Friday, July 06, 2012

The MJ Show #146 - Guest Series - Sachin Kalbag's favourites! (Part 2)

Here's Sachin in a more chilled out "non-editorial" mode :)
(Special request after the serious photo I chose
for the last episode)
Tonight, I've got the part two of a guest series episode of a really interesting guy who has some really really interesting song choices. In case you missed part 1 check it out here:

In case you missed the introduction yesterday...or have just joined me's a bit about him:

He has been in journalism for almost 2 decades now. He has had an extensive exposure to newspapers, magazines, news websites and radio broadcasting. He has been associated with some of India's top-notch media brands, including; Digit (India's largest selling technology magazine); Daily News and Analysis (Mumbai's second largest English language daily); Hindustan Times (India's second largest newspaper) and Mail Today newspaper which is part of The India Today Group (India's largest magazine group).
Currently he is the executive editor of  Mid-Day (India's largest selling tabloid)...and it's my privilege that I also get to call him my friend. It's my great pleasure to give you the rest of Sachin Kalbag's favourite songs tonight!

Sachin Kalbag (SK): 11. Smash Mouth - I'm a Believer (Shrek soundtrack)
Shrek is one of those movies (not just among animated movies) that give you unadulterated pleasure. It uplifts you; it makes you smile; it makes you shed a tear; it makes you fall in love with two ogres. With so much simplicity. Whoever decided, therefore, to include the Smashmouth version of the 1960s classic by The Monkees, was a genius. This song, played right at the end I think, is the perfect end to the second part in the Shrek series. I was a child during the entire movie, yes, but more so during this song.

MJ: I know exactly what you mean about movies being able to give you absolute unadulterated joy and animated movies some times feel so much more real than "real" movies at times. 
For me...the movie series that ALWAYS cracks me up is Madagascar.
I dare see these next two songs...and NOT laugh or just break out into a jig :)
I Like To Move It

Afro Circus Remix :D
Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah circus!
Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah afro circus afro circus afro polka dot polka dot polka dot afro
There you go! Sing along :D

SK: 12. Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna - Mitwa
I get to hear this a lot, "Gone are the days of good Hindi film music. Composers and lyricists of today have no depth." This is only partially true. Partly because of songs such as Mitwa. I haven't seen the movie, and thus am blissfully unaware of the context in which this song is picturised. That gives me the advantage, I believe, of listening to this song without the visual encumbrance of Preity Zinta or Shah Rukh Khan or Rani Mukherjee. Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan - another member of the illustrious lineage of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - is perfect. Great lyrics by Javed Akhtar and some great music and interludes by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

MJ: My wife, Neha, is my source for all good things in the Bollywood music scene...and to continue on your thought process here's a gem she brought to my notice.
From Ishqiya...what a great song this is!

And this one too from 7 Khoon Maaf.

SK: 13. Leela - Jaag ke kaati
Jagjit Singh on the harmonium and some talented dude on the guitar. Awesome sauce.

MJ: Speaking of Jagjitji, I had the pleasure of meeting him and spending some time with him when he performed a phenomenal concert at Shanmukhanand Hall under the banner of my 94.3 Radio One radio show, "One Mumbai One Music". I had the joy of being the host that night and if I remember right, it was his last show in Mumbai. The man was genuinely so cool. I mean I know he's got millions of fans...but when you see the love they had for gave me goosebumps. He sat through the concert without a sip of water. Sang for a good 90 minutes and at one point he started playing...and just looked at the auditorium and the whole crowd started singing the song he was playing almost like they were his choir. Not one person tried to scream or shout...everyone sang the song almost as if they were praying and were afraid that if they sang just a little too loud, God might get angry. 
And that evening, their "God" sat beside a humble harmonium and smiled back at them. 
Just thinking of that moment is giving me goosebumps again.
Here's the song:

SK: 14. Damien Rice - The Blower's Daughter ('Closer' soundtrack)
Talented British film director Mike Nichols made a superb movie called Closer in 2004, based on the eponymous play by Patrick Marber. It had a top-class ensemble cast -- Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Jude Law, and Natalie Portman. Nichols made each of them act as if it is the last movie made on earth. But the real star of the movie for me was neither Nichols nor the actors; it was Damien Rice, whose song The Blower's Daughter made me realise what an untalented mass of muscle and bones I am.

