Saturday, February 02, 2008

Carabao คาราบาว

Thai music tends to be a lot catchier than Japanese, although there are some Japanese bands that I like. Taiwanese rock is good, too, and the Chinese mainland has its own universe of music. Listening to Dengue Fever the other day made me miss Thai music. I lived in Thailand for a short time, about six months in total, in the early 90s. I have some Carabao cassette tapes from those days suitable for playing in an antique portable audio player known to old-timers as a Walkman. Carabao is like the Rolling Stones of Thailand. They are like the Southern All Stars in Japan. There is nothing quite like them in the United States, although if a large set of classic rocker American musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, Carlos Santana and Bob Dylan had been in one band that was still playing together today, that would be similar. Maybe Chicago? No. Their music has sometimes been described as country, but I would say rock, folk rock, and progressive rock are better descriptors. One cassette album I have is a solo one by Aed Carabao in which he sings a song called Ahn San Su Kyi.

I was very bad at learning Thai but I made a little progress when I started learning to read it. I was able to read words like คาราบาว and understand city names like Bangkok (or was it Krung Thep?), Hat Yai, and Phuket written across the fronts of buses.

So I found a few videos. First, Made in Thailand. I like this song.

Tsunami is obviously more recent.

This one, Gunja, is interesting musically (because I don't know what he is saying) and I like this video for Khon Lah Fhan, although the song sounds like the most generic of their songs (but who knows if the words make it great?).

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