May 4, 2016

Pay what you owe

By - on 04/05/2016 at 9:27 am


India’s independent music scene is apparently flourishing. You have more festivals go to, scores of new bands or soloists crop up every month to offer original music and we have a plethora of websites and magazines to keep us up to date on what’s what and who’s who in the world of non-Bollywood tunes. All of the above might give most of us a twinge of radiant optimism, but turns out the “system” has a huge flaw. It is one you would expect, and it is one that debilitates it…

March 23, 2016

An Artist’s Rebellion

By - on 23/03/2016 at 8:22 pm


Ours is a country where we grow up listening to contrasting opinions. We’re taught that we’re unique and then we’re chided for it when we grow up. We’re taught that we can be anything we want, but we aren’t taught that that statement comes with the Conditions Applied* tag like we’re commodities that can only be interesting or useful so long as we fit within boxes and shelves. Some people understand that these conditions exist, but some don’t. We call these oblivious people artists. They grow like wild shrubs –…

September 12, 2015

Building Kolkata’s Indie Soundscape : Nishit Arora

By - on 12/09/2015 at 12:44 am


For as long as we can remember, we’ve been hearing about how Kolkata is a location that bands, both national and international, avoid like the plague. Now, while that might not be completely true (NH7 did bring Mutemath down), it’s probably not completely false either. Nishit Arora had been around for a while before he decided that the city could use a shot of adrenaline, music-wise: “I have been part of the entertainment business for years doing a bunch of things like DJing, dance choreography, workshops, production, corporate events etc. It…

August 12, 2015

Wanderlust and Music: The Busking Man Chronicles

By - on 12/08/2015 at 6:58 pm


People, when beset with the pointlessness of a 9 to 5 routine, often take to dreaming of an escape. Quitting their job, grabbing a backpack, heading out on roads less trod. Meeting people so incredibly inspiring and seeing sights so uplifting that everything they knew about life is changed. Forever and for the better. And that’s where the fantasy ends as we grunt in response to the shrieking of an alarm clock or a demanding boss. Or so goes the story we are all fed to ensure a grudging loyalty to monotony….

March 22, 2015

A Tribute to the Women Who Rock Kolkata

By - and on 22/03/2015 at 10:18 pm


This Women’s Day we spoke to four women who helped revolutionize the rock circuit in Kolkata. We reached out to the bandmates, family members and close friends of these four iconic women from the Kolkata scene, and they spoke about what makes these women so special. Jayashree Singh  If there is anyone who is entitled to the title of The Queen of Kolkata Rock Circuit, then that person is Jayashree Singh. Jayashree came to prominence in the 90s during her stint with the aptly named pop act Pop Secret. But it was…

February 3, 2014

Speaking of Boro Baba (Baba Allauddin Khan)

By - on 03/02/2014 at 9:27 am


The sum and substance of Baba Allauddin Khan’s life was music. He quested true musical knowledge, nurtured it with a devotion and determination so severe that it kept him up at all hours, practicing and perfecting his art in all its detail in ways that could certainly appear harsh to others. But the nature of saadhna – the true nature of saadhna – is quintessential, single minded pursuit of the one thing that matters more than all else. For Boro Baba was a Saadhak – Music his Saadhana, his way…

December 25, 2013

Of the Seven Sisters’ Call: The Tetseo Sisters

By - on 25/12/2013 at 8:34 pm


The expansive diversity of India is understood to a great extent, by the multiplicity of musical avatars presented by the seemingly unending forms of cultural creation in this country of contradictions. One such aural phenomenon that may strike many as beautiful, yet unfamiliar hails from the hill-studded state of Nagaland, much of whose traditional cultural practices and interests remain alien to those beyond its borders- a fact true for most of the North Eastern states that comprise ‘The Land of the Seven Sisters’.  But Naga songstresses and siblings, Mercy, Azi,…

December 23, 2013

No Euphoria Over Sen’s Sexism

By - on 23/12/2013 at 9:45 pm


Each year has its share of music festivals that are marked on every enthusiast’s calendar. Mood Indigo at IIT Bombay might feature high on that list because of its popularity and renown for quality and class. This year, Palash Sen, of Euphoria fame marred the experience of most fans gathered for the show. His slew of sexist “jokes” on stage, calling into question the beauty and representation of women in IIT, their intelligence, and their adherence to stereotyped female gender roles such as roti-making has rightly left a large fan…

September 20, 2013

Edison’s Legacy

By - on 20/09/2013 at 12:03 am


Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. Its sound quality was poor and each recording lasted only one play, (the Gramophone and the Record were actually invented by Berliner in 1887) but it set into motion a change that completely altered the way musicians and listeners interacted with each other. Until then, music was produced only when musicians played and music was heard only when audiences listened to musicians play. But not anymore. People could now listen to music whenever they wished, and musicians had vastly greater opportunities to be heard; even when…

August 20, 2013

An Eye for Music

By - on 20/08/2013 at 6:15 pm


One of the most delightful conundrums of music is that while it had almost solely been hailed as an enchanter of the ear, its proliferation into the phenomenon that it has become has been dependant largely on the visual dimension. To put it bluntly, music has been parading as a non-optic art even though half its appeal lies in visualization. Not merely stage presence, but even music videos and the artists’ presentation in terms of fashion and symbology shapes the listener’s perception of and response to the music. In all truth, can you imagine your…