I wonder if the other kids ever called him “sissy-mouth”

Here is something special.

No, it’s not porn.* What it is is amazing. I’ve sifted through half-a-dozen dozen tracks to assemble a reasonable album of Cambodia’s own Buddy Holly, Sinn Sisamouth. He is, to my understanding, perhaps the most well-known Cambodian pop musician, and representative of the swinging cultural era just before Pol Pot came into power and killed everyone. Including, eventually, Mr Sisamouth.

The quality is… shall we say variable, as is the volume level. That may only add to the charm, however.

In a bizarre bit of parallel development, Brandon Sheffield got turned onto 1960s Cambodian music at about the same time I did, through his own unrelated means. Not exactly the most obvious of tunnels to explore, so that was interesting company to find. And as with I, he had been largely ignorant of the Killing Fields, except as a movie title, until the music led him there. Yay, American education.

I’ve tested this compilation out in the coffee house around the corner, and it seemed to go over well, aside from the volume twiddling. Furthermore, James Harvey likes it. So that should tell you all you need to know.

*: My keyboard needs replacing; it only occasionally registers when I hit ctrl-c. So when I paste URLs, I have to be very careful that the URL I’m pasting is the URL I intended. I’ve been amazing a couple of my friends with increasingly embarrassing links, to the extent that I feel inclined to take a break from IM clients for a while…

EDIT: And if you like that album, here‘s a slightly less excellent yet still good follow-up.

Song structure was still ahead of me, however.

The day that I figured out how to use scissors, I remember wavering around the activity room in nursery school, singing to myself “I can cut / I can cut / I can cut…”, until I snipped an awkward gash in a medium stack of construction paper. A teacher admonished me, and presented me the paper. WELL IT’S YOURS NOW, she said. I was devastated. I didn’t want the paper, but… it was mine now.