PS's music blog (for want of a better name!)

Friday, August 26, 2005

my current droollist

These are the songs that I'm currently drooling over:

Hollow Years - Once in a livetime version - John Petrucci
This version is totally different from the studio version of the song. This whole album is a classic, but this song's the best. John Petrucci's distinctive way in which he plays the acoustic guitar is most prominent in this song. The guitar intro at the start of the song sounds more like mandolin than guitar. The lead solo is also on acoustic guitar, and its as good as it can ever get.

Going to california - Led zeppelin
The only instrument in this song is an acoustic guitar and a mandolin. Robert Plant's voice in this song is just genius. The chorus line :
"Seems that the wrath of the gods
Got a punch on the nose and it started to flow
I think I might be sinking."
thats the highlight of the song. The way Plant sings this line is simply genius. He proves yet again in this song that he's the best rock vocalist ever.

From Hark to Hendrix - Neil Young
The song is a tribute to two greatest guitarists, Hark Marvin (lead guitarist of Shadows - one of the greatest instrumental rock bands) and Jimi Hendrix. Pleasant feelgood song. The harmonica in the song is just mindblowing.

Crossposted in rfc9000

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mark Knopfler

Just back from the Knopfler concert. Its 3 in the night so pardon my drowsiness if it shows up!
Dire Straits has long been my favourite alltime band and Mark Knopfler is one of my favourite musicians of all time. And today I got the chance to watch him live, so it was a cool occasion.
The venue was different in many ways, I've never before been to a rock concert of this kind. The venue was Radio City at NYC,

which happens to be a proper indoor auditorium, and we had seat numbers and the crowd was dignified and quiet, hardly the kind you see at rock concerts. Lot of essential elements of a rock concert were missing today, like pushing your way to the front of the crowd right next to the stage, headbanging, singing out aloud to the lyrics of the song.. Nonetheless the fact that it was Mark Knopfler live made up for all else. On to the concert itself.

The opening act was a Elvis-style guitarist-singer called Bap Kennedy, and another guy who played the slide guitar.

They played for half an hour and they were very mediocre. Still there was no booing from the crowd. This is just one example of the kind of crowd that was there today. Usually in rock concerts, opening acts are meant to be booed, even if they were amazingly talented. Antaragni (my favourite local band at Bangalore) got booed when they opened for Deep Purple at Bangalore. And today we had this mediocre band opening for none other than Mark Knopfler and yet getting applauses. Anyways, on to the real concert.

The guitar god finally made his entrance around 8:45, and started right away with Why Aye man. Unfortunately I already knew the song list that was to be performed today. There's a certain unpredictability and excitement involved in waiting for the next song and guessing what it could be, which was missing today. And my other crib is that I knew in advance that they were not going to play Tunnel of Love. Somehow Mark Knopfler seems to have this soft corner for his newer non-Dire Straits songs, and it was evident today. Let me describe the concert song by song, in order (I might have missed a song or two though).

Why Aye Man:
Uptempo song to start the show. But a Dire Straits song would have been a better opener. Didnt really have the effect of swinging the crowd to action. And the song was just like the album-version, no improvisation.

Walk of Life:
Now this is the kind of song that infuses adrenalin into the audience. Knopfler promptly changed his guitar for this song, throughout the concert he was changing guitars, with atleast 5 different guitars in all. For this song he picked a red stereotypical guitar.

But again, the song was not all that long, and no improvisation.

What It Is:
This song is my favourite among the non-Dire Straits songs of his. His version today was peppy with a bit of an extended solo.

Sailing to Philadelphia:
I think this is one rare song in which Mark Knopfler really sings, he actually croons in this song. Normally he just talks in his songs, his guitar does all the singing for him. This song was one rare extreme where he actually sings. The other extreme I think is exemplified in Private Investigations where he literally just talks. (He didnt play Private Investigations today BTW). Good piano in this song.

After this song there was a brief piano interlude which was amazing but I could not recognize that the song was ...

Romeo and Juliet:
After that amazing piano intro, the song was played in the normal way. This song is my third favourite Dire Straits number (after Brothers in Arms and Tunnel of Love). This song today was one of the highlights. He changed his guitar again for this song.

Sultans of Swing:
One classic followed by another. This is the song that brought the crowd to its feet. The extended lead, though not as good as some other versions he has performed earlier, was mesmerizing nonetheless. This song has special significance to me as its the first Dire Straits song that I ever heard, some 8 years back. (After this song I had heard Money for Nothing and Walk of Life, but it was a while (2nd year of undergrad) when I really got into this band). At the end of this song the applause was just awesome. Shows that this is easily the crowd favourite song.

