Friday, October 28, 2011

Metallica's Delhi Concert Canceled


For metal fans, the inaugural Formula 1 race at the Buddh Purnima Circuit in New Delhi was more about music than about F1 racing, as it saw a Metallica concert shape up. With a Friday night date in New Delhi and a Sunday concert at Bangalore, this was a metal dream come true. However, the dream came crashing down as the Friday concert got postponed due to "technical and logistic" problems. This was after the audience had been allowed in, and there was large scale chaos following this announcement. It seems unlikely that the Saturday date that was announced will materialize given the fact that permission needs to be acquired, and security arrangement need to be re-done. In addition, people have reported that equipment is already being packed and trucked out from the venue.

Four representatives of the organizing company DNA Networks were also arrested by the police after the show got called off. They were booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code that address breach of trust and cheating (406 and 420). While the organizers promised a refund in the event the show was canceled, many of the audience lost their tickets in the chaos that ensued after the band refused to take the stage. There are various versions floating around as to why the show was called off. While some claim that the band itself was not happy with backstage arrangement, others point out the lack of security.

For metal followers, other than browsing the featured photos from the band's Delhi trip up on its website, the only way to get to see Metallica now is by catching the next flight to Bangalore!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Clapton & Marsalis Play the Blues - Live at Jazz at Lincoln Center

Some music, musicians, songwriters and composers are truly difficult for me to write about. While many of the names in that list are from popular music that I grew up listening to, music that resonates for me in extremely subjective ways, most are masters of their art. 


This post is a first listen to the new release from two kings of music. Wynton Marsalis. Eric Clapton. Playing the blues. Together. With a horn and banjo band. New Orleans style.  




I got introduced to jazz as a young child from the Dancehall and Dixie music that was a big hit with my parent’s generation. While it was Moody Blues and Lynnyrd Skynnyrd on one hand, it was Earl Hines and Rhapsody in Blue on the other. Trying to make sense of the blues in the 80’s and 90’s in urban India was not difficult for a generation that couldn’t figure out a lot of things happening around them. With more than one failed revolution behind us, and a world eager to jump on to a materialistic bandwagon powered by young men in designer khadi bandgallahs and jodhpurs, the thinking-feeling citizen had begun the slow journey to extinction. We would wait for every new album from Eric Clapton (those were his bad years, and every new release was a disappointment which we denied) and Pink Floyd to hit the Indian markets, or tape it on to audio cassettes from vinyls brought by someone returning from Europe or the States.


This was also the age of short wave radios, Binaca Geetmala, Radio Moscow, the news in Special English, and the Voice of America. The unforgettable voice of Willis Connover would be like a beacon of hope as I tuned into Jazz Hour every night on VOA, to discover the magical language of music, one that transcended religion, color, class and country. It was on the Jazz Hour that I first heard Wynton Marsalis. Years later, I would find his first album in an Indian store as an Indian release, and I was able to put a pensive face to the even more thoughtful music I had heard on radio. I still remember the lineup of Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Branford Marsalis backing the 19-year-old up on classics like Father Time, and Hesitation on that album, and wondering how gifted a person must be to be playing with with such masters at such a young age. 
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