made in thailand [music]

*disclaimer: appreciating that this blog is not a personal journal, and considering the difficulty i'm having trying to encompass the experiences i had on this trip, this will be my last post on anything vacation-related. if you're curious about the rest of the trip, by all means send me a message.

if you get to thailand any time in the fairly near future, keep an eye out for waifish grifters in nirvana and metallica t-shirts. you won't be long in looking. i can't say what, but something's got apathy and headbanging back in vogue in southeast asia. we first noticed the trend on our train ride from sungai kolok to hat yai - a few straggly teens in ragged 501s lounging at train stops and loitering on street corners - but the trend was true all the way to chiang mai. in koh phi phi we saw it get live.

the energy of koh phi phi, despite feeling at first ambiguous, is unmistakably omnipresent. the already small island feels all the more condensed because the majority of the livable area is a tiny isthmus that connects the mountains on either side. reflecting the necessary concentration, the streets teem with people at most hours and music, smells, and vacationers pour out of open store fronts in chaotic intervals. when evening descends on koh phi phi, the energy begins to coagulate, and it doesn't take long to realize that this is a place where growing-ups come for an E-induced latter day spring break. as the low pulses of house music begin to creep from the beach inland, bars begin filling with sunburned merrymakers swilling from buckets in which you mix your own fun. amid all this, i found myself drawn to the contrast of sounds and fluttering activity of one small alley where we found made in thailand - an all-thai four piece - ripping through a spot-on cover of ride the lightning. despite the reasonably early hour, the open-air bar, rolling stoned, was packed with an already-drunk, enthusiastically rowdy crowd rollicking in the revived youth of every nirvana and rage against the machine riff. made in thailand were mesmerizingly on point, and the crowd was fun galore. we stayed for the whole set.

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