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Friday Drunk Audio

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(with apologies to the Dictator, original founder of the Friday Audio meme)

Rabbi Shergill’s Bilqis (Jinhe Naaz Hain…).

Back-story (feel free to ignore):

Found this track via a twitter feed [1] ( h/t to whoever originally linked – some others like Nitin have mentioned it as well since then) that associated the song quite appropriately to this excellent blog post by Neo-Indian [2] .

Without being preachy, the song manages to pack a powerful punch on the face of those hollow, meaningless ‘I love India’, ‘proud of my country’ etc flag waving patriotism during January and August. Also love the way the national anthem is played on guitar riffs.

(lyrics, details, context of the song etc can be found here and links therein)

A must listen.  So do listen. And since it is Friday and remaining sober is not an option – Get Drunk. Then listen again. Then weep because the reality is so depressing and on that note get more drunk.

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Speaking of drunk: an unrelated link to my new hobby – brewing.

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[1] Bongo also hits himself for not noticing the release of Rabbi’s second album over a year ago, having adored the debut ‘Bulla Ki Jana’.

[2] Easily among the top two funniest on the desi blog-scene – now that gawker has stopped writing …hint, hint.

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Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Monty Python: Almost the Truth

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I have been in a Monty Python-induced state of silliness nirvana over  the last few days. IFC is showing a 6-part documentary, Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut), on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the six guys getting together to create some of the funniest, most  irreverent and of course, the most parroted comedy sketches of all time.

There is always a danger of such documentaries to turn into a fluff idolating piece. However, this series (so far) has not shied away from some of the controversies  among the group members. Part three had interview footage of Chapman where he talks openly about his coming out and his troubles with alcohol and how that affected his relationship with the other members.

But on the whole, the documentary offers some delightful insights; tracing the evolution of the group, from the social background of each member, through their Oxbridge revue experiences (or comic-book writing at Occidental College in the case of Terry Gilliam), early work on the Frost Report and how Monty Python’s Flying Circus came into being, quite by chance.  The best bits are when they talk about how some of the most iconic sketches came about, e.g  the Lumberjack Song, which was apparently thought up in just 20 minutes at the end of a day only so that they could segue from the Barber Sketch.

Later episodes cover the tumultuous  making  of the Holy Grail, and the famous interview of Cleese and Palin with Malcolm Muggeridge in response to the religious backlash against their supposed blasphemous depiction of Christ in Life of Brian. There are also tributes by current British comedians, actors and writers and other who have been influenced by the Pythons (including some interesting snippets with Sanjeev Bhaskar – of The Kumar’s at No 42 fame – who talks about how his desi parents really disapproved of him watching a show where men dressed up as women, till they learn that all these actors went to Oxford and Cambridge).

In short, a must watch for any Python fan.

And of course, the post cannot be complete without linking- so here goes the Philosopher’s song, well suited to singing at the top of your voice after downing a few pints.

Speaking of a few pints, before they sang it during their Hollywood Bowl show, Eric Idle quipped:

We find your American beer like making love in a canoe. It’s f$%king close to water.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

October 22, 2009 at 11:37 am

Life in Technicolor II

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Life in Technicolor – an instrumental plus short chorus track, is my favorite number from Coldplay’s Viva La Vida album.

I always thought that the intro section had a bit of santoor-tabla combo  playing (Brian Eno’s idea no doubt) – although google searches kept insisting it was the “Persian Santur“. Anyway, I figured it would still be quite a good number for a fully Indo-western fusion version (more santoor, a bit of flute and even some sitar strings thrown in). Just a thought, not necessarily the reason for liking the music.

Now, being the usual chump, abodee under the rocks and quasi-luddite, I hadn’t realized (till about early this year) that Coldplay had actually released a follow-up version to La Vida – Prospekt’s March – that contains a full vocal, lyrical version of Life in Technicolor, unimaginatively named ‘Life in Technicolor II‘ !

Not to belabor it, point is that my realization about the existence of Prospekt’s March came while watching the music video of Life in Technicolor II (one  that confirms the use of tabla and santoor):

While the video is interesting in its execution and fun to watch, I still prefer the original instrumental version of the song. I think the lyrics distract too much from the fluidity of the original melody (not to mention a bit of lack of subtlety in their video – did the little girl really need to confirm the CP bandmembers ?) .

[what’s the point of posting this now, when realization had come couple of months ago ? not much really, except that I am enjoying the music anew for some reason and that I hadn’t posted for a while. gotta let the imaginary readership know I’m alive and well!]

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

May 14, 2009 at 9:52 am

Today’s WTF statement (1)

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…is proud to contain WTF within itself:

What the f…k was that? Does Danny Boyle know what Bachchan saab means to us Indians? Who would dare approach him like that? (link)

He seems more upset that someone would dare to approach Bacchan-saab covered in shit, rather than the being covered in shit part !

