August 30, 2012

WISHFUL THINKING FOR FILIPINO MUSIC

A week ago, we’ve invited fellow writers and bloggers to do their own spin on Alexis Tioseco’s acclaimed piece “Wishful Thinking For Philippine Cinema” as our little tribute to the late film critic’s persistence on elevating the level of contemporary art criticism here in the Philippines. Instead of writing about Philippine Cinema, we challenged ourselves to apply his cause on the state of Filipino music, with all of us agreeing to publish our version on or before September 1, 2012-- the exact date that marks his third death anniversary.

I wish the Aquino administration would strengthen the campaign on the protection of intellectual property rights, with emphasis on fighting against piracy and illegal distribution of music in various forms.

I wish The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Aquino himself would be true to their word when they’ve decided few years ago under Executive Order No. 255 to enforce radio stations to play at least four locally produced songs per hour.

I wish government funding would be allocated in supporting music projects that celebrate indigenous and regional culture.

I wish National Commission For Culture and The Arts (NCCA) and the government would be more vigilant in promoting a music literacy program targeted to the youth.

I wish The Department of Education (DepEd) would start an advocacy espousing quality music education even for people who can’t afford to pay for lessons.

I wish the Filipinas Heritage Library success in its preservation of vinyl records containing Filipino music from 1920s to 1980s.

I wish there would be another institution that can foster preservation and collection of OPM cassette tapes and CDs from the 20th century up to the present. Sales of physical copies have hit rock bottom for the past few years due to piracy and sudden surge of online downloads, and we don’t want our future generation to miss out on witnessing a rich musical heritage that is at par with other countries.

I wish record label bigwigs would refrain from assigning old tunes for their roster of talents to remake. Instead of cover songs, why not allow your artists to practice their creative freedom and work on an original material?



I wish record labels would put its money on tapping underrated, young, and forward-thinking producers to work with their prized talents. Why not try someone like Similar Objects/Idris Vicuna to collaborate on an electro-pop project with Sarah Geronimo? Yeng Constantino under the guidance of let’s say, Jazz Nicholas or Robin Rivera? Or Dan Gil trying his hand on redressing Kyla or Jaya for an authentic, drunken soul album ala Amy Winehouse? Pop music needs innovation ASAP.

I wish Star Records and the rest of the major labels would stop dumbing down the audience with formulaic ballads, flabby remakes, solo albums by sappy soap princes and princesses, and a whole lot of gimmicks.

I hope Vicor Records, home to several OPM catalogues and classics of the past, to continue the tradition of reissuing old albums and compilations by music artists from the ‘50s to the early ‘00s.

I wish Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit headed by Mr. Ogie Alcasid success in its pursuit to uphold the rights and interests of music artists in the Philippines.



I wish for the creation of a “LEGIT” “NATIONAL” songwriting competition ala Metropop aimed to showcase the talent and diversity of Filipino composers and songwriters.

I wish Sunday variety noontime shows and other related formats on Television would make an effort to bring quality live music to the table. I hope they would refrain from functioning as a launch pad for talentless TV/film celebrities who couldn’t even sing and dance.

I wish TV/movie personalities would stop lip-syncing on TV, mall shows and concerts. I hope they’d stop making the public believe that they can have a bright singing career by just capitalizing on looks and “kilig” factor.

I wish radio stations operating under a music format would play more songs from Filipino talents, mainstream and independent. It’s about time we celebrate the diversity of our own music.

I wish internet radio and music sites focusing on Original Filipino music content such as pinoytuner.com, sarisarisounds.com, splintr.com, and radiorepublic.ph would continue supporting homegrown talents, especially underrated and independent musicians not given enough media mileage.

I wish iTunes, opm2go.com, kabayancentral.com, and mymusicstore.com.ph would still continue to distribute ORIGINAL Filipino music online. Also, I hope these online music stores will be more considerate in putting independent and self-financed releases to their catalogue.

I wish Odyssey, Astrovision and other record stores would give more rack spaces for Filipino releases, mainstream or independent.

I wish music festivals here in the Philippines would rather operate as a modern-day pilgrimage unifying music-loving individuals than a cash-grab excuse of a bait extorting on hipsters and culturatis.



I wish there would be more people like Mei Bastes who’d go out of their way to provide the best gigs and music events in the country.

I wish there would be more of Revolver, Green Apple, Tubby Trousers, Attraction Reaction, Terno Inferno and other weekly/monthly gig productions supporting an assortment of underrated talents from different genres and music backgrounds.

I wish MYX Music Channel would still express its love for playing Filipino music. I also hope that unlike its giant, free TV counterpart, it wouldn’t succumb to network war biases.

I wish Jam 88.3 wouldn’t reformat into a top 40 station.



I wish Davao Music Nation would continue to recognize the potentials of Davao City as a hotbed of fresh music talents.

I wish other cultural hot spots outside Metro Manila (Cebu, Baguio, Iloilo, Naga, Cagayan De Oro etc.) would follow suit and start building strengthening their a music community of its own.

I wish Number Line Records would release more free albums in the internet.

I wish Terno Recordings would get to discover more underrated acts with so much innovation and talent to offer.

I wish Radioactive Sago Project would return ASAP with a follow-up to 2007’s Tangina Mo Andaming Nagugutom Sa Mundo Fashionista Ka Pa Rin. Make it happen, please?



I wish The Itchyworms would blow our minds again the way they did in 2005 with their satirical pop masterpiece, Noon Time Show.

I wish Wolfgang and Razorback more albums to come.

