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The Leng Pleng Gig Guide comes out on a Thursday or Friday of every week

Gig Guide - Week Starting Thursday the 15th of August, 2013

Hey,

No need to hear me rambling on today because a totally great read about the recent tour of the U.S. by the Cambodian Space Project has come in today. Totally cool!

Calling Out Around The World Are You Ready For A Brand New Beat? How Cambodian Rock & Roll Comes Back to Motown.

by Julien Poulson

As Srey Channthy stepped inside the studio she was barely aware of the significance of the hallowed place. Motown studio A; a sanctified place where so many of the hit songs that changed the colour, the sound and style of American music were recorded. You see, being born into war and abject poverty in Prey Veng Province, Cambodia, does not set one up with much of a perspective on the world beyond the rice fields but somehow, the name Motown seemed familiar to Channthy. Back in Phnom Penh Channthy had recently purchased a second hand record player and a bunch of old vinyls to play in her small shop, unable to read the albums covers she gravitates naturally to the songs she likes, choosing old songs often by female singers from Etta James to Tina Turner, friends and visitors to her shop would sometimes say “oh… you like this music? That’s Motown, a Motown classic!” so here she was in Detroit, about to bring that vague familiarity into sharp focus - MOTOWN.

Inside the museum a tour guide steps up and invites Channthy to place a pin on a world map “We ask all our visiting musicians to place a pin on our map here… where are you from? Cambodia?” The tour guide, Gary, turns out to be the stepson of Stevie Wonder.

Since joining the Cambodian Space Project, Channthy, the bands diminutive diva has become slightly obsessed with studying the maps of the different countries and continents around the world and learning the names and locations of the towns and cities in world she never thought she’d travel. On tour, Channthy will pull out the in-flight magazine then thumb to back page to the map of flight paths “Where’s France? Where’s UK? Where’s Cambodia?” Now, studying the map on the wall, Thy quickly finds Cambodia then tries to place the pin right on Prey Veng Province…”Yes, here it is, my village is here” she exclaims. It’s the same spot where, on the evening of April 30, 1970, in a televised address to the nation, President Nixon announced his plan to eradicate communist sanctuaries along the Cambodia-South Vietnam border.


From 1970, Channthy’s Prey Veng province was to become one of the most bombed places on earth. Precisely 10 years after Nixon’s televised announcement, and the devastation that followed, Channthy was born. She was born the daughter of a Cambodian tank driver into a conflict and turmoil that continued to cripple Cambodia. Music became a solace to years of living life hard and now in hard pressed, bankrupt Detroit, Channthy is about to immerse herself in music history, and in doing so, record her own new album with more than a slight nod to the Motown sounds that once spilled into her own country and clearly influenced the  so-called Cambodian Psychedelic Rock & Roll that reigned for a decade from the mid 60’s until the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge in 1975.

Flashing back nearly 50 years, to 1964. Another young singer is making her way across Detroit to Motown Studios. Martha Reeves is not aware that the United States government has already begun stationing troops in Vietnam and will soon be embroiled in full-scale war in Vietnam. Nor is she aware that today she will sing the anthem to the coming social, political, and cultural upheaval that would be known as “the sixties”.

Twenty three year old Martha Reeves is thinking about conflict much closer to home. Just by crossing enemy lines, from the Eastside to the Westside Motor City, she is passing by the workers houses and busy factories of Detroit where an ongoing gang war means an Eastsider (like herself) could get beaten up just being on the wrong side of the dividing line - being Woodward Avenue. Despite her concerns, Martha’s life is changing and so is the world around her. Three years earlier she’d packed in her job at a dry cleaner's and now she has had three top 40 hits with her group, the Vandellas. She is already a singer famous to both black and white audiences, but, despite her rising fame and hit records, there are many things that are still new and strange.

Soon Martha’s bus arrives outside a wooden house where a hand painted sign reads Hitsville USA. It’s a warm and familiar home to Martha who steps down into Studio A — a small room with white padded walls and a wooden floor, a piano resting on one side of the room and four microphones hanging from the ceiling.  As legend has it, one of Martha’s Motown family members Marvin Gaye, is already in the studio. He’s struggling to complete a vocal track for a new song. Gaye peers down from the control room and spots Martha just as Mickey Stevenson, producing of the session, suggests an idea “Hey, man, let’s try this on Martha.”

