Monday, October 7, 2013

Song of the Day: That Awkward Moment when the video doesn't match the song AT ALL

A local band in Boston has an Ilaiyaraja themed live show coming up and I'm super excited to attend. I was thinking about my favorite Ilaiyaraja songs and this of course is one of the first ones that popped into my head.

I love SO much about this song - the groovy guitar and bass work, the multitude of drum types incorporated, the chord progression, the sudden switch to tabla and back to the western drums, SPB's smooth and dare I say sexy vocals? I know, it's weird, but true in the case of this song.

However I had never seen the video to this song. I heard it in the 90s while preparing for a live show with our band and though I've played this song a hundred times on the keyboards while our male singer Gopal Ven rendered it, I never once saw the video.

NOW I CAN'T UNSEE IT.

I'm not sure what I was expecting. Something hot, sultry and yes maybe a bit kitschy and cheesy because of the era it's from. But definitely not this. WHAT is that weird one-handed slide step they are doing all over these hotel gardens??

I won't laugh too much at the fashion because it's pretty par for the course of this era (though I was envisioning glittery sequins gowns and shiny white boots and capes -- maybe I was watching too many Chiranjeevi videos courtesy of Temple and Heather's Cinema Chaat site). But the overall set up is completely so bizarre compared to the awesome vibe of the song.

Ok I lied. I can't stop snickering at Karthik's outfit.

I still absolutely love love love this song though, so it stays as my song of the day. Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Song of the Day: 1,000 watt smile

I know, I know I am woefully behind on posting.

In the meantime, here's a song of the day ... there is SO MUCH that I love about this song. First and foremost, that adorable, 1000 watt grin of Rishi Kapoor's ... I am totally squeeing over him in this song.

Second, the classic R.D. Burman vibe to this song - his signature style - the strong bass, the congoes and almost latin rhythms, the background orchestration! I can always pick out an RDB song and I absolutely love his creative choices. This one has such an interesting melody too.

Third Kishore + Asha = love. I absolutely love this combo. Kishore is particularly in full form here.

Fourth - Neetu. She is so, so fabulous.

Fifth - that crazy red velvet brothel looking ballroom. Where IS this place?? It's like the Lounge in the old Clue game. I keep looking around for Miss Scarlet.

Sixth - totally ridiculous background dancers ... wearing layered gowns and carrying bouquets but the men have moroccan fez hats on ... I don't know. But I love it.

I am sure I could go on and on. But I really can't spend any more time on the computer, so here it is!!

Jeevan Ke Har Mod Pe from Jhoota Kahin Ka (1979)


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Song of the Day: For SUMMER TIME!


It's summer and summer means ICE CREAAAAAAM. Which immediately brings to mind this song from 1983's Justice Chowdhary starring Sridevi and Jeetendra. Go ahead ... indulge!

Sorry the blog has been fairly abandoned lately. I will be back with lots more to share - it's just been extremely busy between the two kids, singing in a band, teaching dance class, and now possibly moving. I have some full movie recaps lined up and several song lists brewing in my head. SOOOOOON.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Song of the Day: Anita Raj romances a "special" looking Sanjay Dutt in Zameen Aasmaan

This has been my earworm lately ...



And it's been a repeat offender on my iPod for a while now and when it gets stuck in my head it REALLY gets stuck. It's from the 1984 movie Zameen Aasmaan starring Sanjay Dutt and the lovely Anita Raaj as young lovers, though the story centers around a love triangle with Raakhee, Shashi Kapoor, and Rekha.

What gets me about this song is the bass guitar. It is the absolute heart of this song and I'm obsessed with it. Lata's vocals are flawless of course, and the entire orchestration is lovely, but the bass guitar is what keeps me coming back to this song over and over. There is something about this song that is just so quintessentially R.D. Burman to me. So brilliant!

