Saturday, May 29, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with VJ/Hipster Juhi Pande

In Pic: The one and only Juhi Pande w/ fairy friend (she loves her fairies!)

She's been hosting TV shows on Channel V for years now and you just can't miss her on the idiot box.  Bubbly, sassy, beautiful with hints of mischief and sarcasm, she's pure positive vibes - this is Juhi Pande.  You'll remember her introduction into the VJ big leagues with her bold mohawk (how cool was that? Juhi! Bring back the mohawk!), spelling out: "The TOMBOY is here!" Today, she continues to rock television, consistently putting a smile on our faces with her exuberant and energetic style of hosting. Even if the show sucks nuts (which it rarely does with her around), Juhi will always find a way to keep you interested and keep it fun. Make sure to catch her with VJ Manish on Channel V's Bollywood Nonsensex, to see Juhi doing what she does best - having a right old laugh.


In an exclusive interview with YHIHF, Channel V's Juhi Pande talks about her childhood, the media industry, television, Lost (baby!), her favourite restaurants and much much more! 


What’s the Juhi Pande life story – what were the key experiences that have led up to you being one of the country’s most successful VJs?
Wow... I don't know how to answer that. There was no plan. I just went along with everything for the ride. Honestly, never thought anything would last and never thought anything would go bust. So, yeah. A more clear answer would be that I am very self critical. So I never sit back... whether it be my job or  anything else

Your father was in the Indian Air Force and you were moved around India regularly during your childhood, can you tell us what this was like growing up?
It was brilliant. I didn't know a different life. For the longest time I just assumed that everybody else was as nomadic as my family, moving every year.  Its only when we moved to Delhi in 1995 did I realise that some kids go to the same school their entire life. Imagine my shock! I was on school #8  and still had a few years to graduate. But it was a fantastic life. We lived in Air Force stations on the outskirts of some obscure city in a different state every year. Made new friends, read a LOT (cable tv came late to us), cycled and bummed around a lot. Fun!

In Pic: Juhi Pande - nomad hipster 4 life

Over your career in television, what have been some of the TV shows you’ve worked on, that you have been genuinely passionate about? 
Basement - my show with Neil. It was fuckinfantastic to work with him and my Basement team.
Launch Pad would be the other one. Great show; we found music talent, raw or otherwise for 3 years. Super platform for new bands and great great music. The Superfuzz won in 2007 - love that band, very punk rock, very edgy. Then in 2009, Reverse Polarity, again a super band.

If you were given full creative control for a one-hour TV show, what would you do and what channel would it be on? 
I'd keep it on V and I'd get back Basement with Neil. Post that, the show would be banned.

Who have been your inspirations inside and outside of the media industry?
Don't have any inspirations. Though I'd want Anthony Bourdain's job and lungs in my next life.

What are the key traits to being a successful VJ in this country?
  • Know.Your.Hindi. 
  • Love.Thy.Neighbour 
Ok, ignore the second one. Replace it with - be comfortable in your skin. Seriously, there are too many people with pre-concieved notions about being a presenter. Look at Lola Kutty... Look at Andy... Manish; these guys are so comfortable with who and how they are. So ease up and have a little fun... that would be it.

You worked with Channel V International early in your career – what was that experience like and how is the approach different from working with Channel V India?
It's the same. V India and V International operate pretty much the same way and are a pleasure to work with. I shot for a show in Australia for a few weeks with V international... then did a stint in Bangkok for a few days... then Hong Kong for a few days, it's always fun. A lot of laughs and a lot of silliness (is that how one spells silliness... or is it sillyness?).

Your thoughts on reality TV and the influx of these types of shows on television?
Two words; it works. It really does. People are hooked on to reality television. Of any sort. So I say, why not?  Though I'm personally not a fan of reality television. Gimme good fiction over reality any day.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I don't know. It's too far away... hopefully bumming around on a beach somewhere.


You’ve been a serious Lost fan for a while now… what are your overall thoughts on the show, why is it so good? What did you think of the finale? 
I like anything to do with the space time continuum (I subscribe to Astronomy Magazine - so, you know) and I know that the show was so much more than just that, but that's what got me hooked. I like ( I will NOT use the past tense) that Lost has such amazing characters, with histories backing them up. I like that there is so much suspense and mystery shrouding every episode. Honestly, the character sketches are superlative. I started out with liking Locke, then despising him, then sorta liking him again, to being in love with his character. You go on an incredible ride with this show. As for the finale, Lindelof and Cuse could not have done a better job. It was beautiful. What a way to say goodbye.

You’ve done your fair share of global music festivals, what have been some of the life changing ones?
The Boom Festival, 2006, Portugal! That was probably the peak of my trance phase and there is no festival like the Boom. Seven days of mayhem and every artist I adored. The dance tent could accomodate 15,000 people, so you can imagine the energy on the dance floor.

Tell us about your current projects? TV shows and theatre?
I'm doing four shows with V right now. My favourite is Bollywood Nonsensex which I do with Manish. It's so funny. We shred every celebrity under the sun and its done almost tastefully. A total blast.
Theatre - I'm one play old; Some Girl(s), Neil Labute, adapted by Akarsh Khurana and I've done 17 shows - it's been quite a rush, being on stage. I can see myself doing more of this.

In Pic: Juhi and Manish - tune into 'Bollywood Nonsensex' on Channel V

Some of your favourite clothing brands for everyday wear?
Ummmm... anything goes. As long as it's comfy and short (Bombay is boiling). I am partial to Mango and Zara though.

What’s one restaurant in Mumbai that has yet to disappoint you and why?
Indigo Deli and Basilico; they keep revising their menus and the service and ambience at both places is fantastic. Though I have a new favorite in Pali Village Cafe; their watermelon and feta cheese salad is to die for.

You’ve got some really dope tattoos, who are some of the artists you would recommend? Where can we find them?
I've had some of my tattoos done by artists traveling to India and some I've had done while I've been traveling. The one on my calf was done by Mahyar in Goa in '07 and he's usually in India for a month or two in a year... Super super artist.

