Monday 28 February 2011

that troglodyte groove

When it comes to rock, my tastes run to the more visceral, raw fare. I don't really like rock music that is too smooth and polished - this is why bands like Porcupine Tree or the later Opeth lose me after a while. My objection isn't to musical ambition - King Crimson has that in spades but they never come across as trying to gild a lily - but to taking rock, essentially a rude, rhythm-led musical raspberry - and turning it into a statement that is so mannered and safe that even MTV might play it (also see: U2, Coldplay). I also feel that one can over-estimate the virtues of complexity when it comes to rock music, which is why i like returning to the proto-hard rock/heavy metal of the early 70s and late 60s from time to time. The rocking sounds I love the best stem from that era, and when I listen to a lot of modern metal, I think an immersion in the more free, spontaneous and ultimately powerful sounds of our troglodyte ancestors could do today's scene a world of good. So let's make like our wrists reach our ankles and stomp around to some truly antediluvian grooves:

Saturday 26 February 2011

en passant

Today I am listening to Vaughan Williams and trying to write scary stories. There should be a parallel text to The Rest Is Noise which is all about the rest of twentieth century orchestral music, all the traditionalists accused of wallowing in the past, of bucolic cud-chewing or simply relegated to the dustbin of popular culture via movie soundtracks. I think a lot of their work will bear up to closer scrutiny.

I'm also thinking about how lonely it is to be the only boy in all of India who does not love Amar Chitra Katha comics. I liked some of them, especially the Jataka Tales retellings, but most seemed too sentimental and self-righteous and not well enough drawn or written for my liking. Tintin albums really did represent a much more consistent level of art and storytelling. But what do I know. One thing's for certain - there is room for a truly epic and gripping graphic novel retelling of the Mahabharatha. I just don't think ACK achieved that goal.

I've been reading Montaigne again. There are passages where the feeling of being in perfect communion with a mind around 5 centuries past is breathtaking. Also re-reading Pound's shorter poetry. Try - and succeed - as I do to despise Pound as a person I can't extend this loathing to his poetry.

Finally, a quote from another book I'm reading:

As long as we have breath in our bodies we are bound to the cycle that sustains our sense of time.
- Michael Frayn, 'The Human Factor'
 It seemed like a good hook for a story. We shall see.

Friday 25 February 2011

Bevar Sea on stage

Oh I should post this as well - highlights from my band Bevar Sea's debut performance:

Apocalypso for one: excerpt

The leviathan is beached and rotting. We emerge from the vast tonnage of flesh, our tentacles probe uncomprehendingly at the burned-out sky, our blind eyes cannot see in the eternal night that has fallen. We huddle back into the rapidly necrotizing tissues, trying to crawl our way back to the familiar, our hunger driving us closer and closer to the bone until we crack the bones open to suck the marrow, until we groan and grit our teeth on the bone fragments, choke on bone dust, fall upon one another, fighting to kill, killing to eat until at last I am left on a silent beach between two oceans of dust under a burned-out sky forever circling an empty space.

And then what?

Tuesday 22 February 2011

I have a problem

I buy too many of these:

and as a result, I never get to do this:

As a result, I've decided to dial it back a bit. One new book for every ten old ones I read, until the next significant increase in my income. Can I do it? Let's see.

Since making this resolution I've read the following books:

Athene: Image and Energy by Anne Shearer
Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov

And I haven't yet bought any more books.

Sunday 20 February 2011

I'm not actually sure what any of it means. No one actually is, if they're honest. It's easier to conclude it means nothing, easy and probably right. It's easiest of all to decide that it does mean something and to find that something in love hate god atheism surrender rebellion art sports culture barbarism sex rape marijuana meditation enemas enemies friends lovers surgeons virgins saints sinners devils comedians cascading strings flowers mutual funds construction destruction defection improvement et cetera. Hardest of all is to decide it only has the meaning that you spend every minute of your life trying to give it. I could try that.

Friday 18 February 2011


Sibelius. Lots of Sibelius. Some Nabokov. Some mythology. Some Pulver. A little bit of writing. Life goes on, for the living.

Thursday 3 February 2011

Tuesday 1 February 2011

remember remember

My band, Bevar Sea, and a bunch of others, will be playing at Kyra Theatre Bangalore this Feb 6th. The show begins around 4 PM. Rs. 400 a ticket.