Friday, October 13, 2006

Have you ever given any thought as to why Oriental music,
(Oriental meaning Eastern as opposed to the Occident or West) is written and performed in the highest musical register audible to the human ear?

Is it just me or do the actual sounds of the instruments and voices get higher the farther East that you travel..think of the plinkity plinking sounds from the Far East like China and Japan. Hmmm.

I am positive that many of these pieces can only be truly appreciated by mammals that have developed sonar like bats and dolphins. Why is that?

Could it be that my simple, barbaric, Western, ears simply cannot appreciate the dynamics of our measely 12 note scale being split into 24 and then set to 24/8 time? Probably.

I have often wondered if the British Empire destroyed the first 66 of the 88 keys on every last one of her Majesty's pianos left behind as they bid a hasty retreat from their ambitious Colonial plan to make Earth a British planet.
The answer is No. Oriental civilizations developed music about 5,000 years before the invention of England.

Now this may be an oversimplification on my part but some of those female vocals..I said some...sound like the mournful, wailing, cries of a forcibly restrained, feral, cat being sudmerged in a bucket of ice cold water while having a tourniquet applied to neuter his overactive, little, felid, balls.

Mee ee ii eoo ee ii ee ouwwch!

This may sound like a harsh and completely uncalled for assesment to those of you who adore the yells and bells of these musical genres...
as well as those of you who support the reproductive rights of feral cats.

Unfortunately this is my blog and I am entitled to display my largely, uninformed, views on any rubbish of my choosing .

I am also personally confounded and completely bewildered by the appeal of Bollywood musicals...
Aside from staring at eye candy like Mallika Sherawat,

Realistically I cannot view these ubermelodramatic and over simplistic whimsicals without the benefit of ingesting mass quantities of 'happy' pills.

Actually I can understand that dealing with the myriad of complications and daily struggles involved with living in the world's largest democracy, that would be INDIA, requires a cinematic, sunshiny, mental, enema...
much like Westerners submit to with those horrid, mind numbing, Romantic Comedys.

No doubt 4 hours of priaprismic smiling dancers lip synching their way over the delightful ultrasonic shrills of PlaybackSingers is not without it's charms. It just isn't my cup of tea...

....which is my segue to reconnect the British Indian connection.
Were you aware that Freddy Mercury of the legendary British Rock Band QUEEN was Indian. He was born in Zanzibar but was shipped off to school back in Bombay..I mean Mumbai.

Born Farrokh Bulsara in 1946,
Freddy later identified one of his main musical influences as Lata Mangeshkar who was an Indian Playback Singer. Apparently one of his other musical influences was Liza Minnelli...
Freddy of course did declare that he was "gay as a daffodil" and he was a cat fanatic!

His olympic sized 4 octave (baritone/tenor/falsetto) voice is easily one of the most distinct and amazing voices in recording history.
If you have ever seen the LIVE AID '85 concert you will have no doubt noticed that Freddy was incomparable. He stole the show.
While so many other big name stars floundered on stage, Freddy OWNED the crowd.
His passing on November 24, 1991, was a milestone in the recognition and fight against AIDS.

So Farrokh/Freddy may have been called the first Indian ROCK STAR...Sorry Freddy belongs to all of us.

I leave you with the last few lines from Queen's

The Miracle
The one thing we're all waiting for,
is peace on earth and an end to war,
It's a miracle we need,
the miracle, the miracle,
Peace on earth and end to war today,

That time will come
one day you'll see
when we can all be friends


  1. Great post, HE. One thing I often say to myself when reading your blog is "hey...that never occurred to me!"

    I still miss Freddy. What a voice and talent! I didn't know anything about his heritage, although I figured out his orientation while I was still a kid because it was so obvious!

    Scaramush, baybee! Have a great weekend!

  2. OMG, I can't escape bollywood wherever I go! Not you too!!

    Lata Mangeshkar is still around and singing at the age of 70+.

  3. To me, choreographed "martial" art warriors artfully smacking each other to the sound of bambo and garbage can lids being whacked, while moving their mouths to totally un-synched voice overs is the most halarious and pathetic art form I've ever seen, almost as bad as "professional wrestling". But it doesn't have to be musical to be painful to the ear.....screeching little old Vietnamese or Korean ladies make my ears bleed!

