Friday, September 30, 2011

Rostam Does Tabla

{A Subcontinental Sound for Fall}





One of the ways the diaspora of Stockman sisters stays in touch is through subjectless emails with links to outstanding if obscure music, followed by articulate, insightful, sisterly notes like OMG LISTEN NOW SOOO GOOD. Sometimes they include punctuation, like DOWNLOAD NOW, WENCHES. What with one sister studying in London, one working in Salvador, Brazil, and one firmly planted in San Francisco, we are all devouring music of completely different cultural terroir, if you will, which makes the music emails that much more exciting. And the latest one from the San Fran sis knocked it out of the park. Like that chain-smoking preppy kid in your Modern American Poetry seminar who was vaguely dismissive, stunningly precocious and annoyingly brilliant, Vampire Weekend irks. But this little tabla-infused wonder from Rostam Batmanglij is, sigh, gorgeous. Makes me smile as soon as the tabla beat starts up; oh India, you crazy beast, do I miss you already? Anyway, consider this your panmusical song for fall, courtesy of bigBANG's little sister.

Have a great weekend. Images from our trip to visit a friend in Benares/Varanasi, holy city on the Ganges. Still have lots of India posts ahead, if anyone is game. Game?

20 comments:

  1. so game! we're headed to india after 4.5 more months in antarctica and i've been gazing at your past posts, daydreaming. can't wait to listen to that song later!

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  2. i love your travel posts so the more the merrier, actually i love everything you write gets me dreaming from my bed (its midnight here) in Crouch end
    (yes that is a real place name) in London.
    Jx

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  3. it's not tabla. he's iranian.

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  4. Liz- LUCKY. You guys are amazing. What a life!

    Anon/J- happy reading in Crouch End, my friend.

    Sara, he's American, but his parents are from Iran. But that's neither here nor there- the song features a traditional tabla drum (rather, two hand-drums with varying timbres) and a traditional Hindustani classical music beat, which is used widely in many schools of traditional Indian music. However the tabla itself has roots in ancient Persion percussion, so win-win, howbout? I think the song is magical because he's blending multiple Eastern instruments and traditions together, and damn if there isn't some serious sitar and tabla in there. FF to 4:49 in the song- demz da tablaz!

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  5. these photos are my FAVORITE so far. they are not real. they are perfect. also, snaps to american iranians!!

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  6. More travel pictures, pretty please.
    Once you have experienced India, you are never the same and always long to return....I was there in the 70's, and have a series of pictures recently up on my blog,and this summer I finally made it back and am still processing the amazing adventures I had. Check out my vintage Varanasi post, and the boatman in the last picture. This is why your boatman picture made my heart leap:
    http://suereno.blogspot.com/2011/07/vintage-india-benares-varanasi.html

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  7. Totally game - can't wait!

    Thanks for sharing the secret correspondence of the Stockman Sisters.

    xo
    cortnie

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  8. ooh great song, thanks for the tip. and i am all aboard for any India posts - so beautiful!

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  9. More than game. As you can understand, since I'm doing mine 30 years later:).

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  10. Awesome. I'd love to hear what other outstanding/obscure stuff you guys're passing around - I'm in a major musical rut.

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  11. Yes please, more India! Would love love love your recipe for authentic chai tea :)

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  12. Love it- super sweet music-I don't have sisters to share it with but I can't wait to show my daughters- they will adore it :)

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  13. this rulez and can i just say that i am WITH YOU on vampire weekend?

    i just downloaded a weird "turkish freakout" album that is blowing my mind.

    more india pics, pleaze. : )

    xo

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  14. love this! just sent link to my daughter who is studying in hyderabad this semester. first thing she did was buy some tablas! this helps me imagine her exotic india vibe.
    yes, mo india please!!

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  15. I am in :) love your India pictures!! Show us more :)

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  16. that song was a delight. do you have an 8tracks account yet? would love to hear more of what you and the fam are listening to!

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  17. wow, I can't believe how international your family is! such world travelers. :)

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  18. Love your photos Lily!! I miss you!! xo.

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  19. it's so little princess magical! xoxo

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