Bicycle Days: Alternative Psychedelia

•December 9, 2009 • 1 Comment

Alternative | Bangalore | Dec 10 | Myspace

A Bicycle Days concert is an experience that will scar and caress you at the same time. If the formidable reputation this young band have already built up over the last few weeks with a powerhouse performance at the recently concluded Strawberry Fields concert is anything to go by, expect vocals that shimmer over an expansive ocean of guitar sounds that are as jagged-edged as they are crunchy, with an almost aching longing in the softer parts that segue seamlessly into each other. This, unequivocally, is a band that is fearless and will stand for itself in the face of all the “this-is-not-how-music-is-played” pundits.

The refreshing thing about Bicycle Days (and of a clutch of bands in Bangalore that infuses the scene with hope) is that these young gentlemen have something to say. With lyrical themes that are as powerful social commentary as they are plain old enjoyable songs, they’re brave enough to speak of issues as thorny as religious intolerance – something that requires courage and conviction along with a sense of musical propriety. “That fractured airplane just missed your temple / Ordinary man on top of a crowded steeple” – as BB King once said to Bono before his legendary collaboration with U2, “You’re too young to be writing such heavy lyrics”.

Amen to that. Power on, lads.

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Saskia Laroo: The Lady Miles Davis of Europe

•November 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Jazz/World-beat | Holland | 27 November

Take two parts jazz, one part each of salsa and funk reggae and add to it a sprinkling of the most prolific talent and you have Saskia Laroo! Described by the American press as the ‘Lady Miles Davis of Europe’ Laroo is one of the few acclaimed lady trumpet players in the world, who brings to Kyra her world-beating blend of genres that others would shudder to throw in the same melting pot! Battling prejudice against a lady trumpeter, Laroo has come a long way: from rejections because people felt she would ‘get tired half-way’ to those who thought she was just too obscure a figure: a Dutch lady jazz musician?! But she’s proved all of those Doubting Thomases wrong with rousing performances at pretty much every jazz festival of repute in the world!

Critics and fans alike have showered praise on her, and her band for its ‘nu-jazz’ also described as ‘swingin-body music’. With Kagen Han, Warren Byrd, Egemen Maden and Iven Naipal the Saskia Laroo band is a treat to watch; as will vouch audiences at the North Sea Jazz Festival (The Netherlands), Burghausen Jazzwoche (Germany), Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland) and the Sofia Jazz Festival (Bulgaria). Close on the heels of her recent launch ‘Really Jazzy’ featuring some Jazz/Funk/Rap styles that have never before been explored, Saskia continues on her world tour, wowing jazz aficionados and newbies alike.

Confessions of an Assassin: Drama

•November 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

‘Confessions of an Assassin’ is a play based on the life of one of the most famous assassins in world history and the death of the person who made him famous. It is a part-fact, part-fiction socio-political drama which explores why even the most loved and revered people in history are sometimes assassinated. The play is a non-scripted performance in which each of actors devised their own roles based on facts and interpretation of one of the most significant events of India’s history.

The play is a production of the WeMove Foundation for Performing Arts, founded in September 2006. It is a multi-disciplinary arts center dedicated to finding, developing and presenting new artistic creations from a diversity of cultures and points of view. WFPA provides emerging and mid-career artists an environment that encourages exploration, innovation and risk-taking.

Art: Theatre

•November 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Art, a French play written by Yasmina Reza, adapted in English, by Christopher Hampton, is a play, that revolves  around three diverse and minimalist products of human nature. Three characters, aesthetes in their own right question their individual prejudices against each other. Serge is a modernist and a puritan while Marc is the epitome of self-acclaim and classicist snobbery. As for Ivan, he is an oblivious leaf, flowing in whichever direction the wind blows.

The three friends collide subtly into each others’ perspective and push each other into an overwhelmed sense of egoistic urge towards moral self defence, bringing out the extremes of human nature in the most sublime of ways. The simplistic portrayal of a relationship coming apart at the seams, encompassing Art as it is supposed to be, universal and conflicting.

An Ode to U2 – The tribute concert

•August 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

ONE-TREE-HILL-2-copy-copy

Rajeev and his band pay tribute to what is probably the greatest rock band of all time.

Etienne Mbappe

•August 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Etienne

Afro Jazz Funk | Cameroon | 29 August |  Myspace

Just like several other outstanding bass players, Etienne Mbappe comes from Cameroon. His technique and rhythmic sense are amazing and he has created a great musical genre of his own, transcending the frontiers between African music and other styles such as jazz, pop and even classical music. Parallels have been drawn between him and his equally amazing compatriot and jam partner Richard Bona

His first solo album “Misiya” definitely belongs to the same genre as Richard Bona’s, soft well arranged modern African music, where the vocals have a prominent role. His music constitutes a unique fusion between traditional Cameroonian rhythms (Makossa, Bolobo) and funk, jazz and afropop. It also reveals a singer whose voice is smooth and deep. In the Cameroonian dialect Douala he sings of love, of friendships, of his son’s eyes and also more upbeat songs that show his unique feel for dance rhythms.

Etienne Mbappe has played with world artists like Ray Charles, Salif Keita, Manu Dibango, Zawinul, Steps Ahead and also the Parisian fusion band Ultramarine, before creating his own band “SU LA TAKE”, based in Paris. With his own band, he played for a very enthusiastic audience in clubs all over Europe and at international jazz festivals in Montreux, Montreal, Paris, Nice and Vienne.

The Skeleton Woman Haunts Kyra

•August 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Skeleton-Women

Drama | Mumbai | 18-23 August

Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?

A young writer with a potent imagination finds himself entangled in his own creations, much in the same way. Unable to tell the difference between what is in his head and what is real, he shares his home with sharks in his living room, a goose that speaks, and a skeleton that’s driving him mad. With him through all of this is his wife, who is constantly trying to bring him back down to earth.

But whether she can get into a mind that is febrile and fertile at the same time is another matter, altogether. Inspired by an Inuit folk tale and packed with playful humour, The Skeleton Woman is a play about love, loneliness and what one must endure to be happy. Come to Kyra to solve the riddle, in this Metroplus Playwright Award Winning play from Quaff Productions, produced by Anurag Kashyap.