Sunday, April 03, 2005

Desi Weekend: Indian bloggers; BOB NYC

First, I went and met Indian desi bloggers at the Bay Leaf Restaurant in New York.

It's interesting that no one has blogged about it (though Kerim has posted a Flickr photo set), though I can kind of understand it: sometimes it's better to keep real life socialization separate from what one talks about on one's blog.

Also, some friends were involved with the production of Best of the Best NYC, so we spent Saturday evening watching an intercollegiate dance competition in Tribeca. I've been to these before, and sometimes found them a little tedious to watch. Bhangra Blowout, for instance, is a drag to go to (overblown, if you will), unless you're actually a college student yourself, or you have family involved in the production.

[I was also distressed to find out that someone was killed at the after-party at this year's event, though I think it's basically random.]

BOBNYC was more fun than those shows, mainly because of the inclusion of Garba/Raas teams as well as "fusion" teams. There can be such thing as too much Punjabi culture, and the inclusion of Gujurati dance as well as Bolly/Holly/hip hop hybridity makes things more interesting. All of the dances were quite good. I was impressed by the growing importance of live singing amongst the Punjabi groups; it suggests the genre might be moving towards "Boliyan." It's hyper-authentic: so authentic, you'll never see it in Punjab.

And I'd never seen this much Raas before -- truly impressive. The Raas groups emphasize delicacy, complexity, and nuance. This is in contrast to the Punjabi groups, which are all about enthusiasm.

I also enjoyed Josh, the "special act," from Montreal. I've yet to hear music from them that really knocks my socks off (it's a little simple for my tastes), but they have great stage presence. Judging by the crowd reaction, there might be some potential there.


Ms. World said...

It sounds like someone had a good weekend!

11:08 PM  
coolie said...

I dont like the stuff I have heard by Josh. They are more like the pop music side of Punjabi music, like Ricky Martin's of the desi music scene. Not my thing. I like the heavy bhangra beats with hooks and dhol and plenty of bass.

9:48 AM  
Amardeep said...

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10:18 AM  
Amardeep said...

Coolie, It's true -- a little Ricky Martin-ish. But there are a lot of people who find the whole Tigerstyle thing a little too grungy, so it makes sense to me.

In the recent stuff it seems like they are moving away from the "boy band" sound to a more asli Punjabi style.

Another plus: they have good voices. And Qurram Hussain has great stage presence; he's a pop star in the making.

And Ms. World, yes -- it was a fun weekend. The one downside is, it was raining non-stop, and windy. There were discarded, broken umbrellas all over the sidewalks of Manhattan...

4:06 PM  
suitablegirl said...

There were discarded, broken umbrellas all over the sidewalks of Manhattan...

deepa (the friend i arrived with) and i noticed the abandoned umbrellas as well, we joked that we should've taken pictures of each of them, since they were EVERYWHERE and people might not believe something so odd. :)

i know you had to leave, but i wish you had been able to go across the street to judge roy bean's afterwards. IMO that was even more fun than brunch itself.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hey guys!! Have you tried this new Indian restaurant called YUVA on 58th bet 2nd & 3rd?? I have been strongly recommended by my frens... I thought of getting your feedback....I live in the city and like to try new indian places....can anyone help with thier views ;)

1:13 PM  

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