November 30, 2009

Third Time Around

Friday was a blast. I went to work despite the temptation to stay in and sleep - I did my job, checked out at five thirty, and returned home to ready myself for the Soulmate concert that evening. It was an interesting show if you happened to be there. The place was packed, a sea of screaming fans and I was struck by a feeling of tremendous good fortune, lucky that I was there at this crowded space not because I was surrounded by close friends and colleagues but because I was a music lover and I belonged in a place like this. I had, simply, a reason to be there. As usual, Tips and Rudy were pretty damn good. Nearly every song was accentuated with a groove-heavy jam. It was the kind of live music you wanted to watch on a cold November evening but funky, fun to watch and listen to. We were a little disappointed that we were treated to only two or three of their ‘Moving On’ album barn burners. But the duo sounded great. Lead singer Tipriti ‘Tips’ Kharbangar was awesome - and guitar god – Rudy Wallang nearly made us pass out from a bundle of wonderfulness. Now, that’s what I call a monster guitarist! Overall, good show, just more than what I or, apparently, the crowd expected.

After the band had performed their first set and then pulled off for a brief break – I got to catch up with my favourite singer and I realized that my efforts to look good that night were completely and utterly rewarded when Tips bear-hugged me and told me I looked absolutely sexy! Then after a few giggles she proceeded to fill me in on the details of her tour so far and an exciting piece of news - that she gets to open for Brazilian Musician Sheyla Costa’s show in Paris next week.

If you can't tell by now, I loved the show. I wanted to find some roofs to yell "Soulmate's here, baby" from the tops of. Listening to them is a blast. There are times in which you can close your eyes and know for absolute certain that this is the same group who can record a perfectly sounding good track and also act crazy with you when they’re not on stage. And those are the moments in which musicians like these proves to be one of the greats as well.

I guess I've been in the groove all along.

Soulmate with ‘I Am’

November 26, 2009

It’s Thanksgiving for the Americans. And I guess if they didn’t observe it, it would mean they let the terrorists prevail.
Although it isn’t part of Indian tradition to stuff ourselves with turkeys and pumpkin pie, there is a part of the practice that I would like to follow; the part to be thankful. Celebrating where you’ve come from and what you have but, more importantly, what you are today. At the end of the day, everyone’s pasts are joined into a big grand cord to create a universal future and show that we, at least some of us, can get along.

I've been truly blessed this year. I have a wonderful family and best friends who are truly splendid in every respect. My job pays the bills and honestly doesn't suck. I'm thankful that I live in a wonderful country, that I was born here and not in utter poverty. Thankful that even at the times when I’m feeling at my worst, I am reminded in so many ways and shapes and forms how loved I am. And then there are you guys. Thanks for stopping by everyday, for reading, for giving me your time and opinions.
Whether or not you celebrate this particular holiday, due to geography or some minor inconvenience like that, it's never a bad time to remember what you truly have to be thankful for.

Agree with me or not (or feel guilty about it or not), but I think this single by 80’s British soul and dance band - Imagination is actually sorta kinda addicting. And while I’m not ashamed to admit that I like the catchy string loop, the dance beat, or the old school pop stylized delivery I still have too much arrogance to truly find out more about this track, or review the complete album, or in general confess anything other than I listened to the radio this past week, heard this track, and thought I should post it.

Enjoy it or don’t. It’s your call. No one will think less of you. (Ok, I can’t give my word for that last bit).

Soulmate performs at Le Rock Pub on Church Street, Brigade Road, tomorrow, the 27th. They’ll probably get started at 7:30 pm. Please come up and say hello if you plan on attending the show. Unless your last name is Assford.

Good weekend!

November 24, 2009

Check 1..2…3 Check (Is this thing switched on?)

