Thursday, December 20, 2007

The World of Music ....

I write after eons ...and it feels nice. There is so much to write about but I think I can only get myself to write about music - cause thats what truly drives me.

Its amazing how lost I am in the world of music - and more so in the music of one man ...A R Rahman - that I tend to ignore (and no qualms about it) almost anyone else. Nothing ..really nothing compares to the music of this man and nothing probably ever will. Quite simply - nothing can. If there is God or if you can experience God....then for me ..thats this man's music. For now I just wait for Jodha Akbar (the next offering ...)

Neway - a colleague of mine gave me a CD to listen to.

Turns out the artist is his brother and is quite a star in Nepal - Tsujil Karmacharya - the name. The album - his first solo release called "BHUMO". He is a music arranger, singer, guitarist (add modeling as one more feather to his cap).

I then heard the CD. Like I said - in my world of music - simply its Rahman and then others (they all fall in the category of others). Well in the category of others ...Tsujil has gained a high rank - a really high rank.
I think I am a hard person to impress and very tough critic when it comes to music. But this guy has done that quite easily. He has impressed me so much that I want to recommend him to Rahman.

I dont understand a word of Nepali (thats what the songs are in) - not even a single word - but the songs rock. The music ...the vocals, the guitaring, the layering - absolutely everything rocks. Each and every song is different - from pure rock to soft soothing numbers - this man does a fabulous job of everything. You can view the title song of this album here.

Will have a write up of all the songs soon. For now though ....the song in the link above should tell you what I am raving about.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Of A R Rahman's ATM and other music

The past couple of weeks have been so amazing for my musical senses and thats the reason for this post ...
An A R Rahman album, 3 rock albums .....all in a matter of 10 days ....what more could I ask for

First of all the Rahman album .... - Azhaigaya Tamil Magan

Extoll Begin
Slow poison ..they say what Rahman's music is .....This one though caught me in a spin right from the word go. Poison alright ....but a dangerous and quick one this. An out on out commercial album. The songs from this album are kind of a statement from the magician ......and it goes like this
" Lessons on how the music of a commericial mass-masala movie should be" ...
An alternative title could be
" A beginners guide to masala movie music"

Without much further ado - a few words on each of the songs
a) Ellaappuhyagum
Probably the entry song for Vijay. The majestic way the song starts and builds....the guitaring...the way Rahman croons this number .....its amazing. This guy is full of energy. His brilliance also lies in the way he identifies the voice that will suit a particular song. That reflects here and I probably cant imagine anyone else singing this song.

b) Ponmagal Vandaal
I have hated remixes previously except for Rahman's "Thottal Poo Malarum" from "New". Probably I am biased or its just his magic ....but Rahman's remix here again puts me in awe. The rap bit in between and the rhythm by itself !!!!!!. Aslam's voice roxxxx.....

c) Nee Marilyn Monroe
Time and again, I have a tendency to start wondering how life would have been without Rahman's music ....of what it must have been had not there been anything to look forward to in my musical part of the life. It would have been bland ....for sure. This album and this song in particular just reaffirms that belief. The rhythmic guitar and some foot tapping beats throughout the duration of the song make it a great one. Not the forget the singers themselves - new singers from Rahman's camp I guess ....and yet again amazing voices.

d) Valayapathi
The brown-eyed boy from Rahman's camp .....Naresh Iyer the soul of this song ..apart from the maestro's music itself. Classical beats, instruments, lyrics ....layered with lotsa Western interludes and some guitaring. How does this man think of such weird combinations of instruments and vocals !!!!! Oh man .....

e) Kaelaamal Kaiyile
This is a simple melodious number. Two more new singers and a great song. This one probably is the slowest in its poison effect.

f) Madhuraikku Pogadhadi
Now what sounds like a simple and mundane dappangu style Vijay song at start turns into an absolutely amazing foot-tapping number. Notice the drums/mridangam ....they dont follow the normal pattern - the arrangment and the way they are played are so complex that on the surface u won't notice. they stop..and how they start and the patteren keeps on changing. There is a guitar strumming somewhere ...then there is a sitar I guess and the vocals after the first interlude - they completely change the tune of the song and then how beautifully he brings back it back to the original tune.

