By Dave Crimaldi
Before we begin the August roundup of mind mashing musical jihad, may I salute Moose on Soi Ekkamai, and Overground on Sukhumvit Soi 22—two recently departed Bangkok live music venues. Both put on show great shows in the past and will be sorely missed in the future.
Meanwhile, on the local indie music front, good things are happening at Speakerbox at the Ratchada Train Night Market (located behind the Esplanade Mall at Thailand Cultural Center MRT station). There’s an open mic there every Wednesday, hosted by David Vogel and Clive Pendock, and local musicians can contact the promoters via Facebook to sign up. On August 13th, Degaruda will also grace (or destroy) Speakerbox along with Brand New Sunset, PHY and Stylish Nonsense, so mark your calendars as this is a stellar lineup that should appeal to you music fans unconcerned with the use of a hearing aids before your hair turns gray, and who don’t flinch when someone spills beer all over you in a dark stinky rock’n’roll bar.
Other Road Records has also been busy lighting aural infernos all over town. Check out Folk It!@The Commons on Wednesdays for live solo performances, including August 17th when Other Road Records founder John Will Sail performs a mix of originals and covers (the last time I saw him play I got a bit of a dopamine fix when he started a medley of covers including “Jack and Diane” by John Cougar Mellencamp, followed by at least one Bon Jovi song!). Also, check out the solo singer-songwriter performances at Kai on Sathron Soi 12, where every Friday evening they present Thank Folk It’s Friday.
Another live show that should be amazing is the Chaos Jam taking place August 17th at 12×12 (Soi Ekkamai 19), featuring revered indie music pioneers Stylish Nonsense with experimental guitarist Kota. On a very different note, fans of electrobeat might be interested in the August 9th Breakbot show at GMM Live House, (8th floor of CentralWorld mall) which also has Chiang Mai synth-pop band Polycat on the bill. Personally I hate bands using electronic drums live, which is why I might be more likely found at the Fleshgod Apocalypse show, which is slated for August 30th at The Rock Pub (93/26-28 Hollywood St Building, at BTS Ratchathewi station). Tickets for this 5-piece Italian “death metal” band are B1,200 at the door.
Also of note is the little, unknown gem on Soi 26, Queen Bee, which still features some commendable tribute acts including Sticky Fingers (Stones), Medicine Mixers (Dylan) and Roy Jet (various hard rock and classic rock). Finally, the Minnesotan songwriter Ryan Holweger, last seen guzzling beer and fighting hiccups on Soi 8, reports a CD release party happening this month at Fatty’s (date TBA so keep an eye out on Facebook).
Recently I saw my friends the hardcore punk band God Hates at performing at Overstay (across the river in Pinklao). They gave me a CD simply titled 1926. The lyrics included with the CD are printed in a minuscule font that requires a magnifying glass to decipher, but it’s probably worth it as these songs are like hardcore punk poetry diving deep into the soul of a civilization at the end of the wick. This is not the dawn of humanity, but the apocalypse. The glass is half empty. If you are increasingly alarmed with the state of the world, daily doses of misery every day in the form of racial violence or religious extremists, God Hates is not the cure, but the cry through gnashed teeth and flying fists: God, Why do you hate us? Why have you forsaken us?
The soul of punk is always with the live shows and the studio release always has to deliver the same raw power or the fans will notice. This is a great sounding CD even through the blown speakers of a 10 year-old stereo. I was at the very first God Hates shows at Fatty’s, witnessing singer James—a thoughtful, eloquent lyricist—simply explode like a time bomb on stage. Those early performances were electrifying and the band whipped the audience into a cyclone of cathartic aggression. If you count yourself as one of the forsaken, you can contact the band to buy the CD.
To read more about Bangkok’s music scene, visit The Rock Philosopher at davecrimaldi.weebly.com