Sat. April 30
KONONO N°1 FEAT. BATUDA
(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
Sat. May 7
(De Ruimte, Ghent)
Tue. May 10
SEX CRIME + THE ARROGANTS
(De Pit's, Kortrijk)
Thu. May 12
Fri. May 13
ARCHIE & THE BUNKERS
(Het Bos, Antwerp)
Sun. May 15
THRONEFEST (Taake, Inquisition, Mgla, Batushka, Inferno, Dysangellium, Wiegedood & The Commitee)
Thu. May 26
PAUL COLLINS BEAT
(Den Trap, Kortrijk)
Fri. May 27
Wed. June 1
TY SEGALL & THE MUGGERS
Wed. June 8
UNCANNY VALLEY: THE LOS ANGELES FREE MUSIC SOCIETY AND THEIR LEGACY (WOLF EYES, etc.)
Wed. June 22
(Het Bos, Antwerp)
Friday, December 05, 2008
When a country is in a state of emergency, I always wonder what is happening to its musicians. Now that Zimbabwe is in complete disorder for example, I am thinking about how the Bhundu Boys, the Four Brothers or Thomas Mapfumo are trying to survive…
Here’s one of my favorite Zimbabwean tracks: "Mombe Youmai", a song that I first heard on a Zimbabwean import record called ‘Tonosangana Ikoko’ by PATRICK MKWAMBA & THE FOUR BROTHERS. This vibrant record was released on Gramma Records in 1984 and also features the great hit “Wapenga Nayo Bonus”.
If you want to hear more scintillating sounds from Zimbabwe, check out the 3 essential Zimbabwe Frontline compilations on Earthworks.
Let’s all hope Zimbabwe will soon arise out of the chaos and that the music scene will revive consequently!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Last Saturday, STINKY LOU & THE GOON MAT with LORD BENARDO proved again why they are the best blues band in the world these days. It’s hard to describe the band to people who haven’t seen this trio but I think the best way to introduce them is by describing them as a hardcore juke joint blues band. Their debut album on Beatman’s Voodoo Rhythm Records doesn’t really do them justice (it’s not a bad album but a bit too mellow for my taste), but live they are a very wild & merciless experience! Talking about a blues explosion indeed!
For what it’s worth, here are my favorite shows of the year as of today:
1. Eli “Paperboy” Reed (21/11 – Charlatan)
2. Stinky Lou & The Goon Mat with Lord Benardo (29/11 - Pit’s)
3. Deke Dickerson & The Eccofonics (22/3 – Turnhout)
4. The Hex Dispensers (23/5 – Pit’s)
5. Psychedelic Horseshit (2/3 - Pit’s)
6. The Carbonas (9/4 – Pit’s)
7. Carolina Chocolate Drops (21/3 – N9)
8. Toby Dammit & Jessie Evans (3/4 – N9)
9. The Mean Devils (22/3 – Turnhout)
10.Beat Beat Beat (24/11 – Pit’s)
I also enjoyed the Whiskey Daredevils (12/5 – Evergem), The Seatsniffers (16/5 – N9), The Sonics (12/7 – Gierle), The Monsters (12/7 – Gierle), Black Lips (17/9 – Trix), Horace Andy (30/10 – Vooruit) and probably some other shows I forgot about already…
Friday, November 28, 2008
While compiling my desert island albums list a couple of years ago, I was seriously considering to include DIED PRETTY’s 'Free Dirt ' album from 1986 because it’s one of the most passionate yet uncompromising rock albums of the 1980s. Now - 20 years after its original release - the album has been reissued in style as a 2cd set, including all the great early singles and a bunch of live tracks. Listen to samples and read more about the Rock Album Reissue of the Year here (click on the album cover for details).
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Last night, I went to see 24-year-old blue-eyed soul sensation ELI “PAPERBOY” REED in Ghent and was totally blown away by Reed’s ultra-dynamic performance! Backed by his super-tight backing band The True Loves, Reed delivered a monster set of high-energy R&B and sizzling southern soul ballads. Most of the songs were of course from his fabulous album 'Roll With You' but the super-enthusiastic crowd also got to hear a brilliant cover of The Ohio Untouchables’ astonishingly beautiful “I’m Tired”. Believe it or not, but on stage Eli “Paperboy” Reed channels the ghosts of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke and is nothing short of spectacular! One of the best shows I’ve seen in the last couple of years!
You can watch a complete show from July 16th, 2008 here. It's rather courteous compared to yesterday's show but still very good!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
A couple of months ago, New Jersey native Cath Tyler and her husband Phil released their amazing debut album 'Dumb Supper' on the tiny No-Fi Recordings label. It’s a wonderful collection of haunting, mediaeval-like ballads and traditional banjo tunes. Despite its immediate origins in North Eastern England – the album was recorded in Cath & Phil’s current hometown Newcastle upon Tyne - the music is deeply rooted in the traditions of rural America. Most songs are sung with spare accompaniment from finger picked acoustic guitar or banjo, with a few harmonized acappella songs along the way. Listen to “Fisherman’s Girl” by clicking here.
