My Rats – 7th August 2022

My rats, my rats, my little gutter rats
We ran together, we released the bats
Our bondage brigade marched ever on
We instinctively knew who was the clever one
With cider right beside her bag of glue
Hellzapoppin as all the young savages dü
On mattress castles, the princess and the pee
And stinking dogs shit wherever they be
No glamour in this clamour drenched in sweat
We know we grow to be the best ones yet
D. cried about courage, and soon he was dead
If the man doesn’t get you, he’s always in your head
Nuclear ghosts haunted all our youth
Marching in millions seeking some truth
The sham in 69 was still in 79 too
We loved in vain but knew that love was true
And so those glories now dare not be repeated
Angry eyes glared, “ever feel like you’ve been cheated?”
That revolution sparked is now a faded glory
Who now to stop the world with their own story?

People’s opinions are mainly designed to make them feel comfortable; truth, for most people is a secondary consideration.

Bertrand Russell

E.very D.umb M.ale – 24th September 2021

It’s a post-post-punk world
Music totally deconstructed
No alternative Alternative
A disco ball disruptive
Every dumb male makes music
Click, click, bleep and hop
Bedroom producers now equal
In this new world of pop
Indie kings sold guitars
To take up regular jobs
Making money on weekends
With the twiddling of knobs
Purists complain to deaf ears
Yet this was always the goal
Anyone can be making music
Even if it is without soul
So the punks both won and lost
Perhaps they were never right
Now there’s little to rebel against
And everyone gave up the fight

Ready For Something – 22nd September 2021

The kids are bored just hanging out
Breaking curfews and running about
They’re ready for something, set to rise
The fire is burning behind their eyes
The trigger arrives by train and bus
Thinking ‘no one else can fuck with us’
The energy is bursting out of control
Electric atmosphere to charge your soul
The movement grew to change the world
Banners raised, freak flags unfurled
Possibilities open to interpretations
Underground rising across the nations

Inspired by listening to Joey Keithley of D.O.A. travelling to their first show in San Francisco in 1980 (?). Some band members went by bus, another by train and a fourth by hitchhiking. D.O.A. were a pioneering band spreading their punk rock messages around the world. He said that at that time kids were ready for something, though they were not quite sure what it was.

Of course, there are other possible interpretations too.

No Punk Intended – 24th June 2021

Slamming into each other
Having so much fun
It’s a heaving circle pit
Until each song is done
But someone is down
On the slippery floor they slid
Someone should help them up
But no punk in ten did
The skins have come with bats
Meting out some violence
What to do about them?
Just met with silence
The beatings had started
The punks all run and hid
Stand up all together
But no punk in ten did

Whisper to scream, now take me out of the moonlight – 16th March 2021

Where’s my tribe?

I’ve been thinking about many diverse and exclusive things these past couple of weeks, such as difficulties I have with getting on with people, my personal social media use, with-us or against-us political environments and I have come to the conclusion that all these thought processes have been triggered by being away from my tribe. This has caused a lot of self refection, some not so good internal dialogs and finally, a mini revelation.

Reading back over old entries show that I had quite an outgoing self confidence in the past and despite feeling happier these days I think that that confidence is decreasing somehow. I see this as a good sign somewhat, in that I am not so old and stuck in my ways that I think everything I do is right or perfect or that I have a fallen into the stale patterns of comfort. But I do feel that I can be knocked down easily by the judgement of some who don’t understand me or my style.

I try my best to fit in wherever I am but I am just not built to think like other people. Now I need to re-learn that that is ok and I am still worthwhile and offer value in this world, in this space.

In the last 2 weeks (since starting to think about this topic) I have gained back some of my self-confidence and understood (or re-understood) that I am OK the way I am and I don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations except my own. If some people are rubbed the wrong way by my own manner then I can see the balance between it being my problem and being theirs. After all, these people are not part of my tribe. I still value their connection but ultimately these are not going to be people that I will, or want to, spend my free time with.

I am who I am, and I understand myself.

So – what is my tribe?

They must be connected to punk, music and the DIY ethos that I have worked with, on and off, over the last 30 years – the people and connections I have made within those spheres are my tribe. There is no punk or music scene here where I live though the DIY ethos is quite apparent in the way Thai people tend to do as much as they can by themselves, usually in order to save money.

The DIY ethos inspires me to do things under my own influence and to work hard for a common good, even if the result is personal and self-serving, the action is often the reward rather than the result.

In the past I partook in scenes as a show organizer or music producer but at this moment and place neither of these is feasible. Perhaps in an effort to discover something new to take part in I have cut myself off a little from those things from the past – particularly in an effort to remove myself from social media as much as possible. But I haven’t really discovered that something new that sparks my heart in the same way. So now I wish to reconnect – but how?

Must I soil my soul descending back into the hell of social media. Can I use it without it using me? I actually, really don’t want to do it at all but there seems to be no alternative. In the absence of anything local to be involved in, the easiest way to connect is via social media. I do miss message boards and forums of old and don’t feel the same connection with a Facebook group or even a Reddit thread.

