Check out these guys - Alejandro Manzano, Fabian Manzano, Daniel Manzano from Florida. They're brothers who make amazing music. Just a handful of people might have heard of their music in the US and they’re practically unheard of in India. But on the strength of their incredible performances, they have grown to own a solid fan-base which is no easy goddamn task.
I stumbled upon their music on Youtube at the beginning of the year and since then I’ve been a dedicated fan. I’m particularly excited about their new album- ‘All You’re Meant To Be’, primarily because it’s their first release since I got to know them. More importantly, they also sang covers of some my new favorite artists- John Mayer, Chris Bown, Carrie Underwood and Leona Lewis. Liking the covers, if I’m 100% honest, really says I like who this band was, the new album will determine if I like who the band is.
Boyceavenue’s here for the long haul. Their performances are phenomenal and the members themselves make clear one thing: that they’ve set the standard and all you have to do is turn up the volume, hit the repeat button, and your troubles, for a blissful three minutes or so, will disappear.
May 30, 2008
To Sheet’s, Runa, Ru and my frequent readers:
A few minutes later, we heard the last long breath and I knew she was gone. I was afraid to touch her because I'd grown up with her, seen her laugh, eaten numerous lunches with her, seen her share tons of memories with my family and I couldn't quite believe that she was gone. With a lot of difficulty I went close to her body and touched her arm for only a second and then I walked away from her, out of the room, crying and ashamed and certain that I never wanted to touch a dead body of someone I had known and loved. I didn't want to accept the fact that life had just left her and all that was left was this body I knew but it couldn’t move, it couldn’t do anything that I had known her to do.
When I had returned home, I pulled out three songs that sorta helped me through this time.
Sarah Maclachlan- I Will Remember You
Garth Brooks- More Than a Memory
Kansas- Dust in the Wind
I listened to them and thought of people I had once known and cared about and how they were off on long journeys, how they left this place forever, who dreamt of having better things and living better lives and how they are in a place far better than they would’ve ever dreamt of.
May 29, 2008
May 28, 2008
If you ever start to think of music as not just music, not just sound and melody… but so much more personal and mystical then the radio, the music playing on your stereo or your PC, it will never sound the same to you again. Everything seems much more bigger, loaded, awesome- just much more vital. And for the people who are reading this and have no idea what I’m saying- well, you’re missing out on so much!
New songs create new people… maybe I’m just exaggerating, maybe I’m not. ‘Suddenly I see’….the world seems a lot more colorful, my life seems so much more grand. This is what music means to me… and if you feel the same… do leave a comment!
May 27, 2008
Giving up is the hardest part’- John Mayer
He couldn’t be more right! Damn my memories...
Today, my bro-in-law asked me to join him for some rowdy fun and a rollicking good time. It’s been ages since we’ve done something like this. Guess, when he didn’t have to worry about work, a wife and a kid, we always had time to gather some of his cousins who were north-eastern iron horses and sing everything from Freddie Mercury to Robbie Williams. I used to bunk my exams and stay at his place just to showcase my booming vocals. When everyone warmed up and got comfortable with their little sippers, my bro-in-law would take his stage - brat style. The usual onslaught would continue for days on end. And despite a tinge of a throat issue or tiredness, my trusty bro-in-law would pull off a great performance. He had told me about the days he used to perform in and around college and if there’s one thing I’m wishing for right now, it’s to see him perform on the big stage.. Cos that’s where he really needs to be!
I’m in awe of these north-eastern guys. They all seem to be born with talent and they are so good that it seems like they jumped from the pages of a rock star cut and paste book!
Too bad many of these guys never get a chance to be on stage or be heard unless they have an international sponsor or they get out of India and get a deal.
Every December I make sure to attend ‘Naga Night’. It’s a spectacular show that exhibits the culture and talent of Nagaland.
I’ve seen impressive bands perform and there’s one guy who I cant keep my eyes closed for- His name sounds like 'moi'- as said in french. Incredibly polished vocals that’ll have you screaming for more. Achi Imchen, my friend’s sister, sounds quite incredible too.She’s another singer I would love to see perform. Sathem, supposedly a relative of mine now, is known as the fastest guitarist in Nagaland. He played for my sister’s wedding and I think I crashed into Paradiso when I heard him. I also think I experienced an overload of thought shattering eruptions because after the song was over I forgot my entrance.
