Archive for February, 2010

28
Feb
10

Wooden Grasshopper

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27
Feb
10

Shah Rukh Khan VS Vijay Mallya

May 25, 2009

Why T20 rules and why Rahul Dravid is an idiot

Lalit Modi deserves all the cool stuff he gets from life because his Indian Premier League is a fucking blessing. Cricket ceased to excite me a few years ago, mainly because I was discovering more interesting things. Last year’s IPL was engaging of course, and in 2009 the game is anything but boring.

Saturday saw Vijay Mallya jumping as his team Royal Challengers Bangalore thwacked Chennai Super Kings and entered the finals. For some reason, I don’t like Dhoni one bit and his team’s uniform is yellow and they’re pathetic fielders. The large booze baron was so happy that he gave Katrina Kaif a peck on the cheek and continued his on-the-spot hopping.

My friend/bandmember Yash and I had decided to start betting and yesterday seemed like a good day to launch our new careers. I wanted Royal Challengers to win because their team uniform is red and I like Royal Challenge (the beer, not the whisky). I also wanted to see fat boy Mallya do his PT exercise again, so drummer-boy Yash had no choice but to support Deccan Chargers (Hyderabad?).

Having a great view of the TV set at Alfredo’s, our debit cards copulated (his debit card is female) on the lovely table and we ordered away. I wondered for a brief moment if Shahrukh Khan was relieved his team was sent packing by pretty much every other team much earlier, for it’d have been much more awkward if his team had made it to the finals only to lose to Mallya’s.

Yash: What if Mallya’s team wins?
Me: He’ll have a Kingfisher Mild.
Yash: Aur agar haar gaya toh?
Me: Do peeyega.

Anil Kumble and party were doing well, and Yash kept repeating that the match was fixed. Anyway, unless you were farting in Hawaii you should know the outcome. One fellow I really want to whack is Rahul Dravid, and I’ve wanted to do it ever since that ‘Be A Jammy’ ad made an appearance on television. And I’m sure Vijay Mallya wanted to break a bottle of warm Kingfisher Blue (crap brew, btw) on Dravid’s head when he dropped a halwa catch like a zombie. Be a jammy, haan? Choot.

I wished Royal Challengers had won, for I wanted to see fatboy slim do a bit of jumping and clapping. He really needs the exercise, but even more than that because I wanted Yash to foot the entire bill.

We’d downed some five pitchers and a lot of food (meatloaf sucks, btw), so Yash and I had a super time irrespective of anything else. Deccan Chargers won IPL 2009, so I had to ante up, but why did they make Katrina dance to the remix of Jai Ho? And why was Akon lip synching to previously recorded bullshit? Who cares, I’m just asking.

At some point, Yash placed his mug on his head and started grinning and dancing in his chair and that’s when I lunged forward and nearly punched the little shit.

Great fireworks and all, and Deccan Chargers had hot cheerleaders. T20 rules.

Me to Yash, on the way home: “Aaj toh Mallya quarter peeyega.”

Coming soon…Mera No. 1

DISCLAIMER: All the views expressed above belong solely to the author, no one else has time to think up so much garbage. The author has also quit his betting career, which till 24 hours ago seemed lucrative.

From my Buzz18 blog “Lashkar-E-Shaitan”


26
Feb
10

Movie Review: Karthik Calling Karthik

Reached Bombay after 10 p.m. with a torn ligament and didn’t feel like sitting through a late night show. I’m sure Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padokone had a nice time fucking. Been hearing good stuff about the movie; check out a review on Saurin’s website.

25
Feb
10

Review: Belus

Year: “2010”

Artist: “Burzum”

Album: “Belus”

Genre: “Black Metal”

CREATOR

Black Metal has known no finer exponent than Burzum, no character more intriguing than Count Grishnackh. The composer of fine albums like Aske, Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, Filosofem and Hliðskjálf among others, Count Grishnackh’s odd behaviour fascinated me as much as his music. Burzum being a one-man project added greatly to his mystique, and all these factors led to Burzum becoming my all-time favourite Black Metal band.

