D.C.’s First Drift Elemental

It all started with a Kickstarter campaign months ago. They raised enough money and now it’s finally here. This Friday, Subcontinental Drift  will be hosting D.C.’s very first South Asian hip hop show: Drift Elemental.

The concert will take place at Liv Nightclub, located upstairs at the historic Bohemian Caverns. Doors will open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9 p.m. A dance party featuring Drift Elemental’s DJs will follow. … The aim of Drift Elemental is to present South Asian artists in the context of old school hip-hop’s four elements, which include rapping, DJ-ing, graffiti art and breakdancing. The concert will feature acts from Washington, D.C. and New York. [subcontinentaldrift]

 

The show will be featuring local east coast hip hop artists who I am excited to have on my radar. The first is Navid Azeez other wise known as Navi the Swami, a member of the Whole Damme Delegation.

The second is Baltimore based Koushik Chatterjee, otherwise known as Ko the Timeless. Inspired by his Bengali music performing parents and indoctrinated into hihop with the lyrics of Tribe Called Quest, Ko’s first mixtape The Subway High Life can be downloaded here. Continue reading

Blue Scholars’ Bollywood Icon

Ha, ji! Ms. Rani Mukerji is a now a “rap music icon”!

Today’s #MusicMonday comes from Blue Scholars, the hip hop/spoken word crew out of Seattle. The song comes from their just released album Cinemetropolis, available for download on bandcamp. Each song on the album is named after a person, such as Yuri Kochiyama, Oscar Grant, and Anna Karina.

The duo — DJ Sabzi and MC Geologic — say the song ‘Rani Mukerji’ is a big hit at their live concerts. “Rani appears to be a powerful, intelligent woman and a cultural leader. She does a good job balancing her projected image with dignity and without allowing herself to be objectified,” says DJ Sabzi, adding his favourite Rani film is the 2002 hit Saathiya. [hindustantimes]

Hands down, Rani Mukerji is my favorite song on the album. As a Bangla speaker, I must say, it gives me a little thrill to hear feisty Bengali words in the catchy chorus. I expect I’ll be singing these words all week long.

It’s Wednesday

No, it’s not Friday. It’s Wednesday!

What would happen if Ice Cube’s Today Was a Good Day took place in the techie days of nowadays? The video stars comedian Hasan Minhaj as the Desi South Bay-esque protagonist. Hasan can also be seen on ABC Family’s State of Georgia and can be heard on his comedy album wittily named Leaning on Expensive Cars and Getting Paid to Do It. Aziz Ansari better watch out now….

The Incredible Kid Drops Thumping Beats

DJ Anjali and Incredible Kid.jpg

I got a beat-thumping BBQ friendly labor day mix for y’all for this #MusicMonday a little early. Coming from The Incredible Kid, the other half to Seattle based DJ Anjali.

soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/21849376″

Beginning with incorporating Asian Drum and Bass, Reggaeton, and Meren-Rap songs into his late ’90s house party sets, The Incredible Kid built his reputation igniting Portland, Oregon dance floors with the incendiary urban sounds of international dance music. In late 2000 The Kid introduced DJ Anjali to the dancing masses, and the two spearheaded the Bhangra and Bollywood scene in Portland through their Andaz night, still running strong since its debut in July of 2002. [anjaliandthekid]

 

If in Portland, be sure to check DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid. Upcoming shows listed here.

Danny Pudi, Video Vixen?

I wouldn’t call Danny Pudi this decade’s Tawny Kitaen, or a hip hop honey. But like them, he’s got screen time in music videos. Last week I noticed him in Raphael Saadiq’s “Day Dreams.” Now he’s in a new music video from Jones Street Station, “The Understanding”. Both feature him as a quirky, cute, romantic protagonist–cute as in Buddy Holly cute, without the glasses.

In the video from Brooklyn-based folk rock band Jones Street Station, Pudi is photographing while brown in NYC. But no suspicion here, maybe because everyone he snaps in the Big Apple is charmed by him and his tiny camera. :) After he meets a woman played by actress Monica West and gives her a piggyback ride in the park, they end up in a studio jamming with the band.
Continue reading

Young the Giant Rocks Out @ VMAs

Young the Giant’s lead singer Sameer Gadhia strutted down the catwalk and got the crowd going at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards tonight. The group performed “My Body.” Backstage before the show they talked about being the sole rock act to perform at this year’s award show. Watch their performance below.

Thanks for the tip Pravin Praveen!

Young the Giant canceled performances at Reading and Leeds festivals to make it to the VMAs. Gadhia explained why it was important for them to perform at tonight’s show in Los Angeles.

“We canceled Reading and Leeds [festivals] because of the VMAs,” frontman Gadhia shared. “I mean, we always watched them, ever since we were little … and we’re from Los Angeles, so we figured it would be a great opportunity. Hopefully people in the U.K. will forgive us. I know some people are already annoyed.” (MTV) Continue reading

Daydreaming With Danny Pudi

It’s summertime. That means no new episodes of Community featuring one of the best (and hottest) TV bromances to ever exist–Troy + Abed. But you can watch Danny Pudi, who plays the Abed half of that TV couple, in a cute and fun new music video from Raphael Saadiq. The video for “Day Dreams” from Saadiq’s Stone Rollin‘ album is directed by Arj Barker’s co-star from Flight of the Conchords, Bret McKenzie.

Previously: He’s Your Polish Dancer, Your Brown Actor for Hire Continue reading

Anjulie Remodeled

Remember Anjulie? The Guyanese-Canadian who’s 2009 single Boom prompted mutineer Amardeep to state, “I hear shades of Morcheeba and Esthero”? She just dropped a new single this week so I’m sharing for this week’s #MusicMonday (that’s right, I’m bringing it back…!) I can’t help but think she’s been Nikki Minaj-ed. Rihanna-ed. Lady Gaga-fied.

What do you think of the remodel? I gotta say, I was a big fan of “old” Anjulie with the song My Thrill being my favorite. But if her new album is reflective of this single, I dunno, I dunno… Continue reading

Sid Sriram: Killing Those Covers Softly

sid2.jpgSid Sriram sings some soulful covers. He sings his own songs too, like the smooth and mellow sunny single Limitless and Farther, Closer. But it was various twitternet raves about his latest cover, an emotional rendition of We All Try by Frank Ocean that first made me notice the singer. Sriram skillfully covers a range of artists from Adele to the Beatles. He seems to be getting great response on YouTube, where I noticed multiple marriage proposals alongside praise for his vocals in the comments for his videos.

Sriram was born in Chennai and moved to northern California as an infant. His musical training started in Carnatic music at a young age. He became interested in R&B vocals in junior high and currently attends Berklee College of Music, where he majors in music production engineering and vocal performance. The EP “Be Easy; The Acoustic Sessions” contains five acoustic arrangements of his original material.

This talented young vocalist replied to a few questions, and his answers are posted below. He continues to perform classical vocals as he pursues singing and songwriting in the contemporary urban/indie genre. An announcement for a vocal concert, a past performance in San Francisco, highlights his background from the classical tradition: Continue reading