And doesn't Sanju Baba look really ... ahem ... "special"?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bizarre stage shows in Bollywood

One of my favorite song types in Indian cinema is the 'performance item' ... where the hero or heroine happens to be a singer/dancer extraordinaire and does an elaborate stage show incorporating a host of sideys, props and dramatic set designs. Do you ever stop to wonder what these shows are and who the audience is? Who goes to these random stage shows and WHY? Is it just one 5-minute item? Are there breaks in between to change the sets and do costume changes? Is it all awkward in the theatre when the main artist does a close up of their expressions or goes off into a dream sequence in the middle (example: the song 'Payaliya' from Deewana -- the beginning and end of the song are a stage performance, but the entire middle of the song is a dream sequence ... soooo during the actual performance were Divya Bharti and Rishi Kapoor just standing there on stage?)?

I know, I'm overanalyzing it.

It's usually just a chance for the love interest to sit in the audience and admire the hero/heroine up there strutting their stuff.

But being such a huge fan of light-up disco floors, I can't help but be fascinated by these stage performances.

Here are some of the ones that come immediately to mind ...

Ina Mina Dika - Ladki
Apparently rock lovers are invited to Kumari Nirmala's showcase ... and nothing says rock like a Fred Astaire inspired suit and top hat. Right?? The set design appears to be part of Toon Town from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. And ... well ... Vyjayanthimala's performance is "on fire" ...

 

Mere Payaliya - Jugnu
Hema Malini is indeed stunning, but the lady sitting between Dharmendra and Prem Chopra doesn't seem too charmed, despite the efforts put into their village backdrop. Three costume changes in this one ... I wonder what the audience did in between? Coffee in the auditorium lobby?



Meri Nazar Pe Tujh Pe - The Burning Train
This one is totally bizarre but I LOVE it. I mean WHAT was the audience invited to see here? I love the combination of the 'Spanish' dancers and the Indian dancers. The guys also crack me up in the audience.
 

Dil Lena Khel Hai - Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai
This is one of the most elaborate sets I've seen yet. Unfortunately this video doesn't show the weird intro in which Rishi and another dancer pose as great lovers of history and Rishi dramatically stabs himself (just part of the presentation, of course). I don't understand the occasion here but I would TOTES go see this show. I mean just look at that stage!

 

Tu Shayar Hai - Saajan
This show is just plain weird, but I would totally go to this. I mean look at the crazy costumes on those background girls! Madhuri is completely entertaining from beginning to end too. Those sets are incredible and setting up between the different segments must have taken forever. I hope they served samosas in between. Maybe Sanjay Dutt's mullet entertained everyone while they were waiting.



Sochenge Tumhe Pyar - Deewana
I absolutely love watching this video for the BIZARRE mulleted background girls. Each segment in this one has special props - flags, peacock feather fans and tinsel ... uh ... tinsel flag thingys. This is supposed to be the concert of some major pop star, and I would be so riveted if I saw this in a professional presentation. I want to have some serious discussions with the props person.



O Yaara Dil Lagana - Agni Sakshi
I think pretty much anyone who paid for a show and saw Manisha Koirala dancing would demand their money back. She may be pretty, but dancing is NOT her thing. Even the light-up floor can't help her out here. I find the sets really confusing here ... first we seem to be in an ice cave or something, then we have a horse ranch motif with harem outfits, which makes perfect sense ... then we have our Egyptian set of course ... but the strangest part is actually the BACK of the theatre which has giant back lit drama masks and instruments. I think I WOULD pay for this show though, because I think Manisha needs the money to invest in some bras with better support.

 

Daiyya Daiyya - Dil Ka Rishta
Here's another stage show supposedly for a school with sets that are beyond excessive. I mean they even have sand dunes for the first segment, then they MAKE IT RAIN inside the theatre ... how much would that cost?? And did the first few rows get rain ponchos like at Blue Man Group? Then they have wind machines and leaves for the last bit. What kind of school is this? I am so confused.

 

There are so many more examples of these weird shows - ranging from the fantastic disco shows of the 80s to the full dramatic presentations like in Dil To Pagal Hai and Aaja Nachle.

Do these still exist in movies today? Can anyone think of a fairly recent example? Inquiring minds would like to know ...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Song(s) of the Day - A Return to Blogging

I sincerely apologize that I've seemingly neglected my blog -- my plans to have a themed week celebrating the greatness that is Kamal Hassan got thwarted by a very, very long trip abroad. I spent the last month traipsing around Hong Kong, Singapore and India on a trip to visit family. It was an exhausting trip, particularly dragging along two kids under the age of 5.

