Monday, May 28, 2007

Guess, it becomes harder and harder for new rock bands to stand out amongst the multitude of new bands that comes out every year. Some years back, it was Godsmack & Nickelback that got my attention. Currently, it's Wolfmother. The name sounds Gothic but their music & style is quite similar to that of the Black Crowes and Maroon 5. Very raw, with minimal effects and other sound engineering/recording techniques.

The idea of classifying a band as metal, thrash, blues-rock, acid...seems absurd to me. At the most, you can say an album has a bluesy feel or a song has a progressive sound.

There was a time when the tune and the words were all that mattered. But as you get exposed to more and more bands and their different styles, you begin to notice all the not-so-obvious stuffs. Backing vocals, usually in the chorus part is something a lot of people don't hear. The one in Bon Jovi's 'Bed of Roses' is one of the easy but beautiful ones, while the one in Soul Asylum's 'Runaway Train' falls in the more difficult ones. The backing vocals for that chorus part is not sung at the usual same tune but higher notes, but at a totally different tune. Beautiful and different.

Bass is another thing. It normally accompanies the drum beats, but for some famous bass players the bass part is nothing less than that of the lead guitar. And to check this out, listen to Flea (RHCP) or Billy Sheehan (Mr.Big). Their bass guitars never fail to create another song/melody in the main song itself.

And when it comes to lead guitars, technique is not everything. Take for example, Slash (G n R) & Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme). Slash is just an average guitar player but he has made a name for himself because of all those amazing-memorable-hummable melodies he composed for the GnR songs. He hardly uses his little finger which is a definite disadvantage when you're doing a solo, and he can't improvise too. Saw him in a video once, playing with Zakk Wylde, and I felt so bad for him.

Very few people know of Nuno. They all say he's one of the most talented and fastest guitarists but there's no melody at all. Agree to a certain extent but that also means these people haven't heard "Midnight Express," "A Song for Love" and "Who Cares." Listen to the last one if you ever get the chance and you'll know what I'm talking about. It's not just a song; it's a whole fucking orchestra composed solely by Nuno. There's this part where you can hear a piano, the violins and cellos follow, suddenly everything stops and there's this complete silence which is broken by the high wailing notes of Nuno's guitar. The whole orchestra then followed, with heavy drums, and as the guitar fades on a long slow note, Gary Cherone picks up the song again. Sheer absolute fucking genius.

You can't ever ignore melody. I have never liked Obituary, Cannibal Corpse and countless other metal & death bands just because they sound all similar. Lightning speed guitar works, heavy bass and drums, and very hoarse irritating vocals. You need something more than these to stand out. On the other side, there's Pantera, Disturbed and Cradle of Filth. Heavy to the core but surprisingly the melody's there too. And for those interested in Gothic literature, grab hold of all of Cradle of Filth's lyrics. I promise you; you won't be disappointed.

Talking of rock music & guitars, I will be giving away my Givson semi-acoustic to my kid bro. Thinking of buying a Gibson/Ibanez/Takamine semi-acoustic jumbo but I don't see these brands in Bangalore. Any ideas/suggestions, anyone?

Monday, May 21, 2007

a to z

This is what I do when I don’t get work/projects!!!

Aeromsith & Analytics: Will finally see the Toxic Twins live, with kid bro and a friend. One of my favorite bands, and the band with the most energetic lead vocalist in the world.

The domain I would love to be in, for as long as I can. Analytics is where I want to shine.

Boots & Boot Cuts: Crazy about them. Have a Gasoline, Caterpillar, Woodland, and an original army-issued officers' boots from the NDA.

And low-waist tight/comfort fit boot cuts, usually Levis, to go along with.

Cricket & Chauvinism & Cooking: One of the slowest, most boring games in the world.

Haven't seen or heard much about the good side of chauvinism. It only

nurtures divisive, narrow minded feelings and attitudes. The whole concept
of boundaries and nations will eventually destroy us in the end.

Been cooking for about 14 years and that says it all.

Drugs & Determination: Once upon a time....but it taught me so many things.

I wouldn't be where I'm now, without my kinda determination. I'm determined to the point of being called a pig-headed person. I make simple "yes" or "no" decisions and then GO for it.

