Blinded By The Light

Blinded by the Light is a 2019 British comedy-drama film directed by Gurinder Chadha. It was inspired by the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and his love of the works of Bruce Springsteen. Manzoor co-wrote the script, with Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges. It is based on Manzoor’s memoir Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll. Set in the town of Luton in 1987 Thatcherite Britain, the film tells the coming-of-age story of Javed, a British-Pakistani Muslim teenager whose life is changed after he discovers the music of Springsteen. Viveik Kalra stars in the lead role, along with Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon, Kulvinder Ghir and Nell Williams in supporting roles.

In 1987, Javed Khan and his family – Pakistani immigrant parents Malik and Noor, and sisters Yasmeen and Shazia – live in Luton, England. Javed likes contemporary rock music, which Malik disapproves of. Javed writes poetry and lyrics for his best friend Matt’s band, but Matt critiques Javed’s work for being depressing. Javed feels out of place at his new school, where he is one of two South Asian students; the other, Roops, is a fan of “The Boss”. In Ms. Clay’s writing class, Javed develops a crush on a student activist named Eliza and becomes interested in the writing assignments. Javed talks to Ms. Clay after class about his poetry and diaries. During lunch Roops approaches him and gives him two Bruce Springsteen cassette tapes, calling Springsteen “the direct line to all that is true in this shitty world.” Javed faces constant racism from his peers and neighbours, and Malik forbids him to socialise, insisting he “follow the Jews” in his school because of their success as a people.

Javed is rejected as a writer by the school paper. At the same time, Vauxhall Motors lays off Malik. Frustrated by racism and Malik’s inability to understand him, Javed discards his poems on the night of the Great Storm of 1987. After listening to the Springsteen tapes, the lyrics immediately speak to him, and he recovers his poems. At school, Javed excitedly tells Roops that Springsteen knows exactly how he feels. Inspired to continue writing, he submits his poetry to Ms. Clay. A neighbour, Mr. Evans, recovers one of Javed’s poems that decries the National Front, who are planning a local march. As a World War II veteran, Mr. Evans sympathizes with Javed’s feelings and calls the poem brilliant, but Javed’s parents are less appreciative. Javed submits a piece about Springsteen to the newspaper. Meanwhile, Malik becomes aggravated over mounting bills and Yasmeen’s upcoming wedding. Javed takes a job with Matt’s father, also a Springsteen fan, at his flea market. Matt’s father helps Javed impress Eliza by singing Springsteen songs.

Javed asks out Eliza, steeling his nerves with Springsteen songs. The two kiss, and Javed gives Eliza a poem, which she loves. Ms. Clay enjoys his poems and arranges an unpaid internship at the Herald. Javed and Roops lock themselves in the school radio station and play Springsteen, briefly getting in trouble. Amid more racist intimidation, Eliza invites Javed to meet her parents; Javed tries to hide his discomfort. At the Herald, Javed gets paid after an article he wrote about racism is chosen for the front page. Javed uses the money to buy tickets for a Springsteen concert on Yasmeen’s wedding day. Before his parents arrive at the wedding, National Front members assault Malik. Upset that Javed withheld money from the family, Malik rips up the tickets. Javed stuns his parents by telling them he does not want to be their son.

At school, Eliza chastises Javed for abandoning his family and using them as an excuse to stop seeing her. In class, Ms. Clay tells Javed his Springsteen essay won him attendance to a lecture at Monmouth College in New Jersey, near where Springsteen grew up. Javed initially declines, knowing his father will disallow him, but changes his mind. Malik tells Javed that if he leaves, he will not be allowed to return. Javed and Roops take the trip to the States. It inspires Javed to write something new. Back home, Noor tells Malik to reconcile with Javed and reminds him that he left his own family and country at a young age. Eliza recruits Javed’s family to show up in support when he reads his winning essay. Instead of reading his essay, Javed talks about how “Blinded By The Light” mirrors his father’s troubles. Everyone is moved. He reconciles with Eliza and thanks her for inviting his family. Malik reconciles with Javed and tells him that he has listened to Springsteen and admires the themes of working hard and respecting one’s family. As Javed leaves for university, he and Malik listen to Springsteen together.

