Prime Edition

Rage Against the Money Machine

Bhanuj Kappal remembers a time when the indie scene was actually independent — before the bands didn’t dance to The Sponsor’s tune. He gives us, The Scammies.

BHANUJ KAPPAL  1st Apr 2012

Illustration by Dev Kabir Malik Design

t was business as usual at the JD Rock Awards held last month at Mehboob Studios, the Mumbai hipster set's new favourite hangout. Bollywood B-listers hogged the limelight, they kept out the real fans by making it an invite-only event, host Luke Kenny bored everyone with his asinine antics (at least he's consistent), and the few scenesters who managed to get in drowned their embarrassment at the open bar. This is the usual script when a cash-rich corporation hungry for indie cred teams up with scene promoters hungry for any sort of attention, even if it takes the form of condescension and abuse. But this time, an exclusive set of scene regulars decided to fight back with their own set of music awards, the Scammies. After weeks (okay, hours) of serious planning at their swank office suite in Janata, they finally held their exclusive awards ceremony on the much beloved pavement outside Juhu's legendary Juben Wines. Here are some of last night's big winners:

Greatest Rock Band Of All Time: This was a highly contested category, with nominees such as indie rock veterans Vayu, Brahma, Sceptre, and young upstarts Zero, but the honours went to Delhi hard rock giants Parikrama. A teary-eyed Subir Malik dedicated the award to Deep Purple, the Doors, Woodstock, groupies and "that one prick at our shows who keeps asking about our debut album."

A succession of anarchist punk rockers, left-wing alt-bros, Satanist metalheads and hedonistic cock rockers made their way to the stage to shake The Sponsor’s hand. Where ever a hardcore act railed against corporate excess, The Sponsor was there in huge font size on the stage backdrop.

Best Young Artist: 2011 was a great year for new artists, with Chennai singer-songwriter Harsha Iyer, Bangalore mellow-drama act Sulk Station and Delhi producer Dualist Inquiry in the running. However, they were all to go home empty-handed, as a drunk Gary Lawyer jumped on stage, grabbed the award and drove off on his Harley shouting "18 till I die, b**ches!"

Best Concert: You guessed it. Metallica was always going to win this one, even if Lars Ulrich hadn't threatened to sue all of India's engineering colleges for piracy. The thrash metal titans are known for their incendiary live sets, but this time they outdid themselves, inciting a riot at their Gurgaon concert without playing a single note. Their non-show inspired Indian rock fans to perform their first real act of rock and roll defiance, and for that Lars, everything is forgiven. Even that drum sound on St. Anger.

A bit of explanation

Return of the Zombie RajeshJAI ARJUN SINGH

Love, Sex aur Internet DhokaAISHWARYA SUBRAMANIAN

‘The plangent silence of the shadowy bedroom’Siddharth Singh

The Language of High ArtDEEPANJANA PAL

Best Live Music Venue: The Hard Rock Cafe franchise beat off competition from page 3 favourites Blue Frog (Mumbai and Delhi), dingy metal dive B69 (Mumbai) and the legendary Someplace Else (Kolkata) to clinch this one. Madonna and Elton John merchandise, over-priced food and booze, condescension towards broke college kids, terrible live sound and groan-inducing playlist all reek of total punk rock attitude. These guys really don't give a f**k, about music or anything else. The great rock 'n roll swindle, indeed.

Best Music Publication: Rolling Stone looked set to win this one, but they were upstaged by new entrant NME India. The Indian edition of the iconic UK music publication only launched their website last month, but they've already taken the scene by storm. Highlights include a brilliant revisionist history of Parikrama, an overwrought piece that introduces brilliant "new" artists who made it big 5 years ago, and the invention of a brand new word (its'). With an editor who name-drops The Black Keys and swears in front of the "suits", NME India looks set to rule this category for years to come.

Lifetime Achievement Award: A highly emotional crowd got to their feet and applauded as the indie scene's saviour, muse and lover made his way to the stage for this special lifetime achievement award. Yes, I'm talking about The Sponsor. There wasn't a single dry eye in the audience as the organisers read out the long list of names The Sponsor has assumed during his life-long association with original independent music. A succession of anarchist punk rockers, left-wing alt-bros, Satanist metalheads and hedonistic cock rockers made their way to the stage to shake The Sponsor's hand. Where ever a hardcore act railed against corporate excess, The Sponsor was there in huge font size on the stage backdrop. Whenever a posh venue opened its doors to scruffy indie rockers, The Sponsor was there forcing the audience to drink his overpriced beer. For ensuring that any attempt at truly transgressive and revolutionary art was co-opted before it could gain momentum, the indie scene owes a huge debt to The Sponsor.

After all, who needs integrity when you can have branding and be on TV?

 
Newer | Older

Creative-for-SG


iTv Network : newsX India News Media Academy aaj Samaaj  
  Powered by : Star Infranet