I started this blog because I believe the quality of music on the local level is worlds better than what the mainstream is pushing -- but people need help finding the good stuff… so that's where i come in!
May 26, 2008
Then why cant I paint you?
The words will never show
The you I’ve come to know
If a face could launch a thousand ships
Then where, I to go?
There’s no one home but you
You’re all that’s left me too.’-
"If" by BREAD
Visionaries of a skeptical age. They do their own thing on their own terms, and of course it doesn't sit well most of the time, even with it being the 21st century and all. Wild broken stars destined to waver in their importance in the cosmos, they know no boundaries. Apart from these things that keep them together, they long for the unhinged freedom that comes with music that challenges everything they know and have learnt.
They have voices that would swell into harmonious melodies but would rather enjoy a good show when given the chance. Not all people are made to be stars or meant to be on stage.
Constantly breaking through layers of remarkable idiocy, worldly weirdness, exasperation and logic fumbling. They have come a long way since popular music and have found innate happiness in sneaky shadows of the music industry.
They don’t need a stage for one to explore their explosive personalities they just need to be known.
I know, I know! Two blogs in just a day… what can I say? I’m on a roll! A creative trajectory as unpredictable as the Indian Cricket team. Lately, my memory’s been good. So I’m going to inscribe all I can remember about music I enjoy. The band I’m going to write about hasn’t been officially launched yet but they’re getting famous with time.
Bangalore boys- Tony Das, Alwyn, Tillu, Mark Lazaro and Prakash- quite known in music circles around the place, were hand picked by Music Mogul and Producer Sandeep Chowta to make music that B’lore wouldn’t have quite heard before.
I knew Tony Das and the vocalist Mark Lazaro and that’s the only reason I’ve been in touch with the band. The first time I saw them perform, it was in Dec., I think. The weather couldn’t make up its mind if it wanted to rain or not. A couple of bands had already performed including Lounge Piranha and I was one of the few women who were there that late cheering the band on.
Then came up the guys known as Karma6- Bangalore’s very own. Mark Lazaro, the lead vocalist- dressed in black and his hair curlier as ever, living out the ultimate singer’s dream. He grabbed the microphone and belted out ‘Fix you’ and ‘Speed of Sound’ by Coldplay, ‘Sometimes I feel like screaming’ by Deep Purple, ‘Shine’ by Mr. Big, ‘Afterglow’ by INXS and ‘Pretender’ by Foo Fighters. I had a chance to talk to him once and to hear him talk about music is the best feeling in the world. Hearing him sing made you want to release your inner rock star! This young, energetic group of musicians demonstrate a refined style that is largely unhindered by the type of hero-worship that often marks a young band. They filled that night in Dec. with some high energy and proved themselves to be an unbeaten live act and ferocious musicians that cannot be stopped.
Several months later… fast forwarding to April ’08, the band released their first video shot by National Geographic. The song's release marked the impressive rise of the band and the message they sent out can be felt throughout.
Karma6 is working to record a full-length album very soon, and in the meantime, they will be playing on as many stages for all to enjoy.
'LA VIE EN ROSE'
I picked up this DVD because the cover looked interesting and most importantly, it had to do with ‘music’. The film is about legendary French singer- Edit Piaf. I’ve never heard of the name or her music before this movie but I’m delighted to own a copy because the entire film right from the script, cinematography and music down to the cast, the colors and exploration of each scene was immaculate!
La Vie en Rose is an amazing 2 ½ hr journey. I wasn’t a Piaf fan but this movie does move her to the top of my star list.
What makes the movie truly magical is Marion Cotillard's riveting performance. She engages you the entire movie with her transfixing voice and that’s what does it for me. Edit Piaf's singing style is absolutely uncanny, fascinating and… spellbinding… and– she defines ‘Living the Song’.
My favourite song in the movie- ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’.
May 25, 2008
Today wasn’t the best end to the week and I’m still trying to buy some time and hang onto Sunday, very reluctant to let it go. I read an entry about me on an old friend’s blog… Seriously buddy?? Right now, I imagine myself as an executioner laying out some bone-crushingly brutal style torture.
