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Music

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L:  Do you have a go-to cure for boredom?

F: I went to an event last night and there was a question of the day. The question was: Which vice would you like to give up for 30 days? I wrote feeling bored. Lately I have gotten into the habit of bordem. I think it is all a state of mind – a perspective. Usually, I do something I have never done before to rid myself of the habit.

L:  Will you be doing any cooking for Thanksgiving with Albert’s family?

F: I am so excited to go back to Boulder. I always love to be there. I hope to help with some of the cooking, but I haven’t been assigned anything yet. More to come…

L:  If you could only have one, would you rather have a bathtub or fireplace in your house/apt?

F: Now THAT is a question! If I could only have one and environmental resources we not at stake, I would certainly choose a bathtub. I love a good bath.

L:  What has been the best part of your week so far?

F: On Thursday morning some of my friends and I went on a 7am hike in the mountains. It is always so nice to spend time with other women and really talk things out. I loved it.

L:  Have you heard any good new music lately?

F. Nothing too new lately, however I have been listening a lot to the “Easy Beat” album by Dr. Dog. It is just forever giving.

Listen here.

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Earlier this week I was feeling desperate to find some new music for listening.  That all changed when my forever friend Jo introduced me to Cambodian rock n’ roll oldies; I’ve been hooked ever since.  Jo has been living in Cambodia for the last a year and half.  Today she kicks off a new column about life abroad as told, in this case, through music.  Enjoy!

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This week I left Phnom Penh for a long holiday weekend trip with friends to beach-y Sihanoukville. Right away we got a proper hang going on the beach with a bottle of wine, crabs and squid perfect in a Kampot pepper sauce (haggled over at the market!), and a gorgeous sunset over the Gulf of Thailand.

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For the finishing touch to get our beach hang jammin’, my friend started playing a soundtrack of Cambodian rock n’ roll oldies that knocked my socks off. At first I thought I knew the music – at times, it sounds like surf rock, Motown or even psychedelic – it sounds so familiar to the rock n’ roll I grew up with and yet completely foreign. It also sounds much more original than the conservative and sappy Khmer pop music being made today.

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I found out this mesmerizing music is from a creative burst during the 1960s & 70s between Cambodian independence from French colonial rule and the rise of the genocidal Khmer Rouge, in which there was a flourishing and unlikely Cambodian rock n’ roll scene. This music was influenced by the incredible rock music happening in the US and the UK filtered through a French lens, but decidedly Cambodian.

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The music from this time was mostly lost due to persecution of the artists by the Khmer Rouge and has been widely forgotten. When I pressed my friend for the name of the bands he said nobody knows and just to google “Khmer Rock n’ Roll.”  However, there have been some efforts to preserve and resurrect this musical moment, including a documentary released this year: “Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll.”

Living in Cambodia for the past year and a half has been a kaleidoscope of perspective-altering friendships and work, charming culture, remnants of a dark history, converging Asian and Western influences, and nearly constant sensory input. It often feels hard to make sense of it all and write home about how it has been to live here. So, to know about Cambodia and what I can’t articulate with words, please listen to this haunting and oh-so-cool music.

*Revisit Jo’s previous post on Sister Disco looking at portrayals of women in art through the unlikely combination of Karen O + Kandinsky

It’s Friday, people! This week has been particularly crazy – from work to personally to musically. Sometimes you just have to bust out some old ones to feel like yourself again. This is what I have been blasting to get me through the week.

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The Fugees – The Score (Full Album)

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TLC – Crazy Sexy Cool

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Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 

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Brandy – I Wanna Be Down (Remember?!)

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(artwork by Bobby Logic)

Subway musicians are a huge part of New York City’s underground life.  A couple of months ago I started recording little snippets of the sounds I was hearing in the subway.  I finally got around to uploading them to share with you.  It’s no great recording or mixing feat but I hope you enjoy this quick, under 3 minutes, listen.

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