MJ: I'll admit, I hadn't heard this song till I put it down for this list. I looked it up...and it has an incredible story behind it. I'll not get into the story...but I will get into the last few lines of the song: 
I can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind...
My mind
My mind...

Till I find somebody new
When I read these lines, quite instantly, the song that popped up into my head...a song about heartache and the final thought that someone better will be found for sure...was "I'm Gonna Find Another You" by John Mayer.
It's a song from what I think was his best album - Continuum. Here's a phenomenal live performance of the song. :)

SK: 15. Kumar Gandharva - Sunta Hai Guru Gyani
The choice of Kumar Gandharva needs no explanation. Just listen to all his renditions of Kabir's Nirguni bhajans. If there is any way of finding inner peace, it is this.
MJ: You know what? Right about now, I'm really glad that I did an entire episode on Kumarji just a few days ago. Before I say a word more...if you've not seen it...please do so now!
This is how much I love and admire the man. My favourite album by him was an album called "Mala Umajlele Bal Gandharva" and when I saw that no one had really put up good versions of the album on youtube, I made videos using the tracks and put up the entire album! While each and every song on that album is a classic, my favourite song by him is this one:

SK: 16. Pink Floyd - Goodbye Blue Sky
The Wall is one rock's most iconic albums. No compilation of any rock list can be complete without this, although I would put The Dark Side of the Moon a notch higher. But of all the songs in The Wall, the one that affected me the most was Goodbye, Blue Sky. It says everything about personal despair, isolation, abandonment, loneliness, just about everything that the album is all about. "Did-did-did-did-you see the frightened ones? Did-did-did-did-you hear the falling bombs? The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on." Beat that!

MJ: You just can't can you. Roger Waters was incredible. I remember a line from DSOTM...but let's talk about that in the next song.
The Wall, Dark Side Of The Moon, Meddle, Wish You Were Here and Division Bell for me were the albums that really made me fall in love with Pink Floyd. On The Wall...another song that I really loved...that really got me...apart from the big hits was "Young Lust".
I know it's not the deepest song on the album. It's more primal...more visceral. Just hits you and really gets into your system if you let it. Acually, see how it's shown in The Wall movie and you'll know what I mean. It's up on youtube. Have a look if you want...but I'm putting up just the audio of the song here :) (The Wall video is a little NSFW if you know what I mean.)

SK: 17. Pink Floyd - Us and Them
How could I leave out 'The Dark Side of the Moon'. Just like in The Wall, each song in The Dark Side of the Moon is a classic. Some of the lyric writers of the 1960s, 1970s and the early 1980s reached dizzying heights. Us and Them is a philosophical treatise and social commentary rolled into one. For sheer songwriting genius -- both in the lyrical as well as musical sense -- Pink Floyd is peerless.

MJ: I don't think I could have put it any better. Actually I'm fairly certain that I couldn't have put it even half as beautifully as you I won't say more. I'll just say that my admiration for the band is boundless and I think it's proven by the fact that they are exclusively featured on more episodes than pretty much anyone else here on The MJ Show.
I would love for you to check out these older episodes:
The DSOTM for Nintendo. Mindblowing stuff:
The DSOTM complete along with the making of the album videos:
The best of the complete discography of Pink Floyd:
One of the best concerts I've ever seen. David Gilmour doing Pink Floyd unplugged!

SK: 18. U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For 
U2. Joshua Tree. 'Nuff said.

