Cultural Idiot

musings of a snob

Baker’s Dozen: Top Albums From the 1990s

I’ve been thinking and trying to write about this for a long time. Take this as you will.


I discovered this band from the soundtrack of Judgment Night – one my favorite compilation albums of all time. The teenage me sorta liked the movie. But the soundtrack is the best. Metal and Hip Hop acts together on one song each. From the first song –Knives to “Turn” (with reference to David Bowie) to “Femtex”, it was all great.

Who wouldn’t love this cover!

HelmetIn The Meantime

Heard them from a radio show called “Not Radio” during the early ’90s. They play music that don’t get much attention from where I am like Soundgarden and the Beastie Boys. And MTV Asia was just starting out and Headbangers Ball would always play “Unsung“. Also, they were on Judgement Night as well.

Sonic YouthExperimental, Trash, and No Star

I first heard this group around 1991, I think. From Not Radio again. It was their song “Youth Against Fascism” with Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi). Then “100%” and “Kool Thing” from the same radio program. And I love them all. So when I heard “Bull in the Heather“, I knew I need to buy that album. “Self Obsessed and Sexxee” was an added bonus too.

Nine Inch NailsThe Downward Spiral

I can’t remember if I first heard “Head Like A Hole” on Headbangers Ball (yes, they played NIN) or, again, Not Radio. I love that show. And they also played the last track from the same album, “Pretty Hate Machine“.  So when I found out there was going to be a sophomore album, I was in a record shop almost everyday. One day during one of my visits, I asked two salesladies if they have it (Nine Inch Nails). They said no. Just as soon as they said that, I saw right before me a cassette (yes, cassette) bearing the logo of NIN. So I said “There it is!”.

And one of the salesladies said “Oh! There it is! ZIZ!”. 🙂


Nirvana – Nevermind

During the very early 90s I worked as a store crew at Coney Islands – a ice cream shop turned into a burger joint/ice cream place.

Coney Island Ice Cream
First job, y’all!

Adjacent to it is a record bar called Odyssey. I always saw Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album but I never thought of buying it because I don’t know their music. Not until I saw their video on Top 10, I think. And everyday when I was out, I’d hurry home just to catch a glimpse of them performing “Smells Like Teen Spirit“, which was number one. This was of course before YouTube. The next time I was in Odyssey, I finally got my own copy.

Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger

I learned about this band thru Guitar World magazine. It was during the start of the “grunge” era. I bought it because of the interview with Nirvana primarily, and also because of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden of course. But our lead guitar player already has “Louder Than Love” and he let me borrow it but I didn’t like it that much upon the first few listens. I was into thrash metal during that time, I guess. I keep searching for the solos which Kim Thayil didn’t deliver. But I purchased Badmotorfinger and I can’t recall exactly why. Is it because I heard “Rusty Cage” on Headbangers Ball? Or “Outshined“? Is it because I have the tablature with me? Whatever the reason, I thank I did because it is one of my favorite albums that I heard my whole life.

Alice in ChainsDirt

Alice in Chains. How did I start listening to this group? I really couldn’t recall. All I know is they have two amazing albums that I listened to. I remember I wanted to buy “Dirt” but all the record bar has was “Facelift”. Which was and is a great album. But I want my own copy of “Would?” and “Down In A Hole“. Luckily for me, but not the band, I have a college classmate who had both albums on CD and I made him record it on two blank tapes. This was way before CD writers. And I still have those tapes with me. Maybe I should listen to those again tomorrow.

And look at them! Don’t they all look cool? Jerry Cantrell is still one of my heroes to this day. And Layne Staley in the movie “Singles” looks badass! (As of this writing we celebrate your 50th birthday.)

Pearl JamTen

This band is one of the best groups I heard of in my life. Well, their first three albums were the best. I never listened to them again starting from “No Code”. Well, that is ’til two years ago when I started going to their discography again. And is has been a lovely ride once more. I guess I was getting into more electronic music when Code was resealed. But “Ten” I still listen to until now. I still remember buying the cassette. Which I lost recently. But my wife gave me the “Ten Redux” record for my birthday last year.

Upon my first listen, I thought that I’ll still love the original mix. How wrong was I. The new one was the better one. I guess that Kurt Cobain still influenced them after all these years.

#PearlJam #Ten #redux #vinyl #records

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And I will forever remember watching them perform here in Manila during their “Vitalogy” tour.

Miranda Sex GardenFairytales of Slavery

The ultimate goth album. At least for me. I first heard this band from 120 Minutes when they played “Peep Show”.  I guess they always play that song when it was released. When I saw a cassette copy in some record bar – I forgot the name of it – I of course bought one. And every time I’m in that record bar and I see some other copy, it still makes me wanna buy it again.

#MirandaSexGarden #FairytalesOfSlavery #cassette

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Low Pop Suicide – On The Cross Of Commerce

I first saw this cassette at Odyssey in SM Carpark.

