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Posts tagged ‘your imaginary friends’

Walls Come Tumbling Down!

This is it folks! Our one and only gig for 2016. We are headlining The POP Shoppe on December 10 at 70s Bistro!

Sharing the stage are musician friends with past and upcoming releases under Lilystars Records including The Gentle Isolation, We Are Imaginary (formerly Your Imaginary Friends), The Bernadettes, Bing Austria & The Flippin Soul Stompers and newcomer from Dumaguete named Meagan Trees.

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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

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.

Of Mice & Men

After two and a half years I finally decided to sing an Orange & Lemons song via a tribute gig to remember what was once an exciting venture. The songs I have written for my former band still haunts me. And what better way to reminisce but invite musician friends to celebrate that journey.

Joining The Camerawalls on the 30th of January at Route 196 are label mates Turbo Goth, The Bernadettes, Your Imaginary Friends and The Gentle Isolation plus guest artist The Satellites as well as Ian Zafra who came all the way from Cebu to do a series of solo perfomances. The small watering hole was packed with roughly over 150 people that consists of music fans, families and friends. It was so much fun at The POP Shoppe! it was inevitable not to allow ourselves to be a little bit intoxicated. So we did.

The Satellites performed “Strike Whilst The Iron Is Hot” and “Rock-A-Bye.” A great start for the evening and kinda suited their indie rock sound. The Gentle Isolation did girl pop versions of  “Cycle Of Love” and “Days And Nights” while Ian Zafra did a stripped version of “Hey, Please” letting the crowd sing half if not the entire song. It was amazing how everyone knew the words to it.  “Heaven Knows (This Angel Has Flown)” and “Lihim” was the cover of choice of Your Imaginary Friends. Turbo Goth did a laid back version of Sarah Gaugler’s all time  favorite “Just Like A Splendid Love Song” with Paolo trying to impersonate my guitar playing at one point. The Bernadettes did a rocking version of  “I Feel Good, I Feel Fine.”  I immensely enjoyed all of it. Hearing my songs covered by my favorite bands is quite an experience. Too bad we missed the set of Patience Dear Juggernaut. He was too ill to perform.

We were the last band to play and by the time we were onstage I was already feeling a little tipsy from the scores of vodka shots I was helping myself from Jeff Saw’s table. (Jeff is The POP Shoppe’s official photographer). It was almost 2 in the morning. As I fix my guitar strap I looked around and there were still a lot of people inside the bar waiting for us to perform. Most of them standing. After a couple of songs from Pocket Guide To The Other World, we did a familiar tune from 2003. The first track from Love In The Land Of Rubber Shoes & Dirty Ice Cream called “A Beginning Of Something Wonderful” written during my college days in the late 90s.

To everyone who shared the night with us, it wouldn’t have been as much fun without you all. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To those who missed it, enjoy the video. In the future we will try to cover more of my songs from O&L. That I promise.

A Beginning Of Something Wonderful
Orange & Lemons

Your gentle means
And all seems to commence
A brand new pace in me
Hope it’s not a blunder
Especially when I uncover, dig deeper
And I wonder

When I get near you
I feel something deep within me
You know you bring me to new heights
I’m like a big balloon filled with hot air
Ready to explode
Each and every time I kiss you

The more I’m with you
The more it feels like
This could be the beginning of something wonderful
Yeah, yeah…

Your lips are movin’
Your voice is so oh, so soothin’
You wear a face that lives in my dreams
Where did you come from
And I wonder

When I get near you
I feel something deep within me
You know you bring me to new heights
I’m like a big balloon filled with hot air
Ready to explode
Each and every time I kiss you

The more I’m with you
The more it feels like
This could be the beginning of something wonderful
Yeah, yeah…
The more I’m with you
The more it feels like
This could be the beginning of something really wonderful…

I have avoided singing my own songs in public for quite a number of reasons. After Orange & Lemons disbanded in a loathsome manner I just couldn’t allow myself to be reminded of the very people I once called friends, the very people who tried to fire me from my own band without proper decorum and stab me in the back by telling everyone lies. It was a situation unheard of. Sure, key leaving members in popular bands is everything but normal. Ely Buendia left The Eraserheads. Rico Blanco left Rivermaya. Johnny Marr left The Smiths. John Lennon left The Beatles. It would sound ridiculous and downright outrageous if Ely, Rico, Marr or worse John Lennon will be fired from their own band. It was like killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

