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July 29, 2014

The Jacksons to lay flowers for Michael in Amsterdam

Filed under: Music,Photography by Orangemaster @ 12:16 pm

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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)

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July 5, 2014

Mexican and Dutch dames duke it out with ukuleles

Filed under: Music,Sports by Branko Collin @ 6:16 pm

football-is-fun-karlijn-rietkerkAfter the Dutch national football team beat Mexico in an exciting last ten minutes of an elimination match at the World Cup last week, in which the Oranje came back from behind with two goals, a fifteen-year-old Mexican girl called Dizzy Miss DC uploaded a song to YouTube in which she blew off steam by hurling a stream of invectives at the Dutch players and the Dutch nation and even at Europeans.

Last Thursday a 20-year-old woman from Drenthe called Karlijn Rietkerk responded. She addressed the Mexican girl (both women accompanied themselves on a ukulele) and berated her for her use of strong language (“didn’t your parents tell you that it is inappropriate?”). In her short song Rietkerk asked, isn’t football supposed to be about fun?

“F is for football
And we kicked your ass
[...]
U is for you suck balls
N is for never winning the cup…
Played a good game but it wasn’t enough.”

At 24 Oranges we like a good bit of trash talking and this world cup has certainly not disappointed us, but we need to give the victory to Karlijn Rietkerk on this one. Dizzy Miss DC’s frequent use of homophobic language disqualifies her entry from these ukulele wars. The Mexican tried to defend herself in a written coda, saying: “In my case, those words had no power at all, because I didn’t mean them. Why did I say them then? Mexican humour. It’s complicated.” Even back in 1979 Lester Banks had something smart to say about using words that have no meaning at all: “No matter how you intend them, you can’t say them without risking misinterpretation by some [bigot]; your irony just might be his cup of hate.”

(Illustration: cropped screenshot if Rietkerk’s video at YouTube)

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June 19, 2014

Dutch Eurovision entry sounds ripped off

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 9:52 pm

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Composer Ruud van Osch from The Hague is claiming that Ilse and Waylon, aka The Common Linnets stole his song to make ‘Calm After The Storm’, which won second place at this year’s Eurovision Song Festival.

In 2013 Van Osch had sent in a song to Ilse’s record company as a possible contender for the Eurovision Song Festival. He heard nothing back, which I’m sure is common, although he says he tried to get the company’s attention for months. However, only now has he decided to go public about it by telling The Hague broadcaster Omroep West his story.

Van Osch’s song was called ‘So Sad’ and has a very similar chorus and arrangements, which cannot be a coincidence unless the song is not his or he composed it after the fact. Even a secretary who had picked up the phone at the record company said to him: “Yes, they sound alike, I can’t deny that. Go get a lawyer.”

Have a listen to both songs superimposed and hear for yourself.

Here’s a video of Van Osch singing his song intermixed with The Common Linnets video.

The song sounds adapted yet recognisable, the lyrics are very different, but the chorus and feel of the song has been ripped off, which would equate to plagiarism. The 65-year-old composer in a wheelchair can’t fight the record company so he’s upset, but yes, it could possibly be a ruse to get some attention — but that’s all he is going to get. ‘Calm After The Storm’ sounds like a lot of other songs as well.

(Links: www.nieuws.nl, www.omroepwest.nl, Photo of Guitars by tarale, some rights reserved)

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May 21, 2014

Dutch radio DJ nails Guinness world record

Filed under: Dutch first,Music by Orangemaster @ 10:14 am

Started on Monday 12 May, 3FM radio DJ Giel Beelen has broken the world record for the longest, continuous radio show with 190 hours, breaking the older record of 189 set by Belgian radio DJ Lennart Creël only two weeks ago.

To celebrate Beelen’s 10 year anniversary on the airwaves with his morning show, going for a world record seemed fitting. Although the show was non-stop, he was allowed to sleep five minutes an hour if needed and every second day he could get three hours of shut eye.

Giel Beelen is well known by the Dutch audience for regularly taking part in the Glass House (‘Het Glazen Huis’), a glass house with a radio broadcast set up on main squares in different cities every year a week before Christmas. The DJs go without anything to eat to collect money for Red Cross projects.

(Link: nos.nl)

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May 8, 2014

A bit like football: UK afraid of the Netherlands

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 12:41 pm

First the Dutch media spat on it, then others like me joined in the chorus. But once ‘Calm before the storm’ sung by duet The Common Linnets made it through to the Eurovision Song Contest finals last Tuesday, the Dutch press fashioned reasons to like the song, one of which makes sense: the most economic use of guitar chords for the biggest amount of win. Newspaper Metro UK says, “The song is perhaps the most simple ever seen at the Eurovision Song Contest. It has just three chords and the first half of the song is shown in a single camera take.”

Maybe austerity will finally hit Eurovision. Then again, maybe this is just the ‘pride before the fall’.

UPDATE: Hey, the Dutch won second place.

(Dutch country music to hit song festival, Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)

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March 26, 2014

Dutch country music to hit Eurovision Song Festival 2014

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 1:14 pm

Sung by established Dutch artists Ilse DeLange and Waylon as a duet under the name The Common Linnets, this year’s Dutch entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen has ‘no chance in winning whatsoever’, according to widespread online criticism by music business folks. I tend to agree.

You need a catchy song, something either people can sing along to the chorus (the ‘hook’ – think of the power of ‘here’s my number, so call me maybe’) or something that people can remember even if it is sung in a foreign language, in this case a guitar riff, a weird outfit or even a cool dance routine.

‘Calm After the Storm’ is a sort of country song, which is traditionally not a good choice. When Germany tried to go all American country in 2006, they got slammed, and that year Finland’s metal band Lordi won. I remember it well, as I was coincidentally in Copenhagen watching the delectable slaughter on telly.

