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Posts tagged ‘antonette maniquis’

Pamagdoy Tour Diary (Day 4 – Part II)

Sunday, April 22. We left the beach house around 3:30pm. Calatrava is a few kilometers north of San Carlos City while Bacolod is located on the Western tip of Negros by way of the Eco Tourism/Translink Highway. A smooth 2 hour drive. We need to pick up our luggage and instruments at the rental house anyway. Also managed to do a little photo op out in the yard before we climb back in and squeezed ourselves and our equipment in the car.

Traveling by land to from San Carlos City to Bacolod is quite relaxing. I kept myself awake to enjoy the spectacular scenery, one of the best I've seen.

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Pamagdoy Tour Diary (Day 1)

Thursday, April 19. We decided to write a series of posts to share our day to day happenings while on tour. Hopefully you'll find our blogposts interesting with tidbits of information, photographs and hopefully some videos too, if time and network permits.

Our Visayas bar tour officially starts today in Cebu with the first leg happening at Handuraw Pizza Gorordo. We arrived a night earlier, just a few hours ago, via Air Philippines. Flight was delayed but considerably smooth. Eric Smith, owner and marketing manager of Handuraw, along with his cousin Charles welcomed us at the airport in Cebu.

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Rich In Love At Timbre (Part 1)

If you’re an indie band playing indie music, what are the chances of getting on the commercial train in the current climate of our music industry? Not very high, of course. Rejecting what artists are force-fed, and the decision that we can do better ourselves is the fundamental premise behind the existence of indie labels, especially in the case of Lilystars Records.

When opportunity knocks

A few years ago, when I ceased to distress myself over the things that is crippling the health of indie and commercial pop music, I get relieved when once in a while, we receive a knock of opportunity that recharges our battery of hope to thrive and continue. The opportunity to gig abroad was one of them.

Last year, we had a very memorable experience at Baybeats in Esplanade, Singapore. Our first festival gig in a foreign country. A year after, we found ourselves back in the streets of this marvelous city, this time to perform intimate shows in a bar setting. We aren’t so good at finding gigs, much less having an ear and awareness for these types of engagements. Luckily, they find us.

As early as July, we received a generous invite from Timbre Group, a company with a diversified portfolio of a holistic and synergistic range of music, lifestyle, entertainment and education brands, to perform on September 13 and 14 in one of their live music bars – Timbre @ The Substation.

The experience was equally memorable as the last one. We got to play more songs (an hour each per night), meet and greet more people, sell more records and more drunken nights with just the four of us getting plastered in a back alley where Spicy Thai Thai Restaurant is located, helping ourselves with large bottles of Carlsberg (600+ml) and extra spicy Thai and Indochinese food till 3Am.

Day 1 in Singapore

We arrived at Changi International Airport a day earlier after boarding the first flight via Tiger Airways. Ben and Sy of Timbre welcomed us and took us to our hotel along Dickson Road. Along the way, i brought up the topic about the Old Changi Hospital, asking if the way it was documented in that horror flick is accurate. He shook his head and discouraged us from visiting that place, considered as one of the scariest places in Singapore. Try watching Haunted Changi to see what it looks like inside out.

We rested for a while and did a short tour of Little India complete with authentic Indian cuisine for lunch. Early evening we decided to visit Marina Bay Sands. Along the way, we kept admiring their ultra convenient bus and train system, so far in comparison with what Manila has to offer.

At Marina Bay Sands mall.

We were able to catch Wonder Full, the free spectacular light and water show, the largest in Southeast Asia. The show employed the mediums of giant water screens, vibrant multicolored high-powered Lasers, search lights, spot lights, fountains, surround sound, strobes, LED lighting, video projection and other special effects. The sights and sounds were astounding and breathtaking. A goosebumps galore moment for all of us.

Wonder Full is definitely a cheap thrill of world-class architecture and musical direction everyone visiting Singapore must see.

It was the best nightcap ever. The weariness from lack of sleep and travel blues was instantly swept away.

Waiting for the bus.

At the Substation – Sept 13

Well rested the following day, we headed early at The Substation where the Timbre branch is located to do a sound check. It was a sizable open-air venue which can hold around 250 people or more. Pretty big actually. We were expecting a closed, intimate space but the ambiance kind of feels like home.

Early sound check at Timbre @ The Substation

A view of one side of the venue from the stage.

Getting the hang of it.

When we finally got the feel of the sound and the stage, we killed the next hour with pizza and bottles of Heineken. Surprisingly, there were a number of Filipino employees working at the bar. And did I mention the front desk lady at our hotel is also a Filipina? One can expect great service on such occasions.

Pizza and beer with our roadie Antonette.

Danny Loong, Timbre's co-founder and creative director, introducing us to the crowd during our first night.

It began to rain the moment we climb the stage to begin the show. We had the pleasure of being introduced by the creative director and one of the founders of Timbre Group – Mr. Danny Loong (who also happens to be an excellent blues guitarist). I was able to chat with him earlier about the music scene in the country and a possible collaboration with Lilystars to bring in great Singapore acts to Manila and vice-versa. Something worth considering especially with the kind of hospitality, promotion and exposure they are giving The Camerawalls.

We also met some folks from Requiem Rising Singapore. An events production group consisting of Filipino young professionals and artists and indie/new wave music enthusiasts. One of their members Deo Virtucio, was kind enough to share some black and white pictures he took during the event. See them below:

Clementine

Law Santiago

Not minding the rain.

Joseph "Bachie" Rudica

Our new guitarist - George Carillo.

All warmed-up and spaced out.

 For more photos by Deo Virtucio, click Here

We were able to capture “The Emperor, The Concubine & The Commoner”, our last song, on video recorded by Antonette.

 

Some of the good people we met, bought our records and chatted with during our first night at Timbre:

With folks from Requiem Rising Singapore.


 

…continued at Rich In Love At Timbre (Part 2)

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

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.