• Top 10 albums 2012

    Dic 17 2012, 22:21

    Here's my top 10 albums of 2012 with a few honourable mentions. The order isn't that important, that changes by the day ;-)
  • The run-down of 2010: my faved albums

    Dic 31 2010, 9:17

    By the end of the year loads and loads of lists appear and I wouldn't want to miss out on that, so here's my own list to add to the various lists. I bought 48 albums that were published in 2010, but a few of them were re-releases of old albums or compilations and those are not allowed on the list (unless it's absolutely mindbogglingly good). So I cut the list shot to 40. And as every ear I'm sure I'll find some album in 2011 that were released in 2010 and that absolutely would have been on the list if only I'd have them now. But I don't, so they ain't.

    The top 6 is fairly well set based on a good glance over the year, but further on down the list the places are interchangeable. For now I give you: The top 40 albums of 2010 according to me:

    CocoRosie / Grey Oceans
    Peter Gabriel / Scratch My Back
    Blaudzun / Seadrift Soundmachine
    Lilian Hak / Old Powder New Guns
    Alina Orlova / Mutabor
    The Tallest Man On Earth / The Wild Hunt
    Angus & Julia Stone / Down The Way
    Bettie Serveert / Pharmacy of Love
    Flux / Pluimgewichten
    Tim Knol / Tim Knol
    Ben L'Oncle Soul / Ben L'Oncle Soul
    Jonsi / Go
    New Cool Collective / Pachinko
    Shearwater / Golden Archipelago
    The National / High Violet
    ZAZ / ZAZ
    And So I Watch You From Afar / And So I Watch You From Afar
    Black Keys / Brothers
    Schradinova / India Lima Oscar Victor Echo You
    Leela James / My Soul
    Joanna Newsom / Have One On Me
    Peter Broderick / How They Are
    65DaysOfStatic / We Were Exploding Anyway
    Motorpsycho / Heavy Metal Fruit
    Mr. A Balladeer / Sorry, Kid
    The Orb / Metallic Spheres (featuring David Gilmour)
    Lou Rhodes / One Good Thing
    Gogol Bordello / Trans-Continental Hustle
    Selah Sue / Raggamuffin
    Amy MacDonald / A Curious Thing
    Duke Special / The Stage, A Book and The Silver Screen
    Erykah Badu / New Amerykah Part 2: Return of The Ankh
    Jaga Jazzist / One-Armed Bandit
    Lightspeed Champion / Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You
    Lushus / Barefoot
    Marike Jager / The Magic Live Box
    My Bubba & Mi / How It's Done In Italy
    She & Him / Volume Two
    Sleigh Bells / Treats
    Tineke Postma / The Traveler

    A nice broad set of music again an I'm happy to see there's again some great Dutch musicians in the list. Can't wait to see and hear what 2011 will bring.
  • Database search

    Nov 15 2010, 10:19

    Ever since I 'collected' albums, I've added my new additions in a database. At first I made my own program (in Delphi and boy was I proud of that. Included not only just about every detail of the album, but also every individual song and every musician mentioned on the album. So I was able to cross-reference my entire database on albums that a certain artist played on. It was nice but quite useless. Also it took way too much time to insert it all. So the artist-part was deleted.

    Then I started wondering why on earth I actually noted every song of every album. So the song-database got deleted to and I only noted the album info. In time some parts of that were rendered useless also (I'm really not that interested to know if an album was recorded AAD, ADD or DDD) and the last part that got deleted last week was the label on which an album appeared.

    But apart from putting info in the database I could not really do that much with the info. It's been inserted into my database on my website over two years ago and on my previous website I had a page where I had a view to show the whole list. But it wasn't very user-friendly. On my current site it's not available at all as I decided to aim it more generally on photography and not so much on what albums I've bought and which I have.

    But I did run into a problem a few times... buying albums that I already had. It's not so much a problem with the new albums, but when I go scavenging for oldies, every once in a while I do start to wonder.... don't I already have that one?

