Interview with Joel Quizon, Director of The Cotabato Sessions

Joel Quizon, Director of The Cotabato Sessions

Good friend and DJ partner on the past Raket & Rambol performance, has a cool project coming out called “The Cotabato Sessions.”

Joel is the director of the project and is working with world renowned composer / percussion, Susie Ibarra.

The Cotabato Sessions is a full length music album and 30 minute short music film that features the music legacy of one family, the Kalanduyans, in Cotabato City, Mindanao, Philippines.

Joel stopped by Super Astig HQ last Sunday (2/9) and we chatted about working with Susie Ibarra, shooting in Cotabato City and documenting indigenous Philippine music.

Take a listen below:

Part 1 – From Fan to Collaborator, Joel explains how he got involved with the project. (4:11)

Part 2 – Shooting in Cotabato City and Form Follows Function (5:40)

Part 3 – Documenting Music versus Staging Music (4:27)

Part 4 – What is the value of this film to Filipino-Americans? (4:30)

To donate funds to The Cotabato Sessions, check out their Kickstarter page:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/350747284/the-cotabato-sessions-a-music-legacy-from-the-phil

Related Links:
Form Follows Function
http://fffmedia.com/

Susie Ibarra
http://www.susieibarra.com/

Download the full interview with Joel Quizon here:
http://www.divshare.com/download/25163479-33a

RAKENROL Benefit Screening (12/05/2013)

RAKENROL

On December 5th, 2013 a benefit screening of RAKENROL went down in Los Angeles. The event was organized by Quark, the cool folks of Appleseed LA and the proprietors of this blog to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines.

Quark Henares Post Benefit Screening of RAKENROL

The night consisted of a screening of Rakenrol, a QA session with Director Quark Henares & Writer Diego Castillo, performances by local LA area artist, Spazzkid and Sandwich from Manila.

Spazzkid Live

Opening up the night was Spazzkid. I’ve always been a big fan of Spazzkid’s music and it was a joy to see him work with visuals this time around. Peep his new music video here, beautiful stuff!

QA Session with Quark Henares & Diego Castillo

In this clip, Quark & Diego reveal the real-life inspiration for one of the songs in the film that goes “Salot! Salot! Salot sa Lipunan!” (Cancer, Cancer, Cancer to Society)

Sandwich Live – “Sunburn”

Sandwich closed out the night with “Sunburn.” Joining Sandwich on stage was Director Marie Jamora (Ang Nawawala) on snare and Rakenrol Director Quark Henares coupled with the Jack Lord Orchestra’s Christine on back up vocals. Even Raims’ nephew got on stage and folks who Sandwich borrowed gear from got to play.

Quark & Marie - Benefit Screening of RAKENROL

Overall, felt lots of love in the room and I know a good chuck of change was raised by the 200 folks in attendance. Hopefully, the funds and resources will go to the right place but that’s another story.

Peace,
Gary

Related Links:
Sandwich’s Latest Album on iTunes- Fat Salt & Flame

Spazzkid on Bandcamp.com – http://spazzkid.bandcamp.com/

Cypress Junkies at Stones Throw vs Beat Junkies Warehouse Party

Cypress Junkies

Cypress Junkies is a DJ / percussion duo made up of percussionist Eric Bobo (Cypress Hill & Beastie Boys) and DJ Rhettmatic (Beat Junkies), hence where we get the name Cypress Junkies. Over the weekend, I checked them out at the Stones Throw vs. Beat Junkies warehouse party thrown by the good folks of Art Don’t Sleep.

Man, I was quite impressed.

I’ve seen percussionist / DJ performances before that seemed more visual spectacle than some thing musical. Cypress Junkies just didn’t sound like dudes banging on top of beats. Eric Bobo and Rhett played with the right touch that added extra dopeness to the songs they jammed on. Quite intricate to my ears.

I got to talk to Rhett at the end of the night and asked him how they got started. Rhettmatic said about three to four years ago Eric Bobo asked him to lay some scratches on a solo project of his. They continued to experiment and jam, and eventually developed into the live show they have going on today.

Scratch and Response

I really enjoyed the orchestrated call and response moments or shall we call it scratch and response moments Eric Bobo and Rhettmatic pulled off. The clip below isn’t from the warehouse party but an earlier performance. You can get a taste of scratch and response.