Cath actually used to play in the criminally underrated folk-rock band CORDELIA'S DAD; a truly unique trio that brilliantly mingled acoustic American folk traditionals with grungy indie rock. I interviewed the band in 1997 for my fanzine and I hope to republish that interview on my site soon. In the meantime, there’s a pretty good biography at All Music and Cd Baby sells most of the band’s amazing output.
After the demise of Cordelia’s Dad, I was very glad to hear that all members are still making music. Tim Eriksen, the shaven-headed lead singer whose musical roots are in the western Massachusetts hardcore punk scene of the ‘80s, formally studied South Indian Carnatic music while in college and holds a degree in ethnomusicology. He currently plays traditional tunes, accompanying himself on guitar, fiddle and banjo. He also played guitar in the Bulgarian rock band ZABE I BAB with his wife Minja Lausevic. You can listen to Zabe I Bab’s “Sjaj Mjesece” from their 1997 album 'Drumovi' by clicking here.
According to Cordelia’s Dad’s recently revitalized website, the band is still active so let’s hope they will record and tour again in the future. In the meantime, buy 'Dumb Supper' because it’s a gem!
Saturday, November 08, 2008
I watched 37 movies at 35th Ghent International Film Festival and for the first time in years, I had the feeling that I was still missing out on another bunch of interesting films. Needless to say, the 2008 edition was an outstanding one with a strong emphasis on world cinema and a high-quality retrospective section. Two films will undoubtedly make it into my personal top 5 of 2008: Kornél Mundruczo’s visually stunning DELTA (Béla Tarr meets Carlos Reygadas) and British video artist Steve McQueen’s gut-wrenching HUNGER, two films that were also part of the Official Selection at Cannes this year.
Another surprise was Fien Troch’s intriguing second feature UNSPOKEN. Although this promising Belgian filmmaker is hardly 30 years old, her film is directed with great intelligence and visual flair. A mystifying but unpretentious arthouse film that doesn’t cease to fascinate!
Apart from a tribute to American silent film actor Harold Lloyd, the Memory of Film section – in collaboration with The World Cinema Foundation, established by Martin Scorsese - had its focus on neglected films from around the world - in particular, from those countries lacking the financial and technical ability to preserve and restore their cinematographic masterpieces. The digitally restored Turkish film DRY SUMMER (SUSUZ YAZ) (1964) from Metin Erksan - a village story about the struggle over land and water – earns a special place in our film history (and in my heart from now on) because of the genuine way its social realism handles erotic elements.
I will try to review most of the other films I saw when they get a national release here in Belgium. In the meantime, here’s some kind of personal value judgement:
♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣
DRY SUMMER (1964)
♣ ♣ ♣ ♣
THE HONEYMOON KILLERS (1970)
WENDY & LUCY
THE SONG OF SPARROWS
IN LOVE WE TRUST
LA PISCINE (1969)
♣ ♣ ♣
GOD MAN DOG
ELLE VEUT LE CHAOS
WITH A GIRL OF BLACK SOIL
SWEET FOOD CITY
LINHA DE PASSA
THE PRINCESS OF NEBRASKA
GITMEK: MY MARLON AND BRANDO
THE GUATEMALIAN HANDSHAKE
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Grey Past Records from Breda, The Netherlands has just issued another great compilation with a bunch of 60’s beat, psych & garage tracks from Hungary. While previous volumes contained sixties rarities from South-East Asia and Turkey, the new 2LP volume is called Paprikázz Fel! Best of the Hungarian rock scene 1965-1971. I haven’t been able to listen to the whole album but I hope to put a review on my site before the end of the year. Today however, I would like to share an absolute gem from the Steam Kodok: 26 A-Go-Go Ultra rarities From the Sixties-Singapore and South-East Asia Underground compilation from a couple of years ago. According to the liner notes, NAOMI & THE BOYS hit big with their "It’s All Over" which reached the charts and went to N°1 in Singapore in April 1965. Their second release "Happy Happy Birthday Baby" released in August 1965 also hit N°1 and by 1968 the band had moved to Decca where their first EP contained this Peter Thomas composition entitled "Bad Loser". I don’t know if we are talking about this Peter Thomas but what I do know is that the Christmas-like glockenspiel, the distorted guitar chording, the great lyrics and that wonderful innocent voice of Naomi make this version a real winner!
