Music

Musical Musings, Video’s, Singles, Artists

Rahat Ali Khan at the O2 Concert Review

Dressed in a golden embroidered jacket, sitting center stage on a bar stool and accompanied by a simple back up band, the heir of Pakistan’s qawwali legacy, Rahat Ali Khan performed before a sold out crowd at the London O2 arena for a special concert marking the celebration of Pakistan’s independence. The entire day was filled with cultural events, food buskers and Bollywood dance lessons just outside the concert venue where a diverse crowd of South Asian fans (and quit a few celebrities) enthusiastically took to their seats.

The concert commenced with what Rahat dubbed his “Love Songs”. But in the tradition of qawwali the “Love” can’t be distinguished between the love for a person or the love for God. There were many instances during the almost 3-hour concert, where devotion and emotion were indistinguishable for the performer as well as for the audience.From the first notes onward, the concert was an unending high consisting of goose bumps, musical elation, uncontrollable smiles and utter joy.The O2 - Rahat-145

Between the sets, Rahat had a surprisingly jovial back and forth with his audience, his respect for them and his art shining through every eloquently worded syllable, illustrating the fact that the singer’s poetic nature is not confined to his songs but also how he treats the people around him.

Although his recent popularity is partly due to his numerous Hindi movie soundtrack collaborations, his unmistakable talent and skill honed through decades of training is always accompanied by the clarity of Rahat’s voice and the Sufi tradition that power his songs.

The crowd erupts in roars as soon as they recognize the initial notes of hits like “Aas Paas hai Khuda” (Anjaani Anjaana) or the mere mention of Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit, on who the song as “O Re Piya” (Aaja Nachle) was picturized. Both songs transcending the forgettable movies that they were in, becoming crowd favorites (as well as a personal favorites) and making us realize that whichever country we hail from, we share an on going obsession with Madhuri Dixit.

Closing the love block with the word “I have too many love songs” and the ever present smile, the musical maestro immediately kicks off his “Punjabi section” of the concert, or as Rahat told the crowd, the language in which you can call anyone, anything and they won’t mind it.

After a few more crowd pleasers like “Samjhawan” (Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhanya), Surili Ankhyon Wale (Veer), we head into the qawalli portion of the concert, which was essentially the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan tribute section, Rahat’s mentor and legendary uncle.

During the intermission  all the performers even changed in more traditional qawalli gear like purple kurta’s and elegant sherwaani’s taking their place in the classic formation behind tabla’s and harmoniums.

The Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan songs have decades old connect with the audience and it is the closest the London Arena got to the rapture and hypnotism of a true qawalli performance in the streets of Lahore or Delhi.

The lazy argument critics always make about Rahat is that he can’t be compared to Nusrat’s talent. (Try it out, go to any Indian restaurant, and start a conversation about Rahat Ali Khan when a song comes on the radio and you will hear “Nusrat wali bhaat nahi hai usme“)

To Rahat’s own admission, he understood early in his career and made the conscious decision to not only focus on classical qawalli but foray into more popular tunes, usually adapted and re-performed for the larger audience whereas his uncle had the popularity hoisted upon him, and he never really felt comfortable in this new modern medium of “music videos”. It is a decision to be applauded as it shows reverence for what has been but a determination to reach people through today’s medium.

But it is also in these songs that the comparison between the Rahat Ali Khan being in the shadow of his uncle becomes clear.  If you have heard the original recordings of Nusrat you realize how incomparable his talent and command of qawalli truly was. And although Rahat comes close, like listening to a great cover band, there is a silent agreement between audience and performer that this is the closest we are able to get to the original, and for most of us, that is already better than any other musical performance we have attended in our life times.

After the qawalli high, we return to some more Bollywood songs of recent years and somewhere, suddenly they seem much simpler and almost child like to the previous compositions. The energy drops a little but the audience is very happy to see their personal favorites ticked of the list and performed live.

Rahat’s commitment and sincerity never fails though, as he croons his personal favorite “Ae Khuda” from Rocky Handsome, a song I have gone back and revisited after the concert and have truly started appreciating for how it stands out compared to more the paint by number hits like Bodyguard’s “Teri Meri” or “Tere Mast Mast do Nain” from Dabangg.

The concert closes with Jiya Dhalak, his big introduction to the Bollywood audience and Mast Qalander, his uncle’s greatest hit.

Rahat Ali Khan sang for us with only a small intermission for 3 hours straight with power, sincerity, keeping in mind what the audience asked from him but giving them much more than they needed. He gave them the memory of an unforgettable experience with a true musical master of the likes that appears only once in a lifetime.

Win 2 tickets to the Ustad Rahat Ali Khan Concert at the O2, London

Pakistan’s most famous Qawwali singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan, the nephew of the late, world-renowned singer Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, will perform his greatest hits live for the first time at The O2 on Sunday 14 August 2016.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 22 April and are available at AXS.com or by calling 0844 856 0202 or from www.theo2.co.uk.www.theo2.co.uk.

But we have a pair of tickets to give away for Free! and it couldn’t be easier.

Just click on the banner below and sign up with your email adress, and the lucky winner will be randomly drawn. Deadline for the the competition is 8th of August! So sign up ASAP!

Click on the image to enter the competition!

The performance will coincide with Pakistan and India’s independence weekend celebrations and will be Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan’s only London show this year. Discussing his forthcoming show Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan said; ”I’m very excited to be performing at The O2, London, for the second time, following my sold out tour in 2013.

“Coming to the UK is always a thrill for me and my performance is timed to fit the Independence Day celebrations for both Pakistan and India. I have a fantastic team of musicians joining me and will be performing my greatest film hits and new material, as well as my esteemed Uncle, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s popular Qawwali numbers, to rock the arena.”

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was chosen at birth by his uncle Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for tutoring in the traditions of qawwali music, a form of Sufi devotional popular in South Asia. Six weeks after his uncle’s death in 1997, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan took his position as leader of the group and has since become one of the most talked about Pakistani artists in the world.

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has performed on a variety of recordings, and his songs and vocals have featured in numerous hit Hollywood and Bollywood films including Bodyguard, My Name is Khan, Dabangg, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Drishyam, the Hollywood film Apocalypto and many more.

The maestro has released over 50 albums with over 100 hits in Bollywood and has been presented with numerous awards including Star Screen Awards for Best Male Playback 2010 and the IIFA award for best male vocalist 2011. He has also been a judge on top TV shows in India such a Chhote Ustad and Junoon, Kuch Kar Dikhaane Ka. He was the headline performer at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2014 and recently performed at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in March 2016.

In 2014, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan released his latest album ‘Back 2 Love’ which sold millions of copies worldwide.

The ticket will also include access to a variety of free live events and activities including Bollywood dance workshops, DJs, specially selected street food stalls and more.

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan – The Greatest Hits Live at the O2

We’ve been having quite a few amazing acts lately at the O2 AR Rahman, Atif Aslam but we got very excited to hear that Pakistan’s most famous Qawwali singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan, the nephew of the late, world-renowned singer Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, will perform his greatest hits live for the first time at The O2 on Sunday 14 August 2016.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 22 April and are available at AXS.com or by calling 0844 856 0202 or from www.theo2.co.uk.www.theo2.co.uk.

The performance will coincide with Pakistan and India’s independence weekend celebrations and will be Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan’s only London show this year. Discussing his forthcoming show Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan said; ”I’m very excited to be performing at The O2, London, for the second time, following my sold out tour in 2013.

“Coming to the UK is always a thrill for me and my performance is timed to fit the Independence Day celebrations for both Pakistan and India. I have a fantastic team of musicians joining me and will be performing my greatest film hits and new material, as well as my esteemed Uncle, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s popular Qawwali numbers, to rock the arena.”

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was chosen at birth by his uncle Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for tutoring in the traditions of qawwali music, a form of Sufi devotional popular in South Asia. Six weeks after his uncle’s death in 1997, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan took his position as leader of the group and has since become one of the most talked about Pakistani artists in the world.

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has performed on a variety of recordings, and his songs and vocals have featured in numerous hit Hollywood and Bollywood films including Bodyguard, My Name is Khan, Dabangg, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Drishyam, the Hollywood film Apocalypto and many more.

The maestro has released over 50 albums with over 100 hits in Bollywood and has been presented with numerous awards including Star Screen Awards for Best Male Playback 2010 and the IIFA award for best male vocalist 2011. He has also been a judge on top TV shows in India such a Chhote Ustad and Junoon, Kuch Kar Dikhaane Ka. He was the headline performer at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2014 and recently performed at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in March 2016.

In 2014, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan released his latest album ‘Back 2 Love’ which sold millions of copies worldwide.

The ticket will also include access to a variety of free live events and activities including Bollywood dance workshops, DJs, specially selected street food stalls and more.

