The WTS Readers’ Choice List is a Fucking Joke

In this week’s human interest story, the readers of What’s the Scene – who do an excellent gig guide, as it happens – have just voted in their “best” (Indian, obviously) bands for 2011; the roll call for this hall of shame is as follows: Avial, Bhayanak Maut, Demonic Resurrection, Devoid(India), Indian Ocean, Inner Sanctum, Kryptos, Motherjane, Parikrama, Scribe, Soulmate and Undying Inc. What they were thinking when they did this, I can’t imagine, but now we’re stuck with it. As if this wasteland wasn’t bad enough as it is, now the plebs have to go and clamour for more Parikrama.

Not only is this list some sort of a Madame Tussaud’s of appalling band names, not a single group on it has anything going for them apart from being “local”, the lone exception being Womad soundalikes Indian Ocean, and that’s a whole other world anyway. This can only mean one of two things: either the crowds here are genuinely unable to tell unimaginative, outdated bloat from real spark, an option too painful to contemplate, or they’re in that particular kind of denial that you’ll always find in small, unimportant scenes: where simply being from this country and being together enough to plug guitar into amp automatically earns a group the right to not be laughed out of town.

Call in the shrinks, ladies and gentlemen, here’s an entire nation suffering from the Stockholm syndrome.

Here’s the scenario. You’re a reasonably intelligent person. You don’t walk into lampposts or wet the bed. You own records by the Rolling Stones or Oasis or whoever, you broadly hold that Bob Dylan’s probably more talented than Duffy; you can, push come to shove, justify this without foaming at the mouth and keeling over from the effort. In short, you’re a normal listener capable of a modicum of critical thinking. And yet, given the opportunity, you nominate something called Kryptos – for fuck’s sake – for a best band poll.

And the glaring hypocrisy of this doesn’t strike you as being a problem.

Are you lot so desperate to have your own “scene” that you’ll lower all standards and let any and every dickhead through, no matter how hopeless? And pretend, by making lists and publishing boring interviews with boring people and being too drunk to tell good from bad at gigs, till you begin to really believe, that these hacks are worth their space on stage and on record?

This is – and I truly believe this – a pivotal time for Indian pop. We have, for the very first time, a sudden springing up of cool little groups who are peddling a musical ethos which includes such forgotten – in these backwaters – concepts as sharpness, class and imagination-over-technique. These groups are struggling to be heard amidst the honking and clatter of a quarter century of head-up-arse, clueless, inbred scenism.

If you think that that WTS roster is all there is to this country, you’re very, very much mistaken. It’s self-propagating lists like that which not only give the entirely wrong impression of what this country does when nobody’s looking, but also smother the chances of all the kids in bedrooms who don’t fall for this rubbish and aspire to better things than being self-important, boneheaded big-fish-in-small-pond “rockstars”.

That list is a disgrace. Hang your heads, you cunts.

D.O. N.O.T. L.I.S.T.E.N. T.O. S.H.I.T. M.U.S.I.C.

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19 thoughts on “The WTS Readers’ Choice List is a Fucking Joke

    • Tejal, I’m not a big one for lists, and certainly not country-specific lists.

      The idea is to find good records all over the world. Each year throws up a few.

      The idea isn’t, however, to just stuff in the first band that comes to your head just because you have to make up the numbers. And that’s what I feel this list is. An exercise in proving that we can name ten Indian groups after all.

      And, what’s worse, none of the good groups are there anyway.

      • In between the Chennai boys and PCRC, they’re a great big bollocks load stronger than anything called “Kryptos” anyway.

      • Just by reading your childish rant I can tell you’ve barely heard any of these bands let along seen them live.

        You do realize WTS is akin to your blog? It is something started by regular people who listen to music and who actually actively go to as many gigs as possible and try and cover as many bands and gigs as possible to let everyone know what is going on around India.

        They picked the bands based on what they have seen and heard, much like any random people on any social networking site or blog does.

        You on the other hand haven’t done jack shit yet you rant about an absolutely trivial poll that WTS ran because it did not meet your high and mighty standards of what music should or shouldn’t be promoted/heard by people.

