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Posts tagged ‘wincy ong’

Loud Concert, Quiet Anniversary

June 10, 2010

Clementine

I’m still hungover over Club 8’s visit to the Philippines even after weeks since the conclusion of the shows we co-produced plus the fact that Lilystars has already turned two years old last May.

I cannot recall including concert production on a large scale as part of our plan of activities. Lilystars as I heard a friend say (after I told him how we got the Club 8 gig) is a “happenstance producer.” Managing bands, producing and selling records and small event productions are already very challenging tasks sometimes fulfilling and sometimes disappointing especially for a start-up non-commercial indie label with very limited time and resources and still in the process of learning and growing.

What my team and I have are big dreams and good intentions and the means to afford “creative freedom.” Creative freedom means a lot and it means different things to different people. But above all, it gives me and the other artists we bring on board, the freedom to explore new worlds in their music, take chances, and boldly try out to new blends, instruments and musical themes. I believe this is where genuine artistic growth happens and we are ready to stick our necks out with any artist we support and believes in us. We enjoy the thrill, the excitement and the danger of being on the cutting edge of what is new and progressive and we embrace the risks and the losses in terms of time and money simply because we love good music, we love what we do and the fact that building a musical career does not take overnight.

A week ago Ian Zafra (Sheila & The Insects) shared a blog entry from Seth Godin entitled 16 Questions For Free Agents and the first two questions I think is the most important:

  1. Who are you trying to please?
  2. Are you trying to make a living, make a difference, or leave a legacy?

We perfectly know the answer to these. And till now, after two years, the answers are still the same. We quietly celebrated our anniversary on a hot Monday afternoon over pizza delivered from Shakey’s looking back at the year that has passed and assessing short and long term goals. That same afternoon Turbo Goth and The Bernadettes expressed their desire to continue their careers on their own prompting us to recalibrate our plans.

To summarize the year that has passed, we were able to accomplish the following:

  1. Released a repackaged version of The Camerawalls’ debut album “Pocket Guide To The Otherworld.”
  2. Released CD Singles of Turbo Goth and The Bernadettes. It comes with excellent remixes by Jonathan Ong of Sonicstate Audio both recognized for Best Remix category in the recently concluded AVIMA music awards. “Morning Swim” entered the charts of JAM 88.3 as well.
  3. Co-Produced Scottish musician Ally Kerr’s mini shows in Manila backed up by The Camerawalls.
  4. Project Ondoy: participated and produced shows as part of relief drive for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.
  5. Produced and released “The Sight Of Love” by The Camerawalls – a digital single originally released for free download. It became number #1 for several weeks on Jam 88.3 weekly charts. Produced and released a music video as well directed by Wincy Ong.
  6. Co-Produced Swedish band Club 8’s first Philippine visit and major concert in SMX Convention Center in Manila and in Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City.
  7. Produced more than a dozen shows for The POP Shoppe! in Manila and paid tribute to the following artists Paul Weller, The Beatles, Morrissey, Blur, and Club 8.
  8. Produced The POP Shoppe! events in Baguio and Cebu.

On the other hand, these are what we failed to complete within the year:

  1. Release The POP Shoppe! Vol. 1 – a compilation album featuring two new songs each from The Camerawalls, The Bernadettes, Turbo Goth, Patience Dear Juggernaut, Your Imaginary Friends and The Gentle Isolation. 80% done recording the project which began September of 2009 (before Ondoy hit the country). The release was postponed to June 2010 to accomodate the Club 8 concert but eventually pulled the plug on the project.
  2. Release the full length albums of The Bernadettes and Turbo Goth.

As with any goal there is always a risk of a plan not coming together, dynamic decision making and adjustments to changing times and even calamities not to mention adhering to the indie label’s shortcomings and most specially a change of heart.

But in general there is nothing like being in the presence of like-minded people. When you are with your band you expect they all have the same values, the same approach to music and career. But it is more than that. You expect they understand the musical vision and speak the same language. Lilystars takes that sense of shared community and makes it into a business that can promote those shared goals and protect the community we share. A kind of teamwork more times than not makes a plan come together.

That being said, we welcome a new year with open arms and an open mind to face new  challenges with the same passion and integrity. To my colleagues in Lilystars, Antonette and Denise, I take this opportunity to thank both of you for your unconditional love and support and for standing by me all this years. To newcomer Valerie, we are grateful for the contribution you have given in a short amount of time. We  welcome you in the team with open arms.

To our current roster —The Camerawalls, The Gentle Isolation and Your Imaginary Friends—we are excited for your upcoming releases and hope you develop the courage to lose sight of the shore but remember the path and treasure the journey. To our former artists, we wish you all the best in your musical careers and thank you all for being once part of our label.

