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By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

Melodious, powerful, energetic, diverse and dynamic in their own words, Vibe's music is just these, and something unique. Their debut release, “Chena Jogot” a few weeks before Eid has already scored a positive appraisal from the listeners and critics. They've rocked the crowd at live performances, and touched the listeners with their singles in mixed albums. RS gets up, close and personal with Vibe for some exclusive insight into their music.

RS: Tell our readers the story behind the name, “Vibe”.
V: Shuddho and Turjo came up with the title, and thought that it would best serve the idea behind forming the band. The word 'vibe' literally means a distinctive emotional atmosphere, sensed intuitively. The band's goal was to generate that distinctive atmosphere for the listeners of today and tomorrow. Vibe still remains focused on maintaining that unique environment for the lovers of music, by means of their music.

RS: How did the band start?
V: The band was officially formed in 2001 with its original line-up consisting of Shuddho Fuad Sadi, Sabbir Hossain Turjo, Mahjuj Jasim Sourav, Saber Ahmed Khan and Wali Md Akbar. In 2002, Sourav left the band and Tanvir took over his place in 2003. In 2004, the band took on Mashfiq, shortly after Tanvir left. The final change in line-up took place on July 2005, when the band took on Saleh Hasan Oni. The final line-up is Shuddho Fuad Sadi (vocals/guitars), Sabbir Hossain Turjo (drums), Saber Ahmed Khan (bass), Saleh Hasan Oni (guitars) and Wali Md Akbar (keyboards).

RS: What genre of music does Vibe classify itself into?
V: You could say hybrid Metal and rock. From one extreme to the other: heavy metal to rock ballads. Melody is the band's major concern, be it metal or soft rock. In short, Vibe can be classified into the genres: 'Heavy/Thrash/Speed Metal' and 'Slow/Soft Rock.'

RS: Give us an insight into the making of your album. What were your goals?
V: The band tried to produce an album which compiled a variety of feels. Maintaining variation, skill and melody was its ultimate objective, along with producing its signature sound. The album comprises of five heavy metal tracks and six slow rock or rock ballads. This somewhat maintained the equilibrium. However, people might say that 'Chena Jogot' depicts too much diversity. Nonetheless, this is exactly what the band wanted to produce; neither more nor less.

RS: Vibe has been in the scene for a long time. Why did it take so long to release an album?
V: It took a good amount of time to finish recording the album indeed. Materials were more or less ready at the start. However, the delay was inevitable; mostly due to unavailability of studios and a few other reasons here and there. Furthermore, the band was considerably concerned about its sound, which was another probable reason for the setback. Vibe started off working at Studio Bass, went all the way through Art of Noise, Dhun, Dream Desk, and finally Bengal Music Studios.

RS: Why is there a fish stuck inside a bowl at the back of your album sleeve? Is there any particular theme behind this album?
V: This is not a themed album. However, the title song 'Chena Jogot' talks about a supposed “known” universe. The front-cover picture reflects the whole idea behind this song. It represents the "true or real" state of the so-called "chena jogot”. The dark feel of the picture speaks of the dire state of the world we are unaware of. The dead trees, black mountains, the red sky at dusk, resembling the end of the day all add in to that effect. We are so busy seeing the disguised 'known world' that we do not realize how 'ochena' it is to us.

As for the fish entrapped in a fishbowl, lying by the seashore; it is under the wrong impression that its surroundings are a part of its real world. The dire state: The fish resembles us (humans), entrapped in a metaphorical fishbowl, unaware of our entrapment as well. The world we consider to be "chena", is actually pretty "ochena." This is the irony.

RS: As you've probably noticed, most people get into the music scene these days for fame and girls. Do you agree? What are your thoughts on the matter?
V: (laughs out loud) Yeah, this is pretty much the case these days! Unfortunately, most of us aren't single anymore. But we don't mind mourning over our bad luck (smiles). And as far as fame is concerned, we don't think it should be the sole objective of any band while making music. Although, it would be wrong to say that the idea of fame should be overruled.

