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Pussy & The Learjets remixed by Professor Kinski

Phnom Penh based Professor Kinski remixes Pussy And The Learjets from Bangkok!

Bangkok based writer and journalist Tom Vater’s Garage Rock band in a very loungy trip hoppy easy listening version!

Nothing Can Bring Me Down!

Stay tuned for 2 more punchy mixes soon!

Pussy & The Learjets – Captured by Michael LaPalme

Photographer Michael LaPalme remembers Pussy & The Learjets. Michael came to many of the band’s 2011 shows and also visited The Learjets in the studio.

Here’s his collection of visual Learjets highlights.

Melvin LaSalle produces Pussy & The Learjets

Here’s a couple original mixes by Melvin LaSalle of the first Pussy & The Learjets recording session at SAE in Bangkok.

Sacred (Itchy) Skin

Says Melvin about this track: This is an original from the now disbanded ‘Pussy and the Learjets’. We recorded in some studio in Bangkok, I don’t remember where it was……for a lot of reasons. Somehow the sinister crackle in the very aggressive bass reminds me of home. Vasaba Turray who comes from Liberia contributes a rap appearance in the song as well, his story was much longer than any I had heard before.

Nothing Can Bring Me Down, a cover of the Twilighters classic.

Says Melvin about this track: Originally by the Twilighters, this version is covered by the now disbanded group ‘Pussy and the Learjets’. We recorded 5 songs in one afternoon and to date, it is still one of my most memorable projects.

From the Vaults: Pussy & The Learjets do You’re Gonna Miss Me

From the vaults…a new track by Pussy & The Learjets, who played Bangkok punk rock for twelve months and then crashed and burned, as any great band should.

This is a cover of The Thirteenth Floor Elevators You’re Gonna Miss Me, a huge song. With Manis on Fire on bass, Patrice L’Amour on drums, Tom Learjet on guitar and Om aka Pussy Saetehn on vocals and shock therapy entertainment duty.

You’re Gonna Miss Me

Pussy & The Learjets‘ debut single, a beautiful 7 inch vinyl picture disc is still available. Buy Itchy Skin/Nothing Can Bring Me Down on amazon.

Click on the disc for details!

Pussy loves the wonky cover!

The Learjets’ Itchy Skin goes Sacred Skin!

Itchy Skin, the B-Side of Pussy & The Learjets‘ seminal vinyl picture disk single, released last year by Metal Postcard in Hong Kong, has been used as the soundtrack for  a short film on Sacred Skin – Thailand’s Spirit Tattoos, the first English language book on Sak Yant, the sacred tattoos of Thailand.

Watch it here.

Itchy Skin and the single’s A-Side, Nothing Can Bring Me Down, are available at iTunes.

You can buy the book on amazon.

Soundtrack by Pussy & The Learjets: http://www.thelearjets.com/
The photographer: http://www.aroonthaew.com/
The writer: http://www.tomvater.com/
Check out the book’s website: http://www.sacredskinthailand.com/

Published by Visionary World (http://www.visionary-world.com/)
Book Designed by NEW Studio (http://www.new-online.co.uk/)
Video Produced by Api (http://www.apichartsritakae.com/)

The first illustrated Sak Yant book in English featuring detailed portraits of masters and devotees paired with an insightful text. Described in TIME as a book that “… will further popularize a centuries-old tradition.”

Sacred tattoos, called Sak Yant in Thailand, have been around Southeast Asia for centuries and are said to bestow protection from accidents, misfortunes and crime.
Every day, young men and women gather in temples and countless tattoo masters’ studios around the country to get inked: Tens of thousands of teenagers, motorcycle and taxi drivers, construction workers, night club bouncers, street vendors, factory employees, boxers and working girls — an entire strata of Thai society — are having a second, magical skin applied. Indian mythology, Buddhism, Brahmanism, animism and common superstition make for a colorful hotchpotch of religious ideas embedded into skin. For the wearers, the tattoos serve as reminders to follow a moral code endorsing positive behavior.

SACRED SKIN is an introduction to the Sak Yant, Thailand’s spirit tattoos, and the men and women who bring them to life on their skin.

This short film was produced by Api Sritakae and Aroon Thaewchatturat
Soundtrack: Itchy Skin is the B-Side of Bangkok’s Pussy & The Learjets (www.thelearjets.com) 7″ vinyl picture disc single, Nothing Can Bring Me Down, released in 2011 by Metal Postcard (HK).

