The Final Piece!!!

Finally! After more than 2 years, the Tandem album project is complete! I just finished the last track, and it feels good! It’s more than a little behind schedule, but I think it’s for the better.

This is for my lovely wife, who has been, still is, and, without a doubt, will always be there for me! I love you very much!

As usual, the lyrics are below, and the title is the link to the song. Enjoy!

Tunay na Umaga

Sa tuwing tayo ay nasasaktan nagtatanong

bakit lagi na lang tayong ganito

hindi na nagbago

Kahit na kay dami ng pagsubok

na dumating sa ‘ting buhay

naging matatag ang ating pag-ibig

Kay tagal na nating magkasama

sa kabila ng agos ng luha

Sa tuwing kita’y makikitang masaya

tila nagigising sa liwanag ng umaga

Kahit na ano pa ang sabihin ng iba

para saki’y wala nang mas mahalaga

sa ating pag-ibig

Kay tagal na nating magkasama

sa kabila ng agos ng luha

Sa tuwing kita’y nakikitang masaya

ako’y nagigising sa liwanag ng

tunay na umaga


INHALER: Breathing New Life After Five Years

After five long years, the members of Inhaler (which you can read about here, here, and here) found themselves in a rehearsal studio playing their music once more!

Yours truly reading his cheat sheet. That’s still my first guitar, a Frankenstein Telecaster copy that is in sore need of new lightning.

Byugi98 with his Fernando bass guitar (forgot the model).

The other day was Inhaler’s first jam session in 5 years. We held it at the rehearsal studio of JB Music Audio Solutions in Araneta Center, Cubao. It was the first step of the long journey we planned last year; to record all our songs. It was funny because we could hardly remember some of our parts. Heck, there were songs that some of us couldn’t remember at all! But after a few tries and short discussions, we pretty much were able to play all our songs, albeit roughly. It also helped that we had some home-recorded songs to practice with. We jammed for about an hour-and-a-half. It was supposed to be 2 hours, but some of us come from far-away places like Alabang. Despite that, it was a very productive first jam.

Nil pounding away on the drums!!!

The Gonz and the Maity-Maitz!

JusTech with his Squier Telecaster.

It was also a great time as friends because we hardly saw each other. The studio was full. Aside from the 5 of us in the band, Yugi’s girlfriend was there, the whole Gonz family was there, and so were F and Che-Hmph-Rawr, rounding out the total to 11 people! We probably hold the record for most people in the rehearsal studio! After the jam, we spent some more time talking about life, gear, music, and our next steps at the nearby Wendy’s branch (because I was craving for their fries and ice tea).

The Gonz playing his Fender Telecaster (You see a pattern here?), with Byugi98 and part of the studio mob in the background.

We’ve decided that we’ll be meeting regularly every Saturday for jam sessions until we polish all the songs. After that we’ll start the recording process. It really feels great to be in a band again, especially a band you started with your friends and you play original material. It’s going to be a long and exciting journey! Long live Pinoy rock!

Thanks to F for the photographs!

Note to self: Bring Rune to next week’s jam.

Almost Done!!!

Yes! I’ve just finished one of the two remaining tracks! This is track #7 of the album. When I was mixing this two days ago, there was something off about it that I couldn’t put my finger on. Finally this morning, I pushed the tempo up by 10 bpm. And what do you know? That was the thing! It was a tad bit too slow. So, here it is. The title is the link, and the lyrics are below!

Log Two Log Who

Bakit tuloy-tuloy ka pang  nahuhulog

‘Di ba’t matagal ka nang  tumama sa lupa

Bakit hanggang ngayon ika’y natutulog

‘Di ba’t kanina pa nariyan ang umaga

Gising gising

Dapat mo nang pigilan ang iyong pagbagsak

Gising gising

Hanggang kailan alipin ng pagkasindak

Bakit ang agos ay pilit nilalabanan

Matagal mo nang alam kung saan ka dadalhin

Bakit buhangin ay pilit kinakapitan

Itatangay lang iyan ng ihip ng hangin

Gising gising

Naliligaw sa landas na tinatahak

Gising gising

Hanggang kailan alipin ng pagkasindak

Whoa yeah

Bakit tuloy-tuloy ka pang nahuhulog

Nananaginip ng gising (Nananaginip ng gising)

