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Showing posts from September, 2011

I Don’t Like Listening to Music - Lucky Ali

Published: Monday, Sept 17, 2011, By Darshana Ramdev | Place: Bangalore | Agency: The Times of India He's tried his hand at organic farming in New Zealand, bred horses and has became father again. But a visit to Lucky Ali's house will leave you very sure of one thing - it's music that drives him. Lucky Ali (Photo - Vineet Radhakrishnan) All set for a 25-city tour to promote his new album, Lucky is in high spirits as he and his band rehearse together in his Bangalore home. "This album is a compilation of all the work we've done over the years. I'm performing with musicians I have worked with for many years now. We all began our careers together," says Lucky. When an established and respected musician like him chooses to go against the grain and release his album independently, eyebrows will be raised. What spurred his decision to go indie? "As musicians, we have our own comfort levels and often, with bigger companies those levels are not met,&q

Kabul Dreams - Indie Rock Band of Afghanistan

Music knows no boundaries... Music knows no limits... Music knows no restraints. Music connects the souls regardless of where it is from. It is the one thing that never fails to reach out to people in every nook and corner and always presents itself as the perfect way to express one’s thoughts, emotions and feelings. It becomes the inspiration for one to go beyond the perspectives and ideologies that tend to thaw one’s soul and one’s passion. It cannot be truer in the context of any nation more than Afghanistan... a nation that had been deprived of music by the Taliban regime and the only sound around was that of gunfire and bombs for so many years. For here, in spite of the new interim government stepping in and the doors of the world opening up, people still remain in fear and find it hard to open up easily to the arts. But the world was shown a whole new side of Afghanistan’s music scene when three youths got together to form ' Kabul Dreams' , Afghanistan’s first Indie Rock

Bad Guys We Love - Best Hollywood Villains

They are mean, menacing and merciless. They are bad to the bone. We love to hate them, root against them and applaud when the good guys beat them to a pulp with bare hands. Yet there’s something about these cold-blooded creatures that makes them unforgettable. Here’s our pick of the ten most memorable baddies of Hollywood . Hans Gruber - Die Hard   Played by Alan Rickman It appears that all this two-bit criminal cares about is money. But hang on! Apart from the $600 M at stake, this fellow actually enjoys tormenting people. Whether it's dealing with hostages or acting like one, Hans knows just the right buttons to push and always stays in charge. Is he a petty thief or a terrorist? No matter what the label is, he is a murderous felon. His calm, cool, and collected delivery of every word outweighs the need for any stereotyped villain costume. Michael Corleone - God Father   Played by Al Pacino Now this is an antagonist you do not mind empathizing with. He wasn’t born with a gu

Contagion - A Contagious Flick

The 1995 Dustin Hoffman starrer ‘Outbreak’ probably set a landmark for all epidemic/pandemic movies made thereafter. Contagion as a movie of that genre may or may have not surpassed the calibre of ‘Outbreak’, but certainly has succeeded in creating an identity of its own.  A lethal communicable virus spreads across the globe, causing scores of death, while the health departments try to contain it; pharmaceutical companies try to leverage it and the affected try to come to terms with it. That’s precisely the story of Contagion. The appeal of the movie though lays not much in the story as it does in the story telling. A Global Operations Manager of an American Company Beth ( Gwyneth Paltrow ), the unwitting host of a fatal airborne virus is seen chewing peanuts at a Hong Kong airport, waiting for a flight. Beth is unaware that like a Midas effect, everything she touches gets infected with the virus she is carrying. Soon in an ill-fated turn of events, people from all over the world be

Rolling in the Cheese at the Cooper's Hill

This fiesta could only be described as Jerry’s fantasy, not Jerry McGuire, but Jerry-the little mouse from Tom and Jerry. The wackiest festival for all cheese lovers by far, Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake , is an annual event held at Cooper’s Hill, England , where people of all demographics come to race against a giant sphere of cheese. A mouth watering thought isn’t it? Well not really. This is a food fest where participants slip, somersault and tumble their way to the bottom of a cliff. During this bone-crunching marathon - and the first person to grab the cheese wins. Traditionally, every year on the Spring Break day the residents living in and near the Brockworth village participate in the Cheese Rolling event. Off late people from all over the world have started showing up for participation. The tradition of cheese rolling is about two centuries old, and is considered to have its roots in a heathen festival to celebrate the return of spring. The festival derives its n

Hindi Zahra - Music for the Soul...

