March 5, 2019

Dutch radio temporarily bans Michael Jackson

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 5:14 pm

After finding out about the documentary Leaving Neverland released a few days ago, a film that focuses on two men who claim they were sexually abused by singer Michael Jackson as children, NH radio from Amsterdam has decided to temporarily stop playing music by the American pop singer.

The radio is worried that the demand for Jackson’s music will increase because a documentary about him will be aired on Dutch television on 8 March. “We won’t be able to listen to his music in a neutral way and we want people to listen to his music with an open-mind,” the station explained.

In any case, the ban will last a few weeks. I have no clue if that will change anything or what purpose it will serve in the long run. And I wonder if other radio stations will do anything similar.

(Link:, Photo of Microphone by visual dichotomy, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , ,

March 1, 2019

Religious party object to ‘satanic’ metal festival

Filed under: Music,Religion by Orangemaster @ 12:12 pm

Religious political party SGP (Protestant reformists) are collectively clutching their pearls in disgust, knowing that black metal festival ‘Helvete Festival’ is coming to their town this weekend and would like the event to be cancelled. Held at music venue Estrado and organised by heavy metal fan volunteers, the Helvete Festival is the town of Harderwijk’s first black metal festival and I would image they are pretty excited about it.

The SGP is taking aim at local band Sator Malus ‘with their satanic and misanthropic lyrics’, but not the other four bands, which is odd, making me wonder how much of it they listened to and where before they decided to be outraged.

The complaints about ‘the youth should not be exposed to this’ are first of all, way too late, as the promotion was doing the rounds on social media for months, but apparently the SGP missed it. Secondly, do you really think kids won’t find anything they want on social media? You’re the ones who apparently act like social media doesn’t exist – again, where did you hear the band?

The city council is wondering what they can do against the festival and if they even want to because they have no legal leg to stand on. Usually music venues are subsidised for many festivals, but not this one, which means hurting them in the wallet is also not an option.

As opposed to the luddites, the organisers say it’s not about the lyrics, but more about the music. They even explain that the artists are also people with houses, families, pets and normal obligations, not satan worshippers. It’s all an act.

The SGP are the people who recently brought us the very hateful Nashville Statement and got called out by most of the country.

The SGP have clutched their pearls over ‘swearing’ at a previous metal concert in 2007 even though it has fuck all to do with them.

The SGP complained about paid parking on Sunday, but had no issues letting others pay for it. Again, go visit on another day than Sunday.

The SGP tried and failed to hinder the start of the Tour de France in 2009 on a Sunday.

(Link:, Photo:

Tags: , , ,

February 8, 2019

Carnival songs 2019: beer, fries and sex

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:59 am

First, there was Dutch percussionist Steven Brezet performing in the Brazil carnival, now it’s back to the Netherlands, mainly Noord-Brabant, to listen to 71 carnival songs and pick out a few good ones.

Everything I’ve heard so far is quite ‘politically correct’, a sign of the times, except for the usually tits & ass comments that are part and parcel of this genre. A few songs are in English, but they sound like watered down American music, trying to audition for something other than carnival – avoid those. Two songs off this list rip off A-Ha’s ‘Take On Me’, at least two rip off Queen, while others went with the Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss II, Russian folk song Kalinka, Paul Simon, and some bits of modern pop and hiphop.

This one sold me in 30 seconds: disses the Randstad folks (of the bigger cities above the Maas river) and wants to ‘kick them back over’. I immediately sent it to a friend from below the river for approval. The band name, C.V. De Kapotte Kachels, stands for ‘Central Heating, the broken heaters’:

Gebroeders Rossig (‘The Brothers Rossig’) give us ‘De Strijkplank’ (‘The Ironing Board’), which they praise, use to put beer on (instead of the traditional waiter’s platter) and also decide it’s a dance… sort of.

There’s only two songs sung by women (!), but one of them has the dirtiest double entendre of the list hands down : Sjansjee, with ‘Ik Wil Je Pijpen’ (‘I Want Your Pant Legs’, to sew them, but actually saying ‘I want to give you a blow job’ since ‘pijpen’ is both the plural of ‘pant legs’ and the verb ‘to blow’ as well as a plural noun for a small glass of beer, making this a bold move.

Vieze Jack, who never disappoints, rips off ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe and asks you to get on board his train and I kind of want to.

