Friday, November 28, 2014

The ME Indie Jukebox November 26

Every week the folks from join us in the studio to play some of the coolest indie music from the region.

We always have a jukebox full of surprises.

Here is the podcast you be the judge.

Here is the playlist for the week and some stuff.

  • 10 Quesso - Flamingods-1.mp3 317
  • experimental
  • Band Members
  • Kamal Rasool
  • Charles Prest
  • Sam Rowe
  • Craig Doporto
  • Karthik Poduval
  • Home Town
  • South East London
  • Long Description
  • we like to make noise with instruments collected from around the world

Alaa Bit Hashim - Shoutout (Radio Edit).mp3 320

Alaa Bit Hashim, is a Sudanese poetry writer/performer, raised between Abu Dhabi, UAE & Khartoum, Sudan. She fell deeply in love with Poetry in her early teens and has gradually morphed into a Black Rose of Prose, of sorts. Lover of Words; Worder of Love.
With several performances in her home country of Sudan, once in California, several at Roof Top Rhythms in Abu Dhabi and proceeding to also record poetry over music, the simplicity of her style remains distinctively riveting.
Ala’a is also an aspiring Humanitarian, interested in charity work and volunteering. Founder of the Humanitarian Organization “To Sudan with Love“, which has been active in Sudan since 2008.

Eftekasat - Faction-1.mp3 321

Eftekasat is one of very few Egyptian independent music groups to have managed to establish themselves on the scene in such a little timeGrowing up in a musical family and being influenced by classic music, Amr Salah started composing music during his youth. He kept experimenting and writing music till he was introduced to the jazz scene to start writing music with those formats in that particular direction. Although exposing his music wasn't an easy process, he kept documenting the music by notation, sequencer or recording. One of his very first tunes, written round 1992, is "Anxiety" which turned out to be Anxious Dance, the first track onMouled Sidi El-Latini and "Moods".
The members of the group started to grow when Salah met his very close friend Samer George at the French Cultural Centre where Samer was performing some Beatles songs. Amr was so fascinated that after the show he hugged Samer and they started their musical journey. During Salah and Samer's work in Bahrain they met Amr Khairy, the drummer, in 1996. Many has already given Khairy positive reviews and joining forces with the two friends on the musical project was a big step. Khairy was introduced to the music and was impressed resulting in the trio performing gigs and playing in a 5 star jazz club called the Magical Blue Moods.[3] However, the group hasn't even started yet although there were plans to 'do something' in the future. Returning from Bahrain, everyone went to their different musical projects and the trio was separated to be reunited again in 2000.

McCone - Five - Mix 1-1.mp3 307
Their names are Thomas and Lucas and they are twins and like me also grew up in Dubai. At the moment they are coaching tennis around town to save up money to record their first music album.
They have actually already spent some time with a producer in Barcelona and to date have recorded three songs (albeit they haven’t been properly mastered) and they are heading to Hamburg to meet another producer and to hopefully finish off their first album.

Tania Saleh – Beirut Windows شبابيك بيروت - تانيا صالح [Official Video]-1.mp3 426

Tania Saleh is a Lebanese singer/songwriter/visual artist who has been paving her own path in the Arabic independent musical scene since 1990. Her voice is a soft mix between the traditional Arabic music she was raised on and the western sounds she chose to follow. Tania was born in Beirut, Lebanon (March 11, 1969). She survived the Lebanese civil war that started when she was 6. Saleh began her musical career in her late teens when Alex Bessos, founder of the band Minus Infinitee, in search of a lead vocalist expressed his interest in her voice and invited her to audition for the job of lead singer. Her first live performance was at the West Hall at the American University of Beirut in 1986. The Minus Infinitee experience did not last long because the founder emigrated to the United States.
Saleh enrolled in The Lebanese American University to study Fine Arts but music was always her first love. While in college, she joined many rock bands in search for her own style. Sometimes she had to cross the border between East and West Beirut to do her rehearsals with the musicians. She also wrote and performed jingles for radio commercials for pocket money.
Saleh enrolled in The Lebanese American University to study Fine Arts but music was always her first love. While in college, she joined many rock bands in search for her own style. Sometimes she had to cross the border between East and West Beirut to do her rehearsals with the musicians. She also wrote and performed jingles for radio commercials for pocket money.

