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The Ustad


Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

A fellow blogger recently reminded me of how much I love the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. You might not think you know the work of the Ustad (Master) from Faisalabad but chances are you do. Your head may not remember but your heart does. If you really don’t know him you’re missing something. If you do know his music and aren’t utterly entranced by it you’re definitely missing something.

Don’t be put off because his music is of the 800 year old classical, sacred tradition of Qawwali. Don’t worry that you don’t understand Urdu. Just listen. You’ll understand. This stuff is dance music. Even if you don’t move you’ll be moved. But if you’re prepared to stand up, close your eyes and let the music speak directly to your body it will carry you around the room and into the heavens. You may lose yourself. You may find something else entirely.

The Ustad left us in 1997 and I never had the opportunity to see him perform. I would have loved to have been at one of his concerts. Down the front. In the mosh pit.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Party

From → music

  1. Just listened, a breathless joyous thing. Wow, thanks for posting…


  2. For Fox Sake permalink

    Curious; the soundtrack to the DVD I watched last night
    featured this chap – Dead Man Walking


    • Hey that’s synchronicity!

      It’s a woo-woo thing that means you think you’ve noticed a coincidence so the universe must be trying to tell you something. Do you reckon you’re supposed to become a nun, a sufi or a death row prisoner?

      I love Carl Jung but he’s got a lot to answer for.


  3. For Fox Sake permalink

    Do you reckon you’re supposed to become a nun, a sufi or a death row prisoner?

    Only three unoriginal choices? You can do better than that, but don’t strain yourself.

    I outgrew Carl Jung, haven’t you?


  4. I outgrew Carl Jung, haven’t you?

    I never liked him at all until I read The Red Book about five years ago. Then in October 2012 I finally ‘got’ Jungian individuation. I still reckon he’s mostly full of it but methinks he was onto something there. But I’m fuckin’ crazy, ain’t I?

    In my loonieverse the ‘individual’ really is a fractal series of splits, starting with subject/object. Everything else divides from there into internalised and externalised mirrored concepts. When you give up on all that ‘I am an individual’ bullshit the external and internal just resolve into each other and become irrelevant. Sometimes (maybe all the time?) the resolution takes something nasty away with it. That’s not a problem for me. I’ve got plenty of nasty to spare.

    These days I’m hung up on the split between masculine and feminine creative principles (or ‘archetypes’ if you’d rather speak Jung). Shiva and Shakti (Mahakali of course). I think that’s maybe why a Goddess dropped on me like a ton of what-the-fuck! Maybe if I resolve it I’ll stop being such a goddessdamned misogynist. Or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For Fox Sake permalink

    These days I’m hung up on the split between masculine and feminine creative principles (or ‘archetypes’ if you’d rather speak Jung).

    Sounds like your Venus synodic cycle needs a reboot – every 8 years, that babe will drop
    on you like a ton of pricks.

    I’d rather speak Plato, forms is more cosmologically correct.

    I think that’s maybe why a Goddess dropped on me like a ton of what-the-fuck!

    I reckon your moon was void-of-course.

    Maybe if I resolve it I’ll stop being such a goddessdamned misogynist. Or not.

    Read two chapters of <i/The Bogan Delusion and call me at 4.20


    • Nah. David Nichols is part of the reason The Go-Betweens are one of the most over-rated bands in Australian music history. I’d rather not watch him trying to make a cult of boganism.


  6. For Fox Sake permalink

    I detect shades of a traditional Sydney-Melbourne feudalism in your remark.
    What a hoot!


    • Huh?

      The Go-Betweens are from Brisbane. The fact that Nichols is from Melbourne is irrelevant. I heap scorn upon Go-Betweens fans no matter where they hail from. Besides I’m originally from Woy Woy, now from Newcastle.

      IMHO the only reason anyone outside their tiny trendoid art-student fanbase has ever heard of The Go-Betweens was due to an accident of history. When 2JJ went national as JJJ they needed to find bands outside the traditional Sydney/Melbourne punk/post-punk axis that could be played in the bush without startling the sheep. The Go-Betweens and The Triffids (Perth) fitted the bill, especially with the rustic theme of some of their songs (though I don’t know why The Johnnys and The Beasts of Bourbon weren’t considered hick enough) so they were flogged to death to a largely naive audience. Yeah, both bands wrote musically atypical pop and at least in the case of The Triffids a few songs actually had a bit of heart. But The G-Bs stuff always sounded pretentious and contrived to me. And despite the attempts of some of their sycophants to paint them as edgy and rebellious as some other Brisbane bands (e.g. The Saints, The Aliens, The Leftovers, The Black Assassins) they were and (the survivors) remain pillars of the Aus music establishment.

      I only caught them live once and I think someone very cruel must have got them the gig. It was on Oxford St in Paddington where they took middle place in a bill that included The Laughing Clowns and The Birthday Party. Needless to say both bands blew them off the stage. Whoever made Lindy Morrison with her tippity-tap drumming follow Jeff Wegener must have been trying to humiliate her. Nonetheless there was a modest contingent of overdressed arty-farty types voguing to their music. They made themselves scarce when The Birthday Party took the stage though (oh, and The Birthday Party remains one of my all time favourite bands – so there goes your anti-Melbourne conspiracy theory).

      Morrison is now a shill for big record companies in their attempts to strangle new Australian acts with excessive royalties for has-beens with back catalogues. Forster is a music critic and is every bit as staid and wanky as he was as a musician but he seems to have gotten several other know-nothing music critics onside in the attempt to make out The Go-Betweens were something they never were. I even heard one on the radio claiming they were a radical band because they had a woman behind the drum-kit. Yeah, radical like The Carpenters but a decade later (or 15 years after Mo Tucker picked up the sticks for The Velvet Underground if you prefer). In any case, Morrison had already played drums (boringly, I’m told) with Xero, so how rad could The G-Bs have been?

      Despite their listless live shows and uninspired songs The Go-Betweens probably deserve more than a footnote in Australian music history. Just nothing like the mythologising they actually get. At least they were better than Split Enz, Little River Band or The Models.

      Ahh, glad to have gotten that off my chest. Thanks for the excuse.


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