    And yes, Queen as to Lynard Skynard was like a bluebird song to a warthog snort. But maybe that's just me.......

  4. I quite enjoy the colours and sounds of Bollywood but I loved Freddy. I can't stand that high-pitched, Canadian caterwhalling though - Celine Dion.

  5. tidalllllgrl,
    scaramouche will you do the fandango.....
    Bismillah! no-,
    we will not let you go-let him go-
    Mama mia,mama mia,mama mia let me go-
    Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for meeeeeeeee!

    Freddy was awesome. I don't understand how I ended up talking about him but now I am listening to Queen and starting off the weekend....

    Tonight Im gonna have myself a real good time
    I feel alive and the world turning inside out yeah!
    And floating around in ecstasy
    So dont stop me now dont stop me
    cause Im having a good time having a good time! another classic queen song!

    Thats a LATA singing!
    I am glad that you didn't rake me over the coals with my Bollywood critique...what do I know?

    THE michael,
    I think my bias goes back to Disney and those damn Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp! I like to blame Walt for most of my psychological scarring.

    Queen was an amazing, unique band..very sophisticated compared to almost anyone else..but that voice..

    Ive paid my dues -
    Time after time -
    Ive done my sentence
    But committed no crime -
    And bad mistakes
    Ive made a few
    Ive had my share of sand kicked in my face -
    But Ive come through

    We are the champions..

  6. cherypie,
    Aha..CATerwauling..very good.
    Poor Celine...

    Every night in my dreams
    I see you. I feel you.
    Dat is how I know you go on.

    Farrrr across the distance
    And spaces betweeeeeeeen us
    You have come to show you go on.


    C'mon that doesn't send a chill down your spine...

  7. I loved your post. I love Queen and Freddy. Then I read that last comment and you dared to sing/type a Celine song. I feel like my ears are bleeding.

  8. reyspoutine10:34 p.m.

    you're quite right there, mr. mercury sure had a great voice. queen II (well, side two at least) and a night at the opera are two of my all time favourite albums. the best part of bohemian rhapsody comes right after you stopped...'so you think you can love me and spit in my ey-ey-eye', rip roaring powerchords copied by every kid who had a guitar in the 70s and beyond.

    i must admit though, two of my favourite songs on 'opera' aren't sung by mercury. roger taylor has a spectacular set of pipes on 'i'm in love with my car' and brian may's serene and dreamy vocals are a perfect fit for '39'. But that album is remendous from beginning to end. where does it rate in your book of the top 1000 albums?

    bollywood cracks me up. we watched bride and prejudice a couple of months ago and burst out laughing as we proclaimed in perfect unison, "It's a musical???!!!!"

  9. reyspoutine the corrector10:36 p.m.

    better yet, that album is 'T'remendous.

  10. Queen and Freddie never really turned my crank for some reason, but Mallika Sherawat sure does.

    Can you or (better yet) you, Gautami, arrange a date for me? I'll be by to pick her up at 7.

    This is a strange but wondrous post. Like, who on the planet yesterday was wondering: why do people in eastern cultures sing so high? I bet you were the only one.

    No, I never wondered why the heck eastern cultures sing at that unbelievably and (gulp) irritatingly high tempo or whatever, but seems to me it's mostly the Chinese, isn't it?

    I dunno, maybe they wear their clothes too tight?

    They did have that thing of forcing their feet into the smallest shoes they could, much to the detriment of their pedal bone structure.

    Am I going off on a tangent here? I think so. Got your phone message but too late to call.

    I'll call Saturday to see whether you've confirmed that date because I'll need to book a flight.

    We are the champions.

    The word verification thingy is gzbum.

  11. Just want you to know that I visit your blog for the use of the word 'schwing'

    She's a Killer Queen
    Gunpowder, gelatine
    Dynamite with a laser beam
    Guaranteed to blow your mind

    The word verification is brvshjt.
    That's some brvshjt.

  12. Freedy mercury,,,the best tears tears...superb songs.

    Am also proud that ive been listening to oriental music since i was born...!

    Oriental music for me is Tamil (my mother tongue), and local music (malay, chinese, thai, japanese and korean.)

