The walls are a bit thin at my residential hotel here in south Thailand, so I can generally hear what’s going on in room 311 next door — whether I want to or not. Usually it’s just some couple having an argument, or an HBO Asia movie blaring too loud — but last night someone was playing Beethoven’s lovely “Moonlight Sonata” on a tape player. I don’t have any Beethoven in my small music collection here in Thailand, so I went into my bathroom (where I get the best acoustics from next door) and sat there listening to the whole thing. It was a nice little moment.
On a day to day basis, however, my tastes don’t run so classical. In heavy rotation of late has been the excellent De Stijl album, by The White Stripes (I have yet to hear their newest offering, Elephant). Also getting air-time in room 312 has been the Half of Reason demo album (rock on, Julie Ann!), Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue, Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville (which still sounds great, ten years after it came out), Veni, Vidi, Vicious by The Hives (to get me pumped up before I go running), and Elliott Smith’s Either/Or (still my favorite of his, despite his newer Dreamworks stuff). Following on my interest in Elliott Smith, I’ve been downloading some Nick Drake mp3’s including “Time of No Reply” and the excellent “Pink Moon.”
Amidst this all, I’ll confess I don’t listen to much Thai music. I try to listen to local music when possible overseas, but Southeast Asian tunes just don’t do it for me. Were I living in India or Africa, I’d no doubt be going native with my music, but for now I’m sticking to my indie rock rotation. That, and whatever’s playing in room 311.