ANNIVERSARIES:

! Boz Burrell (Bad Company) 1-Aug ! Chuck D (Public Enemy) 1-Aug ! Coolio 1-Aug ! Joe Elliot (Def Leppard) 1-Aug ! Robert Cray (1953) 1-Aug ! Tiger Varadachariar 1-Aug ! Prema Hariharan (Chennai) 2-Aug ! Sushama Reddy 2-Aug ! Zelma Davis (C+C Music Factory) 2-Aug ! Chhannulal Mishra 3-Aug ! James Hetfield (Metallica) 3-Aug ! Tony Bennett (1926) 3-Aug ! Sharon Prabhakar 4-Aug ! Vellore Ramabhadran 4-Aug ! Vishal Bhardwaj 4-Aug ! Ganesh Jain 5-Aug ! Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai 5-Aug ! Pat Smear (formerly of Foo Fighters) 5-Aug ! Aditya Narayan 6-Aug ! Cyrus Sahukar 6-Aug ! Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice of Spice Girls) 6-Aug ! Bruce Dickenson (Iron Maiden) 7-Aug ! Cyrus Broacha 7-Aug ! Suresh Wadkar 7-Aug ! JC Chasez ('N Sync) 8-Aug ! Raza Ali Khan 8-Aug ! Shawn Mendes 8-Aug ! Asgari Bai 9-Aug ! Sawan Kumar Tak 9-Aug ! Sulkshana Pandit 9-Aug ! Trichur V.Ramachandran (Chennai) 9-Aug ! Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) 10-Aug ! Ustad Alladiya Khan 10-Aug ! Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande 10-Aug ! Ramashreya Jha 11-Aug ! T.H.Vinayakram 11-Aug ! V. Doreswamy Iyengar 11-Aug ! Kid Creole 12-Aug ! Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) 12-Aug ! Pat Metheny 12-Aug ! Nalin Shah 13-Aug ! T.K.Murthy 13-Aug ! Dash Crofts (Seals & Crofts) 14-Aug ! David Crosby (Crosby, Stills & Nash) 14-Aug ! Manohar Iyer 14-Aug ! Michael Graham (Boyzone) 14-Aug ! Sunidhi Chauhan 14-Aug ! Amir Khan 15-Aug ! Bharati Pradhan 15-Aug ! Pandit Prasun Banerjee 15-Aug ! Prof. T.Viswanathan 15-Aug ! R.Durga Prasad 15-Aug ! Srimushnam V.Raja Rao 15-Aug ! Emily Erwin (Dixie Chicks) 16-Aug ! Hemlata 16-Aug ! Kishan Bhutani 16-Aug ! Madonna 16-Aug ! Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar 16-Aug ! Belinda Carlisle 17-Aug ! Donnie Wahlberg (New Kids On The Block) 17-Aug ! Daler Mehndi 18-Aug ! Dennis Elliot (Foreigner) 18-Aug ! Gulzar 18-Aug ! Jon Higgins 18-Aug ! Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar 18-Aug ! T.S.Balakrishna Sastrigal 18-Aug ! Abdul Rashid Khan 19-Aug ! Ginger Baker (Cream) 19-Aug ! Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) 19-Aug ! John Deacon (Queen) 19-Aug ! Ken Gosh 19-Aug ! Demi Lovato 20-Aug ! Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) 20-Aug ! Naresh(Mahesh Brother) 20-Aug ! Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) 20-Aug ! Uday Tara Nayar 20-Aug ! Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) 21-Aug ! Kenny Rogers 21-Aug ! Liam Howlett (Prodigy) 21-Aug ! Melissa Schuman (Dream) 21-Aug ! Sriram Brahmanandam 21-Aug ! Howie Dorough (Backstreet Boys) 22-Aug ! James DeBarge (DeBarge) 22-Aug ! Paul Douchette (Matchbox 20) 22-Aug ! Roland Orzabal (Tears For Fears) 22-Aug ! Tori Amos 22-Aug ! Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) 23-Aug ! SkyBlu (LMFAO) 23-Aug ! Basavaraj Rajguru 24-Aug ! Billy Ray Cyrus 25-Aug ! DJ Terminator X (Public Enemy)25-Aug ! Elvis Costello 25-Aug ! Gene Simmons 25-Aug ! Rekha Chinniprakash 25-Aug ! Rob Halford (Judas Priest) 25-Aug ! Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) 25-Aug ! Adrian Young (No Doubt) 26-Aug ! M.S.Anantaraman 26-Aug ! Shirley Manson (Garbage) 26-Aug ! Rajarathnam Pillai 27-Aug ! Shania Twain 27-Aug ! Tony Kanal (No Doubt) 27-Aug ! Voletti Venkateswarulu 27-Aug ! Chris Copping (Procol Harum) 29-Aug ! Kyle Cook (Matchbox 20) 29-Aug ! Micky Moody (Whitesnake) 30-Aug ! Debbie Gibson 31-Aug ! Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions) 31-Aug

Hot News

Zara Khan & Tanishk Bagchi released their first song..

The multi-talented and Bollywood’s most trending music composer, Tanishk Bagchi and Zara Khan, singer- actress who featured as a lead in an Oscars nominated movie ‘Khoj’ and the daughter of the iconic Salma Agha make their debut as singer-songwriters with their first single Khud Se Zyada in collaboration with VYRL Originals. Khud Se Zyada is a beautiful romantic track, with a young, happy, urban vibe that will make you groove instantly.

Staying true to his style, Tanishk Bagchi has experimented and seamlessly infused new pop beats making Khud Se Zyada an alternative pop sound. Furthermore, the verses of the track act as a soul to the melody and make you live and love in the moment with every listen.

The video of the song best captures the old saying: "love shows up when you least expect it".  Zara in the video is portrayed as a cabbie who falls in love at first sight with Tanishk who is her passenger. Zara grabs an unexpected opportunity and takes Tanishk around to exquisite and romantic locations of Sydney. Both are seen to be living in the moment and making the most by enjoying the little time they have together. This crazy love story that starts between two strangers, weaves into a strong bond effortlessly. The video is shot and Co-directed by Aimee-Lee Curran and Pooja Gujral in the beautiful picturesque backdrops of Australia.

VYRL Originals, the frontrunner in building the category and culture of non-film music in India has given independent music artists a platform to showcase their talent. The label has over 17 exclusive artists in their roster and have worked with many more non-exclusive artists, growing original music and non-film category in India.

Curating the track Tanishk Bagchi shares “My inspiration behind writing this track ‘Khud Se Zyada’ was not just love but my dedication and adoration I have for music. Music has been with me for all my life and my music will be with people even after I’m gone, so for me ‘Khud Se Zyada’ – i.e. more than me… is my passion for music. And this track being my first single as a singer-songwriter I solely wanted the track to be dedicated to my love which is music”.

Speaking about her collaboration, Zara Khan said, “My family’s legacy from my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother have been all singer-actors. Hence singing and acting comes naturally to me and I love doing both. My mom feels I have a husky voice, which is very different from hers. The track ‘Khud Se Zyada’ will definitely hold on to the listeners by its lyrics, being written so simple yet holds a very deep meaning – Khud Se Zyada tere ho gaye.... I don’t think one needs to say anything more when the one you love says that to you. This is my first single and I am super excited about it.”

On the release of the track, Vinit Thakkar, Senior Vice President, Universal Music Group India & South Asia said, “Tanishk and Zara are extremely talented artists and we are proud that both have chosen to debut their first single with VYRL Originals due to our differentiated and unique approach towards content development and marketing. We are looking forward to the release of Khud Se Zyada and many more in the future.”

VYRL Originals – An EMI Records India Property:VYRL Originals is EMI Music India’s latest music property created to promote independent non-film music. This unique property is once again led by noted film director Mohit Suri - known for his excellent taste in music. Mohit will be curating every aspect of each track that is being produced. Right from the composers, lyricists to the singers, each of them has been carefully worked on and handpicked by the director himself. The sound will be in line with contemporary Bollywood music with great production values, albeit without the canvass of a film. The tracks under VYRL Originals will be launched simultaneously across every streaming service – in India as well as Globally - and will sit amongst today’s popular Bollywood songs giving the music lover a seamless listening experience.

Cool Star

Spitfire :Ink set on Fire

In the world of the written and spoken word, a name like 'Rumi' resonates a certain quality of depth and wordplay. In a contemporary context, 'Spitfire' aspires to be as great. The word 'Spit' is slang for the power of the spoken word. The word 'Fire' empowers the words to provoke or destroy anything that stands in his path. His weapons for peace and war are his words. Now imagine a word spoken, visible, soaked in the gasoline of depth and meaning, and then set it on fire. Spitfire embodies Ink set on Fire. Nitin Mishra is the real name of 'Spitfire', the young rapper from small-town Madhya Pradesh. The “Asli Hip Hop” hook from the Gully Boy that you’ve been tapping your foot to was created by him.

