15 October 2007

It’s a generational thing

My column for last week's issue of Vox Bikol.

DURING weekends, it has become a family tradition to motor to my hometown in Sagrada, Pili for our weekly worship and a visit at the old folks.

For about three months, the trips became an ordeal as the electronics of our 10-year old car that survived Reming’s wrath, though bruised and battered by flying purlins that twisted in the winds, suddenly conked out. But everything is back to normal now, our weekly pilgrimage even made better by the rediscovered versatility of the car CD player.

You see, that three-year old CD player can play MP3 tracks. If you can’t grasp the difference, think about this: while traditional CDs can only have 20 singles -- my Ultraelectromagneticjam for instance had 17 -- a blank CD can have around 140 MP3s on them. That’s more or less seven music albums in one serving.

Since I started burning MP3 songs and playing them the past three weeks, with all my seven kids on board, with their mom and grandma to boot, I noticed that if there is one other thing that binds our family together, it is our common love for music.

Last Sunday, for instance, we sang our heart out to the booming beat of Spongecola’s Bitiw and the mesmerizing Tuliro. The former is one of the reasons why I believe the original version of Pedro Penduko (starring Matt Evans) is much better than that forgettable urban sequel that featured the so-called Engkantaos against the evil Calagua.

Our tastes are rather eclectic. My eldest daughter Sophie, for instance, shares my passion for Santana’s Smooth, for which she now scores 100 in our aging Magic Sing, something she previously did for Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, John Denver’s Annie’s Song and Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive. (She keeps a notebook where the codes of these “signature songs” are readily available.)

But they are also generational: she couldn’t relate to Maria! Maria!, another cut from Santana’s Grammy Award-winning Supernatural album. And while I also sing myself hoarse to My Chemical Romance’s Welcome to the Black Parade in unison with them -- an MTV in Divx format is conveniently tucked among some movies in my now Brontok-free laptop -- I find myself crooning by my lonesome to Matt Monro’s haunting version of If You Go Away (at least the parts in English) that includes most passages from the French original.

The immortal love songs that sustained me through melancholic lovelorn episodes of my youth, they call ancient. Her grandchildren will probably call them fossils, my wife quipped heartily.

These trips are both educational -- they recently discovered, for instance, the greatness of the Eraserheads, the band their father grew up in college with -- and edifying. In these days of quiet desperation, when all seemed lost and hopeless, the power of music is a soothing salve to a weary heart.

We'll carry on / We'll carry on / And though you're dead and gone believe me / Your memory will carry on / We'll carry on / And though you're broken and defeated / Your weary widow marches on / Do or die / You’ll never make me / Because the world will never take my heart / Come and try; you’ll never break me / We want it all, we want to play this part / Do or die / You'll never make me / Because the world will never take my heart / Go and try; you'll never break me. / We want it all, we want to play this part./ We'll carry on!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Spot on Willy !yeah, as the cliche goes, music indeed is the food for the soul, and I share the same passion. As for SANTANA, I prefer his early hits, like Soul Sacrifice, Jingo, Oye Como Va, Europa, Blues for Salvador, Flor de Luna (MoonFlower)and other oldie hits. You should hear the album of Santana & Mahavishnu( John Maclaughlin another guitar god) together, it's almost spiritual. Another Bay Area band (Santana is from San Francisco)I like is TOWER OF POWER, featuring Emilio Castillo( they are from Oakland, California), for pure funk1 great horn section! and great for long distance driving. Still another from the Bay area is BOZ SCAGGZ, with his soulful voice and jazzy rhythms.

BTW, what radio stations in Naga City play my kind of music ( Retro,Classic Rock, Blues & Jazz)?

Porfirio Rubirosa

dave said...

Good that you've made them see the greatness of the Eraserheads! I've liked them ever since grade school and appreciated them more in college.

Sophie can score 100 on those difficult songs? She must be good.

As for the comment above, perhaps Nikki@95.9 might be the station for you.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave,

Nikki@95.9 ? is this an AM or FM station ? what sort of music do they play ? I'm a baby boomer, and hip-hop, rap, alternative, and this Britney Spears et.al sort of thing is simply not my bag.
The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cream Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Muddy Waters, BB King, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, is more like it...