    Tamil influence me alot, and if you hear tamil musics u will love it. u can get free streaming from here:,

    I have to bragg, but tamil songs are much better than hindi (bollywood) songs because we preserve the originality of the ancient carnatic music and notes. Hindi is much more diluted now. Even lata mageshkar sings tamil songs now and then, her voice is heavenly, but we do have great legends in tamils who inspired even lata.

    Its nice to know culture, every culture is defined by its arts and the western culture is no less that the eastern. Its only the misinterpretation that sucks.

  13. anna,
    Poor Celine, we Canadians HATE it when somebody does anything wonder all of our stars live in the States.
    Doesn't anyone have a craving for her in their swimsuit area?

    Queen has made a big comeback on my playlist thanks to daughter #2 and her 'discovery' of the band.
    39/I'm going slightly mad/Hammer to fall/Miracle/Love with my car/and of course under pressure are all on heavy rotatation.

    Our neice who just returned from a year in India brought over a disc tonight of her dancing in her sari for her students..she looked amazing and it was very cool..she loved Bollywood movies..she vowed to make us watch them all winter!

    withering heights,
    Mallika kah kah kah..speaking of pedal bone structure..OK look,
    I'll call her for you but thats it!

    Sorry that I haven't been around much but I have been passively watching TV in lieu of was so nice to not have to 'interact' with my entertainment for a few days.

    I am not the King of Schwing!
    My buddy Mr.Snippets who is now officially swooning ladybloggers full time IS the K of S!
    I have done everything that I can to shift unwarranted sympathy his way and now it seems to be working...therefore I will now add to his mystique by planting blatant pronouncements regarding his whatchamacallit...his mojo!

    Wow..that is very interesting..I am glad that you did not take my ridiculous theory to is just rambling.
    I am not sure what our Culture is other than a Politically Correct Consumerism based on instant gratification...I think that we are still in the process of creating something but individualism and cafeteria style social engineering sort of keep us from having anything definitive...I don't know if that makes any sense? I'm goin' to bed it is 2:30am.

  14. You f***er. That's going to be in my head all night now, only this time she's got a beard!

    bffasdat - the truth behind that lyric that no-one can ever understand in "Living On My Own" ( I always thought he was singing 'Be an Old Lady'

  15. Early in the post you placed the sound of Yoko Ono's voice in my brain, but you redeemed yourself (and saved yourself an ass-whuppin') with Freddy. I saw him in concert twice (Queen was my first ever rock concert) and loved every minute. I put him up there with your own Burton Cummings as the top of the heap of pop-rock vocalists.

  16. the mezzo and bass ranges are carried by percussion in eastern music. which i like.
    the singers are carrying on a style which is percieved as 'classy''s left over from the not too distant days of unassisted amplification. if you'll notice, the classic traditions of every people on the planet tend towards the higher notes...for that very reason.
    meh; it aint for everybody.
    this was a public service announcement from buffy st. marie (FirstNations, that iz...eeeeeeeeeeeyahyahyah, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyah yah yah ya ta HEY!)

  17. cherrypie,
    You cannot erase
    from your head no matter how hard you scrub!

    That is a good idea for a post..people can send in their weirdest misinterpretations of lyrics..
    which is another thing that you can never erase from your head no matter how hard you scrub.

    I loved how they raked poor Yucko over the coals in The Rutles..the girl whose father had invented the second world war...
    her voice is very unique and someday I would love to hear what everybody thinks about her real role in dismantling the Beatles..which I think were pretty much done by then saw Queen!

    Within likes Burton I personally do not prefer his stylings but I do like Bryan Adam's 'sand and glue' voice..
    I saw him before he made it big at the same pub where I fought that biker chick (dumb things at snippets)...
    Canada has never produced a charismatic (read flamboyant) ROCK STAR of Freddy's caliber. EVER!

    first nations,
    and the painted ponys go up and down....
    It certainly isn't for everyone but hey those poor bastards never had TV what the hell else did early man have to do..they had listened to the same stories for thousands of years UGH! so why not have a competition to see who could make the most annoying sound in the world..just like Jim Carey in Dumb and Dumber.eeeeaaaaahhhhh!

  18. Don of conscious-living was highlighted in LIP (
    hope u can share ur thoughts on Don

  19. Do you have anymore pics of WW's bare arse? Please post, if so.

  20. HE:

    Apparently you never called Mallika Sherawat because she never called me from Bollywood.

    There were no two-hour flights to Bombay anyhow. I checked.