List out three of your favourite movies and tell us why.
Fight Club - Because I like Chuck Palahniuk as a writer and then to adapt his book and get David Fincher, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton to work on it is just a dream, innit?
Point Break - Because it's Point Break!
Terminator 2 - Because I keep going back to the first time I saw this film. It took my breath away. Also, Alien - all of them.

You are stuck on a deserted island with a life supply of batteries and a boom box, list out six life changing must-have albums you’d like to have with you?
  1. Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind
  2. Kasabian -  West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
  3. Pulp Fiction - OST (Gold Standard)
  4. Bjork - Debut
  5. Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
  6. Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself
I should be allowed 12 at least, Sean. Six is unfair!

~~
In Pic: Steve, Juhi and myself on our way to the Radio One station (Too cool for school?)

Had the pleasure of chilling with Juhi in Mumbai last year, while visiting my close childhood friend, Steve Abraham (he's guest blogging soon, doing a review on one of my favourite rock bands, Deftones) and it just so happens he's been dating her for a year now.  Besides being a spectacular host (see what I did there?) in Bombay, she was kind enough to let me share her and Steve's lime light on Miss Malini's now cult 'Pirate Radio' sessions on Radio One, Mumbai. It was awesome; got to make a play list of our all time favourite tunes and then got to talk music and have them played out on the airwaves of Mumbai. The icing on the cake - Radio One is a predominantly Bollywood radio channel, so to have CCR, Kings of Leon, Empire of the Sun, Radiohead, Deftones, Daft Punk, Sasha and more being played out was special. Good times for sure. Links below.

Follow Channel V VJ Juhi Pande on Twitter: Click here
Check out YOUTUBE vids and the all gold playlist of Juhi, Steve and Sailen's (Sean) legendary Pirate Radio show with the equally legendary Miss Malini: Click here


A big big thank you to Juhi for taking the time to do this interview with YHIHF. - SG

Friday, May 28, 2010

MIA pulls a quick one on NYT - Twitter, weapon of choice!

Photo Source: Ryan McGinley for The New York Times

I'm not one to write newsie type blog posts, but I found this hilarious.  The New York Times recently put up MIA as their cover story and wrote about her in bad light - questioning her lifestyle, her ties with terrorists and such.  MIA responded to the article by going on Twitter and posting the reporter's phone number with this message: 

917.834.3158 CALL ME IF YOU WANNA TALK TO ME ABOUT THE N Y T TRUTH ISSUE, ill b taking calls all day bitches ;)
The Paper Planes artist is a very angry woman.  I can see where she's coming from, though.  Twitter man, it's revolutionizing the way we can express our selves and connect. haha.  Way to go to celebs who fight back, it's always great to see the drama unfold on Twitter.  Think we've all learned one lesson from this, don't fuck with MIA.  In fairness though, this reporter has become world famous now and her accusatory article on MIA probably got more hits than she could dream off.  MIA is going to be posting an unedited version of the article soon.  Let's how that goes. Bit irritating to have to change your number though, aye? The reporter was quoted saying:
"It's a fairly unethical thing to do, but I don't think it's surprising. She's a provocateur, and provocateurs want to be provocative."
It would be a shame if this turns into some marketing gimmick nonsense for her new album though. - SG


Read the New York Times' article on MIA: Click here
Read about MIA's Twitter NYT Freak Out: Click here
Read about MIA's controversial 'Born Free' music video: Click here
Follow MIA on Twitter: Click here

Guest List Giveaway/Bangalore Events: Sunburn presents Paolo Mojo

Flyer: Paolo Mojo @ Pebbles, Bangalore

The very kind people at Submerge and PDM are giving four YHIHF readers a chance to blag themselves a spot on the guest list for the Paolo Mojo event @ Pebbles, Bangalore.  Already talked about how sick this line up is, the kids want techno and it looks like they're going to get a healthy dose of it at Pebbles this Sunday. Not to mention, Mr. Submerge and the Sunburn Festival's wizard behind the curtain, Nikhil Chinapa, has just got back from his Euro trip and I have a feeling he's going to be unleashing a whole set of fresh thumpers on us. You gotta appreciate his eclecticism when he gets behind the decks, he really wants to see everyone happy. It's a bit sad that Pearl isn't playing in Bangalore, but with Arjun Vagale, Vachan and Inferno on warm up duties, I think we're in ridiculously talented hands. Need I remind you the main attraction Paolo Mojo, is going to have you dancing your asses off to absolutely quality music.

UPDATE AND SET TIMINGS!
Vinod: 4 - 5.15
Inferno: 5.15 - 6.30
Arjun Vagale: 6.30 - 8
Paolo Mojo: 8 - 10
Vachan: 10 - 11.30

ENTRY DETAILS:
1. First 100 Girls Enter Free
2. Rs 600/Couple Until 6 PM
3. Rs 900/Couple 6PM - 830PM
4. After 8.30 PM Sunburn reserves the right to raise prices upto Rs 1500/Couple
5. STAGS Rs 900 or the reserved price.. Whichever is higher.

Looks like Nik's not playing and just hosting, pity.  Vachan closing and Paolo playing a little early is an inspired decision, considering Bangalore's local laws and the sound these two DJs play. - SG

GUEST LIST GIVEAWAY - PAOLO MOJO@PEBBLES, BANGALORE
Making this really simple. I'll be picking out 4 lucky winners to get on the exclusive Sunburn/PDM Guest List for Paolo Mojo @ Pebbles, Bangalore, May 30th, 2010. This won't take you more than two minutes.

