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I am fiercely bummed out and disappointed in myself for having not been at the Anoushka Shankar performance a couple days ago at The Dakota.  Anoushka is the daughter of Indian classical music’s most revered figure, the internationally-acclaimed Ravi Shankar.

Anoushka and Ravi both play sitar, the primary instrument in Indian classical music, a form of music I really love.  Besides the sitar, traditional Indian classical performances typically include percussion instruments known as tabla drums, pictured above (photo by Todd Anderson at Tuesday’s Dakota performance).  I enjoy all the elements of Indian classical music, but I was initially drawn to it because of the incredibly complex nature of playing tabla drums.  I informally studied the instrument for a few months a while back, and let me tell you, tablas are VERY DIFFICULT to play well.

The world’s most decorated tabla player is a guy named Zakir Hussein.  I have one of his solo records and it’s mind-numbing.  Check him out playing with Ravi in the clip below, and after beholding such dominance you might want to ask yourself if Travis Barker is really as cool as everybody thinks…

If someone were to ask me what I’ve been listening to lately (not that anybody has), this is what I would tell them…

1) Bjork – Telegram …a bunch of remixes from Bjork’s 1995 release “Post.”

2) Bob Marley – Greatest Hits …Reggae is where feel lives.

3) Zakir Hussain – Magical Moments of Rhythm …live record from the single most respected tabla player in the world.

4) Wilco – Sky Blue Sky …the latest album from the alt-country kings.

5) Suzanne Vega – Nine Objects Of Desire …1996 release from a folk-ish singer/songwriter with vibe to spare.

6) Phoenix – Alphabetical …French rock-synth power pop.

7) Orlando Cachaito Lopez – Cachaito …the renowned Buena Vista Social Club bassist’s solo record.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to post listening stuff like this once a week or so.

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