September 25, 2009

Undercover poplover, part 16

"On white horses let me ride away to my world of dreams so far away.
Let me run, to the sun. To a world my heart can understand.
It's a warm and gentle wonderland.
Far away, stars away."

Download (Mediafire)
1. Trixie's Big Red Motorbike - White horses
2. Jesus And Mary Chain - Surfin' USA
3. Sambassadeur - La chanson de Prévert

September 23, 2009

One night in Phitsanulok

4 years ago

Although it's 8 PM it's still hot and humid at the Bangkok bus station. We've got 390 km ahead of us. It'll be a 7 hour drive to Phitsanulok. We have spent the first three days of our five-week vacation in Bangkok and are ready to travel up North, impressed by the capital city but eager to leave its smell and chaos behind us. We tip our guide for the day and get in the bus.

The first thing I notice is the karaoke TV for entertainment. The second thing I notice is that we're the only tourists. The third thing I notice is that our front row chairs leave no room at all for my legs. It's going to be fun.

"Here we go", I state the obvious. "Yes", my girlfriend says. My girlfriend and I, we've been together for about four years at that point. We don't need a lot of words. We're good together. We love each other so much. We do. We do.

Do we?

A couple of days before our flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok we got the excting news that the appartment that we wanted would be ours by the time we'd come home. Now, while the first hour of our bus trip slowly passes by, I find myself daydreaming about that future. Our future.

"There's a school around the corner", I say. "Nice, for our children." I'm joking, but only a little bit. We've talked about having children, one day. I expect another absent minded "Yes" from my girl. Maybe even a somewhat more interested "Mh hmm". None of that though.

"Dennis", she says. Something in the tone of here voice makes me snap out of my daydreamy state. The bus is dead silent. Even the sound of the karaoke has been turned off now; all you see on the screen are the neatly dressed up Thai people, silently singing while the little ball skips over the undecipherable words. We've got over six hours to go, every minute further from Bangkok. Every minute further from home. Nowhere to go. "I don't want to be with you anymore."

4 weeks ago

The doorbell of our new house in Almere rings. I put my son on my arms and walk towards the door.
"Honey, she's here." My girlfriend walks down the stairs.

"Here we go", I state the obvious. "Yes", my girlfriend says. My girlfriend and I, we've been together for about four years at that point. We don't need a lot of words. We're good together. We love each other so much. We do. We do!

I open the door and look my ex-girlfriend in the eyes. "Hello!"

We have a good afternoon together, all of us.
I look at my ex-girlfriend.
I look at my girlfriend.

"There's a school around the corner", I say. "Nice, for our children."

I look at our son.
I look at my girlfriend.
I look at my ex-girlfriend.

"Thank you," I say.

4 days ago

A colleague of mine mentions her travel plans.
"Thailand. Have you been there?"

Thailand. The most confusing weeks of my life.
The biggest possible heartbreak ever.
Exhausting, in every way.

"Yes. Yes, it's wonderful." I say.

It's brought me nothing but good things.

4 hours ago

The dog barks.

I lie awake in bed.
I turn around.
I turn around again.
The events described above go quickly through my head.

Life is strange. No, actually: life is quite perfect.
People are strange.

Once I start writing the post you're reading now, I already know I'll be my same old sappy self. I just tend to get a bit too sentimental like that. Usually re-reading a piece like this before posting it stops me from actually clicking that 'post' button.

But I thought I'd keep this one.

September 17, 2009

Tada Tátà

When you're a couple of months late, other blogs have written about a band at the right time, while you just recently fell in love with them… to blog or not to blog?

Well, here I am. Tada Tátà deserve all the attention they can get.

Tada Tátà are two girls from Umeå, norhern Sweden. I'm never very good at accurately describing a sound, but to my ears they sound a bit like a mix between Pianosaurus and early Tilly & the Wall. That's just to give you an idea; obviously you should listen to the songs to appreciate their unique quality.

While summer is slowly fading away, Tada Tátà keep memories of blue skies and warm days alive with their sunny pop songs. Or - the way they put it - they make you feel like "...when you had too many cakes and you feel like you have to barf but... the moment just before that when everything's still tasty, delicious and really really sweet."

The Tada Tátà EP was released earlier this year and is available on Cosy Recordings.

Band myspace
Buy this EP

Download (Mediafire)
1. Tada Tátà - Hit the wall

September 15, 2009

Free Loan Investments - The last dance

A new Free Loan Investments release! Their Last Dance EP is now available on Magic Marker. I have never heard any of the five songs before, and am genuinly excited about this 7". It should be the perfect warm-up for Roger Gunnarsson's new band The Garlands, who are about to release a 7" on Atomic Beat Records.

Buy this here

Download (Mediafire)
1. Free Loan Investments - Kick his balls out (from Ever been to Mexico?)
2. Free Loan Investments - Hard to smile (from Youth will understand)

September 14, 2009

Jóvenes y Sexys

Jóvenes y Sexys is a duo from Caracas, Venezuela. They make quiet but sparkly, folky pop, with pretty harmonies and enchanting melodies. Their sweet Bruno EP is available for free download on and their myspace.

