Monday, December 01, 2008

Add tired and cynical to Confused, Dazed,.....


*) tired and an order of magnitude more cynical than usual.

*) waiting to talk to a couple of friends who attempted to contact me this past weekend.

*) waiting to hear back from a friend who I attempted to contact this past weekend.

*) reading cynical "business as usual" articles from just about everyone on the response to the Mumbai attacks.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I shook the hand of.....

A 93 yr old blues legend, David "Honeyboy" Edwards. It was a once in a lifetime experience!

The Venue: Regatta Jazz Bar
Thoughts : A very intimate setting - a smallish stage designed to accommodate a trio (most jazz bands are a trio). Ironically, the audience which was mostly corporate, rich, white American paid good money to see a wizened old black man who at many points in his life lived outside "normal" society as either a slave or in dire poverty in the infamous projects of Chicago. This wizened old black man sang songs about being poor, about cotton picking, about having the "white man" blues and rich corporate white Americans and one brown, relatively poor man paid good money to be there. Figure that one out!

Disclaimer: I do have a romanticized view of the delta blues. So, read the rest taking into account this bias. Also, account for the positive bias coming from witnessing something from another era, something that I probably will not see again anyway.

The Music:
What can I say that hasn't already been said before in better prose that I can ever muster? Delta blues speaks in rustic, earthy tones about a hard life, about the problems of the African American (as they are known now) in a by gone era. Lyrics aside, the simplistic (only to the ear) rhythms and leads of the guitar, the pace and style of vocals are to say the least, endearing. The rhythm, to my ear, sounds identical in all the songs but what rides on it - the vocals and finger picking style guitar - is absolutely fantastic. Closing your eyes and listening to the simple chugging rhythm, heart soaring with woeful vocals or the wails of the harmonica (did I mention that Honeyboy's manager was blowing the horn with absolute mastery?) took me to an altogether different place.

This was a refreshing change from contemporary blues/rock where production (over) emphasizes the music producing a wall of sound. Though this in itself is an absolute art producing "layers" of music that have been the forte of many bands, one of my favorites being Porcupine Tree, Honeyboy's "return to the roots" acoustic music was a very mellowing and peaceful experience.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The wine of life.....and I'm drinking deep

Concert updates:

Iced Earth, 15th Oct 2008, The Palladium, Worcester MA

Blackest of the Black Tour - Danzig, Dummu Borgir, Moonspell, 17th Oct 2008, The Palladium, Worcester MA

Twilight of the Thunder God Tour - Amon Amarth, Belphegor, Ensiferum, 18th Oct 2008, The Palladium, Worcester MA

Bang that head that doesn't bang!!

Friday, October 10, 2008


"A 21st century cocktail of MTV, sex, prescription drugs, video games, the internet, terminal boredom, and subsequent escape."

I think I am past the MTV stage, somehow missed the sex and prescription drugs and am currently somewhere in a combination of stages involving video games, the internet and terminal boredom.

Escape? Its a long drawn out process of life and is present every minute of it.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A fresh start destined to go wrong.

People are prejudiced and opinionated. That's the plain truth of it. They have their set views of the world, a world view, a colored looking glass through which they view the world, interpret it and most importantly, make peace with it. This world view is a strong anchor and helps people maintain order in their otherwise meaningless lives. It is a means for people to band together and to belong, to love and be loved. It is a cocoon, a shelter that people will pay the highest price to defend.

with this preamble, let us examine how new born babies - a chance at something completely new, fresh, with absolutely no allegiances to anything but pure innocence - are molded to have the same prejudices (or worse), the same world view (or worse) as their parents. These parents, drunk with the arrogance of their hubris, their infallibility, willfully choose to paint on this canvas with their palette of vile colors. Presuming that they are the absolute best role models for something that can be enticed, cajoled, taught, schooled into learning anything, they butcher this innocence with their own insecurities, their opinions, their likes and dislikes, narrowing forever the possibilities of hope for something fresh and new. These forced indoctrinations sometimes go awry and lead children to develop their own personality with their own tortured world view which they in turn pass onto their children perpetuating a cycle that only mutates.

For the reader who must already be indignant, I must make haste to add that I do not include what has become basic civil behavior (please, thank you etc) and a whole host of other generalities in this mutable parent-child world view transfers.

Please observe the children around you and how they absorb their parents' behavior, their insecurities, their attitudes and turn out to be a chip of the old block, if you will. Its largely a necessary evil.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pithy thought for the day

When everything in your life - your job, your daily routine, your so called hobbies - is seemingly dead and does not enhance your sense of fulfillment then no price is too small to pay for that particular cause, idea or thing that makes you feel alive.

You will cling on to it even at great personal cost just because it makes you feel alive.

When and how you pick your battle is a great test of character and judgment. More often than not, great potential is frittered away just because deadened people make wrong choices and decisions of the battles that they decide to fight to the end.