Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Brimful of Asha, Explained

By splitpeasoup in Culture
Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 07:54:20 AM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)
Music

(Or, a Short Introduction (with a Long Subtitle) to the Hindi Film Music Experience for the Ignorant but Interested Westerner)

Cornershop's "Brimful of Asha" is one of those songs that are simultaneously poppy and deeply meaningful. Unfortunately the wealth of meaning in the lyrics may not be readily apparent to most non-desi[1]s, or for that matter, to many desis either.

At the risk of diminishing the enjoyment of those who do understand the somewhat esoteric message, this essay attempts to make it clear enough for anybody to appreciate. In the process we'll be touching on Indian culture in general and specifically on that great opiate of the Indian masses, the movie industry.


Cornershop is an East-West fusion pop-rock group. The East part comes from Tjinder Singh, who grew up in England but is of Punjabi origin. Tjinder strongly identifies with his Indian heritage; the group's name itself derives from a play on the stereotype of the Indian/Pakistani street-corner grocery store clerk.

"Brimful of Asha" came out in 1997. With its catchy refrain it became a hit on US radio, as well as in Cornershop's native UK.

To understand the song, one must understand the Indian movie industry. Ever since cinema was introduced to India, most commercial movies have been heavy, sweet, musical productions. The song-and-dance interludes are not incidentals, but staples, and often are what make or break a movie. An American friend of mine was under the impression that singing was a necessary skill for Indian actors and actresses! Actually, the singing is almost always done by background singers. The background singers, of course, are not required to possess charisma or looks, and in fact in early times, care was taken to not expose them in the media, to preserve the romantic association with their voices in the minds of the moviegoing public.

Why is all this so important? Right from the beginning, movies took over the hearts and lives of common Indians in a manner that nothing has done before or since. The happiness, the tragedy, the passionate and tender love, and the conflict are all designed to speak to the melodrama-loving Indian heart. As Hindi grew more popular, Hindi movies took over the whole country. The heart of the Hindi film industry in Bombay, whimsically nicknamed Bollywood, eventually became a force larger than the one it was named after. The songs are no exception, and over the last sixty years or so filmi music, as it is called, has become by far the most popular kind in India.

Two female background singers perhaps distinguish themselves from the rest in sheer prolificness and popularity: Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar. The two, as it happens, are sisters, and recently there has been much focus on their professional and sibling rivalry. At any rate, their singing formed the emotional soundtrack of India, as it were, for many years.

That, in essence, is what "Brimful of Asha" is all about.

Here are the lyrics, with notes:

There's dancing behind movie scenes,
Behind those movie screens - saddi rani.

Saddi rani - "our queen", in Punjabi.

She's the one that keeps the dream alive,
From the morning, past the evening, till the end of the light.

Brimful of Asha on the forty-five.
Well, it's a brimful of Asha on the forty-five. (x2)

'Asha' is a pun. It refers to Asha Bhonsle, but the word also means "hope". What does "hope" signify in this context? The movies and songs are in many ways a fantasy of something better than people's own lives. For instance, Indian youth whose overbearing parents would never permit them to marry those they fall in love with may yet indulge themselves in the romances they see onscreen and hear about in these ballads. The "45", for you of the CD player generation, is the 45 revolutions-per-minute record player.

Incidentally, the word 'Asha' is normally pronounced with both 'a's long, as in 'father'. Tjinder, with his British accent, pronounces it like "Asher", touchingly making the song both more and less genuine at the same time. As a result the refrain often gets misheard, sometimes in quite hilarious ways. "Grim poodle basher" is my personal favorite.

And singing
Illuminate the main streets and the cinema aisles.
We don't care about no government warning,
About the promotion of the simple life and the dams they are building.

What is he talking about? The movies and songs are an escape: they are what allow people to forget important concerns, at least for a while. The reference to dams might need a bit of explanation. In India, these often are unnecessarily huge and costly projects that are designed that way with the aim of being points of prestige, and besides, for lining the pockets of politicians and contractors. They displace thousands of people and impact the environment in massive ways. The project currently approved on the Narmada is one present-day example. So these are issues that people should be worried about.

But this escapism is not presented as being bad. The spirit of the song is that movie fantasy is a lovely and comfortable thing.

Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, everybody needs a bosom, (x3)

Isn't that a beautiful line? But the last one's even better:

Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, mine's on the forty-five.

To me, at least, that's poetry.

Mohammed Rafi - forty-five. Lata Mangeshkar - forty-five.
Solid state radio - forty-five. Ferguson Mono - forty-five.
Non public - forty-five.
Jacques Dutronc and the Bolan Boogies ...
The Heavy Hitters and the chi-chi music ...
All Indian radio - forty-five. Two in ones - forty-five.
Ovvo records - forty-five. Trojan records - forty-five.

These are historic icons of filmi and pop music. Rafi and Mangeshkar are other background singers. Solid state radio is self-explanatory. All-India Radio is the one, public radio station that existed all the decades before privatized radio stations and FM came to India. Two-in-ones are radio-cum-casette players. I confess the other references are strange to me.

7-7,000 piece orchestra set,

Huge orchestras are intrinsic to filmi music. Of course 7000 is a little hyperbolic.

Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow; mine's on the RPM...
(fadeout)

Why do I find this song so remarkable? Most people, when talking of Indian culture, tend to make statements which fall in two categories. The first consists of glorifications of classical Indian culture, philosophy, tradition, and so forth. The second consists of lamentations about the corruption, poverty, dirt, and how the whole country is going to the dogs.

It is relatively unusual for someone to touch on the spirit of the ornery hard-bitten yet cheerful street-corner Indian, the one who always has to worry about the expenses for next month but yet decides on an impulse to splurge on hot samosas. Cornershop manages to celebrate and showcase this joie de vivre, and to do so with skill and sensitivity, and for this, they deserve to be congratulated.

Footnotes:

  1. desi: (contemporary Hindi colloq.) Indian or person of Indian roots, or more generally person of Indian subcontinent roots.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o Cornershop
o stereotype
o hilarious
o Narmada
o Also by splitpeasoup


Display: Sort:
Brimful of Asha, Explained | 103 comments (58 topical, 45 editorial, 0 hidden)
I hated that song... (4.80 / 5) (#2)
by onallama on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 01:39:01 AM EST

Simple, incomprehensible, horribly repetitive, played way too often for way too long.

After reading this, I'd like to hear it again...nice work. Thanks for the insight into something I just didn't get the first time around.

I agree (none / 0) (#4)
by epepke on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 01:48:17 AM EST

That was my least favorite song on that album, but I figured that was why it became popular. I always thought is was "queer funny ration on the 45," which I could never figure out.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
That's weird... (none / 0) (#17)
by laotic on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 08:04:03 AM EST

...but to increase our mutual appreciation of human diversity, I'd like to say that I am someone who found the song fantastic. I didn't care much for the lyrics, so I'm greatly thankful for this article, but the repetitiveness and... ugh... well, the song generally, sort of sent tingles down my neral cords.

On the other hand, if you don't like it, you probably didn't like Punjabi MC's Mundian to Bach, or Philip Glass...

Sig? Sigh.
[ Parent ]
da difference between the Mundian and Brimful (none / 0) (#95)
by axxad on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 02:32:21 AM EST

Ok Brimful of Asha is an original and new song that is relevant to the desis living today. It was created by and for desis of today's generation. Mundian to bach ke is a cheap-trick, dirty little remix of an old ass Punjabi song that could be sung by the desis of today but could also be sung by lecherous, swill-drinking punjabi assholes aristocratic and of the soil alike from the past. Um.. if it sounds like I don't like punjabis that much, you could be right. On a completely irrelevant note, punjab should be given independence so it stops fucking with the regional politics of India and Pakistan together. They can do thier inter-marriage and other bullshit without our contemptuous sharing of rights. And lastly, don't take any of this too personally or seriously.
__________________________________________________

I'M WAITING! They've denied me posting for a while, you knwo: rule of too many posts. The diaries section should be converted to free-form art entity. I could research AI code for it. WhatDOyouThink?
[ Parent ]

Oh, you opened a whole new world to me... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
by laotic on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:39:56 AM EST

I didn't know much about the Punjabis, and I thought the song was based on the Knight Rider series theme, which I used to watch as a kid.

That's probably why the Mundian to Bach remix appealed to me - I couldn't understand a word of it anyway. That political backdrop I was completely unaware of.

