Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jackson Heights

Remember Suleman Mirza and the unnamed Sardarji (Signature) who rocked Britain's Got Talent earlier this year? Guess they were able to come back with an act, that played on their strengths, and is making them a hot contender for the top prize. The act's pretty neat, but has significant potential of dying out, unless they come up with a new twist.

Needless to say, this is a big step up for desis on talent shows, from Fanjaya and Kashif "Hrithik" Memon.

Crane-ial Issues

The city needs an immediate overhaul on its rampant construction industry. With condo-complexes and high-rises coming out of the woodwork, on an already overcrowded landscape, fatality-causing accidents like this are just unforgivable. Quite like the probe on the oil industry is going to result in the uncovering of a lot of foul play and manipulation, a deep-pronged and invasive investigation into the overtly political and unregulated real estate and construction business is long overdue.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Windows Live Writer.

So far so good.

(upgraded to)

Loving it!

Trinity - Santana (Supernatural)

A heavenly guitar version of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's Tere Bin Nahin Lagda, by Carlos Santana and Kirk Hammett of Metallica.

Now that's what I call music.

In other news, Deep Purple's "Smoke" tops an informal but legit list of the 25 Most Infamous Guitar Riffs.

And off, again

In the words of General Berterelli (‘Allo ‘Allo), - “What a mistaka to maka”.

Does anyone know a good desktop blogging software, out there?

Rev-Ev is now..

... Rocketpost enabled!


Viewing the map of last week's visitors on RevEv, I realize that I need readers from Russia. The Cold War is Over, Rosnovski!

(After a montage featuring the variegated medical conditions that John McCain has/is enduring, and the reporters still maintaining that he is in pristine medical condition, and quipping that "70 is the new 30")

Jon Stewart: ..... hmmm ..... So I guess "Dead" is the new "50"?
Spotted on the Subway

Part of the "Train of Thought" series on MTA NYC subways - a piece by the author of Charlotte's Web.

"There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter - the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in search of something . . . Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion." - E.B. White (1899-1985) Here is New York

Gotta love this city!

In other news - is it me, or is Two and a Half Men getting way funnier?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Remember Jaago Zara? Yup, the track from Viva - the band of girls who won the Channel [V] hunt, who were geared to become India's answer to the Spice Girls. Well did they? Not so much. But, JZ did end up putting someone on the map - composers Salim-Suleiman.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Absolute Power

Have a strong feeling that this movie's gonna be a real live wire. Can already hear the background score going "govinda govinda govinda"...
Maane Tu Ya Maane Na

JTYJN - One of those soundtracks, folks. The ones that hook you so badly, that your IPod has them songs on repeat, over and over and over, and you still can't get enough. Love what ARR has done with this album. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na is the good ol' classic, no-frills Rahman, with simplicity in his arrangements and ill chorus hooks that grip you tight. It brings back memories of Rangeela and Roja (still remember listening to Yeh Haseen Wadiyaan for the first time, and going - "daym, who is this guy?").

I haven't heard a melancholic anthem in recent times, as haunting and theatrical as "Jaane Tu Mera Kya Hai". First the female version, and then the male Sukhwinder version. If heard in the right frame of mind, its capable of inspiring a lot of memories, and moving one to tears. Sheer brilliance! Complete review here.

In other news, the maladies of the current state of the investment banking universe in NYC is encapsulated brilliantly on Leveraged Sellout. Great read! Funny 'cuz its true :-)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Let's go outside

But not in a George Michael kinda way. Summertime in New York, means its time for rooftop bars and lounges to light up.

Recommended, this summer: Bookmarks @ The Library Hotel. 41st and Madison (14th Floor). Classy and non-pretentious. A great place for after-work drinks, leading up to dinner downstairs, at Madison & Vine. Phenomenal views of the midtown skyline.
"Once" upon a time

