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Thursday, December 31, 2009
Ok, a follow up on yesterdays post about simple DIY repairs on your car. Be aware, I am not a car mechanic. These tips are not from a professional. For 30 years I drive old cars and learned to deal with regular returning basic problems myself to save on workshop bills.
Driving uphill, or away from a traffic light and the car accelerates really badly. It feels as if not sufficient fuel reaches the engine. Can be many problems, but with old cars its mostly a simple one; the carburetor is ‘loose’. This occurs with many old cars. Had it with almost every car I owned. The carburetor is on top of the engine/cylinders under that big black round pot (air cooler). Old engines shake a lot, especially when cold. After many years this can loosen the (only 3) screws of the carburetor. This leaks too much air in the sprayer-chamber. The engine looses power. You can easily test if the carburetor is loose feeling the pot, if it moves a bit, the screws are loose. This repair looks as if you do a major mechanical intervention, but is simple. Take of the big black air cooler pot (one screw in the middle plus hooks around). Open the lit. Inside you see a big round filter (loose), take out. You already look at the carburetor but cannot reach the 3 essential screws. You see two holes with a steel valve. This is the carburetor. Important: put an old towel or napkins over these holes. If something falls in it, you are fucked. These holes are directly connected with the cylinder chambers. Whatever by accident falls in, ends up there. It means you have to take to complete engine apart to get it out!!! A few weeks work for a non-skilled mechanic (happened to me once). If you start the engine without removing the thing, how small it is ever, will definitely damage your cylinders = main engine = throw away your car. Even if you only run the car for 10 seconds!! Ok, you’re warned, back to the pot. Around these holes with valves you see 3 screws. Untie them. Now you can take the pot of, but look under neat, a few tubes and hoses are connected from side and underneath. Mostly not tight, easy to pull of. After done all this remove carefully (by lifting up) the pot. Now you look at the ‘naked’ carburetor and see the 3 screws. They will be loose, re-screw them firm. Close and reconnect everything carefully. Do not forget to remove the towel/napkins on the holes!!!!
My car lost massive power once due to another problem, although the feeling was the same like a loose carburetor. After tightening acceleration stayed very bad. Had a good look at the wiring from the electric-distributer to the spark plugs I noticed bites from an animal in the cable. One cable was almost cut in half. Engine performance reduces massively, especially uphill. I replaced the cables and everything was fine again. Some wild life like martens love the smell and taste of old engines. Especially in the winter, after parking, they like to crawl on the nice warm good smelling motor and chew on the cables. Be aware of this if you life in a forest surrounding (like me). Car parts store sell sprays with a smell martens do not like.
Each time you stop at stop-sign or traffic light your car turns of. When driving everything is fine. Starting no problem either, but stopping is annoying. Yep a very common problem. Ofcourse there are these screws on the carburetor to adjust fuel/air supply. To adjust them exactly is a good feel and ear for the engine. But if this does not solve the problem it could be the sprayer, spraying fuel into the carburetor chamber. If you unscrew everything like written above to clear the carburetor you see right under these two holes (with valves) a little electric wire on a plug-looking device. This is your fuel sprayer. Pull the little electric wire of and unscrew the sprayer. This is possible, just have a good look and see. The sprayer has a copper top with very small round hole. This copper top can be moved in/out lightly. It contains a small spring. The sprayer is important for the engine to run idle. If broke or dirty the car will not keep running without pumping gas. You can clean the sprayer by blowing in the little hole. If this doesn’t work buy new at the car-part store. Its inexpensive. One of these repairs where the mechanic working hours will be 20 times more pricy than the actual part, so better replace DIY.
Ofcourse not all car engines are the same, but in the past the basics of most engines where similar. I drive now a Volvo 340 from 1986. Here a picture of the engine. I wrote on it where to find what. This can differ from your car, but not too much.
Ofcourse many more things can go wrong with your car engine. After doing all above repairs, your insight to the engine is probably improved and will be able to figure out if there is another problem like f.e. a broken fuel-pump, broken fuses and so much more basics that can become problematic with old cars. I just mention a few essentials that go one further than changing a fuse, but are still easy to do and can save lots of money. Mechanics are expensive nowadays.
Again I warn you that I am not a mechanic. The repairs mentioned I did more often. They where returning problems with my old cars. I might have done these things wrong (but it made the car running again). If you are in doubt ask a neighbor or friend for help/advice. Ofcourse there will always be repairs that have to be done at a workshop.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Ok, had two days off. Back again now. Here some tips if you drive an old car that shows troubles once in a while. I am not a mechanic, but following D.I.Y. repairs might lower your workshop bills. Its simple, everybody (with an old car) can do this.
Lets skip the low-battery. If your car is parked for a long time, and it was (freezing) cold or lots of wet weather your battery can run low. Simple ask your neighbor to park his car next to yours, connect the two batteries, start your car, keep engine running, disconnect battery en do a decent drive to re-load the battery. If this doesn’t work you can be low on battery acid or the thing is simply gone. Buy new is the only solution.
If you turn the key and nothing happens but only a dry click, your starter is dirty or broke. Mostly its just rusty. Knock on the starter (carefully) with hammer or screwdriver. The starter is an about 4 inch long, 1½ inch thick tube mostly situated close to the main cylinder part of the engine, on the bottom of the hood. You can often reach it easiest by crawling under the car. You see a few electric wires going in and out. Every car with bad or broken starter can still start. The thing does nothing more than create a spark. This can also be achieved by rolling the car (pushing). Often an old starter works again after it is cooled of. If you are not able to repair/replace/clean yourself, you can at least save tow-truck expenses by driving to the workshop. Mechanical wizards are capable to repair/clean a starter themselves. Be careful, a starter is vulnerable.
The car makes contact, battery is full, accelerates by starting, but does not keep running. This indicates mostly bad electric contacts. Happens often with long time wet moister weather. Ok, here I fail in my English. These terms are too specified. Still let me try to explain. Close to the cylinders, on top of the engine, you find a round, mostly grey-brown colored, device. 5 cables come out of the top (one in the middle, 4 on the side) going direction cylinder. This is an electricity distributor (might have an official term in English I am not familiar with). This thing turns round (after starting-activating the starter) and activates (by electricity) the spark-plugs at your cylinders. The thing is closed with two simple screws. Unscrew and open it (you don’t need to remove any cable, or the complete part). If open you see 4 copper points on the side, one in the middle and a copper ‘arm’ that can turn around, touching the copper spots on the side. All these copper spots must look shiny, like a brand new copper cable. If not, your car makes starting problems because bad contacts are made activating the cylinders. Clean all these points carefully with some sandpaper. Screw the thing back on and probably your car starts again (had this problem last week). If not you might have to clean more (spark-plugs and cable connections) or the thing is worn-out that the contact spots cannot be reached anymore. This is easy to see. You can buy cheap a replacement in a car-part store. Note your car and engine type to purchase the right (fitting) one. Replacing or cleaning more you have to pull all cables out. Mark before you start! Be sure every spark-plug is connected with the same copper electricity point as before.
Never thought I would come up with a car-repair post. More to come tomorrow. What might be wrong if you car suddenly accelerates bad, the engine does not keep running standing still at traffic lights,….. a.s.o.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Cars and computers are similar threatened machines by people. Everybody is the best driver and knows all about cars like everybody calls themselves computer specialists. Most of us are none of both. Dealing with the machine does not make you a specialist.
Good car mechanics are hard to find. Lucky my car is serviced by rare ‘old fashioned’ real mechanics who know their job. These people are a dying species in this throw-away society. They are based in The Netherlands. At my other location the car mechanics are usual swanky with attitude too proud to repair my old car. You find these types all over the world.
Yes, my whole live I drive old cars. I like old cars, more character and stronger. Because of driving these old wrecks I learned a few basics solving common engine failure. This does not make me a mechanic. Old car engines are easy and simple plus having a job as engineer you get a trained ‘look’ at machines.
Often I am surprised how unskilled others react if my car doesn’t want to start again. All these ‘professionals’ immediately come with only two failure possibilities: ‘the battery is empty’, ‘the starter is broken’. Sure; cars only drive on battery and starter. The few times standing on the side of the road unable solving the problem I called ‘roadhelp’. First thing these mechanics bring is a starting-battery. I tell them this is not the problem. They look at me as if I am the idiot, but soon my car is on a tow-truck to the workshop. These mobile roadhelp mechanics are complete unskilled. I never met one who knew what to do. What a shame for them to find out there is a lot more under the hood that can break down.
Often I have to tell my neighbors, friends and colleagues that the battery cannot be empty if all my lights plus blower, radio and window wipers work in full. Neither the starter is broke because I hear the engine spinning, but not starting. If the starter is gone a dry click is the only sound.
Had this situation yesterday, and again the ‘battery/starter’ comment. No, its not! The engine does not want to run, but wants to start. It doesn’t get fuel (the tank was full) or some bad contacts. The fuel pump looked alright to me. The fluid was present in the filter. Due to extreme weather change from freezing cold to warm with a lot of snow and rain, the garage is moisten. That creates dirt, a killer for contacts. This morning I cleaned some essential contacts and the car started perfect. Running smooth again.
9 out of 10 times I get my car going if it has a moment of hesitating due to circumstances. You don’t need to call a mechanic for that.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Weather is fickle. Winter started and ended within 5 days. The huge amount of snow washed away by huge amount of rain due to sudden rise of temperature. Compare this picture of the Zala, 8 am this morning, with other pictures in previous posts (scroll down).
Friday, December 25, 2009
What a world we live in. A president of the only country in the world that is constantly in war for the last 60 years gets the Nobel prize for peace. The signs are so clear. Its endlessly history repeating. But humans are a weird organism in this ecological environment. They don’t want to learn from their own mistakes, something that every other creature on earth does. The people with brains (intellects/ few artists) see it coming. They withdraw and hide, aware that informing the others is a useless fight. It could mean the end of your own existence. Better be quiet. Lesser developed brains take key-positions (politics, management). The average middle class brainwashed population grows. Products, social life, value of money, art, entertainment, jobs,…..everything gets worse. The usual spiral people like to slide down on until it all explodes.
It happened before. The periods before the so called ‘world wars’, the French Revolution, a.s.o. And here we go again. I know you idiots are going to try to lead the other blind to hell. With one fist up and in the other hand a weapon. More useless slaughtering for nothing.
Our ‘intellectual society’ sank so deep that even the Nobel price is for sale, or better said: a sell-out. I took my precautions and you are now warned.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Its one of those days. Goddammed who ever invented the cd jewel box or even the cd should be publicly castrated. Again a box broke. While fuckin’ with it the toast burned.I see them in front of me, these young ‘industrial designers’. Just finished ‘art’ school to make our lives miserable with their inventions. Writing thick reports, creating computer animated instruction films, rigging up samplers and licking ass to convince their bosses that they created the most ‘genius’ wrap. Obsessed by their fillister career totally oversee the unpractical use of the creation in daily live. A disease since mid 70ties last century. For over 30 years we live in a dramatic time of massive pulp production. Fuck the crisis where the propaganda tries to make us believe that buying is thee solution. I suggest a total shopping boycott of every product created (unless it is natural food or drinks) until the producers start making reliable, good, efficient and durable products again.
Before my toast burned I had one of these phone-sale calls. 9 am in the morning. Its xmas fuckers. What kinda country is this? Leave me alone forever with your phone sales. Its rude interrupting domestic peace this way and anti-propaganda for your product. I will never buy anything from a company that unasked rudely interrupt my precious live.
Yep, my day started bad, not because of me. I am in a good mood, but because of this total fucked up industrial world. Worst two jobs around are: Industrial-designer and computer-programmer. If you do one of those two you must be the lowest of the lowest. You are the stupidest ashole around. You make jobs like police-officer or garbage -collector high educated standards. Ok ok you designers and programmers, I understand,…. it is not your mistake to be born with lesser brain cells.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Its months ago I wrote a record review. So let’s do one today. It depends from what generation you are, what you like, how your relation with parents is and many other reasons if this records is filed under ‘records you like but hide’ or ‘records you show with pride’. I am going to write about Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young ‘Déjà vu’. Yes yes, I hear you all giggling and mumbling ‘that fucking hippy’. Honest I do not know where to categorize this vinyl myself. Somehow I hate this hippy stuff as an honest real first generation punk. On the other hand I have a copy that remains in my collection. At the moment I play it and hear the famous line “I almost cut my hair”. Goddammed why not. Long hair is for old people and farmers (ooops sorry let myself go here). The copy I own is a first UK pressing. Original with the front cover gold letters pressed into the black sleeve cardboard. The picture is glued on. Later pressings had a simple full-printed cover, nothing pressed in or glued on
No I am not a CSN&Y collector. They still perform and record by occasion till these days. Most of their vinyl’s moved on to other’s collections. This record simply stayed assumedly why most records remain: memories of the end 60ties, early 70ties.
For those who think they discovered something new, CSN&Y has a perfect new century imitation of younger musicians touring the clubs by the name ‘Devendra Bernhard’
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Did a weird FOH job last weekend. Location: casino in Kranjska Gora. The most touristic ski-resort of Slovenia. Great place, even in the tourist seasons. Very beautiful rough nature. High mountains. In the winter a great place to ski, in summer very nice for hiking and cycling. Last summer, while driving up the mountain road, steep and long up to a height of 2000 meters I passed by a few cyclists clearly suffering physical problems pushing themselves uphill. Now this road is closed, too much snow.
I am not so familiar with light casino entertainment attractions, but 30 years of experience raised sufficient skills working this without to much troubles. The gig was a compellation of well-known pop and opera songs performed the usual cheap (vocal/dance) -entertaining way by mediocre and bad performers. The main character seriously sucked. He couldn’t sing or dance. Often out of tune, wrong moves. The choice to mix more popular music with opera was clearly too much for this semi professional bunch. I don’t mind what music is performed, but please choose something within your capabilities. Out of tune vocals is an insult to my ears.
The audience didn’t bother. They came to gamble and watched the show as an intro (support act) fore the bingo to start right after in the same room.
It was a last minute job I got called in for. Nobody else was available. No prob here, need to pay bills too. I liked the ‘entourage’. For a change not a stinky, dirty cold rock and roll dive, but nice warm comfortable room, clean toilets and an easy going atmosphere. Did not gamble. I still have all the money. Maybe a new goal for the club-artists: Casino tours. Call me if you go and do one, now I am experienced.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Shortest day of the year. Good we go to longer daylight. Need more hours in the day.
Records. Some stay others go. Lots of (vinyl) records passed by in my collection. Especially popmusic is temporary. I am not desperately holding on to these black grooves. If I don’t like the produced soundwaves anymore, the vinyl can go to someone who will play it. Ofcourse the selection is very personal. I realize that those records that stand time in my collection carry (for me) important memories. Like an old man looking in his photo album, I go through my record selection. Winternights especially remind me of past. In a nice warm living room, wood fire on, I play great records from the 60ties and 70ties. John Coltrane will never leave my selection. These records are too good and precious for me to sell. Never a moment of doubt. I could life with only John Coltrane records. Have all his albums (in vinyl). On the road I look out for others since Coltrane is barely available here. Saw a lot of Trane vinyl in the stores. Lots re-pressing going on. This will never end. I am old enough to know that Trane is again discovered by every generation. Tanx to that his vinyl will always be in the stores. Sometimes more, other times less. If you are a collector don’t give up hope.
Ok, time for another winter picture with some snow:
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Members of the Cooking Club advice often to publish my recipe’s on the site. Today is a Cooking Club meeting. This is what we will brew:
The traditional Dutch kitchen does not enjoy big international fame. Lowland cooking is basic and boring. Not really interesting. Still there is one typical Dutch dish that became international known: Pea Soup. Many winter-countries inhabitants might claim this soup is a part from their culture, but international history proves that the origin is in The Netherlands. The recipe is hundreds years old. It goes back over 500 years ago. Pea soup is a full meal soup.
Ingredients for 1 liter:
250 gram split peas, 1 onion, 1 big carrot, 1 leak, ½ celery root, 1 potato, smoked tofu, pepper and salt.
Rinse the split peas (do not soak). Cook 1½ liter water. Add the peas let it cook again for a few minutes and remove foam. Strain of the water and cook the peas again in 1 liter clean water. When cooking again, put the peas on a low fire. They must slowly get done. Meanwhile clean and chop all other veggies in not to small pieces (about ½ cm). Add them to the peas in water. Let it all cook on a low fire until done. This can take longer than 1½ hour.
Cut the smoked tofu in small blocks and add to the soup about 15 minutes before ready.
After the soup is cooked, take of the fire to cool. It should become stiff that a spoon can stand up in it. The soup is on its best taste re-heated the next day.
Pea soup is traditionally eaten with (roasted) bread. My mother served the soup with pancakes.
Vegan pancakes: flower, water, salt by taste, 1 tee spoon sugar, 1 tee spoon baking powder. Use an amount of flower and water so it becomes smooth. Add salt by taste, sugar (for the baking powder to work) and baking powder. The baking powder gives the pancake a light fluffy texture. You can add raisins to the pancakes, or make half plain, half with raisins.
Remarks: Normally the soup is made with meat. The peas and veggies are boiled with pork. Smoked meat (sausage) is added later.
You can freeze this soup in portions for later. Warm it up slow on a low fire otherwise it burns. If you use meat, best is to add the smoked sausage after re-heating. Planning to drive down here? Better bring the snow-chains or skies. Here a picture of the Zala (road down to here) 9 am this morning:
Friday, December 18, 2009
Maybe you know this already but the news thrilled the professional music bizznix technicians: Behringer bought Midas and Klark Teknik. Yes, read it again, no joke. You can find the news in bizznix newspapers. Lots of colleague engineers are still not over the shock. Everybody in my profession is talking about it. What the fuck is going on here? This is like feeding Caviar to the pigs, or pig-shit to the queen. Pigs or better, the shit is Behringer. For the non informed and non technical readers. Midas and Klark Tekniks are the state of art in Sound development. Highly quality products. Innovating and renewing. Made with care, therefore also expensive. Behringer is exactly the opposite. It’s the cheapest assembly line imitation crap of the worst quality you can buy in the audio world. The material is so low that the name is within our profession on the work-floor mainly used as a curse. If you have Behringer rubbish you profile yourself as unprofessional, cheap and unqualified.
Funny is that head of Behringer is Uli Behringer. Does he know that his name is related to a product that doesn’t even deserve pig-shit? If I would be called Behringer the first thing I do is change my name for whatever price.
What the fuck is going on here and what will happen now. Sure its crisis, probably some companies need rescue to secure jobs. Considering the low quality of Behringer rubbish, the company desperately needs some know-how from the well skilled. More afraid I am that Midas and Klark will slowly turn into a cheap sell out. Better purchase some of it now before Uli Behringer starts to fuck it up.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Back on my winter-hikes again. Cold wind refreshes my face. My feet in a thick layer of snow. Untouched surface. Paths nobody went before since snow started. Wide views in an open landscape. Mountains guarded by dark, leafless trees. The feeling of being alone on the world. The peace clears my mind. I am still not sure what I like more, winters or summers. Both have ups and downs. If it is real winter, like now, I can do without the summer. Here a picture:
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
After 30 years in this bizznix I learned you have audio-tech and sound-engineers. Both do not go in one person. At least I don’t know anyone who has both skills highly qualified. Still a sound engineer is a kinda audio-tech and visa versa. What’s the difference? Being a sound-engineer I first will try to explain what an audio-tech expresses:
All people I know working pro as audio-tech are very technically interested in the progress of the machines that produce sound. They might listen to music, but their major interest goes out to condensers, fuses, oscillators, transformers, converters and a lot more parts that are in your music players. They like trying to improve these things. I know many audio-techs. Nice people doing great jobs, but sometimes…… Yep they go over the top. More often I was invited listening to the latest improvement. “Don’t hear the difference” I commented mostly. Sound innovations only visual with measuring devises. There is only so much a human ear can hear.
Sound engineers are music freaks. They like music, the soul and drive of it. Ofcourse they carry some technical know-how. They are the technical extension of the musician. A good cooperation between the player and technician is crucial for the success of concert or recording. A sound-engineer translates the music to the listener by operating the machines audio-techs developed. Social skills are important dealing with artists, organizers and audience, meanwhile the audio-tech can do the work separated, alone surrounded by machines under a bright light and magnifying glass.
Don’t want to throw out generalizing statements (you never know, nature goes strange ways). I never heard an audio-tech creating a good sound, despite all technical skills. There is more in music than just machines.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Yes I was (am) one of these road-zombies (see vid and yesterdays post). I allow myself using the word road-zombie. It’s the correct title for someone like me, endlessly traveling. If go around working, every day another place, you loose track of time, accept every encounter and learn to deal with the situation on the spot. You get the ‘far away look in the eye’ and stare to the ‘silhouettes on the window’ of the tour-bus. ‘On the road there is no place like home’, home longs for traveling. Nothing wrong with. It’s a natural state of mind that, with me, starts to go down now I tour lesser. More energy is saved for other activities on the road, like meeting people.
Toured a lot with Mono and Laibach and dozens of other bands. You find some stories in the links Posts 2008, Posts 2009.
Meanwhile winter definite started. Snow and cold. The main-road getting here (called Zala) is cleaned (see picture). Si if you feel for experiencing a real winter and snow white holidays, its possible to get here.
Zala, 9 am this morning
Monday, December 14, 2009
New video from the latest THE SYSTEM release ‘The Wheel’. You see visuals with the track ‘The Door’. Sound appeals more than visuals to me. The vid is an excuse to capture the front page spot on my site with a song I prefer. Still the visuals are not meaningless.
This video is a compilation of material shot on trips and tours with musicians in the world, me on tour as technician. You see the long Oakland Bridge entering San Francisco and a lot of material shot in Tokyo Japan. Many towers. I always wonder what people have with ‘heights’. All these ‘major’ cities must have their tower. Most shots are from the Tokyo Tower. A few are made in the Toronto Tower. The big wheel shots are in Rostock, Germany. Most material is filmed by Taka (Mono) and Nikola (Laibach).
I recorded this song in the early 80-ties, before the ‘techno- and digi-time’ in a low-fi studio. All done on analogue equipment. It was a period of discovering and improvise. I was angry and slam a door (that explains the title). The scream and door-slam is the basic sound the song is based on. I captured it on hold in one of the first decent digital delays made, the Roland SDE 1000 (still have it). All the other sound is a matter of filtering. An important role plays a very crappy noisegate, unusable collecting dust in the control-room corner, but excellent as special effect unit.
I recorded the track ‘live’ directly to a cassette tape. What you hear is taken from that tape. Unbelievable how well cassette tapes preserve. This recording is 30 years old and sounds still great. The protecting case keeps cassettes in a much better condition than any other registering method. All my professional master tapes are fallen to dust. If you store digitally you have to keep on copying because information becomes unreadable due to technology progress. You listen to a tape un-played for 30 years, and it still runs like purchased yesterday. Tip: do not record the first and last minute of the tape!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Back in the valley and posting again. Presentation of weather forecast got on the same level than all other news. Blowing of about nothing. Driving I listen to the radio towards news-time for traffic jams and weather info. Important in this period of the year. Lots of early holiday traffic and you never know with the snow. Snow was announced on my drive. Panicking weather-men screaming about storms, snow and cold. Ok, it rained for one hour together with some wind. For a distance of 10 miles it even snowed, so wet that by the time snow flakes reached the asphalt it turned into rain. Sun was out most of the time. A beautiful view on the snow-white Alps. Shining sloops. On moments like this I realize why I always hated the flat land I was born. What a shit hole. The border is clearly lined, not only on maps, also in reality. Crossing from the neighbor country, wild forests with overgrown bushes suddenly stop. The landscape changes in a boring arranged and organized designed picture. All plants nicely in a row. Everything perfect matching in a military order. The Dutch design might be famous but is so boring and without fantasy. I always wonder what the Dutch find so attractive on their unstoppable desire to categorize order and label everything, even nature. The complete community and land they life on, became a dull non-creative boring society. Taking the latest increase in racist issues, I think the Dutch majority suffers latent fascism through centuries.
Happy to be back at my woodfire. Self chopped wood. Gonna cook later. Its good spending everyday some time on basics of life. It keeps you down to earth, reminding what’s all about.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
While the Dutch where celebrating racism yesterday I did a local FOH job. After so many years touring with (not always) snobby rockstars and ‘artists’ who think they ‘are’ something, I almost forgot that popmusic is all about entertainment. Yep I had a great time working sound for a local cover band and singer-songwriter celebrity. Many of us would see this as lesser jobs down the hill, but don’t forget that the famous fools you are on the road with are probably not even half challenging your professional skills, than working with more amateur musicians.
The gig was outside. Yes, funny isn’t it. In the Alps, snow and freezing cold, outside on a village square. Many people and hot-wine to kept us warm. The occasion was a Saint Nicholas party. The crowd got crazier the more they drank. Its fun to see people freaking out on a weekend day, escaping their boring daily life. But hey, how often is there something to do in Ziri? The later it got, the more the band sank in boring blues themes and my feet froze. Happy the night came to an end towards 2 am.
My next post will be upcoming Saturday, December 12. Have go on a short (no music-bizznix) trip.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Snow is falling finally. Landscape is changing. I like the seasonal weather changes. Every season has its beauty. Winters must have snow. Lots of people don’t like it. Some places are more difficult to reach. Car driving is more dangerous. You can do lesser outside. Gardening is over, but not Avant-Gardening. I will keep on posting. That’s an advantage (or maybe not for you, but I do not force you to read this page). There are more advantages with snow besides typical winter sports. Sound reflection stops, its more peaceful. Lesser people in nature, my lonely hikes will now have no human encounters whatsoever, only deer’s, bears, hawks a.s.o. Economical advantages too. Despite it looks colder, snow isolates and keeps the house warm. Time for the winter picture from the front yard:
Thursday, December 03, 2009
With another crisis behind us we all tried to economize. The economical status of different territories becomes very visual if you look at common people how they try to cut down expenses. In wealthy countries like Netherlands, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, USA, Japan, Australia, Kuwait,…. they turn the heating down a couple degrees a few hours earlier in the evening and use the second car only on Saturday for the weekend shopping. Many people in these locations have no idea how life essentials work. They just know how to find the on/of switch.
Here, where I spend a lot of my time, I see neighbors dealing with this situation very differently. They chop old (not painted) industry wood or a thick trunk in small pieces for their burner. Food and herbs is self-grown or found in the forests. Wine is purchased directly at the farmer,….. I like this direct contact with basics of live. You have much more idea what it cost (time/work/energy) to have food and warmth. Ok, it is some work, but the results are satisfying enjoyable after that.
In the wealthy countries people would argue that they don’t have time for these things. They need the machines to have an easier existence. I often notice that those people waste a lot of live experience in front of the tv watching useless soap or tee-visits, talking bullshit. If you really want to cut down expenses or help the environment, go back to the basics of live.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Keep it short today. Not much time to write a long post neither feel for it. Within a few weeks a new video will be on the front page based on the song The Door, available on the last The System release ‘The Wheel’ (pronounce as ‘Tee Veil’). Here a snapshot.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
History is a subjective thing. Ofcourse you can have facts like dates and places, but that doesn’t tell you much about the past. The individual story is the most important source of information. This story is subjective. Each person experiences past differently. Years influence mind, and memories can become different feelings than they originally where. I am talking about history in your own life-time.
Often the main historic event is unknown by the masses. A non-popular event that doesn’t sell newspapers/magazines or books. Only for the few who take the effort to struggle trough endless useless piles of info, might find the actual truth. The actual historic truth is what caused the event. Ofcourse with recent events (like the second world war) so extremely milked for propaganda by media and rulers we are killed by piles of information about every inch of that history. 1000 years from now people will probably only remember vaguely a Hitler, or not even that at all. What we remember about Cesar, and the history before, how he came to power, are mainly facts and average info. Its to late to get the truth from an individual story.
Also in my minor unimportant lifetime some take a history and make it their own. They don’t even realize that they where not even there when the actual thing happened. They arrived at the aftermath, when the hay-days where over. Waving flags on top of fundaments their knowledge is only fed by stories and assuming. They wrote now the history they cannot feel, not even know. Maybe just can guess. Another lie goes into the future. Oh well, it’s a minor one, mainly created out of a personal satisfaction, I assume. Most new born will never be aware of this lie. Its just another one to the oh so many.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sorry for not posting yesterday. Was somehow not in the mood. Anyway, regular readers are used to it that I skip a day sometimes. Probably you where all sweating spending the Sunday in the kitchen trying to make Gado Gado. (see Saturdays post). Hope you succeeded. If well prepared it’s a great dish. We had a lovely dinner with the cooking club.
Lies from the past. Its unbelievable that some people label themselves with something they don’t deserve, not own or even have close enough relation with. I know that some tried to write down the ‘Limbabwe’ story. It cannot even come close to the truth. If I read on other pages what lies are written already, I can only come to the sad conclusion that those who now try to earn rewards by selling the story of that time, didn’t learn anything from it. What a shameful wrong judgment I made in some people. Oh well, at least my life moves on and is not stuck in some memories of 30 years ago. You find a part of the real story on this site (history). In the upcoming weeks I will complete the story adding the pre-years. The only valuable period (and people) of this unimportant small town history. A history we all, world wide have, and therefore does not deserve too much attention.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Cooking club will arrive in 15 minutes. This is what we cook today.
GADO GADO WITH RICE
Gado Gado is a light-digesting Indonesian vegetable dish also very popular in The Netherlands. The dish is ‘semi’ warm. You can call it a salad, although warm food is included. Gado Gado is a main dish served with rice.
Ingredients: White rice, Peanut sauce, String beans, Cabbage, Bean Sprouts, Seroendeng, Lettuce, Crisps, Baked unions, Tofu.
You can prepare all ingredients on forehand and compile the Gado Gado when ready.
Preparing: (In running order). Rice: Wash and cook the rice. With Gado Gado the quality of the rice is of lesser importance. In restaurants its often served with a cheap sticky rice.
Peanut sauce: My recipe for ½ liter:
- bit of onion
- 1 garlic toe
- veggie oil
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of peanut butter
- zip of ketjab (salty)
- 1 thee spoon of ginger powder
- 1 thee spoon of coriander powder (katumbar)
- 3 tablespoons of flower
- Half a liter water
- Bit pepper by your taste
- Half a tablespoon vinegar (the one for salad dressing)
- 1 tablespoon of apple syrup (or another sweet syrup)
- 1 veggie broth cube (these soup cubes you can buy), or salt by taste.
Take a pan with lit (not a baking pan). Cut the onion and garlic in very small pieces. Put oil and onion with garlic in pan. Bake this till both are light brown. Add the peanut butter let it bake for a short moment (few seconds) till liquid. Add soya sauce, ginger and coriander. Dissolve the flower in the water. Add the water in the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients. Leave the pan on a low fire until cooking. Keep stirring.
Tofu: cut in strips and bake in a bit of soya sauce till crispy.
Seroendeng: is a sweet mix of dry coconut, peanuts, crispy fries and spices. Made cold. Take a pot (with lit). Add coconut, peanuts, crispy fries, ginger, kumina, coriander, cimet, powder sugar, bit garlic powder. About 50% should be coconut, one table spoon of peanuts and crispy fries. All the rest 1 tee spoon, garlic ½ tee spoon. Mix really well by shaking the pot (closed with lit).
Bake unions: Cut one union in rings, melt bit margarine in a pan, add kumina and coriander seeds, add union rings, salt/pepper. Bake light brown.
Veggies: clean and wash all veggies.
String beans/cabbage: will be ‘blanched’ After cleaned and washed keep the vegetables in cold water. In a pan with some salt we heat up water. When water boils the beans and cabbage are added immediately from the cold water into boiling. Leave it for 2 or 3 minutes, take the veggies out and wash again immediately with cold water. Mix the veggies with the baked unions
All ingredients are now ready to compile the Gado Gado:
Take a serving plate. Put in the middle the veggies (beans/cabbage/unions). Garnish the lettuce around on the edge of the plate. Lay the tofu strips over the beans/veggies. Poor peanut sauce over the middle (top of beans/cabbage/tofu). Sprinkle bean sprouts over the sauce. Sprinkle seroendeng over the complete dish. Garnish (top of) with some crisps. Serve the rice on the side.
