May 26, 2013

That's Joe Satriani on the left. Bless him! He is a great guitarist and entertainer, and has always said loudly how big an inspiration Jimi Hendrix is to him. Its also known to us how largely he has also inspired and taught a generation of guitarists (Remember Ayub Bacchu's tak? Yup, its a Joe thing)

Here, though our TV won't generally show Joe's videos or concerts, you can still hear a lot of his music, as background scores of our TV dramas!

This is however something that bothers me, since there are so many instances of this. It shows a large flaw about or entertainment industry. The lack of flow of money. These drama show producers  could've easily hired a musician to produce some original music, but when even the makers are in fear of if and when they'd be paid, there's little motivation to do so (unless freebied). Also, with international copyrights laws absent from the scenario, its easier to use something available to us from someone like Joe or Bach or Britney. Since laws are so slack, there is also the chance to use material from any local artist without citing credit or paying a paisa.

The local label owners scream and shout about copyrights and sometimes even manage to get some artists to join in the chorus, but the gist of that whole deal is that the artists are not in any part of that chain - receiving maybe as little as parts of the recording costs, to nothing. Especially, someone new. And then there's the visible lack of distribution of the music and promotions. One would wonder why they release the CD's in the first place! They must have figured out how to make some profit with the least bit of effort possible, since otherwise it wouldn't have happened.

There is also the type factor, behind the kind of attention an artist will receive. Watch Channel 16's Top Ten to see what that might mean. You'll hear 10 songs that almost sound the same. Habib, Hridoy Khan, and a few others started a trend in pop music and their slower numbers seemed to have influenced multiple acts into being and they are churning out some pretty bland lovey dovey pieces of crap that is available on TV and radio.

I am taking a liberty here claiming I know good music from bad, and businessmen don't, or don't care. They wouldn't have cared to support a certain kind of music if they didn't think it had a market and I guess I could hang up my gloves on that point. I have to come back with a 'But' jab, and say, they are not giving some musicians who are more creative, more unique, and more entertaining a chance by not promoting them after their CDs come out. Its just a lack of foresight. The lacking that stops labels from promoting a CD after having put it on the shelf of a store.

If the drama directors had a formidable budget, they could use local musician's work giving them their rightful dues and helping promote their music. I remember one drama starred members of the band Black, and featured them lip syncing the very famous song "Shay Je Boshe Achhey" from Arnob. That level of fame that song and Arnob reached was helped along by that spot on TV, and its still possible to find someone today who mistakes that as a song by Black.

Till we learn to cultivate and appreciate artists, its no use just putting their CDs on the shelves where the masses are unaware of what they sound like or what they represent.

Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2013

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May 19, 2013

How does a band go from creating an artful album like These Days to creating a drab song like It's My Life?

Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2013

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May 7, 2013

Finally, we see the government. Not in any way close to the way we want to see them. On the other hand, the points I fret upon last time, came out in an article today (more than a week later) in the Daily Star, titled Silver Linings Generation. The tone is a bit different, praising the youth for its contributions to the rescue effort. Some young groups are still active and taken on ways to contribute to the rehabilitation of the survivors and the families who has lost their sole bread winners. Some of these are
As for how we recently saw the government, it was in a shady tone of suspicious. They allowed a group to declare and carry on with a blockade of Dhaka city, and to hold a meeting and rally in the same day in the center of the old commercial area of Motijheel. They spent the whole day there doing their thing, one guy carrying a board with a message "Want an Atheist Free Bangladesh", and carried on till night time. Just after darkness fell, something somewhere went wrong, no one seems to know what exactly. Our media reported that apparently someone was trying to burn a car, when police tried to stop them, and then clashes broke out. Any party who is in opposition will tell you burning cars is a democratic right, so is the occasional death or deaths of random people on the street, but anyhow, hell did break loose. We saw on TV lots of fires, lots of stones being thrown, lots of gunshots. Now if you think we all know how it started and ended - there are two versions to that story. Its anyone's guess what those versions may sound like. But if you consider that Diganta TV was unplugged  (TV sympathetic to the Islamic cause) in the middle of the night, you were bound to see some channels interviewing Police personality with questions like - "Everyones in awe of how you guys handled this situation, how did you do it?" Meanwhile, Facebook and other social channels are flooding with pictures of dead protestors from the Hefazot-e Islam (Protectors of Islam, remember He-Man?) which definitely points towards more deaths than the uncensored papers and TV channels would admit to.

Now, with the way things are, the definition of "death from natural causes" have expanded almost, to include:
Road Accidents/Treatment Errors/Political Assassinations/Death at the hands of Extortionists with Political Clout/Others ... as you can see, we're pretty open about how we die, no hullabaloo required in the form of protests or actions. This was almost the case, but its noticeable that some are outraged by this recent thing, even though the real version of the story is still not verified. Either way, I hope we can agree one day on one point - our government is (governments are) shady.

I feel that most of our youth activism is holding parallel actions to the government, like the rescue of trapped workers, followed by rehabilitation. I can sense their lack of faith in the government, but I am still convinced that sooner than later, we should come together to point our fingers at Them, and demand they do their jobs properly.

Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2013

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