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Posts from the ‘Gigs’ Category

Crazy JAM Sessions

Our first gig for 2011 that garnered a considerable amount of listeners was in the intimate confines of JAM 88.3, which I believe is the only radio station left that plays great indie pop tunes.

It was our third time to guest and perform in their weekly Sunday show called Jam Sessions. The first one was back in 2008 before we release “Pocket Guide To The Otherworld” followed by a mall show in Cavite last year after the release of “The Sight Of Love“. Both hosted by Tracy Abad.

This time we had the crazy pleasure to be interviewed by the boisterous and convivial tandem of Jugs Jugueta and Kelvin Yu, both members of the local band Itchyworms, now turned noontime show hosts and DJs on the side. Aired last Sunday is a pre-recorded interview and live performance. So live they never bothered editing the supposed “outtakes” which I find ludicrously amusing.

We visited the station to record our session exactly a week before our supposed guesting. We were advised to do an acoustic set, but to our surprise, there inside the booth is a full band set up being used by Tanya Markova who’s about to wrap up with their show. An electric drum kit and a Bass amp is in place, which instantly changed our minds from playing entirely with just an acoustic guitar.

Law didn’t bring his electric bass guitar. We didn’t want to miss the opportunity where each member can play. (It’s not everyday we get to play live on radio). Good thing Em Aquino (bassist of Your Imaginary Friends) left her Ibanez Jet King Electric Bass at Lilystars headquarters, prompting my colleague/roadie Antonette to make a run for it. I’m not sure if she asked permission from the owner, but we are very thankful for this coincidence. (Thanks Em!).

Us performing "My Life's Arithmetic Means".

Joseph Rudica talks about being an official Camerwalls member.

The crazy duo: Jugs and Kel

The session was unlike any of our past radio guestings. It didn’t even feel like we’re on the radio. The setting was more of a drinking spree on a side street, with the hosts laughing out loud at the most ridiculous comments and private jokes they throw at each other and the band. There was even a barrage of questions about Orange & Lemons, to which I comfortably indulged in, giving in to their curiousity.

A wave of nervous excitement greeted us when we started playing the first song “A Gentle Persuasion”, judging by the fact we came unrehearsed and unprepared to play all our new songs especially in a full band set-up. I even have to stop midway in “Birthday Wishes” because I thought I skipped a line (when in fact I didn’t). Eventually we didn’t mind and went along with the show.

Graying hair.

Bloodshot eye.

Sticky fingers.

I hardly remember the flow of our long, crazy and sometimes insightful conversations. But one question of Jugs sticked to me like a flypaper. “Don’t you miss the big time boy?” he quips. To which I readily replied by singing the chorus line of Lennon’s “Watching The Wheels”.

I told Jugs it would hypocritical to say that I don’t, but I wanted something more that just instant commercial fame and money. And I stand by the adage, “With good music, money will follow.” I play music not just as a profession but a an avenue of self-expression. A means to capture into music any aspect of my day to day living. It may be something amusing, inspiring, challenging or depressing. Through The Camerawalls and Lilystars Records, we are trying to build a healthy pop scene in this part of the world and help other local bands, hoping to reach a larger niche market in and out of the country someday.

Performing our last song "Bread and Circuses".

The mandatory pic before we part.

***photos by Antonette Maniquis

Our First Day In Singapore (Part 4)

continuation of Our First Day In Singapore (Part 3) – November 14

Procrastination is probably one of the most common problem people have in their day to day life. Including myself, that is. After having experience with procrastination, I realized procrastination itself causes more pain than actually doing what I suppose to do. Everytime I check on our blog pages and see posts that are meant to be continued without ever reaching a conclusion, it gives me a pang of remorse. So today I’m making a deal with myself to JUST DO IT.

FIRST NIGHT AT THE ESPLANADE

We had a great day since we landed in the city. Walking the streets of Singapore and doing some food tripping and sight-seeing. By the time we got back at the hotel we hardly had time to rest and wash up to catch Techy Romantics’ set. We missed it! By the time we reached the Concourse, Carlos Castano was already setting up.

At the entrance.

We met other artists from the Philippines and some friends who are already based and working in Singapore. I also had the chance to meet Rebecca Lincoln, a freelance music journalist, who was the first one to write about The Camerawalls and recommend us in a music blog called Power of Pop.

with Rebecca Lincoln.

We roam around the area feeling the vibe and checked out the Arena where we are suppose to perform the next day. In our hearts, we felt extremely lucky to be chosen to perform on the best and biggest stage, with a good time slot. We secured good seats and watched a Singapore superband called Typewriter. Pretty good. But the hightlight of our night was when Jon Auer went onstage and jammed with Typewriter and sang songs from his band The Posies like “Flavour of the Month”. Now that’s in your face POP!

Jon Auer of The Posies jamming with Singapore's Typewriter at the Arena.