Bakit hanggang ngayon ika’y natutulog

Mga pangarap na ligaw (Ligaw sa hangin)

Bakit ba tuloy-tuloy tuloy-tuloy tuloy-tuloy

(Bakit ba tuloy-tuloy-tuloy)

Matagal mo nang alam

Gising gising

Dapat mo nang pigilan ang iyong pagbagsak

Gising gising

Masasagip ka ba ng bali-baling pakpak

Gising gising

Gising gising

Gising gising

Kailan mo imumulat ang iyong mga mata

Pressing Pause to Play

I am on the second day of the second half of my family’s vacation in Bacolod. It’s really good to be on break, but it’s even better when you’re on break somewhere else. It’s not like we’re staying in some posh hotel or resort. We’re staying in my mother-in-law’s house, practically where the missus grew up, but it’s still a refreshing change to the routines of our little apartment. We did spend a night at a resort in the city though. It was a reunion of sorts for the missus and her friends from high school, kids and spouses in tow. Needless to say that the kids had a blast playing in the pool (Why people always say the thing that they claim is needless to say, I will never understand. Just like when people say “With all due respect…”). It was also the first time in ages that I stayed up till sun up. The activity? Playing pusoy with the husbands of the missus’ friends. After about 6 hours of playing, I won 15 pesos, which is like winning 3 games. Unfortunately, I felt the adverse effects foregoing sleep when I got a splitting headache after dinner the next day, which was aggravated by the bumpy cab ride home. And that story ends with me pretty much puking my guts out when we got to the house. So not worth the 15 pesos I won. Energetic youth, why hast thou forsaken me?

The only downside of this vacation, aside from missing our scheduled flight, paying extra (like twice over) to board the afternoon flight, spending 7 hours in the airport, and the headache episode, is that it takes time away from making music. I still have to record 2 tracks to make the 10 for the album. I left for Bacolod with track #7 half-finished. However, I think I’ll be able to record vocals when we get back and finsh track #10 and at least play a couple of jam sessions with Inhaler (my former band) before leaving for that conference in Exeter.

While I’m away from recording, I guess now is the best time to celebrate small musical accomplishments. I haven’t posted any update on the album since I posted the album cover and the video for track #1. Since then, I’ve finished videos for the first 5 tracks, and I am now working on recording the 2 remaining tracks, and the videos for the 3 other tracks that have been recorded. The videos for tacks #1 to #5 are below. I’ll post the videos for tracks #6 to #10 as soon as they’re done.

Track #1

Track #2

Track #3

Track #4

Track #5

Pretty Productive Almost-Week-Long Break (Part 2)

With the help of the missus, I was also able to finalize the Tandem album art. She helped me pick out a solid background color (I am colorblind, remember?) and a nice font for the title and track list. We actually went back to the original sketch of the album art for the title layout. Which is quite amusing because the sketch has been posted right above my desktop ever since I started working on the thing, but I never paid much attention to it after I had the line drawing on the computer.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the sixth version of this cover.

The track list art wasn’t changed from my original idea. I just changed the background color and the font to go with the cover.

The track list images are just all the layers that make up the image on the cover.

The other thing I was able to accomplish for Tandem over the break is that the album art you see above… is the one I used in the video I uploaded to Youtube!

It took me a couple of hours to finish the video because it took some time to figure out what I could and could not do with the (free version of the ) video editor I used and which options and settings work for me. But making my next videos shouldn’t be a problem now that I’ve figured those things out.”

Yep, the channel is finally up.  After almost two years. I still need to record two more tracks, but that shouldn’t be a problem. The channel and track 1 being up actually give me a pretty definite deadline for the remaining tracks. Which, for me, is a good thing so the album doesn’t get delayed any further.

Well, that’s pretty much my six-day break. Which actually means I wasn’t able to grade any of the papers I took home. Hopefully this morning I will get started on those…

Pretty Productive Almost-Week-Long Break (Part 1)

Well, over the six-day break, I’ve been able to finish a lot of stuff for Tandem. It’s actually a wee bit greater than it would seem because I was pretty much a full-time parent over the break because the missus didn’t get much of one. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to spend whole days with the kids. (Well, fine. It was great, most of the time.) With the full time parenting and my share of household chores, I didn’t think I would get any Tandem work done. But I did! Yay, me!

