Monday, 28 September 2009

the woolen-cardigan-feeling

It feels like ages ago since I last went to a concert. But tonight my earplugs are getting greasy again!

Although... tonight I might not even need them. Tonight's bands fall into the category of singer-songwriter and folk. Normally I'm not the biggest fan of these genres, but when I'm in the right mood I can really enjoy some of it. And now that it's autumn, I am in the mood; you know this sitting-in-front-of-the-fireplace-mood, that warm-woolen-cardigan-feeling, the let's-bake-some-apple-crumble-state of mind. Then listening to Julie Doiron is just perfect.

Julie Doiron - Wintermittens. Get it here (YSI).

P.S. Check out Geeske's drawing (it's a detail) at the top. Isn't it awesome??

Monday, 21 September 2009

Snot loves me.

It's true, snot loves me. If there's a bug in town, I will catch it. No doubt.

As I'm getting older, I've learned to live with it and seek positivity in lying on my uncomfortable couch, watching daytime television. Which is quite an accomplishment (if I may say so myself). As I move from the couch, to the computer, to the kitchen (in this specific order) I get a chance to think about my life and make some plans and lists. I find good ways to occupy myself, I really do.

If you're sick now, here's a list from a pro. This is not useful if you have a MAD flu and are sweating from the fever and all. It's more for the throat things and the nose-colds.

1.Read a book. Something with preferably a funny plot. Because laughing has about the same effect as vitamin c. I recommend anything by Christopher Moore. I love the dude and anything he writes cracks me up.

2.Shop online. Don't overdo it, but it never hurts to start hunting for that one missing record in your collection. Or start downloading legally here. You have loads of time, so why not?

3.Watch youtube. You already knew this off course. But perhaps you haven't seen this online documentary about Gorgoroth. It's a riot. Gaahl is awesome, he looks the way that I feel.

4.Cook something. Food is the highlight of the day (if you're able to keep it inside) so make sure that it's good food. I like soup. No chewing, little digesting, just perfect! This is a favorite (I'd leave out the cream) and this is a classic.

5.Don't google your symptoms. You'll go crazy, especially if you search for images. For example; this is what I've got if I'd believe google image (iieeuww).

6.Share the pain. Call people. Let them know that you're sick and pray for lots of attention and various fruitbaskets. But don't infect them or they'll never come again. Or Listen to the song below and take comfort in the fact that even rockstars get the flu.

Duchess Says - I've got the flu Get it here

Friday, 18 September 2009

We bring you: BASS

You could be sitting on your couch this saturday, drinking hot tea while watching a movie, which would be nice.. But you could also put on some tight pants, a skimpy shirt, grab your earplugs and come to 'Het Paard' in The Hague. And party hard.

Jaques de la Disque is celebrating his birthday and invited some really cool people to provide the soundtrack. Yobkiss will be playing live on the drums, we will do a DJ-set and Jaques will play some tunes himself. And when the room is smelly and damp, boss of all ravers, DJ Donna Summer will make it even smellier. This man is known for the notorious Birthday Parties in Berlin. The only party where there's a confetti-machine that spreads about ten pounds of paper in one night.

We decided that we will let the rave-boss do the rave and make you skank. Listen to the wonderful remix of Little Boots by Toddla T and you'll understand what we mean by that.

Little Boots - Meddle (Toddla T rmx) Get it here (YSI)

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Monsters on my mind..

For the past couple of months I was a coach. Not sports related (I have NO tactics) but art related.

Rotterdam kids' museum Villa Zebra planned to have an exhibition called 'The Monsterfactory'. Among the work of several established artists they wanted to involve students of the illustration department from the local artschool. Students could pitch an idea and get a spot among the monsters. I was there for the technical sollutions and to help the raw ideas grow into exhibition-worthy work. That was fun! It was really inspirational to work with these people and I think that the endresult is something we can all be proud of! Have a little sneak-peek below. (Work: Ron Schuijt)

Next friday (september 18th), will be the grand opening. From 13.30 you can come and see the endresult. And if you're a kid, you can take a monster related workshop. This will be fun, no doubt.

Villa Zebra, Stieltjesstraat 21, Rotterdam

Friday, 11 September 2009

putting the kids to work

Summer is over. But it's the start of a new season... the 'cultural season'! Rotterdam celebrates this with the Wereld van de Witte de With Festival (as you might have gathered by now), Utrecht does it with UITFEEST: a 2-day party with lots of art, poetry, guided tours, music (o.a. Voicst, GEM, Room Eleven and Wolter Kroes) and workshops. All taking place this weekend, September 12th and 13th! Dutch Dolls will be putting the kids to work in Leidsche Rijn. We'll be making a 'Vinex village' out of cardboard boxes. If you're between 2 and 6 years old come join us!!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

homo universalis 2.0. in a TENT.....

It all goes down at the Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam this week! Tomorrow is the opening of BLURRR in exhibition space for contemporary art TENT. It's a very special exhibition/event to celebrate TENT's 10th birthday. Hurray!

BLURRR (excuse me while I quote from the website) "reveals a new cultural practice in which the young artist goes beyond the borders of different disciplines and presents him/herself as homo universalis 2.0. (...) Thanks to the possibilities of the Internet, it seems that multitasking has become the most important basis for the practice of art without being noticed. Artists are simultaneously a performer, singer or designer. They work alternately in collectives, duos and groups. They share their knowledge or work on social network sites such as Facebook, Hyves or MySpace and assign the public an active role in their work." Sounds kind of familiar?! That's why TENT approached Dutch Dolls to take part in the large-scale educational project that accompanies the exhibition.