Remarks: From origin Gado Gado is a veggie, but not vegan dish. The dish is served with cold hard boiled egg. Instead of potato crisps the dish comes with fish crisps (kroepoek). Above is my vegan improvisation. In a restaurant you get it with egg and fish crisps, mostly Gado Gado on top of a sticky wet rice. Tofu is something I added to have something firm and filling with it. Of course you can improvise the dish as you like at home. If you want to have it spicy, add hot peppers to the peanut sauce or when baking the unions. Main ingredients are always: Peanut sauce, beans, lettuce, bean sprouts.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Sometimes it feels I am surrounded by complaining ‘artists’. Especially in my headquarter and acquaintances from former (old days) locations. Many wine about their unsuccessful career, nothing works anymore, sick of it all,…… Jaded is the disease with those. The problem is them. They are all sick in the head, body follows after. What happened last century that everybody who is capable to type a word, play a cord or moves a brush thinks this should be a recognized paid money making hobby.
Ofcourse we all have the right to dream about being rich and famous, but if you are 25+ reality should have taken over. Most of these twiddling ‘artists’ must pick themselves up and do something for their cash! Get a job or throw some energy in selling your so called ‘art’.
Few real artists I know seem to have the problem lesser. This rapper Sensational f.e. He takes life as it comes. Needs some money, goes out on the street to sell some cd’s, or drops a few lines on somebody’s recordings for a few $. He manages to make sufficient survival money. Sometimes up to a couple of hundreds a day. No, not because he is becoming a settled name. Sensational is around for almost 20 years, only in the last month being noticed by a ‘bigger’ crowd. You so called ‘artist’ are just looking for excuses to be lazy. Looser without a cause. Pick yourself up and do something with your hearth and without financially expectations.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Today I am worn out. Not with ideas, but with energy. Impossible, those think who know me. The unstoppable! Many suspected me using stimulating drugs. I don’t. Its all a natural high. Leave you with a dark picture that I have in my computer ready to go on the site for years. The other (dark) side of my soul. Not negative, only beauty. Its actually a moment of cloud move in the sky above the house. No lie, the sky sometimes shows amazing colors and cloud formations. Come here to be convinced. Tomorrow again.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Hip hop is since the early 80ties just a mediocre boring way of expression. The only artistic interesting performer in the genre is Sensational. Sad and funny he is totally not accepted by the hip hop crowd. They prefer to stick with the endless repeating boring formula. Now Sensational reached the cover of Wire magazine. What will this bring? Will mediocre hip hoppers finally start to push boundaries or will Sensational compromise to the demands of the equal boring industry? I am afraid for the latter, but hope for the future. Here his bio:
Once in an eternity an artist will come along who defies any explanation, breaks all boundaries, and destroys all preconceived notions as to what music is. In reggae, we were blessed with the maniacal genius of Lee Perry; in jazz, we had Sun Ra; and in hip-hop no one even comes close to the man they call Sensational. Sure, you got crazy personalities like Kool Keith and Old Dirty Bastard, but Sensational is a breed apart from even these koo-koo MCs. Born (or hatched?) into the world of beats as Torture, a name perfectly befitting his dusted productions and not-ready-for-prime-time style, Torture linked up with the Jungle Brothers when he was just 15. He was ill back then even, so ill, he could rhyme to records by Stockhausen (the German avant-garde electronic composer). Just check out “Ra Ra Kid” from the Crazy Wisdom Masters 10-inch on Black Hoodz. Originally recorded for Warner Brothers in 1992, this stuff is still way ahead of his time.
In 1995, Torture came to the attention of WordSound through Bill Laswell. It was then that he started recording his debut solo effort, Loaded With Power (WSCD022), an album like no other in the annals of hip-hop. CMJ called it, “The most bold and experimental hip-hop record of the last couple of years,” but even this is an understatement. The tripped-out flows, the broken beats, the lo-fi ambience all created an epic event in hip-hop that largely went unnoticed by the Puffy-worshipping masses. And to think, it was all created by one man using only a four-track, a drum machine and a turntable. Sensational, in fact, has never been one to sample. Even though he upgraded to an 8-track for his sophomore effort, Corner The Market (WSCD032), all of his sounds were original and played all the way through a track (since he didn’t have any type of sequencer). Now he even got a real microphone (instead of recording vocals through his headphones like on Loaded). Wowing heads with his blunted poetry-in-motion-sickness.
Sensational currently lives on any couch he can crash on, and makes blazing hip-hop each and every day of his life. Recorded for Wordsound several albums like ‘Heavyweighter’ and ‘Natural Shine’. Plus had a joint venture with: ‘Sensational meets Kohei’ and ofcourse ‘Acid And Bass’ with Spectre. Sensational also shines as main character in the movie ‘Crooked’. A nearly autobiographic story about Sensationals life. Ignore the plot, Sensational is more alive than ever. Visiting New York you might meet him on the street selling his cd’s to unwary pedestrians.
Until we see him up in Billboard, Hip-hop is doomed for mediocrity.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Pots and pans are important with cooking according to many chefs. Sure I believe so. Ofcourse its also personal, what you are used to. For professional cooks the ‘tools’ have a different impact that the hobbyist (me) at home.
My favorite pans are old. The baking pan is an old semi wok thing I use for frying but also stirring veggies and even baking nan bread! (That’s another post). For cooking rice I have an old small white pan that simply turned out to be the most sufficient for the use.
My oven pan is a remarkable outcast in my set. Its ancient old. Not even designed for the oven! Remember these camping/hiking pan sets in the 70ties? Light steel made, but heavy heat proof and unbreakable! Easy to clean! 3 Pots fitting into eachother with a little frying pan as lit upside down on the top. Hold together with a belt. A separated grip for catching the hot pan fits inside the smallest pot. The complete cooking set reduces to a small package. My sister use to have one in the 70ties. When incomplete she handed the left-overs to me. The biggest pot and the pan. Found a few grips for some pennies on flee markets. The big pot became a useful shaving water reservoir. The pan is one of my most used kitchen tools for decennia. The size is perfect. Not to big, not to small. I use it in the oven very often. Baking bread, cakes, potatoes a.s.o. The quality is amazing. After being exposed to so much extreme heat for many years, the pan is still in a perfect shape.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Digital is still in a developing stage. Not only technically. Child diseases are still in the (childish) computer bizznix. Companies still fight what system will on the end become the average accepted most used. We are the victims. New programs, ‘improved’ systems, advanced formats, and all incapable to read older files. Those who thought to have the ultimate invention and stored all their files on a harddrive are fucked. This harddrive is unreadable after 5 years due to digital development. Endlessly copying files to ‘new’ systems takes a lot of time.
Its therefore much more efficient to simply keep hard paper (books) and maps filed in a far away cupboard. It stays forever, still readable after 50 years. No maintenance if you store it right (dry). The slow, time wasting new technology ‘digital’ cannot beat that.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not against digital. I am against the way its presented. The technology is far from ready. The quality is mediocre to bad. What I am very disturbed about is that humans never learned from the past. Ok, the bizznix wants to make money and see quick results of their investments, but do we, the customers, want to waste our time, health and money for the sake of only a few?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
It is a slowly disappearing thing but in East Europe still common. Especially in Russia and Serbia. Probably most of you travelling experienced the same. Sometimes this even happens at home f.e. in the corner store down the block. You enter a store, ticket office or airport check-in desk. The employee behind the desk stares at you in an uninviting, cold look. As if you are too much for the day and must be grateful that this counter-employee took the job to (maybe) serve you. Approaching the desk it looks like they see straight trough. As if you do not exist. Often I think if just simply standing in front of them silent, no move, probably nothing happens than just an endless vacant look. But I don’t have time nor guts to fuck up the situation. Kindly with a smile I hand them my passport and break the tension by greeting and announcing the flight I check-in for. Incidentally the face behind the counter shows friendliness or even (very sometimes) a smile. Mostly the look stays meaningless cold. Without a word my bag is labeled and passport with boarding pass returned. “Departure 2.30 at gate 11” is the only sentence spoken in this brief encounter.
The cold unfriendly non inviting looks don’t bother me at all after so much travelling. I know what to expect. Although against all ‘capitalistic’ rules, for me its not necessary to be kind for bizznix sake. Still I cannot withhold to reply sometimes: “I do my job with pleasure”. Because I often get the impression they don’t. An attitude still left from the old communistic days. Even if never a customer comes, the bizznix cannot get broke and you get paid the same anyway. Sometimes I think ‘shall I tell them that this is bad-bizznix. No customers, no job! Welcome in the capitalistic world!’ These capitalist from the West do the same (opposite) thing. You enter and the counter employee produces immediately a big smile yelling, “Good morning sir, and how are you today?” This little fake theater-play to bind customers is similar empty like the cold look. Again I notice there is no difference. Worldwide everybody is wearing masks.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Know, know, its bizznix but still worth mentioning it. Sensational (Wordsound) made it to the cover of Wire Magazine. Respect respect! He deserved it and hopefully it will bring more recognition for this great artist. One of the very few who has the guts to take hip hop out of its boring repeating un-creative pattern. Sensational will perform live in Europe in April next year. For more interest contact me: matskilimbabwecom
Friday, November 20, 2009
Cooking. Yep, lets write about cooking today. Like everything in live, even with something innocent as cooking, most people look for security limiting themselves by rules. There are no cooking laws! There is also no cooking police! You will not end up in jail experimenting. In the worst case food tastes bad. Throw it away! Feed the rats! They have right for life too!
Cooking is for me hobby and fun. I like to experiment. Many people think I cook good. Myself don’t make more out of it than just another creative hobby. I cook always vegan. No animal products whatsoever in my kitchen. That forces experiments. I don’t use many recopies either. Sometimes only basic ones to see how other do it and learn necessary cooking tricks.
Often my ideas come from restaurants on tour. You order and eat a dish thinking ‘I can try this at home’. That makes my cooking an adventure. It has to be vegan plus certain ingredients are not available here. This means I might create combinations that are against ‘the rules’. Often I get the remark: ‘You cannot do this!’ based on weird mix of ingredients or against an old cultural cooking habit. Well I can do this! And so do you. Cooking is not restricted. Progression is mixing cultures. Those who stick to old values never get anywhere.
Down the road I used to live was a pizza place run by recent Italian immigrants. He married a local blond. This marriage inspired the Italian chef to create a new pizza: ‘Pizza Angela’ (his wives name). Ofcourse with ingredients comparing Angela’s sharp blond hair. The pizza was topped with white asparagus and pineapple pieces. A tasty combination to bite in (with all respect for his wife). At home I make this pizza without cheese (tomato sauce only), and add some garlic, onions (+ oregano). Absolute delicious but unacceptable for most pizza bakers. I had many remarks and even refusals worldwide, also in Italy and NY, placing an order with these toppings. Breaking the rules of taste and tradition. Be progressive. Try this pizza Matskigela.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Some say live goes in a circle. Generally I do not believe in this type of mind-twists. Hysteric reactions on fear to live. Sometimes it looks like the truth. Better notice this as an exception. The miss-interpretation by human kind become ghosts stories for light amusing entertainment.
After some flying experiences for private travels I had the first music bizznix flight on one of my first serious tours. This was with Laibach in the 80ties. We travelled from Frankfurt to Ljubljana. It was still the Yugoslavian days. Ofcourse we travelled with Yugoslavian Airlines (JAT). Uncomfortable (not afraid) with plane travels, getting on the plane I started to feel a bit nervous. An already then outdated small 2 propeller airbus, worn-out, dirty 70ties design. Hmmm we have to make it with this thing over the high Alps? We took of, rattling over the bumpy runway. In the air, above the Alps, the pilot remarked “look at the beautiful mountains below”. Yes very nice and very visual. Too close, I could almost touch the rocky tops if reaching my hand out of the small window. ‘Better look in front than below, otherwise we end up against the Alps, dear pilot’ I thought. Relieved we landed safe on Brnik airport.
Few days ago I returned from Moscow after finishing the last PTV3 tour. For the first time since 25 years I had again a JAT flight from Moscow – Belgrade, Belgrade – Ljubljana. The trip from Moscow to Belgrade was handled by Aeroflot, no problem here. In Belgrade changed on a JAT plane to Ljubljana. You guessed it, the same old plane from way back Tito times. The machine was in worst condition than 25 years ago. Lockers didn’t close, Carpet needed cleaning. Taking of the noise of the two propellers drove me insane. Nothing bad about Serbia, I love their culture, but the airline needs desperately a fix-up.
After many years of travelling-experiences including more often old and crappy planes (more airlines use old propeller planes for shorter distances), I was lesser worried this time. Up in the air we reached the highest level of about 4500 feet according pilots information. Made me think about that flight 25 years ago. 4500 feet is 1500 meters, the average height of the lowest mountains in the Alps. All reasons to be worried then. Lucky, only even land between Belgrade and Ljubljana. We landed safely.
Was the recent PTV3 tour my last tour? Did this flight complete a circle? Don’t believe so. Sure, I do tour lesser, but expect me out there once in a while. Circles must be broken! Make life adventures.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Adding my contribution to the rumors: PTV3 does NOT stop! They will not tour anymore but still appear incidentally on one-of gigs. Genesis P Orridge condition does not allow touring, getting sick on every trip lasting more than 5 days. This was the last longer tour. Incidental appearances of PTV3 will be announced on this page. All things past. Memories stay, that’s most important.
I missed Jay on PTV3 trips last years, since she passed away. This year’s trip ended in Moscow. Here a repeat of the picture I took (with crappy old camera) when PTV3 performed Moscow years ago. Its Genesis and Jay in the hotel lobby just before they leave on the plane home.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Wroclaw, Praha and Halle where all fine shows. PTV3 is a positive rock band, well entertaining for everybody. On Wednesday 11 Nov we travelled to Moscow. The flight was from Berlin and had a change-over in St Petersburg. I was warned by some people that there might be difficulties. The St Petersburg airport Pulkovo has 2 terminals that are not connected. Pulkovo 2 is for international flights, Pulkovo 1 for domestic. There is a distance between them. Arriving on Pulkovo 2 was no problem. After picking up our luggage (it was not checked all the way trough), we found easily the English signed transfer desk to Pulkovo 1. A nice perfect English speaking stewardess escorted us to the bus transporting travelers for the domestic terminal. After a 15 minutes bus drive the chaos started. At Pulkovo 1 everything was only in Cyrillic writing. Nobody talked English, not even at the information. It was not difficult to understand from the departure board that our check-in desks were 21 to 24. In the main hall the desks stopped at number 20. No signs anywhere to further desks neither to be found running around the terminal. Only 45 minutes before our flight departed. Grabbing every uniformed stewardess hoping she speaks English. Finally one did and she brought us outside, around the corner and back in through another entrance. Here was desk 21 to 24. This is nowhere signposted!
See myself as an experience traveler normally able to sort these things out, but this was confusing plus there was the pressure of no-time. Sure Pulkovo 1 is a domestic airport, but that doesn’t mean that international travelers are not using domestic flights! I advice not to book flights with a changeover in St Petersburg unless you are familiar with the Russian language.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Back home. Will start posting again on a more regular base. The tour was great. Will look back with a few posts the upcoming days. For now a picture of the audience in Moscow taken by Alice (bass guitar). More tomorrow.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Leaving Wroclaw Poland soon direction Praha. Not much time left to drop some lines. Hope to see some more ‘reality shows’ in real life somewhere on the trip. Keep you updated, but do not exclude the possibility that next post is next weekend.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Sorry for a week not posting. The usual story: no time, no internet. Below a few posts of the last days, but published on the site today. We had a great time so far. Tomorrow Praha, and Halle plus Moscow right after. Try to post more this week if possible.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
The gig at the Tabernacle yesterday was great. Very nice venue. There since the 60ties. Pink Floyd gigged here regularly in the days it was still a real band with Sid Barrett (60ties). Old church with nice reverby acoustics. The evening went in an old-fashioned PTV3 style. A stressed out local crew because we crossed the curfew time. By than the stage was overcrowded by local freaks heavenly on drugs (who was not that night besides the band?), fighting and dancing. Had to abandoned the FOH desk and throw myself in the pandemonium to kick stoners of the stage and safe as much equipment as possible.
This was a great stay in London (that’s rare for me). Hanged with old friends for two nights in the Prince Albert. Got pretty wasted but it was worth it.
Waiting on our flight to France at the airport was an amusing experience too. Traveling is normally pretty boring but I must say the first 4 days of the tour, since I left home, where so far pretty good. After check-in at the airport useless time gets wasted hanging in the ‘spend your money on shite’ area. From my seat I observed a sun glasses store. Empty at that moment with 4 boring nail biting employees. A young customer changed the scene into a housewife-afternoon-tv-soap-show. After the youngster checked some glasses a male store employee, clearly attracted by the customer approached for assistance. While taking time discussing (assumedly) the complete stock of sunglasses in the store, they checked clearly on eachother. I couldn’t understand even one word, but moves, smiles and eyes told the complete story. Got an idea for a script following on ‘My Beautiful Launderette’: ‘My Beautiful Sun-Glass Store’. With many twinkling eyes, smiles and nodding, purchse was made exchanging money and small address notes with phone numbers at the cash register.
Meanwhile a sloppy dressed school-kid walked in reorganizing his hair in one of the many shop mirrors. Obvious interested in one of the female employees he danced on the disco techno musak inbetween glasses and mirrors, obviously lesser successful than the young gay.
We got called up for our departure gate. Arriving there was a long line. The ground-employees announced a gate change. With the uniformed steward in front we followed in a long queue on a walk trough the terminal to the new departure gate. Never had such an amusing time at an airport, or are we all turning a bit freaky. Hmmmmm, maybe humanity is slowly turning sane?
Tuesday, November 03,2009
Ok, forgive me. The band arrived and they had the other rooms that looked ok (read yesterdays post). Make sure if you check into the Notting Hill Hotel in London that you don’t take room number 23, it’s a dumb. For breakfast I advice nearby bars and café’s. In the hotel the breakfast is instant coffee, instant milk, instant cold toast, instant orange juice, instant chocolate and an instant breakfast room.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Typed in the hotel name on a search page yesterday before I left. The hotel got many bad reviews. Funny is, only one night stay and they all turned out to be true. The room is a dump. Ok, the toilet, sink, shower tub and sheets are clean. The rest looks like you are in an old squat (sorry, squats mostly look better). The curtains are broken and torn. Furniture is falling apart. The bed is at least 50 years old. Damages on the wall probably from a (repaired) leak of the bathroom next door. I always wonder why this is. It only cost a bit time and money to repair this. The curtains simply need to be fixed. Mom or aunt handy in sewing can do this in 10 minutes. The wall damages are fixed in 5 minutes with a bit plaster and paint. Go to Ikea and buy some new furniture. Immediate repairs are time saving. It stops damages getting worse. The room looks so much nicer and the customer will be so much happier. And yes, the breakfast is a joke. Only instant drinks (coffee/hot chocolate/powdered milk) plus some marmalade, butter and cold toast. I promise you at my place a well maintained room with a good breakfast for a much cheaper price. Ok, its not in London, but also in a very interesting and beautiful surrounding. Perfect for nice weekends and vacations. go here: http://novasova.webklik.nl if you want to know more. Or contact me directly from this site: matskilimbabwecom
The positive remarks about the hotel are also correct. Its in a nice quiet surrounding with view on a park, but still reasonable centre situated. Portobello road is nearby. Notting Hill Gate tube station only a few minutes walk. But that’s not enough. I am not on a scenic trip here. Only 5 British Pounds more and you have a much better maintained hotel with real breakfast. Next time I spend this bit extra for sure. Its worth it. Probably most customers in this dump think the same. Slowly this place will die by lack of visitors.
The change from the peaceful natural Alps to the hectic big city life was very abrupt. Urban life has a much higher stress level. This is not personal. I am used to major cities, their public transport, traffic, way of life. In my 30 years of traveling I gained a lot of experience. Did much time in London. Ofcourse it’s a personal choice, but for living I prefer the peaceful nature. You can call me a country-boy, still I am a world-citizen with more knowledge about what’s going on in culture and surviving than most Londoners, New Yorkers, Parisians, Hong Kongers, Tokyoers, Bangkokkers, Istanbullers, Bagdadters,………. Going to pick up PTV3 from the airport later today. Keep you informed.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Its fun writing these posts. My mind must be set on it. If that’s the case it doesn’t take much time writing a few lines. I do realize sometimes subjects are repeated. The second time is mostly a better version of the story. When I force myself to write about a certain subject, it comes out wrong. I have to be emotionally ‘ready’. The Gogol Bordello posts are a good example. You find them way back. These posts are badly written. When the time is right I will re-write in a decent story. For that same reason the Mono story has not been digitalized on this page.
Its not only therapeutic but also educational. Think my English and writing style improved a lot since started. Yes I like to bitch about subjects. Some call this blog pretty negative. I am not a depressed person at all. Generally in a pretty good mood mainly because I release all my anger on this spot.
Today I leave home (again) for the PTV3 tour. Due to lots of work and lack of internet access, posting will become lesser obvious. I will try to keep you updated. Its going to be fun. If we come close come to check it out and do not forget to say hello. Dates are listed above.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Endless all times wining subjects are ‘religion’, ‘freedom’, ‘politics’ and more such shite. Talking or writing about it makes you religious, not free and dumb politician. You do defend a personal opinion, state of mind, even if you are against all 3 above and any other subject. So now you can label and categorize me in the religious political un-free group of nihilists. That makes you, the categorizer even a bigger small minded dumb political religious nihilist than I am.
Funny isn’t. Life has no more sense unless you give it up fighting these useless subjects that have been discussed over several thousands years and didn’t bring any progress. The wisdom is with those who life! Enjoy nature, sunshine and rain, food and drinks. Feel good by what their doing and show a positive attitude to life and surroundings in general. Nothing to discuss here, we all agree with this. If not, you are already death!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Today its time for a post about my other ‘hobby’
The beginnings of the Southern Alps are a wonder of nature. The mountain rig grows out of the Adriatic Sea and turns quickly in high and very steep hills. This makes the area wild, rough, impenetrable deserted and adventures. In the Second World War a popular hiding place for Partisans, reminded by many memorials. Some Partisan buildings are preserved and open for visitors.
West of Idrija is the Krajinski Park, protected nature of amazing sights, views and wild life. Many clean drinkable water wells. Great for adventures hikes. Challenging for cyclers. In “Bela” you can swim in natural spring water.
To see all this you can join several Nova Sova Vacations hikes:
The Roof Of The World. Nearby Hisa Nova Sova is an amazing viewpoint over the entrance of the Idrija valley. By force of nature huge rocks are piled together. Wind and weather created natural platforms. Standing on the terraces you have the feeling to be ‘on the roof of the world’, as the locals named this spot. This is a short walk you are back at Hisa Nova Sova in approximately 2 hours.
Hlevica Is the name of the most near top to Hisa Nova Sova. With clear weather you have amazing views on the high Alps and Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain. On the top you view the wild nature of Krajinski Park. The climb to Hlevica and back lasts approximately 3 hours and is suitable for all ages and conditions.
Bela. In a valley close to Hisa Nova Sova, two mountain streams flow into one and create a natural swimming pool. After a hike of 1½ hour you can relax here all day enjoying the water, beach and nature. In Bela is a children playground and small bar serving refreshments. Bela is also reachable by car and bikecycle.
Bela Klavse. Separated or combined with a visit to Bela you can hike to the Bela Klavse. One of the 4 dams in the Krajinski Park. Old historic constructions to serve the mine but not operative anymore. The Bela Klavse is in a beautiful rough surrounding. The Bela Valley turns into a narrow canyon with high steep rocks. The hike to Bela Klavse can take a big part of the day, approximately 6 hours before you return from starting point.
Idrijica Waterfall. The beginnings of the Idrijca River are two amazing waterfalls. A long trip over Hlevica and the Cekovnik Valley brings us where the Idrijca is still a small mountain stream. Following the stream we end up at the waterfalls. On this walk we pass many beautiful locations and great views. The hike includes a few difficult moments and walks through water. It will take a day, approximately 8 hours, before you are back at Hisa Nova Sova.
Vojsko is the highest point close to Idrija. A small, self supporting village high on a mountain top. In the 40ties an important hiding place for the partisans. You have amazing views on the Alps from Vojsko. The walk goes over Hlevica and can pass by the Idrijca Waterfalls. It’s a long trip with some difficulties, approximately 8 to 9 hours, including return. Early morning departure is necessary. Vojsko is also reachable by car and trained cyclists.
All hikes are possible in every season. Bad weather conditions might obstruct the reach ability of some locations. Winter hikes can be in snow landscapes.
All hikes include an English/Deutsch/Nederlands speaking tour-guide familiar with all pads in the surrounding. He will lead you to the most amazing views and locations. A great day in nature adjusted to your capabilities.
Well trained or not, with or without children. Before the hike you can discuss with the guide the ‘difficulty’ level. All hikes will start and end from the collecting point Hisa Nova Sova.
More info at: http://novasova.webklik.nl
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Music is an everybody’s subject (read last two days posts first). Its comparable with sports and cars. Everybody knows what is the best car, how to play soccer and what the best band is. With cars everybody also thinks she/he is the best driver. This untruth is generously proven as you can read in many past posts. In the last century the sport/music/car seem to have become most important in human life. Funny, all 3 are no survival necessarities. Must have been the commercial industry successfully brainwashing. Lately a fourth ‘indispensable’ creeps in our life. You are looking at it right now: the pc!
We all love to bark our magnificent unbeatable outstanding knowledge about these 4 subjects at the bar-birthday-party locations. Still this knowledge is mediocre average time wasting nonsense, often influenced by personal taste and behavior of others in direct surroundings (neighbors, parents, colleagues, classmates,…..). Only a few are sensible enough to take the time diving into time, do some research and maybe even experimenting and pioneering moving ahead in time (you don’t belong to those).
With music we all are strongly personal subjective influenced. I almost never met someone who can even talk a little bit objective about music. I was planning to write a list here of good sounding dynamic records recorded late 60ties/early 70ties. Outstanding recordings, technically and musically on a level never reached up till today. Same I wanted to do writing the ‘folk music’ post last week. Decided to keep these lists unpublished. Too many would react subjective, not even realizing what I try to say. Anyway, the industry wants us to discuss the releases. Remember 100% of the records are out there to be sold. The art of music is with the creator, multiplying for money is a commercial activity.
Lets discuss personally if you are interested in some great recordings. Drop me a mail matskilimbabwecom, or talk to me on tours. Schedules published on this site.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
What a nice peaceful morning. Since returning from the Wordsound tour, major construction was done on the road in front of this house. Every morning at 6 / 7 the workings came operating their noisy machines. Drilling, digging, walsing, welding. Yesterday finally the last asphalt layer. The job is done. Got a bit used to these morning ‘birds’, but now also enjoy the usual absolute quietness.
Back to these records (read yesterday first).
Ofcourse through the last 3 decades artists kept on developing and discovering music. Somehow it never had the same intense drive like that late 60/early 70 period. Lots of incidental discoveries of that time got endlessly refined and milked one or two decades later. Worst situation came from the 90ties on. Presenting something ‘new’, ‘innovative’ in popmusic became a forced must. Since that time every musician or label production screaming “this is new”, made a joke of themselves. Remarkable is that the invention of the new technology; digital, did not lead to much new music and sounds so far. Most digital freaks were/are experimenting trying to copy the old music, sound and technology. For the first time in their existence mankind managed to develop backwards with a forwarding technology!
Only a few did and do real pioneering. Do not count yourself as one of those. The innovators are unknown to the most, even by those who follow underground. Mostly they are not found in the pop ‘scene’. That’s another post, we are talking about popmusic here. Tomorrow more.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Music media lost my interest years ago, same all other media. The information I get comes mainly from other people, live and direct. So I do not know if below is discussed in the music media.
Playing recordings created through time of pop-music history I come to the conclusion that best records are made in the late 60ties/early 70ties. This conclusion is subject to many doubts and critics and considered un-discussable. Pop music is connected to generations and taste. Young people don’t want to deal with that ‘old hippy’ shit. They like to rebel, from the ‘left’ or ‘right’. Still I like to give it a try. My best defense in this attempt to be impartial is that when these ‘best’ records appeared, I was too young for them. Didn’t even reach my teenage years, so I am not emotionally related to them.
Technically late 60ties was a period of discovery and growth. New machines where discovered (multi tracks) and existing technology got improved. Technicians started to experiment together with the musicians. The excitement, energy and enthusiasm of these discoveries are recorded for ever into grooves too, besides the music.
Musically the same happened. For the first time pop-music stepped out of the commercial standard happy popsong and became more adult.
Don’t know what came first, but for sure the development of the one, supported the other. The new technology became a part of the music and that stimulated the technicians to experiment more.
This ended up in a good bunch of interesting records. Ofcourse there was a lot of crap those days, and not every musician explored music in an interesting way. Still the amount of weekly releases was to be overseen, so the experiments reached a bigger audience than it does nowadays. Although I am in doubt about the creativity of many pop talents and ‘discoveries’ also in that period. Tomorrow more!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Another overrated communication tool is the power of silence! You may listen to ‘The Sound Of Silence’ and yes ‘Silence Is a Rhythm Too’. Lennon once quoted on one of his album covers “A Conspiracy Of Silence Speaks Louder Than Words”.
Once I read a short story by someone I know pretty well, about how peaceful the communication was to hang with a friend, sitting next to eachother, without conversation. This was described in a positive atmosphere as if the silence spoke similar for both. Hmmm, how do you know? Maybe the other was thinking very differently. His thought could be something negative like “I wish this gringo leaves me alone in peace” or “I would like to fuck this gringo”!
I know the writer pretty well. He is not very good in feeling the vibes of people around him (with all respect). He could be very wrong about the ‘intense silence’ this story was about.
All above ‘wisdom’ about silence might be true. Nice statements consumers like to pick up for using on their birthday parties and bar-talk. But how effective is this in real life situations?
I am a talker and according to others talk a lot or even too much. That’s the same dynamic as silence. At least I say my thoughts, opinions and feelings. This way miscommunication is often avoided if understood right. If the message didn’t come across or wrong received, talk more! Its clearer for the listener and you feel better, relieved, discharged. Ofcourse talking works only if the listener responses in words. Otherwise you fall back into the above situation of ‘misunderstood silence’.
Silence is often very misplaced and misinterpreted.
Believe me; mostly its much better to talk. Break the silence!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Assumedly the explosion of modern clean cheap hotel chains on the European continent, vanished the old worn-out city dumps from the map. Pity, in the UK this didn’t happen (read yesterdays post first).
Besides the ‘alive’ carpet (yesterdays subject) you get into the adventure finding your room after receiving keys. Forget an elevator, its never build in. Old UK hotels have the habit of extending by purchasing bordering buildings, apartments, floors, lofts. Connection is made by drilling a hole in the wall. “Room number 55 is easy to find sir” they guarantee you at the reception. After climbing three stairs, stumbling through 2 narrow corridors, opening 4 firedoors, taking 12 different types of small steps up and down, you reach a dead end realizing you are not even close to room 55. Now comes the task finding the reception again.
Finally in your room, the furniture looks worn-out and the bathroom is a dumb. With cheap wooden strips the bathtub edges are perfectly finished. For sure looked nice new, but after many years of spilling water the (wrong chosen) material is black, rotten and crumbled. Hot water is questionable. Sometimes yes, mostly not. The only positive on these types hotels are the employees (mostly kind and helpful), and the coffee/tea making facilities in the room. Is it not that the water boiler looks more dark-brown from the inside than ‘original’ white. Plus the cups didn’t see a dishwasher for years. The maid quickly cleans them in the bathroom sink.
Once for a gig in London the promoter got us in the Piccadilly Hotel right around the corner of this famous central spot. Great, must be lovely hotel in such an expensive neighborhood. It turned out to be the worst dump of all dumps I ever stayed in. The room was very dirty. The furniture was old-fashioned couch/fauteuil style placed on a soaking carpet. Once this place was ‘high standard’ (probably in 1920) but never cleaned since that time. The only clean materials in the room were the bed sheets. Lucky I was alone in a room with 2 beds. I took the sheets from one bed to cover a chair to be able to sit. I am familiar with very dirty hotels in certain parts of the planet, but this is central London! That modern developed capitalistic world you (not me) are so proud of!
