Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Working Man

I've been working a couple of part-time jobs lately, including being a roadie (see related post below), and running a campaign for Lee Jeans Co. Proceeds go towards the POD XT Live, which I hope to pay off within the next 30 years. Its taking a while, but I'm sure I'll manage. Any work you guys got for me?
I get home at five o'clock
And I take myself out a nice, cold beer
Always seem to be wonderin'
Why there's nothin' goin' down here

Well, they call me the working man
I guess that's what I am

Friday, November 18, 2005

Buttons, buttons, more buttons... and then some!

Well, this is primarily for my oh-so-techie family, who keep pestering me to let them know as and when I update my blog ("Beta, if you're going to spend time in front of that screen, we want to know what it is you're up to... and turn down that evil music!"). So there it is, a blogarithm so you can be updated by email when this page has some new graffiti on it (anti-RIAA or otherwise). There you go, folks. And its not evil music, its just your everyday Scandinavian Death-Doom-Goth-Black-Symphonic-Power-Progressive-Speed-Thrash-Sludge-Stoner-Gore-Grind-Hardcore-Nu metal...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A very rudimentary first recording featuring my Ibanez GAX30 and Line6 POD XT Live can be heard here. Please let me know what you think. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Roadie 101

Bangalore witnessed the final day of Kingfisher's OctoberFest this past Sunday. The main attractions were local acts Lounge Piranha and Thermal and a Quarter. I roadied for TAAQ, and learnt a couple of things that day that I thought I should share:

  • To appear busy, keep calling out random names and mentioning technical terms. Example: "Tony, that preamp needs a jumper, could you look into it? Tony, hey, Tony!".
  • Its not about what you lug around, its how many items you lug around.
  • 'To err is human' does not apply on stage.
  • A marked set list is your best friend.
TAAQ took to the stage at 8:20 PM, to soar through a brilliant set of approximately 15 well-chosen tracks of their fantastic catalogue of over 100 tracks spanning 3 releases over 8 years. TAAQ plays 100% original farm-fresh 'curry rock' (more akin to jazz rock, IMHO), and features four fabulous musicians who are masters in their own right - Bruce Lee Mani (Guitars, vocals), Rzhude (bass, vocals), Sunil Chandy (keyboards, guitars, bass, vocals), and Rajeev Rajagopal (drums).
The band kicked off in earnest with Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Bruce shone on lead guitars, displaying a great deal of proficiency and feel that was worth blogging about (see what I mean?). He said it was their way of getting the crowd on their side, though, after the show, anyone would say that it was hardly a neccessary tactic. Other great tracks included How Can I Get Your Groove, Look At Me, Falling Down, and Drunk (my favourite.. besides, a lot of folks in the audience could easily relate to it). This song had a killer groove, with some neat drumming by powerhouse Rajeev.
They also played a short acoustic set, including a rousing version of Lennon's Imagine, with Chandy on keys and Rzhude on vocals. Next came Closer To Heaven, with Chandy taking up a fretless Bass. Very good stuff. Also of note was their version of Roxanne. I absolutely loved this one, since it was a very interesting take on an already great song. Next, they performed Holy Jose, and dedicated it to a very inebriated young man in the crowd.
Cat Stevens' Wild World saw them return to the rest of the electric set. Paper Puli was pull(i)ed off really well - that riff is stuff of rock legend, I tell ya! They wrapped up their show with a brilliant instrumental Hoedown, which was a treat for all the guitar fans present.
All in all, a really tight, energetic show. It had been ages since I had last seen TAAQ perform, so this was a special treat for me. Their relentless pursuit of excellence has definitely paid off, and made them the top rock act in the city, and a force to be reckoned with, this side of the Pacific. Rock on, y'all!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Vikings Cometh...


