Here are my picks for June 2013 in Soundcloud and Youtube:
The Soundcloud playlist includes new tracks from Halik ni Gringo, Empire of the Sun, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Nine Inch Nails, and Bloc Party. Also features new discoveries Sleeping At Last, The Preatures, The Spring Offensive, and British Harlem.
The Youtube playlist on the other hand includes new offerings from Filter, Kakkmaddafakka, Arctic Monkeys, Arkarna, and Charlotte Church. Yes, Charlotte Church, awesomely. New discoveries include songs from The Sunshine Underground, It Hugs Back, and Aerials.
And have I mentioned that Charlotte Church’s new materials is awesome?
No concerts or gigs or beaches or similarly fun things were shot for June. I was busy reading up and preparing for the first draft of my masters thesis. That soon-to-be hunk of paperwork has been delayed for more than a couple of years now, and I really need to pull this one off. I changed topics after focusing the first one for a year, basically out of frustration out of how tedious the study would be. My new topic is something close to my heart: fandom.
As part of the proposal’s introduction, I decided to summarize my own fandom:
I am a fan of a few things. I am a fan of them in varying degrees and ways of embodying it. As of writing, the most important aspect of keeping my fandoms alive is through the internet and social media. The internet and social media allowed me to gather new information on my subject of fandom, interact with other fans, and occasionally provide input in the discussions through fan theories, speculation, and sometimes even with original content inspired by the fandom.
The music fan. My father was a big fan of classic rock. My mother was into 60s and 70s pop music. Through radio, me and my sisters were brought up with equal parts The Beatles, “Manila Sound” OPM, and radio-friendly ditties of their time. My parents’ tastes in music trumped my classmates’ and cousins’ more contemporary tastes, with me ending up singing songs by Tom Jones and Nonoy Zuñiga for school functions in elementary. Eventually, I got into the drum and lyre corp, which got me into learning to play behind the drum set from just a solitary drum. Learning to play the drum set got me started with punk, rock, and metal via Nirvana, Metallica, and The Sex Pistols by Grade 5. I have been in a band since I was a high school freshman, and I have always looked forward to songwriting, rehearsals, and performances. At the moment I listen more to music than actually play it, but I always enthusiastically share whatever new music I create or discover.
The fight fan.I have been a fan of professional wrestling ever since I saw The Ultimate Warrior defeat Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania VI. Again, it was my father who introduced me to it when I was nine or ten. I made it a point to catch a prowrestling program on TV, and thankfully there’s at least one local station that airs a prowrestling show. I am a ‘smart’ fan, compared to ‘marks’ who believe everything in prowrestling is real, but I still appreciate an engaging storyline and a well-choreographed match. On the other hand, I immediately got hooked to mixed martial arts after watching the first Ultimate Fighting Championships on TV. I don’t remember being out of touch with either prowrestling or MMA ever since watching those two pivotal shows, and I’ve been keeping myself updated with developments inside and outside those rings.
The TV science fiction/fantasy fan. It was only through hindsight that I realized that I was a Trekkie during my high school days, having religiously watched Star Trek: The Next Generation on TV. I was a Trekkie only in that sense, since I never really delved into imbibing its corresponding fan culture nor following up my interest on the show through researching apocryphal texts, watching reruns, or taking the show out of the living room like quoting it or even talking about it with other people. Not until I encountered Doctor Who in its modern reincarnation that I have felt and expressed so much interest in a sci-fi title to the extent that I allow myself to be counted as a Whovian and proudly show off my fandom for the show when I wave an official toy replica of one of the show’s props. In addition, my friends got me into G.R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series—I have read all but one of the novels (two volumes of the series are yet to be finished and released), an eager and earnest viewer of the television adaptation, and even played the board game with my friends. In addition, I also played Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and various fantasy-themed video games. It’s a phase I dearly miss.
The comicbook fan. When I was in primary school, my aunt owned a sari-sari store that rented out Pinoy komiks. I grew fond of the horror and fantasy serials. Another set of cousins and I eventually collected Funny Komiks and Kick Fighter. By high school, I got into collecting a few DC and Marvel titles, buying most of them in the sale bins because that was my allowance then dictates. I never grew out of this fandom, as I have been collecting hardbound graphic novels ever since I got a job. I have always been a fan of Batman and Wolverine, favoring DC over Marvel, but always treasured all the issues of Dark Horse Presents that I could find. I even attended more than one Neil Gaiman event when he was in the country a few times, and queued up for an autograph.
My fandom has become a part of my life, and according to what I’ve read, is one of the perspectives in audience/fan studies: fandoms tells something about the fans. Rather than be framed as a social deviance or mental illness, fandom is a way fans suss out life’s meaning for him/herself. Initially, I have intended this blog to be a chronicle of my thesis–but that was during the time I was wrestling with the first topic. Little did I know that I’ll end up writing about my thesis anyway, since rock photography is essentially an aspect of my music fandom.
I believe I’m off to a good start and can finish as scheduled this time around. I have a lot on my plate nowadays, but may that plate never empty! Here’s to a lot of fingercrossing!