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)

Thursday, December 31, 2009


It is a deplorable sign of the times that 2 of the 3 films in my top 3 have not been screened in Belgium. I was lucky enough to catch both gems at the always outstanding International Film Festival Rotterdam in January. Both films premiered at the Cannes film festival in May 2008 and especially Phillipe Garrel’s FRONTIER OF DAWN got mixed reviews. Many people found the movie pretentious, confusing or downright boring. I for myself left the theatre under a spell, amazed by this sublime meditation on love, faith and eternity. As with all art forms, the perception of a film lies in the basis of our own lives and often depends on the way we relate the film to our life. La Frontière de l’Aube touched me right in the heart.

1. La Frontière de l’Aube

a brilliant ghost story shot in sumptuous black-and-white

2. Das Weiße Band

a masterfully directed and hyper-intense drama

3. Four Nights With Anna

a grim and compelling Eastern European tale

4. The Chaser

thriller of the year comes from South Korea

5. Stella

… or why I loathed De Helaasheid Der Dingen (and adored Stella)

6. Three Monkeys

splendid film noir by this Turkish arthouse master

7. Strawberry Shortcakes

already from 2006 but this superbly directed Japanese film is too good to be forgotten

8. 24 City

a brilliant mix between fiction and documentary – I didn’t expect great things but was blown away by this masterly directed film

9. Precious

raw, pure & honest

10. The Story of Anvil

wonderful & heartfelt music documentary

11. The Sound Of Insects

final countdown to death – an amazing piece of film in every aspect

12. Bright Star

marvelous costume drama about the poet John Keats

13. Süt/Milk

spellbinding second part in Semih Kaplanoglu trilogy – a must-see!

14. Cargo 200

brilliant Russian comedy/horror/thriller

15. Let The Right One In

a subtle horror movie from Sweden

16. Un Prophète

grand cru prison drama

17. Antichrist

an upsetting but genuine piece of cinema

18. 35 Rhums

another powerful little gem by Claire Denis

19. The Wrestler

comeback of the year for Mickey Rourke!

20. Leonera

raw Argentinian prison drama

I also enjoyed: Milk, Teza, Afterschool, Fish Tank, Los Abrazos Rotos, Seraphine, Inglourious Bastards, The Loner aka Hikikomori, Departures, Paper Soldier, Morphia, Survival Song, La Mujer Sin Cabeza, Altiplano, Inland, Ocean Flame, La Maison Jaune, Songs From The Southern Seas, Still Walking, El Regalo de la Pachamama, Firaaq, Voy a Explotar, Vacation, Katanga Business, Treeless Mountain, A Festa de Menina Morta, Salamandra, Native Dancer, All Around Us, Funuke Show Some Love, Parque Via, Puisque nous sommes nés, La Vida Loca, Serbis, Izulu Lami, Soi Cowboy, Liverpool, Tokyo Sonata, Before The Burial, La Pivellina, Sahman, Gigante, Katalin Varga, Politist, Adjectiv, No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti, Yuki & Nina, Le Roi de L’Evasion, Wild Field, Petropolis, Applaus, Naked of Defences, The Weaving Girl, Fish Eyes, Il Divo, The Hurt Locker, Red Cliff

Films I haven't seen yet: Goodbye Solo, Revolutionary Road, La Belle Personne, Frozen River, Elève Libre, Lost Persons Area, Gran Torino

Monday, December 28, 2009


I recently asked a couple of friends about what they think are the 15 greatest records of the last decade. Here are the albums that brightened their days (& mine) during the last 10 years. I am convinced that you will discover a couple of records that you didn’t know were that great. After all, this is what makes these lists interesting and fun, both for the compiler and the reader. Big thanks to all the people who voted! Stay tuned for my favorite movies, concerts and records of 2009!


1. Congotronics - KONONO N°1 (Crammed Discs 2004)

Some more in alphabetical order:

# The Pirate’s Gospel – ALELA DIANE (Fargo 2006)
# Bassholes - BASSHOLES(Dead Canary 2005)
# Let It Bloom – BLACK LIPS (In The Red 2005)
# Good Bad Not Evil – BLACK LIPS (Vice 2007)
# Ultraglide in Black – THE DIRTBOMBS (In The Red 2001)
# You Without Sin Cast The First Stone – ISAIAH OWENS (CaseQuarter 2004)
# In The Seventh Moon … - KASAI ALLSTARS (Crammed Discs 2008)
# Mauretanian Music from the Trarza Region – NEMA MINT CHOUEIKH (Popular African Music 2006)
# Timebomb Highschool – REIGNING SOUND (In The Red 2002)
# Aman Iman - TINARIWEN (Independiente 2007)
# Boulevard de l’Independence – TOUMANI DIABATE’s SYMMETRIC ORCHESTRA (World Circuit 2006)
# Return To Cinder – WOODEN TIT (Hate 2006)


# As is now – PAUL WELLER (2005)
# Damnation - OPETH (2003)
# Is This It – THE STROKES (2001)
# Nailed – PLACE OF SKULLS (2002)
# In the future – BLACK MOUNTAIN (2008)
# Woven Hand – WOVEN HAND (2002)
# The Weirding – ASTRA (2009)
# Witchcraft - WITCHCRAFT (2004)
# Firewood - WITCHCRAFT (2005)
# II – ESPERS (2006)
# Things we lost in the fire – LOW (2001)
# The man on the burning tightrope – FIREWATER (2003)
# Black-Wave – LOST SOUNDS (2001)
# Lost Sounds – LOST SOUNDS (2004)
# Graveyard – GRAVEYARD (2008)

Also two outstanding live albums: Paul Weller & Opeth. The decade I got to know (fantastic) English folk (Spirogyra, Pentangle, Fairport Convention, Trees, …), fully appreciate progressive rock (Pink Floyd, Camel, Caravan, Spring, Genesis, King Crimson, Kansas, …), realise 80’s metal is still the best metal of all and finally got to know … Bruce Springsteen. On a disappointing note: not one Classic rock or metal-band made a truly memorable album …


