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Friday, December 7, 2012

Personics System

Back in the late 80's, before the Internet, MP3s & iTunes, there was "The Personics System". It was a legal, authorized way of having a personal, custom mix tape.

It was in a way the same as what we had in the Philippines in the early 80's. You go to these "taping/recording/dubbing" places along Raon St. in Quiapo (& other parts of the Metro). You pick your songs that would fit in a C-60 or C-90 blank cassette tape & pay. They usually record the songs off the vinyl (or sometimes a direct cassette dub). Simple as that. Of course, that was illegal, unregulated & didn't pay royalties. The early form of piracy in the Philippines.

Here in the States, they've introduced "The Personics System". There were kiosks placed at major record music stores where you could listen to song samples. There was also the monthly magazine/catalog that listed the songs to choose from. Songs were priced from 50 cents to like $1.50. Once you picked your songs, you take it to the counter where they process your order. I'm not really sure on how it worked but they used a special deck. Nakamichi to be exact, which was hooked up to a computer system, which was probably hooked up to their network (i.e. modem/telephone line or early internet). I would think now that they may have used some sort of digital audio format like WAV; processed & recorded via hi-speed dubbing. They also printed a custom j-card.

I remember having 3 mix tapes done. Below were two of them:


I. "Alternative Rock" - June 9, 1989 Friday [$15.55 for 16 tracks]

Side A:
1. Where Nowhere Is - HooDoo Gurus
2. Mandinka - Sinead O'Connor
3. I'm An Adult Now - The Pursuit of Happiness
4. Dear God - Midge Ure
5. Babyman - Christmas
6. Foxheads - Close Lobsters
7. Blaze Of Glory - The Exploding White Mice
8. This Is Not A Love Song - Public Image Ltd.
9. A Very Special Day - The Grapes of Wrath
10. (Glad I'm) Not A Kennedy - Shona Laing
11. Basia - Painters and Dockers

Side B:
1. Truck, Train, Tractor - The Pastels
2. 2 Steps Forward - Pray For Rain
3. Behind The Wall Of Sleep - The Smithereens
4. I Need Someone - The Sneetches
5. Stuck In A Nightmare - Tooth & Nail

(I added 6 more songs on my own)

>>

II. "Rap Attack!: Hip Hop Scene" by Human Beatbox [Dec. 8, 1989]

Side A:
1. Renegades Of Funk - Afrika Bambaataa
2. Looking For The Perfect Beat - Afrika Bambaataa
3. Planet Rock - Afrika Bambaataa
4. The Magnificent Jazzy Jeff - DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
5. Play That Beat Mr. D.J. - G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid
6. Haunted House Of Rock - Whodini
7. Magic's Wand - Whodini
8. Pump It Up (Here's The News) - M.C. Hammer

Side B:
1. Make It Funky - Ice-T
2. Put That Record Back On - Just-Ice
3. How Ya Like Me Now - Kool Moe Dee
4. Rock The House (You'll Never Be) - Pressure Drop
5. Stylin' - The Skinny Boys
6. Funky Cold Medina - Tone Loc
7. Johnny The Fox - Tricky Tee
8. [Air Raid Siren - sound effect]

The third one, "Alternative Rock Vol. 2" was borrowed by someone & never returned. I remember there were two Nine Inch Nails tracks in it: Down In It & Head Like A Hole

The Personics System used TDK High Bias Tapes, Dolby System Digital Sourcing and Nakamichi High Speed Transport.

