers, artists, editors, and a number of musicians who added idiosyncratic flavor to Jingle month after month. In
. . . it CoulD have Been its overall attituDe anD spirit whiCh, while not too suBversive, suggesteD that this was the BastarD spawn of a marriage of the popular anD the putriD.
return, Jingle became their cocoon, a place where they could transmogrify before flying away and becoming full-blown authors, painters, filmmakers, columnists, et cetera. The Jingle Chordbook “alumni” shown in Rogue’s group photo—most of whom had never seen each other, either for so long or ever before—are just an utter few. Far many more were absent, either because they were abroad or were around but could not be reached—or, admittedly, remembered— before press time began banging on this issue’s door. (At least one alumnus had also passed on.) In fact, what was a rather simple, innocent idea of including Jingle in our Music Issue has become a serendipitous experience: That is, Rogue and Jingle folk alike now realize that Jingle was much more than a music magazine: For lack of a better phrase, it was a good trip, man. Perhaps no one, not even Gilbert Guillermo himself, can ever fathom or quantify how immense Jingle’s impact has been to many, music lover and music maker alike. And, as former Jingle contributor turned acclaimed director Lav Diaz puts it, it’s a trip that will never stop: Even if the magazine itself is no longer around to bestow an angel or a fly on today’s recordings, its spirit continues to live on somehow— not just among those who had been staffers and contributors, but also among those who savor today’s noise. And maybe— just maybe—one can imagine how the music industry might be if Jingle, biblical in following as it was, was still around.
BERT SUlAT, JR.
1.Tony Maghirang, 2. Mike Jamir, 3. Emil Davocol, 4. Karina Lagdameo-Santillan, 5. Mon Habito, 6. Rachel Patanne Mayo, 7. Anna Leah Sarabia, 8. Manny Espinola, 9. Eric David, 10. Red Mansueto, 11. Eric Caruncho, 12. Dante Perez, 13. Romy Buen, 14. Louie Aseoche, 15. Edwin Sallan, 16. Bert Sulat Jr., 17. Ces Rodriguez, 19. Roxlee
strIKInG a CHorD
ANG TRIP NA AYAW BUMABA, ANG TRIP NA AYAW MAWAlA BY LAv DiAz
RElIHIYON NG KAlAYAAN ang Jingle. Ideyolohiya ng kalayaan ang Jingle. Modelo ng paglaya ang Jingle. Hindi lang siya chordbook. Hindi lang siya Beatles. Hindi lang siya Hendrix. Hindi lang siya Dylan. Hindi lang siya Springsteen. Hindi lang siya Stones. Hindi lang siya Sex Pistols. Hindi lang siya Asin. Hindi lang siya Juan dela Cruz. Hindi lang siya rakenrol. Kultura ng kalayaan ang ibinigay sa akin ng Jingle. Malayang pag-iisip, malayang paggalaw, malayang pananaw, malayang paggawa, malayang anyo, malayang damo, malayang paggitara, malayang musika, malayang bayan, malayang sex. Basta sinasabi niya, uy, malaya ka, o lumaya ka. Kalayaan sa lahat ng bagay—walang takot, walang kompromiso, na siyang naging prinsipyo at panuntunan ko sa buhay mula’t mula. Nang madiskubre ko ang Jingle nang bata pa ako dun sa Mindanao, magic ang dating nito. Parang unang diskubre mo ng kalibugan. Yung laman, yung amoy, yung lipad, yung sarap, wow. Nagdyakol agad ako. Nagkantutan agad kami. Kumawala na ako. Pwede na. Kahit na andyan ang putang-inang Martial Law ni Marcos. Kahit na nagpapatayan ang Muslim at Kristiyano. Kahit na mula sa isang tugtugan, hinampas ako ng militar ng armalite niya sa aking sikmura at habol ang hiningang gumagapang ako sa lupa, hawak ko ang Jingle. Pangarap ko noong maging musikero kaya bibliya ang Jingle. Pangarap kong maging manunulat kaya modelo ko ang Jingle. Kaya nang magkaroon ng pagkakataon, nagpadala ako ng artikulo.
Inilathala naman. Tuwang-tuwa ako. Nang makita kong nakaimprinta ang artikulo ko’t pangalan sa mga pahina ng Jingle, malaya na ako. Kailan lang kausap ko si Dante Perez, sabi niya, “Tol, gawa pa tayo.” Kailan lang tumawag si Roxlee, sabi niya, “Tol, ninong ka ni Zerox.” Kailan lang tumawag si Eric Gamalinda, sabi niya, “Kailan tayo magkakape?” Kailan lang nag-email si Pocholo Concepcion, sabi niya, “Update mo ako kung nasaan ka, kung ano’ng nangyayari.” Kailan lang nasalubong ko si Jing Garcia, sabi niya, “Uy, pare.” Kailan lang ni-review ni Juaniyo Arcellana ang isa kong pelikula, sabi niya, “Gusto ko si Catalina.” Kailan lang parang nakita ko ang multo ni Gilbert Guillermo, nalungkot ako. Kahit wala na ang Jingle, hindi pa bumababa ang trip. Ayaw bumaba ng trip, man.
Top: 1975 issue of Jingle Magazine featuring Olivia Newton-John on the cover Above: Photo of The Boyfriends from Jingle Magazine circa 1979
oFF tHe CHarts
pARAng unAng DiSkuBRE mO ng kALiBugAn. Yung LAmAn, Yung AmOY, Yung LipAD, Yung SARAp wOw. ,
60 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
THANKs To JUAN cAGUicLA For THe PHoTo mAP
Story by Malek Lopez Photographs and Layout by Mark Nicdao
Styled By L.A. Consing Lopez
from venus with love
Welcome to the Future.
Well, at least the kind where every stylish man was also a secret agent, travel to the Moon was via a fur-lined spaceship, and a valley of dolls was there for the picking for the interested swinger. Unfortunately, that vision has sadly dimmed to the asphalt wasteland of the present. Worst of all, the music was dire. However, that Aldous Huxley-induced Brave New World lives on in pop culture—more precisely in its leftovers. Scour the bargain bins, the second hand video shops, or the covers of pulp magazines and trashy novels, it seems like you’re looking at the catalogue of a future that never arrived.
64 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
But, best of all, the music survives and has enjoyed constant revivals—be it Easy Listening, muzak, polite jazz (as Sinatra termed it), or just music to watch girls by—it denoted an easy-going, casual lifestyle that was as chic as it was carefree. It was a sound that was so sophisticated, it served only to get people to relax. No wonder it was a favorite for escapist entertainment like the cinema, providing the soundtrack from the glamorous (Doris Day-Rock Hudson meet-cutes, From Russia With Love, The Thomas Crown Affair) to the debauched (film noir, Valley of the Dolls, ‘60s-’70s porno flicks). Perhaps it’s most way-out permutation was called “Space Age Bachelor Pad Music,” which took the glitz and pomp of Hollywood and re-arranged them for alien environments. Electronic musician and film scorer Malek Lopez writes
about the latter and its continuing influence. But, added to that, we’ve asked Mark Nicdao to whip up some visuals for the “sleeve.” Our star is Maria Dolonius, sister of our cover girl Sanya, who plays the Ann Margaret to an unseen Elvis, Faye Dunaway with no chess pieces to play with, or Scarface’s mistress but without the ugly dude. *** “I don’t care much for the music, ITS THE HIGH FIDELITY MAN!!!” Probably from the beginning, they never intended it to be a showcase of artistry, but rather a marketing tool for selling equipment people wouldn’t have bothered with at that time. STEREO. Composers were asked to write some “nice” tunes, probably paid a lot too, to highlight this
great technological marvel at that time. Think SURROUND SOUND—WE NEED THAT MANY SPEAKERS, YEAH . . . two ears . . . go figure. Anyway, somehow, a lifestyle of excess and opulence based on “modernity” was born, and the space age bachelor pad music or SABPM was the soundtrack. Kids nowadays wouldn’t have heard it by accident on the radio or being played inside an elevator or a shopping mall. They are most likely to catch it watching old movies, cartoons, “period films,” or some oddball film like Brazil. The idealized setting for this music would probably have to be The Jetsons. George had it all: the house, the maid, and all the things that this sterile vision of the future could provide. If Hanna Barbera produced a prequel, then we would probably see his “pad.” It’s probably better to describe Space Age Bachelor Pad
Opposite page: Trapeze dress by CULTE FEMME AT RUSTAN’S. Above: Top by FARTATU AT RUSTAN’S, accessories from
Previous spread: Hat by
SINEqUANONE AT RUSTAN’S,
garter belt by HOUSE OF LAUREL.
The idealized setting for this music would probably have to be The Jetsons. George had it all: the house, the maid, and all the things that this sterile vision of the future could provide.
Perhaps it’s most way-out permutation was called “Space Age Bachelor Pad Music,” which took the glitz and pomp of Hollywood and re-arranged them for alien environments.
Music by what it isn’t rather than what it is. It isn’t rock. It’s way more orchestrated than that. It won’t qualify as prog rock either, since it lacks any of the seriousness that prog rock has. It’s not jazz as well—too square maybe. Its harmony is not “out” enough. And it’s too weird and esoteric to be labeled as “pop.” By function, it’s probably safe to call it “ambient.” It sets a mood. It’s unobtrusive. That said, it’s found its way as a part of the ambience in certain places like elevators, cocktail lounges, hotels, and airports. Nowadays we’ve adapted the actual function as a way of describing certain music. “I need a lounge act” or, to describe an instrumental that’s insipid
68 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
and uninspired, “it’s elevator music.” There are several subgenres that have sprung. Some of them sound too close to each other for an ordinary listener to make a distinction. One of them is sometimes referred to as Exotica, which can be divided into Tiki and “jungle.” Jungle combined Afro Cuban rhythms with traditional, sometimes strange instrumentation. Think soundtrack to a Betty Page striptease. Tiki is more of a “Hawaiian” soundtrack or Beach Cocktail Music. Towards the end of its popularity, the sound tried to merge itself with the upcoming “pop” of the time, which was bossa nova. Mexican bandleader, composer, and arranger Juan Garcia
Esquivel is probably the poster child of Space Age Bachelor Pad Music. Lush orchestration, extreme use of panning— bass on the left, drums on the right kinda thing (sometimes). Listening to this stuff makes you feel like you’re part of some cartoon like Tom and Jerry. Not too heady, nice and light, almost brainless. Interestingly enough, the competency of the execution is nothing short of brilliant. It’s nicely recorded, well written, and probably performed with the best studio musicians at that time. Recently, well, in the ‘90s, “alternative” musicians started quoting a lot of the idioms of the music. Stereolab was one of them. Their influences included kraut rock, ‘60s pop, and lounge. Part of Stereolab’s sound was the High Fidelity, and even went as far as naming their 1993 EP Space Age Bachelor Pad. In the booklet, there were instructions to wire one of the speakers in your system out of phase in order to listen to their material. From the U.S., there was Combustible Edison who quoted more directly from the genre. Guitar player The Millionaire originally wrote a stage show The Tiki Wonder Hour, featuring the band Combustible
Edison Heliotropic Oriental Mambo and Foxtrot Orchestra doing the music. He later trimmed the lineup down to five, and renamed it Combustible Edison. The band scored the film Four Rooms as well as a jingle to OK Soda. Mark Robinson of Unrest also collaborated with Tsunami’s Jenny Toomey to create the cocktail/punk/indie act Grenadine. In Japan, acts like Pizzicato 5 and Fantastic Plastic Machine were also toying with this sound. There are the compilations Sushi 3003 and Sushi 4004, which is a modern take on the sound. Also in this collection is Cornelius, 5th Garden, Tokyo’s Coolest Combo, etc. In Europe, electronic musicians Dimitri From Paris and Koop come to mind. Somehow, this music has stayed alive. Even the lifestyle and function that it helped pioneer has managed to stay on to this day. Old records are being sampled and reused. Its functionality, though, hasn’t changed. Music is still played in some elevators, hotel lounges, and airports. It sounds nothing like the ‘50s, of course. Nevertheless, it still has a unique vibe that most people still subconsciously want to feel every now and then. ☐
Above: Gown by GLAM AT TINT, accessories from HOUSE OF
. . . it denoted an easy-going, casual lifestyle that was as chic as it was carefree. It was a sound that was so sophisticated, it served only to get people to relax.
Right: Eyelet top by XOXO AT RUSTAN’S, accessories from TINT
Model is Maria Dolonius Make-Up by Solenn Heussaff Hair by Ricky Diokno of Kiehl’s Stylist Series
70 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
lust for life
In the early nineties, Karl Roy was a cult figure, a frontman whose powerhouse live performances in even the smallest of venues became the stuff of legend. By the latter half of the decade, his extraordinary talent as a performer and his range as a vocalist had taken him from the underground to dizzying heights of widespread, popular acclaim. A rock ‘n’ roll animal, his bombast as a showman often obscured the fragile psyche evident in his own songwriting. Coming off a string of missed opportunities, his misfortunes continued when he suffered a stroke last year. PHILBERT DY spends some time with the singer and asks him about his past, his music, and the possibility of a comeback . . .
PHOTOGRAPH BY JUAN CAGUICLA
Karl hamming it up during an Advent Call gig in the ‘90s. Opposite Page: Taken in November 2001, this was in Big Sky Mind, and was one of the Kapatid’s first gigs.
lIVE AND lOUD
the story goes that in septemBer last year, karl roy was Just outsiDe his apartment in waCk waCk, greenhills, Carrying a Case of Beer. that’s when it happeneD. a thromBus Cut the BlooD flow to his Brain,
everything went Dark
anD he CollapseD.
KARl ROY THEN, body in shock and barely aware of his surroundings, picked up the case of beer and proceeded to take the stairs up to his apartment. He managed to get in and put the case down on the floor before finally laying still, letting the stroke take its course. “So you were having a stroke, and you brought the beer up? That’s pretty amazing,” I say. Karl Roy looks up at me. He chuckles. “Beer,” he says, letting the word roll in his mouth. He takes extra effort to form the word, incredibly conscious of the shape his mouth takes as he enunciates the “r” at the end of it. His wife Dena later clarifies that Karl had just come home from an all-day shoot with Red Horse and was already inside the apartment. He wasn’t more than a few minutes into telling her how the shoot went when, mid-sentence, he went blank. “It took almost ten minutes for me to get help because Karl would not sit still long enough for me to call or run to get anyone. I finally yelled out the window for somebody to please help me because he was picking things up—our laptop and the case of beer—pushing me out of the way when I tried to get him to sit down. He dragged himself up the stairs in the apartment to our bedroom with a grip so tight on the banister, I had no choice but to let him keep going.” He knocked over an electric fan, picked it up, and then removed his jacket and shirt. It wasn’t until they got him into the car that he collapsed. Years of bad music and sparkly t-shirts have me confused over what a rock star truly is, but there’s little doubt here. Putting up a fight while your body succumbs to a stroke? That, my friends, is the stuff of legend. EVERYONE WHO GREW UP listening to music in the
have seen him at least once live, and remember being mesmerized as Karl Roy took over the stage, jumping, dancing, bringing people to their feet. They remember shows with a hundred bands in the line-up, but never really starting until P.O.T. marched onto the stage.
nineties knows who Karl Roy is. They would
They might have never heard of P.O.T. before that night, may have never kept up with local music before then, but after just thirty minutes of funk grooves, they would be talking about it for months afterwards. I remember being in first year high school when I first saw Karl Roy live. P.O.T. was playing at the Xavier School variety show, one of those odd school fair shows that had Wolfgang in the same bill as RETROspect. The show had been pretty dead until P.O.T. came on. The first few chords of “Yugyugan Na” were
quickly followed by the sound of a thousand asses abandoning their monobloc chairs. Adolescent Chinese boys and girls quickly lost their inhibitions and danced right in front of the stage in ways that would cause their families to lose face. Karl Roy came on, shirtless and sweaty from the strangely humid February night. “Sige na, pipol,” he pleaded in song. “Yugyugan na.” And everybody answered with their bodies, moving with the music, completely rapt with the sheer presence of the frontman. It had been a kind of a homecoming for him. Karl Roy had studied in Xavier once, but he only made it to Grade 4 before he had been expelled. During the flag ceremony, he stole the keys from Student Services and locked all the classrooms. Then he hid the keys. I asked him why he did that. “I don’t know,” he replies. “I guess I was just . . . mischievous.” He gives a wry smile. From across the room, Dena says “That’s the same answer you give me all the time.” “You’re still naughty,” she says to him. Karl can only nod. By the time he was fourteen, Karl’s “naughtiness” had landed him in rehab, working a cocktail of drug dependencies out of his system. He, along with a couple of friends, spent their school days getting high on whatever they could get their hands on. By the time the dismissal bell rang, Karl and his friends would be drooling on their tables. It was around this time, working off the chemicals in his system, that Karl was forced to face his reflection and ask “Am I a person that’s going to amount to nothing?” It wouldn’t be long before Karl found his way into his first band, the new wave Advent Call. Advent Call was one of those bands that came out of the early nineties band explosion. Like many bands of that era, they rose from the swirl of chaos and creativity that was the original
Above: Karl and former Kapatid bassist, Nathan Azarcon, showing off matching Alibata tattoos. Top Right: Tattoo artist Mike Sambahon adds to Karl’s collection of body art in 2002.
DON’T INK TWICE
“we were fighting over girls. anD other things, too. we roCkeD everything. we wreCkeD everything.”