Swaddled in his grandmother’s frosting coated love since childhood, Nitin Mishra was not taught to stand up to hood bullies violently, which is probably why he took to the might of the word so easily. Growing up in small-town India, Nitin grew up completely unaware that hip-hop was not a dance form. This was only until he met his accomplice and brother Ayush Khare, who pushed Nitin to experient with the genre. Together they formed the duo, ‘RAPresent’ with Ayush as ‘Wordsmith’ and Nitin Mishra as ‘Spitfire'.

Scribbling lyrics about teachers and organizing casual rap battles in school not only seeded Sptifire’s initial inspiration, but also got him kicked out of school in the 11th grade. A darkness in disguise, Spitfire hung onto the one thing he had: a desire to express his thoughts on notebooks that weren’t just meant for examination answer sheets. Inspired by the likes of rapper-poets like Bohemia, who deftly spoke to the world in a language comfortable to them, Spitfire overcame his self-consiousness about his English and started working on rhymes for all the Hindi and urdu poems he had scribbled over years in his notebooks. Thus began Spitfire’s journey into underground hip-hop in India.

Spitfire has come a long way from surfacing the dust roads of an early teenage to showcasing his flawless poetry on the big screen, and has proudly been representing the heartland of India: Madhya Pradesh, or ‘Midzone’ as he fondly likes to call it. His lyrical fluency and way with words became apparent with his contribution to Gully Boy, for which he wrote most of the protagonist, Murad’s rap battles. His single for the feature, ‘Asli Hip-Hop’ was used to introduce a Bollywood dependent audience to the real value of Spitfire’s beloved genre.

His debut EP “Paathshala” is about how Spitfire saved Nitin Mishra. The EP speaks of an old wealth of knowledge based on experiential learning that guides us to who we are. Art and expression had once saved Nitin, so he has now found the strength to give back and spit words soaked in truth. You can feel his frustrations and his release juxtaposed in every word, in every song.

Fueling ink with ignited angst, Spitfire is a humble voice of surety as he rolls (read ‘spits’) out poetry in purity of truth and intent. His debut EP ‘Paathshala’ is a testament to this vision and creative dexterity. An EP with a profound lyrical quality of poetry that is timeless, is why Spitfire is fondly known to those around him as Little Ghalib: a poet whose words penetrate through you, surpassing time and trend.

Gigs

Bacardi NH7 Weekender 2019

2019-11-29

Pune

Read more

Gigs 2

Broadcast India Show

At the heart of the Indian Broadcast & Film industry lies a show that keeps the pulse racing.

Technology evolves at lightning speed and it dramatically impacts everything it touches; the world of broadcast and entertainment is no different. The entire gamut of innovative advancement possible in this industry remains elusive most of the time, except for one unique occasion. Every year, for over two and a half decades, The Broadcast India Show becomes the interactive platform that showcases on one hand, the paradigm shifts in infotainment technology across the globe. On the other, it allows you to connect with the innovators and experience the marvels first-hand.

With Broadcast India Show 2017, it's time to make way for next-gen broadcast technology - faster, easier, more productive and definitely more creative ways of working with broadcast, film, audio, radio and everything else that contributes to the infotainment industry - from its content creation to its management and delivery. Companies and corporates, veterans and professionals, suppliers and customers, visionaries, and other stakeholders from across the world will gather to realize opportunities, establish trade connections and facilitate resource pooling on the biggest scale as is the norm every year.

The last edition of the Broadcast India Show saw over 20,000+ global visitors and 590 participants from more than 36 countries coming together, eager to push ahead of the growth curve faster than anyone else. As a visitor or a participant, there’s no doubt the show will chart new infotainment horizons for you.

THE CONFERENCE
Along with the broad-spectrum event, The Broadcast India Show 2017 will simultaneously facilitate a 2-day conference that that dives right into the nitty-gritty of content. It will invite CEOs, directors and proprietors of companies along with engineers, technicians and technologists to conduct an array of technical presentations, product promotions and in-depth discussions.

Ziro Festival of Music 2017


Ziro Festival of Music 2017

 

27th Sep - 02nd Oct 2017.

Ziro Festival of Music returns this year to the spectacular Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh, India with the best of contemporary music and art the world has to offer. Mark your dates, call your friends, book your tickets. Do all it takes to be part of India's Greatest Outdoor Music Festival.

Ed Sheeran India Tour 2017

Broadcast India Show 2017 will take place on 12-14 October 2017 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai.

Broadcast India Show 2017

Global music sensation Ed Sheeran with chart-toppers like Shape of You and Castle on the Hill. The artist is all set to perform live in Mumbai , as he will be touring Asia later this year

 

Broadcast India Show 2017 will take place on 12-14 October 2017 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai.

Features

Elvis lives on in Graceland

Graceland is the home of rock and roll legend Elvis Presley. The mansion on a 13.8 acre estate in Memphis, Tennessee, is today a pilgrimage destination for his millions of fans worldwide. The site was listed in the American National Register of Historic Places in 1991and declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006. In 1982 it was opened to the public as a museum and is the second most visited site in the US after the White House.

There are very few people who can be recognized historically by their first name. Elvis is one of them. Elvis had a presence. You felt him even when you couldn’t see him, and as we celebrate his 42nd death anniversary on 16th August, Verus Ferreira pays tribute to the rock n roll great on his visit to Graceland.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland was always on my bucket list, and I was privileged to get a chance to visit the place when friends Renuka Rose and Marc Taube invited me and my family for a holiday to their home in Cleveland, I jumped at the offer, especially when they said we could visit Graceland. What I didn’t know was my Marc pitching an idea of a road trip to Tupelo (Mississippi) the birthplace of Elvis, then Nashville - home of country music, Memphis (Graceland), St Louis and back to Cleveland. After soaking in the sights of Cleveland’s iconic Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and other places, we werelooking forward to the trip of a lifetime.

Well stocked for the jaunt in a four wheel drive Toyota SUV, we headed out one early morning for the long drive. After a night halt in Columbus, we headed onto Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis. It was here that Elvis Aaron Presley was born on 8th January, 1935. Presley was supposed to be a twin, but his brother, Jesse was stillborn. Elvis was raised by parents Gladys and Vernon Presley who took up small jobs to keep the home fires burning. Elvis was deeply devoted to his parents, especially his mother, Gladys, and was raised to have a strong faith in God. Presley attended the Assembly of God Church with his parents, where gospel music became an important influence for him. Noticing his love for music,Elvis received his first guitar as a gift from his mother on his 11th birthday.

A tour ($18) which will give you access into the modest two room shack, museum and the Chapel he
attended. It’s hard to believe how humble Elvis really was and how great a star he went on to become.
Quite a difference from the opulence of Graceland. The shack has an outhouse; one full room for the family to sleep that has Elvis’ bed and a small kitchen. The cute lady in the house answered questions about how Elvis’ father bought the house. It is a really peaceful, contemplative place to be. I enjoyed sitting on the porch-seat. In my opinion, this place is far nicer, more appropriate and prettier than Graceland, for people who want to remember Elvis quietly. The timeline surrounding the shack takes you back in time.

The Chapel is quite large and has the original podium that Elvis once used. There is also a replica piano of Elvis’ on one side. It is definitely worth the visit especially to see a rare videos of Elvis singing hymnsat the morning prayers when he was a young child. The museum here is very interesting with a lot of photos and stories.Don’t forget to take a walk around the well manicured garden and then a short climb uphill to see thestatue of Elvis which is really grand. If you are going to Graceland I would suggest visiting Tupelo where it all started.Back to the Elvis journey, in 1948, the family moved to Memphis and it was here that Elvis had his first taste of musical success when he won a talent show at Humes High School in Memphis. After graduating in 1953, he began working as a truck driver to pay his way into the Memphis Recording Services studio to get studio time.

He cut his first demo record at what later became known as Sun Studio. He sang the song My Happiness and That’s when your heartaches begin and before long, Sam Phillips, the record label owner, decided to sign on the young singer. He got his first break with That's All Right Mama which was his first single in 1954. Soon enough, the hits came rolling in for Elvis. Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Don’t be Cruel, All Shook Up, Jailhouse Rock, Teddy Bear, Its Now or Never among many others put him in everyone’s heart. His impact on American culture was stupendous, as he seemed to have an effect on the manner of dressing, hairstyles, and even behavior, which many copied. His spinning movements on stage became legendary. His stardom got him 136 gold records and 10 platinum records. He was the top recording artist for two straight decades, the 50s and 60s. Elvis received 14 Grammy nominations and won three wins  for Gospel recordings - the album ‘How Great Thou Art’ (1967), ‘He Touched Me’ (1972) and his live Memphis concert recording of the song ‘How Great Thou Art’ (1974).

