Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jose Feliciano in Chennai, another missed event

After reading all about it in The Hindu I feel very guilty of having missed a good if not great concert. Reminds me of the days in Athens, Georgia where Nick Staddon (haven't forgotten you man) my ex-colleague, Guitarist, Pianist, Singer (was in some Athens band), VBA/Linux/and a bunch of other software Programmer who had a full range of recording gadgetry would tell me how he preferred Jose's version of "Light my Fire" to that of Jim Morrison's and The Doors (well actually I like them both). Besides being a good artiste Jose is also an inspiration, having lost his eyesight from birth.

There is so much work to do to make a living these days that I seem to be overworking myself with hardly time for anything else. Sometimes I seem to be doing nothing too. In the U.S there is a recession, lesser jobs and fewer projects. The Canadian Dollar even grew stronger than the U.S dollar. Good things should happen and they will. As one of my clients would say to me, "Why should you guys worry if there is a recession in the U.S, most jobs are going to India anyway."

Latest on ISS and SSG

The way ISS is going it looks like contestants may be asked to write a written exam as they have run out of ideas to test performances. I wonder what the programmers of the show have in mind when Sharath asks contestants to imitate his rather funny tunes after their performances. Imitating is one thing they can do but sometimes they have no idea when they are asked to do a "vocal Jam" with him.

Ranjini has already started her announcements for ISS 2008. She is also asking for feedback including if the host needs to be changed. Of course! She needs to be fired. Just imagine putting up with her for another year, i.e if I am going to watch ISS 2008.

Meanwhile on SSG elimination was such a pleasant thing unlike the melodrama, tears and play acting the guests do when they announce the winners or losers on ISS. As M G Radhakrishnan said on SSG, "On other shows (he was probably referring to ISS where his brother M G Sreekumaran is a judge) they hurt contestants and are made to cry..." unlike on SSG.

Meanwhile Roopa has done her part well on SSG. She gave memorable performances and subscribing to Tata Sky was worth it for all her wonderful performances. She concluded in style last Thursday. Unni Menon was right when he commented on Roopa as to how composed and collected she was. It is now a battle of votes. This is where I disagree with SSG. As they do on ISS contestants must have been graded. It is not surprising how Jeethendra is on top and Teena could beat both Praveen and Ratheesh to the top 3. It will be a pity if Roopa does not win the contest on the basis of SMS votes alone. All I can do is vote and pray.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Two weeks of Tata Sky

I can say that it can get very addictive, movies, shows, et all and it did. As for the programs I intended to watch I wasn't disappointed either. The quality of the transmission is so good when compared to that of your local cable operator that you can even identify the make-up done on the artistes, performers and judges on the reality shows, both ISS on Asianet and SSG on Amrita.

Having taken the new service with the sole purpose of watching SSG and Roopa I wasn't disappointed. However Roopa's performances did lack her true form due to poor health and poor song selection. It was a big let down when I came to know from sources that the song selection for performers in SSG is rigged. Contestants aren't allowed to choose songs to sing and instead have to sing the ones the producers of the show ask them to. In spite of this it was fortunate Roopa got to sing many good numbers. Even the audience selection is rigged. The write to them via their e-mail address to request your favorite singer to sing is all a sham. Could you imagine judge of the show, Jayachandran's sister in the audience yesterday requesting Roopa to sing a hardly heard of Tamil song. I am sure you and I have over 100 super songs that Roopa can sing in the place of that one. Of all the songs on the planet requesting Roopa to sing "Elamcholai Poothadha" sung by SPB from the movie "Unakkagave Vazhgiren"? I could bet it was highly unlikely that the requester did not know the name of the movie unless someone had gave her that information. The song was a small hit way back when it was made which I guess was almost well over a decade ago. But remembering the name of the movie and selecting it over innumerable good songs for a request, clearly proves something fishy going on.

Meanwhile on ISS the strain on the participants and more obviously on the judges is clearly showing. I get a strong feeling everyone there is praying for the show to end. The very polite Usha Uthup for the first time commented on Vani Jayaram's recent performance saying it was one of the "worst". I never thought she would use that word. Najim, my favorite for the grand prize is one contestant who still seems in the contest and delivering one fantastic performance after the other. Amrutha seems to be singing songs that Roopa had already sung on SSG. Check Amrutha's performance with that of Roopa's and judge yourself which is better. I wonder what will judges who give Amrutha such high marks feel when they listen to the same songs sung by Roopa.