Sat. April 30
(Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing)

Sun. May 1
(The Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 5
Awesome Tapes From Africa dj set
(Treehou5e Open Air, Ghent)

Fri. May 6
Invisible Hands / Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex / DSR Lines
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Sat. May 7
(De Ruimte, Ghent)

Tue. May 10
(De Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 12
(DOK, Ghent)

Fri. May 13
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Sun. May 15
THRONEFEST (Taake, Inquisition, Mgla, Batushka, Inferno, Dysangellium, Wiegedood & The Commitee)
(Kubox, Kuurne)

Thu. May 26
(Den Trap, Kortrijk)

Fri. May 27
(Trix, Antwerp)

Wed. June 1
(Botanique, Brussels)

Wed. June 8
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Wed. June 22
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Friday, July 27, 2007

I hope to review the following records on my site before I take a walk into the mountains…

  • Free Your Mind – AMNESTY (Stones Throw 2LP)

  • Time and Place – LEE MOSES (Sanctuary CD)

  • Little Animals – BEASTS OF BOURBON (Albert Productions CD)

  • Introducing KENGE KENGE (World Music Network)

  • Vol1. Soundiata – THE RAIL BAND (Belle Epoque/Stern’s 2CD)

  • The Early Year – TRACTOR SEX FATALITY (Scatological Liberation Front 2CD)

  • Hot Box c/w Hoochie Poochie – BLACK ROSE BAND (Contaminated Records 7”)

  • BLACK TIME/HUSBANDS (Show and Tell Recordings split 7”)

  • We Love the Blowtops – VARIOUS (Big Neck 2x7”)

  • She Just Don’t Care – LUXURY RIDES (Goodbye Boozy Records 7”)

  • Coltrane – BOSTON CHINKS (Goner Records 7”)

  • Turn Back Time – SNAKE FLOWER II (Shake Your Ass Records 7”)

  • The George Mitchell Collection – ROSA LEE HILL AND FRIENDS (Fat Possum CD)


  • Singles Collection II – BRAINBOMBS (Pollymaggoo Records CD)


  • Ca$h Flow – WESLEY COLEMAN (Cadc° Records CD)


  • Feast of Shame – BRUTAL KNIGHTS (P-trash LP)

  • Forget About Never – THE TERMINALS (Dead Beat Records LP)

  • Chandrasekhar Limit – KAZALOK (Shake Your Ass MLP)

  • The Hex Dispensers – THE HEX DISPENSERS (Alien Snatch Records LP)

  • Night Of Broken Glass – JAY REATARD (In The Red Records 12”)

  • Mary Ellen Claims – TYVEK (X! Records 7”)

  • THE STRAITCOATS (Hook or Crook 7”)

  • Spoiled Brat – CHEAP TIME (Sweet Rod Records 7”)

  • Round Like An Apple – SMOKEY WILSON (Ace Records CD)



  • Blues de Musicien – PINE LEAF BOYS (Arhoolie CD)

  • She’s So Out + 3 – BARE WIRES (Solid Sex Lovie Doll 7”)

  • Walk My Walk + 3 – THE COCK ROACHES (Solid Sex Lovie Doll 7”)

  • 4-track Recording Session – GREEN ARROWS (Open House Records CD)

  • Cold Hands b/w My Struggle – BLACK LIPS (Vice Records 7”)

  • Ape-ology – LEE PERRY AND THE UPSETTERS (Trojan 2CD)

  • Walk into the Sea – CHEATER SLICKS (In The Red LP)

  • The Bad Trips – THE BAD TRIPS (Rocketshop Records LP)

  • Whiskey Flowers – GOLDEN BOYS (Hook or Crook LP)

  • Black & White in Dub - CARLTON PATTERSON & KING TUBBY (Hot Pot CD)

  • Renunciation - DAVID S. WARE (Aum Fidelity CD)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Some recent delights

(Blue Note Records Festival Ghent 16/7)

Rashied Ali (drums), Josh Evans (trumpet), Lawrence Clark (tenor sax), Greg Murphy (piano), Joris Teepe (bass)

The Rashied Ali Quintet played a terrific set in Ghent last week! Five amazing musicians who alternately gave away awesome solos, played with fierce intensity. Lawrence Clark on tenor sax reminded us all that this was the John Coltrane tribute day of the festival. Fire music!

(Blue Note Records Festival Ghent 16/7)

Archie Shepp (tenor and soprano sax, voice), Roswell Rudd (trombone), Reggie Workman (bass), Andrew Cyrille (drums)

A much more relaxed and introspective set than the one by the Rashied Ali Quintet. The Archie Shepp/Roswell Rudd Quartet played very inspirational jazz music with a wonderful flow. Roswell Rudd was brilliant on trombone while Archie Shepp showed us all why he is a living legend. Wonderful versions of “Steam”, “Ujamma” and “Bamako” too. Wow!