# Under and Under – BLANK DOGS
# Hex Dispensers – HEX DISPENSERS
# The Goodnight Loving – THE GOODNIGHT LOVING
# Midnight World – BLACK TIME
# Black Wave – LOST SOUNDS
# The Western Lands - GRAVENHURST
# The Real New Fall LP – THE FALL
# Whiskey Flower – THE GOLDEN BOYS
# The Trials of Van Occupanther - MIDLAKE
# American IV: The Man Comes Around – JOHNNY CASH
# Time Bomb Highschool – REIGNING SOUND
# Guts of Steel – BRIMSTONE HOWL
# Our Love to Admire - INTERPOL
# Let It Bloom – BLACK LIPS


# Cellscape – MELT BANANA
# Yaweh of the Highway – ARAB ON RADAR
# Black One – SUNN O)))
# Six Litanies for Heliogabalas – JOHN ZORN
# Witchcraft Today – ELECTRIC WIZARD
# White Chalk – PJ HARVEY
# Fordlandia – JOHAN JOHANSSON
# 1000 Hurts - SHELLAC
# Defexiones Will & Testament – DIAMANDA GALAS
# Dancer in the Dark OST - BJÖRK
# Dead Hills – WOLF EYES
# Drums not Dead - LIARS
# You Are There – MONO
# Conference of the Birds – OM


# Hex Dispensers - HEX DISPENSERS (Alien Snatch lp)
# Marked Men - MARKED MEN (Rip Off Records lp)
# Something to Crow About – THE RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS (Gearhead Records lp)
# Ten inch - SMUT PEDDLERS (Dead Beat Records 10”)
# Young, Tight & Alright - DIGGER & THE PUSSYCATS (Spooky Records cd)
# Carbonas - CARBONAS (Raw Deluxe lp)
# Machine Gun - DRUGSTOP (P Trash 7”)
# Lose It - RETAINERS (P Trash 7”)
# Feast of Shame - BRUTAL KNIGHTS (P Trash lp)
# Here comes... – HEARTATTACKS (P Trash lp)
# American IV: The Man Comes Around – JOHNNY CASH (American lp)
# Demos - PERIPHERIQUE EST (Self released lp)
# Wheelchair Album – THE SPITS (Slovenly lp)
# Plastic Girls – THE MINDS (Alien Snatch lp)
# Hit After Hit – THE BRIEFS (Dirtnap Recors lp)


# Sistema de Termancion Sexual – XYX 7” EP
# Blueberry Boat – FIERY FURNACES
# Numbers Life - NUMBERS
# Present the Paisley Reich – TIMES NEW VIKING
# Shrinking Moon For You – WOODEN SHJIPS 12”EP
# Seperated By Motorways / Big Infatuation – THE LONG BLONDES 45
# Make Out, Fall Out, Make Up – LOVE IS ALL 45
# Description of ther Harbor – SIC ALPS
# Grass Widow – GRASS WIDOW
# Relentless Machines/Blasphemer’s Union – TOMAS FUNCTION ” 45
# Between You & Me – FABIENNE DEL SOL
# Fast Metabolism - TYVEK
# Songs III: Bird on the Water – MARISSA NADLER
# Problems – NOTHING PEOPLE 7”EP


1. Memphis Is Dead – LOST SOUNDS (2000)
2. Wolf In Sheeps Clothing – JOSEPHINE FOSTER (2004)
3. A Real Good One – THE LITTLE KILLERS (2006)
4. Aman Iman: Water Is Life – TINARIWEN (2007)
5. White African – OTIS TAYLOR (2000)
6. What Have You Done My Brother – NAOMI SHELTON AND THE GOSPEL QUEENS (2009)
7. Arrived in Gold - SIGHTINGS (2004)
8. Porcella – THE DEADLY SNAKES (2005)
9. Piercing The Veil – WILLIAM PARKER & HAMID DRAKE (2001)
10.Prinzhorn Dance School – PRINZHORN DANCE SCHOOL (2007)
11.World Without Tears – LUCINDA WILLIAMS (2003)
12.Blackout – BLACK TIME (2004)
13.Honour Valour Pride – BOLT THROWER (2000)
14.Diary of an Afro Warrior – BENGA (2008)
15.Rare Wood – SUNBURNED HAND OF THE MAN (2004)


1. Memphis Is Dead – LOST SOUNDS (Big Neck '00)
2. Is This It – THE STROKES (RCA '01)
3. Let it Bloom - BLACK LIPS (In The Red '06)
4. Help – THE OH SEES (In The Red '09)
5. The Sophtware Slump – GRANDADDY (V2 '00)
6. Figure 8 – ELLIOTT SMITH (Dream Works Records '00)
7. Porcella – THE DEADLY SNAKES (In The Red '06)
8. White Blood Cells – THE WHITE STRIPES (Sympathy '01)
9. Midnight World – BLACK TIME (In The Red '06)
10.The King Khan & BBQ Show LP – THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW (Goner '04 )
11.Is A Woman - LAMBCHOP(City Slang '02)
12.Black-Wave – LOST SOUNDS (Empty '01)
13.Real Gone – TOM WAITS (Anti '04)
14.Bandana Trash – LIVE FAST DIE (Dead Beat '06)
15.Ta Det Lugnt – DUNGEN (Subliminal Sounds '04)


# Hit After Hit - THE BRIEFS
# Hex Dispensers - HEX DISPENSERS
# Hope For Men - PISSED JEANS
# The Lamps - THE LAMPS
# Butcher and the Butterfly - QUEEN ADREENA
# Petite Tu Es Un Hit - THE FEELING OF LOVE
# Is this it - THE STROKES
# Punkrock at the British Legion Hall - BILLY CHILDISH & MUSICIANS O/T BRITISH EMPIRE
# Deep in the Hole - MASTERS OF REALITY
# The Spits - THE SPITS
# American IV: The Man Comes Around – JOHNNY CASH


