Chowdhury Rashaam Raiyan
our generation of teens living in Dhaka who are literally forbidden
to 'enjoy' life, due to the current situation of our country, underground
concerts actually give them a safe, uncomplicated way to actually
have 'fun'. Moreover, they have provided a platform for new musicians
to blossom, by giving them a chance to actually go on stage and perform
in front of a crowd.
a concert is loads of fun. One fine morning, some really bored person
(usually a teen) wakes up and gets the bright idea of organizing a
concert. So he sits down with a bunch of other kids, discusses the
idea and before you know it, a name for the concert comes up. Then,
they runaround town looking for sponsors. If lucky, they are given
loads of money, if not they are just get stuck with the added responsibility
of begging and pleading (bargaining) with bands to reduce costs even
if it is by a mere 1000 takas. Fixing and booking a venue is something
that involves a lot of thinking. Russian Cultural Center, All Community
Club, DBC and recently, Fu Wang Bowling Club are the popular venues.
After all, location does play a part in the success of the concert.
The task of finding a sound system provider has to be fulfilled and
then employing security personnel is a must. Someone gets busy designing
the posters and the tickets and then before you know it they run to
Nilkhet for a printing press. If the date is finalized, it gets printed.
The posters are pasted all over Dhanmondi, Gulshan, and Banani. Walls
of schools or busy intersections or even walls of coaching centers
and fast food restaurants are filled with such posters. The colour
black seems to be 'in' for posters nowadays. The day finally comes,
and they go to the venue around 12 noon. You fix up duties and decide
who is gonna stand where. Usually one or two organizers are present
wearing their 'organizer' ID and about six or eight volunteers with
'volunteer' ID. Then at around 3 or 4 the gates are opened.
you go to a concert you usually buy the tickets from the two volunteers
sitting on a table. Beware, they almost NEVER have change! Tickets
usually cost between 150 and 170 takas. After passing through a range
of security checks, (where your cigarettes, lighters, matches and
sharp objects tend to get confiscated), you'll find yourself entering
through bunch of volunteers, which gives a pretty uneasy feeling.
One tears the ticket, the other puts a stamp on your hand with ink
and not even five seconds later someone is checking your hand for
the stamp to see if he can let you in.
it's usually pretty dark, with a few lights coming from the direction
of the stage. The proportion of girls is usually a lot less that of
boys, but you'll still be surprised by the numbers that are actually
present. The boys and girls come in all sizes, shapes and colours,
and some of their attire would shock members of the older generation.
From wild hair colours and outlandish hairstyles, to body piercings
and tattoos to unusual outfits like punjabis teamed with jeans, and
quirky accessories like cowboy boots, masks, and bandannas, there's
no dearth of variety. Black is the most popular colour for outfits
of concert-goers. Concerts usually end by late evening, but packing
up afterwards takes a little longer.
atmosphere in the green room (which happens to be extremely small
in most venues) is well, nice too. Something is always happening there.
Band members rush in, keeping their instruments, some manage to find
places to sit and chat a bit about random things, volunteers and security
personnel are constantly busy trying to keep fans out. Somehow a few
manage to get in and they are periodically thrown out. Stacks of water
bottles are usually kept here, and it's funny to see how quickly they
think the worst thing about these concerts is the unavailability of
food. I mean, a can of Coke costs 50 taka at the Fu Wang Club! There
you are screaming, jumping up and down, walking around the whole place,
and in the process getting pretty exhausted and there's no food! If
you're lucky you can go out eat and then come back in but in the process
you might miss the performance of your favourite band.
then again, I think that the best thing about underground concerts
is that there is direct contact in between the 'stars' and the 'audience'.
The band members (even the popular ones) usually walk around in the
crowd, enabling fans to actually talk to them and creating a very
nice 'happy' and 'content' atmosphere. And when one of the 'big guns'
in the business, like Aurthoheen, Artcell or Black, make an appearance
onstage at these concerts, as they frequently do, the crowd energy
knows no boundaries.
most popular and frequently performed songs at underground concerts
are probably Master Of Puppets, Enter Sandman, Chop suey, Smells
like Teen Spirit, Toxicity and Fear of the Dark.
alternative bands of underground concerts in alphabetical order:
Their covers, including that of Nickelback's 'How you remind me'
are pretty good, and their own tracks including 'Shunno'
and 'Maya', have been getting a lot of attention from audiences.
Besides, people love Aashor because they do superb covers of Audio
Slave and Creed.
This is an extremely junior band but I honestly love their performances.
Their Dinbodol hit Mohakaal is a song that everyone loves.
There were many who were actually upset because they didn't perform
Mohakaal at a concert. They manage to do great covers of
Linkin Park, Audio Slave, Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Nowadays they perform
one of their own songs, which will soon be released on the Aguntuk
This band does the best covers of Korn in Bangladesh. They also do
great covers of Rage Against the Machine, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Their own track, Shada, a purely alternative song is a hot
favourite at concerts. Other tracks like Boshonto, and Shopno
are also really popular. People say that Breach is the 'next best
thing' waiting to happen.