MJ: Aww heck! I can't resist a self plug right now. :) When I formed my hindi band, Bombay Rock Project, last year...the idea was to go out and play old Bollywood in a new way. And when I thought about our audiences I knew that folks who love Bollywood have kinda "adopted" a few songs from "out there" that are well pretty much as desi as roti-chawal. "Summer Of 69" is probably about someone's uncle Jaswinder and aunty Dolly..."Where The Streets Have No Name" is about Bandra...where streets just have numbers...and no names....and "Sweet Child Of Mine" is about that item who just gets on all of them boy's minds. :) heh
Anyhow...this is something we did for our crowds. 
As can be goes down really well with the people :)
For the record though. I LOVE Joshua Tree and every song in it! :)

SK: 19. Nina Simone - Sinner Man
One of my favourite shows of the television season just gone by was undoubtedly Person of Interest. I often watched it hours after it was telecast in the US on the CBS network. After what was easily one of the most riveting episodes in which the notorious Carl Elias' identity is revealed, Nina Simone begins to sing Sinner Man, a spiritual song that fit in so well with the episode's theme that I was hooked. Further research showed that Sinner Man is a regularly used song in movies as well as TV shows. Then, I remembered that it was also used during the climactic scene of the superbly shot The Thomas Crown Affair, starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. It was also used during one of the episodes of another great TV show - Sherlock. What TV shows! And what a song!
MJ: I remember I got into Person Of Interest and Homeland because of you. Two incredible shows and Sherlock! Oh my God! How much could we go on about that modern classic!
Well in the spirit of great songs used in tv's one I remember.
A classic by The Who...on another phenomenal British another phenomenal tv show!

SK: 20. Joni Mitchell - The Circle Game
There is Joan Baez, and then there is Joni Mitchell. Of the two, I like the latter more. I just don't know why, but I do. Two of her most distinctive songs are The Circle Game and Both Sides, Now. Both songs are excellent examples of how great poetry enhances the musical experience. Sample this:
"And the seasons they go 'round and 'round | And the painted ponies go up and down | We're captive on the carousel of time | We can't return we can only look behind | From where we came | And go round and round and round | In the circle game".
Simple words tug at your heart the most.

MJ: What a song! :) Just in case any of you want to check out the complete lyrics here's the link for it on Joni Mitchell's official site:
You know what's interesting for me. I've heard so many of Joni Mitchell's songs...but always by someone else. 
For instance, I remember this version of "Big Yellow Taxi". What a lovely song again...with such phenomenal lyrics. Have a look:

SK: 21. Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now: If you have seen the movie Love, Actually (later, it was shamelessly copied by Bollywood to make Salaam-e-Ishq), you'd remember a poignant moment where a crying Emma Thompson's character listens to this song on a CD when she realises that her husband is having an affair with his secretary. Forget the movie, fall in the love with the song.
MJ: I remember when you sent me your list...this was the first song that INSTANTLY hit me. And I wrote back to you and said that this is one of my favourite songs but I grew up on a version by Roger Whittaker. Let me put it into perspective before I play the song for you. Mr.Whittaker...he got me into music. He was my best companion...the guy who heard all my stories...good and bad...happy and sad...and gave me comfort through my teenage years. He taught me how to whistle...and made me want to sing. If I sing...whatever little I do...I think my path into the music world was paved with his music.
This was one of the songs that was my companion in those days...and every time I hear him sing this, just like many other matter how bad the world is...I feel good and I have a smile on my face.

Hope you like this. :) 
(You are free to continue thinking that Joni Mitchell's version is better though. I won't hold it against you.) :)

MJ: Wow!! What a couple of shows! I don't think I've ever gone through so much in so little a time.
Sachin, please allow me to say that you've set the benchmark for all future "Guest Series" shows. We MUST do this again. Every now and then...when you just feel like adding more songs to this list...write to me...and I'll respond back and we'll have a few more episodes here. :)

Folks...I hope you all have enjoyed reading our chat and listening to the songs as much as I did putting them up. Tell me whom you'd like to see next as my guest and we'll make it happen soon :) Anyone at all! :)

Let Sachin and me know what you think about these two episodes on: or in the comments here :)

Right is now time for me to say good night and take care! :)
This is your Musicman...Mihir Joshi...signing off!

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