Levine - Vocals, Guitar
James Valentine - Guitar
Jesse Carmichael - Keyboards
Mickey Madden - Bass
Ryan Dusick - Drums
Then again, Plan B can put Plan A to shame. Singer/guitarist
Adam Levine, guitarist Jesse Carmichael, bass player Mickey Madden
and drummer Ryan Dusick would second that emotion, seeing as how their
first shot at the big time got them some rave notices, but not much
else. Now, their second shot, in the form of funky pop rock outfit
Maroon 5, thanks to a song, "Harder To Breathe," has the
LA-based Maroon 5 looking like the Cinderella story for 2003.
as a single in the fall of 2002, by summer 2003 "Harder To Breathe"
is still on multiple radio charts. Over 200 live shows, including
opening stints for John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Jason Mraz, and Counting
Crows, among others, helped to underscore a list of reasons why Maroon
5's debut CD, Songs About Jane, had already SoundScanned more than
115,000 units and gotten the guys on The Late Show with David Letterman,
Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Call with Carson Daly and The Late Late Show
with Craig Kilborn on the strength of that one single. And what a
single it's been. "Harder To Breathe" did quite well at
Modern Rock, Triple A and Hot AC radio before it became the #3 Most-Added
showing in its first week at Top 40 radio in early summer. At the
same time, the video was getting over 20 spins a week on VH1's "Inside
perhaps we're getting ahead of ourselves. What about Plan A?
as Kara's Flowers, Levine, Carmichael and Madden were the toast of
their West LA high school (Dusick, who'd known Levine since they were
nine and seven, respectively, had already graduated). Here they were,
17 years old and making a CD with legendary producer Rob Cavallo.
Life was grand.
This is where the good news ends. Following a disappointing
run with their debut, The Fourth World, Kara's Flowers were granted
their release from the label. Plan A had gone awry, leaving the quartet
to consider their future. "We were like, 'Okay, what do we do
now?' recalls Levine. "So we ran away to college to figure it
out." Leaving Dusick and Madden behind to study at UCLA, Levine
and Carmichael ran smack dab into Plan B in the dorms at the State
University of New York.
halls would be blasting Gospel music and people would be listening
to stuff that we'd never actually listened to, like Biggie Smalls,
Missy Elliot and Jay-Z. The Aaliyah record had come out around then,
and we were just blown away. When I think of songwriting, I think
of The Beatles, Dylan, Simon & GarfunkelÑthe stuff that
I grew up onÑbut then I was like, 'I want to do this.' Stevie
Wonder came into my life at that point," Levine mentions, "and
I just found a knack for doing it.
started singing differently," he told VH1, "and Jesse started
playing keyboards; that's what changed it." When the duo hooked
back up with Madden and Dusick in LA they were summarily reinvigorated
by adding an R&B, groove-based tint to their explosive rock &
roll. With the new musical frame-of-mind came a new nameÑMaroon
5Ñ and a fifth member: guitarist James Valentine. "James
came along right as we were deciding on the name," says Levine.
"We clearly weren't Kara's Flowers anymore, with the addition
of James and an entirely new approach to music. Also, if you name
a band when you're 15, by the time you're 23 you're probably not gonna
like it very much."
with a new attitude, a new sound and a new name, Maroon 5 quickly
attracted attention from labels. Octone Records, J Records, signed
the group, and in 2001 Maroon 5 entered the studio with producer Matt
Wallace (The Replacements, Faith No More, John Hiatt). "I was
all about making a hardcore, straight-up, funk R&B record,"
Levine remembers. "I have to give the people at Octone credit
because they were really trying to push us to do this. Matt Wallace
also thought we had so much chemistry as a rock & roll band that
it would be a shame to lose that element. We went back and recorded
live drums over loops, and wound up making more of a rock record,
which I think makes it stand out way better."
resulting album, Songs About Jane, was released in June 2002. Funky
rhythms and classic soul melodies cohabitate with searing guitars
and a powerful rock bottom end. On top of it all, Levine's expressive
voice belts out tale after tale of an ex-girlfriend. You can probably
guess her name.
To Breathe," a powerhouse guitar workout, is ironically not a
song about Jane. "There was a lot of pressure to write,"
Levine offers. "I just want to make music when I feel like making
music, and when I feel forced it's kind of frustrating. Granted, I
don't have much to complain about, but I thought that I was done with
the album. It turned out to be for the best because it pissed me off
so much I wrote 'This Love' and 'Harder To Breathe,' which are the
first two songs on the record."
Review by Gokhra
Dave Starsky: Ben Stiller, Ken Hutchinson: Owen Wilson, Capt.
