Monthly Archives: January 2010

“Backstreet Boys to headline Rock in India ’10″: The National WTF Moment

You know, once in a while, you come across things that make you laugh. They are called jokes. And then once in a while you come across headlines that go like the one in the title of this post. These make you laugh too. But they are not jokes. They are facts. And you know something else? There is nothing you can do about it. So let me put this in some perspective before I say anything else.

Rock in India started off in 2008 as the first ever Rock FESTIVAL in India and obviously, it was held in Bangalore, which is pretty much where most of the rock concerts take place. About 8 Indian rock bands played and the event was headlined by Megadeth and Machinehead- you know those legendary thrash metal bands? Rock in India ’09 was headlined by Iron Maiden and featured a host of other international rock bands. I went to both of them and they were awesome! Headbanging took a whole new meaning during those 2 concerts! Rock in India became the biggest rock event in India in the entire year. It gave every rock fan and every metal head something to look forward to every year.

And then this happens. Rock in India 2010 to  be headlined by Backstreet Boys! Apart from the necessary, spontaneous and inevitable reaction involving the phrase WTF, one sometimes wonders if this is some kind of a prank. Come to think of it, this is definitely one prank that any sane person would be happy to be victim to. You know why? Coz the contrary is simply insane. But that is what it is. Face it gentlemen, (and a handful of ladies) the lamest, gayest, most retarded boy band of all times is going to take over from the likes of Megadeth and Iron Maiden and is going to Headline “Rock In India” and Richard Marx is also going to be playing.  Umm….just one question. Exactly where the fuck is the ROCK part in all of this??!??

I mean seriously, HOW on earth is this possible? From what perspective is this expected to make any sense whatsoever? Ok now before I spell out any more profanities, let me make it clear. I believe every one has a right to their own taste in music. Hell, even I, who am a proud rock and metal fan, started listening to English music with the Backstreet Boys! (And fortunately moved on to better stuff soon). But getting BSB to friggin headline a ROCK Festival?? Surely, somewhere something went horribly wrong!

Apparently, the organizers are justifying their headlining act choice by saying this: “There has been a long- standing request from many music fans to our website that they would like to see mainstream music and also classic rock….” and “….rock in India is a “music” festival and the headliners have already been announced. Rock ‘n India does not mean the “genre” rock only. Being a fan you have right to an opinion. Being a promoter no artist is big or small to us. All artists are respected equally and not looked down upon just because they are a pop artist! We respect their music!” (The 2nd quote is from wiki which doesnt have a citation. So not sure)

And the above statement from someone whose official website for Rock in India states the following:

“Let it suffice to say that here: it is rock for the people, by the people and of the people.The soul of rock is contained within every individual in this generation of head banging and guitar breaking. So go ahead, make some noise and let your voice be heard. If music is religion, then these bands are the gods. Rock ‘N India being the temple of music, gives a chance for every god of music to be worshipped by its followers.”

Did you read it carefully? The organizer admits himself that he is getting a POP artist! And still he doesnt see the irony of the situation! If you wanted to get BSB, why couldnt you get them to have their own independent show? You wanna make money by staging them? Fine go ahead! I am sure there are still loads of people who are stuck at the BSB phase in their music tastes. But then why the fuck should you get them to headline a goddamn ROCK Festival? That too when previous headlining acts have been gods such as Maiden and Megadeth? If DNA wants to go commercial, so be it. But why ruin every rock fan’s dreams and month long expectations by getting a well recognized POP band to headline a ROCK Festival?

You know what this is? This is an insult to Bangalore and to all the proud Bangalore rock and metal fans. Come to think of it, this is an insult to rock fans all over India. This is an insult to the very idea of ROCK. This is an insult to Megadeth and Machinehead. This is an insult to Iron Maiden. Imagine Mustaine and Dickinson realizing that they had headlined a festival which was to be later headlined by BSB! This is also an insult to all the local Rock bands who had seen Rock in India as a great platform to promote themselves to all rock enthusiasts. I mean, can you imagine bands like Slain, Kryptos or other hard metal bands opening for BSB? Imagine the crowd they would be playing to. Would they even want to promote themselves to that crowd?

