The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Heart in the Heart of England Never Died

(On a New Possible Simpson-Kelly The Wild Swans Album)

I heard news that The Wild Swans, one of the most beloved New Wave-classifiable English bands, are planning to release another full-length album—a followup to 2011's The Coldest Winter for a Hundred Years.

Since that The Lotus Eaters is on a long hiatus again, wouldn't it be lovely if Jem Kelly gets onboard again with The Wild Swans?

To the uninitiated, The Wild Swans is an English band that was formed by Paul Simpson in 1980, after his foray with The Teardrop Explodes. The band's original lineup included Kelly, who formed The Lotus Eaters after the Swans' initial activity.

Before disbanding in 1982, The Wild Swans got to release the now legendary single "Revolutionary Spirit." The group reconvened after several years, releasing the first full-length album, Bringing Home the Ashes, in 1988, only to disgroup again before the advent of the ensuing decade.

The Wild Swans released the followup Spaceflower in 1990, but no longer with the brilliant guitar works of Kelly; but, in fairness, the results were also commendable.

After a very long disappearance in the scene, Simpson reactivated The Wild Swans with a new set of members, releasing in 2011 the much-awaited third full-length, The Coldest Winter for a Hundred Years.

Now, six years of English winters have passed and a circulating news of Simpson's plan to release another The Wild Swans' album is brewing in the New Wave music circuit in the social-media world.

Since that Kelly and The Lotus Eaters seem to be in the quiet corners these days, wouldn't a returning Kelly to the wings of Simpson's yet another reactivation of The Wild Swans be beauty in brilliant magnitude?

I'm hundred-percent certain that fans of the band will be in ecstatic agreement with this little and doable proposition. After all, to let enthusiasts of the band's music wait for another hundred years will be quite unfair and unbearable already, wouldn’t it?

Help the cause! Spread the skyray love!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Half Life Half Death & the Legendary Club Dredd

Philippine Alternative Rock History
(Chapter 1990-1993)

"There they soar high in the sky
The only hope for flowers now to bloom..."

I may no longer be active in the Philippine music scene as a band member for the obvious reason that I now live in Canada, but I will always remain proud of my former band Half Life Half Death's having been a part of the history of the now legendary Club Dredd, no matter how little that part might have been.

1990Half Life Half Death played our first gig at the original Timog location of Club Dredd on April 20, 1991--during the club's roughly first year of operation (Club Dredd opened in 1990). But prior to that, my bandmates and I had first visited the venue in 1989 when it was still known as Red Rocks, to watch a guitar recital sponsored by the guitar player/teacher Jimmy Tan, featuring a number of prime local guitar players who included Neil Gregorio of the Philippine Gothic-turned-Metal band Mere Mercy.

Half Life Half Death: Rozylyn Torres, Ramil Aznar, Pet de Jesus, Ambet Taylo, Bimbo Ballesteros, Rain Paggao, alfie vera mella (Club Dredd Timog, April 20, 1991)
Around February 1991, we dropped by at the radio station BM105 to submit two of our original songs ("We Are the Saints" and "A Place"), which we recorded independently at Pedero's Studio in Makati. Because BM's DJs Randy Brown and Bob Echague loved what they heard, they promised that they would include us on the roster of bands that would be gracing the show that they were producing at Club Dredd (Timog). True to their words, Half Life Half Death got to play the gig that eventually took place on April 20 of that year. That was our first gig at Club Dredd.

We shared the bill with Temper (former Temper of the Times), X'US, Vendetta (members of Nursery Rhymes), and Strange Days. Our setlist was comprised by our original transcription of a portion of Beethoven's Symphony no. 5, The Waterboys' "The Pan Within," Concrete Blonde's "Joey," The Reivers' "In Your Eyes," Generation X's "Kiss Me Deadly," Echo & the Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon," and Damn Yankees' "High Enough."