This is one band who manages to pull off both metal and alternative
songs with equal success. They do great Iron Maiden, Linkin Park,
Dream Theater covers. They have a great song called shopno, which
is obviously really faatafaati at concerts.
Revenge: This is a band that is totally different from other
bands. They have this 'unique' image going for them. Their Wonder
World covers are appreciated by all. Then of course they do great
covers of Toxicity, Smells like Teen Spirit, Come As You Are, Felicity
I guess the list just goes on. I think that their vocalist has an
amazing voice, and can sing any type of song at any scale.
Zohad has a great voice and manages to pull off really nice covers
of U2, Coldplay, Pearl Jam and Dire Straits. They were accepted into
the music scene with
covers of Pink Floyd. Their own song, obocheton gets everyone in the
mood. It has this really catchy characteristic, which gets people
to sing along with loads of fun. I wonder what's up with them because
I haven't seen them in a pretty long time.
it's a universal fact that different people have different music tastes.
I'm more on the alternative side so I like performances of bands like
these. The truth be told, popularity of underground concerts greatly
depends on the hardcore metal bands too. People line up in front of
the stage and head-bang, enjoying themselves. I feel like I have no
right to judge or write about metal bands because I wouldn't be able
to give a true picture. I know that people are crazy for bands like
Reborn, Kral, Stentorian, Scarecrow, Void, Birodh, arbovirus, Vibe,
666 etc…Maybe next time someone who knows what to write will enlighten
you guys with how joss these talented bands are at concerts.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The greatest game of our time!
North has finally unveiled Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the audacious
sequel to Vice City, which was released in 2002. San Andreas takes
all of the things that you knew about the series and expands on them
in every way imaginable. Without a doubt, this is the magnum opus
that Rockstar has been building towards. They have learned from their
mistakes in the gameplay department and they have finally unveiled
a game that is every bit as good as we had imagined it would be. There
is so much to do and to explore in this game that I couldn't possibly
go through it all. The game, for a novice, will take more than 100
hours to just scratch the surface. With three cities and a massive
countryside, the world of Grand Theft Auto has finally hit the pinnacle.
This is the best game of the generation so far by a mile.
As you know, GTA: San Andreas takes
place in the fiction state of San Andreas which consists of three
main cities the Los Angeles-based Los Santos, the San Francisco-based
San Fierro, and the Las Vegas-based Last Venturas in addition to a
large amount of a lot of countryside, which enables San Andreas to
eclipse the size of the already-massive Vice City. Each of the three
cities pretty accurately reflect their source, so you'll find many
hills in San Fierro and the signature fog and gang violence in Los
Santos while Las Venturas has a never-ending glow of neon.
The story takes place in 1992. Your
character is Carl Johnson (Young Maylay), who has returned to Los
Santos, his hometown, to pay his respects to his mother, who was gunned
down in a gang hit. He is also out to reconcile with his brother and
old friends. As soon as he leaves the airport, he is met by two crooked
cops that give him a not-so-welcome return to the city (voiced superbly
by Chris Penn and Samuel L. Jackson). The story evolves from there.
This story has characters that are very intriguing and very three-dimensional.
CJ is a bit easier to identify with than Tommy Vercetti was and the
characters, while stereotypical (what isn't?) have strong character
development and we start to feel for them. We start to feel their
plights. Other characters go from crime bosses to conspiracy theorists
and all of them have .this personality about them that makes us want
to hug them with open arms. This is the best story of the trio because
it is very passive with its characters and it allows us in and we
can connect and care about them, which was something we couldn't do
with Vice City or GTAIII.
The replay value is off the charts.
Rockstar North did their homework and they added a more real-life
feel to the game by making your character work out and eat. You can
also buy clothes, get a haircut, and play auto mechanic. Yes, you
can still steal cop cars and taxis and do the usual requisite missions
there. The hidden packages have been replaced by graffiti marks. With
a can of spray paint, you can mark your territory for your homies,
which is a fun idea. The one new feature that I found amusing was
that you can break into other people's houses and force them to give
you all their money. Some will try to play hero and some will try
to avoid getting their skulls cracked open with an aluminum bat. Added
to that you have dozens and dozens of missions spread out over there
cities, making it an experience that will take you more than a couple
of weeks. This game could take months just to take in the whole game.
I dare not reveal too much more because I will be taking the fun away
from you, the gamer.
always, it is entirely possible to get through San Andreas by simply
completing the story missions which are received from points in the
map. The missions range from completing simple drive-bys and getting
your gang back on the map when you enter Los Santos, to much more
complex and interesting ones later in the game. The game makes it
a little easier to perform these missions as you'll know exactly what
to do and when to do it. The story mode should take something like
50 hours to get through for most gamers, although if you play solely
the story and don't take all of San Andreas in you could drop around
10 hours from that number. But, you will only complete about half
of the game. Additionally, this number could spill into the hundreds
if you take your time and cause mayhem in the many cities. The number
of time also extends if you partake in the vigilante missions, optional
races, robbery missions (all you need to do is hop in a van at night),
dating missions (which typically require you to take a girl out to
eat without upsetting her), dance missions (DDR-like rhythm games),
and even a fully-functional game of pool complete with its own physics.
