Friday, May 16, 2003

Letter to a Friend in Baguio

Dear Sammy,

The blog's expanded, and the kid with autism did not look like the kid with down's syndrome, whose picture is now clogging my yahoo mail account. The kid at the Batangas party really was autistic.

How are you doing? Being a disc jockey treating you right?

Me, I've been extremely busy. If you've been following my bodega blog, you'll know I've been teaching kids and shuttling from QC to Pasay to Cavite to Manila ad nauseam. There's even talk of going to Fairview and Southmall. If it looks like I'm a teacher in great demand, it's only because I'm the ONLY visual arts teacher Kids at Play can trust or field at this time.

I am unsure if anyone should impute anything wrong with the contracts I've signed with the Kids at Play people, but for the record, they have been straight with me. The money actually came when it was supposed to, ensuring my continued... uh... service.

For my part I've been playing straight-n-narrow with them myself, despite the spasms of Dexterian wanderlust and the alarm bells ringing in my respiratory system due to travel.

I call when I'll be late, absent or if anything in the slightest goes awry. I have cel numbers and landline numbers archived on the new dyolog celphone and backed up on my computer in QC. I even have a lesson plan. I make sure I get to the appointed place on time even though I can't have breakfast or take as long as I want to in the bathroom, and even if I feel like I've been hit by a truck... or a smooth criminal.

Auuughhh! All this responsibility is making me GAG! But seeing the kids actually apply what I'm teaching them is worth most of the crap I haveta take. Crap like travelling (Come to Manila and SEE THE AIR!) and putting up with the eternal kiddie question "WHY DO I HAVE TO (append class activity here)?"

Actually getting paid more or less on time makes up for the rest of it.

Love to hear from you soon.

Fastlove,

George Mich-- DEX! I mean, Dex

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Band and On the Run

Daydream Cycling

I've been a registered member of the band Daydream Cyle's mailing list. While I have not followed the band's progress from their inception, a visit to Big Sky Mind (I wish I could go there more often-- the beer and the ambience are good) during one of their gigs there convinced me of the band's promise. At the time, though, they still had a long way to go: vocalist Kathy Meneses had to fine-tune her playing to the crowd; the music (a very atmospheric, wavy, sometimes-industrial technopop) needed a little oomph.

I have not had the opportunity to check on Daydream Cycle since, and I have regretted it. Of course, some friends of mine may impute that the regret may stem from missing certain members of Daydream Cycle's immediate support group. Well, regret's regret no matter the viewpoint you take looking at it. I DO owe Bonsai, Kathy and Bogs an apology for not being able to show up for Daydream Cycle's gigs.

As of this writing, the group has come out with one CD, has been heard over NU 107 and is in the process of churning out another album. I promise I'll make it up to them by buying the thing when it comes out.

Looking for Joe

I also owe this band, "Where's Joe?" an apology for not making it to their gigs as well. My friend Ian fronts for this group. The other members-- Adam, Kathleen and yes, the reputedly ever-missing Joe --have been acquaintances-cum-friends since last year. Hmmm, how to describe their sound?

Where's Joe is definitely not atmospheric, wavy, sometimes-industrial technopop. Last I checked they relied on the more traditional mix of acoustic and electric guitars, drums and bass. Male lead Ian has a voice (kinda brassy when he sings) that can carry through a room, and that's a plus. You can feel his energy when he sings, and the lyrics are often insightful and very much heartfelt. When I saw Where's Joe last, Ian's guitar skills had also increased-- I was green with envy-- though he still tended to punish his strings.

I don't know how this group sounds today, but I am resolved to see them play despite my effing schedule, see them play even if only by accident.

Gone Out the Window

Out the Window made a modest splash playing at block- and org- parties for UP Diliman students back in '94.Yeah, during the Big Band Boom in the Philippines. They were a wide-eyed, soulful bunch, associated and affiliated with the UP Diliman Psychology Department's Bukluran sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino organization (or, Buklod-Isip). They played with Tungaw (also associated and affiliated to Buklod-Isip at the time) during one Buklod-Isip sponsored gig. For a blissful while, they were a hit with the UP College of Engineering. In early '95 they dared set foot on the big stage at the UP Fair... and disintegrated.

They came late, and were consequently relegated to playing after the old Rivermaya, yeah the one with erstwhile leadsinger Bamboo in it, decimated the crowd. Meaning OTW would have to play past midnight. Some of the band's mainstays had to leave to sleep and prepare for exams. The remnants of OTW faced, at 2:00 am, an audince of drunks in no mood for Out the Window pop.

It was a good run, but all things come to an end, and one should be thankful for even prematurely aborted fame. The members of OTW have long since gone on to better things --all of them, non-musical.

"Support" guitarist and den-father Jason O. finished his psych degree in '94. I believe he's looking to start a new life and a family (if he hasn't done so already).

Part-time keyboardist and guitarist Elmer A. went on to finish his college degree-- he jumped from psych to masscom --and work for E! Philippines, and later for mega-publication distributor Emerald-Headway Philippines. Elmer's brother (who sessioned with OTW) presumably finished his Fine Arts degree at the University of Santo Tomas.

"Perfect Couple" Leah A. (OTW female lead) and Ariel H. (The mega-bassist --He called himself Mr. Perfect then) went to Med-school and later broke up. When last I checked, Ariel was working the intern graveyard shift with, of all people, my then-doctor-to-be brother. Dyogie played rhythm with the OTW male lead, but wound up following Ariel and Leah to Medical School. No word from him yet, but I hope he's happy and economically stable.

Drummer Jaoie and sessionist Dale stayed in the music scene for a while, as the short-lived Ateneo-band Cookies for Kids. Occassionaly, they took on the OTW male lead's vocal skills for one or two gigs. He would have joined them too, had not his sense of duty to his college education gotten in the fricking way.

And what happened to the Out the Window male lead? He's here, writing this blog, and wishing that even some whiff of the good old days would come back and take him places he's only seen in dreams, and felt in the rare moments of empathic synergy, when the soul of the singer and the soul of the audience touched, lighting sparks and weaving magic.

He wishes all artists, poets, musicians --dreamers-- aspiring to be successful, better fortune and all the things he's only had in passing.

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