  • Become a YHIHF Homie (follow my blog with your Twitter, Facebook or Google accounts - you can find the 'yhihf homies' box on the left hand side of this blog)
  • Email me (sailenghosh82@gmail.com) with one line about why you want to watch Paolo Mojo in action at Pebbles, along with the name of Paolo's record label. 
ONE OF THESE THREE OPTIONS IS PAOLO'S RECORD LABEL:
A) Osho
B) Oosh
C) OshKosh

NOTE:
  • Please make sure to add 'Guest List Giveaway - Paolo Mojo' in your subject.  If you don't, I'll just delete your email.
  • Please make sure to add your telephone number (required) and mailing address (optional) with your email for verification.  I'll need your mailing address because in the long run, I plan to send 'yhihf homies' exclusive goodies.
  • The four winners are granted single entry only (BUT - this means stag winners won't have any issues getting in) and will be announced on YHIHF, Saturday, May 29th (I'll email you guys with a confirmation, as well).
Here are the YHIHF winners (phone numbers ending w/) and their answers:
Robert V Patrick- 614 - Paolo Mojo simply put is one of the best djs/producers out there, ive been waiting years to see this guy live. Please make this happen. His record label is  - Oosh.
Aarav Bajaj - 177 - Pebble will have the pleasure of one sick party animal unleashing his vibes and tearing up the scene. Too much? ;) I'm going to make the floor is going to be an EPIC MESS. I got my mojo on for Sunday at Pebble! Yeah baby, can't wait. See you there!PAOLO'S RECORD LABEL: B) Oosh
MD Fuzail - 170 - I wanna watch Paolo Mojo because of this ---> Click here! - to see him belt 1983.
Record label : Oosh 
SURAJ SINGH - 761 - I've been a huge fan of sunburn!! wow what an event that was to see myself partying @ pebbles with SULTAN! Amazing to listen his progressive tunes!! Love Sunburn!! So its that i dooooooonnnntttt want to miss this event!! i hope i win this contest n u'll help me in winning this!! And the answer for this blog is B) OOSH records which his latest tracks like VOYAGER came out!! 

Discuss Paolo Mojo on the Submerge Forum: Click here
Read about the The Sunburn Tour w/ Paolo Mojo on YHIHF: Click here
RSVP The Sunburn Tour w/ Paolo Mojo, Sunday, May 30th, 2010: Click here
Check out Paolo Mojo's interview on the Sunburn website: Click here
For the latest information on the Sunburn Festival join the Sunburn FB Group: Click here

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Downloads: Major Lazer (Diplo & Switch) w/ La Roux - FREE mixtape on MAD DECENT!

In pic: Lazerproof w/ Major Lazer and La Roux


I promised a Diplo mixed tape and here it is!  He recently put it up on his MAD DECENT website and it's his colloboration called Major Lazer with UK DJ and 'fidget house' pioneer, Switch.  He's also got La Roux on the vocal, so this must be really tasty.  Judging by the tracklisting - it's a bumping blend of reggae dance hall, trip hop, hip hop, electro pop and dub.  Diplo has yet to let me down, he's a true DJ's DJ... so you really must get on this!  This kinda mix you could play at a drunken grimy party.  Support his website - register and leave your details!  There's a zSHARE download link to the mixtape below.

Source: MAD DECENT
The Major Lazer braintrust (Diplo & Switch) put this mixtape together for La Roux while working on new material in Jamaica. It features a bunch of JA-inspired blends, special remixes, dubplates and more but you don't really need to be sold on this thing - we are giving it to you today for FREE.
Improve your quality of life and jump start your summer by downloading it!
In Pic: Major Lazer aka Diplo & Switch

LAZERPROOF TRACKLISTING

1. Bulletproof (Nacey Remix ft. Matt Hemerlein)

2. Colourless Artibella

3. I'm Not Your Lemonade + Heroes ‘N‘ Villains Remix ft. Gucci Mane

4. Independent Kill ft. Candi Redd

5. Keep It Fascinating

6. Magic (Falling Soldiers Dub)

7. In 4 The Kill Pon De Skream

8. Houstatlantavegas Pains ft Drake

9. Tigerlily (DYWHAP Blend) ft. Rusko

10. Can't Stop Now (Armor Love Remix)

11. Quicksand (Mad Decent 2010 Rerub) ft. Amanda Blank

12. Cover My Eyes (Costra Nostra Edit)

13. I Said It (Major Lazer Dubplate) ft. Opal

14. Hold Yuh (Double Dubplate) ft. Gyptian

REVIEW: First of all, let me take back the 'drunken grimy party' comment immediately, this is more like chiller doobie music.  Slow grooves, funkadelic flavours, extremely lush vocals (especially the female stuff, the girlies should love this!)... this is for ALL music lovers in my opinion and a MUST LISTEN for reggae dub fans.  Kick back, the summer is here and bob your head to this. Diplo has a tendency to be a bit noisy in a good way, but Major Lazer is mellow... proper after party chill out tunes.  This mix has 'gone in 4 the kill' and delivers in a very big way.

Stand Out Choons (Gold Standard)
Bulletproof (Nacey Remix ft. Matt Hemerlein)

Independent Kill ft. Candi Redd 
Keep It Fascinating

In 4 The Kill Pon De Skream (this is on repeat)
Hold Yuh (Double Dubplate) ft. Gyptian

BONUS: Diplo got a ton of requests for a single release of Independent Kill ft. Candi Redd, so he put up  it up for download... nice.

Download Major Lazer, La Roux ft. Candi Redd - Independent Kill (Club Edit): Click here

Download the Major Lazer w/ La Roux mixtape (zSHARE link): Click here (Too late guys, link has been removed - you can find it here on the Mad Decent website - register etc. One minute job and it's yours. The Mad Decent peeps are on it. - SG, 29/5/2010)


Check out Diplo's ridiculously cool website MAD DECENT: Click here
Follow Diplo on Twitter: Click here
Check out Diplo in action at the 2010 Ultra Music Festival: Click here

The MAD DECENT server overloaded and couldn't handle the 200k requests for this mix.  It's in demand.  Diplo was kind enough to put up the direct zSHARE download link up, so get on this while you can! - SG

Bangalore Events: B52 presents NIGHTSHIFT, May 29th and The Sunburn Tour w/ Paolo Mojo, May 30th

Flyer Design: Pia Alize Hazarika

The Nightshift boys took a much needed break last week and made the decision to make Nightshift @ B52 a once in every two weeks affair.  That way you don't get bored of us that easy. ha. Saturday's edition of Nightshift will be a brilliant way to warm yourself up for the Paolo Mojo event on Sunday.  Azhar has been sifting through tunes like a mad man while he completes his final chapter of undergraduate studies in Law and preps for his last couple of exams this week.  As you well know, I've been pillaging tunes off the You Can Call Me Pelski blog, the result? Some pretty wonky, funk driven, disco trash for your listening pleasure. 

