Pinoy Rocks
  • All graduates with top honors of past Muziklaban battle of the bands competition, Hatankaru, Light of Luna and Even unleash new music this year.

    Surprisingly, the champions aren't competing head on. Rather, each group brings its own distinctive color to modern Pinoy rock.

    Raging backbeat, excellent lyrics

    The four-piece band hails from Karuhatan, Valenzuela City, thus their name: an anagram in tribute to their home place. They won Muziklaban's 2009 edition and their 6-song EP is a labor of love, coming out after two years of intermittent recording whenever the members could raise funds to finance the sessions.


    ACTIVE ROCKERS. The struggle to put out a record resonates in the soft-to-explosive funk behind the music and lyrics that fuse the personal with the political. It's easy to slot Hatankaru on the same page as Karl Roy's many incarnations, Tame The Tikbalang and Rage Against the Machine, but the band retro-fits its obvious influences with bits of 70s soul, lounge jazz and

    Read More »from Muziklaban champs unleash distinctive new albums
  • Roger Herrera. (Contributed photo by Dudee Alfonso)

    Roger Herrera, bass player par excellence, died Wednesday, Nov. 14, leaving behind a full life spent pushing the boundaries of modern Philippine music, principally Pinoy jazz.  He was 80.

    His cremated remains lay in state at the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati City until Thursday, Nov. 15, with interment scheduled the day after.

    Universally acclaimed by his contemporaries here and abroad as the greatest Filipino bassist ever, Roger Herrera left a distinguished and distinctive mark on Filipino music. He was a fixture mostly in jazz performances playing alongside such luminaries as Romy Posadas, Rudy Lozano, Edgar Avenir and Sandra Lim Viray.

    But Mang Roger, as he is affectionately called, extended his expertise in other musical genres as well, from classical to contemporary pop. He worked as sideman and musical director to a rainbow of OPM stars including Regine Velasquez, Jose Mari Chan and stage luminary Lea Salonga.

    He was a pro, playing exactly what was required of

    Read More »from ‘We’ve lost a giant’: Legendary PH bassist dies
  • Geneviere "Bong" Pascasio, lead vocalist of  90s rock band Grin Department, died Saturday morning, Nov. 10, due to colon cancer.

    In May this year, local papers reported that Pascasio was suffering from chronic abdominal disease. Charity concerts were held to raise funds to defray the mounting costs of the continuing treatment of his ailment. An appeal for financial assistance and blood donors was launched on Facebook in his behalf.

    His daughter, Gege, vocalist of the punk band The Manatees was reported to have written on her Facebook page: ""May you rest in peace dad. I love you so much and we will miss you... You legend!"

    Producer and sound engineer Robert Javier tweeted, "...paalam, Bong Pascasio, Grin Dept. kita-kita tayo sa finals..."

    Another fan tweeted, "Sad sad story for all the 90's kids. :|"

    Sexual puns

    Beginning in the mid-90s, Pascasio's Grin Department became a fixture in the Pinoy rock music scene mainly due to their wacky compositions rife with sexual puns and

    Read More »from Frontman of 90s band Grin Department passes away
  • The festival features budding music talents.The festival features budding music talents.

    It's hospitable, it's centrally located, it's got budding music talent and it's not in Manila.

    It's Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, which is kicking off the Dagsa Festival this weekend. Meant to showcase homegrown musicians, the two-day fest is part of the City's Sandurot Festival which runs from Nov. 9 to 15. The Sandurot Festival celebrates the innate friendliness of the people of Dumaguete.

    All-OPM livestreaming site, Radio Republic, is organizing the two-day Dagsa celebration with the help of the local government.

    "We realize that a lot of things not only in music but also in culture tend to be Manila-centric," explained Ron Titular, chief operating officer of Radio Republic. "The fact that Dumaguete is centrally located, geographically speaking, gives us the opportunity to bring attention to what's going on down South."

    Deserves to be heard

    He said that the festival aims to expose the music and events outside of Manila that don't get proper exposure in the mainstream media.

    Read More »from Shining the light on Dumaguete OPM
  • Mike, Joey, Wally aka Juan de la Cruz Band
    Super Sessions Live!
    Hard Rock Café, Makati
    October 20, 2012

    An hour before his legendary band hit the stage, Joey "Pepe" Smith, lead vocalist of Juan de la Cruz Band, was already inside the venue.

    He was high-fiving fellow musicians, chatting up friends and the occasional expat and gamely posing with fans.

    He seemed at ease and relaxed, a far cry from what I knew was his usual m.o.: arrive very, very late, if at all, euphemistically inebriated out of his skull.

    Tonight, he and cohorts Wally Gonzales and Mike Hanopol, would re-create the band's 1975 live album, "Super Session," with the original drummer of that gig, Nides Aranzamendez, who was in town for this reunion.