I likened it to Asha just because of the drive, the repetitiveness if you like, the feeling, sort of.

I understand why you would dislike a song because of its cultural background. Same anywhere, I guess.

Sig? Sigh.
[ Parent ]
I apologize (none / 0) (#97)
by axxad on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:02:10 PM EST

I apologize for saying anything against punjabis. OK the mundian to bach ke song DOES grow on you and YES it does sample the Knight Rider theme. Moreover, I apologize if I provided any political backdrop: it was not my intention. I went and read my comment again, and yes, the mistake was done by me. Still though, the difference prevails between a remix of a old cultural favorite and a completely new song.
__________________________________________________

I'M WAITING! They've denied me posting for a while, you knwo: rule of too many posts. The diaries section should be converted to free-form art entity. I could research AI code for it. WhatDOyouThink?
[ Parent ]

No need to apologize... (none / 0) (#98)
by laotic on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 03:35:53 AM EST

it is clear you are not inherently a bad person :)

I agree there is a fundamental difference between an original song and a remix and until quite recently I thought that the difference was also qualitative, but certain remixers lead me to believe that sometimes, just sometimes, a remix can bring as much new and creative as a new song.

I'll quote some examples, though you may not agree with me fully - there's especially the Verve Remixes album which, I believe in some places surpasses the originals (if you look through the optics of an X gen person). Also, the Kruder&Dorfmeister duo created a spirit in themselves, so much that you forget they were actually remixing old things.

I wasn't aware that Mundian was based on an old traditional song, but chances are I would not like it as much as I do the song. After all, Punjabi MCs may prove to be a short-lived summer-time starlet, but not knowing much else than Asha by Cornershop either, I am led to believe that they also are a one-hit band. Nothing wrong with that though.

Sig? Sigh.
[ Parent ]
listings and listmania (none / 0) (#99)
by axxad on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 04:25:12 AM EST

if they have MLP on this website. I suggest they get a listmania going on as well.

then again, maybe I'm asking for way too much too soon.


__________________________________________________

I'M WAITING! They've denied me posting for a while, you knwo: rule of too many posts. The diaries section should be converted to free-form art entity. I could research AI code for it. WhatDOyouThink?
[ Parent ]

will you please (none / 0) (#100)
by axxad on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 04:26:14 AM EST

give us a few remixers you been listening to as well as what kinda music you're into right now
__________________________________________________

I'M WAITING! They've denied me posting for a while, you knwo: rule of too many posts. The diaries section should be converted to free-form art entity. I could research AI code for it. WhatDOyouThink?
[ Parent ]

I'm not much into... (none / 0) (#101)
by laotic on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 04:50:16 AM EST

making up lists of My Favorites, because I always miss somebody, but tune in to the Groove Salad on SomaFM, it's what it says, a nice, cool groovy stream of soothing music.

Also, the Austrian public radio FM4 (sorry, German site) is the kind of music that the kind of person I am likes most of the time.

As for remixes, I've just listened to the Jazzanova Remixes (1997-2000).

Kruder&Dorfmeister (sorry, heavy on flash) have their own special style.

etc.


Sig? Sigh.
[ Parent ]
Good job! (none / 0) (#44)
by Shovas on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 11:02:19 PM EST

A K5 article actually changed somebody's mind! Honestly, my faith in humanity has been restored. All I ask is that people give an article a fair chance to change their opinions. I feel we all give too little chance to other people's views to modify our own ideas.
---
Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
---
Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
[ Parent ]
I like their other songs better myself... (none / 0) (#52)
by splitpeasoup on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 12:32:31 AM EST

...but this one had a pretty cool meaning behind it that people don't usually get, so I wrote about this one.

-SPS

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
[ Parent ]

7-7000 (4.66 / 3) (#3)
by epepke on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 01:44:42 AM EST

I'm not sure that this helps, but 7 is the minimum number of musicians that you can have in an orchestra for a musical play according to American (and I think UK) Union rules.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


Cool insight (4.33 / 3) (#5)
by SanSeveroPrince on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 02:56:44 AM EST

You must really love the song to dedicate an entire article to its meaning.

Either that, or you really can't afford another CD?

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


Trojan records (3.00 / 1) (#12)
by Ward57 on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 06:47:52 AM EST

is an independant music label here in the uk. It was releasing records in oxford in '97 when I came up, but I think it's beaten a tactical retreat to london now.

