Pinoy Rocks
  • Filipino blues band Electric Sala wears some serious influences on their sleeves: Juan de la Cruz’s pioneering Pinoy rock, Cream’s consummate British blues, AC/DC’s slam- bang hard rock.

    Playing live at Tiendesitas activity center on a Saturday night, the five-piece combo mixes up their repertoire with Jimi Hendrix, Allman Brothers Band, Rory Gallagher and the Rolling Stones in three hour-long sets.

    That’s to be expected for a grizzled bar band. What’s unexpected is that the members of Electric Sala are in their teens or barely out of it.

    READ: Banda ni Kleggy plays 'jolly pop' disco

    Listening to 70s rock

    Formed two years ago by three brothers and a close friend, the band is presently composed of lead guitarist Paolo Ferrer, 20; bassist Carlos Ferrer,17; and drummer Abdon Ferrer, who’s all of 13. They’re joined by second lead guitarist Jurell Jamison and Jello Marcelo on slide/rhythm guitar.

    Shouldn’t these kids be doing Black Keys, instead? (Well, in fact, they do.)


    Electric Sala drummer Abdon Ferrer is all of 13.

    “Me and my brothers

    Read More »from No love songs for Pinoy teen blues band Electric Sala
  • With just 12 words, rapper Ron Henley sums up the arc of his career so far.

    “If you want to be the best, be part of the best,” he says to describe his relation with MCA, the record label that released his impressive debut EP entitled “Wala Pang Titulo.”

    Ron’s statement also tells something about his previous illustrious associations before he went solo.

    CHECK OUT: Eclectic beats for every taste: a roundup of music by Pinoys

    Meeting Francis M

    Bitten by the rap bug at age 14, he met fellow rapper Loonie who shared his passion for Eminem. They formed a group called Stick Figgas and joined the “Rap-Public of the Philippines” contest in a noontime show where they met their idol, the master rapper FrancisM. The late rapper took Stick Figgas under his wing and included them in Rap-Public’s compilation album.

    Ron and Loonie eventually went solo but they decided to maintain their core group.

    On his own, Ron hit it big with his self-penned “Biglang Liko” which came out in 2010 and currently has over

    Read More »from Rehab launched Pinoy rapper Ron Henley’s songwriting career
  • SIMILAR OBJECTS
    Acquainted with the Light: Excursions through the World Within

    Twenty-four-year old Jorge Juan B. Wieneke used to sing in a punk band. For the past few years though, he has morphed into a laptop artist who goes by the nom de musique Similar Objects. His transition from ranting howler to mood music maker must have been challenging in itself.

    Active Rockers: The current offering is a mini-album composed of 5 proper tracks and 4 remixes of the track “Infantil.” On his copious notes on bandcamp.com, Wieneke describes his latest EP to be a “body of work encapsulating the life events of the author that occurred between February - July of 2013.”

    Lyrics-free to a fault, it’s electronica that billows and shuttles between soft music for meditation and background soundscape for doing chores such as washing the car. Videogame sounds occasionally slip into each track, taking the linear music to slight mood shifts.

    Flatliners. Excuse the pun but the music on the album is already

    Read More »from Eclectic beats for every taste: a roundup of music by Pinoys
  • Marco Polo mines the dramatic intrigue of the explorer's life.

    The concert version of the musical “Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story” played before an SRO crowd at the Meralco Theater on August 10.

    In his introduction, executive director Olivier Leonard, who is from Belgium, announced the presence of the diplomatic corps in the audience. The music’s preview in Manila was intended to attract investors to its eventual run at the West End in London and in Broadway in New York.

    Leonard added that it will be the first musical with Belgian participation to grace the West End. “Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story,” by stage actor, singer and director Rogelio Saldo Chua, will also be the first musical written by a Filipino to debut on the world’s premier stages.

    READ: Banda ni Kleggy’s ‘jolly pop’ disco

    Adventure and romance

    The musical tells of the adventures of Marco Polo as he traveled from ancient Venice to the East in his quest for gold and new lands.

    In 1271, Marco Polo joined his father Niccolo and uncle Maffeo on their returm to Shangtu in faraway Cathay.

    Read More »from Investors wanted for first Pinoy-penned musical to debut in London
  • Banda ni Kleggy began as a musical side project that brought together 6CycleMind guitarist Rye Sarmiento and bassist Bob Cañamo, Callalily’s Lem Belaro on synth, MYMP bassist Berns Cuevas, seasoned pro Otep Concepcion on drums and road manager-turned-vocalist Kleggy Abaya.

    Two years ago, the band may smell of the makings of a supergroup even if the members actually came together under unusual circumstances.

    Rye and Darwin Hernandez of the artist management group Soupstar Entertainment were then involved in the BBS (or Big Band Syndicate) project which composed songs for other artists.

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    Inspired by Justin Bieber

    “Darwin and I were then thinking of writing a happy song. That time, I got bitten hard by Justin Beiber’s ‘Oh, baby oh’ song and we eventually composed ‘Bawal sa Gamot’ which I thought had a similar infectious hook,” Rye recalls.

    “We put together a band to record the song in the studio and when we began looking for

    Read More »from Banda ni Kleggy isn't just disco, it's Pinoy 'jolly pop'
  • With their adopted name, Save Me Hollywood can easily be mistaken for an American rock act.

