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A Pulse of Chaos
Rising Underground Bands in Bangladesh

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya and Musarrat Rahman

Starting this week, RS will be reviewing young artists and bands who've hit the scene. Be it punk, grunge, rock or metal (or simply a random slap of noise), your band can be the next one to grace these pages. If you think you're worth it (and so do we), please send in your information at rhythmofblues[at]gmail.com!

They've become a fan favourite by taking trashy-khet-awesome-songs like Nantu Ghotok and Jatrabala, mixing them together and making it a rock medley. Their amazing stage presence continues to wow us every time these five guys step on stage, their initial shyness melting away as they prove to the audience that they were born to be entertainers. Friends since childhood, Shumanta and Imran began to compose songs in Imran's room since 2001, but the band itself did not start taking form till 2004 when two friends of Imran decided to jam with them. Asif became the lead guitarist and Saidur played the bass. Later, after many failed drummers, Arman joined along with Preanka, who helped with the vocals. In February 2005, the band recorded their very first single, “Untitled Conversations” with vocalists Shumanta and Preanka.

But the band soon lost members, Preanka, Saidur, Asif and Arman, for various reasons. New members, Shaibal, Ros and Azfar joined soon after. This, however, was a turning point for the band. The members all now had similar musical tastes; creative vision and drive and soon they were a cohesive unit performing in live shows, getting good responses and winning over many fans.

The very name Alternation, as founding member Imran puts it says it all. "We explore our love to mess with all the popular rock and metal genre and gather up sounds from them and transforming them into a new sound which is called alteration. We like to go to deep inside of our music. The output of our composition contains the emotions of our life, our surroundings and our unconditional love for music no matter what culture, region or genre.”

The band's playlist is heavily influenced by international bands such as Incubus, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Queen; more locally, Nemesis, Cryptic Faith, Rafa and the Joint Family, and Watson Bros. You can check out Alternation's single “Shomrachorajjo” in the album Mixtape, but for the full experience, be sure to catch 'em live!

Photo: Sarkar Protick

Circus Police
Be it a patch of grunge and smooth vocals, or some brilliant finger tapping on the instruments, they bring together a sound driven by passion and cohesiveness. Circus Police, although relatively new have already picked up fans in the scene. In February 2009, Anik (who played guitars) and Zulyad (who worked with drums and percussions) brought in Zaved, Adnan and Khaled to bring back the crazy rock scenario on stage.

Heavily influenced by international scores such as Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael Jackson, Velvet Revolver, Gun n' Roses, A Perfect Circle, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Maroon 5, The Killers, Stone Temple Pilots, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree amongst others; these five guys believe they owe it all to the aforementioned inspirations. Although each member having their unique style of music, Circus Police takes great pride in bringing this diversity to their scores, and is evident through their first single “Thank You for Not Smoking”.

“Roughly 4 out of 10 new bands receive a crowd accreditation on their first stage performance. In a scene that was until recently, driven by metal-esque gigs, it's difficult to find place with different styles of music. We're looking forward to a stage where any artist or band with any style or genre of music will be able to freely express themselves without getting booed,” said the band during the interview.

Keeping that spirit of diversity in mind, be sure to watch out for Circus Police's upcoming singles and an energetic live performances!

Alter Messiah
Initially in a roster of constant flux during jamming sessions, Alter Messiah finally formed a shape in 2009 when they realized in spite of their differences, they shared a positive common interest in music. The microphone duty is done by Rafsan, while rhythm and groove sections are handled by Salmi and Nadwee in sequence. Rafi just beats things up. For covers, they like to do whatever they want, but within the borders of rock, alternative and grunge. With originals however, they believe limiting themselves to a particular genre might just be unhealthy and love to experiment.

True, the four boys are driven by different influences. Yet, they share a common bond with Guns N Roses, Dave Mathews Band, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Tool, Pearl Jam and Alter Bridge. Amongst the locals, Cryptic Fate and Nemesis play a big role in shaping the band's compositions. However, since Nadwee plays a significant part in making their originals, more often than not, their music has an impact of Tool and Pearl Jam!

