August 27, 2010


Here's something to ponder while you sip your coffee, make plans for the weekend, get ready to have a nice meal or sit in an endless stream of traffic on your way back from work. Who is your role-model? And, in fifty words or less, why? Watch, allow me to demonstrate:

My best friends, Runa and Ruan are my role-models. They stand strong when I cannot, push me towards the right path when decisions are lost upon me, and help me to be a better person. Wonderful people, loyal friends, beautiful chicas, and of course, they have smokin’ hot asses.winking

So - husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, teacher, altar boy, rockstar or football fan - let me have it.

In an interesting turn of events, I won last quarter’s ‘Star Performer’ award and my team (Display Advertising) won the most prestigious annual award our company can give to any individual/team; and this is among 13,900 employees in the world. The gods of technology seem to be cutting me some slack. It was a good day. Now? I need chocolate...and tea...lots of tea.

Sinead O’Connor's 'Nothing Compares To You' cover by Stereophonics

I still really, really, really love this song.

As I was struggling through one of my longer runs on the treadmill, this song came up on my playlist. (Yeah, what’s up? I listen to this Sinead O’Connor cover while running.) One of the ways I get through the parts where I just don’t want to run anymore is allow myself a little psychotic lip-syncing singing along with whatever is playing. I was working my way towards the end of a run, and mouthing the words to this song while people did their stretches and lifted weights. And by “lip-syncing,” I mean puffing out incomplete lyrics, by which I mean crazily panting, “I CAN EAT MY DINNER IN A FANCY RESTAURANT.”

I’m at a point in my life where I’m fortunate to discover so many wonderful covers. As I’ve said before in other EC posts, I’m a sucker for good covers. And Sinead O’Connor’s famous ‘Nothing compares to you’ covered by Welsh band Stereophonics is pure class. There is something captivating about spitting venom over a gorgeous O’Connor backdrop. I simply cannot force my brain to move beyond this track. If you have only one song to listen to today this should be your choice.

Keep listening to good music.

August 23, 2010

"Drink Tea....Destroy Everything!"

Things have not started out well...

There are three kinds of moods I seem to break out into depending on the way I feel and the significance of whatsoever it is that happens to be off beam. First, there's the I'm somewhat bothered and/or sore but, hey, I'll get over it mood which is more grumpy than anything. It's effortlessly treated by receiving a hug or waving something shiny in front of me. Next, and to some extent more tough, is the damnit, I'm mad, I feel like crap, so get your asses out of my way, people, marked by a more serious mood. Finally, there's the horrific holy shit, people, a pack of untamed chimpanzees somehow made it into the place, climbed a flight of stairs and started gnawing on my limbs mood. You would think that the conclusion of humankind as prophesized by the book of Revelations was playing out.

This morning? It was that third thing.

Then, before I knew it, the driver was calling and, of course, I let the phone ring over and over again even though I was so late because I was feeling about as inspired to go to work as I am to let wild rabbits consume my brain. When I did head to work, it was cold and blustery and the traffic sucked. I strolled into my office, took a sip of tea and ordered breakfast. Instead of it being the standard slightly grilled cheese sandwich, they dumped gallons of some green gooey crap into it and burnt my breakfast beyond recognition. I felt betrayed. Those men at the cafeteria, I thought they knew me. I thought we were tight. Soulless dogs.

I have meetings and countless hours of work standing between me and the weekend. I think it’s time to get more tea.

It’s been a while since I had some Alternative rock to listen to and Lifehouse’s ‘Joshua’ is filling that void quite nicely. Music from this band is always a huge plus in my book. This single is a remarkable display of guitar-light rock. The shimmering riffs that slip into the song are mixed in with some truly lovely guitar interplay all finishing in a densely layered, glorious tune. The dynamic highs and lows will be familiar to anyone who’s ever put on a Lifehouse record, but the band’s elegant musical craftsmanship are enough for them to make their own mark in the alternative-rock world.
This song from Lifehouse, was totally unknown to me until I was looking through their ‘Rare & Unplugged’ album. It’s yet another one of those things I listen to and think “damn, I wish I’d made that.

August 18, 2010

The Case of Cerebral Briggsy*

I was busy all day. I really was, no shit, 7 hours long. As painful as I'm sure that sounds, it was really a pretty awesome day. But I think I'm now suffering from Cerebral Briggsy. And? Cerebral Briggsy? I previously revealed that I think I'm suffering from Cerebral Briggsy? Sorry. Must be because I'm suffering from Cerebral Briggsy.

