The Sophomore Slump

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Epilogue 2.0 / Great Release

Back by popular demand 👏 (not really)😆, once again I created a video blog.

This vlog is part of Special Report.

I really hope you enjoy viewing this. It doesn’t take a long time. I promise.😀 I made it so that there’s enough progression. And please don’t miss the fireworks.😉

I can say that this is one of my proudest posts. It is obviously time-consuming. A lot of trial and errors. A lot of experiments. A lot of playbacks. It was a test on patience and will.

It isn’t perfect. A lot of flaws to it. But the flaws are easy to dismiss. I can tell you there’s some surprises. And I really went above and beyond with this video. Even more so that what I initially planned or envisioned to do.

It was a long time coming. Visualizing, planning, preparation, all the way to execution. I’m glad I finally get to share it.

Sit back, relax and enjoy…

Part 1 ->

Hopefully next time I do better.😉


Welcome to the first of my series of Special Reports as I inch closer to the 300th post.

Don’t mind me mumbling. Commentary is my only option for talking points.

I couldn’t be more excited to release this post as I’ve been wanting to do it for a very long time. The initial idea was to gather up all my “Last Call…” pictures and turn it into a video. As I was collecting it all, it turns out that I have too many to fit into one song. And so I decided to narrow it down to what I think favored the most by my blog readers. I actually did one a long time ago with the post, Kaleidoscope World, but the pictures and music are separated. I wanted to kick it up a notch as one whole video. I had this idea in mind for a very long time, but I never knew what the process is on how to create a video with pictures. When sixdegreephotography posted one for her anniversary post, it gave me inspiration and confidence that I’ll be able to execute it. I BEG of you to see the video she created.

It’s not hard to create. The hardest part was timing each pictures to match the lyrics of the song background. I had everything perfectly timed, but when I uploaded it, it didn’t do what I wanted it set up. The majority is still good, but some portions the timings are off. I used KilpMix application to create this. The very first Last Call picture is also the one I put first on the video.

I had this idea for a very long time, and for me, the song selection is crucial. I listened, listened, listened to my CD’s trying to find the right song to use for this video. The very first song I really had in mind was Francis M’s “Girl Be Mine”. But due to circumstances😀, the song doesn’t fit anymore. I wasn’t sure if I want more of a feel-good or lively song. I was thinking maybe a Dave Matthews Band, possibly “Two Steps“. Or maybe a Jack Johnson. I thought of  instrument-only songs. The closest one was “The Great Release” by LCD Soundsystem. Another is one of the scores of the movie, The Social Network. But having a movie soundtrack, I thought, is pushing it too much. I also had this guy, Adam Monroe, in mind. He does amazing covers and plays piano incredibly. The ultimate closest was “Arizona” by Kings of Leon. Sound-wise it is perfect, but the length is insufficient for me and the lyrics just don’t fit well.

I ended up with “You’re Free To Fly Tonight” by Savage Garden. Yes, Savage Garden is that 90’s duo band that a lot of people think are cheesy. Their albums and songs are excellent in my opinion. When I was thinking of the song to use, I was only deciding on sound. When I collected my Last Calls, I found that a lot of the pictures matches with the lyrics. I love the lyrics. It was inspired by a poem. You can interpret it in many ways, but the very bulk of the song meaning is actually about death, a dedication to someone who died. And so I have the right picture to end the song. see BLAQUE. I love, love playing this song when I’m on the road driving at night.

When I don’t know how to end a post, I resolve into posting a Last Call picture.😀 It doesn’t necessarily be a winning picture. It’s also great for when I have a distinct picture but it doesn’t really belong to the very core topic of my post. Thank you for always paying attention at my Last Calls … here is The Best of Last Calls…



Here is MK Photographs and his post – Thank You, Mom!


The Scientist

Come up to meet you.
Tell you I’m sorry.
You don’t know how lovely you are.


I had to find you.
Tell you I need you.
Tell you I set you apart.


Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions.
Oh let’s go back to the start.


Running in circles, coming up tails.
Heads on a silence apart.


Nobody said it’d be easy.
Oh It’s such a shame for us to part.


Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh take me back to the start



I was just guessing at numbers and figures.
Pulling the, puzzles apart.


Questions of science, science and progress.
Do not speak as loud as heart.