Look forward to seeing you all there!  And make sure to wish Azhar bhai on graduating, he's a little scared about entering the real world. Fingers crossed he doesn't become a suit aye?

Flyer: Paolo Mojo @ Pebbles on May 30th

Oooh, one more thing, a lot of you must be wondering, where do the Nightshift boys get their dope flyers made?  Well, these are one of many perks that go with Azhar dating the lovely Pia Alize Hazarika, our in house artiste (please whatever you do, don't call her a graphic designer, she'll get pissy).  She's just got back in the blogging groove and I urge you to check out her website, her artwork is definitely worth a look.  She's pure talent.  Do it! - SG

Check out Pia Alize Hazarika's wicked awesome blog: Click here
RSVP Nightshift @ B52, Saturday, May 29th, 2010: Click here
RSVP The Sunburn Tour w/ Paolo Mojo, Sunday, May 30th, 2010: Click here
Check out Paolo Mojo's interview on the Sunburn website: Click here

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blog Review: You Can Call Me Pelski - Pelski? Who the fuck is Pelski?



It would be totally unfair of me if I didn't do this little review on what is definitely THE dopest blog I've come across since I've joined the blogosphere.  Considering it has kept me up all night, providing me with one beast of a tune after the other, as well as with humourous and descriptive writing - I'm thinking you're going to dig this.  You Can Call Me Pelski is everything I want my blog to be and more.  Besides the very user friendly funky interface, what first caught my eye, or rather ear, was the quality control that goes behind all the music they have on offer.  It really is the best of the best in underground music.  Their mantra goes something like this:
The genre is already dispersed and scrutinized by vast throngs of scenester bloggers. The difference with this blog? I will only post the best music - none of the 'throw-away' fashionista rubbish clogging up so many blogs.
In Pic: Pelski

In Pic: Darkly

Run by two UK based hipsters, 'Pelski' and Charles Darkly... if you love your music, you'll love this blog. Read their content, listen to their music and you'll know these guys know their shit.  They talk music (techhouse, 'real' electro, dubstep, minimal, maximal, indie and pretty much every other underground genre under the sun), record labels, music festivals, UG trends and much more.  The 'Pelski Highly Recommends' have yet to disappoint. So many wicked tunes and such great content on this website, I thought I'd make your lives a little easier and guide you to a couple of the gems I found (was talking about Diplo a month back, his tunes were the definite highlights):

Check out YOU CAN CALL ME PELSKI: Click here
Download the Diplo tunes on offer at You Can Call Me Pelski: Click here
Check out Pelski's review of the 2008 Gatecrasher festival w/ Chromeo and Boys Noize remixes: Click here
Check out Charles Darkly's "I <3 NYC" post: Click here

Friday, May 21, 2010

India Tour: Sunburn presents Paolo Mojo, Pearl, Arjun Vagale, Vachan Chinnappa

So after bringing Sultan down a couple of months back, we're getting a serious taste of what the annual Sunburn Festival is all about with these dope teaser events through the year.  For May-June, Submerge and PDM have really got it so spot on.  Paolo Mojo.  Can't tell you how long I've been waiting for Paolo Mojo to do a tour here in India. He's got a classic track to his name, 1983 anyone?, he's quite possibly one of the best programmers of sexy house music (his Balance mixed compilation has stood the test of time) and he's also got a ridiculous record label, Oosh!, that consistently puts out top tunes.  Thumping house, funky house, latin house, tech house, prog house, he puts together the best of everything.  It is honestly an absolute pleasure to have him grace the motherland.  Fingers crossed, the curfew in Bangalore is going to be done away next week. Fingers crossed.  And note, Nightshift headliner Inferno is doing a warm up set!  What's more, Arjun Vagale from Jalebee Cartel and Bacchus bad ass Vachan Chinnappa are quite possibly India's best DJs right now and they've got slots.  Also, after Pearl's epic set during the Smirnoff Experience tour in Bangalore, pretty sure she's going to be i.n.s.a.n.e. No bias, no hype.  The country's finest no doubt.  This event is happening all over India.  Get the deets (from the flyer) on when it's happening in your city... you'd be thick to miss this.

In Pic: Sunburn Tour w/ Paolo Mojo

RSVP The Sunburn Tour w/ Paolo Mojo, Sunday, May 30th, 2010: Click here
Check out Paolo Mojo's interview on the Sunburn website: Click here

Join Paolo Mojo's Facebook page: Click here
Read RA's Paolo Mojo profile: Click here

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bangalore Events: Solder @ B52, May 21st and Nikhil Chinapa & Brute Force @ Fuga, May 23rd

Can I get a hells yes? This weekend is soo sorted.  Friday get some rock dosage from Solder @ B52, Saturday get some deep-techhouse goodness from Neil Quigley @ Opus By The Creek and on Sunday make your way to the cult Submerge Sundays, with Mr. Submerge himself, Nikhil Chinapa... and cream of the crop DJ, Tuhin Mehta AKA Brute Force.  This is the first time these guys are playing together in three years and when they get together, some thing special happens. Tuhin has also just put out a mix which has been described as a complete 'mindfuck' - so you guys have to give it a listen!  It's been a year since I've seen the T-Man play and he was easily one of the best DJs to rock Sunburn in 2008, this has to be epic.  Fuga this Sunday!

Flyer Design: Namita Sekhar

For more information on the Submerge gig with Nikhil Chinapa and Brute Force, Sunday, May 23rd: Click here



Download Brute Force's latest mix: Click here

In Pic: Solder playing at B52 this Friday

B52 are slowly but surely easing themselves into the rock circuit picking up the city's best bands to do live sets on a weekly basis.  This hot spot is really leaving it's mark, making sure there's a wide variety of quality music being played there consistently (Nightshift baby!).  This week they have local band Solder playing a live set. Hot on the heels off a stellar gig at Take 5, this band is on fire right now.  Lots of hype around them... I'm big fan of alternative/indie, so would love to see what these boys are all about!

