Ben Tausig and Peter Doolan: Music on the Table

Music on the Table
By Ben Tausig and Peter Doolan
Produced by Elizabeth Watkins

Visitors to Bangkok who happened upon the Red and Yellow Shirt political protests in 2010 and 2011 could be forgiven for mistaking them, much of the time, for concerts or dance parties. The air of the rallies was saturated with songs, both live and recorded. CDs sold almost as quickly as grilled pork, and hundreds of artists created (or recreated) themselves as full-time protest musicians.

Protest music could be, but was not always, whimsical. Indeed, its content, distribution, and subtexts pointed to deep wells of critique of the government and political system, much of which was outspoken and even radical. Listening closely to the music of the protests also gives us a sense of the relationships that flourished at the rallies – between vendors and consumers, protest leaders and crowds, and among protesters themselves. “Music on the Table” addresses itself at once to scholarship on the role of music and media in social movements, to studies of new forms of musical economy enabled by inexpensive technologies of distribution, and to contemporary work on Thai politics, including recent histories of protest and political resistance. See extended scholarly bibliography below.

In this presentation, we guide the reader through the content of two virtual CD tables that display a representative selection of music actually purchased at the rallies in the case of the Red Shirts, and at the offices of right-leaning ASTV media (at Phujatgan headquarters in Bangkok) or audible on the radio in the case of the Yellows.

 


References:

Unattributed Newspaper articles: “วันชนะ เกิดดี” อ้างใช้เงินจากขายเทปการชุมนุมถอยฟอร์จูนเนอร์ มีเงินเข้า-ออก10รายการช่วงม็อบแดงเคลื่อน,” มติชน (Matichon), July 13, 2010.

“Red Shirts’ Financing: Fresh list of 43 firms, individual issued by CRES,” The Nation, May 19, 2010.

“ศอฉ. แถลงจับ 7แกนนำแดง คุมตัวส่งธัญบุรี,” ไทยรัฐ (Thai Rath), February 27, 2012.

Books, Reports, and Academic Articles: Amporn Jirattikorn. 2006. “Lukthung: Authenticity and Modernity in Thai Country Music.” Asian Music 37(1): 24-50.

“Asian Media Barometer 2010: A Locally Based Analysis of the Media Landscape in Asia.” 2011. Published by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Academic Foundation. Berlin, Germany.

Augoyard, Jean-Francois and Henry Torgue. 2005. Sonic Experience: A Guide to Everyday Sounds. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Blesser, Barry and Linda-Ruth Salter. 2007. Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?: Experiencing Aural Architecture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2007.

Bodden, Michael. 2005. “Rap in Indonesian Youth Music of the 1990s: “Globalization,” “Outlaw Genres,” and Social Protest.” Asian Music 36(2): 1-26.

Bull, Michael and Les Back, eds. 2003. The Auditory Culture Reader. New York: Berg.

Erlmann, Veit, ed. 2004. Hearing Cultures: Essays on Sound, Listening, and Modernity. New York: Berg.

Haberkorn, Tyrell. 2011. Revolution Interrupted: Farmers, Students, Law, and Violence in Northern Thailand. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Klima, Alan. 2002. The Funeral Casino: Meditation, Massacre, and Exchange with the Dead in Thailand. Princeton, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Krims, Adam. 2007. Music and Urban Geography. New York: Routledge.

Lefebvre, Henri. 2004. Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Lysloff, Rene T. A. and Leslie C. Gay, Jr., eds. 2003. Music and Technoculture. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

Martin, Bradford D. 1994. “The Theater is in the Street: Politics and Performance in Sixties America.” Boston: University of Massachusetts Press.

Miller, Terry. 2005. “From Country Hick to Rural Hip: A New Identity Through Music for Northeast Thailand.” Asian Music 36(2): 96-106.

Mitchell, James. 2011. “Red and yellow songs: a historical analysis of the use of music by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in Thailand” South East Asia Research 19(3): 457-494.

Mr. Ghost (pseudonym), 2006. “พัฒนาการเพลงเพื่อชีวิต” (“The Development of Songs for Life”), 9dern.com, accessed April 16 2012, http://www.9dern.com/rsa/view.php?id=90.

Myers-Moro, Pamela. 1986. “Songs for Life: Leftist Thai Popular Music in the 1970s.” Journal of Popular Culture 29(3): 93-113.

นิธิ เอียวศรีวงศ์ (Nidhi Eowsriwong). 2011. “ขบวนการคนเสื้อแดงกับสังคม-การเมืองไทย” (“The Red Shirt Movement and Thai Politics and Society”). In Matichon, May 19, 2011.

Pasuk Phongpaichat and Chris Baker. 2010. Thaksin (Second Edition). Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Sassen, Saskia. 1994. Cities in a World Economy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Scott, James. 1985. Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Smith, Mark. 2007. Sensing the Past: Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting and Touching in History. Berkeley: University of California Press.

สมศักดิ์ เจียมธีรสกุล (Somsak Jeamteerasakul). 2007. “เราสู้: เพลงพระราชนิพนธ์การเมืองกับการเมืองปี 2518-2519″ (‘We Fight: Political Royal

Songs and Politics, 1975-1976), somsakwork.blogspot.com, November 16, 2007, http://somsakwork.blogspot.com/2007/11/2518-2519.html.

Sreberny, Annabelle and Ali Mohammadi. 1994. Small Media, Big Revolution: Communication, Culture, and the Iranian Revolution. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Naruemon Thabchumpon and Duncan McCargo. 2011. “Urbanized Villagers in the 2010 Thai Redshirt Protests.” Asian Survey 51(6): 993-1018.

Ubonrat Siriyuvasak. 1990. “Commercialising the Sound of the People: Pleng Luktoong and the Thai Pop Music Industry.” Popular Music 9(1): 61-77.

Wong, Deborah. 1989. “Thai Cassettes and Their Covers: Two Case Histories.” Asian Music 21(1): 78-104.

Follow us on Facebook:

& Twitter:

@SensateJournal