The Score Magazine, June 2009
Hariharan , Lesle Lewis, PearlJam, JunkYard Groove , Swarathma ,G V Prakash , GlobalOnemusic , Neha basin.
Volume II Issue 02 June 2009 GV Prakash | Junkyard Groove | Pearl Jam ISSN 0974 � 9128 Contributors George Thomas A producer of films like Theekanal from the age of 22. He is experienced in running theatres and film distribution. Vijay Iyer Vijay Mohan Iyer, a music fanatic is associated with the K M Musiq Label. T he edit Pad Mihir Ranganathan An Illustrator, designer, cartoonist, and a guitarist who overdoses on music and considers it an art. "Aren't you the person who writes `Chennai to Leh' for The Score Magazine?" our travel columnist was asked recently by a passer by. We heard this and asked ourselves, "Have we arrived?" And then we received over 1,40,000 online views in a single month for our previous issue. Are now we going to claim that The Score has reached milestones it has always dreamt of? Oh yes! It is a wonder that we sustained interest in the month of the elections. The month of the indomitable IPL, rather. We aren't contesting for parliamentary seats yet but do cast your votes for The Score at www.highonscore.com. From seasoned musicians to upcoming young talent, ghosts of girlfriends and jalebis, there is, as always, a m�lange in this issue as well. Here's sending a big thanks across to all those who brought us here and helped us survive. We need your encouragement and feedback, send us generous amounts of both! The Score Magazine supports the causes of The Mother Teresa Foundation. Do visit them at http://www.motherteresafoundation.org.in Keeping SCORE If you're among the 1,46,978 people who saw this issue online, then we certainly do owe you one, or as many times as you did visit the site! If you aren't one of them lucky souls then do make up for lost time by using your trusty old Mozilla Firefox and checking the next issue at Nikila Srinivasan Editor in chief Nikila Srinivasan has been a columnist and contributor for several reputed national publications and has authored three books. She has had the honour of being one of India's Olympic torchbearers at the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay. Brand Partners www.highonscore.com `The Score Magazine' is wholly owned and published by Y215 ,2nd Avenue ,Anna Nagar ,Chennai-40 For advertisements and feedback email@example.com +91 95000 12277 Cover Photography Courtesy Selvakumar T Photographed at The Park, Chennai Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photography or illustrations without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and illustrations. 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June 2009 08 13 16 20 25 The way They dO IT jaMMIn' IT UP 26 29 34 36 41 new GanGSTeR On da blOCk The wOndeR yeaRS One STellaR SOnG eleVenTh hOUR GROOVe The COlOR Of ROCk `n' ROll bITTeR SweeT jalebee urban folk-lure a hITCh In TIMe executive editor Daniel Thimmayya operations Ajay Prabhakar Concepts Alan Hadle Hamilton Production Fayaz Mohammed design Magesh Ravi, Mohammad Irfan, K Ram Ganesh Marketing VM Pragash, Arvind T Distribution Lohith Reddy, Ashwin Shekar, Indrani Kalyan Content advisor Solomon Porres art advisor Mihir Ranganathan Photography G Venkata Krishnan, Ajay Prabhakar, T Selvakumar, AH Arshiya the they do it way Daniel Thimmayya Cover Story Hariharan and Lesle Lewis, the Colonial Cousins were in the city for the release of their latest project, Modhi Vilayadu. We certainly got our time's worth as we caught the Sa Ni Da Pa duo uncut, unseen, unprepared and unpublished. what more could we have asked for? 9 Photo: T Selvakumar The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com barefoot in The Park: The Colonial Cousins loved animated discussion. They didn't let our interviewers heels cool, anyway! Photography : G Venketa Krishnan O ne was a trained classical singer, a Tamil iyer with a penchant for ghazals and looked like the next big thing in playback singing. The other, a half-Goan guitarist, high on the 80's spirit and responsible for quite a few memorable ad jingles. There was definitely a larger divide between them than just a railway line that separated the suburbs they hailed from in Mumbai (Bombay, back then!) Yet, the entire country and a large section of the world swear by the fact that they're cousins. Relatives bound not by blood ties but by musical strains; colonial ones, I should say. True enough, if the former is the acclaimed playback singer Hariharan and the latter the silken-voiced composer Lesle Lewis. The duo, who shot to fame with their debut album `Colonial Cousins' have since been viewed as the face of Indian fusion. Or should I say original Indian fusion! The album was a runaway hit and surprisingly ended up going Platinum, with record sales through the roof. "We were the first and still are the only band to play on MTV Unplugged and land a place at the Billboard Awards," says a proud Lesle. Touching upon whether they saw themselves as the pioneers of the fusion scene, a quick reproach follows, "We are still the pioneers of Indian fusion." Firm and confident, much like their attempt. And no one protested? "We were lucky not to get criticism. I don't know what people said behind our backs!" With them though, the `why?' is Cover Story 1 1 a shade easier than the `how?' question. "We've been together for 17 years. It was more fun to do things together. We created this space for ourselves. Not for the people but for ourselves. That's the way we are," states the grizzled Hariharan. Simple and straight. The `how' is also quite a tale in itself. "Back in `92 I'd used him (Hari) for an ad and we were jamming one evening with a guitar and thaalams and everyone sat and listened till a phone call interrupted us. It was then we decided to form a band," fondly recalls Lezz, as he's known to most. And for once, when I say that the rest is history, I am using the expression to full potential. For it was nothing short of that. When the album hit the stands in 1996, the reviews screamed that it was equally enjoyed by young and old alike. I concur. Back then it was my mother (not that she's that old) who picked up a copy of the stylish Magnasound audio cassette (CDs/players were still reserved for the exclusive tier who could afford it, you see) I admit. I am almost completely devoid of any training in the Carnatic direction, though church had accustomed me to western notation and guitars. Yet, the chanting at the beginning of Krishna Nee imprinted itself deeper in my memory with each play, than it did on the poor cassette! Using Hariharan's training to good effect and Lesle's rock-star vocals equally well, the album was a finely packaged offering, with varied percussion, acoustic strings, synthesised effects and a whole new sound. "It's fusion without actually trying to show off our virtuosity of music. There's no jugalbandi; no overdose of guitarson-flute-on-whatever. It's like building with (musical) blocks and seeking reactions to it. We're still the only fusion act that does actual fusion and doesn't show it off!" confidently concludes Hariharan. Harsh, you think? I'd reckon they're entitled to it. The songs themselves spoke about peace, love and life in a candid yet pleasingly sensitive manner; another reason, why the indie English album had unprecedented success. The way it worked across linguistic and religious barriers was heartening, especially in those years of war and strife in west Asia. A defining instance though stemmed from a Muslim Fundamentalist group in Malaysia, where the Colonial Cousins were due to play. "While preparing for our first show, we got a threat letter from this Muslim group. They didn't like the lyric in Krishna Nee... which said `come back as Allah' because they believe he was never here. We wrote back saying that as we aren't fit to teach our kids anything, we wanted whoever we believe in to do it. To our surprise, they apologized and promised to come for the show," recounts Lesle. And that is what most people call truly inspiring. Getting to where they are depended a lot on what they'd been through. After all, those were the hippie The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com days, when revolt, angst and expression ruled the day; at least till their youth departed, anyway. "We've been through Woodstock. This is a peaceful generation. Back then getting a pair of Levi's took a lot of cajoling people who went abroad. We were kids when India was transforming. We're the Flower Children; the children of change. We were the process of change and we're here to see the change. It'll peak when India becomes the most powerful nation and that will happen," recall the pair, of an era that defined music as we know it today. Turning toward the wealth of talent in the country, it isn't surprising that fusion bands have become quite the rage in recent years. When queried about them, "I still find them putting together elements for the sake of it. Maybe they're happy doing it, but we feel it should be seamless. They (bands) talk about energy and aggression. It's not a work out. If you need to exert energy go to a gym and sweat it out," points out Lesle, analytically. "Enthusiasm when you sing cannot become an element of your music. Attitude is not reaching for a high