Saturday, March 08, 2008

Anthology of American Folk Music
Neung Phak (Mono Pause) CD

For The Maples CD
Grateful Dead Harper College '70 bootleg CS

Grateful Dead
Dick's Pick Vol. 8
Grateful Dead 2/14/1968

Lost 4:6 "The Other Woman"

Aaaaaahhhhh the Anthology....perfect Saturday wake-up/breakfast album. Made it through the first two volumes. I once told a guy that Vol. 2, "Social Music," was my least favorite of the three. He came back the next day saying, "You're crazy, man, 'Social Music' is awesome,' to which I replied, "Hey, the worst volume of the Anthology of American Folk Music is still the third-best album of all time." Angelina got an iPod yesterday and the first disc she ripped was Neung Phak. We saw 'em open for Sun City Girls back in 2004... SCG weirded her out too much but she loved the Neung Phak set (it was terrific) and plays the CD all the time. The kids love 'em too and can even sing the "tui tui tui tui, tui tui, tui tui tui, tui tui, tui tui tui tui tui tui tui!!" line by heart. The band is an alter ego of the Oakland, CA band Mono Pause that performs the modern pop/rock music of Southeast Asia - lots of cover songs, as well as originals/theater/improvisations of their own, very confidently in the vernacular. A founding member is Mark Gergis, who records solo stuff as Porest and is a crucial part of the Sublime Frequencies braintrust, and if you've heard the Cambodian Cassette Archives and Molam: Thai Country Groove From Isan CDs that he put together for that label, then you'll recognize plenty of the songs on here. Great songs too, and Neung Phak does 'em very well. I put on the Fantasia soundtrack for the kids, and Phil walked right over, said "I d on't want to play this CD," hit the "DISC SKIP" button, and what should come on but the new Gown For the Maples record, which I had previously thought was good-but-not-great. Phil seemed to like the opening dirgey guitar chords alright, and walked back to his art table where he had some serious coloring projects going, and while he colored he went ahead and listened to the whole album, as did I, and it was heavy and moody as hell, all of a sudden verging right up on great. Recommended for fans of a slow-burning low-end-centric Trad Gras/Crazy Horse type thing... wait, that's everybody. This Harpur College acoustic set is so good that "Beat It On Down The Line," a song I often skip along with most Weir rock'n'rollers (hell, I usually just skip acoustic sets altogether, give or take a "Bird Song"), is awesome on here, and it's followed by a sublime "Black Peter" that balances between roots twang and dream balladry even better than it does on Workingman's Dead. I A/B'd it with the Dick's Pick Vol. 8 3CD soundboard-recorded edition of the same show, which was interesting. The AUD version runs at a slightly faster speed, which I think was a common thing and definitely adds to the energy level. After that I wanted to hear this droned-out version of "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" from 2/14/68 - I used to have a copy, way back in the pre-external HD years, when I had downloaded the show off of (on recommendation from that Dead appreciation article in Arthur Magazine), and then burned that to a disc, after which I promptly deleted all the mp3s off of my hard drive to "save space," then lended it and a whole stack of other Dead shows on CDR to a flaky girl at work who never gave 'em back to me. She did give me a whole stack of her crappy CDR burns though, which I still have - I guess it was a 'trade' - my shows were better than her mostly-Mydland-era selections so it wasn't exactly a fair one, but she did give me a disc's worth of 2/13/70, so hey, maybe it really is in fact ALL good. ANYWAY, I ended up getting the show again last week from a massive Deadhead download site that was around for about 7 minutes, and man, they were a monstrous searing elephantine beast of a band back then. I prefer the snaky flaky jazzy 1972-1974 stuff, but as far as late-1960s power blues bands go they were at least as heavy as Cream...


Anonymous said...

A new Neung Phak disc is in the works. You should come to SF in May to see them open for Rick and Alan. You can crash with me. Bring the kids too, wtf.


Benjamin Parrish said...


Larry said...

Awesome, new Neung Phak! Yes I should come to SF to see Rick and Alan, mainly because if I did I would be in SF. And I'm NOT bringing the kids.

Let's see, LOST - I think Ben has a little control room where he can create life-like holograms (leftover Dharma technology), and this explains the therapist in this episode, Femi, Dave, the horse, maybe Christian Shepard (but he's probably alive and on the island), and EVEN THE SMOKE MONSTER. All Ben. This was one of his silliest/creepiest episodes ever, that scene where he has Juliet over for a "dinner party" was just gross. No one's quite sure about the gas thing... if the freighter team's mission is to take out Ben and then kill everyone left on the island, wouldn't they want the gas to be enabled? Or were they disabling it so Ben couldn't use it? You know, blah blah...

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