In all the published works of O&L I have written lyrics for 32 songs, music for 39 songs plus 2 poetry. I sang 19 recorded tracks as main vocals, have painstakingly arranged, layered and recorded hundreds of guitar tracks alone. I have spent more hours in the studio during recording, mixing and mastering than any member of the band. Collaborated with sound engineers, directors, stylists, session musicians, advertisers, label people, etc. Booked and arranged all band rehearsals since day one.

I taught Mcoy how to play the guitar and how to fake it as a beginner during our early years of live gigging. He never recorded any guitar tracks in the album. I did. Ace Del Mundo auditioned to me and I was the one who hired him as a drummer and later on his brother JM to fill in for Law’s absence. I equally shared songwriting credits in the first two albums of O&L with Mcoy Fundales as a gesture of goodwill although he hasn’t contributed anything to most of the songs in terms of composition and intellectual property. So until now he has been receiving royalties for songs he did not create. I spent a year recording and conceptualizing and developing the last album Moonlane Gardens only to be fired a week after the album launch. I dedicated 11 years building the foundation of O&L and seeing it rise to the top and falling hard face-flat on quicksand. A classic example of losing heads in the clouds.

I cite these facts not out of bitterness nor anger but to answer the question a lot of people have been asking: “Why don’t you sing your songs from O&L and perform it with The Camerawalls?” Clearly my response is an emotional one. When I fought my way from preventing my ex-bandmates from using the entity Orange & Lemons without me (which i eventually succeeded), I posed a challenge to myself  and unto them to start from scratch and create our own music instead of banking on the success of O&L music. A challenge I knew they will not accept as they continue singing the songs they did not create during live gigs after disbanding mainly for profit.

The human spirit in me obliged to the challenge. An innate drive to create something unique and new from my raw individual experience with O&L and the desire to overcome the painful journey. The need to be challenged is so strong that we sometimes make things more difficult than they need to be just so we can rise to the occasion and overcome the obstacles we ourselves have created.

I refused to sing O&L songs during the early stages of The Camerawalls nor use any of my existing and unpublished recordings or demos or songs I’ve written during my stint with O&L. I started from scratch and with the help and collaboration of my new band mates we were able to produce songs that will eventually be the tracks for Pocket Guide To The Otherworld. I’m proud to say the tracks in Pocket Guide is the most recent and most mature work I ever did. They may not be as catchy or as youthful as the songs I contributed for O&L but it sure is a beginning of something wonderful once more.

THE BEST LAID SCHEMES OF MICE AND MEN.  A popular phrase which means the most carefully prepared plans may go wrong. As did my plans for Orange & Lemons. Taken from Robert Burns‘ poem To a Mouse, 1786. It tells of how he, while ploughing a field, upturned a mouse’s nest. The resulting poem is an apology to the mouse:

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy.

The poem is the source for the title of John Steinbeck‘s 1936 novel – Of Mice and Men.


KOC, Banchetto, Atbp.

If you find the title baffling:

KOC – stands for Kings Of Convenience (a Norwegian pop duo we admire).

Banchetto – an Italian word for “feast.” also refers to a weekly overnight street food fiesta located at Emerald Avenue in Ortigas Center (Fridays to Saturdays) and inside the roadside premises of Forum Robinson at Pioneer St. cor EDSA (Wednesdays to Thursdays).

Atbp – Filipino abbreviation for the English “and others” and Latin “et cetera (etc.)”

A little over two weeks ago, musician and fashion designer Kate Torralba notified us to participate in a “We Want Kings Of Conveniece in Manila Night” and cover a KOC song. A sort of a fete for the upcoming performance of KOC in Manila on March 31 and Kate is part of the production team who will bring them to the Philippines. The most exciting news I’ve heard in while being one who seldom gets the chance to watch a foreign band I love.

