One of the authoritative hit parades of the country has accused artists such as Gordon and record companies of manipulating their positions by buying their own products, according to the chairman of the Dutch Top 40 foundation, Erik de Zwart.
Who’s Gordon? He’s the culturally insensitive talent show jury member who fired off ‘racist’ Chinese jokes on live television recently that in the end were indeed insulting to the Chinese candidate.
When determining the Top 40 airplay is also taken into account, contrary to another well established hit parade, the Single Top 100, making it susceptible to manipulation, De Zwart says. Gordon comes in at 38, 27, or not at all on major radio station lists. De Zwart believes that it doesn’t jive that Gordon is at Number 1 for weeks on the Single Top 100. Gordon’s response was that De Zwart was envious of him and trying to ruin his good name.
(Links: radio.nl-1, radio.nl-2)
Tags: hit parades, radio
The racist sounding jury of televised talent show Holland’s Got Talent has actually managed to outdo itself stupidity-wise after recently failing to recognise one of their most established singer-songwriters.
This time a Chinese immigrant speaking better English than the Dutch jury was poked fun at purely because of his ethnicity. Xiao Wang is asked his name before singing an opera aria by Verdi and once he says his name, a woman on the jury answer’s “no matter”, reassuring him that his Chinese is not a problem. The crowd sounds shocked, but laughs. A little later, Gordon, the same pop singer we mentioned earlier this week , asks Wang, “what are you going to sing? Number 29 with rice?”, obviously referring to the fact that many Chinese run take away restaurants in the Netherlands. After Wang’s performance which was surprisingly good, Gordon says “that was the best Chinese I’ve had in weeks”. I stopped watching after that.
This video has decent English subtitles, which will have you facepalming in no time:
Tags: Chinese, racism, television
The show may be called ‘Holland’s got talent’, but the jury recently made it clear that they don’t exactly have proper knowledge of their own musical culture. Jury member Gordon himself a Dutch pop music singer basically told Joop Visser, who has been performing since the mid 1960s, that he sucked. “The lyrics are reasonably well thought up”, which was not said very nicely and “your voices are horrible together”, which is harsh. In this video Joop sings with Jessica and yes, the song is very well written, which is why anyone should listen to Joop Visser in the first place.
To understand the full extent of the cock-up, imagine if Bob Dylan with nobody recognising him went on stage and sang a new song and got told that his voice range was poor and that his look was outdated. Or imagine telling Leonard Cohen that he doesn’t have any moves and needs to get a makeover, something crass like that.
Visser seemed to have had a good laugh once they realised that the jury had no clue who Joop was and didn’t hesitate to be flippant right back at Gordon. Gordon also asked them both how old they were and when Jessica answered ‘old’, as in, it’s irrelevant, Joop said how old he was and Gordon told him he looked older. All I can say is Gordon was never particularly smart and just got dumber and ruder.
Here’s a Dutch song many of you can relate to called ‘Heineken is een harddrugs dealer’ (Heineken is a hard drug dealer):
(Link: www.welingelichtekringen.nl, Screenshot: YouTube)
Tags: Joop Visser, songwriter, television
The story goes that the late Lou Reed was in Groningen in November 2008 for one of Laurie Anderson’s (one of his wife’s) concerts. He was invited to visit the Martini tower to have a look at its carillon. The city’s bell ringer Auke de Boer gave Lou and Laurie a tour and let them play the carillon. Lou was very interested in this historical instrument and later gave his permission to use Perfect Day for a special event on the carillon. The tribute was played on Saturday 2 November 2013 exactly 5 years and one day after Lou and Laurie visited Groningen.
The bells kick in at 0:27.
Tags: bells, Groningen, Lou Reed
The Dolly Dots were a Dutch girl band from the 1980s with a string of hits. At the height of their success the six singers had their own sitcom, feature film and even their own Barbie dolls which, according to the I’m Like: ‘Oh My God!!!’ blog, were not very life-like.
The Ria doll at least included her trademark short hair. “All the dolls were hits, except the Ria one [...] because it had short hair. You cannot comb a Ken hairdo.”
In this video from Avro’s TopPop Ria still had long hair—she is the one with the purse:
Having found only one source I have no idea whether this story is actually true, but it sounded too good to have it stay at the Dutch language part of the web.
(Photo by TROS, some rights reserved)
Tags: 1980s, Barbie, dolls, Dolly Dots, haircuts, Ria Brieffies, toys
The Register talked to the compact cassette ‘inventor’ Lou Ottens (he seems to have been the leader of the project rather than a solitary lone inventor). The interview is highly technical, but has some nice titbits even if you’re not into gearings and transport mechanisms, such as this bit about the usability of the compact cassette (i.e. it had to be small):
El Reg: “The Compact Cassette is a very pocketable size. Had you decided upon maximum dimensions to work to?”
