Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Salvation: Somewhere back in time.

I have never witnessed so many mood swings in single day or it looked like a single day from 13th of feb to 17th of feb. I had witnessed pre-gig anxiety and then I am having post-gig depression, they ain't just terms, I can really feel them . There are no real words, I know of, which can describe this state of mind, the level of entropy is highest, I am questioning every action of mine, the futility of everything is so apparent. I am incoherent and clueless, feeling as if I am killed. I am unsatisfied, cold and hungry for more.
This is damn third time, I am seeing IRON MAIDEN live, but I don't feel that I had enough. First time they played a good number of songs; Second time, they played 16 killer songs and they annihilated anything and everything that was under the influence of that thing called "IRON MAIDEN". I thought then, it was the best, I ever had. But this time, they were more murderous and to add to it there was an AWE FUCKING SOME crowd of Banglore. Fuck, I love the metal crowd of b'lore so much , I wish I could carry them along with me everywhere.
Unlike B'bay, there were no shitty-bang-bangers in the crowd of b'lore, so this time I have nothing to curse. This time, I have seen devotion at one of its best.

I will no more detail on stupid journey, I would rather focus on things that really matter in this mindset. So, the previous evening, I went to styx. This time late night, and the crowd was fucking amazing. Ladies and gentlemen let me declare a proclamation in the history of Indian metal, "styx is the best metal pub in country, unexceptionally". I happen to met two Sri-Lankan guys, who wanted me to join their band, but I am untalented so I can't contribute to their music, but I told them that I will support them as a fan. So when in styx, you ought to pay homage to gods, how? its simple, Scream! sing! headbang! or simply go round and round crazily!!! They were playing things like Amon Amarth, Satyricon, Kreator and when they played Sepultura's territory, FUCK FUCK FUCK, every single soul was headbanging, the energy level had tripled, It can't get any more insane. Every maiden track played in Styx was preparing a ground for the Mayhem, that is to take place the next day in palace grounds.

