Download Central feedback | music | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Aug 18, 2018-Saturday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Download Central feedback

I am a great fan of ur column. It helps me to update my MP3 player every Sunday. Hold Steady ws great. But, I would like to make some suggestions. Have you tried 'Poets of the fall'.

music Updated: Apr 04, 2009 16:16 IST
Hindustan Times

Bhattacharya Sammy:
I had got a bunch of Azam Ali's music a couple of months ago when I was looking for Irani music for a friend. She and her band are not too bad at all.

Jagatjyoti Ghosh:
I am a great fan of ur column. It helps me to update my MP3 player every Sunday. Hold Steady ws great. But, I would like to make some suggestions. Have you tried Poets of the fall. Poets of the fall have some very good numbers like the Carnival Of Rust, Lift, 3AM and Locking Up The Sun.

Hari Menon:
I must say it was a pleasure trawling through the Download Central archive. Of course there was that cheerful, almost gloating, validation that come from realising that other people with musical taste also share one's most rewarding exploration.

Greetings from Bombay. Although I knew about your interest in music, it was a pleasant surprise a few weeks back when I first saw you starting this very interesting writing on music. It doesn't matter if they are podcasts or whatever, its heartening to get a weekly dose of writing on contemporary music. I wonder if you could imagine the joy it gave a much music starved fellow..always on a lookout for new experimental stufff.

Specifically I loved your writing about most places playing same music and all those trodden songs. How much I could relate to that frustration! In Bombay though, Blue Frog hosts some interesting new stuff time to time. So a glimmer of hope...Looking forward to this Sunday's brunch!

Sammy Bhattacharya:
Got this from a blog last year. This is the name under which Phonte (one emcee of Little Brother - hip-hop from one of the Carolinas I think...a well-known producer - 9th wonder - was initally part of this group) records with some guy called Zo! I remember the images were quite 'retro-funny'. They do good things with the song. Phonte, by the way, some years ago did a noteworth collab album called Foreign Exchange with Nicolay. You may have read about this one before.

The two met on the website run by the Roots where Nicolay had put up some of his beats. Phonte really liked what he heard and the two exchanged recorded verses and beats to create songs for an album. If I remember correctly, the two met for the first time later during promotion of the released album. THe first was called Connected and was as good as anything he'd done previously. They have a second album out which i haven'y heard yet.

Srijan Uzir:
I absolutely love your coloumn Download Central in the Hindustan Times Sunday magazine Brunch. I love your information about the various Indie Bands as well as the through which I can find them. I am a huge fan of Punk Rock and I was wondering if you would kindly consider writing a coloumn on it. I am huge fan of your writing and all I want is some information on some Indie Punk rock bands or your opinions about the genre in general. Two bands, namely Green Day (pop-punk) and Linkin Park (rap-rock), are arguably the two most popular English bands have become very popular in our city (Kolkata). They are quite mainstream and quite commercial. What are your opinions about them?

I hope you will give my topic a try and wriite a coloumn about it. If you do not feel it is a good topic then would you kindly consider writing to me your opinions or answers to the questions stated above?

Sanket Chavan:
I am an avid reader of ur column and sincerely would like to thank you for your efforts of finding new things every time. There are lots other places where you get to know about new music and new bands, but u have go through almost every genre just to know if at all the bands great or not. That takes a lot of time too. I tried most of the things that you asked me to listen and found it worthwhile. Anyway, thank you very much and keep up the good work. I am looking forward to your next article.

Rachel Tanzer:

I'm thrilled that you like

Lifter Puller

, who in my opinion...rule. Nassau Coliseum was an anthem for my friends and I for many years. Here's what's on deck at my house:


: (rough trade) amazing band from Iceland who have broken up

Buffalo Tom

: Let me Come Over: an oldie but amazing record from one of Bostons best bands ever.........

Dinosaur Jr. Green Mind

, another oldie but goodie (I"m feeling nostalgic these days)

Alias Records Comp from 1999 featuring

: Superchunk and Archers of Loaf

The Duke Spirit:

Love is an unfamiliar name

Bad Brains

: The Youth are getting restless

Joe Arthur

: Can't exist


I'm an avid reader of your "Listen" column in


and i think that the articles are really informative. I completely agree with the article dated 22/2/09

It's Free...It's Legal


There are so many friends of mine who refuse to download music from sources such as Limewire as it is illegal,but such music sources and blogs have made me discover various bands.