This song was followed by a whole lot of non-Dire Straits songs, the first one I havent heard before, the next was Song for Sunny Liston, followed by Rudiger. Rudiger had some amazing keyboards. That was followed by another unheard song which was followed by Speedway to Nazareth. This song is just an ok song, but it features an amazing drum solo in the middle of the song, and the extended lead at the end by Knopfler is reminiscent of the good old Dire Straits classics, esp Telegraph Road.
The next song was Boom, Like that. The song is about Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds, and I feel its a pretty strange theme to base a song on. Anywayz..

Telegraph Road:
This was the real highlight of the whole concert. The song went on for a good ~10 minutes, and featured an amazing piano solo, and a heavily improvized guitar solo by Knopfler. Easily the pick of the night, the energy in this song was tremendous, and for a 55 year old it was just amazing! At the end of the song, the audience was just on their feet.

After this song Knopfler did a brief walking-away act but before the crowd really shouted for an encore he was back, so what follows I dont know if it can be called an encore.

Brothers in Arms:
This is my favourite Dire Straits song. The guitaring in this song is just amazingly intense, it feels like he is speaking through his guitar. His guitaring style in this song is very atypical of him, its more David Gilmour style guitaring, slow yet intense. He did a bit of an extended lead but not that long. But it was still quite electrifying!

Money for Nothing:
This song featured a lot of improvizations, I heard a solo in the middle of this song which I have never heard before in any of his concerts. By the end of this song the mood among the audience had reached a high.

So Far Away:
Another classic. But sadly he did not play it that long and it sounded just like the album version.

Hardly a song that befits a position as last song in a Mark Knopfler concert. But again, it just shows his soft corner for his recent albums, and considering this current tour of his is called Shangri-la, we cant complain. The song was good, but not half as good as the songs just before it.

Sadly the concert came to an end with this song. I was quite surprised, rather shocked that the audience did not even shout for an encore. If they did, Im sure he'd have played Local Hero, a perfect concert closing song, but sadly that was not to be!

Nonetheless the concert was an amazing experience, and for hardcore fans of Dire Straits, just the oppotunity to see the guitar god in person is equivalent to ecstacy. And thats just the ecstacy I got to experience today.

I took a whole lot of cool videos of the concert but uploading them shall happen some other day.

After the concert we went to this cool Forrest Gump-themed restaurant called Bubba Gump.

The menu card there was in the shape of a pingpong bat. And there was this board that said Run Forrest Run

and if we upturned it, it would read Stop Forrest Stop,

which is an indication for the waiter to come to our table.
Pretty cool restaurant.
And now I must stop as its late in the night and I got to go to work tomorrow.

Crossposted in rfc9000

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

looking fwd to Mark Knopfler - the guitar god

Its been a while since I blogged here.
Since my last blog, I went for the Machine concert at NYC. The Machine is a Pink Floyd cover band, and unlike many other cover bands (like Australian Pink Floyd) their hallmark is improvisation. They played a lot of Syd Barrett, a song from Animals (Dogs) and the highlight of the concert was this amazing version of "Set the controls for the heart of the sun", the song lasted around 16 mins, and it was sheer psychedelic. Apart from that all the regular ones were there. The concert started with Shine on you crazy diamond, followed by Welcome to the Machine. Other songs I can recollect (the concert was more than a month back) are Comfortably Numb, Mother, Wish you were here, Hey you, Coming back to like, Run like hell (that was an encore).
In all a pretty good experience.

Then once we went to this place called Fat Tuesday at Ottawa, Canada, where this pianist duo was performing (along with an acoustic guitarist), one of them was 60+ yrs old and the other looked <20. All the songs they played were requests from audience, and the songlist looked just like my normal WinAmp playlist. Bands like CCR, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Counting Crowes, Coldplay, there were all kinds of bands, even What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong, and they even did a polka version of Eminem's Lose Yourself! Pretty good repertoire I must say, considering it was all impromptu.

Tomorrow I'll be going to watch Mark Knopfler playing at NYC, am pretty excited. He's one of my alltime favourite musicians, and can't wait to watch him perform in person!
More tomorrow after the concert....

Friday, May 20, 2005

artistfacts/wikipedia update

Its been a while since I blogged here. Was totally busy with exams, freer now, so should blog more in the coming days...

Check out my article on Doors at -
It was just a blog entry of mine, which I conveniently converted to an article :)

Also I added the following pages in wikipedia which were hitherto conspicuous by their absence:

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Rock n Roll

Been listening to some good ol' Chuck Berry/Buddy Holly/Everly Brothers/CCR
This song by Bob Seger best summarizes my mood at the moment..

