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December 2-7, 2010 CAMBODIA Phnom Penh / Kampot / Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
 
  Angkor Rocks
  Steve and Gary visit the world famous Angkor Wat and look for music in one of the world's greatest "wow" spots.
 
 
  Recording in the Jungle
  Steve and Gary find themselves inspired by the Cambodian landscape and head to a recording studio in the jungle to record the memory.
 
 
Sei Ma's Cosmic Cambodian Village Party
  Steve and Gary travel to a small Cambodian village outside of Kampot with Cambodian rockers, The Cambodian Space Project. Their goal? To rock out at the first-ever Cosmic Cambodian Village Party featuring many of Cambodia's premier musicians.
 
 
Boardwalk Muppet Session  
This is On the Beat and Path's second podcast along the mighty Mekong - this time on the newly built boardwalk of Phnom Penh's Riverfront area.  
Recorded in Phnom Penh, December 6, 2010

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Cambodia: On the Road Again. Already?  
Cambodia was blatant evidence demonstrating Bored of Directives’ inability to plan trips appropriately.  Let me explain.

When we first started this venture, one of our most exciting tasks presented to us was sitting in front of an empty twelve month calendar and choosing where it was we wanted to go to film our series.  Keep in mind; it wasn’t entirely up to us.  Other factors contributed to where we went and the most important one was finance.  As Gary and I have financed everything up to this point, we were trying to do as much on “the cheap” as we could.  So, in March of 2010, as Air Asia was throwing their big “one-day-get-flights-for-next-to-nothing-you-silly-fools” sale.  We bit.  We’re silly fools.
Cambodia ended up coming on the heels of a week in Myanmar.  We had time to go home for twelve hours, wash some clothes and within 24 hours of leaving Yangon we were in Angkor Wat filming for the Season Two premier of On The Beat and Path.  Finishing a shoot is like finishing a relationship.  There are emotions involved with baggage: both literal and figurative.  Jumping from one relationship to the next is better suited for Hollywood actors and not Steve & Gary.  So with Myanmar still on the brain, we were seducing Cambodia with our sweet sweet sounds. Awkward. That said…

Angkor Wat was an exceptional and motivational place to start our shoot.  The scenery was amazing even if there are more barriers in place (one of my bad habits when traveling is to compare the city I am visiting to how it was when I was there the first time.  It’s annoying when others do it and it is excruciating when I catch myself doing it. And Angkor Wat was different, much different than it was 6 years ago).  Scaffolding was still present, as it was back in the day, but now there were barriers restricting access to certain parts of the temples.  This was especially evident in the larger temples.  I guess this is due to the massive increase in tourism (can’t have 60 year old Koreans jumping from the top of temples now can we?).  The Temples of Angkor have always been a tourist draw but now there were buses and buses and buses of photo happy tourists making sure no one gets a good photo.  Walking through the temple it felt as though we were in line at Disneyland.  It wasn’t easy to get anywhere, so Gary and I had to make our own fun as we battled the masses. We started the first-ever Urban Temple Running Association.

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We didn’t spend too much time in Siem Reap.  In fact, it wasn’t twenty-four hours before we were on the move again, this time to Phnom Penh, one of those rare cities that I could find myself living in.  It possesses a rare harmony of con- venience and ridiculous- ness: two crucial elements for any city.

It's not uncommon to see elephants strolling along the boardwalk of Sisowath Quay as one sips whisky from the Foreign Correspondents Club. In the evening, the boardwalk is littered with people doing movement sequences - a community thing by the looks of it, not so much for exercise.
 
Bonus Scenes
 
  Temple Running
  Steve & Gary participate in the newest sporting sensation in Cambodia.
 
 
  Cambodge Instrument Shopping
  Steve finds a strolling music store just outside the temples of Angkor. Watch how he works his bargaining prowess in extreme conditions. Impressive.
 
 
  Cambodian Live Arts Full Interview
  Cambodian Space Project guitarist Julien Poulson speaks with Cambodian Live Arts founder Arn Chorn-Pond about the emerging music community and the importance of bringing music to the village.
 
 
  Word of the Day
  Steve instills some ever-important knowledge on the masses live from Angkor Wat in a new segment titled, "Word of the Day."
 
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We arrived in Phnom Penh to prepare for a journey to Kampot, a village about three to seven hours away (depending on transport).  Local singer, Sei Ma was hosting the Cosmic Cambodian Village Party and we were along for a ride to film, meet musicians and of course get on stage and perform ourselves.   Because as you know, Gary is a performing whore (he’ll play anywhere, anytime for anyone.  Bless his heart.  It was once said he’s “Christmas Retarded” to perform.  I won’t say that though.  That is insensitive and politically incorrect).

Julien Poulson and his band The Cambodian Space Project introduced us to the festival.  Led by Khmer singer, Srey Thy, this motley crew of foreign musicians provided the familiar sounding musical backdrop to Srey Thy’s Cambodian voice.  As the band provided popular rock and roll riffs, Srey Thy sang traditional Khmer folk songs in a way never heard by anyone before.  CSP’s sound has secured performances for them in Australia and the upcoming SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas.

While in the village we stayed at this incredible charming get-away.  In a testament to how cool this place is, the owner does not wish for me to promote it as he wishes to maintain the chilled-out vibe that it now possesses (I am sure if you are a fan of the show and watch the clips, you can connect the dots as to where we were).  As luck would have it, this riverside retreat also had a recording studio.  Gary and I were invited to use it and we wasted no time in drafting a song that could be recorded in an evening.

As ‘simple’ as the song was, we still hoped for a hook, something unique that would set it apart from other songs that we have recorded on our adventures.  There were a number of young, self-searching backpackers that were also staying at the guesthouse and we asked them to provide backing vocals for the chorus.  We were competing with the apathy provided by the local herb but we were still blessed with the singing talents of about ten new friends (and band members).

Backpackers are a funny bunch.  There are evolutionary cycles to them: the first timers, the return trippers, the veterans, the trust funders, the budgeters, the story tellers, the wall flowers, the documenters, the partiers, the strangers and the even-more strangers.  The vagabond community is an interesting one and meeting people is as important as taking in the sights.  Some have very strong opinions of which they don’t mind sharing and often offer as fact.   Some ask questions, some don’t.  Some listen, some don’t.  But most smile, which is great.  Which sort of traveler are you?


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Peace
Steve
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Mission: On the Beat and Path provides a window into the planet's love and longing for music, using music as the primary language of global communication in order to develop a multi-media outlet for the sharing of music, travel and friendship.
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