note you know you can't reach." Words that many might do well to adhere to. Who knows, it might just be a universal mantra! A working rule that the pair prescribe for aspiring musicians, is musical introspection "Artists and singers are different. To be a musician it takes a lot of creative potential," states Lesle. The crooner admits on a personal note, "At 17 I thought I was cool, my guitar and I, because everyone said so. Looking back I realised I was so average I wouldn't have given myself a recording deal!" The trick, he concludes is that music should be "learnt, perfected, forgotten and performed; bear in mind, not everyone can be a soulful musician." After a subsequent release, the duo took a bit of a break. They felt the music industry wasn't quite as conducive to their material as they initially believed it to be. Thankfully, it didn't quite end up the way most partings go. Audiences in cinema halls, who were killing time watching trailers during the intermission, would've spilt a bit of popcorn when the trailer of Modhi Vilayadu played. When the credits started rolling, it stated that the venture was a `Colonial Cousins Musical'. They were well and truly back. And in true filmy fashion, they picked a big budget Kollywood flick as their re-launch pad. "For a movie you've got to consider director/audience/actor/ scene/situation and also a part of you. Cinema has more financial options too. That is why a music album is restrictive," says Hariharan, wistfully. With the reviews of the music and record sales, flashing a large thumbs-up, I certainly hope that they've decided that their time has arrived, here and now. Thank God they stayed home and didn't turn colonial though! I doubt music lovers can afford another long break from the most endearing cousins to have turned a tune this side of the country, let alone the world! Pro-choice, Anti-Bush, Kerry supporters, antiIraq, and pro-Green Party � Pearl Jam do not sit on the fence. Second coming 13 Sonali Shenoy Almost two decades and the angst just doesn't seem ready to call it a day. Confused? American grunge outfit Pearl Jam are set to release a revamped ediion of their debut sellout album Ten. And they still don't believe in mincing words or diplomacy The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com Jammin' it Up I 've always been something of a pop princess. Well Pearl jam maybe I enjoy the occasional crowd lovin' rock Slammed: In the number --- RATM's Killing in the name of, ACDC's Back 90's Kurt Cobain in Black; there's a certain rush of adrenaline you feel accused them of being when you're in a crowd of headbangers. Sweat, semicorporate sell-outs on darkness, vibrating cement beneath your feet and energy and bands wiring current into everyone in that tight alternative rock act. space feeling that guitar...but that's a rock show. There's Pearl Jam proved to unision. There's loud music and it's fun. But my personal be a Riot Act for two playlist at home is softer, happier and romantic. All the decades since. things I'm about. So when a feature on Pearl Jam fell into my hands, I thought to myself : `Here's a great opportunity to broaden my horizons. Although, I doubt that I'll ever grow out of the boyband phase.' But hey, stick with me on my journey here. I started listening to some of their popular tracks. Quite unaccepting and reluctant at first. Take Jeremy, a song about an adolescent psychopath who longs for attention and not receiving it from his peers or his family, decides to punish them by way of the gun. The video was awarded Best Video at the MTV music awards, 1993. And I'm thinking, are you kidding me! Isn't that exactly the kind of stuff that the USA wants `not' to promote? Anyway Pearl Jam, in all irony refused to make any other videos of their songs until years later. "Ten years from now," Jeff Ament (base guitarist) was quoted as saying, "I don't want people to remember our songs as videos." At this point I needed some help. So I got myself a guide, into the world of grunge and `angst filled expression' as they call it. You see my grunge friend said, "It's not about the lyrics or a melody, it's about getting angry, rebellious, and just letting go of yourself. Losing it." It referring to control, all be it for a couple of intense high on heroine brief moments. So I tried it. And I think I liked it. Pearl Jam in my opinion has created a revolution in the grunge movement, inspite of cricitism from bands like Nirvana; following the same path as theirs because they tried something different as well. Their debut album Ten leads your mind down a dark alley that's deserted and try as you might, you can't escape. You're all alone. Black, a Pearl Jam classic is a lyrical masterpiece. It's all about the imagery. Complete sentences don't exist. Just pictures reeling through your head as you listen. I have never heard a more powerful rendition of a break up. Starkly contrasting Black is Alive -- a confession from mother to son. Lies brought out into the open and incest, a longing of bodily respite. Ten grew to be a such a massive hit, it sold 12 million copies and the band came to be called the key to the Seattle grunge explosion. And then came the critique from the music press; the British music magazine NME said that Pearl Jam was "trying to steal money from young alternative kids' pockets." In fact, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain angrily attacked Pearl Jam, claiming the band were commercial sellouts, and argued that Ten was not a true alternative rock album because it had so many prominent guitar leads. Well weren't those the best parts? Close to 20 years and 6 albums later, Pearl Jam is back Second coming with their debut all over again. Revamped. Remixed. And remastered. Said Brendan O'Brien, Producer of the album, "The band loved the original mix of Ten, but were also interested in what it would sound like if I were to deconstruct and remix it." He added, "The original Ten sound is what millions of people bought, dug and loved, so I was initially hesitant to mess around with that. After years of persistent nudging from the band, I was able to wrap my head around the idea of offering it as a companion piece to the original � giving a fresh take on it, a more direct sound." The Ten-fold story: Recently, Ten was reissued in four editions, featuring extras such as a remastering and remix of the entire album by Brendan O'Brien, a DVD of the band's 1992 appearance on MTV Unplugged, and an LP of its September 20, 1992 concert at Magnuson Park in Seattle. It is the first reissue in a planned re-release of Pearl Jam's entire catalogue that will lead up to the band's 20th anniversary in 2011. There's even going to be a Pearl Jam retrospective movie directed by Cameron Crowe, planned to coincide with the date. Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, who served as the art director for the original Ten packaging, reprised his role for the reissues collaborating with designer, Andy Fischer (known for his `Into the Wild' soundtrack). Said Fischer, "The goal was to assemble the ultimate fanpiece. Something Pearl Jam lovers could pore over as they experience an indelible record all over again, in an entirely new way." And that is exactly what was put together. Presently working on their ninth studio album, Pearl Jam is building on instrumental and demo tracks that they wrote earlier during 2008. And there are tentative plans to embark on a small tour later this year around the release of their latest venture. jamming for a cause: Throughout it's career Pearl Jam has campaigned for wider social and political issues. From pro-choice sentiments opposing George W Bush's presidency (Worldwide Suicide) to awareness of Crohn's disease, which lead guitarist Mike McCready suffers from, Pearl Jam has promoted an array of causes, boycotting Ticketmaster for service tax on all concert tickets, the American Red Cross, the Jazz Foundation of America and the environment and wildlife protection, among others. Something to believe in: When asked about Pearl Jam's legacy in an interview, Eddie Vedder said, "I think at some point along the way we began feeling we wanted to give people something to believe in because we all had bands that gave that to us when we needed something to believe in. That was the big challenge for us after the first record and the response to it. The goal immediately became how do we continue to be musicians and grow and survive in view of all this. The answers weren't always easy, but I think we found a way." 15 Photograph by Danny Clinch The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com Stellar song Krithika Sukumar Ever thought you'd get to see Liz MacClarnon rubbing voices with Sonu Niigaam? Well, here's your chance with 37 global popstars on five tracks, each in their own language. And no it doesn't sound like a pop-ghazal sung with gangsta' blues, so far.. one F orget elbows poking your sides, long sweaty queues, jaded immigration officers, transit lounges and clock-confusing latitudes; crank up the volume instead and traverse 5 continents sans a passport. Global One, an international project that gathers around 37 voices rendering 5 songs in a multiplicity of styles and languages in a single record, offers a musical journey that combines voices