Monday, October 15, 2012

Young, gifted and brown: A Filipino American Heritage Month playlist

Yep, they're definitely in Seattle.
Bambu (left) and Prometheus Brown (right) are The Bar. (Photo source: Prometheus Brown)
As the National Film Society reminds us below this graf, October is Filipino American Heritage Month, so I've compiled my favorite tracks on Spotify by great Filipino American artists like DJ QBert, Prometheus Brown, a.k.a. Geo, and half-Pinoy soulman Joe Bataan. Also included are some new cuts by L.A. rapper/activist Bambu, whose latest album .​.​.​ one rifle per family. dropped earlier this month.

Bambu's best track, the Jackson 5-sampling "Misused" from 2008's … exact change…, is addressed to his son (who was two years old at the time Bambu was interviewed here), and it boldly decries the Catholic Church--the church of choice for most Filipinos who weren't born here in America--for its Eurocentricism. He teamed up with the Seattle-based Geo to form The Bar in last year's outstanding Prometheus Brown & Bambu Walk Into a Bar. So many conscious rappers tend to be humorless, which can be a chore to listen to, but the pairing of Bambu and Geo proves not all of them are humorless, especially during "Rashida Jones," The Bar's ode to the lovely Parks and Rec star and now Celeste and Jesse Forever screenwriter.

The Pixies' "Vamos" is full of delightfully batshit crazy guitar work by Joey Santiago. On the instrumental side, I wish Spotify contained "The Role Traversal" by the now-defunct post-rock band From Monument to Masses. I'd love to use "The Role Traversal" at the end of a film if I ever direct one someday. In that track's place is From Monument to Masses' Noam Chomsky-sampling "Sharpshooter."

I'm not a fan of Bruno Mars or the power ballad sound that he and other Pinoy performers like current Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda and several female American Idol contestants are known for, but Mars' new single "Locked Out of Heaven" doesn't sound too bad and appears to be a slight shift from the power ballad sound. Also, I'm glad that this week, the half-Pinoy writer of Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You" will be the first Pinoy guest host in SNL history (interestingly, this will take place a week after SNL performed yet another cringeworthy sketch that brings to light a problem that's plagued this show long before I started watching it in the late '80s: the lack of diversity in the cast, even though this iPhone 5 sketch, in which mistreated and snarky Chinese Foxconn laborers were played by non-Chinese actors, sided with the Chinese characters instead of making them the butt of the joke). Mars' SNL milestone happens to occur during Filipino American Heritage Month, which is funny because we Filipinos aren't usually known for our impeccable timing.

Complete tracklist after the jump...

Young, Gifted & Brown: A Filipino American Heritage Month Playlist
1. Joe Bataan, "Young, Gifted & Brown"
2. DJ QBert, "Hawaii Scratch Training Session"
3. The Bar, "Lookin Up"
4. Joe Bataan, "Subway Joe"
5. The Skyflakes, "Bad Thoughts"
6. The Martinis, "Free"
7. Pidgeon, "California (Is for Fuckers)"
8. Bambu with Dumbfoundead, Drunken Tiger JK, Ruby Ibarra, Gloc-9 & Omar Offendum, "Golden Era Shower"
9. Triple Threat, "Morning Showers"
10. Bruno Mars, "Locked Out of Heaven"
11. Bambu, "Like Us"
12. Blue Scholars, "Opening Salvo"
13. Joe Bataan, "Keep the Change"
14. Bambu with Rocky Rivera, "Rent Money"
15. Rocky Rivera, "Complex"
16. The Bar, "National Treasure"
17. The Bar, "Rashida Jones"
18. Blue Scholars, "Yuri Kochiyama"
19. The Skyflakes, "Dear Kawashima"
20. Pixies, "Vamos"
21. Invisibl Skratch Piklz, "Invasion of the Octopus People"
22. Roscoe Umali and DJ QBert, "Nigritos"
23. Blue Scholars, "Lalo Schifrin"
24. Native Guns, "Hammer"
25. The Pacifics featuring Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples, "Talk Is Cheap"
26. Blue Scholars, "Southside Revival"
27. Bambu, "Misused"
28. From Monument to Masses, "Sharpshooter"
29. Power Struggle, "Inspired by Dream"
30. Blue Scholars, "No Rest for the Weary"
31. The CounterParts featuring Native Guns, "Guns of Cali"
32. Joe Bataan, "Under the Street Lamp"
33. Blue Scholars, "Chief Sealth"

Is it QBert or Q-Bert or Q*Bert or Q Bert? I don't have time for hyphens or asterisks, so QBert it'll be.
DJ QBert by Deborah Enrile Lao (Photo source: Colorlines)

No comments:

Post a Comment