And dude, if someone calls you a ‘slumdog’ as a gaali – take it on the chin, and move on, or better: call him back with gaalis like ‘nixon’, ‘milk’, ‘wrestler’ etc.

(1) Today is a day for WTF-ery, will post more if I get a chance.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Fun, India, LOL, Music

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Quick Oscar-nite musings

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A big pat on the back of those who actually stayed awake to watch the entire Oscar’s night live; I had recorded it and even with the benefit of fast-forwarding through really boring bits and the commercial breaks, I wish I could even say ‘meh’ !

This was undoubtedly one of the most uninspiring, insipid and boring Oscar ceremonies I have witnessed. Allright, so Hugh Jackman can sing, he can dance, he can self-reference during his song and dance routines, and yeah, yeah…he is the sexiest man alive, or something. But he did not bring anything extra as a host – the best one could say is that he was not as irritating as Ellen Degeneress two years ago. But that’s not really saying much.

And, that was the best choreography they could come up with for O saaya and Jai Ho: A bunch of dancers in ethnically confusing pink dresses !? Jai Ho was slightly better, but only just. they should have left it to the professionals in Mumbai ?

The moments barely enjoyable included bits of the opening routine, Tina Fey and Steve Martin’s banter, and Jerry Lewis’ acceptance. Of course,  Jai Ho to ARR and Gulzar for winning Oscars.

Finally, Kate Winslet: For fugs sake – stop the crying already and show some dignity. Meryl Streep was sitting not very far – she has won the award three times and nominated a zillion times, learn something from her.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 23, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Oscars again (and Slumdog comments)

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Unlike last year, they are actually showing the Oscars live down here (on Cable TV though). Could have something to do with the fact that an Aussie, Hugh Jackman, is hosting the show.  Unfortunately, work beckons and anything interesting that happens will have to be caught up with later tonite.   Before leaving for work, I did notice though that as many as four different channels are showing the Oscar red-carpets !

Nothing much to say about the actual awards. The only film I have watched is Benjamin Button and that really doesn’t deserve an Oscar. As per smart people, neither does Slumdog Millionare, but since when is the Oscars about deserving. It has been mostly about hype, publicity and sometimes a bit of politics.

Re: Sulmgog, I find the hoopla and controversy surrounding the film bit pointless. Among the western audience, everyone seems to lap it up. The Indian audience is divided into three views: one that absolutely hates the movie, and the hatred is based on the fact that the film only shows poverty and a very tired cliche of what westerners would lie to perceive India as, and totally ignores the so-called ‘modern’ India. The other camp believes that poverty is very much a reality and Indians should face up to it. Neither of these are very rational views.

Thankfully, there is a saner camp in-between, and quite a few erudite bloggers have pointed out that they do not like the film just because it is not good cinema. This blog probably sums it up best:

Having lavished praise, awards, and money on a movie with atrocious acting, cringe-worthy dialogues, a plot that bends disbelief beyond its event horizon, characters with the depth of a chullu and a script more packed with cliches than the Virar fast during rush hour; white people have proved that colonial guilt makes better goggles than beer[2].

To be fair, I shouldn’t be commenting too much on the issue as I am yet to see the film myelf.

However, what I am hoping for – and admittedly this is a bit irrational too – is for Jai Ho to take the Best Song award. Liek many ARR compositions, this one took me a while to get used to, but I just love the catchy beats now. Certainly not the best ARR-Gulzar collaboration, but certainly award-worthy.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 22, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Emoossional Attyachar !!!

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Immensely enjoying  every bit of endless looping of this song on my ipod (from Anurag Kashyap’s latest film Dev D):

The wedding brass-band version above is certainly a hoot (and an inspiring decision by Kashyap to want to do this), but for a serious listen, I would recommend the other, very grungy, rock version . Possibly the best rock song ever sung in Hindi (apologies to all the Hindi punk-band-in-a-garage I am ignorant about).

And ummm…for further fun (or not), do check out this x-rated remix as well:

NSFW depending on where you are – certainly use ear-phones or keep the volume down if you are in India. Certainly not the most of polite of languages – reminded me intensely of some conversations during the hostel days.

In case someone still doesn’t know, Dev D is Kashyap’s re-imagining of the sappy love-triangle, Devdas. As part of the minority that absolutely loved Kashyap’s earlier venture, No Smoking, I am quite looking forward to this movie.

[Also wondering when some custodians of the Bangali-kalture will call a strike in Kolkata due to perceived slight on Sarat Chandra’s legacy and asking the govt to ban the film there!

Me, I am quite happy – I have always hated the mushy, tear-jerking sentimentality and pyan-pyanani nyakamo (sorry can’t translate) aspect of many of Sarat Chandra’s works (to be fair, he created some fairly strong, adventurous characters as well), and am happy that someone is hacking it.]

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 11, 2009 at 3:46 am