Monday, April 30, 2007

Dard mein bhi yeh lab muskuraa jaate hain,
Beete lamhein humein jab yaad aate hain

Heard this song on repeat, at least 50 times, while driving to New York over the weekend. Its brilliant, as is Mausam.

I'm a total proponent of the "sample-it-on-Raaga/MusicIndiaOnline/Smashits and-if-you-like-it-buy-it" philosophy. The last 3 Hindi music CDs that I've picked up have been phenomenal:

(1) Bas Ek Pal
(2) Life in a .... Metro
(3) The Train

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Must Listen

Soundtrack of The Train. Been a while since I heard a soundtrack, which stuck to the definition of the term "soundtrack". Instead of the usual disjointed tracks to follow different themes and situations in the movie (the happy song, the sad song, the club song, the shaadi song).

Listen here. (Watch out for pop-ups)

Mithoon (this kid is soon to be a force to reckon with! Serious composer-watch on this guy) - he's the guy who brought us Tere Bin from Bas Ek Pal, and the soundtrack of Anwar - puts together a really interesting collection. Two tracks that stand out are Beete Lamhein and Mausam (try and catch the piano sequences and interludes, they're brilliant).

The lounge version of Beete Lamhein is awesome too.

Even the other tracks are decent - they take a while to grow on you, but altogether, they resonate a common sound. And its a really unique sound. Can't classify it entirely, because of the diversity of influences on them. Enjoy!

In other news, will be rockin' the Tribeca Film Festival today (for the uninitiated, this is like New York's Cannes - only, more terse, smart and crisp, in contrast to long-drawn and melodramatic), and catching up on some phenomenal shorts - staying away from pro-Iraq propaganda, that seems to have infiltrated the previously-untouched TFF.

And women .. please remember .. not all men are egoistic, arrogant and annoying. Some are dead.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Suit Yourself

Picked m'self up a spanking new Hugo Boss to celebrate my one-year with the big C. Inaugurated it with this combo of a Thomas Pink pink shirt, and a blue Perry Ellis Portfolio tie. Now, here's my point - wearing a pink shirt and a blue tie is a multi-dimensional statement. To me, it was just an interesting pastel-ish combo, but it stirred up a rather interesting debate. Is it - a blend of the feminine emotional side of a guy, with a touch of masculine aggression? Is it - a way to tone down the embarrasment of semi-in-closetness, with a stroke of trademark Hetero-ego? Is it the mark of a metro-sexual? Is it blueberry with strawberry coolwhip? All in all - my peeps have way too much free-time on their hands.

In other news, the arrivals area of an international terminal is a fascinating place. Utterly fascinating. Doesn't it have a catwalk-kinda feel to it? First of all, they guard the incoming passengers behind closed doors and walls as if they were supermodels about to emerge with a haute-couture spring collection. On the other side of these doors, are a group of eager, enthusiastic and comparatively well-rested and groomed 'fans' who are, for some reason, behind a rather pointless steel barricade. And although they are travel-weary and cranky while behind the doors at baggage claim - once the Airplane Posse is out in the open, with their oversized trolley of baggage - it doesn't matter how bad they look - they're on display now.

This is their moment to shine.

They do the walk.

Their wild imagination can almost visualize clickety-cameras, frantic paparazzi, thong-throwing crazed women. They have a hundred sixty two people staring them down, with pretty much a hundred sixty two of them going "That's not him".

You see all varieties. The business traveler looking for the car pick-up placcard with his name mispelt for the eleventh name - Won't they ever get it right? The hot mom (who was hot 30 years ago, and now she's just ... not), who just re-did her makeup in the restroom before baggage claim, heading over with a mile-sized smile to her rather embarassed son and his shocked friend. The people who start fake cellphone calls as they walk on their battery-dead phone, just so they appear like ultra-busy businessmen to the waiting flock.

While trying their level best to look cool in their wrinkled-wear as they do their little-turn on the catwalk, their eyes search, rather casually and matter-of-factly, through the crowd for their consort/ride/family/friend. Their casual glance turns slowly and painfully into a nervous hunt. Oh oh. The catwalks over. They're in front of the crowd. Pointless announcements are being made over the public-address system. Their thoughts are racing. "Shoot. No one's here. And I'm being stared down. Everyone here thinks I'm a loser whose come halfway across the world, to be stood up, in an international intrigue-type airport drama. They're still staring at me. Drat, what must I do. Should I do the pretend wave as if someone's here. Ok... Damn, now everyone's looking back to see who I'm waving it. Why do they care? Idiots. Now they know that I'm not waving at anyone. Now they think I'm a loser who sees things. Crap! This is not good. Maybe I'll just mosey over to the coffee shop, while I still have my dignity".

