Hi Guys,

I've been writing 69-word, theme-based stories for the digital lifestyle magazine, The Brown Scooter, every month.

Read off and let me know what you think/feel :)


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Indian Music Revolution - Website Review (Un-edited)

[Edited Version published in JAM Mag in November]

Amidst churning out ever-degrading commercial trash (Bollywood) day in and day out and fuelling the nasal onslaught of Himesh’s mass-hysterical music, Indian record companies have been consistently sidelining the musical tastes of a select few for over two centuries now – the Indian rock/metal fans. Promoting Indian rock has never EVER been on the agenda of these big shots whose single point focus in making records ONLY for money has reduced a hugely talented and untapped group of musicians (rock bands) into mere mainstream/commercial wannabes. While this marginalizing has been going for quite a long time now, off late there has been mushrooming of a lot of privately-run Indian websites (revamped old ones and couple of new ones) who have taken it upon themselves to educate, create, support and promote good Indian rock/metal music. IMR is one such messiah!

IMR or Indian Music Revolution (http://www.indianmusicrevolution.com/) is one of the many sites dedicated to ensure the constant supply of testosterone-charged music to the thirsty souls of rockers. Managed by a three-piece (rock lingo!) – band promote/co-ordinators Pravin Prajapati (aka Messiah), Mahesh Puttapaka and website owner/webmaster Ajit Bohra (aka Avatar), IMR promises to be a one-stop shop for all rock Indian. Now for the post mortem (insert evil laugh here) –

INDEX PAGE – One look at the front page and you instantly realize the professionalism and intensive thought process that might have gone into building this site. A top-to-bottom scan of this utterly user-friendly site reveals a rolling band name ticker on the left-hand side top, day/date, search box, main menu, scrolling updates on the forum, a link to the official Orkut community, a sweet little box of statistics, the ‘Infocus’ section, a live shout box, an ongoing polls box and album/audio/video update strips (Phew!!). The ‘updates’ strips could have been a bit more organized (no major changes…just a bit).

LOGO – Damn, it soo bru-tiful (*wipes tears off eyes*) I just LOVE IT! Now this is one logo I would DEFINITELY want on my tee.

MENUS

Register – Well, self-explanatory I guess!! Btw, you HAVE to register to be able to even view their audio/video library (unnecessary restriction, according to me…)

Discussion Forum – Just as self-explanatory as above… The latest post is of October 17th, so the forum seems pretty active. The consistent and enthusiastic participation of Ajit and Pravin on the forums is definitely praiseworthy. Its good to see that the people involved in creating and maintaining the website are actively involved in its day-to-day activities too and are not just sleeping partners (pun not intended!) in the firm.

News articles – News and updates section… has 3 sub-sections:

1. Album updates – updates on new albums…

2. In Focus – Band info section

3. IMR Launch Pad (please don’t ask me whether Channel V came first or IMR!) – They call it the Band Launch section but I found the information to be very similar to ‘In Focus’.

Gig Attack – Calendar of upcoming gigs… You can add your own after registering… Not very comprehensive from what I saw and here is the reason - it didn’t have the listing for a 19th Oct metal gig in Bangalore. How could a site on Indian rock/metal NOT have a gig listing featuring bands like Demonic Resurrection, Kryptos & MyndSnare!!!

Media Library – Though the layout and categorization is very good, this is where IMR fails to impress. (IMR mentioned ‘Image Library’ as one of the menus in their official release sent across to us but I couldn’t find one! Is this like the Book Of Solomon or something!)

IMR Junction – I couldn’t quite figure out the relevance of this section so I’ll quote directly from the IMR release sent to us – “This place is created to keep users updated about official web presence of bands and other sites supporting / promoting Indian bands”. Hmm, from what I can figure, it is a cross between an ‘Updates’ and a ‘Links’ section.

Contact Us – umm, err… Contact Details…

Now that the autopsy is complete, here are a few of my humble observations –

  1. I like the way the way the website has been structured but there is definitely scope for some improvement.
  2. I appreciate the thoughtfulness put into each page in terms of enabling the user to save the pages/band bios/news for future reference – the ‘print to PDF/printer’ or ‘mail to’ options are nice touches.
  3. The ‘In Focus’ section needs to be a different menu altogether because it’s weird that a site on rock/metal scene doesn’t have an independent ‘Bands’ menu.
  4. Lastly, how many of us have actually heard of bands like Ziad, DE INNOVATIVES, Ichor or Paganic Souls? I seriously doubt whether there would be many… Though I appreciate the effort on the part of the IMR junta to promote new and original bands, doing ONLY that is not going to drive traffic to your site or suddenly make people sit up and take notice of fresh talent. At a time when the Indian rock/metal scene has just started opening up to original music from some older bands (DR, Kryptos) and couple of innovative newer ones (Skincold, Narsil, BM), an influx of a whole new set is only going to create confusion. Please don’t get me wrong here! If IMR has to be truly successful, they need to follow the route that was taken by Indian bands during their evolution period. i.e Start with covers, chip in with a few noteworthy originals, probably release a small EP or so and eventually metamorphasize into an all originals band! In the same context, if IMR wants to increase its user base, it needs to carry more audio/video/updates related to famous Indian bands too and then possibly get in some newer ones once in a while and when the user base warms up to them, then go full on to promote them! That would be a win-win situation for all!! Typical bollywood movie-type happy ending…

Till then, we wish IMR all the very best and as they say… Keep It Metal \m/

3 comments:

Nitin said...

Hey great write up....thanz for awakening us abt a website catering to non commercial interests.....!

Directionless Wanderer said...

hey nice review .... I think your point about the lack of sufficient mainstream mechanisms to highlight Metal/Rock talent in India is very valid - its the reason why American/Non-Indian Rock dominates despite what I gather is a significant number of innovative and original Indian bands .... in that sense, perhaps web forums like the one you reviewed will go to fill that void and provide perhaps a platform to highlight talent & creativity.


And thanks for the link - will make it a point to visit

CruciFire said...

@ Nitin - thanx alot man! and do keep coming back once in a while..

@ Rajiv - Yeah i agree.. btw, i was xpcting some comment from u on the revamping of my site... :(