Category Archives: Music

Spring, The Season of Love

A Purrfect Love Story

By two_kittehs (Picture by: cvf)

Happy Gudi Padwa, the first day of spring and the New Year. Its time to welcome spring and  the new year by celebrating love. Starting the new year in spring makes much more sense than the dead of winter, isn’t it?

And now a celebration of love.

I heard this today, from the recently released Phillauri. I think I am in love. The very last lines, slay me.

 Tere bin saas be kaanch si kaate re,
Zindagi raakh si laage re


Translation: Without you , every breath cuts like glass
Life feels like ashes.

ETA: Check out Diljit Dosanjh, you won’t be sorry, Anushka Sharma, too looks radiant.

Weekend Movie Club Update

Queen won the poll and I will review it for the coming weekend.  Meanwhile, I realized that though Hindi films were a huge part of growing up for me that is not the case for most of my readers. So before I jump in and start reviewing a movie let me give you some perspective.

Hollywood beats Hindi movies handily in terms of dollars and cents, they have Hollywood  beat when it comes to the number of movies produced every year.  Hindi movies have not made significant inroads in the United States yet. They have a reach far beyond the Indian diaspora and borders. I have found Hindi movie numbers with German, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles.

Hindi is the language of the north Indian plains and one of the 22 scheduled Indian languages. Native speakers of Hindi don’t number more than 25% of the Indian population but Hindi is widely understood and prevalent as a second or third language.

Hindi film industry is based in Mumbai  (Bombay) and in many ways is a microcosm of India and an unconscious representation of its diversity of both language and religion. Yes, they sing and dance and wear their emotions on their sleeve.

If you have any questions about Queen, Hindi movies or the Weekend Movie Club, please feel free to ask. I will try to answer as best as I can. After I review Queen for the next weekend, the insufferable movie snob will review classic comedies. I will put up a poll for the classic comedies this week. If you missed movie snob’s review of the Shock Corridor, check it here.

Before, I end let me leave you with this:

The 10 day long Ganesha festival ended just last week. Here is Shahrukh Khan,  bidding Ganpati adieu in the 2006 movie Don, set to music by the trio Shankar-Ehsan-Loy and sung by Shankar Mahadevan.

Don

Three Reasons to Celebrate the 5th of September

1. Labor Day, to truly celebrate Labor Day government policies should not favor businesses that treat workers like expendable widgets.  This more than any other factor has contributed to the rising inequality.  What is good for Wall Street has not been good for Main Street.

2. Ganesh Chaturthi*, It is  start of the 10 day Ganesh celebrations. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the leader of India’s freedom struggle before Gandhi, is credited with popularizing the annual Ganpati celebration,in the public square aka Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav. Tilak tapped into the popularity and affection people felt for Ganesha  and harnessed it for grass roots organizing  and public meetings against the British rule. India won its freedom in 1947 but the  Ganesh festival in the public square still endures post independence.

3. Freddie Mercury gets a shooting star named after him on what would have been his 70th birthday. Like a shooting star leaping through the sky he graced our lives with unforgettable music.

*Chaturthi == 4th day of a fortnight. In the Hindu Lunar calendar, each month is made up two fortnights.

She Is the Champion, My Friends

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton, became the first woman to clinch the nomination of a major party for the President of the United States. I was an Obot in 2008 and was not completely taken in by Hillary Clinton when the primary season started even this time around. I was hoping that some one else would emerge on the scene like Barack Obama had 8 years earlier. However, as the primary season went on I slowly drifted into Hillary’s corner, mainly because her competition was pathetic. Maryland governor O’Malley looked good on paper but failed to make any impression, Jim Webb seemed like he had wandered into the wrong primary contest, I just could not see the  appeal of his Scots-Irish shtick to the Democratic electorate.  I was always skeptical of Bernie Sanders because his record in office did not match his soaring rhetoric. When it came to issues like immigration and gun control Bernie Sanders positions as a Congressman and then a Senator had not been particularly progressive.

As the contest went on it became increasingly obvious that Sanders policy expertise was tissue thin and besides rhetoric he had little to offer. At this stage of the campaign he has proved himself no better than a toddler throwing a tantrum because he did not get his way.

Hillary Clinton is a survivor and a champion fighter. She has had more brickbats than bouquets thrown at her  and she still soldiers on. I salute her resilience and spirit. I envy the energy she brings to the fight day in and day out, no matter what.

So to celebrate her  historic win after a hard fought and a long battle I offer you, We are the Champions, by Queen for the Queen. The lyrics could have been written by Hillary  herself!

I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand
Kicked in my face
But I’ve come through

 

Immigrant Song

Viking Cat is Your Overlord Now

cat,led zeppelin,land,snow,ice,caption

By two_kittehs

Because its always the right time for Viking Kittens singing Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song.

Happy Holi

Happy Holi, the festival of colors, that marks the beginning of spring. Holi is the day to let your hair down and have some fun playing with colors, drinking bhang and eating puranpoli.  A day when adults have the social sanction to act like kids again. Holi is also the favorite of Hindi movie makers, there seem to be more Holi songs in Hindi movies than that of any of other holiday. Here are some of my favorites.

