You know how they say “you gotta look back to the past to find where you are in the present?” Okay, I made that shit up. But I’m sure there’s a saying like that out there. Anyway, earlier this afternoon, I thought about sharing the stories of how I came to know and love the musicians I’m a fan of. Like the first time I heard them, the first time I saw them live, etc.
Since I’ve been working with her for her album documentation, I might as well start with one Therese “Reese” Lansangan. This is “My Reese L Story,” if you will.
I attended last year’s Fete dela Musique Acoustic Stage at ASpace Makati to watch the acoustic acts and be inspired by them. At that point in my life, I was an aspiring singer/songwriter. What better way to be inspired to pursue your dreams than to watch these talented troubadours, right? I barely knew who the acts were that time, but two of the ones I was really looking forward to was TheSunManager, who performed second, and the stage closer Johnoy Danao. The others were gonna be a surprise to me.
Somewhere along the middle of the two was an acoustic duo who I’ve never heard of: Reese and Vica. They came up in front and I immediately noticed Reese because she was wearing a tie-dye concoction that I couldn’t comprehend. Her hair was bright pink and she had a bright orange baseball cap that, befitting of her personality, she wore backwards. It was like a rainbow crashed down on her.
Reese and Vica. God, they were fucking good. Their voices blended like chocolate and milkshake. Their careful fingerpicking on their respective guitars, Reese with a Taylor with a silver sparkly pickguard and Vica with a sunburst Takamine dread with a cutaway, sounded like angels plucking a harp.
Both voices appealed to me, but my ears slanted towards Reese’s more. It had that perfect mix of sweet and rasp that’s hard to pull off. Yet she did. I ended up staring at her whenever she was in my line of sight because I was trying to decipher what she was. Mostly I was trying to figure out what I was looking at. She caught me one time and I froze for a sec then looked away. It was embarrassing.
On a perhaps unrelated note: she has a song entitled “Creeper.” Look out for it when her album comes out this December. I’ve heard it in the studio and HOLY SHITBALLS ANG GANDA.
I followed the two on their Twitter accounts and other social media sites after that day. I liked their fanpage, as well as Reese’s individual one. I eventually unfollowed Reese on Twitter because I was in one of my strange (i.e. darker) moods where I wanted to unfollow every single people in the whole fucking world. Sorta. I don’t know why, but there was a time when her tweets bugged the hell out of me. I guess it was her personality that annoyed me? Ya know, the positive whimsical unicorn that has a fixed smile on her face. That was an odd time for me, I admit. General positivity annoyed me.
I don’t remember why I followed her on Twitter again, but I did. Perhaps it was when I was in a better mood? Can’t really remember. But I’m glad I did. I checked out her YouTube videos and her Soundcloud again. I listened to her songs and I was in love with what I was hearing. Now, “happy” songs aren’t my cup of tea. I tend to stay away from upbeat songs. I like my music sad and depressing because…it matches my personality better? Bottom line is: I’m much more into sad bastard music than anything. But her music…God, her music was something else. She had less upbeat tracks, but even the happy ones, especially the happy ones, I was drawn to. Even those, I ended up repeating over and over again. Her music became my respite from my everyday dreary state. Whenever I feel the world pouring down on me again, I’d just listen to her insanely catchy songs. And I’d be a bit fine. Which…which is everything.
Months later, the music prod I was part of before got her to play at Luna Coffee. I was excited when I found out. It was the first time I was going to hear her solo live. She was playing her own songs, plus a cover of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off (which was miles better than the original.) And…I was enamored. Even with the happy songs. Especially with the happy songs. That mix of sweet and rasp in her voice that drew me in months before was in all its glory. She wasn’t looking as flashy as when I first saw her (she was wearing a Punkish Wednesday Addams-type dress) but it was undeniably Reesey. Still had that pink hair, too. I was also introduced to her that night. Didn’t really say much to her because my heart was racing too fast (coffee + kilig) and I was too embarrassed in case I stutter. I was such a huge fan of hers and I was in front of her. Man, that was a memorable night.
I’ve wanted to catch her gigs, but distance was a cruel mistress. The ones that were logistically fair, I was busy. Or was low on cash. We’d cross paths at Luna Coffee sometimes, but she was merely a passerby so I sorely missed her live music.
I followed her upwards career trajectory and couldn’t be more happy and proud to be a fan. She was playing more gigs, getting more exposure. She did a Ted Talk, for Chrissakes! That’s huge, right?
After I saw her perform live at Luna late last year, I got to catch a gig or two of hers. Well, two, really. At this year’s Fete Dela Musique Acoustic Stage at ASpace (the scene of the crime,) and at a restaurant/café/whatever at BGC. She was amazing in both gigs, of course. Never a disappointment, even if she did forget a line or a chord. She’d use her undeniable charm to make it work, to make everyone forget that the mistakes ever happened.
And then something happened. Something – an announcement – that everyone was waiting for. #Reese1stAlbum. In preparation for that, she sent out a call to arms to her listeners. She posted on her social media accounts that she’s “fansourcing” the production of her album. She needed interns for the whole process. Documentation, album packaging, logistics, you name it. If it involves her debut album, her fans will be involved. Except for the actual studio recording, of course! That goes to the uber talented peoples at Pointbee Multimedia.
Anyway, I applied as a documentations intern, a job that entails covering her gigs, recording process, behind the scene stuffs (STUFFS!)I wanted to help and support Reese in whatever way that I can. I’m shooting her gigs when I can anyway so I might as well put my fanship to good use. And I got in! It didn’t hurt my chances that I was active in covering the indie scene. It was a plus, I think.
Since being an intern (still sounds weird, considering my age,) I’ve covered one gig of hers (Tagaytay Art Beat) and two recording sessions. The first recording session, I’ve already talked about on a previous blog entry. The second one happened two days ago, September 27. Both experiences were educational. The whole internship thing, actually, is educational. It’s good for me.
I get to push myself more in terms of photography. I mean, yeah, getting to shoot a lot in my beginner stage is a reward in itself, but I get to be out of my comfort zone by shooting/post processing in color. I’m still not satisfied with my colored photos, but I’m getting there. I think. COLOR JUST ISNT FOR ME HUHUHUHELP
Anywhooooo…lots of things to be excited about. Lots of things to look forward to. Reese’s debut album, first and foremost. More coverage. More live gigs that, hopefully, I’ll get to watch.
It’s a good year to be a Batang Lansangan. <— shoutout to the two Reese fans/listeners who coined that incredible term.