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

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April 8, 2013

A day in the life of a parcel (video)

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 11:45 am

Ruben van der Vleuten, a Dutch student at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, wanted to see what happened to a parcel once it disappeared into the bowels of the Danish postal system.

He then made a parcel with a hidden camera in it and sent it through the mail repeatedly until he got a video that had the camera facing the right way all the time.

Van der Vleuten explains on his website: “The timer circuit was set to make a three-second video every minute and make longer videos while the box was moving, so as to not miss the ‘interesting’ parts.” There’s circuit board porn and technical explanations there and at the Vimeo page.

All that circuitry made the package look suspect. In an interview with Fast Company the designer admits that this had crossed his mind:

The second was based on the pics that showed the open box; that thing really, really looks like a homemade bomb (if homemade bombs look like they do in the movies). “To be honest this was my biggest concern as well,” Van der Vleuten admits. He included a note explaining that this was part of a student project with no criminal intent, but regardless, “Every time, I was bringing it to the post office with sweaty hands.”

(Link: Bright. Photo: crop of a still of the video)

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September 23, 2011

Amsterdam out-Copenhagenizes Copenhagen as the best major city to cycle

Filed under: Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 6:37 pm

A list by Copenhagenize Consulting puts Amsterdam straight at the top of 80 major cities world-wide as the most bike-friendly place to be.

The city scored high in almost every of the thirteen categories that the candidates were judged on: “The cycling atmosphere is relaxed, enjoyable, and as mainstream as you can get. This is the one place on the planet where fear-mongering about cycling is non-existent and it shows.”

Numbers two and three were Copenhagen and Barcelona, Montreal came in eighth as the best of the Americas.

Copenhagenize Consulting is run by Mikael Colville-Andersen who started the Copenhagenize blog—extolling the virtues of bicycling—after he had noticed that an ordinary photo of an ordinary woman riding an ordinary bike could draw an extraordinary response from a global audience. There but for the grace of god was the world spared the term Assenize. (Disclaimer: I am not dissing David Hembrow, just mocking the phrase.)

(Photo by Facemepls, some rights reserved)

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