Dobey: Fred Williamson, Reese Feldman: Vince Vaughn, Huggy Bear: Snoop
Dogg, Kitty: Juliette Lewis, Holly: Amy Smart, Staci: Carmen Electra.
saw a single "Starsky and Hutch" episode but grew up hearing
there was a cool show by this name. Of course some people also mentioned
how the show went down the drain in the end. So it was with a little
bit of a comprehension with which I viewed this movie. I end up finding
it's a surprisingly funny movie, probably better than most of the
other 70's remakes like Italian Job and over the top Charlie's Angels.
and Owen Wilson star in their sixth movie together. The good thing
about this pair is that they can adlib brilliantly and their presence
often makes up for lack of a good punchline. It's a spoof on the buddy
cop movies. Both cops are misfits on the Bay City police force. Starsky
(Stiller) is the kind of cop who would ask his partner repeatedly
if he had his gun safety on. He would go crazy and shoot up an entire
area destroying thousands of dollars worth of property just to retrieve
a few measly dollars from a mugger. Hutch (Wilson) has the looser
outlook and the morals of a gutter snake. For months he has done nothing
useful other than illegally stealing from dead bodies. Their captain
(Fred Williamson) thinks they deserve each other and makes them partners
in a scene where Hutch immediately insults Starsky's curly perm.
bad guy is Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn) with coils of cigarette smoke
constantly rising in front of his face. He has developed an odorless
strain of cocaine that smells and tastes like artificial sweetener.
It passes undetected beneath the noses of drug-sniffing dogs and Reese
is planning to distribute it in mass quantities. Starsky and Hutch
discover in the water the body of Reeses murdered hooligan associate
and it's their first big case. Hutch's first suggestion is to push
it back out to sea and hope it floats to the next precinct.
is a bit of a standup comedy routine which does not mean its bad.
There is a plot but the story is mostly about the cranky and sometimes
corny rapport between the two cops. Both carry a disagreement about
style while agreeing on most other issues such as the importance of
partying with sexy cheerleaders as part of their investigation. By-the-book
Starsky thinks he's the hippest guy in Bay City. He jogs along the
beach listening to Chicago through headphones the size of basketballs.
He could hide a set of present day subwoofers in there. The sight
of him jogging along with the mammoth headphones is enough to portray
just how un-hip he is. Hutch on the other hand is busy with flirting
and fooling around with air head cheerleaders.
cast benefits mightily from Juliette Lewis as Vaughn's mistress and
Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear, a combo pimp/superfly/police informer with
impeccably styled retro designs. He provides one of the best laughs
the most important characters in the movie is not a person but Starsky's
beloved bright-red supercharged Ford Gran Torino. Its driven like
crazy with glorious tire squeals and jumps. Watch out for the closing
stunt. While you're at it you might also want to try out the computer
game that has been out for a few months now.
the end you will find yourself laughing quite hard.
PC You Need
the first computers were made, games were something even a mad-man
didn't think of. But after a decade, games were included mostly for
the recreation for the programmers. And now, in the recent years,
gaming has become an industry, maybe one of the largest in the computer
sector. That tells you how it has developed. It is quite impossible
to find anyone who hasn't played any game (except some nerdos who
seems like had a 'blast from the past' sort of thing). Playing games
has become an important use computers, specially among the children
and teens (but I have also seen some 'really' old people (nearly 60yrs)
playing 'Commandos' and 'Age of the Empires II'). In recent times,
there are many gaming consoles readily available in the market (like
PS2, X-box, Game Cube, etc) which are made exclusively for playing
games. But nevertheless, gaming in PCs is still fascinating and enjoyable
(as there are more titles available).
Just For Games
Though many will argue, gaming takes up most of our computing. There
are also hardcore gamers who use their PC only for playing games.
So, for the ultimate gaming experience you need a PC that has enough
juice that can pump out the most from the games. If you want a PC
that will deliver great gaming entertainment and make it an enjoyable
one, a good PC configuration intended solely for gaming is required.
So if you have some primary knowledge about computers and hardware,
you can easily make a great muscle-machine PC able to lift-off most
games @ of a Ferrari speed. In three volumes, I shall throw some light
upon making up a PC able to digest really heavy games. The first part
will deal with Processors, the second with Graphics Cards and the
final part will cover the other areas of the system.
for nifty performance
Most gamers usually regard the Graphics Card for good gaming performance.
