omg! Philippines News Blog
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    “Ganito pala ang feeling ng maging starstruck!”

    The person expressing this is a star himself: Ian Tayao. He is the charismatic and gifted lead vocalist of Wilabaliw and Queso. A guy with enviable vocal chops and natural command of the stage.

    Tayao has such power, he can tell his audience either to start rioting and trash any concert venue or to calm down and genuinely love each other. Fans will follow either way. Right now, though, the powerhouse frontman is a gushing little fanboy.

    Related: Deftones’ Chino Moreno mourns Chi Cheng

    Compliments from their idol

    Queso is about to open for Deftones, one of their main musical influences. Earlier, Deftones bassist Sergio Vega wandered to Queso’s side backstage and told them he has seen their performances on YouTube and quite liked it. (Check out for pics and details.)

    Ian Tayao onstage. (Photo by Francis Brew)Queso guitarist Ocho Toleran would later show photos of him with one of the signature axes of Deftones guitarist Stephen

    Read More »from Fanboy moments with Deftones and Queso
  • Perhaps the imperfect Trans-Pacific connection colors the waver of his voice, but it’s clear that the man speaking is still reeling from the loss of his former bandmate and friend who is now a lifetime away.

    “It’s definitely hard because we knew that this could be the outcome,“ says Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno with palpable sadness.

    The band’s longtime bassist Chi Cheng died on April 13 after a four-year coma.

    An end to suffering

    “We hoped that it wasn’t but it happened and um…there’s a slight bit of relief that he’s not suffering like he was for so many years. But the reality that we’re not gonna see him”—Moreno pauses and sighs—“again or play with him or talk with him…,” he says during a recent phone interview.

    “It’s tough, it’s a reality, and a lot of people deal with this no matter what you do in your life… we’re pretty private people so we don’t get out and talk too much about it … so everybody’s just chillin’ it, and takin’ it you know, day by day.”

    Deftones was identified as part

    Read More »from Deftones’ Chino Moreno mourns colleague, talks about how the band makes music
  • By Sam YG

    Whether you love ir or hate it, there’s something undeniably unique about Philippine summer.

    It’s QT with family and friends. And, the popular term YOLO (You Only Live Once) seems to be magnified in people’s minds.

    Aside from the usual stuff such as the scorching heat, increased travel rates, shorter (a.k.a. perfect) shorts, I looked at other signs that say, “Summer pa rin!”

    For example, I noticed that the number of people who are SFS (Single For Summer) is also on the rise.

    Therefore, as you apply sun block on your skin, it’s also advisable to apply some on your heart to avoid getting wasak... in English, "emotionally destroyed."

    Beware of these types

    Here are a few people and things to look out for this season:

    1. The Kilig Ninja. That individual (not a boyfriend or girlfriend) who seems to be consistent and sweet then suddenly disappears one day. It might be a bit useless to ask questions such as “why?” or “what happened to us?” because chances are, he or she will have no answer.

    Read More »from The Sam YG Exposé: Avoid the ‘Kilig Ninja’ and other tips to ‘sun block’ your heart this summer
  • Little seen photos of the music scene in a solo exhibit ongoing until July.I’ve been taking pictures for some time now but I’ve never had a solo exhibit. There were two group shows I’ve contributed a few photos to, but never one on my own—until now.

    Behind The Curtain’s Shadows is the title of my 45-photo slideshow exhibit currently on view until July at Apartment 1B restaurant on the ground floor of One Rockwell East Tower, Rockwell Drive near Power Plant Mall in Makati.

    The exhibit is presented as a slideshow that appears on several 42-inch LEnD television screens within the restaurant.

    On show: what people don’t get to see

    Although I have at least a decade’s worth of work in music photography, I wanted to show the stuff that I’m currently working on and which a lot of people don’t normally get to see.

    In the past year I have closely followed Greyhoundz, Queso, Slapshock, WilaBaliw, Kjwan and Razorback.

    In spite of these bands’ continued success, there seemed to me a mystery surrounding their lasting appeal – something that may be answered by digging deeper into

    Read More »from Rock stars and fans share equal billing in solo photo exhibit
  • UPDATED--“Ganito pala feeling ng ma-starstruck!”

    Ian Tayao (Queso/Wilabaliw) was recounting the time Deftones first came to Manila two years ago. Somehow he got past security and freaked out when he saw the members backstage.

    He also peeked through one of the tents backstage. “It was Chino Moreno sleeping!” he said in a way to convince us just how monumental it was for the him to see the Deftones vocalist in full zzz mode.

    The ‘better’ Deftones experience

    I stopped myself from bragging about who had the better Deftones experience.

    I wanted to tell everyone that I actually delayed the band from being interviewed because I was taking my sweet time eating at the next table with, while trying to eavesdrop on the band’s conversations.

    When Deftones were asked if they were ready for the interview, they said, “Oh, isn’t everyone done eating yet?”

    I immediately dropped my spoon and fork quite loudly, stood up, turned on my camera and showed everyone I was ready, haha.

    Can’t help being a

    Read More »from Being starstruck by Deftones
  • It was an ordinary Sunday.