from 20 countries. (No, you won't hear anything reminiscent of soprano meets off-key renditions of the latest Himesh Reshammiya by peddlers outside the Taj Mahal meets tribal Zulu war cries). Global One has picked 37 artists who are `chart-topping musical legends'; read pop stars in their home countries. Global One's first release on their website has been the only inkling of things to come: the multi-lingual mix of Lately - a refreshing mesh of languages and voices in a triedand-tested format of a rap/pop/hip-hop song. Whether Global One will manage to lasso their way into the music industry across continents is a bet that will find its course on May 18, the date slated for the global release (hard copy) of their first single � Lately (written by Brian Allen). Numerous flights, jet-lagged days, overlapping schedules, and clever negotiation later, Rob Hoffman has managed to touch base in 20 countries to record with about 37 artists singing in their national languages, and wrap up Lately, the first taste of what Global One words itself to be: an international campaign that unites Distant ditties 17 artists, languages and cultures around 5 brilliant songs. Their 2-CD release will also contain multilingual remixes. One CD will be dedicated entirely to previously recorded songs of participating artists � songs that still ring in the ears of fans in their home countries � ladder rungs in their climb to stardom. A passion for music might be one thing that all 37 artists instinctively raise a hand to their heart for, but another thing runs more common to them: being a musical icon in the country they represent. Bollywood crooner Sonu niigaam, Brit pop idol liz MacClarnon (of Atomic Kitten fame), Brazilian Grammy winner daniela Mercury, Indian-Zambian rapper blaaZe � voted MTV Youth Icon following his Golden Globe win this year (Slumdog Millionaire), and Chinese popstar wei wei whose record sales of several millions speak for itself, have all lent their voices to this project that promised to `rocket its stars onto a global audience of billions'. Global One's choice of musicians seems astute, a sure-fire consolidation almost of `a collective fan base' to cushion their experimental first; one that will set their cash registers ringing in terms of record sales. `We are neither exporting nor importing the album,' says Charlie Dilks, President and Director � A& R for Global One, `each artist records a local language version for their territory. This gives us a far greater chance of media support as 70-90% of coverage and airplay is given to local talent.' The idea is a first: 37 voices and renditions of one song, multiplied into five, plus multi-lingual mixes. Global One attempt to be the knights who herald in a can-do era for the music industry, with an album that obviously swallows distance and traverses continents with a single song. But there is little else that is daring so far: the web-released multi language mix Lately sits on a beautiful mosaic of voices and sounds blending into each other, but rates more as a (plain-to-see) pop song tailored for the charts. May 18 may prove otherwise. Global One will release with EMI. The multi-language mix of Lately can be heard on www. globalonemusic.com The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com GROOVE Ketaki Chandrasekar Eleventh hour We three kinks I 21 t is no wonder that the time is 11:11 when I write this. The irony is apparent especially when I mention it to Sid who says, "Welcome to the Band" Just some time back I met Siddharth Srinivasan from Junkyard Groove to talk about their first album 11:11. Every band has its quirks and this one is no exception. Ask them to explain the title and the story I get is that when they were at The Dubai Rock Festival (Shamal) in 2007 the time always showed 11:11; whether it was the right or wrong, it was always 11:11. Creepy as that might be, the band decided to title their first album after this incident. Rock and Roll This is a good album. The essence of JYG has been poured into the tracks and what you get is an eclectic mix of songs. If your taste appreciates bands like Hootie & The Blowfish, Nickelback or Three Doors Down, then you're sure to love this album. I did find that some tracks sounded a tad similar as the CD neared its end, but even these tracks grow on you with repeated listening. It's Ok .. It's all Right! The album starts with a very mystical track called Open, which is, as it turns out, a bout of patriotism. It doesn't fit with everything else on the album, but it serves as a fine opening. Imagine is about the emotional trip behind losing something close to you and wanting it back. It's all there in the lyrics. When Thank You starts I'm immediately reminded of Oasis' What's the Story Morning Glory. This track is unique indeed. Both Sid and Craig seem to be having a lot of fun. And then my favourite � Been so Long. It starts with a few violin chords, then the track just flows right in and if you listen very closely you'll find a whisper behind Ameeth's vocals that is mesmerizing. The rhythm, the guitars, the melody and the vocals are just perfect, or maybe I am biased since I like this one especially. Folk You does everything differently. It is multi-lingual and the band wanted to highlight their roots. "This track says we're from India, and we are proud of that. We like where we come from," I was told. The lyrics are based on real life and although Ameeth takes the final call on what they're singing about, all of them pitch in. And this album has a lot of emotions that center around love, heartbreak, happiness, roots and fun. The remaining 6 tracks include Let you go, It's Okay, Rock and Roll and Feel like a knife. Twinkle was written when the band was out partying and Ameeth was suddenly found singing the old rhyme in a new twist. Sid threw in a few chords and a track was born. Ameeth pulls off Louis Armstrong type vocals in this one. The rest of the tracks are very classic JYG style. The grand Finale is Hold. It actually has the Suprabadam in it! For Comfortably quirky: Siddharth Srinivasan, Ameeth Thomas and Craig Maxwell The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com JYG this is the track that has brought them to where they are today and has always been the last song at their shows as well. It culminates in a burst of sound from the lead guitar, bass and the drums. Ameeth says goodbye one last time before it has an extended instrumental finale. When I first listened to the album I thought there was not enough Bass influence in it, but I was pretty mistaken. Craig is a very talented bassist has created well-crafted bass solos. been So long So where can you pick up your copy? 11:11 is a bootleg album. Why we wondered. Sid explains to us that their contract with their last record label did not go so well. Since the label ran out of resources, these guys decided to release it on their own. He said, "When an opportunity presents itself you have got to make the most of the moment. We just couldn't wait any longer. And it has been an experience in itself because we get to go out and meet the people who buy our music. It's personalized selling and it's fun" Please don't wake Me Up I probed Sid on the parties and fun life of being a rock star that JYG enjoy. He says that their lives are constantly fun and hoped it never stops. But he is also quick to say, "We all like having a good time but we do it responsibly. Sometimes the good times give rise to new material and there's a lot of creativity involved." "And what about projecting the wrong image?" I asked "You will always have people who have preconceived notions about a band- guys with beards, long hair etc. But although that is what people like to perceive, it is not always true. We do not advocate drinking or smoking" Imagine They are on the look out for another Record Label to sign them on and shows have been planned. Chennai might get to see a show in May, but this is not confirmed yet. They are working on it. After that their 2nd album might take shape. "So what fancy name will you have for the next album?" "11:12 perhaps? Just the next minute or maybe 555" Or admittedly they might just wait for another phenomenon to strike! I had to laugh. JYG will be getting another drummer now to replace Jerry, and the new guy is none other than Kiran who was actually the drummer of a competing band at Shamal. The band also has a video coming up. It's okay has been shot recently and will be releasing soon. Although fans have shot videos of the band before, this is going to be the first official JYG video. Thank you This is where a whole new journey begins for JYG. They are very thankful to the fans and the people who have cared enough to buy a copy. With the increase in piracy these days, it is hard to control illegal copies and it does affect the artists. To this they say the people who indulge in piracy won't stop until they choose to stop on their own. They have an EP titled Nicer in a Minute for free download on their website though. The other people involved in the making of this album are the engineer & producer Joshua, Manager Arjun and Priyanka who was responsible for the album's cover art. The end Junkyard Groove seems to me a band that knows how to have fun while making music. They have started