2. The Horrors – THE HORRORS (ITR)
3. Black Lips – BLACK LIPS (Bomp!)
4. The Essential Fucked Up Blues! – THE IMMORTAL LEE COUNTY KILLERS (Estrus)
5. The Spits – THE SPITS (Slovenly)
6. The Fatals – THE FATALS (Yakisakana)
7. Thee Cavemen Sessions – THEE FLYING DUTCHMEN (Boom Boom of Renton)
8. Blackout – BLACK TIME (Concrete Life)
9. Tunnel of Love – TUNNEL OF LOVE (ECA)
10.In de Winkel – THE KRUNCHIES (Criminal IQ)
11.Yes. No. Shut It. – THE HUNCHES (ITR)
12.Grab Them Cakes – THE MISTREATERS (Big Neck)
13.Yer Last record – CHEATER SLICKS (Secret Keeper)
14.Rat's Brains and Microchips – LOST SOUNDS (Empty)
15.Tyrades - TYRADES (Broken Rekids)


# White African – OTIS TAYLOR
# Leviathan - MASTODON
# Surrounded By Thieves – HIGH ON FIRE
# War Crime Blues/Weed – CHRIS WHITLEY
# The Living Ground - LHASA
# Paseo De Los Castaños - TOMATITO
# Cositas Buenas - PACO DE LUCÍA
# Those Once Loyal – BOLT THROWER
# Slingshot Professionals - KELLY JOE PHELPS
# Downhome Sophisticate – CORREY HARRIS
# The Deep End, Vol. 1 – GOV’T MULE
# The Road We’re On – SONNY LANDRETH
# African Roots – MICHAEL ROSE


# The Argument – FUGAZI
# Live at the Performance Center – RAINER PTACEK
# American V: A Hundred Highways – JOHNNY CASH
# Crack The Skye - MASTODON
# The Narcotic Story - OXBOW
# Six Litanies for Heliogabalas – JOHN ZORN
# Here Come The Miracles – STEVE WYNN
# Songs for the Deaf – QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
# Given To The Rising - NEUROSIS
# Phanerothyme – MOTORPSYCHO
# and then nothing turned itself inside-out – YO LA TENGO
# The Dirty South – DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS
# Stay Positive – THE HOLD STEADY
# All the Falsest Hearts can try – CENTRO-MATIC


1. Time Bomb High School – REIGNING SOUND (In The Red Records 2002)
2. I’m Not Your Soldier Anymore – DEADLY SNAKES (In The Red Records 2001)
3. Elephant – THE WHITE STRIPES (V2 Records 2003)
4. Is this it – THE STROKES (RCA Records 2001)
5. The Ape of Naples - COIL (Threshold Records 2005)
6. Wheels On Fire – WHEELS ON FIRE (Rosa Records 2006)
7. Doctor Velvet – NICK CURRAN (Blind Pig Records 2003)
8. Brain Jail – LUIS & THE WILDFIRES (Norton Records 2008)
9. Shift – NASUM (Relapse Records 2004)
10.Corridors & Parallels – DAVID S. WARE (Aum Fidelity 2001)
11.Black Wave – THE LOST SOUNDS (Empty Records 2001)
12.Mutilation Nation - CPC GANGBANGS (Alien8 Recordings 2007)
13.Aman Iman: Water Is Life - TINARIWEN (Independiente 2006)
14.Raining on the Moon – WILLIAM PARKER QUARTET (Thirsty Ear 2002)
15.Vignettes - MARILYN CRISPELL (ECM 2008)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

too many concerts, too little time

On Tuesday, The Moon Invaders were backing up rock steady-legend Pat Kelly in my hometown. A friend just told me that the show was wonderful. I missed it however, because yesterday night, I choose to drive 200km to see Venomous Concept. Since the Brutal Truth show earlier this year might be my concert of the year and as Venomous Concept = ½ Brutal Truth + ½ Napalm Death, I absolutely didn’t want to miss this show. I didn’t like the first two bands but Belgian grind masters Leng Tch’e had some real strong moments and besides, how can you not love a grind core band with an afro-American singer? Venomous Concept fulfilled my expectations. Probably not as mind-blowing as the Brutal Truth show, but still a blasting sound of furious grind core & punk rock. Another kick-ass show for sure!

If you look to the left, you will notice that before the end of the year, there are still a bunch of exciting concerts on the way. Unfortunately, that means less time for reading & watching movies. It’s probably my biggest frustration these days: too little time to enjoy the pleasures of life. On the other hand, I’m not complaining: the idea that artists really brighten my days with their great shows, amazing records, wonderful movies and fascinating books, makes me a happy dude. Life’s what you make it but without the artists, mine would be terribly bleak. Honor where honor’s due.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I think I just found the compilation of the year in my mailbox. I ordered this attractively-priced 3cd directly from the label and I urge you to do the same 'cuz it's absolutely genius! Praise the Lord, Hallelujah!

Sunday, November 08, 2009


I have always been a big fan of Djelimady Tounkara, the “Guitar Hero” of Manding music. His playing is colorful, elegant and downright fascinating. Yesterday, this African virtuoso came to the Zuiderpershuis in Antwerp to introduce the DJELIMADY TOUNKARA BLUES PROJECT. The show was mind-blowingly good!

Djelimady was born in a family of Griots in the heart of the Malinke; the cradle of the great dynasties of Griots in Mali. At a young age, he had already learned the majority of traditional instruments (balafon, kora, ngoni…) and fairly rapidly discovered a passion for the guitar. Soon, Djelimady started accompanying the Griots at weddings, baptisms and circumcision ceremonies. After contributing to the Orchestre National “A” and “Pioneer Jazz” – Mali’s first modern dance bands - he joined the Super Rail Band at the start of the 1970s and in this way accompanied the first musical steps of Salif Keita and Mory Kanté. The critically-acclaimed “Belle Epoque” series on Sterns Music (three double CDs) tells the story of the band from 1970 to 1983.