Bad Loser - NAOMI & THE BOYS
Thursday, October 02, 2008
A friend of mine used to make these great ‘All Killer No Filler’ compilation tapes full of amazing songs from all over the world. One of the tracks I cherished as a teenager was this wonderful swamp pop ballad he taped for me called “Sweet Suzannah” from South Louisiana singer Clint West. Years later, while on honeymoon in Louisiana, I was lucky enough to found a Clint West compilation CD at Floyd’s Record Shop at Ville Platte and fortunately, it featured the wonderful ballad! The other standout track was this absolutely crazy Cajun rocker called “Bayou Pon Bon” that I really would like to share with you.
Here’s some info about Clint West from the CD booklet:
At thirteen, Clint was playing drums and singing Cajun and country songs with a Cajun band from his home community, The Vidrine Playboys. Later he joined a country-rock group, The Vel-Tones, and recorded his first record, “Lover Blues”/”Take A Ride” (for JIN Records). In the early 60s, he headed one of the top drawing music groups touring the club circuits of the South, The Boogie Kings. It was then that he and the group recorded their first LP, JIN #4003-“Clint West & the Boogie Kings”… an instant smashing success.
Clint has made Alexandra, LA his home turf for the last twenty years, entertaining crowds several nights a week. Until 1990 he performed at Leroy’s, and then moved to Toby’s at the Ramada Inn where he’s been playing since, when not on tour. He was inducted twice in the Louisiana Hall of Fame… once as a vocalist, and once as a member of The Boogie Kings group.
For more info about Clint West and Jin Records, I recommend The Early JIN Singles: Southland Rock ‘N’ Roll and The Later JIN Singles: The Promised Land, both on Ace Records.
Bayou Pon Bon - CLINT WEST mp3
Sweet Suzannah - CLINT WEST mp3
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Amy from Nausea
When I was a teenager and saw horrible images of starving Ethiopians on TV, I almost immediately retired to my bedroom and listened to the most extreme music I could find in my collection. At the time, hardcore punk was the ideal way to cope with the cruel images and a true companion to give vent to my frustrations. Here are 3 of my alltime favourite hardcore punk tunes:
Crisis - ROMANTIC GORILLA mp3
(from Romantic Gorilla - Sound Pollution Records 1998)
Battened - NAUSEA mp3
(from The Punk Terrorist Anthology Vol.1 - Black Noise Records 2001)
Think - VOID mp3
(from Faith/Void split on Dischord Records 1993)
Friday, September 19, 2008
"I can’t remember why we recorded this one, we were in the studio in Holland and everything was set up, so we put down a version which ended up being a single. I think it was the solo that did it."
(David Morris, guitar player of The Celibate Rifles)
Oh well, modesty is a virtue, isn’t it? Personally, I think THE CELIBATE RIFLES’ rendition of Patty Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot” is a truly exceptional cover that gloriously stands the test of time and thus can be considered as a true classic! First of all, the sound is astonishing: the song blasts out of the speakers and immediately thrills the listener with it’s big fat guitar sound and commanding drum beat! Then there’s that amazing voice of Damien Lovelock: at first listen, he may sound totally indifferent but that’s just a false impression because soon – and not in the least because of the compelling lyrics – introspection chases the idea of apathy and his voice suits the song in a brilliant way. Just take a listen and you might come to the same conclusion as me that it wasn’t just the solo that did it…
Dancing Barefoot - THE CELIBATE RIFLES mp3
I went to see the mighty Black Lips at Trix in Antwerp last Wednesday and it was a great show although I prefer to see these kinda rock & roll bands in a sticky & sweaty hole in the wall like the Pit’s. Anyway, the band is still in good shape and I very much enjoyed Ian ‘metal-plated teeth’ St. Pé’s trashy guitar licks and sloppy stage presence. Afterwards, I had a little chat with Cole Alexander and I was glad to see that he’s still the same down-to-earth & kind person after all the hype of the last couple of months. Here’s an incredible video from the London gig the day before. Rock & Roll mayhem!!!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Just a quick one to tell you that the eye-popping and mind-boggling CHARLEY PATTON (7cd's) and ALBERT AYLER (9cd's) box sets on Revenant Records have been reissued in the same phenomenal and lush packaging BUT at a very special price (for a third of the original price - I just ordered both for 49,00 EUR/piece!!!). Your ultimate chance to buy two of the most important blues & jazz releases of the decade!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I am in the middle of Mario Vargas Llosa's latest novel “Travesuras de la niña mala” (The Bad Girl) and I am totally under the spell of this wonderful love story about a decades-long obsession of its narrator, a Peruvian expatriate, with a woman with whom he first fell in love when both were teenagers. The Bad Girl is a fascinating tale about the obsession of love taken to the point of destruction. Here are 5 powerful soul songs that evoke the same feeling of love, loss and desperation:
I Can’ Take It – OTIS CLAY
(The Best of OTIS CLAY: The Hi Records Years - EMI/The Right Stuff 1996 CD)
Dead – EDE ROBIN
(Down & Out: The Sad Soul Of The Black South - Trikont Records 1998 CD)
(My Heart Is) Closed For The Season – BETTYE SWANN
(Bettye Swann - BETTYE SWANN - Honest Jons 2004 CD)
Eight Men Four Women – O.V. WRIGHT
(The Soul of O.V. WRIGHT - MCA 1992 CD)
Ghost of Myself – DORIS DUKE
(I'm A Loser - DORIS DUKE - Ace Records 2005 CD)
I agree with Lee Marshall who wrote in Screen Daily that “in adapting Roberto Saviano's bestselling book for the screen, Matteo Garrone and his five co-scripters (including Saviano himself, currently living under police protection) have jettisoned the journalistic context of the Neapolitan Camorra war and left us only with the dog-eat-dog, carpe-diem chaos of life in the crime-ridden suburbs of Scampia and Secondigliano. Like the white powder used and traded by many of its protagonists, Gomorrah provides a kick-in-the-head rush but no lasting buzz." Although the movie gets rave reviews in the international press, I was unimpressed by Garrone’s superficial plot and rather chaotic script. Gomorrah left me indifferent as I felt no affection or even empathy for any of the poorly developed characters. I hope I won’t feel the same about Waltz with Bashir, another movie from the Cannes 2008 competition that is praised everywhere you look.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
is that i fall
in love with
girls in super-
in buss queues...