I don’t get men! If I don’t like them it means something’s wrong with me? Face it! We were just friends and if I didn’t go out with you it’s not because I thought you were nuts (although that would work as a good reason) but it was because you were like a… FRIEND!!
Bollocks! I didn’t want to get personal on my blog…
A month ago on Facebook, I was looking through some of the events featured for the month and noticed that ‘Dream Theatre’ was playing the next day in Canada.
Head- bouncingly cool!! I can just imagine their over-the-top show that turned the crowd into an ocean of hopping, moshing, sweaty bodies! Just for kicks I ticked ‘attending event’.
As I write this, I hear him singing to me…‘She’s got shadows in her shoebox…..’ and now, he takes off …saying something that doesn’t quite make sense but it flows seamlessly with the melody. The pace of the song quickens and you can hear his breaths, his voice getting raspier and he takes you into a spiraling world and as this was wonderfully built, it wonderfully dissipates. You’re left wondering whether the experience was real and when the silence is heard you’re ready to replay the song, hoping you’d feel the same way again… surprisingly You Still Do!!!!
An amazing stranger stopped by and read my blog- thank you! I never thought this page would be read by anyone really. Here’s to fast friends and musical allies.
The radio and the internet get a mention because up until middle school or so I thought music consisted of acts like – Michael Jackson, New Kids on The Block, Prince and Journey (which was mostly for sentimental reasons). Now I’ve turned on my mind’s musical side and I realize there are hundreds of them! From Matchbox Twenty, Lifehouse, Third Eye Blind, Goo Goo Dolls, Vertical Horizon to Taking Back Sunday, Counting Crows, Coldplay, Tori Amos... and this is just Alternative.
I haven’t discovered a new artist to write about this week. Training for a new process at work is over. I barely made it through the first week and i cant believe the weekend’s almost over. Last night I remembered this local show that took place about 3 yrs ago and I decided to write about it before my memory fails me. It was during my first year in M.A. My friend’s boyfriend asked me to come and hear him play at a coffee shop. I had seen local bands play in B’lore and I had never gotten the whole Spazobilly punk rock mayhem thing and that day it rained quite monstrously. I wanted to give up going to the concert altogether but I decided to go for it anyways because anything was better than staying at home.
Tony Das, was the friend who invited me. At the time he was playing for Thermal and a Quarter and he was also part of the three member band- Golden Boy, who performed that night. The other two were his older brother, Chris and his little sister, Judy. As a family they’ve been together cultivating their sound for so many years and what took place that night was real music - unplugged, acoustic, at its best!
Judy sang Bonnie Rait’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’. Her voice was intimate and sultry and that reflected her artistic and personal life. Chris sang the very famous, Maroon 5 ‘This Love’ and Vertical Horizon’s ‘Everything You Want’- these were my favorites at the time and if anyone had sung them and screwed them up I would’ve probably had some seething comment ready. But Chris exerted a powerful creative presence that night with his acoustic rendition of the two songs. Tony Das, (now the guitarist of Karma6) a multi-talented guitar player - If you haven't watched this boy play, hold on to your space suits kids!
The trio’s music is not en vogue in a sense. They sing the kind of songs that you would listen to on those wintery days. Always catchy and always thoughtful. These folks exude a strange sort of confidence that makes you feel like throwing your hands up and loving.
The Miracle of ’08- after a long break, the Das’ performed again at the Opus. By this time I had gotten to know them pretty well and this was the local act that I had wanted to see perform. Some of the songs sang by the group were from the 80’s.. It made the night seem sunny and hopeful and took you out of a world of dead end jobs, phonies, sycophants, making up and breaking up.
Judy sang Sara Bareilles and Jewel. Chris sang tracks by Del Amitri and Winger, with a special dedication to their biggest fans- their mum, Tony’s girl- Runa and then the unique devotee- ME!
Don’t know if these guys will ever play again together, but if they do… I’m there. You should join me too. Long live Alternative Rock!