Next week I arrive in London for the start of the PTV3 tour. The Notting Hill Hotel. The name sounds doubtful. I keep you informed.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Next week my next trip starts. PTV3 again. Take of in London. For me the UK is (in) famous for the crappy hotels. Lately in this bizznix nibbling of budgets has become a must to make the event possible. First cuts are on the non-show activities. Hotels f.e. Not such a big problem for me. It’s a working situation. The stay is short, only one or two nights. Most of that time you are not in the room. Its not a vacation or honeymoon. Sufficient for me is a clean room and working shower. On the continent in Europe no problem. An explosion of cheap hotel chains took care of that in the last decade. Basic rooms, efficient, clean and everything works. Also not suitable for pleasure stays, since mostly situated in suburban, industrial neighborhoods. In the UK these chains don’t seem to settle well. Ofcourse there are a few, but averagely still a bit expensive for many budgets. Often you sleep in the more cheaper accommodations. B & B orientated. The UK has many nice B & B places mostly in the country side or smaller cities. Bad luck for me is that gigs happen in bigger cities where you can end up in horrible dumps. Online every offered place looks very attractive and clean. Prepare for disappointment at arrival. It starts with the entrance. An old cupboard squeezed between two doorposts is the front desk. Overloaded with tourists attraction folders you still have a glance into the living room of the owner. Romantic, yes, if the floor of the hallway would not be carpeted. Waiting for the key, your feed soak into a thick slimy sticky substance that once used to be a carpet. Probably last cleaned more than 10 years ago. What is this anyway in the UK with carpeting public locations? Its such an in-efficient material. Attracts dust, dirt, bugs and diseases. Very difficult to clean, by personal experience. Whats the problem turning into more modern material? Many cheap choices of wood based floors are offered nowadays. Much more efficient to maintain and clean, plus it lasts longer and is so much more attractive for your customer. Tradition you say? Fuck it you Brits, get over that tradition. Life means moving ahead. I like to stay healthy on a trip and don’t like to leave hotels with rabies due to ‘tradition’. Plus fix up your ancient shower and heating systems, goddamned! Tomorrow more.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Don’t know if I repeating myself now. Could be I posted about following subject before. Don’t remember! Its also tooo much work going back into the chaos of many years posting. Anyway, why organize them by subjects. Be surprise by my daily mood swings.
The CD, what a horrible invention. The subject has been milked for decades (two). The jewel boxes are rubbish, the middle-pins holding the cd break, impersonal package, booklet hard to get out, and so on. Attempts have been made to make it a bit more acceptable (digipack).
I was there when the cd came. My first encounter was in the 70ties (yes yes…..). Must have been 77 or 78. Philips research was developing the system. Somebody down the road worked at Philips and was the ‘home-user-test-object’. He got a cd player (a big machine, reel-to-reel tape recorder size) in his living room and a few silver/gold shining round discs ofcourse loaded with classical music. We all gathered to admire (and listen to) this great new wonder of technology. Few years later, 1982, the cd became available for everyone in The Netherlands where I lived that time. The rest of the world got it a year later.
Working as a young sound technician the cd attracted my curiosity. Another technician of the team we worked with in a club came with some cd’s. Ofcourse it had to stand the test that the cd “will always work; grease, scratches, stains or whatever has no influence on the sound or playing capacity” according to the inventor Philips. I took a cd out of the jewel box and threw it like a frisbee to the other side of the venue. The disc nicely slide over the stone floor. See if it still wants to play now. It did! Personally I wasn’t impressed by the sound. Too cold for me. I stayed a vinyl freak till today.
Had many comments from colleagues and friends through time. Especially in the late 80tie/early 90ties it looked like the cd was definitely taking over. Lucky me the trusty warm reliable black grooved oildisc had its return during the cold techno days. As I moved to the ‘hinterland’, behind the mountains, I had to go through all the shite about my enormous weight of vinyl again. Oh, well, here comes everything 10 years later. Since one year records regained popularity in these surroundings.
Through time the cd appeared not so solid as presented. Scratches and dirt can make holes in the surface. The protection layer wears out and damages the cd to unusable garbage.
Now the cd is disappearing. Philips/Sony must have known already in the 70ties that their invention would only last a few decades. It explains the long time extreme high price and absolute refusal of the bizznix to go cheaper. In 2009 the cd is a worthless object. You can get a free digital download from the web, why bother wasting money.
And hahahahahahaha to those who insulted me the last 20 years for sticking to vinyl! It survived. In 2009 the vinyl presses work harder than they ever did in last 20 years! You fools, I was right (again), you owe me an apology!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
A post, a post, I have to write another post today.
It was one of those days. Working on the upcoming PTV3 tour. Mainly pre-production from my desk. It wears me out staring a complete day behind the screen. More tired than cycling uphill for 10 hours. Most annoying is chasing the few you never get any reaction of. Whats the problem passing me some info? I like to have my things in order before I leave. Lesser stress on the road. The work contains already 7 jobs; FOH engineer, Tourmanager, Stage technician, Driver, Manager, Agent, Pre-production. Give me a break, be cooperative, supportive with simply forwarding me information I ask for within a reasonable time of a couple days. It wears me out chasing people. Its so simple, just pass me on your:
Expected arrival time?
This simple information seems to be very extreme over the top difficult for some promoters to pass-on to me, even two weeks before the show happens. I am sure that these 4 questions are all set and arranged by now. Yes you are very very busy, like we all are. But I do not believe you don’t even have 20 seconds to drop me this info in a mail!!! (Did I write a similar post last year before the Wordsound tour?)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Its not really a video but I had to make something supporting one song of the release Jan ‘Relaxing’.
This is not a Limbabwe release, no catalogue number. Jan is a member of The System. ‘Relaxing’ is his first home-taping solo project. The recording contains 10 tracks.
Jan burned a few cdr’s for friends and family. The rest of the world can download these recordings for free from this Limbabwe site. Go to Music/Video/Downloads page 2 and 3 or click here: http://limbabwe.com/e107_plugins/autogallery/autogallery.php?show=Music&start=20
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
From heat back to beat.
One of those ‘beat steady’ admired drummers I worked with was Style Scot. He was (is?) the drummer of Dub Syndicate. A dub-reggae band in the 90ties. Born in Adrian Sherwood’s ‘On U Sound’ club. few nice recordings came from there, but that’s another post. Probably most of ‘On U’ is forgotten by now. Let it be, all things must (and will) past.
Toured with Dub Syndicate. Sherwood supposed to be the engineer, but he wasn’t always there (and is not an engineer either, but that’s another post). Scot is a boring drummer. He is absolute not creative. Barely improvisations, always the same beat/pattern no drive, no emotion, no dynamics. Its an always steady beat. Steady he is, I must say that, as steady as a drumcomputer. So whats the big deal! Music is not machinery, its soul/drive/dynamics/fluctuations/swerving. Perfectionism is in chaos. Besides being too steady limited drummer, Style Scot is a very disturbed person. Had some fall-outs on tour with him.
I remember a gig in Athens, Greece we did together with Jah Wobble. Sold out show, 2000 people. Dub Syndicate for the first time in Greece. The promoter was from the UK. Arriving in Athens, Scot realized who the promoter is and decided not to like him. For that reason he played on purpose a bad show, forcing the band to perform weak. What a stupid move. You don’t play for a promoter, but for an audience. These 2000 people don’t know who the organizer is. Your reputation is definite damaged. Not my way of doing things. I felt personally very insulted. I know, a job is a job, you get paid. For me, what I do in life is more than money. I don’t like going through the whole stress of a fly-in to Athens being a part of an on purpose non-functioning show. Rather stay at home without money and having some fun enjoying life! Style Scot is an old disgruntled negative fool. Better go on tour with a drumcomputer.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Ok, enough about these beats. Beat the beat!…………….Heat.
Yep winter arrived without autumn. Summer went straight into the winter. Since heating is not completely done in this house yet, I have the opportunity testing several heat sources; electric, oil-central heating, wood fire place.
Electric works, uses lots of energy though. The heat from electric sources spreads badly, ‘directional heat’. Switch the heater of, its immediately cold. Good for the ‘inbetween’ days, not cold enough for other heat sources, but too chilly without.
Oil-central heating. Heats up the complete house. Pretty good heat source and works reasonable quick. Alone in the house a big waste of energy heating up sections that I do not use, plus oil is polluting and expensive. Price and availability depends too much on political moods. Not the best source of choice.
Out of experience the best heat is simply an old fashioned wood fire. Even if located in one spot, the heat spreads very smooth and nice. After the fire is out, the burner stays hot for a long time. Wood is cheap (here) and non-polluting. Stop wining about poor trees. This is a tree country, forest grows naturally. You take what you need. Humans are a part of the environment too! Disadvantage is starting the fire. This needs a little bit time and skills. Comes after practice. It takes some time (half an hour) of burning until the heat source becomes effective. Wood requires also some work in storing and chopping, but personally I consider this as exercise and fun.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Too much hangover for posting, tomorrow more.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Ofcourse, for the smart-asses among us, all music has a rhythm! But not all music has a beat! I clearly make a difference here. The word ‘beat’ to impose ‘rhythm’ came later and is obvious an expression of the last 50 years when popmusic started to develop. For me ‘beat’ is a repeating pattern of rhythm captured in a structure that stays the same, maybe interrupted by a ‘break’ or slow-down/speed-up within the same pattern. Most pop musicians need the steady beat that stays in a pattern otherwise they are not capable to play. The rhythm becomes (is) an essential part of the music. Without it no song!
In lots of folk music this works the other way around. First there is the song, the melody. Most folk musicians play this song immediately! They don’t sort out a beat. If there is a rhythm instrument while performing, it doesn’t form an independent fundament, but follows the melody. This creates flowing rhythms that are not steady. For the smaller West musical-minds interesting to study and analyze, trying to copy. These fools never got it. To understand whats going on you have to give up your Western-brainwashed-mind and simply pick up a drum and play following the melody. That’s what the folk drummers do. They don’t have a pattern. The rhythm is different each time the same song is performed because at each performance the melody player/singer put accents different. It’s a fluctuating dynamic. That’s why folk music is so much more emotional and dynamic than any boring pop you can think of.
Ofcourse often in folk you hear rhythm instruments, f.e. drones in many Asian styles, or tubas in Balkan Gypsy Brass.
Horrible are popmusicians who put great folk tunes on a dumb beat pattern. It’s showing massive lack of creativity. Music for money. Some made good cash with that and even became pretty famous. Shantell from Germany for example, or the Balkan Beats from NY. Even more closer, Atomic Harmonic! If you hate music, get shit like this. For sure these producers loves money, not music!
Friday, October 16, 2009
‘And The Beat Goes On’….. Probably the only true line in all pop songs ever. We all know that popmusic lyrics are not to be taken serious. Even the more political or lifestyle burps of an average rapper or singer is bullshite. All that wining about misery in life or freedom. Especially ‘freedom’ is a beloved subject. Why not, it sells well. The potential audience for popmusic is under 25 (although nowadays all generations seem to be attracted). If you are young older people seemed to be so trapped in their daily routine that the scream for freedom becomes necessary. The rebellious feeling that you resist and fight for a ‘good’ cause works even more positive. Good bizznix men are aware of this and create the soundtrack to the young ones rebel years. Freedom sells!
Be aware rebellious youngsters that after a decade you are as much trapped in your favorite system like the older are now. You don’t need to. Few older people created a real free life for themselves. You are too young knowing them, because these older people don’t want to be framed by rebellious rules of youth. So release yourself, throw the beat and your drum machine out of the window. Get into a free flow of non restricted sounds and create,…..create…………….for the sake of freedom!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Maybe artists in the West don’t want to express emotional, free from limits (read yesterday first). The beat they rely on is restricting. Expressing within a frame. This sounds so contradictive. The West with all its screaming about ‘freedom’ is most tied to the ‘cultural’ rules of its own limitation. Yes, freedom is not only being oppressed by your government, laws, countries or local police. Claiming and insisting cultural roots is limiting your mind and creative space too. Its funny to see that even the ‘free’ claim rules. Think that most people find comfort if they can hold on to something they are sure of. You are always sure of a rule, law, past event, cultural heritage a.s.o. That’s why we develop so slowly. Humans did not change in last 3000 years.
So we create these same boring beats all this time just to feel comfortable (and because its easy). You should take an effort listening to other music than the popular west-shite. Besides trying some jazz, the most interesting melodies and sounds are in traditional and folk music. Lots are prejudice towards ‘folk’ music. The word has a negative sound for many. Boring old grannies or school-nerds playing harmonica in ‘lederhosen’. I surprise visitors for years playing all kind of folk music from over the world. These are the most copied cd’s in my selection, mainly by young people who hear the music for the first time. Logic, the folk music I play has so much more drive, is so much more heavier, is so much more intense, is so much more faster, is so much more experimental, is so much more creative, is so much more dynamic……than any pop style of music you can think of. Again, the word ‘pop’ includes for me all ‘popular’ styles: rock, rap, gothic, metal, techno…… . Also the folk-pop is a joke. The Pogues, Gogol Bordello, and many others are cheap pop. A popular simplification of some good music. For the real music you have to look a bit further than your regular media. If you do not, join the meaningless entertainment of the masses. Nothing wrong with that, but you entertain yourself with loads lesser creative music as it pretends to be.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Rhythm is a basic people in the west part of the world seem to rely on strongly. Especially the rhythm of the beat. Often is spoken with admiration about a tight drummer ‘as tight as a drum-computer’. In the younger days I could relate to this also, now I think a steady beat is boring.
Spending much time on the Balkan I start to realize how totally unimportant a beat is. The beat says nothing, its just a basic where (too) many West musicians lean and depend on. On the end it’s the melody, vocal or improvisation that gives the music ‘drive’.
Especially nowadays modern technology and use of drum-machines make beats boring, everybody can do it, expression. Beside its easy to create and the educational part (copy the older) I often wonder what it is in the West part of the world why they insist so much on the steady beat in music. Many other cultures seem to have more swerving rhythms that makes the music very expressive. Have people in Europe/North America nothing to express about or is it a latent-fascism that spooks in all our sub-consciousness?
Monday, October 12, 2009
Damned, its already October 12 and I have still so much to do. Who introduced the idea ‘time’ added insufficient amount of hours within the day.
Many of us inherited deformations after a major surgery. Mostly minor ones, not visual or noticeable for others. Surgeries are often complicated. Doctors can not assure a 100% perfect success. You learn to live with the damage.
Had a major eye surgery two years ago. Couple of weeks after, waking up, 5 perfect round little circular bells appeared floating in my left eye. What the hell is this? Got up, they disappeared, slowly sinking to eye-bottom, out of sight. Testing: I backed my head and bells floated back. Funny, I could direct them moving my head. Lucky during the day they stay down, so no bother. Not even aware of their presence.
A bit worried I went to the doctor. No problem here he said. This can happen after such complicated surgery. These circles appeared due to an eye pressure at a certain time. They can go after a while or stay forever. Woke up this morning staring at 5 perfect little circular bells like I wake up every morning in the last 2 years. 5 moons hanging in the sky. A little miracle nobody can see or enjoy than just me. Probably stays with me all my life.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Too find a ‘goal’ in life is important for most of the people. Something you like to do and think you’re good at. Some persons learn a skill and claim to be the specialist.
Lately I encountered two people calling themselves ‘specialists’ within the food bizznix. Cooks! One made a career as cook within a religious movement, the other one even wrote a cookbook. Both are successful in their little career gaining some attention. Both where at my house cooking. You guest it, the food was not very good. Tastes are different with everybody, that’s not what I am talking about. Creating a good meal is a different story. There is more to it than just adding some spices. Food has to be cut the right way. Heated the right way. You have to use the right pots and pans. The right combinations. There are no real rules. It depends what you make and bake. With it comes the ‘feel’ combined with some knowledge to prepare food right.
Up till today I do not consider myself as a cook. Others tell me I can cook. Might be, I cook over 30 years by myself with the right energy; I like to cook! See myself as ‘hobbyist’. Although I do think that my average cooking is way better than what the 2 recent ‘professional’ visitors presented me. Ofcourse its always more difficult cooking in another kitchen. Pans are different, gas is different, oven is different. How fast something heats up is very important for cooking. Still with the self-teach skills I do manage a decent meal in a strange kitchen.
Guess that ‘pop’ exits in all bizznixes. What it takes to be a “good” cook is the presentation, a big mouth, some narcistic attitude and knowing the right people (same as it takes to be a “good” pop-musician). I have no ambitions here. Just like to cook my own nice food. Hang with the local cooking club is sufficient. Career making, proving towards others that you are something (something more?) is in our deep souls. Convincing me needs real skills not tricks. I am familiar with ‘pop’ constructions.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Water runs again, I am drinking coffee. Ofcourse disasters never come single. Now my fridge died. Gotto hunt another one today. Living alone the use of a fridge is maybe a bit more than just luxury. But just a tiny little bit! People survive loads longer before the fridge invention.
Back for 5 days now and I didn’t even leave the house! Flu keeps me inside. I need some exercise. Cycling, hiking, enjoying nature.
Wordsound tour was a nice trip. As usual, not many memories while at home. You had to be there, you missed it. Next trip is PTV3, see dates above. Hop in, say hello. Till tomorrow.
Friday, October 09, 2009
If I had Water (read yesterday’s post)
If I had water
I could make tee or even coffee
To stimulate my thoughts
What to do
If I had water
If I had water
My plants can grow and show
If I had water
If I had water
I can wipe and brush
My house clean
If I had water
If I had water
I can shave and shower
Wellness and care
If I had water
If I had water
I can laundry my clothes
If I had water
If I had water
I can brush my teeth
For what is left
Lower dentist bills
If I had water
If I had water
I can satisfy my thirst
Drops printed glass
If I had water
If I had water
I would hose the Kommunale
Away from my doorstep
Peace in the street
Therefore they have to connect my water
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Back from tour and back in the blog. It was difficult updating the blog this trip. Besides the usual travel complications, slight health problems claimed some energy keeping me from other regular actions. At the moment I am at home recovering. Never had flu so often as in this year. My health and condition is good. Must be nature attempting to decrease human-kind.
Ofcourse coming back local authorities decided to fix up the road surface in front of my house. No prob here, it desperately needed some maintenance. On the negative, I was a whole day without water. Assumedly some notable decided that if the local workmen start digging, the water must be turned of. A wise decision after many times hitting the underground water-pipe in similar constructions. Annoying for me busy with piles of laundry from tour and house-guests. Still a mystery to me how it is possible to be cut-of from water in an area with thousands of natural spring wells. An endless supply. The idea creating a complete self supplying house (water/electricity/gas) is settling in my head.
From now on more regular posting + some extra’s in near future on this side. Till tomorrow.
Friday, october 2, 2009.
Ok, I am lazy. Didn’t even come to posting. Lack of time, network and too tired. Catch up with all this next week. Tonight Berlin, last show of the Wordsound trip.
Check back next week for new posts/video and more music.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Seconds, minutes, hours, days….. dissolves quick. As usual on the road not much time for the promised tourdiary. This morning I am the first awake at Moritz house in Stuttgard. Just did a smashing gig at the Wagons, an art community in old abandonned train wagons. 5 times more people than last year when we gigged here. Fun place to be. If you where not there you missed it.
Today back to the crib. 5 days of. gives me some more time to entertain you with posts.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Yes, the tour is on. Did briliant shows in Den Haag and Amsterdam. Today Tilburg. Its afternoon and we are allready here. Checked into the hotel. Going to the venue later.
Will try to post as much as possible, but can’t promise a new one every day. Come to the shows. See the schedule above.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Allright. Tourstart tomorrow. See the dates above. Come and say hello, check the artists and so on……
Keep you going, next post will be this upcomming weekend
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Sorry for not posting for 5 days. I already left home to make preparations for the upcoming tour. Online activities always become lesser obvious travelling.Hear about rising hate against emigrants and others in The Netherlands, where I am at the moment. All those ‘racist’ people do not know what they miss. A multi-cultural society has also many advances. I do shopping in a Turkey’s grocery store. The amount of exotic products they offer is amazing. Its great to be in a territory where the choice is so international and diverse in cultures.
The multicultural society is basically the only good thing The Netherlands has to offer. For the rest it is a boring, designed, unnatural, cold, conservative spot. Therefore I will only spend a short time here (max 2 weeks), to move on and end up on one of my favorite spots down south.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Last day of August. Tomorrow its September. In human counting the end of the vacation time. Best month around here. Everybody is gone, the weather still fine.
Pity I have to leave too. Got some things to arrange up north. Than the tours will start. See dates above and come to check it all out. Will try to keep you here updated.
Strange how friends can work so different on you (what a subject change). I put myself open to most people and let them be what they are. It is obvious that between me and some others it simply doesn’t match. There is no ‘click’. With some of those people you have contact for years. Each time you wonder why. Is it me, or the other? I am just myself. The other probably too. I try to understand the other. The other in reverse probably tries to understand me. Conclusion: no match is found! No hard feelings (neither soft). Life goes on. Splitting up is the best solution.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Why I wrote yesterdays post? Got carried away a bit from the subject. Will visit someone this week who lives in a ‘hood’ called ‘Knikkerdorp’ (marble village). We called the rehearsal shed also ‘Knikkerdorp’. No reason for it, someone came up with the name. The ‘original’ Knikkerdorp is a few streets on a state-road down south. Loads of green, one bar, few farmhouses and camping site. No reason to go there. Keep going south for thousands of miles. The Netherlands is an overpopulated stress country. Best to pass.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
My first band was ofcourse punkrock. Boring, pre-fab kiddy music nowadays. Then the first new movement after hippy shite. Yep, I am from the very first original punkrock generation and can say to every generation after us (from 1979 on) that they didn’t get it. Ofcourse every generation understands their teenage rebel years, but we couldn’t buy pre made punk rock in the store. Records were not available, fashion not there, music not on the radio. It was a world-wide understanding of a bunch western kids that we were bored of these idiot bands playing 88 keyboards, triple neck guitars, 5 kickdrums and 24 cymbals while their music only got worst. Time to get back to the roots. Chuck Berry played often one chord on a cheap amp.
Yes punk was for sure a music thing. The rest (politics/fashion/bizznix) came later. Mainly with after-generations who did/do what punk originally was against.
Punk died in 1978!
But first it was us, the bunch of friends I was hanging with. We had this shed behind a house. Neighbors where close, but hey, it was in The Netherlands, with that overpopulation no space! On crappy amps, shitty guitars we jammed some Neil Young songs (Crazy Horse style). Quickly we got bored and the songs turned into short 2 or 3 chords wild rock tunes with titles as ‘I hate school’, ‘John is an ashole’, a.s.o. Crawling out of our moisty beer-dump, we figured that others had the same idea. Mutual understanding. Back to Basic. Lets Rock. Fuck these boring hippies!
A local Grateful Death hippy fan (blaaaaaeugg) owned the town record store. Besides usual rubbish he never got wilder than Lou Reeds ‘Rock and Roll Animal’. A cheap Italian bootleg import version. Still remember me standing at the counter demanding the first Ramones LP, just released. Fuck it, that was more than 30 years ago. Life moves on. Tell me your story!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Sorry, technical problems on the site prevented me from posting last days.
Time for memories again. The Wordsound tour kicks of in Paard van Troje, Den Haag, The Netherlands. I performed in ‘Het Paard’, 28 years ago, in 1981 with Metal Tanz. Some pictures of the gig are on this site. Go to image gallery or click here: http://limbabwe.com/e107_plugins/autogallery/autogallery.php?show=Metal%20Tanz From the inside the place changed totally. Only the outside walls remind of the old days. I remember the side entrance around the corner of de Prinsengracht. A dark green door. Entering a small hallway. On the right the dressing rooms, to the left a few steps up to the stage. A cozy place with a caretaking housemanager who always worried of not being in time on stage. Although the place looked shaggy, the crew acted as if they operated the Wembly Arena. With intercoms they communicated busy and stressed. Everything had to run perfectly in time. 5 minutes before showtime artists had to line-up in front of these stage steps. Nerves increasing before the performance.
Its all gone, also the big black speakers. Like guards watching the stage. Decorating view for visitors.
Now ‘het Paard’ turned into one of these modern Dutch rocktemples. Lots of grey concrete and steel. Even more accurate organization. No feel nor drive. The Netherlands did it again. They regulated popmusic to an industrial soap product. Fits perfect in this total design country. Sometimes I feel so sorry they never got it, the coincident, the unexpected, the energy, fate and so much more that gives meaning to life! In The Netherlands they prefer not to. Lucky me moved.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Yep, its true (read yesterdays mail). The stress competition in music bizznix is over for me. You all can sort it out. I do not withdraw, this bulshite will no longer be my main activity. From now on I will support the Free Music philosophy. Free yourself from the pressure of a music career. Will book incidentally for a friend. Show up somewhere for a gig. Keep on working this site and The System too. Check out The System page on this site http://limbabwe.com/page.php?13 . Some changes are made. And listen/download the songs http://limbabwe.com/e107_plugins/autogallery/autogallery.php?show=Music&start=20 If you want to download just click on ‘Launch in external player’. The music player in your computer will open the track. Use your own options to load.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
A mail I wrote today:
Nice to hear from you. Good news. So far I did not find a gig for you this year. It probably ends up with only the London one. I am very busy with my vacation house what is going to become my main activity for the upcoming years. The complete music bizznix will be second. The only actual 2 bands I work with that do get gigs sometimes are good for tremendous work what barely pays of to keep them on the road. Both informed me that heir interest for moving on in a regular way is no longer their interest. Both feel for ‘quitting’ and only appear on occasion when the money is good. Wise decision on a point the world economy and music bizznix is collapsing. It is very intense work in a situation where it becomes more and more common for promoters to simply cancel shows they confirmed earlier, in the last minute. Feel I am wasting my time. Its boring sitting behind this screen organizing. Something I never wanted to do. Enjoyed it all much more being on the road as technician and TM. For that I prefer supporting Adam (Consolidated) for his Free Music campaign. Fuck the industry (see : http://consolidatedmusic.org ) .
The bands I represent (not that many) are of the type ‘hard to convince organizers, who are too lame sticking their neck out for something different’. Maybe its an age thing losing contact with the base. Don’t believe so. I see in the bizznix that artist come and go in no time. Not many do something constructive, longer lasting, anymore. Even the new ones who are so called ‘serious’. Maybe it was always like this but me too much involved to see. Sure the ‘underground scene’ (whatever that is), had a lift-up in the last years. That is great, but nothing to survive on. A nice hobby (my second plan) where my own musical hobby with The System will fit in.
Although looking like it, this is not a depressive mail. I feel great, better since a long time. Its good taking decisions in your live that create changes. Especially if the activity doing before (music bizznix) becomes a weight on my shoulder. I will stay active in this bizznix, but let other things go first and will not let anything stress me anymore. Meanwhile we should stay in contact. Maybe something comes in. What/how is your solo music? Can you perform? Anyway, I kindly invite you to perform on my next year barbeque on June 5, 2010. I cannot promise you a fee, but a good party with vegan que-food, a stay at the holiday-house, and maybe a contribution to expenses.
Friday, August 21, 2009
WORDSOUND AND PTV3 GIGS.
WORDSOUND. FEATURING SPECTRE/SENSATIONAL/MENTAL NOMAD
Thu 10 The Netherlands, Den Haag, Paard van Troje
Fri 11 Amsterdam, Paradiso, Night Of The Unexpected
Mon 14 Netherlands, Tilburg, Incubate festival
Wed 16 Germany, Gottingen, Blue Note
Thu 17 Germany, Hamburg, Hafenklang
Sat 19 Germany, Stuttgart, Waggons Nordbahnhof
Fri 25 Slovenia, Ljubljana, KinoSiska
Sun 27 Budapest, Trafo Bar
Mo 28 Austria, Vienna, Ritz
Tue 29 Austria, Linz, Posthof
Fri 2 Germany, Berlin, Josef at club Maria
PTV3 (Psychic TV)
September Friday 25, Souterain Porte V festival, Nancy, France
November Tuesday 3, UK London, Tabernacle November
Thursday 5, France, Colmar, Grillen
November Friday 6, Germany, Berlin, Festsaal Kreuzberg
November Saturday 7, Poland, Wroclaw, Industrial Festival
November Tuesday 10, Germany, Halle, Tanzbar Palette
November Thursday 12, Moscow, Russia, Ikra Club
Come to these great shows and don’t forget to say hi. I will be with!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Its not far from this house. You follow the asphalt road direction Cekovnik up the hill. Follow for a mile or two until a sharper bend to the right. On your left hand in this bend starts a two-track dirt road. Drive this for a short bit until an open spot you can easely turn or park the car. The dirt pad turns left here. From here you walk into the woods. Go opposite the ‘Jesus’ cross you see a few feet up on a rock. In the beginning it doesn’t look like it, but there is a kind track/path following the edge of the hill, covered with rocks and trees. Be a bit careful here. To me it looks like loose piles of massive rocks, thrown down by fate of nature ages ago, hold together by vegetation and time. Watch out for the unexpected deep holes, snakes, spiders and ticks. After a bit you end up on a spot where rocks stick out the hill like platforms. Natural built perfect flat terraces. From here you have a view over the main road from Ljubljana just before the village starts. You overlook the bend of the river and road crossing with turn to Bela. The locals call it “the Roof of the World”.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009. Because of big succes this post is extended for one more day:
Monday, August 17, 2009 / August 18 (One more time)
The ‘fina malta’ for fixing up the walls eats my hands and legs. What is the desperate need to make things straight? Nothing in this world is straight nor metric. Homo sapiens had a weird twist somewhere in its evolution. Fuck the meter, level lines, time schedules.
Concrete crumbles, cement turns into sand, mushrooms on fundaments, doors rot!
I throw this house from the roof of the world! Stones, wood and steel rolling down the hill. Loud bangs and clangs echoing in the valley. Dust clouds covering view for some moments slowly dissolve. Sound is fading. Sunlight rushes through the re-gained space. Finally peace! Peace in the valley, peace in my mind! A rubbish heap witnesses the event for ages. The river pushed a bit further out of its bend. Rusty steel mixed with young trees.
Turning of the main road, cycling around the bend to Bela, I have a nice view on this little man-caused adjustment to nature. Fills me with satisfaction. Where in our existence got the idea added we have to stick to one spot?
Sunday, August 16, 2009
On the moment of total collapse walls will crumble, pieces of bricks, cement and plaster roll down the hill. The fundaments, only 5 feet thick, got tired and couldn’t carry the weight no longer. It has no sense to have a building. Better to stay mobile. Build a wooden shed to store away your things and let life be a travelling path.
Not much time for posting this weekend. Again too busy. That’s not a good sign. The work isn’t worth the stress.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Am I wining a lot lately? Good! The pressure in my work is over the top, I have the right to do so. My posting suppose to be about the now and past of my music days. At the moment this brain section is blank. Probably all will come back being on the road again.
Coming up soon; dates from Wordsound (Spectre/Sensational/Mental Nomad) and PTV3 here on this site. That’s it for today, keep checking.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The easiness promoters nowadays simply cancel shows. They make a joke of themselves. Reacting positive on gig requests. Negotiated for a while and than suddenly cancel without reason. No major change within the offer. What is the problem simply informing me that the gig cannot get confirmed until internal is discussed and agreed? Many show organizers just hold me on a string. Cannot confirm the show, but don’t want to loose it either. A fucked up situation I understand if they would simply be honest and tell me this without throwing out expectations.
The bizznix is sick. Humanity lost it. All you idiots running around thinking you ‘do it’, ‘make it’, ‘are it’. I tell you; you don’t make are nothing. Maybe some money you desperately need paying doctors bills on older age after stressing your body for many years. How many of you do actually life?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Its for sure vacation time I would think not getting any replies on my mails from people who did positively responded on Wordsound and PTV3 gigs. Via other routes I hear other reasons. Simply not interested anymore (so no short message like ‘sorry, no longer interested’) or simply claim they never got my mails! uhhh? Hey, you responded earlier! Bad excuse. Non of the mails returned. They might end up in the spambox, but every one serious checks that once a while. Its fucked up. So much work. The computer only increased work. In the good old analogue times you had a travel agent book hotels/flights a.s.o. Ok, if you did it yourself a fax or phonecall was sufficient for booking and confirmation. Nowadays you surf the sites, search for the best deals. Book online, check these bookings because you never know. Often things go wrong. This all takes tooooo much time. Once booking a hotel in London took me 4 hours!! On the end all this doesn’t pay of. Internet, computers its misery.
Don’t even start about the renovation of this house. My hands bleed. People please come on vacation to Idrija and book this with me. Come on hikes and bikes. We will have a great time, lots of fun and I show you the best spots in the surroundings of Idrija. Clean water, clear snow, great sunshine and amazing views. Save me from the misery jobs I do and let us have fun!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The thunderstorm protects me.
Money attacks me/ This house attacks me/ Systems attack me/
Society attacks me/People attack me/ Colleagues attack me/
My friends attack me.