An instance is a band from Germany called Tokio Hotel.They are a German Alternative band who write and compose their own songs-English and German.They've really gained a lot of success recently in the USA and Europe and even won the "Best New Artist" award at the MTV Vma's over many other able contenders.I'm a HUGE fan of theirs and i really really wish that they should be promoted in India.

I have written to Vh1 India and Mtv India to promote them here but none of them have replied. I really hope that you will listen to a few of their songs and feature them in the future articles to come.

Shiuli Das:
People in India are dying of many reasons. Guilt over illegal music download is the least of them. In fact, should people die of guilt from illegal online downloads? That’s a real poser in the wired world of today.

When I taped music for my friends back in the eighties, it didn't hurt my conscience or make me fear a prison term. Nobody bothered about the legality or morality of it all because record labels were doing all right. It's only when record labels saw a dip in CD sales that they began to point fingers at online distributors of music.

So it was economics that brought out legal and moral issues than any real concern about copyright infringement or artist royalty. Almost like the marijuana issue that rocked the US in the thirties when cheap Mexican workers brought their traditional relaxant with them to work as labourers in America.

Alcohol manufacturers saw that one joint could take people to a mind space what four pegs could not. Moreover, marijuana opened people’s minds to alternate forms of thinking and perceptions – a dangerous trend, especially for those (in power) who wanted people’s minds to stay shut.

So, marijuana that had been used for centuries – Jesus is said to have used it to heal people; it’s offered as prasad on shivratri in temples and homes; villagers in Himachal give little golis of charas to their kids when they complain of stomach ache or fever – suddenly became a dangerous, illegal drug. And the more they banned it, the more people became aware of and interested in it.

Did banning Napster help? It only spawned a host of P2P file sharing programmes, more sophisticated than Napster, which now did not even need a central index server. File sharers could just seek each other out online, making it even more difficult to shut down these decentralized systems.

And then came Radiohead’s head-on collision with music companies when they bypassed all record labels and decided to give out their latest album In Rainbows online for free or pay-what-you-want. Did it hurt them? The online donation box is said to have spilled over with $10 million dollars within just a week of release.

You could say that Radiohead had become too big and rich a band to really suffer any major loss. So it could afford to take this brave new deviant and defiant step. What about smaller bands? Well, if you are small, record companies are unlikely to touch you in the first place. Secondly, you will have to submit to their market-driven diktat, make silly videos that have nothing to do with your music, and give up any thought of experimentation or doing what you really want to do.

Why do you think Euphoria rocked their boat and opted for the sweet-boys-next-door image churning out Hindi pop? Why do you think Vishal Dadlani turned to Bollywood alongside his Pentagram to survive in the cold, calculating, cutthroat world of musiconomics?

If it were about music and its growth, I, like many avid music fans, would be the last one to deprive my favourite musicians of their due. But we are not talking music here. We are talking profits that fuel the big, fat cars and lifestyles of record company executives.

And how much does the artist get? In The Internet Debacle - An Alternative View, singer/songwriter Janis Ian says, “If we’re not songwriters, and not hugely successful commercially (as in platinum-plus), we (recording artists) don’t make a dime off our recordings.” Recording artists earn royalties from the sale of their CDs and cassettes but do not earn anything from public performances on radio or television or at bars and restaurants. This is based on the notion that when radio stations play their songs, it’s likely to lead to more sales of CDs and tapes.

So where did I, the so-called illegal downloader, go wrong? When I download a few songs online or even entire albums, I am not doing it for broadcast or for making profit out of it. Section 52 of the Indian Copyright Act 1957 says the use of a work does not amount to infringement of copyright if it is for private use; for criticising or reviewing the musical work; for making back-up copies; or reporting the work in a newspaper or for judicial or legislative proceedings.

In fact, when I give copies to friends, I am only ensuring a wider listener base. And therefore doing a service to music by being a distributor.