RS: Where do you think the future of "underground music" lies? What would be your advice to any potential newcomer?
V: The number of potential bands in the scene will keep on multiplying. Better musicians will emerge henceforward. Competition will rise to a greater height. Potential rockers will inhabit the entire country. In short, the future of underground music lies in the hands of promising new talents, encouraging senior bands and of course, the listeners of underground music.

To the newcomer, be true to yourself in adopting the nature of music you want to carry out. “Listen” to all genres of music. Practice is mandatory!

RS: Where does Vibe see itself 10 years from now? Any message to the readers?
V: At the core of everyone's hearts! We wouldn't have been here if it weren't for our dear family members and friends. The band would like to thank Mr. Mahbubur Rob Sadi, who had been a big support from the very beginning. And of course, the listeners, without who we are absolutely zero! Lastly, we'd like to thank Rising Stars for the interview.


Reviewed by Gokhra

David: John Cusack
Dennis: Bobby Coleman
Harlee: Amanda Peet
Liz: Joan Cusack
Jeff: Oliver Platt

This tries to be a fuzzy warm movie about family values and how things eventually work out right. That pretty much spells out a mushy plotline but it's saved from being overtly sugary thanks to its star performers.

The plot: David (Cusack) still sheds tears over pictures of his wife two years after her death. His friends include Harlee (the lovely Amanda Peet) who could become his mate, there's his sister who is a mother of two children and offers all the wisdom only harried mothers can impart. Good wisdom too. And then there is the floppy-eared dog who putters around with David in his big empty house.

Into this setup falls 9-year-old Dennis who is a self proclaimed Martian. Abandoned by his parents he, he adopts the Martian story to hide from his troubles. This is occasionally followed by eccentric events that sometimes make David momentarily believe the child’s story. Could be the fact that he is a sci-fi writer that make him believe a little more easily. So how does Dennis figure in with David?

He wants to honour his late wife's wishes of adopting a child. So he ends up with a quirky kid who can be cute at times and decidedly creepy at other. Such a movie is no good without a villain and it's played with aplomb by Richard Schiff as the adoption adviser who is extremely opposed the idea of a kind single man adopting a child.

The story deals effectively with what it could be like to live with a child who lives a fictional life to escape the haunts of the real one. Cusack offers a great performance as a single dad stubbornly holding on to the notion that love and trust will make things right.

It's a feel good movie with the lazy laughs handled with flair by Cusack who has become quite the modern romantic hero.

Cast & Credits
Frank Lucas: Denzel Washington
Richie Roberts: Russell Crowe
Huey Lucas: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Det. Trupo: Josh Brolin
Nicky Barnes: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Moses Jones: RZA
Frank's mother: Ruby Dee
Laurie Roberts: Carla Gugino
Dominic Cattano: Armand Assante
Toback: Ted Levine

"American Gangster" tells the story of a heroin dealer named Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) who inherits a crime empire from his famous boss Bumpy Johnson. He is smooth and very friendly on the outside, yet adhering to ruthless business tactics on the inside.

The movie deals with Lucas doing it all and doing it very well indeed. The New York drug trade is covered completely by him as he sells his stuff at higher purity and lower cost than anyone else. He manages to get in the drugs inside the coffins of American casualties, which is apparently based on fact. It's all very interesting how he turns the business practices around.

Lucas is not the quintessential gangster and sports absolutely no rings on his fingers, no scantily clad women lounging in his pad and loud cars. Nope, he is the quiet demure businessman with a very low key approach. He is even married. And all that makes it very difficult for the authorities to figure out who he is.

Lucas's stubborn antagonist is a police detective named Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe). He does a very bad thing that gets him on the bad side of the rest of the officers in his police department. He finds $1 million in drug money and turns it in. The rest of the boys in blue are mad as hell because they expected it to be shared out.

Roberts doggedly pursues Lucas while maintaining his ethical standards. He carefully builds up his case against Lucas ensuring an airtight offensive. He vows to bring down Frank Lucas and succeeds. When Lucas is caught he is worth more than $150 million but manages to reduce his sentence by cutting a deal to expose three-quarters of the NYPD narcotics officers as corrupt.

