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By Shabanaz Rashid Diya
Photo: Sahana Bajpaie Chowdhury

Under the banner of Bengal Music Company Ltd, this year has been a great showcase for fusion artists. Names like Krishnokoli, Nobonita and Shojib signed up next to Ornob-Sahana Bajpaie duo. Slow, melo music flowing un-clichéd lyrics and deep vocals has been an easy-listening journey in these albums. The most exciting event, East Meets West at Heritage Restaurant brought together Ornob and Welsh sax player, Andrew Morris in a night of refreshing fusion of jazz, folk and blues. Jhalmuri-I and II; the most happening release this Eid introduced talented newcomers outside the teen-underground circuit and has opened a floor for musicians with a slightly different taste in Bangladesh.

Extreme metal, alternative, 23 bands, guitar solos and crashing energy too many concerts and new underground bands. Short-listing them to the most memorable few isn't easy, but favourites include Underground Resurrection (hosted by uginc.org), Wireless Sessions 1.1-1.4 (organized by Live-Square Event Management; coming back this November at Decagon Lounge), Banglalink Music Fest, and concerts featuring DRockstars finalists. Notably, this year's most stage-hitting bands were Powersurge, Radioactive, Arbovirus, Nemesis, Mecanix and Eclipse. Charity concerts for flood relief, cancer patients and more were also some of the happening gigs of this season.
Thanks to Nafis Ahmed

By Monty Python

This Eid, the trends have changed! People are no longer contended to buy or gift t-shirt, Punjabi and perfume for themselves and their loved ones any more. Electronic items such as digital cameras and mp3 players have come on to the list of essential items for gift. The majority of the buyers of these tech gadgets are of course teenagers like you and me. So if you are wondering about what tech gadget to buy for yourself or your loved one, here is an ultimate buyers guide. Hope you have a deep pocket.

1. Playstation 3 or XBOX 360 These two gaming consoles are the ultimate entertainment powerhouse. Fashioning Blue-Ray Disk drives, Wi-Fi, custom designed graphics board, motion sensing wireless controllers and a 60Gb hard disk, it will put you and your friends in the heart of action like no other gifts. But it's a pricey one too. Although prices are expected to go down this Christmas all over the world, you'd have to wait for its impact here. If you can't afford it, you can always buy a cheaper PS2 slim and have fun while you wait for the pries to drop. Price: between 40 to 50 thousand.

2. LCD monitor The price of LCD monitors are fast on the fall. I don't think they will go much lower than they are now, unless of course, the quality falls. The computer prices are deemed to fall in Ramadan, so you can be sure that LCD monitors will go down a notch too. Just make sure you buy a good brand. Price, 15 thousand to 21 thousand and more.

3. Digital Camera- I can't remember when was the last time I actually saw an analogue film camera. Everybody wants a digital camera and is perhaps one of the best tech gadgets to buy. Even some of the cheap fixed lens cameras take decent pictures, at least much better than camera phones. The brand ones like Sony or Olympus are a bit on the expensive side, but are worth spending the extra buck. Price: 6 thousand to 30 thousand.

4. Personal Digital assistants This is a cool gadget to keep in handy, the most mobile and versatile of all computers. International bands are now directly available from vendors with warranty coverage, so it is safer to buy from them. Most PDA's contain 2 mega pixel camera, mp3 player, MS - Office suit, hand writing recognition etc, and can be useful for taking notes in the classroom to doing all sort of presentations in one handy gadget. Price: 20 thousand to 50 thousand.

5. Play station portable (PSP) we are no longer satisfied with playing donkey kong like 2D side scrolling games in our handheld, Period! And that's where the PSP is ingenious. It has a large TFT LCD screen displaying vibrant 3d Graphics and sound and it fits in our pockets. Although the technology behind it is that of PSOne, but PSP packs quite a punch. It can also be used to watch movies on the go. Price: about 15 thousand.

6. Cell phone: This eid, plan to buy yourself a new cell phone. Due to stiff world wide competition, prices are going down. Most cell phones sport a media player and at least a VGA camera. And you can extend its functionality if it has Java capabilities to play movie or games, making your cell phone equal a PDA in functionalities. There are various phones out there in the market. But beware of cheap Chinese stuff. Price: Variable, depending on company and model.

