Rock Bands, Please Stay Away from Technopark!


I would never have written this on an isolated incident. It happens repeatedly in technopark. If you are so proud of being a rock/metal artist, come and have the experience. In SRK’s words ( I know its a little awkward to quote a mainstream artist in a blog on rock music. sorry for that! ) Techies here will “kick the star out of your stardom”. But it is not because of their holier-than-thou attitude and not at all because of your music. It is only because of the sheer underexposure of the crowd here to something called “real music”. Everyone is in the dream world of filmi and pop.

So in some unfortunate circumstance if you have agreed to play a show, What are the things that are awaiting you? This blog is intended to give you an insight to that rather than a useless advice to those poor souls.

The crowd

5-6% metal heads, 15% general music lovers, 40% dunno-whats-going-on-im-leavin kind of people and rest would account to faint hearted-troublesome-attention seekers (pretty weird combination isn’t it?) This is what the crowd is. You can see very little people at the front head-banging perhaps. They will sing along. The second category will sit and listen to you but they are less likely of enjoying it. They will listen to you anyway. The third group will show the signs of discomfort from the moment you start to play something hard and will eventually be out of the venue if you perform more than 5-6 songs. They can enjoy only filmi/pop. They listen to only vocals and it should be clean. Distortion on guitars and heavy drumbeats will piss them off. Very sensitive group of people probably the result of brain dead bollywood or stupid TV serials. The last category can be a menance. They may be drunk and will hurl abuses at you loudly, show antics that even Sreesanth wouldn’t dare to do.

It is not entirely on the crowd’s fault though. The thing is, you got the wrong crowd. Techopark do have a lot of rock fans. But why the heck they aren’t at the venue? How come these filmi dumasses (sorry, but in the view of most metalheads, you are!) are present at a rock concert?

The organizers

Be it any show our organizers are very known for their ironic know-it-all attitude. Following ways, the organizers can make you go nuts!

1. Sound check without sound.

This is something that is happened with chaos when they came to Technopark. The organizer had askedthem to do  sound check until the sound guys arrive! You can read an excellent article by Praveen Stoneage: “When Chaos reigned at Technopark!”. Also, ensure that everything stays there as it is after the sound check. You can read read my account on Avial at Natana. There is an incident mentioned about how Avial’s sound check got affected!

2. Lack of equipment.

I request the concerned people who are likely to do this at technopark to read this eHow article on how to set up the stage for a rock concert There is no rocket science involved. The only thing you do at-least is to show some common sense. ASK the band what they need. Provide what they need. Simple! By the way in Technopark, if you get 2-3 monitor speakers, consider yourselves lucky. Forget the drummer! Here, sound system will be setup keeping a pop singer who sings on karaoke in mind. So ensure everything is setup your way before playing.

3. Getting Sandwiched

Now, this is one thing you must never let happen. If you want to play rock it will be better if there are only rock fans listening to you. In Technopark a rock concert will mostly be followed by a “ganamela” or a “filmi” concert by some pop star(?). Chaos was a victim where a ganamela was followed by their concert. The lead vocalist of Bennett and the band who sounded like Bon Scott of AC/DC did suffer an abrupt end  as the crowd was expecting Bollywood singer Vijay Prakash’s concert which followed! You know what? Size doesn’t matter!

4. Is that what you call music?

Even-though you got raped for performing what you love, the organizers are not gonna show you any mercy. They will judge you like in reality shows and points out lot of mistakes(???) They can even give advice on the playing techniques of your lead guitarist. Beware!

6. Ohh! please stop! we cannot handle the crowd anymore!

This will be a humiliating experience. The organizers asking you to stop the show. If someone didn’t like your performance, they can walk away. If the organizers can’t control some of that 4th category people I told earlier, Why are they conducting such a show at first place?

This blog is not intended to humiliate anybody. I don’t know any of the organizers, performers personally. So, if this post hurt your sentiments, frankly my dears, I don’t give a rat’s ass!

