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/

Sandwich in Los Angeles

After performing at Apl.de.Ap’s Celebration of Global Filipino Music at the Hollywood Bowl, Sandwich played two more shows in the Los Angeles area.

This video captures Sandwich performing their 2006 anthem “Sugod” and the yet to be released “Coming Back for More.”

We also chat with Los Angeles based fans Michael and Elaine, on how they tuned into Manila’s music scene.

See more photos of Sandwich in LA on our facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.497747260239531.128346.215870565093870&type=1

-Gary

Taken by Cars Live at Mr. T’s Bowl in Los Angeles

If you missed Taken by Cars’ Los Angeles performance, here’s a nice 11 minute video of their set. Yes, I shot this and was that guy with the camera, behind the stage, on the floor and standing on the risers. I apologize to anyone at the show I accidently bumped or stepped on.

Taken by Cars performed “Unidentified”,”A Weeknight Memoir” and one of my favorite’s “Uh Oh” seamlessly blending each song into one another.

I was able to capture certain audience members yelling out disco calls with lead singer Sarah and folks taking notice of Bryan’s cowbell work. Major TbC fans indeed.

Taken by Cars Live in Los Angeles

The sound man at Mr. T’s Bowl is always on point. The band sounded great and the audio in the video is nice and clear.

Special thanks to:
Annette and Dennis (aka the Metallicouple) and
Wendy Hsu (super cool musician/scholar) for lending amps.
Soundbite Studios for fulfilling a last minute drum rental request and
Mr. T’s Bowl for taking a chance and allowing us to book a band all the way from Manila.

– Gary

Taken by Cars Live in Los Angeles

Taken by Cars Live in Los Angeles

Related links:
Download “Unidentified” from iTunes

Download “A Weeknight Memoir” from iTunes

Download “Uh Oh” from iTunes

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

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

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/

RAKENROL LA Screening After Party

RAKENROL LA Screening After Party
@ Far Bar 347 E 1st St. Los Angeles, CA 90012

No Cover 21 & Over

After checking out the LAAPFF screening of RAKENROL, come to the after party, hang with the filmmakers and listen to the sounds of OPM (Original Pinoy Music) like you never heard before!

DJ sets by
Quark Henares (RAKENROL Director)
Diego Castillo (RAKENROL Co-writer, guitarist of Sandwich)
JoelQuiz (Diggin’ Sunday)
Un-G (P.I.C, The Jack Lords Orchestra)

Related links:
Official RAKENROL LA Screening After Party Facebook Invite
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=222473201100970

RAKENROL at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
http://laapff.festpro.com/films/detail/rakenrol_2011

RAKENROL SF Screening & Fundraiser
http://superastig.com/2011/04/20/exclusive-sf-screening-of-rakenrol/