But processors do affect it (in fact greatly) as it is the brain/heart
of the system. Gamers should not only look out for speed, but also
some other features too. Many a times, I have seen a menacing AGP
gets cracked for some ordinary CPU. A friend of mine hooked up an
ATI Radeon 128MB AGP with a 2.6GHz. Another guy got the same AGP with
a Pentium 4 2.2GHz. The result the latter outperformed the former
in gaming by many folds.
processors though dirt cheap, is not the best in gaming it even gets
beaten by a P4 or Athlon of half the speed. So gamers who are looking
forward for the best may go for a Pentium 4, especially those loaded
with Hyper-threading (HT) technology. Intel has also released a new
Pentium 4 HT Extreme Edition (initially a 3.4GHz P4EE) exclusively
for the gamers. Another chip, code named 'Prescott' was introduced
last month a 3.2GHz P4E (look out for the E's).
the most daring competitor of Intel has created much news by releasing
its 64-bit processors (I won't bore with techie stuff just remember
that the standard CPUs are 32-bit). The debutants, the AMD Athlon
64 3200+ (2 & 2.2GHz) and Athlon 64 FX-51 (2.2 & 2.4GHz),
both beat all P4s released so far, including in gaming. Benchmark
tests show that the 3200+ (2.2GHz) and FX-51 (2.2GHz) scored 269 fps
(frames-per-second) and 276 fps respectively, whereas a 3.2GHz P4
(with HT) scores 243 fps in the Unreal Tournament 2003 game. This
new trend of 64-bit CPUs will become the mainstream in a very short
time as other chips will appear this year.
are some other processors too, like the AMD Athlon XPs, Via C3s, etc.
But for extreme gaming, they aren't suitable.
should you go for
So among the above choices which one will you look for? Though tests
show the Athlon 64s are the best for gaming till now, it isn't readily
available (I've only seen a 2GHz Athlon 64 3200+ with a price tag
of Tk. 22,000 in Bangladesh). The FX-51 isn't available yet. On the
other hand P4s with HT are quite common (except P4E & P4EE). So
my advice would be if you're impatient and dying to buy a muscle-machine
right away, go on for a P4 with Hyper-threading. But patient gamers
(scarcely available) may wait a few months and look how the Athlon
64s get going and then decide. Whatever the case, try to get a better
budget for the CPU, or an average one might fail to handle new games
in a couple of years. Do send your views, comments, etc at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Music Scene of
Hitch-hiker and Rohini Alamgir
Bengali New Year is around the corner and the music industry is in
a flutter of activity to churn out "nobo borsher" albums.
We checked out the music scene to see who the most popular musicians
of the nation are and what expectations shopkeepers have from the
countless new albums coming out soon.
They absolutely love to sing about love, be it lost love and heartbreak,
or newfound love; everything compels them to make up a song. It seems
most of them have received a "tchaka" from a Sweety, Priya,
Ruksana etc when they were school going/college going youths. Perhaps
they fell deeply in love with these blooming beauties, for which reason
they felt it necessary to lull their lovers with a sweet, romantic
song. These little memories however could never be erased from the
corners of their hearts and continue to influence their songs even
today. They are none other than the lover boys of this industry.
to popularity by the song "O Priya tumi kothai" Asif is
literally the new guy on the block who can only sing about the separation
of lovers, parting of ways and destitution. None the less he is one
of the best selling singers. For the New Year his new album entitled
" Keno Tumi Shukhe Thakbe" will be coming out soon.
voice appeals to the masses. All his albums have sold well, "
says one shopkeeper. When asked who Asif's biggest fans are, he promptly
replies: "Young people, mostly school or college going."
Shopkeepers all over are very confident about the success of this
album, as all of his previous eight have done very well.
D Rubel, the man who is yet to grow out of his teenage shirts is also
a popular singer amongst the younger generation. While we were talking
to the shopkeeper a big fan of his let us know that the singer recently
tied the knot and is now enjoying a married life.
Dev after making television and telefilm appearances, is all set to
release his album titled "Lolita". Ayub Bacchu needs no
introduction but a few of his older fans may not recognize their metamorphosed
idol. The singer who recently turned very colourful is also set to
release his solo album "Pother Gaan".
These gems of the industry are not far behind their male counterparts
when first love or lost love is in question. Surprisingly however,
they also sing about a range of other emotions often missed out by
the members of the previous group.
top of the list is the singer Momtaj. Apparently the diva has so many
albums, she herself has lost count. Recently her album "Monta
Manush Koro" was released. Most of the singer's countless albums
have sold well and everyone expects this one to do the same. On the
other hand we have Mehreen with an unusual voice waiting for her prince
charming. The only question is, how long will he take?
poor lyrics, Tishma's album may have sold because of her exceptionally
weird and one of a kind style, but shopkeepers we talked to were skeptical
of the diva's future albums.