Pritam Comes to Wembley (London) and brings a bunch of friends

Pritam has become an unstoppable force on the Bollywood music scene in the past few years. His steady flow of chart toppers and the frequency and ease he drops them on people is something that is pretty much incomparable to any other music director.

So this sunday he’s coming to London for the very first time for an all out concert and joining him are:

Benny Dayal – Badtameez Dil from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Lat Lag Gayi from Race
Harshdeep Kaur – Kabeera from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Aditi Singh Sharma – Raabta Night In A Motel from Agent Vinod
Nikhil George – Aashiyan from Barfi!
Shreeram Chandra – Subhan Allah from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Anupam Amod – Rab Ka Shukrana from Jannat 2
Soham Chakrabarty – In Dino from Life in a… Metro

Here is a short Q&A he did about his Wembley concert this sunday:

– How do you feel about performing in London for the first time  

I have always wanted to play in London. I genuinely love the city. Given the large Bollywood music lovers there, I am eager to play in front of them and am looking forward to the show. To top that, it’s a dream venue like Wembley Arena. It’s a great feeling. Excited.

– Have you been following any artist who had performed at Wembley Arena in the past (Any International Artists)

Yes, Wembley Arena is a historical venue for music. I remember the epic Queen show at the Wembley arena and Wembley stadium. Also, I have followed bands like U2, Meatloaf, Corrs, Pink etc, performing at Wembley Arena .

– What is it like for you to be performing at the same stage?

I feel honoured obviously. It is one those arenas and venues you dream of playing in, as an aspiring young musician. The legacy and history makes it really exciting for me to perform there.

– Your music has gained a lot of prominence in the last 5-6 years; what sort of Bollywood gigs would you be performing at the Wembley arena stage

I have completed a decade in Bollywood scored for 100 films with films like Dhoom 1, 2 3, Gangster, Metro, Jab we met, love Aaj Kal, Bhoolbhulaiya, Race, billu barber Once Upon, Barfi, cocktail, Yeh jawaani etc . By God’s grace I have more than enough number of songs to keep everybody entertained (smiles). I am planning to perform songs which has been appreciated by my audience over the  last few years. So ya, from the romantic ones to the peppy ones. From Sufi to Dance. From guitars to Dhol. Trying  to incorporate a little bit of everything. I will be doing a combination of the chartbusters and popular songs mixed with some of my favourites. For the final list however, you will have to wait till 13th evening (smiles).

– Which other singers you are bringing with you and what key songs will they be performing, if you want to reveal the surprise

A few popular Bollywood playback singers are accompanying me . They will be featuring with me on 13th April. Benny Dayal for example, is the most sought after singer nowadays . He has rocked last year with his rendition of my song Badtameez dil and lath lag Gayi. He will sing lot more. Harshdeep Kaur needs no introduction to UK audiences, as she has performed there before. The magic of her deep voice will keep the stadium ringing. She is my favourite Sufi voice – no wonder everybody calls her Sufi ka Sultana. She will sing songs like Kabeera, Jugni etc. Aditi Singh Sharma is a rockstar. She’s a performer to look forward to . She will definitely create “Dhoom” with her performance. Then there’s my friend Nikhil Paul George joining us who sang Aashiyan main kya karoon in Barfi. He has a addictive voice. Shreeram Chandra actor singer winner of idol has a magical voice. He sang songs in Yeh jawaani for me. Soham Chakraborty has been a part of my band Metro since the Life in a metro days. And about the full performance, let that be a surprise!

– Finally, how you feel getting associated with World’ s biggest south Asian TV channel, Zee TV

I have been associated with Zee from a long time. From Sa Re Ga Ma to Zee Cine Awards. And experiences have always been overwhelming. I am happy to be associated with Zee again. Looking forward to something equally exciting.

Here’s a link to tickets: click here

Let us know your favorite Pritam songs in the comment section below!

@asimburney

 

 

 

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Cuttooth by Cuttooth

Cuttooth LP

For those of you who’ve seen the video I posted on here last week – Without You by Lapalux – that may give a clue as to the music I like to listen to. Down-tempo, not with a 4:4 (or, even worse, 4 to the floor David Guetta style) beat and falling generally under the umbrella of “IDM” (intelligent dance music) / electronica is definitely my thing right now. Cue my delight at Cuttooth asking me to review his latest release on the 4LuxWhite label.

His style is centred around solid boom-bap drums and complex, cinematic tones overlaid with abstract lead lines and airy, layered vocals. Cuttooth also puts a lot of focus on how a sound feels and relates to the rest of the track spatially and harmonically, which gives a lot of depth and a sense of place.  It’s also pretty clear he’s a big fan of the lo-fi aesthetic (the original concept was that the record should sound like an old cassette tape), and loves to overdub his tracks with crackle, hiss, hum and other noises that most sound engineers spend their careers eradicating.

My personal favourites are the 2 tracks with Hitomi on vocals (Old Tape Machine and Illusion Symptom) and the tracks that come in over the 3 minute mark.  This is certainly a reflection of my recent listens – Mala, Gas Lamp Killer, Flying Lotus for example – and I think there’s plenty of scope to really open up for some longer tracks on future releases.  I really hate to pigeon-hole music and artists, but if pushed I’ll mash these together: trip-hop in a post dub-step time…without glitchiness.

Nick ‘Cuttooth’ Cooke himself is a producer from Newcastle Upon Tyne in north east England. Having started out producing for hip-hop groups and competing in scratch battles, Cuttooth moved into more instrumental, blunted beat territory a few years ago and released his first album, Elements on Psychonavigation in 2011. Originally conceived as an EP, this record evolved from some recording sessions with Bridie Jackson and Kiki Hitomi in early 2012 and grew into the LP that I’ve been listening to twice a day for the past week!

Cuttooth is currently working on an EP with the very talented Eliza Shaddad, which should be out sometime over the next few months and then a hip-hop instrumental EP coming out on Plynt, who are a Belgian imprint. There’s also a single with Juice Aleem to come so there’s plenty still in store for the rest of 2013.  Alas, Nick is firmly a producer and so we can’t get the chance to see him perform live.

When I spoke to Nick, he said he’s just starting to collate ideas for the next Cuttooth record, which may be an LP or even an EP.  The idea is to get some demos done for that by the Autumn and get it onto a label with a view to release next year. Given the impeccable choice of vocalists on the Cuttooth album, I’m sure he’s got a wishlist of artists for collaboration: “…the first thing I’m going to do is write the stuff for the singers (as that’s gonna be what really sells it to prospective labels), get those tracks down first and then work on the instrumental stuff towards the end of this year/start of 2014.” he said.  Next year is shaping up to be a busy one indeed.

You can find more of Cuttooth on Soundcloud here and here.  The Cuttooth LP is available for download on Friday 21st June from all of the usual suspects.

Highly odd but highly brilliant: Without You – Lapalux

You're not a freak

If in my last post I said that the video was way cool, then this video has to be way weird. It’s brilliant…but ever so weird. Directed by Nick Rutter and featuring Natalia Tena (better known for starring in Harry Potter and better known still for starring in Game of Thrones as wildling Osha) this is the official video for Lapalux‘s Without You (featuring Kerry Leatham on distorted vocals). I could go on and on for hours about the music but I find Lapalux incredibly difficult to describe (beyond the catch-all of IDM/head music) and I’d come across as an inarticulate, rambling fool. Instead, enjoy the story, the photography and the images. In equal measure there are some funny moments and some very touching moments – the video does inded fit the song. I’ll warn viewers of a sensitive disposition that there is a brief moment of nudity and an ever-present man (presumably) in a latex gimp suit.

 

 

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Way cool video: Is Tropical – The Greeks

But all kids are cute right?

Check out this video of  The Greeks by Brit band Is Tropical.  It’s ages old (2011), but worthy of a post I’d say.   In fact, the video is so bloody good I can’t tell you anything of any note about the song; I just get distracted by the images.  The clever thing about this is that as boys, we all know that this is what’s going through our minds when we play war games, cops n robbers etc.  Now we’ve had it translated onto video for us!  Excellent use of the kids in this one and some cool moves with the guns and cell animation.  Definitely look out for the drug deal gone bad – classic re-creation from so many movies and TV shows.  Why didn’t anyone think of doing this sooner?  A fantastic video, simple and effective as well as being relatively cheap I’d have thought.  Thanks to the creative genius that is Megaforce for this one.  Oh and the song isn’t bad at all – credit where credit’s due!

The 4th London INDIAN Film Festival Launches in July

We’ve been fortunate enough to have been covering the London Indian Film Festival for the past couple of years and we just received exciting news that in July the festivities in London are starting again!

Previous years we chatted with Abhinay Deo and Imran Khan for Delhi Belly as well as Anurag Kashyap for Gangs Of Wasseypur!

