My Favourite Albums Of The Decade

So. Will of Will’s Band Of The Week, set out an exercise for the members contributing to the podcast : List out your top 10 albums of the decade 2010s.

I will not get into the conversations as to when does the decade start. That’s a whole other discussion. The parameters were list your top 10 from 2010 to 2019.

At first I was against this idea. Top 10 of decade means a deep dive into all the albums for last 10 years!! That’s insane. But it got stuck in my head like a fly. Buzzing over my thoughts day in day out. So I finally gave in.

Here is my list of top 10.

2WaxahatcheeIvy Tripp
3Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
4RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
5The Chemical BrothersHANNA
7Leonard CohenYou Want It Darker
8The BethsFuture Me Hates Me
9Car Seat HeadrestTeens Of Denial
10Bob DylanTempest

Here is the podcast link :

For those looking for the list, you can stop here. For those interested in knowing how I generated the list, let’s carry on.

I have been doing top 10 lists for a few years now and it was always a fun but a cumbersome project. This time I decided to make my life easier. I wanted to just enter the name of the album, enter some numbers and get my top 10.

Here are my controls :

Ranking : Is obvious

Artist / Album : are obvious

Highlight Song : My favourite song in the album

Songs I Loved In The Album : How many songs I really really liked

Total Songs In The Album : obvious

Songs Liked (Weighting) : Since number of songs varies in the albums (some have 20 songs and some have 5), I calculate a percentage.

Extra Weighting Based on Songs Liked : This is an argument I had with myself. We live in an era where emphasis is paid on a song and not the whole album. Hence I wanted to credit an album where I “liked” more songs than a certain threshold.

So, if the “Songs I Liked (Weighting)” is 8 or more, I gave an extra nudge. I increased the weighting by 50%. Hence the score under “Extra weighting” will become 12 or more.

If “Songs I Liked (Weighting)” is 5 and less than 8, I increased the weighting score by 25%. Hence the score under “Extra Weighting” will being 6.25 to 8.75.

This came in handy as the number of albums on my list numbered more than 50. You will see from my list that the higher ranked ones, universally, have a very high percentage of songs I have liked.

Lyrics Rating (out of 10) : I gave a score out of 10 for the lyrics. I am a lyrics guy. The song needs to explain (or at least attempt to explain) the meaning. So if an album can kind of “sync” with my thought process lyrically, I gave it a high score. There are a lot of amazing albums out there but they were lower in the list specifically because of this criteria.

Case in point St. Vincent’s album from 2014 titled St. Vincent. Lyrically I find it incomprehensible. It got a score of 5.45 under this criteria.

Music Rating (out of 10) : Music is the key. Music is everything. Music raises your heart to heavens and shows the true meaning of your life. So the music on the album needs to give me the “chills”, gives me a conduit to the mind and “soul” of the musician and with those sounds, we become brothers/sisters. For a few moments.

And there you have it. My method of coming up with the silly little algorithm. It’s stupid but I like it.

Caveat : This system is HEAVY on your subjective mind and thought process. The number I used to rate music is essentially what I “feel” about it. And feeling has no scientific basis. Same goes with lyrics.

And that’s that.

Under Lock Down

So. How’s life under this lock down?

It’s all so new. It’s all so weird. And yes, it’s all too scary and real. Actually, let me scratch that. It’s not real yet. I think it will get really “real” when someone we know get the virus.

In the meantime we are doing what we can to lock ourselves down. The most hardcore person in our family is my daughter. Has only gone out to walk the dog. Nothing else. Wife has taken over the lead role as the grocer / shopper of the household. She is a dentist and has been asked to not work at all except emergencies. So far, she has been handled those scenarios via the phone. She is going crazy with boredom. She wants to work, she can work but has been told by the authorities, STAY HOME!

In my case, I have been working from home since 2012 so this is not new to me. The only thing new to me is that the house is always “full”. There is always someone or the other barging into my room. Wife / daughter always assume that I am available to do shit like “can you take the garbage out?” / “the tv is not working” / “can you clean some of the big utensils?” I love them to bits but come on! Am working!

Our daily routine is fairly common for suburbia. Day starts at 7AM and ends around 10PM. In between there is critical decisions like what to eat for lunch and dinner. Should we drink tonight or not? Should we take dog out for a longish walk or just around the block? Should I go for a run? Which tv series should we start watching?

