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Yvette Tan is Waking the Dead

Aug. 14th, 2009 | 09:26 am



You know where you have to be tomorrow: at the launch of Yvette Tan's first book, the short story collection Waking The Dead. It is a dark, dream-filled delight, with fictions about strange circumstances, bloody bargains and fiendish fates.

The cover and the interior illustrations are by the amazing Andrew Drilon (see more here!).

Yvette's stories have won two Palancas, as well as a couple of nods from the Neil Gaiman-sponsored Graphic/Fiction awards organized by Fully Booked. Her work has been enthusiastically praised by Gaiman himself, as well as local literary luminaries like Gilda Cordero-Fernando.

"Tan’s stories rise like the enchanted river to meet their readers, the words like brackish water suddenly turning clear. Something is awakened in this book, an irresistible trap of terror and talent from Yvette Tan, whose seductively scary stories will make readers glad they acquiesced when offered this fateful bargain: 'Drink, and your eyes will be opened.'" That's from the advanced review that came out in the Inquirer last Monday. Read the rest here!

The launch is this Saturday, August 15, at Powerbooks Megamall, 4 PM. That's tomorrow! See you there.

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Zach Attack

Mar. 23rd, 2009 | 03:20 pm



Holy crap, it's been a month since my last post! Lost internet access there for a while, and then for a while it seemed like there was too much to blog about -- Francis M's tragic and untimely passing, the Eraserheads' Final Set, even Watchmen (I am linking to my favorite review of the movie, by Thor Balanon). So of course I ended up not blogging about any of that. Also, I have not been blogging about all the fun stuff behind the scenes at UNO magazine; the ideas are flying fast and furious, and it will really be something special, believe me.

Something else that looks like it will be really special is Zach Lucero's solo album, launching tonight, March 24, at SaGuijo! Having worked with Zach on BURN I can attest without hesitation to his keen musical instincts -- plus, I heard a few snippets of the album a while back and it sounds really good. Other acts playing at the launch are Barbie Almabis, Imago, Techy Romanitics and Sandwich.The year in music is shaping up very nicely so far -- Pasta Groove, Corporate Lo-Fi, and now the fantastic Zach, with more to follow (like the new Outerhope, yay!).

UPDATE: Read my interview with Zach on my music column for the Bulletin, here.

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Vote For This Shirt

Feb. 23rd, 2009 | 05:13 pm



There are a few reasons to like this shirt. One, that design is freaking great. Two, that design is freaking great. Three, did I mention that design is freaking great? I could go on, but I think you get the gist.

Anyway, it was done by genius artist Yvonne Quisumbing. Go here to check out the design -- and then please sign up and vote for it. Hurry hurry. :)

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It's the Pet Shop Boys, actually.

Feb. 19th, 2009 | 02:36 pm



With the exception of Chris Lowe's horrendous pink wig, there is nothing about this video of the Pet Shop Boys' performance at the Brits last February 18 that doesn't make me happy. They zip through no less (and possibly a little more) than thirteen of their songs, including two from the new album Yes, and are joined onstage, appropriately enough, by Lady GaGa and Brandon Flowers of The Killers (aside from an array of costumed dancers).

The Pet Shop Boys were granted the 2009 Brit Award for Lifetime Achievement, and I say it's about time. After all, "they were to the end of the 20th century what the Beatles were to its middle." Yeah, you read that right. Read more here!

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Dealing With Dylan; or, The February 2009 Issue of UNO is Well Worth Getting

Feb. 10th, 2009 | 03:23 am



So last January I got an urgent call: something about UNO magazine and how there had been a sudden staff shakeup. The upshot was that they needed to put together the February issue with breakneck haste. It had been decided that it was going to be a Music Special, so of course, that was something I was up for. We brainstormed on feature ideas, and I was so fired up I ended up writing four articles in as many days. That includes the cover story, on the dauntless Dylan Vizcarra. Here's an excerpt:
Here are a few facts about Dylan Vizcarra, the always-articulate, tattoo-sporting, devastatingly cute host of Jack TV's lifestyle program The Peep Show:

She is a cyborg of sorts, with a metal pin in her right leg—a souvenir of a recent horrific skateboarding accident that left her with a spiral fracture, a couple of scars, and a valuable life lesson (the lesson being, well... don't drink and skate).

She is the kind of person who would use words like "tomfoolery" and "shenanigans" in her writing without seeming pretentious or raising suspicions of time travel. She has also been known to invent words like "flabberfont" when the existing lexicon is insufficient.