The album is a master-stroke. A statement like I said ...of how a out n out commerical film music should be. Read comparisons and review of this album on the net. Yes ..this is not an Alaipayuthe or a Dil-Se but this what it is. Suits the mood, suits the image of the hero - and thats what Rahman is doin these days. At the end of the day, what sells is what he has to make.

I bow again to you .....Rahman. There was man ....then he discovered sounds ....then music ...and then came Rahman :-) Beyond that ....I dont see anything else

Extoll end :-)

Other Music
Radiohead, Collective Souls, Eddie Vedder
Now thats quite a collection of names ..right and believe it or not in the past 10 days, I have heard an album from each one of them ....

Radiohead - In Rainbows - A brilliant assortment of traditional Radioheadistic music plus some nice experimentation in sounds and style, this album makes for a really good buy.

Collective Souls - Afterwords - I fell in love with their music thanks to their album called "Dosage" and proabably that was the first English rock album that I bought. 7 years on ..the magic of that album remains un-paralleled to date. This new album is as Collective soulistic as you could get. They do sound a lot like themselves in this album but its more towards "Dosage" than any of their other albums. By the way, I own all their albums ..starting their self-titled debut.

Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild - This is a soundtrack from the movie "Into the Wild" (by Sean Penn). Though no song is more than 3 mins (except for one of them), each one of them is truly brilliant thanks mainly to the compelling and 'by now you know it and you love it' vocals from Eddie (lead from Pearl Jam) and also thanks to the bass on each of them (kinda Pearl Jamistic).

So that my friends what my past 10-15 days have looked like. Musically rich, pleasant to the ears ....and anyone who has seen me lately would have noticed a spring in the stride. Alllll ..thanks to music :-)


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Book Review - Imperial Life in the Emerald City

After a long hiatus .....

Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Very rarely have I read a book where reality and fact has been presented in such an amazing way that it becomes a page turner. Where the misgivings or should I say mis-doings of a country (just one more in the case of this one) have been so very clearly and beautifully documented and presented. This folks is nowhere though close to the full picture but yet makes the point - very clearly makes the grand point

The book is about Post-war Iraq (the recent war ....) - the fall of Saddam ...the before and after state of affairs, the establishment of a Democratic Iraq, the Americans who made millions of dollars - some in real but most in false contracts,about educational institutions, about iraqi military people who became insurgents, about industries which were so devastated that probably they will never recover and about so many other things that are wrong ....just fundamentally wrong that it makes your head reel.
Not that CNN and other some other journos /reporters have not reported about this earlier but this book makes for such an interesting read through a series of interviews,people and incidents that you almost live through a lot of it.

Makes you wonder whether the Iraq in the Saddam era - wasn't it better off. Wasn't it better when a majority of people could roam around freely, wasn't it better when there was enough generation of electricity to ensure that there were not frequent power outages, wasn't it better when students could go to their universities and wasn't it better when Iraq was a self sufficient country with at least the magic substance called "Oil' to play around with.

I dont know whether I am right or whether Rajiv is right - but all I know is that after Vietnam and Afghanistan (and probably Cuba ....and many other nations), this is yet another place where this country ..this so called 'Big Police of the world ....has gone wrong.

Iraq as a democracy and the war that the US claims to have won out there is a joke ... and this book probably brings it out better than anything I have read or seen previously


Friday, August 17, 2007

15 is

I dont quite remember when Roja was released. When it released,I didn't know who starred in it. I didn't quite know who Mani Ratnam was. When it released, I didn't understand a word of Tamil and I think I saw Tamil movies just because they had some good stunts in them and because occasionally ..thanks to my sister, I knew that Illayaraja came out with some good tunes.

So when Roja released and in Delhi - all we got was a Video cassette - thats what we played on our brand new VCP. The audio obviously was not great but the only thing I noticed in that movie was the music (my folks understand Tamil but back then as a 12 year old was blissfully unaware of that language). Then again - it was just naturally assumed to be Illayaraja. Next day before returning the Cassette, I rewinded the cassette and heard the songs again (I did not care to check who the music director was). Wow ...I liked them.

That was my first rendevous with the magical world of Rahman. A few days later, I guess it was through my sis's friend that I heard the music director's name - 'A R Rahman'.

