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/

Dead Man’s Party on a Saturday Night

With my regular Saturday night DJ gig canceled at the last minute, I find myself and a few friends at the Buccaneer Bar in the city of Sierra Madre on the outskirts of LA County.

Dead Man's Party

At the bar, there was a three piece band, playing mostly covers of the Beatles and Led Zepplin. Quite extraordinarily well, I might add. Later on I learn the musicians are seasoned session players that tour with arena packing classic rock acts.

After a few rounds of Pabst Blue Ribbon (from a tap), we hear the guitarist announce they’ll be playing a cover from the bassist’s old band, who just happen to be the bassist of Oingo Boingo.

Check out this version of “Dead Man’s Party”

If you don’t recognize the song, here’s the official music video.

Bet you didn’t know Iron Man and Rodney Dangerfield were in a movie together.

Now you know.
Gary

Related Links:

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

Vex Ruffin

My wife turned me onto this Filipino brother straight out of Chino Hills, CA. His name is Vex Ruffin. I recently checked out a live performance at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles.

On stage Vex Ruffin’s band consists of drums, bass, percussion and Vex on guitar. At times during the set, the line-up would switch to Vex singing and the percussionist rocking a sampler. Vex’s music has a post-punk influenced feel with a well crafted lo-fi sound. The music is dope.

Something about the music connects with me. Possibly the simplicity and sincerity of the sound…or the sonic dirtiness…or maybe watching his band play triggers memories of adolescent south Jersey basement jam sessions with my cousins…recording these unpolished three note (not chords) songs about wrestlers, pythons and skateboarding. All captured on a tape cassette boom box. Damn, I just dated myself.

Pick up Vex Ruffin’s ep released on Stonesthrow records.
http://stonesthrow.com/vex

or on iTunes

– Gary