I can do without those and find peace in protection.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Quickly a short post today. Though I am taking a day-of time is vanishing being busy with all kind of things. With some locals we formed a ‘cooking club’. On turn we meet at eachothers house (kitchen) and cook together learning eachother tricks and interpretations. Unexpectedly it became me showing the others how I cook. Not strange, I have the ‘extreme diet’. Vegan and allergic to mushrooms. In these surroundings most people are not very familiar with the ‘world kitchen’. Traditional cooking (meat/cooked veggies and potatoes) is still common. Some influences from the Italian and Greek kitchen is the wildest you can get. I grew up in a country that is world famous for its ancient food and spice trade (and stealing). Cultural exchanges with far away overseas colonies had major influence into the Dutch kitchen. Today its my turn again. In half an hour they will be here. Will show them how to make falafel.
Take a day of from the construction on the house and my music-tour work. Both are stressful and not very supportive to a healthy life. More about all that in upcoming posts.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
My days are filled up with several activities. The main are cooking, cycling, hiking, rebuilding (the house) and working on (music) tours. The latter takes most stress. Jesus what a chaos the world became. You ‘talk’ with someone in mails about a certain set up, the answers are complete the other direction. I know everybody out there tries to be the fast ‘I am doing it’ yuppie. Glancing with their eyes quickly (“ooooh what am I fast, aint I good!”), over the letters not registering the message. Result: I get a reply that hit no-sense, have to return a mail picking up the same issue again. We didn’t get any further in the last 2 days. So dear career making, fast hip cool big bizznix girl/boy listen here to young ‘grandpa’, the only Avantgardenistic truth teller in the world. “If you believe time is money, take your time reading mails. Take your time with every thing you do. Do it slow and easy! This way you gain time and don’t waste my time!” Tanx!
So I can sit on the balcony with a glass of wine, Coltrane low in the background. A concrete mixer turning softly in the distance to add an industrial effect, birds singing, a deer grazing on the sloop of a far away hill. Take some off this life that is good!
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Now FREE DOWNLOAD online the complete cassette release Limb 46; THE SYSTEM – THE WHEEL . Go to the Music/Video/Downloads link page two or click here http://limbabwe.com/e107_plugins/autogallery/autogallery.php?show=Music&start=20 . After the video’s you find all tracks from the tape. Track 10 ‘The Door’ is for the first time presented in its full uncut length. You can download the music by clicking on ‘Launch in external player’, written under each track. This will open the player in your computer and gives the option to download. Don’t want to talk about it too much, listen and download. Do not judge by one track. Each song is different. Find the track you like the most or take them all!
Friday, August 07, 2009
Not much time today. Tomorrow my next post!
Thursday, August 06, 2009
After all that technical talk about sound, its time for attention on playing music. Lets start with a picture of me on stage. Don’t I look good? Ofcourse you do not hear the music, but since when is music-bizznix about music? Its all about the look!
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Read the last days first. Sound on stage and in venue changes at gig start. The crowd, thick air, atmosphere, drinks and food make the complete sound different. Mostly I quickly adjust minimum on main eq and channels. Vocals and drums get first attention. In pop (rock/rap or whatever…..) it’s the most important for the audience. All other I adjust as it comes.
How do I get a dynamic sound? I let the pa and room acoustics do the job. Use the frequencies and possibilities that are offered. With exception of guitar (I like the desk channel compression) or traditional organ, I never gain up to 0db, but do send out on 0db. Keep space (headroom) in the pa. Do not push the master faders. Meanwhile do not try to kill natural room frequencies, but add them to your sound. Use what the circumstance offers. Do not use fx (reverb/delay) unless the band requires this.
As you read, the less you do, the better the sound. Ofcourse all I write looks easy on paper. It takes years of experience to learn how to deal with sound circumstances. Many posts ago I wrote that my luck was to be the FOH soundtechnician for Test Dept in the 80ties. They performed on impossible locations with impossible instrument combinations (almost impossible).
Sometimes circumstances force me to do extremities. Gain a lot, double vocals to make them hear, chaotic fader settings (not 0db sends). Its all possible. On the end the goal is to transfer what happens on stage to the audience. The FOH is just the mailman. PA stands for Public Address.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Read August 2 and 3 first. Out of experience I learned that 90% of the performance is going to be good if the band feels comfortable on stage. Paying attention to the stage-sound has high priority above the FOH. If the stage is good, the FOH can almost not go wrong. Its still a miracle to me that up to day 50% of the venues I end up in, the experience guy is responsible for FOH, the newbie for the stage. This should be turned around. Makes a lot better gig. If I notice the band is shaky during soundcheck, I walk on stage to listen sometimes interfering the monitor engineer adjusting.
Tips for monitors: Place the speakers in sight of the performer. Seeing them makes it hear better (psychological). Leave some room in your gain and volume. Returning for the actual performance their hearing changed because of food/drinks/…. Half way you probably have to add. Don’t be careful taking out problems at the send eq. Forget the ‘nice curve’. If a frequency feeds back, drop it for 100%. It’s a live show, not studio recording! If during soundcheck the artist asks for something in the monitor, turn it in ‘royal’. Do not be shy. The performer hears it immediately too loud, psychological knows its there, so will never ask for more, even if you turn it back a bit. Tomorrow more.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Read yesterday first. In mics I am easy. I leave the choice to the local pa crew with the exception of kick. I prefer an old D12. Most I end up with a 112. Sennheiser 421 fine too. For sure nothing too ‘clicky’. Prefer a natural old fashioned sound. There is a lot to read on the internet about drum mics placement and sound. Moving around the mic let you hear the difference in signal. I always place a mic inbetween two tuning knobs, with some distance from the skin. Use only one mic for every drum. No two (up/down) for snare or two for kick. A bit distance with mics gives me what I want. A lively sounding drumkit. Not using gates I have lots of leaking in the mics. One picks up a lot of another drum. Overhead mics add too the total picture, mainly for the lower frequencies of the cymbals. Even in a lively room I have no probs with micking drums like this.
Another mic I don’t like are Beta’s from Shure. I can do a great sound with some simple 57 and 58, one D12 and a few 421. Do not need more. Still I don’t mind too much, after 30 years experience I work with whatever. Unless there are technical failures (broken stuff), my soundchecks are short. Especially for the individual instruments. I only gain up the signal, that’s it. For the sake of peace I let the musician rumble a bit on stage while I pretend doing something at FOH. Try to avoid that they feel insulted not paying attention to their artistic presentation. For the audience the band plays together, so why bother wasting time on solo performances during soundcheck. I prefer the band playing. That’s where I do most of my adjusting in eq and mic position. Tomorrow more.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Handling dynamics in sound is easy. The skill is not to use too many machines. Only where necessary. Here some tips/mistakes most FOH engineers made:
The first is at the get-in. Sliding a cd into the player and start to adjust the FOH main eq. Hmmm, in the old days with a lot of hobby pa-s, put together with different components, this was often a necessarity. Most full range shit nowadays do not need this anymore. Room pa-s in clubs often are pre-set on the local room problems. I mostly flat out a FOH main eq. Maybe take out 160, a problem I hear walking into the room. Further adjusting I might do at soundcheck and gig with the sound of the actual band live on stage. Limit myself taking out the actual problems, not working a fantasy ‘perfect curve’.
I leave all side-equipment of. No gates and compressors. Gates I barely use. They are absolute soundkillers. Instruments (drums) are build as they sound. I like the way they rumble and sustain. It’s a part of the instrument character. Problems are often solvable by switching the fase button (we are not recording), channel equalizing, changing mic position or re-tune the drum. If nothing works you can still use the gate. I never come to this point.
Compressors I might use on very dynamic vox and instruments, but only to lower and pull up the peaks a bit. Remember, we talk dynamics here.
Most village engineers (read not-so-skilled, they are in big cities too) think they are the musician. Starting to tune instruments (drums) on stage and act important. Remember you are not the star. The musicians know of themselves how to sound. I have seen many engineers fuckin up sound this way. The result: traditional and cold. Not something to be proud of. Tomorrow more.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
No, I never would see myself as ‘unqualified’. After 30 years making my income in the profession of sound-technician I earned my ‘spurs’. Ofcourse after such a long time interpretation of sound and music get a personal character. That is only positive, like any person who developed a skill by working it for years. Ironically I smile listening to the local village soundguy who still thinks it’s a challenge to compete. His efforts trying to create a sound matching the common standard looks so useless to me. The impersonal coldness makes his sound bad. He is not an exception, 98% of FOH engineers are boring. Ofcourse they are just technicians, not artists. Its not in fucking up the music, its in dynamics. Digital developments made this more difficult. Especially if you use crappy cheap digital equipment like this local technician.
I also smile finding myself operating the latest developed desks looking like a 70ties b-movie science-fiction spaceship control table. I operate it manually. Barely using the digital possibilities. Create settings so it becomes like an analogue desk. The development of digital mixers move into that direction anyway.
On the end the music counts. That’s where people purchase tickets for. Meanwhile I handle the dynamics.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Aaaaah that summer. Cycling again and making pictures. I know, they all look ‘the same’, but just to make the ‘city-folks’ jealous, here a picture from the top of the hill.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Allright, back again. Sorry for the break. No vacation, simply guests in the house. Keeps me busy.
It seems to be impossible for people to write down historic facts as it really was. Even by those from who you least expect. I am not talking about long time history, but recent, in my lifetime. Many factors play a roll in this. Dysfunctional memory, wrong information, personal interpretation. Especially the latter I think is questionable. Anyone who writes down historic facts should take this in consideration. Sure, a personal touch to an article is never wrong. Still I am so surprised to see how easy I can manipulate people to write in a certain direction. f.e. If I write something negative about an event in the past someone else, feeling offended, writes the opposite. The primitive basic instinct of humans to fight for position and power causes that. Naughty me sometimes use this trick. Ofcourse never to good friends/acquaintances. It is up to you now and the future figuring out who to blame for this history forgery!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Sorry for not posting. Its summer bizzy, not much time. The usual excuse. Meanwhile do not forget the new The System release ‘The Wheel’ on cassette tape. You can only order at Limbabwe. Here a ‘front’ picture:
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Its summer season. Noticeable! Like many other non-vacation media, I have lesser visitors than usual. Right it is. What the fuck are you doing wasting time in front of this screen. There is nothing you can find anyway except Free Music. Check the ‘Music/Video’s/Downloads link for that or click here: http://limbabwe.com/e107_plugins/autogallery/autogallery.php?show=Music Keep it short today. Weather is too good. Don’t wanna waste the summer in front of my computer.
Monday, July 13, 2009
The b&w has nothing to do with ‘yesterday nostalgia’. I am not against modern technology either. Use the old and the new in combination. Work with new technology, hobby with old. On the tree-pictures I clicked last winter where barely other colors around than many shapes of grey. The effect and atmosphere increases by viewing the session in b&w.
Regular readers know I do not watch tv. I don’t use any traditional media at all. Do not owe tv or radio. The only tv kinda thing in the house is very old small b&w carrier. A real machine. Build in the 70ties. Czechoslovakian made. The older will remember. One of those square blocks in a round shape with grip on top to carry. The screen pops out bulking the glass. On the right a little speaker, 4 press buttons channel selections, 3 controllers; brightness, lightness, volume. All in perfect condition. Use it sometimes to watch my analogue filmed movies in b&w.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Ooops, no picture posted for a week. Here you go…. more wood. Noticed that besides my interest in analogue recordings I also prefer b&w pictures?
Saturday, July 11, 2009
That’s why I release cassette tapes (read yesterday). Recorded analogue from first stage (multitrack). With all hiss, cracks, tapeslipping, fridge clicks and whatever more noises. I like it like that. It is so more real to hear the actual sounds from what is going on at the same moment as the recordings happen. During the mastering of the latest Limbabwe release ‘The System – The Wheel’, I hanged a mic outside the window. The ‘noise’ you hear are the sounds of the Grappa.
People lock themselves up in isolated buildings called ‘studio’s’. Even daylight is banned! In unnatural acoustic environments surrounded by weird machines so called ‘artists’ have to create. Its obvious that this creation can only become a cold registration. Expression is very influenced by the moment, your surroundings, what you see, feel, breath….. All pop music recorded in studio’s is obviously assembled for commercial purposes. Not much art at all. Most real artists don’t waste time in studio’s. Just a brief visit is sufficient for results. They simply can play! Coltrane records where recorded in one afternoon, live in the studio-room. If Trane would be alive now, he probably didn’t even bother leaving his house for this.
Using studio’s is a bit out of date nowadays. The value of ‘sound’ became too blown-up last decennia. Just record at home on your tape deck. Have no possibilities? Drop me a mail. Maybe I come by with my analogue 8-track to register your music during tea-time!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Perfect in the meaning of ‘symmetry’ doesn’t exist. There is no need for it either. Many people look for ‘perfect’, or try to reach it as much possible. This leads to disappointments and depressions, because you go for an unreachable thing. Look around you. Nothing in nature is symmetric. The perfect straight line, cut, clean sound, whatever you can think of is again an unexplainable human desire. While technicians, constructors, hobbyists,… try to get that piece of wood matching perfect, tv films clean without hazel, balanced soundwaves,….
In our unconsciousness we love the imperfect because of the natural ‘feel’ of it. So give it up wasting your time on the technical side of recordings, photographs, films, renovation, carwash, …….. The soul is what counts!
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Most pictures you see in the little video above are taken with a broken ‘FunCam’, the cheapest (Euro 7 + 2 free films) camera you can find in the store. I know it’s a ‘fashion’ to make pictures with cheap old camera’s. I never owned different. Never understood the hours it takes just to freeze one moment. It should not take longer than that moment, one second. So I always went for the one-button and not more functions, camera. What you see is different for everybody. We all see the same but look at the view with our own interpretation. For me pictures are memories. I see more in them than anyone else simply because I took the photograph. That’s why I mainly took pictures of people, so I would remember them.
Now I click trees. They pose very nicely, without leaving their spot. Very comfortable (joke). The pictures are mainly to work out ideas. Lots of them disappear on a disc, forgotten forever!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Read yesterday first.
Bukowski’s real name was Johnny Bush
Burroughs real name was Milo Kennedy
Millers real name was Ben Reagan
Pirsig real name is Peter Edward Jonathan Hussein
Kerouac’s real name was John Smith.
Oooh shite! Not only the books but also the writers are created fantasies…………
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Bukowski never had an alcoholic drink in his life! He was a teetotaler. Was housefather with kids, wife and 9 to 5 job at the post-office. Ate his meatloaf, boiled potato, cooked veggies dinner his wife made him, every day. On Saturdays sprinkled the lawn in front of his house he nicely paid his mortgage on monthly term until retired. In the evenings, as the kids went to bed, mom knitting the lace, he sat down behind the typewriter on his old oak wood desk in the corner of the living room, looking out the window through the sansevierias and started fantasies about the wild exciting life he could have.
Yes people, Bukowski made it all up. Its just a fantasy! Shocked? Well you should have known. I always wondered why writers are taken so much more serious than an average glitter popstar, cheap tv show or dumb Hollywood movie. We except the total bullshite fantasy of these media. Writers are no difference. Its just made up nonsense to entertain. That doesn’t mean you should not read books. Nothing wrong with good entertainment, but do not make more out of it.
Burroughs didn’t even know how to roll a joined.
Miller was gay and never had sex with a woman.
Pirsig only travelled by train.
Kerouac never left his house.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Almost everybody of Twin Peaks is here in town. The pubertal highschool kids with their complicated relationships. The crazy woman with the sane husband who loves someone else. The restaurant waitresses. The unreliable log-truckdriver. The understanding military father. The local bar with band-stand. No hotel, but many wood-mills, 2 companies competing and few failure bizznix men smoking big cigars. The mafia-drug dealer and bar owner. The social biker. The ‘strange’ loners living in the forest. No ‘One Eyed Jack’, at least not I am aware of!
The leading part of Twin Peaks does not exist here either; the ‘smart’ cops. The local police are more the ‘Andy’ types. Nobody would be able solving a case while practicing yoga and contacting ‘the other world’. Its more a bored clumsy bunch like deputy Andy Brennan.
This complete ‘live’ (life) presentation of daily routines in a small isolated village I back up with sounds of slow echoing guitars and organ drones. Hopefully the show does not become too real, and Laura will stay alive.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Lately the soundtrack to the scenery is La Bradford. Trio from the 90ties creating ambient music. I try to avoid the term ‘post-rock’. Bands labeled in this category mostly create the same traditional rock as ever. It indicates more a generation re-inventing the wheel. La Bradford was around before. They are not a part of it. The music can be described as ambient-experimental. Sweet sounds, hollow guitars on long delay feedbacks, droning organ unexpectedly interrupted by a complete different sound. A perfect dressing to the foresty hills around me.
Looking at the village with the local human-drama-issues as usual, guarded by the huge amount of pine, spars and other trees it is almost impossible making a link with Twin Peaks, the popular David Lynch tv show. That was running in the same period La Bradford started, early nineties. Is there a link? The music of La Bradford comes close to an (lesser populistic) interpretation of Twin Peaks soundtracks.
La Bradford created 6 releases on Kranky. Got them all plus a lot more. Touring was exceptional for this trio. They preferred more to stay home. Still I was on the road with them. As FOH engineer recording many shows on cassette I enjoy now playing.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
The neighbor kid got over his childhood this year. It’s the first summer that the house I am in is no longer an interesting object within his fantasy fighting the fascists as partisan. Do not know how old he is exactly, 10, 11 or 12? Kids grow up quick these days. He hangs around with friends talking on the cell, driving up and down on motor-bikes. The ‘difficult’ years will start soon. Rebellious against everything. No more ‘sweet mammy-boy’. First beer, cigarettes and maybe spliff?
The music changed too. Loud Guns and Roses, punk rock and other ‘heavy’ related tunes rumble out of the open garage door into the valley. This will not be a very peaceful summer. I do not care neither complain. Had my younger days, everybody should have hers/his. And anyway, I contribute regularly (on turn) to the sounds of this nice spot.
Friday, July 03, 2009
After Bela (see post July 1) the main path splits, you can go either left or right. Until not that many years ago, most people parked here. Only a few went on. This has changed. Especially in the weekend more move on ‘exploring’ the park. Its funny to see the exhausted faces toiling their way uphill. The road on both sides becomes difficult after some miles. Steep uphill dirt-road with holes, loose gravel, mud. Not easy for a nice comfortable weekend ride. Lucky, most make a circle over Krekovse, a picknick house up on one hill. New gravel-road lay outs make short (2/3 hours) circling around possible. Back in Bela probably most have the feeling they ‘did’ something. With respect yes, its good to have a nice ride. Fine exercise, fresh air and good training. I pass-by moving on further, often leaving the bikecycle behind on a deserted spot, moving on by foot. Trying to reach destinations on routes barely used before. The summer has a tropical touch this year. Hot with many thunderstorms. Natural violence is showing of its beauty. Getting wet by sweat or rain, I don’t care. The sun will damp it of.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Not much time today. Fixing things on the house, tour nature, book bands and cook food! Busy busy bizzy-nix. Here a pix :
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Passing by Bela I remembered my first time cycling to this spot. That was 10 years ago. Bela is a swimming spot in the hills. Two mountain-streams meet and form a big pool sufficient deep to dive and crawl. In the summer the locals go there. Refreshments are supplied by temporary bar in a wooden cabin.
What did I know one decade ago. It was my first summer here. Locals showed me the spot informing it is common to go cycling. I was trained and used to long tours in my former location, but the land there is flat. Here everything goes up (and down) hill. Rather steep too.
The road to Bela looks easy. About 7 km (5 miles), almost straight, nicely paved by asphalt. The eye tricked me that first time. Thinking it would be a piece of cake, turned out to be endless slow uphill. Underestimating the ride I arrived exhausted in Bela. Lucky the bar was open to kill my thirst.
Now I know better. Race by Bela in high speed on my way to Vojsko or other destinations locals never cycle too. The further you leave Bela behind, the more peaceful the surroundings become.
The slow-smooth uphill asphalt drive to the swimming pool is now a good warming-up for starting the tour.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Time for a quote. Something I barely do on this site. Here is one from Woody Guthrie. If you do not know who he is, surf and educate yourself.
“I hate a song that makes you think that you’re not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are either too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or songs that poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or your hard traveling. I am out to fight those kinds of songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter how hard it’s run you down and rolled over you, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you.”
(Woody Guthrie, American folksinger 1912-1967)
Monday, June 29, 2009
Its summer, temperature is rising. A phonecall yesterday reminded me to put a warning out to all you ‘born digital’ youngsters out there. I am very happy with the regained interest in vinyl (it never really vanished). Warning: vinyl is not to be compared with bits on a hardrive. Its oil based material that gets weak and soft in heat. Temperature do not need to be on burning or boiling levels to destroy your record. A few minutes sunshine, hot car-trunk or whatever too warm atmosphere can bend your record so it looks like an old-fashioned wobbly bobbly Polish/NY road in ‘hard-to-play’ condition.
If you made the mistake; leave your vinyl flat under a heavy pile of books for one year!
I made this mistake. Long time ago, was very young, still a child but already spinning the grooves. It was late 60ties. First nice summer days. Brought the typical red-plastic, speaker built in lit, player outside in the garden. Found a nice shadow spot. No worries. But dreaming away on the soundwaves sun turned and burned the record (while playing) into a wobbly Sahara-surface. Oops, my brother angry. He owned the plate. I remember well. Great blues compilation with an amazing version of CC-Rider by Champion Jack Dupree. Never got to hear it again. The record recovered after weight lifting for a long period.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Due to recent change of control system, private practices from doctors are still unknown in the valley. If you get sick, have an accident, need a dentist,…. you visit the local hospital. A left over from the ‘jour rouge’ where all kind of doctors practiced together in one building.
The hospital is situated in a strange outskirt of the village. Walking the food-bridge, crossing main road, you enter a big non-paved dirt field. familiar in every town, those mud-pools full with holes filled by rain water. On the corner a white lonely building hosting old-fashioned drug store specialized in wine. The mud-pool entrance shows, by everyone ignored, “no entry” and “no parking” signs. The place is filled with cars from hospital visitors. The right side borders 2 abandoned looking old industrial buildings with broken walls, smashed windows and graffiti. The end of this desolated landscape locates the hospital-building; perfectly matching. 4 storeys high, traditionally designed in the ‘50ties socialistic’ style. Combination of steel, plastic, concrete and wood in yellow-blue-grey colors. Broken sun-blinds, rusty pillars, black rotten concrete, windows without paint. Makes you think the building is empty for a long time if no people would use the entrance.
Inside is maintained for the eye. First glance is ok, second better look you notice the suffering worn-out spots. Floor-cloth glue detaching, ceiling plates hanging loose. Dark yellow walls and minimal lights create a doom dusky atmosphere. Is this a place to get better or sick?
No comments to the treatments. The doctors are very good, once you manage to reach them. The organization looks chaotic for foreigners. I often wonder if there is structure, but at the moment this fits well into the scenery.
Few years ago the local authorities wasted loads of money giving the village square a fix-up. A non-fitting semi-modern-Italian imitation design that starts and stops too sudden. Did the architect go for a comical effect? Strolling the square yesterday I noticed this only two-year-old construction is already falling apart. Tiles are broken and cover up holes under the surface. They unexpectedly flip over. Can twist your ankles, so you end up in the hospital.
I am curious what the local leading politician’s near future choice of investment will be. Do they go for the health of the community or fancy look of the domicile?
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Its weekend. Time for a picture instead of words. Since temperature is rising here a picture to cool-of.
Friday, June 26, 2009
A large number of (older) Dutch musicians and actors have offered a petition to the Dutch officials, asking for a special tax on mp3-players and hard disc recorders. They are of course, against downloading, and think they can use old media rules to earn money on their copyrighted materials. It’s time that new, modern artists sign a petition against taxes on new media and make a statement about the positive effects of peer2peer and use of modern media and media carriers.
Free Music is not only a ‘younger’ or ‘new-modern’ artist thing. It is supported by many age groups from all kind of music styles for some time. Some organizations that propagandize Free Music are: http://consolidatedmusic.org/ and www.limbabwe.com . Free Music and Free Bikecycles!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
You never really get to talk to anyone. In all these years traveling around I kept a few good contacts, but in compare with the amount of people I encountered, it’s a very small percentage that stayed. Especially those on location, working in venues. Many are nice friendly people. Pity, mostly you can have just a short conversation. Especially working 2 jobs like me, Soundengineering (FOH) and Tourmanager (TM). You know how it is, Arriving, unloading, arranging technical and hospitality instructions. Last minute problems (machines break down, artists demands,……). Work all night without a decent break. After the gear is packet you gotto leave. Just time for a few friendly words, handshake and of you are.
Without getting sentimental, its remarkable how few contacts are left after meeting so many worldwide. I know this is just a job. At home everybody has their own busyness with friends and relatives. Why bother about someone else at the other side of the planet. Maybe I should do all these trips over again, but than on my bikecycle. Will take me years, but no hurries. Lots of time to communicate and learn to know eachother better.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tick as a Brick. That fucking tick got me. Still sick as a dog. Go to the doctors again today. Who remembers that band Jethro Tull? (Ofcourse it was “Thick as a Brick”). Are they still around. Fuck them, probably death and forgotten or endlessly re-chewing the back-catalogue in favor of their bank-accounts. Never liked them then nor now. Not because of the ‘intellectuality’ of their sound. (How ‘intellectual’ can popmusic be?). I just didn’t like their music. Ofcourse I remember many records of Jethro. The early 70thies where not so busy with weekly new releases in compare with the flood of titles thrown at you in the 80/90ties. 40 years ago you could still easily keep track of what been dumped in the store-bins by the bizznix. Ofcourse I couldn’t afford buying it all, but classmates purchased what you avoided. Swapping records made me learn the music I dislike till today. So yes, I know what is crap. Gave it an effort listening. Anyway, we all (humans) should know by now that this music thing is just a joke. Soap for sale. Or is it really that mankind never progressed the brain. What is it anyway that humans are incapable looking at music as simple product you buy, use and dump. Is it because of the ‘sentiment’? The subjects about ‘real life’ you relate too? Come on! Hell you should know better. Its all fake. These performers (not only the commercial ones) all have Euro bills in their eyes. Their sentiments, opinions, feelings are all fake. Their title explains already what it is, they perform. Its not real, its for money, a job!!!! got it!!!! Most of them are very clumsy and bad. I toured with many of these fakers. Sometimes I felt sorry for them. Take that band Laibach, from Slovenia, for example. They even are considered ‘serious art’. What a joke. Had it maybe a moment of interest in the early 80ties, soon the project turned into a spoof. Their obvious ideas are cheap hillbilly approach of mindless boring presentation in picture and sound. Far from ‘intellectual’ or ‘art’. Closer to dumb-disco-dive to amuse the masses. Nothing wrong with selling soap, but please don’t make it more than that. Most sorry I always felt with the singer. In reality a weak unstable small mind who has to act (25 years by now) a strong charismatic leader. Its typical for how the creators of Laibach work. Fooling friends and crowd that is worldwide not even half as big as they try to make the inhabitants of their home-country believe. ‘Keeping up appearances’ is very important in this scene.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Weather came down. It is autumn cold and rainy for a few days. No panic, summer is announced to be back before the end of the week. Weather is always the subject as it is always a subject that ‘weather is always the subject’. Logic, we live with it. Weather conditions influence our moods. Still does not keep me inside. Rain/wind/cold/sun/heath/hurricanes/thunder/… you can dress yourself on this. All weather types have their beauty.
Don’t have much time today for posting. My system (physical) is down, the tick made me sick. Also have much to do. My mind is not on writing right now. Tomorrow again.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Places as my whereabouts clearly show that for daily life there never was difference between the two ‘old’ systems: ‘capitalism’/’socialism’. In both situations it is the factory that stays on and rules/controls the life of most locals. Keep a certain distance from the community, leaves me safe from influences of overruling companies. Joining the EC brought typical examples of competitors rivaling eachother. Sometimes that is good, sometimes bad. For the couple of thousand inhabitants 4 major supermarkets settled down recently in the outskirts of the village. The last added, created a comical big parking around the building. It has more spaces than cars exist in these surroundings. Looks very surrealistic ‘modern arty’. I am in doubt that being ‘artistic’ was the reason for this construction. Drop a picture here in a few months.
This fourth supermarket is for sure overkill. Was it that the other 3 show differences in presentation and products, this 4th one contributes nothing new, not even price-wise. Personally I don’t like the store. People working there are unfriendly. Welcome to capitalism, I do not need to shop here, the competition is much nicer to me, so fuck you! A local price-war didn’t start yet. Since 4 major stores is too many, I do expect one is going to loose in the future. Jobs get created and lost. Everything stays the same on the end. Hope the latter will loose. A dusty, rusty by weather half demolished semi-modern bizznix building lost in a massive field of empty parking spaces fits more into my idea of ‘modern-art’.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Today is the day with the longest day light. Scientific known as solstice. Lets keep it scientific. Its simply the day that the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most inclined toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun’s apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. Wow, how did I write this…….. Ahum, yes I pasted it from one of those pages. Its well said though. Purely a natural event. At 5.45 am this morning the sun came in one line with the equator. I watched it. The sky was (is still) bright. Amazing soft colors. Many clear mornings look like this in the Southern Alps.
Some like to give this event another meaning than it actual is. Stonehenge is probably busy right now. Oh well, entertainment bizznix is around since humans are. Must say, whoever came up with this one should have it registered. Insures income for millenniums. Meanwhile the earth keeps on turning. Not rhythmically, as said here so often; nature is not metric. Therefore solstice is not always on June 21st, it can take place in a week from 17 till 25! Next one is on December 21 at 5.47 pm, the ‘shortest day’ of this year.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Rain came in today washing away the heat of last week. As always, after rain the sun shines again. Not much time for writing today. leave you with a picture of the local ‘cool’ swimming basin, made before the masses splashes around.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Ok, had enough of reading about ticks. One of the millions around choose me as host yesterday. Couldn’t see the tick. Was scratching my back, thinking it was something else. Later a doctor removed the rest.
Mostly in occasions like this I educate myself surfing the web. Hmmm interesting these animals. Lots of talking about the ‘risks’, but no figures about how many hosting humans are actually becoming sick? Another ‘panic’ raze to attract readers?
Most diseases caused by ticks seem easy to cure with anti-biotics. Remarkable that everyone talking about it immediately mentions these diseases. The doctor didn’t seem to panic much. ‘Keep an eye on the wound and your condition the upcoming days/weeks’, was the advice.
Instead of blowing hurricanes in bathtubs, people should inform eachother more about the actual facts if natural things like this happen. Let me make a start to help you along if you host a tick:
You get them in nature (bushes/tall grass). Not only wild, also your garden. They look like a little red spider. If you carry one, leave it and let a doctor remove the tick professionally (something I did wrong, but couldn’t see what it was when scratching my back). Worrying about diseases make you sick. Just keep an eye on the problem for couple of days. Nature will have its course…. Now carry on living.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Media are enormous over-estimated. Whatever it is; radio, tv, newspapers, weekly’s, magazines, internet. It’s a big amount of diversity. Non of them do actually add something to the world-community. I know, wrote in former posts about this already, but still up till today I am surprise how little others learn absorbing questionable information sources and declare it as ‘truth’.
There are many people on this planet. Individual media only reach a few. Something can look famous, busy, well-known in your ‘surroundings’, sensational news, but that’s than also where the ‘fame’ and ‘news’ stops. Out of your scene most others never heard of your hero/news/victory/loss/…. Open your eyes/ears and look/hear around. There are many examples in music, politics, sport ……
While the traditional media, still alive from the past, is endlessly re-chewing the old conservative set up, doing a ‘new’ media like internet means you only reach a few.
I am surprised how many people, also youngsters, do not use computers (another example of media-misleading). Talk with people and find out most have a computer but only few do surf around. Oh, your NoSpace page might registrate 60.000 visitors, but what % returns regularly, and besides that, what’s 60.000 on a population of 8.000.000.000?
No, I am not upset, just want to point something out. Its fine that some people don’t surf the net, as its also ok some do. Same with everything. Use what you feel good with but see the margin of it all. The info is subjective and concerns only you and maybe your direct surrounding, community, circle of friends, family,…..
Therefore it doesn’t matter if you do media or not at all. Communicating mouth to mouth with actual people gives you same valuable mix of information as any other medium.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The hot summer temperatures reminded me that I promised you winter pictures. Here is one. Great effect isn’t? What a broken analog camera can do…..