Swell Season
Marketa Irglova and John Hansard
of Once

Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, New York

Wed Sep 17, 7:00 PM


Be There!
Memorial Day Weekend - Soundtrack
  • Jai Bhavani - DJ Cheb I Sabbah / Devotion
  • Hawa Sun Hawa - Sonu-Alka/A R Rahman/OST - Ada: Way of Life
  • Kabhi Kabhi Aditi Zindagi - Rashid Ali/A R Rahman/OST - Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
  • Balearic Island - Chill Out Ibiza (The Balearic Edition)
  • Lajjavathiye (Malayalam version) - Jessie Gift/OST 4 The People
  • Don't Stop Believing - Journey
  • Maari Teetri - Raja "SaReGaMa" Hasan/Vishal-Shekhar/OST-De Taali
  • Beautiful - Triangle Sun/Cafe Del Mar IX
  • Kahin Maut Se Bhi - Gaudi and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan / Dub Qawwali
  • Easy - Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale (feat. Norah Jones) / Breathing Under Water

Bawri Piya Ki: A heart-rendered number by Sonu, that really didn't get its due, because it was part of a crash-landing by the B R Chopra camp, called Babul.

Although it is obvious that it takes a LOT of inspiration from Abhijit Pohankar's Piya Bawari. Right from the title, to the concept, to the music - and a significant part of the melody.
El Aura

An honest and well-crafted indie. It saddens one to know that this is the second, and the last film, of director Fabian Bielinsky, who died of a heart attack earlier this year. But if you think that The Aura is going to be anything like his last (Nine Queens), think again.

Premiered at Sundance, El Aura (trailer) is an Argentinian "film noir meets heist thriller" flick. Gloomy and dark. Ricardo Darin's character is sublime and mysterious. Although the title may make it seem like a "horror" flick, and the trailer and the stereotypical mysterious voice-over makes it seem like a "thriller/crime drama", El Aura is neither. Its comfortably pensive, understated and esoteric enough to be considered noir, and definitely requires you to be in the right frame of mind to truly enjoy Bielinsky's work. Films like El Aura are truly rare works of art.

In other news, living it up in Oyster Bay. Have a blast this MD weekend, folks.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Craving for Simplicity

Was listening to the soundtrack of Haal-e-Dil, featuring a smorgasbord of MDs ranging from Vishal Bharadwaj to Raghav Sachar. Some of the Sonu Nigam tracks on it made me think of the simplicity of earlier times, and the musical compositions of the yesteryears.

The emphasis was on melody. There was no need for harmonies, and percussion, and parallel tracks, and 7ths, and complicated interludes, and chord changes. There was just magical simple melody. Today, music is a production. And its appreciable. Technology has advanced, and music is multi-dimensional. But, a Madan Mohan melody will remain just as timeless in the next decade. So will an "Ae Ajnabi". So will anything that's based on simple and sincere melody, that never has an expiration or renewal date. Technology, sadly, always does.

In other news, the title track of Haal-e-dil is haunting and a half. Something surreal about the way the raag works, along with the light electronica and ensembles at the back. Music by Vishal B who is brilliant in this genre, striking just the right balance between all the elements, and sung by Rahat (with background parts by Shreya). Love the raag, the rhythm and the build, and of course, Rahat's vocals. Grips you, the same way that Tanhai from Dil Chahta Hai did.

Haal-E-Dil - Haal-E-Dil Haal-E-Dil.mp3 -
Hook, Line and Singer

David Cook - the new American Idol

Toldja. That's how its done, baby!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why is breaking news off late never a good thing?

Why is it always devastation or death or impending doom? Why can't CNN go - "Breaking News: AIDS eradicated" or " Peace in the Middle East"? Guess that's just wishful thinking.

Next Vacation Spot: Atlantis, Paradise Island or the Isle of Capri, Italy.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The cheesiest movie that you won't be able to stop watching

P.S. I Love You. Sugary-Corn-chick-flick and all that. And to add to that, you have the intolerably butch Hillary Swank. But there's an undeniable grip that the screenplay has.
Have Mercy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bring it on, Cook!

Woot woot!

The guy's got spunk. The guy's got attitude. Lets face it - he's got the word "star" written all over him. And to add to it all - he's got a boatload of talent.

David Cook for Idol
Archuleta needs a few more years

After "Rock Hello" and Aerosmith, there's no doubt that its David Cook for Idol, all the way!

