Life So Mundane in Batangas
Showing posts with label Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Music. Show all posts

19 January 2016

Secrets of Hotel California and Its Alleged Satanist Undertones

The cover photo of the Eagles album Hotel California.

I am a massive Eagles fan, and naturally the news that greeted me first thing in the morning today when I opened Facebook announcing that the Eagles’ founder, Glen Frey, has passed on has made me incredibly sad.

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07 December 2015

X-Factor Australia Winner Cyrus Villanueva More Than Just A Singer


Although I followed young Marlisa Punzalan’s progress in last season’s X-Factor Australia – by way of YouTube, where else? – I was only vaguely aware that a young Filipino-Aussie singer was doing just as well in this season’s edition of the same show.

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17 January 2014

Harry Connick Jr. on American Idol: Honest but not Obnoxious

What a breath of fresh air Harry Connick Jr. is on American Idol’s 13th season! I watched the auditions of the new season for the first time last night and was immediately impressed by Connick.

Being a first timer, he is perhaps a tad choosy; but that’s fine. It’s the sort of honesty that has been missing since Simon Cowell left the show. Connick offers the show the same sort fo suave and debonair charm that Cowell once gave, but without the Brit’s obnoxious sarcasm.

If anything, Connick can even be more forthright than Cowell ever was. Reacting to the antics of one of the crackpots who typically audition to get some airtime, Connick told the offender straight to the point: “You disrespected the show’s process!”

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29 September 2013

Why It Was Always Mitoy Yonting for the Voice

Going into the finale of the Voice of the Philippines, it was obviously less about the singing and more about the loyalties that each of the finalists built up over weeks of trying to survive the show. Thus, I did not bother to take notes about the performances over the finals weekend; albeit, listening to four instead of more performers, I was convinced by Saturday’s individual performances that it is Klarisse de Guzman who has the most pleasing tone and arguably the best technique of the four.

Saturday morning, I tried to conduct over Facebook a pre-survey to try and determine the amount of support that each of the singers had accumulated among the sampling of my social networking connections. Unfortunately, not enough participated to enable me to see a definitive trend.

Still, for whatever it was worth, the little survey showed Klarisse de Guzman to be the clear favourite among the few respondents to the survey. Janice Javier came in second, followed by Mitoy Yonting and Myk Perez. While the sampling was random, the lack of numbers indicated that the survey could not be taken too seriously; and, indeed, it was always going to be Yonting’s title.

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22 September 2013

The Voice PHL Finalists Completed!

And so it was that the finalist from each of the four teams of the Voice of the Philippines was selected by the coaches and the voting public in an emotional semi-final last night: Mitoy Yonting, Myk Perez, Klarisse de Guzman and Janice Javier.

Bidding the competition goodbye were Radha, Paolo Onesa, Morisette Amon and Thor Dulay. At this point of the competition, though, there are no real losers anymore; and even the outgoing contestants would have already won not only public attention and adulation but, more importantly, recording contracts.

To the coaches, what can I say but… Bravo!!! Finalists Yonting and Javier had stood out right from the Blind Auditions; but everyone else barring Radha sounded raw and not worth a second look.

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16 September 2013

The Voice Heading for a Radha-Javier Heavyweight Showdown

It has come to that point in The Voice of the Philippines when all the contestants have grown so much that many of the singers are barely recognisable from the nervous middling performers who went through the Blind Auditions just a few weeks back. All the coaches have earned pats on the back.

Some came to the Blind Auditions already seasoned performers: Mitoy Yonting, Radha and Janice Javier. Others were middling singers who looked and sounded like they would go no further than the first hurdle.

Kim Mainit, I thought, was one of these: a young man with a high-pitched voice who I thought Lea Salonga turned around for, I believed, only for novelty value. But Salonga is nothing if not thorough and enthusiastic; and weeks later, the young man they call Kimpoy has indeed become hot property.

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08 September 2013

Batangueñas Bid The Voice Goodbye

It was always bound to happen, given that so many have already been culled from The Voice of the Philippines, that competition would come to that stage when there would be little to choose from between competitors. As it was last night in the third live show of the competition, when I would not have wanted to be sitting on the chair of any of the four coaches.

It was only Lea Salonga’s decision that I more or less disagreed with; although I thought Sarah G could have gone either way. Which means that I also more or less agreed with apl.de.ap’s and Bamboo’s decision to go for Thor Dulay and Paolo Onesa, respectively.