The Dutch entry doesn’t modulate, both singers cancel each other out, the range is too low especially for Ilse, as I can barely make out what she’s singing. In fact, the title of the song is mangled to suit the music, as the word ‘after’ is pronounced ‘afTER’ instead of ‘AFter’, giving it a Dunglish feel. The pulsating guitar rhythm faintly reminds me of ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police. Listen to it, and hear them modulate like bosses, especially the bridge.

At least Anouk’s song ‘Birds’ of last year I can still remember and sing along to it.

Listen for yourselves:

(Link: www.volkskrant.nl, Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)

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March 22, 2014

Metropole Orchestra re-records Esquivel

Filed under: Dutch first,Music by Branko Collin @ 12:51 pm

Juan Garcia Esquivel was a Mexican composer of pop music who was one of the pioneers of a genre called Space Age Bachelor Pad Music.

mini-skirt-keller-filmLast year Zone 5300 called the genre “an orchestral cross of lounge pop and exotica”. In 2013 the Hilversum-based Metropole Orchestra, the largest professional pop and jazz orchestra in the world, released an album of re-recorded Esquivel tunes, Perfect Vision. Berlin-based composer Stefan Behrisch was asked to reconstruct the sheet music as the originals had been lost.

One Internet store, ReR MegaCorp, sells and describes the record as follows: “Remember stereo? Not the naturalistic, tasteful stereo but the extreme, weird, psychedelic stereo that has been all but forgotten now? Here it is. Apart from being stunning in its own right, this record makes some wake-up statements about recording and what it can do – and about how far we have moved away from that sensibility.”

Marco Kalnenek’s appraisal is not as excited, but then he isn’t trying to sell the album: “[A] loving tribute to an almost forgotten music director. The arrangements are meticulous and the recording and production are perfect—modern without diminishing the original sound.”

The video by Keller Film shown here is a perfect accompaniment for the Esquivel tune Mini Skirt. The sensibility of the animation is American and 1950s-like, but the theme is modern and Dutch. Boy meets girl, except that the girl is a high earning, Macbook wielding professional and the boy one of the army of under-earning delivery men that sprung up after the market for mail was liberalized in 2009.

See also: Wikipedia on Juan Garcia Esquivel.

(Illustration: screen capture of the video, cropped)

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March 19, 2014

Dutch artists cover current pop hits, good or bad?

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 8:00 am

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Radio station 100% NL broadcasts Dutch music sung in Dutch or from Dutch artists and has recently decided to expand its reach by commissioning Dutch-language versions of currently English-language pop hits. The project is called ‘Let’s Go Dutch’ and was launched last week. First up is Charly Lusky with ‘Ik heb iets’ (roughly, ‘I’ve got something’, ‘there’s something happening’, you get the idea), a cover of Pharrell Williams’ Happy, see the first video below.

Covering current English-language pop hits to have more to play on the air is fine, however the comments on NU.nl are mostly negative to put it mildly. I have nothing against the voice of Charly Lusky in this music video, but then I’d rather hear Pharrell Williams. As a non native Dutch speaker the lyrics of the Dutch version sound insincere and artificial, something a Dutch artist would never have written on their own. It’s like there’s no added value in the Dutch version.

Many people feel the translation sounds like it’s for dummies, level-wise. The background singers still sing ‘happy’, a word the Dutch have been using for a few years now instead of the Dutch word ‘blij’ or ‘gelukkig’, which means they left in some English after all.

As a Dutch blog puts it in English, is it a hit or is it shit? Give it a whirl and tell us what you think.

Charly Lusky – Ik heb iets

The original Pharrell Williams – Happy

(Links: www.nu.nl, nlpop.blog.nl, Photo by Quistnix, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 1.0)

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February 19, 2014

North Korean hostesses cover traditional Dutch song

Filed under: Food & Drink,History,Music by Orangemaster @ 5:29 pm

Two years ago, a North Korean restaurant (now closed) in the West of Amsterdam had caused quite the commotion having been accused of spreading propaganda and all that jazz. But at least there was after dinner singing.

Now in the East part of town restaurant Haedanghwa features North Korean food with traditional after dinner songs sung by North Korean girls in traditional garb. The fun part is, they sing their rendition of the Dutch standard ‘Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten’ (roughly, At the Canals of Amsterdam) that they apparently worked very hard not only to sing, but to understand. They practiced for a few weeks and now you can enjoy the video.

(Link: www.vice.com, Photo of Pyongyang restaurant by Comicbase, some rights reserved)

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February 16, 2014

Hieronymus Bosch’ buttock music brought alive

Filed under: Art,Music by Branko Collin @ 11:22 pm

garden-delights-bosch-pdTumblrer Chaoscontrolled123 decided to transcribe the music written across the buttocks of one of the characters in Hieronymus Bosch’ famous painting The Garden of Earthly Delights. You can hear the results here.

Chaoscontrolled123 appears to be unimpressed by the tune but I see promise in it. Surely techno DJs or metal band Within Temptation should be able to do something with the melody?

Hieronymus Bosch was a mediaeval painter who was born and lived his entire life in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (hence the last name Bosch). The Garden of Earthly Delights is perhaps his most famous painting consisting of three panels, the right-most of which depicts hell. Our trouserless friend is part of a scene in which the sin of lust is depicted as music—Wikipedia says lust was considered the ‘music of the flesh’ in those days.

By the way, I don’t know if any art historian ever noticed this, but there is a diptych in the right panel of the triptych. Huh-huh.

(Link: Trendbeheer; illustration Hieronymus Bosch)

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