Mira Mira

Op Mira heeft Mira, zonder aan scherpte of woordkracht in te boeten, toch haar bijtend, woordgegeven cynisme omhuld met een zachtere poëtische laag. Ze is even woordkrachtig maar minder sarcastisch. Haar prachtige meesleepstem en haar haarfijne uitspraak zijn op dit Mira-product, haar 3e al, ingebed in schaarse en fraaie arrangementen van roffels, riedels en geklop. De ritmes zijn gebroken, maar meeslepend en ondanks de felheid toch vol van een lichte tristesse. Het gaf me een enkele maal het gevoel van tango, maar vervuld van weemoed en van deemoed, een lichte vorm van medelijden daar waar haar vorig werk eerder een verbale aanslag was.

Een schitterend album van een artieste die niet stilstaat, maar blijft gaan voor vernieuwing en diepgang. En, overbodig om te vermelden maar toch, een stem herkenbaar uit de duizenden. Mira verstaat de uiterst zeldzame kunst om een zacht dialect te gebruiken dat ontzettend past, niet geforceerd, ook niet storend. Een madam met een plan.
Van schoenen en planeten.

Schijnbelediging – Live on stage

In August 1988 a young student, no man yet, went out working during his summer vacation. With the little money he earned from it he bought himself an electric guitar.

End June 1992 the man, no musician yet, fused his ideas of backroom guitar playing with the broken down sound of a little rhythm box he had just bought from another student. In a kamikazian tempo he crafted some songs. As the artist hHijirt! he presented the result on stage (Brasschaat) on 23 August. In December of that year hHijirt! presented a new set of songs at another local stage (Kalmthout).

In 2009 an Ionic Vision friend cleaned up the mess of recorded tunes, notes, facts and melodies of the July session. The December sessions unfortunately remained unrecorded. Lost forever.

With the plans of a glorious return as Shifting Cargo in mind, I now proudly present my long lost sounds combined on the never-to-appear album “Schijnbelediging” on MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/shifting_cargo). And don’t go claiming you know the songs. That would mean you were there, and I know exactly who was. Not too many, you see…

Parental Warning: album contains mainly Dutch lyrics.

This is my first, basic version of my MySpace page. I will add versions of the songs of “Schijnbelediging” that I re-recorded after my live appearance (you’re a hero if you hear the difference) and I am thinking about graphics to represent the songs, myself and Shifting Cargo. And I am working on some additional lo-fi work of course.

Heather gone completely Nova

After having witnessed the magnificent show of Gavin Friday at Crossing Border 2011 in Antwerp, we quickly rushed to the other building (Arenberg theater) to check on Heather Nova. Luckily we were still allowed in.

We’d never seen her live, and of course did we wonder about her angelic voice on stage. And did she live up to our expectations! She sang really well. It was even funny to state that in her talking she sounded somewhat raw, but in her singing that wasn’t the case. And she was backed by a great band. Furious guitars alternating with cello or Heather playing piano. It was exactly what I had hoped for upon her great latest album, 300 Days At Sea. That album took me back to the early days of Oyster and Glow Stars. And from what I understood it was intended to be like that. Not only did Heather Nova re-visit the deep waters of her youth, she also re-assembled the musicians of those early days.

Her live performance confirmed the definite return of the ravishing nymph of the Bermuda triangle. A glowing siren tricking innocent listeners into a sea of melodies, to drown in beauty. It was a beautiful ride, like the song she closed the show with.

The lady also announced that the show was being recorded and would be offered as MP3 download via her lady’s website. Luckily the sound wasn’t as vague as typical phone pictures are…

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.

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.

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!

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.