WATCH | Gracenote collaboration with Chito Miranda an instant hit

Gracenote and Chito Miranda. (Photo of Chito by Yummie Dingding/InterAksyon)
Once identified with a louder alternative sound that drew comparisons with the American band Paramore, Gracenote has since evolved into a progressive outfit that is more in tune with electro pop rock.

With three successful releases (“Gracenote” EP, “First Movement” and “Transparent”), Gracenote is now considered a staple in the local indie music scene.

Not surprisingly, they were selected as one of the featured artists in the maiden season of “Coke Studio Philippines.” Their collaboration with hip hop superstar Abra, “Stargazer,” as well as their cover of his thought-provoking hit “Ilusyon,” counts as among the most well-received highlights of the series.

Now the band composed of Eunice Jorge on Vocals, Keyboards, Violin, and Guitars, Jazz Jorge on Bass, EJ Pichay on Drums and Tatsi Jamnague on guitars is making beautiful music with another OPM icon. This time, they are partnering with no less than Parokya ni Edgar’s Chito Miranda in the lovely pop ditty, “Bakit Ganyan Ka?”

The engaging bouncy acoustic tune was an instant LSS (last song syndrome) hit with fans. Its video reached 800,000 views in less than 24 hours after its initial release. The song was also the most talked about collaboration online, and has garnered 28,000 shares on Facebook.

“The idea was a combination of the bands’ styles, one which is very sincere, then we thought of further adding a special flavor which was the sound of the rondalla that is not often used in songs today,” Eunice noted.

Now a popular radio hit, the song written by Eunice and arranged by Gracenote, Chito, and the band’s manager, Darwin Hernandez, is also a showcase of Gracenote’s versatility as they refused to be confined to any limiting music genre.

“Bakit Ganyan Ka?” is now available for streaming and download at Spotify. Their latest album “Transparent,” which recently won the “Best Cover Art” at the 30th Annual Awit Awards, is distributed by Warner Music Philippines and is also available on Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music.

Watch the music video of “Bakit Ganyan Ka?” here: https://youtu.be/pbH_fgmWRmA

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time


This image released by Lucasfilm shows Daisy Ridley as Rey in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi.’ The latest Star Wars installment is off to a death star-sized start at the box office. Disney says Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, that eighth installment in the space franchise has earned an estimated $45 million from Thursday night showings. AP

NEW YORK, United States — “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will happily settle for second.

Rian Johnson’s second installment in the third “Star Wars” trilogy rocketed to a debut of $220 million at the North American box office, according to studio estimates Sunday. That gives “The Last Jedi” the second-best opening ever, slotting in behind only its predecessor, “The Force Awakens.”

The Disney blockbuster became just the fourth film to open above $200 million domestically. Aside from “The Force Awakens” ($248.8 million), the others are “The Avengers” ($207.4 million) and “Jurassic World” ($208.8 million). Accounting for inflation, the debut of 2012’s “The Avengers” would roughly tie with “The Last Jedi.”

“The Last Jedi” is off to a similar start overseas, too, with $230 million in international ticket sales, said Disney. That brings its three-day global haul to $450 million.

The opening also gave the Walt Disney Co. the opportunity to flex its muscles on the heels of the deal announced Thursday for it to purchase 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion. As part of the deal, Disney will take control of 20th Century Fox, one of Hollywood’s six major studios.

“The weekend that we’re in is a byproduct of the foresight and vision from our CEO Bob Iger to bring Lucasfilm into the fold,” said Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis, alluding to Disney’s 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm. “So as we think about the possibility of other things being added, you can’t help but be excited about the possibilities.”

Fox, as it happens, was the only studio to open another new wide-release film against “The Last Jedi.” Its family film, “Ferdinand,” was essentially stampeded by “The Last Jedi,” grossing $13.3 million. “Ferdinand” and other upcoming holiday season releases will look for more room in the coming weeks, once the “Star Wars” tsunami has waned.

