22 December 2008
Good news: on 20 December 2008 the SWOON CD was released by Beta Lactam-Ring records in the USA! The album is now available via their website, but why not please the artist and buy your copy straight from me? Just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and, as soon as my box of copies arrive, you will be able to hum along to the lovely songs that make up SWOON. The reissue contains the full original album. Well, to be honest, not completely full as one track – the truly horrible and very pre-puberal Lonely Eyes – is missing. Be happy. If you do want to hear that one, you would have to track down an original vinyl copy, but don't tell me I didn't warn you. Lonely Eyes is compensated by a smattering of nice bonus songs, including a previously unreleased track from the original sessions that didn't make it on the album, two tracks from the Honey Button EP and an unreleased track from 1993, which I had forgotten all about. Add to this a nice package with a nice image of me and some scene-setting words and you have a pretty cool release. I think. Why not buy a copy and decide yourself?
On 22 November 2008 An van Wel ("Tante An") died. She lived in our household for over 14 years. She died at the respectable age of 91 years, just one week prior to her 92nd birthday. She was a remarkable person: honest (even though she was notorious for cheating at Monopoly), caring and with a strong love for her family and the place where she was born (Terneuzen in The Netherlands). She worked for many years as counselor in the "Raad voor de Kinderbescherming" (the board for the protection of children) and, as such, was responsible for adoptations. She was present at my birth, I was present at her death. The day she died was the first day with snow we had in The Netherlands. I miss her dearly but, at the same time am happy that she is now "home with her father and mother", as she so dearly wished. She has had a full life, which has now gone full circle.
18 December 2008
There is no such thing as "news". So we'll add a bit of old news (I love the fact that this contradiction is frequently used in print) here. A while ago Beequeen was informed that their track Buzbag Drive (from the album The Body Shop) was shortlisted for a new European AUDI car campaign. The track was planned for inclusion up to the very last minute when the director chose a neutral piece of classical piano music. Boring. Now you know why the automobile industry is fighting for its survival. It would be nice to think that with the right music AUDI would have been the only automobile industry still thriving today. However, it is a shame that Frans and I will now have to live without our complimentary copy of the new AUDI car. Frans' one of course being for polishing and washing only as he doesn't have a drivers license.
19 November 2008
Er, that's it really: the re-release of 1993's Brunnen LP Swoon has been planned for November 2008. This is the first of a series of four re-releases (Swoon, Lure, Goodbye and Tippoo's Tiger), which will be released on Beta Lactam-Ring Records in the US of A. All albums have been remastered from the original tapes and sound better than the originals vinyl pressings (especially Swoon sounds quite a lot better). All albums now feature bonus material and a little personal story as "scene setter". Swoon is the first one to be released. The other ones will follow during 2009. Order your copies via BLRR or, better still, via me at email@example.com
The last two days were leisurely spent in Amsterdam, that Sodom and Gomorrah full of drunken tourists visiting coffee shops. Luckily, there are fun things to do in Amsterdam as well; last Monday Miranda and I went to see the Scapino ballet's "Wonderland" performance at the Stadsschouwburg. And a wonderful evening it was. The ballet featured eight different dances by various choreographers who gave an amazing performance. The following day we went to see "For the love of God" ( the diamond skull by art's current bad boy Damien Hirst) at the Rijksmuseum. Luckily I'm not tormented by the perpetual "is it art or isn't it?". Beuys solved that one with the credo "every man is an artist". The question "do I think it's good or bad?" is far more interesting. And to be honest, that question has been keeping me busy for the past few days. The skull-hype is perfect, nothing wrong with that. Hypes are everyday stuff these days and the world of the arts is full of them. The platinum cast of the skull (it's not a real skull, it's a replica featuring human teeth) has been augmented with 8,601 diamonds and one large pear shaped 54,4 carat diamond on its forehead. Just that you know. Like most skulls it appears to laugh at us. A friendly skull therefore. A skull smaller than expected too. I didn't find it that amazing in form and presentation, but I readily admit I'm impressed by what this piece manages to achieve. Only time will tell if it is a timeless masterpiece, worthy of being in the same museum as Vermeer's Kitchen Maid, which, incidentally, moved me more when I saw it again than the skull did. As an aside: I love the story how the title of the skull object came to be. I always figured it had some sort of deep meaning, but picture a somewhat sloppy Eastenders-like kitchen. At the table are Damien Hirst and his mother sharing a mother-and-son moment embellished with a cup of tea. Damien: "Mum, I've been thinking about decorating a human skull with a shitload of diamonds and sell it for millions of pounds to some poor fucker who thinks it's the best thing ever". Damien's mum: "Damien, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, why don't you get yourself a decent job like your brother Glenn who drives busses in Croydon. Oh, and mind your fucking language!". That is what it's all about. Genius.
13 November 2008
Reading Frans’ blog about Peter Hook (http://fransdewaard.blogspot.com/2008/11/doubts-even-here.html) gave me a sense of dejavu. I was supposed to be present at this concert as well, meet Peter and have him sign my copy of Love Will Tear Us Apart (one of the few Joy Division songs I actually like), but seeing it was also my wife’s birthday, choices had to be made. Anyways, a few days later I went to see The Residents in Nijmegen, who are currently touring their recent Bunny Boy album. The Residents were brilliant! Perhaps a bit lean on the story side (which missed a much anticipated climax), but full marks for presentation (much like my school reports). After the show I had the great pleasure of meeting one of my all-time heroes, the vocalist of the Residents Mr. Homer Flynn. Like Frans and Peter Hook, I presented Homer a copy of the Beequeen CD Sandancing. He looked at it, smiled politely, thanked me and we exchanged some pleasantries, then we shook hands. A historic moment. Wether the CD, like Frans’ CD given to Peter Hook, is currently at the bottom of the canal is unknown. I like to think Homer is in the tourbus right now bobbing his head to The Honeythief and kicking himself for not asking my autograph.
Blog. Never heard of the word until Frans de Waard (my partner-in-crime in Beequeen) told me he had one. I thought it was a rare disease. Anyways, here it is. My first blog and my first post. If all goes well, I will be posting here regularly with all sorts of titbits you don't really want to know, but maybe I can entice you to read them anyways. OK. Enough of this introducing. Now read on dot dot dot.