We have a strong feeling that many of the kids who flocked to the recent 7107 International Music Fest in Clark, Pampanga, will comprise the audience at the Closeup Forever Summer dance music fest on April 5 at the Globe Circuit grounds in Makati (the site of the old Sta. Ana racetrack).
Featuring international DJs Alesso (Sweden), Helena (Australia) and Deniz Koyu (Turkey), with Filipino counterparts Ace Ramos, Mars Miranda, Martin Pulgar and Marc Naval, the event will reportedly start at 2 p.m. That’s when the sun is at its peak, so we doubt if people, especially heat-conscious Pinoys, would show up at that hour.
But then again, school’s out and surely teeners can’t wait to meet up with their barkada for this gig.
Organizers are hyping that the fest is “the first ever crowd-sourced party in the country,” with some 500,000 participants voting on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on the kind of gig they want for summer. The results: Electronic Dance Music (EDM) to be held outdoors with a beach party theme, specifically with DJs Alesso, Ace Ramos and Mars Miranda.
The corporate sponsor, Closeup, is also the one producing the event, so tickets are not that expensive at P4,000 and P2,500.
We’ve seen Alesso play as one of the support acts of David Guetta at the Mall of Asia Arena in 2012. He made quite an impression that night, which is why we’re also looking forward to watching him again.
‘In Your Face’
On the night of Bruno Mars’ recent sold-out concert at Mall of Asia Arena, other wonderful gigs were happening around town. There was Kai Honasan’s launch of her debut CD, “In Your Face” (and other songs about other faces), at B-Side, The Collective, on Malugay Street, Makati. The venue, though dingy and stifling hot, exuded a hip vibe similar to that of Saguijo’s and, in a previous era, Red Rocks and Club Dredd.
What mattered most was Kai’s ukulele-driven music that brims with witty and sometimes caustic observations of life and relationships. She has a lovely way with words—not to mention impressive musical skills—that could convince the most jaded critic that new blood with a rock edge is the saving grace of the local music industry.
She’s aiming to front-act for Taylor Swift’s concert on June 6 at MOA Arena. We won’t mind joining her crowd-sourcing effort for this.
Find her on Facebook kaihonasanmusic; and on Twitter @kaihonasan.
That same night we also found time to pass by Murphy’s—an Irish pub at the corner of Rufino and Esteban Streets, Makati, where Philippine International Jazz Foundation (Pijazzfest) head Sandra Lim-Viray was hosting a thanksgiving party for the success of the annual fest’s recent edition.
A trio composed of pianist Romy Posadas, bassist Tom Galang and drummer Jun Viray played mainstream jazz with a progressive bent—with several female singers taking the mic including Sandra herself. She’s actually an exceptionally good vocalist, her talent well-known since the days of Birds of the Same Feather and other jazz clubs in the 1970s and ’80s.
It’s worth going back to Murphy’s, which, to Sandra’s credit, has been receptive to regular live jazz that goes well with the pub’s beer served by the pint.
Speaking of jazz, another place worth going to on a weekly basis is Balete@Kamias on 175 Kamias, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City. Last week we chanced upon a group of musicians—saxophonist Alvin Cornista, guitarists Raymond de la Peña and Paolo Cortez, drummer Rick Wakeman and bassist Johnny Gaerlan—having the time of their lives playing Pat Metheny and other fine foreign covers.
While Raymond, who used to perform with Mulatto, has flown back to the US after staying here for a couple of years, the Singapore-based Johnny says he’s back in Manila, hopefully for good, with his family including wife Rosanna, another gifted jazz singer.
Aside from good live music, Balete@Kamias serves tasty food; after ordering our favorite buffalo chicken wings, we were persuaded by the club’s owner, Tierry Garcia, to try his new dish—aged Australian rib-eye steak, which he offers at 50-percent off from 6 to 9 p.m. We had a few slices, savoring the soft, chewy meat.
There’s a new band in town named Iktus, which launched its self-titled debut CD last week at Flare in Metrowalk, Pasig. The significance of this group is that it plays all-Tagalog pop—accessible enough to a mass audience, at the same time characterized by a powerful grasp of rock and roll that would appeal to discriminating tastes.
The fact that Iktus is also the grand champion of the 2013 Sun Broad Band Quest competition sends a positive message to aspiring musicians out there: It pays to have talent.