Blog

  • Record Store Day in store: Schradinova

    18 Abr 2011, 8:01

    Sat 16 Apr – Record Store Day 2011 Last Saturday, it was the yearly Record Store Day. I went to Amsterdam to visit some record store venues, for the sake of it. Being at Velvet's, Schradinova, a popjazz band starring Janne Schra (former Room Eleven) as singer and composer of songs plugged in for playing some songs. Since I bought this deluxe version of their album, last year, I decided it would be nice to see how they did live.

    And well, it certainly was entertaining! One could really see the band members enjoyed performing on this very doorstep. Not that there was any reason to be unhappy: the weather was great, the crowd (around 20, 30 people) cheerful and everyone could really do their thing. The band consists of six members, playing the keys, guitar, double bass, violin, drums and vocals. Everyone of them six members got their moment to shine, and so they did: cool drumming, guitar like violin playing, power picking and smooth keys were the result.

    One of the highlights was their performance of Italian Family, a beautifully arranged songs with Tony Row on keys and Janne Schra on vocals. The song could just be on the soundtrack to the Oklahoma movie.
    As I said, the crowd was really fond of it all. India Lima Oscar Victor Echo You made them sing along. Pencil Revolution, the new single, made people 'Bang!' and Communication made them swing. Well, just a little, maybe. But tell me, when was the last time you saw people dancing on the streets?

    Yep, this performance was a thrill. If there were any vinyl single release of Pencil Revolution, I probably would have bought it. On that very Record Store Day.
  • A little mayfield, huge tracks of Moss

    9 Abr 2011, 23:23

    Sat 9 Apr – Moss, Case Mayfield Hopefully soon with the track listing.
    It seemed I was too late. I ended up somewhere in the middle of the Case Mayfield gig. Although Moss was sure to be the main attraction, I was eager to hear more of this man with his guitar.


    Case Mayfield
    Mayfield, born , opened up for Moss, but he didn't really get the attention of the audience (around 60 people). It always feels a bit awkward when someone plays songs that really ought to make you remain silent for a while (at least during the songs), but there's a talkative crowd chattering through it all. At this very gig it made me remember the famous Nick Drake documentary. Nick Drake (not to compare anyone by the way), famous musician from the seventies, once started touring but couldn't stand mumbling crowds. At one moment he decided to quit touring.

    Back to Case Mayfield. Second song I heard was a striking song called "You Sure Lost A Lot Of Weight", supposedly being a very personal song about the illness of his (?) father, I thought it was really impressive. I almost felt like shh'ing, but I didn't. After he picked the last notes, he mumbled that this was his last song, thanked for the attention and left the building. Obviously he couldn't stand the chatter, which really felt disrespectful this time. After Mayfield left in this unpleasant way, the DJ quickly put on some record, leaving the venue amazed. Will try to see him at Summer Breek 2011!

    Moss
    Somewhat later Moss entered the stage, picked up the guitars and percussion and started building a show. A five piece band: four guitars, one sampler and one dude on drums. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to fetch one of the track listings, but they did have strong opener with, amongst others, the song I apologize. They did a really good job on creating a spheric and slightly melancholic atmosphere. What also helped on this, were the on stage projections.

    They seemed very much at ease, a bit too much perhaps, because some of the breaks in between the songs gave the gig a casual feel. I bit too casual if you'd ask me. The drummer sought after his wrest a few times and left the band waiting. It must've been the recording sessions for their upcoming (third) album, they were in last week, far away, in the province of Zeeland. On the other side, this made the band also use the gig as a try out for some new material from the band. The band seems to retain its own sound. Anyway, I couldn't hear much change in direction of the band (though I'm not a regular listener I must admit).

    Maybe because of the somewhat over-relaxed atmosphere and the fact that about six songs are new material, the audience remains a bit daft. The last regular song isn't applauded to very enthusiastically at all, hence it seemed no encore would come. But, thankfully they did. First a classic, people singing along. Then, as a surprise to departing band member Bob Gibson (samples/guitars), Moss played a nice reggae version of I apologize (dear Simon).

    Moss once started up as a reggae band, eight years ago. They ended the show with an great track, with a very danceable drumming interlude by all five members. And now, Bob is gone to make some fine arts, they're back to four. 't Was a lovely show at Manifesto.
  • The Tunes flikten het niet vanavond

    27 Mar 2011, 1:05

    Sat 26 Mar – The Tunes, PTT Op zaterdag 26 maart speelde de Hoornse formatie PTT samen met het Amsterdamse The Tunes een concert voor een handjevol Horinezen, Medemblikkers en Onderdijkers op het podium van Manifesto in Hoorn.