my sad wite
my big wite
the northern lite...
the school girls
climb on board...
a girls legs dance...
a calf upon the stair
there you have
and in the librarys?
our great seats of
i don't think so...
(my favourite poem from Billy Childish' collection of poems "To The Quick", published by Hangman Books in 1988)
Monday, September 01, 2008
Chicago blues singer and piano player Eddie Boyd recorded many fine sides for small labels in the late 50s and 60s. Eight of his recordings for the Bea & Baby Records label from Chicago (active between 1960-72) can be found on a wonderful 2CD compilation, released on Sanctuary Records in 2002. “The Blues Is Here To Stay” is one of the most exuberant blues tracks I know, not only because of the cheerful music but especially because Boyd sounds so damn pride while singing and playing the blues: “I don’t care what some people say. Just play the blues with a feeling, I know the blues is here to stay!” Right on!
The Blues Is Here To Stay - EDDIE BOYD
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Here’s one of my alltime favourite blues songs. Little is known about the artist and to my knowledge, the song is only available on a bootleg album called WEST COAST GUITAR KILLERS VOL.1 on El Segundo Records. Here’s what the liner notes say:
“Little Miss Janice is an enigma. What little is know about her is that she came from Texas, she played guitar and she had a knack for songwriting. After this recording for PROVERB, she went on to cut for Paul Gayten’s PZAZZ label. Johnny Adams covered “Scarred Knees” on his first LP for Rounder.”
Tomorrow, I’m gonna post a terrific Eddie Boyd killer song called “The Blues Is Here To Stay” so come back soon. In the meantime, enjoy lovely Little Miss Janice!
Scarred Knees - LITTLE MISS JANICE
A couple of months ago, I decided to sell my Brentwoods album on eBay. My compulsive record buying and obsessive music fanaticism demanded more cash and I though the album was more notorious for its scarcity than for its quality anyway. I mean, it’s a great fun rock & roll album but definitely not a lo-fi trash gem like The Gories’ “I Know You Fine But How You Doin’”, Supercharger’s “Goes Way Out” or Loli & The Chones’ “P.S. We Hate You”. Anyway, some people contacted me to ask if I could send them a CDR of the album so I decided to put the whole record on my blog. After all, this kinda music should be available for the masses, right?! Hey –ho: That’s cool! That’s trash!!!