A feel good coming of age movie that has some awesome music courtesy of The Boss, this was really fun to watch. I enjoyed it a lot. 8.5 outta 10!

RIP Kenny Rogers

Kenneth Ray Rogers or Kenny Rogers (August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur. He was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. The 81 year old dominated the pop and country charts in the 1970s and 1980s with a string of sleekly tailored hits and won three Grammys. Rogers “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family,” a representative for the singer said in a statement. Due to the  national COVID-19 emergency, the family is planning a small private service at this time with a public memorial planned for a later date.

Rogers had announced a farewell tour in 2015 and was able to keep it going through December 2017. In April 2018, shortly before he was to spend a few months finishing out the tour after a break, he announced that he was having to call off the remaining dates (including a planned appearance at the Stagecoach Festival in California), due to unspecified “health challenges.” Rogers’ signature song “The Gambler” was added to the National Registry in 1978. It was the most recent of a lifetime of honors bestowed on the singer, which included induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, three Grammys and six CMA Awards.

After establishing himself commercially via rock- and pop-oriented singles with his group the First Edition, the bearded, prematurely gray Rogers was launched into the top rank of crossover country artists with a string of singles for United Artists Records. His appealing, sometimes gritty voice propelled 20 solo 45s to No. 1 on the country charts from 1977-87. Two of them, his 1980 reading of Lionel Richie’s “Lady” and his 1983 collaboration with Dolly Parton “Islands in the Stream” (penned by the Bee Gees), also topped the pop lists. He worked profitably with a number of other female vocalists, including Dottie West, Sheena Easton, Kim Carnes and Anne Murray. Rogers parlayed his music success into a successful side career as an actor. His 1978 country chart-topper “The Gambler” spawned five popular TV movies, while some of his other hits also inspired small-screen features.

Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association the same year. Born and raised in Houston, he was the fourth of eight children in a poor family. He took to the guitar as an adolescent, and would sometimes perform with another aspiring local musician and future star, Mickey Gilley. Rogers signed a solo deal with UA in 1976. He struck almost immediate pay dirt with “Lucille,” an absorbing vignette about a barroom encounter with a disillusioned woman and her estranged husband. The number became Rogers’ first No. 1 country hit and reached No. 5 on the national pop chart. It also scored Rogers his first Grammy, for best male country vocal performance.

Married five times, Rogers is survived by his last wife Wanda and five children.

Lords of Chaos

Lords of Chaos is a 2018 true crime horror-thriller film directed by Jonas Åkerlund and written by Dennis Magnusson and Åkerlund. Adapted from the 1998 book of the same name, the film is a semi-fictionalised account of the early 1990s Norwegian black metal scene told from the perspective of Mayhem co-founder Euronymous. It stars Rory Culkin as Euronymous, Emory Cohen as Varg Vikernes, Jack Kilmer as Dead, Valter Skarsgård as Bård Guldvik “Faust” Eithun and Sky Ferreira as Ann-Marit.

In the 1980s, a young guitarist called Euronymous forms a black metal band called Mayhem, the first of the genre in their country of Norway, with Necrobutcher on bass, and Manheim on drums. Manheim leaves and is soon replaced by new drummer Hellhammer and they recruit a new vocalist from Sweden called Dead, who exhibits self-destructive behavior, which he portrays during their live shows by cutting himself and bleeding on the audience, and throwing pig heads at the “posers”. At a show filmed by their friend Metalion, the band meets a fan named Kristian, whom Euronymous initially looks down on.

