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By Ahsan Sajid

With the third season of the wireless sessions having been successfully over, Rising Stars sat down with the man with the plan, the founder of the Wireless Sessions, Nafis Tahsin Ahmed Shubho CEO of Live2 Event Management, to discuss the past shows, and future plans he has.

Before proceeding with the interview, a brief introduction of the Wireless Sessions is necessarily, and a short recap of the third season.

The Wireless Sessions was started to promote unplugged music in the country. They are different from rock concerts in that the ticket prices are only 50 bucks; moreover, everyone gets to see really good bands perform, while having food at a nice café and hanging out with friends at the same time.

The previous seasons have been covered in your favorite teen magazine, but here's a brief look back into the third season.

The first session featured big names such as Ajob, Dolchut, Radioactive, amongst other uprising talents. Notable amongst the evening's performances was Samir covering a few instrumental tracks, Radioactive's popular song Shopnokotha amongst many covers and Ajob's cover of their own numbers Bhobotaane, Khachar Bhetor Ochin Pakhi, Royiacho Kothay and Tomar Shure. After this came Dolchut, doing Brishti Pore, Din Baari Jay, Baaji, Jochonabihaar, and wrapping up with their most popular track, Pori.

The second sessions saw a lot of versatility: Alter Messiah put out a real unplugged performance, using only acoustic guitars and vocals, after which came J&S covering songs by musicians as diverse as Lenny Kravitz and Craig David, wrapping up with a funk and a classical jam. '71 covered their own hit song Aarti, followed by a couple of covers and a new song from them due to be released soon. Shironaamhin took control next and they rocked the house with their songs Iccheguri and Hashimukh, with brilliant band coordination and superb vocals. The band commented that they are not used to doing underground/indoor shows, but loved the concept of café shows and that they counted it as a memorable performance. After this however came the biggest surprise of the evening. Arnab turned up, a treat to all those who patiently waited till the end of the show, and he did twelve of his best songs, including two folk renditions, and two songs coming out in his next album. The crowd simply chose to not let him stop, and the show progressed well into the night.

The third session saw underground names such as Oblique, Overture, Xoroastrian and Germantown. Xoroastrian gave an energetic performance, covering tracks such as Lips Of An Angel by Hinder, Dolphins Cry by Live and November Rain by Guns N' Roses. Germantown followed up with Dido and Sheryl Crow, and their own popular hit Amra Shadhin.

The season ended with a very auspicious fourth session that was covered here before. There were memorable performances by Rafa, Mechanix, instrumental guitar tracks from Saadi, Samir and Hythum, and a much hyped and well-enjoyed couple of numbers from Arbovirus.

The season ended successfully, but still did not sate music lovers who wanted more unplugged gigs, and so to answer about the much asked questions, Nafis Tahsin Ahmed Shubho had a sit-down with us.

RS: Give us a brief background of the wireless thing that you are doing.
Nafis Tahsin Ahmed Shubho: The Wireless Sessions, a popular brand of Live2 Event Management, started with the aim of promoting an unplugged sort of genre into the underground scene, as in the youth crowd. To some extent, this did have an impact on the crowd with the key concept of a ticket price of 50 bucks only! Moreover they got to see some really great bands and special guest appearances over the three seasons while having food at a restaurant and chitchatting with friends.

RS: How long has it been going on?
NTAS: The shows have started in July and were a major hit from day one! There have been 13 shows over the three seasons held in July 07, November 07 and finally the third season that ended this March.

RS: This project was started as a way to promote youth bands, but many big names are featured now. Tell us a little about this.
NTAS: Well, yes, the main aim was to promote young bands and this aim still persists, but a lot of big names have supported this event to make it a bigger attraction. This draws huge crowds who are tempted to check out who the special guest could be, and in most cases they aren't disappointed. Moreover, the big names generally draw a huge crowd and I strongly discouraged push selling. If the bands were good, they set up auditions at Incursion Music and if they were good at playing unplugged music, they got to play at the wireless sessions. Many new faces did seem promising in that context, I'd say.

RS: Which bands and artists have you featured till now?
NTAS: For the past 13 shows, many big names appeared on the wireless sessions including Arnob, Bassbaba Sumon, Bappa of Dolchut, Shironaamhin, Nemesis, Yaatri, Arbovirus, Ajob, dNA, Reborn, Kral, Powersurge, Radioactive, Eclipse, Mechanix, Scarecrow, Severe Dementia, Stentorian and more. There were also some uprising bands who have played in the sessions - Overture, Germantown, Synopsis, Shunno, Decipher, Alternation, Xoroastrian, Infinity, Soothsayer,'71, J&S, Alter Messiah, Cynix-X, Waterways etc and these bands seem to be the ones to dominate the music scene for the coming generation!

RS: Why Thursday nights? Do you plan to change it in the future?
NTAS: Friday nights are generally booked with all the rock concerts, Saturday nights pose a problem because many cannot make it, as they have a week starting the very next day! So what could be a better option than Thursday? Well it's the end of the week, when people can come to relax with great music and food and hangout with friends. Moreover, most bands and artists were available on those nights! Over time, the Thursdays seem to have been branded as 'wireless evenings'! *NTAS laughs*

RS: What are some of the obstacles that organizers face regarding venue, crowd, sponsors and musicians?
NTAS: Firstly, the most support we received was from the venue. Decagon café opened about a year back and since it was new, Live2 joined hands with the café to promote young bands as well as the venue. They have been very cooperative all throughout the sessions. The musicians, popular ones and uprising ones have all been extremely supportive throughout the sessions. Even at the worst times, there were bands/musicians that appeared on wireless just to support the event and entertain the fans! Finally, the crowd was just simply awesome! Honestly, at 50 taka, many people thought there would be a mixed crowd, but the crowd was very sophisticated and supported the concept and the musicians. There were times when the crowd literally pulled the show by encouraging the bands and musicians to play along longer its a different feeling to bring so many people together and making them enjoy it for 13 times!

