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The National makes their way to the Philippines

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The Manila concert scene continues to surprise me! It was a month ago when we had Phoenix grace our shores and now, in a few days, Brooklyn-based, Ohio-bred indie superstars The National will be here. I AM DYING!

Just in case you weren’t sure if I’m a The National fan – let me give you a quick briefer:

The National for On the Radar

1. I interviewed the band’s bassist a few years ago for the Philippine Star.

The National 6

2. I travelled to Singapore just to watch their concert

I assure you that they are AMAZING live.

For tickets, check out ticketworld. See you there!

Written by divasoria

February 17th, 2014 at 7:21 am

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Lilith Fair

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Life has been hectic lately so I’ve been listening to a lot of women musicians.I feel like there is something very calming about female voices – maybe there is a sisterhood about it? common angst? hormones?

Found myself waking up early this morning and reading/answering work emails(don’t ask! O_O) at the crack of dawn and while doing so, I decided to make a playlist. I haven’t made one for quite some time and I never made one that was composed of songs from purely women musicians(or female-led bands, at least) , noh?. I christen thee – the “Lilith” Playlist:

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As you can see, it’s a wide variety of artists from different genres and even eras! I love Natalie Merchant and although this is a Patti Smith original(come to think of it, should’ve added a song from Horses here), I think the 10,000 maniacs unplugged cover of “Because The Night” is a rousing rendition. I feel energetic whenever I listen to it. I’ve been on a Sarah Mclachlan trip lately so there you go. LOL. Well, come on, who doesn’t like a depressive Tori Amos? And did I tell you I LOVE FLEETWOOD MAC, major dream to see them live one day so I am supremely jealous that Vinny saw their concert in London! ! I think 32 flavors is such a 90s chick song, just needed to add that. Feist is love, nuff said. I had to add All Saints’ Pure Shores because I love this song! Fiona Apple’s angst is PMS personified. While St. Vincent is a great female voice of recent years although not as iconic as THE Annie Lenox. Mazzy Star’s Fade into You was obviously a last-minute addition, I get kilig when I hear it. HAHA.

P.S. I know you’re asking me why I didn’t add any Joni Mitchell. I just realized it when i started uploading. I know, big mistake. Maybe Lilith pt 2?

Written by divasoria

October 24th, 2013 at 6:38 am

Posted in music

Trying to be cool

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As the title of this post suggests, I am trying to to be cool about this but I REALLY CAN’T.

One of my favorite bands EVER – PHOENIX is coming to Manila. HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!??!

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Fine, I’ve seen Phoenix twice before, first time was in Jakarta and the other time was during their set in Coachella back in 2010.

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Jakarta in 2009

Coachella 2010 Day 2
Coachella 2010

Obviously, I would pay good money and travel just to see Phoenix live. They are amazing performers with their own brand of indie pop which I can only really describe as something that makes me and a lot of my dearest friends happy. PLUS, in case you weren’t sure either, I am a HUGE FAN OF SOFIA COPPOLA.

I know, aren’t we talking about Phoenix the band, Grace? WELL, Thomas Mars, the lead singer, is married to Sofia. So if it isn’t obvious, there is a (slight) possibility IDOL (like how Keri and I love to call Sofia Coppola) is coming to town.

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SO Manila, you better be freakin’ ready for some chic things to do for our IDOL!

And as an aside, did you know that Sofia Coppola lived in the Philippines while her dad filmed Apocalypse now? She even knew our national anthem!

sofia coppola at 5 by divasoria

Anyways, back to Phoenix in Manila(Sorry, I like to pre-amble and be non-sequitur) – So when Barry tweeted about the band coming to Southeast Asia with gigs in Singapore and Hong Kong, we all sorta formed an “MNL Hipster” prayer brigade. I’m getting too old to travel for music and honestly, if bands like The XX or events like Wanderland get sold out, I don’t see why a band like Phoenix can’t make the numbers. Ask any major music fan of the last 10 years and I’m pretty sure they will tell you that Phoenix is a BIG deal.

With the higher being on our side, it was announced a week and a half ago that YES, Phoenix added Manila to their Asian tour. And I flipped. Well, WE ALL DID. I started screaming like a mad woman in my car! I was beside myself, I couldn’t care less that I was stuck in a horrendous traffic jam going home.

