Survived Atlas and a great party to boot

So, yeah, I was sick for Atlas, but I survived. Great crowd, good vibe, and a good friend’s birthday party as well. Wonderful to see Bhangra instructor extraordinaire Joti Singh up from the Bay stop by the party. Since we were playing Grime DVDs in the background all night I had to throw done some London damage in my second set though I think it came to a shock to many in attendance. Hey, Grime is international too! Any time I can play Baile Funk, Bollywood, Reggaeton, Middle Eastern beats, Bhangra and Dancehall in the same set I am a happy boy. Especially if I can drag the crowd screaming with me. Thanks to everyone who worked the night. Welcome Ariel, hope to see a Grime set of yours some time.


sick again in time for atlas

Oh, man. Deja vu. I was sick for last month’s Atlas and here I am still under the weather after a week of a sore throat an torrential mucus. Actually the mucoidal deluge isn’t perhaps that bad, but still, I don’t want to be sick on stage again. At least I don’t have a fever or the flu. Maybe I’ll even get a chance to nap today. For the first time in months we don’t have any guests which means I have to shoulder my share of DJing time. All week my generally sub-par condition has meant that my sickly ears haven’t even felt like exposing themselves to any loud music, so I haven’t been getting psyched by listening to tons of new music. It’s my friend Ken’s birthday so hopefully his crew will come by at some point and that will bring some joy to what might be a survivalist evening of sickly endurance otherwise.
Anjali and I are shopping for a car right now. Thank you, Jim for the loaner! If we get one in the next week hopefully we can make it up to the Bhangra competition in Vancouver, BC next weekend. Of course we will be back in time for our KBOO radio show on Sunday the 22nd. See you all around.


Andaz New Year’s Eve

Wow. I’m still processing last night. It is now New Year’s Day and I’m still trying to get my head around the party. Over 592 paid makes our New Year’s party the biggest Andaz of all time. Sorry to everyone who had to wait in line. There was plenty of room before 10:30pm so I have to emphasize that you don’t have to be stuck outside if you plan ahead and get there early. Unfortunately after the nightclub fires in the midwest a few years ago the fire marshal decided to reduce capacity at the Fez by 100 people. If you know how to appeal a fire marshal decision then maybe we can see about letting even more people in the doors. Thank you to Shreeyash for the magic show and demonstrating how to swallow a 5 foot balloon. Thank you to everyone who worked the night, especially Heather who had a lot to deal with at our door. Thanks to Jason and company for the photo booth and Deai for the visuals. Thank you to everyone who came out. Here’s to a fourth year of Andaz in 2006.


Turbo Tabla show at Holocene packed to the gills

Wow. Our Atlas show featuring Turbo Tabla sure packed them in. 369 paid! That makes it out best Atlas since Anjali and I played our return gig from our Indian vacation. Thank you to Karim and Claudia for performing and David for help on promotions. That’s only the second time we’ve had live percussion at Atlas and what a nice sound that is. In some scenes it is de rigueur for Indian or Middle Eastern percussion to accompany DJs who play “world” music. Other than Ferhan Qureshi who played our one year anniversary most of what I’ve heard has been really hit or miss. Karim (Turbo Tabla) can definitely play.
Unfortunately in many respects the night resembled my occasional DJ nightmares. When we got to the club we were missing essential cables that I had left at the Fez Ballroom at the last Andaz gig. This is the second time that has happened and what a scary feeling that is. Fortunately Mikey Love came through in a pinch. Hi Heather and KC! Then once I was on stage I kept having songs come in so quiet it was like dead air and cold water thrown on the dancefloor. Even when I thought I was compensating by adjusting the volume level of the incoming song I kept experiencing embarrassing moments of quiet sucking at the dance floor energy like a leech. I should add that I’ve been nursing a sore throat for a week. I’ve always had nightmares about getting really sick before a big gig. Here I am on an exceptionally tall stage (I don’t like being on stage anyway.) going on right after Turbo Tabla in front of a packed room. My sore throat which I was trying to keep from blossoming into a full-on cold/flu was threatening to do just that all day. I was woozy and tired and sweating under the stage lights and then cursed by volume discrepancies and awkard transitions. Like I said, just like one of my nightmares. Thank you to those who stayed with me and my apologies to those who were stifled in their attempts to get off on the dance floor. I promise, I can do better. The good news is my illness feels a lot better this morning. Thank you to everyone who came out and made the night such a success.


Anjali remains skeptical about current filmi hits

I love/hate the current direction of filmi songs.

I love Sunidhi Chauhan. Such a full, throaty voice in a field of high-pitched warblers.

The prevalence of techno oriented numbers makes me think that this is early 80’s Bollywood all over again with a rave edge. Anu Malik and other (now) old-timers are like “oh yeah, I remember how this goes” and it’s all of a sudden it’s Disco Deewani with 130bpm kick drums. As a DJ I appreciate this up-tempo rhythm-accented style but the English lyrics/rapping/fakey Dancehall-stylee have got to go. I so wish there were remixes of the current hits without the cheeseball English sections. Now of course my entire perspective comes from the fact that my Hindi is limited to bits and pieces and I only “hear” melodies and textures and not words in filmi singing. No doubt it might be the corny Hindi verses or choruses that would make a Hindi-speaker cringe and not the English interjections. I can’t stand “Just Chill” but there are a million worse bilingual songs coming out all the time. I appreciate bilingualism as a concept and practice, but Bollywood can’t fake American-style urban cool. It just sounds wack.


Can we fit any more people in here?

I am so excited about the Andaz New Year’s party. Andaz has always been a successful party but things have really kicked up a notch lately. I’m hoping all of the energy and excitement from the last few months will send this night into the stratosphere on New Year’s Eve. A special thank you to Joti Singh for leading such a spirited dance lesson at our three year anniversary. There were a lot of people crowding the ballroom EARLY trying to get their moves down. Thank you to everyone for coming out and supporting all these years.

State of Bengal Atlas anniversary party

Thank you to everyone for coming out to support us at our Atlas anniversary. It can be a tricky proposition bringing a guest DJ from afar and making sure that all the expenses can be covered. We have you all to thank for the night’s success. Thank you to DJ Suppoz for the assist in getting the word out. Thank you to Tracy and Ezra for being gracious hosts. Thank you so much to State of Bengal for being willing to work with us and make this show happen for Portland. Thank you, Sam!

Bollywood Horror Blowout

Holy hellaciousness, Batman! Bollywood Horror III was a tremendous success. We had our largest crowd at the Fez Ballroom, ever! 450 people through the doors meant an early sellout and a mob of 40 restless would-be party attenders gathered on the sidewalk. Our apologies to those who had to wait to get in, but there was plenty of room before 10:30pm, so all I can say is get there early for our 3 Year Anniversary in November. We’ve even enlisted Bay area Bhangra dance instructor Joti Singh for an early dance lesson as if you needed any more enticement.

Thank you to everyone who came out for making it such an insane party. Mercy Corps will be receiving a chunk of change due to the night’s success so you can all feel good and tingly about your commited partying. Whew. Anjali is DJing a Divali function today and I’m working an evening shift in addition so I’m already looking forward to my next chance to sleep. And that “whu-whu-whu, whu-whu whu” pressure fluctuations in my ears is just too much.

Pinoy rap mystery solved

Uh yeah, so . . . I discovered that the mystery Pinoy rap track was actually an all-Tagalog song off the new Black Eyed Peas. So much for obscurity. Well, whatever one might say about their lovely lady lumps I have to give them credit for not only putting a Tagalog track on their album but actually releasing it as a single. Here’s to anyone helping to make the airwaves sound as diverse as the culture in which we actually live.