Wednesday, September 07, 2011

We're Here Because We're Here

Am out of blogger-hibernation for a quick word recommending Anathema's new album - We're Here Because We're Here. Anathema has consistently evolved in their song-writing and their musical style has changed over the numerous albums. This melodic/atmospheric album is brilliant, and I keep making comparisons to Pain of Salvation's One Hour by the Concrete Lake. This album's a must-buy. Also keep an eye out for the next album - Falling Deeper, releasing soon.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Pain of Salvation!

If this were a competition, I believe IIT Madras is leading by a really large margin. After getting Opeth to perform at Saarang a couple years back, they had Pain of Salvation performing in Jan 2011. After the debacle of Katatonia at IIT Bombay last year, this concert was something I was really looking forward to, and it did not disappoint.

Like my previous trip, Pavan and I planned a weekend trip to Chennai with the concert scheduled on Saturday, and a visit to Pondicherry planned for the second. The 1000-rupee tickets we booked online ensured we got "VIP passes", meaning we got reaaally close to the stage. We got to see one of the opening bands - Bicycle Days, which was quite good. PoS took the stage around 8.45, after a really long sound check. The set list was the standard they've been doing, with minor variations. Daniel Gildenlöw has a very good voice, and each of the songs were done quite quite brilliantly. A guitar mishap during the show didn't stop the show, and Daniel got the drummer to do a superb solo during the time it too to get the guitars back on. With great stage presence, Daniel is quite a Dickinson on stage, garnering lots of crowd participation, and performing antics like climbing the trusses to play a solo standing on the speakers.

I didn't get any free T-shirts, and there was no PoS merchandise on sale, so I ended up returning empty handed. This trip turned out to be fully worth the bomb I spent flying to and from Chennai, and the overnight stay (and the awesome Chettinad chicken). Woohoo! Pain of Salvation rocks!

Some pics from the show:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mood I and Katatonia

It took days of planning, following up, online purchase of tickets/passes, standing in line at 11 PM for pass collection, and skipping work half day for me to get IIT, Powai to see Katatonia perform live. What a waste!

As good as they are in the studio, the live concert was unimpressive. But that could have been salvaged except that the people who turned up were, for want of a better adjective, stupendously terrible. Most people around me appeared like they were there for want of a better thing to do, and would have preferred Anu Malik or 'imesh on stage any day. And they shimmied instead of head-banging! Bah!

Now need to get to Chennai with hopes that Pain of Salvation will erase this experience for me when they play at Saarang '10.

Katatonia photos, again from my cellphone -

Year-end Metal

So the India metal-heads rejoice - we have now progressed from bringing over the fuddy-duddies of rock to newer, younger bands playing more varied styles of metal. The Great Indian Rock event happened - in four locations in India. I was in Pune to see Meshuggah, Enslaved, Tesseract live and was totally blown away. Awesome, awesome performances! I had my doubts on how the Indian audiences would take to math core, and they were validated by a rather poor turnout. But those that turned up were great, and seemed to totally enjoy the performances. The moshing was almost violent, and there was weed in the air. Red Bull made a fair sale out of the event, and all ended up happy.
Here are some photos of the event from my cell phone -

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Trip to Ranganathittu

Ranganathittu is a really small bird sanctuary close to Mysore, a few kilometers off the Bangalore-Mysore route. I had a chance to visit it recently when I was in Bangalore and had a day free. It took about 2.5 hours to reach in the rented Indica (cost me about 1.8 k for the entire day trip) in really hot weather.

Ranganathittu is little more than a lake with multiple tiny islands on which multiple species of rare water birds nest every year. The safari consists of buying a ticket on a rowboat that takes you on a 20 minute trip around the islands so you can look at the birds up close. I thought it worthwhile and rented an entire boat for myself (and my mum, who accompanied me) and tipped the reluctant oarsman to give me a better, longer tour of the lake in an open boat (all other boats had a roof severely limiting the view).

In spite of the time of day (it was mid-afternoon), I was able to see quite a few birds and their young ones in the open. The most prolific species appeared to be the open-billed storks and the painted storks, with the great egrets coming in a close third. Other interesting birds spotted included the ibis, night heron, the cattle egret, the moorhen, darter, and assorted kingfishers.

All in all, it was an excellent experience being able to get so close to these beautiful birds. It'sa pretty nice place to visit when you're around Bangalore or Mysore. And be sure not to put your hand in the water when you're in the boat - there's a large number of marsh crocodiles in there.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Grass in purple,
and flowers in green
and the early evening dew
seen as a lovely sheen

I walk on the water
wading through the reeds
And I measure my friends
By their deeds

The brownness of the time
on the wall that plays the chime
Is a cue for myself and only me
Reminding me of everyone else I could ever be

Sunday, January 17, 2010


It's been a while. I've procrastinated. But hopefully, I should be able to update the blog regularly now. I have a new workplace; blogs are blocked in office. But with the supposed shorter work hours I should be able to write more often. There are are a few trips I made, and concerts I attended. Hopefully all this should be up next week. I could have started today, but I procrastinate.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Mars Volta

I'd been reading about this band called The Mars Volta for a long time but never really got around to listening to them, and suddenly Pavan messages me saying they are good. And since Pavan listens to good music when he's not watching interesting movies like Tara Rum Pum Pum, I took his word for it and started listening to them.

Well, right enough, the band is brilliant. A very progressive rock/pop band, each of their albums is distinctly different. They've experimented with themes, and no themes, instrument layouts and more. As far as criticism goes, I can't really say the lyrics make a lot of sense to me, but then, I'm quite shallow.

Of the albums I've heard, Amputechture (2006) and Octahedron (2009) are my favorites. They're more melancholy, slower, and for want of a better word, atmospheric. Bedlam in Goliath is a frantic, faster album, while Frances the Mute is a theme-based, slow album.

Try it out - I'm giving The Mars Volta 2 thumbs up.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I want to create an island far far out at sea
Made entirely of all the sadness within me

And without my sadness if I be
Will I have lost myself if that were the key?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Goa in August

I think I'll make this sort of an annual pilgrimage - Goa at the end of the rains. The crowds have not come in yet, and the tourist places are just starting to spruce up in anticipation of the hordes of tourists expected. I stayed at a place called Marbella , in Sinquerim, with 4 other friends.
Some photos -