Jal the Band, live in Los Angeles

Jal, the rock group from Pakistan, performed at Exposition Park here in Los Angeles last night. In what has to be one of my most ad hoc visits to any concert (didn't even *know* they were to perform until the afternoon), I was very pleased having seen them live. They are fantastic performers.

You're probably familiar with their music through Bollywood. Read Jal's Wikipedia entry, and one name stands out to those familiar with Hindi film music -- Atif Aslam. As a long-time fan of Pakistani pop and rock (much of which has to do with exponentially better lyrics), I can tell you Jal are much better off without Atif, and I like them more without him too. Having said that, there's hardly any doubt the split worked out for both parties. So if you have any favorite works by Jal or by Atif Aslam, let's talk about them!

Here's one of my favorite songs by Jal, the splendid combination of love of person and love of the divine dealt with so seamlessly. I liked their live rendition to this more, but love this video! Is there a better location to shoot it at? (Here's a related Song for each Picture series post.)

And to make this more Bollywood-related, here is a decent Jal music video featuring Amrita Arora. Here she is at the launch of their most recent album.

Have a great start to your week. The Aazaadi Sawaari is almost set to take off (as if it had stopped), see you again soon.


JJC said...

Jal is a great band. I think Pakistani bands are much better (junoonnnn). I actually dont love Atif Aslam his voice isnt my fav.

theBollywoodFan said...

Definitely agree on the bands, JJC. Junoon certainly pioneered South Asian rock (that album 'Talaash' is still so cool), and I really like Jal with Farhan Saeed as the vocalist and not Atif.

I should have mentioned they had a mini-tribute to Michael Jackson last night as well. And they also had Baba-e-Pop Alamgir :)

Darshit said...

Ah, I just love Pak Music. Strings and Jal are my favorite band, and Atif the solo. And newly found love for Hadiqa [thx to u :)]. Though I am more into Strings, Jal is just so fantastic. I wish Indian music channels show their videos. Cause Indian music channels have became 'film promo' channels + reality TV. Just so stupid if I tell you. There isn't any 'true' music channel serving music from the world or subcontinent. And that results in missing out on such great lyrics of Paki songs. Its the Urdu+Punjabi that creates great effect.

I love Rangon Mein and Mast Hoon. Thanks for the vid, first time I've seen it, Taj !! Also I didn't know abt was 'Chalte Chalte'. I heard it many times in Cornetto ad, having Amrita Rao in it. And instantly thought this must be Jal's song. Nice video. Another one, Sajni is just so addictive and mysterious tune, so is forever hit Lamhe. [I love the Bikhra Hoon Main version most] Though I don't know much abt Atif+Jal conflict, I didn't like the way Atif has done cover versions in JalPari.

But on the other side, I just 'love' Atif :P Yes, many ppl hate his quality of voice which I like the most. Maula, Mahiya vey Soniya and Yakeen from album Doorie are my favorite. And from Meri Kahani, Humrahi and Chhor Gaye are fantastic. Kaun Tha Kahan Gaya is so so lovely, [who is that lady singer?]. And most favorite is Rabba Sacheya. Since it is completely in Punjabi, I couldn't understand much. Only today morning I searched for its translation and I flattered. Here and Here are some notable attempts of translation.

And at last, a video I found most recently having Atif and Hadiqa. Lovely song : Mere Aas Paas

ajnabi said...

Oh, I love "Chalte Chalte!" The song, I mean, not the movie. (And... I thought that was Amrita Rao?) You are so lucky to live in a place where these tours stop! Curse you, rural living! ;-)

theBollywoodFan said...

Darshit: Strings are cool too! Have you listened to Roxen? Between Jal and them, we probably have the best rock bands today. I also like that these bands use some classic poems (credited) in their songs -- poems from somewhere in the last 400 years!

Music channels all over seem to be paying much less attention to 'music', which is ironic. :(

Have you listened to the complete album 'Boondh'? Each song is brilliant, there are very few such albums in any genre, I'd highly recommend you check it out. E.g. Payal and Kya Se Kya are just out of this world.

We disagree on Atif's Jal Pari, which I really like too! But I do agree with you on Atif, the dude can sing, no two ways about it. He wouldn't have been where he is if he weren't good. Jal Pari is his album to beat. And thanks for those links. All I know of the lady singer in 'Kaun Tha?' is that she's referred to as SKJ. And yes, Mere Aas Paas is fantastic, always <3 Hadiqa Kiyani!

Ajnabi: That is Amrita Rao in 'Chalte Chalte' the song! And you're always welcome to visit L.A. for a concert :)

shell said...

