A rock from the beach

Rock from a beachI’ve been keeping this rock in my room since college. All I can remember is that I got it from a beach somewhere. But I can’t remember from what beach, who am I with that time, and what special event happened, that I still cared to bring it home with me considering that it is so heavy. This rock must really be special. I really wanted to find out. I tried closing the lights in my room hoping that it would glow in the dark. But it did not.

Heart HandWhile I was looking at it, I thought of Jason Mraz again! His latest video, I’m Yours reminded me of my college days when we used to go to beaches, lakes, waterfalls (unplanned). It maybe tiring at times especially when we walk on slimy wet rocks, but its all worth it. It made me miss my old friends. I haven’t been going out lately because I’ve been concentrating on my personal geeky projects that consume my time and money. Plus, I have dayjob too! [image source: Van Agdon] Continue reading A rock from the beach

Sing, Sing, Sing

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite performances from singing contests I’ve watched on TV.

Yeng Constantino, Pangarap Lang (Pinoy Dream Academy)
What’s surprising about this performance is how Yeng sang and moved around the stage confidently, as if everything was choreographed. But it actually wasn’t, because it was different from the rehearsals shown the day before Gala night. That’s why even the mentors were amazed.

Aside from singing, Yeng also knows how to compose ORIGINAL songs. Her talent for writing and composing songs were discovered when she composed Salamat and Awit ng Pangarap inside “The Academy”. After winning PDA, these two songs were included in her first solo album, Salamat. Her album reached 3x platinum (90,000 copies sold).

Continue reading Sing, Sing, Sing

Maureen Marcelo aka Samantha Brown

Maureen MarceloMau Marcelo started way back during Sing Galing, where she’s known as Samantha Brown. Her talent was highly appreciated on that show. When I found out that she joined Philippine Idol, I was rooting for her to win. But sadly, she got booted off in the semi-final round. From then on, I lost interest in the show for the following reasons:

  1. Judges are just there to give advice but don’t really have power to save the best contestants.
  2. People vote for whatever reason they like. They can send off a few extra votes for good-looking, showbiz packaged contestants but not for VOCALLY talented ones.
  3. Good singers who deserves to be on top, sometimes end up in the bottom 3.
  4. Some people believe that those who land in the bottom 3 are not really talented.

So I hated Philippine Idol and all shows that leave everything to the public. Good thing, Philippine Idol had a wildcard, and she won. But I didn’t watch the show from the day she got the boot, because I had this feeling that the public don’t like her still and its only the judges who want her to win.

I think the public is starting to appreciate Mau Marcelo’s talent only now when Pinoy Idol is losing their better contestants. For me, singing competition is not about singing “cool songs” but singing “vocally challenging” songs that would show off their versatility, what they are capable of as vocalists, and how they are willing to be molded to create a style of their own. In the real world, it is the composer’s job to create “cool new marketable songs” that the younger audience would appreciate. I think she deserves more praise than what she has now, and this post is my way of acknowledging her talent.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Eclectic artist, Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz is one of my favorite artists in the music industry. Its been a long time since I heard him sing. It just so happened that while I was listening to my AI7 mp3s, I noticed that one of the contestants (Jason Castro) sounded like him except that Castro couldn’t belt out.

Anyway, I searched for “Jason Mraz” on Wikipedia and to my surprise found out that he has just released a new studio album. And so I decided to make this post about him.

Jason MrazJason Thomas Mraz (born June 23, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter, born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia, a suburb of Richmond.

Mraz is an eclectic artist with multiple and varied stylistic influences, including pop, rock, folk, jazz, country, and hip hop.

Jason Mraz

What I like about Jason Mraz is his versatility as a vocalist.

Jason Mraz can sing.

(Sound Clip 1)

Jason Mraz can also rap.

(Sound Clip 2)

Jason Mraz can do vocal acrobatics as well.

