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Sunday Soul – Special Edition: Southeast Asia 2015 Tour – Thank you set
Year 12 – Mix 1 – Music for the week of June 1st 2015
Well year 11 sure turned out a lot differently than we’d expected didn’t it? I was on a roll, going through the 20th century as a vague concept of the “self” as it shifted from royal empires and religious devotion into nationalism, and then into a sense of the individual and the introduction and rise of the idea from it’s origins in Vienna to the exploitation on wall street as we experience it today. I got as far as “I Am Empire” and then my plans to leave town and record in the desert, see death valley, the grand canyon, and visit with people in New Mexico were thwarted by a smash and grab and I lost everything. Thanks, in part, to the warm help from you and also from my family I was able to begin to collect my thoughts, and get back up and running again. Nothing can replace what was lost, but that’s always true isn’t it? We have only to collect our thoughts and make a few honest decisions about how we might like to be organized from here, and proceed. So proceed I am, and I’d like to use this opportunity as an account, or a chance to bring you with me…
The mini tour was on, and then it was off. Then it was on again, and then it was looking like it was off again. I had given up, and naturally that’s when it all came together. I was to fly off on the Hello Kitty Airline (really) and fly from SF to Taipei, and then connect on to Phnom Penh, and then nearly three weeks later fly back to SF from Jakarta, Indonesia. I needed to secure bookings, organize travel between Cambodia and wherever else I was going, get travel visas, paperwork, insurance, shots, and a few days to coordinate everything. That was a lot to suddenly have in my lap, but I was thrilled, and it was on, and so I hit the ground running.
First job was to get permission to enter the Kingdom of Cambodia. Sounds like a big deal, but it isn’t. There are lovely services out there, and I found one of them which made the arrangements for me. It is such a strange thing to snap a sleepy, bed headed photo of yourself and then upload it to a server, and several hours later be holding an official travel document featuring a photograph of yourself from the hallway, moments after waking up. Armed with this I set out to find more people to play for, and new places to go. By the end of the conversations it looked like there was a lot to accomplish.
The Mission: figure out how to coordinate an adventure between Taipei, Phnom Penh, Kep, Kampot, Saigon (which is really Ho Chi Minh City, but nobody actually calls it that,) then back up to Phnom Penh, over to Thailand, up to Bali, up to Singapore, and then over to Jakarta then home.
I am absolutely up for a mission like this. I love these adventures. Last summer Martha and I jumped on a plane and headed off to Europe without a booking agent or a solid plan and played some of the most wonderful events in the history of events being played – rocking out on top of Mont Juiic in Barcelona with Finn and the grandma’s who were eating grilled chicken legs until they were absolutely all dancing and cheering and begging for more, or playing without a sound system or a mixer (effectively an acoustic set) as a “seminar” in a Paris basement, or totally blowing up a Yorkshire discotheque from a strange and awkward band of secret ticklers into a warm, open, and beautifully loving family of amazing friends, to the boat party that David threw in Portugal. It was simply amazing. So with these sorts of experiences, and many more behind me, I know what anyone who knows me knows, and that’s just that it takes a little love, a little communication, and some faith and it’s absolutely, completely, and totally on.
I have to say that the memories from this adventure are many, and magnificent. I am really only now, a month or so later, beginning to decompress and find my way forward from this experience. The red dusty road which stretches from the Observatory in Saigon all the way to Kampot in Cambodia is long, and magnificent. Paul and I roared across this 784km stretch of road with scarves wrapped around our heads. My mouth filled with dust, and a triangle of skin on my forehead was sunburned, and we stopped at the abandoned villas, and rode up to the top of the Kep hills to temple and tried to put the ideas of buddhism, totalitarian corruption, and war together in our minds as we peered out at the endless landscape of this beautiful country. The pepper plantation above Kampot where I cracked a red peppercorn between my teeth and tasted the sweet fruit of the skin, and the harpoon of spice in my throat, the wild and lawless road rules where no traffic laws or lights apply to anyone, ever, my scooter ride around the circumference of Bali, getting lost and it taking 4 hours to find my way back, staying in a the middle of a rice field at the house of rice goddess, dancing with what felt like long lost family and friends at the villa, the room, pontoon pulse, the pool of the willow, bauhaus, and lucy in the sky… absolutely amazing.
The people were so magnificent. The best way I have to describe the contrast, to perhaps put it vaguely into context for you is this: A fruit plate is the same thing all over the world. You pay something like $14 – $24 at the finest hotels for tough pineapple and mushy strawberries, smothered in over ripe banana slices, and maybe some mealy blueberries (it’s always the same crappy fruit) to be set before you in an ordinary white dish by staff who don’t care about you, don’t look in your eyes, and you will never remember. My first breakfast in Phnom Penh started with a generous handmade bowl of the most beautiful fruit, delivered by a man whom I shared warm smiles with. I couldn’t figure out what the large pink fruit was, so I was careful about choosing the first piece and the man who brought it to me beamed, and waited with me to see if I liked it. When the sweet, delicious flavor and absolutely perfect texture spread across my lips in a smile, the man who brought me the fruit beamed with even more joy than I felt. We laughed, and discussed the food, and the experience was a pleasure. My breakfast was free. It was included with my room. So in a country where they have absolutely nothing – and I mean nothing – my delicious and beautiful breakfast is not only free, but accompanied with love, joy, friendship and pleasure. Whereas in the great cites of the world where the abundance is literally shameless, we get thick, unpleasant pineapple, creepy green melon that’s slimy, frozen strawberries, indifference, and it’s so expensive that it’s amazing the people who ask such a price can sleep at night.
