Its nice to see the rains hit with a vengeance, and this time around again it looks like we’re going to have a very productive and overflowing monsoon. And like clockwork, the usual places in Mumbai will get flooded and the same old headlines will pop up with pictures of Mumbai’s traditional middle class suffering. And through it all, we will continue to weather the lies and sewage that the city administration will feed us as lame excuses for ongoing expert incompetence.
Oh, I completely forgot I’m supposed to write about music and not rant like a loyal tax-paying, rule-abiding and hard working citizen of a supposedly free country. So here goes — of all the happy rain songs that come to mind, there is a not-so-happy one that we all must hear, read and understand. Bob Dylan’s ‘A hard rain’s a-gonna fall’ is an epic song with the deepest poetry you may ever experience. And one of my (many) favourite lines in the song is ‘…where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters…’ — an allusion, not to toxic fallout, but to the lies that the people get told by the administrative authorities. Next week, expect happy rain songs… if I may say so.Here’s what you want on your iPod, recommends Luke Kenny
Before there was Bjork or Adele, there was Kate Bush — an eccentric, idiosyncratic and esoteric person, who at 19 had the number one single in the UK in 1978 with ‘Wuthering heights’ being the first self-written song by a British artist to hit the spot. Today, 33 years later, her ninth album hits the number two spot in the UK. Those familiar with her work will relish this reworking of selections from earlier albums The Sensual World and The Red Shoes. Kate Bush is the thinking woman’s rock star; a progressive pop artist whose world unfurls like a flower in the springtime. A secret garden where only the intelligent may enter, dare you?
Bottomline: Artist’s freedom
Danger Mouse & Daniel Luppi
Now here’s something after my own heart, an album five years in the making and a great love song to the music of the classic spaghetti westerns that Italian cinema produced so lovingly throughout he 1960s and ’70s. Danger Mouse is one of the few musical visionaries left in this musical world, and his genius is yet to be celebrated. But regardless of that, here is a work of passion and devotion that warrants only reverence. And with special guests Jack White and Norah Jones performing three tracks each, this is a possible soundtrack to the upcoming Tarantino spaghetti-western homage, Django Unchained.
Bottomline: Play on, pardner!
Mr Shuster or Will finally gets his own words and music out there, well, at least some of it. The teacher of the sensational Glee TV series proves that his singing voice can hold its own against legends like Elton John and Sting as well as some friendly warbling with star Gwyneth Paltrow (soon to be releasing her own debut album). So we get a nice tight album of ten songs that don’t really leave an impact musically, but will definitely please the millions of teens and the hundreds of grandmas that religiously watch the show as it continues its success.
Bottomline: No ‘New Directions’ here
Man In Motion
What does the Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, Dave Matthews Band and The Dead have in common? One mother of a blues player, for sure. Having picked up the guitar at age 12 and well into his 40th year as a player for hire, his solo songwriting efforts haven’t been much, this being his second album since 1993’s Tales of Ordinary Madness. Warren Haynes is a blues player in the tradition of BB King, a ‘talking guitar’ player, he chooses his notes sparingly, yet he still manages to say a lot. Now if only he spoke more often.
Bottomline: Blues in force.