A Song Maybe Ghosts Know

As I was flipping through TV scenes and repeatedly pressing the button, I stopped when I realized what was happening: stones floating by themselves and building a bridge, ghostly crowds with transfixed gazes moving in circles. They seemed to be dancing to a song. But, to the kid that I was, it seemed wrong to dance to a funeral march. Then again, it sounded like it was played by Lurch of the Addams Family.

Hearing Winners

Have you ever listened to a song and thought it was a winner? Some months ago, a friend posted “Monumento”, a creation of veteran composer Jungee Marcelo and is one of his two entries for this year’s Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs, a songwriting and music video competition. It is interpreted by two of the […]

Looking Back One More Time

Corner of Past, Present, and Future
Corner of Past, Present, and Future

“Were you able to look back on a few things?”

Yes, I did. Many things happened to me while I was with friends. Sometimes, with strangers. And a few times just by myself. Some things may happen again or never again. Some circumstances have changed and some have not. I have a great number of memories – both sad and happy – from just this year alone. Frankly, I’d like more of the latter than the former for next year. And, reader, I wish the same for you.

May we have more memorable moments in 2016. From my blog to you, Happy New Year!

——-

For the curious, the image is a screenshot from an anime.

Kekkai Sensen, also known as Blood Blockade Battlefront, is quite a revelation. The story is a riot that builds quite a pitch then crashes with laughter and tears. The suits that most of the characters use are eye candies. And the soundtrack – with one CD using mostly songs with English lyrics – is an eargasm. If you liked the OST of Cowboy Bebop and Baccano, you may want to give this one a try.

 

Hello, World by Bump of Chicken

 

Catch Me If You Can by Ai Ninomiya

 

On My Own by Ai Ninomiya

 

Land of Nod by Ben Lorentzen

 

Sugar Song to Bitter Step by Unison Square Garden

Not The Same (Christmas) Song

Yesterday, I was with Marvin for a hefty merienda, which is a whole other story.

While we were catching up with each other and swapping stories, he told me about one Christmas party that he attended. He was actually the one who organized it but, despite that, he never knew what the group performers were planning. So, come party time, he and all the other attendees heard one song for the rest of the night: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” originally performed by Mariah Carey.

Some used only parts of it. Others used the whole song. Whichever, it was the same song for every number. My guess is that Marvin and the rest of the people at the party had enough of it in spite of the song being good.

In a way, I am grateful that I didn’t include it in the list of songs I shared with him. I could only imagine how he would’ve reacted had it been there. So, what is in my list of Christmas songs?

 

Angels We Have Heard On High – The Piano Guys

 

Central Park Serenade – Gregory Porter and Renee Fleming

 

Christmas Is The Time – Katherine McPhee

 

December (September) – Earth, Wind, and Fire with Tyler Ward

 

Elf’s Lament – Barenaked Ladies and Michael Buble

 

Everybody’s Waiting For The Man With The Bag – Seth McFarlane

 

In Your Care – 4Him

 

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas – Harry Connick, Jr.

 

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of Year – Brian McKnight

 

Kumukutikutitap – The Company and The Ryan Cayabyab Singers

 

Let It Snow, Let It Snow – Jamie Cullum

 

Mon Beau Sapin – James Taylor

 

On A Night Like This – Chris Mann

 

Paskong- Pasko – Akafellas

 

Perfect Day – Christ Botti

 

Petit Papa Noel – Josh Groban

 

Rose of Bethlehem – Steve Green

 

Simple Things (Holiday Version) – Jim Brickman featuring Rebecca Lynn Howard

 

This Gift – 98 °

 

When Love Was Born – Dave Barnes

 

And with that, I bid you, dear reader, Happy Holidays!

The Unheard Muse in the Unseen Museum

My mistress – my muse – is strict and fickle.

She pays no mind if I do things by longhand or by the computer. It doesn’t matter to her if it is cursive or print, on a desktop or a laptop. Solitary or company is never an issue to her. As long as I heed the rules of the ritual, she remains my patron.

Always, I must approach cleansed. And I must walk with caution at my feet. I may head to her direction but she may not always be there. She could disappear or just be in hiding.

I enter her temple. Invisible, constant, unmanned, delicate, and bizarre. It is a shrine built by the winds, carried by the sun, and veiled by the moon. She is the muse and the place is hers, a museum. Its windows are on the ceiling. Its solitary door remains on the floor. Without her, the hall is quiet, cold, and dark. But it is not empty. It has never been empty.

Her museum continues to grow every day. She has no regard for the walls for there are none. There are only shelves.

The shelves contain nothing but music of both the living and the dead. The songs could be worded, wordless, worthless, worthy, or wordy. Maybe I should not have said worthless. It could invite her ire.

But that is what all those songs are for: to appease her, to invoke her, and to baffle her. She has many songs because her tastes change. What she likes now may not be the same one in the next second. Sometimes, she likes only one for days on end. To continually be in her good graces, I must remain aware of her shifting or stagnant preferences.

Songs fill her temple. So has silence. But, of all the voices heard there, none of them are hers. She has never spoken—not even to me.

The Perfect Hideout | I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose

Where do you go when you’re having a bad day?

I was having one earlier today. I was feeling so rotten. Radio was one of my refuges but it could only do so much—that was until I heard a particular line.

“Just waiting for the perfect hideout”

That was the only string I caught. The chorus had already ended. The words were silent. Only the music remained. So I searched for the lyrics. I was basically bowled over when I discovered who the artist was: Bombay Bicycle Club.

English indie band Bombay Bicycle Club has been my favorite since I first heard their “Lights Out, Words Gone” a couple of years ago. I fell in love with their music more when I immersed myself in their 2010 album, “Flaws”. And “Shuffle” could never be played just once.