working on new material for the next album, which includes a song about a Fish. This one was written by Sid and he claims it's a bad fish that goes to fish-hell. Something to look forward to, won't you say? You will always have people who have preconceived notions about a band- guys with beards, long hair etc. But although that is what people like to perceive, it is not always true. We do not advocate drinking or smoking The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 Dark refrain 25 the colorof Prashant Ipe Rock `n' Roll dreaming of a future that would dissolve racial barriers, or just hungry young upstarts willing to give something new a shot from a purely commercial perspective. Nevertheless, record companies such as Atlantic records, Sun records, Chess records, RCA Victor and a handful of others were instrumental in the popularizing the African -American genres. Atlantic records in its early years signed up Ray Charles who proved to be a phenomenal success. What in effect these record companies helped in doing was to open up white markets to black music. So commercial success in a way wore down racial prejudices and colour barriers. Another pioneering moment in the history of Rock and Roll and racial integration was the birth of Motown records. Started in 1960, located in Detroit, it was the first record label to be owned by an African American (Berry Gordon Junior). It primarily featured African-American artists and was successful in creating a style that came to be known as the Motown sound. Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder were some of their major draws. Rock and roll grew from a musical style into a movement for social change and an ideology. It was now viewed as a cultural awakening that influenced lifestyles, fashion, attitudes, and language. Around the same time the civil rights movement in America, led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., was gathering momentum. Change seemed inevitable as the new generation of African American teens and white American teens listened and danced to the same music. Slowly but surely Rock and Roll was helping bring down that mighty bulwark of white supremacy. British bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who were playing their part in popularizing this music to unimaginable extents. It was around this time Bob Dylan entered followed by Jimi Hendrix and the rest about how the face of rock music changed is history. I say rock music because now rock and roll was like a springboard to different musical styles. New genres were originating as each band tried to sound different from the other and there was an explosion of variety in music. It was not Rock and Roll anymore but Rock, funk, surf music, garage rock, folk rock, psychedelic rock, metal, grunge etc. Though discrimination according to colour and race still exists in society, rock music has largely extricated itself from this base and abominable way of thinking. T he obscenity and vulgarity of rock and roll music is obviously a means by which the white man and his children can be driven to the level of the nigger - historic words, part of a statement on television in 1956 by Asa Carter, secretary, North Alabama Citizens Council, 1956. This was said at a time in America when everything in its society was judged according to the colour of the skin rather than the content of character(to borrow from Dr Martin Luther King Jr). Rock and roll was perceived as Black music and the good white folk of America (almost all good white folk at that time were racist) told their kids that Rock and Roll was from the Devil and listening to it was a mortal sin. In fact, in the 1930's and 40's, records by African American singers were sold in the market with a big black label on the outside that said "Race Record". Whites would judge the record by its cover and not make the mistake of unknowingly imbibing the culture of the black artists. It was in this surrounding hostility and resentment to black music in the 1950's that Rock and Roll was born. Believed to be a combination of different older genres like the blues, rhythm and blues, country, folk, gospel, soul and jazz, this new music with its accentuated back beat and new brand of charismatic singers begun to weaken the groundwork of white supremacy. It must be understood that almost all of these older genres (Blues, R&B,Jazz,Soul,Gospel) from which Rock and Roll was derived from, were created and popularized by African Americans like Robert Johnson, Ruth Brown, Muddy Waters, Louis Jordan, Bo Diddley,Louis Armstrong and Big Joe Turner. Two months after Carter's statement, a 21-year-old-white youth, in one of his first appearances on national television, performed "You aint nothin but a Hound Dog" and changed the course of history forever. Elvis with his pelvic gyrations and quivering legs caused an unprecedented controversy so much so that in his later performance on the Ed Sullivan show he was aired on national television waist upwards only. What Elvis and many others like him appealed to was the crossover generation. A generation that was not prejudiced on the melanin count of the performer. Elvis was probably one of the biggest blows to theories of white ascendancy in music and culture. Little Richard and Chuck Berry (both black, just in case you didn't know) are often considered the other two doors that made Rock and Roll popular in America. They were both charismatic singers and performers (You must check out chuck Berry's Duck-walk on Youtube) and even though they performed to segregated audiences, white kids were soon dancing their shoes out to their music. However, what made this new genre accessible to everyone were the record companies. One might call them visionaries, The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com new gangster on da block Krithika Sukumar Southside hop he scenes from the recently released Bad Boy Rude Boy video provoke an uncomfortable sense of d�j� vu: a loose Tshirted emcee jesz with a brand new Sean Paul-esque hairdo, performing on stage to an all-sylphlike-women audience in a poorly lit club. Another half dozen bodacious babes gaze vacantly, surrounding his broda at a table nearby; one rests her hand seductively on his flashy silver belt. A couple of B-boys and Bgirls in hooded jackets are showing off body-flexing toprock and downrock moves. The music is rhythmic, fast; beckoning you to the dance floor. Only the lyrics have a different story to tell � pachai kili muthu charam...idhe dhaan yen new flava'...I got my bad boy, I got my rude boy. Puzzled? For the first time, an `international Tamil Hip-Hop album'. Called Kavithai Gndar, there's little chance that you could've missed it in Chennai. Kavithai Gundar(KG for short) is Emcee Jesz's (Malaysian hip hop artist) first solo launch outside of the success of Vallavan, the 2006 release by his band Natchatra. Released in collaboration with Yogi B, Vallavan pioneered something fresh: rehashed classics garbed in the music of that moment - Hip Hop and Rap. The album sold 10,000 copies in Chicago, Toronto, Singapore, India and Sri Lanka. It became established that modern remixed versions of Tamil classics worked just as well in drawing crowds onto the dance floor in Chennai clubs. Much like the karaoke bars of Singapore, where Tamil classics have retained the status of being a popular pick for years among women who can effortlessly accessorise knee length halter-necks with lengths of malli poo. After listening to Madai Thiranthu from Vallavan, A R Saravanan, CEO of Studio 8 Productions, saw a world of untapped potential in the music market. He grabbed at the chance to fund and market Kavithai Gundar(the album), when he was approached by Emcee Jesz last year with a mere concept. There has been no looking back for the duo who set about recording the album in Malaysia, mixing it in New Delhi, and mastering it in New York, to meet its worldwide release date on May 1. Saravanan believes the album is one that will climb the charts fast: the energy he saw during a Yogi B and Natchatra performance seems proof enough for his conviction. For Emcee Jesz, Kavithai Gundar has much to do with experimentation as well. `KG is quite unlike Vallavan. It is multi-flavoured; there's hip-hop, reggaeton, R'n'B and old school and its not really commercial in terms of theme. There's the `Aids Awareness Song' dedicated to children born with HIV and the `Vel Vel' song for Lord Muruga,' says Emcee Jesz, speaking from the shooting location of Masilamani, a Tamil flick in which he will be making an appearance. `Besides, we are looking beyond just Tamil speaking audiences with KG. We want these songs to be heard in party clubs world-wide, even where Tamil isn't known. Songs from KG have already reached radio stations in the United States and Spain and that's something!' says Jesz. The 13-track album includes voices of 12 artists including Yogi B, Benny Dayal, Neha Bhasin, and Malaysian rappers Mista G, MC Logo, and Pysho Mantra. Details about the album and sample music can be found on www. studioeight.in And, in case you're wondering, Kavithai Gundar comes from the Tamil name Yogi B and Natchatra coined for themselves � Kavithai Gundargal (lyrical gangsters). T 27 Pop! Goes Tamil hip hop: Emcee Jesz's debutant