JYG: A Concert to Remember

There are bands you always wish that you get a chance to listen to live in concert, but being in India that doesnt often become a reality. Big Band concerts are few and far between and often limited to the same set of bands. Now the indian rock scene is an interesting one. There are more bands than you realise and they are all trying to fight for the top positions in india and believe me its not a easy thing to do.

Junkyard Groove is one such band. I first heard of them through Rajat. They had appeared on Channel V’s Launchpad and they apparently played an epic version of ‘Dont Cha’ by PCD. That piqued my interest and after a little bit of digging around i found out that they gave their music away for free download, actually they would get paid if people downloaded their music. So i got all their tracks downloaded and i was hooked. I got people hooked as well. I keep doing that. I am a self-confessed music explorer ever on the lookout for good alternative music. My latest find was ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ and before that was ‘Newton Faulkner‘. I would like to mention more but i digress.

So when i came to know i was going to work in Chennai, i was hoping to get a piece of the music i had heard so much about. But 7 months passed by and with no luck. I sincerely feel that finding out events in big cities(or small) is not easy. I know there is Burrp but that isnt always so helpful. For eg., i finally came to know about the JYG gig via a friend and more info via a Facebook event. I had to be there for the concert. I was not going to miss this opportunity and i started rounding up people to go along with.

Junkyard Groove had all of a sudden undergone a breakup barely a couple of months back. It happened on their Facebook page where 3 of the quartet decided to call it quits while Ameeth was left in the dark about the whole thing. Sad stuff. When i heard that they had called it a day, i was sad. I thought i should somehow finish a tribute post to them but soon i came to know that the line-up was reformed by Ameeth.

The new JYG line up has Hudstin Fernandez on drums, Naveen Thomas Joseph – Fan Page on lead, Ameeth Thomas on vocals and acoustic guitar and Sajith Satya on bass …..

This was good news, but even better was the fact that they would be playing their first gig at nearby EC41.

So 17th July was the d-day and we made it in time. Bassin Bridge was headlining for them. Sajith played the Bass for them as well. So the show began and that was one awesome night. I missed the fact that i didnt have a camera to capture those wonderful moments. I had to make do with Nievu‘s android phone. So not much could be salvaged from that. Hardly anything is clear but then i could not be choosy either. The venue was wild, underneath the moonlight sky they played with the bay in the background. After the first few songs, me and Reddy made our way downstairs and we spend the rest of the night there. In front of the band, enjoying the music we swayed, barely a meter from the band. I didnt want it to end and i screamed the songs and headbanged through the night so much so that i had to take the Tuesday off ;P but i still say it was totally worth it. That was my #1 concert till date and i had the most fun. Even now as i write this post , i am happy that i was able to attend it.

JYG, Rock On!

The Aisiri experience

The Aisiri Experience:

Aisiri, the 10th VTU fest in its as yet grandest avatar was held during the 15-21st of February at SBMJCE , Bangalore. Our College was one of the 93 colleges that took part. Our 46 member team was all geared up for what was to be our best VTU fest ever. We already had the feeling that this was perhaps our best chance to win a championship place and we were all ready to do our part and contribute to the team. Here’s a short summary of all the days and events that took place during that week.

Day -1: yeah we call this Day -1 because we were leaving for the fest a day early as we were required to report before 8pm the next day and we didn’t want to take any chances. Most of the 46 participants were going to stay for the whole week ahead while some others had decided to join us later. The Buses left College that Friday the 13th but there weren’t any accidents or any other mishaps perhaps due to the prayers offered by Guru before we left. The night in the bus was a party with antakshari played until slowly everyone started to sleep. However couple of other friends and I was awake when we went through the Ghats and were treated to an awesome sight of a moonlight night and the clear sky.

Day 0: We reached Bangalore and were the first college on the campus of SBMJCE at around 7 in the morning. Breakfast was provided to us around 9 but then things were delayed. There was some delay regarding the registration and accommodation and we were stuck in a seminar hall till almost 4 in the evening. Tired and exhausted we hauled our luggages to our allotted hostel. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we were all very happy with the accommodation provided. Day 0 thus ended with us having Dinner at the huge dining hall set up opposite the HUGE main stage. The excitement was building up!

Day 1: The events started off today. First up was the Reporting and Photography, a newly introduced event which was all about covering the events of the entire fest. The harmonic Folk orchestra was one of the main events for our team that day. Creative writing and Clay modelling took place simultaneously that afternoon while Shadow play was later at around 4. We got a standing ovation for Shadow play-the evolution of man. Most of the facilities and the venues totally blew us away! They had state of the art theatres and music systems. What even surprised us was the college hangout- Munchies which was air-conditioned, had flat screen TV’s and wait for it…. the food was affordable and yummy!! Throughout the week we hogged a lot at the place. Even now if you ask any of my team mates about Munchies, they will wax eloquent. The other major catch phrase that we had was ‘Falun Dafa is good’. Falun Dafa was one of the stalls which were setup up at the technical exhibitions and you will still hear the vtu fest people speaking it in college. ISRO, TUV Rheinland and many more companies also had stalls. Layatharanga was the Fusion band which played as part of the evening entertainment for the Fest. I missed it but I heard good reviews about it.