Elvis also tried his hand at acting, thereby showcasing his music too. His first film was ‘Love Me Tender’ (1956) and the very popular ‘Jailhouse Rock’ (1957) followed by many more, making him singer and actor. Called to serve his country, Elvis began a well-publicized stint in the army in 1958, but returned when his mother passed away in 1958. The remainder of his military service was spent stationed in Germany (until 1960), where he met his future wife Priscilla Beaulieu who he married in 1967. Theywere blessed with a daughter Lisa Marie.

Elvis's success in the entertainment industry came the hard way and with it a few wrong decisions and
unneeded advice. This took a toll on him when he faced numerous failures in his personal life. In 1973, he and Priscilla divorced; As Elvis's millions grew, so too did the mismanagement by Parker, his long time manager. Elvis made an estimated $4.3 billion in earnings during his lifetime, but he never acquired a concept of financial responsibility. His personal problems were never ending, weight gain and drug dependency hitting him hard. Through all this, Elvis continued a steady flow of concert performances in sold-out arenas well into the 1970s. On 16th August, 1977, the day before another concert tour was about to begin, Elvis was found dead in Graceland Mansion by his fiancée, Ginger Alden. He was only 42 years. The official cause of death was heart disease, although information revealed after his death about his drug dependency. His death caused worldwide scenes of mourning.Elvis continues to be celebrated as superstar and legend as much in death as he was in life. Graceland
Mansion, which he had purchased in 1957 for his parents for $102,500, is the top tourist attraction in
Memphis and attracts millions of visitors from both America and around the world.

Elvis’ Graceland lies near the majestic Graceland Hotel on Elvis Presley Boulevard. There are many budget hotels nearby. It is advisable to book your tickets online to avoid serpentine queues. You can opt for The Ultimate VIP Tour ($169) that gets you a personal tour guide, a meal voucher, an exclusive lounge and a chance to view and hold some rare exhibits of the King. The pass also lets you make multiple return visits to the exhibits before closing time. There’s also the Elvis Entourage ($96) and the most popular $59 Elvis Experience Tour. All tours have a mandatory interactive iPad.

Once on the tour you would be drooling over the man and his almost unbelievable, superhuman charisma. I went crazy to see the home where he had lived, breathed, sang, made love to Priscilla and years later breathed his last. Our eight member group, (yes I opted for the Ultimate VIP Pass), began just outside the museum, when we were bused across the street to a sweeping lawn and into the environs of the Graceland mansion. The two storied limestone mansion with green shutters, white Corinthian pillars, and two white marble lions, beckons every visitor aka Elvis fan. The Living room has 15 foot long white sofa, gold drapes, peacock stained glass windows. A staircase leading to the first floor was out of bounds for visitors and probably is only accessible to Elvis’ wife
Priscilla and his only child Lisa Marie who visit Graceland. You can feel Elvis’ presence as you wander though the mansion, maybe seated at his Dining table. Move ahead and you have the kitchen with a vintage blender, fridge, microwave oven, wash basin and cabinets.  The tropical rain forest evoking Jungle Room with stone walls, carved heavy wood Polynesian furniture also has part of the walls covered in green shag rug with a non functioning waterfall. You couldn’t miss out the Teddy Bear seated on the sofa nearby. His French dynasty-inspired Billiards Room (Pool room) was decorative to the core, with its tuck-and-draped ceiling made of 350 yards of heavy brocade fabric; the media room was all lemon yellow and black with a mirrored ceiling for good effect, with three TVs, where the ‘King’ sat and watched television,. There are a couple of LP records around with a white porcelain monkey on the centre glass table.

In the Trophy room, the walls are lined with silver and gold records, while his Racquetball building, houses the piano that was used by him to entertain his friends. It’s the same piano he played the day he passed away. A passage leads you to his father’s office where a host of exhibits are displayed. Elvis was a cowboy at heart. Out on the lawns you can watch horses graze, but none of these are Elvis’, namely the most famous Rising Sun, who was the last to die in 2005. After another gallery of exhibits, you then head outside to a kidney shaped swimming pool that overlooks the Meditation garden, Elvis’ favorite space at Graceland. It’s where he lies buried alongside his parents Gladys and Vernon, Grandmother Minnie Mae and his twin brother Jesse. I spent awhile in reflection of his great spirit. I couldn’t hold back the tears, but I wasn’t alone, diehard fans were weeping, staring at his grave, prayingat his gravesite, feeling his presence.

Back in the bus and across the road, the tour continues with the Museum exhibits that follow Elvis life and career gaining insights into his roots, influences and artistry, his movies and his life in the army. Iswooned over every photo gushing about just how handsome he was. There’s lots to see from his Automobile Museum that has over 20 cars, his 1955 Pink Cadillac or the black 1973 Stutz Blackhawk III, the car he used the night before he died. There’s the Lisa Marie Conair 880 aircraft, the fashionable outfits he wore on stage, one better than the other, it is all here. Elvis loved dressing up, just wearing what he liked and felt right; he became a fashion icon that everyone followed, the bell bottom, different colored sequined jackets, flared shirts, boots and ornaments to go with such royal attire.

Our tour ended with the secret room. Here our select group got a chance to see his comb, the necklace and ring he gave Priscilla, and the microphone he used. I almost wept with delight as I held the microphone. It was a magical moment for me, something I would always cherish for the rest of my life.Before leaving don’t forget to pick your souvenirs from Graceland or the nearby merchandise shops. The wall and at places even the footpath outside Graceland is inscribed with messages from fans from across the world who have visited Graceland and left their memories here.

The Elvis Presley story does not end at Graceland. Head to Downtown Memphis to visit Sun Studio where his career started. You learn all about the birthplace of rock n roll, you can even stand on the spot where Elvis stood (I unknowingly did), take a picture with the microphone Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis used. You can also grab a bite or a beer at the BB King Bar or Hard Rock Café on Beale Street. While many referred to him as The King or the King of Rock n Roll, he calmly remarked, “I am not the King, Jesus Christ is the King. I am only an Entertainer.” Elvis’ charisma, style and that deep melodic voice that measured every word, is unforgettable. So rich, velvety. It was Elvis’ dream to sing. He taughtus, that dreams can come true.

A Song for Julian Assange

Historically, poetry, song and literature have often been used as a means to propagate new ideas, social reform and to protest against injustice and oppression. They have triggered revolutions, helped overthrow many a despot and been instrumental in bringing about much needed change. Many of these poets, writers, thinkers and revolutionaries have gone on to become heroes, for their contribution to the social, political and cultural evolution of our civilization.

Some of the great protest songs that come to mind, include, the gospel based We Shall Overcome, Bob Dylan’s Masters of War and Times They are a Changing, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Edwin Starr’s War. Some were born out of the oppression, persecution and injustice suffered by the people under the ruling classes, while others have been triggered by specific events or ideas such as, Hurricane by Bob Dylan, Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Free Nelson Mandela by The Specials, Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine, or Alright by Kendrick Lamar, to name a few.

In an ideal world, where lawmakers, administrators and industry, the people in power, are responsible, clean, transparent and non-corrupt and everything is open to public scrutiny, there is nothing to expose, everything is out in the open. In an ideal world you don’t need the likes of Julian Assange, or W Mark Felt, Woodword and Bernstein, or Serpico, or Sherron Watkins and Cynthia Cooper, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, etc.

But the real world is a far cry from the ideal. Most Governments, private and public institutions are often recklessly irresponsible, thrive on corruption, indulge in heinous criminal deeds and are necessarily opaque, because they have a lot to hide.

It is in this scenario that people like Assange or any of the others mentioned above become relevant. Through his efforts, Julian Assange, Founder of Wikileaks, the organization he founded to expose war crimes, corruption and human rights abuses and aided by former intelligence analyst, Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, published several secret documents that incriminated those in power.

With the result he has since been persecuted by those who feel threatened by what he had exposed. Isn’t what they did justified, when you consider the greater good. Don’t citizens have a right to know what is happening? Don’t governments themselves use the reason of greater good to justify many of their actions when it is convenient? You could say that technically the means used by Assange may have been illegal, but as a journalist wasn’t it his duty to expose the wrong doings?

No man or woman is infallible. So Julian Assange has his shortcomings but his journalistic endeavours cannot be called criminal. He believed in protecting freedom of speech, and the right to free expression and set about doing what he had to do.

Facing US extradition proceedings, he surrendered to the British police in 2010 but broke bail and sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador, where he remained for seven years, before he was jailed last month when Ecuador withdrew his asylum.