    We thought the noontime TV variety show “ASAP” would be presenting its usual fare of performances last May 5.

    We were wrong.

    As the introduction came heralding “The Voice of the Philippines” judges, we saw on our screens two of the country’s most admired singers—Sarah Geronimo and Bamboo Mañalac—starting their rendition of Pink and Nate Ruess’s “Just Give Me a Reason.” Just a showcase of two talents, we thought, as has been the case week after week.

    Read related story: Sarah on 4th team-up with John Lloyd: Why not?

    But, I was also intrigued: how would the pop princess and a rock icon fare in a duet?

    We were in for an incredible surprise.

    It was not one singer trying to outdo the other with their biritan or kulot vocal calisthenics. It was two singers who, I believe, were made for each other—vocally, that is.

    The mesh of their vocal prowess was impeccable—complementing each other smoothly and engaging in harmonies that were almost magical. And, just like they do in

    Read More »from Sarah and Bamboo should be together, ASAP!
  • READ PART 1: Pulp Summer Slam bands: ‘Metal labels are for magazine writers’

    In his previous post, Francis Brew reports on what metal bands Dragonforce, CircaSurvive and Amoral said was common among them...and the many permutations of the music they played. All headlined the annual Pulp Summer Slam held April 27 at the Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City.

    Finland’s Amoral, with the addition of rail-thin vocalist Ari Koivunen whose pipes earned him a finalist slot in the Finnish equivalent of “American Idol,” weighs in on the “growth” aspect of being in a band.

    Amoral’s earlier work was rooted in death metal and guttural growling; Koivunen’s powerful melodic singing gave Amoral the chance to make a stylistic shift.

    BLOG: Sandwich eats fat, fans the pop-rock flame

    “We got a singer,” guitarist Ben Varon deadpans but, he expounds: “Like the rest of the guys here, we don’t wanna limit ourselves in any way. And people are like, ‘Oh, how come you don’t sound like you did when you were 20-years

    Read More »from PART 2: Metal music is for fans
  • They couldn’t have been more different from each other, culturally, stylistically, and personally.

    In Cocoon Boutique Hotel in Quezon City in late April, Finnish metal band Amoral, British “power-metal” kings Dragonforce, and American “post-hardcore” Circa Survive met the press for Pulp’s annual Summer Slam, which is quickly being acknowledged as the country’s premier metal festival.

    BLOG: Sandwich eats fat, fans the pop-rock flame

    It is noon. The weather is easily 35 degrees outside. You wonder if, besides perhaps an opinion on the balmy weather, these people will find something in common.

    Ensaymada and metal

    “Yeah, we got a chance to meet one another and talk about music,” says Circa Survive’s Anthony Green, easily the day’s resident heartthrob who was raving about his ensaymada breakfast.

    He, and everybody else, point to Dragonforce’s Herman Li to do the talking: Li is as articulate on the guitar as he is in speech. Li graciously points to the soft-spoken Green. “As diverse as everybody

    Read More »from PART 1: Pulp Summer Slam bands: ‘Metal labels are for magazine writers’
  • Will Sarah Brightman’s three-octave range weave its magic in space?

    In two years, the classical singer will find out.

    Brightman is one of three persons set to travel to the International Space Station Soyuz in 2015 and stay there for eight days—orbiting the earth 16 times a day.

    She also plans to become the first musician "to record a song from space."

    Space fan

    Representing UNESCO as the U.N. agency’s Artist for Peace ambassador, Brightman couldn’t be more thrilled. She has been a fan of space travel ever since she watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon in 1969.

    Sarah Brightman flies to space as UNESCO's Artist for Peace ambassador. (Photo courtesy of MCA Music)

    ALSO READ: 8 reasons Lawson may be the next big boy band

    "Watching the first man land on the moon was an epiphany,” she told this writer during a phone interview. “It changed things and it actually helped me understand what it was that I had to do in my life to further myself, do things and think outside of the box. From that moment, I started to work really hard.”

    Now that her dream is about to come true, Brightman has

    Read More »from Classical singer to record song in space
  • Recent Manila visitors Lawson are being billed as the next boy band to watch, after the success of One Direction and The Wanted.

    Will they?

    Let us count the possible ways.

    1. They’ve collected four hit singles laden with the crisp harmonies and massive hooks of boy band forerunners Backstreet Boys, Take That and Nsync.

    2. They are followed by girls, hordes of them screaming,  everywhere they go.

    ALSO READ: Sandwich eats fat, fans the pop-rock flames

    3. The band's single “When She Was Mine” became the most-viewed song on YouTube in a week. Andy Brown on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, bassist Ryan Fletcher, lead guitarist Joel Peat and Adam Pitts on drums certainly made a good first impression.

    4. The song is engineered to send fans swooning: a bittersweet love song about the parting of ways between singer Andy and Mollie King, vocalist of UK girl
    group The Saturdays.

    5. Their debut album “Chapman Square” hints at something more: stories of conflicts of the heart written by

    Read More »from 8 reasons Lawson may be the next big boy band


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