Because here, even the parking lot has a mall.

I was really attracted to the cover. As soon as I turned in over to the back side, I saw           Dave Rave Ogilvie (Dave Alien) as producer.  The next time I had money, I came                 back for it even though I don’t know the kind of music they play. And hearing it was         good. Great even.

Maybe the music is bad. Not!

Reading the liner notes I learned that the members were a who’s who (Dave Allen               of Gang of Four, Jeff Ward of Nine Inch Nails/Ministry) of rock music. For me at least.         That’s one of the most awesome for me as a listener of albums. I get to decide what             to buy without hearing the band beforehand. Just looking at the cover…reading who         was involved with production…the record label or company…so on and so fourth…

Killing Joke – Pandemonium

This is the first proper album by this band I have heard. First track I’ve heard from           them is “The Wait” but is wasn’t performed by this band but by Metallica, as you                 might have guessed. I didn’t even know it was a cover. Actually, it was the first time           I’ve heard of Metallica whos which EP was bought by my friend over at High                       Adventure. It turns out is was an EP of covers. It was pirated, of course, because                 thrash metal wasn’t very popular here.

The great pretender.

But going back to Killing Joke. I bought “Pandemonium” at a shop in Greenhills                     together with NIN’s “Head Like a Hole/Sin” double single with remixes and, I think             Stick – a 90s “grunge” band. As soon as I got home, I absorbed it right away. Favorite           tracks are Pandemonium (the first track), Whiteout, and Millennium – which sound to         me as a part two of The Wait.


Trust me! I know what I’m doing.


I tried finding it on Spotify but that album is missing. I thought it wasn’t, according             to them, one of their top performances. But it is their cover photo on their website.             Go figure.


Where do I start with this band.  There’s Butch Vig – the producer of one of the sought after albums during the 1990s. Actually, it’s sought after even right now. He started this group with his art-producer friends Duke and Steve. They tried finding a female lead vocalist who doesn’t sound like anyone else. Enter Scot Shirley Manson.

We can leave it like that!

I remember always hearing Queer and Vow during the mid 90s. And playing Gran Turismo on PS One, I could have sworn it was them on the soundtrack. And it was. But what really got me was their track from the Japanese import, #1 Crush. With its obsession fueled stalker lyrics and superb drum beat. This album was and is a glorious bit of nostalgia.

White ZombieLa Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One

Just like NIN, I couldn’t remember if I first heard this band on Headbangers Ball or Not Radio. Probably Headbangers. Anyway.

Meet the horror freak show!

I think the first video I saw was “Thunder Kiss ’65”. I think. And what a beautiful video it is. Sci-fi-horror Americana with hotrod music to boot.

It sucks that I lost my tape of this. Maybe someday I can see this album on vinyl and I have enough money to buy it.  Yeah! Keep dreaming.


Forever Young

It was almost three years ago when I nearly died. The trouble is I used to hate sleeping. For me it is a waste time. My work as a sound engineer takes up most of my day. I wake up around 5 am, go to work, and usually get home midnight. So I need time for myself. So that, and bad diet, and smoking a pack a day – sometimes more – naturally took its toll and I had a stroke. At 40! Not a mild stroke like a lot of people assume. It turns out I had two clots in my brain. I ALMOST DIED.

Shoegazing still!

What has that got to do with a musical blog? Well, my lack of sleep has got something to do with it:

My first real idol was a guitar player named Teddy Diaz. He died. Right when I started listening to his band – the Dawn. He died right near my school. Killed by someone who was high. I was distraught. He was a great guitar player AND songwriter. I listened to him while studying for Physics and Trigonometry – which involves a lot of Math. I sucked at Math. But I passed them both. After his untimely death (at twenty-one), I sorta stopped listening to the band. And all I could think about was if he lived, what music would he have written. How many people could he have helped.

Teddy – my Kabuki guitarist!

The world sucks because of his death according to a thirteen year old self. The world sucks even for a forty-three year old me.

I had many idols right after Teddy. Identity Crisis, A-ha, Fra Lippo Lippi, Depeche Mode, Echo & the Bunnymen, Metallica…etc. etc. But out of all the idolatries no one comes close to Trent Reznor – aka Nine Inch Nails.

trent-reznor 94
Who wouldn’t fall in love with this guy!

He is the be-all, end-all idol for me. Not only for his songwriting but also for his production skills. I bought all his albums and EPs I could find. There where no downloads yet at that time. So all record shops I see, I needed to look if they have any of his music.

The last album he released was “Hesitation Marks”. Well, he and Atticus Ross. That was supposed to be his last album I would hear from him have I entered the Pearly Gates! 😉 That would have definitely sucked. Not because the album sounds bad. On the contrary!