"Come with me on a journey beneath the skin..." (Club Dredd Timog, April 20, 1991)
We were really well-prepared for that show, and of course, we wanted to make an impression not only on the BM105 crew but more so on the owners and regular denizens of Club Dredd, so we presented a really tight and solid performance. In attendance were popular scenesters Patrick Reidenbach (Dredd's owner), Jing Garcia, Hank Palenzuela (Color It Red's original bass player), and Blums the Punk, who all congratulated us for a job well done. That performance landed us an invitation to play again at the venue--in the following June. We subsequently got to play at least once or even twice a month for the next several months, sharing stage with the likes of Hayp, Alamid, Color It Red, Eraserheads, Anno Domini, Mutiny in Manila, Rizal Underground, Ang Grupong Pendong, Introvoys, After Image, The Dawn, and Mariya's Mistress.

Club Dredd Timog, June 1991
We played our last gig at Club Dredd Timog on February 29, 1992. We disbanded soon afterwards.

We reformed in the year that followed, as inspired by the emergence of the radio station DWLA105, who gave a chance for airplay to the original songs of many local bands, including us. Our songs "Alimango," "Butterflies," "A Feast in Pastel Castle," "Kapit-Tuko," and "High School (Life)" enjoyed regular airplay and landed on the station's Top 10 countdowns for a couple of years. Thanks in large part to the station's consultant Ed Formoso (of Lokal Brown) for paving the way to our signing recording contracts for compilation albums with Viva Records (A Dozen AlternativesChristmas on the Rocks, and Okey si Ma'am OST) and Vicor Records (Mga Himig Natin vol. 2), until we got to record our own solo album (Pymyth Prahn), but that's for another chapter.

"Ayaw ko na sanang umasa pa nu'ng araw na 'yon
Pero dapat ko nga yatang gawin ang bagay na 'yon..."

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Of Strange Times, Trolls, and Cut-Out Images

[Father-and-Son Chronicles by eLf ideas]

Weekend was fun for me and Evawwen. We watched 'Doctor Strange' yesterday and went mall strolling and bought some grocery supplies, and today we saw 'Trolls.'

Because I have day-shift work tomorrow, I had to return Evawwen back to his mom after the movie; however, when we were there already, Evawwen didn't want me to leave yet. Good thing, his mom said to let him sleep over with me again and to just drop him off tomorrow early morning before I proceed to work. So, I won't be sleeping by myself tonight after all.

Funnily, when I told Evawwen this afternoon that I would be missing him tonight, he said that I should just scan him and make a printout of his image and then paste the cut-out image on one of my pillows. Before I was able to react, Evawwen was the one who guffawed first. He really has a good sense of humor--better than mine, I have to admit. That's okay; he's my son, so I'm proud of his positive traits.

From across the kitchen table
Living room scene
Where some of our books will go
Always wanted floor-level beds
Good to be stocked up
While waiting for my cooked dinner
Pleasure and work at the same time--cooking and writing; Evawwen too, playing while waiting for our food to be cooked and served

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Wake Up Boo! It's a Beautiful Saturday

[Father-and-Son Chronicles by eLf ideas]

"Wake up, it's a beautiful morning...."

A beautiful Saturday morning it is in Winnipeg--16 degree-Celsius! When the season here is approaching Winter, to have a so-called two-digit temperature is very good. Relatively, one may describe the day as sunny, bright, and warm. Although, I would still use the description "less cold"--for it is not really technically warm; instead, it is still a bit chilly outside yet fairly tolerable and certainly enjoyable Nonetheless, today is unarguably a wonderful day. 

Evawwen and I woke up around 9 and had our early breakfast of cereals. While he began playing his games afterwards, I started writing articles and also began preparing what I planned to cook for lunch--"nilagang baka with repolyo [cabbage]"--and marinated the remaining steak for dinner later.

Evawwen is staying with me for the entire weekend. No school and I'm on weekend off from hospital work. So, it should be fun. I told him that we are going out after lunch. I plan to watch with him Doctor Strange; but before that, we'll stroll at The Forks and maybe visit a museum or an art gallery.