I apologize for the lack of regular updating. As I said in the last post - which was how many days ago? - things here have been on the super-hectic side and blogging has been the last thing I've had the time or energy to do. Posts are going to be very light but I'm going to do my best to keep you updated as we go along. I have a couple of entries in the works that will be easy to whip up. One is about school and here’s a treat – a before and after picture! Explanations are forthcoming, but I'll give you this: the ninja invasion is 100% true. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

If you like blues - really gritty, dirty blues with raw guitars, howling vocals and stripped down rhythms. Then you need to come down to The Le Rock Pub in B’lore city this Friday at 7 pm because you are about to witness two gorgeous musicians – Rudy Wallang and Tipriti ‘Tips’ Kharbangar (Soulmate) who heard the blues and never looked back. If you just like a good, old-fashioned bluesy vibe, you'll dig it and you can join me for a drink if you find yourself at the venue on said date. Hope to see you at the show.

(P:S - 300/- cover charge for couples and 400/- for stags.)
Due to an awesome link left some time ago on my facebook page I have had the pleasure of being introduced to a great Indie Rock band called ‘Arcade Fire’ by my friend, colleague and fellow blogger, Pete. Arcade Fire maybe a band whose music I know very little of but from what I’ve listened to, their music is quite universal. To be honest I think the track ‘Neon Bible’ is better than a lot of Indie Rock music I’ve heard to date. If I was forced to offer up a glib little review this is all I’d have to say.

You must watch their video here.
This version of ‘Neon Bible’ is even more beautiful than the real thing. It’s shot in an elevator and I love the whole tearing pages out of magazines. It’s just like taking your favorite parts of a track; putting them with acoustics, and playing that fantasy out for two whole minutes.
Trust me when I say that if you like this track you’ll simply love the band. It really is that good; Canadians seem know what they’re doing. And special thanks to the awesome soul who introduced me to them. You should thank them too.

November 21, 2009

Well, here I sit in front of my laptop. I'm not 100% sure what I can say about the past week apart from, probably, fuck. That adds it up rather sufficiently.

Unless you've had to cope with a whole blog- topic shutdown over the past few days, you've almost certainly already taken note that not all went as intended for me in this new relationship. Actually, zilch went as intended. That's relationships for you. I’ll be happy when tomorrow’s daylight arrives, I’ll get my groove back. Back to my happy, funny self which will make me miss playing solo. So here’s to the long weekend - making up for lost time.
The past week has been a learning experience too. I've been exposed to two staples of relationships and I'm pretty sure I'll be getting my permanent solo union card in the mail any day now. See, I got to spend a few moments in a no strings attached relationship and log a little time at an exclusive party for two. Neither experience was principally terrible, but I've come to the conclusion that the party for two - in outsized doses can truly force one into lunacy. And no strings attached? That situation where a kid can be a kid?

There's no holding up. I'm going to drink up the last cold bit of tea and try to hop back into the rock n roll of things. Let's see if I can get my groove back. Wish me luck.
Apparently there was this little music gathering known as the North-East Festival which took place the when I was at Kohima. Apparently at said gathering of music fans there are some big northeastern bands who play killer sets and set off the revelers. Apparently Nagaland’s most popular band, Eximious, played a set there. And also, apparently, someone thought it would be a good idea to upload one of their tracks recently sent to them by the vocalist himself. It’s an excellent single titled ‘Bleed’. And yes, that is a ruse to get you coming back over and over and over again. Eat it. They’re not off any studio album and they’re not available, anywhere, for purchase yet. Enjoy the music and the next time Eximious is in town get out and see their show.

November 16, 2009

Perfectly Lonely!

This weekend was absolutely awesome. I'm not sure if it was the taste of the cold, the company I had or just the fact that it was fun, but it was great. And I feel like I learned some stuff along the way. First and foremost, I don't want to be back at work. But I am sure that's not really worth mentioning. But in the interest of honesty this, however, is.
I started sort of seeing this boy who is very nice and really into me. I know better than to be getting into anything at this time, but then I started to like him in spite of myself. And we decided to spend some time together, and it was really not that remarkable or life changing, except one conversation we had was so breathtakingly divine and wise that I thought, wow, I have absolutely misjudged this individual! Maybe I should allow myself to fall for him! But inconsistency nests in my brain, and it keeps digging at me so much that maybe I’m just better off being perfectly lonely. Can you believe this shit? Clearly I an awful person and undeserving of personal communication.