— by Samriddhi Tanti | New Delhi "I dream the arrangements and vocals; the melodies tend to come of their own volition without any great effort on my part. I work instinctively, without putting anything down in writing." - Hindi Zahra Being an avid music listener I developed a penchant for exploring what is popularly known as world music. It was a refreshing new break to step away from the usual choice of music and indulge in something completely new. It has been a fascinating journey so far; especially because of the chance encounters I have had with so many brilliant musicians from all around the globe. The most recent and undoubtedly one of my favourite discoveries of late is the music of Hindi Zahra . Franco-Moroccan composer, musician and singer Hindi Zahra was born in 1979 in Khouribga, Morocco to a Moroccan mother and a French father. Her songs are mostly in English but some lyrics are in her native Berber language. Though one could flexibly categorize her und

The Eagles - Yesterday, Today ...and Forever

There is probably not one single music listener out there who hasn’t, either by choice or accidently, come across the band “ The Eagles ” atleast once in their life. Songs like “ Hotel California ”, “ Tequila Sunrise ”, “ Learn To Be Still ” , “ Desperado ”, “ Witchy Women ” and many more have often come floating in through our jukeboxes, radios and, at times, our mouths too! This was a band that has shown, time and again, how ingeniously they have created an exclusive slot of their own in the canon of rock and roll history. The reigning maestros of country rock in the 70’s, The Eagles are an American country rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1971, comprising of Glenn Frey , Don Henley , Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner as the original members. Later members included Don Felder , Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit . In 1980 The Eagles broke up, but they reunited in 1994 for the new album “Hell Freezes Over”. They have toured extensively and in 2007 they released their fir

Michael S Hart - the Brain Behind eBook

Carvings on cave walls, clay tablets, wood blocks, palm leafs, silk, scrolls, papyrus and paper - the written word has traversed through a myriad of platforms over the course of civilization. The world witnessed a radical uplift with the introduction of books and a similar breakthrough with the creation of the revolutionary eBook (or electronic book). Massive volumes of literature and art took on virtual avatars and were made available on our palm tops, thanks to the pioneering efforts of one man, Michael S Hart . Michael S Hart was the man whose revolutionary invention redefined the experience of reading. Hart was at the University of Illinois, when he received a user account in their computer system. He realized a deep potential in inter connected computers; although at that point of time the computer systems at the university were mainly used for data processing. After his account was created on July 4, 1971, Hart kept wondering what to do with it. He found an answer when he seize

iPad - the Musician’s Genie

— by Jim Ankan Deka | Bangalore In a few years from now, people would probably consider the majestic gramophone as a pre-civilization invention, thanks to the colossal onslaught of handheld technology. Portability has become the ‘apple’ of the eye, lean is in and lean in here to say. The music industry has always welcomed and adorned portable inventions with gadgets getting more and more sleek, smart and sassy. The iPad , from the product lines of Apple Inc, is once such avant-garde merchandise that redefined the experience of music. A line of tablet computers, iPad has established itself as a necessity among gadget freaks, techies, celebrities, musicians and the music loving hoi-polloi of today. Lyricists and Songwriters widely swear by its efficacy. Since its inception in April 2010, Apple iPad has been one of the most used mobile devices in the world. iPad is equipped with thousands of ‘apps’, a colloquial term of software applications aimed at catering to people with diverse

