The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #39 – 23rd May 2020

Music from Pregnant Neck, The Fugs, 35mm Dreams, Tsushimamire, Skurge, Mudhoney, George Duke, Electric Light Orchestra, Lightning Bolt, Unknown, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Dennis Brown, Wild Youth, Vibrato Fetish, Spanish Dogs, beNt, Cockney Rejects and The Temptations.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for my shower in the morning, to cool and refresh, and prepare for the day.

The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #32 and #33 – 4th April 2020

Music from Girolamo Ugolini, Dragibus, Giant Sand, The Majic Ship, Bellini, Psychedelic Furs, The Sugar Shoppe, Sax Ruins, Beefeater, The Show Business Giants, The Hoax, Lindsay Cooper, The Afterglow, Amaxonas, Delroy Wilson, Dag Nasty, David Bowie, Christian Fitness, Beekeeper, Jackie Wilson and Negazione.

Music from Here and Now, Bob Drake, Orthrelm, Per Purpose, 20 Minute Loop, Shinki Chen, Tuxedomoon, Smog, POX, Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers, The Move, The Who, Unsane, Samla Mammas Manna, Unwound, Bob Dylan and Retox.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for these cushions where I rest my head on these lazy days.

Sometimes a parrot talks – 7th March 2020

In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, Arthur Deikman warned that many of the spiritual and utopian groups that had mushroomed out of the counter-culture were harmful cults…… He identified four signs of cult-like behaviour — dependence on a leader, compliance with the group, forbidding dissent, and devaluing outsiders. These four behaviours were particularly strong in cults, he suggested, but existed throughout society.

– Jules Evans – The soulful psychiatrist (email newsletter)

When I read this I immediately became aware that the school system that I am working within in this country is cult-like. These are government schools where I work, so it makes some sense. Governments operate utilising these four behaviours too.

In this system, preferences are given to the leader, superior or elder, whether they are deserving or not. If they are found lacking machinations begin to move that leader along, often with a handshake to comfort the stab in the back.

Compliance within the group is essential. You must conform. Non-conformity will enable idle gossip, rumour and lies. This will dig deep into your soul until it becomes unbearable. The nail that sticks out gets hammered down. (I am that nail, over and over. Yes, I am stupid but I hope to learn.) It is a culture clash that happens repeatedly as teachers come and go faster than they can be replaced. No one learns from this as each party shakes their fists as they walk away.

Dissent leads the same way. Any question is seen as dissent, any suggestion is dissent, opening your mouth can be taken as dissent. To make improvements trickster behaviour must be employed, backroom suggestions that may filter through as if the leaders had thought of it themselves.

And the old favourite – devaluing outsiders. In an environment of education, it seems like it should be essential for everyone to work together. However, here there is a palpable us and them. If you decide to follow the path of non-compliance and dissent you will be seen to have no value (‘you’re one of them, one of them’). The survival technique ensures devaluing yourself – it is too great a burden for many to take.

I am not filled with hope for education in this country. But I can hope that it is only my limited experience and that things are much better in private schools at least, but which unfortunately only the wealthy can afford.

The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #28

Music from Aburadako, Ween, The Fall, Ahleuchastistas, Steve Miller Band, Radio Palestine, Sajjanu, The Motions, The Letters, Abnorman Chaffy, The Ramones, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Girls Against Boys, Marmalade Butcher, Guzzlemug, Slight Seconds, Cinematics, Strange Changes.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to watch our trees sprout new growth. To see the birds fly down from the branches and pick up yummy worms.

The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #27 – 1st March 2020

Music from The Cavedwellers, Circus Brekovic, Deerhoof, Descendents, Gregory Isaacs, The Milkshakes, Queen, Didjits, Octafish, Elvis Costello, Emporer Yes, Althea and Donna, The Soul Owners, White Blacula and This Heat.

Weight: 79.0kg
Resting heart rate: 48

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for being able to sit on this plane. To be able to afford to visit my friends. And for having a home to return to.

Proximity Butterfly – Reprieve – The Auspicious Occurrence of Dr. Chen’s Past Lives – 1st December 2011

Cat: 088TZM

Proximity Butterfly melts together with ancient Chinese instruments and cutting edge-rock layered with psychedelia. Established in 2003 by Joshua C. Love (America), Chenduxi (China) and Heather Judson (Canada), Proximity Butterfly landed in China 9 years ago – since then, the tales of performance, power and the world’s unknowns have shaken the space that makes this band so unique and full of genuine expression. The band currently consists of guitarist/vocalist/producer Joshua C. Love, bassist/vocalist Heather Love, guitarist Lenny (Robert Tanner), and drummer Wang Yong. 

Their music is mixed with a complex variety of elements, including the retro atmosphere of Led Zeppelin through complex jazz time signatures, Pink Floyd’s psychedelia and strikingly poignant lyrics, an unidentified aspect of aggressive rhythm structures and an ethereal tactfulness only to be compared to the likes of Jane’s Addiction or Sigor Ros. Creating an almost circus-like attraction to what songs they’ll play next, Joshua C. Love describes it as, “looking for the timeless, a series of works that can be heard in a 100 years and people will say, yeah, I know that feeling.” 

“The live shows are like a ceremony. Not religious, but so full of passion and attention that the energies tie the room together.”

Joyside – Maybe Tonight – 28th February 2011

047TZM

After a short break Joyside have released their final e.p. – a double disk with 6 new songs and a dvd – a documentary of their 2007 Europe tour.

Beer, cigarettes, hormones, pogo, restless, out of control, sorry…these words have appeared more and more often in the dictionary of cult youths. Vintage guys are everywhere in Gulou street and the girls who come to watch the show keep changing but Joyside still cannot be copied. 

Neon, polka dot, gorgeous peony, aurora over the city – the design of the new e.p. shows perfectly the temperament of the new Joyside – romantic, psychedelic, enchanting, beautiful with sorrow. Joyside desperately prays for the nice things in this new e.p. but sometimes, the dreams are disillusionment.

Joyside has really changed. Their music is no longer the weapon for resistance but the media to convey emotions. As a result, the melody is more fluent and the composing is more fruitful. 

Singer Bian Yuan keeps saying that life is meaningless. Humanity is meaningless. No light, no hope, cold, hard…..these are his usual expressions. But on the other hand, maybe these mean he has a shy and anxious desire for the warmth, light and love! The philosophy of Joyside is contradictory and repeating. They express love by chaos and break, or express despair by sweet and romantic. ‘The Last Song for the Endless Party’ will make you consider what a scene it could be? The last song for the endless party, the last kiss for the endless love. Life is short. We don’t know whether to live happily or to die sadly.