27 November 2008

Bombay Update 6

More updates from Harsh Rohatgi:

Toad and Sam and their baby left the same time as I did and are back
at Sam's folks' place in Cuffe Parade. I just got back home. Driving
down Marine Drive was awesome! No traffic in sight! All well
otherwise, though its going to be messy with the hostages in both the

26 November 2008

Bombay Update 5

Thank God, Toad is all right:

We are fine thanks. Harsh was with me, stuck at statiras house last night. Heard a lot.

Bombay Update 4

This from Harsh Rohatgi:

Would you believe it? Toad is in town and a friend of his was hosting
dinner 2 buildings from the Oberoi. About 10 of us been stuck here all

Hope Toad is all right.

Bombay Update 3

From Roopak Saluja:

I heard about that from bonx right now. Yes all fine though. Disturbed
and livid but safe. Thanks

Bombay Update 2

From my friend Ashvin Kumar:

Am fine Basu thanks. But its nuts over here.

Bombay Attacks: Update 1

Here is the update from my friend Kedar Mehta:

They all are fine, thanks. Pretty crazy stuff. My parents saw the
oberoi blast and samantha's cousin is still at the taj. She is okay
but not able to get home. Awful to think that my town is under attack
like this.

Just Awful

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone back in Bombay.

I'll try and update as I keep hearing from those I know.

16 November 2008

Rediscovering Kings Of Leon On Saturday Night Live

Wow, just saw a repeat of the Saturday Night Live episode that James Franco hosted and realized how good Kings of Leon are.

[PS. That Bill Hader - Willem Dafoe sketch was great!]

I loved their live version of "Use Somebody." Apparently the song is on heavy rotation on Left of Center on Sirius (Channel 26) according to The Better Half, but that was the first time I had heard it.

Click below to play the "unofficial" video (the official video has disabled its emedding function):

I have to admit, though, I kinda liked their old Allman Brothers-esque look, the new "look" just lumps them into all the other trendy, faux-"indie" rock bands playing on KROQ these days.


Use Somebody Official Video (YouTube)
Kings of Leon MySpace Page
Left of Center Official Website

11 November 2008

A Band I Love More Than The Better Half: Glasvegas

Okay, so it's not like The Better Half discovered Glasvegas...my colleague "Bad" Andy Abdelmalek alerted me about them a while back, and iTunes had them as a Free Download a little before that.

However, it was The Better Half who told me that they were going to be at the Troubadour in January 2009 (get your tickets now!) the other day, which made me check out their song clips on Myspace, which made me finally listen to the free iTunes download...

...and I haven't stopped since.

Catchy melodies, soaring guitar riffs, pounding drums, cute Scottish accents, cheesy and inane lyrics...it's perfect!


Trust me, this is the kind of stuff that lives on in movie trailers for years to come (often accompanying shots of people looking skywards, their arms open wide).

"Geraldine" is now on an infinite loop on my iPod Shuffle (1GB, First Gen).

Click below to play the "unofficial" video (sorry, couldn't find an embed code for the official video):

Soooooo good...

PS. Okay, I mis-wrote, I don't love the band more than I love The Better Half, I just love them more than she loves them...umm...okay?


Glasvegas Myspace Page

Geraldine Official Video (YouTube)
Troubadour Official Site

A Band The Better Half Loves: Noah And The Whale

The Better Half "discovered" the very catchy Noah and the Whale. They're coming to our favorite live music venue in LA: the Troubadour.

Check out their excellent slightly Talking Heads-esque "5 Years Time (Sun Sun Sun)".

Click below to play the video:


Noah and the Whale Myspace Page
Troubadour Official Site

A Band The Better Half Loves: Little Joy

The Better Half did some digging and figured out that Little Joy is, in fact, comprised of members from The Strokes and Los Hermanos.

Which means they are going to be insanely buzzed about in the indie rock scene shortly.

Check out their laid-back groove "Keep Me in Mind".

Click below to play the video:

Oh yeah, they'll also be at the Troubadour!


Little Joy Myspace Page
Troubadour Official Site

Kenny Mayne Has A TV Show But It Is Only On The Internet

Kenny Mayne is my favorite SportsCenter anchor (though, he's not on it much anymore). The Better Half and I caught a glimpse of him at the Breeders Cup. I shouted to him, but he didn't hear me.

Anyways, ol' Kenny has a show debuting on ESPN.com called Mayne Street. I mean the amount of dreck ESPN puts up (lumberjack competitions, cheerleading competitions, bowling, etc.) you'd think they would have found a place for a show starring Kenny Mayne in their lineup.

Anyhoo, the show debuts today and I am super excited!

PS. In Kenny's own words:

I wanted to call it “Kenny Mayne has a TV show but it is only on the internet.” No one ever listens to me.

I love you Kenny!


Mayne Street Official Site
Kenny Mayne ESPN Blog

10 November 2008

"Bat"Manuel Just Made My Year!

The great "Bat"Manuel Bermudez just made my year!


This is what he wrote to me recently:


I saw Slumdog Millionaire tonight based on your recommendation.