Tell me you love me.
Come back and haunt me.
Oh and I rush back to the start.


Running in circles, chasing our tails.
Coming back as we are.


Nobody said it was easy.
Oh it’s such a shame for us to part.


Nobody said it was easy.
No one ever said it would be this hard.


I’m going back to the start.



A song lyrics by Coldplay. All images are taken with my Samsung S3.


Featured Blog

Here is Deborah of Container Chronicles and her selections of Seven Deadly Sins soundtracks.

Surprising Cover Songs (part deux)

They say “Don’t judge the book by its cover”. I say “Judge the song by its cover”. For when a certain song gets done by another artist, you can discover a lot more from it esp. when a different version is made. Sometimes, even the worst songs can turn into a good one when done by somebody else. Now, there’s lotsa good remakes or revivals out there but you can still handpick those that are genre-crossing, out-of-the-blue, surprising cover songs.

Here’s a long list of cover songs that will make you utter .. “How’d that go?”

Song (Originally Done By) Covered By

The Part I of this, I included a video of “Rolling in the Deep”, originally by Adele and covered by Linkin’ Park. Now, it’s only fitting that I start with it. Panic! At the Disco visited Ventura, my current county of residency. They had a poll asking the audience what they want the band to cover, being a popular song at the time, the poll reads “Rolling in the Deep” as most requested. Fun video, they looked like they really struggle. Ended pretty impressive considering it wasn’t rehearsed prior the performance. The vocalist blurted out at the end “Yey! We did it.” -referring to having the audience participation in getting through the cover.

  • Travis, Fountains of Wayne “Baby One More Time” (Britney Spears)
  • Lily Allen, All American Rejects, Franz Ferdinand“Womanizer” (Britney Spears)
  • Greenday“Why Doesn’t It Always Rain On Me?” (Travis)

Why “Womanizer”, it wasn’t because of its “deep political connotation”, they simply said “It’s because we can do it better than Britney”… A great accordion start, beer bottles for instruments and a lot of woohoo-ing from the guys of All American Rejects….

  • Umbrella (Rihanna) – Mandy Moore, Linkin’ Park, Train, Manic Street Preacher
  • Jamie Cullum “Please Don’t Stop The Music” (Rihanna), “Frontin” (NERD), “GoldDigger” (Kanye West), “Chasing Pavements” (Adele) segue to Thriller (Michael Jackson)
  • Ryan Adams – I Want It That Way (Backstreet Boys), Like A Virgin (Madonna), Vampire Weekend entire first album
  • IncubusLike A Virign (Madonna), Bump ‘N Grind (R. Kelly), No Scrubs (TLC) Careless Whisper (George Michael), Milkshake (Kelis) and even Spongbob Squarepants (Theme Song)
  • My Humps (Black Eye Peas) – Alanis Morrissettes *PART I*
  • Michael BubleThis Love (Maroon 5)
  • Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) – Incubus, Amanda Palmer, Coldplay, Fall Out Boys and Civil Wars
  • Coldplay I Just Can’t You Out Of My Head (Kylie Minogue) *PART 1*
  • (Coldplay) – Lady Gaga, Weezer, Taylor Swift “Viva La Vida”, Robyn “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”, Alicia Keys “Clocks”, Avril Lavigne, Aimee Mann “The Scientist”

Let’s go ahead and take a look Lady Gaga’s struggling attempt to cover Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”. Quite surprising, nonetheless, definitely not her alley and she did a good job giving it a different spin. Though, she did stop at the bridge to apologize for the mistakes. Here she is with piano…

  • Daughtry“Pokerface” Lady Gaga
  • Robyn“Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” (Coldplay), “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” (Alicia Keys), “Since You’ve Been Gone” (Kelly Clarkson), “When The Doves Cry”
  • (Beyonce) – “Crazy In Love” Switchfoot because it’s power-packed with energy and … bling!😀 , Snow Patrol, Beck, “Single Ladies” The Fray, Wilco, Sarah Bareilles *PART I* “Halo” Florence + The Machine
  • Elbow “Independent Women” (Destiny’s Child)
  • Florence + The MachineTake Me Now” (Rihanna)
  • Beck – Medley of “Hot in Here” (Nelly), “Rock Your Body” (Justin Timberlake), “Beautiful” (NERD), “Not Gonna Get US” (t.a..t.u) “Ice Ice Baby” also, (Yanni’s) “Live At The Acropolis” album
  • Beyonce“Sex On Fire” Kings of Leon
  • (Kings of Leon) – “Use Somebody” Craig David, Matisyahu, Paramore and Pixie Lott, “Radioactive “ Cee-Lo
  • Ray Lamontagne, Paulo Nutini “Crazy” (Gnarls Barkley)

Kelly Clarkson is a fan of this outstanding troubadour singer-songwriter (Ray Lamontagne). Actually, it’s not surprising that a pop artist would actually claim to have one of his songs to be a favorite. Here is “Shelter”, please listen.

