A Sneak Peek into Daft Punk (and their Helmets)

With Get Lucky killing it (quite literally) around the globe, Daft Punk seem to be the new messiahs of the music World. For the people who just got introduced to these Robots – Daft Punk comprises 2 french musicians – Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. A part of a rock trio – Darlin’ – Thomas & Guy-Manuel disbanded to pursue a “newer” sound – And thank god, they did! 
Their sound is like one of those perfect French cuisine recipes (Say it with a French accent in your head. Sounds much cooler, too). 
A dash of funk, whipped with electro, marinated with house, served in a delectable way! Though, the World may seem to call it electro-house-pop or whatever, most people in love with this band (including self), would call it “Good Music”. Why? – For someone who has been listening to Daft Punk for quite a while – will know for a fact that every album of DP’s seems to have a completely different sound. Funny thing is, even the lovers of Rock n’ Roll and other real forms of music love Daft Punk! Daft Punk, for some odd reason, always get their sound right! 
In ’93, they showcased their music to a Scottish Techno label, Soma Records. Subsequently, the pair released their first single, The New Wave, in 1994. They released their first commercially successful track – Da Funk in 1995 and then re-released in 1996 under Virgin Records and had a Spike Jonze (Yes, the guy who directed – Her) directed video. 
Their first album – Homework, featured songs – Around the World, Da Funk, and more – Around the World, specially, continues to still blow minds away when it is played! The video also perfectly fits the song. The song’s repetitive nature and the video go hand-in-hand. Like a large scoop of Chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone. Hardly any lyrics (Actually, just one line). Very trippy. Very crazy! 

 
 
A collection featuring all of Homework’s videos was released subsequently. The collection was called – A story about Dogs, Androids, Firemen & Tomatoes – D.A.F.T! 
 
The “Daft Punk” Look: Trivia 1 – Initially, the duo would perform without any costumes, but for their Homework tours they began to wear masks. Even for their press appearances, their faces would be covered by digital animation. Absolute digital concealment! 
 
 
Then came the album Discovery. And the song, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. A song that’s as good as a drug, if overheard can cause excessive-trippiness. And that of a good kind. Other songs in the album included Aerodynamic (my personal favorite) & the cult hit, One More Time. The album’s very house-based with a lot of acid synth. 

 
 
 
Discovery got the French Duo Popular in the dance music scene, Around the World. (Yes, pun intended). 
 
The “Daft Punk" Look: Trivia 2 – Here’s where the Halloween costumes were dropped and in came the futuristic “Robot” look! They even wore LED-enhanced helmets in ad campaigns. 
 
 
If you love, both, Around the World & Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – Here’s their mashup from the live album – Alive 2007

 
 
 
P.S: Do not try doing anything else while listening to this song. This song has the ability to distract you and suck you in. Like a Cocker Spaniel towards delicious baby back ribs. No kidding. 
 
Interstella 5555 – A movie that contained a Japanese-animated episode for each song of Discovery. The movie was co-produced by Daft Punk. Supervised by Manga Artist – Leiji Matsumoto. 
 
Human After All. 2005. The album that featured songs like Robot Rock & Technologic. Yes, irony at its best. Very techno. Very raw. Very different. A lot of rock and whole lot of minimalism. A Grammy-nominated album. 

 
 
 
The “Daft Punk" Look: Trivia 3 – Daft Punk went through another costume change, post the release of Human After All. Black leather Jackets and Pants. Head Gear, however, remained almost the same. A little more minimalistic, but essentially still the same. 
 
 
They also made a film debut in 2006 with the film, Electroma. In 2007, they won a Grammy for their live album – Alive 2007. In 2009, they composed the soundtrack for the film – Tron Legacy. They even had a cameo appearance in the film. 
 
2013. Random Access Memories. Get Lucky. Lose Yourself To Dance. Contact. Pharrell Williams. Neil Rodgers. Five Grammies. An album that deserves a salute. An album that has songs that will have you running through a wide variety of emotions. From the “Outer Space” emotion – Contact – to – “I want to move and shake like a retard” emotion – Get Lucky! 

 
 
 
Daft Punk, by far, are one of the best artists that have hit the music scene. With all the monotonous music floating all around, Daft Punk’s return with Random Access Memories was like a breath of fresh air! 
“We’ve come too far to give up who we are. So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars”. 
 
