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Main Apne Rab Ka Banda

From the movie Hello, lyrics penned by Jalees Sherwani, who I am fangirling like mad right now, sung by Sonu Nigam and others. One of the reviews I read called this song an item number, and I was like, whatever, you're an item number but considering that the average Bollywood lyrics are variations of you're my whole world, you're my entire life, I would like to stare at your eyes for all eternity because I am just that boring, I don't think it would be premature to call it one of the best songs of the year. I also thought the production worked overall, though it was a bit much at times; I would've scaled back, removed some flourishes. But it did have a good beat, and Sonu Nigam's voice is always nice, and I loved the chorus at 1:13, when they sung मैं अपने रब का बंदा हूँ बंदा अपने रब का बंदा हूँ, the way it was so low and resonant and almost menacing.

lyrics )

lyrics translated (they're better in hindi though) )


Latika's Theme

From Slumdog Millionaire (Latika seems to get more of a voice in the soundtrack than she ever gets in the movie). Sung, or rather hummed, by Suzanne, produced by AR Rahman. Quite ethereal and lovely.



I was feeling nostalgic, so I put this song on my playlist. I could never get into the other songs by Stabbing Westward, but this one - it spoke to my teenage soul, and I drove my roommate crazy with how much I used to listen to it. XD And I still love it, how it starts off eerie and discordant and then the chords and the beat resolve themselves, how low and quiet Christopher Hall's voice is until it picks up power at I need someone/ to break the silence/ screaming in my head, and then everything turns and fades when he says in my soul. Just a great song - lyrics and production and everything.

lyrics )


Ishmeet - Masha Allah (youtube vid, and after the song he starts crying over his pre-recorded piece on his mother and then his mother comes out and he smiles and says "that's the biggest surprise I can ever get" still crying and *heartbreaks*)
Ishmeet - Kal Ho Na Ho (youtube vid)
Ishmeet - Chal Pyar Karegi (youtube vid)
Ishmeet - Dithe Sabhe Thanv (mediafire mp3)

The singer, Ishmeet Singh, won one of the Indian versions of American Idol (though it really should be the other way around, because in India shows like that have been going on for a really long time), and released an album, and went to Maldives for a performance, where he was found drowned in his hotel pool. The police still don't know who killed him, though one of my friends is convinced that the mafia was behind it because evidently they control everything in the industry?

He was still a teenager, a boy with a beautiful voice, and he died alone and so far from home. The last song is a devotional song from Sat Sri Ankal, a movie about a religious figure, something like that, and was released a few months after he'd died, with him singing lines such as I've been to all the places/ and in none did I see you/ none were yours.

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Archive seems to be a Pink Floyd-inspired prog-rock band. Now, to say that I don't like prog-rock would be an understatement; I could count the number of songs in that genre I've liked on one hand and still have fingers left over, and I've listened to a lot, due to my (so unfortunate, I think at times like this) taste in friends. But. None of them sounded like this, addictive and eerie and really very new. New not in the things they do - their sampling is reminiscent of trip-hop bands and their guitar riffs at times sound rather heavy-metalish and they have arrangements that remind me a lot of jazz records - but the way they do them, how all these things sound so right in the songs they're in, so natural and amazing.

Seriously, I can't recommend this album enough.


A 16 minute work of emotional genius. I never thought that I'd have the patience to sit through a song this long, but this turned out to be no trouble at all. The song essentially picks up a theme and builds on it in a way that's very hypnotic and strange and beautiful. It starts off softly and slowly, picks up a low beat about five minutes in that spirals out, gets so spooky and hard and on the verge of discordant, and then it all gets quiet, a small beeping like that of a heart monitor, the line slowly evening out, and then, after the end, the cymbals crash, and it starts again in a way that leaves me feeling both emotionally wrung out and elated.

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AR Rahman move over. I think I've found someone new to put on my pedestal.

Sanjay Gupta is a strange, somewhat delusional character. He claims his movies are highly original, calls them works of art that push the envelope when in fact they're nothing more than pale knock-offs of western movies. Maybe this was why it took me so long to listen to his songs - I figured his music would be just as derivative. But, ohman. Gave the soundtrack to Zinda a listen yesterday, then Musafir, and. His stuff completely blows my mind.

There're two versions of each CD - the lounge version and the club version, and usually designations like this put me on guard, because most Indian club songs and remixes I've heard aren't very good. Indian music producers have this tendency to throw random western elements in their songs to try and make them seem hipper and cooler (MORE WID IT KAY), with the result that the whole thing sounds tacked on and stupid. But whatever the producers here are doing, more often than not it works, in such a way that it seems, at the same time, both completely natural and revolutionary, and then they do it again in the next song, and then again in the next. It's amazing.