    Just the opening flurry of chords into their big hit entitled “High” triggers visions of Blink-182, The All-American Rejects and Paramore.

    But when you finally get to watch their video, every American notion you might have had about them goes poof!

    READ: Why Aia de Leon wasn’t chosen in ‘The Voice’

    Let’s form a band!

    Save Me Hollywood is made up of Chicocsi’s Carlos “Calde” Calderon on bass, Typecast’s Melvin Macatiag on drums, April Morning Skies’ Aaron Corvera and Kenneth Arranza on guitars and VJ/DJ Julz Savard on vocals.

    The story goes that Calde and Melvin had always wanted to form a band since they struck a friendship in 2002. Their regular gigs prevented them from realizing the musical partnership.

    Julz was the pivotal character that finally got the band together. In 2010, Calde then a staff at a music channel met Julz who was then auditioning for a VJ spot. During a friendly chat, Julz told

    Read More »from Save Me Hollywood is pop, punk and not like the movies
  • Strangers no more: Guitarist JP del Mundo, vocalist and keyboardist Ace Libre, bassist and new recruit Zach Riskin, and drummer PJ La Viña. (Photo courtesy of Warner Music Philippines)


    On a humid night at Route 196 along Katipunan, Never the Strangers strode on stage at the appointed hour. They played five songs in a 30-minute set marked by rock and roll, new wave and aching ballads. The keyboards were as much in the play as the roaring guitars and the steady backbeat.

    But you could barely hear the band from the rowdy crowd up front who sang along to every tune. Never The Strangers were serenading their audience as much as the guests were singing back to the band. No stranger in the house that night!

    So I wondered, would Never the Strangers still have made it as far as they did if they had kept the name Leonecast? You’d be unsure of the pronunciation—Leo-nee-cast? Leon-cast? But then again the rock scene is littered with acts with strange names.

    READ: Bayang Barrios does folk music for millennials

    New name with maturity

    Still, midway through college at the Ateneo de Manila, Leonecast decided they were moving to a mature phase in their lives and junking their old

    Read More »from What’s in a name change? Ask Never The Strangers
  • Bayang Barrios needs no introduction.

    But for millennials, she might.

    Bayang is an acclaimed singer-songwriter, a Manobo discovered at age 19 by Joey Ayala and recruited as a singer and dancer for his group Ang Bagong Lumad.

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    A voice that will reduce you to tears

    Her vocals remain one of the most distinctive ever: strong and heartfelt and capable of reducing you to tears without your knowing it.

    Her fifth and most recent album entitled “Malaya” features covers of contemporaries she calls her musical idols. These include the iconic folk group Asin, singer-songwriter Gary Granada and Joey Ayala.

    It is her attempt at giving props to songs that meant so much to her and which she would now like to re-introduce to a younger audience.

    READ: Why biggish OPM stars are signed to this smallish indie label

    Old songs for a new audience

    Asin’s “Gising na Kaibigan,” Bayang’s personal favorite since her high school days in Mindanao,

    Read More »from Bayang Barrios does folk music for millennials
  • It’s Tuesday evening at Raimund Marasigan’s house in Marikina.

    To get there, I’m told to twist and turn through a number of roads before I make a right to a street where there’s a lumber store and “may 7-11 sa kanto.” But it’ll take me another two kilometers before I get within spitting distance of the house.

    It’s a longish way for an interview but considering this is the “secret” rehearsal studio of Raimund, Ely Buendia, Buddy Zabala and Marcus Adoro as they once again become the Eraserheads and Yahoo! OMG has been been given exclusive access to the boys for the interwebs, we were so there.

    RELATED: Closer to home: Eraserheads play Singapore in August

    Rehearsing 20 of their 24-song repertoire

    For the third time in two years, Eraserheads are reuniting to play their hits on August 10 in a one-night solo stand at the Max Pavilion of the Singapore Expo in Singapore. Last year, the boys played Canada and the U.S. Earlier this year, they were in Dubai to play before crowds composed mostly of

    Read More »from ONLY ON OMG! Q&A with Eraserheads: an album’s worth of unreleased demos and other revelations
  • So why are multi-awarded singer-songwriters Kitchie Nadal and Barbie Almalbis, alternative rock band Rocksteddy and new all-star rock ensemble Save Me Hollywood releasing their new music under a smallish, indie label called12Stone Records?

    Kitchie has been with 12Stone since 2003.

    Barbie is set to follow-up her 2010 solo album with a new one for the label.

    Rocksteddy continues to gig under 12Stone even while individual members pursue other interests.

    READ: Tanduay tour newbies excited to tour 19 cities

    And the all-star Save Me Hollywood—with Carlos “Calde” Calderon of ChicoSci, Kenneth of April Morning Sky and Melvin of Typecast with former MYX VJ and Meg Magazine model winner Julz Savard—could’ve signed up with a bigger label but didn’t.

    Rounding up the 12Stone roster are kid punk group Absolute Play and up-and-coming singer-songwriter Ruth Legaspi.

    Punk’s not dead

    Maybe it’s about who heads up 12Stone.

    Head honcho Tommy Tanchanco, who once steered the 80s new wave band Introvoys to

    Read More »from Why biggish OPM stars are signed to this smallish indie label

Pagination

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