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Only The Mirrorball Shone More That Night

Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t expect Gavin Friday to read my blog. Hmmm, but maybe Caroline does, on his behalf. So, I don’t think his superb performance at Crossing Border 2011 in Antwerp was intended as an answer to my warm call for him to return to the stage as “vibrant performer”. I launched that call at the end of my thoughts on his new album catholic , that I considered as quite reticent, held-back and enigmatic.

And, I admit, it’s also a bit cheap to pretend he wouldn’t have done it without my request as we just know Gav sweats, lives and breathes his personae on stage like only Jacques Brel did long before him.

We started our evening by missing Gavin’s interview by our favorite music journalist, Bart Steenhaut. Our dinner, just outside of the Bourla theater at Le Coup Vert in the city was just too good. And, well, mr. Steenhaut had published an interview with Gav the same day so we guessed there weren’t too much revelations that we didn’t know of yet.

After the sounding of the church bells, Gavin and his band started of quite surprisingly with the Virgin Prunes classic Caucasian Walk, driven by bass drum and a slightly reworked bass guitar line and the soft-loud sound explosions (Hérésy style) and Gavin’s evolved singing over it. Great how Gaving revived the song by combining his younger anger with his mysterious whispering and falsetto. I know you can’t have it all, but it was too bad that Dik wasn’t there, as he was at the Irish Electric Picnic concert.

The band continued with Where’d Ya Go? Gone which was a bit louder and more focused on the teasing side of the song than I had experienced it on the album. The next song, the mostly piano-driven Apologia, gave the audience, me and my wife including, the shivers down our spines as it became clear that Gavin was adventuring through his complete solo works. Just a penny for the poor I ask. It was just a little moment of relative silence as Gavin then fiercely bursted into the translated Brel cover Next, also from his solo debut (and recently re-published) Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves. Including military behavior in his shiny suit. Great suit by the way, made him look even sharper than he physically already clearly was.

With Caruso Gavin not only turned the place into a late-nite disco drinking bar that’s so typical for the atmosphere on the Shag Tobacco album but he certainly proved not being one of those ‘pissy popstars’. And we now know it was his uncle Paddy that disturbed his mind at 11 by introducing the young Fionan to this early Italian opera star. After Perfume, with Gavin smelling sex in the venue (like in the song, one of the top songs on catholic for me), he brought us, to my complete exaltation, The King of Trash, not only because he thereby drew from the Adam ‘n’ Eve album but also played one of my all-time favorites. Rex Mortuus Est. After Rags to Riches, Gavin showed his guts by singing the difficult, fragile and very falsetto A Song That Hurts. During the next Able it struck me how great the evening was turning out. The quality of Able, gigantically opening catholic for me, was easily matched by all other catholic material on the concert. Angel did not only end the regular gig but also (finally) showed us the big -no, gigantic- mirrorball sending us back to the disco place.

Luckily the band returned for an encore of Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves, the Oscar Wilde based song from the same titled album, to send us then home with the uplifting message that It’s All Ahead Of You.

It was a great night enjoying Gavin giving the best of himself in his performance, demonstrating what makes him so outstanding and unique; the cabaret-esk clown, an enchanting seducer, a weary drunk or fierce postpunk lad (no women’s dresses or pig heads needed anymore) supported by a subtle, loud or melodic (appropriate as needed) band re-enforced by a warm-hearted cello. The atmosphere went from impressing rage to intensified mantra chants, always enthusiast, always entertaining. Gavin revealed himself once again as an amazing artist chosing work from his amazing catalogue, all fresher than ever, and much into dancing and fooling around that night.

Only the mirror ball shone more that night. But that was a really, really big mirror ball.

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Back To The Medieval Future

I don’t completely understand why the press seems to be quite harsh on Kaiser Chiefs over The Future Is Medieval, nor why it’s not selling well (according to that same press).

I was totally not impressed by the previous album, Off With Their Heads, except for the single Never Miss A Beat. But The Future Is Medieval is certainly a lot, a lot better again.

It’s a tiny bit more experimental than I was used, has lots of variation, the well-known energy, poppy lyrics, enough fun and more of the great stuff that we’ve come to appreciate the Chiefs for. Is it that I’m just realistic enough and fair enough for not expecting replica songs for their extraordinary debut album singles? Am I then setting my expectations too low? As far as I’m concerned, musical quality has certainly gone up again on this 2011 work. And not even I like the drummer singing too much. But, hey, give the band some space for inner peace.

And I even haven’t composed my own album and created matching artwork (mind: it’s only for fun currently), but just went for the boys’ own choice. So, I take it that all the admiration (the press, you know) of the “brilliant” move to let their listeners participate has somewhat faded again? Does that make the concept less? No, can’t be. And, but I may be alone with that opinion, it can’t be the music. There is future for the Kaiser Chiefs, and that future isn’t medieval… Even if their recording budgets are cut, or they get kicked out of their record company, or whatever medieval practices are applied on them.