Dirty Water – An Ode to Bangkok

Bangkok’s loudest RocknRoll band, Pussy & The Learjets may not be rumbling through the Thai capital’s music venues right now, but the band led by the amazing, incredible Om aka Pussy still has a pulse.

Bassist Manis On Fire (pictured above, on fire) has been digging through our extensive back catalogue (The Learjets recorded plenty of material that has not see the light of day – yet) and put this little clip of stills from our second studio session together.

Dirty Water is a steal from the Standells and Pussy’s ode to Bangkok. Mixed and produced by Melvin La Salle-Poujoulat, with Manis on Fire on bass, Patrice L’Amour on drums, Tom Learjet on guitar and Om Saetehn on vocals. Images by Michael LaPalme and Aroon Thaewchatturat.

Watch Dirty Water right here.

Enjoy!

The Learjets Down But Not Out!

Yes, Pussy & The Learjets disbanded a while back. And people keep asking us what happened.

Well, Manis on Fire returned to Europe where he is pursuing a solo career. Patrice L’Amour joined another Thai rock band. Tom Learjet went back to what he does best – writing stories.

And Pussy? The incredible, fantabulous Pussy migrated to the USA and is now, by all accounts on a slow boat to China, where she is likely to rear her mean and pretty head with new ventures and tunes.

But don’t despair, because there is more to come from The Learjets. We have been digging through our vaults and discovered several lost songs which we will be posting here and there in the next months.

Watch this space.

Pussy & The Learjets Are Back For One More Show!

Pussy & The Learjets will soon be returning to the rehearsal studio to prepare for one last show, most likely in November, before Pussy will take to the road and emigrate to more RocknRoll friendly shores.

Watch this space for dates and location!

Ladies & Germs: Please Welcome, Pussy & The Learjets!

It started with a spark, like any great project or endeavor. I was back in the UK a couple of years ago and stumbled across an old cupboard full of guitars. Long before I became a writer, I spent a few years touring around Europe, playing guitar with rock and punk bands. Nothing much was left of that past life, I always thought, a few vague memories, a couple of enduring friendships, a handful of vinyl singles gathering dust in boxes. Instinctively I grabbed one of the guitars and took it home with me, to Asia, to Bangkok.  Like a childhood souvenir.

Then, last summer, I caught a surf punk band called the Khlong Riders, playing a concert at the Overstay, a squat-type guest house and underground music venue in Thonburi, the urban expanse across the river from Bangkok.  The show was loud and mean and incredibly enjoyable, and after having spent more than a decade chasing stories and writing books around Asia, I came away with a kind of sonic culture shock, a mini-epiphany. I suddenly remembered how much I had loved playing and watching Rock’n’Roll music. But in Bangkok, good bands are few and far between. If you want off the wall entertainment in this town, you have to create it yourself.

I was dreaming of putting a band together, for a one-off show, to play Casting the Runes by Roky Erickson and the Explosives, my favorite live album by my favorite artist, in its entirety and I tried to convince the guitarist of the aforementioned surf punk band, one German guy, Mr. Manis on Fire, to invest time and effort into this ambitious and absurd idea – barely anyone in Bangkok would ever have heard of the record or of Roky Erickson, erstwhile lead singer of seminal psychedelic band The Thirteenth Floor Elevators. Still…

In order to proceed in any kind of direction, we needed a female singer. I could not imagine we’d be able to find a man who could do a passable Roky act in Bangkok. Manis on Fire soon found drummer Patrice L’Amour, a reprobate from Liechtenstein, who in turn knew Chantakahn Om, a Thai university student with secret ambitions.

One hot December evening, the feisty 21 year old Om walked into a rehearsal studio underneath an expressway fly-over in downtown Bangkok. L’Amour counted us in and we rumbled through three 1960s garage punk classics. Within the first eight bars of the first song, a Rock’n’Roll band was born. The room shook and swung and turned itself inside out. The band was tight and competent enough, but that was hardly the point. Right from the first moment, it was all about the girl. There was no doubt that Om had a way of expressing herself that was all her own.

All we needed now was a name. And I had a name. That same December evening, Om became Pussy and the rest of us became The Learjets. Pussy & The Learjets, Bangkok’s noisiest Rock’n’Roll band was born. We had no competition, Thais don’t take to unrestrained, wild music.

