Rockin’ remnisces I


The recent rains have been anything but uplifting. My very mood for the past few days has been ranging from drowsy to sleepy [as is obvious from this bo-o-ring post]. So when I discovered that I have three tests this week, I tried hard to keep awake [iced tea, cold water baths…] and would’ve almost failed, if it hadn’t been for my collection of tapes and that miserable excuse for a walkman I possess.
It was then that I came across one of my oldest tapes: [V] Jammin!. It brought back memories of a long time back, when subcontinental rock[a term coined to describe the desi ‘rock’ bands]was my religion and reality shows hadn’t yet gotten big.
This collection is a unique concept indeed[haven’t heard of any like this so far]. Channel [V] brought together 20 of the Subcontinent biggest pop artistes to jam together and create 10 absolutely great-sounding songs. The whole thing was telecast on [V] on the show [V] Jammin!; the whole process of making music, right from the concept stage to the songwriting to the recording.
It was telecast once a week, Monday 10 pm, and didn’t enjoy a mass viewership as such, for that slot was primarily dominated by Kyunki… The artistes in themselves weren’t all that well known, save a few like Euphoria, Strings, Shankar Mahadevan or Usha Uthup. The show, in the end, was not a phenomenon as such, but it did inspire a whole new inclination to indipop.
The tracks are in both English and Hindi, and are mostly upbeat ones, the likes of which haven’t really been heard before.
‘Rhythm ‘n’ Blues’ by Usha Uthup and Parikrama fuses reggae and rock. The keyboard and mouth-organ[Sonam Sherpa presumably at his best] combined with the powerful voices of Nitin Malik and Usha Uthup give the song a whole new feel, which has the listener up ‘n’ rockin’ in no time [I guess Tu will vouch for that]. ‘Todenge Phodenge’ by Abbey and Vedic Chant is a rebellious-sounding track sung mainly by the strong-voiced Abbey[aka Jayanto Pathak, who we haven’t seen since the neck-twisting Aye Sanam]. The lyrics leave a lot to be desired here, though the beat is good and the instrumentals give it a dancy feel.
Undoubtedly, the most popular track in the collection is ‘Hum’ by Euphoria and Mehnaz. It was one of the theme tracks for India’s Cricket World Cup campaign. It has Euphoria’s signature all over it, be it the lyrics or the tune, which is racy and reminds you vaguely of ‘Keep on movin’ by Five.
But my personal fave’s got to be ‘Tide’ sung by Vasundhara Das and composed by Smoke [the same guys who composed ‘tumse hi pyaar’ for Aasma]. The video for this, shot on a rocky beach, matches the song perfectly, and for once, is a music video that has some semblence to the lyrics of the song.
Alms for Shanti and Taufiq Qureshi give percussions a whole new interpretation with ‘Superbol’. It has you headbanging to the tabla and the bols… something new to me.
The show wasn’t badly shot, but it kinda shocks you when you see how your favorite singers look sans makeup and nice clothes. The VJs were kind of retreated to the background and the technicians took over[notably the sound engineer Vijay Benegal, who worked the sessions to a slick mix]. Except in one episode with Jassi [of Dil lagi kudi gujrat di fame, this was long before the eponymous soapstar] and Ehsaan-Loy where Ranvir Shorey had to act as moderator and stop the trio from swearing and coming to blows. That song never got recorded, and the episode is the only one that went awry.
It was refreshing to see Usha Uthup just chillin’ with the boys of Parikrama. The band themselves amaze you with their always-full reservoir of energy [more on this later… they performed at NITK not so long ago] and bad-boy jokes, which is a far cry from the PJs-only humor of Silk Route or Euphoria.
All said and done, it was a great concept. Pity there was no follow-up-of-sorts to it. The only thing that went on to happen was that reality tv went big with Popstars I and II and umpteen other contests. If only it had been publicized on a much bigger scale, it maybe would have been the start of a new era in indipop [but then, one swallow does not a summer make.]. Maybe it would have checked the remix-brigade’s domination of the music scene, which happened a couple of years later. It didn’t give the momentum to indipop it should have, maybe due to the relative anonymity of the musicians.
Yeah, maybe [V] Jammin! doesnt deserve to be the phenomenon I make it out to be… but it also deserves better than to be an unknown show recalled faintly by only indipop aficionados.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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20 Responses to Rockin’ remnisces I

