Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Euphoria: My Favourite Songs

Euphoria is one of my favorite bands. They say they created the genre of Hindrock. I don't know what that means, but their songs are enjoyable and the videos (lot of them directed by Pradeep Sarkar) are exceptional. So here is a list of my favourite Euphoria Songs in no particular order:

1. Dhoom Pichuk:
The one that started it all. I guess this saved Archies Music (I think they eventually folded up) from bankruptcy. The video was awesome, Shubha Mudgal's vocals in the end took the song to another level, so did the setting, Benaras (I decided I will go there after seeing this video and it is still pending). Here is the video:

3. Kaise Bhoolegi Mera Naam
This song is average but video is awesome! It tells a story in 3 minutes and does a good job at that. Boy Pradeep Sarkar has some talent (why on earth did he make the idiotic Laaga Chunari Mein Daaga? ). So this video shows Vidhya Balan's marriage which is messed up and in typical Bollywood style, Palash Sen jumps in and saves the day!. I particularly like the cut at 3:23 mark. Nice job! Here is the video:

2. Hum (Rok Sako To Rok Lo)
This is one of the relative unknowns. I remember this song was used in one of the Maruti Adverts. I love the song due to minimal (or no?) usage of electronic instruments. It features "Miss India" Mehnaz. So here is the video:

4. Sha Na:
Features Neha Dhupia in her pre-Bollywood stardom days. The song is pretty nice! Most impressive is the chorus which means nothing but I find myself repeating days on a trot.

5. Phir Dhoom:
Another Pradeep Sarkar Gem, this video was the first one of the second album. And boy it was number 1 for a long time! I remember this Veejay on Channel V cribbing that artists need to make better albums just to unseat Euphoria!

This was India's first single album. Just one song, 2 versions for Rs. 20. The concept failed miserably, but the song was solid. In the starting of the video, there is this producer type person who is depressed that the video doesn't have girls and the band doesn't want to go to a foreign localtion for shooting! The song is great but the Guitar Solo at 3:10 takes it to the next level (and brings it in this list:) ). The best part about the video is that the common man stars in this, not the band. Awesome.

7. Tum:
This video features Michelle (the same female in the Dhoom Pichuk video). This time though, the song is much better than the ultra depressing video. Don't have much to write except I prefer happy endings

8. Maaeri:
Masterpiece, the video and the song. Have nothing else to say.

9. Bhoola Sab
Highly Underrated, but I like it due to good guitars, the whistle and a totally unconventional video.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Commonwealth Games

And they have started! The opening ceremony was awesome! And with it came a powerful statement about us. We
mess up yes, we have idiotic politicians, the Aussies play mind games all the time, but when it comes to getting stuff done and ensuring we put up a good show, you cannot beat India. The hoopla all the news channels were making about the bad condition of the Athletes' Village was just another way to garner TRPs. Yes we messed up, but hey thats how we roll!

No I don't endorse corruption and I am pretty sure, Suresh Kalmadi can join the Forbes List of Richest Indians this year, but people are speaking up, and this is a big change! We might not be ready to host the Olympics as yet, but hey who wants to? Since 1996 all of them have been loss making!

I don't understand why we want our games, our infrastructure, our security as per "international standards"? What is it about "international" that so charming? Aren't these games about Indian Pride? We do things our way, we have chaotic traffic, we have lots and lots (and lots (and lots)) of people so we can't expect that we will be like other countries. But we can be best we can be! And yes CWG opening ceremony was exactly that!

Here is to hoping that we can have a decent haul of medals this time and another rocking closing ceremony!

PS: Is there someplace where I can see the entire ceremony? I want to hear The President's speech!

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Indipop revolution of the 90s

In the Big Bang Theory, one of Sheldon's dreams is to invent a time machine. Well it has already been invented. YouTube.

YouTube takes you back to the glorious days when 21 inch CRT television was the greatest thing and you had 25 different channels! Also there were no pesky DTH services, there was the cable-wallah dude who used to mis-report his numbers so that he could keep monthly charges low for consumers. God bless him!

You can see all the old ads, tv serials, songs, opening titles for all your favorite series as kids (Rant: There was a Pepsi Advertisement, Freedom to be Azaadi Dil Ki which I can't find anywhere! Please help!)

So basically randomly visiting different eras on YouTube I realized that one species of entertainers has disappeared from the scene, the Indian Popstars. The 90s were the golden days of Indipop. We had slew of "stars" from Baba Sehgal or Alisha Chinoy or Suchitra Krishnamoorthy or Raageshwari or Saagarika or Anaida or Mehnaaz or Altaaf Raja (god this is a long list!)

What differentiated these guys was that they didn't usually go for Playback singing and published their own albums. More so because they had their unique voices which weren't suitable for actresses (Alka Yagnik anyone?).

The videos that were made in those years were pretty slick and match up to the international videos of that time. I guess in those years, Pop was a niche product and hence these guys were not catering to the auto rickshaws but the cassette players in the cars and hence they were a class product.

What happened to these guys? Well here is my Hypothesis. Sonu Nigam happened. This dude who started with Gulshan Kumar belting out average (not bad though) imitations of Mohammed Rafi (in my opinion the greatest singer ever!) was rising in Bollywood. At the same time he had a hit TV show going on. In middle of all this, he came up with his blockbuster album Deewana. I think that's when pop started dying a slow death, though there were sporadic groups like Bombay Vikings or Euphoria (no they are not rock!) which came through. But the great days of Indipop were over.