April 30, 2008

Queen's Day

Queen's Day is a hugely popular day in the Netherlands. Everyone is free from work, and hundred thousands of orange coloured people travel to Amsterdam to party every year. I used to like it too, about ten years ago.

I've been living in Amsterdam for twelve years now, and to be honest I've completely had it with Queen's Day. A walk from Cenraal Station to, say, the Vondelpark normally would take about 40 minutes. On Queen's Day it takes about 3 hours. It's impossible to walk anywhere. All these people are walking as if they're one enormous organism: it's only possible to take a step if all the people in front of you also take that step. It's pretty claustrophobic.

So I'm staying in for most of the day. Still, I'm seriously having one of the best mornings of the year so far. I don't know how it happened, or if something is in the air, but listening to music today seems an almost bizarrely exciting new thing to do. I love it.

Download (Mediafire)
1. Nosoträsh - Arte
2. The School - Let it slip
3. The Kabeedies - Petits filous
4. Soda Fountain Rag - Don't kill the clowns

April 27, 2008

No news (is good news?)

Spring has finally delivered some sunshine. My girlfriend sadly is back in America. Musically, my biggest crush of the last few weeks must be Eux Autres. Their new album 'Cold city' is full of little wonders. Oh, and yesterday I bought a nice USB turntable, so I can rip vinyl to MP3. Otherwise, life at the moment seems to be just going on. No special surprises, emotions under control, nothing extraordinary.

The coming week will be nice and short, with Queen's Day (Wednesday) and the Ascension of Jesus (Thursday) both being free days in the Netherlands. I took the Friday off myself, so a five day weekend is coming up!

Maybe that'll give me some time to write a more inspired post. For now open your windows, let the sunshine in and the music out. This is what my neighbours might have been hearing (sorry neighbours!) while I was writing this post:

Download (Mediafire)
1. Eux Autres - Gratte-ciel
2. The Cat's Miaow - Third floor fire escape view
3. The Smittens - Gentlefication now (the la la la song)
4. The Aislers Set - Chicago New York

April 17, 2008


Online mixtape website Muxtape is great. Here's a mix I made yesterday.

Please feel free to create your own mixtape and post it in the comments. Give me something nice to listen to!

April 16, 2008


"For your bedroom needs, we sell everything but the girl". That sign in the window of a local furniture shop inspired Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt in 1982 to name their band. The first time I ever heard the band was 13 years later, when they scored massively with their international hit song 'Missing'. I liked, but never investigated further. Until some three years ago.

Before Everything But The Girl, Tracey Thorn built a name on a smaller scale with shambly minimalist indiepop group Marine Girls. Their debut album 'Beach party' is, however amateurish its songs and performances are, now seen as one of the pillars of the indiepop scene. It was quite a huge step from there to Everything But The Girl's wonderful debut album 'Eden'.

Leaving the twee sounds of Marine Girls behind to step into a world of bossa nova and chamber jazz pop, the feeling stays as intimate. Thorn's warm vocals are in tune now, and the quality of the songs is lightyears removed from the very nice, but almost childish compositions from only a couple of years before.

After 'Eden' Everything But The Girl had (and still has) a career of hits and misses, but their debut is my favourite. If you only know them from their later hits (I think in the UK they had some chart succes before 'Missing'), you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Download (Mediafire)
1. Marine Girls - In love
2. Marine Girls - Love to know
3. Everything But The Girl - Even so
4. Everything But The Girl - I must confess

April 07, 2008

Trixie's Big Red Motorbike: an insider's story

Funny how it goes sometimes: clicking on a link on someone else's blog and then being taken back to the comments section of your own, to a very interesting comment that I hadn't discovered myself yet. Thanks, Martijn!

You can read Trixie's Big Red Motorbike's story as told by their 'producer' Michael Sparrow here. I thought it was too interesting to keep it hidden away in a comment.

This was my original post, including some MP3s.

April 05, 2008


I intended to include Dirty song by Cars Can Be Blue in the previous post, but because I'm me I forgot. So here it is anyway.

On a completely different subject: last week I got a phonecall from my girlfriend, telling me she'll be on Schiphol Airport this coming Wednesday. She's flying over from New York for a surpise-(two week)-visit. So, mood = up!

Now some sunshine, yes? It's time.

Download (right click, save as)
1. Cars Can Be Blue - Dirty song

April 03, 2008

Twee as fuck?

You're sitting at the family dinner table, grandma and everyone, the atmosphere is relaxed and cosy. There's plenty of laughter and good times. You start humming some songs to yourself. It's all nice. Suddenly there's a moment of silence, and to your own surprise you hear yourself singing softly:

I would prefer
If I could refer to you as "it"
Your name won't mean a bit
When your tongue's against my clit
It's nothing personal
Absolutely nothing personal

"Oh, nothing grandma... just a song!"

You're walking through the supermarket, after a day at work. Glad that the tough part of the day is over, here you go:

But I can't say that I miss him
Because he never made me come
He only made me cry

Hey la hey la my bunny's back
He's pink and he's cute and he's harder than you
Hey la hey la my bunny's back
And when he's in the bed I'm always in the mood

An older couple frowns at you and you blush a bit, while you hurry on to the fruit section.

Infectious indiepop is not always without risk.

Download (Mediafire)
1. The Vaselines - Molly's lips
2. Strip Squad - Hairless youth of Bosnia
3. The Hidden Cameras - Smells like happiness
4. A Smile And A Ribbon - My bunny's back