A main update to the series is the
new RPG-like levelling up that CJ goes through. As CJ, you need to
eat to stay alive (but not too much that you'll become obese), work
out to become more athletic and stronger (which will make you more
powerful in combat, and nimbler and more enduring while running) and
give you abilities like being able to climb fences. Additionally,
CJ can get better at driving cars, motorcycles, and bicycles and controlling
airplanes (you can also parachute off them!). Getting better gives
you more control over the vehicle. Another transportation method in
the game is the swimming, which is new to the series.
The visuals aren't that much of an
improvement from Vice City, but that shouldn't bother anyone. The
visuals don't have as much pop-up or slowdown as they did last time.
The environments look less cartoonish and have a more flowing feel
to them. The environments are well-reflected by the sun and the moon.
This can cause your character to get blinded by the sun, but that
seems to help with the atmosphere even more. Only qualms is that there
are small problems and the visuals are still mediocre, but considering
what you're seeing it sounds like a moot point.
music has the early 1990's feel written all over it. There are plenty
of radio stations and you would think that all of them would be playing
Nirvana. Thankfully, it is not the case. At first, your radio selection
will be limited, but as you explore the other cities you will get
a taste of all different kinds of music. The talk-radio shows are
as irreverent as ever, with all kinds of pointless chatter filling
the airwaves. The sound effects have been improved, especially with
the cars. They sound more realistic and it doesn't sound like a new
car all the time.
All in all, this is one of the most
entertaining games I have ever played. That is saying a lot. It is
so deep, so much fun, and it has almost nothing going against it.
Hell, they even added a co-op mode. You and a buddy can go and bag
some gangsters. The depth and the fun never stop. Just when you thought
there is nothing more that could be done, they add a new twist to
the table. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will likely be the best game
of 2004 in a runaway. It would take a lot for a game to be as good
as this one. The bar has been raised for all games of this generation.
San Andreas is a true masterpiece.
There has been 152 crop-circles
Crop-circles! A mysterious phenomenon. Are the made by alines? Or
are they made by tall people disguising with strange cloths and masks?
Who knows for sure? All we know that there has been 152 crop circles
of far this year!
Mustard Gas Party
Haunting and mysterious. These photographs, mostly in stark black
and white, capture the mood of desolation and despair in abandoned
modern ruins. With their peeling paint, crumbling ceilings, and shattered
glass, these buildings may offer a message -- if so, it's a cryptic
one. The anonymous photographer of this site offers no explanations,
just enigmatic titles. Maybe we're just supposed to appreciate the
beauty in the geometry of "Macy's Narrow Access" or wonder
at the technical skill of the creator of this site. If you find the
ravaged ruins a little too unnerving, cycle through "Portraits
- 2003 to 04" for some unusual portraits of real folks. They're
just as mysterious.
William F. Eisner Museum of
Advertising & Design
When they're not annoying, they're just plain lame. And they're everywhere
-- interrupting our lives and distracting us. But the Eisner Museum
goes beyond the hype of advertisements to find the entertaining, the
evocative, and the beautiful. Its online collection of historical
pitches and plugs from Japan and the U.S. is varied in its content
and approach to selling the unsellable. The Burma Shave ads, long
a staple along U.S. highways, provide the gentle humor. Japanese "pin-ups"
provide the "sex." And Boris Artzyhasheff's illustrations
provide the whimsy. Throw in innovative designs from the automotive
industry and a collection of album-cover art that ranges from its
humble beginnings in 1939 through the psychedelic '70s, and you've
got a pretty eclectic assortment. Try it -- you'll like it!
A collection of Unexpected
FILE Magazine publishes images that treat subjects in unexpected ways,
very unexpected ways.
Artists work in a variety of mediums -- it's not all clay and marble.
San Francisco-area sculptor Bella Feldman uses the medium of steel
to express herself. And like most artists worth noting, Ms. Feldman's
mix of creations aren't easily labeled. Visitors to her site can decide
for themselves whether "anxious" (as one critic remarked)
best describes her "War Toys" exhibit -- small metallic
objects that bear a striking resemblance to modern military gear.
Other exhibits are similarly intriguing. "Flasks of Fiction"
aren't suitable to drink from, but this lack of utility makes them
no less beautiful. Nobody knows better than we do about the long list
of artist sites competing for attention. Here's one that's definitely
designed to fascinate.
Extreme Ironing? And these
guys are serious!
Ironing to the extreme! Where else to iron your beloved garments than
on the top of a mile-high snow-clad mountain? So the next time you
go mountain climbing, pack an iron and a ironing board with you!
Know how to lace your shoes?
Here's 22 way to lace 'em up!
I didn't know the complicated art of lacing shoes until I was 12.
Pity, if I knew about this site then, I could have learnt the art
That's all for this week. If you need
to contact me for anything, mail me to email@example.com