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Silverchair
All you need to know about the band

Compiled By Mishal Ali Khan

SIlverchair is Australia's most successful contemporary rock band and now a well-known band around the world. The group has sold over six million albums worldwide. Hitting the big scene at only the age of fifteen, these Aussie rockers seemed to be an offspring of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, with strong derivatives from the grunge-ish styles.

The members of Silverchair were all born in 1979 in the Newcastle surf suburb of Merewether. Singer/guitarist Daniel Johns and drummer Ben Gillies started making music together at primary school and schoolmate Chris Joannou later joined on bass. In the group's early days they were called Innocent Criminals and their repertoire consisted mainly of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath songs they had learned from their Dads' old record collections.

The trio played many shows around the Hunter Valley region in their early teens. They got their big break in mid-1994 when they won a national demo competition called "Pick Me" which was conducted by SBS TV show "Nomad" and youth radio station Triple J. The group's entry was a song called "Tomorrow" which quickly landed them a recording contract.

The band changed its name to Silverchair and in August 1994 they released "Tomorrow". The song eventually spent six weeks at #1 on the Australian singles charts and in 1995 it became the most played song of the year on U.S. modern rock radio.

Silverchair's debut album "Frogstomp", recorded in just nine days in early 1995, was a raw sounding slab of edgy alternative rock. A #1 hit in Australia and New Zealand the disc went on to become the first Australian album since INXS to hit the U.S. top 10, selling more than 2.5 million copies throughout the world. As "Frogstomp" and "Tomorrow" propelled Silverchair to music superstardom through 1996 the group juggled memorable performances on the roof of Radio City Music Hall and tours with Red Hot Chili Peppers alongside full time schooling commitments back home in Newcastle.

The trio also found time that year to record their sophomore album "Freak Show" which was released early in 1997. A more adventurous piece of work than "Frogstomp" this disc yielded three top ten singles in Australia - "Freak", "Abuse Me" and "Cemetery". "Freak Show" went gold in the United States and global sales eventually exceeded 1.5 million copies in spite of the fact that the band had to juggle world tours while trying to finish their final year of high school.

After finally graduating from school the band were able to spend much more time creating their critically lauded breakthrough, "Neon Ballroom" which was released in March 1999. The group's songwriter, Daniel Johns had been battling personal demons as he attempted to adjust to Silverchair's sudden success and he poured these experiences into his new batch of songs. Determined to shake the constant musical comparisons which had previously dogged his band Johns created a truly original sounding album. Fusing heavy rock with orchestral flourishes and synthetic touches with powerfully emotional lyrics, "Neon Ballroom" was universally acclaimed as a huge creative leap for Johns and his band mates.

Silverchair toured extensively in support of the album propelling it to even stronger worldwide sales than they had achieved with "Freak Show". In Europe and South America it became the group's most successful album to date due to the Comet Award winning "Ana's Song" - a track about Daniel Johns' battles with an eating disorder. Elsewhere, distinctive tracks like "Emotion Sickness" and the aching "Miss You Love" established once and for all that this young group is not just a fad; they are genuinely talented musicians who are here to stay.

The band toured Europe and the U.S. throughout 1999 including appearances on leading festivals such as Reading and Bizarrefest and tours with bands like Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Blink 182. After all this touring the band announced that they would be taking a 12-month break to recharge their batteries.

Silverchair's one and only gig in 2000 was a sold out appearance at Australia's Falls Festival on New Years Eve. It was followed on January 21, 2001 by the biggest show of their lives - 250,000 people at Rock In Rio - a performance which the band describe as the highlight of their career to date.

In June 2001 the band entered a studio in Sydney with producer David Bottrill (Tool, Peter Gabriel, King Crimson) to start work on their fourth album, "Diorama". This time Daniel Johns formally assumed the role of co-Producer and set out to explore even more new musical territory.

A range of other musicians were drawn in to contribute to the disc, most notably the legendary Beach Boys and U2 collaborator, Van Dyke Parks who contributed orchestral arrangements to three tracks including a lush epic called "Luv Your Life". Also helping out again were "Neon Ballroom" sidemen, Paul Mac and Jim Moginie.