Long before '97 (none / 0) (#77)
by BringBackATV on Sat Aug 09, 2003 at 04:54:03 AM EST

Trojan was originally a specialist reggae label with its first release in 1967 - its logo is iconic to UKians with taste.


--People aren't property
[ Parent ]
Interesting Topic. (4.00 / 2) (#14)
by Akshay on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 07:13:06 AM EST

Well-written, touches a raw nerve, and personally, I love the song mainly because it's refreshingly different from the mindless bhangra-pop that that the Balti Belt belts over and over again.

I do, however, have a few nitpicks with your analysis. For starts, considering all those non-Indian musical references, the singer's presumably deliberate mispronounciation of the word "Asha", and the choice of language for his song, English, what if I say that this represents a British Indian perspective, more than an Indian-only perspective? Surely, you'll agree that, relatively speaking, it is not a popular song in India.

Its just a song... (2.16 / 6) (#20)
by thaths on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 09:02:17 AM EST

Liked your writing style.  But think you are making too much of a song.  

I confess I've never heard this song.  But, you are reading too much meaning into it.  Do you have to exaplain every excruciating detail of the song?

Thaths

Re: Its just a song (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by gokul on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 09:17:37 AM EST

Do you have to exaplain every excruciating detail of the song?

Wasn't that why the article was written ?

[ Parent ]
Sure, you could write an article about ANY song... (5.00 / 2) (#29)
by laotic on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 08:33:15 PM EST

but if you knew this one, you'd probably like the story and vote it up.

Sig? Sigh.
[ Parent ]
Every excruciating detail? (4.66 / 3) (#43)
by Shovas on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 10:56:43 PM EST

I thought it was just about right. After all, he didn't knock us over the head with a 2x4 with the "RPM" reference, after explaining the the 45 LP reference earlier.

Actually, I quite liked this article and I voted it to FP. People need to read and get to know the world they live in. This article does that quite well, connecting it with a pop-culture item that the West has long been entrenched in. I think it's possibly the pride that it's our own thing, so to speak, that prevents people from wanting to hear other culture's experience with the pop-culture concept.
---
Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
---
Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
[ Parent ]
My favourite part (4.60 / 5) (#24)
by it certainly is on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 09:55:58 AM EST

was that nobody bought the tune until Norman Cook remixed it. While most people whinge about him because he has twice the record collection and half the discerning taste of Gilles Peterson, he certainly brought the tune up-tempo.

If you've heard the original, un-remixed version (or anything else on their album), you'll realise just how useful it was to give the track a kick up the backside. Witty and urbane they may be, but they're also ploddingly slow and dull.

You haven't mentioned the origin of the band's name. Cornershops are a British cultural staple, and are a regular landmark in the British urban landscape. Typically, it's a corner/end terrace house that has had the ground floor converted into a general store. The family still live upstairs, and you can usually see family and friends running in and out of the house while you're shopping there.

It's stereotypically run by an Asian family, where the parents own the shop and make their children work the till, rather than paying for staff. The prices are always higher than supermarkets, but the convenience of walking for one minute to get milk instead of walking or driving for 20 is unparalleled. Sadly for multicultural Britain, this is the nearest most of us whiteys get to Asian culture -- the Asian shopkeeper is something of a stereotype. Fortunately, comedies like Goodness Gracious Me! and the Kumars have helped to close the cultural bridge.

BTW, "Asian" in Britain generally means people originally from India, Pakistan and their surrounding countries. It doesn't mean the Far Eastern countries (CJK, etc) like it does in America.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong (4.50 / 6) (#26)
by loveaxelrod on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 12:39:55 PM EST