So why has no one thought of writing a song protesting the treatment meted out to Julian Assange. There have been movies and documentaries made about him but alas, no one has thought to write a song about this man who fought for human rights, freedom of expression, transparency and free flow of information.

Where are the great protest singers like Dylan, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, Kendrick Lamar, or Morrissey? Had they been alive, maybe Phil Ochs or Pete Seeger or Lennon would have written one. With escalating global conflicts, intolerance, increased muzzling of the press and restrictions on the free flow of information on the net, wouldn’t it have been a timely reflection of our times?

Don’t you think he deserves a Song?-

-Stanley Paul & Pradeep Joseph

Exploring American Influence on Punjabi Music

A recent drug crisis in India, especially in the state of Punjab, has authorities scrambling to find a cause. Could music be to blame? Given the enormous popularity of hip hop culture in India, particularly Punjabi Hip Hop and Rap,there is a concern that Lyrics common in popular modern rap that promote violence, misogyny,and alcohol and drug abuse may contribute to the epidemic. Punjabi  Hip Hop and Rap are music and culture that combine hip hop music and culture with music and culture of India andsurrounding countries. Some of the leading desi Rap stars are Badshah, Honey Singh, Hard Kaur,Raftar,Baba Sehgal to name a few. According to this theory, the music often glorifies drugs and drug use instead of promoting the benefits of being drug-free.

A history of drug-related lyrics.
Hip hop artists in the United States have used drug imagery since the beginning of the genre.Several early rap artists grew up during the panic surrounding the use of crack cocaine in the1980s. Others were raised in areas experiencing problems with other drugs. Some of these young people felt trapped and disillusioned since they felt that more traditional paths to success excluded them. Instead, they may have grown up idolizing successful gangsters who were prominent drug dealers. Some of these drug dealers may have entered the drug trade in efforts to rise above their circumstances or gain prestige.
People then incorporated these experiences in their music . Their lyrics spoke of using drugs as a commodity to acquire wealth and success and as tools to escape the bleakness of the impoverished and disadvantaged environments that surrounded them. In such portrayals,dealing drugs, not taking them, was cool. They promoted the benefits of being drug-free while earning material riches and respect.Song lyrics transformed over time. Instead of glamorizing drug dealing as an avenue to obtain money and lavish lifestyles, lyrics began championing inebriation and drug use to mask inner pain or to party like rock stars.
A study by the University of California at Berkeley reported that the use of drug-related lyrics has increased. Lyrics about drugs appeared in only four out of thirty-eight popular songs (11percent) prior from 1979 to 1984. By the end of the 1980s, the use of drug-related lyrics increased to nearly 20 percent. By 1993, the percentage was 69 percent.
Music companies realized that mentioning drug use, objectifying women, and hinting at other antisocial behaviors made rap artists appear more edgy to the young people who idolized them.That edginess led to increased record sales. So, the combination of sex (and the objectificationof women). drugs, and rock and roll (or rap) became some of the essential ingredients of modern hip hop. While some rappers tried to counter this with more positive lyrics promoting the benefits of being drug-free , others continued glorifying drug use and other behaviors.

Punjabi Hip hop & Rap became increasingly popular in the United States and around the world. For example, it is popular in India, which added its own contribution to the genre with desi rap or desi hip hop.Desi hip hop or desi rap is an East Asian form of hip hop that combines traditional hip hop with Indian influences. Rap has continued to gain fans on the Indian subcontinent, becoming one of the most popular genres in India with no slowdown in sight.
Like its Western counterpart, desi hip hop sometimes glamorizes drug use in its lyrics. Also like Western hip hop, the prime demographic for desi hip hop is young people who sometimes seek to imitate their idols. Studies have shown a tendency for some fans to try the drugs mentioned in rap songs. Some African American millennials admitted that they've tried the drug Molly (MDMA) for the first time after hearing about it in songs by popular rap artists . With popular artists promoting drug use without a strong counterargument about the benefits of being drug-free, drug use among young people may not seem too surprising.

Changing the message
Dr. Dheeraj Sharma of the India Institute of Management found that there may be links among popular song lyrics pertaining to drug use and increases in drug usage, violence, and negative attitudes towards women. One challenge now is to discourage drug use without censoring music. Censoring lyrics might have an opposite effect. It may make drugs and drug-related lyrics seem more desirable and increase their allure.
Instead, parents and schools may want to provide young people with information on the effects of drug use. People may want to make artists aware of the dangerous effects their lyrics may have on their fan base. There are numerous benefits of being drug-free and ways people can encourage this.

- Dale Vernor

Classical musicians and their on-stage antics

It’s Show Time!
Classical musicians and their on-stage antics A lot of research has been done to classify personality, management and parenting into different styles. Has anyone studied the concert styles of performing artists? I am talking about the styles adopted by Indian classical musicians on stage. I have them classified under seven types.

1 : 24K magic 
What is common amongst Mozart, Beethoven, U. Srinivas or Rashid Khan? All are child prodigies, born to sing. In their
concerts, one is merely a spectator witnessing pure magic. Making good music is of paramount importance, nothing else mattered.
2 : Boom boom paw
For many years now, I have stopped going to amusement parks. Roller coaster rides are not for me. However, many classical concerts
these days have started giving the audiences the same kind of thrill. These musicians perform acrobatics with their voices and the
audiences walk out chanting ‘scintillating, mind blowing, thrilling’ ….. 
3 : We’re all in this together
“Which one is the main singer?” asked the gentleman next to me. His question was valid considering there was literally a dozen people
seated on the stage. The maestro had three disciples , two on either sides and one behind him. And then he had upto four different and
varied percussionists. What’s more, he had many disciples sitting around him just observing him perform. Such musicians could put
Serena Williams to shame in terms of the size of their entourage.
4 : Everything you want
These are musicians who have devised a formula for success and they give the audience what they come to hear. Experimentation and
creativity give way to consistency. It is a win-win situation for both the performers and the listeners.
5 : Party rock anthem
This is the type in which the musicians walk on to the stage and transform into showmen. They have an on stage persona which is very
dramatic. They are to the classical scene what Shah Rukh khan is to the Indian cinemas. Stylised and complete entertainers.
6: Like a prayer
The padmaasana, the mudras, the stillness, here the singer is meditating through his or her music. One may not understand the
technicalities but certainly knows that one is a witness to some serious spiritual exercise. This breed is dwindling because the
masses want speed and action. These singers believe that classical music is not for the masses.
7: We belong together
Last is the breed of performers who like to collaborate with other musicians; call it jugalbandi, fusion, new age music, collaboration.
These musicians are soon only seen collaborating, quite like the doubles players in tennis or the ones who only play the Davis cup.

---- Rama Sundar

Reviews

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Dunkirk-The Movie

The soldier on the beach tells the captain: 'The tide is turning'. Captain: 'How can you tell?'Soldier: ' Cos the dead bodies are floating back'
This dialogue sums up the chilling mood of the movie - 'Dunkirk'- A WW2 movie in May 1940 when about 400,000 British and French soldiers were stranded at the Dunkirk sea and were evacuated despite firing from the German planes. This movie becomes more relevant in recent times when mankind seems to have forgotten the world wars in the last century and several countries have started war-mongering games.
The actors really don't matter here. The characters do. There is a young British soldier who teams up with 2 more and tries to smartly maneuver and jump the queue for rescue. There is a fighter pilot flying the spitfires who along with his battalion is on a mission to bring down the enemy planes. A sailor, who along with his son and another friend, joins the civilian armada to rescue the stranded soldiers. And the naval admiral who is supervising the operations based on orders sent by Winston Churchill.
Christopher Nolan's (Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar, Memento) first non-fantasy movie is his best so far. Along with Hans Zimmer who supports him well with music, he weaves a tale of sorrow, heroism, hope, glory, friendship, fatherhood, survival- all within a span of 2 hours. Camerawork from Hoyte takes you up close to the soldiers and the civilians to give you a personal account on how everything unfolded on that fateful day. 
For once, there is no romance behind the scenes; in fact there is not a single woman character!!! It is the hard core and blunt story telling that makes a mark and leaves you questioning life and war. You don't even need a VR to get immersed in the story.
Watch it in Imax and get transported back in time to one of the most controversial wars in history that affected the whole world. #dunkirk #WW2 #indieyogi

Lapachhapi (Hide-n-seek)

Another hidden gem is slowly picking up traction while all the big movies are being talked about. Trust the Marathi film industry to come out with a horror movie set in a rural background- 'Lapachhapi' (Hide-n-seek). Moreover, this movie brings to light a social issue still prevalent in rural India- female foeticide. The director Vishal Furia smartly interweaves the social issues through the character of a pregnant woman (Pooja Sawant as Neha). Neha and her husband Tushar (Vikram Gaikwad) have to leave their town, when she is 8 months pregnant, and move to an isolated sugarcane farmer's house in the midst of a farm. Their caretaker Tulsibai (Usha Naik) and her husband are very kind to them, but they are disturbed by strange incidents happening to them that pose a threat to their unborn child. The mystery unravels itself in a progressive manner bringing to the fore incidents of the past.
Usha Naik's acting is spotless. Pooja is good but is too active for a 8 months pregnant lady. The music is haunting and so is the repeated game of 'Lapachhapi' played intermittently. Cinematography is excellent and full marks for creating such a big effect on a small budget!
While most horror movies in India thrive on giving you cheap thrills with special effects, this one relies on the story and the treatment to keep you on the tenterhooks! Definitely a must watch. #indieyogi #lapachhapi

I luv Mom

While the buzz was about 'Mom', I thought it was a highly overrated movie. The plot was a predictable revenge saga, Sridevi was good in phases in her botoxed avtar while Nawaz is getting predictable with his cranky understated acting- however good it might be. Sajal Ali was the find of the movie with her brilliant portrayal of a rape victim.
 

