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)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2008 Reading List

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.

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...

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

Aleksandr Sokoerov: "Regisseurs zijn dieven"

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
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.’


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

International Film Festival Rotterdam 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!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Peter Brötzmann + Best shows of 2007!

Saturday night, German free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann treated the audience to another stellar performance at De Werf in Bruges! Backed by drummer Michael Wertmüller and bassist Marino Pliakas, he once again proved that after all these years, he is still the uncrowned king of the European free jazz movement. Although most known for his raw edged saxophone shrieks, Brötzmann is also a true master who plays with depth and sensitivity. At times, the trio built to a climax and I really thought the roof was going to tear off the club. Wertmüller as well as Pliakas were both unique companions, mixing power with craftsmanship and genuineness. Especially Pliakas, who often created a repetitive, gloomy sound, was a pleasure to watch. An amazing show that will end up high in my year end list. By the way and for what it's worth, here are my favourite shows of 2007:

1. Blue Highways festival (21/04/07 – Vredenburg, Utrecht)

I simply could have put Pieta Brown’s intimate, sensual and mesmerizing show on top of my list but I also enjoyed a lot of other bands on this great Americana festival like The Hacienda Brothers, Danny & Dusty, The Road Kings feat. Jesse Dayton and Kevn Kinney's S.T.A.R. Unfortunately, I had to make choices so I missed shows by Kris Delmhorst, Diana Jones and Po’Girl. Blue Highways 2008 will take place on Saturday April 19. Honey, will you babysit again, please?

2. Brutal Knights (22/09/07 – The Pit’s, Kortrijk)

Primal hardcore punkrock. Don’t make me believe that Black Flag was better in their heyday. A serious head butt!!

3. Touareg Night with Tinariwen, Tartit & Toumast (08/05/07 - Botanique, Brussels)

A rockin’ & tempting Toumast, a traditional & charming Tartit ensemble & a hypnotic & groovy Tinariwen. Oh what a night!

4. Clorox Girls/The Feelers (23/06/07 – The Pit’s, Kortrijk)

Definitely the most fun show of the year, hands down!

5. The Black Keys (02/03/07 – Handelsbeurs, Ghent)

These 2 cats sure know how to ROCK on stage! Damn cool!

6. Demon’s Claws (07/04/07 – The Pit’s, Kortrijk)

These Canadians lay down a wonderful groove. Canadiana with a genuine punk spirit.

7. Pistolera/Ollabelle (27/04/07 – N9 Villa, Eeklo)

For a big fan of The Staple Singers and American folk music, Ollabelle’s show was a true revelation. A brilliant show for two men and a dog.

8. Bassekou Kouyate (02/11/07 – Zuiderpershuis, Antwerpen)

I missed the Sfinks festival this year so I tried to make up a little by attending this Bassekou Kouyate show. A good choice since this is a very charming and wonderful live band!

9. Josephine Foster (11/04/07 – Vooruit, Ghent)

I was enthralled and moved by Josephine Foster’s weird fairy tales.

10. Rashied Ali Quintet/Archie Shepp Quartet (16/07/07 – Blue Note festival, Ghent)

I chose this one instead of the Allen Toussaint/Elvis Costello show the day after. For many people I know, the latter was the best show of the year. I missed it although I really enjoyed Rashied Ali and Archie Shepp too…

Other great shows include Alemayehu Eshete (23/09/07 – Zuiderpershuis, Antwerpen), Kaushiki Chakhrabarty (14/04/07 – Zuiderpershuis, Antwerpen), The Sadies (01/05/07 – Checkpoint, Terneuzen), Fucked Up (02/01/07 - Het Bargehuis, Bruges), Los Lobos (03/05/07 – AB, Brussels), Wheels On Fire (03/06/07 – 4AD, Diksmuide), Jay Reatard & Boston Chinks (15/06/07 – Lintfabriek, Kontich), Miss Alex White (10/07/07 – The Pit’s, Kortrijk), Nicole Willis (15/07/07 – Boomtown, Ghent), Beasts of Bourbon (25/07/07 – 4AD, Ghent), Harlan T Bobo & Jack Oblivian (30/08/07 – The Pit’s, Kortrijk), Hipshakes + LiveFastDie (09/09/07 – The Pit’s, Kortrijk), Black Time (05/10/07 – The Pit’s, Kortrijk), Human Eye (19/10/07 – The Pit’s, Kortrijk), Movie Star Junkies (24/10/07 – The Pit’s, Kortrijk), Nathaniel Mayer (01/12/07 – N9 Villa, Eeklo)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sounds from A Bygone Age Vol.1-4

I have just received the 4 CD series 'SOUNDS FROM A BYGONE AGE". Each volume presents a rare insight into the creative work of some of the best Romanian traditional musicians and singers from the 1960s and 1970s.