To all you Indian and specifically Bangalore Rock bands: You guys are great rockers man! Don’t spoil your image by performing in Rock in India ’10 opening to Backstreet Boys and Richard Marx. Even if you paid to perform, please realize that you are only putting your image up for sale! Every single rock fan in this country will remember you as part of the band which opened for Backstreet Boys.

And of course, there is this whole other issue with the actual Backstreet Boys fans having an open argument with the metalheads and other rock fans in public forums. It made for an awesome read though. The metal head, rightly pissed off, puts very appropriate comments about how BSB are a pop act and are not eligible to headline a rock festival (Of course you have to throw in a lot of f-words to actually get the tone of the comment). In fact, I think I will put up some of the awesome comments:

“This is so cool. BSB is touring India. I cant believe this. We deserve this. India is a place where people see rock on movies like “ROCK ON”. Guys do head bannging on listening to these shitty crap and say this is rock. This is so metal!!!. F***in son of w****s… “Rock n roll soniye” is the coolest rock song we have ever heard….”–Deathhead

Dude, you got it spot on man! Fully agree…

“The greatest WTF moment of the year, and an insult to Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Machinehead fans. You can’t get BSB under the same banner. This is like portraying Hitler as the champion of human rights.”— DB

Perfect analogy I have to say..

“after 80’s hair metal, its time for some 90’s pubic-hair pop!” –Blackmore (so he calls himself)

“HELL YEAH!!!! BSB – I suggest all dudes attending gonna wear makeup and chop off their d***s before getting their gay asses stuffed at the backstage afterparty!” —Buster

“I love the backstreet boys. They are so Metal that even Lamb of God prays to them. Chris Adler bows down to Nick (I have no idea whether thats his name). Bringing BSB to Rock n’ India is the most awesomest decision anyone can take…….” —- OLDMONKMGM

I say Sarcasm Win!

Ok enough done with the comments against BSB and the potential concert attendees. Now lets hear something from the other side here. The arguments provided by the staunch BSB supporters vary from justifying them to be a rock band to celebrating BSB’s success commercially. Here, lets take a look at some of the comments:

“this is THE shit! bsb rocks…it’s gonna be one hell of a show…it’s high time we had acts like bsb/boyzone/5ive touring india! kudos dna…looking forward for this one! i love rock music…and bsb is my favourite band, along with th names mentioned above…i thought iron maiden orchestra would make a re-run…good to know that there will be less noise this time around, ‘cos I WANT IT THAT WAY!”

“oh come on guys…backstreet boys rock! i will not call them a heavy metal band, but for sure a rockin’ group! their music might not be as heavy as bryan adams, but then quit playing games was one of the best rock anthem ever heard. let’s all hold hands and band our heads as they sing those words!”  —-both comments by a guy who calls himself ROCK LOVER

Gentlemen, let it be known that it was exactly after reading the above comments, that I had to make a sincere effort not to commit suicide. I mean..where do I start? “I love rock music and bsb is my fav band..”, “Iron Maiden Orchestra”, “quit playin games was one of the best rock anthems…”. Gentlemen, let it also be known that my search for the biggest retarded and lamest douchebag on this planet has ended.

“i love love love love love love love love love BSB!!!!!!! dey rok ! i just luv their songs” —Akanksha

Ok I think I am going to puke just looking at “dey rok”.

“bsb is the greatest band on earth aftr beatles.they r only the 2nd band 2 hav their 1st 7 albums debutin within 10.n they r only 2nd band aftr beatles 2 hav sold first 2 album with sales abuv 30 million each.even ur present rock bands cant sell even one album havin sales abuv 30 million….” —- Arij

“BSB is a pop/rock band.They are guiness record holders, sho have sold over 130 million albums!its not a joke man.how many albums have megadeth sold? they sing contemporary rock, piano rock, power ballads, they are great singers.All you people who dont know that they are also a rock band, please update yourselfs, moron, they rock, they are the best.their debue rock album “NEVER GONE”, released in 2005, was 3rd in billboard list i 2005, 11th in uk, 1st in japan, 1st in australia,1st in taiwan,3rd in europe. songs like “Incomplete”,”i still”, “Just want you to know”,”Crawling back to you”, are worldwide hits, and they also got bilboard awards for this. All those people who said they are bad, all of them are a disgrace to India, let us embrace THE BACKSTREET BOYS, who have revolutionised music. Have some respect for their accomplishments, 7 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS AREN’T a joke!, only BEATLES HAVE SOLD MORE ALBUMS THAN BSB not even GREENDAY…..” —- Ridam

