Saturday, May 31, 2008

4+4+4+4: showtunes you should hear

Before anything else, I would like to announce that starting tomorrow, I will be blogging every other day instead of daily. I do have an explanation and if you'd like to hear it, email/PM me. I think my blog will be morphing into twitter. Moving on...

It's been a while since I last had a showtunes playlist. I did my best not to repeat soundtracks I had mentioned in previous playlists but made an exception for one because it was truly, er, exceptional.

Laugh trip (short version)
"Be A Man" from Zanna, Don't! made me laugh out loud when I first heard it. The Village People vibe!

"The Speed Test" from Thoroughly Modern Millie and "Show Off" from The Drowsy Chaperone are both Sutton Foster-powered pseudo-1920s musicals. Look up the videos for total effect.

"Practically Perfect" from Mary Poppins has the endearing kind of boastfulness only a nanny like her can get away with.

Laugh journey (long version)
Two musicals adapted from comedy films: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Spamalot that stretched the funny through the music.

Tell Me On A Sunday (2003 London Revival Cast) has an updated story fitting Denise Van Outen's tabloid-friendly life. It must be interesting to know how different it was for Marti Webb to take on the role in 1979 at age 34 and in 2004 at age 59.

Talk about differences, the 1997 Jekyll & Hyde Original Broadway Cast album is not the same as the concept albums in 1994 and 1990. It's not supposed to be funny, but I found myself going, "WHAAAA...?" listening to the lyrics. How could you have written this, Leslie Bricusse?

Seriously good
"Some Things Are Not Meant To Be" from Little Women is one of the rare songs that made me cry the first time I heard it. If you decide to explore the cast recording, you'll find my personal anthem there.

I'm torn between ensemble songs "I Believe" and "The Song of Purple Summer" from Spring Awakening.

"Wonder" from The Lord of the Rings. It's one of those odd songs you should probably split into two. Love the drama.

"The Old Red Hills of Home" from Parade gives me the chills sometimes. The Broadway cast recording wins over London.

Worth a Second Listen
The Aida I watched made me so angry because the title role performance was sub-par. Fortunately, the 2000 Original Broadway Cast recording with Heather Headley and Adam Pascal won't leave you shortchanged.

This Titanic had the bad luck of opening in 1997, around the time the movie came out. But it still has great songs and the best opening I have ever heard--six run-on songs in a stunning continuum.

There is a haunting quality to The Secret Garden (1991 OBC) that is rare in musicals other than Sondheim's.

After all these years, Once On This Island (1990 OBC) is still my all-time favorite musical.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Study in Europe

The Study in Europe website is up. It seems to me that it's designed as a halfway house of sorts, a compendium of links to take you elsewhere. But for general information, it's not such a bad start.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The mellow/tronic indie mix

I've been listening to a lot of music while working, which explains why I've been posting nothing but music. (To keep myself from putting Cookie on eternal repeat. AI withdrawal syndrome. )


Mayapple Weather:"the world called today, they sounded pissed"

Amelia's Only Daughters:"Beautiful Life"

Rrraistlin:"Glaubst Du Mir"

Beitegeuze:"Colors of Bitumen"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Style and delivery

Sandra Maria Meier fans will be happy to know that I've warmed up to her. (In my previous post, a supporter commented in her defense. Not that I was bashing anybody.) She's a lovely woman and she's grown as a presenter more quickly than I expected. Somebody from Deutsche Welle must be reading blogs.

The change is noticeable: more confident delivery, more feminine styling. Her highlights (both that of Euromaxx and her hair) are very good. At this rate, I'm wondering if Karin is ever coming back.

What still doesn't work for me? The necklaces and her lipstick. Although multi-stranded necklaces and necklace sets are becoming common, the combination could be better. The gloss on the lips is great, but the upper lip could use some lip liner because it's becoming invisible. Sorry to nitpick still. On TV, it's all about the details.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The last rose of summer

Not part of the exhibit because it's a different size. I think I will stay away from flowers for now.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Seen and heard #3

Weezer goes viral with their spoof of viral vids. Compare with montage here. [via Trend Hunter]

Look who's going to Disney World! Still not convinced? C'mon!