That Girl In Yellow Boots - a Review

— by Parmita Borah | Bangalore I went to watch ‘That Girl in Yellow Boots’ as a part of a creative writing workshop. Honestly, I was expecting it to be ‘Kalki in yellow boots’, mainly because the movie was directed by Kalki Koechlin’s (also the female lead) spouse Anurag Kashyap and she had a tad bit too much screen space in ‘Shaitan’. Much to by mortified delight, I stood absolutely corrected. The story is simple-Ruth is a half-Indian, half-British girl, who visits India to find her Indian father, with whom she hasn’t had contact since she was five. She goes through countless challenges in her pursuit as she has no lead except for a letter that her father had sent to her. Ruth precisely is a damsel in distress, but not the stereotypical melodramatic “Bechari” type damsel. She is independent, street smart and knows to manipulate her ways in and out of trouble. While the story is about Ruth’s tragic journey, all the other characters are well sketched out and stand out with balanc

Samosapedia and its "Enthucutlets"

The symbiotic relationship that social media and its user base enjoys is indeed the core concept of many a web based enterprise. It is yet to determine if users leverage the internet as a platform to establish their own forte or there is a strange kind of digital kinship that binds this internet savvy generation. The crowd-sourced South Asian language and culture website ' Samosapedia ', happens to be one of my favourite and most visited websites, simply for the fact that it dove into the phenomenon of user generated content and came out with side-splitting results. It was probably correctly said about digital enterprises, by one of the Winklevoss twins in the Hollywood blockbuster “The Social Network” that ‘reaching there first is all that matters’. Samosapedia, for that matter, is the world’s first and so far the largest repository of South Asian Lingo, thanks to some quirky brain storming by its founders - Vikram Bhaskaran, Arun Ranganathan, Braxton Robbason and Arvind Thyag

Music and Bangalore

Photo by Jim Ankan Karnataka plays an important role in the scene of Indian classical music with both Carnatic and Hindustani styles. The word ‘Karnataka’ doesn’t mean the State of Karnataka. It means Carnatic Music as a performing art form. Many Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan award winners and celebrated Carnatic and Hindustani musicians like Basavaraja Rajaguru, Gangubai Hangal, Sawai Gandharva and several others hail from Karnataka. In the recent years umpteen musicians and students have come down to Bangalore from various places with a common dream of sharing and acquiring the knowledge of music. Today there are dozens of music institutions in Bangalore that are dedicated to contributing to the progress or growth and supporting Indian Classical and Western Music. Out of those, the Bangalore School of Music in RT Nagar, Eastern Fare Music Foundation in Koramangala, Sumadhura Education and Cultural Trust in Vijaynagar, Shreepada Sangeeta Kala Kendra in Bannerghatta Road, World

Ladakh Festival - a Cultural Spectacle

— by Parmita Borah | Bangalore Times tops at Ladakh, and certainly with no regret. While the pastoral communities relish on the serenity of Ladakh, tourists travel into the tranquility of the region to escape from the everyday bustle of their lives. The land comes exceptionally alive during the autumn season, especially from 1st September to 15th September, during the annual Ladakh Festival. The festival is a unique opportunity to witness and experience the rich cultural ethos of the people who have lived for centuries on the crossroads of Asia, assimilating and harmonizing socio-cultural and religious influences from their neighboring societies. Ladakh Festival, a project by the Jammu and Kashmir State Department of tourism, aims at reviving and exhibiting the opulence of Ladakh’s centuries-old culture, traditions and folk heritages. A spectacular procession at Leh commences the two weeks of celebration. Diverse cultural troupes and village contingents participate in ceremonial co