Hardware

DW Honors Drumming Icon Jim Keltner

DW has announced the release of a Jim Keltner Collector’s Series® ICON snare drum honoring the legendary drummer’s contribution to the music world. Only 250 of the California Custom Shop collectables will ever be produced and each is numbered and signed by DW’s own John Good.

“Everyone at Drum Workshop is honored to present this very special ICON snare drum in honor of our good friend and drumming legend, Jim Keltner,” said Good. “His contributions to the drum community and music industry at large are well documented.” 

Crafted from 11 plies of hand-selected North American Hard Rock Maple with patented VLT (Vertical Low Timbre) grain orientation technology, it’s a collector’s piece that is also a highly-playable, studio-quality instrument

The unique drum is then finished with a veneer of, laser-cut, hand-applied exotic and dyed-wood inlays inspired by Jim’s vintage Collector’s Series kit, and his signature aviator sunglasses and custom California license plate. The 6.5”x14” drum is outfitted with Jim’s favorite “mini turret” lugs in weathered-looking Antique Brass and comes standard with matching True-Hoops™, MAG throw-off system.  True-Pitch Tuning™, True-Tone™ snare wires, and DW Heads by Remo® completed the Limited Edition offering.   A Jim Keltner Fan Club button, set of wrist bands, and certificate of authenticity are also included within the deluxe DW carrying bag.

To find out more about the limited edition Jim Keltner ICON snare drum please go to http://www.dwdrums.com/limited/#Jim-Keltner-Icon

ABOUT DRUM WORKSHOP INC.
Founded in 1972, Drum Workshop, Inc. is a family-owned and operated musical instrument company best known for designing and manufacturing award-winning drums, pedals, hardware and accessories under the DW® and PDP® banners. In 2014, the company expanded to include other iconic American instrument brands including Gretsch® Drums, Latin Percussion®, and Ovation® Guitars. DW’s wide range of products is endorsed by many of the world’s top artists including: Neil Peart, Phil Collins, Chad Smith, Sheila E., Melissa Etheridge, Richie Sambora, Mick Fleetwood, Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl among others. Drum Workshop, Inc. is headquartered in Oxnard, California. For more information visit www.dwdrums.com  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Editors Gyan

Save your Voice

This month we begin a series of articles by Saily Panse Shellikeri, who is an performing Artist and also doing her Research on'Voice problems of Indian Classical Singers, its causes and remedies' under Ministry of Culture, that will be enlightening to the basics of voice production, good singing voice, voice problems, wrong interpretations, early symptoms, remedies of voice problems, misconceptions about voice and common precautionary measures of voice and so on as there is a lot of unawareness about the topic.She will share her studies fortnightly series with our readers.

Riyaz, rehearsals and performances are always on a top priority in a Singer’s life till their medium i.e their voice is completely under control. However every singer faces some or the other voice problems at some point of their career. Some problems are minor and some are major, threatening the existence of singing voice. Singers normally take a long time to detect the symptoms of voice problems which eventually turn serious. Behind such problems the main obstacle is the inability to know the causative factors leading to voice problems.

We hope that these articles are of help our readers and may consult the author if need be. For your feedback mail to:sailyshellikeri@gmail.com  

Venues

Best Jazz Venue in India

Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival  of live music.

Games

Dead Rising 4

Zombies often herald the end of all things, but for Frank West, their reemergence marks a

new beginning.Frank, former photojournalist extraordinaire, has been off the radar since the first Dead Rising a decade ago, and this third Christmas-themed sequel finds him eking out his days as a college professor teaching novices his craft. But when the dead come, he again finds life. Even in Frank's opening nightmare in which he knocks back zombies like a wrecking ball, there's a sense amid his snarky complaints that he wants this. And even though Capcom's approach here stumbles here in parts, I was surprised by how much I wanted this as well.
When Dead Rising 4 works, it's because it steadfastly refuses to take itself seriously. Frank is 16 years older now and looks and grumbles (thanks to a new voice actor) a little like Joel from the PS4's The Last Of Us, but even though he journeys back to fictional Willamette, Colorado with student Vick Chu, the lightweight but enjoyable tale is never weighed down with musings on surrogate fatherhood and hope. Neither is it entirely dismissible, even though it largely dumps the main conspiracy premise a handful of chapters in, as it handles its characterizations well. Frank drops lines about setting his balls on fire and other wisecracks, but there's enough gravity mixed in with the goofiness to make the relationships seem believable.
Still, this is a tale about blasting zombies with a gnome-capped staff called the "Gandelf" and gleefully plowing through literally hundreds of zombies in a city park with a lawnmower. It's about strapping on hulking (and rare) exosuits after zombies overrun the Willamette Memorial Megaplex after Black Friday and cutting down them with an electrified battleaxe or using blueprints to make quirky weapons like an "Ice Sword" from scattered items like liquid nitrogen and machetes. The melee controls are satisfying and intuitive, although the removal of throwable melee weapons stings bitterly and ranged weapons suffer from poor aiming. Never before has the series tossed the undead at you with such relentlessness. I'm inclined to believe there's no way a town like Willamette was home to that many people in the first place, but the crowds make the yuletide slaughter consistently enjoyable.
Frank's ability to handle those swarms comes with a price. Dead Rising 4 is never difficult, and even in a toque blanche and chef's whites I could shrug off piles of the undead about as well as Overwatch's Reinhardt might fend off a pack of yorkies. When I died and had a chance to check out the generous checkpoint and autosave system, it was only because I'd stepped away and forgotten to pause. There's not even a way to ramp up the difficulty besides sticking around for New Game+ or a separate multiplayer mode that's confined to a specific setting and steadily increases the difficulty. But even in the New Game, Frank can handle himself just fine. If you're specifically looking for a single-player combat challenge or any degree of tension, you won't find it here.
But you might find cause to stick around if your interests lie elsewhere. Capcom removed much of the series' previous urgency by ditching the timer, which frees up Frank's time to track down a sleigh's worth of blueprints and assorted collectibles, as well as stopping off from time to time to save survivors stranded in the undead sea. So heavy is the sandboxy exploration emphasis that Frank doesn't even have to head anywhere to craft his sometimes silly murder devices: he can cobble together firework-shooting crossbows or electricity-shooting go-karts right there in the field. The approach works well because the small-town setting is so well-realized, partially thanks to its Christmas theme that infects the core 10-hour story as thoroughly as the sickness infects the zombies. The holly jolliness adds a touch of flavor to exploring parts of town beyond the mall that might come off as boring during any other season.
There's so much to see, so many parts to use for an impressive variety of weapons, and so many combos to build that I usually had a cozy sense that I was in a zombie-themed take on Just Cause, taking similar pleasure in causing mindless mayhem with weapons and vehicles to the tune of "O Tannenbaum" and "Auld Lang Syne." Frank's camera even adds to the fun, not only by taking great shots to build a few extra experience points, but by stopping to take goofy selfies with the shambling corpses. It all makes for a nice change of pace, but I could never shake the feeling that Dead Rising had sacrificed much of its identity in the process.
Weirdly, there's no co-op option for the campaign, thus robbing the series of a big degree of its former fun. Gone, too, are the cutscenes that uses to boot up before what used to be called the "psychopath" minibosses. Capcom calls the psychopaths "maniacs" now, and they're sadly essentially irrelevant, being almost exclusively limited to sidequests and usually involving little more than regular zombies with big health pools tromping around in exosuits or Santa costumes. Sometimes I found welcome surprises in the form of fast, newly turned zombies, but most of the time the thousands I killed were as indistinguishable as bricks in a wall.
It's a strange game for the series, as it subtracts something for everything it adds, making it unlike anything we've seen for Dead Rising until now. It's the kind of design that might scare off veterans but bring in fresh zombie killers into the fold. But it's one that I generally enjoyed, even though it's marred with a first-launch crash bug that Capcom warned us about, but which it still hasn't fixed. For some players, though, I imagine that bit of bootup trouble won't prove as annoying as the fact that you can currently only download it for PC from the Windows Store. A Steam version is supposedly in the works, but by the time we see it, Dead Rising 4's cheeky Christmas theme will likely be long out of place. But now? 'Tis the season.