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Meetlatpoëzie

Naar Parijs in statig roze. ONaangekomen NOg terug in rafelgroen.

Dat is de informele ondertiteling (thema?) van mijn eerste poëziebundel:

La NOuvelle Cycluste (ONgekelderd en NOg dicht)

En ik zelfpubliceerde dit debuut via Unibook.com. Je kan er via de webshop mijn bundel kopen, en wel via deze link: http://www.unibook.com/nl/Gunther-Verheyen/La-NOuvelle-Cycluste-%28ONgekelderd-en-NOg-dicht%29

De typografie en de drukte?

Het is gewild. Het moest zo zijn. Met 1 lezing niet aan te komen. Aan mij, in mij. Terug te keren. De (meeste) gedichten zitten vol rechte lijnen en hoeken. Dat is te wijten aan de analytische lever (van het werkwoord “leven”) in mij, de overmatige denker, de ingenieur. Overgestructureerd.

Met als resultaat: kubistisch-hoekig gedoe.

M e e t l a t p o ë z i e

Swoon was zo vriendelijk om op basis van een proefbundel een gedichtje te laten inspreken door Arlekeno Anselmo en te onderbouwen met geluid, klank en beeldvormingen. Hij koos “Geheimpje van de dichter” uit. Een grappige keuze want het valt net buiten de bundel. Het bekijkt de dichter en zijn bundel van op een agnostische afstand.

Dit gedicht gaat over het dichten zelf. En ook weer niet. Als het allemaal voorbij is, de bundel gelezen, komt het zeggen dat al die voorbije woorden zichzelf niet waren, want dat er teveel verzwegen bleef. Moesten ze gesproken zijn, ze zouden zich moeten bewijzen, tonen dat ze waar zijn, en kan de dichter dat wel aan?

ps. Van deze site maakte ik met mijn Team nota bene in 2006 een eerste versie voor Peleman Industries, als Wwaow.com (“Worldwide Association of Writers”). Met de naamsverandering, naar analogie met het hoofdmerk Unibind, is de buitenkant blijkbaar hard veranderd, maar ik herken wel ‘onze’ binnenkant nog helemaal. Het ziet er allemaal wat meer flashy uit terwijl wij bewust sterk voor soberte hadden gekozen. En wij maakten zeker geen fouten in databaseverwijzingen, zoals gebeurt bij het opvragen van mijn bundel!

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Rex Mortuus Est

Though we still smell his perfume, the king is dead. The King of Trash.

One happy morning I found His Majesty’s testament in my mail. After feeding it many times to my ears I finally got a grip on the journey that Mr. Gavin Friday has taken us throughout his bewildered solo career. In the morning he softly sang of his dreams on Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves, he took us to the dance floor on Adam ‘n’ Eve and he made us think over the day at the bar with Shag Tobacco. And now he’s taken his body to rest in restless nights full of weary thoughts.

He rolls over and over, can’t sleep, mumbling mantra after mantra on catholic (small ‘c’, anti-institutional restoration on semantic grounds). Thoughts of silence, sorrow, guilt, pleasure and blame. A sort of sadness, a blazing hope. He knows he’s going to survive tonight, like he survived the day. And his heart grows more vivid than ever. He celebrates, says goodbye, cherishes the ones he loved and… had to let go of.

Here are the musings of a man skinned by life, still longing to be able to live, love, laugh. With the brittle hope that he can land on the moon. A hidden roadmap showing the determination of life, of living, and moving on. It’s delicate though. As are the musical arrangements. Once voluptuous paintings have been replaced by miniature, pointillist songs. Celtic moods hidden in Dublin mysts, in pubs of swinging sadness, smokey voices of long lost singers.

Mr. Friday has grown flowers on his trash, and he has stopped eating them. The King transformed into an angelic breeze. Herr Doktor Introspektor ruthlessly decomposes and dissects the apple so bitter Eve wouldn’t bite it. While virile Adam-boy has gone grieving but returns to find hope in an eternal mantra that the best is yet, yet to come. There is no real epilogue, no real ending, only growth.

Beyond the dark feelings, I personally dare to hope to see a vibrant performer returning to the stage. A bit of anarchy cabaret reflecting Brel, Weill and Dietrich. The Return of the King! Hail. The man Friday overcomes.

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He wants to be able

To promote his upcoming ‘catholic‘ album (2011) Gavin Friday just released the first album track for free. The track is called ‘Able‘.