And where do I go to, my lovely, when I am looking for obscure songs that music companies have locked up in their vaults because they were not commercially viable? And where does the small-time musician with no access to a recording label go to, my lovely, when he wants fans to listen to his music? He goes to myspace. Or to indifferent pub owners who are happy to offer dinner and drinks to band members and little else.

An old sarangi player in India once remarked, “Is desh mein kewal raja ya rank music se apna pet bhar sakta hai (in this country, only the rich or the very poor can survive on music).” And record labels have managed to maintain this status quo where fewer musicians than ever before can make a living out of their art or craft.

Arjun Sood:
I was reading your article In Search of Hippie Music in The Brunch Sunday Magazine by Sanjoy Narayan-January18,2009 and I went to your website to download the music but I was unable to find the link. I wanted to know from where can I download since at the end of the article it states that to stream or download music I should go to Please let me know. Look forward to hear from you.

Read your article every Sunday (without fail). Do let me know if you have come across this group – I think it is an Australian group, called Deep Silver. They have sung songs such as the Status Pride, Simple CandleMan….They make some amazing music. Hey, how about writing about other music genres? What about Indian groups (both rookie & professional)? Wouldn’t it be nice, if a talent competition can be arranged through HT? Well, do keep writing those nice articles.

Dean Samos:
I’m an American working here in Noida India for a couple weeks. I enjoyed your column in today’s newspaper, as you mention a lot of bands I like there. In fact, I'm going be seeing the Dead (i.e. Grateful Dead w/o Jerry Garcia) in a couple months in Mountain View, CA. Keep up the good work!

Harish Doraiswamy:
Like your column in the Brunch. If you have not listened to them already, here's something that would be nice to have in nice Punjabi 'status families' when they invite the biradari over for a greasy dinner:

1. Shuggie Otis: Son of the legendary Johnny Otis, Shuggie was a blues guitar prodigy, a great song writer and could basically play several instruments. He reached his peak when he had barely bid goodbye to his teens. He is to be found playing in bars on the Californian coast. Do check out one of his compilation albums

Shuggie's Boogie: Shuggie Otis Plays the Blues. If you dont like it, please pass it to me. Need a back-up for the one copy I have.

2. Back Door Slam: I can understand it if you are indeed getting excited by the name, because this young blues band can (could....they broke up last month) truly kick butt. Check out their debut album Roll Away.

Saptarshi Bhattacharya:

Check out the 3 volumes of

BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge

for several covers of popular tunes. These are 6 KCRW albums with several covers



Chess Records

compilations have some great old school covers:

There are two Hendrix ones on

Chess Psychedelic Grooves



Traffic as recorded by Phil Upchurch & John Klemmer's version of

Third Stone

from the

Rising Sun


- an interesting if not great electroclash covers project of metallica songs.

Maybe you've already heard

50 Pence


In Da Pub

...a British cover of

In Da Club



I completely understand where you're coming from. Forget the pubs and bars that play prehistoric music, even our bands need to snap out of the 80s and 90s. Just check out their influences. The holy trio of Pearl Jam, Led Zep and Floyd seems to be the edifice on which Indian bands base their sounds. Ask them about Arcade Fire or The Flaming Lips and they give you that how-dare-you-insult-Floyd look. Even if a band is apparently tuned into contemporary music, it'll almost always be the popular ones like Radiohead or Coldplay.

"Er, have you heard of Neutral Milk Hotel? What kind of a band has such a stupid name!!!!"
Writing about indie bands is a bold effort because the target readership is quite niche. I had pitched an idea to my editor at the magazine I work for and I happened to quote your column as evidence that the indie music culture is catching up in India. To my horror, she said the column was something none of them could understand or relate to and that it was nothing to go by. But then again, she's hardly a music enthusiast.

As for those who are, they have just one problem. Download Central is slowly whittling away the exclusivity that was attached to so many bands that you've written about. Now I find I'm not the rare breed (at least in India) that listens to Animal Collective or The New Pornographers. So this privilege-deprivation hurts, but nothing that can't be cured by listening to a warm, tropical indie playlist.

