Monday, February 27, 2006

Basketball Fever

For a basketball fanatic like me, it was a dream come true to get to go to a game. I got to see the Aggies beat the UT Longhorns (Whoop!). Our girls pretty much thrashed 'em silly. And I got the best seats available! I was sitting right behind the girls as my boss was asked to be a Guest Coach. Since she knew of my passion for basketball she asked me if I wanted to go along, and the rest as they say, is history. My boss and I were at the Bright Football Complex for a short presentation and then got a tour of the Complex. These kids have got it made. They have every facility they'll ever need to help them ace college. But they do have to work hard and 'play' even harder. Then we popped over to Reed Arena for the game and wonders of wonders, we got the best parking spot available. We got to even go over to the girls' locker room and hear Head Coach Blair and Associate Head Coach Schaefer talk to the girls before they went in to beat the Longhorns. The clincher?? I got to talk to the girls too. I didn't know that I would be doing it, but I ended up saying soemthing stupid and well, the girls laughed at it. A’Quonesia Franklin is one awesome player. I know for sure that I'm taller than her, but I doubt I could ever be as great as she is.

Fact : Aggies are ranked #25 in the Associated Press Women’s College Basketball Top 25 Poll. They were ranked #21, but they dropped a few points when the lost a couple of games against Baylor(12) and Oklahoma(9). No. 31 on

I've seen like gazillion NBA, WNBA, and NCAA: men's and women's bball games. But to see it all happen and when you have ringside seats! is totally amazing. The commentary was vintage American style. They even announced the players and the guest coaches like the way they're announced on tv. "Here we have No. 3 Takiiiiaa Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarks." It was phenomenal. I forgot to take my camera to the game (I could kick myself so hard that I wouldn't be able to sit for a week!) , BUT I did have my cell phone! So here are some pics from the ringside :) The quality of these pics leaves a lot to be desired for. It's the best I could do.

This one was taken just as the Aggies scored. :)

That's Coach Blair preventing me from catching the Aggies acore again.

That's Coach Blair in the lighter colored shirt talking to girls during a time-out. And Coach Schaefer in the dark jacket. The pretty lady is Assistant Coach Tennison. You can also see the left shoulder and arm of Assistant Coach Kelly.

This one's of a freethrow. I did note that most of the initial points that UT scored were via freethrows.

I wanted to fight for the rights of the children that have been wronged! Child labor is such a horrible thing. I refrained :) They had lil kids do the cleaning up evertime there was a time-out. There isn't much to clean up at all, it's just so cute is all.

Reveille, Aggie mascot. Cute dog, makes her presence known by barking. (My lil secret...the Corps guys that take care of her are always cuter...ssshhh) I wanted to get a pic of the Yell Leaders too, but my lil camera phone ran out of space. Yeah, the Aggies do not have any cheerleaders, we have Yell Leaders. They're these really cute, BIG, beefy-lookin, man's man kinda guys. They plonked themselves down in the girls' seats in front of us during half-time and they looked like they had chips on their shoulders the size of the Himalayas, so I didn't make any space for 'em on my phone :) I don't think they'll rue the loss ;)

If you want to see a short video on the Aggie Women's BBall team go to

Dang! I wish my dad had let me play some bball when I was accepted into the college team :( Oh what the hey! I got to watch a great game :)

Monday, February 20, 2006

MY Take on Godfather

Innisai is my current fav in this album. But it took my not-very-well-trained ears a while before the intricacies could work its magic on me and move it up to being my fav. I love his other carnatic pieces - Narumugaye, Minsara Poove, and Maargazhi Thingal are songs I listen to everyday. I kid you not. Innisai keeps playing in my head when I should be doing something else. I think there's too much going on in the beginning of Innisai, or maybe it happens throughout the song and I just get the beat somewhere in the middle of the song. The background murmuring at 1:20....lends to added confusion, and the introduction of Iyer's voice seems like it can't quite catch up with the beats, at least on the 1st hearing. I didn't like Iyer's voice in the beginning of the song. It was just not deep enough. You carnatic music pandits out this one an Adi thaalam? At 5:13 I love the way the background singers do the thom thom thom thananana thom, initially in between Iyer's singing, and then while he's singing. The remix has this something that the male singers say(sing), during the beats, just before the half-yodel at 2:28 and 2:33. This sounds like whatever the background singers are saying four times in Thaniye at 3:51 in Rhythm. I love the humming that the female voice does at 2:55 in between Iyer's higher pitched singing.The beats and a halfway yodel before the dappanguthu part stick out a bit, but I'm all for it, and it even seems to sit fine in the midst of a classical number. You just have to love the all-female chorus. Light and airy, despite being what most youngsters consider the heavy classical stuff. The base something(?) sounds really good. No mrindangam here. I think Srinivas would have done a better job....but that's just me. While this one isn't quite my fav classical no. of ARR's, I love it.

