Top Ten Mutinous Music Moments

When I was a rebellious little punk teenager, the only Brown I saw on stage at shows was Tony Kanal playing bass in No Doubt. And he was dating bindi wearing Gwen Stefani, who was by far the coolest rock chick ever. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Sepia Mutiny as a reader that I noticed other punk, alterno, progressive musicians – the most prominent one being of course, M.I.A.

Here we are in the last week of Sepia Mutiny. On these pages as a reader, I’ve discovered some of my favorite songs and as a writer, I’ve gotten to interview some of the most amazing people. I’ve loved discovering new Desi music and examining musicians exploration of hyphenated identities through lyric, music and movement.

Since I love lists – what better way to remember this then… a Top Ten Favorite Mutinous Music Moments.

  1. M.I.A.– Maya has graced the pages of our site an innumerable amount of times – 100 posts to be exact. From her first “galang”, to her so-called retirement, to a pregger M.I.A. singing at the Grammy Awards with A.R. Rahman. She was the first things that drew me as a reader to the pages of the Mutiny. In the past 8 years peoples opinions of her may have waned, but she definitely has made her mark
  2. Das Racist – Despite Abhi’s first post where he made his firesauce prediction that Pizza Hut, Taco Bell was going to be a Desi fave, could we have suspected these guys would have exploded the way they did? They’ve gone from a YouTube sensation to dropping Shut Up, Dude & Sit Down, Man & Relax to selling out shows as an international music sensation. But by far, PhillyGrrl’s interviews Part 1 & Part 2 were my most favorite interviews to grace these pages.
  3. Vijay Iyer – He’s gone from Still Life with Commentator in 2006 to the #1 Jazz Album of the year IN 2010 for Historicity. Sugi’s interview with Vijay is one of the sweetest interviews Part 1 & Part 2.
  4. The Kominas – Who would have known when I first blogged about these guys in 2006, that my life as a blogger would get so intimately intertwined w/ this band and the taqwacore scene? My first interview with Basim Usmani goes down as one of my favorites. Following the growth if this band personally has been epic to say the least, whether following them on cross country TaqwaTour or as my “camera crew” at Sundance for my Aamir Khan interview. Epic, indeed.
  5. DJ Rekha – the infamous and legendary, we’ve talked about Rekha since she smacked Daler Mehndi down. Whether Basement Bhangra (dance party AND CD) or DJing at the White House Easter Egg Hunt. There’s a reason why she’s one of my Desi Women of the Decade.
  6. Mandeep Sethi – He came aisee taisee out of nowhere and is a hip hop artist, filmmaker, producer, South Asian musical networker collaborating w/ everyone and is now in India establishing the first Indian B-Boy crew, SlumGods. All before hitting the age of 24, of course.
  7. Sikh Knowledge – A queer Canadian Sikh dancehall beat-making MC and producer, my interview with him is one of my proudest SM moments. Baas.
  8. Goldspot – These alterna pop boys have been on our pages and a Phillygrrl and Abhi favorite, from 2006 to the 2011 KCRW live performance. A golden find.
  9. Red Baraat – A baraat brass band? When I first met Brooklynwallah and heard about his band, I never suspected I’d become as big of a fan of it as I did. The interview w/ Sonny and Sunny made me want to Chaal, Baby.
  10. Penn Masala – The longest running Desi A Capella group from UPenn, they have been training generations of swooners and it even landed then in the White House. 

So there you have it – my top favorite musical moments of Sepia Mutiny, though there are many more interviews I conducted that I wish I could have included in this list. But these are just my personal faves – I’m sure you all must have your favorites too! Drop them in the comments. It has been an absolute pleasure finding music for the mutiny.

8 thoughts on “Top Ten Mutinous Music Moments

    1. “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.
    2. “Fake Patois” by Das Racist.
    3. “Gold Spot” by Friday – not sure if I discovered this on SM.
    4. Slumdog Millionaire – I became aware of this film just before reading about it on SM. Slumdog Millionaire is the Hipster’s idealization of India, and it’s their excuse on why they think their knowledge and practice of Eastern philosophy is more intellectuallly and spiritually pure than what we do.
    5. India’s economic growth and Pakistan’s implosion (and perhaps subsequent stabilization)
    6. Racist ads or politicians (i.e. George Allen ‘macaca’)

    You guys had a way of liberating my inner Malcolm X. When these hipsters here in Boston, with their Om sign and yoga pants, disdain me because I wasn’t born in a refugee camp or I don’t plan (or have the inclination/ability) to attend Harvard to study Hinduism (after all, tenured professors know more about Hinduism than those Indians who do hipsterish things).

    Also, let me eulogize on SM one more: I didn’t realize that there were commonalities in experience, views, etc. amongst all of us American-Raised-Indians.

  1. One of my first comments here was on an M.I.A. post way more in-depth than had been covered in any music magazine, including Rolling Stone. Was that eight years ago?!

    You have no idea how much I am going to miss this space, even if many of us haven’t spoken up here in later years as we used to. That it is was ever here has changed the world.

  2. I haven’t commented in years, due to a demanding work schedule and more restrictive internet use ;0) but I have continued reading on a regular basis. I cannot put into words how much this community has meant to me. It has allowed me to articulate a texture to my pride in being a South Asian American. And as a mixed Desi-American, the Mutiny let me participate in and identify with my roots in a way that I had never been able to do before. I started reading in 2004 when I felt too shy to join in, but slowly I remembered that I too belong to the South Asian community both here and in real life. I can’t say anything else except “thank you” and “this will be missed.” I hope you all choose to maintain the site without updating it so that all of us shy lurkers have a touchstone to return to. Thank you thank you thank you.

  3. Much gratitude and love to SM for introducing me to such great music, artists and writers – Mad Guru, Bishi, Sanjay Patel, Dj Drrrty Poonjabi, Tunak Tunak parodies, Nina Paley, Amitava Kumar …just to name a few! all the best! ~bess, besstacular, bessta rhymes etc

  4. They all pretty much suck. Hipsters idealization of India is not S-dog Crorepati. Its more like, “oooh India is so mystical and pure. They worship women and are so holy. Maybe we be fortunate enough to be born there in our next life. India rules, we love desis and its politically incorrect to suggest they might be as fucked up as anyone else, if not more”.

  5. Bwahahahahhahahahaha!

    I just listened to “Fake Patois” by Das Racist and if ever there was an award for worst fake patois ever, it’d go to them. Its so bad they don’t even manage to sound Irish, which is what most fake patoisers end up sounding like.

    Hey Ram! I feel I must take snan fully clothed 108 times in the Ganga to clear my mindscape from this horrific samskara.

  6. Taz, you missed out on Kim Thayil, guitar player for Soundgarden, who was another Brown person on stage in the 90s. Also, I guess you and I must move in different music circles, as there are a bunch of established brown bands that were never featured in Sepia Mutiny (possibly because they don’t hip-hop or play alternative- type music :)). E.g. Vedic metal pioneers Rudra, who have been playing for almost 20 years and released 7 albums so far. Then there’s Deux Ex Machina, Moksha, Parikrama, Silman Marak etc.