    So I got my brilliant brother to do some programming for me and make a page that would also look decent on my iPhone and that would allow me to search my database and he did! You can see it over here. Just type in (a part of) a name of the artist or album and the pace will return info from the database. You can check out the details I saved on the album and (brilliant as my brother is) if the artist name and album name find a match in Last.fm, it will even show an image of the album-cover. I really can't thank him enough, it works beautifully (although apparently not so much on Internet Explorer 8, but then I'm on Mac, who needs IE8?).
  • New website

    Gen 24 2010, 11:22

    My new concert photography website has been online for nearly a month now. I've made the switch from home-built (by my very talented brother) to a WordPress setup. Mainly as after more than two years of running the previous version, I wanted to start up a more blog-orientated form of maintaining the website. A website is always under construction, there are always new pieces to be added or changed, bur for now I'm pretty happy with the results.

    By incorporating the Last.fm widget the site looks a bit more interactive simply by playing music :) And since this morning I've also included an agenda. It shows the 5 nearest upcoming concerts that I'm interested in. Adding the concert/events to my Last.fm agenda, my Google calender gets updated and my website reads that feed (kind of like the long way round, but it works)

    Oh, and using Twitter I'm also automatically sending out messages of new blogs. I love it when a site does nearly all my work for me ;)

    If you're interested, please come and take a look: www.kjguch.com
  • My top 25 albums of 2009

    Dic 25 2009, 16:06

    And here it is, after many weeks of extensive listening to the albums of 2009. It is a current listing, some albums simply need time to grow and I haven't got them long enough. But the highest ranking albums are very definitely the best albums in my opinion. (and there's a visual representation too: here )

    1 Vic Chesnutt – At The Cut

    I bought the album Northstar Deserter after a very positive review on FileUnder. It took me a while to actually ‘get’ the album, but once I did, is quickly became one of my highest rated albums. The combination of Vic Chesnutt and the Silver Mt Zion was utterly brilliant. I let the next album (Dark Developments) pass me by, but when I heard that for his newest album Vic would again collaborate with A Silver Mt Zion, I picked up the album as soon as I could and I’m very happy I did so, as the album is utterly beautiful. Sometimes bombastically chaotic and at other times so small and tiny and breakable. Without a doubt the album of the year for me!

    2 Anne Soldaat – In Another Life

    I was nearly as much moved by the new album of Dutch singer/songwriter Anne Soldaat. After the breakup of Dutch alternative band Daryll-Ann, Anne released one album under the Do-The-Undo moniker. A nice album at that, but not mindblowing. This album however, under his own name, is just about perfect. Great songs, great lyrics and a fantastic sound. The balance between rock and quietly/breakable is just right.

    3 Soap&Skin – Lovetune For Vacuum

    I was awestruck when I heard the song ‘Janitor of Lunacy’ on the EP released by Soap&Skin late last year. And I was hugely irritated that I could not find a full album. Luckily that album did come this year and it is magnificent. The haunting vocals and the beautiful piano playing make this a fantastic album. Anja Plaschg (who is Soap&Skin) released a very intense album that made itself clear to belong in the top regions of the list at the first time I heard it.

    4 De Staat – Wait For Evolution

    Another Dutch band and no wonder, the Dutch scene has seen some very interesting acts this year. Torre Florim of De Staat has released a very punchy/rocking album, toured every festival and stage for a year and the while building on an incredible reputation. The album kicks ass!

    4.1 Roosbeef – Ze Willen Wel Je Hond Aaien Maar Niet Met Je Praten

    At the very last moment of 2008 –just too late to get included in that year’s listing- Dutch band Roosbeef (led by Roos Rebergen) released their debut album. The lyrics are sung in Dutch and are written brilliantly. Also the music perfectly fits the songs. During this last year the band has grown enormously due to the many gigs and I love the album. I’ve placed it at number 4.1 as it isn’t really a 2009 album. If it were fully included, it’d be fighting for fourth place with De Staat. A nice coincidence as Torre Florim of De Staat and Roos Rebergen of Roosbeef have very recently released a very nice EP together called ‘De Speeldoos’.

    5 Kyteman – The Hermit Sessions

    In itself I have nothing with Hip-Hop. The whole American Hip-Hop scene simply revolts me. So it came as quite a shock to me that this Dutch act so easily won me over. Te again, it’s not Hip-Hip in the purest sense of the name. A project 23 year old Colin Bender had worked on for three years and like De Staat, Kyteman toured and rocked every stage and festival where they played. Not all songs work evenly well for me, but the album as a whole left a huge impression.