Fun In South City - THE BRENTWOODS (Radio X - 1994 - RX 05 - lp)
After La Promesse, Rosetta, Le Fils and L’Enfant – Le Silence de Lorna is another poignant social drama that didn’t cease to amaze me. You can find mixed reviews all over the internet but all I want to say is: don’t miss this new delicate and profound human drama from double Palme d’Or winners Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne! Five brilliant movies in a row is an unparalleled achievement in my book!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
After the big letdown of that Vivian Girls album, In The Red Records has just released another scorcher of an album. DAVILA 666 are a bunch of young kids from Puerto Rico and if you like the Black Lips, you’re gonna love these cats! You can listen to the album in its entirety here and I’m pretty sure you’re gonna order the record asap once you did. Now let’s pray for a European tour ‘cuz my mind & body are in need for this kinda raw & catchy garage punk!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Dammit, I’m broke! When I came home from Morocco last week, my mailbox bulged with bills and yesterday, my car suddenly broke down! However, before the end of the year, I hope to purchase the following albums (fortunately, my wife doesn’t read this blog):
Searching for Odell Harris – ODELL HARRIS (Broke & Hungry CD)
The Mystic World of AUGUSTUS PABLO: The Rockers Story (Shanachie 4CD + DVD)
ACHILI FUNK: GYPSY SOUL 1969-1979 (Love Monk CD)
ESOTERIC MODAL AND DEEP JAZZ FROM THE UNDERGROUND 1968-1977 (Jazzman Records CD)
Guitar Boy Superstar 1970-76 – SIR VICTOR UWAIFO (Soundway 2LP)
Sounds From A Bygone Era Vol.5 – GABY LUNCA (Asphalt Tango CD)
GIVE ME LOVE: SONGS OF THE BROKENHEARTED-BAGHDAD 1925-29 (Honest Jon’s CD)
Act Naturally: The BUCK OWENS Recordings 1953-1964 (Bear Family 5CD)
Double Negative – BLACK TIME (In The Red LP)
The Sistrum – FACTUMS (Sacred Bones LP)
HIGHLIFE TIME: NIGERIAN & GHANAIAN SOUNDS FROM THE 60’S AND EARLY 70’S (Vampisoul 2
PAPRIKAZZ FEL! HUNGARIAN ROCKSCENE 1965-1971 (Grey Past 2LP)
Halloween Recorded Live 1979-81 – ROKY ERICKSON & THE EXPLOSIVES (Norton Records 2LP)
Double Sunrise Over Neptune – WILLIAM PARKER (Aum Fidelity CD)
REMBETIKA 3: VASSILIS TSITSANIS (JSP 5CD)
Classic Early Sides 1952-1957 – IKE TURNER (JSP 2D)
Morocco was great, especially the medina (old city) of Fes, the camel ride + sleep under the stars in the Sahara, the day hikes in the Dades Valley and Ourika valley. Casablanca & Essaouira were 2 anticlimaxes. The first because there was absolutely nothing to see and the second because this once beautiful coastal town has become a characterless tourist trap. But the biggest letdown was how the Moroccans ruin their country by dumping their garbage everywhere. Even in remote mountain villages, they throw all garbage on the ground while the desert like countryside is littered with black plastic bags. Shocking! I will post a travel account on my site in the near future.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Here’s one of the best deals in recent months: the legendary RCA recordings of FATS WALLER, one of the biggest jazz icons in history, at an incredibly low price. The sound is excellent, there’s some brief information about the artist in the booklet and the packaging looks cool. Even though it overlaps with other Fats Waller budget titles on JSP and PROPER, this 3CD box set is really unbeatable at 5,75 EUR. In the same Original Masters series, Sony has just released compilations by Glenn Miller, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong (his legendary Hot Fives and Sevens recordings).
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I missed Albert Serra’s second feature “Honor de Cavalleria” in Rotterdam last year but yesterday I’ve seen his third feature film “El Cant Dels Ocells” and it’s a stunning piece of film art. Here’s an accurate description of the movie and I really don’t feel the need to add any words. Serra is only 33 years old so let’s hope he’ll treat us to more gems like “El Cant Dels Ocells” whose genuine absurdism and sublime black and white landscape photography are truly unique.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
House renovations are over, Spanish tests completed and tax forms filled out, so I guess it’s about time to breath some fresh life into this blog.
I haven’t seen many new movies lately but I was recently impressed by the Rotterdam Tiger Award winning WONDERFUL TOWN by Aditya Assarat. This fragile but powerful movie recently saw a nationwide release which today means that it was shown in 4 Belgian theatres for about 3 weeks. The film tells about a love affair, shot in a Thai village devastated by the 2004 tsunami, that ends on a morbid note. The impressively photographed desolate villages and their surroundings, the reflective & enchanting mood re-enforced by minimal dialogue and an evocative guitar-dominated score are just a few reasons why I loved every single moment of this memorable film. Aditya Assarat's debut film marks him as a talent to watch!
Concert-wise, I was rather disappointed by a rather boring Matthew Shipp Trio in Bruges, a mediocre-at-best Boss Tweed from NY and some kind of Johnny Dowd-goes-fusion show in my hometown. To make things worse, The Handsome Family – who impressed me at the Blue Highways festival a few years ago – got on my nerves after a couple of songs by overemphasizing the “weird” aspect of their music. I mean, every song was introduced as some kind of lullaby-with-devils so the whole thing became rather artificial and predictable after a while. Weird for the sake of being weird? No, thanks!
Fortunately, I also went to a couple of shows that set the place on fire! Here are my favorite ones:
1. The Hex Dispensers (May 23 - Pit's)
Alex Cuervo at the Pit’s was like a wet dream coming true. Expectations were very high but the Hex Dispensers left the competition far behind with songs that borrow a lot from The Wipers and Ramones but still do stand on their own. An adrenaline shot from some of the nicest people you could ever meet! Click here if you don't believe me.
2. Toby Dammit w/ Jessie Evans (April 3 - N9)
I haven’t seen or heard anything quite like this: sax player and extravaganza Goddess Jessie Evans w/ drummer Toby Dammit mixed afro beat with no wave and spiced the whole thing up with Brazilian and Mexican sounds. Awesome!