Silverchair fans got their first taste of "Diorama" when a single called "The Greatest View" was released in Australia in January 2002. The track displayed a fresh new sound showing yet another creative leap for the band now rock veterans at the age of 22.

Diorama means "a world within a world". It's a particularly apt name for Silverchair's new CD as this evocative piece of work lifts you out of the everyday and carries you into a world of its own. "Our other albums have all been pretty black", explains Daniel Johns when asked to summarize the new album. "This time around I wanted to try painting with lots of colours".

"No matter what people have got going on in their lives, hopefully when they play this album it will make them forget about everyday stuff. When music does that it's magical and, for me, that's what "Diorama" is about", says Silverchair's Daniel Johns.

The album sees the Newcastle trio embracing melody and combining it with lyrics that are brighter than most of their previous works. It's a huge creative leap which also sees them exploring a vast array of instrumentation and musical styles.

The resulting piece of work literally covers the whole musical spectrum as its colourful cover suggest. It moves from edgy rockers "The Lever" and "One Way Mule" to sweeter tunes such as "After All These Years" and "World Upon Your Shoulders". There are also irresistible melodic rock songs like "Without You" and the fantasia-esque epics "Across The Night" and "Tuna In The Brine". It's a technicolour collage that's innovative and memorable.

The album's international performance has unfortunately been severely affected by the band's inability to tour or do promotional appearances due to Daniel Johns' ill health. The singer/guitarist has spent 2002 battling a severely debilitating case of reactive arthritis from which he is now recovering. This all began to change in October 2002 when the band's work on "Diorama" won them six ARIA Awards including "Best Group" and "Best Rock Album". In a last minute surprise the trio returned to the stage to deliver a searing performance of "The Greatest View" which catapulted their album back into the national top 20. The ARIA triumph capped a roller coaster year for the band a year which in many ways traced the journey of "Diorama" itself from bleak times into a much happier new dawn.


Zedane says AuRevoir

By shuvom_isilhir

THis is probably the biggest news to hit the footballing world recently. Zinedine Zidane has announced his international retirement. This means that "Zizou" has at last ended his long relationship with "Les Bleus" and would no longer be seen in French colours.

So what does it mean to our miserable lives filled with such social problems as a slow net connection? Nothing! But I think it's more sensible to be paying a tribute the greatest footballer of this age than to be a mad fan of some latest singing idol and to be jumping up and down around them, screaming, weeping. And many of you are fans of Beckham's. He too is a footballer, did you know? So don't go asking people about why you haven't seen any of his movies. It makes you 'look' stupid.

Now, the question is, why would France's best performer in the recent Euro 2004 finals decide to retire? As usual the media has come up with some chaos-in-the-team-type of news, and it looks catchy. The three Arsenal-men, and Zidane's national teammates, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieirra and Robert Pires are said to have had a hand in it. You see, Zidane was sure to be France's captain after the retired Dessailly, and Vieirra wanted the same spot, just as he has it with Arsenal. On the other hand, Henry wanted to be the next Zizou and take his place (and be called Hen?). Now that would leave Pires with more left-hand ground to operate on. It all fits, doesn't it? But as a Gunner myself, I'd like to think of it all as a load of tabloid rubbish. The man himself says that it was time for him to say 'stop', that he intended to make room for others and that it was well thought-of; so what's the fuss?

So, why's the man so 'great'? Well, it'd normally be crazy to think that such skills could be found in a man of his size. But I haven't seen a better controller of the ball in my time. He can do the trickiest tricks and dribbles and make it look simple. And few possess his vision and passing ability. And to sum up all, he's got a good footballing brain. So the 32-year-old is mostly celebrated for his football-skills rather than for his looks or some audacious haircut (he's got a bald patch) and nor did he burst into the scene with some 50-yards stunner like Beckham.

