Sunday, September 23, 2007

when will the drums signal curtains for priyadarshan?

[last post in thread]

La gazza General returns to his pilfering ways with Dhol his newest stinker that hit theatres on Friday. His treasure chest is the ouevre of writing duo Siddique-Lal, which has previously yielded raw material for Hera Pheri (Ramji Rao Speaking), Hulchul (Godfather) and Bhagam Bhag (Mannar Mathai Speaking). He unearths In Harihar Nagar and proceeds to effect his own transformation, even though the path was already charted in the early 90s with Parda Hai Parda by K Bapaiah, the maker of such influential works as Mawaali, Majaal and Pyar Ka Mandir. That plagiarist duo Anand-Milind from Parda Hai Parda are replaced by the solo entrepreneur Pritam might be an indication that Priyadarshan might have chosen Bapaiah's effort instead of going straight to the source.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

the spelling bee stings cobb again

The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre only proves that the use of British spelling was not an anomaly. Perhaps there's something in Cobb's legislation. After all, they banned peanuts and peanut butter in Nickajack Elementary School.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

another little lift in zinda

A connection was forged between Darren Aronofsky and Sanjay Gupta thanks to the familiar Bollywood practice of appropriation without credit. The lounge version of Shibani Kashyap's zi.ndaa huu.N mai.n on the soundtrack for Zinda featured a male voice that ran through a list of medical treatments, which, presumably, given the content of the film, seemed like topical balderdash. The gnawing feeling that this had also come from something in Sanjay Gupta's DVD collection never went away. I wasn't wrong. The phrase in question (beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, adrenaline injections, high-dose ibuprofen) comes from Aronofsky's Sundance winner Pi, which achieved more with a slim budget and innovative cinematography than Gupta did with the money at his disposal and the DVDs he had (this film and Oldboy).

stairway to discovery

Running through a set of covers of Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven, I found a few interesting takes and names. The most interesting name would have to be that of a Norwegian cowboy orchestra -- Dusty Cowsh*t. The other one was Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine. While the name of the band plays on the name of RATM, the leader's name is a pseudonym that also doubles as a slang reference to nutzerella. Every other band member's name is also a pseudonym honouring the cheese motif and when people leave the band, their replacements continue to sport the pseudonym: Gordon Brie, Buddy Gouda, Frank Feta, Bobby Ricotta. Turophiles will probably remember the grandiose exploration of cheese in the Monty Python Flying Circus Cheese Shop sketch [transcript] [youtube video].

Thursday, September 13, 2007

november 26, 2007: celebration day

Page, Plant and the elusive Jones have confirmed a reunion for a gig at The O2 Arena in memory of Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegün. Bonzo's son Jason fills the spot at the skins. Ahmet was responsible for signing Led Zeppelin on after hearing their demos, convinced that he was onto something big. In an ironic echo of Communication Breakdown, the rush of an estimated 20 million people to claim 20 thousand seats in the arena brought the concert's website to its knees.

Dancing days are here again. Dance in the dark of night as the drums shake the castle wall and sends your head humming. We're gonna groove. [link courtesy: Amogh]

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

rgv kii aag ke gole: why bappi was not part of this sholay

While RGV faces the greatest drubbing since Daud and Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag gets set to depart from the marquee, one burning ember of a question still glowed for a while: Why did the soundtrack not feature a single song by Bappi Lahiri despite reports to that effect having circulated a long while ago? The rechristening of the film's principal characters and the consequent scramble seemed to have been responsible. As TheThiefWhoSuedAPlagiaristAndWon notes:

When we recorded the three songs, the movie was titled 'Sholay' but then it was suddenly changed to 'Aag'. Consequently there were modifications in the song situations in the scripts and my three compositions had to be withdrawn with my consent.

Thereafter Ramu and I amicably decided that we would use the same tune-tracks maybe with altered lyrics for his upcoming movies instead, since the melodies are really mind-blowing.

One awaits the explosion of the mind, unless the narrative ruin in The Factory portends economic bankruptcy.

Bappi takes a potshot at the quartet (Amar "Silencio" Mohile, Prasanna Shekhar, Ganesh "G" Hegde and Nitin "Mughal-e-Azam" Raikwar) responsible for the songs, while also indulging in his usual brand of self-marketing and explaining why he wasn't disheartened that his songs didn't make it to the track list:

because I have had a golden jubilee musical super-hit 'Aag Hi Aag' way back in 1987. On the flip side, I feel this exclusion was a blessing in disguise. Honestly speaking, I was not comfortable sharing my composing credits in the movie 'Aag' with those who are not the regular top-ranking music directors

We must also not forget the other fiery flick, Aag Ka Gola, which saw Bappi in fine form delivering songs like taubaa re taubaa haaye mere rabbaa ye kyaa Gazab kiyaa/jisako banaanaa thaa la.Dakii usako la.Dakaa banaa diyaa, sharaab chiiz hai burii, sharaab piinaa chho.D de and aayaa aayaa wo aayaa, a rip-off of the Hasan Jahangir hit hawaa hawaa ai hawaa. Such are the gifts we must cherish while we await the first(?) partnership between the self-deprecating maverick and the megalithic musicaster.

