LONDON -- Despite their personal problems, Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse remain a favorite with fans and lead the nominations for best act at this year's MTV Europe Music Awards, it was announced Monday.
Singer Beyonce is also up for an award and is expected to perform at the November 6 event in Liverpool, northwest England.
The 27-year-old former member of Destiny's Child is competing against Alicia Keys, Chris Brown, Kanye West and Lil Wayne in the 'ultimate urban' category, one of 10 awards at the event voted for by music fans.
In the 'best act of 2008' category, Spears will be up against soul singer Winehouse, who has struggled with drugs and alcohol, as well as Coldplay, Leona Lewis and Rihanna.
By Anna Valmero
Manila’s sonic hatcheries crack out the incubators at Club Dredd at Eastwood City for the third Electrostatic Sound Conference held September 24. Manila sound art musicians along with a guest Australian artist played their compositions and shared their music to their followers and to new crowds. The event, spearheaded by New Media Arts Manila, was held to support the musician’s friend who was shot several weeks ago.
“Sound art is an abstraction on what we usually considered music with rhythm, melody and harmony elements. You take away those elements and you come up with sounds that you organize to form the art,” said Singapore-based guest artist Darren Moore. “It encompasses an area of music that may not be mainstream in genre, but with a definite following.”
As a form of contemporary art, the media fuses different sounds produced by musical instruments, everyday materials and recorded sound produced by animals, TV or a typical conversation. As such, the content varies because music is relative and perceived differently by people. As such, the pattering of the rain can be a symphony or not, depending on the listener.
“You can use any material to produce sound and use that raw sound in your composition or you can synthesize it, depending on the effect you want,” Moore said. “For me, I want to focus on the micro sounds so I use my laptop and some tuners for my piece.”
Given the freedom to compose a sound art piece, artists can produce music from any material of their choice and couple that with images to add visualization to the piece.
Tad Ermitano took this fusion of music and visualization a level higher. During his turn, he used the sound vibration produced by an amped speaker to provide the motion to a set of small metal balls and colored paint, thus producing a “non-Newtonian fluid” or fluids that do not follow Isaac Newton’s model of fluid dynamics.
According to Ermitano, sound art is not limited to the organization of sounds to come up with music. For his piece, he added the live-act motion of his non-Newtonian fluid as to redefine the concoction of music and visualization in sound art.
By Emjay Polina
"OK pa ba kayo dyan?" This was one of the very rare moments Ely Buendia spoke onstage (and this was midway through the first set). It would have been the perfect question to ask him: Was he still fine? His calm demeanor onstage all throughout the first 15 songs belied the unstable mental and physical state he was in. We didn’t know his mother just died 2 days ago and we did not know how extremely pressured they were to push through with the concert with just less than a week’s preparations.
Here's the video of that night's events:
Ten minutes before Lally Buendia (Ely's sister) went onstage to announce that the show has to be cut short, our friend Di said she was feeling weird about something.
"Kinakabahan ako. Ewan ko basta kinakabahan ako," she said over and over again that I almost strangled her. I jokingly told her she’s not going to get raped on our way back to Quezon City and to told her to stop. But to our great shock, the unthinkable happened -- there are no more 2nd and 3rd sets. Ely had to be rushed to the hospital due to severe "emotional and physical stress." Raimund took the stage first, his voice a bit shaky it sounded like he’s going to break down any minute. He handed the mic over to Buddy and Ely's sister for the formal announcement that would break all of our hearts. It took a while for the disbelief to subside. We left the field after an hour of debate and "pagmumura."
Me, my three friends and the rest of the 20,000 Eraserheads fans and curious folks who flocked The Fort last night eagerly waited for this event for almost two months. This would have been the biggest and most successful concert this year and not to forget -- the most remarkable. There were no major promotional events, no TV and radio commercials, no posters -- just plain word-of-mouth and incessant blogging. They started selling tickets Wednesday and, well they just easily sold out. This just goes to show how much the people missed this foursome. The Eraserheads faithful are very much alive. Well just imagine how many more people would have flocked if the concert was really free (as was originally planned before the "Dastardly Dementors" ruined the tobacco company's plans).
There was really no sign of impending doom at the start of the show. The whole thing was unbelievably organized. Entrance and exit points were well marked and people promptly fell in line. There were no pushing or shouting. And to me and my friends' great relief -- there were no JJ's ( Jumping Jologs a.k.a. Killer Orcs a.k.a. Goth wannabes) in the area. Actually the crowd was mostly students and yuppies (mostly people from Peyups). "Parang isang malaking malaking UP fair lang 'to," a former dormmate said. And to think hours before I was fretting about getting mercilessly pushed about and having my belongings robbed off me.