(Link and image:

Tags: ,

January 27, 2019

Why Volendam has a disease named after it

Filed under: Health,History,Music by Orangemaster @ 3:55 pm


Recently I was in Amsterdam’s famous Jordaan neighbourhood and decided to pop into an old brown café to have a drink. One of the bar staff was new, and she told me she was from Volendam, which only has 22,000 or so residents. Her comment also brought with it an inevitable discussion about ‘palingpop’ (‘eel pop’, typically Volendam music sung by the likes of Jantje Smit and Nick & Simon, which she’s not a fan of) and hereditary diseases.

Referred to as the ‘Volendam sickness’ and known more properly as ‘Volendam neurodegenerative disease’, this one village is know for “Pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 2 (PCH-2), a heterogeneous group of rare neurodegenerative disorders caused by genetic mutations and characterised by progressive atrophy of various parts of the brain such as the cerebellum or brainstem (particularly the pons) for which there is no cure”. Any child born with this disease will die before they reach 10. According to Dutch wikipedia, one out of every seven residents of Volendam is a carrier, and the chance of PCH-2 is one out of 250 births, while for the Dutch population it is one out of 180,000.

The bar woman talked about it being standard fare for her family members and their partners who wanted to have children to be tested for diseases, as the chances of being a carrier is high. Research has shown that European patients who contract the disease are all related 10 to 12 generations back to the same ancestor, and quick Google search tells me that the entire village of Volendam stem from about seven ancestors. People from Volendam are a very tight tribe, as told by my bar woman who said that when she came to live in Amsterdam it caused quite a stir in her family. And if someone from Volendam does marry an ‘outsider’, you can bet they will try and push for the new couple to live in Volendam.

Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful village full of tourists, and I’m sure it has a lot more stories to tell.

Tags: , ,

December 23, 2018

Dutch boy collects over 50,000 euro for diabetes

Filed under: Health,Music by Orangemaster @ 3:35 pm

Twelve-year-old Bas Schipper from Veendam, Groningen did a one-day tour of Dutch train stations on December 22, playing all 16 train station pianos in the country. Bas started playing Maastricht and finished in Groningen, in a South to North kind of way.

His goal was to collect about 5,000 euro for diabetes, but as I write this, he’s collected 54,382 euro and counting. He decided to do this for his sister and others who have diabetes.

Feel free to click the link below to donate or find out more.


Tags: , ,

November 16, 2018

Grand piano takes to the skies in Delft

Filed under: General,Music by Orangemaster @ 3:34 pm

A Bechstein grand piano has been hoisted from the 16th floor of a flat building in Delft, using the highest crane available in Europe. The crane had to bridge a distance of 57 metres and a height of 54 metres.

The company doing the moving claimed that this was not something they do every day. They considered using a helicopter, but that was too complicated with the permits and all. How did the grand piano get up there in the first place? Maybe the lift was bigger a long time ago, the company speculated.

And since it’s good Dutch form to state the price of things, the move cost about 6,000 euro, with 5,000 paying for the crane rental.

The piano is being moved, as the person who owned it is deceased and the family has left it to the Dutch Musical Instrument Foundation in Amsterdam. It is a special piano the museum is very happy to have.

There’s even a video of the operation:

(Link:, Photo of Bechstein Art Nouveau grand piano, 1902 by Count de money, some rights reserved)

Tags: , ,

October 29, 2018

Why people hate pianos at Dutch train stations

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:26 am

A few days ago, a picture of the piano at Amsterdam Central Station was doing the rounds on Instagram, as it was overturned. A friend of mine reposted an article about the unfortunate piano on Facebook, saying “My mood today”.

The man who did it will have to go to court, but having sat down after his ‘crime’, he waited for the police and didn’t seem to care. A new piano was put in its place rather quickly after the incident. The piano has had faeces, acid and other things poured onto it, so yeah, fresh piano it is.

The first reason people hate train station pianos is that listening to a piano is meant to attract attention and evoke emotions, which is for many people the complete opposite of what a train station is supposed to do, which is get people from A to B as easy as possible. In other words, the piano detracts from the goal of getting to their train without being distracted.

The second reason is the fake feeling of ‘life is hard, but doesn’t this small bit of happiness bring us all a little bit closer’, apparently a feeling that is just as irritating as giving out free hugs or anything else that forces people to feel woolly. It’s one thing to encourage togetherness, but it is another when it is done as part of Dutch Rail’s marketing strategy when all they do is up the prices of tickets every year and offer the exact same service year in year out.