3. Haunted George (May 15 - Pit's)
Despite his ghoulish lyrics and primitive music, Haunted George turned out to be a real gentleman who knows how to boogie. It ain’t a thing if it ain’t got that swing!
4. The Seatsniffers (May 16 - N9)
Belgium’s best live band has just released their seventh album and this release show was another tour-de-force. Great cover of Alex Chilton’s Bangkok too!
5. Carbonas (April 9 - Pit's)
Full-throttle punkrock by a bunch of cool dudes from Atlanta. The day after, Carbonas paid a visit to the Westvleteren abbey and flew home with a couple of six packs from the brewery. My kinda guys!
6. Whiskey Daredevils (May 12 - 't Schransken)
Out of the ashes of the Cowslingers and still a great mix between punk rock and country. A funny band to watch too!
Next are the legendary SONICS at the Sjock Festival in Gierle this Saturday. Can’t wait to see one of my all-time favorite bands live on stage!!!
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
I also found some DEKE DICKERSON & The Ecco-fonics pictures from that fabulous Turnhout show at this Swiss girl’s myspace. Damn cool, ain't it?
I hope to breathe new life into this blog once my house is finished (hopefully next month). I will post MP3's very frequently and will include more film reviews so stay tuned!
Here's another soul compilation bootleg album that I need to check out 'cuz it looks full of promise. Maybe after all, there IS a GOD!!!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Some 15 years ago, I saw DEKE DICKERSON play a fabulous live show with Norton Records recording artists The Untamed Youth and ever since I've become a huge fan of this Californian guitar wizard. A couple of years ago, I saw Deke for the second time in Belgium with his new band The Ecco-fonics when he played a fierce rockin' set with a tight band including standup bass and wild sax at the annual Rockin' Around Turnhout rockabilly festival. The show was so good that I promised myself never to miss the opportunity to see Deke live on stage so I jumped back in my car a few years later to see him play again with the Ecco-fonics in a club in Antwerp. Again, it was a very entertaining & crazy set with an audience that really adored Deke & his band.
Last weekend, I drove again to the Rockin' Around Turnhout festival where Deke was scheduled as headliner on Saturday night. Before the power trio took the stage, THE MEAN DEVILS from Portugal played a wild & reckless set with a boppin' standup bass player and very exciting piano man. The singer was wild as hell: he sounded like a male Wanda Jackson and tore the house down. I was deeply impressed!
After The Mean Devils, DEKE & THE ECCO-FONICS were announced as power trio featuring Deke, Chris "Sugarballs" Sprague, and "Crazy Joe" Tritschler. The show was a blast and will end up high in my personal year end's list with favorite live shows of 2008! Deke has a CD compilation out entitled 'Mr. Entertainment' and I think that's hitting the nail on the head as he is like the ultimate entertainer! For some songs, Deke, Crazy Joe and Sugarballs switched instruments (once in the middle of a song without a break) and at the end of the show Deke & Crazy Joe played the same double neck guitar! One highlight followed the other and fun was had by the band and the audience! A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!
The next day, my car broke down while driving back to Turnhout for the bar crawl where some 15 bands play different sets at various small clubs around town. Fortunately, the road assistance installed a new battery and I was just in time to witness the incredible raw juke joint blues of STINKY LOU & THE GOONMAT. This threesome has just released their debut album on the Swiss Voodoo Rhythm record label and on stage they revive 50's juke joint blues in a very fascinating way. The bass player rams a one-string cord attached to a broom that sticks out of a big washtub, the drummer plays guitar and sings while a wild harmonica player goes loose, jumps and shouts. My God, these guys are nothing short of spectacular!!
Before we went to see Sunday's top of the bill, we enjoyed half an hour of Germany's SMOKESTACK LIGHTNIN' with Seatsniffers main man Walter Broes on additional guitar. A very nice set witch well-chosen covers by Merle Haggard and Percy Mayfield (the marvelous 'Louisiana', a song he recorded for Specialty Records at the time). Smokestack Lightnin' has a wonderful sound, somewhere between the aforementioned Seatsniffers and Calexico. A great band!
At 11PM, we headed for the main hall again for THE DAVE & DEKE COMBO featuring Deke Dickerson and Dave Stuckey. Many years ago, this hillbilly outfit played at the festival too so this show felt like a homecoming for these boys. With false teeth and barefooted, they played a very funny and swinging set and everybody was having a good time again. Mr. Entertainment did it again!
Three incredible days of high quality roots music: oh what a weekend!!! Don't forget to check out the new Deke Dickerson and Stinky Lou albums!