  • Kelly Clarkson (Black Keys) “Lies”, (The White Stripes) “Seven Nation Army” , (Kings of Leon) “Use Somebody” segue to (Alanis Morissettes) “That I Would Be Good”
  • Robyn, A Day To Remember “Since U Been Gone” (Kelly Clarkson)
  • The Fray Hip Don’t Lie (Shakira), Single Ladies (Beyonce) with the bending of the wrist and the shaking of the hips😀, Heartless (Kanye West)
  • NOT A COVER: But, did anybody know about Thom Yorke of Radiohead dancing to the tune of Beyonce’s “Sexy Ladies”? Very surprising, he was so into the tune of it.
  • Shakira “Islands”, “Crystallized” (The xx) *PART I*
  • (Justin Timberlake) – “Cry Me A River” Paolo Nutini, Glen Hansard, Michel Buble

Corinne Bailey Rae jazzing up Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack”. Whoa factor to the fullest scale.

  • Paolo Nutini – “Rehab” (Amy Winehouse)
  • KT Tunstall – “Get Your Freak On” (Missy Elliot) Who’s that bleep!😀 Also. Eels
  • Postal Service“Against All Odds” (Phil Collins)
  • Lana Del Rey“Goodbye Kiss” (Kasabian)
  • Ben Howard“Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jespen)

Since this song is quite popular this year, I go ahead and post the video of this UK singer-songwriter Ben Howard. Highly Impressive! He turned this bubbly song into something of a troubadour-type, with layers and layers of sound.

  • Mumford & Son“Cousin” (Vampire Weekend)
  • Feist “November Rain” Guns & Roses
  • James Blake“Limit To Your Love” Feist

  • Prince“The Best of You” Foo Fighters
  • Aretha Franklin“Touch My Body” Mariah Carey
  • Weezer“Pump Up Kids” Foster The People (more above from Weezer)
  • Fall Out Boy – Medley of “Beat It”, “Don’t Matter”, “American Boy”
  • Tori Amos“We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Bonnie And Clyde” (Eminem), “Whoops! There It is”
  • Dreamtheater “Winter” (Fiona Apple)
  • Katy Perry “Electril Feel” (MGMT)
  • John Legend“Umbrella” (Rihanna), “Wake Up” (Arcade Fire)
  • Joss Stone – “Fell in Love with a Boy” – feminized version of “Fell in Love with a Girl” (The White Stripes)

I’m not familiar with the artist, she is most likely a filipina. It’s a great thrown-out cover of a very popular song. Here is an acoustic version from a sweet-looking lad,y named Julie Anne, scatting and boom-boorooming to the tune of “Superbass” from Nicki Minaj.

WOOO Boy, that’s a lot of covers. Anything you want to add? Remember these are genre-crossing cover songs. “Covers” are basically remakes/revivals that are performed live and/or on stage.


Ow, do let me know which of these that surprised or made you interested.

MY Favorite Italian Music

Some of you may expect something obscure, an acquired taste, serious or substantial musicians. With emphasis, these are MY favorite Italian music.

An Italian co-worker sang over and over something of a significant to Neapolitan culture. He even explained to me what was the song all about. Back then, I didn’t pay “that” much attention. Months later, the song was remixed and was all over the radio, not just in Europe but all around the world. I was talking about a Renato Carosone original, “Tu Vuo Fa L’Americano”.

The remix from Yolanda Be Cool was not the only one. Christina Aguilera and Lou Bega have different version of the song as well. Sophia Lauren, a Napoli native, danced to the tune of it in a movie. It was also performed by Matt Damon and Jude Law in the movie, The Talented Mr. Ripley. The song tis reflected when American military’s stay in Naples that booms the economy of Italy years ago. The song is roughly translated to “You wanna be an American”. It’s definitely not the same anymore.

