3-e-and-a, 4

How's my handwriting?

I bought this VCD back in (pre-law) college, for the princely sum of 300 rupees. I didn’t have a computer of my own back then, so I took it to a friend’s hostel room one night and watched it on his computer with a bunch of other friends. None of the friends were drummers, but we were youngly innocent and stuck in a girl-free environment whence the idea of watching a hairy drummer on a flickering desktop monitor in a darkened room seemed like a good way to spend a Wednesday night. As the hour dragged on and Portnoy descended into the mathematical intricacies of counting odd time signatures (“It’s all numbers,” he says more than once on the video: “It’s all arithmetic”), it began to seem less of a good idea to most of them, and I’m happy to admit that I too failed to see the point of a lot of what he was saying. It didn’t help that at the time I didn’t own a double bass pedal and had never played anything approaching progressive rock music– except in my little mental fantasies where the objects of my crushes gazed admiringly from the wings as I played topless on a large concert stage, biceps and shoulder muscles rippling in the breeze. Crash, boom, bang, indeed.

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DT Post #268

What if Dream Theater had an another singer? One just as capable, but with a deeper, throatier, more mainstream voice?

It boggles the mind, it does.

My mind, at least.

And many others’.


This just goes to prove that whatever you may think of his tone, James LaBrie actually does sing very well– he’s powerful and accurate. (In the studio, at least.)


Original voice clip:

Inspired Bicycles

I really liked this song.

And the video’s pretty cool too. Except that it makes me feel like I’m completely wasting my life. But nothing new there, hence.

The Funeral by Band of Horses.

If anyone knows anything about the band, do speak.


Also, is that a fixed-gear bicycle? He seems to coast at some points… but at other points he pedals backwards and the bike moves backwards.

One Last Time

As I type, I’m listening to a slightly emo band called Thirteen Senses sing a song called Into The Fire. It’s a beautiful song. Piano-heavy, catchy chord progression, nice drumming, and a good voice.

Before this, Starsailor were singing about a Poor Misguided Fool with an attractive album cover.

I’m listening to the music for free, on Last.fm– the internet radio site that, back when Han introduced me to it a couple of years ago, opened up a New World of music to me. Especially with regard to my slightly arcane taste in progressive metal: Last.fm, with its unlimited free tag-based radio service, let me hear beautiful music I would never have been able to get my hands on otherwise. CDs by niche prog metal bands aren’t sold in India, and to illegally download music you first have to be aware of its existence– which wasn’t possible for me earlier.

But they’re some of the last few songs I’ll hear on Last.fm radio. On 22 April 2009 the site, apparently having been bought over by US giant CBS, discontinued its free radio service for listeners outside 3 countries: the US, the UK, and Germany. It determined that only those three demographies supported an ad-based radio service. Listeners in all other countries now get a 30-track “free trial”, after which they must subscribe to the radio at the rate of 3 euro a month.

The news came as a real shock to me– it was done quietly, slimily, and with almost no expression of regret by the site. That, combined with the fact that the rest of the world is essentially paying for the US, the UK, and the DE to continue to listen for free, has infuriated much of Last.fm’s listener base. It may make CBS money, but it was a huge PR blunder, and “RIP Last.fm; let’s find the next best thing” is the overwhelming sentiment.

I’m surprisingly upset about it. I can’t usually stand the “fuck the Establishment, save the mom-and-pop store from the retail giant” attitude that people bandy about. Fuck you, not the Establishment— so I usually think. Stop clinging to the past. Change is almost always good. So what if Green Day went commercial instead of being ‘really’ punk?

But really, this seems like a heart-wrenching sellout to The Man.

One commenter noted that he used to subscribe to Last.fm radio when it was free (subscription was optional), just to support the cause of the site. But now that subscription is compulsory, he’s not going to pay, even though he can. 

I can afford to pay 3 euro a month. My broadband connection costs 5 times that. But only in real money– I don’t have a credit card, and anyway, paying for online services isn’t something I do. Except for scientific resources, there’s almost always a free alternative.

Ah, Ghosts are on. Stay The Night was the first song I downloaded after first hearing it on Last.fm. A fitting farewell.

Until I find the perfect replacement,  I’m really going to miss Last.fm.

While Han and Tee can continue to listen to it for free.

Fuck you, life. I hate being stuck in the 3rd world.