The Personics Corporation was based at 101 Saginaw Drive, Redwood City, CA 94063

Here are some links I found on the web:
http://articles.philly.com/1988-11-08/news/26247502_1_personics-system-songs-cassette
http://www.collegian.psu.edu:8080/archive/1990/06/06-12-90tdc/06-12-90darts-02.asp
http://www.dailyping.com/archive/2000/10/15/the-personics-system/

 For more info, just search on google: "personics system"

Friday, July 30, 2010

Eraserheads : Destination U.S.A. - Updated 2010

[Originally posted on 7/10/2010 Saturday; 9:19 PM @ http://blog.schizo-archives.com by QuickBlogcast/GoDaddy]

Sometime in 1998, I was asked to contribute something for an upcoming issue of the Eraserheads' official magazine called "Pillbox". I was like "cool but what am I supposed to contribute though?". I didn't wanna do an essay. So I just came up with this list of noteworthy places that the band had visited during their 1st ever US tour the previous year. It's easier than writing an essay! I emailed this to Earnest (Buddy's wife; live-in partner then) and a few months passed, there it was! Pillbox Vol. 3 (it was actually the 2nd and final issue; they just called it "Vol. 3" for the heck of it, I guess!)...page 21, on the upper right-hand corner: "Destination U.S.A."








































1. The infamous E-heads LA residence on Collins St. in Encino, CA

I remember that the lady producer who happens to be the band's good friend during their "Ultra.." days, bought this house weeks prior to the Eheads' arrival. To save some $$$, she just had the band stay there instead of getting a hotel. Well, the house wasn't fully-furnished, at least on the Eheads' first day. No landline phone (they just had to rely on one of the producers' cellphone); no beds in Ely and Marcus' room (mattresses only)..I don't know about the other rooms, I didn't check them out...April 27, 1997 Sunday, their first night wasn't really cool at all. Imagine 6 first-timers in America, strangers in a strange land, on their first night..by themselves in a house somewhere in Los Angeles! Somebody should be there just in case they needed something but there was no one. I wanted to sleep over but I had to go home. Allen couldn't either. Oh well. Accdg. to them, it was like a "witness-protection program" thingy, heheh! Not-so-good stories had been written and published about the whole ordeal by Ms. Jessica Zafra, who was the band's manager at the time. I can't blame them. But in fairness though to the producers who were my good friends too, it wasn't really all that bad. I mean, it wasn't a hotel room but it wasn't a slum either. It may not be heaven but it wasn't that hell either. That's why Allen & I were there to assist & help out cuz we knew of the situation. But then again we've got different lifestyles, social status, different perspective, etc., so be it!

I didn't post a photo cuz it is a private home. But you can Google Map it to check out the neighborhood yourself. The street address was published on "Pillbox 2"
 
2. The 24-hr newstand at Hollywood & Cahuenga, Hollywood, CA
 
On their first night in America, after settling their luggages at the Encino house, Raimund and Buddy wanted to go to the nearby 7-11.

So I, along with my friend Jay, took the two to the store. Inside, they were excitedly browsing thru the magazine rack. I told them about this big newstand in Hollywood and asked if they wanted to go. They said yes and we went on a quickie tour of Hollywood. I showed them the venue where they would do their concert in a couple of days. Of course, we stopped by this newstand and they did some serious browsing-galore!

3. Freeway 101 Northbound (by the White Oak exit), Encino, CA























I'm not really sure about the story because I wasn't there but this was according to them.
On their first morning in America, Raimund, Buddy, Earnest (acting road manager) and Jessica (band manager) went out walking to look for a deli or a grocery store to get some breakfast (remember, there was no food in the house that day). They just kept walking, unaware that they've already entered the freeway! While walking on the shoulder lane, a CHP (California Highway Patrol) was driving by, spotted them, used its loud speakers to get their attention. They told the CHP what was happening and they eventually turned around and went back. Funny huh? hehehe. I think this was one of the experiences in LA that inspired Lemon to write "Downtown" (from the album, "Sticker Happy")


4. Universal Studios-Hollywood, Universal City, CA


Yup, just like any other first-timers in Los Angeles, the Eraserheads and their entourage went to visit this famous theme park.