 

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1 Nenokkadine: Film Review

Lotsa thrill. Lotsa chases and powerful action sequences! This psychological thriller has all the elements that makes it one of the good movies to watch this weekend.

Directed by Sukumar and starring the exuberant Mahesh Babu, this film tells the tale of Gautam – A Rockstar who cannot really differentiate between reality and fantasy. Thanks to a certain accident during his childhood. The film starts off with a bang – A song, a high-speed chase and a super action sequence. Enter Sameera, the journalist, played by Kriti Sanon.

The film moves back-and-forth in random ways. Not like that of memento but in a completely different way altogether. The difference – The depiction of Reality vs. Fantasy that goes hither and tither. The way the film has been shot is quite exquisite, to say the least. Be it the locations, the acting, the choreography, the action sequences and the overall execution. From the word go, this film will keep you hooked.

The first half of the film will have you a teeny-bit confused. The film goes in circles because of the character’s persona, but overall, though a little hazy, is fun to watch. Some of the scenes will make you grip your seats while some will make you fall off, laughing. You will see a bit of Jason Bourne in Gautam’s character. His identity issue to the way he tackles the bad guys. The end of the first half will leave you with a wry yet “I need to watch the second half, NOW” feeling.

The second half is better than the first for sure. The story develops even further and has the inclusion of new and interesting characters. The story takes a whole new twist as the end approaches. A twist that will leave you with a wide-open jaw!

The film’s story line, though slightly predictable, is pretty solid. The execution of the film was top-notch. Mahesh Babu did a stupendous job, as always. His character was bay far one of the most difficult characters to play but he managed it with ease. Kriti Sanon brought a lot of oomph and glamor quotient to the film. Though her acting wasn’t brilliant, it is safe to say that she did a pretty decent job.

The music, however, was a letdown. The soundtrack wasn’t really impressive. Overall the film is pretty good to watch. Good cinematography, lovely action sequences and lots of thrill!  The film, however, was a little too long and could have been cut-short giving the audience literally no breathing space (In a good way). 

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Essential Blues-Listening Lessons

uh…1… 2… 3…1… 2… 3… Groove starts… And the blues hits you!

There is nothing like Blues music. The 1-3-4 progression (Musicians would know this), the groove, the soul, the rhythm and solo sections and those shivers…
Blues music is the base for all the music that exists today (Most blues musicians know that this is a fact). It has been said by many great musicians that if you nailed the blues, you have nailed music. Jazz, pop, rock n’ roll… everything else comes later!
 
With the Mahindra Blues Festival 2014 around the corner, here’s your essential lessons from the School for Blues…
 If you haven’t really heard the blues, then here’s a recommendation of how to start off with the blues. So put on your cowboy hats, boogie shoes, shades and get ready to have the Blues send shivers all the way to your shoes….
 
Song: Mustang Sally
Artist: Originally by Mack Rice. Covered by a gazillion other artists.
 
This is the one song you must listen to before venturing deep into the blues. And it’s not just the Mack Rice Version that is awesome. Everybody from Eric Clapton to Buddy Guy have covered this song! The melody that sings the lyrics “Ride Sally, Ride” will loop in your brain for the rest of the day, I assure you!

 
Song: Tush
Artist: ZZ Top
 
Ok. So this is not really hardcore blues. But it’s more of a Rock n’ Roll meets the Blues song! And boy, this will make you wanna shake your booty. Even if you don’t really have one. The groove on this song follows the perfect Blues standard pattern and add to that a dash of power – Music as well as voice, and voila… time for some Rock n’ Roll!

 
Song: Cocaine
Artist: Eric Clapton
 
Not only is this song about Cocaine. This song is Cocaine! This song will give you an instant high the moment you listen to it. A slow, groovy yet raw song that would make you want to sway your head from left to right and enjoy it as “Cocaine” hits you!

 
Song: Mary had a little lamb
 
Now when it comes to the blues, YOU HAVE TO LISTEN to SRV. The man’s a legend. He’s no more, but his music is eternal. And yes, this song has a lot to do with the rhyme that we know. Again, a slow, easy-going groove that will make you go “Hell Yeah” in the Texan Cowboy accent!