The music has already been recorded and when she learns the song title Dancing In the Streets, she doesn’t think much of it. Reeves recalls hearing Marvin Gaye sing the song over and over and by the time a mic was set up for her vocal, she had already decided it was a song more suited for a male voice. But on hearing the brassy introduction Reeves immediately changed her mind and was soon hooked by the first line:

 “Calling out around the world…”

Two vocal takes later, the world has another Motown hit! A song that would become the anthem of the 1960s. “Calling out around the world…are you ready for a brand new beat”.

By the summer of ’64 America was changing. The Beatles and other British groups are starting to dominate American music charts.
    [READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.........]

Join the Cambodian Space Project this Friday night for a special home-coming show at the good ol’ homely establishment known as Planet Equinox.

Apart form that totally great gig there is an absolutely jammed packed week of more totally smokin' gigs coming our way.

By now you would have probably already heard about the Vibe Music Fest that is happening over 10 days at The Doors starting tomorrow (Friday). The Musical Director for the Gabi Faja was kind enough to send this wrap of the event.

A 10 days of music featuring new bands, established outfits, awesome concept, amazing individual artists both Khmer and Expat.  I’ve thought about it for a while, it seemed like a natural step, so a few of us stepped in and brought it to life, with massive support from Doors and it’s patrons.

Doors had great gear, it just needed calibrating plus a few additions. (we might accidentally have placed a Grand Piano there too, wops.) - So we did that, asked some geniuses to wire it all in…simple! Now it sounds something else.

With Phnom Penh being full of ridiculous personalities, I had no shortage of creative help, from stylists to designers, from Sound men to Video Mapping nerds and of course the crazy collective of musicians. There was real activity in the preparation of this and all involved feel excitement that the Penh is staging this. Ultimately, it’s about friendship, music and creativity, that’s the VIBE!

What some people might be asking is what makes this different from seeing the bands around the traps at various venues over the next few weeks anyway (?!). It is a valid question so let's look at what might make it special.

Firstly many night feature a combination of artists never seen before - such as the opening gig featuring Dub Addiction and DJ/VJ Roberto. Roberto will be creating a special atmospheric vibe with some previously unseen 3D-mapping visuals. Could be quite cool. On this Sunday the Fest presents a combination of KIN and the Swing Kings and on Wednesday Joe Wrigley introduces a new combination of songs an musicians with the Jumping Jacks (not a Rolling Stones cover band I am assured). On the Thursday a couple of new and young Cambodian acts - being No Forever and 15 y.o. vocalist Akhia, will team up with totally gorgeous and captivating renditions from Amanda Bloom. Finally, next Saturday (the 24th), the original contemporary fusion of Krom will team up with Master Kong Nay and his son Kong Boran. This could be something very special indeed.

Not only will the festival be rich in new combinations but it will also present something new. This will include a new set of WASH compositions featuring an electronic musical soundscape with the poetry of Scot Bywater. Also catch DJ Bluesabelle as she emerges from Le Bar to keep the vibe happening between and after sets from Vibratone and Jahzad. Ultimately a concentration of bands playing at a venue over a short period like this tends to make something special happen - it creates a vibe, a scene, a special place to be.

Another totally amazing couple of gigs on this weekend and next will be from international singer-songwriter TOBI. TOBI has been nominated for nine Grammy awards - so that's pretty cool. He is in Cambodia with his bass player Aidan to play a few gigs but to also give a number of workshops at a couple of local schools for underprivileged children in Phnom Penh. Leng Pleng will be featuring an interview with the artists in coming issues - stay tuned. The guys will play at The Latin Quarter on Friday and The Village on Saturday.

That's not the whole story for the weekend mind you - check out all the gigs in the gig guide. It's so totally happening and cool!

I will leave you with the new video from Indradevi. What a totally great composition and video. Check it out.


From Ted, Rob and I here in the back streets of Phnom Penh, have a great weekend, be cool with each other and see you around the traps. Here's this week's gig guide.