5. The New Otani Hotel, Downtown LA (now known as Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens)


























kyotograndhotel.com

Press conference for the LA media was held at this hotel. I remember coming in about an hour early. Raimund and his cousin came in early too. There were also these two lady reporters who didn't do their homework so I ended up giving them a basic Eheads 101 tutorial, heheh. Press conference time came. About 5 or 6 representatives from various local Fil-Am papers showed up...and what a bore! The room was pretty quiet as if there weren't any activity inside. The Eheads themselves seemed bored. I could see that jetlag was already kicking in, hehehe. It was about an hour of you know, like that. But hey, there was an awesome catering prepared for that function so I couldn't really complain, heheh.

6. Le Sex Shoppe, on San Fernando Bl., L.A.


I remember we took Ely and Sancho here. I didn't really check out what they bought. Most likely a bunch of magazines and DVDs but that's just a "wild guess", hehehe

7. The Boardwalk at Venice Beach, L.A.


In L.A., it was Raimund who was separated from the group most of the time. He stayed with his cousin Ollie, in the San Fernando Valley area. This was one of Lemon's solo outings.

8. Guitar Center, on Sunset Bl., Hollywood, CA


On their first visit to this guitar-drums-keyboards, etc. kingdom, they bumped into an old friend, Beck. You know, "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me.". FYI, accdg. to the Eheads, when Beck came to the Philippines for his promo tour in 1995, some of Eheads' gear were borrowed and used by Beck's band. Check out Pillbox 2, there's a photo of them with Beck.

There was that day that me and my friend Zaldy, took Ely and Marcus to this store before heading to "Destination #9", hehehe.

9. Gentleman's Club, on San Fernando Bl., Gendale, CA

(no links provided for security reasons, heheh)

It wasn't even nighttime yet but we didn't wanna waste no precious time, heheh! So after Guitar Center, we headed down to this place. $10 gate x 4, two California IDs & two Philippine passports will do! After a few dance numbers, my friend Zaldy hooked the two up with a treat they'll never forget: free lapdance!

I saw two lovely blondes aproached the vocalist and the guitarist and escorted them to their private tables. There was this part in the beginning that the vocalist had to remove his clear & round John Lennon-esque eyeglasses, wiped it clean and put it back on, heheh. I thought that was really funny. He probably couldn't believe what he was seeing 5 inches away from his face, hehehe. That was some good five-minute entertainment. So please, don't judge us. It's a guy thing! =)
 
(please note that this is supposed to be a "blind item" so don't say a word ok, hehehe)
 
10. The Palace, Hollywood, CA (now known as Avalon Hollywood)
 

 
The first ever Eraserheads US gig happened here! The gig was sold-out with about 1,200 fans packed the club. Though pre-dominantly Pinoy/Fil-Am crowd, there were a few non-Pinoys in the crowd (pick your color, heheh). As soon as Lemon yelled "Eto na naman" at the start of the opening track, "Back2Me", it was just pure mayhem; a big moshpit tore up the main floor. It was an amazing night! It was history! The Beatles performed in this building in the early 60's and in 1997, it was the Eraserheads! WOW!

Check out the full show on YouTube:
Eraserheads: Live at The Palace 1997
 
FYI:
The producer was "KingInA Productions" headed by Techie (an Eheads friend from their Ultra... days), Sheldon (lead singer of the opening band, PinkTable) and a guy called Wiwin. Hats off to them for bringing the Eraserheads to America and for inspiring other no-budget indie promoters to take the risk of bringing in Pinoy bands.
 
11. Las Vegas, Nevada


As the old cliche goes: "Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." No further details.
 
12. Embassy Suites, South San Francisco, CA




I should've switched "Destination #12 to #13" and vice-versa. Have you heard of "The Ride"? Well, try looking for it in the end credits/thank you's of "Sticker Happy" and also on "Pillbox 2". Let's just say "The Ride" actually ended here. No further details.
13. The "hippie district" of Haight -Ashbury, San Francisco, CA

 
"The Ride" traces its origin to this place. To the Eheads, this is probably one of their most memorable places in the US. I really don't know what the exact details were but it was one bumpy yet groovy and good trip. No further details.
That's it! Hope you enjoyed reading this. Until my next blog entry...or project, it's all good!

schizo


Photo credits:

Most photos/screengrabs from Google Maps
Download the "Pillbox 3 (aka "2")" in PDF

Thursday, July 29, 2010

U2 jacked up their concert ticket prices?

