May 21, 2008

Music at the start of 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-

New Heartbreaker!

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.

Matthew Santos

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.

They Might Be Giants!

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
Air Dry
Million Years
Seven Days Without You- My fav
Our Eyes...

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!

Music and Moi!

It’s amazing how music is linked so much to my life. There are so many songs that are magically and inextricably linked to my experiences. Hearing a song takes me back to an entirely different time and place. Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Iris’ is the song that takes me back to the hours I spent with this guy who I had my first humongous crush on. The George Michael song- ‘Freedom’- is a victory song after I had broken up with my first boyfriend. ‘Man Who Sold the World’ is for when I spent all my time at this shady pub that I still call home. ‘Let’s Stay Together’ is the day I spent with the man I loved and we listened to Al Green over and over and over again. I’m not even going to tell you about Tom Jones’ ‘Sex Bomb’ even while that will leave you in a laughing fit. Switchfoot’s album ‘The Beautiful Letdown’ isn’t the best album in the world but it does border on amazing for me. I listened to it the day I thought I would just curl up and die- that album practically saved me. Gary Moore’s ‘Still Got the Blues’ and Whitesnake’s ‘Is This Love’ are in my all time top five, but part of that is because of its associations with some of my wildest times during college. ‘VNV Nation’ is for that overnight journey I took with my crew from work (Srikant, Shreyas, Runa, Ruan, Jenn- my wonder woman- U guys are crazy fun!) I can’t separate music from my life or my life from music, and that, for me, makes both of them so ridiculously amazing!

Know it All??

Sometimes, I have a little panic attack when I check song charts and realize I don’t recognize any of the song titles. ‘There’s so much of it!’ and then I try and fumble my way through youtube and yahoo music like I’m trying to prove to myself that I’m living in the present.
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.

Best Part about Music!

For ages I’ve wanted to talk about music- about the little things and not just the bands and albums and songs that make it all so great for me. I’ve wanted to talk about the music that makes me find a happy place - to hide from the real world.
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!