#96

Hey there!

I know it’s been a while since my last share, but to be fair, I did try to squeeze this one in some time earlier. My devices have been giving me a trying time, and with all that happening, I decided to just let the phase pass before I shared again.

Here’s an exciting playlist #96 for you-

I’ve been following Zero 7 for a while now. Good Lord! How I love all their music! QuiteZero 7 recently though, while in a cab and wading through Bengaluru’s rough sea of traffic, I found myself enjoying Pop Art Blue like I’d never heard it before. There’s no doubt that Zero 7 taps into a very unique blend of voice and instruments to create this brilliant stuff.

Also, Martha Tilston’s smooth voice and evident English accent is such a damn tease!

Still in that state of mind, I give you Zero 7 with Pop Art Blue.


Remember the boy band decade? Okay, remember Westlife?

Barry ManilowI’ve been listening to their version of Mandy for a long time now. I like listening to a lot of their work, but Mandy stood out. I decided to share with you Barry Manilow’s original of that very song.

There really is no comparing either version of the song. Manilow wrote a beautiful love ballad, and listening to his voice and his song, I find so much emotion flowing through it. While Westlife didn’t ruin the song, I reserve judgement on whether or not their cover did justice.


I’m a 90s kid, so no matter how much of any other decade of music you throw at me, The Toadiesthe 90s will resonate the most.

I remember the song Tyler by The Toadies playing occasionally on “Bob”, WorldSpace Satellite Radio. If nothing else, this song made the playlist because of how much of the 90s feel it brings along with it.

But if you really need another reason, I think it’s a good song.


Here’s another one for you, not exactly from the 90s, but not that far from it either.

AnastaciaIt’s Anastacia with her hit Left Outside Alone.

I remember listening to this one on Worldspace as well, but something brought the song back to me recently.

Aside from the memories of hearing the song back then, I realised that Anastacia has an insanely cool voice.

I’ve been listening to it since.


My first Jorge Drexler song was Al otro lado del rio, and while I’m still not over that initial head-over-heels feeling for that song, I’ve already gone and found another Jorge Drexler song to feel the same way about. This one is called Bolivia.Jorge Drexler

I think the one disappointing thing about this song is that it’s over in four minutes.

That’s four. very. quick. minutes.

I mean, this song is like a carnival in my head. It’s got all the right levels of pick-me-up and adrenaline-rush and let’s-partay! But before you’ve fully indulged your senses, it’s over.

P.s. Keep a keen ear on the bass section and the brass section that joins in sometime around 2:50.


I decided to include this song as a footnote at the end of this playlist, because it’s not something I would normally do.

Share a song that’s up and current, I mean.

Childish GambinoI’m talking about Childish Gambino’s This Is America, which has been doing rounds since a couple weeks, grabbed my attention, and now I can’t stop thinking about how good it is.

For a lot of reasons.

One, it’s a statement that needed to be made. An issue that needed to be addressed.

Two (and coming from the musician in me), this track is astounding from a creative arts POV. That video speaks for itself plenty, but if you listen to the song by itself (audio only), it’s sinister, dark, and very VERY sensory.

I’ve had this one on loop since it came out. I’ll let you know when it wears itself out (if it ever will).


I hope you enjoy #96. I’ll share with you again real soon.

Happy Listening!

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#95

Another Sunday where I found time to do nothing but laze around and indulge in some me-time and me-care.

And of course, share a new playlist with you. Here you go- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQxQirKqoL15otArSTbs0UC3xnjf4wyQn

I am also quite frustrated with how slow the internet is today, so this post will be brief and quick because my patience has run out already.

The first song I’d like to share is a classic I’m listening to right now- Queen, with It’s A QueenKind Of Magic.

I think I’ve shared one or two other Queen songs here in the past so I won’t go on and on about why classic bands and classic songs such as this will perpetually remain Classics.

Enjoy the song!


Mulatu AstatkeIt’s time for the second share now, and I’ve fixed myself a nice hot cup of ginger tea. The song is Mulatu Astatke’s Metche Dershe.

I recall listening to the sounds of Mulatu Astatke like it was only yesterday. A friend back in campus shared his jazz collection with me, and while all of it was good, what I heard from this Ethiopian jazz artist astounded me.

Still does.


I now have Francisco Tárrega playing you a classical guitar piece called Capricho francisco-tarrega.jpgárabe.