Day 2: Rube Goldberg Contraption*, my main event for the day was to be held at 9 in the morning. After having slept late that last night preparing for it, we somehow managed to pull ourselves together. Skipping breakfast, Elias, Ashank and I made it to the venue and set up the contraption in the given time frame. After our first 2 chances to have a flawless execution failed we were all tensed. Most of the team members were present praying for the successful working during the third and final chance. And lo and behold! It worked with only 2 errors!! Everyone celebrated. It was truly glorious! Classical dance was another main event for us. Anupama took part and wowed the judges. Cartooning had the team Navrasa and Ranjeeth’s version was amazing! Raison and Karthik got through the prelims of Buccaneers- a management event easily. Shrikiran our mimic took part in the Mimicry competition and Semi classical vocal had Ramdas taking part. Debates were the other event that our college took part on that day. Stem dance and Kalaripayattu was that evening’s program which i missed again but I watched a bit of the fashion show event that took place later that night.

Day 3: Our dance troupe performed a tribal dance with the ‘jingo baba’ prop for Folk and tribal Dance, Tabla maestro Narasimha took part in Classical instrumental percussion while Varun sang for western vocal solo. Elias took to the floor with his poster paints to present a very graffiti version of rangoli. Our main grievances were that the western vocal venue had echoes and the rangoli venue was on the open air balcony. Post western vocal solo, there was also an informal jamming session by all the participants. At the same time the JAM prelims were taking place but Rajat missed making it to the semis and beyond. Synaps headlined for Pentagram that night. The team had the most fun that night. We danced and danced to rock music. Everyone was exhausted by the end of it.

Day 4: We presented our one act play at the first slot. This is the first time that we had written an original script and had worked quite hard on it. Things however went better than plan even though we had some minor glitches. The first round of Group dance was held at the colossal Colloseum, on the spot Painting was where Ranjeeth was at work while at M-adventure Naman, Pramod and Ashank presented their political campaign. Group song Indian was where our Singers were at. Our orator Nikhil took part in Elocution. That night there were last minute additions made to our Launch Pad entry but before that, that night was the night when the ‘awesome foursome’ were performing. Siva mani, Balabhaskara 😉 , Keith Peters and Giridhar Udupa enthralled the audience with their music which stuck as impromptu but just brilliant especially Balabhaskar with his violin and their finale-their version of Hotel California.

Day 5: The dance troupe had to present the second dance which was a themed dance on AIDS prevention. The Launch pad event didn’t go too well. Quiz and Programming prelims were both uneventful, Installation kept me busy during the afternoon. Ramdas took part in the Light vocal Indian solo. Elias’s Collage entry also turned out pretty well. Kishore and group’s patriotic themed skit on Bhagat Singh was a hit. The Federation of International Students Association had a dance performance highlighting the various international dances. One of the We played Dumb charades with some of our newly made friends of SBMJCE till quite late that night. Fests after all are to promote camaraderie and healthy competition between colleges.

Day 6: Chaithra’s Creative Dance, Group song western and Mime had us running around to the different venues to cheer the respective teams. Nanditha’s classical vocal and Ranjeeth’s Poster making, Poetry recitation and Dumb charades all took place during the morning. The Evening’s program by Raghu Dixit project wasn’t as good as the other concerts. There were some sound system problems which kinda spoiled the mood every now and then. After dinner we left for our rooms. Somewhere around 12 at night we come to know that the first set of results has been announced and that we have won quite a few. I run all the way from our rooms and there’s a celebration at the main stage as we verify the prizes. We lead at that point of time with MSRIT next in place.

Day 7: The Only event that was scheduled for today was the Quiz finals. Sadly we had not made it through just missing it by one qualifying point. Charu Sharma hosted this event and our team won quite a few audience prizes. Raison won a Reebok t-shirt while Vigneshwar won a Reebok cap as well as a new cellular phone from Nokia. After the finals the second set of results were announced. We were still on top of the points table and everyone was cheering away! We had nothing to do for the rest of the day as the Valedictory was scheduled for the evening. There were performances by the Kathak group Abhinava and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. The valedictory was delayed and as a result of which we, the participants lost the chance of going on stage and accepting our prizes as our ‘dhol’ and ‘taase’ played on. As the leader board was named out backwards we had our hands crossed. But sadly we came third. The host college SBMJCE took the runner’s up and MSRIT were the Winners overall. This was kinda a dampener as everything looked as if we would have got a place. Nevertheless with 11 medals, this was the best standing NMAMIT had ever got till date. All this was possible only because of the incredible teamwork that everyone showed. We had not taken part in all the events and had a smaller team than most colleges, in spite of that we were able to come out 3rd. This is definitely a great achievement which may perhaps inspire us to do better next year. This year will be the Last VTU fest for our Fourth years, who were alone responsible for 2 golds, and 3 silvers. We will miss them next year and hope that we will find someone to fit into their shoes. We also hope that this and many more events taking place all throughout the year inspire more students of NMAMIT to take part in more extracurricular activities. Here’s to the Future.

