Thursday, September 09, 2010

What Is Wrong With The Kolkata Rock Music Circuit? Chapter:1 - The Intro

That is the question...
I've thought about it long and hard. I've had long discussions with musicians about it. I've spoken to music lovers in the city.

Everyone seems to know what the answer is. Or conversely, no one seems to know what the problem is. Most kids don't even realise that there is a problem. Which is such an irony - because it is these very issues and problems that result in their bands breaking up a year or 2 after getting formed. Sometimes they don't even last 2 months. And things remain the same, until a new set of kids come along and follow in the foot-steps of their predecessors. Sort of like the blind leading the blind.

I have a theory. Or theories actually. And I'd like to share them here. Yes, probably no one is going to read what I have to vomit out anyway, which is a good thing actually, because my intention here is to be direct and caustic. I am probably gonna step on a few toes here and there, and diss a few bands and musicians in the process - something which I am not very excited about, but I want to be as brutally honest as possible. I don't really hate anyone in the scene, contrary to popular belief. I mean, in order to hate someone you need to know that person... and I hardly know anyone from the circuit in the truest sense.

Another thing which I hope people understand is that my point of view is totally an unbiased one... yes baby, you better believe it! I am not a musician after all. I'm a listener. A music fan. I am a part of the audience who is standing in front of the stage while the performers do their thing. I am the person who is there attending YOUR show. I am the guy who is at the music store buying YOUR album. And as much as I need YOUR music to keep me sane and happy, YOU need me to come to YOUR gigs to cheer after every song YOU perform just to boost YOUR ego. YOU need ME to go to the store to buy YOUR album, YOUR band tee-shirt, YOUR band poster, etc etc etc. We have a 100% symbiotic relationship going on here - so please remember that. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. It's the way the world is.

So this is me the listener, standing in the audience, listening to some band... its just me and the music. Nothing else. It's not about the drummer who I hang out with once a week at the local pub. It's not about the sexy hot babe standing in front of me who's phone number I managed to get in exchange for promising to introduce her to the vocalist. It's not about the guitarist who nicked my chemistry notes before exam time during our college days.
It's not about that at all.
It's just about the music. Only the music.

Sometimes musicians are so deep into their ego-trip that they lose a sense of reality. I find this very funny. Silly actually. I hate this pseudo ego attitude thing that musicians seem to go through. And I haven't met a single musician that wasn't affected in some way and to some degree. Sickening really. Take pride in your body of work, but don't make it turn you into a bloated carcass.

Similarly, there is this section of society who need to pass a comment on everything that moves, sings, dances and farts. They can't get a good night's sleep if they do otherwise. You can't miss these parasites, gigs seem to attract them like light-bulbs do to a moth - the guy/gal who knows everything about music inside out. The moron who will analyze to death each chord/beat he/she hears. That member of the audience who feels he/she needs to be heard even more than the vocalist singing on stage.
A poison in the circuit. Every city has a few. So does Kolkata.

I never understood how their brains work - if you don't like a particular band then you don't - it's cool. Who said you have to like every damn musician in this city? But why do you have to be at their show then? Does your being present provide the performer divine strength? Does the band's ratings improve with you in attendance? I mean, what is it???


Before I begin the serious stuff, I'd like to reiterate a few things here.

As the title of this blog states, I'm here to toss around a few theories - some good, some bad, some ugly. I am not here to sing the praises of certain venues like Someplace Else or to list down the achievements (in chronological order) of Cassini's Division. This here blog is not an attempt to convert everyone into becoming a metalhead like me either.
Also, I am not going to rant and rave about the negatives of classic rock and why singing covers are so uncool.

No. None of the above.

I have been attending gigs and checking out bands of different genres in Kolkata for more than 10 years now. Times have changed certainly, bands have come and gone. Some have done pretty well for themselves while others have just vanished like your shit being flushed down the toilet. Musical styles have changed. Times have changed.
And yet, despite all the changes that have taken place it is very apparent that me, the listener and you, the musician have remained stuck in some kind of weird limbo. And like I mentioned at the start, sometimes it's like we don't even realise that we are in a motionless maze. You've seen the Matrix Trilogy? You've seen Inception? Yes? Well that is exactly what we all are in - in this dream-world where apparently things look perfect. And yet we are just one second away from waking up and seeing that everything around us is just a dream and that life is total crap. And yes we haven't even moved a single inch from where we had started.

I'm sure that if you were as jobless as I was, you'd come to the same logical conclusions that I am about to propagate. You'd have to. It's all about fitting together all the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle... the pieces are all there right in front of us. You just need the patience and the time. Ya, being jobless like me does help as well, to be honest.

Some of the pieces for us to look at:
** The live music scene in Kolkata pre 2000 AD

** Classic rock and it's popularity
** The emergence of a parallel Bangla rock scene
** The young generation and the Indian education system
** Indian society vs. the "School Of Rock"
** Why do we fear Heavy Metal?
** Torrents, downloads, Planet M and Music World
** The internet
** Bollywood is not the enemy

... there are probably a few more pieces I will be listing but right now this is what shall get me started. If anyone is reading all this, well I hope you stick around. Feel free to agree/disagree with me as you please.


Joy said...

I'm Reading it, Plz Continue!!!!

Chronic Xorn said...
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Atisha Rai said...

a good piece...really.and ya i do fear metal too.donno why!so you are saying Bollywood is not the enemy??

crazysanta said...

good one....

Himadri Nandi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.