...was that nobody bought the tune until Norman Cook remixed it
Wrong - the track broke fairly well in it's original form, then came on again much bigger when the remix came out.
While most people whinge about him because he has twice the record collection and half the discerning taste of Gilles Peterson, he certainly brought the tune up-tempo.
I'm sorry but Norman Cook, though having a good collection, has the production and remix skills of an idiot. There isn't a Cook song around which isn't either (a) a sped up or (b) or a slowed down version of another song. Well Done Norman. I'm sure it was very taxing to move the pitch bender. Seriously Cook sucks ass.
If you've heard the original, un-remixed version (or anything else on their album), you'll realise just how useful it was to give the track a kick up the backside. Witty and urbane they may be, but they're also ploddingly slow and dull.
As far as I remember the album went to down as a storm - and rightfully so. Slow and Dull, I can't recall that, I seem to remember a psyched out 6 minute sitar groove which was incredible. That album is well worth tracking down. So, again wrong.
You haven't mentioned the origin of the band's name
Er...yes he did. So wrong again.
------------------
He's got his eye on the gold chain, that the next man's wearing
[ Parent ]
Ooh, an angry one! (4.66 / 3) (#56)
by it certainly is on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 03:22:11 AM EST

Wrong - the track broke fairly well in it's original form, then came on again much bigger when the remix came out.

You must have lived in a different 1998 from me. Perhaps you're into Asian music, most of the country isn't. The tune was damn well unheard of -- it might get played a few times on Asian radio stations, but not non-Asian mainstream pop stations. Then Norman remixed it, and you couldn't move for hearing it. It went straight to number one in the charts. "much bigger" is an understatement. Cornershop hated that.

I dissed Norman Cook. I'm "wrong" for not dissing Norman Cook enough? You're a hard man to please. No matter how untalented the man was, he was a hot ticket in 1998-99. Top of the charts. The A-list. He made records that people loved, so what if they're just speeded up loops of other people's records?

As far as I remember the album went to down as a storm

Yes, a storm of controversy because it didn't have the remix on it. Much like people bought "Spaceman" because its Levi's advert debut convinced them it was techno, not rock. People are stupid. As it says on Amazon's page for the album, one review admits Okay, I put my hands up. I, wisper it, only bought this album because of ( You know whats coming next) "Brimfull of asha". He's not alone. To mainstream pop tastes, the album is slow and dull. To my tastes, it's plod rock. Give me some latin jazz any day. I'd be less critical of the album if you weren't such a big meanie.

I'm happy to admit I'm wrong; I overlooked the first paragraph of the body text. But still, I like my explanation better.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

It's that remix that got me riled (none / 0) (#67)
by loveaxelrod on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 10:12:21 AM EST

You must have lived in a different 1998 from me
Maybe I did - I'm fairly certain that I heard the original 90% more than I heard the remix.
I'm "wrong" for not dissing Norman Cook enough?
You're damn right! you can never diss Norman Cook enough even if you try.
Yes, a storm of controversy because it didn't have the remix on it
I think we do live in different times, as far as I remember all the people at the time were totally blown away by that record - never expecting it to be so good.
Give me some latin jazz any day
Damn right, but I think the Cornershop album may go down as one of those cult classic things. Though to side-step since you seem to know - recommend me some nice latin jazz records...
------------------
He's got his eye on the gold chain, that the next man's wearing
[ Parent ]
Latin Jazz (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by it certainly is on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 04:28:29 PM EST

My favourite jazz artist of all time is Dizzy Gillespie. He's more Jazz than Latin, but he did invent the whole bebop genre along with Parker, Getz and Monk. Diz 'n' Bird at Carnegie Hall is a marvellous recording. The Dizzy Gillespie Story or Dizzy's Diamonds are pretty good compilations of his stuff.

After Dizzy, my favourites are Tito Puente (try Dance Mania) and Jorge Ben (try Africa Brasil).

If you want a good introduction, get Latin Jazz. There are a million compilations called Latin Jazz, but this one's brilliant. I bought it for a friend's birthday. It's only a fiver, and it has a whole load of classics on it -- El Gato, Soul Limbo (the cricket theme), Mas Que Nada, South of the Border, Cantaloupe Island, The Girl From Ipanema, Estampa Cubana, and so on. Of all the TGFIs I've heard, Lou Rawls' is still my favourite rendition. Of all the Mas que Nadas I've heard, Elza Soares' is still my favourite.

