Posts Tagged: thedevilsroad.com

The Walls Are Screaming XVII

MOROCCO// OCTOBER 2016

Ghost Rider V

The car Kennedy got shot in, code name SS-100-X. Once they’d cleaned the Lincoln Continental up and added armor plating, the death mobile resumed its role as a presidential limousine for President Lyndon B. Johnson until 1967.

Guest post by Scott Nicholson

USA // DECEMBER 2016

Animal Farm X

Guest post by Les Piéchels

FRANCE // FEBRUARY 2017

Making America Great Again VII

Donald Trump has been in power for a month. And the world is a different place. The old, tired, kleptocratic two party system in the US is all but broken, replaced by a delusional narcissist who’s making America great again.

GERMANY// OCTOBER 2016

The Walls Are Screaming XVI

The crowd surges forward. The singer, a 40 something skinny white guy, screams into the microphone, which has been taped to the top of a camera stand. The room is so hot that water drops from the ceiling. The linoleum is coming off the floor as long torn rolls of dirty plastic. The drums thud like painful bowel movements, the guitars sing like angle-grinders. The entire room feeds back and one has the feeling of being inside the moving turbine of an airliner. But it’s not unpleasant. It´s punk rock. The only lights come from a projector and a bed side table lamp. The bar sells little more than beer. A man in front of me bumps into a big woman who falls heavily. For a second it looks like she is going straight through the floor, but the building remains structurally intact. A young muscular punk with a Mohawk and a T Shirt that reads ‘Teach your children to worship Satan’ is trying to hang sheets across the broken windows – the cops have already been around once tonight, concerned about the noise. The skinny old white guy starts screaming again. The crowd, unkempt, lost souls in need of a wash for the most part, pogo and dance, drink and scream like there’s no tomorrow.
New York? London? Paris? Berlin?

No, this is Bangkok, Thailand. Welcome to the Overstay, the city’ s dirtiest, skuzziest, most alternative music venue and hotel. It’s 3am on a Saturday night and the no-name punk band clears the stage. The audience, young low-budget wasters  – hippies and crusties, punks, freeloaders and the confused – have trolled in from the near-by Khao San Road, Bangkok’s backpacker ghetto, bringing a few Thai night lights – rock chicks, tattooed hard men and other lonely souls with them. There’s one more band to play. Waiting for them is like waiting for the end of the world – everything at the Overstay is slightly apocalyptic, starting with the toilets and including all other aspects of this cheap flop house cum music venue.

In fact, the Overstay is so much more than a hotel, bar or club – in its hallowed existence, the establishment has managed to ignite a shit storm of negative publicity on the Internet, garnering shocked reviews for its one-dollar rooms (free in low season) on Trip Advisor and many other hotel-booking pages. Reviewers gush forth hundreds of words, warning fellow travelers about the pitfalls of the Overstay – dirty, unsafe, noisy as hell, with the foreign owner allegedly enslaving those who can no longer pay into running errands. And yet, some of those very same reviewers stay four nights. Beats me.

Prior to its current incarnation, the Overstay had a much more traditional function. The building, located in Thonburi, east of the Chao Praya River, was a brothel. It’s said that two murders took place in there during its glory days. A resident ghost is rumored to haunt the building, but I never did venture into the toilets and hence missed him/her.
As the next and last band, The Klong Riders, get ready for their show, the audience, tanked on Leo and Chang, the cheapest beers available in Thailand and the only ones for sale at the Overstay, has a chance to meditate on a unique cultural gem – this, for better or worse – is Bangkok’s only squat. It is also the city’s only underground music venue of sorts. The Overstay has no air-con, no cocktails and no chattering ex-pats in ironed polo-shirts with dolled up secretaries in tow. There are no journalists here and even what you might call regular tourists are unlikely to be attracted by the decor and the ambience.

The Overstay is completely horrible and many voices on the Net demand the place is closed down. In 2016, the cops and military busted the place and arrested its owner.Fortunately, the place made a come-back and is still going.

Traditional voices continue to rail against Bangkok’s number one underground venue. It is not safe.  It is a shame to Thailand. It would be an embarrassment in any city, and this makes the Overstay vital in Thailand’s capital, an urban sprawl of eleven million people that boasts no alternative music venues. Virtually no rock bands play in this town and those who do are forever in search of clubs to play. Most night spots are either karaoke-hell meat markets, internationally themed pubs in the worst possible taste, or bright, cool and aspiring spaces for the aforementioned chattering classes and wealthy, bored hipsters. Youth rebellion and RocknRoll don’t quite fit into traditional Thai culture. That’s why there are thousands of disenfranchised kids out on the streets every night with nothing to do, smoking amphetamines and racing their souped-up bikes into early teenage graves (or urns, as local culture and faith prescribes). Unlike their adolescent equivalents elsewhere, these kids have no cultural outlet. And they don’t even have an Overstay, as that is dominated by foreigners.

