TREND SLAUGHTER FEST from Cyclopean Eye Productions (with Undergrind & Gigbox)

TREND SLAUGHTER FEST is an extreme metal event organized by Cyclopean Eye Productions, a new extreme metal venture in association with The Undergrind and Gigbox. This six hour-long event brings together a tight line up of 6 extreme metal acts, and is headlined by Orator, an old school death metal band from Bangladesh.Trendslaughter Fest - Cyclopean Eye Productions

Band line up- Orator – As intense Death/ Thrash band from Bangladesh influenced by Tantra and the Aghora philosophy, Orator has organized and performed at several local festivals with international acts like Manzer (France) and Infernal Curse (Argentina) in their country. The band has played at international festivals in Thailand and Sri Lanka and has released a 7” vinyl on Legion of Death Records (France), a full length CD on Butchered Records (USA), a tape on Eternal Transmigration Records (Argentina) and is soon to release a full length CD on Barbarian Wrath Records (Germany). Dying Embrace – Pioneering Death/Doom act from Bangalore who have been in existence for twenty years with releases on international labels (7” vinyl on Legion Of Death Records, France) (Compliation CD on Psychic Scream, Malaysia) and have the honor of being India’s oldest Death Metal band. Gorified – An integral part of the Bangalore underground scene, Gorified can vouch for rabid support from people who listen to Death/Grind music.

Other supporting bands include – Warhorse Chained (Kerala)-Brutal Death metal Culminant (Bangalore)- Melodic Death /Thrash Bevar Sea (Bangalore)- Stoner/Doom.

Date: Saturday, March 19, 2011

Venue: Kyra

Entry: Rs. 300

First band kicks off at 3PM, so come early!

(This event is promoted by a close friend of mine – Sandesh Shenoy, perhaps one of the most dedicated extreme metal fans ever. Sandesh has used his professional marketing experience to bring together this event and combined with his extreme enthusiasm I wish this event gets to be as successful as his extremism.)

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Blank, noiseless…

Life has become mundane – work, chores, TV to some extent, everything seems ‘normal’. Now that I am ensconced somewhat comfortably (too comfortably in fact) in my professional life, I am trying to get a proper perspective on what’s in store for me professionally.

There is always that strong feeling that I get even after achieving certain goals that there’s a lot more to decide out there. Decisions, decisions, decisions, these make up the fabric of our life – professionally and personally. I dread the fact when things go according to plan and all the pieces fall perfectly in place and the flow is smooth. There is always the feeling of dread that something will go wrong. There needs to be disorder in life. A disorder that breaks the monotony and on solving the issue brings in inner peace and satisfaction that would lead to an expensive self-treat.

Self absorption is a critical element in this process and with no strings attached this is a critical factor mapping my brain and serving as a guide for now. There are no crossroads, there are no domestic troubles, there are no financial pressures… there is a devil’s workshop in play as I delve into ‘unnecessary’ issues.

I rant and I write to keep in touch with the word, with what is supposedly my ‘core expertise’. I started as a write, grew as a writer and writing has framed my career so I do owe a lot to the written word. This ramble comes about as a response to the amount of time I have on hand and the fact that the only things I can think about are food and a good walk.

Don Draper & the depressed men

Moving towards the finale of Mad Men Season 3, I do sense that we are seeing the breakdown of the character of Don Draper. From the cold creative genius with a highly logical and sophisticated bend of mind, we are now exposed to the emotional patriarch who is struggling to bring his family together. However, he has not lost that risky touch in his personality that has nearly got him exposed time and again.Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men

Season 3 continues to enthral, however a casual fact that I noted was the intensity of suspense that was levelled specially towards the end of the season. I see a slight shift in the writing strategy, moving towards suspenseful endings that may be closed in the next episode or later on in the series as the situations move from one characters personal environment to another. Saying this, it still does not dilute the essence of the show and does bring in some tense moments for the viewer.

The season endings in Mad Men are never explosive and considering the fact that there are major shift in the timelines, every season is a natural continuation of the last. Keeping with Don Draper, I watched Jon Hamm on Conan and the banter between the host and Mr. Draper turned towards the rumour that Hamm was supposed to play Superman in the next instalment of the series. Considering the fact that they were planning to put together an older version of the Man of Steel, this version did not hold good with the studios and was eventually scrapped. Pity, this would have put a whole new spin on mid-life crisis among superheroes and Hamm would have made an ideal Clark Kent with his almost handsome nerdy looks and the build to match.