Work has been insane lately! Am not sure where the work is coming from given that the global economy has slowed down substantially. Projections are at -3%!! IMF is estimating a loss of $9 trillion!! (visualize this : $1 million stacked up with $100 bills will be 1 m high. $1 billion stacked up with $100 bills will be 1 km high. $1 trillion stacked up with $100 bills will be 1,015 km high. Yes, someone did the calculation). So that is a very, very big number. Regardless, the company I work for is chugging along at a high speed. I sometimes have to stay up till midnight to meet with teams in China and HK for conferences. I am expecting there to be a slowdown in my work, eventually. But at the moment, it’s all-work-no-play mode here.

We did have a holiday in Feb just before the lock down. In hindsight, thank god we took that vacation else we would have gone mad by now. We went to St. Lucia with our friends for 7 days. Could not have asked for a better vacation. Sun, sand and friends. Had tonnes of fun.

That’s it for now. Let’s see if this quarantine will lead to more posts. Here are some recent pictures of the family and friends.

Halifax Trip

We love our neighbors.

Since our move to the neighborhood, we have steadily morphed from friendly neighbors to good friends.

We have out together all the time. Try new restaurants. Exchange good with each other all the time. Jump into each other’s hot tub or swimming pool. Go on vacations.

The last vacation was to Joanne’s home town Halifax.

Sure we chose the wrong month to go. It was COLD!!

But when you are with friends, everything is amazing.

On our way!

Phone therapy after the flight

On the boat to downtown Halifax.

Jo and Diane.

One of the stops during Joanne’s tour

Taking shelter from the brutal rain and wind

Yes. It was very cold!

Yes. There were lunatics oyster fishing

Simon. The photographer.

Bob and Diane. I know exactly what Bob’s hand is doing. The pervert.

Jo and Pre drunk Simon

In Halifax to celebrate Bob’s birthday

At the infamous Lower Deck

Bob’s birthday

Bob was everywhere


Old as shit

Waking in Jo’s neighborhood

Had a great time in Halifax.


So I have shun the social websites.

The unfortunate consequences of that has been that I have cut off my family and friends.

So, I will post randomly here and hope that my fabulous savvy family members will share with everyone one.

Comments are open and your feedback is always appreciated.

Here are some pictures of a recent wedding we attended.

A rare sight. Rhea in a dress!!

The love of my life.

Mehendi time.

The family

Trip To Paris

The family visited Paris in last week of July. The trip was outstanding to say the least. Perfect weather. Crowded but not too much(I don’t think terrorism has impacted the tourism much. Especially people from China). Friendly people (for the most part. We did experience some famous French pouting).

Here are some pictures.

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Charu and Rhea exhausted after a trip to Versailles

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Resting at Eiffel Tower

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View from our room.

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These were everywhere!

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Notre Dame

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On the hop-on hop-off bus

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At Sacre Coeur

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Arc De Triomphe

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Jardin Du Luxembourg

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Jardin Du Luxembourg. Check out the trees.

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Jardin Du Luxembourg. Charu fighting with Rhea

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Jardin Du Luxembourg. Rhea thinks she looks dumb

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At Versailles.

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At Versailles. Garden at the back.

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At Versailles. The main view.

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Used metro quite a lot. Excellent service.

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At Lourve.

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Rhea trying a new look.

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On our way to the top

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A look from the bottom.

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Walking tour. The best part of the trip.

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Both very skeptical about the different kinds of cheeses.

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Walking through the small streets.

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Rhea refused to play with the bubbles. Until they came her way :)

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Found a great Thai place. My goofy was goofing off.

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Selfies galore!

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Last day. Waiting at the Metro.

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Security was intense. Soldiers everywhere.

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My baby.

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On a bridge along Seine river.

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The sleepy head was always catching a nap.

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Just walking about along Seine river.

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Fries and Algae juice.

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Napolean’s tomb.

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Cruising along river Seine.

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Rhea was exhausted by day 5.

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It was a fabulous trip. Love you Paris!


Runner’s Egos

So during my long run this Sunday I was about to cross a family with a little child planning on the path.

