Monday, March 05, 2007

Tikman ang Langit

Last Wednesday, Feb 28, an anthology on the Eraserheads called "Tikman Ang Langit" was launched at Powerbooks, Greenbelt.

(Opens new tab and Googles the definition of "anthology"...)According to Merriam-Webster Online, an anthology is
"a collection of selected literary pieces or passages or works of art or music."
So there, this book is a collection of essays written by different authors, who are first and foremost fans of the Eraserheads. To borrow something my friend Sam said about love: so much has been said about the Heads, and yet there's so much more to say.

Reading those essays found me nodding in agreement with a lot of the stuff the authors had to say, like how the Eheads were the spokesmen of MY generation (ang "mga nagkamalay noong dekada nobenta" - that's me borrowing the title of a Dicta License song).

Some authors explored how particular songs affected their life or the lives of people around them - how the songs validated their own feelings about themselves, how the songs expressed so perfectly and so simply how it was to be in love or even unloved by the one you love - basically how the songs spoke certain truths that the fans could very well relate to.

The first essay, by Edwin Sallan, talks about how the Eheads lacked an image - and that was a GOOD thing. Sallan says,
"...whether they were consciously aware of it or not, the band's refusal to adhere to any fashion or musical trend paved the way for a golden OPM era where fans began to put more premium on the music than anything else."
In another essay, Joel Pinaroc muses on how the Eraserheads was a band that brought together the conos and the jologs.
"I vividly recall downing cuatro kantos with a bunch of friends while listening full blast to an Eraserheads tape. Funny thing was, there were friends of friends who would never dream of coming within ten feet of us kung hindi lang sa Eraserheads. Kung hindi sa banda, malamang hindi sasama ang mga cono sa mga jologs na katulad namin."
Of course there are also stuff in the book that I shake my head at. How some people couldn't accept the new sound of the Heads, starting with the album "Fruitcake" onwards. How they preferred the "old" sound of the Eheads.

And then there's Jing Garcia's revealing essay on the band. Having had close associations with the band and its members, his essay presents a somewhat behind-the-scenes look at the band, especially during their early days, starting out in the old Dredd, which was called Red Rocks back when it was still in its original venue at Timog Ave.

Doon ko lang nakita in print ang kuwento tungkol sa totoong "Toyang". The story about Toyang was shared to me and my friends by a teacher back in high school. Sir EJ was around the same batch as the Heads in UP, and he told us that Toyang was a real girl - she was Ely's girl, and they have a kid. Apparently, totoo pala.

It was also in Jing's essay that I found out what a feisty manager Ann Angala was - or at least that's how I read into his essay. Ann was in charge of the Heads during the highest point of their careers. Looks like she did a good job anyways.

It's a short book. 97 pages, all in all. Definitely not enough to cover that era which was the Eraserheads'. Still, there's so much more to be said about them.

- - - - -

As I mentioned at the start of this entry, the book was launched at Powerbooks in Greenbelt. The launch featured performances of Lei Bautista of Prettier than Pink (an all-girl pop band from the '90s), Marcus Adoro's new band called Markus Highway, and Cambio.

I'm off from work at 3:30pm. I hurried out of Pisay as soon as I could, got on the MRT to Ayala, then took a commuter's nap like I usually do. Hala, when I woke up with a start, I thought I was at the Ayala station already, so I hurriedly got up and walked out of the train and onto the platform...only to realize that I was still at the Buendia station. Masyado ko atang mahal si Ely. Hahaha!

Back on another train in a few minutes, I finally arrived at Ayala station, then launched on a walkathon to Greenbelt. Markus Highway was already playing maybe their 9th or 10th song when I got there, which means I totally missed Lei's performance.

Later, Cambio was already playing, and by then I had said hello to some lister friends and some band people. The question that had been burning on my mind the whole day was about to be answered - "Any chance of a reunion jam? At least just for Buddy, Raimund, and Marcus?" Because Ely wasn't there. The official word from Pupil's manager Day Cabuhat was "[the event] coincides with a meeting with the manufacturers of the stents in [Ely's] heart and his surgeon." Too bad.

So, was there a mini-reunion? Yup, even for just the last minute of "Magasin". When Cambio started out their last song, which was "Magasin", Kris was calling out to Marcus to jam with them on this one. However, Marcus only made his way to the band just as the song was about to finish. Kris gave Marcus her guitar, and Marcus attempted to do a solo. Unfortunately (and amusingly), he didn't know in what key the song was being played, prompting Buddy to rise from his chair and check out what Marcus was doing, and Marcus asking his ex-bandmates, "Anong key?" Hirit/kanta nalang si Marcus sa mic, "'Di ko alaaam...", which elicited giggles and cheers from the audience. Key shifts and lost solos notwithstanding, it was definitely a treat for Eraserheads fans. Nakakatuwa na nakakalungkot. Pero pwede na, pwede na =)

Markus Highway


Klara, Marcus, Dacs (in teacher's uniform, ugh)

Other pics here:

by Cambio and Marcus Adoro here:


JAm said...

danggit! i was at greenbelt that day. too bad i wasn't able to see the mini reunion... :( o well, there's always a next time... hopefully. :D

- d a c s - said...

Danggit...masarap yun! Hehehe. Next time Jam ;)