This month, September 9th marks a return of Popscene, the event promoter that bestowed local music fans with such mythically exceptional shows as Thee Oh Sees at Cosmic Cafe. This time around we’ve got Chicago native actor/songstress Haroula Rose gracing the pavement of Whiteline (Silom Soi 8). While I cannot really judge worthiness of folk music from studio recordings, the ‘PopMatters 20 Questions’ was intriguing: she identifies both with the serial killing protagonist of Bret Easton Ellis’ dystopian fantasy American Psycho, and claims psychic ability—so far she‘s ticking all the boxes. It’s B300 on the door, with local support by John Will Sail and King Kong & The Chums.
The following evening, September 10th, Get A Life Denim presents Hope The Flower, Lasthoper, and The Front Row at the slightly off-the-beaten-track Brownstone Studio (1395, Sukhumvit Soi 77, BTS On Nut station). Hope The Flower is a faithful representative of this city’s fanatical post-rock community (check out the Newlights Production record label page on Facebook).
September 17th is a Saturday triple suicide mission. First off, Seen Scene Space brings us Pow Fest #2 at Rockademy (120/8, Sukhumvit Soi 26) with a smorgasbord of performances. Of the eight bands on the roster I’ll be most keen to see Comet Records’ dream wave band Vivid Dream and Taiwan’s visiting indie rock flag bearers Manic Sheep. Meanwhile, at Speakerbox (located in the Ratchada Train Night Market) Count The Thief and The Ginkz are playing—two bands pushing the boundaries of progressive rock music without alienating short-attentioned audiences. Finally, at Brownstone Studio, Austin’s own My Empty Phantom delivers complex ambient soundscapes as a one man band utilizing looping technology. Expect to see a guy jumping from instrument to instrument at the beginning of each piece. The show starts at 7pm (B200, includes a drink).
If you found yourself suffocating in the stifling heat and humidity of Southeast Asia, and were seeking the rustic comfort of the American Mid-West, look no further then After The Oil Rush, the recently released EP by Ryan Holweger. Ryan, a Minnesota transplant to Bangkok, shares his solemn hymns for lonesome souls, shaped by desolate, open spaces. Reflect on the stirring winds, smoke billowing chimneys, and snow-covered rooftops while nursing a cold Leo by the pool. This is home cooked country music with a side of mashed potatoes. The title track, “After The Oil Rush”, seems like something straight off the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack. In fact, all the songs have the kind of familiarity that one has with a favourite sweater or family pet. Within the tradition of great American music for the common folk there is the songwriter, the musicians, and an unspoken character. If you listen carefully you might just hear him between the notes.
You can purchase a copy of After the Oil Rush, released by Other Road Records, at the EP release party at Fatty’s Bar and Diner (598/66 Asoke-Dindaeng Rd) on September 3rd. Ryan will perform, along with special guests John Will Sail and Matthew Fischer.
To read more about Bangkok’s music scene, visit The Rock Philosopher at davecrimaldi.weebly.com