Since I’ve been laying low on the concert photography as of late, I’ve been spending more time on Soundcloud looking for the latest good music I can find. Soundcloud affords me the opportunity to multitask during my day job, providing me a fresh soundtrack for an otherwise stressful day at the office. I get most Soundcloud recommendations from a Facebook group I’m in, and they’re an awesome lot.
I now wonder why it is only recently I got hooked with the website, as it is the almost perfect way for me to discover and share new music. I try to avoid watching music videos of new music especially from new artists, since the videos tend to steer attention away from the music and focus more on the image the artist wants to portray for the target audience. In my opinion, the artist’s sound is in itself the artist’s image, and should always take precedence over everything else about the artist. That said, if I like the band’s sound, I’d look for a live performance next, and then a music video if I happen upon one. I’m not taking away anything from brilliantly written, directed, and shot music videos–those by themselves can be considered a different art form, but they feature music is only a component and not as the focal point of the whole exercise. Soundcloud provides me the purely aural experience of music with the interactivity of the web platform. It is the evolutionary step up from radio programs where new music is featured, mostly from emerging artists.
At this point I would like to express a bit of disappointment with the scarcity of local artists in Soundcloud. Unless they aren’t tagging their posts “OPM”, those who did are usually those doing covers of mainstream pop tunes, a practice in the local music scene that continues to frustrate me with bland versions of radio hits, both the inane and the exceptional. Worse, it’s a lazy bossa nova version. That’s what it is: the practice is lazy. Filipino pop music can still be original, but the economy and dominant business models of the music industry stifle creativity. I don’t mind listening to more songs like “Pusong Bato,” or from the pogi rock genre, or emulations of K-Pop themes. Better those than a downer acoustic version of a Katy Perry dance hit–no effort in creativity, musicality, and even vocal skill.
Pinoy rock and Pinoy hiphop are the saviors of original Pinoy music right now as they seep into pop consciousness and sell concert tickets. I want Pinoy electronica to prosper and energize the local pop scene. I want the bland acoustic trend to be replaced by a resurgence of folk music. I want to see them both online and live.
This month’s picks
The playlists contain new tracks from We Are Scientists, Superchunk, Regina Spektor, Franz Ferdinand, Imperial Teen, The Naked and The Famous, Young Knives, and Breakbot; and new discoveries from Dan Croll, The Limousines, HAUS, and Haim.
I want to single out a few:
Ang Bandang Shirley‘s new video “Iyong” from their latest album
A new release from Kjwan, celebrating a decade alive.
Three new exciting band discoveries with full albums:
1) Vuvuvultures could be the second coming of Garbage, and the fans of that band would love this one.
2) Crash of Rhinos. My fix for math rock is sated for the month or two.
3) View From an Airplane. Like I said when I posted this on my Facebook page, the day I stop listening to this type of pop rock could be the day I start growing old. The entire album streams here.