ANNIVERSARIES:

! Boz Burrell (Bad Company) 1-Aug ! Chuck D (Public Enemy) 1-Aug ! Coolio 1-Aug ! Joe Elliot (Def Leppard) 1-Aug ! Robert Cray (1953) 1-Aug ! Tiger Varadachariar 1-Aug ! Prema Hariharan (Chennai) 2-Aug ! Sushama Reddy 2-Aug ! Zelma Davis (C+C Music Factory) 2-Aug ! Chhannulal Mishra 3-Aug ! James Hetfield (Metallica) 3-Aug ! Tony Bennett (1926) 3-Aug ! Sharon Prabhakar 4-Aug ! Vellore Ramabhadran 4-Aug ! Vishal Bhardwaj 4-Aug ! Ganesh Jain 5-Aug ! Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai 5-Aug ! Pat Smear (formerly of Foo Fighters) 5-Aug ! Aditya Narayan 6-Aug ! Cyrus Sahukar 6-Aug ! Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice of Spice Girls) 6-Aug ! Bruce Dickenson (Iron Maiden) 7-Aug ! Cyrus Broacha 7-Aug ! Suresh Wadkar 7-Aug ! JC Chasez ('N Sync) 8-Aug ! Raza Ali Khan 8-Aug ! Shawn Mendes 8-Aug ! Asgari Bai 9-Aug ! Sawan Kumar Tak 9-Aug ! Sulkshana Pandit 9-Aug ! Trichur V.Ramachandran (Chennai) 9-Aug ! Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) 10-Aug ! Ustad Alladiya Khan 10-Aug ! Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande 10-Aug ! Ramashreya Jha 11-Aug ! T.H.Vinayakram 11-Aug ! V. Doreswamy Iyengar 11-Aug ! Kid Creole 12-Aug ! Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) 12-Aug ! Pat Metheny 12-Aug ! Nalin Shah 13-Aug ! T.K.Murthy 13-Aug ! Dash Crofts (Seals & Crofts) 14-Aug ! David Crosby (Crosby, Stills & Nash) 14-Aug ! Manohar Iyer 14-Aug ! Michael Graham (Boyzone) 14-Aug ! Sunidhi Chauhan 14-Aug ! Amir Khan 15-Aug ! Bharati Pradhan 15-Aug ! Pandit Prasun Banerjee 15-Aug ! Prof. T.Viswanathan 15-Aug ! R.Durga Prasad 15-Aug ! Srimushnam V.Raja Rao 15-Aug ! Emily Erwin (Dixie Chicks) 16-Aug ! Hemlata 16-Aug ! Kishan Bhutani 16-Aug ! Madonna 16-Aug ! Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar 16-Aug ! Belinda Carlisle 17-Aug ! Donnie Wahlberg (New Kids On The Block) 17-Aug ! Daler Mehndi 18-Aug ! Dennis Elliot (Foreigner) 18-Aug ! Gulzar 18-Aug ! Jon Higgins 18-Aug ! Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar 18-Aug ! T.S.Balakrishna Sastrigal 18-Aug ! Abdul Rashid Khan 19-Aug ! Ginger Baker (Cream) 19-Aug ! Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) 19-Aug ! John Deacon (Queen) 19-Aug ! Ken Gosh 19-Aug ! Demi Lovato 20-Aug ! Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) 20-Aug ! Naresh(Mahesh Brother) 20-Aug ! Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) 20-Aug ! Uday Tara Nayar 20-Aug ! Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) 21-Aug ! Kenny Rogers 21-Aug ! Liam Howlett (Prodigy) 21-Aug ! Melissa Schuman (Dream) 21-Aug ! Sriram Brahmanandam 21-Aug ! Howie Dorough (Backstreet Boys) 22-Aug ! James DeBarge (DeBarge) 22-Aug ! Paul Douchette (Matchbox 20) 22-Aug ! Roland Orzabal (Tears For Fears) 22-Aug ! Tori Amos 22-Aug ! Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) 23-Aug ! SkyBlu (LMFAO) 23-Aug ! Basavaraj Rajguru 24-Aug ! Billy Ray Cyrus 25-Aug ! DJ Terminator X (Public Enemy)25-Aug ! Elvis Costello 25-Aug ! Gene Simmons 25-Aug ! Rekha Chinniprakash 25-Aug ! Rob Halford (Judas Priest) 25-Aug ! Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) 25-Aug ! Adrian Young (No Doubt) 26-Aug ! M.S.Anantaraman 26-Aug ! Shirley Manson (Garbage) 26-Aug ! Rajarathnam Pillai 27-Aug ! Shania Twain 27-Aug ! Tony Kanal (No Doubt) 27-Aug ! Voletti Venkateswarulu 27-Aug ! Chris Copping (Procol Harum) 29-Aug ! Kyle Cook (Matchbox 20) 29-Aug ! Micky Moody (Whitesnake) 30-Aug ! Debbie Gibson 31-Aug ! Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions) 31-Aug

Is this for real?