All the bad vibes just melted away – Manila has somewhat arrived in the scene. I feel like our coolness points as a destination went up ten-fold. We are the new BROOKLYN, YO. What’s next? Artisinal bacon? Homemade organic soap? Power yoga lunchbreaks? (of course, I say this with some major doses of jest, people. LOL). And thank you to at least 10 people who had messaged me via SMS, twitter and facebook about this concert. Everybody knew I was a Phoenix fan. LOL.

How do you get tickets, you ask? They started selling them last Monday via SM Tickets which by the way was the WORST ticketing system EVER. I had to panic buy mine while waiting for a major meeting and it was beyond difficult. The SM Ticket system was so archaic and slow plus the VIP section had SEATS.

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(They just added that “Standing” part in VIP. WHAT THE…)

I think most of us who had planned to buy in that section thought it would be the usual free for all/standing-room only, but NOPE, you had to get a seat so that added to the process. But luckily, I was one of the few who came out unscathed and had been able to get my seats relatively quick. Yes, I was beyond ecstatic and since then, cannot stop listening to the Phoenix playlist in my music devices.

YOU GUYS, WE ARE REALLY GOING TO SEE PHOENIX in MANILA, !!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

Written by divasoria

October 19th, 2013 at 6:34 am

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CrazySexyCool

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While trying to psyche myself up for The XX gig last Tuesday evening, I accidentally landed on my TLC playlist – I know..ang labo..BUT..it was alphabetical so you know..THE XX playlist was actually close to TLC :D But I digress…

I started obsessively listening to TLC for the rest of the week. I remember in high school, although I was really a rock chick, the iconic 90s all-girl group was really hard to ignore and I LOVED THEM!

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I went through a TLC/fashion phase. 90s chicks, we have to come clean about this – yes, I used to wear overalls and Doc Martens and oversized shirts. :/

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See, during my time in Pisay, we had “Casual” or Wash day Wednesdays. We could wear almost anything we wanted and for a Filipino uniform-wearing school teen, that is the epitome of freedom.

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I would base my Wednesday outfits on stuff I saw on MTV, magazines(YM and Seventeen) and movies. And during the early 90s, TLC was pretty much on MTV 24/7.

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Remember those looney tunes characters wearing baggy/hip hop clothes? Yes, I had a few shirts like those, too, because I really thought they were cool(and I know Celina has a few as well). HAHAHA.(and wow, 90s truly is coming back based on this list)

IKR. Don’t worry I didn’t wear condom earrings. HA! I also remember having these leather bracelets made with the words crazy-sexy-cool for Christmas of 1993. LOL!

TLC was also pioneering as they talked about women empowerment, female friendship and relationships.

But more than anything, they played an infectious brand of RNB/Hip-Hop that transcends the test of time. (Too sad that Left-eye, my favorite TLC girl, passed away already)

And thanks to Macy for the heads up, I am too excited about the VH1 movie about TLC!!

Written by divasoria

August 4th, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Posted in fashion,music,pop culture

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Coachella-lite: The Wanderland 2013 Experience

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(photo c/o Magic Liwanag)

I lived to tell the tale of the very first Wanderland Music and Arts Festival. And what did I think about it? It was not bad at all!

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We initially thought it was going to be “Lameway”. Look at the stuff you cannot bring in? SERIOUSLY?!?!?! Being a veteran of the music fest/concert scene for the past uhmm..20 years or so…these rules are like the lamest I’ve seen. like..EVER.

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(both photos c/o Kevin Ching)
It was my first time to go to the Circuit and I was pleasantly surprised. The Circuit is the new Ayala development that used to be the old Sta. Ana Race track. The parking looked safe although we felt the guard that welcomed us and asked if we had tickets was a scalper. LOL.

And we had VIP tickets and when we tried to get into the designated parking, the guard again stopped us even if we saw a few empty spaces. Supposedly they were for a VIP – e what do you call these tickets we were holding then? DUH. :D Anyway, we found a decent spot which was a little farther but we don’t mind. Having survived Coachella(I know right, I’m comparing this with Coachella. You will hear this a lot), the parking here was waaay better.

AND remember the rules? Once we entered the VIP area inside the actual Circuit grounds, they didn’t even check our bags. We could’ve brought in…stuff. HA!

I think I'm in Coachella-lite. Hipster central over here. #wanderland2012  #igdaily #instadaily #instagram #instagood #instamood #instacool #picoftheday #photooftheday #bestoftheday #webstagram #igersmanila #igmanila #igphilippines #iphone4s #iphoneonly

We got to Wanderland at 7ish. Yah, we skipped the whole afternoon because we are no longer in college and we have better things to do like take a nap or workout or do errands. HA! And I honestly didn’t know the other bands. Sorry, can’t waste my time on my precious weekend hanging out during the day time and listening to songs I didn’t really care for. And surprisingly enough, most people my age who went to Wanderland thought of the exact same thing. See the sensibility we develop as we age?