Ok lets see some hard facts. YES BSB have sold more than 130 million albums. Yes Megadeth or Maiden hasnt sold more than them. YES they have many  #1 songs all over the world. YES their first 2 albums sold more than 30 million copies. YES they have an enormous fan following. And YES, they are also RETARDED and fuckin’ GAY!

But here is my personal favorite comment from a BSB fan who is justifying them headlining a ROCK festival. This is just simply awesome:

“who says bsb cant do good???dey r da biggest pop band…….dey can surely rock…..” —- Avadesh

for(n=1;n++)

{

WTF??!???

}

I REST MY CASE.

Oh and BTW, if any BSB fan or “real music” fan decides to comment to air their “views”, please feel free to do so. But be warned, that by doing so, you are only making an ass out of yourself.

Ok. In all seriousness, let me state my real concern. It is a fact that there are a lot more pop fans who like to see a bunch of guys with mics dancing as compared to metalheads dying to see their gods perform. And it is also very likely that the turnout at these pop concerts are going to be higher than Rock concerts. Now what worries me is that, once the Corporate organizers realize that they can make much more money by getting contemporary pop artists to India, they will not revert to Rock acts again in the future. And THAT my friends, is my main concern. There is no denying its possibility.

But all this apart, let me also remind the readers that as of now, (Jan 22), there is no official announcement regarding the headliners on the websites of either Rock in India or the BSB. Not that I have much hope, coz I am right now half way across the planet deciding between live shows of Clapton, Mark Knopfler and Porcupine Tree. You see…I have better options. Thankfully.

UPDATE: Well now its all official. Backstreet Boys to headline a Rock Festival. Rock IS dead my friends. At least thanks to people like those in DNA who make sure of it.

Algorithm for a Heist Movie

Alright! Time to generate an algorithm that can be applied in any movie industry to generate a heist film. We have all seen it before and we shall continue to see it again. So here is the template for the archetype heist movie:

STAGE I: THE DEAL/OBJECTIVE

Location: Some shady place with a round table. Lots of cigar/cigarette smoke hanging in the room, visible through the dim overhanging light. Bunch of men sitting around the table smoking and sporting a supercilious attitude simultaneously. One of them is the protagonist and one is the arbit rich guy who wants to add something specific  to his collection. The intended work is generally considered impossible but protagonist exhibits supreme confidence making the rich dude believe that he already has a fool proof plan but just never got around implementing it himself. Another common aspect revealed during making of the deal is the intention of the protagonist (and presumably his team members, if any) to “retire” and so is looking for a big money job that will help his cause. The deal is made after the protagonist agrees a fee.

Or alternately, the protagonist decides to carry out a certain heist for his own personal purposes.

STAGE II: RECRUITMENT

This is the stage where the main characters of the movie are introduced. These are primarily the gonna-be members of the heist team which is already in place or the protagonist recruits after the deal is made. The following lists the characters usually encountered:

1. The Protagonist (Necessarily male): Always brimming with confidence. Gives the impression that the entire universe  has been playing its part all this time so his fool proof plan can work. Sometimes he can put plans into action without other team members knowing it, which also serves as a source of his confidence  amidst lots of apprehensions being expressed by his team members. Fate varies.

2. The Computer Geek: Usually someone the protagonist knows. Is expected to be familiar with the latest in gadgets and technology. Dude didn’t make it big in  corporate geekdom as he couldnt clear IIT-JEE or other entrance exams owing to his ADD Syndrome. So decided to put his awesome programming skills to hack into alarm and security systems. Fate varies.

3. The Lock Picker: Also someone whom the protagonist is familiar with. Picks locks. Very likely to have been a duplicate keymaker a while back before he got caught by the cops trying to “misuse” his talent. Emerged from jail (where he could have met the protagonist) to join the team. Fate unknown.