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Like the music I record, also my pictures are analog celluloid films. To develop and digitalize takes a few days.
Today I bring the solution to the local ‘big mystery’ of 10 days ago. On Saturday, June 6, strange movements of unexplainable flying objects where observed in the sky above the village Idrija, Slovenia.
Bright, unidentified objects floated in the air, moving several directions. Some said ‘a meteor rain’ others discussed the ‘final invasion of aliens’. As always the answer to the mystery is simple: it was 60 flights.
From the barbeque location we lighted small hot-air balloons (about 3 feet). For a great momento they memorized passing of time, free floating until slowly burn out. The way life supposes to be. Due to the early Alp (mountain) atmosphere, several layers in the sky move different directions that blew the balloons in variable routes.
I use shitty cheap old cameras. Often films are wasted. No prob here; ‘all things must past’, or quoting the local photo-store owner: ‘the best picture is in your memory’. Only a few pictures resulted from the barbeque. Here you see some visitors ‘working’ one balloon.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Ahmed (his real name) had a restaurant around the corner of where I lived. One of those places many would avoid. The outside leaves the impression you deal with an average ‘fast food’ kebab joint. On the contrary Ahmed could cook. His menu looked similar to many ‘late night grease’ places, but preparation was different. He created his own dishes. Falafel from homemade paste. Fresh lentil soup. He cooked it all up in his own little kitchen. Too emphasize his more serious restaurant approach, Ahmed closed at 11 pm, where most of his competitors would open to feed the beer-drunks with crap. Music played a roll of unimportance in Ahmed’s place. A poor stereo with cassette player had to fill the air with meaningless muttering. A general electricity switch made the stereo click on simultaneous with all cooking and other electro stuff in the restaurant. The tape in the cassette player moved on where it stopped yesterday at closing time. The player was in auto-reverse mode, Ahmed never changed tape.
I liked the food. Often very nice vegan dishes (not listed on the menu) were fresh prepared in the kitchen. Dining there regularly, made me listen to the tape repeatedly. The volume was in that unnoticeable subtracting low setting you hear it better than intended. A ‘Best-Of’ pre-recorded tape. After 40 minutes side one and two were done. The cassette started from the beginning again. The band was ‘Hot Chocolate’, one of those 70ties disco-hit things. Eating a full meal made ‘Every one’s a winner’ and ‘I believe in miracles’ tickling your ears 2 to 3 times.
One day in December I walked into the restaurant and felt a big change. It took me a moment to figure out what, but yes, Ahmed had a bright moment and changed the tape: ‘Christmas Greatest Hits’. ‘Jingle Bells’ past by 3 times while I had my falafel dish. When in April the first Apple trees started to bloom and ‘White Christmas’ still accompanied my salad/lentil soup starter I decided to inform Ahmed about his background music. Next return to the restaurant was the familiar ‘Hot Chocolate’ again. After some time the restaurant got sold to the usual fast-food mass industry. The new owners made it vanish into a dustbin.
Ahmed moved on. Just before the sale he told me he was done with cooking and took a job in music bizznix!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Sun rises at 4.30 am. Daytime is hot. Leave the windows open to fresh the house with cool morning air. Slowly the orchestra of wakening birds starts. Interesting sound I listened too so often. Best music I ever heard in my life. Never on tour, no releases neither deals, contracts, licensees, money. But performing worldwide everywhere every morning. That’s FREE MUSIC.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Don’t know if I am going to write many more posts about my touring past and music-bizznix memories. This subject sank into a misty swamp. Distanced by the mysterious functioning of brain cells. Anyway, at the moment I am over with that. Music fine, bizznix too, but back to the now and future. I promised, I know, but hey all these names of these by now almost forgotten so called ‘stars’. They are replaced by new ones. Just to give you an idea how ‘important’ they (and you) all are!
The energy and exploring of cycling, hiking, discovering nature and humanity, breathing fresh air, strain and relax muscles and brain. That’s what I do now. No shame about the past. I did not threw those years away.
All things must past
All things must past away
Friday, June 12, 2009
Now I am back on the bike I feel more alive again. Capable to move mountains. Lets start today. What about dropping the Alps in the Sahara?
Is it the age or offer? Lately I have a serious lack of interest in music. Still listening and playing, but purchasing? I do create music. Expect a second new The System release this year. Like to listen music too. Buying music is another story. Downloading I barely do. Its more the feeling that no music carrier adds to my collection. I own sufficient of that sound. New? What is new? The market bizznix yups do not offer new, but only endlessly re-chew the same product in a different package trying to sell as ‘new’, so overdone that youngster think ‘it’s the formula’.
Had a call yesterday from a friend visiting vinyl store. Pointing me at some records I might be interested in. The titles would excite me 10 years ago, not anymore now. I rather spend my money on something else. Ofcourse, the call is highly appreciated, but again buying another version of that same song performed often in many different versions under many different titles?
The bizznix idiots overdid it. Music bizznix shelters most incapable sales-fools of the capitalistic system. Basically a bunch of career-making construction workers. With all respect for construction workers, they do a great job. Those who left this noble work to lower themselves to music-bizznix-frits can be proud losing another customer; me, due to ridiculous overproduction of the same.
Ofcourse, as always, good music is still made by all generations. Don’t look for that in the settled media, stores or online selling sites.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Today its bikecycle time. Finally my bike is repaired. Depressive times are behind me. Disappointed I was a few weeks ago my best buddy, partner and true friend on my side on my risky adventures in the wild got hurt in duty. The gear was damaged beyond self-repair. Lucky, the local cycleterian fixed the damaged and even did some doctoring left and right were needed. I am a happy man again. Time for a new expedition. More tomorrow. Pictures soon.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Its astonishing to hear some people talking about the music-bizznix nowadays. Especially those working in it; the ‘musician’. Complaining about bad payment, lack of work, disrespect for ‘the artist’. Hmmm, talking about driving (later) some raced straight out of the bend here! Get real! Explain me whats artistic on a retro-imitation or ‘sounding the same’ style? That’s not creative, its bizznix.
I see 99% of the pop (and other style) musicians as purely bizznix yups. You create and sell soap! Think like a bizznix: ‘you loose some/win some’. The competition in music bizznix is high. Many sell the same product like you. Please do not bother me with ‘artistic’ bullshite. You are non, otherwise bizznix/money and sounding-like-done-before would not bother you.
Tip: choose another product. Many more opportunities available. There are loads lesser detergent brands on the market, than variations on the same song.
If you live in Slovenia car mechanic can be a well-paid job. Locals say I already get pretty good into their cultural habits, the ‘driving style’ for example. Here a picture of ‘efficient Slovenian parking’.
Volvo’s are big. They demand a bit more space than the usual few cm a Cleo or R4 confiscates. So I widened the parking space a bit. Don’t worry about my 340. As proven in a popular UK TV car-show, the Volvo is barely scratched. Hey you……so called ‘artist’ in Slovenia. Lucky most Slovenes drive something weaker. Good job opportunities here.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
What do you listen to today? A friend brought an NME from UK. Didn’t see a popmusic paper for years (decades). Nothing changed. Unbelievable, are you kids still falling for the same old trick, or is the paper purchased by 40 plussers only? Had a glance over headers and advers. This glossy mag must be made for the young. Do not know 99% of the names. The stories and pictures are still the same. Yougsters staring in a camera. Its depressive to see this. What about creativity? Is this why everybody is milking the past? Is the now just an empty-poor-cultural period?
I don’t think so. There are great things happening and lots of interesting movements going on by young and old. What happened is that the settled media became a conservative, endless same repeating, boring industry. No room to inform people about pioneering and progress. Even if they try to tell you different, do not fall for the trick. Its all a lie to make you buy!
How to find the real side of live? I will not hand you a solution but let adventure lead your search. Start avoiding every traditional medium, you automatically discover the ‘holy grail’
Monday, June 08, 2009
Idrija did not burn down. The barbeque was lots of fun. Tanx everyone for reactions/emails/messages and visiting. Tomorrow a normal wining post again. You are kindly invited for the ’61 Flights’ barbeque on Saturday, June 5 2010.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Ok, Tonight is THE night. This is the last call-up to everybody who doesn’t know or decided yet to come to my ‘anniversary’ barbeque. If you are close/in or around Slovenia, come now. But first announce to me you’re arrival. Visit http://novasova.webklik.nl for directions/address/contact numbers. Whatever weather condition it is, the party will go on. Have roofed locations.
Lots to do so no much time for long posting. And hey, here I am, the vegan, caught yesterday in front of the supermarket purchasing a huge amount barbeque meat you have to eat! See ya tonight.
Friday, June 05, 2009
The first guests for the barbeque arrived yesterday, so did the rain. That will not spoil the fun. The wine is in the cool basement. Started food preparations yesterday. And although I am vegan, meat will be supplied (but prepared by a friend). So what the fuck are you waiting for. Get your ass out here. In case of rain my garage door is wide open. For directions go here : http://novasova.webklik.nl
Thursday, June 04, 2009
No pictures made on the trip. Had my camera with, but I simply did not came to click. Too bizzy + no moments, unless you want too see the usual. Ofcourse, I understand, what looks like a daily routine to me is probably massively exciting for others.
Like my style, change the subject. Its funny too see how some people can make a total turn regarding their opinion about new technology. You know those who wine about new technical inventions, its rubbish and they refuse using it. Until the day comes that the new machine is so massively used, you cannot stay a sideliner anymore. Also I am a person who looks very skeptic to every form of technology they try to sell you. Often its overdone bullshit just to make you crazy spending money for rubbish. I simply consider my personal interest and look around for only the absolute necessarities. This makes me a minimum machine user. In my surroundings are two people who recently got into ‘modern’ machinery after dissing it for years.
One commented the use of internet/emailing as a dumb, non-human, empathic way of communicating. This person purchased recently a ‘blackberry’, you know, a phone with internet. A freaky small thing that receives and sends mails. Totally addicted this person carries the berry staring at all day and night. Re-sending mails 5 times within one day and mailing me while I am only 20 meters away. Totally addicted to the new toy.
Somebody else always hated mobile phones but got one about a year ago. He became the worst cell-phone user I know in the world. On a visit, in the middle of conversation, he can pick up his phone and simply starts to call somebody……….. uhhhhh hey ahum, am I still excisting??????? Whats going on here? Anyway, this person doesn’t realize how insulting behavior this is!
So I am patient. After a few years their toys are lesser interesting and attitude will change. I am not looking forward to the future. Industry keeps people primitive with new inventions.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Looking back on the PTV3 tour of last month. The first days are the easiest. Fresh and well rested you do the job. A short travel day between London and Paris is easy. The first hard day is a drive from Marseille to Zurich with a gig the same day. Long days without decent amount of rest and sleep are fatal on tour. Ones tired you stay tired until home. The tiredness leads to a down going spiral. No more energy to look for some good food makes you eat crap so you feel even worst. You’re fully concentrated on doing the job, the rest becomes insignificant. It doesn’t catch up on me much. Doing this for 30 years made me immune and strong. The work is done almost automatically. A resting day in Vienna is more than welcome. After this hell breaks loose. Long drives plus flights! Flying on tour is the worst. Check-ins, luggage problems, controls…. the stress level rises. I came to the conclusion that traveling by plane is most inconvenient flying within Europe. Often its not a time nor money saver. The actual flight might be short but calculate from the moment you leave home until destination address. The so called ‘cheap’ flights are not that cheap either if you count up the extra check-in costs, overweight luggage, expensive coffee at the airport, taxi/train/bus to and from airport, or/and the parking. Taking on top the massively inconvenience of the seating (no leg room), waiting for the, nowadays always delays (had no flight leaving on time the last year) I think you are much better and faster if you simply take your car. If dependable on public transport, hop on a train. Many cheap fast trains in Europe. Inform yourself.
Best is to take your time and simply go on the bikecycle.
Back to the tour. We flew to Spain, than to Italy where we had our last shows. Came home exhausted. Next time I have to schedule these flights a bit better.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
The tour had fun moments. Even now I do tour lesser, it did became a routine job. With PTV3 I feel going back into the ‘good old days’. You never know what to expect. From the band I do, but audience…..
It seem that in every town the creeps crawl out of their dungeons, basements, lofts, squats, waste-bin, back-room, coffins,….. A cacophony of piercings, rattling chains and clicking spurs. Weird contrast with the happy psychedelic 60 hippy music from PTV3. The fans are from the ‘old’ days. Still living late 70ties/early 80ties alto-pop live. Some are ‘weekenders’. 9 to 5 wearing suits and ties at their daily jobs. On friday they get ready for the weekend. I never understood this dress-up party. Sure in younger years I did identify myself also with groups/cults wearing dress-codes. This fades through years. It is kinda funny to see old people with nose-rings, TG shirt and black pants decorated with silver shining skulls. Despite the black death image most try to express, everybody happily dance and sing along with the songs. The complete thing becomes a ‘Monty Pyton’ kinda sketch. Any moment I expect the big animated foot coming down crushing the scene: “And now time for something different”. “Its…………….”
Monday, June 01, 2009
Time goes fast. Sorry for not posting last two weeks. Was running around in Europe, driving, soundchecking, inchecking, outchecking, humping, loading, phoning,….. and a lot more. Plus I noticed how more and more difficult it became to get simply online. Regular posting will start again from tomorrow on. The barbeque on June 6 will take place in every weather situation. Don’t stay at home if it rains. Tomorrow more news.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Its late at night and stare at this screen. Empty, just a machine. Pretty useless too I found out. The only satisfaction gaining from this is the website, an incidental email, sometimes something efficient like a hotel or travel; booking.
The longer I have the computer, the lesser I use it. It’s a too static, unreliable and waste of time. Ok, everybody their hobby’s, but I consider it useless fuckin around with the facebooks, myspaces and thousands of other ridicules bullshit sites. Honestly, I do not know what they are, how they look like. Never visited them. I had a short moment of trying some, but realized its just nonsense. Call me a farmer, hillbilly or whatever. I’ve seen more of this planet than those who surf the web. Prefer the real face to face situation. Touring is a good way to communicate. At home I communicate with the basics; fresh air, bikes and hikes, some construction work, cooking and what so more is important to do. The computer became a second grade screen in a corner. Mainly used for ‘work’ I do now: the on-the-road-job. There are busy times that the job forces to use the screen a lot. I compensate that with sufficient days on which 1 or 2 hours will do.
I am now on tour. No pocket computer, cell receiving emails. Simple ‘old fashioned’ a laptop ancient model and cell phone that can do nothing else than calling. That should do it for my reach-ability. Time is not money, time is a peoples invention to fuck you up and causes stress-diseases. That cost money. Take the time for granted and you life a longer, healthier and cheaper live.
Paris today. Where on our way, relax and calm enuhhhh those in the bizz who wonder why I do not reply from my ‘wireless blackberry’; I don’t owe one. Call me on my cell, you have the number.
Come to the show in Paris tonight. Still tickets available.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Had a great sold out London show last night. Ok, Genesis is not the youngest, neither the audience. Don’t have much time now but will come up with more details this week. The moments to post on the road are minimum being agent, manager, production manager, tourmanager, roady, stagetech, video tech, soundengineer, humper and loader and friend of the band at the same time. Till very soon. We’re leaving crossing the water to France.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Ok the band arrived. Picked them up. Everybody is ok. We hang in London. Tomorrow first show. Writing tourdiaries are so boring. It’s the same story every time. I can go of wining about how horrible the drive to London was. Endless constructions, jams, blocks. Nothing works anymore in the west. If it comes to efficiency, punctuality and so on, we are back to the middle ages. Due to overproduction and design of machines, horse with wagons are as efficient like cars. There is no different. Probably the horse is better, no pollution.
Fuck it. Lets get drunk tonight. Tomorrow first show (sold out). I keep you posted if something sensational happens, or I start writing regular posts. Lets rock. Get the new The System release ‘The Wheel’. Come on June 6 to my barbeque and check out http://novasova.webklik.nl to figure out where it is.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Nice song running up there hey!? Jan created it. I show the boring mediocre pictures of these beautiful surroundings. Still worthy to have a visit with hike/bike/barbeque. Click here to learn more: http://novasova.webklik.nl .
Today I leave for the PTV3 trip. See dates above. Drop by, say hello come to check it out. It’s a fun thang. We can hang, have a drink and I explain you how to get to my ’60 flights’ on June 6. Yes I know its 60 on 6-6, but what the fuck. Its an optimistic thing. No evil. Numbers are made up by people anyway. They do not exist ecological. So everything connected to numbers is bulshit, besides my 60 flights barbeque. Tomorrow no post. I will be travelling all day. Cannot promise you when my next post is, hope Saturday. Keep you posted about the adventures of life ‘on the road’.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
A day in the Grappa valley is divided with contradictions of sounds. Until 3 pm its very quiet and peaceful. You only hear birds, soft winds and waterstreams from the mountains.
Often I think I am all alone in the valley. Sit on the balcony enjoying breakfast and the natural silence. Sometimes an old retired man saunters by, staring at me ruthless shameless for 5 or 10 minutes. As if I am a zoo attraction. Probably for him I am. All men of my age are at their jobs, kids at school.
After 3 pm they all return. That’s the end of the peace. Drills start humming, cement mills turning, chainsaw cutting tree, motorized lawn mower cuts grass, teenagers race with motorbikes,…… The day comes to an end with a cacophony of sounds echoing through the valley.
No complaining here. I contribute my bits of decibels rebuilding this house. Anyway, total silence is within reach of just a 10 minute hike into the nature park around the corner.
My invitation to the barbecue is serious! You are all welcome. Lost track of many people from the past. No phone/address/email anymore. That’s why I do this public announcement on my site. If you see them, spread the word. Let them contact me. Lets have a good time in these days of fake-misery! Meanwhile visit: http://novasova.webklik.nl to know more. Contact me if you have numbers/addresses of friends in the past I lost track of: matskilimbabwecom
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
It is absolutely crazy to see how digital technology is developing. Are machines not invented to make our lives easier? The industry finally managed to hook us all up with a problem. I know what you think, here he goes again that ‘old analog idiot’. Hey, I was with it on the first days of digital and followed ever since!
At the moment I do not follow it anymore. Instead of getting over the ‘children-diseases’ and start-up problems it seems that operating digital machines only become more complicated. New programs, updates every day. More complicated to install and operate. I give up. Already replied a few times on a mail with file attached, I could not open, to resent in a format I can deal with, or I do ignore it. No I am not downloading more rubbish. Its all just money making industry fuckin you up with the latest.
While you are sweating behind this screen wasting your time being ‘updated’ and ‘hip’ for a week or so, I climb the mountain to enjoy the views. Who’s the fool here?
Saturday, May 09, 2009
‘The Wheel’ is mainly performed by Zoran and Matski. The hardcore line-up and founders of The System (like on the first cd ‘Not Owned By The Music Industry’). Jan contributes on an incidental surprising moment. The cassette will only be available by contacting me: matskilimbabwecom
Side A: 1) Sime showed me the Northern Star shining through the Apple Yard. 2) I Fight Battles with God 3) Artist 4) Only War Can Save Us Now 5) Waga Koi Gita 6) Love Kills Men 7) Excerpt from ‘60 Flights’
Side B: 1) Steve Albini’s Guestlist 2) The Door 3) Cigimigo (The Last Balkan Song)
Thursday, May 07, 2009
One week of no posting. Too many visitors. Meanwhile temperature is rising. The sky is blue, dissolving slowly in vague red.
Besides taking care of my guests I was very busy. The new The System release ‘The Wheel” is out. Now first as a cassette tape only. More info soon on this spot, or write to me to obtain a copy: matskilimbabwecom
June 6 my life celebrates several round figures by human calculations. I invite everybody for a barbeque. Write to me for more info if you want to come: matskilimbabwecom
Its going to be fun. In a good week the new PTV3 tour starts. Check the dates, come to check them out and do not forget to say hello. You know where to find me.
Friday, May 01, 2009
Ok, let me write a post simply because its fun writing a post on May 1. For you bloody dumb capitalistic yuppies who do not know whats so special on May 1: Its Labor Day. Well known great communistic/socialistic and whatever more istic event suppose to be celebrated all over the world. Main thing is that NOBODY works. So stop doing what you do.
Last night we burned the traditional pile of rubbish to start the celebration. Got drunk with beer, wine and local brew. The locals eat cebabceci, traditional Yugoslavian/Balkan meat. Kinda sausage. That’s too much for me, I am a strict vegan. Other years Sime has potatoes on the barbeque for me. He is on holiday this 1st May. Oh well, I can do without.
Looking up the hill in this lovely great sunny spring weather. Life is good. Fuck work and money.
Like to come here? visit: http://novasova.webklik.nl Take a vacation, have a great time!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Yes yes, I skip a day now and than. Still I will try to keep up with regular posting. Simply busy with my other non-music activity. Another bizznix, and I tell you its big fun. I love music, but the bizznix is full with losers and idiots. Problematic is that you have to deal with them since they take (for unexplainable reasons) positions. The other bizznix I do is something all by myself. Have loads lesser to do with empty headed braindeaths who think they owe a position. Ofcourse not everybody is like that. It’s the few ok people that keep me going. Music is still my main activity, but lesser ‘main bizznix’. Below a picture of me at the ‘other’ work. Nice stiff and conservative. Meanwhile we can have big fun if you come here. Get your as moving. click http://novasova.webklik.nl
Monday, April 27, 2009
Language is an interesting cultural experience. I like languages. Although I am not that good anymore learning to speak them fluid, quickly picking up words or relate the meaning with expressions in other languages I still can do. Ofcourse language is a tool to express and communicate. Sometimes people go too far in correcting. If you got the message, understand eachother, language did its thing. The rest is bullshit. Language is a people thing. They make/create it, not the dictionary. The dictionary is always behind. Language is made among us.
I speak 4 and understand some from many others. Talking with and the other does not know to express, I often ask to use one keyword what they try to tell you. Often this word is related to Latin, Greek, Slavic, German….. This is what I like about languages. You can do with it whatever you want, there are no rules. Anyone who thinks there are is just a dumb snob!
Language becomes funny if same words mean something totally different in several languages. Dutch tourists that visit this spot will raise their eyebrows, grin or burst out in laughing looking at a certain car racing by regularly on the few village streets. It’s from a pizza-delivery called ‘Kut’. Kut means corner on Slovene. The restaurant carry’s this basic, worldwide used (cornershop) name. Kut means something different on Dutch. It’s the not very nice streetword for the female part. So imagine you are on a vacation in the Southern Alps and visit one of the beautiful nice quiet authentic villages. Suddenly a car races around the corner with big red lettering screaming ‘Hello Cunt’. Yep thats how Dutch, Flemish and South Africans will get the message the restaurant tries to get across.
I wrote many posts about this spot in the Alps. Its about time to come and check it out yourself. Here another activity of mine, and invitation to come http://novasova.webklik.nl
Saturday, April 25, 2009
‘The Knights of the blue spades’ are very quiet so far this week. Most of the work around their castles is done. The green marches up, covering dirt and mistakes.
I am still busy around the house building a rock-garden. Cheap, easy and no watering needed. Now it reaches a more finished stage, it even looks good and… no watering needed! The hills contouring misty in the morning with bleach sun peaking out sometimes.
Keep it short today and leave you with a picture. Summer is approaching. If you didn’t book you’re vacation yet, contact me for an amazing and fun time overhere: matskilimbabwecom
Friday, April 24, 2009
Lets waste a post on music again. The other thing I am busy with besides my ‘avant-gardening’. Forget my top six list of all times published here months ago. Who cares, John Coltrane was the best last century, decision taken!
I don’t know much of John Coltrane besides his music. Slowly more info about his life came through time, what people tell me and such. From a friend I got two books. Never read them. It’s the music what counts, the stories behind the people…. oh well, they are just stories. Incidentally I read a book about music. A biography of rock artist or something else.
All these books are not only written bad but also have nothing to say. Full with useless information. Require about the life of your neighbor or any person on the street, you get the same story. Success is relative. Most names now will be forgotten soon anyway. It always was like that. Do you think that a couple centuries ago only few musicians (Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner,…..) existed? Hell no. Thousands and thousands more travelled the theaters, dancehalls and village markets. Festivals where organized with endless programs. Almost all these names are now forgotten.
Do not think Beethoven was kinda ‘Rolling Stones’ in his time. Sure he assumedly enjoyed popularity, if we believe history. But hey, if I look at all the nonsense written down about artists nowadays (even the so called ‘serious’ ones) the historic facts about level of ‘success’ becomes doubtful. There could have been a much bigger ‘star’ in that time who simply is forgotten. And why not! Its not such a shame.
A star is just an image where some people can identify themselves with, small or big crowd. The music stays the same.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
When the snow melted the neighbor on my left had to strengthen the hill. Mud sliding, his house intended to move. As a group of neighbors came to help I noticed for the first time…..
Must have missed something. Maybe I was gone when it happened. Did they do a gratis hand-out at the village square? Maybe town meeting of all men with free supply on the end? Call up from local authorities to come and get yours in the City Hall? Or cheap sale at one of the dump supermarkets?
Small group of neighbors hanged together in the field, drinking, smoking, discussing how to handle this job. Leaning relax on theirs, or relax resting on shoulder. Few even abandoned the thing leaving it leaning against a wall. All new, shiny, barely used!
It all got more suspicious when the neighbor from the right offered me his. Strange! I was working outside using mine, maybe bit rusty, worn out but still good shape and different……..color.
My mistake was to refuse the offer. I should have seen it as an invitation or introduction to the secret clan all my neighbors seemed joined: ‘the knights of the blue spades’.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Village fools are everywhere. New York, LA, Paris, Berlin, Perth, Hong Kong, Moscow, Tokyo, Laos, Buenos Aires, Idrija…. you name it!
Funny is that most people think that the hillbilly redneck is a typical small village country side thing. Wrong! They are more big city species. Capitals are full with them but lesser noticed due to the fact that everybody thinks its ‘hip’ identifying yourself by being ‘different’. Big city idiots prefer to create distance by showing-of: “Look what I wear and how I move, I am so ‘individual’, do not try to communicate to me about this”. That levels many big-city inhabitants mediocre fake-village-fools. You can count on it that in a village the fool is not a dumb city-slick with an emotional problem. The village fool is therefore more interesting. They are real and often like to communicate explaining you interesting perspectives on life and such. The village fools do not distance or separate themselves. Mostly they are an accepted (colorfull) part of society.
Its fun to spend time in small villages and communities. I often notice there is no difference with any other town/city/capital/metropolis. The same sadness and joys. In smaller communities daily life drama’s are clearer noticed. I often refer to Twin Peaks being here listening to the unimportant little frustrations of many individuals. Ofcourse due to the isolated location (same people every day) you get a ‘David Lynch’ way of looking at locals; noticing that one little weird thing they have or do!
There is nothing wrong with an honest real village fool. It’s a good thing. Fools often talk the truth. So join in, release yourself, let the real fool come out of your inside!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Now do not think that I offer the internet as the absolute solution after reading yesterdays post. Earlier this week wasted a post about the shiny lies most website designers try to sell you. The difference with the conservative media is that they only offer, it’s a one direction (read brainwashing) information stream. The sites try to influence you the same way, but at least you can switch, search and see what other say. Till now we have this possibility. Taking the (worldwide) total control regimes in consideration I do not expect that the ‘open’ internet will last for long. Yes, wherever you are, if you still think you live in a ‘free’ society, well you must be pretty stupid!
It’s the well known story about (miss) information. As an example I tell this one to many: If you see/read a news item 20.000 fanatic people burning a flag on a square in Iraq, what do you think? “oops, its dangerous in Iraq, better stay away”. Or: “all Iraqis are violent savages” Or: “war is so horrible, these people have it so difficult”? Well, I think: this is a news item, an extra-ordinary situation, otherwise it would not be news. So things like this probably barely happen in Iraq. Plus Iraq has a population of 19 million. On the square are only 20.000. What are the other 18.980.000 doing at the moment? Its obvious the few on the square do not reflect or represent a complete population! That makes news a true lie!
I know, the above story is a simplification of media interpretation. Just wanted to explain this so everybody understands.
Best information you get by meeting people in person! Travel around, go to places see yourself and listen to what the people say. Its fun and very educational. Traveling does not need to be expensive. There are many ways to get around with barely any money. Search the web. If you need some help, drop me a mail matskilimbabwecom
Monday, April 20, 2009
Got into my regular posting again. Will try to keep up as much as possible, but you know I might sometimes skip a day, especially on tour its simply too busy.
Media did bring noticeable change I experienced myself. Having ‘different’ habits, doing things ‘different’ than what seem to be the ‘by everybody approach’, looks more accepted. At least, more people on the planet are aware of variables then 20 years ago. For example: I eat vegan for a long time. Only mentioning this 20 years ago could get other people angry, what always surprised me. Being vegan is my choice and problem. Why getting angry. It’s being unfamiliar with, that brings the anger. Scared of ‘different’. Not only the provincials showed this attitude, it happened also in New York and Paris!
Nowadays I have this situation lots lesser. More people know what vegan is. I am not grateful to the regular media for this. They added nothing to the world community the last 20 years. The traditional media (TV, newspapers, radio, magazines,…) are the most stereo-typing institutions in the world. And they are old-fashioned. The presentations of subjects are done the same way as 50 years ago. Running after every new ‘hype’ in their attempts being ‘modern’. Trying set hypes, news, fashion, trends we all discovered long before. Following the traditional media is like living in a conservative frozen past.
Think the internet made people more aware of the many different options in life! Not that the net is the absolute solution, but at least you can make up your own mind. Media try to draw you to their sites, new sites come and function like old fashioned traditional media, but besides that you can find much more. Best is you switch of the radio, throw the tv out of the window, cancel your newspaper/magazine subscription (big money saver) and go out there to talk/meet people. The best way to be up to date, hip and cool. All media got a bit worn-out and rusty….
Sunday, April 19, 2009
So you didn’t find that place yesterday? Oh well, it doesn’t matter. Stay inside. The air-conditioning is probably healthier than outdoor stuff in the mountains.
Tipping situations in bars/restaurants or…. is confusing for people. I understand that. Local habits are different everywhere. That makes the planet so great to travel and explore. In Europe tipping is lesser an act of ‘must’. More politeness form of saying ‘tanx’ to the waiter/staff. In many places tips are collected in a jar behind the bar spend with all employees in party, dinner or fun-trip. For lesser frequent European travelers tipping becomes even more difficult due to fluctuating living-standards in several countries. Leaving one Euro behind on a Swedish terrace table is almost insulting like leaving pennies, but in Romania you would overtip a fortune. Often warn people overhere that they are to generous in their tipping.
So was I in the USA. It was not my first, but one of the early travels I made. Arriving in San Francisco. Friend picked me up. Dropped the bag in his house and went for a drink. The bar was crowded, the barman busy. I ordered drinks. Changed money at the airport, my smallest bill was $ 20. Had to tip! Receiving two drinks for a price of exact $ 10, I handed the 20 dollar note. “Keep the change”, I said generously. The barman looked at me astonished. “I cannot accept a tip like that” he replied. It was simply too much. My friend jumped in and dropped two single dollar bills on the bar. I got $ 10 change back. Since then I always ask for single dollar bills at the money exchange when leaving for the US.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
In the real world it rains, snows, wind blows, temperatures change from cold to hot. That’s not happening in the room you sit now behind this screen. You can watch the atmospheric changes on that screen, but not experience them. You are jailed in a conditioned situation. Poor you, you need help. You placed yourself right now in a lesser human-situation. Too help you out of this misery I give you an assignment.
Watch this picture:
Now go out of your protected environment and find this spot. Stand in it with you feet! Come to the real world !
Friday, April 17, 2009
Presenting the lie became human standard. It probably always existed. In the old days farmers had the best looking veggies and fruits on top and most representative cattle in front. Now in commercials you see actors looking like model-people. Styles, types that never were born as long humans run around. Articles presented in scenes that have nothing the do with the product itself. I remember an old mcdonalds drama commercial of divorced couple with kid rejoining at one of their chain dumps. ‘What about the food’ I thought, watching it in a hotel room somewhere. ‘Isn’t that what they sell?’ Obviously with commercials like this even the company thinks that they create crap products, otherwise they would not avoid the subject in their presentation. Mcdonalds is not a re-relationship-coupling office.Its sad to see that everybody in this world copies the idea of shining up the presentation. We all know that what we read, see, hear in any media is polished to a lie. Also the internet. Even the so called ‘personal pages’. Yes, fight me by yelling that I do this too. Can you start first criticizing yourself before pointing the finger? Tanx!