Zinedine Yazid Zidane was born in 23rd June 1972, in Marseille suburbs, off immigrant Algerian parents. At a young age he joined US Saint-Henri club. Later he moved to SO Septemes. Even at eight years of age he showed skillfulness with the ball. It is said that other kids didn't often challenge him because he'd simply shrug them off with his strength and stature. At 14 he, was noticed by Cannes and in 1987 he joined the French First Division team. He made his debut for the club at 1989 and started operating as the heart of the attack behind two the two forwards. He got his first goal in '91 but the '91-'92 season didn't go well for him. In 1992 he got transferred to Bordeaux, though sought by Marseille. In 1994, voted as the Best Young Player in France, he made his international debut as a second-half substitute against the Czech Rep. and scored two goals within 17 minutes to take France from 2-0 down to a 2-all draw. In '96 Bordeaux reached the final of the UEFA Cup but failed to win it. This was his last year with the club. Alex Ferguson of Manchester United is said to have been interested in Zidane but the Turin giant Juventus bought Zidane from Girondins Bordeaux by only 3.2 million pounds in '96. His first season with Juve was mediocre but he had won the 1996 European Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. The next two seasons, in 1997 and '98 Juventus was crowned the Italian Champions and made it to the Champions League final. They also won the League Super Cup in '97. In the Euro '96 France qualified for the semi-finals. But '98 was to be the year for Zidane. There he met his biggest ups and downs.

France hosted the World Cup '98 finals. It was probably in the first of the knockout phases that Zidane's tempers flared up and he (I think) stomped on some Saudi Arabian player and got a red card. He was suspended for two matches. The media was all over him and he became a villain to the French people. France made it to the final without him. But in the final match Zidane came back and it was like some Return-of-the-King story. As a Brazil fan, I remember a lot of what happened. Zidane scored the first goal on the 27th minute and the second after the 45th. I remember one going right through Carlos' legs. Both were scored by the head and that's considered one of his weaker sides (try telling that to Raul)! His fellow midfielder Petit scored France's third and last one to beat Brazil 3-0. France won the '98 World Cup and much credit went to Zidane. It's since then that he started winning FIFA's World Player of the Year award. He won it three times (in 1998,2000,2003). A feat matched only by the great Ronaldo. He was also voted the European Player of the Year in '98. He also helped France win the Euro 2000 and became the player of the tournament.

In 2001 Spanish club Real Madrid paid Juventus a record $66 million to secure his services. He didn't take much time to shine in La Liga. In 2002 his fantastic volleyed goal won Real the Champions League. The same year they won the Intercontinental Cup and the European Super cup and he became the UEFA player of the year. In 2003 Real became the Spanish Champions and won the Spanish Super Cup.

At the recent Euro 2004 he scored 3 goals including that injury-time thriller vs. England.

But France were knocked out of the quarterfinals by the Greeks. That proved to be Zidane's last international match.

He's not the first World Cup winner to retire. Dessailly, Blanc, Thuram, Lizarazu and Deschamps have all retired before him. Maybe after 93 int'l caps and 26 goals under his belt, it's ok to say good-bye. But players like Larsson came back. Who knows if he will in Germany for the 2006 World Cup?

Zizou at a glance:
Name: Zinedine Yazid Zidane
Nicknames: Zizou, Yaz etc.
Birth-date: 23rd June 1972
Birthplace: Marseille
Parent's Name: Smail and Malik Zidane
Height: 185cm - 6ft 1in
Weight: 80kg
Position: Midfielder (attacking)
Clubs: Cannes (France, 1987 - 1992)
Girondins Bordeaux (France, 1992- 1996)
Juventus (Italy, 1996- 2001)
Real Madrid (Spain, 2001-on)
Awards and achievements:
1996: European Super Cup and the World Club Cup with Juventus.
1998: World Cup with France.
1998: European Player of the Year award.
1999: FIFA 1998 World Player of the Year.
2000: Euro 2000 with France, Player of the Tournament.
2000: FIFA World Player of the Year.
2002: European Champions League with Real Madrid.
2002: World Club (Intercontinental) Cup with Real Madrid.
2003: FIFA World Player of the Year
(beating Henry and Ronaldo).


The Bourne Supremacy

Jason Bourne: Matt Damon
Marie Helena: Franka Potente
Agent Landy: Joan Allen
John Nevins: Tim Griffin
Zorn: Gabriel Mann
Nicolette: Julia Stiles
Ward Abbott: Brian Cox

AS we know from the first movie, Bourne is awakened from amnesia with skills he did not even know he had. He finds a cache of passports, guns and other aids to survival all of which is left to him by himself. In this sequel Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is still a killer who's trying to run from his bloody past. People want him dead and he has no idea why because he is still trying to jog his memory.