Her real name is Karen; she has an identical twin named Karla. (All of you reading this who just had thoughts along the lines of "Oh, boy! Twice the fun!"—just put the magazine down and walk away; we don't want your kind in here.) Once upon a time, when they were both in college, Karen in La Salle and Karla in Ateneo, they decided to switch places for a day. They look so much alike that everyone was fooled—from the basketball players wishing "Karla" a happy day-after-your-birthday to the teachers who chastised "Karen" for talking too much in class and who forced "Karla" to deliver a report that she had no clue about.

I learn a few more things about her when I meet her one drizzly Thursday evening in a coffee shop on Bonifacio High Street.


Am quite proud of the story; I think it's one of my better-written profiles. The interview itself was great fun, and so was the shoot, which we did with my favorite Quarter Pounder connoisseurs, the very talented Ryan and Garovs, a.k.a. Everywhere We Shoot.

Anyway, the point of all this is: Go and get the new issue of UNO, already! Those of you who weren't inclined to ever pick up the magazine before should check it out this time, and those of you who were UNO fans already will still enjoy this. Erwin Romulo, Ramon de Veyra and I worked on it, so, you know, it must be good, har har.

As if you needed more reasons, here's a partial list of what this issue contains: an encounter between Shawn Yao (yay!) and Spider-Dan; Cynthia Bauzon on album cover designs; King Palisoc on making music videos; an interview with Aldus Santos, singing Purplechicken and author of Repeat While Fading; and best of all, NEW FICTION FROM YVETTE TAN! Aw yeah.

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I Can Read Movies!

Feb. 7th, 2009 | 02:20 am



I love these: covers for paperback novelizations that never were, done in a 60s graphic style, signs of wear and tear and all. I salute you, Spacesick! Visit his blog for the rest.

My other favorites include the Labyrinth cover and the Edward Scissorhands one. Fun and really really well done.

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Sing Along to the Worst Song Medley

Feb. 5th, 2009 | 07:10 am

Hey, I know all those songs! This clip made me grin like an idiot. Particularly during the Sixpence None the Richer and "Rush Rush" moments. Thank you, Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, whoever you are.

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Conch and Xandro are Married

Feb. 1st, 2009 | 03:32 pm


Congratulations Conch! Photo stolen from Denise Mallabo, he he he.

Whatever I may say about the old PULP/MTV Ink office, I can't deny that I met some amazing people there -- and none more so than Conch, immensely talented Conch, who had perhaps the hardest job to do and yet was somehow the most reliable and least whiny of us all. (Well, she was certainly less whiny than me.) I have had the pleasure of working with her on a couple of publications now, and I would work with her again in a heartbeat. Unless it was on a job that required cleaning other peoples' toilets, in which case I might have to think about it.

Wait. What was my point? Oh yeah. Congratulations to Conch and Xandro, who got married last January 31! I wish them much much happiness together forever. :D

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Imagine The Groove

Jan. 23rd, 2009 | 01:27 am


Up Dharma Down photographed by Everywhere We Shoot for Imagine Magazine. Taken from Mrs Supergift's blog.

Imagine Magazine #3 is out! It's the special music issue, entitled Imagine The Groove. I'm Guest Editor for this issue (my usual title on Imagine is Contributing Editor), but while I had a bit more participation this time around, the real credit, as always, goes to brilliant EIC Joyce Fernandez, as well as Kai Magsanoc and Yonina Chan and some other people who will feel like kicking me for not mentioning them by name. But you know who you are. :)

The launch is TONIGHT, January 23, at Cubao X, 7pm onwards! Do drop by.

There's a lotta stuff in this issue, but the main fashion feature has Everywhere We Shoot (Ryan + Garovs), Matt Gozun, Jujin Samonte, Jerome Lorico, Kenneth Chua, Geof Gonzales, Rcxy Bautista, Lotho, Daryl Chang, Andre Chang, and Cecile Zamora interpreting music by Radioactive Sago Project, Up Dharma Down, Drip, Ang Bandang Shirley, Outerhope, Musical O, Paramita, Swissy, Daydream Cycle, Juan Pablo Dream, and Sleepwalk Circus.

Bands were photographed by Everywhere We Shoot, Aldwin Aspillera and Richie Castro. Articles on the bands were by myself, Erwin Romulo, Sarge Lacuesta, Mookie Katigbak, Aimee Marcos and Je Bautista.

Whatta lineup, eh? See you there!

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Yvette's Dark Side

Jan. 18th, 2009 | 04:25 am


Yvette hanging out with Neil Gaiman, who is also a writer.

Award-winning writer and "undisputed horror doyenne" Yvette Tan (mwah) was featured in the Sunday Inquirer Magazine today! For those of you who want to help stave off the death of print, dash to your local newsstand and get a copy now. For the rest of you, read "Her Dark Side" by Ruel de Vera heeere! Yay!

Yvette's first collection of fiction, Waking the Dead, will be launched by Anvil Publishing this year. We were just looking at the proofs the other day and they are lovely.

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