Although the full program isn’t out yet. At least we can mark down our calendar with this press release:

Now Europe’s largest platform for Indian cinema London Indian Film Festival returns to the capital celebrating the exploding movement of Indian Independent cinema. The fourth annual festival will run from 18-25 July, bringing to UK audiences a rare selection of cutting-edge films from some of India’s hottest independent talents. Going way beyond Bollywood, the festival presents a kaleidoscope of new films that challenge, shock, generate debate and present a more realistic view of the Indian subcontinent today, in all its diversity.

The festival will stretch city wide, opening in the West End at the Cineworld Haymarket and continue at BFI Southbank, Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue, Wood Green, Wandsworth, the O2 and ICA. For the second time the festival is also teaming up with the Tate Modern.

The London Indian Film Festival also has films and events for a wide range of audiences and includes industry events at BAFTA, exploring Indian/UK co-production and specially commissioned music and performance pieces.

A diverse range of World and UK Premieres will be screened including red carpet opening and closing nights of the hottest previews.

The latest confirmation is a centrepiece master class by actor Irrfan Khan, one of the very few Indians to straddle Hollywood, British and Indian cinema. Khan has come to world attention over the last 25 years with an impressive range of roles from under-dogs to action heroes, long distance runners and corporate megalomaniacs.
His memorable film roles include Oscar winners Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire and Salaam Bombay, BAFTA winner The Warrior, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Bollywood hits Maqbooland Paan Singh Tomar. The festival will be honouring this versatile actor with a dedicated evening at the BFI Southbank on Saturday 20th July.

The London Indian Film Festival’s full programme will be released on 18 June.

We are delighted to announce that our major sponsors this year will include O2 International Sim, and the festival is also grant supported for the first time with Lottery funding through the BFI’s Film Festival Fund.

Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Festival Director says:

“It’s great to be working on the zeitgeist of new Indian cinema and we aren’t just showing Indian films for Indian

audiences, but kicking open the door to the rich diversity of independent cinema emerging across the Indian

subcontinent today. These films are accessible to everyone! It’s also exciting to see some of the best of the

filmmakers we have helped champion, now starting to be recognised on the world stage, where they belong. We

are very proud to be showcasing these new films here, first, in London, surely the world’s number one city of

culture, style and innovation”.

For more information on the festival please visit: www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk

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Curry Smugglers Chill 6 is Finally Upon us!

Chill6Logo*Before you start reading, I would suggest you scroll down and start listening to the embedded episode of the Curry Smugglers below, even more so if you have never heard the show before. Done? Let’s go.

 

The Curry Smugglers started out as a South Asian based music podcast 7 seasons ago and over the years have become so much more, from a weekly dose of the most amazing music to a global community of like-eared people to a genuine music movement.

Their shows are always a mix of discovery of new music, rediscovery of old classics sometimes under a new avatar, some recent hits remixed, and some musical left hooks that you would never see coming. All of it laced with humor (Smuggler Paresh manages to squeeze a “That’s what she said” in pretty much every episode) but always respecting their audience, and even cherishing it.

 

Not all tracks in a show might necessarily work for you but you respect the thought and effort behind every episode that these guys put in. Personally I’m not a fan of Bhangra or dance music in any way but I keep coming back to every show multiple times for all the other elements it offers.

The remarkable thing about the show is on the one hand that after 7 seasons the smugglers still push the boundaries on every level. They push themselves to bring the freshest remixes, unheard tracks, songs you loved but have forgotten and tracks you think you didn’t like but after hearing PSV (Smugglers Paresh/Sachin/ Vishal) break down why they have included a certain song, you just hear something different and re-evaluate your initial feelings and more than ever end up appreciating the music.

But on the other hand they have always try to push their audience by giving them not what they want but what they need. As in NBC’s underrated TV Show Community the main character Jeff -played by Joel Mchale says about fan favorite Abed: “When you ask Abed to pass the salt, Abed passes you soup, because soup is better, Abed is better” and so are the Curry Smugglers, they just are better.

Not only are the Curry Smuggler one of the best online music shows but it is a platform for new artists, a venue for discovery (Chill 6 contains another few of both those) but an ever growing community of aurally likeminded people, music bring people together but end up becoming life long friends.  I can’t tell you how many times I try to think of how I met a certain person that I now speak to every day on twitter or G-chat and it ends up tracing back to our love of the Curry Smugglers. And which other podcast can boast of such achievements?

Between every season there is a transitional episode called Chill, which for me is the highlight and the one I look most forward to every year. And after an exceptionally long wait, the 6th episode is upon us and boy was it worth the wait!

As with every episode you get songs that are still innovative and fresh within the usual Smuggler formula. Unlike their regular shows, the Chill episode do have the humorous banter between the hosts but the tracks themselves are as the title says “chilled” think Buddha Bar with a few twists. A lot of times you just end up completely absorbed and zoned out by the songs and when a piece of music that completely connects with you ends, you just want to push repeat as you want that meditative state of mind back. Perfect for nocturnal drives, long haul flights or even just sitting in your lounge turning the lights down low and listening…

The Chill episodes are interlaced with hosts Paresh and Vishal who bring out their smoother, jazzier voices, more baritone and smoky than their regular shows, as if they are in the Smuggler cave wearing black turtle necks and berets.

Unfortunately Sachin, the clear female favorite (no offense to the other guys) is missing in action for this episode but the painstaking attention to detail that Vishal and Paresh bring to the show does it’s best to compensate for his absence.

 

From the very first notes of AR Rahman’s Dil Se soundtrack “Thaiya Thaiya” hits your ear drums, the B-side of a song so widely popular and well known that it’s used in Car ads, Spike Lee Movies all the way to the opening Ceremony of the commonwealth games, and you know you are in for an amazing ride.

I don’t want to spoil the entire track list by talking about it but I do want to talk about some stand out moments for me, there are some genuine surprises in the show that leave listeners first scratching their head but very quickly nodding in agreement.  And I know the Smugglers are probably smirking from one side to the other putting tracks by Coldplay and Hemant Kumar in the mix, just to mess with their audience.

The stand out tracks on this episode for me were the Phoenix “Lambi Judaai” remix from one of my all time favorite movie 1983 movie Hero, Paresh explains really well why he felt this track needed to be featured and his reason are the exact same reasons why I would have never heard of this song if he hadn’t.

The 2nd track that I adored was actually the closer of the episode the female voice remix of “Paane Da Rang”, the break out track from Vicky Donor, the underground Bollywood movie of 2012, a movie and soundtrack that people have been raving about but I didn’t care for at all until The Smugglers brought it back for me and shone a different spotlight on it.

But that’s just what the smugglers do with every season, with every episode. Mix their vast knowledge, hard work and precision production values spiked with a passion, a sense of discovery and humor (the Smugglers go Meta with their TWSS joke).

Another moment that’s just perfect in the show is the transition from Coldplay to Shankar Tucker to Coke Studio’s Tere Bin, it just shows what kind of abilities these guys have to just mix tracks flawlessly together without breaking the flow of going from a Western to fusion to a pretty classically Indian song.

And I know that all of the audience listening to the show can’t wait and hope they keep doing what they do, season after season.

Chill 6 might be the perfect closer to season 7 or a warm up for Season 8. Whatever it’ is it’s the perfect starter for whatever these awesome dudes will cook up next!

 @AsimBurney

Check out more from the Curry Smugglers on their website, SoundCloud Page or harass them for season 8 on Twitter!

Or Check out Paresh’s appearances on Upodcast on the Jiro Dreams Of Sushi Episode or The Art of the Item Number Episode which were both extremely fun!

 

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Muskaanein Jhooti Hai Song Promo from Talaash

Although Jab Tak Hai Jaan has been creating the most waves in terms of promotions, the movie we are most looking forward to this year is Amir Khan’s Reema Kagti directed suspense drama Talaash. The buzz has been building up and it seems only now that we are getting to see a bit of the movie. Here is the jazzy first track from the soundtrack and some very interesting tid bits about the movie, Spoiler Free (I checked before posting as I didn’t want to mess up anyone’s experience, being an awesome film blog and all).

Kareena looks ravishing, Rani looks ticked off that she doesn’t get to dance and be all smooth and Amir’s moustache fills up the rest of the screen while he drives through the seedy areas of the city. Ram Sampath delivered a cracking soundtrack last time for Delhi Belly and if this is the sound he’s going for then we can add that to the list of exciting things about this movie!

Here is the press release and some news:

TALAASH – The search is on… in one single room now!

We have heard of suspense drama films revolving their entire story around bringing together all suspects in one script and confusing the audiences. But Talaash, which features the acclaimed actor Aamir Khan (who has been India’s Oscar choice frequently and whose production house, Aamir Khan productions has co produced this film, was nominated in the foreign language category at the Oscars, for Lagaan), newly married Kareena Kapoor, and Rani Mukerji, has juiced up this suspense formula a little more.