LADY CHATTERLEY (Pascale Ferran)

A heartbreaking story of true love and an original portrait of sexuality and its role in human relationships. The most frankly sensual movie in memory that never ceases to be gripping in spite of its 168-minute length.

BOOGIE WOOGIE PIONEERS Compiled by John Mayall (Document Records CD 2006)

An addictive compilation with some of the most exciting boogie woogie pianists to ever walk this earth. Chronologically compiled, it starts with a recording from Cow Cow Davenport that dates back from 1928 an ends in true style with an Otis Spann track from 1960. Pretty damn essential!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nicole Willis And The Soul Investigators

One of the main reasons why I’m not keen on making personal year end lists as far as music is concerned, is that most of the time, I discover the real gems months after their initial release date. A few weeks ago for example, I finally decided to check out Nicole Willis And The Soul Investigators’ ‘Keep Reachin’ Up’ album from 2006. The record floored me immediately: I could hardly believe that I was listening to a contemporary album! The combination of an awesome northern soul groove, ace song writing and wonderful vocals make ‘Keep Reachin’ Up’ one of the best albums in recent times. The funny thing is: Willis is American-born; the Soul Investigators are Finnish! Nicole Willis used to perform with early incarnations of the Brand New Heavies and Deee-Lite before leading the NYC-based band the Repercussions in the early ‘90s. A couple of years ago, she relocated to Finland (the homeland of her husband Jimi Tenor) where ‘Keep Reachin’ Up’ was released in 2005 on a tiny Finnish label. A couple of weeks ago, the album has finally been released in Europe by Rough Trade while Lights in the Attic will release the album in the States in late-July. Get it now and get down!

Last Sunday, Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators played a damn fine show at the Gentse Feesten although I think live-wise, she would benefit much more from a soulful black backing band than from a bunch of ice-cold Finns, with all respect due.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud - France) ***1/2

Persepolis was not part of the festival but since I wanted to see the original French version rather than the dubbed English version that is scheduled for Flanders after the summer, I went to see this Cannes prize-winning animated movie in a regular Brussels theatre. Persepolis tells the autobiographical story of the director when she was growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution in the 1970s. It’s a great joy to see how the powerful black-and-white comic strip images come to life in a movie that perfectly blends the historical with the personal. Witty, moving and illuminating!

Una Ballata Bianca (Stefano Odoardi - Italy/Netherlands) *1/2

Poetic and contemplative art house film in which an ageing couple looks back on love, life and approaching death. The couple is played by non-professional actors but the old man didn’t convince me at all. Too theatrical and bombastic for my taste.

Ce Que Je Sais De Lola (Javier Rebollo - France/Spain) **

An entertaining but rather banal story about a loner who falls in love with his new neighbour, a vicacious Spanish woman, and begins to follow her life. Well made but of little substance…

Thursday, July 05, 2007

California Dreamin’ (Endless) (Christian Nemescu – Rumania) ****

What makes a good film festival? The number of Cannes revelations? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many good films on such a short period of time! CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' (ENDLESS) by Romanian director Cristian Nemescu was awarded the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes. Unfortunately, the 27 year old director was killed in an automobile accident last summer, just before the montage phase of the movie. The film however was left the way he edited and cut his work and although it’s length of 155 minutes, Nemescu’s first feature-length film doesn’t suffer at all from this rough cut. The plot is simple: during the war in Kosovo, in 1999, in a small Romanian village, the chief of the railway station, who happens to be the local gangster as well, stops a NATO train transporting military equipment. The transport, supervised by American soldiers, is crossing Romania without official documents, based only on verbal approval of the Romanian government. Their arrival changes the place into the village of all opportunities. Nemescu’s universal language is both very entertaining and compelling. A real festival hit!