I wish everyone could get a copy of Up Dharma Down’s upcoming third album, Capacities.

I wish people would start marking their calendars on the release date of upcoming albums to be released this year: The Purple Chickens, Drip, Ang Bandang Shirley, Swissy, Laly Buendia, Dash Calzado, Bent Lynchpin, Urbandub, and more.

I wish Zia Quizon won’t fall under the trap of commercial success, and would still continue making accessible but brilliant pop music.



I wish Ryan Cayabyab would write more original compositions and restore our faith in the semi-drought that is Filipino pop music.

I wish people would stop comparing Gloc 9 to the “great” Francis Magalona, because he is in a league of his own.

I wish Fliptop would become a vehicle for more wordsmiths and street-life troubadours to expose their music to a larger audience. Read: Loonie, K-Jah, Fuego and Abra.

I wish more people would listen to Filipino hiphop music and realize that in a short nick of time, it has evolved into a forward-thinking machine.



I wish Sheila and The Insects would reunite for an album only to prove that some of the most innovative music exists outside Imperial Manila.

I wish The Camerawalls would incorporate more of the Rondalla-inspired classicism they used to churn out in their debut album.

I wish Child/ren of The Pilgrimage would release their highly anticipated debut album we’ve been raving about these past few months.

I wish more people would get to listen to Bagetsafonik’s sophomore self-titled album because it’s the best LP released this year (so far).

I wish Noel Cabangon, Gary Valenciano, Aiza Seguerra, Lea Salonga, Basil Valdez and other OPM icons would focus their energy more on creating music with original content. We’ve always believed that these revered music institutions don’t deserve anything lesser than giving life to a timeless hit.



I wish Joey Ayala would return to making music.

I wish Ely Buendia, Dong Abay, Rico Blanco, Ebe Dancel and Bamboo Mañalac success in their new music endeavors.

I wish more Filipino talents would penetrate the international market.

I wish artists/bands won’t take offense of criticisms.

I wish Anvil Publishing would reissue Eric Caruncho’s Punks, Poets, and Poseurs: A Reportage on Pinoy Rock and Roll.

I wish Eric Caruncho would go back to documenting the Filipino music scene. He deserves to have a music column in any of the three major broadsheets.



I wish Aldus Santos would write a follow-up to his Repeat While Fading: Pinoy Rock Biographs book.

I wish Lourd De Veyra would continue writing more about pop culture and forgotten music icons.

I wish Quark Henares, Luis Katigbak, and Erwin Romulo (QLE) would still publish their annual roundup of the best Filipino music releases.

I wish music writer Baby A. Gil wouldn’t mind opening her ears for new music outside mainstream pop.

I wish “lastdodobird” would blog about local music, again.

I wish Pulp Magazine more years of published music writings about local musicians and their music.

I wish Burn Magazine would resurrect from its ashes to bring us again, some of the finest writings in music.

I wish people would understand that Filipino music still exists after The Eraserheads called it quits.

I wish people wouldn’t stop buying Filipino albums after The Eraserheads called it quits.

I wish everyone have the initiative to look for new music in the internet.

I wish more Filipinos would support quality Filipino music.

I wish more Filipinos would write about Filipino music.

I wish Filipinos would make more quality music.

I wish for a better discourse on Filipino music.

And I wish Filipino music more birthdays to come.

Long live, Filipino music!

******
Other participants for the Wishful Thinking for Filipino Music Challenge:

http://pinoytuner.com/blog/view/1360/18/digradio/wishful_thinking_for_filipino_music
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/272704/opinion/blogs/some-wishin-for-original-pinoy-music-and-musikero
http://sarisarisounds.com/blog/2012/09/02/wishful-thinking-for-filipino-music/

4 comments:

  1. Very nice comprehensive article written.

    However I'd like to just quote this portion of the text.

    "I wish other cultural hot spots outside Metro Manila (Cebu, Baguio, Iloilo, Naga, Cagayan De Oro etc.) would follow suit and start building a music community of its own."

    I emphasized this one part because, most of the cities mentioned actually have an active music community. Most specially cebu, which produced bands like "40" and "The Ire" together with "the monks" and "BTU", during the early part of the 90s, these bands would regularly tour the visayas region back in their heyday. And There was a radio station, 99.5rt cebu(now barangay LSFM cebu) which would play local alternative music from bands hailing from cebu, iloilo, leyte among others. This was way before Sheila and the Insects would make it big in the nation's capital.

    To add more, as early as 1986, iloilo already had a burgeoning new wave scene. It was even featured in the now defunct jingle magazine.

    And Baguio had bag'iw, revelation during the 90s and of course session road in the early part of the 2000s.

    One of the problems affecting these regional artist is there are not that much of avenue to play gigs and share their music, as most bars would opt to hiring cover acts instead.

    To end, if i may add one more to the wishlist, it would be for the resurgence of regional music from those aforementioned cities and all other regions of the country and their respective communities, Be it pop, rock or whatever genre it is, as long as it is original music written, to show that we can also find gems in the countryside. A wish that these regions may finally wake up from their long slumber, and make some noise once again like they did long ago.

    Kudos to this well written piece, a proof that the local music scene is very much alive and kicking!

    ReplyDelete
  2. randomly stumbled onto this site and this is brilliant. i have the first bagetsafonik album; where can i buy the second? (without going to a gig?)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wish Ronnie Dizon was still alive.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very informative article. It's so nice to actually read articles such as this because it can bring together Filipino Music enthusiasts.

    I wish Filipino Musicians get more exposure and support and we should really tap non-mainstream musicians, too.

    ReplyDelete

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