Check out Solder's Facebook page: Click here
Check out Solder's MySpace page: Click here
RSVP Solder @ B52, Friday, May 21st: Click here

Fuck the curfew, it's good to see such a solid set of events in one weekend here in Bangalore and I'm still buzzing from Sasha and Cosmic Gate.  Am I smelling a revolution? I hope so.  -  SG

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bangalore Events: Neil Quigley @ Opus By The Creek and Luke Brancaccio @ Fuga

Just giving you guys a heads up for two massive events in the coming weeks... I'm definitely going to be there.  Mark these dates in your calendar (Quigley on May 22nd and Luke Brancaccio on May 30th), these two events are going to be delicious treats for EDM fans in Bangalore.

In Pic: Neil Quigley @ Opus By The Creek, May 22nd, 2010

In Pic: Luke Brancaccio @ Fuga, May 30th, 2010.

I have been following both Neil Quigley and Luke Brancaccio for over 5 years now and these guys are ridiculously talented DJ/Producers.  DO NOT MISS!  More details on both these events, coming soon. Submerge also have Paolo Mojo lined up... these next few weeks are going to be BIG!  I am salivating here.

Check out Neil Quigley's Soundcloud page: Click here
Check out Neil Quigley's Facebook page: Click here
Check out Luke Brancaccio's website: Click here
Check out Rebel Royal's website: Click here

Restaurant Review: MEDICI, Indiranagar, Bangalore

I was beginning to lose faith in the dining options at Indiranagar. With a resurgence of restaurants opening up in Koramangala, Indiranagar is rarely part of the choice for me anymore. Sure you have Herbs and Spice... that's about it. During my MSN India days, I actually use to work in the area... so I know there are some good options; I use to remember frequenting Max Mueller's cafe for the Weiner Schnitzel, Nizam's for double chicken egg rolls, Shiok for pretty authentic Thai and the Drunken beef, Nagarjuna for biryani and Nandini's for thaliis with unlimited rice, ghee and 'French' Chicken, which are basically chicken strips coated with ridiculous red colouring and delicious spices. I guess you can blame the construction of the metro for a couple of the restaurants disappearing into oblivion over there.  Should definitely give the area a once over again.  

Thought it was fitting that I met up with an old co-worker from MSN and friend, Aina Barker, for lunch in Indiranagar last week. Giving credit, where credit is due, she's a massive foodie just like me and she did introduce me to quite a few stellar restaurants in this city, including a few mentioned above. Anyways, I was actually dying to go to Max Mueller, but her highness is all, "Despite your hippy lifestyle, I'd still like to take you to fine dining." Pfft. LOL.  Which is where I come to the topic of discussion, Medici.



Medici is located on 100 feet road, Indiranagar, opposite the Raymonds showroom, above Maharaja Furniture (they have a bar/lounge on the third floor called Level III - will check it out and review it soon).  If we're talking basically, it's continental food, if we're talking specifically, would say it's a combo of French/Italian.  I'm a huge fan of tan brown and gold settings, plush comfortable seating and minimal tasteful decor, with this in mind, the ambiance at Medici really hit the spot.  What really stuck was the huge window in the front that overlooked the top of a tree (and 100FT Road), the tree was in bloom and the orange was crazy.

In Pic: Medici's plush brown/gold setting

In Pic: Medici's view

Unfortunately, didn't really give the menu a thorough look (criminal for a restaurant review, I know!), mainly because I zeroed in on exactly what I wanted immediately! I do remember seeing a pretty decent looking steak selection, a diverse set of starters and salads, a unique menu for seafood and also a very interesting sounding risotto.  However, after an absolutely shambolic effort of risotto at Tuscanos in Value Mall, I thought I'd give it a skip and go for something a little more classic and simple. More importantly though, the menu wasn't grossly overpriced like it is at Tuscanos or Caperberry (for that matter).  With such spot on ambiance and quite an up-market menu like Medici's, the prices were affordable and more than anything else, not pretentious.

I started with the Beef Carpaccio salad (Rs. 250)... and I know the first thing you're thinking, it's India!  How can you do raw beef?  Well, I'm alive and well and that was probably one of the best salads I've tasted in this city.  The beef was melt in your mouth and there was absolutely no peculiar aftertaste. The spinach salad sprinkled with gherkins, green olives and pine nuts had an irresistible and subtle sesame mustard based dressing... and the shavings of rich cheese (not a cheese expert yet!) was a perfect touch.  Aina ordered the Caesar salad (boooorrrrinnng!), but what caught my eye, this was one of the few Caesar salads I've seen in Bangalore, that throw an anchovy on it. Nice touch of authenticity.  I should also tell you, their on-table baked breads were out of this world.

In Pic: Beef Carpaccio @ Medici

In Pic: Caesar Salad @ Medici

For the main course I went for the simple and ordered Chicken Parmigiana (Rs. 300).  Last time I did this dish was in Spiga (St. Mark's Road, Bangalore), which essentially means my standards are pretty high, because Spiga have got this dish down to the T.  Much to my surprise, Medici's Parmigiana is equally good if not better.  The breaded cutlet was crisp on the outside, juicy in the inside, the tomato sauce was divine (the green olives were an amazing little add on), there was a perfect dose of mozzarella and the star on the plate was the dollop of mashed potatoes the cutlet sat on (not taking anything away from the cutlet!).  If my taste buds serve me right, it was the hint of cream cheese and garlic that made their mashed potatoes stand out.  I swallow my spit thinking about the fork pitching the cutlet smothered with the tastiest mashed potatoes I've had the pleasure of eating.  Aina went for the Chicken and Bacon Quiche and while the filling was yummy (and very different to the quiche I'm used to eating at Herbs and Spice), I found the crust a little bit too powdery.  It's a matter of taste, but I prefer when the crust is flakey and a tad bit crispy.