Alter Messiah strives on unpredictability and doesn't exactly like planning ahead. When asked about their ambitions in five years, a toothy grin said they have no idea where they'll be next month. This laid back attitude towards making, living and having fun with the sound is the force that keeps the band in place and makes them an interesting score on stage. As the underground scene gets bigger, Alter Messiah aspires to see more quality and diversity with enough respect being paid for each genre and opportunity for rising bands. On that note, don't forget to catch these boys at a gig for a kick of adrenaline!

The 82nd Academy Awards

By The Anarchist Kitten

Many felt angst on the 7th of March when they found out The Hurt Locker bagged the Best Picture award this Oscar's, as predictions ran high it would be Avatar. This is by no means the first time Avatar has upset people, as recent news have indicated that viewers of the movie are prone to depression because they fear they will never see Pandora or be a seven foot long flying blue cat. Many hoped that the award would go to Up, as that would be a historical moment, the first ever animated film to get the award. Other nominations included Inglourious Basterds, District 9, Up In The Air etc. The Hurt Locker was a surprising victor; however, the story does run like class Oscar-material. It is about an elite army bomb squad in Iraq, and it's a true human interest story.

Other categories did not hold much surprise this time in the Academy Awards. The award for the best actor went to Jeff Bridges, whom you may not know, among such contenders as Colin Firth, George Clooney and Morgan Freeman. Jeff Bridges plays a faded country musician going through a chaotic, doomed relationship that serves as inspiration for him as he tries to reassess and get his life in order. Despite the big names of the fellow contenders, this winner is truly apart and deserving.

But more deserving than anything else was the winner for Best Actor in a Supporting RoleChristoph Waltz, your very own Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds! He was the true jewel of the film and in most scenes, single-handedly carried enough charisma and charm to keep the viewer occupied. He managed to portray an oddball character and took it to exaggerated heights. Fellow contenders were Woody Harrelson, Matt Damon, Stanley Tucci and Christopher Plummer.

The award for Best Actress went to Sandra Bullock for her work in The Blind Side. She pulled off her role with aplomb, playing perfectly the part of a caring, nurturing mother figure. She beat Meryl Streep, Gabourey Sidibe, Carey Mulligan and Helen Mirren to the bush. The award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role went to Mo'Nique for her role in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire. She creates an amazing performance out of her role as an abusive mother in socially repressed Black-majority Harlem and coupled with the acting of co-star Sidibe, carries the film. Other contenders for the award were Penelope Cruz, Vera Farmiga, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick.

The award for the best Animated Feature Film went to, with absolutely no surprises there, Up. The other nominees were Coraline, a close match, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog and The Secret of Kells.

The award for best Art Direction very obviously went to Avatar. Close contenders were Sherlock Holmes and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The best cinematography also went to Avatar, beating fellow nominees Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Inglourious Basterds, and The Hurt Locker. The award for Costume Design went to The Young Victoria, which provides little surprise as a period film would definitely win in this category. Best Directing went to Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, again beating Avatar to it. Thing is, Ms. Bigelow happens to be James Cameron's ex-wife. Awkwaaard…

The Best Documentary Feature was The Cove by Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens. The Best Documentary Short went to Music By Prudence by Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett. In Best Film Editing, The Hurt Locker again beat Avatar. This must be getting annoying for Cameron.

The Best Foreign Language film was The Secret In Their Eyes from Argentina about a man trying to solve a three decade old murder case. The Best Makeup went to Star Trek. Seriously. Were there any doubts? In Music, the Best Original Score went to Fantastic Mr. Fox's Alenxandre Despalt and the Best Original Song went to the song The Weary Kind, theme song of the film Crazy Heart.

The Best Animated Short Film was Logoram, while the Best Live Action Short Film was The New Tenants. The awards for both Sound Editing and Sound Mixing went to The Hurt Locker. Yes, Avatar was also in the nominations on both counts. The award for Best Visual Effects (finally) went to Avatar! It beat contenders such as District 9 and Star Trek.

Best Adapted Screenplay was Precious: Based On The Novel 'Push' By Sapphire and Best Original Screenplay was The Hurt Locker. This reviewer is of the opinion that nothing in the world is as original as Inglourious Basterds (Tarantino's imagination knows bounds unknown to man) but you cannot make everyone happy.


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