I chanced upon Francisco Tárrega only by accident not so long ago. I’ve been exploring jazz and classical artists a little more off late, and YouTube promptly thought I ought to take a listen to this one and threw it onto my screen. Well played YouTube. Keep doing it just the way you are, oh yes.


So I thought it would be interesting to throw Rage Against The Machine in here. I don’t know why. I like keeping it quirky and alive that way.

Rage Against The MachineI decided on a classic number called Killing In The Name.

I’ll be honest about this one- I’ve heard it a hundred, thousand times maybe, but it just NEVER gets old. At all. And the best part- it still appeals to me just the same as it did the first time I heard it.

I also love how it gets me all pumped up. Whoo!

On another completely non-related topic, my ginger tea turned out a little too spicy. Phew! I’m not sure which part of my trachea I can feel all the burn coming from.


Remember how I’ve been talking about discovering jazz artists because YouTube Ahmad Jamalkeeps suggesting? Well Ahmad Jamal is one artist I discovered the same way very recently. He’s a simply brilliant jazz pianist who I regret not knowing about much earlier. I loved what I was hearing and decided right there that I would share one of his tracks soon.

So sharing with you the last track on this playlist, is Ahmad Jamal’s One.


Well that’s it from me for now. Enjoy the playlist. I’ll talk to you soon.

Happy Listening!

#94

Hi!

I’ve spent a good, relaxing Sunday at home doing close to nothing. It’s been so long since I had a Sunday like this, that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the day I spent (and I did put off writing this post till as late into the day as possible).

Anyway, here’s a look at the playlist I’ve got for you-

I’d like to start things off with Alice Coltrane’s Turiya and Ramakrishna.

Alice ColtraneRemember the Ryu Fukui track I shared with you last time? Yeah, that’s how I found Alice Coltrane (Thank You YouTube. Our lives would all be so meaningless without your recommended tracks.)

So I checked her music out and loved it! I hope you do too.

Fun fact: Alice Coltrane turned to Hinduism and became a Swamini after her husband John Coltrane’s death. The title for this track should probable give you a clue where it comes from now.


I now have Dido for you with her popular hit Thank You.dido.jpg

Decided to throw this one in here to add some balance to this playlist.

We’ve always enjoyed Dido’s music in our household. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of her voice (not saying I don’t like it either), it just doesn’t really get anywhere for me. But let’s just put that tiny aspect aside and enjoy her music alright? After all, Dido makes good music.


The DeftonesI’m not sure a lot of you are going to enjoy The Deftones, but I’d like to share with you their song Hole In The Earth.

I began listening to The Deftones some time when I was fourteen or so, and I’ve had them on my playlist since. They serve as an excellent choice when I’m feeling claustrophobic and cluttered in my own head. Sort of help to drown out the noise in my head and calm me down.

Strange way it works, I know; but it works.

P.s. Ignore their music video, okay? It’s kinda lame.


I now have the Lafayette Afro Rock Band with Hihache.Lafayette Afro Rock Band

I’ve been grooving to this track since about two odd weeks now. Apparently the Lafayette Afro Rock Band, although not as popular, is known for their funk grooves such as Hihache.

From what I’m reading, they found that the “funk scene” in the United Stated was too saturated in the early 70s and hence relocated themselves, as a band, to France.


The PianistI watched The Pianist this afternoon, and maybe because I’m a pianist, the film struck a whole different set of emotions with me. I really can’t stop thinking about that film and all the good music it featured.

I decided to share with you Frédéric Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G F F Chopinminor, Op. 23, which is the soundtrack featured in the most iconic, heart-wrenching part of the film The Pianist.

Specifically, remember that scene with Szpilman playing the piano when the German Captain Hosenfeld orders him to? That part really captivated me, and I sat in stunned silence listening to a very emotionally portrayed piece of art, in

Krystian Zimerman

the form of music and film.

Now go on, and listen to reknowned pianist Krystian Zimerman play Chopin’s Ballade in G minor for you.


That’s it from me for now. I’ll put together another five for you shortly.

Until then.

Happy Listening!

#93

Can’t believe I’m writing this one on a Good Friday after all that putting-it-off that I did for the past seven days. But I’m off work today, with time on my hands. So Good Friday or not, it’s a good day to be sharing this. I hope the music fits the solemnity of the day.

Oh, also, hi there!

I have Death Cab for Cutie for you first, with a song called Soul Meets Body.

Death Cab for Cutie

I SWEAR I didn’t intend to share this one specifically for today. Now that I think about it, I should’ve probably taken it off and shared it another week. But listening to this song as I write this, I can’t tell you how much I like the sounds.