Marriage and family life (she gave birth to Tarek in 1997 and Karim in 2003) took her away from live performances for more than seven years. In the meantime, she started writing her second album, while working in the advertising world to make a living.
In 2005, she wrote the lyrics to “Mreyte Ya Mreyte”, the title song in Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s first feature film "Caramel", composed by Khaled Mouzannar. She also wrote the lyrics to Natasha Atlas’ song “Communicate” released on Lebanese band Blend's one and only album "Act One". Her first trip to the U.S.A. was hosted by music producer Miles Copeland who chose her as one of the main Arab artists portrayed in the PBS-produced musical documentary entitled: “Dissonance and Harmony/Arab Music Goes West”. The documentary was preceded by a 5-day musical workshop uniting American and Arab artists at SIR studios in Los Angeles. It was directed by Jon Brandeis and aired on PBS, BBC, Al Jazeera and Al Hurra. The result of this workshop/documentary was the songs: "Slow Down" (released as a single and on the compilation "Desert Roses5") and the song "Had There Been a Dream" (released on the compilation "Bagdad Heavy Metal") both produced by Miles Copeland between 2006 and 2009. In 2009, in the middle of political and social turmoil, she released a new single and shot the music video entitled "Ya Wled", a critical ode to all Lebanese politicians prior to the parliamentary elections.
She performed live in various venues of the world including DRM Beirut, Byblos International Festival, The Opera House and Al Genaina Theater in Cairo, The National Theater of Doha, The Roxy (Los Angeles) and Arlington World Music Festival (Washington, D.C.) In 2010, she was featured on Al Jazeera in “Next Music Station”, a documentary by musician /filmmaker Fermin Muguruza who painted a 'soundscape' of the modern independent Arab music scene. The film was screened in Studio 39, New York the next year.
In April 2011, she released her second studio album (co-produced by Philippe Tohme) and a music video entitled "Wehde”. The album immediately became number 1 on the TOP 10 list of best selling albums at Virgin Megastore, Beirut and accompanied the winds of change throughout the Arab World. She also wrote the lyrics and coached the singers in Khaled Mouzannar’s soundtrack for Nadine Labaki’s second feature film "Where Do We Go Now?” released worldwide in September 2011. The film soundtrack also made it to number 1 on the TOP 10 list of best selling albums at Virgin Megastore, Beirut and was distributed worldwide. It won “Best Music Award” in Stockholm International Film Festival in November 2011. In 2012, Tania's song "Hsebak Baadein" was included in Galileo's Lebanese underground music compilation entitled "Radio Beirut” released in Germany and on all online music platforms.

She also released her first live album containing songs from film soundtracks that she had written the lyrics for and three previously unreleased songs recorded live. The album was entitled "Tania Saleh Live at DRM" and released in December of the same year. She performed live at the KKV church as part of the Red Zone Festival in Oslo, Norway in March 2013 and opened the Beirut Spring Festival in May of the same year. In the summer of 2014, she was chosen by The Baalbeck International Festival to perform at the temple of Bacchus. She also shared the stage as a guest with Lebanese trumpet player and composer Ibrahim Maalouf at the Byblos International Festival the same year. She recently released her third studio album "A Few Images" in collaboration with Norwegian producer Erik Hillestad from Kirkelig Kulturverksted.

Time to end the nanny culture in Dubai? November 26

So, it is affordable to have a nanny in Dubai, it is easy to get a nanny, but do they have a clue?

Are we doing more harm to the development of our children with a nanny than raising our children ourselves?

The podcast.

Here is what we used to get started with the conversation.

Is it time to end the nanny culture in the UAE?