Also, I was wondering why you haven't mentioned Andrew Bird so far. He came out with his latest album on the 20th (Noble Beast). I think he remains one of the most underrated musicians in the world right now. If you haven't heard him, The Mysterious Production of Eggs (album) would be the best place to start.

Thanks and here's hoping you'll discover plenty more bands for the loyal listener.

Himanshu Raunak:
For the past few weeks I have been noticing that you tend to cover only the more popular genres in your article that appears in Brunch. The lesser known genre of Progressive Rock/Metal has not received due recognition. It is my request that you cover the following bands in order to make your article reach out to people like us:

Progressive Rock:
1) Dream Theater
2) Porcupine Tree
3) Pain of Salvation

Progressive Metal:
1) Tool
2) Opeth

Progressive Death Metal:
1) Meshuggah

Death Metal:
1) Lamb of God

Melodic Death Metal:
1) Children of Bodom
2) Eternal Tears of Sorrow

I would be very grateful if you'd be kind enough to cater to the needs of some serious metalcores like myself.

Rila Banerjee:
I am a Kolkata-based musician - unsigned and unreleased. A few of my songs are uploaded on
Would be grateful if you could lend me your ears for 3 songs and decide whether they're good enough to feature on your page.

Sanjay Ghosh:
Hi, for a while now, I've been thinking of writing in. I suppose this playlist thing yesterday, broke the levee. Fat man in the Bathtub was playing last week on my playlist as well. You obviously enjoy your music.

I still think it's scary, this article of yours. I thought someone would beat you up. I never thought the big two would ever have the balls to make space for something so perverse. Only John Peel was more perverted. God bless his soul.

You should do a kind of top 20 list sometimes. The Hindu Metro supplement does but it's usually by people who listen to music as a matter of fashion rather than fulfillment.
Are you by any chance related to Sunita Narayan of Down to Earth/CSE? Anyway it's nice to know that one is not alone, there are other aliens on earth as well.

We're a folk fusion band from Bangalore. I happened to read your column in 'brunch' and thought you might want to check our music out. We just released our first album on Virgin. Please visit If you send me your postal address I'll be glad to send you a CD. I'll send you the profile as well.

Rachel Tanzer:
I work at Random House India and moved here in September, from Brooklyn (New York), to take on this role. For the past 25 years, I worked in the music industry doing many things. In 1985 I started my own record label which still exists, although I no longer reap the benefits. The label is called Taang! Records (the music the astronauts took to the moon!) and we release punk and hardcore records.

I booked several venues both in Boston and New York, I book a music festival called Iceland Airwaves in Reykjavik Iceland

I worked as Director of A&R for BMG and my territory was Scandanavia so I signed many bands from there: Sahara Hotnights, The Soundtrack of our Lives and the Hives and Nicolai Dunger.

I've known and have worked with Craig Finn since the early 90's when he fronted a band called Lifter Puller (if you like the HS you will love Lifter Puller). They then formed the Hold Steady and I've been working with them for years. I was handling thier artist relations until I moved to India. Anyway, I'm trying to bring many of my bands here but not sure the audience is out there? I would love to chat with you further about this.
In the meantime, do check out some of these bands: Wolf Parade (sub-pop), Band of Horses (sub-pop), Brian Jonestown Massacre Built to Spill.

Thanks for writing about the Hold Steady. They were thrilled to see it.

Auf widersehen:
Your articles have introduced me to new music, musicians and to a totally different type of music...Thanks! I would like to recommend a new artist called Sebastian who was out last year with his new album called Sebastian Remixes..I would appreciate if you would listen to his music and maybe like cover him in your next article. This guy plays electronic dance music and he came first to my notice by a track called Motor (a must hear and my personal favourite). I would appreciate if you would write about this genre of music that mostly gets unnoticed among music lovers. Maybe you could open the door to other music lovers that have been hooked all their lives listening to only old crappy rock music.

Saptarshi Bhattacharya (Sammy):
I've been reading your Download Central column since it started. Firstly I must say that it's about time, space was made for a column like this. I've heard several of the artists you've mentioned and also put fingers to the keyboard and mouse to get my hands on some others that I haven't.