Reason number three is that piano playing gives narcissists a stage. Nobody wants to wait around for some amateur noodling of whatever the favourite film ditty of the year is. Playing for people is something that shows empathy, but in fact is a totally narcissistic gesture, according to the people interviewed. At lease a street musician does it for money.

I happen to like public space pianos, but that’s usually because I don’t use the train to commute and have time to find my train and I tend to hear decent piano players, not parents letting their children muck about because they have to.

(Links: and; Photo of piano keyboard by Adam Henning, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , ,

October 16, 2018

Mayor of Heerlen to DJ a metal set

Filed under: Dutch first,Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 6:09 pm

Mayors in the Netherlands are appointed and not elected, and it’s not uncommon to see well-known national politicians, such as Ahmed Aboutaleb in Rotterdam (Labour Party), Ahmed Marcouch in Arnhem (Labour Party), Femke Halsema in Amsterdam (Green Party) or Emile Roemer in Heerlen (Socialist Party) step out of national politics to become mayors of a big Dutch city. In the case of Emile Roemer, he became the first ever mayor of the Socialist Party in March of this year, in a town that regularly votes for his party.

My sources tell me that Roemer enjoys being addressed informally and is a fan of heavy metal, the right kind of soundtrack to a city filled with empty buildings where the youth leave to find jobs and a more stable future. As for Heerlen, Limburg, a former mining town of some 87,000 residents, it is the rock and roll answer to the more conservative and tourist-savvy Maastricht some 30 minutes away.

And I don’t know if this is a first, but it’s most probably a first for Heerlen: on Sunday, 23 December, Roemer will be DJing a thrash metal and hard rock set at De Nieuwe Nor, the city’s only pop club. He’ll be opening for Amsterdam band Death Alley who apparently won’t be playing for a while after this.

And if Facebook is any indication, people will go because the whole idea is kind of amusing.

Tags: , ,

October 14, 2018

Musical street in Zaandam sounds ‘too gay’ for some

Filed under: General,Music by Orangemaster @ 3:07 pm

The city of Zaandam, North Holland has a street that is getting a name change, from Piccolo to Hobo (Oboe), both of which are musical instruments. The Zaandam neighbourhood in question already has a street called Hobo and is now going to extend it. It also has streets called Cello, and then gets into musical-related terms such as Aubade, Prelude and Mazurka, to name a few.

The people who live on Piccolo street don’t want their street to become Hobo street. In Dutch, Hobo rhymes with ‘homo’, which is used as a derogatory word for homosexual, an issue brought up back in 2016 when the area was created. And I know what some of you are thinking, ‘Hobo’ doesn’t sounds great for anybody whose first language is North American English, as that refers to a vagrant, but that’s besides the point.

There are other Hobo streets throughout the country and apparently, that’s not a problem. I’d like to think that going from Piccolo to Oboe musically is a bit of an upgrade, because – and I held back on this – in that tooty-fluity neighbourhood, there’s also a street called Fagot, the Dutch name for a bassoon, which nobody seems to complain about.

In the Netherlands, you can always live on Fart Street, but then you could also live in on a street named after Lord of The Rings characters.


Tags: , , , ,

October 3, 2018

The Right Side Won was What Fun’s one hit in the 1980s

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 8:51 pm

This catchy reggae tune ponders how history is written by the winners, which is ironic considering that this would be Haarlem-based What Fun’s only hit, condemning them to relative obscurity.

The song was released in 1983 and reached the number 3 spot of the Dutch Top 40 in the spring of 1984. The single was also released in other countries, but did not do much there. The band did not seem to have much time for promotion since the members all had day jobs.

Singer Martin Richardson told social-democratic newspaper Het Vrije Volk (‘The Free People’) in January 1984: “At least South Africa understood what the song is about because they banned the record. In the Netherlands, 90 percent of the listeners do not get that the lyrics are based on the Falklands war between England and Argentina and the pumped up atmosphere surrounding the conflict. In other words, there are two parties, a pacifist and a war mongering one, and everybody gets to decide for themselves which is which, and history is written by the winner. That is what we mean by ‘the right side won’.”

What Fun tried to break the charts with another highly topical song, this time about the micro computer revolution, Let’s Get Digital, but without much success. The record sleeve for that song was created using a computer program that itself was included on the single. Computers of the day could translate the assorted beeps included at the end of the song into working program code.

(Video: YouTube / What Fun!; illustration: crop of a still from the video)

Tags: , , ,