Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Calvin Jalandoni: Self Titled Full Length

In 2011 Calvin Jalandoni started playing shows by himself. He recorded a demo and released it on bandcamp. He played shows sparingly lecturing people on mitosis, atoms, and biology. His ideas were usually lost on the crowd. His shows were always a little disjointed, a little awkward, and a little inspiring. Three years later he recorded and released his first full length album on hand-made cd's with instructions on how to meditate while listening to it. With a shifted and more directed focus, this feels like the first real representation of what he is shooting for. When he handed me a copy, he told me to listen to this by myself, in the dark, with headphones on. Listen to the whole thing all the way through. Don't give up, he said. It's an album. It's a piece of art. It's an experience. There are only four real songs on this which range from 5:00 - 10:00 minutes while the other seven songs, each at the 35 second mark, represent different chakras with instructions on how to meditate to them and the way to reach full enlightenment. The first standout moment on the album is where Calvin screams "If I die before I wake / I pray the lord my soul to take." I remember listening to this for the first time in Garrett La Bonte's living room, and literally sitting up and saying,"holy shit. Calvin did it. He wrote an album." Yet, I think Calvin is best when he is quieter like on the beginning of Early Morning. But it's his undeniable ability to shred on the guitar that usually stuns people during live shows. He ends the last song Final Flowering, by telling people "don't go on behaving like a machine / that's how people keep functioning / destroy the structures of politicians and greed" before repeating "love yourself." I think at it's very core, these are punk ideas. Ideas we've all heard before, but I promise that this is the most interesting way they've ever been presented. This is unique. No one else is doing what Calvin is doing. He has no contemporaries. But at the end of the day he gets it. "Love is the final flowering. You can not perfect it." That's it. That's all there is to it. 

Email Calvin for a copy of the cd. You want the physical release. Trust me. It ties the whole thing together in a way that listening to it on the internet can't. calvinjmusic(at)gmail(dot)com. 

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