-Gary

Listen to their Mixtape here:

Related Links:
StonesThrowVsBeatJunkies Party
https://www.facebook.com/events/249419668542250/

Cypress Junkies
http://www.cypressjunkies.com/

Art Don’t Sleep
http://www.artdontsleep.com/

Raket & Rambol: Audio Visions 1081 Magiks

Raket & Rambol

Last Saturday (09/21/13), DJ JoelQuiz and I performed our “Raket & Rambol: Audio Visions 1081 Magiks” for Kularts’ Make Your Own Revolution: Fictions of Dictatorship event.

Our performance took place at the legendary Bindlestiff Studio in the ever so vibrant and notorious Tenderloin district of San Francisco.

Check out the magik in the videos below.

The curators of the event (Prof. Lucy Burns UCLA & ang asawa ko, Prof. Christine Balance UCI) asked Joel and I to collaborate and produce a Martial Law themed performance.

We figured since…

  • Joel has deep knowledge and deep crates of original Pinoy music…
  • And I’ve been experimenting with video and visuals at my DJ gigs…
  • Plus both of us being big music and film nerds…

We thought of doing an improvised set of music and visuals that told an impressionistic story of Martial Law in the Philippines.

In the audience that night were award winning Philippine filmmakers Kidlat Tahimik (Mababangong Bangungot) and Auraeus Solito aka Kanakan Balintagos (Busong, Ang Huling El Bimbo – Eraserheads Music Video.)

Hey @joelquiz Kidlat said he enjoyed the performance! #myor #kularts #sf #bindlestiffstudio

@basyang76 & @joelquiz w/ director Auraeus Solito (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, Ang Huling -music video) post #makeyourownrevolution show last Sat.

Getting compliments from Kidlat and Kanakan at the end of the night was a real honor.

For those who checked out the performance here’s what we used…
Continue reading

Wasak Future

On my last trip to the PI, I had the pleasure of opening up for Manila’s very own dynamic DJ duo The Diegos.

Today x Future Flyer

The venue was at this funky resto/bar/gallery/art space called Today x Future. The vibe of the place very much reminded me of spaces I use to work in the lower east side circa early 90s. Big shout out to bar owners, Chie and Sharon!

IMG_1562

Dancing!

Shots

Below is a photo of The Diegos rocking an all vinyl set. The Diegos are Diego Mapa (Pedicab) and Diego Castillo (Sandwich) who work together as a Djing duo. You can check out one of their most recent remixes right here:

The Diegos

I played a cross-genre set that included mixing Toro Y Moi with Van Halen into some Soul Makousa. Surprisingly, everyone seemed to appreciate the musical taste and people actually danced. A DJ’s dream come true.

I was telling a friend at the night, when I need to find out what’s good these days, I ask folks in the Philippines cause they’re up on state side music but also on other sounds from around the world, which unfortunately never reach ‘Murica’s shores. So Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Below is a picture of me (post DJ set and several rides on the Red Horse later), Diego C. (The Diegos) and fellow LA based Filmmaker/DJ Joel Quizon. Joel and Maya (another friend from LA) were in town working on their documentary.

Take a listen to Joel’s latest mix: Beat Soul Funk: The Pinoy Groove Experience

IMG_1553

And finally here’s a video of Sunday longboarding through the leaves at UP.

Camera by Sir Raims, thanks for lending me the board!

Until the next adventure,
Gary

Catching Up with Taken by Cars in San Francisco

Last Saturday, we flew up to San Francisco and watched Taken by Cars’ first state-side performance. Man, they sounded good. I could hear the hours they put into rehearsing their set. I even spotted folks, who have never heard them before, dancing to “December 2 Chapter VII”. Check out video from the show.

After the show we chatted with Sarah Marco lead singer of Taken by Cars for a quick interview.

Super Astig:
Awesome show Sarah. How does it feel to be touring state-side?

Sarah Marco:
Being here…really makes us feel super happy and grateful.

We’ve brought a lot of heart into this tour.

We’re grateful that we did it by our own efforts and it really took a lot out of us, each of us…particularly to be able to sacrifice our time…rehearsing, practicing for San Francisco, South by Southwest and LA…

And it’s a privilege to travel, to be with each other, to appreciate each other’s friendship, to be in another country basically.

We treat this tour like a serious vacation.

NOTE TO READER: Currently Taken by Cars is not signed to any major label. They put out their records independently and they paid their own way to make the tour happen. Peep their fund raising efforts here. Props to them.

Super Astig:
How does it feel to be the first Filipino band to play SXSW?

Sarah Marco:
We’re really, really proud.

It’s a happy blessing. I believe there are no accidents. Everything happens for a purpose.