In Pic: Chicken Parmigiana @ Medici

In Pic: Chicken and Bacon Quiche @ Medici

Unfortunately, we gave dessert a skip (trust me, this very rarely happens) and I didn't really give the menu a second look. Their selection of beverages, particularly the range of ice teas were impressive (Rs. 120).  Top of my head I said 'Passion Fruit,' they had it and it was nicely done in a very tall chilled glass.  Had the pleasure of meeting the owner as well, Rohan, who was an utter gent.  Promise to come back with a more detailed review; have to check out the desserts, the steaks and the seafood dishes.

Will definitely be eating at Medici regularly, there seems to be an interesting little set menu they offer for corporate lunches on weekdays which looks like a steal at Rs. 400.  The review on Burrp summed it up just right: "The concept behind the restaurant is to offer gourmet food without the intimidation that goes with a fine dining restaurant."

Our bill for a glass of iced tea, fresh lime soda, Beef Carpaccio, Caesar Salad, Chicken Parmigiana and Chicken and Bacon Quiche was Rs. 1300.

Feedback, your experiences and your favourite dishes with Medici would be greatly appreciated. And please forgive a few of those cell phone pics. :) - SG

To find out more about Medici, check out their Facebook page: Click here

Monday, May 17, 2010

Movie Review: Iron Man 2


Don’t see myself writing too much about Iron Man 2.  It was disappointing to say the least. Besides a few standout moments by Mickey Rourke, some great effects/CGI and one potentially awesome Iron Man ‘finish them’ move at the end… I found myself getting more annoyed than wowed by it. Not even Scarlett Johansson’s butt shots could save this movie and that is saying something.

In Pic: Scarlett Johansson

Now Robert Downey Jr. is pure talent, there is no doubt about that… but when the script is as infuriatingly written as it is in Iron Man 2, Downey Jr. comes out of this as a bumbling buffoon.  Whenever Tony Stark kept checking his toxicity levels and would go on a tirade with one of his incomprehensible rants, I kept thinking, is good old Bob back on the sauce again? Given the near death circumstances the character is in, there was absolutely no intensity or struggle in this role. More importantly, the charming sarcasm that Downey Jr exuded for Tony Stark in the first installation for this classic Marvel hero quite clearly disappeared.  Barring a few humorous moments, I couldn’t careless if Tony Stark died or not.

For whatever reason they replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle as Iron Man’s sidekick Rhodey, I guess it worked.  Terrence was a bit flat, Cheadle did this role some justice.  Scarlett made for great eye candy and you gotta love the ‘chemistry’ she had with the movie’s director Jon Favreau. I also like Samuel L. Jackson's cameo in it, it's done tastefully and works for a nice prelude for future Marvel projects.  The biggest pet peeve I had with this movie was Gwyneth Paltrow.  Holy shit was she bad.  Every time she and Robert Downey Jr were on screen, I felt like throwing my entire box of popcorn on her face.  The dialogue, the on screen chemistry, the comedic timing was preposterously bad.  My thoughts were perfectly summed up when I stated on a friend’s facebook status, “Every single time Downey Jr and Paltrow conversed with each other in this movie, I felt like shooting myself in the head.” 

The only saving grace for this movie were the villains.  Sam Rockwell played the sniveling shady Justin Hammer really well… he’s such a great actor.  You must watch Moon directed by David Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, if you’re a Sam Rockwell fan.  This was also the first time I was seeing Mickey Rourke since watching The Wrestler, and yes, the man delivered in a big way.  Again, I’m harping on about how crap the script was but he should have had some more face time, some more dialogue and more than anything else, Ivan Vanko/Whiplash deserved to have a much bigger battle scene at the end.  Having said that, his introduction during the Monaco GP scene was good stuff, they needed to capitalize on the tension built from that scene and sadly they just didn’t.  It’ll be nice to see Rourke doing a proper role again, this big budget studio driven super hero movie doesn’t do an actor of his caliber any justice and the irony is he nailed the role of Ivan Vanko.

In Pic: Mickey Rourke

We needed more Whiplash vs Iron Man, less Pepper 'Notts' nagging Tony Stark.  We also needed more of the suit, more of the cool little things it could do.  The crowd in the cinema went beserk when Iron Man pulled off that red beam move to decapitate multiple cyborgs… was that a spoiler? Sorry! But hells yes, more Iron Man suit, less incomprehensible Downey Jr.  Peeps were talking about this movie being bigger than The Dark Knight.  That’s laughable.  Let’s see if Marvel gathers up the balls to make Iron Man big (again) for part 3, and not ruin it like they did with Spiderman.

PSST - If you haven't watched this already, there's a cute little teaser right at the end, once you go through all the credits... fanboys should stick it out.  Ohh, we also got there early and saw the trailer for Ridley Scott's Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, thinking it's going to be epic.

Sorry guys, this was a suckfest. 5/10.  I really do want to say 6, but I don’t see myself watching this movie ever again.  I’ve watched the first part at least three times.

Check out Iron Man 2's details on IMDB: Click here
Check out the official Iron Man 2 website: Click here

Thursday, May 13, 2010

B52 presents NIGHTSHIFT meets FULL POWER, May 15th 2010

Flyer Design: Pia Alize Hazarika


In Pic: Ashley Murickan @ B52


In Pic: Sailen @ B52


In Pic: Azhar @ B52

One night. Two sounds. Join B52's regulars Sailen & Azhar and Ashley Murickan on an EDM journey spanning all genres; Nightshift's deeptechdiscohouse and Full Power's crazy blend of progressive psy trance.

Happy Hours, Buy 1 Get 1 Free all the way up to 9:30PM, for boys and girls, because we don't discriminate.

Directions: Get on to Inner Ring Road heading into Koramangala, pass the Oasis Mall/Sony World traffic light, it's the fourth building on your left towards the BDA complex, it's the floor above Ambrosia. Valet service is available so don't trip about parking. 

