Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The post that nearly wasn't..

So after a large number of days here I are with a new post. I'm still wondering who reads this. Not many people I'm sure. Anyway! I bring thee, the people, news of mine life! Wasszaaaa karachiiiiiii (and beyonnnnd)....!!

Last Friday I happened to witness a performance by The Munchkins at the PACC. ADP was there too but sadly we got there too late. The show, horror of horrors, appeared to have started on time. Yes I too am still wondering about that. Anyway, the show was in a word, amazing. These guys have their act in tact ladies and germs. Their setlist included:

Led Zeppelin
Whole Lotta Love
Immigrant Song
Stairway to Heaven (merged into All Along the Watchtower, the Dave Mathhews Version, an idea I had independantly thought of a few days prior to this..now everyone'll think we stole it)

Rage Against the Machine
Testify (omg he played the cable-pulled-out-and-touching-metal solo!)
Sleep Now in the Fire

The Police
Message in a Bottle
Every Little Thing She Does is Magic

Jimi Hendrix

Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here (Immu did some sweet keyboard-isms on this)
Comfortably Numb

Carlos Santana
Maria (Abbas Premjee displaying some serious acoustic chops)

Red Hot Chili Peppers (omg!)
Give It Away

New Year's Day

John Mayer
Waiting On the World to Change.

All of these were astonishingly good representations of the originals. Their vocalist is very very versatile and so is their guitar man. Bass is courtesy of Khalid of Aaroh fame and their drummer is the man himself, John Louis "Gumby" Pinto. Who is crazy. They brought in this keyboards and synthesizer dude who was really classy. He played nearly the entire Stairway to Heaven solo after the guitarist. Skillz major. I was sitting with an open mouth for nearly the entire show.

Obviously the performance drove a few points home...at home. All of us band people were there. Saad, Owais, Anes, me even Jazib who is ex-band. Yeah heh we crossed the ex member mark already. Anyway, it really put into perspective the whole 'how good are we?' issue.

As far as im concerned we arent nearly as good as we need to be. Sure The Munchkins weren't very physical, unlike ADP who have OBA jumping all over the place and Yasir bouncing in his chair and Ali Alam gets worked up too. But they didn't need to. Their vocalist carried it all with his banter and well..chops. I mean holy shit the man can sing. It's not easy to cover Robert Plant, Zack de la Rocha (no its not "just rap"), Sting, Bono, Anthony Keidis, Dave Gilmour and Dave Mathhews, let alone all in one go. He did it.

So we need a blend of all out going wild and having a strong frontman. Er, I say. Work is needed.

The recording demos idea is getting a bit more support. In fact it's nearly a done thing. All we need is to get a decent level of quality assurance and we'll get a handful of songs recorded as well as is possible in some home setup. Then the plan is to disseminate them then through our friends and the internets. Hopefully interest will be raised, fans will increase and gigs will be gained. Which will result in a cumulative effect. Hopefully. Currently we got this friend of a friend to try his hand at scratching together something workable for one of our covers.

That one.

And the next time I see OBA I shall the talks to him. Ain't no glass barriers where I'm coming from.

I heard this recently and I like it quite a bit. More so than the original even. It's on Use Your Illusion 2, by Guns N' Roses obviously.

If we could see tomorrow
What of your plans
No one can live in sorrow
Ask all your friends

Times that you took in stride, their
Back in demand
I was the one who's washing
Blood of your hands

Don't you cry tonight
I still love you baby
Don't you cry tonight
There's a heaven above you baby
And don't you cry tonight

I know the things you wanted
They're not what you have
With all the people talkin'
It's driving you mad

If I was standing by you
How would you feel?
Knowing your love's decided
And all love is real

Don't you cry tonight
I still love you baby
Don't you cry tonight
There's a heaven above you baby
And don't you cry tonight

I thought I could live in your world
As years all went by
With all the voices I've heard
Something has died

And when you're in need of someone
My heart won't deny you
So many seems so lonely
With no one left to cry to baby

And don't you cry tonight
There's a heaven above you baby
And don't you cry tonight
Don't you ever cry
Don't you cry tonight, baby, maybe, someday
Don't you cry tonight
Don't you ever cry
Don't you cry tonight

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Me a la xkcd!

This is a collection of parts of my personality, sense of humor and general accepted facts(possibly in my mind only) that I found on xkcd.com. You might have to click on some to see them clearly in larger resolution.

My hats are close to me. Very.

This is just stupid funny.