The Klong Riders hit the stage. That´s a largely metaphorical statement, there is no stage as such. The band plugs in on the third floor and roars off, the crowd shakes and screams, they know they are getting their money’s worth – admission is only a dollar and a half. The singer, a tall skinny guy playing his pitch-black semi-acoustic like a machine gun, vomits up his soul and launches into a surf guitar instrumental loud enough to douse the local community in sonic napalm.

Welcome to the Overstay. Check it out. Just don’t use the toilets.

THAILAND // FEBRUARY 2016

Orgasms Are Great II

INDIA // JULY 2016

You Know You Want One VII

INDIA // JULY 2016

I Fall On My Knees Every Sunday VI

INDIA // JUNE 2016

Orgasms Are Great

FRANCE // AUGUST 2010

I Fall On My Knees Every Sunday V

Somehow we don’t think the world is improved by religion. Though people keep trying any which way. Giving us fresh targets for amusement that may never run out.

INDIA // JULY 2016

Ghost Rider IV

Ghostrider keep riding.
Never stop riding.
Hey, hey, don’t forget to burn, don’t forget to burn.
Burn with fire. With fire, fire, fire, fire!

‘Ghost Rider’ – Suicide

MOROCCO // OCTOBER 2016

Fuck Everything XIII

Fuck you

FRANCE //AUGUST 2010

Love In The Age Of Intolerance VIII

THAILAND // OCTOBER 2016

Panem et Circenses II

FRANCE // JULY 2010

Love In The Age Of Intolerance VII

POLAND // OCTOBER 2016

Ghost Rider III

GERMANY // SEPTEMBER 2016

Entartete Kunst IV

INDIA // JUNE 2016

Cheap and Cheerful

George Hanson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.

Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened. Hey, we can’t even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or somethin’. They’re scared, man.

George Hanson: They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ’em.

Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.

George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.

Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.

From Easy Rider

MOROCCO // OCTOBER 2016

Animal Farm VIIII

THAILAND // DECEMBER 2016

Panem Et Circenses

The construction of an image.

Press photographers focus in on a young girl running around with the Tricolore at the Front National’s (France’s far right party) headquarters in Paris during the presidential election. Candiate Marine Le Pen won 18% in the first round of the election.

FRANCE // MAY 2012

The Walls Are Screaming XV

FRANCE // OCTOBER 2012

Humans Outside New York XXVIII

BURMA // DECEMBER 2005

The Walls Are Screaming XIV

Guest post by Rāj Hegde

MALAYSIA //  AUGUST 2013

And The Clocks Were Striking Thirteen

“There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.” – Pink Floyd

Headphone bar in Barcelona

SPAIN //  AUGUST 2010

Fuck Everything XII

FRANCE // DECEMBER 2010

Making America Great Again VI

So Donald Trump has been in power for about nine days now. Can you feel it? We’re all on it. The Devil’s Road.

USA // SEPTEMBER 2005

Humans Outside New York XXVIII

It’s Chinese New Year today and The Devil’s Road is cautiously optimistic, despite things being what they are and will be, at the start of the year of the Red Fire Chicken.

THAILAND // FEBRUARY 2015

Blame The Parents VI

‘When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.’ – George Romero

FRANCE // SEPTEMBER 2010

Humans Outside New York XXVII

A couple of young glue sniffers on the streets of Phnom Penh.

Never forget, eight men have the same wealth as the fifty poorest percent on the planet.

CAMBODIA // APRIL 2001

Animal Farm VIII

And everything was made for you and me
All of it was made for you and me
‘Cause it just belongs to you and me
So let’s take a ride and see what’s mine

‘The Passenger’ – Iggy Pop

CAMBODIA // JUNE 2003

Ghost Rider II

In the deserts of Sudan
And the gardens of Japan
From Milan to Yucatan
Every woman, every man

Hit me with your selfie stick.
Hit me! Hit me!
Je t’adore, ich liebe dich,
Hit me! hit me! hit me!
Hit me with your selfie stick.
Hit me slowly, hit me quick.
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!

In the wilds of Borneo
And the vineyards of Bordeaux
Eskimo, Arapaho
Move their body to and fro.

Hit me with your selfie stick.
Hit me! Hit me!
Das ist gut! C’est fantastique!
Hit me! hit me! hit me!
Hit me with your selfie stick.
It’s nice to be a lunatic.
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!

Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!
In the dock of Tiger Bay
On the road to Mandalay
From Bombay to Santa Fe
Over hills and far away

Hit me with your selfie stick.
Hit me! Hit me!
C’est si bon, mm? Ist es nicht?
Hit me! hit me! hit me!
Hit me with your selfie stick.
Two fat persons, click, click, click.
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!

Thanks to Ian Dury & The Blockheads

THAILAND // AUGUST 2014

I Fall On My Knees Every Sunday IV

Being connected in everything in Burma, former socialist dictatorship, and now, thanks to US diplomacy, an authoritarian democracy. Just a few years ago a SIM card cost hundreds of dollars and only the very rich and well connected could get online. These days everyone is surfing the net on several smartphones and regime critics go to jail for Facebook posts that upset the very rich and well connected. But there is free Wi-Fi at the Shwedagon Pagoda, the country’s most important Buddhist monument.

BURMA // NOVEMBER 2015

The Walls Are Screaming XIII

GERMANY // OCTOBER 2016

Animal Farm VII

Bugs and insects of all kinds and dimensions are popular snacks and comfort food across Southeast Asia.

Also, Trump is now US president, so anything goes.

MYANMAR // NOVEMBER 2015

Making America Great Again V

Making America Great Again – Today!

THAILAND // DECEMBER 2016

Love In The Age Of Intolerance VI

THAILAND // NOVEMBER 2016

Fuck Everything XI

Fuck Death as well!

THAILAND // FEBRUARY 2015

The Walls Are Screaming XII

An old friend told me the other day that abortion was legal in the US so that Hillary Clinton could enrich herself. Whether Clinton makes a cent off abortion legislation she introduced or not is irrelevant. If the Republicans manage to overturn Roe vs Wade, thousands of women will suffer serious health issues and some will die.
My friend sees conspiracies on the left to justify his immeasurable anger at his feeling powerless in the face of an increasingly chaotic, brutal but also more colorful and varied world. His anger, fueled by right wing websites attacking minorities, is so overwhelming that he loses empathy for his fellow women and men to be able to feel himself. Welcome to the Trump Age.

USA // JUNE 2005

You Know You Want One VI

“As soon as you start talking about mystique, you have none.” ― Neil Young

INDIA // JUNE 2016

Ghost Rider

‘If you’re in control, you’re not going fast enough”. – Parnelli Jones

USA // JUNE 2005

Love In The Age Of Intolerance V

When Burmese teenagers go out on a date, they often visit local temples. There they sit dreamily holding hands, the matching jackets or shirts adding some cute poignancy to the scene, quite in contrast to the harsh daily realities they are likely to face.

BURMA // NOVEMBER 2015

Humans Outside New York XXVI

As in many parts of Burma, the new Asian kid on the tourism bloc, children like these novice monks are employed – this lot each got a can of Sprite for their efforts – in construction, in this case to build a bridge to a cave monastery in Kayin State.
As well as child labor, various forms of slave labor and prison labor remain highly visible in Myanmar, the wealth gap is gigantic, a number of armed conflicts grind on and the Rohingya minority are the most persecuted people on the planet, according to the UN. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the recent arrival of democracy has only exasperated this. But most Burmese now have at least one mobile phone and all of them enjoy democracy.

BURMA // NOVEMBER 2015

Animal Farm VI

I want to break free.

MALAYSIA // DECEMBER 2015

The Walls Are Screaming XI

…and real ones make you fly.

THAILAND // DECEMBER 2016

The Walls Are Screaming X

As there’s so much fake news and post-truth news and newspeak out there, doubting official narratives, be they government or mainstream media, appears to be just as important as keeping one’s distance to the far out right wing conspiracy cosmos that’s growing on the Internet and slowly seeps into our daily lives. Two realities increasingly divorced from what’s actually going on are competing for our attention. Do your own thing!

TURKEY // JUNE 2013

Humans Outside New York XXV


Mary Henry: “It’s funny.. the world is so different in the daylight. In the dark, your fantasies get so out of hand. But in the daylight everything falls back into place again”

From the movie Carnival of Souls

FRANCE // SEPTEMBER 2011

Animal Farm V

A Steve McCurry moment.

INDIA // JUNE 2016

Entartete Kunst III

FRANCE // OCTOBER 2014

Humans Outside New York XXIV

“I love bunnies because they are cute and they fuck all the time.”

During Gezi Park demonstrations, Istanbul tattoo artist Bunny King inked protesters free of charge to create visual reminders of those heady days.

TURKEY // DECEMBER 2013

Animal Farm IV

Who killed Bambi?

THAILAND // DECEMBER 2016

×