Contact us @ 9886652041, 9880411478, 9880641430, 9886117624, 9886330277

Looking forward to this one, always nice spanning through all genres of EDM on one night. Azhar and I are playing the first two hours this weekend. It's the first time for us on a Saturday night. The folks at B52 were really enthusiastic about combining two of their most popular nights - Nightshift and Full Power, so we're giving it a go. Ashley plays a blend of progressive, trance and a little bit of psy too... It should be a power packed night.  Hope to see you all there! - SG

RSVP Nightshift meets Full Power, Saturday, May 15th: Click here
Check out Nightshift's encore from last week on YOUTUBE: Click here

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon - Pet lovers let's hold hands!


So finally got some time to write out a little review for How To Train Your Dragon… it’s my been my first animation since maybe Ratatouille or Free Jimmy (not like your usual DreamWorks type animation, Free Jimmy is a proper raunchfest with Simon Pegg and Woody Harrelson doing the voices, you guys should get on it)… can’t remember which. Much to my girlfriend’s distress I gave Wall-E and Up, a miss.  Saw a lot of positive reviews for HTTYD; so I thought why not, I like dragons, let’s give this a watch.



Anyways the moment the opening scene played out, I realized I had made a mistake.  This movie really needs to be watched in 3D, it’s a bit wasteful to do it in 2D.  From the opening scene I also noticed one blaring issue I had with this movie – a huge part of me thinks for a few of the characters, the voices didn’t really match the faces I was seeing on screen.  Butler was good as the main character’s father, but the main character Hiccup, I just could not get my head around his voice throughout the movie - it’s the same guy who stars in Tropic Thunder as Kevin Sandusky.  Having a 28 year old doing the voice of a 13-15 year old kid is a bit off – I kept thinking why not Justin Beiber? Lol. The yank accents for the kids and the heavy Scottish accents for the adults was also a bit jarring.



The real winner of this movie is the main dragon, Toothless – miniscule details like his scales, his big green eyes, the movement when he flies, the way he chows down on food, as well as his basic emotions and mannerisms are ridiculously thorough. This is really remarkable animation and as a character,  Toothless is quite possibly the coolest pet anyone could ask for.  I’m not showing an image of him, because it’s a bit of a spoiler. There’s quite a lot of mystique during his introduction, I was quite intrigued.

The wide varieties of expressions on the rest of the character’s faces are splendid and something that regularly caught my eye was the manner in which everyone’s hair is meticulously detailed.  There are also a wide variety of different dragons, with unique abilities and features, which makes this movie a nice little encyclopedia for dragon lovers everywhere. Essentially, the extensive work on the detailing and the creative behind the different dragons, was thoroughly impressive.



Besides the mismatched voices, thought this movie was totally worth a watch.  Barring a few moments of really corny dialogue, the plot worked well and wasn't too predictable.  The whole Vikings vs Dragons theme had it’s didactic touching moments. After watching MIA’s ethnic cleansing ‘Born Free’ video, it becomes clear that the ‘we must all live in harmony’ message in HTTYD sticks out.  You also have the Lion King type father-son relationship, where the son must do all he can to follow in his father’s footsteps even though he’s the complete opposite… etc. etc.  And of course the little love story on the side, which is cute and works well if you’re taking your lady out for this movie. Was that sexist? Sorry!

I can’t imagine a person with any sort of pet not liking this movie.  For animal lovers, there must have been a time where you snuck in a dog or cat in your house and took care of it, knowing very well your parents would kill you if they found out.  This movie is sort of like that.  My girlfriend and I couldn’t help comparing Toothless with our pets… her being a cat person and me being a dog person, made for a heated debate.  Essentially, Toothless embodies everything you love about your pet… from warming up and building a trust with the owner to a point where they’re instinctually protecting the owner.  The ending is rather generic, but there is a little twist involving the main character Hiccup, which in my opinion saves the movie and makes it a little real. If you’re an animal lover, PETA nut, if you’re obsessed with your pet, then watch this movie (in 3D!), you will not be disappointed.

Here are my doggies, Toothless had a little bit of all three of them in his character:

In Pic: Hugo (Ghost in the Darkness)

In Pic: Bailey (Bizzle Dizzle)

In Pic: Jaango (Muffin)

YHIHF rating: 7.5/10, would have been a solid 8 if I had watched it in 3D me thinks.

Just watched IRON MAN II today, review for that coming up soon! - SG

Check out the How To Train Your Dragon details on IMDB: Click here
Check out the How To Train Your Dragon website: Click here

Thursday, May 6, 2010

TICKET GIVEAWAY: BURN TOUR WITH SASHA @ EZONE, Bangalore, May 7th, 2010

Event flyer: BURN Tour w/ Sasha



In Pic: Sasha & Lee Burridge, Foundacion, LA

Sasha will be playing in Bangalore, Friday, May 7th 2010 at E-Zone. Can't begin to explain how excited I am about this event. Sasha is without a doubt one of my all time favourite DJs.  He changed my life.  I've even told him, he's changed my life.  Just got a shy smile in return. It all started during his Airdrawndagger tour, he had just released his much anticipated album (took 5 years in the making) and he was playing on a Wednesday, while I was studying in Orange County, California.  My friend, asks me, "Are we going to Sasha?" And like a complete rookie, I reply, "Man, I have classes really early tomorrow.  I'll never wake up." He quickly gives me a glare and says, "But it's Sasha, man."  Couldn't say no and to be honest I haven't looked back since.  Every single time 'The Man Like' played in LA from then on, I made sure to catch him live.  I've seen him on vinyl, I've seen him on CDJs and I've seen him on Ableton.  Been to every single one of his Foundacion nights in LA back in 2005, where he brought down a guest DJ to play with him.  The night pictured above was my second favourite, where he played with legend Lee Burridge.  The picture below and please take note of how happy I am (my friend Shah in the background, looking completely bedazzled over the tunes he was listening to)... was taken on my best Sasha night ever - his last Foundacion night where he played with Desyn Masiello.