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That said, I loved the vibe of the place!!! As expected it was like Coachella-lite. The set-up was pretty good, better than laneway and surprisingly, a lot cleaner! People came around with garbage bags to pick up the trash all through out the day/night. There were also some sponsor booths like keds, rayban, the gap and some bouncy-velcro play thingies.

What I found most amusing were the kids – I think they all crammed for their outfits. Everybody looked like they browsed the Coachella lookbook profusely and then shopped at Cotton On/Forever 21/Topshop/Topman before this weekend. Not dissing the brands as I was wearing a Cotton On top, too..but man, tweens/teens today had a lot of balls compared to my time and there was a prerequisite look:

girls – flower headband, crochet tops/crop tops/bikini tops and short shorts
boys – striped/aztec print tank top and shorts

Oh kids of today! As they say, youth is wasted on the young. Remember the days we had that much energy? Kids, don’t waste it! Once you hit 25, it’s all down hill from there. You barely have enough energy to read emails. :P

So we happily found a spot where we just sat around and enjoyed the music and the people watching. We also checked out the food scene as we were hungry. We first got a Jamba Juice each because we all needed some sort of boost – immunity, energy and whatever. Seldom do we go out and be up all night. We needed it.

In the VIP section, they were giving away loads of things including some lime-green vodka drink by the Havaianas booth and cups of Captain Morgan and cola. IMHO, both tasted like shit but since it was for free…it was ok. My issue was they were giving the drinks to the minors and some of them were passed out! and alone! I was going on full-on tita mode just to tell those teens that you do not leave a drunk passed out friend alone in the middle of a crowd. That’s just not done! Listen to your Tita Grace!!!

Craving for those hotdogs @  Wanderland!! Definitely not tender juicy. Hehe! Thanks @chinkchilla for lining up for them. The food selection wasn't bad plus there was free alcohol in the VIP section #wanderlandmusicfest #music #summer #hotdogs #food #foodp

Around 10ish, I started getting peckish and we seriously needed real food. So off we went to the Taters booth(I love taters’ white cheddar popcorn) and Kevin went to get us hotdogs. and they were AWESOME!!! The sausage itself is obviously not some overly red tender juicy variety and it has left me craving for it. I did some googling and it’s from Schmidt’s Gourmet Hotdogs. NOM!

I also heard via twitter that the very cool senator-elect Sonny Angara was in Wanderland and due to public demand, I had my eye out to get a photo with him. And mission accomplished.

With the hipster senator-elect @sonnyangara and beautiful wife tootsie. This is for you @isabelgatuslao  #wanderlandmusicfest  #igdaily #instadaily #instagram #instagood #instamood #instacool #picoftheday #photooftheday #bestoftheday #webstagram #igersman
I had met the Senator-elect and his wife previously and I follow him on twitter. I find him very nice and his platform convincing enough for me to vote for him and also slightly encourage my friends to pick him as well. So I was thrilled that he got into the top 6! Here is our photo with his wife. Great couple and I feel like there’s a bright future now for the Philippines with all these young and fresh and progressive leaders coming around. I kept on teasing him that he was the hipster senator and he was laughing about it.

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I also caught up with my friend KATE! We have a running joke since we both went to Coachella a few years ago and didn’t even see each other. The signal in Indio during the 3-day fest is notoriously bad. So we were both thrilled to see each other here at Wanderland. We needed a photo for posterity’s sake. hehe. Cannot wait for her long-delayed debut album!

But wait, this was all about the music, right?

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(photo c/o Jacque De Borja)

Well, honestly? I was not a fan of the headliners although I LOVE local favorite Up Dharma Down, they’re always great to see live. I also caught Nada Surf, Neon Trees and Temper Trap – and among the three, I thought Neon Trees were the best. SO much energy and everybody was just dancing.

Overall, I thought Wanderland 2013 was a good start. Kudos to the producers and promoters, great job on the set-up and the organization of the whole event. We all said that there should be more events like that -laid back, really chill and just fun. My friend Vera and I wished we had something like this when we were kids. We have high hopes for the future of this event and we cannot wait for Wanderland 2014.

So Daft Punk and Phoenix next year? One can dream, right?

Written by divasoria

May 20th, 2013 at 5:52 am

Posted in events,music

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