Friday, July 24, 2009

NA04B009 ...

... been one full year (officially) since that number identified me ... feels a strangely short year though ...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Coke Studio -- session music at it's best

Sometime back, a friend of mine had shown me a video of Bryan Adams performing at MTV Unplugged. It was a proper concert, and the performance was just amazing . I was so affected by that video (and a couple of other session and live performance videos) that I started dreaming of being a part of such a performance myself -- improvising a song, figuring out what all could be done to the song, performing ... stuff that I still dream to be able to do some day.
A few days ago, when one of my friends here sent a link to a video to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan pairing up with Ali Azmat to sing 'Garaj Baras', I initially thought that it is gonna be yet another of those poor sound quality live concert videos on YouTube. I nevertheless went ahead and played it. My love affair with this phenomenon called 'Coke Studio' started at that very instant -- it was love at first hearing :D
Coke Studio is this Pakistani Music venture by Coke (more so by this one guy named Rohail Hyatt), where in a group of Pakistan's most talented musicians have been brought together to form a House Band -- and famous Pakistani Musicians are then called in for session music performances. The audio is free to download, the video is free to watch and download, there are small (sometimes interesting) video segments of the band gearing up for a performance -- it is a Music lover's 'Nirvana' in every way possible. However, none of these form a stronger case for Coke Studio than the very quality of each of these performances.
I have to say, the music in these sessions transcends the realm of simply 'awesome session music' -- in fact for some of these it is a lot more (just imagine this one song being played on my media player on repeat for three consecutive days -- thats how good they are, you just can't get them out of your mind). There are these moments when I feel like just being there in the studio, and doing something with those guys -- even if it is holding a small acoustic guitar and strumming just that one chord.
There is one more thing that I gotta say ... well actually two. The influence of Coke Studio has been so profound on me -- that I started searching up a lot about everyone involved in it ... bands, artists, musicians, etc etc. In particular, there is this band called Noori that I had never heard of before -- whose music simply shook me up. I went ahead to listen to their albums, check out their videos, and landed on the blog of one of the two brothers who comprise the band -- Ali Hamza. In his description of the Coke Studio experience, he says --
'Much more than that, I saw genuine concern about our present situation, and a drive to do something about it! … And the drive in this case was to work hard towards setting new, higher, quality standards for a Pakistani product! Something that will make us known in a different and positive capacity'
Well said !!! Just goes to show what kind of talent Pakistan has to offer to the world, and how this talent is working hard to give their country something to smile about.
If anyone associated with 'Coke Studio' is reading this by any chance -- you guys have at least one dedicated fan. Hat's off to you for what you have done in two seasons thus far. Makes me wonder deep in my heart why Indian TV does not have such shows aired on any channel -- instead of showing brain-damaging family soaps, and a dumb woman trying to find her right match in a reality show the very existence of which makes you want to climb up Qutab Minar, take a 1 billion watt loudspeaker and shout out 'Okay Seriously Guys ... Can We Stop This !!!!!'

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Smooth Criminal ....

When the news poured in I couldn't believe that Michael Jackson was no more ...
The man who taught the world to 'Moonwalk', the man who could confidently call himself 'The King of Pop' and get people to respect this self-bestowed crown, the man who could 'Heal the World', the man who got over two dozen artists to collaborate for the legendary aid album for Africa, the immortal 'Thriller' -- the man behind all of these ... no more

You may not have gone with the sun shining on you, but you have left a legend behind you -- something that has been nothing short of history

RIP Smooth Criminal