Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Night Ride

Enjoy a rickshaw ride through Karachi at night.

Thanks to Turab for posting the link.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sat. 27 January, 2007, TEE-M's "UNsigned" # 28 on WPMD

Received the email below from Tee-M

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TEE-M's "UNsigned Music Show"on WPMD's "Rock 50" w/Mike Stark. A genre busting show, where the UNsigned Revolution is on...

Sat. Jan 27th11am to 1pm (pacific)

Net-Live onhttp://www.wpmd.org goin' worldwide...

Show replays 3 times daily 7am, 3pm, 11pm (pst)

On the alternative stream http://www.wpmd.org/unsigned

11am-12noon: Mike and TEE-M spin cd cuts from cutting edge indie artists and bands.

12noon-1pm: Live acoustic performances plus more recorded tracks.

Live Performance By:MONA FOR NOW http://www.monafornow.com

MORAGA http://www.vicmoraga.com

TEE-M-BUZZ-O-RAMA:Read TEE-M's interview with DJ LUSH of ROCKWIRED http://rockwired.com/earthiotic.html

TEE-M's "Aao Aao Aao" video ON YOUTUBE is seeing a big surge in views. You can watch it 24/7. Please pass and share the halwa with everyone around the globe. http://youtube.com/watch?v=0gpDCfeLkQ4

ROCK & RAP GOES INTERNET FREE...A publication that I've been subscribing for the longest time is now free.Rock & Rap Confidential, the only publicationever recommended by Rage Against The Machineis now free of charge via email. To subscribe just send the email address you wish to receive it at to rockrap@aol.com The debut email issue should be out soon. Let them know that TEE-Mrecommended that to you."The best thing to hit my mailbox"---Cameron Crowe"This is what we need, more of this"---Joe Strummer

SOUTHBOUND BEAT MAGAZINE FROM LOS ANGELES HAS REPUBLISHED, TEE-M'S INTERVIEW GIVEN TO KEN HAMLETT OF UNSIGNED MAGAZINE ATLANTA. http://southboundbeat.com/issue_12/interviews/TEE-M.php3

WHAT SOUNDED LIKE A SHOT, WAS A SHOT! A few weeks back on a sunny Southern California day,while driving on a fairly busy Fairfax Ave on the wayto Hollywood, I heard what sounded like a gun shot hitting my car, my immediate reaction was to duck, which I did, looked around and kept going, thinking that maybe somebody threw a rock or something. After about a couple of hours when I got back into the car and looked right to make a turn, my back window was all shattered, I stopped, checked it out, and there it was...a real gun shot had done it's damage.Cheerios! from the entertainment Capital of the world!!

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EARTHIOTIC...IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOADS AT EMUSIC from anywhere on the globe. http://www.emusic.com/album/10923/10923557.html?fref=700329http://itunes.com

Also at CDBaby for cds.http://www.cdbaby.com/teem

Also in Karachi at: CAFE BARBERA

6th Zamzama Ln (Next to Copper Kettle). V-sel Music19-c Stadium Ln, Khada Market.

TEE-M (Tariq) Santa Monica, CA http://www.tee-m.com

Sangam Playlist, 22 January, 2007

Track Title, Artist, Album, Track No.

Aai mausam rangele, Zubaida Khanum, Best of Zubaida Khanum, 2
Bhooli huwi hoon dastan, Ahmed Rushdi, Yaaden, 1
Tujh jaisa daghabaz, Roona Laila, Best of Roona Laila, 8
Jhoom barabar jhoom, Munni Begum, Best of Best of Ghazals, vol. 2, 6
Ulfat ki nai manzil ko, Iqbal Bano, An Evening with Iqbal Bano, vol. 1, 3
Honton pe kabhi, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Best of Best of Ghazals, vol. 2, 5
Bin tere kya hai jeena, Jawad Ahmed, Bol tujhe kya chahiyeh, 11
Dil pukare, Najma Akhtar, Forbidden Kiss, 9
Mujhe ishq hai, Rabi Pirzada, Mujhe Ishq Hai, 1
Buri baat hai, Shehzad Roy, Buri Baat Hai, 4
Aankh main kajal hai, Naghmana Jaffry, Goli Maar De, 5
Chaaye chaaye, Strings, Dhaani, 6
Main Kabhi, Junoon, The Millennium Edition, 3
Aankhon, Junaid, Personal Compilation ,1
Only, Overload, Overload, 1
Behti naar, Rushk, Sawal, 2
Maal gari, Rage, Deewana, 3
Disappeared, Tee-M, Earthiotic, 3
Debris, Asian Dub Foundation, Rough Guide to the Asian Underground, 9
Tu kareemi, Brooklyn Qawwali Party, Personal Compilation, 2
Devotional, Tabla Beat Science, Tala Matrix, 6

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Aziz Mian Sings Qawwali -Teri Surat Nigahon

Aziz Mian Sings the popular Qawwali 'Teri Surat' Live. An English translation of the lyrics appears on screen.

