Sunday, August 30, 2009

the ADP analysis.

Just a little statement before the main course, I'm going to try and post a bit more and keep the posts short. Easier for me, for you, for the world.

DISCLAIMER: This is just going to be one long episode of uthaoo-giri. If you don't what that means you need to chill in Gulshan or with Gulshan-ites a bit more. If you don't know what/where I'm talking about, you need to die in Karachi or never come.

ADP is without a doubt my favourite underground Pakistani band. To the extent that they occupy all the positions on my top5. No one else even comes close.

Analysis has revealed, at least to me, that their secret is in their absolute tightness. The band is one being. Let's start with OmarBilalAkhtar.

OBA is basically a kickass vocalist who really knows what he sounds good at, what he likes to sing, and what's in between. Which, as the Venn diagram below illustrates(people on Facebook, you need to head over to the blog to see this); is what matters. Or so Simon Cowell says.

He isn't a guitar virtuoso, which is a common requirement for many a Pakistani maila listening to MATULL. I do not think he can shred. I do not think he wants to. Which is absolutely fine. But then there are going to be idiots who say "MAGAR YAAR MIXOLYDIAN RUN DAAL DETA TU MAZA AJATA". Look up "chullu bhar paani" you shitbrained pansy.

Also he's funny. Gets the girlies laughing. The dudes too. With none of the "Oh you think he's funny?? Well, fuck him!" nonsense that usual recipients of female fandom get. Frontmen should be entertaining. Keep the people interested. It's either that or he grows his hair long, straightens it, and shows up in a leather banyaan. I don't think that will help but that's all I've got.

Plus he has a Line6 Pod X3 which is absolutely mindBLASTING.

OK is solid as shit. Which is a vague simile at best but that's just the way it is. He will drop a stick at EVERY show but Holy crap on a snare I have never seen anyone play as hard as he does. His face will be like Steven Seagal, expressionless, but you know he will kick your butt. His damn face wobbles with every bang(heehee) and the drums look like they're going to collapse and cause a hydrogen bomb to go off too while they're at it. No fancy tricks, no showboating. Just a nuke on your balding head. That's the OK style.

I am Photoshop illiterate. So sue me.

Every band should have a signature of sorts. With the Red Hot Chili Peppers it's Flea and his crazyness, with GnR it was Slash, with Nirvana it was some punk ass druggie moaner identifying with people who'd be emo except the term wasn't popular then. You get the point. At the start, with ADP, it was Yasir Qureishi and his darbuka. The middle-eastern madness he stirred up in songs like Sultanat or ADPs cover of Rock the Casbah made the experience absolutely insane for first time listeners/viewers. He's expanded his arsenal to include other percussive instruments as well, like a tambourine, egg-rattles(or whatever they're called) etc. The darbuka is to ADP what, say the violin is to the Dave Mathhews Band. You take it away, the song still stands, but with it; it's golden.

Ali Alam is one of our very own singer/songwriter people who's been blackmailed/coerced/fooled into joining ADP(if oba's blog is anything to go by). As a result ADP has acquired a real asset. Ali plays guitar, hence he can provide the rhythms that were missing whenever OBA soloed and hence fills up the sound very nicely. He also has his own songs which I'm a big fan of too. As much as the ADP original originals actually. Hum Na Rahey(Mere Masoom Dost) is amazing. There is no other word for it. Plus his vocal talents help in the backing vocals department too when OBA does his songs and again, fuller sound, greater impact. So much so that now ADP shows involve an audience being hit by a wall of sound in nearly each song. Ali Alam's songwriting skills are also spot on and his coming into the fold as it were, will help ADP in churning out good songs with more ease as compared to a situation where only one person has to do all the writing.

Finally, Rahayl Sidikey. He does bass. And backing vocals. And he does them well.

Originally coming into the spotlight as the only member of Mizraab who looked like a metalhead and not a nerd, Rahayl was asked to join ADP after he played a gig with OBA as part of The Big Cheese and was set to play at the Shanaakht festival with ADP. The fellas liked his chops and 2+2=5, he's in. This guy is badass. I mean he just looks it.
Plus since ADP now has a dedicated bass player, their live act is tighter and sounds bigger than before. Add that to the larger number of people shouting their lungs out in big choruses(THREE!!), the wall of sound thing applies more than ever. Being a bass player myself, I think Rahayl's addition was a real coup for the others since he's really solid and now everyone has a chance to just do their own thing without worrying about any other member since everyone has a dedicated job and they're balls up awesome at it.

And thus we reach the end. This originally started out as a port about when Flam! opened for ADP but it sortve veered off in the start and I thought I'd let it go where it wanted to. No apologies for the cheap pictures. I shall use the "I'm too punk rock for.." Photoshop, excuse. Works everytime.

Mere masoom dost
Tum kyun gum sum rahey
Jese main, jese tum
Jese hum na rahay

Iss khamoshi se
Tum kyun lartey rahey
Jese main, jese tum
Jese hum na rahay

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Oh Holy shit..

One day Saad Khaleel calls me and tells me the Aunty Disco Project have an upcoming show and I should ask OBA if we can open for them. My immediate reaction is "we suck they rule this is not going to work nor happen". Regardless, I call OBA and he says, being the nice guy that he is, that he doesn't see any major issue and will get back to me tomorrow after he's gone over it with the others because the only consideration at the moment is that bands in the past have not really helped because they dampened the mood and were sort've boring which he hoped we wouldn't be. My immediate reaction to this is "okay he's not turning me down straight up because he doesn't want me to cry in a corner and then die of suck-caused shame". He calls me tomorrow and says we're good to go.

Oh shit.

Enter Shikari.
No. Wait.

Enter Farhad Khalid. Drummer dude from IBA(and LUMS, yeah double majors in drumtasticality, biatch!) who's wrapping up his internship at Engro Foods(Owsum!) and wants to jam. How conveniently timely. We say yes. We rope in guitar cheeta Ali Ahsan, student of the student of Faraz Anwer, who's only purpose with a guitar is to rip like there's no tomorrow and even if there is he's not going to play some cheap-ass John Mayer bends while he's Waiting on the World to Change(which isn't that cool since I'm a huge Mayer fan, but chalo).

And so it is settled. Saad, Ali, Farhad and yours truly. Flam! version 1.47(...beta). We're scheduled to open the show for the awesomely bombtastic A.D.P. at the Rangoonwala Hall on Sunday the 16th of August.

When I started to write this entry, I planned to talk about how nervous I was and how I hoped we'd do good and how I hoped we'd sell some tickets and not look like douches when I return the two booklets ADP's manager Aamir Rauf(really helpful guy) gave to me, untouched.

Now I'm not so sure. Now I'm thinking I should just focus on what the priority is, the gig. The actual show and the preparation leading upto it. Don't get me wrong, opening for ADP is serious business since they are at the top of their game with a new lineup and everything and have blastacular songs to boot. They are going to be overshadowing us from the get-go without even having played a single song. We have to go fucking nuclear and abosolutely kill every song and even then we might not benefit in any tangible way. But it is doable. Our songs might work. I'd be more sure about that were they not untested, like our rearranged lineup. But hope remains while we stick to our shit and unleash sonic Flam!alities on the unwitting audience.

That's what I'm placing my bets on. Come sunday, we kick ass and make sure that ADP don't even come close to the mere thought process required to begin to regret giving us the green light.

Clean shirt, new shoes
And I dont know where I am goin to.
Silk suit, black tie,
I dont need a reason why.
They come runnin just as fast as they can
Coz every girl crazy bout a sharp dressed man.