Dark Necessities

I still remember listening to Dani California from the album Stadium Arcadium at considerably high volume driving to my Zürich office at Klangwerk during spring 2006, two weeks before the album’s official release on May 9.  It became the second song in history (after R.E.M.’s 1994 hit What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?) to debut at number 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart, where it spent fourteen straight weeks topping the chart. The single also charted at number 1 on the Mainstream Rock charts.

I also still remember how fans complained that the Red Hot Chili Peppers had deviated from their original style and became too main stream. It was obviously a different style, but they always stayed true to their roots and I loved the new album. John Frusciante’s one-minute guitar solo at the end of Dani California is an adaption of Jimi Hendrix‘ intro to Purple Haze, with the effects kept very close to the original.

Picture courtesy of redhotchilipeppers.com
Picture courtesy of redhotchilipeppers.com

The music video was directed by Tony Kaye, director of American History X, the video is a quasi-chronology of the evolution of rock music. The band performs the song on a stage, but in a variety of outfits representing important figures and movements in the history of rock, with band members having transformed to famous musicians (in some countries you might need a VPN to watch the official video below).

Today, it’s again two weeks before the official release of a new album on June 17, 2016: The Getaway. Yesterday night I listened to the official audio of The Getaway and Dark Necessities on the band’s YouTube channel for the first time, the latter of which I like most.

According to an interview with lead singer Anthony Kiedis the little girl and the three animals on the cover picture above represent the four band members, Anthony being the crow.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Holi
Picture courtesy of redhotchilipeppers.com

 

Bhakti Without Borders

Music’s biggest night will return to Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday, February 15, 2016 and will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT), hopefully also available via CBS mobile app which I recently installed in order to watch the Late Show with Steven Colbert.

Nominated for best new age album at the 58th GRAMMY awards is Bhakti Without Borders which blends melodies from the East Indian Bhakti tradition with the folk, bluegrass and country elements of traditional American and Irish music. The result is a sound that is both fresh and familiar.

Here’s a new video with very beautiful pictures of Vrindavan and samples of various tracks from their album which was exclusively produced for the GRAMMY awards 2016.

Project

Kirtan Shakti Project is a creative collaboration aimed at empowering and educating underprivileged girls in India. Launched in 2014, under the nonprofit Kulimela Association, the project was initiated by a tightknit group of friends.

Together they recruited a team of international kirtan singers and crowdfunded an album to raise funds for Food For Life Vrindavan. The campaign took off with supporters quick to lend support and by Summer the first album went into production: Bhakti Without Borders.

Produced by Dave Stringer, and featuring singers and musicians from around the world, the record is both musical allegory and mechanism for change. Truly a by-the-people-for-the-people brand, Kirtan Shakti Project hopes to support charity organizations through conscious music for years to come.

To date, Bhakti Without Borders has raised nearly $10,000, which means one year’s education for over 20 girls.

Kirtan

Kirtan is the sacred tradition of sharing music with friends and strangers as a way of connecting with The Divine. Recently, the practice has emerged as the hot new sub-genre of Yoga music, spilling from studios and music festivals onto radio stations and podcasts, climbing charts and courting Grammys.

Most world religions have some form of sacred music tradition, be it Gregorian chant or Gospel; Klezmer or Qawwali; Buddhist hymns or Hindu Bhajans. Across time, each music tradition has evolved and blossomed. Now (thanks to modern globalization), we can enjoy kirtan music influenced by Hip-Hop, Dubstep, Rock, Jazz and Country, all blending together in a beautiful fusion of Bhakti Without Borders.