So much for the drama….
How did the whole thing start off?
The crowd started going wild during the ten-minute countdown. That was one of the longest ten minutes ever. The excitement can hardly be contained anymore. And then the lights were on, the magnificent sparks flew, and then -- Raim’s drumbeats. I always knew they'd kick off with "Alapaap." That unforgettable bass line that followed immediately was more than enough to get each and every one screaming and jumping. Each 'Head got their spotlight –the hyperkinetic Raimund Marasigan (donning a lady’s wig) on drums, the super-cool surferdude Marcus Adoro (my favorite) on lead guitars, the calm and steady-looking Buddy Zabala on bass and of course, the enigmatic and deeply-troubled Ely Buendia on vocals and rhythm guitar. Together at last after six years. I was very lucky to have caught them perform twice during my freshman year at UP Diliman. I was always at the front row before, this time I was at the "Gen Ad" section where I could hardly see their faces. I didn’t really care much just as long as the wide screens were there and the audio system was just directly in front of us.
Watch the video of the song, "Alapaap":
They sounded really really good. Hands down. It's as if they never disbanded and just grew even more musically sophisticated. "Alapaap" did not disappoint. If you are a fan of the 'Heads, you really know that they have the tendency na "magkalat" during live shows. They're just performing in the spirit of fun and you could feel it. Those were the heady days.
A quick succession of melt-in-your-ear old pop hits followed (mostly from their Ultra, Circus and Cutterpillow albums). There was the very popular college favorite "Ligaya," then came "Sembreak" (during which UP students and alumni screamed Go UP! as familiar campus sights were flashed on the big screen).
Here are the videos of their "Ligaya" and "Sembreak" performances respectively:
"Hey Jay" was just as engaging as well. "They tried…They really tried… to tell us we’re too OLD. Too old to really be … BOLD." Ely spoke these first few lines from "Toyang" -- a song reportedly about a former flame with whom he had a love child. This song was one of the major highlights of the first set.
Everything would have been really okay except that they just don't talk to the crowd. There is total dead air in between songs. We were half-expecting Raims to jump up and just grab the mic from Ely. All they did instead is tune up their instruments a bit before hitting off with another pop ditty. People chanted "GROUP HUG!!" and "Magsalita naman kayo!!!" to the band to ward off the increasing tension among the four of them. Apart from the really great 1st set of playlist, the silence in between is really creepy. They went on with "Fruitcake," "Kama Supra," and for the rock ballad "Kailan" Ely invited Jazz Nicolas of Itchyworms to play the keyboards and he just let the crowd sing the last part: "Kailan ako lalaya sa anino ng pag-iisa, Mga rehas lang ang tanaw. Nanginginig sa seldang maginaaaaaw." "With A Smile" became quite an emotional piece that my friend Di almost burst into tears. For "Shake Yer Head" Ely was so hyper he was literally shaking his head a lot and even let his oversized aviator shades fly off his face. If Ely was hyper at one point, Buddy was frowning over a slightly malfunctional bass effects.
Three more pop favorites were sung: "Kaliwete" (with lots of Macoy’s guitars), "Huwag kang Matakot" and the walang-kamatayang "Huwag Mo Nang Itanong." The first set ended with an obscure "Lightyears" (from Fruitcake). Most people were asking: "What song is that?" It certainly wasn't the type of ending song they'd want to hear but it was great nonetheless. Ely afterwards just held his guitar in one hand and kept looking sideways (as if looking for someone to take it off his hand). Then the lights started to go out one by one, and the only thing shown on the screen is the big timer once again counting to 20 minutes before the 2nd set – that would never be.
Raymund, on his Subsandwich mailing list said that they prepared three sets for what he previously called the "Magical Mystery Show." “The first was just a warm up. The remaining two was going to be the fun part. There were more videos and light shows and pyro in store for everyone," he said. True enough, their more popular songs were not yet played: the riff-driven favorite of mine -- "Superproxy," the cult-favorite anthem "Pare Ko," the wild "Pop Machine," the likewise controversial "Tikman," the upbeat "Magasin," the beautiful "Torpedo," the weird "Spoliarium," the sappy "Hard to Believe" and another controversial song "Alkohol." I was expecting they would end with the bittersweet "Ang Huling El Bimbo" or the more emotional "Para sa Masa."
