Archive for August, 2012


Gig Review: Outside Lands, San Francisco

By Karan Patel (Simple Complex Continuity)

Outside Lands – The First Day

Reached into the city. The quiet California land mass as seen driving on the 5 North had been replaced by a spectacular vibrant San Francisco buzz.

Parking, as usual was a pain in the ass. I gave up and parked my car for 2 nights at 25 usd/a night. Caught a bus from the Civic Center and as soon as we halted, started to run through the walking trail, to make my way to the Polo Fields.


Just made it in time when Beck was playing “Devil’s Haircut”. It just about blew my mind. I used to relate to this song literally, back when i used to have long hair. I still do, but only figuratively. Witty punk rock fueled with Beck’s painful lyrics, just got me jumping up and down. They played a great set, with the bassist playing the cello on some of the songs. Interestingly enough, they break into an acoustic cover song by Neil Young, who would be playing in a couple of hours. A brilliant selection, considering the location, they played “After The Gold Rush”, and the crowd was out with their lighters and smoke.

Foo Fighters

Beck was done. My friends were at the show by then. A couple of beers and pizza slices later, Foo Fighters stormed onto the stage with the most maddest, kinetic energy ever. Taylor Hawking seemed like he was going the beat the crap out of the drums until they bled. Dave Grohl was killing the microphone. Pat Smear was tearing up the bass and Chris Shiflett was modest in his solos, yet very powerful. They had no lights, fireworks or any other public gimmicks other than of course, jumping and running around the stage and at times Grohl would run into an open strip where the audience was, which was, for obvious reasons, barricaded on both sides. They played enough songs for an hour and a half including all the crowd favorites such as “The Pretender”, “Learn To Fly”, “All my life”, “Walk”, “White Limo”, “Rope”, “My Hero”,”Best Of You”, “Everlong” and a few more.

I have been dying to see this band live since 2005 , when i first arrived in the States. A seven year wait and it was totally worth it. I was hoping they would have played at least a couple more songs , but the band had different plans as after the third or the fourth song, Dave Grohl says, “We have an hour more to go and we gotta play a lot more songs. But let’s be honest. The sooner we get done, we all get to see Neil F@#$^% Young”.

I still have to watch this band again somewhere, wherever. They are off the hook.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Neil Young and Crazy Horse took the stage soon and the stage exploded with four seventy plus men jamming away to glory on a song called “Break It Down”.

I have not heard anything by Crazy Horse. Just a bunch of songs by Young, but this was like watching a real jam. It seemed like they were in a  garage and just jamming. Incredible is the word! It was just pure brilliance, as each song ended in an eccentric feedback and a unique form of experimentation backgrounded by different kinds of sounds. They just did not stop playing with each song ending with bizarre and yet organized melodious sounds, which were eventually built back into a new song.It was very inspiring to say the least. I felt like getting out of there, grab a guitar and hook it up to a couple of effects pedals and make some noise.

They did play a few of the songs i have heard and it was definitely a treat. “Into the Black”, “The Needle and the Damage Done” and “Cinnamon Girl”.

Outside Lands – The Second Day

The next day, my friend and me did not have tickets. This is my favorite part and i am so excited to write about this. TICKET SCALPING!! Yeah, that is how we got in.

The official tickets had long been sold out and all third party vendors were selling at a ridiculous marked up price, so that was not an option. So the idea was to go there and ask anyone with extra tickets. The official price was a 110 bucks with tax and we were willing to pay till 200, as Metallica was playing, we figured it would be worth it.

I am not sure if this is luck or whatever you want to call it but we reached there and within a minute we found a scalper, whose name shall not be mentioned. We got a great deal.

A 100 bucks a pop and we pay him once we pass through security/ticket check. Wait, what , we are paying less than the official tickets. Hell yes, lets do it. So the ticket he gave us was a xerox copy of a 3 day pass issued to someone, whose name shall not be mentioned either. All right – it was Anna Rodriguez. Thank You, Anna! We reach the ticket check point. The scalper waits till his friend, who works for the ticket check arrives. He walks in before us, tell her, the next two guys are cool and we pass through. She scans the ticket and the machine says “Invalid Ticket”. She smiles and says “You can go in now”. That was it. Thats how easy it was.

If you ever do not have tickets, trust me, just go there. 8/10 times, you get lucky and those are some pretty good odds. This is the third time i have been lucky, twice before with Alice In Chains and Soundgarden.

Alabama Shakes and The Kills

So we go inside, our joy we couldn’t contain. The crowd was definitely more vibrant than the previous day on account of the fact that it was a Saturday. We checked out a band called the Alabama Shakes and it was a nice folkish band and a couple of Newcastle’s later we headed to the field where Metallica would play in a bit.

