Pom Rak Plieng Thai!

Sawasdee Krab Took Kon,

Welcome to my first official ‘regular Monday blog’ ..sorry no ribbon cutting or cake, this one is low budget but the best things are free right?

One thing I love from Thailand is Thai music and not just traditional music with classical instruments but quite a range of tastes’ in Thai songs. Today I thought I’d share some of my likes and why ‘Pom rak plieng Thai’ or I love Thai music!

It’s only been about a year since I started experimenting with Thai music. Today I have roughly about 212 Thai music CD’s, VCD and movies (yes those are my actual CD’s in the pic at top) compared to only about 30 CD’s of western style music. When I do something I do it all out sometimes y’know.

When I discovered the website for learning Thai from Richards school in Samut Prakarn I also found links for listening to samples of a wide selection of popular Thai songs. From that website I found a link to buy music I heard. This was so cool!

My motto? “Have credit card, have internet access, will shop!” 😛

Now I have a weird sense of knowing what I will like or not when it comes to music it all depends on how it looks. If the CD or band looks cool or appeals to me visually then usually I will like it. I have a 98% success rating on almost every Thai CD I have. I’ll get back to you on the 2% not so good later.

My first time to order I picked out music by 3 bands and bought the CD and VCD of each album, so that 6 CD/VCD all total. The samples all sounded good so I whipped out the plastic and ‘presto!’ A new vice was born. 😀

I could have bought more because each CD was so cheap! They were only about $8.50 US each including the shipping! Thai friends tell me I’m nuts to spend that much when a CD in Thailand usually only costs about 215 Baht or about $4-5 US but then I tell them how much an American CD costs here ($16-$22) and they are really shocked!

After I ordered my stuff for two weeks I was on pins and needles waiting for it to come in then finally..they arrived! I LOVE to get stuff so when I got my CD’s I was like a little kid at Christmas haha.

I was so excited to open the box and finally hold in my hand what I had ordered ….

I got the debut album of two po/rock groups; Bang Kaew and Bodyslam and the second album of a pop/rock/hip hoppish group called Clash. I was really interested in checking out the VCDs first thing. For those who don’t know, like I didn’t know then, in Thailand when most bands or musicians release an album they also release a VCD which shows a music video of every song. Personally this is pretty cool and I can’t figure out why music exec’s don’t do that here with American muscians but then they are so paranoid about copyright infringement here they would think a VCD would somehow encourage American kids not to buy the music or something..weird, who knows.

Back then I only had my computer to play DVD’s so I was not sure a VCD would work or not. I took the Bang Kaew VCD and tried to get it to play. No luck. Nothing! Oh man, not a waste!! But I tried again until I found you have to open the path to play it on the computer they don’t start automatically like regular music CD’s..ooooh, that’s why! Now I have a nice Toshiba DVD that plays everything automatically no problem.

Anyway the first time I watched I was enthralled. ‘Bang Kaew’ is actually two Thai brothers who are twins, two high school boys that look about 14 and acted like they are playing ‘rock star’ in their basement, but they were serious! It was so funny! Geeky but cool too. The other CD’s by Bodyslam and Clash were more mature and the songs were better, well written and creative even if most of what they sang I didn’t know the meaning really but watching the VCD it was not hard to figure out, at least on the love songs which were, like, most of the album! Still VCD’s are so cool because you can read along (sort of) with the songs in Thai script AND in romanized Thai-English like in a karaoke bar. 😉

It’s a great way to practice your Thai at home I watch and read along as I listen to the sounds of the words then I can listen to the same songs when I go out or sitting at my desk all day at the bank..I’m not kidding! I get paid a good salary to do stuff on a computer and listen to Thai songs all day..I love it!

Basically there are two types of Thai pop/rock songs, some really good ones with good stories like Carabao I recently saw in concert and then the majority is the usual pop song ‘boy mets girl, boy loses girl, boy never had girl but wishes he did, etc., etc.’ or some variation of the above. I actually don’t mind the redundant love ballads because when they sing in Thai it’s like being cussed out in French. You know what they are saying to you in French is crap but it just sounds so cool!

Another thing is the names some of these bands choose like ‘Big Ass, Coyote Sexy, Smile Buffalo, Perfect Rock Stars, Baby Bull and Fruity’ haha I mean..huh? But then some groups I listened to in the 80’s didn’t make sense either, remember Kaja Goo Goo anyone?

Here are some of the CD’s I have:

AB Normal
Bang Kaew
Body Slam
Byrd & Sek
LABANOON (my faves..love these guys they know how to rock!)
Little Rock Project (Awesome concert)
Modern Dog (My #2 favorite but #1 on my playlist this week)
Pattaya Music Festival
Ummarin Nitipol

And that’s just my pop/rock list. I also have several dozens of CD’s of all the classical Thai instruments, Thai Issan music, Thai New Age, or Green Leaf music and orchestra music (some composed by HM the King of Thailand Himself!) I even have the National Anthem and the Anthem of the Royal Thai Airforce. Don’t ask me how I got that one, long story for another time.

But the rock music will always be my fave, so when I am home I watch the VCDs and of course my walkman and several Thai CD’s are always in my backpack when I go out. When I sing to myself it’s usually in Thai. I guess it won’t be long before I think in Thai too.

Now I have branched out to buy Thai movies and movie sound tracks, like Beautiful Boxer I bought the sound track online but I bought the movie at the local Thai market here in Maryland. They sell a lot of CD and VCD movies too and everything is $10 US each in the local market. But my Thai friends think that is even more outrageous than online prices. Still it’s way cheaper than American music at the shopping mall and the Thai stuff is way cooler anyway. My life is a dedicated ‘No Britney Spears!!’ Zone.

I also bought just about every Muay Thai VCD I can find (that’s another vice of mine.) Wiwat, the manager of eThaiCD.com my number one supplier of my Thai music addiction, knows me as a regular customer and I always get first rate service. It’s a Thai thing. Thanks Wiwat!

As a matter of fact when I got home today my latest package was sitting on the porch waiting for me. I left a note for Fed-Ex to leave it for me since I knew it was due today. Wiwat is always sends me an e-mail with the FedEx tracking number so I can see online exactly where my order is in the world until it get’s to my door. If you want to follow along on where my latest order traveled this time then click here.

Well that’s it for now I got new CD’s to play and Muay Thai VCD’s to watch. I could tell some of the movies I bought had sat on the shelf awhile since they had dust on them. Wow, dust from Thailand..so cool! lol

Ok I am a geek, I know 😛

Oh, btw the 2% of music that didn’t meet my ‘standard’? Well actually a friend of my friend Mike went to Thailand and brought back for me a boy band CD (no, not D2B but the other one). He knew I liked Thai music and that was nice of him but it sucked. Living proof it’s a good thing the boy band craze is dead. My friend Mike laughed so hard when I told him that CD was finally something I didn’t like from Thailand lol

I guess all in all my record is still 100% so if you will excuse me I have my stereo headphones ready and great Thai music is a’waiting.

See you next week,



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