STOP AAPI HATE: The Benefit Album

Our friends Ted and Sheryl cut the idea to put together this compilation during all the hate and attacks against us. We were very honored to be asked to join and contribute.

We’ve had our song, Fault Lines, in a unfinished format for a while, but could never quite figure out how to center the lyrics. Only after witnessing all these attacks against our elders, and our community did it help coalesce the idea properly.

My parents met in America, went back to the Philippines to start their life, and had me and my brother. They weren’t cowed by the legend of an American existence, because they had already experienced it. Unlike my peers, we were never told that we had to shut up and just get along. So I’m thankful for that. Growing up in America, I assumed that Asians weren’t meant to be part of the conversation. It was weird enough to just grow up here but not be born here.

I’m worried that nobody cares about us here, and that we only have ourselves in the Asian community that cares. I’m hopeful, but don’t expect it.

Mix/Master Work

Bang bang

Yay! Both big projects that I have been working on have released this past week. My extended brother Mike (not me Mike but other Mike) and his band Forgotten Favorite have put out their 2nd album, and I got to do a little production work on it.

This was also my first full master attempt, so nice of the boys to let me use them as a guinea pig. I’ve had the Fabfilter suite for a while, but never really got try it out and put it through basic paces until now.

I had to do a few revisions of the master, but I was really happy to put my ears to work. Even though these VSTs are renowned for their beautiful GUI, I would just flip back and forth between the presets and really focus. Afterwards, I would pick the ranges for the bands and just listen. Anyway, nerd stuff, but a great use of my COVID time.

Definitely pick this one up. Not only was I shouting along to all the songs, but they are donating all proceeds towards the local DC / MD Black Lives Matter org. Win win!

A Cover + Remixes forthcoming!

Ok, to be honest, I just wanted to throw in ‘forthcoming’ into a post. I mean, there is one coming up, but it didn’t have to be announced like a ball. Anyway….

I did a little cover with my friend Sean Urban this week just for fun. He had told me about a little tribute series done on bandcamp, where they have a bunch of bands do interpretations of a band every month. Sean had the guitar ready, so I just threw some vocals and arrangements on top of it. You can find it here:

I’m not that into covers, just because they require an organization which I don’t have the effort for. But it was nice to do this for a second. I’m going to leave BC’s current political views off this post, and just pretend I’m still under 30 and loving this.

Most of my week and the previous weekend have been spent working on a remix for some friends of ours in DC. I’m very pumped! Emil threw on some excellent riffs already, and you can hear some of it on our Instagram.

I don’t know when that will be out, but it’s due next week, so I’ll be a little under the rader (ok, except for IG). Feel free to ping us there, and see if you can guess who its for.

A show + new music

I’m playing a show this Saturday! You can register here and check in and say hi.

In the context of our falling apart country, I worry that music feels very small, but I think this is a little of what I can contribute.

Oh machines.

I’ll be on the RIA Main Street Virtual Porchfest next week, so the picture above is me just testing out the tech for it. Should be great. I’ll send out the link eventually, or you can follow at this link:

In much more mundane matters, we are back for a bit. I’m going to avoid doing the apology of not updating this thing and just get on with it. Now that COVID got us, I’m sitting here catching up and going through things. Let’s update the website, why not?

Me and Emil are writing sporadically, and I’m doing some writing with a few friends, putting together beats and what not. Also, I moved to Belgium! They speak Flemish and French here. Which have a lot of vowels. I’m not used to that.

Standard ‘standing against a wall’ shot…

2020. Wow.

So 2020. This is really happening. Crazy people protesting staying inside followed by the same exact crazies saying black people are overreacting. How are we going to make it through this? I can only hope that our not to be named leader gets voted out.

I don’t really feel qualified to speak about the systemic racism against the black community in our nation, but there would be no United States without them. Period. It’s unforgivable that a nation who claims to be “under God” would let this inequality continue. Thank you to the protesters that are out there speaking the truth to a monolith that’s ignored them for so long.

Finally Fall….

It’s been so crazy hot these past few months. You’d think I’d be used to it, being a former equator city dweller, but I think I’ve gotten soft here in the land of froyo and smoothies.

We’re playing 3 shows in October, all at different cool situations…

dscf9897-1024x683 Porchfest 2015! thanks to Pablo Raw for the photo.

This coming Saturday, we’re rocking out at Porchfest in Adams Morgan Oct 1. More specifically, our friend Lawrence (of Saffron Holiday) is hosting a lawnlike stage in front of his house. It’s nice and elevated, so a good view, and they usually get crowded on the sidewalk, but it’s not a main thoroughfare in Adams Morgan, so not too bad watching off the street. It will probably be our last outdoor show for the year, since its going to be blitz cold this winter.

After that, we will be in Fredericksburg that Friday for Fredericksburg All Ages‘ 10th Anniversary. I’ve always loved the mission of FAA, and their execution is excellent in terms of getting it out the everybody, how friendly they are, and ultimately, providing a good place to hang out without having to get blizasted all the time.

Then we’re back in DC to play at Treehouse Lounge for the Halloween weekend! I’m not really a dressing up type of person, but I did wear a rat attack victim to R&R Hotel once. That got a pretty strong response. We’ll be rocking with our boy Radio Rahim, and probably backing him on a song or two, if not more. I’m hoping to have some other friends join us on the lineup to make a family affair.

Anyway, that’s that. We’ll be debuting some of the new songs that we’re writing for the EP, just to see what it will sound like live and if something is just too much cowbell. We’d love to see you…..

Back Home

Heyo! Being back in the Philippines was a crazy time, but we’re glad to be back.  Before Emil left, we got to see our friends in SNRG and guest on their radio show.  I (and Emil) had never visited Pampanga before, so it was a whirlwind 24 hour trip.


Right now we’re starting to finish up all the choruses and start doing scratch vocals for where everything is going to be.  It’s been a little hectic this past year, so the writing isn’t going as quickly as it should, but we should still have something out before the end of this year.


Writing in Boracay, Saying Goodbye in Manila

DSC05132I had planned to go to the Philippines with the family this March/April, just to visit the homeland and see everybody, but there were few events that changed everything.  With Zika out and about and slowly spreading across the Asian islands, Tini decided to reroute to Japan, so only Derek and I decided to go through.

Then about a week before leaving, we found out our Lola (grandmother in Tagalog) died.  Having seen 5 of her sons die, it seems that she is finally going to get to take a break and be with my Lolo again.  Emil then decided to take a flight to meet us over here, so he could pay his respects as well.

Consequently, we find ourselves in Boracay, the week before the funeral.  With the logistics of running a band being difficult to maintain in conjunction with maintaining real life duties, this is kind of a an opportune/tragic time to get together and finish the final details for writing the EP.  We’re targeting about 5 songs.  We still need to finish the arrangement to one, which is close, and then drum patterns for all of them to some degree.

Last night at 11PM, I was writing the chorus to one of the songs on a table in front of the beach.  Just randomly, some pinoy kids appeared and starting asking about the music and dancing.  I couldn’t have asked for better encouragement!