15 years from then .....Who would have thought that

a) I would live and breath his music and his spirit.
b) Or that, I would have a Blog dedicated primarily to write about him and his music
c) Or that in my music player - I would have a Genre called 'Rahmanic'
d) Or that I will have each and every song that he ever composed.
e) Or that, I would never get bored of his music
f) Or that yet despite all of the above being true, I still haven't said enough about why I respect and adore this man and his music.

Well ....15 years and countless songs later, the essence of the man's music has not changed. His personality, his grace and his humility have not changed. What has changed is the number of people he has entranced and captivated and inspired.

Salutations to the music ....and the magic .....and his humility and all that he stands for. Salutations to A R Rahman and congratulations on completing 15 years in the movie world.

He has spent much more time though making music ...... So probably the congratulations should be for me for having completed 15 years (the association with his music :-))


Friday, August 10, 2007

School of Rock .....

The 2nd post in a day I smoking or what .....

But ..just had to .....really ...just had to write about this movie .....'School of Rock'
I might have seen this movie 4-5 times but its playing again now and here I am - hooked on again ...watching the movie ...and writing this blog .....

The movie is about a guy who is a die-hard rock freak and who wants to keep it alive. The hope comes in the form of a class in a school where he is supposedly teaching mathematics (under an assumed teacher profile). From a maths class and nerdy kids to a Rock group who eventually almost win a rock contest - this movie is about that transformation ....and the passion in Rock .....and the fervour to keep it alive.

Jack Black an actor who personifies incredible energy and passion. There is something about him and Rock music. It seems he indeed in real life too is a die-hard rocker - Has sung a couple of covers and even has an album out. An amazing energy is what he brings out on the screen no matter what he enacts.

One interesting trivia about this movie - The Immigrant Song (Led Zep) was for the first time allowed in a movie Soundtrack - it seems the kids and Black pleaded and requested at lenght for the rights for this song ...

I highly recommend this movie to not just Rock maniacs - but to absolutely anybody who loves music ...or who just wants to have a Fun time :-)


A third of us live on Rs 20 a day ....

Though I am not going to speak too much about this - I guess this was always known or at least I believed that the Indian growth that we hear about ...was superficial. A few rich people ...who get richer by the day. Agreed that the quality of life has improved for a lot of people. Agreed that now we get all "Imporrrrrted' stuff back at home itself and and agreed that we have Starbucks, Walmart ...right at our threshold - but the comman man ...his life still a struggle.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ways n Means ....

I have realised one truth about myself (rather musical self).

I think I am exploring new music/artists only to end up finding flaws in them and get an excuse to get back to the world of A R Rahman

My collection of music might have swelled closed to around 85 GB or so ...but the most precious are the 3-4 GB worth of music thats stored away as copies and copies of copies - which by now you might have guessed the music of the magician 'Rahman'.

His track for Taj Mahal - is yet another shining example of his brilliance. Stated to have been composed in a huff (apparently, Rahman was approached at the last hour), it goes to show how even a small effort from him is miles ahead of anyone else in the current music sphere.

Anyway .....onto some New music

Electric Ganesha
Heard 'Electric Ganesha' (prasanna) a few days back - its a pretty decent one especially the track 'Dark Sundae in Triplicane'

Young Modern
by Solverchair - must say ..they are back with a bang. a pretty good album ..though its not ur typical grungish Silverchair ...this time around. I would classify this album as Alternative ..modern rock ...
The track 'Straight Line' rocks.

Who we are
by Lifehouse .....okish album ...nuthing ground-breaking as their first self-titled album. These guys now sound the same with each passing album

Life in Cartoon Motion
by Mika ....coooooooooooool album ....Popish pop/rock :-) ....

Bono - Collected Solo works ( 6-CD).
ny Bono obviously this one is a one to cherish rocks ...specially the title song from the movie OST 'In the Name of the Father'


Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Ticket .....

The ticket to the magical world .......of Rahman


Wednesday, May 02, 2007


What else in this world could represent better - the innocence and beauty of life ... judge for yourself ......

p.s. - this by the way is my two-month old niece.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

The demise of Rock' ...Creed' revisited....Rahman and some Pics

Good new music is hard to find ....
And a Good new classy Rock album is an even rarer commodity these days ....An occasional Coldplay (yes yes ..I know that they are not exactly rock) or a LP/RHCP/U2 or newbies like Blacklab etc. display a faint glimmer oh radiance and hope but nah !!!