        None of the bands gained anything through this poll nor did any of them care save for the winners, who also didn’t get anything except the novelty of winning a useless online poll.

        So keep ranting anyway because from the looks of it you come across as one of those kids who dropped their ice cream so you don’t want anyone else to have theirs.

        Have a good week and keep a box of handkerchiefs ready in case you watch the Grammys or the MTV Music Awards.

  1. People are going to vote for bands they’ve heard of, even if they aren’t bands they really listen to. These are the bands that are good at PR, bands that go after and get corporate sponsors, bands that aren’t above playing at college fests and competitions because that’s where most of these voters hear of them.
    The bands that we’re excited about, that we believe make good music, need to market themselves better. You can’t be picky about who your fans are. You have to get the metalheads to like you. Because there’s nothing here to sustain an independent scene.

    • FGTFGTFGTF, people are an ass. And, though the good bands of this country are truly appalling at selling themselves, the entire onus isn’t on them either. The media and the audiences have to do a bit of work too. That’s how a healthy scene ought to work.

      A world in which people need to repeatedly be spoon-fed is a world that’s on its way to arse-rock hell.

  2. You fools, you fools ! Why can’t you think like me ?! Like like me, damn it, fucking pick the nits for the love of all that is pretentious! Nooooooooooo !!

  3. Suck a dick. You worthless attention whore. You’re no better than the bands you’re talking smack about. Your article is senseless drivel. Where are your examples of awesome “pop” music??? What the fuck are you even talking about?
    Sure Indian ocean are a bunch of faggots who don’t make music, they bake shit cakes, wrapped in crap and sprinkled with piss. You seem like an angry 14 year old. Why don’t you drop the shackle of being a fucking petty, third grade, filthy Indian and get fucking real. Go learn the age old custom of masturbation. Fucking hack.

    • I love a good flamer and you do get to the point opening with ‘suck a dick’. I hope you’re OK though because it does look like the little aneurysm you had all over your post might’ve given you a headache. Get well soon. Save your fits for the next Kryptos show. Don’t eat shit and die yet.

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  5. Man, this post really cracked me up to the point that I actually held on to my table in fear of falling off my chair. An earlier comment about how you seem like a kid who dropped their ice cream and doesn’t want anyone else to have theirs seems unnervingly appropriate. I doubt you’ve watched any of the bands you talk shit about, play.
    Here’s a tip for you. Go watch them. You’ll eat the shoes your wearing when you realise that these people got where they are for a reason.
    You probably think you’re some kind of world music connoisseur who knows good music from mindless drivel. If you ask me, you probably can’t differentiate between them for nuts.

  6. sheesh sheesh,wait a second..da fuq?
    What’s with all you guys going ” Go see the bands live, and you’ll shit bricks ” ..I’m sure he would shit bricks,how much shit can a dude take through his ears? Seriously,Why don’t you music ” giants ” get a sense,and make way to some music.All those bands he mentioned above,they’re too ass.What’s the Scene drags all the sad,depressive,wanna-be-cool bands into the papers,trying to make some news and show that India has some fucking scene.I’m not constricting myself within genres.Look at the originality of their music , and their attitude,my small ass.They’re as fake as barbie’s tits.As far as I know,I can count the bands in India starting to bloom, having some potential,with a single hand..4,maybe?

  7. Hahahahah. Well said. The Indian obsession with really really bad pop rock makes no sense to me. The few bands trying to put out intelligent music face an uphill battle – what do you expect from a sub-continent that wets itself over playing “Summer of ’69” on repeat?

    • I’d say it’s about as badly off as a sub-continent that wets itself over playing “Nothing else matters″ on repeat.

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  11. Please don’t hate avial . I know i am a bit late for the reply but being a mallu i believe somebody should stand up for these guys. They make fun music, they got friends of mine who swear by jesudas to listen and they sing in Malayalam . They are more mainstream than any other bands on the list atleast in kerala . They get the mallu culture as in they qoute from movies every other mallu guy loves. They will probably not be loved by the subcontinent but they have done something right with their music.

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