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My Favorite Music: Uday Benegal

The frontman of rock band Indus Creed and acoustic act the Whirling Kalapas likes his music both loud and quiet

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Aug 21, 2015
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Uday Benegal. Photo by Monisha Ajgaonkar.

Uday Benegal. Photo by Monisha Ajgaonkar.

 

The frontman of rock band Indus Creed and acoustic act the Whirling Kalapas likes it both loud and quiet. But Benegal is quick to add, “’All-time’ anything is a redundancy for me. My faves are merely ”˜of this time.’ Some are from old, others of currency.”

 

“Secret World” Peter Gabriel, 1992

I can, and often do, lose myself in the whole album Us. By the time I get to “Secret World” I’m sucked in deep, wandering loosely, floating languidly. I sing it, dance it and revel in it.

“Anesthetize” Porcupine Tree, 2007

I can’t think of too many bands who can hook you through all 18 minutes of a song. I can’t think of any band who can build a track so incredibly high that at some point you think you’re gonna fall off the precipice”¦ and then it gets even bigger. This one’s going to be on my list till the last call, I think.

“Weights and Measures” Dry the River, 2011

When I saw this newish Brit rock-folk band in Bombay recently, I was blown away by everything they did and every song they played. This song remained in my consciousness for days, forcing me to quickly buy their album Shallow Bed. Singer Pete Liddle intones like an angel possessed by demons.

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“Blue Red and Grey” The Who, 1975

This should read “by Pete Townshend.” So it’s on a Who album””The Who By Numbers, but it features Pete singing while accompanying himself on a ukelele. The loudest guitar player in the world (at the time) on a uke””that’s poetic in and of itself.

“Naked As We Came” Iron & Wine, 2004

The grizzed troubadour Samuel Beam, who goes by the name Iron & Wine, plays intricate fingerpicking patterns in a most peculiar two-finger style while singing in a barely perceptible whisper, as with this never-tiring little song of dreams and fatalism.

“Ain’t Gonna Come Till I’m Ready” World Party, 1990

A Kurt Wallinger gem from the masterful album that’s Goodbye Jumbo begins with a groove that sits so fucking cool that it hooks you from the get go, all the way through his beautifully wavering falsetto. I ain’t gonna come till I’m ready””you better believe it.

“You Get Me” Seal, 2010

Seal isn’t just blessed with a voice that most singers would trade their house for, he knows how to extract every last bit of juice out of it. If she doesn’t take her clothes off after the second chorus, you may as well just driver her home. Better still, call her a cab.

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“Night Train” Steve Winwood, 1980

This is the kind of song I could dance to all night”¦ if it lasted that long. The genius of this song extends through the entire album. On Arc of a Diver, Winwood wrote all the songs, played all the instruments and recorded and produced it all by himself. Fuck! He’s like Prince before Prince was out of high school (and without the dance moves). Winwood grooves that bass like a Motown cat”¦and he’s white!

“I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying” Sting, 1996

Only this Englishman knows how to write a bloody sad song that makes you smile all the way from start to finish. Dominic Miller’s work on this song should be included in a guitar masterclass.

“There’s a Fire” The Map Room, 2013

This unknown band from New Zealand that I stumbled on recently has been my most listened to band so far this year. I chose this song randomly because very tune on their self-titled album is a work of brilliance in terms of songwriting, arrangement and production. But screw the technical shit””it’s a great fucking album. Get it. It’s on iTunes. For cheap.

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