Karsh Kale music videos

Here are a couple of video clips featuring Karsh Kale. You may recall my playing some of his music on Sangam.

GK2 is a sort of sci-fi/fantasy music video.

Epic Live Video (Blue) features Kale with his band, Realize, and Vishal Vaid doing the vocals.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

BQP plays Manhattan/Brooklyn Jan 18/19, 2007

Jesse Neuman of the Brooklyn Qawwali Party emailied me to say that they play a Manhattan/Brooklyn double header this week. Details below:

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THURSDAY jan 18th@ Makor ..........9pm

(35 W 67th St, near 1/9, Broadway)$15 adv/$18 day of for the WHOLE NIGHT!
---doors open at 8 for GlobeSonic Entertainment's "Tribute to NusratFateh Ali Khan." Also performing, Vishal Vaid (singer with KarshKale) and Globesonic Sound System (DJ trio).

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FRIDAY jan 19th@ Zebulon..............10pm

(258 Wythe in Williamsburg---take L to Bedford, walk back towardsmanhattan on N. 6th and turn left onto Wythe)free!!!

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BQP is comprised of:
tony barba_tenor/jesse neuman_trumpet/loren stillman_alto/ryankeberle_trombone/rob jost_french horn/michael bellar/harmonium/mikegamble_guitar/noah jarrett_bass/conor elmes_drumset/shawntrail_percussion/sunny jain_percussion/samita sinha_vocals

Vishal Vaid is a fantastic singer. He has a rich and mellow voice, modulates it beautifully, and his singing is very soulful.

Go listen to BQP and Vishal Vaid if you can. The latter can also be heard on many tracks he has recorded with Karsh Kale.
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Jesse also include a link to a 2-minute Globesonic infomercial that is quite interesting. Here it is:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=KP7nFSK1DEI

I had a look at that clip and at the end up popped some links to qawwali recordings on YouTube posted by various people (maybe this was an outcome of the upgrade that YouTube did to their site). I cruised through those and found that there are a ton of qawwali and song clips on YouTube. Many are of poor video quality and seem to have been recorded of the air from Pakistan Television broadcasts. Does anyone wonder what sort of copyright violations are taking place in uploading these clips? There isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. For viewers it is great to have this stuff available and it promotes both the arts and the artists, which is a valuable service. Many people who would not have otherwise heard of these musicians will now be aware of them. I hope that results in people buying CDs put out by these artists and thus return some benefit to the performers. If so, the intent of copyright regulations would have been preserved even if the letter has been violated.

Friday, January 12, 2007

More Little Mosque

The Guardian has a post about Little Mosque on the Prairie on its news blog. It also has a link to a full video of one of the episodes provided courtesy of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Enjoy.

Tee-M's Music

I have played several pieces by Tee-M on Sangam from his CD Earthiotic. I contacted Tee-M after hearing about him from a friend and he kindly sent me a copy of his CD. One of the pieces that I played on the air is titled Aao, Aao, Aao and can also be viewed as a video here.

Tee-M has been featured in a short film, “The ultimate Song”, which also includes Springsteen, Ice T, and other artists. He also co-hosts “Tee-M’s Unsigned Music Show” on WPMD. You can listen to that show here.

Little Mosque on the Prairie?

It looks as if Canadians are forging ahead with their multiculturalism. Shabana mentions the launch of a new sitcom on Canadian Television (CBC) centered around a community of Muslims living in a small town. Way to go Canada!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Urdu Talk Radio

A group of young Pakistanis have started a talk radio show on a Chicago radiostation (1590 AM). The show is also available as a live audiostream on the 'Net. Archived programs can be downloaded as MP3 files. The website of this collective known as the Asian Broadcasting Network is available here: http://www.abnchicago.org/

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Miss(es) Pakistan

There seems to a little ripple of excitement in the Pakistani blogosphere about Mariyah Moten, Miss Pakistan 2006 or rather Miss Bikini Pakistan 2006 - since Sehr Mahmood seems to be Miss Pakistan World 2006.

Apparently Mariyah’s appearance in a bikini is what is causing the micro-controversy. I am not exactly sure why since Naomi Zaman, Miss Pakistan Earth 2005, has also appeared in a bikini. Perhaps I missed that round of fulmination. Separately, Neelam Noorani was removed from a beauty pageant in Tokyo upon the objection of Pakistani officials.

Get over it already, folks! These women can make their own decisions about whether and how to participate in beauty pageants.