Kama karayil brings to mind the Inijiringo song in Thenali. Probably because of the beats. I guess this one was in keeping with the regular, now monotonous kuuthu songs that seems to be becoming a fixture in Tamil movies. This one grew on me too. It's fairly catchy, but the lyrics don't leave much to the imagination. Kattil mele kabbadi kabbadi?? Kaaman thaan di referee referee??? What..the..?? I think only ARR can change the way even a kuuthu song sounds :) I don't know if it is ARR's voice in the background at 00:42, 3:14 and 4:20, after the female lead sings kamaaaaa? Clarification necessary here from other Rahmaniacs.

Thothapuram is an out-and-out fun song. The kids voices remind me of Kuchi Kuchi Rakkamma. I love the beats and I'm fairly sure that everybody'll agree with me when I say I love the way ARR uses kids in his songs. Ocharu ocharu ocharu bava garu, Ivan osaram parthu kodupar benz-u car-u. I wonder why there's Telugu in it? It works tho. Fun fun fun. I'm not so sure of the video, it bordered on stupid. Too many stomachs dancing around for my liking.

Ilamai was one song I wasn't into initially. Right now...this songs got me...hook, line, and sinker. The yodeling is reminiscent of Ye dil na hota bechara in Jewel Thief. The 'hey' in the beginning reminded of the beginning of Baba kichu tha. The lyrics are situational is all I can hope for: Unnaku hero naanadi, un udaiko villainadi. Well I guess I have to admit that it is funny though. In the remix as Harish pointed out in his blog early on, Blaze sounds like Donald Duck. I just found out that this is called the D.U.C.K Remix. Or is that someone's idea of a joke? :) It works....very apt :) Blaze's getting better when he's rappin' with his regular voice. I mean, he sounds much better in this one than the Be a Rebel- Paathshaala. He's starting to sound authentic(rap/hip-hop wise). It's not like I know a whole lot abt rap or hip-hop. I just get to listen to plenty of it when I turn on the radio. So I guess I could say that I know what they sound like. I liked him best in Baba. That song ROX! One more for the nightclubs, very very catchy...after a few hearings.

Theeyil Vizhunda a beautiful piece. There's plenty soul in the song, but I still think something's missing in it. As was discussed in the yahoo fan group, this does sound somewhat like Mera Yaar Mila De. I've a big question, why are all the songs, in all their entirety, like Bollywood, Tollywood(or is it Kollywood? I can never remember) and all the other woods, why is it that we have only Maa-Beta songs?? Why not Maa-Beti songs? Why not dad-daughter songs? Maybe there are some songs on this one. There are brother-sister songs a-plenty. My mom is the most important person in my world. How come I don't get to dedicate a song to her?? Could it be because all girls grow up to be the maas?? Correct me if I'm wrong. I could just be ignorant here.
One more thing. The instrumentation sounded like Meenaxi's Potter's Village. The lyrics floored me. The way he ends the song, the last time he sings stays with me cos he switches the voice from both sides to only one side, only for that last one line (headphones usage apparent here). If you want to know all about the raagas used, and his usage of other raagas, you'll have to become a member of the yahoo group. There are some knowledgeable ppl out there!

Kaatril sounds like a postscript to Snehidane. It even has the words snehidi and snehida in it. It's a melody that was an initial fav. I love...and I'm probably the only one... the saahiba part. Is this Reena Bharadwaj? Loved her in Yeh Rishta. Even the video, though faster moving reminds me of the video of Snehidane. Maybe it's the Sadhna Sargam deal. I get goosebumps listening to her. The interlude at 1:45 that lasts uptil SPB starts, sounds partially like the Mission Impossible OST and partially like the interludes in Made in India by Alisha Chinai (I guess I was actually listening, instead of just admiring Milind Soman's pecs back then). A simply lovely, maybe slightly monotonous, melody. Why'd they shift from saahiba to snehida??

On the whole, I think ARR's biggest competitor is himself. He's been getting progressively better and let's face it ppl, he can't satisfy everybody, which he's tried to do with this one. I find that when he was doing period films people thought he was getting repititive and that he'd lost his mass appeal thing which he had earlier. Now when he does the mass appeal movies, there are others and perhaps even the same ppl who say that after TLOBS, Bose, Meenaxi, and other such melodious pieces, this is like a step back. His choice of Tamil movies has been questioned. Well I would have to join in on those ppl who question his work with SJ Surya after I saw Mayilirage. But the song itself is beautiful. I'm never into the movie, always into the music, unless its Maniratnam we're talking abt. Ppl, ppl, just sit back and turn off the videos and listen to the magic that ARR churns out.

P.S: Ever noticed the echo effect in Thaniye? Yeah this is another one I heard on my new giant sized headphones. It's awesome...and theres like a whole lot more. You HAVE to listen to this one of the headphones to get the little stuff again. Good God! How does he do it??????