Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, May 7, 2009




By Faria Sanjana

It was a dreary Saturday afternoon and there was no better way to spend it with a cup of Iced Mocha and live acoustic music. Yet again Cuppa Coffee Club hosted another unplugged concert 'Plugged Out' organized by The Lost Children. The show started off when Zahin and Shamun took the stage and covered Bob Dylan's 'Blowing in the Wind' and ended their performance with Vibe's 'Mone Pore'. Next off was Aftermath who performed mainly folk songs of Bangla and did covers of 'Wonder Wall' by Oasis and 'Last Kiss' by Pearl Jam. Overall it was a melodious performance that created a positive atmosphere.

Then Alter City got on. Their first song 'Nothing Else Matters' by Metallica, that ended with a screech, got much jeering from the crowd. It was understood that they hadn't jammed well for which the singer even apologized later. After that the crowd was relieved by Old School whose instrumental works made everyone happy. The interesting combination of flutes, violin, table and guitars was something to look forward to. Their rendition of 'Khachar Bhitor Ochin Pakhi' was in one word awesome. They asked everyone to sing along with the next song 'Smells like Teen Spirit' which some people did sing with much enthusiasm. They ended with Iron Maiden's 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' amid a huge round of applause.

Alternation came up next. They first covered Tenacious D's really popular song, the name of which would be quite inappropriate to mention over here! Then there was 'She hates me' by P.O.D. They were showered with cheers and claps when they concluded with 'You're Beautiful'. It was a much needed energy filled performance with peppy vocals and tuneful guitar work. Following Alternation, there was a solo performance by Samannoy who sang 'Kryptonite' on special request. The next two bands Overture and Karnival covered mellow and soothing numbers including Bryan Adams' 'I'm Coming Back to You' and Karnival's own track 'Roop Kothar Majhe'.

Then one of the main bands Shunno was welcomed with a well response. They sang their own songs 'Shesh Bikal', 'Shopno Ghuri' and 'Bedona'. Emil's enticing vocals gripped the audience and they all sang along with him. Lastly the much awaited members of Nemesis Zohad and Maher came up.

Their first song Radiohead's 'High and Dry' mesmerized the crowd. They continued with Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida' which was amazingly similar to the original version. Their own songs 'Obocheton' and the unreleased 'Nirbashon' ended the show on a perfect note. It was heard that the show was organized on a short notice, for that the turn up was actually good at a decent venue. The show was powered by SBSL and DGL.

By Fariba Rakhsanda

Each year, the ISD auditorium comes alive with enthusiastic teenage rock bands and their electrified fans as they come together to compete in the much awaited 'Battle of the Bands'. This unique competition is a platform for the upcoming young bands to show their talents.

This year was no different as bands gathered in ISD on 23rd April for 'Battle of the Bands 2009'. The event started at six in the evening and went on till nine thirty at night, with a short interval in between. It was a truly amazing evening for rock fans and to top it off, the band members of Bohemian were present as the event judges.

The first band to come up on stage was 'Vendetta' who performed some good numbers, remarkably 'American Idiot' by Green Day. Second in line was 'Warr' who covered tracks by Staind and Trapt. After that it was 'Syndrome' who did popular numbers like 'Can't Stop' by Red Hot Chili Peppers and 'Hell Song' by Sum 41. Their lead vocalist, Shahroze, was simply superb and he truly deserved the judges' award for 'Best Vocal' as did the band's guitarist Ashfaque who also won 'Best Guitarist'. This was followed by a fifteen minute break after which 'Bonny Prince' was up to rock the stage. They did tracks by Tool and the audience was left spellbound by their animated performance, especially the way Shawkeen, their lead vocalist managed to capture the persona of Maynard. Even though the audience demanded an encore from Bonny Prince, there was a limit to number of tracks that could be performed by one band, so they had to step down and make way for 'Raffat learns to Rock'. They were the last band to take stage after which the judges announced the winners.

The 'Best Band' awards, both People's Choice and Judges' Choice went to Bonny Prince, while band members Abaan got the 'Best Bassist' and Faraz got the 'Best Drummer'. The judges also gave away a surprise reward to the winning band by providing them with an opportunity to give one of their own songs in an upcoming mixed album.

If all of this wasn't enough to entertain the young audience, Shams and Farshid from Bohemian took the stage and performed 'My Sacrifice' by Creed and '3 Libras' by A Perfect Circle.

All in all it was an awesome event with great music, good food, exciting crowd and impressive ISD hospitality.

