The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Friday, March 31, 2006

Jessel's Music Collection

(Some More Adventures in Ontario, January 2006)

During my recent vacation in Ontario, last holiday season, I had the privilege to visit the music archives of my friend Jessel Baltazar. Spending hours in the basement of his house, in the city of Mississauga, was not enough to feast on his impressive collection of CDs and vinyl records as well as books and Star Wars action figures.

Jessel was kind enough to give me copies of as many CDs as he could share with me. And believe me, a month would be insufficient to copy everything!

He also lent me a number of books and a handful of DVDs to watch while I was there in the province.

You might be surprised but, yeah, that was our first time to see each other. I’ve known Jessel through a Yahoo group, from common friends who are also deep into Alternative Rock / New Wave music. As I have proven time and again, my love for New Wave music continues to give me good friends. His family—wife, Maan, and daughter, Jaina—was very warm and accommodating as well. They would even pick me up at my relatives' house most of the times I went to their house.

Jessel also took me to a one-man Star Wars show, which was something new to me. He would even have toured me around downtown Toronto but, as always, Time got in the way.


Here is a partial list of the albums Jessel gave me.

The ApartmentsA Life Full of Farewells
Aztec CameraLove
Benny ProfaneDumb Luck Charm + Trap Door Swing
The Big DishSwimmer
Bill Pritchard3 months, 3 weeks, and Two days
Bill PritchardJolie
The Bloody MarysSixteen Hail Marys
The BølshøiGiants and Friends
BradfordShouting Quietly
CamouflageVoice and Images
Cleopatra WongEgg
The ColourfieldVirgins and Philistines
The CoralThe Invisible Invasion
The Desert WolvesPontification

The DylansSpirit Finger
Friends AgainTrapped and Unwrapped
GeneTo See the Lights
The Hollow MenCresta
The Katydíds - The Katydíds
LowlifeFrom a Scream to a Whisper
The LucksmithsWarmer Corners
The Moss PolesOne Summer / Shorn and Other Tracks
The Ocean BlueThe Ocean Blue
The Ocean BlueBeneath the Rhythm and Sound
The Pacific OceanLess than the Needle, More than the Shotgun
RevengeOne True Passion
Senseless ThingsThe First of Too Many
The Spent PoetsThe Spent Poets
Steve Kilbey (of The Church) – Unearthed

Mere staring at Jessel’s collection is definitely enough to make the eyes of an Alternative-music lover turn shiny and round like a pair of vinyl records.

Here, snapshots of only a small percentage of the treasures a music archaeologist can find in Jessel's secret vault (most of the records below are in vinyl format):

Benny Profane / Peter Coyle (of The Lotus Eaters)


The Desert Wolves

Echo & the Bunnymen

The Lotus Eaters

The Pale Fountains


The Smiths

...and more The Smiths!

The Wallflowers (UK)

The Wild Swans

China Crisis / The Lotus Eaters / The Mighty Lemon Drops / The Room

Y Kant Tori Read / Graduate (the first band of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith of Tears for Fears) / Metro Trinity / Skyray (solo project of Paul Simpson of The Wild Swans) / The Moss Poles / Blue in Heaven / The Fun Boy Three

...and our very own, Filipino music: Lokal Brown, 10 of Another Kind, Identity Crisis, The Dawn, NU Rock The Album, Dear Cory, Ethnic Faces, Ocean Zoo, and my childhood favorite Lea Salonga.

Spending time in the basement of Jessel's house was a truly fulfilling experience, especially that, like him, I'm a true fan of Alternative Rock music. I'll certainly go there again the next time I have the chance to return to Ontario.

Despite my considerable knowledge in Alternative Rock and New Wave music, after having had the chance to peek at the vast music collection of my friend Jessel, I realize once again that exploring any genre of music is, indeed, a never-ending journey. Just like Life.

. As I end this article, Mike Scott is crooning on my media player:

I pictured a rainbow
You held it in your hand
I had flashes but
You saw the plan

I wandered out in the world for years
While you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon....


Post a Comment

<< Home