Browsing All Posts filed under »Music«

Interview: Noel Kirthiraj, co-founder and CEO of MAAJJA (on the Arivu, Rolling Stone controversies)

August 27, 2021


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Wokeness and art

June 5, 2021


QUOTE: “But what songwriter could have predicted thirty years ago that the future would lose its sense of humour, its sense of playfulness, its sense of context, nuance and irony, and fall into the hands of a perpetually pissed off coterie of pearl-clutchers? How were we to know?” The original article is here: Nick […]

Readers Write In #37: The Awesome Mixtape Musical

March 24, 2018


​Guardians of The Galaxy (2014) has inadvertently spawned a new genre in Hollywood – The ‘Awesome Mixtape Musical’. What ‘Guardians..’ had created, ‘Baby Driver’ ended up perfecting earlier this year. It is a bit counter-intuitive to call a movie with no real singing a musical, but maybe it’s time to expand the definition of ‘musical’ […]

Master of Arts

October 17, 2014


Kamal Haasan talks about how music came into his life. And dance. And everything else. Baradwaj Rangan listens. Forget the actor. That was the brief. After fifty years of acting, that’s the only facet of Kamal Haasan people think about. Sometimes, maybe, they think of Kamal Haasan the writer or Kamal Haasan the director. But […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Poems, with beats and a great tune…”

January 31, 2014


Vairamuthu’s Padma Bhushan honour is a reminder (if any were needed) that the lyrics written for films are sometimes on par with the best poetry. We all read prose, some of us write prose, but when it comes to poetry, we excuse ourselves from the table, suddenly remembering something more important. I don’t think it’s […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Dancing about architecture”

October 11, 2013


Thoughts on the background score in the movies, and the difficulty in writing about them. One kind of response you get used to as a critic is the but-how-could-you-not-mention… This usually comes from aggrieved fans of an actor who is not mentioned in the review (or mentioned only in passing, in a pair of parentheses […]

The last of a kind

May 27, 2013


A tribute to TM Soundararajan, the voice of a generation. To know why TM Soundararajan, TMS, was the last representative of a certain kind of playback singer, you’ll first have to consider that he rose to fame in an era where not everyone could become a playback singer – not even if you had a […]

‘What else can I do?’

May 2, 2013


AR Rahman isn’t in the mood to talk about his music for ‘Maryan,’ but about everything else he’s happy to hold forth. AR Rahman seems to like having his picture taken. He’s seated at the edge of a couch in one of the many small office rooms at his Kodambakkam studio, and the harsh lights […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Hardboiled tweets”

February 8, 2013


Thanks to social media, the world has become an even more unfair place. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Every time a major release ends up being savaged on social media, there rises a question about the fairness of it all. The points made by the filmmakers and their PR people are these: […]

The land of the unfree

February 3, 2013


With every passing controversy, we’re learning to redefine our rights. This is the story of two YouTube videos. The first one came up bare hours before I sat down to write this, and it featured an actor, a producer, a director announcing to a media gathering that he was now homeless in every sense. His […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A fanciful notion of what’s real”

January 25, 2013


The question around the underwhelming ‘Les Misérables’ isn’t how realistic a musical should be but whether musicals need be realistic at all. Mere days after Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Les Misérables was festooned with Academy Award nominations, it has sailed onto our shores – but this isn’t the first time Victor Hugo’s novel was set […]

Interview: ‘Guitar’ Prasanna (Rolling Stone)

June 20, 2012


‘The Film Industry has killed the Art of Performance’ The ‘other’ Indian musician attached to an Oscar winner opens up about the sad state of non-film music in our country today. JUNE 2009 – IT’S AN UNDERDOG STORY THAT RIVALS Slumdog Millionaire, the tale of a little girl with a cleft lip who underwent corrective […]

Margazhi tingle

December 3, 2011


It’s December. It’s The Season. The regulars know what to do, what to expect. And for the music-loving tourist who doesn’t, a crash course is inevitable, beginning with the gentle instruction that sa-ri isn’t just six yards of local attire. The emails have begun to trickle in. A friend from Seattle, who is visiting Madras […]

The Rahman Effect

October 8, 2011


After nearly 20 years in the business, is the Mozart of Madras likely to be concerned by the reactions to ‘SuperHeavy’ and ‘Rockstar’? We think not.

Musician on a Mission

August 29, 2011


How significant is western classical music in India? Jean-François Gonzales-Hamilton is here to find out. We are born to run, to shout, to love, but we are not born to play an instrument. Those skills aren’t innate, and when we learn to play the piano or the violin, we slip into a default mode dictated […]

The Biscuit Shakers

July 29, 2011


English-speaking Hindi filmmakers are mangling the film song beyond recognition – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Between Reviews: To Read… or Not to Read

March 27, 2010


TO READ… OR NOT TO READ To know, beforehand, or to walk into a movie unencumbered by knowledge? That’s the dilemma dogging the critic in this age of information overload. MAR 28, 2010 – BEFORE MOVIES STOPPED BEING ABOUT popcorn and started to mean pay-cheques and punishing deadlines – namely the days before I turned […]

Between Reviews: Accolades and Angst

March 14, 2009


ACCOLADES AND ANGST MAR 15, 2009 – THE FIRST TIME “GUITAR” PRASANNA LAID EYES on Megan Mylan, the director of the Academy Award-winning documentary short Smile Pinki, it was on a television set that was telecasting the Oscars. Otherwise, he was in Boston composing the music, while she was in New York, evaluating the efforts […]

Interview: 'Guitar' Prasanna

June 11, 2006


STRINGMASTER ‘Guitar’ Prasanna talks about his new album dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. JUNE 11, 2006 – CONCEPT ALBUMS – especially fusion concept albums – are a publicity person’s nightmare. After all these decades of sitars backed by drum sets, guitars playing alongside ghatams, just how do you convey a sense of the music anymore without […]

East Asian Club Nights on the West Coast

March 5, 2006


KULCHA CLUB An East Asian influence in a West Coast nightspot? Baradwaj Rangan finds out more, in a conversation with musician Dhruva Ganesan. MAR 5, 2006 – THERE ARE TIMES WHEN YOU’RE sitting across someone, speaking to them, when you see their mouth forming the words, you hear the sounds of those words, but they […]