Finally, if you like eclectic, the INCredible Sound of Gilles Peterson is still the finest such album on the planet. Even better than his Worldwide CDS, or AnotherLateNight compilations. It's the album that introduced me to how good latin jazz could be.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

two words (none / 0) (#79)
by Battle Troll on Sat Aug 09, 2003 at 04:19:59 PM EST

Michel Camilo.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
not just in asian music scene (5.00 / 1) (#81)
by brownpaperkittens on Sat Aug 09, 2003 at 07:15:55 PM EST

You must have lived in a different 1998 from me. Perhaps you're into Asian music, most of the country isn't. The tune was damn well unheard of -- it might get played a few times on Asian radio stations, but not non-Asian mainstream pop stations. Then Norman remixed it, and you couldn't move for hearing it. It went straight to number one in the charts. "much bigger" is an understatement. Cornershop hated that.

The original went down pretty well among John Peel-listening indie kids as well, of course. Topped his Festive 50 poll in 1997. I think it was following the not uncommon path of: indie hit; re-release or remix; mainstream hit (plus all the people who liked it first time round complaining that everyone knows it now). And, as you say, Norman Cook had the midas touch back then (saleswise, whatever you think of his records) - there was no way it could have failed.



[ Parent ]
Their version of Norwegian Wood was worth hearing. (none / 0) (#64)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 08:18:54 AM EST

Once.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Norman Cook (none / 0) (#84)
by Mohammed Niyal Sayeed on Mon Aug 11, 2003 at 09:35:16 AM EST

I'm sorry but Norman Cook, though having a good collection, has the production and remix skills of an idiot. There isn't a Cook song around which isn't either (a) a sped up or (b) or a slowed down version of another song. Well Done Norman. I'm sure it was very taxing to move the pitch bender. Seriously Cook sucks ass.

While I'm no big fan of Norman Cook's electronic doodlings, I do still recall (and frequently listen to) his bass playing for the Housemartins. He should have stayed with rock music performance, as opposed to production, but I suppose that's what happens when people take DJing jobs, then come to the conclusion that "Hey, I could do these remix thingies, as well".

Thankfully, Mark Riley never came to any similar conclusions.


--
"You need to get your own point, then we can have an elaborate dance fight." - jmzero

[ Parent ]
Apparently, (5.00 / 1) (#91)
by baron samedi on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:34:19 PM EST

Norman Cook didn't really enjoy The Housemartins all that much, and the band did eventually break up due to artistic differences.

That being said, The Housemartins where one of my favorite bands back in the day...


"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

Not surprised. (none / 0) (#93)
by it certainly is on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:02:15 AM EST

Have you heard how similar a lot of Housemartins songs are? Try playing the intros of "Sheep", "Five get over excited" and "Happy Hour" back to back.

Still, their cover of "Caravan of Love" is far superior to the Isley brothers' original. Paul Heaton went on to do bigger and better guitar ballads in the Beautiful South, even if they can't hold on to a lead singer to save their life. Northern twat.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Nah (none / 0) (#28)
by spacejack on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 08:14:37 PM EST

I bought that CD when it came out. Liked the tune just fine in its original form. The whole disc is good.

[ Parent ]
Cornershops Sound Strikingly Similar to Delis (5.00 / 3) (#55)
by Juppon Gatana on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 03:01:31 AM EST

Just for the record, this is extremely tangential. Read on at your own risk, for I travel far into the land of irrelevance.

Here in New York City we have stores very similar to Cornershops. We call them "delis" (pronounced DEH-lee), a shortened version of "delicatessen." I think the main difference is that delis are not usually part of a residence, and are their own isolated commercial space. These things seemed to be localized to NYC, or perhaps to large cities, because most Americans who are not familiar with NYC have no idea what I'm talking about when I say deli. These stores usually sell made-at-your-request sandwiches, soda (pop, for you non-Yankees), snack food, and some convience items like paper towels and laundry detergent. Some stores that still fall into the deli category are quick sit-down restaurants, but they are few and far between.

The ethnicity of deli owners was for a long time traditionally Jewish, and though there still remain some famous Jewish delis here, my personal experience suggests that most are now owned by East Asians or non-Jewish Middle Easterners. Very rarely do I see children working in the stores; there are almost always two to three hired staff members or adult members of the owning family. Many delis are open 24 hours or until late at night, and having more than one adult staff member in the store is a matter of safety.

Delis are virtually everywhere in New York City, and like Cornershops, their prices are inflated above those at the supermarket, but their convenience makes them worthwhile. I live in a commercial neighborhood, so this is not exactly usual, but within a quarter-mile of my place there are at least five delis, and probably a few more that I'm forgetting. It's about a 35-second walk to get to the closest one, and it's great to be able to leave at midnight for ice cream and be back in less than five minutes.

