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View Full Version : What Makes "James" so popular


Rubu
April 22, 2004, 06:47 PM
Without any doubt it can be said that James is the most famous band singer of bangladesh. [sorry h_fan, if the title confused u]. I'm talking about the former 'feeling' and now 'nagor baul' er james.

The first time I heard him singing, I was surprised to think that someone was yelling without any plan or pattern and others were listenning to it. Later, to my sheer surprised I found that he is so, so much popular. Since then, it has become quite a question for me trying to understand what people like about his songs. I asked some diehard friends, but the didn't even bothered to explain me, with an expression that say "how in earth u don't understand this". so, i started to do some experiment with his songs. I heard as much I could collect (this was not a problem, friends had huge collection). and tryed to listen for a while to be familier with the songs. even with that i found only few songs that i could like. i'll list these song for no particular reason.

*Rater Trainay
*Tumi jodi nodi hou
*Maa
*jodi khakono bhul
*likhtay parina kono gaan

I understand why someone could like these songs. but i really don't understand the reason behind his so much popularity. Of course people have different type of taste and some will like one, and some other won't. but those of u, who really really like him, can u guys please give me some reasons why u like him?

Tehsin
April 22, 2004, 08:12 PM
I'd like to hear it too. I remember when I used to go to Paltalk (online bd chat/music), there were several people who would go overboard if you even questioned the craze. There was one sorry fellow who'd take the mic and start singing, he'd put william hung (a trully untalented american idol contestant) to shame. :)

Anyways, I heard a 'sober' James and have to say that the guy had his unique style. Not anymore, the guy is always stoned, he looks horrific and and you can barely understand what he is singing.

Nasif
April 22, 2004, 10:13 PM
Personally I find James kind of stupid. A wannbe philosopher ;)

say
April 23, 2004, 12:13 AM
"Not anymore, the guy is always stoned, he looks horrific and and you can barely understand what he is singing."

These are the exact reasons why our young people like him. At the same time he does have the bad-boy image. They are not exactly looking for the LDS missionary. :)

James90
April 23, 2004, 01:39 AM
Surprised me reading the title!:lol:

reinausagi
April 23, 2004, 09:03 AM
"Not anymore, the guy is always stoned, he looks horrific and and you can barely understand what he is singing." These are the exact reasons why our young people like him. At the same time he does have the bad-boy image. They are not exactly looking for the LDS missionary


Sounds like one Azam Khan from my generation. O re Saleka, O re Maleka, O re Fulbanu...:lol::lol::lol:

rafiq
April 23, 2004, 12:06 PM
I thought this was about aussie james as well and the Agent was just jealous (H_fan may actually be the most popular person on the board due to his everfaithful support of Bangladesh cricket and "choto bhai" syndrome).

As for the Nagor Baul, my only exposure to him was a concert in Chicago where he was just horrible. I am always suspicous of anyone introducing themselves as "Ami Bangladesh". His sound sucked, his vocals were distraught. Lots of musicians take the stage stoned and drunk, I have never seen anyone as bad as he is. To top it off, he had some underage girl from Dhaka holed up in the hotel or so I heard.

reinausagi, saleka & maleka bring back a lot of memories! You'd be interested to know that Najma Zaman and Zinga Ghosti have been performing in Chicago a lot lately! She still has it after all these years...

[Edited on 23-4-2004 by rafiq]

Nasif
April 23, 2004, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by reinausagi
Sounds like one Azam Khan from my generation. O re Saleka, O re Maleka, O re Fulbanu...:lol::lol::lol:

Azam Khan is leagues ahead of James. There is not point in comparing. :)

Rubu
April 23, 2004, 02:53 PM
all the answers disappointed me. i know all these. is there any diehard james fan? please speak out.

Arnab
April 23, 2004, 02:56 PM
You are asking the wrong crowd. I don't think James' fans hang out here very often.

Orpheus
April 23, 2004, 03:12 PM
there is a singer name Pantho Kanai who sings similar to James but I think Kanai is far better.... just original baul voice!