But I think my good karma is finally looking up. Screw thinking. I’m grabbing my good moments and seeing what happens. If you can tell me a better way to spend a cool Saturday than eating dinner made by someone who loves you very much, with beer and Incubus, I would love to hear it.

It was a good weekend with people who love me. How can you go wrong with that?
John Mayer has succeeded in building a certain persona for himself. Something about him oozes likeability and it’s hard to define simply why that is so. Maybe it’s because he got those breathy vocals, maybe it’s because he’s kind of brooding and his music inspires everyone to sing along, or maybe there is some other magic behind his charm. Whatever this indescribable effect is it simply drips off of with this track titled ‘Perfectly Lonely’ from his most recent album ‘Battle Studies’. John Mayer is an extremely prolific songwriter, performer and guitarist and he deserves a listen on this cold November evening.

Enjoy the track and have a good week.

November 13, 2009

Bon Voyage Ru Ru!

Ruan - coworker, best friend, and neighbor extraordinaire - leaves our fair city in a few days for 6 months in Canada. I'm terribly sad to see her leave but full of joy and pride for the panorama that awaits her. She’s been one of my favorite people, a wonderful friend, and I absolutely adore her. Just being in the same room with her is constant entertainment.
Any way I could try to describe Ruan would sound cliche, but she truly is an orb of energy, a force of nature, spirited and a tornado—all of those ways they describe characters in books, only this girl is the real deal. When we first met four years ago I had no idea that she'd become one of the most dazzling lights in my life. She's been my confidante, my shoulder to lean on, my sounding board - and most absolutely my true gal pal - and I hope that I've been all the same for her. I can't imagine a girl’s night, a holiday/office meal, a shopping trip, a visit to church, or a hangover without her. And I've been pampered by having such a great friend waiting for me every day at the office. We started college and then work at the same time so it’s gonna feel strange to stay on and not have her around anymore!

We did our unofficial going away for Ru last weekend and last night we had an official bon voyage celebration. We're definitely going to send her off with a bang. Or at the very least, a severe headache.

And we say goodbye to Ruan, although she'll be a part of our lives for a very long time. Runa and I wish her all the best and will welcome her back into our home and our happy hours anytime. Here’s to you, Ruan. Hope you find out all the cool stuff the new City has to offer. Hope you never have to worry about holding your liquor AND I hope you learn to swear constantly.

Here are some pictures of the farewell that took place last weekend, mostly because I’m really friggin tired and can’t think of anything more to say.

Also, you should listen to the Jamie Cullum’s new track, “Don’t Stop the Music” (Rihanna’s cover – tastefully done, might I add) while you look at them, because that’s what I listened to on repeat while I posted them. If I wasn’t so tired, I’d write more about the party, too. Sorry, internet. I’m slowin’ my roll these days.

We love you lots, Ruan. Our loss is Canada’s gain!

November 09, 2009

Picture The Past

On Saturday, Dad brought a couple of photos from my late grandfather’s, now lonely standing, house. These have been sitting in a pile in my grandma’s room, out of sight and out of mind. Dad’s shabby effort at a winter clean-up revealed some of our family’s old snapshots and I though that I’d very much like to share it with you.

I don't blog about my folks much these days. To a certain degree, because they read it, and for the most part, because I don't know where to start. My family has been through rough times of late. For a home that, a long time ago, was as interdependent as ours it is overwhelming to see it spacing out so wildly. And all this distancing won't end until each person takes responsibility for their own actions.

I've toiled my way through some very thorny insights which have left in me in essence as being the peace keeper, the intercession strategist, the one who’s supposed to understand everyone else. It troubles me deeply but that's where we rest. Possibly in time things will correct themselves. If they don't...well, I can learn to live with that.

This brings me back to the resurfacing of the mysterious photos. My grandma kept these by her for almost fifty years. After my grandpa died and my dad found them, I claimed them as my own. I didn't want to take the old album apart to scan in the photos, so pardon the less than super pictures.