OMG so true! Now if this were ambient or house..

Happens to me more times I can remember. Wait..how do I know that then?

My awareness that I am not a child + silliness



I am not a ninja. Though I might be Batman.

The reason.

All my troubles seemed so far away,
Now it looks as though they're here to stay,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

I'm not half the man I used to be,
There's a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Why she
Had to go I don't know, she wouldn't say.
I said,
Something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Love was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a place to hide away,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Why she
Had to go I don't know, she wouldn't say.
I said,
Something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Love was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a place to hide away,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

cut and slash!

Waszaa!! The exams they are the overs! The great one is free! For a bit. Much has happened since my last post, oh minions of mine. Let us et on with it in earnest. I present to you, The Rant!

Car Troubles

If you've been following my posts, which you have (Imran :P); you'd remember that post the ADP and Z&H concert, my car broke down. Had quite a few issues with it. Well, turns out that wasn't the end of it. I had a faulty water body. I mean the car. Lol. Anyway, that's what they call the mechanism that pumps water around the engine to cool it and such, don't know if thats the correct name or not. Anyway, that thing developed a leak. A la Suzuki's ghatyaness. Stuff like that apparently shouldn't havent for many many year, let alone 2. Which is how old my car is. Less actually.

So that leaked which meant water was being lost much faster than is normal hence less to go around to cool the engine hence the car heating up. That led to the gasket, thing around the piston area, to deform due to abnormal temperatures caused by lack of cooling. That led to oil mixing into the water. Which led to the water getting hot quicker and staying hot longer since well, oil does that. So it was an issue that compounded upon itself. To get that fixed it cost me 3600. Cost extra since The AC managed to screw up during this period too, something to do with belts and what not.

After all that, the car begins to make this weird creaking sound whenever I turn left. After much confusion it was revealed that the carbon bushes, again I don't know what the real name is, were done for dude to..ahem..heavy handedness through potholes. Of which we have many. 300 more for parts and I dont know how much more for labour. The AC ran out of gas too. 1200 ki woh refill hogi. But this's the best part.

When I went to get the creaking issue checked, the mechanic dude decides he needs a test drive to further his diagnosis and what not. So we take a spin around the mohalla. On the way back, we stop at this T junction. We have to go left. This school bus has to come from that left and go right. We wait so that it can pass. Stupid son of a bitch makes a short turn and scrapes the side of my car! I mean WHAT THE HELL MAN!!? So we get out, yelling so that he stops (so that in my mind I could take his face and smash it into his bus). He comes around and lo and behold when i get there theres this 2 foot long scratch and a dent with about a 3 inch diameter. We talk to his contractor who readily agrees to pay up. Surprising to say the least. Anyway, I go back to the workshop, the bus leaves and things move on. The contractor says he'll show up on sunday at around 330 while on his way back home from somewhere.

He doesn't.

At 330 his phone's off.
At 4 his phone is at his house. His 3-4 year old daughter tells me dad's not home. I talk to the mum, she reiterates.
I call from another number. The daughter says "abbu woh kehrahe hain ammi se baat karaein". A-fkng-ha.

So anyway he didn't show up. Leaving me at a loss. Not really I'll badger him come tomorrow and if he doesnt show up i'll go to his house. Which might be a tad weird since one of my friends called him up and told his wife he'd show up with dudes in case the hubby keeps skirting. Lol. I hope this doesn't end with me dead.

I hate Pakistani drivers.

Oh yay it's Eid

Eid mubarak everyone. Hope it was fun. And fulfilling.

I hate Eid-ul-Azha. Absolutely despise it. Don't get me wrong it's not the point of it all. It's the way stuff happens over here.

The entire excitement about getting "jaanwars". The trips to the market. The arguments over price.

And then theres the purpose. The sacrifice. Call me a cynic but I don't see no sacrifice. I don't think people actually even care about the whole "giving back to society and those lesser in stature" angle. I don't think people consider the whole Ibrahim and his son relation. Oh no. All I hear is planning about daawats and barbecues and what not. I mean what the hell? Are we not a "poor" nation?? How on earth do people then manage to cough up the money to blow 10grand on a measly goat?? Around 40 on cows! I mean. If everyone is SO concerned about the poor, why don't they just split the money into the appropriate factors and give it away accordingly? I'm sure Allah wouldn't mind. But oh no. Theres the family name to think of. One's standing in society to consider. What will the children brag about with their screechy friends as they run around chasing the poor beasts, urging them to run and enjoy their last days before they become somebodys karhai/qorma/kabab/tikka/whatever.