All that good tactical thinking at work left me lacking the good quality time necessary to get my freak on. So it's your turn. Yes, your turn to tell me how the week’s going. I think it’s the Cerebral Briggsy that’s making it hard to deliver to you this Wednesday. Let's have it - tell me about the good, the bad and the ugly.

Once you're done, check out some awesome music below. Listen to it, and you'll get twice your recommended daily allowance of awesomeness. Warning - there is danger of awesome overload.

MGMT sounds nothing like anything we’ve covered before. I’m using this opportunity to write about one of the most exciting things I’ve stumble upon in recent times.
Whether this band is giving new meaning to the terms ‘Psychedelic Pop' or 'New Wave' or 'Neo-psychedelia' or reinventing the standard measures of a track, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser are always up to good. Producing heavy tunes since 2005, the band’s flexible use of drum, guitar, keyboard lines and dusty electronica samples has helped in launching a consistent style that chases your train of thought and let your ears do all the thinking.

Two years after ‘Oracular Spectacular’ (one of my favourite albums) jumped on the decks it pretty much set the standard for gold, instantly making the band entryway artists for anyone who was just beginning to explore the whole wide-eyed electro optimistic genre. I’m always intrigued by a song that’s far from my home genre and I couldn’t be more serious in saying that MGMT is totally listenable. You can bet your ass their most recent album ‘Congratulations’ (2010) plays as smooth as their ‘Oracular Spectacular’ album (2008). Surely it is not for everyone, but be it textured or impressive… it never reaches a point of becoming too much of one thing– and that my friend, is a good thing. It’s the perfect recipe for repose if you ask me. In fact, I’m not sure why this hasn’t been considered for hypnosis. Now do as I say and listen.

MGMT with 'Electric Feel'

*Cerebral Briggsy: A disease that severely affects the brain causing the sufferer to be devoid of common sense, reality and render them completely useless at everything

August 15, 2010

The Fifteenth

Sometimes, usually after watching the news broadcast about a starved family or a tornado-swept place or a government that represses civil liberties, I play the "I'm thankful I was born..." game. You've almost certainly played it. You know, "I'm glad I was born into the family I have" or "I'm glad I was born with two hands". And while I am immeasurably grateful for those things, the general premise for me, at least, is "I'm glad I was born in this country." Which is weird since I really wasn't born in this country. I was born in the Gulf to two Indian parents. Which makes me Indian, regardless of the country in which the delivery room was situated.

I still believe myself damn lucky to be an Indian. There are a lot of things I am in opposition with in this country. But it's tough to dispute with a place in which, every five years, individuals are nominated in and out of power without an ounce of bloodshed.

Happy Independence Day. I think the best part about being an Indian is that we can sit here and disagree, period.

1987 was a great year for music. Unfortunately I was too busy watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and learning Arabic taught by a tall Lebanese woman to pay too much attention. Anway, the year brought us Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’, Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, Guns N’ Roses ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ and U2’s ‘With or Without You’ as well as debuts from Gin Blossoms, Green Day Porcupine Tree, and Alice in Chains. The one song I remember listening to this year was Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”.

August 12, 2010


Two words, used independently of one another are all right... but strung together in the right order they're even more remarkable. The words? ‘Day’ and ‘Off’.

That's right folks...I've taken the day off. I kicked the weekend off early, by taking Thursday and Friday off. Given the stress of the last several months, it was the least I could do. I thought it was an outstanding idea. So my good friend, Ruan and I had steak for lunch and went to Fro-Yo for dessert and shopped more than you could shake a stick at. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the hours stretching out in front of me but I know one thing for damn sure - I won't be working. Not even a teensy weensy little bit.

Maybe I'll catch up on some of my favorite blogs. Maybe I'll learn the ancient and traditional art of ninja fighting. Maybe I'll hop over to the Middle East and work on that whole peace thing. Or I can just sit on my ass. Also thanks to the folks at Nokia India, I won't be thinking too much about it while I'm spending quality time with my new Nokia X6!

I wade through the usual music sites about a couple of times a week and it’s fairly rare that anything really catches my attention. About once every other while, however, I am pleasantly amazed by a message from a friend that contains a little musical gem.

This cover of ‘Ayo Technology’ (originally performed by 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland) by Belgian singer-songwriter, Milow, turned out pretty good I think. To be fair the remainder of the album ‘Milow’ (2009) is decent, but it’s nowhere near the level of this cover.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by or is currently following EC. And, as always, enjoy the music.

August 09, 2010

Crash Kings.... Considered Harmful

I sometimes imagine what it would be like to work in a profession I truly love and am passionate about. Now add in spending time with bands that play awesome music and then writing about it. And since I’m not really a conventional, uninteresting kinda girl (but you knew that already, didn’t you?) it’s going to be about hanging out, then telling the story. Which is good for me, for the bands, and for anyone reading my stuff (do we really need yet another outbreak of mind-numbing, done to death, cookie cutter info about a band, keyed in by folks whose main aim seems to be establishing that they know more than you? No, we do not).

