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Saturday, December 03, 2005


My friend She from Honda had complimentary tickets for the ULTRAELECTROMAGNETICJAM: The Music of the Eraserheads album launch in UP Diliman (a very apt venue coz it was the alma mater of the e-heads) so without any prior notice, I found myself on my way to the far side of QC come 7:30pm last Nov. 29. Twas an instant gig night with Rose, She and Rick (my college friends). I didn't have a digicam. I was wearing a friggin' business jacket. We didn't have dinner. In our hunger we made patol to the P20 siopao for sale at the UP Theater. We had a siopao-eating contest. I ate siopao asado (which I am not too crazy about, by the way!) in record 3 mins. or so. And we were standing at the lobby while eating and gulping mineral water at the same time. We were in so much hurry to go in by 9pm coz we would've lost our good seats if we came a minute later. So there. We were in row 5 (I think), right near the center/right stage.

Twas a two-band stage set-up thingiemajig so the whole gig was fairly fast-paced. While one band was singing on one side of the stage, the next band was already setting up on the darkened other side of the stage. A video interview of Ely, Raymund, Buddy and Marcus, and the bands who performed that night was interspersed throughout the show.

I think almost everybody there grew up hearing e-heads songs. I found myself automatically singing along to the e-heads songs I fondly recalled. It felt really nostalgic to be hearing all those e-heads songs. I think I was around 2nd year high school when Ligaya became their break-out single. Ahhh, those were the days.

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clockwise: spongecola's yael yuzon, barbie almalbis, e-heads' marcus adoro and imago's aia de leon

South Border opened the show with their rendition of With a Smile. A slew of big-name bands played after them: Kitchie Nadal sang Ligaya (ermm, imagine her sleepy dragging voice singing the boppy tune. tsk, tsk.), SpongeCola did Pare Ko (tsk. sana they adjusted yael's mic stand while there was no spotlight on him yet. hayyy. wawa tuloy.), Sugarfee and Imago sang tunes unfamiliar to me. Radioactive Sago Project performed Alcohol (the vocalist cleverly put a kodigo of the lyrics on a bottle of *whatelse* an alcohol). Paolo Santos sang Magasin with e-heads guitarist Marcus Adoro (the crowd went wiiiild with him playing onstage. Some gave him a standing ovation while some did a we're-not-worthy motion), MYMP sang Wag Mo Nang Itanong. 6CycleMind was very lucky to have gotten the song Alapaap coz this song got everyone pumped up, jumping up and down (funny, the vocalist jumped off the stage to elicit audience participation but he forgot that the stage was quite high and there were no stairs in front. so by the time he wanted to go back on stage, he had to time his big jump while the guys up on the stage pulled him up. haha!) . Barbie Almalbis sang Overdrive, Cueshe did (a so-so version, in my opinion. tsk, tsk.) of Hard to Believe, Orange & Lemons performed Wag Kang Matakot and this Tori Amos-y artist called Isha (whom I haven't heard of prior to this tribute album) sang Torpedo.

ito ay para sa mga masa
sa lahat ng nawalan ng pag-asa
sa lahat ng ng aming nakasama
sa lahat ng hirap at pagdurusa
naaalala niyo pa ba
binigyan namin kayo ng ligaya

ilang taon na ring lumipas
mga kulay ng mundo ay kumupas
marami na rin ang mga pagbabago
di maiiwasan pagkat tayo ay tao lamang
mapapatawad mo ba ako
kung hindi ko sinunod ang gusto mo

pinilit kong iahon ka
ngunit ayaw mo namang sumama

ito ay para sa mga masa
sa lahat ng binaon ng sistema
sa lahat ng aming nakabarkada
sa lahat ng mahilig sa labsong at drama
sa lahat ng di marunong bumasa
sa lahat ng may problema sa skwela
sa lahat ng fans ni sharon cuneta
sa lahat ng may problema sa pera
sa lahat ng masa

huwag mong hayaang ganito
bigyan ang sarili ng respeto

{e.buendia} (p) 1997 BMG Records (Pilipinas), Inc.[from the album "sticker happy"]

By the time the last band finished playing on stage, the audience didn't budge from their seats. We were all hoping for the e-heads to come out of the backstage and do a number. Or maybe a speech. Or a simple wave and smile to the crowd whose lives their music touched. Dang. Nothing. No e-heads appearance. I remember seeing Raymund Marasigan at the parking lot so I know he's there. And Marcus Adoro, of course, was definitely there (oh well, at least he jammed with Paolo S.). Sigh.

Anyway, I got goosebumps and felt this lump on my throat as "Para Sa Masa" was played as some sort of a closing/goodbye song to the audience as we milled out of the theater.

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. The e-heads memory lives on. The e-heads will forever rock. They may have their own bands now but nothing will ever come close to the ultraelectromagnetic legend of Eraserheads.


Here’s a legend any Filipino music lover would attest to be true:
A dozen years ago, four brilliant but then underrated musicians cast rocks into a pond.

Then lo and behold! Instead of causing ripples, it created a tsunami that swallowed everything in sight.

They were The Eraserheads. The pond was Original Pilipino Music.

And the tsunami was pop alternative; proudly Pinoy, made flesh then and has dwelt among us since. The end. Not yet.

Years after Ely Buendia, Raymund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala, and Marcus Adoro a.k.a. Eraserheads parted ways, the music of the acknowledged flag bearer of Pinoy pop alternative music continues to run through the veins of the very generation they defined. It’s all because they made nine groundbreaking studio albums that collectively sold more than a million copies; churned out, oh, only just about dozen or two hit singles that composed the collective soundtrack of a nation and; won every imaginable award the industry could give them.


chacha said...

i was then a e-heads fanatic..

sayang hnd ko alam ung album launch..

you know what, i hate to know from an article i read that ely buendia wanted to erase from people's mind the songs.. the years they lead the alternative scene..

kainis siya ha..


i'll buy malamang the ultraelectromagneticjam album..


you can reply if u want


~*lilacstardust*~ said...

ely can be pretty weird sometimes.

why did the e-heads disband anyway? does anyone out there know the real reason why e-heads stopped making music?