May 22, 2008
In no particular order, these are probably my biggest musical influences- Elvis Presley. My parents always had his songs playing at home. I remember that my dad had heard about this huge yard sale- the seller was apparently a big music fan cause when my dad returned after disappearing for nearly the entire day I sneaked a peek into the carton and found tons of cassettes on Kenny Rogers, The Carpenters, Cat Stevens, Suzy Boguss, CCR, Suzie Quatro, the Beatles, The Who, Cheaptrick, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix to name a few. We struck gold! So because of what I had discovered and stuck to listening to for a long period of time I think I’m a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.
May 21, 2008
I figure it’s still the beginning of the year and I’d like to write something about the tunes that made it big for me. I can't think of a better song than Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song”. (Ru and Runa, if you're reading this, know that I think of you guys whenever I listen to the song.) Currently, this song is No.2 on the U.S charts and gets plenty of airtime. It's a song I like singing along to with my friends as I sit in the cab on the way to and from work. I love how the lyrics conjure up images of open skies awash with fluffy white clouds and good times with my clique. However, the lyrics aren’t really about the happy times… it’s more to do with the beat.
I have to also talk about one of my recent Mayer favorites- ‘Say’. He performed this for the movie, ‘The Bucket List’…don’t know what the movie is about and don’t really care but I love the song cause when I hear it over the radio or on my laptop, I immediately dream of distant worlds and other lives.
Here’s something I’ve wanted to write about, so here goes…
Songs with the same titles but differ wholly in music and lyrics just like the way people might have the same name, but are totally different from each other…
Incidentally I discovered one singer that appears on my list of songs that have similar titles:
I know of Robbie Williams’ and Sarah Mclachlan’s ‘Angel’and while they sound a whole lot different from each other, Lisa Lavie’s track by the same name belongs to a completely different genre. She’s nominated for the youtube music awards this year and I hope she wins. Her song is completely original and she did a pretty good job of standing out from the millions of wannabes who want to make it big out there. She’s got that ol’ big voice that makes you so happy to know that there are some really good singers out there whose music doesn’t need heavy studio editing.
I got introduced to Lisa Lavie’s music through Airto Edmundo. I’m his biggest fan and he was nominated for the youtube awards last yr.
He’s an independent artist and he hasn’t been heard by many in India. He does a lot of covers but he makes it his own and that’s why I like him. For me, he’s symbolic of raw talent and his range is amazing! I’m tempted to go on about Airto but I’ll try and stop myself. Last year he did a duet with Lisa Lavie on Eliot Yamin’s ‘One Word’ and that’s how I discovered Lisa Lavie.
So, go ahead listen to her track ‘Angel’ and puhleeez vote-
Most People assume that artists on TV and radio represent most of the talent, but they're really just a tiny minority of all the people out there trying to get their music heard. Fact is that great musicians make great music look easy. And in our media saturated-culture, it's not enough to "simply" make good music. Now I sound like Simon Cowell, with his ‘X-factor’ obsession.
What makes an artist worth listening to is that his music stands out among thousands of other artists, who coincidentally or intentionally may have the exact same sound. Kinda builds an appreciation for whatever music he may come up with in the future.
If you haven't heard this artist yet, chances are you will soon enough. Matthew Santos became media worthy when he was featured on a hip-hop song alongside Lupe Fiasco on ‘Superstar’. I’m not a huge fan of hip-hop and the only thing that redeems this song is Matthew Santos’ hard-to-resist voice. I’m glad that I gave this song a listen or I wouldn’t have discovered this incredible artist. The song ‘Superstar’ has done well enough to run Santos with lots of opportunities to tour and for people to discover his unique music. If you do get a chance, check out his other tracks on Youtube. His music is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. Listening to him reveals an artier and mature sound of music—from the ear-grabbing "Hummingbird" – (one of my favourites) to the haunting "Lady Luna," and the rhythmically spiraling “Shadows in a Shoebox." The first time I heard ‘Hummingbird’ I stayed real quiet, concentrating so hard so as to not miss a second of this music that seemed like… like aphrodisiac. If Matthew Santos keeps this up, it only seems inevitable that he'll get the audience and the fame he deserves. After the song dissipates and my feelings dissolve- I’m left with silence. Like an addict I’m obsessed with this new found drug. I ask myself if I want to feel it again and then I sure enough I replay the magic once again.