Latest Gigs

Thursday  15-Aug-2013
  • 8:30 PM ~ Amanda Bloom at The Village
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ F.U.D at MetaHouse
  • 9:30 PM ~ The Diego Latin Trio at The Slur Bar
Friday  16-Aug-2013
  • 5:00 PM ~ Master Man Men and Students at New Leaf Book Cafe in Siem Reap
  • 6:00 PM ~ Chris de Nogales , Joe Wrigley , Roddy Fraser and Bong Man at Le Jardin
  • 7:30 PM ~ Ricky Rotten & the Scumbags at The Show Box
  • 8:00 PM ~ Hartini Van Rijssel and Mark Lippe at MetaHouse
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Tonle Dub and DJ Mercy at MetaHouse
  • 9:00 PM ~ TOBI * at The Latin Quarter
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Hype at Code
  • 9:00 PM ~ The Underdogs at Sharkys
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Anna at Nova Penthouse
  • 9:00 PM ~ The Cambodian Space Project at Equinox
  • 9:00 PM ~ Dub Addiction and VJ/DJ Roberto at The Doors
  • 9:00 PM ~ Jaworski 7 at The Show Box
  • 9:30 PM ~ DJ Strange Fruit at The Slur Bar
  • 10:00 PM ~ DJ Styluxtakut at Pontoon
Saturday  17-Aug-2013
  • 2:00 PM ~ Ringtail at Number 9 Hotel
  • 6:00 PM ~ Splitter and The Anti-Fate at The Show Box
  • 8:00 PM ~ Jahzad at The Latin Quarter
  • 8:30 PM ~ TOBI * at The Village
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Bluesabelle and Vibratone at The Doors
  • 9:00 PM ~ The Adobo Conspiracy at Sharkys
  • 9:00 PM ~ Rob Little at The Heart of Darkness
  • 9:00 PM ~ DJ Cuppa Tea at MetaHouse
  • 9:00 PM ~ DSN & Gemz and Java & Stitch at The Slur Bar
  • 10:00 PM ~ DJ Illest at Pontoon
Sunday  18-Aug-2013
  • 7:00 PM ~ DJ Nico at MetaHouse
  • 7:30 PM ~ Kin Jazz and Swing Kings at The Doors
Monday  19-Aug-2013
  • 7:30 PM ~ Cambostomp at The Doors
Tuesday  20-Aug-2013
  • 8:00 PM ~ Scott Bywater and WASH at The Doors
Wednesday  21-Aug-2013
  • 8:30 PM ~ Joe Wrigley at The Doors
  • 9:30 PM ~ Ace Zapa at The Village
Coming Up
  • The Q'Vans * at The FCC Phnom Penh
  • TOBI * at The Memphis Pub
  • Holliday In Cambodia at Equinox
  • Jaworski 7 at Equinox
  • The Fumes at Equinox
  • Amanda Bloom, No Forever and Akhia Cyxtiel at The Doors
  • Euan Gray and Charlie Corrie at The Doors
  • Espresso Thmey at Equinox
  • The Cambodian Space Project at The FCC Phnom Penh
  • RNA + Friends at Paddy Rice, The Village
  • Vibratone at The Slur Bar
  • Oscar's Band at The Slur Bar
  • Jahzad at The Slur Bar
  • Ace Zapa at The Village
  • Station to Station at The Slur Bar, Paddy Rice
  • Two Shots and a Chaser at The Slur Bar, Sharkys
  • Invisible Agent at MetaHouse
  • DJ Nico at MetaHouse
  • DJ Cuppa Tea at MetaHouse
  • DJ Dr. Wah Wah and DJ Dizzco at MetaHouse
  • James Speck, Tim King and DJ Nicomatic at MetaHouse
  • Jahzad and DJ Bluesabelle at The Doors
  • Krom and VJ/DJ Roberto at The Doors
  • DJ Tonle Dub, Phat Controller, DJ Cab, DJ Simon C Vent and Salmon All Star at The Show Box
  • Gabi Faja, DJ K'Dam and Gobeshite at The Naga House in Kampot

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