Weekly wrap – Commencing Thursday 7 November 2019


A different look at the weekend as we head into Bon Om Touk – Water  Festival.

It’s a busy night tonight – kick off the holiday experience with the GC Riders at LF Social Club, Ernie Buck at Orphic, Steve Kovacs at Sundance Inn & Saloon, the Far East Society at The Bodleian, and the KlapYaHandz takeover at Sora Sky Bar.  If you’re in an open mic mood there’s Jeffro’s open mic at Good Times Bar or The Deck’s over in Tuol Tom Pong.

On Friday, as venues start to close, we have Kristen and Pavel returning as Soul Stirrers to Farm to Table (see our feature below), Hills&Bells singing stories at Botanico, GC Riders continue their charge at Duplex, Antonio conducts his Experiments at Alchemy, and K’n’E take it late at Oscar’s on the Corner.

Come Saturday – Independence Day – the GC Riders complete their tour with a show at Alchemy, The K’s host Hats on Cats, and it’s K’n’E at Oscar’s.  Sunday regulars Sundowner Sessions at Tacos Kokopelli, Sunday night at Hops and Sharky open mic are all on.  For Sunday and Monday, the Extraordinary Chambers will be on show at Oscar’s.

On Tuesday there’s a Festival Afterparty  from 5 pm with an as-yet to be named band at The Outpost @ Shenanigans, and Geography of the Moon will be at Oscar’s on the Corner.  And on Wednesday at Bouchon, Miss Sarawan Trio.

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The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature

Got soul, got gospel

Although born in Washington DC, singer Kristen Rasmussen has spent most of her life outside the USA, living as a child in Singapore and Tokyo, and for the last 15 years in Phnom Penh.  Her first taste for the stage was at ten years old, when she entered a televised talent contest in Singapore called Twinkle Little Stars.  “At the time I was obsessed with Little Orphan Annie – the movie had come out around that time.  […]  I was Annie for Halloween, so I had the wig, I had the classic signature red dress.  And I sang Tomorrow.”

Read the whole feature here


Passing Chords:  a few things you might not know about…


Sal DiGaetano.  A new arrival in town, and new convert to all things Cambodian, Sal already plays with The Extraordinary Chambers, Scoddy & the Missed Calls and zargz band, and is busy picking up projects as we speak.  He’s a fine drummer and something of a story teller – he’s seen some crazy stuff.    

Your pet musical hate:

Autotune and quantizing.  Quantizing really drives me crazy.  It means taking the notes, or the beats, and placing then exactly even with the other notes so they play exactly at the same time.  If you took Charlie Watts’s drumming and you quantized it, and you placed his hi-hats and everything the same, it wouldn’t be Charlie Watts, it would be a machine.

A private musical indulgence:

Cheesy 70s music – the cheasy as it can get.  The more I like it the more I smile.  I can listen to that when I’m busy around the house – I’m not listening to the drums, I’m just remembering the stuff that my mum used to listen to, and singing horribly out of tune – I hope she doesn’t ready this!  (She’ll read this.)  Atlanta Rhythm Section, old 70s soul – I could listen to 70s soul on loop, the same hundred songs – The Temptations, old Motown.  And what you’d hear on the radio like Tony Orlando and Dawn, Neil Sedaka, all that stuff.

The year you first came to Cambodia:

I came here this year on April 3rd.  I was telling everyone that I was flying to Cambodia on April 1st, I had to tell them it was an April Fool’s joke.

An early music memory:

My father had one of those giant multi-purpose entertainment centres with the big wooden cabinet.  One side had the record albums with the radio, the centre had the giant 25 inch TV – you notice I said giant – and the left side had the record player.  My dad said “I want to show you how to do something”, and he pulls out this record with a funny man who’s in a star outfit – I’m, like, who is this funny guy?  I was only about six years old.  And he placed it on, he shows me how to put the little thing in the 45, and he places the stylus on – and now I know it’s a B minor chord – and I hear Photograph, by Ringo Starr.    And that’s one of my favourite songs from the 70s too.  That’s the first musical memory that I have, that song.

Your favourite food:

I miss artichokes, I can’t find them here.  It’s the Sicilian in me.

What you do on a night off:

A big hobby of mine is to record video of the bands I perform with, so I like to review and edit the things that I record.

The country you want to visit:

I know it sounds crazy, but I want to go to Syria, it’s the soldier in me.  With my Kurds.

A stage superstition you have: 

Being a former soldier and a former medic, I always check my equipment so I have everything, I check three or four times, make sure my drumsticks are fresh.  We used to call them pre-combat checks, now I call them pre-stage checks.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:

I was a combat medic in the 101st Airborne for 24 years – when I first tell people that and they see my mannerisms – people are, like, really?  Because I’m as liberal as they get.  Made my way from Private all the way through to Master Sergeant and First Sergeant.

A question from last week’s participant, Geography of the Moon: What’s your all time favourite song? 

What made me want to play the drums was listening to Led Zeppelin’s A Whole Lotta Love for the first time.  It’s my favourite song for that reason – the first time I heard John Bonham play I said this is what I want to do.

A question for next week’s participant:

Being a medic my question is: tell me your best scar story.

Steve Porte Photo of the Week


 Dane,  from last week’s Street 308 Block Party.


Let us know about your upcoming gigs, events, news and interesting activities: send information to gigs@lengpleng.com.

Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.

Remember: at Water Festival, allow plenty of time to travel, the crowds will be huge.

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount




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