- Juppon Gatana
能ある鷹は爪を隠す。
(Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
[ Parent ]
Actually, it's Coke (none / 0) (#73)
by Wain on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 11:11:36 PM EST

The East and West are split on the soda/pop thing, the South has more people referring to it specifically as Coke, no matter what the actual brand.

[ Parent ]
We have them in oz (none / 0) (#88)
by Cackmobile on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:03:10 AM EST

But ours are usually owned by Italians. And they sell soft drink aka soda

[ Parent ]
Fatboy Remix vs. Original (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by Blarney on Sat Aug 09, 2003 at 05:08:57 PM EST

was that nobody bought the tune until Norman Cook remixed it. While most people whinge about him because he has twice the record collection and half the discerning taste of Gilles Peterson, he certainly brought the tune up-tempo.

I like Fatboy Slim very much - he's a pop genius in my humble opinion. His stuff just sounds right, like a Jimmy Page guitar solo with every note on - maybe a bit sloppy, to push the analogy further, but still beautiful.

Around here, the Detroit and Windsor radio stations played the original Brimful of Asha quite a bit, but didn't bother playing the Fatboy Slim remix. I suppose that, despite our techno scene, this is still a rock music area at heart.

[ Parent ]

Explicate your lyrics (2.75 / 4) (#27)
by phraggle on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 12:44:04 PM EST

This is really good and informative, but perhaps a better place for it would be Everything2?

It amazes me... (5.00 / 5) (#75)
by sanity on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 11:42:05 PM EST

...how K5ers spend so much energy explaining why things *shouldn't* be on K5 - despite their obvious quality, thoughtfulness, and entertainment value.

Perhaps you would prefer nothing was posted to K5 - then it would be beyond criticism!

[ Parent ]

The other references (4.50 / 2) (#48)
by jjayson on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 11:11:09 PM EST

(This was part of my editorial comment, but I thought others might care.)

# Ferguson Mono -> I think this was a type of radio
# Jacques Dutronc -> A French psychidelia artist in the 70s
# Bolan Boogies -> a refernce to early kinda-punk artist Marc Bolan perhaps? don't know.
# chi-chi music -> probably refers to gay music (chi-chi = gay) as in early UK dance music.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." -

+1FP - This is great (4.00 / 8) (#58)
by Big Dogs Cock on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 03:49:36 AM EST

If this article gets voted up, I'm going to do one explaining the lyrics to Barbie Girl by Aqua.
People say that anal sex is unhealthy. Well it cured my hiccups.
You're on (none / 0) (#62)
by bugmaster on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 08:09:13 AM EST

Can't wait for your article... Post a link if you already have it written elsewhere, and it didn't get voted up :-) Urge to analyze Ace of Base lyrics: rising...
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Brilliant! (none / 0) (#65)
by spiralx on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 09:55:40 AM EST

Looking forward to it!

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

As usual adequacy.org was there first (none / 0) (#103)
by Phillip Asheo on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 07:28:58 PM EST

As is so often the case, there is not much in the way of trolling that has not already been done by the masters of the art.

Refer to dmg's brilliant analysis of Kylie Minogue's Spinning Around if you want to see for yourself...

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Beautifull song, great article (none / 0) (#66)
by Gabriel Radic on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 10:02:00 AM EST

There is something really really funky about this song, and I mean funky in a good way. Did Cornershop release anything else after that? It's one of the few songs I like and support listening on repeat.
Gabriel Radic, emigrant la Paris, designer de interfe?e grafice.
Yup (none / 0) (#69)
by nebbish on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 11:05:18 AM EST

Im not a fan but they are a well established band, still going and still releasing tracks.

Id heard that they moved away from the poppiness of Brimful of Asha though and went a bit experimental.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

You should check out their recent single (none / 0) (#76)
by d s oliver h on Sat Aug 09, 2003 at 12:57:04 AM EST

Lessons Learned from Rocky I to Rocky III. I also heard they broadcast a live 24-hours remix of one of their tunes over the internet.