Movie Review

By Osama Rahman

'Fat, Black and Ugly.' These were the three words hurled at Biggie and set the scene for a Greek Tragedy. The rise and fall would surely follow, hand in hand and the viewers sat enthralled. Notorious, is the tale of Christopher Wallace aka Notorious B.I.G, arguable the greatest rapper to grace the rap game and the undoubted king of Brooklyn. however the tale comes up short on many sectors.

The movie starts off from March of 1997, the day when Biggie was shot and killed in a drive-by which robbed the world of Brooklyn's finest and dimmed the emerging force of hip-hop. The gun shot echoes and then we are thrown back into the past, as a young Christopher Wallace, played by Big's son, sits and raps with his friend and after he is called 'Fat, Black and Ugly' the movie takes off. From being a good student to finally falling victim to the drug culture, peddling 'rocks' to the addict, Biggie seems to always strive for success, though his means aren't the best. Jamal Woolard, who plays Biggie is the best part of the movie. Even though he has no previous acting experience, the Brooklyn rapper had the size and the star-power to step comfortably in Biggie's shoes.

The movie showcases Biggie's journey from being a crack-dealing teenager to an infamous rap icon. His gangster background is emphasized and the enigma's sudden outbursts and sentimentality manages to glue the audience to the screen. From the start, Jamal manages to 'Hypnotize' the viewers as he is seen crooning 'Juicy' and then at the end when Biggie grows to a man and steps up the mike to record the jewel 'Sky is the Limit'. The movie constantly shows Biggie getting up, dusting himself and chasing his dreams, until his dream changes. Jamal manages fantastically to resurrect the legend in his entirety for one last hurrah. Biggie's actually voiceover narrates his tale in between scenes and this lends the movie a lot of authenticity. Though the movie sticks to the facts and doesn't stray and try to second-guess motives or why something happened, it does manage to go a little bit inside the complex mind of the late rapper and lets the audience get a glimpse of what he was like as a son, a friend, a lover and finally as a father.

Angela Basset is convincing as Big's mom and enthralls the audience as she tries to tame a raging Christopher who she affectionately refers to as 'Chrissy-Pooh'. The movie explores Biggie's earlier life and how he started to become recognized for his work. However, the pace of the movie is much too quick and it leaves many questions unanswered. The enigma, which is the rapping icon, is hardly explored in depth. Though we see his acts of disloyalty, his fits of rage and the genius of his rhymes, we hardly get to know the reasons behind the disloyalty, the anger and how his rhymes suddenly come about, as if by magic.

Derek Luke, who plays P.Diddy, is portrayed as being somewhat a mentor for Biggie. However, P.Diddy is shown to always be imparting philosophical wisdoms and the movie tends to become too melo-dramatic for a biopic at times. As the movie progresses we see how Biggie puts his life in words as he breezes through an entire year in just a verse. The movie does the same, breezing through his crack dealer days, to his prison days, his first baby, his affairs and his ultimate stardom, never once pausing to explore a particular period in more detail. This seems to be the only drawback of the film, because the story of greatness cannot be told in a hurry.

Mackie of 8 Mile fame plays Tupac, who is portrayed as a crazed-genius. The movie loses credibility after the scene which re-lives the 1994 New York shooting. Tupac is shown as a man possessed and someone who is on the verge of paranoia. This definitely may not be the best movie for Pac fans and it also certainly isn't the whole picture about the larger than life Notorious B.I.G. Though Biggie's faults are highlighted in the movie, it emphasizes more on the good side.

Finally, Biggie is seen innocent of ever even thinking of shooting Tupac and the whole east coast, west coast rivalry is shown to be based on a mere 'misunderstanding;. This is also far from the truth, as a mere sit-down between Pac and Big would probably have solved nothing. Furthermore Tupac's death and Biggie's subsequent shooting are also not explored in details. However, this is because the movie wants to tell Biggie's story before what happened, how he became great and they wanted to eliminate the very idea that Biggie or even Pac's fame for that matter, had any chance of being escalated just because of the shootings. Puffy's hand in production of the movie is obvious but Director Tillman does a great job.

The story, whatever there is of it, is told splendidly and Jamal Woolard does an award-winning job. This is a must for all hip-hop fans, not because of the fact that it has Big but because this movie goes further than just Biggie and also explores the culture of hip-hop, gang violence and the price of fame. At the end, one can't help but wonder, if two of the greatest rappers were actually lost to a slight misunderstanding and whether they are in Thug's mansion right now, sipping crystal and re-living the good old days. We end only by thinking what could've been.


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