BY: SUN STAFF
Aug 3, CANADA (SUN) Like Kula Shaker and the Straight Edge bands, musicians around the world are planting seeds of Krsna Consciousness through rock, punk and hiphop genres.
Krsna rock bands are increasingly found at music festivals are the world around, and Krsna rock is becoming an international favourite with listeners of all ages. Headlines in a recent travel zine reported that the Hare Krsna punks are about to take on Radiohead and Iggy Pop at the Sziget Festival in Budapest later this month.
Michael Logan noted, "Admittedly, a three-chord, 30 minute epic song in which the only lyrics are 'Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama' may not sound terribly appealing." He noted that at last year's Sziget festival, the Krishna tent was often packed with pogo'ing people who were also attracted by the free vegetarian food.
"At the festival you can find German rockers, Serb punks, Dutch students and French car mechanics all peacefully mixing together," said Viktoria Veto, the festival's press chief, adding, 'The varied programme means that everybody can always find something to suit them.'
The annual Sziget festival, now in its 14th year, will be held from August 9-16 on Obuda Island, an island in the middle of the Danube River in north Budapest. Nearly 380,000 people attended last year's festival, and the numbers rise each year.
Another popular devotee rock band, Namrock, was founded by Titiksava Karunika dasa of the famed Gauranga Bhajan Band, has also been in the news of late. The Namrock website tells the story of this 70's rocker's progression through Krsna Consciousness and back onto the music stage.
"Titiksava Karunika was born in Santa Monica, California and started playing guitar at the age of 11. In the late 1970's he was playing in a band called "Smokestack Lightning" which was playing the club circuit around the San Francisco bay area. In 1979 he joined the Hare Krishnas and, for the time being set aside his music and engaged in self-realization.
After learning the science of connecting ones occupation with God Consciousness he again took to playing the guitar and writing songs but this time with the idea of helping people to make progress on their spiritual path. In 1984 he started the band "Krishnautix". Krishnautix produced four albums.
In 1992 he was asked to join the Gauranga Bhajan Band who had been doing concert tours in the eastern European block and the former Soviet Union. The Iron curtain had just come down and the two things that the former communist regime feared the most was western rock music and religion. The Gauranga Bhajan Band had both. A spiritual rock band with spiritual rock music. The tour was a huge success, culminating in Moscow with a spiritual rock concert in the biggest stadium in Russia. The one where the 1990 Olympic Games were held. Over 30,000 people attended and everybody was into the chanting of the holy names. The crowd was ecstatic. Boy George who shared the bill, said it was the best concert he had ever experienced."
Titiksava Karunika dasa and friends at LA Ratha Yatra, 20005
Devotee bands and music artists wishing to take advantage of promotional opportunities on the Net should check out Omstream, an online sales aggregator specializing in alternative/spiritual music.
Bebo Bands is another site that can help to support and promote Krsna bands. Bebo is the biggest social network in the UK and one of the largest in the world. They've just launched Bebo Bands, registering more than 25,000 groups and artists.
Musicians can set-up a free profile and upload an unlimited number of tracks, create a custom profile, adding songs, tour dates and photos to their page. Devotee bands, of course, can also add Krsna and Srila Prabhupada, and use the music space to preach to a huge demographic, tagging in by the shared interest in music.
Enjoying the sound vibrations, LA Ratha Yatra, 20005