At the expense, regrettably, of the two Batangueñas that provincial pride dictated I rah-rahed for, Penelope Matanguihan and Lee Grane.

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26 August 2013

Batangas’ Lee Grane Back with Dylan Classic in The Voice Live

And because even Madame Auring probably cannot tell what Bamboo will do next, I literally held my breath while he delayed saying who he would save in the first live show of the Voice of the Philippines last night. For the benefit of those who failed to watch last night, this stage of the competition is rather different from the more straightforward format of, say, American Idol.

Three singers from each team compete against each other, after which voting is opened to the public. The singer who garners the most number of votes is immediately safely through to the next stage and it is left to the coach to save one from the two remaining singers. The singer not picked is eliminated from the competition.

Myk Perez earned the most number of votes; and to be fair his interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ was charming if not exceptional. Exceptional would be Lee Grane Maranan’s take on the Bob Dylan classic ‘Make You Feel My Love.’

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18 August 2013

Spectacular Sing-Off Between Two Divas Concludes the Voice’s Battles

I do not for one moment think that the so-called ‘Battles’ of the Voice of the Philippines could have ended better than it did last night, with a titanic confrontation between two supremely talented divas. I was simply blown away by the two artists’ performance; and apparently so were the four coaches as well as the audience.

Radha, a former band vocalist looking for a way back in; and Marissa Saroca, a Fil-Australian looking to build her own career in this country, received a deserved standing ovation from everyone in the studio. This was a first, presenter Toni Gonzaga pointed out; and only appropriate given the calibre of the performance.

The song was Aretha Franklin’s classic ‘Respect’ and it was sung with remarkable technique and passion by both singers. Lea Salonga had earlier told both ladies that she was leaving it all to them to interpret the song since both not only knew the song well but also were equally accomplished in their chosen craft.

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12 August 2013

Outstanding Male ‘Battles’ Over the Weekend in The Voice

I will remember the last weekend of the Voice of the Philippines for two outstanding male battles that were sung not as though the artists were trying to out-sing each other but rather as though in a melodic, well-arranged and professionally sung duet. In fact, my overriding impression while listening to the two battles was that I could well have been listening to recordings.

The best of the lot, in my humble opinion, was the battle between Maki Ricafort and Hans Dimayuga last Sunday. To be perfectly honest, I dismissed both gentlemen after the blind auditions as middling singers who will soon be home to take the garbage out.

I changed my mind almost as soon as Ricafort opened with the song ‘What About Love’ by Lemar. He was sensational! So was Dimayuga, who even played around with some well-controlled falsettos.

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04 August 2013

Mixed Fortunes for Batangueñas and Who Knows What Bamboo is Thinking

I had a peaceful night watching Saturday’s edition of the Battles of the Voice of the Philippines, since the coaches’ scorecards more or less matched my own. And not that I have any claims to musical expertise other than two sharp ears, but I rather thought last night’s decision-making was more scandalous than a Chito Miranda sex video.

But I invoke the rights and privileges of the armchair critic and look the other way as apl.de.ap slipped Penelope Matanguihan through to the next level even if her performance was arguably not the night’s best of her group.

She looked like she had a bit of gas when she started but recovered midway through the song “One Night Only” and especially with the high notes. If I am being honest, I thought Cara Manglapus won that by the thinnest of hairs; and this is just my way of saying it could have gone to any of the three girls.

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29 July 2013

Batangas’ Lee Grane Gets Out of Jail in One-Off with Dan Billano in the Voice

Well, Lee Grane Maranan of Batangas City got out of jail in that one-on-one sing-off with fellow Team Bamboo artist Dan Billano last night, the start of the second phase of competitions in the Voice of the Philippines.

The stage is called ‘the Battles’ and requires each coach, as hostess Toni Gonzaga explained, to pair two acts from his or her own team to perform in a sing-off. The coach then decides who moves onto the next level.

Billano was Bamboo’s thirteenth pick from the blind auditions. Bamboo said during the penultimate audition show that he considers the number 13 lucky. Apparently not so for Billano, who will have reason to feel hard done by after Bamboo chose Lee Grane to move onto the next round.

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22 July 2013

Three Teams Completed in The Voice of the Philippines

As was always bound to happen because in her enthusiasm, Lea Salonga always looked like a rich lady shopping for clothes in a newly opened boutique, Team Lea was the first to be completed over the weekend.

