Monday, July 30, 2012

Penn Masala

This is my new obsession. Penn Masala is the world's first Hindi a cappella group. For those who don't know, a cappella is basically singing without instruments, so they make their own music by beat boxing, humming, etc. This group is a Hindi group in America, so they mix Hindi and English songs. Other such groups include Chai-Town from the University of Illinois, Dil Se from UC Berkeley, Ektaal from the University of Virginia, Taal Tadka from Georgia Tech, etc.

Anyways, I'd heard about Penn Masala for years and seen videos on Facebook and stuff since I have some friends at UPenn. I thought they were pretty good, but I had never actually listened to their songs much. A couple days ago, my roommate and I ended up talking about Penn Masala somehow, and so I decided to listen to their stuff at work today. Luckily, they were on Spotify, so I could just let it play in the background as I worked (or pretended to at least).

So long story short, I love almost every song of theirs. Some of my favories are probably:
 - She Will Be Loved - Kabhi Kabhi
 - Heartless - Kabhi Kabhi
 - Bahara
 - Zara Sa - With You
 - Because of You - Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai
 - Aadat - Apologize

I liked a ton of the other ones too, but these are just the ones that I could remember liking off the top of my head. Definitely check them out if you get a chance!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Top 10 Beats of the Week: July 22 - July 28, 2012

  1. Banjaara Ek Tha Tiger
  2. Kafirana Joker
  3. Abhi Abhi Jism 2
  4. Kaafir Andhere Shirin Farhad Ki To Nikal Padi
  5. Hum To Hain Cappuccino Kya Super Kool Hain Hum
  6. Daaru Desi Cocktail
  7. Mann Qunto Maula Maximum
  8. Shuruwat Pyaar Ki Aalap
  9. Chalao Na Naino Se Bol Bachchan
  10. Har Mod Pe Chakradhaar

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Top 10 Beats of the Week: July 15 - July 21, 2012

  1. Laapata Ek Tha Tiger
  2. Shirt Da Button Kya Super Kool Hain Hum
  3. Yeh Jism Jism 2
  4. Aa Ante Amalapuram Maximum
  5. Yaariyan Cocktail
  6. Chadhti Jawaani Aalap
  7. Chalao Na Naino Se Bol Bachchan
  8. Har Mod Pe Chakradhaar
  9. Pyaar Karna Na Tha Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai
  10. Zindagi Kahe Rahi Hai Qasam Se Qasam Se

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ek Tha Tiger: Music Review

So I was going to hold off on reviewing this until the evening, but I couldn't. I was listening to the soundtrack at work and just had to share my thoughts.

My favorite thing about this soundtrack is the diversity. You'll know what I mean by the end of this review. I also like that 3/4 songs are danceable, and then there's that one obligatory slow song. It's a good mix. I should also clarify, I don't mean that the dance numbers are super fast blaring music that makes you want to dance. I mean that these songs have very ethnic beats that you can't help but want to dance to. Unfortunately I have to resist so people around me at work don't give me weird looks.

Mashallah: This song came out last week with a promo. It has a very Arabic sound and sounds like one of those bellydancing type songs. Now I'm not really that fond of bellydancing, but I still like that music. This song in particular took a while to grow on me, but it's there now and I've had on replay for a while. Oh and this song also has the word "habibi" in there, which is the one Arabic word that everyone seems to know. Here's the video:

I usually don't comment much on the video, but I have to on this one. I love dancing, and since this album is so dance-y, I can't stop myself. Katrina's dancing has improved so much since she started. The bellydancing she learned for Sheila Ki Jawaani definitely paid off with the semi-bellydancing choreo set on this song.

Laapata: This song has very heavy Latin beats. I can see this song having a very salsa type of choreography. Since this is still Bollywood, I expect a Dekho Nashe Mein from Race kind of video. Definitely looking forward to this since I love Latin dances.

Banjaara: So far we've heard Arabic and Latin sounding songs. This one has a little bit of Irish/Scottish in it. I can definitely picture Irish dancing going on with the iconic traditional Irish music. This was definitely a surprise because I don't think I've ever heard Irish music in Bollywood before.

Saiyaara: I guess every movie has to have a Mohit Chauhan/Kailash Kher/Sonu Nigam/anyone who can do that genre slow-ish heartfelt song. Saiyaara is ETT's. And of course as with every song of this genre (especially those by Mohit Chauhan), this one is good too.

All in all, I really like this album. Definitely check it out. The songs do take a bit to grow on you, but just listen to them a few times and I'm sure you'll like them!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Top 10 Beats of the Week: July 8 - July 14, 2012

  1. Shirt Da Button Kya Super Kool Hain Hum
  2. Abhi Abhi Jism 2
  3. Daaru Desi Cocktail
  4. Aa Ante Amalapuram Maximum
  5. Ek Nayi Roshni Aalap
  6. Chalao Na Naino Se Bol Bachchan
  7. Mashallah Ek Tha Tiger
  8. Har Mod Pe Chakradhaar
  9. Pyaar Karna Na Tha Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai
  10. Zindagi Kahe Rahi Hai Qasam Se Qasam Se
Aalap and Ek Tha Tiger makes it onto here!! Also, I realize Shirt Da Button has been #1 for a while, but I just LOVE the song!! It's too cute, despite the stupid lyrics.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Aalaap: Music Review

I hadn't hear about this movie until very recently on Twitter. It's a movie about music, as the name suggests, and Manish Manikpuri's directorial debut. Anyways, onto the music.

Ek Nayi Roshni: This is a full out rock song, and I loved it. It's one of my favorite songs from this album for sure!

Dil Yeh Awaaz De: This song's got a strange kind of introduction and then the pace picks up a little after the first minute and a half. It's a different kind of song, but I really liked it.