Earn Everything: Nothing comes free, nothing comes to you on its own. And that includes people and relationships too. Earn them and learn.

Fuck: Not the act but the word. I use it a lot when I'm angry, or when I want to emphasize something.

Gods and Guitars: Something tells me the story of the world, our creation, the definitions of what is good and bad, the idea of heaven and hell...can't be explained by God at all. God to me, was born out of our fear of the unknown, while everything associated with religion and morals was made by powerful & influential men.

There will always be guitars and books in my room, and in my life.

Hills, Himachal and Hypocrisy: I love the hills, wanna live near them, wanna grow old with them. And the hills, roads, rivers, trees, and everything about Himachal still beckons me.

How can somebody say that everyone's a hypocrite? I mean, how can everyone fall into that same category of people who pretend to have qualities or beliefs that they do not really have. I say what I feel, I do what pleases me, or what I think is right. I have shocked, amazed, pleased, embarrassed, and angered a lot of people with my words and actions.

I: Not the selfish, egoistic “I” but the proud, respect yourself & others “I” with an identity of its own.

Jennifer Connelly: One of the most talented, beautiful, understated and underrated actress of our time. See at least 5 of her movies and you'll know.

KLPD: As in the movie that translated it as the betrayal of the erect dick. It actually applies to a lot of other things too but you still have got to be man enough to go through that kinda experience (no pun intended)!!!

Love & Les Paul: Never try to be cool about it, never listen to anyone and never follow rules when it comes to love; just soak in the whole experience and follow your own heart, and your head too, sometimes.

Will somebody, anybody please buy me a Les Paul? :-)

Madness & Monica Belluci: Nah, I'm not going to say or write about Mother. Everyone says that his/her mother is the best, what else is new? I would rather write about madness and say that each one of us need a little bit of it to uncover, experience and learn the mysteries of our own lives.

And as for Ms.Belluci, just look at her and dream on.

Nirvana: We all need to find our own heaven, our own definitions or conditions for a blissful life instead of comparing with someone else's idea of happiness.

Old Monk: The one who started it all. Many a friendship has been forged and tested, while the old monk kept a watch over each one of us.

Poems & Pink Floyd: Not the spring-is-coming, or life-is-beautiful types, I love poems about life itself, the realities and naked truths about it.

Music that soothes and transports you, anytime, every time. The music of the Gods.

Questions: Ask. Be curious. May your thirst for knowledge never be quenched coz every adventure in life begins with questions.

Rock Music & Rain: It flows in my veins and it pumps in my heart; I need it all the time, for my sanity, for peace and for ecstasy.

I can watch the rain, listen to it and smell it. It's difficult to describe but like a lot of people, rain does something to me.

Sex & SRK: Everyone loves sex. No further comments!

The dimpled khan. The actor (?) with the same stupid expression for all emotions and roles. Sex sells and SRK sucks.

Tea: Can be tea & coffee both, but I love tea better. I can drink it anytime, any number of times. My favorite is tea without milk, with a dash of lemon or ginger. And for those who don’t know, try a cup of strong tea (without milk) after a joint, for that out-of-this-world experience.

Under-aged: For a long, long time I have to carry and show some ID with my DOB/age whenever I go to pubs or whenever I go to watch an "A" certified movie. And this went on till my PG, after I had already finished 4 years of engineering. Sometimes funny, sometimes embarrassing, and sometimes very very irritating. Now, after working for about 4-5 years, the world thinks I’m in college.

Vodka: My 2nd favorite after Rum. Absolutely love it with fresh lemon juice and ice cubes, and nothing else.

Walking & Women: I LOVE walking. In Delhi I have walked from CP to South Ext twice, and I have walked from Chanakya Theater to Lajpat Nagar once (that was a bet). And right now in Bangalore, I walk home from the office everyday, takes me about 50-60 minutes.

I love women too. But my lips are sealed :-)

X: X as in ex boyfriends or ex girlfriends. What does it actually stand for? Expired? Extinct?

Yaar & YOs: The friends and the pseudos. You gotta know how to spot and differentiate between the two.

Zest: Enthusiasm, passion, the zest for life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Multi-tasking is something I've never been good at. When I'm reading a book, I prefer silence all around me. Unlike a lot of people, I don’t like to read with some music in the background. When I'm watching a movie, I want to hear every word, notice the details, and more importantly know and understand what the movie's all about.