Back to the internet. Be aware, how private, non commercial and personal some pages look, they always turn out to be different in real life. That has to do with presentation and ofcourse imagination of the receiver. The reader/watcher/hearer might interpret the information differently than the supplier planned. Its still a drag to find clear simple information on most company websites. You have to go through so many bullshit first. For sure that is the intention. It makes me, who likes to work efficient with communication and information channels, leave these pages quickly.
Had a discussion last night about internet addiction and not being able to do without. Many of my friends think I am addicted. They see me often behind the screen. I always say that if I ever retire from doing all the work in music and tourist bizznix, I would give up my computer too. Laugher from disbelieve around me. Still, I threw the TV out 10 years ago. Don’t even miss it for one day. Thinking about how I use this machine I realize I will not need it anymore after I quit my jobs. All I do with it is related to work, even this website. I do not use the net for personal pleasures, fun or entertainment. Often I still send (and receive) postcards in the mail or meet people in life. Yes I do use the cheap options of Skype for calling, but hey, if not possible anymore, it want stop my life. For entertainment I hike, bike enjoy the nature, snow, water, sun and talk live with my neighbors and friends in town. Real people, face to face, I meet smelling their chemical reaction that no internet site can give you. I prefer that way above the cyber friends of your ‘MyFaceSpaceTubes’
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The gods are with me despite I am a convinced atheist. Was I walking around all day yesterday yearning to write a good old fashioned ‘dissing-post’. You know, one of those I wrote in the past sometimes massively cynical complaining and kicking against major companies who always promise a sunny perfect situation in their commercials. Well, brake open the champagne, pop the bottles! The local electricity company managed for the first time in 10 years to keep electricity flowing without interruption for 2 months steady! Wow. This is a historic moment, but pity me, no dissing to be done here.
Luck came last night around 8.15 pm. Suddenly no more internet connection. What the fuck! Oh’ well happened before. Reset the computer, reset the ‘internet box’. Had to do this more often. Still, no internet. Hmmmmmmm even the phone doesn’t seem to work. This is strange. Back to the computer and log into a wireless network of a neighbor. That went fine, got connected to his net, but not to the internet….. What the fuck, its not only me. Looks like the hood is down! A neighbor cutting trees sliced the phone-line too? Getting used to ‘situations’ here, I gave it up. Hopefully they repair quick or maybe the provider main computers are down. Next morning (this morning) still no connectivity! Goddamned. Lucky I have a cell on a German server. Messaged a friend. He answered that the phone-company is completely down fighting major problems. Around 4 pm, now in the afternoon, the line came back on. Is the phone swapping place with the electricity company now they finally got their shit somehow in order? I keep you updated about the rumbles and rambles of a Balkan country that desperately tries to be ‘West’.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Rocks. Billions around here. Many truckloads. More rocks than trucks exist on the planet.
While everybody is working the garden, digging, cutting, mowing I think its pretty good the actual garden around this house is only 2 narrow triangles of weed. The rest former inhabitants changed into paved terraces or driveways. On the back of the house is a real garden. Promised locals that they can grow veggies there against me having a cut of great fresh salads and potatoes. The rest I let nature do its way. Interesting meadow weed blooming in all kind of colors. On the two small triangles I was talking about earlier, I now ‘grow’ rocks. I simply let the mountain come out. No maintenance work. Maybe a weed cut once a year killing those brutals who dare to pop-out between the heavy obstacles.
Neighbors have more problems. The heavy winter made mountains move and threatens their houses. Last weeks my house was surrounded by a symphony of big machines working a rescue operation. What has to be done, has to be done! Today I move on with Avant-Rock-Gardening for a few hours. It looks good plus the spring weather motivates for actions like this.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Should read back my own posting. It became a mess. I just randomly wrote down whatever came up in my mind. Many subjects I do not remember writing about beforeProbably caused by all that wining about the past. I might fall back into a story mentioned on these pages before. Lately I like to play LaBradford. I know, its ‘older’, but hey, good music is time/place,….everything-less! LaBradford fits well with my Natural Snow Buildings tapes. Swapping from the one to the other I create a nice soundtrack to the spring weather around here. From LaBradford I mainly play self recorded live gigs (on cassette tape). Yes I toured with them! These tapes a great smooth recordings. In the past I often inserted a cassette in the recorder at FOH when gig starts. Just for the fun/own use. Created a nice collection. Just for me, for listening, not collecting or saving you fools, when do you finally learn that music is made for listening/dancing/relaxing and whatever fun you can have with it. Collectors are idiots who miss the point! They are also to blame for every economical crisis. Oh-shit, here I go again, too far of the subject. That will be another post. Back to LaBradford. Great band. I did not tour with them in their early days. Another Europe roadguy did. Already arriving at the airport some band members expressed their nervousness crossing that many European borders (it was before the EC, not so ancient times ago, remember…?). My border crossings were with an incidental exception, mostly smooth. I arrive, show passports and move on. Crossing borders thousands times a year, I do see the twice a year bad luck of being searched as a minor incident. Approaching the first, Dutch-German border LaBradford got more nervous and start preparing themselves for hours hold-up and maximum problems. “What are you worried about? This is an easy border”, I said. We arrived I showed passports we moved on. The formality lasted less than a minute. A sight of relief in the van. This repeated going from Germany into Belgium, Belgium into France, France back into Germany and Germany into Switzerland. At that point I wanted to know. “What is this with you guys being so nervous at these borders?” I asked. They explained that on former trips they had major hold ups and search every time entering/leaving countries. “That’s unusual” I said, “unless something weird is with/in the van or somebody fucks you up on purpose calling ahead” (unlikely). Later in the tour I learned that their tourguy and driver was a UK rasta with green dreadlocks. Ok, that explained their border problem. Again prove that only the small minded racist simple people apply for border patrol jobs. A great help to the real criminals. But we all know that. Cassette came to the end, have to turn it around. Till tomorrow.
Monday, April 13, 2009 April 13 is a nice date to pick up my posting again. I needed a break. Truck-loads of work forced me to make decisions regarding priorities. Yes, this website is important to me and a priority, but sometimes external forces like weather or tours keep me from posting. This time it was the weather. We had an enjoyable but extreme winter this year. As the snow disappeared, cleaning up and repairs had to be done around the house and garden.A pale March sun announced the end of the winter. Temperature is rising slowly. The dark brown/black hills show fresh smooth young green spots, growing like flowing ink-blots. Recent day’s randomly yellow and white spots appear on the forest-hills. The first trees start to bloom. Spring definitely arrived.I like to invite everybody to come here and share this. Escape your daily worries, come and see how life should be dealt with. Nature can teach all of us. Bring some warm clothes, the nights are still chilly.Tomorrow another post, here a picture made in front of my door-step!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Ok, I know. It’s a bit sloppy on my posting. Had a few periods like this. The regular visitor knows I will pick it up again soon. Simply to busy. My mind is so much with the many other things and tiredness left me no energy for more posting.
Draining was also the endless wining about the past. Happy its waving over. I am a nowperson. The past is the past. It was great then, now let it be where it is, forgotten and buried deep into my brain-memory-chip.
Since live is contradiction, let me be that right now! Incidentally I will write something about the past to entertain. Found this small collection of pictures from the band Metal Tanz. Don’t look for them on the youtubes and googles. The band existed barely full year and played few gigs in 1980. Think the pictures you see in the gallery are all what’s left plus a few rehearsing tapes deep down in a cupboard of my music room.
Yes I used to play in this band. Guitar, bang-guitar, percussion and noise box. The bang guitar is an old piece of shite lying on a chair in front of me, played by drumming on it with a stick. The noise box is a self-made thing. Some electronics connected and fed with a 9volt battery. Twisting the buttons creates noises. You never find the same sound twice. One of these fun things technical-teenage-nerds build when they are 16. You see all this on the pictures. I am the skinny guy in the leather jacket.
Most pictures are b&w. Had to scan them from the print. As you see, they are fading of age, becoming blurry, like the past. Personally I like this. If you visit this site regularly you know that I am not so into ‘the perfect design’. I like it vague and shaky, shapeless. Life is not a perfect design. Nature never shows exact balanced lines, straight pillars, equal remote rotations. Give up the search for perfectionism in mathematical forms. Perfectionism is the disharmony of your soul.
Back to Metal Tanz. All b&w pictures are taken in Den Haag, Paard van Troje. Yep, looked different 30 years ago. The two last (color) pictures are in The Effenaar, Eindhoven. Both Dutch locations.
Besides me there was Floor on vocals, bass and percussion. Johnnie on drums and Pino on bass and percussion. Sometimes Kor from Zoo joined in on sax.
Metal Tanz never had a release, just a few good gigs. Still the band was important for that ‘Little-venlo scene’. It was one of the first groups getting out, after this came the real kick-of with loads of bands/gigs/events and Limbabwe records. I am sure some people appreciate this little collection.
You find the Metal Tanz gallery in the ‘image gallery’ of the main menu, or click here : http://limbabwe.com/e107_plugins/autogallery/autogallery.php?show=Metal%20Tanz Have fun.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
That was one week ago. I am rebuilding the bathroom, re-organizing (avant gardenizing) the garden and booking tours. By the time its 2 am midnight I collaps to wake up at 6 am (yes, only 4 hours later) dragging myself out there welding waterpipes and replying mails. Things are getting there, expect some posts this week. Check out the PTV3 dates above, and come to check out the show. Till later.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The environment is pretty ‘protected’ in this valley. Most ‘worldly’ events blown over the hilltops never reaching the bottom of ‘moms womb’. It keeps the place peaceful, lesser stress, more time for life! No, do not start generalizing, this place has not a higher quantum of hillbillies like any other place on the world. There are smart and dumb people everywhere. At the moment I think living in the protecting surrounding of nature is smarter. Out there the world is turning upside down upsetting people with unimportant ‘news’ that is forgotten after 3 days or making you suffer because of a new thing the ‘leaders’ invented to stay rich: ‘Crisis’. This new hype did reach the town. My neighbor was home last Friday, hanging in front of his garage. Day of? I asked. Nop, lesser work at the factory. Everybody can stay home for one day a week. Great, you might think, but no pay either. The ‘crisis’ reached our safe womb. I wonder if the managers running the place are also satisfied with less. Biggest ‘hillbilly-type’ of difficulty I have in this town is with the music-scene! Most bands are just weak weekend-pop formations making money (or trying to) with fabricated, imitated junk. Working as a pro in this bizznix, confrontation was unavoidable. Everybody I talked with seems to relate music with money/fame. Uhhhhh…. what about the music! Quickly I came to the conclusion that the only musician in town is Sime, my other neighbor. On a sunny Sunday afternoon after a few glasses wine, he picks up his accordion and plays. For himself, nobody around. I hear him sometimes. He is not a ‘virtuoso’, but that’s not what this is all about. He enjoys what he does, no limousines, no riders, no record companies, no audience, no deals, no concerts, no contracts, no promo pictures,….. just music. That makes him the only musician around here.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wow, that was one week ago I wrote my last decent post. Did a lot of things and I am still working on many things at the same time. Expect new galleries, video’s and music. Its simply a busy time. Every day I give all a bit attention, so slowly vids/recordings/uploads, will get ready.
Its celebration time. Yes, I am posting for one year now. On march 12, 2008 I wrote my first post. Since that time I published about 300 articles! Wow, pop the champagne! Had a call with a friend last week. He introduced an interesting term ‘Far From The Middle’. We were discussing “underground music”. I liked the term ‘Far From The Middle’. Underground is popular. That’s a contradiction! If Underground is popular, than Pop became underground! Another friend walked in last week informing that even MTV likes to show of with the term ‘underground’ (I do not watch TV). Its funny to hear how quickly the desperate average media tries to be ‘hip’. So I adapted the term ‘Far From The Middle’ simply it’s a better expression than Underground. MTV is the ‘middle’ (MTV – Middle TV). Let us stay far away from the middle.Will write you a few more posts the upcoming days. Got to tell you a few things about Idrija.
Friday, March 06, 2009
The heavy rain last days washed away the piles of snow. Sun broke out today. Temperature rising. Like a miracle I enjoyed the sun for a moment in the afternoon hours, just before it disappeared behind the hills. The winter is finally gone! My posting will be lesser frequent upcoming months. Irregular twice a week. Have much to do. Clean up around the house, preparing for the summer, rebuilding, organizing, guiding, and much more. Still check back at least one or two times a week. I also work on new updates. Expect some more galleries, new video’s and the new release of The System, all here on Limbabwe in the upcoming months. Meanwhile check out the Majjem radio if you like to hear some real music http://www.majjem.com/ and ofcourse you can always drop me a mail matskilimbabwecom or leave a message in the guestbook. Till next week.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Tonight’s is one of these night. 9 pm CET (one hour later than UK time) a new Majjem radio program. Listen here:http://www.majjem.com/ or here: www.myspace.com/majjem or live stream here: http://www.omroepvenlo.nl/radio.html
Monday, March 02, 2009
Am a bit done and over with the past. Toooo many posts about these old days, back to the here and now! In the 80ties I started toget…….. Ahummmmmm, sorry. Anyway the radio show still exist until up today. I am talking about The Majjem. The internet is fuckin boring. People who are stuck to this machine hoping to find answers on life problems are disturbed fools. Ofcourse you can use the internet for a few handy moments, but wasting time thinking it hands you thee solution is useless. Find your favorite page, if bored find another one or switched the comp of. The answer to all problems lies in your body, mind and world. Move your ass and do something instead of staring at digital bits. Sometimes you find something interesting. That is for everybody individually different.
If you want to hear some great radio I suggest http://www.majjem.com/
A very nice radio show with loads of interesting music (yes, I was one of the co-founders, but that is a long time ago so fuck that!) It broadcasts every Wednesday from 9 pm until 11 pm. On their site you can listen to the show (and former broadcasts) anytime convenient. The moderation is in Dutch, but most interviews in English. Important is the huge amount of very interesting music. Great material, interviews and specials about artists like Dial and Sir Richard Bishop. They are also present on MySpace. The actual sites gain lesser attraction. Logic, this is about hearing music. Best is you can listen anytime while busy with something else (wash dishes, chop wood, cook, paint, cycle, hike….). The creators are big fans. You listen to radio made with passion. It is the spirit that counts…..
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Promised a few posts ago: the new gallery with unique Consolidated pictures is on. Click on ‘image gallery’ in the Main Menu on your left.
As mentioned in that earlier post this week, I toured with Consolidated from almost the beginning until their very last trip. The band was formed by a trio from San Francisco, Adam Sherburne, Mark Pistol and Phil Steir. The music they made was a kind of mix between rap, electronics and rock. A typical 90ties sound. Often the band gets very mistakenly labeled as ‘Industrial’. The last spot Consolidated belongs, so store-owners, re-organize your cd/record bins.
Consolidated reached the top of their fame somewhere in mid 90ties scoring with the song ‘You Suck’, a track in cooperation with The Yeasty Girls. Before that they gained success on alternative dance floors with songs like ‘America No.1’ and ‘Tool And Die’. The band was especially known for heir strong political statements. Most lyrics where about equal rights, politics, social problems,…. presented on danceable beats and accompanied by video’s (during the show operated by the drummer). Most remarkable on Consolidated shows were the ‘Questions and Answers (Q and A)’ sessions. In the middle of the gig they stopped playing music and discussed with the audience the issues shown on the videos. Most of these discussions I recorded and returned on later cd releases. As it goes with every interesting band, they got killed by the music bizznix after signing ‘big’ industry record deal. The only ‘major’ release; ‘Business Of Punishment’ didn’t sell sufficient according the empty-headed-industry-fuckers so they got dumped.
The trio grew away from eachother. Phil Steir left the band and got replaced by Todd Bryerton. For the short period of one tour Consolidated turned into a quartet when Gilley Hanner joint. A new cd ‘Dropped’ was licensed over a new label (Sol 3) and Roadrunner. After that Gilley and Mark Pistol left. Adam stayed behind as last original member with Todd. Michael Dunne got recruited to play bass. One more release got picked up by Clearspot called ‘Tikkun < Survivor Demo’s >’. Todd left, Consolidated moved on as duo releasing a few cd’s independently. Audience was fading, the bizznix showed lack of interest, Adam decided to stop Consolidated. He went on with a new project called ‘Free Music’ (more info in the Main Menu link ‘Free Music’). In my opinion Dropped and Tikkun were the best Consolidated records. Both released after the first break up. The songs, mainly dominated by Adam, are a bit more ‘poppy’, but very touchy.
I never used to make pictures until my first US tour with Consolidated. Remember realy well buying my first camera ever in NY at a photo store. The cheapest and easiest camera. It lasted until a few years ago. Replaced by a similar dump. From some pictures in the Gallery I do not remember the location. Think picture no 12 (Mark) is one of the first shots I made at the NY club. The gallery starts with European tour pictures. Besides the band you sometimes see Ewoud and Luk, two crew members. Ewoud did lights. One of the funiest light-engineers I ever saw working. He operated the desk as if it was a type-writer. Luk’s job was to take care of the visuals (video). Some pictures are taken at my house and studio. Technogod (see picture no ) was support on one of the tours. The last pictures are the final Consolidated days, with Adam, Todd and Michael.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
This is my closing post diving into the past of ‘Limbabwe releases’.
If you have a good look at the Limbabwe-release-list, most punk-rock releases (except Pandemonium) where later. Wrote sufficient about Pandemonium + there is lots to find elsewhere, surf the web!
Neuroot was the only band with Limbabwe release living ‘over the border’. They based in Arnhem. Don’t remember exactly why I took the tape. Did record it as many other engineering jobs. Think they had bad luck placing it elsewhere. Returned to me and persistently requested. If you like heavy punk-rock with rough bass and guitar sounds you should try to find a copy somewhere. Neuroot was a good band.
It was the eviction of the PH-Kade squat in Amsterdam that did it for me. We talk August 1980! Before Limbabwe Records even existed my youth came to an end. I was done and over with. Being active squatter we supported others. We got informed that the PH would be evicted. Up to Amsterdam to support them. It was the silliest battle of history. While high cranes surrounded the squat, we had our ‘cat and mouse’ game on the street. The PH was close to Central Station. If you are familiar with Amsterdam, bridges cross a canal right in front. Riot police at one site, we on the other. In the middle ‘no-mans-land’ used by pedestrians, workers, tourists, shoppers, catching train or tram. The officer in charge with bullhorn yells “Riot Police Charge”, Pedestrian traffic stops, tourist hold camera’s ready, news-tv crews film. The riot police takes a few steps forward, we throw stones, garbage, a steel fence sails in the air until “Riot Police Withdraw”. The space opens and normal daily traffic waltzes around gaps, holes, bricks and lonely helmet. Walking around the corner people amuse themselves at terrace tables on pavements. Drinking, talking, unaware of the battle nearly 20 meters away. Meanwhile the squat got evicted.
What is this bullshit? I wondered. Nobody cares, its just a scene organized by the Amsterdam tourist agency. I don’t want to be decoration of a sightseeing trip. It was obvious, attending evictions had no use whatsoever. Couple of months later I read the hard-prove. One new UK tourist travel guide introduced Amsterdam as ‘lively’ and ‘exciting’, illustrated with a riot-picture. 1980 the world famous Dutch squatting movement reached the status of tourist attraction.
Back home I decided to put more energy in cultural expressions with lesser useless violence. Surf the posts, you find the continuing story somewhere on this site. The ideas came and we realized many. Towards 83 the hay-days started to dim. We went different directions. Nothing wrong with that, its natural. Younger came and started with the bits and pieces left behind. The new ‘scene’ in Little venlo was different. They expressed mainly by punk, the ‘new’ punk, American hardcore. Every generation their thing. You all had the best time of your life. Demanding for you ‘new’ or ‘different’ values in post-teenage years. Until today’s generation and all still to come: this was you’re time. You did it! You changed the world. Then you make a career, marry, children …….
The new generation had their local leading band (Pandemonium) and squatted punk-rock joint (VHC). Limbabwe released its last tapes in the 80ties of punk bands with names like ‘Disgust’, ‘Incest’, ‘Zwaar Klote’ (Heavy Balls) and ‘Gotefix’ (streetdog). With all respect for all generations then and now I was open for the ‘new-discovered’ idea and stayed a bit. Sure we had a great time, but it was different. The ‘make’ of your leather jacket, wheels of skate-board, color of Californian-short, became more important. This generation wanted to be themselves by copying others.
Ofcourse not every individual was like that and we (the older) had our examples too, but there was a difference. We created our own identification. Obvious you can see and hear the difference. We changed names, played different styles, discovered new sounds and dressed all different. The younger all dressed the same, looked the same, played the same, sound the same, expressed the same. The time of the individualism, ‘feel and be what you are’ was over.
Ofcourse I talk here about the Little venlo situation. As I mentioned many posts ago, we were a mixed bunch. Coming from different backgrounds. Expressing individually in the group. What drove us was the desperate need to survive the most boring town in The Netherlands without wasting our best years. And we did it.
Although I took the initiative of Limbabwe the label was carried by the whole group. Many contributed time and creativity to realize releases same way we supported all our activities as a group. Nobody really ‘made it’. The scene drifted, getting jobs, partners, kids. Some maintained a freaky life. Think I am the only one who went on in music bizznix to ‘professional’ touring status, not as musician but sound-technician. Maybe that was a mistake. All my activities in music, including the label is done with passion. I have this unexplainable, unstoppable passion for music. One of the main forces that drives me so strongly, it took me around the world. But I also saw the sad inside of the industry. The meaningless cold fake bullshit. I remember F, that remark from you in a bar somewhere in 1981. Metall Tanz just broke up, other projects didn’t move. We had another drink and you said: ”pity we didn’t record or release anything on a decent level gaining position in the underground-club scene. At least our names would be somewhere to secure future plans”. Well here I am, 30 years later. Worked with and met many ‘legendary’ names. Those from these respected club stages. The ones we envied, looked up too, wanted to be! Now they all have nothing. Their ‘big’ name then means zero now. Be happy you didn’t see the other side like me. Let the music speak and forget the titles.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Appellation Controllee had 2 releases on Limbabwe. One studio recording ‘Listen What The Moon Can Do’ and ‘Live’. Some wine taste better when it ages. For AC that’s for sure. Most members where a few years older, but still had the swing. AC is a fun band. Friends that come together on a Thursday night, where other play cards, they jam music. No pretention, no pressure, no force. That’s what music is all about. I like Appellation. Their sound is a mix between The Can, Ornette Coleman and Hot Tuna. Not familiar with any of these 4 (AC included)? Again you have some work to do here. I think AC still exists. Assumedly performing their yearly gig somewhere on a small stage.
Zoo (‘Let’s eat a sandwich and see some high buildings’) I mentioned many posts ago. Avant funk rock. Great drives, good music. Duo LaLier is an of-Zoo project.
The very last Cassette release on Limbabwe in the 80ties was ‘Douche’ by Koos van de Kerkhof. Koos wrote poems. The book was stronger in the presentation than the tape. KvdK was accompanied by Willem O, sax/guitar/trumpet in AC. The poetry is a bit stiff for my taste, but in combination with the music it has its moments. Best part of this release was the book ‘Douche’ (showering). The poems where printed with waterproof ink on yellowish grey plastic pages. You could read the book while taking a shower. Book and cassette where packet in a sealed plastic bag.
Yes yes, I know and didn’t forgot the punk-tapes. Tomorrow I will drop a few lines about the punkrock releases on Limbabwe. I am still surprise that many think Limbabwe is a ‘punk-rock’ label. Funny, of all 44 releases so far only 9 where punkrock bands, 5 of those by Pandemonium. Limbabwe was(is) in the first place an ‘underground’ label, for whatever you like to fill that in. It was a platform for artists in concentrated in a certain geographic location to drop their load (music) of. And Limbabwe still is. The location changed and the amount of artists reduced. Music was never dependable on quantity or spot. Tomorrow I will drop a few more lines regarding this.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Meer Staal was in my opinion the best project on Limbabwe. The band was former Metal Tanz member Floor, his girlfriend Inge and ‘Oh Dev’ Andre. Meer Staal music was mainly rhythm strong inspired by Indonesian Gamelan. They played different types of drums and scrap-yard junk-steel. Not the punk-style like Einsturzende Neubauten or aggressive beating of Test Dept, but more sophisticated, nicely balanced. Andre could not touch his guitar. He was the main singer and played percussion. Good moment of the live show was him singing in a big iron pipe I placed a mic inside. The natural acoustics sounded great.
Meer Staal released 2 products on Limbabwe. First a cassette tape called ‘Kruipend Bloed’ (Crawling blood) Fuck it, translations of titles like this in English do not have the same fx. Meer Staal debut tape is impressive. Songs with heavy beats, growling backing tracks change into whispering light percussion pieces. Floor’s trancing timbale beats, Andre’s emotional singing, it was reaching magic. Although all tracks are great, my most favorite is ‘Don’t Not Me Hurt’. The cassette case was glued to a full-color print thick piece of cardboard.
The other Limbabwe release was a live lp called ‘Hartslagen’ (Heartbeats). The sleeve enclosed a single adding 2 extra songs. The record carries on with the same power as the tape. You can hear the band grew inbetween. Beats became well worked out emotional driven songs. The cover of ‘Hartslagen’ is printed in the colors black, silver and gold. An inlay sheet explains that the record is released after the band broke-up. Floor explains: ‘It’s that spark that comes from deep down that we’ve tried to express. The sound of the soul’.
Meer Staal wanted to jump ‘the train’, had some gigs, but never really made it. Sometimes a band that creates good music simply tries too hard. Out there, ‘on the tracks’, bizznix is tough. Meer Staal had the magic touch to create these moments of beauty. That should fulfill all needs satisfactory. Few still play the tape and vinyl, like I do. Only for the music, all the rest is bullshit.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Mentioned in a post last weeks two bands from nearby villages ‘Kosmetika’ and ‘Sanity Commission’. Both into ‘doom-pop’. Popular those days. The attempt to be original by Kosmetika appealed bit more to me. Horst, Amerika and Kalifornia have many mushrooms (champignon) farms. This ‘delicatessen’ I am extreme allergic to is grown in dark, moist basements. Two drummers got the idea using the bouncing basement acoustics. They recorded a few tapes by 2 simple placed mics in the space. A selection of these great drumtracks became Limbabwe release number 13. The duo was called ‘Integendeel’ (On The Contrary). Tape title: ‘Plastic Reel’. Ok, bit obvious semi arty choices of names but nice tape that incidentally spins in my cassette player.
Meanwhile the Little venlo scene formed new bands. One of them was ‘Oh Dev’. Noise rock of the hook following the many US examples (Sonic Y, B Black, S Acid,….). Oh Dev had many different line-ups. Steady members where Ruud on drums and Andre, guitar. Andre could never really play. Lucky he had a feel for rhythm that structured the noise. If the rest of the band played tight it was bearable. Oh Dev released a tape and debut vinyl on Limbabwe. After that they tried to reach fame releasing 2 more records on a bigger indie. One last never sold pile of Oh Dev vinyls I used years later during dj sets for scratching and throwing records into the audience. The label only showed a blue printed star. That made the discs suitable for this little show feature. Oh Dev never returned on my players. Doomed to sink away in the deep anonymous pile of forgotten average meaningless music. For sure had its function in those days but the mass quantity of average music does not serve survivors.
The ‘Kleine Negertjes’ and two ‘Rare Neugels’ tapes went the same direction. Somebody local experimenting. Oh well, I did release it then, so forever listed on paper and bits. Lets keep it like that and never bother about the sounds on these tapes.
As you noticed I go quickly. I was lesser involved in some releases and bands. Have no stories. Sure, about Andre (guitar Oh Dev) I can write a book, but that’s not connected with Limbabwe releases. These stories will appear in future posts.
Mark from Little venlo was very into 60ties psychedeleca. He could play and gigged around with several bands. Limbabwe released ‘Igor En De Zwijnen’ (Igor and the pigs) on tape and an EP of the ‘Revels’. Both nice releases. Funny, well-done recordings. Deserve a spot in your collection. Tomorrow more.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Yep, took a day-of regarding posting yesterday. Also today I keep it short. Being busy time flies. I will pick up the Limbabwe release list this week again. Today its time for another picture:
These 3 though guys are Consolidated. I toured with them almost through their complete career. From near beginning until very last gig. For those who are not familiar: Consolidated was a rap/rock band in the 90ties. Reached top of their fame somewhere 94/95. Consolidated was one of the few bands in last decade with strong opinions in song lyricks, criticizing abuse, pointing out social problems and standing up for the drop-outs in our (the West) society. The music was strong electro related mix of rap and rock. Some foolish dumb journalist or record company bio writer must have moved in the word ‘industrial’ at an early stage of their career. Until up today many stores file Consolidated under that label. Similar blunder like leaving Curtis Mayfield records in the ‘heavy metal’ bin. Another proof that most employees in music bizznix, from record store bin-filler until A&R record company slut, never listen to the product they sell.
I never used to make pictures. Bought my first camera while on tour with Consolidated. Have some of-stage pictures I will add to the gallery soon accompanied with a few stories.
Friday, February 20 2009
Back to the Limbabwe release list. Trying to follow a chronological order I assume we are somewhere around the period of Limbabwe’s first vinyl release ‘Alle Honden Blaffen’(all dogs bark). This was a compilation done in cooperation with OOC. The club in Venlo. AHB was suppose to be a vinyl version of Vlaaikots. Ofcourse it never became that. Honestly I think AHB is the worst Limbabwe release, with all respect for the bands involved. Some of my Limbabwe favorites contributed tracks: Zoo, Meer Staal and Catastrophe Bizarre. Some other bands where really shitty and should never been selected. Oh well, it was a group (including me) taking decisions. What made AHB bad were the recordings. Everything sounds clean, flat, no dynamics, no soul, no feel. Track after track passes by without touching you. The engineers hired in for this project fucked it up. Their technical approach killed the music. Lucky, most contributing bands had tape releases on Limbabwe proving opposite (better) skills than presented on AHB.
The AHB packaging covers the contents. A semi- modern-arty boring drawing. No direction, no emotion, no expression. The album title confirms even more my opinion. Small provincial interpretations of a project the hillbilly’s can be ‘proud’ about. A black page in Limbabwe’s history. Lucky my name is nowhere to find on that cover. It’s the only Limbabwe product that never sold out. Only 500 pressed, but it still returns to the store. Easy to find where it belongs, in the used-sales bins.
Ofcourse there are fun-memories. Ben worked in the OOC. The AHB project felt under his pocket since he was in charge of musicians needs, technical shit a.s.o. Together we drove to Belgium where the record printing factory was (still exists I was told). The plant was on the country site in the middle of a field, functioning as a farm shed. Side doors always wide open. Everybody ignored the official front entrance-offices where reception desks collected thick layers dust. Through the side you entered the production hall. Noisy machines, heat, oily smell of melting vinyl. The boss, his wife and a few helpers walked up and down from press to press carrying vinyls, labels, covers, inner-sleeves, masters. Sweating, tucked-up sleeves, dirty overalls. From the hall you walked into a glass wall cabin, the chaotic office. Papers, tapeboxes, cover designs. Only clear spot was a turntable for checking final results. The very first time your record is played. What you created finally became immortal. Pressed in grooves. The dirty chaotic factory turned into a dream-machine to heaven.
This was the good old times before computers linked institutions. To avoid bootlegs you had to ask the copyright organizations permission. The pressing plant was checked on regular base for the legal status of their product. A simple form and letter provided the documents needed. Demanded copy for prove never got send. Border patrol/taxes un-informed. Since the end of WW2 the Dutch-Belgium border is a free pass-thru. Only randomly controls. It was worth the risk.
Ben must have liked the record-plant adventures. For many other Limbabwe vinyl releases he volunteered driving to Belgium. Ones, on our return, it happened. Ben drove fast. Speedometer indicated 180km (120 miles). The border approached. Nobody around, the traffic light green, no reason to slow down. Suddenly, very close to the border line a border patrol officer jumped on the road with stop-sign. Ben jammed the break and swung to the left. The border-officer jumped between some bushes separating road with office buildings. We came to a standstill about 100 meters further. Wow, this guy was very loyal to the government risking his life for 300 7-inch ep’s (we just picked up the Limb 004 VHC compilation). It became the only taxed Limbabwe release.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
One more remark about yesterdays list: the classical music. Non is in there although I think some artists in that list reach a ‘classical’ status (Coltrane/Hendrix/Markovic).