We emailed our album (to SXSW) not expecting a response. So it’s really a huge thing for us (to play the festival).

We’ll do our best to represent ourselves.

Super Astig:
Anything to say to your fans in LA?

Sarah Marco:
Taken by Cars will be playing at Mr.T’s Bowl in Highland Park. (Friday 3/16 9:30 PM)

Come see our show. We worked hard to put on a good show for you guys.

It’s going to be a lot of fun.

-Gary

Purchase pre-sale tickets to Taken by Cars’ Los Angeles performance here:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/233096

Follow Taken by Cars on Twitter as they continue their tour to SXSW.
https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23tbcsxsw

Purchase Taken by Cars’ song – “December 2 Chapter VII” on iTunes.

Coming up:
Review of new movie recently screened at the 30th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival – “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank

Taken by Cars: Abduction Tour L.A.



Rock n Roll Research

One of the most rewarding aspects of writing a book on popular music is that checking out gigs becomes a form of field research. And while I’ve enjoyed every moment of “research” that’s brought me to the far-flung sides of Makati (Saguijo, B-Side), Kati Ave. (Route 169), and even up the mountains into Baguio (R.I.P. Ayuyang Bar), it’s been even more exciting to be able to help bring a little bit of the Manila indie rock scene’s energy back home to the U.S., to share with stateside friends, musicians, and audiences.

TAKEN BY CARS at SXSW
Next week, the electro-pop quintet Taken by Cars will be the first-ever band from the Philippines to play on the stages of South by Southwest, a festival of incomparable indie gold status. Not since The Eraserheads’ 1999 win of an MTV Moon Man has such an air of pride and prestige swept over the world of Philippine indie rock. Responding to recent declarations that the archipelagic capital city’s indie music scene is “dead,” I tend to differ that perhaps, in growing older, the scene and its bands are also growing out, setting sights on bigger stages, and moving towards an afterlife beyond solely their hometown breeding grounds.

Beyond TFC and Eat Bulaga
Unlike other Asian counterparts such as J-Pop or K-Pop, Pinoy/OPM indie rock has yet to see a surging and successful crossover into U.S. pop culture. You can blame it on a number of factors—American ignorance and amnesia about its former colony, Filipino invisibility and low production value—but, in our many conversations on music & culture during long drives, the husband and I always return to the lack of knowledge (and, therefore, sharing) by Filipino Americans of what’s really going down in modern-day Philippine culture (outside of TFC and “Eat Bulaga”).

TAKEN BY CARS in L.A 3/16
.
Therefore, in its ongoing effort to
a) further a project of “knowing history, knowing self” for Filipinos in the U.S. and

b) share the latest & greatest of Philippine contemporary culture with the world, Super Astig Productions (in conjunction with Party Bear Productions) brings to you the L.A. edition of TAKEN BY CARS.

Join us Friday, March 16th at Mr. T’s Bowl (Highland Park, CA) for a special one-night only event with all proceeds benefiting the band’s costs in traveling to SXSW.

Tickets:
$10 (admission + TbC CD)
$30 (admission + TbC CD and limited edition t-shirt).

On sale now at:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/233096

Taken by Cars “Dualist” CD

Taken by Cars Abduction Tour Limited Edition T-shirt

– Christine

Related links:

Taken by Cars on iTunes

Joel Torre: Cool na Cool

Not many actors would travel halfway across the world and embark upon a multi-city tour to promote a film that they did not also write or direct. But, then again, Joel Torre is not like most actors. With a career spanning over four decades, “JT” has starred on stage and on the big screen, in mainstream and indie films, and in both Filipino and U.S.-based productions. And his dexterity is not limited to acting (or directing or producing, all jobs he has done in theatre and television). As owner of JT’s Manukan Grille—a chain of roadside restos featuring specialties from his hometown (Bacolod) such as chicken inasal and batchoy, he is also a beloved figure among foodies and bloggers.

(post-film Q&A with Joel Torre & Professor Gold, photo credit: E. Ivan Fructuoso)

This past Saturday, August 20th, JT arrived in San Francisco for the opening weekend of his latest project AMIGO, a film directed by John Sayles (forever the “underdog” proponent) and one of the very few U.S. cinematic attempts to address the oft-forgotten history of the Philippine-American War (1899-1904). A special event to benefit Bindlestiff Studio—a Filipino American performing arts venue in the city’s SoMA neighborhood—the screening took place at UA Stonestown with an after-party at Bindlestiff’s own Rene Acosta’s latest venture, Social Kitchen & Brewery. Unfortunately, already feeling under the weather, JT appeared unprepared for the Daly City fog, forgetting that a “San Francisco summer night” requires (at least) a light jacket or hoodie.