Lahu Munh Lag Gaya from the 2013 Ramleela:  What’s better than seeing Ranveer Singh in a song? Seeing him dance!

Holi Ke Din Dil Khil Jate Hai : Hearts blossom on Holi, from Sholay (Embers). This star studded mid 70s feature directed by Ramesh Sippy,  rewrote the rules about how Hindi movies were made. It’s a Western with a masala twist and holds up pretty well after all these years. The look Amitabh’s character gives Jaya’s characters dressed in widow’s whites, watching the festivities from afar just slays me.

Arre Jare Natkhat  Na Chule Mera Gunghat from Navrang (Nine Colors) made in 1959.  Sandhya’s performance, playing both the male and female parts, makes me wish that I could dance like her.

 

There are many more which I haven’t included. If you have any suggestions, or  other favorites that I have missed, leave it in the comments.

Five Questions

Questions that have been on my mind in no particular order.

  • What can Trump do to lose his first place position in the polls for Republican Presidential hopefuls?
  • Are “anti-establishment voters” of this election cycle,  the new tea-partiers?
  • Einstein’s theory of General Relativity celebrates a century and gets all the press while Maxwell’s seminal theory of electromagnetism celebrates 150 years, and barely gets a mention, why no love for Maxwell?
  • WTF does curating a wardrobe (a term favored by fashion and style bloggers) mean? You have clothes, you wear them. Unless you work in a museum you are not curating anything.
  • Best score of the year, Bajirao Mastani or Katyar Kaljat Ghusli?

 

By two_kittehs

Do you have any burning questions of your own? Answers to my questions? I would like to hear them, Kthnx bai.

Kickstarter For Carolyn Walker’s Second Album

I would like to share my friend Carolyn Walker’s  Kickstarter project with you.   Carolyn Walker is a singer and songwriter based in Western Massachusetts. It will the fund the recording her second album, Incarnadine.  In her own words:

It seems like everyone is doing a crowd funding project now a days.  Kickstarter alone has reached the 1 billion mark for monies raised since its inception in 2009.  I self-funded my first album, Resolution, which was a big challenge.  Since then I have come to the conclusion that I will not be able to record another album unless I turn to crowd funding.

When I was in school I had the honor of playing in the UMass orchestra under a wonderful and inspiring conductor.  He had many motivational stories and funny anecdotes he’d share with the orchestra.  During one rehearsal he told us we should not be professional musicians; instead we should be doctors and lawyers.  With a laugh he added we would then have enough money to give to the arts.  After the orchestra members had a good chuckle, the conductor continued:  music is not a profession you do for money.  Music is what you do because it is your passion, because you cannot see your life being any other way.

Unfortunately you cannot make and record music without money: buying and maintaining instruments, studying for years to learn your craft, hiring recording engineers and other musicians, and manufacturing CDs are all just the tip of the iceberg.  And yet our world has such immediate and easy access to free music!  In light of this it has given me great heart to have seen how fellow songwriters have launched their own vibrant and successful projects and received incredible amounts of support.  Not just from doctors and lawyers, but from students, friends, family, strangers, graphic designers, yoga instructors, fellow musicians, retired folk, and all those who make up the greater community.  It reminds me that this isn’t about the passion of one musician, but a shared passion of all those who experience the music.  From the patron who faithfully buys tickets to all the shows, to the stranger who walks into a coffee shop for a quick pick me up and lingers a little longer to hear the lonely girl in a corner singing her heart out, all of these people make a difference.

Here is one of the songs from her last album,

I have the CD of Carolyn’s first album and I have also heard her play live.  She is as talented as she is beautiful.

If you like music that’s from the heart, you should check out her Kickstarter project.  If you want to know more about Carolyn you can also check out her website here.

Right Said Fred Kitteh for Caturday

image

LoL by: two_kittehs

John Cole of Balloon Juice is responsible for my earworm, since he posted it on an open thread yesterday. I has just the kitteh to go with it.

Time is Relative

I have rediscovered Queen, over the last year.  I have been going through all their albums,  and even saw a couple of their concerts on DVD.  Besides their lead singer Freddie Mercury, the other Queen band member that I am fascinated by is Brian May. His hair reminds me of Newton’s wig.  He can write soulful numbers like Who wants to live forever and naughty ones like Fat bottomed girls. I don’t know, whether it is because Brian May has a back ground in Astronomy but he does seem to toy with the notion of time in his songs. The fluidity of time, one moment seeming like eternity and time passing at different rates . He plays with the concept of time in ‘39, and again in Who Wants to Live Forever.

‘39 may  be the only popular song about the twin paradox.  In spite of having a background in physics I missed what it was all about until I heard May describe it, in one of the extras of a Live Concert DVD of a Queen performance. Here is the gist. I wonder how many people actually got it.   Poor guy, who hasn’t aged at all because he was on a voyage traveling at a relativistic speed due time dilation while his sweet heart back on earth is dead. Since time passes much more slowly for our space traveler. Scientifically accurate, has space travel  and is romantic, have to say that I love it.

Who wants to Live Forever plays with the same concept but without the  space travel.  A moment can last forever. And eternal life is a curse, if you are destined to be alone. Since everyone, including the love of your life is dead and you are still alive. A predicament similar to the space traveler in ‘39.