I used three exclamation points and I know it’s not proper but I lost all of my writing discipline when I regressed to writing privately in the last two months. To be honest, I have nothing valuable to say. But because I can’t explain exactly why I can’t make myself publish anything, I thought that I’d give a sample of what I think of when I don’t think of publishing.

July 21, 2021

I feel like writing on a notebook so here the fuck I am. I exist. You exist. Do thoughts exist? What is existence, really? It doesn’t need…


If you’re feeling funky. . .

Spotify: Blood Sugar Sex Magik & Mama Said

Off of Mama Said, Lenny Kravitz starts “Stop Draggin Around” with a few directions. While a catchy guitar riff plays, he instructs,

More guitar. . . Need more track. . Bass. . . More guitar. .

Then, he sings.

This is the definitive sound of funk. There’s the upbeat intro, the accentuated bass lines, the groovy drum beats, and the soulful voice of Lenny Kravitz.

But what is funk? I’m feeling a lot less lazy lately so I did a quick google search. According to Britannica, funk is a musical style established by James Brown’s band where traditional R&B…


This is how I gauge whether a song is timeless

Photo by Oleg Sergeichik on Unsplash

You’re a super tito (uncle) when you like playing with your niece/nephew and you’re having as much fun as them.

My nine-year-old niece is one of the few people I can talk to about music. She absolutely loves it. To the point that it’s quite annoying ’cause she always wears those huge headsets. Not in an angsty manner, no. She just listens.

She’s not a fan of particular artists but she knows tons of songs for her age. Unlike many, she’s more interested in music than musicians. It goes to show that she prefers the art and not the artist…


Too lazy to care

Spotify: Garbage & Devour You

When was the last time you listened to the radio? With all the streaming apps and YouTube, idly playing a favorite station is lost all of a sudden.

For some reason, I had to stay with my old folks for three weeks and everything was nostalgic. I had no choice but to wake up at 6 AM because the old stereo was already blasting Filipino novelty songs like Masculados’ “Jumbo Hotdog,” and Sexbomb Girls’ “The Spageti Song.” It’s not that fun to wake up to a song about spaghetti going up and down.

Within the three weeks of staying with…


Adopting Avicii’s optimism

Spotify: True & Stories

This story is late to the party.

I started this draft a week ago wishing to submit it to J.P. Williams within the day. However, I could not get past 300 words because my head was all over the place. To quote James Bay, “oh my messy mind.” Writing without feeling passionate felt wrong so I’d rather break my 11-week streak and take a breather.

Do you know what could kill passion? Distractions. I had to attend to an emergency last week and it was chaotic. Everything was rushed and unexpected. Because I had to focus on my surprise tasks…


What a long title, Mr. Bowie!

Spotify: ARTPOP & The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

We’re back to pop music!

I had a cheek-by-jowl playlist planned for this week but when I saw a Twitter trend, #buyARTPOPoniTunes, I had to detour. (Look at that, months ago, I had no Twitter account, now I’m checking trends.)

Clicking on the hashtag, I saw that it was about the resurrection of Lady Gaga’s 2014 album, ARTPOP. My initial thought was, “Wow, here goes the fans petitioning to make an already wealthy artist wealthier.” But I could not stop myself from streaming the album because I was as curious as a cat. While listening, I looked for valid reasons…


Traveling to and from work in photos

It’s surprising how the most stressful moments could become nostalgic now that the world shifted. I’m talking about commuting and heavy traffic. The rush hour. The bundy clock.

In my past life, I mean before Covid, I was a hotel salesperson who was always out meeting clients. Therefore, isolating for more than a year made me realize how much I miss the streets.

My camera roll is my own rabbit hole. (Hey, that rhymed!) For my first day with Dark Room pub, allow me to pour my heart out and share a story that's been sitting in my drafts for…


It’s Dave Grohl Week!

Spotify: Medicine At Midnight & Starcrawler

I will say it over and over: Dave Grohl brought me here.

A year ago, I was still under the illusion that hotels would reopen under normal operations and I’d have my job back. A year has passed and it’s still far from possible. Also, a year ago, Dave Grohl surprised fans with Dave's True Stories, his personal account of backstage experiences as a musician. Hence, I joined Medium to read his stories with no intention of writing whatsoever.

I was a very cautious person, always thinking that whatever I say or write publicly might be used against me. I…


7107 International Music Festival & Claustrophobia

Courtesy of Livepeppers.com

I woke up on a Sunday morning with an ache in my heart. It dawned on me that I missed the first day of the two-day music festival happening three hours away from Manila. It was the morning of the day when Red Hot Chili Peppers are set to perform for the first time in the Philippines. In a couple of hours, I would’ve missed the biggest event of my life.

Then my Blackberry rang and it was my equally melancholic college friend, maybe calling because misery loves company, right?

Harry, tara sa Clark (Harry, let’s go to Pampanga),” Bernard…


This Lent, Jeff Buckley & Leon Bridges took me to church

Spotify: Grace & Coming Home

Compared to last week’s tumult because of the non-stop construction noise, this week is remarkably quiet. Maybe my neighbors are Catholics, too. Maybe because it’s Lent, they’re afraid if they don’t stop hammering, welding, and drilling, Jesus Christ is going to make them.

Welcome to the eighth installment of this series that I can’t believe I’ve committed to for eight straight weeks already! Cheek By Jowl is an attempt to pair two albums and dare to explain why they’re a good match.

For this week, drunk on peace and quiet, I chose to listen to the most calming albums I…

Harry Male

Here for music, literature, and good omens. https://bysshepls.wordpress.com

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