    De avond werd geopend door PTT, een jonge band uit Hoorn. Met veel sterke teksten, trefzekere arrangementen en een zelfverzekerde presentatie wist de band te overtuigen. De keuze voor Nederlandstalige teksten is gewaagd, maar ze vervallen noch in het (quasi) poëtische of in het bijna banale.
    Helaas was de zaal was te mak, of te leeg, om de aanwezigen mee te voeren in de soms licht-psychedelische klanken. Ook niet iedereen liep warm voor de muziek van PTT, maar dat is nou eenmaal het lot van een voorprogramma. Zeker een voorprogramma dat op het begin van de lange weg staat.

    Na de laatste klanken van PTT werd er een halfuurtje omgebouwd. Ruimte voor de West-Friezen om nog wat beter in te drinken en losser te worden, wellicht. Het was aan The Tunes om er in ieder geval alsnog een feestje van te bouwen. Wat dat aangaat hebben ze elders in het land een reputatie opgebouwd.

    Maar het vijftal moest aan het begin van het optreden met een voorzichtige hint naar Annemaria Koekoek nog wat mensen naar voren te trekken. Dit was tekenend voor de algehele sfeer gedurende het optreden, die nogal ingetogen was. De vraag was echter al snel of de band daarmee zou kunnen omspringen.

    Het album van de Amsterdammers, Pududu!, dat in 2010 is gepresenteerd voor een vol Paradiso, bevat een aantal sterke nummers dat in potentie de voetjes wel van de vloer krijgt. Toch lukte het niet. De opener "Apples", één van de aansprekende nummers op het debuutalbum, komt niet tot zijn recht. Ondanks het sterke spel van de gitarist van de band.
    In de zaal was het opgelaten gevoel bij de band voelbaar. Misschien niet meer gewend om voor een bijna lege, terughoudende zaal te staan? De onzekerheid blijkt uit de praatjes van de zanger tussendoor, als hij halverwege zijn verhaaltje ineens inhoudt en het volgende liedje inzet.

    Als aan het einde van de show het publiek een beetje toegeeft, komt er, tijdens het nummer Grachtengordel, even wat leven in de brouwerij. In dit nummer wordt op geroutineerde wijze een voorstelrondje gedaan van de band. Maar na deze voorstelronde zakt de show weer in energie. Pas bij het encore komt de zaal pas echt op gang, als er een korte reprise van het Franse chanson (Pududu!) wordt gegeven. Helaas, veel te laat.

    The Tunes slaagden er jammergenoeg niet in om een doodse zaal tot leven te wekken, daar hebben ze blijkbaar een goed opgezweepte zaal voor nodig. De slagwerker (koebel!), de gitarist en de accordeonist zijn vanavond absolute de hoogtepunten van de band.
    PTT slaagde deze zelfde doodse zaal wonderwel goed te amuseren met hun liederen. Iets om in de gaten te houden.
  • Creatief etiketteren

    14 Mar 2011, 13:57

    Ondanks alle kritiek van Last.fm'ers is het sinds vorig jaar is het niet langer mogelijk om gratis Last.fm te beluisteren. Het is ook niet meer mogelijk om als betalend lid een persoonlijke selectie af te spelen, ook niet op basis van kenmerken (tags) die je zelf hebt gegeven.

    Feitelijk kun je alleen nog maar zogeheten global tag-radio afspelen. Kun je dan geen speellijsten meer maken? Ja, natuurlijk. Door simpelweg creatief te zijn met je tags. Ikzelf heb een lichte fascinatie ontwikkeld voor bekende jazzcomposities. Dit botvier ik op Last.fm door verschillende uitvoeringen kenmerken mee te geven als Summertime fm (Gershwin), St Thomas fm (St. Thomas) of a-train fm (Take the "A" train). Dit resulteert in een alleraardigst en redelijk compleet overzicht van wat er allemaal op Last.fm te vinden is aan uitvoeringen.

    Hieronder een overzicht aan wat ik in de loop der jaren heb verzameld:
    Summertime:
    St. Thomas:
    Take The "A" train:
    Get Happy:
    They Can't Take That Away From Me:

    Andere geinige verzamelinkjes:
    Liedjes die Okay en Allright als titel hebben:
    Liedjes die Welcome To Hell heten:
    Liedjes met Happy of Sad in de titel: en
  • Gershwins' Summertime fm

    12 Mar 2011, 13:10

    New: the tag radio, playing over 1,100 versions of Gershwins Summertime!

    Maybe you know the song. Summertime In Wintertime. Great song by Badly Drawn Boy. In the Summertime, another classic.

