Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ironic Thai Hipster Music Experiment 2: The Best Songs of 2009 (So Far (According to Thai College Students))

6. Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is the Move

39 Likes, 27 Dislikes (59.7% success rate)

Did you like the song? Why or why not?

-Makes me feel chill while listening
-Yes, easy listening and different melody
-Yes good feeling, good beat
-Yes I like because it is kind of song I like to listen and goodbeat
-Yes I like because this song is R and B
-Yes I like because this song is powerful
-Yes, I like it. No reason.
-Yes, I like it. Personal reasons.
-Yes, that's different from another. I like because that is women sound.
-Yes, the BGs music have some Chinese mood; brilliant singer's sound
-Yes, I like her power; song has good rhythm

-No because singer voice is disgusting
-No I like it because not fantastic rhythm
-No I think the rhythm is bad
-No confusing lyric
-No don't understand, boring, sound is mingle
-No I don't like because it make me confused, make me sleep
-No, India style, bad sound
-No, it's a softy song
-No, smell like some Hindu song. Style of the singer is good but the overall song is okay (Note to self: Teach classes the difference between "smell" and "sound." Or not."
-No. Too boring.

5. Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks

35 Likes, 22 Dislikes (61.4% success rate)

Did you like this song? Why or why not?

-Yes I like because this song easy and soft listening
-Yes soul good and like electron melody
-Yes sound cool and soft
-Yes, cute and easy lsitening
-Yes, I like this sound very much, but I don't like voice of singer
-Yes, Overall sound is good, almost great!!
-Yes, wonderful vocal and chorus sounds; adorable music
-Yes, best sound, good beat, perfect song

No, is joke beat, joke song
-No I listened then I want go to sleep
-No, makes me feel sleepy
-No, soft sound and soft rhythm, make me want to sleep on soft bed
-No, very slow and unhappy
-No, I'm boring [I like this because it sounds like a sarcastic blog comment in support of the song]
-No. Pretty style...But I don't like there vocal. He sounds like a dead people.
-No, don't like contrast of fast piano and slow voice

4. Phoenix - Lisztomania

43 Likes, 21 Dislikes (67.2% success rate)

Did you like the song? Why or why not?

-Yes make me feel relaxing and good
-Yes, enjoy of sound, good melody
-Yes, this song make me enjoy
-Make me alert after wake up
-Yes, it make me interesting. I like it. [Again, sounds like a hipster blog comment explaining why not to like the song]
-Yes, I think of Michael Jackson style mixed with the Subway haha
-Yes make me feel like I am an animal in the zoo
-This song is so funny
-New style + old style
-Tuneful, good sound
-Very fun
-Fun, happiness song
-Wonderful, happy
-I like the drum beat and the way they sing this song
-Yes, good cadence and rhythm, fascinating piece

-No, its rhythm seem bad for me
-No, I think he try to fight with drum
-Bad sound, bad song
-Don't have a meaning, noise
-This song is not interesting and I don't understand
-This song is very boring
-The sound make me don't understand
-Look like old song; vocal so wried (Note to self: teach classes the difference between "look" and "sound"; also how to spell "weird")
-This song so fun. But so fast for me.

3. Yo La Tengo - Periodically Triple or Double

46 Likes, 17 Dislikes


-Yes I like because make my breath fresh
-Great sound
-Yes I like the song is good for drink coffee
-Yes I like pop music
-Enjoy, good melody, but sound of singer is soft
-Classic, good melody
-This music is fun. I like!
-Yes I like this song because the same as old song
-Yes great timing of sound; good emotion
-Easy listening, relaxing
-I like it. It's ok for now but I'm boring this style.
-Yes I like this song. This song's beat is so fun.
-Yes, swing rhythm is very fun.
-Feeled like song in 70s or 80s
-It make me interesting
-I am so fun
-Yeah! Classic Pop (or maybe that). I like it, but the vocal volume is too low and difficult to hear.
-Yes. Retro, funny, want to dance

-I don't like it because it don't interesting and same the song general
-Don't like. It's boring.
-No fun song, hard to listen
-Bad beat, don't excieting
-This song is not fun
-Bad song, confusing lyrics
-No, I don't like guitar's sound in this song

2. jj - Are You Still in Vallda?

56 Likes, 12 Dislikes (82.4% success rate)


-Yes because it make me relax and happy
-Yes I like the song is good for listen in car
-Yes this is best song
-Yes feeling comfortable
-Yes, good style, easy listening, relaxing, smiling
-Yes, good to doze, classic
-This impress me
-I like bird sound
-Yes, melody like in nature
-Soft rhythm, clean voice
-Slow and sweet I like it
-Sweet sounding
-I like the voice of singer
-This song is acoustic song. I like acoustic song.
-Good song, relax sing [Note: WHAT A Pun!]
-Melodious voice, easy listening
-That's...this song makes me see all about flower and many...
-Yes I like it so much because I listen this song make me happy
-Good guitar, soft song, smooth song, sweet song


-It's make me sleep
-No, not interesting, boring, sleepy
-No, slow, boring, don't like woman vocals
-No, too relax, sleepy song



Camera Obscura - French Navy

57 Likes, 10 Dislikes (85.1% success rate [4AD should release this jam in Thailand!!]


-Yes, I like because thsi song have power in softly sound
--I like beautiful woman sound
-Violin sound make me feeling good
-Great melodyu, new vocal style, impress
-Yes it can make me refrashing and active
-It make me happy
-Sounds good
-This is fun
-Difference and fun
-It fun
-Yes because this song is joyful and fun
-Funny and good rhythm
-Good rhythm, funny
-I like is funny!
-Chill song, fun song
-Fun song
-Yes I like rhythm good and funny
-Very funning and interesting
-So fine song
-Feeling want to dance, feeling miss friend, good melody
-Good vocal, feel enjoyable, smooth melody
-Make me relax, make me thought I was travelling
-I like this song because it's fun music and it makes me dance
-I like it because I like the pop music, the slow music
-A good song. It's good.
-Best song
-It make me feel good


-Broadway jazz style, too elegant
-Boring, scary
-Boring, too simple song
-beat of this song not good and hard to listen
-No reason



I can say with some certainty that my class thought that "French Navy" was fun and thought that Fever Ray was Fever-Ray-ishly horrible (stretch).

They once again showed their predilection for somewhat conventional "pretty" music, with French Navy and jj topping the list just as that Bright Eyes song and Sufjan topped the last one--Dirty Projectors topping Grizzly Bear was a big surprise though. I think it really has more to do with the fact that Thais like to have fun, and so they like fun music. They are not interesting in this scary stuff, this pessimism, this regret, the spooks--and they want conventional joy, not the electronic (all be it joy-saturated) sounds of Dan Deacon or Animal Collective.

I am drawing conclusions about a culture now, based on an absurdly small sample size of well-educated college students concentrated in certain majors (mostly, Animation Media/Technology, Economics, and the Social Sciences)--but perhaps Thailand simply does not have the broad dissatisfaction of the West (broad dissatisfaction being the impetus for the original Western (by which I mean "White-skinned") hipster movement of the 60s, and perhaps the impetus for its continuing success and present-day online expansion/boom).

Is life better in Thailand (certainly sunnier than the Apple, with nicer folks)? Or have they just not imagined the greener grass opposite-oceanside like Westerners have?

Enough bloviating. My students once again impressed me with their knowledge and manipulation of their knowledge of the English language, and I once again learned to see my music differently. No need to theorize about any of that noise.

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