The father yells out “Hayley, get aside and let this jogger through”

WTF!! I wanted to yell back “I am not a jogger. I am a runner”.

Does anyone else have this problem?


Updates On My Life

Ok. Lets try this again.

Life has been relatively steady. Summer is finally here and once it gets here you suddenly realise that you are not a “heat” person anymore. If the temperature ticks to 25.00001 C, my sweat pores open up like a runaway faucet and I yearn for some cold air.

Went golfing with the neighbour boys on Tuesday and each time I play golf I realise I really love it. And then forget about it for a few months. Am sure it will be no different this time.

Running has been steady. Am no Robin, but am putting in about 35 to 40 KM a week. Am pushing to double it by September. Planning a couple of marathons later in the year. Ran Around The Bay in April which was strangely my worst and best run. Worst because I have never in my life felt so cold. Was severely under-dressed for the run. Best because I finally beat the 3:00 hour mark. Finished the run in 2:59:14 hours. Really proud of it.

Work has been good. Work mostly from home although I have a preference to work from office. I find I am more productive at office. No distractions and working from home is a drain on the will power.

Daughter has been growing a breakneck speed. She is going to be 13 this year. And what does this teen want? A dog. Oh my god!! She is relentless. I have given in and my wife is almost there. Looks like we will be getting a doggy in the house.

What else?

Well, there is music.

The fairly tale story is of course Maggie Rogers. I think the whole world has seen this clip of Pharrell’s reaction to her song.

I find the video so adorable because for the first half of the song she kept glancing at Pharrell to gauge his reaction but she could not read his expressions until finally he gave her the gracious nod. Then she just beams! And the song is fantastic. Hope to hear some good things from this young woman.

More music reviews coming up.

Well, hope to see you all soon on this page. Will try to get it active again.

Running (11 Jan – 17 Jan)

Not the best effort this week. I’d give myself B-.

Total : 27.5

12 Jan : 7.2 KM @ 6.38 min/KM
13 Jan : 5.3 KM @ 6.42 min/KM
14 Jan : Jillian Michaels work out
15 Jan : 4 KM @ 6.43 min/KM
17 Jan : 10.9 KM @ 6.29 min/KM

All were on treadmill. I did venture out on the 17th but after I landed on my butt after. 5 KM I thought best to shift to treadmill.

Recent updates

So we were invited to lohri (a South Asian celebration of end of winter) in Mississauga. Not sure why we celebrate it here in January. That’s smack in the middle of winter of Canada. Thankfully the weather cooperated (thank you El Niño!!) and we were able to spend a few minutes outside.


Yes this was happening in the garage. Don’t worry the doors were open and I was told fire extinguishers were close by.


Rhea had fun.


Lots of singing of traditional songs


Jolly bhaiyya (a close family friend in purple jersey) was in total “entertainment” form. Leading the singing.


Our gracious co-hosts.

Running (4th Jan – 10th Jan)

Running last week was mostly a treadmill affair. I have a love hate relationship with the dread-mill. I love the controlled runs on the machine. I hate the controlled runs on the machine.

Total 18.10km for the week.

My treadmill of 14 years is finally showing signs of old age. I am debating on getting a new one. Or maybe go to the gym which will force me to stick to a schedule.

What do you think?

My Top 10, 2015 Albums

Here we go!!

10)  Elvyn (Valley Of The Kilowatt Hour)

A very CSN&Y like sound guarantees you will instantly like this band. Each song is a hit in my books. Here is one of my favourite “AM” (if you dont have Google Play then hopefully they will let you sample) :

Elvyn – AM


9) Sufijan Stevens (Carrie and Lowell)

What a sad, sad album. His pain on his relationship with  his mother just sprinkled all over. The, mostly, first person account of this very intimate album is difficultl to go through but it is very rewarding. This song showcases the album very nicely “John, My Beloved”


8) Ryley Walker (Primrose Green)

Van Morrison is back!! In the form of Ryley Walker. Some albums just walk into your life without you paying much attention to it and then later you listen and wonder why you did not welcome it with open arms.

The guitar work is astounding on this album. He proved it again by releasing an instrumental album with Bill MacKay.

