Jeet Thayil: Music and Lyrics
He's a bald wordsmith, she has an unwavering voice that can tug anywhere in your body and together they're wicked. Prepare to tap your feet, move your hips, throw your head back and chuckle, as poet and guitarist Jeet Thayil and singer-songwriter Suman Sridhar perform at the Jazz Lounge at Ai this evening. It's difficult to slot their music in a specific genre, but here's what: the duo are wizards of irreverent verse, and with Sridhar's Macbook, midi controller and Thayil's guitar, they cook up some addictive songs that stay in your head long after your last drink.
We're sitting at Gunpowder, the popular Malayali restaurant and we talk in between multiple discussions about their other appearance at the Medicine Show, a variety show presented by Stiff Kittens Inc. "We wanted to work with Stefan Kaye, after we jammed with him in Mumbai," say Sridhar, 27, and Thayil, 50. Kaye is the keyboardist of Delhi 's Emperor Minge and has organised the Medicine Show where Sridhar/Thayil are performing scenes from their opera The Flying Wallahs. "It's called opera noir, it's full of grime, accusations, blood is spilt," says Thayil. "And it's sexy," adds Sridhar. Apart from songs that they've been writing together since they first met in 2007, Sridhar and Thayil have co-written The Flying Wallahs, singing, narrating the story of a tragedy that takes place in a circus. "It's about a trapeze couple. One night, she's a second too late in catching him and he falls to his death," says Sridhar. But it could have been on purpose, Thayil adds, who plays the tormented ghost who haunts his partner.
Their set at Ai will consist of popular tracks such as This be the Beat, City of Sisters and Bring me Rain and other songs from their upcoming album. Their influences range from Thelonius Monk and Madhuri Dixit, Butoh, The Butthole Surfers and Thayil will throw in something from the Bible as well. "We're still writing music for the album, it should be about 15 tracks. We haven't set a date yet, but we're looking at a year of recordings," says Sridhar who is also working on her own album while Thayil is writing the ending to his debut novel. But while they're here, make a date with them, and try and keep it.
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