Tag Archives: Music

Thaikkudam Bridge – Live in Kuwait

I was looking forward to seeing Thaikkudam Bridge perform live ever since I saw their videos on Music Mojo. The band itself has around 14 members and they’re all on stage on various instruments and its both insane and awesome at the same time.

Their songs like Nostalgia, Illayaraja Medley and Fish Rock would be familiar to most people but on stage they had almost 3 hours of non stop numbers that varied from ethnic songs, classical Hindustani (or Carnatic? I’m not sure) and some Blues and Reggae numbers to Rock influenced tracks. Overall a very memorable experience and hope to see them live in concert again.

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Sivamani and Stephen Devassy

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Ever since I saw Stephen Devassy perform live I’d developed a liking to his style of music and on-stage performance. So when I heard he was coming to Kuwait for another show I way trying to find a way to get tickets. Luckily a friend of mine gave me tickets to the event in Hawally park yesterday evening. Thanks James!

This was also the first time I’ve seen Sivamani performing live and the duo was pretty awesome. They played for almost 40 minutes and alternated between solos, fast and slow tracks and some highly entertaining duets. I’ve got some random clips of the night in the link below but I hope I can get my hands on the official video taken by the video crew.

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An Evening with Earsplit

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Recently I attended a CD launch of Kuwait based rock group Earsplit at which they played a few tracks from their debut album. They’re major influences are Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple to name a few and it shows in their music style.

Their album is available for sale on Reverbnation [link] or you can contact them through Facebook if you want to buy the album locally. I’ve added all the links at the end of this post. Here’s a sample of their work.

The band line up is as follows;

Cleatus – Lead vocals/Rythm Guitars
Kenny – Rythm/Lead Guitars, Songwriter
Ash – Lead/Rythm Guitars
Jack – Bass Guitars, Backing Vocals
Roshan – Drums/Percussions
Solo – Keyboards/Synths, Backing Vocals

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We had a fun evening getting to know the band and I took some pictures at the jam session and luckily some of them came out half decent. Equipment used was lent to me by Roshan Crasta over at Roshan Crasta Photography and post processing was done by me.

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Earsplit Official Website [link]
Earsplit on Facebook [link]
Earsplit on Sound Cloud [link]

98.4 UFM Back Online

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A couple of months ago I had posted about the sudden demise of Kuwait’s first Indian FM radio station. Now according to their Facebook page, it appears that they’re coming back on the air but as an online radio service on May 1st 2013.

While this may be good news for some, how bout the people who don’t have a data plan on their mobiles or an internet connection at home? You can listen to the test broadcast now on their homepage which I’ve linked [here]

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Sudhandhira Paravaigal – Single

I recently found out that one of our friends, Vishak, had collaborated on a music single with a couple of other friends of his. The fact that this wall done in a home studio is pretty cool. The song has a catchy beat, the video is a completely different matter unfortunately. All the best to these guys.

Thanks for the link; Pradeep

Music – Arun Nair
Lyrics – Prasanth Perumal
Vocals – Vishak Krishnakumar & Arun Nair

Youtube [link]

 

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Pioneer AVH-P4450BT – First Impression

After my previous post about the audio install I had a few days to go through all the features and get a good idea of the performance of this head unit. I had previously made up my mind to buy the 3350BT but when I visited Qirtas and Gajria Co. they had just received the new models for 2012 and I stretched my budget to upgrade to this one.

In terms of input options this one has all the ones you’d ever want in a car entertainment system. Its got; DVD, Rear VGA, USB, AUX and Bluetooth Audio.

What I liked most is that I just need to step into my car and it immediately connects to my mobile phone and I can listen to my Internet radio via the car’s speakers. The installer had routed the USB and Aux-in cables into my lockable glove box so I can keep my iPod and other devices safe while connected to the system. Controlling the iPhone and iPod was a breeze through the explorer menu and I had no trouble finding a song or artist. The unit allows you to scroll through the list with a slider and quickly access the files you want. Since I also installed the steering wheel controller interface I can change tracks from the built-in controls on my steering.

Setting up the Bluetooth was easy and now I can stream music or any audio from the phone to the unit from the on screen controls. I was not able to test the call functions however, since I didn’t receive the Bluetooth microphone in the package. An email to Pioneer UAE resolved the matter and they will be sending a replacement unit to the local dealer.

The unit supports DVD video and via USB you can play divx files. The reading time from the USB was quick and for smaller files like TV shows you can quickly switch tracks while movies and longer files took about 5 seconds to buffer before playing. I played a couple of DVDs and the video quality was acceptable for a QVGA screen but anyway video is not the reason I bought this in the first place.

After tweaking the audio settings and manually setting the 8 band graphic equalizer it was apparent that a head unit makes a significant difference in the audio output. The vocals now seem much more clearer and the bass levels are more powerful without the previous jarring I has felt for some tracks. For now I’m happy with the existing speaker setup since I mostly listen to standup comedy on the way to work I may upgrade the front door speakers and maybe add a sub-woofer in the future.