While home alone, Dead uses his personal knife to cut his arms and throat, and then uses Euronymous’ shotgun to shoot himself in the forehead, leaving behind a suicide note. Euronymous returns home and finds the body but instead of calling the police, he takes photos of the body and moves the knife and shotgun around. After Dead’s body is taken away, Euronymous gives necklaces to the other band members which he claims are pieces of Dead’s skull; this disgusts Necrobutcher, prompting him to leave the band. Soon after, Euronymous starts his own black metal record label and opens a record shop called Helvete (“Hell” ), which becomes a social hub for black-metallers like Metalion, Fenriz of Darkthrone, Faust of Emperor, and Kristian (who is now calling himself Varg Vikernes) of Burzum. They become known as the “Black Circle”. After being mocked by an ego-driven Euronymous, Varg uses his anti-Christian beliefs as motivation to burn down a local church. When challenged by Varg concerning his status as the leader of the Black Circle, Euronymous burns down a church with Faust and Varg accompanying.

Euronymous recruits Varg as bassist, a guitarist called Blackthorn and a Hungarian vocalist, Attila Csihar, to record Mayhem’s first album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. A power dispute between Varg and Euronymous arises. After a wave of church burnings begins, Faust brutally kills a gay man, leading police to link black-metallers to the crimes. Helvete is raided and shut down by the police, and Varg is short term loans for students uk arrested as prime suspect because of an interview with a Bergen newspaper in which he claimed to have been the one who burned the churches and killed the gay man. He is soon released for lack of evidence. Varg meets with Euronymous and tells him that he is leaving Mayhem and that he is going to start his own record label. Euronymous reveals that the “skull piece” necklaces were fakes, and that he never intended anyone to actually follow through on his angry rhetoric, which infuriates Varg.

In anger, Euronymous rants to a peer about wanting to kill Varg, but later calms down and sends him a contract to release the rights for his music back to him. Varg, having heard that Euronymous was making death threats against him, travels to Oslo in the early morning of August 10 to confront him. Telling Euronymous he wants to sign the contract, he enters his apartment and, after a brief conversation, stabs him. Euronymous pleads for his life, but Varg follows him through the apartment to the stairwell outside and stabs him to death. The next day, the news of Euronymous’ murder spreads throughout Norway and Varg is soon arrested. He is sent to prison for a maximum of 21 years, guilty of both the murder of Euronymous and the burning of several churches. In a voice-over, Euronymous tells the audience not to feel sorry for him, that he enjoyed his life and invented a new sub-genre of metal.

Although it isn’t very true to original events – there is no real Ann-Marit, Dead didn’t kill and hang cats though he did chase them,  the Live in Jessheim scene jumps to Dead’s suicide, given a whole year had passed in between both events and Dead and Euronymous’ subsequent falling out and animosity was never portrayed apart from one scene in which Euronymous mockingly waves a shotgun in front of Dead and suggests he shoots himself andThe time Dead stabbed Euronymous was never portrayed in the film – it is still interesting to see the Norwegian Black Metal scene story, which has fascinated me to no end. I give the film a 7.5 outta 10!

RIP Sonam Sherpa

I just found out that Sonam Sherpa (8 October 1971 – 14 February 2020) who was lead guitarist & founding member of Indian band Parikrama, died on Friday. According to reports, the musician, who was in Kurseong to record music for an upcoming movie, suffered a massive cardiac arrest.

Sherpa joined Parikrama at its inception in 1991. He remained as the lead guitarist in the band until his death. Sherpa was featured on CNBC’s Young Turks, a show focusing on young entrepreneurs. The BBC also featured him and his band in a rockumentary while on their Download Festival Tour. He took steps in the Indian film industry (Bollywood) by composing the songs and music for the feature film “Manjunath” a collaboration with Nitin Malik and Subir Malik (both from Parikrama). The music of the film received a rating of 2.5 stars from Times of India. Sherpa owned and ran Parikrama school based at Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi.

While not a fan of Parikarama (I just didn’t listen to that much of their songs) Sonam could really play on the guitar and he won awards for his blues & rock based playing. He will be missed.

Are There Any Benefits To Learning An Instrument As An Adult?

When you were young, did you learn to play a musical instrument? Are you all grown up now and wishing that you would have learned how to play one when you were younger? Stop wishing that you knew how to play one and start learning how to play a musical instrument today. Not only will you be turning your dream into a goal that you can accomplish, but by learning to play a musical instrument as an adult, you can also get a variety of benefits. Below is a list of some of the benefits that you can get from learning to play a musical instrument as an adult. Hopefully, by reading about these benefits, you will learn something new, and maybe, it will also inspire you to pick up a musical instrument.