The educational project is named 'Wildgroei' ('proliferation') and is organized by an occasional artist collective, consisting of S.P.A.M. van Griensven, Selfcontrolfreak, Ivo Vrouwe and Maartje Aben and Dutch Dolls' own Geeske. From the 9th of September till the 15th of November high school students will work with the collective on an installation. Every move is being monitored by a camera, so you can keep track of the whole thing (somewhere) online.

Anyways, come to the opening tomorrow at 18.00 to enjoy performances by the HuMobisten and Nina Boas, music, drinks and food (by Hete Bliksem!)! Or take a look at the Wildgroei in progress sometime during the Wereld van de Witte de With Festival.

Monday, 7 September 2009

next Friday: (p)arty!

Okay, summer is over... which means it's time again for the annual Wereld van de Witte de With Festival in Rotterdam! Of course Dutch Dolls are represent! We're really looking forward to seeing all these artsy folks again :-) Drop by at gallery BLAAK10 this Friday between 19.00 and 20.00 to kick off this 3-day festival with us!! Enjoy the exhibition of Bier en Brood while rocking steady (or rocking out - why not) to our DJ-set.

Bier en Brood is a multi-disciplinary art collective from the Netherlands, and quiet a few members of its crew are (former) students of the Willem de Kooning Academy (where the Dolls were taught and have taught themselves). In April of this year they made the biggest piece of graffiti EVER.... 3000 m2 on container ship NileDutch Kwanza. The exhibition includes photographs of the project and the screening of the documentary ‘HOTEL KWANZA’. And Bier en Brood will be working on a 3D installation in the gallery. It should be fun in BLAAK10 with some excellent DJs, like Nickelle Kees and Black Langebach (of Venour) and peeps of Bier en Brood themselves. So as the Bier and Broodsters say: (p)arteeeeee!!!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

the Berliner Skank a la Dutch Dolls

So after a little over five weeks I'm back in Cardiff. Except for the rain, it feels nice to be at HOME again. Surrounded by all my stuff, having a closet full of clothes to choose from, being called 'love' by the cashier at Tesco's, a PROPER INTERNET CONNECTION... The latter, plus the fact that we worked/partied/relaxed a lot, were the reasons for the infrequent postings the last couple of weeks. But I'll make up for it now by giving you some of Berlin's highlights according to Dutch Dolls...

Like t
his tiny Greek restaurant called Thalassa (Körtestrasse 8) in Kreuzberg. No live music, no tacky decor, no colums. This family run restaurant serves finger licking yummy food, prepared by a big mama. Highly, highly recommended!

Does fermented cabbage sound appealing to you?! To me it never did! But in Korea they love the stuff: kimchi. I've never been a great fan. So when I made a bet (trying not to drink alcohol for one day..) my challenge would be to eat kimchi. Of course I failed... So off we went to Kimchi Princess, a new, stylish Korean restaurant in Kreuzberg 36 (almost too stylish for its surroundings). I had a kimchi crêpe and it was de-li-cious! I'm converted :-)

One of my best nights out ever was probably at Kiki Blofeld: dancing to obscure soul & funk music in a boathouse, chilling outside by a campfire and playing foosball under the stars. Brilliant!! This picture of the (then empty) boathouse doesn't do it justice at all!

Dutch Dolls had another memorable night out at Cassiopeia in Friedrichshain. The ruins of an old factory house two concert venues, a beergarten (check out the pic), an open air cinema and skate hall. Very raw, but the atmosphere is very gemütlich. We shaked our booty to some live R'n B (!), hip hop and dancehall till dawn!

Two nice dives in the neighbourhood of the Falkensteinstrasse in Xberg are Madame Claude and Konrad Tönz. In Madame Claude you can play ping pong or play your musical instrument at one of their open mic nights. Sometimes they have bands playing in their tiny and very damp basement. Oh I just love Konrad Tönz! The bartender is superfriendly and he blends in neatly with the retro interior of the bar... The DJs spin their records (boogaloo, schlager, (ost-)beat, soul and jazz) on two mono record players. Dutch Dolls recommends buying a bottle of sekt (German sparkling wine) there. The bartender will keep it chilled for you in the fridge and he'll fluff you up every now and then.

They say "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". So when in Berlin, go to the fleamarket! The one on Arkonaplatz has a very nice selection of old junk (I should say vintage - go to Mauerpark for a massive amount of just junk). Once a month the legendary punk club SO36 has a Nachtflomarkt. The quality of the goods isn't that great, but it's cheap. So at least you still have a chance of finding a real treasure here. Another big plus is that you can 'trödel' here with a beer in your hand and excellent soul music in the background!

More legendary punk is to be found at the Ramones museum in Mitte. On display are Ramones memorabilia from some obsessive fan. Which is great! There's a framed pair of Johnny's pants, old report cards and of course lots of pictures and posters (there are actually some pretty cool photobooth photo's and contact sheets). Every punk-ish band that visits Berlin drops by at the museum and they often do an acoustic live show. For FREE!! I went there to see the Riverboat Gamblers! I enjoyed it a lot, even though they couldn't rock out as much since they didn't want to trash the museum. On YouTube I found the video that the guy in front of me made. He was clearly into it as well; the camera is bouncing to the rhythm...

Bye bye Berlin, until next year!!