international solo release featuring Neha Bhasin The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com A s a student of carnatic music, I have always loved film music until I gradually came to realize the importance of the raga based classical film music and true to my sensibilities got to present the popular TV show "Isai Payanam" on Jaya TV, says Charulatha Mani �a young classical vocalist who has blazed a trail by popularizing classical music through films. "This program is a huge success among all sections of the audience and especially caters to the younger generation. I deal with 3 to 4 ragas per concert and sing the classical, semi-classical and film pieces in the same raga," she explains the concept behind the program. With versatility and flair she uses film music to complement the `classical ` or the `traditional'. A recipient of the MS Subbulakshmi Endowment Award for the outstanding achievements in the music field from the Narada Gana Sabha in December 2008, and a Yuva Bharathi awardee from the Bharat Kalachar, Charulatha Mani fits the bill of combining serious scholarship with personal construction of the varied elements of music. Drawing on ritual and community on one hand and far more certainly and frequently on `film' and `cult' on the other she is emerging as one, for whom recognition of different genres of music in her own life is a personal matter. Trained in both classical and western modes, Charulatha remembers using karaoke to sing along with Carpenters and Abba and even win the gold medal in the Opus Musifest pop music contest. She fondly recalls getting an award from Sri L. Shankarthe noted global musician & violinist. She sings several styles with ease including Pop, R&B, Jazz, Latino and Arabic and listens to all forms of music. This has really helped her when it comes to singing in films and she is a much sought-after play back singer today having sung the hit number Kaakka Kaakka from the film Naan Avan Illai tuned by Vijay Antony. Yako Yako from the Kannada movie Budhivanta, and the recent song in the Malyalam movie Bagawan a Mohanlal featuring the music of Thashi. These are enriched by her debut recordings in international albums like Soukha composed by V Selvaganesh while performing with stalwarts like Ustad Zakir Hussain and John McLaughlin. Acclaimed for her carnatic renditions which have taken her to Toronto to perform at the Bharathi Kala Manram on the Canada Day in July 2008, she has also done a fund raiser for the Tamil Orphans Trust at UK. back home she just performed for the Tamil Sangam in Delhi bringing back to mind her refreshing concerts during the December season which at any point of time are a complete sell out. Her live commercial recordings for HMV Saregama of the December season last year, proved a rich and nourishing medium in which she has showcased her collective talents. With a degree in Engineering from the Anna University and a Masters in Music from the Madras University, Charulatha Mani is all set to conquer new horizons! Seeking new horizons Jyoti Nair Rising notes: Carnatic vocalist Charulatha Mani Photo: T Selvakumar Boy wonder 29 the Wonder years www.highonscore.com I Gayatri Kalyanaraman Interview by Vijay Iyer t's been almost three years since Veyil released and apart from the multitude of awards it received, it shot the music composer GV Prakash kumar to stardom and there has been no looking back. Nephew to one of the greatest music composers in India, AR Rahman, he follows his uncle's footsteps in more ways than one. "What a music director wants is the sale of his audio cds" declares a confident GV when questioned about the music of Kuselan. Despite the fact that the movie was branded a box office dud, the audio sold a whopping two lakh copies on the very first day. Like any fresher in the industry, initial association with seniors did not go very well for this young man. Ego clashes, more than ten films and a national award later he cheerfully claims that getting good offers despite the all the competition is by itself a high. When questioned about migrating to Bollywood, he confirms that talks are on but he is waiting for the perfect script to come by like Rangeela did for his uncle. "When I go to hindi, I want to go with a bang" he exclaims with gusto. But Bollywood controversy spares none. Although Anu Malik took credit for the title track of the film Jaaneman, which was in fact composed by GV, he lets it go with a diplomatic smile and prefers to let his music do Photo: T Selvakumar The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 the talking. And his music does the talking all right! In the past couple of years, most of his songs have received Filmfare nominations and some have even won. Ask him if he ever plans to don the singer's cap and the reply is a hesitant no. Unless the directors compel him to sing, he is happy with just composing the music. Keeping the long run in mind, he knows that he might have to take to the mic if he wants to perform in live concerts and other award functions. GV is known to have a penchant for big names. He turned quite a few heads when he roped in Daler Mehendi to sing for Rajnikanth in Kuselan. Nothing but the best for Rajnikanth he retorts with a grin. This trend continues in his latest venture Aayirathil Oruvan which is regarded to be director Selvaraghavan's magnum opus. He has roped in big names like Shuba Mudgal, Nityashree, P.B.Srinivas et al for the same. Incidentally he also claims that Aayirathil Oruvan is his best album till date. The music of this movie has been surrounded It Only Gets bigger: GV Prakash seems to be upping the tempo with each passing movie. T-he names get bigger and the stakes, that much higher Boy wonder by controversy every since Yuvan Shankar Raja, who was originally slated to be the music director, was replaced by GV. He takes all the gossip in his stride and even hopes that all the uproar will actually boost the music sales. Talk about optimism! When it comes to music and Gen next, his views are interesting and varied. At this time and age when not many care for the nuances of the songs they listen to, one wonders how he hopes to hold onto his audience. "Make music exciting to make them grab a copy" seems to be his simple mantra. GV makes it a point to have variety in his music in order to appeal to different classes of people but at the same time be unique about his style. After the success of Rock On and Ghajini, the industry seems to have a fascination for rock music. Ask him what he thinks about this shift in genre and pat comes the reply. He for one believes that Hip-Hop is going to be the next big influence in Indian cinema. Being a big fan of Craig Davis, Michael Jackson, and Sting he likes to experiment with music and integrate the sounds of the east and the west. In a span of two years, he has composed music for Tamil, Telugu and Kannada movies. So what drives him to choose a particular movie? He insists on knowing the full script of the movie and also the exact song situations. He likes to take the liberty as a music director to change certain song situations and agrees that some directors might have a problem but most of them generally comply. If there is one thing he is not acquiescent about, it's sharing credit with other music directors. Although creative differences might occur and the project might have to change hands, once he takes up a project he likes to take full accountability for it. "No composer likes to share a script" he affirms solemnly. In our country, with fame comes its share of endorsements. His uncle knows best! He goes one step further in saying that as long as it is entertaining and fun and in sync with personal thoughts and ideas, endorsements are good publicity to any artist. He takes after his uncle when it comes to being place specific and time specific while composing music. "As long as the vibes are good, any place will do" he quotes and also confirms he is a night bird just like ARR. Some music directors believe that to be able to compose soulful music, your personal life must have been influenced by a tinge of sadness in the least. GV laughs it off but refrains from commenting about the same. He seems to have found a fan in Vairamuthu who got him a break to work in one of the IPL songs for Chennai Super Kings. His list of A-list friends also includes Editor Sirish, Salim Sulaiman, Kailash Kher, Shankar and Shreya. Just like how a good story chooses its cast, he trusts that a good tune will choose the singer. "A good tune lasts forever" he claims and has no qualms accepting that the tune gets preference over lyric. When every music director is turning to remixes to boost sales, GV begs to differ and insists that remixing a song is not the way to go. But as his luck would have it, his latest project Aayirathil Oruvan has a remix track owing to the director's insistence. Contrary to popular perception, he is certain that knowing classical music brings finesse to the music and is an added advantage for any composer. He is among the elite few from the south to successfully finish the music course at Trinity College, London and hence it is an understatement to say that his knowledge of world music is sound. Even though GV did not manage to escape critics, it is to his credit that he manages to have something to show for himself beyond his uncle's immense shadow. Yet it is important to read the fine print on the cover of at least his initial few albums. A large portion of the musical and technical crew is borrowed from Rahman. This shows predominantly in his first two albums since the background score in both these movies are an almost exact recreation of ARR's style. Call it replication or similar style of anything you please but the resemblance starts right from the instrument choice, to the rhythm, the interludes and most importantly the sound engineering. It remains to be seen if he can bring together his own bunch and work outside the sway of his genius uncle for extended periods and be successful at that. For now, good work mate! 31 Photo: T Selvakumar The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com seem u? emen he str Maybe od judg hat you o ing on t oo fast. ur walk less connect t crazy about y estion your go ere goes. a little t So yo dies. H r heels a seam t to qu e things nd There's he is head ove s. 