So, that’s it. That’s one of the reasons why I want to live forever. To experience all the music that world have to offer.

Except for this one! 😉


To know all my idols music. And to wait for their fresh ones. To hear what they have to offer in the future. Imagine if I never heard Trent’s two new EPs. With a third one to be released this December. I would have died!


Slowdive’s Back!!!

Last January, Slowdive uploaded a brand new track called Star Roving on Spotify. And it was the really, really good. It was much closer to Soulvaki than Pygmalion” – which I also liked (actually, the first Slowdive album I heard). With a bit or post rock thrown in. In my opinion, that’s how they should go about their comeback after twenty two years. I do hope they release an album or EP much like their last album, but hopefully not at the next couple of years. And Simon Scott – who was the first to quit the group because, because according to him, “I though I’m being replaced by a drum machine” said that he regretted leaving the group during those times .  Plus Neil even said in an interview that they plan on performing that album in its entirety because they split up a week after it was released.

But, I want to go back to the topic – their new self-titled album and how I purchased it.  They released it this May (2017) I really wanted to have it on vinyl record. But to order it, I will have to pay extraordinary amount in taxes. It will be like buying two-and-a-half records. Hurray, Philippines :-/.

But then I got an idea. There’s this record shop that opened near my office called This Is Pop Records. I actually went there on the very first day they opened and I bought “Pygmalion”. I know the owner – Toti D.  is a fan. So I messaged him to ask if he will get some of the album. And he said yes. He got four copies in silver colored record but I would have to wait for it. And wait for it I did.

Father’s Day, Toti messaged me to say that his order arrived in the shop and would I like to pick it up. I had to decline at first because I need to spend the day with my family because it’s Daddy’s Day. I also know they’re closed on Mondays – so Tuesday it is, I said.

There I am, holding the record that I’ve been waiting for since 2015. And I played it twice that night. And I listened to it going to work and and coming home. I played it minimum two times a day on my evening tea for one week. Just like olden times. Because that’s how I listen to music when I was younger – always on repeat for at least a week. No matter if I like it or not. I want to give it a chance to grow with me.

Morning Ride: Listening to #Slowdive

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Slowdive’s back after twenty two years. And their audience finally gets them.


Still I Feel I’m Sinking…



Goodbye, Chris. Say hi to Andy and Kurt and Layne and all the dead rock stars for us.

Don’t worry, this is how I’ll remember you…

Bakers Dozen: Albums I Listened to as a Teenager

Top albums that influenced me as a young one. Lots of metal is this list.

  1. Alice Cooper – Welcome to My Nightmare
  2. The Dawn – Envelope Ideas
  3. Identity Crisis – Tale of Two
  4. Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast
  5. Faster Pussycat – Wake Me When It’s Over
  6. Joe Satriani – Flying in a Blue Dream
  7. Metallica – Master of Puppets
  8. Megadeth – Rust in Peace
  9. Nirvana – Nevermind
  10. Pearl Jam – Ten
  11. Faith No More – Angel Dust
  12. Alice Cooper – Trash
  13. Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes

Since not everything is on Spotify, I put in two to three very honorable mention albums.

Bakers Dozen: Biking Mixtape

Twenty-seven months ago I had an ischemic stroke. So, right now I’m still recovering from it. Naturally, my DPT asks me to wake up early to catch the morning sun and to exercise. What started out as going to the garage to walking around the block to full on jogging quickly turned into me biking. And the last time I biked was during the late eighties. Right – thirty years ago!


Of course the very first thing I did was create a playlist for me on my phone to listen to while biking. These are some songs from that playlist:



Top 10 Last Song From An Album


  1. Violent Femmes – Good Feeling (Violent Femmes)
  2. The Godfathers – Love Is Dead (Birth, School, Work, Death)
  3. Goldfrapp – Horse Tears (Felt Mountain)
  4. Goldfrapp – Clay (Tales Of Us)
  5. Radiohead – Street Spirit (The Bends)
  6. Velvet Underground – After Hours
  7. The Specials – You’re Wondering Now
  8. Nine Inch Nails – Ringfinger
  9. Nine Inch Nails – Hurt
  10. Portishead – Glory Box


Fun Home

Sitting here alone listening to Slowdive!

Happy Anniversary, Souvlaki! 😀 It has been twenty-four years and your audience finally gets it.

Oh My Goth!

Pitchfork recently posted a YouTube video explaining how gothic music came to be. While I agree to most part, there are some I don’t concer with.

Although the writer it is obviously being funny, I have to make up my own playlist to better explain goth music. There are post-punk music, shoegaze, ambient, noise, Victorian goth, classical…even black metal. Any music that a goth would listen to.

This playlist is ever evolving. I constantly add and subtract. But mostly just add. And I try just placing one song per artist. But there are some which I can’t stop myself and put two.

And Kanye West will never, ever be goth!

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