Sticking with TV serials, Dexter makes its way to Star World, but it would be a pity to watch it on this channel considering the fact that most of the dialogue would be bleeped and critical but graphic scenes would be edited out by the good people at our censor board. Doesn’t make a difference anyway since I am up to speed with Dexter’s latest ‘projects’ as he keeps the blood flowing.

Valentines Special – The Walking Dead

The Walking DeadI watched the repeat telecast of ‘The Walking Dead‘ today on Star World. My first tryst with this series was when I read about Frank Darabont making this unique series based on a monthly comic book. Now I respect Frank Darabont for the movies he has made, the last being ‘The Mist‘ that shocked me with its twist ending and the shock was smart, clever and brave.

Now back to ‘The Walking Dead’. You have this Sheriff’s deputy wake up from a coma brought about by a gunfight. And then you have zombies all over the place. Taken in by some survivors the deputy then sets out in search of his family. The series includes the familiar and beautiful face of Sarah Wayne Callies who played Sara Trancedi on Prison Break. The zombies are pretty creepy and are accurately depicted (as per generalised impressions).

The most unsettling moments are the ones where the survivors make their way through the towns, cities and rural America – areas that are usually full of life but now remain desolate and are falling into ruins with the zombies being the majority here.

For all its violence and blood letting, ‘The Walking Dead’ is a thrilling drama and the premiere definitely set the tone for greater expectations as we go ahead. Being on a series trip (the others being Mad Men and Dexter) I believe there’s a stirring revolution happening on the small screen. There is some brilliant work coming out from US cable TV and there are more stories to be told on this medium. Here’s to TV and may the best roll out. To think I cursed this same medium some months back…

The madness, the madness…

Mad Men. Sexy, suave, smart and the confidence to boot – that’s the nature of the men down Madison Avenue in sixties New York, amidst the creative squalor of a decade that encapsulated a decadent culture and the need for more. Having heard the ooh’s and aah’s from the entertainment critics of US cable TV, I tried my hand at watching Matthew Weiner‘s Mad Men, backed by the pleasant experience of watching Dexter Morgan butchering vermin over 5 seasons.Mad Men

Two seasons down and having watched an entire season in one go over the weekend, that would give a fair idea of where my loyalties lie when it comes to taking a stand on the ad execs at Sterling Cooper.

Mad Men is a showcase of the lives, times and cultural ethos that enveloped America in an era of spiritual and sociological turmoil that would further be exacerbated by the Vietnam War. The spirit of capitalism was at its peak and a Stepford society was never too far for the ‘modern’ family of this time.

Mad Men simply takes these cultural and counter-cultural references and incorporates them with enough dramatic licence to build a solid case for the rise of individualism. With strong characterisations backed by brilliant acting and a script worth its weight as emphasised by network ratings, Mad Men has well and truly enamoured me enough to ‘order’ the third season.

Highly stylised without losing its essence, Mad Men revels in its characters. Every smirk, raised eyebrow, catcall, every bit of sexism and political incorrectness that was suitably ‘justified’ in that decade is delivered with the right mix of realism and drama. The incorporation of elements that we know as pop culture phenomenons adds to the smartness and the flexible reach of the show.

And then there’s Don Draper – the morally ambiguous protagonist of Mad Men who besides being the Creative Head of the agency, finds time to womanise, hide his past and be the family man that every American women worth her Stepford badge aspires for. Jon Hamm is simply brilliant in the role that has defined his star power in Hollywood. The supporting cast stands out as well with an impressive turn by Colin Hanks as the good padre. I always thought he was in Hollywood cause of his papa, but I guess he is justifying his presence nowadays.

As Season 3 makes its way to me, I shift back to the time when I thought ‘Lost’ was cool and ’24’ really kicked ass. WTF Mad Men does all this and more without raising a finger, save Don Draper’s fists of fury against a sarcastic comedian who may have been responsible for breaking his family.

Here’s to the men on Madison Avenue, especially the Sterling Cooper gang. I love the womanising, the drinking, the smoking, the selfish genes. You guys have really made an impression on me.