Seagram's 100 Pipers Legends Live Presents The Jonas Hellborg Group, featuring Mattias IA Eklundh and Morgan Agren
12th November / 7:30 PM, ITC Hotel Windsor Sheraton & Towers, Bangalore

When I finally realised that I was going to get to watch this show for sure, I was beside myself with excitement. Mattias Eklundh is probably my favourite guitarist (he also fronts the brilliant Swedish Prog-rock act Freak Kitchen). His proficiency, feel and versatility have always been a major source of inspiration for lil' ol' me. Jonas Hellborg is a renowned bass player and jazz exponent, and has collaborated with V Selvaganesh on various projects.
Eklundh made it very clear that the night would be loud. Very loud. And they delivered. The trio performed a selection of tracks from Hellborg's albums and compositions, including 2 new untitled pieces
. I think the exact genre would be heavy metal jazz, and I've never heard anything like it. This was especially fascinating for me, since I've just begun getting into jazz (Pat Metheny, Alex Skolnick Trio, Thelonious Monk, John McLaughlin, et al), and seeing some of the best in the business at work (or was it play?) was just the thing to propel my interest further.
Eklundh exhibits some very fluid playing, but also brings a lot of start-stop stacatto riffing to the table, and a whole lot of whammy histrionics. But what is even more astounding is his sense of melody. Hellborg really brought the house down with his bass mastery. His style is very expressive, and refreshingly no-holds-barred. Agren is a great drummer to watch. Every beat resonated with energy, and his drum solos were truly stuff of legend.
My favourite piece was Who Do You Want To Be?, primarily for its ferocity and marvellous composition. On the whole, this was one of the best jazz concerts I've been to. It was great meeting Eklundh in person as well; a very down-to-earth, peaceful Viking... Once again, props to Sunil Chandy for taking me along (and darling little Kiarna for sacrificing her ticket!). All hail the Swedes!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Woke up at 6:30 am today. Studied a bit, then got down to leeching Clutch's 1999 album Jam Room. Clutch plays some really good Stoner Rock, which I'm absolutely loving right now. Its like fun bluesy-groovy-rock with deep Southern sludge vocals, if that means anything to you. Anyway, its all good. Been playing their 2005 disc Robot Hive/ExodusI also subscribed to 2 years of Worldspace Digital Satellite Radio programming. As if I didn't already have enough music to keep me busy (as of now, 33 GB). RIAA, come and get me... I live in Kaval Byrasandra. I'm yours if you can find me... muhahahaha!
Had breakfast at India Coffee House, MG Road, this morning, with my mate Prateeque. Scrambled eggs on toast, cold coffee, mutton cutlets and some more toast... 50 bucks a head. Even got hassle-free parking just outside, which is a first (probably a last as well, given Bangalore's rising traffic and parking problems).
Mattias Eklundh will be playing in Bangalore on the 11th of November, joining bassist Jonas Hellborg's jazz group. I'm hoping to go, but several minor technicalities might prove to be a successful obstacle. Time will tell.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

A story about a young man living his day-to-day life as a cynic, as several minor events (the death of his mother, the disappearance of his neighbour's dog, the seemingly inconsequential affair with Marie) eventually lead to the climax: the protagonist's murder trial. There's enough of character formation, but one can't really feel for the old chap. Anyhow, its a really short novel, and reading it would do you just as much good as not taking it up.

Clutch - Robot Hive/Exodus (2005)

I love this album. Great vocals, neat blues-rock-funk riffs, fun RHCP-esque lyrics with a twinge of realism, and an overall killer sound. Every track is a classic. My favourite, however, is
10001110101. This album is full of all those tracks you want playing behind you as you walk down the street, y'know, when all is right with the world. Lots of nice guitar and keyboard bits all over the place. 5 Stars. I'm now hooked.


Iconoid (For Windows 98/2000/Me)

Nifty features to fiddle with your desktop icons. Change the icon text background colour, font colour, make your icons do a little jig (!)... its free, too. Go here.

Firefox Extension: All-in-One Gestures

Use your mouse to perform functions (Back, Forward, Previous/Next Tab, Close Tab, etc.) simply by holding down a button and gesturing (drawing a rough pattern). Its really neat. Its available here.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A Certain Shade Of Green

As you can see, I've added a couple of links, and a shoutbox (courtesy Please take the time to check them out. I'm also trying to figure out how to use flickr and photobucket to upload photos directly to my blog. Lets see how far I get.

Get Your live music kicks here

I found a really neat site, chock full of high-quality audio files in various formats of live concerts. Several bands are featured here, and some of these collections are priceless. Go here to see what I'm talking about. At present, I'm leeching stuff by Alex Skolnick Trio (Guitarist from thrash metal band Testament playing jazz - kickass!), Derek Trucks Band (some fine blues here), 311 (reggae-rock meets Incubus), and Toad The Wet Sprocket (ballady rock - some of the finest songwriting I've ever seen).