I Love The Tuts! — August 25, 2017

I Love The Tuts!

The Tuts are an all-female British “three-tone” DIY working-class pop punk/power pop band with hard-driving instruments, highly melodic vocals, and lyrics that touch on subjects ranging from personal relationship issues to struggles against sexism to disgust with right wingers and Tories (a topic that will always be close to my heart). But more often than not, their songs are also very fun and amusing.

The members of the band come from three different backgrounds (hence the “three-tone” quality that they have talked about): The drummer is a black woman with roots in the Caribbean, the bass player is, as she describes it, “boring white British,” and the lead singer and guitarist (and general leader of the band) has one parent from Pakistan and the other from India. They may occasionally make an obvious effort to call attention to those differences, but, on the other hand, it’s true that it is still unusual to see a small rock band (a trio in this case) that is fully ethnically diverse.

The Pakistani/Indian singer, Nadia Javed, probably draws attention to her ethnicity most often, but that’s fine with me, because I am such a big Indophile. And Nadia appeals to my Indophilia a lot when she uses her cultural background in her stage act and her costumes. For instance, there was the time that she sang her pop punk songs while wearing a maang tikka headpiece that made me think of my favorite actresses and singing stars from old Bollywood movies… And if you don’t know how much I like that sort of thing, please see my other blog!

There is, admittedly, nothing that I can find here that draws upon traditional Indian music (or Bollywood music), but on the other hand, the Tuts play a kind of music that has deep roots for me, in my own life and the culture that I came of age with. And Nadia reminded me of this fact, herself, in a video about their tour with The Selecter, when she said: “We were playing to crowds of middle-aged men, who got this, like, nostalgic rush when they’d see us live because it would take them back in time to when they were teenagers.” Yes, I guess she was describing me! (Although, so far, I’ve seen them only on YouTube and probably won’t be able to see them live until they hop on a plane to New York.) But that is only one of a number of reasons why I love the Tuts.

And now here are a few of my favorite clips and videos:

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Starting This Blog Up Again! — August 24, 2017

Starting This Blog Up Again!

After 7 years, I have decided to start this blog up again. The WordPress blog that I have been working on during most of this time is Dances on the Footpath. I have been using Facebook to post about other things, but things on Facebook just drift away from view too fast… Also, the Facebook posts that get responses for me are either the political posts or the posts about the things that I cover in Dances on the Footpath (which means, mostly, posts about classic Indian films and related music and dance). So, I have decided that my posts on pop music really do need another home after all.

The introduction that I wrote for this blog still mostly applies. But I have taken the other blog that I talked about out of public view, while I am putting this back into public view. So this blog and Dances on the Footpath are the only ones that will be publicly visible for now. (This blog actually has been hidden for years, but I am bringing it out again. I think I will keep it out, too, but let’s see what happens…)

And Everyone Should Remember Monsoon! — June 23, 2010

And Everyone Should Remember Monsoon!

I liked this song a lot when it first came out, and I consider it a contributing factor to my later, long-developing love for Indian music (or, one might say obsession, in recent years). I’ve also been listening to Sheila Chandra’s music on and off ever since, meaning for almost 30 years (and listened to her solo work quite a bit in the late ’90s, actually). But I’ve never seen this particular video for “Ever So Lonely” – other clips or videos, but not this one. And it is quite amusing, I must say.

Monsoon… Yes, they did Indian fusion music, but their music was also close-to-perfect ’80s British pop.

And For A Long Time, I’ve Had a Weakness for Lorrie Collins — June 18, 2010
[Absolutely Essential Blondie Post – Taken Down for Revision] — June 8, 2010

[Absolutely Essential Blondie Post – Taken Down for Revision]

[Note written seven years later: Once you get a sense of this blog and my tastes in pop music, you will realize that Blondie is absolutely essential here. Blondie may be counted as a place where it all started, too. I was a big fan of Blondie hardly before most people heard of them, early in 1977, when I was just 15 years old. (Oops, I just revealed that I am that old! Oh, well.) (By the way, that was before the breakthrough album; Plastic Letters was the one that made me a true fan. And I had heard some of the first album too…) Unfortunately, the Blondie post needs drastic revisions, not in small part because all the YouTube clips have disappeared. But I will get back to this!]

Can I Just Go Back to Pop Music Here? — June 3, 2010

Can I Just Go Back to Pop Music Here?

I have another blog to which I devote a huge amount of time in my life (partly due to the fact that I’m mostly unemployed, but never mind).  It’s a blog devoted to Indian films and related music, especially of the Bollywood variety, especially from the 1940s and 1950s.  Back in 2007, that blog originally had been something different, a blog devoted to “global” pop music, more or less (though focusing more than anything on my then raging infatuation with M.I.A.), and it was part of my then-latest attempt to revive an old part-time “career” as a rock critic.  But a number of events, influences, and memories converged, which had the effect of causing me to fall in love with classic Bollywood and related films and music in a very BIG way.  

I have another blog that’s presently becoming dormant again, which was supposed to be a revival of my political blogs, but I tried to make it a combination music and political blog, and it really is much more of a political blog (though sort of a political video blog now) than anything else. But  I’ve kind of burnt out on writing political blogs (especially since the political consciousness in my home country has begun to look utterly hopeless to me), so I’m not posting to that blog too frequently.  Meanwhile, I do want to get back to some place where I can once again post just about pop music.

So here we go again…  The Indian film/music blog will probably continue to take most of my attention, but I am sure I’ll want to go to this one now and then.