One of the things I really appreciated this year was the reemergence of the local rock scene.
For the past five years, there seemed to be little to match the half-decade brilliance of groups like The Eraserheads, Color it Red, Tropical Depression, The Youth, and Hungry Young Poets (HYP). Less-renowned groups such as Pu3ska, Fatal Posporos, and Tungaw were simply less known, but no less lovely to listen to.
At the start of the millennium, truly impressive and original acts were few or far from the limelight. Other than the now ubiquitous Parokya ni Edgar, only the HYP’s Barbie Almalbis, Sandwhich, and Radioactive Sago Project come to my mind.
The ascendance of acoustic solo artists such as Paolo Santos and Jimmy Bondoc was a bit of a low point for me. While I can appreciate the hard work they put into their craft, dead-on covers of John Meyer and Daniel Beddingfield just don’t do it for me. I can’t see how covers could match such works as This Guy’s In Love With You Pare or Gusto Ko Ng Baboy.
Then, starting a couple of years ago, things started to swing back. M.Y.M.P.’s acoustic Bob Marley cover also came with a slick and catchy Torpe. Kitchie Nadal, whatever one may think of her currently astronomical popularity, only got there because she dazzled viewers on stage and listeners on air with her raw and evocative music.
Right now, the airplay of local rock music getting right up there. Getting home tired from work is well complemented by the Itchyworms’ plaintive “Gusto ko magpakalasing…”. Getting up the next day is made easier by Up Dharma Down’s non-committal “Sige na lang kaya…”. And there are others.
I certainly hope this continues. Our music is as good as any, and it deserves our support as much as we deserve its beauty and spirit.