Murasaki Inu

A lifetime ago (13 or 14 years ago to be a bit more exact) I sat in a stuffy classroom in Tenri, Japan, and started penning my first essay in Japanese. Not having yet learned any kanji, I wrote it entirely in the phonetic alphabet known as hiragana. It began something like this: One day I walked to the main worship hall and saw a purple dog…
Thus, the legend of the murasaki inu (purple dog) was born. It was a recurring theme in later essays (four years worth to be exact) as well as many blues/enka jams (anata ha tashika ni aru / watashi no murasaki inu) when Cosmic Buddha would rock abandoned parking lots, smoky music studios, and our guitarist’s cram school late at night.
Well guess what?
I saw a purple dog today. A purple dog, here in Mahasarakham, Thailand. (Nam and I were taking my mom to see the fish sanctuary, so I have witnesses.)
I don’t think it was naturally purple. It looked like purple iodine solution (used for disinfecting wounds) had been liberally applied to a shaggy white dog, but that’s not the point. It was a purple dog.
That is all.

ubertunez

On ebay:
The World’s Greatest Music Collection
3 Million Records, 300,000 CDs, 6 million+ Song Titles

“Every recording in the collection was purchased by the collection’s owner over the past fifty years and represents a lifetime of work and his desire to see the music preserved for future generations. Advancing age and health concerns are forcing the owner to sell…
The new owner of this magnificent collection will also acquire (1) the rights to Spin-Clean, the owner’s patented vinyl record cleaning system, considered the best on the market by audiophiles the world over, (2) the rights to Discmist CD cleaner, (3) CD Saver 2-part archival CD storage sleeves, (4)Yellow Jacket 45 RPM acid-free archival storage sleeves, (5) ownership of the owner’s six publishing companies and eight independent record labels, and (7) more than $100,000 worth of antique recording and listening devices and other music memorabilia currently on loan to a museum.”

This collection would totally look good in my room.

Tribute to stsanders

You might remember a quick post I wrote a couple months ago about some awesome guitar hero parodies that were getting a lot of attention on YouTube. I hope you got to see a few of those hilarious vids, because they’re all gone now: Copyright Vampires Delete Guitar ‘Shred’ Videos from YouTube
Here’s a followup article as well: Humorless Metalheads Shut Down Popular YouTuber
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As a side note, I can’t believe that wankorama-master Yngwie Malmsteen indirectly made my blog twice in a single month.

Carabao’s Made in Thailand Cover by Farang


In my ten months here, I’ve heard this song (which was written by Carabao) performed live dozens of times by many bands… As corny as this clip might seem, this guy’s rendition is the best I’ve ever heard.
I basically cannot stand pop music from any country, but Thai pop is especially insipid IMHO. The traditional Thai music is fascinating, though, even if I can’t understand 90% of the lyrics. It has a lot to do with the energy of it, the groove, especially a live performance.
(thx t)

massively attacked

I laid down on my bed for a few minutes to watch this Massive Attack DVD that I brought from Japan. The beats were on and my mind went into caramel dreams mode… next thing I know, I’m laying in a pool of sweat and drool, and I’ve just had the best nap in recent memory – I even fell asleep on my stomach, and that like never happens (I also fell asleep on top of a pile of crap on my bed so I woke up with shapes of a pen, the TV remote, and several CDs imprinted on my body).
There are certain DVDs that have this tranquilizing effect on me, so I’m careful to hoard them and use them only when necessary. If I actually get through one of these DVDs, they never have the same effect on me again, so I have to be careful and use them wisely. Right now, there are 3 left in my metaphorical pill bottle:

  • Wave Twisters: This is actually my brother Adam’s DVD and he used to claim it was one of his favorites… The thing is, I told him about how it makes me sleepy and how I’d tried to watch all the way through at least 4 or 5 times, but he couldn’t understand why (it is interesting; it just puts me asleep partway without fail), so we tried watching it together, and… He fell asleep, too.
  • Letters from Iwo Jima: I cannot for the life of me get past the first fifteen minutes of this flick without falling asleep. I don’t know why. The subject matter is extremely interesting to me for several reasons, one of which is that the story concerns a war fought between my own country and that of my grandparents and whenever I think of that war, I wonder about how it must have made them feel living in America after having left Japan for good (oh yeah, they were probably more concerned about sleeping with rattlesnakes and giving birth in horse stables). Anyway.
  • Massive Attack – Collected Bonus DVD: I’m going to be very careful not to watch this one when I’m totally awake, because of the quality of slumber it just provided me. I love going to sleep with music on, but haven’t been able to do it regularly since I was in college – mostly because with all the stress working in Japan, I needed relative silence in order to sleep. I may experiment with my favorite trip hop albums to see if I can start sleeping with music on again. One thing I remember very clearly about sleeping with music on is that it enables very lucid dreams and REM states for me. Yes, I think I’ll try it out again.

How about all of you? Can you sleep with music on? Does certain music act as a sedative for you? How about DVDs?

On the Road 2007 (Part 2)

On a typical road trip, the driver is the big man who calls the shots and ultimately determines whether one arrives safely or stuck in a ditch. The navigator’s main responsibilities include reading maps, changing music, spotting promising meal venues/interesting sights, and taking photos from shotgun position. All of the photos below were taken at high speed (both car and shutter) and the variation in sky color can be attributed to three factors:

  1. Ever-changing weather conditions the week of our trip
  2. Whether the shot was taken through an open or closed side window, or our polarized windshield (BTW, having a tinted windshield is totally awesome because until now I’ve only owned cars in places where it’s both illegal and enforced)
  3. My unwillingness to match them in Photoshop (read: laziness)

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The only Ford tractor we saw in a 1,000km stretch of farmland. It’s sitting next to a patch of newly-planted papaya trees.

This is the kind of truck that I wish could tell its life story..

This is one of the largest stores selling cast concrete lawn animals/spirit houses/earthenware planters I have ever seen (there are countless stores like this on the roadside).

Taken unaimed out the window @ 160kph.

The only petrol station selling “high octane” gas in three counties. We stopped at a whole bunch of others before we found it, so I stretched my legs and took some photos.

The first “goat crossing” sign I’d ever seen.
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All links for the On the Road 2007 series:
On the Road 2007 (Part 1)
On the Road 2007 (Part 2)
On the Road 2007 (Part 3) – Koh Chang
On the Road 2007 (Part 4) – Overloaded
On the Road 2007 (Part 5) – Tamnanpar
On the Road 2007 (Part 6) – The Animatronic Chicken Roasters of Rayong, Thailand