    6 Blue Roses – Blue Roses

    Blue Roses opened for Noah & The Whale earlier this year in Vera (Groningen). I had never heard of Blue Roses before, but was immediately captured by the beautiful mesmerising voice of Laure Groves. I bought the album on the spot and found the vinyl version a few days later. The cover is beautiful and the songs even more.

    7 Sonja Van Hamel – Winterland

    There’s no end to the Dutch entries this year. Perhaps the weather helps a bit (it’s beautifully snowy white at the time of writing), but even without that Sonja would have easily made the top 10 of the albums. Sonja is half the part of Dutch band Bauer. Bauer makes more use of electronics where Sonja’s music uses orchestra. Beautifully crafted songs and now with the land covered by a blanket of snow it’s a treat to listen to this album.

    8 Neko Case – Middle Cyclone

    I’m not sure what initially intrigued me about this album as I didn’t really know Neko at all. I was aware that she plays/played in New Pornographers, but I hadn’t seen or heard her before. But I think that it’s hard not to pick up an album whose cover features a red haired warrior carrying a sword and positioned on the hood of a 1967 Mercury Cougar. I only recently found the album on vinyl and it’s even more impressive then ;) But that alone would not be enough to be mentioned in the top 10. The songs on the album are simply grand. Great lyrics and a rootsy/poppy feel.

    9 Florence & The Machine – Lungs

    I only recently got this album, but it’s punk/pop songs, funny lyrics and the whole feel of the album make you wanna bounce through the room.

    10 Oi Va Voi – Traveling The Face Of The Globe

    After the fantastic album Laughter Through Tears (with KT Tunstall) the followup album Oi Va Voi was not all that good. Luckily the new album Traveling The Face Of The Globe is. A great mixture of Jewish, pop and world music. The rhythm of the album is just great and the live gig this year was superb.

    11 Moss – Never Be Scared/Don’t Be A Hero

    I only very recently discovered this Dutch band, but the album is chockfull of great pop and rock songs.

    12 Typhoon & New Cool Collective – Chocolade

    Usually I don’t include EP’s in an Album list, especially not when half of the songs are older live songs. But this EP is such a great blend of two acts and totally swings, that I just had to include it. Typhoon is a Dutch Rapper/Hip-Hop singer. The lyrics are Dutch and are a bit more brainy than the all to well known Rap-song subjects. He was matched to the New Cool Collective jazz band last year and this worked so well that he asked them to back him up for the one year anniversary gig of his own album. They wanted to do something together. It took a while to mach agenda’s but they did it and that resulted in the recently released EP Chocolade, a fantastic unison of the two acts.

    13 Dinosour Jr. – Farm

    The band’s been around for a while and after a silent period they came back in 2007 with the album Beyond, a great album. But that wasn’t enough, so they followed that up with Farm that was released this year and it’s a fantastic alternative rock album.

    14 Efterklang & The Danish National Chamber Orchestra - Performing Parades

    Chillingly beautiful live recording of Efterklang and the Danish Orchestra. I’m not well known with the songs of Efterklang, but this album is simply fantastic.

    15 Vanessa Peters – Sweetheart Keep Your Chin Up

    Fantastic singer/singwriter roots album. Vanessa has already made quite an impression with her live performances, and added a great album to that this year. Great instrumentation and lovely songs.

    16 The Black Atlantic – Reverence For Fallen Trees

    The next Dutch act is fairly close to home and hails from Groningen. The sound of the band is close to that of Bon Iver and Sigur Ross. Great songs that paint images in your mind.

    17 Taxi Taxi! - Still Standing At Your Backdoor

    This album was recommended to my by a colleague at work and was a sure hit. Very nice folky album sung ever so beautiful by the Swedish sisters Miriam and Johanna.

    18 Signe Tollefsen – Signe Tollefsen

    I first heard Signe at the Take Root festival this year and she left a great impression on me there. Lovely singer/songwriter songs. The album is growing on me. I very much liked the first time I heard it, but the songs are creeping in more and more every time I listen to the album.