And OMG the grossness. Is it just the ones I've seen or are all butchers exceptionally unclean? Blekh. Seriously.

And why do the poor animals have to be witness to the gore? I heard somewhere that's inhumae by Islamic standards and should be avoided. Yet I don't see that happening. Also, if everyone's doing it for the religion, then surely such rigour should be reflected in other Islamic avenues too? All the people neck deep in cow intestines should be the absolute personication of piety.

Believe me it is not so.
And don't talk to me about exceptions.


The attacks in Mumbai. Last week's news. A thousand Indian security personnel being given the run around by what, 35 terrorists? As a friend said, respect man. Lets focus on stuff after that.

The English cricket team. They scarpered as soon as the shit went down. But now they're back. Everyone's refused to come to Pakistan. But they go back to India just days after an attack where around 200 people died in RANDOM killings. They've been offered protection by the best trained Indian security teams see. The same teams who got their collective ass whooped by 35 twenty-somethings.

And speaking of us, we initially deny any involvement and knowledge; but in less than a week two "suspects" are arrested. Who we refuse to hand over. Why the hell did we grab them then? WE are going to interrogate them then "share" our findings? Who the hell cares for that? I feel it's all a publicity stunt to show that we're going our bit. Obviously I am no authority but ah what the who.

Flam! and music in general

Recently, after going through some weird personal shit, I decided to look up the blues. In particular I began listening to this one song, Ain't No Sunshine as done by Buddy Guy and Tracy Chapman. Originally I think by Marvin Gaye, that song is really really nice. Had the feeling I needed if not necessarily the context. This lead to a youtube quest regarding Buddy Guy and the blooz in general and boy oh boy did I get results.

This song has particularly grown on me. And since I really like Chicago too, it's all the better for it.

This jam is just crazy. Eric clapton a lot younger than in the previous video and these two just burn up the notes.

Also, I rediscovered the Norwegian Recycling outfit. I think it's just one guy who does it all. What he does is take a number of songs and mash them up. Creating this totally new song that is really really cool, more so if the songs are familiar.

This is a mashup of:

1. Sean Kingston - Beautiful Girls
2. Ben E. King - Stand By Me
3. Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
4. Alice Deejay - Back In My Life
5. Beverly Hills 90210 - Opening Theme
6. Puff Daddy feat. Faith Evans &112 - I'll Be Missing You

The video further accentuates the overall scenario.

Finally I come to Flam!. Yeah the exclimanation mark is part of the name. Saad(guitars) and I are at a stalemate in our argument about what to do regarding the band in the immediate future.
I say we should get stuff recorded so that we may circulate it to potential supporters via the net. Saad does not agree. He is of the opinion that proper recording should not be considered till we have the money to get it done where live drums may be incorporated instead of loops. That costs a substantial bit more. While I'm all for the live drums idea my main issue is that to get that kind of money a lot of time well be needed, time that will be wasted otherwise since procrastination is something we're so good at it could very well be another genre. Not that we're good at the genres we relate to heh. He says we should make unplugged versions of our songs, record them khudse and use those as marketing tools. In the meantime we should concentrate on gigs. Since they are few and far between in the coming, we should organize our own concert. A valid idea but unplugged songs take away the relation factor and people who listen to them won't recognise them if and when they like them enough to show up at one of our shows. Though the gig factor must be pursued. I wonder how we're going to get sponsors. Does anyone know anyone who could help?

This is when I wish a lot of people read my bloj.

There’s a woman crying out tonight
Her world has changed
She asks God why
Her only son has died
And now her daughter cries
She can’t sleep at night

Downtown another day for all the suits and ties
Another war to fight
There’s no regard for life
How do they sleep at night
How can we make things right
Just wanna make this right

We believe
In this love

So this world is too much for you to take
Just lay it down and follow me
I’ll be everything you need
In everyway

We believe
In this love

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the long friday, a starman graphic novel.

Post. Hmm. I wonder if blog entries may be qualified as posts. Further research needed. Anyway, it seems I have found time to post another entry. Once again I am wondering why I bother. It's not like anyone is going to read it. "not yet" is all I have as consolation.

I have been away, my imaginary followers, for I am busy. Busy with studies! Yes I, rockstar-to-be extraodinaire, also study. Tis the bane of this youth of mine. Speaking of which, I've noticed I feel rather old compared to the young and happy folk I happen to see all too much nowadays. Ah..I feel a rant building up.

