Apr 3, 2012

Nagaland Music: Lots on the way. And more big bands

by Al Ngullie

Music in Nagaland is so totally happening. I recall the early years when the biggest rockers that hit the fan  were these totally tight-crotched, war-ravaged denim-pant-wearing, greasy haired, loud bunch of barbarians called 'Squadron' (remember something called North East Beat Contest during the Jurassic age when the band landed the first ever big noise prize for Nagaland in history?). Man, bands like Squadron, Abiogenesis, The Oleanders and the then-4th NAP Jazz band were major big. During the age of the Dinosaurs I mean.

The winds of change have shifted and the seeds planted by the early rockers from Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung are not only bearing fruits - they are now hatching rocks. Heavy ones.

So what has changed since I got lazy and hadn't been updating this site?

  • Hitherto-Christian Rock band Divine Connection and Alobo Naga & The Band are still making waves after winning the MTV Kurkure Desi Beat Contest (2010) and sneaking into Vh1 top 40 (2011), respective to the bands.
  • Just yesterday, I threatened Alobo Naga that I would request him to sing Lady Gaga's 'Poker face' if he doesn't hand me his EP for review. The poor guy popped in with his CD so I'm working on a review now.
  • There's a guy called Among Jamir, from Nagaland, who plays bass for Indian rock band 'Agnee.' The band's song "Hello Mr. Andheron" is the theme track for new Holllywood superhero flick 'The Avengers."  
  • Those painfully gorgeous bunch of Naga ladies who have been draining your saliva and making you go "Hiyohey" for no good reason other than you're big time jobless - The Tetseo Sisters - have released an album called "Chapter One:The Beginning." The 12-track album is sung entirely in Chakhesang Naga dialect and I'm working on a review. No, Chakhesang Naga is the only dialect I cannot speak. Cough. Cough.
  • Divine Connection's leader, mentor and founder Mhathung Odyuo has left the band. The veteran bassist is now releasing bass tutorials  - I'm told he is the first Indian bassist to actually fashion a bass guitar tutorial. I think he is right - I have never heard or come across any bass musician in India come up with a tutorial yet. 
  • I have started writing for the national entertainment magazine Eclectic Vibes. The magazine rocks. My first piece was on one of our very own Christian rock pioneers of the modern times, Kilang Pongen. He is currently based in Bangalore. Go gab a copy, Scrooge - there are things even Google can't get you free!
  • Kilang Pongen is releasing an album where Brett Clarke also plays - never heard of Mr. Clark? Then you have never heard of anyone called Amy Grant, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Jewel etc etc. I interviewed Brett earlier and is still working on a piece for publication.   
  • British Iron Maiden Tribute band Higher-On maiden played Dimapur in December 2011. Man, those guys are so awesome, you can't stretch you mouth into an 'O' big enough to say 'AWESOME.'
  • Former-Petra singer the legendary John Schlitt was here in January - that guy is so totally serious time awesome! One of the guys responsible for forcing my darling mom to buy me a guitar and make me sing in the bathroom.
  • Currently I'm working on two reviews for publication: Eluveitie, the biggest melodic/death meatl band to grab Europe by the collar in 5 years and slam the continent to the mat and another, Dream Theater's 'Systematic Chaos' and a revisit to 'Images and Words.' 
  • Also, I have plans to interview India's own shredder Edwin Fernandez. Let's see how it goes. 
  • American 90s hard rock heroes Firehouse were scheduled to play Dimapur on April 7 but it's postponed after drummer Michael Foster couldn't land the Visa. I'll be updating you on this. 
  • There's more that happened. JFYI this blogsite beat every Google competition for everything-to-do with Metallica's India concert in 2011:) :) 
  • And, this blog now tops all searches associated with Nagaland and Music. I'm quite shocked because even nagamusiconline.com is nowhere on the Google search rank now. Thanks you, so much, dear readers, visitors and spammers. We are tops. Brag. Brag. Brag. Brag. 

Will start updating this blog soon. Keep rocking and thank you so much for reading. 

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