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Black Metal in Mylapore

Filed under: Uncategorized — dingchak at 6:33 pm on Thursday, June 29, 2006

A black metal festival in Mylapore?? Thats a fantastic idea bro, Muthu(Mordor ka Poojari) was the first to react.

Hiren (the CradleSnatcher) was all keyed up. I knew he’d been wanting a show of his own for a long time now. We would be headlining it of course, was all he wanted to know.
Ganesh(Count Caracass) was’nt too sure. Man I know its for a good cause and all, but I am not sure if Cradle of Filth, Children of Bodom and Cannibal corpse are what the tsunami victims want to hear right now, he objected.

I had to give it to him. We’ve got to respect their sentiments and we needed tact, shitloads of it, to pull this off. But dammit, if Falguni Pathak can get herself a tusnami garba nite- we owed it to our metal gods to do something.

We were the The Smegma Warriors- Madras’s only true death-metal outfit. We had formed the band in high-school,we had been worshipping together at the altar of Aleister Crowley(hallowed be his hame). We knew each other’s secrets-who secretly listened to Wham (Hiren), who shagged with Amrutanjan(Hiren again), who din’t swallow the blood-honey-cowdung mixture on the night of our secret band iniation ritual(all of us),who shaved his chest-hair (Hiren and Muthu), and who would screw up where and when on what song all of us at some point or other, on all songs,at all times).

Ganesh was going on and on- Are you sure we can get enough people to come? I cant see iyer maamas moshing to the dark lord’s death chant man and the college crowd only want Christina Aguilera nowadays. And what about bands? We dont have enough black-metal bands here in madras.Also, where do you think they’re going to let us play-this is the carnatic music season man, somehow I don’t see our show being billed on the same hall as Kadri Gopinath.Who is going to pay for all this?

We had heard all this many times before. Muthu spoke for all of us ‘Listen Count, this is is probably the last show before we break up. I can’t keep pissing off my boss anylonger, you cant keep fighting with your parents, and Agasthya is leaving for Australia next month and Hiren’s got to do whatever he does. If we’re going to go bust, I want to do it on my own terms and on my own show’. Hiren nodded furiously, and called for another lassi. Ganesh gave in. I started planning.

Amma wasn’t too kicked about the idea. I have nothing against your music, but why this obsession with satan? Its an invitation for Shani dosham. And the name of your band- chi, chi. Appa didn’t care. He had given up on me the day he saw our band on the terrace doing our secret surya namaskaram ritual the night of the lunar eclipse. He went back to the obituary on the Hindu. I did’nt care, I had a lot of work to do.

Hiren came over the next day. I had put him in charge of promotions and poster designs. He brought a CD with PhotoShop samples of the poster he had been working on all night.

The first sample was the image of a rock band(with their instruments) riding a giant wave. The wave was poised to strike a bunch of panic stricken people running on a beach. The caption below said

You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Tsunami 2005.

He seemed particularly proud of this one.I dint have the heart to tell him what was wrong. I told him the caption below should say Tsunami relief 2005- people might think its from tsunami early warning monitoring project. We moved on to the next one- a montage of what I think were zombies and mummies walking with their arms raised shoulder level with the backdrop of a dark gotham city version of Mount Road. The caption said Celebrate life, Chennai! Tsunami Concert 2005.

We took an oothappam break. I asked Hiren to leave his CD behind. I would work on the posters, and he would work the music shops and college campuses to spread the word around, we decided. Thats fine, I was heading there anyway. Good, lets get going, I said.

Ganesh called at 3:00. He was handling the venue booking and the sound set up. He had been on the phone all morning, and hadn’t found anyone willing to host our show. He was about to give up, the places he had called were either too expensive, overbooked,declasse, too small, or too big. I asked him to keep trying. He called back in an hour saying he had found a place and wanted me to come over to an address at Thiruvamiyur at 5.

I parked my bike next to the Tea shop. The count was lighting his Wills-Navy Cut from a dangerous looking electric cigarette lighter attached to the side of the kiosk. I dont know what would shock his parents more if he died of electrocution- the fact that he is dead, or the fact that he smoked. He ordered another and asked me to sit down. Keep an open mind he said, and introduced me to a middle aged man in a crisp mauve colorplus shirt and a psychedelic lungi sitting opposite us. The man gave me his card- “Immanuel Jayashankar” “General Manager- Sales” it said.

Mr.Immanuel will be showing us the place.

What place? I asked.

Why this one sir! Mr. Jayashankar pointed to the compound wall behind the Tea-shop. I stood up and noticed the gigantic structure behind us. The only thing going for it was it looked shiny new. I went into the compound and looked inside the building, a long wide hall with a concrete raised stage at the end. The stage had two chairs-chairs of the kind you see the chief guest sitting on in School functions. It dawned on me then,And what was that smell? This used to be a biscuit factor earlier sir, Jayashankar piped in and flipped the card I still held in my hand. “Shri Somasundaram Thirumanakoodam Marriage Hall” it said. I felt faint. I recovered, and dragged the count to the side.

Are you crazy??I dont mind having the show on my house terrace, but there’s no way Crowley(hallowed be his shame!) will be invoked in this thirumanakoodam. I put my foot down.

Ganesh showed me the Excel List print out he had been making of halls and excuses. There’s no way we can get a place within 10 days on our budget, unless you want to take this show to Tondiarpet. I sat down. This is as stupid as getting chunki to play with us in that festival ..i thought..

<aside>
Chunki was the nepali waiter at the chinese food truck near my place. We had stopped over at the place one night after we had come in 2nd last
in a local high-school rock competition. We were attacking our gopi manchurians and fried rice melancholically.

Damn, atleast we should have played over-time, and gotten disqualified. 2nd last is so humilating. Hiren was feeling particularly bad, he’d screwed up more than the rest of us that day.

Do you know why we lost? Ganesh asked,

Not enough practice? Muthu
Jealous Judges? Hiren
May be we shouldn’t have played Necrophagia? You should have seen Father Joseph’s face when you were growling “I’m your worst ***** nightmare”.. Me

Nope, we dint have a chinese in our band. Ganesh

Huh? the rest of us.

If you look at all the really cool bands, they all have a chinese lead guitarist. These judges think anyone from Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland is cool. All we need is a chinese looking guitarist with a bandana.

Hmm, there was something to that. We all looked at Chunki at the same time. 250 bucks and 2 playboys later, we had convinced him to don an iron maiden t-shirt and play the air guitar in our next rock competition.

I must admit, the idea wasn’t too bad. How could Ganesh know that Chunki would turn up drunk, and how did we know he really wanted to sing. The lesser said about the show, the better. We had to carry Chunki screaming off stage, but hey at least we got disqualified.
</aside>

..to be continued..

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