|January 3, 2013 | Asia, Found Sounds, Songoftheday, Travels
Battambang, Cambodia. I rode a rented bicycle around all day. Returned it to the bike people. Nice kids. I was hot and dirty, and I’d noticed a bar on the corner because of its beautiful tile floor ( don’t let ’em tell you that Battambang retains some kind of charming sleepy French colonial 1930s vibe; it doesn’t – but if you’ve an eye for the little things, like plaster moldings and floor tiles, there are clues, here and there ) and the sign that said DRAFT BEER, so I went in and sat down.
The soundtrack in this place was straight 1960s Cambodian rock n’ roll, which was already pretty awesome, but when this song came on, I started to hoot and holler a little. The bartender was like, dude, what’s your malfunction? and I was like, this song is about my city! New Orleans is my home! -I think she got what I meant. ” This man is excited because the most famous song about his town is the story of a whorehouse “, she may have been thinking.
Things about this track : It’s a version of a song you’ve heard all your life, sung in Khmer, which is neat. Also, there’s some very righteous lead guitar here, fuzz-style. Additional to that, this is Sinn Sisamouth, who was one of the biggest stars ( a singer, performer, songwriter, and producer ) of Cambodian music, who was murdered by the Khmer Rouge in 1976. Nearly all of the great musicians of Cambodia were killed during that era, and it’s pretty much certain that everyone playing on this track was later murdered, or endured hardships beyond our imagining.