As for the cover song, the most obvious choice would be “I’d Rather Dance With You,” which is one of the few full band, upbeat and groovy tracks of KOC. Two weeks is enough leeway for us to learn the song but being predictable procrastinators we were only able to rehearse it as a band during the night before the gig. A fact that made us a bit nervous. I originally planned to capture our skittish performance, too bad my handy flip cam’s battery died during the first few seconds of our set.

I know a lot of people are anxious to see us cover that song so the best we can offer as of now is a clip taken during our rehearsal. Please excuse the lyrical blunders and off-key moments.

Some pics from the actual gig taken from the camera I manage to bring with me.

Let the music begin.

Getting into the swing.

Result of too much swinging.

Swinging till the end. Producing less prominent focal points.

Posing with Sarah Gaugler and event producer Kate Torralba. She's holding a big logbook filled with pledges/requests of people reserving tickets for the KOC concert.

With the Channel V staff and crew who covered the event and interviewed the bands.

Post Gig Food Trip

We were the last to play after Waya, Kate Torralba, Outerhope and Us-2 Evil-0 ending our set at 1:45am. The night still seems young so we rendezvous at Banchetto-Forum checking out the street food and indulging ourselves to whatever our eyes and bellies hungrily agrees to chow down on.

Isaw ng Manok (Chicken Intestines marinated and grilled)

The place was mouth watering. Upon arriving the first thing that caught my attention was the Isaw Manok (grilled chicken intestines) which I’ve been craving for quite some time just recently. I readily asked the vendor to prepare two sticks for little taste test. They were very good and tender. Before we decided to order some more we set off to a nearby convenience store to buy the perfect match for street food — an ice cold beer! Sarah, Pao and Law stayed behind to look around for food choices and reserve a table for all of us.

Isaw taste test. A little dip on special vinegar with spices for the kill.

Joining me in sampling the Isaw Manok are Ahmad (Your Imaginary Friends), Ian and Cheska.

When we got back, a quick survey led me to score half a kilo of Lechon de Leche (suckling pig roasted in charcoal), Betamax (grilled cubes of coagulated pig’s blood on stick) and a grilled Tilapia (a freshwater fish) stuffed with onions and tomatoes. Sarah and Pao got some hotdogs, rice toppings and what seems like pita bread with cheese fillings. I wasn’t paying attention to what they were having being engrossed with appetizing dishes right in front of me and the beer bottle I was clutching and chugging in between bites. Ahmad of Your Imaginary friends bought some Hungarian sausages while Ian and Cheska settled for Liempo (grilled pork belly) with rice and a few more Isaw Manok.

Lechon de Leche (Roasted suckling pig) - a typical Philippine cuisine with Spanish origin.

Betamax (Grilled coagulated pig's blood), Tilapia and Hotdog!

Law squeezing some gravy sauce. On the foreground beside the Lechon is our favorite beer - a Philippine made San Miguel Pale Pilsen.

Betamax! Betamax! Betamax!

After a while a security guard with heavily set eyes approached our table to inform us that alcoholic beverages aren’t allowed in the area. Maybe he noticed the look of disbelief on our faces, or the amount of food we have on our table, or my quick offer of a solution to try our best to conceal it by wrapping the bottles with plastic bags that made him shrug and walk back to his post. That was almost disappointing had he insisted.

We spent the remainder of our time enjoying the food and booze while playing word games. Connecting silly phrases consisting of three words that’s goes around counter-clockwise forming long sentences that means nothing like fart in a wind storm. By the time we got bored with the nonsense we moved on to a name game choosing a letter and taking turns in naming every local or international celebrity we can think of whose name begins with that particular letter. Failure to name one is punishable by a bite on cold leftover pieces of Lechon dipped in different sauces (gravy, vinegar, soy sauce). And every time someone makes a mistake we proceed with the next letter in alphabetical order. It was hilariously crazy and everyone was forced to put on their thinking cap and participate. We reached the letter “Y” before deciding to call it day.

Cheers to the most boisterous group and only table in the vicinity with alcohol!

It's already 5am. Final shot before we hit the road homeward bound.

There’s a saying that goes “Man is richest who’s pleasures are the cheapest.” Indeed, cheap pleasures made our day. – Clementine