At first it seemed a joke to Bravour, a shanty choir from Woerden. When the Dutch police introduced a new uniform in 2014, it turned out to be the spitting image of the choir’s uniform, dark blue with broad yellow bands across the chest.
“We’ve suddenly gained tens of thousands of new members”, the choir’s chair person Ad de Goey quipped in Algemeen Dagblad that year. “The local police also thinks it’s funny. Well, they’re all welcome to join as far as I am concerned.”
The shanty choir were all good sports about it. Not only did they come up with a new uniform, but on 26 February 2016 they invited the police choir from Gelderland to the Cross Church in Woerden for a joint performance. As Joe Cocker’s You Can Leave Your Hat On was played over the tannoy, Bravour members performed a striptease in which they tore off their old uniforms, revealing the new uniforms underneath. From now on the shanty choir will perform in dark blue with a broad, light blue wave.
Filed under: Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am
There’s this weird tradition at camp sites where I’m from in Québec called ‘Le Noël des campeurs’ (‘Campers’ Christmas’), which is basically celebrating Christmas in July at the camp site, where some of us spent our entire summers because that was the family vacation. I especially remember Santa Claus on the back of a pick-up driving slowly through the camp site throwing candies at us kids, not unlike the Pieten do at Sinterklaas.
The Netherlands doesn’t do Christmas at the camping, but shopping mall Rijkerswoerd in Arnhem has been forced to listen to Christmas music for three weeks now, which is horribly annoying to customers and shopkeepers alike. Thanks to the incompetence of a manager in solving the problem and a florist seeking media attention to get it fixed, the entire system was replaced and there’s normal hits coming out of the music system as of today.
After three weeks of chanting ‘we’re looking into it’, the manager in question had announced that the problem had been solved on Thursday, but on Friday, Jingle Bells and Last Christmas were back in full swing. On Friday afternoon, cables were yanked out of the system to be repaired to make sure Driving Home for Christmas hit a brick wall of silence before the florist got too creative.
Mood Media, the company who supplies the tunes, has apologised for the music terror and placated the shopkeepers with actual Christmas-themed gifts, which went over well.
The racist door has now opened up as the Stop Oppressive Stereotypes (SOS) group published an open letter to the amusement park accusing it of featuring racist rides, one of which is Monsieur Cannibale and the other Carnaval Festival that features Asian stereotypes. However, Efteling asked SOS for a sit down and SOS haven’t responded yet – to be continued.
One side is telling the other to get a life and ideally a job and the other is having a ‘hey’ we never really saw things that way and it makes us feel uncomfortable moment, akin to the debate about Zwarte Piet. The Efteling says it mostly gets complaints about serving unhealthy food, but not about racist stereotypes.
I love Sacha Distel, the French singer and guitarist who sang this 1966 racist and sexist song that the Efteling chose to subject to children: it matches the ride perfectly in its bad taste. Distel’s song is about a white man captured in Africa by black cannibals who thought he was a spy, trying to politely plead the head cannibal (hence addressing him as Monsieur) not to eat him, but negotiates his way out of it by offering him porno magazines. The head cannibal laughs, brings the guy back to his harem for a week after which the guy lose 20 kilos and refuses to leave. The man basically shagged all the presumably black ladies who were all “hungry for it”.
Here’s a version of the song with a decent Dutch translation:
And since the French playback performance I posted in the original post was removed, here’s the same offensive performance sung in Spanish. He still pulls his eyes sideways to indicate the Chinese language at the beginning, so the Asian stereotypes are conveniently addressed by Distel as well.
First Rotterdam Central Station had the giant staircase built by architectural firm MVRDV that goes from the station’s plaza all the way to the top of Rotterdam’s ‘Wholesale trade building’ (‘Groothandelsgebouw’), and now the entrance to Rotterdam’s Central Station’s metro has piano stairs as well.
The whole piano stairs affair started in Stockholm, and now there are quite a few of them around the world. Apparently, more people will take the stairs instead of the escalator or lift if they can make music, 66% more as was the case in Stockholm.
Rotterdam’s piano stairs, which will remain for one year, are pre-programmed with Ludwig van Beethoven’s ‘Für Elise’, although you can compose your own number. Rotterdam alderman Hugo de Jonge would have rather had ‘You’ll never walk alone’, but then said the programming sounded a lot more difficult that you’d think. “The idea is to get people to smile when they use the stairs”.
Filed under: Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 6:32 am
Nobody likes a long and hot traffic jam due to an accident, and neither did Adriaan Stoop, drummer of the band The Moods from Eindhoven, who pulled out his kit from the back of his truck and jammed it out on a Dutch motorway last Sunday.
“At first, I didn’t want to do it, but people were saying ‘go for i!’,” he told the AD newspaper. “I saw the queue of cars and figured it was going to last quite a while, so I started drumming on the motorway.”
By now Formula 1 fans around the world have heard that Dutch-Belgian F1 driver Max Verstappen, the son of former Dutch F1 driver Jos Verstappen and former Belgian kart driver Sophie Kumpen, is the youngest winner of a Formula 1 race at age 18. According to Wikipedia, he’s had a bunch of other firsts before that, but some firsts are more interesting than others.
What better way to celebrate than with a song, which is exactly what Dutch rap duo Dos Hermanos decided to do, inspired by Max Verstappen. Dos Hermanos from Haarlem are currently participating in a talent search show and their assignment was to write an ‘anthem’. Apparently, they didn’t have to think about it for very long. “There’s one person who deserves an ‘anthem’ and could use one! That’s why we chose the young hero Max Verstappen.”
Even if you don’t speak Dutch, every speaks F1 motor noises.
To celebrate Willem-Alexander’s inauguration as king of the Netherlands in 2013 a song was commissioned, the King’s Song, which turned out to be quite the disaster. The committee of wise people asked to initiate the festivities decided that everybody and their dog should be in the song and as a result, the song became a hodgepodge of ill-fitting and often downright ungrammatical phrases.
Truus de Groot felt the song was “rather dreary” and chose to write her own version. De Groot, a Dutch experimental musician living in the US, is known for playing the kraakdoos. In the late 1970s she was a member of the Foolsband, which would later become famous under the name Doe Maar.
This year’s Eurovision Song Festival entry is from 23-year-old Douwe Bob from Amsterdam who will perform his song ‘Slow Down’, which is in English and sounds a lot like country music with a touch of the 1970s. He’s popular, has won a lot of prizes, seems really positive about his chances, but his song is not an earworm. I do like his pronunciation, although his lyrics are too simplistic for my taste. Then again, that’s probably good considering the level of people’s English at Eurovision.
The comments on YouTube are very positive and we’ve been wrong before. I can’t seem to remember the song after a few listens. Problem is, ‘J’ai cherché’, the French entry by Amir is an earworm for me even though it has a television commercial quality to it, and the chorus is in English. A few others have more sticking potential like ‘You Are the Only One’ by Sergey Lazarev of Russia, a typical dramatic Eurovision techno song, with a break, a bridge, and the almost obligatory modulation near the end.
The Netherlands has had the imported idea of a choir for people who can’t sing since at least the summer of 2015, according to newspaper AD. The band of bad singers is called Geen Gehoor, a great Dutch double entendre roughly meaning ‘nobody hears you’ (also ‘not getting an answer on the phone’) and ‘it sounds terrible’. The choir mostly attracts the 50 plus set, and the choir practices in the Westland area near The Hague.
Founder Nico Meijer makes an excellent point: people who can’t sing should be able to sing somewhere. And the Internet will tell you how much singing is good for your mood even if you sing off-key. It also makes for a great comedy show.