Third visit to palace ground, I still had those butterflies in my stomach. I sometimes act so weird, I thought what if we lose the tickets? that was so paranoid. I felt relieved once we entered inside. The setup was same as it was during Megadeth concert, except for the force one machine, which I really was not interested in seeing.
As we entered some band was playing, probably synaps or kryptos, I didn't bother much to notice them, because I was in a different kind of trance. While some folks were busy getting booze, I was looking around for fellow devotees and music merchandise. We finally entered the gig area, on the smaller stage De profundis, one of the band from UK were playing. The band was pretty tight and they put on the good show. I was not very conversant with their music, but it had elements of symphonic black metal and thrash. Vocalist and drummer, were two of my favourite members. We went out again and had some chit chat and looking around for jaw drooping beauties, with fags in their hands. Now Ms Lauren Harris was performing, I don't want to curse her, but she should not play in Metal concert. I know she is an honest artist, but with so many lunches on her daddy's pocket, she should stand on her own, now. We didn't bother to hear her anyway. Next in line was Ashley and the silver bug from Italia. I have a piece of advice for them, instead of focusing on those skinny dresses and all those sensual theatrics, I would have liked, if, they have put on some good music. Mr. Ashley, all that sensual dance was not quite apt, I mean you don't have that level, where u can do whatever you want, Sorry! but, you are not Rammstein.
Parakrima performed next, they were tight as ever, they performed pretty well minus that violin thingy,which i don't like, appears more like a gimmick. Anyway Nitin malik is kind of frontman I love most, his vocals resembles to Bon scott and he is full of humility. He is a popular man in rock circles in India, but still he chants "maiden" with same enthusiasm as any metal head would do. Now crowds were getting really really impatient, so Parakrima performed just one more single and they left with the chants, Crowd was roaring with "MAIDEN" "MAIDEN" , every'damn'where.
The anxiety was growing on me, as the stage and setup is getting ready, Maiden tend to take their own time, which drives me crazy. I can't, I really can't wait. While I was waiting for the ground lights to go off, those DNA folks played some lame tricks by playing some songs with full sound.
Finally they lifted the veils and the intro played, Jesus Christ! the all new intro with "Transylvania", the roars went loud, louder and loudest. Everyone knew, what is coming. As soon it stopped, the next throat slicer came down, "Aces high", Drums shaped as before, Nico Macbrain were beating snares violently, but with out any signs of effort. Bruce came running wearing same pants with those small patches, he wore in live after death. "Rolling, turning, diving, going in again Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die", I almost felt like somebody has stopped all oxygen. Even before I can "phew", they started next riff, Dave Murray was on the killing spree, the same mild smile, the brutality was evident.... I screamed my lungs out "2 minutes to midnight The hands that threaten doom". I love Bruce, when he asks for 'SCREAM FOR ME BANGLO', the decibel level reached the new high, Bruce goes again SCREAM FOR ME BANGLO, this time previous record is broken. I had never seen Adrian with two pronged guitar, I was in surprise, what is to came, and I now seek apologies to my lord Maidens for being hazy with this track due to my own preconceived assumptions. They played wrathchild,which I was not able to participate, due to fatigue and lack of cognizance. Oh holy devil, I felt like such a sinner. Bruce started talking now, making some witty remarks. He told crowd that they were about to bring pyro techniques, to which crowd responded madly, then he told Indian laws doesn't allow that, I was like "fuck the bloody authorities". Next came the surprise number in form of "Children of the damned" It was hurled across me with such a force that I never came out of it. Next leads were started by Janick Gers, I had heard this one live once before, but in Paul Di'ano concert, who originally sang phantom of the opera. I banged my head left-right, up-down round and round, each note was hitting my nerves, I had a certain numbness when that triple lead by Dave, Janick and Adrian hit me.
The red uniform and fluttering of Union Jack and the back ground of The trooper, "You'll take my life but i'll take yours too". Bruce threw Union jack, this time two of them one after the other, crowd howled again. As if we didn't had enough, Bruce appeared in Nordic mask, the background changed to Eddie faced Sphinx. Power slave, whose lyrics are really hard to grab, but crowd thoroughly enjoyed. Steve Harris was shooting with his guitars, impact of bullets from his guns were right on the chest, I bowed down to him in order to express my gratitude for all that he has accomplished as the band leader and a great musician.
Then Bruce started talking about Nature and human, I fucking knew its time for "the rime of ancient Mariner", he told us to go and get some Samosas and break this is going to be a long 13 minutes song, I fucking said "NO, Bruce we are bloody here just for you". So as he says Samuel Coleridge's Rime of ancient mariner, there was echo back from my throat. The background changed to the fallen ship, Bruce appeared with black winged dress. 13 greatest minutes of my life, euphoria, ecstasy, second fucking time, I am listening one of the greatest songs of all times. "water water water everywhere, nor a drop to drink". God forbid the time to move on, I want to stay here, forever.
Before next track crowd were chanting "maiden" "maiden" so loud for almost 2 minutes, Bruce has to sit down and wait and when he asked "is that all", I almost said, "No", "maiden" "maiden" all again. He now talks about his love for India and he tell about the interview he was to give on "why people love Iron Maiden so much in India?", I wish I could have told him that its not jut love, but people worship Iron Maidens here.
So this time you better run for your life, run to the hills because white man has come across the sea and conquered our hearts.... This time Dave was playing with guitar around his body and smiling as ever.
There were no overture, there were no introduction, the first cymbal beat, fuck, Dave on spree again, The hand goes in the air, Maidens have that magic, "ho ho ho ho", this time crowd sings in chorus, entire Palace ground was singing. As the first lead approaches, the crowd goes completely nuts, every starts jumping, everyone is shifted 4-5 feet from their places. Bruce sings "Fear of the dark" and gives that hysteric laughter, Steve Harris is jumping and running here and there with his guitar. The crowd goes again "ho ho ho ho ho", everyone sings "fear of the dark". When the song reached its end, I was dumbstruck in utter awe. I felt like crying. Even before I could have controlled my self, there came the same chime, the same drum, the same lead by Dave, FUCK! FUCK!! FUCK!!!, the crowd started spreading itself for the moshing and head banging. It was getting more and more wilder, Everyone was singing in unison "I am waiting in my cold cell, when the bell begins to chime", when Bruce gave that last scream, everyone was jumping and headbanging, I was not expecting that kind of mayhem. I kept banging my head until I had a sudden jerk in my head, which looked like a pulled muscle, I was horrified, I wont be able to headbang any more. But I collected my self back and went on. For the first time I have ever seen Dave Murray splitting his legs while playing guitar. The song left me sore, my neck in utter pain, my head was blasting with shooting pain.
For next song "Iron maiden", I couldn't do much of those rituals, I was standing watching Janick gers doing that Angus young type duck walk, which looked a little funny on him. "See the blood flow watching it shed up above my head. Iron Maiden wants you for dead"; Come and get me lords, I am all yours.
Bruce started thanking and saying we love you all, I felt lightening-struck, I said "that's it???". The crowd encored Louder and Louder "more!" "more!!", "Maiden" "Maiden", restlessness was growing on me.
They returned back with the "number of the beast", Adrian smith went on rampage with leads and then Janick gers were displaying all sorts of theatrics with guitar; throwing it up in air, then circling around with guitar very very violently. "666" was in air, I can feel that number around. The song finished with some smoke kind of thing coming out from the some vents in the stage, that looked so damn amazing. The next number was "The evil that man do", to which crowd responded so damn well. 12 feet live EDDIE was walking on the stage, and he was hitting the guitar of Janick gers, then he was shooting Steve with his gun and while leaving he was jerking off, HAA HAA!!! For the last song, I again went blank, because of same stupid dumb reason, I felt like a sinner, again, they played "sanctuary", which I have heard only very few times. The song was stopped in between and Bruce started talking about the Iron maiden movie "Flight 666", he said that there is going to be loads of India in that movie. then the song resumed. As the song stopped they started thanking and all and they said they will come again next year with all new studio album. Then Janick pretended to throw the guitar towards audience, which he never did, lol. I felt like my pulses has stopped, how come they can leave so early??? I wanted more, there was huge bloodlust. My entire body felt so heavy when I was moving my steps out towards exit, I knew, they wont come back. I felt like drained and left in wilderness, all dry and alone, oh Gawd! they should have played atleast two more songs. But I later realized that they have played almost same number of songs, but my appetite has grown too much for metal. I donno how to finish this write-up, I am so dazed right now, All I can say "UP the IRONS", thou are my lord, I thank thee for all the great music thy hath created(RESPECT \m/)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Two of them...