In other news, I LOVE BlueFly!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Legend of Piya Bavari

Ever heard music that made you go, "Now that's what I'm talking about". Had the privilege of experiencing it live at a private listening party, entitled "The Legend of Piya Bavari", held at a desi baron's ridiculously lavish mansion in Watchung, NJ (ridiculous enough to have a private auditorium with stage/sound/lights).

The performers were Abhijit Pohankar and his father, Hindustani classical exponent, Pt. Ajay Pohankar. If you recall, the duo gave the world, one of my favorite all time tracks, "Piya Bavari", which was picked by Challe/Visan for Buddha Bar's Chillout in Paris Vol. VI. The performance also had a percussionist (drums/table/mridangam), acoustic guitars, saxophone, flute and Abhijit on the keyboards. The objective of the performance was to seamlessly blend Indian classical music with a new age world music feel, to make it more palatable to our generation.

To put it simply, it was brilliant. The concept and the conviction, and of course, the execution. After the performance, the father-son duo also gave a few of us a private unplugged session in the houses' piano room, with Abhijit on a grand Steinway. Songs like "Ka Karoon Sajni" and "Piya Bavari", along with several other thumris, were performed. Styles like qawwali and love ballads were interspersed delicately, while wholly maintaining the identity of the Indian classical foundation. In more simple words - they were not "remixing" classical music. This was not a sample alaap looping in the background, while rapsters slur on about 'getting it on tonight'. The music was truly enhancing and amplifying the principles of the song. And it is the sincerity of the attempt that makes it all the more beautiful.

The part that took my breath away - was the Begum Akhtar sequence. Its always interesting to hear a hardcore classical maestro singing a ghazal, because one would think that its almost blasphemous. But when you have such a mindblowing composition like "Ae Mohabbat Tere Anjaam Pe Rona Aaya" with the legendary lyrics of Shakeel Badayuni, even maestros can make an exception. With light piano instrumentation in the background, Pt. Ajay Pohankar began this track with a little bit of another Begum Akhtar track, "Mere Humnafas Mere Humnava, Mujhe Dost Banke Daghaa Na De", which was in the same raag. And the rest was pure mesmerizing magic.

Look out for their upcoming works. This is the stuff legends are made of.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Mere Daagh-e-Dil Se Hai Roshni,

Isi Roshni Se Hai Zindagi
Mujhe Darr Hai Ae Mere Chaaragar,
Yeh Chiraag Tu Hi Bujha Na De

Mere Humnafas Mere Humnava
Mujhe dost ban kar daghaa na de

- Shakeel Badayuni; Begum Akhtar

License to Remix

I have a bone to pick with DJs and MDs who think that everything should be remixed. Especially with this new fad of releasing two CDs of an album - one with originals, and the second with club-versions of the song. Fine, remixes of Manzar and Kajraa Re make sense - but Pehli Nazar Mein from Race? Tum Se Hi from Jab We Met? - they're pretty love songs that were never meant to be remixed. You've gotta be on some serious 'shrooms if you want to hear a techno-fied version of Pehli Nazar Mein. Argh!

In other news, the Mandarin Oriental on South Beach rocks.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


The second teaser of Walt Disney/Yash Raj collab project Roadside Romeo (remember the first one with Saif?) is out, this time around with Kareena-voiced character, Laila. This one looks to have her "tashan" down right, nahin? *woof*.

Calling people with repressed Ch. 33 memories

Who remembers the show, Kidsongs? You know! The one with that opening montage of a bunch of hyperactive pre-teens taking over a decrepit radio station, and recording cheesy song videos. It used to be so revolutionary at that age, to be able to a have a music video show for your age group, before you grew into MTV/Channel [V].

In other news, how sultrily 1-900 was the voice of Doogie's girlfriend, Wanda Plenn?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, May 09, 2008


To highlight the (for lack of a better word) stupidity of the undecided voter pool, I share this clip from one of the most intelligent social commentaries on television - Family Guy.

In this clip, Lois Griffin is running for Mayor and is advised by Brian to make small and simple statements, and the audience will lap it up. In the recent political conundrum, this clip is over-the-top but oh-so-apt.
Work Woes

Colleague of mine with a workaholic husband goes, "Damn! Its 7-o-clock already! I better get home soon, or my husband's going to run away with his laptop".