While Abrams’ reboot capitalized on a decade’s hiatus for “Star Wars,” Johnson’s sequel didn’t have the same benefit of freshness. It follows not only “The Force Awakens” (which ultimately grossed $2.1 billion) but last year’s spinoff, “Rogue One.” That release opened with $155.1 million, and grossed in total little more than $1 billion globally.

Johnson, who wrote and directed, instead aimed to distinguish “The Last Jedi” by introducing some new tones to George Lucas’ space opera. “The Last Jedi” is more irreverent than previous chapters. And it has drawn plaudits for its diverse cast, including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.

“The results speak to the power of representation,” said Hollis. “The film really reflects our world and beyond. It becomes something people can see themselves in, whether they see themselves in Rey or Finn or Poe or Rose or Captain Phasma. They can relate to all those characters.”

Johnson’s approach has seemed to work. Critics gave Johnson’s film a 93 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences endorsed it, too, with an A CinemaScore, though not all fans are on board with Johnson’s innovations. As of Sunday, “The Last Jedi” has scored a dismal 56 percent rating from some 95,000 Rotten Tomato users.

Yet the haul for “The Last Jedi” dwarfed most all releases in the two years since “The Force Awakens.” By comparison, it has in three days already bested the five-week gross of Warner Bros.’ “Justice League” ($219.5 million).

“Seeing a movie like this in the movie theater, getting the collective goose bumps and having the OMG-moments, that’s something you cannot replicate at home on the small screen,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. “Rian Johnson has made a movie that showcases the movie theater experience in a truly brilliant way.”

Signaling its faith in Johnson’s course for “Star Wars,” Lucasfilm earlier announced that Johnson will develop the next trilogy for the franchise, the first of which he’ll write and direct. Abrams is set to return to direct Episode IX after he was brought in to replace Colin Trevorrow. A separate spinoff centered on a young Han Solo is due out next summer.

The massive debut for “The Last Jedi” singlehandedly brightens what has been a disappointing year for Hollywood. The weekend was far and away the highest grossing of the year. According to comScore, the industry was down about 3.9 percent from last year before this weekend. Now it’s 2.9 percent off the 2016 pace. Dergarabedian estimates the year will end about 2 percent down with a little over $11 billion in ticket sales.

“The Last Jedi” may be playing the role of savior at the box office, but the news isn’t all rosy for exhibitors. Given the demand, Disney put more onerous demands on some theater owners for “The Last Jedi,” including a higher percentage — 65 percent — of ticket sales. And Disney’s acquisition of Fox is seen by analysts as a bid, in part, to strengthen the studio’s in-development streaming platform, set to debut in 2019.

Disney and Fox combined for five of the top 10 movies on the weekend and together accounted for approximately 90 percent of ticket sales.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday. /cbb

“The Last Jedi,” $220 million ($230 million international).
“Ferdinand,” $13.3 million ($6.2 million international).
“Coco,” $10 million ($27.4 million international).
“Wonder,” $5.4 million ($9.4 million international).
“Justice League,” $4.2 million ($5.3 million international).
“Daddy’s Home 2,” $3.8 million ($5.8 million international).
“Thor: Ragnarok,” $3 million ($1.1 million international).
“The Disaster Artist,” $2.6 million.
“Murder on the Orient Express,” $2.5 million ($10.8 million international).
“Lady Bird,” $2.1 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

“The Last Jedi,” $230 million.
“Youth,” $44 million.
“The Thousand Faces of Dunjia,” $27.9 million.
“Coco,” $27.4 million.
“Steel Rain,” $11.6 million.
“Murder on the Orient Express,” $10.8 million.
“Paddington 2,” $9.7 million.
“Wonder,” $9.4 million.
“Ferdinand,” $6.2 million.
“Daddy’s Home 2,” $5.8 million.