 
Song: Purple Haze
Artist: Jimi Hendrix
 
Think psychedelic. Think “musical high”. Think Rock n’ Roll Blues. Think Jimi Hendrix! The man who is capable of putting you into a purple haze everytime you listen to his music! One of the chords that he used in a lot of his songs (The E7#9) became so popular that people called it the Hendrix chord. Now that this song is playing on my iPod, ‘scuse me, while I kiss the sky. You’ll do the same too, once you give this a listen!

 
Now that you’ve graduated from the School of Blues, it is time to head to the Mahindra Blues Festival 2014 that features Jimmie Vaughan (Yea, the brother of the guy you heard earlier. Stevie Ray Vaughan), Zac Harmon, Li’l Ed and more! It also features Indian blues stalwarts – Blackstrat Blues & Soulmate.
 
Time to get on to the blues wagon!  

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Artists you should listen to. Before 2013, ends!

With the likes of Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars and many more in your New Year Party playlist, you begin to wonder if there’s more music out there. Obscure yet beautiful, unheard of but hooks you on, stuff you can play on your iPod, stuff that takes you away from all the hustle and bustle of the usual brand of music that plays at your local TV/Radio station. Well, here’s a list of artists that I have stumbled upon. A list of superb musicians. Most of which, you probably may not have heard.  And yes, you can thank me later…

The Wicked Whispers

Retro Sunglasses – Check. Hippie Pants – Check. Floral, bright, loud shirt – Check. A cigarette in on hand and a beer in another – Check!

Yes, that’s what this band is all about. If you loved The Doors, you sure as hell would love ‘em too. Their song Dandelion Eyes will hit you like a nice gust of wind on a warm summer’s day. Though, very Doors-esque, this band has a certain tinge of freshness that gives the sound a whole new meaning. Exquisite harmonies and what I’d like to call – melancholically melodic, in a good way. A band, I hope will make it very big!

The Sundowners

Guitar pop, women vocal harmonies and music that is sublime yet timeless! This kinda music could have pretty much been played in any decade and would have won accolades. Their song – Humming Bird has this nice, jumpy, suave feel to it. Very nicely done.

 

Plan B
Soul, a whole lotta RnB, hip-hop and a good amount of funk. The perfect concoction  for good music. Yes, we had Flipsyde but they are nowhere close.

Plan B is the kind of band you would want to listen to no matter what mood you are in. Sinfully nice melodies, lyrically quite good and voices that have a tinge of sweet emotion injected in them. Their song She Said has got all the elements a good song needs. Soul, groove and lotsa funk. A band you should definitely have on your playlist.


 

Movits
Words fall short to describe this band. A delectable mixture of swing and hip-hop, this Swedish group has the music that will have you up and dancing in lesser than 10 seconds. Their debut album – Äppelknyckarjazz literally translates to – Apple scrumping/swiper Jazz! Not to mention, the small little jazz elements their songs have adds the much-needed spice in music. A song you MUST have on your playlist – Fel Del Av Garden! Go groove, people!

 

Passenger
This is a band that probably will grow on you. You may not like it the first time around but then it grows on you.  The vocals are not something you may really love but then along with the song his voice grows on you. Lyrically brilliant, melodically superb, this band is a must-listen!

 

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Film Review

For all those who thought it was a really bad idea for Peter Jackson to make three movies for The Hobbit – Eat your words!

The second rendition of the film franchise exudes exquisite exuberance, to say the least. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is an alluring fusion of Tolkien’s superior fantasy-fiction elements mixed with Peter Jackson’s delicate magic touch. The first Hobbit movie was slow, and though it was beautiful in every way, it did fall a little short of luminous brilliance! But this one is nothing short of zealous epicness.

The Desolation of Smaug continues where the first part left off, with a little filler, of sorts, at the start. And then the journey continues. Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and his not-so-merry bunch of Dwarves guided by Gandalf are enroute to the Lonely Mountain. To retrieve the Arkenstone. As the bunch inch closer to the mountain, they enter Mirkwood! Now, this is where you will notice the Guillermo del Toro touch. Yes, he co-wrote this. The jungles of Mirkwood, with the typical del Toro touch, crawls with freaky spiders and illusions that run through the jungle making the pack lose their minds. Enter Legolas & his little army. (For those, who haven’t read the book, Mirkwood is Legolas’ home. He is the Prince of Mirkwood).