Death Cab for Cutie is one of those bands my household discovered back in the WorldSpace Satellite Radio days. We loved it! Still do.

I would love to cover this some day soon.


I’ve been listening to so much Porcupine Tree off late, wanting to share something of theirs for a while now. Settled on one song I’m fixated on- Anesthetize.

Porcupine Tree

This is one of those tracks I like listening to with my eyes closed, drowning in the depth of all that the song holds. I don’t care that it’s roughly eighteen minutes long, it still ends too soon.

Also, is it just me, or does Anesthetize sound like a sound track to someone who’s fixing to do something really violent and revengeful? Just saying. I can always picture a scene from a dark alley. There’s an entire story that plays out for me when I listen to this.


So I’m gonna put this out here, loud and clear- Alanis Morissette is AWESOME!

Alanis Morissette

I grew up to her voice, her guitar, her harmonica, her unique diction and yodel-style of singing, and her unique music videos.

And minus the music video part (which I couldn’t find, sorry), the song All I Really Want has all of the above. And Lord, do I love listening to it!

It sounds even better with head-phones on, btw. Those moments she pauses, draws long breaths and lets her voice trail off not-so-subtly, are all such magic and do a number on the track.

Okay, I may have a crush on Alanis.


Oooooh, okay. Now this next song excites me so much! I discovered it yesterday morning, in my own playlist which I’ve had for over a year now (don’t ask, I don’t know how I missed it before either).

Ramasutra

It’s by Ramasutra, and is called Magma Mama.

So long story short- For a good one and a half minute of the song, I just thought “this is nice.” And then without warning, the beat started. And that’s when it happened- I fell for the track. Hard.

There’s something about that beat. It’s almost carnal and I can’t explain, but it makes me smile and sway, losing myself for the remaining five odd minutes of Magma Mama.

I’ll leave you to it and hope the same happens to you.


I’d like to close this really awesome playlist with what could count as a finale- Ryo Fukui with Mellow Dream.

Ryu Fukui

Someday, I would like to be as intimately involved with my piano, as Ryo is with his.

Someday, I would like to be able to manipulate those ivory keys the way Ryo does.

Someday, I would like to have a Ryo Fukui-like mastery over the genre of piano jazz.

Talking about jazz pianists alone for now, I’ve heard a lot of piano greats. And sure there might be arguments that perhaps Ryo isn’t the greatest at it; but to me, there’s something admirable about when an Asian man teaches himself piano at 22, and then goes on to master a genre of music that so far, very few non African-American folk have been able to get a hold of.

And did I mention how hard a genre Jazz is?


That’s me for now y’all. Enjoy the music I’ve shared with you so far, I’ll be back with the next five before you start to miss me.

Happy Listening!

#92

Why hello there!

I’ve got a great up-beat playlist set for you this week, so let’s get right to it!

I’ve got James Gang for you first, with their hit from the early 70s, Funk #49.James Gang

Know what’s very interesting about this band? And I just found this out-

James Gang could credit a lot of its popularity and success to Joe Walsh, who joined and worked with the band for a period of about 4 years. That same Joe Walsh then went on to have a very successful career as a solo artist and as guitarist with The Eagles.


Michael JacksonDecided to give you Michael Jackson’s Butterflies now. I’ve shared Michael Jackson on here plenty of times and so I’m not going to say too much to drone on about how much I regard the man as a musician. Evergreen music, his.

It might be safe to say Michael Jackson sometimes gives me Butterflies with his music.


More classic rock coming your way. This one is Brit band Bad Company with that hugely popular hit Rock Steady.Bad Company

Funnily enough, the same could be said for the guys over at Bad Company. They’ve been going “rock steady” since the early 70s now.

Here’s an interesting fact about the band for you-

Bad Company and Led Zeppelin have more than place of origin in common- they both had (have?) Peter Grant as band manager.


BjorkThis next one is my favourite track on this playlist (to be honest, it’s been a favourite on my personal, extensive playlist for a long time too).

It’s Björk with Human Behaviour.

Here’s a list of things I LOVE about Björk-

  1. Her voice. OH MY GOD that voice!
  2. She’s strange, quirky, eccentric, and doesn’t care, and it shows in her music, which is simply awesome.
  3. She’s creative. Very. Doesn’t that song video say plenty?
  4. Her voice. OH MY GOD that voice!!