Who is the owner ? and where is it located ? maybe I can make a visit sometime....


Porfirio Rubirosa

dave said...

Hi PR! It's an FM station. I think they're classified as easy listening but they play more recent songs, some r&b and perhaps jazz. They're the station near the Panganiban Bridge. I'm not sure where you can listen to classic rock. AM stations? Maybe you could try listening on Sundays. Most stations play old songs that day.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Thanks for the info. But this kind of Sunday gig, playing retro music on Sundays was first heard on RJFM, and they still continue. Is RJFM heard in Naga City ? how many radio stations are there in Naga City ? FM & AM ? It would be nice to take over a losing station, reformat it, and change the programming, customized it , and gear it for the baby boomers, who are returning to Naga as retirees. Music from the 50s, 60s, 70s would come alive again, bringing pleasant memories for the geezers.

Porfirio Rubirosa

dave said...

Oh, so that Sunday thing started with RJFM. No, I don't think there's RJFM in Naga. For FM, there are about 10 I think. Not sure about AM, but I think they number more than the FM stations.

That's a good idea you have there! I've been looking for business ideas in Naga, and you beat me to this one! Oh well, broadcasting and retro aren't really in my competencies.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I have really no idea on how to run a radio station and turn a profit, but I just love old retro music. You see, rock n roll was a sort of a soundtrack to the lives of baby-boomers.

So you are looking for some business opportunities ? here are some samplers: try to get a fleet of small-engined, cheap ,made in China, small cars for the first taxi fleet in Naga City. These are really cheap, brand new cars, 300 thousand only ! probably you can even get a discount if it's for a fleet. Trimobiles just won't work for geezers and oldies there, makulog sa likod ninda an konstruksiyon kan trimobiles, they have to be comfortable. try it first on the PACOL-CENTRO route, servicing those various Ayala subdivisions there.
Another that I have noticed is the lack of a decent BOOKSTORE. Naga City is supposed to be an academic community because of its high literacy and the high proliferation of universities and colleges, so how come I didn't see any decent bookstore around ? no, BookSale is just a high end magazine stand.Probably a ookstore cum coffeeshop cum art gallery would do the trick. Why don't you look in the feasibility of this ?

Another opportunity... there is a housing boom in Naga and its environs, but I don't see, the appropriate accessories that will come with it. I'm talking about furniture designs, paintings and other interior designs that will decorate those gated communities residences... Naglibot libot ako, da akong nahiling na magayon na furniture pieces. Dapat saradit sana, ta sardit man baga an mga housing ngunian, And the designs ! wow, obsolete na ! so mga rococo, gothic design pa na mga hardwood. akung comforable iyan, and they look so out of place with modern architecture ! try to get some hot new furniture designers, and get an IKEA catalog and ipakopya mo gbos na design duman ! ma click iyan , or get a showcase/display center downtown to display your new wares, or better still get into franchising with IKEA itself, google it for further info.
Develop local painters to supply the demand of these housing needs para sa paintings nindang pang decorar.

I hope we could spend some time to discuss it there in Naga.


Porfirio Rubirosa

PS, BTW, Dai na diyan su negosyo ni RJ na SAVE A LOT ?

dave said...

Whoa! Among those suggestions, I actually considered the bookstore. Something like Powerbooks, though cheaper if possible. Perhaps it could be located near Avenue Square. Or in the new SM mall.

Yes, hopefully we could discuss this some more in Naga. As for Save A Lot, dai ko po aram ini. Baka dai ko na po yan inabutan, hehe.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

An El Cheapo PowerBook version in Naga City ? pwede, but you gotta take your stock from a cheaper supplier as well. If you have some kins/ friends overeseas to send you cheap stocks via the balikbayan box, why not ? dagdagan mo na rin ki used CDs and DVDs, pero bakung pirata, su mga original, dakulun ka-iyan sa US, para ala BORDERS ang dating kan bookstore mo. Kung i coffeeshop ka sa bookstore , the better, para garu STARBUCKS , naman ngaya, tapos puro, jazz/blues/ bossa nova an nasa bakground music, para ganahan su mga tambay na nag-kakape.... try to look into this, but you will make a killing sa IKEA rip-off, captured market mo.


Porfirio Rubirosa

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