By the time you read this, many of you would have had not only heard (some of you, several times) Radiohead’s new album, The King of Limbs, but also been barraged by myriad reviews of that splendid piece of work. But I am writing this on what will be called ‘last Sunday’ by the time you read this (yes, magazines have strange deadlines). That means I have had a just a bit over 24 hours to listen to the album and have been so overwhelmed by it that it is difficult to for me to describe it coherently. Read more

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At the beginning of this month, The White Stripes announced that they were breaking up. I was saddened but not surprised. Jack and Meg White—the once-married duo—formed the Detroit-based band in the late 1990s and have six great full-length albums besides some live recordings and many singles to their credit. Although they already had two albums already out, the first album by The White Stripes that I heard was their third, White Blood Cells, in 2001. I liked them instantly. It was their sound: rock and roll with a blues and punk twist. Raspy, distorted guitar-work (Jack), primal drumming (Meg) and howling vocals. I have lost count of how many times I heard White Blood Cells when I first got that album. Even now, I just have to think of that album and I can hear the opening riffs of the first song, Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground. Read more

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My recent visits to Kolkata, the hometown I left long before they changed its name from Calcutta, haven’t really been pleasant ones, partly because of the none-too-happy personal reasons for which I have to visit the city. But also because the city I go back to, albeit infrequently, is just not the place that used to be home for nearly the first 30 years of my life – and I’m not referring to its re-christening alone. I have fond memories of Calcutta and many of the reasons why I like the kind of music that I do has to do with being exposed – through friends, bands and simply because of easy availability – to a heck of a lot of great music while I was growing up in that city. Read more

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I don’t know exactly what I was doing on March 12 and 13, 1971 except that I was not-yet-a-teenager studying in Class 6 in a Calcutta school. Of course, I had not even the faintest idea that on the other side of the planet on those two dates, rock history was being made as a band played what is one of the best live concert recordings that I have heard. On those two nights, at New York’s Fillmore East venue, The Allman Brothers Band played two gigs that were later turned (along with another gig there that they played in June the same year) into The Fillmore Concerts album. Read more

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