Here is what you thought.

we have agreed that whatever keeps my wife busy can be done by the maid but our daughter is priority. Maids can't teach kids, it's unfair to our kids. Uzair

Why would they blame them selfs if child grown up not properly when they can push the blame to the maid... But I'm not a judge. Reema

It is every child's birth right to be taken care and to be brought up by their parents. Parents are the first teachers in a Childs life. It's the law ofnature whether it's humans or animals. - Sunil Edwin

Most parents are treating maid as slaves front of the kinds and so sad to see those little one behaving towards maids.

I understand your point James, about working parents, but in my life, we rearranged our priorities and needs and hence my wife became a home maker sincethe day our only child was born and she still is - Sunil 

I think the bigger issue is the continuous rise in the cost of living coupled with stagnant wages meaning both parents need to go to work to get by. Forgenerations families could survive on a single salary. Not any more. Central bank policies intentionally target inflation, while the workforce has grownand kept a lid on wages. The obsession with shopping for stuff you don't need also plays a role. Buy less, spend more time with your kids! Mark.

We have to qualify two things one is do we refer to Nanny or maid. Second, how much time is spent by nanny or parent on child care. Most if not all parent are smart these days and they allocate appropriate time for their kids. My wife spent most of the time with the kids and the maid clean the house. Butthere are few occasions where we leave our kids with the nanny because we have to attend to meetings or party. One consideration we made was to hire an educated nanny and we have to train the nanny and maid. In some cases nanny with proper education  are acceptable. After all they become part of the household. I will not characterize the maid as picking a melon. There are means to determine whether the nanny is qualified or trustworthy.

Coming purely from the negative side - as a teacher in the UAE for 2.5 years, I have seen many children hold an absolute and total lack of respect for entire demographics as they see these groups as 'helpers', 'nannies', 'maids' and 'drivers' first, and people second. It's heartbreaking and only deepens the social divide that already exists here at times. Great debate. Thanks, Dan.

4000 for my kids school fee and then another 3000 for the trainee nanny . That means I need a night job

Dear Dr James, extremely important topic.  leaving the children entirely to nannies or housemaids is a disservice not only to children but also to the Nation's future. We are becoming lazy in this respect. Children in total care of nannies ( their servants !)do not learn to respect elders. Farooque

GetFitRadio November 25

Zelda Higgins joins me from Zayed University to talk fitness.

You can find Zelda at

The podcast.

Here is what we spoke about.

quieting down in the gym.

my running

Caffiene! Beware.

10 things to stop doing to not put on weight!

10 foods to have in the house

Those fitness trackers may be up to no good!

does exercise make us smarter?

weights or machines what do you recommend?

best time to exercise?

why do some men lose weight faster than women
functional training what about rope climbing
Zeldas List of food

How to survive the holidays and temtation

Because now a bit of a rope climbing renaissance is beginning.Functional training has become a buzzword in the fitness community, meaning that instead of using a gym machine to focus on specific muscles, often in an unnatural posture, you use basic equipment and activities that translate to normal life, growing your strength in a way that works outside the gym. It is particularly good for building up core strength.
Rope climbing has been adopted by the functional fitness community as it fits perfectly into that ethos. All you need is a rope and a crash mat.

20 fitness trends for 2015
Meanwhile, Zumba and Pilates continue their steady decline, both falling completely off ACSM’s top 20 roster, skimming the bottom of the survey’s nearly 40 tracked trends. The top 20 for 2015:
1. Body weight training
2. High-intensity interval training
3. Educated and experienced fitness
4. Strength training
5. Personal training
6. Exercise and weight loss
7. Yoga
8. Fitness programs for older adults
9. Functional fitness
10. Group personal training
11. Worksite health promotion
12. Outdoor activities
13. Wellness coaching
14. Circuit training
15. Core training
16. Sport-specific training
17. Exercise programs for the treatment/prevention of childhood obesity
18. Outcome measurements
19. Worker incentive programs
20. Boot camp

Toxins in toothpaste and other things

3 ways (3 things) to really lose weight!

Cab Fare Hike Call-in November 25

The price of a taxi is going up in Dubai.

Do we care that cab fare is going up?

Is the service by cabbies worth the price?

This is the podcast of the show.

Here is where we went to get started.

Taxi base fares are going up as of December 1st!