(As I hate taking pictures at shows, I googled some up for your viewing pleasure)
Sunday, March 23, 2008
If the Anthology of American Folk Music is your musical bible and if you can’t get enough of those amazing old time music compilations on Old Hat Records and Dust-To-Digital, you really own it to yourself to check out a band called CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS. Last Friday, this African-American string trio played a show at my hometown and I am still amazed by their inspired, hearty and genuine performance. The handsome trio played a very varied set that included covers by Jimmy Rogers, Hobart Smith and Othar Turner. Next to the amazing performances, we got to now all kinds of very interesting details like the fact that the banjo originates from Africa and that the Appalachian Mountains are not the real source of traditional banjo and fiddle music (more info on this subject can be found here). All three performers were very devoted professionals but never became pedantic. Although the CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS play music from the 1920-30’s, the band never sounds outdated because the energy level and sheer enthusiasm is unparalleled. What a band!!!
Go to http://www.fabchannel.com/ and typ 'CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS' to see the live show from Paradiso, Amsterdam from 18-03-2008. Thanks to my pal FILIP for the tip!
Carolina Chocolate Drops website
Carolina Chocolate Drops myspace
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Gee I’m getting old! This video was taken near my hometown at the Democrazy in Ghent in 1993. All the interesting guitarbands from the 80’s – early 90’s used to play at the Democrazy (Screaming Trees, Nirvana, Killdozer, Jesus Lizard, Thin White Rope, etc) and this club almost became my second home. I still think the first Muffs album is a killer album but all I remember from this show is that Kim Shattuck looked damn hot in that cool red dress!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Some of my favourite movies always leave me confused upon first sight. When I left the theatre, I didn’t think THE BANISHMENT would make my TOP 5 of 2008. Three weeks later, the movie still hasn’t left me mind and for that reason alone, I know it will be in my top 5.
I also think that the latest DIRTBOMBS album on In The Red is the best one Mick Collins & C° ever recorded. And that West-Vleteren is still the best beer in the world. And that my new house starts to look pretty great.
Next week Westmalle + COCOCOMA/HEADACHE CITY at the mighty Pit’s.
Will put some reviews on my site this Monday.
In the meantime, check DAVE THE SPAZZ and MICHAEL SHELLEY, two guys that brighten my days at work with their wonderful programs on WFMU.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Here are my favorite films, seen at the recent International Film Festival Rotterdam:
1. LA GRAINE ET LE MULET (The Secret of the Grain) - Abdellatif Kechiche
An intense comedy-drama of a North African dockside family in the Southern port of Sète, France. A richly characterized and colorful movie with some terrific acting and a dynamic, captivating plot.
2. SZTUCZKI (Tricks) - Andrzej Jakimowski
A touching and intimate film about a six year old boy who wants to get closer to the father who abandoned his mother. The impressive, natural acting, beautiful cinematography and genuine storytelling makes this the best Polish film in years!
3. THE MAN FROM LONDON - Béla Tarr
Another mesmerizing Béla Tarr movie with the well-known but unrivaled ingredients. Once again, the Hungarian master portrays his utterly bleak visions of the human condition by means of ultra-slow camera movements and gloomy atmospheric accordion music. Another hypnotic tour de force!
4. LIFE TRACK - Jin Guang Hao
A Chinese-South Korean film about an armless man and a mute woman on the run from police. A static and ice-cold rural drama but captivating from beginning to end.
5. SAD VACATION - Shinji Aoyama
Shinji Aoyama won't probably make another tour-de-force like EUREKA, but I very much enjoyed his latest atypical family drama that demands multiple viewings.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Here are some books that I really want to read this year:
The Magic Mountain - THOMAS MANN
The best book a good pal of mine has ever read. And it seems that he's not the only one who thinks that this is one of the best novels ever written.
Confessions of a Citizen - SÁNDOR MÁRAI
Sándor Márai has become one of my all-time favorite writers and this book has just been translated into Dutch.
Donau - CLAUDE MAGRIS
Subtitled "A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea", this book has been written back in 1986 and is part history, part philosophy, part travelogue. I also heard that it's above all, literature in the richest sense!
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - HARUKI MURAKAMI
Believe it or not, I still haven't read a single Murakami note. This is going to change very soon...
Kaputt - CURZIO MALAPARTE
On the cover of this new Dutch edition, a well-known Belgian writer states that what Célines' "Journey to the End of the Night" means to WOI, Curzio Malaparte's "Kaputt" means to WOII. "An unforgettable masterpiece from a European master." This makes me very curious about this book from 1944.