Club Dredd. Alongside the likes of Datu’s Tribe, Rizal Underground, Tame the Tikbalang, Color It Red, Teeth, Yano, the Eraserheads, and a bunch of other great bands, Advent Call was changing the landscape of Philippine music. These bands were creating a scene, an entire culture rising from live performance in small, intimate venues, where a whole generation found their voices. To this day, there are still people who lament the dissolution of Advent Call, who will spend hours sharing memories about those magical Club Dredd nights and whining about how the music of today pales in comparison to the music of the nineties. Advent Call is still around, but with only one of the original members still in the band, even their biggest, most loyal fans have to confess that it just isn’t the same. “We were really tight,” Karl says. “We spent, like, Christmas together. Our holidays together. We were always together.” He can only speak fondly of his days with Advent Call, but he was moving on to bigger things. Advent Call had set the stage, but it would be in P.O.T. that the population would really get to know Karl Roy.
BY 1995, THE BAND ExPlOSION had died down, and what were left were a few stalwarts who had survived the underground nature of their emergence and made it into the mainstream. By ’96, there was very little coming out of the local scene, and some would say that local music was stagnating. And then came P.O.T. With P.O.T., Karl Roy truly unleashed his own unique voice. The band’s sound, an unmistakable mix of funk, soul, acid jazz, and a hearty dollop of good old rock ‘n’ roll, was definitely closer to Karl and gave him a chance to really expand as a performer. The band, most famously composed of Karl, Ian Umali, Mally Paraguya, and Harley Alarcon, had something really special going on. They were the buzz of Manila, a shot in the arm for the local scene. People would flock to Mayric’s to see what the big fuss was, and they would leave those gigs as lifelong fans.
It was the energy, really. Karl Roy attacked the stage, he assaulted the music. He showed a passion and an aggressiveness and a wild manic streak that woke up a bored listening public. People say that Karl Roy in P.O.T. was “better than Kiedis,” that he exhibited more talent and intensity than the vocalist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers ever could. A P.O.T. gig was participatory. It was impossible to just sit through it, to simply remain a bystander to the music. Roy charmed people on stage, he would challenge them, connect with them. He’d have people on their feet before they knew it, and the funk would do the rest. They had massive crossover appeal, selling a ton of albums and getting a lot of radio airplay. They were completely unstoppable, and as long as Karl Roy took the stage with P.O.T., people would flock to see them.
IT’S PRETTY STRANGE to see him now, years later, off the stage and struggling to enunciate his words. He’s made it pretty far in the six
76 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
Right: Monkeying around for the camera in 2000. Above: With some friends in Tagaytay.
STATE Of PlAY
months of recovery. His doctors failed to give him medication for his blood clot right away, leading to a pretty severe paralysis of the entire right side of his body. It wasn’t too long ago when Karl was lying in his hospital bed, feeling like he was about to die. “I couldn’t speak, and I just kept thinking ‘this is it.’” He’s made it pretty far, but not everything has come back yet. He’s had to learn to write with his left hand because his right hand still isn’t fully cooperating. He still has aphasia, and struggles to find words to complete his thoughts. He often stops mid-sentence, frustrated that his vocabulary can’t keep up with what he’s trying to say. “It’s on the tip of my tongue,” he says often. He’s had to rely on his wife to complete some of his sentences. “[Dena] reads my tongue for me.” He then turns his head to his wife and quite literally sticks his tongue out, expecting Dena to find the word he’s looking for engraved on the tip. His memory isn’t all there, either. I asked him if he’s written any songs during the stroke. He says no. “You did write a song,” Dena pipes up. “I did?” “Yes you did. I filed it.” Karl furrows his brow. “I don’t remember. Are you sure?” “Yes. You want me to get it?”
“No need na,” Karl replies. He pauses, still trying to remember. “Is it any good?” he asks after a moment. “Yes,” Dena replies, without having to think about it. But he’s actually doing pretty well, considering that just a few months ago, doctors were telling them not to expect anything. But he’s walking, and he’s really working at getting better every day, diving into all sorts of physical therapy. “I feel really lucky,” Karl says. “I sit in waiting rooms with people in pain that I can’t even imagine.” “I’m lucky,” he says again, feeling the words in his mouth, liking how they taste.
DISAPPOINTMENT HAS BEEN a running theme of Karl
Roy’s life. In his career, he’s always been on the verge of something greater, but always falling short because of something life threw in the way. Early in the band’s life, P.O.T. had gathered enough buzz and cash to make a stab at taking the act international, but their promoter had spent all their money on drugs. “We thought [our promoter] was setting things up. We just got an email one day. It said ‘we’re broke.’” Later on, at the height of their popularity in the local scene, Karl Roy was diagnosed with an infected heart valve which put the band on a short hiatus. And then conflict between the band
members eventually tore them apart. “We were fighting over girls. And other things, too. We rocked everything. We wrecked everything.” There is a tinge of regret in Karl Roy’s voice. “I really miss P.O.T.,” he says later. In 2006, P.O.T. played a one-off reunion gig at ‘70s Bistro, and the blogosphere’s general consensus was that the band was still something else. Their reunion had filled up the Bistro, and people had to be turned away for fear of asphyxiation inside the venue. Years after they had broken up, it was like they hadn’t missed a beat. The night went exactly the same as it would have in the nineties: people dancing, singing along to all the lyrics, everybody watching Karl Roy do his thing. “[I’d get back with P.O.T.] in a flick of a finger,” he says. “There’s no more bitterness between us.” He’s recently worked with P.O.T. guitarist Ian Umali again in the studio for the rerelease of the P.O.T. album, and he admits that it was great—that he loved working with him. “But we’re all so far away from each other now,” he says, almost sadly, explaining that a myriad of reasons, some professional, others geographical, that keep P.O.T. from getting back together. “The drummer’s in Saipan . . . Ian’s got his studio going . . . it would just be really unlikely.”
Karl poses with wife Dena at a party. Opposite Page: Walking on water in Davao.
UP ClOSE AND PERSONAl
“wait for me,” he says to his fans. “i’m Coming BaCk.”
“IT WAS A BAND that was never meant to be,” Karl
says, almost wearily. He’s talking about Kapatid, his latest band, which has had a troubled history so far. Karl was surfing his life away when some friends that he’d jammed with told him that they ought to start a band. These friends turned out to be J-Hoon Balbuena (of Kjwan), Ira Cruz (Passage, and currently in Bamboo), Nathan Azarcon (formerly of Rivermaya and currently, Bamboo), and Chico Molina. As soon as they emerged, people started calling them a “supergroup,” and it felt apt. These were all people of immense talent, and there was a lot of optimism back then about recapturing lightning in a bottle for Karl Roy. They released an eponymous first album which was rather cheap looking with its photocopy insert, but the music was exciting. There was lots of talk about brotherhood and respect and the joy of playing music together. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn that way. The band split apart rather quickly, as a couple of members left for another band, under less then amicable circumstances. First, Ira left, and then Nathan followed, and the two eventually hooked up with Bamboo. This little kerfuffle became the source of much intrigue in the rock scene, with rumors flying rampant that Karl wrote “Noypi” (originally as a reggae song) and that Nathan stole the song
from him. The truth is much simpler than that. Nathan had originally written the megahit rock anthem “Noypi” for Kapatid, but Karl didn’t like it. “It takes a while for me to like a song,” Karl explains, and to this day, he regrets not paying enough attention to what Nathan was doing. And then, after all that, tragedy struck: guitarist Chico Molina had taken his own life. But Karl carried on with the band, eventually enlisting legendary bassist and producer Louie Talan to form a new brotherhood. On the strength of the new creative collaboration, Kapatid was able to release a second album, Luha. Things were clicking again for the band, even with an almost completely new line up, and they had started work on their third album. But then Kapatid was derailed by Karl’s stroke. “Never meant to be,” Karl intones, trying to get the words through his still somewhat atrophied mouth muscles. But Karl insists that Kapatid isn’t going to break up. “I just want something to last,” he says, with just a hint of desperation. After years of watching things he loves go up in flames, from his friendships in Advent Call to the joy of P.O.T. to just the first few heady days of Kapatid—Karl Roy is taking a stand and sticking by this group.
THE ROYS ARE MOVING. “We had no health insurance,”
Dena explains as she lays out some books that they won’t have any space for any longer. A stroke is an expensive malady to have, and they can no longer afford to stay in their home. At the time of Karl’s stroke, he had just taken part in a national ad campaign for a beer alongside a bunch of other rock legends, and things were really looking up for the Roys financially. But in true Karl Roy fashion, it could never be that easy. But Karl takes it in stride. In truth, it would appear that he’s more concerned about finding homes for his three cats than what the future holds for him. He’s been taking voice training, trying to get himself ready to get back on stage. He talks of studying to become a chef, pursuing his love for cooking. “I like the sound of oil. It’s like a mini concert,” he says. No, these are not the plans of a defeated man, one worn down by the misfortunes life had placed in his way. These are the words of what Karl Roy really is, what he’s always been: a dreamer, a fighter, a veritable force of nature. “I just keep coming back for more,” he says, with both pride and weary acceptance. “Wait for me,” he says to his fans. “I’m coming back.” And for all the uncertainties in the world, these words ring unmistakably true. ☐
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JUN lOPITO, MANUEl lEGARDA , KAKOI lEGASPI, JUNJI lERMA / GUITAR PlAYERS
P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y WAW I N AVA R R O Z A I N S A G U I J O , M A K A T I O N M A R C H 2 6 , 2 0 0 8
Legend has it that if you take your guitar to a crossroads at midnight, the devil will come, tune it, and gift you with the ability to play like never before. But the deal is that in a year’s time, he will come back to claim your soul. Perhaps that’s why many guitarists—like the great bluesman Robert Johnson, who’s the supposed protagonist of this tale—always played as if they were hunted and haunted, playing for their lives, running, keeping only a few steps ahead of that hell-hound. Sometimes pegged as the Bodhisattva (enlightened one), Jun Lopito knows this restlessness only too well. Hailed as one of the greatest players of his time, he’s gone through many changes, playing for bands like Airwaves, Sampaguita, The Jerks, and Cocojam. Originally from blues band Mr. Crayon, Kakoi Legaspi seems to know this as well—joining pop act Rivermaya and later Barbie’s Cradle before turning to session work. Currently he is the lead guitarist of Salindawa, a multi-genre fusion group, as well as agit-rock group Periodiko. Manuel Legarda left Spain to form Wolfgang, the hard rock/metal outfit that reigned in the ‘90s. Twice nominated at the NU Rock Awards for “Guitarist of the Year,” he balanced his enduring commitment to the riffage of Black Sabbath with the pyrotechnics of Dokken and a shade of bluesy rock in the course of five studio albums. After the band’s dissolution, he played with rock band DRT, and is now currently a member of Razorback. Aside from Radioactive Sago Project, Junji Lerma also plays for electronic/exotica collective Trip M, leads Latin-jazz group Wahijuara, and is a faculty member of the Ryan Cayabyab School of Music. Getting his start with infamous thrash band Bazurak (with friend, Nathan Azarcon of Bamboo), he offers his own take on the myth, and his own continuing journey as well as those of his peers. “[It’s] the search for the one elusive note that’s needed for that particular moment—and that’s never the same.” That’s the true curse of the crossroads: no matter which path you take, you’re never gonna stop traveling.
CHIN-CHIN GUTIERREz / SINGER
P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y WAW I N AVA R R O Z A IN CASA NAKPIL , MANILA ON APRIL 2 , 2008
S T Y L I N G A N D C L O T H I N G BY PU E Y Q U I Ñ O N E S
Chin-Chin Gutierrez, the smart-mouthed matriarch from ABS-CBN’s classwarring soap Maging Sino Ka Man, has an uncanny knack for seeming to be two celebrities at once: an award-winning thespian of mainstream acclaim and an optimistic proponent of conservationist endeavors. Still, star-powered green advocacy is hardly novel. But Gutierrez manages to do the same while maintaining her credibility as a stage and screen performer, iconoclastically reconfiguring the notion of celebrity as total performance. Her relentless presence on planet-sensitive initiatives have branded her an airy kook by those who are content to dismiss her pursuits as interchangeable with fashionable Buddhism and adopting Third World children. But few will deny her the export success of Uyayi, a 2003 collection of folk lullabies from around the archipelago interpreted and arranged by an all-star pantheon of musical witch doctors such as Joey Ayala, saxophone virtuoso Tots Tolentino, and Third World Project’s Rachel Conanan. In Uyayi, her crusade of conservationism extends its scope from the material of the planet to the ephemeral of culture. Of course, for Gutierrez, singing songs from a bygone era is not for mere nostalgia, but an evocation. Attired in full Filipiniana, she embodies its legacy, her beauty that of an apparition blooming into life, her talent the specter at the feast, her convictions the ghost in the machine.
T H E E x T R A -T E R R E S T R I A l
MOON fEAR MOON / ElECTRONICA ARTIST & PRODUCER
P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y J U A N C A G U I C L A I N VA L L E V E R D E I I I , P A S I G O N N O V E M B E R 2 3 , 2 0 0 6
Standing over 6-feet and weighing around 300 pounds, John Sobrepeña’s physical presence can be intimidating. But as Moon Fear Moon—his musical nom de guerre—he commands an almost apocalyptic power, standing well apart as the most distinct, uncompromising electronic artist emerging from the club scene: the specter at the post-’90s after-party feast, foretelling change. Originally a hip-hop head, he produced tracks with MCs that were met with mild interest. Angry and dejected, he spent time scaring the s**t out of audiences by fronting a Baguiobased death metal outfit. Coming back, he found himself at Club Kemistry, meeting Erick Ong a.k.a. DJ Mulan. Under the latter’s influence, he got introduced to the sounds of Autechre and Steve Reich, and to local pioneers Rubber Inc. Killing time on a Technics keyboard (and later a laptop), he enjoyed the sounds they made under his hand and found his weapon-of-choice. Having just finished work for the NCCA, Sobrepeña is now working on music based on Jose Legaspi’s paintings, as well as music on “architecture and spaces.” At one exhibition, he once told a famous actress that she was “ugly and had bad breath” after she accosted him for his “weird sounds.” (They parted as friends by the end of the evening.) He reckons he still has a few scores to settle, but the uninitiated shouldn’t expect his shadow darkening their doors any time soon. He’s sworn off live performances for the time being. His influence may be penumbral—but nonetheless encompassing for that.
THE BEAT POETS
A . M . P. O . N . / H I P - H O P C O l l E C T I V E
P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y P A U L M O N D O K I N S A G U I J O , M A K A T I O N M A R C H 2 7, 2 0 0 8
Formed in 2003, the collective known as A.M.P.O.N (Absolute Messages Personified Over Noise) are decidedly left field or off center to what any popular notions of what hip-hop’s supposed to be. The group’s composed of stellar emcees, producers, DJ’s, graff bombers, poets, and beatboxers—all committed to plow their own native ground for their growth rather than misguidedly aspire to the “bling” brandished by ghetto moguls abroad who deal in no currency but dollars. Drawing an entirely new blueprint of music in the country, whether it’s branded as progressive, avant-garde, futuristic, alien, weird, abnormal—it’s essentially hip-hop. “Whatever you may call it,” says Pao Chec, an A.M.P.O.N. member, “we’re just being ourselves.”
THE MODERN PRIMITIVES
KADANGYAN / BAND
P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y S T E V E T I R O N A I N U . P. O N A P R I L 1 5 , 2 0 0 8
Emerging as if from some wormhole from our primeval past, the ethnic-rock outfit Kadangyan isn’t an atavistic throwback from a lost Eden or the musical equivalent of the Tasaday in Mindanao, with their cotton underwear peeking beneath their costume of leaves. Rather, they are modern-day warriors of a living heritage, purveyors of a sound that lies underneath the din of urban noise, like the beating of a heart. Armed with mostly handcrafted local indigenous instruments, they espouse universalism; the target is not merely cultural preservation but to encourage the culture to evolve. Taking their name from an Ifugao term, meaning “rich in culture,” they celebrate their roots but are never weighed down by them. But, if there’s one cliché that applies—yes, they are restless.
SAMMY ASUNCION / BAND lEADER
P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y J U A N C A G U I C L A I N N O R T H S Y- Q U I A , M A L A T E ON MARCH 26, 2008
Influenced by ‘60s revolutionary Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic blues freakouts during his formative years, Sammy Asuncion felt he had already exhausted himself in the local rock scene in the ‘70s. He ventured in the milieu of Europe’s smorgasbord of music, opening his ears to samba, jazz, Latin, and reggae for the next thirteen years. Reasoning that a real musician would not confine himself to just one genre, he set about starting his own revolution by transfusing these new influences with rock. The result of this, Eurasia came about in the eighties, which traveled and toured all across Europe. Along with a French black bass player and an Austrian drummer, Spy was formed in Paris. In 1993, Asuncion took their unusual sound of reggae, rock, and fusion music to the Philippines. Parallel to Spy, he is also the musical director of ethnic-rock ensemble, Pinikpikan, blending indigenous and contemporary music styles. Today, he is still actively composing and producing music for artists like Mishka Adams and even scores for Connie S. Macatuno’s film, Rome and Juliet. He says, “I don’t believe in living in someone else’s shadow. I step out. And to fellow Pinoy musicians: we just need to keep playing until we can’t play anymore.”