This group constitutes of those few who dare to be different and more
often down right weird. The surprise success of Habib's experimental
album "Krishno" has brought the probashi singer Kaya to
the limelight. Though many people shake a leg to Habib's music without
caring, those who are critical in nature have discovered Kaya's Sylheti
accent. The singer however claims, that this was done purposely to
maintain the authenticity of the songs. Krishno's success is expected
to be matched with Habib's next venture, which is nearing completion.
There are six songs sung by Kaya in the album. With her uncommonly
aggressive voice Anushae is another star who got married recently.
Though she has always claimed that she is not the regular celebrity
type she is making appearances in television and films all the same.
She is currently preparing for her up coming album, which promises
to have a surprise. We wonder what that may be.
These were the stars of the industry. Some are genuinely talented.
Some are not. ALL are popular. It is encouraging, however, to see
most of them who found their way here sing original (at least nearly
original) songs and not some poorly re-mixed Hindi or English number.
In a struggling industry, faced with more competition than it can
bear, they are the limited few who ensure that Bengali music survives
the test of time.
Clancy's Splinter Cell
Sam Fisher, the ultra-secret agent of the US government,
is back. This time, he's brought some friends. The sequel to Ubisoft's
blockbuster hit, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, not only offers more
of the same spectacular single-player stealth action, but also boasts
a genuinely innovative, new multi-player mode for up to four players,
in which small groups of spies must match wits with heavily armed
The multiplayer mode ties in with the single-player
storyline, though the two portions of the game are completely self-contained.
In fact, both the single-player and multiplayer portions are highly
impressive in their own right that will surely appeal to fans of the
first Splinter Cell and anyone interested in a game about high-tech
stealth, subterfuge, and sabotage.
title of Pandora Tomorrow refers to a code phrase used by the presumed
villain of the game, a guerrilla leader threatening the free world
with a biological contagion. In the single-player portion of the game,
you'll reprise the role of Sam Fisher and track this culprit around
the globe, in locations ranging from a speeding passenger train hurtling
across Paris, to a military camp in Indonesia. The first Splinter
Cell game took place predominantly in building interiors, which were
richly detailed but naturally mundane. One of Pandora Tomorrow's obvious
improvements on its predecessor is in how it takes place in more-exotic
locales. In Indonesia, you'll creep through the heavy brush, perhaps
using the dense foliage to hide the bodies of your victims out of
sight. On the passenger train, you'll shimmy along the outside to
avoid detection and will come dangerously close to being flung to
your death from the fast-moving car. This train level comes pretty
early on in the campaign and is the shortest and probably the most
impressive of the game's missions. There are only eight in total,
but most of them are quite long, so veteran Splinter Cell players
should expect a good 10 hours' worth of action.
The core gameplay is basically the same, which, for
the most part, is a very good thing. You'll sneak your way through
the game's linear scenarios, avoiding or incapacitating any unsuspecting
guards (or, sometimes, civilians) who might otherwise threaten your
mission of secrecy. It's not difficult to alert passersby to your
presence, either by moving too quickly (or otherwise making too much
noise) or by blundering into a well-lit area. There are other nasty
surprises in store for you. Hidden antipersonnel mines (visible only
when you toggle your thermal vision), infrared trip wires (likewise),
booby traps, motion detectors, security cameras, and other such devices
make the going quite difficult.
got plenty of tricks up your sleeve, too. Fisher is typically armed
with a silenced pistol as well as his trusty SC20K multipurpose experimental
assault rifle, which he can use for some silent sniping when lethal
force is permitted or which he can use to fire off a variety of different
gadgets. Those who played Splinter Cell will recognize all of these,
which range from diversionary cameras to smoke grenades to electrifying
(but non-lethal) rounds. Fisher's other gadgets include lock picks,
an optical fiber wire used for seeing what's on the other side of
a closed door, and his combined night vision/thermal vision goggles.
He's fully decked out to get the job done by any means necessary.
Tomorrow's storyline is somewhat more cohesive than that of its predecessor,
and some of the gameplay elements are thankfully a bit more transparent
this time around. For example, the game inherits a somewhat contrived
element from its predecessor: In Splinter Cell you needed to hide
the bodies of your victims out of sight to avoid setting off an alarm,
which would possibly result in the failure of your mission. You needed
to hide all bodies even when there was no one left conscious to pay
them much heed. Pandora Tomorrow at least makes it clear that this
is always necessary, and a helpful blip on your stealth meter (which
indicates how camouflaged you are in the darkness) lets you know where
it's safe to dump a body so no one will notice. Also, in most missions,
you don't automatically fail if an alarm is sounded; you'll be afforded
up to three such mistakes, though at scripted points in each mission,
the alarm stage will reset back to zero, and you'll be able to proceed
somewhat less anxiously.