The Plot: The past weighs most heavily on Jason Bourne and he wants to atone for sins he can't even remember. He knows that was part of black-ops wing of the CIA called the Treadstone Project. Rcurrent dream send him jogging down the beach in Goa, India where he's hiding out with girlfriend Marie (Franka Potente) in the opening scenes. There he spends a brief period of happiness until Bourne spots a stranger who is wearing the wrong clothes, driving the wrong car and turning up in all the wrong places. Soon he is marching straight ahead into the enemy network using himself as bait.

Someone is assassinating agents and leaving Bourne's fingerprints as evidence. . They've found Bourne's fingerprints at the scene of a murder in Berlin involving a CIA agent and his high-level criminal contact. A highly placed CIA agent named Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) is convinced that Bourne is a rogue killing machine. But Bourne was in Goa at the time, so who's framing him?

This makes for a great thriller but the movie is less about finding out who has framed him and more about whether he will survive by the end of the movie. He survives one lethal trap or ambush after another, leaps off bridges, kills assailants and crashing cars in demolition-derby car chase through rush-hour Moscow. It's where Bourne finally lets his emotions get the better of him rendering a heartfelt apology for the destruction he has caused. Of course, unlike other hero movie he does come out looking a little worse for wear.

Throughout the movie he is fighting his way through wearing the same black shirt, pants and jacket trekking all over India to Italy to Germany to Russia. The movie hurtles from one location to the other without ginving the viewers a chance to catch their breath.

The movie is supported by a stellar cast all working at cross purposes. There is a slimy Russian oil entrepeneur (Karel Roden) and his personal assassin (Karl Urban) sporting a radical hairdo. Brian Cox as a CIA hatchet man and Julia Stiles still plays a low-level agent.

The Bourne Supremacy" is another brainy, fast spy thriller. Damon plays the hero without any flash which works perfectly for him. The movie skillfully delivers a series of plots, chases and stylized fight scenes. There's something new in most of the scenes like the one where he goes up against a knife wielding assailant with only a rolled-up magazine.

It's one of those movies where the hero is faced with ridiculously unsafe situations that require tons of skill, courage, craft and some more tons of luck. The movie is fast paced, smart and the actor perfectly fits the role.


Medhabi

By Durdana Ghias

THe quizzing fever has struck Bangladesh at last. Medhabi, hosted by popular TV actress Subarna Mostafa and directed by Humaun Faridi is a new quiz show on NTV.

Here's how it works. Four contestants join the quiz contest. The show has two rounds. In the first round the host introduces the contestants to the audience. Each of them is asked the same questions and is given two minutes to answer. While one contestant is answering, the other three contestants are made to wear sound proof headphones. It is a test of how many questions you can answer in a couple of minutes.

At the end of the first round, the quizmaster reveals the score of each contestant. If anyone ends up badly he is has another chance that is the second round. The second round is a bit easier, as in this round, the contestants are given a choice about what topic they prefer to be quizzed in. There are many subjects such as history, literature, sports, science, geography etc. to choose from.

In the second round everybody is asked different questions according to their favourite topic unlike the first round. In the end of this round the total score of the two rounds are given and the name of the winner is announced. All of them are given the same prize! That is an Oxford Dictionary and a certificate on behalf of Medhabi.

The overall show is good, however there is enough room to improve. If we may point a few suggestion maybe the programme will be much more entertaining like the ones in foreign channels. The quizmaster is somewhat slow and expressionless, which is a stark contrast to the vivacious quizmasters like the Bournvita Quiz Contest's Derek O Brian.

Another problem of this programme is that the contestants are not lively enough to make it really interesting. Most of the time, their answers are either wrong or they simply say 'pass'. Sometimes it seems that a contest of uttering the word 'pass' is going on. And very often they cannot answer simple questions like how many satellite stations Bangladesh has. When the contestant perform this way the show turns out to be quite a lacklustre. In the future Medhabi should be stricter in selecting final contestant to make the show lively. But anyway it is not at all bad to watch. It is a shadow programme of BBC's Mastermind quiz contest. It is aired on NTV every Sunday at 9:50 pm.


 
 

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