Mar 20 2013

On being gay gayly

Posted by Knonie

Kurt Cobain- Poster, Photo ©Knonie

Kurt Cobain said:
“I started being really proud of the fact that I was gay even though I wasn’t.”

Well, if they think so, stay what you are, just to piss off these usual people and keep them away. Being labelled as Gay is usually associated with people having less interest in sports and more in aesthetics, so artists usually have to face such situations, just like Kurt in his school years has to face some awkward situations. Kurt states that he started accepting the fact that people think him gay, just to piss of homophobes.

Jan 31 2013

Lynyrd Skynyrd autographed Tour Jacket

Posted by Knonie

This 1998 tour jacket was signed by the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and donated to the Hard Rock Cafe Orlando in 1999.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, autograph jacket

Photo provide by Fred.

Jun 24 2012

Saeen Tanveer: An energetic dhol performer (Live)

Posted by Knonie

Last night, I attended a musical event of brass band The Stooges from New Orleans, and that event also featured Saeen Tanveer, a dhol playing artist from Pakistan. Dressed in fancy clothes, Saeen and his 2 partners appeared on stage and started their beats. As they kept on playing their large dhols, the crowd become wild and everyone got involved in the music they were making. Saeen is an expert in playing, as well as in displaying some other acts during playing. First he twisted his body and made the dhol swing around his neck for some time. Then, there comes a helper to put another dhol around his neck, and then, Saeen is paying with two dhols hanging around his neck. To much of the surprise of the audience, Saeen performed with 4 dhols around his neck, continuously playing and revolving. He also surprised the audience by performing and revolving around by holding 2 dhols by their straps using his teeth. The beautifully arranged stage and lighting created a wonderful ambience that made that performance even more energetic.

I’m sharing some of the pictures I took during the performance. (Click for larger versions)

Saeen Tanveer and Party

Saeen Tanveer and Party
performing at The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Saeen Tanveer and Party

Saeen Tanveer and Party
performing at The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Saeen Tanveer and Party

Saeen Tanveer and Party
performing at The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Saeen Tanveer and Party

Saeen Tanveer and Party
performing at The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Saeen Tanveer and Party

Saeen Tanveer and Party
performing at The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Saeen Tanveer and Party

Saeen Tanveer and Party
performing at The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Saeen Tanveer and Party

Saeen Tanveer and Party
performing at The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Saeen Tanveer and Party

Saeen Tanveer and Party
performing at The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Saeen Tanveer and Party

Saeen Tanveer and Party
performing at The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Saeen Tanveer and Party

Saeen Tanveer and Party
performing at The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad, Pakistan.

The performance of Saeen Tanvir was followed by The Stooges, and finally a local brass band Punjab Band, which I’ll cover in separate blogs later.

This event was organized by The American Embassy, and was held in The Rock Musicarium, Islamabad.

Apr 11 2012

“Aa tujhay main gungunana chahta hoon” – Qateel

Posted by Knonie

Apnay honton pay sajana chahta hoon
Aa tujhay main gungunana chahta hoon

Koi aansu teray daaman pay gira kar
Boond ko moti banana chahta hoon

Barh gayi is hadd talak bay-aitamadi
Tujh ko tujh say bhi chhupana chahta hoon

Thak gaya main kartay kartay yaad tujh ko
Ab tujhay main yaad aana chahta hoon

Jo bana baa’is meri nakamion ka
Main ussi k kaam aana chahta hoon

Chhaa raha hai saari basti par andhera
Roshni ko ghar jalana chahta hoon

Phool say paikar tou niklay bay-murrawat
Pathron ko aazmana chahta hoon

Reh gayi thi kuch kami ruswaion main
Phir Qateel uss dar pay jana chahta hoon

– Qateel Shifai

Aug 16 2011

“These men do not play music, they are music itself” says Jeff Buckley about Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Posted by Knonie
Jeff Buckley, the renowned musician, was a great admirer of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Unfortunately, we lost both of these artists in 1997. Jeff has written the liner notes for Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s album “The Supreme Collection, Vol. 1”  released in 1997. That album was released after Jeff’s accidental death and before Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan passed away. The actual text by Jeff follows below which shows how a musician describes Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

“The first time I heard the voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was in Harlem, 1990. My roommate and I stood there, blasting it in his room. We were all awash in the thick undulating tide of dark punjabi tabla rhythyms, spiked with synchronized handclaps booming from above and below in hard, perfect time.

Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - © Ayaz Jokhio
I heard the clarion call of harmoniums dancing the antique melody around like giant, singing wooden spiders. Then all of a sudden, the rising of one, then ten voices hovering over the tonic like a flock of geese ascending into formation across the sky.

Then came the voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Part Buddha, part demon, part mad angel… his voice is velvet fire, simply incomparable. Nusrat’s blending of classical improvisations to the art of Qawwali, combined with his out and out daredevil style and his sensitivity, outs him in a category all his own, above all others in his field. Continue reading

Jun 21 2011

Play, Record and Listen Guitar on Google logo to celebrate Les Paul’s Birthday

Posted by Knonie

Those who have a considerable know-how of Electric guitars know Les Paul, the pioneer of solid-body electric guitar. On 9th June, Google celebrated his 96th birthday by offering an interactive doodle logo. You can either use mouse or keyboard to play the strings. Use the record button to record what you play. After clicking Stop, you will see a URL of your recorded track which can be used to listen it again or to share your track with others. Isn’t it creative!!!

Here’s what Google has to say: We’re thrilled so many of you jammed out on our Les Paul doodle — recording 5.1 years worth of music in 48 hours — so we’ve carved out a permanent spot in the display case for our doodle guitar. Rock on!