Technically, the addition of Legolas in the movie is not really what the book follows, but Jackson has somehow given this addition a sinfully nice touch. The scenes that follow post the capture of the Dwarves by the Elvish King – Thanduril, is delightfully nerve-racking. The scenes will not only make you squeal, jump with joy and smile but will also chill your spines and before you know it, you’ll be at the edge of your seat (Hopefully, you are not watching the movie alone, else you may end up holding another stranger’s arm). The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is tremendously entertaining. Right from the soundtrack to the landscapes (Oh, the Landscaping) to the way the entire story was scripted!

For the people who loved the scene between Gollum and Bilbo in the first part – This one goes a notch higher.

Enter Smaug. The fire-breathing, Dwarf-loathing dragon. A dragon whose ego is larger than his enormous body, a dragon whose ferocity is far more dangerous than all those who inhabit Middle Earth. A voice that will send shivers down every nerve in your body, making your bones shackle and your forehead sweat! The scene – Little Bilbo Baggins going head-to-head with this mad Dragon! The sequences of scenes and dialogues that follow will most probably make your eye balls pop out. And the roar from Smaug that goes – “I am King under the Mountain”.

There were a few parts of the movie that weren’t really lovable material, though. For instance, the addition of a completely new character – Tauriel – A Silvan Elf – An Elf from Middle Earth. Though, she did pack quite a punch and had a small “Love thingy” going on with Kili – one of the Dwarves, her character in entirety wasn’t really of any use. The other letdown – Beorn. The ones who’ve read the book will understand. For the ones who have not – Beorn is a supremely fierce character. His character hasn’t been given too much of emphasis. He’s the one guy even the grotesque Orcs are scared of.

But apart from these couple of trivial things, the rest of the film was a work of art.

The cinematography, the landscaping and the soundtrack perfectly complemented each other. The story is so beautifully-told, that it will create this magical aura around you. Peter Jackson has literally individualized each Dwarf with a midas touch – Again a fusion of Tolkien & Jackson. Specially with Balin and Kili. Bilbo Baggins is in a league of his own. The “Bilbo” element will enthrall each and everyone of you!

Parallel stories run back and forth through the film and the way it’s been done is stupendous! Right from Gandalf battling the Necromancer and the Orcs to Bilbo getting more courageous and clever to the story of the city – Dale to Bilbo feeling his soul being eaten by the power of the ring. The angle of the Necromancer and the rising evil has been shown to perfection. For hardcore fanatics of the LOTR trilogy, the Necromancer will be a familiar figure.

Martin Freeman has done a role that shines through and pretty much beats every other character in the film. Even, Gandalf the Grey! His portrayal of Bilbo Baggins will make you want to stand up and clap for every little thing he does! Richard Armitage as the cunning & incredulous Thorin packs a killer punch. His character, like that of Master Baggins, holds strong through the film.

But the craziest of them all – Smaug. Yes, he was a computer-generated Dragon. But, he was epic! Benedict Cumberbatch who voiced Smaug has given this computer-generated character a whole new dimension.

All-in-all, Mind = BLOWN!

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Hello Hobbit: This is your story

Dear Hobbit from The Shire located in Middle Earth. Read your story here: 

 

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Games that should be made into movies!

1. Assassins Creed – Yep! This is probably the first game that comes to everybody’s mind! Altair, Ezio and Connor! All three protagonists have been amazing! Ezio, being pretty much everyone’s favorite! With crazy and twited plots, killer moves that are used for counter-attack and what not, this game is probably the one game that should be turned into a film!

2. Alan Wake – God, this game is spooky! If you haven’t played it already, I suggest you do, and then you shall realize how brilliant the storyline of this game is! The plot is quite twisted and poor old Alan Wake is enacting the story of his novel as he searches for his wife!

3. GTA  Grand Theft Auto!!! Oh Yea! This is the MOTHER of all gangster games! No super plot as such but it would be fun to watch! Specially, the fifth edition! The cops, the chases, the drug-dealing and the mobs. Super fun, no?

