Homegrown & Well Known: Deny Surya

Either Bali doesn’t have a whole lot of skillful cross-genre drummers or this guy is just one hell of an adventurer when it comes to his music. No matter the reason, Deny Surya is one sought after player.

Domestic Groove: Syaharani

Well, I actually don’t really listen to any particular album these days. At the moment I’m working intensely on songs for my project ESQI:EF (Syaharani & Queenfireworks).

Domestic Groove: RICHARD OH

All this month, three songs seem to take possession of me: James Morrison’s “In My Dreams” and Jason Mraz’s “The World As I See It” and “I Won’t Give Up”.

Domestic Groove: THE SECRET AGENTS

Favourite albums at the moment: Superbad Soundtrack vol. 38: The Return of Setan Tete (compiled by Gooodit) and Superbad Soundtrack vol. 34: Super Suranta I (compiled by David Tarigan)

Homegrown & Well Known: ARIEF ‘AYIP’ BUDIMAN

Arief ‘Ayip’ Budiman is a key figure of graphic design and marketing communication in Indonesia. He started marking his territory since 1991. He pioneered and at the forefront of so-called “creative industry” in Bali.

Homegrown & Well Known: BROZIO ORAH

There’s one local music veteran who’s “been there done that” but not that many people—yes you, kids—have noticed: Brozio Orah.

Rock-n-Roll Exhibition: REBEKAH E. MOORE

Edition: November 30, 2011

Rock-n-Roll Exhibition: REBEKAH E. MOORE
Rock For Our Rights: The Planets Rarest and Most Radical Protest Songs

:: Playlist, intro, song descriptions, and photos, handpicked and written by Bekah herself ::

This stage has no podium. These musicians are not politicians, news reporters, or educators. They are Indonesian citizens who share, with those in the pit tonight, a concern for justice. This rock concert is a demonstration: a loud, emotion-filled rally for honesty and equality. The dissenters do not move forward, marching in unison. They move in danceamoshing, head banging, grasping compatriots, and singing, in unison, songs that unite them and give poetic shape to a deep longing for something better, for one and all…

I found these words in my research journal in 2010, written shortly after accompanying Bali-based grunge/psychedelic rock band Navicula on a tour to Jakarta to launch their latest single, “Metropolutan” (Metro-pollutant). One week earlier, the song was released for free download on the Internet.

“Metropolutan” marked the band’s latest critique of environmental degradation in Indonesia, a response to the pollution crisis in the nation’s capital. Each night of the tour, hundreds of Navicula fans crammed into Jakarta venues and sang this song collaboratively, having memorized the lyrics after just a few days of repeated listening.

As an ethnomusicologist, I came to Indonesia to study the development of the independent music industry in Bali following the 2002 bombings. But that tour, and my many other encounters with music activism in Indonesia and throughout my career have led me to a preoccupation with music as it debates and defines social justice.

For my installation in this Rock-n-Roll Exhibition, I present just a handful of the many protest songs I’ve encountered over the years and across nations. I exclude such distinguished artists as Rage Against The Machine or Bob Marley, as well as a number of definitive protest anthems, from Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” to Phil Ochs’ “I Ain’t Marching Anymore,” despite my immense respect for these artists and anthems. Rather than revisiting the familiar classics (though I still sneak in a few favorites), I opt to explore a selection of artists—diverse in their styles, origins, and social concerns—who may be lesser known, and whose lyrical themes or personal activism has tantalized and scandalized their respective nations.

In the mushrooming heat of global activism in which we find ourselves today—the fire that started on Tahrir Square and spread to Wall Street now burns in the hearts of rebels throughout this very nation—these real radicals of rock demonstrate that change begins with a brave and loud few. These musicians, I contend, uphold the highest standards of human rights and our greatest hope that, in Sam Cooke’s prophetic words, “a change is gonna come.”

♬ Radio streaming live: http://army.wavestreamer.com:6356/listen.pls

Domestic Groove: MIRA LESMANA

DOMESTIC GROOVE ~ Celeb’s Chosen Nine is my biweekly column in The Beat (Jakarta) mag. Basically it’s an interview via e-mail which focuses on small, intimate, domestic stuff; what Indonesia’s public figures are really into.

For the 27th edition I went upclose-and-personal with Mira Lesmana.

Rock-n-Roll Exhibition: MISTY DIAN

Edition: November 09, 2011

Rock-n-Roll-Exhibition: MISTY DIAN
Basslines and Vibes

:: Playlist, intro, song descriptions, and photos, handpicked and written by Misty herself ::

This playlist is a tribute to people from my old suburban neighborhood, the kind of neighborhood in which the Top 40 music reigned and where I thought the boot-legged albums of Prince were the ultimate score until the people I now call my friends made me listen to their Walkman or borrowed me their tapes.

These friends, my homeys, took me to out of the suburbs and brought me to the city’s obscure churches that turned into dope bass pumping B-Boy Extravaganzas, followed by Bassline parties and numerous accounts of impromptu events and performances. They introduced me to sounds that inexplicably made sense to my head and body. There were these sick beats that made people act like a cursing hustler swinging his gats or a spliff smoking brother admiring the booty and whatever person in between those two. And the rhymes, the brilliant rhymes, made people bob their heads all the way through, in whatever act they’re at.

I was totally sold, wrapped and I never returned.

I cherish my Top 40 music because it landmarks certain episodes of the past. But the music on this list is more than just a categorical device. It’s not just an important reminder of the good days of way back then, but it’s also my important ingredient for having a good time, period. This list is a timeless device and I have my homeys to thank for that.

What I’m trying to capture in this list is the great time we had in discovering one sick beat after another. Like most playlists, it is that trip down memory lane, it is that mini autobiography, and it is the place of giving credit where credit is due. This list isn’t coming from an expert and you won’t find any rare or unknown artist in it, but you’ll hopefully feel the gratefulness I have for the experts who allowed me to have a taste of their expertise in discovering all these amazing beats. I’m bowing down, oh great ones, and I’m forever thirsty and hungry for more of your discoveries.

…Deeply grateful to Rudolf for having me in this exhibition!

Radio streaming live: http://army.wavestreamer.com:6356/listen.pls

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