For those who are interested in participating in the Miss Pakistan 2007 competition, you can apply to the organizers, Miss Pakistan Canada, Inc.

Sliding (Conflicting?) Standards?

PakManzil presents a lot of videos and music-related information and I visited it today to see what was new. They have a clip from a Pakistani drama and an accompanying note essentially bemoaning the slide in "decency" in those dramas. It turns out that the clip shows a couple and the man embraces the woman from behind and kisses her neck. This seems to be what is generating the shock (it should be awe instead, (-: ) . Viewers' comments seemed to deprecate this behavior as well.

Interestingly, the same site also has clip of a dance performance by girls at what appears to be a school show. The descriptor for that clip seems to be rather appreciative as are many of the comments left about it.

After watching both clips I am not clear as to why the behavior in the drama is viewed so distressingly while the dancing seems to be more acceptable. Is physical contact between a man and a woman considered more lewd than provocative movements by dancers? Is that because the dancers are all of one gender (or, as a separate case, all female), or that no deliberate touching is involved? Does the age of the protagonists make a difference (adolescent girls vs. an adult man and woman)? Or is it the age of the commentators (mostly young adults, I suspect)? Or are adults in Pakistan expected to behave in a sexless fashion in their normal lives (the dramas are closer to daily life than are Lollywood movies)? Or could it be that for Pakistanis watching a drama in the company of their families and seeing people like themselves touch each other in a loving fashion is so disconsonant with usually observed behavior in Pakistani society, that the viewing becomes profoundly uncomfortable? Would Indians react the same way? Which Indians? How is it that both Pakistanis and Indians watch Bollywood movies, frequently with all family members sitting together, and no one seems to become uncomfortable?

You can watch the video clips at the links below and then please enlighten me as to why these clips drew the reactions that they did. Thanks.

Kissing drama clip:
http://www.youtube.com/v/QfLSPqRgqMs

Dancing girls clip:
http://www.youtube.com/v/zjc8-wCzs8s

Saturday, January 6, 2007

The Beloved Najma

Another piece on Monday's Sangam show is by Najma Akhtar, "Dil Jalane Ki Baat Karte Ho", from her allbum Pukar. She sings it in the qawwali style and listen for the traces of Nusrat Fateh Ali and the Sabri Borthers. She uses signature elements of their styles and incorporate those beautifully into this piece.

Najma is one of my favorite singers. She has released five CDs so far: Qareeb, Aaatish, Pukar, Vivid, and Forbidden Kiss (a tribute to S.D. Burman made in collaboration with American and European musicians). Najma is highly versatile, singing in both Urdu and English, and in classical as well as pop styles. She has also sung modern opera and "experimental" music. Her diction is clear and on ghazals and other Urdu pieces she beautifully modulates her voice in the traditional style. The album Vivid consists mostly of songs in English or a mix of English and Urdu. Both the singing and music on that album are distinctive; I liked it very much. I was sitting in Chipotle one day and heard these very familiar strains in the background music that plays in those stores. It took me a second to realize that it was Najma's piece "Miskatonic" from Vivid that was being piped through the system. That is certainly commercial success of one kind. (-: But Najma is superb; I recommend her albums to you.

Brooklyn Qawwali Party

One of the qawwali pieces that I will play on Monday's Sangam show is by the Brooklyn Qawwali Party (formerly known as Brook's Qawwali Party). I came across them on the All Things Pakistan blog. There is an interesting discussion there about their music. Some of the people have commented that BQP's sound is like a shaadi-vala band.

BQP is essentially a group of jazz musicians who have been influenced by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's music and are producing music that combines elements of jazz and qawwali. I love their sound. They haven't released a CD yet but I contacted them and Jesse Neuman generously sent me a couple of tracks, one of which I'll play on Monday and the second one on another show. BQP performs around the New York area and would probably be willing to travel if invited. You can read more about them here:
http://www.myspace.com/bqp
http://www.brooklynqawwaliparty.com/

Playlist - Sangam, 08 January, 2007

Listen on KFAI (90.3 FM Minneapolis, 106.7 St. Paul)
Audiostream http://www.kfai.org/smil/kfailive.ram
7:30-9:30 pm Central Time (US) [08 January, 2007]
01:30-03:30 Universal Time (GMT) [09 January, 2007]