In the first song video from the film, Muskaane Jhoothi Hain, all suspects of the crime are going to be seen in the same room, under one roof. Talaash being a film of suspense drama genre, this music video is set to build up the anticipation of the audiences even more.

The movie is about a police officer played by Aamir Khan, who is trying to investigate and solve what seems like a perfect crime, and all suspects in the film are going to be seen together in that one single music video.

The video will thus have Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukherji, Nawazzudin (from Gangs of Wasseypur) and all principal cast of the film  in one single frame making it a never seen before visual.

In such an interesting and nail biting way, Talaash is thus reviving a popular long forgotten genre of Bollywood film-making i.e. suspense drama.
The film also marks the amalgamated re-union of Aamir Khan, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani who last came together in the cult classic film, Dil Chahta Hai.

One more reason for having a special promotional video was to bring Aamir, Rani and Kareena together in one frame and give that sensational visual to the audiences, as in the entire film, all three are never seen together. The film has been scripted in such a way that three lead characters of the film don’t come face to face..

Reema Kagti has directed a music video for the first time, and as the director of the film. She says: “Muskanein jhoothi hain is the title song of the film. The idea was thrown by the producers that perhaps we should also shoot a promotional video with it. Farhan, Zoya and I sat and brainstormed, and we came up with this idea, to introduce all the players in the suspense plot that will unfold in the film”.

 

Talaash Releases 30th of November

 @asimburney

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VEENA MALIK RELEASES HER FIRST LOOK FOR HER SINGLE DRAMA QUEEN

The US has Honey Boo Boo and before that Jersey Shore, India has Rakhi Sawant and Pakistan has Veena Malik. Some enjoy her antics ironically, but we can’t disregard the fact that she must have some genuine fans out there? Right?…

In any case, not content with everything else she is doing. Veena is now launching her music career too.

Here is an excerpt from the Press Release and teaser from her forthcoming video.

 

Here is the press release:

Known for her controversies, bold personality and daring stunts Bollywood actress Veena Malik is all set to launch her singing career with her debut single ‘Drama Queen’. As fitting as the title may seem this is just the beginning of her string of hits before she releases her album beginning of 2013. The album will host different producers from across the world giving each song a different vibe, including a collaboration with British Asian music producer Bups Saggu. The album is an exciting new venture for Veena aside from her film and TV career ” I’m so excited to release Drama Queen to the world, everyone is always tagging me like this so I thought why not let’s make a song on it, the song is fun and cheeky at the same time I hope everyone love’s all the work we’ve put in to it”  Said Veena Malik

Her music career will be launching in India and she will then head to the UK and USA for shows and appearances at the end of the year. Veena Malik is getting geared up to show the whole world the ‘Drama Queen’ experience . Nisha Sahdev from Sahdev Media, Veena Malik’s International Manager is looking forward to the launch  ” Drama Queen is a very catchy song, it’s surely going to be loved across the spectrum, the whole project is bold, fun and stylish which reflect Veena’s personality. We are putting together an album which will range different music composers to give a global feel and appeal to all her fans. Post the album we will be taking Veena on tour across UK, USA, UAE and Canada on the Drama Queen tour which will be announced January 2013″

Drama Queen as the title prompts is a fun, catchy song produced by ShreeD and Canadian producer IshQ. Written by Siddharth Bannerjree the song brings in all the perspectives of Veena Malik in one song.

Look out for the video to hit the screens near you! For now.. check out the Video Teaser.

Drama Queen out October 1st 2012.

@asimburney

 

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Celebrating the Legends from 100 years of Bollywood UK Concert Dates Announced!

The Awesome Roop Kumar Rathod (I still regularly rock “Tujme Rab Dikta Hai” From Rab Ne Banadi Jodi) and his wife Sonali Rathod will be touring the UK and picking up some selected songs throughout the 100 years of Bollywood Music. Together with a live band they will be giving their own renditions of classics by Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mahmood and Noor Jehan as well as some of his own repertoire of Bollywood songs.

Dates are announced for Leicester, Birmingham and London and find info on how to book tickets and some excerpts from the press release below:

According to Roop and Sunali, “We are thrilled that Saregama Events are doing this. We are completing 100 years of Indian cinema next year, but if we try to count the names and pay homage to all those responsible it will take another 100 years. So in our own innovative style, we will sing not only our own popular numbers but also gems from the Golden era of cinema.”

With a fan following of millions around the globe, the likes of Rafi, Lata, Talat and Noor need little introduction. Nevertheless, Saregama recognizes the importance of showcasing India’s classic singers and songs.

Modern Bollywood music fans will recognise Roop Kumar Rathod as the voice of superstar Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai’ from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, ‘Tere Liye’ from Veer Zara, ‘Maula Mere Maula’ from Anwar, the award winning ‘Sandesein Aate Hai’ and ‘To Chaloon’ from Border, ‘Barson Yaaron’ from London Dreams, ‘Vatna Ve’ from Pinjar, ‘Dil Ko Tumse Payar Hua’ from Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, ‘Zindagi Maut Na Ban Jaye’ from Sarfarosh, ‘Salaam Aya’ from Veer and most recently ‘O Saiyaan’ from Agneepath 2012. Also a veteran of ghazal, bhajans, Sufi and light classical genres, together with his wife Sunali, Roop has performed numerous stage concerts around the world and been given the accolade of one of the finest voices in the industry.

Equally talented and a charming soul mate to Roop is Sunali Rathod. Sunali began to sing at a young age of seven and received formal training in Indian Classical music at the age of twelve from Pandit Ridnath Mangeshkar (brother of Lata Mangeshkar). Well known in the classical and ghazal genres, Sunali’s perfectionist nature and vast knowledge of Indian cinema and music has made her the ideal companion to Roop. Her solo ghazal album, Aghaaz, may have catapulted her to fame, but it is Sunali’s love for all kinds of contemporary music that contributes to her versatility.

 

Roop and Sunali have of course synchronised their artistry by releasing several acclaimed albums including Ishaara, Sun Zara, Velvet Voices and Mann Pasand.

Leicester: Fri 07 Sept, 2012, De Montfort Hall, Click here for tickets

Birmingham: Wed 05 Sept, 2012, Symphony Hall, Click here for tickets

London: Sat 08 Sept, 2012, HMV Hammersmith Apollo, Click here for tickets

@asimburney

 

 

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Tut Gaya Dil- RDB’s Kuly Tribute Track

We usually don’t dabble in obituaries as it seems a bit tasteless but Kuly was such a nice guy we wanted to at least post this.

 

Here is the tribute track by Smooth featuring Nindy Kaur (his sister in law) and the attached press release:

 

 

Bollywood Songstress Nindy Kaur’s Musical Tribute to RDB Brother Kuly

International Urban-Bhangra artist Nindy Kaur will lend her soulful voice to a special song in memory of RDB’s Kuly Ral.

The moving song, titled ‘Tut Gaya Dil’, features the vocal talents of rising urban rap star Smooth, whose collaboration on Nindy’s track Aloo Chat saw him come to the attention of music moguls around the world. He was immediately signed to the RDB label Three Records Ltd to work on new material, with his debut being a feature on Nindy’s tribute track to Kuly.

The track has been written by Nindy, Smooth and Kuly’s father Harjog Singh, and is scheduled for release later this month through Three Records Ltd.

Nindy said of the project: “Not only did I lose my brother-in-law but a true friend, my biggest support and studio buddy. The atmosphere in the studio will never be same.

“I had to pour out my feelings to Dad (Harjog Singh) when writing my lines, and I must say Dad did an amazing job of writing those emotion filled lines. Smooth is like a brother and we’ve shared many good times with Kuly when making songs like Aloo Chaat. When he asked me to be part of this song there was no way I would ever refuse. Smooth defines talent and his lyrics throughout the track sum up everything we are going through”.

Billed as a ‘one to watch’ star for 2012, Nindy has successfully released her first two hit singles from her debut solo album, Nindypendent, which entered straight into the number one spot. Earlier this year, she came to the attention of mainstream music pundits with the release of Save The World, a fusion track of pure adrenaline dance coupled with Nindy’s trademark Punjabi kick, produced by the Canadian music group Culture Shock behind hits for Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Nicole Scherzinger.

Kuly’s tribute track ‘Tut Gaya Dil’ is available for download at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DCw8L4yUwc
Follow Nindy on Facebook and Youtube by clicking on the following links:
www.NindyKaur.com
www.Facebook.com/NindyKaurRDB
www.Youtube.com/NindyKaurOfficial

Quite Sad!