One of favorite bands rescued me today with just one song of theirs: “Luna”.

Immediately, I looked for the song. It wasn’t difficult to find a hit from last year. Easily, I liked it. The recognizable Indian strains made the song all the more interesting. The “Ah-ooo-ooo” is just too fun not to sing. And drum in the chorus is just intense!

Because it has a fast tempo and quite danceable, it’s not surprising that there are a number of remixes for it.

While I love the remixes and the many live acoustic versions, one stands out from the rest.

The In:Demand Uncut version translates the song into an emotion different from that made in the studio. There is an ethereal, almost magical quality about the arrangement, emphasized by the choice of instruments used by Bombay Bicycle Club for the session. It’s like when the moon, while in its fullest, would peek from the dark clouds—but only for such a brief moment, like a short, sweet dream that happened while you’re awake.

Personally, I believe that the version would not be out of place had it been included in “Flaws”.

“Luna” saved me. It got me to shake my blues loose in an existent place where I felt safe.

Choosing “Mary” (It’s Not Sting)

“Oh. It’s that ‘Mary’ song.”

You know how you don’t know the title of a song but are somehow familiar with it that you give it your own title? That is how I’ve been with that song for years now. But that’s not the only thing I’ve done with the “Mary” song.

I’ve never heard it in its entirety. Even this morning, when it was playing on the radio, I skipped it and surfed for other stations but, when I couldn’t find a good song, I went back to it. My choices were sappy, angry, or “Mary”. I chose “Mary”.

Because of its melody, I was slowly getting in a cheery mood.

Easily, I began to look for its lyrics. Only when the results appeared did it dawn on me: I had associated it with the wrong singer. All these years, I’ve thought that it was The Police or Sting who was the artist behind “Mary”. Turns out, it’s Danny Wilson. I don’t who he is. I could almost swear that Danny’s voice has that Sting quality to it ergo my decades-long mistake.

Predictably, I began to like the song the more times I repeated it. So, I looked for other versions of it. Jason Donovan made a cover of it that sounds straight from an 80s movie. And BBMak has an unreleased rendition of it.

This is one of those few times when a song saved my day. Just ask the officemates because they’ve been tortured by my singing for a good hour or two. Though I don’t know what saves them from my voice.

Triangulo | Struck a Chord

How many times could you play in a loop the same song in the same day?

I think I just discovered my song for the month. It’s called “Triangulo”, written by Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana. The duo and Jeric Medina performed the song, which was also the Grand Prize Winner for Philpop 2015. With just its opening bars, I already knew I would fall in love with it. And I was right!

Frankly, I have lost count on how many times the song has been on repeat. And I don’t think I would be tired of it anytime soon. Do you get tired of playing the same song repeatedly?

Strangely, its energy and sentiment reminded me “Dati”, which is also a winner of a song contest. And after going across comments, I learned that Thyro and Yumi are also the brains behind that song and “Kilometro” as well.

Now, why have I fallen in love with this song?

That’s a loaded question. Undeniably, I was hooked by the melody. But what made me listen was the story: two guys are asking a girl to take responsibility and choose the one she wants more. Songs that brush on infidelity have always struck a chord with me–not that I have been a philanderer, mind you.

Also, there’s the play on words. This song is about a love triangle and triangle in Filipino is tatsulok. But the Tagalized version triangulo is also accepted. Besides being Tagalized, the title is also a portmanteau of “try” and “ang gulo-gulo” (messy, confusing).

Referring to such a mess and confusion speaks to me, in so many ways.

Being Remembered | Just Having Fun

Well, it’s your birthday
Let’s act like it is
And just go crazy
Do what we want with no reason why
Life ain’t long enough
So let’s celebrate

And that is what I did!

Naaalala mo pa ba ang panahon (Do you still remember the time)
Nung excited ka pa sa birthday mo taon-taon (When you were still excited for your birthday every year)
Ngayon puting buhok mo ay lumalabas (Now that your white hairs are showing)
Kalendaryo ay gusto mong i-atras (You want to push back the calendar)

Frankly, I like having birthdays but not the aging.

I like warm fuzzy feelings.

I like cake and/or ice cream, whichever is available.

I like smiles and greetings.

I like kisses.

I like being remembered.

Living | Daily Prompt: Mix Tape

Put together a musical playlist of songs that describe your life, including what you hope your future entails. 

As Long As I Can Dream – Expose

Believe – DB Boulevard

Bruises – Train and Ashley Monroe

Clouds – Newton Faulkner

Dare To Dream – John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John

Dare You To Move – Switchfoot

Emmet’s Morning – Mark Mothersbaugh

Go The Distance – Michael Bolton

Goobledigook – Sigur Ros

Heart In Hand – Vertical Horizon

Hold On – Wilson Phillips

Horizon – Ashby

I Lived (RED) Remix – OneRepublic

I Stand Alone – Bryan White

If You Get Scared – D’Sound

I’m On My Way – Rich Price

Keep Marchin’ – Raphael Saadiq

Keep Your Head Up High – Andy Grammer

Looking For A Place To Land – Dakota Moon

New Deep – John Mayer

Permission To Shine – Bachelor Girl

Rise – Boyzone

Roar – Tyler Ward and Two Worlds

Stand – Rascal Flatts

The Fighter – Gym Heroes and Ryan Tedder

The Climb – Joe McElderry

Try Again – Westlife

Typical – Mutemath

Ugly – Sugababes

What Faith Can Do – Kutless

Would You Be Happier – The Corrs

You Gotta Be – Natalie Cole