Monday, January 28, 2008
De Russische regisseur Aleksandr Sokoerov, te
gast op het festival vanwege de vertoning van
zijn nieuwste film Alexandra, laakte gisteren tijdens
een gesprek met de Nederlandse filmmaker
Jos Stelling het niveau van de filmkunst. ‘De literatuur
is een onvergelijkbaar grotere kunstvorm
dan de cinema. Cinema is een zwakke, onderontwikkelde
kunstvorm. Als ik in mijn studeerkamer
zit, zie ik in de boekenkast het werk van
Tolstoj en Dickens. De films van Eisenstein
komen daar niet bij in de buurt. Artistiek, intellectueel
en ethisch bevindt de cinema zich nog
absoluut niet op dat niveau. We moeten veel beter
worden voordat de eerste films op de laagste
plank van die boekenkast belanden.’ Een filmregisseur
is volgens Sokoerov een dief van andere
kunsten en weet nauwelijks de eigen kracht van
het medium te gebruiken. ‘We stelen beeld van
de schilder, geluid van de componist en teksten
van de schrijver.’ Toch kan de filmmaker volgens
hem iets wat de schrijver niet kan. 'Cinema gaat
om het creëren van sfeer. Een schrijver, ook grote
sfeerscheppers als William Faulkner en Thomas
Mann, moet altijd ergens ophouden met beschrijven.
Er blijft altijd iets te raden over. Een film
toont alles en dat moet de regisseur naar zijn hand
zetten.’ Maar ook hierover had de goedgemutste
Rus slecht nieuws. ‘We kunnen studenten op de
filmschool alles leren, maar niet het creëren van
sfeer. Sommigen kunnen het, anderen niet.’
from DAILY TIGER 5
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
The new Sean Penn movie INTO THE WILD is a wonderful movie about escapism and introspection. It's a screen adaptation of Jon Krakauer's bestseller "Into the Wild" which chronicles the real-life adventures of a middle-class college graduate who leaves everything behind and pursues a romantic freedom fueled by the writings of Tolstoy, Thoreau and Jack London. His goal is to live in complete isolation in the Alaskan wilderness. Unfortunately, his ultimate freedom ended in 1992 with food poisoning and starvation.
Unlike the wacko bear freak in Werner Herzog's GRIZZLY MAN, 22-year-old Christopher McCandless - now calling himself "Alexander Supertramp" - stays in touch with people by living off the land and taking pickup jobs. During these genuine encounters with people, Penn never overwhelms us with new age spirituality but instead, he puts Alexander's ramblings in perspective. The guy however is determined about this quest for freedom and constantly secludes himself from people in an abandoned bus in the wilderness.
His motives become clear through his sister's voiceover narration about their parents' sad marriage. His seclusion is an act of revenge against his parents. But in the end, on his deathbed, one thing becomes clear for Alexander: "Happiness is only real when shared". A powerful and cathartic climax.
The lengthy picture (147 min.) never feels overlong and although I didn't really like the bombastic Eddie Vedder songs, I still think that INTO THE WILD is an inspiring and fascinating film that demands viewing on the big screen.
Tomorrow, I hope to make some time for the Coen brothers’ adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. After South Korea, Argentina and Romania, it looks like America is delivering the best movies these days…
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Here’s the movies that I will see at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam. There’s always a bunch of films that already screened in Belgium and I also ignore those that I will see at the Cinema Novo film festival in Bruges in March. Still, there’s such an overkill of interesting movies that it is very frustrating to make a selection, especially if you’re limited to only a few days. Anyway, I am really looking forward to the movies I selected:
The Summer Solstice (China, 2007)
Remote Access (Russia, 2004) (from Svetlana Proskurina, one of the 3 film makers in focus)
The Rebirth (Japan, 2007) (from Kobayashi Masahiro, another film maker in focus this year)
Le Ballon Rouge (France, 1956)
Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge (Taiwan, 2007) (the new Hou Hsiao-hsien and a bit of a letdown I heard :-()
English, August (India, 2004)
Les Amours d’Astrée et de Celadon (France, 2007)
Pure Coolness (Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan, 2007)
The Best of Times (Russia, 2007)
The Man From London (Hungary, 2007) (the new Béla Tarr!!)
Sztuczki (Poland, 2007)
Allein in vier Wänden (Germany, 2007)
Own Death (Hungary, 2007)
Autumn Ball (Estland, 2007)
Wanda (USA, 1970) (cult film, read more about it here)
Sad Vacation (Japan, 1970) (from Aoyama Shinji, maker of the brilliant Eureka)
Life Track (China, 2007)
Recycle (Jordan, 2007)
La Graine et le Mulet (France, 2007) (very curious about this one!)
At the Beach (China, 1984)
Black Snow (China, 1989) (both from the Cinema Regaines section which dives into the history of cinema and this year focuses on the Fourth Generation filmmakers from China (1978-1989)
Like i said, I ignored a couple of movies that I absolutely don't want to miss but I will see those at the above mentioned Cinema Novo Film Festival: Ploy, Help Me Eros, Secret Sunshine. Other movies I ignored are movies that will be screened in Belgian theaters in the near future (Import/Export, The Darjeeling Limited, No Country For Old Men).
Fuck, I am really counting the days ‘cuz I need some brain food!