Too late, sonny boy. They've already seen your 'Hello Gooseberry' boxers sticking out of your overstuffed fake-Delsey. Dignity is a rumor to you.

Ah. Airports. Life would be rather grounded without them.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Respect your Romaine!

I'm serious, its by far one of the most disrespected greens, in terms of spelling. Look at the above atrocity, for instance, spotted at a local Jersey grocery (yes, one of the million). Tsk tsk. Placed next to the boondocks of potato bags, and with a constant increase in bhaav to create fake demand in the market. Price hiking AND mis-spelling? Not accepting.

I actually had a Bengali colleague once who used to call it Le Tush (as in, French butt?). I've seen Lettis, lettus, lattis, lattes ... and the uber-creative, but utterly disconnected, Lattice. Join me, in the Coalition To Give Lettuce Its Self-Esteem Back.

Go Green!

Friday, April 20, 2007


Part of Bloomberg's vote-motivation, campaign-trailblazing, revolutionary changes - the new crop of taxicabs in the city have these giant touchscreens in the backseat, with a host of features. You can watch movie trailers, check movie showtimes, check the weather (in contrast to looking out the window), listen to the top 10 songs in different genres, and check on events happening in NYC.

Also makes good advertising space, and one can see that Nike is already on the bandwagon. Ah, the need for information will always be supplemented by the drive to capitalize lucratively off of that very need.

In other news, anyone hitting up LiveEarth on 7/7/07. Its literally right in our backyard! What a lineup, folks. Take a deep breath - here goes:

Alicia Keys
Bon Jovi
Dave Matthews Band
Fall Out Boy
John Mayer
Kanye West
Kelly Clarkson
KT Turnstall
Melissa Etheridge
Roger Waters
Smashing Pumpkins
The Police

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Only in America...

... will a major conglomerate's billing department send you 2 snail mail reminders (costing them $0.78) to clear a balance due on your account, of $0.22.

The recession special, anyone?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday Morning Post-Hangover Playlist

(1) Black Horse and the Cherry Tree - KT Tunstall (Eye to the Telescope)
(2) Sweet Pain - Michael Brook & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Night Song)
(3) Christmas Eve (Sarajevo - 12/24) - Trans Siberian Orchestra (Thanks to P for introducing me to these commies)

In other news, brunch at Tavern on the Green in Central Park rules - try their Spring menu (my suggestion - Lobster Bisque and Eggs Benedict). Yum!
Man of the Year??

No, seriously. What was Levinson thinking? More than being one large mishmash of the Best Standup Jokes of Robin "Verbal Diarrhoea" Williams, the movie has one of the worst screenplays of the year. If it was meant to be a riches-to-political-fame saga, it needed far more believable follow-through than it was endowed with. Highly disappointing fare. Especially from the makers of Wag The Dog, and particularly, since the realm of political satire has experienced more than its fair share of coming-of-age in the recent few years.

I find it fascinating that our generation prefers fake comedy news to the real deal. I'd pick Daily News over Fox News any day of the week, because that way I'm still in touch with current news, and I'm also stocked with smart quips for coffee-machine-conversation the next day.

In other news, our last governor was a closet gay, the current one doesn't wear a seatbelt. Wonder what crack-smoking hillbilly they're going to elect next.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Rock you like a Hurricane

Songs like that take me right back to college. Classic rock was so in-demand! Wonder where that correlation of Indian college life and Iron Maiden-esque rock culture came about. Maybe its the whole anti-establishment feel of it.

On that note, the soundtrack of Life-In-A-Metro. A pure-Indi-rock soundtrack, with generous flavoring of good electric guitar-work, with dabbles and dashes of electronica. Years past its acceptability, or perhaps years prior to it. It might just go right above the heads of many "Ta Ra Rum Pum"-type music lovers.

A lot of the tracks need to grow on you, as does the fact that its a complete sausage fest with no female singers at all. Pritam has outdone himself to the hilt, though.

The track that really stands out is 'In Dinon', sung by the Sa Re Ga Ma dude, Soham. Very reminiscent of Zubeen Garg. Almost feels like the song was written for Zubeen. But an awesome composition - very tastefully sung. Can't help but notice the Champagne-Supernova-influenced harmonica solo, around 03:55 of the song.

Soundtracks like LIAM (or should I say LIA....M) are necessary to break the mould sometimes. Just about when you have had it with Ladka-ladki-prem-aggan type songs, you have something like this to make you feel that .. its not so bad .. not so bad at all.

In other news, check out the awesome things that a loop machine can do for a one-woman show.

"Hasta Lasagna. Don't get any on ya".

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Columbia discovers Acoustic

An article in the Columbia Spectator about the Josh performance at Tamasha, Columbia's SAS show.