In 2001, Djelimady released his first solo record Sigui on the French Label Bleu and 3 years later, the follow-up album Solon Kôno was released on Marabi. Both CDs showcase his brilliant guitar style, heavenly female vocals and wonderful accompaniments on the djembé, doundoun, calabash gourd and ngoni.

Yesterday, Djelimady was surrounded by Moussa Diabate on guitar, Aboubacar Diombana on electric bass and Abou Cissoko on ngoni. The foursome’s playing was subtle and inspiring and all four gave the others the opportunity to show off their virtuosity. Abou Cissoko’s ngoni playing was very intense & challenging while Aboubacar’s bass gave the songs a genuine drive. At times, Moussa Diabate’s guitar almost sounded like a kora and it really felt like a musical heaven to me!

During the whole concert, Djelimady switched between acoustic and electric guitar and one could hear a lot of different styles in his playing: Cuban, Hot Swing, Flamenco… Djelimady masters all those genres! At times, Djelimady & Abou stood up and started an improvising duel with their instruments. The way they used the call-and-response concept of blues music was absolutely thrilling. No wonder the concert finished with a standing ovation and a rousing cry for more!

Together with Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate, Djelimady Tounkara forms the holy trinity of Malian music. Let’s hope the DJELIMADY TOUNKARA BLUES PROJECT will do some studio recording in the very near future because from what I heard & saw yesterday, this is a totally unique band that has the potential & talent to record a masterpiece!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Scandinavia Rocks!

Here are 3 Scandinavian bands from the nineties that I really liked at the time but never made a big fuzz outside of their homelands.

First is a Swedish band called SOUL PATROL that I know very little off. The CD inlay doesn’t reveal any info about the band or year of release and I don’t even know if they only made one album or more. The only album that I own - ‘Use…’ on CBR Records - features a track called Slowmoving Revolution that was a real underground hit at our local youth club at the time. The irresistible drive of the song and the passionate vocals always made me and my friends spill our beers and bang our heads like fools on the dance floor. I include this track although I must admit that it’s pure nostalgia to me and probably sounds terribly outdated or boring to you. The other 2 tracks that I include are the opening song Heart of Gold – Soul of Ice and the scorcher Your Friend For A Day, tracks that I still cherish today. PLAY LOUD!

Heart of Gold – Soul of Ice – SOUL PATROL mp3
Your Friend For A Day – SOUL PATROL mp3
Slowmoving Revolution – SOUL PATROL mp3


ANAL BABES were a Norwegian band that released a split 7” with BRAINBOMBS on the Belgian Demolition Derby/Pit’sbull Records way back in 1995. The year before, the band had released its second album on Big Ball Records and Shoot The Hostages is the opening track of said album, nicely called ‘Delirium or Diarrhea’. ANAL BABES made quite an impression on me when they played at the Democrazy club in Ghent in support of the album. They didn’t want to play on the big stage and choose a dark corner of the club instead. With the exception of 2 black leather gloves, the singer was bare-naked and the band spit out a wild bunch of nasty & hate-driven punk tracks. Don’t miss their wild cover of The Electras’ Action Woman!

Shoot The Hostages – ANAL BABES mp3
Action Woman – ANAL BABES mp3


Last but not least is RADIOPUHELIMET from Finland whose lyrics are in Finnish and who sound like The Jesus Lizard making an appearance in a Kaurismäki film. Their album 'Maalla' from 1993 was – like most of the band’s output – released on the Bad Vugum Records label, one of the most interesting labels in Europe during the nineties.
Tee se kotonasi – RADIOPUHELIMET mp3

Saturday, October 17, 2009

© Fazal Sheikh
"Ten oosten van Erzurum is de weg leeg en verlaten. De dorpen liggen ver uit elkaar. En zo kan het om een of andere reden gebeuren dat je de auto langs de kant van de weg zet en de rest van de nacht in de openlucht doorbrengt. Warm ingepakt in een vilten jack, een bontmuts over je oren, hoor je het water koken op de primus, die beschut staat achter een wiel. Geleund tegen een aardhoop kijk je naar de sterren, het golvende landschap richting de Kaukasus, de lichtgevende ogen van een vos. Je verdrijft de tijd met hete thee, af en toe een woord, een sigaret, en dan wordt het licht, het breidt zich uit, kwartels en patrijzen laten zich horen… en je haast je om dit ultieme moment in je geheugen als geheel op te slaan, waaruit je het op een dag weer zult opdiepen. Je rekt je uit, je zet een paar stappen, voelt je heel licht en het woord ‘geluk’ lijkt plotseling veel te mager en beperkt om te beschrijven wat er door je heen gaat.
Want de kern van je leven, dat is niet je familie, je carrière, wat anderen over je zeggen of van je denken, maar dat zijn dit soort momenten, waarop je wordt opgetild door een sublieme kracht, serener nog dan de liefde, die het leven ons slechts karig toebedeelt, omdat ons hart er niet te veel van verdraagt."

Gelezen in De wegen van de wereld (L’Usage du monde - 1963) van Nicolas Bouvier (Uitgeverij Bas Lubberhuizen 2009)

Monday, October 05, 2009


Last Friday evening turned out to be yet another legendary R&R night at the mighty Pit’s! Although KING SALAMI & THE CUMBERLAND 3 had to cancel their show at the last minute (due to bad management if you ask me), Kortrijk’s own THE GOHARDS were a great replacement. Although it looks like these kids have just come out of the basement, they have a convincing sound of their own, somewhere between CIRCLE JERKS, FLIPPER and BRUTAL KNIGHTS. Certainly a band to keep an eye open for!

All my prejudices against French punk rock were blown away as soon as PERIPHERIQUE EST hit the stage. The band, which consist of 4 Belgians and a Parisian, was a joy to watch with 3 wild rockin’ guitar players, a hyperkinetic drummer and a super dynamic singer. Like The Lazy Cowgirls backing up Plastic Bertrand! Because the first two songs were mind-bogglingly good, I was afraid that the band wouldn’t be able to maintain this super-high level. No need to worry though, as PERIPHERIQUE EST blasted out supreme French punk rock from start to finish! Here’s some raw footage from the godlike show:

thanks to Hugo!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

"Waiting For Something”: A short documentary about Jay Reatard

Here’s a pretty cool short film about Jay Reatard from his own website. Although I’m not really into Jay’s latest stuff, I still think he’s a genuine musician who deserves every bit of praise he gets.