It’s these cards and the movies and the pop songs, they’re to blame for all lies and the heartache, everything. – 500 Days of Summer

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Album art - The Crossover

Baiju’s Crossover in June


Baiju Dharmajan the ex-motherjane “God of small strings” has been an ultimate source of inspiration for the guitarist in me. The way he effortlessly incorporates those carnatic elements in to those advanced sweep/legato techniques always amazed me. After his departure from motherjane, he composed three songs in a band called Wrenz united. While some projects like Kashmir are going on an episode of Dewarists in Star World featuring a collaboration of Baiju with Karsh kale and Harigovindan; “sacred science” was a sweet blend of sopana sangeetham.

And the latest information that can be obtained is all about this website: http://baijudharmajan.in. You can hear a mind blowing montage of his upcoming album: “The Crossover” when you take that website. Baiju sir is working with Cochym a management / record label based in London, UK and it seems like that website is hosted by them. Well, beautiful background image you see in the website is now the lock screen image of my office Workstation!

Go to this expressbuzz article and read the full story on the album. There will be tracks called “Cyber Reptile”, “Philia”; There is this one bit in the montage perhaps in the same raga as “maha ganapathim” keerthana which was really captivating and the same will have a great expectation from my side.

All the very best Baiju Sir! Respect!

49-O – The Right to Reject? What a F*cking Joke!


Before reading this post, I reccomend you to take a look at the website called http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.org that claims that they have started yet another freedom struggle that could make it to the history text books of next generation. Needless to say, there are a lot of people supporting this; the cleanest and ‘mahatma’ kind of pure minds.

I recently saw a picture sponsored by India against corruption on Facebook that is getting a lot of likes and shares and is spreading across in a viral manner. Its nothing but what I had come across wiki and some forums long ago. It was unfortunately a hoax that is being spread about the Rule 49-O in The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961. The poster shows some people standing with their voter ID cards saying “We were disappointed, but we didn’t stay home!”. The poster apparently suggests doing 49-O in-order to give a strong message to political parties that one vote for nobody. Now, look at the quotes below.

The apparent purpose of this section is to prevent the election fraud or the misuse of votes.

A hoax has been circulating which claims that if the ’49-O’ votes more than those of the winning candidate, then that poll will be canceled and will have to be re-polled. Furthermore, it claims that the contestants will be banned and they cannot contest the re-polling for their lifetime. This is false and has no basis whatsoever.

Yes, it is from Wikipedia. So, what strong message are you planning to give to the political parties? Using 49-O is little better than sitting in your home not voting. It conveys only one message. You are not interested in democracy! If you don’t vote, you are not participating in democracy and hence you allow inappropriate leaders to serve you. Then comes the self-righteous good-for-nothing statement called “They are all corrupt, there is no point in voting!”. Seriously? I don’t want to say that there are perfect leaders to vote for. But there is something that people need to do for democracy to work. They need to select the best leader that they think would be appropriate even though that is from a bad lot irrespective of flag color. If you think about it you can understand that more than any gimmicks this is the strongest statement one could give and in the long run we will have better leaders.

Now, the story doesn’t end here. For all those people who say the leaders are corrupt, have you ever managed to ask that to yourself? If your answer is no, you must go through this interesting blog by vadakkus to know how are we corrupt and what went wrong in the anti-corruption movement. So, a plea to those pure souls: in this sorry state of affairs, why don’t you show an example to all those corrupt ones by contesting in election, winning and having a corruption-free political career? Not interested?

The very purpose of an election is that the representatives should be chosen by the people. Encouraging people not to express their preferred candidate goes against the intended purpose.

Also read: India’s Middle Class Revolutionaries

Slingshot


A perfect blend of funk and folk I would say. This band called slingshot which was formed in 2006 hails from Calicut aka Kozhikode, a northern district of Kerala. They were the winners of the first edition of Kingfisher Kerala Rocks. Slingshot recorded its first album ‘Half-Naked’ which was unofficially released in the Great Indian Octoberfest. The genre of rock music which the band plays is‘Folk influenced Sex-Funk rock’. ‘Country liquor’ is their first song which is more of funk rather than folk. but ‘way back home’ which is my favorite has a folk touch every where from riffs to drum beats, sprinkled with funk. The band’s lineup is as follows.