It is also to be noted that none of the shows were financially sponsored but there were many partners who promoted and supported the events, which I'm obliged to mention Decagon café, amadergaan.com, Incursion Music, tunesbd.com, radio foorti and Sound Machine Ltd.

RS: Would you like to add anything else about the shows?
Many a times, a lot of bands didn't, or rather couldn't, use 'wireless' instruments so they had to plug-in their electrical instruments and play it in the cleanest possible manner to bring an acoustic feel to their performances. This was an attempt to introduce the unplugged scene to the crowd and I don't know whether it was a successful attempt or not, but everybody present at the venue at the different shows enjoyed the atmosphere and performances. I really must thank all the partners, the crowd and the musicians who have supported the events all throughout.

RS: What does the future look like for the Wireless Sessions?
This will be the last wireless session for a while we won't book you for the Thursday nights for quite some time! Or maybe not! Wireless is not expected to return soon but it still may. So do watch out for updates!

So there you have it folks, word straight from the horse's mouth. If you loved the wireless sessions, keep yourself updated as to when the next season starts.

Reviewed by Gokhra

Jason Segel - Peter Bretter
Kristen Bell - Sarah Marshall
Mila Kunis - Rachael
Russell Brand - Aldous
Bill Hader - Brian

The plot:
Composer Peter (Jason Segel, also wrote the script) is feeling down and out over his breakup with TV actress Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). It's been a five-year relationship and to clear his head he takes off to Hawaii. There he meets a possible depression removing cutie in the form of a cute hotel employee (Mila Kunis). But before things can become simple they manage to get complicated. He ruins into no one else but Sarah and her new rock star boyfriend (Russell Brand).

The verdict:
The characters in Forgetting Sarah Marshall are quite well developed and that makes you connect with them as an audience. It makes you like them better. Peter is a bit of a lazy happy-go-lucky guy whose luck runs out and you can't help but feel a little sorry for him. Mila Kunis of 'That '70s Show' fame is delightful and bubbly with an infectious attitude. They make for a good likeable pair.

It's the kind of movie you could watch several times over because it's a bit fresh and fun. And it also gives some talented TV regulars a chance at the big-screen stardom.

It's a romantic comedy where the jokes and gags are relatively smarter with the lowbrow ones never dominating. What's bets is that it is entirely free of what you would call gross jokes. And despite that it still manages to be witty and hysterically funny. It may be flawed at some points but the goofiness jacks up the laugh factor. And it doesn't suffice just in being a good romantic comedy but has musical performances by the star that will leave you laughing and gasping for air.

By Jason Ocampo, GameSpot

It's hard to come up with a real-time strategy game that's as large and ambitious as Supreme Commander, which came out at the beginning of this year. The spiritual successor to 1997's famed Total Annihilation, Supreme Commander is a sci-fi strategy game that occurs on a scale far larger than regular RTS games. With battlefields that are as large as 40-by-40 square kilometers (or even 81-by-81 in skirmish and multiplayer), the game offers a lot of flexibility and room. When you flash forward to the end of the year, we get Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance. What's impressive is the amount of stuff that developer Gas Powered Games has managed to squeeze into the standalone expansion in relatively little time.

The plot:
Forged Alliance delivers six massive new single-player missions, as well as a slew of welcome improvements and enhancements. These include a new user interface, a graphical upgrade, and a fourth playable faction. The game continues the story of the 1,000-year old Infinite War, where three warring factions of humanity have slugged it out against one another. There are the regular humans in the United Earth Federation, the cybernetic humans in the Cybran Nation, and the alien-influenced humans in the Aeon Illuminate. The end of Supreme Commander showed the "end" of the Infinite War. Depending on which faction you played as, you seized control of the Black Sun superweapon, fired it, and won the war for your side. But if you stayed and watched the end of the credits, Supreme Commander hinted at something else. A rift opened, unleashing an alien horde known as the Seraphim. Forged Alliance picks up a couple of years later, with the surviving human factions trying to fend off extinction. You can play as any of the human factions in the six-mission campaign, and your choice will affect the dialogue that you hear, as well as some of the secondary missions, but the core objectives remain the same in all cases.

You can't play as the alien Seraphim in the campaign; they're only available in skirmish or multiplayer. Skirmish mode introduces a nice new adaptive artificial intelligence personality that alternates between offense and defense. There are also a slew of new maps to beef up the overall number considerably.

Forged Alliance does feature some balance tweaks that aren't quite as welcome. One of the most notable is how nuclear weapons have basically been taken out of the picture. Nukes now take a ridiculously long time to construct. In fact, they take so long that they're almost useless because almost any game can be resolved before a nuke is even constructed. For instance, the UEF's mighty and superexpensive Mavor artillery gun, which can launch an unending barrage of shells anywhere on the biggest maps, is a lot faster to build than a single nuke, as well as a lot more valuable. As it is right now, nukes seem like a red herring.

Aside from the nuke quibble, there's a lot to like in Forged Alliance because it makes an already gargantuan game bigger and better. Supreme Commander fans will finally get to experience campaign missions that let them unleash the full weight of their arsenals, while the size and scope of the game remains far beyond almost anything else on the market. When we look back at 2007 in terms of strategy gaming, it may very well be remembered as the year of Supreme Commander.


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