    But if it comes down to classicness in summertime, nothing compares to Gershwin's classic Summertime. This classical piece has become a standard, and has been performed by numerous artists around the world. Of course, it has been performed as jazz, instrumental and with vocals; but also ska versions have been released, aswell as banjoëd versions. Steel drum groups have adopted the song. One of the best steel drum versions I heard is from Jack Warren: see Summertime.

    And now, all of those performances of George Gershwin's classic have been collected under one special tag radio: . You'll find famous interpretations by Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald(including a talkative live registration from 1958), Janis Joplin and of course Billie Holiday.

    But, even more interesting: you'll find (and hear) the lesser known interpretations! Over 1,100 interpretations have been included in this tag radio. Highlights, in my opinion, are the rock version of Summertime by Benjamin B., the bluesy version of Summertime by Buddhuza, the free jazz version of Summertime by Hildegunn Gjedrem and the st. germain alike version of Summertime by Pattie Cossentino.

    You can feel the summer breeze coming in. Wherever you are.
  • Once in a blue moon

    11 Feb 2010, 0:14

    If it comes down to common themes in music, the Blue Moon isn't really what would pop up in your mind. Still there are many songs called 'Once in a blue moon'. sums them all right up! From the most beautiful jazzy performances and Chinese orchestras to the crappiest home recordings. It's all there. Behold!
  • Chumbawamba does Johnny Cash (+ set list)

    8 Nov 2008, 1:38

    Fri 7 Nov – Chumbawamba
    Chumbawamba is alive! And acoustic! Some 100 people went to see Chumbawamba and they got it. With none other than Bettina Schelker, Swiss singer-songwriter, as additional extra.

    I can't hesistate emphasising the fact that she was singing and playing the guitar very nicely (and so damn groovy sometimes, yeah baby!) and almost everyone was silent and enjoying listening to her songs. She sings in Swiss German, German but last but not least: English and very well indeed. It was funny yet good to hear about the stories behind all of these songs aswell. Even though some of the lyrics were a bit too straightforward.
    What pleased me is the fact that during the whole gig (Chumbawamba included) 3 songs on homophobia were played. Exactly (and sadly, however) what we need nowadays. It's still a huge problem, most people tend to forget. On the other hand, which problem won't we, unless we're involved ourselves?

    And then, when Chumbawamba finished their onion and garlic loaded dinner, they went on stage and started to claim not wanting to fade away. They continued with Song on the times. The spectators were already pleased with Bettina so it was easy pickers for the chums. Everyone was so cheerful, and some people surprised for the great polyphony. Even though Boff forgot his lyrics now and then (and improvised a little, and very clever that was), Lou sang out of tune (not on their version Song on the Times though) it was a very joyful experience. Which all really got started with Add me!

    My personal favourite moments were:
    - Charlie, with the Johnny Cash riff and me (yes it was me) getting on stage to sing a bit of Johnny (with some help from Boff, he knew the lyrics perfectly as I relentlessly had to trust him there!)
    - Bella Ciao, the Italians singing along made it a really special moment
    - Singing along in general

    Now, here's the set list (and Charlie's missing, though I don't know where it was but there's a Chazzer at the set list, so that must be the Darwin song):
    - Fade Away
    - Song on the times
    - Add me
    - Sing about love
    - Stitch in time (great bridge there!!)
    - Homophobia
    - Timebomb
    - Hanging on the old barbed wire
    - Charlie (?) with Johnny Cash
    - I wish they'd sack me
    - The Day the Nazi Dies
    - On Ebay
    - El fusilado
    - Bank Robber
    - Bella Ciao

    Encore:
    - Buy Nothing Day
    - Enough is enough

    Today I went to the only Acoustic Chumbawamba gig in the Netherlands. Excited, being a fan for a while now, but also afraid of it being it bit dull. That was, after watching some of those 'lovely' YouTube vids. But does it bollocks! It's always best just to be there instead of watching how someone else blew their concert experience by filming it where they should've been enjoying that time for Pete's sake.
  • I went because of the harp, not Kaki

    11 Feb 2008, 20:46

    Sun 10 Feb – Kaki King, Habiba
    Until a few days ago, just before a friend of me at 3voor12.nl notified me of the concert of Kaki King and Habiba, I had my harp moved from my moms place to mine. I never heard of Kaki King or Habiba. If so, I'd probably had my harp moved to my new home way earlier; to make spheric music (like Kaki does) on my harp (like Habiba).