All day we have been talking about the rate hike for a cab, now it is your turn to chime in! Do you have an opinion?

Higher fares = better service as the cabbies will be happier?

I know there are cab drivers listening tell us your thoughts?

How has your cab experience been?

-able to get a cab on peak weekend hours?

-ever have a change discrepancy?

-ever been overcharged on the base fare?

The Roads and Transport Authority is raising taxi flag-fall rates to Dh5 from Dh3 next month.
And for pre-booked taxis the rate will rise to Dh8 from Dh6 during normal hours, and to Dh12 from Dh10 in peak hours.
The rates were decided on after studies of some of the world’s most developed cities, said Dr Yousef Al Ali, head of the RTA’s Public Transport Agency.
“It is worth mentioning that the taxi fare applicable in Dubai is the cheapest among some of the world’s most developed cities, such as London, New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo and other metropolises,” Dr Al Ali said.
He said that all taxi meters would be upgraded with the new rates within three weeks, starting from December 1.
The RTA said it regarded cab drivers as ambassadors for Dubai, and that the fee increases would boost their incomes and provide them with more motivation to improve services.
“The step is intended to overcome challenges that cabbies face during daily operations, stamp out all problems impeding the delivery of better services to the public and taxi users, and implement the best practices of the industry,” Dr Al Ali said.
The authority said it would ensure as many taxis were on the road as possible, and that service would be prompt, especially in rush hour.
It said it wanted to promote the “comfort, fun and privacy” of taxis, while meeting the growing demand for them.
Peak hours from Saturday to Wednesday are from 7am to 10am and 4pm to 8pm, and on Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm to 12am.
Dubai: The flag down rates of taxis in Dubai will increase from Dh3 to Dh5 from December 1, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced.
RTA has also revised the basic charges for booking taxis, with non-peak hour bookings costing Dh8, up from Dh6, and peak hour bookings will cost Dh12, up from Dh10.
Dr Yousuf Ali, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said that the rates are being revised to improve the services and will be applicable to all taxi franchises in Dubai.
“The modification of flag down rates was intended to leverage the service on offer to the public by deploying as many taxis as possible and ensuring that the service reaches customers in a timely manner, especially during morning and evening peak hours,” said Al Ali.
However, he said the taxi meter tariff has not been changed.
“The meters will continue to run at the same rate, which is Dh1.71 per kilometre, so the revision will not have any measure impact on commuters,” he added.
From Saturday to Wednesday the peak hours are set from 7am to 10am, and 4pm to 8pm.
On Thursdays and Fridays the evening peak hours are set from 4pm to 12 midnight.
As part of the taxi service upgrade, he said, the taxi fleet is being integrated with the Nol network and cash-less travel on taxis will be possible soon.
“Payment of taxi fares through Nol and credit card is already live on airport taxis, while a significant number of regular taxis have also been upgraded,” he said.
He added that taxi meters are being upgraded gradually and by mid-2015 commuters will have an option of paying through Nol and credit cards on all taxis.
The revision of taxis fares comes close on the heels of changes to public transport fares as well as restructuring of the Nol packages, which became active from November 11 when the Dubai Tram was launched.
“This decision is taken after the RTA commissioned a number of field studies and surveys and benchmarking with a number of the world’s most developed cities, including taxis transport sector. The step is intended to overcome challenges that cabbies face during daily operations, stamp out all problems impeding the delivery of better services to the public and taxi users, and implement the best practices of the industry,” added Al Ali.
He pointed out that taxi fares in Dubai are the cheapest when compared to other major cities in the world such as London, New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo.
Regular taxi
Basic fare - Dh5
Ordered taxi
Basic fare - Dh8 (non-peak hours)
Dh12 (peak hours)

Here is what we got vis the SMS.