Socializing

Learning a new instrument does not necessarily mean that you have to leave your house because, with technology, you can learn to play an instrument online. Still, you may want to leave your house to learn to play a new instrument because socialization is important. If you are not socializing enough, then by taking in-person music lessons, you will have to leave the house, and you will socialize with your teacher. Perhaps if you feel like you need more socialization, you can also try to connect with other people who also have an interest in playing an instrument.

Your Brain

There are a variety of ways that learning to play a musical instrument can help your brain. One great benefit is that it can help with increasing the amount of grey matter that is in your brain. Research has found that “the volume of grey matter in a number of regions of the brain is higher in those learning to play a musical instrument.”  Another way that learning an instrument is beneficial is that it can help your mental health; this is because when you play an instrument, it can help to reduce your stress.

Reaching For Your Goals

If you really want to learn to play an instrument, then setting a goal and working towards it can feel very rewarding. You can set smaller goals to work towards getting to your bigger goal of being good at playing the instrument, and when you get there, you will feel as though you accomplished your goal. If, for example, you have been wanting to learn to play the piano, then find a great place to take piano lessons and start going there.

Overall, there are so many benefits that can come from learning a musical instrument, such as wonderful benefits for your brain. There are also other ways to improve your brain if this is something that is of interest to you. If all of these benefits have you wanting to take music lessons then you should do some research as to where you can go to take lessons and start working towards your goal. Who knows, maybe someday you will be as good as Elton John is at the piano. Even if you aren’t, you can be happy knowing that you are getting so many other benefits from learning to play a musical instrument.

Hotel Booked For 4 Nights

So I have finally, finally booked a hotel room for 4 days and 4 nights. It’s not one of three places that I was hoping for but the more I thought about, this one is pretty good. I was hoping that the rates for a couple of other places would go down as it had seemed that some others went down a week before the actual dates of booking but they didn’t.

I had almost settled on a cheaper place, with some good rooms and great ratings online, in Angamaly but finally decided against going there. I low interest unsecured loan guess I will pick them next time. Another place I really wanted was over my budget – well I could have taken it but I wasn’t willing to pay that much. Again, perhaps another time I will pick them as I really do want to stay in that hotel.

So I picked a reliable and decently rated hotel room. I do not get free breakfast as when I checked it would be almost Rs.500 more just for free breakfast! I don’t think my breakfast & coffee per day would be more than that daily. Oh I must say that I did get Rs.1800 off from my bill for paying with my HDFC credit card. That’s good. They do have free Wifi and a bar.

RIP Neil Peart

Neil Ellwood PeartOC, Canadian musician and writer best known as the drummer and primary lyricist of the rock band Rush fter a three-year illness, died of glioblastoma on January 7, 2020, at age 67. The illness had been a closely-guarded secret in Peart’s inner circle until his death. His family made the announcement on January 10. Peart received numerous awards for his musical performances, including an induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983, making him the youngest person ever so honoured. His drumming was renowned for its technical proficiency, and his live performances for their exacting nature and stamina. Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie, Ontario. During adolescence, he floated between regional bands in pursuit of a career as a full-time drummer. After a discouraging stint in England to concentrate on his music, Peart returned home, where he joined Rush, a Toronto band, in mid-1974.

Early in his career, Peart’s performance style was deeply rooted in hard rock. He drew most of his inspiration from drummers such as Keith Moon and John Bonham, players who were at the forefront of the British hard rock scene.[4] As time passed, he began to emulate jazz and big band musicians Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. In 1994, Peart became a friend and pupil of jazz instructor Freddie Gruber. It was during this time that Peart decided to revamp his playing style by incorporating jazz and swing components. In addition to serving as Rush’s primary lyricist, Peart also published several memoirs about his travels. His lyrics for Rush addressed universal themes and diverse subjects including science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy, as well as secular, humanitarian, and libertarian themes. Peart wrote a total of seven nonfiction books focused on his travels and personal stories. In January 2018, bandmate Alex Lifeson confirmed that Rush was retiring due to Peart’s health issues.