POST GIG FEASTING

When the music ended, excitement of the evening still floats in our heads. The night was young so we decided to indulge ourselves with their local beer and delicacies. Chili Crabs and dimsums in a 24-hour open food court near the Grand Pacific Hotel. Tiger Beer simply contributed to a perfect nightcap.

Delicious Chili Crabs

Tiger Beer and assorted Dimsums

“An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger, or a beer.”  – Confucius

Something Good Ends, Something Better Will Begin

Reposted from http://dragonflycollector.com

Another leaf has turned as I spent my birthday week preparing and hosting a musical event. The traditional get together at Lilystars Records’ HQ on the 9th culminated with the launch of The Camerawalls EP “Bread and Circuses” at the Ayala Museum on the 11th.

I bought a whole crispy chicken for the potluck party only to become easily ignored by the wealth of food and alcohol brought along by each one who came. Some were homemade like the dishes prepared by Antonette, our wonder dinner-party hostess. Everyone from the label was present with some surprise guests – good friends who are helping us with our artists and events.

Sharing my chocolate cake.

When they brought in the cakes (there were two, one for Eric Po of Your Imaginary Friends whose birthday falls on the 12th), it’s when I realized it’s official — I’m thirty four! And loving it.

Last year, we had the same party at the exact same date. The following day when I tried to blog about it, I ended up  writing a very insightful tune about my birthday wishes. Indulgent with the momentum, I readily posted a song demo for everyone to hear. You can listen/read about it HERE>>>

The song was realized and published on a proper record a year after and is included in “Bread and Circuses” EP as the only acoustic track in the collection. A simple one with a haunting melody over a root Am chord. To make the song extra special, I tied up with a couple musicians from Australia. Dan Shepherd (a slide guitarist), whom I met during his visit in the Manila, together with his friend Perrin Walker (a violinist), wrote and performed string sections and eventually bounced the recordings to me via email. You can hear their contribution beginning at 1:45 in the player below.

Robert Javier recorded my acoustic guitar and vocal takes, while the rest of the orchestrations that you will hear from beginning to end is produced and performed by Jonathan Ong of Sonicstate Audio, who is also responsible for mixing and mastering the track.

Birthday Wishes – The Camerawalls

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“…a lovely haunting tune, powerful in its Lennon-like lyricism. It has the gravitas of a prayer and the bittersweet insights of a songwriter on the eve of his birthday, reflecting on his life and then-current events (he refers to a female President).” Johanna Poblete, BusinessWorld

Birthday Wishes
Words and Music by Clementine

I call upon the Universe
To never take the shine off common people
Whose eyes are still gleaming with hope
I call upon the President
To limit her ambitions
There are far more greater things in life than power

I wish for peace and love
A better country and a happy coexistence
Longevity of the people I love
All these years I think of nothing, no one but myself
In birthday wishes
Now I think of you.
Now I think of you

I pray to you my sweetest Lord
Paint us a portrait of your Love
I sing to you my dearest friends
Never cease believing
Dreams do come true

I wish for peace and love
A better country and a happy coexistence
Longevity of the people I love
All these years I think of nothing, no one but myself
In birthday wishes
Now I think of you.
Now I think of you

Oh, grant me these wishes
Oh, grant me these wishes
Something good ends, something better will begin
Something good ends, something better will begin
And in this fog i use my heart as a compass
And in the darkness, my faith is my lamp
And in depression I learn the real value of living

Here’s a live clip taken during the EP launch, with Carlo Gaa sessioning on keyboards.

Birthday Wishes – The Camerawalls (Live at Ayala Museum)

All in all it has been a great week. Stressful and tiring, but for the most part fulfilling. (And) I’m grateful to all who contributed and made all these things happen. I leave you with my eternal, yearly birthday wishes. As eternal as I am an optimist, something better will always begin.

Our First Day In Singapore (Part 1)

A few months ago we were mighty thrilled to receive an inquiry from Esplanade exploring The Camerawalls for Baybeats 2010 and privileged enough to eventually be included in the line up. It’s our first regional gig outside the Philippines and I would like to share some of the things we did and experienced during our three-day stay in Singapore from August 20 – 22.

Day 1 – August 20

Eat, Pray, Love

We left Cubao, QC at 3am after a brief sleepover with the whole band at Antonette’s place. Her brother Anthony graciously woke up during witching hour to drive us to the airport. Checking in wasn’t much of a hassle. We killed some time beside a dimsum shop on the second floor of the airport while waiting for boarding time. Coffee and small talks while Ian Zafra (SATI) reads a soft bound copy of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. A memoir that chronicles the American author’s trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels. A New York Times bestseller with a film adaptation starring Julia Roberts. Both I have yet to read and see.

I tried to sleep on board but was distracted by the most number of sneezing and coughing. A dreadful chorus producing an awful discomfort coming from all sides. One more hour… I  hope I don’t catch  any unwanted virus that would hamper my singing the next day.

