Panjabi MC

2014-02-07 18.07.12I know, I know there are some of you who are sick of the constant posts about the Panjabi MC party which has become my #1 lesson: Create a Ziba Music page.  But I HAVE to post about what a complete and utterly fun event it was, but I did wonder why some still stayed home. Sure, it was a Friday night, sure it was 21 over, sure it was $35, but what is it about Los Angeles that is not friendly to Desi club events?  It comes back to the same theme.  Why are we so anti desi music?  What has changed?  I mean I get it, Bollywood rules, but there is so much good music coming out that we don’t know about. This is when I truly missed Ziba Music. Dad and I had a good thing going, and while he let it end on a high note, I do wonder maybe something also closed along with the shop. I went to flyer and was shocked to see just piles of Bollywood music and movies but very little in the way of other music.  

To be completely fair, the venue was packed, and we had a great mix of desis and non desis, but the promoter in me wondered why we couldn’t do a 1000 person venue to listen to one of the best known UK Bhangra producers in the world. Not only was he the nicest guy, Panjabi MC puts on a show! So what am I missing here? Help me out here?  Why are people in Los Angeles resisting so much?  We are the only major city that a lot of Desi acts are no longer booked, and it sucks.

Which means, I will keep at it. No sir, you couldn’t pull me away (stolen from Die Hard).  And just like in Rocky 5, One more Round. 🙂


Promoting Again??!!

PMC_Flyer_FAnd so begins the first full week of 2014.  There is so much I have reflected on for 2013, but a few things that struck me as surprising. I decided to start promoting again. And the reaction was confusing.  There were some who were excited, and then there were others (namely my family) who were like why?  Why do you want to start doing events again?  a) You have a job. b) Aren’t you a bit too old to be promoting. c) The scene is dead.  No one does parties anymore. d) Aren’t you too old?  And then was New Years. Although the event was not as successful as I would have liked, it convinced me of one thing. There is a need for desi events, but not for all desis. There were some there who were absolutely miserable, and then the majority who had a blast. So why do desi events?  Became I am a fan of desi music. I am not a FOB (well maybe I am), but I am a fan of music from my country. If that is a badge of disgrace, then so be it. I am doing events to bring the groups and producers I enjoy. It’s my party. and that’s what I want to do. So if you don’t like Panjabi MC or Mickey Singh or Jassi Sidhu or Dhol Nation or Sandeep Kumar, then maybe, just maybe, you have no love for great music made by our own. And you know what, that’s OK.  Just don’t tell me I shouldn’t be promoting. Because it’s easy to criticize, but extremely hard to do.

See you at the next event, or not. I don’t plan on stopping. Somebody needs to save the desi club scene in Los Angeles. Why not me?

Myself, Preeti, Random

Bollywood And Bullshit

English: Indian actor Shahrukh Khan, arrival f...
English: Indian actor Shahrukh Khan, arrival for press conference of “Om Shanti Om” at the Hyatt Hotel, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mild Spoilers ahead. Also for those who don’t watch Bollywood, most of this will go over your head.

Preeti and I had the misfortune to go see Chennai Express. Within minutes of the movie starting, I knew it was going to be a  steaming pile of shit. However, we sat through the overacting by Shahrukh Khan and Deepika whatever her last name is (I am too lazy to go look it up), and I couldn’t help listening to the audience that was in the same theater with us. They were giggling and laughing away like it was the funniest movie they had ever seen. It hit me that perhaps they are such huge fans of SRK that seeing him in a comedy made more than worth their time. While I couldn’t help noticing how old he looked, and the fact that he had to quote his older movies to constantly remind us what a huge superstar he was, I couldn’t quite get over how disrespectful us North Indians are towards South Indians. The movie is full of every South Indian stereotype there is (idli anyone?), with a bare nod towards Rajnikanth  at the end with a song dedicated to him since he is a huge star there.

A quick glance at reviews online and I kept seeing the word escapism, visually arresting, blah blah. If you want to wade through glistening shit, this is the movie for you.  No matter what, with a big blockbuster like this, you can count on one or 2 songs being interesting especially the “masala” song which involves a girl with some flimsy clothes gyrating away as she has never gyrated before. It’s all in good nah. Never mind that it shows women nothing than sexual objects and things to look at.  God forbid, a Bollywood movie such as this show women as more than showpieces. Nope! Not happening.  Instead we get a mishmash of horrible songs, even worse dancing, and me wondering why the hell did I sit through 2 hours of utter bullshit.

I know that we all have different opinions, and perhaps I just couldn’t get past the over acting, but what really offended me is how we continue to watch Bollywood movies that are broadly stereotypical (a tamil speaking punjabi guy anyone?) and promote the idea that only particular north Indians are the true Indians. What a load of bullshit. We are better than this. Bollywood needs to get better before it truly become irrelevant to the next generation of South Asians.  [Rant done. Drops mike.]


Bollywood High Heels

Bollywood & Beyond
Bollywood & Beyond (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



What is up with Bhangra songs and hindi lyrics and whats up with white people speaking hindi in Bollywood movies?  That’s what struck me as I went to watch Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, and listened to Yo Yo Honey Singh‘s “High Heels” track with some painful hindi in it. I am the first one to admit that my hindi isn’t all that, but really trying to rap in hindi when your first language is something else is just plain dumb. The beat is catchy but wow can someone hire them a song writer or someone perhaps who can speak Hindi fluently at least?  Or perhaps it can be bad Punjabi like in Imran Khan‘s new track “Satifya” which really after 4 years is just Amplifier part 2.  What happened to meaningful lyrics and characters?  Which leads me to my next annoyance. What was up with the white people speaking in Yeh Jawani? I would think if it was pertinent to the story line, I would buy it, but to have them without so much as an explanation was just perplexing. I probably sound racist, but it just threw me off that there were white characters randomly in the movie who had substantial roles but no back-end story.  I need logic of some sort in my music and movies.

I have taken up my old passions and they are lacking, and it saddens me. I don’t even know where to find new desi urban music, and what am I finding is just plain unimaginative and not relevant to me.  Maybe I am just getting old.  Yes, or maybe I am old already. Either way it’s a sad.