The problem with classical recorded/performed music is the very technical approach. Only a few manage to express feel and drive. Logic, you play from a paper. I wonder how Beethoven’s piano sonata’s sounded performed by himself? Pity there was no recording technology in that time, so we have to deal with guessed interpretations. Imagine Jimi Hendrix music would be written out on paper and somebody tries to play it 200 years from now without ever hearing an example of the original. You think it would be as powerful and intense like the great records of Hendrix I have here? Lots of classical music is also overrated. As if old and surviving time means good. Its funny to see that people nowadays dress up, sit down and be quiet listening to music thinking its art only because of aging. Most of that music served the purpose to entertain in those days. Same level of an average rock gig or techno party nowadays (imagine people 200 years from now sit down in official concert theaters listening trance-techno). That’s how we treat waltzes from Straus, techno from 150 years ago.
Audience seemed to have been noisy partying during concerts and opera’s in the old days. It was for them nothing more than a good night out with the music as background. Sometimes artists on stage got attention when playing aria, solo or drama moment.
Ofcourse I have a few favorites. More music-pieces than complete works of composers. Some ‘today’ composers I like. Symphony no.3 from the Polish composer Gorecki is a great work. Like a few bits by Arvo Part and Even Einstein On The Beach from Glass is to be found on vinyl in my collection. Besides attempts using different technologies and carefully trying side-steps, it disappoints me most nowadays composers stick to the old fashioned formula and rules. Those who don’t, create chaotic emotion- and meaningless, boring cacophony of sound often sold as ‘avant-garde’. Not worthy to do something with.
So non of the ‘classical’ classical composers delivered sufficient material convincing me deserving position in my top-6.
Tomorrow back to the Limbabwe release list.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
So lets do something ‘of-my-record’. Here is my ‘list’ (hit parade) of most favorite musicians. Generally I do not believe in these lists. They are all so dumb, useless, typical pop, boring meaningless entertainment. People are even that stupid they judge a person based on the list. They think it reflects a profile from a character. Some make lists to create a profile of themselves. That’s even more stupid. Are you yourself or somebody else? Well if you let yourself be represented through another person better make an appointment with a psychologist immediately.
This list is based on what reaches my turntable the most. That can have many different reasons, for sure I feel not related or represented by the artists below. I simply like to play their music. Taste is not discussable. Do never quote or mention the names below to me to argue. Everybody their own thing. The list starts with the lowest position.
6) Neil Young
5) The Pop Group
4) Boban Markovic
3) Jimi Hendrix
2) Curtis Mayfield
1) John Coltrane
Yep, 6 positions. There are no more and why a nice figure of 5 or 10, fuck that. After Neil there is nobody anyway. Ofcourse many great records created by individual artists are around. But non of these leaves such an impressive oeuvre of work behind that they gained a position.
Neil Young is tricky. I mainly play him because of the rough unconventional sound of his very conventional music.
The Pop Group. The most underestimated band ever, go and educate yourself.
Boban Markovic. The best still alive musician on the planet at the moment. Absolute up there with Jimi/John and Curtis, except those last 3 are death. You don’t know Boban, check ‘Balkan’ ‘Gypsy’ and the more extended local gig guide. He might not only be listened under ‘pop’.
Jimi Hendrix needs no introduction, if he does: Spizdi!
Curtis Mayfield see post Friday, January 23, 2009
John Coltrane see post Monday, February 16, 2009
That’s it. Are you satisfied now? Good, forget this article and play your own favorite!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The video is Sensational, a great artist from Brooklyn, New York. Many years Sensational produces records for the best underground/indie label ever: Wordsound.
He also acts the main character in the movie ‘Crooked’. Sens acts natural, he plays himself. The story is for a big part based on his life. In Crooked many Wordsound artists present a character.
What you see above is taken at a live-performance in Leipzig-Germany in 2007. Downloaded the full gig on my laptop last year (2008) at the promoters house. I was with Wordsound on another European trip.
In this vid Sensational request so often for louder monitors, it starts to lead the gig (I was not there, no blame on me). With respect for the venue in Leipzig and everybody working there. Had a great time, last visit. The FOH was fine (a bit too compressed for my taste). I do understand the mistake many PA owners make. All fine for the audience, but monitors are ignored. Often I try to instruct my students at seminars that this should be the other way around. Put all your attention to the stage. The main part for a successful show lies there. Even with a very crappy FOH the musicians and audience will groove the gig if the artist feels good and comfortable during the performance. The other way around will never work. Remember: not the technician makes the show. But this is another subject, back to the sensational Sensational.
He creates weird but very groovy beats and raps. Styles never heard before. Might all sound somewhat unusual in the beginning but stay on it. This is so real that you will feel it after a bit. Sensational is simply himself as creator, performer and actor. With this video I couldn’t resist roughly cutting many ‘turn-up’ requests together going into a song. Its not a joke but respect Sens deserves. If Sensational is on stage you better ‘Turn Up The Music’.
Monday, February 16, 2009
John Coltrane (see end of yesterdays post). My most favorite musician is John Coltrane. Why I can’t explain. He simply returns regularly on my turntable for 30 years. It was also 30 years ago I purchased my first Coltrane record. Reached the age moving forward with music. After the teenage years you might like pop, but grow further. Till than I was never (like most younger’s) interested in jazz. To difficult, it all sounds like chaotic cacophonic noise. Trane impressed me. Wow. For sure there was more in this music than just some guys freakin out. Within in a few years, during the 80ties, I collected many of his records. Touring around checking the jazz-bin in stores became daily routine. I gathered 47 vinyls still in my collection today. They never bore me.
Many of my readers know Coltrane (if not, well what can I say…..uhhh… I’m blanked). Every generation re-discovers Trane, at least those whose musical interests reach further. With full satisfaction I contribute to this up till today. Back then the Pandemonium kids heard for the first time Trane at my house. A few years ago the singer of The System discovered the same records in my collection. The 47 records served many new, young listeners inbetween. What is the magic of Coltrane? He made me listen to jazz. Sure I checked and tried many others. Only incidentally a jazz recording pleased me so much it gained a position in my record collection. Some of these lp’s have Trane-level, but an artist with such a massive outstanding contribution to music and art as John is unknown to me. (Not even Miles Davis). I think it’s the spiritualism in the music. John Coltrane must have been a very smart man. He studied his whole life. Not only music, also different religions, astrology, science, history and even Aristotle. Trane tried to combine the spirit with the functional. He tried to make the music speak. His sound became powerful, full with energy, soul, emotions, expressions, feelings. Listeners can only admit to his storm of devoted spiritualism.
I am not going deep into Coltrane’s life and career. Surf the web, his life-story is easy to find. Maybe its good you know that he passed away in 1967 on the age of 41. For somebody with such a short life he left an impressive amount of material behind.
I like the later recordings the most. In the beginning Trane is still very technical studying his instrument (tenor and soprano saxophone) and made commercial concessions to the record industry. Still he had his surprises worthy to discover. Most among us like Tranes later, full grown, music the most. He was on the righteous way to his goal.
My personal favorite is Expressions. The first posthumous release containing his very last recording. On that release is a beautiful composition called ‘To Be’, where Trane plays flute.
I declare John Coltrane as the best musician of last century. Yes, he has that position. He was simply the best!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Today was again a nice sunny day. Bright sky, sun on the windows warms up the house. I lower the woodfire in the room. Promised to write about something different today. That’s difficult. Sure, still got many stories to tell. Those I published are only a fraction of what I carry in my mind. Maintain a list of ‘posts to write’. Interesting stories, but sometimes I do not feel for getting into any of the subjects on that list.
The knowledge having an audience gives me a great feeling, even if it is small. Ofcourse there is a personal relieve of putting things down. Psychologists would call this ‘therapy’. Very satisfactory is the knowledge that my posts are actually read by some people. Know this because sometimes a mail from a reader drops in, or someone starts to talk about a posted subject while on tour. I am very grateful for this, thank you dear reader!
Some mails jail me. Feels as if I am blocked in a situation. No way out. Lately get mails from a journalist writing an article about the past (the 80-ties). He already talked with many others involved but is very consistent since I am one of the ‘key figures’. Against my promise on this site that all non-spam gets reply, his mails are ignored. I have no choice. Its impossible for me to answer. Whatever you wonder yourself why, this is unexplainable. The o so many words about that time (and other) on these pages are facts, an important part of me will never appear, not even between the lines. Trying to explain, or writing to the journalist, will start useless discussions because the subject is filled with personal feelings, emotions, spirits, energy, opinions so complicated that the misunderstanding will only lead to disrespect. Do not get me wrong, I do not carry a load pressing heavenly on me. No way. No depression here. The ‘load’ made me. And I am happy for what I am.
This 80-ties article almost becomes a conspiracy against me. Old friends probably think its weird and stupid I do not wanna cooperate but reacting on the mails, positive or negative would create situations I do not want. Aware the journalist visits this blog I think best way is to answer him here on the site. You will not understand, but a public answer is my best protection.
You’ve read all above so I do not need to explain much more. I will not cooperate or contribute to your story. There are many reasons why not, you wouldn’t understand.
Feel free to quote whatever you find on this site, its public anyway.
Please stop contacting me until the article is published. After that you can write me again and I will be happy to meet you in person trying to explain. No, I will than not comment your article because I will never read it. I know the story you write, it was a part of my life.
Pooh, got that done. Back to my life in the now. Had a few posts about my favorite artists in the last months. Tomorrow I will let you know who my most favorite is. A very special musician, but not a special ‘favorite’, he has many admirers.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Getting tired with this writing about the past. I will fulfill the many wishes to complete ‘the Limbabwe story’. Tomorrow I write about something else. Another day this week I will pick up the ‘release list’ again.
Made one unforgivable mistake. I skipped the tape Catastrophe Bizarre – “Melodien Fur Schone Stunden”. Shame on me. I like(d) Bizarre. It is a bit poppy/new wavy for my taste, but survived regular merciless music selections in the collection (records/tapes/cd’s vanish if I am ‘over’ it). Never understood these people with thousands of vinyl’s, not knowing what they have and never play 80% of these grooves. Yes, yes I know, you ‘collect’, that’s a different hobby than listen good music (my hobby). Collecting vinyl’s has more disadvantages. You cannot move too often. Did you ever lifted a case with 100 lp’s? That shit is heavy! Living with the idea that pile’s of records chain you to a spot is unbearable for me. I have to be flexible, more light movability. That’s why my collection is kept up and around 1000. Ok, too much for my Volvo, but in 3 hops everything is at another location. Those collectors better also not live on the 4th floor in a typical old Amsterdam-style building. No elevator, very steep narrow stairs. How are you going to do this if finally agreed you move into the apartment of the ‘love of your life’? Besides that, the building’s construction might serious suffer under all that weight concentrated on a few feet. Don’t be dumb acting ‘smart-ass’ and advise swapping to cd’s. Fool!! If you like music you must listen vinyl! If not, you do not understand us, we who love fully with heart and soul the beauty of floating warm waves flattering our ears created by a gentle touch of the needle following mechanical grooves. That’s how you listen music! The best solution is to keep your collection within reasonable proportion. Music comes and goes. Some you like so much, it stays forever, other are just temporary enjoyments. Do not be shy to move on. Have others enjoy analogue sounds you got tired of. With a well-done selection you never miss those that disappeared. I even don’t remember the records that went.
The biggest record collector I personally knew was Afrika Bambaata. Drove and TM him around on a DJ tour in the time they still spinned vinyl’s. We talked a lot about records. Bam told me that his complete house in NY was loaded with 10thousands records. Believed him since we carried about 400 only for his few hour dj set. In almost every city the local record store got explored. Bam was a good customer. He bought hundreds of records we shipped to his home in NY using a transport company. I wondered how he remembered. Did he ever buy the same record twice?
Got a bit of the subject isn’t? Sorry Catastrophe Bizarre. You deserve some attention. The band was based in Roermond, a town 20km south of ‘Little-venlo’. Funny trio creating a fresh, happy and good sounding tape. Despite the more ‘traditional’ style we all loved them. Bizarre also delivered a track on the first Limbabwe vinyl ‘Alle Honden Blaffen’. More about that LP later this week. Catastrophe gigged around a bit in that time. Don’t know details how they broke up, but do remember one of them moving to Nijmegen, a university town 60km North.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
For days I write about old Limbabwe releases.
The next tape was the first full release of Pandemonium. A demo kind of thing, recorded quick. After this tape they released two 7” and 2 complete vinyl albums on Limbabwe. Everything sold out fast. With that Pandemonium was Limbabwe’s best selling artist. They where carried by the first Dutch, than European and on the end World hardcore-punkrock scene. A tight movement. If you where ‘in’ you sell. Keep in mind, Limbabwe statistics neither popularity, counts! Music does! We recorded the first cassette, EP and LP on a reel to reel 4 track. Very basic, Track 1 and 2 drums, 3 bass and 4 guitar. When mixing the 4 channels together Peter did his vocal dub. It was all much improvised. No real studio available, only some loose its and bits recording gear. My mixing and mastering playback where two stage-monitors. Later Limbabwe had availability of an 8-track and a more workable recording space. That improved the quality.
Will not write too much about Pandemonium. Surf the web, you find sufficient. Just some I like to say: That second punk generation based on US-hardcore was not my thing. I worked a lot with it, got very involved. But my generation was before that. While moving the PA around for gigs of Crucifix, MDC, Kaos or Negatione, at home I played records of John Coltrane. Clearly older some called me ‘grandpa of punk’. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Pandemonium. They had the drive/magic only incidentally created by a group ‘as if they are one force’. If that happens the music-style is not so important anymore. Not weird these 3 kids reached that level, they played together before children-garden. This energy combined with the look worked successful (see post July 18 2008 on ‘old posts’ page). Pandemonium created extreme trashy and chaotic music developing into weird interesting impro-punk-jazz.
It could have many reasons why I kept going while other same age-buddies made careers, stabilized relations or died. Maybe I just wanted to stretch my youth for a few more years. Still main reason is how we, the 70ties (first punk) generation, had to fight conquering space. The settled hippies didn’t move an inch but we won the battle. Since that time I swore never obstruct energy of a new generation. Popmusic is mainly energy. Energy is with the young (and a few old). Every generation has the right to re-invent the wheel! So if you are burned out clear the field, make space.
My battery was (is) still loaded. The dynamo of my soul electrifies mind spirits and body acids. Maybe that’s why I supported the hardcore scene, toured with Grunch bands and attended ‘House’-parties late 80ties, early nineties. I keep stirring under the surface with what the ‘new awake’ are doing until today and after. 5 decades of winters I survived on this planet floating on endless new created energetic waves. The weather forecast predicts a sunny day tomorrow. Expect me cycling up the mountain. Freezing wind, snow splendour blinding. Pushing personal borders. The new The System cd is titled ‘THE WHEEL’.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Limb. C007 Zanzibars Twist – “Never Mind The Bollocks”; Limb. C009 Zanzibars Twist – “Brings You Your All Time Favourites”; Limb. C017 Zanzibars Twist – “NRC By Bus”; Limb. C023 Zanzibars Twist – “Basta”.Besides Pandemonium, Zanzibars Twist had most releases on Limbabwe. Zanzibar stayed with cassette tapes. Pandemonium went vinyl. Think the main reason for so many Limbabwe releases was their productivity.
Zanzibar was Robs band, the same guy who silk screened almost all Limbabwe packaging. Zanzibars Twist tried to create discipline in anarchy. It’s a funny chaotic interpretation of what was considered ‘modern music’ in the early 80ties. Big influence on Rob was for sure Nick Cave (still Birthday Party in those days). Rob tried hard to sing, act and look like Nick. Growing along into the ‘scene’ like all of us, he was younger. We understood this teenage thrill and forgave him. Still Rob made many amazing printing contributions to our activities. Great poster designs for events we organised and ofcourse Limbabwe covers. Zanzibars Twist is for sure worth listening. Interesting covers and self created compositions filled the tapes. “Never Mind The Bollocks” the title of their first tape, (cover shows ‘big tits’) is daring. The listener has to digest over one hour of music. “Favourites” only contains covers of evergreens. “NRC By Buss” is a live registration. Last Limbabwe release “Basta” was a ‘single’ cassette. Lasting 3 minutes per site. Contained 3 songs. Although Zanzibar would be the type of music I like, they where not my favorites. The jams are freaky, surprising and wild, but too constructed and arranged. That gives it a kind of cold mathematical feel. Where is the soul? I like Basta the most. A short, more driven, song.
I don’t remember what happened with Zanzibar or who the other musicians were. Members changed often. I suppose this project slowly faded.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Yes yes, you figured it out that I try giving background and personal info of all my releases in chronological order. Was easy with the first 5 and will become chaotic from now on. No idea time wise were to put the vinyl and co-releases since they have another catalogue number. Anyway, the hurricane Limbabwe eased to storm level. My main memories of the 80ties is bizzy bizzy bizzy. Have the feeling I was running around like a maniac for a complete decade. Releasing, organizing, partying, setting up, speaking, raising, drinking, repairing, learning, playing, recording, rehearsing, dancing, fighting and stopping with smoking cigarettes. Limbabwe settled a bit and started to life. Bands came by themselves with masters to release.
Think Cherokee was one of those recordings. They where regular visitors of our gigs. Closely related to the hardcore scene. The singer (female) had the funny habit crawling on stage after a few drinks trying to get the band into a sad blues tune she can sing along. Comical entertainment for us knowing that most artists we booked came from different roots than that kind of old hippy shit.
The Cherokee tape was pop strongly influence by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Well recorded music for the lesser trained listeners who didn’t dig earlier Limbabwe tapes. In the years following I released a few more ‘poppy’ sounding tapes from bands named Kosmetika and Sanity Commission. Both these bands came from the surroundings of California and America. Little hamlets close to ‘Little-venlo’. Funny names huh!. In the same period a shitty commercial tex-mex imitation band reached national Dutch fame till up today. Made me doubt about the average musical taste level in these low lands. Another more ‘poppy’ band was the by the ‘Gang of 4’/’Joy Division’ strongly influenced Koko Zozo. Did some co-releases with them. Good, but sometimes a bit to cold recordings. Besides Kosmetika non of these tapes reaches my player anymore.Sorry, nothing personal. Just a matter of taste.
All cassettes mentioned in today’s post had a traditional cover. Silk printed folded card with the usual info. If you have no idea what I am writing about check the ‘Limbabwe releases’ page http://limbabwe.com/page.php?3 . Here you find the list.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Zoo-Big Band – “Fruitwork And Hot Coffee” and Der Junge Hund – “Vervormd” the next releases on Limbabwe. Again two bands linked in members. Both bands are for sure personal favorites. I like these tapes and their other releases.Zoo conjured with funk/soul like European white guys can do. Pumping baselines, edgy guitars and a mean sax. With full devotion and energy the trio jammed on beats from a cheap Dr Rhythm drum-machine. Great music and wild shows mostly performed on of-stage locations in clubs like a venue corner, the hallway, promoters office or toilet. This tape is a live recording from an extended formation. For the occasion Zoo performed with many guest musicians. The Zoo-Big-Band. The tape was folded in rough torn brown wrapping paper. Printed with all info and put in a plastic bag, also printed. All done with silk-screen. Pity, time let paint wear-of. Still have a reasonable intact copy in my archive. Zoo was formed by Cor on sax and 2 brothers, farmer sons from a real farm in the country site close to ‘Little-venlo’. They both innovated music weirder than the most extreme No-New-York freak in that time.
One of these two brother played in in Der Junge Hund. This band based in Eindhoven. Sure, Limbabwe reached over borders. Der Junge Hund was often assisted by the other Zoo members since music was related except that Hund jammed with alive drumming. Kremlin records released vinyl of them (I still have and enjoy). One heavenly overloaded deformed (Vervormd) recorded tape of a concert registration in V2 Den Bosch was handed to me for release. A crazy gig, full with energy. Wow!
Uhhhm, so you collectors know, this is just the start getting public about all my heavenly wanted stuff. Therefore alarmed my house, built 30 safety locks on the doors, bought 2 big mean dogs and my neighbor is a good friend who doesn’t like strangers and owns a gun.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
In the pre-Limbabwe years (80/81) a band called Metal Tanz from ‘Little-venlo’ gigged around with a respectable tiny bit of success. The line up: Johnny-drums; Pino-bass and percussion; Floor-vocals, bas and percussion and, yes its true, me Matski-guitar, noise box and percussion. Besides a pile of rehearsal cassette tapes, hidden somewhere in my archive, no decent ‘real’ recordings were made. After a short existence the band broke up. Ex members formed 2 new bands that even had a shorter life: Tango Djoboko and Die Sanfte Verhutung. Despite the couple of months these formations existed, they both had the next releases on Limbabwe after ‘Vlaaikots’ (see Friday Feb 6).
Die Sanfte Verhutung was 3 people. Johnny, Pino and me. The name and music is inspired by German bands like ‘Sprung Aus Dem Wolken’. Underground-hip in those days. We made a funny tape. One of the very rare moments in my doomed career as musician I sing (or try to). The tape was recorded in the basement of Pand 24 with a cassette recorder and two microphones. Must have given it an effort. The results are reasonable.
Tango Djoboko, the third Limbabwe release, was Floor’s (Metal Tanz) new project. I forgot who else was in it. This tape is live recorded in De Melkweg (Milky Way) Amsterdam. A professional FOH mixing desk registration. Music strong influenced by experiments with sequencers, something new in those days. Recently playing the tape I was a bit disappointed. Remembered it stronger. Too much or wrong use of digital possibilities?
After Die Sanfte Verhutung I only played in two more bands: ‘The Mainstreams’. The name covers the music. Typical 80ties new wave. Besides a local radio show The Mainstreams never recorded nor released in their few months of ‘fame’.
Many years later I jammed along with ‘Hysteria’. Non-band project with kids from the ‘new’ generation. We only performed. No rehearsals, no recordings, no music.
Besides some appearances in weird performances with making music on an electric plough or playing ‘Einstein On The Beach’ (Philip Glass) from beginning to the end (4 records) while sitting in a couch on stage drinking wine I stayed away from public and had an incidental incognito release. Most music I created stayed with me. Much more satisfying than dealing with ……..you know!
Friday, February 6, 2009
Ger had a big Philips tape recorder (hifi). We dragged the machine over the bridge to the other side of the river. In the basement of “Ons Huis” (see January 21 on the ‘Old Posts’ page). Young kids rehearsed there playing a ‘different’ style of punkrock. Qualified sufficient for a spot on the first Limbabwe release. In those days the rehearsing space was in an old part of the building at the front/street site. Ger and I where pioneering with sound. Both at the start of our ‘career’. The arch designed basement had bad acoustics. We placed 2 rooming mics directly plugged into the two-track recorder. More technology was simply not available. The results were crap, but amusing good crap. The lowest ‘garage’ sound you can get. Already than I supported the opinion that energy counts, not technology. 3 songs passed the selections and ended on the compilation.
How the other songs got recorded I do not remember. Most bands delivered a track. I compiled a master on cassette and copied all tapes myself by hand with 5 tape decks on cheap ‘Vendex’ tapes. For one week I was endlessly switching cassette decks on record, rewind and play. Finished with 100 copies. The tape was called ‘Vlaaikots’, translated as cake-puke. Cake called ‘vlaai’ was (still is) a typical local regional specialty. I bought 100 boxes normally used for ‘vlaai’ packing (similar like pizza-boxes). Rob, good in printing, silk screened each box. The KWJ (Catholic youth organization) had us use their stencil gear to print the booklet. The first Limbabwe released was ready for presentation on an evening with some bands. I informed the press. Had some feedback on national level and in no-time the tape was sold-out. The first ‘legendary collector’ from Limbabwe was born. Over 40 followed. Regular readers know my opinion about all that ‘collectors’ bullshit, I won’t bother you with that.
Here a few more interesting things to know about ‘vlaaikots’. It reached some indie notations in ‘tape-charges’. Most interesting achievement was a number one position in ‘highest priced collector’ (Position 2 was taken by PIL ‘Second Edition’ metal-box 12” release). This list was based on % difference between store and collectors value. The price of ‘Vlaaikots’ was fl 10,– (10 guilders), collectors offered fl 100,–, 10 times more than original shop price.
I still have a few ‘Vlaaikots’ releases. 3 complete intact originals with booklet and tape in box. A few (Vendex) cassette copies to play and ofcourse the original master. Logic, I am the owner of Limbabwe and therefore the keeper of the archive. Have all masters and at least one copy of every release. Ho-ho-ho, wait a minute STOP!!!! Do not start mailing me now for copies. One day I will put the complete back catalogue as a free download on this site. Be patient. It will take time and will appear by its and bits. Sometimes I listen to a tape. It surprises me how well conserved the cassettes are, even the cheapest brands. They stay as new, even after 30 years! Cannot say that about all these so-called professional (and very expensive) reel to reel multi-track and master tapes. They all rot away.
From the ‘Vlaaikots’ I like the raw garage sounding tracks the most. My most favorite is the last song from a band called ‘Coolcast’. Wow this is rock as rock must be played, sound and named. Pity I do not remember much about this band. Probably existed short, like so many formations. Memory might fool me, but I think they came from Arcen, a nearby village of ‘Little-venlo’. Few years ago it looked like the cassette tape would definitely be overruled by the cdr. Lucky that didn’t succeed. Recently the cassette returned. New generations discovered the easy use and price competitive warm analogue sound. I noticed many new upcoming cassette-labels. Lots of music is only released on tape again. Way to go. Analogue is the future!
Thursday, February 05, 2009
If you go to the ‘history’ page http://limbabwe.com/page.php?2 on this site you can read about the Limbabwe past. It’s a short story but sufficient. I do not remember many details or individual events. It was a ‘busy’ period. Lots of running around, parties, politics, music. Ofcourse there was the alcohol and drugs. We were young. Sometimes a person, email or event calls up deep hidden memories. All stays very vague. Only certain things I remember, mostly visual static picture, no movement, no words. Editing pictures together in my mind completes a story with many gaps. I do not care much about suffering bad memory. What stayed is ‘positive feeling’. I had a good time. That’s the main thing!
We where a tide group, a strong ‘scene’. We hanged together almost every day. I talk about the early days, late 70ties/early 80ties. This was the pre-‘Pandemonium scene’. (Considered them ‘second generation’. They took their influences from US hardcore and heavy metal. Meaningless empty entertainment missing the point.) Our generation was very diverse. We came from different backgrounds and had different interest. Middle class families, drug addicts, labour parents, business, oriental religions, squatters, vegans, fast-food junks,…. The only explanation joining together was surviving a small boring provincial town. Ofcourse we had more in common. We felt different, had creative expressions and needs to fulfill free from the settled organizations. We listened to different, what we would qualify as ‘better’, music. Read ‘interesting’ books. Watched ‘quality’ movies, supported ‘nonconformist’ designs and paintings. It was for all a learning process of discovering and appreciating. In our shaggy, dirty punk rock wear we visited ‘Symphonion’, a bar that only played classical music. Ordered a bottle of wine and sank away in the couches relaxing and listening. After neatly settling the bill we went to our dirty stinky basement. Threw up a quick wild party with beer in the bath-tub dancing on music of The Pop Group. Hell yeah, The Pop Group. Great band, still play these 2 records. The best music from that time. Deserves the first place in all Music Hall of Fames, Tussauds and nostalgia books + a never ending no1 position in the top 100 of all times!. Music of The Pop Group reaches far out above the average wining from depressive teenage-rock-bands who’s back-catalogue gets endlessly milked to fill the wallets of industry managers (yes, this is about Joy Division). If you do not agree with me you don’t belong here… looser, get of my site….. go back to you’re boring ‘everything must always be the same’ website!
Back to the ‘scene’. So far no different than any other teenage/college club in the world. What made it a bit different is that we moved our plans to a next stage. Instead of wasting our dreams in a cloud of alcohol and marihuana until becoming married, career making fools with kids, we tried actually to realize our dreams. We organized, created, started, released, printed…. It was big fun. And that fun got noticed. Some media further than local, came to look and listen. Our strength and driving force brought international contacts. Most ideas conceived in the few scene-favorite bars. Sure we were hanging together drunk, philosophizing, brainstorming, discussing, joking. Probably I was the one who wanted to start a label, but the idea to make a compilation tape, an ‘inventory’ of bands at that moment, was assumedly one drunken-night-in-the-bar group idea. The title ‘Vlaaikots’ I do not remember. Could be mine, but the label name ‘Limbabwe’ came between 2 and 3 am on Friday night (Saturday morning) in the ‘Tomp’, one of our favorite bars (and only one open at that hour). Drunk brainstorming somebody screamed “Limbabwe”! We all burst out in laughing and I said “Limbabwe it is”!
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
When it all started I wasn’t so interested in this site. Yes, the one you are on right now: www.limbabwe.com. Together with Obelisk we made the basic pages and that was it. Left untouched for a long time. The first reason starting Limbabwe.com was to satisfy annoying requests regarding activities its in the 80ties. I wrote it all down. Loaded some pictures up and thought “that’s it, done forever”. With the start of The System, Limbabwe came back to life and so this site. Besides info channel I also added more galleries that didn’t have much to do with Limbabwe or The System, but looked like fun to me. Got into ‘working’ this site. Make regular changes. Have a video running (promise more activity with that in near future) and started posting on an almost daily base March last year. Meanwhile I prepare offline more galleries and other things that will appear in the future depending on spare-time. Yep, I like my site and have fun with it. If you take an effort to surf it you will find a lot of info about my occupations nowadays and past.
The Past : Comes back often on my site. I write a lot about the ‘old days’ and soon galleries about ancient-tours will appear. Logic in the line of the ‘Limbabwe-history’ I like to entertain you with this material. Share with you the unique photos and memories. Why not! I am the only one carrying this material. No, this is not an ‘old fart’ drowning in nostalgia. Fuck that! At the same time I also update you with the latest of The System, Free Music, PTV3 and a lot more. That’s what bizzies my mind. The past is done and far behind us. The past in our memories is often a vague shadow of the reality how it actually was. Romanticized or shown as incomplete picture leaving wrong impressions. History is something to put in books, not to life for. Especially my history. Everything I did or was involved in was just a fraction of existence, so small, not worthwhile to keep it going forever. All people have a past with exciting and boring, happy and sad moments. Memories important for the individual. Why should we register all these lives? One century from now only a few will be remembered assumedly wrong interpret tanx to the crappy journalism of snobs who think they are entitled to archive and publish. Yes I do write down, but it has fun reasons mentioned earlier. Don’t give a shit if all these bits disappear definitely from the digital network one day. Who cares anyway than just for the moment you are reading this. My pages are likewise to those who never write a letter. Traces of my existence can die with me!
No, I do not write this out depression. Lately I get bothered again by ‘ghost’ from the past for info regarding long time ago activities. Fuck this, it wasn’t important. It all happened in a meaningless dumb provincial small town where mainly meaningless small minded people life. An unimportant history. What ever happen(ed) in this little boring town will never change humanity.
Everything I have to say is or will appear on these pages. From now on do not bother me anymore with the past. THE FUTURE RULES.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Writing yesterday’s post bad memories came up of an accident I was involved. Giles and I were driving the Test Dept van full with gear up North for a gig. Suddenly a tire blew. Due to the wrong-weight dividing balance got lost. The van swung on its site rolled 3 times over and landed miraculous on 4 wheels in the hard-shoulder. The vehicle was site-ways heavenly crushed. Back doors couldn’t stand the tension and broke open. All gear spread over the highway. Some smashed in many pieces but most of it still in a usable state. Doors of the front-cabin were stuck. I remember jumping through a gap where the front window used to be. Lucky it was in the middle of the night. Barely traffic around. A truck driver behind us saw it all happen and blocked the highway (M5). Giles and I were unharmed.
I am not gonna dramatize it to much. Did feel bad for a couple of days due to shocking and shaking. These things happen. The road is a dangerous place.
Going through recent scans of old pictures I found this ‘post-crash’ one of the van. A motivated to write this post.
Monday, February 02, 2009
In all my touring one of my most popular European ‘political territories’ is Portugal. Always liked that corner of the pinnacle surrounded by Spain and ocean. In contrast of what many people think, Portugal and Spain differ. The change of culture is noticeable. You feel it. I am not trying to praise the one above the other. Every spot on this planet has its ups and downs. There is a lot on Spain I like but this post concerns the territory Portugal. What I like the most about it is its super-relax atmosphere. Always felt comfortable because nobody seem to be stressed about anything. The healthy way to take life.
