Posts Tagged ‘India’

What I missed…

Perhaps I am not destined to catch Caribou perform live.  Ive missed him twice in two years although the first time wasn’t really my fault perse.  When he came during the “Andorra” tour, I wasn’t familiar with his music. I remember going to the “Black Mountain” gig and seeing the poster for the Caribou concert. I didnt think much of it since I didnt even know who he was.  Couple of months later, after having listened  to what I would describe as a perfect discography, I was angry at myself for not having discovered him earlier because I would have definitely attended that first show back when Andorra was released.  Every time I would  watch one his youtube clips online or listen to his music, I would imagine how great it would be to experience his music live. I told myself that I wouldn’t miss him live next time. Flash forward to April 2010 when I was planning my India trip.  I knew I wanted to go to India for at-least two months (May and June) since I was going there after eight long  years ( I ended up staying there for three months ). Unfortunately the Caribou gig took place while I was India.

Now there are several things I missed while I was in India : my mom, my sister, my records,  the excitement of new music leaks etc etc but if there was one thing that I truly regret is missing that Caribou concert. I comfort myself with this clip and a hope that I can catch his show next time.


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This is about as obscure as garage gets. For two years, 1970 and 1971, a cigarette company in India sponsored some kind of battle-of-the-bands competition, with the winners going to Calcutta to record for compilations called Simla Beat. Each year an LP was released with no info about the bands other than their hometown. Also issued was this 45 released with two of the better tracks and some silly liner notes on the back of the sleeve. Some people think this is a hoax, or that the recordings came from somewhere other than India. It’s true that some bands have a similar sound, though this could be from sharing a studio and perhaps instruments as well. Also, the bands lean heavily on American rock of the time and show very little British influence.

The Confusions from Madras cut this amazing original, Voice from the Inner Soul. Tough, heavy sound with a rudimentary beat. Sharp, bluesy guitar fills and an organ sound right out of 1966. The Dinosaurs, from Bangalore, contribute a fine cover of Creedence’s Sinister Purpose, giving Fogerty writing credit, somewhat surprisingly given the usual global practice of song appropriation. This one’s got nice fuzz guitar and gravely vocals — ( Pictures and information taken from www.garagehangover.com)

Additionally, there was also a 2-disc compilation that was re-issued featuring the winning tracks from the 1970 & 1971 All India Simla-Beat Contest. A link to this compilation it posted at the bottom of this post.

Personally, I am still not sure how I feel about this. After listening to this compilation several times, I have a hard time believing that these tracks are actually from India. If someone gave me this album without all the information, I would easily assume this compilation to be of American origin. I didn’t know India was producing this kind of music in the last 70s. One would think that if these tracks did come from India, it would have some sort of Indian influences like a tabla or a sitar but it doesn’t. The compilation definitely has some great tracks. Some of my favourites are The mod trade, Voices from inner soul, Simla beat theme, Proper stranger and Psychedelia. Those 2 tracks from the 45 that I mentioned before also made it to the compilation. Here is the artwork for the compilation.


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This one goes out to Ramneek Tung , a music connoisseur who encouraged me to start my own blog and he himself maintains an excellent blog at Punjabi Folk Singers. Madlib who has quite an impressive discography records under various aliases and The Beat Konducta is one of them. This record is essentially a reprise of Dan The Automator and DJ Shadow’s Bombay The Hard Way series from back in the day. It is entirely made up of Bollywood Filmi music samples along with spoken word samples  from old school bollywood movies and then the final product is tinkered slightly to give it a more hip-hop edge. If you know your Bollywood movies, it would be a fun exercise to guess the original source material of the various samples that Madlib uses. I would love to see (I mean steal) Madlib’s record collection since I read in one of the interviews that between him and his buddy Egon who manages the excellent Now Again Records, they own all the original  vinyls which were sampled on this record. Ohh and that album cover is amazing as well. The album artwork stems from an LP of an old hindi movie called The Burning Train. Here is the original LP cover which in my opinion  is one of the best album sleeves when it comes to Bollywood music.burning-train1

Bonus points if you can recognize all the actors on the bottom of the sleeve.

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The Fall – Tarsem Singh

Lately, Slumdog Millionaire seems to be getting all the attention.So allow me to go against the grain and bring some attention to a movie called The Fall directed by Tarsem Singh.Some people might say Tarsem Singh is a poor man’s Alejandro Jodorowsky and I agree. While Jodorowsky takes beautiful images and juxtaposes them with bizzare plotlines , Tarsem seems to stick to beautiful images and a straightforward if somewhat bland plotline.I was shocked when I learned that no special effects were used for the film and that the film was shot on 26 locations over 18 countries with most of them being in Jodhpur which is a city in Rajasthan, India. I am ashamed to say that despite living in India for 15 years, I have never travelled around India , but this movie is definitely going to change that.

The Fall Trailer on youtube

The Fall movie website

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