Maybe it seems to me that where there is more time, and less money what’s important shifts. If that’s true then what are we attempting to buy with our money? Is it isolation? Is it separation? I don’t know… but if I could have decided to stay in that moment in time, I would have.
But of course the truth is that we must not attempt to drag our psychic damage with us everywhere we go. Imagine me trying to fit the Golden Gate Bridge into the little tiny street I was staying at. No. What’s gone is gone, and where we are is where we are. I loved the opportunity to be present in each of those moments. I needed to unwrap myself from so many things, and just make Lucy happy by playing Laid Back, and cheer when Grant showed up wrapped in lights, or feel completely divided when I dehydrated myself so profoundly that my brain was throbbing and I wanted to keep playing, but my brain was throbbing and I should have stopped, or just walking into the mid 70’s and being blown away by the visions of my babysitter, my teachers, and other “adults” from my childhood. Old friends unseen since I was so small. A thousand things blurring up through me and exploding like confetti between the struggles of San Francisco’s de evolution into mediocrity, my moral concerns around expatriation, and what the hell ideas land in the middle to focus us on sustainability, truth, love, and now.
I’ll never forget how Steve looks with a wig on, or how much fun he and Adam are at a little private party. I’ll never forget the glow of Stuart (Strangefruit) and how much I ached to go to Siem Reap after talking with him for a few hours of teleporting between the sub club in Glasgow and the magnificence of everything around us. I’ll never forget Kim, Ken, and Andrew for our trip to the boy bar, or their hands down most magnificent fierceness (which is a huge compliment coming from a San Franciscan,) or just being together with nothing much to do but take a swim, or eat some lunch. I’ll never forget Rob’s sexy mustache – the perfect costume. I’ll never forget the bus ride. I’ll never forget seeing Belda again in Indonesia. I loved making her laugh, cheering her up, and just being together. I’ll never forget waking up in the middle of a rice field. I’ll never forget the Willow – my home in Cambodia. I’ll never forget Dea and his family, his wonderful music, and our two glorious meals together. I’ll never forget a mother asking me how old I was because she wanted me to “mate” with her Daughter (I declined and was very kind, but oh god, seriously?) I’ll never forget how much I love wandering the streets of great cities where I can’t read any of the signs, or speak a single word of the language. I’ll never forget Lucy and Grant and all the time we got to spend together – such stars. I’ll never forget Nat and her heart, or her warmth, or her magical bright light, or Jolie’s book following me around, or Lindy’s anything and everything (because Lindy is amazing and no one with a heart or a brain could ever forget Lindy,) and David’s charm, generosity, and huge heart. I’ll never forget what it means to ride in a tuk tuk. I’ll never ever forget the horrible smell of garbage (which one strangely doesn’t actually mind.) I’ll never forget the boat ride up the Mekong and back at sunset. I’ll never forget how I embarrassed myself at the radio station attempting to contrast Californian sympathy and outrage over the Viet Nam war with the actual devastation to Cambodia and for Cambodians (what a total lummox, oh god.) I’ll never forget all the things I’ve already forgotten, or the people who I didn’t get to meet, or the creepy guy from the pool who was such a mess. I’ll never forget Paul and his bashful and beautiful awesome. There’s no one like Paul. He rules. And Ang, magical, amazing Ang who can take anything – absolutely anything – and make you feel like you’ve been treated to elegance, love, kindness, and light. She’s an angel. She deserves her beautiful name. Really, it was a teleportation experiment, it was magic, it was lifesaving. I’ll never forget it.
Maybe all I’m trying to tell you is that I had a wonderful time. I met wonderful people. I played wonderful music. And I am so grateful. I loved it. I love you. Thank you.
Here is the track listing for Sunday Soul: Southeast Asia Tour – Thank you set
1. my first ride in a tuk tuk
2. Jakarta call to prayer
3. Don’t Stop The Dance – Todd Terje Remix – Roxy Music
4. Do It Now – Dubtribe *
5. Get Lost – Kollektiv SGP
6. True – Extended Mix – Drums of Death
7. The Sun – Sunshine Jones
8. Age Of The Jaguar – Toomy Disco
9. Only Love Can Make It Right – Chrissy Edits
10. Strandbar – Disko Version – Todd Terje
11. Move Like Us – Mister T.
12. Matters – &ME
13. Ragysh – Todd Terje
14. White Horse – Laid Back
15. Thelma – Nhar
16. Sicko – Rex The Dog (Equipment Demo)
17. Honey Bunny – Sunshine Jones Remix – Mastered – Jesus Gonsev
18. I Just Wanna Fly – Sunshine Jones *
19. I Wanna Kiss You All Over – Sunshine Jones Re Edit – Exile
20. I’ll Be Around (OHYEAH Remix) – The Spinners
21. Bali Rain
22. Tuk tuk Ride to the Phnom Penh airport
Year 12 – Mix 1
31 May 2015
Total Running Time: 01 Hours 38 Minutes 32 Seconds
* Performed Live
May the stars above you shimmer and shine, guiding your heart always, all of the time. May they guide you sweetly, all the way home. And may all your sundays have soul.