Do check out the interview we did with him earlier by clicking here, I’m sure you will agree he was an all round awesome dude!

@asimburney

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Edgar Wright & Tommy Lee Edwards – Brandon Generator, webchat

Got writers block? He's here to help

Yesterday evening between 6 and 7 UK time, Internet Explorer 9 hosted a Brandon Generator webchat. For those of us lucky enough to have been reading the random adventures of Brandon Generator it wasn’t just any old webchat, as creator Edgar Wright and illustraor Tommy Lee Edwards were there to answer our many varied questions!

Brandon Generator tells the story of Brandon and his struggles with writers block. Readers are asked to contribute ideas and stories that get incorporated into episodes and the project showcases all of IE7’s whistles and bells perfectly. Narrating the episodes is Julian Barratt of Mighty Boosh and Nathan Barley fame (whom Edgar has known since 1997) and the soundtrack is provided by David Holmes and his “Unloved” concept. What I didn’t know is that the pieces we hear are early edits that will be polished and then released as part of “Unloved” later this year.

The other surprise for me was that the timeline for what is such a beautifully produced project is very quick. Edgar and Tommy were in initial discussions as late as January with the fist full episode released in April. That said, both of them appear to be able to work at a crazy rate and have many things on the go at once. Edgar said he pretty much had the concept sorted within 24 hours of the kick-off. This might have something to do with Edgar’s addiction to coffee (note to Nespresso, he needs a new machine) and hence we know that Brandon is based on Edgar!

As for Brandon, well, he has one more episode left, due to appear in July and after that his fate is firmly in his readers hands. Despite both Tommy and Edgar enjoying working on this, there are no plans to take him to a larger screen, either TV or movie. That’s not to say we’ll see a Spaced Christmas special instead, because we won’t! The pace of Brandon Generator has been something both contributors enjoyed; seeing it as a welcome distraction from other things and affording the chance to focus on one character. The other thing that appealed was reader contribution and getting this into the stories. By all accounts there was a collective “Brandon consciousness” from those who submitted ideas, which just goes to show the power of great illustration, storyline and also voiceover. Somewhat randomly (or appropriately one could say), there were apparently attempts to get erotic storylines added and some people also submitted illustrations for this!

Just for the record, both Edgar and Tommy cannot wait to see Dark Knight Rises in a few weeks and their favourite films are Raising Arizona and Raiders of the Lost Ark respectively. And when Edgar was asked about working on Ant-Man, the response was a very coy “yes…and no”, so I guess we’ll have to wait for the outcome of that one.

Brandon can be found here and more about IE9 here

Have you been reading Brandon?  Let us know what you think!

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Tribute and Official Press Release for Kuly from RDB’s passing

It’s always saddening when talented, young people pass away, here are some tribute fan pages, links to RDB’s work and the official press release of his passing.

Our deepest condolences to the family and close ones.

We also had the chance to speak with Kuly for the release of Speedy Singh’s Shera Di Kaum and he was an exceptionally nice and graceful person to speak with being unbelievably generous with his time and insights on the music industry, You can listen to our interview with Kuly by clicking here.

OFFICIAL RELEASE

The international music fraternity has faced a saddening loss with Kuly of music band RDB, passing away on 22nd May 2012 in Houston, Texas, USA. The popular music group member sadly lost his battle with cancer at the young age of 35 years old.

Kuly was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April 2011 and underwent radio and chemotherapy. He was receiving treatment at a specialised clinic in Houston at the time of his death.

Kuly was an intrinsic part of RDB, a leading international music group, famed for their contribution to globalising Bhangra and Indian music. His legacy will remain with RDB and their super-hit tracks such as Aaja Mahi, Singh is Kinng, Aloo Chaat and Shera di Kaum.

RDB and the family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time and thank their fans and well-wishers for their continued support and condolences.

RDB’s facebook page has been opened up for those who wish to pay their respects to Kuly and his family. To leave a message please visit: http://facebook.com/rdbmusic

Here is a link to a documentary on RDB which features KULY:
https://www.youtube.com/user/threerecordsuk/videos
http://vimeo.com/threerecords/videos

Here is a link to download radio and video tracks featuring KULY

 

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The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator

A new breed of hero

The renowned illustrator for Marvel and Lucasfilm, Tommy Lee Edwards, has joined forces with Edgar Wright, – award-winning director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz – to create a world first innovative animated story with Internet Explorer called Brandon Generator. The Mighty Boosh and Nathan Barley star Julian Barratt is narrating the story with music by David Holmes new project ‘Unloved’ (a collaboration between David Holmes, Keefus Green and Jade Vincent).

Each episode calls on fans to crowd source specific elements of the story, allowing you to help shape this interactive noir-inspired series. The story, has been developed exclusively in HTML5 to showcase the stunning visual experiences possible in modern web browsers and unique functionality of Internet Explorer; with Pinning used to provide access to exclusive extras and Jump Lists providing direct links to apps and crowd-sourcing options.

This is a fantastic concept; it has a brilliant visual style, excellently told stories and great music. Episode 2 already sees Brandon battle one of his own creations – a monster made entirely from Java coffee, our hero’s very own source of energy.

To watch and take part, click here  and find out how you can influence the unravelling world of our caffeine-fuelled anti-hero. To optimise your experience download IE9 (it still works via Chrome tbh). To find out more about the project follow Internet Explorer on Facebook.com/InternetExplorerUK and Twitter.com/IE_UK and Brandon Generator on Facebook.com/BrandonGenerator and Twitter.com/Brandon_gen.

You can even upload a photo of yourself to win the chance to be illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards and penned into later episodes!

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Nima Nourizadeh

Nima plans the next party

It’s been a long long time, although not in a galaxy far far away sadly. Returning to Upod with some content, I thought I’d kick-off with an intro to director Nima Nourizadeh. A London born British-Iranian, he is probably most commonly known for his debut movie feature, Project X, Nima has been directing ads and music vids since 2005, picking up numerous awards and much acclaim along the way. Rather than talk about Project X, I’ll be using Upod to showcase some of his outstanding music videos and ads in the coming weeks.

Of course the movie biz is no stranger to invaders from ad land crashing the industry (step forward Ridley Scott, Tarsem Singh and many others of course), but where the “older generation” have produced some notable ads, lack of opportunity (for obvious reasons) in the music video space has arguably denied us another form through which we can experience their vision.

Thankfully there is no shortage of material from Nima Nourizadeh and whilst I haven’t (yet) seen Project X, I have watched nearly all his commercial and music video work. Telling the story of an epic high school / college party, his first feature film showcases people having an awesome time and this is reflected brilliantly in his ads for Adidas, including “house party” below.

Starting all things music vid with his clip for Hot Chip‘s 2005 single, Over and Over, here we see the band having a great time, whilst the use of green screen technology and CGI is brilliantly subverted. This was the one that put Nima on the map back in 2005, enjoy! There will be more to follow in the coming weeks.

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Ep 38 RDB Interview with Kuly for Sheera Di Kaum

We had a chance to speak with Kuly, one third of the biggest Bhangra band of the moment RDB or Rhythm Bhangra Dhol known for their massive songs, international collaborations with acclaimed rappers like Snoop Dogg and Ludacris and their total domination of the Bollywood charts since working with Akshay Kumar on movies like Namaste London, Singh Is King, Kambakth Ishq and now Speedy Singhs/Breakaway.

Now Upodcast is not well versed in music ( unlike or friends The CurrySmugglers who are back with an amazing season!) but we had a chance to ask some interesting questions about the state of bhangra, the new found international audience and some behind the scenes gossip on how the industry works.

Above all Kuly was a very nice guy to speak with and although he was in the backseat of a car, he really took the time to answer all of our questions.

It’s a fun listen, check it out below and don’t forget to leave us a comment!

Here are some of the tracks RDB is famous for

You can find more info on their website and also their forthcoming album WorldWide.

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COW: RockStar- Kun FaayaKun

Usually Martin handles the COW bringing you some great music but since I have been obsessed with the following track I wanted to have a home for it. From the soon to be releasing Rockstar starring Ranbhir Kapoor and Nargis Farkhri, directed by Imtiaz Ali who after his succes with Love Aaj Kal and Jab We Met is probably a rock star in his own way.

The story seems to be of Ranbhir throwing his life into music after a break up with newcomer and former model (aren’t they all in Bollywood) Nargis Fakhri. Maybe nothing special but knowing the director, he will definetely add a fresh treatment.

But the part that has excited me is the return to Hindi Film composition of my favorite composer A.R. Rahman ( AKA The mozart of Madras). After his numerous international collaborations with Danny Boyle and the Pussycat Dolls, he is back with a full fledged soundtrack for a movie. And after listening to this track I realized how much i misssed his music. I actually start getting withdrawal symptoms if I havent listened to some Rahman music for a while.