Also this past year has been way more taxing than I ever realized it would be - the whole balancing of two kids hasn't come as easily to me as I had hoped. It seems like as soon as you get one settled the other one needs something, and so and on and so forth throughout the whole day (or also through the night sometimes). But wow, time flies and my baby girl is almost one year old! So hopefully we will be settling into more of a rhythm now and I'll be able to get back to blogging.

I've still had a million songs and scenes floating through my head, and I've been stockpiling them to share with all of you.

Since time is limited, I'll just stick with a theme for today. Yesterday we had our first snowfall (at least since I returned to the U.S.) and so immediately I had this song pop into my head:



Not only does it show the adorable Madhoo and dapper Arvind Swamy gallavanting in the snow, but the lyrics actually talk about the "new white rain" i.e. snow. Perfect! This has always been my favorite song from the celebrated Roja soundtrack by A.R. Rahman.

Also I received multiple messages from my mother yesterday that it was the Tamil holiday "Karthigai Deepam" - the celebration of the six celestial nymphs that helped raise Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi's second son Muruga, also known as Karthikeya. The six demi-goddesses also create a constellation in the sky that can be seen during this time of year.

So in celebration of Karthigai I had to post this song from the Tamil dub of the Malayalam movie Devaragam because my favorite actress Sridevi is SO stunning and lively in it:



So that's all for today ... Happy Karthigai and Happy Winter! Will try to be posting more actively and will regroup with the usual suspects to see when we can bring you the Kamal Hassan week festivities!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Top 5 Ultimate Romantic Hindi Songs

Someone posed this question on Twitter recently and naturally I thought the response belonged here on the blog. I'm a sucker for the full-blown romantic ballad in a Hindi movie. The more Yash Chopra-ey the better. I'll take them all, with the prancing around Switzerland and everything.

Despite having about a million "favorite" Bollywood love songs, I can easily narrow down my top 5.



So here are My Top 5 Ultimate Romantic Hindi Songs (counting down):
*Click the title to view the song on YouTube*


5. Kabhi Kabhie - Title song
So the movie was indeed supremely messed up and this song is very sad in many ways, but it is still ultimately romantic. Love Rakhee's cheetah print outfit too, and Amitabh's sherbert coloured turtleneck. Excellent times.

4. Pehla Nasha
I remember when I first bought the tape (yes, that's right, audio cassette tape) of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar back when I was 14 or 15 years old. I called up my then boyfriend and breathlessly told him that I was in love. Poor guy was shell shocked until he realized I was talking about a song. God I was mean. But yeah, this song still gives everyone that glazed over look because they're remembering their first love or past life or something super cheesy and super Bolly like that.

3. Chura Liya
This song STILL has such an effect on people. Zeenat Aman was so fabulous in this song (is that a horseshoe charm choker?), Asha Bhosle's cute trills work so well for her. Also the beautiful guitar strums, the sexy saxophone and the sweet innocent looks between Zeenie and the hero (what was his name? Vijay something?) are too perfect. This song is truly evergreen.

2. Yeh Vaada Raha
Admittedly I am a Rishi Kapoor fangirl, but even if I wasn't I think I would love this song. The entire soundtrack of Yeh Vaada Raha was absolutely gorgeous, but this song takes the cake. R.D. Burman + Asha Bhosle + Kishore Kumar pretty much makes me the happiest person ever. It's my favorite combination. The 80s really had some brilliance in the middle of the crazy.

1. Dekha Ek Khwab 
I forget about this song every so often, but I always come back to it. It's just magical. The scenery, the chemistry of Amitabh and Rekha, the silken voices of Kishore and Lata, the poetry of the lyrics ... it just can't be beat. So many songs after this have tried to re-create its atmosphere -- Mitwa, Kabhi Mein Kahoon, Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jaana Sanam, Humko Humise Churalo ... they are all just trying to live up to this song. It is definitely my #1 most romantic Hindi song.


There are of course many, many more ballads/love songs that I adore, but I for once was able to narrow down my list. What would be in your top 5? Would love to hear from you in the comments!