First, I was able to finish my 8th track for the album. As per this blog’s tradition, the lyrics are below and the song title is a link to the song.

This song’s basically built from bits and pieces of Bob’s (old) blog, which were really bits and pieces of a book she read. It didn’t turn out exactly how I initially imagined it to be, but I kind of like how it mutated into a drive-and-delay-heavy, feedback-y ballad.


I met a soul as old as mine

In a body that is trapped in time

But wise enough to know that some things can’t be helped

And everyday she’d grow a little

But her heart is still caught in the middle

Of things she couldn’t understand

‘Cause sometimes the fantasy’s too much to take

Knowing some things are never meant to change

She stands across the hands of time

A fate that never is so kind

Counting the countless seconds in between

But never holds that rarest chance

Where the hands meet in their eternal dance

To show a glimpse of the always that lies within

‘Cause sometimes the fantasy’s too much to take

Knowing some things are never meant to change

It’s so hard to be lost in dreams while you’re awake

But it’s what you need sometimes to make it through the day

She gazes into the dying light

Tears well up in the corners of her eyes

But as she drifts away into the endless night

She knows that everything will be all right

‘Cause sometimes the fantasy’s too much to take

Knowing some things are never meant to change

It’s so hard to be lost in dreams while you’re awake

But it’s what you need sometimes

Yeah, it’s what you need sometimes

It’s what you need sometimes

370 Days Later

It has been a year and 5 days since this blog was born. It has also been a year and 5 days since the floor above ours was razed, and we had to find a new place. It’s been so long since I’ve posted anything, I’ve almost forgotten how to go about this. But maybe that’s how things are, seasons. I just hope I remember enough, so I can post some more things because so many things have happened since my last post… when was it?

Well, first off, I guess it should be mentioned that the family’s doing well. Father-Mother-Daughter-Son family, not a bada-bing-bada-boom family. Just saying.

We’re still staying in the same place we moved into last year. And more importantly, no fire. We originally planned to move out in a few months, but it’s looking like the missus and I aren’t up to the hassle of another move. We’ll probably just get some things fixed up to make the place better and stay here until it’s time to move into our own place. It’s real this time. Barring any major disasters like the Earth’s core stopping, or a giant meteor crashing to the Earth, or a zombie apocalypse, or an alien invasion… Yeah, if nothing like those things happen, we should be home sweet home in a bit over 2 years. Yay!

I am currently on a four-day weekend thanks to the term break at school, but I’m also swamped with reading and checking papers because it’s report card season soon. 178 papers. Count them. That’s not including another 35 journals that I have to check when I get back on Wednesday. Sometimes, I really wonder why I do this to myself. I also wonder why I’m writing this entry instead of checking more papers. But let’s not talk about that during my break.

Sadly, another thing that happened (or not) since my last post was the new electric guitar has been put on hold indefinitely. Though unfortunate, I don’t really mind because the resources are going toward more important things. But looking back, it was quite a feat of willpower and maturity to let awesome guitar deals go just like that. A second-hand, grey Fernandes Jaguar copy from the’90s in very good condition? Ouch. A brand new Epiphone SG for half the price? Double ouch.

Despite that setback, music is still looking pretty good this year. First, there’s word that the Foo Fighters (yes, the Foo Fighters) will have a Philippine leg in their world tour this year! Not like it’s confeeermed, but I’m keeping my finger’s crossed.

Next, though I am still stuck on the last 3 tracks (7, 8 and 10), the Tandem album is definitely going to push through by May, at the latest. I’ve also finished the ‘album cover’ and ‘back cover with track list’. It finally came to me what I wanted it to look like. Yes, I’ve been taken quite a few breaks from checking.

The album cover.

The back cover.

Another thing I’m excited about, and another reason why the Tandem album has to be done by May, is Inhaler reuniting in June! We’re going to record all our 12 songs and come out with an album! A post-break-up debut album, to be exact. We plan to release it on the web just like the Tandem album. We’re also inviting our friend JusTech on board to play guitar. It’s actually going to be amusing how the recording will turn out because all three of us guitarists will be using Telecasters. I’m also actually sure less than a handful of people actually found that amusing.