    19 Wende Snijders – No9

    Yet another Dutch act. Wende Snijders has made great fame for herself singing French songs the past few years. After a Dutch/South African album she’s now released a singer/songwriter album in English. The songs are still clearly Wende, there’s that hint of lunacy in the songs and live Wende is a phenomenon to witness, even in English.

    20 Bat For Lashes – Two Suns

    I heard many a good thing about the new Bat For Lashes album so I finally decided I had to get that album as well. That proved to be quite hard as the album had already disappeared in most shops. But eventually I did manage to find it and I’m grateful I did as it is a fantastic album.

    21 Krause - No Guts No Glory

    Another act from Groningen is Krause (Suzanne). A great danceable album. Pop/punk with lots of Dance/House influences, make you wanna jump all through he house.

    22 Giants of Husavik – In A Cabin With

    Giants of Husavik is a collaboration between indie rockband GEM frontman Maurits Westerik and Breakcore DJ Jason Köhnen. They recorded the album in Iceland and listening to the dreamy/hypnotic songs you can just see the Icelandic landscapes.

    23 The Gossip – Music For Men

    The new The Gossip album is great, great, GREAT! Punky, rocking and highly danceable.

    24 Various Artists – Legends Of Benin

    Roaming the various internet sites with reviews of albums I just stumbled on a review of an album that is a collection of old recordings from Benin. The origins of Funk, Soul, Reggae and Dancehall music just oozes of this album. It took me a long while to find the album, but what a find and what an album.

    25 Fink – Sort Of Revolution

    A great singer/songwriter album that mixes crafty songwritership and acoustic instruments with electronic beats. A very good album.

    And that's it, my personal view on the albums of 2009.

    All in all I bought 56 albums this year that were actually released in 2009. That includes the three EP’s. One of these EP’s, called De Speeldoos (Musicbox) ‘wins’ the prize for the best packaging as the EP is released in an actual working musicbox that upon winding the handle, plays part of one of the songs. Superbly done. Other great releases were the special edition of the Kyteman release and Portugal. The Man., however a working musicbox is just a fantastic idea.

    The order of the list is of course subjective and never fully definitely definite. The more I listen to albums, the better they can be placed and some of the noted albums have only been in my possession very recently. Also the sheer difference in music makes it hard to place the albums (today I may be in a mild mood, preferring singer/songwriter, tomorrow I might be inclined to prefer tougher albums like Sun O))) ;-).

    I was amazed to see so many great Dutch albums being released this year, 4 of these eventually made it to the Top 10 (5 if you include the Roosbeef album), quite a milestone. And of course I’ll find 2009 released albums in the next few years that, had I discovered them this year, would have blown away all I have heard so far, but you can’t buy every single album and all the albums in my collection are bought, so this is what it is for now.
  • Best of the 2009 albums - preview

    Nov 21 2009, 16:47

    At this moment I'm starting work on selecting the 'best of 2009' list. It should turn out to be a best 10-to-25 list. I'm unfortunately still waiting to receive the Efterklang and Taxi Taxi albums, but I have added it to the full list. Below is a complete list of all the albums of 2009 that I have added to my album collection this year. Of course I'm bound to find a few albums of 2009 somewhere next year that positively should have been on the final list, but hey... I thing this list is quite large as it is. I mean... the amount of albums I bought this year that were released before 2009 is much larger :)

    Anyway... here's the list:

    Andrew Bird – Noble Beast
    Anne Soldaat (NL) – In Another Life
    Anthony & The Johnsons – The Crying Light
    Bat For Lashes – Two Suns
    The Black Atlantic (NL) – Reverence For Fallen Trees
    Blue Roses – Blue Roses
    British Sea Power – Man Of Aran
    Charlie Dée (NL) - A Tribute To Joni Mitchell
    David Sylvian – Manafon
    De Staat (NL) – Wait For Evolution
    DeWolff (NL) – Strange Fruits & Undiscovered Plants
    Dinosour Jr. – Farm
    Efterklang & The Danish National Chamber Orchestra - Performing Parades
    Elvis Costello – Secret, Profane and Sugarcane
    Fink – Sort Of Revolution
    Florence & The Machine – Lungs
    Giants of Husavik (NL) – In A Cabin With
    Gogol Bordello – Live From Axis Mundi
    The Gossip – Music For Men
    The Horse Company (NL) - Olympus
    Iron & Wine – Around The Well
    Kim Janssen (NL) - The Truth Is I Am Always Responsible
    Kismet (NL) - Hiatus
    Krause (NL) - No Guts No Glory
    Kyteman (NL) – The Hermit Sessions
    Kyteman (NL) – The Hermit Sessions Live
    Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You
    Magnolia Electric Co. – Josephine
    Morrissey – Years Of Refusal
    Moss (NL) – Never Be Scared/Don’t Be A Hero
    Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
    New Cool Collective (NL) – Sugar Protocol
    Oi Va Voi – Traveling The Face Of The Globe
    Omar Rodriguez Lopez – MegaRituals
    PJ Harvey & John Parish – A Woman A Man Walked By
    Rufus Wainwright – Milwaukee At Last!!!
    Seasick Steve – Man From Another Time
    Signe Tollefsen (NL soort van) – Signe Tollefsen
    Soap&Skin – Lovetune For Another Vacuum
    Sonja Van Hamel (NL) – Winterland
    Steve Wynn – Live In Brussels
    Sufjan Stevens – The BQE
    Taxi Taxi! - Still Standing At Your Backdoor
    Typhoon & New Cool Collective (NL) - Chocolade
    Vanessa Peters – Sweetheart Keep Your Chin Up
    Various Artists – Legends Of Benin
    Vic Chesnutt – At The Cut
    Wende Snijders (NL) – No9

    * Bands/artists with the (NL) addition are Dutch ;) I've mentioned them as it quite surprised me that I actually bought this many albums by Dutch artists.

    At the moment I can't say very much concerning the eventual order. Only this: Live albums usually don't stand much of a change. The release may be new, mostly the songs are not. An exception is Kyteman's livealbum, as his debut album is also of 2009, but because of that, the studioalbum stands a bigger chance.

    Also I'm pretty sure that unless the album suddenly makes sense, David Sylvian will NOT make it high on the list.
  • Fun Facebook project

    Lug 23 2009, 8:21

    There's a fun little 'project' going on at Facebook. To see what your friends and acquaintances are currently listening to, they're asked to put their iPod, MP3 player or iTunes in Shuffle mode and name the first 15 to 20 songs that are played. No cheating allowed so no skipping any songs you don't want to hear at that moment and no making sure that that one particular song does.

    My contribution to the list was:

    1. Wende Snijders – Je Suis Comme Je Suis (Quand To Dors)
    2. Oi Va Voi - Pagamenska (Laughter Through Tears)
    3. Herbert Grönemeyer – Morgenrot (Grönemeyer Live)
    4. Ane Brun – The Treehouse Song (Daytrotter Session)
    5. Gillian Welch – April The 14th (Part 1) (Time)
    6. Rufus Wainwright – Tulsa (Release The Stars)
    7. KT Tunstall - Boo Hoo (Acoustic Extravaganza)
    8. Champion Jack Dupree – Ba’La Fouche (BBC Sessions)
    9. Roisin Murphy – You Know Me Better (Overpowered)
    10. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone (Middle Cyclone)
    11. The Cure – In Your House (Seventeen Seconds)
    12. Vanessa Peters & ICOM – The War (Sweetheart Keep Your Chin Up)
    13. Horse Company – Hard Times (Horse Company)
    14. My Brightest Diamond – From The Top Of The World (A Thousand Sharks Teeth)
    15. Simon & Garfunkel - Anji (Sounds Of Silence)
    16. Mugison – Two Thumb Suck’n Son Of A Boyo (Mugiboogie)
    17. Melissa Auf Der Maur – Followed The Waves (Auf Der Maur)
    18. Aaron – Beautiful Scar (Artificial Animals Riding On Neverland)
    19. Jeff Beck – Blast From The Past (Who Else!)
    20. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – What Are You Doin’ In My Life (Damn The Torpedoes)

    And as I like to add a little bonus to the list, I've also added the 5 songs that were played after that:

    21. Geddy Lee – Working At Perfect (My Favourite Headache)
    22. The Cuban Heels – As I Holler (Gutbucket Music)
    23. At The Close Of Every Day – Bang (De Geluiden Van Weleer)
    24. Hello Saferide – If I Don’t Write This Song, Someone I Love Will Die (Introducing…)
    25. Cat Power – Breathless (Jukebox)

    It would seem the iPod was in a mild mood last night. It chose not to play the old Metallica albums Nor Epica, AC/DC, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, John 5, Jeff Beck, Triggerfinger or any of the other screaming, wild rockers.

