Category Archives: Music

Song of the Day: Jungle

I’ve always felt that there’s something undeniably mesmerizing about a badass guitar riff. Even better when it’s by a woman. Tash Sultana is a young Australian musician who is described as a one-woman band. That title makes sense when you listen to Jungle. The song features an addictive guitar riff that she loops, which allows her to add in other riffs and music layered on top. It’s an interesting technique that gives the song a jam-band feel. It’s a mellow song with a slightly dark feel. Sultana’s voice, while not super strong, has an interesting quality to it which I can appreciate.

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Song of the Day: On Melancholy Hill

I’m completely late to the Gorillaz. I remember when their song Clint Eastwood came out and it felt like that was all that was being played on MTV. I hated it and never invested any time into listening to any of their other music.

That changed when I heard On Melancholy Hill. It’s exactly the kind of music that I love. The mellow, woozy, ethereal romanticism that makes you feel as though you could be floating on a cloud – my favorite kind of music. I could listen to it on a loop and still not get tired of it.

Well you can’t get what you want
But you can get me
So let’s set out to sea
‘Cause you are my medicine
When you’re close to me

 

Song of the Day: A Lenda do Caboclo

Melancholy, that’s what I feel when I listen to A Lenda do Caboclo. Originally written by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, this version is by Yo-Yo Ma. The track is often translated as The Legend of the Native, as the word Caboclo is related to the mix between indigenous Brazilians and Europeans.

I heard the song in the final episode of Mozart in the Jungle’s third season and it so perfectly captured the mood of the scene (that show is full of wonderful music). I spent the next few days listening to this on a loop. Beautiful.

Song of the Day: Channa Mereya

When Karan Johar decides to direct a film it quickly turns into one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was no exception, especially with the interesting casting and a plot revolved around unrequited love. High expectations that were sadly not met. Yet as with all of Karan’s films I still fell in love with the music, specifically Channa Mereya.

Channa Mereya features one of my favorite singers of the moment Arijit Singh at his soulful best. His voice with Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics and Pritam’s music perfectly capture the intense pain and ultimate resignation of being so deeply in love with someone who does not feel the same. The shehnai is also a simple touch that melts into the song so perfectly.

I also adore the way it was portrayed in the film. In the moment you could feel the pain and emotion of Ranbir’s character. The costumes were outrageously beautiful (duh, it’s Karan after all) and I just loved the touch of Ranbir’s mehndi adorned hands. It’s a pivotal point in the film that revolves around the best song on the soundtrack. It’s a beautifully bittersweet song and for those of us who have experienced it, isn’t that what unrequited love is all about?

Song of the Day: Lamhe Guzar Gaye

I don’t know what algorithm is used when I hit shuffle on my music but sometimes it has the innate ability to play just what I need to hear at the moment. Today it was Lamhe Guzar Gaye from the film Piku. It’s the kind of Hindi song that I just love – soothing, serene, and emotional with lovely and meaningful lyrics.

Lamhe guzar gaye / moments passed
Chehre badal gaye / faces changed
Hum thhe anjaani raahon mein / And I was there in unknown roads
Pal Mein Rula Diya / A moment made me cry
Pal Mein Hasa Ke Phir / And then the next moment made me laugh
Reh Gaye Hum Bhi Raahon Mein / And I was left standing on the roads

There are so many moments in life where you just feel so unsure of it all. Moments where you look around and wonder how you ended up where you are. And on this rainy San Francisco day full of introspection, there is no song that fits what I’m feeling more than Lamhe Guzar Gaye. 

Song of the Day: No Room For Doubt

Sometimes hearing a song live completely changes your reaction or attachment to it. I recently went to see Leon Bridges at the Greek on the UC Berkeley campus and didn’t even realize the opening act was Lianne La Havas when I bought the tickets. I had Lianne’s latest album Blood on my Apple music and of course loved her work with Prince but didn’t look into her work in depth.

That changed after seeing her live. What a charming, lovely performer! Lianne’s voice is beautiful, and her performance is so effortless and understated which completes her music style. I chose No Room For Doubt because after hearing it live with just Lianne and her guitar, I haven’t stopped listening to it over and over again. Featuring Willy Mason, it’s a contemplative, quiet song that demands your attention. In fact, when she performed it live, the place was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. I adore it.

Photo by: Radhika Jit/Berkeley, California, September 2016

Song of the Day: Mil Canciones

I stumbled upon La Muza after searching for a song I heard in an episode of Mozart in the Jungle (hello Gael Garcia Bernal). While I couldn’t find that specific song, I was so happy to find this band and haven’t stopped listening to their music ever since. What’s not to love about reggae out of Puerto Rico? The band’s bio says they strive to deliver a message of love, of awareness and commitment to society. That is evident in their lyrics.

Mil Canciones is the one song I find myself going back to over and over. It’s beautiful, relaxed, and perfect for this weather. I also love, love, love the lyrics:

nadie puede parar mi voz (nobody can stop my voice)
me niego a ser esclavo de sus cuentos (I refuse to be a slave to his stories)
mi lucha y mi revolucion (my struggle and my revolution)
no son solo palabras al viento no (They are not just words in the wind not)

A veces no quiero seguir (Sometimes I do not want to follow)
hay veces que quiero llegar (sometimes you want to get)
donde se mezclan las naciones (where nations are mixed)
siento que nacen mil canciones (I feel born thousand songs)

Photo by: La Muza/Facebook