Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Urbandubs The Apparition - still there?

l feel alienated from my favorite band , a band that has been with me through the ups and downs of my life.

"Come" was playing that lonely night that I decided to channel surf and saw this low quality video of a band who seemed like they really enjoyed themselves , the chorus was hypnotic and for months while languishing in different states of mind I would look for them...their song echoing in my head...

"I like the way / you feel...

It was in Glorietta one day that my wife decided to buy for me this one CD that made me hug her really tight . that was the Album Influence and the band was Urbandub. That album would be the anthem of my independence , it was my first time living alone and earning my way into the world .

"New Tattoo" sparked me to write poems and to read.
"Fallen on deaf ears" echoed my own arguments back at me as my wife and I had our little tiffs from time to time ,
"Soul searching" mirrored what I felt as I walked the streets of Pasay wondering what to do next with my life. When my mind troubled me I could not sleep without "Quite Poetic" on replay.

I finally got my life together and retuned to the fold and when things finally got together I thought that my favorite band would sell out after coming up with Embrace and winning numerous awards and accolades. They had fans called the dubistas and though I longed to hear
them live time would not permit me but their music was constanly in my ears.

I must admit that after hearing First of Summer and and Alert the armory my fears of Urbandub turning into something else were getting stronger but they surprised me as I listened intently to each track...though my life was no longer as chaotic as it used to be and I had less
reason to be sad the Songs from Embrace struck a cord in my heart "Frailty" and "Endless Silent Whisper" became my fast favorites.

I even wrote about "Reveal the Remedy" . "Fate reveals the remedy" I said. Time will reveal the ends and the outcomes , that made sense to me and helped me be at peace with myself. It told me that fretting about tomorrow and regretting all the wrong decisions I have ever made in my life were pointless. This is echoed in the The Apparition albums "A call to arms" , I believe that this is the break through song of that album.

I do digress....Southern lights was a very pleasant surprise after I went to the mall to do some groceries(daughters have great requests of fathers and fathers have no right to say no). After hearing Guillotine and hearing people rave about it , it made me feel like not buying the album at first but it was right there on the display stand staring at me like a a tormented puppy dog , it
was like a small raven saying , you'd regret not buying me. And I take little ravens seriously so I bought it and fell in love. Fell in love with hurt and bitterness and longing and all the arguments that it had with it.

"An invitation" recalled memories of comforting my wife as we fought against the world and the definitions that were set against us.

"Anthem" The song of the hurt . The fallen. The underestimated and undervalued. There was beauty in that for me , the heart of someone broken trying to get up ,redefining and strenghtening himself to "move forward"as the song urged. Like a battle cry, an anthem indeed.

"Cebuana" "Hazel eyes".... the song opened. I sing this song to my wife though she isnt Cebuana , although she was what the song meant , she was that way back to reality , to healing , to acceptance that the world can be a better place.

/mended these wounds that once was tearing my heart/till you came along/

It sang to me as well. It reinforced my belief in the world. Plus it has got to be the most romantic dub song I have ever heard next to New tattoo.

/under southern lights the mood is right/ were moving closer together/your lips pressed tight against mine/stay /stay with me/

The imagery I made with that still lingers in my mind. You may have your own so I dare not say mine.

"Evidence" bordered on boy band vocals by Gabby but I forgave him since it was such a great song. The pain of betrayal shone true.Without a swear word. without resorting to cheap tricks.

I wrote these things because I feel alienated by the same band that brought me so much happiness. Its like I never understood them at all.

First was that event with the album launching , the reason they kept it hush hush was to make sure "that only true dubistas" can attend the said event. Hmmmmm
what is that exactly? are those the people who would hang around the band all the time? the people who would hang by their every word? I guess Im not a true dubista then. But I do own all
of the albums and the 2 songs from the Pinoy Blonde andworlds aids day celebration. I get mad when I see a cheap dub burned CD. what does that make me then? I guess Im a great fan of their music and wanted to really see them perform finally. Not all fans can stick around and wait for the announcement , some of us have families and jobs so we can earn money and buy the original CDS.

I would have scheduled a leave to watch them but alas when do I schedule it? I just felt that that could have been handled more smoothly. Im sure a lot enjoyed the hunt for the event. I surely didnt. Time is short and funds are limited for some.

Then came The Apparition , the ghost , and it seems to be an indication of what the band has become... there are really good tracks here like the aforementioned "A Call To Arms" , "Gravity" and "We Kept It Hidden" as well as "The Apparition" , Lala's opening bass line was beautiful as it hooked you right in.

But what was really disappointing is that you feel no energy to the other songs , in some songs like Gravity , Gabbys voice was drowned by the instruments , I dont know if they changed sound engineers but they sure didn't get their moneys worth out of it. My Daughter told me that the album kinda had a halloween feel to it. I'd take her word for it. There were some ethereal elements to it I agree but it kinda sounded misplaced in a Dub album , sure it was a concept album but it just felt flat somehow.

You can feel the lack of inspiration all over , you just know that when someone uses fuck a lot in a song they are running out of steam somehow and need a really long rest to regain their creative juices . Its the same as saying ah or uhm in the middle of a speech.

The first 3 albums were sublime. This last one tried to be in your face but failed over all in that effort. My friend said that he doesnt even feel their presence in some songs , like a ghost as the title said.

Maybe Gabby wanted to sing for Franco more....who knows. But I do agree with my friend. He seems like he wasn't there.

I hope it doesnt mean the end for dub. I dont handle endings all too well especially if its from my favorite band. I didn't take it well when Dicta License disbanded. I'm sure I'm not gonna be happy when Urbandub does the same way I feel.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ben 10: The Movie----They Shouldnt have...

Yesterday I got to watch Ben 10 the movie , an original production from the Cartoon Network.

I dont know about the original , but everything has been done before to some degree.I know a lot of my friends like the cartoon but I never got into it at all. Lots of better things out there I suppose.

The story involves a former Plumber( what kind of a freaking name is that for an interplanetary police force?) gone rogue and some alien chips that have come to life.
Of course the world is in danger and Ben Tennyson and his crew have to save it again.

This is kinda like MIB...for kids. The antagonists in this one looks like a miniature Swarm from the matrix movies.These ones are the harmless kind though.

You dont believe that the heroes are in any danger eventhough they are swarmed or surrounded by zombies (the chips take control of you and turn you into a walking minion , how original again) whos best offensive move is to get in the way or try to move in closer for a hug. You kinda wish they would bite someone in the end. They just stand there as these Plumbers( just really disgusting name) show off their supposedly alien powers. I was rooting for the zombies and the alien chips but I guess like everything in this movie they were just lame.
The only cool guy( I didnt even bother to get his name because Id probably forget it anyway) in this movie is the one who turns into the molecular constituancy of anything he touches ( God forbid he touches chalk , then you know he is done for) . He provides the best one liners in the movie but he looks like he is trying too hard to be in the next Twilight movie or something. He looks more like a vampire than an alien police.Oh and that guy from Gen13 was way cooler.

Im not sure what the writer of this movie was thinking , that scene where Ben turns on his grandfather just seems wrong to me. I think that sends a wrong message to teenagers. Speak to your elders , defy them , go with your gut on things. Most of the time teens dont know what they want , in this movie Ben was right , but in real life it seldomly turns out that way. I do understand that people need to make decision for themselves but that scene could have been handled much better.

I know people would still watch this for the action and the supposedly slick graphics but dont expect to get much from it than that.