Mood music for a Saturday night

A little mood music for Saturday night. Along with an absurd realization that I haven’t heard anything earth-shatteringly new in the last few years. At a certain age, you discover new bands by the week. Like how in one summer, Janis Joplin and Steely Dan became more than just names. Not to say I don’t discover things these days. But they’re of a different kind. They don’t consume me as much. It wasn’t just rock really. The first time I realized I was listening to Farida Khanum, I wanted to drown myself in something. So I could seal her music in my head. There was a certain obsession to it. The obsession wasn’t for a certain song, but for a certain singer or band’s entire body of work.

I have to wonder if this is an arrogance of a certain kind. A “been there, heard that” sort of wave of the hand that dismisses anything new. But I tried. I even tried listening to Coldplay (and I enjoy them in small doses). For those in the mood for the funnies – listen to this wonderful track by Mitch Benn – Everything sounds like Coldplay now.

And while Mitch Benn is probably being flippant, there’s some truth to it. So on that note, a few links to some music. The incredible, fantastic, beautiful, powerful Janis Joplin singing Move Over.

I could listen to that song over and over again. Which I did, especially through 1999. And then the smooth, puzzling, intense Steely Dan. I always associate Steely Dan with a strange discipline that belongs to recording studios. For instance, their Reelin’ In The Years has such astounding clarity and perfect arrangement. And then, to bring it all to a certain Indo-Gangetic angst, we pull in Farida Khanum’s Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo. (Yes, Yes! I know it isn’t her best, but this is more about mood, you know…)

On some nights, you listen to songs in almost the random order that you discovered them. You exactly remember where you were, the season, the company and the time. And then you sit down to wonder, exactly how old you are.

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9 Responses to Mood music for a Saturday night

  1. guruprasad says:

    wow! to me this sounds like a perfect set of songs to listen to on a saturday night…. i might have also added ‘everybody hurts’ by rem, or ‘one’ by u2 or any of the songs from 4 sticks by led zepellin and then round it off with some good old kishore kumar hits!

    i feel so old and yet i feel good 😛 (you know what i mean?)


  2. Sharanya says:

    I distinctly remember you singing Me and Bobby McGee when we were in undergrad. (I was the scrawny junior singing love ballads.) I owe my discovery of Janis Joplin to you. 🙂 Lovely music for a saturday night – even I am listening to it on a Monday afternoon!


  3. anon265 says:

    Steely Dan and Farida Khanum in the same breath! Steely Dan is an acquired taste. A lot of my mates find them rather noisy. Perhaps if I heard them now, instead of listening to them at the age of 17, I would find them noisy too. Ha!


  4. Ankur says:

    I suggest a dose of Kings X, that is if you havent already heard them…


  5. mallika says:

    Farida Khanum – words fail me . I know that feeling when you obsess about a singer/musician and want to own the entire body of work. Having first come across Zila Khan in a televison programme beamed from Varanasi – I moved heaven and hell to get a recording . I ultimately got 2 of her cds from Rhythm House in Mumbai . The same goes for Chhannu Maharaj – I sepnt my Saturday night and the best part of Sunday listening to him .


  6. piggy says:

    that is so weird… i was just thinking of my first memory of you… and that’s you in big chill, doing “me and bobby mcgee”…!! i wish i could drown myself in some good old sounds too, but it seems the soundtrack of Race is all that infests the air and the waves.


  7. km says:

    Bah, Coldplay is dull and wimpy music.

    I think after a certain age, the thrill of discovering a new sound fades away and it probably has something to do with the fact that we have already “found” our identity.

    That said, there’s a lot of great new music out there. Bands like Kings of Leon, Gnarls Barkley, My Morning Jacket, the new Robert Plant/Allison Krauss album (I think you will love that album) etc etc.


  8. Anil says:

    Hmmm, after a certain age, yes!

    Maybe age refines senses, maybe it doesn’t. I would like to believe the former.


  9. guruprasad: Oh well – Kishore Kumar for me is everyday food! Led Zep – yes, their earlier stuff would be perfect on this list. 🙂

    Sharanya: Damn.. now I am spending an inordinate amount of time trying to recall you. I guess things have changed at DU quite a bit though. I remember that women were prohibited from singing anything other than love ballads. Or power ballads.

    anon265: Agree with that bit about Steely Dan being an acquired taste. It took me a while to really appreciate them. But back then I had the patience to sit through Side A and Side B. Unlike now – where if a song doesn’t appeal to me in the first 30 seconds, I hit next.

    Ankur: Will do. 🙂

    mallika: The sheer pleasure of saving those little bits of pocket money to be able to buy that much-eyed album! And buying tapes was such an investment. I don’t think I ever really bought “unfamiliar” music. I had to have heard it first, loved it to a reasonable extent and then I would go around hunting for the tape. And finding certain tapes was such a hard task. I remember just a handful of decent music stores that carried anything other than pop music.

    piggy: You don’t remember me teasing the hell out of you before that? 🙂 That was a wonderful time. Big Chill doesn’t feel that wonderful anymore. It’s infested with a strange number of kids who have caught up on the coolness factor. But at that time – in its early days it was quite a respite from classes. Sigh!

    km: To be honest, the first few songs I heard by Coldplay didn’t sound that bad. After that it all sounded pretty much the same. And got really boring. I know there’s some really good music being churned out – but like you said, I’ve already found the music I really identify with. But I think I am still quite open to something earthshatteringly good.

    Anil: I just hope it isn’t the case of age restricting senses. 🙂


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