Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Where The Fsck did Street 13 Go?

They renamed it Frank-Zappa-Strasse after - surprise! - Frank Zappa. (Wouldn't it be fun if they named it "Frank-Zappa-Strasse" after someone else?)
The street is home to Orwo Haus, a former Communist-era film factory that now provides practice studios for more than 160 bands.

But Missus Zappa is not happy about this announcement and has threatened to sue the Frank Zappa Fan Club in Berlin that is behind the re-naming of this street.

The Zappa Fan Club ("Arf-Society") in Berlin lashed back at her with this comment:
"Mrs Zappa, we protest explicitly against the unwarrented claims you raised. As Frank would have asked, are you 'only in it for the money?'"

Oooh! An inside joke-putdown! I want to try my hand at it too.

Ok, here's one: that threat made by Zappa's wife is like a ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch.

Yeah! Take that!!

Rhyme, Reason, Negative

A sudden hankering for the following things:

An Eric Rohmer film. Any Rohmer film will do, but I *really* feel like seeing "Claire's Knee" again.

A steam engine. I just want to hear one running.

A loud, off-key trumpet solo soaring high above a fat brassy chord.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How Do I Love Thee

Way # 10875: Opening that bottle of Hefeweizen with a switchblade.

Way # 10876: Remembering to pack a switchblade along with shampoo, conditioner and perfumes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Joy Of 70-Hour Work Week

No, there is no joy in working 70-hour weeks.

And why are large software projects still managed through spreadsheets and email?

Apropos of nothing, I heard just one song from Spoon's new album "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" and it rocked. Pitchfork loves it too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Astad, Ustad

Many, many years ago in the middle of a concert in Rang Bhavan, I realized the music being performed on stage demanded a smoke. Not because it was that good, but because it was that bad. Only one problem. None of us had any smokes left. There were many smokers around me but I couldn't just ask anyone for a toke.

Everyone knows the risk involved in asking the wrong kind of smoker. Some are stingy. "Just two puffs, ok?" Some make you wait. "Let me get to the filter". Others want to share the "one love, man, one love, woohoo Lord Shiva, Jah, man" vibe. Even back then I detested stoner talk. Unless it was coming out of my mouth, of course. So I turned to the guy next to me. He was a middle-aged man, smoking a big fat one and I prayed he wouldn't ration, make me wait forever or quote from Bob Marley.

"Can I have a toke?", I asked him. "Sure", he said and handed me the smoke. I pulled hard once, twice, thrice and it dawned on me. I had just bummed a smoke from Astad Deboo. So proud I was at my Celebrity Recognition skills, I had to share it with the Celebrity in question. "You are Astad Deboo!". And just in case he had forgotten important details of his career, I even yelled out "you once danced with Pink Floyd on stage!!" "Yeah, uh-huh" he said and took the smoke back from me.

"Pink Floyd!!", I shouted out again and felt my head grow woozy and my mouth get dry. My knees, they were both gone.

Rediff has a pictorial on the man.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

K.K. Mahajan

K.K. Mahajan, "master of light and sentinel of darkness", RIP.

Just look at his filmography: from "New Cinema" films to mainstream films like "Choti Si Baat" to TV serials like "Buniyaad"!

Via Indian Writing. (See this post too)

Jabberwock has some great pictures as well.

On a related note, check out this site about Mrinal Sen, maintained by his son.

Friday, July 13, 2007

How One Man Is Solving The International Food Crisis

"....so I told my manager verrrry openly - boss, you throw monkeys, you will get peanuts".

I should have asked him the secret to getting good honey-roasted peanuts. ("first we find a big jar of honey and a gullible monkey....")

In other food-related news, I grossly violated the 5-second rule this morning. A blueberry muffin was positioned, with great care, on the arm-rest/random crap-holder between the driver's seat and the passenger's seat in the car. Did I tell you I can easily switch between breakfast, NPR, indie-rock, conference call and pranayama?

When I reached work, the mobile breakfast item was gone. I searched the entire car. It took me a good 5 minutes to find the muffin. Yes, three hundred seconds.

Breakfast never tasted so good. Of course I blew on it and even dusted it lightly with one finger. That got rid of most of the hairball.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Vampire Weekend

Does your favorite new rock band talk like this?
....the idea of grammar as this obviously construct that a categorical imperative because it's so specific to the English language. It's kind of linguistic imperialism.
This is "Vampire Weekend". Fantastic band.

Even though the band's name sounds somewhat metalish (and makes you think they play Gibson Flying Vs), their sound is actually closer to ska and Afropop. Nearly every review of this band's EP (including a recent one in NYT) compares the sound to Paul Simon's Graceland.

What sealed the deal for me was that absolute ear-worm of a song, "Oxford Comma". It starts with the most compelling rhetorical question I've heard in years: "who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma". (In case you've forgotten what an Oxford comma is.)

The band's website has streaming versions of "Oxford Comma" and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa".

Give "Vampire Weekend" a spin. You'll love it.