Desperately Speaking

I’ve already talked about my current bass choices in my previous post. But if in case something happened that would cause me to fail to reach my choices, I would have to settle for even lower end choices. It’s always safe to have a back up plan in life even if you’re never gonna use them.

First of all, I would go for a Squier Vintage Modified ’70’s Jazz Bass as my first choice.

I’ve heard great feedback and reviews about this bass. Don’t let the Squier text in the headstock fool you, most owners of this bass have praised it to play even better than MIM Fenders. To add, because of it’s low price point, a lot players are modifying them such as replacing the tuners, bridge and pickups that in the end make it a great bass for value.

Lastly, my final choice would have to be an SX jazz bass. They’re carried by Rondo Music.

According to the populace of Talkbass, SX (or more commonly known in the community be “Essex”) bass guitars are the holy grail of low priced bass guitars. They offer the most value for any instrument out it the market today. Again according to owners, they are almost on par with MIM Fenders with exception to the neck radius and sometimes hardware. Nonetheless, they’re great instruments that are even available locally in the Philippines after contacting a JB Music representative (though I’ll have to wait till September till their shipment arrives). Because of their low price point, I’m even tempted to buy two of these; the other a Precision bass that would offer more tonal variety than one expensive bass.

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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.