The art work for the song relates to the announced album cover. It is well crafted, a bit macaber and dark (expected anything else?), and it refers to mr. Friday’s catholic belief (no capitals!), being Irish, death in a uniform (WW I period-style). And probably much more…

Musically, Able seems at first to continue where Shag Tobacco (1995) stopped. A strong and pulsing beat breaks through an atmosphere of electronic mist, with a soft whispering, late nite voice that is full of latent desire. But on the way low guitars build up and somewhere mid-song they are completely set free and mister Gav launches into some parlando rap-like singing bringing back memories of Adam ‘N’ Eve (1992) work like I Want To Live or The King Of Trash. Bursting into highlights of a vivid horizon of notes, tones and tunes, with lots of strings attached.

Looks like Gav will show his ableness of renewed musical adventures.

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Running

I use iTunes playlists for new perspectives on my music collection, but also in support of my running efforts (‘results’ at RunKeeper).

What struck me during my most recent run -8,87 km and 58min30- is how the base BPM of Too Many Puppies*, from my Desperately Dispersed collection of nostalgia, feeds my natural running rhythm. Other highlights are the The Lemonheads‘ version of Mrs. Robinson that starts some euphoria, although it is Calienté, the Revolting Cocks‘ version of the Bauhaus classic Dark Entries (those cajun accelerations…), that completely bans all pain and feet suffering:

  • Alors On Danse -Stromae, 3:28
  • Zanna -Luc van Acker (with Anna Domino), 3:09
  • Renegade Soundwave -Renegade Soundwave, 3:53
  • Love Missile F1-11 -Sigue Sigue Sputnik, 3:47
  • Too Many Puppies -Primus, 3:57
  • La Gueule Du Loup -Daan, 2:57
  • Alors On Danse (Extended Mix) -Stromae, 4:18
  • Living Is So Easy -British Sea Power, 3:13
  • Time Bomb -Rancid, 2:24
  • Ruby Soho -Rancid, 2:38
  • Mrs. Robinson -The Lemonheads, 3:46
  • Duel -Propaganda, 4:48
  • Calienté (Dark Entries) -Revolting Cocks, 4:27
  • Rattlesnakes -Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, 3:26
  • Shout -Tears for Fears, 6:32
  • Zeus -British Sea Power, 4:29

* Still feel that Primus was the most convincing with the ‘Sailing The Seas Of Cheese’ full album.

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Top 2010 Music

Top 1

My absolute number 1 album of 2010 was made by absolute oldies revisiting 30 years of absolute musical top history and upgrading that into an absolutely refreshing top piece of modern rock: Killing Joke with Absolute Dissent. The absolute fierceness of Pandemonium and subsequent recordings combined with highly Night-time‘ish danceable bass lines and melodies that take them out of the pure fuzz and chaos from the basements of hell back into the early land of dub and dark disco. Celebrating the return of an absolute icon drummer. An emotional goodbye to The Raven King (who unknowingly re-united the original band). In Excelsis indeed…

Top 6

Completing my top 2010 albums are:

2) Grinderman – Grinderman 2: an unexpectedly varied album from a well-oiled band of howling friends, sharing wolfman fantasies and slapping melodic tales across weeping violins

3) JonsiGo: a vivid flow of natural love, an uptempo scream full of desire to live and to enjoy… joy

4) RPA & The United Nations of Sound: the newest incarnation of Richard Ashcroft wanders off into soul, funk and unexpected guitar solo’s

5) Tired PonyThe place we ran from: an incarnation of Gary Lightbody wanders with a bunch of talented friends off into deserted American sceneries with some folky country music. A place to run to…

6) David BowieThe Reality Tour: one artist wandered in 2003 off into all of his incarnations with a splendid collection of superbly performed hit songs

Somewhat different

I love Editors for releasing some magnificent EP’s to follow up their In This Light And On This Evening, adding special editions and new experiments on You don’t know love and Eat raw meat = blood drool.

Trent Reznor did not only create the terrific soundtrack for The Social Network with Atticus Ross but pointed me also on the adorable electronic music of Sonoio.

Belgian maturity

Belgian heroes of international quality Gabriel Rios and An Pierlé (& White Velvet) really surprised with their mature, well balanced and rich albums The Dangerous Return and Hinterland, full of rich compositions.

Terwijl Bart Peeters mij terug voor zich won met de prachtige wereldmix op De Ideale Man, na zijn (te) donkere vorige album.

En de Fixkes zijn niet enkel een superaanwinst voor de Nederlandstalige rock, maar na het zalige Kvraagetaan, het geniale duet met Axelle Red Over ‘t Water en de gierende interpretatie van Kodazuur hebben ze op het nieuwe album Superheld met Rock-n-Roll weer een prachtige vorm van melancholie gelanceerd.