A week later we had our first show booked. The idea of covering my favorite record in its entirety had to be shelved. We needed to get a great band ready to play a show as quickly as possible. Three weeks later, we blew across the stage at The Overstay with seven trashy songs. The show was packed, not just with punters, but with what seemed to be half the city’s resident photographers and film makers. We had instantly created a new sub-cultural activity in the Thai capital. A few days later, Pussy & The Learjets were offered a modest record deal. A label in Hong Kong – Metal Postcard – signed the band purely on the strength of the name. We had embarked on a journey, we had a destination.

In three short months, Pussy & The Learjets played every crummy venue in Bangkok. The shows were usually sweaty and packed, and the band became much more than an entertaining distraction: Pussy & The Learjets developed into a sonic meeting point for some of the best artists living and working in the region.

Musicians, film makers, photographers, video artists, writers, cartoonists, producers, engineers and fans all contributed interest, enthusiasm, time and effort  to create a great moment in time, a little noisy piece of art with many tentacles  – from the website and facebook page to limited edition T-shirts created by a top London designer, to an excellent short documentary and several experimental films by resident photographers and cameramen, to excellent images by a host of professional shooters and a time-lapse video by a transient graphic artist from Austria.

All this momentum resulted into propelling Pussy & The Learjets beyond the borders of Thailand within three months of their existence – short tours of Cambodia and China were booked and confirmed.  Nothing Can Bring Me Down, the band’s first single, was released by Metal Postcard (HK) in July – a vinyl picture disc with original artwork by a savvy Thai cartoon artist. The B side even featured some heavy rhyming by a Liberian Hip Hop artist! Five more tracks are waiting to be fashioned into an EP by a German producer, and a club-remix of a Learjet song, remixed by a DJ based in Phnom Penh, is out in the autumn.

Pussy aka Om Chantakahn is the heart and soul of this Rock’n’Roll enterprise. Her energy, fearlessness and love of performance keep this crazy ship afloat. While the band sweats in the engine room, all creative hands – our many contributors – are on deck, making it all a beautiful thing.  As one film director said, “Do it today, tomorrow it may be illegal.”

Lots of friendly folk asked me whether I would abandon my relatively lucrative and rather absorbing profession, stop writing books and attempt to relive my well-spent youth – either as an expression of mid-life crisis, as a betrayal of my professional conviction or as a last hurrah before old age sets in. The answer to this riddle lies in the nature of this band – Pussy & The Learjets are a great creative project, an instant community, which has helped along by many people in Bangkok who contributed interesting work. Of course, unless Jack White descends from heaven and presses an opportunity into Pussy’s hand, the project will end one day. Like all projects. Every artistic project based on cooperation comes to an end one day, and so does every band.  That’s life.

But this flash of creation, the time when we were out there doing it, and ran around, jumped, screamed and shouted, or sat down and wrote, shot, edited or mixed that song, text or image, was pure magic – it was the time when we were all at our very best, when the band’s work far outstripped the creative abilities of its members. It was the moment when we forgot our petty ambitions and jealousies, when we got to steal a few seconds of divine life and in return gave joy, thought and perspective to the world: that time when we got to fly without a license!

And then, one day, it’s done, and we move on, and the act turns to personal nostalgia in seconds, something that’s talked about for a while and then forgotten.

It hardly matters.

We were chatting with the gods. And we will do it again, somewhere else, some other time.  If not, someone else will.

Many thanks to

Gerhard Joren, Aroon Thaewchatturat, Ax Bonmati, Willy Wysoudil @ Wysforce, Anucha Kosoltanakul, Lars Deutrich, Austin @ NEW, Morris S. Turay, Sean Hocking @ Metal Postcard Records, Melvin LaSalle, Michael LaPalme, Dan White, Pascal Nufer, Hans Kemp, Lah Worawan Simaroj, Gabriel Camelin, Ben Edwards, The Klong Riders, Blood Thirst Spider, The Overstay, The Motorcycle Emptiness Bar, Chez Lodin, the people of the Republic of China, Yvan Cohen, Mich Callan, Ray Granlund, Scott Nicholson, SAE Bangkok, Benjamin Scherrey, Duck & Noodle, Tracy Vanity, William Milton Clary III, The What The Fuck Bar, Bangkok 101, Macau Daily Times, anyone we might have forgotten, and all the people who came to our shows…

Buy the single Nothing Can Bring Me Down on itunes

Watch our video Nothing Can Bring Me Down (Wysforce)

Watch a short documentary by Gerhard Joren.

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