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Thus an in composition s the irati pose insp com nt in a lot of nderme through feeling of wo e the sam Pit hi (Shrut ch ) Pu ort - I rep nch ( Lingam era IPL) After DJing in Kazakhstan, Russia, for a year, then for many more years in India .Ashwin Mani Sharma is a Jalebee Cartel. After DJing for 12 years, all over India and being crazily sought after, Arjun Vagale is a Jalebee Cartel. After playing bass guitar for a Heavy Metal Band and working in a software company, Arjun (GForce) is a Jalebee Cartel. T he Delhi Times said that 2007-2008 was The year of the jalebee And it was! They've got a sound like no other, they're putting India up front and centre stage in the music industry. Touring India and the World they perform at the hottest clubs and festivals. The band is made of four people that I can only describe as fun. Talking to them for the first time it felt like I'd known them forever, they posses a sense of humor that'll have anyone tearing up(with mirth). And they do really like Jalebi! (Three of them at least) "I love eating jalebis a lot. Especially with milk, at night", says Ashvin Mani Sharma, cousin of well known socio-political songwriter Remo Fernandes. Their music is raw and so full of energy, you can (must) only jump around. These strangers came together as music makers, and today when asked to describe their relationship, Ashvin says "When I get in trouble, the first people I call to get me out of it are my band mates". A band where four people bring their own individual element to the music they're inspired by (pretty much) everything, and bound together by a love for Jalebis(the sweet). But, Beat pretzel bittersweet 35 jalebee Preeti Krishnakumar they're still open enough to say, "If someone offered me a choice between Gulab Jamuns and Jalebis, I'd have Gulab Jamuns!!" These "High Energy Dance Floor Crazy Boys", as Arjun Vagale described them are out with their first album, One Point nothing, a collection of their best work since they came together six long years ago. The tracks are so varied, some are chill and easy to listen to, some more techno while some are progressive metal, of course with the added percussion and vocals defining their trademark. The Jalebee Cartel are all about fun. They have fun playing, which is why their shows are so high energy. They're just like any other band but different, What keeps it that way, is unlike any other band, they don't have a `sound'. There's nothing that can be labeled as Typically Jalebee. And that's what keeps it alive, and keeps it fresh. Their influences vary from Metallica, Pink Floyd, Zakir Hussain, and Classical/Carnatic Music to even each other. It also lies in local sounds (underground music) which they believe is truly inspiring, because when you look at someone who has made a place for themselves, you know their music sells, so you end up trying to sound like them. Though two of their families are musical, they say that they haven't been influenced by them; they've just learnt to appreciate different types/styles of music. Why Jalebee Cartel? To them, one name is as good as any other, and when they had to sit down and come up with a name they decided to use Jalebee Cartel for a few days and see how it runs, and the few days are yet to end. With a radio show, `Deep Fried Jalebee' on Frisky Radio, endless amounts of support, becoming the creators of the Nokia Navigator Theme `Tough Cookie' and One Point Nothing released, looks like they're here to stay. a jalebee once said: When we're touring, after a gig, we call room service, we put on the local accent, or some alien accent, and order, sometimes we insist that `the children' are hungry. And when we do they always bring the food faster! And yes, I did ask the underwear question. jockey � 3; levis � 1. And finally, Ash Roy, the vocalist/percussionist is looking for someone to help him pack all his drum stands after their gigs. So, if you're interested. Head backstage if they're in town! After DJing for 13 years, Ash Roy, Percussionist and Not-Formally-Trained Vocalist, is a Jalebee Cartel. The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com Urban folklure Daniel Thimmayya I spent quite a bit of time pondering over the beginning of this piece. After all, how does one conjure up within the reader's mind the following images: a violinist in something vaguely resembling stirrups using his bow much like the propeller of a WWII Spitfire, a drummer whose locks (head and parts of torso included) were in sync with his rhythm, a percussionist in a Nehru cap with more implements than I had fingers, a bass player with verve matching the curve of his mojdis, a guitarist with half as many guitar changes as Mark Knopfler (twice the blues though) and finally a vocalist with Hendrix's hair and a painted horse (you got that right). And then it struck me. It wasn't just about the spectacle. It was about the entire experience. An all-inclusive package for the body, mind and soul (pun, well intended). Or Swarathma. As they would have it. Gaining popularity steadily since 2002, the band from Bangalore is representative of the fusion music scene in the country. It wasn't all that long ago that fusion acts were derided by both factions and found themselves in limbo. But the purists and rock enthusiasts have eased up since. Time worked its usual magic and the movement is well underway, much like the band. The first thing that hit me was the absolute confluence of desi flavour. Everything from their music and lyrics to their accents and attire seemed liberally seasoned Indi-go connection with home-ground Indian masala. Ask them though if the entire routine was deliberate and they land a quick reply. "It is a conscious effort in a sense, the look and feel of the band, its members, the sound. But it is never forced. We believe that everyone in the band has a unique personality that complements the identity of the band. That's why the clothing on stage reflects it. You need different notes to make a chord," states ace bowman Sanjeev Nayak. And if you thought that it ended with that you'd be further away from the truth than Chennai from winter. Wild theatrics, rural-style story telling, many a jig and yes, the horse (a ghodi or poikaal kudhirai if you please) accentuate a Swarathma performance. "Music and theatrics have gone hand in hand for ages. People come to watch a live music performance as much as they come to hear it. We're not doing anything path-breaking. But what we're doing is definitely fun," exclaims livewire vocalist Vasu Dixit. There were a few though who frowned upon them for being `gimmicky'. "Everyone's entitled to their opinion and we respect that. It is impossible to please everyone but if someone like you loves it, that's all we need to continue doing it," he concludes, building on my admission that I loved the whole act It's not easy to splice styles with this bunch though. Genres have come together from pretty much every place imaginable. Be it steady carnatic chanting layered over classic 37 blues riffs or smooth veena-like strains cadenced with kanjira and ghatam motion, they've got a wide, wide repertoire of styles. "The way listeners consume music has gone through a fair amount of flux and they're more open to different styles now," explains genial bass player Jishnu Das Gupta, an NIT alumnus. Winning a Radio City Live contest in 2008 that crowned them the best Hindi band in the nation led to a recording deal with EMI. The journey till then wasn't quite the fairy tale that people have mistaken it to be. In fact, there were spaces when the Great Indian Band Dream looked like remaining just that. "There was a time when not all of us believed in the music with the same intensity. However it was easy to bounce back. The strength we have now is our belief in this music. That it has a future," asserts stick-artist, Montry Manuel. They successfully launched their debut self-titled album earlier this year. One of a handful to do so with a global record label. They did take their time coming to that stage though. The slow song syndrome that has plagued Indian bands made no exception of them. Yet it does not unduly worry them. "We feel every song has to go