Nobody especially the police like what is going on. It's not good for their living. They all get into Roberts's way.

This is a deeply engrossing story that flows very smoothly and develops the characters accordingly. It's a smart movie, with lengthy but interesting dialogues that tell you a story like a story should be told.

Anime Review

By Le Chupacabra

Madhouse Studios
74 episodes
Age Rating: 16+

Everything seems to be going for the prodigious Japanese neurosurgeon, Dr Kenzo Tenma: he's moving up the hierarchy of the German hospital he's working in, he's engaged to the Director's daughter and his skills on the operating table are second to none. All that changes one day. His morals rising above murky hospital politics, Dr Tenma decides to undertake the life-or-death operation of a young boy with a bullet in his head as opposed to the Mayor of Dusseldorf. The Mayor dies due to the ineptitude of the substitute surgeon and very soon, everything starts going horribly awry for Tenma… and then, in a perverse vision of justice, all those who wronged Tenma begin to die…

Monster arrived on my computer riding on the largest wave of hype I've personally witnessed for an anime to date. Even Lancer, who's fair to the point of perfection regarding his reviews, was gushing about this anime. Better than FullMetal Alchemist? I had to see Monster.

And I did and was subsequently rendered speechless.

Monster is more than just an exemplary anime, it is easily one of most incredible pieces of art - film, music and literature notwithstanding - I have experienced.

The key attribute of Monster lies in its subtlety when it presents all its facets to the viewer. Whether it's the animation or the music or the story, nothing ever seems to get in the way or be overt in terms of its role in the whole picture. Everything beautifully complements each other and the way they are segued together is an art in itself.

The story proceeds at a mesmerising pace which neither seems to be slow or fast. There are twists, turns and revelations at the perfect times but none are particularly exuberant in terms of being revealed. You might anticipate them to a certain degree, but the whole story as a whole is unpredictable in a different way. Interestingly, quite a few of the twists are ones that don't really move the plot along; rather, they are thoughtfully designed to give the events and characters in Monster a synergistic connection that alludes to something far deeper in retrospect. Giving any more away would require me to go into foibles, whys and wherefores and that would ruin one of the most perfectly balanced plots around. At the very least, let me reveal that this is less a story and more a journey that is immersive and subtly deep to astonishing proportions.

The personas of Monster deserve special mention in that they are what drive the narrative forward. Everyone is presented and developed with the skill of a master raconteur and whether you love or hate them depends on your disposition towards them as real people. Like Berserk, Monster presents one of the most enchanting, charismatic villains ever. As things are shown in Monster, with infinite shades of grey, it makes you wonder if this person really is the antagonist of the series. I'll let you ponder on this point after you've seen it.

And pondering is something you'll do, both during and after Monster. There are more than just mere references to the darkest hours of human history and Monster cleverly brings out many controversial topics onto the table for discussion. It also presents some deeply disturbing portions that will undoubtedly leave you aghast and chilled to the bone. I'm hardly the right person to say this but with the right exposure, I would love for this to receive worldwide recognition for being a true work of art. It's not just that it's awe-inspiring, it's just that Monster is unlike any other.

Even with such quality, it's possible for sloppy presentation to destroy or atleast harm what is otherwise a pinnacle of the animated medium. Monster doesn't disappoint and nor does it surprise. The artwork follows its own style, with the manga as the benchmark. However, the characters are less exaggerated than most anime and the artistry and architecture are quite beautiful. The colour palette perfectly highlights the importance and depth of each scene. The musical score of Monster does the same and while you won't exactly remember specific tracks, they are perfect for the atmosphere created.

Is Monster better than FullMetal Alchemist? In the end, that's a personal preference. However, as far as offering a deep, provocative adult thriller that transcends almost all idiosyncrasies that stigmatise the anime medium, Monster is an experience that knows no bounds.

E-mail, queries, flames and your credit card details can be sent to: chupakun@gmail .com. I've jump-started my repository of work and more besides at lechupachups .blogspot.com.


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