I’m closing this playlist off with Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne No.20 in C# Minor.Chopin

There’s something about the simplicity of this track that mesmerizes me. Those left hand broken chords dot their way all through the different colours this piece exhibits. There’s also something to be said about how fluid Chopin’s transcend between major and minor scale is all through the piece.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this very vibrant and positive-sounding playlist I’ve given you. I’ll be talking to you shortly.

Until then.

Happy Listening!

#91

Guess who’s back!

I’ve spent a good part of my day pouring over my past shares, sorting through the five hundred odd songs shared so far, and it brought back good memories of when I used to write here.

Well, now I’m back, and without further adieu, let’s get this playlist started!

Autograph

Kicking things off is the American glam metal band Autograph with that 80s hit that they’re most famous for- Turn Up The Radio. What better song to give you after that super long hiatus right?

I love the raw energy that this song exudes; it most definitely reminds me of KISS.


The next track I’d like to give you is James Blunt’s Postcards.

James Blunt

I remember when James Blunt got extremely popular with his hit “You’re Beautiful”. I was in school then. Its popularity wore the song out instantly, and for a while, I just didn’t give James Blunt a chance. I’m glad I’ve rediscovered this man’s work now; there’s just so much music he’s created that’s worth listening to!


KILL DEVIL HILL, LIVE, 2016, PHOTOCREDIT:  IGOR VIDYASHEV/ATLASICONS

I’m throwing in some hard rock now American hard rock band from the 80s- Kix. The song is Don’t Close Your Eyes.

I found this track on a Greatest Hard Rock Tracks from the 80s collection and have loved it. I think I love it some more now because I just found out it’s supposedly an anti-suicide song.


Remember Macy Gray?

Macy Gray

Well, I do. She’s another artist who got popular while I was still in school. There was something about her voice and the song I Try that made me never tire of listening to it. Watching the video again now, it brings back such fond memories of simpler times, a simpler age, and MTV.


Anoushka Shankar & Karsh Kale

And to close this playlist, I’m giving you Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale with Burn. I’ve had this one on my mind for quite some time and I’ve been meaning to share it since then.

Welcome to the world of Indian Fusion.

I like the way this track makes me feel. There’s an overload of a mix of emotions I cannot comprehend, but it gives me goosebumps. And I like that.


Go ahead and enjoy playlist #90, world. I’ll put together the next five for you shortly.

Until then.

Happy Listening!

Did You Miss Me?

Confessional…

Forgive me world for I have delayed. My last blog post was… 14 months ago.

My sins during this period include, failure to dutifully share with the world music I discovered, failure in keeping my regular readers engaged, and a lethargy and aversion to writing this blog even though I knew I should.

As a penance, I’m going to have to live with the knowledge that I didn’t try enough.

 

Amen.

 

Let me tell you all a story.

There’s a girl I know. I’ve known her a very long time.

Some might say there’s a dreamy way about her. She’s always been found dreaming of a better way things could be.

Some might even suggest that she lives in Utopia.

 

I, for one, fear this might be true.

The more I’ve gotten to know her, the truer this seems. And I’m not sure how to break it to her. That her world isn’t real.

 

But off-late, something very unusual has happened.

 

For so long I’ve watched this girl live in her bubble… Her Utopia.

For so long I’ve wondered how to bring her to terms with reality, without subjecting her to the shock of harsh change.

I worried for her. The longer she stayed in Utopia, the lesser her chances of coming to terms with the real world, the harder accepting change would get.

 

But, I suppose we can all be wrong sometimes…

 

 

What happened to our girl from Utopia?

 

I’ve watched her struggle to cope with what was my… our… realty, and I knew my worst fears for her were coming true.

But then, she got out. She did what I didn’t think could be done, and brought her utopian bubble down to realty.

 

She’s happy there. Living in her world in our world. I see her now, doing only what she loves… Only what she’s passionate about, indifferent but not entirely ignorant of the shabby, disturbing world she’s surrounded by, and I don’t think she’s ever been better.

Truth be told- I think she’s doing better than many others I know, who have always known what was and what was not realty.

 

As for me? I don’t know what’s real anymore.

This girl from Utopia has shown me something…

…That your reality is always going to be what you want it to be. Period.

 

Hey there world!

So I was travelling in my new city in a cab the other day, thinking about how I’ve been failing this blog, and as I considered how I could continue writing this, I began taking down notes in my head. Something told me a relatable story would be a great way to reboot the blog.

I’ll talk to y’all real soon (with a great playlist, just like old times).

Until then.