Saturday, December 02, 2006


Aural signposts of my life….

These days I find it very hard to get absolutely hooked by any songs you get to hear on the radio…may be age is really catching up with me and suddenly I realize that I’m in the wrong side of the generation gap and getting hopelessly unfashionable. But still, I believe may be the time has gone where you can get absolute gems and songs that turn to classics even when they first start to be aired. Diddy or all those rappers are hardly the candidates for this although it surprises me to no end how influential this particular brand of music -which is not my cup of tea at all- is throughout the world. These days you can’t escape this inner city music of the afro americans some of whom are bordering on the criminal side in all the world languages from Chinese to malay to thai to Mongolian to well, every other…..

But I’d be hard pressed to name one really good pop song from the last say, five years that can match say the beatle’s ‘yesterday’ which has been covered by thousands of singers and even become one of the moodiest soundtrack in one of my favorite gangster movies, Sergio Leone’s “ once upon a time in America”.

And speaking about America, one of the most enduring and perhaps the strangest song in term of how much it has been dissected, studied, analysed, commented much like a holy book is one of my all time favorite songs during my younger days- and still is now – Don McLean’s American Pie. You can see many websites devoted solely to this song and one of them is this . I’ve not yet come across a book about this song but perhaps there will be someday who knows…a book like Nabokov’s ‘pale fire’ say…

This song is one of my sign of time signature much like particular personal photographs are signpost of your passage of life….over the years there are some more classics that become signpost of my aural passage in life…. Pink floyd’s ‘dark side of the moon’ , neil young’s ‘harvest’….genesis’ (peter Gabriel days) ‘supper’s ready’, ‘carpet crawlers king krimson’s ‘in the court of the crimson king’ etc…and Uriah Heep’s ‘July morning’…. One time several years ago I passed along one of those tiny karaoke place in the seedy sector of Ermita Manila and overheard someone wailing “july morning” …very bizarre…

These days the only new things I like a bit are some of those electronica mixes that some clubs play to pill popping young people. The disc that has been in my car mp3 player for a few weeks now is one “James Lavelle’ mixes from of all place “live in Romania” . bought it at one of this small shop selling all those pirated /self produced discs of dance music at suan lum night market in Bangkok a couple of months back…..who knows may be in ten years’ time I will come to view this particular brand of music as another of my aural signpost of time….

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