    The story behind the reunion
    Nides left for the U.S. shortly after "Super Session" was released and raised a family. In 2009, the foursome played their first reunion concert in the U.S. where the idea of reuniting in the Philippines was first brought up. It was only this year that the schedules of all permitted the

    Read More »from Juan de la Cruz Band 2012: lean, mean and kicking
  • Karl Roy (Photo courtesy of Pam Lunar)Pinoy rock young blood Karl Roy was 43 when he passed away last March. He left behind the hit "Yugyugan Na" with band P. O. T., two albums and  an EP with Kapatid, and the memory of live performances that have become the stuff of legend. At the time of his death, he was also on the verge of releasing an album with his self titled band.

    That album, "Have a Piece of This," is now out.

    Karl's manager Pam Lunar told Yahoo! Philippines OMG! that Karl had already completed recording nine songs when he died. With the help of Karl's bandmates—Shaun Hilario on drums, Jaye Mar Tapia and Jai Hanopol on guitars and RJ Sy on bass—she put the finishing touches to the rough mixes and added two new tracks including a reggae contribution from Karl's friend Joe of Malaysia's Pure Vibracion and Advent Call's Puting Ilaw.

    ACTIVE ROCKERS. "Pekwa" opens the album on a furious note. Karl and the band tear through the song, punking the funk and funking the punk for what it's worth. Lightweight lyrics deliver a

    Read More »from You must have a piece of Karl Roy’s last album
  • It's Corinne May, a Singapore-bred now L.A.-based singer-songwriter, who just released her new album, "Crooked Lines."

    You could call her inspirational.

    "A beautiful life is in living every moment like it could be our last," she sings in the carrier single, "Beautiful Life." In the title track, she reinterprets an ancient Portuguese proverb that says, "God writes straight with crooked lines."

    "Life is never a journey that goes in a straight line. It's the detours in our lives that mold us. It's only in looking back that we can truly appreciate why certain things had to happen in our lives," she tells Yahoo! Philippines OMG! in a phone interview.

    A little Sarah MacLachlan

    In spots, Corrinne sings like Sarah MacLachlan minus the operatic Gothic streak. In others, a bit of Joni Mitchell's lilt shows up. The underlying sentiment comes through as new age-y but when it breaks down to the details of loving the little ones, the neglected and the ones left behind, her music attempts at a cure

    Read More »from Not quite pop, not quite New Age
  • Movie poster from the Film Academy of the PhilippinesMy father got me an acoustic guitar when I was 12. He wanted me to learn it so I could jam with my banduria-playing sister who was a soloist in her elementary school band. He got his barber to sit with me every Saturday morning to teach me the basic chord patterns to songs my sister practiced at home like "Malagueña" and "O Sole Mio."

    Two Christmases later, my parents gave me a copy of Jingle Chordbook, a magazine that featured the lyrics of hit songs with accompanying guitar chords. It was supposed to expand my repertoire but to this day, I have memorized only the basic chords to The Beatles' "Let It Be" and the Dave Clark Five's "Hurtin' Inside."

    My first Jingle magazine eventually made the rounds of our neighborhood in San Pablo City and my teen buddies ended up playing the guitar better than me while singing the latest hits of the day.

    I was not alone. A new documentary titled "Jingle Lang ang Pahina" pays tribute to a generation of youth, especially musicians, who has been

    Read More »from This page tells a (Jingle) story
  • Mentors rock the camper-scholars in last year’s Elements Camp in Dumaguete City. (Photo courtesy of 7101 Music Nation)Call it a creative boot camp.

    Or a chance to hang for five days—and jam—with everyone from Raimund Marasigan of Sandwich to Aiza Seguerra.

    And junket to Dumaguete for free.

    "It's not every day that you get to be in the same isolated place as Gary Valenciano, Gary Granada, Joey Ayala, etc.," said Gabby Alipe of Urbandub. "Even for us musicians, that alone is worth the five sleepless days of discussing and making music."

    Those sleepless days will happen during third Elements National Singing-Songwriting Camp in Dumaguete on November 18-22.

    Wanna embark on a music career?

    Open to Filipino citizens and residents between 18-35 years old, the Camp gathers aspiring musicians and professional performers acting as mentors to engage in learning sessions.

    Topics include the science of vocal production, basic music creation and melody writing, lyric writing, AN arranging session, getting started in the music business, and stage performance essentials.

    Respected names in the music industry who have

    Read More »from Major music stars mentor new talents for free
  • Rico Blanco (Yahoo! Southeast Asia)The number one album on iTunes, a video for a sinister first single that's as hot as featured artista Megan Young, and a physical album due for release sometime this week.

    But all that—his second studio album in four years, "Galactik Fiestamatik," and the single "Amats"—almost never happened for Rico Blanco.

    "At some point, I felt I didn't have enough motivation to record a follow up to my first effort," Rico confessed in an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Philippines OMG!

    "I also felt that the amount of work involved wasn't worth it because people would just be downloading my new songs illegally, or buy pirated copies of them anyway," he added.

    Didn't have to make new music

    Rico, who had just returned from the Cagayan de Oro leg of this year's Tanduay First Five tour, was pensive and took his time to reply to our questions.

    "At another point, I thought I didn't have to contribute or add to what music listeners already have," he said..

    "In gigs, I couldn't even play all the songs

    Read More »from Rico Blanco: ‘Why bother with new songs when I can play my old hits?’


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