The VARA television station has a show called ‘Kinderen voor Kinderen’ (‘Children for Children’) that has been around since 1980 and lets children ask for songs to be written on topics that interest them, ranging from a girl getting her breasts to a boy with Attention Deficit Disorder and everything in between.
According to Wikipedia, the 1984 song ‘Bruin’ (‘Brown’) falls under the category ‘taunting and mobbing’, avoiding using adult words like ‘discrimination’ or even ‘racism’. Would a song like this that claims it’s trying to discourage ‘taunting and mobbing’ of a non-white Dutch boy actually be socially acceptable today? When I first watched it, my jaw dropped probably because there’s no politically correct wording that you’d be strongly encouraged to use today. In the end, the ‘brown’ boy actually sings that maybe white people aren’t so mean after all, implying that stereotypes are a two-way street. The music and choreography are fun to watch.
Here is a taste of the more straight up lyrics:
I would rather be paler
Then I wouldn’t be so insecure
Then I wouldn’t be so sad
And not as mad when they called me names
(White chorus sings) ‘He’s so brown’
(Photo of random children: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Tags: children, Kinderen voor Kinderen, television, VARA
Carnival is less than a month away, so it’s time to fire up some wacky carnival hits for 2015.
FeestChaos (‘Party Chaos’) starts us off with an English-language carnival song called ‘Who The F*** Is Alice’, a reworking of Smokie’s song ‘Living Next Door to Alice’ from 1977 and Nijmegen band Gompie’s next level 1995 version ‘Alice, Who The F*** is Alice?’. You’ll see cafe singing, drinking and dancing, a Hummer limo, children swearing and some serious devoicing of consonants, which makes every ‘s’ sound like that snake in the Jungle Book.
Vieze Jack (‘Dirty Jack’) gives us the corny pun named song, ‘Jump 4 Jack’. Dirty Jack looks more like a zombie than a pervert, but acts like a pervert channeling a blond version of Elvis imitating a zombie. You’ll see men in drag, tits, ass, balls, and a Scotsman with a kilt, bagpipes and no underwear. The song is not too bad, the lyrics are all easy sex puns and the bagpipe riff works for me. Contains 1980s style sexual harassment at the gym and, as an added bonus, some zoophilia.
Although the song is unoriginal, Alberto pokes fun at the very recently former mayor of Maastricht, Onno Hoes. Alberto probably refers to Hoes’ ex-husband Albert. The song is called ‘Onno (mag ik je toyboy zijn?)’ (‘Onno, can I be your toy boy’?) and relates to his recent demise. The unfaithful and not very discreet Hoes was hanging in there as the mayor until some young ‘toy boy from Almere’ told the media stories about him and Onno getting together. The mayor’s exuberant sex life led to a vote to push him out of office. He survived the vote, but eventually resigned.
You’ll see some of the Village People, carnival costumes and a disco ball effect. The idea of the song is better than the song or the video. The lyrics are a bit nasty, but points for being ‘politically relevant’.
(Link: nieuws.nl, Photo of the carnival Prince in Sittard, Limburg throwing oranges)
Tags: Carnival, Carnival songs, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Onno Hoes, Sittard
It didn’t take a million likes on Facebook to get the Dutch band Kane to stop producing music, only 17,000.
On December 27, the English-singing rock band from The Hague decided they had nothing more to say, which according to many pundits was the problem from the get-go back in 1998. “As someone who was on the Kane shit list earlier on and stayed on it permanently, I would like to say, ‘good fucking riddance’. [...] Kane never wrote, I repeat, never wrote a single song that has any hint of staying power,” music columnist and friend Guuz Hoogaerts wrote recently on Facebook. Another friend in the music business, Marco Kalnenek, said that
Kane’s Kane’s frontman, Dinand Woesthoff’s voice sounds fake and that his accent doesn’t help the music either.
The dislike of Kane can be compared to that of Canada’s Nickelback or Britain’s Coldplay: sappy, devoid of real emotion and uses clichés that sound like other music. If a radio station plays something often enough, the general consensus is that it must be good. To paraphrase famous Dutch band Doe Maar, ‘Hey, there’s a switch on your TV’, as in, if you don’t like it, turn it off.
