Indonesian wordplay

As a brief follow up to the post earlier this week about Bahasa Indonesia mutability and Indonesian’s themselves being open to wordplay and experimentation, I thought I should mention the band Shorthand Phonetics – an indie rock outfit from Bandung. I first noticed them via my friend Dina‘s twitter stream and fell for the Mogwai reference.

Then of course, I discovered that they were on the absolutely world class Yes No Wave Records (disclosure: last I saw, Dina and Yes No Wave’s Wok the Rock (twitter) were an item) – an amazing outfit that release Indonesian music via Creative Commons licensing and the internet. One of the reasons I love this idea is that old hoary of Doctorow‘s “obscurity is worse than piracy” – Indonesians can’t afford to purchase music like we can in the West (those of you that still do spend retail money on it), and would be hard pressed to see their music released or listened to outside the archipelago. (disclosure: another reason I like Yes No Wave is that Wok, and all the mes56 crew, is a/are wonderful host/s and friend/s).

Shorthand Phonetic have the wonderful capacity only really explored by the edges of rock music, more extensively by outsider music, of writing a song title that makes you want to listen to the music:

  • 01. …Cause Asian Vampires Are the Most Vicious of All the Vampires
  • 04. I Really Gotta Learn to Use Less Words Cause Y’know […] For Efficiency.
  • 05. “To the Girl I Think Might be Similar to the Girl Flight of the Conchords Were Thinking About When They Were Writing “The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)””
  • 10. “Natalies for Glasses IV (”Remember when I said, “Yes, joining Castle would be a very bad idea for me but I’m joining anyway,” and followed it up with a string of maniacal laughter while playing Mass Effect and I queued up “橙” by チャットモンチー and “One More Sad Song” by the All-American Rejects for you to hear? Look where it got us…look where it got her. I’m wanted to quit, by the way. But I won’t, I guess. Cause I love you guys! But I dunno…”)”
  • 02. “We’re All the Pirate Bay (Poorly Thought Out Elaboration Pop-Punk-Post-Hardcore-Whatever Version by Attention Deprived Indie “Band”)”
  • 09. “Natalies for Glasses II (Yesterday I Found a Needlessly Long List of All the Obvious Pros and Masochistic Cons of Never Seeing You Girls Again I Made In One of My Old Notebooks, Realised How Stupid Making That List Was, and Gained Confidence to Slow Down. Takk.)”
  • 08. “My Alice Can Kill You, My Alice Can Kill You Dead”
  • 04. “Love Is Evol Spelled Backwards (Bet I Can Beat Your “Final Fantasy X” Completion Time…If I Actually Had a Playstation 2 That Is)”
  • 04. Some Dude (Taught Me This Song During Form Two…I Think He May Have Ripped It  Off From Somebody Else…But That Doesn’t Matter Now) [acoustic ver.]

All of these songs and more are available as free downloads from the band’s Yes No Wave site. Have fun!