Friday, 29 August 2014


As usual I found out about an awesome show at very short notice. The description on the facebook event page was very intriguing/tempting indeed -

"An evening on the cusp of oblivion. Why-Trance and Virtual Horns."

"Tarot influenced Ritualistic Unprotected Saxscapes:
Devil card has been selected for tonight."

"Zoned out psychedelic keyboard and "super-strong primitive percussion" for the haunted tropics of Beguiling Isles film collage."

"AUROGRAPH" - See here for why the name was enough to get my attention in this instance


-- only catch was that it was all happening tonight and I wasn't sure if I could handle another late night out. I'd already driven to the city three times in the last week, twice for music - two incredible shows which both deserve a few words in due course - and once to see The Shining in 35mm - one of the very few movies to have ever really fucked with my head. Even on the nights when I stayed in this week, I was up really late either spinning newly acquired records or reading old favourites. So I was quite beat. And yet I couldn't pass on this potentially awesome show either. I decided to try and take a quick nap after work and head over come what may.

As it turned out, I couldn't take my nap, but I didn't have to. My week/month/life suddenly opened up wide. I teetered on the edge for a while, but recovered my footing. One of the immediate positive effects of what at first came as a rude and awful shock was that I could stay up as late as I wanted tonight. I determined to go to the show and put everything else out of my mind for a bit.

Music, live music, has always been my go-to panacea. The most life-affirming experiences I've ever had were at concerts. Nothing can match a really great concert.

The show tonight was such a one.

I missed the first act, Quazar Bran - I really wished I hadn't when they joined in for the "final fallout" and I saw one of them playing a didgeridoo(!) and another playing an instrument I've never seen before (a flute shaped like a ghatam??). I bet their set was really good. I blame google maps for sending me around KC in circles.

I finally found the venue and walked in partway through Corum's set. "Zoned out pychedelic keyboard and super-strong primitive percussion" was right on the mark. There was also much incense and a flute(?) and some visuals projected behind him. I couldn't see much though because the smoke was blowing right into my eyes due to where I was standing. Not that I minded that too much. I end up closing my eyes involuntarily when the music is good anyway. And this sure was good. Could've listened to it for much much longer. I'd already been quite taken with the music on his bandcamp page and would have ordered it by now if not for..but nevermind that. Back to the show..

Next up was his co-conspirator from Million Brazilians - Suzanne Stone a.k.a White Gourd. She who drew the devil card (or Le Diable) and summoned him up with her eerie vocal loops and keys and sax. I particularly loved the note she ended on, with a loop that really stirred something up in me.

Aurograph went on last. Needless to say, they rocked. And grooved. And droned. And just tore shit up in general. My eyes were closed within 5 minutes and stayed that way until at some point I realized I was hearing more than one wind instrument, and it didn't seem like a loop either. I peeked to see what was going on, and lo and behold, the trio had turned into a quintet. Corum and Stone had joined them on stage and things got almost unbearably good. Nothing else existed outside of right there and right then.

They could've ended there, but they didn't. Oh no. They called up the Quazar Bran guys up as well and jammed on furiously. Eyes close again. Suddenly, I hear voices joining in the jam and they're coming from the audience direction, and then the stage, and back and forth.  Eyes open and what a sight. A lovely duet (is it still a duet if there are multiple voices harmonizing together on each end?) that goes on for some time that serves as the perfect end to a perfect evening.

I walk out grinning wide, ever so grateful to be alive.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Mindblowing psychedelia from Thailand

No words. Just a couple of links of awesomeness.

The blog post with the live video that started it all.

And the album that came/is coming out of it.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

My superpower, my bane

It has been brought to my attention, not for the first time and quite possibly not the last either, that my superpower bothers people. My superpower, you see, is faultfinding. I have an uncanny ability to spot mistakes. This, in itself, would probably not annoy anyone. But in my zeal to help straighten out someone else's work, I seem to step on toes instead. I become the busybody, the enemy, when what I'm actually trying to do and be is quite the opposite. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I only take pains to correct someone when I care. It is only when I have a certain amount of respect either for the person or the work in question that I bother to play the school mistress. In the majority of cases, I don't bother.

I would prefer to be corrected than to be left wrong. But apparently I'm in the minority in this. Most people, it would seem, take offense instead of being appreciative of someone trying to correct them. I guess they perceive it as a putting down of them. Their egos are hurt by what appears to be condescension when in fact it isn't at all. Is condescension, then, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? Should I feel bad about having hurt someone inadvertently? Or am I allowed to feel hurt at having been misjudged? I feel a bit of both right now. I am both indignant and sad. I apologized to the person in question, but it wasn't a heartfelt apology. A part of me, a rather large part, felt like they were the one being rude. Why should I have to apologize for their touchiness? But such is the way of human social interactions. Sigh.

The irony here is that this person was bemoaning the lack of real honest interactions with their fellow denizens. Now thanks to their telling me off, there is going to be one less person who is straight with them. Can't have your cake and eat it too, bro. 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Mun Paniya

This song is a personal favourite of mine. A beautiful melody with lovely lyrics, sung brilliantly and picturized so wonderfully. All come together as the perfect depiction of my favouritest emotion - that feeling of falling in love.

So I wanted to share it with you. Pardon my crude attempt at translating the lyrics. Had to do this on my own without my lovely friend K's help since technically I know Tamil better than her. Or should anyway. But while my comprehension might be better than hers, my composition is miserably lacking. In spite of being acutely aware of this, I've tried to wax poetic instead of translating verbatim in keeping with the spirit of the song. I hope I haven't made too much of a mess of it in the process, and that at least the essence of it comes across.
Mun paniya mudhal mazhaiya
Is it the early mist or the first rain
En manathil etho vizhukirathe
That is falling gently in my heart
Vizhukirathe uyir nanaigirathe
Falling and drenching my soul 

Puriyaatha ooravil nindraen
In this confusing relationship
Ariyaatha sugangal kandaen
I find unknown pleasures
Maattram thanthaval neethaanae
And it's all because of you

Yen idhayathai
My heart
Yen idhayathai valiyil
Engaeyo maranthu tholaithuvittaen
I misplaced my heart somewhere along the way
Un viliyinil
Your eyes
Un viliyinil athanai
Ippodhu kandupidithu vittaen
I've found it now in your eyes
Idhu varai yenakkillae mugavarigal
Till now I had no place to call home (literally mugavarigal is addresses)
Athai naan kandaen un punnagaiyil
I've found it now in your sweet smile
Vaalgiraen naan un moochilae...
And I live in your breath... 

Yen paadhaigal
My paths
Yen paadhaigal unathu vali paarthu vanthu mudiyuthadi
My paths all lead to you
Yen iravugal
My nights
Yen iravugal unathu mugam paarthu vidiya yenguthadi
My nights long to dawn to the sight of your face
Iravaiyum pagalaiyum maattrivittaai
You've changed my nights and my days
Yenakkul onnai nee oottrivittaai
Poured yourself into me
Moolginaen naan un kannilae...
And I drown in your eyes...