Our warmest congratulations to young Khmer metal band Doch Chkae who have managed to obtain visas to travel to Germany to perform at the massive Wacken Festival at the end of the month. They will be on a bill with bands from Lebanon, Bangladesh and Philippines. Good luck lads!
The Fourth of July is kicking off with parties tonight starting with The Uncomfortably White Brothers at Sundance Inn & Saloon, continuing with the Far East Society at The Bodleian, Vince and the Bassman at Bona’s Pub and open mic at Good Times Bar, and finishing with the regular Extraordinary Chambers at Oscar’s on the Corner.
Friday in the acoustic commences with the Heroes of Americana: Clay George and Joe Wrigley and guests, at Farm to Table, the Boxchords at Alchemy, Antonio Elchico at Botanico, and Gonzalo Rodino at LF Garden. Funking it up at Bassac Lane is Pocket Change, young Khmer band 4CoolKidsX debut at Bona’s Pub, and Samsara zargz are at Oscar’s on the Corner.
On Saturday, early at 6 pm, Java Creative Café in Tuol Kork launches their new Café Concerts series with a performance by Vanntin Hoeurn and Samrocker Band. Later you can find a songwriters in the round evening at Garage Bar featuring Clay George, Ernie Buck and Joe Wrigley, catch Antonio Elchico and the Experiment at Alchemy, Randy Cataluna at Botanico, Lisa Concepcion at The K’s and Pablo de Feo at Good Times Bar and Latin with Carlos and Marleny at Cloud. Later on, once Sihanoukville’s finest, Lost Highway – featuring Kenny Smith and Tommy Nick – return for one old fashioned rock’n’blues show at Oscar’s on the Corner.
For Sunday evening it’s open mic at Tacos Kokopelli with the regular Sunday Sundowner Sessions, Pristine and Phil Javelle at Hops, and the band-focused open mic at Sharky Bar.
On Monday a new Cambodian Golden Era duo, Dane & Scoddy, debut at Le Boutier, and on Wednesday you can find Euan Gray and Phil Javelle at Bouchon, and a Pinoy Party at Bona’s Pub. If you’re in Siem Reap, The Harbour has a Malaysian ska-rock-reggae band Plague of Happiness on Wednesday before their regular open mic. Remember to check the Regular Gigs tab for what’s going on through the week.
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The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature
Ernie Buck has already had a busy week – his new single Takes No Time To Forget dropped at Bandcamp, and was officially launched with a gig at The Vine. Tonight it’s the Uncomfortably White Brothers at Sundance Inn & Saloon and then on Saturday he’s part of a songwriters in the round event at Garage Bar. He found time to talk to Leng Pleng about songwriting.
In playing original songs, do you feel a need to educate the audience a little bit? With the greatest respect to the general public at large, sometimes they don’t know what they want until they hear it. And they think they want to hear Hotel California again, but when they hear something that maybe they can enjoy for a different reason, they are, like, that’s okay. I’ve had people come up to me after shows and say, “Blah-blah-blah, that song, was that yours? That was my favourite.”
Passing chords: a few things you might not know about…
Joshua Chiang. You’ll know him as the leader of the Boxchords, but he’s been in many bands over the years (such as Sonic Detergent, Parallel Impulse), slowing introducing more and more of his own songs, and his new band Psykic Elektric debuted at Cloud last month (of whom more soon).
Your pet musical hate:
My pet beagle Pullo doesn’t seem to mind any music I play on my iTunes. Having said that, he has been to several rehearsals and performances of my (now-defunct band) Parallel Impulse through which he would howl non-stop. I’m not sure if it means he hates the songs we play or not.
As for me, I do have some songs I dislike, but nothing that one can consider ‘hate’.
Having said that, I would rather go through another round of root canal procedure than entertain another request for ‘Hotel California’.
A private musical indulgence:
The year you came to Cambodia:
An early music memory:
“Best of 1984”. No relation with George Orwell’s book whatsoever – a greatest hits compilation of pop tunes in 1984. It was, I believe, the first cassette tape of English songs my dad bought (up until that, I was fed a constant diet of Cantonese and Mandarin songs). I can still remember many of the songs on that album. “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins, Queen’s “I Want To Break Free”, Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”, Thompson Twins’ “Hold Me Now”. I think that’s one of the reason I am extremely partial to pop music from the ’80s. My new original songs band Psykic Elektric draws many influences from that era. The bad news is: so does my dress sense.
Your favourite food:
That’s a hard one. I have different food cravings all the time. But if I had a choice, I want my last meal on Earth to be plain rice served with onion omelette, stir fried sweet potato leaves and french fries done exactly like how my mother makes them, which is soft and soggy, and not remotely close to what one might objectively consider perfectly-made. But they are the fries I knew growing up in a pre-McDonald’s era, and it’s what mom always makes whenever she wants to indulge me.
What you do on a night off:
I think what I do for a living and what I do for fun has merged to such a degree that I’m not entirely sure how to answer this question anymore. That doesn’t make me a workaholic. It just means I’m terrible at time management. For example, I spent the last half an hour thinking of answers to these questions when I should really be doing my work while streaming the latest Late Night With John Oliver.
The country you want to visit:
Europe. Europe’s a country right?
A stage superstition you have:
None. But do share with me any rituals that could prevent the regular breaking of strings during gigs and I’ll gladly perform it.
Something people might be surprised to know about you:
If I wasn’t the product of a rigid education system, I might have been a naturalist, palaeontologist or historian. My father, who had to forgo a higher education to support his family back in the day, always made sure we were surrounded by books, usually about general knowledge. By the time I went to secondary school, I could recite the names of at least fifty dinosaurs, and explain to you how rock hyraxes and elephants are related. Unfortunately, biology is only offered to those who did very well in early secondary school science which typically involves calculating the force at which a car crashes into a stationary object, a skill (the calculation, not the crashing of the car) which is apparently important if you are a student of biology. And two years of being taught a version of the history of Singapore – which can be summed up as ‘immigrants doing things, interrupted by the Japanese invasion, then back to doing things’ – sucked out whatever desire I had of wanting to study history, at least not under the education system we had back then.
Also, I don’t usually talk a lot.
Steve Porte photo of the week
Roxane Dumont: our Swiss friend and occasional visitor
Let us know about your gigs: send information to email@example.com.
Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.