Saturday 27 November 2010

Yeahyeah, I'm a fan.

Okay, it's been all over the blogs... but it's just so great, I can't stop talking about it: Warpaint has a new album called The Fool and it covers my musical needs.

This psychedelic rock quartet from Los Angeles have been together since 2004 (as a trio at first), and have only released two records till this day. The first one was called Exquisite Corpse and was also really great and gloomy and awesome. The song Krimson from that one has been stuck on repeat. This new album is equally special, if not more. It is a nice ride from 'uptempo' grungy songs to intimate ballads and it never loses the raw, dark, yet really feminine sound.

Yeahyeah, I'm a fan.

And because good things need to be shared, I give you the most wonderful song on the record that was made downloadable by Rough Trade as a bonus with the vinyl. Baby, soon you will be humming it everywhere you go..

Warpaint - Baby get it here (YSI)

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Variété De Luxe #3

This Friday our friend Peter 'Teps' de Koning is hosting a third edition of Variété De Luxe: a highly entertaining evening filled with music, poetry, comedy, ukuleles and Blanche's "rollator disco"! Entrance is €0, which includes a glass of bubbles!!

Friday November 26, 19.30. 1st floor of the Public Library Rotterdam, Hoogstraat 110.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Heaven is a place in Wales

As it happens I live near one of the best places on the planet. It’s called Hay-on-Wye and it’s a beautiful little town on the border of Wales and England (population: 1469). It surrounded by glorious hills and it has 30 (!) secondhand bookshops.

So when we had friends visiting last week we took them to this quaint village. Unlike my Canadian friends I didn’t have to worry about excess baggage, so I came back home carrying kilo's of books (and extra body fat - a full English breakfast at the B&B and a delicious meal at the Old Black Lion were to thank). These are a couple of the books I got...

From the Honesty Bookshop (unattended outdoor bookcases, you just put the money in a box) I picked up some great cheap old books with lots of pictures of flowers and (extinct) animals for making collages.

I got a book by pop culture whiz Chuck Klosterman Killing Yourself to Live. I thoroughly enjoyed his other books, and so far I’m really enjoying the tales of his road trip visiting places where rock stars died. Though it’s not so much about the dead artists or their deaths; Chuck gets easily sidetracked by memories of his childhood, of songs, scenes from movies, ex-girlfriends and drugs. Chuck is funny.

As some of you will know I got more and more obsessed with patterns since I moved to this country, an obsession which has been particularly fueled by carpets in pubs and other unlikely places. So I bought myself English Printed Textiles 1720-1836, published by one of my favorite museums in the world: the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. It contains some great patterns with birds!

My biggest gem must be The Royal Family Pop-Up Book, published in 1984. Oh it’s so great, the royal family portrayed as cardboard puppets! I wanted to make a video while flipping through the book, but when I googled the book I found out some Chinese person already did that. With dramatic orchestral music!

And for a tenner I picked up a dented (hence the price) copy of Dancehall – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture by Beth Lesser. I already own the 2 cd-box set that goes with it, so I was overjoyed to find this beautiful book. The book focuses on Jamaican music in the 1980s, the "golden age of dancehall". It has loads of pictures and interviews and stories about the biggest artists, producers and sound systems of that decade. And Lesser provides us with some historical context. I’m always quite fascinated to read about how the political, economical and geographical situation of a certain place influences its music. For example one of the reasons that there is so much emphasis on the bass in Jamaican music can be traced back to the fact that Jamaica was a poor country and not a lot of people could afford a record player or a radio, or go out in clubs. So they would gather outside (as it's always good weather in the Caribbean) where some people had set up a turntable and a speaker. These soundsystem parties were extremely popular, sometimes thousands of people would turn up. So the music had to be really loud, and had to have a lots of bass! And then Dub was, as King Tubby stated, his attempt to recreate the natural effect of the delay you would be experiencing when you're in a large open space surrounded by multiple speakers.

There’s also a section about what was hot and what was not, fashion-wise. Well the clothes that were hot were literally hot. Apparently preppy clothes from the UK were all the rage. Pretty bizarre to see all those men in woolen sweaters and hats in what must have been a blazing heat!

Well, I leave you with two of tracks from this excellent Soul Jazz Records compilation...

Tenor Saw - Pumpkin Belly. Get it here (YSI).

Barrington Levy - Here I come. Get it here (YSI).

Tuesday 16 November 2010

So I made drawings for VICE...

Vice mag asked me to make five portraits of dutch comedians for an article about what made 3 women of 3 different generations laugh. To learn more about this, the writer of the piece asked her grandma, her mom and herself about funny people and looked at what was different and what was similar.

I picked out some favorite ones and drew them.
Check the whole interview out on viceland, and look at some highlights below.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Still under the covers

The heating is blazing, the warm water bottle is in daily use and "I am sitting in front of my computer with a blanket like an old person" as well: it got chilly here in Wales!
And wet and grey and windy. But these covers are keeping me warm these days...

Erma Franklin - Hold On I'm Comin' (Sam and Dave cover). Get it here (YSI).

Frente - Bizarre Love Triangle (New Order cover). Get it here (YSI).

Body Language - Sandwiches (Alaska In Winter Remix) (Detroit Grand Pubahs cover). Get it here (YSI).