If the extra 2dhs is spent on training the taxi drivers to use gps then it will definitely be worth it!  Paul

Everything only goes up in Dubai. Hopefully someday someone will also ensure salaries go up equally so that the "common"man can afford to stay with his family in Dubai - john mathew

Hi good evening,already metro and bus fees are increased and now its taxi,there is no question rta taxi service is best in the region hmmmm rta saying they increase to improve quality and its just a reason for a increase  now lets allocate  little for for metro or bus ...  to avoid taxis ,or what shall we  do,take my words ,but people used to pay that more money and they will forget and forced to use the service under some conditions ...because this is monopoly and unfortunatley  you cannot avoid a rta taxi  from your feet sometimes ,siva from karama

Maha, before the service wasn't good but now I am happy

It's TWO dirhams. Why is this even being discussed at length? Producers have thrown you under the, taxi tonight, James! Dan.

What does it mean for an individual driver? Very little for them more for the RTA. Rashid

Im a cab driver since 5 yrs,every january they increase target so this is the idea to increase the target. (raj)

Open the line for taxi drivers to tell their story

I think the money would be going to the tram :p

Hi James, thanks for a good Topic. I wanted to comment:
I am ready to pay a higher price if all Taxi drivers will have a good english. Some times it is a big challenge to explain to driver location or arrival destination.
Thanks, Rustam

Hi James, thanks for a good Topic. I wanted to comment:
I am ready to pay a higher price if all Taxi drivers will have a good english. Some times it is a big challenge to explain to driver location or arrival destination.
Thanks, Rustam

TechTalk November 24

Andrew Thomas from lumbers into the office and we have a conversation about the new, old and odd in the world of technology.

The podcast of the show.

 Here is what we set out to speak about.


Emirates App, login via skywards and boom!

Malware spreading or just a thought? Think about all the things that use a USB to connect and charge and share!

OK this is just cool!
branded entertainment that is way cool!
And on Tumblr


Digital natives are pretty good at not getting tracked on the net and what does this do for research?

Do you use another must follow site.
funny videos about startups that are essentially lessons of what not to do!

twitter wants to keep us dialed in

Smartphone addictions lessons from Korea

crazy people out there

CarTalk November 24

Here we go, the boys from join me to talk cars and what we need to know here in the UAE and beyond.

The big topic at the start of the show is the coming change to modifying cars in the UAE, this is big!

Here is what we set out to speak about.

Here is the podcast!

the Audi TT?

Chevy Cruze

concept cars are all the rage in LA motor show!

The Mustang launch!

Citroen Cactus!

F1 abd transporter truck video WAY COOL

Ferrari Owners club parade
Best family economy cars

Peugeot 2008 DKR looking mean and ready for the 2015 Dakar Rally

Does the showroom matter? Hyundai will be redesigning all its showrooms to look like this as part of a its new 'Global Dealership Space Identity program'. Hang on a minute - it already looks like that...?!

We had plenty of interaction from the SMS line.

Carola or range rover

FJ cruiser I have cherished driving this yellow beast . Touched 320000km it still fit and flying. Your thoughts on the newer models. Naved

I have a US spec BMW X5M 2011. AGMC won't sell me another warranty. Would you buy an extended warranty from local garage (are they reputable?) or sell it?  -Matt

So what do you think of the CLA250? And what are your thoughts on American specs? It's not available in Dubai but do you know when it's due? Ferhan.

Land Landcruiser or Nissan Patrol afaaq

You were talking about suspension but i was only lift kit what about lowering kit? What if i have FIA approved adjustable coilovers? Does it require RTAapproval? -DR

The lexis has the worst navigation anyway I can upgrade

Alright that helped, thanks!

FYI (on the wrangler question i sent) I don't NEED a car and my 2008 Tahoe is still chugging. But looking to whether to pay extra for a later model (resale value and latest mods) or just get value with the 2014 one.

Thoughts on the 2011 BMW X5 m? When is the new shape expected? And new specs? Sheikh

Path finder or edge

Is there a shop that can convert my car to us specs ? I want to ship my 921 to the us


Hi is the chrysler 300c 3.6 ltr for a daily commute of 80 kms? Performance,resale value? Thanx, rohit

Porsche 911 or nissan pathfinder?

Just saw one today and absolutely in love with it! It's about 180K and produced in Germany

BMW x5m or merc g-55 American spec