Sunday, July 13, 2008

How the Other Half Lives

As of last night, unfortunately, we found that my brother wasn't able to take the Sony VAIO model spot. I'm not sure if we're allowed to reveal the winners yet, but I think it'll suffice to say that the winner for the blue line seemed like a very enthusiastic person. I'm sure that he'll do wonders for the product line.

On the other hand, I did end up more than a little disappointed last night. This was because Sony decided to hold a three-hour performance in order to wrap up the promotion. As a result, my tiny conservative family got to attend a closed event area down at the local promenade, along with what were presumably the families of the other contest finalists. The result was what seemed to be an indifferently-organized nightclub fete / fashion show that started late and left us wondering exactly what the point to the whole thing was.

Our evening started at about a quarter to seven, because the invite had told us that the event was starting at seven. When the hour came and went, the seats were only half-filled and we figured that maybe we were waiting for the other guests to arrive. Twenty minutes later, they began serving the hors d'oeuvres. Thirty minutes later, we had all received full helpings and they were reduced to playing and replaying an on-screen video sequence. The fact that a loud obnoxious voice kept announcing the various colors of the VAIO line -- five times in total! -- did not help much.

Finally, at about 8:20, Sony kicked off the event with a song. "And I'm Telling You (I'm Not Going)" is a fair favorite, and last night it was sung by a artist in a gold-colored dress. After a while, I began thinking that the event was going to be enjoyable after all. Then she started belting out a disco version of the song, which appalled me because -- the last time I checked -- its lyrics evoked tragedy and rejection. For the next ten minutes, all I could do was stare.

Then we were treated to some light banter from the show's hosts (Igi and Francesca from Monster Radio 93.1), a very brief speech from the head of Sony Philippines (who instantly became one of my favorite people), and a catwalk-type march from each of the twenty-four finalists (who included Camy Francisco, an artist/blogger acquaintance from way back). Mentally, I found myself taking a few bets on who was likely to make it.

Then Sandwich came on, and for me, the rock band represented every single thing that I felt about the evening. I'm not a fan of indie rock, much less punk rock or whatever people call it nowadays -- so their three songs didn't strike me as a good experience. The fact that their music had little in the way of actual melody, that the performance was loud enough to strike us deaf for the next hour, that at one point their lead singer threw an arrogant obscenity at the audience -- well, all I can say is that I'm not a fan. They have their own definition of music, I have mine, and the two of them just didn't intersect.

Looking out at the audience last night, though -- about half of whom I expect were parents and older businessmen -- I wondered exactly who planned the event, and what made them think it was a good idea to bring up new wave music. Maybe it's a normal occurrence for the f-word to get bandied around indie performances, but this didn't strike me as an appropriate venue. (Of course, Sandwich and their contemporaries would probably hardly care about this, but hey, it's just an opinion.)

The awarding ceremonies came immediately afterwards (shortly after another very brief speech from another Sony senior manager -- did I mention that these were some of my favorite people?), and with the main event done, Igi and Francesca closed off the night. I was so relieved afterwards that I offered to put up the family for dinner at a nearby restaurant, where we spent our time convalescing from the event.

I suppose that this is why I don't spend my time at nightclubs, much less in the company of alternative music. While I can probably imagine exactly how crowds of other interests can gather and congregate at venues like these, I just happen to be a quiet, sedate man who writes. And works technology. And plays games.

I'm thankful for the evening, though, despite the fact that I didn't have much of a good time. Sometimes it's useful to head outside your own comfort zones and see what the rest of the world is like, I think... even if it does involve iced tea, disco music and shouted obscenities.

That said, I was still deaf for at least an hour into dinner. You'll have to speak up a bit if you want to leave any comments. :)


Dominique said...

Did you meet any babes?




Anonymous said...

You mean, you didn't get to hobnob with screaming groupies, nubile young starlets and famous celebrities? :P

BTW, we have the same opinion of Sandwich. >:)

jeff reiji said...

This entry made me laugh and sad both at the same time.

I'm sad regarding the event itself. Seeing it as an event organizer, I can't say that the event was done horribly given that they must've been expecting the crowd to be young and edgy. What I can't forgive them though is the time they started. Normally, when I do corporate events, I make sure that it starts on time (to be late 30 minutes is a mortal sin for me) and everyone's expectation is set properly like telling the guest who will perform and what kind of fiasco or circus they will be into. I've done teasers and invitations for events. I can tell everything in a paragraph or two. Also, I'm very meticulous about the music being played. Whenever I do events, there's always a "quality control" of musicians/performers have to go through -- me.

I'm not into local rock music genre though but I like Sandwich (the band). Haven't seen them perform live for a long time (I saw them once or twice back when their lead singer was Marc Abaya. He's good and not into profanities).

The thought of you and rock musicians made me smile. I can only imagine you sit in front of a Kamikazee performance (which is fun for me because their lead singer bashes people like a Western late night show host) and see your reaction.

Sean said...

Dominique: Unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to talk to anyone at all. On top of that, I usually go for the intellectual stimulation, so it would have taken me a while to get to know anyone.

But yes, there were quite a few cute girls there. To a certain extent, this was the modelling crowd, after all. :)

Ida: No, my brother's over there. I hobnob with dishevelled gamers, argumentative intellectuals, and scatterbrained writers. :)

Reiji: Having read through some of your posts, I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't have let an event get away from you like this. Too bad you weren't around that night.

And, well, I'm perfectly okay with rock and profanity in general. It's the "freedom of expression" bit and all. What got me about the performance, though, was that it felt as if the band was trying to "get through" to a senior audience in a very twisted manner; and the result was painful to watch. (My mother, among others, thought that they were cussing at her, and felt greatly offended. I confess that I was amused at that.)

Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I'm bummed your brother didn't win, and I'm sorry you and your family had to endure a night of deafening, bad music. Like Jeff Reiji, I liked Sandwich back when Marc Abaya was still frontman, just as I preferred Rivermaya before Rico Blanco took over from Bamboo. I don't think screaming is an acceptable substitute for singing, and I don't like having the f-bomb hurled at me for no good reason either. Maybe it's just as well Kevin didn't win, or you'd be forced to attend more of these types of events. Your poor eardrums. :)

Sean said...

Ailee: Well, I won't begrudge those people who do think that such enthusiasm is a valid part of music (i.e. "those who think that screaming is an acceptable substitute for singing"). It's their band, I suppose, and it's their call. I'm just saying that I'm not a fan, and that my main quibble lies with the organizers who assumed that the audience would gravitate towards this sort of music. I assume that it has its own adherents, I suppose -- I'm just not a fan.

Anonymous said...

Oh right. :P No wonder we get along (er, we get along, right?). Scatterbrained writer, right here! :P

Sean said...

Ida: I must point out that in our case, "scatterbrained" is a compliment. :)