Assamese Maestro Turns 86

He He Dhole Dogore....Bhupen Hazarika He mesmerized listeners with his soulful voice at the mere of ten and went on to gather cross over fans with his baritone voice during his prime. Dr. Bhupen Hazarika is considered today the last of the great mass singers and the only great ballad singer alive in India. Let’s take a moment to blow the candles for this noted music director, playwright, actor, journalist, author, lyricist, politician and film-maker of the highest repute from Assam, India. Wish you a very Happy Birthday ' Bhupen da '. Bhupen Hazarika did his Inter (Arts) in Guwahati in 1942, and went on to Banaras Hindu University to complete his Bachelor of Arts in 1944. After completion of Masters in Political Science in 1946, he left for New York, USA where he lived for five years and received his Doctorate (PhD) in Mass Communication from Columbia University. He also received the Lisle Fellowship from Chicago University, USA to study the use of educational p

K-pop: Popular Korean Music Making Waves

— by Parmita Borah | Bangalore The west is where it had its inception, but pop music and pop culture soon established its dominion over the whole world in a short span of time. The international monoculture that surged as a result of Pop influence has seen the ascendency of American and British music industries, but with advance of technology and media, countries soon started following their own forms of pop music, in many cases, producing local versions of global trends and assimilating local characteristics. K-pop is one such genre that seems to be gaining popularity across the globe by the hour. An abbreviation for Korean Pop or Korean Popular music, the genre consists of electropop, hip hop, pop, rock, and R&B music.  K-pop originated in South Korea and in addition to making South Korea's music industry a viable one, K-pop has emerged as a popular subculture among teenagers and young adults around the world. K-pop’s popularity greatly thrives on the internet and social m

With Love from us to you; Happy Birthday Freddie Mercury!

'I won't be a rock star. I will be a legend'. - Freddie Mercury Bands come and go, musicians come and go...but the way some of them leave an impact behind, is a phenomenon that every music lover fails to evade. One such band and musician that springs to everyone’s mind, especially on this particular day, is “Queen” and its front man Freddie Mercury. Celebrating the 65th birthday of a diva whose profound musical ingenuity continues to influence and mesmerise listeners till date, September 5th returns to firmly reflect the eternal presence of Freddie Mercury-the man who carved a niche for himself as a legend and as one of the greatest figures in rock and roll history.  It’s about to be almost two decades of the physical absence of Freddie, but fans young and old alike, fans too young to remember or too late to witness him alive and fans fortunate to see his flamboyant persona, continue to fondly remember him on this special day. "When I'm performing I'm an extrov

Matrix Star Turns 47; Soon to Direct Action Flick

A lanky teenager travelling through time to assemble historical figures for his school presentation, a cop trying to save a speeding bus from exploding, a rookie FBI Agent infiltrating a gang of adrenaline charged surfer/robbers, a hacker/flying superhero who fights bad computer programs to save the human race- the man’s won the hearts of millions with his portrayal of diverse characters. The guess is right - we are indeed talking about Keanu Reeves . The Canadian actor is celebrating his 47th birthday today (02.09.2011) and has enjoyed a successful career in Hollywood so far.  The Matrix star’s most recent release is 47 Ronin, a tale of a band of 18th century samurai who set out for revenge after their master is murdered. The latest buzz has it that Reeves would soon get behind the lens. Sources from say that he is in negotiations with the China Film Group and Australian studio Village Roadshow Pictures. The Matrix Star might soon be directing and starring in a movie named

Wake Me Up When September Ends - 'Twitter Trend'

Twitter is a marvellous source of information in the age of hand held technology. While news and current affairs are some of the most common trends, Twitter also lets you stay abreast of the trending discussions and topics. Confused? Well, for all those who do not already know, ‘Hash-tags’ and ‘Trending Topics’ are actually Twitter offerings that lets you know what is being thought about or talked about by people (or peeps) all over the world at any given point of time. It simply seems natural when “Wake me up when September ends” emerges as a Trending Tweet on the 1st day of September. Apparently hibernating through the September fall is an idea that’s appealing to many and mostly Green Day fans. The song however has different layers to it, apart from the easily assumed notion of sleeping through September. Green Day, the American rock band released this song as the fourth single on their seventh album, American Idiot. Incidentally, the song is dated September 10, and it is track 11