We arrived at Changi International Airport 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Our artist liason officer was already waiting for us. Nice girl named Clara Ang. She gladly welcomed us and during one of our short conversations she asked if we smoked. I said “No”.  “Great. Easier for me,” she replied.

My entourage: Ian Zafra, Bachie Rudica, Antonette Maniquis and Law Santiago.

We rode a coaster with Chicosci, another fellow musician from the Philippines and went to our first stop at Esplanade where we stored our musical instruments at assigned dressing rooms. Roads will be closed the next day for the first ever Youth Olympic Games – an international multi-sport event featuring athletes from ages 14 to 18. It would be such a drag to do a 15 minute walk from our hotel to Esplanade carrying our equipment.

Also I finally met Christie Chua the program director who invited The Camerawalls a few months back. Had a little chat with her and learned that Baybeats Festival is on its ninth year. Gave her some copies of “Pocket Guide To The Otherworld” to sell at Esplanade shop during the festival. According to her, normally the weather in the country is fairly warm and humid. But we notice that day it’s particularly cooler accompanied with patchy drizzles. Best time to go for a walk and see some parts of the city.

St. Joseph’s Church

We went straight to Grand Pacific Hotel to check in and freshen up. Got a hold of a free Singapore Island map at the lobby before we went up the elevator. We were tired from lack of sleep but excited at the same time since it’s our first time in the city with only a few hours to kill each day to do other things not related to Baybeats.

The hotel along Victoria Street is ideally near a lot of places and is situated right inside the heart of the district. Transportation is easy with buses, cabs and MRT lines. We decided to walk instead to see the sights and find a good place to eat that’s cheap and authentic. Heading northeast along Victoria St. we saw our first stop – St. Joseph’s Church. A gothic styled Roman Catholic church built in the early 1900’s by the Portuguese mission. The building’s very attractive and the place boast of beautifully-crafted stained glass windows.

St. Joseph's Church along Victoria Street.

Bugis Street

We went pass Middle Road and crossed Manila Street till we reached Bugis Street. A once famous tourist spot in Singapore for a nightly gathering of transwomen and transgender sex bazaar culture. A colourful and unique era that ended in 1980s during the redevelopment of the place into a retail complex of shopping malls, restaurants, nightspots and back-alley vendors plus the underground construction of the Bugis MRT station. It is now billed as “the largest street-shopping location in Singapore“.

The New Bugis Street

After going thru sections of food, clothing, apparels, watches, fruits, even a sex shop stall, we found ourselves in an alley full of small street restaurants with a common dining area in the middle for customers. The combined scent of dishes after dishes being prepared and served signaled a retreat to one of the tables near Cui Xiang Yuan restaurant. We soon realized how hungry we were. We ordered Chili Chicken, Mushroom Chicken, Seafood & Beancurd Soup, Seafood Rice and they were absolutely delicious. Or maybe we were just famished.

Chili Chicken with Rice

Seafood & Beancurd Soup

Mushroom Chicken with Rice

First meal of the day.

The food is rather cheap and authentic. It was a good idea to check out that alley. Enough to prep us for another couple of hours walking around the place. We further looked around before deciding to hit the streets once more towards our next destination – Arab Street. – continued at Our First Day In Singapore (Part 2)

Funny Little Frogs

We had this opportunity to cover songs from one of our fave indie bands out there. None other than Belle & Sebastian. They’re from Glasgow and has been making music for more than a decade with seven studio albums under their belt. From the bitterness of missing the opportunity to watch them perform during their recent Asian tour (Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore), Lilystars Records and The POP Shoppe! decided to hold a B&S cover night, the closest thing to this musical fix.

It was held at Cafe Saguijo, a small watering hole in Makati last August 5 with The Gentle Isolation, Your Imaginary Friends and Kate Torralba. Over a dozen B&S covers were dished that night and the place was packed with a crowd young and old. It’s rare to see teens familiar with this kind of music. But that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

We tried our very best to cover the following songs: Another Sunny Day, Piazza New York Catcher, I Fought In A War and Funny Little Frog. I must say, although the songs seemed quite simple to the ear, playing/singing it live  and memorizing all those words with only a couple of weeks lead time proved to be challenging.

Stewart Murdoch (the band’s songwriter/vocalist) has a knack for storytelling. Imagine an average of 300 words per song seldom repeating choruses and lines. Below are a couple of videos taken from the gig. Please excuse the lyrical/chord blunders as the songs are like funny little frogs in my throat.

Piazza, New York Catcher

Funny Little Frog

Belle & Sebastian is gearing up for the release of their new studio album entitled Write About Love on October 11. You can read more about this exciting news Here. A glimpse of the new album art below and a short clip on the TV show they are filming with the new song “I Want The World To Stop” to further anticipate.

I Want The World To Stop – Write About Love