(Sound Clip 3)

Jason Mraz can sing alternative songs. There’s no need to expect something extraordinary from him vocally on these songs. In alternative songs, it is “usually” the band or the “arrangement” that does the job. (I think)

(Sound Clip 4)

What else? Oh wait, there’s more!

Continue reading Eclectic artist, Jason Mraz

The Best of American Idol 7

I love editing sounds. So I’ve compiled some of what I think has the best VOCALS on American Idol 7. Songs were cut off at about 15-30 secs each to show off the artist’s vocal range. Total Time: 4 min, 23 sec (4.03MB, 128kbps, mp3 format)

My brother won 1st place in Rubik’s 4x4x4

Rubix Champ

My little brother has been cubing since January of this year. From him, I learned that a Rubiks cube can be solved by just learning some formulas, or commonly known as algorithms among cubers. And just last month, he competed in a Rubik’s cube event held at Asia Pacific College. The cubes provided were of low quality and not lubricated, which made it more challenging. But even so, he finished the 4x4x4 (Rubik’s Revenge) in 2:44 (2 minutes and 44 seconds), which won him 1st place in the 4x4x4 speed solving category. He also ranked 2nd place in 3x3x3 speed solving, where in he finished the cube in 2:28 (2 minutes and 28 seconds). But when he is using a high-quality lubricated cube, he can solve a 3x3x3 in 1:30 at most. Continue reading My brother won 1st place in Rubik’s 4x4x4

Criteria for Judging on Singing Competitions

Looking back, singing competitions used to have a criteria for judging (e.g. Star for a Night, Sing Galing, Star in a Million, and Pinoy Dream Academy). The criteria helps judges evaluate the singer’s vocal range, versatility, originality, and stage presence. Fan base is not included.

Another thing that I like about singing competitions is I get to hear amazing vocals that I don’t usually hear on the radio. Singing contests are different from MTV and MTV is not a singing contest.

So what makes a singer better than the other? For me, these are what I always look for: Continue reading Criteria for Judging on Singing Competitions

Finally got my birth certificate

At last, I finally got an authenticated copy of my birth certificate. It wasn’t easy because my birth certificate has no first name. It is only on the affidavit that I was named “Carol”. So to sum it up, here is what I did:

  1. Day 1. I went to the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO), where my birth was registered, to apply for a Supplemental Report. I gave them my old birth certificate, together with the affidavit. They made me a new affidavit and had it notarized. They asked me to go back after a week. (Time spent: 2 hours, VL)
  2. Day 2. I went back to LCRO. They gave me a copy of my birth certificate with the corrected first name. To have it authenticated, I need to submit these to National Statistics Office (NSO). But when I went to NSO, I saw long lines of people so I decided to go back another day. I didn’t file VL for this. (Time spent: 1 hour)
  3. Day 3. More details in Birth Certificate Step 3. (Time spent: 3-4 hours, VL)
  4. Day 4: I went back to NSO and got my birth certificate! (Time spent: 10 minutes)

Alexandrea Lushington’s If You Leave Me Now

Alexandrea LushingtonI’ve been watching American Idol on QTV 11 these past few weeks. One of my favorites, Alexandrea (Alex-andre-a) Lushington, has been voted off last week. The judges didn’t like her version of If You Leave Me Now (Chicago). But honestly, I think it was good. I really liked it. If it hadn’t been for her nice low-register voice, it would have sounded acoustic or ballad, which I think won’t sound any different from the original. I have nothing against those type of songs. I just like the way she turned it into a nice soothing soulful song. It sounded sweet. I love it!

[audio:http://www.icezorg.com/soundtemp/Alexandrea%20-%20If%20You%20Leave%20Me%20Now.mp3]

But then again, the judges were not impressed, and so were the viewers. She sang the same song during the vote-off episode and her close friend, David Archuleta, was crying the whole time.

David Archuleta Crying

Continue reading Alexandrea Lushington’s If You Leave Me Now