Listen to Track 7 Listen to Track 8 Reupped by special request here. [Originally posted April 30, 2014.] As some of you are tired of reading about by now, I gave a talk this past Friday on Rebecca Pan and the Hong Kong indie / underground music scene at this year's EMP Pop Conference in Seattle. On Saturday, perhaps hypnotized by the atypically beautiful, rain-free weather, I decided to head down to one of the Emerald City's most diverse neighborhoods: Othello. My plan was to hit a Lao market I'd seen reference to on Yelp, pick up a few CDs, hop back on the light rail, and get back to the conference with enough time to see a whole panel on K-Pop and then hang out with a couple of fellow poets I'd met there the day before. My plan didn't work out like that. The first in a long line of reasons, this place:
where I got to talking with the woman behind the counter. At first, she was convinced that she had nothing I might want. "No older Cambodian music?" I asked. Smiling, she shook her head. "Do you have anything on CD rather than VCD?" was my next, hopeful, question. She looked doubtful, but turned to start digging through the discs of polycarbonate plastic piled up in their "jewel" cases behind the register. "Oh, here's one," she said, suddenly, setting it down on the counter. "This looks like one, too." Again and again, the hero of this morning's story found another and then another CD-not-VCD. Fifteen-twenty minutes later, she'd built a wall of some two dozen albums on the counter between the two of us. "I ... I'll take them all ..." I said, my voice obviously shaking. Her face registered something between confusion and happy surprise. This shit has been sitting here for decades, she seemed to be thinking. Where was this idiot in 1998?
I have a dental appointment in a couple of hours and then I have a three-hour radio show to host this evening, so I need to go jump in the shower and brush (and, yes, I will floss) my teeth. But later this week, or perhaps this weekend, I'll recount more of my adventures in The Rainy City. Until then, feast your eyes on the above, just some of the Seattle haul I took home ... Oh, before I go: About today's offering. You've heard a few of the tracks before. A few will be new to you, no matter how many previous collections you have. I haven't titled them; if anyone wants to take a stab at a track list and leave it in the comments, you'd be Everybody's Hero Forever. (Well, not forever-forever, but certainly for a few days or so.) Also, two tracks are near duplicates of two other tracks -- Track 4 is a near-dupe of Track 3 and Track 6 is a near-dupe of track 5. That said, these are ORIGINAL recordings, digitally restored (in the 90s or early aughts) by someone in Phnom Penh. Trust me, you need this album. Want to hear three hours worth of music I found on this Seattle trip? Bookmark this page and come back to listen a week from tonight. Awrighty, then; I'm off to shampoo and floss. Wish me luck!