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Zeven Zinnen Zo Gezegd

Dimitri Verhulst schreef ter illustratie en overpeinzing een verhaal bij elk van de zeven laatste zinnen die de gekruisigde aan het kruis uitsprak volgens één of andere vorm van testament.
De inspiratie werd hem aangereikt door het Ensor Strijkkwartet en hun uitvoering van Die Sieben Letzten Worte van Joseph Haydn. Het geheel werd parelachtig gebundeld in een lees- en luisterboek met de bespiegelingen van Verhulst, zowel geschreven als gesproken, en de muziekstukken door Ensor, zowel geschreven (partituren) als uitgevoerd.

L’introduzione

In 1786 -de altaren waren nog zonder dwaal- zag Cádiz de première van Joseph Haydns Die Sieben Letzten Worte Unseres Erlösers Am Kreuze.

Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid faciunt
Vader, vergeef hen, want zij weten niet wat zij doen

Vergeven? Zoals.. vergiftigen? Dat wel. Want die smeerlap, moordenaar en verkrachter van Rinus’ kind, wist maar al te goed wat hij deed.

Amen dico tibi: Hodie mecum eris in Paradiso
Voorwaar ik zeg u: heden nog zult gij bij me zijn in het paradijs

Omar is Hotel Problemski voorbij en staart naar de ijskoude zee van Zeebrugge. Hopende dat hij vanavond nog in het paradijs zal zijn. Zolang hij de container naar Londen maar vindt en… overleeft.

Mulier ecce filius tuus
Vrouw, ziedaar uw zoon

Thuis heeft Martha alles klaar voor de ontvangst van haar zoon. Als hij na het kamp ook de trein maar overleeft, zoals die andere wandelende skeletten. Morgen misschien, op de volgende trein.

Deus meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me?
Mijn god, mijn god, waarom hebt gij mij verlaten?

De avond van 11 februari 1983, een vrijdag, viel de hemel op de schedel van mijn vader. Ze was er vanonder, en had de zoon meegepakt. De teef.

Sitio
Ik heb dorst

Rosa, Rozeken, zijn meisje van 80 met kanker mag 24 uur niet eten of drinken na haar operatie. En als ze dorst heeft?

Consummatum est
Het is volbracht!

Een slecht leven was dat niet. Van de overblijver. De schrijver.
Maar zijn tijd is op. Het is volbracht. En hij is bang.

In manus tuas Domine, commendo spiritum meum
Vader, in uw handen beveel ik mijn geest

Zolang zij niemand het bevel geeft de stekker uit te trekken, zal hij er zijn. Straks dus niet meer. Volgens de volmacht van hun huwelijk.

Il terremoto

Kent u die mop van de homofiele olifant?

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Consider Defragmenting

In my growth towards appreciation of my music beyond album boundaries I have glued together a number of unconnected songs in a fragmentally wild collection of old time radio classics, highlights from new albums, prereleases, rarities and other forms of favourites. Creating an iMix on iTunes won’t work (yet?), so here’s my way of sharing it.

The list contains 42 songs and it lasts 2,7 hours:

  • Tired Pony: I Finally Love This Town (2010)
  • The House of Love: Shine On (from: The House of Love, 1988)
  • Warpaint: Ashes to Ashes (Single, 2010)
  • Soul Coughing: Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago (from: Ruby Vroom, 1994)
  • Soul Asylum: Runaway Train (from: Grave Dancers Union, 1992)
  • Interpol: Barricade (Single, 2010)
  • Interpol: Lights (Single, 2010)
  • Black Grape: Kelly’s Heroes (from: It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah, 1995)
  • The Charlatans: The Only One I Know (from: Melting Pot, 1997)
  • Siglo XX: It’s All Over Now (from: Siglo XX: The Early Eighties (1980-1986), 2006)

Rest of list: Continue reading Consider Defragmenting

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Not tired of animals

It is hard to escape the familiarity of Gary Lightbody‘s voice, but Tired Pony feels like more than his side project. The band members and the presence of companion-producer Jacknife Lee are just too impressive.
But calling their album The Place We Ran From a country album is not too satisfactory as well. Although it seems that Gary intended his songs, written while touring with Snow Patrol, to be so. Maybe little country songs, like comparing a pony to a horse.

However, the acoustic guitars, the slide guitars, a bit of violin and banjo are sufficient to distinguish most of the work from what we’ve generally known from mr. Lightbody in Snow Patrol-disguise. The small step from a reindeer (section) to a (tired) pony. And it does express a certain fascination with a romantic country side of the USA.
But at the same time there is undeniably a great similarity with Snow Patrol’s work in the overall production, and certainly the instrumentation and lyrics of part of the album. And Get On The Road very actively reminds me of Set The Fire To The Third Bar (a great compliment). Tom Smith’s voice then is so overwhelming and present that The Good Book could have been a native Editors song, certainly given Editors’ recent sound expansions (like the acoustic Raw Meat).