through a life cycle of upbringing � from an idea `conceived' to it taking the first steps, the turbulent adolescence and finally adulthood. Some grow fast, others more slowly," counters percussion-juggler, Pavan Kumar. Another revelation, to me at least considering the trend among bands, pleasantly pops up. "In Swarathma, only one has a full-time career outside of music. Yes, we do do other things to pay the rent. But there's never going to be a case of a corporate commitment coming before a musical one. `The time for half measures and talk is over' as the Gladiator once said. The only way you can do justice to this opportunity is to take it by the horns," states Jishnu with resolve. Whoever said musicians aren't daredevils? For a band based out of Bangalore, it's surprising that it took them a little over seven years to land a gig in Chennai. And they performed in a bookstore. Forget time, space and sound constraints. It's just a little weird to imagine a full scale concert amongst aisles of The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com cookery and fiction with the average free-reading shopper gazing up. And yet it was one of those rare shows where the odd-passerby stopped for a curious peek and never left. (Till they finished, anyway!) All the more surprising because their songs are primarily Hindi with the odd Kannada track tossed in. "Music is a universal language, to coin a clich�. We have seen that come true time and again not just in Chennai but in places as far and wide as Guwahati and Singapore. When there's a vibe in the music it crosses all barriers. We have been blessed with the power to create that vibe with our songs," they respond collectively. Fair enough, I reckon. Perhaps a lyric or two in the Queen's language, I wondered aloud. "We are open to it, provided the idea behind the song is compelling and exciting. In fact, our song on the Soundpad album Yeshu Allah aur Krishna has some English verses as well," they say, referring to their IndoBritish collaboration with producer John Leckie. They are among four Indian bands featured on the Soundpad album, an initiative of the British Council. Perhaps the most enjoyable parts of the performance were the fillers; where members match each other, note for note, in mock battle jams. Being perceived as impromptu is perhaps what increases the viewers' interest. "But hopefully we'll get to the point in time when there will be free jams," admits the band. And where most bands drop phrases about `changing the world' and `don't do drugs' sermons, Swarathma has an unusual social responsibility approach. "We decided that for every paid show we do, we're going to try and do a free show for people who may never have seen a band ever before. After the South Asian Bands Festival in New Delhi we played a show for the village of Naukuchiatal in Uttaranchal." Add to it little touches like cloth bags for their cds to beat usage of plastic; talk about being the change. With all the material for their next album ready, all that remains is the basic requirement � paisa vasool! So even if it does take another clutch of years to see another colourful, spicy offering from Swarathma, rest assured that it will be well worth it. In the meantime, in Chennai, the ghodi, that spotted, dancing stallion will be missed. Like the rest of them. Colours Co-ordinated: Swarathma's evolution is conversely proportional to the rise of the fusion music genre in India The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 M O V I E R E V I E W The Guns of Navarone (1961) The woman who cuts my hair recently told me of a friend who refers to The Guns of Navarone whenever she is trying to describe a particularly buxom woman. If you've seen the movie, then you'll know exactly what she's talking about. These are big guns. Side by side. A pair of them, pointing out into the waters off Greece, preventing Allied ships from passing through to rescue 2,000 British soldiers who are trapped and at risk of being massacred. It's the Second World War, and the Allies have decided that something must be done about these massive field guns. The options for taking them out are limited. They're installed in the side of a mountain, protected from air attack. Their range and accuracy is such that an assault from the ocean simply isn't practical. A fullfledged land attack also isn't terribly realistic, as the island of Navarone is small and occupied by a large German force. The only option available is an attack by a small group of commandoes. Captain Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck), an American, is assigned to the team, because he's an experienced mountain climber and the only way to get on the island is by first scaling a cliff. Corporal Miller (David Niven) is an Englishman who's on the team because he's a brilliant explosives expert. They'll need him to destroy the guns. Colonel Andrea Stavros (Anthony Quinn) is there because he's a Greek who knows the area. He also happens to be a sworn enemy of Mallory. These three and three other commandoes set out on their mission, planning to meet up with a couple of resistance fighters once they've landed and are on their way to the guns. The challenges faced by the team seem endless. There's an accident while they climb the cliff. The Germans seem to know what they're doing, raising the spectre of a turncoat being among them. Their munitions are tampered with. All this and the mission seemed darn near impossible before anything had gone wrong. The Guns of Navarone is a success because director J. Lee Thompson has deftly pulled together all these twists, lots of action, witty lines and some decent character development. With the exception of a single scene where an escape comes all too easily, everything else seems terrifically real. It's easy to overlook the presence of too many overly-dark night time scenes and the film's excessive length. Peck and Quinn are entirely credible, and while Niven is disappointingly dour, James Darren at least partly compensates with a surprisingly convincing performance as a Greek member of the commando team. The special effects are tremendous, beginning with a storm-tossed boat that's smashed against the rocks of the island, and continuing through the guns, which look entirely real. More than just a standard 1950s or `60s war movie, The Guns of Navarone provides good entertainment because of its strong cast, smart screenplay (written by Carl Foreman, based on the Alistair MacLean novel) and big budget production values. George Thomas Blasted past 41 a hitch in time Shirin Albert The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com T his romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner will be hitting screens soon and includes supporting actors like Michael Douglas, Emma Breckin Meyer, Lacey Chabert, Robert Forster and Anne Archer. Inspired by Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the story deals with a celebrity photographer Connor Mead(Matthew McConaughey) a flamboyant womanizer, and his love for women.... many women. A committed bachelor with a no-strings policy, he thinks nothing of breaking up with multiple women on a conference call while prepping his next date. His brother, on the other hand, is a romantic who's about to get married. On the eve of the big event, Connor manages to upset the whole house of well wishers and derides marriage. His cynical views almost succeed in ruining the wedding. Yet, there is one person who still has hope in him - his childhood sweetheart, Jenny (Jennifer Garner). That night, the ghost of his mentor, his late Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas) visits him. This hard-partying ladies man delivers an urgent warning to his nephew to change his ways before it is too late. He does this through the ghosts of his jilted girlfriends � past, present and future. This hilarious odyssey through his lifetime of broken relationships inevitably reveal his most dreaded fears. So, does he have a second chance to change his ways for good or does he manage to ruin it with his foolish fantasies? In an interview with the on-screen couple, here's what Matthew had to say about the supernatural twist to the story. "Like Connor says: He loves all women, that's the problem here. So, it comes off in the beginning with a lot more bite and less pander than most stories like this do. Then � and, for me, I enjoyed it � it was a farther distance to go through, and you've got ghosts that come in and scare the hell out of me and scare some sense into me. That's a much better movie device for me than having the conversation about it." Apart from the media hype about the actors own playboyish lifestyle, he follows his father's advice seriously without fail. As Jennifer narrates humourously, "Respect women. Blasted past Look, you're coming of an age where you're going to start having different kinds of feelings towards women and you're going to have certain desires. And when you are with a woman, if she even hesitates for a split second, stop, don't go any further, don't ask, leave it totally alone, don't go back there tonight, that night; leave it absolutely alone. Chances are, she's going to want to come back. But absolutely respect the woman, and, in doing that, you respect yourself." Jennifer has had pretty bad luck herself as a bridesmaid - from duct taping her dress to walking down the aisle with curlers in her hair! And as far as the mentor's role was concerned, here's what Director Mark Waters had to say, "We, frankly, didn't dare to dream we could get Michael Douglas. We weren't even setting our sights that high, at first. It turned out that Michael was free right at this moment when our movie was coming together, and we figured why not just take the shot with him. And it turned out he read it and was as tickled with the part as we were." As for all romantic comedies, the climax always deals with the much clich�d wedding. But the difference is that this is not the wedding of principals but the attempt to save one for the benefit of another; a beacon of change in oneself who has been lost for long. A movie for the hopeless romantics out there and the dying enthusiasts who wonder whether true love still exists in today's cynical world. Original, funny and quirky - What's not to love? A fun-filled movie and a definite must-watch. 