Mar 21, 2011

Crazy About Penn Masala--A Post Script (and Update!)

I feel sort of silly about yesterday's Penn Masala post.  My handy site tracker is showing a ton of  UPenn hits and I imagine one or two of them are from someone in the group or someone who knows them, and here I am looking like a silly batty fangirl!  So I thought I'd add a little post script to yesterday's post to dispel that somewhat.  :)

Yes, the men of Penn Masala are easy on the eyes.  Very easy.  But that's not why I love them.  I love them because they can do amazing things with the human voice, things that I, a semi-singer of classical music (NYSMA Solofest score of 100 on a level 6 solo, woot!) can only dream of doing.  I have crazy respect for what they do.

Let me tell you what gets me about them:  listen to their version of Mere Sapnon Ki Rani.  You hear that little clip in the rhythm when they sing "aur kab tak mujhe tadpaayegi tu"?  That kills me.  I love that.  I love how their voices come together on that line.  And again in Streets/Roobaroo, when the two songs collide in the middle and it's just so effortless and's like they were designed to go together.  That's brilliant to me.

I'd love to be able to ask them a few questions about the mechanics of it all.  Do you spread out the solos to singers from different years so graduation doesn't claim all of the soloists at the same time?  Are there singers who only sing in Hindi and others who only sing in English?  Is it a case of not all of you speaking Hindi?  Does Bharat truly have the smoothest voice in the world?  Is the reason you don't cover a lot of bhangra because it's hard to beat box a dhol?  Curious minds want to know!

So that's my bit.  I hate coming across as a crazed fan when it comes to things I really care about--I seriously think Penn Masala is one of the best musical acts I've ever heard, and it's because of what they do, not how they look.

But let's be honest...they look damn good.  ;)

Update:  I've been told by Penn Masala alum Vishal Oberoi that it is indeed difficult to beatbox a dhol.  So there's that burning question answered. :)

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