These two songs are from the soundtrack of the movie Musafir.

Saki (Psychedelic Insomnia Mix)

Lyrics by Dev Kohli, produced by Vishal-Shekhar, sung by Sukhwinder Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan. A mix of traditional and techno and rock IN A WAY THAT WORKS. *still kind of blown by that* sakis were what they called women that served drinks in wine houses. This song has lyrics that I adore (in no small part because I'm a huge proponent of the "to love is to be at war" school of thought). This is no sappy love duet - both the man and the woman can be hard and cutting, and the atmosphere of the song reflects that.

lyrics )

I love the beat, the guitar riffs around two and a half minutes into the song, the back and forth that immediately follows between the woman and man (ishq ke galiyon main na jana... ishq to mera khuda hai aashiq mera naam hai), especially the way the guy draws out the last syllable, his voice spiralling up. It works so well, and the only place aside from hindi songs that I've heard that done is in operas.

Rabba (Lounge Version)

Produced by Anand Raj Anand, lyrics by Dev Kohli, sung by Richa Sharma. There are traditional vocals, a steady techno beat and ambient backtrack. Rabba means god, and the girl is saying, in the first verse:

let no one come into my life
if someone comes don't let them leave
if they're going to give me tears
then don't let them make me laugh before

Will do his album Zinda next.

*ishq: passionate love
**aashiq: passionate lover

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I've pimped Calexico before, but a couple of days ago I heard a remix of one of their songs that I adored as much as the original, which is something that rarely ever happens. So another pimp, because this song and its remix are haunting and beautiful, and I've been listening to them on repeat all day.

The original song is off their cd A Feast of Wire. The remix was on the Alone Again Or cd single.

Woven Birds
Woven Birds (Stratus Remix)

with a hawk's trained eye
the trees grow silent fruit

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Naervaer is a Norwegian band consisting of Terje Sagen and Jan Transeth. Their sound is spare and evocative, reminding me of jagged cliffs against gray skies or campfires in the night. The tracks ranging from purely instrumental to trip-hoppish to having arrangements and vocals reminiscent of Leonard Cohen. According to Terje Sagen, when they were making their music, "Mood was the key word. Don't force it out - let it come naturally, and the reflection of the mood will be pure." I could picture their music as the soundtrack to a coldly beautiful movie, characters moving in wide open spaces, a landscape that seems to dwarf them.

So far they've released only one CD, Skiftninger. Both these tracks are from that CD.

An instrumental track, spare and lonely.

Dose Dager
A simple, rather lovely track, with a slow, steady beat, what sounds like the keyboard, guitar, and Norwegian vocals. Falls somewhere between ambient and alt rock.

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A couple of indian remixes.

Britney Spears - Me Against The Music (Rishi Rich's Desi Kulcha Remix)
The original song is nothing to write home about, with repetitive produced beats and lyrics that stand out more for their awkwardness than their poetry. But then UK Bhangra producer Rishi Rich got his hands on it, turning it inside out by eliminating the melody, creating a killer backbeat, and adding bhangra elements, all of which combine to make this one of the catchiest dance tracks ever.

Rock U vs Mundian
A mash-up of Five's We Will Rock You and Punjabi MC's Mundian to Bach Ke (Beware Of The Boys). It's rather hilarious how well this works.

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It seems as if my definition of a week has gotten flexible of late. *scratches head* Anyway. Calexico. Pretend you're alone driving a car somewhere in the west or the midwest, and there isn't much scenery, just the yellow fields or brown ground and the sky curving in front of you to reach it, miles and miles of this, stretching for hours on end, and the world seems so small and so vast, so comforting and so lonely. That's what their music feels like to me - that's what it reminds me of.

These are the first two songs off A Feast of Wire:

Sunken Waltz

He slept ‘neath the stars
Wrote down what he dreamt
And he built a machine
For no one to see
Then took flight, first light
Of new morning

Quattro (World Drifts In)

Love the run but not the race
All alone in a silent way
World drifts in and the world’s a stranger

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So I went to a Lhasa show the other day, and this band that I'd never heard of was the opening act. Was mildly interested, because the info booklet had compared them to Calexico, but wasn't expecting anything much.

And then they played, and I was completely blown away. Their sound was like nothing else I'd ever heard, a mixture of folk/indie rock and mariachi and eastern instrumentals, and it was amazing. As Mikel Jolet of Filter said, "DeVotchKa may be the best band in America you’ve never heard of."

The following two songs are from their album How It Ends.

You Already Know
Such A Lovely Thing

I really can't say enough good things about this band. The whole album's great, like a soundtrack to a dream of a terrible, fabulous, beautifully tragic love.



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June 2013

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