Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blame it on the love of Rock N' Roll

I love Rock Music. Eversince I heard my uncle and his drinking buddies strum "SandMan" by the band America and wailed their voices with it, I've known my musical preference would never be the same again.

Growing up in a little- known city in nothern Mindanao, all the songs injected to me by my mother and grandmother were songs of praise, catholic hymns and visayan folk songs. This changed when my uncle came to live with us. Instead of the Matt Monro vinyls my father used to play in our AKAI turntable stereo, he played records of America, Eric Clapton and KISS, which have really upbeat rhythyms and squeeling guitar riffs. My mother called it "Adis-adis"(stoned people's music). But I didn't care. I have found something I like and never looked back.

By 6th grade, I've already collected around a dozen cassette tapes of rock artists like The Beatles and The WHO, to the more
contemporary ones like Bruce Sprinstein and POLICE. Back then i earn money by drawing things for elementary teachers (and there's a lot to do) for their bulletins and classroom stuff. I used this money to but comics and cassette tapes and saved almost nothing.

In high school, my appetite for rock music only increased as much as my inc
lination to arts. I found other revenues for money (printing t-shirts, making posters, etc. and still continue making artworks for teachers) and went on to buy more records. This time was mid to late eightees, time of Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses, Poison, Metallica and Motley Crue.

But I guess it was in college where my love for Rock music peaked. I was eating my dinner in a restaurant with a friend when a very unfamiliar sound blasted from the radio. The sound was so intense, the beat very different, no riffing solo guitars, but the sound was so original with a raging lyrics to boot and a unique voice to match. It just hit me in the soul and it sends chilling after-effects into my spine and tingles in my ear. The song i heard was "Alive" by Pearl Jam, a song who went on to become one of the greatest rock classics of all time. The singer was Eddie Vedder.

Pearl Jam is one of the Big four (along with Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden) who started the Seattle grunge movement, but is the most emitated, most successful and most influencial. They were instrumental on changing the mainstream rock music from the glam- looking leather-clad rockers to the current don't care much look. Back then you can never hear someone sing like Eddie Vedder. His deep harsh baritone and almost chewed syllables are only by him. Of course, many following acts has been so influenced by Vedder's voice that they just have to sing like him. Among them are current hitmakers Alex Band (The Calling), Scott Stapp (former vocalist of Creed), Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) and Jason Wade (Lifehouse), to name a few.

Pearl Jam's Eight studio album (self- titled) will be released this May of 2006. Man, I can't wait. At least there's something to look forward to aside from the World Cup.