I drove half an hour to get to the theater and waited in line for an hour to see the movie. I spent as much time getting to and from the movie as I spent in the theater watching it.

And you know what?

It was worth it. You were right: it really is a terrific movie.

Thanks for turning me on to it.



What a guy! Sigh, makes me so happy!

Everyone should watch Slumdog Millionaire!


Rotten Tomatoes: Slumdog Millionaire (100%!)
Wikipedia: Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire Official Site

Ben Lauter Is No Longer My Friend

Ben Lauter is no longer my friend.

Why? Because this is what he wrote to me:

Oh basu!, no! "The Dark Knight"? :)

Best movie ever? While I agree that TDK is indeed a very good to great film, it is by no means the ultimate masterpiece it was made out to be by the internet "geek" mafia.

As an internet-based purveyor if all things film, you know that we live in an age of instant, and unbridled hyperbole that, in reality, probably should be tempered by the passage of time and subsequent reevaluations.

Honestly, I'm surprised more people haven't trumpeted "Iron Man" as an equal, if not better, film of both the summer and superhero varieties.

Nolan is a true talent, though. He's probably got carte blanche in this town right now.



Marc Clark Knows His Movies

My old USC TA, and Emmy-winning editor of Top Chef, Marc Clark sure does know his movies.

To wit:

Did you not catch "Frozen River"? It's the best American Indie I've seen this year. It won Sundance last year.

Have you seen "Let the Right One In"? It's fantastic. The Swedish vampire/childhood love story is haunting and original.

You can skip "Changeling" and "Blindness." They're both horrendous. "The Duchess" is watchable, but ultimately mediocre.

And we'll have to disagree on "Rachel Getting Married." Anne Hathaway was great, but the film lacked a core and any honest raison d'etre.

Two great films I've found on Netflix (via friends) are "The Proposition" (Australian Cowboy movie written and scored by Nick Cave) and "Bus 174" a feature documentary from the writer of "City of God."

Krazy Krish Is My Hero!

"Krazy" Krish Prabhakar is my hero.

Why? Take a look at what he just wrote me:

We saw "Changeling" this weekend----another solid Eastwood film with a strong performance from Jolie, rather dark film. Also saw "Zack and Miri," good comedy. Liked Stone's "W"---I expect Brolin to get an Oscar nom for Best Actor. Thought "Burn After Reading" was good, not great.

And, oh yeah, he has a one-month old daughter! A one-month old!

Now that's a man who has his priorities straight!

My hero...

You're Welcome Barack

Look, the President-Elect emailed me personally to thank me!

[Redacted] --

I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don't want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing...

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,


They Were There!

A couple of people I know where actually there at Grant Park in Chicago when Barack Obama gave his victory speech.

Here is an account from my colleague Elizabeth:

At the rally? Oh yes I was! It was freaking..magical.

1 M people descended upon the park, but everyone was incredibly peaceful and patient - nobody got rowdy. It was like a total love fest.

When it got called, people went nuts. When he came out to speak, everyone bawled. It kicked a**.

It felt like the world became a better place instantly.

Here is an account from The Better Half's friend Isabel:

I KNOW IT!!! It was the biggest "WOW" to hit Chicago in its history!! It's finally sinking in today how lucky I was to be a part of such a magical night! I was talking to a friend on the phone on the way into work and started crying because it's a dream come true! And I don't cry very easily.

I must admit that I was pretty nervous going in with this huge crowd because I'm small and I was with a friend who is even tinier than me. Plus she has a bad back from a car accident. We had three big guys in our group but still was nervous.

Well, what a HAPPY, peaceable, amicable and beautiful crowd of people! I too just looked around and felt like they were all my kindred spirits and my friends! Everyone was just grinning from ear to ear and SOBER! So we were all on this natural high!!

And of course, I LOVED his speech. He is the first candidate, excuse me, President in my lifetime that I can truly say that I LOVE. I've liked others before but I LOVE Obama. How wonderful for him to say this was our victory, for all those who went door-to-door or got on the phone.

We were toward the back of the crowd because we went later. Even though all we could see was the Jumbotron, I'm glad we weren't up front. One of my coworkers was and he said that it was a bit miserable. 5 hours with no food or drink in standing room only.

Afterwards, we came back and had champagne and just reveled in it.

I wished everyone could've experienced this night. It was a dream come true for me because ever since I was a kid, racism has always galled me. It feels good to feel good about being an American again!!!

04 November 2008

A Truly Transformational Moment!

Obama, President Obama!

Jon Stewart called it!

I don't believe it!

Senator Barack Obama has now become President Obama.

I think, I'm not sure, but I think I felt a little tear in the corner of my eye.

PS. Chhoto (a.k.a. my little sister) was watching from India...great, I wanted to have bragging rights but she already knew.

Finally, Some Blue On The Board

Wait, could it be that I was panicking too early?

Oh Good God No! NO!

I knew it, I just bloody knew it...

It's all coming up Red...

See what happens when you get your hopes up? They always get dashed.

Will He Be The One?

Polls are closing and the first bit of results are beginning to filter in.

Oooh, exciting...

Politics as Reality TV, love it!