                            
In Pic: One of my all time fav pics of Sasha taken by my friend Deniz,
Sasha on Ableton, Burridge on the decks, pure magic baby.



In Pic: Ashwin, Deniz, Sailen, Shah (wtf is he playing?)

Anyways guys, less talk from me and more about the competition.  I've got 5 exclusive invites to the Sasha gig in Bangalore courtesy of the very kind people at Fountainhead.  I just met up with the organizers and had a quick peek at the venue and holy fuck is this going to be huge.  I've been seeing Sasha tweet about his visual set up being mind blowing and by the sound of it, they're setting it up in Bangalore.  More to the point, Sasha seems to be back on fire, playing a much harder euphoric sound than before.  I'm so excited, I've got butterflies.  It's been 5 years since I've seen him play and even though this is just going to be a two hour set, I'm still really really looking forward to this.

Making the competition easy, giving away exclusive invites to the first 5 YHIHF readers to comment under this blog post with an answer to this question: Name the Sasha album that contains these three songs, Wavy Gravy, Bloodlock and Fundamental? 


This is easily one of my most favourite albums... I always ask the people who I interview to name a few of their life changing albums... for me this would be on top of my list.  You must listen to it.  

NOTE:
  • All Sasha BURN! Tour invites which have been won will have to be picked up at Nightshift 4 @ B52.
  • We have a few extra left over, Azhar and I will be handing them out at Nightshift 4.  So make sure to be there if you wanna blag yourself a very exclusive invite to Sasha's night in Bangalore.
  • THE SASHA INVITES ARE COUPLE ONLY! STAGS CAN'T USE THESE INVITES. Please don't get in touch with us if you attempt to enter Sasha party as a Stag with the winning tickets.  I'm sorry guys, rules are rules, let me remind you, if you're a stag you're more than welcome to show up at Nightshift.
Follow Sasha on Twitter: Click here
All the details on the Sasha BURN Tour: Click here
Check out Sasha's website: Click here

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

TICKET GIVEAWAY: SMIRNOFF EXPERIENCE 2010 w/ Cosmic Gate @ E-Zone, Bangalore

In Pic: Event flyer for Cosmic Gate @ Ezone

We have a handful of COUPLE passes to give away for the Smirnoff Experience with Cosmic Gate (May 9th, 2010, Bangalore@E-ZONE) event courtesy of the very very kind people at Submerge and Smirnoff... Azhar and I thought we'd have a little fun on the internet as well as at Nightshift@B52 this Thursday to give away these passes. We're running multiple competitions across the web, at Nightshift and right here as well. READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY.

COMPETITION #1
Be the first 10 people to visit the Submerge Forum and check out the Smirnoff Experience section... That's it? Balls. Get into the Cosmic Gate thread labeled: Cosmic Gate Live @ E-Zone - Bengaluru - 9th May 2010. Post exactly why you want to watch Cosmic Gate at E-Zone, and sign off with the CODEWORD: NIGHTSHIFT at the end of your reason. Guys, don't bother cheating by creating multiple IDs on the forum, I'm going to expect a different phone number and email details for each post. Also the Moderators on the Forum can easily do an IP check on you and make a fool of your ass. And let me tell  you, the Submerge Mods are hardcore. So don't bother. 10 PEOPLE = 10 COUPLE PASSES 

COMPETITION #2
Be the first 5 people to RSVP the Nightshift 4 event at B52 on Facebook and write on the event wall "I <3 SUBMERGE, I <3 COSMIC GATE, I <3 NIGHTSHIFT" RSVPing means you have to be there at Nighshift 4 at B52 to pick up your passes.  You flake on Nightshift, we flake on the Cosmic Gate passes. You'll get your passes at the end of the night. - 5 PEOPLE = 5 COUPLE PASSES

COMPETITION #3
Be the first 5 people to 'follow' (left hand column, the box under the You Tube Videos and above BBC Breaking News) 'You Heard It Here First' and comment under this blog with "I <3 SUBMERGE, I <3 COSMIC GATE, I <3 NIGHTSHIFT." It be nice if you followed this website with your Twitter or Google account. :) 5 PEOPLE = 5 COUPLE PASSES

COMPETITION #4
The first 5 people to come to Nighshift 4 at B52 and tell Azhar or myself, "You Heard It Here First. Now give me my Cosmic Gate pass." Now guys, don't be dicks and start screaming that shit to us while we're DJing, it be nice if you approached the guy who's just chilling. Let's be civil here peeps. - Since it's Azhar and myself, that's 5 passes each. 10 PEOPLE = 10 COUPLE PASSES

COMPETITION #5
B52 are giving away 5 passes to the winner with the biggest bill on Nighshift 4. We suggest you try out their bar foods; threaded chicken and the calamari, yummy Smirnoff shooters and cocktails as well. You heard it here first. 1 PERSON = 5 COUPLE PASSES

Azhar and I are also keeping aside a few extra passes for the Nightshift party animals who bring real positive vibes to our event.  Smile a lot, dance a lot, just show up and have a good time... and you could win a pass out of the blue. :) Knowing Az though, he'll probably just hand them out to the hottest women. We'll try to be gentlemen about it.

NOTE: 
  • One competition per winner (i.e. You can't go on the Submerge forum and the FB event page wall. You win one competition, you win one couple pass, please be content).  
  • You can however win Competition #5 (the biggest bill @ B52) along with one other competition, leaving you with a chance of winning 6 couple passes in total.
  • Competitions 1, 2 and 3 close at 5PM (IST) on Thursday, May 6th, 2010. 
  • All Smirnoff Experience Cosmic Gate passes which have been won will have to be picked up at Nightshift 4 @ B52.
  • ALL PASSES ARE COUPLE ONLY! STAGS CAN'T USE THESE PASSES. Please don't get in touch with us if you attempt to enter the Smirnoff Party as a Stag with the winning tickets.  I'm sorry guys, rules are rules, let me remind you, if you're a stag you're more than welcome to show up at Nightshift.
Check out the Smirnoff Experience website: Click here
Learn more about the Smirnoff Experience Cosmic Gate event: Click here
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