To everyone who supported Lilystars, our artists, our projects in ways big or small; to everyone who believed in our cause and in the music we champion; our hearts are full and we will give you back the love by continuing what we have started and offer more significant projects and releases in the future.

Happy Anniversary to Lilystars!

Your Newest Cardiac Delight

November 23, 2009

Denise Atas

For all that the local music industry is worth, we can’t sometimes help but be disheartened by all the monotony pouring out of our ears. Fortunately, at least every once in a while, the spell of complacency in churning run-of-the-mill songs can be broken—there is hope for this industry yet—and sometimes, it’s a surprise where that hope comes from. For example:

Us-2 Evil-0 (From L-R: Mich Dulce, Quark Henares, Bogs Jugo, Wincy Ong, & Nix Puno)

I would think that anybody who has never heard of Quark Henares or Mich Dulce, Wincy Ong, Nix Puno or Bogs Jugo must have been hiding under a rock. A sizable chunk of our relevant population would know that none of the five mentioned are strangers to the music / entertainment industry. It’s fun to think of how they came together as Us-2 Evil-0 (I’d leave that for the band to address), but what could be more fun is to watch what they can do together as musicians.

I remember driving to work one morning some months ago, and for the first time in a really, really long time, felt compelled to open the radio. After a slew of advertisements that I thought was all that ever took up airtime, some song finally came on: drum beats. Then a male voice that, by the way it sounded, appeared to be singing, but not quite. I would have mindlessly switched stations already if not for the fine female voice that shortly came on singing about some mighty heart attack in what was the catchiest chorus I have heard in too long. Being such a big fan of boy/girl duos, I decided not to switch stations. The chorus got stuck in my head. Not at all bad. Then the DJ came on and said something like, “… that was Us-2 Evil-0 with ‘This Mighty Heart Attack’…” Now THAT was a surprise. Of course I already knew then who Us-2 Evil-0 was… I just didn’t think that the song was theirs. “It’s local!” I thought excitedly. It just got better. Finally, something different.

Not anymore to my surprise, ‘This Mighty Heart Attack’ entered the Jam 88.3 countdown some time ago. So I got curious. To feed my curiosity, I tried searching for Us-2 Evil-0 on every other networking site that I knew, but ended up not finding much—no lyrics, no blogs, no mp3’s—just random and separate stuff about the band members as individuals. I therefore concluded that this young band was still quite obscure and that, I think, is a nice thing. I find it a wonder how their individual popularity faces off with their collective mystery. I was successful in finding their Facebook page where fans have so far, posted nothing but words of encouragement—a positive sign that the band is doing something right.

Just a little over a month ago, the video for ‘This Mighty Heart Attack,’ directed by JA Tadena, came out on YouTube. Among more encouragements (and a couple of detraction) were several requests for lyrics. I thought it odd that the lyrics really weren’t posted anywhere, so I messaged Wincy Ong over at Facebook to ask for it, having learned that he penned it. So to those who have been searching in vain, you found it here first. And here’s the video too, to complete your sing-along:

THIS MIGHTY HEART ATTACK
by Us-2 Evil-0

When I saw your eyes
My heart capsized
You were a vision

Then I came to know
You also starred in television

How the hell am I supposed
To ignore the facts and act so fast?
How the hell am I supposed
To contain this mighty heart attack?

Because I realized
We can’t disguise
You’re more than human
Now it won’t suffice
Can’t compromise to
A lesser woman
Can’t apologize
Or tell you twice
Cos I’m not handsome
I can just surmise
That you’re content with
Your brand new boyfriend

How the hell am I supposed
To ignore the facts and act so fast?
How the hell am I supposed
To contain this mighty heart attack?

You know by now
It’s over, don’t you?
You know by now
It’s over, don’t you?

Now’s the painful part
But it’s a start
And yes I did try
I liked you a lot
But all for nought
I guess it’s goodbye

How the hell am I supposed
To ignore the facts and act so fast?
How the hell am I supposed
To contain this mighty heart attack?

Quite obviously, ‘This Mighty Heart Attack’ is but a taste of what Us-2 Evil-0 can give the music–loving public. If you like their music, you’ll love them live. With Mich and Quark’s choreography, who wouldn’t? November 28, Saturday, 10:00 pm at Magnet Bonifacio High Street marks the release of their debut album called “Dirty Debutantes.” Sharing the limelight with Us-2 Evil-0 on the night are Arigato, Hato!, Turbo Goth, Monsterbot and Ciudad.