The "My Sassy Girl" remakes goes straight to video in the US. Not so sassy. [via Cinematical]

Sunday, May 25, 2008

but not grey

Finally worked this out. It's my virtual photo exhibit. Click on "View" at the bottom to take you to the slideshow page. From there, you can click on "Full" to view it full screen. It might take a while to load, so please be patient. I think it will be worth the wait. Thanks for viewing!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Artist(s) date at UP Vargas Museum

Julia Cameron wrote about the weekly artist date, an individual me-time for the artist in everyone. I had the opportunity to tag along on a field trip of sorts with a group of more experienced artists. This was, for me, the group version of an artist date: a date with other artists.

We went to the Jorge B. Vargas Museum inside the UP Diliman Campus and saw two exhibits, Tru-Colors: A Visual Experience on Contemporary Philippine Realities, at The Edge Gallery (until June 14) and Dramaturgical Revelations of Everyday Life, at Kawilihan Gallery (supposedly until June 1 but extended, we were told).

Mixed media triumphs in Tru-Colors, but the arrangement of the pieces, especially Leonilo Doloricon's two works, fails to produce a coherent flow of thought. It struck me how stimulating it was to gather in front Jose Tence Ruiz's CSI (Laundry), two complex pieces in a series, as my companions dicussed its merits (or shortcomings) and what they thought it was trying to say. Two relatively small pieces that caught my eye were Herbert PinpiƱo's The Last Resort, an illustration waiting to be animated, and Melvin Quitazol's Pa Rin, a statement on communism. EJ Zaman Mijares' animation deserved a larger screen but needs an original score. The collaborative installation Kapihan ni Ka Mayo is understandably more political protest, less art. As a "visual experience on contemporary Philippines realities", what I missed is a message about affluence and consumption.

Dramaturgical Revelations of Everyday Life
presents an idyllic Philippines complete with piped-in crickets through works from the Vargas collection, which includes a number of Filipino masters. The grouping of the pieces is highly logical and the scope of everyday life is commendable. It is a pity that some of the paintings need cleaning or are chipping off and are in need of immediate restoration.

Friday, May 23, 2008

On a week when I heard over a hundred or so artists, this one has to be my favorite. Never heard contemporary Pakistani music before, so this was an awesome surprise. Six beautiful songs by (Mubashir Noor), all yours for the taking under the Creative Commons by-nd 3.0 license. Here's his MySpace page.

Too good to not share.

[via Uwe Hermann]

Thursday, May 22, 2008

liveblogging the american idol finale results show

it's the last show of the season. what else will i watch on tv now? my first time liveblogging attempt. just wanted to try it out. lowercase cause i gotta do it fast. spoiler alert! (times are GMT+8)

