10 things I hate about Coke Studio

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1.   I hate how every season and every episode of Coke Studio sets my hopes for the next season and next episode yet another few notches above any reasonable expectation from a pop show. Currently the bar is set to “like when Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire”. It’s completely irrational, but after “Kangna” that’s where it stays.

2.   Why do our musicians never just totally lose it, run across stage and smash something? Why? Why don’t they do more than just groove within a one foot radius of where they’ve been placed? Can we get a healthy dose of showmanship to match the music quality already? One more episode of canned wry, sidelong smiles and gentle nods will be the death of me.

3.   Nothing annoys a musician more than to be staring at footage of the house band members playing a nifty riff/doodle/drum fill which has been edited out/muted by Rohail Hyatt in the final mix! Take pity on us and don’t add in enticing footage of stuff we can’t hear.

4.   Ever tried discussing Coke Studio captions with someone who doesn’t understand the language at all? “Yes you see, right here this guy is REALLY upset about the bracelet his dandy lover refuses to return … trust me, it’s really deep. Really, really deep…”

5.    Coke Studio’s popularity. All the people I loathe are digging the same songs I am.

6.    Obsessing over that one Coke Studio song that starts haunting you in your sleep. And pity the man or woman who happens to get one of the over-10-minute-long songs stuck in their heads.

7.    Komal Rizvi’s mysterious conversion of “Dana PAH Dana” to “Danay PEH Danay”.

8.   Rohail is playing it too safe and too pop in his production. Can Coke Studio please release an app which allows us access to the original tracks to each song so we can spend countless hours mixing them to our own tastes? I will be ever-peeved till I can add a massive distorted guitar riff and some double bass patterns into – yes, you guessed it – Kangna.

9.    The YouTube videos of people mock-jamming through Coke Studio tracks using forks as drumsticks, mops as guitars and Barbie Dolls as mikes. You watch one, and it’s cute. You watch two and it’s pretty damn funny. Three hours of viewing later, you hate yourself. And Coke Studio.

10.   I hate that Coke Studio is so awesome, I find myself feeling unutterably guilty as I sip on Pepsi while writing this.

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, July 31st,  2011.

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