The main reason for my liking might just be that he sings those old folk songs!

Zobair
April 23, 2004, 03:15 PM
I went to a concert of his in Montreal. He was late by a couple of hours at least...the rumours were he was too stoned and drunk to make it to the performance. He was apparently also enjoying the company of a couple of blonde quebecoise prostitutes at the time, if the rumours are to be believed. Anways, he made it, and I must say he didn't act stoned or drunk (perhaps the reason for a better performance). I was really impressed with his guitar work, I thought it was up there with the best jamming I have heard. I have been the Montreal Jazz festival (the biggest and the best in the world) and we have some excellent guitarists, amongst all the jazz music, from different ethnic backgrounds coming and strutting off their stuff, and James could have easily impressed as much if not more. He can make his guitar come to life! Anyways, that is the only concert of his I have seen.

Orpheus
April 23, 2004, 03:19 PM
He was apparently also enjoying the company of a couple of blonde quebecoise prostitutes at the time,
and you paid for it! Shame on you.

Nasif
April 23, 2004, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by Orpheus
He was apparently also enjoying the company of a couple of blonde quebecoise prostitutes at the time,
and you paid for it! Shame on you.

LOL hahahaha, LMAO! :D too funny

Tehsin
April 23, 2004, 10:26 PM
Heard good things about his guiter work but i haven't heard him live so can't comment.

I love baul songs.

rafiq
April 23, 2004, 11:34 PM
Originally posted by pompous
I have been the Montreal Jazz festival (the biggest and the best in the world)

Now hold on! Montreal Jazz festival is the biggest and the best in the world? No way!

Shubho
April 24, 2004, 04:44 AM
I second Pompous vis-a-vis the Montreal Jazz Festival...definitely the biggest and 'baddest' (in a positive sense) around.

I grew up on a diet of James, LRB, Feedback, when the only alternative was that junk that was produced by Sunjoy and his so-called band, Warfaze. I actually liked James' very distinct guitar work, not to be compared with the elementary stuff churned out by the other popular bands. Azam Khan leagues ahead of James? Oh, come off it. You're the one who's stoned, mate.

I would agree, however, that his music is plunging to new lows as he gets older, as is his personal life. But his personal life is exactly that...his personal life. People don't stop listening to Michael Jackson even though there may be evidence that he molests children. People don't shy away from Elton John and George Michael because they're gay. So stop with you holier-than-thou attitudes already.

I realize that I have come across as a bit of a James apologist. But I am certain there is good cause for that. Having said that, the newer bands in BD have a much richer sound, excellent lyrics and better vocalists without the shadow of a doubt.

Among his contemporaries, however, James was unique. Beat LRB, Feedback, Chime, Nova, Renaissance, Winning, Warfaze, Prometheus and all those other putu-putu pseudo-bands hands down.

PS If he wants to get stoned, let him. Why judge his music based on his choice of herb?

sheshprohor
April 24, 2004, 08:36 AM
Unique ?? In what sense...?

He did the same thing as most of the bands of that time did? Copying the tune of an english song and put lyrics in bangla. At first, when he used to sing in 'feelings', he basically sang all dire straits songs. And in his first album most of the songs were the exact tune of english songs.

Yah,...he plays guitar in a different fashion compared to other BD guitarists. That's all. An artist should show his/her creativities by introducing new types of compositions.....but unfortunately James was stuck with his same old style of music.

If i wanna use the word 'unique'...I should recall some of the legendery performers & composers like lucky akhand....

Anyhow...peace !!! :)


Prohor

Piranha
April 24, 2004, 06:01 PM
I like James for his voice. Its quite unique and very good. (though not in all his songs by any means).

He does have a horrifying public persona and seeing him on TV is not for the faint-hearted.

I think he made a very significant contribution to Bangladeshi music. His fusion of Baul with western instruments (so called Nagar Baul) is very orignal. Also, many people would have forgotten about Baul, and many more would never have heard of baul had it not been for James. I give him a lot of credit for that.

