music and more for a cause: projectliftph

When Rudy Boquila isn't busy being a chef,  he makes music with his band, DATU. On Wed, Dec 4th, special guest Scratch – from The Roots (yes!) is performing live with DATU at ProjectLiftPH #Haiyan  #YolandaPH fundraiser event! 

Here's DATU performing this year at The Canadian Philippine Fashion Week

There will be great food from: Lamesa Filipino KitchenPorziaSukho Thai  among others.

For more info on the full line-up of amazing performers and participants on Facebook.

Get your tickets here now: 

Please share and support :) 

here lies love : david byrne and imelda marcos


David Byrne (formerly of the 80s band Talking Heads) is releasing an album this April of 22 songs that are all about the life of Imelda Marcos. He's collaborated with Fat boy Slim to produce this album and upcoming musical theater concept. He has this curious fascination with Imelda – the wife and infamous former first lady to Ferdinand Marcos, former dictator of the Philippines. It isn't so much an album in her honor but more so a look at her rise to power and what she did with her own brand of power. There's only one mention of shoes, which is what she's most known for: the (roughly) 3,000 pairs she owned at the time she and the former dictator were thrown out of the country. Apparently, the idea was born out of the Marcos's love for disco music during the 70s. Imelda apparently frequented Studio 54 in New York, installed a disco ball in her NY townhouse and lived lavishly (while the people of the Philippines plunged deeper and deeper into poverty). The title of the album is based on what Imelda Marcos herself wishes for her gravestone to read upon her death: Here Lies Love. I'm still not completely clear on why David Byrne was so inspired to create this project. But I'm interested to find out more.
I haven't yet listened to the album in it's entirety but I'm fascinated with this video of the track performed by Santigold entitled "Please Don't." It's about Imelda's way of working with world leaders into helping Philippine interests by charming them into seeing things her way. She dubbed it "Handbag Diplomacy" because she would bypass former President Marcos, grab her handbag and fly off to meet these world leaders. I love all this vintage footage of her. Outside of her corrupt ways, she was fabulous looking and the woman knew how to *work it.*
Check here to find out more about the project.


little dragon : machine dreams

I've been a big fan of Swedish band, Little Dragon, for a couple of years. Last night's show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg was my first live show and it was so much fun! Their second album, Machine Dreams, is in keeping with the unique, innovative, multi-genre electro soul sound of their first (self-titled) album. But this time maybe more danceable, infused with electronica and every bit as sexy. Their sound is difficult to categorize and it's what makes them so fascinating. Hearing them for the first time was really a breath of fresh air. I was impressed to learn that the lead singer, Yukumi Nagano's voice was as multi-dimensional, dynamic and haunting as it does on the albums. It was one of the sexier shows I've been to in quite a while (more than I would have expected). Do yourself a favor and buy their albums. It will easily become your upcoming summer soundtrack. Below are my favourite tracks from both albums...

Little Dragon - album art

the girl from ipanema


The Girl From Ipanema is probably my all-time favorite song. I didn't realize it was originally released in 1964! I was born in the 70s and I have distinct memories of this song being played a lot on the radio in Manila well into the early 80s. In fact, I remember first taking a liking to this song while sitting in the back seat of my dad's tricked out, two-door blue Datsun (tricked out meaning he installed eight speakers into it – probably not common then. This was years before surround sound!). We'd typically be driving to one of my grandmothers' houses on a Sunday afternoon. So my love of bossa nova started in the 70s.
Other memories/images conjured up by this song:
1) tropical weather
2) beaches
3) bikinis
4) sexy Brazilians
I found this corny version on youtube (clearly from the 60s). I thought it was season appropriate. The version I love the most is by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz (audio only).




the new old school : mayer hawthorne

It's hard to believe adorably geeky 29-year-old Ann Arbor, Michigan native, Mayer Hawthorne is the singer of these amazingly soulful and nostalgic songs. Just as his record label described it: "It's old (60s and 70s) soul but it's new."

I had the chance to see him and his band this weekend at Brooklyn Bowl. I must say, I was impressed. First of all, the entire band (The County) donned suits with white shirts, black neck ties and sneakers. In addition to his signature geeky glasses (love!), Mayer Hawthorne wore a white shirt, blue bow tie, navy cardigan, khakis and sneakers. SO adorable! They looked like boys from a high school band. I was surprised by how much energy Mayer Hawthorne had on stage. He was quirky and cheeky. The music throughout the show reminded me of all the old soul greats: Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Smokey, The Supremes. There were parts that even sounded like the Beatles and The Roots. It was a great performance both vocally and musically. Most of it made me want dance. Some of it gave me this uncontrollable urge to wear my vintage dresses, slow dance (oh, yes) and to make out.

I can't get enough of his debut album, A Strange Arrangement (available as a limited edition CD & 2 LP packaged with a 4-inch vinyl single) by Stones Throw Records. Go buy it. Today.

Mayer Hawthorne on MySpace.

My favorite song, When I said Goodbye (audio), his debut release.

raining purple in brooklyn

Tonight's screening of Prince's Purple Rain at Prospect Park as part of the Celebrate Brooklyn summer series of concerts was amazing. The best way I can describe it: like watching a movie, singing along and dancing (and laughing) with 3,ooo of your friends outdoors. It felt like a concert except the performance was on a massive screen and the song lyrics were projected beneath the film. We brought a picnic blanket, dinner and some wine. This is one of the best things summer in Brooklyn has to offer. All for the price of $3. I love it.

Not that I need to be inspired to listen to Prince, ever. However, this does make me want to listen to all of the Prince tracks on my iTunes. Here's a an iPhone photo I took as the film began...

remember the time : off the wall

It must have been around '83, days before our dreaded school quarterly exams in the Philippines and not long before we moved to California. My mom had stepped out for a few hours expecting my sister Caroline and I to study. Instead, I popped the Off the Wall cassette tape into my dad's stereo and set the volume louder than we would ever be allowed to play anything. I'm certain the whole neighbourhood heard. We proceeded to dance all over the house, on the furniture, everywhere — for what felt like hours. We convinced our youngest sister Christine (who was 3 years old at the time) NOT to tell my mom that we were listening to music instead of studying while she was out. She agreed and we thought we were safe.
Of course the second my mom walked into door, Christine says to my mom: "Mama! They weren't listening to music while you were out!" ...I just remember my mom not knowing whether to laugh or get angry. I don't even recall whether we got in too much trouble at the time. She probably found it too humorous an incident to punish us harshly.
As strange as Michael Jackson's personal life turned out to be, he was quite a talent that continues to influence music today. Like most of us born in the 70s to early 80s, MJ's music was undeniably part all our childhood memories. And although most people's favourite MJ album is Thriller (though I do love PYT), mine will always be Off The Wall.
RIP, Michael Jackson.
Here are photos of us around that time...
That's me in the back with Caroline (guess who's big sis?)
Christine and her big mouth


melanie fiona

My sister recently turned me on to up-and-coming artist, Melanie Fiona (hailing from Toronto, Canada). Her music is definitely on the retro/classic-soul and R&B tip but is definitely multi-genre. She's established her very own style with strong vocals and song writing. Her album is not due out until May of 2009 but she's already getting a lot of attention. She was also asked to open for Kanye West on his recent world tour.

She was recently featured on Carson Daly Show too. She also performed with her band (complete with a horn section) on the show. She's going to be the next big thing. Her single Give it to Me Right is available on iTunes. Go check it out.