Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ain't that a bitch

I think I expected too much. I had grand visions of a huge stadium era stage setup, with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry prancing around like demi-Gods, resurrecting memories of Zeppelinsque proportions. Well, at least they pranced.

Though the sound was a little murky, the rhythm section comprising Joel Kramer on drums, Tom Hamilton on bass and Brad Witford on guitars were tighter than Devdas or atleast Amitabh Bachchan in Sharabi. And while this held the show and sound together, it also laid bare all the mistakes that were strewn around by the two frontmen. It was this rift that also led to a
very worrying vibe from the band. Then there was the strained sarcastic jibes being exchanged between Tyler and Perry, prompting the former to keep screaming, "Joe F**king Perry, Joe F**king Perry," ad nauseum and the latter to make some sharp jabs with his elbow.

Disturbingly, the photo pit was arranged in such a way that we had NO angles to shoot the the other three guys. Co-incidence? I think not.

Even given all those shenanigans, it would be a mistake for me to completely write off the performance. At least it wasn't Sir Elton John struggling to keep our eyes open as his plink plonked his way, all alone on stage, through a 2 hour set. When the formerly toxic twins let loose and surrendered themselves at the temple of rock, they created the kind of magic few musicians can summon with ease bordering on disdain. While Eat The Rich, Living On The Edge and Dream On evoked the bouncing headbanging hormones of my *ahem* younger days, it was the short blues set, featuring Baby Please Don't Go and Messin' Around sung by Perry after a token tribute to the Kamasutra (yes, they seemed to have imbibed our rich cultural heritage) that
really clinched it for me.

After listening to their last album, Honkin' On Bobo, I think these guys need to immerse themselves in the blues to be washed clean of shite like Just Push Play and Jaded. The song of the evening was a no-brainer. Living up to its name, Sweet Emotion dredged up just about any feeling possible for humans. Loud, lush and deliciously Aerosmith, with a trademark Perry vocoder solo, it could do no wrong. Missing in action were tracks like Rag Doll, Toys In The Attic, The Farm and teenybopper staples Crazy, Jamie's Got A Gun and Angel.

But it was still a fan's dream realised. Even if they did close with I Don't Want To Miss A Thing. And I almost licked Joe Perry's shoe.

Monday, June 18, 2007

say whaa???

Ever wanted to hear the voice of Che Guevara or Winston Churchill? Ever wanted to hear Neil Armstrong uttering his most famous words? It's all here for download - Free info society

They're all short clips that can be downloaded. Great for folks who like to do a little bit of mixing and electronica. Actually it's fun to listen to either way. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hearts and Crafts

Two songs from two brinks of our country still ring in my head. The first, a Bengali song was sung by a woman pointing at an ever unravelling roll of canvas, releasing a riot of colours and folk art, of personified fish, semi-humans and demi-Gods. The second, in namma Kannada, was sung by a man staring pensively at his work depicting the yearly tug of the divine chariot. Art and song brewed together to serve up some manna for the soul.

Kala Madhyam decided to provide the plates. By bridging folk artists (most of whom practice dying ancient art forms) and urban society, KM manages to provide a source of income to these gifted but sometimes hapless poor artists. 70% of their earnings from providing paintings, handicrafts, bric-a-bracs, clothes and murals go to the artists. Of the remaining 30% KM pays for the travel, stay and raw materials of the artists. The remaining goes back into the machine. Think you can help?

Check out the details at KALA MADHYAM

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Darkness their veil
The thirst their bane
Shadows and silhouettes
Murmurs of regret
For shunning death
A taste of immortality
Is all it takes
To grab the chalice
Of ruby red
And drink

Watch your thoughts
Keep sharp your eyes
As the shadow draws near
You won't know what hit you
Or whence it came
Greedy glint from the darkness
Then the pain
Sharp, then dull
Until the realisation
That it won't come again
Then you'll pray
For death
The release
From this curse
Until the smell of blood
Crosses your nostrils again.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

geet mala

Even after the advent of the idiot box in the early 80s, there was one radio show that my folks would never miss. Once a week the familiar glow would be replaced by a familiar crackle, followed by that voice we knew so well saying, "Halooooo, main hoon Ameen Sayani aur aap sun rahe hain Cibaca Geet Mala." When that voice suddenly has a face, clothes, polished shoes, white hair, huge frames for thick glasses and a neatly clipped moustache, it suddenly starts feeling like the twilight zone. But it wasn't. Here was the voice of Radio Ceylon, the voice of Vividh Bharathi, the voice of AIR, the voice of India. His humility is disarming, his accent flawless and he writes his own endorsement scripts in a scrawled mixture of Hindi, Urdu and English. A part of me fell in love with this charming man. The part that grew up listening to him.