8:01 a record-breaking 97.5 million votes came in last night. wow!!! 56% and 44% for the two contestants. that's 54.6M vs 42.9M. are we going to be surprised as predicts?
8:02 mikalah gordon and matt rogers have new careers as correspondents in the finalists' hometowns. they look as if they'd be better at this than singing.
8:04 SYTYCD and top 12 in white again. they're not focusing on anyone in particular. go ryan conferido! didn't see melody though.
8:06 yay! did they plant that woman who mouthed, "i love you" and blew a kiss? perfect for TV.
8:09 cookie and archie do "hero" perfect song. cook should have done this yesterday, demmet.
8:11 you can see the diff in how they perform. fill in the blanks.
8:12 love guru plug. agh. DC is playing it cool; DA seems to approach this with some innocent wonder. "it's not the 90s," mike myers tells cook about the facial hair. look who's talking. "soon you'll have hair in weird and wonderful places," he tells archuleta. what's with all the hirsutalk? speak for yourself, pitka.
8:15 and he rolls in onstage on a wheeled cushion. how much did paramount pay for this? mr. seafoam is the best name for ryan i've heard.
8:17 yes, shamelessssssssss. seacrest nearly rolls off the stage. syesha isn't dead. seal isn't, either.
8:19 love the way they look. great vocals from seal.
8:25 castro's greatest hit, "alleluia".
8:27 "let the good times roll" with outtakes from the ford vids.
8:28 why is everyone wearing black? nobody's dream is dead yet. escape hybrids on the green carpet.
8:29 the girls "work hard for the money" in shiny red outfits. hot stuff. donna summer has a new single. did she really need two escorts coming down the stairs? rocker nurse-whose-name-escapes-me doesn't look too excited. at all.
8:33 seacrest made it onstage with the streetdancing guys. last dance, yeah! paula should be onstage because she's dressed like a finalist and dancing. is that a crystal-studded mic donna summers lent syesha? fitting ending.
8:38 "two contestants who left before their time" MJ and carly. the talented imports sign off with "the letter". even match.
8:42 jimmy kimmel is back. sanjaya takes the valet parking joke in stride. kimmel takes potshots at ryan, paula and simon
8:44 wonderful medley of simon's insults. is this downloadable, too?
8:46 top 6 guys relive "the summer of '69". i miss michael johns and hernandez. cook and archuleta come out with "heaven". bryan adams! archuleta must be having the time of his life beside his idol.
8:50 bo bice is in the house, wearing a tie. sweet.
8:54 jordin gives her career and disney studios a boost. the AI theme park experience better have cowell in it.
8:55 cook goes full-on rock with ZZ Top. the two guitarists with the longest beards. mike myers, what did you say again? point is, DC has been trying to tell us something all these weeks, and he's still cementing that.
8:57 more guitar playing than anything else. will paula ever stop dancing?
8:58 mikalah talks to DC's music teacher.
8:59 brooke has an intimate duet. we know where you're headed.
9:00 how long is this? ms.cook hasn't sung yet.
9:06 archie's contemporaries, the jonas brothers. i'm too old for this.
9:09 i know what's coming. the bizaare auditions. renaldo lapuz should be rolling soon.
9:11 here he is! we all knew he'd make the finale. oh man. a full band and USC cheerleaders. can't get the tempo. can't he hear them? paula dances like there's no tomorrow. they cut the whole thing before it goes on eternal repeat, thank god.
9:17 onerepublic apologizes. not as good live, but its a great song.
9:19 DA does it well. and he gets to do his signature "ooooohhh" too.
9:21 matt rogers sounds like a sports commentator. proud grandpas. don't defend willy anymore. as the song says, it's too late.
9:22 jordin's last walk in gold. yaiks. fire your stylist!
9:26 blake lewis is singing along in the audience. awww.
9:30 gladys knight's 1972 footage? tropic thunder placement! RDJ!!! stiller and black ham it up. but downey jr embodies class. it's summer after all and you gotta promote the blockbusters. thanks for the subtlety.
9:34 that was a charity vid. nice! carrie underwood is in a short short white dress. lemme guess. jilted vegas bride. this is different from her last incarnation on the show. the rock edge isn't natural. clarkson, are you backstage? give her a tip or two.
9:38 i'm hungry.
9:42 the last top 12 number. the girls have "faith". the guys play "father figure". "freedom"! not something they'll have for the next few months.
9:47 george michael. for real. change of pace. this is an elton john song, isn't it? this fits idol gives back more. the crowd is silenced.
9:52 the three judges are on their feet. so he has an american tour. explains it.
9:56 judges are happy. randy says it's "one of the strongest years ever". simon congratulates both and apologizes for his disrespectful comments to DC the previous night. damage control?
9:58 the envelope comes in.
9:59 moment of truth. DC. i had to scream. twice. hope the neighbors didn't mind.
10:00 emotional moment. "this is amazing" was all he could say."this is all your fault," he said to his brother.
10:02 now here's the winning song from the competition. worthy. worthy. worthy.
10:03 america, you did the right thing.
10:05 now this is why i liveblogged! glad i did.

we all thought DA had it in the bag, didn't we? but the voters believed. and was right. DC must both love and hate winning as much as i loved and hated him last night. he rocks. let's hope he gets to make the music he wants to make.

[Update] OMG, has anyone seen DC's Guitar Hero ad yet? As for DA's version, that girl said it best:
IMHO, Cook’s works for him. I mean, he actually plays the guitar and rocks. He probably even knows the scene from the movie. Archuleta’s, while cute, just didn’t… fit.

Image from

For your mp3 collection, part 16

apeskinny:“May apeskinny mix (ft. Calendar Girl)”-collab of the month

Fiktion:"Vardagspaus"-contemplative progression

Jamison Young:"How Far"-valid question

The Last Town Chorus:"Modern Love"-slowly faithless

Marching Band:"Feel Good About It"
-too relaxed to parade about town

Musetta:"Handful of dust remix"-up dharmasound

Sascha Mueller:"Micromaniacs Mikzzzz
-59 minutes of blissful blips

Sloan:"Cheap Champagne"-Beatle beats

Solaire:"My Hands, Your Neck"
-building up the scene

Spam Allstars:"Descarga Gusano 2004 (Miami Heat remix)"-dance time

Superdrag:"Baby Goes to 11"-has that timeless sound

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Seen and heard #2

Who is trap?