    But no, before this notification, I thought of Khaki as a colour. Besides that, the only modern times harpist I knew was Joanna Newsom, and maybe Coco Rosie for playing the troubadour harp a bit. Since I (used to) play the harp myself, this woman called Habiba attracted me. I saw her harp with blue, white and red hooks and I thought: I want to go there. Kaki made me buy the ticket with her pretty video "Playing with pink noise" (see: [video artist=Kaki King]+1-_wsFeXWc82Y[/video]).

    I was at Bitterzoet far too early, so I took a glass of beer and waited. Suddenly she was there, uncertain as she was. The harp I had been hoping for, wasn't there. It was the "regular" concert harp. Concert harps have pedals to adjust the tones in which the snares are tuned, which makes it a more comfortable type of harp to play difficult pieces, if not: the only ones.
    Habiba seemed to be so shy! She reminded me of Joanna Newsom, also being very grateful for every applause and shouts. Her voice is totally different though, compared to Joanna's voice, yet still beautiful. Her melody lines put a magical silence in the venue, which astonished herself aswell.
    Habiba's harp playing is really smooth, and as far as I can judge correctly, technically accurate. She doesn't use a single style in playing, but really doesn't overdo it as one might expect from a harpist playing popular music. I guess it won't be just this concert I'll visit.

    It all ended well, and the crowd changed the sweet Habiba for a grumpy, cynical Kaki. I like cynical people, but her face was like her eyebrows were concentrating on casting thunderstorms in a peaceful valley. It reminded me of something Henk Westbroek mentioned (could also be Herman Brood) that real artists have that expression on their face like they have to do a good shit whilst performing. She looked like she could release a bunger or four so I just considered she was concentrating on all the chords, loops, slaps and sings she had to produce in the coming 1 1/2 hour.

    And did it take concentration! I mean we as the audience had it easy! It was a real pleasure listening and looking. But she produced something that was, if you dared to close your eyes, really stimulating to get into some weird sort of trance. Especially the stuff from her Day Dreamer ep (which easily sold out during the concert, how odd) was really soundscape alike, an sort off thing. And even though I might have been easier for her to play (I am even less into guitars than I am into harps) these songs were the prettiest I have heard. Off course, the song of the video Pink Noise (or something) came along, spectacular. But I really liked her for not being too much of a show off creep (and showing human behaviour, such as: complaining about the quality of the wine and the thing called Encore). After a song or three, she actually started to smile. I like her style as I do fancy Erin McKeown (my current favourite as it comes to female guitar players) for her energetic play.
    The high point of the evening was her performance of Elliot Smiths' Angeles, which reminded me how stunningly beautiful the song actually is, and of course, once again: how good miss King is. Which is: amazing!

    Habiba: 7,5/10
    Kaki King: 8,5/10
  • VPRO's Boogie Nights at Last.FM

    19 Ene 2008, 23:50

    Sometimes... sometimes I just listen to regular radio. It's like, so different from listening to music whilst working, chatting, writing et cetera. I have created a tag-list with songs that were played from my favourite radio show: Boogie Nights of the VPRO (a Dutch broadcasting organisation). My goal is to tag every song that has been aired on the show. Especially because most of the material isn't available on Last FM (yet)...
    However you can find loads of more or lesser known songs already available at the Last.FM station on -tag.

    I love to listen to debates, documentaries, poetry and other artistic radio related expressions. But I also enjoy being surprised by interesting music collections. In the Netherlands we are lucky to have 6 public radio stations. The best, in my opinion, of them is Radio 6 (http://www.radio6.nl). They have programs airing folk music, ambient and then there's Boogie Nights. I really love the selection of music they make. The show is broadcasted on workdays (and can be listened to online afterwards). For example they try to have a different The Beatles song cover each show, but they also play other interesting oldies and newer songs.

    I'd say, if you like John Lee Hooker, Charlie Feathers, Iron & Wine, Josh Ritter, Rivers Cuomo and Gladys Knight & The Pips... just go and have a Boogie Night! Enough rarities to discover!
  • Punk or puke?

    25 Nov 2007, 12:46

    Sun 18 Nov – The Gee Strings, Rene SG
    Fuck, fuck, fuck yeah! There are a few things about Rene SG you just can't ignore. It's all about fuck this and fuck that, and not about the great lyrics. There are these bands, that are really proud of their great lyrics, but when nothing remains of these great lyrics when performed live. Rene SG is just loud and short. And well, kinda fun. Punk.

    The Gee Strings was totally different cook. Of course. Hailing from the seventies, Germany, still active, they were there. Punk as ever. Well I saw Chumbawamba a few years ago, they call themselves anarcho-punk. Perhaps they meant anarchistic punkers because it didn't have much to do with punk. I like them, but I dig the Gee Strings aswell. Fun for the Sunday. Punk.