Saturday 27 June 2009

The King of Pop

In the wake of his death, many maudlin and mushy posts would have already flooded the internet.Michael Jackson's death was not shocking at all for me,I would have been zapped had he died a natural death with his grandchildren sitting around his wheelchair.Maybe he would have have done a reverse spin on his wheelchair for their amusement.It is another matter altogether whether his son would have let daddy get too close to his "grandchildren". That would be one dark shadow cast forever on MJ.

One bizarre factor when I listen to music is that, the lyrics never stick to my head.The first thing that hits me is the sound, layers and layers of sound can be deciphered by my brain.. but never the lyrics.In the pre-Rahman era there was nothing worth talking about in the Indian Film industry when it comes to the standard of Sound Recording.

Michael Jackson's tapes from my father's collection was an eye(ear) opener for me.Considering the choices that I had from his collection, the choices apart from MJ being Donna Summer and ABBA.
Incidentally Donna Summer's "Love to Love you Baby" is the song which plays in the background when VK Ramasamy and Janakaraj watch porn in AgniNatchathram. :-)

Unlike many others, the first ever MJ I track I heard was not Thriller, Beat It or Billie Jean..
It was Wanna be starting something[ dummies please click].
The short and rasping 3 sharp beats that signals the start of the song followed by that very funky synth hook which loops through the song and the simple tune with catchy African chorus was enough for this kiddo to get hooked....
It was a pretty smart edit when the synth loop is held back for the African chants some 5 mins into the song and then it kicks back in with perfect sync without missing a chord.

Skipping the big three to another lovely track in the album.. his duet with Paul McCartney.. The girl is mine...

This song has recently popped onto my play list, especially the spectacularly re-worked version from his Thriller 25 album.Will.i.am ably lends it a smooth jazz feel for his version of the duet with MJ.In fact I found a similarity between the re-worked version and one of namma Rahman's work..

Girl is mine- Michael Jackson with Will.i.am

Oh La la- Bombay Dreams



Compare the opening bars of the above two songs ... Rahman thinks like MJ in his chord Progression.. this is just one of the many examples..

Next track is something which I have personally observed nobody talking about it.

Human Nature is a smashing melody, the first in his line up of great melodies that he would be belted out later in his career.
MJ's forte has always been his strong melodies and the fact that only his adrenaline pumping work has fetched him his bread and butter is totally unfortunate.
The dreamy opening bars of Human Nature [ link highlighted above] almost grabs you by your balls.

At times I feel slightly bad about the Comment Section of my blog, the fact that it is almost virginal in its exposure to comments has made me decide on something.

I pledge to write the 2nd of the series of posts even if I receive a solitary comment. :-)

Do dust up your old records or search some dark corners of your D:Drive and fish out some old Mp3 of MJ. May he Rest In Peace.

Sunday 22 February 2009

Half(hearted)- spin


I have no qualms in admitting that I had a lonely childhood.In the early 90's was living in a place where my only company was Sports Star magazine.Every week used to eagerly wait for the poster that was given as a freebie along with the magazine.I vividly remember this particular poster of Anil Kumble at the point of delivering his trademark top spinner.It must ve been 1993 and he terrorized the visiting English batsmen along with Rajesh Chauhan and Venkatapathy "Muscles" Raju.
My grouse at that point of time [ very foolish ] was that Kumble was labelled a leg-spinner.I convinced myself that I could do a better job than this lanky fella. So after pestering my dad to get me a cricket ball.. Would be wheeling away all day at my terrace at Graham Gooch[ he was my hero back then]. Out of a million deliveries that I bowled, not a single one turned!!!
That 9 year old boy did not have the intelligence to realize that just by copying your favorite cricketer the ball does not automatically start turning.
To make matters worse I pestered my dad to join a cricket coaching clinic being conducted in my school.This used to be a hi-funda coaching clinic where they played videos of recent interesting matches.
It was here that I first got to see Shane Warne's ball of the century.The experience was totally bewitching.Further convinced that this was the action I was looking for to affirm my "I am better than Kumble" theory, started copying every mannerism of Warne.
The result was not much different from what happened at my terrace.The deliveries used to land after an eternity.It reached such appaling levels that certain batsman used to go for a smoke and finish their homework before dispatching my ball into outer space.
My coach figuring out that I had no future as a leg-spin bowler egged me to concentrate on my batting. My heart was never in it though..
All this trauma continued well into 1998 when Shane Warne visited India for the first time.India Today even published an article with illustrations on his different grips including a new one that he developed.. somethin called a "zooter".
I had shifted to a new neighbourhood by now and was quite regularly playin "under arms" cricket.Since these matches did not have a time limit, one was forced to come up with variations to try and get the batsman out.
Too lazy.. this was meant to be a massive post... ZZzzzzz