Yet, despite its stops and starts, the evening proved to be a huge success, raising over $1,500 for the upcoming resurrection of Bindlestiff Studio at its original location (185 Sixth Street), thanks to the collective efforts of artists, administrators, and volunteers over this past decade. Bringing together community members and supporters, old and new, from L.A. to the Bay, it also served as an informal reunion for those of us who’ve been involved in the California-based Filipino American arts scene since before the turn of this latest century.

(Bindlestiff Studio managing director Allan Manalo)

(old skool FPAC/Classified Records reunion with Winston Emano, E. Fructuoso, and Ed Mabasa, photo credit: E. Ivan Fructuoso)

For more information on AMIGO, click here.

For an equally epic account of the Philippine-American War and its cultural impact, check out filmmaker Angel Velasco Shaw and writer Luis Francia’s edited collection, VESTIGES OF WAR: THE PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN WAR AND THE AFTERMATH OF AN IMPERIAL DREAM, 1899-1999.

To find out how you too can help keep the Bindlestiff dream alive, click here.

(JT & E. with Bindlestiff Studio fund director Kat Evasco, photo credit: E. Ivan Fructuoso)

And, if you STILL need another reason to believe that Joel Torre is a cool na cool, Super Astig guy, check out this short webisode from writer Lourd de Veyra’s “Word of the Lourd: Make Your Own Indie Film” series. Featuring a few other Filipino indie celebs our readers might be able to identify and perhaps even “collaborated” with, in the past.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r9inSbRp1o

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? special with Quark Henares

“Seasons change/ People change,” as the fabulous freestyle trio Expose warned us back in 1988. SUPER ASTIG caught up with RAKENROL director Quark Henares for a “WHERE ARE THEY NOW?” special. After dark, it was Suntory Time…and here’s what he had to say….

RAKENROL screens in New York on Saturday, August 13th (6:45pm). For tickets and more information, click here

RAKENROL – The After Screenings & Parties Blog Post

I must confess I slept all day Sunday. Totally, exhausted from the RAKENROL screenings in LA and SF. With those screenings came after-parties, live performances, mini-reunions, late-night hangs and all around gud tymes!

LOS ANGELES

RAKENROL screening at LAAPFF

Take a listen to the DJ Un-G & DJ Joelquiz mixes from the RAKENROL LA Screening Afterparty

DJ Joelquiz Set

Please – Sing A Simple Song
Mike Hanopol – Laki Sa Layaw
Pepe Smith – Sa’ Yo
Urban Bandits – Hoy
Sampaguita – Easy Pare
Haji – Stevie Wonder Medley
Anthony Castelo – Kailangan Ba
Celeste Legaspi – Pag-Ibig Na Lubus-Lubos
Tribe – Siggy Siggy
Barabas – Wild Safari
Black Opinion – Bahay Yugyugan
Soul Jugglers – Hanggang Magdamag
Ella Del Rosario – Shake It Baby
Skyflakes – Meathead

Diego, Christine & Quark at the Far Bar. Photo: Alvin Santa Cruz

DJ Un-G set

Call My Name – Joe Bataan
Dancing Machine – Jackson 5
Fashion – David Bowie
Another One Bites The Dust
Golden Age – TV On The Radio
Da Funk – Daft Punk
I Can’t Go For That (Album Version)
Let’s Take A Walk
Positively Charged
Betamax – Sandwich
Talamak – Toro Y Moi
This Mighty Heart Attack – Us-2 Evil-0
Under Pressure – Queen
December 2 Chapter VII – Taken By Cars

SAN FRANCISCO

Sold out theater! Photo: RJ Lozada

Q&A with Quark and Diego Photo: Jesse Gonzales

Quark about to address the SF after party Photo: Jesus Gonzales

The Skyflakes bring the rak! Photo: Jesse Gonazles

The classic yearbook picture. Photo: Jesse Gonzales

Yes, this is at Lucky Chances. Photo: Gary Gabisan

Off to SFO bright and early. Photo: Gary Gabisan

Ah, that was a good time. Hopefully, folks are feeling inspired by RAKENROL, I know I certainly am. Please help spread the word, tell your friends about the film.

Related links:
RAKENROL on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rakenrol/123065354435475

Rakenrol Tumblr
http://rakenrol.tumblr.com/