Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The Zen of SexBomb's Spaghetti
Dear Friends,
From another newsgroup.
Here is an email from a student of Dr. Tapang. Intro
ni Gani:

"Who says physics majors cannot be music critics? Here
is an email from one of the students in my laboratory
in UP. Hindi lang music critic,
linguist pa yata. Read on, its fun."

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Spaghetti and Enlightenment
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 14:57:57 +0800

I can die now. My life is complete. I have heard the
latest Sexbomb Girls album in its entirety and now I
have heard everything. My deepest thanks to my mom for
choosing to live in a neighborhood
where the people are so 'giving' they will allow you
to hear their CD collections for free, at 6 in the
morning! Every single day! Oh you don't
understand it do you? To wake up every single day to
the sound of girls who are better off cheerleading
than singing; to hear songs about pasta going up and
down and sideways and what the hell does it all

To hear the words laban and bawi in varying
intensities e.g. la la la la la la labaan!! ba ba ba
ba ba ba baweeee!!! LAAAABAAAAN! BAAAWIIII!
It is an experience you should not miss. It can serve
both as an alarm clock and my ongoing experiment on
the limits of human patience. I recommend it highly.

In the spirit of sharing, I will try-emphasis on try-
to review the first single off the album. Why only the
first single? Well, because I don't feel qualified to
review the whole thing. That job is reserved for a
music critic with a triple masters degree in
philosophy, nuclear physics and forensic psychology.
The album is that, dare I say it,
PROFOUND. Actually, its beyond profound, it's....
it's.... words fail me.

Here goes nothing. The title of the single I assume is
'Spaghetti.' The title alone is pure genius.
Spaghetti as we all know is a favorite
among Pinoys of all ages. The message the title is
trying to send out is: the Sexbomb Girls are not only
for kids but for all ages.

The song starts with a sound straight from a kiddie
carousel or those old owner-type jeeps which plays
Muzak while parking or backing up. To
the uninitiated, this may mean a lack of imagination
on the composer's side but alas, the truth is, that
intro is meant to appeal to our
neotenic(?) urges.

In a world filled with stress and anxiety , the intro
lulls us into a trance and brings us back to feelings
of childhood without worries. It hypnotizes us into
shedding our inhibitions; to be innocent and childlike
once more, subliminally preparing us for the wrath of
the killer chorus.

Suddenly, a guy who suspiciously sounds like Joey de
Leon starts counting from 5 to 8. Why the numbers 1 to
4 were left out is anybody's guess. It is one of the
mysteries of this song that may never be unraveled,
rivaling that of JFK's real killer. It could be part
of the Bible code.

This is then followed by the girls themselves
screaming "Makinig kayo!"
Obviously a paean to that very famous Marc Anthony
speech that goes like; "Friends, Romans, Countrymen,
lend me your ears." This is the
girls' way of introducing a bit of Shakespeare to
their unsuspecting public.

There is no stopping the girls now.

Apir tayo (give me five?) (let us appear?)
Sumakit ang ulo ko (my head aches)
Sumakit ang dibdib ko (my chest aches)

Apir tayo
Sumakit ang bewang ko (My waist aches)
Sumakit ang tuhod ko (my knee aches)

The girls are obviously suffering from an existential
kind of pain. It is a pain so deep it transcends both
the physical and the metaphysical
worlds. To give high fives while experiencing a
severe form of arthritis and ulceritis is a metaphor
for the superficiality of everyday living where
outward appearances are more valued; where
everything is based on 'pakikisama' even if inside you
feel like being eaten alive by amoeba. As long as
you're presentable and maintain a good, albeit
hypocritical relationship with everybody, it's okay
even if you are suffering inside. Oh the humanity!

Here goes the chorus:
Spaghetting (still in their Shakespearean mode of
inventing words, the girls decide to make the Italian
word spaghetti a Tagalog one by adding
ING.) pababa pababa ng pababa (going down going down
going down)

Spaghetting pataas pataas ng pataas (going up going up
going up)

This may sound like a tour guide of an elevator but
it isn't. REALLY.

Another metaphor for life’s little vicissitude, the
girls are obviously referring to the circle of life
You dense person you! Whatever goes up
must come down is what they're trying to say. Life is
but a cycle with high highs and low lows. The
spaghetti they re talking about is US! Yes! You and
me! It's about being boiled and cooked and overcooked.
It's about being paired with cheese and hotdogs and
other ingredients that are not supposed to be there.
It's about being eaten! It's about being part of a
society where everything is the same yet different.
It's about being accepted even if you’re too sweet or
too sour or too spicy.
It's about survival. It's about adapting. It's about

Man, these girls and their songs are like the most
complex things to ever come out of the Pinoy music
scene. I've always thought Radiohead is the most
cryptic band there is but now I know I'm wrong. I have
been enlightened.

Listen and you will be, too.

Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.
Research Visitor
Computational Nonlinear and Quantum Optics Group
Department of Physics and Applied Physics, University
of Strathclyde
107 Rottenrow Glasgow United Kingdom

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