THE JAzz PlAYER
JOHNNY AlEGRE / COMPOSER, ARRANGER, PRODUCER, AND GUITAR PlAYER
P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y J UA N C A G U I C L A I N M A L AT E , M A N I L A O N A P R I L 2 , 2 0 0 8
Johnny Alegre started his music career as a “folkie,” singing and playing his compositions on acoustic guitar. But, impressed with the electric performances of the Juan dela Cruz band—especially the idiosyncratic cool of Joey “Pepe” Smith—he found himself becoming their stage manager and later on the axeman for Sampaguita. A self-taught guitarist, he attended the U.P. College of Music in the late 1970s, studying composition. By this time, he had already heard Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and fell under its spell. A founding member of the U.P. Jazz Ensemble, he maintains that he’s no snob. True to his word, Alegre and his band Affinity play in rock venues like Saguijo, playing music as raunchy and incendiary as any of the other young acts on the bill. His most recent project finds him collaborating with Gerard Salonga and the Global Studio Orchestra. The album, Eastern Skies, is a majestic piece of work that even contains hints of Alegre’s folk roots, his blues background, as well as being a showcase for his soaring ambition as a composer. For Alegre, the sky’s the limit.
BINKY lAMPANO / BlUES SINGER
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JAKE VERZO SA IN HOBBIT HOUSE ON MARCH 30, 2008
“They got a tradition over there,” Binky Lampano tells the crowd gathered at 70’s Bistro, referring to lyrical themes of traditional blues. “Before, they called it rape, loot, pillage . . . then, it became sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll . . . that’s not original to them, I say. Here, we have alak, sugal, babae . . . ” These spiels in between songs amply demonstrate Lampano’s fierce intelligence and wit, but it’s when he opens his mouth to sing the blues that the punch lines really dig in deep. Lampano started singing with his band, Dean’s December, during the ‘80s. He wasn’t singing Muddy Waters then, but rather Morrissey, in venues like local punk HQ Katrina’s. The only thing that prevented him from getting killed was the fact that its patrons acknowledged that, if anything, the man certainly had balls. Later on, Lampano turned to the blues, discovering in its archaic but resonant structure a more natural platform to express himself. With his band, Lampano Alley, he performs sets whenever he’s in town (he’s currently based in L.A. as a teacher). Watching him onstage—not bothering to use his microphone half the time, berating/cajoling the crowd to join in, or confiscating cell-phones during his set—one can’t say he’s only remarkable for having balls, but that he possesses an even more impressive instrument: his voice. Hallelujah!
GERARD SAlONGA / CONDUCTOR & COMPOSER
P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y WAW I N AVA R R O Z A I N G E R A R D S A L O N G A’ S A L A B A N G S T U D I O O N M A R C H 2 7, 2008
Musically inclined from the get go, which came as no big surprise since he has famed Lea Salonga as a sibling, Gerard Salonga has been engaged in the arts since the age of five, playing the keys of the piano. Since then, his craft has been heard all over, although he prefers to be more of a behind-the-scenes kind of musician. A lover of jazz and the romantic period of classical music, Salonga’s been influenced by the four legendary B’s, namely Beethoven, Brahms, Bill Evans, and (Leonard) Bernstein. Graduating summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music (where he received Berklee’s Contemporary Writing and Production Achievement Award), he is also a three-time recipient for Best Musical Director in the Aliw Awards. Currently, he is doing recordings of music by Filipino composers, such as Angel Peña and Lucio San Pedro, whose works are otherwise unavailable in recorded form. Of the series, collectively known as Musika Natin, he says, “I feel very lucky to be able to share this music with my fellow Filipinos, as well as everyone else around the world.” A quiet revolution perhaps—but no less resounding for that.
KATWO lIBRANDO, lOUBEllE lUIS, lOUGEE BASABAS / SINGERS
P H O T O G R A P H E D BY J. A . TA D E NA I N D P I S T U D I O S , M A K AT I O N M A R C H 2 9, 2 0 0 8
On stage, they are in a constant state of animation: melodic crooning and jarring shrieks, swaying and whirling to the beat. Off-stage, they can seem coy, sweet, and helpless even. With her Kewpie good looks and soft-spoken voice, Loubelle Luis says that, “one cannot be judged on the basis of one aspect of their being.” Indeed, what she says becomes evident after hearing her guttural vocal delivery for metal act Descant Gott. Self-named “punk skunk” Katwo Librando-Puertollano, who fronted the highly danceable but now defunct Narda, carries herself like a more restrained version of Audrey Hepburn. It’s a demeanor she only interrupts with mouth-palmed laughter. These days, she’s in the pop punk supergroup Duster with fellow chick rockers Kris Dancel and Myrene Academia. Mojofly’s Lougee Basabas takes on both singing and writing responsibilities for her band while managing an ubiquitous presence on billboards, TV shows, and music videos. No mere innocents, these chanteuse darlings are image-savvy queens setting the timbre and tempo of their careers underneath their demure charms.
EMIlIO TUASON / DISC JOCKEY & RADIO STATION OWNER
P H O T O G R A P H E D BY AT M AC U L A N GA N I N S A N L O R E N Z O, M A K AT I O N M A R C H 2 6 , 2 0 0 8
Most people believe the radio station, 99.5 RT—which served its listeners best from the late seventies to the hot New Wave era and down to the cutting-edge nineties—died when its head honcho Emilio “E.T.” Tuason left. Under his helm, his station started broadcasting in 1976, and it soon became a very crucial medium that was responsible for shaping the music sensibilities of an entire generation. With the call name “E.T.,” the man was a proverbial force to reckon with: a purveyor of cool who seemingly held the Holy Grail for definitive music. Dubbed by many as the coolest station owner ever, Tuason lived and breathed the music that he also liked to share. Advance vinyl pressings direct from record labels in the United States were usually on hand in the booth. Even cooler, they weren’t off-limits to curious kids dropping by the station. That was his ultimate goal: to separate the good from the bad and letting you decide (but without giving you much of an option to choose badly). To those of us who remember “the rhythm of the city,” his legacy is undoubtedly assured.
lIzzA G. NAKPIl , TOMMY TANCHANCO, RICHARD TAN / TAlENT MANAGERS
P H O T O G R A P H E D BY J. A . TA D E NA I N D P I S T U D I O S , M A K AT I O N M A R C H 2 9, 2 0 0 8
Managers are a dime-a-dozen. Many of them abound in every nook and cranny in the entertainment industry: any pair of tits-and-ass or abs willing to perform has one. But in the local industry, only a chosen few can claim to be a Svengali—that frequently misunderstood figure often maligned but also feared in equal measure. They’re not just pencil pushers, but rather creative mavericks who choose to mold talent and present them to an eager market. Richard Tan started out as music journalist and reviewer for Rock & Rhythm magazine before meeting The Youth’s Robert Javier. Eventually he started managing them as they notched up hits like “Multong Bakla.” He shifted his music publishing company, Backbeat, into artist management, handling acts like Tribal Fish, The Teeth, Parokya Ni Edgar, and Kamikazee. Acknowledged as the “godfather of local punk,” Tommy Tanchanco founded the pioneering independent label, Twisted Red Cross that put out seminal albums by Betrayed, Urban Bandits, and Dead Ends. He then surprised everyone by taking on pop-rock act Introvoys, and later Barbie Almalbis and Kitchie Nadal. He’s since put up another label, 12 Stone Records, that manages Almalbis and electro-pop outfit Vince Noir Project. The only lady who can lay claim to the distinction, Lizza G. Nakpil, was a financial analyst or—as her mother, author Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil, terms it—a “conceptual marketer” before getting the idea to form a rock band. Knowing nothing about music, she and partner Chito Roño auditioned musicians. After many false starts and breaks, Nakpil steered her charges into getting an album out. Their first single was “Ulan”; the band was called Rivermaya. Although they all protest that they’re nice people, being a Svengali requires a bit of ruthlessness as well as finesse. At the Rogue shoot, they smiled and exchanged niceties, knowing that the games were just
SUlTANS Of SNAP / BAND
P H O T O G R A P H E D BY J. A . TA D E NA I N D P I S T U D I O S O N M A R C H 2 9, 2 0 0 8
Metal refuses to die. To apply admittedly dubious Darwinian standards, the genre itself should be extinct, given the finite permutations of the kick-ass riff available on the fret board and the redundancy of its themes. But like cockroaches, it survives—evolving even. For metal act Sultans of Snap, those changes are rung, not with exploring exotic scales (although they do make detours into Eastern melodicism) but with attitude. Their LP, All Must Bow, was released in 2004 with little or no fanfare in the general media. Those who listened, though, paid attention: there was no mistaking the intent or the bravura their honed chops brought to the music. They were unapologetic for playing a particular virulent strain of metal: thrash. But best of all, they played with a sense of fun. As anyone who’s been witness to their live shows will attest, they put on one helluva show, an anarchic showcase of the Sultans’ flair for performance and their dedication to metal’s past acts.
RICO VElEz / BASS PlAYERS
P H O T O G R A P H E D BY AT M AC U L A N GA N I N R I C O V E L E Z ’ S R E S I D E N C E ON MARCH 26, 2008
There will never be any end to the array of nostalgically tinted period dramas and white-knuckle adventure fiction set to trappings of the American Wild West. Its charms are predicated on the allure of a past fraught with danger and an untamed frontier lacking the civilized trappings of institutionalized law and order. Nor will anyone forget the mythic yearning that drove hundreds and thousands of individuals from around the globe to relocate to Silicon Valley and find their own piece of dot-com adventure. Rico Velez is an everlasting legend all his own. While Velez played throughout the late 20th century with the likes of Sampaguita and Jun Lopito, music remains his New Mexico. As certain territories of popular music become increasingly refined, Velez charges forward into those where the canon is not so rigidly defined, through his long lasting association with the reggae rock fusion of Coco Jam and Tropical Depression. Like a certain baby-faced gunfighter ambivalent to the factions of his day, Velez operates outside of the traditional binary opposition between the easy-listening ballads of OPM and the folk hedonism of rock. They say legends never die, but it’s the rebels who never get old.
ARNOlD MORAlES / VOCAlIST & SONGWRITER
PHOTOGRAPHED BY STEVE TIRONA IN CLUB DREDD ON APRIL 15, 2008
“This isn’t punk rock,” declares Arnold Morales from the stage, surveying the crowd with a hint of the demon of old in his eyes, “This is PUNK!” Characteristically, Morales has always stood apart, but only because he always stood his ground. Whether it was wearing red socks onstage with his band College while the government was cracking down on suspected communists or brandishing a golf club during the Urban Bandits’ guest stint on Channel 7’s Discorama, he epitomized his own statement, “We don’t read the news—we make it!” In the ‘90s he led another musical subculture with his group Put3Ska. These days he heads Music Front, whose music he mischievously but not flippantly calls “power pop” and whose credo when it was first formed in the ‘80s was: “We’re not a band; we’re modern newscasters.” The shift from being the news to the ones delivering it isn’t indicative of any mellowing down. In fact, it’s rather more borne out of a reluctance to play to people’s expectations or that Morales has always been an astute observer of the seismic shifts of the cultural landscape, no matter how banal its portents. Like that one early morning some time ago when he couldn’t sleep and sat outside his house—surveying his surroundings, he spotted words on a wall. From this he would pen what was to become the definitive anthem of an era: the apocalyptic, “No Future Sa Pader.” As Music Front’s MySpace site says: “It is still not a band. Times have not changed. The news has not, either.” Indeed, the writing is on the wall.
THE flAVOR Of THE MONTH
MOCHA / SINGER & PERfORMER
P H O T O G R A P H E D BY M A R K N I C DAO I N D P I S T U D I O S , M A K AT I O N M A R C H 2 9, 2 0 0 8
Few sights can command the kind of reaction that belly-baring, scantily clad gals shakin’ their thang to an insistent rhythm does. When Margaux Uson a.k.a. Mocha, takes the stage, she does it with her own unique flavor which makes the rest literally paler in comparison. Her EP, A Taste of Mocha, is just that: a sampling. To savor her talents fully, one need only catch her live. Together with her dancers, this former med student serves up the best dish on the menu—no matter the size of the stage or venue. But when the lights start to pulse and the music starts, she’s the star of that moment. Offer good while supplies last.
THE DANCE MERCHANTS
DJ ElMER , MANOlET DARIO, NIKKI, OWENS SUN / DJS
PHOTOGRAPHED BY STEVE TIRONA I N E M B A S S Y, T A G U I G O N A P R I L 1 6 , 2 0 0 8
Before the advent of the rave culture in the country, disc jockeys usually played records that were probably only as significant as the mirror balls hanging from the ceiling. Beginning in the ‘90s, warehouse parties brought people— clubbers—together, promising a new revolution that wasn’t only musical but fancied itself a social one, too. In dance culture, the DJ reigns. Superstars like Manolet Dario, DJ Elmer, Owens Sun, and Nikki embody the evolution of Manila’s club scene, from that of aural wallpaper to being the event itself. Armed with their own particular styles, they keep the party going well past its supposed sell-by date.
lOUIE TAlAN AND DONDI lEDESMA / SESSION PlAYERS
L O U I E P H O T O G R A P H E D BY AT M AC U L A N GA N ON MARCH 26, 2008 / DONDI PHOTOGRAPHED BY PAU L M O N D O K O N A P R I L 1 , 2 0 0 8
Rock mythology is built around a haze of romanticism, in which guitar heroes and percussion freaks are enshrined as individualist champions. A musician’s acclaim is contingent on his or her role as poet warrior or troubled balladeer. Those largely un-congratulated are the unrelenting soldiers of fortune. For them the sheer act of playing well, whenever they can and as often as they can, takes precedence. “You want to deliver what is needed,” says Louie Talan, the gregariously versatile bassist who initially gained fame playing for Razorback. He now puts his fingers to work with acts that include world fusion outfit Pinikpikan and the ever-grooving rockers of Kapatid, while contracting himself out to jazzy ingénue Mishka Adams and folksy iconoclast Cynthia Alexander. “I like the sense of shifting from one genre to another. The spectrum of music is so broad that it’s a shame to limit oneself.” Soft-spoken Dondi Ledesma, the lone wolf eccentric with nine independent albums under his belt, takes the term “workaholic” to a level of epic poetry: he runs a one-man recording studio and teaches lessons on-line while inspiring awe with his virtuosic command of the bass. His restless nature is borne out by his CV, listing a veritable who’s who of Pinoy Rock as past collaborators (among them Asin, Anakbayan, and Mike Hanopol.) In recent years, he’s played and even arranged for Pepe Smith’s debut solo record Idiosyncrasies as well performed live for Wally Gonzales and for the Juan dela Cruz reunion. Like mercenary operatives, these two heroes for hire take their skills wherever they can be used, not only because they feel needed—but because they can.
WAllY CHAMSAY / MUSIC ExECUTIVE
P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y A T M A C U L A N G A N I N WA L L Y C H A M S AY ’ S ORTIGAS OFFICE ON MARCH 26, 2008
Portable culture is crucial to a society in motion. This was just as true in the past as it is now. In the 20th century, the handheld forms of media were the pocket book, the disposable camera, and the handheld stereo cassette player. In the age of mobile telephony, Kindle-based digital literature, and sleek multimedia players that induce enamel-colored envy among the consumer have-nots—personal consumption is not only becoming increasingly portable but transcendental as well. Wally Chamsay takes this cultural shift seriously; the old ways of business have been completely tilted while diminishing sales have led to an increasing sense of panic among recording labels over their imminent obsolescence. A former managing director at Sony Music Philippines, whose parent company invented last millenia’s iPod, Chamsay once signed a hard-hitting rock act with grungy, metallic aspirations called Wolfgang. Maintaining his reputation for infusing enthusiasm with pragmatism, Chamsay has embraced the future. At EGG, he is forging relationships with mobile companies to distribute the multimedia that keeps the pods of gadgeteers full and content.
ANGEE ROzUl / ENGINEER & PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHED BY STEVE TIRONA IN TRACKS STUDIO ON APRIL 15, 2008
Possessing a sharp ear for distinguishing the quality of sound, a sense of pitch, timing and rhythm, an encyclopedic knowledge of electronics and acoustics, an ability to cope with long grueling hours and tight uncompromising deadlines, and, lastly, but just as importantly, patience even in the face of petulance—the definition of this in the local music scene is none other than Angee Rozul. Working sub-rosa except to those in the recording industry or to anyone who bothers to read the liner notes on just about any local album in the last decade or so, Rozul has in truth collaborated with everyone from South Border to Rivermaya, Hale to Jolina Magdangal. “He understands, man. He just understands,” declares Razorback’s Tirso Ripoll, “and he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you get that perfect sound. If you needed to slaughter an animal in the studio for the sake of a great recording, he’d probably do it for you!”
THE JOINTS: SAGUIJO AND ClUB DREDD
DAN lIM, GEl CARlOS, HANK PAlENzUElA , PATRICK REIDENBACH
P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y WAW I N AVA R R O Z A I N S A G U I J O , M A K A T I O N M A R C H 2 6 , 2 0 0 8
As rampant as mushrooms sprouting by the droves in the most unlikely places, countless musicians appear in almost every corner of the country. If they’re fortunate enough to be heard, most often than not, their audiences are comprised of their folks, maybe their friendly neighborhood sari-sari store vendors and drunken tambays, their venues no bigger than the confines of their garage. Patrick Reidenbach decided to put up Club Dredd in the ‘90s, a little more than a hole-in-the-wall haunt in Timog, it was named after his favorite comic book character, the fascistic lawman Judge Dredd, who no doubt would’ve put away the riff-raff of aspiring musicians that congregated there. Some of the most successful bands of the country such as the Eraserheads, Parokya Ni Edgar and Yano started to play there when they were still unknown and had nowhere else to perform. They were encouraged to play their original compositions and were encouraged in their precocity. It was an alternative hangout for those who couldn’t disco-dance or didn’t care to hear another show-band cover of Toto’s “Rosanna.” Though it has already closed its doors twice in the past, Reidenbach and old regular Hank Palenzuela reopened the bar’s third incarnation last year in Eastwood. Before that though, Dredd’s spirit was kept very much alive at saGuijo. Headed by Gel Carlos and Daniel Lim, it became the focal point of a renascent post-’90s OPM scene with jazz, blues, electronica, hip-hop and rock converging in its environs. But it’s become a venue—not just for music—but also for the burgeoning “indie” community as a whole, encompassing the visual arts and even fashion. The best gauge of saGuijo’s success is that it has undeniably been embraced by the mainstream but, like Dredd, never pandered to it. Best of all, both of them are still at it.