After all the disappointment, the question now remains: "Will there be a Part 2?" There better be. Raims said it himself during one of the numerous news interviews that followed afterwards. "Babawi kami," he said. No word yet on the date or place. They just wanted to assure that Ely gets the rest he deserved. In the end the people wouldn't really care if they reunite for real (a highly unlikely possibility) or not. They just want to see the foursome perform as a whole again even for just one marvelous night.
To cap a truly disappointing night, we headed to our favorite KTV tambayan Ucle Tat’s at Matalino St. We sang every Eraserhead song we can find in the catalog and screamed our hearts out until four in the morning. We did not want to feel really defeated after all.
MANILA, Philippines -- “We’re radical then…but we’ve changed. We never claimed this mantel of Emo,” Third Eye Blind’s (3eb) Stephan Jenkins (guitar and vocals) declared, as he explained how the band’s music has changed since their eponymous debut album in 1997.
3eb is definitely not an Emo band. It is an American alternative rock band that emerged in the 1990s with lyrical rock staples like “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Graduate,” and “How’s It’s Going To Be.” Their successful 1997 album Third Eye Blind remains their biggest, selling 6 million copies, according to Jenkins.
However, a decade in the music business has made the band a lot more “integrated,” “louder” and “political,” according to Jenkins who seemed in the mood to give long answers to questions by local journalists during a press conference here.
3eb is scheduled to play a one-night concert in Manila on September 5, as part of the Oktoberfest festivities led by San Miguel Corp.
What kept the band from coming out with a new album?
Jenkins replied, “I came out of a lyrical slump.”
The recent US political climate has somehow inspired Jenkins and the rest of the band to finally finish 3eb’s fourth album, reportedly dubbed Ursa Major. It will be under the Sony label and is expected to come out February 2009.
“We now have a stronger sense of who we are as musicians,” said Jenkins who was with Brad Hargreaves (drums and percussions) and Tony Fredianelli (guitar and vocals).
During the press conference, Jenkins kept coming back to the “US political consciousness” that has recently emerged – hinting probably on the upcoming elections – which he said has influenced the songs in the new album.
The band agreed that writing the new album was “challenging.” In fact, Jenkins who answered most of the questions posed by journalists, explained that 3eb’s new music is "extroverted" now due to more interactivity happening within the band.
Asked about the band's thoughts on how technology has changed the music industry, Jenkins said YouTube and MySpace have allowed bands to interact directly with their fans and vice versa, effectively removing the once-powerful music executives from the picture.
“Power is now in the hands of the band,” Jenkins stressed, noting that today's bands “don’t need to dance on top of the table” to make it in this cutthroat industry.
Asked about music piracy and emerging initiatives to let people decide how much are they willing to pay for music online – as exemplified by Radiohead's strategy to sell Rainbows – Hargreaves retorted, “it’s unstoppable,” referring to music piracy on the Internet.
The Internet has, however, helped 3eb reached out to younger fans who are less familiar with their music. “More youngsters are now embracing our music,” Jenkins said, thanks to social networks like MySpace and Facebook.
THE music resonates in your ears as if you’re listening to a real live concert.
Sugarfree Live! album brings both the live concert feel where you can hear percussions and strings harmoniously mixed to the beat of the Sugarfree music. The band’s concert with the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) on September 29, 2007 was recorded in an album that includes a collection of the band’s 18 hit singles.
Sugarfree’s bassist Jal Taguibao said they want to offer something new to their listeners, such as their performance with an orchestra. According to Sugarfree’s vocalist Ebe Dancel, the listeners may expect a new arrangement for their songs as they played side by side with the MSO.
Asked about their favorite songs in the album, each of band members, Dancel picked “Wag Ka Ng Umiyak,” Drummer Kaka Quisumbing chose “Tulog Na,” while Taguibao picked “Burn Out.”
Having been in the music industry for nine years, the band believes that it has yet to fulfill a dream of performing for Filipinos in the United States. They already have played in Singapore. In fact, they recall during their gig that the Filipinos in Singapore were singing along with them.
“Someone came up to me and said your songs reminded me of hope,” says Dancel.
The band members admitted that they would have pursued a different career if they were not musicians.
Taguibao said he wanted be a synchronized swimmer, while Quisumbing would loved to become a dancer. Meanwhile, Dancel wants to volunteer in a non-government organization for kids.