Here is a the title track from Primrose Green :

7) Torres  (Sprinter)

Another album that is very intimate on my top 10. Her voice ranges from the soft and sweet to vicious and full of rage. Beautiful album! Here is the most powerful of the songs from the album ” Strange Hellos”

6) Public Service Broadcasting (The Race For Space)

Excellent concept album from the British duo. One of the few albums that I switched on and did not stop until the album ended. The album essentially details the race for space from Sputnik to the landing on the moon. I love this album because growing up, the space race to an Indian kid with zero outlets, was just fascinating.

Here is a song about one of my heroes Yuri Gagarin.

5) Thee Oh Sees (Mutilator Defeated At Last)

Have always loved this band and have taken their eclectic and dissonance and their inexplicable sounds in stride. However, this new album took me by surprise. Tight, excellent production value and loud! Loved it!

4) Faith Healer (Cosmic Troubles)

The first thing I really liked about the album was the way the vocals remind me of a lazy river. Soft, luscious and faint ripples in pitch here are there. The music and the production on this album are spot on. My favourite song is Cannonised but let’s play “No Car”, the hit.

3) Coutney Barnett

Man, this woman will never able t live down this album. What a debut! Courtney is the female version of Lou Reed, albeit a funnier version. I was hooked from “Pedestrian At Best”. However, that song has been played to death, so lets listen to “Dead Fox”

2) Girl Pool (Before The World Was Big)

What can two really young girls with only a guitar and bass create? An absurd sound that means nothing? Nope. Sublime music that clearly states to the world that they are two young women and on the precipice of adulthood. It’s right there in the title of the album. A really short album (22 minutes) but a powerful one. I keep telling my daughter that I hope that she grows to have such a sound. She ignored my plea, she is still into Taylor Swift. This Tiny Desk Concert of Girlpool is really good. Give it a listen.

1) Waxahatchee (Ivy Tripp)

The first time I heard this album I knew it would be one that I would be going back to again and again. This album has everything, emotions, intensity, soundscapes that range from soft to jangle to hard. The album seems to represent her stance and her emotions in the face of an unknown future. My favourite album of the year. Well done Waxahatchee.



Girl In A Band by Kim Gordon

This is a book released by Kim Gordon, one of the founding members of the, now extinct, band, Sonic Youth. She is labelled the epitome of coolness, the harbinger of unstated sexuality, one of the first indie feminist songstress.

But the book proves all that to be untrue. From the book it is obvious that she is a very shy person who has been dominated by strong personalities throughout her life. From her schizophrenic older brother to her band mate and husband, Thruston Moore. In between these two relationship we come to know her relationships between her parents, partners, musicians and other artists who have played an influential role in her life.

The book is a straightforward account of her life from childhood. Not some earth shattering revelation but just a story of a person whose public perceptions mask a sensitive and an endearing person. She highlights her issues, her desires and her thinking behind each of her project be they songs from Sonic Youth or her numerous art and fashion projects.

I found her to be quite an interesting person which prompted me to do what I usually never ever do….. Learn more about a person I consider one of my heroes.

I started to look for her interviewees and other articles. Here is my favourite :

But as someone said “never know your heroes too well, they will disappoint”. And she definitely did. Her fascination with astrology and everything ” spiritual ” really put me off. I mean, come on!! She is obviously an intelligent person but this interview proves that she is a little bonkers. I watched it for 20 minutes and had to switch it off.

Other than that, the book is a great opportunity to learn about one of the minds behind the iconic band. Kim Gordon may be the queen of cool but she is just another person.

Highly recommended for the fans of Sonic Youth. Mildly recommended for non fans.

My Top 10 Albums Of 2014

My top 10 albums of the year. 

10) Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me! 

Literally an album about being a transgender. The band is headed by a woman (formally a man) who went through all that she sings about. Except for the song “Osama bin Laden as the Crucified Christ” which is an odd song in the list and I would have been dismissed out right if not for a killer guitar line and powerful sound. What a song! 


9) Ultravoilence by Lana Del Ray 

Finally found that dark brooding sound that she has been looking for… probably helped that Dan Auerbach produced the album. Eagerly waiting for her next album. Hope she kicks it up a notch. 


8) Thrash Rock Legacy by Mounties 

A perfect summer record. A Canada indie supergroup which I honestly thought would fall flat on its face. But they really pulled it off and their sing “Headphones ” is my song of the year. 