Of course there are fans who were sad that the band stopped, like with any act. Personally, I’ve managed to ignore Nickelback (I can’t name a single song), but I know my co-blogger gets hives when he hears it. I get a rash when I hear Coldplay and I wouldn’t recognise Kane because I don’t listen to Dutch commercial radio.
Have a listen to Kane for yourself with ‘Shot of the Gun’. Why it’s not called ‘Gun shot’ I don’t know, but it has a Dunglish ring to it.
(Link: www.nu.nl, Photo: ‘CD rack for your Kane collection’, anonymous)
Tags: Dunglish, Kane, The Hague
Traditional fishing village Volendam is the butt of jokes for many things including hard drugs and ‘palingsound’ (‘eel sound’), a type of pop music from Volendam, referring to their smoked eel speciality. Then there’s the New Year’s Eve fire of 2000 where fresh pine trees branches (yup, illegal) were used as decoration on the ceiling of a cafe overflowing with people that caught fire because of a sparkler and caused deaths and serious injuries.
Nevertheless, the jokes about inbred villagers aren’t jokes. Three quarters of locals who want to have children get themselves checked out for a total of four hereditary diseases. One out of three villagers is a carrier, and if two carriers get together, that’s a 25% chance of hitting the jackpot. The 22,000 villagers all come from the same seven to twenty original families that settled the village, which explains many of the health issues, but not their ‘eel sound’.
‘Palingpop’ as the music is also called, started in the mid 1960s with easy listening tunes that resembled the American and British bands of the era. The term was coined by a radio station (video in Dutch) that would receive smoked eel as a present every time someone from Volendam would visit them. Acts such as The Cats and BZN as well as more contemporary singers such as Jan Smit and Nick & Simon are quite famous throughout the country and beyond.
(Link: www.parool.nl, Photo of Volendam by quantz, some rights reserved)
Tags: eel, palingpop, palingsound, smoked eel, Volendam
Dutch record label Black Hole Recordings has opened an online online pop-up store where people can get free tracks, ringtones and the likes by paying with a tweet. Started on 11 November, the pop-up store will be online for 30 days. Follow Black Hole Recordings on Twitter at @Blackholerec by placing a tweet with the hashtag #paywithatweet and the article you want, and it will be sent to you for free. You’ll get a direct message about you purchase.
Black Hole Recordings claims this is a world first and sells music and merch from artists such als Ferry Corsten, Tiësto and New World Punx.
Tags: pop-up store, Tiësto, Twitter
During the now world-famous Amsterdam Dance Event that runs from October 15 to 19, five Dutch DJs will receive their very own set of Dutch postage stamps with their faces on it. PostNL, who issues Dutch stamps, considers these five DJs to be, “leading names in the dance music world,” and it would be hard to disagree with that considering the monies they generate.
Then again, since DJing is too often synonymous with dance music, many other Dutch DJs probably deserve a stamp, which is what VICE argues, a few of which have inspired the ones that made it onto the stamps.
The multicoloured faces of Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Dash Berlin, Hardwell and Tiësto are the ones on the stamps, while VICE suggests other major names like Dimitri, Antal and Joris Voorn. It’s simple: you’re famous and rich because you’re known outside the country then stamp, you’re great, but remain a domestic or European affair, no stamp. And of course, there’s the glaring lack of women such as Isis and maybe some from this list.
(Links: www.nu.nl, thump.vice.com, Image: www.postnl.nl)
Tags: Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Dash Berlin, DJs, Hardwell, postage stamps, Tiësto
Why say sorry if you can sing it, make people smile and rip them off even more? That is exactly what Dutch Rail decided to do when they apparently hired jazz singer songwriter Baer Traa to pose (!) as fictitious train conductor Job van Gils.
Dutch Rail has been making a veritable fortune by not paying back any money owed to people who forgot to check out with their public transport chip card. Now subscriptions holders who forget their pass card and have had to pay a fine cannot ask for their money back either. Even the Dutch Rail employees are appalled and somehow somewhere Baer Traa dressed up as a train conductor got a gig telling people ‘sorry’, or in less polite and more accurate terms, how Dutch Rail is screwing them over easy.