Lou Ottens: “Because our aim was to make a pocket recorder, it should fit into the side pocket of my tweed jacket. I made a wood block that fitted in my pocket. That does not mean that carrying the actual recorder in my jacket was very comfortable or advisable.”
Yesterday we talked about another Philips invention, electronic music.
Tags: compact cassette, Lou Ottens, Philips
In 1956 Dutch electronics giant Philips decided to see if there was a future for electronic music. It created a Studio for Electronic Music (STEM, also the Dutch word for ‘voice’) and let composers/engineers Tom Dissevelt, Dick Raaijmakers and others work there.
The studio was part of Philips’ famous research facility NatLab, a name which aided Raaijmakers in finding the stagename Kid Baltan (the reverse of Dik Natlab). From 1956 to 1960 composers had access to the most sophisticated technology and used tape splicing to combine sounds into musical compositions. Raaijmakers explains on Youtube how it worked.
Somewhere during that time Edgar Varése worked for nine months at STEM on his Poème électronique.
Philips lost interest in the project. STEM was moved to the university of Utrecht and Dissevelt and Raaijmakers moved on to other projects. Today STEM lives on at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague where Raaijmakers taught Electronic and Contemporary Music from 1966 to 1995. Last week Kid Baltan died at a retirement home in the same city at the age of 83.
(Links: Weirdomusic, NRC. Photo by Wikimedia user Rosemoon, some rights reserved.)
Tags: Dick Raaijmakers, Eindhoven, electronic music, Kid Baltan, NatLab, Philips, Tom Dissevelt
Here I thought fighting music containing satanic messages had long been given up as a futile pastime back in the late 1980s, but that was before I went to my first Frisian metal festival and found out that Bible thumpers still want to convert metal lovers. In all fairness, the guy running the stand looked pretty normal with a black t-shirt and shorts (and is apparently a metal fan), with the exception of his stand full of bibles and using God as an excuse or explanation for his life choices.
The Metal Bible was being handed out right at the entrance of the Into The Grave metal festival, a small one-day event in downtown Leeuwarden, fantastically located at the foot of the leaning Oldehove tower and on an actual burial ground. It featured eight bands, local, European and American ones of different styles and was quite cheap (6,66 euro early bird price, 10 euro afterwards).
The Metal Bible started in 1996, with a ‘metalhead’ who wanted to share his love of God with metal fans, but finally kicked off in 2002 when said guy realised that the Bible was being used to approach other notoriously God-hating groups, such as bikers and footballers. The first edition of the Metal Bible was published in Swedish in June 2005, then a Dutch version was published in 2007. In 2011 it was published in English and German and 2012 in Spanish and Polish.
Regardless of its content, which reads like brainwashing to me, it is nicely made, with testimonials from metal bands and other people whose lives were turned around by reading the Bible.
If the good book was such a good read (I was forced to read a lot of it back in Catholic school), then you shouldn’t have to ‘metal it up’ to get your target group to read it. Sexing something up must have some connection to the Devil, but then every good book needs an antagonist.
Tags: Bible, heavy metal, Leeuwarden, metal
On 17 August, world-famous DJ TIësto will perform at Hakkasan at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and he’s giving his Facebook fans the chance to have him officiate and spin CDs at their wedding. He plans to pick the lucky couple who give him a good story out of his inbox, so send him some mail at email@example.com by August 10.
After reaching 15 million fans on Facebook this week, it is apparently time for TIësto to give back and get even more publicity. He’s also giving a whole new meaning to the concept of wedding DJ.
(Links: entertainment.nl.msn.com, www.dutchdailynews.com, Photo of DJ Tiësto by PauliD, some rights reserved)
Tags: DJ Tiësto, Las Vegas, marriage
Back in 2007 we mentioned Showballet Penney de Jager dancing to Meco’s disco version of the theme of Star Wars on 1970′s Dutch TV show Toppop. This is that video.
In the 1970s bands would playback live—if that description makes sense—to their pop songs on television. Sometimes an artist would not or could not show up and Toppop solved this by having its in-house troupe, Showballet Penney de Jager, do a bit. As for why this pre-recorded routine contains cowboys and motorcycle riders, I don’t know.
In the mid-1980s Toppop was pushed out of the fish tank by Adam Curry’s Countdown which focussed on showing music clips instead of live acts. The ballet’s front lady De Jager, now 65, still performs. Her current troupe Burlesque Express is part of the travelling theater festival De Parade at the moment. The festival has set up its tents in Utrecht and will leave for its final stop this year, Amsterdam, in the week of 5 August.
See also: Dutch 70s hit music show revived on the web
(Link: Boingboing. Photo of Penney de Jager in 1970 by AVRO, some rights reserved)
Tags: ballet, dance, de Parade, disco, Meco, Penney de Jager, pop, Star Wars, TopPop