Monday, March 24, 2008

Random Musical Musings V

- Listening to The Essential Bruce Springsteen brought back a pleasant memory.

There was a Philips ad in the early 90s where the guy and the girl get stuck in an elevator and the light goes out. In a pre-AXE deodorant, more innocent Doordarshan world, our man switches on his boombox and they dance to... 'Dancing in the Dark'. Before I knew it was by Springsteen, I remember getting drawn by the hooksy melody of that song. 'can't start a fire without a spark..'

As I listen to it and other tracks on this fabulous 3-CD collection now, I understand why The Boss is known as such a great songwriter. Through blue-collar early Americana/Folk-inspired 'Jawsey* boy' all the way to mature, thoughtful middle age, he manages to convey so much through his songs.

- AG pointed me to someone singing Hallelujah on American Idol. It's triggered a major interest in the Jeff Buckley version of the song which this participant channeled. And why not. As a Buckley junkie, I'm not too unhappy.

- The Once soundtrack is full of romance, longing, genuinely heartfelt music and complete awesomeness. I haven't seen the film yet, but an unexpected gift (yo, AG - thanks!) lit up a miserable week highlighted by extra work, a cold and an unexpected allergic reaction.

Falling Slowly won the Oscar for Original Song this year. I liked it a lot, though I do wonder about the Academy's choice in songwriting at times. In addition to that track, there are other songs on the album which work really well including Fallen from the Sky, Trying to Pull Myself Away and If You Want Me. Many of the songs are spare acoustic pieces recounting all parts of being in love and breaking up. 

There's a certain Damien Rice vibe to the songs, especially because Marketa Irgalova's voice is so similar to  Lisa Hannigan's. The songs manage to hit all the right notes and I need to watch the movie now.

- Radiohead inspires shock, awe and rabid devotion among its sizable chunk of fans throughout the world. However, frontman-vocalist Thom Yorke's solo release 'The Eraser' showcases a completely different side to him. Retaining the ambient, ethereal sound of his band, Yorke explores electronica. Tracks And it rained all night and Harrowdown Hill shine, making for essential earphone listening on the bus.

*(that's Jersey for the rest of us. Springsteen's from New Jersey)

Previous takes on an abiding obsession - I, II, III and IV

Saturday, March 15, 2008


The New York Times last week had a lovely piece on the time paradox - if you think you have less of it, you probably will.

"....because the time we experience bears little relation to time as read on a clock. The brain creates its own time, and it is this inner time, not clock time, that guides our actions."

I've been thinking about how there are days I see myself as being harried and generally rushed, while there are other days when it doesn't seem so. However, the real quantum of difference between these days isn't very different.

I see myself ( and people see me, I think) as being a more laid-back person mainly because I somehow always see time luxuriously stretched out in front of me, even when deadlines whoosh by. So I do have time to stand and stare. As Dean Moriarty would say, "We know time."

And of course, xkcd has the last word.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

'Do it with respect'

Dileep Premchandran writes about how today's upcoming cricketers may be losing their sense of grounding because of the amount of money and adulation being thrown their way.

This reminded me of an article I read on MSN money a short while back. It seems like it was syndicated from here. It was something that somehow made sense as the author says:

And did you do it with respect?

When I read that question ..., it seemed to me here was some real guidance.  Anything worth doing is worth doing with respect.

I see that in the way the Australians approach their game. Even if Ponting or Hayden are on song, but they'll run every single like their life depended on it. They don't take anything for granted. The same approach is visible whenever Dravid takes guard or Tendulkar simply enters the playing field. These greats did and still do their thing with humility and give their job the respect it deserves. It's something these youngsters could do well to remember.

While scratching around and hating the things you have to do to get by(cleaning, the laundry, chores, your taxes...) is one thing, these are words I found to be worth living by. Do what you are doing with the respect it deserves. It'll find a way to pay you back.

Or so you hope.