110 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
HAIR AND MAKE-UP BY JUAN CAGUICLA / ALL CLOTHING FROM PAUL SMITH
As the daughter of Pinoy rock legend Joey “Pepe” smith, the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll steadily courses through her veins. but despite her brag-worthy bloodline and automatic genetic advantage, model and myX VJ sanya smith is no attention-hungry celebutante with an attitude. in fact, as lUIS KATIGBAK discovers, there is more to the marvelous miss smith than the strangely beautiful face, stylish bob, and sonic pedigree
P H oToGr A P H eD A ND sTy LeD by JU A N c A GU ic LA
you’re on your way to meet her when the storm hits.
Sitting in a cab en route to Ortigas, with the sound of the sudden downpour almost drowning out the AM radio, you start texting her, telling her where you are, letting her know that you might be a little late, while in the back of your head you’re thinking that the turn the weather has taken is fitting, in a way—heavy rainfall and instant traffic-blare acting as an oddly appropriate soundtrack for your first encounter with Sanya Smith. This is what you know about Sanya: she’s the daughter of musical icon Joey “Pepe” Smith, which makes her rock ‘n’ roll royalty. She was one of the winners of the MYX VJ search, which makes her one of the regular hosts you come across on the MYX music channel’s shows and events. She’s a model, which makes her an attention magnet, a head-turner, and someone who in all likelihood is a lot taller than you. These three facts, taken together, act like three points defining a two-dimensional shape, giving you an incomplete idea of what she might be like; and the idea is more wild and turbulent than it is tranquil and sunny. When you get to the café, though, the weather has calmed down considerably, and Sanya’s sitting there at one of the outdoor tables, a presence patient and quiet yet near-impossible to ignore. Even if you had never seen any pictures, you would know it was her: stylish bob framing a strangely beautiful face, long lean figure, distinctive yet not overly-planned outfit consisting of chunky boots, a short skirt, and a predominantly red sweater. You sit down with her and you have coffee and you talk. She’s tough and cool and funny without trying to be tough and cool and funny—she’s tough because of the shit she’s been through, she’s cool precisely because she’s unaware of how cool she is, and she’s funny because, well, who knows where a sense of humor comes from? And as you talk, that two-dimensional idea you had of her in your head starts to extend, to become a little less incomplete. “Me, I’m just pretty much floating around, constantly looking for a new adventure, something new to do,” Sanya says, by way of explaining why she joined the MYX VJ search. “I don’t know if I can say that I’m a jack of all trades, but I take interest in a lot of different things, in different fields, and then I’ll discover something else and I’ll move on to that without finishing the other thing, and move on and on and on . . . So that led me to where I am now.” Where she is now seems like a pretty sweet place to be: she enjoys being a VJ, and she enjoys being a model, and how many of us can claim to have two jobs we enjoy? It’s easy to assume Sanya is one of those people who coasts through life, blessed with an automatic genetic and financial advantage, who never has to really work for whatever they want nor do anything they don’t want to do. It’s easy to be so totally wrong. “I was a telemarketer,” she confesses. It’s hard enough to imagine Sanya Smith—model, VJ, rock royalty—as a regular office employee, much less as a telemarketer “cooped up in this little office on España,” but that’s what she was, for almost half a year. “Right after I graduated high school, my stepdad, he’s pretty old school, he’s like—once you hit 18, you’re on your own. He gave me two weeks to find a place and a job.” She ended up renting a room in the Sampaloc area, “a shitty little room I was paying three thousand pesos a month for,” she laughs, and taking public transportation every day, even “going to work when the floods were up to my knees.” It wasn’t the best of career choices, to be honest. “I wasn’t earning very much, I wasn’t earning enough to save up . . . My goal was to save up for college.” You ask her if she had any extraordinarily bad experiences while living there, and she tells you about the time she barely escaped getting mugged or worse, when a dirtstained man in tattered clothes and wielding a bolo came at her, and she got away by clambering into an FX and locking the door. Still, she has fond memories of her stint in Sampaloc. She describes the “adorable old couple” who owned the house she was living in, and she chuckles as she remembers the old man with an eye ailment, who happened to own a dog with the exact same eye ailment, so that they “looked like something from a movie.” She even got along with the local basketballplaying, gin-swilling slackers. “The guys from the kanto, yeah I made friends with them,” she says. She admits that “at first I was scared—‘white girl in the ghetto!’” she laughs. “But I did fine.” They ended up getting along, hanging out. “We’d all sing karaoke.” The crack about being a white girl leads to a talk about her background. “My mom’s a full Pinay, with a little Spanish blood, maybe,” she says. “My biological dad is half-American and half-Filipino.” She was born here in the Philippines, and then her mother took her to Singapore when she was one or two years old. That was where her mom met the Swedish fellow that her mom ended up marrying, the man who for over a decade Sanya believed to be her one and only father. He had a daughter by a previous marriage, and he and Sanya’s mom would have three more children together. The family moved to Kuala Lumpur in 1993, and Sanya wound up in the Philippines around the year 2000. “It’s weird because here I’m considered a Caucasian-looking person, or I look white,” she says. “In KL, I was ‘the Filipino,’ you know what I mean? I had long black hair, I was tan. Dorky little Filipino girl. I come here, and all of a sudden, I’m a white girl! It’s so weird.” Sanya’s sisters, however, were always "whiter" than she was— with light brown hair, fairer skin. “I stuck out like a sore thumb.” It was one of the things that led her to imagine that a secret was being kept from her. “I kind of suspected,” she says. “Under the bed, there was this box of pictures, baby pictures, we’d look through them together every once in a while. There’d be one picture of this old guy with my mom, obviously a musician. I’d ask, ‘Who is this man?’ It was a very '80s photo too, his hair was all like that, and he’s got eyeliner, there’s red lighting everywhere—[and my dad said] ‘Oh, that’s your mother’s ex-boyfriend.'” It wasn’t a lie, but more explanation would be called for soon enough. “There was another picture of him and my mom holding a baby, and on the back it said: Sanya, two days old. ‘Why is my Mom’s ex-boyfriend holding me?’” Sanya at the time, suspecting the truth but not willing to face it yet, just “shook it off. Maybe he visited when I was born.” It was after her parents’ marriage broke up, when she was 14 or 15, that her dad ended up telling her everything. “I remember the day like it was yesterday,” Sanya says—the
112 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
HAIR AND MAKE-UP BY XENG ZULUETA
day that her Swedish dad told her about her biological father, Joey “Pepe” Smith, the Pinoy rock star. (“Goddammit, this is weird,” Sanya recalls thinking.) It was around this time that Sanya went through what might be euphemistically termed a difficult teenage phase. It could be summed up quite simply by the statement she used to describe her attitude then: “I hate the world and the world hates me.” Sanya would eventually join her mother, who had returned to the Philippines. They lived in Baguio for a year, then Sanya studied for a year in Bicol and finally finished high school in Cavite. She remembers the night she met her Pinoy dad. “My mom kidnapped him from a gig in Manila, and took him to Baguio at 4 A.M.,” she says. “Mom said, ‘Someone’s here to see you.’ Then there was this tall man with long gray hair. He looked really tired from the gig . . . I knew exactly who he was.” Sanya got up and gave him a hug. They spent the next day telling each other about their lives, and rejoicing in similarities major and minor (“He loves Japanese food! So do I. I play the drums—he plays the drums!”). To this day, they still hang out
114 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
when they can, though both are of course very busy, given the nature of their work. Happily, the nature of their work also means that they bump into each other, at concerts, events, at the Fete de la Musique. It was in Bicol that Sanya “picked up more Tagalog, and learned to eat Bicol Express.” She stayed with her grandmother (“I love my Lola.”) and finished third year high school at La Consolacion. “There were some good times and some horrible times . . . I made a lot of friends there.” She finished her fourth year of high school in Silang, Cavite. Sent to live at the school’s dorm the Friday before classes started, with no money—just a fistful of meal tickets—and no idea where the cafeteria was, she spent most of the weekend starving half to death. On Sunday, when her dorm mates arrived, she was lying on the bed— “Someone feed me.” In Cavite, she made some more friends, learned some more of the Filipino language. She even had a band, for a while. They played “the usual teenage punk rock I-hate-the-world music.” She had learned to play the drums earlier, in KL when she was
RIGHT: HAIR AND MAKE-UP BY JUAN CAGUICLA LEFT: HAIR AND MAKE-UP BY XENG ZULUETA
“i wanteD to Be a zoologist, a vet, an astronaut, a Cop,
116 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
i wanteD to Be in the army, i wanteD to Be a filmmaker”
118 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
she rememBers the night she met her pinoy DaD. “my mom kiDnappeD him from a gig in manila, anD took him to Baguio at 4 a.m”
13 or 14 years old—“There was a guy in band class, he played the drums, he was my Kurt Cobain. He sort of inspired me to start playing the drums, and after that it just took off from there.” She claims that she’s “a lousy drummer,” though. “I didn’t really continue it, y’know what I mean?” And as for her inspiration, she says that “he didn’t even know I existed.” Looking back at high school, Sanya says that “I wasn’t part of the popular crowd. I never was, actually—I was a dork! I’m still a dork at heart. Bad skin, really horrible hair, I was a fashion victim, I was just—uuuh! If you saw pictures . . . ” Much like her brief career in telemarketing, it’s hard to believe. If you saw pictures. Looking at pictures of her now, you see someone effortlessly stylish and supremely confident, someone utterly comfortable in their own skin. Without relying on conventional ideas of what’s attractive or seductive, she commands your attention, draws you in. Even in a position that’s ostensibly vulnerable, she’s the one with the power, a creature of mystery and strength, like an otherworldly collaboration between Modigliani and Jack Kirby. After high school and the telemarketing gig, which she quit when she turned 19, Sanya ended up doing radio work at RX 93.1, which she enjoyed a great deal. Soon after, she was persuaded by friends—a friend from Chameleon Models International in particular—to try her hand at being a model. “So far it’s been fun . . . I enjoy modeling now!” she exclaims. “I had no idea it was going to be like this. It’s not really a bad industry—it’s a cutthroat industry, but it’s not that bad at all.” After amassing a body of work on runways and magazine fashion spreads, she’s a proud member of PMAP now. And then there’s the MYX gig, which she seems eminently suited to as well, as a music lover and as someone with hosting experience who’s relaxed and articulate before a crowd. (“I love that I get to host Rock MYX, it’s right up my alley.”) Things are definitely getting better for a girl who once upon a time used to wade through floodwaters and eat nothing but oatmeal every day. “You know what? I’m kind of thankful for everything that’s happened. After all of that, I’m not as spoiled as I was. We were pretty fortunate growing up—we had top-notch education, living in a beautiful apartment in KL, traveling to Europe. In fifth grade, I went to Vietnam for a field trip! Who does that? You know what I mean?” Sanya’s plans for the future include saving up for a computer and for a course in Multimedia Arts. When she was little, she says, “I wanted to be a zoologist, a vet, an astronaut, a cop, I wanted to be in the army, I wanted to be a filmmaker . . . I still want to be a filmmaker!” Not to mention a photographer, a writer, an artist: she has an affinity for all types of artistic expression. You have no doubt that she has the will and the talent to do what she wants, for as long as she wants to do it. You check your watch. The hours have flown by. The rain has passed. ☐
HAIR AND MAKE-UP BY XENG ZULUETA
stylish anD supremely ConfiDent, someone utterly ComfortaBle in their own skin. without relying on Conventional iDeas of what’s attraCtive or seDuCtive, she CommanDs your attention, Draws you in.
HAIR AND MAKE-UP BY XENG ZULUETA 120 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
WANT TO GET YOUR CARTOONS PUBLISHED? EMAIL MARTIN@ROGUEMAG.NET FOR FORMAT DETAILS
122 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
play it again . . . anD again
saNDra liM Viray aN D zeNa i Da C elD r a N PH OTO G RA PH E D BY J UA N CAG U I CL A AT N O RT H SY- QU IA O N A P R IL 2 , 2 0 0 8
“IN THE lATE MONTHS Of 2005, I chanced on an acquaintance in a jazz bar—Sandra Lim Viray,” recounts Zenaida Celdran on how the First Philippine Jazz Festival came to be. “[She] casually asked me if I wanted to help her get a jazz festival off the ground. After a few songs, she invited me over for a meeting to discuss the matter further.” Known as the “Queen of Philippine jazz,” Viray is also the president of the Philippine International Jazz and Arts Festival Foundation, the country’s most important organization dedicated to the promotion and development of jazz. A singer of Ella Fitzgeraldlike pathos and range, her enthusiasm and passion for the endeavor won Celdran over. After that fateful meeting with Viray, she writes, “my life has never been the same again . . . believe that.” Now on its third year, the Philippine International Jazz Festival has played host to an impressive list of international artists. This includes husband-andwife percussionist Airto Moreira and vocalist Flora Purim—the former was involved in the seminal Miles Davis LP, Bitches Brew and played with the famed jazz trumpeter for his legendary performance for the Isle of Wight Festival. Moreira’s wife, Purim, has played with, among others, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke for their band Return To Forever. Other
notable guests include Captain Fingers himself, Lee Ritenour, David Benoit and jazz singer Diane Schur. Of course it’s also the best place to watch local jazz talent, such as the internationally acclaimed Mon David, local heroes Johnny Alegre’s Affinity, and saxophonist Tots Tolentino. There are also younger talents who showcased their stuff at the festival, including Up Dharma Down, Saxophoro, Radioactive Sago Project and even Rogue cover girl Solenn Heussaff. But it’s very much an intimate gathering of jazz artists and aficionados in the country. Veterans like guitarist Edgar Avenir or “Koyang” as Viray affectionately calls him, world music proponent Bob Aves, and singer Tillie Moreno have performed at one time or the other. Of course, the “stars” are the original gals who helped put it together, who have done much to keep jazz in the limelight. (Viray’s especially used to it though, having been hand-picked to perform for jazz greats Boy Katindig and Bong Peñera.) The PIJ azz Fest, as it’s abbreviated, is indeed a landmark event, much anticipated by everyone who appreciates good music. To borrow an expression from jazz’s more raucous cousin, they rock.
known as the “Queen of philippine Jazz,” viray . . . a singer of ella fitzgeralD-like pathos anD range . . . won CelDran over. she writes, “my life has never Been the same again . . . Believe that.”
180 miles (288 Km) south of Anchorage on the Kenai Penisula is the town of Ninilchik. An old Russian settlement established around the turn of the century. Today it is mostly abandonded but relics of the past still remain like this old fishing boat.
Inspired to embark on his own version of Into the Wild, GUTSY TUASON boards an Alaska-bound plane to chase the Aurora Borealis. But before he gets a glimpse of the trippy Northern Lights, he goes on a beer-soaked road trip with an old friend (whom he reconnected with on Facebook), meets a friendly Pinoy who invites him to watch a live Pacquiao fight on TV, and plays nosy spectator to a bunch of barking dogs competing in the U.S. Championship for, uh, dog sledding . . .
Left: A self-portrait of the author, taken in downtown Fairbanks; temperature that morning was -18°C.
7:10 a.M. On board Alaskan Airlines 351 from San Francisco to Seattle. I have a mental short list of things to do before I pass on to the next realm: see the Galapagos Islands, swim with Orcas, visit Antartica, and go on an African Safari, just to name a few—and included in that list is to one day view the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. Funny thing was that all those years I lived in the States, I never got around to even getting near to planning it. I guess it must be because I've always been drawn to the sea, and going somewhere like Alaska was kinda put on the bottom of my long list of things to see. But, when I turned 40 last February 23, I figured there was no better time to do it—especially since I was going to be in Seattle for a story on the Tuna Hand-line Fishing industry. So close to Alaska, I said, "Fuck it, I'm going." So, I guess I am doing my own mini version of Into the Wild (which I haven't seen) and which might turn into my version of Insomnia. I am on my way to Fairbanks, Alaska—the city with the widest temperature range on the planet (from -53ºC to 37ºC). My first stop is Seattle (am spending 12 hours there, don't ask me why) until I catch my connect flight to Anchorage, my first destination in Alaska. Maybe I should go watch Into the Wild in Seattle. I spent the day in San Francisco yesterday gearing up for the trip, buying thermal underwear, borrowing jackets, gloves, headgear, the works. It's cold, cold, cold in Fairbanks, and it happens to be one of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis. My plan: spend two days in Anchorage and then five days in Fairbanks. While in Fairbanks, I'll rent a car and just go around and chase the lights. There is a lodge about 20 miles (32 km) north of Fairbanks that caters to Aurora viewing, open from 10:30 P.M. to 2:00 A.M. (apparently people around there don't get much sleep). Fuck! Someone on the plane is blasting me with nasty farts! Anyway, for like US $20, you drive yourself up to the lodge and view the Aurora. My buddy Ron Davis was able to hook me up with a hotel for four nights ($260) and a car for five days ($205), not bad at all. Am on my own, and it should be a pretty interesting trip. 12:53 P.M. On-board ﬂight CO 235 Seattle to Anchorage Managed to get my ass on the flight, saved me the 12-hour wait in Seattle. The three-hour wait at the airport was pretty much uneventful. Had a tuna melt, cafe mocha, smoked a couple of fags, bought an Alaskan guide book, and waited at the wrong gate for like an hour until I realized I was at Continental Airlines and not Alaskan. Sometimes I feel like I operate better
Above: Virgin snow-pack covers the mountains on the Kenai Pennisula. Due to its proximity to the ocean, the Kenai gets more snow than other areas that are colder in Alaska. Right: A souvenier shop in downtown Anchorage, complete with a Grizzly bear replica.
