Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cueshe: Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?

I really have to buy Pulp's latest issue. Their main story is about the band in the country that is well-loved and much-reviled at the same time: Cueshe. Love or hate them? Sorry Cueshe fans, but I prefer the latter. Enough of these guys and clones already!

Speaking of Cueshe
by Aldus Santos

How I leapt from sharing pepperoni pizza with Cueshe to drinking beers with Raimund Marasigan in the space of five minutes is a long story. Needless to say, the famed singer-producer only had the most gentlemanly things to say about the much-scorned Cebuanos. Sadly, you marvel, warts on a drop-dead beauty are still warts. Shallow, skin-deep imperfections are much more apparent than, say, gargantuan bank accounts. Perhaps Cueshe, sales figures and hate-mail combined, is contemporary pop rock's biggest oxymoron: extremely loved and, well, hated with an almost-murderous passion. Such is the nasty drawback of fame and success. Make no mistakes, though: Cueshe is stone-cold and steadfast. In French, they don't give a rat's ass what you think.

"We decided na dapat piliin na lang namin 'yung mga issue na papatulan namin. Kasi, kung magpapa-apekto kami sa lahat, wala ring k'wenta, 'di ba?" drummer and band leader Mike Manaloto shared. Cueshe has only been around in the Manila mainstream for a little over a year, but, already, their notoriety (can't decide if this is good or bad yet) is as omnipresent as any artistas. There, of course, amidst all the plagiarist witch-hunt Orange and Lemons was being burned at the stakes for allegedly ripping off a tune by The Care was their desperate plea for innocence: no, they didnÍt lift the chorus to Daniel Johns' "The Greatest View," off of Silverchair's orchestrally dazzling Diorama. It was a compositional risk, to say the least, and itÍs one of the various occupational hazards of pop. (Dissonant plagiarists, I maintain, are easier to prosecute.) Singer Jay Justiniani, meanwhile, is being sashayed on television as practically every female teen-star's summer fling. He is rock's informal representative to the wonderful world of showbiz dating, as basketball's is James Yap (it used to be Alvin Patrimonio) and politics' is Mar Roxas or Kiko Pangilinan. "All this attention is a result of me being with Cueshe; I can't be popular by myself," Justiniani mused half-seriously, magnanimous of his good fortune, hinting at a bright future when his bandmates will, perhaps, finally get their five seconds' worth of soundbites on S-Files or some such show. If this is the work of a rock-and-roll spin doctor what can I say?he's doing a damn good job. If this is sheer pop music genius, I'm ready to concede as well.

Intrigue really precedes the band, like a flapping PR flyer that won't settle on a curb or corner. There was, more recently, that libel lawsuit against an actress-singer's session drummer, who was the owner of a snare drum that Mike allegedly dented and failed to replace. There was also that hoopla with Hale, who played alongside the boys at a TV show. Allegedly, Champ Lui-Pio and company, before lunging with their hit single (whatever it was at the time), played a full chorus-bar from Silverchair's "The Greatest View." (I've been a music journalist, okay, writer since 1999, but, I must say, this is the first time I am using the word "allegedly" extensively, like IÍm on the frigging crime beat.) Cueshe was surprised and, truth be told, a little hurt.

To read more and check the rest of Pulp's latest issue, click here.


bimbo said...

it is at the mere mention of cueshe that i rethink and concur with extremist notions of mass genocide, like that of don's, just so we could all have a better, and much saner place to live in.
they're like the stubborn appendix cord we all could really do without, but unfortunately is there for God knows what.
oh well.

bryant said...


bimbo said...

have you read their profile in wikipedia? the opening paragraph is so tearjerky it just might win detractors over, perhaps even mel changco. no surprise if one day they will be feature in mmk.
laughtrip alert! hehe

bryant said...

"Long before Cueshé came into the limelight were years of struggle and hard work. Like the time back in their hometown of Cebu when they had to compromise their music for gigs. Or the trying times when Jay figured in an accident. To make ends meet, Mike sold cigarettes, Fritz drove a passenger jeepney with Jovan as his assistant. Or the moment they left Cebu and set foot in Manila, living together in a small apartment thriving on canned goods and noodles. Add the skeptics and detractors who called them a "one hit wonder, a "phony" and mere sell-out.

However, like the simple banana cue which served as their constant snack companion during their moments of trials, life became sweeter for the band as they remain unmoved and fully concentrated on their music."
- Cueshe, Wikipedia

Eh, nice story line! Isn't it Bimbo?

bimbo said...


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