Click here to Play Les Paul Guitar on Google

Jun 7 2011

“Tere gham ko jaan ki talash thi”, Ghazal by Faiz sung by Knonie

Posted by Knonie

Check the embedded video to listen to the track in my voice. I recited that ghazal without any music. Recorded on MacBook using a Sony microphone.


I asked a friend to help me out translating it. Although it’s almost impossible to produce the same feel of a piece of writing in another language while translating and it is such a skillful art, but presented below is the [loose] English translation of this ghazal of Faiz. It is done by my intelligent friend Bolongo Katayama.

English Translation:

Your sorrow needed blood to nurture, (alas!) your sacrificial enthusiasts have left. Those who were longing for their turn, (alas!) they were swept away by the time’s tide.

After being defeated by your deafening apathy, (alas!) the night of longing elapsed. At my dogged determination, all my sympathizers left.

There left no question of blissful communion, nor the renditions of sorrow, neither tales nor complaints. In your reign, all the rights of bemoaning heart subsided.

It was me who was cloaked in the robe of accusation. But proudly wearing those scars I reached the counsel of my beloved.

The passions of love and fidelity no longer exist; what would you do of gallows and chains then? Those who hailed the vice of love, (alas!) those transgressors have left.

Urdu Script:

Below is a photo of this specific page from the complete works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz in Urdu, compilation titled “Nuskha-haaye wafa

Tere gham ko jaan ki talash thi, by Faiz Ahmad Faiz

Apr 30 2011

In praise of Grunge Rock [photos]

Posted by Knonie

I was having a bit Grunge kind of feeling, so I took some photo using my webcam [Yeah, I didn’t have other camera then]. Then some photo-retouching created the kind of feel I was looking for…

[Click image to view larger version in a pop-up light-box]




[Camera: iSight of MacBook]

Apr 19 2011

Kuch tou loug kahain gay, Kishore’s song sung by Knonie

Posted by Knonie

I love music, I love singing, and most of the times I sing to myself, apart from singing among friends circle sometimes. Lately, I recorded my vocals using a karaoke track [digital music of the song without vocals]. I was only doing some recording check, so I thought I should share it with others. It’s a raw version, and only a short clip of the audio song.

For those who don’t know, this song is originally sung by Kishore Kumar, for the movie “Amar Prem“, and it is composed by S.D Burman.

Mar 12 2011

“Still” by Alanis Morissette– Dedicated to Japan 2011 quake victims

Posted by Knonie

A worst Earthquake hit Japan yesterday, 11th March, 2011, having a magnitude of 8.9 on Richter Scale.

I dedicate this song by Alanis Morissette, and pray that may God bless them all…

Song info:

Title: Still (Acoustic, Vancouver Sessions)
Artist: Alanis Morissette
Album: Download to Donate-Haiti, Music for Relief.

For lyrics, visit this link

Mar 10 2011

Ali Zafar performs Ghalib- A beautiful soft track

Posted by Knonie

Here’s a very famous Urdu ghazal written by Mirza Ghalib:
“Koi umeed bar nahi aati
Koi soorat nazar nahi aati”

This version is sung by the young Pakistani signer Ali Zafar, in a TV show “Dil se”. This track is also included in his latest Album titled “Jhoom”. It is composed by Yousaf Salah Uddin. This version is so soft and easy-listening. I’m sure you’ll love it.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has also performed this Ghazal in his typical Qawwali style, in the same composition.

Mar 9 2011

“Main hosh mein tha tou”- A beautiful ghazal by the one and only Mehdi Hassan

Posted by Knonie

Here’s a very beautiful Ghazal sung by the Ghazal Maestro Mehdi Hassan. Very fine poetry and composition, with a very soft effect…

Main hosh mein tha tou phir uss pe marr gaya kesay
Ye zehr meray lahu mein uttar gaya kesay”



Feb 2 2011

The “Loudness War” – A killer of digital music quality

Posted by Knonie

Are you a music fan, who enjoys listening to music on great sound-systems and portable music players, because you know what Quality is. You also know that medium/low quality tracks never sound great because they usually lack the clarity of sound–fidelity, to be precise. But are you aware of the term “Loudness War”???

In simple words, it’s a digital way of increasing the “Loudness” of an audio track, which in terms lose many details of sounds without any apparent loss in Quality. Tricky? Isn’t it?

See this Waveform of a portion of a song, and see how its loudness is digitally increased in the name of “Digital Remastering” throughout years, and how it has lost the details.

Audio Waveform to show "Loudness War"

The trend of increasing loudness as shown by waveform images of "Something" by The Beatles mastered on CD four times since 1983.

Now check this short video to see Audio/Visual example. If you can’t feel the obvious difference, train your ears, or this “Loudness War” has nothing to do with you…

This treatment makes song appear “load” and “Hot”, but it makes it rather flat, with less variations, and this treatment often makes many songs unbearable to listen again and again.

Credits: The image used here is termed free to use by the owner “Aquegg”
Further reading:

Jan 27 2011

2 classic “Windy” songs from Old Indian and Pakistani Cinema

Posted by Knonie

I’m presenting here two of the classic hits from old Indian and Pakistani Cinema. Lyrics of both of these songs revolve around blowing wind, and thus referring to the “excited” mood of the female character. Believe me, both of them have catchy tunes.

Song Title: Hawa mein Urta jaaye
Movie: Barsaat [1949]
Artist: Lata Mangeshkar
Music Composer: Shankar-Jaikishan

And the second one:

Song Title: Main uddi uddi jaanwaan
Movie: Heer  [1955]
Singer: Munawar Sultana
Music: Safdar Hussain
Lyrics: Hazin Qadri