Space Oddity

Hi all

David Bowie’s Space Oddity has been reworked to a children’s book. You can find it on Andrew Kolb’s website here. It really makes me tick, the lyrics and graphics blend extremely well. A job well done.

Update October 2, 2011: Lawyers got attracted from the significant exposure, smelling blood or money (or both), so a Cease & Desist was unavoidable. I guess one could google for “SpaceOddity_AndrewKolb.pdf”, you might find something wonderful.

Here’s me swinging from a tree somewhere on the Berkeley hills at sunset. Yihaa!

Tosca in the Ballpark

Hi all

On Friday June 5th we (Sanne, I and a couple of friends) attended the performance of Puccini’s Tosca in the San Francisco Giants ballpark. It was a free (!), high definition video simulcast transmitted from the Opera House to the scoreboard. We sat down on the grass close to home base. All the areas open to public were filled to the brim. I think more than 15,000 people were eating garlic fries, drinking wine ($11 per glass) and consume subtitled opera. Welcome to America.

I haven’t experienced opera a lot, but I really enjoyed it all.

The view from here

Jannes and his women

The next live simulcast in the ballpark will be Verdi’s Il Trovatore on September 19 at 8 pm. I will be there.

Rock Werchter 2008

Hi all

Up to today I couldn’t get my hands on pictures from Rock Werchter 2008, so my review got delayed a couple of weeks. This year Dennis and I enhanced our party with two cute blondes. Hurray! *Waving to Dees and Sietske*

Thursday
Lenny Kravitz. With a magic smile he turned a big part of the audience (and I’m not sure it’s all female) into jello. He gave away a very solid set, to me he was the surprise of the festival.

Friday
Slayer. I had high hopes here. Drums were nice, guitars were very alive and present. But vocalist Tom Araya is just too much… noise. Maybe that’s what trashmetal is all about, but I had hoped for at least partly understandable lyrics. To Dees it didn’t matter, she fell asleep in the sun.
Neil Young. Legend? He was nice and entertaining (and don’t forget old), but I could not connect. I heard some rumors that he was the most expensive act at the festival. Well, I’d trade him away any day, e.g. something like Rage Against The Machine. (I heard they rocked at the PinkPop festival.)

Saturday
Editors. Dennis took me there last year, and now I was first to say we had to go there. Nice. Both albums are very favourite on my portable music player.
Sigur Ros. I guess nobody could understand a single word from the Icelandic lyrics, but you didn’t need to. They created a very fragile and ethereal atmosphere where 60,000 festivalees where listening and watching in awe.
Radiohead. Big. Solid. Super. They played a lot of songs from their most recent album “In Rainbows”, embedded in a beautiful lightshow.

Sunday
The Raconteurs. Dennis was ecstatic after their set. Sure, sure, they were very good and entertaining, but I am not familiar with their albums (yet).
dEUS. New and partly improved. Tom Barman (vocalist) is one of the last original members, but dEUS still exists. I love them for their early works, “Worst Case Scenario” and “In A Bar Under The Sea”. Their recent work lacks some of the genius and experimental stuff, but I’d buy any album without listening.


 

 

 

 

Pukkelpop 2007

Hi all

Here’s my little review of Pukkelpop 2007. Dennis and I took off to Hasselt (Belgium) in rainy weather. Me not happy. Checking out dozens of forecasts doesn’t make things better, but my little prayer to the patron saint of festivals must have worked out. Sunny and warm, little clouded, I cannot imagine better festival weather.

Thursday.

Editors

These guys from Birmingham are actually more Dennis’ cup of tea, but he convinced me to go. And they convinced me with their show and songs. But I still don’t know why the singer looked like he was strangling something (or himself?) while singing.

Rodrigo Y Gabriella

Metal on just Spanish guitars. Need I say more? They rocked hard.

Gogol Bordello

It was crazy. They we’re all crazy. And they threw a party. I cannot describe what kind of music they make, but the description from the festival book comes close I guess: Balkanpunk.

Friday.

Art Brut

Nice band, easy listening, charismatic front man. They served breakfast and pushed my right buttons.

The Smashing Pumpkins

Old songs I know by heart. They juiced their show with lots and great light effects. Nice.

Chris Cornell

Soundgarden is no more. But I’m glad he still does his thing solo, his voice is so impressive. During “Spoonman” he sent cold shivers down my spine, his version of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean was so good, it made me cry.

Saturday.

Lacuna Coil

I don’t remember what kind of music they made (lies lies), but I do remember the Italian vamp, ehm.. I mean front woman singing, shouting, whispering and grunting on stage. I so have a weak spot for metalbabes.

Enter Shikari

Energetic bunch of shouting guys on steroids. One could compare them to Linkin Park, but it’s a bit rougher and less produced. And you can make very funny jokes about entering Shakir…

Nine Inch Nails

If somebody deserves an earthquake award they can claim it with hands on their back. They took out the crowd with a swift and clean blow. It was so incredibly loud and yet clear. Very nice and impressive. And their show was mouthwatering too.

Tool

What can I say? They rule! Probably the best band in the world. No, that’s not true, forget about the “Probably”.