Reading your column in the Feb 1st issue, I can't help but agree. When I was in school, I grew tired of the Bon Jovis, Bryan Adams, Pink Floyds, Doors and U2s. It's not that I didn't have respect for (all of) them. It's just that I got tired of them, and people putting them onto skyscraping pedestals and exemplifying them as what music is. They left no room for much else. Whether they got into 60s rock from their parents, their childhood, their college life or from wherever, very few looked to listen to much else. I understand that these were pre-music download-en-mass days.

But post-2000 or so, you'd think in a faster changing country more open to food, clothes, movies and more from the rest of the world, that given access to an unlimited monthly internet account, many people, especially younger people would seek out and listen to more kinds of music. This is only partly true.

Four years ago on Myspace, I came across a girl whose site reflected that her taste in rock bordered on the fringe. By fringe, I mean, the fringe of Calcuttan taste in rock! L7, the distillers, Mars volta, TV On The Radio....that sort of thing. When we finally met, and it was great as she gave me a lot of punk that I hadn't heard before and I burnt her a bunch of CDS filled with hip-hop and reggae. I got her into hip-hop in the space of 4 days and I got to say her taste in hip-hop 4 years down the line is definitely more obscure and extreme left-field than mine. I love the culture as a whole. Coincidentally she's my neighbour in Bombay now.

The above is a rare thing. I have, in the past tried to sneak hip-hop, drum and bass, mash-ups, comedic songs and alternate cover versions of popular songs into peoples's playlists but more often than not to disappointment. I went to a party last nite with about 30 people around, all between 20 to 32, some of those guys were musicians, producers and at least one sound technician and the songlist ranged from steely dan to wild cherry to Jamiroquai to Kool & the Gang to Punjabi Mundiya (Jay-Z remix). I wanted to sneak in an MGMT tune (Kids) but decided not to when 3 people gave me the evil eye when i went to check the play list.

The people I've met with the most open and forward take on music are usually DJs and musicians themselves and people who aren't overtly snooty about their taste and preferences for books and films etc. I met a DJ in bombay who also sings a bit and who had a montage of 8 square pictures framed in her living room: Questlove, D'Angelo, Maxwell, Erykah Badu, Macy Gray, Angie Stone, Mos Def and some other cat. I thought: Wow! This beats Kolkata!

And in a club or a bar - I think a majority of people who usually go to bars and nightspots in this country and can afford to are usually into familiar, non-experimental music.

Increasingly I see more teenagers and people in their early 20s into indie music of some sort. There's another tribe that's steeped into electronic music of all sorts..from jungle to dubstep and electrohouse and what not. These crowds follow their scenes pretty meticulously. I was at a free music show once and even saw a bunch of indian emokids and goths. So maybe
it will take some time but things will get better.

A band from America, called the Black Lips, played a free show here recently...most of the audience hated it and just wanted them to finish so they could go home. Reason: They're an American punk band.

Girl Talk is an amazing band and Nightripper was my introduction to the one-man band. I think you had mentioned Vampire Weekend in one of your columns...if not..i recommend them....great GREAT morning music. Check out Santogold, The Cool Kids and Dirtbombs, The Shaggs, Dubbledge, Busta Rhymes and Ol'Dirty Bastard - all in one,

I recommend the several incarnations of Madlib (The Beat Konductor, Yesterday's New Quintet,Quasimoto, Jaylib, Monk Hughes etc) and all of J-Dilla's work, even the unfinished beats. I lost interested in new rap for a few years. I got back into the present thanks to the almighty torrent and blogs and i got to say hip-hop flourishes....just not so much on Billboard.

You have to keep writing the column. It's genuinely refreshing to see someone writing in a sunday magazine about music and avoiding the usual stuff. Surely people get tired reading writers hailing Coldplay as the best band of the decade etc!

When people say best, they're keeping out the hordes of bands and musicians that they haven't heard a fraction of a fraction of. These bands and musicians need a spot. People who read RAVE and Blender are in the niche that are already into music. In Brunch, the whole family can read it and some one will look for the music and listen. Perhaps you could even make whacky lists like Top ten albums you haven't heard of that are great to do housework to. Perhaps this column will
disappear from the Sunday pages. Whatever happens, you got my ear!