His lyrics are great too! You wouldn't hear words like "nemontonno", "shinay" , "abhoi-aronno" from any other pop bengali singer would you?

Furthermore, I *think* his work with Nagar Baul led (or indirectly led) to the creation of "Bangla" and "Habib featuring Kaya" (I dont have proof of this however). Bangla is the band with Anusheh as vocalist. Bangla is a very high quality band (in my opinion) and one of my favourite ever. I thank James for setting the scene for Bangla's entrance.

Zobair
April 24, 2004, 06:18 PM
I had a complementary pass :)


and you paid for it! Shame on you.

Zobair
April 24, 2004, 06:20 PM
Clearly you have not been to the Montreal jazz fest :)


Now hold on! Montreal Jazz festival is the biggest and the best in the world? No way!

Orpheus
April 24, 2004, 09:24 PM
many people would have forgotten about Baul, and many more would never have heard of baul had it not been for James. I give him a lot of credit for that.


A bit surprised it's coming from you piranha... this is one of the most absurd thing I have heard.

And how is Habib influenced by James? He is just another DJ (read not creative enough to make his own music). Humayun Ahmed probably contributed more toward popularizing these sort of songs!

Anyways, I think Habib is by far the best Bengali DJ that I heard so far... The rest are just pure GARBAGE! nai sense of rhythm.. nai any sense of music...

fab
April 24, 2004, 09:57 PM
Anyways, I think Habib is by far the best Bengali DJ that I heard so far... The rest are just pure GARBAGE! nai sense of rhythm.. nai any sense of music... You rekon?!? What about Deedar Zaman from Asian Dub Foundation, the JOI brothers and that dude from State of Bengal (although there is some confusion about him, some sources say he was born in noakhali others say west pakistan!) ?

Orpheus
April 24, 2004, 10:07 PM
except for Asian Dub foundation and their song "bidrohi", I am not familiar with others... Are they all DJs??

I think it should have clear from my sentence...
"bengali DJ's that I heard so far" :)

Shubho
April 25, 2004, 12:19 AM
asian dub foundation has great albums, starting with their first, 'facts and fictions'. deedar zaman may be irritating at first with his high-pitched, nasal voice, but he's matured quite a bit. Bidrohi is one of their best songs, as is Naxalite Warrior. They lyrics are really powerful.

sam of state of bengal is awesome! he's worked with bjork, ravi shankar, madonna, etc. the guy's a genius. if anything, you guys should listen to Flight IC408 and Chittagong Chill. Awesome tracks available on Talvin Singh's Sounds of the Asian Underground.

JOI are fabulous too. Their style is very different though. Relies on breakbeats. But they're probably the best loved Bangla DJ duo (no longer a duo after the elder brother died) in the UK.

habib is okay. but he's only just released one album, and it's nothing revolutionary. UK Bangladeshis have been churning out that kind of stuff for ages now.

There are plenty of high quality dj's of bengali origin out there. none of them as popular as talvin singh or punjabi mc, but just as good nonetheless.

Orpheus
April 25, 2004, 12:50 AM
habib is okay

Yes you are right... actually I was comparing him with some of the NYC "djs" that i have heard.. in that sense he is way better... but overall - by good dj standards...... he is okay! There are actually a lot of things that I didn't like about many of the songs by habib...

jaihok.. I will check out the album mentioned
also.. if you guys know any really really good ones.. name it please! peace

Orpheus
April 25, 2004, 12:58 AM
on a second thought.. don't name any... cuz it will waste my time searching and downloading...ppl have different tastes.. and I will probably curse you for recommending some bull! Peace

sheshprohor
April 25, 2004, 09:08 AM
I idsagree.

Regarding to " make folk popular in modern singers".....a lot of other bands like Souls, Chime....already established that. They also used to use grameen words like "nati khati", "Chatoki Moyna", "Chilla voirra"....and a lot more.

Thay also used modern rhythmic composition to make folk popular arround the villagesides.


Prohor