Coke Studio is like my boomerang music. No matter how far I fling it, it comes back. Harder. Knocking me down all over again, like it is the very first time. That is probably the single biggest thing that separates good music from the bad. The good stuff never really leaves you. Like the classics, like good old real rock, like The Beatles. You know how you never outgrow them? That’s what I love about it. Repeat-value. Even after a 100 plays, I am still as excited and enchanted when these playlists make a comeback into my system. I’m pretty sure many years from now I’ll be sharing the Coke Studio awesomeness with several nieces and nephews.
It all started with the kickass first scene of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, along with the rest of the lovely soundtrack that featured several Coke Studio favourites of mine. Naturally, I’m back to savouring these little happy pills again. In not-so-small doses, of course.
Can you tell I really, really love Coke Studio? Is it too early to do round two of my ode to them? So soon after the last one? If you think it is, shut this tab and go back to whatever it is you were doing. If you want some more nuggets of musical genius, stay. Scroll, hit play, enjoy.
Coke Studio has done a lot of good for my listening. It’s widened my perspectives and introduced me to kinds of music I wouldn’t know. Like Pashto — traditional Afghani music, characterised by the use unequal metres in percussion. There’s just no way you can listen to a pashto track sitting down. It is smack-you-in-the-face, get-up-and-tap-your-feet-music music for me. Unless of course you’re in an office. In which case you make do with some not-so-subtle shoulder shaking and grooving, ignoring the speculative stares your co-workers give you. At least, that’s what I used to do.
Speaking of happy music, nobody does it like this man does. If a song has the capacity to make you break down into a stream of happy tears, its done its job.
And then there’s my go-to light, happy-happy instrumental track. Never fails to make me groove a bit. In the car, in my home walking from my desk to the kitchen, while cooking and when the dude in the kitchen opposite me is staring into my kitchen window, while out for a walk, any.goddamn.time.
That is my track that proves you don’t need words. You just need some good old musical sense. The kind that seems to be fast disappearing off the face of this planet. That, and some funk. Like the old man violinist at 1.01. Oh and if you have a pretty face like the backing vocals girls Zoe and Rachel Viccaji, it definitely helps.
Okay, I can see why good music is a rare package to find. Hmm.
Then there’s my quintessential rain music. The few tracks that always make a comeback when the rains hit, get played over and over till the husband wants to throw me out of the house, with complains about how we never listen to his kind of music. I don’t know how this kind of music can ever get dull, or monotonous, or unpleasant.
Do you think its something they eat that makes their voices so unbelievably grainy and sexy? Grain with lilt is the ultimate sex-on-tape music for me and that’s why I love these men.
Or maybe its that grubby stubble that makes me a little weak in the knees and clouds my judgement.
And because this whole second helping of happy pills was brought on by the soundtrack of that movie I just watched, I must share with you the other favourite track that was covered too, by Atif Aslam. Here is the original by an original diva. They don’t make ’em like this anymore.
Apart from introducing me to Pashto, Coke Studio has showed me a riffy side to traditional Qawwalis, another one for a dark, rainy night.
Forced me to give Atif Aslam another change, and he did so good.
Showed me the powerhouse that is Abida Parveen.
Most of all its given me hours of endless happy music and kept me coming back for more and more and more. But I’ll stop now, and let you discover the magic for yourself.