Jhanu on guitar, Fadal on vocals, Kaushik on bass and Vineet on drums. So they are a 4 piece band. No idea on how they manage to play songs like country liquor live without a rhythm guitarist.There are less of such face-melting solos in those two songs. Also in ‘way back home’, we can hear that there’s only bass backing while playing lead. So probably Jhanu shifts between rhythm and lead. ‘zaara’ has little Indian folk in it but awesome stuff on acoustic guitar and bass.

You can download all their songs from their reverbnation profile.

Ettam Pattu Unplugged Cover!


I hope everyone know the band called Avial. Ettam pattu or “8th song” in English as the name implies is the 8th song of their self titled album. This is my favorite song as it is a slow folksy ballad which carries a taste of rural Kerala as well as impeccable melody.

Arjun and me met at Technopark when he saw me carrying a guitar with me. We got acquainted, jammed and became good friends. Needless to say he is an awesome guitarist, he mostly plays metal and some awesome acoustic stuff too. As I was studying classical guitar. I couldn’t resist but learn how to play this song from him.

Last week his cousin Sanchay had come to his place. He is a good vocalist trained in carnatic music. So we recorded this cover with me and Arjun on guitars, Sanchay on Vocals.  Here is the video, its our first such attempt. Hope everyone likes it.

Introducing Roxide & Kaalam


This band or to be specific their track “Kaalam” is not new to me. I heard it from their reverbnation profile a year ago. I wasn’t very impressed with the vocals to be frank, but I liked their simple approach. So I downloaded it(kill piracy) and it stayed in my pc and found a place in my daily playlist. Eventually I started to love it. Those riffs at the end is best part according to me. Lyrics where funny and cool that reminds of our own childhood.

The band says:

Nothing is true like Music and nothing is mightier than Words, they mate inside heart with much of passion and there comes the wonder of ROXIDE. It may change something in his grace, that couldn’t be changed by a thousand Rally! Listen, with all you have inside and feel the great love for you. Hold hands together to make a difference. The Band is here to Serve you with all we have inside. Let the Love flow from hearts to hearts….

Members

Vocals & Rythm: Aldrine
Lead Guitar: Mithun
Bass Guitar: Joachim
Drums: Deepak
Keys: Shine

Must Listen Track

That’s “Kaalam” and here is the video:

About the video, the kids rocked! But guys, do you think that you’re better actors than them? 😀 Kept it simple and humble. Thumbs up for that!

Links

http://roxidekochi.yolasite.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/roxide
https://www.facebook.com/ROXIDEINDIA

A Personal Appeal to Tamilnadu


Before starting with this post let me say this. I or we have great respect towards Tamil people for various reasons. We depend on you for our food (Raw materials including 70 per cent of our vegetable requirements) and lot other things so there is a situation that we cannot live without you guys. As Tamil is the mother of Malayalam which is the mother-tongue of Kerala, There is no regional or lingual reasons for hate. Also we are all Dravidian. I live in the western part of Thrissur district, Kerala. My blog has carried a badge you can see on the left called “Re-Build Mullaperiyar Dam” for nearly two years. When I thought about putting this up in a blog,  Now a days, I can feel that things have changed. The recent tremors and the predictions for the coming ones are making us more aware and worried. A protest that is going on at Mullaperiyar area demanding a new dam has passed 2000 days. Please note that none of these protests are against Tamilnadu or Tamilians, but for one of the fundamental rights given by the Indian constitution: “the right to live”. Here from what I could understand, the main problem is the worry over the updates in cost of lease. It’s not basically about Tamilnadu being denied of water, but a fear of having to pay more than current value after building a new dam. How much time does it take to build a new one? I don’t think it is possible to build a new dam  by keeping the water level like that in the old one. So during the period of construction, you may lose some water  But TN government must understand the fear of 3 million people living downstream. The supreme court’s verdict can take time. It might be difficult to get a clear technical statement on how secure the dam is. But nature has its own ways. It won’t do any paper work or consult any of these technical or legal experts before its action. Even if the chance for a crisis is as small as 1%, that is a strong reason to worry. I hope you can understand our situation by reading this together with the risk of Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant you face and I want to let you know that same is our sentiments on Mullaperiyar. Tamilnadu can argue in the court that its taking measures for strengthening the dam by doing some cosmetics, demand stays and stretch it a lot further. But remember that if you are milking a cow when it is sick, you are killing it.