Rahman is a very spiritual guy and being a convert to Islam, he infuses a lof of sufism to his music as he did previously with Khwaaja mere Khwaaja for the Akbhar Yoda OST or even back in the day when he sang Mustufa Mustafa in Duniya Dilwalon ki.

For those wondering what the chant Kun FaayaKun means, it originates from a prayer loosely translated as “Be and it Is” (don’tshoot me, if im not 100% accurate)

I cant wait for the movie to release on 11.11.11 but the soundtrack releases 25th of September!!

@asimburney

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COW – Justice feat. Simian

Clip of the week, Moooooo!

 

So, another week, another clip.  This is a particularly fine example of  some excellently staged destruction, albeit in a quite arty way.  This clip by Justice featuring Simian is reminiscent of the aftermath of an outstanding party – bottles all around you, drooling on someone you’ve fallen asleep on – as the song progresses, the destruction draws ever nearer.  Unsurprisingly, it has a MTV warning at the start…do not try this at home.  the thing is, when I was younger I did try and do this kind of thing…sliding down stairs on matresses, diving out of bunk-beds and generally doing plenty of things that were hazardous to my very young health. 

By: TwitterButtons.com
By TwitterButtons.com

COW on a Friday – Wiley, Numbers in Action

Moooo, this COW is great

  This week’s cow comes from Wiley, a UK hip-hop artist.  In the running for Best Video at the 2011 MOBOs this is a really clever video, perfectly complementing the lyrics.  Whilst we can’t say it’s in the same league as Shad’s Rose Garden video (to be fair, not much else is), it’s really creative and uses plenty of camera tricks and edits to get bouncing balls in synch with the beats (and numerous other neat little things). If you like it, you can vote by going here.

The MOBOs have been around since 1996 and although the acronym is for Music Of Black Origin, the awards have grown in significance and stature; coming to represent urban music generally.  The awards have also been instrumental in helping launch the careers of such artists as Craig David, Ms Dynamite, Estelle, Kano and N-Dubz

 Wiley is signed to the excellent Ninja Tunes via their hip-hop sub-label Big Dada.  One of the true pioneers of UK hip-hop and grime, Wiley was part of the Roll Deep Crew that included such talent as Dizee Rascal and Tinchy Stryder.  He is affectionately known as the Godfather of Grime. 

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In praise of Pulp

Most underrated Brit band of the '90s?

It’s been fully 33 years since the UK band Pulp formed and 33 years since I’ve been around.  A coincidence?  I think not.  Perhaps the most misunderstood of the successful Britpop bands in the ’90s, it’s not to say they weren’t popular…just that perhaps they didn’t quite fit the zeitgeist.  Whilst Blur and Oasis battled it out, Pulp were there of course, producing a string of hit singles and albums, just not capturing the record-buying public’s imagination in the same way.  Arguably Suede and oddly bands like Menswear (who? yes, them) found the sudden burst of fame more readily than Pulp, in spite of number 1 album chart entries and critical acclaim.  The 3 albums from their commercial high-point stand the test of time more than 15 years later: His n Hers, Different Class and the darker This is Hardcore.

So as Pulp near the end of their reunion tour this year, after numerous festival appearances and gigs, I will look back fondly on the band that dared to be different.  Not just for the wonderful music (truly, thanks for the memories guys) but also for subverting the annointed one at the Brit awards in 1996.  MJ in full jesus impersonation flow was obviously too much to resist for Jarvis Cocker, frontman of Pulp.  I’ll leave you with footage of the farce and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  For the record, Jarvis was charged with some kind of assault against the jesus juice peddling prince of pop, only to have comedian (and as it happens, qualified lawyer) Bob Mortimer represent him and have all charges subsequently dropped.


Martin

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Edinburgh Fringe top 10 jokes 2011

 

Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Since its inception in 1947, as an alternative (on the fringe of) to the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe  has grown to such gargantuan proportions that it is reportedly the largest arts festival in the world.

No longer attracting just the alternative arts performers and the up and coming British comedic talent, the Fringe now attracts the cream of the worlds stand-up talent.  Each year the top 10 jokes and gags are published and, rather than just give you the list, we’ve also given linked to the websites for each of the performers so you can check out the ones you like the most.

 Sit back and enjoy these quality gags from the world’s finest comedians and comedy writers.

1. Nick Helm – “I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”  

2. Tim Vine – “Crime in multi-storey car parks. That is wrong on so many different levels.”

3. Hannibal Buress – “People say ‘I’m taking it one day at a time.’ You know what? So is everybody. That’s how time works.”

4. Tim Key – “Drive Thru McDonalds was more expensive than I thought … once you’ve hired the car …” 

5. Matt Kirshen – “I was playing chess with my friend and he said, ‘Let’s make this interesting’. So we stopped playing chess.”

6. Sarah Millican – “My mother told me, you don’t have to put anything in your mouth you don’t want to. Then she made me eat broccoli, which felt like double standards.”

7. Alan Sharp – “I was in a band which we called The Prevention, because we hoped people would say we were better than The Cure.”

8. Mark Watson – “Someone asked me recently – what would I rather give up, food or sex. Neither! I’m not falling for that one again, wife.”

9. Andrew Lawrence – “I admire these phone hackers. I think they have a lot of patience. I can’t even be bothered to check my OWN voicemails.”

10. DeAnne Smith – “My friend died doing what he loved … Heroin.”

Follow Martincawley on Twitter

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Beats Rhymes And Life The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest

No Hip Hop group inspired me growing up as much as A Tribe Called Quest. Unlike most of my friends (should I be calling them Homies since I am talking about rap) were into their Wu-Tang clan or NWA. Myyellow Sony Walkman was constantly playing  the smooth jazz sampled beats and playful lyrics of Q-Tip, Phife Dog and Ali Shaheed Muhammed until i wore out my Maxwell tapes.

I’ve just never been able to find the same kind of connect with any other group, maybe the Fugees came closest but even that was a fire that burnt brightly but fizzled out. I think the news of the group breaking up just might have been the first sense of heartbreak I had. Seeing the trailer for the documentary directed by “That Guy” -actor Michael Rappaport reminds me of that heartbreak. I can’t wait to watch this movie since it got previewed at Sundance and even got raving reviews from non rap fans.

It was always a mystery why they quit after so many years but just looking at the short clip, it already tips a bit of the veiled issued this legendary group faced at the end of their journey.

Were you a tribe fan growing up? Let us know in the comment section below!

 

 

 

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Best Bollywood Soundtracks 2010

It’s that time of year again where we revisit the year that has passed and recap the best and worst moments. There will be quite a lot of “Best of”- lists appearing on the interwebz but Upodcast’s lists are obvisouly the best .  So here is a rundown of the best Bollywood Albums of 2010! See the entire list after the jump!

Our friend FilmiGirl is running her “best of 2010″ lists on her blog and although usually we see eye-to-eye, for once I didn’t agree at all with the picks she made.

 So we decided to put our own of list of best Bollywood Songs together but realized that it is actually pretty hard to create list only ranked by songs. And especially coming to our top 3 we just couldnt pick single tracks that stood out. (unless you have the science of iTunes backing you up).  So instead of ranking our favorite songs, we went with our favorite Albums of 2010. Here goes nothing!

10. Once Upon a time in Mumbai-

Music Director: Pritam

Pritam might not be my favorite composer but he is extremely effective in the style of music he delivers for commercial Hindi cinema and although accusations of plagiarism are rampant, I do find myself putting his songs and albums on repeat even when the film has come and gone. He has a knack for collaborating with singers with quite unique timbres and finds songs that really suit their style ie Atif Aslam, Mohit Chauhan or Tulsi Kumar.

Â
“Pee Loon” which had a bit of “Pehli Nazar Mein” from Race hangover but still was sweet and this could have been an Atif song so I was glad to hear Mohit chauhan grab the mic instead as a change. Although the picturization might not have been that great (The scene where Emraan dresses up his girlfriend like Dimple Kapadia in “Bobby” and then jumps her bones  just made me a throw up a little in my mouth!). “Tum Jo Aaye Zindagi mein” sung by Rahat Ali Khan and Tulsi Kumar was a nice soft ballad and barring the black face “Parda” was passable lacing the album with 3 pretty decent tracks!

9. Tees Maar Khan

Music Director:  Shrish Kunder

I have to be honest here, I haven’t checked out the full album and the chipmunk voices on the title track do not work for me at all. But I do have a lot of faith in director Farah Khan to add oodles of entertainment and masti and actually improving on the musicality of the album by making the songs look awesome.

A Perfect example of this is “Wallah re Wallah” which would be a pretty average qawalli track if it wasn’t for a certain special appearance. And of course Tees Maar Khan does have the 2nd most awesome item number of the year in “Sheila Ki Jawani”!