Just take those old records off the shelf
I’ll sit and listen to ’em by myself
Today’s music aln ’t got the same soul
I like that old time rock ’n’ roll
Don’t try to take me to a disco
You’ll never even get me out on the
In ten minutes I’ll be late for the door
I like that old time rock’n’ roll

Still like that old time rock’n’ roll
That kind of music just soothes the soul
I reminisce about the days of old
With that old time rock ’n’ roll
Won’t go to hear them play a tango
I’d rather hear some blues or funky old soul
There’s only sure way to get me to go
Start playing old time rock ’n’ roll
Call me a relic, call me what you will
Say I’m old-fashioned, say I’m over the hill
Today’ music ain’t got the same soul
I like that old time rock ’n’ roll

Still like that old time rock’n’ roll
That kind of music just soothes the soul
I reminisce about the days of old
With that old time rock ’n’ roll

Other similarly themed songs that I can think of..
- Rock n Roll Music - Chuck Berry
- Rock n Roll (Been a long time) - Led Zeppelin
- I love Rock n Roll - Joan Jett
- Its only Rock n Roll (But I like it) - Rolling Stones

Friday, March 25, 2005

Sad Lisa

The latest song that has me all mesmerized is this song by Cat Stevens called Sad Lisa.

It is a total contrast to my other favourite Cat Stevens song, "Morning Has Broken". While that song was all about joy and happiness, this one's a sad song, a real tear-jerker.

The song starts with just piano and vocals, and after a while there's some very mild guitaring, and piano is the essense of the song. Towards the end there's a haunting violin solo, which so beautifully gels with the rest of the song.

Only a genius like Cat Stevens can come up with such masterpieces!

Lyrics of the song:

She hangs her head and cries on my shirt.
She must be hurt very badly.
Tell me what's making you sadly?
Open your door, don't hide in the dark.
You're lost in the dark, you can trust me.
'Cause you know that's how it must be.

Lisa Lisa, sad Lisa Lisa.

Her eyes like windows, tricklin' rain
Upon her pain getting deeper.
Though my love wants to relieve her.
She walks alone from wall to wall.
Lost in a hall, she can't hear me.
Though I know she likes to be near me.

Lisa Lisa, sad Lisa Lisa.

She sits in a corner by the door.
There must be more I can tell her.
If she really wants me to help her.
I'll do what I can to show her the way.
And maybe one day I will free her.
Though I know no one can see her.

Lisa Lisa, sad Lisa Lisa.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Lately I've been tripping over some old favourite Yanni songs of mine.
I didn't have much of a Yanni collection out here, but then a week back I got myself a RealRhapsody subscription, and since then its been an amazing journey into some childhood favourite artists. RealRhapsody, for those who haven't heard about it, is this amazing software which, for a modest subscription, lets you play any song streaming from its huge database of almost all songs/artists with pretty good sound quality. Its somewhat like Raaga is to Hindi/Tamil, only it spans all languages, genres...

Coming back to Yanni, what I like best about him is the way he gets the best out of both classical and popular music with his compositions. He's easily one of the most talented contemporary composers. What befuddled me was when I read somewhere that he is a completely self-taught musician and was never taught music formally ever in his life! Woah.. thats some natural talent.. ain't that amazing..

My personal favourite album of his is In The Mirror. All my favourite songs are in that album - In the Mirror, Love for Life, One Man's Dream, End of August...
But my favourite Yanni song was, till a short while age, unnamed. I never knew the name of the track, just had it on MP3 and it was called Track04.mp3. Thanks to RL, I finally found out the name of the song, its November Sky, from the album If I could tell you.

I tend to like his piano-based pieces more than the orchestra ones, though the latter has more mass appeal, songs like Santorini, Within Attraction, Aria. Two songs from the Live at Acropolis album that I dote are Keys to Imagination and Nostalgia, which can be categorized as midway between piano-based and orchestra-based. Even now the violin towards the end of Nostalgia gives me the goosebumps..

Here's some general trivia that I found about Yanni:
- His Live at the Acropolis was the #2 top selling music video of all time. I'm wondering which is #1, is it Pulse? is it Alchemy? Woodstock? ... anyone knows?
- As I said before, Yanni it seems is a completely self-taught musician. Hard though it is to believe, he cannot read or write music. According to wikipedia, he composes his pieces in a shorthand form of his own devising.
- In his childhood he dreamt of being a Olympic swimmer.
- Initially he started with playing rock-n-roll and even had a rock band back in college.
- He got his BA in Psychology from University of Minnesota.
- Despite not becoming a Psychologist, he is credited with preventing atleast one suicide with his music.