RJ dela Fuente, now based in Parañaque but originally a bank teller in California, completed her ‘mythical 12’ last Saturday after his rendition of “Get Here.’ Good voice, good control and good looks; quite the complete package this one. Albeit, I felt he could have done even better with a better song choice.

That’s just me saying that I did not know the song at all; and my song inventory is not exactly what you can call contemporary.

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13 July 2013

Apl.de.Ap Hits Gold with Bangkok-Based Janice Javier

The two female coaches keep accusing Bamboo of having eyes at the back of his head for his knack for turning around for the good-looking ladies. But Bamboo turned around for this one. As did apl.de.ap. And Lea Salonga. And Sarah G.

And the singer in question was by no means the archetypical pretty woman. In fact, she was the first to say that she never joined singing competitions before because of her looks.

Not to say that she was ugly; and, indeed, any self-respecting stylist can transform her with an imaginative make-over. It was just that, in last night’s show, she made no effort to be anything but plain.

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07 July 2013

Kundiman Princess Juvie Pelos Gives the Voice a Different Dimension

...and it was a lazy seventh show of the Voice of the Philippines last night, replete with jazzy performances and offbeat OPM selections by the contestants on the night... It was crying for a Lee Grane or a Mitoy Yonting; even the father and son duet of the Cordovaleses who gave me goosebumps last Sunday.

Patience, they do say, is a virtue. Just my luck that I did not channel hop or fall asleep.

For the night’s final performance, in came 21-year old Juvie Pelos from Surigao City who was bold enough in the introduction to declare that the coaches ought to turn around for her because she her voice would be ‘distinct.’

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22 June 2013

Batangueña Lee Grane Lights Up Voice of the Philippines

It’s early days yet, but in only its second weekend of competition, the Voice of the Philippines might already have unearthed a potential winner in Lee Grane of Batangas City. That statement is, of course, made with inspired regional bias.

The show was becoming increasingly remarkable for its insanely prolonged commercial breaks, but Lee Grane’s angst-filled rendition of Freddie Aguilar’s ‘Anak,’ followed by Sarah McLaughlin’s ‘In the Arms of an Angel’ were the night’s orgasmic performances.

But maybe that was not even fair because only she got extended airtime which may yet be crucial later in the competition. In fact, the name ‘Lee Grane’ immediately trended on Twitter, such was the impact she made.

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19 March 2013

Yes, I Saw Michael Jackson Perform Live!

No fibbing! I really have! But to be perfectly honest, this was before Michael Jackson became the Michael Jackson.

Younger readers will, of course, be more familiar with the androgynous white-skinned figure of the great MJ – which I never liked, by the way, for the simple reason that it was not really him.

The Michael Jackson that I saw was this skinny long-legged teenager who wore a fluffy afro on his head just like all African-Americans did in the seventies. And his skin was still dark.

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19 January 2013

Your Music and What It Says About Your Personality

And having bought myself a turntable that conveniently connects to a PC by way of a USB connector, I have been spending the last few days gleefully converting my old phonograph records into twenty-first century mp3s. It has not exactly been your proverbial piece of cake; and part of the time I had to spend reading up on graphic equalisers and frequency ranges.

On the other hand, listening to obscure album cuts that I had not heard for more than a decade makes the effort well worth the bother, believe me! Not perfect; and some clicks, pops and hisses are next to impossible to remove. But hey, these were all part and parcel of the turntable culture!

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09 January 2013

A Turntable Story

The two young gentlemen at the appliance store were cordial, courteous and helpful. The conversation went something like this.

“Good morning Sir!”

“Good morning!” I replied. “I’m looking for a turntable. The Pioneer web site said this store is a distributor.”

Blank stare.

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17 August 2012

Ms. World Philippines’ Beat-boxing Captures Global Press’ Imagination

If you have never heard of the term beat-boxing before, consider yourself accompanied… by me! If you initially thought that it was a sport, well, that makes two of us again. In fact, it’s something entirely different. I actually had to Wikipedia the term just to understand what has been driving the global press crazy after Miss World Philippines 2012 beat-boxed in the inevitable talent competition of the pageant.

Here I quote verbatim from Wikipedia: “Beat-boxing is a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one's mouth, lips, tongue, and voice. It may also involve singing, vocal imitation of turntablism, and the simulation of horns, strings, and other musical instruments. Beat-boxing today is connected with hip-hop culture, being one of "the elements", although it is not limited to hip-hop music. The term "beat-boxing" is sometimes used to refer to vocal percussion in general.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatboxing]

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