Badshah's latest release 'Paagal' on Sony Music, has set a record by clocking 75 million views in the first 24 hours of its release, beating the previous record set by Korean boy band BTS’s ‘Boy with Luv’. It had reached 100 million views by the 2nd week and 149 million views in less than a month. But this is where the story begins.

In spite of having the highest views in a month’s time, making it  the most watched video in the world, surpassing International artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, etc., YouTube is not willing to certify that it set a record. Is it because they are not willing to acknowledge it as genuine views? Or that Badshah is not really a global artist? For that matter neither is BTS. We are not clear about YouTube’s stance in this mater.

As it turned out Badshah and his team had purchased advertisements from Google and YouTube which led to his video being embedded in some of the content being watched or directing search to the video. But then this is a common practice employed by even top international artists and music companies, global industries and well heeled content providers, to ramp up their YouTube views and likes.

So far the Music Industry and the Public at large have accepted the fact that certain amount of Social Media promotions could get you more Views/ Likes/ Comments, etc., depending on the Social Media and this was the barometer of success or failure. Today YouTube's non reaction to Badshah’s feat brings up the question that the Social Media platforms which sold us the idea that the Views/ Likes/ Comments, etc. was the barometer, seem to be exhibiting double standards. Or is it that they believe these views are not for real. So should we still support Social Media platforms that have an inherent flaw in their system which is easily exploited by third parties?

If ‘Paagal’ is taken as a sample case, how do Music companies receive royalties for their Artists? Is it per genuine views only, if yes, how is it calculated? If that is the case, it could be a deal between the Social Media platforms and Music companies. Often Artists also party to this ‘fake views’. What happens when a genuine Artist asks for Royalties as per the views seen on the Social Media platforms and sues a Record label or Social Media platform? That will be the day, the truth may be out.

We wonder if this is good for any art form especially Music, that real talent is pulled down because they didn’t attempt to buy fake views. Has anyone seen the views many cover version artists or just some idiot with some buffoonery have garnered, compared to the real legends, like Michael Jackson. And we are surprised to see that Michael Jackson has lesser views, what irony. By this barometer does this mean a legend for over 4 decades is less successful? This barometer certifies that anyone who can organize fake views have a bigger audience than a True artist.

This is what happened with an Artist in India and hence nobody will bother, but just like DJ Khalid questioned Billboard's charts, this is an episode that will surely open up a Pandora's box. Watch out for more debates on this topic coming up soon.

Music can bring a change.

We recently did a feature on Julian Assange, Founder of Wikileaks, where we argued that he is a man who deserved to be honoured. By leaking several incriminating classified documents obtained through a private in the US army, he exposed atrocities committed by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. He did the world a service by bringing this information to the public, but the US government does not see it that way. They want to bring criminal proceedings against him and prosecute him and send him to death row or interned in a high security prison for the rest of his life.

We are compelled to argue that he deserved to be praised and supported and not slapped with criminal charges for hacking and mired in allegations of rape. The actions against Assange pose a grave threat to freedom of the press and free speech. Facing extradition to Sweden and amidst fears of political persecution, he was pushed to breach bail and seek asylum in the Ecuador Embassy in London.

Later the UN and Inter-American Court of Human Rights had ruled upholding his human rights. Despite the support of many eminent personalities, journalists, academics and millions of people globally, the US is set to book Assange under the Espionage Act. Last month Ecuador revoked his asylum and Assange was arrested by the UK police and is at present incarcerated in a British jail.

In today’s society the value system that evolved over the years hasn’t changed much. The distinction between right and wrong has remained broadly the same, only becoming progressively more inclusive. Unfortunately there is no probity in the people who wield power and position and they have scant regard for justice, fair play and honesty. As a result, it has eroded all of society’s moral, democratic and human values.

We wonder why someone from our Industry has did not write a song about the unjust hounding of Assange by the forces of power.

Can not music bring about change? We believe it can.

Interviews

Venues

Best Jazz Venue in India

Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival  of live music.