The bare bones of these notes are a number of short pieces about the tiny aspects of being a music fan that makes it all worthwhile for me. Incidentally, I had planned on posting this last week, but I ended up getting far less done than I’d planned due to training for a new process. I’m glad I get to post this now because it seems more whole.
I love the anticipation of getting tickets for something – especially when you finally get to turn the page on the calendar to where the date’s marked – but there’s something even better about thinking you’re not going home tonight to watch TV, instead your with a bunch of people who relish the same music you do.
I had been waiting for last night for a long time and it had finally happened- outrageous stage show and quality music to match. Well, if you've ever wondered what a combination of excellent performances and great voices might produce, it turns out to be part of last night’s disco and R&B finale of this local singing talent event. Blinding lights, a disco ball, a platform next to the stage that reminded me of John Travolta dancing in ‘Saturday Night Fever’. Plenty of crowd interaction and who knows what else I missed. I had a few favorites but not all of them made it into the final round. While the sound that came out of them was unbelievable!
Judy has the art of the stealth groove - the knack for quietly, almost innocently sliding into a song and utterly lassoing anyone within earshot by mid-song. I heard her, the first time, a couple of years ago at a coffee shop and have been a fan of hers ever since. My second favorite was, Alexis D'souza, a new entry into the b’lore music scene but has a voice that’s altogether something else and has rather quietly become a chilled-out force to be reckoned with.
Hands down, the best performance of the night for me, was by Venkat. For those unfamiliar with what he sounds like, here’s an analogy- erotic white chocolate pleasure!
Don’t know if it helps but that’s exactly what he sounds like. This is a character who knows no boundaries in the department of getting a groove on and can rock you right out with one of his crooning love songs.
This story ends with a call to reality and a message that reads ‘movie at 1pm’….
So…. Long Live Music!!! Play it loud and play it often!!!
I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time (especially when I should be working) reading up on music, listening, downloading, copying it onto my cell phone cause then I’d get to listen to it that same night and tattoo it onto my brain cells. I get to know new music online as opposed to from other sources. Two years ago it would have been mostly the radio and magazines. I’m not too crazy about downloading my music – unless it’s for individual songs but it sure beats the waiting. So… here’s where I mention my new musical obsession- Teddy Geiger! He’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and most people who see him for the first time won’t really take him seriously. But his voice reminds me a tiny bit of John Mayer and for those who know me- you know how much I adore Mister Mayer! This superstar's sugary acoustic pop alter ego hits the more sensitive side, but is equally as infectious. Just as his songs ring out with a beckoning attitude, the music itself is beckoning to be recognized. Geiger’s pop ballads combine the passion and complex instrumentals of a rock lullaby with pop-like pace.
If you actually like the music I listen to and you’re open to finding new music, like me, then give this brilliant artist a listen- and, yeah, I couldn’t help downloading his music…
Songs of his to listen to:
Confidence (For you I will)
Do You Even Care
Seven Days Without You- My fav
The way I see it my thirst for writing comes from music. The drive to quench this keeps me listening and searching for new stuff out there.
Until my next post and the next heartbreaker I stumble onto- Stay Thirsty!
There’s another thing that gets my blood pressure rising- when someone asks me that dreadful question, ‘Have you heard…..?’ At that moment, I usually regret not spending more than the usual hours I spend on sharpening my knowledge on music.
I’m exposed to artists I’d never heard of, almost everyday and I still don’t know of all the ‘nuts and bolts’ I missed growing up. Only recently have I come to terms with the fact that I will never know everything about music. Right now, I’m at a place where I’m just excited about the fact that there will always be something to listen to, something old and something new.
I don’t believe that these are universal experiences nor am I going to think I’m the first person ever to think of these things. This post is just completely self-indulgent.
I’m not a huge fan of low budget studio recordings but the tiny imperfections, the rawness of a voice, the beautiful soft cracks when trying to hit a high note and a little bit of added soul that makes a record feel like it was made by humans.
You know those songs in which you can hear the singer take a breath when he completes a line and is ready to sing another or when the song is over and you can hear the last crude strum of the guitar or when you can hear fingers scratch along the strings during a chord change - I love that!