by George Evan Dungca
On April 30th, Satchmi will be holding their annual Vinyl Day at the UP Town Center. And on that day, when the old souls of Manila meet with the rising acts of the local music scene, you will fall in love. Here’s how:
You’ll be rummaging through one of the bins looking for something by The National or Bright Eyes when it happens. You’ll also be trying keep an eye out for Taylor Swift’s 1989 and hope that none of your friends catch you. But in this scorching summer heat, you won’t be able to help but stop for a minute, look up, and wipe off some of the sweat from your forehead. That’s when you’ll lock eyes for the first time. The guy in plaid would be on the other side going through the stacks of worn-out sleeves. He’ll be holding a copy of Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoise which would probably make you start planning your wedding in your head.
But before you could muster up the courage to talk to him or even smile back, your friends would drag you into one of Satchmi’s listening booths. Someone will play Passion Pit’s “Carried Away” on the Motorino and everyone in the booth would start dancing. And as much as you love banging your head to Michael Angelakos’ eccentric voice, you won’t be able to help but wish you were having a Jesse and Celine moment with the guy in plaid instead.
You and your friends will then try to cool off with some of the drinks just as the live music finally starts. Jensen and the Flips will be playing in the background as you make your way to the booths. You will keep an eye out for the guy in plaid but end up with nothing. You’ll resign and sit by the steps as Reese Lansangan starts to play a cover of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek.” The looping machine would complement her hauntingly beautiful voice allowing it to resonate throughout UP Town Center’s entire amphitheater.
It would be as if the universe conspired with you when you see each other again near the stage later on in the day. The sky would be a vibrant mix of orange and purple when you see him at the front of the stage. You’ll catch him awkwardly dance along to Moonwlk’s “Your Electric Kiss Is Late Always” and you won’t be able to help but smile. You’ll decide not to ruin his moment and head off to the live art. You’ll marvel at the artists and how they fall in step with the music. You’ll be able to see Curtismith’s verses come to life in every stroke and color on that canvas. And then you’ll see the guy in plaid make his way to you.
But before anything could happen, BP Valenzuela would start setting up and your friends will pull you to the front of the stage. And you’ll let them. In the middle of the set, you’ll try to look for the guy in plaid. You’ll catch him mouthing the lyrics to “Early/Late” and you’re thrown. The night will finally come to a close when the crowd transforms into a moshpit for The Ransom Collective. But the guy in plaid would no longer be in sight. Instead, you dance it off to the band’s infectious rhythm and vulnerable lyrics. And in that moment, underneath the neon spotlight surrounded by the fresh summer air and good music, you’ll tell yourself that everything is alright.
At the end of the day, you’ll go into bed with a smile on your face. You’ll put on the James Blake album you got on sale and let his soothing voice lull you to sleep. And in those few minutes before failing into deep slumber, you’ll realize, you are in love.