During his last years, Peart lived in Santa Monica, California, with his wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall, and daughter Olivia. On August 10, 1997, soon after the conclusion of Rush’s Test for Echo Tour, Peart’s first daughter (and, at the time, his only child) Selena Taylor, 19, was killed in a single-car accident on Highway 401 near the town of Brighton, Ontario. His common-law wife of 23 years, Jacqueline Taylor, succumbed to cancer only 10 months later on June 20, 1998. Peart attributes her death to the result of a “broken heart” and called it “a slow suicide by apathy. In his book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road, Peart writes that he told his bandmates at Selena’s funeral, “consider me retired”. Peart took a long sabbatical to mourn and reflect, and travelled extensively throughout North and Central America on his motorcycle, covering 88,000 km (55,000 mi). After his journey, Peart decided to return to the band. Peart wrote the book as a chronicle of his geographical and emotional journey.

Peart was introduced to photographer Carrie Nuttall in Los Angeles by long-time Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan. They married on September 9, 2000. In early 2001, Peart announced to his bandmates that he was ready to return to recording and performing. After the release of Vapor Trails and his reunion with bandmates, Peart returned to work as a full-time musician. In the June 2009 edition of Peart’s website’s News, Weather, and Sports, titled “Under the Marine Layer”, he announced that he and Nuttall were expecting their first child. Olivia Louise Peart was born later that year.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: First 11 Songs Listened To In 2020

Every year on January 1st, I post about the first 11 songs that I listen to on my Mp3 player on my system. I pick them at random or like today when I specifically selected a couple of songs because I was thinking about them. This year, like last, I listened to them on  Youtube instead of from my mp3 collection.

  • The Loner – Gary Moore
  • Bitch – Meredith Brooks
  • Over the Hills and Far Away – Led unsecured payday loan Zeppelin
  • You Oughta Know – Alanis installment loans poor credit Morissette
  • Peace, Love & Loud Guitars – Anthony Gomes
  • Rainbow In The Dark – Dio
  • Winter – Tori Amos
  • OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA – The Beatles
  • Under Pressure – Queen
  • Once Upon A Time In The West – Dire Straits
  • All Along The Watch Tower – The Classic Rock Band

RIP Marie Fredriksson

Marie Fredriksson, Swedish pop singer, songwriter, pianist and painter, known for forming pop rock duo Roxette in 1986 alongside Per Gessle died yesterday after a 17 year old battle with cancer  at the age of 61 from complications during treatment of an aggressive brain tumor. The duo achieved international success in the late-1980s and early-1990s with their albums Look Sharp! (1988 ) and Joyride (1991), and had six top two hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “The Look”, “Listen to Your Heart”, “Dangerous”, “It Must Have Been Love”, “Joyride” and “Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave)”.

She was the youngest of five children born of Charles Gösta Fredriksson (1914–1981) and Inez Dagmar Fredriksson. Her interest in music continued to grow throughout her teens, as she discovered artists such as The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple. She enrolled in a music school in the Svalöv Municipality at the age of seventeen. Fredriksson had a successful career in her native country prior to forming Roxette. She was a member of punk group Strul, a band which created their own music festival in 1979. Strul’s dissolution led to the creation of her next project, the short-lived MaMas Barn, after which she began releasing solo work. Her first album, Het vind, was issued in 1984, followed by Den sjunde vågen in 1986 and … Efter stormen in 1987. Roxette’s international breakthrough coincided with a period of inactivity for Fredriksson as a solo artist, punctuated only by the release of the non-album single “Sparvöga” in 1989. Subsequent solo albums included Den ständiga resan (1992) and I en tid som vår (1996).

Fredriksson met her husband, keyboardist Mikael “Micke” Bolyos, during the Australian leg of “Join the Joyride!” in December 1991. The couple married in a private ceremony in May 1994, which was attended only by immediate family members. Fredriksson and Bolyos had two children: a daughter named Inez Josefin and a son named Oscar.