Thursday, February 28, 2008

TV Channels are Petty and Irrelevant

Well, to be clear, music channels are petty and irrelevant. This is isn't something I'm ranting about because of any particular incident recently, I've basically come to realize that music channel people are little kids who are news channel/media rejects and don't know the first thing about music and it's promotion. Worst of all, because there are such few quality people in TV channels, these incompetent children get promoted to positions of authority and then they let it get to their heads. They imagine they are recrod industry executives who get invited to all the cool parties and hang with all the celebrities. When the musicians/celebrities don't kiss there ass they lash out vindictively with petty vendettas.

Aunty Disco Project hasn't been immune to this kind of behaviour, which is really sad because I pride myself on the fact that we are a really down to earth bunch of guys not doing the whole celebrity thing. Yet every now and then I am faced with some asshole in a TV channel giving us shit.

Recently there is one channel, who shall remain unnamed, who have an extremely dysfunctional relationship with us. They interview us and get us on their shows, but thats mostly because their VJ's like us and are fans. But they refuse to play our music videos.

A while back, some kid called me from this channel telling me that they were organizing some mega concert and all these big names were already on board and they wanted us to play as well. At that point I was managing the band, so I said I'd get back to him and I quoted him our minimum playing fee. This kid goes back an tells his boss that we are showing "nakhraas". In the meantime I called up the managers and members of the other acts involved and they all told me that none of them had confirmed because the channel had confirmed their payment. Keep in mind that the price I quoted him was lower than any of the other artists.

So the channel boss guy calls me back and literally starts yelling at me telling me how the channel has done so much for us and we should play for free because they have been doing us a favor by playing our videos. I kept my cool and maintained that while we were grateful, we needed to get paid for our performance just like everybody else, and we were willing to negotiate, but we couldn't play for free. I kid you not, this guy tells me I'm an idiot and that I'm going to regret it. Can you imagine?

Sure enough, after that we see our video being taken off rotation. The next thing I know I start getting calls from my friends working at the channel asking me why this dude has a problem with me and if that's the case I should apologize. I told them I didn't have anything to apologize for.

By chance, I happened to meet the then CEO of the channel, who when he heard I was from ADP asked me what my problem was with his producer. I wanted to bang my head against something because I couldn't believe this had snowballed into such a ridiculous issue.

Not that it has affected our popularity, which just goes to show how irrelevant this channel really is. I am told that this producer guy wants me to call him up and smooth things over. Well he can smooth things over with my brown ass. Can you believe this kind of stuff still happens in a so-called professional environment?

So these days, if the guy sees us, he goes up to Yasir and makes it a point to tell him he's the only "good guy" in the band. Its been 4 months now, while you might make the case that I'm jeopardizing my bands future by not kissing some kids ass, let me remind you that TV channels mean nothing, and we are where we are today not because of them, but in spite of them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

News Bulletin

• The next ADP gig will be sometime in the first week of March, probably at a local college or university. So far we will have Ali Alam joining us as a guest to fill in for Lodhi. Watch this space for more updates.
• Congratulations to everyone for surviving the elections.
• I think my driver and my cook are gay. Or at least having a fling. I walked in on them yesterday and I think they were kinda fooling around. I could be mistaken. Maybe the driver really did just trip and grab the cooks’ ass to stop himself from falling.
• Our drummer Omar Khalid owns the new Avril Lavigne album in its entirety.
• The next person who calls me OBA-MA, as in the black guy running for president is gonna get my STOOL thrown at them. And I ain’t talking about furniture.
• Apparently on some Facebook app, I have been voted as sexier than some dude called Humayun Ghias. Ha! In your face!.
• Yasir is a dumbass. Yesterday we in the car and this is the conversation we had.
Yasir: “Yaar…the week went by so fast….”
Me: (silence for a while)…Yasir? It’s fucking Tuesday Yasir. It’s only the second fucking day of the week
Yasir: …yeah…but we got here pretty fast.

Valentines' Day

That most dreaded of occasions. The mere mention of it tends to shrivel my…er…hands. If you are not in a relationship, it makes you feel miserable. If you are in a relationship, and are unfortunate enough to be the MAN, it is ten times worse. So pick a category below and see if I come close to describing your experience.

If you are ugly and male and in love with someone hot and female.

You’re pretty fucked. Because lets face it, even though girls might try to tell you looks don’t matter, it’s hard for them to ignore your crater-like pimples and enormous uni-brow. So even if you spend an entire month working up the courage to give that special someone that special something, she will still treat you like a special person in the Special Olympics.

If you are good looking and male in love with someone hot and female

Since you think you are really hot, you are probably really stupid. This means you will give hot girl something stupid and unoriginal like flowers and candy. Given that hot girl will probably have many suitors, competition will be high and you will be forced to spend more and more to make an impact. This will make you bankrupt and homeless. You will spend the rest of your life being the weird homeless guy who doesn’t feel the need to wear pants.

If you are good looking and male and in love with someone ugly and female

You probably lowered your standards and professed your love for that girl who looks like Morgan Freeman in the hope that you had a better chance of getting action. However, ugly girl will sense that you are trying to get pity-sex from her and ignore your advances. You see, ugly girl could become hot someday. But you will always be a dumbass.

And finally….

If you are ugly and male in love with someone ugly and female

You might have a chance at happiness. Because as you try to talk to her, your movements will be so uncoordinated, you will knock her glasses off. In turn, her eyesight will be so weak, she will think you are a giant panda and agree to cuddle you. You get married and after a night of hot, passionate panda sex, you give birth to two ugly children and you name them, Maqsood and Shagufta who marry a sheep and an armadillo respectively. You and your human/panda/sheep/armadillo family live happily ever after.

So contrary to what any of you think, Valentines Day is really only for ugly people. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Finally a new post….