ADP, Z&H and Ego.

Friday the...umm...ah 28th. Aunty Disco Project and Zeb and Haniya are scheduled to perform at The Forum( a mall in Karachi for my international followers). I hear about it on the radio. CityFM89 to be precise. Guess what? It's free!! HOLY SHIT FREE!!! Petrol cost 27 bucks a litre when I arrived in this country. It's been upto 84 recently. A medium sized loaf of sliced bread was for 12. Now I think it's 30. Imagine what a step forward, or well maybe backward, a free concert is!

ADP is one of my favourite favourite current Pakistani bands. I'll post a video or two of theirs in this post chalo. Anyway, these guys are insane. Plus they're regular dudes. No bullshit. all about the music. They have regular jobs too! Which makes them all the more appealing to me since they represent the possibility factor of my rockstar aspirations. Though I would readily give up a regular job for a life as a hugeass rockstar but at the very least I'd like to be a moderately huge rockstar if I have to have a dayjob too. Anyway! So um...yeah! They put on a kickass show too! Lots and lots of energy, jumping around and what not, OBA is really good as frontman and Yasir adding that special flavour with his darbuka chops and holyshit OK is like our David Grohl(very very high praise if you are an ignoramus)!!

Zeb and Haniya are also pretty respected in my bands-I-am-a-fan-of list but since I have yet to give their album a proper listen, I was mainly concerned with ADP.

All in all I was pretty psyched about going, and despite the fact that I had exams looming over me head, due in less than 5 days after the concert; I planned to go. I mean come on! Plus since it was on a Friday, there was no risk of The Forums "family day" bullshit which, like is common in our hypocritical nation, mean you cant get in unless you have a "female" with you. "femail" in some places. Or a toddler. Do not think you and your 3 "mail" cousins may enter. Oh no no no, you are not the kind of family that counts. Apparently it has something to do with rowdyism, lecherism, ogling hotties(yeah that's sexist whatever, screw you!) and generally being douches(don't see you resenting that now, do I?).

So I grab Ali Murtaza and the Bilalman and reach The Forum bang on time at 530. Oh hey everything's set up, cool! Lets go lets go..."Sorry sir, families only hai aaj"...."(wtf) friday ko bhi..?"..."jee sir *greasy smile*".

At this point, an appropriate catchphrase to sum up my insanely foul mood would be "HULK F*CKNG SMASH!!!". All I bloody wanted was to show up at a show, with a couple of friends and have a good time and leave. Thats Fcking it! But no! Since our illiterate and unexposed nation is permeated with bloody asshole MAILAS who's idea of a good time comprises of taking pictures without consent and passing comments and general douchebaggery and since like our fckng police our security culture is to try and make the problem just go away without having to actually do anything about it, our people erect these hypocritical, discriminatory FAMILIES ONLY signs that suggest that if you don't have the appropriate amount of Y chromosomes in your immediate vicinity or preferably in you, youre a maila too! This is actually a ploy to hide the fact that any security apparatus erected is a sham and just window dressing. What's the bloody point of SECURITY if you can't fckng SECURE even the will to carry out your own objectives!?

We stayed around for a bit, tried to call in any people who could either bring "family" or be our "family" but to no avail. Some unknown younger brother-elder brother kept Bilal from contacting his elder brother Mikaal and asking him to help us out. He did however mention the situation to his mum when he called to see if he could wrangle his actual family(the kind thats real!) to come and in doing so get us in. That didn't work exactly as planned but it did. When we reached Bilal's house after giving up hope, we found that Mikaal had left and would get us in. By then I was thoroughly depressed, but my spirits slowly began to rise as we returned to the forum and lo and behold! Where there were 3 dudes, now there were 4! But we got in because we had a "family" member with us. Hurray for hypocrisy. Asswipes.

It was 630 when we got in and thankfully, ADP started just as we got in. Yay! Being vertically challenged, I had difficulty seeing over the heads of everyone in front of me. Since my compadres weren't as excited about the deal as I was, I made my way alone to the front...um..row. If you could call it that.

That's Imran Lodhi on bass btw. He's left, it's Ali alam now he's not in this video.