When it comes to Italian music, there are, of course, sound names such as Andrea Bocelli and Pavarotti. I’m just not an opera listener.
I happened to like pop music in Italy. This is my most favorite video I’ve seen throughout my 2-year stay there.

Don’t we all do this…???

I really enjoy watching the video. I especially like the last part. The song is from Zero Assoluto.

My favorite females are the most recognizable ones as well, Elisa and Laura Pausini. These two are actually internationally acclaimed. They both sing in English and Spanish. Laura Pausini actually has a single with James Blunt. Elisa’s song “Dancing” had been used three times in the TV contest, “So You Think You Can Dance”. Both of them are part of the artist line-up of the song “Domani” together with other new and old famous Italian musicians.

Yes, this is sort of like their “We Are The World” song. A Mauro Pagani’s original, the song is called “Domani” or “Tomorrow“. In May 21, 2009, an Italian artist ensemble got together to compose a charity single to benefit the victims of L’Aquila Earthquake.

This brings me to my MOST favorite Italian artist, the ever-poetic, Jovanotti. He’s the man behind that project. I actually bought one of his 2007 album, L’Albero, just for this awesome song …

I love this song to death. I can sing this feel-good song over and over and over again. “Bella” is indeed a very “Beautiful” song where Lorenzo Jovanotti compares a woman to all things beautiful. I love the bridge part when it paused to make room for the flute solo.

Last Call…

This song is not in Italian nor Italian-based but from an English rock band, Skunk Anansie. It just so happened to be a constant-airplay single in Italy when I was there. You may have heard about Skunk Anansie from an internationally-acclaimed song, “Because of you”.  They may be a “clit-rock” group, but my most favorite is this vocal-heavy song called “Squander”.

There goes my favorites. I encourage everyone to embrace the culture of the country you are in or travel to, not just tourism-wise, or food, but other areas like music, perhaps clothing, language and traditions as well.

They also have versions of familiar songs like “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You“, which my Italian co-worker is also fond of singing aloud. During my time there, “Weirdero” was also a hit, which is a remake of Radiohead’s “I’m a Creep“. I always sing “Io Canto Sotto La Pioggia” every time it rains. The song is the Italian version of “I’m Singing in the Rain“.

This post is part of Flashback Friday. I made it in time. YEY!
Category: Italy

FyF in BnW

I got rammed by a bull. I climbed a tree. I got some of it in places I was not supposed to -inside a church, during an intimate concert, a play, a museum, etc. I got lost in the wilderness. I once got asked by a street vendor to retract what I took. I wrestled against a crowd, not literally of course. I have waited for more than 30 minutes just for that one moment. I lay in the ground when I need to. These are just some of the drastic measures I have done just to take pictures of what I wanted to capture. I once borrowed a lens from stranger in order to take pictures of how I wanted the subject to come out. I take pictures even when my hand’s behind the wheel. Shhh!!! I do it when I have the road to myself. *sticks tongue out*

I, somehow, can still manage to keep my sanity in tact, from time to time. There are itsy bitty things that go over the line that I don’t dare cross.

These images were taken during the first day of a music fest called FYF in Los Angeles early this month. I had a ticket for the second day that I didn’t get to use. Don’t think it’s because I was already content with the Saturday’s images result. The Sunday line-up includes Beirut, an indie band I gravely admire. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t take the risks involved over that pleasure.

Again, I am proud of my captures of James Blake and M83 night performances. But, I knew even as I review these images I took during the day that I was going to turn these into black and white. I like to think that I wasn’t wrong even then.

– Guitartist: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart –

– I love this pic. This is Ruth Radelet, vocalist of Chromatics, moving away from the microphones as she lets other band members shine. –

– Kip Berman, Vocalist: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart –

– Morgan Kibby of M83 on the keyboard –

– Top: James Blake – Bottom: Ben Assiter –
Below: Rob Andrews

Some of the pictures I didn’t completely turn into B&W. I hope the reasons are obvious. I love these three images, and it hurts to shrink it into a collage.

