“But let’s talk about you for a minute, with the vomit at your gullet, from a half bottle of vodka that we’d stolen from the optic. On the back seat of your car because it wasn’t safe to start it, you were ‘far too f***ed to drive’ were the words that you imparted. And the woolen dress that clung so tight, to the contours of your body. And the dead grass stuck to fibers from us rolling in the layby, were passed to dog-hair blankets that protected the bench seat covers, and a crucifix was hung from rear-view mirror by your mother.” Read more

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If there is one band that has steadfastly stuck to its indie-ness, despite huge success and critical acclaim, it is The National. Till last week, the Brooklyn-based band of some 10 years or so had four full-length albums out, two of them – Alligator and Boxer – catapulting them to popularity (make that popularity in indie terms and not multi-platinum sales). Read more

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When three bands that you like release their new albums on the same day, you have a problem of plenty and a difficult choice to make. So, on May 4, when The Hold Steady released Heaven is Whenever, The New Pornographers put out Together and Broken Social Scene popped out the curiously named Forgiveness Rock Record, their first album in five years, I went and bought digital versions of all three online. After some fretting over which one to listen to first, I chose Broken Social Scene. I was glad I did that. Read more

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On April 19, Guru died. I read about it a day or two later on a blog and felt a twinge of sadness. He was one hip-hop emcee who so completely changed my mind about the genre and opened up a new vista for me that I always felt grateful to him. Guru (real name: Keith Elam) was one half of the New York duo called Gang Starr and he was only 48 when he succumbed to cancer. Read more

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The first time I heard Jakob Dylan was in the mid-1990s when his band, The Wallflowers, released their breakthrough album, Bringing Down the Horse. I had bought a cassette that I played once on the long daily commute I used to do those days in Bombay and got immediately hooked to songs like 6th Avenue Heartache and Three Marlenas. My companion then and (usually) co-passenger also loved the album but I suspect that in her case Jakob Dylan’s looks also had something to do with her affection for his music.
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