    Neither did it play any of the old blues masters: John Lee Hokker, Mddy Waters, Skip James or Keb' Mo. It could have gone chosen the funky fn stuff like Gogol Bordello, Frank Zappa, New Cool Collective, exposed my bad-tast-in-pop with Kylie Minogue, Lilly Allen or the Sugababes (oops, now I've exposed myself).

    But instead of all that, it stayed neatly between the lines. Still a very decent and broad view into my musical taste. Oh well, maybe 185 albums on an iPod is just a little too much of a good thing ;)
  • Ribs&Blues in Raalte 2009

    Giu 2 2009, 9:38

    Here in the Netherlands Pentecost has for years been associated with the music festival Pinkpop. It had it’s 40th run this year and in the three days that it lasts a huge amount of big names and some lesser known play at the Landgraaf field.

    However, that’s not the only musical festival that’s on at Pentecost and for a number of years (this is the 13th year) the town of Raalte is the place to be for blueslovers with it’s three day festival Ribs&Blues. The first day is for the people of Raalte but the two days of Pentecost the festival is open (and free) for anyone to attend with a fair amount of bands playing.

    Usually I only go for the second day (Sunday) and this year was no different. Not that the third day wasn’t interesting. With the Rhythm Chiefs, Cuby and the Blizzards and the Fabulous Thunderbirds closing the festival, but for me one day is enough.

    So I entered the field on Sunday a little before 5pm. I’d missed the first two bands (Hokie Joint and Danny Bryant) and Dana Fuchs had just started. As I entered the tent (the musical part of the festival is held under a large circus tent, the rest is outside and around the tent) Dana was already screaming her lungs out. Wow, what a voice… They may say that Beth Hart is the reincarnation of Janis Joplin but as she’s playing keyboards more and more, that comparison is starting to not match as I see it. Dana however is having none of that. She sings, screams, beats a tambourine and maracas and dances, runs and crawls all over the stage. It’s a terrific sight and I just can't help but think that she fits the Janis Jopling comparison so much better then Beth does now. Brilliant gig and the public naturally screams for an encore, which they get in the form of Helter Skelter. Dana then leaves the public well satisfied (except maybe for one photographer that got the tambourine Dana threw into the crowd straight on the head).

    As the stage has to be reset for the next gig, I have a little time to make a short round around the festival area, knowing that this soon won’t be possible and keep my place front stage. A short while later I return and see that there’s already a little crowd forming in front of the stage. Bit surprising because although I love the band a lot, I didn’t really thing Big John Bates & The Voodoo Dollz to be a household name here in the Netherlands. The gig sets of into an hour filled with Rockabilly and Rock&Roll by the Big John Bates band and the Voodoo Dollz appear regularly with their burlesque stripping acts making the crowd go wild. The best part is of course that of bass player sCare-Oline (I do declare: I LOVE BASSBABES!!!) who plays her upright bass is such a seductive way. Fantastic gig. After the gig the presenter of the festival comes on stage to reintroduce the band and with a grin from ear to ear he declares he’s never seen so many photographers front stage with any band as he has now. During the encore Voodoo Doll Little Miss Risk shows that you can even strip while being handcuffed on your back. Visually it doesn’t get any batter than a Big John Bates gig. Simply awesome. As the bands sells lots of Tee’s and CD’s I manage to get my photobook autographed and am pleased to hear that the lovely sCare-Oline immediately recognizes the photo I took of her last year.

    Back to the stage again for The Blasters. It’s a bit of an older band (80’s Surfband) and they’re a bit misplaced. They do a good gig, but in between Big John Bates and the next band I can’t help be feel that it lack’s a bit of power. Still… good gig.

    Now slowly it starts to get a bit more crowded as the stage is set up for the next gig, I found myself a good spot and luckily the people who set the stage are helping me a lot. The stage and the mics are set up perfectly just for me (thanks guys;).