    Now about Andrea's post and preference for Burton, some of his best stuff was done AFTER the Guess Who.

    Like Glamour Boy, etc.

    And you and I both say Bryan Adams when he was playing the Norwood before he got all famous, didn't we?

    And about MJ's request for more pix of my arse, which I DON'T believe you have...I can always resurrect the ones from my apartment...

    Sorry I didn't call yesterday. I was hibernating, mostly, something I plan on doing more of today.

  21. I hate to disagree with WW, nice guy that he is, but most of Burton Cummings' post-Guess Who stuff was ... well ... inferior in my never-so-humble opinion. And as for Bryan Adams -- I like his voice but mostly dislike his music. My neighbour hung out with him in high school.

  22. after seeing Mallika Sherawat's photo on this post, I just have to say that the sheer engineering behind her dress amazes me as much as the Empire State Building, nuclear fission, manned space flight, the Great Pyramids and fractal geometry

  23. Andrea:

    No, please do disagree...and be wrong.

    No, just kidding, of course.

    I liked his old stuff but I thought his best stuff with the G.W. was one of the last albums he did with them, that one with the red cover and their faces poking through cut-outs...

    I dunno, I'm not the triva buff, HE is. And then once they split up, I thought he had his best stuff of all, although only intermittently.


    I'll comment on behalf of HE, who appears to be taking the day off even with that new post on the Repeatles:

    She and I had a date lined up for last night, no thanks to HE, but I couldn't get to Bombay on time.

    We took a raincheck.

    I certainly second your motion with all my emotion...

    The word verification ftxgay.

  24. jamnasra,
    Don should be celebrated, he is the genuine article. I fear that I may have scared him off with my boisterous mischief...alas I fear that I am dead to him.
    I love his stuff, he is such a gentle man. Thanks for the heads up.

    My word woman he is 'trolling' on his own and certainly doesn't need any more encouragement. Let him post all of the bony ass pics that he wants I will have nothing to do with that sort of tawdry tomfoolery!

    without pants,
    I think that you can safely presume that she was not impressed with the picture of you 'skipping' down the hall sans panties. I guess that she likes a little more meat with her potatos.

    Please give up trying to sell and his Mom are the only people left in Winnipeg who still see him as a recording artist and not as a Vancouverite who owns part of the Salisbury restaurant chain. While it is admirable, it is akin to flogging a dead horse in this neck of the woods..although he is blessed with perfect pitch (1/10,000) and a wicked 70s 'stache!

    Bryan probably lost a lot of lunch money to bullys in he can say neener..or le neenere since he is living in France..which is where WW should live because as the song goes they don't wear pants...
    that is so pedestrian to pronounce France the same as pants...
    in lieu of saying Fronse like they do ..
    well in Fronse.

    It is quite apparent that she neglected to study Newton's theory of Gravity...I examined that photo for quite some time and still had trouble explaining it to my cerebellum reptilian cortex was overloaded and offered little help, useless actually..
    oh well I'll have to take another look.

    You are right about the Great Pyramids of Yowza!..I mean Giza.

    still without pants,
    Word verification 'ftxgay' is referring to your bareback mountain post!
    I think that it is time to move on from Mallika Shurgotwood. Yes I am afraid that train has left the station...
    that horse has left the barn...
    that dawg don't hunt...
    are you getting my drift...or do you need a couple more?

    Hey Glamour Boy give up on your Burtonian Revivalist Movement, just let it go cause...
    I'm scared, you know I'm shakin'
    I'm layin' awake thinkin' about it now
    I'm terrified
    Never been much on his music
    But I sure enough just fell down on my knees.

  25. LOL Bollywood is eye-candy most of the time..thats abt it :)

    Fredzz was THE BEST. And the good die young.


  26. HAHAHHA!

    Trully cafeteria style...lets call it Cafe HUmanity!

  27. It is eye candy and high pitched wailing and jumping around! I suppose that those simple by the book storylines offer an escape that is not mentally that is fine...especilly when you are trying to entertain 1 billion have to work at the lowest common denominator.

    It is cafeteria style..hmm I like this about this and I like that about that and there now I can just make up my own thing! Thank goodness that only took a couple hundred thousand years!
    Hopefully we can accelerate the program now and get on with it.

  28. Hi....that is very good. ok.


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