Traa gives ‘peddling excuses’ a whole new meaning at Amsterdam Central Station in this video. He starts singing again at 1:08, as the beginning of the video was the end of one song. He actually tries to explain that Dutch Rail has a new policy that shafts more people than even before.
(Link: brekend.nl, Photo by Flickr user UggBoy hearts UggGirl, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, Amsterdam Central Station, Baer Traa, chip card, Dutch Rail, jazz, train
The 1980’s song ‘Yes, I’m Your Angel’ by Yoko Ono has been given a dance remix by Dutch DJ duo Soul Cartel (Nicolas Vesters & David van Ansem) and they only had a week to come up with it. They kept the vocals and changed the rest, which Ono’s management liked and put it on the album ‘Angel (The Remixes)’ along with tracks by a bunch of other DJs, all of which is available as of today in iTunes.
You can hear part of the song here, and if you go to iTunes you can hear more.
What strikes me is that if you listen to the original, Yoko’s not so great singing seems quaint, but on a dance track – imagine someone sang on the dance track like that today – it sounds more like keeping Yoko alive on a respirator, musically speaking. The remix is tight, but I think it could have had any number of vocals on it.
By far and wide I prefer Junkie XL’s ‘A Little Less Conversation’ using Elvis’ vocals. Dutch DJ Junkie XL made the news in 2002 as he was according to Wikipedia ”the first artist outside the Presley organization to receive authorization from the Elvis Presley Estate to remix an Elvis Presley song.” I wouldn’t really picture another set of vocals on this song.
(Links: www.nieuws.nl, imaginepeace.com, Photo Parool.nl)
Tags: Elvis, Junkie XL, remix, Soul Cartel, Yoko Ono
Have you ever gone to a music festival but got too drunk to remember which acts you saw?
Yeah, me neither, but apparently now there’s a solution. For the price of whatever was left of their privacy, visitors of the Lowlands festival last weekend could get a ‘free’ wristband that allowed them to keep a diary of sorts.
Every time you held the Nedap-developed wristband against a scanning station, the station would register your ID, time and location in order to be able to present you with a slew of data on the spot or afterwards. The data contained the location of both you and bracelet-wearing friends, the bands that played nearby, photos of you and your friends, ‘spotified’ set lists, and so on.
According to the video below by Face Culture, some people ‘hacked’ the system by trying to get into the top ten of the people that scanned their bracelets the most. Other advantages mentioned were the ability to remember the names of obscure bands you saw and not having to trawl through 20,000 photos online before finding yours. One person complained that she still had a sliver of privacy left: she wanted more scanning stations so that she could also see when she had gone for a burger.
A Campign Flight to Lowlands Paradise (its full name) is an annual festival held near Biddinghuizen in the province of Flevoland.
(Photo of Waldo at Lowlands 2008 by Gabe McIntyre, some rights reserved; if only he had worn an RFID tag, you would have spotted him instantly; link: AD)
Tags: cloud computing, Gabe McIntyre, Lowlands, Nedap, privacy, RFID, social media
The Jacksons are performing at Paradiso in Amsterdam on Wednesday 30 July and were scheduled to lay flowers this afternoon at a memorial billboard featuring a famous photograph of the late
Michael Jackson taken by Dutch photographer Claude Vanheye in 1977. Located on the Gustav Mahlerplein in the Zuidas business district, the billboard was installed on June 25 and will stay there until mid August.
However, word is that Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Jermaine were stuck in France due to bad weather and now hope to honour their late brother Michael on Wednesday, but it’s not confirmed yet as I write this, so we’ll keep you posted.
The above-mentioned picture (click to see) features a young Michael Jackson with a camera walking through the Jordaan district of Amsterdam.
UPDATE: The Jacksons should be at the memorial billboard around noon on 30 July, as per Nu.nl.
(Links: www.at5, www.legendarymichaeljackson.nl, Photo of Michael Jackson illustration by kasiQ, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, Claude Vanheye, Michael Jacksons, Paradiso, The Jacksons, Zuidas