4. The Driver: Mainly used for getaway purposes. Is likely to have a history of being a mechanic. Has very specific intentions with his share of the money: usually a Lamborghini or a Ferrari. Fate varies. More likely to waste his money before buying either of them.

5. The Enthusiastic kid: This is usually someone who is picked up during the planning. Kid shows enormous enthusiasm as he has highly unrealistic dreams and usually lives in the dreamworld. Sees this heist as his passport to that world and readily agrees. Sometimes made to carry out acts without being aware of the risks. Fate: Always gets shot while escaping.

6. The Girl: Always the girl friend of the protagonist. Others may have their eye on her (and this may lead to the final twist). Main purpose of the girl in the team is to distract potential stumbling blocks (like security) with the judicious usage of deep cleavages and short skirts. Necessary qualifications for the role of the girl: 34c cup size, IQ<80. Same fate as the protagonist.

A meeting is called of all the above characters where the protagonist reveals the objective. It is usually met with a lot of skepticism from the majority of the crew members and many just walk out on the idea. However, certain inevitable  personal circumstances compel the skeptics to rejoin the mission. It should be noted, however, that the protagonist ALWAYS would have made arrangement for ALL team members.  At this stage there is usually a group shot of all the team  members in a recognizable uniform sporting lot of confidence and attitude.

STAGE III: PLANNING

The entire team embarks on a lengthy planning procedure almost always involving surveying the target under disguise, noting down the positions of the CCTV Cameras, security timings and more significantly the change in their shifts. A mole maybe planted but usually the girl shows enough cleavage to secure the required information. Blueprints of the floor plans and alarm systems materialize out of nowhere. (I suspect the Right to Information Act comes handy here).The entry and escape routes are determined.

The planning usually takes place in an arbit shady place, much like where the deal was done, only with more light and a lot more electronic gadgets. The planning stage sometimes consists of the construction of a device that will eventually be used to deceive the people in charge of the item to be stolen.

STAGE IV: REFLECTIONS

This is a very short stage wherein the different characters reflect on the mission ahead of them the next day. Usually intended to provide inspiration for the job.

STAGE V: EXECUTION

The crew gets ready with all their equipment, sporting the respective costumes. The costumes are largely a function of the role of the person and the disguise it may be necessary to get near the item. Irrespective of what one wears, one always has access to ear-pieces/ walkie talkie. The Compute Geek begins his job by hacking into the CCTV feed. He then proceeds to upload a tampered feed to the security personnel giving them the impression that ALL IZZ WELL! (LOL! Couldnt resist!) The tampered feed usually involves a repeating video footage of the building where nothing significant is shown to happen. The computer geek then disables most of the alarms but for some reason, almost always, he is unable to disable the laser rays guided alarms. And this leads to the mandatory and inevitable scene wherein the protagonist and/or the girl go through the maze of laser beams by the generous use of acrobatics so as not to touch any of the beams. The protagonist then proceeds to get hold of the object after the lock picker has put his awesome skill and talent to use. They then make for the escape route. During the escape, in spite of all precautions, some alarm is always set off which alerts the guards and security begins to chase the team members. During this chase, at least one team member dies. And it is almost always the Enthusiastic Kid, and along with him, his big dreams and fantasies.

STAGE VI: TWIST (OPTIONAL)

A fallout between the team members is common. They turn against each other just before getting rewarded for their success and all may end up dead. Another twist could be the presence of a mole in the team who is also likely to die-shot by the protagonist himself. A common twist is the pulling off of an ancillary mission during the main mission which would usually have to do with something personal on part of the protagonist. Other team members need not be aware of this and they may have willingly taken part in it without their knowledge as well.

The stolen object may even be recovered by the authorities whereas the rich guy who made the deal may end up with a duplicate of the object. This is usually planned much in advance by the team members but it is not revealed till the end. Other twists also exist.

****************************************************

So there you have it. The most widely used template/algorithm to generate a heist movie. Slight variations are often implemented.

PS: This post was inspired by the Vigilidiot blog, which is really one of its kind. But I first decided upon writing this after watching, what is perhaps the first Kannada heist movie- NAVAGRAHA. Decent movie, but very cliched.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 177 other followers