Pa Paara Paa: I like this song. Students are singing it about their "Hitler" teachers, telling them to "take it easy dude." It's a rock kind of song, and definitely catchy. The video is okayish.

Soniye: It's called Soniye, so it's a love song. Right? WRONG!!! This is surprisingly a patriotic song. Overall it's okay. Not my favorite of the lot.

Shuruwat Pyaar Ki: This is a really sweet love song. It has an acoustic guitar base and is super melodious. This song was okay on the first couple listens but really good on the third!

Chadhti Jawaani: I went in expecting some new take on "chadhti jawaani meri chaal mastaani," but that's the exact opposite of this song. This is a situational item song, but it's not the typical item song we get nowadays. It's a folk based item song and is really catchy. I've heard it like 6 or 7 times already and it's just continuously growing on me.

Sholay: The Epitome of Bollywood

I just finished watching the IIFAs and Ramesh Sippy won an award for his contribution to cinema. I think there is no doubt that he deserved it. Other than Sholay, he's also done movies like Shaan, Saagar, and Seeta Aur Geeta, all of which are awesome.

Regardless, seeing that made me realize that it had been a good 6+ months since I last saw Sholay. Blasphemy, I know! I decided to correct that by watching it again for the hundredth time. I don't think I need to say how amazing this movie is. As far as I'm concerned, this movie defines Bollywood. If you haven't seen this movie, you DEFINITELY need to get on that and watch it.

There really is no better word to describe this movie than "epic." The dialogues from this movie are still used in everyday life. I'm sure you've heard "itna sanatta kyun hai bhai," "ab tera kya hoga Kaliya," "kitne aadmi the," "bahut nainsaafi hai," or other dialogues from this movie being thrown around. I've been watching this movie for years now and I'm still not over how epic it is. I've also decided that when I get a car, I'm going to name it Dhanno so I can say "chal Dhanno, aaj teri Basanti ki izzat ka sawaal hai" when I'm in a rush to get somewhere.

This movie also shows how a bunch of small coincidences add up to something phenomenal. Danny Denzongpa was supposed to play the role of Gabbar Singh, but he was busy with other movies and so Amjad Khan got the role. I cannot possibly see Danny doing as good a job as Amjad did. I've seen him is a lot of other movies since, and yet he will always be Gabbar Singh for me. Also, Dharmendra was supposed to be Thakur and Sanjeev Kumar was supposed to be Veeru. They switched roles because Dharmendra wanted to play the character opposite Hema Malini, who he ended up marrying. Now try to picture Dharmendra as Thakur. Grey wig, kurta pajaama, shawl, etc. I'm glad they switched roles. Everyone in this movie seemed to be perfectly cast.

Since I'm on the topic of casting, I want to give a special shoutout to Mac Mohan as Sambha. I love Sambha ("arre o Sambha!"). I actually oddly felt bad when he got shot after Jab Tak Hai Jaan just because he was so awesome. There are two more minor yet extremely memorable characters I like. One is Surma Bhopali. He was too good with his "humara naam Surma Bhopali ainvayi nahi hai." The other is our favorite Angrezon ke zamaane ke jailor. Asrani is an extremely talented actor, and he did a great job here too. I think tons of people (including myself of course) have the entire jail segment memorized word for word.

Oh and before I forget, my favorite fun fact about the film: Sholay actually has two endings. I learned this when I rented Sholay from my university's movie library and Gabbar Singh died in the end. I kept trying to convince my friends that he doesn't actually die in the end, but they refused to believe me. I then went to Wikipedia (the best source for anything and everything) and found out that the original cut of the film had Thakur killing Gabbar Singh, but the censor board said they didn't like the fact that a police officer was taking the law into his hands. The ending of the movie was then changed to Thakur getting Gabbar arrested. Both versions are now out on DVD.

There's so much more I could say about this movie just because of how historic and impactful it is, but I'm going to try to stop myself from babbling on now. I hope I've inspired you to watch this movie yet again!

And as some guy (I don't remember who) said during the IIFAs: Here's to friends, family, and films!

Edit: A friend of mine just sent me this gem:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Top 10 Beats of the Week: July 1 - July 7, 2012

  1. Shirt Da Button Kya Super Kool Hain Hum
  2. Abhi Abhi Jism 2
  3. Yaariyan Cocktail
  4. Chalao Na Naino Se Bol Bachchan
  5. Bharat Mata Ki Shanghai
  6. Har Mod Pe Chakradhaar
  7. Maan Qunto Maula Maximum
  8. That's All I Really Wanna Do Teri Meri Kahaani
  9. Pyaar Karna Na Tha Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai
  10. Zindagi Kahe Rahi Hai Qasam Se Qasam Se
Jism 2 is on the charts!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Jism 2: Music Review

Yeh Jism: A slowish song that fits the theme of Jism very well. The prom was a HUGE success when it released, and people seemed to love the song. I think it's okay in general, but really good for this kind of movie.

Maula: This is becoming such a common title for songs, and these songs usually turn out well. This song had its good moments, but overall it was eh.

Yeh Kasoor: An okayish song. I personally almost fell asleep in it, but I'm sure it'll grow on me! I'm assuming it's a background song or has a shorter version in the movie or something.

Abhi Abhi: This was the second promo released for the movie. I liked this song then, and I like it now. Probably my favorite from the album.

Darta Hoon: This song is kind of intense, yet soft. It's one of those songs that probably grow on you.

Hey Wallah: Relatively fast paced given the rest of the album. It's kind of strange, but cool at the same time. I like the music, but I still haven't been able to make out any of the lyrics, apart from Hey Wallah of course.