So all that’s swell. But my imagination gets better: because not only will I get to watch bands I already know are great, I get to find out valuable bands that I didn’t know a friggin’ thing about, then tell everybody who will pay attention and check them out.

And that starts here, now, with Crash Kings.

This was one of the only albums that I heard this year where I knew right away that it’d be a year-long listener. There are so many moments of rock goodness sprinkled across the album that I thought my ears were going to explode and I’m so happy to join in the cult-like group of Crash Kings fans.
Seriously, I’ve never heard a better Alternative Rock band out there. Add that with amazing guy – Tony Beliveau on vocals (who can actually sing) with a range at his disposal, including a bassist with style powered riffs and layers of piano sounds. Their incredible sound ties everything they do together in a way that’s so perfect you can’t help but smile. “Mountain Man” and “You Got Me” - the album’s most delightful and addicting tracks, with a glisten of the piano and heavy bass backing an incredible vocal hook, are tracks that pack a huge punch.

If someone asked me to define listenable and pleasurable Alt. Rock in an album this certainly would be nearing the top of the list of albums I’d give them. It really delivers a very full listening experience, whether you want to just float along to the musicality or examine closely the brilliance of the band’s lyrics. One of the most richly satisfying albums you’ll hear in your life. It’s just that damn good.

Beliveau’s vocals and the band’s huge sound ought to keep you entranced.

In short, one of the most talented and significant bands to emerge in our era. It’s not for nothing I’m considering on changing my surname to Beliveau. ;)

What to look out for: Tony Beliveau rocks one of the coolest Clavinets I’ve ever seen (see video above for more on that) just makes the whole thing better.

It’s moments like these that really define for me the universal power of great music and it makes me excited to share those moments with others. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Whatever I put up on EC are the tried-and-true songs that have stuck with me for months and years filling my days with elation and my CDs, playlists with, uh… songs. These are the ones that I love more than steak and beer. The video listed here is the one that I found to be the most visually interesting, uniquely executed, superbly edited, and just in general, a wonderfully awesome video of the band (although having a good song attached to it didn’t hurt it’s chances either). If you like the video, the band and the music, make sure to let me know in the comments. Enjoy!

Crash Kings with 'You Got me'. Pete, thanks for the heads up on these guys!

August 03, 2010

I Am So Worn-Out These Days

What is the deal? I KNOW you think it’s just a symptom of the weather, but does it have to be that? I figure my being so worn-out all the time is just due to the hurt of living or whatever. Life went gangrenous at some point in the past year, with the extra money and the football and the online dates-a-thons. It’s a lot for one person. It’s a lot for all of us.

On top of which, there’s never been so much to stay up for! The interwebs! Facebook is a nightmare calling my name every minute of the day. People have statuses: attention must be given. Someone’s posting pictures to their galley on Flickr: I need to be there to offer encouragement. Guys I like are posting links, for real, like EVERY DAY. What happens if I don’t click on them? I don’t want to find out, and neither do you. It’s a wonder I get any time to sleep. I should be applauded.

My key to staying awake remains to be tea. I find now that one cup a day is about all my body can handle, but that’s sufficient to get me through most of the morning. Awesome! Good job everybody, let’s go home. But what’s this? There’s more to the day, turns out. Is Facebook to blame, somehow?

So it’s been with great interest that I’ve turned to getting out of the house more lately and trying to limit the online activity. But I’ve realized I’ve done more shopping in the past three days than I would in a month. I think I like the latter the least. So the point is I’m here, exhausted after work and the gym but updating my blog. Playing a part in the online discussion. Creating content. Presenting all of you who are sitting in front of your computer screens a good reason for doing so. I am now free of my responsibilities for the evening; who knows where the blogospheres will take me next. My ass is numb, my bed cold but my laptop is affectionately warm. There’s a playlist queue to organize. There’s media pouncing on a male actor struggling to hold on to some slice of self-respect as he paints his face white for a red carpet event. There is music to reach out to, and high-resolution photographs of dishes I’m not interested in eating. I’m awake, let’s friggin’ do this.

Zero 7: noun – a kickass electronic/power-pop styled musical duo.

Oh, and the track by them 'In The Waiting Line' features vocals by Sophie Barker. So play it, turn it up, and stay still, because they’ll be sure to bring the noise.

If anyone would like to contact me, send me freebies, or just say how awesome I am you can reach me at

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