I apologize profusely to my loyal blog readers (thank you Khizzy and Atta for getting me off my ass!) these last past couple of weeks have been a tense and busy time for me so I had been neglecting the blog. To make up for it, I post not one, not two but three POSTS. Enjoy!

You see I was studying to give my GMAT, which if you guys don’t know, is kinda like an SAT test for getting an MBA degree. Shock and horror right? What the hell is musician dude like me doing trying to get an MBA? Well no confirmed plans yet, I’m just exploring my options, but thankfully to the powers that be, last Saturday I took the test and did really well on it!
I can now finally get my life back on track. Since my trip to Malaysia and since Lodhi left, I’ve been living like a complete hermit, ignoring the band and my social life. My parents decided to get up and go to Dubai to check out Santana in concert, proving that no matter how hard I try, my parents are way cooler than me. They also have more money, which I guess explains most of it.
So I was alone at home for a week. I know what you’re thinking…HOUSE PARTY! On this occasion I was pretty lame, spent most of my time studying naked and overdosing on every kind of junk food available. I’m pretty sure the Pizza Hut order dudes recognize me now. Hell I had so many pizza boxes, I built a little fort/house, you know the kind you built when you were a kid? You could hide behind them and pretend you were warding off attacks from the evil Gorgolians…fierce creatures who smelt like rancid cheese and looked like rats on steroids. (I started doing mushrooms at an early age clearly).
As my descent into madness continued, so did my descent into lack of personal hygiene. With no one at home to smell me, showers were neglected and beards were cultivated. Oblivious to my own odor, I continued in this state to Valentines Day. (There is a separate rant filled post on this topic) I actually didn’t do much on V-Day except from a radio show special, so I got bored.
I did however give somebody a card. Didn’t see her though, due to my above mentioned hygiene issues. The card was more of a big joke than a grand romantic gesture, but I’m glad it made someone smile. (“Ohhh look at Omar being all sensitive” –please read my post on Valentines Day)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Going solo


While the band is still figuring out how to replace Lodhi, I accepted an offer from my good friend Ali Alam (Of Ganda Banda and the 3-D Cats fame) to perform an acoustic show at The Second Floor.

It's been ages since I performed solo, it's always a touchy subject because naturally whenever theres an offer for a show, the other band guys want to be in on the action. In the band, if you play solo or with anyone else, it's kinda like cheating on girlfriend. (Although playing solo should technically be...masturbation)

Anyway, an incredible crowd turned up in the tiny Cafe, lots of familiar faces, plenty of new ones. Jehanzeb Sherwani opened the show. Now J has got to be one of the most innovative singer/guitarists around. He performed an incredible range of covers from Simon and Garfunkel to KT Tunstall but get this. he performed with a guitar, a laptop and a digital effects/looping device that enabled him to basically record verses while playing, play them back and sing with himself, creating a one man band. Marvellous stuff, really was a treat to watch.

I opted to follow him, since it was Ali's show. I am always more nervous performing in front a small intimate audience. On stage its all CRASH BOOM BANG RAA RAA RAA ROCK AND ROLL SEE ME THRUST MY PELVIS but here it was all acoustic, warm and subtle. When I get nervous, I make jokes, so on this occasion I was talking so much,
I started the set with a too-fast version of "In Your Eyes" and was much more comfortable doing my originals "Likhta Nahin Mein" and "Nazar". (Here's a video a fan made of me singing "Nazar" thanks Aamir!)



The best moment was when I ended my set with "Hallelujah" and everyone in the room was quietly singin the chorus along with me. it was a spiritual moment, all these people singing in tune and harmony, it gave me goose pimples.

Ali Alam performed next. Every time I see Ali perform, I'm always envious because I really do want to steal hi songs. He writes the kind of stuff I wish i could, simple but effective, really catchy and lyrically sound. Plus he put in a great performance, complete with guitar and harmonica.

This show was one of those close-to-the-heart type things where you interact directly with people who come to see you perform and it was an energetic and affectionate crowd as well. It put me at ease, even though my bands future is uncertain, at least I can still perform for people who love music as much as I do.

Farewells


As I look back on my last post, I realize it is quite morbid. I wrote it in a very depressed frame of mind. Last Friday, I threw Lodhi a small farewell at Samme’s Ultralounge so we could jam together one last time for our friends and fans.

At that point, I honestly didn’t know what our direction was going to be. We’ve been seeing less and less of OK, I think ever since he started his new job, he’s been kind of distracted by his other priorities (i.e. having a REAL career). So OK was of the opinion that we shouldn’t continue as Aunty Disco Project anymore since Lodhi was such an integral part of our identity. Yasir on the other hand wants to move ahead with a replacement.

I took some time to think it over. As much as I love Lodhi, I realized that ADP is much bigger than any one band member alone. Maybe without him we won’t be the same ADP, but we could be something different, something as good.

My biggest fear is that our live act won’t be as good. We’ve worked hard at our reputation of being a really exciting and energetic rock band. Lodhi and I had our fair share of problems off the stage but when we were on it, we really had a magical chemistry, where we only had to look at each other to now what the other was going to do. I really am going to miss that.

There were a bunch of rumors circling regarding us breaking up. I was overwhelmed by the fan response, my inbox was flooded with people who were genuinely upset at the prospect of us not continuing. It is an incredible feeling to know that I am part of something much bigger than myself and my own little world, and that the guys and me have created something special, even thought it is small, it belongs to so many people.

That is why I want to make clear that ADP is not breaking up. While ADP will always be Yasir, OK, Imran and myself, the rest of us will continue and we’ll keep playing the shows and making the music.

And thank you all for your love and support.
Here is a picture of my first gig with Lodhi. And here is a picture of our last.