The recent release of Senyawa’s Alkisah album, which was a worldwide cooperative release with 40 plus labels from all around the world, was an inspiring effort from everyone involved but I also feel a little reluctant to be taking part in the side of the music production cycle that I dislike the most and that is the promotion and marketing. I’ve never enjoyed it and I feel my influence is very minor compared with others who can muster the enthusiasm for these things.

The overall effort for the release though has triggered some further ideas to be more involved again and perhaps build on the catalogue of music that I have already been involved in over the last two to three decades.

Or perhaps I should just write about the music I discover in the future but even that feels like it has all been done before – much like the Gide quote at the top of this page. Can I make something new, that not only inspires me but also inspires others? Bring my tribe back together, rejoin my tribe, build my tribe again?

Pic: At the office, 2004, before re-discovering my tribe

  • When I had my original inspiration for writing this I has much more clarity around what I wanted to say. Unfortunately I didn’t get chance to write immediately and ended up with this rambling text, still searching for clues and answers.

The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #70 – Dead End – 27th December 2020

Shut Down! Dead! Run out of town!  Sheltering over the border, we bring this one last episode before fleeing the despots.  One day we’ll be back!  Look out for DJ Donut Trump – he’ll bring you the future of rock ‘n’ roll.

This week there’s all sorts of music – weird, noisy, experimental, fucked up strangeness, straight-up punk and pop all delivered with no compromise.  Join our other 3 listeners to check out the end!

Incidentals taken from the Church of the Sub Genius Hour of Slack.

Listen right here or Mixcloud, Stitcher, Apple, Amazon…..all those cool places I guess.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for all the students I have met since I started teaching. I have learned something from all of them.

The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #68 – Teeth Razor Sharp – 10th December 2020

The demons are attacking our integrity, the bogeyman is coming, teeth razor sharp.

This week there’s music from The Fall, Viletones, The Butthole Surfers, Frank Zappa, Psyche, Super Adventure Club, My Dad Is Dead, Dwarves, Toots and The Maytals, Moff Skellington, Red Forty, Descendents, Sun City Girls and Lucid Rivers.

Incidentals taken from the Church of the Sub Genius Hour of Slack.
Listen right here or Podbean, Stitcher, Apple, Amazon…..all those cool places I guess.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to have another two days off school and be able to spend time at home and with Amy.

Your house is falling down (The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #67 – Frightened and Scared) – 4th December 2020

This one is not a morning scribble but at night and I want to get some thoughts out before I try to meditate which I didn’t do for a few weeks and I can feel my head whirling, whirling.

Step out, step out! Nothing lasts forever. Step out, step out – demolition – look at it fall down.

Distraction. Music is a distraction and I love it. I love my room – my room from youth and now I return – here in my room. No window, ceiling or floor!

Music, music, music. People in and out. Relationships, people – why do I find it so difficult?

Never mind, I think I’m okay. I’m fine I don’t need to find excuses. Inside my head is okay – when I’m feeling okay – I don’t need anything or anyone – except my one true friend. I love Amy very deeply I’m a little scared if anything happens between us but I know I’ll be okay. Everything is always okay. The world spins. And all those cliches. But anyway – it’s not something I think about really – not something likely to happen as far as I know. Out, out, out, you fleeting thoughts – settle down and breathe deep.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to each of my students for the different ways they make me think. It’s a nice challenge to everything.

Imagine a world where children are not sexually harassed by their teachers…

Now listen…..

This week there’s music from The Nubs, The Sawtooth Grin, Jesus Lizard, Theatre of Hate, Spermicide, Gelbart, Abali, Esmectatons, Radio Myanmar, Big Black, Secret Chiefs 3, Miss Madeline, George Danquah, Karate and OMFO.

Incidentals taken from the Church of the Sub Genius Hour of Slack.
Listen right here or Podbean, Stitcher, Apple, Amazon…..all those cool places I guess. (the Facebook page got hijacked!)

The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #66 – The Ducks and Drakes of Evil – 28th November 2020

I don’t know how much longer we can keep this up. The ducks and drakes of evil are for a lesser form of people. The razor cuts, one hundred and twelve times, across the throat, the voices of reason.

Highly curated, carefully selected and specifically ordered* for your listening edification by world-renowned DJtenzenmen, who has over 100 years of experience in this business.

This week there’s music from Action Beat, Slapp Happy, Shudder To Think, 7 Seconds, Marnie Stern, Sleaford Mods, Slade, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sun City Girls, Umlaut, The Dickies, Dangerous Girls, Jawbreaker, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Users, Orthrelm, Massicot and Trumans Water.

Incidentals taken from the Church of the Sub Genius Hour of Slack.

Listen right here or Podbean, Stitcher, Apple, Amazon…..all those cool places I guess.

* ie totally random.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for a few hours of whisky-inspired singing to old favourite songs in my room last night.
I am so happy and grateful for the nice shirts I like to wear. I started wearing them at work just to stand out a little from the boring office shirts people always wore. Now I really enjoy a good-looking shirt.