The Dwarves

The Dwarves, a new realtime tactical RPG based on Markus Heitz’s German fantasy novel series of the same name, is an uneasy adaptation. As an RPG, Dwarves wants you to make choices to explore the world of its characters, but as a slavish recreation of a well-known book, it is constantly taking choices away from you. It’s a novel stuffed into an ill-fitting RPG suit, straining at seams held together by threadbare patches of tactical combat.
There are a few different problems going on here, but if I smelt it right down to the base ore, The Dwarves has two main failings: its RPG doesn’t give you any freedom to make choices or grow, and its combat is spammy, tiresome, and not very fun.
Only a few minutes into my adventure—playing as Tungdil Goldhand, the young dwarf on a quest—I came across the first of many times that the plot of Heitz’s novel stomps on my fun. I’m travelling across an overhead map in the style of a board game, with pieces moving along a gridwork of paths and roads. At each grid intersection, a chance encounter, town, or event pops up.
On this occasion, the encounter window tells me I’ve found an abandoned camp and fire ring. Do I want to start a fire and bed down, or should I be extra cautious and climb into a tree? Not seeing any reason why I should be paranoid enough to sleep in a damn tree, I sack out. The next window informs me that an orc stabbed me in my sleep, and I am now dead. No ceremony, no preamble. Dead dwarf, game over.
I had to load my most recent save because, according to a friend who has read the series, Tungdil sleeps in the tree in the book. It may be faithful to the source material, but if I played D&D with a DM who concluded a short introduction with “...and a piano drops on you and you die; let’s start again,” I would not hang around that game for very long.
After reloading and sleeping in the tree, Tungdil wakes up to see an orc warband (surprise!) set up camp below him. After they leave, an encounter window gives me my options: climb down, or wait up in the tree to make sure the coast is clear. Well, you don’t have to stab this dwarf in the gut more than once to teach him some caution, so I wait in the tree. Nothing happens, says the encounter window. Do I want to wait some more?
I chose the option to wait in the tree a dozen times, waiting for something to happen. Nothing ever does; the plot didn’t move on until I climbed down. These false choices are everywhere: maybe saying hello to a traveling caravan will give me an opportunity to buy some supplies; maybe meeting a character in that caravan is absolutely critical, and walking past it is game over. An RPG is a game about choices, yes, but Dwarves is a game in which some choices are meaningless and some choices are momentous, and there’s no telling which is which. I found myself quick-saving every few minutes.
For being so devoted to the plot of the book, sadly, this is a rendition of The Dwarves that did absolutely nothing for me as an introduction to this world. Names washed over me, signifying nothing, as though I was making introductions at a friend’s family reunion: Vraccas, Tion, Girdlegard, Bo?ndal, Älfar. A narrator delivers some pretty talented voice work, including what sound like direct dialog quotes from the book, but not being able to understand the references pulled me out of the game. The whole story wraps up in about 11 hours, reminding me again and again that I was playing a Wikipedia-level summary of a much more interesting story.
When Tungdil isn’t clicking around, exploring this and that and getting quests to here and there, The Dwarves spends a lot of time in combat. It’s a standard party-based tactical RPG set-up: overhead camera, pause at any time, give orders, deploy special skill attacks set to cool-down timers. This design is serviceable in a lot of other games, but it stumbles badly here.
The members of your party automatically attack the nearest enemy and pound them steadily with a basic attack until you give an order to use a special skill, which is actually pretty nice to see. Unfortunately, the basic attacks are useless, so the special skill attacks do all the heavy lifting. After some trial and error, I discovered that using basic strategy and smart party placement isn’t nearly as important as making sure that all of your fighters use as many of their special attacks as often as possible. The best way to make it through a tough fight is to pause often, switch characters constantly, and throw around those special attacks the instant their timers expire.
If any party characters die, that’s game over (because the characters have to participate in the plot, of course), so it’s a real pain in the leather that there are very few ways to heal during a fight. This made difficulty spikes a real issue for me. Even on the easiest difficulty, I came up against several seemingly impossible battles, randomly placed before or after another fight that I found effortless. My success or failure depended entirely on how many bad guys level designers decided to spawn for that battle. If they added too few, I had an easy time. If they added too many, I had a horrific grind.
It’s at this point that I would spend some character points beefing up that basic attack or spend some gold improving my gear, but Dwarves doesn’t have even those basic RPG elements. There are a few inventory items, like enchanted pendants and such, but no way to upgrade armor or loot new weapons. The only way to grow a character is by advancing along a very simple, one-path skill tree (skill stick? skill line?) with half a dozen special moves to unlock.
After all the whining I’ve just done about this poor, battered game, it hardly seems worth mentioning, but: I had a lot of technical issues with The Dwarves, too. I only crashed to desktop once, thankfully, but there were other problems. My frame rate plummeted in every battle when a lot of enemies showed up, and moving around the map interface brought on screen tears and texture-pops. In combat, the camera is a real nuisance; I paused to find a camera angle free of tree branches and terrain almost as often as I paused to give combat orders. On one occasion, a corrupted saved game loaded to show a permanently frozen, motionless dwarf in the foothills around Blacksaddle. I returned to a previous save and started again.
Between the rocky difficulty curves, the linear progression, the forced petty choices, and insta-death penalty for veering away from the dictated plot—everything in The Dwarves made me feel like I had no real control over my journey across Girdlegard. I lacked any real agency as a player, and even for a short RPG adventure, that sucks. I wanted to go on a journey, but I ended up just watching a pretty good book as read by someone else.

The Walking Dead

If the Walking Dead TV show can’t decide whether it wants to be a dark, maudlin drama or a schlocky, gory thrill-ride, Telltale’s interactive adaptation has established a more consistent voice that allows room for a bit of both without leaving you suffering from tonal whiplash. Its problem is that between the comic books, the TV series and the games, the cyclical nature of its narrative has become ever more apparent. Still, if a riff is catchy enough then it can bear a certain degree of repetition—and though some of its scenarios are familiar, Season Three opens with a double-header that shows The Walking Dead at its best, with characters you can care about, a couple of genuinely shocking surprises and a clutch of well-staged set-pieces.
It certainly helps that Telltale’s new engine finally feels fit for purpose. While Batman still had its share of performance issues, there’s little to grumble about in Ties That Bind: everything runs that much smoother, with snappier transitions that give the action sequences a greater sense of urgency. Press a button to jab a sharp object through a walker’s skull and the only delay between tap and squelch is in the swing. Better lighting and superior cinematography enhance the visual storytelling, too: episode one’s terrific opening offers a shivery reminder of the time the dead first started coming back to life, following a wonderful corridor shot with a jittery handheld camera to heighten the growing unease.
It’s here that we meet new protagonist Javier Garcia, a disgraced former baseball star who quickly moves from absentee son to surrogate father as his story picks up a few years later. He’s now on the road with sister-in-law Kate and her two stepkids, the sullen Gabe and the more immediately likeable, level-headed Mariana. Theirs is the kind of dysfunctional family unit we’ve seen before, but there’s some solid character work here—and a winning line in gallows humour—that establishes the bond between them. Even as they snipe at one another, there’s a clear affection behind the barbs.
Then, of course, there’s Clementine. A few years have passed since the end of Season Two, and she’s now significantly more hard-bitten and distrusting than ever—albeit still fundamentally decent enough to let Javier hang onto an item of emotional worth. It’s startling to see her like this, but we soon come to understand why, via a pair of playable flashback sequences across the two episodes. The first draws a firm line under last season’s events, and for at least two of the possible endings resulting from your pivotal choice in the finale, the outcome here is especially grim. It’s a reminder that your decisions can only really shape your journey rather than its destination, but in a world where surviving is an act of defiance, there’s something to be said for a choice that lets you spend a little longer with someone you care for.  
These moments are slightly more problematic in light of the main narrative. As players, we want to know what happened to Clem between then and now, and so it makes sense for Telltale to fill in the gaps. But this isn’t an ensemble piece where each character’s perspective is explored; outside these flashbacks, the story is told exclusively from Javier’s viewpoint. Taking time out to explore the backstory of someone he’s only recently met feels strange, and it also leads to a certain disconnect in terms of your decision-making. We all know Clementine, but Javier doesn’t: though Telltale steadily establishes an uneasy alliance between them, there are key decisions we’re invited to make as Javier with knowledge he couldn’t possibly have. There’s a similar problem in a later scenario. After arriving at a new settlement, it’s not long before Javier indirectly causes a crisis, and yet characters are all too ready to trust him over companions they’ve presumably spent a good deal longer with. Still, that’s an issue from which the TV show also suffers, and at least Javier seems a less impetuous and unhinged leader than Rick Grimes.
Otherwise, there’s much to admire here, from a darkly amusing exchange between Javier and Clem about their different terms for the dead (“What do you call the ones that run?”) to a torchlit tunnel escape that concludes with a tense confrontation and a choice that threatens to have serious ramifications for the next episode at least. An optional DIY surgery scene is every bit as squirmingly grisly as Clem’s wound stitching in last season’s opener, while an appearance from a familiar face will delight fans of the comic and/or TV show. It’s clear that the 'graceful exit' imagined by one character isn’t going to happen any time soon for The Walking Dead, but Ties That Bind makes a surprisingly convincing argument for it to keep shuffling onward. 