[Originally posted on 11/20/2009 Friday; 9:19 PM @ http://blog.schizo-archives.com by QuickBlogcast/GoDaddy]

Yes, they did! Well, at least the tour presenters, Live Nation, did! After sacrificing my tickets to two out-of-towner friends, for the landmark Rose Bowl concert last October, I made sure I get tickets for the second leg of their US tour. So when the June 6th 2010 Anaheim show at Angel Stadium went onsale last Nov. 9th, I went online and got myself "Club" (Middle Level) seat tickets. They were $95 a piece plus the usual Ticketmaster surcharges. That would be "Price Level 2" based on their pricing structure: Price Level 1 = $250; Price Level 2 = $95; Price Level 3 = $55; Price Level 4 = $30.














Please note: my seats are at Club Level, Section 342 (to the right of the stage, 3 levels up). Anyway, the show was sold-out in just about 15 mins. Of course, the promoters were anticipating that they immediately announced a second night for June 7th at the same venue, to go on sale Nov. 20th.


















So this morning (Nov. 20), I went online again to get 2 tickets for my brother, Haro. He wanted "floor" tickets but the results were zero. So I tried searching randomly for any Price Level 1 tickets. I finally got 2 tickets: Club Level, Section 307 (to the left of the stage, 3 levels up). The same level as my June 6th tickets but on the opposite side. And guess what? They were $250 a piece! Yup, $155 more expensive! Sheeesh!




Not just that, they also released single "production hold" tickets for the supposedly sold-out June 6th show. Just for the heck of it, I searched for a ticket on the Club level and there it was: Section 309 for the new price of $250! (that would've been $95 only if you bought tickets two weeks ago!, hehehe).



U2 has always been the "hottest ticket in town" for 3 decades now! The demands are extremely high. It's just understandable that Live Nation would jack up their ticket prices. Unless, the reports were true. Last week, I heard on XFM London that despite the overwhelming success of U2's 360 Tour, Live Nation has not been able to break even yet. Oh well, I wouldn't know and I could care less. I'm just a paying customer and all I wanted is to see U2! =)

Update: 7/29/2010
The June 6th & 7th, 2010 shows are re-scheduled for June 17th & 18th, 2011 respectively.

Info:
U2


Rivermaya's new album leaked!

[Originally posted on 9/12/2009 Saturday; 3:09 AM @ http://blog.schizo-archives.com by QuickBlogcast/GoDaddy]

Eversince I posted on my Facebook page that I got to download the brand new and yet-to-be-released album by Rivermaya called "Closest Thing To Heaven", my inbox just got flooded by requests from my Facefriends & other people too, for the download link. Of course, the unavoidable were asked: Where? How? Who?...As much as I'd like to share the entire album, unfortunately, the download link to "R****share" was quickly deleted! So who uploaded and leaked the album? Well, the guy who sent me the link is a friend from Mandaluyong City (Philippines), who is a Rivermaya fanatic. But he wasn't the source. It was his friend, "Rico" (not his real name) who was an employee for an advertising agency who happened to be a big Rivermaya fan too! Apparently last week, "Rico" was in a meeting at the band's label's office. He then stumbled upon a Sony CD-R that had "Rivermaya 2009 Album" in black marker ink, in a trash bin! The fan instinct just kicked in! He quickly picked it up & stashed it in his pocket; and the rest as they say, is history!
I was thinking maybe "Rico" picked up a CD-R of rough mixes but after listening closely to the 10 MP3s that I downloaded, I can really say that these are in fact, tracks from the new album. They're just so pristine to be just work-in-progress versions. Now, as my personal motto goes: "Share Good Music!", here I am sharing you the supposedly first single (according to the band's mailing list postings & official YouTube channel). It is the 6th track and it's called "Dangal" (Honor). Written by bassist, Japs Sergio (also of the band, "DayDream Cycle"...and not to be mistaken with SixCycle Mind, hehehe)

