Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bed + Supper = DJ Shadow

  Let's backtrack. During the wine party at the St. Regis hotel I had a conversation with the event manager at Bed Supper Club. If you can recall, this club is one of the best in Bangkok that brings in some of the best Dj's. It also happens to look like a spaceship. So, I was talking to the event manager, whom I've spoken to a few times at past events, and enthusiastically mentioned that DJ Shadow would be performing there the next night (Friday). The next day I found a message from Chris inviting me to the club. Don't mind if I do! I'm not keen on going solo into Bangkok nightlife by myself at midnight, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see a great DJ for free. Plus it's always a good way to meet new people. When I arrived at the club, Chris rolled up with two French guys. The three of us walked into the club and up to the second level on the dance club side (opposite of the bed side) to get a few drinks. Dropping 300B on a glass of champagne made me wince, so I made it last as long as possible. Needless to say, that was the only drink I bought there. With drink in hand we walked over to the bed side to see DJ Shadow.
  I must admit it wasn't the spectacle I saw in Baltimore. In Baltimore I got to witness his show "live from the Shadowsphere" as he DJ'd from inside a giant canvas globe on stage. Images were projected onto the globe and backdrop behind him, creating a really unique visual experience. For example, the globe would turn into a basketball while the backdrop turned into a wooden court. The court would zoom in and out as the basketball spun, creating a bouncing effect. So I would've loved to see that same show again, but Bed just didn't have the space for the whole set up. At Bed he was cramped under a staircase with his turntables while the visual show was projected on the opposite wall. I think his style of music is really different compared to the usual Dj's that play there. Granted the bed side is supposed to be more relaxed, but Shadow is one of the best scratchers on the planet, so he's going to do his thing. I think the typical Bed attendees are used to something they can dance to. It seems to me that his live show is more of a visual and listening experience than dancing. Good for him for bringing something new to Bed Supper. NPR has a link on their website to stream DJ Shadow's entire new album for free! It will be released October 4th. I recommend the song "Redeemed", which I heard last year at his show in Baltimore. Click NPR for the link.
  On the bed side I was introduced to Chris's fun and fabulous entourage. It might have been the most eclectic group I've ever encountered. There were two Thai guys with Australian and British accents, a young guy from Britain, the two French guys, a Finnish professional poker player and me. Somehow we all crammed into a tuk-tuk to go to an after party at a small pub. The pub was packed with European people. The walls were decorated with vintage vinyl cases and hundreds of group photos of every tourist who has ever been to the place. I spent most of my time here talking to the Finnish poker player about his life as a gambler. I don't know anything about card games, so I wasn't about to ask him any rules or card strategies. Instead I asked about how he can read the other players' body language and how his ability to read people translates to his social life. My ears were about shot by this point in the night and it must've been around 4am. I did my best to be alert - I never stay out that late. From what I gathered he is very observant and attentive. I could tell money was no object to him. I'm sure his life constantly involves winning and losing money, so spending money doesn't phase him. He told me he's won upwards of 400,000 Euro in won match! You win some, you lose some. 
  I returned home around 5am and promptly passed out in bed. When I awoke around 2pm on Saturday, I joined some friends to travel outside of Bangkok to Rangsit Universtiy. We planned a rendezvous with our friend Daren whom we met during our Khao Yai adventure. He is teaching at the university and has a lot of free time when he's not in the classroom. Me and four friends took a cab to the university and stopped at the nearest 7-11 to get some snacks. As soon as we got inside Cooper realized that he left his backpack in the taxi along with ALL of Walter's identification (wallet, passport, credit cards etc.) so they sprinted down the street in bare feet after the runaway cab. Cooper ran directly after the cab while Walt sprinted through the campus to try and catch the cab around the corner. When Cooper ran out of breath he found a kid on a motorbike and hopped on the back to chase down the taxi on a high-speed pursuit. Luckily, Cooper caught up to the cab and recovered his backpack. Crisis averted, we regrouped and went for a walk around the university campus. The campus was very modern compared to a university in America. The picture below is the view from the top of the tallest building. 
  As we waited for Daren to meet up with us, we spent our time in a video game cafe playing FIFA for about an hour. I'd say 20B was a good deal. No wonder all the St. Gabriel students spend so much time at these places. When Daren arrived we all went to a small restaurant to get dinner before going to an outdoor bar for a few drinks. The bar had a great backyard feel to it with a few ponds and decorative lanterns in the trees. My favorite part was the vintage car chassis placed around the grass. I saw an old VW van and beetle, as well as an old Mercedes convertible. Speakers were mounted in the vehicles so that the live band could be heard from multiple sources. "Sweet Duck 3" is a bar I would definitely visit again. 

  After weeks of talking to different dentists and going back and forth between clinics, I finally got my wisdom teeth removed yesterday. I first went to a clinic to get x-rayed, then went to a recommended dentist, then went to a recommended surgeon. I was a bit nervous about the whole operation because the language barrier. I made it a point to always have confirmation of understanding. The doctors were very helpful. It was just so frustrating and challenging to communicate with all the proper people along the way and convince the doctors that there was no way I was going to stay in the hospital for three days to recover. Been there, done that. I think the surgery went well, though. Of course it's painful, but bearable. My face isn't swollen at all and my sinuses feel clearer! I'm glad that I got the last of my wisdom teeth removed just to get it all over with. I payed for the surgery out of my pocket. 10,000B is half a paycheck that would've been spent for my travels. However, I didn't want to be in pain during my vacation. This really was the ideal time to have them removed. Classes are over, which leaves us to menial office work doing second semester lesson planning until break. 

Song of the Day: Same Same but Different
 Today features the song "Lazy Eye" by Silversun Pickups. This band has been around for a few years and has gained a lot of attention from notable music magazines. This song is their first big hit off of the album, Carnavas. I first heard the remix last New Year's Eve in good old Harrisburg, PA, at the Midtown Arts Center. Me and my friends from home had a blast dancing to some excellent remixes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Banana Boat song. Any remix sounds awesome after drinking an unknown amount of Irish car bombs and topping them off with a bit of FourLoco. Altogether a recipe for ridiculous behavior on the dance floor. Good times. 

Silversun Pickups - 'Lazy Eye' 

Silversun Pickups - 'Lazy Eye' (Jason Bentley Remix) <<<Download

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