4. Mario – Yes, the classic! Mario the plumber should be turned into a game. Even if it is just an Italian Plumber saving the princess, the World around will flock to watch the film! One thing, though. Who can actually pull off Mario’s character?

5. Mass Effect – Another epic RPG! Outer space. Set in the future! This game has all it takes to be made into a movie. A few fan films have been made but come on, we deserve a super movie for this franchise!

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Top 5 “Drive” songs

We all love drives. Long or short! What makes it even better is the music! Here’s a list of 5 songs that you should have on your playlist when you’re out on a drive.
 
1. Shut Up and Drive – This song pumps you and HOW! Not that it makes you want to drive rashly but when this song plays the car will turn into a dance floor!
 
 
2. What is love – Remember the film – One Night at The Roxbury? Yea, that one. The head bobbing. The groovy music and the fun!
 
 
3. Take it Easy – The classic by The Eagles. A nice country song with super lyrics and a nice easy-going groove! Makes driving double the fun!
 
 
4. One of these days – An instrumental by Pink Floyd, this song is totally badass! If you get too overwhelmed with the song, you may just end up with a speeding ticket!
 
5. Give it away – RHCP at their very best! Not a fast-paced song but has the groove to make your drive so totally sexy!
 

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Arrambam – Film review

When the prolific Ajith stars in a film, you expect that film to create quite an impact! From an entertainment point-of-view, it probably will. But from a movie-lover’s point-of-view, it will dissapoint! The plot of the film is cliche, but what you probably would be expecting from this film is superb execution and top notch acting! Unfortunately, both fail!

 

Ashok aka AK is an ex-bomb disposal specialist who, for certain reasons, turns bad! In the process he also cunningly ropes in genius hacker Arya and makes him a part of his so called nefarious plans! One thing leads to another.. and another… and another. Basically, the chain reaction almost never stops.

 

Now, the first half of this film is quite interesting but also has sequences that will make you want to strangle yourself. No, seriously! But then the intersting parts make up for it. Then you have the two heroines – Maya & Anita. Maya is still bearable to watch but when Anita would open her mouth you would probably want to ask her to shut up! Yes, the character was THAT annoying! The film also features the flamboyant Mahesh Manjrekar as the Home Minister and the talented Atul Kulkarni as JCP Ravichandran,

 

The movie was loaded with action sequences and pretty decent cinematography. The main problem with this film was the fact that even with a decent, though predictive, plot, the execution wasn’t really upto the mark! The soundtrack, however, was very nice! It was powerful and had the perfect notes that fit into the not-so-perfect scenes!

 

What Ajith did in the film can be compared to a downgraded version of Jason Bourne. A (not so) super smart guy with (no) real killer skills and a very nice paunch (Although, I do admit he did his level best to try and hide it). Arjun did a pretty decent role and the rest of the cast were strictly ok.

 

Overall, the film isn’t something that movie lovers would look forward to. But if you really have nothing much to do and you’re looking for entertainment, this movie will satisfy you. Atleast, to a certain level.

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Top 5 Feel good movies!

We all feel low from time to time, don’t we? Well, if it is the one that soothes us, it is movies. Music, too, yes but movies have a far greater impact plus they are longer in duration hence keeping you distracted.

Well here’s a list of movies you should watch when you’re bummed out:

 

1. The Bucket List – This movie always comes to mind when we talk about feel good films. The ending is kinda not the “happy” sorts but this movie will leave you with a warm heart and a bright smile. To top it, it has Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.

 

2. Intouchables – The French movie that won many accolades and is by far one of the best films that the World has seen. Inspired by a true story, this film has all the necessary elements that will make you smile and cry in glory! A film that everyone in the World MUST watch!

3. Bruce Almighty – Though this may not really be in the league of Intouchables or The Bucket List but this is a great watch! With Jim Carrey doing what he does best, this film will make you ROFL! Literally.

 

4. The Terminal – Tom Hanks in all his element! This will get you out of the blues! Pure bliss! The story, the acting, the plot will distract you from everything else in the World.

 

5. The Pursuit of Happyness – This is THE BANG! The one film that’ll uplift you like none other! By far, the most inspiring film ever!

 

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