[ Parent ]
things you never knew (none / 0) (#72)
by Xenophon on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 07:07:32 PM EST

I've listened to this song many times and enjoy it very much on the surface level. Thanks for showing me how to appreciate the true spirit of the song.

congrats!


ms=nv;

stay tuned (2.00 / 4) (#78)
by wji on Sat Aug 09, 2003 at 08:11:41 AM EST

i've got a whole pile of Skinny Puppy analysis ready to submit. at least i would if i didn't realize that 90% of kuro5hin doesn't want to hear my ramblings about stupid songs they haven't heard of. SO HOW DID THIS GET VOTED UP? perhaps because you are all stupid. yes, that must be it.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
I look forward to your article about ... (none / 0) (#83)
by pyramid termite on Sat Aug 09, 2003 at 08:57:41 PM EST

... Skinny Puppy lyrics (I like SP, BTW) as I will answer it with a long and detailed analysis of every song on the Shaggs' Philosophy Of The World in EXCRUCIATING detail - although I'm afraid that it won't be as EXCRUCIATING as actually hearing them would be.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Because Skinny Puppy doesn't have any relevance (5.00 / 2) (#85)
by gandrews on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 02:22:21 PM EST

and this is a nice, concise, unpretentious and globally-relevant analysis of a song about a phenomenon which (this white American presumes) most K5 readers don't know much about, but would be interested in. I mean, in my case, I got an entire book on Bollywood and burnt out on it, so I'm glad to glean some information in smaller chunks. what exactly would your skinny puppy analysis consist of? most peoples' analysis of music seems to relate mostly to how they feel the music relates to their own individual lives. that kind of crap is largely boring. social analysis is more interesting.
--------------------------------------------------
The Dancing Sausage Web Journal - Radio Free Hold Music
[ Parent ]
fuckin good reminder (none / 0) (#94)
by axxad on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 02:09:27 AM EST

thats probably why my fiction got dumped
__________________________________________________

I'M WAITING! They've denied me posting for a while, you knwo: rule of too many posts. The diaries section should be converted to free-form art entity. I could research AI code for it. WhatDOyouThink?
[ Parent ]

Opening Punjabi? (none / 0) (#86)
by Erno Rubaiyat on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 08:09:35 PM EST

I have recently become very interested in this song. So much so that I ended up buying it from Apple. I love the Bollywood references, and the weaving of contemporary culture with that of a few decades ago. I do however wonder what the opening Punjabi? means, any thoughts?

er

Anything that can be made, can be made black.

Is it Punjabi? (none / 0) (#90)
by baron samedi on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:27:23 PM EST

Because my Punjabi friend says he doesn't recognize it. Although Tjinder Singh is certainly Punjabi. Reet (my friend) thought it was Urdu...
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
couldn't say (none / 0) (#92)
by Erno Rubaiyat on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:47:00 PM EST

I couldn't say what language it is, I made the assumption based on what I thought I read (that some of the references were Punjabi). I cannot tell the differences between the languages of the region by sound or otherwise.

thanks anyhow,

er

Anything that can be made, can be made black.
[ Parent ]

that's what I call a worthy song (none / 0) (#87)
by zenyatta on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:51:56 AM EST

Brimful of Asha used to give me goose-bumps even when it had no context whatsoever. I loved the puzzling lyrics, the singer's unusual accent and the infectious energy of the guitar riff. When I later heard an interview with Asha Bhonsle many pieces of the puzzle fell into place, yet the song remains as engaging as ever. I wish there were more like it (there probably are, they're just drownded out by the noise).

Fatboy Slim (none / 0) (#89)
by baron samedi on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:26:12 PM EST

Fatboy slim did a great mix of "Brimful of Asha", which just rocks the planet.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
Late, late comment... (none / 0) (#102)
by Metatone on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:47:31 AM EST

Damn, I was meaning to write here earlier, but then time passed, ah well, here we are.

I've only been able to listen to the Norman Cook version tonight and I'm disappointed by the lack of Indian musical elements... Kind of like the song all the same though, but does the original version mix the cultures musically more?

On that note, anyone else aware of "Addictive" by "Truth Hurts"? It's a bit discordant, the first time I heard it I was not impressed with the craftmanship. The refrain however, oh god, talk about songs of my boyhood... I loved "Addictive" song for it's attempt to merge musical cultures. Thoughts anyone?

Brimful of Asha, Explained | 103 comments (58 topical, 45 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!