March 18, 2008

Thai musician sampler: Loso โลโซ

Seems about time for another music video sampler. If you missed it, see the last installment, on the band Silly Fools. This time up is the band Loso (โลโซ).

The name of the band is a play on words. The rich and famous in Thailand are called ไฮโซ (hi-so), which the Thais clipped from the English phrase 'high society'.*
To reflect their lower class roots as children of rice farmers, the band chose the name โลโซ.

For me, their best work is 2001's ปกแดง, a.k.a. the Red Album. And in browsing YouTube for music videos, I realized most of my favorite songs are from that one album, which turned out to be the band's last. They broke up in 2002, and Sek Loso embarked on a solo career, while the other two members of the band formed a new band, Fahrenheit.

เคยรักฉันบ้างไหม - Thai and English lyrics - from ปกแดง (2001)
I'm a sucker for rock songs with strings. This probably goes back to my Beatle-philia, and songs like Eleanor Rigby and A Day in the Life.

พันธุ์ทิพย์ - Thai and English Lyrics - from ปกแดง (2001)
Not the greatest song, mostly powered by its catchy chorus. It serves as a laundry list of the big shopping centers in Bangkok, because the whole premise is that the singer doesn't want to go to Pantip Plaza, since there's an ex-girlfriend who broke his heart opened up shop there.

ฝนตกที่หน้าต่าง - Thai and English lyrics - from (2001)
A nice little ditty on the softer side.

จักรยานสีแดง - from the soundtrack of the film Red Bike Story (1997)
And finally, an earlier song from the movie that helped make Tata Young famous.

At least, I've never heard 'hi-so' anywhere outside Thailand, and Google doesn't readily turn up evidence to the contrary. ไฮโซ is more about a specific way of life than actual wealth or status, however. The true ไฮโซ are the minuscule but uber-conspicuous group which consumes only the best and most expensive of everything, and thus drives popular taste in all matters of fashion and lifestyle. Pretty much the entire middle class stretches its means to try to have the appearance of being ไฮโซ. (The wannabe hi-so are called ไฮซ้อ, though I don't know where ซ้อ comes from here, other than that it's a play on โซ.)


  1. The best thing about Loso is that when their talented music is playing, the Eagles "Hotel California" isn't. I'm down for any band that does that.

  2. I think Som Sarn (ซมซาน) is one of the catchiest pop songs ever recorded.

    I had been told that the reason guy in Pantip didn't want to go to Pantip was because they sold pirated music there, not because of his broken heart.

  3. @Holman: While I've certainly heard Hotel California more than my share, for me it's anything that keeps the Scorpions from being played that I'm down with.

    @WiseKwai: Som Sarn is another good one (from their 1998 album Entertainment). And yeah, I think that is the in-joke of Pantip. Opening up a shop at Pantip--that den of copyright iniquity--is seen as an especially cruel betrayal.

  4. LOSO rocks....but i still prefer them singing in Thai....

    just not Sek's cuppa tea......

  5. The word 'ซ้อ' from 'ไฮซ้อ' in the bottom notes is the Teochiu (most widely spoken Chinese dialect in Bangkok) word for (elder) sister-in-law. Hence 'ไฮซ้อ' gives a sense (somewhat derogatory) of a wealthy middle-class woman, presumably of Chinese descent, who tries to be a hi-so.

  6. Thanks, anonymous! Good to know.