8.Band Bajaa Barraat-

Music Director: Salim Sulaiman

Another soundtrack that you want to revisit after watching the movie! The Punjabi feel is heartpouding and most of the songs are high in energy especially “Ainvayi Ainvayi” .The item song “Dum Mast Mast” is a bit of a misfire but we get to see a glammed up Anushka Sharma which doesn’t happen enough. I also have a real soft spot for her, like my friend Suraj mentioned: She is the new Zinta!


The song “Tarkeebein” which was used in most of the promos wasn’t bad although the constant repeating of “Turkey mein” started to get grating…( and why was break out star Ranveer singing about Turkey anyway? Wasn’t this movie supposed to be set in Delhi?)

7.Guzaarish-

Music Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Both Hritik Roshan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali have been having rough time lately and although they pour their heart and souls in every endeavor, they do not manage to strike gold at the Box Office every time. Both the music and the movie seemed to beg the audience to love them just because  it was sincere and heartfelt but to me it seemed like that needy kid in High school that writes love poems for girls that are way to hot for him. It’s just not gonna happen,  kid! As both high school and the box office are cruel mistresses.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali first fully composed album and although “Sau Gram”,” Guzaarish” and “Udi” are poetic songs completely part of the mood and story of the movie and look beautiful, how could they not with SLB framing Aishwarya Rai-Bachan.


 I can’t help but wonder if the movie itself would have been better if he had just focused on directing and put his trust in a team of talented people around him.

6. Love Sex Aur Dhoka (LSD)-

Music Director:  Sneha Khanwalkar

Probably the most refreshing OST of the year composed by newcomer Sneha Khanwalkar who had previously composed for Dibakar Bannerjee’s “Oye Lucky Lucky”a film I wasn’t a huge fan of.

 I don’t think the movie created many ripples but was showing in quite a few film festivals (even in London) it was one of my favorites of the first half of 2010 and the soundtrack has been on repeat on my playslist all year.

When I first heard the woman’s scream followed by a gun shot at the start of LSD’s title track I had a similar feeling to hearing the Dev D album a  year ago, the same kind of excitement of listening to a fresh music composer trying to do something different whilst still being embedded in the narrative of the movie. Although the lyrics might not make it as the best sing along album for your family picnic (I am looking at you “Tu Ghandi/ Nangi Achi lagti hai” surprisingly sung by Kailash Kher). I would recommend seeking the movie and the soundtrack out if you still haven’t; it’s an underrated gem and an album you can play back to back!

Before I go into my top 5: I wanted to give some honorable mentions, these were Albums that had some great tracks on them but not enough to make them part of my top 10:

  • Lamhaa:” Madnoo” and “Sajnaa” probably my 2 favorite easy listening songs of the year, rest of the album didn’t connect with me though.
  • Robot: I shall only say  “O O O O ROOBOOO” maybe this was a better album in Tamil but I had the Hindi version and didn’t care too much about electrons and Newton.
  • Lafangey Parindey: Our Review is on the site so you can find more of our thoughts on the movie itself. Even then I mentioned that Mohit Chauhan’s “Man Lafanga” was the only good thing about this Yash Raj films debacle. I wished this song hadn’t been wasted on this filled diaper of a movie.
  • Raavan:  Again a misfire from my favorite composer of all time AR Rahman. I know most of our Bollybloggers agree that Raavanan was better than Raavan but I have not heard as much about the soundtrack. Beera is still awesome though and truly the Rahman sound we know and love with a rustic drum pattern and amazing chorus line.

Back to our list!

5. Prince: It’s Showtime-

Music Director:  Pritam

WARNING:  if you are not a fan of Atif’ Alam’ss crooning do not even consider giving this a listen as you might want to poke hot steel rods in your ears afterwards.

I think the more time has passed, the more I hate this movie. But I can’t lie that I listened a lot to the album. Being a full on Atif Aslam fanboy needs to be a requirement though as I mentioned as he’s sung the lion’s share. Tips produced the movie and being predominantly a record company every song was poppy and catchy from the Britney Spears inspired “Ishq Mein” to the bittersweet acoustic remix of “Tere Liye”. I never bother listening to the remix version of any songs but I made an exception with this album. And I still sing “Tere Liye” when riding my bike through London!

4. I Hate Luv Storys-

Music Director:  Vishal Shekhar

Probably my favorite music composer duo at this time, even if Vishal gives me shit on twitter sometimes.  I do feel that they try to do something innovative even within the constraints of the commercial powerhouses they compose for now.

Although they only had 2 major albums released in 2010 and “Anjaana Anjaani” didn’t work for me at any level, I kinda loved the OST for I Hate Luv Storys especially the “Bin Tere” in all its variations, the title track sung by Vishal himself (he does rock the mic every time he grabs it) and the dreamy “Bahara” which had an awesome Rahat Ali Khan version that was unfortunately not featured in the movie (or might have when I dozed off for a second).The album rounds off with “Sadka” and “Jab Mila Tu” which weren’t too innovative but successfully served their purpose. I hope to hear more from them in 2011 again!

3. Ishqiya-

Music Director:  Vishal Bhardwaj

 This album contains me overall favorite track of the year sung by the already legendary Rahat Ali Khan, you know I’m talking about “Dil to Bacha Hai Ji”. Although the title has been lifted for a Madhur Bhandarker ( a practice I truly despise) I have had the song on repeat the entire year, from the soulful first notes to when the harmonium starts backing up the melody, I was in love the first time I heard it.

Rahat once said that he decided to branch out to popular music as he could never surpass the milestones set in Classical music by his unforgettable uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and after hearing his songs I’m glad he decided to do so.Â

After” Dil To…” you still have soon to be classic tracks like “Ibn-E Batuta” and “Ab Mujhe Koi” (sung by Rekha Bhardwaj) and a few remixes but the album is pretty short and sweet as usually the case when Vishal Bhardwaj composes. I hope with these best of lists we can shine the light again on this may be forgotten gem. I’m going to stop raving about it and give “Dil to Bacha hai ji” another listen…

2. Aisha-

Music Director: Amit Trivedi

Amit Trivedi might not be the most prolific of music directors but whenever he is involved I storm out to get the album without even taking a second to read up about the movie itself.

 In this case the OST was vastly superior the movie which being a adaptation of a Jane Austin novel ( or more likely an adaptation of Amy Heckerling’s Clueless) was the brain child of Sonam Kapoor and her producer sister Rhea Kapoor. Everything I have just written was the main reason I still have the movie gathering dust on my DVD shelf and have never watched it.

But the album on the other hand was ludicrously good!

From “Suno Aisha” to “Gal Mithi Mithi” there wasn’t a single track that wasn’t innovative, fresh and thought through. Even the songs that any other composer would consider filler ie “Behke Behke” and “Lehrein” were treated with the care and attention by Trivedi and did really not deserve to be part of such a vapid and superficial movie.

1. Dabangg-

Music Director: Sajid Wajid

Ok, I know a lot of reader must be balking at my choice to put the Dabangg’s OST as number one. It especially pains me to see names like Vishal Bhardwaj and Amit Trivedi come after Sajid Wajid but here are some of the reasons Dabangg is my favorite soundtrack of the year:

  • Numbers: The movie and the soundtrack are the most loved by most people and however cool it is to find some underrated composers and album, this album just worked in terms of sales figures and will continue to do so probably with the next reason being an important one
  • Munni Badnaam Hui: Clearly badnaami was the way to go this year. Honestly I think the kind of frenzy this song created can only be compared to Madhuri’s “Choli ke Peeche Kya” hai from Khanayak. The ultimate of Item song made me wish we had recorded our Upodcast Item Song special after his came out as it would have topped all our lists. The song was composed by Lalit Pandit as a guest for Sajid-Wajid who took care of the rest of the album and has been on repeat in every household since the first teaser trailer for the movie released. And of course Upodcast has a special bond with this track through Project Munni from our friends The Curry Smugglers!
  • Complete Package: Unlike Aisha and Ishqiya, Dabangg soundtrack works for every mood and every listener. Except Munni there is still the romantic track “Chori Kya Re”, the drinking song “Humka Peeni hain” and the Rahat – Do I still need to Rave about him- Ali Khan’s “Tere Mast Mast Do Nain”, and every song was picturized pretty perfectly too without spending all their money on funding the Swiss economy.
  • This is Bollywood Yaar! We think we need creativity, sensitivity but what we truly crave is a good dose of masala and this exactly what makes Dabangg delivers. To me it’s the perfect and best soundtrack of Bollywood in 2010!

 I am sure not everyone will agree with my picks but that’s what the comment section is for!

Let us know which albums or tracks we forgot!

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HELP! Glee beats the Beatles!