– Left is drummer of Chromatics – Top Right: Connor Hanwick of TPOBPAH – Bottom Right: Peggy Wang on keyboards –

Now to the needy greedy. These images come with a price, and not just the monetary value of that ticket I didn’t use. I didn’t attend the second day mainly because of the stoners. I just cannot take the risk of sniffing their smoke, and get easily popped in for the drug test, and ultimately pay the price of ruining my career. I had to had to sacrifice giving up the chance of seeing and experiencing live music of a favorite band of mine, and being able to share more pictures that I could’ve been proud of or would be happy to show. Call it naive, gullible, I call it open-mindedness. They do what they do. I honestly don’t have anything against these youngsters blazing doobies. It’s their business. I just wish they are more considerate and mindful of others esp. when they see three or more people showing repressions around them.

This event also tells me that as childish I can always be or act to be, I actually felt like I was getting old that day. I was showing all kinds of frustrations, acting like a grandpa to these youngsters. The crowd was wild. Anyhow, I’m a big music fan and that I’ve been to many large crowd events but, I hate to say this LA, (and I hate to compare), against Jazz Fest in New Orleans, I never experience such reluctance of going to this kind of event because of the crowd.

To this day, I still wonder what it would’ve been like listening live to Beirut. Then again, I wondered about the consequences of me going to it. I just couldn’t bare that thought and take that chance. It’s sad but I think it’s best that I didn’t continue.

Last Calls…


Vigan, Philippines

Fleeting Moments in LA

In Rota

By the way, I never released any of the pics I took from the places I was not allowed to.
Now, care to mention at least one of your haphazard picture-taking acrobats?

James Blake at FYF Fest in L.A.

I want to thank everyone who appreciated the challenging photography of M83 that I took during FYF Fest in LA this weekend. James Blake’s set is tamer so I was able to get even more better shots than M83’s. I’m going to praise it myself. Considering that these are action shots, these are some of my proudest event photos. I enjoyed the performance. There are 14 pictures total so please bear with it. I hope you enjoy these images…

Above is Rob McAndrews on guitar. I had to leave early from the performance stage of Pains of Being Pure At Heart and I had to sacrifice not watching Sleigh Bells. I wanted to ensure good position amongst crowd to see James Blake up-close. I managed to do so; I was at the second row from the front barriers. My view is directly towards Rob McAndrews that I have more images of him than James Blake’s. Below is James Blake, electronic, dubstep, singer-songwriter.

More of Rob Andrews …



Above is Rob McAndrews on the sampler.

I love what the smokes and the lighting give, but these images with no extensive lights or smokes are just more natural, and are equally appealing.



This is Ben Assiter on drums.



When I first popped in the self-titled debut album of James Blake, it surprised me so much. The kind of a stunner moment that grips to your memory and leaves massive impression. My car was booming. It was shaking and trembling that I had to hold on the wheel tighter thinking it was something else. It works wonder. Magnificent! Watching the video of “Limit to your Limit” where a glass of water was creating ripples and was inchly moving from the table as if there’s an earthquake, I didn’t realize that the album would actually provide that same effect just by playing the physical copy of the album. That’s the music of James Blake- one of a kind, entrancing, eccentric… wonderful. Hearing it, and much more physically possessing it, it’s tangible and it gets so real, something you can really feel. Now imagine hearing it and “feeling it” live, and everything right up-front.

It blew our minds. The audience were looking at each other with wide-eye amazement of what was happening. It was during the two-liner song “I Never Learnt to Share”. The ground was shaking, we were all vibrating, and it was as if our bodies and belongings were going to be lifted in mid-air. It felt exactly like in the video of “Limit To Your Love” where things are suspended in the air. It was an incredible surprise having to experience his music like that. We, literally, were “uplifted” by his music. It was unbelievable, so surreal. This is exactly what separates from watching a performance live from watching a video or playing the album, and it’s far from listening from downloaded tracks. FYF Fest campaigns to support your local record bars. A hats off coup de theatre, James Blake really puts on a show show.

This is the live band ensemble…

Last Call… I kept close focus on James Blake and wider for Rob McAndrews because of the dramatic effect that the smoke and lighting brings. This is the last shot I took where I focused on Rob McAndrews much closer. I didn’t realize how cool the result was. Here, I caught his facial expression showing how he’s really absorbing the music.

My Facebook Page has more pictures. Just Like it on your way out. By the way, this helpful WordPress site provides events and travel destinations of LA.

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