When I'm into something I'm so totally into it, relationships, for instance. When I’m in love, I see and care for my woman only. The one thing that I swear upon is that, I'll never ever two-time her or what some people call "multi-tasking" these days. To me, that makes someone a liar and a coward, and someone so weak that he/she can't take a simple decision. I have been with a fair number of women, but each one of them has been with me at different points of time. Or to put it more directly, after the end of a relationship, there has always been some new woman, a perfect stranger, waiting for love, waiting for a new journey, waiting for me.

I have never proclaimed to any of my loves that she's the last woman I'll love, if we ever broke up or if anything ever happened to her. I have always believed and I still do, that I'll find another woman that will fascinate, excite and challenge me if the present relationship ever ends.

A lot of things have kept me away from the whole concept of two-timing but only one person has shown and taught me the finer details of it, and he's my own father.

I didn't know about it for almost 6 years. It was only when I turned 7 that I came to know about the 'other woman'. At that age, I was just surprised and not at all shocked. Mom would tell us much later that if it had not been for the kids (us), she would have left my father a long time back.

There were quarrels, almost everyday. And every time dad came home late from the office, it was worse. All of us - my brothers and sisters, learned to ignore it after sometime but as we grew up, we began to discover a lot of unanswered questions. How and why did dad have two sons with that 'other woman' if mom had found out about her at the start of their affair? Why did dad send those two kids to the best school in the state when he sent me and my elder brother to a small, unknown, one wooden building school? Why didn't he ever make up his mind, and love and live with only one woman?

The two sons from the 'other woman' were in the same age group as my elder brother and me. And every time my elder brother and I topped our classes, mom would be so happy and so proud. She would also become vengeful and remind my father how his other 'two sons' despite studying in the best school would never ever be better than her own sons. A shamed, confused and angry father who used to drink everyday, and a hurt mother who couldn’t walk away because of the kids and because she could never stop loving him – those were the darkest days my family has ever seen and known.

It's been so many years now, decades in fact, and I have never ever seen this 'other woman' and her two sons - my step-brothers. I don't know their names either. My own 2 eldest brothers and big sister, something tells me that they still have the biggest & deepest scars from that phase of our family history. One elder bro, me, kid sis and bro, we were lucky to come out of the whole thing with some scratches only.

Mom has been the strongest person, and Dad has always been so good to each one of us despite getting drunk and quarrelling with mom almost every night. I never thought of him as bad or heartless, but just someone who made a very big stupid mistake. And yes, he was a fucking liar and a fucking coward too, at one point of time. Sometimes, I want to ask him a thousand questions but that look in his eyes tells me that he had asked himself those questions. And that look in his eyes tells me that he will never forgive himself.

As for the 'other woman', I no longer hate her. Dad was to be equally blamed for whatever happened, but I want to meet her someday, and just look in her eyes. And hopefully I will find the answers there.

is she there,
somewhere in the dark dungeons
of your memory?
is she still there,
walking behind you
whenever you look back?
do you sometimes see her,
in all the empty places
of your heart?
do you see her in a crowd?
or do you see her,
only when you switch on
the headlights?
and do you sometimes see her,
when you are holding mother,
in your arms?

do you see him
as you used to
just like the day
you first saw him
on your way back home
from school?
do you still get charmed
by his looks and words?
do you see
guilt in his eyes?
or do you feel it yourself?
do you feel
humiliated? betrayed?
has everything been forgiven?
or do you still wanna kill father?

what do you see
when you look at yourself?
a seductress? a fool?
or a woman wronged?
did his looks and words
sweep you off your feet?
or has it swept you
down the drain and into the gutters?
do you miss him
or do you want him to
miss you instead?
do you still talk with him
relive the romance and passion
or do you relive your follies?
have you forgiven him
have you forgiven yourself
or do you still cry
under the silver shadow
of a mocking full moon?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Guitar World mentions they will be performing at Mumbai, Bandra Kumla Ground (June 2)

The Aerosmith official site says the concert will be at Bangalore, Palace Grounds (June 2). STATUS: Please Note VENUE and CITY CHANGE

I’m praying for Bangalore though:-)