Once again, ADP were INSANE! OBA and Ali Alam were jumping so hard I thought the stage would collapse! OKs skinbeating was so furious the kit was vibrating to no end and Yasir was well...show stealing intermittently like he does. It seemed like this was the show. This was the headline. No one was waiting for Zeb and Haniya it seemed. I wasn't at least.
An eventful moment came in the form of OBA suddenly throwing down his guitar at some interruption and storming to the side to have what he surely wanted to be a heated conversation but it turned out to be a sheepish one as he, sheepishly, came to the mic and announced they would be taking an Azaan break.
They came back in a bit, continued their set and ended loud. Ali Alam took over guitar and vocal duties in between, that was tightness too. Then everyone left so that OBA could do Nazar solo. That didn't really work well due to the hustle and bustle of the environment. An issue that affected the response Z&H generated as well, but I'll get to that in a bit. They also debuted a new song which wasn't totally new but ah well, not everybody's as fan as me! Which isn't much either but over there I was hardcore baby!!

Z&H were up next. We finally discovered that out of the two the guitar player is Haniya and the only vocals madame is Zeb. Haniya had done something to her ankle and was thus sitting down. Their band was the dudes from Co-ven minus Omran. Heck if Omran'd shown up all my dreams would've come true. For just that night and that concert I mean.
So yeah, Sameer is a good bassist and I happen to adore his guitar, Sikandar Mufti is ace drumwise and lol, Humza Jafri is a Talibani. No he isn't but he has the requisite beard. It's more than a foot long! And omg! His guitar his a movable pickup! Instead of multiple pickups and selectors for them, the pickup itself moves! Amazing!

Initially Humza's back was turned to the audience for a couple of songs. Eventually he turned forward. Their show wasn't really wild and crazy, stark contrast to the ADP show but then, it wasn't supposed to be. This wasn't ADP this was Z&H, cool female bluesy folky singers from up north. They did what they do and they did it well. Although I felt their laidback vibe and softer music didn't really work well in attracting people in such a busy environment. A mall is a place where I can now safely assume you need to be loud to be noticed. Lots of requests were being shouted out and they played all their big songs; Aitebaar, Chup, Rona Chhor Diya etc. They even played a stripped down version of Paimana Bitte, on rampant request even though it wasn't part of their setlist.

They were giving out free tshirts too of that very show. But only to the frontmost of the front rows. That too only the girls. Who didn't even want them! Ugh! Discrimination strikes again!

It ended at that. I caught up with Yasir post-show and asked him what we(Flam!) needed to do to be able to play with ADP. He gave me the basic version, stuff that I already knew. get a sponsor, arrange a show etc. Couldn't really work up the courage to ask him if they had any shows coming up where they'd be willing to let us open. And then we left. But the night was not over. Oh no.

The Perilous Journey Home!
En route to Bilal's we stopped at Jeddah Haleem Center near the former Schon Circle in the Mottas area for shawarmas. After that, we'd just u-turned and were on our way towards Teen Talwar when on the turn above the underpass my car which was already out of gas, ran out of petrol as well. A situation I'd been dreading for a few days now since I'd been conducting mileage experiments on gas and had regularly been using up my petrol reserve without remembering to fill it up again. Darkie and Bilal got out and pushed but progress was slow. Very slow. Fortunately a petrol station was closeby but at the pace we were moving I had to get out too and push which somehow drastically improved progress.

As we reached the pump a passerby pointed out that my rear passenger side tire was punctured too. I had not noticed that, till then. I got fuel then turned to the corner where there was a tire shop. Got the tire fixed there. Then sped off to Bilals to drop him. and sped on towards my house. I had gotten barely half a kilometre away when I noticed my engine was heating up to unGodly levels The needle was ABOVE the H symbol! Itsa gonna blow!! I stopped quickly to the side and called Bilal and told him to bring me water to put in. Our inexperience in the matter and stories we'd heard about similar situations led me and Darkie to be overaly cautious when opening the radiator cap to put in water. The one bottle I did have with me I expended splashing all over the place, causing much steam to rise. The place was dark. Really dark. Mobile snatcher dark. Thankfully none came and eventually we got it open and by then Bilal showed up too. Filling up the water, I dropped him back to his house and left with Darkie once again. Thankfully I got home without the car acting up again. Though it did in the subsequent days and the effects of that incident have cost me 3300 bucks so far. Add the tire, shawarma and the fuel charges to that and we come to the grand figure of 3700.

Free concert? Alas, it did not prove to be.

Been down so long, getting up didn't cross my mind,
I knew there was a better way of life that I was just trying to find.
You don't know what you'll do until you're put under pressure,
Across 110th Street is a hell of a tester.