Parents & siblings, circa 1987.
Perhaps looking at the pictures now is a reminder of how things used to be when everyone didn’t have to try so hard to be together. Maybe the people in these pictures will take a long glance at them now, commit to memory the way things used to be, recall what it was like to beam, and do justice to the man who hasn’t stop smiling ever since he found these carefully hidden pictures and kept us all together, for the longest time, in spite of ourselves.

Love you dad! Happy Birthday!
Switchfoot’s The Beautiful Letdown is among my favorite albums. I think it's a recipe of the music and the recollections. It was life altering for me. I picked it up in college, during my graduation, and it was with me through many changes. Their most awaited seventh studio album ‘Hello Hurricane’ and the lead single off it ‘Mess of me’ were released this year. While I was in doubt about ‘Hello Hurricane’ making it big on the music scene, I was curious. But damn, is it an experience. The thing about the track ‘Mess of me’ is that it exposes things about the band I never expected were there. Jon Foreman's vocals are perfect and who knew he had recorded so many solid solo tracks? The guitar work is insane. It sounds rougher, less polished, in this song. The rhythm section is solid, as usual. Listening to ‘Mess of me’ is like having the sand blown off an island exposing buried treasure chests. It makes a near perfect song that exposes the inner workings of a great album and a great band in the making.

November 04, 2009

Greetings, kids, this is Eve, assuming control of the EC Consulting Room for Irrational Bloggers for as long as your problem persists; which I’m hoping lasts forever. When I, as a writer started this space I told myself in no uncertain terms to generate at least one sizeable post a day. That's a nice thought, but when you've been at it for some time as I have, receiving and writing from inspiration is hard to come by. The weekend and week, however, provided me with an answer to the predicament, as it does in so many things. VoilĂ ! Instant content.

I'm feeling out of sorts this week. I've been jam-packed with ideas and have been accumulating them all week. So here they are...collected, on the face of it random posts that drop a tiny spot of illumination on the absurdity that I call ‘being’.

I celebrated Halloween by watching the John Cusack movie titled ‘1408’, and due to my heavy dose of antibiotics, I passed out on my bed till late Saturday morning.
The weekend began at Van Huesen with Ruan where there was a sort of impromptu shopping binge, with bloody expensive things being bought, and some people offering to carry our bags a couple of times. I performed my one and only trick which was washing down 10 grand in a couple of minutes, and then listening to my mom, much later, who steadily tore my ears apart with a long talk about ‘savings’.

Last night I made it for a quiet evening at Ruan’s home along with Runa and Tony. We ate Arabic food, chugged down beer, spoke until the wee hours of the morning, found ourselves roaming the apartment complex at nearly 1 in the morning, then hopping into the children’s park with Tony, who then proceeded to join me on one of the kiddie rides, and is therefore sort of my hero.

On Sunday, I met blogger Anupama in person, at one of my favourite places.

Anupama was one of the first blogs I started following when I joined the world of blogging. Apart from being pretty good at what she does, Anupama has one of the best smiles I have ever seen on a human being. Not to mention, she is absolutely gorgeous and she is kind of girl who anyone would just love at first meeting. So, here’s a shout out to her, for the wonderful conversation on a lovely Sunday afternoon. For sitting through the three hours of our meeting, and for hating most of the same stuff I do to a degree I thought only I could summon. Buddy, you’re all right.
Have y’all ever heard of Sufjan Stevens? I bet most of you haven't. He's one of my new favorite vocalists and one of the most appallingly unheard of artists in the world. Stevens was part of the folk revival in Indie pop yet never fell strictly into this genre. His sixth solo album - The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois - showed up while I was going through the music I had. When I saw it, I uploaded this track 'Henney Buggy Band' immediately and without deliberation. It's dazzling. Stevens has an insanely cool, touching voice and his songs are stunning and warm. If you've never heard of this guy, give him a shot. I can almost assure you'll like what you hear.