Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Couple of Songs

And the Colin Hay fever continues with Maggie

Lovely, lovely guitar. Check out this gem from Dave Matthews called Stay or Leave

And here's another one by Colin Hay called My Brilliant Feat

Friday, August 10, 2007

Are You Lookin' At Me?

Ok, I'm completely bowled over by this guy at this point of time. Have been downloading all his songs, reading reviews of his albums and articles about his life. He has had the most fulfilling of lives it seems and all of it comes out in his songs.

Read this bit (go to Editorial Reviews) first and then listen to the title track of his latest album from here (Go to discography and then listen to Are You Lookin at Me?). It's very autobiographical but at the same time can easily be applied to our lives. Here's the lyrics. Please listen to the song if you can. And fans of the series LOST will find a definite similarity between his accent and that of Desmond. And do I even need to say, its a lovely song. Great melody, great songwriting.

Well I loved the Lone Ranger an' ah loved that Denis Law
Him an' George Best, sure knew how tae kick a ba'
I wanted tae be a cowboy, an' learn tae crack a whip
Tae stand up in that lonely street, two six guns on ma hip

Along the mighty Beatles came, an' everyone went ahhh
They could play and sing and everything, and of course that John could draw
Well that wis it fur me, ah never once looked back
Ah'd tricks tae learn, waves tae catch, had a plan of attack

"Are you lookin' at me?"
I said "Are you lookin' at me, pal?"

Then we headed south, where the surf came crashin' in
From black an white tae colour, from innocence tae sin
It was summer in December, blowing heatwaves in ma mind
People talkin' funny, some cruel an' some were kind

From the crackle of the cane, to the frown of a big black snake
From the breakers at Bondi, down to Wallaga Lake
From the sound of a million fly screen doors, closing on the past
Like that chimney the fires couldn't burn, I was built to last

"Are you lookin' at me?"
I said "Are you lookin' at me, pal?"

When I flew across the ocean, ah wis number 1
People gave me everything, an' ah didn't need a gun
Walkin' down that avenue, I never felt so alive
People callin' out ma' name, an' ah'd only just arrived

There wis a tight rope walkin' bagpiper, in the middle of Central Park
Steam wis risin' from the ground, an' ah wore my cape out after dark
I had myself a moment, my day out in the sun
It's an unfinished story, but it's more than just begun

An' ah know more than one thing, but not more than two or three
An ah'll tell ye if you'll listen, an' ah'll tell ye for free
It's no life being a cowboy, an' eatin' aw them beans
The coffee's cold, the herd is gone, an' aw ye've got's yer dreams
You can always put yer spurs back on, but save them fur Halloween
Ye're better off heading north, or somewhere ye've never been

"Are you lookin' at me?"
I said "Are you lookin' at me, pal?"

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Waiting For My Real Life to Begin

Colin Hay, to me, epitomises the reason I have always wanted to play the guitar. This guy is a songwriter, composer, singer and as good a player of the acoustic guitar as they come. As far as music is concerned, if I ever dreamed of becoming some kind of a musician, it would have to be him. He works wonders with his soulful guitar playing (the kind which stirs quite a few chords in my heart), unique voice and amazing stories. Yes, his songs are little stories in themselves.

In 1967, Colin Hay was 14 years old, traveling by ship through the Suez Canal from Scotland to Australia. He played some acoustic guitar, sang a song, and told some stories. He did that then, and he does that now. This is the thread that runs through all his work for the last 25 years...... Transporting when he sings, hilarious when he talks, he expresses what we all share - the peaks and valleys of our lives.

I couldn't have put it any better than this.

'Beautiful World' and 'Overkill' were the first to catch my attention. They were a part of the 'Scrubs' soundtrack which Suhas had downloaded. But it was only after coming to Bangalore that I really started to listen to more of his songs and since then the fascination has grown manifolds. It has almost reached a level of worship. I can listen to his songs when I'm sad. I can listen to his songs when I'm happy. I can listen to them in the early morning and in the middle of the night, alone and with friends. His songs almost elevate me.

In the next few days, I'm going to try and play 'Beautiful World' and 'Into The Cornfields'. I just hope I had my hostel 'music' buddies to give me company. You know how sometimes one song, one incident can trigger off a chain of thoughts. Colin Hay reminds me of Scrubs and of hostel. My room. And when I think of Scrubs and the songs, it invariably reminds me of Suhas and Karthik and the time we spent (mostly in my room) trying out new songs and singing the old ones. At times, a few other friends would randomly stop by and listen, standing at the door even. And you know what. I miss those moments like anything.

If you have not still heard this guy, do so now. Just let me know and I will send you the songs. Take my word, it should be worth the effort.

I leave you with the lyrics of a song by this amazingly talented guy. If you have any questions in your mind, this should answer it.

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again
And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I’ll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Monday, August 06, 2007

Time Out

Do you ever feel the need to be completely alone. Away from the computer, away from the faces you see everyday, away from the people you talk to day in day out. Out of the room that you live in. Just to be with yourself and nothing else. Do you ever feel the need to block out the myriad thoughts that keep crossing you mind every second, the urge to leave behind every object that is a part of you daily existence. And does it help if you go out for a walk on the lonely streets of your colony at 11 in the night.

It helped me. I felt better. The weather was lovely and there was a hint of rain in the air. I realized that my N70 has really good audio quality. It might also be because I was consciously picking highly stereophonic songs so that I could drown in them and lose myself. A few of the songs kept reminding me of people, of time and also of places. Its strange how we associate things with each other. There were also a few very brief moments, when my mind was completely blank, devoid of any thought. But none of them lasted long. I came back after an hour though I could have walked for another. A slight drizzle had started to worry me. I never mind getting wet in the rain (has happened quite frequently of late), but I wasn't sure of my cell phone's preferences.

On a slightly different context, I've fallen in love with Coldplay. I just cant stop admiring their sound which is so high on piano and the echoing guitar. Chris Martin's vocals (especially his false voice) are a joy to listen to. And some of the songs have haunting lyrics. Fix You, The Scientist, Yellow, Trouble, Clocks, Speed Of Sound, Don't Panic....