Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rungpetch Laemsing | Fon Duen Hok

Listen to "Chao Na Worn Fon"

At a reader's request I have reupped this totally great collection in 320 kick-ass kbps here.

Are you ready to rock? No, no; seriously, people: Are you RAY DAY to FROW king RAAAWWK?!?

I found this insanely great CD by luk thung artist รุ่งเพชร แหลมสิงห์ (Rungpetch Laemsing) below Canal Street on one of the north-south running streets in Manhattan's Chinatown at a Thai "curio" store several years ago. I visited the store regularly for a couple of years, mostly buying up hundreds of these things for work on this:

... a comics project that has taken me a ridiculously long time to finish, largely due to (a) working a rather stressful full-time job and (b) general sloth. (I'm actually just a couple of pages shy of finishing what will be about 200 pages of collected comics that is [crosses fingers, bites lower lip] supposed to be published late this year.)

But who cares? You're here for the la musica, la musica--the cha-hoo-nays, mang. And oh my fucking god are you going to be happy you stopped into the Bodega today. This album is so awesome I can still remember the weight of my lower jaw dropping moments after hitting "play" when I gave it its maiden, post-un-shrink-wrapped listen.

Laemsing's music appears on only one Thai CD compilation that I know of, Luk Thung! The Roots of Thai Funk. ("Ban Nork Dee Nae," which also appears on the CD above.) Other than that, Peter Doolan posted a luk thung compilation cassette on his massively fabulous Monrakplengthai blog, here, which features another song you'll find on the CD above, "Nam Long Duean Yi.")

I don't know anything about Laemsing other than that dude has been rocking--uh, excuse me--RAWKEN my world ever since I plucked this exceedingly cheeky disc of polycarbonate plastic from that long-vanished store in Chinatown. Perhaps if Peter stops by he can share what he knows about the man?

Until then, you don't really need to know much of anything, other than whatever it is you're gonna need to know in order to nurse your poor tender ass after the monster-kicking this sublimely talented dude's gonna give it.


peter said...

thanks, GARY!.. classic songs!
here's what i know about rungphet:

rungphet laemsing was born wasan chanplaeng in 1942, in the southern-central province of phetburi. he moved to phetchabun province for school, after which he joined the armed forces medical corps and from there the thai royal guard. rungphet had always enjoyed singing and had gained some notice from his many victories in local singing contests. he specialized in the new style being pioneered by khamron sambunnanon, which would eventually be called "luk thung". while he was stationed in bangkok, he would regularly sit in with the phayong mukda band, and after winning a major song contest in 1961, he joined samniang muangthong's ruam daokrachai band. eventually, his friend phraiwan lukphet introduced him to the pre-eminent songwriter of the time, phaibun butkhan, and the composer agreed to write 3 songs for rungphet. they were extremely successful, and phaibun decided to cultivate rungphet as his new star. at the height of rungphet's fame, phaibun made an arrangement for the singer to appear in an upcoming film from "mon rak luk thung" director rangsi thatsanapayak. when rungphet backed out, the maestro became very upset and gave all future singles intended for the singer to sonkhiri siprachuap, essentially ending his career. rungphet continued his government service up to his retirement in 2002. he now lives in the bangkok suburb of nonthaburi, and performs occasionally.

thanks again, & please keep us updated on your thai-inspired comics venture!!

Holly said...

Gary, this is GREAT! Thank you ever so much. And thank you Peter for the additional info. Totally loving this,

Gary said...

Thanks, you two!

And, Peter, double-thanks for the bio. I realize I never sent you the track list for the Burmese CD a week or so ago ... I'll have to scan that when I get a chance and email it along to you, if you're still interested in translating it ...

peter said...

that'd be great, gary.. i'd love to take a stab at it

gilhodges said...

My ears are hyperventilating. Thank you Gary and thank you Peter!