One of my first visits to Portugal was in the 80ties with Test Dept. Do not remember exactly the town. I think it was Porto. Promised a (female) friend in The Netherlands to bring her a ‘glowing Maria-statue’. Something typical from Portugal. The figure was made out of phosphorus material. It glows up in the dark.
Together with Giles (crew member) we strolled the streets and harbor. Porto looked poor. Miserable slums, ghettos and dirt. Naked kids jumping into filthy harbor water. Old women begging on street corners. On a desolated area that was something inbetween a square, park, public dumpster and abandoned market we saw a few stands offering the ‘shining Maria’. Two neighbors competed. One managed by a young hot-looking woman, the other by an old couple. It was of-season, Giles and I where the only potential customers around. We watched the offered merchandise. Both seem to sell similar goods. Prices didn’t differ either. The young woman threw all her charms out to attract us to her stand. Sexy she pushed her breasts to the front and wiggled her ass. The old couple watched this show, embarrassed shy. I decided to buy a mid-size/mid-priced Maria from the older couple. The young neighbor openly showed her disapproval. ‘She seems to have many qualifications to get around’, I thought, and paid the old lady who quickly passed the cash on to her husband. He disappeared in a behind the stand, out of improvised material ran-up, tent. Hided the money and returned with a box, fitting the figure so transport would be save. The old couple thanked us gracious. We walked away under a storm of curses by the young female.
Portugal changed a lot in the last 20 years. Poverty is not so visual anymore. Every time I come there it surprises me how quick this part of the world improved to a better standard.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
He looked out of the bus-window that was parked in the wide side street, right of main. From here was immediate access to the back entrance they loaded gear in this afternoon. Seated in a leather bus-chair he could oversee the concrete backyard ending up at some loading doors. Surrounded by pin-wired fence the usual chaos; garbage containers, empty crates, cardboard boxes, broken glass and blood.
Already the get-in had a false start. The local technician turned out to be a prick. Bullied him for loading up an empty tape in the cassette-recorder. “Who the fuck you think you are to record this show?” The technician yelled at him. Irritated the band-engineer left this problem with the tourmanager. It spoiled his day. “Oh well it’s LA, what can you expect”. He told himself. This town had a reputation for club-employees with bad attitude. It didn’t cheer him up. Threatening clouds thickened the air before doors opened.
Soundcheck finished. Bar personnel and security arrived. The bouncers looked fucked up, nervous and unpleasant.
It was a standard gig. The band played well. Audience hopped around and participated with the usual open mic discussion. This band brings peaceful messages. The engineer noticed that security stayed tensed.
When done, while walking up to the stage, it happened. The bouncers started to fight. During packing up he followed the unfair violence of the well-trained security on a harmless group of fans. Loading gear in the bus he passed them, lined up behind the containers. Bleeding, handcuffs on, defenseless still beaten by laughing bouncers calling the cops.
In the bus he told one of the roadies that this was it for him. He refused to go out there. This was horrible, inhuman and shocking. Something broke in him on that day. The clubs, crews, records, agents, managers, promoters, musicians, audience. From now on they looked unreal. The dream he offered his life for was over. He wasted his time on the biggest lie ever; music-bizz.
Friday, January 30, 2009
One of the inventions that changed attitude drastically in the last 20 years was the mobile phone. Besides the conveniences and advantages this article wouldn’t be ‘my style’ pointing out the abuse of this small technical wonder. No objections against the actual machine. Believe me, when the GSM system came, about 20 years ago, I was one of the first carrying a mobile. As often with these things, not the technology disturbs, people using it do! I remember the rise of the mobile (handy/cell). Exploding to a mass use people still operated it with respect towards others and surroundings. In restaurants you switched it of. At parties/visits you politely move out of the room when ringing. In public places calls got answered by turning away from others speaking in a soft whisper. In many occasions the cell was turned of: meetings, concerts, sports, at the job,…
Nowadays all these morals disappeared. The mobile phone got so deep integrated in our life that in some situations I consider the use by others as a personal insult. Too many among us give the cell a priority it does not deserve. I had visitors in my house who interrupted the conversation because their handy bawl some annoying mid-rangy dumb melody. Suddenly nothing in the world is more important than to answer the phone. The respect towards host and other guests vanished because the little talk-toy barks and vibrates for attention. Without apologizing and moving to another room, the phone is answered. Rudely the social gathering is interrupted and all attention goes to the phone call. Mostly these calls are of no importance whatsoever. F.e. a friend: “what are you doing?” “Where are you?” Just seeking for some hanging around, wasting time. Once a visitor in my house simply took his mobile and called someone. No excuses or announcement like “sorry, but I really have to call somebody. Do you mind? Will just take a minute”. Behavior like this is unacceptable. These kinds of people should not carry a mobile. This concerns a large quantity of handy-owners. Leave your mobile at home or switch it of meeting friends. Not doing so can diminish friendship!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Yep, I admit. Neil Young is also one of those whom returns to my spinner regularly. Sure, Neil is nothing special. Half the world likes him. There is barely any collection without at least one record. I was astonished one day meeting a driver in music bizz-nix who never heard of him. This is rare, since most musicians I know like Neil and therefore played in many tour busses. The moment was kinda funny too. Was checking a little pile of cd’s he had in the dashboard. One of them was “After The Goldrush”. No cover, just the cd. “Rubbish” the driver comments, observing me in the corner of his eyes afraid I would nick one of his discs. “Found a complete pile of this guy in the bus after a tour”. “Played one, horrible, that voice, he cannot sing, who’s that guy anyway?” “Have it, take that crap if you like it”. Since that time I also own a cd-copy of ‘Goldrush’. Own many records from Neil Young. All releases until ‘Silver and Gold’. That was my last one. Have enough of all these older artists who keep re-chewing the same formula. How great later releases are, I have more than 25 at home. That’s sufficient. Neil has to come out with quiet something to convince me investing money again in his creations.
Have all 5 horrible Geffen releases. Neil was very good in making bad records. That’s why I like him. His records are often chaotic compilations of several recording sessions mostly played live in the studio. Each song differs in recording and playing qualities. Technical failures, playing mistakes, singing out of tune, unbelievable and brilliant he gets away with it. I use Neil often as example to younger kids who waste so much time and money on the perfect well played and technical engineered recordings that never gets anywhere. Meanwhile nobody seems to mind the shaky albums of Neil. He sells millions for over 40 years. The absolute prove of my, on this page regularly returning, statement that pop-music is about something else than perfection.
Some kid told me he downloaded the complete Neil Young catalogue. Wow! That’s a lot of information at once. Too much to work it all. I do not mean the amount of bits, but the hours (days) of music. I grew up with Neil. Had time to get into every new release. Embracing his complete repertoire at once is impossible. It will take decades to absorb.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sorry, was busy for 2 days. Still do expect regular posting for a while with an incidental drop-out of 1 or two days like last Monday/Tuesday. Too much to do. Its not only work that takes my time. Everything I do is a valuable sacrifice of ‘time’. This is not hours of a day nor days of a week or such useless attempt of humans to metric nature. ‘Time’ refers more to a part of my life. This can be a season, a period of snow, a rain shower or simply a part of the daylight before sun disappeared behind the hills. For the convenient of the reader I do a concession with dating my posts by annual to daily numbering as common humans are used to.
Monday I was out on my bicycle. Amazing! Mid-winter in the Alps. Temperature raised a bit. Thaw came in and cleared most of the roads. So there I was, cycling the hill tops with left and right of me huge walls of ice and endless fields of snow. Local farmers staring as if seen a ghost, dogs, which never bother in the summer, announcing my passing with loud aggressive barking. Wow what a great ride. Tuesday snowed all day. Worked with Z on the new The System recordings. So no time for posting. That’s why a present here for you:
Yep, this is Dee Dee Ramone. A picture during Ramones-days taken on an outside balcony from his favorite ‘home’; the NY Chelsea hotel. Do not know the exact year. Must have been in their first years of fame. Dee Dee handed me this picture when he lived in Europe, early 90ties. He said I could use it if somebody likes to have something for promo/press use. I always liked this photograph. It came to me in B & W. The vague background makes the street shine ‘twilight’. You almost think this is over a hundred years ago. Trough time (oops) influenced chemicals contrast weakens and soft light-brown shines vaguely through. The effect is superb.
Dee Dee looks confident. Not strange, The Chelsea and NY where his favorite spots for a long time. The balcony must have been narrow. He faces the photographer and leans a bit right, over the rail to create distanced from the wall. Therefore the two neon letters ‘OT’ claim an emphatic position.
Dee Dee never told me who took the picture. If anyone knows more contact me: matskilimbabwecom
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Funny, everyday after more ‘challenging’ posting I come the next day with reconciliatory writings. Also today I go back to yesterdays post. Ofcourse all I write does happen. The stress, anger, insecurity, uncertainty, nervousness, tiredness,…. Its all there. Most artists can deal with it in a grown-up matter. Touring is not dramatic or annoying. What I write about yesterday are very exceptional situations. Most musicians, skilled or unskilled are great people, fun to work with.
Keep my post short today. Want to spend some time on the new upcoming The System release. We make good progress. It all sounds very promising. No we’re not endless busy fuckin around with dubbing and other types of recording technology. All songs come as rough basic material, mostly just a beat or riff. This we work out to a song. The actual recording is done live, quick on the spot. Often the first take is the final one. Energy counts, not technology!
Saturday, January 24, 2009 Somebody will feel offended by this post. Its not my intention to do so if no name is mentioned. My posts refer to nobody particularly, but if you take my writings personal, well you choose to be the victim here. Let it than be about you. I see this sometimes if other bands are on the bill or at festivals, a crewmember constantly bullied by a musician. Probably I am too strong of a character. This barely happened in my career. Twice as far memories recall. Both times I somehow ignored the frequent, almost day by day teasing. You simply avoid the person. Hang more with other, nicer crew/band members. Good thing about this job is temporary duration. The tour will be over and done within a couple of weeks. Than everybody splits. The one ashole is out of sight for a long time or forever. Often wondered what makes ‘musicians’ like this. They are found in all sections of ‘pop’ music (from commercial to non-selling, over-and underground). Let us look for an explanation. According to many psychologists mostly not the one being bullied is the victim, but the teaser her/him self. They seem to do this because of problems they cannot expose. Frustrations bothering probably since childhood. Especially in the ‘standard music scene’ pressure is high. Other band members and audience have expectations and visions you suppose to fulfill. The ‘professional and semi’ bizz is full with unskilled fakers. Those I was talking more often about in former posts; musicians who cannot tune, switch on, plug-in. I understand the bullying. You feel uncomfortable because you are incapable to control the situation. You miss the know-how! To cover this up you pick out a crew member to release your uncertainty on. Someone you have to make yourself superior to. Ofcourse a roady is a lot lesser important than you; ‘the great artist’! The music scene is loaded with drop-outs. Those who missed the ride or didn’t want to jump on. That’s why they hang around here. Otherwise they would be the losers, loners, living in aunt Mary’s basement. Keeping her garden, maintaining the house, fooling around in the shed. Nothing wrong with that, nor with the choice not wanna waste your life in an old maids backyard. But keep in mind, your frustration and incapability’s are not to blame on that roady. Remember you depend on this person otherwise you look like a fool on stage. Anyway, one day your ‘gig’ will be out of fashion, ending as ‘forgotten glory’ attraction in a holiday-park or hoeing weed between the roses. Meanwhile the roadie jumps on a next tour. So if you were one of the few trying to use me as your ‘relief-valve’, I forgive you. I deeply feel with your malfunctioning. Let me advice to release yourself from it. Tell your friends, bandmembers, family, roadcrew that you are a born un-educated loser incapable creating a decent note. Admit you can’t do anything else than just pretending. You’re life will improve.
Friday, January 23, 2009
This is a dangerous ‘territory’, the subject I move into now. Dangerous because of ‘you’, the people. How you’re mind is set. Your primitive instincts. Many have the bad primitive habit to judge people by the music they listen to. Take a look at yourself, how often did you criticize somebody referring to hers/his music-taste? Get it for once: Music is a form of entertainment. It doesn’t say anything about a person listening to teenager top 40 or difficult free-jazz. Nice people and asholes are everywhere, all types and sorts in all fields and categories. That’s why I split people only in two groups: The Nice and The Asholes. Do not judge me on names coming up now. They are just a few of my favorites. It doesn’t say anything about me as a person, neither my taste nor work-preference. I listen to all kind of music, from JJ Cale to Crucifix (If you don’t now them go and educate yourself). My favorites are those returning more regular on my turntable. For many reasons. Mostly the excellent music, brought with a feeling on a high standard.
One of those is Curtis Mayfield. To my astonishment I found out that many Europeans are unfamiliar with this great artist from the USA. In difference with his native country, where many consider Mayfield one of the most important influencing artists in popmusic, especially R and B. Generally I do not believe one person ‘invents’ music. Some manage to move it to a next stage or other direction. For Soul and R and B, Curtis for sure did that. He was maybe more influencing than James Brown. Ofcourse James and Curtis worked in very different area’s of R and B music. James especially influenced the Rap music. Curtis was around young aged in the 60ties with the vocal trio ‘The Impressions’ scoring many hits (not in Europe). The music was kinda soft Soul/R and B, something James was doing too but Curtis took it in a lesser hard, more harmonizing direction. After leaving The Impressions Curtis went solo. Listening through records in his career you can hear how Mayfield develops the typical R and B style as we still know till up today. Without him, many artists would sound different. Besides all commercial ‘girl and boy bands’, Curtis influenced great pop artist. Best example is Prince. The major influences of Mayfield are returning on every record till today. Prince first albums sound like Mayfield imitations.
Curtis Mayfield never really made it to Europe. It’s a mystery to me why. His music is so present everywhere. Maybe because he worked as an independent artist? From the first one he released all records on his own indie label called ‘Curtom’. Ofcourse not all records of Curtis where brilliant. Especially during later days of his career, end 70ties and 80ties, releases appeared lesser interesting. In stores I see endless re-pressings of his first solo records on CD and Vinyl. ‘Curtis’, ‘Roots’, ‘Superfly’ are great records. Standards in every respectable collection. To my joy I also see endless availability of Curtis second album called simply ‘Live’. Released in 1971. You have to hear this record at least once. Do not mix this up with other (later) live releases. This one is recorded at the ‘Bitter End’ club. Leave you a picture of the front cover here:
My personal favorites are ‘There’s No Place Like America Today’ and ‘Sweet Exorcist’. Both records are from the middle 70ties and show the most pure and emotional style of Curtis Mayfield. Basic in recordings. Minimal well planned arrangements of guitars, key’s, drums, conga and incidentally gentle horns. ‘America Today’ is more political, as the title insinuates. Curtis had strong opinions. Statements about what’s fair, and about discrimination not only concerning black/white issues. I especially respect Mayfield because he never uses the very racist negative ‘ni…’ word for people with a darker skin, unless it has a function in his lyrics. By my known only one song where he, with embarrassing, mentions the word.
‘Sweet Exorcist’ is about very deep, personal, emotions. It has great tracks like ‘To Be Invisible’. Unexplainable that both albums are unavailable. At least, I never saw them anywhere. Call myself lucky to have a copy of both. It is still a mystery to me why Curtis gets so ignored by the media (maybe better than being annoyed by the bullshit they write), and only first 4 records of his career are non-stop available. The latter probably because of licensee deals Curtom had with other labels to press and distribute. It is difficult for small independents to get product internationally in stores with promotion as usual. They often sign distribution deals with bigger labels.
Curtis died xmas 1999 suffering several complications due to diabetics. Years before that a stage-accident partly paralyzed him. A big national Dutch news-paper mentioned his death in 3 lines on page 26, while the same (so called ‘quality-paper’) wastes many pages on a ‘Syd Vicious’ memorial who never created, just functioned as a trade mark. Why did Curtis career gets so little of what it deserves till today? Can think of a few reasons: his independence annoyed the music bizz-nix, his political statements annoyed the extremists from every side, his personal deep sensitive soulful way to touch the truth,….. Let his music speak for itself.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Ok, next post will be about one or more of my favorite musicians. Enough about music, today something else. Had a great long hike in nature. The winter is cold with loads of snow. This makes many places unreachable for most. Today I walked to destinations that are popular in the summer. Untouched clear and pure snow on the paths. Wow, I am going where nobody set a foot for months. Plodding along I enjoy the clean surroundings. Great views, misty mountains, open forest and snow, snow, snow….endless snow. Show you some pictures in the summer to cool of.
Coming home I have it nice and warm with the wood-burner in the living room. An old but fine working thing. Reddish rusty steel backed up by a rough chimney.
On top tee-pot to warm up the thirsty inside. Stones that hold the heat longer. Decoration souvenir from my own garden. A piece of the rock I live on! Left some supply of firewood, right small bits and splinters to start the fire with. 21+ Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) it is in the room. Cozy and comfortable. A glass of local red wine finishes it of. I will survive this winter!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
No, I am not a big fan of Jonathan Richman. I simply remember him better than most other bands. Probably because his performances where very different. The music did not fit into any category either. Some kind of Sesame Street rock and roll. Childish songs with a touch of adultness. The presentation was similar. Still have a few records. Ofcourse the first one ‘Modern Lovers’. Rough and wild like early Velvet Underground.Produced by John Cale. Most recordings where made long before release. Probably Jonathan wanted to go a different, sweeter, direction. A few ‘kiddy’ songs got added, and the first album was a fact. ‘Rock and Roll with’ is also still in my collection. For me his best album. Live recorded in a space with only room-mic’s. They all play only acoustic instruments. Great result. The Modern Lovers was at its top and best line-up. Most enjoyable control of dynamics and sound. This was their hit-album, containing ‘Egyptian Reggae’.Incidentally I play these records. Listening to the lyrics you might wonder if this guy was on the right track. Adoration for ‘flowers and bee’s’. Admiration for homeland and town (New England/Boston). Lots more issues touching the borders of ‘right-wing’, ‘conservatism’, ‘chauvinism’, red-neck behavior. About the ‘Ons Huis’ gig (see yesterday) I remember a few things. Jonathan was a vegan. On the contract rider (hospitality instructions) was nothing about food and drinks. The roadies where happy with drink tickets and some food money. They headed to the nearest fast-food dump. In the afternoon I filled the dressing room fridge with a selection of soft drinks and some beers. Backstage I asked Jonathan what he wanted to drink and if he would like to have some food. ‘Just some tap-water’, he replied while digging a pot of beans out of his bag. Besides a request not to smoke backstage it was all he wanted.
Like to close up this post about something I write in the beginning. How is this nowadays with being original? In the 70ties you could clearly recognize music from many individual bands and artists. They all had their own style and sound. Stealing happened a lot, for sure, but copying was a lesser popular thing to do in that time. It was all about ‘different’, not be-or-sound like somebody else. Nowadays many artists sound the same. What’s up with that? We are still unique individuals. Are younger generations afraid for being themselves? Or is it lack of imagination and creativity. I do not buy the excuse that everything is already done. Fuck that! I think the explanation is into materialism. Easy money, imitating, be somebody by pretending. It killed the soul and art in lots of new music. What happened to you, youngster. Me, the ‘old’ Matski challenge you. Or do you categorize yourself under ‘scared pussy’?
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
This was about 30 years ago, but I remember it very well. One of first steps in my shaky career (although it had some moments) of concert-promoter. At my young age I incidentally started to organize gigs in a venue called “Ons Huis” (Our Home). An old classical theater-type building. Foyer, Bar, Toilets, Concert room, Stage, Dressing room and back (artist) entrance. Maximum capacity 800. The place was owned by the church who preferred it to be used as community centre. Besides the children garden (shared with the dressing room) locals ignored the building. It was situated suburbian, a part of town where nobody came without valid reasons, on the border of labour (poor) and the better middleclass neighborhood. The place was very suitable to organize gigs in. Others did it before me. Sufficient parking and the ‘great’ artist I put on stage would attract a ‘large crowd’.
One of these shows in ‘Ons Huis’ I remember the best was with Jonathan Richman (see a post about him few months ago). He was already on his return. The Modern Lovers left him. It was a solo tour. Must have been 1979/80. Still admiring Jonathans live reputation nothing could go wrong getting him on stage. So it was. The gig was great. Jonathan all alone amused the crowd for more than 2 hours. He did his endless version of ‘Ice Cream Man’ and buzzed the honeybees. About 250 people showed up. Sufficient to cover costs. So why particularly remember this event?
As usual I left home around 2pm to make the necessary preparations. Not much to do. The agent assured me no PA was needed, Jonathan would carry all equipment needed. Most bands arrive around 4pm to set up, sound check, have dinner. At 5pm no Jonathan. ‘Oh well, he is alone, no band, so the check will be easy. Around 6pm is more than good’ I was convincing myself. At 7pm, no sign of Jonathan. I was getting worried. The bar crew arrived refilling stock, connecting barrels, cleaning drafts. Security and doormen counted cash registers. The stage was empty. No PA, no equipment, no Jonathan Richman. Tried to reach the agent, but this was pre-mobile (and internet) time. Nobody in his office. No one to reach, all what was left is waiting. Got extreme nervous as the clock got closer to 8pm. ‘something must have happened, why don’t they call!’ Close to 8 decided to open doors anyway. ‘Can always give them the money back’. Slowly audience came dripping in. Kept them in the foyer and bar. At 8.20pm a small van raced in front of the back-entrance. Excited I ran outside. 2 big classical black wearing roadies in the front cabin, Jonathan alone in the back. A sight of relieve escaped me. ‘What happened? Where were you?’ I asked. The 2 roadies looked at me confused. ‘How do you mean?’ The driver asked. ‘Well its already after 8’ I responded. The roadies laughed. ‘Loads of time, show doesn’t start till 9’. While I showed Jonathan the dressing room the 2 roadies unloaded a small simple vocal PA. Easy equipment. Installed and ready to go within 5 minutes. After I handed them 20 drink-tickets and some dinner money, they disappeared at the bar trying to hook up with some local girls. Jonathan walked on stage at 8.50pm.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Energy is an important factor too (scroll down to yesterdays post first). For me, the most important. Especially in pop since it has barely anything else to offer. I like to visit gigs of bands that play with drive (be aware, as I wrote here more often, drive/energy is not the same as fast and loud. Slow and/or low volume can be energetic too). Not many musicians can do this. Playing with drive is also not age-related. The few young enthusiastic noise kids are equal in number with the older settled who still manage to throw it all in the pitch. Lots of entertainers do not amuse me. They got stuck by weak imitations of something done so often. This strikes me the most. Why do so many copy? I know it’s a part of a learning process to first try what others did than develop your own style. But most get stuck caused by lack of fantasy or satisfaction with a short career. Money can’t be the reason. Discover that most ‘old heroes’ are poor forgotten souls.
For many musicians it seems to be difficult to register the energy. It makes most records boring useless products. Never buy ‘blind’ an album after attending a great live gig. First have a listen. It might be a waste of money, unless you just want to obtain a souvenir. For sure the development in recording technology added a lot to the flat non-dynamic boring sound of many records nowadays. Lucky, we are in a period where more seem to understand this. Makes the music ‘scene’ of the moment worthy to give some investigation. Still I seldom buy a new record. There is nothing available impressing me sufficient to waste money on. My record collection only gets smaller. More and more crap disappears. This is not due to downloading, an activity I do not participate in, unless it is handing you music on other pages of this site. At the moment I am mainly informed by the music people forward to me. Lots of underground stuff, new bands. Loads of rubbish, but also some good music. Underground is not a label for good! Under or over, its all entertainment.
The least recognizable in pop are the artists creating to express feelings, emotions,…. Not the false ones, the ‘hillbilly’ or ‘schlager’ related music. Music with lyrics about the ‘little drama in life’. Bullshit. Be aware that a lot of ‘serious’ music has this fake sentiment. It is a ticket to ‘fame’. Real personal expressions often go together with pioneering. Not acceptable for the mass-ears and a difficult territory. Creating myself, I mostly splash around in this grey mud of sounds. Only a bit is publicly reachable. Generally not bad received by a few. Most friends withhold comment. They probably want to stay friends. This year I will publish some more noise. You finally can take your revenge and kill my creation publicly. Meanwhile let me play another vinyl. Music is one of the better inventions by humans. Even better than that fuckin’ wheel. It only brought death and misery. Music brings peace and happiness!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Confusion all over for those who try to follow my posts? How come I admire the crap and diss the greatest? The answer is with you, the people on this planet and with the media. Ofcourse I do not admire what is crap in my ears. Its funny to come up with album reviews of artists that generally have a ‘crap’ reputation among the ‘better music’ listeners. This labeling is often directed by media. Still I blame you if you follow doubtful categorizing and judging of music. You have your own taste and decide what is good. Liking a band, record or song can have many reasons. Popmusic is allowed to be liked based on: ‘most beloved’, ‘memories of childhood’, ‘good looking’, ‘political statements’, and so on. Working in music bizznix for 30 years now I regularly was amazed about the musical incapability of many ‘pop-stars’. Many of the famous artists you adore are not even capable to tune their guitar, or even able to plug it into an amplifier. They often do not know where the on/of switch is. If I would ask them to play ‘B-flat on an 7/9 beat’, the so called ‘musician’ is turning his ears upside down reacting “a…uhhhh what?” How negative all this sounds, still I like loads of popmusic, but I hope you understand now a bit how I came to this definition: popmusic is music that seemed to embrace everything except music. With popmusic I mean all styles that are not classical, jazz, folk related. From disco to drum and base, industrial to speedmetal. Spears to Sprung, Gristle to Gaynor. Still be aware that lots of classical, jazz and folk music is pop. Pop has a good side. Everybody can do it. You can be a star and create. That makes pop so popular. We all have these dreams to be a well-known star. The entertainment factor is massive important. Let us like music, why not!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Oh yes, herewith I confirm the rumor:
In its original line-up, the duo: Zoran and Matski. The two members who actually started The System in 2002 and are mainly responsible for creating the first, and most smashing, System cd ‘Not Owned By The Music Industry’. Z and M are working on new recordings that will for sure be accessible to the public when ready. Again, like always, expect the unexpected. Live appearances might be possible in the near future. If you are interested contact me matskilimbabwecom . Here the proof? : is this Zoran working in Matski’s studio…..?
Friday, January 16, 2009
Was yesterdays’ post shocking to you? I realize touching a big ‘icon’ here. Steve Albini is respected by many, especially those who think they listen to the ‘better’ pop-music. Is Steve ‘untouchable’? Does ‘better’ popmusic exist? Good questions. For sure you can compare Albini with other famous ‘stars’. He is simply up there. A selling name. Knowing him a little bit I do think he probably also dislikes the big nonsense blow ups around his name. But it’s a part of the deal being a public figure. Steve’s attacks on the music industry only make his ‘star’ position stronger. This is exactly what his fans want to hear because they like to escape in the dream that they are not being fooled like Pet Shop Boys fans are. “Isn’t Albini’s music so different and lesser acceptable by the mass?” Woo, those fans are really tricked. Never realized the expensive ticket and sold out venue? The audience of Albini is too big to be underground or alternative. The Pet shops and Steve have a lot in common if it concerns keeping the product going. What do you think would happen if Albini’s next record is a bombastic synthesizer sequenced disco record called ‘Go East’ or ‘Being Happy’. Yes, he would lost most of his audience. Same if Pet Shops would come out with bad sounding high pitched squeezing guitars on wild rock beats. So they both nicely do the same thing. Repeating to give the audience what they want so their bank account has many zero’s in front of the comma. Nothing wrong with making money, but it leaves the statement ‘better popmusic’ open to doubt.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Cleaned the drive-up to the house again. Lucky, weather forecast says that snow will stop for a while. I will miss the daily exercise.
For many the diversity of bands and music on this site will be beyond believe. Being born just in time, I learned to respect lots of different music styles. Take my posts of this week. From The Allman Brothers Band to Test Dept. Hoopy, what a jump. And here we go, lets talk about the PET SHOP BOYS and STEVE ALBINI! Probably I am one of the few on this planet who can combine the two. Sure it will be a great idea if Steve Albini produces an album of The Pet Shop Boys. They both have a lot in common. Read on……
The Pet Shop Boys is for sure not one of my favorites. I listened to it, as I listen to lots of music, also the music I do not like. Simply to figure out what it is. Of the Pet Shop Boys I purchased a tape (Yugotone). Played it 4/5 times and got dumped. In waiting rooms (barber/doctor/….) my respect for the Pet Shop Boys raised the last two decades. Not so much because of their music, that stayed the same crap, but more how they deal with it. Magazines lying around in these waiting rooms. Out of boredom and semi interest I always choose the ‘music’ interview. Twice it occurred conversations with the two members of Pet Shop. My eyebrows rose reading that both seem to realize exactly what they do. Honest open confessions to be nothing more than creating a product for making money, like soap! And goddammed, whatever you say, that product does sell (also tanx to good marketing). They know from themselves their music is meaningless. Ok assumedly most commercial artist know, but how many do you know that would openly say in an interview something like ‘oh well, it’s a shitty meaningless dumb track, but it brought me millions’. The PS Boys clearly made remarks in that direction.
Another waiting room some time later another interview they explained in details how their ‘live’ performances go. Very honest and open. Again I was surprised about the honesty of this band. Not common in their ‘scene’.
So here is the link with Steve Albini. In the time I listened to that PS tape, I drove one of Steve’s bands around in Europe (TM/FOH). It was late 80ties. Never worked with Steve again, but on the road cruising the same ‘circuit’ ran into him sometimes. One of these times I got introduced to his crew as the guy who ‘likes the Pet Shop Boys’. Well Steve, let me tell you this. I do not like the Pet Shops, but at least I gave it a listen! Did you? Maybe you can learn something of them. You both do the complete career the same thing, repeating a formula that sells. Lets be honest, since Big Black, you play the same riff over and over again. Rapeman or Shellac, it is still the same thing you repeat, because it sells. Like the Pet Shop Boys discovered a golden sound increasing bank account positivs. Both probably are not even capable to play something different being no more than a media blown-up non-musician. Yes I know, its easy to be ‘alternative’ if you are a sell-out, as easy it is for the PS to be ‘popular’. You both are equally pop-music selling bullshit with only one difference Steve can learn from: The Pet Shop Boys openly confess that they are a marketed product.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Ok. Moved the snow of the driveway, cleared the walking path to the frontdoor, chopped sufficient firewood for a few days and refilled the oil heater. Can stand the winter for a few more days now. Time for the Test Dept picture I promised yesterday :
Yep, a fairly good picture. Taken somewhere end 80ties/early 90ties (89/90/91) I see this by the first two persons from the left. They joined Test Dept in their last years mainly responsible for the sampled ‘techno’ sound. A new direction Test Dept was very into. Like everything with and related to techno, a road down the hill. It made the band slowly fall into oblivion. Who remembers Test Dept nowadays? Shame on you, especially the first episode, 1982 to 1990 is worth checking.
Back to the picture, from left to right as you see it. On the left these two at that moment recent members only temporarily connected with the band. I forgot their names (sorry), but one of them was called Andy. Than comes me, yep the guy in the brown jacket. I was the FOH. Next person making the peace sign is another Andy. He was crew member, more involved in visuals, also only shortly with us. Andy lays his arm over the shoulder of Graham, one of the original founders of Test Dept. Next to Gray is Guy Fergusson. He mainly played the cello. The long leather coat wearing character in the front is Alistair, a Scottish bagpipe player. Next to Alistair is Paul. Together with Gray he started Test Dept. Last on the right is Tony, the Blackpool labourer. His specialty was the didgeridoo. Paul and Gray mostly did all vocal bits. Everybody slammed steel and percussion.
Missing on the picture are Angus and Giles. Angus lived in Edinburgh those days. Giles took the picture. He was the kinda tourmanager/roady and stage tech. His main skill was rigging. Hanging probs from a ceiling on impossible places. Absolutely necessary for Test Dept performances.
The picture is taken early in the morning at the storage/rehearsal space in London (forgot exact location). We just finished unloading. The picture is unique because it was one of the last moments of the band in this line-up. Shortly after they broke up. Re-started as a techno band with a few different members in the early nineties. That second period Test Dept got barely noticed. And right so. Their weak techno-attempts where not half impressive as the great massive life spectacles of the 80ties.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Pwjoeiee was I gone for some time. Must have lost loads of ‘regulars’. Oh’well they will return. Needed the time for other thangs to do. Meanwhile I gathered a lot of old and new material for this site. I am organizing/editing it. Through the months lots will be added. Check back regularly. For some time expect almost daily new posts
Lets re-start easy; An Album review: “Albums you like and not hide” :
THE ALLMAN BROTHER BAND “LIVE AT FILLMORE EAST”