7. USB thumbdrive Okay now we are on the cheaper end of the buyers guide. USB drives are lot of essential than you think they are. Carrying your assignment back and forth between school and home to copying movies, games or mp3, it covers some really important aspect of digital life. The prices are so low these days, you can buy a USB drive with mp3 playing capacity, so that you can carry your files and listen to music at the same time. Don't have to go for a brand item, my cheap Chinese mp3 player still works. Price: 700 onwards.

8. FM Radio Bangladesh is going through a FM Radio revolution, so why jump into the bandwagon. FM radio's are really cheap and are available for a couple of hundred bucks. But if you want a lasting one, buy a brand from stadium market.

9. DVD player talking about Chinese cheapness, the Chinese DVD players to hit the market are damn cheap. I asked a few users around and they say that they last for a couple of years too. But if you want to watch movie in style, maybe buy a brand DVD player, satisfaction guaranteed. Price: 3,000 to 12,000.

10. Graphics Card, RAM if you love playing games or like to do animation of video editing, then you can beef up your PC on the occasion of Eid. The Nvidia GeForce8500 has hit the market and it costs around 8 grands, quite good considering that it is a DirectX 10 certified card. In addition, if you don't have much money, you can invest in extra RAM for your PC, the more the RAM the smoother will your computer play games.

Gunplay is often frowned upon. But despite all its something that's good for a solid one and half hours entertainment when packed with a good story.

The Brave One
"The Brave One" is revenge-vigilante flick where a wounded person takes on the evils of society. And with that cheesy poster line (luckily it didn't go on the actual poster) we start this week pick of flicks.

Master filmmakers and A grade actors made this bloodlust of a movie into a work of art. The plot:

Jodie Foster plays a New Yorker called Erica Bain who hosts a public radio show called "Street Walk." It features New York night life and all that goes on in between. Sadly, she ends up becoming a subject for her show.

One evening, walking their dog in Central Park, Erica and her fiance are viciously attacked. The whole thing is captured on cell phone camera. Erica wakes up alone from a three-week-long coma.

With the fiance dead she walks around grieving and ultimately seeking revenge. Revenge comes in the cold form of a gun. And with a gun she manages to attract all kinds of evil doers waiting to get their dues and the dues are all in the form of death.

It starts off with a convenience store robber followed by some punks on the subway. As the movie progresses the bodies start to pile up and you don't really feel bad thinking the all deserve it.

In comes a detective, played by Terrence Howard, investigating this recent rash of killings. Throughout, the detective and Erica become friends. She even interviews him for her radio show. But by bit, of all the people in New York city, he starts to suspect Erica of hiding something.

"The Brave One" is a smooth story with a decent progressive plot line. It's a sharp movie with both prime characters pairing up to form a complementary duo. It's an edgy thriller as well that works quite well.

3:10 to Yuma

We have had movie makers delving into their attics for ideas. Hence we have ahd a spate of remakes, sequels and musicals even. We almost had cowboys but they turned out to be gay and not quite the traditional rooting tooting cowboys. But here's a western flick to the rescue.

''3:10 to Yuma'' is actually a remake of a 1957 movie of the same title. Russell Crowe plays the outlaw, Ben Wade and Christian Bale plays a rancher called Dan Evans.

When the movie begins we see the rancher just one step from bankruptcy and utter failure. The man who owns his land wants to get rid of Dan the rancher so that a railroad can come through. As if that isn't bad enough, drought has ruined the growing season and because of all this his wife and 14-year-old son can't stand him. And he ahs a wooden leg due to a war he fought in. Can things get any worse?

Ben Wade on the other hand is a cold killer with an acute understanding of human nature.

Wade's gang holds up a stagecoach carrying railroad money and it is guarded by a contingent of detectives led by an ex-Indian fighter named Byron McElroy.

The robbers feeling invincible, ride into town where Wade ends up being taken prisoner by the local law. Is that pride before a fall being displayed? Not quite.

A group of law enforcers are hastily gathered to make sure Wade remains behind bars while being taken to a train depot in another town five days away.

It's a motley crew and Dan signs up in exchange for $200 that he prays will save his ranch. Unbeknownst to them, Charlie Prince, Wade's second in command follows them closely.

Over the course of the journey, the posses of guardsmen are whittled down as they pass though hostile Apache settlements, corrupt railroad men and even Dan's own son. And through it all, rancher and outlaw start to become friends.

It's a type of relationship that is played just right by Bale and Crowe. The story direction is likewise has a smooth narrative momentum focusing on character development rather than outright action. And there's plenty of action and what's more, the whole movie twists in a surprising and rather perplexing way right at the end.

All in all, it makes for a great western.


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