I have decided to resume this series because (a) I felt like doing so, and (b) I promised this blogger (whom everyone in a particular part of the indie scene I have spoken to has met, apparently) that I would keep her posted about things. So I will begin again today.
1. Visiting the first Philippine International Jazz and Blues Guitar Festival at the Sofitel Sunset Pavilion was a challenge–I realized that I should have taken the LRT, but the FX route, which is being immortalized in Emerson Reyes’s upcoming MNL 143, was interesting in itself, as every place I passed had some memory connected to it. (The now shuttered Sazi’s, fronting UST, has two.) I even passed the intersection of Lacson Avenue and Espana, at which I got on a taxi on my brother’s birthday last year and…never mind.
In any case, I got to the Sofitel and was tempted to go on the buffet, which was not to open for another hour. (Yet another set of memories: the Guidon‘s anniversary party in 2004, back when it was still the Westin, the jazz festival sometime in 2007 where my parents and godparents also showed up, and last year, the NCCA event ending the National Arts Month.) After descending the steps to the Pavilion, I met Abby Clutario of the bands Fuseboxx and Humanfolk, who was scheduled to play at the festival with her fellow keyboardist Eric Tubon and CJ Wasu. Upon entering the venue, which was still somewhat empty, I was still shocked that the drinks (as was the food, which I decided against taking) were overpriced, but I had a good time watching a classical guitarist playing a very interesting tune with an Eastern flavor, and a jazz guitarist playing to an instrumental accompaniment featuring Ria Villena on keyboards. (If I drew a variant of Monika’s Map (TM) that covered the jazz scene, I would have a fun time doing some of the connections.) Abby Clutario’s 10-string Chapman, which played a key role in her most moving performance to date (at UP Los Banos), led us through a three-tune set featuring a song from her upcoming solo album, which I hope will be as exciting as any of the upcoming records I am expecting this year (including the third Up Dharma Down album). Carlos Castano will be performing at the festival today, among others, and his set starts at 5 PM.
2. Speaking of Carlos, he was the first performer at last night’s Saguijo anniversary (part one). I enjoyed his set, and some of those that followed. It rained hard that night, so it was a challenge staying outside. (It was crowded, and it got worse beyond belief, as readers will see shortly.) Imago played early, as did Pedicab and Sandwich, because it turned out that right after was a mini-Terno Night. No prizes for guessing who would be playing. It took me two years after I first met the band’s lead singer at Fete de la WSK (where two of her electronica friends performed) to hear her play live. And I was suitably impressed. (Also, no surprises for where the biggest cheering came–their hit “Tadhana” became viral again this year when it was used in a very creative wedding proposal.)
It was a hat trick. I got to hear three of my favorite female vocalists from the local independent music world in the same long night, and it was all good.
3. The crowd emptied Saguijo by more than fifty percent but those that stayed (myself included) were there for the Radioactive Sago Project. But first, a slight excursus:
Last time I saw the band was at the B-Side event Dakila sponsored sometime this year (Dakila’s president, Lourd de Veyra, is the group’s front-man). This was just after Karl Roy died. The full story is here, but if there was exactly one take-away from that event I decided to keep in mind, it was that Radioactive Sago Project’s music is for dancing. So I did quite a bit of moving around, along with two of the members of the band Wilderness, people whom I know will not be afraid to dance at all.
Paul Zialcita, drummer and husband of an old college acquaintance, was there, and he promised to put up videos. Once he does, I will come up with links! Watch out for an appearance on cowbell by the presenter of “your social science class on radio,” whose episode featuring two of those who once appeared on a certain infant formula ad was very entertaining.