In other news - cheers Xinu, am in Boston today - and you're in Canayda. Qismat. You say goodbye, and I say hello.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

mohabbat kar to le lekin, mohabbat raas aaye bhi,
dilon ko bojh lagte hain, kabhi zulfon ke saaye bhi.
hazaaron gham hain is duniyaa main, apne bhi, paraaye bhi.
mohabbat hi ka gham, tanhaa nahin .. hum kya karen.
tumhi keh do, ab, ae jaan-e-adaa, hum kya karen.
yeh dil tum bin kahin lagta nahin, hum kya karen....

- Sahir Ludhianvi, Rafi/Lata, Laxmikant Pyaarelal, Izzat (1968)
The original bass riff

Credited to John Deacon, NOT Vanilla Ice. An epic song that brought Queen and David Bowie together.

De Taali

Krishna kare to raas leela
Hum kare to character dheela?
Xinu's right.

Blackberry blogging is a pain. Even when you have a World Edition (shameless plug!). But its better than being labeled a statistic. Never!! Death before dishonor!

In other news, had the deep honor of Finding Mimoh. By which I mean, reviewing the upcoming surefire blockbuster of the millennium - Jimmy - featuring the launch of starson, Mimoh Chakraborty.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Bombay Goes Francais

A straightforward French ad for Volvic featuring the legendary Zinedine Zidane, with A R Rahman's Theme from Bombay as its background score. Sweet.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Skyline Unfolds

The Burj Dubai At 629 m (2064 ft) in April. Already the world's tallest free-standing structure. What a monster!

Crotchgrabbing from Chandigarh

Awesome! Dance acts like these might help soothe the wounds from Sanjaya and that strange Hrithik Roshan wannabe from last year.


Checked out three new haunts last month, which are certainly cause for excitement, in a life which is otherwise turning out to be pervaded by workaholism.

(1) Gansevoort South: On a recent (unplanned and extremely short - don't yell, B) trip to the dirty South, hit up a sneak preview bash of Miami's latest and spanking new designer hotel. Modeled around the ultra-chic (and my ultra favorite) Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District in NYC (Home of Plunge), this one's brighter, sunnier and spacier and located on one of South Beach's largest private beaches. Ah, sexy.

(2) Ago, 377 Greenwich Street: Robert De Niro's latest edition to his national Italian Trattoria chain, opened its doors last month in NYC, at his own Greenwich hotel. After LA, Vegas and Miami Beach, its great to see Ago come home to where it belongs. The food is phenomenal, and an absolute epicurean delight! Highly recommended for lovers of Il Food Italia - err, however that's said.

(3) Bowery Wine Company: NY hangouts have started to become divided into three types - the tourist magnets, which are highly avoidable. The pretentious crowd-type, which are even more avoidable. And finally, the unpretentious, untarnished variety. These are usually shortlived, because once the pretentious crowd finds out that there's a new spot that they can corrupt with their faux-Hamptons stories - game's over. BWC is one such untarnished spot, opened in April - and a must-visit for lovers of the grape. Chic and sexy crowd, phenomenal wine selection. A great place to chill, that's bringing The Bowery back.

Bringing this baby back from the early '00s. Abhijeet at his best. Rahman at his usual.

Manhattan Lounge?

Try Mumbai Home.

Yup, its Monsieur Anil-bhai Ambani's new planned hacienda - Antilla - in downtown Mumbai.

Poised to be the world's first "billion dollar home".
Check it out.

In other news, the recession in the US continues.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Its not always rainbows and butterflies, its compromise

I realize that what I loved most about Juno, was how everyone was justified. The emotional, sensitive wannabe-mother who wanted a child more than anything. The jingle-composer who couldn't deal with graduating to a father, and letting go of his youth/rock dreams. The stepmom trying to fit in. The protective dad. The cheerleader best friend who dug older men. And of course, Juno, who threaded all of these elements together - living her life, one disorderly episode at a time, with an attitude of sarcastic maturity bordering on arrogance. But guess what? You can't blame her.

Highly recommend: Lars and the Real Girl.

In other news, moving beyond the opinion of the Cambridge-based newly eyeglassed lyric-maker, I am not statistically inclined. At least I don't have blogger-diarrhoea. Touche, Xe!