Highlighting what they said about our set in the article: "At the heart of the show was Acoustic, a four-piece band which featured electric guitar, harmonium (akin to the accordion, but with its player seated on the floor), and two guest vocalists from University of Pennsylvania's renowned Hindi a cappella group, Penn Masala. The fusion group seemed to be a crowd favorite, winning lengthy applause".

The next level...

This is it. The next level of fusion music. Nathan Lee's flute-beatboxing.

Absolutely sick!!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

In the Memory of Johnny Hart...

Just 'cuz B.C. was one of my favorite strips, right from Dubai - a few excerpts

Q) What is the most flagrant oxymoron of all time?
A) "Politically Correct"

Q) Define 'Deadline'
A) What you're left holding, when you call your girlfriend the day AFTER her birthday
In Awe..

Have any of you seen that RGX Body Spray commercial? Isn't that girl absolutely gorgeous?

Her name's Rachel Specter, and I say, new starlet alert. She's got that perfect blend of appeal and attitude.

The commercial is absolutely nothing to write home about, except for her. And unlike the Axe/Lynx series, if you notice, she isn't a scantily clad hoochie. She's actually very delectably clothed. And yet she's a chockful of subtle, aggressive charm.

More like this, God.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Hit up the Revival Theater in Manhattan to see one of the most controversial films ever made - Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in Bertolluci's Last Tango in Paris.

Daddy had told me that this was a "different" film, when I was a kid, and of course, too young to watch it. But, this self-destructive romance is much more than an art-house movie. It explores needs on a much more meta-physical level. Of course, its sordid and graphic, but sometimes that's what life is. Marlon Brando outdoes himself, especially in the wake scene, by his wife's deathbed. The ending is a kick in the shins. Altogether, this piece of art from the '70s still has as much of spunk and tight-fist-punch potential to your psyche as any movie that this millennium will ever see. Although most say that this can be attributed to its graphic nature, I would have to attribute it to its realism. Its ability to bring some of the most tucked-away thoughts onto centerstage.

Although I disagree with Roger Ebert ,when he said that this was the end of its genre. Many of Kubrick's and Polanski's sequences, especially Bitter Moon, were more or less inspired by Tango. It was pretty much an awakening, where directors became less afraid to depict. Wake-up call.

Also, paid homage to THREE classic Jean-Georges joints for brunch, cocktails and dinner - 66, JoJo and Nougatine. Much respect to the Sultan of Ambience and Foodery.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Strange convo with A at da afterparty

A: Don't you think pushpins look like sardarjees?
V: Uhh .. what???
A: I'm serious ... just look ... in profile, it looks like a sardarjee
V: Ok ok .. 1 ... why do you have a pushpin at the afterparty ... and 2 ... i'll have what you're drinking
A: No seriously ... I like my Sardar Pushpin.... I'm gonna call him Pushpinder

Mahive mahive arz karaan....

It wasn't really your average Friday night. We opened for Josh, and rocked Columbia U. It was ridiculously tight!

Hung with Q and Rup (shared a dressing room with them) who threw some light on their 10 year struggle to get out there. As was evident, Rup's a much nicer guy (and a better singer). Q's a musical badass, but rather attitudinous. He raved, ranted and yelled through soundcheck (pic above). As a live act, they're not too bad, but they have miles to go before they arrive. Wish they had a band to support them, instead of a turntable dude.

Was great to get back up there again. Dum Mustt Qalandar was off-the-hook.

To add to T's Scarry Spellings post (hell yes, T. That can be extremely annoying) ... guess what ... the lack of spellchecking is even hitting the world of advertising. I kid you not. In a land where good copy is key, big brands like Reebok makes crappy mistakes like this (spotted on the E train, a.k.a. the "minority" express):

I spent a while trying to figure out if this spelling error was intentional, but its pretty evidently a typographical disaster.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?

What a tongue-in-cheek way to headline the non-awareness of the average American to events around him/her, including basic science and world history. Everytime, Jeff Foxworthy congratulates a sweaty, nervous contestant for getting a question right, he reminds them, ever so sardonically, that they are celebrating getting a 3rd-grade question right! Must say, this is quite a step up for Foxworthy (personally, couldn't stand Blue Collar Comedy).

Ooh ooh, opening for Josh tomorrow at a show for Columbia University. Its me, along with a fellow singer from Masala, and 2 other mega-talented Columbia University student musicians - harmonium and electric guitar. The track blends a light rock version of Nusrat Saab's "Sanu Ik Pal Chain Na Aave", with Junoon's Jugalbandi, and ends with a high-powered version of the Massive Attach revision of Dum Mustt Qalandar, complete with some killer beatboxing, Masala-style. :-) Can't wait to get up there again, will try to get you a video clip soon! Wish me luck!