Waiting For Something - a short documentary about Jay Reatard

Friday, September 25, 2009

Girls in the Garage !!!

Here are 3 female fronted punk rock gems from way back then that definitely did stand the test of time:

First is a song by THE CREAMERS whose debut album 'Love, Honor & Obey' was one of the first records on Sympathy For The Record Industry way back in 1989. Although I did buy the first couple of Sympathy albums at release date (Lazy Cowgirls! Jeff Dahl Group! Clawhammer!), for one reason or another I couldn’t get my hands on that Creamers record. Since the band consisted of 2 Lazy Cowgirls members, I was desperately in need for that record! In 1991, Flipside magazine issued a compilation cd called the Big One which featured a great Creamers song called “What Will The Neighbors Think”, a song originally released on the City of L.A.: Power compilation. In the same year, The Creamers released their second album 'Stick It In Your Ear' on Triple XXX Records. To promote the album, they did a European tour and played a great show at the Democrazy club in Ghent, Belgium. I still got a signed poster inside my copy and remember what a bunch of nice people The Creamers were in person. "Bob Kringle" is one of my all-time favorite Xmas tracks and can be found on an excellent compilation on Triple XXX Records that features their debut album as well as singles and compilation tracks.

Bob Kringle – THE CREAMERS mp3
(This Stuff’ll Kill Ya! – Triple XXX Records 1994)

The second song also comes from a very underrated SFTRI debut album by THE SHORT FUSES. Over here in Europe it did absolutely nothing, not in the least because the band didn’t embark on a European tour to promote it. It’s a shame, really - because it’s an excellent album mixing powerful buzz saw guitars, great hooks and splendid female vocals. "Corvette Summer" is the second track and as far as I’m concerned the pick of the album.

Corvette Summer – THE SHORT FUSES mp3
(Get The Hell Down – SFTRI CD 2000)

I never really understood why the only album by THE TEARS wasn’t released on vinyl because it’s the kind of punk rock & roll that is meant for vinyl. "Miss Queen" has some hysterical Courtney Love-like vocals but instead of boring grunge, we are treated on a superfast & exciting punk rock song. According to Grunnen Rocks, the band only released a 7”, two compilation tracks and a cd and some members are now in Catholic Boys (if they are still around that is), Bold Ones and Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones.

Miss Queen – THE TEARS mp3
(The Tears – Trick Knee Productions CD 2003)

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Last week, I went to see 2 death metal bands in my hometown: VOMITORY and MALEVOLENT CREATION. After a brilliant BRUTAL TRUTH show a couple of months ago, I thought it was a good idea to check out some other legendary metal bands. VOMITORY from Sweden have been playing death metal for over 20 years and infuse their sound with a fierce doses of brutal grind core. They played a great show, promoting Dante’s inferno like a new Disneyland park. The singer had a dark & really low guttural voice and most of the time, we only saw a curtain of hair instead of a singer’s face or grunter or how do you call those throat torturers? Power where you need it, definitely!

MALEVOLENT CREATION too has been raising hell for over two decades but the band didn’t show any signs of wear. Their sound was crystal clear but above all devastatingly heavy and brutal. This time, the singer looked like a proud club member of the Confederacy of Scum with his huge spike gauntlets and trucker moustache. Before me, a young girl was head-banging like crazy and I almost pitied her for being confronted with all this brutal mayhem at such a tender age. I hope the band won’t burden her with a mental trauma! Definitely the most ferocious and powerful gig I have seen in ages, both musically and lyric-wise.

Here are some of my favorite metal tracks (although I married a former metal chick, it’s still a genre that I need to explore):

Unholy Blasphemies – MORBID ANGEL mp3
(from Blessed Are The Sick – Earache Records 1991)

Burden – ROTTEN SOUND mp3
(from Exit – Willowtip Records 2005)

Human, All Too Fucking Human – ANAAL NATHRAKH mp3
(from The Codex Necro – Earache Records 2005)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Miles Cleret selects 85 minutes of his favourite tracks from the legendary ORCHESTRE POLY RYTHMO whose debut European tour has just begun. I will be reviewing their upcoming Antwerp show here next week!


I have just finished reading Roberto Bolaño’s posthumous and colossal novel 2666 and I think it’s an awe-inspiring masterpiece. 2666 may be a first draft (the Chilean-turned-Catalan writer tragically died in 2003 without being able to revise the final draft) the wild chaos and stylistic richness held me from beginning to end. The 5 novellas that are masterfully interwoven were originally intended by Bolaño to be published separately as a way of guaranteeing income for his wife and children after his early death due to liver ailment at age 50. His family along with his Spanish editor however decided to publish the five parts as one volume which is a wise decision I think. There are no defining moments in 2666 and mysteries are never resolved but the sheer abundance of its narrative and its resistance to categorization make 2666 a heroic achievement. What a book!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I bought the HEADLESS CHICKENS’ debut album ‘Stunt Clown’ the year it was released by Flying Nun Records in 1988. Over the years, I came across this album multiple times in bargain bins and on second hand music fairs. A couple of months ago, I finally bought the CD version of the album for the ridiculous price of €1,00. Nobody else seemed interested, although the cover art stirs the imagination and Flying Nun Records has always been synonym for adventurious and genuine pop music. ‘Stunt Clown’ definitely is the kind of ambitious and unique album that never fails to enthrall and keeps on stirring the listener’s imagination. Here’s the fourth track from the album.

do the headless chicken - HEADLESS CHICKENS mp3

Sunday, September 06, 2009

I can't believe it's already been over 2 months since I wrote something on this blog of mine so I guess it's about time to revive the damn thing. Here are the other films I saw at the L'Age d'Or/Filmvondsten film festival in Brussels in the beginning of July.