An abandoned house near the Russian settlement of Ninilchik. Above: Even in spring, the mountains that line the highway on the Kenai Peninsula are packed with fresh snow.
wonder what the hell happened. Anyway, just had a turkey sub at Subway, and now am off to check out the downtown area to buy a cellphone with a local number. 9:00 P.M. Eagles Nest Motel It's -1°C. Just got back from walking around downtown. A couple interesting sights include the 4th Ave theater that was damaged in the big earthquake of 1964, a few cool shops (one with a huge bear), a humpback metal sculpture, the artisan center, an Arctic poppy shop, and a Captain Cook monument. Great place to watch the sunset and flight path of the airplanes. The monument overlooks Cook Inlet, and it was dead quiet there. Even in downtown Anchorage, you get the feeling of this quiet tranquility and sense of "into the wild." It's cold but bearable. I take a bus back to the hotel, and the room is hot as shit. So, I ask the girl at the front desk how to control the heater. (It was so hot, I was afraid to fall asleep for fear that I may not wake up from a heat stroke.) She said that there was an air-conditioner at the back of the room, to turn it on . . . what the fuck. It's sub-zero outside and I got the A/C on in the room. As both the A/C and the heater battle it out for a comfortable temperature, I check my Facebook, and Carlos Gaspar—a friend from Manila—sends me a message. He has to take his son to Ninilchik in the Kenai Peninsula (about 180 miles) away. He asks me if I want to go for a road trip. Man, did that save the day? Hell, yes. It's supposed to be scenic and has some interesting places (like Cooper's Landing which is worldfamous for salmon fishing and the old Russian
when I'm hung-over, but then again—as usual—I didn't sleep last night. Maybe too excited, plus I'm still jet-lagging from Manila. So, here I am on the plane and, in around two hours more, will finally be in the last frontier after all this time. Forecast for Anchorage during arrival: -2°C, light snow, and five-mile visibility. 5:40 P.M. 5th Ave Mall, Downtown Anchorage The flight in before landing was just stellar—just from
looking at clouds outside the window. Suddenly, snow-covered mountains appeared like giant pieces of dry ice. Bags were late getting off the plane. Scared the shit out of me, thought I would be stranded in Alaska with only my camera and one thin, light jacket. Anyway, funny story from San Francisco. Ron had this funky contraption in the shower: a hose was connected to the shower-head and was shooting out water while the shower was on. Since I figured I needed special instructions on how to use it, I never quite got around to showering until the morning just before I left for the airport. Anyway, sure enough, the fucking thing was shooting water all over the bathroom while I was showering and caused quite a mess. I left without saying a word to Ron. He's going to
WE WENT THROUGH SOmE AmAZING vIEWS Of SEA WITH CHUNKS Of ICE lIKE A SlURpEE. mOUNTAINS ANd mOUNTAINS JUST pACKEd WITH SNOW, SNOW, ANd mORE SNOW THAN I HAvE EvER SEEN.
Sunset in Anchorage overlooking the Cook Inlet. Large chunks of ice still clog the passage during early spring.
The Great Alaskan Railroad tracks that runs between Seward on the south coast to Fairbanks, deep in the Alaskan interior. Top: Low hanging clouds between the Kenai Pennisula and the Alaskan mainland.
Settlement of Ninilchik). Game on. I pop a valium to help me sleep because I'm starting to feel like Al Pacino in Insomnia. 9:45 P.M. Eagles Nest Motel -3°C. What a solid road trip! Am so grateful to Carlos. We went through some amazing views of sea with chunks of ice like a slurpee. Mountains and mountains just packed with snow, snow, and more snow than I have ever seen. Frozen lakes, half-frozen streams. The eight-hour drive went by like a breeze. The view from Ninilchik is stellar. Across the Cook Inlet, facing the Alaskan
mainland, are snow-covered mountains from top to bottom where it meets the sea. The old settlement town of Ninilchik is interesting, and on top of the town is a very cool turn-of-thecentury Russian Orthodox Church and cemetery. Ninilchik was a Russian settlement around the time when Russia sold Alaska to the United States for peanuts. There is a nice beach with boats covered with snow laying around. The house of Carlos' in-laws has a great view of the mountains across the inlet, and they have a cool dog—half Rott, half Chow (blue tongue). As we turn around and drive back, I fall asleep for like 45 minutes—and when I wake up, the scenery
is just awesome. I reach for my camera and start shooting. It was truly overwhelming. Carlos and I chat a lot about what is going on in Manila because he hasn't been back in five years. I am glad we connected on Facebook—it was good catching up, and his hospitality was great. We drive to Outback Steakhouse, have a couple of beers, Carlos has to take a leak, and when he comes back—he says that he just saw his babysitter having dinner with friends. I was like, is that the same baby-sitter who was at death's door? The one who was the reason why you had to drive eight hours to drop your son off? Yup. Where is she? I should thank her . . . A few beers and ribs capped off my only day in Anchorage, and it was a beauty. 5:45 a.M Anchorage International Airport, outdoor smoking area -8°C. Having a fag before my flight to Fairbanks. All checked in. 3:35 P.M. Westmark Hotel, Fairbanks -8°C. Flight to Fairbanks was short and sweet. Caught the sunrise, but the de-ice spray on the wings made the windows foggy. Could not really get any good shots out of the plane window. Got to the airport, temp was -14.4ºC. Fucking cold, had a fag outside just to feel it, and it hurt. Sorted out my rental car, and had no problems driving to the hotel. Special instruction was to always plug in your engine heater when parked. Something new—must remember to unplug it before driving off. Checked into the hotel, really nice room, and
The view of Redoubt Volcano seen from across Cook Inlet in Ninilchik. Top: The local Music Mart near downtown Fairbanks.
The Aurora cabin, 1500 meters above sea-level on Cleary Summit, 20 miles north of Fairbanks. Top: Bulletin board at the Fairbanks visitors center. In centigrade, temperature high was -7ºC and low of -22ºC.
then went for a walkabout around town. When my shoes came undone at the soles, I had to go to the mall to buy a new pair ($30 job at Payless)—but had to stop at Taco Bell to warm up my fingers. Felt like they were about to fall off. This place is like walking around in a freezer filled with dry ice, and the ground is slippery as hell. The crew in Taco Bell were really nice, and one girl even offered her husband to drive me around town since he wasn't doing anything. Poor girl—she's slaving away at Taco Bell while he is probably nursing a hangover. Had the whole crew talking to me until the manager came out and told everybody to get the hell back to work. Got to the mall, scored my shoes at Payless. (Hey, my car is from Payless as well—twenty-five bucks a day!) Then had a chat with the guy selling sunglasses. He is from even further up north, and he told me that the cold is all relative. He's right, but there is about a ninety degree swing in temp between Manila and Fairbanks! He was such a nice guy, I scored a $30 pair of sunglasses from him. It wasn't out of a back of a truck, but a legit transaction with a receipt (which I said I didn't need, just to give him the option to pocket the money). Call it goodwill. Walked back to the hotel then, and, low and behold, I see a dive shop, smack in the middle of goddamn Fairbanks! So, I rock in and shoot the breeze with the guy. Turns out he was stationed in Clark in the '80s. And you guessed it . . . he had nothing but praises for good old Angeles City. I can only imagine how many hoes he had there. He probably thought he had died and gone to heaven. As I was nearing the hotel, I heard a whole bunch of dogs barking, and guess what—it was the start of the three132 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
Cooper's Landing is where the Russian A captured Howitzer the Kenai river. river intersects with gun on the deckfamous for Salmon It is also world of the Nippon Maru; depth in July. fishing which peaks 150ft. (46mts.)
day U.S. Championship for Dog Sledding. Fucking cool! So, shot some pics of the race and got so excited, I busted my ass on the pavement and hit my D3. It still works, thank God. I proceeded to the tourist center and got some info on the Arctic Circle flights and Aurora. At least I have an option to go up to a ski resort to shoot the Aurora if the guys from the cabin don't have space. There is even the place where the locals go. Not sure what the road conditions are like, but might try it out later in the week. I think I will book the flight now. Also met a Pinoy who works at the hotel. He invited me to his house tomorrow at 4:00 P.M. to watch the Pacquiao fight. Man, this trip is just so fucking "Bang." Am loving life, and at times it's overwhelming—especially when you are alone and don't have anyone to immediately share it with. But it's also a different trip. I guess it's like when I go diving, everything is on autopilot; while here it's all new and I really feel like it's all foreign
I GUESS IT'S lIKE WHEN I GO dIvING, EvERyTHING IS ON AUTO-pIlOT; WHIlE HERE IT'S All NEW ANd I REAlly fEEl lIKE IT'S All fOREIGN TO mE. IT'S HARd TO pUT INTO WORdS SOmETImES, ANd my HANd CAN'T KEEp Up WITH my BRAIN WITH REGARdS TO WHAT I WANT TO WRITE.
to me. It's hard to put into words sometimes, and my hand can't keep up with my brain with regards to what I want to write. 1:05 a.M. -6°C. After I got back to the hotel room, I called a bunch of places about flights to the Arctic Circle. It's not cheap, but shit, it's morning here already. So, I tried to charge it to my credit card ($300), and it won't go through. Turns out I have to drive over to the hangar and pay for it in cash. I get there and then I realize why it won't go through. They have my name down as Scott Puason! The girl tells me about the trip: We fly in a nine-seater twin prop plane to a town called Coldfoot in the Arctic Circle, hang out there for like an hour, and fly back. It's a good opportunity to shoot aerial shots of the terrain and of some mountain ranges (Brooks Range). I ask the significance of the town, and she tells me that if she told me now, she would be giving away the secret. She also tells me there will be three other people on the flight, but they will be staying there (and I would be coming back with the pilot alone).
Great! So I asked her to be straight with me and tell me what the chances were of me flying the plane for a bit on the way back. Absolutely zero, she says. I take a drive towards Anchorage to shoot some pics of the Denali National Park from afar, and then head back to the hotel to get ready for the big day ahead. The Aurora viewing! The plan is to drive 20 miles to the Aurora Lodge, a cabin up in the mountains where you can watch the Aurora from 10:30 P.M. to 2:00 A.M. It's heated, there are hot drinks and snacks, and no city lights around. Plus, it's cheap ($20). 11:30 P.M. Aurora Cabin -14°C. This is the coldest I have ever been, but also the most excited . . .
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT ISSUE
DESiRE iS A BiTcH.
STORY BY NIKKI AlfAR ART BY CRISTINA DY
Now you have me, and I am helpless before you—tender as a new-sprung shoot, fragile as an evening bloom, hopeless as a seed cast upon the whims of wind. It should not have worked, your binding—not even with your clever cord, cunningly woven of cobwebs and children’s cries, fowler’s nets and siren songs, need and greed; things meant to call, confound, confine. By chance or by destiny, though, you have managed to bind me to myself; so that it does not dissolve, your cord, does not fall apart and melt away like the ephemeral thing that it is, stuff of hope and gossamer and longing. Instead, it chafes my skin—not only the skin that you see, soft and easily marked, human-seeming; but my secret skin, rough and brittle and all too easily bruised, all the same. You are the first in millennia, or in moments. My understanding of time is fluid, like sap, like shadows, like semblance. I understand enough to know that it heals. Skin will grow over wounds in time, erasing proof of your presence. Wounds will heal and I will heal and still I cannot help but struggle against your bindings, as if your cord not only constrains but compels—and you like it, I see. You like watching me, naked as I was not, earlier, for I was unclothed but not exposed until the harshness of your cord, the hunger of your gaze stripped me defenseless. You smile. You revel in the power you have found for your-
NOW, YOU HAVE ME.
self, the power you have gained over me. You can do what you want, have what you want, have me in any and every way that you want. You can even kill me, you perhaps think, once you are done, once you have taken all that you desire. But you won’t. I would tell you, if I had your speech. I would tell you that it is not too late, still, even now, to change your mind; to let be what you cannot understand; to free me, flee me, forget me. I would try and tell you all of this with my eyes, if only you were looking at my eyes, but you are not. Of course you are not. You are looking at the place where the slenderness of my neck meets the sweep of my shoulder, vulnerable hollow shaped by bone and shadow, wondering, if you bury your face there, whether I will smell like fresh-cut grass, or flowers, or only salt. You are looking at the way your bindings thrust my breasts up and out, like ripe fruit offered for your delectation—biting your lip already, unconsciously, anticipating the taste of me between your teeth, the tautness of my nipples beneath your tongue. You are looking at the slope of my waist, span of sleek flesh reddened by a constricting strand of your clever cord, purpled by the clasping marks of your calloused hands, proof positive of your mastery, your victory, your conquest. You are looking at the curve of my lips, the curve of my hips,
YOU SHOUlD NOT TOUCH ME, ANY MORE THAN YOU HAVE. BUT YOU WIll, AND THEN IT WIll BE TOO lATE. YOU WIll. AND YOU DO.
the compelling curve nestled by my thighs. You are looking at the hair between my legs, wilder, coarser, more curled than the hair on my head, a tangle, a thicket. A challenge. You should not touch me, any more than you have. But you will, and then it will be too late. You will. And you do. A scant few steps and your hands are everywhere, immediately, exploring, grasping, demanding—rough as a farmer’s, sure as a fisherman’s, strong as a hunter’s. You take hold of my breast as if it were fruit, truly; clutching, kneading, drawing a gasp from me though I try to remind myself that it is only my seeming skin, only my semblance of self. Even so, your touch is intoxicating, hotter than sunlight, more insinuating than rain, possessive as the embrace of earth. Our tongues entwine like vines seeking sustenance—intimate, exquisite, devouring—and my secret skin responds, shuddering, trembling, raining leaves around and on us, benediction or curse or both, I am no longer able to care. I am a creature of imperatives—to grow, to seed, to blossom— and I cannot resist my needs any more than you can yours. Less, perhaps. One of your hands passes over a mark you made on my flank, earlier; and I am making sounds with no words, a siren song of my own, pleasure and sorrow and hunger, all at once, all one. You cannot wait; and I am keening my own impatience as your other hand travels lower, lower, fingers finally finding the core of me and plunging in, pushing past the tangle, tearing through the thicket, diving into the challenge. I am wet there, like the moist hollow revealed when a root lifts itself from the ground—wet and sticky, hot and earthy, dark and dangerous— but you are heedless now, fearless and reckless and too far gone from sense to wonder at my wanting what you want, as fiercely as you want it. You raise a hand to your mouth and gather spit in your palm; I stare as you bring it back down to slick your manhood, entranced by the rawness of the gesture, the simple savagery of you. You thrust into me with the fervor of boughs seeking sunlight, roots seeking water below ground, greedy, unthinking, unhesitating. There is some pain—it has been some time—but I revel in it, in the sensation of being pierced, impaled, taken. You pull out and push in, plunging and rasping and pounding, implacable as a seed springing forth from its covering, a bud bursting
into bloom, a sapling breaking through rocky ground. There is no teasing rhythm to your thrusting—only fast, and faster, and faster still; and though I cannot move my arms, bound as I am, my hips buck toward yours. Our bellies slap against one another with increasing frenzy; my legs lock around your waist; and I clench and unclench, clasp and unclasp, desperately striving to draw you within, deep and deeper and deeper still. You respond by slamming into me, harder and harder, over and over, again and again; and it is delicious agony and destructive ecstasy and delirious insanity, until finally you cry out, and spill forth inside of me, and I cry out as well, throwing my head back against the trunk of my self—feeling my emptiness begin to fill, my need begin to be answered, my hunger begin to be sated. To grow. To seed. To blossom. And because of what I am, because of what we have become, because my seeming skin and my secret skin are all one, all at once, you have spent but are not spent; and you meet my eyes at last, startled perhaps, as you find yourself thrusting once more, amazed and gratified by your own resilience, only a little bit unwilling this second time. That will change. Later, when we are both raw and every stroke is more pain than pleasure. Later, when you have no seed left to spend and still cannot stop yourself from plunging, pulling out and pushing in even when you are blinded by sweat pouring into your eyes, deafened by the thunder of your own beleaguered heart, unable to taste anything beyond the loamy fullness of fear in your mouth. Later, when you come to understand that you will never survive doing what I want, having me in any and every way that I want, giving me all that I desire. You will look me in the eyes again, then—and your own eyes will beg and plead, but it will be too late; it has already been much too late, for much too long. Perhaps it was too late from the moment you first caught sight of me, heard of me, dreamt of me. I cannot resist my needs, any more than you can yours. I did try to flee you, free you; but you will not remember that you chose your doom, deeper and deeper, harder and harder, again and again. Your clever cord will not hold me forever; I fear you will not outlast your cord, but I will hold you as long as I may—ephemeral as you are, stuff of hope and gossamer and longing. For now, I have you. ☐
136 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
M AY 2008 EDITED BY L.A. CONSING LOPEZ
Fashion & Music Baby!