Do they know that L with thumb & fore-finger means loser?

More disappointment this week for Beatles fans when it was revealed that one of the most enduring records in pop history was broken. Having held the top spot for a non-solo artist with the most records in the top 100 since 1964 (with 71) the juggernaut of a show that is Glee can now count on 75 singles having entered the American top 100.

The fab 4 show us how it's done but it doesn't mean Help! in semaphore 😉

What you may ask, does all of this mean? Well, if you’re a Beatles fan like I am, then on the surface it’s depressing. Surely the fab 4 were more musical, more talented and in hindsight, more loved than those 1 dimensional Disney-esque puppets the public can’t seem to get enough of? Well, apparently not; at least in terms of top 100 records anyway! However, start to scratch the surface and some of the Glee shine (could be a furniture polish with that name) starts to fade.

Not only do the Beatles win a top 10 head to head (34 v 1) but even this one from Glee was a cover version of a song people only like in an “aren’t the 80s cool”, ironic way, because ultimately Don’t Stop Believin’ is kinda crap. Jeez, the band was even called Journey FFS! Furthermore the Beatles didn’t release 5 singles a week and weren’t backed by multi-media marketing frenzy and more channels through which to buy music.

So bask in the artificial glory all you Glee lovers out there…the Beatles will take you on mano e mano when the back catalog is out for legal download and if anyone even knows what Glee was in 45 years time I’ll be mightily surprised.

I rest my case.

P.S. Kudos to Asim for creating the headline!
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RANT: Justin Bieber…

(Justin shows us what he thinks of us, with this upside down "fuck-off" hand gesture).

I was going to write a huge long rant about Justin Bieber…but having just given out about Lady Gaga, I’ve realised I just can’t go on…basically I don’t have a problem with Bieber (OK, certain things DO annoy me) but I’m just too old to be able to critically compare how great or not his music is to the music people from X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent release.  And tarring him with that brush is basically where I think his music deserves to be, so I can’t rant about that. 

What however does bug the fuck out of me is the fact he’s released an autobiography and this was what made me aware of  Justin and his weird sounding surname that sounds like beaver, hehe, snigger.  But seriously – he’s how old (in his teens yet?) and has an autobiography?! This is plainly wrong – what have we come to when a 16 year old has led such an interesting life he can write a book about it?  Oh no, it’s not about that is it?  It’s about Simon Cowell and the like exploiting young kids and their parents’ wallets.  So in fact, this rant is really about exploitative pop music for young kids who know no better.  That’s too big a topic for a rant, so I’ll bow out as gracefully as I can!

Or am I just scared by this kid?  Enjoy…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4v9tfSCaHg

Cee Lo Green and 50 Cent say ” F*ck You”

Cee Lo has been dropping awesome tracks his entire career but his profile really got a boost since he started working with DJ Danger Mouse and created Gnarls Barkley. Together they dropped the massively succesfull album “ST Elsewhere”. His latest track from the forthcoming album has even more of that jazzy upbeat sound. And now 50 Cent has dropped a remix version. Check out both versions of Upodcast’s favorite track at the moment after the jump! Read More

Wu-Tang Lego: Da Mystery of Chessboxin’

A bit of Friday fun,

The classic Wu-Tang video done with the help of Lego Blocks.

Don’t think I need to explain any further, check it out after the jump! Read More

New Video! The Roots “Dear God 2.0″ video (dir. by Jason Goldwatch)

You can’t have ears on the side of your head(or any other place on your body for that matter) and not love the Roots. The Philadelphian Hip Hop collective is dropping their  9th full studio album.

Check out their latest video from new album, How I Got Over released 22 june, after the jump!

  Read More

Supertight: Get him to the Greek! Music Video

Get him to the Greek is releasing the 25th in UK, there’s a quite a few favorably reviews coming from the US where the movie opened up to moderately good numbers.

Altough viral video‘s are nothing new in the arsenal of movie marketeers, I wanted to post this as I do have a fondness for Russel Brand even though most English have now started despising him. But then again I’m not English.

Check out his video with some very funny altough NSFW lyrics. Read More

Soundtrack to our Lives: Moby / UNKLE – God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters

Once in a while something comes along that ticks a lot of boxes in one go and takes you by surprise.  Whilst trying to find an MP3 of Moby’s God moving over the face of the waters, (taken from the soundtrack of the cops n robbers classic Heat) I came accross this remix from UNKLE. I already have the soundtrack on CD so not even sure why I was searching for something I already own, but coincidence is a fine thing when you combine a few things that already hit the spot on their own; in my case UNKLE, Heat and the Moby track taken from the film.  

I was very curious to see what they’d done with Moby’s track, expecting a bunch of breaks and tweaks with some fucked-up samples thrown in for good measure.  How wrong I was!  UNKLE, James Lavelle’s brain child, are probably best known for the Rabbit in Your Headlights video – you know, the one with Thom Yorke‘s vocals and a banned (at the time) video in the UK, featuring a guy getting repeatedly run over by cars (also samples movie dialogue…this time Danny Aiello from Jacob’s Ladder). 

 (NOTE: flashing video…you may have a fit)

Coming in at a slightly epic 11 minutes the start differs little from the original except for a John Malkovich monologue taken from the film Alive  about the plane crash in the Andes where the survivors ate the dead passengers to stay alive themselves.  Slowly but surely though, the remix takes shape; the beat starts, snares start, more strings and thunderclap drums an ever increasing tempo until…stop!  Back to piano with just the vocal “my mind is in a state” with strings building and building.  Really this is a journey you’re taken on and whenever the track does break down, it lifts you right back up to where it left you. 

I first started listening to UNKLE in the mid 90s and I have to be honest this remix took me by surprise, but in a GOOOOOD way!  More house than breakbeats and scratches and more DJ Tiesto than DJ Shadow I can only imagine how well this would go down in a club at 4am and erm, possibly with the addition of some substance or other (or not) to help things along. 

The Malkovich dialogue can be seen here  and adds a philosophical touch that compliments the track well; especially when you throw in the fact that God Moving Over the Face of the Waters is a biblical quote from Genesis chapter 1 verse 2.

So, all in all a fantastic track and one that I’m glad that I stumbled upon – Moby, Heat, Malkovich, UNKLE are strange bedfellows but believe me this one works damn damn well.  That’s not a great conclusion, but I’ll just leave it with a reviewer from YouTube who simply says:

Nice one UNKLE, nice one Moby.

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Soundtrack to our lives RIP GURU

Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal AKA GURU has left this world and left behind a legacy of albums and collaboration filled with wisdom and knowledge uncomparable to any rapper or hip hop Artist.

Here are some of my favorite tracks Read More

Soundtrack to our lives: IAM, Gods of French Rap

 

In this new segment to our site we will highlight some of the Music Albums or Artists that had a major impact on our lives.

Imperial Asiatiques Men or Invasion Arrivée de Mars was known to most French rap fans as IAM. They first formed in 1989 but after a few minor hits like Bad Boys de Marseille and Je dans le Mia they hit the big time and gained international recognition with Ecole du Micro d’argent an album inspired by the unique mix of Asian Martial arts, Islamic teachings, Egyptian history and Star Wars which went on to become one of the best selling French albums ever.

IAM has always been very vocal in their criticism of French government and their treatment of immigrants and the racism and socio political challenges they face because of  that they had a die-hard following of fans of which I am one espcially growing up. Since the days IAM and NTM (their contemporary rivals) the face of Hip Hop has changed and I do sometimes wonder what the state of Nicolas Sarkozy‘s France would be if IAM had the force behind them as they earlier in their career.

Like their American counterpart the Wu-tang Clan the group the individual members of the group were able to etch out solo careers with varying degree of success with Akhenaton and Shurik’n standing out. (Although you can never dismiss the rest of the gang most notably Freeman and DJ KheopsSad Hill)

But the real magic happened whenever they came back together as a group. They’re latest album was Saison 5 which you can listen to on their official website. IAM went on to have a huge influence on fashion , language and music production in France and Europe. There hasn’t been influential, intelligent and politically aware  group like them since.

In the words of Trevor Nelson IAM: The Upodcast team salutes you!

Demain C’est Loin: sheer poetry, especially Akhenaton final verse

Bad boys de marseille: Their first breakout hit

Ecole du micro d’argent

Samourai, Shurik’ns massive solo Track 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BilFJB3H10s 

This one wasn’t an IAM track but was produced by Akhenaton for his movie Comme un Aimant

What were some of your favorite IAM tracks? Let us know in the comment section below!

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20+ TV theme song medley

Ok, I got to admit until the 4th song I thought these were some very talented twins or an Ashton Kutcher cloning experiment gone horribly wrong  and I’m still not entirely sure yet but the medley is really fun to watch. check it out after the jump! Read More