Life-size ‘Star Wars’ spaceships unveiled in Manila, Cebu

The spaceship, The Tie Silencer, is the angular fighter of the film’s chief villain, Kylo Ren. The replica will be on display until January 8. Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

MANILA, Philippines — Celebrities like TV hosts RJ Ledesma, Ariella Arida and Daphne Osena-Paez flocked in the unveiling of a life-size “Star Wars” spaceship replica in SM Mall of Asia, in time for the IMAX opening of Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Wednesday night.

The spaceship, The Tie Silencer, is the angular fighter of the film’s chief villain, Kylo Ren. The replica will be on display until January 8.


During the unveiling, Storm Troopers, Jedi and Rebel Pilots from the 501st Legion made a special appearance. The legion is an exclusive club of “Star Wars” fans wherein precise measurements for costumes are required to acquire membership.

Another realistic spaceship copy from the movie, The X-Wing, has been unraveled in SM Seaside City Cebu last December 1. The X-Wing is the Rebel Alliance’s Starfighter designed for long missions and intense battles. The life-size installation will be on display until January 21.

To enhance the “Star Wars” experience, the film’s last episode has been digitally re-mastered in IMAX, which boasts of vivid three-dimensional colors and effects. A mobile application, which can be downloaded for free from Android Google Play, can be used for online booking.  

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman. J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin are the executive producers. It is now showing in Philippine cinemas and is distributed by the Walt Disney Company (Philippines).

Entertainment ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.

Ariella Arida with Storm Troopers and Kylo Ren of the 501st Legion, with the The Tie Silencer spaceship at the background. Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo
Daphne and her daughters with Storm Troopers and Kylo Ren of the 501st Legion. Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo
The Jedis, Kylo Ren, and Storm Troopers of the 501st Legion. Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo
Kylo Ren and First Order members in front of the unveiled Tie Silencer fighter. Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo
501st Legion members in front of the unveiled Tie Silencer fighter. Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo
Jedi costumes and memorabilia were also on display. Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo
Life-size Tie SIlencer replica.  Philstar.com/Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo


Artists honor first responders to Las Vegas mass shooting

LAS VEGAS -- Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz graced the opening of the Art & Photo Exhibit on November 5, at the Asian Culture Alliance in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event was organized by The International Artist Group of Nevada (TIAGON), honoring the first responders to the October 1, deadly mass shooting incident in Las Vegas.

The Art & Photo Exhibit was spearheaded by Filipino-American Photographer Robert Torres of TIAGON and featured the works of artists/photographers Ben Torres, Nikon Torres, Christine Small, Bill Bon, Antonio Tanada, Bones Reyes, and Cesar Angeles.

The Asian Culture Alliance serves as a central location for social interaction of members who take advantage of the wide range of educational classes, as well as, social events, activities and services provided by ACA at no cost to participants. In addition to these events, ACA reaches out to the general public to share Asian culture by organizing and sponsoring various shows and festivals.

Screen Shot 2017 12 10 at 3.04.55 AM

12 Days of Christmas bring the Filipino touch to homes around the world through Christmas carols

World-class Kapamilya artists (L-R) Nyoy Volante, Erik Santos, Jona, Yeng Constantino, Klarisse, Jed Madela, and Jason Dy will serenade Kapamilya in the U.S. and Canada, the U.K., Australia, and Manila with Christmas songs. 
DALY CITY --- TFC, the world’s largest and leading Filipino news and entertainment brand, and Remitlythe easy, fast, and affordable way to send money to the Philippines from a computer or mobile device, have partnered to bring Filipinos all over the world the first-ever digital Christmas caroling experience, Namamasko Po! The Kapamilya Christmas Carols. The project will bring the Filipino Christmas spirit to Kapamilyas around the world.
“I came to realize that in countries like the U.S., you get more trick-or-treaters than you get Christmas carolers,” said Head of Global Events Ricky Resurreccion, a migrant who haslived away from the Philippines for many years. He adds:Mas maraming nananakot, kaysa sa nangangarolling.” (There are more people trying to scare you, than those bringing good cheer through caroling). Anecdotal to some but true for most,there is a sentimental longing for celebrating Christmas the way it is done in the homeland, especially given thatthe Philippines is famous for having the world’s longest Christmas season.
“Namamasko Po!” is an online live event that brings the viewer 12 days of happy, hopeful, and comforting sounds of a true “Paskong Pinoy” (Filipino Christmas) to celebrate the holiday the Filipino way while they’re thousands of miles away from home. Various Kapamilya artists like Erik Santos, Jed Madela, Jona, Jason Dy, Klarisse, Nyoy Volante, Yeng Constantino, and more will brighten the holidays for Filipinos in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and the Philippines.  
Remitly Senior Marketing Manager Katrina Tioseco shares that many Remitly customers who moved away from the Philippines claim that “Iba pa rin ang Pasko sa Pinas,” (Christmas in the Philippines is incomparable). This project seeks to bring the Filipino Christmas spirit to them that they have missed so much. 

