Wanderland Music & Arts Festival 2014

Last Saturday I went to Wanderland Music & Arts Festival 2014 held at the Globe Circuit Grounds Makati. I was with my good friend, Karla, and it was equal parts enjoyable and exhausting.

lucy rose

We got there just in time for Lucy Rose‘s set and it was magical but the heat, oh god, the heat was making it difficult for me to enjoy the event. It felt like a million degrees out and we didn’t even get there early (it was like 5 pm or something). Some people were there before the whole thing started. Anyway, Lucy Rose was awesome and I instantly became a fan because her voice is as soothing as mango thick shake and belly rubs and cotton candy. Heh.

karla Continue reading

Bloodbuzz Manila

I have been staring at my laptop for a long, long time is a nice way to start a post about my favorite day in my entire life. I honestly don’t know how to tell you how much this day means to me. Spoiler alert: a lot. But before I start to bawl my eyes out again, let me tell you about the show.

buke and gase

Buke and Gase opened the show. These guys are amazing live. I don’t know any of their songs but I ended up liking them. Continue reading

FALLEN EMPIRE

Whenever I get my hands on money, there is this mystic sensation to get rid of it immediately. A one-night stand, that’s more like it; stroll the mall and end up with fancy things that will lose its value in the next three or four months. In last night’s gig, I received more than I gave – I rediscovered how rewarding it is to spend good money on experience.

(Damn you, self, for forgetting this but I forgive you.)

Sorry I suck at typography.

Last night, my sister and I got tickets to Snow Patrol’s one-night concert in Manila. It was their first time here and it was awesome that they got to play despite the weather condition, low pressure areas and all.

I’ve never seen any foreign act live (insert shame here) until Snow Patrol. The reason behind this is I don’t get the whole shebang of spending thousands just to see people play when everything is downloadable. Dark times, I know, but now I want to go back in time to slap my old self in the face (actually, in the places that’d hurt bad just to prove my point). I totally get it now – the people who invest in experience, who fly thousands of miles just to get their fix of live music.

I was that close to the stage. It was amazing.

Hours before the show started, I sat in the patron section (which is REALLY close to the stage) and never thought I would have a great time. I am not their biggest fan; I only know five songs by heart. It’s one of the reasons why I thought I’d sit clueless for most parts of the gig but I know nothing in life and that’s a shame because the tracks they played – these songs I know nothing about – I ended up liking them. Fresh to my ears, I jumped up and down to the beat and Gary Lightbody’s soothing voice. It was so surreal; the crowd screaming, the lights, the whole thing worked and I belonged with everything and everyone. I’ve been to local gigs but never felt as rewarded as I did that night.

Yesterday, I was still reliving the show. Here’s their set list:

  1. “Hands Open”
  2. “Take Back The City”
  3. “Crack The Shutters”
  4. “This Isn’t Everything You Are”
  5. “Run”
  6. “In The End”
  7. “New York”
  8. “Set The Fire To The Third Bar”
  9. “Make Things Go On Forever”
  10. “Shut Your Eyes”
  11. “Chasing Cars”
  12. “Chocolate”
  13. “Called Out In The Dark”
  14. “Fallen Empires”
  15. “Open Your Eyes”
  16. “You’re All I Have”
  17. “Lifening” (encore)
  18. “Just Say Yes” (encore)

Out of eighteen songs, I only know four but when it was over, I bagged the remaining fourteen and added them to my vault. “New York” and “This Isn’t Everything You Are” struck me the most; it was dream-like, my soul listening instead of my ears. Eyes closed, I let it fill me, talk to me, take over me. The moment they played “This Isn’t Everything You Are,” I knew I made the right decision.

I thought they weren’t gonna play “Just Say Yes” because I was really looking forward to hearing it live. Saved the best for last. I completely lost it when they did. With zero fucks given, I danced with both hands raised and sang along. Good times.

This whole experience made me regret not attending Laneway 2012 and missing The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Toro y Moi, Death Cab for Cutie, Smashing Pumpkins, and Taking Back Sunday. Man, the concerts I missed. /wrists. Anyway, I am saving up for Laneway 2013~ and I swear, the moment Coldplay announces they’re playing Manila, I will disregard my physiologic needs and starve.

This is all I ever wanted from life.

EMMA

I have this odd habit of multitasking; I open a book, get comfy, put on my ear plugs, and listen to music. I still haven’t figured out how I do it – eat words and drown them with rhythm and chords and guitar riffs. I just kind of do.

I remember the first time I heard “Skinny Love.” Oh god, I remember it like it just happened yesterday. I was reading Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, Snuff, and I was playing a mix tape I downloaded from one of my Tumblr pals. I wasn’t paying much attention to the mix, I thought I just needed something to accompany Palahniuk’s obscure choice of words so I listened and read and then this track started to play. I don’t know what sold me to Bon Iver. Was it a) the prose b) Justin Vernon’s voice c) the dormant feelings released from the vaults I thought I locked with the most powerful of spells d) all of the above?

Skinny Love, explained.

Skinny Love is the third track of Bon Iver’s album, For Emma, Forever Ago. I knew, the moment I heard this, I had to get the band’s full discography and was I wrong? For Emma, Forever Ago is one of the most heartbreaking, gut wrenching post break up albums there is. It will bring you back to the first time you felt the sting of betrayal, the first real time you got your heart beaten down to pulps, that time you had to mask the pang of rejection. All in one album.

Emma is not a person. Emma is a place that you get stuck in. Emma is a pain you cannot erase. – Justin Vernon

How could you not love this album when we’ve all had our own little versions of Emma? At one point in our lives, we were sadly stuck in that stinking rut only Justin Vernon knew better than all of us. While I turn to orchestrating my demise by soaking my innards with cheap alcohol and familiar faces, he made a record about his pain, his loss. Isn’t it swell how a single person’s music echo the rest of the world’s pain? It’s like you need not say anything because he said it all; he had the courage to reveal our souls through well-written verses, words we cannot, on our own, utter.

Pitchfork: So is Emma a real person, and is that her real name?
Justin Vernon: Real person. real name. I won’t divulge too much, but it’s not a fake name. And it’s not a fake person. I guess that’s the best answer I can say: It’s not a fake name and it’s not a fake person. But it’s not her real name and it’s not a real person either. Do you get what I’m saying? If it wasn’t for this person’s privacy, I’d be able to talk pretty freely about this subject on a personal level. The record’s about not her. It’s about my struggles through years of dealing with the aftermath of lost love and longing and just mediocrity and just bad news, like life stuff. And in the [record], where the title comes from, the lyrics are actually a conversation between me and another girl, not this Emma character.

Pitchfork: Is the person aware of it? What was their reaction?
JV: Nothing really changed. I explained to her what I explained to you: “This isn’t about you– as selfish as that sounds. It’s about me. It’s about all the shit that I dealt with and I didn’t deal with.” But in any situation with long love, I don’t think it ever really goes away fully. You just sort of learn where to keep it.

Pitchfork: Did this record help you find that place? Was it healing?
JV: It was the most cathartic experience of my entire life.

Whenever I get my share of life pains, I go back to what Justin Vernon said. I look back to the time I felt I thought I was going to lose it but I did not. When I felt most vulnerable, that time I believed I was done with everything, that point when I gave up because I couldn’t move my feet. I go back, relearn how I coped with those hardships, and tell myself this: Oh, look! You’re still here. Feel your legs, you can still move them, yeah? Right. Keep moving, then.

The pain may not go away fully but at least I now know where to keep it.