Tag Archives: Music

Ben Sisario’s latest feature for The New York Times shines a light on ‘Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten’, a documentary about the rise and fall of Cambodia’s Rock Music scene in the 1960s and ’70s.

Southeast Asian rock (and funk, for that matter) from that era is a favorite of mine: Gritty recordings, slightly untuned instruments, but with unique melodies and phrasings which often hark back to traditional folk songs from the region. Of course, the energy and the optimism of the music feels bittersweet now with the knowledge that a secret war and a subsequent Khmer Rouge genocide would so destroy much of the culture – and kill many of the people who made it.

Thankfully, a modern resurgence of interest in this music is making it more broadly available. Compilations have emerged in recent years (like the ‘Sounds of Siam’ series by DJ Chris Menist) and modern bands like Cambodian Space Project use the classic sound as a template for new explorations.

Readers in the United States should check the listings for when the film is coming to town and, if you’re on the East Coast, you might even get a bonus concert from some of the musicians featured by the movie-makers1.

  1. If you get to go – I’m happy for you but, I must admit, also a little jealous. I’ll work on being a better person. []
This is a link post – You can visit the site mentioned by clicking the main link above (or just click here).


Was it good for you, too? 😀

Michael Jai White and Scott Sanders make a tribute to 1970’s Blaxploitation cinema that’s….well…SOLID!

Black Dynamite!

As regular readers might remember, I’m a fairly big fan of blaxploitation cinema and I’ve been waiting to see a movie called “Black Dynamite” since January. After playing the film festival circuit for months, it was picked up by Sony for distribution and was (finally) released this past Friday.

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I was sipping my morning coffee, thinking about last night’s Red Hot benefit show Dark Was The Night….something along the lines of ‘Man — Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings just *killed it* last night…” when a tweet from BrooklynVegan pops up on my desktop: “i never finished last night, but Sharon Jones also killed it…”

I think anyone who didn’t leave early would agree.
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Links that I thought you might enjoy!

  • Boing Boing Cosplayers, manga fans and cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
    Brooklyn is like no other…
    (Via Boing Boing )
  • Edward Champion's Return of the Reluctant The Novelist as Used Car Salesman
    Ed says: “There is a type of novelist who saddens me: the kind of novelist who prefers the status of having written instead of the consistent joys of writing, the type of author who only communicates to people if he wants something instead of being curious in other viewpoints. This novelist’s primary subject of interest is likely to be himself, but he’s capable of cloaking this solipsism by suggesting to others that they are just as much a part of his process. The novelist, in cues straight out of the Dale Carnegie playbook, will remember one specific detail about the other person that nobody else has and thereby create a greater impression.”
    (Via Edward Champion’s Return of the Reluctant )
  • www.thedailybeast.com 11 Rock Reunion Dos and Don’ts – Page 1 – The Daily Beast
    Creed just joined the long list of bands to give music a second chance after calling it quits. Dear God — NO!
    (Via www.thedailybeast.com )
  • 3quarksdaily Genius: The Modern View
    David Brooks in the New York TImes: What Mozart had, we now believe, was the same thing Tiger Woods had — the ability to focus for long periods of time and a father intent on improving his skills. Mozart played a lot of piano at a very young age, so he got his 10,000 hours of practice in early and then he built from there.
    (Via 3quarksdaily )
  • Cliffs of Nintendover
    Reader Clark sent me this link — What is it about 80’s guitar music that lends itself so perfectly to the 8-bit treatment?
    (Via sliv.4×86.com )
  • Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, presented by Orson Welles | Smashing Telly – A hand picked TV channel
    A documentary version of Alvin Toffler’s classic 70s book, Future Shock presented by Orson Welles.
    (Via smashingtelly.com )
  • Classic Serge Gainsbourg | oOoo Squeak E Clean Website oOoo
    Classic Serge Gainsbourg
    (Via www.squeakecleanblog.com )

In art, there is a discernible difference between what is sufficient and what is sublime.


“Did the projector bulb burn out or something?” was my very first reaction to hearing a score by Maurice Jarre, the composer behind some of the finest movie music ever, who died on March 29th.

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New Beginnings for Old Friends

ninjaBeing in a band is a bit of an emotional tightrope walk.

Trying to make any art can be difficult. It’s hard enough to write one good song on your own — let alone to do it with a group of people, each with a different aesthetic.

And let’s face it: Most musicians tend to possess, kindly put, an independent streak and so — almost inevitably — there is a residue left by the day in/day out friction from collaborating on any body of work.  If you’re lucky, that creative process is followed by rehearsing, recording, and touring.  Sprinkle on top of that whatever “personal demons” existed beforehand and you’ll see that, for all the clichés of a band being like a dysfunctional family, it’s inevitable that there is some truth to it.

Is it really any wonder that so many bands quickly lose their balance and fall off the wire?
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Karsh Kale’s New Work Is A New Soundtrack For An Old Favorite: “Enter The Dragon”

“Bruce Lee?”

“Yeah…”, he said.

“That’s awesome.”

That’s a pretty close approximation to one of my first conversations with Karsh Kale: drummer, tabla master, producer, composer, and — at the time — my new neighbor who was introducing me to his cat. Karsh has since decamped to what I hope for his sake is a less shady building, but I still see him in the ‘hood from time to time. A few months ago, I bumped into him on the street and asked him what he was up to.

“I’m actually working on a thing for Celebrate Brooklyn — it’s a new score for Enter the Dragon and we’re going to play it along with the movie”, Karsh said.

“Bruce Lee?”, I said.


“That’s awesome.”

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Via MusicThing — Raymond Scott documentary: ‘On to something’