Tioseco explains that “Namamasko Po!” hopes to fill in that gap.  By supporting the creation of the first-ever digital Christmas caroling experience, we hope to spread more of the holiday cheer and deliver some of that uniquely Pinoy Christmas spirit wherever they are in the world.

Launching December 1, “Namamasko Po!” will feature a Kapamilya artist each day for twelve days to sing and greet viewers live, with pre-selected Christmas songs. Recording live from Manila, the broadcast will be available to viewers on TFC Onlinein the U.S., Canada, U.K., andAustralia attheir respective time zones and on Facebook Live on the Kapamilya TFC Facebook account
TFC and Remitly are excited to have the project spread Pinoy holiday cheer.Resurreccion points out how technologycan really be an enabler, especially this season.  Hesaid, It’s cool that technology has come a long way where something as personal and real-time like Christmas caroling can be experienced in a unique but familiar way. It is truly going to be a wonderful treat for global Filipinos.”  
Tioseco noteshow “Namamasko Po!” can inspire the community to come together: This is a truly innovative collaboration with TFC, where we see both teams pushing boundaries in terms of delivering engaging, celebrity-packed content that's designed to reach as many overseas Filipinos as possible, online. We hope they enjoy the songs and Christmas carols by their favorite artists, and invite them to join the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who enjoy great exchange rates when they send money home with Remitly.
True to the season of giving and sharing, “Namamasko Po!” is free.  Spread the word and share the Christmas spirit. “Namamasko Po! The Kapamilya Christmas Carols” can be seen from December 1-12 on TFC.tv/NamamaskoPo and on Facebook.com/KapamilyaTFC. All subscriber levels of TFC.tv will have access to view the live broadcast as well. 

Ed Sheeran rules Spotify in 2017

SPOTIFY'S NUMBER 1. Ed Sheeran performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2017 presented by Capital One at The Forum on December 1, 2017 in Inglewood, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP

NEW YORK CITY, USA – English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran dominated Spotify in 2017, with his latest album Divide played 3.1 billion times worldwide, the leading streaming service said Tuesday, December 5.

The ginger-haired pop guitarist was streamed more than any other artist in the year so far – not a surprise, considering his song Shape of You, the fourth track on Divide, reigns as Spotify's most streamed song ever.

Despite Sheeran's triumph, the Swedish-based streaming service said the larger trends of 2017 included hip-hop, with streams growing 74% over an already large base in 2016.

Hip-hop star Drake came in second on Spotify in 2017 and rapper Kendrick Lamar was fourth, with R&B singer The Weeknd, a protege of Drake, placing third.

Latin music also saw major gains, with streams more than doubling on the back of viral Spanish-language hits – most notably the worldwide sensation Despacito.

Rihanna was the most streamed woman on Spotify for the third year in a row, despite her lack of major releases in 2017.

Sheeran, 26, has seized on the rapid growth of streaming during his rise to pop fame.

His success on Spotify, however, did not help him at the Grammys, with Sheeran shut out of major categories announced last week – a surprise to many watchers of the music industry's top prizes. – Rappler.com

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