Werchter 2007

Hi all

I’m back. Back to the land of the living. It took some time to shift my gears down, going to the best festival in the world makes you live a little bit faster than regular. I’ve seen and heard so many things. I just cannot get the storm of emotions (butterflies!) under control to write a story. That together with my new job (yay!) leaves very little time to satisfy my faithful and beloved readers with stories.

But here’s a shot, some fragments of Werchter that are drifting through my mind right now. It’s impossible to give a top 5 (or any top list). There were so many highlights on the right moment, so in no particular order:

The Australian Pink Floyd Show
I’m not really into Pink Floyd. I’ve always thought it was too slow, I could not connect. Maybe you have some crazy ideas now about didgeridoos or kookaburras (at least I did), but these guys rock. It was a clean copy of the original Pink Floyd. And they did play all the hits. They finished with a bewitching "Comfortably Numb".

Tori Amos
My god! Did she charge her concert with powerful mysticism. The air was full of electricity. Breathless, she left the complete audience without breath.

Pearl Jam
Eddies eyes were like burning pieces of charcoal, they pierced through the audience. No soft or weak moments, they played like an oncoming train, nothing could stop them. I award them the best performance of the festival.

Metallica
Dennis and I really took the cherry from the Metallica-cake. When we approached their stage they started with Sad But True, One and Nothing Else Matters. Then, when we walked to another concert they served us Enter Sandman. Nice!

Peter Gabriel
He shook me. Peter took me in his arms and carried me around. Me happy. My eyes started to burn and my throat got really thick when he started "Biko". But there were too many 17 year old girls (am I really saying this?) waiting in line for Keane. That part of the audience could not really appreciate the old master.

Marilyn Manson
He had a day off, I guess. No, actually his concert was just plain shitty and uninspired. Booh!

Maxïmo Park
The leadsinger was kinda busy, moving all parts of his body while singing. They kept hitting the audience with attractive songs at very high speed. I’ll keep an eye on them, they will be big soon, very soon, very big.

Jason Mraz
Some singer songwriter from the US. Hey kicked off day two really early (something like 1.00 p.m.). But with just his guitar he played the audience. He was very good breakfast after the heavy night before.

Bloc Party
Go see! They’re worth every penny.

We spotted a t-shirt slogan that truly breathed our festival behaviour: The Liver Is Evil, It Must Be Punished! I can say we claimed a fair share in the overall beer consumption, approximately 500,000 liters of Stella.

Gotan Project

Hi all

Last night Gotan Project performed in MC Vredenburg in Utrecht, the place was packed. I have seen them before, first time at the Werchter Festival a couple of years ago they surprised me with a fine mix of very danceable modern tango and graphics.

And now? They did it again. More magic. Gotan Project, all dressed in white suits, gave away a solid set with lots of new material. I still have glowy feelings from the concert. Their interpretation of Piazzolla’s Libertango was fabulous. The heat, I was literally wrapped in heat. I hope they will be playing at some summer festivals this year, I’ll follow them around.

Gotan Project
 

Unmatched

Streets damp and warm
Empty smell metal
Weeds between buildings
Pictures on my hard drive
But I’m the luckiest guy
Not the loneliest guy

Steam under floor
Shards by the mirrors frame
Clouds green and low
No sign, no nothing now
But I’m the luckiest guy
Not the loneliest guy

All the pages that have turned
All the errors left unlearned, oh
Well I’m the luckiest guy
Not the loneliest guy
In the world
Not me
Not me

David Bowie – The Loneliest Guy

On silent sad days mister Bowie can be really… confronting

Definitely not so Sober

Hi all

Dennis, Claudia and myself arrived at Ahoy a little after 8. Outside we could hear (feel?) the support act. We found out it was Mastodon on stage. I know little about them, but it’s just not my cup of tea. If I have time and the peace I’ll give them a try, they must be worth something, otherwise they wouldn’t be supporting Tool, would they?

Maynard, Danny, Justin and Adam appeared on stage and they kicked off with Stinkfist. From there on it was like a dream. With jaw dropping precision they did what they do best. Blow people away with a spectacular mix of audio and visuals. At least that’s what they did to me. I wish I could give you some details of the concert, but the whole evening is just covered in some post orgasmic glowy feeling thing.

Tool

It was a memorable day, the 9th of November 2006, and with their promise “See you next summer!” I really have something to look forward to. Maybe they will be at Werchter again.

Mogwai: Internal Reorganizations

Hi all

Last night Martin took me to the Melkweg in Amsterdam, Mogwai on stage. I own a couple of albums and I have seen them before, at the Lowlands festival a couple of years ago and at the Werchter festival this year. But these encounters were short and a bit shallow. This was a full and frontal confrontation. Expecting an internal reorganization of my organs (that’s what they are famous for), but it was not to be. They played a very solid set, not too noisy, but with plenty of exploding guitars. Good show, I’m happy, very happy.

@DX: Bringing a good book wasn’t really necessary  ;-) 

Thanks Martin, I owe you. Too bad about Tool on the 9th of November, just too bad.