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An exploratory MHB fan …

So I’ve been listening to Mekaal Hasan Band for some years now. It started with a wierd private website that doesn’t even exist now, where I found a very very raw audio feed of a Mekaal Hasan Band jam, labelled ‘Late Moon’. And that song was enough to make me fall in love with its music.

Mekaal-Hasan-Band-1

THe song that I’ve shared is ‘Sampooran‘- here’s to hoping you love the baansri (flute) on this one as much as I did. This song is beautiful, and eternal …

So, what do you think?

The joy of The Allman Brothers Band performing live …

‘Lord I Was Born a Rambling Man’ – I must make an unconditional statement. The Allman Brothers Band brings me sheer joy with their music. The joy they radiate with their music is contagious! The uploader has disabled the ’embed’ option for this video, but you can watch the video when you click on play and follow the video’s direction. Listen to this beautiful performance …

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can
And when it’s time for leavin’
I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ man

My father was a gambler down in Georgia
He wound up on the wrong end of a gun
And I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus
Rollin’ down highway forty-one

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can
And when it’s time for leavin’
I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ man

I’m on my way to New Orleans this mornin’
I’m leavin’ out of Nashville, Tennessee
They’re always having a good time down on the bayou
Lord, them Delta women think the world of me

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can
And when it’s time for leavin’
I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ man

Connecting with Mehdi Hasan – I

I must thank my freind, who before leaving for Dubai allowed me to ransack his laptop. We all have heard Mehdi Hasan sahab the legend one way or another; however its another prospect allowing yourself sustained hearing of Mehdi Hasan. As of now, I am concentrating on these ghazals:

a) Gulon main rang bharaay

b) Jo thakay thakay sey thay hauslay

c) Shola tha jal bhuja hun

It’s a truly enlightening experience, and I think you should give it a chance too. Its a step forward in music, not back : )

A slow, lazy day at office, working on the weekends …

Oh how I hate working on the weekends. Before you say others do as well, I know countless people who actually look forward to it. Others are okay with it. But I, abhor it, with a vehemence my white knuckles would explain as I write this! Every Monday, after working on the weekeends, I feel as if I’ve never been away. I want to just stay at home or party with friends; whatever it may be, I just do not want to be heading towards my office building.

You enter your floor, around 10 or 11 am …. workers are scrubbing the floors, Punjabi songs are blaring loudly on their China sets, there’s the general smell of Phenyl ( I can’t remember how its spelled ) that has spread over the entire floor and the ever-tightening noose of corporate suffocation ! You go to the conference room cuz that’s the only place where you’ll find air conditioning on the weekend. That is one place where you are a little more likely to feel solace. Lift your legs and rest’em on the nearest seat, connect your laptop to the network, keep a reinforcement of ciggaretes near you and smoke the time away in sporadic puffs of boredom.

The only bright thing is looking upto lunch where you are offered either Biryani or Broast, a courtesy from your generous office. Other than that, it is nearly always a drag. You have to drag a leg, to work and survive through the day, hating your life and what you’re doing with it. One more thing you can do to keep your chin up is to keep a good music collection in your mobile that allows you to drown in the music, numbing the sensations of miserability.

Yes, I am in the middle of a very slow, lazy day at office, working on the weekends … : )

The launch of Asif Sinan – live performance at Base Rock Cafe

Playing live at BRC with the band …

After a long break, I finally visited Base Rock Café, to catch Asif Sinan’s live performance with his band, last Saturday the 11th of February. I had heard some of his recordings, and seen some of his jams before, which is why I really wanted to see his live act, and how he gels and performs with the band.
Putting it in simple words, the gig at BRC was a success, with Asif Sinan leading guitars and vocals, and had excellent support from Hassaan Sohail providing an impressive bass line and Asim Siddiqui playing drums. The performance featured both, plugged and unplugged tracks, with a mix of covers (Eric Clapton, George Benson, Amir Zaki) that had influenced Asif Sinan’s music and his own personal instrumentals and songs that are due to become a part of the launch of his first album : Jazzical!
Another interesting thing to note was the drummer’s use of handmade ‘HOT RODS’ and MALLETS instead of normal sticks. When asked about it after the show, I learned that it was Asif’s idea to use them, as an inspiration from the use of brushes by Billy Cobham (one of the great Jazz Fusion drummers), and to keep the sound light and suitable for an indoor café, which I think displayed rank maturity akin to a true professional musician.
The overall theme of the gig created a really nice musical ambience in the café, with Asif concentrating on his specialty, Jazz and Indian Classical genres, creating a wonderful mix from his guitar that oozed real intellectual class, and was evident of the hard work he has put in over the years, and of his decision to study Indian Classical music to become a summa cum laude graduate from National Academy of Performing Arts in Pakistan. The testament to this was the hush-like silence of the crowd during his performances, attentive to every pluck of his guitar strings, appreciating in spontaneous bursts of applause on some wonderfully composed parts. His song ‘Soona Jeevan’ was a masterpiece with strong ‘bass guitar-drums-lead guitar’ coordination and very strong classical vocals. Also, his cover of ‘Mera Pyar’ had the audience enthralled till the very end. I also think his song ‘Jo Jaaye Jaane Do’ with its funky happy-go-lucky theme, can be produced into a very good music video! The show ended with his classical rendition of the National Anthem, which he also played at the PTI Jalsa in Karachi.
Another unique thing that I witnessed was the distribution of event cards at the gig, which displayed Asif Sinan’s picture at the front with the playlist for the show documented inside, that allowed the audience to keep up with what was being played, as most of the tracks were his own compositions. Hassaan and Asim confided after the show, that keeping up with Asif’s prowess is a constant challenge which is why it is so enjoyable and satisfying a experience to play for Asif Sinan. I, for one look forward to his future performances and the release of his album! Good show!
GIG PLAYLIST  

UNPLUGGED

Tears in Heaven (cover of Eric Clapton)
Brew
Jo Jaaye Jaane Do
I remember Wes (cover of George Benson)

PLUGGED

Raag Kirwani
Mera Pyar (cover of Aamir Zaki)
Soona Jeevan
Dekha Tujhey (cover of Strings)
Aisa Na Ho
Jo Jaye Janey Do
Money (cover of Aamir Zaki)
National Anthem (Classical version)
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