I hung out with Byugi, our bassist, yesterday and talked about our recording schedule. He suggested we should jam a couple of times to get ourselves back in the groove. I think that’s an awesome idea! I really miss playing live with a band. But it will also mean I need to record guitar and vocal tracks for the songs and send them out, so the rest of the band can prepare. It’s going to be a lot of work, and will probably need some funding to record the drum tracks, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Well, it’s dinner time. I’m going to have to eat and get back to work. Hopefully, it won’t take another several months before my next post. But no promises…

After a Long Pause

It’s been more than a month since I worked on my recording. After my workshop, I was pretty much bombarded with work-related stuff. I started working on my 7th track in September, but it has been hard finding long-enough blocks of time to finish it. All I want to do at home is unwind, and these last two weeks even had me working on the weekends. And let’s not forget that I started playing Puzzle Pirates again… But finally, this three-day weekend afforded me enough time to finish it.

This has got to be the most depressing song I have ever written. If you read the lyrics, it’s totally negative and at no point does the song redeem itself. I wrote this after reading Neil Gaiman’s Death: The High Cost of Living, which is why there is a reference to a refrigerator bearing down one’s chest. However, I’m happy with it because it’s ironically upbeat and it’s my first song with a fadeout.

As usual, the lyrics are below and the title is a link to the song.

Down to Earth

I want to take that final step to freedom

I want to take control and flip the switch

I want to feel the rush of wind run between my fingers

I want my mind to jump out of my skin

Don’t want a refrigerator bearing down my chest

Be on your best behavior, honey

Don’t you make a mess

But soon enough this wreckage will be cleared

When the wailing of the sirens falls deaf upon my ears

And I’m falling down to earth

I’m falling down

Time to cut that safety line

And jump right off the edge

I’m gonna make them bastards cry

Yeah, this is my revenge

When I burn all the bridges that I’ve built

My eyes will be wide open without a trace of guilt

And I’m falling down to earth

I’m falling down

And I’m falling down to earth

I’m falling down


When I take that final step from here

The questions and their answers will no longer mean a thing

‘Cause I’m falling down to earth

I’m falling down

Yes I’m falling down to earth

I’m falling

I’m falling

I’m falling

Re-Turning Japanese

About two weeks ago,  my cousin posted some links on Facebook because he had nothing better to do. One was to a video of a song from the anime Bleach, another one was to a song from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and the third was another song from the same band. About a week ago, I clicked on the links. Not that I had nothing better to do, I was merely putting them off. I got the those things done, eventually, and the Scandal that I found turned out to be a pleasant surprise.”””

It’s not the first time I’ve listened to Japanese rock ‘n’ roll. When my friends and I were in Inhaler, we listened to a good bit of Japanese rock. We even played some of the songs in our weekly practice sessions. Here are some of my favorites from that time.””””””

Twenty Years With the Lights Out

Our little group has always been and always will be till the end.

Today marks the 20th birthday of Nirvana’s seminal album, Nevermind. This album is a landmark in my appreciation of music. Of course, my real introduction to rock music happened by way of glam metal. Guns ‘n’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction, to be exact. However, 1991 brought a slew of great albums, as this freshly-pressed blog here reminded me. The Use Your Illusion double album was amazing! It even had its share of Satanic back-masked message urban legends. And the Black Album is still my favorite Metallica album. But Nirvana’s Nevermind was the gateway that led me to discover so many great acts from that year until the turn of the millennium, just before the rich diversity of rock music was killed by the proliferation of rap metal and pop-punk. No offense to those rock sub-genres and their legion of fans, but yes, those killed it for me. But that’s a rant for another day.

Life changer.

And so… Today, after three weeks of not featuring any music, let’s revisit Nirvana’s Nevermind. The whole album is so great, I’ll give you the first half! Enjoy!

1. Smells Like Teen Spirit”

2. In Bloom”

3. Come as You Are”

4. Breed”

5. Lithium”

6. Polly”

If you’re wondering what that baby on the album cover looks like, now that he’s 20, check this out.