Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Is Mithoon the next Himesh? Mithoon is one of the current Bollywood directors who is shooting up in ratings like crazy. And rightly so...His latest, 'The Train' is so much better than the very average/below average music that has been dished out of Bollywood in the last few months.
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom for example from Shankar-Loy is very average at best.

I first heard about this boy wonder in Tere bin, sung by Atif Aslam, who is fantastic talent in himself. I love the sufi sound the paki singer brings to the song. I did not give much thought to Mithoon at that time, but he again delivered with another great song in Anwar called Maula This song was playing on my car in a loop for a long time when it got released. Roop Kumar Rathod has done an excellent song singing it. And my fav part is the last "Dil yahi bola mera Dil yahi bola yara" piece. This is definitely one of the best songs i have heard in a while.

Another great song from the same movie is Tose Naina Laage. Sorry about the video, couldn't find anything better in You tube. Listen to the song with the window minimized to get the full effect. Never heard of Shilpa Rao or Kshitij then, they can be heard all over in Train.

And the guy is only 21!!! Yes just 21 years old.

He has come out with a new movie called The train, where he was replaced for Himesh. Thank god for that.

It has 4 great songs and of course n. number of remixes for each song, which seems to be the norm these days. European mix, groovy mix, Club mix etc etc. I am not against remixes or anything, but i like the originals so much better in the case of Train.

If the links below don't work in FireFox you may not have the real-plugin so try IE.

Beete Lamhein - Kay Kay

Mausam - Kshitij - I am becoming a big Kshitij fan a very subdued performance to keep with the sadness of the song. BTW what kind of name is Kshitij!!

Teri Tamanna - Zubeen of the Ya Ali fame has done a great job.

Woh Ajnabee - Shilpa Rao, Sunidhi watch out. Only downside is Mithoon has tried to sing too, it is ok, but KK would have defly done a better job. I hope doesn't gets into the Himesh mode and starts singing all his songs and self destruct.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I was watching a friends classical dance show a few weeks back. It had some excellent music which they had recorded in a studio in India specially for the show. When I came across this piece, (which i recorded on my treo)

1. I really liked it, instantly.
2. It sounded very similar to something i had heard...

My friend pointed out to me it was nothing but the awesome shanmugapriya ragam which was the answer to both my questions.

Of course the songs came tumbling down in my mind...first one was Vilayada idhu nerama which i had heard growing up, by M. Santhanam. Even though i wasn't a big carnatic music fan, i always had a special attachment to this song, at that time i did not know it was shanmugapriya.

The second song that came to mind was the classic from Thillana Mohanambal

You can see that the similarity is so much, that you can just sing the songs interspersed like this...Vilayada Idhu Nerama, Malai azhaga indha silai azhaga endru...

So i started walking around with recording on my treo and showing it to people, a couple immediately thought of Salangai oli

Others pointed other beauties like Kannukkul nooru nilavu and Gopika Vasantham both have a classical tilt to them and are such great songs, or surprising ones like Tham thana thamthana or Ooru vittu which hadn't crossed my mind at all.

I can list a lot more songs here but will stop, as a simple Google search will yield them for you.

This is the 56th melakartha ragam and was sung in the devotion of lord Shanmuga. In English scale starting in C, the notes go like this C D Eb F# G Ab Bb

I will discuss in another post about Melakartha ragams and carnatic music. But for now, just bask in the beauty of Shanmugapriya and next time you listen to something, take a step back and think why do you like it so much? There may be a link after all...

I also wonder if i can write a program to generate songs in Shanmugapriya automatically for me! And if i do, will i like all of them? Something to ponder on...

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Fratellis

The Fratellis make awesome music - period. One of those bands that i instantly liked when i heard em.

I first read about them in BRIT Awards nomination. I have to say i have a proclivity for british bands, i don't know why. Is that a general Indian thing? I don't know.

I then heard them in the ipod ad, You have to admire Apple, they are always a step ahead in their products as well as their ads. It was such a catchy tune, so i went looking for their album costello music and it did not disappoint me...

Immediately liked Whistle for the choir, with lines like "Can never be too pretty, tell me your name" and "Oh me Oh my, You talk - I die, You laugh - I cry". Fantastic, pretty girl - loser boy song. Love the whistling in the song too. I like songs which i can understand, and i have to confess there are many songs which don't make sense to me at all. For example for the longest time i thought Losing my religion was something about faith, until i heard in an interview Michael stripe saying that he wanted to write a love song to top Stings "Every breath you take"!!!! It is still one of my favs, which reinforces my belief, you don't have to understand meaning to really like a song.

Of course there is the most famous of the album Flathead which everyone in the US now seems to know thanks to Apple. I am such a sucka for things like "Para pa pa pa para para" in a song.

Chelsea Dagger seems to be the most popular in the UK, with soccer fans adopting it

Another fav is For the girl for its racy guitars, i again am partial to guitars more than anything.

Overall a very catchy album, defly check it out. Looks like these guys are here to stay, they know how to make songs that grabs you and keeps you hooked.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Why this blog?

Well, like many people i listen to music everyday and muse about it. Coincidentally the word music is derived from the word muse. Muses in Greek mythology were goddesses of art, from which music is derived - I wonder why they were goddesses and not gods & goddesses! But this blog is not about, etymology or history - wonder why it is his-story and not her-story! (Sorry about that, couldn't resist it) . It is mainly, notes on the music i hear every day and other random thoughts associated with it.

I listen to something new all the time. I listen to stuff ranging from the latesht indian music to the current indie music. In other words from Pritam to Wilco, from Illayaraja to The Shins, from ARR to Killers, get the drift.

As i listen to these stuff, i wonder aloud in my head, why do i like the songs i like, why do i just play a song again and again while i don't even give a second thought to others, i mull on why the lyrics are so crappy (esp. in some latest tamil songs), I wonder what makes profanity tick (in hip hop), i ponder how my dad (a carnatic enthusiast) will react to a Killers song - btw i know the answer to that one, - hideous nonsense, i think about how my american friends will react to Andhi mazhai (not favorably btw) or Its the time to disco (much more favorably).

Also, whenever i hear something interesting i send it out to my friends for their reaction and comments. So i thought, why not just capture all this in a medium where it can be preserved through time with easy access! I would love to come back a year from now and find a great song i listened to and posted about. This blog is mainly for myself and maybe some friends and not a statement to the world. If others with similar musical tastes find some things they like in the blog then, well; You are welcome!

Btw has it ever happened to you that your ipod picks that random gem from your shuffled playlist that you haven't heard in years? If it has, you know the feeling...

Has it ever happened to you that you are thinking about some song and it comes up on the radio coincidentally (or is it really coincidence?) Well, muse about it ...