    As the second to last act of the night Eric Sardinas swoops over the stage. The man is a tornado of raw blues power. It’s incredible what the man is capable of with a Dobro guitar. Great band with him, but Eric’s the one that’s in the spotlight (although spotlight is too much honor for the bloody awful light they had). Fluidly Eric dances around the stage and in the meantime he plays some mean slide guitar. It was absolutely awesome.

    And then after Eric there’s only one gig to come. The curtains are closed for the first time (ever actually, never seen that happen before) to prepare the stage for the last artist who (allegedly) is brought up the stage via a forklift truck. Now this if of course only hearsay, but with the proportions of the man, I’m quite willing to believe it. The crowd is well packed in the tent now and I’m being crushed in the gates in the front by mostly elder women. The announcer makes his announcement, the curtains are opened and Solomon Burke, sitting in his throne and with two female backing singers next to him kicks of. On one side of the stage is the brass section, on the other a keyboard and Hammond player. I can just make out the guitar player and the rest is out of sight… behind Solomon. We’re only allowed to shoot the first three songs and after that I’m done. Great to have some photos of him, but musically it’s not really my thing.

    So a little bit before midnight I make my way back home. Wow, what a day… Shot Solomon Burke, saw a fantastic gig by Eric Sardinas and got to see and speak to sCare-Oline again ;) Pentecost has been good to me this year.
  • The best gig?

    Mag 18 2009, 19:24

    A while ago I was asked to name my most memorable concert and the most interesting one of lately. Unfortunately the account of the person asking me was deleted a day later, so I never got to reply.

    But I have given this a bit of thought. The most memorable ever is easily chosen. That will have to be the first real gig I ever saw: Pink Floyd in the Goffert Park back in 1989; Delicate Sound Of Thunder tour. Although it’s very very close with my second Pink Floyd gig in 1994 (Pulse tour in Ahoy/Rotterdam). As with most people the first gig leaves a bit of an impression and to have Pink Floyd be just that, with the incredible lightshows and the music and all made a huge impact on little me ;)

    But to choose an interesting or incredible gig that I’ve seen recently… that is a lot harder to simple give an answer to. I see a lot of gigs, some great, some very great, a lot of them simply good and every now and then a (pretty) bad one. Luckily the bad ones are rare.

    But I find it very hard to compare gigs of completely different genres and the big names to the lesser known acts. Seeing Steve Vai or Aerosmith on Arrow Rock two years ago or Judas Priest or Iron Maiden last year was fantastic, but mostly for the kick of seeing a band like that (although Steve Vai was awesome to witness too). But I find these act totally incomparable to seeing Bon Iver and My Brightest Diamond on Take Root and then there was the incredible Omar Rodriguez Lopes in Vera.

    I do have a thing for female singers so Anna Ternheim (Eurosonic 2008), Hello Saferide (also Eurosonic 2008), Vanessa Peters various times, Ane Brun on Take Root and every single time I ever saw Anneke van Giersbergen. Either with The Gathering or with her new band Agua de Annique. Seeing Anneke on stage with the energy and sheer excitement is just a joy to watch. And I’m secretly in love with Marike Jager for singing ever so beautifully on various events.

    So I have to cheat a bit since I simply can’t pick just one gig, there’s too many to enjoy and where I will salute all female fronted acts (either solo or with full bands) I do also love the weird acts, the ones that are a bit odd and different. Here’s to all musicians everywhere ;)
  • The best albums of 2008 according to me ;)

    Feb 4 2009, 23:04

    Looking at Anjaaaaah's profile-page I saw that she had a ' Best of' list on 2008 CD's that was 'inspired' by my entry for a Dutch website (FileUnder.nl). So I thought it would be only fair that I'd mention my own list too. However. The original list was restricted to 10 albums and my personal list isn't. Also... with time (oooh, a full 4 to 5 weeks) some changes to the order were made, but I will mention again as I have on Facebook that in fact only the first 5 albums are really fairly fixed. There were many great albums last year and I'm pretty sure I haven't found out about the half of them. But here goes:

    1. A Fine Frenzy - One Cell in the Sea
    I only started to really apriciate piano on the foreground in music this year and A Fine Frenzy has a fantastic feel to the album. Time just stops when I listen to this album and I forget all around me.