WOUlD MICHAEl JACKSON’S MOONWAlK have been as riveting without his rebellious white socks-black shoes combo? Would you have been as hooked on “Raspberry Beret” if Prince were singing about the kitchen sink? Would those EMO kids be MTV-worthy without skinny suits and fancy Vans? Fashion and music are inseparable; they stick like white on rice because they exist for the same purpose; to inspire, create, and enhance.
David Bowie shirt by De Puta Madre at Theodore's Photgraphed by Dac Rivera
Both art forms fulfill our basic needs to express ourselves, convey feelings, and ignite desires. No more evident is the connection of fashion and music than in the proliferation of music videos. The future of music is indeed a visual one, and fashion plays the important role of making the images created relevant, hip, and memorable. Musicians also actively participate in the fashion spectrum—from Jennifer Lopez and Pharrel
Williams cashing it in as the onetime faces for Louis Vuitton to Gwen Stefani’s line called L.A.M.B (Love Angel Music Baby), P. Diddy’s successful menswear brand Sean Combs, or Madonna’s sold-out capsule collection for H&M. Fashion and music are the perfect tandem to bring creative energies together—not to mention an ideal match in taking a share of the consumer’s pocket. ☐
The bomber jacket is the sartorial solution to man’s never ceasing desire to soar into the heavens. You may not be reaching high altitudes, but when wearing this impressive piece of outerwear, you’re surely touching on a higher plane of style AS EARTHBOUND CREATURES, we are fixated on the concept of flight. Birds gliding through the skies remind us of our limitations and, as thinking and radical creatures, we are drawn to the challenge of overcoming our natural circumstances. While the past is filled with failed attempts to fly—from the Greek mythological tale of the over-ambitious Icarus to the ill-fated journey of Amelia Earhart—the present and future is bright with aerial innovation. We may not all be as lucky as John Travolta who flies his own jet, but that doesn’t stop us from pretending we can. This explains why stories about flight feed our fascination, from the Hindenburg to Tom Cruise’s adventures in Top Gun. Fashion realizes this desire and does its part to play on our childhood dreams with pieces that take inspiration from air travel. Such is the logic behind the creation of the bomber jacket. Known also as the flight jacket, this outerwear was created as the perfect piece of clothing for pilots and men in the air force. As most planes in the First World War did not have an enclosed cockpit, a jacket was required as a necessary garment to keep pilots warm. Features like high wrap-around collars, gartered waists and cuffs, zipper closures, and fur lining were indeed interesting features—but were also quite necessary to shield aeronauts. In fact, as aero-technology advanced, so did the requirements of the jacket. As planes rose higher and flew faster, there was a need for warmer and more durable materials to protect pilots from the harsh conditions. The bomber jacket style we recognize from Top Gun is referred to in the U.S. Air Force as the Type A2 Bomber Jacket, and was made standard in 1931. This waist length jacket typically comes in leather and features two prominent pockets in front and gartered openings at the waist and sleeves to keep air from entering. Shoulder epaulets, patches, and any other “official” embellishments only came later on, but it was these add-ons that contributed to the wide appeal of the jacket. In addition to the obvious military appeal, there’s a perceived tough-boy/bad-ass attraction with the jacket—in the same way that a biker jacket carries a rebellious notion. Or maybe it’s the unconventional aspect of the garment, its departure from the traditional nature of a blazer and the preppiness of a sports coat—since it does away with elements like labels and buttons. A banker wears a suit, but the hip rogue wears a bomber. Looking at the evolution of the flight jacket is also a lesson in the use of leather. While today most leather items are considered “luxury” pieces, hides were valued in the past more for their practical and durable qualities. The U.S. Navy issued their own version of the army’s bomber style using seal-skin leather. The material wasn’t only thick enough to protect its wearer, but the significance of the animal (navy seals?) also played a part in its popularity. Eventually, the Navy deemed the material as too much of a burden on its expenses and were also unable to supply the large quantities needed. Later on, the Type A-2 bomber was issued in horsehide, which was readily available in the U.S. leather tanning markets before more economical skins like goatskin and cowhide were used.
140 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
It’s interesting to note how these “economical skins” fetch a high price as accessories in today’s market, but the reality is that anything made of natural materials these days is considered a rare resource. Sign of the times. The bomber jacket today in its leather form is rare in the military scene as it is now produced in technological and synthetic materials, and so original leather styles of the bomber are sought after by collectors worldwide. Authentic pieces in beat-up leather are the most in demand. Some fashion historians have even compared this military style jacket as the “little black dress” of menswear because of its classic appeal and timelessness. Modern interpretations of the jacket still come in leather but also in cotton twill, denim, and even raincoat material. Take Gucci’s bomber jacket for spring/summer 2008 for instance, it boasts clean, tailored lines in lieu of the traditional bulkiness and uses innovative materials like checkered cotton, stripes, and prints. While the bomber jacket does in fact elicit fanciful and valiant imagery of bygone heroes darting through the skies in fast planes, what makes this piece of outerwear so relevant is that it shows us a different side of war. In today’s time of conflict and uncertainty, when global security is at risk, seeing or even wearing a bomber jacket brings us back to a period that possibly held a stronger sense of honor and pride that seems lacking in modern notions of war. Though clothes cover and conceal, they are also revealing of the values we seek—honor, strength, patriotism. In any case, maybe the bomber jacket will take fashion to a whole new plane.
l.A. CONSING lOPEz
P H oTo Gr A PH c o Ur T esy oF GU c c i
the anatomy of a bomber jacket
CoTTon PleATed BoMBer JACkeT By BlACk lABel HoMMe AT ruSTAn’S
High Life. The Thin Pleated Line.
In lieu of patches and other military influences, elegant pleats create the illusion of a bib. Sophisticated for a night about town.
A semi raised collar gives the bomber clout, but not so much as to give you a sweaty neck.
The Cotton Club.
On chilly nights and in freezing cinemas, light cotton is the perfect material to have for any cover-up.
P H oTo G rA P H b y DA c r iV e r A
This Baby’s Got Ribs.
The gartered feature adds texture to the jacket while giving the appearance of a nipped and trim waist.
THOUGH ClOTHES COVER AND CONCEAl, THEY ARE AlSO REVEAlING Of THE VAlUES WE SEEK—HONOR, STRENGTH, PATRIOTISM.
the mod squad
The London-based shirt company Ben Sherman has kept up with the beat of the ever changing music scene, offering fashion over the years that’s true to the brand’s quirky DNA and in tune with the pulse of youth culture
THIS MONTH ROguE CElEBRATES MUSIC, its creators, supporters, and the things that influence this particular art form. There’s no doubt that fashion and music are closely tied, but, as I learned recently, sometimes music can be the very fabric of a clothing brand’s image. A few months ago, I sat down with Miles Gray, CEO of Ben Sherman, to talk about the brand and its close ties with the music industry. The label’s look is one that is undeniably British, incorporating symbols and emblems of the United Kingdom. A quick look around any one of their boutiques is a pleasant introduction to British pop culture, with an obvious leaning towards their rich music scene. It was in the ‘60s when “modern” music as we know it today was born, with influential artists like Herman’s Hermits, Petula Clark, and, of course, The Beatles— hitting local airwaves and eventually the American mainstream, dubbing this cross-Atlantic phenomenon as the British Invasion. It was during this time as well that Arthur Bernard Sugarman, an Englishman from Brighton, moved to America where he changed his name to Ben Sherman (which sounded more “American”) while applying for U.S. citizenship. While there, he witnessed the popularity of button-down shirts among American youth and decided to come back home and introduce the style to the kids of the burgeoning Mod (short for Modernist) movement. It was relatively easy to gain popularity among the youth as the times called for change. People felt empowered by radical music, and were looking for a change in wardrobe as well. Ben Sherman was founded in 1963, and quickly became the go-to place for quirky Ivy League-type Oxford shirts with details like a button-down collar and back pleating in fabric ranging from small checks to colourful stripes. The shirt gained cult status especially among leading groups like The Who, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones—elevating Ben Sherman to become the uniform of Swinging London and cementing it as an iconic name in 1960s fashion worldwide. Miles Gray sheds some light on the brand and the mood of sixties, “Ben Sherman’s connection has always been with contemporary music of the times, so the people who took the brand first were the Mods and bands in small places—those sixties groups—and they were the ones wearing it. They took it on like some kind of uniform.” Even after the heydays of the ‘60s, the brand remained hip among select groups of people and music insiders. “In the ‘70s and ‘80s, you could always find it, but Ben Sherman became more of an aficionado or niche brand,” explains Gray. “In the ‘70s punk movement, if you look at the hair and all that, that isn’t Ben Sherman—but if they were wearing shirts that were tight fitting with small checks, then that was generally the Ben Sherman style. Ten years later is when we had more of a connection with the Ska and 2 Tone movements and groups like Madness or The Jam—they were wearing our stuff.” It was in the ‘90s that another wave of the British Invasion referred to as Cool Britannia hit the global scene. Musical artists like the Spice
ART BY OLIVER SARABIA
House of Style
Girls, Suede, and Supergrass reminded the world that Britain was on beat with the rhythm of street and youth culture. “It was the ‘90s big explosion that was really that whole Britpop evolution of Damon Albarn of Blur and Oasis and that whole Cool Britannia. Now, again sort of in our fortune really, we’re kind or re-emerging through these British indie bands like Babyshambles and Razorlight. I’m not saying they’re always in Ben Sherman, but their look is very Ben Sherman, very British.” Ben Sherman’s association with music is well incorporated into their marketing efforts. For instance, just last year the brand commissioned 20 limited edition Gibson guitars designed by various artists to be distributed among 20 stores worldwide. These customized pieces were displayed in the windows of the stores before being auctioned off for local charities. Musicians recognize the significance of this fashion brand and the music industry as well, with Paul Weller of The Jam (and subsequently The Style Council) recently approaching Ben Sherman to help design and endorse a line of striped candy colored dress shirts. On a more intimate scale, the label remains true to and in sync with the authentic and more independent side of music scene in London by hosting small events at places like Proud Gallery in Camden Town. What makes Ben Sherman so appealing and attractive especially to creative types like musicians, actors, and writers is that there is a serious attempt by the brand to avoid being too serious. The vibe of the brand is playful, irreverent, and nostalgic—using iconic symbols of the United Kingdom wittily, like a silkscreened image of the Queen, the Union Jack painted on a shirt, or the roundel in colors of the British Air Force (also known as the Mod Target). “We are seen as the original British shirt maker. We are seen as proudly British but not too serious, a bit cheeky. We always have a bit of humor in our products. One of the key things we were told is that our brand is associated with camaraderie. Ben Sherman passes the so-called ‘pub test.’ So, a guy can enter a pub wearing a Ben Sherman shirt and feel like he’s in fashion but not too crazy. So we try to keep that in our collection to make sure that it’s edgy, smart, but not too outlandish.” What makes a brand successful in a market place that’s full of mindless production development and hyped up marketing campaigns is a link to something that’s real; safeguarding and valuing their heritage and roots. In Ben Sherman’s case, it is the youth and their music. Gray sums it up, saying, “I think this music thing really plays in Ben Sherman’s direction. Britain really has a disproportionate influence in world music and has for the last 40 years, so that puts Britain on the radar with the young generation worldwide. People want to identify with that hipness. London has really reinvented itself over the years to become the coolest place in the world.”
l.A. CONSING lOPEz
A Gray Anatomy.
Mixing of darker and lighter shades of gray is a modern expression of elegance. ▼
⊳ Hats Off. There’s something about a hat that’s just proper . . . especially in a country with such a harsh sun.
Star power is indeed blinding. ▼
Sheen Machine. The Odd Coupling.
In the business of music, a mismatched suit is the way to go. Wear your blazer with a pair of dark, slim denims. ⊲ When done in a matte ﬁnish, silver sneakers are sophisticated. ▼
the svelte savior
Justin Timberlake has not only resurrected the sonic energy of dance beats past, but he has also brought forward a contemporary approach to retro dressing that moves across and between high fashion and the rhythm of the streets WHITE BOYS MAY NOT JUMP but as the unstoppable Justin Timberlake , continuously proves—boy, can they dance! The world of dance music (or “disco” in the Studio 54 era) is experiencing a second coming of sorts in a more refined and modern approach, with beats and arrangements that hold less cheese factor and more sexiness. The Timberlake of N’Sync’s Euro-pop days is now a YouTube memory (“Tearing Up My Heart” is bubblegum at its most potent), replaced with vivid imagery of an elegant crooner in chic tailored jackets and streamlined silhouettes. The former Mousketeer has traded in his sleeveless shirts and paisley bandanas for fine apparel by Dior Homme and Yves Saint Laurent, transforming the singer into the ultimate smooth operator with the confidence and sex appeal to match. Timberlake opts for sleek designs and luxurious fabrics, the kind that not only allows movement but demands attention. He also has a preference for old world, traditional menswear like waistcoats, neckties, and suspenders—but worn with a twist (Timberlake is a notorious sneaker fanatic, wearing them with practically everything he owns). What makes this Grammy Award winner’s style so outstanding is that he understands the appeal and strength of a good wardrobe. He needed to establish credibility as a grown-up male artist and not simply a pretty boy with songbird qualities. By jazzing it up and attaching himself to a classy yet unapologetic masculine image, Justin—as his song goes—brought sexy back.
144 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
PHoToGrAPH by DAc riVerA
Off-white pinstriped blazer by Soul Edge at Rustan’s (P4,650) Grey button-down by 4 You at Rustan’s (P3,450) Hounds-tooth neck tie by Gucci (P7,950) Black denims by Diesel Sunglasses by Salvatore Ferragamo Off-white studded belt (P1,898), silver rhino necklace (P1,098), and silver leather sneakers (P3,998) all from Carbon Blue hat by F by Friis at Theodore’s (P3,350)
This season’s bomber jacket in reptilian skin. ⊲
Leave it to the artsy to appreciate the dizzying appeal of mixed prints and textures. ▼
▲ That ‘70s Homeboy. These retro inspired shades are the markings of a true rockstar.
These “F*ck Everything” denims from PRPS say it all.
Make some noise for silver add-ons.
the stylings of a musical mongrel
Lenny Kravitz masterfully mixes fashion inspired by his art with his multicultural influences to come up with a signature look that’s not only memorable but also meaningful IN THE PlETHORA Of STUDIO MANUfACTURED SINGERS that defines a shocking majority of today’s global music scene, true and genuine artists like Lenny Kravitz are indeed a rare breed. This musician’s pleasing hodgepodge of styles include everything from rock and roll to ‘60s funk, paying homage to some of the greatest performers from Jimi Henrix to Bob Marley. His music is enough to make him an authentic rock star, but his play on fashion and expressions of personal styles that are in sync with his brand of sound truly make him a superstar. In addition to the awe-inspiring effects of music, another factor that contributes to the singer’s artistic expression lies in his culturally rich and ethnically diverse background. Born to a Bahamian actress and a Russian Jewish news producer, Kravitz wears his heritage proudly, sporting an afro paired with luxurious silk outfits and vintage furs. The sound and vibe of his music is also an indicator of the singer-songwriter’s mood and style direction, for instance his hit “Let Love Rule” moved the singer to favour bell-bottoms, vests, and fringes—while his modern rock anthem “American Woman” had him gravitate towards leather pants, ‘70s rock garments, and outfits reminiscent of Easy Rider. Kravitz definitely took inspiration from the past to make his fashion forward statements, and when he wasn’t wearing genuine flea-market finds, you could be sure he was in something vintage-inspired. Take some artistic liberties in fashion and combine articles of clothing and accessories that represent who you are or hold a special meaning. Your clothes should tell people about who you are and where you’ve come from.
Whether on tour or simply vacation bound, globe trotting in high-style is imperative.
⊳ Step Up. Raise the rock quotient with black leather boots
PHoToGrAPH by DAc riVerA
Not keen on wearing thrift shop clothing? Why not rummage through your own relatives’ closets. With every generation comes a wardrobe full of bygoneera goodies—from your grandfather’s vintage Patek to your father’s Cacharel shirts.
Limited edition blue bomber jacket by Gucci Floral button down (P3,595) and pinstriped double-breasted vest (P2,995) both by Randy Ortiz at Myth “F*ck Everything” denims by PRPS at Theodore’s (P21,995) Silver cross (P998), leather and silver chains (P2,298) both from Carbon Shades by Salvatore Ferragamo Leather boots and monogram carryall by Louis Vuitton
The t-shirt is often viewe d as the lazy the fashion -boy of world. Made of the simpl materials an est of d in the plain est of cuts tee has been , the cotton written off as the offic teens, bums ial garb of , and obsess ive Starbuck graphic desig s-consuming ners. While there’s noth with being a ing wrong casual critt er (hey who comfort?), doesn’t love the t-shirt has raised its the prolife game with ration of st atement tees necessarily . We’re not talking abou t protest an campaign sh d political irts (althou gh we love yellow NINO an authentic Y shirt), but rather print and reveal s that expr something ab ess out its wear consciously er, whether or not. In a blogged ou with informa t world fille tion and unhe d ard voices, best way to sometimes th speak your e mind is thro your back . ugh the shirt . . even if al on l you’re clam the return oring for is of Knight Rid er.
PHoToGrAPHs by DAc riVerA
ROUTINE PLAYER. Night Owl. Night Shift.