Sapota finishing an old assignment is not a trivial activity and that too of finishing long pending cinema something like "Pi". Someone intimidated Spota when he was just about to watch "Requiem for the dream". The other fella had one verdict "why the hell did I watched that movie?" Worst enough he played "Summer overture" again and again, sending chills in sapota's heart. With these preconceived notions Sapota somehow commenced the journey, which took a halt at the end of first CD. Sapota sighed "oh! Gawd!" Sapota stopped "requiem", clicked on some bright animated movie, It was now 01:20 hrs, Sapota restarted it. Sapota turned blue with eyebrows raised in fear and sympathy. Sapota somehow finished "requiem" and to neutralized saw some bright sunny dumb flick yet again.
It was not disgust, it was rather the sensitivity that swayed sapota off the feet, Sapota is hardcore, but as sapota is getting more maturer, his reactions toward human emotions are becoming more and more articulate. There has been very few motion pictures, which have moved sapota to such an extent. Sapota can just go GAGA over Darren Afronsky for creating such a marvel, such a masterpiece of cinema. After Clockwork Orange this is the greatest work of a camera. One of the most exotically shot, and one of the most innovative editing. Darren Afrosnky has earned all points Sapota can give.
Lock Stock and two smoking barrels? what kind of name is that. Brought it, started it, for 15 minutes Sapota thought he has gone deaf or probably all that convent eduction has vanished. Then either sapota's ears got adapted or the accent had neutralized a bit, but now you actually listen the conversation, some of which is extremely intelligent, some wicked and some of it very witty. Sapota wondered what the heck?
So Sapota repeated the same story but this time with "Snatch", now again 15 minutes of muteness, worst enough you don't understand a single word from Gypsy boys. You keep wondering! except, some of the apparently clever ones, sapota could not anticipate anything, Sapota smiled and sometimes gwaffed. Sapota still didn't had enough.
Sapota knew this is too much to be assimilated in one go, there has to be multiple re-visits, but impatient one wanted more. Third movie on his List was "Revolver".
This time sapota was sure of what he is watching, GOOD Lord! this is the one sapota was looking for, the kind of cinema and direction. There was general verdict that this is a repeated work and few had hard time understanding it, some critics say its terse and unreadable, but Sapota begs to differ, movie is being very well presented, neatly narrated and the con plot is superb. The style of movie narration is not new or innovative, but Sapota would say most of those tricks and techniques have already been created by early cinema makers, these people have just reused them in better fashion. That day and this day, Guy Ritchie is on my favourite list. He is Madonna's husband! so! Being a husband of a pop star does not necessarily kill your brain cells, one can still do good. Why the fuck do Sapota cares if he fucks Britney spears, he is an intelligent cinema maker and he does it three times in a row.
There has been umpteen revisits at "snatch" and "Lock stock" by now, every time they tickle some muscle in abdomen. Its subtle humour is absolutely intelligent and it makes sapota roar with laughter, Nothing beat British sarcasm and no one has ever presented it in a better fashion than Guy Ritchie. Creating coherence in intrinsically complex movies like snatch, "Lock stock" and revolver, which have multi-track story line is work of pure brilliance, and then adding humour on top of it! Sapota is just amazed.
One fine day while searching movie in CD library, Sapota saw "The Fountain"; wondering whose movie is that? reads.... Hugh jackman, Rachel Weisz(drool...) and... Ellen Burtyn(that's interesting) and then Director: Darren Afrosnky. Sapota sometimes react very impulsively ,"I want this one, drop all others". Sapota have by now seen all sorts of metaphysical ones and all sorts of sci-fi's, but this one, had three track running simultaneously and except one all others were metaphors of thoughts, they were surreal and engrossing. Sapota kept guessing all the time? Sapota had to scratch his head a little, Couple of times intelligent cinema maker intentionally creates open ended visuals or stories. You can interpret it your own way and then story is so non linear(or shall I say hyperbolic.) that it never converges. With such a wonderful direction Afronsky has multiplied his respect 10 times.