Polls

Could Priyanka become a Real Pop Star?

Yes
29%
No
58%
Don't Know
15%

Mobiles

Redmi 7A

Redmi 7 A
Smart Desh Ka Smartphone

FEATURES:

Qualcomm®Snapdragon™ 439 processor   High performance for a smooth experience
4000mAh (typ) two-day battery  Lasts up to 17 days
12MP AI Sony IMX486 - rear camera
Spectacular photos at your fingertips- 13.8cm (5.45) HD+ display- Stunning visuals
TÜV Rheinland® certified display- Reduces harmful blue light
Wireless FM Radio- Listen to music unlimited
2+1 card slot- Up to 256GB expandable storage
AI Face unlock - Unlock with a glance
To buy this smartphone: https://www.mi.com/in/redmi-7a/

iPhone 9 to come in 2 sizes

No, the title doesn’t contain a typo. No, the iPhone 8 hasn’t magically become official already. Still, the rumor mill has considered that it’s time to move on from discussing Apple’s tenth anniversary smartphone. So, just for today, let’s talk about the iPhone 9. The one that will come in 2018. Apparently this will be offered in two sizes, both sporting much bigger touchscreens than we’ve gotten used to. The small iPhone 9 will come with a 5.28″ display, while the larger model will accommodate a 6.46″ panel.

In both cases, the screen tech used will be OLED, and the supplier of the panels will be none other than Samsung. The Korean company expects to sell at least 180 million units to Apple for this purpose. That’s more than double the estimated 80 million OLED displays that it’s producing for the iPhone 8, which should launch this fall.

Of course this is but an unconfirmed rumor for now, so don’t take it too seriously. We’ll have to wait and see whether other reports will corroborate what it claims.

This year Apple is said to release three new iPhone models, two successors for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (with the same screen sizes and LCD panels), and a new size device that will feature the Samsung-made OLED screens. According to “some sources”, the Korean company is planning to build a new factory that will be dedicated to exclusively churning out OLED panels for Apple.

Oppo A77 With 4GB RAM Launched

After teasing its R11 smartphone earlier this week, Oppo has now launched its A77 smartphone in Taiwan. Notably, the new smartphone from Oppo features an impressive 4GB of RAM and a 16-megapixel selfie-camera. Priced at TWD 10,990 (Rs. 23,400), it will go on pre-order in Taiwan on Friday, May 19 and will be made available starting May 26.

The hybrid dual-SIM Oppo A77 runs ColorOS 3.0 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) In-Cell display and is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6750T SoC clocked at 1.5GHz. As we mentioned earlier, the smartphone features an impressive 4GB of RAM.

In terms of optics, the Oppo A77 comes with a 13-megapixel primary camera with an f/2.2 aperture, PDAF, and dual LED flash. At the front, the smartphone has a 16-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture. The company claims that with its Background Blur feature, the phone is able to create a depth-of-field effect through its Portrait mode.

The Oppo A77 comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). The phone houses a 3200mAh battery and will be made available in Gold and Rose Gold colours. In terms of connectivity options, the phone offers 4G LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, as per a report by Gadget Blaze. The phone comes with a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button at front.

Oppo launched its F3 smartphone with dual selfie camera in the Indian market last month. The smaller sibling of the Oppo F3 Plus, the smartphone has been priced at Rs. 19,990, and went on sale earlier this week. The dual selfie camera on the smartphone has one 16-megapixel 1.3-inch sensor with f/2.0 aperture, and double view wide-angle camera that has an 8-megapixel sensor. While the former sports a 76.4-degree wide-angle lens, the latter sports a 120-degree wide-angle lens that allows for 105-degree field-of-view group selfies.

Xiaomi Redmi Pro 2 With OLED Display

Xiaomi may have spilled the beans for its ‘unannounced’ Redmi Pro 2 smartphone which was reportedly listed for a brief period on its China site. Based on the listing, the Redmi Pro 2 will be priced at CNY 1,199 (roughly Rs. 11,500) in China.The online listing at Mi.com, was soon pulled down, also included some innards like 5.5-inch OLED display, recently unveiled Snapdragon 660 SoC, 4100mAh battery, and a 16-megapixel rear camera. Considering the original Redmi Pro featured MediaTek Helio processors, it’s interesting to see the company opting for a Snapdragon processor for the successor. The Xiaomi Redmi Pro came with the deca-core MediaTek Helio X25 SoC coupled with Mali-T880 GPU and 4GB RAM + 128GB storage variant apart from the 3GB RAM + 64GB storage variant.

Unfortunately, there’s no official word on the launch of the Xiaomi Redmi Pro 2 as of now. The brief listing of the Redmi Pro 2, however, points to an imminent launch of the phone in China in the coming weeks or months. The China listing was first spotted by GizmoChina.

Much like the original Xiaomi Redmi Pro, the successor is also likely to sport a dual rear camera setup. To recall, the Redmi Pro featured dual rear camera setup with a 13-megapixel Sony IMX258 sensor with a 5-lens module, an f/2.0 aperture, and PDAF autofocus, coupled with a 5-megapixel Samsung (unspecified) sensor for the secondary depth-sensing camera.

The Chinese company is also said to have launched a new pair of USB Type-C earphones in China. The new USB Type-C earphones have been launched at CNY 299 (roughly Rs. 3,000), and will be going on sale in China soon.

Poets Corner

SURVIVAL

Poets Corner
Open a World of Opportunities…

Poets Corner is place where Songwriters can post their songs with the hope that their words can connect with Composers
and be the place where Words meet a Tune, for some of the big hits in the future.


SURVIVAL

Somehow each of us must do what it takes to survive
People everywhere will do almost anything to stay alive

We will beg and borrow, rob or steal, take another’s life
To keep our own families safe from starvation and strife

Politicians know this and it doesn’t bother them at all
They continue to line their pockets while ruling over us all

Prices will keep rising but they will rise much higher still
Higher prices won’t affect those with their hands in the till

But when people have had enough, justice comes to call
Dragged from their ivory towers, one by one they’ll fall !

The wheels of justice turn slow, but they never stop turning
And justice comes to all who pray with patient yearning.
 

-Ernest .J. Flanagan
© -Ernest .J. Flanagan 2019

 

Music Psychic

Musical Fortunes

Aries (March 21-April 20): This week, Control your temper and keep patience, Wait for right time before taking any step. Even though you are doing well at work, you may feel dissatisfied with the results. You are perhaps becoming overly ambitious. There is no harm in starting a new carrier in film or music industry in this week  provided you are certain that you will be able to enough resources to conclude the same. Happiness is love is assured this week.

Taurus (April 21-May 20): Socially, a very active period is ahead. A close associate may back out of some promised help, this might halt your carrier development in music industry . This will be quite upsetting for you. However, this will help you to realize that you should not depend on other. Rest assured that through hard work you will achieve success. Gains are indicated this week, relatively for singers . Those in love can look forward to many exciting evenings with their beloved in this week.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): A quick turn over in business leads to sudden monetary benefits. Avoid fresh investments until you come across a real good bargain. Do not reject any of the projects related to singing and directing. Speculative ventures should be avoided. Those associated with the singing will sign new prestigious contract. Love life is sparkling this week.

Cancer (June 21-July 21): Overseas influence is strong for those who are in field of lyricists. Some of you will make plans to travel on work or on a special assignment. Others are likely to have a visitor from overseas who may have an interesting proposal for a joint venture in multimedia. Those in creative media or related fields are bound to be in the limelight.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 21): Financials gains are indicated but you are advised to hold on your profit and not to invest the same in new ventures. Do not in any case invest your money on the advice of associates who may have some ulterior motives. The married are likely to face a few problems on the home front, As you could not spend much time with them. Those who are  composers will be singing new prestigious contract.

