Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


Archive for October 8th, 2005


2 great artists, and their concerts 8

Posted on October 08, 2005 by jimparedes

Last Monday, I attended the album launch of Mon David, a dear friend and a person I admire. There are probably no more than 5 to 7 people in the world whose commitment to their art and craft I admire totally and Mon is one of them. He asked me to write a short paragraph for the CD. Here’s what I wrote:


I have known Mon David for a very long time now. We have practiced, sung, recorded, played, jammed performed, toured and have been friends for almost as long as my APO life. There are but a few people in my whole career in music from whom I have learned many valuable lessons about style, artistry, talent, dedication, versatility, musicality, generosity, joy, and perseverance, and Mon is certainly on top of this very short list. Life and Times is an album that says a lot about this man whose gift of music is wonderfully extravagant. If talent for music was like water that could be taken from a well, then it’s quite a deep and endless one that this album partakes of. The music is sweet, pure, refreshing, nourishing, and more than satisfies many musical tastes and wants. Mon abundantly serves his listeners a cocktail of many musical genres—ballads, sambas, traditional folk songs with a playful modern twist, and inspirational ones. And he does all this as composer, singer and instrumentalist, producer/visionary.

While the album is a triumph, alas, it is also an endangered one. It is triumphant since in today’s landscape of musical blandness brought about by extreme commercialism, the integrity, freshness and vibrancy of Life and Times easily towers above the musical flatlands of this new millennium. Endangered because no such albums are created now—albums with heart, albums which refuse to be shackled by the tyrants which most music artists these days kneel and bow to, such as sales reports, radio trends, and other ‘business ‘ considerations. To put it as simply as I can, it’s an album made by one who breathes, lives and loves music in all aspects and wishes to express it in the way it moves him. Period.

Salamat Mon. This is a real treat. Mabuhay ka!’

That night, Mon gave a great show at the Podium. He performed with a live band. Such a delight to watch a talent that is 100% real and enjoying himself as he switched from English to Tagalog to Kapampangan sometimes all within the same song. If you’re looking for something different, not trendy, but rich and soulful, you won’t go wrong getting his album. It is released under Candid records, the same label which released Mishka Adams.

Beachboys Rock!

Caught the Beachboys last night at the Araneta Coliseum. I was with Lydia and Mio. Let me tell you, when they came on stage, there was a palpable shock among the audience as they saw Mike love, former matinee idol now an old man, and his other fellow Beachboy Johnston moving slowly on stage. It must have taken at least the first three songs in their 15 song opening medley before the audience got over the shock. But inevitably, we all did since they still sang so well. They actually sound like their records! Remarkably, they rendered the songs in the same original keys theyn recorded them.. They definitely still had that solid sound that made them popular worldwide. It was hit after hit from California Girls, Little Deuce Coup, Good Vibrations—you name it, they did it. The audience sang, danced, grooved and had a great time. While most were baby boomers reliving their lost youth , many kids Mio’s age and a bit older actually rushed towards the stage and just got into the concert.

There was something incongruous about old men singing about the carefree Southern California culture of surfing, cars and young love of the 60’s, but at the same time, there was an integrity to it, and not so strangely. After all, they were singing hit songs they themselves made, sang and popularized that constituted a successful 44 year career. Few can come close to that. It was, to put it simply, an AWESOME concert. Regardless of how they have aged now, the BeachBoys–both the new younger members and the old fogeys ROCKED and RULED!

We purposely stood up early to leave and avoid the traffic that was sure to build up when the concert finished and people rush to go home, but we could not pull ourselves out of the dome. When they did their encore which was Kokomo, Mio said in all seriousness that we should watch since ‘these people could be dead soon’. I thought it was a funny remark but a solemn tribute to the Beachboys legendary status. It was a night worth braving the rain for.

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