Daily Archives: September 7, 2010

On music and an eclectic band called Up Dharma Down

 I am not a musician, nor a music enthusiast. My collective knowledge on music is not extensive. I listen to music mostly on what my friends recommend, what movies play (if they’re really good), or whatever I hear on the radio (impossibly MY radio, I have no radio. It must be the local transportations’ radio, loud stereos on the streets, or somebody’s iPod playing on subwoofers that fit the ears.)

Gratitude to my friends who have contributed in widening my interest for music. My playlist had grown from 10MB to 10GB of music. My former 16GB iPod, which I sold at a whim, was never enough to contain all of it. Of all the bands, solo artists, and instrumentalists, mainstream and indie, that squats in my music folder, I have to say Up Dharma Down will have to be the most played band in my playlist.

*from the Up Dharma Down website*
Armi, Carlos, Paul, Ean

Although I am still not really that INTO music, when my friend gave me a downloaded copy of Fragmented by Up Dharma Down way way back, I instantly fell in love with music that, in my opinion, so original, and so dynamic. I used one word to describe their music — eclectic.



Up Dharma Down speaks to the soul. It is music fitting to the eccentric, to the idiosyncratic. I always mention that Up Dharma Down is very eclectic. They are indulgent. They are nonconformist. The way they play music in such a bipolar manner creates this curdle in the gut that aches for more and wishes it never ends. Their lyrics are poetry of heaven and hell fused in a melodic mixture of love and hate, fulfillment and regret. It is not pretentious but blooms from the heart that speaks also to the heart. Up Dharma Down, a band that cannot even call a genre for their craft, is the kind of music I would be so enthusiastic about, I thought. Every new song is a new experience to look forward to, and every old song is a beautiful memory to look back to. I may not be a music junkie, but definitely an Up Dharma Down junkie this time. I even go to gigs! HAHA which I never did to any other bands. They are not for the normal listener. It asks to be understood behind all the enigma.

Up Dharma Down’s Hexagon Lounge gig | 08.27.2010


Not to mention that Ms. Armi Millare, the band’s vocalist and keyboardist is such a sweetheart on stage that can sing killer vocals. One friend of mine  called her divine, and I cannot exact any other word than that also. She’s free spirited, outright smart, and just completely charming.

Credit to www.updharmadown.com for the last three pictures


I am surprised that I heard Up Dharma Down’s newest single on TV along with GMA’s newest fantaserye. I seldom watch TV nowadays, and only had nakaw-tingin on the boob tube whenever I catch a meal on the family dining table. Anyway, it is very unlikely for indie music to enter this kind of mainstream entertainment, and I’m not surprised that people began digging Up Dharma Down for more. Of course, it’s Up Dharma Down, it gotta be good!

On all these success (along with a number of awards that they won already,) I think Up Dharma Down had hit mainstream already. But what is commendable of the band is they did not bend their genre just for the sake of going mainstream. The UDD touch is always there, and they are still that good soulful indie music that you heard way back years ago. It’s a very rare quality now, in my very subjective opinion, to resist the urge, the opportunity, the tendency to go mainstream. But in the case of Up Dharma Down, they have never veered away from what they do — they are indie that had gone mainstream but stayed indie all along.

Still music, despite profit and fame, is an act of expressing and of not impressing.

 The beautiful Armi Millare

Two thumbs up for Up Dharma Down!