Virgo (Aug 22-Sept 21): A busy work schedule could prove tiring. Those travelling on work related to music or film industry will face a few delays and hardships. It is quite likely you may have to travel again to conclude your task. You may hardly find any time for love and romance. A journey abroad will yield profits now and for the future. You may have to return a favor.

Libra (Sept 22-Oct 22): Organizers and playback singers will be given a special assignment to handle independently. The successful completion of this particular project will lead too a promotion. Home also comes under focus due to certain joyful celebration in the family. As you are a entertainer you will be entertaining a number of guests and friends visiting you from out of town.

Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21): Those living away from home and family are likely to return soon. Financially, a favorable period and you could make new investment in fresh projects like buying a music album. The singers who desire of changing job will receive suitable offers. Happiness pervades on the home front.

Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 20): Avoid speculative ventures for a financial setback is foreseen. You need to stick to routine work and not listed to the advice of those who are making proposal for some quick-money-making scheme. A change of residence or location is predicted for some of you. A deeper bond and can also help you to develop your carrier in music industry

Capricorn (Dec 21-Jan 19): Certain “Lucky” developments at work suddenly propel you to a position of eminence. You will get an opportunity to consolidate your position and also display your organizational abilities. Financially, your position is secured, But Co-operate with your seniors mood; it may bring good news if you are composer or singer. You will be organizing a large social get-together, Which will prove enjoyable.

Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18): Work wise a rewarding week. You will be able to consolidate your position at work and also make profitable investment in a deal proposed by a friend, as this can also help you to grab attention of your seniors if you are a producer or director. Love life is delightful and exciting. Some of you are likely to travel to your favourite holiday resort in the company of your sweetheart.


Pisces (Feb 19-March 20): You are greeted with a sudden surprise with the receipt of large sum of money. . The desire to journey is great, but don't take your eye off the professional ball, as there are chances of going out station for a shoot so you can do both things at same time, as things are moving quickly.

GUEST COLUMN

Jazz - it's is from India

Before I get into the jazz scene in India, I would like to give you my take on jazz...

Around one hundred years ago, a bunch of American musicians discovered the joys of improvising and called it jazz. Over two thousand years ago, Indian classical musicians were busy laying down foundations for improvised music. If jazz is improvised music, Indian classical music is jazz! Now that we've discovered who really discovered jazz, it's time to take a good look at its state in India. The name of India's most popular live jazz venue located in Mumbai, tells the story loud and clear. It started as 'Jazz by the bay', changed to 'Not just jazz by the bay' and it is now called 'Pizza by the bay'!
Granted, jazz has a niche following and commercial music rules. But then, a few years later that same commercial music is ruled out while jazz blissfully evolves, embracing all other forms of music along the way. We now have rock-jazz, pop-jazz, funk-jazz, latin-jazz, hip-hop-jazz, indo-jazz... to cut a very long story short, there is a -jazz attached to every genre of music and there will be a -jazz attached ot every genre that comes along. That's how huge jazz is and it should now be spelt jaaaaaaaaaaz!
Jazz is the medium through which I express myself musically. Jazz allows me to be myself as opposed to pop that wants me to be Madonna. I'd rather be myself than strut onstage wearing conical jocks. In fact, not very long ago a leading music company in India released a male indi-pop star's album titled 'Mai bhi Madonna' (I'm Madonna too) with the man dressed in drag on the album cover. Jazz suddenly began to make profound sense to me. I chose to play bass as I felt it was the coolest sound of music. Rhythm, melody and harmony makes music and the bassplayer is the important link between the three. I may not be upfront or in the spotlight all the time like the singer in the band but I am certainly right behind the song all the way.
It's been a long, exciting journey into jazz for me. I made a lot of friends as a musician and a whole lot of enemies. I did meet a lot of people. If it wasn't for my music I would have been a lighthouse keeper on Andaman island or what's worse, I would have been a doctor, lawyer or engineer. Yes, music helped me get out of my shell and face the world with a song. I currently live in Goa where I produce music out of my studio in Sangolda and gig occasionally with local and visiting international artistes. I also perform at concerts and corporate events all over India and internationally. One of the highlights of my career so far, has been performing internationally on the world renowned Hennessy XO jazz tour. My journey into jazz has been fun and my best is always yet to come. To give back to the music that gave me so much, I setup an organisation in Goa called 'Jazz Goa'. After close to three decades of playing jazz with just about every jazz musician in the country, I would have loved to be called the Godfather of Indian jazz. The position has been filled I'm told, so I'll settle for Godson of Indian jazz!

The jazz scene in India
India always had a parallel jazz scene going along with the worldwide evolution of this great form of music that found a hip name in America in the early part of the 20th century. If there was a big band scene happening around the world in the swinging sixties, there was a little big band scene going on in India aswell, in places like Calcutta and Mumbai. When the electronic sound of fusion evolved in the eighties, we had our own fusion heros like Trilok Gurtu, Zakhir Hussain and Ravi Shankar running parallel and often ahead of the rest of the world. Right down to current sounds of yet to be labeled genre's of jazz, there's always a parallel evolution going on in our own land of improvising maestros (Indian classical musicians). The recently defunct Jazz Yatra, started in 1978, featured no less than the jazz legends themelves. Over the years it grew into the longest running international festival in the world! And even served as a launch pad for the great jazz singer/pianist Tania Maria. I remember getting my biannual fix on world class live jazz right here in my backyard. The organisation behind the Jazz Yatra 'Jazz India' ran into some serious inhouse squabbles and was dissolved to make way for 'Capital Jazz' a new organisation that hopes to take over from where Jazz India left off. The two editions of Capital Jazz's 'Jazz Utsav' so far, did feature some great international artistes, but it's going to take a while before it gets anywhere near a Jazz Yatra.

Interestingly, jazz pockets keep springing up all the time in India, like Capital Jazz, Pune Jazz Club, Bangalore Jazz Habba, Chennai Jazz Club and Jazz Goa. Capital Jazz came together to keep an international jazz festival going in India after the Jazz Yatra folded up. This non-profit organisation hosts The Capital Jazz Utsav in Delhi and the West Coast Jazz Utsav in Mumbai. The Pune Jazz Club meet every third Sunday of the month at the Max Mueller Bhavan and one or two members present an audio-visual on his/her favourite jazz artistes. They also organise the occasional live jazz event at Shisha Cafe, Koregaon Park. The club members have a blast at every meeting that invariably turns into a party. Bangalore has it's fair share of jazz exponents and afficiandos. The 2007 edition of the most popular cultural festival 'Bangalore Habba', featured a four day jazz festival within the ten day festival. Some of India's most accomplished jazz artistes, including visiting international artistes performed here. From the tremendous response it got, the festival organisers decided on making it a permanent fixture every year. The Chennai Jazz Club set up by jazz enthusiasts there, operates on similar lines as the Pune club. The meetings too, take place at the Chennai Max Mueller Bhavan. Membership has been steadily growing over the years with new jazz enthusiasts joining the club each year. Jazz Goa was set up by musicians and jazz lovers in Goa to promote local talent, giving them a platform to perform locally aswell as internationally. Goan jazz musicians have always been at the forefront of the jazz scene in India. And Jazz Goa makes sure they stay in the limelight. The organisation has also recorded and released jazz CD's that can be reviewed at www.jazzgoa.com. Goa seems to be the next hub for jazz in India. Almost every visitng jazz artiste has Goa on thier itenary, mainly for it's creatively inspiring environment. Jazz Goa offers these artistes a professional platform to perform in while they holiday in Goa. Goa being an international tourist destination, a jazz concert here attracts worldwide audiences. Delhi too has a great jazz scene since the city is filled with international diplomats, most of them being jazz lovers. The five star hotels here often feature local as well as international jazz bands on resident contracts. Kolkata, the once upon a time jazz hub, no longer has a scene to write home about since most of the jazzers there migrated to foriegn shores, several of them to Mumbai. Coming back to Mumbai and it's struggling to break through Bollywood jazz scene, the fire still keeps leaping out of dying embers. There's a Jazz Utsav rising out of a Jazz Yatra. And a Blue Frog leaping out of a Not Just Jazz by the Bay. It's still happening here, even if it has to be sneaked in between 'Shiela ki Jawani' and 'Chickni Chameli'!

Jazz has always had a niche listener base worldwide and it's not surprising for it to be side stepped in a country ruled by Bollywood. As long as people like me keep getting passionately hooked onto this soulful sound of music, the club's here to stay!

By Colin D'Cruz
www.jazzgoa.com