Monday, September 10, 2007

pluralist pleasure

[last related post]

The word data has been losing its status as a plural noun steadily. The last place I remember seeing a determined attempt to stop this descent was in the textbooks from Ullman, Widom and Molina at Stanford University. A fragment in Who's afraid of Google?, which appeared in the September 1st-7th issue of The Economist (the dead trees version of which came thanks to VKG's subscription), however, seems to indicate that the battle is still on:

Google's business model [...] assumes that people will entrust it with ever more information about their lives, to be stored in the company's "cloud" of remote computers. These data begin with the logs of a user's searches (in effect, a record of his interests) and his responses to advertisements. Often they extend to the user's e-mail, calendar, contacts, documents, spreadsheets, photos and videos. They could soon include even the user's medical records and precise location (determined from his mobile phone).

Saturday, September 08, 2007

whacko titles

In 2005, Shravan Rathod (the right hand side of the hyphenated Bollywood soundtrack generating entity Nadeem-Shravan) decided to produce a movie along with Tabun Sutradhar (he whose dil went hello how are you). The leads were Aditi Sharma and Sarwar Ahuja, joint winners at a 2004 talent and TRP hunt conducted by Zee TV to unearth the stars of the future. It's been a long time since July 25, 2005. The two managed to hit the silver screen with Khanna and Iyer. But there seems to be hope for what would have been their screen début vehicle with music by Tabun and Shravan's plagiarising progeny Sanjeev and Darshan. Unfortunately, perhaps because it's helmed by Basu Chatterjee, the film's been rechristened to the innocuous Kuch Khatta Kuch Meetha, making it the male twin of that Rahul Rawail howler based on The Parent Trap. The original title offered more promise than this film is destined to: Ek Ladki Bholi Bhali Si - Adds Spice To Your Life.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

johnny gaddaar: the retro vibe continues

A special trailer's been cut for the title track on Sriram Raghavan's crime caper Johnny Gaddaar and you can catch it over at PFC. The teaser opened with a snarl from the Vijay Anand classic Johnny Mera Naam; the trailer opens with a John Wayne voice bit from McClintok!. It uses Mumbai Mirror headlines to great effect -- they serve as narrative hints as well as marketing blitz. The name of the James Hadley Chase novel's also clear now -- The Whiff Of Money -- and it's quite appropriate. Oz has a post loaded with a pointer to the ultra-cool poster as well as a video of the launch of the mini-disc bearing the sole single (that's Walk Don't Run by The Ventures you hear in the opening of the segment). A speech bit indicates that Sriram Raghavan shares Hitchcock's idea of suspense.

The Big Music CD cover uses red instead of yellow and red dominates the theme in the sleeve and inlay. Releasing singles is a great innovation for soundtracks; the last one-song soundtrack album I remember was Tathastu (discounting the remix of the sole qawwaalii composed by Vishal-Shekhar), but the T-Series CD release padded the disc with other tracks in its kitty from the same genre.

Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy have also notched another record by snagging a stake in the royalties for the soundtrack. Ehsaan notes that there are 4 tracks in all (not counting remixes) including a track featuring Hard Kaur.

The title track has an adventurous melody founded on an extremely catchy riff and some nice delicate flourishes on the cymbals and a strong aggressive beat along with chords punched out on the trusty electric guitar. Akriti Kakkar's been a Himesh regular. Suraj Jagan's the more interesting one. Those lucky enough to own or to have heard the unsung Ranjit Barot soundtrack for Brides Wanted will remember the voice on the song zi.ndagii. Reportedly, he used to be the lead vocalist in the Indian rock band Krysis and later (in a second coming) was part of Chakraview; I remember Chakraview for their Marathi rocker aalaa sherapaa zhapaaTalelaa. The band was led by guitarist Dhruv Ghanekar, who's better known for his soundtrack collaborations with Ashutosh Pathak (Bombay Boys, White Noise, Mera Pehla Pehla Pyar aka MP3). The drummer on the track, Darshan Doshi, who has also featured on the soundtracks of Black and Sarkar, is Ranjit Barot's student and a Limca Book record holder. Small world.

It's been a long journey since the first notes in 2005 about the film, the change of guard from UTV to Adlabs along with the hint that the "only two songs" in the film, which were "remixed numbers" might be recorded by Vishal Bhardwaj, the possibility of having a soundtrack from Vishal-Shekhar or from Sandesh Shandilya (who was an early choice).

Time to return to the SEL groove with Jaideep Sahni's loopy lyrics: chhoTii-sii zi.ndagii gaharii-sii jeb hai / baaqii to jaan-e-man baato.n ke seb hai.n [nit: as AJ notes, Suraj Jagan incorrectly ends the first line with a hai.n instead of a hai].

[september 08, 2007]: The vibe continues on the wonderful portal for the film -- that zipper reminds me of the cover of Sticky Fingers.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


The trailer for Anurag Kashyap's surreal No Smoking is up over at PFC. Travis Bickle, Mark Renton, Bob Fosse, Richard Morrison, Josef K and more. Eagerly awaited. It's also my first peek into the lyrical web that Gulzar's woven for the film thanks to jab bhii cigarette jalatii hai, which has Adnan Sami doing the honours as club crooner -- wouldn't this mark the first collaboration between Sami and Vishal? A Vishal interview elsewhere indicates that there are five songs on the soundtrack including a Bipasha Basu item number. An old post hereabouts has more on the other songs.

elsewhere on PFC: The No Smoking Diary
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