Download (right click, save as)
1. Jóvenes y Sexys - El Reloj
2. Jóvenes y Sexys - Divine hammer (Breeders cover)

September 13, 2009

Bunnygrunt - Matt Harnish & Other delights

Do you remember how Bunnygrunt hated to be called twee? Cuddlecore? No? Oh. Anyway, it's 2009 now (not the early '90s) and Bunnygrunt have a new album out: Matt Harnish & Other Delights, on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records. Listening to this album the above discussion seems ridiculous, unlikely even. This is hard pop, speed rock; there are even some serious guitar solos here. It's all rather fantastic too.

Matt Harnsih, Karen Ried and friends fill all 10 songs with great harmonies, black humour and an amazing pace. It's what made Bunnygrunt addictive in the past, but this is definitely the next level. Listen to album opener 665 & 1/2 won't do below and you'll see what I mean.

Buy this album here
Bunnygrunt myspace
HHBTM website

Download (Mediafire)
1. Bunnygrunt - 665 & 1/2 won't do

September 05, 2009

Undercover poplover, part 15

"Well hold still now darlin'
Hold still for God's sake
Cause I got me a promise
I ain't afraid to make"

Download (Mediafire)
1. Cats On Fire - Your woman
2. Eux Autres - My love will not bring you down
3. Bunnygrunt - Silly girl

September 04, 2009

Rose Melberg - Homemade ship

Where It's At Is Where You Are and K Records finally bring us one of the most anticipated (by me, at least) albums of the year, the new Rose Melberg (of solo-, Tiger Trap-, the Softies- and Go Sailor-fame). I haven't heard a single note yet, but based on all her previous work I'm quite confident about its brilliance.

From the K website:

A small masterpiece, Melberg uses just a guitar and vocals on Homemade Ship (with occasional harmony vocal and piano work provided by Larissa Loyva of The Choir Practice and P:ano), offering helpful and insightfully delicate lyrics to perfectly ease out of sorrow and into contentment. At the forefront, her voice holds a warmth and generosity that adds strength and hopefulness to her aching lyrics.

Rose Melberg myspace
Buy from WIAIWYA
Buy fom K Records

Download (Mediafire)
1. Rose Melberg - Cast away the clouds
2. The Softies - Me and the bees
3. Tiger Trap - Words and smiles
4. Go Sailor - Long distance

September 03, 2009

Crazy little thing called life

I clock out around 5 PM, hop on the bike and start my 8 minute ride home. The streets of Almere are empty. The parks of Almere are empty. I see one older guy walking his dog; a girl's voice sounds in the distance but I don't see her. An exciting city this is not.

While I get off my bike, having arrived at our garden's fence, my neighbour greets me. He's a friendly, retired Surinamese guy. "Hello neighbour," he says. "Hello neighbour," I say. I park my bike in the shed and walk towards the back door of our house. Some birds quietly fly away, their activities temporarily interrupted by my walking past; a repetition of our daily routine. A very exciting neighbourhood this is not.

I unlock the door and walk into our livingroom. It's quiet. I take off my shoes, and soundlessly continue towards the hall. Standing at the bottom of the stairs I start hearing some sounds seeping through. My girlfriend singing a song. My son practicing his first careful baby laughs. "Honey? I'm home..."

When I'm halfway up the stairs somehow I'm reminded of yesterday's post on this weblog and the name of my blog in general. It comes and goes immediately, but it's in my thoughts for a reason: All That Ever Mattered. Not a lot in my life rings more true than the past tense in that name. All that ever mattered doesn't matter that much anymore. All that matters didn't matter before.

I'm such a boring grown up. I love it right now as much as I hate it sometimes.

I finish my walk up the stairs and enter the bedroom, with the lyrics of an old Zita Swoon song going through my head.

"Hey man
You shouldn't be worried
About the good nor the bad
or all them stories
Just slowly point your life
In the right direction
And live it up to the max of true satisfaction"
I said: "Hey
My life is OK"

Download (Mediafire)
1. The Flatmates - This thing called love
2. The Lucksmiths - Self-preservation

September 02, 2009

Stop! In the name of love

The last three or four interviews intended for this weblog that I sent out via e-mail (after an initial "Sure Dennis, that'd be lovely! Thank you for asking us!"-reaction from the band) I never got back. I haven't been to a concert for over a year, and it's been so much longer since I've seen what anyone would dare to call a popshow. I haven't even found the time to sit down at home and listen to more than two songs in a row in the last five months. I don't know one person in my 'real' life who likes the music I love. I don't have the money to buy any records anymore. I do, but shouldn't.

Is it realistic to still try to maintain a music weblog?
Am I turning into an old man?
Is any of this important?
Or interesting?

No. Maybe. No. And... nope.

Do I still love music? Pop? Life?

Definitely. Yes, and yes!

There is enough to write about, but life and love keep getting in the way.
Which is a good thing, in a way.

The main motivations to start this weblog were to keep myself updated with interesting music, to practice my English writing skills and to practice some writing in general. All those motivations still stand (and all still need improving). So I guess I'm not done yet.

Ehm... so, tell me what's new? Send me records?
Mixtapes? Zines?
A time machine?