Dream Theater Sightings In The Philippines

I’m a big Dream Theater fan and to my disappointment, their albums usually aren’t available locally. There was an exception when I saw Train of Thought years back when I was still struggling with the guitar at the Tower Records branch in Glorietta, and I did not buy which I truly regret right now. My family was at the Fully Booked branch located at Bonifacio High Street the other day and at the top floor, I was surprised! It was sitting on a lonely shelf at the very most corner where band DVDs were on shelf. Behold! Dream Theater’s Score in DVD available locally:

sorry for the flash, I was too excited to remove it and it was awkward if I took a retake

After going around frantically looking for actual CDs, I found two Dream Theater albums, Awake and Scenes from a Memory which are arguably essential Dream Theater albums to have:

again, sorry for the flash! I could only hold an album with a hand but you get the idea as I have proof of their existence

That took me by surprise since I lost all hope of buying these records locally since there isn’t really a strong market for progressive rock in the Philippines. Train of Thought was available, but Octavarium wasn’t carried anymore because I believe the latter didn’t sell well. Well, I’m not surprised because of the nature of Filipinos. Our country is mostly dominated by pop artists and vocalists take the center stage amongst everyone. Moreover, progressive rock is mostly appreciated by musicians only. There are some exceptions to the rule but those are very rare and isolated cases. I remember when I first heard progressive rock from a friend my reaction was “Ano iyan?” (roughly translates to “What’s that?” in English) as Acid Rain by Liquid Tension Experiment was all over the place. Also, instrumentals will easily bore non-musicians after approximately 20 seconds (just a rough estimate and I don’t have any proof to support my claim).

Anyway, I’m glad to see Dream Theater records available locally. Like Tower Records, Fully Booked might stop importing them if sales are low so please buy the original records. What I would like to see next are Rush CDs. If you’ve read through this, most chances are that you are indeed a musician that has trained ears and will easily be able to distinguish between mp3s with low bit-rate and the lossless quality found in them. Support progressive rock in the Philippines! Let the record companies know that there indeed is a market for progressive rock locally.

P.S. I didn’t buy them since I already had bought them years ago.


Window Shopping

After school, I went window shopping for a new bass guitar at Cubao. I didn’t want to travel too far as I was just window shopping anyway and I knew that I won’t find anything that would suite me for both price and sound. There were two major retailers that I was planning to go to, Perfect Pitch and Audiophile that are conveniently located in Ali Mall. To my disappointment, Ali Mall’s renovation was still on-going after months now and had temporarily removed Perfect Pitch. Because of this, Audiophile was the only shop I went to today. The second floor, which housed the guitars and basses, was vacant as usual. More interesting was that every single bass guitar I picked up to examine was literally covered with dust. There were a few basses that could my eye. All of them were Ibanez since that was what the shop carried. I finally was able to sit down and properly examine a 6-string bass for the first time. As an initial impression, the fretboard was way too chunky for me. It was nice playing the bass though since the action was low and tight, but not too much for tapping. And that was it for basses. They didn’t carry that much basses as their inventory’s about to change soon. What I did discover though was they did carry GHS Boomer bass strings. and that they had a branch here around Marikina that does repairs on guitars. I got the address and phone number after a prolonged wait since the guard of the store didn’t have the address and telephone number of the branch. Waiting was fine with me, especially since some of the staff in the shop was listening to Dream Theater.