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Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

What's That Song?!

Saturday, November 18, 2006
(Warning - Pure filler post, for lack of better things to blog about. Haven't really had the time to watch a Mithun movie lately)

Ever seen an ad with a catchy as hell song, which you've never heard before playing in the background?

There's nothing more maddening than trying to figure it out with just a couple of lines, and the sense of achievement that you get on finally getting your hands on it? Pure bliss.
(The above line was true in the pre/early-internet age, when there was no all-powerful Google. Now, it's a snap. Two clicks and you're on your way. Yay!)

Some of my all time favourite ad songs?

Love Spreads by The Stone Roses -
Had heard this one in 1996. MTV used to actually show 'English' music videos. Hard to believe, yes... but shockingly true. There used to be this ad called 'The Gig Guide' which would show details of upcoming gigs in the Asia-Pacific region, and the first few bars of this song would be playing in the background. No lyrics.
Which made it REAL tough to track down. I finally chanced upon a ten second clip of this song while aimlessly trolling through the band's official website in 2004. Couldn't stop grinning
that day.
A brilliant, instantly catchy song, with a guitar riff that will stick like chewing gum to your brain, for days on end... beautiful slide work. Guaranteed smile and goose pimples every time you listen to it. Highly recommended.

Glorybox by Portishead -
This was in a Levi's ad - don't remember much, but it involved a HOT chick in an elevator, was a typically dysfunctional High School setting. There was something very dark about that ad, and in the end the song went "Give me a reason .... to love you". I could only catch the "Give me a reason" part, and it was one of the most trying searches ever. There are tons of songs with that particular
line. MTV to the rescue this time. Was about to doze off at 3 am one night, and felt like watching one more video... (just one more, and then I'll sleep... promise... kind of thing). This came on, and ooh-la-la.
Beautifully trippy number, and it's haunting to say the least. Do not listen to it in the dark. Positively mind-altering. Amazing vocals and atmospherics.

Sinner Man by Nina Simone -
This was a recent one, from a Nokia ad. Couldn't figure out the words at all... I could just get "Where you gonna run to?". Another maddening search, and hit paydirt on Google. Also came to know that this was on the Thomas Crown Affair soundtrack...
Not much of a jazz afficionado myself, but this sure is a fantastic song. Can't quite describe it, you'll have to check it out yourself.

New Days by Asher Lane -
The newest fave, and it has been the easiest to find so far. Took me all of 3 minutes yesterday.
This is off a Nivea cream (creme?) ad. Nice little number by (I guess) a newish band. Very sunny. A good fit for the product indeed.

Oh Yeah by Yello -
This is a real oldie, a good 17 year old ad for good old Oxemberg shirts. The song was re-recorded with "Oxemberg" being substituted for "Oh Yeah". This came on in the background while I was watching a Michael J Fox movie - The Secret Of My Success.
A cheesy, nothing number. Listen to it just for the sheer 80s pop nostalgia rush.

Gangster Of Love by Johnny "Guitar" Watson -
This one goes way beyond the Ben Affleck Axe deo ad... it was re-recorded a good 17 years back again, for that VIP Frenchie ad, featuring a wimp sitting on a park bench, ogling at a PYT, only to have a stud wearing said undies whisk her away, caveman style. "What's he got that I ain't got?!!!!!". Ring a bell?
Was very crushed to know that it wasn't an original composition, was one of my favourite ads.
Lovely laid back number. Real smooth.

posted by Tapan at 11:36 AM

Impressions From My Cricketing Armchair

Friday, November 10, 2006
Our boys put up their usual pusillanimously brilliant performance come crunch time, in the ICC Trophy. To no one's surprise, really.

Prior to this, there was a fantastic ad campaign/song from the official cola sponsor, with grandiose, slo-mo visuals of the entire nation (typical Rajasthani peasant with colourful turban and humungous moustache included) going into an apoplectic fit when our 'boys' would step into the ground to play. Hoo Haa India, Aaya India! was the catchy, inspirational war cry with a tagline saying 'The blue billion rises'.

The TV coverage too was faculty numbingly good. Contrast the matches of yore, which were dull, staid affairs with you know, knowledgeable commentators who spoke only about (gasp! gasp!) cricket, or the stray earrings in the crowd. There was too much emphasis on the game, with dry tidbits about correct technique, player temperament, and the general beauty of the game. Booooooring. The answer? Washed out TV stars with a couple of old cricketers, who want to 'wed cricket with entertainment'. Brilliant idea. Especially when the bimbos root for a cricketer based on how good looking he is, and the ex-cricketers cringe, and look sideways at the camera, wishing that they really didn't have to do this for the money. Which really warms the cockles of my (you know what). When a TV star says stuff, and gives his valuable critique, you really know it's worth the time and effort. He has to know, right? Considering he is on TV, and well, the match is on TV? See the connection? Took me a while, but I got around to it. Was a real matter of national pride to see our TV hosts engage in verbal diarrhoea in Hindi, with the non-Indian guys grinning goofily at the camera. Then they were asked for an opinion. Immediately on launching, they would be cut short with more entertaining banter in Hindi. Awesome. (Didn't blame the goras if they had blindingly racist thoughts at that point in time. I understand.)
Then we had path-breaking contests like 'Best Ball which didn't get a wicket today'. Was kind of expecting 'The best looking reserve member', or 'The best dressed stadium sweeper'. Was heartbroken when they didn't show that. Maybe next season. Hope (and you know what) floats.

But the best, and I mean THE BEST part was bringing in a Tarot card reader before each match, and getting her 'predictions'. Which obviously were true, as long as you 'interpreted' them correctly. Cricket evidently has gone beyond the realm of going out there and trying your damnedest to win/the bookie biz, into the metaphysical and occult. Cool.

True to form, the true billion MINUS the blue playing 11 rose. (I have a lingeringly eerie suspicion that somehow there weren't quite a billion people watching the games to begin with). With another round of media-induced introspection.

The BCCI is now planning to move to a performance oriented pay structure. How about a ban on advertising contracts for the first 2 years at least? Which is in both the advertiser's and the advertisee's (sic) interests.

Maybe if there was a little less hype, and a lot lesser in your-face-playing-with-your-sentiments advertising, each Indian loss wouldn't rankle so much. With increasingly glaring media exposure, and news of hefty note-counting-machine-crashing endorsement deals, your average Jai is BOUND to expect a little more from these ‘superstars’ and forget that they are human. Not when he pins his hopes on them for a few moments of ecstasy in his otherwise pleasurable life.

The reaction of the other nations to our models is quite amusing... they just can't believe their freaking luck when they are asked to endorse stuff here; compared to the strictly workmanlike existence they lead back in their homelands. Which is a good thing for the game actually. Because you can see the fire in their bellies when they are out there on the field, giving it a hundred percent match after match. They probably play because they want to, and not just because they can. They just can't believe that the Indian cricketers get paid so much, in spite of not exactly distinguishing themselves each time on the field.

There was a furore in India over Ponting's behaviour when he was accepting the winner's trophy. The Aussies have apologized, and it has evidently gone down well. I have just one thing to say. All you geniuses launching into the Aussies, a small suggestion. Win a tournament for a change, and show us how to accept trophies gracefully, first hand. That would shut me up. Real good.

posted by Tapan at 4:05 PM


Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Somebody finally did it. Read this first and check this link out to see what I mean. Gave me a very nice feeling, even if in the nether regions. He's been sweet enough to put it up on his blog too here.
Thank you, whoever you are.

Got this result courtesy Copyscape. And you know what the irony is? He has a 'do not copy' warning on his blog too. Rich.

posted by Tapan at 11:36 PM