43 The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com ATELIERS - The Largest Fitness Studio in Chennai with 11,000 sq.feet. Located at : 37, Velachery Main Raod, Vijay Nagar, Chennai � 42 Contact : 42184141 / 42184142 Ateliers is managed by Mr.Mounaguru ( Ex. Veteran Sportsman ) Mrs. Sushila ( Industrialist ) and Mr. M.Arasu ( Mr.India ) who is the Honorable Chief Advisor in Weight Management & Fitness. Examining the pros and cons of the leading fitness studious in and around the city, Mr. Mounaguru and Mrs.Sushila had dreamt of opening such an enterprise that would serve as an ideal example of quality & customer satisfaction and that is the story behind "Ateliers Fitness", the only fitness studio which understands the exact meaning of fitness. Spread across 11,000 Sq.feet Ateliers fitness boasts of state � of � the Art equipment in both Cardio & Strength segments with Certified Experienced Personal Trainers. Most other fitness studios merely teach their clients exercise but at Ateliers we propagate "Science behind exercise," Say Rajesh.R (Fitness manager of Ateliers). Wherein other fitness studios they start with dieting and end with fasting which is unhealthy, in Ateliers we believe strongly in Healthy Caloric Dieting which is the key to a healthy life in the years to come. Our nutrition specialist has a formidably flexible approach with clients to know their dietary positions and to check weather they are following the diet chart regularly. The diet chart will be framed according to the individual clients likes and dislikes according to their life style and also depending on their height, weight, BMI & fat percentage. "Here in Ateliers our physio and the trainer work in synchronization Score Advertorial 45 ATELIERS for reaching clients fitness goals" says S.Gayathri � Nutritionist of Ateliers fitness. In Ateliers we have well experienced physiotherapists, who not only take care of in-house clients but also wxternal parties. In Ateliers physio, after grading their client's fitness level they also educate them about their own fitness level. By estimating their fitness level, the client feels more comfortable with following their fitness schedule without any injuries. Now we have to talk about Ateliers strength workout scheduling. Here in Ateliers the fitness schedule will vary with each and every individual according to their muscle flexibility cardio endurance, muscle endurance and personal fitness goals. We not only concentrate on weight training and cardio but we also train people in CALESTHENICS workouts says Rajesh.R, Fitness Manager of Ateliers. The main advantage of Sports Art strength equipments is even if the execution gets wrong it won't injure the muscles as the management is very particular with customer satisfaction. The trainer gives every client individual attention which allows them to reach the goal easily. In Ateliers their facilities include Strength Training, Cardio, Aerobics, Dance, Kids Dance, Ladies Fusion Fitness, Tummy Reduction Program, Core Strengthening, Flexibility improvement, Slim kit, Bodybuilding, Steam bath, Valet parking, physio clinic, Nutritionist, Sports Training & Supplementation CALISTHENIC workouts, Splecial packages & discount for senior citizen and students. The only fitness studio with 5 Star facilities comes at a very affordable price. Ateliers is going to spread to branches all over Chennai & Tamilnadu in a short while. Ateliers chief fitness advisor Mr. Arasu and the G.M of Ateliers fitness Mrs. Sushila challenge Chennai that they can make it the fittest city just as they had achieved the similar target with Velachery. FITNESS The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com WORLDIII On top of the Suresh Menon Steep View 47 Panoramic view of Pangong Tso. With its brilliant saffire hues changing every 5 minutes. A salt water lake at 14,000 ft K alon House at Tirith village in the Nuhra Valley is heaven on earth. One can enjoy Ladakhi hospitality in its surest form here. Owned by Tzetan Namgyal an his family, the estate is spread over 25 luxurious acres on the banks of the river Nubra. Beautiful tents and green meadows set against rolling mountains really set the mood for some organic farm fresh food. Using the house as a as a base we traveled to the Hunder desert courtesy of the bacterium camels. As the Kardungla Pass was closed due to excessive snowfall we stayed a day extra and traveled back to Leh only the day after. After a day's break, we undertook a trip to Pangong Lake near the Chinese border. A salt water lake at 14,500 ft, it is quite astounding that two-thirds of the lake is in China and the rest in India. We stayed at Tangtse Dovothling guest home run by a Ladakhi woman. Power there is available only between 7-11 pm. We had to cross the second highest pass, the Changla Pass to Pangong. Our first impression of the lake was that it was breathtaking. The various hues of blue displayed will make a person wonder. With mountains all around, there were plenty of photo opportunities. Be warned though, to venture without food or water you might just be done for. We went back to the lake again at six in the morning to see the sunrise, but the fact that it was -11 degrees ensured it wasn't an easy day. To add to it, only the Canon was working. So we drove back to the guest house, packed up and drove to Leh. The next day we started on our trip to Lamayuru, a landscape that mimics the moonscape. On the way we stopped by Liker Monastery and then made the treacherous drive on a landscape that looked bleak and fragile. The mountains resembled solidified mud. Along the Indus River were many nice valleys with plenty of apple and walnut orchards. Ladakhi apples are sold at an incredible ten bucks for sixteen fruits. Back to Leh by evening and next day we flew out of Leh and the journey home and officially begun. Wangchuk, the owner of Snowleopard trails. Ladakh. The man who made this entire trip possible The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com liker Monastery Enroute to Srinagar from Leh at 52 kms. This 15th century Gompa later refurbished in 18th century kalon house At Tirth town in Nubra valley the beautiful setting of Tsetan Namgyals home/resort along the banks of River Nubra Pangong Five hours drive from Leh. Satyajit walks towards the camera 49 hemis: 40 Kms southeast of Leh. Also has a national park for the endangered snow leopard The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 www.highonscore.com Stupa Dramatically positioned Diskit Gompa overlooking the river shyok and the valley of Nubra Photo: Ajay Prabhakar T imothy (Timmy) Madhukar, started out singing for Burn of the early 90's, got behind the keyboard for Moksha and presently sings for Roxygen. He also dabbled in Tamil cinema (Remember Dil?) and Tamil pop (Srinivas's Ussele Ussele). Unlike so many musicians I have met who are loud and flamboyant, this one has a quiet sense of confidence about him, and something that you can't quite put your finger on that causes you to like him after just a couple of minutes. It couldn't be the conversation because really it was quite a task to get the ace musician to talk about himself. But there is so much that you can uncover about an individual. Especially if his wife's around! 1. I am a die hard speed fan. Alonso is brilliant. 2. I am scared of heights. Once I was on a ferris wheel ride, and I actually jumped off midway.. 3. I enjoy fish tremendously, all the time! 4. People sometimes call me the Dark Horse because I come across mysterious at first and hard to read. 5. One thing that I would love to do is cut an album with my band, friends. Its the band with which I travelled the most. 7. I can perform in front of thousands of people with my band, but ask me to sing you a song right now and it would be the hardest thing. 8. I was working in the corporate world, juggling music and work when he told me to focus on my music, and here I am. I look up to him the most. 9. One of my dreams would be to drive a race car someday. (Sigh!) 10. Our pastors set my wife Zippora up, with me. Funny story! She's the best ten things Compiled by those Roxygen. 6. Moksha was a great bunch of Sonali Shenoy thing in my life. The SCORE Magazine | June 2009 R.Dis No 339/09