Brand Upon The Brain! (Guy Maddin – Canada) **

Canadian film maverick Guy Maddin’s latest extravaganza ‘Brand Upon The Brain!’ has everything you would expect of Maddin: filmed in the style of the silent film and featuring major doses of memory loss, conflicts and romantic intrigues. This silent, semi-autobiographical tale tells the story of a young Maddin who lives with his teenage sister on a mysterious island that they are one day to inherit. They share this space with a group of orphans who have installed themselves in a lighthouse. From the top of this their every move is observed by Guy’s tyrannical mother, while his father – a scientist-cum-inventor – works away in secret day and night down in the cellar. When a series of strange wounds appears on the head of several orphans, Wendy and Chance Hale, a pair of teenage detectives, begin their investigation. A typical Maddin but far from spectacular.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Mourning Forest (Mogari No Mori) (Naomi Kawase – Japan) *****

With 'The Mourning Forest', Japan’s Naomi Kawase has made another cinematographic masterpiece. Her previous works (Suzaku, Hotaru, Shara) made it to the top 5 of my year end lists and her new one will do just the same. 'Mogari No Mari' is a stunningly beautiful film about a care-worker in a small rest-home in the Japanese hinterland who is drawn to a dementia-affected patient who is still mourning over the loss of his wife 33 years ago. Burdened by the death of her young son, the young caregiver follows the elderly patient into the depths of the Mogari forest where a mutual mourning process unfolds. 'The Mourning Forest’ feels like a serene prayer; its intense and profound feelings leave you spellbound. A well deserved winner of the Grand Prix at the most recent Cannes festival and one of the top 5 movies of the year!

Pas Douce (Jeanne Waltz – Switserland/France) ***

A film about a nurse in a remote village who decides to commit suicide but in place accidentally wounds a young boy who she nurses subsequently. I found the plot not very interesting but again, Isild Le Besco shows what a terrific talent she is by delivering an intense & gripping performance as the young adolescent looking for self confidence.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

L’Âge d’Or/Cinédécouvertes + Brussels European Film Festival

L’Âge d’Or/Cinédécouvertes - the film festival held by the Royal Film Archive in Brussels (aka the Brussels Film Museum) - is one of 4 interesting film festivals I attend every year. Together with the International Film Festival Rotterdam (January), the Flanders International Film Festival Ghent (October) and the Cinema Novo Film Festival in Bruges (March), the festival covers a broad spectrum of recent festival hits and other remarkable movies. A combination of these 4 film festivals enables me to track down every
worthwhile movie that has been released during the last year. In recent years, the l’Âge d’Or/Cinédécouvertes has joined forces with the Brussels European Film Festival and takes place at the beautiful Flagey building in the heart of Brussels. Still, both festivals are
separate and have their own jury. The l’Âge d’Or/Cinédécouvertes remains the more interesting one because it doesn't limit itself to Europe and selects its quality films mostly from the renowned Cannes and Berlin film festivals. I will spend a few words on the
12 films I selected this year...

Body Rice (Hugo Vieira da Silva - Portugal/Germany) ***1/2

An existential movie that follows young German delinquents in a desert-like part of the Alentejo in Portugal where they have been sent as part of a rehabilitation project. Their stay however is one of extreme lethargy & apathetic doom where the only highlight seems to be dancing to very loud techno in bare landscape. (besides Joy Division, X-Mal Deutschland and Einsturzende Neubauten, the soundtrack mostly consists of raw techno by Joey Beltram). Body Rice mixes the documentary-like observation of Sharunas Bartas with the desperate dramaturgy of Teresa Villaverde. A remarkable film!

Tout est pardonné (Mia Hansen-Løve – France) **

An unbalanced film about a couple with a young daughter that separates because of the good-for-nothing husband’s junkie habit. Some 11 years later, we get to see the confrontation between the father and his daughter.

XXY (Lucia Puenzo – Argentina) **

A film about a 15-year-old hermaphrodite who lives with her/his parents in an isolated corner of the Uruguayan coast. The arrival of a doctor with his wife and 16-year-old son disrupts the daily routine. A well-made and genuine (teenage) film that will please a large audience.

Yumurta (Egg) (Semih Kaplanoglu – Turkey) ***

After his wonderful "Angel's Fall" from 2005, Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu tells the story of an Istanbul bookseller returning to his village after his mother’s death. There, he meets his brother's granddaughter who'd looked after his mom and who asks him to perform the sacrifice of a ram his mom had never been able to. “Yumurta” will be the first film in a trilogy, "Honey, Milk and Egg," which will be presented in reverse order. A good movie but Kaplanoglu is not yet on par with fellow countryman Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

La Influencia (Pedro Aguilera – Spain/Mexico) ***1/2

The story of a vulnerable woman with 2 young children that falls into a deep depression. The assistant to Carlos Reygadas for “Battle in Heaven” and Amat Escalante for “Sangre”, Pedro Aguilera presents a début feature of extreme harshness: an appalling, almost unbearable chronicle of a relentless breakdown. Very good.

Meduzot (Etgar Keret & Shira Geffen – Israel/France) ****

The winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes (the award for best debut feature) is both a very clever and intriguing comedy about three women in Tel Aviv. A subtle film that mixes humor with intense emotions and originality.