  1. Anonymous says:

    hey i completely agrre with u on this….music in india is yet to be discovered completely…ppl have to come out of their shells binding them to a certain identity…celebrating music and here i am talking of the non famous ones….is one thing that still is in paper and has not yet been taken seriously…..this reminds me of some of the shows that is happened to c in ss music which i think deserve to be kept in musical museams cozman they r sooo rare and precious……

  2. Deepti says:

    i remember.. but back then indipop was just getting started.. its only now its become a raging obsession with tuneless ppl taking over the scene.. and destroying it!!!

  3. AJ says:

    Pfft.. Walkmans are ancient and passe.
    Get yourself an IPod.. And I can tell from personal experience that they *rock* 😀

  4. Priya says:

    i do possess an ipod, but it aint very advisable to have it in a hostel where ppl are only too happy to borrow stuff off you.
    and i agree, they *rock*

  5. Shashi Iyer says:

    nice post priya… and i do agree with u

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yeah…that was a hell of a tape.
    err..i think it was sonam on the guitars. subir plays the keybords…at least now it is that way.

    i might be wrong…

  7. Priya says:

    yeah, that wuz nitin on the vocals, subir on the keyboards, sonam doin the mouth organ and the guitars with chintan kalra…
    a post on parikrama comin up,,,, keep watchin’

  8. Anonymous says:

    i know i shouldnt drop this but but what the hell. i hung out with parikrama when they were here during incident. talked to all the guys – subir, nitin, chintan sonam sanjay everyone…

    got autographs and all…
    killer band.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes I remember those magical times when both MTV and [V] used to encourage talent rather than these awfully stupid reality shows. I mean I actually used to look fwd to the Unplugged shows. Parikrama, Euphoria, Strings etc are the outcome of such a good backing.

  10. Scarred says:

    Hey Priya, how are you doin?.
    nice writeup abt [v] jammin .. nostalgic… now i’m gonna search for that casette .. 🙂

  11. Golden Words says:

    hey great blog..came here via ur orkut profile.. 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    Boy! Was I glad to find this blog or what.

    Ironically I loved the song (Folk song of punjab) done by Jassi, Ehsaan and Loy. The fusion of Punjabi lyrics with some techno music was awesome.

    I tried to get hold of that one Song but was never successful.

    Would appreciate if anybody can point me to the CD or anything I could either download or buy online.

  13. Shashi Iyer says:

    priya and tuhina! keep this place moving please… we’re waiting 🙂

  14. Priya says:

    a request to all those who comment under anon…:
    do leave a name or even an alias as there are so many ppl who choose to comment as anonymous. the section is kept open mainly for those without blogger ids. we’d like to differentiate between the various anonymous commenters. do comply.
    @shashi:
    aren’t the midsems on, man? duck outta ccc and get cracking.

  15. Anonymous says:

    wokay….but can ijust be anonymous…let the others get names…

  16. Priya says:

    hey, we dont mind you calling yourself raging revenger or canoodling commenter or any other name. just a name, coz you comment pretty regularly.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hey guys!! Nice one on the Jammin sessions. Have been trying to find that CD. My fav is “HUM” by Euphoria(1 of my fav bands) and Mehnaz. Could you tell me where I could download it from?? Appreciate it.. and keep rockin – The Fonz

  18. Priya says:

    you can get it at any music store! try planet m.
    if you want to download hum, get it from dhoom.com the official euphoria site.–>

  19. ab says:

    u can view the videos from [v] jammin at http://www.channelv2.com under the music category.

  20. charlee says:

    you said be “tide” composed by smoke! My question is who is smoke, a band or a single singer named smoke? I don’t know, but I would like to know. He or they I think sung a song named Summer Rock. Could you please email me at meonpc@att.net and let me know where to find this song, I would be very appreciative if you could do this for me. Thank you very much. Charlee

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