DESTROYER

Sentenced to 21 years in prison for arson and the murder of Øystein Aarseth, Count Grishnackh’s racist ideologies got tremendous exposure thanks to the media which was and is as taken by the man as many of us are. As much as I love architecture, I have to say the thought of churches burning is exciting as hell. As much as I love Mayhem, I have to say Euronymous was replaceable (he was replaced, wasn’t he?) and Varg Vikernes is not. One of them had to die; better Euronymous than Grishnackh.

PRESERVER

Coming to the album at last, Belus is everything you expect and want the new Burzum record to be. Belus is very powerful music, a superb album from Burzum. The old bard picks up from where he left off, his sound and signature firmly in place, his trademark drumming and riffing keeping the pace steady and interesting throughout. Those who share my views on “pure music” will be satiated with what Count Grishnackh has done on Belus, meaning “The White God”. The essence of Burzum’s music is ever-present on Belus, and the purity of his sound intact. The man is feared, the band is here, the vision is clear. Black Metal has a white god – we know him as Varg.

24
Feb
10

Hero

By Shailaja Choksi

23
Feb
10

Movie Review: Up In The Air

By Saurin Parikh

Anyone else as the Ryan Bingham of Up In The Air would have been a casting disaster. Some roles are tailor-made for certain actors, I can’t think of anyone else as the protagonist of Up In The Air. George Clooney it is. Confident, suave, sexy, and yet vulnerable at times, Clooney carries Up In The Air on his shoulders, and like numerous times before, he is majestic.

Up In The Air is the story of Ryan Bingham, a high-flying (literally) downsizing expert. Bingham’s job is to fire people, it’s a tough job but he does it with ease. He consoles the victims, is humane with them, he delivers the news calmly and often tells them why being fired would now allow them to pursue their dreams. It’s a rotten thing to do, but someone’s gotta do it, and Bingham is an expert at it. He travels incessantly, he hates going home, rather feels at home on a flight. Ryan Bingham is a lovable character, it has been written very well, but made more likeable by Clooney.

Being on the road, oops, sorry, being up in the air is Bingham’s lifestyle choice, and an admirable one at that. He’s a privileged customer of airlines and hotels, he loves the status he’s got and Clooney does a wonderful job of making you jealous of it. He says he doesn’t need people, he stays away from any commitment, rarely meets his sisters. But Bingham meets Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga) at a hotel and in due course, falls for her. Clooney is wonderful when he acts unwittingly vulnerable during this part of the character’s life. Also fun to watch is Bingham’s interactions with his colleague Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick). Natalie is a young exec; Bingham has been assigned the task of training her. Natalie doesn’t adhere to Bingham’s lifestyle philosophies and the way they clash make up an interesting part in the movie.

Up In The Air is an adaption of Walter Kim’s novel of the same name. Directed by Jason Reitman (known for classics like Juno and Thank You For Smoking), Up In The Air has been received well so far. It received six Golden Globe nominations, winning the Best Screenplay award. It has also received six Academy Award nominations.

Up In The Air is satirical at times, funny at times and dramatic at times. It’s a film about a man who fires people for a living, but at the same time, it’s also a film about a man who runs, or flies, away from commitment. His theories make sense at times, but seem melancholic too.

Overall, a well-made movie with a unique storyline. A definite must see.

22
Feb
10

Music Review: Majesty And Decay

By Devdutt Nawalkar

There have been a few sterling Immolation-derived efforts since Shadows In The Light. In many ways, Dead Congregation with their Immolation and Incantation worship outdid what their idols have done over the last few years, at least in terms of brooding darkness and young energy (well, Incantation have been pretty consistent throughout). Ulcerate came out with ‘Everything Is Fire‘ last year, that progressive mindfuck that could yet define a new way forward for extreme metal. The seed of serrated atonality, sown by Voivod all those years ago, taken to heart by Gorguts, and always nurtured by Immolation, has finally borne fruit in eager and capable younger hands.

Immolation, for my opinion’s worth, have been the most consistent band in the genre for twenty years. (As a perfunctory aside, they’ve also been the greatest death metal band in that time) No band, retaining their early sound, rivals their output in terms of songwriting prowess, innovation, and sheer memorability. From the early fuckyouness against the church and its debaucheries to themes of more universal and politically themed frustration, Immolation have always emphasized the angry, rebellious spirit within death metal, never once succumbing to self-parody or the tongue-in-cheekiness other bands are prone too. They’ve always taken their art seriously, never made compromises, and have earned respect and acclaim from all quarters.