    2. Shearwater - Rook
    I read a review of this album on FileUnder and got it right away. On vinyl and it's a fantastic album with the echoes of Jeff Buckley. Beautiful lyrics and lots of perfectly fitting instruments. Love this one.

    3. Amanda Palmer - Who Killed Amanda Palmer
    Here's the first (really big) change to the original list. I only got this album two weeks before the end of the year and after I had to hand in the list. But this is such a great album. Didn't know Amanda before, although I had heard of the name Dresden Dolls. But this album is just marvelous.

    4. Duffy - Rockferry
    So now down one number is this great ode to 60's soul. Don't thing this will work for many albums, but this album is just great.

    5. Xavier Rudd - Dark Shades of Blue
    I might never have known this incredible artist if I had not been sent to shoot some photos of him last year. I had my doubts; 'surferdude playing didgeridoo and percussion'. But it turned out to be an absolutely fenomenal gig. It rocked and this album does too. Bluesy rock strongly connected to its Australian (Aboriginal) roots.

    6. Marike Jager - Celia Trigger
    Came in a bit late to really get higher on the list, but surely the best Dutch release of the year to my taste. I love Marike and her live performances are always great to attend. Her second album Celia Trigger is a joy to listen to (bought the vinyl album of course)

    7. My Brightest Diamond - A Thousand Shark's Teeth
    I discovered Shara Worden (who is My Brightest Diamond) at Take Root last year. Beautiful, just beautiful. Together with Bon Iver the highlight of the festival. The album has lots of classical ad opera influences, but also firmly set in a sampled/triphop world. Late discovery for me, but what a discovery.

    8. Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree
    Also a fantastic album, going back to the sound of the truly magnificent Felt Mountain album. Originally this one was a bit higher on the list, but for some reason I haven't listened to this one in the past couple of weeks. Should do that and see if there's a reason it slipped my attention (apart from about 10 new albums in the past two weeks ;)

    9. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Sunday At Devil Dirt
    What a fantastic combination. Lovely cheery Isobel and gloomy Mark and they do really make a beautiful (musical) pair.

    10. Roosbeef - Ze willen wel je hond aaien, maar niet met je praten
    A Dutch album and also the lyrics areDutch (the name of the album kind of gave that away didn't it?). Cabaret-like clever lyrics that simply make me feel cheerfully.

    11. Martha Wainwright - I Know You're Married, But I've Got Feelings Too
    Not only a fantastic album, but this must be the best album title I ever heard of. I've only seen Martha live ones, as opening act to her brother Rufus' gig, but to me that night she stole the show.

    12. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
    As I mentioned earlier, this was one of the highlights of the Take Root festival last year. Also the album is fantastic. For me mostly to relax to in the evenings :)

    13. Portishead - Third
    Man, did we have to wait a long time for another Portishead album. Dummy is without a doubt one of the most impressive albums I've ever heard. And this third album is totally Portishead but without hardly any of the old trademarks (no or hardly any samples). Might not convince all the 'old' fans, but I loved it, het me with the fourth.

    14. Triggerfinger - What Grabs Ya?
    Simply because there's no greater live band in Belgium than Triggerfinger (especially now that Hooverphonic's future kind of uncertain). This is a powerfull rockband that you really ought to see live. But this album is a great way to enjoy it in the comforts of your house :)

    15. Wovenhand - Ten Stones
    I love Wovenhand, I really do and this album has some fantastic moments, but en the end lacks the intense feel I got with the previous two albums. But I still think that Wovenhand is one of the most intense artists out there. Live gigs are great.

    And that's my 2008 list with a little bit of an explanation to them. But as I mentioned, there's way more great albums out that have equal rights to be in the list. Hello Saferide has a fantastic album out, the Radiohead album is awesome and I played The Raconteurs so often that the vinyl is wearing down (well, not that much, but I did play it a lot). New Cool Collective have a fantastic new album out and is the most enjoyable Dutch Swing-Jazz band out there.

    But I can't mention them all. Each will have his or her own personal best of the last year and I think that like me, most people would make a slightly different list at the end of this year then they had to at the end of last year. With more listening and discovery the order will continuously change. It's only a moment in time, isn't it?