This first feature-length film by UK film director Peter Strickland was made entirely independently over four years, costing less than 30,000 Euros to make. The film was shot in the Hungarian-speaking part of Romanian Transylvania and follows Katalin Varga when she is banished from her village and sets out on a quest to find the biological father of her son in order to take revenge for what happened in the past. In the Q&A after the screening, Strickland told the audience that he got the idea for the film from a solo record by Nurse With Wound’s Stephen Stapleton who instantly agreed to make the film’s score. Unfortunately, the soundtrack is too explicit and robs the movie of its integrity. Although Béla Tarr collaborator Gyorgy Kovacs creates a vivid picture of the region and the story is well-developed, it often feels like Strickland is imitating his idols. Moreover, some scenes have an irritating horror movie feeling and the end isn’t very memorable. Katalin Varga would have benefited much more from a modest approach like in Kornel Mundruczo’s 2008 Cannes title “Delta”. Now, Katalin Varga is just a nice hommage to the grim and sinister Eastern-European cinema of Béla Tarr and Krzysztof Kieslowski.

An enthralling film that follows a young detective during a time-wasting case trailing weed smoking teenagers. There’s hardly any action, but this slow-paced movie makes the audience participate in an interesting reasoning about the complex question of morality & consciousness. A movie that replays in your mind, long after the credits are gone.

I wasn’t impressed by Alicia Scherson’s successful début PLAY and I am equally unimpressed with her second feature. An implausible storyline, uninteresting characters and silly humor.

A simple & powerful Taiwanese film about a down and out man and his little daughter who live in an illegal hovel until the authorities intervene and ruin their happy & peaceful life. A sensitive melodrama, shot in black-and-white images.

A children’s drama made for adults, with a faint touch of magic-realism. Faced with having to move to Japan with her mother, young Yuki seems more distraught about leaving her best friend Nina than she is about leaving her French father. After failing to change her mom's mind, Yuki runs away with Nina. An original look at the impact of a divorce on children’s behavior.

A burlesque comedy about a middle aged homosexual man in a small French village becomes involved with a sixteen year old girl. A good laugh!!!

The American occupation of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War is the backdrop of 'Independencia’, a simplistic & boring tale, made in the style of silent films.

Wild Fields tells the story of a young doctor called Dmitri who is sent to a remote village in the Kazakh steppe. Brilliant cinematography captures the harsh beauty of the landscape, while a host of outstanding performances build a complex picture of the post-Soviet psyche.

Winner of the Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes this year, this story about a father who is convinced that the best way for his children to remain uncontaminated by the world is to completely cut them off from it lacks persuasiveness. Most of the time, it looks like Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos mocks his own film. A disappointment.

A Russian comedy that would have benefited from tighter editing.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


A charming little film about a two-year-old girl found by a circus worker living on the outskirts of Rome. An unpretentious & moving portrait of life in the margins of society.


An Uruguayan comedy about a supermarket security guard who becomes obsessed with a late-shift floor cleaner. The film won the grand jury award at the Berlinale along with the first feature film and the Alfred Bauer Prize. A well-made and engaging film although I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about.


A wordless poetic docu-drama that follows life on an Armenian farm through the eyes of a buffalo. The fast editing is a distinct contrast to the slow storyline, but makes the movie digestible.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Into the Heart of Darkness

Yesterday I read an incredible newspaper article about a Belgian journalist who paddled with a kayak through the heart of darkness of Belgium’s former colony the Congo. Afterwards, I checked the website mentioned at the bottom of the article and it turns out that this heroic man has his own website where you can find pictures and a complete account (in Dutch, French and English!) of his savage travels. What a man!

"I bought the animal and set it free"

Saturday, June 20, 2009


If I would be on Twitter, I think I would now post a message telling that – at the moment - I am intensely enjoying this magnificent reissue.

AWESOME IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT! (and I haven't even touched a Trappist beer right now)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sublime Frequencies label night (Hasselt - June 6th 2009)

I recently went to the SUBLIME FREQUENCIES label night at Kunstencentrum België in Hasselt. Sublime Frequencies is a world music record label based in Seattle and headed by Alan Bishop from THE SUN CITY GIRLS and Hisham Mayet. I was never impressed by THE SUN CITY GIRLS’ music although I had their 2 so-called masterpieces in my record collection at the time: ‘Torch of the Mystics’ from 1990 and ‘330,003 Cross dressers From Beyond the Big Veda’ from 1996. I found the music vague and pretentious, made by a bunch of charlatans who make weird music just for the sake of being weird. A few years ago, I sold both out-of-press albums at a great price on eBay and bought me another bunch of Nonesuch Explorer CD’s with the money.

As a world music aficionado, I really felt I had to check out the SUBLIME FREQUENCIES releases though and although I like some of the labels output, I also found some real stinkers in the catalogue. ’I Remember Syria’ and ‘Radio India’ for example feature a mish-mash of random music culled from Syrian/Indian radio, with the radio being fine-tuned all the time and endless audio distortion throughout the songs. To make things worse, many songs are brutally shortcut in the middle and the lack of any licensing info really reeks of exotica exploitation.

But as I just mentioned, there are also a bunch of worthwhile collections in the SF catalogue: the ‘Cambodian Cassette Archives: Khmer Folk & Pop Music Vol.1’, ‘Molam: Thai Country Groove From Isan’, ‘Choubi Choubi! Folk and Pop Sounds from Iraq’ and ‘Ethnic Minority Music of North Vietnam’ are all good to great compilations of genuine modern or traditional music from out there.

Last year, I bought the OMAR SOULEYMAN compilation ‘Highway to Hassake’ and I was immediately intoxicated by the 2 slow & mesmerizing laments on the compilation. I also like some of the GROUP DOUEH recordings so when I read about an upcoming Sublime Frequencies label night with OMAR SOULEYMAN and GROUP DOUEH, I absolutely didn’t want to miss the opportunity to witness myself what Sublime Frequencies is all about.