7) To be Kind by Swans 

I will be honest, I have not heard the full album in one sitting. The album is more than 2 hours long!! But each song is sublime with angst and emotions embroiled within the music.


6) Alvvays by Alvvays 

Another pop wonder this year. One of the few albums that my daughter likes (that is on this list). The one thing I really liked about this album was how the sweet innocent voice was laced with ironic and sexy lyrics. Hope this band does well. 


5) Make My Head Sing by Jessica Lea Mayfield 

Shows what you can do with delicate vocals and loud guitar riffs. Love it! 


4) Popular Problems by Leonard Cohen 

Man, never thought I would have Leonard Cohen’s album in my top 10 once he hit 80 years of age. But what a powerful album from the versatile singer. When you compare his first album “Songs Of Leonard Cohen” from 1967 and “Popular Problems” in 2014, you will notice the massive change in his singing style. Excellent album. 


3) Love by Amen Dunes 

Got this album on a whim and have not stopped listening to ever since it was released. I loved it so much that I bought the vinyl and played that over and over again. Reminds me a lot of Van Morrison’s works. Spacey, hazy and, on song, surprisingly loud. 


2) Manipulator by Ty Segall 

25 year old and 8 album (not including multiple collaborations)!! I don’t think this musician is ever going to worry about burn out. With this album, Ty Segall has really elevated his music. A little less noisy than his previous albums (therefore, more accessible?) and the songs all have a melodies. Something I have not seen on his previous albums. Started listening to it when NPR was streaming the album and still am listening it on the vinyl I bought. 


1) St. Vincent 

Strange, weird, in-coherent. That’s what I initially thought. That is until, I forced myself to “listen” to the album. From the first song the journey into her album has been illuminating and wonderful. This is by far the best album of the year. 

This is a fun exercise and I look forward to it all the time. Here are my past “top 10 albums” links :





(Looks like I skipped 2012)

3Oct2014 : Top 5 Songs/albums For The Week

Here are my current top songs/albums.

1) Ty Segall. Boy this performer gets better and better with each album! And that is a rarity in the music business. His new album is outstanding! Cannot find one song in that is “yeah, that’s meh”. Here is the track that captures you right away.

2) Here’s another band that keeps getting better. To be honest the album “Sunbathing Animals” is not “Light Up Gold” but it’s close. The best song from the album “She’s Rolling”. The song is fairly standard, it’s the close that really gets you!

3) Interpol is back! And boy did they surprise me. I thought it was going to be another mish mash album. A few earth shattering songs mixed with some boring ones. But no, this album is great from the start to finish. Ok, I have to be honest, towards the end of the album, I do lose interest but from Interpol, I will take it.

4) Found this band when I was playing around with Google music (yes, am a fan of Google Music and I think Spotify sucks) and was immediately taken by their bluesy grunge sound. Excellent EP (Comfortable Skin). They take a down turn when they slow down their music. Guys, you were not built for slow, romantic songs.

5) The Raveonettes are back! With another album that proves that these guys are the band to follow. Haunting video. Excellent song.

Top 5 Songs/Albums I Am Listening These Days

1) Lana Del Rey – Shades Of Cool

Am very impressed by the new album by Lana. I think she finally found the sweet spot between sadness, violence and a desire to abandon it all. And it is all encased in lush melodies that make you sad and yet makes you want to get to the end of the album.


2) Evil – Interpol

Interpol is band that I love to hate. They put out killer songs like Evil, Next Exit and Not Even Jail in on one album and the rest of the album is….meh. Why, Interpol? Why do you do this? They did this again on their third album Our Love To Admire.


3) Pink Floyd – Interstellar Overdrive

Bought the vinyl recently and cannot stop listening to this album. Love it!


4) Fanfarlo – Myth To Myself

The voice, the sound and the synergy from this band is astounding! Good to see this band has consistently produced great music!

Heard this band is a amazing live : This video sure does prove it


5) Lou Reed – The Raven

I have not heard all of Lou’s solo work but this album has always stood numero uno for me. Disturbing, haunting and yet riveting. Just like the man himself.

And this reading by William DaFoe on the album will give you chills down your spine.