We reached there when “The Kills” were killing the stage. Definitely got me hooked on as i have to get my hands on this band. Its a great punk rock duo and the female vocalist plays the guitar, drums and bass on different songs.


A couple of tacos, tater tots and best damn cheese grilled sandwich later Metallica exploded on the stage after playing a clip from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, where Tuco (The Ugly) is running around the cemetery. I obviously thought “Master of Puppets” would just start anytime, but the lights went out and “Hit The Lights” started rocketing through the atmosphere. Not much to my surprise, but “Master of Puppets” was next. As a kid, i have been to many a mosh pit. Every Thursday night at Razzberry Rhino, a pub in Mumbai where Indian Rock bands have made their debut. But this was a hell pit, as everyone literally threw their bodies around in a sheer f$%^& frenzy. A girl friend of mine was devasted as she took a small hit, so for her sake we went back a little bit but it has hilarious enough to see the pit after so many years. The last mosh pit i have been in was for a secret Soundgarden show two years ago. Metallica might be old but they totally totally still got it. I mean its incredible that Hetfield’s voice has not changed a bit since The Black Album. Beautiful guitar solos by Hammett, Robert Trujillo’s trademark style of playing bass with that frog like stand and Lars was just being Lars. I think its one of the only bands in the world that i feel more comfortable calling them by their first or last names as against full names. P.see: i obviously do not know them.

The highlight of the night: “One”. As all Metallica fans know, this is a song about a soldier who is hit by an artillery shell and loses his limbs, eyes, ears and mouth. His mind functions perfectly, however, leaving him trapped inside his own body. They recreated a war scene with fake bombs exploding and a lot of FAYYYYURRRR!! I honestly cant put this in words, but they started playing the most trippiest lights to go along with the song, it was f%^& unbelievable. The band went on to play most of my favorites including “Ride The Lightning”, “Creeping Death”, “Blackened”, “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, “Fade To Black”, “Enter Sandman”, “Sanitarium”, “Seek and Destroy”, “Battery” and more. I mentioned earlier about Foo Fighters’ energy, but Metallica was way more charged up than any other band i have ever seen.

It was a blast of a two nighter and as i write all of this a few days later, i can still feel the sounds and sights of the two days spent in music, food, beer and a whole lot of people feeling the exact same way as me.

Website of the festival: Outside Lands

MORE GIG REVIEWS: Metallica in Bangalore | Megadeth’s Tour of Duty | Metal Bajaao Special Edition | Deathfest 2 at B69 | Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2012


Beer Review: Kaiserdom Hefe-Weissbier Naturtrüb

By Prayag Arora-Desai

Last month I reviewed a can of Kaiserdom Pilsener and wasn’t significantly impressed with the pale German lager. In retrospect, maybe I was too lenient in my review. I say this judging from the two more Kaiserdoms I’ve drunk this week, one of which was the Hefe Weissbier Naturtrüb, which was a hell of a lot better than the Pilsener, which I now reckon is probably Kaiserdom Privatbrauerei’s worst beer in production, and which I will also never drink again.

To look at, the Hefe Weissbier might be mistaken for a glass of watered down orange juice; cloudy, opaque, pale and yellow – smelling equally citrusy (definitely a good amount of lemon) and combined with an overwhelming whiff of bananas. It’s thinner than it looks and goes down well, making it an easy drink at 4.7% abv.

Still. This isn’t the best hefeweizen out there. The yeasty flavor is lacking, and the sheer fruitiness of it buries all other palatable subtleties. But it is what it looks, smells like, keeping your tastebuds in perfect agreement with your nose. I’m aware that most seasoned beerheads would tend to dislike this beer for its obnoxious one-dimensionality in aroma, appearance and taste. I find the straightforward, unassuming nature of this brew quite likeable, however, and would recommend you drink this at least once.

Rating: 3/5

MORE BEER REVIEWS BY PRAYAG:  Super Bock | Budweiser Magnum | Viru Premium Extra 


Music Review: Amon – Liar In Wait (2012)

By Devdutt Nawalkar

Deicide. An institution in death metal. A band mocked for much of the last decade. The advent of easily accessible internet, and the regrettable attitudes that have accompanied it in tandem, have seen an upsurge in new fans, easily dismissive or worse, ignorant, of what the band once meant to this music. As a guy getting into death metal in the India of the 90s, Deicide, alongside other well-known luminaries, were the ultimate alpha dogs. The first two albums are stone cold classics, and to this day are capable of chilling one to the marrow. As tired as Benton’s shtick might’ve become over the years, for all intents and purposes, he was bestiality and devil incarnate on those two records. The Hoffman brothers, Eric and Brian, took their Slayer-influenced atonal insanity to unchartered waters – there was precious little that sounded like Deicide then. They were fast, they were loud, they were politically incorrect as all hell. They just “felt” death metal.

