Judging by the success of Blink-182’s “All the Small Things” at a friends party last night, then later requested in the only nightspot in Timor, Queen-of-the-Weekend and I have decided that Timor needs a punk band. The fact that neither of us can competently play an instrument provides no great dissuasion from attempting to start one ourselves. Queen in fact believes than an all-female ensemble would be the most successful with the mostly male music-buying set.
While we would be no Sleater Kinney, we would approximate a female Green Day, by going to record our tape in Kupang, in the end it’s all automated anyways. Except we can drop the candy-sounding synthesizer, and just pick our three guitar chords, our simple but rockin bass line and then put on a drum machine. Our songs, of course, will be in Tetum. We have a couple of covers in mind, including “Rai Timor” the saccrine jingle on Television Timor Leste, and some classics by Chico Mau Lohi, famous since the early 1970s when he formed Cinco do Oriente. They used to play at the ACAIT building, promoting Timorese national feeling, until three members were killed in 1975. Imagine early Elvis and Bob Dylan combined with a little fado and a eukelele. (We decided that eukelele can be included occasionally to the Timor-punk sound.)
Then there is the catchy “Mane Ida, Feto Rua,” a song first sung on the road between Viqueque and Same, on the empty south coast of Timor by Queen. This song (in English “One Man, Two Women”) refers to her extremely controversial visit to Viqueque, where she arrived with our Timorese friend Julio. My Timorese hosts, I believe, were scandalized by the possibility of a Foreigner woman – Timorese man couple. Of course, when we joined forces, driving through the subdistricts of Viqueque and Manatuto, we realized that our car had become every man’s dream scenario – “Mane Ida, Feto Rua.”