I recently hosted the annual rock awards in the city and much to my pleasure a considerable amount of original music went past my ears. And being on the jury, for some of the categories, led me to happily believe that Indian independent music is stoically rolling along, wearing its passion on its sleeve. The variety of genres that the bands and artistes have begun to express themselves in, is heartening to see. Of course, the leanings are towards Metal some of the time, but electronica, electro-rock, jazz-funk, Hindi/regional-rock are some of the genres Indian artistes have begin to musically express themselves in.
We are all familiar with the folk-fusion-rock of The Raghu Dixit Project, Indian Ocean and Swarathma. And in recent times Indian metal bands like Demonic Ressurrection, Zygnema and Scribe have traveled to International destinations taking Indian metal to foreign audiences.
Electro-rock stalwarts Pentagram and Shaair ‘n Func have also done India proud on the international scene. I have a great feeling that 2011 will be a turnaround year for Indian independent music. Now all we need is for the corporates to put ‘their’ money where ‘our’ mouths are, so that we may scream loud enough to wake up the rest of the world to the unyielding force field that is Indian independent music…. If I may say so.
Here’s what you want on your iPod, recommends Luke Kenny
Low country blues
Blues fans will be happy to know that Gregg Allman is in the pink of Blues health with this album. Together with the Allman Brothers band, Gregg defined the sound of Southern rock. And his solo work has only been testimony to his undying spirit of celebration, whether it is music or life.
Gregg Allman has led a life of much excess yet, at 63 years young, the vibrancy and vigor is outstanding; the singing, pristine and energetic, and the songs, as bluesy as ever. ‘Little by little…’, ‘Devil got my woman…’ and ‘Rolling stone…’.
Kiss each other clean
Iron and Wine
Samuel Beam performs as Iron and Wine, a pseudonym he found on a supermarket sign. This is his fourth album and his music is indie-folk. Unassuming and unconventional, the songs talk of everyday things, yet in a dreamy way. His song construction is innovative and
cohesively brings his point of view across ever so succinctly. Melancholy and melodic, this is a great friend to have by your side as you drive down those long lonely roads.
Hear this one now.
Hard times and nursery rhymes
After a long time, comes a punk record by a band that knows how to do it. Formed way back in 1978, they’ve had their share of ups and downs with members coming and going like customers in a national bank. But constant member Mike Ness has kept it together and Social Distortion has survived to release their seventh album. From the opening punk instrumental (yes!) ‘Road zombie...’ to the closing ‘I won’t run no more…’, it’s plain to see where Green Day gets its inspiration from. But that aside, this is a great return to form, of a band that has its hooks firmly in your punk-a** skin.
Tough songs, elementary sounds
Blue note records
For those who don’t know Amos Lee, be prepared to experience some exceptionally sublime songwriting. One of the hottest singer songwriters in America today, he builds a musical bridge between Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and Merle Haggard. As much as I dislike comparisons and drawing parallels, for you lay people out there think of him as a male version of Norah Jones or even Madeline Peyroux. This is an album of great warmth and hope.
Bell this Mission.