Here's a bit of an info on the band called Phish. It has recently announced they would reunite for a tour in 2009 starting with three shows at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia.

I enjoy reading your column every Sunday. What's more the online version of the column surpasses a food column where you might get recipes but not the actual dish. Here at Download Ctrl you even get to download and watch the music. There's nothing more left to ask for.

Santanu Sarkara:
Sanjoy, I have been reading your articles in Brunch lately. In fact was inspired to get on the Net and acquire some of the music that u recommended... British Sea Power, Vampire Weekend etc. I listen to Radio Caroline on the Net to keep updated on the current music scene and of course the 70s music....Strongly recomended to a music enthusiast like u. Have made friends with some of the DJs there and they were kind enough to play my TOP 15 on last Diwali day.


I spent six years playing covers at Mood I, festivals in the Northeast, IIM. I didn't know (still don't) why the Doors's songs were so anthemic - "Republic Day fervour" is very good - their lyric was banal, the singing ordinary and the progressions were like nursery rhymes. The turnaround of Roadhouse Blues is so obvious, it's yawn-inducing. Perhaps that accounts for its popularity: it's Coca cola posing as cocaine. Haven't heard the new bands (radio only plays Himesh in Bombay), but if they evolved out of the pap we played 20 years ago I'm shocked they're listeneable.

Somil Makhija:
Hello there! I am an avid reader of HT, I am 16 years old. The column is fantastic. Can u please tell me that this column is all about music or it offers other things also like games, softwares etc. Do reply so that i too can suggest what the teenagers may like to read and if needed i can also help in giving sources to download good stuff.

Richa Mohan:
Hi, thanks so much for starting this column. I am a huge music buff and am always trying new sounds. I actually listened in to some of your recommendations and loved them!!!! other than the fact that I actually identified with running around trying to lay my hands on music not easily available or depending on my musically sound cousin in London to lead me on:)
Ofcourse things have changed a lot over the years, but what with MTV and V becoming non-stop reality showcasers and chitrahaar (even that was better). Your column looks like a ray of hope!!! Brunch just got better! food and music....:)

I really liked your column in the Brunch and got me nostalgic about my college days and collecting lp's from free school street,am really looking forward to more great articled from you.We did a Grateful Dead tribute a couple of years back here in Calcutta and we got a massive turn out -just shows that Calcutta has this hard core following for music from the seventies and beyond and these people surface whenever their hero's are saluted no matter what the time or place. I also play in a band called Krosswindz and we have been active for a long time now,we started gigging in 1990 and have been kind of trotting along occasionally stumbling and fumbling but quickly gathering our wits.You can check us out here and also
Thanks again for a lovely fresh read on Sunday

I read your column on Indie blogs and was glad to know you read Stereogum.

Just wanted to let you know about Indiecision (, an indie music blog that I run that focuses specifically on the Indian independent music scene. Over the last year, Indiecision has grown to become the most visited Indian indie website. Indian indie music is woefully underrepresented and Indiecision hopes to change that trend. Do check it out, if you like Stereogum, you may like it.

Yuti (Mumbai):
Finally I've found someone in this country (Sanjoy Narayan) who has heard of bands like Aquarium Rescue Unit, Widespread Panic and Umphrey's McGee. Great mainstream music died in the mid-80s, and it is these and scores of other jam bands who, inspired by the great bands of the 70s and 80s, continue to bring great music to those of us who would otherwise have to be content with nostalgia. Thank you for writing about them.

A pretty nice article on the indie scene going around.I have listened to some indie bands like the moldy peaches and arctic monkeys and really liked them ,I was wondering about this genre not being recognised in the mainstream music industry, and I guess your article certainly relieved me. Another thing, i also tried searching the HT website to look for the
music by the artists mentioned in the article but perhaps was surprised to see the amount of stuff you have on the website which makes it really difficult to look for any particular stuff, i mean the site is jam packed, so could you please send the link to the page where you have all that music.

I really like reading your column, which has made me switch my loyalty to HT from Times of India. Could you please tell me the name of the other band which u featured along with Umphrey's Mcgee...Was it walter trout band.

First Published: Nov 22, 2008 21:15 IST