Its with this thought that when I was scrolling through my iPod list that I stopped to listen to Creed - one of the last few good grunge Rock acts that came through in the 90's - lead by vocalist Scott Stapp , an awesome guitarist Mark Tremonti, Bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Philips. Mind you - they released just 3 albums and a lot of covers but all their albums (from 'My Own Prison' to 'Human Clay' to 'Weathered' ) are sparkling examples of what you can classify as Pure Grunge rock .....everything from their vocals to the bass to the drums echoed the sentiments of any true rock buff ....

Well ...and then it happened as has with many a good groups in the past...the group officially split up in the summer of 2004 and another good ensemble was lost .....ah !!!! to the frustration of many a fans ....
You can read more about this group here: <Creed>

Rock is dying ...and to be honest ...I am better off hearing stuff from the good old days ..the 60's and the 70's and then Floydd ....the stuff that you hear today is so over the board and nonsensical that my head spins when I think about it :-

A R Rahman and Sivaji
And thank god for A R Rahman ....if it hadn't been for his freshness and the depth and variety that he exhibits ..I might have been in a comatose state by now (musically speaking .....)

btw ..heard Sivaji ....and its yet another perfect example of the Rahman effect hear it once and u r bound to dismiss it ...u hear it again ..ah ...u hear some things that u like ...u hear it again starts and u hear it again .....Wow !!!! The verdict changes dramatically and you find yourself drawn into hearing each and every song again and again .....

So much as been written about this man and his music on the net and on print media that anything I write here would seem just a repetion. I guess though that whatever and howmuch so ever is written or said, it still aint enough to capture the true escence of the man and his music ...

In Sivaji - The Boss ....Rahman is the boss of the music and he stamps his authority all over the album ....the man has such an amazing command over his orchestration, percussion and the rhythm - that it gels so perfectly in each n every song.



Sunday, March 11, 2007

A new cam ...

Now I have 3 of them ...

a N65 ...Nikon (SLR)
a DSC-V1 ...Sony (point n shoot)
a EOS D350 ..Canon (DSLR)

the DSLR, the latest one to be added is probably the one that I have always been waiting for ...this post shall henceforth have a lot of pics ......other than the usual musical blabber

I just love the world in BnW ...everyone ..everything seems so equal ...and everything is in harmony expect a lot of equality and harmony .... :-).

p.s. - Obviously, I am no expert here...I shoot for the joy of it and so don't expect any magic or brilliance here ...

Musically, life has been quiet nothing to add .....heard the new Korn album(MTV Unplugged) ...a good mellowed down one ...considering their usual loud self ....


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Seeker .....the Suggestor ...the Recommender

I seek music ..I suggest music, rather I recommend it ...and I love music ....
So my search led me to 3 new groups ...which I now recommend ...

Rocco DeLuca and the Burden - I Trust you to Kill me
Rocco DeLuca and the Burden are a four-piece
American alternative and non-conformist rock and roll band from California who formed in late 2005 (Source: Wiki)

My take - Alternative, Country Rock, an experimental band .....with great vocals,lyrics and wonderful orchestration ...

Blacklab - Heard on the Shield season 6 Promo
Got hooked onto their songs thanks to the new Shield season 6 promo that airs on the box these days - it goes by the name of 'This Night' .

Alternative, modern Grunge rock - these folks sound like a lot of other bands you might heard in the past ...but still are different in the sense that they don't go too loud or too nonsensical in their lyrics. The bass is predominant in their music and so is the metal .....gud one this and a grouo to watch out for ...

Blue October - Foiled
Heard them on the VH1 countdown over the weekend ..they were in the top 10 ...a track called ..'Into the Ocean' ...heard couple of other songs ..and ended up buying tickets for their concert at the Filmore on Apr 1st. Then also went and got their most recent album ...'Foiled' ...

Alternative ..yet again, Modern Rock...almost a Brit Rock feel to these folks ....
The thing about this group is that they sound too uncoventional ....almost Popish at times ...but yet they Rock ....use the violin a lot and percussion too .....