“Work Hard. Play Hard” shirt by Analog Soul at Archaeology
NO HASSLE HERE. You love your ‘80s icons, and truth be told, you can never have too much Hoff.
“Take If Off 4 The Hoff” shirt by Mighty Fine at Rustan’s (P 1,250)
THE BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUM. My life. My rules.
“Moving To The Rhythm of My Analog Beat Machine” shirt by Analog Soul at Archaeology
MY T-SHIRT, MY HERO. Beneath this gawky telemarketer is a true “Man of Steel.”
“Superhero” shirt by De Puta Madre at Theodore’s (P 6,195)
THAT ‘70s MANTRA. Life is complicated, I have very few needs to get me by.
“Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll” shirt at Rustan’s
148 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
STYLE TIP: While we’re giving the t-shirt a lot of loving, wear it with a suit and you can expect a lot of snubbing.
LITTLE NAUGTY BOY. I’m a middle child.
“Super-villain” shirt by Too Cute at Theodore’s (P 3,750)
READ THE FINE PRINT. I believe in the free press . . . and also in freebies.
“Newspaper print” shirt by Morphine Generation at Theodore’s (P 5,995)
LANCÔME AqUA FUSION. oil-free, waterinfused formula with 16 skin essential elements. This light-weight cream continually moisturizes all day long. ⊲
⊳ CLINIqUE DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT MOISTURIZING LOTION. The equivalent of a tall drink of water for your skin. >For Very dry to dry Skin
⊳ MARIO BADESCU SEAWEED NIGHT CREAM. non-greasy cream enriched with seaweed, collagen, and hyaluronic acid, leaving skin nourished and soft. >For Combination, oily, and Sensitive Skin
Why don’t you build it up? Your skin regimen, that is. Moisturizing is key in achieving optimum levels of health for your skin. Put your best face forward with these moisturizer “building blocks” IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING, SKIN IS IN. And not just skin, mind you, but near-perfect and healthy complexions. All vanity aside, good skin is a reflection of your overall state of health and good personal hygiene (i.e. getting enough sleep, exercise, avoiding smoking and alcohol, etc.). While we won’t bore you with scientific facts and mumbo jumbo on layers and pores, we will stand by the statement that moisturizing isn’t a far-out routine that’s alien to your daily life. While there are various treatments and topical products out there that promise to improve and better the quality of our skin, moisturizing is a rule-number-one necessity. It’s as basic as butter. An even application of moisturizer after cleansing your face is enough to keep you skin in decent shape. Our skin’s condition is affected by internal factors like diet and hormones while enduring harsh external aspects like pollution and changes in weather. A daily slathering of moisturizer is just what the skin needs; not only does it lubricate our skin, but it also promotes cell regeneration and healing. Facial moisturizing isn’t a “girly” whim, it’s a grooming prerequisite.
CLINIqUE SUPERDEFENSE ⊲ Helps skin defend itself from environmental aggressors. neutralizes the negative effects of uVA/ uVB rays. >For Combination to oily Skin
▲ KIEHL’S BLUE HERBAL MOISTURIZER. eliminates and heals blemishes while reducing oily skin’s shine with mattifying qualities. >For Acne Prone Skin
Clinique, Mario Badescu, and lancôme available at Rustan’s. kiehl’s available at the Kiehl’s boutique.
PHoToGrAPH by DAc riVerA
the diving belle & the seahorse
Whether you’re actually exploring the deep blue seas or simply a fan of the life aquatic, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph stands out as an exquisite timepiece
The Seamaster family is a core range of Omega’s watch making heritage and the sportiest member of the 1950s trio, which also includes the classic Railmaster and the Speedmaster, the first and only watch worn on the moon. All three share design features such as the distinct case design, the curved horns, and contrasting polished and brushed surfaces.
THE OMEGA SEAMASTER PlANET OCEAN, with its rugged and functional styling, adds a chronograph edition to its range. Originally conceived as an evolution of the 1957 Seamaster 300 model, this second-generation Co-Axial Planet Ocean surpasses all the requisites of a professional diver’s watch, and is further enhanced by a superlative column-wheel chronograph mechanism. Additional features that distinguish this model include an “He” embossed helium escape valve positioned at 10 o’clock that allows the gas to escape during decompression, a vital function when using a diving bell as minuscule helium atoms can penetrate the case and damage the watch. The chronograph push-buttons, made of steel and decorated with a colored aluminum ring, are functional to 600 metres/2000 feet while the domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal has received an anti-reflective treatment on both sides for optimum clarity. SuperLuminova inserts and a highly visible orange tip further
enhance the luminous arrowhead seconds hand. Along with the luminous dot on the bezel, the high visibility of the markers and hands are invaluable for measuring precise dive times, even when descending to the darkest depths of the ocean. True to the Seamaster’s roots, the Caliber 3313 high-quality self-winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of 52 hours drives this timepiece. The Co-Axial escapement considerably reduces friction in the heart of the watch mechanism and offers improved long-term reliability and accuracy. For all the technological advances, this latest addition to the Planet Ocean range is a Seamaster through and through. We are reminded of its origins by the Seamaster’s traditional Seahorse emblem on the screw-down back, the fluted bezel, smooth link bracelet, and strong use of contrasting colors on the dial. The appeal of this watch lies not only in its precision and quality craftsmanship, but also in the simple fact that it draws inspiration from the tranquility and complexity of the deep sea. ☐
Pack light, go Luxe
TAKING THAT lONG OVERDUE MINI-BREAK? There is no better way to do so than with this fine carry-on bag from the House of Gucci. Since its founding in 1921 when Guccio Gucci opened his esteemed leather shop in Florence, this label has built a following of cultured jetsetters by combining impeccable workmanship and Italian design whilst inducing status and elegance. This bag is packed with style: practical design, convenient compartments, subtle monogram on white PVC canvas, signature black and green stripe detail—all the right components to make this a surefire summer hit. It is classic without being too conservative, stylishly Italian without the obvious machismo. Evoke that wealthy (read: not nouveau riche) lifestyle, one that carefully makes a bold statement whilst remaining tasteful.
BIANCA P SANTOS .
White travel bag by Gucci
152 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
White driving loafers by Salvatore Ferragamo
Take that sophisticated step with these blanche beauties
TRUST SAlVATORE fERRAGAMO to deliver footwear of refined elegance with a modern touch. Quiet confidence and poise are fine characteristics in a man—and this pair of Ferragamos exudes both. These finely crafted, impeccably stylish white leather loafers with the added detail of braided leather and silver buckle are more marina and less nurses station. Indulge yourself in Italian-made comfort on long drives to the beach, cruising around town, or hopping from party scene to scene. Evoke chilled European summer days by adding these classic driving shoes with a twist; true summer essentials to make you feel like a modern-day Cassanova.
BIANCA P SANTOS .
Thinking making your first “serious” watch purchase? Start things off with a less formal piece like a sports watch, one you can wear on a daily basis and not something you need to hold off on using till the next suit and tie occasion.
International Watch Co. Schaffhausen is celebrating its anniversary with legendary wristwatches from its past—with the Pilot’s Watch as one of six styles that have been brought out again as a tribute to its history
SIx MIlESTONES HAVE BEEN BROUGHT BACK as vintage models from the company’s proud history into the modern day for the manufacturer’s 140th anniversary— even if it is not a “round” one. Not as copies, something that IWC has never done, but as new interpretations of good old friends. Some with ultra-modern, up-to-date automatic IWC movements which are also used in the current series-produced models. Where historical accuracy demands it, they have been equipped with handwound pocket watch movements based on the 98-calibre, the most famous IWC calibre and the one that has been made for the longest—but they have also been expanded, incorporating some of the elements of the earliest Jones movements. The case of some of the vintage models has increased in size on its journey through time, which on first sight makes them distinguishable from the originals—but in this way they have also taken on completely new watch personalities.
Pilot’s Watch Hand-Wound The first Pilot’s Watch of 1936 boasted of a black dial
with strong, luminescent hands and numerals, and a movement with antimagnetic parts. The first of a long series of professional pilot’s watches, it also had a rotating ring with a luminous triangle which helped with roughly calculating the flight time and thus fuel consumption. The modern interpretation of this mother of all IWC pilot’s watches has the dial of the original model, increased in size to that of the 44 mm case, a small seconds hand and a bidirectional adjustable rotating ring with the luminous triangle fitted from the inside. Instead of the 83-calibre, which was used in 1936, the Pilot’s Watch HandWound is equipped with a special watchmaking gem—the 98300-calibre: a hand-wound pocket watch movement, a balance frequency of 2.5 Hz, large screw balance and Breguet balance spring. The 98-calibre family, the design of which dates from the 1930s, is one of the IWC watch movements that have been series-produced over the longest time. Along with the Pilot’s Watch, the Portuguese, Ingenieur, Da Vinci, Aquatimer, and Portofino styles are available in stainless steel with a black dial and in limited numbers in platinum with a silver-plated dial. These are more than just a “Best of” the wristwatch era at IWC. Each one of them essentially embodies the founding legends of the manufacturer’s current watch families. ☐
Beosound 9000 is available exclusively Bang and Olufsen at Greenbelt V
SEE yE, HEAR THIS!
If you’re the guy with an ear for perfect harmony and an eye for symmetry, then this Bang & Olufsen beauty was made just for you
BANG & OlUfSEN IS UNDOUBTEDlY A MASTER in musical engineering; its sculptural qualities are what makes all their models so incredible. Since its creation in 1925 by two young Danish engineers, Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, the brand has continuously offered products that uplift and elicit emotional response for both its performance and flawless presentation. The Beosound 9000 is no exception, it instantly draws attention to its strong, sleek lines and attracts with the bold colors of the clearly visible CDs inside it. Technologically, this model boasts of unbeatable quality of sound and top-notch mechanical engineering that can jump from “Enter Sandman” on the first CD to “I’m A Slave 4 U” on the sixth without a noticeable pause. But the most obvious reason to get this sculptural music machine is sheer boasting rights. Slap yourself right now if you’re still entertaining with your iPod attached to your speakers. Whether mounted on the wall or given prime floor space in your living room, The Beosound 9000 is as an excellent conversation piece that you can use to enjoy the quality of your impressive CD collection with—while relishing the “oohs” and “aahs” of your envious guests.
time for the
In the world of luxury, acquiring a Tudor watch is an accessible, rewarding yet exciting choice.
THE NEW TUDOR SPORTS WATCH COllECTION has been designed with a young, active, urban, vibrant lifestyle in mind: for people who are passionate about freedom and innovation and for whom a watch means daring, performance, and design as well as robustness, precision, and reliability. The new Sport collection includes models for men and women, available in steel or in gold and steel. The Hydronaut II and Aeronaut models have all taken a resolutely technical and high-performance approach in their design and in their various functions. Everything about these models makes them a pleasure to wear and to handle: the pushers, the rotatable bezels, the leather or solid bracelets, and the ergonomic clasps. The aesthetics are daring, giving each model its own bold identity through a variety of innovative details, which include striking colors, contrasting combinations, subtle branding on certain components, a mix of materials, and eye-catching dial graphics. This new collection is readily identifiable by the case shape and bracelet design characteristic of all models and by bezels with specific functions. All Tudor pieces undergo high-quality finishing both technically and aesthetically. Their precision meets exacting criteria and is the result of rigorous testing. The movements are adorned with distinctive decorations. The creativity of this new collection is strikingly evident in a wide range of dial options making way for creative combinations of colors, indices, counters, and hand styles. These choices complement the technical excellence of the watches with a fresh new look.
Men’s watch in steel (41mm) and Polished Case Unidirectional engraved rotatable bezel Sapphire crystal, screw-down crown Rubber strap Self-winding mechanical movement Waterproof to a depth of 200 meters (660 feet)
▲ HYDRONAUT II at a Glance:
⊳ AERONAUT at a Glance:
Polished case and satin-finished 24-hour graduated bezel Pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to reset the hour hand for a different time zone Pusher at 8 o’clock to correct the date Blue leather strap Self-winding mechanical movement Waterproof to a depth of 150 meters (490 feet)
156 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
PROMOTIONS AND ITEMS OF NOTE, DIRECT FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
PGA CARS, INC., GOING STRONGER FOR THE PHILIPPINES
Back in 1995, the Philippines was considered a tiger economy. It was a great time for good ideas because foreign investors were encouraged by the stability of the new government and were throwing large wads of cash around. The Philippines was thrown onto the world’s stage after overcoming some incredible hurdles and were emerging as a new force to be reckoned with in Asia. Democracy had been restored and business was finally booming. Robert Coyiuto, Jr., PGA Cars, Inc. founding chairman, saw an opportunity to fulfill a personal dream. But he needed to be quick. It was like one of those gaps you see in traffic, or that split-second chance that opens up for you to overtake your opponent on the race track – blink and you’ll miss it. So in November of 1995, PGA Cars, Inc. boldly opened their doors to an enthusiastic public. More than a Porsche dealership, it was a statement, a daring yet powerful message that the Philippines had prospered and were on the way to an even stronger republic. In 1997, the formal inauguration of the first Porsche Center was held, and in 1998, Porsche’s CEO, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, visited Manila to personally inspect the Porsche Center and give it his personal seal of approval. As a certified Porsche fanatic, Coyiuto saw more than just a business opportunity; he wanted to share his passion with the country. The first year was very promising - 12 Porsche sport cars were sold, with PGA breaking quotas and lobbying Stuttgart for a bigger allocation. Robert Coyiuto was living the dream and it looked like the only problem PGA faced was meeting demand. Then came the Asian financial crisis in 1997. No area was hit harder than the automotive industry, especially the luxury and sports-car segment. It took three long years before the economy revived, and in 2000, after many sacrifices coupled with the strong leadership by Coyiuto, all that hard work and commitment to the brand finally started to pay off. PGA Cars found itself back on the map, with a record-breaking year and 18 Porsches delivered to their proud owners. It was cause for celebration, surely, but before PGA could even enjoy its renewed success, a new problem began to unfold. Just as it had weathered the storm and was witnessing the new dawn of sports-car culture on the road, everyone else seemed to be getting the same idea. There was a lot of money around again, and everyone wanted in on the action. Enterprising businessmen, encouraged by the lack of any strong government policy, began trading in the gray market, and built up a thriving business on this new fertile ground. There were new challenges to face. But rather than just jump on the “if-you-can’t-beat-‘em-join-‘em” bandwagon, like many had chosen to do, Robert Coyiuto, Jr. embraced the situation and began to weave his magic. While his competitors traded in the shadows with minimal overhead, attractive pricing and no accountability, Coyiuto chose to build even more value into the Porsche experience, invested even more into his dealership, and started to work very closely with the press. It was very out-of-the-box thinking at that time, but he soon convinced buyers, with the help of the press, that with the PGA experience, every Porsche owner doesn’t just get a terrific car, but also a piece of the Porsche experience. New programs were developed; a state-of-the-art service center was built; an official Porsche Club of the Philippines, recognized by Porsche AG, was established; members of the press were flown off for the first time to experience the Porsche brand firsthand at international launches. And in 2005, Mr. Hans Riedel, Porsche AG’s Vice President Sales and Marketing, launched a new showroom, with a very modern and hip café’ in a 7,000-square-meter facility on EDSA, Manila’s main and busiest thoroughfare, creating a lot of hype and exposing itself to over 200,000 motorists a day. The Porsche brand was absolutely buzzing in Manila, and the gray market failed to compete. Today, despite the influx of new brands, PGA Cars stays firmly on its growth path and is aiming for annual sales of more than 100 Porsches for the first time ever.