These Asphalt Tango Records digipacks are exemplary reissues with informative liner notes and wonderful music. You can buy all 4 volumes directly from the label for €52,00 including shipping cost to Europe. Here's a great video to wetten your appetite…

Sunday, January 13, 2008

PAUL McCARTHY retrospective in Ghent

Many years ago, I witnessed a Paul McCarthy video that made a lasting impression on me. It showed a weird scene in which a clownish person continually smashed his hand with a big hammer. It was both repulsive and burlesque and it got stuck in my mind forever.

So it goes without saying that I was really looking forward to the Paul McCarthy retrospective in the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art – Ghent. After all, it’s the first time in Europe that people get the chance to see a cross selection of his entire works. Last Friday, I finally paid a visit to Head Shop/Shop Head – Works 1966-2006 and again, McCarthy made an overwhelming impression on me!

Although definitely not for the faint of heart, Paul McCarthy’s art never becomes gratuitous and his indictment of society is always perceptible. In his 1976 video ‘Class Fool’ for example, we see how he throws himself around a classroom covered in ketchup until he is too injured and dazed to continue, subsequently vomiting and then inserting a Barbie doll into his rectum. The audience in the class room is clearly upset and doesn’t know what to expect; the terror becomes almost unbearable. But who’s the real victim? Are we observers or accomplices?

The Paul McCarthy retrospective 1966-2006 shows a varied selection of probing performance videos, photographs, installations and settings and is a unique experience that you won’t forget easily!

(an in-depth commentary can be found here)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Oooh no!! Not another year end list, please?!!!

I'm not too keen on making year end lists as far as new albums are concerned simply because most of the time, I discover the real gems many months after their initial release date. Only last year for example did I become hooked on Wheels On Fire's fabulous debut album (2006) and Nicole Willis' awesome 'Keep Reachin' Up' (2005), while yesterday I terribly enjoyed James Hunter's 'People Gonna Talk', an album that I didn't even notice when it came out in 2006!

So with a fat chance of omitting some terrific albums, here's a list of my personal favourite new albums of 2007:

1.The Pirate’s Gospel - ALELA DIANE (Fargo CD)
2.Aman Iman : Water is Life - TINARIWEN (Independiente CD)
3.Comicopera - ROBERT WYATT (Domino CD)
4.Mutilation Nation - CPC GANGBANGS (Alien 8 Recordings LP)
5.Icky Thump - THE WHITE STRIPES (XL Recordings 2LP)
6.Dirt Farmer - LEVON HELM (Vanguard CD)
7.Sonic Chicken 4 - SONIC CHICKEN 4 (In The Red LP)
8.Renunciation - DAVID S. WARE QUARTET (Aum Fidelity CD)
9.Deuteronomy - THE INTELLIGENCE (In The Red LP)
10.Little Animals - BEASTS OF BOURBON (CD)

other personal favorites include Whiskey Flower - THE GOLDEN BOYS (Hook or Crook LP), Satan’s Little Pet Pig - DEMON’S CLAWS (In The Red LP), Segu Blue - BASSEKOU KOUYATE & NGONI BA (Out Here 2LP), Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo - BLACK LIPS (Vice Records LP), The Hex Dispensers - THE HEX DISPENSERS (Alien Snatch LP), Walk Into The Sea - CHEATER SLICKS (Dead Canary LP), Volume 2 : Summer Snow - WILLIAM PARKER & HAMID DRAKE (Aum Fidelity CD), From the River to the Ocean - FRED ANDERSON & HAMID DRAKE (Thrill Jockey CD), Bad Trips - BAD TRIPS (Rocket ship Records LP) and Good Bad Not Evil - BLACK LIPS (Vice Records CD) and Wooden Shjips - WOODEN SHJIPS (Holy Mountain 2CD)

As far as compilations/reissues go, there were many terrific ones in 2007. Here's a broad selection:

o I belong to this band: 85 Years of Sacred Harp Recordings (Dust-to-Digital CD)
o Free Your Mind : The 700 West Sessions – AMNESTY (Now-Again 2LP)
o Senegal : The Teranga Spirit (Syllart 2CD)
o Classic Cuts – WAILING SOULS (Greensleeves CD)
o Gems from the Classic Years 1967-1974 – KING SUNNY ADE (Shanachie CD)
o When the Levee Breaks : Mississippi Blues Rare Cuts 1926-1941 (JSP 4CD)
o Nuh Skin Up – KEITH HUDSON & THE SOUL SYNDICATE (Pressure Sounds CD)
o New York Latin Hustle – The Sound of New York (Soul Jazz 2CD)
o The Sounds of Our Time – JIM FORD (Bear Family)
o Brainbombs – BRAINBOMBS (Pollymaggoo Records CD)
o Black & White in Dub – CARLTON PATTERSON & KING TUBBY (Hot Pot Records CD)
o Sounds From A Bygone Age Vol.4 – TONI IORDACHE (Asphalt Tango CD)
o Mexican Boleros : Songs of Heartbreaking, Passion & Pain 1927-1957 (Trikont CD)
o Moonscape – MICHAEL GARRICK (Trunk CD)
o Songs of Defiance : Music of Chechnya and the North Caucasus (Topic CD)
o The Black Ark – NOAH HOWARD (Bo Weavil Recordings CD)
o Cuban Pearls 1 : Una Noche en la Habana 1947-1957 (Syllart 2CD)
o Doctor Jazz – JELLY ROLL MORTON (Proper 4CD)
o Compulsion – ANDREW HILL (Blue Note CD)
o Brazil 70 : After Tropicalia – New Directions in Brazilian Music in the 1970s (Soul Jazz)
o Zanzibar 3 : Ujamaai – The 1960s Sound of Tanzania (Buda CD)
o The Classic Guinean Guitar Group – AFRICAN VIRTUOSES (Stern’s CD)
o The Very Best of Ethiopiques (Manteca 2CD)
o The Voice of Lightness : Congo Classics 1961-1977 – TABU LEY ROCHEREAU (Stern’s 2CD)
o An Electric Storm – WHITE NOISE (Island CD)
o Make it Stop! The Most of Ross Johnson (Goner CD)
o Art of Field Recordings Volume I : 50 Years of Traditional American Music documented by Art Rosenbaum (Dust-to-Digital 4CD)
o Melodii Tuvi : Throat Songs and Folk Tunes from Tuva (Dust-to-Digital CD)
o Black Mirror : Reflections in Global Music (Dust-to-Digital CD)
o Victrola Favorites : Artifacts from Bygone Days (Dust-to-Digital CD)
o Dr Boogie Presents Rarities from the Bob Hite Vaults (Sub Rosa CD)
o Untouchable! The Classic 1959-1966 Recordings – JOHNNY “GUITAR” WATSON (Ace CD)
o Love and Affection – NATHANIEL MAYER (Vampisoul 2LP)
o People Take Warning : Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs (Tompkins Square 3CD)
o Rare & Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign of the Queen of Soul – ARETHA FRANKLIN (Rhino 2CD)
o LA, Memphis & Tyler – DALE HAWKINS (Rev-ola CD)
o Tribulation : Down in Jamdown 1974-1979 – BIM SHERMAN (Pressure Sounds CD)
o I hate CD’s (Norton CD)
o Anatolian Wedding – SELIM SESLER (Double Moon CD)
o When Rhythm Was King (Heartbeat CD)
o Ethiopiques, Volume 22: ALÈMAYÈHU ESHÈTÉ (Buda CD)
o Savage Pencil Presents LION vs. DRAGON in Dub (Trojan CD)
o The Complete Machine Gun Sessions – PETER BRÖTZMANN (Atavistic CD)
o Super Afro Soul – ORLANDO JULIUS (Vampisoul 2CD)
o Music of Central Asia Vol.6 : ALIM AND FARGANA QASIMOV – Spiritual Music of Azerbaijan (Smithsonian Folkways CD)
o The Chicago Octet Tentet – BRÖTZMANN (Okkadisk 3CD)
o Doom & Gloom : Early Songs of Angst and Disaster 1927-1945 (Trikont CD)

I'm sure you are going to discover at least one album that you haven't heard yet and will become one of your personal favorites of 2007. And the thought alone really brightens my days!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Exit 2007

I have just put my personal favourite movies of 2007 on the website. I only added a couple of movies that I’ve seen very recently like Cronenberg’s ‘Eastern Promises’, Todd Haynes amazing Dylan biopic ‘I'm Not There’ and Stefan Ruzowitzky’s ‘Die Fälscher’. I also forgot to mention Bruno Dumont's excellent ‘Flandres’ which I’ve seen quoted only once elsewhere; as worst movie of the year! Me? Me gusta mucho!!!

In 2008, three monthly reviews will be published on the site again so stay tuned!

I also updated the current household favourites section. For what it’s worth…

And in case you're wondering why I posted so little lately, here’s a picture of the current state of my house. Nothing to do with Al Quada though, just renovating da house…

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Looks like 2008 is going to be a great year for live music over here!


2008 is ALIVE!!!