The World Cup fever, budgets, not to mention the usual rigmorale of work! It's all enough to overwhelm, isn't it? Let's relax with a bit of music with the fifth instalment of our series. The usual seven categories here!
Category: The good ol' days
Van Halen: Eruption
Album: Van Halen, 1978
Few guitar tracks have changed the way the instrument was approached. Eddie van Halen's outrageous minute-and-a-half speedfest introduced the world to his astonishing technique, including the famed 'tapping' technique. Jaw-dropping.
Category: New Stuff
Linkin Park: A Line In The Sand
Album: The Hunting Party, 2014
Linkin Park - a band loved by those graduating to hard rock - and reviled by so-called 'real' fans for the same reason, has always been exciting. Their last few albums showed maturity, which in this industry tends to mean slowing down and losing the hard edge. Fans of classic LP will be thrilled to hear that their new album is not just a throwback to the old days, but possibly their heaviest yet. It's a fabulous album with some great guitaring. This is the best track off it.
Category: Indian Indie
Indus Creed: Rock 'n' Roll Renegade
Album: Rock 'n' Roll Renegade, 1988
Indus Creed are often considered the pioneer 'Indian rock band'. While they weren't the first by any means, they were probably the most successful, popular and well-branded. With their newly launched avatar with a new drummer, they're as popular as ever. They were a great in-the-face-of-tradition band, and that spirit manifests itself perfectly in this track. The live version is goosebump-worthy!
Sigur Ros: Staralfur
Album: agaetis Byrjun, 1999
Sigur Ros are possibly Iceland's best export (early 2000s Chelsea fans will argue that's Eidur Gudjohnsen, though). Their atmospheric post-rock is dreamy, chilling, beautiful and draws you in. It doesn't matter if you can't understand the lyrics - that kind of adds to the mysticism. One listen of this and you'll know why. Also, great fan video below.
Category: Hey, I remember!
Sonu Nigam: Tu...!
Album: Kismat, 1998
Of course you remember this! This was one of the catchiest songs to come out of the golden phase of Indipop featuring yet-to-become-Bollywood-superstar Sonu Nigam. This song had everything going for it - Biddu's immaculate songwriting skills, a dance step anyone could mimic, a video with graphics that seemed cool in 1998, a boyish protagonist wearing FILA, and of course - the siren Bipasha Basu, before she became big in Bollywood too!
Amake amar moto thakte dao (Music: Anupam Roy) - Bengali
Album: Autograph, 2010
One from our Bong friends this time! Written, composed and sung by Anupam Roy, an ex-IT professional, this beautiful song finds its space in the movie Autograph, which is a tribute to Satyajit Ray's Nayak. The literal translation of this powerful romantic song is 'mujhe chod do mere haal pe' from Lootere. Inspiration, truly can come from anywhere!
Hamara Bajaj - new (ad)
What must this ad have meant to India! We all remember the iconic Hamara Bajaj ad and jingle from yesteryear featuring the then-cool Chetak. India changed, aspirations changed, Bajaj's vehicles changed... And then came this stunning, stunning ad with the same lyrics and tune, but refreshed. Electric guitars stood cheek-in-jowl with tabla as the ad beautifully showed how today's tattoo and leather-adorning dude is also respectful of Indian values. As it sinks in to how apt and poignant the lyrics are today as it was decades ago, the chorus of Hamara Bajaj cuts in to probably the best piece of the ad - a sitar being carried by two muscular guys on a bike. It's not easy to re-do nostalgia (as the disastrous second avatar of Mile Sur showed), but this was a stunningly powerful piece of work by the ad agency Lowe. It remains one of my favourite Indian ads of all time.
Enjoy, and see you next week!
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Deepak Gopalakrishnan aka Chuck is a Mumbai-based cartoonist, blogger and green chilli aficionado.
He tweets here