They never scaled those lofty heights of righteously pissed off youth again, and even put out a few cringeworthy efforts in Insineratehymn and In Torment In Hell. Scars Of The Crucifix was the last album they put out with the Hoffmans, a portent of the style they would go on to pursue with Ralph Santolla and Jack Owen – a more melodic strain of death metal which, while working wonders on The Stench Of Redemption – the sound of a rejuvenated band with something to prove – quickly grew old with following efforts. Of course, post-Scars was also the time when the Hoffmans parted with Benton and Steve Asheim amidst fairly unedifying scenes of public bickering over songwriting credits.

It’s common knowledge that Amon was the band name before they came to be known as Deicide. Word about an Amon “reunification” had been doing the grapevine ever since the Hoffmans split. It’s taken bit more than half a decade, but finally, in the grand tradition of jilted heavy metal heroes trying to get theirs back, ‘Liar In Wait’ sees the light of day. Helmed by the Hoffmans of course, alongside Mike Petrak on drums and Jechael on vocals/bass, Liar In Wait is an extremely solid, if slightly unremarkable, helping of fast, blasphemous, old school death metal. And by fast, I mean this shit is fast! There aren’t many current bands playing this style today; I don’t mean the super technical, brutal stuff, but bands with an almost single minded focus on belting out unrelenting, tremolo picked death metal like a Krisiun or an  Angelcorpse of yore. There is hardly a groove to be found on display here, and while the tastefully melodic solos are the only reluctant concession to accessibility, this is precisely thirty six minutes of ball point caving in of the human cranium.

Thirty six minutes is ideal for this kind of death metal. There isn’t much by way of variety here, and the songs often melt into one another. But I don’t think the Hoffmans would have it any other way. There is a single point agenda here, and that is to strip death metal of a lot of cute afflictions that currently plague it, and revert back to a more unrestrained, balls-out style. This isn’t like the first two by any stretch of the imagination; as mentioned before, it owes a lot to Scars Of The Crucifix. The soloing is immaculate, and unlike the case with Santolla, isn’t protracted, knows when to bow out with grace, and just fits the songwriting. The riffing is much like the more aggressive sections on The Stench Of Redemption (throws up an interesting catch 22 too; the carry over from Scars to latter-day Deicide efforts being obvious, who exactly have Asheim & co. been copying the past six years?), along with a lot of South American and Polish death metal inclinations.

Jechael is good on growls too. Passionate, snarling, mixing highs and lows with perfectly placed ferocity, he won’t have you pining for Benton. The drumming is fairly standard for this kind of death metal; blasting for the most part, rarely having a chance to slow down and display other chops, but certainly not a sore point.

‘Liar In Wait’ isn’t the freshest thing you’ll hear this year, but you can’t fault it for passion and honest intent. It sure beats out the hundred and forty seventh attempt at ripping off Incantation.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Solar Deity – The Darkness Of Being (Atmospheric Black Metal)

FREE DOWNLOAD: Solar Deity – Snowless (Depressive Suicidal Black Metal)

FREE DOWNLOAD: Solar Deity – In The Name Of Satan (Raw Black Metal)


Music Review: The Riot Peddlers – Sarkarsm

Too little, too late, too much of a tease, but outstanding hardcore punk

Oddly, it’s Animesh Das you hear first on The Riot Peddlers‘ long overdue debut, and what you hear is the bassist singing a verse of an immensely popular song from the super-hit soundtrack of a blockbuster Hindi movie, getting the last two lines wrong, before the rest of the band kicks in to show they don’t really give much of a fuck. MTV is attacked too (click here, start downloading and read the damn lyrics), and it’s unexpected after all these years, but deserved and welcome as ever. The funniest part of Bollywood Songs though, is the last section, a hilarious verse sung to the tune of the famous film song.

It’s a direct hit at the government, the system, the state, and it’s dripping with impertinence. Anger born of frustration; Arun Singh Ravi’s inability to mould the nation to his liking ensures that the music scene has not only changed for the better but also has a bloody fine band guaranteeing the music will keep playing.

Sarkarsm‘s two serious songs – Where’s The System and United We Stand – are crunchy as hell, packed with attitude – but then, that’s the general tone of the band: resentful towards all that should have not been wrong. It’s enough to make you form a fist and look around for something to clobber. Maybe the drummer Ashwin Dutt, for taking this long to get to this. Dutt, by the way, sounds like he’s having fun in a place he belongs.

“Platform No. 3 pe aane wala train/ train motherfucking motherfucker nahi hain” is an intro that makes you wonder if the song has something to say or is just unguided angst, but it turns out to be the most profound observation, a sincere admission and the strongest advice you can get from a hardcore-punk band. See, this is why I asked you to read the damn lyrics.