I played a gamble while deciding between the Scosche and Metra DIN panel and fortunately the Metra unit looks really great and matches the rest of the dashboard perfectly. All the installation was done at Zaharat Al Naseem and they’ve done a good clean job and the best part is that they know exactly what is required and how to go about it. The rear camera had to be installed in the split tail gate since I bought a larger model with night vision but it fits flush with the body and works great. (The dust is from my desert drive this morning)

Overall I’m very satisfied with the way things have turned out and I’d recommend this unit if you’re looking to upgrade your factory unit.

Zaharat Al Naseem
Sharq, Reneem Bldg,
Opp. Arraya Center,
2414379
9581594

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Mitsubishi Outlander Audio Upgrade

I’d been planning to upgrade the audio system in my car for a while now but it was on the back burner till a couple of weeks ago when I received the Pioneer AVH 4450 BT. Now I had no excuse to keep delaying it so I went online and did some research on what I would need to order for a smooth upgrade.

You basically need a Double Din panel for the dashboard to replace the existing panel, a wiring harness, an interface module for the steering wheel controls and an optional rear view camera. I checked the local dealers for the parts but they either didn’t have them or were too expensive so I bought them all from Amazon and wound up saving a decent amount of money.  Here’s all the stuff I ordered.

Metra Mitsubishi Outlander Double Din Radio Installation Kit [Amazon]

Metra 70-7005 Radio Wiring Harness for 07 Mitsubishi [Amazon]

Metra Axxess ASWC Universal Steering Wheel Control Interface [Amazon]

XO Vision HTC35 Universal Weatherproof Backup Camera with NightVision [Amazon]

Almost everyone I spoke to seemed to be of the opinion that Zaharat Naseem was the best place to get the installation done so I dropped off my car with Naeem and picked it up after work. Since it was late I didn’t take any pictures of the unit after installation and didn’t get a chance to play around with it since I had to attend a meeting soon after I got the car back.

As of now the only thing missing in the installation is an external microphone for the Bluetooth hands-free but that should be hopefully sorted out in a few days.

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98.4U FM is live!

Kuwait’s most anticipated FM station went live this morning on April 14th 2012 as a special Vishu gift to the Indian residents in Kuwait. I was tuned in while driving to my errands this morning and enjoyed the lively banter from Lavanya on the call-in programs. I’ve requested 98.4U to send us a list of the daily scheduled programs. Keep watching this post for more details.

98.4U on [Facebook]

Update:

You can see the list of shows [here] and they also have web streaming on this [link]

 

Stephen Devassy and the Solid Band

Last night I attended the music concert featuring Hariharan, Stephen Devassy and the Solid Band. We were lucky enough to get seats about 5 rows from the stage and we really has a great evening. I’d never heard of this musician before last night and I was pleasantly surprised by his musical style and speed. Think of an Indian version of Yngwie Malmsteen and that’s what he sounds and plays like.

I gotta find out if I can buy any of his albums on Flipkart or get them in a music shop in Kerala.

More info on Stephen Devassy on [Wikipedia]
Stephen Devassy [website]

Here’s a picture and video that we shot at the concert. Both were taken with a mobile so quality is really bad.

 

[Youtube]

ps. oh yeah btw Hariharan was good too. 🙂

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My Flipkart experience

A couple of months ago I has posted about ordering from Flipkart.com and since then I had placed quite a few orders. All the items were non essential so I wasn’t too worried about the shipping time. My orders were for some music Cds, movie DVDs, a video camera bag and books.All the items arrived in exactly the time frame mentioned on the website and I’m very happy with the service. Here’s the breakdown;

Shipping:
I think Flipkart has a shipping method similar to Amazon coz just like my Amazon purchases the items are shipped from different places and through different couriers. I got my packages delivered by both Blue Dart and Aramex and both parties called up my family in Trivandrum to confirm the time and date of the package’s arrival.Unfortunately at this time they don’t have international shipping but I don’t mind since we have family members flying in frequently from India although I think shipping all these items from India would decrease my cost benefits.

Packaging:
All the items including the book came wrapped in bubble wrapping and there was a thick cardboard layer on the outside. My delivery address and details were clearly printed on the wrapper along with the cost of the item since it was a COD (Cash on delivery) In my previous experience with Rediff Shopping I had a couple of jewel cases cracked by the time they arrived in Trivandrum but in this case all my DVDs arrived without a scratch

Payment:
Now this is one area with was a little frustrating for me since I seem to have some problem with my ICICI card. So as of now the COD is the only option I’ve used. I’ve written to Flipkart requesting them to allow for international credit cards or PayPal and Moneybookers since thats how I do most of my online shopping. I hope they implement it in the near future so I can pay with my Kuwait credit cards and get the benefit of the exchange rates.

I would recommend Flipkart to all my friends since its been great so far.
Flipkart [website]
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