Even as I begin think up these lines, I feel older, like the way ma must have felt when she saw life size posters of Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio come up in my room many years ago. I suppose you know you are old-er than the crowd that the media most targets when the flavour of the month is a little kid who was not even born when you were going through your own teen angst.
A few weeks ago, I heard Lady Gaga on Radio Indigo and thought she sounded ok, too Pop for my tastes, but I was reminded of Britney Spears in her Baby One More Time days. I used the function on my swanky Mp3 player and even recorded a bit of Lady Gaga's Born This Way; the bit is somewhere in my Sony's many folders now. A lazy Sunday today was spent watching some videos on YouTube when, ever helpful, it suggested that I watch Gaga's video. I am scarred I think. With her artificial horns or whatever she likes to call them, psychedelic 'things' and something gooey, she is positively hideous! The video is disgusting at best.
I am all for creativity and artistic license. But I don't see what is appealing about her videos, or her 'look-at-me' attitude in her meat dress and the rest of her grotesque attires. The lyrics are only marginally alright. Shear of her weird make-up, and she is rather plain looking, not too pretty, but not bad either; I read something that had her old pictures. What worries me is the kind of thoughts that might be going through the minds of children when they watch this. That is what is scary, if they are to grow up thinking it is how things are.
I am not even venturing into Rihanna and her S&M videos. Or Katy Perry. Or Cheryl Cole (pretty girl, but should be banned from singing). When the hell did being risqué become this fashionable!? I am so glad I don't watch television; YouTube's most popular videos are troubling enough.
After a struggle to get over a coffee addiction a few years ago, I have been on the look out for a new 'vice' (it feels better to call it that). I tried coffee again, but I can no longer match up to my much younger self. I mentally struck off other possibilities: smoking, drinking, junk food, chocolate...none have the pick-me-up factor for me. Green tea is a possibility, but I wonder if a music addiction sounds better.
Thanks to a couple of extremely nice people who gave me their stash of fantastic music, I have more albums than I can ever completely soak in for the next several months. Fueled by strange names making mind blowing music, I have been trying to make discoveries of my own.
I am head over heels in love all over again with Indian Ocean, Swarathma and The Raghu Dixit Project. Contemporary folk rock is something that refuses to lose its charm for me. Add to the list some old era Kannada film music. The last time I was in Sittilingi, the new junior doctor there introduced me to Avenged Sevenfold and Cake, both quite nice, though I am likely to take them in small, short doses. Cat's Eyes, a new collaboration between opera soprano Rachael Zeffira and The Horrors singer Faris Badwan are a duo I am quite loving right now. Try their Not a Friend for starters.
Country remains what I turn to at 2am in the morning. Gary Allan, Carrie Underwood, the super yummy Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band....
Last night's find was Anoushka Shankar. I know squat about classical music but her rendition of Raag Charukeshi, I thought, was fantastic. I especially loved her fusion work with Karsh Kale in the album Breathing Under Water.
Hindustan Times' supplement Brunch has a great page called Download Central where the writer (I forget the name) introduces some great eclectic music from across the world. Upon his recommendation, I tried Siljeh Nes, a Norwegian singer and quite liked her Drown.
Do share with me your favourite discoveries. Meanwhile, I will try to recover from having watched Lady Gaga.
On an afterthought, maybe music in the background while I read Neruda or some pop novel or attempt to write could be the addiction I seek. Until I find a cooler 'vice'.
On an after-afterthought, I realize that dreaded March went by and nothing earth shattering or life changing happened to me this year. Every year, it would, something devastating; that's why I dread March. 2011 would have been the fourth year in a row.
I think I will heave a sigh of relief.