On a Sidenote
For a brief period of time, I had almost lost faith in new music and I had begun to think that Hip-hop and punk have taken over ......
With a rare Coldplay album once in 3 years or a RHCP once in 2 years - A R Rahman and the old classic stuff like Zepplin or CCR or Doors being the only respite for my ears ....but over the past few weeks, I have started believing that there is hope ....there is hope for Rock and there is hope for me .....

p.s. - Rahman still towers way abve everyone else though :-)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pray for me brother A R Rahman

An Indian singing an English song typically sends a eerie feeling a.k.a a chill down my spine :-) and what I typically end up doing is changing the channel or hitting the forward button. Though occasionally an Indus Creed or a Parikrama did catch my attention, I have never quite come to accept it ....then there was the Great Indian Rock (an annual event in Delhi) that caught my attention but there again except for a band or two everything seemed so unnatural ....and unacceptable .... :-)

But then Rahman also is unnatural ...but ....he is acceptable ...and not just that ...he absolutely rocks and he absoutely kicks a## !!!!!
Bought 'Pray for me Brother' recently- and thats the reason for this post .... This is a single in English by Rahman - heard it ..absorbed it ...and got blown away by it ...the verdict is clear

Rahman ...whatever he does ...stands out and he simply stands tall ...and there is no doubt that it.....

A little about the song itself...Rahmans voice as always is magical and he blends it in so well with the flow of the song that you for a moment might not notice where the music begins and where his voice starts .....and it almost merges with the music ...such is the beauty of this man ...his voice..the music ..and the way he has mixed everything ...the rap by Blaze ..and the stanza towards the end .....ah ......thats Divine .....

Then ..there is the video of this song .....shot in b&w and in the vertical format (for cellphones they say) which is equally good....

I believe that the song is available in UK Itunes and is shortly going to be available in US too (will buy it again so that I can put it onto my iPod ..) ...


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Heard and Hearing ....

Blue Umbrella - Vishaal (2006)
A great album - 3 songs and the remaining are all teeny-weeny instrumentals. For those who might not know, Vishaal is a great Director too ....if Maqbool and Omkara are enough to form an opinion. Blue Umbrella, his latest offering is a children's movie and as he does for his other movies, he gives a great score here too.

Fatboy Slim - Greatest Hits (2006)
Great collection of their hits from the yester years .... luv the song ...'Brimfull of Asha' - song dedicated to Bollywood and more accurately Asha Bhosle)

Clash - The Singles
Nothing new. Hadn't heard them in a while got this album recently and hearing them all over again.

Also hearing a lot of Salil Chaudhary .....


Eureka Eureka.....

In the past 2 weeks or so, I have more or less arrived at some starting conclusions about - when actually I started getting interested in music or should I put it - that I first started to notice music.

No, its not A R Rahman with whom my earliest memories are associated to (though he certainly is the one who influenced me and turned me into an absolute music lover), nor RD Burman or SD Burman. As I think back and reflect on my past, I remember that I had heard, noticed and liked the songs from an old Dilip Kumar movie - 'Madhumati'. I also liked the songs from a Malayalam movie 'Chemeen' , the Hindi movies 'Anand', 'Chotti Si Baat', 'Rajnigandha', 'Half Ticket' ....and some other Malayalam movie songs.

The music was different, the arrangements were great and they had those unpredictable moments here and there in them. That's what probably caught my ears. Most of all, they were original and had a fun feel to them whether it was a slow number or a pacy one.

For anybody who has closely followed the music of this great music composer, I am sure he/she must have guess that I am speaking about none other than 'Salil Chaudhary'. Here was a music director, who like Rahman was much ahead of his times and was different. He dared to be different - he played with a varied number of sounds, instruments, unconventional beginning and ending of songs and choruses and a whole other aspects of music. I haven't heard much of his work to speak more about him like I can about Rahman. But all I can say is that Salil da (as I think he was known to a lot of people) was a great music composer - surely one of the greatest India has had.

So here's to Salil Chaudhary and his music ...A Salute and a Cheers.

You can read more about him and his music at


Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy Birthday to the one and only ....

Birthday wishes to the man who to me

Defines music
Defines humility
Defines divinity
Defines life
Defines magic
Defines joy
Defines every good virtue that probably exists

and defines probably a lot more than I can put in words here

Happy Birthday to A R Rahman
on his 41st birthday on Jan 6th .....