August 16, 2013

Pay For The Arts – Why should we ?

By - on 16/08/2013 at 4:29 pm

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We’ve seen angsty shout-outs about it, and then some memes too. We’ve read emotive write-ups, and perhaps even participated in animated discussions about the issue. The debate, rather the dilemma, about free-gigs vs. charged entry has been ongoing for a while if not yet beaten to death. I’d say free-gigs don’t work for the artists – even if the artist deliberately puts forward the proposition. It’s good for a launch gig, when you introduce your recipe to the world, but it shouldn’t be overdone. I realize it’s easier for people…

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Metal is growing at a rapid rate in India. Most people who are part of the scene today don’t even know what it was like almost a decade ago – from having almost no bands playing original music, no international metal concerts, no album releases, few festivals, lack of good recording studios etc. to what exists today- an Indian Metal scene. We now have bands writing original music, new venues and avenues for bands to play, almost 30 releases a year for metal alone, lots of good recording studios, almost…

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In light of the recent retraction posted by Hindustan Times about an inaccurate article they had published regarding ‘Masters of Guitar Vol II’, WTS spoke to the artists and organizers involved to get a clear idea of what transpired between them. Here’s a detailed account: 23rd January  - An article titled ‘Guitar Gods to Rock India’ was published by the Hindustan Times stating that Susmit Sen of Indian Ocean was spearheading an initiative called ‘Masters of Guitar’ which will feature notable international guitarists Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Pat Metheny and…

May 1, 2013

The Tyranny of Technique and the Magic of Silence

By - on 01/05/2013 at 6:09 am

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Playing a guitar essentially involves fretting a string with one hand while striking it with the other. As a right-handed player (I was born left-handed but that is another story), it is my left hand that determines the notes, and therefore the melody, while my right produces the sound. Techniques are add-ons, alternative ways of playing a set of notes. Instead of merely fretting and striking each note, you do something different with either hand, or both. Till a few decades ago, descriptions of technique were centred on sliding, hammer-ons/pull-offs, bends/reverse…

April 3, 2013

The Genius of Muthuswami Deekshitar

By - on 03/04/2013 at 9:13 am

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After wading through tonnes of musical material from the Western world, ranging from 50s hard bop jazz to the instrumental rock of Joe Satriani, acid poets like Hendrix and Dylan to political ones like Frank Zappa, I hit a wall and turned around and looked back at the music that used to play in my house when I was a child. It was sung by a woman with the voice of Goddess Saraswati herself – M S Subbulakshmi. One song from the whole tape of the Carnegie Hall concert hit…

March 30, 2013

Indie Music for Dummies (by Dummies, of Dummies)

By - on 30/03/2013 at 8:54 am

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“I’m going to be in a rock band” “I’m going to be a star performer” “I’m going to hear requests for Summer of ’69 all my life” “I want to break free” “God knows I want to break free” If any of these thoughts have ever crossed your mind, this handy, easy to read, easy to digest and easy to poop out guide will have you on the road to being an Indie Music Superstar in no time. In NO time. At all. The Indie Musician 12 Step Program: It…

May 5, 2012

Bangalore Sings The Blues: An Ode To The Blues

By - on 05/05/2012 at 12:23 pm

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In the history of all Blues music, there is a man whose life has become a folk tale. Legend has it that he was poisoned by the jealous husband of a woman he was flirting with but what really attracts attention to his life is the story of how he made a Faustian deal with the devil. Not that he enjoyed any fame in his lifetime “ he was largely unpopular even long after he died. People have studied his life, interpreted it, dissected and analyzed it. That man is…

February 7, 2012

Western Influences and Vernacular Singing

By - on 07/02/2012 at 4:43 pm

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There is no dearth of good rock/metal Indian bands today. Some of them enjoy a good amount of popularity, at least in their home ground. Some others are more niche and play for a more loyal fan base. What does seem lacking in the Indian music scene today is the number of bands that don’t perform in English. Bands that stick to their traditional, vernacular languages while staying true to the genres they wish to adopt. One may argue that switching to a vernacular language may spell less popularity or…

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Sitarist-composer Anoushka Shankar’s 2012 global tour for her latest album Traveller touched down in Bangalore on January 22. The album has been released on the Deutsche Grammophon label and the India concerts were organised by Indian Stage; details of other tours are on her official website. Traveller brings together the soulful soaring music of Spanish flamenco with the unique texture and rhythms of Indian classical music. The album and concert series re-interpret the thousand-year-old link between Spanish and Indian music, originally kicked off by gypsy migration from northwest India to Europe, Africa, and west Asia. The pieces…

January 11, 2012

Freedom Jam

By - on 11/01/2012 at 6:20 am

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Music for the sake of music. If this seemed to be the motto of the annually held Freedom Jam, its intention was lost to the growing needs of a city which desired to please everything else but to favour music. “The Freedom Jam, is a non-stop pulsating musical explosion reverberating by over 40 bands of various hues vying to play over multiple stages to commemorate the freedom of music, now a Mecca for the rock and contemporary music scene in India. The annual Freedom Jam, free music festival is Bangalore’s own Woodstock….