Track TitleArtistAlbumTrack No.
Kya hua dil pe sitamZubiada KhanumBest of Zubaida Khanum1
SayoneeJunoonAzadi1
HeerReshmanPakistani Folk Hits6
HeerNitin SawhneyHuman6
ChallaShaukat AliPakistani Folk Hits5
ChallaShabazShabaz7
Dil jalane ki baat karte hoNajma AkhtarPukar5
Az dere mughan ayamMuneer Niazi QawwalKalam-e-Iqbal Qawwali5
Bakhsh deta to baat Aziz MianBakhsh Deta, Aziz Mian, volume 33
Karan main tasbeeh dataNusrat Fateh Ali KhanData Tera Darbar2
Savere savereSabri BrothersThe Best of Haji Ghulam Farid Sabri
& Haji Maqbool Ahmed Sabri
5
Dum Maast QualandarBrooklyn Qawwali PartyPersonal Compilation1
BelovedRizwan-Muazzam
& Temple of Sound
People's Colony No. 13
Shri DurgaFun Da MentalMaha Maya7
Ottoman Empire strikes backBlack Star LinerYemen Cutta Connection3
FDM Fire-water-remixFun Da Mental Personal Compilation3
Mustt musttNusrat Fateh Ali Khan
& Massive Attack
Mustt Mustt11

Qawwals

For my Sangam program coming up on Monday I am preparing an extended qawwali set. As I select the pieces to be played I have been musing on the popularity of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in the US. He is frequently referred to as the leading qawwal of the twentieth century or the Shahen-Shah-i Qawwali. It seems to me though that about fifteen years or so ago it was the Sabri Brothers that were acknowledged as the masters of qawwali and were very popular in the US.

Looking at my CD collection (bought mostly in Pakistan and a bit in the US) which consists of a market sampling of the artists’ work rather than specific selections on my part, much of Nusrat’s available output consists of geets, and folk or popular songs, many of those in re-mixed versions. The qawwalis are present, of course, but other genres seem to have taken up a lot of his attention. This may also account for his broader popularity. By contrast, the Sabri Brothers’ output consists entirely of qawwalis.

As I listen to various qawwalis, I must say I prefer the work of the Sabri Brothers. Their singing is excellent and the music can be enchanting. To my mind their best pieces are unsurpassed. They recorded a large number of qawwalis and though not every piece is of the highest quality, there is no doubt that the Sabri Brothers are second to none.

One cannot talk of qawwals without paying tribute to Aziz Mian, a unique performer of the art. Sadly, he too passed away two or three years ago. He had a distinct style of performance combining singing with deliveries of fiery rhetoric as he almost leapt up from his seated position.
In both qawwalis and ghazals, the lyrics are paramount and music is an accompaniment. Aziz Mian composed, or at least organized, the lyrics that he used. I believe he had a MA in Urdu but in any case you gain enhanced enjoyment from his qawwalis if you are well-read in Urdu poetry because he would pull ash’aar (couplets) from various poets and incorporate them into standard qawwalis.

Aziz Mian is the thinking person’s qawwal without a doubt. Qawwalis are devotional songs but Aziz Mian was a qawwal who was not ready to submit unquestioningly. He would address God and assert his own autonomy; it was almost as if he wanted God to earn his respect before he would submit. The following sh’er from Bahadur Shah Zafar aptly describes Aziz Mian:

Main woh majnoon whoon keh zindan mein nighebanon ko
Meri zanjeer ki jhankar ney soney na dia

(I am that madman who even when imprisoned kept the guards
Alert to their duty through the clanking of my chains)


Speaking of the Sabri Borthers, you may want read the book “The Lamp of Love” by Amatullah Armstrong Chisti published by the Oxford University Press). The author is an Australian woman who started a 5000 km bicycle journey in the course of which she became a Muslim and then a Sufi. She spent some length of time traveling with the Sabri Brothers and describes her experiences in this book.

Another book that you may want to read is “Sufi Music of India and Pakistan: Sound, Context, and Meaning in Qawwali” by Regula Burckhardt Qureshi who is Professor of Music at the University of Alberta, Canada. This book (again, published by the Oxford University Press) is a scholarly study of qawwali covering both the music and its ethnology. A CD accompanies the book and contains illustrative samples of performances.


If I was wealthy and could engage in philanthropic activity, one of the things that I would like to do would be to set up an Institute for the Advancement of Qawwali. Oh, well …

Friday, January 5, 2007

Pop music in Pakistan

Visit Adil Najam's blog to read his post on the birth of pop music in Pakistan and the associated comments. He also links to a video of Waheed Murad performing to an Ahmed Rushdie song.

Watching the video it is interesting to note what passed as a representation (albeit rather imaginative) of Pakistani society in those days and compare it to the religious cast prevalent today.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Came across the following music video while trawling the blogosphere and burst out laughing. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41dg6G6EGto


Also, found some discussion about Ali Zafar (he of the "Channo" fame) and his music on Sabahat's blog:
http://sabizak.blogspot.com/2006/11/saaray-zamaanay-mayn-ik-hum-mayn-ik-tum.html