Having said all that, the underground has been rife for some time with misgivings about the slight changes in style that have crept in over the last couple of albums. Harnessing Ruin wasn’t given a favourable welcome, with charges of stagnation and courting trends seething below. Of course, to an underground averse to any form of accessibility and melodic content, however well done, even the slightest deviation from established palettes is paramount to betrayal. To these ears though, Harnessing Ruin always seemed like a segue – one a tad uncertain admittedly – that bore reward in the brilliant Shadows In The Light. Shadows found the band perfecting their newer, more streamlined style to a razor’s edge, opening up new avenues for the future.

Majesty And Decay is where the ancient past meets the recent. The album is very cleanly split on either side of an interlude. The first half sees the band giving more polish to the style they’ve introduced over the last few years; militant, grooving, quiet stretches of uneasy atmospherics, and leads more melodic than ever before. Rob Vigna is as twisted and inventive as ever while laying down rhythms but his playing is more conventional than I can recollect from before. In no way is that a bad thing either; a Vigna solo is never a mundane, by-the-books affair, always throwing curveballs and wrong turns at the listener.

‘The Purge’ muscles on with little regard for subtlety, but the brief-as-a-quickie ‘A Token Of Malice’ shows first glimpses of the classic Immolation dissonance , twisting and groaning like some metal monolith about to come crashing down. The title track is a heavy bastard with a main riff as catchy as the Asian flu, grooving and tormenting in equal parts. ‘Divine Code’ is a bit of a comedown; a simple song with no pretence and little memorability. ‘In Human Form’ and ‘A Glorious Epoch’ are mostly mid-paced bruisers with the trademark eerie tension that the band is famous for.


Hailing off the second half is a dark interlude quite reminiscent of the apocalyptic intro to the Dead Congregation debut. ‘A Thunderous Consequence’ is still a bit restrained but has some strange things happening beneath Vigna’s turned up noodlings. Cue ‘The Rapture Of Ghosts’, however, and the band takes us all the way back to the technical maelstroms of the Here In After Days. Zero predictability meshed with the band’s recent, more intensely melodic sensibilities makes The Rapture one of the best songs on the record, and THE style I’d love for the band to take to heart. It also has the long, repetitive outro usually reserved for the band’s epic closers. Of course, ‘The Comfort Of Cowards’ lives up to its storied final song billing – a six minute long excursion into Kingdom Immolation, kicked off with repetitive harmonics for the first minute. Fans of Gorguts’ Obscura will be quick to latch onto a few quick nods to that seminal work. Vigna’s first solo is something I’m sure I’ve heard on Harnessing Ruin, but I’m being too pedantic. Great song, and the way it breaks down at the end to lead into the expected climax makes a classic casestudy for the causes of whiplash among metal fans.


Steve Shalaty is in thunderous form here. He’s been steadily evolving and honing his style to the Immolation sound since Harnessing Ruin. Shadows In The Light was a dramatic step forward, and he’s taken the ball and run with all the way past the goalline here. His drumming, apart from being just a percussive instrument, actually adds texture and melody to these songs. Almost tribal in its groove and ferocity, he is as much the driving force behind these songs as Vigna, and his work is now fully qualified to be ranked alongside Alex Hernandez’s superlative performances on earlier records. Bob Vigna is, of course, one of the greatest death metal guitarists ever. I’d like to know how he comes up with his stuff which, while being so powerfully musical, never stoops to the cheesiness of say a Ralph Santolla (who’s a great player, just for the record). Vigna’s ably assisted by ex-Angelcorpse axe and now long-standing member Bill Taylor. Taylor has always been overshadowed by Vigna and Dolan and just the overwhelming presence that is Immolation. But he can hold his own in any company, and is great in a live situation to boot.


Majesty And Decay can sit very capably among the Immolation pantheon. At this stage in the game, it’s inconceivable that the band will ever release anything subpar. Where do they go from here? Well, ‘The Rapture Of Ghosts’ hints at a way forward. While it’s understandably hard for a veteran band to consistently capture the vibe of their younger days, it would be great if they could tap into that old sound for a bit before breaking back into whatever they’re doing today. Regardless, this album solidifies their standing as the single most important death metal band today.


Rating: 8/10




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