April 27, 2016

Alternative King’s Song by Truus de Groot

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 11:02 am

kings-song-truus-de-grootTo 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.

(Photo: crop of a frame of the video)

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July 10, 2012

Major band write song via Twitter (#doemaarmee)

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 10:24 am

Influential Dutch band Doe Maar are holding a competition in which anyone over eighteen can help write their next song.

Over the next eight weeks, each week the band will indicate which two lines of the song they need written, and entries are accepted when they are posted on Twitter using the hashtag #doemaarmee. The prizes are little more than what you would expect for co-writing a hit—royalties and free tickets—but I am guessing that most people will enter in the hope of being a part of the Doe Maar legend.

Doe Maar are a big thing in the Netherlands. They are to Nederpop what the Beatles are to Britpop, and what Kraftwerk are to techno. (The fact that they played ska and wrote open, honest lyrics was not part of that influence. The fact that they made quality songs in a modern genre in Dutch was.)

They had a short but bright career in the early eighties, reviving the pop song in the Dutch language single-handedly, scoring hit after hit and drawing halls full of teenage girls. The pressures of fame—seeing scores of young women faint in front of you night after night is apparently the opposite of ointment for the soul—led to a break-up of the band. They have been recording and performing together on and off since.

The competition started this week, and Doe Maar are currently looking for two lines that start with “Op een dag komt de dag (dat)” (one day will come the day (that)).

(Screenshot: doemaarmee.nu)

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January 31, 2012

Dutch pop music on postage stamps

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 4:32 pm

Yesterday, the Dutch post office started selling a special postage stamp with the music of famous Dutch singer songwriter Boudewijn de Groot, which, if you scan it in with your smartphone you can hear his hit Land van Maas En Waal. Other Dutch artists are also featured in this series of Dutch pop music (‘Nederpop’), including Doe Maar, Het Goede Doel, Guus Meeuwis and Frank Boeijen, which will be out eventually.

I hope they include some women as well, dear post office.

(Link: www.entertainmentbusiness.nl)

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March 20, 2011

35 Dutch Sesame Street songs by Henny Vrienten

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 2:16 pm

Holly Moors points out that Rubinstein released a CD (accompanying a booklet) with 35 songs from the Dutch version of kids show Sesame Street.

The music on Vriendjes Voor Altijd (Friends Forever) was written by Henny Vrienten, the lyrics by various writers. Most of the songs are sung by characters unique to the Dutch version of Sesame Street—Mr Aart, Ienie Mienie, Tommie—with Big Bird (called Pino over here) making the odd appearance.

Hennie Vrienten was one of the front men of legendary Dutch pop band Doe Maar during its short life in the early 1980s (the band broke up because the members couldn’t handle their popularity!).

Moors has this to say:

[…] One big party. If you have children or grand children of the right age, the purchase of this booklet + CD are obligatory, but use any excuse to buy this jewel, because any music lover will appreciate this CD, no matter what age.

Listen for instance to the magnificently modern classic Dutch street organ song with a twist that Vrienten created for Mijn Broer (My Brother), or the lovely exotically bouncy Gasfornuis (Gas Stove). […]

Vrienten clearly treats kids like grown-ups, and the result is that you get to hear songs with surprising rythms, remarkable arrangements, and intelligent changes. Music you can listen to again (and parents of small children know how repetitive children’s music can get), and that even gets better upon hearing it again.

Moors’ review has samples of four songs, including the ones mentioned here.

(Cover image: Rubinstein)

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November 28, 2007

Doe maar ‘nog een keer’ (one more time)

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:46 am
Skunk cover

Hailed as the Dutch equivalent of the Beatles, Doe Maar will be performing a one-off concert in De Kuip, Rotterdam on Saturday, 12 July 2008 (tickets go on sale 1 December). The pop group is getting together just one more time with the original band: Ernst Jansz, Henny Vrienten, Jan Hendriks and Jan Pijnenburg. Ernst Jansz and Henny Vrienten were also involved in the musical about the band, which premiered in Tilburg this year.

In 2000, Doe Maar had a reunion tour, admittedly for the money in the first place. This time, they say they really feel like playing, but in fact, nobody cares because they are so famous. According to the Nationaal Pop Instituut, Doe Maar is the most important, popular and innovative Dutch pop band from the early 1980s.

For all of you just getting to know Dutch culture, but are afraid to ask, Doe Maar is a great way to start. The music is ska with some pop and punk influences, which is very easy to get into. My personal newbie recommendations are “Één nacht alleen”, “Is dit alles”, “Sinds 1 dag of 2 (23 jaar)” and “Doris Day”. I first heard Doe Maar at a party after having been in the country just one week and was immediately struck by two things: one was that everybody there knew the lyrics and two was that it was nice, bouncy ska.

(Link: omroepbrabant.nl)

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