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Biography

Dean's December only recorded one album, but their significance to Filipino rock & roll music transcends the quantity of their work. Formed in Manila, Philippines, on Nov. 5, 1985, Dean's December quickly established themselves within Manila's burgeoning underground music scene. Leader Binky Lampano (vocals) was a DJ at Manila's defunct, legendary new wave radio station DWXB, calling himself "Ikabod" and defiantly working without a play list. Not coincidentally, Dean's December resembled some of the artists Lampano played, namely the moody psychedelia of the Church and the atmospheric guitars and sullen keyboards of the Cure. Dean's December's only album, Chemical Wedding, was released independently in 1986. The anthemic "It Doesn't Snow in Manila" became a cult hit, but Dean's December struggled to land gigs. Nevertheless, the band helped to pioneer alternative rock in the Philippines as they absorbed European influences while retaining their Filipino roots. At a time when many mainstream Filipino artists performed torch songs on TV, Dean's December were among the groups that pioneered intelligent, cutting-edge rock & roll in the Philippines. Dean's December contributed a track to the 10 of Another Kind compilation in the early '90s, but lack of commercial success made the band grind to a halt. In 1992, Lampano rediscovered his passion for blues, forming the blues outfit the Newly Industrialized Combo. The N.I.C. was placed on hiatus when Lampano moved to the U.S. Lampano rejoined the N.I.C. when he returned to the Philippines in the mid-'90s; the group changed its name to Lampano Alley, backing Lampano on his blues album I Heard the News.

-Michael Sutton

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