The Winners:

Golds in Shadow play, Classical Dance, Rube Goldberg contraption, On the spot painting, Skit and Poster Making.

Silvers in Western vocal solo, Cartooning, Mimicry and Creative Dance.

Bronze in M-adventure.

Music Review: Snow Patrol, The Killers

A Hundred Million Suns: Just an amazing album alltogether. I wasnt much of a Snow Patrol fan but this album kinda changed it all for me. I can stop listening to it! The subtle Music and awesome Lyrics are just what the doctor ordered for me 🙂

You cool your bed warm hands down
on the broken radiator
And when you lay them freezing on me
I mumble can you wake me later

But I don’t really want you to stop
And you know it so it doesn’t stop you
You run your hands from my neck
To my chest

Crack the shutters open wide
I want to bathe you in the light of day
And just watch you as the rays
Tangle up around your face and body

I could sit for hours
Finding new ways to be awed each minute
Cause the daylight seems to want you
Just as much as I want you

It’s been minutes it’s been days
It’s been all I will remember
Happy lost in your hair
And the cold side of the pillow

Your hills and valleys
Are mapped by my intrepid fingers
And in a naked slumber
I dream all this again

Crack the shutters open wide
I want to bathe you in the light of day
And just watch you as the rays
Tangle up around your face and body

I could sit for hours
Finding new ways to be awed each minute
Cause the daylight seems to want you
Just as much as I want you

Crack the shutters open wide
I want to bathe you in the light of day
And just watch you as the rays
Tangle up around your face and body

I could sit for hours
Finding new ways to be awed each minute
Cause the daylight seems to want you
Just as much as I want you

–‘Crack the Shutters’

Day and Age

Day And Age: Ok now this is typically ‘Killers’ sound. On the first hearing it didnt impress me much except for the first 3-4 songs. The Killers are the type of band who’s Lyrics being largely non-sensible are nontheless catchy and make you want to sing them out loud( and also to learn them drum rolls 😉 ) Hence its always a pleasure to hear them.

Console me in my darkest hour
Convince me that the truth is always grey
Caress me in your velvet chair
Conceal me from the ghost you cast away

I ain’t in no hurry, you go run
And tell your friends I’m losing touch
Fill their heads with rumours of impending doom
It must be true

Console me in my darkest hour
And tell me that you always hear my cries
I wonder what you got conspired
I’m sure it was the consolation prize

I ain’t in no hurry, you go run
And tell your friends I’m losing touch
Fill the night with stories, the legend grows
Of how you got lost

But you made your way back home
You sold your soul, like a roaming vagabond, yeah

I heard you found a wishing well
In the city
Console me in my darkest hour (in my darkest hour)
And you throw me down

I ain’t in no hurry, you go run
And tell your friends I’m losing touch
Fill your crown with rumours
Impending doom, it must be true

But you made your way back home
You sold your soul, like a roaming vagabond

And about how you got lost, but you made your way back home
You went and sold your soul, an allegiance dead and gone
I’m losing touch

–‘Losing Touch’

These are the two albums i have been listening to continously and even though it doesnt show it on Last. fm its the truth. The music plays on the mp3 player mostly and its not an iPod to scrobble.

Extramental rock.

Couple of weeks back while waking up with TV i watched half of the show featuring Indian bands on NDTV goodtimes. That week they were featuring The Extramentals-a chennai band. The vocalist is incidentally Kamal Hassan’s daughter Shruthi Hassan who is about to debut on the big screen later this year. Her Myspace blog. i liked her singing. They play at some of the Top clubs in India. i couldnt find any recording here on the net.

Other than that i had heard from Prashant- a guitarist friend, who’s now in chennai that Zero is good. i havnt heard any of their music yet though. Parikrama i like, even though i heard only one song. and then there’s the usual campus rock music that u hear like sutta , xlri ki kudiyan and gand mein danda.

The Indian music scene is improving nowadays. and i mean the more original music type not covers. Thats where the new movie Rock on! comes in. it seems to me like a movie based around a rock band. i’ve listened to the music and found some real good rock in it! especially Sindbad the Sailor, Pichle saat dino mein and Zehereelay. Low decibel rock.

With campus rock Idols taking mainstage and the awareness spreading with saregama bringing out its Underground series.. i think we have much to listen to.

my dream: record a song before the end of engg. and we split up. Trying to get my hand on Aloysius outgoing band’s last jam sessions. My friend is drumming for them.