180 DEGREES – Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati 7 fOR All MANKIND – Power Plant Mall, Rockwell AC+632 – 2/f Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City AGENT PROVOCATEUR lINGERIE- Lane Crawford, Hong Kong AlOHA BOARDSPORTS - 3/F Powerplant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City AMERICAN TOURISTER lUGGAGES/ THE TRAVEl ClUB – at malls nationwide ANAlOG SOUl – 2/F Archaeology, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City ANNE KlEIN – Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center; Shangri-la Plaza Mall; Power Plant Mall, Rockwell ANTHOlOGY – 2/F Archaeology, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City. ARMANI ExCHANGE – Power Plant Mall, Rockwell; Glorietta 4, Ayala Center; Shangri-la Plaza Mall BARBA by Vic Barba – Available soon at BARBA, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City BARE ESSENTIAlS – Makati Cinema Square. BEN SHERMAN - Shangri-la Plaza Mall BETTER THAN BARE – www.betterthanbarephils.com BVlGARI – Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center; 6750, Ayala Center CAlVIN KlEIN UNDERWEAR - Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Ck CAlVIN KlEIN – Power Plant Mall, Rockwell; Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City. CAMADIV - 2/F Archaeology, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City. CARBON – Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center; Power Plant Mall, Rockwell CMG – Podium, Ortigas, Pasig City. COSABEllA lINGERIE - Lane Crawford, Hong Kong CROSSINGS DEPARTMENT STORE – Shangri-la Plaza Mall DEBENHAMS – Shangri-La Plaza Mall; Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City. DExTER AlAzAS - 09204107705 DKNY UNDERWEAR - Lane Crawford, Hong Kong DR. MARTENS – Glorietta, Ayala Center DOTDOTDOT (...) – G/f Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City DUNHIll - Rustan’s Makati EllE MACPHERSON INTIMATES - Lane Crawford, Hong Kong ENzO ANGIOlINI –Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center; Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City ERIC PINEDA – (02)7323790. fIRMA – Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center
158 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
fRANCK MUllER - 2/F Silver Vault, Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City fRESHlOOK COlOR BlENDS ONE-DAY COlOR CONTACT lENSES – available at optical shops nationwide GAS – Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center; Shangri-la Plaza Mall; Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City GUCCI - Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center HANS BRUMANN JEWEllER – G/F, Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Makati City HOMME ET fEMME – Shangri-la Plaza Mall HOT PINK lingerie – 2/F Archaeology, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City. HOUSE Of lAUREl – 6013 Villena cor. Manalac St. Poblacion, Makati City I lOVE COCO – 2/F Eastwood Cybermall, Libis, Q.C. KENNETH COlE – Power Plant Mall, Rockwell; Greenbelt 3; Shangri-la Mall K2 – Glorietta, Ayala Center JANYlIN - at select malls nationwide. JEROME SAlAYA ANG – (0917-5408097). JOEY SAMSON – (0918-9592541) Available soon at MYTH, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City JOHN HERRERA – (02) 632-7504. JON fERNANDO – (0917-8137010) KIEHl’S – Greenbelt V, Ayala Center, Makati lA COPA - 5F Mancor Corp. Ctr., 32nd St. Fort Bonifacio, Tel: 8564261 lAUNDRY - 2/F, Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City lEWRE /CMG - Glorietta 4 lITTlE CIGAR STORE – G-4, Bel-Air Soho Condominium, 45 Polaris cor. Badajos Streets. T/F: 897-2113. Mobile: 0918-9369787. www. littlecigarstore.com lOUIS ClAPAROlS at Marni’s Room – 2/F Archaeology, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City lOUIS VUITTON – Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center lUCERNE - Glorietta 4, Ayala Cebu, Shangri-la Plaza Mall lz PUNzAlAN – (0905-2823416) MAIDENfORM – at select department stores nationwide. MANGO – Power Plant Mall, Rockwell; Glorietta 3, Ayala Center; Shangri-la Plaza Mall MARITHÉ + fRANCOIS GIRBAUD - Glorietta 3 MINx by Charina Sarte - House of Laurel; MIX, Greenbelt 3; Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City MIx – Greenbelt 3 Mall, Ayala Center
MOANA –Power Plant Mall, Rockwell MYTH – 2/f Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City MUMBAKKI – Megamall, Bldg. B, Ortigas NINE WEST – G/F, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City. OAKlEY – G Force Bonifacio Highstreet, G Force Trinoma, G Force SM Mall of Asia, G Force SM Cebu, TiO2 Greenbelt 3 OMEGA - Glorietta 1, Ayala Center, Makati City; TriNoma, EDSA cor. North Avenue, Quezon City. PAUl SMITH – Glorietta 4, Ayala Center; Shangri-la Plaza Mall PEOPlE ARE PEOPlE – G/F Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City. PIANEGONDA– 2/F Silver Vault, Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City POlO RAlPH lAUREN – Shangri-la Plaza Mall; Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City; 158 Designer’s Blvd, Alabang Town Center PRADA – Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center RAfAEl JEWElRY – 2nd Level, Shangri-La Plaza Mall RANDY ORTIz – (02-922-8375) Available soon at MYTH, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City SAlVATORE fERRAGAMO – Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center; Power Plant Mall, Rockwell; Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City. SCHU - Glorietta 3 SPRINGfIElD - Power Plant Mall, Rockwell; Greenbelt 3; Rustan’s Department Store, Makati City. STOKED – Power Plant Mall, Rockwell STYlE OPTIx – 2/F Serendra Shops, The Fort TAN GAN –SM Megamall Bldg. A, Mandaluyong City. TERRANOVA – at select malls nationwide. THE fACE SHOP – Gloreitta 3, Ayala Center; High Street, The Fort THEODORE’S THE STORE G/F Quadrant 4, Bonifacio Highstreet, Bonifacio GLobal City TOPMAN at Powerplant Mall, Rockwell TINT – Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center TOD’S - Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center TRAffIC –Power Plant Mall, Rockwell VIKTOR JEANS – Podium, Ortigas, Pasig City; Trinoma, North Edsa, Q.C. WADE - at select malls nationwide. WSW SHOES - Building 3, Jannov Plaza, 2229 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati x by VIC BARBA –Glorietta 3, Ayala Center zARA - Power Plant Mall, Rockwell zONA SUl – 2F Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati
M AY 2008
EV E N T S , PA RT I E S , PROMO T ION S , A N D OPP ORT U N I T I E S
THe goLD mine
THE AGUIRRE GOLD CUP 2008
The tough get going when you’re rushing for gold, literally— which was the case at the annual Aguirre Gold Cup last February 17, when heated matches between the Los Tamaraos and the Zobel Team ensued for the much coveted gold prizes in the most awaited tournament in this year’s Philippine polo calendar.
THe goLD mine ConTinueD . . .
The eventful day opened with the low-goal match between the Red and Green teams. The Red team consisted of Jun Eusebio, Alfonso Araneta, Anthony Filamor, and Alberto Lopez; while Jerome Hernandez, Adrian Garcia, Antonio Veloso, and Dondi Santos completed the Green team. The end result of the 2-goal match saw the Green team lead by 10-2. But the highlight of the day was the high-goal match which left spectators breathless. The 12-goal game had the Los Tamaraos vying for gold against the Zobels. There was a 1 goal handicap advantage on the board for Los Tamaraos. Cole Aguirre, -1; Gus Aguirre, -1; Argentina professionals Polito Pieres and Joaquin Pittaluga, both 6; made up the Los Tamaraos. The Zobel team comprised of English patron Mark Austin, 0; Jake Zobel, 0; Chilean Jose Donoso, 7; and Australian pro Mark Field, 4. At the final chukker, Jose Donoso made the last point through conversion for the Zobel team, giving Los Tamaraos victory at 19-12. For lack of superlatives, the game was phenomenal and action-packed. Spectators were treated to a clear display of defense and evasive, skillful offense. It was time to wind down and exhale but the excitement continued. Gold trophies and solid gold prizes of cuff links and belt buckles were awarded. The pure gold spurs went to Joaquin Pittaluga for bagging the MVP title. Best Playing Pony was Bobby Aguirre’s Murphy, played by Polito Pieres. Spectators and players joined in the celebration at the elegantly furnished marquee fieldside. A sumptuous dinner was served as Dom Perignon flowed endlessly. Absolut Vodka, co-sponsor for the Aguirre Gold Cup along with official sponsor BF Citiland, also poured all night while the spirited crowd danced to the music of different bands. This year’s Aguirre Gold Cup outdid the last, in a tourney that left us looking forward to next year’s celebration.
160 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
Chari Legarda, Tweetie de Leon, Carmen Gonzalez, Ines Lobregat, and Marta Araneta with daughter Tamara
Marta Araneta, Eloise Piardi, Rose Fernandez, and Analu Araujo
Angelique and Jen La’O of Swim
BiKini in THe CiTY
ENDLESS SUMMER FASHION SHOW
Maricris Zobel with Dimples and Julia La’O
Chari Legarda Bianca Valerio, Gary Dulatas, and Dindi de Leon
Swim and Nothing But Water recently launched their Summer 2008 collections with a sunset cocktail fashion show that revealed a fluid display of the latest offerings from VIX, Sophia, and Hermanny brands, as well as Vitamin A, Lspace, and Michael Kors. Owner Dimples Balaguer La’O hosted the affair, while guest models Ines Lobregat, Marta Araneta, Chari Legarda, and Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez commanded the runway. The 45-piece ensemble consisted of suits, cover-ups, dresses, including children’s swimsuits modeled by Carmen Gonzalez and Tamara Araneta, shoes by Schu of Ruby Gan, and bags by Talimaya.
Maite Matute, Cay Araneta, and Paolo Araneta
Romina and Monchu Gonzalez
Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez, Jackie Aquino, and Suyen Chi
Jazz Do iT
P.I. JAZZFEST 2008 For 16 straight days last March, Manila experienced a one-of-a-kind jazz festival which played out in various venues across the metropolis. The festival was produced by the Philippine International Jazz and Arts Festival Foundation and spearheaded by Sandra Viray, Jun Viray, Edgar Avenir, Zenaida Celdran, and Chona Ampil. Now on its third successive year, the P.I. Jazzfest 2008 flexed its muscles and brought with it an eclectic selection of foreign, local, and balikbayan jazz artists and musicians. Performers included Kevyn Lettau, Incognito, Omar Sosa, Kurt Elling, and the late Toti Fuentes, among others.
Chico and the Gypsies
Edgar Avenir and David Starck hold a workshop in Strumm’s
Tessa Valdez with Elen Flores, Lorraine Ho, Diana and Toot Limjuco, Franco Limjuco, Je rey Roleda, and Warren Sy
UP Dance Troupe entertains guests with cultural dances
Colorful shoe display
Toot Limjuco with Ryan Eigenmann
WorLD oF CoLor
CROCS SPRING-SUMMER SHOW ‘08 Crocs unveiled their Spring-Summer 2008 collection to eager guests last March. Tessa Prieto-Valdes hosted the event as scrumptious hors d’ oeuvres from all over the world were served. Models sashayed down the runway sporting the new, sleek designs of Malindi, Santa Cruz, and Tikali. The U.P. Dance Troop wowed the crowd with their fancy footwork and unforgettable choreography. Spotted at the event were Ernie and Jeena Lopez, Philip Cu-Unjieng, Liza Ilarde, Janine CuencaDario, Ryan Eigenmann, Paolo and Bubbles Paraiso, and Marco Alcaraz.
Tessa Valdez with Lorraine Ho
Thinline President Frank Briones
Bruno Alvez of Brazil
Canon’s Balot Amechachurra
Rich Herrera and MTV VJ Kat Alano
CANON’S BORACAY IMAGENATION PARTY During Holy Week last March, Canon flew to the powdery, white shores of Boracay for the annual Beach House event which they presented together with Studio 23. Canon redefined the concept of summer colors by launching the sleek and stylish Digital IXUS 80 IS, with its smooth and sensual curves, thin interface, seductive metallic colors, and powerhouse functionality. Canon Digital IXUS 80 IS was there to photograph the sun-kissed personalities who visited the Canon Outdoor Chillout Studio at Guilly’s Island.
Luna de Lima and Dan Mateo
HungrY LiKe THe WoLF
DURAN DURAN DINES AT RED KIMONO During their recent visit to Manila, iconic rock band Duran enjoyed a sumptuous Japanese dinner with Michael and Nameeta Dargani, owners of Red Kimono restaurant. The band dined there after their well-attended “Red Carpet Massacre” performance at the Araneta Coliseum. At the exclusive dinner, lead vocalist Simon Le Bon’s favorites were the Crabstick rolls with Wasabi Mayo, Layered Spinach and Tofu with miso, Gindara and Uni sashimi. Saxophonist Simon Willescroft recommended that the owners open a branch in London after being floored by his meal. Red Kimono has branches in Frontera Verde, Pasig and at the Fort Strip, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
Nameeta Dargani, Michael Dargani, and Simon Le Bon
Duran Duran at Red Kimono
Michael Dargani and Simon Le Bon
Rhey Huergas of TGIF, Rosa Liamzon of Fish & Co, and Junjun De Ocampo of Bistro Group
Rogue’s Kat Tuason-Cruz and Appetite’s Annie Nisce
TiLL We meaT again
SNAKE RIVER FARMS DINNER AT LEMURIA Snake River Farms (SRF) recently gathered an intimate group of foodies at Lemuria. Guest chefs and select friends from the media were treated to Amuse Bouche of SRF Kurobuta Mini Carvers Ham and Deep-fried Ravioli of SRF Kalbi Eye as they sipped wine at the courtyard. Lemuria chef Golda Ranada also served SRF Kurobuta Pork Belly and SRF Rib Eye with Foie Torchon and Porcini Dust. The complex flavors, subtle sweetness, and lingering finish of the beef were hard to ignore—mainly attributed to the heritage-steeped Japanese cattle feeding method that Snake River Farms has adopted. For orders and inquiries, call 631-7228.
In-yo’s Nino Lauz, Alternatives Food’s Ysa Tolentino, Pino’s Bjorn Ching, and Ilustrado’s Luis Chikiamco
166 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
PROMOTIONS AND ITEMS OF NOTE, DIRECT FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
STARBUCKS’ dUlCE dE lECHE fRAppUCCINO BlENdEd COffEE This summer, cool off with the Dulce de Leche Frappuccino Blended Coffee of Starbucks. Dulce de leche, a milk-based syrup, translates to “milk candy” in the Spanish tongue. Found as both a sauce and a caramel-like candy, it is widely popular across Latin America. It is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product similar in taste to caramel. Combined with coffee and blended with ice, topped with whipped cream and a caramel topping, Starbucks’ Dulce de Leche Frappuccino Blended Coffee is a sweet, indulgent treat.
Up Dharma Down
THE fIESTA NG mUSIKANG fIlIpINO SENdS SOmE Opm lOvE On May 2, 3, and 4 at the CCP Main Theater, the Fiesta ng Musikang Filipino takes you on a spectacular trip through aural sensibilities. Featuring performances by violin vixen Lucia Micarelli, Sugarfree, Up Dharma Down, Radioactive Sago Project, The Jerks, Sinosikat?, and The Dawn, each band’s set ends sensationally with an OPM song arranged by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra. The production is under the supervision of renowned musical producer Dong Alegre and musical director Leo Rialp. For tickets, visit Odyssey and Music1 outlets or call 817-2628 to 30.
HOME AND AWAY
THE vAyU HOmE STORE IN TRINOmA Exquisitely embroidered cushions, luxurious quilts, and intricately beaded shams are among the plush line of items featured at the VAYU Home Store in Trinoma. This unique store for the discriminating homemaker also sells 100% French linen tablemats, napkins, and tablecloths creatively crafted by talented Indian designer Ranjit Ahuja. VAYU Home is located at 3/F, Trinoma Mall, EDSA corner North Ave., Quezon City. For inquiries, call 916-6719.
PROMOTIONS AND ITEMS OF NOTE, DIRECT FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
DOT’s Eduardo Jarque, Jr., Philippine Ambassador to Japan Domingo Siazon Jr., Hello Kitty, Secretary Durano, and DOT Japan Marketing Head Benito Bengzon
dOT UNvEIlS HEllO KITTy AS pHIlIppINE TOURISm ENdORSER IN JApAN At the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, the Department of Tourism recently tapped the popularity of Japanese cultural icon Hello Kitty to entice more tourists from the Land of the Rising Sun. The cute and cuddly endorser is part of the DOT’s latest campaign that bears the tagline “Kokoro Somaru” (or “Color My Heart”). As a special endorser for the Philippines, Hello Kitty will appear in all major travel and tourism events of the DOT in Japan. The Hello Kitty logo will likewise appear in the brochures, posters and other promotional materials for Japanese travelers. Joining Hello Kitty as one of the faces endorsing the Philippines is actress Rin Takanashi, one of the “it” girls of Japanese show business.
Secretary of Tourism Ace Durano in a light moment with Hello Kitty
SUN PLAY FUN
STylISH SWImSUITS ANd mORE AT THE Spf ClOTHING STORE In a sun-drenched country such as ours, clothes with built-in sun protection (or UPF-rated swimwear) are a swell idea. The SPF Clothing Store proudly carries a drool-worthy range of Philippine-made swimwear whose fabrics have their own chemical-free sunblocking action. Apart from stylish bikinis, tankinis, board shorts, and one-piece children’s sunsuits, they also sell a wide selection of rash guards, flip-flops, legionnaire’s caps, waterproof bags, mesh cover-ups, and sun hats. SPF is located at Glorietta 4, Alabang Town Center, and Robinson’s Galleria. Call 850-2713, 752-7013, and 637-8591.
174 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
FrANk SiNATrA, singer
IN HIS lIfETIME, Ol’ Blue Eyes went by many monikers: The Man, The Leader, The King, and most famously—The Chairman of the Board. But in the august annals of music history, Frank Sinatra will always go down as the world’s first modern pop star. Yet unlike the engineered studio babies of the digital age, he possessed a golden, velvety voice that would put any handsome but half-baked performer to shame. In 1935, he secured a job as a singing waiter—and for $15 a week, the prodigious 20-year-old turned a random New Jersey restaurant into a show-stopping destination where the dishes were, most probably, only a bonus to the unfolding star in their midst. Of course, Sinatra definitely was no stranger in the night. In the 1960s, when Sinatramania was in full swing, he fraternized and rubbed friendly elbows with the contentious figures of his day: the gun-toting members of the Mafia, John F. Kennedy, and a velvet-roped clique called the Rat Pack—an influential group of entertainers (including Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, and Sammy Davis, Jr.) that painted Tinsletown red and promoted a neon-lit Nevada casino town into a melting pot of musical artists. A philanthropist as well as a thug, the legendary crooner was widely regarded to be the totem of mid-century masculinity. Yet, he managed to carry the weight of personal history in his swoony voice, infusing time-worn lyrics with an intimacy that would make his starry-eyed spectators choke with emotion, or more likely, weak in the knees. There was always that immediacy, that idiosyncrasy, that genuineness of expression. “His songs are his home and he lets you in—but to sing like that, you gotta have lost a couple of fights, to know tenderness and romance you’ve gotta have had your heart broken,” said U2 frontman Bono during 1994 Grammy Awards, where the 79-yearold singer was honored. “Rock ‘n’ roll plays at being tough, but this guy, well, he’s the boss . . . the boss of bosses . . . the big bang of pop. I’m not gonna mess with him, are you?” One thing’s for sure, he definitely did it his way. ☐
you gotta love livin’, baby, ‘cause dyin’ is a pain in the ass.
— Frank sinatra
176 MAY 2008 rogue magazine
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