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   PROSE > Why do I listen to Japanese Music?

Might as well ask me why I listen to music all together. Why, indeed.

I'll humor myself by posting several different theories:

1. I am unpatriotic. I'll listen to all kinds of music but my own country's.

Yes, that seems rather plausible, if not for one terminal flaw in the argument: There is no such thing as purely Filipino music. If you mean the native sort with the kudyapi and the agung (gong), then perhaps. But can you honestly say that you like, err, grooving to a kulintang concert? Once in a while, you indulge in local folk music, but you don't need to listen to it everyday to remind yourself who you are as a Filipino. I would not go so far as to call myself unpatriotic for listening to songs not of my people. I call it being broad-minded enough to believe that music is universal.

And besides, I listen to bizrock -- the Visayan brand of the rock genre. ^.^

2. I have weird taste.

Unconventional, not truly weird. Weird is being of a mind to take a shower at 1:00 in the morning and still having the gall to sing. On second thought, I am guilty of that, back in the day, when I just graduated from college and green enough to believe that working for a call center was the coolest, and when I still had illusions about my voice. I must say, MagicSing Karaoke demolished my, err, vocal aspirations.

Still --

What is conventional and what is not borders on the subjective. Sometimes we draw imaginary lines. I suppose it is a natural sort of need in us to be able to distinguish between this and that, here and there, you and me. And if I do have weird taste, then I glory in that fact. If there is anything at all that I am deathly afraid of, it is the knowledge that I am common. Perhaps, I am, god forbid, conventional, but I will choose to ignore that and let myself believe that I am individual.

3. I am going through a phase.

By god, yes! That's what I've been saying all along. I gave myself five months. Let's see, I first started getting interested in Japanese music in June some time after the release of Nana and livejournal got bludgeoned with various Nana-related copyright infringement downloadable stuff. June to October is four months. One more month and I should be over this phase.

4. Nakashima Mika is my idol.

A natural conclusion after consecutive blogging on random topics that almost always inadvertently include a mention of her or her music. Well, I have become a fan, not so much because her voice is amazing (It is, in some very special songs that suit her voice range. Please, don't mention Yuki no Hana. It is her most popular song but the notes are really too high) but because I read that at 17, she decided to become a singer, and she became one at 18. She quit high school so she's probably not that academically bright. ^.^ (I know that sounds positively bigoted. Oh, well.) But she knew what she wanted and was smart enough to use what she has to get it. Just that is enough to make me admire her.

People who know who they are are always admirable. This is perhaps because I do not know myself all too well and I look up to those who do, wondering how they do it. But I have long ago given up trying to know all of myself. There will always be parts of me that I will never know and never care to know. I think it is kind of exhilirating getting surprised by yourself and what you can do. Still, I admire those who have a firm grip on their destiny.

(...But if that is the case, then it has less to do with the music than with the person. Hmm. Interesting. I hadn't thought about it that far. Must think about that more.)

5. The music is good.

Uh, yeah. That pretty much is a given.

The problem with the Filipino music scene is that people are all too fond of revivals. Doing a tribute is okay. But for god's sake, and I really mean for god's sake, don't overdo it. I listen to one good song today and ten years from now I'd still be listening to the same good song. Do we lack the courage to try stuff yet untried? I don't know. I am not a sociology major, but I think this is another one of those "remnants of the Filipino colonial mentality." Or maybe, it is just that we are unoriginal folks. Being skillful does not necessarily mean being creative. So we are skilled in the arts, but we do not have the capacity to create. All we can do is follow what has been set before us. We're darned good. Our eyes, however, have always been turned towards the West and away from our own neighbors.

Right now, our music is undergoing the band era. Perhaps, there are some talents here. So far, the songs are unremarkable. Gone were the days of Eraserheads and Wolfgang. The bands today are pseudo-rich brats either crooning about lost love or wangsting about their varied existential crises.

So those are my theories, and like all theories, they are rebuttable.

...sometimes, I like to pretend I am pseudo-intellectual. ^.^

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