The evening took off with the screening of ‘Palace of the Winds’, a 52 minutes documentary by Hisham Mayet focusing on the music of the Saharawis from Southern Morocco and Mauritania. The film consisted mainly of raw & intense live performances by Group Doueh, Group Marwani, Sadoum Oueld Aida and Group Bab Sahara and these home-recordings were interwoven with lo-fi images of desert villages and its inhabitants. Unfortunately and in real Sublime Frequencies style, Mayet doesn’t give the viewer any information which I found rather frustrating as I was wondering at times in what country the images were taken (Morocco or Mauritania?) and on what kind of occasions the bands were playing. Again, it looked like the Sublime Frequencies people are more interested in weird & outsider culture than in the awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others (dixit Smithsonian Folkways). Still, I bought myself a copy of the DVD because I still liked the film and think it’s an interesting addition to my Saharawis 3CD box set on Nubenegra.

As soon as ‘Palace of the Winds’ was over, GROUP DOUEH took the stage and treat us to some great desert music. Although the keyboard sounded very cheesy, both the guitar playing and the male and female lead singers were excellent. The music reminded me of Dimi Mint Abba with its hypnotic and trance-like feeling. Great!

Next was a documentary shot on the Jemnaa El Fna square in Marrakesh ('Musical Brotherhoods of the Trans-Saharan Highway'). Last year, I visited the square myself but in the documentary, it looked like the images were shot somewhere else. Firstly, you didn’t see any tourists in the film (and there are a lot) and the musicians were much more interesting in the film than those I had witnessed myself on the square. Still, a nice way to feel some of the square’s vibrancy!

In the middle of the documentary, I had to rush away because OMAR SOULEYMAN had taken the stage. Although the audience loved every note, I wasn’t really impressed by Souleyman’s Syrian disco with techno beats. I found the virtuosi electric saz player of more interest than Souleyman himself who reminded me sometimes of the Syrian equivalent of Eddie Wally. After three quarter of an hour, the band suddenly switched to a slow hypnotic song but as the audience had come to party, the song was abandoned after a mere 2 minutes and the band continued with their ruthless party beats.

At the end of the night, Bishop and Mayet did some DJ-ing (no vinyl, just cd’s and cd-roms) and screened some amusing film footage from all over the world. As I was looking at the screen above the stage, I saw a photographer asking Bishop and Mayet if he could take their picture while DJ-ing. They agreed but all of a sudden, when the picture was taken, Bishop and Mayet raised their right arm to give the Hitler-salutation. I know the swastika has been known in India for over 5,000 years but I don’t think the Nazi-salutation has an ancient tradition. Oh well, charlatans - right?

Friday, June 12, 2009


If push comes to shove, “Desperado” by THE POOH STICKS might be my all-time favorite power-pop song! It’s catchy as hell, it’s pretty wild & each time I hear it again, it makes me very happy. A real hidden gem, forgotten by anyone but me, my wife & Michael Kastelic. That’s right, the singer of THE CYNICS almost kissed me on the cheek when I played “Desperado” before the band went on stage in my hometown some 15 years ago (gee, I’m getting old!!!). In an ideal world, “Desperado” is the kind of tune you would hear blasting out of convertible sports cars!

Desperado - THE POOH STICKS mp3

"Desperado" is the fifth track from 'The Great White Wonder', the second POOH STICKS album from 1991, released on Cheree Records in the UK.

Friday, June 05, 2009

THE UPSETTERS: Unsung Heroes of Rock & Roll !!!

The Upsetters are one of my favourite R&B outfits. Unfortunately, their music is very hard to find. Here’s some information from the liner notes of a 1984 Charly Records compilation called “The Upsetters: The New Orleans Connection”, written by the late great Ray Topping:

Around October 1957, Little Richard gave up rock ‘n’ roll for the church and his retirement left his backing band, the Upsetters out on a limb. They had many advance bookings and engagements to fulfil and set about looking for a replacement. In Chicago they met Dee Clark, a versatile vocalist who had previously sung in several vocal quartets. Billed as Little Richard, Clark set off with the Upsetters to complete a mid western tour. On their return the Upsetters signed with Vee Jay and accompanied Clark on “Oh Little Girl” and “Wondering” – (Falcon 1009, see CRB 1010). On the same date, January 17th 1958, the Upsetters cut two great instrumentals “The Strip” and “Upsetter” (Falcon 1010) and their saxophonist, Wilbert Smith (who also doubled on piano) sang on “Hatti Malatti” and “Mama Loochie” (Vee Jay 272). Smith who used the stage name of Lee Diamond on these sides, came from New Orleans and had previously played with the bands of Roy Brown and James Brown, he also co-wrote “Slippin’ and Slidin’” and introduced Little Richard to his revised version; Eddie Bo had first recorded it for Apollo. “Hatti Malatti” became a regional break out in many Southern markets, and the flip “Mama Loochie” was a feature of DeeJay ‘Hound Dog’ Lorenz memory tune show for many years.

The nucleus of the Upsetters started life as various parts of the Pluma Davis and Gatemouth Brown bands. In Houston around 1955 where they accompanied Big Walter Price on his famous Peacock recordings of “Pack Fair And Square”. Grady Gaines, who later became their leader, also accompanied David Dean and Earl Forrest on a number of Duke and Peacock recordings. Grady Gaines’ brother Roy Gaines was starting to make his name as a leading session guitarist in Houston about this time. Roy went off to lead Chuck Willis’ band while Grady went on the road with the Upsetters backing Little Richard. Grady played lead Tenor Sax and wrote charts. Other members of the Upsetters included Clifford Burks (tenor sax), Larry Lennear (Barritone sax), Wilbert Smith (Piano and tenor sax), Nathaniel Douglas (guitar), Osie Robinson (bass), and Emile Russell (drums). Russel replaced the original drummer Charles Conner.