Platform No.3 is more than five minutes long because it contains two hidden tracks: Sau Rupiya and Chai Pani (the band’s best-known songs, gems even the masses will instantly connect to), not completely redone, but effective nevertheless.

My only complaint is that the EP is way too short. After waiting two years for The Riot Peddlers to release an official debut, all I get is four songs (plus two hidden tracks). 11 minutes is too little after two years, even if the music’s free. But a grouse that tiny is not going to keep me from enjoying Sarkarsm for what it is: A wholly lovable debut that has lived up to very high expectations.


LISTEN: The Riot Peddlers – Sarkarsm (Yes, you beggars – it’s free.)

ALSO GET: Solar Deity’s The Darkness Of Being (Free, FREE!)

Movies: Ek Tha Tiger is surprisingly not as lame as Gangs Of Wasseypur 2

Rolling Stone Metal Awards decided it would be a good idea to suck cock in 2012

Ashwin Dutt’s amazing journey from Kinky Ski Munky to The Riot Peddlers

Arrested for drinking in a bar, Arun Singh Ravi takes on the Mumbai police


Movie Review: Ek Tha Tiger

Ek Tha Tiger is a love story in the guise of an action movie. Salman Khan, a RAW agent, falls in love with Katrina Kaif on a mission in another country. Katrina Kaif (Zoya, delightful) turns out to be an ISI agent (sorry for the spoiler) and Salman Khan must kill her. Directed by Kabir Khan, Aditya Chopra’s story starts in an unexciting way, with Tiger (Salman Khan, minus his usual bullshit) in an action sequence which moves either in slow motion or too fast to enjoy.

Given the star status he enjoys, Salman Khan deserves better roles, but this is still a lot more watchable than his last four releases (Wanted, Dabangg, Ready and Bodyguard were pieces of shit), and Katrina Kaif looks gorgeous and is a treat to watch in the action scenes, even though Ek Tha Tiger, as a thriller, is underwhelming.

Every other actor in Ek Tha Tiger except Salman and Katrina is hamming, and the couple’s chemistry alone makes the film worth a watch. Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif do both comedy and drama pretty well as a team and they look great together. There are a few really good scenes: 1) Salman invites Katrina for a close-to-midnight picnic and it turns out that he wants to see a meteor shower with her, and 2) Katrina tells Salman during a serious moment that their nationality and duty will only let them shake hands at the Wagah border.

Ek Tha Tiger is devoid of the usual crassness that comes in a Salman Khan film, and Katrina Kaif is the highlight of the movie. If the other actors weren’t hamming so much, this could have been worth a second watch. Still, it’s less pretentious than that overrated second part of Gangs Of Wasseypur which only idiots loved.


COMING UP: Movie Review of Aamir Khan’s Talaash


SEE: Bollywood’s Sexiest Women | Priyanka is SEXY, Kareena is UGLY

FREE MUSIC DOWNLOAD: Solar Deity’s The Darkness Of Being


The Darkness Of Being

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ALSO SEE: Snowless | In The Name Of Satan


Movie Review: ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur 2’ is a major disappointment

It was too good to be true. Anurag Kashyap has bitten off more than he can chew. Part One of his revenge saga is a superbly crafted film worth quite a few watches, and it deserves a hell of a follow-up that should explode in your face. Several new characters are introduced in Part Two, and each has his unique style that’s supposed to set him apart from the rest and earn him a place in your memory. Gangs of Wasseypur 2 is supposed to be a lot of things: a mind-blowing continuation of GoW 1; a movie powerful enough to stand on its own; the thunderous conclusion to a riveting tale of vengeance.

Gangs of Wassepur 2 is Anurag Kashyap losing the plot. Kashyap juggles with too many objects to impress, and all fall down. GoW 2 is a botched collage in which everyone has a bone to pick with someone. You don’t need to have a brass band performing at death ceremonies because that kind of contrast (it’s so… RGV) doesn’t impress you anymore. It’s a mockery of a very serious situation, and the same can be said about Gangs of Wasseypur 2. Even the wacky music and the attempts at humour start to feel excessive, and the less said about the tributes to the Hindi film industry, the better. Bollywood is seeping out of every pore of GoW 2. If you want to go filmy, take a break from the offbeat filmmaking and just go filmy – don’t use Bollywood to evoke laughter throughout the movie only because you’re secretly dying to be all that and are too embarrassed to do it openly.

Gangs of Wasseypur 2 is a bloody mess of a movie that doesn’t let itself be taken seriously.

RATING: 2.5/5

Movie Review: Gangs Of Wasseypur 1

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