I actually haven't heard of this band, but will now have to go check them out. Really enjoyed the songs that you included clips of. All I ever get to listen to is filmi music that they run in between movies, and, to be perfectly honest, wasn't really aware that there were actual bands out there. I do get two music stations through my digital cable that I might have to listen to more often, but I never really hear anything on them either except for film music or more folksy type stuff - not a lot of modern music for sure. However, this was an eye opener for me and I may just have to start searching on my own. Thanks!!!!!

theBollywoodFan said...

Good luck with all the exploration, Shell, and hope you have fun! YouTube is a good place to start, although I'm afraid it'll be extremely difficult (if at all possible) to find these non-filmi songs with their translations.

Do you have a favorite genre of music?

shell said...

That's okay (about the translation) - I feel music needs no translation and can be enjoyed regardless.

Before discovering Hindi film music, I enjoyed pretty much every genre of music (I was a music major in college so I was exposed to every type, except world music). However, I'd probably categorize rock and dance as my favorites, as well as filmi music which I think is it's own genre.

theBollywoodFan said...

You're absolutely right about music being a universal language! That's such a big part of its appeal. Must add here that Jal were talking about the title of their album, 'Boondh' (which means a drop, as in drop of water), and they said the reason they named it such was they wanted their work to be a drop in the ocean of global music. That's a good way to put it.

Music major in college sounds fantastic, Shell! You probably have some really good perspective on all you listen to...must be nice ;) Since you like rock, try to check out music by Junoon. Their stuff (and now Jal's) is way ahead of everyone else I've listened to from all of South Asia. Enjoy! Cheers.

Anonymous said...

salam being a pakistani im really feeling proud that today the whole world recognize jal band which is a pure pakistani band i like to thanks all the fans of pakistani music and paki music artist like jal strings hadiqa kyani junoon and atif aslam and all. love you all paki singers and bands love you PAKISTAN.
pakistan zindabad

theBollywoodFan said...

Salaam, Anonymous: Thanks for your visit and comment, Jal definitely deserve to be recognized at an international stage, right alongside the likes of Junoon, the Vital Signs, and the solo artists you mention. We'll keep enjoying their music and especially the lyrics!

Milind said...

I love jal band jal is very good band in asia jal is better than the asian band pentagram i like jal vocalist its guitarist n its drummer jal is realy nice rock band i like jal ratain song its truely rock song the have good song choice i like to see them live i m big fan of jal band they such doing good work in feuture jal be the worlds no 1 band the vocalist sing from his heart.Good luck jal

theBollywoodFan said...

Thanks Milind. Certainly, the very best of luck to everyone who works hard to entertain us with quality work. They certainly deserve the best.

Richard S. said...

Hi there... The other day I was checking out versions of poetry by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and I stumbled upon the band Laal. I think they're good. Obviously, they have a "red" agenda, which is just fine with me :) , but I think if you like Pakistani rock music, they're pretty good for the music too...


Anonymous said...


this is also a great song, i believe its gonna be used in 3 Idiots.

if you get time can you please translate the first two lines of the song?

Aqeel said...

Well, I have been obsessing about my Pakistani music for the last two years or so, since Ive been in pardes. I've grew up on the pop and pop-rock music scene of Pakistan, and learnt to listen to Bollywood later on.

Well, there have been so much good work done out there, and my recent OCD led me to listen to a lot of acts that I didn;t know of. I can certainly give a college course on post-Nazia Hassan Pakistani pop/pop-rock music scene (as humble as i am).

Check out www.cokestudio.com.pk for some live performances/fusion done earlier this year for TV. Ask away if you are intrigued by some of the performances. Especially check out wrk by Noori band, who are bloody awesome, methinks..

Also, if you want Atif, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7GFdkZqv9c Wait till you get to the third minute or so!!

Aqeel said...

And, oh.. oh. If you get your hands on Jal's album, listen to the "slow version" of Sajni. *Respect*

And also, Jal means Water. Like Jalpari means, literally, fairy of the waters. So "boondh" was a continuation of that symbolism

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Aqeel, and welcome to the blog! Thanks for your comment, and I'll definitely seek some suggestions from you later, after I check out some of the newer stuff which you've directed us to.

I could definitely be a little more in touch with the music scene there, kind of stopped after Vital Signs, then Junaid Jamshed, stopped. Since then, have only followed Atif, Jal and Roxen. Really like the album Boondh, Paayal has to be my favorite track from it (although it's tough -- there are several fantastic songs in there). Kya sher kahe hain yaar! More later. Thanks again.

leeqa said...

Thanks man. In the Coke Studio do check all the Noori, Ali Zafar, Zeb and Haniya, and one performance by Arieb Azhar (I think it is in the last episode). That would be a good starting point.

And vital signs. Junaid Jamshed. Memories.. haye! Though most of the songs weren't that special, if I listen back to them now, but no one else was doing something like that back then. Btw Junaid Jamshed is a maulvi now, im sure you know that.

Also this coke studio is produced by Rohail Hyatt, another member of the Vital Signs