(link has been deleted)

Download it ASAP! The band and the label might found out about this and I'll definitely get a cease & "deceased" order! ("deceased" 'cuz I'll be dead meat, heheh!). This link might not even last for a few days. Don't think twice! This will not even cost you 50 pesos! hehehe. Download NOW! and yeah, SHARE IT! Attach it, post it, upload it, burn it! Add it to your Friendster, MySpace, Facebook's music player! Email your friends! If you know jocks from NU107, RX93, UR, WLS, and other main Manila radios, email it to them. Make them include it in their playlists. Request for it even if you have it in your cellulars and players already, hehe! Let's make history. Let's make it the most downloaded & requested unreleased song in Philippine music history! Let's make this the "A(H1N1) virus" of OPM, hehehe! Oh yeah, grab the picture too and make it your official digital folder artwork!. Enjoy!

PS. This is the real, official album version (iTunes-sourced; 160kbps) and not some low-quality YouTube-rip.
PS2. For Rivermaya info, check out their website: http://www.rivermaya.ph/ or join their mailing list: mailto:rivermaya-subscribe@yahoogroups.com (you'll see me there!..hehehe)
PS3. A portable from Sony, hehehe!

























Updates:
Mar. 12, 2010 Friday - The download link has been deleted since the album, "Closest Thing To Heaven", is already available in the market. Please buy an original copy of the album. Thanks!...Official website URL has been updated, too!

the ghost of kc?

[Originally posted on 2/11/2009 Wednesday; 1:13 AM @ http://blog.schizo-archives.com by QuickBlogcast/GoDaddy]

|hello readers! (if there's any, heheh!). the following was originally an entry on my web site's "gigography" section. i kinda re-edited it for this blog. it happened during my first ever visit to seattle, wa in the fall of 1998.

Sept. 31, 1998 Thursday - Around 7 am, my friend in Seattle, Rex & I went to visit Kurt Cobain's old house at 171 Lake Washington Bl. East in the Denny-Blaine district of Seattle..The house where he was found dead!. This is one spooky visit though...In the park adjacent to the house (Viretta Park), we were checking out the makeshift "Kurt's Park" memorial. There were 2 (or 3? I don't remember now) wooden benches which fans had written messages all over it, when suddenly the air was filled with this weird, "varnish-chemical type" smell. I tried looking for a possible source but couldn't find it. Oh yeah, I left my mark too; I just don't remember what I wrote, hehehe. I know for sure it had my signature "schizo". Anyway, after a while, Rex & I left and headed to the nearby Denny Blaine Park where we had parked our car. Rex didn't really know anything about Nirvana nor Kurt. He was asking me all these questions like, "what songs did they play?", etc...Then the spookier part came! As we got back to the car, I immediately turned the radio on & tuned into Seattle's alt-rock station KNDD The End. "The Dope Show" by Marilyn Manson was playing as we were driving away. Rex was still asking me questions & barely 3 minutes away from Kurt's house, the next song that played was.....Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"!!! Was that a coincidence or what...or was it an actual haunting of the once popular rockstar named, Kurt Cobain? I dunno, you figure it out!

PS. I visited that place once more in 2000 with my friends, Louie & Katz. No more weird smell though!

Here's a blog I found about KC's house
http://cellardoor.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/06/paying_a_call_t.html

Accdg. to zillow.com, the house is now worth a little more than $4.5 million. Wow! Not bad for a dead rockstar's house!
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/171-Lake-Washington-Blvd-E-Seattle-WA-98112/48770941_zpid/

schizo @ "Kurt's Park", Sept. 31, 1998