Don – Are Diwano Mujhe Pehchano
In what is possibly the most tiger-centric gangster entrance in all of film history, a blazing Amitabh Bachchan in his prime, playing a street singer posing as a mob Kingpin, proves that intimidation and charm can be two sides of the same rupee. His eyes, hips, and oversized bowtie are in full effect as he courts the criminal underworld, daring even the most sternly goateed man to doubt his authenticity:
Who am I, who am I, who am who am who am I?
I am Don, I am Don, I am I am I am Don!
Strings swirl, horns blaze, and an insistent start-stop shuffle puts a dance floor under three and a half minutes of bombastic affirmation. Our hero spins and gestures his way through the South Asian, Latin American and Western influences that characterizes the seamless mosaic of Don’s cinematic score, reassuring the villains of his infamous name and reassuring the audience of his unmatchable Bollywood talent. A theme song with more volumes of purpose cannot be found; the flowers polka-dotting Amitabh’s wescot on their own are enough to say this much.
Pop Quiz – Who/what is the Velvet Mafia?
(a) an underground organization of criminal crooners, led by the Velvet Fog, Mel Torme
Okay, when you’re ready, scroll down and grade your quiz.
If your answer was (a), you get 0 points. You are wrong.*
*Unless you know something I don’t, and there really is such an organization, in which case you get 1,000 points.
So this wasn’t your standard multiple choice. Sometimes there is more than one answer. And this was the case with this week’s Iron Clef theme. How can someone pick just one theme song? There are so many excellent theme songs, from Nerf Herder’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme song to the theme song for It’s the Gary Shandling Show (“this is the theme to Gary’s show, the opening theme to Gary’s show, Gary called me up and asked if I could write his theme song…”). And that’s just in the TV genre! Then you’ve got film, video games…it boggles the mind. After a week of soul searching, I finally narrowed down my entry to the Velvet Mafia Theme Song. But as there are two amazing velvet mafia theme songs, I can narrow no further.
The first is the theme song/intro for the NYC band from answer (c), headed by the previously mentioned giant bald queen, Dean Johnson. In this song, Dean sings of his willingness to sell himself to the alleged gay mafia from answer (b) in order to achieve professional success “If you wanna cross the bridge, you gotta pay the toll. If you wanna make it big, you gotta play with trolls. So pardon me while I go steppin’ out to Fire Island with David Geffen…” Since Dean was actually a manwhore, and was not exaggerating his willingness to get pounded for personal gain, one must only guess that he either never had the opportunity to meet the powerful queers and make his offer, or they reneged on the deal. Either way, the Velvet Mafia may never have made it to the mainstream, but in the NYC queercore scene, they were legendary.
Like the Velvet Mafia, the Bay Area based band Mon Cousin Belge is a band with great talent, hypnotic songs, and magnetic stage presence. Also like the Velvet Mafia, MCB is gayer than a handbag full of rainbows. So when they were offered the opportunity to have one of their songs featured as the theme song for a gay porn made by Falcon Studios, they naturally agreed. The result is, I would venture to bet, the best porn music ever. As thanks, the pornmakers played fairy godfather and lent their film equipment and some clips from their movie so that Mon Cousin Belge could make a music video of their very own for the Velvet Mafia Theme Song, also known as “Going Down.”
So which is the real Velvet Mafia Theme Song? Only the gay mafia knowsfor sure.
M*A*S*H – Suicide Is Painless
What is the purpose of Iron Clef? Is it to prove one’s ability to remember corny, bizarre, obscure songs? Is it to establish one’s pop culture credentials? Or is it just an excuse to share good music? Perhaps all of the above…
At some point a few months ago I downloaded several theme songs from “classic” television shows. Remember Gimme a Break? All In the Family? The Fall Guy? Mr. Rogers? I haz it. These songs are interesting, and induce nostalgia and cringing in equal measure, but I want to choose a theme song that’s just plain good.
M*A*S*H was one of the greatest television shows ever made. Funny, profound, warm, and true. The theme music for the TV show was without lyrics. I heard the original song relatively recently, when I saw the movie (on which the TV show was based). Here’s an excerpt from the lyrics.
The game of life is hard to play
That suicide is painless
No wonder the TV show left the words out!
[Also: Manic Street Preachers did a cover of this song.]
Just vote for the one that’s still stuck in your head.
Tag Archives: bollywood
This song is a perfect illustration of the brilliant psychotic circus that made Faith No More such a great band, and impossible to classify. A soaring echoed vocal starts this song, with an unremarkable melody. This is Anysong, USA for the the first 35 seconds, until the aliens invade:
“And the stomach turns…
Say nothing without wasting a word
Just listening to this song, there is no way you will figure out those words, and while there is a lyric sheet somewhere, it sounds like utter nonsense. In general, of course, after breaching a certain level of hardcore-ness, (Isis, Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan) the words stop mattering all that much, and it’s cliche to say that the voice becomes another instrument in the band. In particular, no small amount of prose has been spent in trying to sum up the percussive impact of Mike Patton’s finely tuned throat. But the real reason that I think he’s so incredible, in all of his forms – Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, guesting for the DEP – is that his blistering unintelligible screams sound so accessible. In 1995 when this album came out and I had it on repeat in my car, I had no idea what the fuck I was yelling, but that didn’t stop me from singing along to every second of this song. And frankly, it’s just a whole lot easier when you don’t have any words to memorize.
Kishore Kumar, one of the great Bollywood singers, starred in Jhumroo, the classic story of a small-town boy who comes to the city and makes it big as a yodeler (sadly not in this song). The singing parts of the song make sense, but as far as I can tell, the crazy shouting is just nonsense. Apparently there’s some sort of racist Chinese caricature in the movie, too, which is probably what you’re hearing there.
If that’s not enough Bollywood nonsense, here’s another Kishore song for you. MTV India isn’t that great, but what is great is their self-promotions. They’ve got some sorts of ad geniuses working for them, making spots like this one:
Also, despite what Alex wrote in my description, I’m not a connoisseur of anything, except maybe water fountains.
“So I went fishing / A note from a fish said / ‘Dear dope, if you
For close to 32 years, The Fall have served as a rotating mouthpiece for the ramblings of Manchester mumbler Mark E. Smith. After 25 full-length studio albums and Jeebus knows how many EPs, live albums and archival releases, Smith’s lyrics still have yet to be adequately transcribed by the techniques of modern science, with no potential breakthroughs in sight. “Mountain Energy,” the second track from the band’s 2004 release “The Real New Fall LP,” stands as the man’s closest brush with the thought processes normally associated with human beings – and it still doesn’t make any goddamn sense. As far as I can tell, the lyrics serve as a depiction of Smith’s frustration with the casual interactions and activities that make up everyday life – renting a car, fishing, applying for a mortgage – but exactly what Dolly Parton and Lord Byron have to do with any of this still has yet to be determined. Whatever Smith has been trying to say for the last three decades, the United Kingdom must be in on the joke, or else there would be no explanation whatsoever for the following BBC broadcast:
Believe the hype, now you can…