Sunday, May 18, 2008

I like Bollywood music.

Perhaps you've noticed the new music links way down there?

Giving my recent computer problems, I'm quite grateful for that list.

It started with this song.

Chiayya Chiayya was featured in the movie Inside Man, at the beginning, setting the tone for a kick ass movie. (That I really want to see again.)

For a long time, CC was the only Bollywood song I listened to - after all, I don't know Hindi. (Or Tamil, but the Kollywood songs came later.)

But I explored youtube, checking out the other songs from the movie - like Dil Se Re.

My love for the music grew slowly until (I believe) the spring semester, when it just exploded. I now have 71 Bollywood and Kollywood songs in my favorites. (All youtube videos - the internet rocks!)

I still like songs in English, who doesn't? But when I'm on the computer or doing chores, it's Bollywood.

With one exception that I put in the Bollywood links folder - Summer Wine by Ville Valo and Natalia Avelon with scenes from Dil Se. This person also made a video for that cheesetastic classic I'm Too Sexy featuring Shahrukh Khan. (And yes, he is sexy.)

However, I'm the only one in my family who likes it or any non-English music. My mom likes the 12 Girls Band, and that's about it.

My sister said I'm the only one in the world who likes this music, but that's not true. She can't even be happy that I'm listening to newer music! (Though I still love the Beatles.) She says I like weird music, but she likes er er er, weird music. I bought her the Juno soundtrack and she likes the vampire song. I used to send her Bollywood videos and she never gave me feedback. So I had to ask her face-to-face what she thought of them. She likes music she can understand. Fine.

As to why I like it - I don't know. I can't say why I like any music.

However, I found a great quote about foreign music this weekend from Steve Hochman at Spinner, and it fits.

Sure, not understanding something can be a barrier to enjoyment. But at times it seems it can also be an enhancement. There's something in the purity of sounds, something that changes when meaning is assigned to them, whether the real, literal meaning or the Buffalax treatment. And there is certainly a lure of the exotic, enhanced by a sense of true foreignness. Listening to some French pop recently spurred the question as to whether the same thing in English would be just kind of average, while in a breathy en Fran├žais chanteuse delivery it's sexy and romantic. Frankly, it's a lure that's not just a matter of the verbal language but musical too.

Of course, there's also a snob factor. "Oh, you listen to songs in English. How cute. I appreciate the finer things in life." But that's not my motivation, I swear! I like the music because I like it. I should also note that I don't love every song in Hindi - there's variety, they're not identical or anything.

I really wanted to put a video in this post, but I can't pick one (or even 2)!

Okay, this one rocks:

And so does this one:

And this one:

Last video, I swear. Many videos feature groups, and it would rock if someone put this one on at a party or dance and everyone started dancing instead of Thriller or something else.

One last thing about the movies themselves - I've never seen one. I haven't seen Bride & Prejudice. However, I recently ordered the movie Dil Se from Amazon, and I can't wait to see it. (Bollywood movies are also at Netflix! How cool is that?)

ETA: More thoughts on the quote from Hochman. I agree that singing the direct English translation of a foreign song would probably suck. I mean, what sounds better musically - "Yeh Ladki Hai Deewana" or "The Boy Is Crazy"? (At least I think that's what it means - it's what the subtitles say.)

But I love translations of some English songs - especially the ones from animated musicals (Disney and Dreamworks). I love the French version of "Colors of the Wind" and the Hebrew and French versions of songs from the Prince of Egypt. These are great songs to begin with, and they sound great in another language. Not just French and Hebrew - there are many different languages available for most Disney songs. (At least on youtube!)

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