The Upsetters second session for Vee Jay later in 1958 produced 4 more sides: “Upsetter Rock”, “Baldhead Baby”, “Wake Up” and “Girl in Every City”. These sides remained unissued until now. “Upsetter Rock” and “Wake Up” are powerhouse instrumentals featuring the guitar of Nathaniel Douglas and the latter bears an uncanny resemblance to the Athmosphere’s “Fiddle Chicken”. If you listen closely to the end of “Upsetter Rock”, you hear somebody shout “Oh My Soul”. Is this Little Richard or could it be Lee Diamond doing a good impression?

The Upsetters returned for a third session in 1959 but unfortunately the tapes have been lost. In the early sixties Lee Diamond returned to New Orleans where he recorded for Minit, Lola and Bourbon Street, and wrote “Tell It Like It Is” for Aaron Neville with George Davis. He was last heard playing in Joe Jones’ band when they came to New York in 1965.

The Upsetters continued to record and a slew of singles appeared on many labels including Gee, Fire, Palm and H.B. Barnum’s label Little Star, where they re-united with their old buddy Little Richard who sang (uncredited) on “I’m In Love Again”, “Everynight About This Time” and “Valley Of Tears”.

In 2003, a bootleg cd with 27 Upsetters songs appeared on La Cienega Records (Made in Spain). Roots & Rhythm may still have a few copies for sale so don't hesitate because The Upsetters were surely one of the most exciting rock ‘n’ roll bands of the 50’s! Here are 5 classic Upsetters tracks for you to enjoy:

The Strip – THE UPSETTERS mp3
Upsetter – THE UPSETTERS mp3
Mama Loochie – LEE DIAMOND mp3
Upsetter Rock – THE UPSETTERS mp3

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Here are the 15 films that made the biggest impression on me so far in 2009 (minus STELLA which I reviewed earlier):


Philippe Garrel proves once again that he is one of cinema’s greatest poets today with this beautiful and contemplative film exploring the destructive power of love. The spectacular black and white photography is a work of art by itself and the performances are impeccable. An intelligent movie that stays in your mind and haunts you like a ghost.


A masterly combination of fact and fiction by today’s leading Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke, co-written with the poet Zhai Yongming. Another tour-de-force that portrays China’s modern history and turns it into poetry.


A hyperventilating South-Korean action-packed crime thriller that will please lovers of Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Memories of Murder & The Host. See the original South Korean box office hit before it is watered down by a planned Warner Bros. remake.


What more can I add to this review of a superbly directed film about the day-to-day lives of four disconnected young women living and working in the metropolis of Tokyo. Released in 2006 and thanks to the Cinema Novo Film Festival finally to be enjoyed on the big screen in Belgium last March. A highly refined and subdued drama that I can’t praise enough.


Not the Gus Van Sant homage to Harvey Milk but the second film of Semih Kaplanoglu’s trilogy Egg-Milk-Honey, in which the Turkish director sketches long, tranquil tableaux of rural life. This allegoric quest for the meaning of existence, family, adulthood and the challenges imposed by tradition is cinema pur sang.


Four Nights with Anna is the first film in 17 years from the great Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski and it is a real triumph: a grim movie reminiscent of Béla Tarr and Krzysztof Kieslowski. The fact that these kind of gloomy, sinister Eastern-European films are still being made today made my trip to Rotterdam all the more worthwhile!


A rather experimental movie about a man aged forty who starves himself in a remote forest and writes about his observations in a diary. The film ignores all kinds of feature-film conventions and mixes precise observations of the surrounding nature, vague memories, dream sequences & flashbacks. A real piece of cinema art that never ceases to amaze you.


After ROME RATHER THAN YOU, Teguia has made another remarkable film in which he links two important causes of alienation: the influence of terror on local populations and the migration of men without prospects. With a length of 138 minutes and a minimalist approach to plot and dialogue, I am afraid it’s only for the die-hard cinephile. Great soundtrack with music by Ina Djakou, Christian Fennesz, Cheikha Djenia, Fela Kuti, Sonic Youth, Terry Riley & Bismillah Khan.


A Turkish film noir by one of my favorite contemporary directors. Intense performances and mesmerizing cinematography: awesome movie!


Sometimes when leaving a theatre, you expect a film to become a huge hit but most of the time, it doesn’t. Leonera is a typical example but don’t ask me why because Pablo Trapero’s latest is an engrossing drama about a pregnant women who gets imprisoned for manslaughter. The almost documentary-style, realistic approach makes the movie powerful & emotional. Rent it on DVD and prove me wrong!


A charming Moroccan countryside film that I finally got a chance to see on the big screen. An honest little gem of a film, simple but accurate.


An arty and erotic Hong-Kong drama about self-destruction. Although criticism like this might be justified, the movie is never boring or arty-farty.


This Russian film set in the early 1960s and featuring an emotionally vulnerable doctor working with the first team of Soviet cosmonauts confirms that Russian cinema is reappearing on the world cultural map. Some scenes reminded me a lot of the great master of Russian cinema Andrej Tarkovsky. Another great new Russian film seen in Rotterdam was Alexei Balabov’s MORPHIA.


This fascinating tale about a women who loses her memory due to a car accident poses more questions than it delivers answers so for many, it might be a very frustrating film to watch. I enjoyed it a lot because I became fascinated by the way Lucrecia Martel plays with reality and imagination.


The result of the exploration of dozens of film archives looking for exciting and challenging old images. A visual feast of exciting images and fascinating music by Bohren & Der Club Of Gore.

In 2009 I also liked and recommend Songs from the Southern Seas, El Regalo de la Pachamama, Firaaq, Vacation, Katanga Business, Treeless Mountain, A Festa de Menina Morta, All Around Us, Funuke Show Some Love, Parque Via, Z32, Puisque Nous Sommes Nés, La Vida Loca, Serbis, Izulu Lami, Liverpool, Tokyo Sonata, Before The Burial, Survival Song, Khiam 2000-2007, The Wrestler, Il Divo, Teza and Los Abrazos Rotos.

But then again, it’s all very personal. For example, every critic hails Kore-eda’s STILL WALKING at the moment but I found the movie rather tame and boring. Still, I do believe that some readers might share my passion for the 15 above mentioned films.