Keeping the mood light with a few things seen and heard in the city.

Guy to girl in cinema after Mamma Mia trailer: "Panonoorin mo, 'no? Ewwwww."

Bakery sign: Bread Pit

Chowking Fish Sauce ingredients: 100% fresh fish (I'm pretty sure it's anything but)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Square #1: Made in China, bought in Italy, painted in the Philippines

Which is the bigger difference: the way the painting looks in the two photos or the way I look in them?

I'm very pleased to show you my first work on a square canvas. When I presented Mang Ato with my choices of subject, he picked this one. Challenging. A classical subject painted realistically, with a somewhat modern edge.

I bought the shawl on Easter Sunday last year in Rome. We had wanted to get the Pope's blessing at St. Peter's before going to Fiumicino, so we had our luggage with us. While waiting for the van to take us to the airport, A. haggled outside the square with a Chinese woman selling shawls. I did the same.

Won't show you all the pieces so you'll come see our show before the year ends.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mad Butcher Records

The Mad Butcher Records site is a goldmine of MP3s: 99 and counting, and I've listened to most of them. It's a crazy mix of genres, but here are a few to get you started.

Ska-J turns a classic into a logical ska choice with In The Mood For Ska. The Men In The Street is a pretty cool instrumental. Umbrella Bed has a funny, funny song in Pant Load. The Skaliners are old school in Our Way. The Zwooks have a really cute one in A Shoulder Like You (Jason Castro, take note). The Baboonz with rock it out with their ska-punk Back Out-O-Space. Pama International brings on the love in Truly Madly Deeply. Plowking has something to start your Perfect Days. The name might give you the wrong impression, but Shanty Town has a song that's exactly the way it's called: Sweet and Lowdown. Arpioni's Malacabeza, with its "Oi! Mamma Mia!" lyrics is my top pick. I'm starting to wonder: am I the only one enjoying this? And am I missing the anti-fascist/anti-racist messages here?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

a muse astray/amuse a stray

I have a new photolog (and a slightly different username). If you've scoured my blog archives and flickr photos, most of the images will be familiar. But the photolog shows them the way they ought to be seen.

So please drop by and check out the photolog archives.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Neues Bauen International@CSB SDA

Going places

I was looking for notebooks when I came upon one that I labeled My Book of Lists. This was the first list:
Paris: Louvre, Montmartre
New Zealand
Kyoto and Tokyo
Russia: Red Square, Hermitage
Irish cliffs: Moher, Ring of Kerry, Giant's Causeway
The Alps Egypt
Grand Canyon
Angkor Wat
I've only seen the first two since. At least I'm making progress! I'm adding these:
Great Barrier Reef and Highway 1
Machu Picchu and other Incan/Aztec/Mayan ruins

And there are countless Pinays with the same wanderlust. Here are some blogger friends with travel blogs in addition to their personal blogs. Show them some love.

I travel. I write. I think. Sometimes I do all three all at once.

Miss Placed -- routes, food, fashion, and finds

travels, places, and photography unlimited

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cyber Fyber

An event tied to a process that pools the creative energies of the online community of fiber artists through trading: Cyber Fyber Exhibition. It's not collaborative art strictly speaking, but a novel way of spreading and appreciating work amongst like-minded individuals.

[via Brains on Fire]

Sacha Chua's The Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 at Work

Sacha Chua did this with her Nintendo DS. Clearly, we need more women like her!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The great Ritter Sport taste test!

mini mini tops

Comparing notes with the other sweet tooth: my dad.

Papa's rating: 4 "Masarap"
My rating: 4.5 Not quite Ferrero, but close

Papa's rating: 2 "Chocolate na parang hindi chocolate"
My rating: 1.5 Not my kind of yogurt

Papa's rating: 4.5 "Mmm...malutong"
My rating: 4 Like Crunch

Papa's rating: 3 "Parang lugi kasi madaming biskwet. Mura lang lang yun"
My rating: 4.5 I like!

Papa's rating: 3 "Parang raw chocolate"
My rating: 2.5 The combination doesn't work

Papa's rating: 3.5 "Konti na lang, parang Chocnut...pero pino siya"
My rating: 4 Has a hazelnut flavor and really smooth

Papa's rating: 4 "Pinong-pino pero parang may konting asim sa dulo."
My rating: 3 Not so special

side side knusperflakes marzipan vollmilch nine angle