My favorite New York music blogger, Peter Doolan, is leaving the city in a couple of days to spend the next year (at least) in Bangkok. He and his girlfriend and I had tentative plans Friday evening to take a trip together up to Arthur Avenue for Italian eats and Albanian CD store diving, but circumstances (mine, alas) dictated otherwise. So, tonight's post is dedicated to him, with thanks for Monrakplengthai (which I hope he keeps up while in Thailand), for all of the translation/transliteration work he's done for me here and, last but not least, for introducing me to Thiri Video where, as some of you know, is where most of the ungodly great Burmese music I've posted here over the last year or so has come from.
I've spent the last week on vacation, using the time mostly to finish up three or four writing projects I'd been asked or commissioned to do. As a reward to myself today, and partly because I was thinking of Peter's immanent departure, I took a bike ride out to Woodside for the spicy-hottest pork larb I have ever had in my life (at Thailand's Center Point) and to dig through their large selection of CDs, all of which are on sale for half price--or about $5 a piece. This one, by a Thai Country singer whose name I don't know, and a Jintara Poonlarb collection I didn't already have, were the clear winners. (I'll post Jintara a bit later. It's by far the hardest-rawqin thing by her I've ever heard.)
What struck me about the present album, in addition to this woman's rather marvelously rough-around-edges voice, is the music production/instrument choices, which at times are, frankly, eyebrow raising. Which is to say: sublime.
Soon after I moved to New York City in 1997 I began to notice that bodegas run by people from around the world sometimes stocked CDs and DVDs of music and film from the countries they had come from.
The music I've collected from these bodegas can almost never be found in the "World Music" sections of the few remaining places to buy CDs in the U.S.; nor, for that matter on iTunes (or cheapo MP3 sites like Soundike).
If you are an artist or publisher and do not want your music here, just let me know and I'll remove it.