One of the worst itches Sapota has suffered was inablity to obtain "Pi"? Everyone looked down upon sapota for this sin, but Sapota is such a determinate one, he finally obtained "Pi"(although after months of wait). Both these cinema makers have profound knowledge of art, the way they uses resources at disposal is amazing. if you hear the scores of Snatch, Lock stock and Revolver, you know that someone has quite some taste in rock, country, jazz and pop. Then on the other hand Afronsky is into classical, he uses Clint Mansell to compose for "Pi", all those weird robotronic music, with those really innovative camera angles and terse thematics, its a intoxicated ride of insanity, where some mathematician dwells into his obsession for numbers. Exotically black n white picture with stuff like vacuum tube computers, metro station, Go game and flying pigeons, that is something for which your visual receptors wont easily acclimatize. Afronsky doesn't use narrations much, his characters get developed as the story progresses, whereas Ritchie uses narrations, couple of time dubious, other time subtly, other time exaggerated, but with a style, strictly of his own and you love them. Every one loves Bullet tooth Tony and Harry Lonsdale, isn't it?

Saturday evening roaming all alone near box office, Sapota can smell his own movies. So while sapota was not sure, but had some impression of "rock n rolla" in back of his mind. So as soon as the initial credits started rolling, in a wink sapota guessed Mr Ritchie's Movie!! Sapota must confess, its not as great as any of the previous ones, but it ha been long since sapota saw an intelligent con movie. So the fun came with exotic picture frames and British accent thrown in style. This time very little narrative, all characters getting developed all along themselves. My award for best one goes to mr rock n rolla(Johnny Quid), he is central one, but not exactly. As with Ritchie movies, he does not starts from the beginning, but eventually becomes important. The depiction gets more and more complex with burst of random irony, which makes u grab your seat, wondering, "why don't this get delayed by a minute", but Ritchie knows how to get that adrenaline rush. Not as funny as usual, but it has its own wise cracks, and there must be many hidden ones, which can be discovered with hard finding only(read second watch).

It looks like there is a lack of mass awareness that what kind of cinema maker Mr Afronsky really is, which seems one reason for so much fuss about "The wrestler". This is definitely not the best work of Mr Afronsky, but yes a popular one . At beginning it doesn't appeared much like Mr Afronsky's baby, but as it progresses, you would realize what is he spinning. He wont comfort the character in any manner, he is not encashing his spirit, he just letting him go on and on. Full marks for the Plot, and this time he has used good old school rock n roll for the scores, pretty apt for such a movie. The camera at times gives you hint that it is him, but not purely him, screenplay is satisfactory, not Afronsky style. But the way the character develops, gives a feel of psyche of a wrestler. All event in movie appear trivial, but they created a profound impact on sapota.

These two contemporaries may not be crowd magnets, but they have their own cult following. Sapota is a fan of both of them. Sapota is not sure what status they acquire in coming times, but their cinema is unique and movies like "Pi", will make it to cinema schools. Any Cinema maker without artistic elevation is bland, artistic interpretation makes it look real and it creates a charm of its own. These two are profound intellectuals, one is the master of Con cinema, other master of science parables. Both use indirect communication, as if talking in verses, using metaphors instead of speech. Sapota believes, selecting an appropriate OST is like finding needle in haystack, until unless one has a real feel of cinema and music simultaneously one will land with trash. But the impressive work by these two gentlemen speaks otherwise, it looks like it has been easy, but sapota knows it a bloody daunting task. The other part of their great vision lies in the fact they create enormously thematic backdrops, which exhibit reality and speak of the creative artistry they possess.